1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Oceania Cruises
  4. Oceania Cruises Cruise Reviews
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our 13th cruise and thankfully proved to be not that unlucky. We had sailed on the sister ship, Marina, on a transatlantic the previous year so knew what to expect regarding the layout of the ship and the facilities. Like last ... Read More
This was our 13th cruise and thankfully proved to be not that unlucky. We had sailed on the sister ship, Marina, on a transatlantic the previous year so knew what to expect regarding the layout of the ship and the facilities. Like last time we booked a concierge stateroom, this time on deck 9, which came with a few added extras. We flew from Glasgow via Heathrow to Miami with BA on the large A380 the day before and had a trouble free flight. Meals on board were better than expected as was the room to stretch out. In flight entertainment was about average but no where near the likes of Emirates. I think the main bonus was that our luggage arrived safely because several fellow passengers were not so lucky and were still waiting on their's several days into the cruise. We had an overnight in the Marriott at Biscayne Bay, near to the cruise terminal. Large clean room with comfortable bed. Not much else around the area though but fine for 1 night. Got a groupon deal before we left for the power boat ride that leaves next to the hotel for a 30 min ride around the bay. Enjoyable but not worth the full cost. The breakfast was expensive so went to the mall next door and found a deli which sold just about everything, including my wife's favourite wine, so happy wife!! Now, as many of you will know, Oceania do a staggered embarkation according to the class of accommodation,status etc. which on our previous cruise in Manhattan went extremely well. However a few days before leaving we all got an email letting us know that the ship was being inspected by the Coastguard in the morning. Unfortunately the letter was wrongly worded and gave the impression everyone had to arrive at a certain time. Needless to say this caused mayhem and, without labouring the point, was not Oceania's finest hour. {or in this case several hours!}. Anyway, once onboard, the ship was immaculate. I really love this size of ship compared to the large floating tower blocks that are becoming the norm. The fixtures and fittings are high end and the ship oozes class! We ate in the Grand dining room on 6 occasions and once each in the 4 speciality restaurants. My favourite was Polo Grill because they got my filet mignon just the way I like it. My wife preferred Red Ginger, but to be honest all the dining was very good and no complaints with the quality of the food. We did not do any Oceania shore excursions as, apart from the excessive price, we didn’t see many we liked. We booked with local tour operators in most and did car hire in St Barts. The entertainment on the ship was mixed. The string quartet were excellent musicians but the production shows were only average at best. The comedian lost her way on several occasions and had many people up and leave I believe principally because too much of her reference material made no sense to non American’s. The daily entertainment programme was fair but the best part was the Artists Loft which my wife loved from our time on the Marina and made full use of again. Gave me time to catch up with some reading and chill! Stateroom was excellent with plenty of storage space and a separate bath and shower. My wife really enjoys a bath and with the premium salts provided it was hard to get her back out in time for dinner. The bed is the best ever and we are seriously thinking of buying it for home as have never slept so well! Due to the sea swells we never made it to the Dominican Republic but we enjoyed our time at the other ports of call. Had an easy disembarkation and then 2 nights at Miami Beach, which was way better than expected, to relax before the overnight flight home to winter! Overall, had a very good cruise experience and will be booking with Oceania again in the future. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Cruised on Riviera previously. Onboard is fantastic. Cabins service food all 5 star plus. Relaxed atmosphere and no dressing up required. Public areas are luxurious. Lots of activities appropriate to the demographic of the clientele. (The ... Read More
Cruised on Riviera previously. Onboard is fantastic. Cabins service food all 5 star plus. Relaxed atmosphere and no dressing up required. Public areas are luxurious. Lots of activities appropriate to the demographic of the clientele. (The majority of passengers were clearly retired). Staff could not be more accommodating. Ports of call were uninspiring. I don't know about the excursions offered by Oceania - they are too expensive for my budget. The one we took independently on St Kitts was ok and no more. We took the cruise for the ship the food the service and the weather and we would do so again. However - embarkation in Miami was an absolute disaster. First time Oceania customers will have been put off for ever. There was no effective organisation or leadership shown at all. The elderly and disabled of whom there were many were (as far as I could see) left to fend for themselves. Quite shameful in fact. They had to stand in line for an unacceptable amount of time. I was fine - I'm a young 67 year old. I heard that it was the fault of Miami port services but I didn't pay big bucks to that body. I paid 5 grand plus to Oceania for our cruise and was expecting better. You can cruise more cheaply and you can cruise more expensively. Why would you? This is the best money can buy as far as I have experienced. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
I would have rated the cruise and Oceana as a 5 if it wasn't for the cheap flight arranged with the olife option. 2 stops each way totally unacceptable. Rest of cruise wad fabulous with incredible food and excellant shows. Around the ... Read More
I would have rated the cruise and Oceana as a 5 if it wasn't for the cheap flight arranged with the olife option. 2 stops each way totally unacceptable. Rest of cruise wad fabulous with incredible food and excellant shows. Around the World with the singers and dancers might have been one of the best shows we have seen. Not being continually hounded to buy photos -priceless. Embarkation was a nightmare, but that was not the fault of the cruise line. Disembarkation was one of the smoothest ever. Dinners at the specialty restaurants were over the top. The Horizon lounge was warm, friendly and very comfortable. Shops are very low key with no pressure selling, although selection was limited. Our cabin was very well appointed and the bed was one of the most comfortable we have ever experienced at sea. Overall, the cruise was very memorable and we would not hesitate to recommend Oceana. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Having sailed on the Regatta a few years ago, my husband and I chose Oceania's Riviera so we could experience the two additional specialty restaurants, as well as the on-board Culinary School classes. We had wonderful meals in Red ... Read More
Having sailed on the Regatta a few years ago, my husband and I chose Oceania's Riviera so we could experience the two additional specialty restaurants, as well as the on-board Culinary School classes. We had wonderful meals in Red Ginger, Polo Grille, Jacques, and Toscana. The service and presentation of each and every dinner was top-notch. Embarkation in Miami was a bit chaotic - U.S. Coast Guard did a ship's inspection, which put everything way behind schedule, but once on board, our cabin was ready, luggage delivered and a late lunch was served. The Riviera is absolutely beautiful and spotless. Our stateroom on Deck 9 was conveniently located across the hall from both the Concierge Lounge and the Laundry (and before you ask, no noise from either). For the small additional cost, we had access to this Concierge Lounge 24/7, as well as a private sundeck and hot tub connected to the Canyon Ranch Spa. All passengers can use the Fitness Center (very large and well equipped) and the Steam & Sauna rooms, as well as take various Fitness classes such as Yoga, Pilates, etc. This particular cruise had three scheduled sea days - with an additional one added when we could not tender to Punta Cana due to rough seas. There were quite a few Culinary Classes to chose from on Sea Days, 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM (for an additional cost of $69 p/p); each class is about two hours long, and so much fun with Chef Noelle and her efficient staff of three - all the prep and clean-up is taken care of - just show up and start cooking! You will go home with some new skills and all the recipes printed in a lovely booklet. Another culinary treat for us was Le Reserve seven course French wine pairing dinner. My husband is not even a wine drinker, and yet this dinner was his favorite; mine, too! There was an upcharge of $95 p/p & 18% gratuity and well worth every dollar. We did not go to any of the evening entertainment, so not able to comment on this. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Having been on Oceania's small ships we wanted to try their larger ships. The Rivera with one thousand passengers has the feeling of a small ship. The specialty restaurants are as good as any I've dined and I've been on ... Read More
Having been on Oceania's small ships we wanted to try their larger ships. The Rivera with one thousand passengers has the feeling of a small ship. The specialty restaurants are as good as any I've dined and I've been on many cruise lines. Special kudos to Red Ginger & Jacques. The breakfast and lunch buffets were excellent with tremendous variety. The itinerary was the Eastern Caribbean, which means that we wanted some R&R since all the islands are basically the same and not much to speak of.This ship is not for kids or teen agers. It's for people who want to relax and just have a great time. The entertainment is okay not great.The cabins are very nice. I always choose a Concierge Cabin for the few extras. We had a terrible embarkation process for this cruise which I believe was a once in a blue moon occasion. Will definitely consider Oceania again. 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose to book a Caribbean cruise on Oceania Riviera as we wanted to experience a luxury cruise ship and it was amazing. We loved the stylish decor, paintings, works of art, the Lalique staircase, comfortable lounge areas , ample seating ... Read More
We chose to book a Caribbean cruise on Oceania Riviera as we wanted to experience a luxury cruise ship and it was amazing. We loved the stylish decor, paintings, works of art, the Lalique staircase, comfortable lounge areas , ample seating up in Horizons bar/lounge...the anytime dining was great no pressures. We enjoyed meals in the Grand Dining Room we prebooked meals in Jacques and in Red Ginger all these are waiter service and you choose from menu .... however we did not enjoy our meals in Polo Grill and Toscana. The choice of food in the main Terrace Buffet restaurant was excellent - it is buffet style mostly food is all behind glass it's quirky as the Staff put your choice on your plate. Afternoon tea 4pm in Horizons was presented beautifully a lovely idea. Snacks available at pool area from the Waves Grill and at the Coffee Bar . Ships entertainment team was just about ok nothing very special one show at 9.30 pm . Service on board was excellent especially so on sunny sea days when poolside staff could be seen trying their very best to place loungers in the sunshine for those guests looking to settle in the sun for the day . Our cabin was Penthouse deck 11 - lovely room - the only negative on deck 11 was the large overhang above as it cut out a lot of our sky and sun ......also we had access to Executive Lounge just down corridor.... sounds like a bonus but very disappointing it is just a very quite room with sofa , coffee and biscuits, photocopied newspapers and some I pads ...not sure what it's trying to be it was just a shorter walk for us to go get an early morning takeaway coffee there for our cabin. This was a new experience for us , we boarded in Miami , the ships guests were mostly Adults and mostly Americans, we would recommend this ship so glad we did this cruise. Our only negative was regards our total on board credit of $600 we didn't realise that the gratuities for housekeeping and butler were fixed they are not discretionary or recommended amounts as is actually stated in our cruise ship brochure : our gratuities for 10 days were total of $460 which left us $140 for alcoholic drinks for 10 day cruise : 1glass of wine each with our evening meal cost around $25 : our cruising inexperience shows here maybe but nevertheless we really enjoyed the Riviera Cruise Ship and we would definitely recommend it. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this trip because of the itinerary and high praise from our travel agent. All I can say is that the cruise was absolutely perfect. Check-in was simple and short. All the food areas are outstanding. The 4 special restaurants are ... Read More
We chose this trip because of the itinerary and high praise from our travel agent. All I can say is that the cruise was absolutely perfect. Check-in was simple and short. All the food areas are outstanding. The 4 special restaurants are free, but advance reservations are a good idea. We did not particularly enjoy the Asian one, but perhaps it was our choices. Cabins are very large and comfy..Incredible bathrooms. We were concierge level, which gives access to the concierge lounge. He was most helpful in a number of ways, plus there are drinks and snacks there at all hours, plus newspapers and computers. There are many special activities, e.g. wine and martini tasting, cooking and art classes, exercise and spa activities and lectures. Nice gym and private areas for those in concierge and above. Great massages. Entertainment probably the weakest area, but we had a fabulous singer. We spent lots of time in the casino, where it is actually possible to win decent sums! Played bingo and trivia and won points to redeem for gifts later on. We only used one Oceania excursion (to the beach) and it was fine. other times, we hired a cab for a tour and also used a private company tour. Both were great. the pool is heated, which I loved and it is empty often especially after 4;30! There are plenty of shaded area if you want to stay out of the sun. Generally speaking, the crew will not let you lift a finger, ever! Everyone is very polite and friendly. Found the passengers easy to talk to. Loved not having to dress up very much. Great idea to sign up for Roll Call and arrange a meeting--we met lots of folks so we didn't feel like strangers. Do it! If we ever to cruise again, Oceania would be our choice. (We have been on Crystal and liked this better.) Recommend room 9028, across from laundry and lounge and not too far from elevator. They even hung up a Happy Birthday banner in our room!! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Recently returned from a Caribbean cruise on Oceania's Riviera. We chose Oceania mainly on the basis of its reputation for food and Riviera because of the relatively small size (about 1250 passengers). We had a stateroom with veranda. ... Read More
Recently returned from a Caribbean cruise on Oceania's Riviera. We chose Oceania mainly on the basis of its reputation for food and Riviera because of the relatively small size (about 1250 passengers). We had a stateroom with veranda. We are fairly experienced cruisers, having been on about a dozen or so cruises in the past on various-sized ships ( 600 to 2000+ passengers). This was our first Oceania cruise. We travelled as a party of four. Embarkation at Miami was a breeze. However, Oceania requested we surrender our passports for the duration of the cruise, something that we have never had to do on any cruise before. We had to ask for receipts for our passports. There was no welcome reception that we have become accustomed to with other cruise lines (Also, no sail-away party!). We were simply directed to the Waves buffet to await the readying of our stateroom. We found our own way there. Not an encouraging start, and first impressions are important! The Riviera is a beautiful ship, featuring walnut panelling with brass accents, compact fluorescent lighting with halogen highlighting and lovely LED/crystal centrepieces in public areas, with a particularly magnificent example in the Grand Dining Room. There are only a few shops on board and there is no duty-free store. Strangely, there is no promenade deck. Our stateroom was spacious, well furnished and with plenty of storage space. Our luggage was delivered promptly. We had requested separate beds but when we arrived it was set up as a queen-size bed; this situation was promptly rectified. The bathroom was smallish but included a separate shower as well as a tub. Bulgari toiletries were featured. The beds were wonderfully comfortable. The veranda was reasonably spacious with comfortable furniture. The flat screen TV was adequate but the promised DVD player was absent-- not that it mattered to us as we don't go on cruises to watch in-cabin movies. The stateroom service was fairly good, although our stewardess didn't introduce herself at the start of the cruise and show us how things worked. She had to be reminded sometimes to stock the refrigerator with the drinks we desired. Cleaning of the stateroom was always thorough. Room service was spotty; once I ordered a drink which took almost thirty minutes to arrive. The fridge cupboard door fell off and was promptly fixed, only to fall off again twenty-four hours later. Daytime activities on board were mainly run-of-the-mill (quizzes, bingo, etc.). Afternoon tea was okay. We were disappointed that the lectures did not cover ports of call -- they seemed inordinately concerned with such subjects as managing back pain and arthritis, or quack therapies like reflexology and acupuncture, which might be a reflection of Riviera's primary demographic. Oceania does however offer something unique -- culinary classes. Unfortunately, any of those of interest to us were fully subscribed. There was also painting tuition in the "artists' loft." The cruise director was affable but lacked the charisma that such a vocation demands. We were not expecting anything remarkable in the way of evening entertainment on a 1250-passenger ship, but surprisingly some of the shows were pretty good, especially the twelve singer/dancers and the comedian. Some other shows only mediocre, and the magician was pretty awful. There was also a string quartet that was very good, playing at afternoon tea and in the Grand Bar before dinner. The bars were quite well-appointed with good decor and comfortable seating, except for the Grand Bar which is really only a passageway to the Grand Dining Room with seats where you can have a drink. Bar staff serve promptly most times but aren't all knowledgeable about the drinks they serve. One waitress didn't seem to know what Ricard was and said it wasn't available -- I had to point it out on the drinks list. Martinis was a pleasant hangout except that we could almost never find a seat for a drink before dinner; Horizons is better in that respect. Many of the seats in Horizons had worn-out armrests. The pianist in Martinis was quite good, but could have done with bass/drums backup to make things swing a little more. There was a band in Horizons for dancing, but there is no disco for late night dancing and the ship shuts up pretty early. Smokers are accommodated by two smoking areas (one indoors). Curiously, cigar and pipe smoking wasn't allowed. I have yet to meet a cigarette smoker who objects to cigars or pipes. The food was nearly always very good, sometimes outstanding. We always ate in the Grand Dining Room for breakfast and lunch, which was sparsely populated; it seems most guests prefer the self-service of the Terrace Cafe or Waves for these meals. Breakfast was impressive, when you could enjoy a light breakfast or full English-style, choosing from a long menu including such delights as smoked salmon with cream cheese and capers, Finnan Haddie, kippers or eggs Benedict. Every day featured a special egg dish. Lunches were also excellent, with a good selection of soups, appetizers, main courses and desserts, or lighter fare such as a sandwich or burger if you so desired. Soups were sometimes served lukewarm and needed to be sent back for re-heating. Only unsalted butter was available throughout the ship. Service was impeccable. Why anyone would prefer the scramble of self-service to such refined dining and service remains a mystery to us. Dinner in the Grand Dining Room was invariably a pleasure. Again, sumptuous menus were on offer, covering the gamut from hot and cold appetizers, soups, salads, mains, side dishes and desserts (I won't go into further details about these as you can easily look them up on Oceania's web site), but suffice to say that every selection we chose was excellently prepared and presented. I was particularly impressed that the dessert list always included a cheese plate that varied daily; on every other cruise line I have experienced (Silversea excepted) I have had to specially request cheese as a dessert alternate. If by some chance the daily menu choice doesn't suit your palate, there was always a standard alternative offering for the main course, namely grilled steak, roast chicken or poached salmon. Here lies my only complaint; the steak, cooked medium rare, was quite tough, unlike all other beef offerings throughout the cruise. Possibly it might have been better well done, although this would not have been my preference. A small complaint also is that sometimes it was difficult to get the attention of a sommelier, and I like to have my wines available right at the start of a course. Now let's turn to the specialty restaurants, of which there were four, all accessible at no extra charge, which seems to be unique to Oceania. Reservations are essential for any of these restaurants. Oceania says you can make a reservation in advance through their web site after a certain date for your specific cruise. Anticipating a heavy demand, I did this on the FIRST DAY that became available for our cruise. In spite of my imagined promptness, I could only secure a reservation for four in all four restaurants for 9.00 pm (the last available time). Every other time was unavailable. My travel agent advised me that I should accept this time and then change it to something more suitable once on board. This I did -- as soon as we boarded, we went to the relevant ship's personnel and requested changes more suited to our preference for dining times. As such, we were only partially successful. We still had to accept one very early reservation in one restaurant (6.30 pm) and one at another for 8.30 pm. The other two were at more reasonable times. We considered this a major drawback to our dining experience. I suspect that the prime reservation times are firstly allocated to those passengers occupying more expensive accommodation (as those occupying suites are offered two opportunities to dine at each specialty restaurant, while more lowly passengers occupying veranda staterooms or below are offered only one crack at each restaurant). If my surmise is valid, this represents a nasty case of class distinction by Oceania. Anyway, what of these restaurants? Well, we enjoyed all four, to varying degrees. All four of us were unanimous about the excellence of the food in the Polo Grill. Service, not so much, since it took almost an hour before our first course was served. New England Clam Chowder and Lobster Bisque were judged delightful, while my Oysters Rockefeller were moist and delicious, as was my 20-oz medium-rare Porterhouse Steak accompanied by a beautiful Au Poivre sauce (This was the junior version -- a 32-oz steak was available). Caesar salad was prepared tableside. Both ladies really enjoyed their Steamed Maine Lobster gratinee with drawn butter. Various chops were on offer and grilled fish and seafood were available if you didn't care for red meat. If you were into desserts, the "Polo Quintet" was a fine choice, consisting of a selection of five mini-portions of the chef's favourites. Jacques is a French bistro-style restaurant. We actually had a French waiter who was excellent. The low ceiling makes the place very noisy. But the food is superb. I enjoyed my Escargots a la Bourguignonne while others pronounced the Gratine a l'Oignon delicious. My main was Filet d'Agneau en Croute, wonderful lamb with a Cabernet Sauvignon sauce. Canard a l'Orange was also said to be delicious. Red Ginger is an Asian restaurant serving Japanese/Vietnamese/Thai dishes. To my disappointment, No Indian or Chinese cuisine was on offer. I found the Bulgogi Ribeye Steak rather tasteless, but everyone else found their choices excellent. And finally, there's Toscana. The restaurant is beautifully appointed and quiet. Service is so-so; there's a lot of "Buona Sera's" but wait times were long even though we like a little time between courses. The olive oil waiter was perfunctory -- when we indicated that we had little knowledge of the ten oils on offer, he simply put the same one on each of our plates with some balsamic vinegar (and here there was a choice of three), saying that this was always a popular choice, without bothering to explain the differences of them to us. I, for one, would have liked to have been educated a little bit. The Dover Sole was judged to be superb, and my Osso Buco, served with Saffron Risotto, was delicious. Now we come to a major peeve: the price of drinks. It is noteworthy that although Oceania publishes its wine and drinks lists on its web site, unlike other cruise lines, NO PRICES are shown. There's a good reason for that; Oceania's drink prices must be the highest in the industry. Most wines are over $70 a bottle, while bar drinks are perhaps a little more reasonable averaging $12 for 1-oz. shots of popular liquors. To add insult to injury, a hefty 18 per cent service charge is levied on all drink purchases (10 to 12 per cent would be reasonable). So every drink will set you back around $14. The two-for-one happy hours twice daily help a bit. Bring your own bottle of wine into the dining room and there's a $25 corkage fee. In mitigation, Oceania offers three gratuity-included beverage packages of claimed "incredible value." Don't bother with the $40 per day package, which limits you to beer or wine at lunch or dinner. The $60 per day package is a better bet, being unlimited and including liquor. But you have to be a fairly heavy drinker (say six or more drinks a day) before realizing a benefit from this package. And the catch is that the package has to be purchased for EVERY SINGLE DAY of the cruise. You can't get it for single days (say just sea days) -- I was told that If I wanted it for just one day, I could wait until the last day of the cruise! I did purchase two of the wine bottle packages, where you get 7 bottles of wine per package for consumption at mealtimes for $47.50 per bottle. This is already quite steep. For instance, a bottle of Kendall-Jackson Reserve Chardonnay available in the package is priced at $12.50 in Miami Beach Wallgreen's. This represents a 380 per cent markup. Still, you benefit from buying a package since It'll cost you even more by buying from the regular wine list. And don't forget that 18 per cent gratuity! The cost of shore excursions is also high; some are in the hundreds of dollars per person. You could hire a private car and driver for a lot less in many instances. Disembarkation was not as smooth as embarkation -- most people faced a long wait to get off. One of us needed to have a wheelchair to disembark and this was only obtained after a lot of pleading. Summing up, although the Riviera is an attractive vessel and the food good, inconsistent service and general price gouging made this cruise poor value for money. We did not feel pampered on what was supposedly a luxury line and the entire cruise experience was so-so. We cannot recommend this cruise line and will never sail with Oceania again. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
My overall impression of our first cruise aboard the an Oceania cruise was excellent. There were some issues that prevented me from giving the cruise an overall excellent rating. Here is a summary. Details later in my review. The ... Read More
My overall impression of our first cruise aboard the an Oceania cruise was excellent. There were some issues that prevented me from giving the cruise an overall excellent rating. Here is a summary. Details later in my review. The food, service and decor of the ship were outstanding. Our cabin and the public areas were always sparkling clean. Ports were typical Caribbean islands - beaches, shopping, excursions. Frankly, other than St. Barts, you could rubber stamp each island. But when you reserve an Oceania cruise, you are going for the amenities on the ship, not necessarily for the sightseeing. The quality of the food was way above any other cruise line we've sailed, as was the service. The decor of the ship was breathtaking with hundreds of art works that would be the pride of any museum. Now for details: Embarkation and disembarkation. Was a snap. Got right on. No lines. Would help if we were told we needed to show our cruise portfolio to security when we first entered the terminal. But this was a minor glitch. On disembarkation everyone was to be out of their cabins by 8:00 am. Finding someplace to sit in the public areas waiting for your number to be called was a challenge. Cabin. Yes the cabin is larger. BUT, the extra room is taken up by the larger bathroom to accommodate the bathtub. The shower was very small. While a number of passengers liked the bathtub, our personal preference would have been to give up the bathtub in lieu of more living space and a larger shower. Living area was no larger than any other cruise ship. Finding a place to store items was a challenge, but were able to find nooks and crannies to store everything. Also, one other minor issue. The safe is located on a high shelf next to the closet. Some of the shorter passengers found it difficult to reach. There's a refrigerator in every room with soft drinks and water free of charge. Its kept refreshed by the attendants. (By the way, soft drinks, coffee and tea are free throughout the ship during the entire cruise) "Free and Unlimited" Internet. This was an unmitigated disaster. First, it wasn't free or unlimited. I would almost call this "bait and switch." This perk was available to only one person on one device in one cabin. So if my wife was on the internet on her Ipad, internet was not available on her phone or to me on my phone or ipad. If you needed to switch, you needed to go through the laborious task of logging out on one device and logging in on another. Then if you were on the internet and went to another app or did not use the devise for ANY period of time (maybe 15 seconds), you had to log in again. And you also had the problem of the internet being VERY slow and not working in certain areas of the ship or just dropping you altogether. People were complaining constantly. Also some popular apps like Facebook never worked. And if you went to the online center on deck 14 to seek help, the tech was never there. Pool. For the first time on any cruise, we had no problem finding a deck chair in the pool area. And all the deck chairs were thickly padded with towels over the entire chair. VERY comfortable. No loud band playing Caribbean music. In fact, there was no music or activities in the pool area during the entire cruise. While most most liked that, we would have liked some quiet ambient music. Pool water was heated. Very nice. Like I said, plenty of deck chairs available in or out of the sun. Fitness center. Small but never had a problem finding a treadmill. In addition, there was other equipment available. Also, cold water and towels were always there for your use. Spa. Got a massage to use up my shipboard credit. Massage was nothing special. Frankly, I've yet to get any massage on any ship to compare with one I can get at home (at a much lower price), Service. Outstanding. Cabin was always clean with plenty of towels. At the Terrace Buffet you couldn't make a move without a staff member offering to take your plate and take you to an available table. At the pool, plenty of staff to help you. Never had to look for a waiter, waitress or pool boy. And throughout the ship staff was circulating to make themselves available for any questions you had. Entertainment. Outstanding. We heard from former passengers that the entertainment was just so-so. But to the contrary, every show was terrific from the ship's production staff to special guests. When there wasn't a show, there was a first run movie available. Casino. The casino was small - three blackjack tables, one 3-card poker table, a roulette table, one craps pit and, of course, lots of slot machines.The casino was dead. I don't fault the ship or the staff. This cruise just didn't have gamblers. One evening, I was the only one in the casino. Also, some advise on ANY cruise ship, Don't play the slots, They don't pay. Food. This was, by far, the highlight of the cruise. When Oceania advertises, the best cuisine on the high seas, they're not kidding. Let me detail the various eating venues: Terrace Cafe: This was the ships buffet. Breakfast was pretty mundane (as is every cruise ship). What more can you do with eggs? But lunch and dinner were a different story. At lunch there was always an extensive salad buffet and carving stations. While other ships offered processed meats such as slices of turkey, etc., this ship had whole turkeys, hams and prime rib beef that were carved in front of you. And the meats were all delicious. And dinner -OMG! You want steak, lobster tail, lamb chops, chicken, shrimp or salmon? All grilled right there with as much as you wanted and delicious. Waves Grill - Don't want to eat at the buffet? How about a huge Angus beef hamburger or 100% beef hot dog? Not to your liking? How about a salmon burger or better yet a "surf and turf" - filet minion and lobster sandwich! And the grill's handmade milkshakes are to die for. Main Dinning Room - Food was good, but service was slow. The times we went, it took us nearly 2 1/2 hours to finish. Specialty Restaurants. The specialty restaurants were all free. Now here is a little quirk and criticism. Since all the specialty restaurants were free, they were packed every night. So they were loud and crowded. While the staff was attentive, you didn't get the intimate dinning experience you expected. I almost wish you had to pay extra. Then these venues would be less crowded, quieter, much more personal and the staff could spend more time. Having said that, our experience was very satisfying: Toscono. Their Italian restaurant. OK. Nothing special. Veal was very fatty. I complained and the next day I received calls from major officers from the ship and Maitre' de apologizing and asking to come back. Very classy. Polo Grill. Their chop house. Steaks and chops were very good. Accompaniments were delicious. Their specialty was prime rib. But I heard from a number of guests that the meat was stringy and tough. Jacques. Named for Jacques Pepin, this is their French restaurant. This was probably our favorite specialty restaurant. Waiter was very friendly and attentive. Food was excellent. Red Ginger. Their oriental restaurant. Food was very interesting and presentations were fascinating. They offered some wonderful sushi and some specialty teas that were delicious, in addition to their regular menu. Now some general comments. In addition to the lack of intimacy, I noted that the menus in all these specialty restaurants never changed. So if you wanted to go back, you were presented with the same choices you had before. In addition, and this was a criticism of all the food venues - there were no sugar free offerings. Owing to the average age of the passengers, I was very surprised the ship did not offer any sugar free desserts to those passengers with diabetic issues. Yes, there was an entire list of :"No sugar added" desserts and ice creams, but as most of those with diabetic issues know, this is a far cry from sugar free. Ports. The ship visited, Turks and Cacos, Puerto Rico, Antigua, Tortola, St Barts, Punta Cana, and Nassau. For the most part, I need not review each port. I advise everyone to link to the Cruise Critic Board of ports in the Caribbean for a review. But some general comments: 1. Oceania's shore excursions are very expensive. If the cruiser would just do some homework, they'll find local tours that are just as interesting at a much lower price. One passenger told me they paid $129 per person for a "tour" that took them to a beach. For a lot less money they could have retained a taxi just outside the port and done the same thing for a lot less money. 2. Punta Cana was a disaster. We were the first cruise line to visit this port in the Dominican Republic and it showed. We used the tender and were taken by shuttle to a beach (if that's what you'd call it). Little sand, not enough beach chairs and little if any shade. There was one restaurant that the was crowded with the ships's passengers. Unfortunately, the waiters and waitresses could not understand or speak English. So try to order lunch or pay? I finally, took $30 out of my pocket and plunked on the bar and told them this was for our "lunch." 3. We traveled to Atlantis when we arrived in Nassau. Has that place gotten expensive! You can't go anywhere in and around the hotel, save the casino, without paying a day fee of $72 per person. And the casino had no tables with less than a $15 minimum. 4. St. Barts had a wonderful French flair. While the shops were expensive they offered some wonderfully interesting items - far form the typical shlock you get in other ports. We ate lunch at a little bistro on the main street facing the bay. I think the name was La Reserve. Typical French. We had the nerve to ask for our check and the waiter/owner took offense and continued to ignore us. So again, we plunked down our money and left. 5. The other islands were typical. You could rubber stamp the ports. Even San Juan was nothing more than row upon row of souvenir shops. I remember when old San Juan was so charming. Not anymore. Well, there you have it. My opinion of our first experience on an Oceania cruise. We'd certainly go again. In fact, the added ambiance makes it very intoxicating. The excellent food, freebees and attention made for a wonderful trip, save the issues outlined above. Perhaps, Oceania will read this and other reviews and make the changes necessary to give it an excellent rating. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We chose this cruise after booking a solo land trip to Japan (November) and a group trip to Southern India (February) with the idea of experiencing a stress free warm weather and near-gourmet experience with a mix of ports (5) and at sea ... Read More
We chose this cruise after booking a solo land trip to Japan (November) and a group trip to Southern India (February) with the idea of experiencing a stress free warm weather and near-gourmet experience with a mix of ports (5) and at sea days (4) and no need to wear a suit and tie or more; For the most part we accomplished our purpose(s). Riviera is somewhat large for us - we've done 20 cruises but most recently on smaller ships like Sea Dream, Star Clipper and Windstar, but also previously on the Regatta and other larger ships in the past. Riviera is classified as a midsized ship (a little over 1200 passengers); after offering some specials, the ship was full. Embarkation (smooth) started at 11 AM or so and was not limited to any particular class; cabins were made available chronologically based on class (Penthouse by noon, Concierge around 1, and all cabins by 3). I can't speak to luggage distribution: in an abundance of caution we took our own (which I don't recommend, but I did see at least one cruiser who was missing some luggage and would not be seeing it until the end of the cruise). We spent our waiting time in the Terrace restaurant which was crowded but provided a nice buffet lunch for all. We chose a Concierge level cabin because it offered an early reservation system which allowed us to book tables for two in the specialty restaurants and also La Reserve. It also offered access to the Spa deck which was a nice plus. We also had access to the Concierge lounge on the 9th floor which was no biggie. We had free internet on a provided lap top which worked most of the time and was a nice addition to my cell phone which did not work on sea days. With a full passenger quota the sea days were a bit of a struggle; by 10:00 am the deck chairs around the pool were pretty much taken and people were on the hunt; the crew tried to keep up with demand but it was difficult. There are, however, a variety of locations to stretch out, including the spa area if you have concierge level or above cabin. Passenger mix: 95% North American with a goodly mix of Canadians from all over (or at least Winnipeg to Nova Scotia). Older (mostly 60+) and a significant number in wheelchairs or with walkers and even a few in motorized carts. Several families with young children. The pool was warm but very very salty (hurt my eyes while swimming under water); the hot tubs were nice but typical cruise ship temperature (underheated); showers were nice; there are some very nice loungers around the pool. Smoking is unfortunately allowed in one corner of the pool deck and depending on the wind direction can waft across deck to the other side (port to aft). The Spa (in the front of the ship) had a nice sauna and steam room separately for men and women; on the deck is a large heated therapy pool. Spa treatments were pricey, but nice. The gym has decent equipment which was always available; there is a walking track outside on the 15th floor. Dining: This is the biggie for us; we tried all the specialty restaurants, including Red Ginger 3 times, and we had 2 dinners at La Reserve; we had one dinner at the Main Dining Room and one at the Terrace. Red Ginger (Pan Asian) was excellent in all respects from food to service; they had the single best dish (IMO) in the Spicy Duck and Watermelon salad , but the Tom Kha soup, lobster, Sea Bass, Malaysian short ribs and every other dish we tried was top notch - they also had the most imaginative (and tasty) desserts. La Toscana (Italian) was a pleasant surprise with well prepared dishes including Carpaccio of Octopus and Artichoke and Parmesan Cheese Timbal with Truffle Sauce (a very rich dish) as well as a nice classic Caesar salad. With the Lobster Diavolo I requested that the sauce be made in the Italian style with adequate spice and it was prepared perfectly with sweet San Marzano tomatoes and Al Dente Tagliolini. Jacques had lovely onion soup and the entrees that we tried, scallops and lobster, were excellent; they could not get the Foie Gras down however; the cold foie gras was massive but the cherry sauce was overly simplistic; the warm foie gras was a little too thin, slightly over cooked and not properly sauteed - we still ate them :-). Polo Grill was a different story, at least after the appetizers which were good: the rib eye was too thin and had no real flavor in part due to the lack of marbling in the meat. The Prime Rib was a massive 28 ounce piece of bone on red meat which lacked any flavor except for too much salt on the edges; the accompanying baked potato was small, undercooked, served with underwhelming sour cream. I was offered "Au Jus" with my prime rib and it was thick brown gravy. The creamy horseradish was nothing of the sort, strange because they did have it in the Terrace. The maitre d' and the head chef, who contacted us the next day, both acknowledge that the absence of flavor on the Prime Rib had benn raised before... I later overheard one passenger state that her steak was "nice but had no flavor"; Really? This is why surveys are not trustworthy. Service at all the specialty restaurants was fine. Wait staff would often identify themselves with information about where they were from; we enjoyed that touch. We had several bottles of wine in the $75 to $90 range recommend by the Sommelier and they were excellent. I would never have chosen them on my own so we very much appreciated his expertise. The two dinners at La Reserve were wonderful including both the foods, wines and guests. The Main Dining room was a significant cut below and we had only a few lunches and 1 dinner there; at dinner they played annoying Muzack; we exited early and went to the Terrace for dessert. The Terrace had fine appetizers and salads, as well as tasty (but basic) sushi and sashimi; breakfasts featured good fruit, herring, smoked salmon and lovely breads and pastries; american bacon was potato chip style and when I requested some less cooked I was informed they make it all early AM, and I would have to order it in advance! Ordinary items such as waffles and pancakes were special order; good omeltets made to order. Lunches were fine. Dinner featured the same entrees as the MDR with less trouble. Lobster tail was uniformly good; some people liked the grill where steaks and lamb chops were available - they were cooked on a simple table top plate which I find produces limited results. Waves had some odd burgers including one with Kobe beef and truffle sauce (meh), overly large fries as well as pretty large hot dogs: nothing anywhere near as good as a neighborhood grill but very popular; also an excellent grilled gravlax, some salads and a few odds and ends. We didn't do room service. Activities/Entertainments: We did an Italian red wine tasting (fun, with wonderful apps accompanying each of 5 wines, but the wines were not impressive) and participated in a free art program (also fun); we enjoyed some of the smaller entertainments (Bobby the piano player and the Quartet) but never went to the later shows and entertainments - not our interest. Service: our room was cleaned twice a day without incident and all contacts were very pleasant. Ports: Tortola: I had been to Virgin Gorda before and several large ships were in port, so we went on our own to Cane Garden Bay Beach which was mostly populated by German cruisers that day; they are quiet and don't smoke and the beach was beautiful and not overcrowded; a good day. Antigua: did a 360 degree circumnavigation of the island in a fast boat (Adventure Antigua) on a private tour with about 15 people, mostly from a smaller RCL ship; lots of fun; sting rays, snorkeling, beach lunch, Nelson's. Barbados: been there a bunch before and my wife had hurt her toe on the previous day so we didn't do much. St. Lucia: Did a tour with Cosol Tours; there was an MSC and an RCL in port too, so everywhere was crowded but they did a nice job. Lovely island, interesting Volcano and the Pitons. St, Bart's: we stayed in Gustavia and blew our money in a fancy shop. Lovely town and Island: I rented a car the last time and I would recommend doing that. We don't do ship excursions as they are always over priced and the ship keeps most of the money and underpays the guides: this is pretty much an industry practice. Disembarkation: efficient and timely. As you can see I'm a pretty tough grader, but we enjoyed almost everything about the cruise as well as the majority of passengers we met; it's hard to beat the dollar value of this type of travel. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
we wanted to try a different cruise line not happy in being herded on the big ships . found insignia small but loading was super fast unloading was fast the only problem was every one was on the upper deck the ship in my view should have ... Read More
we wanted to try a different cruise line not happy in being herded on the big ships . found insignia small but loading was super fast unloading was fast the only problem was every one was on the upper deck the ship in my view should have opened other venues to accommodate that many people. once the rooms opened it was fine we found the food was excellent service was superb . cabins we stayed in a penthouse suite service by the butler was outstanding . we tried the in room dining that was a real treat . all the staff from the waiters to the deck hands were all eager to please . the 2 bad spots we had on the cruise was rough weather and they decided to drain and paint the pool & 1 of the tours the bus boke down & we were driving at night with no lights but the ship waited . we really enjoyed the whole cruise but it was to short. looking forward to the Rivera and all the different restaurants Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
How much better can it get? This is the 16th cruise on Oceania, having done all their small and medium size ships over the years. we have sailed with them all through the Northern Hemisphere, east and West. We usually do a cruise in ... Read More
How much better can it get? This is the 16th cruise on Oceania, having done all their small and medium size ships over the years. we have sailed with them all through the Northern Hemisphere, east and West. We usually do a cruise in Europe or Asia And a Christmas cruise in the Caribbean. we prefer the eastern Caribbean because the ports are so much more Island like. The Western Caribbean is more central America and needs to be toured in the interior. As for the ship, the Riviera and her sister ship, the Marina have the largest staterooms per similar category than almost all of the luxury cruises available. The decor is exquisite with lots of wood, and art. The food is the best of any ship we have been on and that includes 2 of the major luxury lines. The choice of restaurants is large. a main dining room where you can always get something that is not on the menu. there is a Terrace cafe, buffet style at all meals indoors and outdoors, and a grill on the pool deck. PLUS 4 specialty restaurants that need a reservation ( at least one each restaurant for every passenger and usually a 2nd without a reservation on the same day. Plus, and there is more. A super special intimate dining venue, called the Wine Spectator, where they do 7 course plus 7 wines for a supplement ( 3 menus available on different days). Plus 24 hour service in your stateroom. Several other venues offer coffee, yogurt, muffins and the like at the espresso bar, and observation lounge on the 10th floor.. My wife loves the Canyon ranc spa, for massages and other feminine activities such as facials etc. The gym is spectacular, all glass windows with every machine available with lots of treadmills, bikes, ellipticals and weights galore. They have special fitness glasses several times a day in a large room including spinning bikes.There is a dedicated instructor for all of this. Since Norwegian cruises took over the ownership, the entertainment has vastly improved. The casino good and gets lively most evenings. New years eve , they did a spectacular show on the pool deck with hats, horns, ice sculptures, all sorts of entertainment to welcome in 2017. The internet is OK. I never had a problem getting my email with my iPad in my room. Sadly, it is a bit slower as the ship offers more unlimited WiFi to more passengers in the higher categories. In the internet lounge, lots of computers and faster connections. Lots of bars to quench your thirst. No charges for soft drinks, cappucino etc, including a minibar in the room. Alcoholic beverages have a charge, but very reasonable. Most drinks are under $10. Their excursions off the boat are pricey. in most places, if you want to tour the island, just work off the ship and hail a cab. there are some specialty things to do besides enjoying the scenery. Most islands are beachlovere paradises. My wife and i joined a group and raced on the original America's cup sailboats from the 80' and 90's in Sty Maarten. we also played with the dolphins up close in Nassau. It is an older crowd, but quite active. The ship is not very kid friendly. During the holiday break, we did have a bunch and the ship assigned a "counselor" for them, and they were never in the way of the other guests. Getting on the ship and leaving at the end of the cruise was super fast. All one needs is their passport and a credit card. The captain must feed the staff from the busboy to the cabin steward, nice pills. They all were so friendly and helpful. the ship is clean as a whistle. You can always see boat people washing the walls, swabbing the deck, vacuuming and wiping the banisters down with cleaning cloths. I am booked for next year for the almost identical cruise 9 a few different ports). This si the greatest floating resort hotel.. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was our first Oceania cruise. We are avid cruisers in our mid to late fifties sailing on thirty some voyages on many different cruise lines. Celebrity has been our "go to" for years booking "Aqua Class" staterooms ... Read More
This was our first Oceania cruise. We are avid cruisers in our mid to late fifties sailing on thirty some voyages on many different cruise lines. Celebrity has been our "go to" for years booking "Aqua Class" staterooms and achieving "Elite Plus" status. We have always wanted to try Oceania as we know quite a few people that have experienced their ships from the old "R" class to the current "O" class with Marina and Riviera. We picked this particular cruise as it was strictly for "R and R" as we had visited almost all the ports. We really wanted to experience a more upscale ship which offered premium dining as well more refined service on a beautiful smaller ship. In other words, would this cruise experience offer excellent value for the premium dollars paid? You always wonder when a cruise line spends so much of their budget on sending you countless upscale beautiful brochures on a weekly basis and you read the hype and say: "Are they for real?" Lets say our expectations were met if not exceeded! I have given this cruise a five star rating as overall we had an excellent experience. Lets start with the ship: age demographic, average age was seventy to seventy-five years young, so we were on the younger side, which may sound funny, most passengers were American and Canadian with some Europeans present. At four years old the ship is in excellent condition, from the public areas to the staterooms, a little wear and tear was noticed on the furniture in our stateroom as well balcony, rust was noticeable on the steel, our seat cushions were dirty but were quickly replaced. A larger table to eat breakfast at and foot stools are a glaring omission on the verandah as there is plenty of room to accommodate these. The stateroom was larger than most, very well appointed and the bathroom was the real highlight with a full size bath tub and separate shower stall. Everything is in marble, very tasteful. We booked Concierge Class, almost mid ship right across from the elevators. Access to everything was excellent at this location but it was a little noisy in the morning with people traffic so we would book away from this location in the future. Concierge class was definitely worth the extra money spent as you received some additional perks, the most important one being the private Spa Terrace with an infinity type pool with whirlpool therapy and showers to boot. A very pleasurable sanctuary. You also receive "champagne" not Cremant French sparkling wine which was a touch of class, as well complimentary pressing of clothes, shoe shine and a host of other luxuries. In our opinion well worth the additional cost. The ship was elegant in an understated way, top quality furnishings throughout the public areas without being ostentatious.The main "Grand" dining room is huge and was like eating in a five star hotel restaurant in the grand hotels of Europe or North America. The Canyon Spa Ranch area, gym and all other areas of the ship were top notch. So much of this ship was under utilized and the sports deck, spa area, gym and countless other venues were deserted. This ship was sold out with 1250 guests on board, you would not know it! Finally, the food and service, the most important thing of course! We experienced all the specialty restaurants six times in total, twice in Jacques, twice in Toscana, once in Red Ginger and once in the Polo Grill with three dinners in the "Grand" dining room and the absolute highlight was an epicurean experience at the "Wine Spectator" "La Reserve". If you are looking for an exclusive seven course wine matching extravaganza this is amazing! Only 24 guests, we only had 20 the night we went, this experience should not be missed as the wine is matched perfectly to each course, the service was excellent, a private function, meeting a lot of very nice fellow diners. I could go on and be very specific with this special event , lets say even at an extra cost of $95.00 per person it is well worth it. We experienced the Odyssey menu, there are two others and we will do this again on our next voyage. Our favorite specialty restaurants were Jacques and Red Ginger with Toscana a close third. We were some what underwhelmed by Polo Grill as the service was excellent, but the surf and turf came out cool/warm as opposed to the other restaurants the food was served piping hot! There was one other dining venue at the back of the ship centered between Polo and Toscana called "Privee" . This is a beautiful private dining room decorated in elegant white and accents of red for dining of up to ten people. If you travel with family or friends this would be simply sublime as the chefs from the kitchen serve you directly. The rental of the room is $250.00 so if you had a party of ten, it would be well worth it. There is no additional cost for the food as you you may order from both Toscana and Polo Grill menus. We ate breakfast in the main dining room, very comfortable and quiet, lunch in the Terrace Cafe or Waves Grill, service and food quality was very good in both. Afternoon elegant tea was served in the Horizon's lounge and this must not be missed, not so much for the tea, but the experience of being served by tuxedo clad gentleman and ladies, white glove service, the spectacular canapes, sandwiches and desserts. Four to five each day, very graceful fine experience. Entertainment, we only went to two shows as every dinner exceeded two hours every evening and the shows started promptly at 9:30 pm. We did however see an amazing Ventriloquist...excellent talent as well we experienced the farewell show which featured the entire staff of the ship going up on stage and being thanked by the Captain and as we were leaving the theater the staff all applauded us as we walked down the hallway to exit. Ports of call, fortunately the weather every day was hot and beautiful, I scuba dived in Tortola and we took private tours off the ship on all the islands. We missed the Dominica Republic port as there were swells and the tenders could not be used so it turned into another sea day, which was great for us! Again the reason for this trip was "R and R" with the emphasis on food if you have not noticed! We did not book a future cruise on board as the incentives were not strong enough and I am glad we didn't as the subsequent offers have exceeded those offered by Oceania post cruise. In summary, we are converts and will book another cruise with Oceania, we will still sail on Celebrity but when you extrapolate the differences between the two, factoring currency differentials, Celebrity fares being increased and based on food and amenities alone the prices are close if not the same. The Oceania experience is definitely superior. I think we have found our new "Go to". Treat yourselves, yes there is Regent, Silversea, Seaborne and Crystal but none will give you best bang for your buck in our opinion. Oceania has figured out how to do this! Read Less
57 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Horrible time aboard. One day after boarding we are informed about Noro. Apparently 4-5th time in last 4-5 months. More are still getting sick. People today have been sick in public restrooms and Spa. Everything is being constantly ... Read More
Horrible time aboard. One day after boarding we are informed about Noro. Apparently 4-5th time in last 4-5 months. More are still getting sick. People today have been sick in public restrooms and Spa. Everything is being constantly sprayed and wiped. The walls, rails, doors, and elevators have sticky on them and have gunk lines where the disinfectant runs down. The fabric on chairs are sprayed as soon as you get up. Our clothes smell from it. I begin choking in the halls from the cleaning spray and must stay in cabin or on veranda. We were denied docking in Aruba. The staff is very tired from lack of sleep. Service is slow as staff must salt and pepper your food, and poor your cream. The lounges close early and the coffee machines are removed. Most activities that we came for are cancelled. No culinary school, no artist loft, no munchies with drinks, no appetizers with Captain's party, one Oceania Club event cancelled. There are over 900 loyal Club members on board. This is our 15th Oceania cruise and 5th on Riviera. Our friend became sick today. No specimen was taken, so the virus keeps moving. It is not Oceania's fault all this is happening. But, we are only half way through the cruise and most of us would like to go home now. I am diabetic and need a little munchie sometimes for blood sugar. Ship is mostly devoid of anything. We ordered from room service and after more than hour waiting, we cancelled it. The staff is very pushed. We do not know how many of them are sick. Read Less
45 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We received a email one day before cruise that our boarding would be delayed 1 hour because the ship had experienced the norovirus on the previous cruise and they were going to sanitize the ship. After two days a sea, the ship had 119 ... Read More
We received a email one day before cruise that our boarding would be delayed 1 hour because the ship had experienced the norovirus on the previous cruise and they were going to sanitize the ship. After two days a sea, the ship had 119 passengers and 3 crew members sick. The cruise was scheduled for 10 days but we were informed on the 7th day that the ship would return to Miami for a more extensive sanitizing. During the 8 painful days of cruising: 1. We were subjected to constant sanitizing of all surfaces on the ship including tables, chairs, railing, elevators, elevator buttons. 2. With so many crew members sanitizing, dinning and bar service was terrible. Meals came late and not all people at the table were served at the same time. 3. We had delays at ports due to the port authorities issues with a contaminated ship at their port. 4. With so many people quarantined in their room, you had to show your room key to enter the dinning room. This ship should have never left port. Oceania's response, 25% off the cruise with an additional 25% off the next cruise. We should have received more. Additionally, the staff on the ship was rude and impatience to hear any complaints. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We left England on 20th Feb after an overnight hotel stay at Heathrow, flew to Miami for a stay in the Hilton Hotel which was a restful overnight stop before our cruise the next day. We have travelled on Riviera 2 years ago and had a ... Read More
We left England on 20th Feb after an overnight hotel stay at Heathrow, flew to Miami for a stay in the Hilton Hotel which was a restful overnight stop before our cruise the next day. We have travelled on Riviera 2 years ago and had a super, faultless cruise which is why we decided to book again this February. On the day of embarkation we were looking forward to joining the ship again, and were picked up from our hotel to travel to the port at 12.10 p.m. (a little earlier than 12.30, but where we expected to start embarking at 1.00 p.m.). However, on arrival we were informed that embarkation would not happen until 2.00 p.m. We had received no indication about this delay prior to the cruise, and the reasons behind it, so after eventually joining the ship it was extremely surprising to hear another announcement that we could not join our cabin until 4.00 p.m. So we sat on board with our carry-on bags. Again, at 4.00 p.m. there was a further announcement that access to cabins would still not be ready and we must wait. Just before 5.00 p.m. we were finally given the go ahead to join the cabins. We were relieved after this delay, and expected to start the cruise as normal but on arriving in the corridor accessing our our cabin everybody's luggage was lined up as far as we could see, and guests were trying to find their bags. On entering the cabin, it was not ready and very far from the usual very pleasant state we had previously experienced with Riviera. The bed was made but the cabin was lacking in many things and was quite a shock. As we had expected, we had to go for the usual safety lecture, still unaware of the whereabouts of our luggage, and the ship sailed at 6.00 p.m. After the lecture, we returned to the cabin and eventually found our 2 bags. We felt extremely sorry for the cabin and crew staff who were running around trying to produce the very large amount of luggage, which obviously neglected most of their usual duties. We are not blaming the cabin staff as they were doing two because of this problem. This totally unexpected and chaotic beginning to a fairly expensive holiday came out of the blue for us, and the fact that we were not informed prior to the trip was an extra problem. After querying this the next day with a senior member of staff, I was told that an e-mail was sent to travel agents late on 18th February (this we have not seen), and we do consider that Oceania should have also e-mailed guests directly in addition to contacting travel agents. We are regular cruisers and have travelled with other luxury cruise liners. The only indication we received about the virus problem, which had apparently affected 2 previous Riviera cruises before ours, was when we were actually on board - in the form of five A4 sheets of paper dated 22nd Feb about what to do, to keep on washing our hands, etc. etc. and the nature of Norovirus. Sanitation procedures were ongoing for 5 days with constant wiping of handrails, walls, lifts, tables, etc. and at lunchtime the buffet food area was protected by cling film. We realise that the crew had to do their best to provide the hygiene, but the fact that we were caught up in something that had happened before we arrived was not our fault. There was a note to all guests for a complimentary "happy hour" (cocktail, glass or wine, or beer) in the bars from 6.00-8.00 p.m. on 1st March to thank us for our "co-operation and understanding"! So, after arriving on the ship on Monday 22nd Feb, things were back to normal on Friday, 5 days after the start of a 10-day cruise. Throughout the cruise, we had a lovely cabin stewardess (plus an assistant) who worked very hard, during the first troubled period, and after the difficult event. The food remained very good throughout the cruise, even through the difficult first few days, and we booked four of the excellent A la Carte restaurants. We ate in the Grand Dining Room as well, where the food was also excellent. The only problem there was the system for allocating guests to tables, causing delays in seating. After requesting a table, guests wait in the lounge area and there is a strange system of the waiting staff trying to find the correct guests in the right order! I am sorry to start this review in a negative way but the problems were there, and it is difficult to rate the cruise overall because of the these problems, and I have given 4 points overall. This is because the food and staff service were very good, but it was just the initial disappointment of our arrival and disruption to services during the first 5 days, as well as the lack of prior knowledge. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
I will not repeat what others have written. Our second trip with Oceania and flown out from the UK to the ship. Due to the unforeseeable circumstances previously we had been told about the problems beforehand by our travel agent so there ... Read More
I will not repeat what others have written. Our second trip with Oceania and flown out from the UK to the ship. Due to the unforeseeable circumstances previously we had been told about the problems beforehand by our travel agent so there is nothing you can do. We were only getting the tail end of the problems as to be in the thick of it must have been awful. Oceania did everything to make life easier so those complaining had no right to do so as Oceania were trying to get the ship back to "normal" asap. Some passengers were extremely rude to the staff who were only doing what they were told to do. It was embarrassing to see the staff being shouted at for cleaning. We were on 12 deck so embarked very smoothly and unpacked and eaten by 3pm, much to the annoyance of others who were still waiting for luggage gone 6pm! The islands are much the same as we remembered them, only a lot more commercial as they depend on our money for a living. Dining was the same, much improvement in the Grand Dining Room, you did not have to wait too long for your meals etc. Food a bit warmer, but not much. Speciality places were fine, except for Jacques, this time was very disappointing. Too pretentious in presentation and not enough on the taste of the food. Private sunbathing area is lovely but not near big enough so ended up with the others on 12 deck who were always reserving sun lounges which is tacky and not 5 star. This time Oceania were doing something about it at long last and were removing belongings that had been left too long but it still continued. Sadly our break ended with there being a flooding on 12 deck so most of the passengers were relocated to smaller accommodation. We not like this but had no option. Oceania were very good and sorted out everything they could for us and gave us a very good gesture of goodwill to use them again, which we will. Disembarkment this time was very chaotic for some reason. Entertainment very good and cruise director excellent as ever. Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was a follow on cruise from two previous cruises affected by Noro virus. This was my 15th cruise on a variety of cruise lines but my first on Oceania. We took this cruise on the recommendation of a relative who had previous ... Read More
This was a follow on cruise from two previous cruises affected by Noro virus. This was my 15th cruise on a variety of cruise lines but my first on Oceania. We took this cruise on the recommendation of a relative who had previous experience with Oceania and liked the line a lot. Their recommendation said " while " pricier than others the food is spectacular". Sad to say this was the worst of our 15 cruises and the so called great service does not compare with our trips on Regent, Celebrity and even Holland America. While some reviewers act as apologists for Oceania by claiming "nor virus can happen on any cruise"; there is no doubt that poor handling and communications of the crisis worsened the experience for almost ever objective traveller. To start with the communications were terrible. There was no advance notice from Oceania staff at our hotel who acted as if all was well. Next on arrival at the ship there was a major delay in boarding as the company provided busses to a shopping centre to pass time. When asked what the problem was we were told "there are issues". This was a lame attempt to diffuse the issue in spite of the fact that a letter had been sent to travel agents a few days earlier. Upon boarding there were further delays as the staterooms were not available for hours. When rooms were finally available they were not made up fully, lacked soap, shampoo another items. The room had not been properly vacuumed or cleaned. It was clear that am major undertaking under CDC supervision had taken place to ensure the trip was not cancelled.This ship should not have left port until it was fully scrubbed and cleared instead of doing it on the fly. Clearly a decision that put revenue ahead of customer satisfaction and value fro the price paid. It took four days to get the ship cleaned. It appeared that 15 % if the crew wandered around with disinfectant wiping down anything that did not move. This only made the task of customer service more difficult for the depleted crew members still doing their job. The sticky surfaces on tables, chairs and anything else made it very difficult to even think that the food was great. It took five days before the restrictions were lifted and salt shakers could appear on the tables. Compared to Regent ( Higher price but all inclusive) or Celebrity Aqua class ( priced a lot lower) the food was average to poor and the service average. The crew was clearly stressed and we saw numerous disagreements and testy interchanges amongst crew members. The captain appeared to go AWOL as he was not seen or heard except for the daily noon update and the special dinners with multi trip Oceania Alumni. As an example of how poorly they handled the crisis when the ship had to divert to disembark a passenger with a serious health issue no announcement was made that it had nothing to do with the Noro problem. This led to significant speculation that the ship was in trouble again. While we did not come down with the virus we did experience sickness and stomach issue fro most of the cruise. I suspect it was caused by the chemicals use because as the second day after we left the ship the pains disappeared. The crew tried to do their best under difficult circumstances but there were very few smiles and a lot of complaining. The specialty restaurants were hit and miss. Some were good and others poor. Food was average and service hit and miss. On cruises we usually choose to sit at tables with others so we can meet new people and share experiences. After five days we chose to eat most of our meals alone because we could no longer take the negativity. The cruise line tried to satisfy the anger by holding an open bar for 2 hours as an apology gift. This was far short of what they should have done and needed to do. Most people on board agreed that the cruise ship never should have left the port. A refund of 50% of the value should have been returned to all passengers because this was not the service or the quality people had paid for and expected. The company should appreciate that they have damaged their brand with not only the passengers on board who felt cheated but also with their hundreds of friends to whom the story and experience was shared with upon return. ( For example my email to friends asking how our vacation went had the headline : CRUISE FROM HELL ... WORST VACATION EVER) It is highly unlikely that most new cruisers, or first time cruisers will ever give Oceania another try. Shore excursions were compatible with other lines but somewhat pricier. Some excursions were missed because of stomach issue noted above from the chemicals on the tables. In St parts when my wife bought goods at a local store the sales lady commented : "Oh you are from the sick ship": Clearly she had heard the horror stories as well. The entertainment varied from very good to amateurish. The comedian was truly outstanding and offered a good escape from the terrible experience on the ship. The singer soloist who had appeared in the "love Boat " series many years ago was ver good and a pleasant surprise. The cast of dancers paying tributes to broadway and tribute to the music of was amateurish and singing off key most of the time. In fact I heard a passenger chiding his wife that they should have taken an aisle seat so they could escape. Another passenger was heard to sat he "heard better singing from drunken salarymen in a Japanese Karaoke bar." Needless to say we did not go to their other shows. Disembarkation was confused and hectic. I suspect that was because people could not wait to leave the ship and head home. I found it ironic that passengers paid hefty prices for a vacation cruise that did not meet the promises and or their expectations were anxious to go home and rest. Summary: All in all a terrible experience that left a bad taste. A feeling that profit and revenue took precedence over service and value for the fare paid. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was our third cruise with Oceania, and the second for the couple traveling with us. Combined we have completed about 20 cruises. We have recommended Oceania to friends and family. I would consider all 4 of us Oceania "cheer ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Oceania, and the second for the couple traveling with us. Combined we have completed about 20 cruises. We have recommended Oceania to friends and family. I would consider all 4 of us Oceania "cheer leaders." Our travel started off uneventful courtesy of Southwest Airlines. On time takeoff and landings are a great way to start a vacation. We stayed in Ft Lauderdale as the hotel prices for our 1 pre-night stay was about 50% less than if we elected to stay in Miami. We stayed at the Hampton Inn North (Cruise Terminal). We have stayed there before. While the hotel is a little worn, the staff is friendly, the rooms are clean, it is within walking distance of a Winn Dixie to pick up last minute items, and the hotel runs a free shuttle (1 mile radius) to local restaurants. Clean, simple, efficient. The hotel had a list of local restaurants they recommend. We selected the German restaurant across the street. After a 90 second shuttle ride from the hotel we were walking in the door. While the outside was dated, the food was hearty, plentiful and authentic. Just like Southwest - another nice way to get the vacation started. To get to the port of Miami, we made reservations with Larry's Limousine service. The driver arrived early, the Suburban was clean and our 4 pieces of luggage easily fit in the back. We paid our driver when we arrived at the ship for this leg of our reservation as well as the return leg (standard process for Larry's and explained up front). Larry gets an A+. Porters were waiting to help us with our luggage and ensured they would take care of our luggage. First, and only time on the trip where a tip felt obligatory. While completing the on-boarding process (10 minutes) we were provided a notice required (?) by the CDC informing us of a previous outbreak of the Norovirus that impacted at least 3% of the passengers on the previous voyage. No worries - we use plenty of hand sanitizer, have Clorox wipes to run thru our cabin (efficacy suspect) and don't typically touch handrails, door handle or knobs outside the cabin. Gaining access to our cabin was delayed due to the extra cleaning completed by the staff. The Muster drill was uneventful, with an additional reminder to wash our hands and wash our hands frequently. After the Muster drill our luggage had yet to be delivered - so off we went to the Terrace Cafe for one of many fabulous dinners under the stars. Dinner outside under the stars in the Caribbean beats 20 degree and snowy Ohio weather most days. Our first day was at sea - uneventful - but we washed our hands and washed our hands frequently. Grand Turk - we decided to make this a quiet day, and simply stayed at the port. A few shops were open, but the beach was beautiful , and at the port there is a huge pool for cruise guests to use as well. Overall grade for the port B+. San Juan - we took the Bacardi tour. We toured 2 buildings, a gift store and they provided 2 drinks. That was it for the tour. Uneventful, and not memorable, other than having a drink at the actual distillery ... boring. We did a quick stop at a fort for 30 min on the way back to the ship. Overall grade for this tour - a solid D+. Announcements continued to wash your hands and wash your hands frequently and if you feel ill a free "consultation" with the ship's Doctor is available. "Guards" continue to man the entrances to the restaurants to ensure hand sanitizer is used. Public restroom doors are open so you can avoid using handles. You have to ask for salt or pepper as the tables only have silverware and water goblets set. By this time we decided all fresh fruit, vegetables and salads were off our menu. As a precaution we would only eat "cooked" foods. St. Bart's - this is a tender port and the waves made entering/exiting the tender interesting at times. We selected the St Bart's Sailing Adventure excursion. We did this excursion previously and is just a nice way to spend a morning on the water. A solid B. However, we returned to the port at lunch time, which means everything shuts down for 3 hours in the afternoon. No shopping today. We ate lunch off the ship at a local restaurant and while the food was very good, the service was polite but at a snails pace - and I'm being generous to the snail. St Maarten - In the morning we walked around the local pier shops for a few hours as our tour was scheduled for an afternoon departure. There were 5 ships in port that day all moored essentially next to each other. After making our donation to help the local economy, we headed back to the ship for lunch. They checked our ID's, sprayed hand sanitizer on our hands (apparently they didn't trust us using the bottles at the entry way - or this was perhaps more potent sanitizer) - they cleared us thru security and back thru the doors to the ship. The doors behind us then closed. I thought this was odd - but maybe it was to keep the A/C in. No! Within 10 feet other passengers informed us that after the first wave of passengers to disembark the ship had been quarantined by the local authorities. The local authorities were completing their own review. The ship had been locked down for 2 hours by the time we had returned. Not sure why someone couldn't have warned us before we walked up the steps. Not sure what the purpose was to quarantine the ship after several hundred passengers had already left. Fortunately for us the quarantine was lifted shortly and we were back off the ship to participate in our shore excursion. New rules were quickly put in place where we now had to show our cruise cards at all dining areas prior to entry. This was to ensure those passengers who took advantage of the free consultation with the Doctor, found to be ill, then quarantined within their cabin while they recovered - STAYED in their cabin. Rumors were going around that some passengers quarantined didn't stay quarantined, and their cruise was immediately ended as they were escorted off the ship. America's Cup 12-Metre Challenge. We did this excursion 10 years ago. It was one of our top excursions, and it was again a top excursion. A solid "A." Tortola - we escaped to Jost Van Dyke for a full morning to relax and drink some "Pain Killers" courtesy of a local bar. Beautiful. Fantastic. A Sold A. But, the ship to take us to Jost Van Dyke had been instructed to clean our boat before picking us up. We also had to sign the typical activity waiver. But in order to sign, we had to use a pen which was in a plastic cup full of sanitizer, let the sanitizer drip out/off of the pen - then sign the waiver. Lovely. Prior to dinner, we typically like to sit at a bar and have martini's. The easiest way for me to describe the latest cleaning technique to help keep the Noro under control, is for you to imagine dumping the left over water from a bucket after washing your car on to the bar tables to "sanitize" the tables. Then the sanitizer was left to air dry which took about 30 minutes. The mood was set. By this time in the cruise, the cleaning team were also smearing sanitizer on all handrails and also left to dry. I couldn't imagine using the handrails anyway now. The cleaning also has defaced the walls in the ship - as you can see they have been cleaned so many time the fabric has been rubbed smooth. Sanitizer is also streaking down the elevators doors and cabin doors. Corridor walls are wet and dripping from the sanitizer. That evening while eating dinner at the Terrace Cafe, the Captain informed us that our cruise was being cut short by 2 days so they could return to Miami and completely sanitize the ship before the next cruise. The next 2 days were essentially sea days to expedite the ships return to Miami. A couple of observations: There were 2 Captains on-board as there was a transfer in-place. It seems to me that one could have continued to "sail" the vessel, while the other took command of the outbreak. Maybe this occurred - but other than the cruise director it appeared the officers of the ship wanted to avoid any interaction with the passengers. Perhaps just my perception. We thought it was odd that when entering the casino, and playing the slots that there wasn't any extra sanitizing required. Were the chips at the tables cleaned, the cards for Blackjack? Perhaps - again we didn't see any "sanitizing," which all 4 of us thought as odd. As soon as the announcement was made that we were headed to Miami, we couldn't get back fast enough. I thought I saw someone water skiing off the back of the ship. We were headed back to Miami just as fast as we could. Our cruise was over, and they were ready to get us off the ship. The crew worked tirelessly and continued to have a smile on their face. They really tried their best and should be commended. While disembarking in Miami, the porters and customs agent all had masks and gloves on. But as soon as we exited the terminal doors - ALL precautions were gone. The bus drivers, and hotel staff engaged with us normally. What exactly happened to us as we walked thru the doors - were their UV lights to cure the Noro that we didn't see? Very odd. I'm not sure most of my fellow passengers noticed - but the Oceania senior leadership was outside the terminal assisting passengers and ensuring the transition from the ship to the hotels went smoothly. The leaders were simply looking to help in any way they could. This is what I had expected - just disappointing to see this didn't occur while we were on the ship (again with 2 Captains). I would be remiss if I didn't publicly thank Christine for her gracious assistance to the 4 of us. Oceania did a fabulous job pulling together the logistics for 1,200 passengers within a short time. Seeing these leaders at the terminal "rescued" the Oceania brand for us. Will we sail with Oceania again - absolutely. Noro can happen anywhere (on or off land - just ask Chipotle or Miami University in Ohio). It wasn't the cruise we had expected - but we're all safe, and blessed just to have had the opportunity for 10 days in the Caribbean Our glass is full. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Let me preface this review with a little background information. Last year we took a similar eastern Caribbean cruise on the Riviera in early February. It was a fantastic trip and the reason we booked again for this year. We have cruised ... Read More
Let me preface this review with a little background information. Last year we took a similar eastern Caribbean cruise on the Riviera in early February. It was a fantastic trip and the reason we booked again for this year. We have cruised over 200 nights combined on both Oceania and Regent so we are not novices in the cruising arena . My husband and I are in our early 60's. The positive: Our cabin attendants were diligent and had smiles despite the massive amount of extra work they were required to do. Their hours must have been increased by at least 3-4 each day for the constant washing of the walls and public areas near the cabins they cleaned. Antonia from the excursions desk was extremely helpful with tours and information regarding our early disembarkation. She provided specific tour information for one of the ports that was very useful and also helped out with the end of ship disembarkation. We met some wonderful people on the cruise and shared some laughs at cocktail hour and especially when we were off the boat. Our weather was excellent for the bulk of the trip which made for some lovely afternoons hanging out at the beautiful pool and at the private spa terrace. The Waves ice cream bar had two great staff members providing daily smiles as well as milkshakes that I enjoyed every day! Not so positive: We received a letter from our TA the day before embarkation noting a Norovirus outbreak on the prior cruise. It informed us that boarding would be delayed a couple hours (it actually was only 30 minutes) and that they were sanitizing the ship so it would be cleaned appropriately for the passengers. Within 2 days of departing Miami, there was an outbreak of Norovirus with 3% of the passengers sick. Unfortunate things can happen on any cruise, but the way they are handled by management both on and off the ship can make or break the experience. The hard working cleaning crew and the waiters/waitresses were stretched to the maximum trying to keep the passengers fed and their cabins clean all the while doing the task of sanitizing as per CDC instructions. The senior management on the ship were invisible to us for the duration of the cruise. Our "repeater party" experience took place in your choice of 3 or 4 bars on the ship and you needed your invitation to receive free drinks. Not one officer walked through the bar where we had cocktails and fellow passengers said the same thing. The communications were very infrequent and when we reached San Juan, we were informed by the captain during the lunchtime update that the number of Norovirus cases had diminished. While we seriously considered abandoning ship there and flying home prior to the announcement, this message gave us hope. Within a couple more days, we had an announcement that the numbers had vastly increased to a total of 119 passengers ill and 3 crew members, but this information was found only through the CDC website and not on board. Without internet connection, we would have been in the dark since reception refused to give me any of the statistics and I did ask more than once. The first time they told me to go see the doctor for the information. Management never apologized other than the form letter we received after the ship was made to turn around on day 6 and return to Miami. The speed with which they turned this ship around after the prior cruise outbreak is what makes the situation seem so unnecessary. The first day of our cruise certain things were open and available such as the library which was locked up a day later. The art studio never held classes and the same for the culinary program. The casino was never closed yet there was every opportunity to spread germs with the decks of cards, chips and slot machine buttons and handles. Our dining experiences were very mixed and the main dining room was really sub par for food. One of our last evenings, we were at table for 2 and after sitting for 1.5 hours with very slow service we left after waiting more than 15 minutes for dessert. The Terrace Cafe had workers who seemed to be unhappy with their job and rarely smiled. Our breakfast experiences were not what we were accustomed to from our prior cruise on Riviera where sitting outside was a treat and the waiters seemed so happy. Our best dining experience was at Red Ginger and the food and service were excellent,being greeted at the door by the lovely Wahrunie (spelling). The meat at the Polo Grill seemed to be a different grade from last year with the filet and lamb being good not great. Jacques was okay the first night of the cruise and much better our second time. However, it did not wow me like it did last year. We never got to Toscana since our cruise was cut short and our reservation was for Saturday night. The entertainment was graded poorly not because the entertainers were not good, but because we had extra sea days and very little was offered to the passengers. When a cruise line has to adjust an itinerary, there are many things that could be done to keep the guests happy but by the last day, it was obvious they wanted us off that ship ASAP. No mid cruise or end of cruise comment cards were provided with the reason given due to potential contamination. However, we filled out not one but two disembarkation forms and returned those to the excursion desk. My overall score for the cruise took into account many things that are not rated on the list below, including the ships officers, the poorly run disembarkation and the fact that we as passengers had a dark cloud over our heads about whether or not we would become sick. If you have never been on a vessel with the Norovirus it is impossible to understand how this affects your cruising experience. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We started cruising with O five years ago. This was our eight O cruise, and fourth on the Riviera. As embarkation day approached, optimism was turning to apprehension after a flurry of negative CC posts about a prior Riviera cruise, ... Read More
We started cruising with O five years ago. This was our eight O cruise, and fourth on the Riviera. As embarkation day approached, optimism was turning to apprehension after a flurry of negative CC posts about a prior Riviera cruise, lamenting service lapses and poor communication over a gastro virus outbreak. As a Celebrity expat (loyal over 15 years until their own decline), it was hard to wrap my head around O suffering a similar fate. But I approached the cruise with an open mind. The good news is that O's high level of service and culinary pleasure still exists. Embarkation was quick and efficient, and our cabin steward did his job diligently. As with several past cruises, our Deluxe Oceanview was upgraded (free) to a Veranda. While we no longer dine in Polo Grill or Toscana (both subpar), we had great dinners at Jacques and Red Ginger (and were able to snag a second night at Jacques). I love the glazed sea bass at RG!! Breakfast in the MDR (on mornings when we awoke early enough) was a delight. From flakey, buttery croissants to pancakes to smoked salmon - all were wonderful and the coffee just right. We never had breakfast in the Terrace Cafe; plan B was the Waves Grill for late breakfast, which provided nice omelettes, and one morning, a huevos rancheros special. This was basically a beach vacation for us, so there was no need for excursions this time. Private transport to beaches were readily available at the ports. O made one slight variation in time in port, which was a relief, as recent CC posts indicate O often makes significant time in port changes after final payment, sometimes not giving advance notice. Considering that there were often several ships in port simultaneously, the beaches we selected, such as Orient Beach on St. Martin and Cane Bay on Tortola, were not overcrowded and umbrellas and chairs for rental were plentiful. On Grand Turk we shared a taxi van with Carnival passengers to tour the island for 90 minutes, which was enjoyable as the driver was very knowledgable about island history. The Dominican Republic stop was a pleasant surprise, tendered to a small island with a beautiful beach right near the tender dock. On the negative side: - Entertainment was dismal for a high end cruise line. One show featured a juggler, another a pickpocket, and production shows had high tech bells and whistles but no standout talent. O's shows seemed better 5 years ago, and Celebrity's were better, with individuals getting standing ovations. - The Cruise Director had a charisma deficit, basically only made informational announcements, and was invisible onboard. - While MDR cuisine was great (with the exception of uninspired salads), wait staff seemed to be rushed and had less time to chat with. Perhaps they now have more tables to attend to, as similarly, another passenger indicated cabin stewards have more cabins to attend to. - O's bus transfer to MIA was a ripoff -$59 pp and all passengers were dropped off at one location, regardless of their departure terminal, leaving a long, schleppy walk with luggage for many. STILL, we had a wonderful time and would not hesitate sailing with O again! It's not just excellent staff service, but their sunny attitude and motivation that made the cruise a pleasure. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Slightly apprehensive as I was somewhat immobile for this trip.... and we were reliant on what the ship had to offer because we could not do any excursions or even get off the ship unless we were moored up as opposed to having to tender in ... Read More
Slightly apprehensive as I was somewhat immobile for this trip.... and we were reliant on what the ship had to offer because we could not do any excursions or even get off the ship unless we were moored up as opposed to having to tender in by lifeboats. we have cruised with Oceania before and we had high expectations - which were fully met this time. We need not have worried about being restricted to the ship, the enrichment programme was excellent, both lecturers very informative entertaining and quirky. And terrific variety. Both did not use notes and were extremely knowledgable and very friendly. Some lecturers can be knowledgable, others read form notes they have clearly read many times before and other simply cannot perform. The entertainment was interesting, we particularly enjoyed the pickpocket expert and have decided to increase our personal security both at home and when we travel, as a result of what we learned, again in an amusing way. The painting classes however were a disappointment. The artist was pleasant but did not know how to teach and he needed more guidance. I have done painting classes before and again, it is not good enough to be able to do something yourself, you have to be able to explain it to others! Not doing the excursions gave us the unexpected bonus of having the ship pretty much to ourselves when we were in port - blissful! also loved the old fashioned gentleman's library and the adjacent coffee bar and internet room...all very handy..... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
Don't get me wrong we had a good time because we had 11 family members and a gang of friends onboard. We are all Crystal veterans giving Oceania a try because they had a much better Christmas itinerary than Crystal this year. ... Read More
Don't get me wrong we had a good time because we had 11 family members and a gang of friends onboard. We are all Crystal veterans giving Oceania a try because they had a much better Christmas itinerary than Crystal this year. Embarkation was a breeze, debarkation was unbelievably tedious, disorganized and my son missed his 11:00AM flight. We were told by Oceania (I called myself) that no matter how many children were onboard, there would be no programs or babysitters. We considered bringing a nanny, but decided the kids (5 & 8) could stay up some nights and the parents would turn in early some nights. Upon arrival, we were told there would be a kids orientation at 4:30. The kids club (what?) was amazing and getting a babysitter was not a problem. Such a big fuss about no kids, we hate kids, we don't want kids...on Oceania. Guess what...people don't leave their kids home at Christmas! Oceania get over it and say most of the year we don't encourage kids, but at the holidays we understand. Ship and cabins were nice. We had a Penthouse and it had a nice amount of space. Alternative restaurants, especially Jacques were very good. However, the dining room was not good at all. We began referring to it as the Mess Hall. Very inconsistent food and sometimes down right bad service. The first night our dover sole came with sauce on it and bones in it. Crazy! Terrace was great at breakfast and sometimes good at lunch. Waves, the service was ridiculous. Rarely got what we asked for. A glass of wine took forever. We did the prepaid drink package which was $5000 for our group. Very inconvenient having to give your card everytime we ordered a drink. Oceania has to figure out a less intrusive way to manage their drink inventory. Yes, that's what we were told it was for. There was no organized Bridge for my husband. Not happy. The advertised times of port debarkation were cut short at many ports. Leaving sometimes at 4:00 instead of 8:00. St. Barts, for instance. I made hair appt.s in advance throughout the trip. When I got onboard, they had no record of them. Not life threatening, but very inconvenient. The service on the pool deck was poor. No one made eye contact and offered nothing. Yes, if you asked, they got whatever it was for you, but no offers. Water???? We had booked two subsequent trips on Oceania. One for 35 days and another for 18 days. We have canceled both. We realized we are Crystal people. Until Oceania becomes All Inclusive and beefs up their service we're not going back. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
Pros: 1. Food was outstanding. 5-star restaurant quality in the specialty restaurants. 2. Common areas very nice, such as impressive library area, nice fitness room, etc. Cons: 1. Web site makes it so difficult to sign up for ... Read More
Pros: 1. Food was outstanding. 5-star restaurant quality in the specialty restaurants. 2. Common areas very nice, such as impressive library area, nice fitness room, etc. Cons: 1. Web site makes it so difficult to sign up for a cruise, we almost gave up. 2. Embarkation process poor. Had to wait 3+ hours after boarding until our cabin was ready. They could have sequenced the boarding times to avoid the long wait. 3. Disembarkation was TERRIBLE. Mass crowds pushing and shoving for baggage. Oceania only requested 18 porters and 3 customs stations for 1,200 guests. The line for a porter was 45-60 minutes long. Elderly people were experiencing medical concerns because of the lengthy waits to get through the crowd. It took nearly 2-1/2 hours to disembark. 4. Only after the cruise was underway were the guests informed that the in-port times for all ports was being reduced. In fact, the total in-port time was reduced 20 hours, which was almost 20% of what was advertised. As a result, our Christmas dinner plans ashore had to be cancelled at the very last minute, leaving us with nothing special on what was to have been a special evening. We considered this to be unacceptable. We go on cruises to see sights in different places, not to see more of the inside of the ship. The advertising for this cruise was inaccurate. 5. Value: This is a higher than average priced cruise line, but besides the food, there was little that was much different than we've experienced on other lines. In short, the "value" was lacking. Other: Service was adequate, but we wondered if the automatic gratuities reduced the incentives of staff to provide outstanding service. Other cruise lines without automatic gratuities seem to have a better overall service level, in our experience. Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise