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11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Chose this cruise for the itinerary and also because of their selling the finest cuisine at sea. Embarkation was shocking, did not feel like upper premium, not even close. No welcome drink or cocktails, not even orange juice. The public ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary and also because of their selling the finest cuisine at sea. Embarkation was shocking, did not feel like upper premium, not even close. No welcome drink or cocktails, not even orange juice. The public spaces were nice to look at but poor marks for the low ceiling, everyone looked so tall and most especially me. My head was literally touching the ceiling in all public areas and wish I was exaggerating. The food was good, I’m a lobster lover and ate it everyday but realized that unlimited lobster is not enough to make a good cruise. There was constant selling in the atrium area and tv channels was mostly about selling more cruises or focusing on spa and boutique sales. I have cruised on Viking, crystal and Silversea so I have experienced luxury and upper premium. WiFi OMG painfully slow. Really tried hard to like Oceania. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I travel the world, but am new to luxury cruise market. We chose Marina based on itinerary, the size and the food. We didn't want too big, but not too small. It fit the bill. This was a rare cruise that stays in St. Petersburg for ... Read More
I travel the world, but am new to luxury cruise market. We chose Marina based on itinerary, the size and the food. We didn't want too big, but not too small. It fit the bill. This was a rare cruise that stays in St. Petersburg for 3 days. We were fairly satisfied with the cruise, but there were elements that prevent me from calling it 5 star. Therefore, I doubt that I will cruise Oceania again if there are better choices around. Pros: - 2 weeks before embarkation, Oceania offered $500 per person upgrade to Suites, and we took it. Cabin was spacious, and well decorated. Walk-in closet was to die for. Bathroom was huge, with the bathtub, but shower was relatively cramped. - Overall, the staff were amazing. Especially room steward and dining room staff. - We ate at all specialty restaurants. Toscana was best, Jacque was decent, Polo Grill was so so. A lot of people like Red Ginger, but I have very high standard for Asian food. - Afternoon tea. Lovely tradition. We participated almost everyday. Cons: - I didn't like the fact that they charge $600 extra per person for liquor package, calling themselves as luxury cruise. Beverage service was horrible. Whenever you are seated in a restaurant, you need to be taken drink order first. We always had to flag down so-called sommeliers (later we learned that they become sommeliers after 1 week of training), well after dinner order was taken. When we finally flag down sommeliers, they usually start recommending bottles of wines; as soon as they hear that we have liquor package, their service gets rushed. This was probably the most unpleasant experience in this cruise. - One thing I cannot understand was, compared to all the staff who work so hard to satisfy customers, the officers, managers, and captains are so disinterested in customer service. We only saw captain having dinner with his own family. I called dining manager and general manager one day to complain about something; nothing substantial got done. - Entertainment was truly sub par. - Shore excursions were extremely expensive. I went with my own arrangement with TJ Travel and SPB Tours, and I was very satisfied. Oceania charges premium price and the experience was not quite premium. They really don't care about post cruise survey either. I don't think their quality will improve. They certainly will not retain us as repeat customers. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We had sailed previously on Rivera and loved the size and choice of restaurants so it was and easy decision to do a Baltic cruise on the sister ship Marina. We were not disappointed. We met some amazing people along the way and thanks ... Read More
We had sailed previously on Rivera and loved the size and choice of restaurants so it was and easy decision to do a Baltic cruise on the sister ship Marina. We were not disappointed. We met some amazing people along the way and thanks to John and Paula were able to spend a lovely evening viewing their amazing Owners suite. Wow very impressive. Oceania staff are very attentive at all times. The restaurants were good although we did not think the steaks in Polo or the Terrace were perfected. Entertainment could do with a little improvement although we often didn't make it to the shows due to the wonderful company on many a mixed table which is fun. The itinerary was the reason we chose this particular cruise and we were not disappointed especially with St Petersburg. The ship shore excursions were expensive and not as good as the private tour we did Alla tours which was exceptional. Thanks John for your advice. On the whole we had a wonderful cruise yet again with Oceania. Read Less
37 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This review is for the Marina Baltic “Viking Homelands” trip commencing in Copenhagen on September 12 and ending in Amsterdam September 24, 2017. We were first time Oceania customers. Previously on RCL, Cunard and Celebrity from ... Read More
This review is for the Marina Baltic “Viking Homelands” trip commencing in Copenhagen on September 12 and ending in Amsterdam September 24, 2017. We were first time Oceania customers. Previously on RCL, Cunard and Celebrity from 1992 to 2015. Overall, 9/10 for our first Oceania experience; we are very pleased. We were in a regular veranda # 8075. We will book again with Oceania when circumstances permit; what Oceania offered met our requirements and our expectations with a few exceptions noted below. We chose Oceania this time because this itinerary had different ports for departure and arrival and the best selection of destinations for a Baltic cruise we have ever seen; including Oslo and smaller ports like Tallinn and Visby. This selection of ports and trip itinerary is not provided on the mass cruise lines. We did not use Oceania excursions - we used TJ travel for St. Petersbury and Berlin. TJ travel was excellent and would use them again. Trust this review will be of interest/assistance to those on the Oceania board as well as other Cruise Critic members. SUMMARY Our review is based on Oceania marketing materials – their statement of their product. The review is based on what we experienced versus what Oceania stated they would provide, the “O” Life Difference. Your assessment may be different. Please know, we are very skeptical consumers – We believe nothing in writing and wait to see what actually happens. We are not loyal to any service provider and monitor exactly what product is received from cruise lines, restaurants, hotels etc. We are “value for money” consumers – price is only one analysis component. “The Finest Cuisine At Sea” – Hard to evaluate unless you have cruised a lot on most of the lines. Will say most of the food was very good; high quality, large and varied selection in the theme restaurants, well prepared, good presentation. As expected of a premium line, in Tallinn, the chef was able to get fresh sea bream and it was served in Toscana. Super excellent. The breads and sweets were of the highest quality – especially the pain au chocolate which was real French pastry not bread dough like on the mass lines. The example of the food that typified the quote above was the dessert lollipop – a small cone wrapped in gold foil. It had a sugar cone and inside was a fresh strawberry, raspberry etc. with chocolate ganache on top and icing. This was available most lunches and dinners in the Terrace buffet; do not see that on a mass line. Little things matter. One of the things that drove us away from Celebrity was they started to put a fake coffee creamer on the breakfast tray (vile to say the least). The breakfast tray on Oceania was exceptional – it was over the top. Real cream in a stainless steel container. WOW. Could not be more pleased. Please see below under negatives regarding food. “A Variety Of Distinctive Open-Seating Restaurants, all at no additional charge” – That statement is somewhat misleading. All cruise ships have a minimum of one (1) open seating, included in the fare, the pool deck food venue. What was different from the mass cruise lines was the open-seating Grand Dining Room with no charge. This venue was excellent from size, location, tables, service, fit and finish. “Gourmet cruise created by world-renowned Master Chef Jacques Pepin” – His “every day favorites” in the Grand Dining Room were not so special frankly. The plated products we were served were mass cruise line quality. A piece of naked salmon and green beans supplemented with your choice of sides in separate dishes. His food in Jacques was a slightly better quality than we have had on Celebrity. You need to try harder Oceania in this regard. “Epicurean enrichment programs” – Yes, very well patronized on sea days. Seemed high end with very engaged chefs and enthused guests. “Award winning itineraries” – Tried to find out who gave Oceania an award – nothing. Will say their itineraries are well beyond the mass lines – Oceania does not repeat an itinerary, and they usually leave and arrive at different ports. You definitely get more value on Oceania voyages versus the mass cruise lines when you factor in the effort and cost to fly these days. The “Viking Homelands” itinerary was the best of the Baltic season across all cruise lines. “Intimate, luxurious ships catering to just 684 to 1,250 guests” – This is a big difference versus mass cruise lines. A huge advantage and worth paying for. “Exceptional personalize service” – received all that. We were in a regular veranda stateroom. Our dear stewardess put a white towel down by either side of our bed every night. Our slippers were put there. When you undress at night, you are on this special towel, not the carpet. It was worth so much to have this – the little things make a huge difference. “Country club casual ambiance” – Delivered. I would say that with a few exceptions, guests dressed country club style, with significant high end golf wear. “Acclaimed Canyon Ranch Spa Club”- Did not patronize Regarding entertainment, was good quality and appropriate for the target market. Good singing ability and costumes. Entertainment aimed at target market; baby boomers. No lavish vegas style productions. The port lecturer was from a California university - fact based and dry but ok. This is an adult cruise line, there were no children present nor are there any services available to support same. NEGATIVES As is typical of life, there is usually a few items that are at variance with expectations/advertisement. Room noise. Two sources of noise. Given the cruise line, we had expectations of acoustical quiet with the exception of the inevitable door slamming. Not provided on Marina. First, there was constant “banging” from the staterooms on either side. Why? Because the drawer/closet drawer closers were so strong they pulled the drawers/closets back into place with a huge “bang”. Repeatedly over and over at all times of the day and night depending upon the schedule of our neighbours. We were awoken every morning early with “bangs” beside our head while lying in bed. We made sure to manually close all our drawers so there was no “banging” from our stateroom. We have to say that it was most disturbing because it was random and loud. This is obviously a systemic design flaw in the ship creating noise – because never had this before on any other ship. Second, the acoustical application in walls/ceilings seemed poor because we constantly heard foot falls above us and TV sounds from both sides – again, never experienced this on other ships. To summarize, we were not pleased with the stateroom acoustical privacy and it is a show stopper for us regarding another booking on Marina. We assume that other guests have heard this so really do not know if this is an issue for other guests. Concierge. Guest Relations recommended we speak with Concierge regarding the noise issue. We submitted a form. Received a call and had a short discussion. We were dismissed by both the employee and the supervisor. No interest or empathy happening with this business unit. Terrace Café – Given this is a premium cruise line and the stated “finest cuisine at sea”, we were disappointed at the limited range of food in this venue. Half the café had the same food so there was much less choice than you would think. Things like only a single style of pasta offered (not a pasta bar with multiple inputs), no “ethnic” food bar rather some nights had a theme menu given the day’s port etc. There were more limitations on choice than we thought. Grand Dining Room – As mentioned earlier, the Jacques selections were not impressive and not in compliance with “finest cuisine at sea”. Further, some entrees like sea bass pasta and fried avocado were awful and cheap and should never have been presented on Oceania. Other entrees were acceptable but to be frank – not generally any better than the entrees on our last Celebrity cruise in the MDR. So Oceania, the Grand Dining Room menu was not totally in compliance with “the finest cuisine at sea”. HIGHLIGHTS Small Vessels – What a total joy and privilege to be on a 66,000 ton vessel. It was manageable and simple to enter and exit. We lacked for nothing but had everything. Were able to see other guests and staff often. A total joy and we are pleased to pay for an intimate experience of a ship this size. Inclusiveness – This is big item for our household. Notwithstanding suites and their lounge; everyone on the ship mingled. Everyone ate in every food venue – there were no guests segregated in a separate dining area as is increasingly the case on the mass cruise lines. This is a reason we moved from Celebrity to Oceania. We enjoy meeting everyone on the ship over drinks and dinners. If Oceania changes this, we will remove our patronage. Many guests we spoke with felt the same. Guests – The class and decorum of the guests simply outstanding. A significant step up from Celebrity guests over the years. Gracious, knowledgeable, dressed well, not fixated on booze. Service – No words to describe the excellent service by the staff (except Concierge noted earlier). Every staff member we interacted with were classy, gracious, pleasant, enthused, would look you in the eye and many, many smiles. When a plate was done, it was gone between 10 to 30 seconds. Outstanding. The level of service and personalized service was simply amazing. We are more than pleased to pay for this level and quality of service. Totally spoiled now. Compliments to all those wonderful hard working staff. Themed Restaurants – Simply the best food dining arrangement we have experienced. So much better than assigned to a single dining venue and having to pay extra per the mass lines. Oceania you have a winning concept here. This will bring us back to Oceania. Had dinner at 4 different themed restaurants with outstanding food and service. Were able to book additional nights beyond our base of 4, so that was excellent and efficiently handled. The food and service was outstanding in each restaurant. Cruise Director – Nolan Dean was excellent. Professional, courteous with humour and energy. Nothing forced here, a genuine professional enjoying his job. Class from beginning to end. High Tea – Outstanding, oh my. Blows the high tea on QM2 out of the water. Total quality and care and class. Watching the chefs assemble the servers and describe each food item was outstanding. This was well attended by guests and we can see why. Room Attendant – We had a delightful room stewardess and assistant who kept our room perfect. These staff were not performing their work with the agitation and franticness that we have experienced on other cruise lines. Coffee Bar and Library – Excellent layout with the coffee bar, sandwiches and sweets section than followed by the library then followed by the card room – an excellent layout which was highly patronized. RECENT OCEANIA THREADS Bland Food - We have no previous experience with Oceania so can-not say. Will say the food tasted good overall considering most of it is probably previously frozen and produced in somewhat mass quantity. Found the food in Red Ginger (ate there twice), a bit bland. Asked for more spice and sure enough it tasted “alive”. We met numerous repeater guests and asked them this question. Most said the food was of poorer quality and taste a couple of years ago but has improved since. COMPARISON TO MASS CRUISE LINES I have been a CC member for over 15 years and have seen and experienced much related to cruising. Oceania is not suitable for every cruise guest. Oceania is not a high energy, high entertainment experience. We believe the focus is on quiet enjoyment, excellent food and service, relationship with the sea and guest interaction. Oceania does not try to keep you entertained all the time and does not encourage loud activities and behaviors. There is limited to no upselling. Oceania keeps the scale of their product at the low end with smallish ships which encourages intimacy between guests and crew and guests. It is a fairly simple on board product which is executed very well and with pride. Since 2010 or so, the mass cruise lines focus on product cheapening, booze, nickel and diming, mega ships, class favoritism, “ship in a ship”, inward ship design, minimizing itinerary in favour of on board revenue generation, shorter itineraries, gimmicks like magic carpets (celebrity) and in many cases abandoning the long-time guest in favor of the millennial. This appeals to some and repels others as to be expected. Pleased to say, Oceania appears representative of the golden age of cruising prior to 2010. Celebrity is our previous cruise provider and the Oceania product (and guests) are simply the previous Celebrity (and well beyond that) before Celebrity changed their product. On Marina, around the pool were staff offering flavored ices like I enjoyed on Solstice in 2013. The high tea was like I enjoyed on the Zenith in 1992 and Century in 1998. There were petite sandwiches in the Marina coffee bar like on Solstice in 2013. In the Marina Grand Dining Room, you were able to choose your sides just like I previously enjoyed on Celebrity. Regarding service; we have considerable empathy for the staff on the mass cruise lines given the cutbacks and increasing complexity of the ship experience. This class and that class and that class dining only for lunch but not dinner and on and on in a complex matrix of delivery requirements. Met numerous staff on Marina who were quite open about leaving Celebrity, RCL and Princess in particular because it was impossible to do a good job given the reduced staff levels combined with increasing complexity and having to deal with customers who were constantly demanding more and more and explanations on differences in class amenities. Oceania seems to have a straightforward product which makes it easier for staff to deliver and guests to understand and evaluate. We appreciate that and it must be so much better for the staff considering their circumstance. Fortunately there is considerable choice in cruise service providers, so hopefully each consumer can find a good fit. We believe that with the constant change in the industry and the cruise line chase for increased profit, it is becoming necessary to reduce brand loyalty. Hence why we moved to Oceania for now. For the moment, our decision analysis has been rewarded. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
It was a last minute deal for us and had a an itinerary that ticked quite a few boxes. The itinerary was great, Baltic, followed by around the UK. We had sailed the Regatta so expected the same on the Nautica and hoped their cuisine had ... Read More
It was a last minute deal for us and had a an itinerary that ticked quite a few boxes. The itinerary was great, Baltic, followed by around the UK. We had sailed the Regatta so expected the same on the Nautica and hoped their cuisine had expanded to include simple, tasty dishes. The meals were far too rich for us and service was very spasmodic. Getting a simple meal was almost impossible. We managed to get a few on the first leg after a personal interview with the Manager but he left after that leg and the new Manager did not seem to care and some of the staff were disdainful and rude towards the end of the journey. They ask for feedback but do not seem to enjoy working with the clients to achieve a positive outcome. It will be interesting to see if head office gives us any feedback on the final comments form! We have booked another for next year and will try to clarify what plain wholesome food means before sailing. Again it has been chosen for the itinerary and that we are able to couple it with a river cruise, which helps justify the airfare and air times from Australia. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
WE chose the Baltic cruise because we liked the itinerary and wanted to try Oceania Cruiseline. We like the smaller ships and this fit the need. The ship itself is well maintained and the common areas are nice. I am a blackjack player so ... Read More
WE chose the Baltic cruise because we liked the itinerary and wanted to try Oceania Cruiseline. We like the smaller ships and this fit the need. The ship itself is well maintained and the common areas are nice. I am a blackjack player so I did enjoy the casino on this ship. Our cabin was nice we were on the concierge Veranda which gave us 4 nights in the speciality restaurants, there was a bottle of champagne waiting in our room and we could access our room earlier than others. The food was exceptional in the Speciality restaurants however we were disappointed in the Dining Room menus and the buffets. They had some featured nights of different cultures, one being Indian Food which is definitely not one of my favorites. The service was very slow in the main dining rooms, you could easily spend 2 hours just getting through dinner. We have sailed on Azamara and Seabourn and this ship definitely did not measure up to them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Oceania is well-known as the upper premium class cruise line with excellent gourmet food. indeed, the appearance of the buffet restaurant could compete with fine dining serviced restaurants on other vessels. The food was really extremely ... Read More
Oceania is well-known as the upper premium class cruise line with excellent gourmet food. indeed, the appearance of the buffet restaurant could compete with fine dining serviced restaurants on other vessels. The food was really extremely "dangerous" with a high extra-weight-potential. You could tell just by looking at the ingedients: lemon sole, finest filet, mussels, prawns. The passenger mix was too mono-national for me. The majority US citizens, a few Aussies, very few europeans. Since I'm in my fifties I felt way too young for this kind of ship, I estimate the average age of passengers at 73+. The service was excellent, the cabin steward knew our complicated family name in a second and always addressed us by our name when we met her on the corridor. When you put down the cutlery in the buffet or serviced restaurant it took only seconds and the dish was taken away, just amazing! I liked the type of a smaller vessel a lot. Everything seemed to be so familiar, then I found out: have been sailing on Ocean Princess, one of the other Renaissance Class ships before! The interior was very classic, just like an old fashioned country style from England. We had booked a few shore excurisons for Saint Petersburg, Russia, to avoid buying this very expensive visa. All three tours were very interesting and the local tour guides were excellent, explained everything with great enthousiasm. Overall, a high class product with fantastic cuisine, very much recommended for the elderly passenger who prefers a quieter surrounding. Since Nautica carries only 680 passengers or so and 400 crew members it has also a superduper pax-crew-ratio. Finally: the smaller the vessel the more unique are the itineraries, Nautica and her sister ships go to places bigger ships have no access to. If you expect a quiet and relaxing classic cruise with excellent food, don't expect too much of entertainment and "WOW-features", then go for it! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
for the Baltic countries cruise was great food was good ship is old but very clean not much to do onboard when at sea cabins r a bit smallcrew was very helpful entertainment could be improved cast of crew were very good other acts were so ... Read More
for the Baltic countries cruise was great food was good ship is old but very clean not much to do onboard when at sea cabins r a bit smallcrew was very helpful entertainment could be improved cast of crew were very good other acts were so so no where to get a bit to eat after buffet closes at 10 pm should add some thing wifi was free but hardly worked in cabins u were allowed to bring booze aboard from any port which is a big plus on board lectures were very good an informative wait staff were great cabin stewards were the greatest specialty reastrunts were awesome service was too could change menu more mostly same nite after nite all an all cruise was great we lucked out weather wise in 70s every day one day of rain week beforehad rain every day so luck of the draw Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose Oceania based on the ports for this cruise. We wanted to see the Baltics, and we were well rewarded! The stops included Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia; plus Helsinki, Finland; and St. Petersburg, Russia. Oceania is a classy ... Read More
We chose Oceania based on the ports for this cruise. We wanted to see the Baltics, and we were well rewarded! The stops included Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia; plus Helsinki, Finland; and St. Petersburg, Russia. Oceania is a classy experience, where the passengers are treated very well by the crew and the chefs especially. The best parts of the ship were the special restaurants, like Jacque's (Jacque Pepin), the interior decor (spectacular), well-designed staterooms, and the smooth organization of getting folks on and off in port. To compare to our experience earlier this year with Viking Ocean Cruises, I have to say that Viking had better food, much better pastry (you can see where my priorities are), better coffee (also important), and a better arrangement for getting a glass of wine. Oceania, overall, seemed rather costly. You get what you pay for, but some of the costs were a little much (like $28/day for internet; $10,000 for two people; just two examples). I did learn, at the end, that some of our fellow passengers lined up tours separately, with companies ashore. That seemed to work out: better treatment, tailored to their interests; more comfortable; and more for the money. I'll try that next time. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We took this cruise because of the itinerary and Oceania. This was our 5th Oceania cruise, and we are still pleased with the cruise line. The food is excellent and the amenities wonderful, and just right for us. Oceania caters to ... Read More
We took this cruise because of the itinerary and Oceania. This was our 5th Oceania cruise, and we are still pleased with the cruise line. The food is excellent and the amenities wonderful, and just right for us. Oceania caters to well-traveled, older clientele, and we fit that. They provide free wifi, free soda, and other niceties. You don't get nickel-and-dimed. On many Oceania cruises you can choose either a free beverage package, free shore excursions, or onboard credit. This itinerary started in Copenhagen, ended in Stockholm, went to 6 countries between the two. The highlight was St. Petersburg, where we spent 3 full days. What a treat that city is! Such beautiful architecture and fascinating history! A couple of recommendations about Oceania's shore excursions. If you take this cruise and opt for the free shore excursions, you get 3 per person. What we did, and what I recommend, is that you do not use them up in St. Petersburg since there are so many other options there. We used Oceania's excursions in Klaipeda, Riga, and Helsinki. We used Alla Tours for excursions in St. Petersburg, Warnemunde, and Tallinn. The Alla Grand Tour of St. Petersburg couldn't have been better, and it covered so much more than the Oceania excursions and at a much better price. Our guide Angie was excellent, the lunches provided were excellent and exceeded our expectations, and the sights we saw were outstanding. The Alla tours of the other 2 cities were fine, but not at the excellent level that we experienced in St. Petersburg. Now, bear in mind, that to experience all of this, there isn't a lot of time lying around on the ship. We had one day at sea, which we really appreciated, but the other days were filled with shore excursions. So I can't say this was a relaxing cruise. On the other hand, we learned a lot, saw a lot, and perhaps because of the intensity, I was able to forget all about pressures awaiting at home at the end of our vacation. One final piece of information: On your first day in St. Petersburg, getting through customs is a long process, no matter if you’re taking a tour with your ship, a private tour with Alla or another company, or have your own visa. Everyone is getting off the ship at about the same time, and everyone has to pass through Russian customs. Lines on our ship were long, and there seems to be a lot of customs rigmarole that doesn’t make sense to us. But it is what it is. Alla, and as far as we know, all the other tours, waited until everyone arrived. I would recommend that for that first day, you get down to get off the ship much earlier than you expected to leave. That way you’ll be near the front of the line. The next two days were no hassle at all, and everyone whizzed right through customs. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose this cruise for 2 reasons: First because we had heard a lot of positive reviews for Oceania and wanted to try it to compare to other cruises we have been on. Second because it stayed 3 days in St Petersburg. The cruise ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise for 2 reasons: First because we had heard a lot of positive reviews for Oceania and wanted to try it to compare to other cruises we have been on. Second because it stayed 3 days in St Petersburg. The cruise ship did not "wow" us. There were a couple of issues with our cabin, parts of the ship were tired and outdated, or just boring. After reading many review about the superb dining compared to other cruise lines, we found the Main Dining to be hit or miss and not any better than any of the other cruises we have been on. The specialty dining were excellent, especially Polo and Toscana. We did not try Red Ginger, and the French restaurant could have been better. Dining in the buffet restaurant was mediocre and frustratingly slow as we had to wait to be served for everything! We did not have time to see any of the shows or use the Canyon Ranch facilities. It was too cold to use the pool, and there is no indoor pool. The ships shore excursions were OK, but most were just too expensive. We booked 3 that came with our package. All other stops were private excursions or just on our own. The ship personnel were not very helpful when we were on our own. Inconsistent service throughout the ship. I will not be cruising Oceania again. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We sailed Oceania Marina for 10 days from Copenhagen to Stockholm, doing the Baltic. Our ports included Warnemunde, Klaipeda, Riga, Helsinki, 3 days in St. Petersburg, Tallinn and one sea day. We have sailed the smaller Oceania ships ... Read More
We sailed Oceania Marina for 10 days from Copenhagen to Stockholm, doing the Baltic. Our ports included Warnemunde, Klaipeda, Riga, Helsinki, 3 days in St. Petersburg, Tallinn and one sea day. We have sailed the smaller Oceania ships before, but this was the first time on Marina. We booked a Concierge level balcony and a cruise-only package as we like to do our own excursion planning. Embarkation was extremely easy and we received a cordial welcome. We went up to the Concierge Lounge, but no one was there. We ate lunch in the Terrace Café and walked around exploring the ship until our cabin was ready. Marina is a really beautiful ship, with great, comfortable public spaces, a wonderful library, large observation lounge, and never felt crowded, although the ship was full. The only design change we would add is an additional bank of elevators as the ship is long. When we got into our cabin about 1:30, we were pleased to see it was spacious, very clean, had a good sized bathroom with separate tub and shower and an adequate balcony. There was plenty of storage, the bed and pillows were good and our stewards did a great job keeping everything clean and replenished. We had a bottle of champagne waiting and were surprised but pleased to find that we had free internet throughout the cruise and three separate cards with shipboard credit. That amount easily covered all the alcoholic beverages we drank, with room to spare. The Concierge Lounge was just down the hallway. Although we would go to the Lounge for coffee just after waking, we did not find it worthwhile. The Concierge never looked up or offered to help when we entered, and never said hello. The snack offerings there were below what is found on other cruiselines. Food for the most part was very good, particularly in the main dining room. After a first evening with spotty service, we found a table with Jose as our waiter and asked for his area each time we were in the dining room. He was excellent, friendly and helpful and, because the food on the ship is very heavily salted, he assisted us in getting our dishes with less sodium. Jose was a real professional and we appreciated his care. As for the specialty restaurants, Jacques was excellent – heavy, but a real treat. Service was attentive and pleasant. The foie gras and lobster Thermidor were spot on. In Polo, I was served one of the best prime ribs I have ever had. The other steak, a Porterhouse, has no filet meat side at all with it so it turned out to be a strip steak. The entrees and sides were very good, the appetizers and salads less attractive. Service was excellent but when we ordered a bottle of wine, the sommelier kept trying to upsell us and we ended up with a wine not to our taste. Our fault for listening to him. Red Ginger was a different experience. We were the second table seated and sat for 30 minutes before anyone approached us. We had to ask twice to order a bottle of wine. We gave our orders and then sat again waiting while all the tables around us filled and were served food. The sea bass was very good but we did not want to spend so much time in the restaurant. We had to flag down a waiter to ask to order dessert. While the atmosphere was lovely and we liked the menu, it was not worth 3 hours to sit at a table waiting for food. We did not eat at Toscana because the last time we did, we had to send the food back because it was so oversalted. We preferred the main restaurant and our orders always came up properly cooked. The ship wine list definitely needs improvement. We had a difficult time finding a decent red wine to enjoy, no matter the price. We had a lot of shipboard credit but had trouble finding anything to our taste. The ship has very basic, inexpensive wines that were marked up significantly. Happy hour drinks were watered down and the waiters learned to just make one double with less filler liquid to make the drink palatable. And adding 18% automatic service charge to all alcoholic beverages adds to the injury. Waiters in the bars, however, were very friendly and helpful. The shops were high priced with little merchandise of interest. The shop workers never said hello or offered to help. When they set out displays in the lobby, the goods were overpriced and some very cheaply made. The matryoshka dolls were twice the price found in St. Petersburg itself and of lesser quality. The Faberge egg pendants that were $29 onboard were easily found ashore (even at the port store) for $10 and included a necklace. Buy ashore. A good market is the one next to the Church on Spilled Blood. The major issue we had, and the main complaint we heard from many passengers, concerned the Terrace Café. Because the cruise was port intensive, the main restaurant was not open at convenient hours for us to have breakfast. Therefore we went to the Terrace each morning. We found, as did other passengers, that it was chaotic, poorly managed, and had some of the worst service we have ever experienced. We had to ask three or four times just for a table set-up, knives and forks, napkins, milk for coffee, and requested juice never showed up during the whole cruise. We ended up going to the coffee machine ourselves each morning because we could not get a cup of coffee served to us. We got our own juice. The café is buffet which is served by the staff. Therefore, one small piece of whatever one wants is put on a plate. You had to ask for more. Most mornings there were only old looking strawberries for berries. Fruit was not ripe. Plates were removed while we still were eating. This kept happening over and over, as if they wanted us out of the restaurant. Staff was sullen and did not say good morning. They were robotic. A waiter slammed into me with a hot cup of coffee, burning my hand and never stopped to say “sorry” or see if I was ok. The second to last morning, there was a large bowl full of raspberries. I walked up to be served some berries which I was craving. A man from Australia stepped in front of me and said,” I want raspberries.” The server took a bowl and filled it and he said, “no, I want them all.” She took the entire serving bowl and gave him all the raspberries. There were none for any other passenger and when we asked for the waiter to find some he said, “he took what we had.” This is truly unacceptable! Orders from Waves showed up wrong, although they made good milkshakes. We spoke to two different head waiters about the poor service, they listened, but nothing changed. We hated going in there. We heard this from many fellow passengers. And, because Oceania adds tips to the bill at the end of the cruise - $17 per person per day in Concierge Balcony, $24 per person per day in Penthouse, for example, one expects better service than this. We were told later by a number of passengers that they had tips removed from their bills due to this poor service. They instead individually tipped those who did give good service. We did not take ship excursions, but booked our own private tours. In St. Petersburg we used White Nights travel and they were superb in crafting a personalized tour for the two of us at half the price of the ship tours. The ports were great and we enjoyed each one despite the rain that came early in the cruise. In Helsinki, don’t miss the outdoor market near the marina, which has crafts and local specialties. In Riga, the main square has beautiful buildings, buskers, and the architecture of the city is magnificent. It was raining a lot in Klapaida but we enjoyed walking into the city and visiting at the local market and along the riverfront. Tallinn is gorgeous, with great restaurants, shops and is a very walkable city. In Warnemunde, we walked to the train station and took the train to Rostock for 5 Euros. It is a former east German city with lots of shops and picturesque waterfront and restaurants Oceania provided shuttles in Helsinki and Tallinn but passengers had to walk in all other ports. This proved to be difficult for many as the cities were more than 1.5 miles from the ship and the streets were cobblestone and uneven. Oceania should provide a shuttle in each port in these situations. Internet worked better than we expected and we were able to keep in contact with our ipad and wifi during the cruise. The television in the room had MSNBC, FOX, SKY, BBC and movies. On occasion, a movie was shown in the theater in the afternoon. We did not go to evening shows, but did enjoy the Edith Piaf tribute show one late afternoon and the ship orchestra and string quartet. Nolan is an excellent cruise director and made the few shipboard activities fun. We had a very affable team of trivia players and managed a number of wins. We also had a great Name That Tune Team in the evening and also pulled off some wins. The items available to purchase with O points from winning the games were above average. The amount of other shipboard activities revolved around sales schemes for jewelry, amber, Faberge knockoffs, etc. There was one speaker on Russia but her talk was so basic it could have come from Wikipedia. More lectures and less selling would be a benefit. Fellow passengers were very friendly, tended to be older and there were about 20 well behaved children. Many times we walked into Martini’s and were asked by other cruisers to sit down and have a drink. We did, and met many lovely fellow guests. Officers were non-visible, unlike Seabourn. Disembarkation was a breeze. When we arrived in Stockholm, we self-carried our luggage off the ship at 7:45 am with no wait or line, got into a taxi and went to our hotel. Overall, the ship is lovely but we prefer Seabourn and Crystal. Service and customer orientation take a back seat to process on Oceania, based on our experience. While pleasant, it does not have the WOW factor of staff using your name or automatically arriving at your table with your favorite drink or a special treat, as on the two cruiselines mentioned above. Too much emphasis is on selling to make it a luxury experience. If the itinerary were right, we would consider sailing Oceania again. But it does not jump to the top of our list. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed the 10 day Baltic Cruise on Marina. Food was terrific, cabin was great, service everywhere was wonderful. The few things that we noted that could use improvement are: Cabin has a few dings in the wooden ... Read More
Hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed the 10 day Baltic Cruise on Marina. Food was terrific, cabin was great, service everywhere was wonderful. The few things that we noted that could use improvement are: Cabin has a few dings in the wooden paneling; and the disembarkation at Stockholm was a free for all. We did only one ship excursion which was the "Evening of the Tsars at Katherine Palace" which was expensive but well worth it as we had a tour with only 70 people from our ship and were able to take photos of the amber room. Dining in the Grand Dining Room was great - we were effortlessly accommodated whenever we came in with no waiting whatsoever. All employees were friendly and greeted us whenever they saw us. We liked all four of the specialty dining restaurants. Once we needed to order room service and instead of the 15 minutes which we had experienced before, it was over an hour and we cancelled it. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
The itinerary was one that we were waiting to explore. We also wanted to "sample" the Oceania line. So when to opportunity came to us we booked the cruise on Oceania's Marina. We did indeed enjoy visiting places that ... Read More
The itinerary was one that we were waiting to explore. We also wanted to "sample" the Oceania line. So when to opportunity came to us we booked the cruise on Oceania's Marina. We did indeed enjoy visiting places that we only had read about . It was also great to do it from a ship as luxurious as the Marina. The ship's appointments were top grade as was the service. Our only complaint was that we never saw the captain or other high ranking ships crew. On other cruise ships, especially the Azamara and Celebrity ships, their presence was warmly felt on a daily basis. We missed that. Food in the main dining area, the buffet and specialty restaurants was fine. We had never seen a buffet that had table cloths and table service that mimicked other ships main dining areas. At the buffet , passengers were never allowed to serve themselves for the entire cruise. Our favorite specialty dining restaurant was Polo Grill. We are in a penthouse suite, cabin number 11003. Cabin was more than large enough with a walk in closet and bathtub in the bath. Bed was very comfortable. Cabin service was excellent. We were taken care of by extremely helpful, friendly people. Entertainment was not as good as we had seen on other ships. There were three days without a show at all, but the orchestra and Horizon's band group were excellent. We didn't utilize any of the ship's excursions or transfer services. We made our own arrangements. So would we book another cruise with Oceania? Probably would. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose this cruise mainly because it offered 3 full days in St Petersburg. We were also influenced by the good reviews of the ship and we were not disappointed on that score. As St Petersburg was our main objective, we saved on our ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly because it offered 3 full days in St Petersburg. We were also influenced by the good reviews of the ship and we were not disappointed on that score. As St Petersburg was our main objective, we saved on our cabin, booking an outside stateroom without veranda. The weather was very cold so we did not lose out at all. Our cabin was well appointed and we got all the special dining reservations which we wanted, including an extra night in Red Ginger, our favourite. Overall the food was of a very high standard, especially the breads and cakes. It proved impossible to resist afternoon tea. The ordinary wines by the glass were generally poor, with sommeliers who were pleasant but ill informed. The list for purchase of 7 bottles gave no dates for any of the wines available . This we found incredible. Generally despite the corkage, it is probably best and in the long run less expensive, to bring your own wine. Our main complaint is the way in which passenger information in advance and during the cruise sought to make us feel helpless. We were frequently warned about the difficulties of arranging our own transfers, getting taxis, ill informed about the acceptability of euros in Lithuania (they will take them ) and the dangers of private tours in Russia. In fact the official tours were over priced and as we watched large bus loads of passengers leaving we were so glad not to be among them. Cruise critic helped us to team up with a couple who were arriving in Copenhagen on the same flight and we saved lots of money sharing a taxi with them. At the end of the cruise we stayed in the Scandic Grand Stockholm as suggested by Oceania but booked ourselves, asking the hotel to arrange a taxi to pick us up. Thus embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Our best find was the tour company was GrandPetersburg. The owner Julia corresponded with us by email over several months as we arranged our perfect 3 day private itinerary. My husband is 80 and we wanted to see as much as possible without being too challenged. On the day we were also able to tweak the itinerary as wished.Our guide Elizabeth was perfect with wonderful English and unlimited knowledge. The driver Alex was always there for us and so pleasant. Compared to other tours which I priced, especially the ship ones, ours was very reasonable. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I was looking for a cruise of the Baltic on the smallest ship I could get away with and still be at sea (rather than on a river) Our travel agent recommended this or Viking, but Viking did not have the itinerary we wanted. We were not ... Read More
I was looking for a cruise of the Baltic on the smallest ship I could get away with and still be at sea (rather than on a river) Our travel agent recommended this or Viking, but Viking did not have the itinerary we wanted. We were not disappointed with our choice. The food on the Marina was outstanding. Servings were small enough that you really didn't gorge on food - just the right amount. We only did one of their shore excursions - in Klaipeda, a port in Lithuania. I wanted to see some countryside which we wouldn't do in other ports - so picked Soviet Missile Silo, in the middle of a national park (who knew?) !! The trip was interesting and informative, but on the whole Klaipeda was not much of a port - I guess you could say you had been to Lithuania..... An important reason to choose this cruise is that three whole days were spent in St. Petersburg, which many ships do not do. We chose SPB tours - they were efficient and knowledgeable, and cost about ⅓ the price of the ship's cruises. Russian goods for sale on the ship were pretty expensive - wooden painted spoons I picked up in the shop just before getting on board (not a cheap place to buy....) were $3 each. On board ship, they were $11! Alcohol was expensive - hardly a bottle of wine worth less than $70, so we had to be careful. We would use this line again - the service and ambience were great. And.... NO photographers trying to take your picture everywhere!!! In fact, not a photographer to be seen! Bon Voyage Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We have cruised twice before on Oceania: once on Marina and once before on Nautica. While the itinerary was great, the food service was lacking. We enjoyed the ports of call and took a number of ship sponsored tours and found them all to ... Read More
We have cruised twice before on Oceania: once on Marina and once before on Nautica. While the itinerary was great, the food service was lacking. We enjoyed the ports of call and took a number of ship sponsored tours and found them all to be of good quality. The ship and its cabins are nice and the personnel all provided great service. But we felt that the service and quality of the dining experience was poor. To being, 1) the push for all to share tables becomes tedious: we are not at summer camp where we have to make new friends. 2) The itinerary took us to places where the outdoor temperatures were not conducive to outdoor dining, so the Terrace Cafe indoor seating was always packed. 3) The majority of times we went to the Terrace Cafe, we couldn't find a table (even if you were willing to share). When we complained, we were told they loose over a 100 seats due to the cold weather. 4) The Grand Dining room was our answer but they staffing has been greatly reduced and the service is slow and many times what you ordered wasn't what got delivered. 5) It seemed like much of the wait staff was new. All of the wait staff was very pleasant just overwhelmed. The pluses for Oceania are the free water and soft drinks and the lack of cross selling. But with the pricing difference, one needs to do more price comparisons. We are not as sold on Oceania as we had been. Also, disembarkation was rushed. We had to be out of our cabins by 8:00 am and off the ship by 9:00 am. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Oceania performed as expected. The food was amazing, the ports of call were wonderful and the entertainment was very good. We thought Cory "from the bridge" did a wonderful job as cruise director. Captain Max was very ... Read More
Oceania performed as expected. The food was amazing, the ports of call were wonderful and the entertainment was very good. We thought Cory "from the bridge" did a wonderful job as cruise director. Captain Max was very approachable and informative. Travel above the Arctic Circle was memorable and provided numerous photo opportunities. We were on the Concierge floor and cabin service was terrific. The ship was very smooth for us. We tried all the dining experiences and were very satisfied at each location. The entertainment staff made the competitions for Big O points fun events. I think they had fun with the passengers and made us all feel welcome. The show band was terrific and provided support to the "come aboard" entertainers. I t is hard to keep seasoned travelers entertained but Cory and the entertainment team did a terrific job. We had a wonderful time despite a poor trivia team result. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
We decided to take the trip on the Nautica vs. other cruise lines visiting Norway because it included a trip over the top of Norway into the Barents Sea and the White Sea, with port stops in Murmansk, Arkhangelsk and the Solovetsky Islands ... Read More
We decided to take the trip on the Nautica vs. other cruise lines visiting Norway because it included a trip over the top of Norway into the Barents Sea and the White Sea, with port stops in Murmansk, Arkhangelsk and the Solovetsky Islands in Russia. We stayed overnight in Copenhagen the night before embarkation. It was cool and raining the day we arrived, but bright and sunny on our departure. We stayed in the Square hotel near Tivoli Gardens. That area in Copenhagen is very touristy and expensive. The trip started with a very easy embarkation in the ship's lounge in Copenhagen, since the ship didn't dock at a cruise terminal but instead was at the Langelinie Pier. We missed our first stop in Alesund due to high winds, but made all of our other ports (Trondheim, Hammerfest, Murmansk, Solovetsky Islands, Archangel, Hannigsvag and North Cape, Kristiansand, Hellesylt and Geiranger fjord, Bergen, Amsterdam, Brugges). Hellesylt and the Geiranger fjord were striking in their native beauty, and Begen, Amsterdam and Brugges were all wonderful cities to visit. The Nautica is a small and inviting ship. The ship's ambiance is quiet elegant, with a lot of dark wood in the public areas. This was our second time on board in 7 months, and we felt like we were 'back home'. The small size of the ship and the length of the journey (20 days) makes it easy to meet fellow passengers. Dining on board generally is excellent. We found the Polo Grill inconsistent in its service and food quality - twice it was excellent, twice disappointing. In contrast, we found Toscana consistently outstanding. The service onboard is truly excellent. Because it's a small ship, there is not a lot of nightlife. The casino was small and inactive. There is only 1 production nightly at 9:30. We look forward to returning to the Nautica or one of the other Oceania ships in the future. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
The itinerary was of great interest to us and we were not disappointed. The captain had to make some last minute changes to the order of ports visited and duration of stay due to events beyond his control, his decisions were well made and ... Read More
The itinerary was of great interest to us and we were not disappointed. The captain had to make some last minute changes to the order of ports visited and duration of stay due to events beyond his control, his decisions were well made and maximized passenger experiences. Bravo! This was our first time in a stern cabin ..... great views and wonderful balcony space! Staff are exemplary! Medical staff went over and above when a medical condition arose so recovery was quick and interfered very little with our holiday. Staff in the Terrace cafe, dining room and specialty restaurants are knowledgeable and attentive. The quality of food confirmed Oceania's reputation as having "the best food at sea" ...... now to loose that excess weight ! Embarkation, disembarkation and tour departures were well managed and efficient ...... no "mob scenes" or races! The Oceania escorts on shore excursions did a great job especially "George the jeweler" who went over and above to assist a couple with some mobility issues navigate a 3 story museum tour. The only negative was one particular tour bus had VERY narrow seats set extremely close to one another leaving inadequate leg room for anyone 6 feet tall or more. Our experience on this bus was compounded by the physically disabled passenger seated in front of us reclining his seat after being asked to stop repeatedly thrusting his considerable weight against his seat back which re-injured my husbands knee and has limited his walking tolerance even now...... however, we recognize that Oceania cannot be held responsible for passenger behavior and we did see numerous incidents of passenger kindness and consideration. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
The reasons we booked this cruise was because it was Oceania, the itinerary (going above the Artic Circle), no photographers, few children and no up-selling. We have cruised with Oceania quite a few times and enjoy the size of the ships, ... Read More
The reasons we booked this cruise was because it was Oceania, the itinerary (going above the Artic Circle), no photographers, few children and no up-selling. We have cruised with Oceania quite a few times and enjoy the size of the ships, the atmosphere and the service. We did arrive in Copenhagen a day early which gave us time to help some with the jet lag and to explore the city some. We selected the airport transfer to the hotel and hotel to ship. Both of which worked well. This embarkation went quickly but with the area for the health questionnaire, before boarding the ship on the dock with limited cover and a bit of rain, wasn't a great way to start. However, as soon as we were on board the rest of the embarkation process went very smoothly. When we booked the cruise, we requested a penthouse cabin, but ended up deep on the wait list, finally made it to number three but ended up in a concierge veranda cabin. We had been in that cabin level before and understood the few limitations of the cabin, i.e. the small bathroom, etc. We were able to get in to the cabin about 20 minutes before the advertised time. Our luggage was at our cabin when we arrived. Our cabin steward came and introduced himself and asked if we needed anything and the two things we requested were taken care of quickly. We had excellent cabin service throughout the cruise. The cabin was always neat and clean but, after a few days in the cabin we did notice that the was some general wear and tear that we hadn't noticed on other Oceania ships. The service we received in all the dining venues was fantastic. It seemed more personalized than on other cruises but this might be since it was a 20 day cruise. The food was very good and comparable to all the Oceania cruises we have taken. The specialty restaurants excelled as they have in the past. The cruise did experience two problems, neither could be blamed on Oceania, the ship or the crew. One was bad weather that caused the Captain to slow the ship and as a result missed our first port. The second was that the Russian Navy held the ship out of Murmansk for about 12 hours while they conducted a 'naval exercise'. One highlight of the cruise was that Captain Maksym Melnikov was excellent. He always kept us updated of our status with the two minor problems we encountered. Additionally, on sea days with his noon time report of weather and position, he would also add a brief talk on subjects including, the ships' stabilizers, the northern lights, water purification on the ship, along with other interesting subjects. He was the most informative Captain we've had on any cruise. We do not participate in most of the entertainment in the lounge in the evening or the daytime activities throughout the ship. We spend port days on tours and in the towns/cities we are visiting and on sea days in the library or Horizon Lounge reading and relaxing. We didn't participate in any of the activities to get 'Big O' points. We thought the itinerary/port selection was very good. We were able to visit larger cities along with some very remote ports. The tours were a bit pricey, but we had selected one tour in each of the ports we visited except for Bergen. Most of the tours were very good, with a couple that were a pleasant surprise and one that was a bit disappointing. The ones that were very interesting included the tour in Murmansk that went through the first nuclear ice breaker. The ship has been restored to the level of a museum. There is still more restoration underway, but visitors get to visit all areas of the ship from the reactor to the bridge. The other tour of note was in Arkangelsk, Russia, entitled "A Tour in the Wood". Visitors are taken to an outdoor museum of an old village/town which included many buildings that visitors could enter. The village guide took us through, explaining history, life at the time and even showed and described construction of the buildings. The one disappointing tour was one that had a relatively young, inexperienced guide that I felt could have spent time on culture and history of the area. The other Excursions in Norway, Russia, The Netherlands were all very good. In Belgium we selected the 'Bruges on your own' since we have been there multiple times. To sum this cruise up we had a great time and have also booked a back to back cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
From Capt Max to the lowliest deckhand , the staff were friendly, obliging, and smiling throughout the entire cruise. Capt max did an amazing job, mixing with the guests and sharing his time without hesitation. The ship was spotless and ... Read More
From Capt Max to the lowliest deckhand , the staff were friendly, obliging, and smiling throughout the entire cruise. Capt max did an amazing job, mixing with the guests and sharing his time without hesitation. The ship was spotless and the attention to detail in all aspects of cruise management was exemplary. The ship was the perfect size for our first cruise , making it possible for the crew to get to know and remember everyone's names and vice versa. The onboard facilities were more than adequate for the number of passengers and provided a good blend of places to eat, drink and play for everyone. It was unfortunate that we missed our first stop because of strong currents in the Dardenelles after leaving Copenhagen but this was beyond anyone's control. We encountered a problem on trying to enter Murmansk because the Russian Navy was conducting an exercise but Capt Max , being Russian and exnavy himself was able to exert enough influence to get us a 20 min window that allowed us to enter Russia and carry out immigration formalities that we couldn't have done at any of the other stops in Russia. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose this cruise because we like the dates and itinerary. Overall, the cruise was very good, but there were some things that could be better. We found the wine prices very high, especially considering what the wines cost and the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we like the dates and itinerary. Overall, the cruise was very good, but there were some things that could be better. We found the wine prices very high, especially considering what the wines cost and the fact that taxes are probably not paid on them. Plus 18% for gratuity. If you like wine, see if you can bring some and pay corkage, or do like us, and just forget about it and consider it part of the cost of the cruise. We also found the on board entertainment weak. The ships band was not very exciting, and nobody could sing. They could benefit from a younger band, who did some more current music. Also, the excursions were expensive- luckily we booked the St. Petersburg tours with Denrus, whose prices were about one third of those offered by Oceania. Food was mostly good, with a few exceptions. Cabin was fine- we were on the concierge level. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We were recommended by cruise ship by our travel agency and sold by the good food served onboard. We were indeed delighted that we sailed with them. It was the first international cruise and best decision made to be onboard Oceania. ... Read More
We were recommended by cruise ship by our travel agency and sold by the good food served onboard. We were indeed delighted that we sailed with them. It was the first international cruise and best decision made to be onboard Oceania. On the day of embarkation, the queue was rather long but managed to clear quite speedily. In addition, there were seats around in case of guests who could be tired standing in line. As we were considered early, we were asked to go for our lunch before checking into our cabin, the food served was good and this was a good start to our cruise. An announcement was made once the cabins were ready for checking in. When we opened the door to our cabin, we were pleasantly surprised with the size of the inside cabin, Many inside cabins tend to be tiny, but I must commend that this is not so, in fact, it was considered spacious and very comfortable. the cabin was also done up rather luxuriously with 1000 thread count bedsheets to sleep on nightly. Kudos also to The housekeeping team who are ever so efficient in cleaning the cabins and remembering the requests of each and single room. There are 4 speciality restaurants to enjoy. We managed to try all 4 as we were advised to book online. As it was only my friend and I, we had to share table with other guests on 3 nights. The experiences at all the speciality and main dining areas were better than great! The food was really declious, and generous. And the service by the staff was excellent too. Being a gourmet foodie, I jmust commend that the cruise is really generous on the expensive ingredients (lobsters for almost every dinner and excellent prime cut beef) served. Hygiene level is high which is what I like. You can find sanitaiser almost everywhere throughout the ship. And there are reminders to clean your hands. Thumbs up! My gripe would be on the shore excursions. There are hits and misses. Some of the guides were excellent while some of the drivers were very good. The organsiaton prior to disembarking the cruise is a tad messy. The positive aspect of the shore excursions would be that most of the coaches are not fully filled up and they come up toilets which can be used ( this is Escorial he important for long drives). Plus the coaches are all very clean and comfortable. Believe that the drivers take pride at their work:) I would definitely sail with them again. I have already been telling people of how good the ship is and garnered a fair bit of interest. I certainly hope to sail on it again soon . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose this cruise originally because of the destinations and class of ship. It's expensive, but that keeps the rif raf off the ship, and thats fine w/ me. We originally booked our veranda suite, but when we got closer to the ... Read More
We chose this cruise originally because of the destinations and class of ship. It's expensive, but that keeps the rif raf off the ship, and thats fine w/ me. We originally booked our veranda suite, but when we got closer to the travel date, we upgraded to a penthouse suite on the 11th floor, and so glad that we did. We flew into Copenhagen 2 days early to enjoy the city. 2 days was enough as theres not that much to do. We did Tivoli Gardens in the evening, and they had a nice firework show, and walked along Nyhaven . Many people took a canal tour, but we just walked along it and it was great. Embarkation was easy, although we did have a bit of a line, which we didn't think we would have since we were boarding at noon with the other suites. Our room was a terrific!! Elegant, comfortable, big and a great balcony. The first port was Germany. We didn't book the trip into Berlin as it was a 3 hour bus ride, there and back. Those that did, enjoyed it, but I didn't want to deal w/ sitting in a bus all day. We walked around the port town. It was OK. Your basic cruise tourist port town. But that was OK, as I had very little expectations. The following day at sea was beautiful. The weather was great and surprisingly there were plenty of folks relaxing in the sunshine by the pool. We enjoyed the private deck area outside the Canyon Ranch Spa for suite guests. It was quiet, relaxing and private. The next day we were in Estonia. It was a charming little town, easy to walk to and plenty to see. The cobblestone streets would be difficult for those with mobility issues. The town was quaint and the people we met there were sweet and wonderful. Had lots of interesting conversations with the locals. The next 2 days were spent in St. Petersburg Russia. It was incredible. We booked the tours through the ship. We did the canal tour and cathedral of spilt blood one day and that was great. It was a beautiful sunny day, with a cool breeze on the water. Our tour guide Larissa was terrific!! The next day we did another tour and got to have some free time in the city. My husband and I ended up at the Grand Palace Hotel lobby bar with some other folks from our ship, drinking vodka. It was actually great!! We found the city to feel safe and beautiful. They do take you to a lot of souvenir shops, but quite frankly, I wanted to buy some, so I was OK with it. I really wanted to bring home a matryoshka doll, but ended up buying it in the ships shop. The prices were the same, and I felt like the ones on the ship were more legit then the mass produced copies in the shops. We had friends that went to the Ballet in the evening and enjoyed it. We stayed on the ship and it was a quiet evening, because many folks were out in the city on tours, but we enjoyed the quiet. The next day was Helsinki Finland. Helsinki felt like a city. We walked around, and sat in a coffee shop, but it wasn't very exciting or interesting, but again, that was OK. There are some interesting market places near the water and in the city, some historic sites. The hop on and off bus was a good idea. It was a weird day because you knew you wanted to get back to the ship to pack up, so it felt short. The next day we disembarked in Stockholm. Heres were the nightmare was!! Do yourself a favor and book a private car to pick you up from the port. There must have been 500 people in line for a taxi and there were seriously 2 taxis at a time. It was ugly!! People and taxis were fighting with each other. We managed to call Uber, but we were lucky as shortly thereafter there were no uber cars available. We stayed a few extra days in Stockholm at the Sheraton. We didn't book it through the ship as we had points and used them for those nights. It is a really nice hotel and we had a beautiful room with a balcony and view over the water and city! Stockholm is a great city, so if you can stay a few extra days, it's well worth it!! Once again, we felt safe, the people were friendly, and there is a lot to see and do. A few other notes about the cruise itself. We were very excited about the private restaurants, but what a dissapointment! We only went to the Tuscano restaurant, and the meal was so bad that we decided to cancel all our other restaurants and just eat either in the cafe terrace, the burger place outside the terrace, or main dining room. The food in those venues was really good! I usually hate the cafes as I see so many people filling their plates to the rim, that it grosses me out. But because they serve you, (which can be a little annoying), nobody appears to make a pig out of themselves. We spoke to others who agreed with us on the private restaurants and were dissapointed as well. I think the cruise tries to make a big deal out of the Jacque Pippen name, but really, it's not all that!! Everyone was complaining about the poor internet service. First of all, it was pretty well stated in many of the reviews that it wasn't great. If you get it for free, then great, but expect it to only work 70% of the time. Seemed not to work at all while in Russia. But get over it people!! Did you really come on vacation be on your phone and ipad all day?? The crew of the ship were terrific! All very kind and friendly. What was nice was the size of the ship. There are 1200 passengers which is a lot, yet you'd see the same people over and over and it was a nice opportunity to meet people from all over and make some friends. There was a large alumni group from FSU, so many folks were probably in their 50's and 60's. So it was a nice mix. I'd definitely sail on Oceania again. I just wouldn't get too excited about the restaurants the next time and be more excited about the room and the ports. Food is food. Besides, who wants to go home 10lbs heavier!! Read Less
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