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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose Oceania because of their heavily advertised claim that they offered some of the best food on the high seas. We chose the Riviera because the itinerary promised a trans-Atlantic crossing out of Barcelona where we wished to spend ... Read More
We chose Oceania because of their heavily advertised claim that they offered some of the best food on the high seas. We chose the Riviera because the itinerary promised a trans-Atlantic crossing out of Barcelona where we wished to spend some extra days. And the price was right for a veranda cabin. The cruise didn't wholly live up to our hopes. But it was nonetheless an enjoyable experience. The ship itself is very handsome, though suffering a few signs of damage (scratches, bumps, stains here and there). The grand dining room is particularly pleasant, colourful, open, and airy. The cabin was large and attractive, with plenty of room to store a travel wheelchair. Moving around the ship with that wheelchair was very easy because many of the doors are automatic. Staff were friendly and helpful and efficient: cabin steward, waiters, reception desk. The captain was old-style, largely absent and not very communicative. The cruise director, by contrast, was a bit too present – on the television and on the speaker, often telling us what you could read in the daily paper. We didn’t attend most of the entertainment: the dancers were energetic and skilful, the singers unfortunately loud but unimpressive, and the classical quartet unaccountably lacking harmony. Nor did we find the so-called enrichment lecture topics sufficiently interesting to warrant going. What was the idea? Lectures on forensic science on a cruise? And we avoided the few excursions as too pricey. Not a problem: we entertained ourselves on the ship and in the ports. By the way, wifi (for one device at a time) might be included in O'Life but it is terrible even when close to land or a city. Worst I’ve experienced lately. But it is free and the email eventually does come in – well, usually. One of the reasons we chose the Riviera was the fact it promised two stops in the Canaries. That didn’t happen. The prospect of bad weather led the ship authorities to cancel both. So we lost some of the Spain we were looking forward to. Reading the reviews, it seems Oceania has a bad habit of cancelling ports. Disappointing. It is possible we would have made the crossing with Azamara (going at the same time) except it had less Spanish ports in theory. Worth keeping in mind that Oceania's itinerary isn’t a solid promise. And no compensation for their failure to deliver. The cruise did offer other activities: bridge lessons, culinary classes, art classes, assorted games. None of these we sampled. There was some seriously over-priced “private dining,” that wasn’t private at all because you sat at a common table,or so it seemed. Didn’t do that either. Never tried the exercise room but my wife had success twice with the hair services at the Canyon Ranch Spa. One minor plus: a good, free dvd library (by contrast, disappeared from the Azamara Quest anyway). Now as to the food. Three of the specialty restaurants were truly excellent. Unquestionably the most outstanding was Red Ginger, the Asian restaurant: the food delicious and plentiful, novel, varied, and interestingly spiced – the duck and watermelon salad as well as the sea bass were stellar. I found Red Ginger the best specialty restaurant (compared to Azamara, Crystal, Princess, and Holland America) I’ve enjoyed in the past five years. Jacques (French) and Toscana (Italian) were almost as impressive: a fine bouillabaisse and a marvellous dover sole at the first, some superb lamb and a tasty seafood linguine at the second. The one specialty restaurant that was a bit weak (though the crab cakes were fine) was the steakhouse, Polo Grill: I’ve had far tastier ribeye on Azamara's Prime C. The food in the other venues was generally good for lunch and dinner. If the steakhouse failed, the steaks in the buffet (Terrace Café) and the dining room were tasty. The caesar salad everywhere was a pleasure. The room service menu had decent lunch offerings, especially gravlax and a fine cheese plate as well as a novelty (for me) the Lombardy salad and an excellent small steak. The Waves Grill (outside, casual) had the standard fare: burgers, hot dogs (the Mexican a standout), salad makings, etc. Some of the dishes in the buffet restaurant were very good (e.g. the Thanksgiving turkey), most were enjoyable, but there were occasional failures like the paella (bland and mushy). Strangely enough, the appetizers and the soups and the bread seemed the most exciting offerings in the main dining room. The entrees were ok but not memorable – and occasionally poor (e.g. tough lamb, bland fish). Desserts everywhere weren’t outstanding, although the assorted crème brules were very enjoyable, as was the varied cheese plate (far better than on Azamara, but best on Crystal). The weakest dining was at breakfast. The room service only offered a basic, and to my mind substandard (blah breads, fruit bits) , continental menu. The eggs prepared in the buffet and the dining room were never exciting. The bacon didn’t appeal, the sweet breads (danishes etc) were uninteresting but for one fruity semi-muffin (and only occasionally available), the flaccid bagels a shame. But I did try some breakfast fish and lamb chops in the dining room – both were very good, as was the carved ham at a brunch. Also the buffet had tasty smoked salmon and various herring dishes that were welcome. Service in the dining room at breakfast seemed slow, slower than on other occasions. Coffee was only ok. Nothing special in the restaurants. Overly mild from the coffee place Baristas (though some people might prefer such). Better in short on Azamara and Crystal. Wine could be a problem, depending on the time, place, and the wine steward. We had the House Select plan which meant wine by the glass at lunch and dinner. If you had a good wine steward, like Milos, then fine: he always watched to ensure his clients were well served. If you had a rushed or negligent wine steward, then you would go dry during the course of the meal. Oceania needs to hire more wine stewards, train them better, and find more of the quality of Milos. In any case the wine offerings were acceptable but not so good for our tastes (Chilean, Argentine, Spanish reds, German whites) as on Azamara, Princess, and Holland America, and especially on Crystal. In all the cruise was delicious. It does often offer good and varied food, and some of the dishes are just superb. But on the whole Crystal does it better, if at a much higher cost. And Azamara, the more comparable cruise line in price and service, has roughly the same ‘score,’ much good and some not, when it comes to food. However I think Azamara offers even more on ambience, service, entertainment, and excursions. We would likely take another Oceania if the price and itinerary were especially appealing. But we have no plans to do so soon. We’re off on other cruise lines. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Manly booked this for the itinerary. It was a 12 night - Venice to Barcelona . 11-1-18 to 11-13-18. Excursions were not as described. The stops listed were not accurate. One location did not have the handicrafts village as highlighted. ... Read More
Manly booked this for the itinerary. It was a 12 night - Venice to Barcelona . 11-1-18 to 11-13-18. Excursions were not as described. The stops listed were not accurate. One location did not have the handicrafts village as highlighted. Another town was completely closed on the day we were there. Nothing to see at all! They return you back to the ship 2-3 hours before ship left port. Not enough time given to sights that were available. Big waste of money. The destination desk personnel were useless and could care less. This Cruise line is over rated. Horrible entertainment. It doesn't exist. First time on Oceania and probably the last. Expected more from a so called upper class sailing. This is also not recommended for any one who is handicap. All ports of call and the excursions we were part of would be a real challenge for those who are handicap. The food was very good compared to other Cruise lines. But do NOT touch anything or the food Nazis will repremand you. Sparkling water and soft drinks are all included. As for cocktails, way over priced. Friends were charged $56.00 for 2 drinks in the main dining room because he made the mortal mistake of ordering a " double" rum and coke. He only made that mistake once. The staff were very good and attended to all your needs in the beginning of this itinerary, but slowly declined as the days passed. It seemed as though many have had enough and were anxious to go home, as this was their final voyage for the season. As previously noted the worst was the " Destinations" personnel. They could care less about anything. For your O Life choice, do yourself a favor and use the ship board credit. The free excursions are NOT the way to go! Go with an outside company or explore on your own. It should also be noted that this was not a voyage for families with young children. They would be extremely board due to the lack of entertainment and the ports of call. It's catered towards the adults. For the fees charged on this line, we expected a little more. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
As first time cruisers with Oeania, chose this cruise for two reasons: (1) had reserved twice and cancelled because found very similar cruise at almost the same price with Regent Seven Seas, and (2) this cruise took us to places we wanted ... Read More
As first time cruisers with Oeania, chose this cruise for two reasons: (1) had reserved twice and cancelled because found very similar cruise at almost the same price with Regent Seven Seas, and (2) this cruise took us to places we wanted to see again (Dubrovnik, Kotor, Valeta, Monaco, Marseille), price was very attractive and the potential alternative (RSS) is no longer in quality and value what it once was. Our experience began arriving at Venice 3 days before embarkation only to encounter record flooding forcing us to almost swim to our hotel just off Piazza San Marco and again swim to emark on the Riviera. Fortunately, we were able to find a porter to take our bagggage and buy boots to waddle behind him.. Embarkation was OK, having to walk under the drizzling rain for abour half a mile, but quick and easier than expected. Cabin was as expected, not large but not small, adequate balcony, very well maintained and excellent attendants. Bathroom much larger than expected with all the amenities expected, shower equally as expected. And by expected we mean in terms of Oceani's own promotional advertising and our own perception comparing other cruise lines we have experieced such as Azamara, Cunard, Crystal and Regent Seven Seas. Dining was much better than expected even though twice we found hairs in our meals. The quality and variety of the food quite good, if not excellent, served by crew members who prevented passengers from touching the food even when doing so would not have affected other food. Service was not only clean and efficient, but very friendly and helpful. All dining areas were bigger and amplier than in most other ships we have cruised, with the decoration very comfortable, if not attractive. Very few times were we forced to wait for a table, which upon being vacated were immediatly cleaned and prepared for use again. Better than expected, since it constantly attracted our attention, was the quality and variety of fruits at breakfast time, especially tropical frutis like papaya and mango, along with kiwi, which were almost always ripe and sweet. Less than expected, the variety of plain bread (as opposed to sweetened breads and pastries), such as what one finds at bakeries and in fact in ALL other ships we have cruised (especialoly european style breads, which are much better than american style breads). We tried breakfast at the main dining room once and decided it was not for us. We never visited the main dining room at lunch and only once for dinner, both times deciding it was not for us.. (No comment regarding food and service,) The buffet lunch was equally good in quality and variety , as was the buffet dinner (although we frequented the specialty restaurants as often as we could, considering them much better in all respects. Particularly Polo Grill and Red Ginger, without implying that Jacques and Toscana were inferior. Significantly more attractive than the other three was the service at Red Ginger and in our view the quality and variety of offers at the Polo Grill was superior to the other three. But all were excellent and we recommend taking advantage of them every time possible. Entertainment was for us good but not excellent. In our view, the singers were not what we expected in terms of profoundness and extension of voice. Their dancing was very good, but as in other ships rather mechanical and repetitive. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the performances and would suggest Oeania add more comics, magicians (the one who performed was above excellence and should be hired as a permanent contributor) and classical piano performers. In this respect, a comment regarding the theater. Although excellent in seat comfort and amplitud, we consider it should be improved by either raising the stage or increasing the incline. It is very difficult to really enjoy performances from the back because of insufficient incline or the stage too low. At the various bars and public rooms such as Horizon, the performers were all excellent, particularly when playing classical mushic. Suggest adding more music appropriate to the predominantly elderly passengers (such as us) with pieces from the 30s to the 50s. The pool area actually better than expected because of its size and comfort. The elevators very efficient and ample, although at times somewhat unavailable due to excessive traffic, which is to be expected. Our Consierge was excellent and the facility equally excellent, both in all respects, as our two cabin attendants. We did have difficulties with the toilet, which several times decided to have its own way forcing us to call for help from the Reception to reestablish its proper functioning condition. We do not know the cause and look forward to having it permanently fixed as soon as possible. Reception staff was efficient but we found it too serious and somewhat unfriendly in many occasions, perhaps because of their long hours at work and the many requests they may have been receiving from guests like us. Hence, not what we expected, when comparing with other cruise ships we know. Bar tenders, on the other hand, were at all times very friendly although not as efficient or well prepared as perhaps they could or should have been. In this respect, we do praise Oceania for its Happy Hours that reduced the price of drinks by half, since their premium package is overwhelmingly unreachable ($59.95 pp/day meaning daily ingestion of 4 drinks at an average price of $15 per drink to just cover the cost, whether wine or spirits), since walking to one/s cabin was not always smooth. Excursions were as expected, including the tenders when needed. Well organized and exercised. Excursion staff, however, not very helpful in resolving issues. This happened to us with respect to disembarkation, which they could have easily resolved but insisted they could (would) not. In the end, what we had requested became null because the ship did not apply its established rules, deciding in favor of the flexibility we had requested (we are sure this had nothing to do with our request, rather due to port authorities). Finally, we were surpried to see so many passengers with disabilities, more than what we expected, even when we have cruised on Regent Seven Seas (many times) and Cunard (also many times), and even more surprised with the excellent service to attend to those in need, at all times and at all places. Even when not necessary or needed, some crew member would appear to serve if and as required, quite often even when not required, just in case. Hence, the cruise line's demonstrated preparedmess at all times, even if or when affecting passenger tranquility -- frequent crew exercises and avoiding two planned ports (Spanish Canary Islands) because of a potentially troublesome ocean, enabling us to enjoy two additional days at sea (which was minimally motioned, in my opinion although no in my wife's opinion). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose the Oceania Sirena because of word of mouth how terrific the line is and this itinerary for Cuba. I need a handicap cabin, since I have walking issues and sometimes use a wheelchair. I was booked in a handicap cabin originally. ... Read More
We chose the Oceania Sirena because of word of mouth how terrific the line is and this itinerary for Cuba. I need a handicap cabin, since I have walking issues and sometimes use a wheelchair. I was booked in a handicap cabin originally. My agent was then called a month later to say the cabin would be under some kind of construction and no more where available. They then said they would upgrade me to another cabin that would be more then sufficient for my needs. I myself called the cruise line and was told by more then one res. Agent that the cabin was exactly the same, just a little smaller and I would have no issues. Once on the ship I was appalled to find they had passengers in the original cabin I had booked and the bathroom in the cabin they now assigned me had a step up, and having leg issues that made the trip more difficult for me. Because of the cabin size my wheelchair had be folded up and stuck in a corner so we could walk around in the cabin without hitting into it. Very inconvient.. We were 3 couples on the cruise together, who all booked at the same time . We all had issues in the main dining room. The food service was slow in coming and the a/c couldn’t be regulated well. One night we were so cold that they actually brought us blankets to put over ourselves . We were very disappointed that the next evening when we arrived for dinner, they wanted to put us back in the same spot . The staff never even asked us if we preffered another area, etc. The ship needs some updating, which I hear is supposed to happen soon. The ships Lecturer was fabulous and gave us a real insight into everything we would see in Cuba. The beds were the most comfortable we ever had while cruising and the staff outside of the dining room were all terrific. High tea every afternoon was done well and was delicious, as were the specialty restaurants. Getting reservations in those were difficult if you weren’t in a suite or concierge class., even though we tried months before the sailing, our availability was extremely limited. Would we travel again on Oceania, your guess is as good as mine. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We love Oceania for its amazing service and outstanding food quality and variety. We've been sailing on Oceania for the past 15 years and just got off the Marina yesterday. This was an unusual itinerary since it had so many sea days ... Read More
We love Oceania for its amazing service and outstanding food quality and variety. We've been sailing on Oceania for the past 15 years and just got off the Marina yesterday. This was an unusual itinerary since it had so many sea days (which we both love). We boarded the ship in Papette, visited 4 ports in French Polynesia and then sailed to Hawaii and visited 4 island ports there. We sailed 5 days from Kawaii to Los Angeles where we disembarked. We really enjoyed the ship's excursions. We did an excursion in every port. We enjoy nature, birds and photographing beautiful landscapes - we were not disappointed. The Pacific Ocean was as calm as a lake (we were quite lucky). We had perfect weather on every port day and all but one sea day. Our butler proved outstanding service - including room service breakfast on disembarkation day. We have booked a 30 day voyage August, 2019 sailing from London to NYC - visiting Iceland, Greenland and some of Europe. That will complete 31 Oceania cruises for us. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Chose this cruise for itinerary. That was the only good thing. Embarkation in Lima was disgraceful. We arrived at port in taxi dropped off outside the port to be faced with a very large queue no shelter from the blistering heat, no staff ... Read More
Chose this cruise for itinerary. That was the only good thing. Embarkation in Lima was disgraceful. We arrived at port in taxi dropped off outside the port to be faced with a very large queue no shelter from the blistering heat, no staff present. We were then transferred to the ship by bus to be met with an even longer queue, waiting to embark,we even had to unload our own cases from the bus, no porters, no Oceania representatives,no organisation. From time we arrived at port to getting on board took us 3 hours no kidding. General manager eventually appeared claiming to lay blame on port of Lima for not having terminal building. Tendering service was another major issue .Easter island took us 4.30 hrs to get off ship, never experienced a tender service so slow,if you are not doing an excursion with the company you are treat like a second class citizen. After visiting the island and returned to the tender point we were faced with another long queue to get back on board 2.30 hours we waited to get on board. Once again general manager blamed conditions of sea and the clientele , not many spring chickens and various disabilities. Staff behind buffet counters in terrace cafe were very unenthusiastic ,didn't seem to be able to use initiative. Many times in waves grill we appeared invisible, took so long to have table set. Presentation of the food wasn't like it used to be. After rainfall, promenade decks were deadly, deckhands didn't seem to be programmed to clear the large pools of water they preferred to place a sign up warning you the decks were slippery when wet. Outbreak of gastroenteritis did not help matters either. Many of the facilities were closed, staff were also affected, restaurants appeared like staff canteens , paper table cloths, menus etc. TV and Movie channels were poor throughout the cruise. Speciality restaurants were excellent waiting staff there couldn't do enough for you. To sum up ,having cruised with Oceania a few year ago, the quality of the service has gone a long way down hill,does not warrant the premium price of the cruise. Will be very surprised if I am the only one with negative reviews. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We took a 12 day Miami-Miami on December 17, 2017 with stops in Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, Colon (Panama Canal) Costa Rica, Belize, and Key West. First time on Oceania. Ship: Ideal size, 1250 capacity (we had just over 800 on board), ... Read More
We took a 12 day Miami-Miami on December 17, 2017 with stops in Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, Colon (Panama Canal) Costa Rica, Belize, and Key West. First time on Oceania. Ship: Ideal size, 1250 capacity (we had just over 800 on board), Very tasteful decor throughout; loaded with original art. Very classy. We had rough seas several days, but we did fine. We do 1/2 of a patch behind the ear. They say you can't cut it, but you can. Works fine... just wash your hands well after applying. Room: Out cabin (7086) was very comfortable, roomy enough, with a very nice veranda. Excellent cabin service. They brought ice twice a day, kept our mini fridge full. Limited television options. Internet was generally good but can only use one device at a time. Cuisine: Overall it was excellent. We had most breakfasts in the Terrace Cafe where they have a buffet but also make items to order. Same at lunch. Really nice 180 outdoor eating area at rear of ship. On he specialty restaurants, we weren't as crazy about Red Ginger, but the others were very good. Only in the Main dining room a few times. A cafe called Waves is by the pool and has great smoothies, shakes, malts, sandwiches, etc. Amenities: laundry on every floor ($2 to wash and $2 to dry- buy tickets at desk, detergent provided). Nice gym with floor to ceiling windows. Fancy spa with fancy prices! Barista is small coffee shop above overlooking the pool with wonderful Illy Italian coffees. Ports: Unlike Key West, most of the other ports were basically industrial. Not like river cruises where you often stop in a pleasant little town and can just walk around if you want. The weather was great but not sure I would take this cruise for sightseeing. Excursions: Little French Cay (booked on our own) was excellent as was their private facility for the Belize stop. The Panama Canal tour in Colon and a tour to Mayan ruins were also worth doing. We would have probably skipped all the others (boat rides to try to see wildlife, 3 hour round trip to see not much of an old castle, etc.). Entertainment: Pretty good for a smaller ship. Young and enthusiastic cast did several shows. Big band was Ukrainian and they were really good, House band at night was good for dancing. Very pleasant pianist in Martinis Bar daily. Alcohol: Rule is that you can bring 3 bottles of wine on board. No, they don't go through your bags, so if you want to throw in liquor... well, whatever. They had two-for-one happy hours at 5:30 in three lounges and at 10:30 in the lounge with band. Unless you just want the convenience of it, the drink packages are way too expensive. Accommodations: They did a good job of working with folks who needed assistance, had walkers, wheelchairs, etc. Room next to us was accessible with large entry door, no step up into the bathroom, etc. Currency: On this route, dollars were preferred. Credit cards no problem, except on excursion balances on privately booked tours. Most require cash for the balance or will charge 15% to use a card. Bottom line: Superb ship, with really good food, and excellent service. Maybe pick a different itinerary than this one if you are really into the ports experiences. On their deal choices, we picked cash, which can be used for gratuities at the end. You can often do better by booking your own excursions as they are pricey from Oceania. They offer future booking options on the ship and we purchased two, so that says something about looking ahead with Oceania. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Oceania is still one of the best cruise lines and the Riviera is one of the best ships in the fleet. It's large enough to offer all the amenities and yet small enough to feel intimate in many ways. We once again had an Oceania suite ... Read More
Oceania is still one of the best cruise lines and the Riviera is one of the best ships in the fleet. It's large enough to offer all the amenities and yet small enough to feel intimate in many ways. We once again had an Oceania suite and this is one of the finest staterooms on any ship we've been on; large enough to live in long-term. There is a butler and a stateroom attendant to look after your every need; the suite is serviced at least twice a day. it also comes with a mini-fridge with soft drinks and beer, and the bar has six full bottles of premium liquor. We swapped the liquor for six bottles of wine that we drank in the restaurants and the suite. And the food remains to be some of the best - anyplace.There are four specialty venues aboard and there is no additional charge for using them. With the Oceania suite, you have two nights in each restaurant. Plus there is the Grand Dining Room, the Terrace Buffet and Waves Grill, plus a barista and the daily high tea. This ship is a foodie's delight! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
As usual, we chose this Oceania cruise for the itinerary, the food, and the service and it did not disappoint. Venice is a wonderful city to explore when you get away from the crowds around San Marco square. Other highlights on this ... Read More
As usual, we chose this Oceania cruise for the itinerary, the food, and the service and it did not disappoint. Venice is a wonderful city to explore when you get away from the crowds around San Marco square. Other highlights on this itinerary included Malta, Rome and Barcelona. Although Oceania’s shore excursions are pricey and we are not fond of large group tours, we booked quite a few of their excursions for this cruise because I was too busy to research independent tours. I did not enjoy some of their excursions because none of the guides provided headsets and some did not even use a microphone, which makes it difficult to hear them unless you barge your way to the front of the group. But we really enjoyed Oceania’s culinary tours in Corfu and Barcelona with Chef Kelly, which included a walking tour with a local guide. Chef Kelly has a great personality and we liked the smaller group sizes of these excursions. The food on this cruise was also excellent, especially the fish and seafood, and the crew was very friendly and attentive. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
The cruise was superb, nice stops , great service, cleanliness at the highest level. The food everywhere was superb, highlights were Jacques first, Red Ginger a close second, Toscana s and Polo. The best salad certainly was the ... Read More
The cruise was superb, nice stops , great service, cleanliness at the highest level. The food everywhere was superb, highlights were Jacques first, Red Ginger a close second, Toscana s and Polo. The best salad certainly was the Watermelon and Duck salad served at Red Ginger. The Tournedos Rossini at Jacques was incredible as well as the Mille Feuilles dessert. At Toscana s I had The Filet mignon covered with a Gargonzola cheese sauce. I literrally cut my filet mignon with my fork. The tiramisu there was to die for. Anyway not a bad meal or a bad choice anywhere, the food was great. The Suites was great , the bedding and towels were first class. I could not find fault anywhere. The few things missing, more flowers or flower arramgements on the tables . One small annoyance was the fact that they did not have any way for you to verify your credit statement in your cabin, the only way is to go down to the customer service desk and ask for a printout. The other bugaboo was that they do not put the charge for daily tips on your invoice until the last day. Entertainment was not great but its a small ship. Small ships have many advantages, like no lineups, elevator when you want them, availability everywhere but one thing that suffers is usually entertainement 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
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Our Oceania Cruise was the first cruise that either I or my wife have ever taken, but we hope it won't be the last. Nearly everyone on our cruise were old hands at cruising; a majority having taken a half dozen if not double-digit ... Read More
Our Oceania Cruise was the first cruise that either I or my wife have ever taken, but we hope it won't be the last. Nearly everyone on our cruise were old hands at cruising; a majority having taken a half dozen if not double-digit tours before. Almost everyone was impressed that we first picked what has become their preferred cruise line. I must give all the credit for the research to my wife. She started by looking for cruises where young children wouldn't be prevalent, if not outlawed completely. Hey, we adore our children and grandchildren, but we wanted a vacation away from kids. Of course, we learned that longer trips on any cruise line would limit families with children as they seldom have time for more than a week’s vacation; cruises over 10 days reduced the odds of the little ankle-biters. But when we found Oceania we realized that there were no water slides, roller coasters, rock climbing walls, or obstacles courses on the top of their ships. In fact, they have nothing aboard that would interest a child. In fact, anyone under 14 can’t even operate the elevator (though I seriously question this wisdom as kids older than 14 are much more likely to push every button just for fun). But our ship, the Riviera, is much smaller than the large liners, which made for an intimate group - I find it hard to believe that you'd see the same people often on the larger ships. Then again,we noticed people with the same habits as us: early risers, early off at port, etc. and are sure there are a great many we didn't see, let alone meet. When my wife discovered that Oceania is renowned for their quality food we were hooked. Jacque Pepin has a restaurant aboard and both he and Cat Cora, the ship’s “Godmother,” are advisors for the ship’s kitchens. But Oceania, considered a mid-range luxury line, it more expensive than most cruises. And yes, this really is a senior cruise - we turn 55 this year and were probably 10 years junior to the average. There might have been a dozen younger than us, including the obvious newlyweds who we didn't see outside their state room until the last day! Unless you consider afternoon tea and ballroom dancing, this is not a party line. But we enjoyed the pace of our fellow travelers. Yes, you have to slow down walking through the ship, but you will hear some interesting stories. One of our challenges is that because so many of the passengers are retired “chronic cruisers,” with dozens of trips under their belts, it can be hard to move the conversation around to anything other than cruises. Besides, we looked great in our swimwear at the pool! More importantly, even the eldest on our ship looked better than the chain smoking speedo wearing passengers on the German liner that docked next to us one day! And the food was excellent. Our favorite meal was at the La Reserve (we did the Connoisseur menu). It isn't inexpensive, but it's a wonderful experience for foodies. Wine pairings for a seven course meal were excellent and the menu was divine. They also have four specialty restaurants and my wife was originally upset when she learned that we could only book one night at each in advance - and while we could reserve early because we upgraded to the Concierge level, all our reservations were for later hours. However, we found out that it was quite easy to arrange reservations the day of dinner as long as you would share a table. While we enjoyed our intimate late diners, sitting with others is a great way to get to know the other guests. Our favorite of the specialty dining was Asian food at Red Ginger (the duck & watermelon salad and the sea bass are terrific). Jacques, their French restaurant, offered some outstanding choices including what they call a gnocchi that was actually bay scallops with lobster. They also do a great Lobster Thermidor. Often, the first thing folks think about when they think about good cruise dining is lobster night, but across the ship, every meal is lobster night. In fact, the buffet grill serves lobster every night and there are 26 different dishes with lobster in them! In truth, we got sick of lobster! The only restaurant we wouldn't recommend is Waves. “Sir, what wine pairing would you suggest with that hot dog,” my wife asked the Sommelier. Soon after she called the server over to suggest that “the defining characteristic of a hot dog is that it’s hot.” Stick to the bar at Waves. Overall, it's hard to imagine better cruise food, which after all is industrial cooking. More than a handful of dishes stand up to the finest restaurant these two foodies have been to. My only issue was that having bought an unlimited drink plan, we had to chase down our cocktails, and were made to feel that it was inconvenient to get anything other than wine in the dining rooms, and since we we getting wine by the glass as part of the plan, we didn't get as much attention as folks buying wine by the bottle. If nightlife is your kind of thing, Oceania might not be your line. They offer nightly entertainment, but it isn't where their money is invested. The accommodations were wonderful. Compact for sure, but they are so well organized that we fit all four of our bags of clothing handily. I would recommend getting a veranda and can't say enough about our Stewards and how well they kept up with our room. They quickly learned our habits and preferences and adapted. Actually, the thing that stands out the most is the quality of service across the entire staff. Their dedication to a high service standard shows in everything they do. None of the crew act like anything is not their job. We watch a server drop some ice cubes and before she promptly came back to clean it up another server ran to get a broom and dust pan. I saw the head bartender show up at the poolside bar because a lady didn't like the way the other bartender made Pina Coladas, which everyone else seemed to adore! If there is a complaint about service is that while it remains on the attentive side of obsequious, this attention to details sometimes clouds the bigger picture. For example, we felt like covert spies trying to avoid the runners that would grab your plate from us as w left the buffet so they could take it to the table. There are certainly plenty of people on this line that actually need help, like the fellow with a walker who started trying to balance his load on his walker -they should have been right there for that guy instead of chasing perfectly able bodied guests around the restaurant. Actually, it got to the point where it became a game to see if you could hide behind the palm trees to get to the table un-assaulted - I felt like I was in a Mr. Bean comedy sketch. While sitting on the deck off the buffet first thing in the morning is peaceful, after a few days we found that we really enjoyed the table service off at the Grand Dining room. Basically, you can get all the same food brought to you instead of dealing with the busier contact sport required to navigate the buffet and the plate runners. There are other examples of missing the big picture, but the service is so outstanding that these slights are easily overlooked. Furthermore, if anything isn’t how you like it, these people will jump through every hoop to make you happy. And let's be honest, the ship was full of privileged people, and many of the wealthy elderly elite seem to think everything revolves around them. However, the overwhelming majority appreciate the service being offs and will step in much sooner than the staff when someone has ridiculous expectations. At first we didn't understand why the pool had a three foot lip around it. Then we made it to the high seas. Instant wave pool! The poolside music was an interesting mix ranging from big band to soft classic rock and a live duo in the afternoon. Yes, the same elevator music these aged flower children have come to expect. However, there was a hidden theme: tragedies. Theme from Love story, Godfather, the theme from Lion King; we entertained ourselves identifying the disaster in their selections. Many seemed to deal with tragedies at sea like Wish upon a Star - poor Gazpacho got eaten by a whale. But, the winner is the song from Titanic! Not a good thing when your only exposure to ocean liners is your reading about disasters like the Lusitania (Erik Larsen has a great book). You should have heard my wife cackle when the the theme song from the Titanic came on. Better yet, we discovered that it's in their video library and we watched it one rainy morning! I'll be the first to understand that satellite reception can be slow and we shouldn't expect a lot of bandwidth when accessing the Internet but a simple web page shouldn't take 20 seconds to load. Even if the technology can’t do much better, the access software is in serious need of being updated - it’s copyright is 1996 - that’s twenty year old software technology. It's my business and trust me, it’s archaic. We should need little more than a last name and room number and our devices should be able to remember those accounts while on board. This isn’t the NSA, then again we came to disconnect from the Interwebz. While we are newbies, we have some advice. Pack a power strip. You don't need as many clothes as you think, but be prepared to change several times a day. We are usually jeans and t shirt people but really did enjoy dressing for dinner. While the novelty of the ship will entertain for the first week, go on excursions and have shared meals early on in the voyage so you get a jump on meeting other people. Unless, perhaps, if you are that honeymooning couple! A great experience. We will probably never try another line if Oceania goes there and can maintain their very high standards. My biggest criticism is that Oceania is still stuck with “in the box” thinking on their cancellation policies. Considering that the vast majority of people we met were repeat customers, I struggle to understand why they would force their aging customers to purchase travel insurance at a whopping 10% of the price of their service? Wouldn’t you think they would have an even stronger customer base if they could offer some flexibility for when last minute changes must be made? A common occurance for their aging customer base. At least a smaller penalty fee, but perhaps offset it by selling “overbooked” options, that would probably be reasonably predictable. Seems this would be a perfect service for their targeted best customers. Indeed, they are missing the boat. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
The itinerary was a main reason for taking this cruise. The staff and food are exceptional. My only complaint is the size and layout of the cabins. We are in a concierge cabin and it's too small. The bathroom is just okay with a ... Read More
The itinerary was a main reason for taking this cruise. The staff and food are exceptional. My only complaint is the size and layout of the cabins. We are in a concierge cabin and it's too small. The bathroom is just okay with a bathtub and separate small stall shower. The closet and drawer space are totally inadequate. I have to move the desk chair to walk between that and the coffee table to get to the terrace. The concierge lounge is a big plus. We often opt to have a continental breakfast there instead of going to one of the dining rooms or ordering room service. The specialty restaurants are good and it's a bonus that there is no up charge for dining in them. My only complaint there is that some of the vegetables were overcooked and soggy. The activities are not as extensive as on other cruises we've been on where there was an interesting lecture every morning and duplicate bridge and a movie every afternoon. On the first segment, with only 1 day at sea, there was duplicate bridge almost every day. 3 days into this longer segment with more sea days and I haven't seen a bridge director Hopefully that will change. The shore excursions have exceeded my expectations. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We chose the sailing because it was one of the few offerings going to Manaus on The Amazon River and because Oceania was offering major inducements as they were not full. We ended up with only about 489 passengers, which resulted in a high ... Read More
We chose the sailing because it was one of the few offerings going to Manaus on The Amazon River and because Oceania was offering major inducements as they were not full. We ended up with only about 489 passengers, which resulted in a high staff to passenger ratio and generally an uncrowded feel. This was our first experience with Oceania and we were impressed with the overwhelming friendliness and efficiency of the crew, the overall feeling of restrained elegance and the meals in the buffet, dining room and speciality restaurants. Every day in the coffee bar, we enjoyed some of the best Italian style cappuccinos outside of Italy. We also appreciated the lack of formal nights, the lack of photographers constantly in our face and the lack of constant sales promotions for the onboard shops. The onboard activities and nightly entertainment were of high quality, We did get tired of the constant promotion of future cruises. We also would have greatly liked more port time in most ports. The veranda cabin layout was more cramped than others we have experienced, The cupboard doors interfered with the bathroom door and the entrance door. The bathroom was a bit smaller than we were used to. Our best memories really are of the smiling, helpful staff. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Background: We are veteran cruisers and travelers. This was our 27th cruise, our 7th cruise on Oceania and our first cruise that included ports in Brazil, including a week on the Amazon river. It was our longest cruise to date (22 ... Read More
Background: We are veteran cruisers and travelers. This was our 27th cruise, our 7th cruise on Oceania and our first cruise that included ports in Brazil, including a week on the Amazon river. It was our longest cruise to date (22 days). Our primary reasons for cruising on Oceania are their unique itineraries and destinations. Our cruise was re-booked in its entirety right at final payment time to take advantage of the O-Life benefits (excursions, beverage package, internet, shipboard credit). I have some minor mobility issues but these are usually not a concern on the ship or in most of the ports we visited. Pre-Cruise package: We arranged for our own air using miles and flew into Rio De Janeiro on United airlines, arriving November 15. We booked the pre-cruise hotel package through Oceania, which was very expensive, but probably worth the cost in this city. The hotel was the JW Marriott on Copacabana Beach, a very nice hotel with good service and views of the beach. We had two excellent half-day tours with a great guide (Licia) and enjoyed the area and restaurants around Copacabana beach. The transfers were also professionally done. Embarkation and ship: We embarked on Insignia on November 19. The embarkation process was quick and efficient. Insignia is one of the "R" ships in the Oceania fleet and is the oldest. The ship definitely showed its age in various areas, included outdated carpeting and furnishings, barely readable elevator buttons, old signs for ship areas by and on the elevators, etc. The art is uninteresting for the most part. Although we have been on the sister ships Nautica and Regatta and also noticed some outdated and worn infrastructure, it was the most prominent on this ship. Other passengers also noted and commented on the infrastructure. Cabin: Our cabin was an A3 concierge veranda cabin. It was cozy but fairly comfortable, with a small balcony. The bathroom is tiny, but manageable. There is plenty of storage space in the closets and drawers and under the bed. The bed was very comfortable, one of the top features of an Oceania cruise (great pillows, too). Activities: Our primary activity that we participated in on-board was Trivia, which was done at least once a day. This was competitive and fun. Most of our ship time was relaxing and we had a lot of outdoor time because of the climate. Service: The service on Insignia was very good, but was not as superb as previous Oceania cruises. Our requests for water/juice/coffee or other drinks occasionally had to be done more than once in the various dining venues. Service in the Grand Dining Room was exceptionally slow and we only ate in this venue twice. The counter service in the Terrace Cafe was excellent, as was the service in Polo Grill and Toscana (the two specialty restaurants). Our cabin attendant did an acceptable, not outstanding job, on cabin maintenance (trash wasn't always removed, water bottles were not replaced). We did have excellent service from the Oceania Club Ambassador (we like Oceania enough to always consider future cruises and did book a future cruise on-board). We also had laundry done three times and they did prompt and excellent service. Dining: Oceania Cruise Lines is known for the quality of their food. The food on-board Insignia was high-quality for the most part, but the "wow" factor was just not there. With the exception of a few specialty dishes featuring Amazonian fish, the menus were quite repetitive. The beef products (steak, hamburgers, etc.) were not very good at all, with tough and flavorless meats and strange textures. Seasoning was done blandly, even with stir fry dishes and sauces were also not very exciting. The pasta dishes were among the best bets and the pizza (lunchtime in the Terrace) was very good. Everyone was anxious to have BBQ, Mexican food or some other comfort or spicy foods by the end of the trip. Entertainment: Oceania is not known for its entertainment and this cruise was no exception. We went to a few shows that were ok, with the passenger/crew talent show being the most fun. The Insignia Show Band was outstanding, an excellent jazz group full of superb musicians. On the other hand, the pianist/vocalist in Martini's ruined this favorite venue for us. He was singularly untalented, playing piano in a bizarre and mistake-filled style; his singing was worse, a half-talking grunting "sing song" that was very off-putting. Martini's business was down substantially because of this guy and we avoided it during the golden happy hour. We did not use the small casino and it seemed very empty on most sea days. The boutiques are nice but small, and we did find a few bargains after we left Brazilian waters (a 25% tax on on-board purchases is in place while you are in Brazil). We did not use the Canyon Ranch spa services. Internet: The internet on Insignia is the worst we have had in the last 10-15 cruises; it was never better than the slowest dial-up modem speed and often required re-logging in multiple times to stay on-line. I had the free internet, but my spouse bought the unlimited internet to do some work and was very frustrated by the experience. When we arrived in Miami, one of the INMARSAT satellite dishes was being dismantled and replaced, a condition they had to know about during the cruise. My spouse has written to Oceania asking for at least a partial refund for the internet (not likely to happen, I'm sure). The Oceania@Sea representative was useless and rude. Ports and shore excursions: We had five free excursions each, which helped the overall cost of the excursions. The excursions were good to very good. Probably the best tour overall was in Recife, Brazil (an all day expedition to a variety of places) and we also enjoyed the tours in Manaus, Santarem (piranha fishing!), Parintins (the amazing Boi Bumba show) and Barbados. The Amazon river was fascinating and we had two stops in small villages that were quite interesting, besides our stops in Manaus, Santarem and Parintins. We did not leave the ship in San Juan, Puerto Rico and our final port, Punta Cana (DR) was canceled due to rough tender conditions. The primary purpose for the cruise, seeing the Amazon river and its tributaries, was the top highlight. Other ship services worth noting: I came down with acute bronchitis due to the heat, humidity and agricultural smoke on the river in the Amazon (having suffered from chronic asthma). The ship's doctor and nurse were superb - very caring and the nebulizer treatments they recommended helped me get back to normal very quickly. The tender crews are phenomenal and are very cautious helping those who are disabled (also true in my case). Disembarkation: We chose to disembark on our own with our bags due to an early flight in Miami. After some delays clearing the ship, the actual process was extremely quick and we were on our way to the airport in minutes. Summary: Our Amazing Amazon cruise was very memorable because of the unique places we saw on the river and the great weather we enjoyed on almost the entire cruise (lots of outdoor time), plus we crossed the equator three times. It was not the best Oceania experience, but we are still loyal to the cruise line and are working a future booking from the open booking we did on board. We like the size of the "R" ships and hope they can do some upgrades in the future on Insignia to make it more up-to-date. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Small Ship, No children, photographers, or up-selling, Great Food Great Service and Staff Great cabaret-style entertainment Great Itinerary What's not to love? The cruise was Oceania quality all the way. Food, ... Read More
Small Ship, No children, photographers, or up-selling, Great Food Great Service and Staff Great cabaret-style entertainment Great Itinerary What's not to love? The cruise was Oceania quality all the way. Food, service, staff, programs all were as good as we expected and worth the money. Our original idea that a cruise was the best way to see this part of the world was verified in spades. It was really nice to come back to the sanity and safety of the ship, and to know what you would be eating, and sleeping in every night. The cabin stewards were not quite up to usual standards, not as responsive but still very pleasant and helpful. The time in port was just about right for this trip. This was certainly a part of the world where you could spend 6 hours or 6 weeks. We come back to Oceania when we want it right. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Excuse my english, I am German. We chose this cruise especially because of starting in Lisboa. Some new ports (Cadiz, Marseille, Portofino) but also known ports - but who can tell, "I know this city". We explored Lisboa for ... Read More
Excuse my english, I am German. We chose this cruise especially because of starting in Lisboa. Some new ports (Cadiz, Marseille, Portofino) but also known ports - but who can tell, "I know this city". We explored Lisboa for 3 days and Rome for 2 days - both much too short ! Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. It is better to order a taxi in Civitavecchia before you cruise. After we were lucky to catch a taxi we found two other couples (by shouting out !) who joined us to different hotels in Rome (65.-€ per person). Second cruise on the Marina. Ship is great, cabin (Veranda) too. Dining is excellent wherever you go, so you need not go to speciality-restaurants; even the buffet is great and comfortable. Service is perfect. We did not like all Entertainments. But we liked "5 o´clock or somewhere" and "Laszlo and Claudia" much. Shore excursions are very good and informative but much too expensive. We had 4 free. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this cruise for the ports. We flew into Barcelona on Sunday before the Tuesday cruise. We loved the Hilton, and had a great time viewing the sites. I had requested wheelchair access transportation, which was prompt and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports. We flew into Barcelona on Sunday before the Tuesday cruise. We loved the Hilton, and had a great time viewing the sites. I had requested wheelchair access transportation, which was prompt and available at the airport. There was a delay getting to the ship, due to traffic. Our room was lovely, spacious and room for wheelchair turn around. there were 2 problems. Our adult daughter slept on the hide a bed, which had an uncomfortable bar in the middle. She put her mattress on the floor to sleep. Staff saw this and brought a second matress, which helped some. However, the sofa bed is just not comfortable. I had difficulties with the height of the bed. it is too high for a direct wheelchair transfer. Luckily my husband can help me, but this could be a problem for someone who has to transfer directly from chair to bed. The overall appearance of the ship is great. Lovely decor, everything is spotless. The service in the dining venues is prompt and friendly. The Asian restaurant did not seem to have enough staff the night we ate there. We did not participate in the ships shore excursions, since they were not accessible for a wheelchair user. We also did not go to the entertainment, as we were usually tired after a day of touring. We really appreciated the crew's assistance in helping me on and off of the ship, especially when the ramps were steep of stairs. The only real complaint was that the request for accessible transportation was not carried forward to leaving the ship to go to the hotel. This was a bit of an ordeal, but the staff did find a cab that worked for us. We had to pay for the cab, after we had paid for the transfers as part of the hotel price. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This the best cruise we have taken (20). The weather was not the best so two of our stops were cancelled. The food was excellent (the best) and the one Sunday buffet was superior. The ship was filled but not crowded and the passengers were ... Read More
This the best cruise we have taken (20). The weather was not the best so two of our stops were cancelled. The food was excellent (the best) and the one Sunday buffet was superior. The ship was filled but not crowded and the passengers were polite and friendly - there was not one negative experience. The cruise director was the best and most helpful of any we have seen and seemed to be always present. Her memory for names was outstanding - she met us once and never forgot - two Sundays in a row she knew every person at the worship service after meeting them. The captain ran a good ship and crew and set the example for being friendly and accessible. Every member of the crew we met was happy and smiling no matter what their job. Not one time did we see someone in an upset or poor mood. In fact, the attitude of the crew made the cruise a delight even with the stormy weather. The entertainers were as good as we have seen - we both thought the smaller theater made the atmosphere most enjoyable. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise to experience something different. We flew to Venice a couple of days before and stayed in Mestre. We then boarded the Riviera on 31st August, it was everything we had read about and then some. The staff were ... Read More
We chose this cruise to experience something different. We flew to Venice a couple of days before and stayed in Mestre. We then boarded the Riviera on 31st August, it was everything we had read about and then some. The staff were amazing and helped us a lot, my husband who is disabled was very well cared for, he has a little mobility scooter, and the waiters etc, took turns in riding it "to park it". Stateroom, 10101 was lovely, we had to park the scooter outside, as we needed a little more space, don't think the extra we paid for "concierge level" was really worth it, perhaps next time we will think again. Dining, was great, lots of choice in beautiful décor. Entertainment and Activities. We felt was not that good. There is only one show a night, and if you were having a late meal and lingering over it, you missed the show. There is room for improvement. If you did not go ashore, there was little to do. As neither of us could reach the Sports Deck we could not use it We travelled together, no children or other people. Ports were very interesting, a little restricting for disabled people. We did our own shore excursions. Would we go again, hopefully yes. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We have been on over fifty cruises, and oceania has by far the best food. In the Terrace Cafe grilled lobster, jumbo shrimp, and lamb chops are served nightly. Dining is even available outdoors on the stern of the ship. Some other ... Read More
We have been on over fifty cruises, and oceania has by far the best food. In the Terrace Cafe grilled lobster, jumbo shrimp, and lamb chops are served nightly. Dining is even available outdoors on the stern of the ship. Some other passenger reviews are not as complimentary, but everyone we spoke to enjoyed the food. The service staff are most efficient and polite. The ship entertainers are excellent considering the ships capacity is just 680 passengers. The featured star entertainers brought onto the ship are broadway quality, and the ship has a guest lecturer who is an expert on the ports visited. At each port we researched the tours we were interested in. In Durres we drove to Barrat, a 2,000 year old town. In Kotor we took a tour to Budva, a pretty seaside resort town. In Split we visited Trogar, and Ravenna we visited Ferara a medieval walled city. In Koper we visited a fairy tale village named Lake Bled which looked like Swiss alps villages, and Lubliana a beautiful medieval city with many shops and canals. In Venice we took a train to Verona, a walled medieval town home of Romeo and Juliet. In Venice we spent the day on the hop on hop off water taxi which has a stop right next to where the ship docks. We met many interesting passengers. One was a famous archeologist knighted by the Italian Government for his excavations in Italy. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
It is important that everyone knows that the O'life promotion if you pick the free excursions they must be booked at least 14 days before sailing. Once on board you can not pick your excursions and will have to pay the full price of ... Read More
It is important that everyone knows that the O'life promotion if you pick the free excursions they must be booked at least 14 days before sailing. Once on board you can not pick your excursions and will have to pay the full price of the excursions. I did not know that so I thought I would pass that information along. This ship Insignia had the best food of any cruise or land based restaurant I have eaten in. We live in downtown Chicago and eat at high end restaurants. The food was better than what we have eaten at top restaurants in Chicago including the Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton or the Four Seasons. The food exceeded what we ate on Regent and Seabourn as well as Windstar. This was not institutional food. Our itinerary included France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Ingredients were fresh. Good selections of meats, fruits, vegetables and starches. The bread was delicious with home made bread sticks, rolls and pastries. Milk shakes, smoothies, specialty coffees were very good. The afternoon tea each day was a treat. We started off with an obstructed ocean view. Our cabin steward was exceptional. We upgraded to a superior ocean view and got a new cabin steward. He was good but there was a marked difference between the two. Prior to my cruise I had injured my leg. The first steward had buckets of ice delivered daily before we got back from tour because I always iced my leg when I got back and the room was spotless. The other picked up daily but I noticed dust on shelves, and would have to ask for ice if I wanted it before the nightly turn down - subtle but noticeable the difference between very good and exceptional. The cruise director didn't really speak to us which is different from other Oceania cruises we have been on where the cruise director got to know us and would greet us by name. The cruise hostesses who also sang didn't talk to us either which was different from other Oceania cruises. The shuttle service to town from the ports was nice. The restaurant service was exceptional. The cocktail service in the Horizon lounge was poor. My husband and I don't drink alcohol. It was clear that we were not going to get even "ok" service. People who came in after us were getting alcohol drinks and we would still be sitting there if we had ordered two diet cokes. In the other lounges we had the same problem. It is clear the first level of service goes to alcohol drinkers given they add an 18% tip. We ended up taking board games or cards with us and if we were really thirsty and the drinks didn't come I would get up and go to the bar and then they would bring them. The most conspicuous aspect of our cruise is that we found that many of the workers on the cruise used the horizon lounge as their own area to have drinks, relax and talk. It was unsettling that while we were vacationing not 5 feet away mid to upper level manager workers would be talking about what they did not like about the new management. One lady who managed the spa was let go while we were on board and was due to get off the ship. She was talking to several other women who worked on the ship and they were talking about how she had 10 years of service and so forth. How the new management wanted shorter spa services, how she was a reikki and if passengers wanted it she would provide it etc. And she was not happy about her termination. The women she was talking to also worked on the ship and we weren't trying to listen they were in a very public lounge discussing in normal tone how they did not care for the new management. The cruise director also would kick back with the other singers and people who worked on the ship and they would socialize. They did not interact with the guests and it seemed that they socialized more with each other than be hosts to the guests. They ordered wine and I would see them getting served while we couldn't get our diet cokes. We were on the ship for 19 days and this was a regular occurrence so much so that my husband and I used to joke about it. I got the feeling the management with regard to the entertainment and spa staff was in the air. The pool was clean and I enjoyed the pool deck area. I always got great service around the pool. The deck chairs were comfortable and there was never a problem getting a chair, towel or blanket. My husband used the gym and he likes the treadmills. The first five days of the cruise none of them were working due to a software issue. The security staff I felt went above and beyond. They were always very kind and offered assistance helping me get on and off the ship. I had injured my knee before coming on board and they were exceptional in offering me a hand and also helping me get my Luggie scooter on and off at each port. Traveling with my scooter was a breeze and when we would take the shuttle bus the driver would lower the ramp and on I would drive. I found that most public buses in France, Monaco and Spain had ramps for my scooter. Most of the streets had ramps except I found Livorno more difficult to navigate because there might be a ramp and then I would drive a little ways on the scooter and could find there was no ramp. However, I found overall that having the scooter was wonderful. Pisa was good for traveling with a scooter as was Bilbao, Bordeaux, Paris, London, and Barcelona. Portugal was ok but I did not attempt all the hills in Lisbon rather I got on the hop on hop off bus by the port and did not use the scooter much there. The same in Porto. Overall the ports were great, the food was great the servers in all dining venues were amazing, the entertainment was fine, the spa changed management while I was on the ship and it was a much better environment once the disgruntled employee who I believe was managing the spa when we got on left. The actual workers in the spa were wonderful. The cabin steward was fine and for the most part people were friendly. We didn't care for the concierge he was aloof and not helpful. We found the general manager Victor to be much more helpful than the concierge. Victor always said hello and addressed me by name. I would love to go on another one of his ships. There were three people who worked at guest services. The assistant purser from South America was exceptional. She would look into any concern and went above and beyond. The other two did not want to be bothered and dismissed me without listening and did not want to help me with any concerns. There were several issues because I initially had to cancel my reservation because of my injury but then restated my reservation. As such all my dinner reservations, excursions, and a room upgrade offer had been lost. Would not have been a problem but with the Olife promotion you need to book excursions 14 days in advance and since mine did not auto populate to my second reservation number they were lost as was the upgrade offer. I was getting charged full price for my and hubbies excursions. UGG. However, my TA took care of the problem when I emailed her. Victor the general manager and the assistant purser also helped me and I did get my room upgrade near the end of day three.. The concierge and the other two at guest relations didn't do much and just kept telling me no and they could not help me that it was the main office in Miami not them etc. Victor did correspond with Miami and the lovely woman who was the assistant purser handled crediting my account for the excursion issue. I will definitely travel on Oceania again. We felt this cruise was a great value for the money and enjoyed it despite a few hiccups. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Very nice cruiseship, a little on the small side, but nice. Cabin (9 floor) with veranda was also nice, welcoming champagne (and yes it was champagne, not sparkling wine). 3 excursions was included in the price. Lots of speciality ... Read More
Very nice cruiseship, a little on the small side, but nice. Cabin (9 floor) with veranda was also nice, welcoming champagne (and yes it was champagne, not sparkling wine). 3 excursions was included in the price. Lots of speciality restaurants you can book in advance, great cooking in all of them. Service was great, but coffee wasn't. Only place to get coffee was the barista cafe...everywhere else its was just like tea or something worse. Pools on the small side, same with gym. But all in all we did enjoy the cruise very much and would defiantly go again. All staff onboard do there utmost to make you feel welcome and excursions went very smooth, much better than other cruises we have been on. Waiting was at an all time low and everything was very well organized. You can get great deals on wine packets, we didn't have one, but everyone had free sofdrinks and water everywhere, so the only thing extra was wine and spirits. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We had never travelled on Oceania but our travel agent recommended this cruise as we were going with our parents who are older people and need help in many ways. She said the service was great and the food was excellent and the itinerary ... Read More
We had never travelled on Oceania but our travel agent recommended this cruise as we were going with our parents who are older people and need help in many ways. She said the service was great and the food was excellent and the itinerary was also interesting for all our age ranges (from 10 to 82). Since we embarked the cruise we felt a personal service, we went to have lunch at the buffet and the waiters were ready at any moment to help my parents carry their plates or ask them if they needed something else. Before the drill someone from the crew came to my parents cabin and told them he was in charge of taking them to the drill station, help them put on their life jackets etc.. very nice of Oceania to do that. The cabins are very spacious and the shower is great. The cabin attendants great and the laundry area in each floor very useful. The food is simply fabulous either at the buffet or at any of the dinning rooms. You have many options to choose from. What I really liked is only the staff serves you the food from the buffet, you are not allowed to serve yourself which is good because you reduce the risk of transmitting viruses. We loved the ports, and the excursions were great. The Destinations crew was very professional and open. We were lucky that is was not too hot. The pool area is also very nice and the afternoon tea was great. My mom hurried us every day from the excursions so she could arrive in time for tea. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Just returned last night from a 12 night Mediterranean cruise on the Riviera. Overall the cruise was excellent. Ports of call were a great variety and a couple were hidden gems that I would never have considered visiting previously. ... Read More
Just returned last night from a 12 night Mediterranean cruise on the Riviera. Overall the cruise was excellent. Ports of call were a great variety and a couple were hidden gems that I would never have considered visiting previously. Excellent options for dining including Joques, Tuscana, Red Ginger and Polo Grill. Toscana was hands down the best. Rooms were fairly spacious and services on board were top notch. Not very handicap accessible on ship or on excursions. Major concern---flew into Venice a day ahead of cruise and booked room through Oceania at the Hilton. Hotel was TERIBBLE!! Waited hours for luggage, staff was rude and not helpful with information, waited hours for room and way over priced. After traveling 15 hours my least favorite part. Oceania did an excellent job of taking care of transfers, excursions and were on time with everything--very little waiting once on board. We left several people throughout the 12 days who did not return to port on time. Helpful hint-- Pay more in booking for extra services such as internet (very slow and you are charged by the minute), excursions, transfers and gratuities. If not you will pay double in the end. Will cruise with them again! Read Less
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