Riviera Review

Jacques Pepin Would be Horrified!

Review for the Baltic Sea Cruise on Riviera
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Crusingfun135
2-5 Cruises • Age 70s

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Sail Date: Aug 2023
Cabin: Oceania Suite

We stayed in an Oceania Suite where we enjoyed the personal staff who cared for us and our suite. They were absolutely wonderful. In fact the entire crew was wonderful. They were always smiling, pleasant, professional and very eager to help. We did not receive our luggage from Lufthansa until the seventh day of the cruise. We greatly appreciated the efforts of Concierge staff for tracking this down and making it happen. For us cruising with Oceania is all about the food, wine and meeting new people from around the world. We met some very fascinating people by having meals at shared tables.

We cruised with Oceania in 2013 (Mediterranean), 2017 (Alaska) and 2018 (Transoceanic). Each time was shear heaven when it came to the cuisine and wine, our primary reason for cruising with Oceania. After all their advertising trademark is "The Best Cuisine At Sea". Unfortunately, We were so disappointed with the food and wine that we will likely never cruise with Oceania again. Many of our table mates made the same comments about the quality of the food. Even the food in the specialty restaurants, where we dined in each at least twice and in the main dining room was lacking in professional preparation, presentation and taste. We are foodies and we travel to visit some of the finest restaurants. We have dined in restaurants with world famous chefs, so we know excellent cuisine.

What happened Oceania (owned by Norwegian Cruise Lines since 2014)? Is this reflective of post-pandemic initiatives to recoup money by decreasing quality while charging much higher prices? Is this Norwegian Cruise Lines’ way of telling us the quality of the food will no longer be reflective of their Executive Culinary Director, Jacques Pepin? This cruise was totally lacking in any of his inspired flavors, fresh ingredients, tastes and the textures we crave from food prepared by well trained kitchen staff led by a highly skilled and experienced chefs. The Terrace Cafe served undercooked scrambled eggs reminiscent of those poured from a cardboard container. The eggs looked more like dark yellow couscous than scrambled eggs. The desserts were mediocre at best. The small soufflés in the main dining room tasted more like bread pudding. I ordered a pot de creme in Jacques that was more like a bowl of hard fudge. I had scrape it from the bowl with my spoon. It was not the delicate mousse-like dessert I can make better at home.

Cabin Review

Oceania Suite

The Oceania Suite is our favorite suite. It is roomy, well appointed and comfortable. This was our second time staying in this suite. The staff were exceptional.

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