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54 Helpful Votes
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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose this cruise because we heard Oceania gave you great service and catered to passengers. We paid top price for a second hand ship they purchased fromPrincess and tried to refurbish it for this cruise and did not have enough time so ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we heard Oceania gave you great service and catered to passengers. We paid top price for a second hand ship they purchased fromPrincess and tried to refurbish it for this cruise and did not have enough time so it was not in a great shape. Most of staff was not experienced Including dining room, shows for very little they had and all went wrong. Electrical issues, fired in the engine room, plumbing not working correctly, long waits for diners , bars etc.... lots of passengers were Platinum members and other members and said this was the worst cruises hip they had ever been . I have been on 15 cruises and this was the second worst on my list. We paid $ 20,000.00 and got robbed. Everyone felt his way and it's a shame how they get away with this. They offered us $ 300.00 compensation, what a slap in the face. Apparently the other ships are totally different with everything as we were told by other passengers. So don't get robbed on The Beautiful Serena, because it was a disappointment and we could have had a great cruise on a much higher end ship for the price. Will never go on Oceania again and would not recommend them for how we were all treated on this ship. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Heard great things about Oceania. This cruise was the inaugural cruise on Sirena. We were extremely disappointed in this ship. The renovations they claim to make we're not always evident. From problems with rooms, service and ... Read More
Heard great things about Oceania. This cruise was the inaugural cruise on Sirena. We were extremely disappointed in this ship. The renovations they claim to make we're not always evident. From problems with rooms, service and entertainment this was a horrible experience. Rooms were small even though we had a room on the concierge floor. Service was slow. We saw limited servers in the bar area and it took forever to get a drink. In main dining room, service took forever most nights. Red Ginger was very good. Stage allowed only people on the front row to see the acts. The main entertainers were amateurish. The magician and sax player were pretty good. Public restrooms in some cases had soap dispensers not working and no towels. Hot tubs did not work ( no jets) the entire cruise. The excursions were not accurately described at time of booking, and by the time you got a more detailed description it was to late to change your selection. Recommend you stay away from this ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Very disappointed in this cruise. The ship is wonderful, the crew was very effective - if not the best I have ever seen, but I was very disappointed in being turned away from Bemuda due to a "norovirus" outbreak. No ... Read More
Very disappointed in this cruise. The ship is wonderful, the crew was very effective - if not the best I have ever seen, but I was very disappointed in being turned away from Bemuda due to a "norovirus" outbreak. No compensation was ever offered for the extra time at sea, even upon request. It turns out that 70 passengers and 10 crew were sick....but does that mean they had norovirus, or were just seasick or had weak systems? (Age may be a factor here). At any rate, this issue caused us to negotiate the ship carefully due to the cleaning slime that was swabbed everywhere; tables, doorknobs, walls, rails, etc. The food, or course, had to be well cooked - which put a new twist on fine dining. Also disappointed in the array of clothing worn by gentlemen to the dining room - crocs, zip-off pants, shoddy shirts; I think the return to the "jacket required" rule would solve the issue. In spite of this preventable disaster, we enjoyed the entertainment, but will likely return to other cruise lines with a younger demographic in the future. In spite of the bad experiences as noted, the ship is very nice. There are some amenities missing, it seems to be built for a crowd that goes to bed a 10 pm. The Horizons lounge did have dancing every night, and was well attended - probably 50 people each night. The shows were excellent, and the "house" entertainers were very good. NCL trains them well at their boot camp for the whole NCL group, including Oceania. The fitness facility was the smallest I have seen on a cruise ship, and the most crowded. I think they need to re-think the use of the facility and make it bigger. Sometimes it seemed more like a physio clinic than a gym, but it was well used. Embarkation and disembarkation were very efficient, which is probably typical for a small ship. To summarize, Beautiful ship, awesome crew, great entertainment, but a really bad experience with a very elderly crowd and a virus. This will likely be my first and last cruise on Oceania, so: My advice - save your money and go to an all-inclusive. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
My husband and I have sailed many times with Windstar, Seabourn, Azamara, Cunard, Celebrity, and Holland America. This was the worst cruise we have ever experienced. From the moment of embarkation, seemingly simple requests were met with ... Read More
My husband and I have sailed many times with Windstar, Seabourn, Azamara, Cunard, Celebrity, and Holland America. This was the worst cruise we have ever experienced. From the moment of embarkation, seemingly simple requests were met with indignation by the staff (a request for a map of the ship, the ship's itinerary, a printout of a boarding pass, etc.). This was a bad sign for us as we had paid extra to sail concierge class which was to place us in a higher category of service. Then, up in the buffet, by the numbers, there were supposed to be more service crew. No one was ever available to help take food to the table and there were no trays, find a table, help elderly passengers avoid falls, etc. The management seemed to take a hard line *against* the passengers and *prevent* the crew from fulfilling simple requests made by the passengers. Then, when norovirus broke out on the ship (it seems that it has been a problem on this ship for a long time), the crew were deployed to wipe down every surface of the ship at every moment. This meant that at mealtimes, the crew made the surfaces slippery where passengers needed to walk. More than one passenger was injured as a result of this. Because of the outbreak, we were prevented from docking in one of the ports. Fine. The laundry rooms were shut down and made unavailable for passenger use. Fine. The internet was not satisfactory. Fine. But then, after all of these things, the bursar would intervene to prevent a crew member from printing my boarding pass, I was astounded. Other things: the cabin was not clean. Dust was visable and had to be pointed out to steward. Even when dust was pointed out in one place, it did not cause the steward from looking elsewhere in the cabin for dust. Although we were concierge class, our minibar was never filled. Food was mediocre and unremarkable. Service was spotty. No trays at the buffet and no help either. All-in-all, this cruise was a HUGE disappointment. We will not sail again with Oceania again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2013
I sailed on the Oceania Marina on November 10, 2013. The first 5 days went very well. All of the ships employees met expectations. The food was very good and gourmet. The accommodations in a balcony room were spacious, luxurious and ... Read More
I sailed on the Oceania Marina on November 10, 2013. The first 5 days went very well. All of the ships employees met expectations. The food was very good and gourmet. The accommodations in a balcony room were spacious, luxurious and comfortable...... Then the bombshell. I became ill and had to see the M.D...or what passes for an M.D. I was in sick-bay for approx. 3 hours and had to receive I.V. fluids. At one point when I questioned the treatment because my hearing is not superb the M.D. said "If you don't like the treatment here you can go to a hospital in Palermo where the doctors do not speak any English." Was this a threat I ask you. At the end of the 3 hours the price was a mere $1,792.00 for which I have yet to get paid. I have not gotten paid from my insurance company because the M.D or so-called M.D. did not use the proper coding. This experience has so soured me against cruises that I do not think that I will every cruise again even though this was my 7th. (first on Oceania). I wrote to Oceania and they refused to accept any responsibility. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2004
We have been sailing for 10 years on HAL, RCCL, Seabourn, Crystal etc. This was the absolute worst cruise experience we have had. I list here in no particular order my thoughts concerning our Regatta sailing of 24 days. Nickel and ... Read More
We have been sailing for 10 years on HAL, RCCL, Seabourn, Crystal etc. This was the absolute worst cruise experience we have had. I list here in no particular order my thoughts concerning our Regatta sailing of 24 days. Nickel and Diming: $2 for both incoming and outgoing emails, replies are not delivered to one's cabin $39 for round trip "shuttle" in to Cork, local train located behind dock 4.6 euros $39 for round trip into Dublin, taxi 8 euros (the Irish tourist office called for taxis until the ship's management made them quit evoking fury from experienced LOL travelers so the ship relented) $3 for bottled water $14 corkage fee $28-68 for California supermarket wines $4.95 DAILY for newspaper of choice No daily news sheets $12 DAILY to receive and send emails from cabin $.95 a minute computer expenses for internet access. Cabin amenities: plastic bathrooms No Marble to be seen Great duvet, pillows and bed linens. Actual bed nothing special. Towels so rough and nonabsorbent they can be used as exfoliaters. No VCR without great fuss from truculent GM. One sink in premium cabin Many days of no water in the toilet Terrible smell from bilge (other?) wafting through the drain in the WC. Turning off the AC during the night, voiding use of down duvet. Returning to hot cabin after a day in port because once again they turned off the AC. In suite toiletries drying to both skin and hair. Butlers who DO NOT either pack or unpack, and very little else. Only Continental breakfast available Iin suite in the AM. Shower/Bath leaks all over the floor. Bar Services: Candied cherries rather that maraschino cherries in the drinks that require them. Nothing to make a Chocolate Martini. Extra charge for mixers i.e. soda, tonic, other. Bar appetizers laughable: scrapes of butter or mayo on see through bread with unidentifiable filling or topping. Never a server in sight when one is needed Ship's Management: Generally and politely trained to say "No" a dozen different ways Ships's Entertainment Staff: Helpful and always fun Ship's wait staff: Mostly friendly and helpful the further they were from Management Food and Dining Experience: Main Dining Room - So much for Jacques Pepin. Too much fat and salt 21/2 hours for dinner 45 minute wait if arrived at 8 pm (unless you tipped the maitre D') if arrived at 9 pm out in 45 min (all three courses) Terrace for lunch - Tear down begins 15 minutes prior to actual close Tapas Generally the best place for a meal because you can sit outside and still make it to the show Waves, the best burgers, salads and fish without the hassle of the Terrace Polo Room Best dish Rack of Lamb NOT the beef Had to send back meal 3 times and still not correctly done with wrong cut of beef Toscan Hands down the best atmosphere,service and food Head waiter Angellino and Sommlier Tanja the BEST Problems: Surly officers and other staff Smoking policy No smoking on Verandahs (violently enforced) No Cigar Room except for on deck in the wind and rain Horrid perfume in the area of the Horizon lounge where smoking was allowed (gagged as I walked by) No VCRs or video library NO TAILOR No consumption of libations brought on board in public areas (humph!) country Club Casual dismal failure, many unshaven men on board Passengers have no idea what "country Club" attire is. It short one can have "Your world, Your way" only when the management of this ship will allow. The ONLY thing management has down flat is disembarking their passengers smoothly and efficiently. What a relief to get off the Regatta! I hope future cruisers will find this "Laundry List" helpful. Dr. K.T. Elliott Read Less
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