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Sail Date: September 2018
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and the rave reviews on the food aboard ship The buffet restaurant was always overcrowded and offered limited selection Food quality was also poor: Soggy pastries,over cooked sausages, strange ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and the rave reviews on the food aboard ship The buffet restaurant was always overcrowded and offered limited selection Food quality was also poor: Soggy pastries,over cooked sausages, strange tasting scrambled eggs, soggy weird tasting French fries. At lunch time the buffet was the only option The main dining room food quality lacked imagination and was of average quality at best. Little emphasis on providing regional dishes or specialities. Each of the specialty restaurants was pretentious . While having some good dishes ( veal chop in Toscana, lamb in Jacques and red ginger) the French onion soup was watery , pasta tasteless ,crepe Suzette rubbery and bitter and pastries soggy . EXTREMELY. DISAPPOINTING!! The cabins were nice with a shower and separate bath, Shore excursions were well organized and had some great guides.However several were spoilt by unfit elderly travelers ignoring fitness recommendations for the tours by selecting strenuous walking trips . Only to complain and hold up the whole group as soon as any walking was required Entertainment was on the poor side. Boarding in Stockholm was time consuming but disembarking in Copenhagen efficient Staff varied considerably in performance. Some were very friendly helpful and attentive. Others down rite rude Last Crystal cruise was superior in every aspect. I cannot imagine how Marina has a high culinary rating!!!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose it as we had never been on a small ship and wanted to see what it was all about and was recommended to Oceania so we booked a year in advance and looked forward to being blown away by the higher standard over our usual lines. ... Read More
We chose it as we had never been on a small ship and wanted to see what it was all about and was recommended to Oceania so we booked a year in advance and looked forward to being blown away by the higher standard over our usual lines. (Celebrity and Cunard) I can understand the desire to be on a 600+ passenger ship . Easy to get around and not get lost. You always recognise others ( even if they don’t recognise you). It can be a bit boring as not a lot to do during day Entertainment was surprisingly the best we have had as the cast of 6 were extremely talented. The food is very nice if you like shellfish and gourmet enthusiasts. If you like plain cooking forget it. I loved it but on many occasion my wife did not find anything that appealed to her. Don’t ask for a fresh coffee after 6.30pm as the coffee shop became a bar and did not serve it then. Fellow passengers were a mix of the friendly to the snobby and if you mentioned any other lines thought you were of little taste. Accommodation was just ok. We had a concierge cabin which was identical to a standard balcony cabin. The bathroom was tiny and storage minimal at best. Nice bed small tv. The advantages to the conciege was that you had 4 nights in the speciality restaurants as opposed to 2. And you had priority boarding. Apart from that it was very Mimas for a lot more money. Which brings me to the extra cost for Oceania as opposed to Celebrity. For the same price you could be in a suite on Celebrity with a greater choice of restaurants and nicer coffee bar. After trying 2 Oceania cruises. We will stick to our favourites and save money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Best cruise ship with the best staff and by far the best food. Glorious ship with everything you need from sports, to swimming pools to coffee bistros to the best restaurants. Just one incredible luxury cruise ship. The staff were ... Read More
Best cruise ship with the best staff and by far the best food. Glorious ship with everything you need from sports, to swimming pools to coffee bistros to the best restaurants. Just one incredible luxury cruise ship. The staff were impeccable going the extra mile around every corner. The rooms were perfect, big enough, well appointed, perfect balcony and super bathroom. The WiFi worked perfectly. The overall comfort of the vessel was just perfect and the size and control perfect. I would recommend this cruise ship over and over again. I do not have one negative comment regarding the Oceania Riviera. Fro the boarding process, to the luggage handling to the movement on and offshore with the tender boats every touchpoint was taken care of with absolute professionalism and a-plume. The maintenance of the Oceania Riviera is exemplary. The onboard speciality restaurants were out of this world. This is the cruise liner to go with! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose to do our first Oceania cruise based on the itinerary, the ship and the cuisine. We booked directly with Oceania and our Cruise Concierge, Sydney was most helpful throughout the process. We were sailing from Rome to Monte Carlo ... Read More
We chose to do our first Oceania cruise based on the itinerary, the ship and the cuisine. We booked directly with Oceania and our Cruise Concierge, Sydney was most helpful throughout the process. We were sailing from Rome to Monte Carlo for 7 nights and chose a Concierge Veranda stateroom. We arrived at Civitavecchia by transfer with Rome Cabs, at 11.30 and with no queues, everyone was being allowed on board at they arrived. The Riviera, one of the fleet's larger ships, with 1200 guests, it in fantastic condition throughout, our cabin was larger than those we have been in before on other lines and had excellent storage. The room stewards kept it in immaculate condition and kept the mini-bar stocked. All the venues were beautifully decorated, the Grand Dining Room has a high ceiling with tall windows, creating a great sense of space, the Terrace Cafe is the best buffet we have seen with made to order eggs, steaks, fish and pastas. The staff pick and serve the food for you, with he portions being as generous as you want. The burger bar, Waves was another favourite, their Kobe Beef and the Maguro (tuna) burgers were stunningly good. There are four Specialty restaurants on board, all of which are included, so no additional fees. Jacques (French), Red Ginger (Oriental) and Toscana (Italian) served some of the best food we have had at sea, and each provided a memorable experience. The Polo Grill (Steak House) served great food, but somehow didn't quite deliver the occasion that the others did. The coffee shop, Baristas, was a great place to a leisurely cappuccino and biscotti. A "must do" is the Afternoon Tea in the Horizons Lounge, relaxing with a cup of your favourite tea, some finger sandwiches and a slice of cake is a great way to unwind when you come back onboard from you port visit. We don't go to the shows, but did attend a cookery demonstration in the Riviera Lounge given by the head chef Alban and Oceania's culinary director Franck, who were most entertaining. My wife also attended one of the classes in the Culinary Centre, which she found to be both informative and fun. Corey the Cruise Director, is great fun and very approachable, his staff ran the various activities during the day, apart from the show there is also music and dancing in Horizons and our favourite place was Martini's where the piano player sang and played but did not drown out conversation. We had the basic O Life Drinks with meals package, but we upgraded to the Prestiege package once onboard, the $20 per head per day makes this a no-brainer. Throughout the ship the staff were warm and welcoming, providing great service with a smile. This Med voyage had guests from a large age group, some in the 30s and other older, the Oceania experience is calm and relaxed, on this port intensive cruise there were always sun beds available, and I did notice that sunbed blocking was discouraged, no bad thing. We visited Portofino (a place we can never visit enough), Olbia, which was more interesting than I expected, try a visit to the Panorama Hotel's rooftop terrace for a view over the city and a glass of vino, we had high winds on the day we were meant to tender into Bandol, so it turned into a sea day, which gave an opportunity to enjoy the ship itself. Toulon we found to be somewhat disappointing and if there again would do a tour, St Tropez, people watch in a waterfront cafe, walk up to the Citadel for the views over the bay and have an ice cream Barbarac and our final day & night in Monte Carlo provided memorable sights, the Palace, the cars and people, a drink in Cassino Square at Cafe de Paris, and return to the ship using the Bateau Bus ferry across the harbour past all the beautiful yachts. Oceania provided a great voyage, in a lovely ship in the company of fantastic people, we will be back Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We are not normally cruisers but were travelling with another more senior couple who appreciated the practical benefits of cruising. In particular, we wanted to visit St. Petersburg and this cruise offered three nights there. So we ... Read More
We are not normally cruisers but were travelling with another more senior couple who appreciated the practical benefits of cruising. In particular, we wanted to visit St. Petersburg and this cruise offered three nights there. So we selected the Oceania Marina based on itinerary and its strong reputation for good food. The food was excellent across the board. The four specialty restaurants as well as the Grand Dining Room and the buffet-oriented Terrace Cafe offered outstanding cuisine regardless of venue. Service both in and out of the dining venues was 5 star day and night. Can't speak much about shipboard activities as we really didn't avail ourselves of much of that. The string quartet that played daily in the main lounge before dinner was very accomplished and a pleasure to listen to. The guest pianist one evening was outstanding although we were only able to catch the latter portion of his show because of the timing of our dinner reservation that night. Wish he could have played more than one evening. In every port except St. Petersburg we did not hire a guide or take any group excursions. Talinn, Riga, Helsinki, and certainly Klaipeda are all small enough to navigate on ones own. The long Sunday at Klaipeda we mostly spent on board. Most places are closed on Sundays and the Klaipeda downtown can be covered in about an hour. Everywhere we went people spoke English. The long day we were docked at Warnemunde, we went to Lubeck -- which was brimming with medieval buildings dating back to the 13th century. We rented a car but there is public transport that will get you there as well. In St. Petersburg we toured with Dancing Bear Tours. They were fabulous. They were flexible, accommodating, and our guide spoke perfect English and was a source of so much history and information. Our driver provided door-to-door service at every stop. Great value and pleasant people to deal with. We took a canal boat ride one morning which was a wonderful way to see the city. We saw a number of churches but our favorite was St. Isaacs without a doubt. We are also culture vultures so highlights for us included the Russian Museum, the General Staff Building wing of the Hermitage, and of course the Hermitage proper. Could easily have spent whole days or even weeks in them. We enjoyed our outing to Peterhof as well, although the weather was not the sunniest. For something completely different, check out the royal bath house there if you go. I have no other cruises to compare the Marina to but would definitely recommend Oceania to anyone who is interested in exploring this part of the world. Both the ship and port experiences were grand. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Oceania is a fantastic cruise line, up there with the best. The crew were second to none and the food is of course exemplary. We never had a problem finding sun loungers (despite many shaded sunloungers being reserved every day) and there ... Read More
Oceania is a fantastic cruise line, up there with the best. The crew were second to none and the food is of course exemplary. We never had a problem finding sun loungers (despite many shaded sunloungers being reserved every day) and there were many day beds available at all times too. The show lounge is called the Sirena lounge and it is more akin to a bar/lounge rather than the more typical double height theatre that you get on slightly bigger ships than Sirena. My comments on the cabin are below. We travelled as a family with four daughters and we were made especially welcome, particularly by the entertainment team who appreciated guests who were more similar aged to themselves! The ship was run extremely well and everything went smoothly. From the reception staff, the restaurant waiters to the room attendants, everyone made sure that we never queued for anything and it helped make our holiday superb. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Just finished a great family cruise on the Regatta. The service was outstanding, by the second day the staff we saw the most (bars and dinning rooms) knew our names. The food was as expected - top knotch. We ate in both of the specialty ... Read More
Just finished a great family cruise on the Regatta. The service was outstanding, by the second day the staff we saw the most (bars and dinning rooms) knew our names. The food was as expected - top knotch. We ate in both of the specialty rest (Polo Grill & Toscana) the food was fabulous and the service very attentive. Other than that we normally ate in the Terrace Cafe ( breakfast & dinner) or Waves ( lunch outside) and did not try the main dinning room and we were very happy with the quality of the food and the casualness which by the third day had folks at different tables toalking each other, it very much felt like the grill at a club.Horizons the main bar up near the bow offered great views and attentive staff. One of the things I like about Oceana is the low passenger count (640) and the high ratio of crew (400+). You always feel pampered but not smothered. The entertainment was very good the comedian and the special singing act were excellent. We only saw one of the shows by the ships troop and it was good. Sadly one of the troop got sick and they had to cancel the rest of the shows. However on the last night they put on a variety show with the show band, some of the troop, comedian, magician and speciality singer that was well accepted by the packed audience. It is true that Oceana caters to a older more well to do group of folks so they do not tend to have a lot of children on board. The other thing I enjoyed about being on a smaller ship was that we got to dock in two smaller towns Hannah and Wrangel that the large ships pass by. We enjoyed ourselves so much that we are going to book our next cruise with Oceana next summer and have been spoiled by the small ship with a large crew. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Perfect Domestic style itinerary. New York to Nova Scotia to Bermuda. The Insignia is one of the smaller Oceania ships but was just as pleasant as the larger Marina and Riviera class ships. 684 passengers and 400 crew members. The ship ... Read More
Perfect Domestic style itinerary. New York to Nova Scotia to Bermuda. The Insignia is one of the smaller Oceania ships but was just as pleasant as the larger Marina and Riviera class ships. 684 passengers and 400 crew members. The ship is getting a retro fit along with the other "R" class ships in December. I would love to sail on it again after the upgrade. The crew was excellent in every respect, from the Captain to the Cruise Director, Shawn Carter and especially the food and beverage crew. Our housekeeping staff Drujon and Aislyne, saw to every detail and kept our room spotless! We stayed in Cabin 7049 which is an A1 Balcony concierge class. (However, there is no concierge lounge on the smaller 'R' class ships) as there is on Marina, Riviera & Sirena, so I'm not certain what concierge is. We did receive priority boarding and disembarkation. Why Oceania? Class and Food. Dress is smart casual (what you would wear out for a nice dinner), however, many people were flaunting the dress code and entering the Main Dining Room for breakfast and lunch, as well as tea time in outfits that were more appropriate for 'Waves' grill. One negative note: Insignia currently has only two premium restaurants (Polo Grill which is American fare, think primo steak! and Toscana, which is Italian). After the retrofit, I understand Insignia will also receive a 'Red Ginger' restaurant which is fantastic Asian fare, having had this on both Marina and Riviera on prior sailings. Wish they had room for Jacques as well! The one negative note on this cruise was both on our last voyage on the Riviera (2016 Mediterranean) and on Insignia, the Toscana staff seemed befuddled, when it came to service. After being seated, we waited nearly 20 minutes before someone came to take our order. We informed the waiter that we had not even been provided menus and the sommelier had never visited. The food was also not quiet the quality it should have been. Everything was just a tad off. Polo Grill however was exceptional as always! My only regret is that we did not find out as Concierge members, that we were entitled to two nights in each venue not just one. We would have especially liked to try Toscana again to see if the problems continued. However, this was not enough for us to change our mind that Oceania remains our favorite, above the other cruise lines we have sampled including, however Holland is Very close and closing in. Their cookies and breads are better than Oceania), Celebrity, and Carnival. Believe me, you can't go wrong on any of these lines, but Oceania is worth the extra $$ Also, if you drink more than 4 glasses of beer or wine, buy the beverage package $59.95 per day. While beverage package beer and wine lists could use some updating (Oceania, please add Blue Moon to your beer package). It took me 7 days to finally find 'Pauliner' which became a substitute. Entertainment - is very limited. An orchestral quartet playing at dinner and tea time (why they play at dinner and not after is beyond me. They are fantastic but you don't get to hear them except enroute to dinner or after). Insignia had 6 singers, and a ventriloquist/comedian that put on varying variety shows. They were good but the small ensemble is underwhelming. However, no one chooses Oceania for the entertainment. Her is Advice for those booking Oceania tours, we received three free shore excursions with our booking. We chose: 'Historic Boston & Cambridge' (OK, but disappointed that no time was made to stop at the cemetery's. Just a quick stop at Old North Church and Harvard). I would recommend the Boston 'Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour'. Also, the narrator talked far too much, apparently afraid that if any silence occurred on the tour, he was not doing his job. 'Acadia National Park & Carriage Ride' - Carriage ride is a misnomer! It is a wagon ride over the Rockefeller carriage trails. OK, but we all wished we had spent the time in Bar Harbor which was the highlight stop on our cruise. We could have visited two days there! 'Historic Halifax & RMS Titanic Museum' - The museum was a let down as we had seen more Titanic artifacts on a traveling exhibit in Chicago a few years ago. The visit to the cemetery was the highlight and (don't miss) part of this excursion and the our guide was excellent at relaying the history. On our own: Newport RI - we purchased tickets through the City Visitor Center, one block from the tender dock and visited the Vanderbilt mansion (Breakers) and Marblehead mansion at our own pace. Very reasonable, I think $38 per per person. Kind of like a hop on/off bus that allowed you to go at your own pace. Worth the price and great city! Bermuda - We purchased a tour through Viator called 'Horseshoe Beach Excursion' about 1 month prior to sailing. Enroute from Halifax to Bermuda, we received a note that Viator had refunded our money, but no explanation as to why the excursion was cancelled. However, we took the bus (1.5 hours) from St. George's, where our smaller Oceania boat went through a very narrow and scenic passage into harbor, all the way across the island to Hamilton and then to Kings Wharf. Great shopping. We then took the ferry back to St. Georges (45 minutes) direct by sea. Very nice, AC was wonderful after a hot day. I would love to do this cruise again! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because of the smaller ship experience and the claims about the food (gourmet). We have cruised back in the classic days of cruising (e.g. the 1970's on Homeline's Oceanic which was 5 star) as well as in the late 80's ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the smaller ship experience and the claims about the food (gourmet). We have cruised back in the classic days of cruising (e.g. the 1970's on Homeline's Oceanic which was 5 star) as well as in the late 80's on Celebrity (which was not as good as Oceanic days but pretty darn close). We have also sailed on Carnival, NCL, and MSC. Our last cruise (late last year) was on MSC and comparing MSC to Oceania Insignia is like comparing a buffet at the Golden Corral to dinner at a 5 star gourmet restaurant (Oceania Insignia being the latter). First the ship: no complaints. Classy, clean, simple to navigate, and well organized. We find the very large ships to be extremely difficult to navigate and find your way around. Insignia was perfect. You could get from your cabin to any venue within a minute or two. I liked that very much. However, be aware that with a smaller ship comes more motion during rough seas. The internet was the best I've experienced on a ship. Cabin: we had a concierge level veranda cabin in the back of the ship with a view of the ship's wake. Loved this room and balcony,. The refrigerator was refilled every day and there was no charge to drink the sodas or water in the room. Ice bucket was filled at least once a day if not twice. Carpeting, room temperature, and everything else about the room was just perfect. The cabin stewardess (Dyana) was always available, did her best to make us happy, and ALWAYS made sure to address us by our last names, a classy move. In fact, all staff on this ship were amazing. They did their best to address us by our names and ALWAYS said hello in passing with a smile and a "yes sir or madam." This ship, unlike most of the larger ships of today, was all about class, class, class. It was classy but not pretentious or snobby. The dining was simply amazing. Caviar with dinner, gourmet food at every turn, always hot food, excellent taste, helpful and extremely professional wait staff (Budi from Bali was amazing), classy tableware, etc. etc. We chose to sit at the same table every night and this was great because our waiter got to know us and our likes and dislikes. He truly seemed interested in pleasing everyone at our table and he went out of his way to make our cruise particularly special. The food in the specialty restaurants was also very good and we particularly enjoyed the steakhouse. The specialty restaurants are also included in your fare which was a particularly nice touch. The buffet was one of the best I have ever experienced on a cruise ship. It was more like being at a wedding venue in that all food is served to you from the staff. Not only was this classy but it also cuts down the chances that one might be exposed to germs or bacteria (from the utensils). The food was definitely gourmet quality. I was particularly impressed that the head chef (yes, he actually came out to socialize from time to time with the passengers as did the captain of the ship) told us he bought fresh lobster while we were docked in Maine and served it in the buffet. Entertainment and Activities were a bit minimal but we liked this as we do not like the frenetic pace of the mass cruise lines and/or ships. The comedian was very good but we did not attend any other shows. We tended to go to bed after dinner and wake up early to enjoy the ship during the day. But I did attend a lecture by the cruise historian and really enjoyed her talks on the ports we would be visiting. The service was beyond our expectations. As mentioned earlier, always a yes sir, no sir, yes madam, no madam. Every staff member greets you in passing with the above statements and a broad smile. We rarely if ever had to look for a staff member to serve us as the staff to guest ratio ensured that someone was always available or right there when needed. Oh...and there were ALWAYS seats available in the buffet or by the pool. Staff members seemed genuinely interested in making you happy. If you asked for one of something, they would give you two. If you asked for another, they would give you three. If you were seen carrying a plate of food to your table, a staff member would often offer to carry the plate for you and accompany you to your table. Simply amazing service. No nickel and diming. I particularly liked not being hounded by photographers who want to take your pictures at every turn and then sell them to you. The drinks had real liquor in them (not watered down like on mass cruise lines that offer the free drink packages). Lastly, the staff have the patience of saints. I watched waiters serve some truly rude people and still did so always with a smile. Another nice touch is this line allows you to bring on wine (and bring liquor back to your room while in port) which was a really nice (and generous) touch. I had a problem in the past doing this on an NCL cruise (and the sommelier on the ship that confronted me when I brought a tiny bottle of liquor from a port in Greece was particularly nasty and rude). This was NEVER an issue on Oceania. Ports and shore excursions were also excellent. We got to sail through the Cape Cod Canal (which I didn't even know existed) and this was a lot of fun. We enjoyed our excursion but found that finding our own entertainment or excursion was a better deal financially rather than purchasing the ones offered by the cruise line. Staying overnight in Bermuda was a great idea for the line as this made our stay in St. Georges particularly enjoyable and relaxing. We did not travel with children and particularly enjoyed the fact that there were VERY few kids on this ship. Kids, in general, will not enjoy this ship as there is really not a lot for them to do. One of the people in our party did have a young teen with her and he seemed to be bored a lot of the time (but I think he still enjoyed himself). We would DEFINITELY sail again with Oceania. In fact, we booked another cruise while we were onboard and enjoyed the discounts offered from this method of booking. I have to say that Oceania restored my faith in cruising. I had been very disappointed by the mass cruise line experiences of the past few years but Oceania was nothing like those lines. Yes, you do pay at least twice as much to be on an Oceania cruise but it it well worth the additional cost. This fact was also why the other guests on this ship were of such nice quality. There was no pushing and shoving at the buffet, people were very polite (but not snobby or stuck-up), there were no (or very few) lines or overcrowded venues, and I enjoyed conversing with many of the other passengers. The dress was always (in the dining venues) country club casual which I also enjoyed and found relaxing. You never had to wear a jacket, tie, or suit (yet it was still extremely classy or eloquent). No fake, chintzy formal nights. As long as Oceania does not change to the style of the mass cruise lines, we will ONLY sail with them. But if you like partying, loud people, buffets where your goal is to pile on as much mediocre food as possible, large crowds, chintzy formal nights and photography sessions, bling, 24 hour entertainment, lots of loud children (and lots of activities geared toward children), you won't like Oceania. Try the larger, mass cruise lines like Celebrity, NCL, MSC, etc. For us, we will stick with Oceania. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Very happy with our first Oceania experience. Excellent staff and service and the food exceeds anything we’ve experienced on RCCL. Cabin was very nice and always well kept. Food in the specialty restaurants ranged from good (Polo ... Read More
Very happy with our first Oceania experience. Excellent staff and service and the food exceeds anything we’ve experienced on RCCL. Cabin was very nice and always well kept. Food in the specialty restaurants ranged from good (Polo Grill & Tuscana) to excellent (Red Ginger). Onboard activities are limited compared to the larger party barges but they maintained your normal trivia and few other activities. The talent was average at best. The ports as a whole were very good. Venice for 2 days was very nice. The stop in Slovenia was a pleasant surprise. We took an excursion to Ljubljana, I highly recommend this trip along with seeing Lake Bled. Dubrovnik should be on everyone’s bucket list. We took the Mt Etna excursion from Catania and it was very good but could have been fantastic if the weather would have cooperated. The float into Montenegro was just beautiful but the port itself is filled with pushy sales people pawning sunglasses and excursions so buyer beware!! Argistoli unfortunately is nothing but a giant souvenir shop, Read Less
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