Cruise January 13-23, 2018 - Fourth time cruising with Oceania; second on Riviera. Beautiful ship, wonderful staff/crew, unbelievably excellent food, very talented string quartet who played at Oceania's enjoyable afternoon tea - as ... Read More
Cruise January 13-23, 2018 - Fourth time cruising with Oceania; second on Riviera. Beautiful ship, wonderful staff/crew, unbelievably excellent food, very talented string quartet who played at Oceania's enjoyable afternoon tea - as well as at other times around the ship.
Really enjoyed the fact that the ship isn't constantly trying to shake every nickel from your pocket for art auctions, half-price sales of bargain bin items, or photographers following you at every turn. Very refreshing. Such a laid-back, quiet atmosphere that you sometimes wonder whether there is anyone else onboard.
Was impressed that the ship is able to print a variety of local newspapers - even the Toronto National Post - so that we don't miss out on news from home.
However, it is time that Oceania updated its onboard television system. It isn't interactive. You can't check your account or book reservations as you can through Celebrity's Solstice class ships. The channel that showed the map of the cruise, and the course of the ship, wasn't updated. It was often two days old, with day old weather forecasts, giving distances to ports that we had already visited. The captain's announcements were difficult to hear and there wasn't specific information on where we were (latitudes and longitudes don't help me much!); the weather; the depth of the ocean; condition of the seas, etc. If you are in your cabin and want to hear the announcements by the captain or cruise director, you have a second or two, after a short bell, to turn on your tv to channel 3 or run out into a public area. By the time you do so, the announcement is over! Really, really frustrating.
Did not enjoy the ports. The Oceania excursions were very pricey and many entailed spending long blocks of time on buses. Also, the advertised port shuttles were available in only 2 out of 7 ports and docking locations seemed to take a back seat to larger ships in each port. We booked this cruise recently to get out of the cold. Unfortunately the weather was barely warm and it rained most days. We saw sunshine on the last day in Key West. This is the first cruise in years where I had to take Bonine to avoid being sea-sick from the rough seas. We had an extended balcony cabin near the stern of the 7th deck and we could feel really rough vibrations from the engine/propellers/thrusters(?) particularly when docking.
Obviously the weather is beyond Oceania's control. However, the onboard activities were limited and rather lack-lustre. The cruise director needs to kick it into high gear and come up with some interesting activities, especially when the weather closes the pools and limits passengers to inside activities. I only found out the last night at dinner that the ship set up several tables for bridge players in the Polo diningroom each day. These were not advertised. Scarf tying was advertised, but that didn't interest me. I took that course on Oceania years ago. The beautiful, well-stocked library was full most days with passengers sitting inside reading in easy chairs. Very relaxing, but I can do that at home.
There is one show each evening, but it is quite late. Considering the advanced age of most passengers, a 9:30 pm start is pushing it. Also in 10 days, it should be possible to avoid repeats of the same performers during the cruise.
Aside from these irritations, if you want to sail on a beautiful ship, with outstanding food, interesting fellow passengers, and well-trained staff - and you have the dollars to pay for this premium experience - Oceania is an excellent choice. Read Less