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Riviera Review

First Timer on Oceania and Booked Another Cruise On-Board--Excellent

Review for the Eastern Mediterranean Cruise on Riviera
10+ Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Nov 2023
Cabin: Vista Suite

​WARNING: Long and Detailed. Read at night when you can't fall asleep.

Hello Cruise Critic Friends:

I came on the Oceania Cruise board 1.5 years ago. I have been on CruiseCritic.com for many years. We have done over 30 cruises.

Cabin Review

Vista Suite

The Vista Suite: 8 out of 10.

For my NCL Haven Fans, the Vista Suite I stayed in was very close to the Haven (H2) Owners Suite with Large Balcony on the NCL Joy, Encore, and Bliss.  The difference as I shared before was, they pulled the outdoor furniture before departing.  On NCL, they never did that.   

The Vista Suite was HUGE, the deck was half the front of the ship with an outdoor hot tub which we never used.  A four-person dining table outside which we used once, was a nice touch.  Blue Tooth throughout the suite from your phone which was very easy to use and great sound through Bose Speakers was awesome.  The master bathroom was huge with a supersized Jacuzzi.  Second FULL bathroom which I used all the time was as you enter the room.  The makeup area was in the corner of the bedroom.  The beds were fantastic. Really best at sea so far.

Great Room again was huge with a dining room table for four.  NCL Haven fans, you can order from ANY Specialty Restaurant through your butler with Penthouse or above any dinner time.  This gives Penthouse or above the ability to have specialty restaurant every single night.  That, my friends, is a nice perk and since it is complementary, better than the NCL Haven.

Talking about perks.  We got three gifts for the Vista Suite which is not available for Penthouse or below.  1) A huge gift box of high-end toiletries.  Super nice. 2) A very high-end beach bag with Oceania Branded hats, towels, and other things. 3) On the last day, which I think everyone gets two metal Oceania luggage tags. If you are in a high-end Suite, leave room in your luggage for all the stuff.

The downside was the bedroom temp was super cold for a couple of days which I finally got fixed.  Some folks have a hard time with the “Home Automation” Lights.  I have these at home, so it was easy for me. The table lamps in the main great room need to be turned off by hand.  The room is very loud when they dock, especially early.  There is a sour smell when they leave the port like they are emptying the black tank.  Neither last long but it was noticed. The deck is impossible to use due to wind while sailing.  The exercise room which is gone from the new ships is a waste of space on this ship. 

As I said above, “One and Done” unless I get a crazy deal again.  If so, I will opt for an Oceania Suite which has a deck on the side and a TV room. The bigger the suite is not always better.  The Penthouse suites are excellent and larger than most NCL Haven Suites at 440 sf.  Save the money is my opinion in the future. Don’t want a butler, go down one category to a Concierge Stateroom, which is lovely.

Port Reviews

Athens (Piraeus)

We came in the day before the cruise to tour Athens, Greece. It is fabulous. Stayed in an outstanding hotel called, The Grande Bretagne Hotel and I highly recommend it especially the roof bar and restaurant. The only issue is you need a few day to fully enjoy Athens, Greece. GREAT port.


We had two days in Istanbul. Day one, we went to the grand bazar. I would skip this in the future it is crowded and very uncomfortable with all the venders. Not what I expected. However, the next day we went to the Blue Mosque which was unforgettable. Including the area around it where the stores are so much nicer.

Both days we hired a cab, which stayed with us all all day for $60.00. I paid the guy $100.00. I used my iPhone to translate with him and he with me. The second day as stated was even better and I found the guy just outside the port again. Same price. This time since the Blue Mosque was just an hour or so, he took us for a ride which included taking his cab on a ferry which allowed us see the city by water. What a great experience.


Get a Hop on/Hop off bus and see the place. Get out the city central before you make a decision on this place. At first, I wanted to get right back on the ship. After the little tourist train, we took a walk and it became quite nice. Again, walk out of city central.

Rome (Civitavecchia)

Take the bus to the Train Station, take the Train to the Vatican or the city of Rome. We just did not have enough time but this is a place you need a few days in. We did the Vatican and chapel and came back. We were so tired from all the walking. Must see port.

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