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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Having sailed on sister ship Riviera in 2018 we were confident in what to expect on Marina. Excellent service, wonderful ports and great food and spirits. Marina did not disappoint. The ship is small enough that you can easily move ... Read More
Having sailed on sister ship Riviera in 2018 we were confident in what to expect on Marina. Excellent service, wonderful ports and great food and spirits. Marina did not disappoint. The ship is small enough that you can easily move around, yet large enough to have multiple entertainment and dining options. My wife likes the shows, I enjoy making an evening contribution to the casino. It is nice that they still have a craps table. Many ships have done away with them. We enjoyed the specialty restaurants and Le Reserve. The main dining room is beautiful, we really enjoyed a peaceful breakfast in the MDR. The buffet option can be crowded. We embarked in Denmark visiting; Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and disembarked in Sweden. St. Petersburg was fantastic. We hired a private guide and driver through TJ travel. Excellent choice. Slatvana Andrusheko, was encyclopedic in her knowledge of Russia. In another life she was a Russian History professor. It really made the trip extraordinary. We had her and the driver for 2 full days. It is a big plus having a driver ready to pick you up to take you on to the next site. Plus they have already acquired all entry passes to the venues you must see. She took us to local restaurants and markets. We got a real feel for St. Petersburg. Our first port, Warnemunde, Germany was a real surprise. Very nice summer vacation spot with a real small town appeal. Take the train to Rostock if you are inclined, very easy trip. We rented a car on the Island of Bornholm, Denmark. A very nice day drive. In many of the ports, we just jumped on the Hop-On - Hop Off bus for a great city tour. Helsinki was really a highlight too. Our cabin was spacious and very accommodating. No complaints about the food or drinks. We do purchase a drink package and find it to be a good value. We didn't book any of our tours with the ship, we found better value doing it privately. We are also a bit more adventurous and enjoy hunting out different sights. The only "negative" we found on the ship was my wife wanted to participate in the on-board art class, but this ship had more children on then usual and they were crowding the art class. Not a big deal. We do enjoy Oceania because it is primarily all adults. We love children, but we don't miss the screaming, crying and running. The literature and website is quite clear in this is primarily adults. No climbing walls, no slides, no big screen TV, no Mickey and Minnie. As a grandparent, we have taken our grandchildren on cruises, but more age appropriate lines. All in all, Oceania met our expectations. We put a deposit down on another cruise in 2020. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Just a quick review of the Oceania Marina Scandinavian Ballads 10 day cruise: While we have been on over 30 cruises, this was our first on Oceania. All in all, it truly exceeded our expectations due to the extraordinary food and ... Read More
Just a quick review of the Oceania Marina Scandinavian Ballads 10 day cruise: While we have been on over 30 cruises, this was our first on Oceania. All in all, it truly exceeded our expectations due to the extraordinary food and overall service. The food is by far the best we have had on a cruise and due to that fact, we will definitely cruise Oceania again. The service and attentiveness was unequalled in all the cruises we have done. We typically sail in smaller ships but we noted that even though this ship held 1,200 passengers, we never felt crowded or rushed. A couple of specifics: We stayed in Stockholm for 2 1/2 days prior to the cruise and while we truly enjoyed the Vasa Museum and Old town, it was a bit underwhelming compared to other European cities. We stayed at the Sheraton and we booked it independently from the cruise. It is a good location but be prepared for a crazy scene the morning of departure. We casually got ready anticipating an 11:00ish departure from the hotel and head to the ship. The lobby was crazy and the check-in was 10 deep(those that just departed the ship), thus not allowing you to easily check out. Tip: Use the Express Checkout and drop off your envelope and get out of the lobby!! This cruise was very port intensive and the ports were very good. We only did 1 excursion and we did it in St. Petersburg and we did it independently from the ship. We had a great tour operator, Allla Tours, and our group was limited to 16 people which made it manageable. The ships tours were much more crowded. Without going into a full review of all ports on this writing, I would tell you that most were very enjoyable and some were outstanding. The outstanding ports were: St. Petersburg, Tallin Estonia, Gdansk, Poland, and Copenhagen. The rest were very good but they did not hit the outstanding category. I will try and expand upon the cruise in the near future. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was a 10-day Baltic cruise from Stockholm to Copenhagen. It was our 4th Oceania cruise and first on Marina. We are a couple in our mid-60's which put us in the median age range on this cruise. As many people younger than us as ... Read More
This was a 10-day Baltic cruise from Stockholm to Copenhagen. It was our 4th Oceania cruise and first on Marina. We are a couple in our mid-60's which put us in the median age range on this cruise. As many people younger than us as older. Embarkation was smooth and quick. After lunch in the Terrace Cafe, our cabin was ready at 1:00. Our steward quickly introduced himself. We had very good service from him and the cabin attendant throughout the cruise. The Marina is in very good condition and is a beautiful ship. Oceania lived up to its reputation with serving excellent food. They did not disappoint. We ate in each of the 4 specialty restaurants once, dinner in the GDR a couple of times, dinner in Terrace Cafe a couple of times. Waves for lunch was excellent. Our dinner in Red Ginger was our favorite meal on the cruise. The only little negative we experienced was service in Terrace Cafe at dinner. It can be difficult to find a wine steward. By the time you order and get your glass of wine, you're halfway through the meal. The entertainment on the ship was good and the shows were well attended. The production show of singers and dancers were talented. Some of the musical selections were a little questionable, in my opinion, as they leaned towards the older age group. But still quite good. The vocalist, Elias Hendricks, was one of the best entertainers I have seen on a cruise. The band that played in Horizons at 10:30 was very good. Their Beatlemania tribute night was attended by 200 people - the most I've seen in Horizons that late. They also did an Abba tribute that was popular as well. The cruise director, John, did a great job. He was at ease with his job and was enthusiastic without being over-the-top. We went on the ship's shore excursions and found them to be good. I know that some people prefer private tours but I really cannot complain about any of the excursions that we took on this cruise. We had exceptionally good tour guides in St. Petersburg. Very articulate, knowledgeable, professional and friendly. You have to negotiate through the crowds at The Hermitage no matter if you're on a ship's excursion or private tour. At the Faberge Museum, our group was only 16 people. Gdansk was another port where we had an excellent tour guide. One word about the wi-fi on the ship. Terrible. This is something that Oceania should improve on if they think that being competitive with other cruise line's wi-fi is important. I just wanted to check my email and use basic internet for 20 minutes a day and this was very challenging. Disembarkation in Copenhagen was smooth and on-time. One word of caution if you're trying to grab a taxi and that is to be prepared to wait in line for an hour or more. We pre-arranged a private car with our hotel and it was well worth the bit of extra cost. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Initially I chose this cruise for two reasons, the itinerary around the Baltic and the 3 day stay in St. Petersburg. Additionally having been on two prior cruises with Oceania I was once again attracted to the cuisine as well as the level ... Read More
Initially I chose this cruise for two reasons, the itinerary around the Baltic and the 3 day stay in St. Petersburg. Additionally having been on two prior cruises with Oceania I was once again attracted to the cuisine as well as the level of service offered in concierge and generally throughout the ship. I was very disappointed in the food this time ( with a couple of exceptions in the speciality restaurants) I felt the quality had declined and the menus seemed tired and needed some fresh input from a culinary standpoint. Essentially what I had on my first cruise was now the same over a 10 year period. Of note are the “scrambled eggs” they were more like scrambled soup. The bacon, ham, sausage, cold meats etc. were poor quality and the fruit was tasteless. Additionally the wait staff were poorly informed as to what some dishes actually were. I purchased the full beverage package and so did my wife, it is convenient and I like convenience, the wine by the glass is generally good so no complaints in that regard. However competing for a decent drink during the daily “Happy Hour” was virtually impossible and impossible to get a seat. The crowd takes over the Martini Lounge like a gas station running out of gas and the person who paid for a full beverage package ends up subsidizing the rest with drinks from the “well” The system of “Happy Hour” needs to be revamped to accommodate those paying full price. Many drinks were not delivered correctly and not with the liquor of my choice. The wait staff did their level best to keep up with the hoards of cheap well drinkers who ordered 2-3 drinks prior to the cutoff time and sat there for another hour. It should be noted that Oceania is registered in the Marshall Islands and that the labor law rights of those working this ship are virtually non existent (so I doubt that management gets many complaints for fear of dismissal) It has been noted by several people that the $16.00 per day per person in gratuities does not trickle down to the staff as a whole and that is just another way for Oceania to improve their bottom line at the expense of the hard working crew. I felt that many of the crew seemed to feel they were like indentured servants working for less than when gratuities were handed In cash to those deserving it. It does not make for an ideal environment for many of these hard working people who otherwise have no options from the countries they come from. Oceania is the only cruise line registered on the Marshall Islands and for good reason.They can avoid taxes, safety as well as labor regulations and justice. Think twice before you decide on this company. The third time was not a charm and the country club atmosphere has definitely disappeared in exchange for the look and feel of a Holiday Inn in need of an overhaul. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We were booked in a concierge level cabin and it was kind of a disappointment. The bathroom was quite small and was tight on storage. Our cabin steward was not the friendliest and hardly spoke to us. The only benefit we had of the ... Read More
We were booked in a concierge level cabin and it was kind of a disappointment. The bathroom was quite small and was tight on storage. Our cabin steward was not the friendliest and hardly spoke to us. The only benefit we had of the concierge level was the use of laundry facilities. Internet was sketchy much of the time and we had even purchased a $299 internet package. We found a lot of the staff to be not always considerate of the passengers - frequently we had them walk across right in front of us, without as much as an excuse me. Breakfast and lunch were like on any cruise we’ve been on and dinners were very good, especially in the speciality restaurants. The Grand dining room was also good, but some nights the menu was hard to find something appealing. We did shore excursions in every port and most were very good. A couple of them made us very aware that the guide can make or break a tour. Sometimes the departures seemed a bit unorganized. Overall the ship seemed a bit tired and could use some updating. The passengers overall weren’t as friendly as on other cruises. The alcohol packages were ridiculously expensive. A cooking class was a highlight of the cruise. Our disembarkation experience was less than stellar. We left the ship with our assigned group and when we went to get our luggage, one piece was missing. We asked for help and they didn’t seem to know what to do. After a frantic 45 minutes of looking a lady came in with the luggage that she had taken without verifying that it was hers. It seems like there could be some way to prevent this from happening. Overall, I doubt we sail with Oceania again. For the money we had a much, much better experience with Viking Ocean. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Our party of four sailed on Oceania's Nautica in May 2019, leaving Barcelona onto Lisboa, with a southern dip to the Canary Islands. Spent additional four days in Lisboa and the surrounding area. The cruise itinerary was terrific, ... Read More
Our party of four sailed on Oceania's Nautica in May 2019, leaving Barcelona onto Lisboa, with a southern dip to the Canary Islands. Spent additional four days in Lisboa and the surrounding area. The cruise itinerary was terrific, the main reason we chose. Alas, the ship is a tub, well past its prime. Built in 2000, this almost two decade boat shows its age. Cabin furnishings are tattered. TV is tiny. WiFi didn't work and when it did you were limited to one device per cabin, and it was dicey to change devices without losing the WiFi. Ships colors are dull and lifeless. Casino has perhaps 10 slot machines, some out of order. Our Veranda chairs had to be replaced due to stains. Concierge class offers nothing over standard Veranda cabins (brochure highlights of Concierge benefits only apply to Oceania's larger ships...bait and switch). Food in main dining room average. For the premium price Oceania charges the experience is vastly overrated. jWE cruised on Oceania 7 years ago and found everything to be classy. Something has happened to lower their standards. To be fair, highpoints: cruise Director Carson is absolutely wonderful. Such a waste of talent to be assigned to the Nautica. Shows and fly-in talent were great. Avoid this ship till after 2020 June. If you book prior to that date Oceania should give you a big discount. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We wanted to see the Baltic and were not disappointed. We prefer the relaxed pace of river cruising, also because of the relative ease of getting into port, and the lack of sea days. This trip was as close to that as we could find on an ... Read More
We wanted to see the Baltic and were not disappointed. We prefer the relaxed pace of river cruising, also because of the relative ease of getting into port, and the lack of sea days. This trip was as close to that as we could find on an ocean cruise. There was only one sea day, all other days being in port. The ports were great. We took only the Russian tours, which were essentially forced on us by Russia’s visa policies. We liked the food, and found that it wasn’t necessary to eat in the specialty restaurants as the same food was available elsewhere. We liked our fellow passengers, and their diverse backgrounds. There were only two, minor, complaints, one being a matter of taste. One is that the coffee on board was pretty awful, a common complaint by Australians and New Zealanders like us, no doubt. The barista in charge of the only espresso machine on board needs to visit Auckland or Melbourne to learn how to use it. We didn’t like quite a lot of the ship’s decor. In some public rooms it looked like an explosion in a self-conscious interior designer’s shop. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Chose this cruise for the itinerary and also because of their selling the finest cuisine at sea. Embarkation was shocking, did not feel like upper premium, not even close. No welcome drink or cocktails, not even orange juice. The public ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary and also because of their selling the finest cuisine at sea. Embarkation was shocking, did not feel like upper premium, not even close. No welcome drink or cocktails, not even orange juice. The public spaces were nice to look at but poor marks for the low ceiling, everyone looked so tall and most especially me. My head was literally touching the ceiling in all public areas and wish I was exaggerating. The food was good, I’m a lobster lover and ate it everyday but realized that unlimited lobster is not enough to make a good cruise. There was constant selling in the atrium area and tv channels was mostly about selling more cruises or focusing on spa and boutique sales. I have cruised on Viking, crystal and Silversea so I have experienced luxury and upper premium. WiFi OMG painfully slow. Really tried hard to like Oceania. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We traveled on the Marina on a Baltic cruise and enjoyed every minute. The ship was beautiful. Every crew member we encountered was friendly and helpful. The food was delicious. The tours enjoyable and informative with great guides. ... Read More
We traveled on the Marina on a Baltic cruise and enjoyed every minute. The ship was beautiful. Every crew member we encountered was friendly and helpful. The food was delicious. The tours enjoyable and informative with great guides. The buffet was our least favourite dining option although food was was very good it could be a little chaotic. Dining in the Grand Dining Room or one of the specialty restaurants was extremely rewarding. We enjoyed all the specialty restaurants but Red Ginger was our favourite the food was unbelievable. I still think about the duck and watermelon salad. We found the staff very accommodating when we wanted to change reservation times in the specialty restaurants. If I had a criticism I would like to see the Grand Dining Room open every day for lunch. The staff cleaning our cabin could not of been friendlier. Our veranda cabin was very comfortable. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose the Marina because of the Baltic itinerary. We were not disappointed. The stops were wonderful. St Petersburg was the highlight. We booked three days with Guide-Guru Tours. My husband was skeptical, but ended up loving the ... Read More
We chose the Marina because of the Baltic itinerary. We were not disappointed. The stops were wonderful. St Petersburg was the highlight. We booked three days with Guide-Guru Tours. My husband was skeptical, but ended up loving the personal attention. The tour days in St. Petersburg were the highlight of our trip. Our tour guide, Tatiana, knew how to avoid all the lines and get us through all the places effortlessly. She would go ahead, purchase tickets, and by the time we reached the entrance she ushered us in. She was an amazing guide and we had a very small group. Eight of us the first day, six the second and just my husband and I the third. I will never take a large group tour again after the wonderful experience we had. It is impossible to see the sights in and around St. Petersburg in a large group. We saw twice as much as many of our shipmates. An extra bonus was that booking through Guide-Guru cost less than half of what some other fellow travelers paid! We contacted them via the internet and set everything up months in advance. We were able to pay in US dollars which saved up some $$. The Marina is a wonderful ship. The crew bends over backward to make sure your needs are met. I did not see one crew member without a smile and an offer to help you in any way. The food is delicious especially in the specialty restaurants. My husband said he had never tasted such a delicious piece of roast beef as he had in "Jacques" ,and we eat at fine restaurants frequently. The ship is a perfect size, never any crowds anywhere. We booked a Concierge level room. There was a lounge and several bags of laundry were included in the price. Also, we were able to book our specialty restaurants a month before which I appreciated. I would book another cruise on this ship without hesitation. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Destination, ports and season always win out over cruiseline loyalty. 12 days Stockholm to Southampton. 3 days in St. Petersburg was the highlight. Booked 3 day small group tour with Russian agent. Elisabeth of TJ Tours was outstanding! ... Read More
Destination, ports and season always win out over cruiseline loyalty. 12 days Stockholm to Southampton. 3 days in St. Petersburg was the highlight. Booked 3 day small group tour with Russian agent. Elisabeth of TJ Tours was outstanding! Recommend Nautica overnights in Stockholm Amsterdam and Copenhagen and to include a port in Norway to see the fjords.. Oceania does offer best cuisine at sea. Carlos the Maitre'D from Portugal and his gracious assistant from Thailand always greeted us by name and remembered our seating preferences in the Grand Dining Room, Breakfast Buffet Service and choices were well presented and tastefully prepared. Fine dining excelled in the specialty restaurant venues although reserving a time before 8:30 was difficult. Disappointed that Polo Grill had run out of prime rib, however the ribeye steak substituted was delicious. Adolfo from Milan was charming in Toscana. Off hours we appreciated 24/hr limited room service menu and/ casual Waves. Loved the small ship, but Nautica does need a QM2 solarium/ covered outside pool . Like verandas, outdoor pool was useless for Baltic/North Seas. Nautica band, vocalists and dancers were talented. Horizon happy hours and afternoon tea were wonderful. Having customs agent for UK on board for passport control was expeditious. It was delightful not to be pursued by omnipresent ship photographers. Overall/service attentive staff were excellent, gracious and accommodating. Except for challenges convincing Lisiam to accept our time preferences. Bundled laundry service was terrible, he returned clothes dirty and wet so I ended up redoing all in Deck 7 guest laundry. Ship excursions promotions on TV were $$$$$, inferior, laden w disclaimers. Dr. Roger Cartwright's port talks were anecdotal, boring, off topic. We used local onboard agent to plan our port visits with great independent guide experiences. Shore excursion staff was helpful, but Oceanic Club Ambassador was curt. Cruise director marketed ship activities zealously. Free internet was nearly useless despite the best effort of the IT professional on staff who was often confronted by unhappy frustrated guests. Email messages could be received but not sent. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We took an Athens-Rome Mediterranean cruise on Marina in 2017. Loved the ship and the experience. We purchased this cruise on board. Nautica is much smaller than Marina but is dated and lacks the feeling of space and luxury of Marina. ... Read More
We took an Athens-Rome Mediterranean cruise on Marina in 2017. Loved the ship and the experience. We purchased this cruise on board. Nautica is much smaller than Marina but is dated and lacks the feeling of space and luxury of Marina. Embarkation at Stockholm was quick but there was no welcome cocktail. Our room (B2) on deck 6 was adequate. The bathroom was tiny and had only a shower protected by a cheap shower curtain (no bathtub as on Marina). Storage space was adequate. Our room was cleaned spotlessly every day. One person commented that a verandah is unnecessary on cruises to northern climates and during cooler seasons, and I agree, even though we had spectacular weather (Europe had its warmest weather on record). Our stateroom was near the rear elevator (closer to the restaurants) which was convenient. Nautica has only two specialty restaurants, so we were only allowed two such meals on a 12-day cruise (no surcharge). Oddly, each time we went, there were many empty tables. It should be noted that Nautica and the other three smaller (older) ships are being "reimagined" over the next year or two and the design looks attractive. Try to hold off until the ships are done. The interiors of Nautica are dated and frumpy. For example, on Marina there were real Picasso and Miro prints, and some delightful avant-garde works of art. On Nautica, the art looked like it came from a neighbourhood art show. Yes, this is a "first world" problem, but Oceania are among the most expensive cruises on the market. PA announcements were appropriate and brief and the cruise director was excellent on them. I was also impressed by the performers. The shows were appropriately scaled and tasteful, like a nightclub rather than Vegas. On Oceania, apart from a promotional package (cabin credit, 6 excursions/cabin, etc.) everything is extra. The wine lists are extensive and extremely expensive, starting generally at US$50 (one or two bottles) and shooting up from there. There is a 7-bottle wine package for US$350.00 and the choices were decent, but I did some research and found the majority of them cost in the range of US$10-20. Huge markup. Oceania permits bringing alcohol on board, as long as it is consumed in your cabin (there is a $25.00 corkage fee if you want to bring your bottle into a restaurant). Excursions are ridiculously expensive. Imagine 30 people paying US$300 each to board a bus for a day excursion. Typical. In St Petersburg, Russia, we went on one such excursion but were allowed only to get out of the bus at certain stops to take exterior pictures. The Hermitage, which we were looking forward to as a highlight, was too brief (actually only about 2.5 hours viewing) and of course it was massively overcrowded, which is not Oceania's fault. Tour guides were generally good, except in one case we signed up for a tour of modern Scandinavian architectural landmarks in Copenhagen but the tour was a disaster because the guide was subbed in at the last minute (with apologies) and had no time to prepare, so she showed us a few buildings near where she lived and in central Copenhagen then reverted to a tour of historic buildings because the time allotment was not used up. You would think these tours would all be pre-planned so anyone with some background could step in. We were also promised a tour of a "design factory" but were taken to a retail outlet instead which lasted about 10 minutes. Having said that, the food really is, with minor exception, the best of the cruise lines. One day the head chef made his rounds in the restaurant and I had a suggestion, which he implemented. The median age of the guests on oceania is probably about 70, and the food selections especially in the buffet area were appropriate. There were a few theme days, but most guests didn't seem to take advantage. Compared to Marina, Nautica's staff were a little too relaxed and familiar for my taste. Service can be personal but it should be deferential and non-intrusive. This is trivial, but one waiter asked me as a joke if I wanted ground pepper in my dessert, which was a bit of sarcasm over always having to offer ground pepper. We laughed but I had never experienced that on Marina. There is a merit/reward system for staff, and some of them seemed a little over-anxious about making an impression. My main complaint is with their marketing and sales. Oceania spends a lot of time trying to induce people to book on board, but the actual discounts are only about 5% for cruises that may be a year or more away. They also try to pressure you with the threat of "price increases" and are not flexible dealing with repeat customers. (Our travel agent enquired about how much an upcoming price increase would be, which was refused. That's not respectful of a customer who is looking at laying out $10-$20,000.00 per cabin and up.) Their online published prices are also misleading; when we enquired about a future cruise, they quoted the price for a stateroom two levels higher than the one we specified; when our travel agent enquired we were told it was for the "extra" package that was previously complementary. These cruises generally fill up and I don't see why they need to engage in high-pressure tactics. They tout their "loyalty" programme a great deal but benefits don't really accrue until you are over 10 cruises, and even then it might amount to free laundry. We each got a lapel pin worth about $5.00 and a free cocktail at a Captain's reception for our second cruise (22 cruise days total). The rest is window-dressing. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our second Oceania cruise. We were on the Nautica cruising the Baltic. We thought food was nothing special. It was good quality, but it lacked any special flavours. It was nowhere as good as we experienced on our previous ... Read More
This was our second Oceania cruise. We were on the Nautica cruising the Baltic. We thought food was nothing special. It was good quality, but it lacked any special flavours. It was nowhere as good as we experienced on our previous Oceania cruise. The service was fine but the last few days the service in the Terrace Café fell away significantly. The entertainment was outstanding for relatively small cruise ship. The berths at the ports were varied with some close to the city and others some quite a distance from the city. The excursions were just okay. We found them to be rushed and not very informative. They charged the equivalent of $150 USD for a walking tour that you can pick up at the local tourist office for $10 USD. There was too much free time, wasted time, long toilet breaks and waiting for people who get lost. I am aware that some other cruise lines have two guides, one at the front and one at the rear. Good idea. Wine prices were nothing short of extortion. French village wines which would retail in France for 20 Euro per bottle were about 15 Euro per glass plus 18% gratuities. They would charge 80 Euro for a reasonable quality bottle plus 18%. The enrichment talks were okay but they were fairly shallow for those of us interested in history. There was only limited time spent on the history of cities on our itinerary. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My attempt at a more objective and comprehensive review of Oceania Nautica: ITINERARY – London to Stockholm, 14 nights 1 sea days, 3 nights at St Petersburg - an excellent itinerary. • This is a port intensive cruise visiting ... Read More
My attempt at a more objective and comprehensive review of Oceania Nautica: ITINERARY – London to Stockholm, 14 nights 1 sea days, 3 nights at St Petersburg - an excellent itinerary. • This is a port intensive cruise visiting major cities like, Berlin, Helsinki and Copenhagen, Stockholm, St Petersburg whilst also visiting quieter destinations such as Kristiansand, Klapeida, Tallinn, Karlskrona, Riga (listed in order of increasing preference). • 1- 2 more sea day would be relaxing but we had to fly out. There were scammers who attempted to scam us at London and Berlin. • Mostly smooth sailing with minor waves at night time in the Baltic seas. We do appreciate good stabilisation system with deep hull in the ships. EMBARKATION – No lines, straight through at the later part of the day. ROOMS – Very neatly appointed, the smaller bathroom meant a larger ratio of living space. • The showers are small but have been told they will refurbish in the near future. • The cabin is kept clean and stewardess Rosario was nice. I personally like the current bed style a lot and find the new design of the proposed refurbishment a bit tacky. • The bed and pillows are very comfortable, probably the best I have had at sea. PUBLIC SPACE – Spacious, lots of elegant seating in different decks. A few other cruises I have been on, felt like you must buy a drink to sit in the bar area, or must purchase this to lounge at a corner, i.e. less inviting. This ship had a lot more “free” space that you can comfortably sit and have a chat with friends. Dining alfresco in the Terrace café is great when warm; the sunset view (quick photo) is worth the chilly wind! OTHER PASSENGERS – most demographics lean towards retirees from North America, Europe Australia etc. • Some passengers are very warm and friendly, some others were very discerning, a few were ageist and slightly chauvinistic towards non Anglos because there is hardly any non Anglo passenger on board – no wonder other Asian male passengers were mistaken for crew and there were lots of staring. • In Australia, we see a variety of nationalities like Middle East, East and South East Asia, Africa, South American people. Perhaps with a few of the passengers, they don’t see much of the greater world as much and developed more curiosity as such, hmm. • I have also witnessed a few passengers been rather rude to the crew and are quite demanding, my guess is there is a correlation between more luxury cruises with more discerning cruisers. Contrastingly, I have witnessed people pushing in lines at buffet…but you probably expected this on any cruise. • Passengers on other mass and premium lines saw happier looking passengers who are on holiday, Nautica passengers appears that this is the everyday life (probably because they cruised with Oceania a lot and this became their normal home). CREW – Mostly excellent and friendly: only some very minor hiccups with some waiter and lady at the bar near the casino area. John the cruise director was amazing and the chef (not sure of the name) grilling lobsters, steak and fish in the terrace cafe for most part of the cruise is a master, the best grilled lobsters I have ever tasted. The chef changed on the last two days, the lobster quality dropped significantly and not cleaned properly (accidental slice of the excretory glands by the chef when cutting the lobster meant a unique taste…). FOOD - Having cruised with Celebrity (same menu in different ships rotating), RCL, Carnival, Princess, this line has the best food out of the above. Celebrity and princess are still decent and I enjoyed my meals with them. Carnival was good value for money and fun, but RCL was cost cutting. 1. If food is important to you, as it is for me, you are likely to enjoy this cruise. 2. The only comment I will make is that the sashimi is not that great, i.e. powdery and breakfast was getting boring after 2 weeks of continental breakfast. This is likely because I am spoiled in Australia where the café brunch options are excellent and access to other cultures like Chinese dumplings, dim sums with congee and fresh sashimi etc. I am not sure how adventurous the other passengers are with trying “non-western” style breakfast. .. 3. The fruit options for breakfast are impeccable and fresh. I can’t rave enough about the grilled lobster done by that particular Chef in the buffet, simply the best, he needs a bonus. 4. The main dining room is mostly great, tip: the daily menus are better than the Pepin inspired ones. Miso glazed Sea Bass was delicious. 5. The Russian evening buffet was outstanding with lots of choices and interesting dishes. We really appreciated trying other cuisines and the culture, especially when the food is made nicely. 6. Desserts – I have not had a bad dessert on board and have gotten seconds, very nicely presented and produced. You will be eating with nice silverware and plates. Afternoon tea with string quartet is very good but often hard to find a seat. SHORE EXCURSIONS – • Did a private tour for SPB for Catherine palace + Peterhof and it was great. • The complimentary shore excursion to Hermitage was disappointing, I could only look and take pictures of the ceiling because it is too crowded to see artworks on the side. Perhaps I needed to grow a few inches taller. Good thing that the ceilings were intricately beautiful. Because of the massive crowds, I did not see the peacock clock. Your face is literally up behind someone’s back. It was like a battle against time and the 50-60k people per day to take a quick peak of some highlights and get out ASAP. Don’t get me wrong though, the rooms within the hermitage were very opulent. • The local guide who gets on board at the ports Is quite good – provides a local maps with tips and answers. Also the shuttle to city centre, both very nice touches added by Oceania. • The complimentary tours for the 3 cathedrals however, were very good. See the ports info below for tips. • In general the ship excursions and transfers are very expensive for what they offer. ENTERTAINMENT The lectures on history of the ports were interesting and John’s magic show and talks were excellent. You are more or less expected to entertain yourself on board, which is perfectly fine given the intensive itinerary. Take the extra time to recharge, read a book and relax somewhere. I will be more than happy if Oceania spends the money on other things to improve vacation experience. There was minigolf and a shuffle board. Summary of tips: take naps in the very comfy bed and deck chairs with good cushions, try the afternoon tea listening to strings, try Toscana, try the miso glazed sea bass, eat the desserts, relax in the public areas, read in the library and relax after a long day (30k steps per day sometimes) of sightseeing ! Baltic cruises are definitely not only for the retirees. Read Less
9 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: July 2018
This was my third cruise with Oceania. Having been on the Marina my first reaction when I entered the cabin was “ it has shrunk”. The shower was tiny. As a solo traveller I have no idea how a couple would cope. The ship was tired. But ... Read More
This was my third cruise with Oceania. Having been on the Marina my first reaction when I entered the cabin was “ it has shrunk”. The shower was tiny. As a solo traveller I have no idea how a couple would cope. The ship was tired. But while on board Oceania announced their revamp. For the first time the shows actually contained some music from the 50 and 60. The last show was amazing. I was amazed to hear that a Florida had decided to can it. I hope they don’t go back to Broadway and Frank Sinantra (more my mothers era). Another positive was a focus on the solo travellers. I have asked before why Oceania don’t value their solo travellers only to be told the economic model is two people per cabin not one. This time they hosted 4 events for us and we were very grateful. John the cruise director was very friendly and efficient. Very focused on the US guests but they are the majority I suppose. Captain Max was also amazing with his talks and updates. He made us feel included and his talks were funny and educational. Great to have the free shuttles in port for those organising their own shore activities. The dress code was very casual. John kept asking people to comply with code but many ignored it. I did see a specialty restaurant turn away a guest dressed in track pants and joggers once. On the negative side, the food in the terrace cafe left a lot to be desired. Breakfast was just what one would expect. The other meal times were very ordinary. The Grand dining room was ok but after 20 days one was just eating much the same. The polo grill and Tuscany were top. The Ambassador was very abrupt. Maybe it was her culture. However previous cruise Ambassadors were more helpful. Her attitude was “ look in the books and handout and when u have decided come back. Otherwise don’t waste my time”. The internet is very poor. One connection per cabin. My travel companions had to have one person log off before the other one could use it!!! I had to keep logging off and on devices. Let’s hope this is included in Oceania Next!!! The beverage package is very expensive for what one gets. We went to a couple of wine tastings. The last one we paid $50 to drink what was included in our beverage package!!! Activities were limited but they flew in from US two bridge masters as they had about 300 people playing bridge. If u did not play trivia or bridge there was not much else to do on sea days but rest ( maybe that is an idea). Finally I must say how wonderful all the staff are. From the Captain to the dr and nurse ( very rough seas resulted in a visit to the dr) through to the cabin staff. No one said goodbye as we left the ship. Well with over 80% of return guests I guess that is not important. The trip has made me rethink if I should not explore some other lines ( have only been on Holland America) Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We picked this cruise for the itinerary. We wanted to see Iceland and Greenland and we got to go back to Ireland again. The Orkney Islands were interesting. We used Oceania for tender ports except for one and that was the only ... Read More
We picked this cruise for the itinerary. We wanted to see Iceland and Greenland and we got to go back to Ireland again. The Orkney Islands were interesting. We used Oceania for tender ports except for one and that was the only disappointment. It was more of the shuttle service company’s misinformation rather than Destination Services fault. The information the shuttle company gave to the ship was incorrect, so we decide to stay at Castlegreen, visit a local pub, rather than wait for the shuttle to take us to Londonderry. If we had waited, by the time we would have arrived, everything would have been closed. Now, the wow factor. The production team was the best I have ever had on an Oceania cruise or any other cruise line I have been on. All of the singers had strong voices and blended well together and the dancers were great. The whole team was strong and you sensed and saw that they worked together as a team. They were also highly visible when not performing. It would be nice if they had a few more desserts on each menu that did not have nuts, but that is my personal choice. I enjoyed the surf and turf in Waves but skipped the Terrace cafe, not because of the food but because people were hogging tables. The weather was not nice enough to be able to eat outside and because the water was so rough, the outer decks were closed several sea days. That is to be expected, so no complaints from me. If you are a poor sailer I would not recommend this particular cruise as the majority of the passengers were feeling poorly. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
This is the third time we been on a cruise with Oceania and had a mixed feelings about this cruise. When we booked the cruise, we selected the O-Life package which includes Economy Class Air, Gratuities, Internet Package, $400/person ... Read More
This is the third time we been on a cruise with Oceania and had a mixed feelings about this cruise. When we booked the cruise, we selected the O-Life package which includes Economy Class Air, Gratuities, Internet Package, $400/person excursions. Since that we each had $400 for the excursions and we found out that we cannot booked the excursions ahead of time. On the first day when we got on the ship, I immediately went to the Excursion Desk trying to book the excursions but unfortunately many of the popular excursions already were full. I have no choice but to get whatever was left over. This is one major drawback which I was not happy with their system. We only had dinner in the main dinning room for one night and kind of disappointed with the slow service and on top of that when a female drink waitress came to take order for the drinks, when we told her that we don't drink at all and she immediately was not happy at all and kind of gave us a bad look and left. That was another poor service which we were so disappointed from such a " luxury " cruise line. Almost every night we went back to have the buffet dinner which we enjoyed it very much because in that place which you can order the lobster tails and rib steaks all you want and they were so delicious. On the whole we enjoyed eating all our meals in the buffet style more that in the main dinning room. Most of the excursions which we booked were not too bad, most of the guides were very informative and pleasant. Norway was the best place to visit of all the Scandinavian countries which we visited. Especially the Fjords were spectacular and we highly recommend people to go to visit Norway and spend more time to learn about their cultures and we enjoyed visiting all the 7 Norwegian cities during our 14 days cruise. People there were very friendly and less crowded compare to Sweden, Denmark and Holland. One disappointing thing about the cruise was the Embarkation, when we arrived at the Pier for embarkation, we all have to wait in long lines and waited for close to an hour before we were being served. I think that the Oceania Cruise Line needs to come up with a more efficient way to speed up their Embarkation process for all the passengers. On the contrast, the Disembarkation was very efficient, short and quick to get off the boat. We saw three evening shows which were performed by the cruise entertainers and we thought that the dancing was great but the singing was not too professional. The most disappointing performance was the night where they try to put on a Broadway show........since this cruise has most of the seniors on this ship and they sang too many new Broadway show tunes that we are unfamiliar with and those songs were not popular at all. Most of the people we talked to after the show were v. disappointed with this Broadway show because of bad selection of songs. On top of that we don't think that the Cruise Director is not a very friendly guy to the guests. He hardly greeted any non-Caucasians on the cruise, we are thinking of not taking any more of the Marina till they have a new Cruise Director on board. On the whole the cabin attendants, the buffet dinning staffs, Reception staffs and also the Specialty Restaurant staffs were all have v. friendly to the guests which we were deeply appreciated their hard work. We thoroughly enjoyed our Ocean View cabin especially the bathroom is all made out of granite/marble. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
The route to Norway, with fjords and other destinations, like Warnemunde,Copenhagen, Oslo, Skagen. All destinations were so beautiful, the weather as well.. so lucky. The Ports very welcoming, only one time we needed transport by ... Read More
The route to Norway, with fjords and other destinations, like Warnemunde,Copenhagen, Oslo, Skagen. All destinations were so beautiful, the weather as well.. so lucky. The Ports very welcoming, only one time we needed transport by bus. All the other destinations by feet to the center or other interesting places. The food, Top Class, in the main restaurant, every day NEW menu with surprising choices, sometimes difficult names, but our Waiter always could explain the details. Super. Because we are “ Europeans” we like to have slow diner, the first night we asked to have “slow “ diner, we are not in A rush... So they did... excellent. After two nights the host of the restaurant knew our names, stateroom and special wishes, like table alone, near the window. Super. All over very good and relaxing atmosphere, super Company!!! The speciality restaurants , great, pitty that in one restaurant, “ the Ginger” the sound of talking dinner guests is too loud, ofcourse they offered an other quiet place. The attention of the staf is high level. Everywere. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
The Marina is a wonderful ship with exemplary service and dining geared toward adult travelers. We spent four pre-cruise days in Amsterdam and a week post-cruise in London. Be sure to make your own arrangements from Southampton to London ... Read More
The Marina is a wonderful ship with exemplary service and dining geared toward adult travelers. We spent four pre-cruise days in Amsterdam and a week post-cruise in London. Be sure to make your own arrangements from Southampton to London before disembarking. Taxis are available if you don’t, but are expensive. Experiencing the Banksy and Van Gogh museums, Scandinavian fjords, Oslo Sculpture Park, reindeer sausage, fish market in Bergen, everything Beatles in Liverpool, Edinburgh Castle, having tea and scones at Windsor Castle and seeing the shows ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ in London and ‘The King and I’ at The Palladium were some of the highlights. The ship excursions are somewhat overpriced so we research the ports and like to self explore. The historic significance of Irish, Scottish and English churches, catacombs, and castles I omnipresent. Westminster Abbey is a must do experience. Do not let the line/wait deter you. Embarking and disembarking is a breeze on The Marina. We’ve already booked a 180 day around-the-world cruise on the Regatta for 2020. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Overall the trip was pretty wonderful. My unfortunate experience in the infirmary (see below) marred an otherwise terrific voyage. We mainly dined in the buffet area, which we found to be very good or excellent with plenty of variety, ... Read More
Overall the trip was pretty wonderful. My unfortunate experience in the infirmary (see below) marred an otherwise terrific voyage. We mainly dined in the buffet area, which we found to be very good or excellent with plenty of variety, helpful/attentive staff and the some of best desserts we've ever tasted. So a special nod of appreciation to the dessert chef(s) and helpers. The ship in general was well appointed, decorated beautifully and kept quite pristine; 'ship-shape' as they say. Our starboard room was quite nice with a comfortable mattress, very nice bathroom facilities, with a small balcony. Our helpful steward offered suggestions about the ship and shore excursions. Plentiful brochures and daily activities sheets insured you know what was happening that day. Free internet was an extra plus, though we were sometimes out of range or it was just erratic. In contrast to other cruises I've been on, the explanation of its use was very clear. We did not attend the shipboard entertainment/Activities except the "Trivia" quizzes, which we enjoyed a great deal. The excursions we took were well planned with knowledgeable guides. Our tour to the Hermitage was well done but very crowded even on Monday when only cruise ship passengers are allowed. Don't miss a trip to a separate building which houses the Impressionists. It was far less crowded and felt much less frenetic. A general tour of Berlin was another highlight with time allowed to have lunch at one of the very pleasant outdoor restaurants. My further comments will be focused on my medical care experience aboard ship. I'm a retired Internal Medicine physician and the condition for which I went to infirmary is well known to me, having treated patients with it for many years. Suffice it to say I was over-treated and forced to stay in the infirmary overnight. I was told unless I submitted to this doctor's treatment I would be thrown off the ship at Tallinn, Estonia, our next stop. I was told I would be forced to take an ambulance to Tallinn to be examined by the doctors there unless my condition (a heart rhythm disturbance) abated. Thru this entire ordeal, I emphasize to the readers of this review I was in no way acutely ill. I only required oral medication to control my heart rate which I had forgotten. Fortunately the condition abated and I was finally discharged the next morning. And given the oral medicine (Cardizem) I should have received at the outset. IMO, this doctor produced a phony-medical emergency situation, either because he did not understand the condition or because of the fees he would charge...see below. Trying to be fair, the charge for this entire episode, which involved NO: x-rays, consultations, MRI or CT scans and and only scant blood work was outlandish. There was only minimal and inexpensive IV medication, a few EKGs and overnight monitoring. The fee IMO should have been at most $1000-1500. The fee for these services was, in fact, over $8000. So draw your own conclusions as to which of the two possibilities above is more likely. My Warning is this: 1. Count on exorbitant fees for anything but the most minor medical care. 2. If you are elderly don't even think of boarding a ship without supplemental medical insurance that also covers preexisting conditions (which, of course, are the ones most likely to cause problems). 3. Consider getting the names, in advance, of doctors you can see in the various cities on your trip, should the need arise. 4. Try hard to stay out of the infirmary. 5. Double check you've not forgotten any medication you might need. P.S. We had Allianz insurance,as recommended by our very experienced travel agent, and so the costs were largely covered. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our third Oceania cruise; but it will not be our last. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, with so many fascinating stops. Probably most passengers selected this particular line and cruise because of 3 days in St. ... Read More
This was our third Oceania cruise; but it will not be our last. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, with so many fascinating stops. Probably most passengers selected this particular line and cruise because of 3 days in St. Petersburg; but it was the embarkation port of Stockholm and disembarkation at Amsterdam that made it even better for us; as we spent a few extra days at both ends, visiting Swedish and Dutch friends/seeing what they were most proud about in their hometowns. We like the larger Oceania ships because of the wider choice of specialty restaurants, Red Ginger being our favorite. We like the variety in the Terrace Café; but not the crowds, and only went there when we knew most passengers would be off on shore excursions. Main Dining Room has upped their game, and we no longer feel disappointed to not get into a specialty restaurant - the meals in the MDR are pretty darned good. The treat of a window seat at breakfast in the MDR can't be beat, even if you are eating alone. Our only complaint regarding food was the quality of the beef on this trip. After a few disappointments in Polo, Toscana and the MDR, we stayed away from steaks. A few weeks before our sail date, we were offered an upgrade from Penthouse to Oceania Suite, 11080. My husband has recently been having some mobility issues; so the additional space was welcome and the upgrade price was not off putting. We are among the passengers who take advantage of the butler service, for hot in room breakfasts, shoe shines, in room specialty restaurant dining and all the little touches that a butler can add. Roger, from Goa, was splendid. He was VERY attentive, whether in our suite or in the hallways. He always anticipated our needs. Our steward, Ludavina, and her assistant, Ilsy, were equally efficient and friendly. We took advantage of the classes in the Culinary Center and were delighted to have Annie Copps as the instructor. We had Annie on a previous cruise on the Riviera and love her style of teaching. The classes have been shortened by a half hour; although Annie generally goes a bit over. Everything we made was delicious. In our three cruises, we have yet to make it to the evening entertainment. We do love the live music in other venues. We did go to High Tea several times - lovely service of sweets and savory with a good choice of tea. We tried LuggageFree.com this time, pre-shipping our larger, heavier suitcases. They were at the door when we arrived at our room at noon on embarkation days. Disembarkation using this service did not go as smoothly; as most employees in the Port of Amsterdam were unfamiliar with the service. In the end, all was well, and our bags arrived at home a few days ahead of the promised delivery. We will use this service again. We took only two shore excursions with Oceania, Helsinki Panoramic by Water and Panoramic Gdansk. The tour guide on the first was boring and a bit hard to understand, and the tour was generally disappointing. The guide in Gdansk was exceptional, knowledgeable, good English skills and the tour was interesting. However, the tour was listed as Easy, with little walking, which was not the case. One person of the 13 on the tour actually choose to stay on the bus and napped, because he could not walk distances. More than an hour into a walk on cobblestone, I asked the guide how much longer we were going to be walking; as many of us had chosen the excursion because it was listed as having minimal walking. She responded by letting those of us who wanted to shop or get something to drink separated for 40 minutes - 6 of us went to a sidewalk café and had a cold beverage, 2 went off shopping, and the other 4 stayed with the guide. We did the first day of the 2-day Comfort Tour in St. Petersburg with Alla. It was very well done; but the long morning in the crowded Hermitage nearly did my husband in, even with his walker. Lunch at a nice small restaurant was delicious, canal cruise was lovely, and there was just enough time for souvenir shopping (World Cup stuff for my grandchildren). We did Bruges on our own - sharing a taxi from port to town with another couple. Loved our day there!!!! Hop On Hop Off in Copenhagen was a bit disappointing; but the shopping adjacent to the dock was great for gifts and amber. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise based on its itinerary and a recommendation from a frequent Oceania cruiser. We’re glad we did. We loved it! It will most likely not be our last Oceania cruise. Embarkation: We arrived at the port in Stockholm ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on its itinerary and a recommendation from a frequent Oceania cruiser. We’re glad we did. We loved it! It will most likely not be our last Oceania cruise. Embarkation: We arrived at the port in Stockholm at approximately 1pm and we were on the ship in a matter of minutes. We were told our room was ready as well. Dining was available in the Terrace Café buffet. It was a little chaotic, but not as bad as I anticipated. By the time we finished our lunch and toured the public areas, our luggage had been delivered to our room. Service: We found the service to be uniformly excellent throughout the ship. Restaurant, bar, housekeeping, and desk staff were always friendly and accommodating. Dining: The Grand Dining Room and all the specialty restaurants were all excellent. Service was always very prompt. Unlike many of the reviews I’ve read, we never found the service to be slow or meals prolonged. Our favorite restaurant was Jacques, and we were fortunate to have eaten there twice. We enjoyed Waves Bar for lunch. The port-rich itinerary, however, prevented us from having many lunches on board, so we didn’t take advantage of this often. We ate all breakfasts at the Terrace. If the port disembarkation was early, it was often very crowded and, occasionally difficult to find a table. The weather was often nice, though, so we had many lovely breakfasts al fresco. We only ate dinner and lunch there a couple of times, and I thought the food was OK – better than other cruise line buffets, but not as good as the sit-down restaurants. Enrichment and activities: A well-travelled couple collaborated on port presentations covering history and points-of-interest. These were enjoyable presentations with good background information. The ship offered cooking and art classes, but we did not participate. The ship had daily trivia and other contests, but we seldom participated. My wife enjoyed a needlepoint gathering on our sole sea day. The pool area was pleasant, never crowded, and extremely well maintained and attended. Entertainment: The string quartet and pianist playing before dinner and in the lounges were very good. Having a cocktail and listening to them was always a good way to spend part of the day. The onboard singers and dancers were pretty good and the shows they put on were entertaining. Stage shows were presented at 9:30 each night, and we attended all but one. Peter Cutler, a singer with a comic bent, performed two shows. We thought his shows were average and his voice overshadowed by the band. “Five O’Clock Somewhere” also performed two shows, with the second having an Irish theme. We found them to be original and much more entertaining with emphasis on technology; they relied very little on the ship’s band. Samantha Ivey performed two shows as well. She had a strong voice, and we enjoyed both of her performances. Public spaces: Overall, the ship is beautiful. The lounges and bars are very nice. The library is quite large and well stocked with books and games. It was heavily used when we had the rare bit of bad weather. Disembarkation: We did rely on house staff to move our luggage. We went to one of the lounges at 8 to await our chosen 8:30 time. We were in the cab line at Amsterdam’s port within minutes of our group being called. There was no passport control. Ports: We thoroughly enjoyed all ten of the ports we visited. We did little in Klaipeda and Warnemunde/Rostock, but still enjoyed them. We took no ship-sponsored excursions. We used SPB Tours in St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Tallinn, and Gdansk. We used free walking tours supplemented by guide books in Copenhagen and Bruges. We stayed in Stockholm two days prior to the cruise. We took a Stromma canal cruise in Stockholm, toured Gamla Stan and visited the Vasa museum. At the conclusion of the cruise, we stayed in Amsterdam for three days. We used the HOHO bus, but found it inconvenient. We bought tram tickets and did much walking to tour the markets, Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank house, Flagship canal cruise, et al. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Chose Oceania because of the itinerary (combination of Baltic Sea and Norway) and reviews. The itinerary was perfect. All ports were very interesting and added to our knowledge base (not one "bad" or "boring" port.) ... Read More
Chose Oceania because of the itinerary (combination of Baltic Sea and Norway) and reviews. The itinerary was perfect. All ports were very interesting and added to our knowledge base (not one "bad" or "boring" port.) The ship itself was perfect. Calling it "ship shape" would be doing it a disservice. Every inch of the ship was spotless, had beautifully decorated public rooms (including the bars), and was decorated with modern art (all over!!) Food was wonderful. Got to eat in each of the 4 specialty restaurants twice. Toscana was our favorite with Pepin's and Red Ginger a close second. The Polo Grill needed help with service. We are not buffet people but with the choices and special evenings at the buffet, we ate more dinners in the buffet area than the main dining room. In Vegas you would pay at least $50 per person for something like Marina's buffet. By the way, sign up for the galley tour - fascinating! Cabin was a Penthouse Suite (#11060). Perfect - - cleaned twice a day, Butler (Roger was great), large, and comfortable. Embarkation and Disembarkation was as easy as checking out of a hotel. Smooth. Only negative (and a major one for us) - - the Port and Shore Excursions. This trip was for "old" people with the average age being at least 70. Unfortunately, a lot of them are "infirmed" in some way and going on excursions slows down and limits what you are able to see. A 4 hour excursion is more like a 3 hour excursion - - people have trouble getting on/off the bus, in/out of their seats, slow walking, trouble hearing. Our best excursions were the ones we booked ourselves through the internet. My suggestion would be to book as many "private" tours as possible. With all this said, I would certainly cruise with Oceania again. Read Less
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