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11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
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
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We were excited to travel on Oceania with our family of 5 and booked 2 staterooms for my husband, myself and our three sons in a separate stateroom. We were told by our Oceania travel representative and also confirmed with Oceania's ... Read More
We were excited to travel on Oceania with our family of 5 and booked 2 staterooms for my husband, myself and our three sons in a separate stateroom. We were told by our Oceania travel representative and also confirmed with Oceania's website that there would be a Teen Club on board, a game room and a basketball / sports court on the top of the ship of which there was none of the above mentioned things for our teenage sons. There was NOTHING for my boys to do on this ship. The only game room is a casino and you must be 21 to enter. The sports court was in fact, miniature tennis (elderly sport) or shuffleboard. The food was okay at best. Red Ginger and Jacques were both very good and Toscana was above average. Polo Grill was terrible, truly terrible. The Grand Dining room was sub par as well and the Terrace Restaurant was a slightly upscale version of a Luby's cafeteria. The shore excursions were okay but one at Alicante, Spain to a beach at El Campello was terrible. We were literally dropped off a bus (after circling the block a few times) and pointed to the beach and then the bus drove away. It was supposed to be a resort beach but it was just a beach, no chairs, no umbrellas, no water sports, no bars, no nothing. We called to be picked back up and two hours later, we finally made it to a real beach to explore on our own. When we asked for a refund, we were offered 50% back only and told it was an outside company that does the excursions separate from Oceania and that is all they would refund. Unacceptable! The entertainment was all targeted to the over 75 crowd and was frankly bad. During the cruise one night, our stateroom toilet began to flush on its own and water began to pour over the top. I didn't see the drain in the floor so I was very concerned that water would begin to flow on to the carpet in our stateroom. I called the front desk and was told someone would come and take a look. After three minutes and no one coming, I called back as I was worried about the water and the receptionist literally scolded me and said "YOU CALLED ME 3 MINUTES AGO!". She was very rude. After the amount of money we spent, it was a sorely disappointing experience. I would not recommend Oceania nor will I ever travel with them again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
1-We dined at the main dining room the 2nd night and had a terrible caesar salad and tough duck. The next day I went to the services desk on the 5th deck and told them. They said that they would have someone call me. I never received one. ... Read More
1-We dined at the main dining room the 2nd night and had a terrible caesar salad and tough duck. The next day I went to the services desk on the 5th deck and told them. They said that they would have someone call me. I never received one. 2- Cigar smoke was blowing onto the chairs along side the pool from the smoking area. I moved as did several others one of whom said that they had been on the Marina before and had complained. 3-The meals in the specialty restaurants and main dining room were no more than average. The best meals I had were in the Terrace Cafe except that many times there were no tomatoes in the salad area. 4-A few weeks before the cruise I received a call from Keith in what I think they call their Special or Concierge Services in their Miami office. In the next few weeks I called him 2X about a problem,left him a voice mail but never received a return call. There were a few other problems that should not have happened on a ship of this caliber that charges more per day than most ships.A few days before departure my wife and I wrote comments and placed them in the comment box. A few times we were reminded to fill the comment slips out;this was a waste of time as we still have not heard back from them. I wil now sail on other lines that are less expensive and probably have all around better services and food. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We selected the Oceania Riviera Sept 18 - 30, 2017 Barcelona to Venice because of the itinerary and the desire to try another cruise line. We have cruised with Holland America, Celebrity and Viking previously. The draw to Oceania was the ... Read More
We selected the Oceania Riviera Sept 18 - 30, 2017 Barcelona to Venice because of the itinerary and the desire to try another cruise line. We have cruised with Holland America, Celebrity and Viking previously. The draw to Oceania was the supposedly upscale travel and food raves by previous cruisers. It barely lived up to either. The Oceania excursions are expensive and the poorest quality we have ever experienced. Typical excursion was a drive to a location, a very brief, inadequate description of the location, little background/history, followed by - "I'll meet you here in an hour." We had a wonderful guide in Rome and that was it. We had purchased an excursion from Oceania in every port. The folks who did Hop on Hop Off buses or hired taxis in ports had much better tours than we had for half the cost or less. The food was off and on even in the fine dining restaurants. I was looking forward to the Polo Grill because others said how wonderful it was. My filet was suppose to be medium rare, it was served closer to medium. Called the waiter over, next try closer to medium rare but still over cooked. I gave up and ate it. Others found better meals in the Terrace Cafe than the main dining room. Usually main dining room was pretty good for us. I didn't find the rest of the amenities above any other cruise line we had previously cruised with. We booked air through the cruise line. We found Air Canada Rouge level unacceptable for food, service, etc. The return had an unnecessary leg from Montreal to Toronto. If we hadn't requested wheelchairs which we always had to ask for in each airport, we would have never made the connection from Montreal to Toronto. Wheelchairs are whisked through customs and passport control. We flew out of Indianapolis so should have been routed through a US international airport, but I guess they get a deal with Air Canada. Lesson learned Never again will we travel Oceania/Air Canada. Now if I could get them to stop mailing 2 brochures a week. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Just 7 months ago I was on the Riviera and had noticed Oceania had slipped in almost every area since the 4 cruises I had previously with them. But now the Riviera has slipped out of "luxury cruises" into the mainstream. For ... Read More
Just 7 months ago I was on the Riviera and had noticed Oceania had slipped in almost every area since the 4 cruises I had previously with them. But now the Riviera has slipped out of "luxury cruises" into the mainstream. For the same money, I have been far happier in a full suite on Princess. We embarked in Barcelona easily and our concierge level room on deck # 10 was clean all week because of an excellent room steward. However the extra square footage seems wasted. It didn't seem any larger than a regular room on another line. Dining has suffered in the last year. Three specialty restaurants were excellent (Toscana the best) accounting for 4 of our meals but the wife was sick from something she had at Red Ginger during our last day in Santorini. The MDR was pathetic. Poor service and a ordinary selection of firsts, entrees and desserts continue to defy the talk of this being a "foodie cruise" The buffet has the same breakfast for 10 days straight. The breakfast in your cabin for Concierge people was actually quite good. Lunch and dinner up there was OK but the Terrace Cafe has the world's worst coffee. Even the lattes were cold or weak. The only alternative was to hike up to the barista on the 14th floor. Entertainment? Activities? While I did enjoy the $69 cooking course on last cruise, this had only 1 sea day. There was no activities. The casino was empty all the time. The entertainment is truly awful. The comedian was so bad the 1st night, I didn't meet a single person who saw him the 2nd. A small troupe of singers and dancers tried but its clear this is not an Oceania priority. Shore excursions are always a thorn in the side of an Oceania guest. Wanting to spend the OBC I thought I had, I signed up for a visit to 3 medieval villages and a tour in Santorini labelled Windmills and Akritori. The 1st did 2 villages then we were left in a run down area of some city to look at cheap ceramics for way too long. The 2nd was a nice tour of an ancient Minoan town but as to the windmills, the guide pointed to 1 about 800 yards away and that was it. They dumped us of at the bottom of a very steep hill, gave us a ticket to get down on a gondola and said goodbye. After a very steep climb we were confronted with a 2 hour wait to get off the cliff. I should mention that Oceania charges 50% than other lines for the same excursions. Most passengers I talked too were not happy with their excursions either. More hidden funnies. All items in the shops had a 20% tax added on. Similarly so did drinks and wine. Example. A $10 bottle at home would be about $50 on board. The and 18% for tip and 20% for Spain--for the entire cruise! There was no warning about this at all. That is an extra $19 a bottle! My suggestion is that when you go to France or Italy, buy a great bottle on shore and pay the $25 corkage at dinner or just savor the wine in the room and take a glass with you without the charge. More funnies. I bought the cruise with the O-Life option which included $600 of OBC and free internet, a $279 value. After coming back from my 1st shore excursion and trying to get online, I was told I had neither. After producing the papers to prove otherwise over and over. I was told they had to e-mail Miami head office. 4 times I tried, 4 times the head office denied the obvious. The purser is not allowed to phone head office. (or think for herself). With only 48 hours left in the cruise, I found a small card on my bed after dinner that I had $600. No call, no explanation. And little to spend it on. Champagne for the house? Back down to see the nodding fools and I was told still no internet and a credit of any sort is out of the question. I cannot tell if the takeover by NCL has anything to do with this but the bean counters have been busy and it is not good. Sadly, this was my 6th and probably last cruise with Oceania. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We were very curious about Oceania, and all the brochures that were piling up from the mail piqued our interest as well. We actually thought we were their targeted demographic; our WSJ had brochures enclosed weekly. Also, a few years ago, ... Read More
We were very curious about Oceania, and all the brochures that were piling up from the mail piqued our interest as well. We actually thought we were their targeted demographic; our WSJ had brochures enclosed weekly. Also, a few years ago, while at an awards ceremony on another line, the well-traveled couple next to us suggested we'd love Oceania. So on May 21, there we were, efficiently boarding in the port of Barcelona, but without our typical embarkation photo! There is no photographer on board. Hmmm .....no champagne or crew delighted to welcome us either! We'd booked a concierge level cabin, and after a disappointing embarkation lunch of fish cooked to cardboard in the outdoor cafe, made our way to our floor. Suitcases lined the hallways and landings. Passengers were locating and lugging their unwieldy bags down the corridor in both directions to their cabins. Being newbies, we followed suit. Is this the way it's done? Still not sure. We have been sailing in suites for the last 20 years. This was the smallest piece of real estate we've had so far (exception river boats), smallest balcony, and more limited storage space than typical. We were still getting sorted, and I decided to visit the lounge on our floor. Quiet....but I found the teabags and hot water, but, alas, only miniature takeout cups with cute mini lids! The novelty of this find only distracted me briefly, before I realized my cup of tea would be about 3 swallows! Oh well, day one, always a few glitches..... Dinner in the Asian restaurant was good; black cod is a favorite of mine, but again a few glitches...... The next many days were filled with ship shore excursions in Spain, Portugal and France. We'd been to several of the ports before, added Bordeaux, Oporto, Bilbao, Cartagena this trip. Some background might be helpful. Oceania mails a lovely personalized book of your itinerary, and a complete list and description of all shore excursions. However, the pricing for ordering multiple shore excursions was complicated, and customer service reps warned me twice to call back before I finalized my selection to make sure of pricing. At the time I thought this was much too complicated and too much phone time compared to other lines, where I can easily choose online. But, if this is how an experience is personalized, so be it. We did basic city excursions daily. Some were more successful than others, but all participating passengers were directed off to their tours efficiently. Returning was another story on at least a couple of days. The full buffet closed at 2:00pm. We found this time rather arbitrary when most of the passengers were touring and returning close to 2 pm. The outside grill remains open longer, the concierge lounge has mini sandwiches and cookies, and afternoon tea is served for an hour late afternoon. Again, food is fine, specialty restaurants are good, and if you obsess over unlimited shellfish, this is the line for you. However, our expectation was that the service level would be impeccable. That was not our experience. All food is served from the buffet. That goes for coffee and water too....repeatedly, we were ignored at table of one or two. On the other hand, plates were removed as soon as a fork was placed down. And those teeny cups? The only ones available all cruise long. My experience in the outdoor grill day 2 was so disagreeable, I would not return. Those lunch crowds after the tours returned filled the outdoor grill to overflowing. I did not know the protocol. I went up to the order window, got yelled at to go get a table....I said there are none now, but may I order, and got ignored totally, totally dismissed, while next person in line placed order. Never. Never. Have I been the target of rudeness like this onboard a ship. ((Aside: I have seen crew members so well trained that they keep smiling even as passengers become impossible!) By Day 3 I was pretty convinced no one cared if I was on board, except our cabin stewards, who were very good at their jobs, and did smile and greet us like they were happy to see us! I did laundry on board, (first time since 1995), as did many others. I did not take a cooking class, nor a watercolor class. I did attend lectures and some of the entertainment. The big ships win the entertainment category easily, with multiple venues, and some exciting options. There's more to the story; I kept my usual log. Oceania is called the "foodie" line for all the lobster and no charge specialty restaurants. The library is great, paneled, many good titles available. Always lots of pool lounges open. Always room in the gym. Many well-traveled passengers on board; average age skews older..... It certainly isn't the fun ship. There certainly isn't a sense of festivity at any time or place. The free internet was so bogged down, we timed out before accessing sites. The gracious hospitality we've experienced from other ships' crew and officers wasn't demonstrated to me as a newbie. There were no washcloths or water coolers when returning to ship. There were no wow moments for us- and we have had many onboard surprises over the years.....the whole voyage was very laid back...... We are pretty low key, but we do leave home for a break from the ordinary, and to enjoy some special memories and interesting places. But indifference? That was our takeaway. We did not book a new cruise onboard. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
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
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2016
food was fabulous but felt more like a floating nursing home than a cruise ship - walkers, wheelchairs, canes, braces etc. - excursions a nightmare cause all we did was wait for folks who were unable to walk at a normal pace or had to go ... Read More
food was fabulous but felt more like a floating nursing home than a cruise ship - walkers, wheelchairs, canes, braces etc. - excursions a nightmare cause all we did was wait for folks who were unable to walk at a normal pace or had to go to the bathroom every hour - had been on the riviera previously and loved it but this cruise was disaster - worst part was having crew members on their hands and knees cleaning the bottom of the railings on the stairs during the dinner hour - felt terrible walking past them in our dinner attire - will never go on this ship again - very limited times for meals - if you wanted to sleep in you missed breakfast cause they all closed by 10 am - suite smaller than expected and room service a disaster - no one could find any room service menus Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Having cruised many lines previously but not Oceania, we eagerly looked forward to our first, which was the transatlantic cruise from Barcelona to Miami. While it was probably the worst cruise I've ever been on, I will endeavor to ... Read More
Having cruised many lines previously but not Oceania, we eagerly looked forward to our first, which was the transatlantic cruise from Barcelona to Miami. While it was probably the worst cruise I've ever been on, I will endeavor to state the facts fairly. Due to the outbreak of Norovirus and the dismal way it was handled by Oceania, I do have to admit writing a positive review has its challenges. Embarkation went smoothly with no glitches. We got on the ship quickly and waited in one of the bars. There was very little direction from the staff and no beverages but as experienced cruisers, we were fine with just chilling out with some other guests until getting to our room. Cabin: Found it to be nicely appointed with lovely furnishings and the most comfortable beds/bedding. The bathroom is spacious and of course, the bathtub was a big attraction for me. Dining Room: We mainly enjoy having our meals in the main dining room as opposed to the more laid back venues and only ate in the Terrace once....due to the Norovirus outbreak on the ship, I was very hesitant to do the buffet again. We found the breakfast service to be very very slow. Many days it took 15 to 20 minutes after being seated to get a cup of coffee. I solved that by ordering a pot of coffee in my cabin each morning. As for the evening meal, all in all, I would say the food was very good, perhaps a bit bland and most of the time lukewarm. I did find that whenever a deviation from the menu was requested, it seemed to be a huge event for our waiter. For instance, one evening, I asked for mashed potatoes rather than rice. Since mashed potatoes are always on the menu, didn't think that would be such a challenge. As far as the special restaurants, we just loved Red Ginger. A++++ with delicious food, presentation and excellent service. I did not enjoy Toscana's but think I neglected to order well. Activities: Due to the outbreak of Norovirus, we didn't do many of the activities. We had planned on Bridge but nixed the idea of handling playing cards. One day, I took the art class but since my fish painting was so dismal, I decided my artistic abilities left a lot to be desired. Most of the time, we were happy to just chill out by the pool and catch up on our books. Gym: Nicely furnished and never seemed crowded. It horrified me to see people coming and going with little attention to disinfecting. In particular, the lack of staff in the gym to enforce sanitation seemed ridiculous. There should have been someone assigned to the gym to maintain sanitary conditions. I went everday and was fastidious about wiping the equipment before and after use. Wish I could say the same for some of the other guests. Next to the gym is a separate room that is a pleasant place to practice yoga or pilates. Entertainment: We enjoyed some of the evening presentations but most of the time missed them because the service in the dining room was so slow. I'm not sure what goes on with Oceania as far as staffing but it sure didn't work well on this cruise. Perhaps they were also sick or derailed to other shipboard tasks. Did not seem like a well-oiled machine. Excursions: We generally don't do the cruise line excursions...prefer to book our own. Due to the fact that we were denied entry to Bermuda because of the Norovirus issue, the one excursion I had planned on was a moot point. Service: Dismal! I nearly always felt that the crew just wished they didn't have to deal with the guests. Perhaps they were exhausted. I did not see the cheerful happy attitude that I've seen on other ships except for a few people. Never once at the pool was I offered a drink. Disembarkation: Could you even call it that? There was no organization...lines and lines of people pushing and displaying poor etiquette. When we got off the elevator to disembark, there were people everywhere and one didn't know where to go. Added to that was no staff present for direction. Then the long long line to get through customs.....not fun. I'd have to say it was the most disorganized, hectic disembarkation. Of course, I've never seen anything like that previously, even on larger ships. Service: Ah, SERVICE! Shame on you Oceania. I purposely waited a week to write this review because I needed to cool down but I'm still shocked at the complete and utter arrogance of management. For instance, after enduring days and days of not having our room stocked/cared for, I finally went to the front desk with a list of 7 items that we needed assistance with. I discussed everything with the girl and she promised to get it resolved and also to bring it to the manager's attention so he could contact me. To this day I'm still waiting. There was no rhyme or reason to how our room was maintained. I consistently had to leave a written note for our room steward to leave the most basic supplies such as shampoo, water, ice, towels, robes. I might expect this on a no frills cut rate cruise but we all know Oceania is not cheap. Summary: Oceania had been highly recommended by our travel agent as well as our friends. What happened on this ship and how it was handled by management is inexcusable. I lay this issue squarely on management from the Ship Captain to Hotel Captain (neither of which did I ever see.) Plus, the cruise director wasn't much better. I do hope Oceania can learn some lessons about how to handle Norovirus because as of this writing, it is still present on the Riviera. If they had stepped up to the plate and been more active with addressing it from the beginning, perhaps this wouldn't have been the cruise from Hell for so many. The dripping gels got to be annoying. Fortunate for us, we did not catch the virus but still, the shortcomings of management really impacted enjoyment of the cruise. I feel like they buried their head in the sand and just marked the hours until the passengers got off the ship. We will NOT cruise Oceania again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We were aboard the Riviera for the Transatlantic crossing Barcelona to Miami. We have done 10 previous cruises but this was our first cruise with Oceania and we were expecting a special experience as we were celebrating my husbands ... Read More
We were aboard the Riviera for the Transatlantic crossing Barcelona to Miami. We have done 10 previous cruises but this was our first cruise with Oceania and we were expecting a special experience as we were celebrating my husbands 65th. We really enjoy the relaxing aspect of transatlantic trips. In April we took a Princess's transatlantic and despite not being able to dock in Bermuda due to bad weather it was a wonderful experience. Prior to departing we discovered that we had been upgraded from an inside cabin to a veranda. The room was ready shortly after we arrived and the cabin staff were wonderful through out the trip. Our booking came with ship credits as well as one from our travel agent which was missing from our room. When we inquired I was asked for proof and luckily I had all my emails with me. It still took several days for it to appear. The cruise had a number of features we appreciate. We enjoyed the fact that no photography staff were hounding us for photos that we seldom buy. The Library was well stocked and the specialty coffee bar was one of our favorite stops. Part of package was free internet. The connection was slow but Robert the computer room attendant was patient and helpful to everyone who asked for help. One of the first people we met was the cruise director Ray Michaels and despite other comments we found him to be friendly and helpful. The gym facilities were nice and the staff friendly but I found most of the quests had no idea how to use the facilities. Very few of my fellow guest bothered to wipe down equipment after using it. I was one of the guest who became ill during the crossing. At the beginning I thought it was something I ate and stayed in my cabin. On day 2 of the illness I went to the medical center and then realized we had a outbreak. The medical staff provided Imodium and asked me to stay in my cabin for 24 hours. The Doctor was not exactly warm or friendly. I was asked to list everything I had done for the previous 4 days along with where and what I ate. I was given a limited list of food I could eat from room service. Room service trays arrived at the room covered in plastic with a bio-hazard bag to place it in when finished. The first night I ordered grilled chicken and rice. After waiting 45 minutes the food arrived with the chicken not completely cooked and the raw juice running into the rice. After 24 hours I received 2 calls from staff and received very different information as to when I was cleared to leave the room. Turns out someone other than medical staff had made the first call and I was basically confined to my room for another day and the nurse had no idea who would have called. Definitely seemed to be a lack of coordination. During my confinement we had to cancel a dinner reservation for Red Ginger. We were given an alternate day. When no card arrived confirming our time, we went to the desk and were told we did not have a reservation. That was the one place we had looked forward eating at. After being released we stopped going to the buffet and used mainly the main dining room. Service for breakfast and lunch was hit or miss. Some were quick and attentive while others seemed lost and over whelmed. On disembarking I can say that those who were ill were not given any special treatment. We were in the same long, unorganized lines. No ofer of compensation were given to those who were ill during the trip. One of my other complaints was our airfare was included. We were forced to pay for our luggage despite the fact that we checked them in directly back to Canada. The flight they booked for us had a 4 hour stop in Philadelphia when others from our city were put on direct flights. Not sure that I would recommend Oceania to a friend. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Having cruised on NCL, Celebrity, Princess, Disney and Holland America LIne (cruise line of choice of late), we were looking forward to our experience on Riviera and our "step up" from mass market lines to Premier cruising on O. ... Read More
Having cruised on NCL, Celebrity, Princess, Disney and Holland America LIne (cruise line of choice of late), we were looking forward to our experience on Riviera and our "step up" from mass market lines to Premier cruising on O. We researched so that we would be familiar with Oceania and planned what we thought would be nice change from what we were used to on other cruise lines. Our embarkation was very smooth and rooms were ready at 1:00 p.m. Our room was very, very nice (PH), well laid out, tons of outlets, beautiful bathroom, huge walk in closet, etc. Everything you could ask for. The ship is very pretty as well. What we were to discover is that although the cabins and ship are lovely, it was all looks and no substance. Service was very inconsistent on the ship. While there were some good waiters and crew, the poor, uncaring ones outnumbered them. It could be difficult to find a table in the Terrace Grill as tables were not cleared off and left with dirty dishes. Service in the specialty restaurants was the same. The only waiter who asked if we were enjoying our meal was in Jacques (along with one waiter in the GDR). In the rest of the restaurants, we were ignored, left to sit with dirty plates for over 45 minutes on several occasions. (This included Polo where one of our table mates could not eat any of his meal and it sat there on his plate staring at him). Speaking to the restaurant managers did little to improve the situation. While we did not enjoy our meal in Red Ginger, our friends who had a different waiter did. Our food had most likely sat under a heat lamp far too long and suffered accordingly. Their service was far better than ours. So, you could be in the same restaurant at the same time and have a totally different experience because of the inconsistency in the service. Jacques was fabulous as was the service there. Highly recommend. We also did La Reserve and Privee and these were very good. Fabulous service and food. Both of these come at a cost, but the service and experience were certainly worth it. Overall, the ship does not deliver the gastronomy experience and service that it promotes. Other than the few exceptions mentioned, we have had better service on mass market lines. Sadly, Noro raised it ugly head on this cruise. Now, we have been on Noro ships before and it doesn't have to be the end of the world. It can put a bit of a damper on things but normally these outbreaks are handled well. This was not the case on our cruise. Management was non - existent. No communication other than to say we were over 2%. While the ship closed the self serve laundries, other than applying goop on surfaces, little else was done. Pool, hot tub, casino, computer room, library all remained open for everyone to touch. Worse, the silverware, cutlery, glasses were all out in the open at both Waves and the Terrace Grill. Food was placed out prior to 5:00 a.m. (Pastries, fruits, etc.) in Waves and the Terrace Grill uncovered and unprotected. Salt and pepper remained on the tables along with the sugar cubes in the GDR, etc. Tea cups in Horizons are out long before tea time for anyone to touch or handle. No wonder the ship couldn't defeat Noro. Looking back, I am not surprised at the Noro outbreak since the Culinary Class chef was allowing people who were coughing to take the class despite the health stipulation you must sign to take the class. Service continued to deteriorate to the point that when we received our mid cruise survey, a letter requesting a meeting with the GM was sent to discuss issues. We received a form letter back and were unsuccessful at a meeting. O's management stuck their heads in the sand and left the passengers in the dark. Had they communicated it would have improved things somewhat. A lot of new crew boarded in Barcelona and while the tendency is to blame the new crew, the ones we met were the ones giving the good service. Many of us were disappointed with the last minute announcement (at dinner time the night before we were to dock) that Bermuda's Ministry of Health had refused the Riviera permission to dock. (We were supposed to have a two day stay here.) That was more revealing than any information the ship had provided to us. This added two sea days to our Transatlantic crossing so instead of 5 days at sea, we were 7 days. There were no special events or additional activities planned for these two days. Same old, same old. There was no token apology as you see on other cruise lines. No opening of bars, not even a cheap glass of sparkling wine. It just appeared that no one in management cared, so why should the rest of the staff? In fact, passengers nearly got treated as nuisances as our cruise was drawing to a close. Disembarkation was horrific. I have never seen such a bad one. People came from every crevice on the ship trying to get in the line. There was little staff there to keep things organized so it took far longer than it should have. Inconsistency is a huge issue on this ship. If you luck into the right waiters, you can have a great experience on this ship. If you don't......beware - like us, you may feel you didn't get what you paid for. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
First, we have been on ten O cruises (over 30 total) so there are grounds for a fair comparison and constructive criticism. The cruise as a whole was disappointing and in many respects discouraging. As long-time fans of Oceania, we ... Read More
First, we have been on ten O cruises (over 30 total) so there are grounds for a fair comparison and constructive criticism. The cruise as a whole was disappointing and in many respects discouraging. As long-time fans of Oceania, we have always been amazed at the high quality service and the never-failing cheerfulness of the staff. Both aspects were sadly missing on this cruise. In fact, the service we experienced was unexceptional. In a number of instances, service was clearly unacceptable. Wait staff in the Terrace Café was often unfriendly and sometimes downright surly. It was not unusual for us to sit for 10 minutes at a table without a staff member or floor manager coming by to ask if we wanted water, coffee or juice. We walked out of the Terrace several times at breakfast after we sat ignored while other tables with guests arriving after us received attentive service. It was not an uncommon sight in the Terrace to see dirty dishes and glasses sitting atop tables for an extended period. In the Grand Dining Room, lunch and breakfast service was disorganized and, once again, very slow. Our orders took a long time to be delivered. Several orders were missing items (such as French fries with a sandwich!) or it was difficult to get the attention of floor staff to refill our water glasses and coffee cups. Again, it was apparent to us and many others insufficient staff members were assigned to service guests and those who were assigned appeared poorly trained or newly arrived. Service did not reflect the standards we have come to expect from Oceania. We understand the Noro outbreak imposed additional demands on the crew. However, prior to the outbreak, we felt the ship was understaffed and service was, in many but not all instances, sullen and unresponsive. Management – from the GM down - were not evident supervising and remedying obvious service shortcomings. This was not what we have come to expect from Oceania. We would place an order or request a basic item (such as mustard or Tabasco) and it would take a long time or our request was ignored. Service in Martini’s Lounge was abysmal. Bar staff would stand around chatting with each other while many guests sat without being served during Happy Hour. For a transatlantic cruise with five consecutive sea days (which became seven when Bermuda refused the ship entry), activities on board were sparse or just inane. On previous crossings, onboard activities were far more plentiful and thoughtful. Perhaps the Cruise Director lacked creativity or failed to make a modicum of effort. Bean bag tossing, ping pong & needlepoint do not fill an empty schedule. We have never been bored on a cruise before – this was like watching paint dry. The “special” movies showings were dated films that were out of place on an upscale ship when presented in the Theater. Musicians – the String Quartet, lounge pianist, vocalist – were often out of tune and unlistenable. The band and jazz trio in Horizons were very good. We were surprised at the number of errors in the daily newspaper. The paper omitted certain scheduled items or the information printed was incorrect. How does that happen? We have never experienced that sort of sloppiness before. Our disappointment was not the widespread outbreak of Noro virus. That has happened on other cruises we have taken. Our disappointment was the way management communicated to guests – more precisely, failed to communicate - the situation and steps taken to curb the outbreak. The slapdash, amateurish approach ship management undertook was puzzling and inconsistent and soon became a widespread joke among passengers. For example, salt & pepper shakers remained openly available, there was no staff member at the various dining venues insisting guests use a hand sanitizer before being seating (except a crew member did stand and request guests sanitize their hands at the Terrace but this was not mandatory and many ignored the request.), the procedure to sanitize tables and chairs in the dining venues seemed to lack managerial oversight and was spotty. Guest laundry rooms were closed but no explanation was offered at any time as to why this was done. We voiced complaints with Reception about this and other issues. We were told the front desk would “report this to Miami.” We never heard another word from management – the GM and Concierge never responded. That was surprising as on past cruises, management was receptive and eager to respond to constructive suggestions and feedback. We had to request replenishment of soap, water and other items in our cabin. This was not the case on prior sailings. Our room was not made up on several occasions and we complained to Reception. No follow up or inquiry from the GM or Concierge. The cabin toilet did not flush on two days. It was fixed after multiple calls but no follow up or attempt to make sure the disgusting problem had been corrected. The food in the specialty restaurants, excluding Jacques, was either mediocre or (in the case of Polo) inedible. No questions were asked when we left Toscana and Polo with entrees half eaten on the plate and avoided desert. We did discover a terrific wait person in the Grand Dining Room for dinner. We left December 2nd from a ship that was understaffed compared to our prior Oceania cruises and the staff that we encountered on Riviera several weeks ago appeared less than enthusiastic about being onboard with us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
This was our 17th cruise - 4th on Oceania. The food was very good for the most part and in perfect portions for multiple-course meals (with the exception of perhaps one overzealous cook who seemed to greatly overcook the fish fillets ... Read More
This was our 17th cruise - 4th on Oceania. The food was very good for the most part and in perfect portions for multiple-course meals (with the exception of perhaps one overzealous cook who seemed to greatly overcook the fish fillets from time to time). As I heard one chef say a few years ago: "If I want overcooked fish, I'll open a can!" The ship is beautiful and sails like a dream. We were very fortunate to have great weather and mostly calm seas for the entire crossing/voyage. This was not, however, Oceania's finest moment. Many of the guests commented on experiencing inconsistent service which we noticed also. About 800 of the ~1100 guests on board were repeat cruisers and many had the same issues. And it was not confined to one area. It was in the all dining rooms, Guest Services, and even stateroom attention. Occasionally we experienced very long wait times between ordering, receiving courses, refilling water glasses, bringing dessert and usually coffee never made it to the table. We went to the Grand dining room on one occasion three days in a row and amazingly ended up with the same server. The first day he brought my husband the wrong entree, the second day the wrong soup, the third day the wrong dessert. How does this happen? And needless to say, coffee never arrived. We were very pleasant with him about it and we all laughed (including him) but really! At the start of the cruise, we noticed that attention to detail was missing in our stateroom. Initial welcome-aboard documents were incomplete, batteries for the remote control, in-room safe etc. needed replacement. The night light in the washroom didn't work, the carpet was dirty. I'm not fussy, but walking barefoot was uncomfortable. In fairness, after mentioning it they actually sent people in to shampoo the whole carpet. The atmosphere on board was mostly professional but not warm. Many staff seemed to be going through the motions of doing their jobs but not necessarily pleased about it. It crossed my mind that maybe they were having a labor slowdown. We met a multiple-repeat couple on board whom we knew from the prior cruise and they commented on this and noticed there was not the usual ambience. It was clearly not to our and many people's high expectations and prior experiences on Oceania. We had noticed at the beginning of the cruise that the staff were not diligent in encouraging hand sanitizing - as a result, many people just walked by the sanitizers which were hiding discreetly on the wall - and didn't sanitize. Needless to say, there was a Noro virus outbreak which quickly got out of control. Ultimately there were 74 guests and 12 staff who came down with it. Thankfully we escaped it. So, for much of the cruise, staff were then required, in addition to their normal duties, to sanitize walls, chair arms, handrails, doorknobs etc. Many times we'd go to our stateroom to use the toilet and the seat would be soaking wet with disinfectant. There was a continual unpleasant smell of disinfectant cleaners throughout the ship. We paid extra for our stateroom in order to avail ourselves of the Concierge Lounge. Since snacks and other usual food items were non-existent and we didn't use the concierge himself, this so called benefit was not worth the money. We were scheduled to dock in Bermuda for two days but due to the outbreak, Bermuda's Health Dept. denied the ship entry. So instead of five straight days at sea, we had seven (which became two too many). Then we docked in Nassau for two days instead. Needless to say, immigration in Miami took longer than usual to get the ship cleared. Again the Cruise Director thanked us endlessly for our patience which by this time was wearing quite thin for many people. While I recognize the extra work, stress and pressure this put on the staff, it changed the environment and many of the food services on the ship. Oceania was very apologetic to everyone as they indicated to us that this was not the cruise we had expected but that their staff was working very hard as a result. At the end of the cruise, the Cruise Director suggested that we should rate them on their effort (rather than the results, I guess.) They did not offer any type of goodwill compensation (some people thought a complimentary drink might be nice but was not to be until future cruises it seems). Some guests said that apologies only go so far. Expectations from repeat cruisers and first-timers alike is very high and some were not happy at all. It is not a cheap cruise line. I wouldn't doubt that they will receive many negative end-of-cruise surveys and Oceania may likely blame it all on the outbreak, but clearly there were more issues going on than just that. In that they haven't acknowledged the fact that they have so many disgruntled guests by contacting them and apologizing is inexcusable. It would make good business sense to offer those of us involved a token of compensation such as a $100 shipboard credit for the next cruise. This would appease a lot of people and perhaps they would retain valued repeat customers as well as first-timers who left likely never to return. As for me, it'll be awhile before I consider trying Oceania again. Thankfully there are other options. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We had an amazing experience on Marina in 2013 when we went to Brazil. The ship was fantastic and the service was first rate. Our butler was exceptional and kept in touch with us on a daily basis. I still have a little wooden parrot at ... Read More
We had an amazing experience on Marina in 2013 when we went to Brazil. The ship was fantastic and the service was first rate. Our butler was exceptional and kept in touch with us on a daily basis. I still have a little wooden parrot at home named in his honour. We therefore booked with Oceania again for a trip to Miami. Once agin we booked an Oceania suite and for nearly two years looked forward to the trip. Our first impressions at Barcelona were extremely good. At just after 11am we boarded the ship. The whole process of boarding took about twenty minutes and was completely hassle free. As Riviera is a sister ship to Marina we immediately felt at home and once again had a wow moment as we entered our suite. For the first few days all seemed well and we enjoyed our time. The only thing we could find to criticze was the new thelassa pool on the spa deck. It had little seating and the controls were hard to access and in anything but dead calm sea you tended to be sloshed from one end to another. The food was exactly as we had expected. Toscana was enjoyable as was Polo grill and Red Ginger was brilliant. Jacques we didn't like but that was mainly because the food was not really to our taste. Service in Jacques made up for that though and service was generally good in Polo and Toscana. I have to say though that the service in Red Ginger eclipsed all others. We also used Waves and the food was as before and what you would expect from a grill on deck. We had a sneaking suspicion that food at The Terrace was not as good and despite the huge selection often struggled to choose anything. The quality of the hot items often left a lot to be desired. We attended the "Rock the wok" cookery course. This consisted of us brushing a marinade onto salmon, chopping a few vegetables and cooking them and then assembling a couple of bits of sushi. It was a pretty poor experience that taught us nothing new..... In those first few days we noticed that we had little contact with our butler and on the occasions that we did contact him it wasn't a great experience. For example we ordered an in suite breakfast so that we could get out early for a tour. the breakfast was nearly twenty minutes late and ( I know this might seem a little petty) but he didn't bother to set it out. On another occasion we rang at 3.45 and asked for tea but he snapped back that we would have to wait until after 4pm as the scones had not been cooked. On another occasion I was leaving the cabin when I met the butler returning some items from the laundry. I told him my partner was in the cabin and he could knock despite the privacy sign. When he did so he told my partner that "Your friend said it was ok to knock". if he found our sexuality awkward he could have referred to us by name. I would say our super stewardess knew our names within minutes of first meting us and never failed to greet us when she encountered us Just before we arrived at Medeira we began to hear rumours about the Norvo virus and upon leaving the crew began in earnest to start disinfecting everywhere. Certain services were curtailed (particularly the laundrette) and the crew worked tirelessly to bring things under control. I would certainly not blame Oceania for the outbreak of this bug but I think they share responsibility for the following reasons. Firstly, when we embarked at Barcelona there was absolutely no effort made to get passengers to concentrate on hygiene such as using the sanitizer gels around the ship. Had this been done at an early stage the extent of the outbreak would probably have been much reduced. As it was we had five days in which there was no effort made to take control. Secondly, when precautions were implemented they were not consistent. For example, salt and pepper pots were not removed from tables until quite late into the cruise in certain venues. I used the gym every day and saw the most awful examples of personal hygiene there - it was not until the last three or four days of the cruise that I saw staff there supervising the gym to get people to wipe down the equipment. Given that cleanliness was key to combatting the bug it also was crazy that the laundrettes were closed making it harder for passengers to have clean clothing. I am not sure compensation would have been appropriate for what happened but I think letting passengers have at least one complimentary set of clothing to the main laundry would have been reasonable. We received no updates from anyone about the illness on board and it was only the day before we were due to get to Bermuda that we heard that we were not going there. The tone from those in charge was a little arrogant. It was as if they could not utter the word "sorry" in case they made themselves liable in some way. The ship then noticeably slowed down as we were told that we would head towards Bahamas for a two day stay. The extra sea days were difficult for crew and passengers alike. One day in Nassau is a day too many and two was exceptionally tedious. It is hard to see its charms and the tour we had of the "highlights" felt a little desperate and made the loss of Bermuda more keenly felt. By his time too we had had to get used to all meat being incinerated in all of the restaurants for health reasons apparently. As we neared the end of our cruise our butler was supposed to return our passports. Other butlers had contacted guests in the morning and organised things. Ours did not and when we found him at 11.50 am he told us we would have to queue at reception to retrieve it. His attitude towards us had made us feel uncomfortable and we effectively stopped using his services as a result some time before . At the point of disembarkation we also discovered that we had not had a form to complete from him which would have detailed our preference for disembarkation. We therefore were amongst the last to be called to leave the ship. I cannot say for certain why we had this experience with the butler. In the UK equality has become so entrenched that we hardly ever consider that we are different from anyone else. Perhaps we should be more aware that this is not always the same elsewhere. We met some wonderful people on the cruise and they made up for the shortcomings of the cruise in no small part. It is also true that the crew (on the whole) worked their socks off and we're delighted to be able to recognise some of those in the end of cruise questionnaire. With a heavy heart I am really sorry to say that I am not going to return to Oceania. I know all cruise lines have diehard adherents including Oceania and they will howl with outrage at my comments and seek to point to my failings rather than those of Oceania but I can only relate experiences from our viewpoint. I fully accept that others will have had very different experiences....... Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
My recent cruising of the Insignia, a vessel belonging to Oceania Cruises, was quite disappointing after having enjoyed several cruising trips on various vessels belonging to their sister company, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. The Insignia ... Read More
My recent cruising of the Insignia, a vessel belonging to Oceania Cruises, was quite disappointing after having enjoyed several cruising trips on various vessels belonging to their sister company, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. The Insignia is quite an old vessel completely refurbished with some sort of lavish splendor in their many sprawling, but almost always empty common areas. This is sadly and ironically paired with what was found in the living quarters, which gave the impression of being a more suitable size for the crew. I had in fact opted for a special cabin on the 8th floor, which Oceania labels a luxury suite, but this was a blatant case of misrepresentation, as for example the shower was so small that it was not even possible for me to stand completely upright. After spending over $35,000 for this cruise, from Barcelona to Dubai, I could not believe that Oceania would charge you for each time you would need to use the washer & dryer machines. The so-called suites, were also provided with in-room “free” Wi-Fi internet service. But it was so intermittent and erratic, that during the entire cruise a vast crowd of passengers would line-up daily at the ship’s communication center asking for assistance. In order to have a second internet line in our suite, the charge was $26 dollars/day. I would in no way call that a “deal.” Furthermore, Blackberry and cell phone service was disabled by the cruise scrambler and you had no choice but to use Insignia’s over-priced telephone service of at least $5/minute. Additionally, the over-priced costs continued with a simple visit to the on-board doctor for over $700. Also, after being used to free, decent wine and drinks on Regent, I was quite shocked to find out that the wine offered aboard Insignia, which would warrant a retail price of $10/bottle in U.S. or Europe, was sold aboard for over $40/bottle. During the weeks spent on-board, the Captain and other officers never arranged to join the passengers during meals, as is customary on the other cruise chips including Regent. In fact, while the general service aboard the Insignia was commendable, the management personnel in charge of the ship was not easily accessible, aloof, detached and impersonal. It was required to to make a special appointment, in order to speak with anyone of higher management or distinction on the ship. Lastly, compared with Regent Cruises, the lectures and entertainment offered on Insignia was at best modest to borderline mediocre. This was quite obvious by how many passengers would leave in the middle of the lectures. In many instances, I found out that the lecturer was highlighting the destinations where the excursions where offered, but without the lecturer having ever been there! After this very odd overall experience, where I felt that every minute I was taken for a very unpleasant ride, I doubt very much that I will ever return to the Insignia or any other vessel belonging to Oceania Cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2014
We chose Oceania, Riviera due to its publicity showing relaxed elegance, even though it was dearer than others, plus itinerary was interesting.Their big selling point was that they have the best cuisine afloat -- not true! SHIP. It is ... Read More
We chose Oceania, Riviera due to its publicity showing relaxed elegance, even though it was dearer than others, plus itinerary was interesting.Their big selling point was that they have the best cuisine afloat -- not true! SHIP. It is only 2 years old so is sparkling and most areas are tastefully decorated. Some of the art left us cold. There were no friendly venues onboard, comfort wise they were ok but did not attract any of the passengers. I was concerned that all the lifeboats are not accessible to the general public and you definitely need a crewman if there is an emergency. ACTIVITIES. It was a minimal programme and they couldn't even coordinate a happy hour with an afternoon performance by the comedian (that you'd have to be drunk to listen to!). SERVICE. They tried for the first leg, but we lost the GM and the new one did not follow up on our concerns. We put in a written complaint after 2 days cruising and the GM got me face to face and arranged for some of the other managers to meet with us. It did not solve the global issues -- see food/dining. EXCURSIONS. Far too expensive for what was offerred. We had a good time with local cabs and buses. They also did not give any local news for each port before getting there - tips on travel etc, but every port had a local rep after they docked, which was like a rugby scrum every morning. CABIN. Acceptable DINING. We got raw, cold food continuously in their so called 5 star dining. Yes they would replace it with well cooked hot food but every second meal it was the same. Only 4 times out of 10 tries did we get a soft boiled egg that was acceptable! Their food was too rich for plain food gourmets and if you forgot to tell them to leave off the sauce it was often not very palatable. Their presentation was fantastic, and service was quick. They also claimed "country club casual" which is a jacket but no tie. There was no policing and my overweight baggage was useless as folk rocked up in shorts. There was very little effort made to encourage meeting people over meals and single seating was the majority. We cruise to meet folk and we had a real struggle on this ship. CHILDREN They advertise that there is nothing for kids but people brought them in droves and let them run amok, especially around the pool and open bars. Supervisors did nothing. ENTERTAINMENT What we saw was very poor. They only have one show a night so it was easy to miss. SUMMARY It does not live up to its hype or cost, re cuisine and casual elegance.   Read Less
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