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2 Oceania Barbados Cruise Reviews

We were interested in getting to some of the countries in West Africa and this cruise included three stops (Togo, Benin, Sao Tome) as well as two countries in South Africa (Namibia & South Africa). The staff were very supportive. The ... Read More
We were interested in getting to some of the countries in West Africa and this cruise included three stops (Togo, Benin, Sao Tome) as well as two countries in South Africa (Namibia & South Africa). The staff were very supportive. The Cruise Director (Leslie) was Outstanding at managing the afternoon Trivia (best we've encountered in over 30 cruises). This was important because we had nine sea days. He was helped by an amazing group of guests who supported Leslie and each of the other teams which made it fun, friendly and definitely not a "blood sport". In terms of visibility, the Executive Chef (Farid) was also Outstanding in that he "was everywhere" checking on guests and pitching in to help if his team needed assistance. When we would comment to him about his visibility and helpfulness, he would always just say that it is his team that is doing all the work. The General Manager (Damien) was also very visible and one day when we happened to be riding in the elevator with him and said we wanted to book an appointment to see him about a problem, he got off with us and gave us our cabin number because he was already aware of the problem. He continued to monitor the problem and bring the resources he could to solve it (heat in the cabin). Our only problem was the heat (or lack of cooling) in the cabin while the outside temperature was above 20 C (68 F). The first night the cabin could not drop below 27 C (80.6 F). With multiple visits from the A/C engineer and intervention by the General Manager, they got it down to 21 C (70 F) even though the A/C that was coming out of the ceiling vent was 19.5 C (67 F). For some reason, the cold air could not fall down to the bed/chair level. I believe it is a challenge of the "R Class" ships that need a revamp of their HVAC system. The other thing that was interesting was that this cruise was the second leg of an Oceania "Around The World" (ATW) cruise. Out of the 640 guests, almost 200 were on the ATW. It was very interesting dining with a variety of guests, many of whom were ATW cruisers. We very much enjoyed the food in any of the dining rooms as we had expected with Oceania. However, while the Italian Specialty restaurant was run perfectly as you would expect of a Specialty restaurant, we found the steak house, Polo Grill, to be more of "another dining room with a Specialty Dining Menu". It was the small touches that were there in Toscana that were missing in Polo. We were fortunate in that Oceania had included three Enrichment Lecturers, each was very knowledgeable and had a large number of talks so that on many of the sea days we could actually get three lectures. One was on Photography, one on Destinations and History of Atlantic exploration and the third was an extremely capable lady who had lectures ranging from Food History to Music evolution (she is a professional Violist) to evolution based on skeleton finds in Africa. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was a segment of the 180 round the world cruise. I booked because I was interested in the destination - Cape Town - and the ports of call along the west African coast. There was little to complain about on the ship, as I didn't ... Read More
This was a segment of the 180 round the world cruise. I booked because I was interested in the destination - Cape Town - and the ports of call along the west African coast. There was little to complain about on the ship, as I didn't experience any mishaps (unlike some others, as there seemed to be a high rate of injuries aboard ship, that were dealt with in a ranging matter of efficiency) The food was the emphasis of the ship's offering. Both the MDR and the indoor / outdoor buffet, offered a great variety and high quality of food. I was especially impressed that they sourced food locally along the way, and we had the opportunity to eat some very fresh fish. People call the service slow, but I didn't find it especially so. As others mention, this is not a ship to join for a high quality and variety of entertainment. I had seen many of acts on other ships (Azamara and Celebrity). The port lectures were better than average. Many were well entertained by Trivia, by the astronomy lectures and by the artist's corner. As also mentioned, there is not much night life on this ship. A few times 20 or so people committed to stirring up some later night dancing but mostly the ship was in the z zone around 10:30. I have one complaint about this ship, which is the lack of attention given to outdoor areas that are my favorite place to be on board these R ships - the promenade deck and the 11th floor deck. The promenade deck was only grudgingly serviced. Chair covers ripped or non- existent (when they bothered to put the chairs out) and the deck often closed for maintenance or wind. On Azamara these decks are the most popular place for people who really love to experience the sea and read a book. I was not happy at how seldom I was able to enjoy this experience on board. In response to my feedback, the general manager said that the emphasis was on food which I found a bit of a cop out. How much effort does it take to go ahead and service this area. It was truly puzzling. The itinerary for this cruise was fascinating. I knew the ports were not traditional ports of call, and everyone on the ship was very educated and willing to throw themselves into new experience of touring some of the most disadvantaged countries in the world. It was eye opening for all of us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
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