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11 Montreal to Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

This cruise was listed as going from Montreal to Southampton and when we booked (end of 2016 onboard) we opted to take their air/ground package. We flew first to Brussels from Manchester and then onto Montreal. Coming home (to get back ... Read More
This cruise was listed as going from Montreal to Southampton and when we booked (end of 2016 onboard) we opted to take their air/ground package. We flew first to Brussels from Manchester and then onto Montreal. Coming home (to get back to the car) Oceania booked us a BA flight from T5. Surprisingly we were the only people on our inbound Air Canada flight although we met another passenger at Montreal from Birmingham (there was a coach load came in later in the day from LHR). It was at this point we discovered that due to the level of the St. Lawrence waterway Marina could not get under the Laviolette bridge at Trois-Rivières so the cruise would start there rather than in Montreal. We were informed that our package now covered the 2hr bus ride to the new location the next day and thus we were sent on our way to the Fairmont Chateau-Champlain for the night. [Apparently Oceania had known this since the previous Friday – this was Monday – and whilst I had received three emails saying ‘Book onboard’ from them I had heard nothing about the change in plans – either directly or via my agent. When I went online that evening the website had already been changed!]. Having arrived early in the afternoon we got out and made the most of the sun in Montreal – the same the next morning too before we had to check out. The coach transfer was interesting as we saw the flooded land all the way along the road. Trois-Rivières turned out to be a lovely town and they tried very hard to do everything for us. This was their first ever turn around and they did themselves proud. We were onboard by about 1pm and our cabin (Concierge level) was ready inside 30 minutes – just time to grab some library books and a bite to eat. With an overnight in this port we now had plenty of time and made the most of it with a walk the first afternoon to get our bearings and then a longer one the next day to Le Parc de l’île Saint-Quentin where we saw the flooding first hand and had close ups with the wildlife (woodpeckers, marmots, black squirrels, tree creepers to name a few). A lovely town and the people came down to see the ship from the promenade….. The next port was Québec. The ship parks near the centre and it is a short walk through the old port and up to round town (the only walled city north of Mexico!). We followed a tourist walk (avoiding all the road works/digging) and then did the Dufferin Terrace and the Governors Walk to the Plains of Abraham before returning to the ship through Petit-Champlain. Another lovely sunny day and lots to see, good chance to try French again….. The day after was Saguenay and what a change those miles east made. We started with snow flurries and in the wind it felt below freezing – it was a shame for the locals in that few ventured far, even in the afternoon when the sun got out (although it didn’t feel much warmer!) Still the shops sold a lot of thermal wear…. A sea day next and all the usual activities onboard a cruise ship (lectures, trivia, games) as well as Oceania’s specialities – the Cuisine Centre (fee charged) and the art classes (free). Corner Brook was our first stop in Newfoundland and again we met snow flurries but soon the sun shone and we were on the free shuttle to town where we did a small trail walk (Three Bears) with views over the city and then the Corner Brook Stream and Gorge Trail. Again it was cool and the small craft market in the local mall (Sunday) did a good line in woollen gloves/hats. The next day we were in France. St Pierre and Miquelon are a group of islands just off Newfoundland that is a self-governing overseas territory of France (spot the tricolor and EU flags). Today was sunny but with a cold wind and whilst we took a shuttle into town we walked back (Monday today and a lot of shops/services are closed). In the afternoon we climbed the hill behind the ship and did a hike to Cap a l’Aigle viewpoint and then beyond two lakes (Etang Frecker) into the country. Its quite bleak and grey beyond the treeline but the views were great. We then had to do another immigration into Canada to be able to call at St. Johns. St. John’s was much acclaimed by many onboard compared to the previous three ports (more to do, bigger place, more shops) but I’d enjoyed exploring the smaller locations and we had plenty to see and walk. We walked from the ship up Signal Hill and then round on a circular route past Ladies Lookout , Cuckold Bay – where Marconi’s message was received – and into Quidi Vidi village and harbour (very quaint) before heading back to town past the lake. We even manged to find a coffee shop for lunch with live local music – impromptu but fun. It was warmer here but strange to see so many homeless/beggars – including younger girls – they were all polite though. We left Canada at 2pm and then it was three days across the Atlantic. This was our first ocean crossing and we weren’t sure we would find enough to do (that we liked). The first full day was a bit bumpy but realistically it was a very smooth crossing – just grey and cool all the way. It was also quite windy – one day had a 30+knot wind across the deck and the upper decks were all closed for safety. This led to the walkers being inventive (indoors and out) to do their daily exercise! Finally, landfall at Cobh (for Cork). Immigration had to be completed (face to face) onboard before you could go ashore. Cobh is a lovely little place with lots to see, it was the last landfall of the Titanic of course. Cork is a train ride away (the station is next to the ship) but most people decided after their visit it wasn’t worth it – another ‘big city’. It also had a few demonstrations on – one in support of the Palestinians and then a couple both for and against the repeal of the 8th amendment. Next day (Sunday) was Dublin and a chance to see the Book of Kells. I’d booked my tickets online before we left home and it certainly jumped the queue (even at 10am) but it was so busy. Lots of tour groups of course – some of whom didn’t seem that interested… The Trinity College Library is just awesome. Monday was Holyhead (Holy Island off Anglesey) and whilst most of the tours went to North Wales we made the most of the sun and warmth and walked the Anglesey Coastal path – friends went to Treaddur Bay on the bus. The shuttle here was provided by the town and it became swamped at lunchtime (especially as it coincided with a ferry loading for Dublin – traffic jam!). Much better result for the day than we imagined. Then our final half day at sea (working our way round Wales and Cornwall to Portland) so plenty of time to be packed before our trip into Weymouth. The town put on the shuttle again which dropped us near the old port. Again, it was a bit of an issue getting back at peak time, but the sun was shining, and it could have been worse – just a shame there was no drop off near Chesil Beach for a walk. Then overnight into Southampton and the easternmost pier (splendid view of all the cars for export!) and the start of the trip home. Disembarkation was easy and efficient. This was a great itinerary (interesting ports and a mid-Atlantic crossing) spoilt by the weather. We concluded that Marina with her open deck, no covered pool and constrained inside space is not such an appropriate choice where good weather is not guaranteed. I would however love to do these ports in Canada again later in the season when everything was open and active and see the ‘real’ region. Otherwise we enjoyed the cruise and met some interesting people. There were more Brits than usual (about 200 in 1230) but we were still well outnumbered by the North Americans. Quite a few had done the previous voyage as a back to back (from Miami up the eastern seaboard) and some were carrying on for the next voyage down the coast of France and Spain. We had over 800 Oceania Club (past passengers) members onboard and the highest ranking had sailed over 900 days at sea with Oceania. The food was very good although I’m glad to report portion sizes in the speciality restaurants had reduced slightly which I was all in favour of. The Grand Dining Room continued to shine with different menus every day. Many people made use of it for breakfast and lunch too. Afternoon Tea was usually busy and now features ‘special days’ such as Cupcake Tea, Éclair Tea and Chocolate Tea. The Vegan breakfast bar (for smoothies, juices and other non-dairy options) in Waves Grill worked well and I enjoyed the variety on offer. Staff were friendly and helpful although there were one or two small language issues across counters. The Terrace Café buffet was fully served which obviously helps control health issues and food wastage. We also noted toiletries were replaced based on consumption and thus there were times when you ran quite short until the next service; another small cost cutting exercise I presume. Restocking and refuelling seem to occur in various locations throughout the voyage and this seemed to work well as the fresh fruit held to the end (even if the natural Greek yoghurt ran out with three days to go). Rather than take a drinks package we chose the 7-bottle wine package (effectively half a bottle a day) and between that, buying the odd drink and the Captains Cocktail reception (free drinks for all on one evening for a couple of hours) that was more than enough for our requirements on the 15-day sailing. WiFi is available free to all (one item per stateroom) but it was very slow at times – especially on sea days. It also restricts access to streaming and video. You can pay extra for access to such sites – but then access doesn’t guarantee bandwidth to use them! The coffee shop, Baristas, was again well used and seemed a focus of the ship at times. The main crew were Italian females who worked in the mornings (doing service in Toscana in the evening). Other bar staff took the afternoon shift. Behind this is the library and I felt disappointed that there seemed less books than previously (we were on early and went straight there and allowing for the back to backers). I didn’t see that many new books and the shelf labelled New York Times Best Sellers was used for other purposes. The Guest Exchange had also disappeared – people dropped them wherever rather than in the Games Room where the shelf was designated but poorly filled. The Concierge Lounge was nearly always busy, and its coffee machine struggled for a while before breaking down under the strain. Eventually three engineers turned up to replace it with a new one. The Spa Deck to which we have access was used sparingly due to the weather – even some sunny times were closed due to the wind. The new Concierge inclusion of up to three bags of laundry (max. of 20 items per bag) worked well for us although I still did a big self-wash/dry on the last at sea morning so I came home with almost everything clean. This bundled laundry was offered across the ship on some days at a fixed price (circa $25), the launderette is still $4 for a wash and dry. The balcony was not used as much as usual because of the weather conditions but I did use it in port on a few days. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We booked a concierge level stateroom with the O-Life package including 5 tours. Air arrangements made by Oceania got us into Montreal late in the day. The cruise was supposed to start in Montreal but due to high river levels making ... Read More
We booked a concierge level stateroom with the O-Life package including 5 tours. Air arrangements made by Oceania got us into Montreal late in the day. The cruise was supposed to start in Montreal but due to high river levels making passage under bridges difficult, we had to be transported to second port of call in Trois Rivieres to embark. Oceania's arrangements for transfers to the ship were abysmal. We had to wait, standing around for two hours before a bus arrived to take us to the ship and no refreshments, even water, were provided in the waiting location or on the bus. The staff handling the transfer at the airport were poorly informed regarding where buses were and what arrangements would be made for dining when we arrived at the ship after the dining venues were scheduled to close. Fortunately, buffet was kept open late to handle the many late arrivals. Our stateroom bathroom was not cleaned well when we arrived -- unclean glasses and residue on shelves in stateroom. Stateroom staff was quick to remedy problems, and were generally responsive throughout the cruise after that. The stateroom was what we expected and in good condition. Bed and linens were quite comfortable. Room was quiet. Food was, in general, quite good. Comparable or better than Crystal. We found the food and service at specialty restaurants Jacques and Red Ginger to be excellent and better than specialty restaurants on Crystal, but food and service at both Polo Grill and Toscana were major disappointments. Food at Terrace buffet and Waves grill was quite good and service and quality of coffee offerings at Baristas was great. Lectures were distinctly inferior in quality and number to Crystal offerings on the cruises we have taken with that line. Exercise classes also were more limited and the exercise instructors were a clear step below Crystal exercise classes and instructors. Most tours were excellent, although the overview tour of Dublin was uninformative and generally disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The Pros....... - Consistently brilliant service and cuisine in all 4 speciality restaurants, particularly Red Ginger and Toscana....all 4 had particularly professional and hard working Maitre D's. The Malaysian lamb special was a ... Read More
The Pros....... - Consistently brilliant service and cuisine in all 4 speciality restaurants, particularly Red Ginger and Toscana....all 4 had particularly professional and hard working Maitre D's. The Malaysian lamb special was a highlight. - Service in Martinis when Karla was on duty was spectacular; she worked the room like a Maitre'D when not mixing the perfect Martini. I've met excellent bartenders in Martinis in the past, but they've always stayed behind the bar. - Our stewardesses were exceptional....lots of small touches that I've not seen before. - Our Butler, Ram, was our best so far. He was discreet, replied to his pager rapidly, and was almost disappointed not to be given any extra tasks by us. - Reception staff were particularly friendly and efficient. This department seemed to have upped their game....on our 13 O cruises prior to this Reception had been a weak link. - New internet system seems more stable and marginally faster. - A fantastic itinerary despite the change in emabarkation port from Montreal to Trois Rivieres due to water levels on the St Laurent. - The Enrichment lectures on ocean liners were brilliant, with the lecturer pitching his presentations very well. The cons...... - Handling of the embarkation port change, our travel agent only informed us of the change on the day of embarkation at 0400 with no guidance as to how to get to Trois Rivieres. This had been hampered by a holiday weekend in the UK. Oceania UK had informed agents on the Saturday, when Miami had told them of the change on Friday........to avoid this delay Oceania in Miami should have just emailed all passengers directly to avoid this game of chinese whispers. There was also no mention of the emabarkation port change once on board. - Whilst we don't normally participate in trivia and other activities, we are normally on nodding terms at the very least with the Cruise Director. This is the first time that I have NEVER seen a Cruise Director around the ship.....quite remarkable for a 15 day cruise! His announcements were dire, describing St Pierre et Miquelon as "Very small with nothing to do". Announcements and the TV show seemed to be pitched to a more mainstream cruise line level. Activities, particularly on sea days, were uninspired. - Entertainment, despite recently touted improvements, are still pretty dire. The only difference being that the company is larger. A bunch of glee club rejects acting like prima donnas. I'm glad I don't come on O for the entertaiment.... - Canyon Ranch seemed to be deserted, and no effort was made to get people in. Staff were aloof, and seemed to form 2 cliques with the Indian manager and his fellow countrymen, and those of other nationalities....didn't seem a happy department. - Up until now, I had always found Grand Dining Room service as good as the specialities, but on this occasion it was a little erratic. No major mishaps though. Things were better at lunchtime though when the Speciality Maitre D's and Head Waiters were running the show. - Whilst still maintained to a very high standard Marina seems to be ready for a dry dock/refit. Some minor details were noticed in our suite e.g. flaking varnish on railings, carpet had been patched several times with a few frayed edges. - Destinations staff unhelpful and disinterested unless you're buying a tour, the manager with a badger style haircut was particularly unhelpful. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The itinerary of this Trans Atlantic (Montreal - Southampton, starting May 8) was great. The Marina and Riviera are our favorite ships. Unfortunately the embarkation was in another port than planned. The dis-organization was complete ... Read More
The itinerary of this Trans Atlantic (Montreal - Southampton, starting May 8) was great. The Marina and Riviera are our favorite ships. Unfortunately the embarkation was in another port than planned. The dis-organization was complete there. No Oceania-crew visible. Long waiting and nobody taking care at our luggage. I decided to do that job myself and at the end I personally put my luggage in the bus. The food was ok but has been better in the past. Alas too often bread is dried out, cutting the sllzes too far in advance. About 50% of the fruit at breakfast was unripe. The 'fresh' orange juice was probably never fresh. Why not admit?! At dinner not much variation on the menu and the ingredients seem to be cheaper than in the past. Some waiters are not as friendly as we were used to in the past. The Barista was excellent as always, as were the smoothies. The entertainment was as usual: not very good. Too loud screaming 'soprano's' are even more annoying when we are trying to talk during happy hour. However, we are not really cruising for the entertainment. There was a very good lecturer fro GB. The officers, even including the CD are hardly visible. I saw an other review with the following complaint about that: "Whilst we don't normally participate in trivia and other activities, we are normally on nodding terms at the very least with the Cruise Director. This is the first time that I have NEVER seen a Cruise Director around the ship..... Activities, particularly on sea days, were uninspired". I can only say that being invisible was the best this CD could do: Who would like to meet this unfriendly and rude man when enjoying your holiday? Not me. Wer still like Oceania, but we hope the down grading will stop. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Viking is the best. We've been with other companies and we were generally pleased but Viking is a step above. Ships are extremely well designed particularly the stateroom bathrooms and the public spaces. Pool areas have retractable ... Read More
Viking is the best. We've been with other companies and we were generally pleased but Viking is a step above. Ships are extremely well designed particularly the stateroom bathrooms and the public spaces. Pool areas have retractable roofs and the fitness center is well equipped. Staff are fantastic, knowledgeable and very passenger oriented. The food options are wonderful, with two specialty restaurants, great dinning rooms plus the buffet. Shores excursions are excellent. Viking also has excellent airline flights available at good prices plus very good before and after the criuse extended stay options. The cruise itineraries are also excellent with lots of options. Because their ships are smaller (930 passengers) they can enter some ports the larger ships cannot. But don't let the smaller size fool you, these are still large ocean going ships, very seaworthy and comfortable. If you want an excellent cruise, lots of pampering, fantastic food, go Viking! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
13 days into a dream itinerary and we've missed two ports where we had booked especially interesting shore excursions (now missed) and had an extra sea day. We're now sitting in the port we weren't supposed to reach ... Read More
13 days into a dream itinerary and we've missed two ports where we had booked especially interesting shore excursions (now missed) and had an extra sea day. We're now sitting in the port we weren't supposed to reach 'til tomorrow. And, to add grist to the mill we arrived at 3:00pm (when we could have arrived much earlier) and the stores close at 5:00pm. We've traveled on Oceania's other ships - Marina, Riviera, Regatta & Nautica and never been treated this badly. I would definitely not recommend traveling on the Insignia - most staff are indifferent to customers, some actually hostile and condescending. One does wonder why this ship is picked for the longer 180-day itineraries? There are some exceptional staff members that truly understand customer service and they stick out like a sore thumb. Cabins are small with poor ergonomics very definitely not worth the price paid. Food is definitely not up to Oceania's high standards - very bland and to almost tasteless or meat too tough to cut - but then I've always felt that Jacques Pepin was overrated anyway. Enrichment lectures - Terry Bishop is amazing - the jerk doing the photography sessions is more interested in himself and his pictures. Entertainment is so-so - but at least we don't have the Jean Ann Ryan stuff that is offered on the Marina and Riviera. There is a general lack of communications on-board - as example, Internet access was down for 24-hours or so and no announcement was made. Folks only found when they made the trek to the computer room. By the way the downed Internet was blamed on local interference??????????????? I'm not the only passenger that feels like this - it is the main topic at meals or anytime there is a gathering. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We sailed on the Insignia for a 23 day cruise from Montreal to Southampton. Although the ship was said to be recently refurbished, much of it still needed to be updated. The TV in our stateroom was small and the picture was awful. The ... Read More
We sailed on the Insignia for a 23 day cruise from Montreal to Southampton. Although the ship was said to be recently refurbished, much of it still needed to be updated. The TV in our stateroom was small and the picture was awful. The stateroom was average and much like any other balcony stateroom on an older ship. However, the bed was great. The food in the specialty restaurants was very good, and we ate in each 3 times. The offering in the dining room was very similar to other cruises, perhaps a little more limited. We felt the buffet was very redundant and soon lost it's appeal. The service was ok, but not even close to exceptional. It seemed that the staff was more focused on their schedule than on the needs or desires of the passengers. They were anxious to clear your table and set it for the next diner. Dining and bar venues were only opened during specific times and if you missed it, the only other option was usually room service, which was hit or miss. Most ships have the buffet or snack bar open most of the time, but not on the Insignia. The Grill which served hamburgers and hot dogs closed at 4 pm and after that it was cookies until dinner. Again, this option offered the same choices day in and day out. On sea days it was difficult to find somewhere to play games, as the fan tail, the buffet and all the restaurants were always set for the next meal. The stern of the ship was the only outdoor area with tables and chairs except for a very few in the pool area. The ship activities were geared toward a much, much older group and the live entertainment was second rate. The bars had a happy hour, and although the drinks were 2 for 1, they were smaller than a regular drink, so not much of a deal. Cocktails and wine were expensive. Internet service was not included and the charge was $26. per day for each person. Does that add up quickly. We have been on cruises that were half the price and twice the fun. I won't be cruising on Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Until this cruise -- our 6th on Oceania -- we have enthusiastically recommended Oceania as having "the best cuisine at sea". We have always been very impressed with the food selection, quality, preparation, and service in all ... Read More
Until this cruise -- our 6th on Oceania -- we have enthusiastically recommended Oceania as having "the best cuisine at sea". We have always been very impressed with the food selection, quality, preparation, and service in all the food venues on the various Oceania ships. We are sophisticated food lovers and pretty good chefs ourselves. Therefore, we were very disappointed with the food on this cruise and it was obvious to us that Oceania (now owned by Norwegian) is seriously cutting corners -- and it shows. Part of the problem is the service -- we were told by a server who has been on Oceania for 9 years that NCL has cut the number of servers by half. That is a reason why the food has suffered. Often the food was cold by the time it was served. And many times the server mixed up the orders. Sometimes food that was supposed to be cold was served on hot plates and food that was supposed to be hot was served on cold plates. It took far too long to be served -- we sat for hours at dinner. The servers seemed a bit overwhelmed -- not enough help for the number of guests. And then the food itself was a lesser quality. The meat is not the same fine quality that it was -- lamb chops were tough, grisly, and more like mutton -- not tender baby lamb. Other meats were not prime quality. The fish was often seriously overcooked and mushy. There was a lot of inconsistency in the cooking -- sometimes things were seriously over-salted and sometimes things were just bland and boring. Sometimes things were absolutely excellent. Jacques Pepin would not want his name attached to the food that is served. We heard many people complaining about the food and service -- especially people who were loyal Oceania guests. I heard people say they would not be booking on Oceania any more. The cruise itself was very enjoyable -- the itinerary was interesting and included many ports we had never been to. The ship was well-maintained and spotlessly clean. Cabin service was perfect. We love that the entertainment includes the wonderful string quartet and the jazz ensemble. That creates a very classy feeling and the musicians are great. We usually don't attend the 9:30 shows -- too late for us. We loved the lectures -- particularly the photography lectures by David Smith. We found his advice to be very practical and we learned a lot of tips for taking better travel photos. All in all it was a very enjoyable trip, but the noticeable change in the food and food service was very disappointing. We won't travel on Insignia again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
While we are not serial cruisers, we have enjoyed cruises on Regent and Celebrity. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the fact that Oceania is advertised as a "premium-luxury" cruise line. While there were no ... Read More
While we are not serial cruisers, we have enjoyed cruises on Regent and Celebrity. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the fact that Oceania is advertised as a "premium-luxury" cruise line. While there were no really big things wrong with the cruise, the little things added up so that we would be very hesitant to use this line again. The best thing was that it is a very clean and well-kept ship. Reasons for concern: 1 - The theater is really a lounge with very poor visibility and not enough seating. We saw less than half of the evening shows. Also, as far as entertainment, if you did not get a seat in the theater, you would have to wait for the show to be over to get any lounge entertainment anywhere else. Aside from the pianist in the lounge - Constantine - the entertainment was mediocre at best. 2 - If you were a frequent cruiser, you knew how to game their system to get the best seating at dinner. If you were not on line at 6:30 you had no chance for a table for two for at least 2 hours. I don't know about you, but to spend 2 hours at dinner every night with 4- 6 new people is very exhausting. We retreated to the buffet upstairs so we could relax at dinner. 3- Wait staff was skimpy -- trying to get a cup of coffee at a meal or a water or soft drink refill was spotty. 4- Two port stops were reduced in time. We had planned to drive to Quebec City for the day and to tour Newfoundland's coast and park but our time in port was cut in half so we could not do those things. I am sure the timing did not interfere with those tours that were arranged by the Oceania cruise line. We offered our concerns to the concierge and all he told us to contact our travel insurance company for refunds -- nice, that wasn't the point and found his attitude inadequate. 5- In our opinion, the captain did not appear to be comfortable with a North Atlantic voyage. We had an ice pilot on board but still the trip seemed like the trip was attenuated nevertheless. We skipped a port in Iceland, they said, because of the weather. We were really looking forward to horseback riding at that port but that had to be skipped. 6- The Captain's report at noon everyday consisted of telling us what time it was and the current weather. There was even a day where he did not mention the name of our next port. Thirty seconds a day from the captain seemed a bit skimpy. 7- If you are a large person, don't even consider the Insignia- the bathrooms are microscopic. 8 - On sea days, there was not much to do unless you played bridge or did arts and crafts or photography. There was a morning lecture on the ports which was enjoyable. With the day we skipped ports, you would think they would have an afternoon movie. Regent does this. 9- On the whole, if you like activities of a retirement village, you would like Oceania. It is not my or my husbands cup of tea. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We just returned from our 16 day Crossing cruise. We have been on 2 other Oceania cruises which I thoroughly enjoyed. Those 2 cruises were on the smaller ships, Regatta and Nautica. On the smaller ships we had PH staterooms and they ... Read More
We just returned from our 16 day Crossing cruise. We have been on 2 other Oceania cruises which I thoroughly enjoyed. Those 2 cruises were on the smaller ships, Regatta and Nautica. On the smaller ships we had PH staterooms and they were wonderful. I really did not like the Veranda stateroom onthe Marina. I felt that the placement of the closet was awful. I lived out of my suitcase which I had placed on the sofa for the entire cruise. The room size was adequate but the design is awful. I would not go on the Marina again if I had to have a Veranda stateroom. Plus, we heard the slamming and bamming of the drawers and closet doors from our neighboring rooms that was also thoroughly annoying. I have never heard this noise on other cruises/ships. The bathroom is a lovely room which they ruined by trying to put too much into the space. A big tub and a small, small shower. As for the rest of the ship and cruise. The ship is beautiful. The atmosphere is sedate, low energy. The food is great. The specialty restaurants are wonderful, tho difficult to impossible to get in to, especially if you want to eat before 8 pm. The frequent cruisers know the tricks for getting their reservations early. The rest of the cruise is what is to be expected. Oceania is not about entertainment. It is about cruising and interesting ports. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We chose & booked this cruise over a year ago, for the itinerary. We embarked in Montreal which was easy and fast our intent was to check-in and leave to go back and spend more time with our friends. Once on board we found out the ... Read More
We chose & booked this cruise over a year ago, for the itinerary. We embarked in Montreal which was easy and fast our intent was to check-in and leave to go back and spend more time with our friends. Once on board we found out the safety drill was at 5:00 p.m. That put a crimp in our plans a bit, but the ship was leaving at 11:59 p.m. The first few days and ports, Quebec, Trois-Rivieres were, great, except in our cabin, 7081 During the night, entering the bathroom almost required a gas mask, the odor of sewage was overwhelming. After a few days of the plumber blaming the housekeeping staff and the reverse we complained on the mid-cruise form. We were immediately called by the concierge Javier who offered to move us. We really didn't want to move, but it was obvious the problem was not going away, now wafting in our cabin. Staff helped us move and we now had a balcony cabin and they sent up a nice bottle of wine. Very good, they solved our problem and were gracious about it. About that time an announcement was made by the Cruise Director, not the Captain that over 2% of the passengers had norovirous. Food was taken away from the Barista, laundry rooms closed and everything was being wiped down with staff positioned at each door way making sure you used the sanitizer. I was not surprised to learn of this, since on the previous cruises on the Marina had experienced the same issue. When we disembarked in Southampton a team of 15 men in hard hats were waiting to board, don't know if that had anything to do with the on board illnesses, I have never encountered that before. All of the ports we went to were freezing, no problem that was my expectation. However most port towns were closed down for the winter and not opening until June, such as Cornerbrook (the worst), Sydney, Nova Scotia and St-Pierre. Saguenay was pretty much closed as well, but the locals at the port were wonderful and welcoming and I had booked a tour to the park. Should have eliminated Cornerbrook, it became a joke for the comedian on board. When we embarked at Montreal we were asked for our passports. No specific reason was given, I just assumed it was because one of our ports was Belfast. A couple of days before we docked at Belfast we were told to report for a face-to-face with Northern Ireland officials. It amounted to them looking at you and stamping your passport?????. The passports were kept and we were told we would get them at a later date, although they did not say when. Since our passports are our property the ship should have given us a lot more information on whose authority they were confiscating our passports and why. They never did, even though we asked to when we would get them 2 days before the cruise ended. We had been on the Marina previously and this was our 3rd cruise with Oceania. I do see the changes everyone has been talking about since the merger with Norwegian. The food in the speciality restaurants was definitely not up to our first experience. The Grand Dining room food seemed to be over cooked, or under cooked and salty and we only ate there once. We ate most of our meals in the Terrace, where you could be a bit more particular since you can see it before it's on your plate. Note: don't ever chose fish that is covered in sauce, it took me 2 times to learn, the fish is bad if there is sauce on it. Having said that the Terrace Cafe staff is the BEST! On the subject of the missed ports, Holyhead, Wales and Guernsey. I don't appreciate being lied to and I felt the Marina staff did that when we received a letter while in Belfast that we would miss the ports due to "weather". We would be spending an extra day in Dublin and then a "sea day: instead of Wales & Guernsey before arriving in Southampton to disembark. Why do I feel like it wasn't the weather? While in Dublin we were 60 miles from Wales, weather looked a lot better than crossing the Atlantic. Also one of the passengers, talked to her friend on our second day in Dublin and it was reported the channel and weather was fine for a ferry to cross. By the way the extra day in Dublin required we catch our shuttle bus from the city to the port before 6 p.m.. The ship did not leave until 10:45. The weather? No different than crossing the Atlantic earlier, so what was the reason we missed ports that everyone wanted to see, guess we will never know. For the most part the cruise was very nice, due to the staff and the ports. I do have some pros and cons. Pros: Shuttle buses offered in ports and the blankets & hot chocolate offered to us while waiting for the shuttle bus at the port in St-Pierre. Very nice touch, thank you staff! Cabins are nice, plenty of storage. Cabins staff, wonderful, thank you Cecellia! Most of ports were very nice. Wait staff in Terrace fantastic, Antonio, Laurence, Eli, Jose, all great! Especially the "special hot chocolate"Eli made for me one cold night. Cons: Ships tours are overpriced and severely lacking learned that on the 1st Oceania cruise. Entertainment, not good at all. Siglo band is the exception they are great. Lectures good. Lack of information to all guests regarding passports, missed ports, every day changes, etc. It's not a secret people, we are on a cruise! Lack of attention or care for a Cruise Critic meet & greet. We were given a space for 10 in Horizons with other parties going on, when were 30-40 people at least. Also not one offer of a refreshment at all. It's like they didn't want us there at all. Food quality has gone down considerably. Destination staff lack of information about each day's port--appalling. The passengers knew more about the port services, holidays, etc. One more thing: The ship sent a letter to each stateroom that if we were within 12 miles of the port of Dublin we could not use internet or phone services, on board something about authority from Dublin. That did not happen to us on a prior port visit to Dublin?????? Bottom line, will I travel on Oceania again? Not sure right now there are lots of choices. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015

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