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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
The itinerary was spectacular from hot Buenos Aires to chilly Falkland Islands, around the Horn into icy Patagonia, then back into warmer climate into Peru. So, we did not use outdoor spaces much for about half the trip. Favorite stops ... Read More
The itinerary was spectacular from hot Buenos Aires to chilly Falkland Islands, around the Horn into icy Patagonia, then back into warmer climate into Peru. So, we did not use outdoor spaces much for about half the trip. Favorite stops were Punta Del Este, Falkland Islands (so many penguins), Amalia Glacier in Patagonia, Chilean Andes from Coquimo, Orsorno Glacier from Puerto Montt, Valparaiso, Ballestas Islands from Pisco, Barranco district of Lima. We made it safely and without incident to every scheduled port. Naturalist on board was good and some of the entertainment, musicians were really special. The staff was great and it was nice to return to a sparkling room every day and night. The restaurants were good but Red Ginger was outstanding. The menu in the main dining room was different most nights. Buffet is great for breakfast, outdoor grill is nice for mid-afternoon snack after a day on tour. Baristas was very nice for a leisurely coffee and pastry. Martinis was a fun place to gather with new friends before dinner. Never used the casino and we did not participate in many on-board activities except for the single malt tasting which was fun. Note: organize land tours with a small group (8-12 people) on your own as we did. These land excursions can be the best part of the experience. An excursion with 25 folks on a bus is quite limiting, and the prices for small group ship tours are quite high. Final analysis: we would definitely cruise with Oceania again and look forward to it. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We were looking for the cruise of a lifetime, in the best cabin. It was our first cruise with Oceania, but our 7th overall. There was a lovely mix of nationalities, mostly American and Canadians, then Brits like us, Aussies and others. ... Read More
We were looking for the cruise of a lifetime, in the best cabin. It was our first cruise with Oceania, but our 7th overall. There was a lovely mix of nationalities, mostly American and Canadians, then Brits like us, Aussies and others. English was the majority main language. We are in our 50s and found we were amongst the youngest onboard. The median age was around 70. Our fellow cruisers were sophisticated, gentle, friendly, polite people who were well travelled. There were absolutely no children on board We treated ourselves to an Owners Suite ....wow! It was stunning, beautifully equipped, with lovely welcome gifts, like champagne, a set of Bulgari toiletries, a tote bag and a beach bag with fluffy towels to take home. Our butler, Abhi, had been well trained and was friendly and professional, arranging anything we needed, even before we knew we needed it. He made us feel so special and so spoilt. Meals were served in suite from any restaurant on board, so we often ate in. There is a bar setup for some suites, so we had a choice of spirits or wine, which was great. We used the suite far more than we would normally because it felt so lovely .....it was like a Manhattan apartment. We thought the standard of food was generally very high.The main dining room was very good, buffet had plenty of choice and was good, Waves grill was OK, Tuscan was variable and Red Ginger was excellent with great food and service. Special mention must go to the Maitre D’ in Red Ginger, Hula from Cape Town who was outstanding. Baristas coffee bar was our first port of call each morning...a lifesaver The small ship was much more intimate than larger ones which meant no queues for getting on and off the ship. We also liked the country club casual dress code and found that people generally dressed up for the evenings. The captain and crew were often seen around and were very friendly. The Captain’s cocktail party was a lovely evening and it was nice to see staff being rewarded for long service. We also enjoyed the farewell from the crew, where we were able to clap them onstage and they, in turn, clapped us out of the lounge. We didn’t really do the shows so can’t comment, neither did we use the bars or enrichment activities. The library was amazing - leave your books at home, there are plenty to suit all tastes. The spa was expensive but I did get a good manicure and my husband had a relaxing massage. We did 6 shore excursions, having bought a discounted package. I disagree with previous poor comments, as we had nothing but good experiences. The tours were professional, with a fair standard of English and buses far exceeded our expectations. Our cruise was from Buenos Aires to Lima, taking 3 weeks. It was amazing, despite a couple of days of bad weather, which is so much more obvious on a small ship. Thank goodness for seasickness patches! There were quite a few sea days, but that is the nature of the distances covered On the negative side, I burnt my hand due to ill fitting lids on takeaway coffee cups and found I was not alone. I cursed myself for having left our reusable cups in the cabin that day! Please get lids that fit or give guests reusable cups, which would be a greener option. Also the vibrations at the back of the ship were terrible and the cabin shook and rattled when going at speed. We did get used to it, but it would put me off spending that kind of money again on that suite. We would absolutely travel on Oceania again and we loved this trip. My husband commented that if he were a billionaire he would employ our butler Abhi in a heartbeat. We can dream...... Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We have been on many Oceania cruises and loved them all. We selected this 33 day cruise that started in Buenos Aires and ended in Miami, primarily because my husband wanted to experience the Amazon. The ship is almost exactly like the ... Read More
We have been on many Oceania cruises and loved them all. We selected this 33 day cruise that started in Buenos Aires and ended in Miami, primarily because my husband wanted to experience the Amazon. The ship is almost exactly like the other three smaller Oceania ships and the staff were really attentive and friendly. I didn't feel that way with the Officers. When I completed my mid-cruise feedback form, I really expected to hear from someone as I was pretty specific with my concerns. Never heard. My major issue with the ship...is really an Corporate/Operations Issue. They specially wrote in the cruise itinerary literature, and reconfirmed it when I called, that the itinerary would not stop in an endemic area that is experiencing Yellow Fever now. WRONG!!! According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) bulletins, we were visiting two ports that are considered Ground Zero for the recent rash of Yellow Fever in Brazil. Needless to say, based on their information, we chose not to take the vaccination and were pretty stressed when we were in these areas. The cruise itself. Although there were some interesting ports scattered through the itinerary, most of the port calls were boring with nothing to offer. Several resulted in a very quick turnaround back to the ship as there was nothing to see or do. And safety was an issue too. Brazil is not a place where you hail a cab. And police were telling folks not to walk here and there. There were WAY too many sea days, some scheduled, others because the ship couldn't anchor due to weather. Our 33 day cruise ended with almost 10 sea days. And Sirena does not offer any extra activities for those days. At one point we had 5 sea days in a row and everyone on board was ready to scream. Although we enjoy a quiet ship, there should be some exciting activities when having such a long stretch. Oceania food is noteworthy. Its one of the reasons we enjoy Oceania. But I have to say that although we have traveled on Nautica and Insigna many times, we didn't feel that the Sirena reached the same bar with food. It was good, usually, but not great. Even the two specialty restaurants were just ok. An example of lack of attention to detail is the coffee bar near the grand dining room. Great afternoon coffee, but the few snacks that are available there didn't change during the 33 days we were on the cruise. Yes, we could have gone to the afternoon tea and indulged in all of those treats, but we intentionally do not. But a good tasting cookie with the coffee was not to be had. Others who did indulge also offered the same tasteless comments. The Amazon. I guess our expectations were considerably different from the reality of our 1,000 mile cruise into and out of the Amazon. We were expecting a fairly narrow river with rainforest on either size...and monkeys and other observable wildlife with the aid of binoculars. The reality was that the river was sometimes 100 miles wide and never narrow enough so that you felt like you were in a jungle atmosphere. That required private excursions. The tiny villages we anticipated were good sized cities of up to 300,000 residents. Had we traveled the Amazon from the Pacific side (Ecuador or Peru), rather than the Atlantic, I think our expectations would have been realized. In summary, this is not an itinerary I will recommend to anyone! There are too many other fascinating places to see and enjoy to waste most of your time visiting insignificant ports with nothing to offer. I hate having such a negative report, but I was not alone in my analysis of this trip. I didn't speak to one person who thought this itinerary was worth traversing. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Our first cruises were on Riviera and Marina, both commencing in Barcelona. We chose this cruise to see Rio and escape the cold Canadian winter. Wasn't Sure whether the smaller Sirena would be as nice as Riviera or Marina, but I ... Read More
Our first cruises were on Riviera and Marina, both commencing in Barcelona. We chose this cruise to see Rio and escape the cold Canadian winter. Wasn't Sure whether the smaller Sirena would be as nice as Riviera or Marina, but I liked it even better. Beautiful European decor and all the same function rooms including a library to die for! The balcony stateroom was slightly smaller than Riviera and the bathroom has shower only but this was OK as far as we were concerned. First few ports...Rio Grande de Sul and Porto Belo were unimpressive but sailing in to Rio past Sugar Loaf at 5 am was a thrill of a lifetime. Food was wonderful, entertainment entertaining, shore excursions overpriced and not well co-ordinated by Oceania with local tour providers. That is my one criticism. That, and they should engage more qualified onboard lecturers in my view. but I cannot imagine cruise lines more luxurious than Oceania, certainly not better cuisine. The food and the libraries on Oceania will keep me coming back. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We are seasoned luxury cruisers, based in Switzerland, and booked SIRENA because of the itiniary from Buenos Aires to Lima on the 11th of November 2017. Comparisions are with a view to other luxury ships, specifically to SEABOURN. The ... Read More
We are seasoned luxury cruisers, based in Switzerland, and booked SIRENA because of the itiniary from Buenos Aires to Lima on the 11th of November 2017. Comparisions are with a view to other luxury ships, specifically to SEABOURN. The much advertised food on SIRENA is a fact in the dining room and speciality restaurants, somewhat less so on the buffet, but still good. The meals are well selected and offer a good choice every day. It is somewhat difficult to get a reservation at the two speciality restaurant though, because unless one has booked before the cruise even starts, it becomes very hard. The ship itself is like an elegant older lady, which means that staterooms are somewhat smaller than usual, but are always well cleaned. The public areas are certainly nice in the "grand old style", but don't expect modern or the "glass look" seen on many newer ships. The passengers are older, about 50+ to about 75, which could also be due to the 21-day trip outside a holiday period. The major downside are the excursions. Nearly all are vastly overpriced, especially compared to SEABOURN, and totally unflexible. For instance our friends booked on a "standby" tour, which looked unlike it would go, so they booked another tour as back-up. The ship forced payment on the stand-by, although itslef it had the option to cancel for any reason. We booked all private tours of either 2 or 6 pax and prices were always less than half of the ships tours with far superior quality. Satisfaction is absolutely NOT guaranteed and OCEANIA will always refuse to adjust. This is in stark contrast to SEABOURN, where 5 pax out of 15 of our bus tour, was unhappy with the ship tour in Malta, and the ship refunded 100% of the tour, even for passengers like us, who did not complain. Nothing like such a servive will ever happen on OCEANIA. We recommend taking the shipboard credit and not the "free excursions" because the interesting ones all come with a surcharge that is typically more than a private tour, Entertainment is good for a ship of that size, and the staff everywhere are very friendly and competent. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We are an active, retired couple who have been Viking customers for over a decade. This was our first cruise with Oceania, chosen because of the excellent itinerary from Buenos Aires to Lima. The cruise was fabulous and we were ... Read More
We are an active, retired couple who have been Viking customers for over a decade. This was our first cruise with Oceania, chosen because of the excellent itinerary from Buenos Aires to Lima. The cruise was fabulous and we were especially impressed by four things: The food was, without exaggeration, the best we have ever had in any restaurant, or on any ship, anywhere. Not only was it superbly cooked, with our special dietary needs taken into account, but the variety of “luxury” items was outstanding --- eg. foie gras, escargot, caviar, frog’s legs, venison, lobster, filet mignon, oysters Rockefeller, etc. The personalized service was truly amazing. Our every request was fulfilled immediately, with a smile --- eg. switching shore excursions or dining reservations; asking for extra bedding or body lotion. The WiFi speed was impressive considering hundreds of people were using the system. We were able to use Google Hangouts from far south of the equator to make free phone calls to family members in Canada. The WiFi was rarely unavailable because of the ship’s location in narrow fjords. The guest lecturer, Dr. Don Kline, was fabulous. His talks were interesting and relevant to the places we visited and his Powerpoint presentations were the best we’ve ever seen. We were disappointed with the evening entertainment. The young, on-board production crew members were enthusiastic but there were only six of them. Their strident, musical theatre style got a bit tiresome after awhile; almost everything was “belted out”, loud and brassy. When performing alone, the house band sometimes had a player or two missing, giving the group a thin sound. They were at their best accompanying guest singers. Professional guest entertainers were brought on board throughout the cruise, so there was lots of variety. However, we evaluated their shows by asking ourselves this question: If these people entertained on a stage near our home and tickets were free, would we attend? With the exception of the tango dancers and flute player, our answer was, “Absolutely not.” That result shouldn’t be surprising to anyone; these people are “B” level entertainers. If they deserved top billing, most would be working in concert halls in America, and not on cruise ships. Another problem with the evening shows is that the ship’s theatre does not have a sloping floor so it’s hard to see what’s happening unless you can get a seat with nobody in front of you. In concluding this review, we would like to comment on three points that other reviewers often make about Sirena, on Cruise Critic: “The room was too small.” There are smaller rooms on the lower decks and larger rooms and suites above. On Oceania’s website, room dimensions are given for all categories of staterooms and there are photos and floor plan drawings. If people don’t do their research before booking or choose not to spend the extra money for a larger room, it hardly seems fair that they should criticize Oceania for not providing them enough space in their stateroom. “The shower stalls are so tiny that the shower curtains touch my skin.” We are fit, normal-sized people who had no trouble bathing in the small shower. People who complain are probably giving away the fact that they are a bit lumpy around the edges. So what’s the solution to their catastrophic shower curtain dilemma? --- Eat more salad. (And remember that you're on a ship, not in a Sheraton hotel.) “Sirena is dated and worn.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The ship has been recently refurbished throughout. Everything looks gorgeous: wall finishings, carpeting, furniture, and decorations. Moreover, crew members are constantly scrubbing and polishing the ship inside and out and doing touch-up painting. We enjoyed this cruise immensely and are already booked on Sirena’s sister ship, Nautica, next year. Oceania is great! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
Oceania treated everyone like royalty. First class service. Our room was in need of a little repair and was quite tight but loved the balcony. We found all the staff was amazing special shout out to Harr6 and Ricardo who kept our rooms ... Read More
Oceania treated everyone like royalty. First class service. Our room was in need of a little repair and was quite tight but loved the balcony. We found all the staff was amazing special shout out to Harr6 and Ricardo who kept our rooms nice and clean ! To Amanda and terry who made Bingo...something we never play fun. To Martine up at the ginger restaunt to the fellas in the Brista Bar to kyla (not sure on the name) our waitress at the pool and a very special shout out to Erica and his crew that we absolutely fell in l9ve with their service was above and beyond. The food and entertainment on the ship was very good but a little disappointed in some of the tours especially in a Chili . Would definitely recommend to all friends. Loved the feel of the small ship . Found spa upsold many items once I was in and not really worth it at all. Would not use spa service again Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Having cruised with Oceania before for a total of 63 days on two cruises, we knew what to expect. Small cabins (even the conceriage cabins have only 165 sq ft of living area) and a buffet that is overcrowded probably half the time. ... Read More
Having cruised with Oceania before for a total of 63 days on two cruises, we knew what to expect. Small cabins (even the conceriage cabins have only 165 sq ft of living area) and a buffet that is overcrowded probably half the time. That said, we got a really good deal on this cruise (free shore excursions, free gratuities, free WIFI, free drink package) so went ahead and booked. First off, we noticed that our room never cooled off. We finally removed the duvet from the bad and slept under the sheet only. After two days, we asked if something could be done. After climbing up in the ceiling, the crew said everything should be OK. Well, then we had to start wearing our jackets in the cabin because it was so cold. Back to reception to ask for the second time if anything could be done. They came back, and the cabin was still warm, but not as hot as it had been previously. We just left the thermostat at its lowest setting, and that way we were able to sleep at night under two light blankets. We started eating most lunch and dinners in the dining room, as the buffet was so overcrowded. The biggest problem was for three or possibly four days they closed the dining room during lunch. Three or four excursion buses arrived back at the ship all at the same time, so you had probably 100 or more people all trying to get into the buffet at the same time. This was even worse than usual, as no one was leaving the buffet and everyone was trying to get into the buffet. Even on a good day you often had to watch when someone was leaving their table, and sit down at the vacant table before it is even set-up for the next person. I think the buffet is really inadequate for the number of passengers this ship carries. Especially if the outside deck is closed due to poor weather Who knows who made the decision to close the dining room for some lunches. Poor planning. Their soups were average at best. We had one supposed cream of cauliflower soup that tasted like watered down chicken broth with flour in it. Neither of us ate it, and I love creamed soups. They claim to have the "best cruisine at sea". Well you can claim anything, it doesn't make it so. The rest of the food was just average in my opinion, though the meats were good. Then were were the three passengers that came down with norovirus (fancy name for what we used to call the stomach flu). No one else got that, but then cases of influenza started popping up. We heard reports of 45 total among guests and crew. When everyone heard what the doctor was charging (anywhere from $500 to $1500 for a visit, including medication), people quit going to the doctor, so we had no more cases. At least ones that were reported. They also locked you in your cabin until they felt you were not contagious anymore. But, as the crew was also sick, the level of service seriously deteriorated. There went the 24 hour self-service coffee and pastries in the morning. They do not let you serve yourself at any time in the buffet (we have been on Seaborne and Silversea, both ultra-luxury cruise lines and they let you serve yourself, so I don't know why Oceania feels it is more "upscale" to have them serve you). One day there were only two people to work one whole side of the buffet. Also, service in the dining room slowed down. It is not their fault the crew got sick, but they should have contingenciency plans drawn up. Ones that WORK. Lastly, on the day of embarcation, we had to leave our cabin at 6:45 AM so they could decontaminate them. So we had no access to our own bathrooms. But then they started decontaminating the public bathrooms! So they were also unavailable. There was a liine of probably eight women outside the one operating bathroom on deck nine. Again, poor planning. I doubt if we will go with Oceania again. They made a lot of poor choices on this cruise, not about people being sick, but the way they thoughtlessly inconvenienced the passengers. Oh, and we made our own airline reservations, which ended up costing us $50 more per person than their reservations. We paid the variance charge, but Oceania still would not let us choose our own flights. Instead of going from Portland to Houston to Buenos Aires, as we did on the way down, they wanted us to route us PDX, SFO, Lima and then Buenos Aires. Making a totally unnecessary stop and a longer flight. The man who gave the lectures was actually a dentist, so don't know what makes him an expert on South American history. My husband seemed to like his lectures, though. I tend to sleep through lectures, so have started skipping them unless its something I'm particularly interested in, and I think I can stay awake. Usually there was only one lecture a day, and it would have been nice to have an afternoon lecture. We go to bed around 10:00 or so, so didn't attend the evening entertainment. The piano player in Martinis was good - sort of Casablanca style. We did hear the entertainers do an on-deck performance, and thought they were just average. About what youd expect for a small ship like this. On the plus side, the bartenders were attentive and remembered your name and your "regular" drink if you had one. Housekeeping was good, though my husband gets upset because they "touch his stuff" on the desk top. But their just trying to do their job. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We looked forward to this South American cruise for a long time. Except for missing two ports due to wind and waves, it was a wonderful trip. Regatta is a lovely small ship. The staff was friendly and helpful. The food was really good, ... Read More
We looked forward to this South American cruise for a long time. Except for missing two ports due to wind and waves, it was a wonderful trip. Regatta is a lovely small ship. The staff was friendly and helpful. The food was really good, even the food at the buffet. Unfortunately, some passengers and crew came down with influenza. There were repeated requests for everyone to wash their hands and use the alcohol gels throughout the ship. The incidents of flu continued so we went to a level 2 red situation where we could not have anything on our dining tables, use of equipment in the gym was limited and activities were curtailed. The crew worked night and day to clean everything. By the end of the cruise no new cases were added. Our penthouse suite was lovely. The stewards were great. We had a butler, Raj, who did anything we needed. The staff entertainers were very talented and worked hard to entertain us all. They even worked throughout the day helping with activities, while they took place. Corey, the Cruise Director, was lots of fun and kept us updated throughout the day about activities. He led the daily trivia games which were a blast. Go Seaworthy! The captain was great and we all felt he worked hard to give us the best experiences we could have. We had a wonderful lecturer, Dr. Don Klein, who really made the trip more educational and enjoyable. We loved Oceania so much we booked another trip in 2018. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My wife and I wanted to experience cruising on Oceania as we had heard much about their ships and the dining reputation. This was our first Oceania cruise but our 10th overall on various other cruise lines. We chose this route from ... Read More
My wife and I wanted to experience cruising on Oceania as we had heard much about their ships and the dining reputation. This was our first Oceania cruise but our 10th overall on various other cruise lines. We chose this route from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso, called Southern Holidays, because of the convenient holiday voyage (Dec. 19th to Jan. 5th). I must say the Marina is a beautiful ship with about 1250 passengers in total. All the shore excursions were very nice too and of good value. Where things start coming unwound is in the dining venues and more particularity in the kitchen(s). Our food in most all areas was cold and the coffee was about as mediocre as we have ever tasted. We learned that one couple brought their French coffee press and made their own each morning. We would go into the Concierge Lounge, on our deck 9, each morning and use the espresso machine to make a better cup of morning coffee. We enjoyed the Terrace Cafe and the variety of food offerings up on deck 12 but this was the biggest area of "cold food problem". As an example, you would be served your entree section and some vegetables on a very hot dinner plate that you would have to take, from your server, with a paper towel. Walking directly back to your table and you began eating, the first thing you noticed is the vegetables were just warm, not hot at all. This happen time after time. I am sorry to have to report this as we never would have suspected this on Oceania! I need to add also that there were a number of "fake food" items, like their hamburger meat and their East Indian dishes. A final dining tip, "The Red Ginger" specialty restaurant is the best one on board and the Chilean Sea Bass is unbelievably great! We really loved our cabin #9003 and our cabin stewards, Yana & Christopher, were super and kept things neat and tidy during our cruise! And finally, Oceania's on board Wi-Fi is fine but their "Connect@Sea technology" is so far behind other lines like Princess Cruises that even the on board IT gentleman was a bit frustrated. He told us that some day Oceania will work out the bugs. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose to sail on the Marina because we always enjoy cruising during the Christmas Holidays. This was our first time with Oceania and we were very impressed with the service in our Concierge Veranda Stateroom and in the dining venues. ... Read More
We chose to sail on the Marina because we always enjoy cruising during the Christmas Holidays. This was our first time with Oceania and we were very impressed with the service in our Concierge Veranda Stateroom and in the dining venues. The ship is immaculate and in top-notch shape. However, after all of the "hype" about Oceania's cuisine, we were quite disappointed with the food overall. We did enjoy a terrific meal in "Red Ginger", the Asian specialty restaurant. Everything in "Red Ginger" was superb, especially the sea bass. We enjoyed some nicely seared scallops in "Chez Jacques", the French specialty restaurant, but the green beans which accompanied the dish were overcooked and cold. The so called "signature" Jacques Pepin apple tart was tough and tasted stale. The best part of this meal and every meal was the French baguette bread. Kudos to the baker on the Marina for his baguettes, croissants, and homemade bread sticks. Absolutely fantastic! The meals in the main dining room were generally good and the service was exceptional throughout the cruise. We enjoyed the informal Terrace Buffet; however, the food was not always hot enough temperature-wise. The vegetables were often cold and overcooked to the point of being mushy. The soups were always excellent and served hot, so we learned to avoid the cooked vegetables! We were very pleased when the chef offered an East Indian buffet one evening. However, most of the dishes were very bland and tasted like something you would offer to "seniors from Iowa". Granted, we are "curry lovers" and we probably like our food spicier; however, I heard the same comment from many of our fellow passengers. The quality of the beef in the "Polo Grill" steakhouse was very disappointing. The hamburgers served in the "Waves" grill by the pool tasted like they had added a filler to the ground beef. "Toscana", the Italian themed restaurant was not what I would call authentic in any way. On a positive note, we absolutely loved the educational talks provided by Dr. John Freedman and Terry Bishop. We appreciate Oceania bringing these two on board. We never missed their entertaining and excellent lectures. We enjoyed the shore excursions overall; however, be aware that on the Marina the excursion team does not provide live port talks highlighting what is included. Most people on this cruise line select their excursions before leaving home and I would recommend this. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We had some unusual circumstances occur in our family which ended up with Mom and Dad being able to finally take that long-awaited cruise to the Patagonia Region of South America. It was the first time we were solo over the holidays, and ... Read More
We had some unusual circumstances occur in our family which ended up with Mom and Dad being able to finally take that long-awaited cruise to the Patagonia Region of South America. It was the first time we were solo over the holidays, and were not sure what to expect from a cruise line, any cruise line during this time of year. Oceania did not disappoint with their exceptional level of service and consistently delicious menus. Many of the shore excursions offered by the ship were fun and worthwhile. Embarkation and disembarkation were painless, even with an unplanned worker strike in Buenos Aires which lead to several late arriving passengers. The Marina is a beautiful ship, just like her sister ship the Riviera. We enjoyed all the ports, especially the Falkland Islands, Ushiaia, and Valparaiso. We could have done without Porta Este. Some of the others would have been spectacular if we had been favored by clearer skies and less rain. They had a great pianist and female soloist onboard to entertain, as well as a talented comic musician to supplement their rather mediocre perform group. The comic who they picked up at the end of the cruise was in bad taste. We especially enjoyed the on-bard lecture series and trubador performances. One disappointing factor was that Christmas Eve and Christmas were downplayed to the point that a few "love and peace" folk and pop songs were the focus and besides the beautiful tree and decorations in the main lobby not much was there for those of us looking for a more traditional Christmas atmosphere and activities. Our overall experience was very memorable and we would go on either of these 2 ships again if the itinerary was one we were interested in. The level of concerned response and follow-up during the cruise was above anything we had seen in more than 30 years of cruising and has pretty much decided us on making Oceania our #1 choice when planning our next vacation. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This is my second cruise on Oceania, the first one was on Riveira, in the Med. Marina is almost the same as Riveira,with very small differences. On both cruises we booked Penthouse 1 (PH1) cabin and have been very very satisfied. Both ... Read More
This is my second cruise on Oceania, the first one was on Riveira, in the Med. Marina is almost the same as Riveira,with very small differences. On both cruises we booked Penthouse 1 (PH1) cabin and have been very very satisfied. Both ships are in very good shape, nicely apppointed, decorated, pleasant and smart but not OTT (over the top). Everything is smart causal, including the required attire and that suits us very well. Captain, crew and staff are well trained and very nice in a relaxed way. 99% are doing their best to please the guests. Very high staff to guest ratio. Oceania's cruises are for middle-aged and older people (though we have a few families and younger couples now) and everything is set up accordingly. There is entertainment but not around the clock. A lot of music: all afternoon, evening and up to midnight there is some music somewhere on the ship (from string quartett to rock-and-roll) but not incessantly. Various musicians move around the ship in various lounges and bars. Wonderful band and singer every night up top on level 15 (Horizons bar and lounge) for dancing. Bound to bring even the shy to the dance floor with a superb mixture of various types of dance music for everyone. Sound proofing is excellent, the noise never penetrates other areas, there are always plenty places to relax, read, take a nap in without much disturbance. Excellent and beautiful library with plenty books. Every night one hour of show, nice and fun but, again, not too much. Some very good lectures, generally two lecturers talking about the area we are in or will be in; history, geology, marine life, whatever. We had a superb lecturer, Terry Bishop, from the UK. He is just unique, professional and amazing in every way. He also entertains and his muisc and singing is absolutely worth listening to. The other lecturer, John Freedman is also very knowledgeable but he tends to cram too much into his 45 minutes talks and as a result one can't retain anything. His talks are OTT for even academics or people with various university degrees. He wanders about in various subjects, geograhic areas and among various people in history and only he can see the connections :). The lectures can be later listened to on a TV channel. The South Atlantic and South Pacific are not easy waters; often with a lot of wind and swell. So I recommend everybody to bring Sea Bands and sea sickness pills and not to expect a smooth ride. Also important to book an outside cabin midship and on one of the lower decks. That reduces the movement significantly. Expect more movement up top and in the bow, where Horizons is (it is easy to dance when the floor moves! :D). It is summer in South America now but South of Puerto Madryn on the Atlantic side and Valparaiso on the Pacific side it is windy, cool and often rainy. Part of the deal. There are small niggles like I have had lots of frustration with obtaining gluten free bread in the normal timescale of dinner and not being able to get lactose free yoghurt but the only real issue is the very poor value for money of excursions. I understand this is a problem on every cruise with every cruise liner so I don't want to make a big deal of it. Just remember not to book too many excursions via the ship but rather reserach the ports and area on the net before the cruise and make private arrangements. Often it is best just to disembark and find a taxi or van with driver/guide - they ususally queue up for your business where you go ashore. Much cheaper, much better, flexible and adaptable to your needs and wishes. We had two excellent excursions via Oceania. One was in Puerto Arenas, the sheep farm excursion. Estanzia Fitz Roy is much more than just a sheep farm, it is quirky, wonderful collection of hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of old items and offers buildings/structures that make you smile and feel good in. it is run by an extended family, who are all happy there - and you can feel it. We also happened to have a very good guide there. The other excellent excursion was to Santiago (from the port of Valparaiso) with a superb guide called Maximo. Very good English, lots of relevant info, good sense of humour, took wonderful care of us. Santiago is interesting and manageable in a few hours. We are now on the second leg of our booking: a second cruise from Valaparaiso to Miami. If you book to cruises back to back it is imprtant to book very early so you can have the same cabin for both as to not have to move. I had a nasty surprise when I had a letter in the cabin, with just 24 hours notice, that the one tour I booked and was really looking forward to, a trip from the port of Coquimbo, Chile to a world famous observatory (Tololo) was cancelled, due to lack of interest. I wanted to quickly arrange a private visit but as it was embarkation day for the second cruise for most of the day I couldn't talk to anybody at the excursions desk or to the concierge. I tried to arrange something on the net and found out that Tololo only accepts visitors on Saturdays. As the tour was planned for Friday, it would never have been possible anyway. It is a shame that Oceania staff lied rather than apologise for a mix-up. It is a great improvement that you can now have internet on board, free if you book into a more expensive cabin or via various packages. Beware though, the band width and speed, or even availability is variable to say the least. It is hardly ever sufficient to talk on Skype or WhatsApp, often impossible to upload photos but most of the time enough for email. Easiest times to use seem to be when staff are not on it : 6-10 am and 7-11 pm. Food is great on Oceania - too good for your waistline! I defy anybody not to find not to enjoy it. So varied, so manay different restaurants, so obliging with any special wishes (apart from good quality gluten free bread :) ) that everybody is bound to find gastronomic enjoyment. There are many Americans on board (a bit too many for our liking,as Europeans) and lots of Canadians. There are some Europeans but not as many I would wish for. (I still count British as Europeans, Brexit hasn't happened yet :D). It is a bit tiring when they tell me that I have a lovely English accent and I have to tell them that one can't have an English accent in English - they have an American accent :). All in all, great experience - go for it! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
I chose this cruise for the itinerary and the rave reviews about the food, plus the total O Choices package made it irresistible. The food experience was uneven. Sometimes the food was very good and sometimes it wasn't that great. ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary and the rave reviews about the food, plus the total O Choices package made it irresistible. The food experience was uneven. Sometimes the food was very good and sometimes it wasn't that great. For example, specialty dining venues were generally very good, although Jacques lagged the others. The Terrace buffet dining generally had better food than the main dining room, with periodic exceptions. Anything billed as "authentic" probably isn't. For example, New Orleans Style Oysters Rockefeller...... no resemblance to NOLA style anything....same went for the gumbo. If you're going to call it gumbo, please learn how to make an authentic roux. The sashimi at the buffet was always fresh and delish, but the rolls rarely met expectations. Prime rib was always good, salads were VERY good, as were desserts. We ate most of our meals in the Terrace. The Grand Dining Room was a huge disappointment for us. While I didn't get a "bad" meal, sometimes the food was cold and the menu was limited and service was inconsistent, depending on where you were seated. I've been spoiled by Crystal which has an extensive Main Dining Room menu, which is available for room service during regular dining hours. Baristas was great! Waves was OK, except for the burgers...meat wasn't good...fries were amazing. Smoothie shop was great. We had the wine with lunch and dinner package and while I'd say the wine was drinkable, it wasn't great. Again, I prefer Crystal. I'm not a wine snob...in fact the opposite, but I had a lot of trouble finding wine I liked on Oceania. Service was generally good, especially in the cabin. Cabin was nice but didn't like the Room Service Menu. After a strenuous day of sight seeing, we often wanted to order Room Service, but the menu was so limited, we often drug ourselves to the Terrace, so we wouldn't have to change clothes. I found this to be an unforgiveable choice. REALLY missed not being able to order a bottle of wine in the cabin to sip on our balcony. Happy Hour was nice, as was afternoon tea, especially in Horizons. I read complaints about the drinks being weak, but I didn't find that to be the case. They are expensive outside of Happy Hour. Had the best Irish Coffee of my life. The Library is truly a beautiful place to relax, with overstuffed chairs and little cubbies for quietly reading. It didn't hurt that it was connected to Baristas. Everything was clean, staff was friendly, and the itinerary and price were right for us. We flew in early and transportation from the airport to our hotel was superb. Would we choose Oceania again? While I wouldn't rule it out, given the same itinerary, I'd be willing to pay a little extra to be on Crystal for the service and the food....always terrific on both accounts. There's always a choice to make with cruising. We attended none of the shows, which is our general behavior. It's just not our thing. My husband went to the casino once. I didn't use the salon or spa, but my husband got a massage trying to get rid of pain from working out in the gym. Workout facility was fine and what you'd expect on a ship. I LOVED that there were no formal nights and not one single photographer onboard!! I LOVED that there was outside dining every evening that weather permitted. I liked very much that overall Oceania is less formal than Crystal, although I enjoyed dressing for dinner on Crystal and eating dinner with the same people every evening. We made some good friends. As much as I enjoyed having a totally flexible dining experience, I would gladly trade for the fixed dining hours with seating assignments for the social value. The excursions I took on Oceania were better, in general, than the excursions I took on Crystal, but that's a very individual thing. There were ports where there was nothing of interest in the port town, but excursions went to the interior and were very interesting and beautiful. Sometimes it's geography...not the cruise line's fault. Avoid the ship doctor at all costs. People complained about a $1000 bill for a single visit to the sick bay for antibiotics for an upper respiratory infection. Common complaint was $25 charge for examination gloves and exorbitant prescription drug costs. If you have trip insurance, make sure it covers doctor fees onboard. :-) Summary: Oceania would be second choice, while Crystal would be first choice. Haven't traveled on Holland America since they were sold to Carnival. Haven't been on a Carnival Cruise in 20 years...just don't like large ships or mediocre food, at any price. Look forward to trying Paul Gauguin and Silverseas. Didn't hear anything good about Regent from other passengers on this cruise. Cruising is a personal thing....one size doesn't fit all. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this cruise as we had been all over the word apart from South America. What better way to experience this continent but on the Oceania Marina. Unfortunately we arrived in to Buenos Aires to be greeted by a strike of bag ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had been all over the word apart from South America. What better way to experience this continent but on the Oceania Marina. Unfortunately we arrived in to Buenos Aires to be greeted by a strike of bag handlers. This caused a hold up at customs of some 6 hours. Truthfully the Meet and Greet facility was not handled very well. In fact very poorly. That was the last complaint we had. The ship was, as we knew it wood, be excellent. From the cabin staff to all the other staff nothing was too much for them. The cabin was cleaned before we had finished breakfast each day. The activities were consistent with the size of the ship. Though some of the acts were somewhat repetitive. The information lectures were of a consistently high standard. The food was of an exceptionally high standard, My wife and I had special dietary requirements and nothing was spared to comply with our needs. The special services for Channuka were well received and thanks was expressed to the ships company for their assistance. The shore excursions that we took were somewhat expensive as is their tendency. All in all an excellent, enjoyable and exciting cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Had sailed on Marina Spring 2015, this trip around South America just wasn't the same. We enjoyed ourselves immensely on our 2015 trip and chose the same ship and same cabin (Conciege Veranda) for this holiday journey. We ... Read More
Had sailed on Marina Spring 2015, this trip around South America just wasn't the same. We enjoyed ourselves immensely on our 2015 trip and chose the same ship and same cabin (Conciege Veranda) for this holiday journey. We arrived onboard a day late with 5 hours to spare due to an Argentina transit strike. Granted it was not the normal embarkation procedure but with many of us passengers in the same predicament I didn't think it right for us to have lug our bags all the way up the gangway of Marina with no guidance/assistance whatsoever. The ship was in the spirit of the holidays, lots of decorations throughout. We got engaged in a trivia group right away and met other CC participants at a meet and greet and met lots of other cruisers during the trip. The package "O-Life Ultimate" was great with drinks, tours, and internet. The "free" tours were about as expected, nothing really memorable and they wouldn't permit you to use a credit towards one of the more exclusive journeys...I believe you should be able to incur an upcharge if you want. The "Concierge" service was just OK, will have to give that a hard think before doing it again. The room service was superb, but the laptop they give you for use was broken and there were no spares on hand for replacement...I find that hard to believe. Used the Spa deck only once as a good portion of the cruise was in cold weather, that said not a lot of use of the pool area either, just too cold and windy and there is no retractable roof on Marina. We are not big "foodies" but enjoyed the specialty restaurants and dined in Privee one night for an anniversary celebration. Didn't know much about Privee prior to the trip but it was a remarkable experience. When you walk in you definitely know it is special...the service top notch, the menu from Toscana and Polo, the dessert from another world...WOW! We also ate in the GDR for breakfast and some dinners, Jacqueline always greeted us with a BIG smile. The entertainment showed a marked improvement since the line was acquired by NCL. If you can eliminate the tribute to Elton John the rest was darn good. The guest performers were very entertaining especially the comic/magician. Really liked his supplemental appearances where he taught you the tricks. Jeff, cruise director, could use a little polish, the get ups and dialogue just weren't what I expect from an Oceania Cruise Line. Saw/heard the Captain very little, a bit more interaction with the passengers would have been welcome, after all it is a mid-sized ship. Overall the positives greatly outweighed the negatives and plan to sail with Oceania again as its the itineraries that we travel for. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this cruise to see an excellent view of S. America aboard a high rated quality ship with a mid to high price point. We were not disappointed in the itinerary, food quality, service, ship command, and overall ratings. We had ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see an excellent view of S. America aboard a high rated quality ship with a mid to high price point. We were not disappointed in the itinerary, food quality, service, ship command, and overall ratings. We had some incredible adventures and tried out most of the offerings that Oceania is rated for. As travel agents our view was critical but open to receive the benefits that others tout as advantages of the ship and line. Our ratings reflect our experience and the many comments of a back to back cruise during the holidays. I include suggestions for others making the voyage based on our own experience and preferences. Our interest was to see many ports as possible and a broad view of S. American countries. With thousands of photos and stories untold our stories and experiences speak volumns. The first leg was from Buenos Aires to Valpariso and we continued on the second to Miami through the Panama Canal. Both reviews are helpful to see what part is a fit for you so I suggest both. However, Oceania is not inexpensive but there is high value. Make time to see Iguazu Falls, time in Buenos Aires. The Falklands some loved and others thought is was too much time at sea for the time we had. The Beagle Channel and Magellan Straights are first choice rather than going "around the Horn". Terra del Fuego and the Patagonia fiords are impossible to describe with rainbows, cloud formations, sunsets and vistas unmatched. Staff was extraordinary considering the expectations, age of passengers, illness on board, maintaining the quality of food, service and demands. Very personal staff from around the world. Captain and crew were exceptional on a challenging sailing. Sales staff, reception, destination services, reservations, cleaning staff stood out as loving their jobs, making our trip enjoyable and the Marina. A special note to the spa staff who keep us pampered and wanting more. The speakers were excellent, dining beyond compare (Reserve dinners, Red Ginger, Grand Dining and Terrace views). Entertainment from ship staff was fun, talented and full of energy Shore excursions were well organized with so many highlights to share. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
Our cruise started with tours in Buenos Aries and the Tigre Delta. All excursions with the ship were well organized with good guides. In two ports we got tours with local operators we saw at the pier and they were satisfying-and half the ... Read More
Our cruise started with tours in Buenos Aries and the Tigre Delta. All excursions with the ship were well organized with good guides. In two ports we got tours with local operators we saw at the pier and they were satisfying-and half the price. Many groups booked independent tours in advance. We were able to dine in the speciality restaurant s more than once by calling in each morning for that day reservations. Only 6:30 and 8:30 were available each time. Sharing a table with others was a pleasant way to meet other guests. Our afternoon treat was the ice cream station next to Waves dining on the 12th floor. Try to get a front seat for shows featuring dancing as it is difficult to see the stage floor from the rear. We met many couples who travel extensively with Oceania and we have our next Oceania cruise booked for June. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this voyage based on timing and itinerary. It marked a return to Oceania after our first voyage on Riviera in 2012. We chose the same PH3 category as before and were very happy with our suite. On future cruises we will consider ... Read More
We chose this voyage based on timing and itinerary. It marked a return to Oceania after our first voyage on Riviera in 2012. We chose the same PH3 category as before and were very happy with our suite. On future cruises we will consider the Oceania Suite for additional space and comfort. To help readers with perspective we are seasoned cruisers who usually favor luxury lines such as Crystal and Silversea and this was my 60th voyage. We are in our mid 40s. Embarkation and disembarkation were both smooth. We arrived around 2pm for embarkation and disembarked using an Oceania full day tour and airport transfer. Both were effortless and pleasant. The ship having recently been refreshed during a 2016 dry dock looked spectacular and almost brand new. It was impossible to see any wear and tear other than minor cosmetic imperfections. Our suite was the perfect choice for this 17 day cruise allowing plenty of space for storage, areas to dine, relax and work. Bedding, as most people already know, is superb onboard Oceania and we slept soundly each and every night. Oceania now offer a purchase list for those passengers wishing to re-create the Oceania bedroom at home. Dining is the hallmark of any Oceania cruise. The choices and quality of food are beyond any words I can write here. From our experience Crystal Cruises maintains a high level for their food offerings but Oceania, based on this experience, is giving them a run for their money. To say that we indulged heavily is an understatement. It was very difficult to restrict ourselves when menus were presented each evening. From the vegan juice bar in Waves Grill to the exquisite delivery of the finest cuisine at Jacques one is spoilt beyond all reckoning on board Oceania Marina. We live in Manhattan and San Francisco and are exposed to some of the finest restaurants in the United States and yet we found ourselves both impressed and delighted at each meal. For us, this cruise was really about the dining experiences with friends who traveled with us and new friends that we made on board. Our butler was able to secure speciality restaurants on 10 nights of our voyage but usually only at 8.00pm or 8.30pm reservations. This was not an issue for us at all but sadly it meant that we missed the evening entertainment in the Marina Lounge. We did manage to see a couple of shows including one with guest entertainer Colleen Williamson, who we knew from Crystal. It was lovely reconnecting with her and spending time with her during her brief stay on board. The production shows looked impressive but we were only able to attend one performance. There was varied entertainment including a magician, pianist, singer, comedian etc. but we feel we can not comment adequately in this review. I did give 5 stars for entertainment based on the shows we did see and the availability of such varied acts, even though we did not attend those performances. I didn't want a less then '5 star' to skew my overall rating of this cruise. We had read various threads that spoke to service issues on Marina. This was not our experience at all. We really enjoyed the staff and crew on board and we always go out of our way to introduce ourselves and engage in conversation whenever we interact with our servers, shore-ex, reception etc. We find it only enhances our overall experience and this cruise was no exception. The level of service was equal to that we have experienced on Crystal and Silversea and we were made to feel special at every turn. The ports and itinerary were a big drive for us to book this voyage. Thankfully weather allowed us to visit the Falkland Islands and see penguins. The Chilean Fjords were spectacular although our weather was not always favorable so views were often misty. We certainly experienced our fair share of inclement weather but such is life, and it did not mar our journey or experience in any way. Shore excursions were superb. We enjoyed an O-Life benefit of 5 complimentary excursions. We purchased 2 penguin excursions and pre-paid before sailing. We booked one on board using credits. So a total of 8, which for us is a lot. All of them were very good and the shore-ex team handled all effortlessly including some long tender journeys to and from shore. The operation was very smooth and well orchestrated and kudos to Alexandra and her team for the way they handled the guests. A special mention in this review should be the amazing Cruise Director, Peter Roberts and his Asst. Cruise Director Jason. These two are really good. It was like having two Cruise Directors on one ship. Both have great personalities, engaged with passengers and provided an excellent line up of daily activities. In particular, the morning television show was both entertaining and interesting. Peter has a very dry sense of humor and it is clear he really enjoys his work. In the final days of the voyage Peter takes the camera 'below deck' and provides a 'behind the scenes' look at the workings of the ship. This was really interesting. I know other lines also provide similar information on their television shows but it is always nice to meet the people who work tirelessly below decks to make our life on board enjoyable. The ship sailed at full capacity. With all berths taken Marina holds 1250 guests and we were told that we were almost at that number although no exact number was provided, or at least I was not aware of the exact number. Sadly we did not take advantage of onboard booking privileges. We have several vacations and cruises booked into mid 2018 so our calendar is committed. However, we will most certainly recommend Oceania and look forward to our return in the not so distant future. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
When our neighbours told us they were going on this cruise and suggested we join them we thought why not, it's almost our silver wedding......so GLAD WE DID!!! Our first time with Oceania after several family cruises with Royal ... Read More
When our neighbours told us they were going on this cruise and suggested we join them we thought why not, it's almost our silver wedding......so GLAD WE DID!!! Our first time with Oceania after several family cruises with Royal Carribean, Costa & Princess we were unsure what to expect. Answer - luxury, FABULOUS food, beautiful ship. We were in a penthouse suite with butler and were greeted with the customary champagne and canapes. Service and food was quite sensational. Entertainment was so so. Our cruise was 1/2 empty which meant dining in whichever dining room we wished - Asian was the favourite - watermelon duck salad - amazing. The age range was pretty old and our kids would not have enjoyed themselves on the ship as it was far too quiet. The shore excursions were variable - some good (Buenos Aires tour) some poor (Porto Bello). I was amazed at the sight of elderly folks snorkeling then clambering up the ropes back onto our galleon ship proving you are never too old!! All in all, excellent cruise. :) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
We had a good-to-very-good cruise experience, but the itinerary was great so all in all it gets an excellent rating. This cruise was over the holidays, Buenos Aires to Valparaiso, Chile. The ship was full, but unlike some other holiday ... Read More
We had a good-to-very-good cruise experience, but the itinerary was great so all in all it gets an excellent rating. This cruise was over the holidays, Buenos Aires to Valparaiso, Chile. The ship was full, but unlike some other holiday cruises we have done, it usually didn't seem packed, except in the Terrace Cafe for some breakfasts and lunches. It was often hard to figure out why it was so busy there on some days. When the weather was bad, they couldn't use the tables outside, so that made a difference of course. We were a group of six, ranging in age from 18 to 58. This is definitely not a kids cruiseline, but since it was the holidays there were a fair number of children of all ages on board; all were extremely well-behaved. Be aware that they ostensibly have a 21-year-old drinking age anywhere in the world. However, this was sometimes observed and sometimes not; it just depended on the server. My 18-year-old was often served wine at dinner, but sometimes not; he also could sometimes order in the bars. We had one penthouse suite and two concierge staterooms. The penthouse suite was an excellent choice. Just big enough without being ridiculous (and ridiculously expensive), plenty of storage, room for our whole family to sit and play games or have drinks before dinner, very nice bathroom. They do have a clothesline in the tub, unlike some other ships (looking at you, Celebrity). The walk-in closet is great. Our butler, Churchill, was fabulous and a big plus for us, though we are pretty low maintenance. I agree with the comments about the small size of the staterooms, concierge or otherwise. Really tight for space and storage. People always complain about the small size of Crystal's staterooms, but these seemed even smaller. The beds are really short for our 6-foot-plus family members. The closets seemed tiny too and clothes for two people for 17 days just wouldn't fit. The food was pretty good, but I would not rate it "the best at sea." The breakfasts and lunches in the Terrace Cafe got really boring; to be fair, the area we were sailing was not the easiest for them to restock the ship at the various ports, so with a full ship that may have been a challenge. The food in Grand Dining Room (the main dining room) was uneven; I've had worse, but I've had better. The wine selection seemed small, especially by the glass. There are only four bars on the ship (not counting ones that serve the dining rooms/restaurants); one is at the pool, so when it was cold (a lot on this trip) that one is closed, then there's Martini's, Horizon, and the Casino Bar. None were as distinctive or interesting as the bars on Celebrity or Crystal. I would recommend to *not* get the beverage package, a lot of things are not included in either package, the wine selection on it is tiny, and it's really pricy. So caveat emptor with that. The specialty restaurants were generally great; our favorite was Jacques, then Toscana, Polo, and last of all Red Ginger, which I found not good, except for the sashimi I could not find anything I liked at all. Not a big fan of the open seating in the main dining room; we like getting to know our servers and developing a relationship with them, which was essentially impossible. We never had the same one twice; they were all competent, but we missed that personal touch. Two of us did the La Reserve wine-pairing meal, which was absolutely superb and highly recommended. We also reserved La Privee for Christmas dinner. This I would not recommend. There really isn't anything that special about it; you don't get anything for the $250 except the fancy room and a dedicated waiter, but since we never got more than one piece of bread (no basket, no additional bread served), for example, not sure what the benefit was. Maybe I missed something. There were a lot of rough seas on this trip, which isn't surprising given the location, but the ships stabilizers, if used at all, weren't at all effective. We crossed the North Atlantic to Iceland last summer and it wasn't nearly as bad on that trip (on Crystal). Lots of seasick people on this trip. Be aware that they do not have scopolamine patches in the medical center, only dramamine, so if you are susceptible, be sure to plan ahead. We did not do much with the entertainment except trivia most every day, which was always done by the cruise director, Peter, unlike most ships where some poor staff member gets stuck with the b*ing and moaning. Peter took no guff and really seemed to enjoy doing it most days. Trivia was great fun. Some of our party went to karaoke and the 70's dance party, which was described as a "bunch of drunk old people" by the younger ones in our group. Some people we did trivia with played bridge almost every day and said that was great and generally well organized and well attended. Also did two of the cooking classes, which are worth the price and fun to do. Shore excursions through the ship were very well run and the ones we picked (tango class in Buenos Aires, biking in Montevideo, Sea Wolves Island in Punta del Este, Tierra Mayor trekking in Ushuaia, and Deer Island Adventure in Puerto Chacabuco) were all nice and active and had very good guides. The Tierra Mayor trekking was especially strenuous, which was great for us, but there were a few people who b*ed and moaned the entire time. We felt sorry for the guides who had to deal with them. Read the descriptions, people! These were all excursions that were included in our five "free" excursions, so I was pleased with all of them. We rented vans in three ports, Puerto Madryn, Punta Arenas, and Puerto Montt since we had a pretty big group. That worked well for these ports, so we weren't on buses with dozens of people. We also arrived at Punta Tombo penguin reserve (out of Puerto Madryn) before any of the buses, so we had the place essentially to ourselves for awhile and could stay as long as we wanted. What a fabulous place! Definitely go there if you get the chance. It's a long drive; pretty much uses up the whole day. Something else worth doing that takes up the whole day is booking with Penguin Travel on the Falklands to go see the king, magellanic, and gentoo penguins. You can't do this one through the ship. Wear/bring very warm clothes and rain gear. The weather in the Falklands can be astonishingly atrocious. You will be in a 4X4 for hours on very rough terrain just to get there. But the reward is amazing! In Buenos Aires we stayed in San Telmo at a Hilton Curio Collection hotel. Wonderful place to stay. We didn't stay in a hotel in Valparaiso or Santiago on the other end. Took an all-day tour from Valparaiso to Santiago with South Excursions since our plane didn't leave until 10pm. This was an excellent value; stopped at a beautiful winery in the Casablanca valley on the way. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
This is our 2nd time aboard the Marina. In 2015 we traveled the Baltics for 10 days. Because of that experience, Oceania was chosen again. What an amazing trip! Overall, service was exceptional. The Cruise Director, Peter, was upbeat ... Read More
This is our 2nd time aboard the Marina. In 2015 we traveled the Baltics for 10 days. Because of that experience, Oceania was chosen again. What an amazing trip! Overall, service was exceptional. The Cruise Director, Peter, was upbeat and hilarious! Every time we saw him, he was wearing a different, amazing suit. The entertainment was... ok.... but the effort was there. The food was spectacular and other than one night, the service was exceptional. Being on a ship for 17 days, they recognize you and know what you like and want. The Hostess at the Grand dining room was AMAZING!!! The first night we dined there... as we were leaving she thanked us by name! Next time we came back, not only did she remember our names, but also room number! There were 5 rooms and 7 people in our party. That's beyond impressive. The only problems we had were with the internet. Yes, you're in the middle of the ocean and at the end of the world, but with satellites etc we expected better service. Plus, you had to constantly log in. The tv stations were not that good either. While you're there to vacation, I go to sleep with the tv on. I had trouble finding something to watch. It was news and one tv show. Usually, Elementary. You can only schedule one specialty restaurant per person and there are 4. But, if you go to the reservation desk early in the morning they can usually get you into a restaurant of your choice. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We chose Oceania for the 12-day cruise between Buenos Aires and Rio (11/07/16 to 11/19/2016) because of the unique itinerary on a relatively small ship (previous cruising experiences were on much smaller boats ranging from under 100 ... Read More
We chose Oceania for the 12-day cruise between Buenos Aires and Rio (11/07/16 to 11/19/2016) because of the unique itinerary on a relatively small ship (previous cruising experiences were on much smaller boats ranging from under 100 persons to a max of 300). After this trip we decided we prefer the smaller ones. The Insignia is one of Oceania's older ships. We felt the Insignia interior decor of the public areas was very dated and overly-gilded with much faux filigree in an attempt to project the "formality of a bygone era." This may appeal to an older, British clientele but not to the more contemporary. The hallways were very dingy with drab beige walls and dark printed carpet. Our balcony stateroom was extremely small (my measures found it about 10% smaller than the website description indicates). The passageway between the end of the bed and the wall was barley 2' wide. The tiny bathroom was definitely the original layout with updated faucets/fixtures. Some of the ports did not offer much. Punta del Este and Buzios were fabulous! Many of the excursions were very costly (availably independently on-shore at a significantly lower price). Everyone raved about the food; however, I found the main dining room overly "formal" with a menu that had way too many sauces/add-ons for me. The two specialty restaurants were excellent! We enjoyed both of the patio restaurants that were furnished in a contemporary style with food to match. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We were quite disappointed with this cruise, as we have cruised Oceania a few times in the past and have always loved our stay on board. We joined the ship in Buenos Aires and sailed to Rio de Janeiro . To be fair, the ship had an ... Read More
We were quite disappointed with this cruise, as we have cruised Oceania a few times in the past and have always loved our stay on board. We joined the ship in Buenos Aires and sailed to Rio de Janeiro . To be fair, the ship had an outbreak of Noro Virus and the crew seemed to spend all their free time cleaning and sanitizing the ship, but unfortunately the virus lasted all cruise. We felt sorry for the crew having all this extra work, as they are all over-worked as it is. Needless to say this led to a very unhappy atmosphere on the ship. We are used to being made welcome with a smiling and friendly staff, but we felt unwelcome and just a nuisance. The front desk staff were the least friendly of any cruise we have been on, and when we had a query they made no attempt to get back to us and let us know the status of the issue. I requested a refund for the internet because we had been overcharged, and I showed them all the details, but they just ignored it. Fortunately there was not much money involved but it was just the principle of the thing. Food was excellent, as always, but the entertainment left a lot to be desired. We had the same two entertainers three times in the 12 days we were on board. They were good, but we all needed some variety. Two of the other entertainers were brought back twice! The singers and dancers for the other nights were delightful and a nice breath of fresh air. Some of the ports left a lot to be desired, but others, like Buzios in Brazil were a joy to visit. I do not like writing a negative review, and have never done so before, after 45 cruises, but I just do not feel Oceania is now up to the stand we had been used to. Read Less
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