Marina Cruise Review by Rotenmutts
- Sail Date: January 2012
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
The Marina is less than a year old and is truly beautiful. The artwork and Murano glass throughout is stunning. The pool is surprisingly small but it was sparingly used and the pool deck was very comfortable and never overcrowded. The library was very impressive, second only to the QM2. 2 little quirks I found. They had a boring 9 hole mini-putt in a prime location high forward and then more bothersome to most passengers was the elevators aboard. Four in the front was adequate for over 1200 guests but only 2 aft meant very long waits to go for dinner especially with a large percentage needing walkers or scooters for mobility.
The staterooms had the best bed on the high seas. Bathrooms were fine and included nice shampoos, soaps, etc. and the storage space was adequate. Maria turned out to be a great room stewardess.
The food was fabulous with ONE glaring exception. The buffet is simply the best in the business. Although Oceania could change the choices for breakfast at least once, especially the pastries, the quality of fare was outstanding. The luncheons here or just outside at Waves was equally as good. The dinner menus were always excellent and the ratio of staff to help was very high. The specialty dining rooms were spectacular. We ate 5 nights in these 4 venues and were amazed at the quality and presentation. Sadly the MDR was not as well done. 4 dinners and one lunch were so bad , it qualifies as the worst MDR in 35 cruises including budget lines. Only 1 meal was even acceptable. The seafood was so overdone it went back to be replaces by tough lamb. The service, unlike the rest of the ship was sullen and slow. Avoid the MDR and you'll have a fine culinary experience.
The wine on the ship was even more expensive than the QM2 which means 50% than all other cruise lines. However all soda and specialty coffees are included and they do the coffee right.
The shore excursions were an absolute rip off. For example, their sedan to MIA-$199. My towncar to FLL, an extra 25 miles-$75. Other ports were similar, many times they were twice the price of other lines fare for the exact same excursion.
Entertainment on smaller ships is always weak and these started very late, although Drake was a very funny man. The Casino staff was very nice but saw little action. It may be the age of the passengers.
The disembarkation was also a breeze but the lack of cabs presented a small delay in leaving.
Finally a word to the wise. This ship had a lot of well off seventy year olds from the south who were escaping the Florida primary but brought their politics with them. How sad it is to be on a vacation and not let these disagreements stay at home were they belong. I thought it was an unwritten rule about discussing religion, gun control and politics that this was not proper behavior.
Its expensive and I'm not sure its worth the extra cost but I would not sail out a southern port on this line again.
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