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225 Oceania Barcelona Cruise Reviews

I had chosen Oceania because of their highly rated cuisine. This cruise did not disappoint. We are first time cruisers with this line and this itinerary. From start to finish...the room, the wait staff, the cuisine, the excursions, the ... Read More
I had chosen Oceania because of their highly rated cuisine. This cruise did not disappoint. We are first time cruisers with this line and this itinerary. From start to finish...the room, the wait staff, the cuisine, the excursions, the overall atmosphere of understated elegance. So many places to sit and enjoy the cruise life and even dealing with the nitty gritty (laundrettes on each floor were very popular). We dined in each specialty restaurant...Red Ginger, Polo Grill, Toscana and Jacques. Each offered interesting choices and were true to the cuisine of the culture. And as always, you felt like royalty. A sweet bonus (and veddy proper) was tea at 4pm. Choices of teas, sandwiches and scrumptious desserts kept you sated until dinner. The show was very entertaining combining actual entertainers and on screen clips of Broadway shows and stars. I even noticed the artwork on each floor was beautifully done. Excursions were just the right length of time, with great tour guides. The longest day was Florence and Pisa and you do need more time to cover those areas. Embarkation and Disembarking was efficient and quick.It was wonderful and I am looking forward to another Oceania cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We selected this cruise, because other friends were going. There were very few children in this cruise. It is more for mature adults and senior citizens The Riviera is an excellent ship. Embarkation and disembarkation went ... Read More
We selected this cruise, because other friends were going. There were very few children in this cruise. It is more for mature adults and senior citizens The Riviera is an excellent ship. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The kitchen took a long time to serve at night and it was very difficult to be on time for entertainment and other activities. As a general rule, the experience was very good, but some of the tours offered by Oceania were below standards. Ex: we had selected SCENIC CADIZ AND FLAMENCO. The brochure promised at the end of the tour (approximately 12 Noon) to take us to a "Tablao Flamenco La Cava", but the tour guide was instructed to take us at the beginning of the tour (9 AM). Obviously they had included ham, cheese, bread and sangria, but everyone had breakfast at 8 AM; therefore, we couldn't eat or drink anything. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
It covered 9 ports in Spain alone. And had a terrific small as well as larger ports. We did not use the cruise line’s tours but booked thru Spain Day Tours which were really terrific and we’re less costly than the ships’. The ... Read More
It covered 9 ports in Spain alone. And had a terrific small as well as larger ports. We did not use the cruise line’s tours but booked thru Spain Day Tours which were really terrific and we’re less costly than the ships’. The food was excellent and except for Red Ginger (where the service and food was not great) all the other venues were top notch. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth and fast. The shops cleanlines was exemplary. The crew always had a smile and always greeted you. They were all wonderful. We visited Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, Cadiz (Seville), Almeria, Cartagena, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca and Palamós. The specialty restaurants: Polo grill was very good, Jacques was also very good, Toscana was also excellent. The buffet grill was out of this world with its tremendous variety of selections. Room service was very quick and superb. The concierge lounge on the 9th floor was a disappointment as the snack selection was pitiful. Overall the cruise was excellent and good value for its cost. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I thought the itinerary was varied and interesting with a few places we had previously visited and a few we had not. Noticed a decline in service especially in Terrace Cafe plus only one fresh vegetable served almost everyday, broccoli, ... Read More
I thought the itinerary was varied and interesting with a few places we had previously visited and a few we had not. Noticed a decline in service especially in Terrace Cafe plus only one fresh vegetable served almost everyday, broccoli, cauliflower, zuchinni mixed vegetables! Almost as many supervisors in shirt and tie as server/helpers but doing very little to help! The dinner selections in the Grand Dining Room seemed of lesser quality than on prior cruises on the same ship or the Regatta. The entertainment overall seemed improved, but predominantly from the UK whereas the majority of passengers are still from the USA. Also, the afternoon Tea seemed to have fewer food choices. Both the Cruise Director and his partner and Assistant Cruise Director were both from the UK and little too flamboyant for our tastes. There were several tender ports. It seemed little attention was given to those who might not do well with stairs going down to the tender deck. Some tender operations seemed in need of a little more training in tender operation. Finally, I must say this Captain may do a good job, but was not particularly cordial to customers even dining at an adjoining table! The ABSOLUTE worst part of this cruise was the disembarkation on the final day! It was totally disorganized, no calling by color and number to disembark. a total stampede with no sign of any ship officers to thank the passengers! It was a horrible mess at too small a terminal facility for this ship too! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We are a “retired” couple in our late 60s (most passengers were in their 60s/70s) with more than 30 cruises with different lines (Windstar, Azamara, Celebrity, Princess, Star Clippers, Norwegian, and a couple more) ; however, this was ... Read More
We are a “retired” couple in our late 60s (most passengers were in their 60s/70s) with more than 30 cruises with different lines (Windstar, Azamara, Celebrity, Princess, Star Clippers, Norwegian, and a couple more) ; however, this was our first on Oceania. Of note, there were more than a handful of children but no children’s programs. We don’t imbibe much and don’t purchase drink packages, nor do we drink wine. These would be extra charges without the O’Life package which we did not choose (booked cruise only). We upgraded to a concierge level stateroom 10 days before sailing but failed to utilize the amenities included at that level much. The sailing’s 15-day itinerary was Barcelona (overnight), Valencia, Palma de Majorca, and Palamos (Spain), Toulon (France), Monaco (overnight); Antibes (France), La Spezia (for Cinque Terre Italy), Ajaccio (Corsica), Livorrno (for Florence/Tuscany), Sorrento/Capri, Amalfi/Positano, and disembarkation at Civitavecchia (for Rome), Italy. It did not have, any sea days We booked our own air and the cruise line’s transfer from the airport (would recommend finding other transfer or a taxi as it would have been about half-price). Booked a shared van transfer for disembarkation to the airport. We arrived before 9 am, but needed to wait for other flight arrivals before being transferred to the ship. Embarkation was not available until noon ; however, concierge level access to stateroom was at 1 pm. Embarkation was smooth except for the carryon items being scanned through security taking awhile due to the quantity of new passengers arriving about the same time. Buffet lunch was available immediately. Oceania’s policy in the Terrace Café (buffet) for breakfast and lunch is that all food is served by their staff. You cannot serve yourself even a roll. There is outdoor seating there. While dinner is also available there, we eat in the dining room or at a specialty restaurant for all dinners. Specialty restaurants are by reservation only and the main dining room is available 6:30-9:30 (anytime dining). There are four specialty restaurants where only one reservation per is available to book online prior to sailing. Additional dinners in these specialty dining rooms are available to book the day of your choice of additional dining there. Early times were hard to come by; the menu was always the same in each restaurant , but the menu options varied greatly in each. Jacques served French food, Red Ginger Asian, Tuscana Italian, and Polo Grill was a Steakhouse mainly. Food was good in all; however, we felt for a luxury line touted as a superb culinary experience, it wasn’t much above average to the lines we sailed, and not superb. The Grand Dining Room did offer more of a variety than most lines’ MDR. Stateroom – Concierge room was the same as a regular veranda with a king bed (282 sq. ft including balcony), loveseat and table, desk area, and plenty of closet space and drawers The marble bathroom with plenty of storage around the sink area (plus two shelves next to the toilet) was slightly larger than most premium/luxury lines as it had a separate tub with shower head and a regular shower with glass door (albeit small). The mini-bar with soda, bottled sparkling water, and other mixers is restocked daily if you ask the room steward to keep your favorites in there, You can remove those furnished that you don’t use. The line has converted to a glass container of water which is refilled as needed. When going ashore, bottled water in plastic containers is available when disembarking. Concierge class has a key-entry lounge available 24/7 with snacks, coffee and other beverages. We had room service for breakfast twice when we had early tours which came with a tablecloth en suite. Four suite categories are available with butlers. Public rooms – Public rooms were a generous size and furnished nicely as expected on a luxury line. The ship’s singers/dancers were excellent , the caliber of a Broadway show in NYC. Some of the other entertainment was not as good, especially the magicians. The pool deck was of sufficient size with padded lounge chairs and cotton coverings. Horizons Bar at the top of the ship had good entertainment by a trio who sang a variety of musical genre; and a string quartet who played nightly in another lounge area outside the Grand Dining Room. There was table-tennis and shuffleboard, as well as putt-putt golf. The spa and fitness center were large and my massage was very good. The Sanctuary area was available to Concierge level and above guests. Casino was small and on board shopping was as expected for a luxury line. Shore Excursions – Since my husband is lacking in physical mobility (not good on hills or uneven pavement and unable to stand or walk for extended time periods), we elected to purchase 7 ship excursions in advance as there was a special 20% discount for that quantity. Overall we were disappointed in those; although they were rated correctly for difficulty, IMHO they lacked good content. This is a very subjective topic, so maybe others enjoyed them We also took a few independent excursions arranged by cruise critic roll call members and as one would expect, they were better. Service – We found the service to be good, but no staff went above and beyond IMO and the room steward was lacking a bit, in our opinion. Ports of call – We were disappointed with a few, but it may have been we were unhappy with the excursion which tainted our opinion. Much of Italy we had previously visited and were excited to return to, as well as Monaco which we felt didn’t need the overnight, although one could take an excursion out of town to utilize the extra time there. Would we choose Oceania again? Probably not as we felt they didn’t meet our expectations which were high for the culinary and luxury aspects of the line. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We are well traveled and go to Europe quite often and have traveled to Asia. We chose this trip because of the great itinerary. From Barcelona to Rome the only disappointing stop for us was Corsica. The basics: We were on the Marina ... Read More
We are well traveled and go to Europe quite often and have traveled to Asia. We chose this trip because of the great itinerary. From Barcelona to Rome the only disappointing stop for us was Corsica. The basics: We were on the Marina in Room 9103. We liked our room but felt that it wasn't worth the money to pay for "concierge" level. The included free laundry service was nice, though. Dining: We liked the specialty restaurants, both for the food and the service. We don't particularly like cafeterias and found the buffet service was really chaotic in the mornings.. As a result, we often had breakfast in the Grand Dining Room. It was more enjoyable but service was slow. We ate there for dinner as well. Meals ranged from mediocre to quite good. The quality of service varied quite a bit here. Wine: It was overpriced. We felt that Oceania was not happy when we would order just a glass of wine rather than a bottle. And, how could our $58 bottle of wine end up costing $74?? Between required tipping and added tax we felt ripped off. I've never seen Italy add tax on wine. Oceania had no problem in doing so. Shore Excursions: What a rip off. First, I don't understand why most of the excursions were half day tours. What with drive time there is little time to actually see a place. What is the point of having a 7pm sail away when the ship brings you back at 1pm? Please, do your homework - do not take the ship's offering and do your own excursions instead. The only intended excursion we signed up for was to Girona and Figueres. It was $225 each. Because of an injury the ship's doctor ordered me to stay back and have my foot elevated. The ship refused to credit me because I had only given two days notice when I needed to have given 4 days. I sent a letter to the president of Oceania about this. He hasn't given the courtesy of a reply. Because of my injury we decided not to go to Marseilles alone and instead took the ship's tour. I knew all of the places to see. While we did see the basilica the tour guide took us to a shopping mall so we could go to a chain department store. I do not travel 5000 miles to go to a shopping mall. This excursion was quite expensive as all of Oceania's appear to be. When complaining to the excursion desk I was told that the local guides get to do whatever they want. Apparently Oceania's role is to collect the money. Barcelona: Fabulous city. We keep returning to it - easy to do on your own. Valencia: This was new to us. We loved the city - did it on our own. Monte Carlo: St Paul de Vence was a combination of train and taxi and then going back a bus and train. Quite easy to do. The next day we also took the train. Antibes: We took a train and uber to Mougins. Fabulous artsy town; then we went to Biot before taking uber back to the ship. La Spezia: We have been to Cinque Terre several times so hired a driver to take us to Lucca. The ship's excursion there would have been mostly driving. Livorno: We took a private tour to Volterra and San Gimignano with other CC people. Would we go with Oceania again? No. When the head of the company can't be bothered to reply to my letter it's time to move on and go back to land touring. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I chose this cruise on a combination of dining expectations,itinerary and luxury. Dining experiences were limited to your five special restaurants on a 14 day cruise. That meant main dining or buffet. The dining room was pretty but ... Read More
I chose this cruise on a combination of dining expectations,itinerary and luxury. Dining experiences were limited to your five special restaurants on a 14 day cruise. That meant main dining or buffet. The dining room was pretty but slow,the buffet was good but not what I paid all the $ for. Alcohol was exorbitant with mixed drink for $12 plus 28%gratuites and VAT. Decent bottles of wine in port went for $12 that the cruise charged 30 plus 28%. The service was just ok in restaurants. While leaving buffet I asked for a glass of juice and the maitre dee said I needed a table number. At a buffet! The WiFi is terrible. Do not expect to check on upcoming ports while at sea. The IT guy told me that too many people were on it and maybe if I left my room door open I could get a better signal. Luxury? Never called for disembarking either. Just sat there for two hours in public room and noticed every one was just leaving. I really wanted this cruise to be special and looked forward to celebrating my wife and my 60th on it. Disappointed with Oceania for calling this a luxury trip. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We choose to sail with Oceania as we had done so twice before & found them to be excellent. Everything is very well organized no matter what the aspect of the ship is - shipboard muster, restaurants, cleaning, tours, barista, afternoon ... Read More
We choose to sail with Oceania as we had done so twice before & found them to be excellent. Everything is very well organized no matter what the aspect of the ship is - shipboard muster, restaurants, cleaning, tours, barista, afternoon tea, activities, disbursement of nightly & daily information on ports, activities, weather, etc. The food was very good whether it was the buffet, the 4 specialty restaurants, the dining room, etc. We thought there was plenty of storage space. One should not bring 3 or 4 large suitcases & expect to have storage for all those articles of clothing, although that may??? possible. The ship was always VERY clean whether it was our stateroom or the ship in general. Many times we would pass the staff cleaning the walls, "public" bathrooms, hallways, dining areas, etc. We did not go to any of the shows so I can't comment on them. There were very few children on board & the few that were, were very young. Most people I would say were 60 years and older. Although we only took one of the Mariner's tours, the guide was very good and very informative. My one negative comment (on all Oceania's cruises that we have been on) is that we do think that the ship's tours are very expensive. Lastly, unfortunately on our May 3, 2019 from Barcelona to Rome (Civitavecchia) disembarkation was a nightmare. From what we were told, the Italian security or customs (I'm not sure exactly who/whom) was late in doing their job once the Mariner pulled into port. Consequently their tardiness, inefficiency (whatever the "issue" with the Italian officials) caused a real problem with the disembarkation of passengers. Needless to say people were anxious about getting to the airport on time, trains, etc. The first couple of colors & numbers on the luggage tags were announced, but after that it was out of control & a free for all. The process snowballed out of control due to the inefficiency of the Italian officials and then the Mariner inefficiency of not continuing with their sequence of disembarking passengers. Once off the ship the amount of people in the disembarkation hall was not manageable. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My husband decided that he wanted to go to Europe for our 20th Anniversary. Because he has mobility (balance) issues a walking tour would not work for us. After research we decided to do a Mediterranean Cruise. We chose Oceania because ... Read More
My husband decided that he wanted to go to Europe for our 20th Anniversary. Because he has mobility (balance) issues a walking tour would not work for us. After research we decided to do a Mediterranean Cruise. We chose Oceania because of the Itinerary and the size of the ship. Our only other cruise was 4 years ago on Princess to Alaska and both of us hated the size of the ship, 4,000 people was not fun for us. Ship and Cabin: As I said the size was great. Lots of seating in the common areas (although the Terrace Cafe got pretty crowded at dinner time). Our Concierge Suite was nice with lots of storage for our clothes and room under the bed for our suitcases. Saw lots of debate about Concierge cost vrs. perks but have to say that in this port intensive cruise we appreciated being able to have a hot breakfast delivered to us prior to our tours. Also we often did not get lunch ashore and missed lunch service so the little sandwiches in the Concierge Lounge were welcomed. I took advantage of the expresso machine in the lounge first thing every morning. We also took full advantage of the 3 free bags of laundry. So for us this choice worked well. Dining: We ate in all four specialty restaurants and our favorites were Red Ginger and Pollo. Red Ginger was delicious and everything was presented beautifully we were seated with another couple and had a good time. Our only cons would be the noise level in the restaurant was terrible and the seats had such a back slant that they were very uncomfortable - not surprisingly these comments repeated themselves when we talked with other passengers. Pollo was also delicious and we did not the same issue with noise and comfort. My husband liked Jacques but I was not such a fan. I would rate it okay. Really did not like Toscana - my veal scallopini marsala was a disaster, more like veal picatta that had been but in a different sauce. The Caesar Salad was tasteless. One thing that Oceania does with the specialty restaurants is you either have to chose dine with others or dine alone and that choice applies to all of the restaurants. At all the restaurants except Jacques we were seated with one other couple, at Jacques (which was on our Anniversary - something they knew in advance) we were seated with two couples one of which was a conversation dominator - it was the least enjoyable dinner of the cruise. Enjoyed the main dining room where we sometimes dined with others and sometimes dined alone. Terrace Cafe was my least favorite but I do not like buffets, my husband was fine with it. Had breakfast and lunch a couple of times at Waves and had the best rueben sandwich I have ever had. We also enjoyed the fresh juice bar in the morning and Baristas. Entertainment and Activities: After a full day we found we were too tired for the Evening Entertainment so we never made it to any of the shows. I did do one of the culinary kitchen classes and enjoyed it, I think if you like cooking you would enjoy these classes. Also went to a photography class that was supposed to be on using Photoshop - it was a complete waste of time. Stayed for the painting class which was fun, although I am definately no painter. Went to a "so called" scarf tying class, which taught me a few new ways but was more about selling scarves. Service: Great, we are pretty low maintenance but everyone was very helpful. My husband needed help at the Terrace Cafe and there was always someone to carry his plate for him from station to station. Ports and Shore excursions: We enjoyed all 12 different ports of call. Had nine excursions, 2 private and 7 ship tours. Of the ships tours only two were not great - Highlights of Barcelona and Montserrat was the worst - just a total bore (since it was the first tour of the trip we were very apprehensive about our next tours) and the one in Palma de Mallorca was much more intensive then stated (it was supposed to be appropriate for wheelchairs) and my husband was hard pressed to stay up with the guide. We really enjoyed our Valencia tour and the one to Herculaneum was a stand out alternative to Pompeii. We did one O select excursion to an Olive Orchard - when we arrived on ship we found out that the location had been changed but since we had booked a group of tours for the discount we we not allowed to make any changes. The new location did not have the same type of tour and while the host was great and the lunch delicious it was less than advertised and, in our opinion, way over priced. Our two private tours - one in Monaco to Eze, Nice (which was experiencing a government employee strike and had streets closed so we ended up not stopping) and St. Paul de Vence (my favorite stop for shopping) - we did this tour with a couple we met on Cruise Critic Roll Call and it worked out great; and a our second tour was in Liverno to Florence for the Ufizzi and L'Academia with a private guide. Both tours were through Papillon Services and we have nothing but high praise for them. We have nothing but high praise for Oceania's tender crews. We experienced some big swells and they managed to get us safely off and on the ship. Even my husband, with his balance issues, started to fall backwards once but the two tenders caught him as he was falling and helped him get is balance and get him seated. In Monaco it was so bad that they ended up cancelling the tenders around 6 PM, luckily the ship was already scheduled to dock later that evening and we were able to get on board once they docked. When the tenders were cancelled the officer told us "be glad we are shutting it down, it would have been the worse tender in your life" and the stories from the people on that last tender certainly backed his words up. Everyone was safely gotten on board but it was a very scary trip and only the tender workers skill kept everyone safe. Pre and Post Hotel Experience: This is were things kind of fell apart especially the Post Hotel. First of all Oceania really provides no information in advance. We were on our own in Barcelona our departure port. Luckily my husband requires wheelchair assistance and our wheel chair helper was familiar with where the Oceania Rep. would be waiting (although there were two locations and he was at the second one). We had our own limo and the Oceania Rep traveled with us to the hotel - it was a silent ride until I started asking questions and then the Rep started giving us an introduction to Barcelona, since the trip took an hour from the airport to the hotel his introduction was welcome. Our hotel was very nice (Ohala Eixample), Oceania had no pre stay events but we did learn that breakfast was included (and it was excellent). We were exhausted and in bed by 8. Rome Hotel was a mess. The ladies who greeted us were frazzeled. We were given one time for our departure (two days later) and then a different time was posted on the board and no one was there to ask (even though they said someone would be there). We ended up using the time on the board and it was an hour early - so there we are all checked out with no where to go. My husband and I were second in line to check in with them and they made us sit down and wait to be called. Then as more people lined up they started taking people in order - huh? Breakfast was just okay - a separate buffet from the hotel restaurant. Rome Airport was a whole other story. Our driver spoke no english, which he repeatedly told us, but we were greeted by an Oceania Rep who had a cart and walked us to our check-in. He dealt with the check-in, they noticed that no wheelchair had been ordered and they got one for us. I asked about security and shoes, electronics, toiletries ect. and he explained it all. Cudos to him and Oceania. If we go again I think we have learned that 12 ports is a couple of ports too many. I would not hesitate to use Oceania, all in all it was an unforgettable trip. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
In summary: - mainly cold og luke warm food in most restaurants - totally un-usable internet, and only one user at the time per stateroom - not acceptable in 2019 - Insulting missing invitation to captains coctail . although I ... Read More
In summary: - mainly cold og luke warm food in most restaurants - totally un-usable internet, and only one user at the time per stateroom - not acceptable in 2019 - Insulting missing invitation to captains coctail . although I have sailed with this ship twice before -they have no clue about former guests . a lot of errors in pour group booking, ended up in costing us over 600 USD extra - no will to sort this either from the ship og from the cruise line - arrogant reception crew - totally unsocial captain - Furniture too big for dining room - lest no room for walking in between Ship came from dock, and the cleanliness in the cabins was way below par - also a lot of noncense with the extra drink package that our group were promised - this cruise line are not keeping to their word. We were 44 people in our group - we will not travel with this cruise line again! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
As repeat Regent users we thought we’d give a try to its sister company, understanding that given the larger size of Oceania vessels we would have a somewhat different experience. We had heard that the food and beverage in particular was ... Read More
As repeat Regent users we thought we’d give a try to its sister company, understanding that given the larger size of Oceania vessels we would have a somewhat different experience. We had heard that the food and beverage in particular was considered superior to Regent’s. Most emphatically that is not the case. Oceania’s larger variety does not mean better quality offerings and definitely not better service. With the exception of Toscana and Jacques, meals throughout were average. With the exception of the Illy Baristas coffee bar, the quality of coffee elsewhere is remarkably uneven and poor. Overall, the sincere, uniform warmth and attentiveness ever present in Regent’s staff is glaringly absent here. And while this is not to say that Riviera’s service is poor, it can best be described as 4-star vs the Regent’s consistent 5 stars. The experience for independent cruisers is diminished by the proliferation of groups on board Riviera. Will stay with Regent or Crystal after this failed experiment with Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise because of the luxurious rooms and service, and the smaller number of people on board. We were very pleased with the service and accommodations, the food was superb in every restaurant, and the amenities such as spa, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the luxurious rooms and service, and the smaller number of people on board. We were very pleased with the service and accommodations, the food was superb in every restaurant, and the amenities such as spa, exercise room, butler service, etc was exceptional. We couldn’t ask for a better ship and crew. Our butler was extremely knowledgeable and helpful to us. All of the staff on the ship were very accommodating and pleasant at all times. We really felt like they were genuine in their actions. We took a cooking class and had a lot of fun learning how to cook Mediterranean food. The restaurants were exceptional and all gave a top class experience from the wait staff, food, wine, etc. the travel overnight to the next port was a great way to move from port to port each day. The embarking to port was easy and usually close to town for walking or catching a taxi. The tours were well planned and easy to access. A few shorter tours at each port (2-3 hours) would have been helpful to add to the tour options. Overall the cruise was exceptional and I will consider other cruises on Oceania! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My partner and I are frequent cruisers - 6 in 12 months including Regent (1), Celebrity (2), Viking River (2) and Oceania (1 and done!) We specifically chose the Barcelona to Miami transatlantic crossing for its more numerous stops (6) ... Read More
My partner and I are frequent cruisers - 6 in 12 months including Regent (1), Celebrity (2), Viking River (2) and Oceania (1 and done!) We specifically chose the Barcelona to Miami transatlantic crossing for its more numerous stops (6) and especially those in Canary Islands. The second night on board, we were informed by captain that due to weather system they had been monitoring for days /weeks ahead expected to hit Tenerife we would divert to Gibraltar post Malaga, Spain...implying we would stop in Gibraltar which we are NOT doing. (We were not given any advance notice of weather before embarkation although Florida head office had been monitoring with Captain for days/ weeks out...). We are now stuck on board this ship for 8 days straight and have been told there will be no accommodation financially for TWO missed ports although the cruise line is saving significantly in not making these stops! We were also told by several frequent Oceania cruisers that they have been previously accomodated for missed ports in Bermuda (for example). Why not this cruise?..... The excursions we are now out are being credited back at 2/3 value with Oceania keeping the 1/3. Because this apparently happens often, we are told this is the “policy and there is nothing anyone on board can do about it. It’s the way it is”. I suggest any future cruisers either avoid taking the “OLife 8 free excursions or go for a $400 pp shipboard credit instead. This will give most maximum hard value should “Florida” head office decide to change cruise course and not accomodate passengers. We were asked to surrender our passports last night for stamping by Spanish Officials today. When we went to retreive them this evening, we were first told after sailing we could pick up. Tonight, reception employees said they needed to keep them due to immigration law. Couldn’t tell us which country’s law required this and neither could a level up in chain of command.....Florida (head office) told them to do it. A further tip from our first Oceania experience — book your own air fare. We paid premium for business class to Barcelona and were given a three flight routing despite there being direct and single stop options out of our Charlotte, NC home city. No option to confirm or reject- this is it and there is nothing that can be s is sooo different than previous experiences with true luxury cruise lines that seek your feedback, agreement on flight selection. Lastly, when we embarked, our safe did not work - it needed new batteries. On evening two, our veranda stateroom bathroom flooded and the TV remote works if turned upside down, depressed and held for quite some time. Also needed toilet maintenance mid cruise. In terms of excursions, there have been two. The first was a half day. We arrived to Guadeleste too early before museum opening and there were no public facilities on board or in the town. The entire bus (35 persons) got to use a single toilet in a bar! We went to Ronda today. No facilities on board and we stopped at a bar after 1.5 hrs. No lunch included in full day tour from 8:30-4:30. Great guide, driver. The tour cost was $149 pp for two hours there, back and 2 hr walking tour with free time / lunch on our own. Hopefully San Juan and Nassau will go as planned. There are a number of excursion cancellations / updates made once we were on board. Some excursions cancelled or changed. There is a broad range of dining options- Terrace Cafe buffet and grill is best. Service, temperature, variety. We have not been to Grand Dining Room b/c we could not get reasonable dining time - wanted 6:30...only 8:30 available. (Shows start at 9:30; they don’t do two.) Went to specialty restaurant Red Ginger. Everything was very good, but not spicy at all. All staffers were OVERLY concerned we might find something too spicy. We had to ask for chili sauce to spice it up. Toscana, Italian themed specialty restaurant, was not up to par. Our table of six had very little positive to say - food not hot, risotto overcooked, lobster chewy, pasta warm, not hot. Polo Grill (think steakhouse) and Jacques (french) next. One thing to note on specialty restaurants - it is nearly impossible to get a table for two. You get stuck with 2-4 other guests you may or may not have anything in common with. Politics came up at our table last night....We went to reservations desk today to ask for table for two going forward. Standard response received - you can have it if you want to eat at 9 pm....see above comments on times for Grand Dining Room.... Happy hour from 5-6 pm in main lounges with BOGO drinks. We took advantage on several nights. Happy hour often seranaded by piano player with niblles served ranging from nuts, chips, pretzels to cheese cubes, sausage puffs, olives. Enrichment activities vary greatly. There is a big emphasis on bridge plus trivia, mensa, two lecturers - a “dna expert” and naval historian. There are PAID enrichment activities as well - two hour culinary institute cooking classes at $69 per class and also paid (fee unknown) art classes with resident artist ...ie painting Mediterranean landscapes, apple studies, etc.... Fitness center is large with plenty of cardio machine variety, free weights, weight machines. While a range of FREE exercise classes taught by an inflexible instructor. Specifically, he did not want to modify classes to accomodate rough seas prefering to cancel them instead. We did finally convince him and he did modify begrudgingly. Nice outdoor walking tracks...I walked thirty miles so far. The staff on board....results are mixed. Our cabin attendant and Terrace Cafe grill team, wait staff are really fantastic. The reception, excursion, concierge, reservation desks and officers are the most non customer focused lot I have ever come across. The cruise line does not empower their employees to make anything right at the time of the occurence which is really a basic customer service principle and particularly found with real luxury brands. Oceania has a long way to go to realize their aspirations to become a REAL luxury cruise line. Scotty, beam us up, please. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise because we haven’t been to the Canary Is., and were looking forward to visiting. As explained earlier, we still haven’t visited them.. The Captain Did the right thing by avoiding the 70ft waves that hit Tenerife. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we haven’t been to the Canary Is., and were looking forward to visiting. As explained earlier, we still haven’t visited them.. The Captain Did the right thing by avoiding the 70ft waves that hit Tenerife. The Company did the wrong thing by not crediting our accounts or offering some compensation for the missed ports and fuel savings. it was also wrong to not totally reimburse passengers for the price of booked tours. Embarkation and disembarkation were handled efficiently. We will not let Oceania book our airfare again. this was their second chance. this time we travelled for 21 hours joining the ship in Barcelona from Phoenix. we actually enjoyed the 8 sea days with no schedules to keep or ABC tours to take. did a bus tour on our own in Malaga, a very lovely town. entertainment on board was to our liking. Yes, the production company is young. But, unlike some, the singers can indeed dance, and the dancers also can sing. a few flat notes here and there. If you want Broadway caliber, those BIG ships or Broadway are the Place for you. all on board staff, except one front desk guy seems to be happy doing their jobs and were very kind. We did meet two women who enjoyed soaking In their tubs. Most of us wish the showers had taken the place of those tubs which just took up valuable space. How small? well, If you dropped your soap you had to open the door to be able to bend down and retrieve it. Hubby says this is the best food at sea, Regent is right there in the running too.we enjoyed all the specialty restaurants. Food at Jacques, as you may guess, is very rich. the main dining room offers a fine selection each meal as well as the waves grill and the big buffet. the special brunch buffet featured all the ice carvings and specialty desserts, and beautiful fruit and.vegie displays. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose Oceania because of their heavily advertised claim that they offered some of the best food on the high seas. We chose the Riviera because the itinerary promised a trans-Atlantic crossing out of Barcelona where we wished to spend ... Read More
We chose Oceania because of their heavily advertised claim that they offered some of the best food on the high seas. We chose the Riviera because the itinerary promised a trans-Atlantic crossing out of Barcelona where we wished to spend some extra days. And the price was right for a veranda cabin. The cruise didn't wholly live up to our hopes. But it was nonetheless an enjoyable experience. The ship itself is very handsome, though suffering a few signs of damage (scratches, bumps, stains here and there). The grand dining room is particularly pleasant, colourful, open, and airy. The cabin was large and attractive, with plenty of room to store a travel wheelchair. Moving around the ship with that wheelchair was very easy because many of the doors are automatic. Staff were friendly and helpful and efficient: cabin steward, waiters, reception desk. The captain was old-style, largely absent and not very communicative. The cruise director, by contrast, was a bit too present – on the television and on the speaker, often telling us what you could read in the daily paper. We didn’t attend most of the entertainment: the dancers were energetic and skilful, the singers unfortunately loud but unimpressive, and the classical quartet unaccountably lacking harmony. Nor did we find the so-called enrichment lecture topics sufficiently interesting to warrant going. What was the idea? Lectures on forensic science on a cruise? And we avoided the few excursions as too pricey. Not a problem: we entertained ourselves on the ship and in the ports. By the way, wifi (for one device at a time) might be included in O'Life but it is terrible even when close to land or a city. Worst I’ve experienced lately. But it is free and the email eventually does come in – well, usually. One of the reasons we chose the Riviera was the fact it promised two stops in the Canaries. That didn’t happen. The prospect of bad weather led the ship authorities to cancel both. So we lost some of the Spain we were looking forward to. Reading the reviews, it seems Oceania has a bad habit of cancelling ports. Disappointing. It is possible we would have made the crossing with Azamara (going at the same time) except it had less Spanish ports in theory. Worth keeping in mind that Oceania's itinerary isn’t a solid promise. And no compensation for their failure to deliver. The cruise did offer other activities: bridge lessons, culinary classes, art classes, assorted games. None of these we sampled. There was some seriously over-priced “private dining,” that wasn’t private at all because you sat at a common table,or so it seemed. Didn’t do that either. Never tried the exercise room but my wife had success twice with the hair services at the Canyon Ranch Spa. One minor plus: a good, free dvd library (by contrast, disappeared from the Azamara Quest anyway). Now as to the food. Three of the specialty restaurants were truly excellent. Unquestionably the most outstanding was Red Ginger, the Asian restaurant: the food delicious and plentiful, novel, varied, and interestingly spiced – the duck and watermelon salad as well as the sea bass were stellar. I found Red Ginger the best specialty restaurant (compared to Azamara, Crystal, Princess, and Holland America) I’ve enjoyed in the past five years. Jacques (French) and Toscana (Italian) were almost as impressive: a fine bouillabaisse and a marvellous dover sole at the first, some superb lamb and a tasty seafood linguine at the second. The one specialty restaurant that was a bit weak (though the crab cakes were fine) was the steakhouse, Polo Grill: I’ve had far tastier ribeye on Azamara's Prime C. The food in the other venues was generally good for lunch and dinner. If the steakhouse failed, the steaks in the buffet (Terrace Café) and the dining room were tasty. The caesar salad everywhere was a pleasure. The room service menu had decent lunch offerings, especially gravlax and a fine cheese plate as well as a novelty (for me) the Lombardy salad and an excellent small steak. The Waves Grill (outside, casual) had the standard fare: burgers, hot dogs (the Mexican a standout), salad makings, etc. Some of the dishes in the buffet restaurant were very good (e.g. the Thanksgiving turkey), most were enjoyable, but there were occasional failures like the paella (bland and mushy). Strangely enough, the appetizers and the soups and the bread seemed the most exciting offerings in the main dining room. The entrees were ok but not memorable – and occasionally poor (e.g. tough lamb, bland fish). Desserts everywhere weren’t outstanding, although the assorted crème brules were very enjoyable, as was the varied cheese plate (far better than on Azamara, but best on Crystal). The weakest dining was at breakfast. The room service only offered a basic, and to my mind substandard (blah breads, fruit bits) , continental menu. The eggs prepared in the buffet and the dining room were never exciting. The bacon didn’t appeal, the sweet breads (danishes etc) were uninteresting but for one fruity semi-muffin (and only occasionally available), the flaccid bagels a shame. But I did try some breakfast fish and lamb chops in the dining room – both were very good, as was the carved ham at a brunch. Also the buffet had tasty smoked salmon and various herring dishes that were welcome. Service in the dining room at breakfast seemed slow, slower than on other occasions. Coffee was only ok. Nothing special in the restaurants. Overly mild from the coffee place Baristas (though some people might prefer such). Better in short on Azamara and Crystal. Wine could be a problem, depending on the time, place, and the wine steward. We had the House Select plan which meant wine by the glass at lunch and dinner. If you had a good wine steward, like Milos, then fine: he always watched to ensure his clients were well served. If you had a rushed or negligent wine steward, then you would go dry during the course of the meal. Oceania needs to hire more wine stewards, train them better, and find more of the quality of Milos. In any case the wine offerings were acceptable but not so good for our tastes (Chilean, Argentine, Spanish reds, German whites) as on Azamara, Princess, and Holland America, and especially on Crystal. In all the cruise was delicious. It does often offer good and varied food, and some of the dishes are just superb. But on the whole Crystal does it better, if at a much higher cost. And Azamara, the more comparable cruise line in price and service, has roughly the same ‘score,’ much good and some not, when it comes to food. However I think Azamara offers even more on ambience, service, entertainment, and excursions. We would likely take another Oceania if the price and itinerary were especially appealing. But we have no plans to do so soon. We’re off on other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this ship and company mainly on the positive reviews , recommendations, and transatlantic crossing itinerary which included stops in the Canary Islands which we had not visited before, and additional sea days which many ... Read More
We chose this ship and company mainly on the positive reviews , recommendations, and transatlantic crossing itinerary which included stops in the Canary Islands which we had not visited before, and additional sea days which many cruises don't offer. Sadly, the Canary Island stops were cancelled due to a large Atlantic storm which had positioned itself over the area during our scheduled port call. The Captain and company decided to skip this area and continue on to San Juan. This decision was a correct one but another port call in the Carribean or a longer stay in San Juan would have been nice. Instead, we were treated to a very slow 8 day crossing from Malaga Spain to Puerto Rico. We personally did not have any shore excursions for the Canaries but heard from fellow passengers that they were only partially refunded for these planned excursions. The ship itself is very nice, just the right size (medium) with an excellent ratio of passengers to crew. The public rooms were well appointed and very beautiful for the most part with one exception! The Riviera Lounge is just awful and needs a complete makeover. It is old looking with dark and depressing decor and does not compliment any other rooms or public spaces on the ship. The line is very popular with seniors ( above 70 years old) and on this particular cruise about 90 percent of the passengers fell in this category. We are a bit younger and many times felt a bit isolated especially at sharing tables in the dining venues. Otherwise, we found things to do on our own as we had little in common with most of the guests. Due to the upper age range of most of the guests, the ships public elevators were crowded, noisy and sometimes not so clean, especially during peak dining times. We mostly used the stairs. Dining was very good overall (not exceptional) and the choices of places to eat and menus were excellent. Red Ginger was by far the best with quality of food. decor and staff service 5 star all the way. The main dining room was very good too with breakfast the best, but hit and miss quality of food sometimes at dinner. Again, with sharing tables we were not always at ease with our table mates, due to large age differences or topics of discussion. Toscano specialty venue most definitely needs improving. Much better quality Italian food is available in most towns and cities across America. Terrace Cafe and Waves Grill were both excellent with good quality food and good service. The Buffet at terrace cafe was a bit chaotic at peak times with many guests running around into each other. The purchase of alcohol onboard is highly encouraged and the prices are excessive. Beware, if you are going to drink, then the alcohol package will save you some big money. The service on Riviera is exceptional and in my opinion is what it hangs its hat on! The wait staff were all so friendly and accommodating and the room stewards gave five star service each and every day. The international make up of the crew were delightful and my wife and I were able to converse with many of the staff and form short friendly relationships with them. The ships Captain did not seem too friendly to me and I did not see him interacting with other passengers during the cruise, other than a brief reception at the beginning where he introduced his staff and said a little about himself. Seems like he was disinterested overall and just wanted to finish the crossing. Maybe 50 years at sea will do this to you. His daily noontime report was just a boring weather report (nothing more) that anybody could rip and read off the wire. This same info was available on the ships TV channel all the time. The rest of the ship officers were available and friendly with ready smiles. John our cruise director was excellent and the entertainment staff was better than expected. The young production team were awesome, fun and engaging. They had a somewhat difficult task of entertaining so many upper seniors, but they did it!! The comedian acts and Trumpet player were also very good. This cruise could have been a five category but fell a little short of the mark because of the reasons explained above. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Main reason for this cruise was two fold. First was to do a Transatlantic and Second was to see the Canary Islands. My wife and I agreed that if we did not do the 3 days in Barcelona before the cruise it would have been a great ... Read More
Main reason for this cruise was two fold. First was to do a Transatlantic and Second was to see the Canary Islands. My wife and I agreed that if we did not do the 3 days in Barcelona before the cruise it would have been a great disappointment. Not going to Canary Islands seem to be a fairly constant, if so why not go farther south to another island or a port on the west coast of Africa. Eight sea days are way to many. We found out that three couples have tried this tour three times without success to seeing the Canary Islands. One couple said this was their fourth attempt. I guess they never heard of 3 strikes and your out. The staff and cabin were fantastic. The food excellent but not better then other cruise lines that we have been on. People kept asking us if the food was better on Oceania. We replied that a few dishes we had were but some dishes on other ships were better. I really hated that the staff had to put my salad together. I rather do it myself. Entertainment was average. Would not take children on this cruise because I think they would die of boredom. Found the staff very helpful even for the tours we did not take with Oceania. Debarkation was probably the best we ever had. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our 7th cruise with Oceania. They are still an excellent cruise line but we feel that the service and overall cruise experience is not as good as we have previously experienced. It was very nice to be remembered by so many of ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise with Oceania. They are still an excellent cruise line but we feel that the service and overall cruise experience is not as good as we have previously experienced. It was very nice to be remembered by so many of the crew when we were on board. The general manager - Dominic has been on other cruises that we've been on and he remembered us. We found the food in the speciality restaurants to be very good and actually truly memorable. The hostess in the Red Ginger is really exceptional and offered to let us taste items that we had not ordered so we would know about other options for future evenings. We also enjoyed dining at the Terrace Cafe in the evening and even although it is a buffet we found the service to be very good. The dining venue that really needs a great deal of work is the main dining room. I had made a comment about the poor service in the main dining room on my mid cruise comment card and although the staff does try very hard the service is very slow. One evening we were at the table almost 3 hours and sat with dirty dishes from our entrees in front of us for 20 minutes. 2 people left before dessert because they had other plans for the evening. The service in the specialty restaurants is far better and you can finish a nice 4 or 5 course meal in less than 2 hours without feeling rushed. The cabin stewards were also very slow. I don't know whether Oceania has cut back on the staff but our cabin was usually not serviced until close to lunch time. One evening when we had a late dinner and did not leave our cabin until 8:00 we saw our cabin steward in the hall and she said that she had left the daily currents in our mail slot. When we returned to our cabin after dinner, the bed had not been turned down and the cabin had not been serviced. It seems like the stewards have a set schedule. Other cruises that we've been on with Oceania the cabin was always serviced by 10:00 or 10:30. The cruise director was probably one of the best that I've had. He was very pro-active and sociable. You always saw him at the end of each show or productions and he would ask how the cruise was going. When I filled out the mid cruise comment card I mentioned that it would be nice to have movies in the main show room during days at sea. He called me back saying that he was trying to free up time in the lounge for movies and sure enough the next day and for the rest of the cruise there was usually a movie in the show lounge during days at sea. The entertainment was okay. There was a good trumpet player - Nicole Sassi. I didn't care for the singer or comedian that they had. A couple of the production shows they had were very good a couple were mediocre. We enjoyed the tea in the afternoon. This is a truly marvelous treat sitting in the Horizons Lounge having wonderful sandwiches, scones and clotted cream and the most wonderful eclairs served by white gloved service staff. We missed a couple of ports in the Canary Islands because of hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean. It would have been nice if the captain was able to provide at least 1 port to make up for those missed. 8 days at sea is really a long time. I also don't understand why there is no refund for port fees on the missed ports. Other cruise lines have refunded us the port fees when we have had to bypass a port. The connection for internet on board was very poor and we were constantly losing the signal. Oceania is a terrific cruise line be we have really noticed the attention to details and the standards for service seem to have slipped. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our first cruise on Oceana and loved the ship and days on the Atlantic Ocean. Our veranda room was comfortable. The balcony was just large enough for two chairs but perfect place to be mesmerized by the waves and skies of the ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Oceana and loved the ship and days on the Atlantic Ocean. Our veranda room was comfortable. The balcony was just large enough for two chairs but perfect place to be mesmerized by the waves and skies of the Atlantic Ocean. The art aboard the ship was amazing the art classes fun and the culinary classes most informative (they filled up quickly so book as soon as you can). Entertainment was good, especially the multicast shows. The ship is beautiful, the food in the specialty dining rooms outstanding (free but limited to one visit per restaurant). The Waves café offered breakfast until 11 a.m. which included eggs to order. The Terrace Café offered steak, grilled shrimp and lamb chops daily. The dining room food was fare. The Service was outstanding throughout the ship. We were supposed to have stopped at two ports in the Canary Islands but both were cancelled due to weather forecast 60 knot winds and high waves. A smart decision since 4 people died, streets were flooded and balconies came off hotel buildings in Tenerife. While we experienced a little rockiness for an evening, it was mild and the crossing of the Atlantic was smooth as silk. There were few tours available for those with mobility issues and the one we took in Alicante was very disappointing. We hired South O'Le Spain Tours (Emily Mathews, Manager) for a private tour in Malaga which was wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was the best cruise we have taken. Met many enjoyable people. Great service and food. The food in Red Ginger was some of the best we have experienced. We are experienced cruisers and had not been that pleased with Oceania up to ... Read More
This was the best cruise we have taken. Met many enjoyable people. Great service and food. The food in Red Ginger was some of the best we have experienced. We are experienced cruisers and had not been that pleased with Oceania up to this point. Only booked to be with some friends who for health reasons could not make the cruise. Meet a delightful couple from CT, thru Cruise Critic, that we played bridge with every sea day (Marble Mike). Our butler treated u to dinner in our suite one evening capturing the best dish's from all the venues. The only disappoint was cancellation of the Canary Islands due to weather. Seeing the destruction caused by weather there makes us glad the Captain made that decision. Always be sure to get the full liquor package. Much to our amassment, Oceania allows liquor/wine to be brought on board. Highly recommend this ship and crew. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Oceania's detail to service was excellent - the staff were clearly all there to ensure all passengers were satisfied and happy (although some people are never happy). -Our Cabin was in the A1 Concierge level and was midship. Our ... Read More
Oceania's detail to service was excellent - the staff were clearly all there to ensure all passengers were satisfied and happy (although some people are never happy). -Our Cabin was in the A1 Concierge level and was midship. Our cabin attendants were very attentive to our desires and need for service. -The Dining was the best I've had on any cruise ship (have sailed Cunard, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Holland American and Norwegian). The specialty restaurants were very good and one must make reservations way in advance of the cruise sail date if you wish to get the preferred times such as 7:30 pm and to be dining alone (we were a party of 2). otherwise, you will have later times and shared tables which worked out for us regardless. We met very pleasant people at our shared dining tables which actually enhanced the cruise for us. The main dining room and buffet menus were excellent and no complaints in that regard. Would have liked some food available between the 4 pm to 6:30 pm which was typically the times we were returning from our long day shore excursions. Many ships we sailed on have 24 hr. restaurant availability. My feeling is that there should be food available (other than room service) at all hours on a cruise. -The entertainment was amateurish and did not compare to the larger productions offered on the larger ships/cruise lines. Our itinerary was very busy and we did not attend the entertainment for the most part and others advised us the shows improved as the cruise progressed. We used the fitness center and the Spa deck for an afternoon of rest and relaxation on our sea day - were very nice and clean. We did not participate in any "enrichment activities." -The ports were all places we wanted to see except Koper, Slovenia which was a quiet, sleepy port with little to do - not sure why this is part of the cruise and would have preferred an extra night in either Florence, Rome, Sorrento or Venice. -The shore excursions were good for the most part, but you need to make sure you book way in advance of the cruise sail date as they fill up fast (we missed out on booking a Capri tour which was disappointing. I would highly suggest booking some of your port excursion on your own (many people we spoke with on the cruise used this forum ahead of their cruise with others). We also spoke with a travel agent who was on the cruise with a group she was leading and advised us that the mark-up on the ship tours was about 40% which we did find to be true. Once you get off the ship, there were usually tour companies standing by to take you on tours at a cheaper price, but the caveat is to get off the ship as soon as open for debarkation as those tours filled up fast as well. -One HUGE issue we found was the internet access. It was minimal at best even with the upgraded version. And we both got international cell phone service (we had Verizon and AT&T) and that was spotty, especially when during sail times, but, better in the ports). -As for getting the beverage package - we, unfortunately pre purchased the upgraded Prestige Select for $59.95/day ($1200 for cruise). We are not big drinkers, but experience has proven that the cost on the cruise ships of alcohol can be quite high - a beer at the bar on this cruise was $8 which included gratuity). On this particular cruise and being in port every day, but one, and the tour itinerary being very busy and we did time to really spend on the ship and the amenities. We also did back to back 10 hour tours which left little time to actually enjoy time after dinner. Therefore, would have maybe gotten the House Select beer and wine with dinner package at lower price of $39.95 ($800 for cruise), but after the cruise, we figured out our alcohol bill would have been under $500 for the entire cruise given the busy itinerary and human fatigue. We did overhead a few people try to get out of the drink packages they purchased for the very same reason and we unable to do so. SO, the point is, if you are doing tours on the cruise every day, would not get the Prestige package, but if you are spending more time on the ship than doing tours, it may be worth it. Also, something new to us - there were no photography services on the ship Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because we were looking for: 1. small to mid size ship 2. older adults, no kids 3. low key ambiance 4. itinerary We normally like to plan our own trips, travel just as a couple, pick one or two ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were looking for: 1. small to mid size ship 2. older adults, no kids 3. low key ambiance 4. itinerary We normally like to plan our own trips, travel just as a couple, pick one or two locations to immerse ourselves into a neighborhood/area and do side trips if the spirit moves us! Decided to try a cruise again (sailed Holland America to Alaska in 2007) after taking two long road trips in 2017...the cruise sounded relaxing and we had not been to Italy in any of our travels. So glad we chose Oceania! The ship was lovely and the the service outstanding...we were very happy with our penthouse suite and our butler, Saji, and room attendant, Jayzyl, were the best! Our room was very clean every day, did not show much sign of wear (carpet slightly older looking but not bad). The bathroom was lovely, the bed very comfortable. Loved the walk-in closet. We did have problems with the TV (had a maintenance man there in minutes)...wireless internet very spotty throughout the trip, but (fortunately!) this was not a major issue for us. We use the executive lounge (a modest sized room with newspaper, snacks and drinks) because it was a nice spot for our daily papers and coffee! The lounge did have a concierge, but I'm not sure how helpful he was, based on observation (and the fact that you couldn't help but overhear everything being discussed). All of the specialty restaurants were 5 star...food and service were excellent! Jaques (try the pork!) and Polo Grill (wonderful steak, cooked perfectly) were favorites. Main dining room was fine but we thought there could have been more options and some of the offerings were "ok". Service was excellent in that dining room, as well. We enjoyed Waves for breakfast and lunch, did not use the buffet for any meals. Room service was prompt and food was fine. We thought the individual prices for alcoholic beverages were fair. Ports: Dubrovnik is beautiful...did a private tour through the old town and then out to a working farm and flour mill. Koper was very "un-touristy"...we really enjoyed walking through the town. The main church is worth seeing, some small shops authentic...warm, friendly people. Florence...the only ship excursion we took (Florence On Your Own). Would not do it again. Florence was jammed with tour groups...very difficult getting through the crowds! It took quite a while to get on the bus, get organized once we reached the city (a bit of a walk to the meeting site), etc. All in all, not a good experience and expensive. Vienna was a treat...we skipped St Mark's Square (packed with people), took a vaporetto ride up and down the canal the first day and after disembarkation on the 26th, went to a B&B on the Grand Canal for a few days. We were located in a non-touristy area and loved it...wandered the alleys, got lost, met mostly Italians and enjoyed every day we were there! Capri/Sorrento looked just like the postcards! Wandered the streets on Capri and had lunch before taking the ferry back and walking around Sorrento for a few hours. It was busy but not uncomfortably so! Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and quickly...everyone was polite and very helpful. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Many people told us about the great food and service on Oceania. The service was very good. The staff, for the most part, went out of their way to say hello and help in any way they could. This was the best part of the service. ... Read More
Many people told us about the great food and service on Oceania. The service was very good. The staff, for the most part, went out of their way to say hello and help in any way they could. This was the best part of the service. Unfortunately, the rest of the cruise was quite bland, including the food. We had one really great dinner in the steakhouse. Most of the other dinners were quite forgettable. More emphasis was put on the "presentation" instead of on the "substance". Buffet breakfast was okay, but they didn't seem to have enough servers to efficiently dish out the food during the buffet breakfast and lunch. I do have to admit that the hot cinnamon buns are incredibly addictive. Breakfast in the dining room was very good. Buffet lunches were very disappointing. We were fortunate to be off the ship for most lunches. "Tea time" was actually very nice to come back to the ship for after touring at 4:00. The string quartet music was very pleasant and the snacks were very nice. Entertainment in the evening was actually quite good. It only lasted about 45 minutes each night and this was fine, considering that we'd been touring during the day and likely had another early morning the next day. The entertainment was usually musical and humorous . Cabins were okay. We had a balcony cabin with about 215 square feet of space. Space was well used. We have been on a number of other cruise lines. This experience was not really any better overall than the others (Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, Royal Caribbean). Oceania promotes itself as an upscale cruise line. I pity the poor soul who paid full price for any of their cruises, considering they are almost always advertising 2 for 1 pricing. That practice in itself should be outlawed. This is just misleading advertising. In summary, the cruise was nice. Nothing special. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I have to laugh when I see other reviews of cruises. This is NOT your typical gargantuan ship with entertainment to please everyone. It is a "small ship" experience. The restrooms are tight and it's not trying to be ... Read More
I have to laugh when I see other reviews of cruises. This is NOT your typical gargantuan ship with entertainment to please everyone. It is a "small ship" experience. The restrooms are tight and it's not trying to be opulent. We selected the upgrade to the concierge level veranda rooms and got a great cabin near the back...most of the remaining doors in the hallway went to much larger suites. We rarely ran into any other guests in the hallway. The boat is scheduled for an overhaul soon, so I think it's not as flashy right now, the bathroom and closets were not luxurious in any way, but we didn't really care. A super comfortable large bed, comfy couch, desk and private veranda were our requirements and it was great. Best features of the upgrade...3 days of free laundry service, 24 hour free room service, access to the canyon spa private deck area. We would order room service for a cheese and fruit tray to be delivered about the time we'd be returning to the ship. We'd buy local wines in port and drink a bottle nightly as we pulled out of port! The spa deck had a salt water jetted water spa kept at body temperature. I relaxed in it daily after touring and only once had another guest make use of it as well. I liked the fact that no one else was walking around looking at people sunbathing or in the hot tub! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We selected this cruise because we liked the ports of call, especially in the beginning of the cruise. We arranged all our excursions privately so I'm not sure how good the ship's excursions were. Many of the named destination ... Read More
We selected this cruise because we liked the ports of call, especially in the beginning of the cruise. We arranged all our excursions privately so I'm not sure how good the ship's excursions were. Many of the named destination cities were long drives (an hour or more) away from the actual ports where we were docked. So the advertising of e.g. Florence and Rome and the Amalfi Coast was a bit of a stretch unless you wanted to drive for several hours. It made the excursions very expensive. The ship staff was diverse, very friendly and helpful. They seemed to like their jobs. They were always deferential to the passengers. The night time entertainment was very good with a female singer( Lala) and band doing rock and contemporary hits, a female string quartet and a male pianist most nights. All were professional level entertainers. One of the scheduled lectures was on the rise of fascism in Italy and it seemed an odd and perhaps depressing choice for vacationers not on a themed historical cruise. It may have been well done, but we did not attend. The specialty restaurants were more formal and service oriented. The food was not much superior to the other offerings onboard the ship which was a disappointment. In one restaurant we were surprised at the end of dinner to be charged hundreds of dollars for wines that we thought were included in our $1520 beverage packages (per couple). We discussed this issue with managers and employees on board over several days and were offered only a token discount. Given the circumstances and "the marketing of the wines to our group" this conduct was extremely disappointing to all eight of us. We have never had this kind of issue on a cruise before and we have been cruising for many years with most of the major lines. One of the circumstances that seemed to be an issue was how many large cruise ships docked in a port the same day. Some ships were three or four times the size of the Riviera and poured thousands and thousands of passengers into cities all at once. Also, the ports can accommodate only so many ships simultaneously for portside docking. More than once we were required to disembark onto a tender and be motored back and forth to the ship, apparently because other cruise ships were docked there first. The tenders are not comfortable and not easy to navigate, even if you are not disabled. They add time to your decision to return to the ship as you wait for it to return to pick you up. In our opinion, the stops at Malta, Messina and even Santorini were somewhat disappointing. The in-port vendors were particularly persistent in Messina and wouldn't take no for an answer. The Hop on Hop off bus vendors in Malta took your fare and then allowed the place to descend into chaos without any intervention because of the huge number of people trying to squeeze onto the infrequent busses. The itinerary would improve by eliminating Messina and Malta and using the extra time in Sorrento and the small towns of the Amalfi Coast. We would not go again because of the issues regarding the ports (travel distances, overcrowding, some selections) and the absolute refusal of the senior staff to reasonably respond to our complaint re the unfair charges. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
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