9 Oceania Riviera Cruise Reviews for Luxury Cruises to Transatlantic from Miami

Several months ago, my wife and I decided to do a transatlantic crossing. Having cruised with Oceania before, we decided to book the crossing on the Riviera. Our preference is typically small to medium size ships. The Riviera (as well as ... Read More
Several months ago, my wife and I decided to do a transatlantic crossing. Having cruised with Oceania before, we decided to book the crossing on the Riviera. Our preference is typically small to medium size ships. The Riviera (as well as the Marina) are a little larger than we typically would book but for the crossing it was perfect. The booking experience as easy and convenient. Specialty restaurant reservations were easy to make on Oceania's website. Cruise documents arrived 30 days before the cruise. Checking in on embarkation day was very easy. We arrived at the Miami port at noon and were on board by 12:20 pm. Our cabin (PH 11049) was ready at exactly 1:00 pm. By 2:00 pm, we were completely unpacked and ready for our journey. Oceania made it very easy for us! Having cruise on the Oceania Marina before, the Riviera's sister ship, we did not have to spend much time getting re-acquainted with facilities and layout of the vessel. Our cabin was a Penthouse on the 11th deck - 11049. It was very comfortable, clean and well appointed. We did notice a little bit of wear and tear on the carpet and several cabinets with small scratches. The crew did a great job keeping the room nice and clean with stocked with the appropriate beverages, canapés and bathroom supplies. A word of caution is that cabin's on the 11th deck are right below the swimming pool deck and, sometimes, one can hear deck furniture being moved. This was only an annoyance in the early evening as the crew re-stacked the lounge chairs. The ship is in great condition. Oceania is clearly focusing on ensuring the vessel is well maintained. All public areas were very clean. The crew was constantly cleaning and performing maintenance. Great to see this level of care and attention. Our dining experience was very good to excellent. Prior to the cruise, we booked four dinners at the four specialty restaurants as well as one evening at La Reserve. We are "foodies" and Oceania's Riviera did not disappoint. Service and food quality in the specialty restaurants was excellent. La Reserve was a terrific 3 plus hours of good food and wine as well as the social aspect of the evening - well worth the price of admission. On two evenings we decided to just go to The Terrace for dinner and have a light buffet dinner. To our surprise, the buffet was very well done (wonderful salads, fresh sushi, lobster among other delicacies). The Grand Dining Room was very good with the exception of one evening in which the service and food quality was not as consistent. A consistent and enjoyable start of the day (everyday!) was a visit to Baristas. Lastly, during the cruise, we were able to book additional evenings at the specialty restaurants. Since our voyage required a lot of sea days, the crew of the Riviera had to plan and execute a lot of activities during the day. Since this was our first transatlantic crossing, we were concerned about this cruise being too slow. Well, this concern was not an issue. Corey Powell (Cruise Director) and his team worked tirelessly to keep everyone engaged. One of our favorite activities was to attend the chats with Sandy Cares - a terrific speaker. We also attended several Wine Tastings and cooking class - both always fun! In terms of wellness, we used the health and fitness center almost daily, it has excellent equipment, never overly crowded and very clean. We also enjoyed the Canyon Ranch Spa - a bit pricey but the massage and facial services were excellent. Regarding, entertainment, it was better than we expected. It is clear that Oceania has been listening to passenger and reviewer feedback. Among our favorites was the string quartet. Also, the Riviera band played some nice Jazz. The Riviera singers and dances are very talented and did a nice job to keep everyone entertained. Oceania also brought in a several guest stars for entertainment that we would rate from fair to very good (magician (fair), violinist (very good), pianist/singer (good) and comedian (fair) . In terms of ports, our scheduled stops were Bermuda, Ponta Delgado (Azores), Tangier, Mallorca and Barcelona. We typically prefer private or semi private tours since we like to have the flexibility to move quickly and adjust the day as we go; however, for this trip, we decided to take three Oceania offered tours. In Bermuda, we joined a small group totally 16 on a small bus in which we visited Hamilton and St. George. Unfortunately, due to bad weather, we were not able to dock in Ponta Delgada. As for Tangier, our group was a bit larger (20 or so) but the 4 1/2 hour excursion was well done. Mallorca and Barcelona we did on our own. Overall, we were pleased with the Oceania tours we joined. The disembarkation process in Barcelona was a breeze. We were scheduled to disembark at 7:45 am but were able to do so at 7:40 am. We were on a taxi to our hotel by 7:50 am! Lastly, we want to recognize the Riviera's leadership staff. The Captain and his Officers were very visible and approachable. Furthermore, we really enjoyed how they recognized members of the crew with 5 Year Service Anniversaries. And, a night of celebration in which over 300 crew members were brought into the Riviera lounge to celebrate to appreciate the passengers. What's interesting is that it was the passengers that celebrated the crew for excellent service. These actions speak volumes of the culture of the company and leadership. After all, cruising is about people! We will certainly continue to cruise and plan to be back with Oceania in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
A transatlantic crossing has been on my bucket list for five tpyears but something always got in the way. When my wife and I made the decision to do it this spring we decided to go upscale since we would be on for two weeks with minimal ... Read More
A transatlantic crossing has been on my bucket list for five tpyears but something always got in the way. When my wife and I made the decision to do it this spring we decided to go upscale since we would be on for two weeks with minimal port calls...thus we picked Oceana. We had a standard veranda cabin and the size and appointments were more than fine. Of special note...the staff to a person were exceptional and helpful. Food was great and with four specialty restaurants, a main dining room, and a buffet it more than met our needs. Never thought I’d get tired of grilled lobster tails with lamb chops...but I did! Fortunately there were a myriad of other choices available. Also worth noting was the caliber of the guests on board, unlike some of the mass market cruises we’ve been on. All in all it was worth every penny we paid and would sail Oceana again in a heartbeat! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We had a great Butler. Specialty restaurants were excellent. Buffet dinners were excellent. Main dining room a step below but good. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Suite was excellent. Would like to have seen 2 ... Read More
We had a great Butler. Specialty restaurants were excellent. Buffet dinners were excellent. Main dining room a step below but good. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Suite was excellent. Would like to have seen 2 sinks in bathroom. Shower tough for me to use but I'm 6'5". Very well furnished. Bed very comfortable. Walk in closet well done. Entertainment was very good. Enjoyed in house dancers and singers. Thought band was excellent. Comedian very funny. Enjoyed Cruise director and staff. We do not use ships port and shore excursion. Do them on our own through Cruise Critic roll call. Very overpriced and do not enjoy being bused with 20 to 40 people. Not a ship that caters to children. Atlantic was rough most of the trip. Had to avoid Azores because of weather. Went to Madeira instead. Excellent cruise, Excellent ship. Excellent service. Would certainly sail with Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We recently completed the transatlantic cruise on Riviera from Miami to Barcelona. The boarding process was set up in a temporary tent, though not as professional a set up, the staff got the job done, quickly and efficiently. The ship ... Read More
We recently completed the transatlantic cruise on Riviera from Miami to Barcelona. The boarding process was set up in a temporary tent, though not as professional a set up, the staff got the job done, quickly and efficiently. The ship has been immaculately maintained, the staff very well trained. We dined in all restaurants, including the specialty restaurants several times. Aside from our standard reservation allotment, we found they were able to accommodate walk-ins for 4 after 8:00pm with ease. Toscana is still one of my favorites. The bartenders in Horizons were most pleasant and entertaining as well. Spent most of our time relaxing and reading on the Canyon Ranch Spa Deck, a very peaceful, un-crowded space. We took a Culinary Class, which was very well done, and lots of fun. Excellent set-up and instruction, a must do on your next cruise. The class offerings in the gym were varied and well instructed by Mario. From start to finish we have no complaints, and cannot wait to book another cruise on Oceania! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
My wife found the cruise from a brochure for Oceania and talked 6 of us into going. Our first time aboard any Oceania vessel. We were very pleased! No NORO, after a discussion on cruise critic roll call of this cruise and some ... Read More
My wife found the cruise from a brochure for Oceania and talked 6 of us into going. Our first time aboard any Oceania vessel. We were very pleased! No NORO, after a discussion on cruise critic roll call of this cruise and some unnecessary worrying, there was no Norovirus that I ever heard of. A lovely time, cruise critic met each sea day it was an excellent cruise. The internet is the same speed you would expect at sea, we used my laptop and I am glad I did cause I could watch Fox, MSNBC as I waited on the internet. We used Apple's FaceTime to call home and see the grandchildren live. The shows are not on ship's television so I only went to one. The restaurants on the ship delicious with new dishes I have never had, I began to let the restaurant waiter pick my meals, that worked spactacularly, never had sea bass and it was the best meal I had onboard, then there was the prime rib, tuna salad, very healthy too, I only gained 6 pounds over our two weeks aboard. The stops Bermuda (5th visit there) we took a tour of Bermuda just the 6 of us (three Cabins) it was a beautiful day , consider taking a peek at Morgan's beach a post card photo. Funchal Maderia, a beautiful and friendly stop our first time there a delight so much to see but it was raining so hard you could not see across the street which is rare for Maderia, we will go back there. Gibraltar, another beautiful friendly stop, another land tour for the six of us, Ill bet you didn't know there are over 40 miles of roads within the Rock of Gibraltar. Barcelona, so much to do there not enough time we were ready to go home missing the grandkids. Flights - the necessary evil - push for a non connection flight back home, I wish we did, we waited 2 hours for a light to Frankfurt (you can't get a Frankfurter hot dog there) ending up on Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 with built in video for each passenger it made the 8 hour flight to Boston. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We sailed the Riviera on a Trans Atlantic cruise beginning April 1 from Miami. From the time we entered the building to register we knew Oceania was going to get the Royal Treatment. Not only was everything handled with us being ... Read More
We sailed the Riviera on a Trans Atlantic cruise beginning April 1 from Miami. From the time we entered the building to register we knew Oceania was going to get the Royal Treatment. Not only was everything handled with us being registered like we were the only people sailing when registering, it continued throughout the entire voyage. Any request was handled immediately and asked if we were satisfied before they left us. We were amazed that the crew didn't stand around an talk with each other, they spent their time speaking with each guest and asking if there was anything else we needed. There wasn't a minute that went by that we did not feel pampered. The food was very good but I would not say it was exceptional, however, the waitstaff in the different dining areas was exceptional. It was nice to have the option to eat in the Specialty restaurants without an additional cost. We are people who like a table for 2 when cruising, after 30 some cruises we were tired of the same , "hello my name is and we live , etc". But this cruise opened our eyes to the lovely people who travel on Oceania and since there were several occasions where they had to sit us with others, we found ourselves enjoying the different guests that we actually asked for a "shared' table. The ship was lovely and just the right size. The theater was not too large, however all shows started at 9:30pm and for some, it was too late. We found the entertainment mediocre at best......we feel Oceania needs to improve in that area. Disembarking on the last day has always been a nightmare, but not with Oceania. It was actually pleasant. There were no crowds, no pushing, just a relaxed group of people of about 20 to 30 at a time. What a pleasure!!!! Like I said, Oceania is now our cruise line of choice. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
You would think that after eleven cruises with Oceania, we would be unimpressed and complacent about our twelfth cruise. But you would be wrong! This was our first exposure to one of the larger ships or “O” class ships, as they are ... Read More
You would think that after eleven cruises with Oceania, we would be unimpressed and complacent about our twelfth cruise. But you would be wrong! This was our first exposure to one of the larger ships or “O” class ships, as they are often referred to, and we were blown away by the beauty and design of the Riviera. We have always loved the size and feel of the smaller “R” class ships, and had concerns that the double capacity of passengers would impact negatively on the cruise. This proved not to be the case. Actually, we felt that there were less passengers on board this ship as compared to that on the smaller “R” class ships. We attributed this to the design and abundance of open space on the ship. All in all, we had a wonderful cruise. This cruise was a repositioning cruise from Miami to Barcelona with three ports of call, and nine sea days. We flew to Miami on the day of departure, something we have never done before, as we usually arrive at least one day prior to departure. But we thought that it would be safe to travel to Miami on the day departure because of the number of flights from Atlanta to Miami. We had no trouble and our plane arrived at 8:00 a.m. on that morning. We took a taxi to the Intercontinental Hotel and had a lovely breakfast there, before taking a taxi to the ship terminal. Our embarkation time was 1:00 p.m., but we arrived at the terminal at 11:05 and were welcomed and processed on board immediately. We had a leisurely lunch in the Terrace Cafe, met some Cruise Critic friends, and enjoyed the sail-away. Initially, we had some concern about crossing the Atlantic in April, but were pleasantly surprised with smooth sailing the entire time. Our cabin was located on deck 7 aft, and it was quiet for the entire voyage. We liked being in the aft portion of the ship because it was a quick staircase down to the Grand Dining Room, and five staircases up to the Terrace Café. Of course, there are elevators for those who want them, but I was trying to minimize the weight gain by climbing the stairs. As one Cruise Critic friend said, “Fun in the front of the ship, food in the back”. And was there ever food!! We always enjoy the wonderful food on the Oceania ships, but we both agreed that the food on Riviera was beyond wonderful. I think I had the best meal I have ever had, ever in my life, at our second visit to Jacques. It was wonderful and the service was beyond reproach. We both enjoyed all the specialty restaurants (Red Ginger, Jacques, Toscana and Polo), but the food in the Grand Dining Room was wonderful, also. We loved the beauty of the Grand Dining Room and being waited upon by the staff. And the menu offered so many choices. I am embarrassed to say that we never made it to the Terrace Café for dinner because we had so many other choices of dinner locations. We were able to eat at the specialty restaurants a total of eight times. Many of our fellow cruisers couldn’t believe that we had not been to the Terrace Café for dinner, and stated that it was their favorite place to eat. It seemed like there just weren’t enough nights on the cruise to eat where we wanted. We loved our cabin. It was compact, efficiently designed, and very attractive. We had a place for everything, and even had empty drawers. We had the extra large balcony, which was nice, but we really didn’t use the balcony that much. The granite in the bathroom was beautiful and a great improvement over the “R” class ships’ bathrooms in general. Our steward, Andrii from the Ukraine, was on top of everything and took great care of us, all the while training a new employee. There was a lot of staff training of new employees on board our cruise, I believe in preparation for the return of Insignia. But this did not impact on us or the service on board. Generally, we do not go to the evening entertainment. However, with the addition of the Jean Ann Ryan Singers and Dancers, we enjoyed the entertainment. They presented four production shows that were very professional, well done, and most enjoyable. It was the best entertainment we have seen on an Oceania cruise and I hope they will continue to provide entertainment on all their ships.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
In April my husband and I sailed on the beautiful Riviera. This was our first Trans Atlantic and our first Oceania cruise. Since we had previously taken a port intensive cruise we were uncertain what we would do with all of the sea days. ... Read More
In April my husband and I sailed on the beautiful Riviera. This was our first Trans Atlantic and our first Oceania cruise. Since we had previously taken a port intensive cruise we were uncertain what we would do with all of the sea days. Our concern should have been how do we budget our time to include all of the fun and interesting activities. Nolan Dean was our CD and we were impressed with his wit, talent, and boundless energy. We chose to be busy but had ample time to relax. Life onboard Riviera was very good !! Dining options were plentiful. We dined in all of them including La Reserve and Privee'. We recommend dining in all of the venues. Dining is an experience not to be missed. Each venue is unique and we found the service and food quality to be at the highest level in all the venues. In the interest of brevity we will say that the service was the best we have ever received. The crew from top to bottom seemed to like their job and seemed to like us. All of our crew interactions were professional and accommodating. We arranged our own excursions. Tangiers was our least favorite port. However, we are glad we got to experience this area. Even though we only had three ports before ending in Barcelona, they were all three interesting and worth the "stop". Now that we are home we daily reminisce about our unforgettable Trans Atlantic cruise with Oceania aboard the Riviera. The crew and our fellow passengers will surely be our favorite memories. We are longing for our next opportunity to share this experience. Well done Oceania !!!   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
This was the first time that we cruised on the Riviera and the third time on Oceania. The ship is beautiful and comfortable, but not perfect. The staterooms, even the smallest ones, are much larger than the smaller Oceania ships, and very ... Read More
This was the first time that we cruised on the Riviera and the third time on Oceania. The ship is beautiful and comfortable, but not perfect. The staterooms, even the smallest ones, are much larger than the smaller Oceania ships, and very well appointed. If I were designing them, the showers would have been larger but, still, that is a small problem. I always try to be on the lowest outside passenger level in the center of the ship. This is the largest ship on which we have sailed at 1250 passengers, the next largest being 750 passengers. For a port-intensive cruise, we would look for a smaller ship, but this was perfect for the trans-Atlantic cruise. It was very stabile and it was a very smooth crossing, except between Madeira and Tangier, which we were told is always rough. I will say that the cruise line handled the shore excursion that we took through them well. Even at that number of passengers, the staff remembers your name, what you like or don't like to eat, where you like to sit in the dining room. We had sailed with some members of the staff on past cruises both with Oceania and Regent. We were always treated extremely well. The specialty restaurants are excellent, especially Red Ginger and Jacques. We would have eaten in Red Ginger every night if we could have. We ran into some passengers with whom we had sailed before, and thanks to Cruise Critic, were able to book a private tour in Tangier, and made some new friends. The string quartet, who played outside the main dining room in the evening, got better as the cruise continued. We were told that they had not met before the first day of the cruise so they took a few days to get used to each other, but they were pretty good by the end of the cruise. A major problem with the string quartet was that the area in which they played was really a wide hallway between a bar near the casino and the dining room. It was an area where people met before dinner to talk, and so it was often difficult to hear the music. There were two enrichment speakers on this cruise. In the past, some of the best speakers we have heard have been on Oceania cruises. However, that was not the case with this one. The talks given by one speaker speaker were very shallow (one of the other passengers called it "History for Dummies") and the other gave good information but his delivery put us to sleep. If you are accustomed to sailing on larger ships, you will love this one. I think the speakers on a cruise ship are hit or miss, but that does make a difference to us. All-in-all, the Oceania experience is a good one. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Riviera Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.5
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.5 3.2
Public Rooms 4.5 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 2.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.2
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.8

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