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225 Oceania Barcelona Cruise Reviews

Smaller ship for us which we enjoyed, clean, recently refurbished, no loud music, no kids on this cruise, many areas to read and relax, easy access around the ship, no lines, superb food, good selection of wine, smaller cabins and ... Read More
Smaller ship for us which we enjoyed, clean, recently refurbished, no loud music, no kids on this cruise, many areas to read and relax, easy access around the ship, no lines, superb food, good selection of wine, smaller cabins and particularly small shower area, plenty of storage. Excellent large library. Good fitness center not busy. Very nice large steam/shower room and the private hot tub, and rarely any other passengers on my many visits. We were a party of 10 sometimes eating dinner together and enjoyed the round tables for easier conversation. Particularly enjoyed the grilled lobster tails/jumbo very fresh tasting shrimp and sushi in the Terrace Cafe almost every evening. The illy coffee in the barista was outstanding. Non alcoholic drinks are all included. Entertainment/shows were ok for a small ship. Several movies. Nice laundry room normally not crowded takes tokens for nominal charge at reception desk. We would usually meet at Martini bar or Horizon lounge up top for pre dinner drinks. Our onboard credits more than covered all on board expenses including gratuities,alcohol and even some clothes purchased in the shop.We had read the many negative reviews prior to our cruise so we were pleasantly surprised as we certainly enjoyed the ship and the overall cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Had another strong experience with Oceania on the Marina. We didn't notice much difference between the Riviera and the Marina, given they are only one year different. The restaurants were excellent, the staff very service-oriented. ... Read More
Had another strong experience with Oceania on the Marina. We didn't notice much difference between the Riviera and the Marina, given they are only one year different. The restaurants were excellent, the staff very service-oriented. Embarking and disembarking all went smoothly. We took one of the cooking classes, which was a lot of fun, and we learned some valuable items. The fitness room was plenty large enough and was never difficult to get equipment. The two things that could be improved upon are the entertainment and the excursions. The entertainment choices were not ideal, e.g. pianist, soprano, and the vocal talent of the cruise team wasn't that strong. While the excursions are expensive compared to what you can arrange on your own, it might be worth it if they were consistently good. But the reports were mixed, so it's not worth paying three times the price for comparable tours. Overall, the value for the money was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise for the ports. We flew into Barcelona on Sunday before the Tuesday cruise. We loved the Hilton, and had a great time viewing the sites. I had requested wheelchair access transportation, which was prompt and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports. We flew into Barcelona on Sunday before the Tuesday cruise. We loved the Hilton, and had a great time viewing the sites. I had requested wheelchair access transportation, which was prompt and available at the airport. There was a delay getting to the ship, due to traffic. Our room was lovely, spacious and room for wheelchair turn around. there were 2 problems. Our adult daughter slept on the hide a bed, which had an uncomfortable bar in the middle. She put her mattress on the floor to sleep. Staff saw this and brought a second matress, which helped some. However, the sofa bed is just not comfortable. I had difficulties with the height of the bed. it is too high for a direct wheelchair transfer. Luckily my husband can help me, but this could be a problem for someone who has to transfer directly from chair to bed. The overall appearance of the ship is great. Lovely decor, everything is spotless. The service in the dining venues is prompt and friendly. The Asian restaurant did not seem to have enough staff the night we ate there. We did not participate in the ships shore excursions, since they were not accessible for a wheelchair user. We also did not go to the entertainment, as we were usually tired after a day of touring. We really appreciated the crew's assistance in helping me on and off of the ship, especially when the ramps were steep of stairs. The only real complaint was that the request for accessible transportation was not carried forward to leaving the ship to go to the hotel. This was a bit of an ordeal, but the staff did find a cab that worked for us. We had to pay for the cab, after we had paid for the transfers as part of the hotel price. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We had a wonderful cruise on the Oceania Marina. Embarkation was fast and probably the easiest we have ever had. Once on board, all the crew were so very friendly. Not a single crew member failed to say hello or good morning or some ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise on the Oceania Marina. Embarkation was fast and probably the easiest we have ever had. Once on board, all the crew were so very friendly. Not a single crew member failed to say hello or good morning or some such greeting in the whole week we were on board and they all seemed genuinely happy to be there. We sure were! We did an upsell to a Penthouse Suite the week before we sailed and we were so glad that we did. The cabin was wonderful. We loved the extra space and the bathroom was so nice. Only problem with the cabin was that we are now spoiled. How will we go back to a veranda room? The food was top notch as always. Except for two nights in specialty dining (Polo and Toscana), we ate in the Terrace Buffet every night. The food there was so good that there was no need to go elsewhere. We loved the grilled shrimp and lobster available every night. After full days of touring, it was so nice to sit out on the open terrace and have a relaxing dinner as we sailed away from port. We had Prime Rib in Polo and it was outstanding. I had the lobster dish in Toscana and did not like it very much, but that was a matter of taste. It was too spicy for me but others liked it. We did not attend any of the entertainment. This was such a port intensive cruise that we were ready to relax in our beautiful cabin after dinner and get to bed early to get ready for a full day of touring. We did 4 of the Oceania excursions as they were included with our fare. We were pleased with all of them. The buses were comfortable and were never filled so we had room to spread out. All in all, this was a wonderful experience. We have cruised with several different lines, and Oceania is far and above all others in terms of service. We felt very special and enjoyed our cruise immensely. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
My wife and I were very happy with our cruise! The food and staff were excellent; the entertainment was better than I had expected and the ports of call were outstanding with very enjoyable tours and excursions. Actual Embarkation took ... Read More
My wife and I were very happy with our cruise! The food and staff were excellent; the entertainment was better than I had expected and the ports of call were outstanding with very enjoyable tours and excursions. Actual Embarkation took only a few minutes and we were in the room after a nice lunch and a short wait. Very pleased. The ship is in overall very good shape after the refurbishment. The room was small, especially the bathroom, but it is what I had expected. I used the Spa facilities many times which are excellent. Pool area was clean, plenty of chairs, but the pool is small. Public areas, the Casino, Bars, Dining Venues are all in excellent shape. There is a large library, internet room, Boutiques, card room, and plenty of places where someone can be by themselves if they so choose. The nightly entertainment was varied and very enjoyable for a small ship. The production team was the best I have seen on an Oceania ship. The string quartet, piano player in the bar, the Sirena Show Band and nightly dancing in Horizons were all wonderful. We enjoyed all of them!.More activities needed for the days at sea, but more than Riviera! The food is Outstanding, especially in the GDR and Red Ginger. The Terrace Cafe had several special ethnic cuisine nights and there was always a great variety.there. Best Oceania staff I have encountered. Waiters, Housekeeping,Spa personnel, were great, friendly and always helpful. Tours were well organized and very enjoyable. Loved the Cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Chose first for destinations, secondly because it was Oceania....previously on the Marina, and loved the ship. Cruise Director on Sirena was far superior to the one on Marina though. Meals and service in Red Ginger and Toscana were ... Read More
Chose first for destinations, secondly because it was Oceania....previously on the Marina, and loved the ship. Cruise Director on Sirena was far superior to the one on Marina though. Meals and service in Red Ginger and Toscana were very good. Too often we had to search for a seat in the Terrace. For most part service was excellent; the odd person appeared to hate their job and it showed. Wine especially was very over priced for the quality. On the regular winelist we found our go to wine at 4 times what we pay for it in Hawaii. Doesn't Oceania buy 'duty free'? cocktails at two for one still worked out to regular price for each in CDN dollars, so no bargain there. Great massage onboard; and very so so pedicure for a very very high cost. Cabin was very small; but meticulously maintained. We would go on the Marina again, but definitely not the Sirena. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Chose this trip because of itinerary and good experience we had on prior Oceania cruises. With the funds spent to refurbish this ship, we expected more. We found no WOW factor anywhere. Having recently traveled on the Marina, we ... Read More
Chose this trip because of itinerary and good experience we had on prior Oceania cruises. With the funds spent to refurbish this ship, we expected more. We found no WOW factor anywhere. Having recently traveled on the Marina, we found the food here to be disappointing. We found several of our shore excursion guides less than satisfactory -- some did not keep group together, some lacked good English. Excursion in Funchal touted an embroidery factory where we would see process of making the beautiful Madeira table clothes, etc. Instead we were taken to a shop to purchase expensive merchandise. Restaurants -- Tuscan Steak excellent, Red Ginger very good, Jacques Bistro lunches very good, Terrace good, Grand Dining Room disappointing on more than one occasion. We often felt more motion on this ship, even in calm waters. Special entertainers were very good, the Sirena sextet of singers and dancers was same old/same old. Overall assessment -- disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. I have been to Spain and Portugal but always wanted to visit Morocco. We booked late and couldn't get the cabin we wanted so only had a window rather than veranda; our travel agent ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. I have been to Spain and Portugal but always wanted to visit Morocco. We booked late and couldn't get the cabin we wanted so only had a window rather than veranda; our travel agent convinced us that we would be in port enough that the room wouldn't be an issue. She also lauded this cruise line and talked up the food. Well........wrong! The room was livable but the bathroom was a joke. It had one sink and absolutely no place to put one's make-up. I had to lay a towel over the sink for that. Also, since this attracts an older crowd, a magnifying mirror would have been nice but with limited space, I suppose that wasn't feasible. Shower was so small that I don't know how some of the larger travelers would be able to fit. Another small gripe was that cotton balls and swabs came in tiny boxes of about 3-4 and I had to ask for more. Stingy! On to the food. It was only fair and the plating was totally blah. One night I had a piece of salmon and about 5 green beans on a huge white dinner plate. No sauce, no garnish, nothing until a waiter came and offered something to sauce the fish. We were expecting gourmet at least in the Grand Dining Room with Jacque Pepin as the consultant. He would have been mortified. Even the Tuscan Room was nothing special. My S.O. had a shrimp cocktail appetizer which he couldn't eat since the giant shrimp were mushy. In the buffet things were ok and S.O. was happy with eating sushi. The ports of call were mostly good with the exception of Arrecife, Spain. We went into the "town" for about 1/2 hour and went right back to the ship. Most servers were professional but didn't show much personality. One was downright snobby, the maitre d' at dinner in the dining room. Maybe it was because we had a cabin in the basement? The 2 nights we went to dinner with friends from the 8th floor, they were greeted by name but we never were. Just saying...... Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We booked this cruise as a result of an excellent previous Oceania cruise (on Riviera) and corporate publicity for their 'new' ship. I will endeavour to be honest and truthful with regard to my comments and facts. The company ... Read More
We booked this cruise as a result of an excellent previous Oceania cruise (on Riviera) and corporate publicity for their 'new' ship. I will endeavour to be honest and truthful with regard to my comments and facts. The company Oceania (now owned by Norwegian Cruise Lines NCL) recently purchased this ship from Princess Cruise Lines where it had two names, Tahitian Princess and Ocean Princess. Built in 1999 it first sailed under the Renaissance flag. Oceania advertised a multimillion dollar refurbishment but this may well be somewhat of an exaggeration. When first boarding one is confronted with some very new decor in the public area and care has apparently been taken to ensure a good first impression. However, when you arrive in your penthouse suite, and my comments can only be on that type of accommodation, what a disappointment. It was blatantly obvious that, apart from the bathroom, no major work had been undertaken. The built-in furniture had not been replaced, badly fitting cupboard doors and drawers, a mini television tucked away in a difficult to view but moveable position. This was on a concealed bracket within a cupboard and if you forgot to return it within the cupboard when retiring, it was a certainty that if you got up in the night, one could have sustained personal damage. Cabin and balcony chairs, together with the vary small tables would appear to have been replaced as had the carpet and curtains. The refrigerator and safe appeared to be original. This was a very poor example of a Penthouse suite and it is most interesting that, if comparing it to the sister ship Ocean Princess, that cruise line call that level as Mini-Suites, which is a more truthful description. Both have an area of 322 sq.ft and even the suite numbers are the same. On talking to other guests, all had the same view about the 'refurbishment'. As one person said, a lick of paint and new carpet seemed to be the order of day. The vast majority of staff were excellent, given the pressures they were under. The entertainment was somewhat less then average and there would appear to be a strong need for a replacement cruise director. The food was very good, although there were some issues with undercooked lobster and overcooked steaks. In line with most cruise lines these days, shortage of staff in the Grand Dining Room did not allow time for any conversation with the waiters. The splash pool had not been changed from original, very, very small, no chance of swimming unless you were the only one there. Bar staff were great and the selection of drinks was good but very expensive. If you like a drink, take the premium drinks package, it will save you a lot of money. In conclusion we were very disappointed with this ship and, would we sail on it again, never, never, never. We feel as if we have been totally misled by the Oceania publicity and wonder if this has anything to do with the takeover by NCL who do not do luxury cruising. Our next cruise is with Regent, also now owned by NCL and it will be interesting to make a comparison. I would suggest the reader looks up the details of the Sun Princess on Princess Cruises as this is a sister ship of Sirena when built and comparisons can be made. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I planned this trip for my husband's birthday and did a lot of research in advance. The newly refurbished Sirena is beautifully equipped. Its layout makes sense and there are surprises tucked on every deck -music - refreshments - ... Read More
I planned this trip for my husband's birthday and did a lot of research in advance. The newly refurbished Sirena is beautifully equipped. Its layout makes sense and there are surprises tucked on every deck -music - refreshments - relaxation. There were some hiccups with communication - many of the employees speak limited English but they are efficient and friendly. Our cabin lacked nothing and we thoroughly enjoyed our room service coffee on the balcony ever morning. The food was just so - so. Not as good as expected and there were limited choices. If you want a specialty restaurant you need to book well in advance. The excursions were well done - again some problem with language skills and on one occasion we paid 3 times the normal price for a special tour that turned out to be identical to the one for the regular price. Plenty of information and access available for those wishing to go it alone on-shore. The entertainers sang their hearts out and a lot was done with limited space and resources. Lots of fun activities. Wonderful salt-water pool and large gym and spa. Relaxed environment. Nice people without the stuffiness. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Well! Well! Where to begin? Flight problems: After receiving our flight information, I called the airlines to see if we could upgrade to first class. We were told that since our tickets were "bulk" purchase (more on this ... Read More
Well! Well! Where to begin? Flight problems: After receiving our flight information, I called the airlines to see if we could upgrade to first class. We were told that since our tickets were "bulk" purchase (more on this later), we could not upgrade. While I was talking to Delta, the man mentioned that we had no tickets for the flight home. I called Florida, and was told that there was no problem, of course we had tickets to fly home. Since we have never used a cruise line's air before, I assumed that the woman from Oceania knew what she was talking about, NOT! The night before our flight, we tried checking in on line and was refused, so we called the 800 number that Oceania gave us to use if something goes wrong while traveling. The phone rang for 35 minutes, so we gave up on Oceania. We decided to go to the airport right then, the night before, in order to find out what was wrong. The woman we talked to there said a) our flight segments weren't done correctly, and b) we didn't have tickets to get home. Surprise! She said she had everything fixed and everything should be fine. And she said that because they were "bulk" tickets, we can't do things on line or get email notifications. The next morning Delta wasn't flying, but Delta got us on a United flight. At the end of the cruise - guess what - we got to Nice and was told that we didn't have tickets to get home. Air France at Nice managed to get us on fully booked flights when, fortunately, some travelers didn't show up. Excursions: 4 of the 7 excursions that we booked through Oceania did not go as planned. They were cancelled, partially cancelled, moved to another time, or modified. The partially cancelled one was due to a forest fire, so I can excuse that, but people on other tours said that their guides just flexed and did other things, while we were offered to walk the city streets of Marseilles, and we were not interested in doing that. Next, we were repeated told by other cruises that they NEVER use Oceania's excursions because they cost 3 to 4 times what you can get by booking your own tours. There are too many people on the excursions. Most tours have 30 people. They do not use the Whisper systems, so you can't hear unless you are very close to the guide. many of the streets are narrow, so the participants have to line up to get through some areas. Europeans don't use lines like Americans do. If there is a line of 15 pairs of Americans waiting to enter a street, 50 Europeans will merely walk to the front of the line and butt in. So, a couple of times, we were so far back that the guide had already turned a corner and we lost sight of the flag, but managed to recognize another of the ship's passengers and follow that person until we caught sight of the flag again. Most of the excursions are described as giving you free time. It is unnerving to be in a city where you don't speak the native language where you haven't been given a map or the guide's cell number and be told to meet back at a particular spot in 3 hours. We've never felt so abandoned when taking other cruise line's excursions. Meals on excursions: We only took one excursion that included a meal and we considered ourselves fortunate. The one that included a meal gave us a salad and a bowl with a cup of soupy rice in it. That's not a meal in my mind. The cabin: It's not laid out as well as a Disney ship, it has very little shelving to hold the dozens of pieces of paper that are left in your room. By the third day, we just started putting all the papers in the trash. Service: We were really surprised with the lack of service. On all our other cruises, someone came to our room the first day to show how to operate the lights, and how to get hot water in the shower and to welcome us on board. That doesn't happen on Oceania. Service is mixed in the dining area, I'll explain next. Dining: Unless you have a penthouse suite, you will eat once in each of the four specialty restaurants and the other four nights you can choose the grand dining room or the buffet. The buffet is a standard cruise buffet, and it opens at 6:00. Enough said about that. Specialty dining: Unfortunately, you have to reserve your time and penthouse suites go first, we were Concierge, so we reserved after penthouse, and the early times, 6:30 and 7:00 were often all taken. So the earliest you can get may be 7:30 and these are 3 hour meals. After getting up at 7 to make the 8:00 calls for the excursions, we were exhausted after dessert and just crashed into bed. So you will have to make a lot of sacrifices, either don't eat in the specialty restaurants, or don't take excursions, or do what we did, take both, and have a miserable night's sleep because you went directly from dining to bed. Polo was great, but slow. Tuscana was great, but slow. Red Ginger, the ceviche was not what Americans call ceviche and the avocado lobster salad was not what Americans call avocado lobster salad. Also, service was slow. Jacques was the worst. We had been forewarned about the French onion soup, so we knew to avoid that, and we both ordered the pumpkin soup, which was the best thing we ate there. The cauliflower au gratin was the blandest thing I have ever put in my mouth, horrible! Hubby had the pork rack and said it wasn't very good either. We were there 3 hours and they hadn't taken our dessert order yet, so we just left without it. Grand dining room: The menus are very limited. Each night there will be only ONE appetizer that has any protein in it. Tip - avoid the beef dishes like the plague! I ordered a sirloin and it was simply inedible. I had something that was called macaroni gratin and it was 2 pieces of macaroni with grated parmesan cheese sprinkled on it. When someone asked how it was, I pointed to it and said, "that's nasty". Enough said. Another diner ordered the Jacques Pepin signature New York strip, and it, too, was inedible. My husband ordered the wiener schnitzel and it was about a pound of deep fried batter and an ounce of veal, so I would suggest you avoid that dish, too. Potatoes: All the menus had multiple potato dishes, and very few green vegetables, only what you get in mixed steamed vegetables. The side dishes were very uninspiring. Entertainment and activites: we didn't participate because we took all day tours to see Europe and it took 3 hours for dinner. Pool: this was A Plus. The pool was great. Ports: This cruise went to wonderful places. Embarkation: We found it very easy to get on and off the ship. Children: This is not a cruise for kids, just don't even try. They will be miserable. Other passengers: I've read in many reviews that this line attracts rude people, but we didn't see that. Everyone was pretty nice except a German family traveling with 3 teenaged daughters. One thing that Mike and I noticed is that many people signed up for excursions labeled "strenuous" who should not have. Ladies, if you can barely walk, don't sign up for an excursion that says you will have 170 (or however many), steps to climb. Don't sign up for a 10 hour excursion labeled strenuous if you aren't in good shape. The ultimate question is would we use this cruise line again. The answer is maybe. But we would arrange our own excursions and flights. We would also just accept that we're going to be eating at a buffet every night. We can't go to sleep at 11:00 when dinner doesn't finish until 10:30 and then get up at 7 for an 8:00 excursion that is going to have us power walk for 6 hours. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
If you love the Nautica, Insignia or Regatta you will love the Sirena - it is the same ship (almost). I have done over 35 cruises and 10 on Oceania. I sailed on the Sirena when it was the R4 and when it was the Pacific Princess. I love ... Read More
If you love the Nautica, Insignia or Regatta you will love the Sirena - it is the same ship (almost). I have done over 35 cruises and 10 on Oceania. I sailed on the Sirena when it was the R4 and when it was the Pacific Princess. I love Oceania and loved our most recent cruise from Barcelona to Lisbon. Some observations - Oceania billed this as a "renovated" ship" - I was not able to see much "renovation". New bed and new carpet - but that was about it. The food in the Grand Dinning room was even better than before and we chose it over the specialty restaurants on occasion. The loss of the Polo Grill is no big deal and the addition of Red Ginger is great. But Tuscan does not compare to Toscana - Tuscan was actually quite disappointing. Saw too many kids on the cruise - never saw that before on Oceania - not well received by the typical Oceania passenger. Oceania entertainment has always been third rate - they added a small production group to our cruise and it improved to 2nd rate. I had hoped with the presence of NCL that the entertainment would improve. The rooms are comfortable and the room attendants are terrific. As usual, Oceania's tours are grossly over priced and we continue to book our own when possible - did twice as much in Casablanca for 1/3 of the cost by booking our own tour. I see that a number of reviewers complained about how hard it is to get additional reservations at the specialty restaurants. You should know that the higher priced cabins can make reservations on line early - before the cruise and also get more guaranteed reservations. You need to go to the Terrace Cafe during the day and ask to put on wait list for the specialty restaurants. All in all - it was Oceania - we just booked two more cruises on them! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
The Sirena was the new addition to the fleet and having sailed on all the others we thought we would like to be on it's inaugural voyage. We took the section from Barcelona to Le Havre, 21 days. The SIrena is another of the old ... Read More
The Sirena was the new addition to the fleet and having sailed on all the others we thought we would like to be on it's inaugural voyage. We took the section from Barcelona to Le Havre, 21 days. The SIrena is another of the old Renaissance ships. It was sold twice before Oceania purchased it last year and "refurbished" it. We expected something new and different, we got something old and the same. Nothing really wrong with that, but it was EXACTLY the same as the other sister ships, down to the same pictures on the walls! They did renovate the suites and higher priced staterooms but everything else was the same. The main reason we wanted this ship was that they included Red Ginger as one of the specialty dining rooms. Unfortunately they tried to combine the Polo Grill with Toscana and failed. It was neither a steak house nor an Italian restaurant. They lost a lot of the key menu items from both venues and missed. The decor of both were terrific, the service great as always but lacking in identity. Red Ginger had all the menu items but on the larger ships they always offered a special. They said that because of the smaller kitchen they couldn't do it on the Sirena. The Main Dining room was superb as always. We had booked the cruise as a 21 day cruise. It actually was a "Back-to-Back" which we didn't find out about until we reached Lisbon. The downside was that the magician was on two nighrts before we reached Lisbon and then two more nights after we left. Also the production numbers that the Staff put on, they were great BTW, were repeated. We have been on longer cruises and never had that happen. We would check on any other B2B's before booking. Our cabin had some mechanical problems. The AC control didn't work. We had AC but it was freezing. The toilet didn't flush properly and the shower water temperature control was set to cool water. It took 3 days of complaining to get all the items repaired. We really love Oceania, have already booked another cruise for next year but I don't think we would revisit the Sirena unless they really do a lot of work on it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
chose this cruise for the places it was visiting, food in Red Ginger was excellent, the Steak House was marginal would have eaten at Red Ginger more often but they told us they are sold out the day of boarding...hmmm. cabin stewart ... Read More
chose this cruise for the places it was visiting, food in Red Ginger was excellent, the Steak House was marginal would have eaten at Red Ginger more often but they told us they are sold out the day of boarding...hmmm. cabin stewart Victoria was outstanding, nice that we could bring our own wine aboard, nice that in some ports they had shuttle buses to and from town,nice that all soda and special coffee were free (however the best cappuccino I have had so far sorry has been on Princess) this coffee was so bitter and strong..plus the small cups to take back to you room were about 6 ounces...way too small..the wave grill by the pool had great angus burgers, great grilled mahi mahi only problem that it and the "soda fountain" closed at 4:30 p.m. every day, no ice cream, no soda, no malts, no smoothies so if you came in from a tour and the dining rooms were closed no where to have a small plate until 6:30 p.m. each night. no one told us laundry room only took tokens so lost some quarters but husband retrieved them, the phone did not work in the laundry room, the dispenser for soap, was also out of order and two washing machines and one dryer not working...hotels we booked with Oceania in Barcelona was fine, hop on hop off bus was a block away and locals shopping center next door with wonderful restaurants in lower level... inexpensive from airport to hotel 28.00 not near "the action" now they charge to visit Fatima church and we were not aware of that so it was sold out...buy your tickets in advance..Sete was fogged so proceeded Majorica - delightful island, nice shopping , Ibiza, too much time left for shopping when we did not walk to e in those areas and could have saved about two hours )and Casablanca (you could keep...again Casablanca on a sunday and everything closed or so they told us when they took us to some govt bldg to shop...Cartagena was beautiful, nice shopping area to walk in ..Seville was just ok...Lisbon was beautiful, Sintra, Cascais gorgeous, could have stayed in hotel closer to town but it was a good walk for us down a beautiful blvd with loads of top end stores then leading to the city center, small cafes and restaurants. Gibraltar ...saw the rock and again we are on a saturday and a lot of stores closed due to sabbath, glad we changed dollars at airport for small euros to use for cabs, tips, etc....very very hot, bring a hat, had to buy one like so many others Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Oceania offered a trip to ports which interested us, with a reputation for fine service. In most aspects, we were very satisfied. The cabin was commodious and well furnished, with a full bed, love seat, desk, two large closets, and a ... Read More
Oceania offered a trip to ports which interested us, with a reputation for fine service. In most aspects, we were very satisfied. The cabin was commodious and well furnished, with a full bed, love seat, desk, two large closets, and a large bathroom tiled in granite which included both spacious shower and a tub. The Riviera had an elegant, low key color scheme of beige, gold, tan, and black accents, unlike the bright, gaudy decor on some other ships. Dining service differed from what we had experienced elsewhere: servers behind the glass counters dish out food at passengers' requests. Passengers may not help themselves to any food at the buffet. Often, ship employees offered to carry food and drinks to tables, so that passengers did not carry their own plates or cups. We had not been told our cabin number at the time of boarding, so we could not tag our luggage with cabin numbers. As a result, it took several hours, longer than for most other passengers, for us to receive our luggage. The staff had to consult the office to look up the number. That was frustrating. Quality and variety of food varied. Lunches offered the least variety for those of us who do not eat meat or shellfish. The hot vegetables were always steamed carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli medley. At the outdoor grill, we found freshly grilled fish with limited salad offerings. Dinners were generally good, although we would have liked more pasta choices and greater variety of local fish, especially when sailing in the Mediterranean. Very plain salmon was available daily. Seasoning was also generally plain Continental, except in the specialty restaurants. We did appreciate access to the specialty restaurants. Jacques, the French restaurant, disappointed. Dover sole was delicious, but the night's special entree, sea bream, tasted very fishy and over cooked. Salads and appetizers were also disappointing at Jacques. Tuscany, the Italian specialty restaurant, served Manhattan caliber food, with excellent service. Red Ginger had decent food, but not on a par with the Asian food that we enjoy in New York. The waiter was also brusque. Wines were overpriced. The seven bottle wine package included mainly fair choices, with high markups. Most of the ports were very worthwhile: Alicante, Algeria (Granada disappointed), Cadiz (ship biking excursion was great!), Casablanca (terrible waste of time, dirty), Gibraltar ( extremely worthwhile), Lisbon (lovely city). Many passengers were older, as we are in our mid- 50's. We noticed that the ship accommodated those who used wheelchairs. Ship entertainment was fairly standard, pleasant. The comedian was very good. Disembarking had better service than at most ships. Ship staff took our luggage from the dock to the area of waiting taxis. That ended our vacation on a very satisfactory note. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
to see Spain coast and Morocco. We came one day early to make sure catching the cruise. it seemed a bad idea staying in it assigned hotel Barcelona Hilton, not only charged double for 2 persons in one room, but had very poor ... Read More
to see Spain coast and Morocco. We came one day early to make sure catching the cruise. it seemed a bad idea staying in it assigned hotel Barcelona Hilton, not only charged double for 2 persons in one room, but had very poor service. Coming after a red eye flight from Atlanta around 10 AM, the front desk lady refused to let us check in early to get some sleep but let the same flight crews to check -in right way. Luckily Oceania personnel intervened to let us get in at 12 noon to catch lost sleep for two 70+ and 80+ old guys. Once on board the next day, we were treated well and the food and service were very well. After the cruise, we have found how to use the shipboard credit not before, may be next time if you have. The specialty restaurant reservations were not possible to have before 9 PM, so we had gave up with none during the trip. About the excursion to Casablanca we expect ed highly, but after arriving, only learned that the locals were closed everything after Ramadan and some Holiday not before. Well, you don't always get what you paid for. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Very nice cruiseship, a little on the small side, but nice. Cabin (9 floor) with veranda was also nice, welcoming champagne (and yes it was champagne, not sparkling wine). 3 excursions was included in the price. Lots of speciality ... Read More
Very nice cruiseship, a little on the small side, but nice. Cabin (9 floor) with veranda was also nice, welcoming champagne (and yes it was champagne, not sparkling wine). 3 excursions was included in the price. Lots of speciality restaurants you can book in advance, great cooking in all of them. Service was great, but coffee wasn't. Only place to get coffee was the barista cafe...everywhere else its was just like tea or something worse. Pools on the small side, same with gym. But all in all we did enjoy the cruise very much and would defiantly go again. All staff onboard do there utmost to make you feel welcome and excursions went very smooth, much better than other cruises we have been on. Waiting was at an all time low and everything was very well organized. You can get great deals on wine packets, we didn't have one, but everyone had free sofdrinks and water everywhere, so the only thing extra was wine and spirits. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We had never travelled on Oceania but our travel agent recommended this cruise as we were going with our parents who are older people and need help in many ways. She said the service was great and the food was excellent and the itinerary ... Read More
We had never travelled on Oceania but our travel agent recommended this cruise as we were going with our parents who are older people and need help in many ways. She said the service was great and the food was excellent and the itinerary was also interesting for all our age ranges (from 10 to 82). Since we embarked the cruise we felt a personal service, we went to have lunch at the buffet and the waiters were ready at any moment to help my parents carry their plates or ask them if they needed something else. Before the drill someone from the crew came to my parents cabin and told them he was in charge of taking them to the drill station, help them put on their life jackets etc.. very nice of Oceania to do that. The cabins are very spacious and the shower is great. The cabin attendants great and the laundry area in each floor very useful. The food is simply fabulous either at the buffet or at any of the dinning rooms. You have many options to choose from. What I really liked is only the staff serves you the food from the buffet, you are not allowed to serve yourself which is good because you reduce the risk of transmitting viruses. We loved the ports, and the excursions were great. The Destinations crew was very professional and open. We were lucky that is was not too hot. The pool area is also very nice and the afternoon tea was great. My mom hurried us every day from the excursions so she could arrive in time for tea. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We just returned from Oceania's Riveria 17 day cruise(Medieval Meanderings) from Barcelona to Rome. This was actually two cruises combined - July 3 cruise Barcelona to Lisbon and July 10 cruise Lisbon to Rome. This was our 5th ... Read More
We just returned from Oceania's Riveria 17 day cruise(Medieval Meanderings) from Barcelona to Rome. This was actually two cruises combined - July 3 cruise Barcelona to Lisbon and July 10 cruise Lisbon to Rome. This was our 5th Oceania cruise. We cannot say enough good things about how fantastic this cruise was including the Oceania staff, food, ports, excursions and ship. We used Oceania Air arriving and departing day of cruise. I was somewhat concerned about this but it all worked out well. They provided tickets from Miami-to-Atlanta to Barcelona returning from Rome directly to Miami. We lucked out going over because we arrived in Barcelona at 8:15 in the morning and only waited about 15 minutes to go through their airport passport review. We heard later that people arriving had to wait over 3 hours for this process. We took a cab from the airport to the ship which only cost $39 euros and not a problem getting a cab. Oceania transfers were far more expensive. I was concerned about the return flight since it left at 10:40 in the morning the day we arrived in Rome but we used Oceania transfers at 7:00 am. (expensive $139 each) and we were at our gate ready to depart by 9:05 a.m. so it was not an issue at all. Once arriving at the port around 10:30. They had chairs in the waiting area and we were so happy that we hadn't run into issues with the travel we didn't mind the wait at all while talking to other passengers also arriving early. Oceania started boarding around 11:00 and we were able to get on around 11:30 since we did not have one of the priority cabins. We could immediately go to lunch on the ship. I cannot say enough about the quality of the food on the ship wherever we dined, the service, our stateroom attendants (OLGA) and general customer service. We believe the food and service has even gotten better if possible than our previous cruises. We had an inside cabin which is 175 feet. Only downside is the shower is very small. Most of our prior cruises have been in balcony cabins but with this cruise all day almost everyday at a port we were very happy with our cabin. We was center of the ship, quiet and good use of space. The best improvement with Oceania from our previous sailing is that for us we each had seven excursions included with our price and we thought the excursions were terrific. Also some of the stops Oceania provided shuttle to town center which were excellent. Aliciante Spain - since we arrived the day before we did not want to book an excursion here. We enjoyed taking the free shuttle from the ship walking around town. Almeria Spain - Oceania excursion - Clisol Greenhouses & Almerimar Marina - Wonderful. We visited one of the largest greenhouses, the owner explained the planting and harvesting process and we had a tasting. Then we strolled through the coastal resort town of Almerimar. Gibraltar, UK - we booked an excursion with other people on cruise critic. We used Rock Tours Gibraltar. Fabulous tour including the rock, the caves, castle, monkeys, beaches etc. Only complaint is that the guide did not return us to the port. He dropped us off in town telling us it was a 10 minute walk to the port. Walking fast it was almost 1/2 hour and this is not what was promised when we booked the trip. Being tired after touring all day he should have taken us at least to the security entrance at the port. Casablanca, Morocco - Oceania Tour - Imperial Rabat - Fascinating. This was the only port that was poor and in sharp contrast to the rest of the trip. We saw Al Fez mosque, Kasbah area etc. Lunch was provided in a local restaurant in the Kasbah (chicken). The food was okay but paled in comparison to any meal we had on the ship. However, eating lunch in this area is essential to being part of the local culture. We heard some comments from other people touring with us that they did not like the tour while others loved it. For us we are so glad we did it to see the actual life in Morocco and this is difficult to go outside of Casablanca on your own. Seville (Cadiz Spain) - Oceania Tour Scenic Cadiz & Flamenco - One highlight of our trip. First a city walk then Flamenco dancing with Tapas. I thought it strange when we signed up that the dancing was in the morning but it turned out great. The dancers were wonderful and the atmosphere of the restaurant wonderful. Tapas was just cheese and ham (which we don't eat) and 2 soft drinks and beer. Lisbon Portugal - Oceania Tour - Portuguese Riviera & Sintra - Explanations as we drove out of Lisbon about 1 hour ride to Sintra which is a beautiful mountain town. Toured the Queluz Place and then a little time to walk around time. Stopped on the way back to Lisbon at a picturesque harbor area to take pictures. Since we had 2 days in Lisbon the next day we did the hop on and off bus which gave us a great detailed view of the city. Beware however the bus did not stop at all the stops in the brochure and even though we boarded the bus near the port we had quite a walk back on the way back because he did not go back to that stop due to construction. Malaga, Spain - We met friends and road a horse and buggy around town. It is a beautiful place and after our ride we walked around the city and enjoyed visiting the market. Cartagena, Spain - Easy walk into town and enjoyed exploring Roman ruins the shops and going to a craft market that had items made by local artists. Ibiza, Spain - Oceania tour - Island Discovery and all day tour seeing the entire island with lunch. Saw a lot . Only objection is we took a long time driving to the north end for lunch in Portinatx at a restaurant with a beautiful view of the water. Seafood Paella was served which we didn't like at all. We've had other Paella in Spain that we like. Even the ice cream for dessert was inedible with chucks of ice (low quality). We has seen so many beautiful towns on the way here we would have been better off eating elsewhere. Barcelona Spain - We've been here many times before so we arranged for an English tour of the El Palau de la Musica Catalana. Just fabulous! Another highlight of the trip. We walked from the shuttle drop off (Columbus monument ) (about 20 minutes). Provence (Marseille) France - Oceania tour Aix-En-Provence & Marseille. Walking tour of Aix but this was a day after the terrible Nice attack and we were surprised how crowded the city was. The tours to Nice were cancelled. Good way to get to around but finding our bathroom was a major issue. Oceania should have something arranged for people on this tour. Only one of 4 public bathroom was working with a long waits and not convenient to where we were touring. The guide told us to use a bar after purchasing a meal. Everything was extremely crowded and this took away from our enjoyment of the area. We loved Marseille, the views from the Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica and walking around the boat area. Monaco - Right at the port is the hop on and off bus (20 euros) and this took us all over town. Fabulous way to see the city. We also visited the Oceanagraphic (14 euros) which was crowded. But we hadn't been to an Aquarium for a while so we enjoyed it. What an exciting place to dock. Fantastic views of the city, and enjoyed eating and watching to boats. Portofino Italy - Oceania Tour - Scenic Rapallo and Sestri - We walked through part of Portofino first then boarded a modern boat (good bathroom on the boat )to visit the other town. Another highlight of the cruise. Portfolio is small and the shopping is expensive. Beautiful riding along Italy's coast and seeing life in the towns. The tour was very well run with just enough time in each of the town we stopped at to enjoy walking around. The boat left each place exactly when they said so beware to be back on time. We elected to remain on the boat the last day of the cruise to relax before the long trip home. We had toured Florence before. Every meal we had on the ship was a work of art with taste to match even in the main dining room. Except for one day you could also have lunch there. Afternoon tea is wonderful even though with the full itinerary we only attended once. I can't express enough how the staff went out of their way to help us. The last night after 10:00 pm I realized I had a problem with the private transfer I had arranged to the airport. Even though the destination service desk was closed they were able to get us on their airport shuttle from the ship at 7:00 a.m. the next morning. That says it all. Also the Internet was hit and miss. Not as good as home but even in our inside cabin one of us using at a time we could at most times access it. When not many people were on the ship it was speedy, other times slow but very usable. We also had use of the computers in the computer room with our free internet access one at a time. Lecturers on the ship were good discussions of the history of our various ports of call. If unable to attend the lecture I was able to watch it on the TV in the stateroom. We enjoyed many of the shows on the ship. Nolan Dean is the best cruise director at sea. We loved listening to Emmanuelle Adda and she did a fantastic show with the music of La Mome Piaf. Also, the World Beat show was one of the best shows we've seen at sea and we've sailed Royal Caribbean, Holland, Celebrity etc. One problem we've never had on an Oceania cruise before. It was summer so we expected some children on the ship. As a grandparent I love children around. However, some parents allowed their children to run up and down the halls at all hours. We did not complain but I know people across the hall called the reception desk. After their formal complaint the running in the halls ended. We've done many trips but we never enjoyed, saw so many beautiful places, fantastic food and customer service as this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This is a cruise for more discerning foodies who want quality, service and luxury and don’t want to be herded along with thousands of other passengers on a monster ship. After reading other reviews below, two alarm bells rang in our ... Read More
This is a cruise for more discerning foodies who want quality, service and luxury and don’t want to be herded along with thousands of other passengers on a monster ship. After reading other reviews below, two alarm bells rang in our minds. Firstly, that the ship had serious Norovirus problems during its recent Caribbean stint and secondly, that Oceania has recently been taken over by Norwegian and that standards and quality may have dropped. Fortunately, both concerns proved to be entirely unfounded. There has been no signs of norovirus aboard the ship since it crossed the atlantic to Europe. As to the second concern, the onboard service, portions and quality of the food and the overall attention to detail was also top notch. Not having sailed with Oceania before, if it has indeed deteriorated since Norwegian’s takeover, then I can only assume it was previously of Michelin three star quality! We did a 7 day cruise from Barcelona stopping at Palma, Marseille, Monte Carlo, Portofino, La Specia (Cinque Terra), Livorno and disembarking in Rome. The average age was about 50 ish, lower than we expected. Among the typical middle to older age cruisers were a noticeable number of younger couples and a few 3 generation family groups. Passengers were about 40% American, 30% British and an eclectic mix of French, Germans, Belgians, Russians and surprisingly, several Argentinians. Everyone was friendly and generally well behaved (unlike on certain larger cruise ships I could mention!). Embarkation was a breeze at 12.00pm with almost no queue. We were onboard within 15 minutes of exiting the taxi. Despite the slightly younger age, the ship was typically deserted each night by 11.30pm save for a handful of die-hards in the bars and casino. Perhaps this was due to the slightly limited entertainment options, or the port-intensive itinerary on this particular cruise, or perhaps just the rather high drinks prices. The Gym was well equipped with many cardio and weight machines plus limited freeweights. CONCIERGE LEVEL / LOUNGE Our cabin was about 6 doors away from the Concierge Lounge, which features 24 hour hot and cold drinks and biscuits/cookies, newspapers, an internet station and a periodically manned Concierge desk to assist with planning and info. So is a Concierge Level stateroom worth the €300 or so extra? Hmmm, that’s a tough one. Basically, the cabins are identical to non-Concierge balcony staterooms. You get to board the ship at 12.00pm as opposed to 1.00pm with the regular guests (whilst suite guests come aboard at 11.00am). There is a free bottle of drinkable champagne (real French variety, but an almost unknown brand). You get a laptop PC in your stateroom (or an ipad on request), priority advanced booking on the speciality restaurants, bulgari toiletries, an Oceania Tote Bag to take home, plus a few other odds and ends thrown in. I’d say that if you use the lounge frequently (it’s actually good for grabbing an early morning coffee and newspaper) then it is just about worth the extra. Otherwise you might as well book a regular stateroom. THE SHIP The ship is beautifully decorated and has a real opulent feel throughout. Being a medium sized cruise ship, it is possible to explore all the major areas of the ship in about 45 minutes, something that is definitely not possible on the larger behemoths. It is extremely easy to get around the ship. You can reach most places on the ship within 5 minutes. There are plenty of elevators and we never had to wait more than 10 seconds for one to arrive. There is one reasonable sized swimming pool (saltwater chlorinated) and two Jacuzzis with an ample supply of deckchairs and several bali beds. The only time we couldn’t get a chair directly around the pool was during 2 different sailaway times when everybody seemed to hit the pool deck. There are several bars on board, none of which ever seemed to be full and getting a seat was never an issue. SERVICE The service could not be faulted. The high crew/passenger ratio means that whatever you are doing, there always seems to be a crew member (or three) ready to assist you. In the buffet restaurant, this almost gets annoying. Perhaps due to the norovirus risk, every station is manned with numerous personnel waiting to pick out the items you select and place them on a plate for you (no passenger is allowed to touch the buffet food!). More waiters then even offer to carry your plates to your table (I can carry my own buffet plate thank you!). It is great however if you forget your drink, or need a sauce bottle, etc etc. Almost all crew members greet you when you pass in the corridor and several will remember your name next time they see you despite there being 1200 passengers on board. Service levels are clearly drummed into them from day one. FOOD / DRINK One word, outstanding! We did not have a bad meal during the entire week and we sampled each and every dining option at some point. The food is fresh and tasty and there is no feeling of mass production that you get on the larger ships. The buffets are both amazing with a wide selection. Each of the speciality restaurants even has its own dedicated galley, ensuring each particular restaurant runs like clockwork. Our favourites were Polo Grill (an opulent Steakhouse with warm wood and button leather chairs you sink into) and Red Ginger (Asian fusion cuisine with sushi, Japanese, Indonesian and thai dishes. Red Ginger elicited a “wow” from every passenger we spoke to. Polo Grill served delicious Black Angus USA meat which did not disappoint. Jacques (French) served fantastic typical French food, but we were not particularly impressed by the décor, which seemed disjointed and somewhat clashed with the surrounding ship fittings and layout. Toscana (Italian) was also impressive and elegant, but we find Italian food very samey and predictable, and this restaurant did nothing much to stand out from the crowd. If you like Italian, you will surely love it though. Drinks onboard are very expensive. Everything is in US Dollars. A half-decent glass of wine, a cocktail or a name-brand mixer will cost you $15 once the 10% Spanish sales tax and 18% onboard gratuity has been added. Piña Coladas are particularly bad value given that the non-alcoholic version is available free in all bars, so you are basically paying $15 for a shot of rum! The frequent happy hours (2 for 1) can help a bit, but many people swore the measures were smaller during happy hour. The wine selection was reasonable but rather limited for Spanish wines (the ship sailed from Barcelona after all!)The mark up is also very high. For example, Protos Crianza Ribera del Duero (which costs $18 in most European supermarkets) was over $75 onboard including taxes etc. Knowing this, we brought onboard our full allowance of 3 bottles of wine per stateroom, for which you can open in the restaurants and pay a $25 corkage charge. If you enjoy bottles that cost over $30 in the supermarket, you will definitely save money doing this, plus you will draw envious glances from fellow diners who are stuck with a $15 value Zinfandel and wish they had done the same. We saw one theatre show (an excellent tribute to Edith Piaff) and we saw the comedian in Horizons Lounge one night. Entertainment on Riviera is low key, so if you are the type that needs to be constantly entertained, then best to choose another ship. All entertainment takes place only at 9.00 – 10.00pm, so if you like to eat late, it is easy to miss everything. We explored certain ports independently, as the ship excursions were ridiculously overpriced. PALMA We took the free shuttle round the harbour to the cathedral. We then walked a couple of blocks behind the cathedral where there is a bicycle rental shop. We rented a couple of bikes and followed the extensive trail of bike paths throughout the city and along the seafront (runs for several kilometres). We booked lunch at Ola Del Mar in Portixol, easily the best seafood restaurant for the money in the Palma area. MONTE CARLO Catch the Bateau Bus (water bus) across the harbour and then explore all the main sights on foot. The town is all steep hills but there are several public elevators dotted around to assist you if you know where to look. PORTOFINO We did the hike across the headland to San Frutuosso (about 2.5 miles). The views are spectacular but the trail is difficult in parts and not for the unfit or the faint hearted!!! We had lunch by the beach and then caught the ferry back to Portofino, which leaves from the far end of the bigger beach every 30 minutes past the hour (weather permitting). For an easier trip, simply catch the return ferry between Santa Margarita – Portofino – San Frutuosso and spend an hour in each place. CINQUE TERRA (LA SPECIA) A free bus takes you to the cruise terminal. We then walked 400 yds along the promenade and then caught the ferry, which stops in turn at each of the 5 famous villages. There is also a train line serving all but one of the villages. Best to do some internet homework on which village you want to explore. The only one with a sandy beach is Monterrossa and only the train goes to Corniglia. ROME After getting the free bus to the port terminal, walk the 15 minutes or get a taxi to the train station then catch a train directly into Rome. For Vatican area, stop at ‘St Pietro’, or for Pantheon/Spanish Steps/Trevi Fountain/Collosseum etc, go to ‘Termini’. Train ticket is about €7 each way and takes 45 mins to an hour depending on being a fast or slow train. Overall, we loved the ship and would thoroughly recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Its an excellent value for the money compared to may upscale cruises. Everything first rate and staff could not do enough. Some of the excursions just okay but still fantastic. I'd rather they gave less excursions but better ones! ... Read More
Its an excellent value for the money compared to may upscale cruises. Everything first rate and staff could not do enough. Some of the excursions just okay but still fantastic. I'd rather they gave less excursions but better ones! The food is the finest I've had at sea. They could use a cigar room on board-they have a place for cigarette smoking but not cigars which seemed rather unfair. An older clientele-ranging from 60-70 years mostly. Make sure you take drink package otherwise you will feel ripped off if you like to indulge. Cabin nice size and beautiful tile bathroom which was quite comfortable size fore a cruise ship. Dont pay extra for concierge service didnt find it necessary or that helpful. I liked the casual country club dressing-stylish yet comfortable. The shows were nice but I wish they had more music and dancing for 50's crowd. Wouldve like to try the culinary classes people seemed to genuinely enjoy them. If you go to Marseille dont bother getting off the ship-dirty and a little unsafe-take an excursion and go to Provence or stay on ship to relax and enjoy the beautiful ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We chose this cruise because of the unique seven day point to point itinerary, from Barcelona to Rome. We are still working and like to spend some of our vacation time exploring on land, so we ended our trip exploring some areas in Italy ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the unique seven day point to point itinerary, from Barcelona to Rome. We are still working and like to spend some of our vacation time exploring on land, so we ended our trip exploring some areas in Italy we have not seen...Bologna and Lake Como. This particular itinerary intrigued us as it had some very long port times in Monte Carlo and Cinque Terre, the latter has been on the "bucket list" for some time. And, despite many trips to the countries included on this cruise, we'd also never seen Palma de Mallorca or Portofino. In Livorno, we visited Lucca, which was missed on a land trip to Tuscany. To sum it up, this was a perfect itinerary. Embarkation in Barcelona...it seemed like only a few minutes and we were on board enjoying a lunch in Terrace Cafe. Our Cabin was available shortly after lunch, which allows us time to change and visit the fitness center for a work out befor the drill. All the ports exceeded expectations. We particularly loved Palma and Portofino. While Cinque Terre is difficult to see in a day the long port time gave us the ability to visit all 5 villages. The cabin was spacious and very comfortable. Our cabin attendant, Olga, and our butler Antony provided the best service we have ever had on a cruise. This was our third Ocenia cruise and it still managed to exceed our expectations. We are very port oriented and are content with lounge performances prior to dinner for our nightly entertainment. Oceania is like a floating high 4* star hotel in this respect. We appreciate the independent, quiet "non- cruisy" atmosphere. The wonderful dinners in the evening after a day exploring in port make for a perfect cruise. Service in Terrace was particularly good on this cruise. Except for one miss with a dish in one specialty restaurant all of our dining experiences were exceptionally good. We particularly like Oceania for the spacious dining rooms. We also took our first fitness class on Oceania on this cruise..a spin class. I was very pleased...it was very challenging and I enjoyed it immensely. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
"The Finest Cuisine at Sea"? Well, there's the Aral Sea. The menu read, "Duck a la Orange." How Oceania could then offer up slender morsels of duck breast, with a side sauce, is a mystery; unless, perhaps, the ... Read More
"The Finest Cuisine at Sea"? Well, there's the Aral Sea. The menu read, "Duck a la Orange." How Oceania could then offer up slender morsels of duck breast, with a side sauce, is a mystery; unless, perhaps, the chef was trading on his experience preparing MRE's for the "Beau Geste" set. The Polo Grill menu read, "Our USDA Prime beef comes from the very finest Black Angus cattle...We dry age the beef for a minimum of 28 days, imparting a buttery taste and meltingly tender texture." Maybe it was dry aged in the catacombs, for a slightly longer period. My filet mignon was the toughest and tasteless piece of meat I've had in years. The diner on my right needed surgical skills to remove the fat from his rib eye. The diner on my left complained that his veal was egregiously over-cooked. Toscana? The appetizer was heralded as "Hand Rolled Potato Dumplings in a Creamy Pesto Sauce." "Dumpling" was a misnomer. The alleged "dumpling" was the size of a pea. It couldn't have been rolled by "hand," or by any other part of the anatomy. The pesto sauce was noisome. If it had been served to Mussolini, we could have avoided war on at least one front. The Dover Sole should have stayed there. It emerged from a serving tray awash with a yellowish fluid. The food at Jacques was nondescript. Ironically, we have a Jacques Pepin's cookbook at home. Everything we make from it, is splendid. One of the five diners complained that his lobster lacked flavor; indeed, he suspected it not be fresh. Another diner returned her meat dish. The restaurant would have a brief longevity on land. The buffet at the Terrace Cafe was OK; think of your favorite diner, down a notch, or two. It's the sort of food the best student in the Home Economics class would produce, with the "Joy Of Cooking" volume by his, or her, side. It's unclear how anyone could describe Oceania food as superb. Perhaps, they spent their childhood at Schrafft's. The cabin was very comfortable. The bathroom was wonderfully utilitarian. The housekeeping personnel were excellent. Overall, crew service was good, save for the few who required remedial English lessons. Did I enjoy the cruise? Yes, very much so, despite the mediocre or sometimes, poor food. The itinerary of Barcelona-Mallorca-Marseille-Monte Carlo-Portofino-La Spezia- Livorno-Rome offered many opportunities for exploration. The one Oceania excursion I took to Genoa was marvellous. If an Oceania itinerary appeals to you, book it, eat at the buffet and have a good time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Our first Oceania cruise and sadly our last. For the following reasons: The Nautica did have good food, some of the best we've had on a cruise ship. The service was OK but it was very slow at several of our meals in the main dining ... Read More
Our first Oceania cruise and sadly our last. For the following reasons: The Nautica did have good food, some of the best we've had on a cruise ship. The service was OK but it was very slow at several of our meals in the main dining room. I think they have trouble dealing with the surge that can occur when there are no set dining times. The ship is very old and it didn't do well in slightly rough seas. On a couple of days the crew placed seasickness bags near all the elevators. Also due to the age of the ship the decor is very dated. The woods are very dark with dark colors throughout. It's a bit drab but well maintained. It's a small ship with not a lot to do: - the shows put on by the 4 member ship's cast were pretty good - the shows by the entertainers they brought on board (e.g. comedian & flute player) were cheesy and 2nd rate. - the pool area was acceptable - beyond that not a lot of worthwhile things to do People we met on board were nice, but this is definitely an older crowd. The ship eliminated one of our ports of call without advising us. We had scheduled a tour on our own at this port but because ship did not give notice of the change we lost our fee for the tour. When we complained, Oceania said "too bad we can change itinerary whenever we want, you should get trip insurance to protect yourself" (trip insurance would have cost more than the money we lost on the tour). Not the great experience we were expecting from a high end cruise line, we'll try others in the future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose this cruise for its itinerary to sail around the coast of Spain. We wanted to try a smaller ship, as we had sailed on all big ships in the past (1900+, and mostly 3000+). I guess you would consider Oceania a hybrid luxury line, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary to sail around the coast of Spain. We wanted to try a smaller ship, as we had sailed on all big ships in the past (1900+, and mostly 3000+). I guess you would consider Oceania a hybrid luxury line, with many amenities of a luxury line, but not all inclusive. The small ship experience is a mixed bag. Obviously it is easier to get around, has a more intimate feel, and one rarely waits in line (with a few exceptions). There are fewer things going on, and the atmosphere is calm and relaxing if you like that. (The first day at sea we strolled around getting familiar with the ship and saw more people in the library than we have ever seen in a cruise ship library.) There was a lot of sitting around going on. On the up side, not once were we approached by a photographer, which was lovely. They do have a studio onboard if I remember correctly in case you would like a photo. Oceania is known for its cuisine, which I can assure you, is excellent. Salads especially were very fresh and crisp. And fresh fruit and berries. Choices are interesting and beautifully presented. Escargots offered 3 different ways that I can remember. We prefer to eat in the dining room whenever possible, but don't miss the carving station in the Terrace Café for an occasional lunch. You will see roast suckling pig, prime rib, roast turkey, even salmon Wellington. You may have to wait at the egg station at breakfast, but getting a great lunch at the Terrace Café was usually quick and easy. Waves has great sandwiches, like Q-ban, Surf & Turf, and Reubens. Transfers were perfectly well organized, on time, and used comfortable coaches. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Service for our room, the dining rooms, and the front desk were all fine. Where I think there is room for improvement is the entertainment onboard and the shore excursions. The orchestra was certainly good, and the Nautica singers and dancers (only 4) were quite talented. You really can't have a big production show on a small ship, so they did a pretty good job for a small venue. The other shows were OK but nothing great, except the unique Duo Yorba show, 2 musicians playing a slew of different homemade instruments. They were very entertaining, playing music from around the world, and worked very hard to put on a good show. The performances of the string quartet and pianist who played in a couple of areas around the ship at various times were enjoyable. The shore excursions were nothing special, most times having 36+ people. We had to wait in line on some occasions, once for 45 minutes to get into the Alcazar. Some of the radio/headphones didn't work on some of the tours. So the tours were large groups (like the big cruise ships have) unless you pay more to go in a smaller group. These smaller-group tours are available in some ports. Overall the shore excursions were pricey and pretty average. We will probably sail with Oceania again only on one of their larger ships. The atmosphere was a little too quiet and sedentary on this cruise, although we did enjoy our cabin and the dining. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
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