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Riviera Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
709 reviews
81 Awards

Dream cruise! Above and beyond expectations.

Review for Riviera to the Mediterranean
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Comitis
10+ Cruises • Age 70s

Rating by category

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Additional details

Sail Date: Jun 2022
Cabin: Vista Suite

We originally scheduled this cruise for April 2020, then COVID-19 resulted in cancellation. We were rescheduled for August 2020, with a different itinerary but again, COVID resulted in cancellation. We had challenging and frustrating interactions with our Oceania agent to the point where if we didn't lost our investment we would have cancelled altogether. To be honest, we were sort of numb by the time we actually got on the flight to Rome June 13. From that time until we debarked in Barcelona (and stayed a few extra days) it was heaven on earth. Everything went amazingly smoothly. All the bad feelings toward Oceania melted away.

We arranged through O-Life so the flight, hotels, transfers were included in the package. It was a leap of faith for us! Our American Airlines flight was direct to Rome leaving on June 13, arriving on June 14. We paid extra for premium coach seats and it was well worth it. The extra room was welcomed since the flight was a long one - we were in a row with two seats so we had the advantage of a window and an aisle seat.

We were met at the airport by an Oceania representative and after a wait for other passengers, we took a bus to the Grand Hotel Park Del Principe. It is a beautiful place, richly furnished in old world style. In the vestibule there was an Oceania desk with cruise representatives available to answer any questions and provide information regarding transfer to the port the next day. There is a restaurant onsite with a terrace overlooking sunken gardens. We enjoyed an appetizer and drinks while our room was readied. The staff were friendly and accommodating. The pool was also a perfect place to stay and enjoy some time in the sun. Unfortunately, we didn't take advantage of the pool because we only stayed one night in Rome before our cruise. Next time we plan to come in a few days early. Our room was beautifully furnished in blue and cream with a queen size bed, tiny sitting room, and a small balcony. It was perfect for the one night. We ordered room service as we were tired from the long flight. It was old school room service with a serving cart, table cloth, and a feeling of elegance.

Cabin Review

Vista Suite

We had the Vista Suite. It was spectacular. There was a living room with dining table; bar; two bathrooms, one at the entrance of the cabin with shower and one ensuite to our bedroom with spa tub and two sinks plus shower; walk-in closet; work out room with step and bicycle machines; and a veranda that wrapped around half of the front of the ship with hot tub, two lounges, two reclining chairs, a table with 4 chairs. Our butler was available 24/7 and always came within 10-15 minutes of calling him. We had 6 bottles of liquor of our choice and soft drinks/water always filled; ice bucket always filled; canapés at 5:00 pm everyday. Room service was efficient and on time. We loved our cabin so much that we didn't go to the pool deck once during our trip. We lounged on our veranda and sipped our cocktails and relaxed.

Port Reviews

Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain - debarked the cruise ship here and stayed a couple of days. Debarkation was just as easy as embarkation. Transfer from the ship to the hotel was pretty smooth except for some reason the people on land got us on the wrong bus to the hotel but figured it out before we left and everyone had to switch buses - would have been easier if they just switched the name cards on the dash of the buses - but not our problem! Anyhow we stayed at the Ohla Eixample Barcelona Hotel. It was a modern as the one in Rome was old school elegant. The Ohla Eixample was beautiful in it's own way and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay there. They have a rooftop bar with infinity pool which we used each day!

Malta (Valletta)

Valletta, Malta - we didn't take a tour but walked onto the port and stopped for a local beer and just looked around. It was a pleasant change from rushing to take a tour. Enjoyable ancient city.

Florence (Livorno)

Florence (Livorno) - Took a tour of Cinque Terre. By bus, 2 boats, 1 train, and a bus back to port. On the way we saw the white mountains of Carrera - marble! It was by far the most walking we did! After the first bus ride there was a very steep walk down to Manarola. This was the steepest village we toured. The villages are on hills and are breathtakingly beautiful. We stopped for a gelato and a wonderful Focaccia sandwich in Manarola eating it outside on a bench. The buildings are painted bright colors, with beaches right there and people diving off rocky outcroppings into clear blue water. It was like a scene from a movie. At Monterosso al Mare (another village) we stopped for a pizza and local beers!

Marseille

Provence (Marseille) - Took a tour at Aix-En-Provence then went on our own into Marseille. Aix is a beautiful place and well worth the excursion. Visited Cathedral Saint-Sauveur; the Place Des Martyrs de La Resistance dedicated to those who lost their lives fighting for French Resistance during WWII; and a plaque in honor of the US troops who liberated the town from the Germans. Stopped to enjoy a glass of rose at a local outdoor cafe. After Aix we returned to the port where we took a complimentary bus into the town of Marseille. There was only one other couple on the bus and wanted to be let off at a stop earlier than was the routine. The bus driver stopped to let them off and told us to get off as well. He didn't speak any English and was short with us when we asked where to pick up the bus to return to port. We decided we'd figure it out - and we did but we are much more resourceful than most so I would caution other travelers to be prepared!

Monaco (Monte Carlo)

Monte Carlo - Of course a bus and walking tour of Monte Carlo was our choice. Enjoyed every bit of it where the rich and famous hang out. We had a drink at a cafe across from the casino. There were huge yachts next to our cruise ship which were just as fun to see as the fancy cars parked near the casino. Jacques Cousteau's submarine is on display. Watched the changing of the guard, the beautiful gardens, and did a little shopping.

Naples

Naples/Pompeii - went on tour of Pompeii and Sorrento. Excellent. In Pompeii would have been better with a map of Pompeii so we could figure out where we were during guided tour. Sorrento was beautiful and we enjoyed time on our own strolling and enjoying gelato and a drink at a cafe. Breathtaking views of the Mediterranean and beach.

Palamos

Palamos Spain - Lovely seaside town. Complimentary bus service from port running every 15 minutes. Enjoyed walking around the town, stopping at a cafe for pastries and tapas. Did some shopping - prices were very reasonable. This pretty town was a complete surprise and we heartedly enjoyed our time there.

Rome (Civitavecchia)

We were met at the airport by an Oceania representative and after a wait for other passengers, we took a bus to the Grand Hotel Park Del Principe. It is a beautiful place, richly furnished in old world style. In the vestibule there was an Oceania desk with cruise representatives available to answer any questions and provide information regarding transfer to the port the next day. There is a restaurant onsite with a terrace overlooking sunken gardens. We enjoyed an appetizer and drinks while our room was readied. The staff were friendly and accommodating. The pool was also a perfect place to stay and enjoy some time in the sun. Unfortunately, we didn't take advantage of the pool because we only stayed one night in Rome before our cruise. Next time we plan to come in a few days early. Our room was beautifully furnished in blue and cream with a queen size bed, tiny sitting room, and a small balcony. It was perfect for the one night. We ordered room service as we were tired from the long flight. It was old school room service with a serving cart, table cloth, and a feeling of elegance.

Saint-Tropez

Saint-Tropez - only port of call where we had to tender in. It was a fun tender in a covered boat and since it was sprinkling we were happy! Took a walking tour including the art museum with Cezanne's and other artists works. We enjoyed time on our own to explore the town and stopped for crepes at a cute little place near the marina. Saw the little beach where Brigitte Bardot filmed God Created Woman. Also, visited the chapel dedicated to Torpes, a roman officer under Nero's reign. Saint-Tropez is named after him.

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