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11 Oceania Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

This cruise was selected for several reasons. For one, the reputation of Oceania for serving the best food on the ocean was an attraction. Also, the itenery ... we have been to Greece and Italy several times, but those traveling with us ... Read More
This cruise was selected for several reasons. For one, the reputation of Oceania for serving the best food on the ocean was an attraction. Also, the itenery ... we have been to Greece and Italy several times, but those traveling with us had not been to the Mediterranean. It also helped that the price was right! "The Good" ... The public space is lovely. Well cared for and immaculately clean. The staff is the most attentive that I have ever experienced on land or sea. The specialty restaurants were wonderful and diverse. It was refreshing to see that the policy of not allowing passengers to place a book and a hat on a pool lounge chair at 6:00 AM and then return to claim their space after lunch ... is being enforced. All cruise lines talk abut it, but do not have the gonads to enforce it. "The Bad" ... the main dining room was just average at best. It would take a good 15 minutes to be approached by staff. This happened 4 nights in a row. Once they started your table, the service was excellent. The food was dry and lacked flavor. We would have opted out of the main dining room if we had been allowed to dine in the specialty restaurants ... but you are only allowed to dine once in each specialty restaurants per leg of the cruise. If you were less than 45 minutes arriving to board the ship prior to the mandatory departure time, the tent, cold towels, and water were gone. This is not the biggest of deals if the ship is docked but if it is tendered ... good luck location the correct tender. We were forced to have The Princess Cruise Line staff help us find our tender in Santorini ... located in a totally different place than the AM landing point. If you have an independent excursion the staff will not pass out tender passes as you arrive. They wait until all of the cruise line tours are off and then announce that the independent passes will now be passed out ... so there is a major fight to claw yourself up the aisle hoping to secure a pass that allows you to only be 45 minutes late getting off the ship. "The Ugly" Our cabin ... I can only speak for our cabin, and I will not give you the cabin number since the stewardess that maintained this room was not responsible for the lack of preventive maintenance in this cabin. My only complaint with her was that she never replaced the shampoo with 2 days left on the cruise and our balcony glass was never cleaned. We were located at the rear of the ship and the vibration was unacceptable. The cables connecting the TV and the VCR were hanging out all over the place. The knob for the shower rain head kept falling off ... and being a round knob, try turning it on or off whit soap on your hands. The carpet in the room was filthy. The sheers had shrunk and were too narrow to close all of the way. The same issue was a problem with the blackout curtains, thus at 5:30 AM you were hit in the face with shards of sunlight. There were signs of the previous guest in the desk drawer. 2 postcards from a hotel and a Marriott desk pen. I worked for Hilton for 20 plus years and this alone would fail a room. Would I travel with Oceania again? Well, if the deal is good and the itenery is desirable ... you bet! But I do think that Oceania needs to save a bit of money and stop sending me cruise literature ... we something every day from them! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Marina is a beautiful ship and the public areas are not only amazingly gorgeous in their decor but the entire ship is just a joy to behold. All the public areas have amazing and interesting furniture, works of art, soft furnishings, ... Read More
Marina is a beautiful ship and the public areas are not only amazingly gorgeous in their decor but the entire ship is just a joy to behold. All the public areas have amazing and interesting furniture, works of art, soft furnishings, fabrics etc. The ports of call on this cruise were so interesting. We visited Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bari Italy, Corfu Greece, Zakynthos Greece, Valetta Malta, Catania Siciliy, Naples/Pompei and the cruise disembarked in Rome. The veranda stateroom on level 8 was very acceptable with a comfortable bed and it was clean and well presented. All of the staff were lovely as usual and did an excellent job. Shore excursions were all wonderful and very interesting and 'destination services' staff who organise the booking of on shore excursions did an excellent job. Entertainment was fairly tame but we had chef Jacques Pepin on board which was enough entertainment on its own and we so enjoyed seeing his face around the ship and at the book signing. Cruise Director and his male assistant were average and could have been more helpful with the following issue but I suspect he may have been unwell. Much to our disappointment this cruise was ruined by a mystery virus or food poisoning, which was reported the CDC. The captain made an announcement some days after the problem surfaced advising '...anyone who feels ill should remain in their room and notify the medical centre and the doctor would visit them in their room and the service would be complimentary (free)'. We soon discovered this was incorrect advice, the same incorrect advice was repeated a couple of days later in another announcement from the captain to our astonishment. The medical service was not free but was charged and the rates were quoted over the phone by a the nurse who would not send the doctor unless we agreed to be charged fees and reported certain symptoms. I had an extensive conversation with the general manager about the inconsistent advice from the captain. I was so glad that I had my own medical knowledge and carried medications with me for such events as I found the medical services on board rude and of no help at all. Obviously the hypocratic oath has a dollar value with the medical staff on this ship. The television, which is inadequate at the best of times with limited channels and poor picture bombarded us with a cruise director from another ship (Dottie) singing to us with instructions about how to wash our hands - it was repetitive, annoying and one didn't even want to turn the TV on. We were treated like children with the repetitive messages on the TV and around the ship about cleaning our hands and instead of having a wonderful experience we began to hate the cruise. All the elegant trimmings and presentations were removed from any dining experience and were greeted with all the food displays in the Terrace cafe being wrapped in cling wrap (as in the actual glass covered enclosures). We were forbidden from touching any food, we were policed about using the antibacterial fluids upon entry to food serving areas so much so that my hands suffered a severe outbreak rash from an allergic reaction the product - if I objected to using it on my hands that had just been washed in the adjacent bathroom I was not allowed into the dining room. We were not allowed to touch or even use a salt and pepper shaker let alone cutlery on the table - we were given cutlery wrapped in a napkin onto a totally bare table minus all the lovely Versace china and wine glasses that are normally displayed at their dining venues. We understood the precautions that they were taking but it was a horrid, policed, sanitary, unappealing cruise which soured our previously favourable view of Oceania and its management. We also lost faith in the ability of management to convey an accurate instruction to the passengers about medical care in the situation. They seemed to just be rubbing their hands together about charging people for a medical issue which was clearly out of control on board the ship. I was shocked to see a clearly unwell and exhausted staff member serving coffee in Baristas when he was clearly unwell and exhausted but someone must have signed him on as fit for duty. No wonder Oceania had a problem on board ship! I had a great deal of on board credit on this cruise - in excess of $US1000 and as the cruise was so dreadful I did not spend much of my on board credit. On the 6th day I received a letter stating I should go to reception before disembarkation day to receive a cash refund. I still have this letter even though the reception staff tried to keep it. I want it as proof of their poor attitude and inept service. The letter advising a cash refund softened my frustration and anger about the unpleasantness of the cruise due to matters beyond our control. I considered that was the least that Oceania could do for us given I'd paid thousands of dollars to do the cruise and it had been a complete disaster as far as a pleasant experience goes. When I took my letter to reception to collect the cash as per their instructions I was told that they wouldn't give it to me. It was non refundable. Having been refunded / reimbursed previously on another Oceania cruise that encountered a hurricane I had sincerely believe that they intended to do what they stated in their letter as a gesture of goodwill. (I stress that it was a voluntary refund and not requested). I felt humiliated and angry at being denied my money which they/Oceania told me to collect from reception desk. I was left on the last night of the cruise with a great deal of money not spent and refused a refund which Oceania put in writing and offered to give me. There were other passengers waiting in line who were being given the same news and they ushered them away to avoid a scene. Needless to say I left the cruise the next morning furious with Oceania management. From the Captain through to the Medical Staff through to the General Manager I felt that they all needed some training regarding delivering a clear and consistent message, honouring what they put in writing, customer service and how to not treat passengers like 5 year olds! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This is our fifth cruise and it was chosen because of the size of ship and the ports visited. Booked through a travel agent and all forms and tickets arrived prior to leaving our home base. Able to logon to the website and prefill details ... Read More
This is our fifth cruise and it was chosen because of the size of ship and the ports visited. Booked through a travel agent and all forms and tickets arrived prior to leaving our home base. Able to logon to the website and prefill details and preferences for cruise as well as book shore excursions and book restaurants. Our weather perfect, seas smooth so great conditions. We were really looking forward to this cruise but upon embarkation we were filled with gloom as we had just completed a different cruise just prior to this one that spoiled us. Our personal taste but but the decor felt dark, heavy and claustrophobic. Apparently refurb in 2014, certainly not in the decor area. Embarkation: After we dropped our bags we weren't sure where we were to proceed next, as I moved forward I was rudely told to stop and go out somewhere else. Signage or pleasant direction would be nice. Strange place, minimal sleep, people get confused or have no idea where to go. Apart from that desk check in quick and easy. Leaing and returning to ship slow and cumbersome with staff having to take your card and scan it, tap and go better option. Cabin: Penthouse Suite. Roomy with good sized verandah and nice outdoor furniture. Bed very comfortable, linens lovely, bathroom linen very good. No tea or coffee making facilities in this cabin but use of lounge or butler I suppose for this. Adequate storage in cabin and wardrobe great space with enough hangers for clothes. Safe inside wardrobe. Cabin lovely and clean and kept this way throughout the cruise. Bathroom amenities of good quality. Hand hygiene: Found it to be lax, hard to see the containers at times and the alcohol rub in the executive lounge was empty the entire cruise. Laundry: Price per item by staff or self serve laundry for use on each floor for a small price per wash and dry cycle. Iron available in laundry room. Cool bottled water available in laundry room. Executive Lounge: This was part of the Penthouse deal. It was a nice quiet area most of the time with nibblies, tea and coffee and computer and printing. Ruined of course by ignorant people that were dressed inappropriately, I mean shirtless man in shorts loudly talking and disturbing everyone there, then proceeding to "pick over" the foods for his selection even though tongs right on front of him. Yuk, Staff: Appeared friendly, nothing outstanding. Remember to place do not disturb sign on door whenever in cabin as had a few walkins when in cabin. Bit disconcerting. Meals: Found them to be average, served by staff behind glass that was good to stop people fingering food but lead to not really getting the amount or felt a bit rushed at times to make a decision. Tables cleared promptly, able to share tables if none available. Tried various restaurants but nothing really grabbed us with fantastic flavours. After all the hype about the food it wasn't for us. Tendering: Excellent. Boats good and well organised. Internet: our cabin came with 200 mins of free internet for one device at a time, most of the internet time spent was for it to connect or timed trying to connect to email or download small item.. Found it very frustrating and not really worth it. I do realise we are at sea but having experienced other at sea internet this was one of the slowest. Most people only want to look at emails or download their home newspaper etc not stream movies whilst away. Entertainment: TV in cabin and movies etc on offer poor choice, as tv internet based it was "thinking" a lot. Alcohol: Quite expensive, drank very little on board. Smoking: Found the designated smoking area to be too visible. Had to walk past it from our cabin to get to meals until we worked out a different route. Quite near the pool area. Could smell it all the time. The ports were ok, had previously been to Zadar but with Oceania we were in a port away from the main area. Did not use any of the port excursions, found them expensive. All in all, it was ok, for our expectations and the hype it was not to our taste. I wouldn't book again, some of the lesser cruises we have been on were better value and more enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This is my 4th time with Oceania in 4 years. Booked Sirena because of the supposedly upgrade to be completed by May 2016. Have previously cruised with Regatta, Insignia and Nautica. Very disappointed with the overall look of Sirena. No ... Read More
This is my 4th time with Oceania in 4 years. Booked Sirena because of the supposedly upgrade to be completed by May 2016. Have previously cruised with Regatta, Insignia and Nautica. Very disappointed with the overall look of Sirena. No where near as classy as other ships. we had an A1 class cabin. Bathrooms appear smaller than had before. No renovations to bathrooms, cannot get cold water in the bathroom either. Water filter is also poor, as not filtered enough. Face cloths become yellow when switch tap on over the cloth because of poor water filter. Staff are obliging but are lacking in service skills plus notice the decreased number of staff on the floor in all areas of food and service. Could not fault the meals, in choice or quality, hope this does not change because of ownership of Oceania in general. Horizons is lacking in quantity of furniture and overall look. Sirena lounge is also not adequately furnished for guests to see nightly shows. Poor lay out of seating as unable to see the show floor. No elevation of seats. Ship is smaller than others as missing proper barista lounge, executive lounge, 2 restaurants combined in one. All these things make a difference to your voyage. Will be avoiding Sirena in the future and chose one of the other ships. Much more pleasant ships. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Our first cruise with Oceania (Regatta) was a gem. We were especially impressed by the quality of the food, so we looked forward to the experience on their decades newer ship, the Riviera. Cabin was great. Service was great. Food was ... Read More
Our first cruise with Oceania (Regatta) was a gem. We were especially impressed by the quality of the food, so we looked forward to the experience on their decades newer ship, the Riviera. Cabin was great. Service was great. Food was awful because the hot food was all to often not hot. We were served supposedly hot food that was at refrigerator temperature. The only hope of being sure to get hot hot food was to only eat burgers at the pool side grill, and who wants to eat EU burgers three times a day for 12 days? Same experience in the specialty restaurants- Had a decent bowl of French onion soup, a mediocre entree accompanied by cold green beans, and an intentionally cold dessert (creme brulee). If you must travel on this disaster of the seas, the only safe way to eat is to go to the cafeteria and get a small serving of everything that's supposed to hot on your plate. Then start sampling. Odds are good that out of 6-8 supposedly hot options, you will find 2-3 that are fit to eat. They well may not be what you want to eat, but a hot fish beats a cold steak. I disagree with another comment which blames the sale of Oceania to NCL fro the decline in food quality. Our Riviera trip was before the sale, and there was a notable decline in the quality of food from our first Oceania cruise years before on the Regatta. Otherwise, nice boat. Great cabin. Good service. Had it not been for the ineptitude of the kitchen and the incompetence of reception* to provide information on the ports, this would have been a most enjoyable trip. But it wasn't. * I listened dumbfounded while the "expert" brought on broad from the local touristic office in Livorno told the people in front of me in the line for port information that the way to get to the train station to go to Pisa was to walk 2 miles up the street outside the port entrance to the main square to catch the # 10 bus. I knew the # 10 bus stopped outside the tobacco shop (where you can get bus tickets) 100 yards from the port. I decided to skip asking the 'local expert' how to get to Lucca by train, picked up a map and went off to the # 10 bus on our own. On arriving at the train station, far ahead of the guy in line ahead on me on the ship, it was easy finding the train to Lucca Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
As with anything everyone has a different taste so what appeals to one may not please another, so this is our personal opinion of the cruise. To us it appears Oceania's target market is somewhat older than us and less mobile (average ... Read More
As with anything everyone has a different taste so what appeals to one may not please another, so this is our personal opinion of the cruise. To us it appears Oceania's target market is somewhat older than us and less mobile (average age on our cruise was announced at 72) this influences everything on the cruise from setting the pace for excursions, food selection and preparation , entertainment and the constant Muzak played on deck. We put some of the fault on our Travel Agent as well as the cruise industries brochures. It would be a good idea to adopt some of the practices of the Coach Tour brochures and have a true indication of who a particular cruise line would appeal to. For example, a fair disclosure on this cruise would be that Oceania is geared to appeal to non-independent travelers in the over 65 age range who prefer a leisurely pace. As soon as we arrived home we sent emails to Oceania requesting we be removed from all their mailing lists as it's obvious we aren't in their market. Stateroom Our stateroom was very spacious for a cruise ship and very comfortable. There were more than enough drawers and hangers for our clothes. We would have preferred a larger shower stall as we didn't use the bathtub. The ship staff was very pleasant and efficient but no better or worse than we have experienced on NCL or Carnival (not as good as Uniworld) who tend to be our benchmark). We probably expected more from Oceania given their supposed premium rating and price. We found the laundry room on each deck to be a pleasant surprise and feel it should be mentioned more proximately in the brochure Dining Our meals were often served not hot, entrees marked as spicy were mild at best. Red Ginger was the best for a change of pace but even there I had to send back an entree that was supposed to be spicy and served not even mild. Finally our server brought out a portion of the spices used and I was able to make it more to my taste. The only choices of vegetables offered at any of the dining rooms are steamed variety of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower or green beans and shallots. This became quite boring after a while. They had the same cuts of meat at all the dining rooms just prepared differently. Wine prices are very outrageous for example a bottle of $7.00 California wine was $54.00 on Marina. We found the house wine from Chile to be acceptable and only selected wine by the bottle on occasion. Since they allowed you to have wine in your cabin purchased off the ship we purchased several fine local wines while in port that we sipped on our balcony. We really enjoyed Baristas and it wasn't long before the barista knew what we wanted before we asked. Unfortunately it closed at 6PM and there was nowhere to have a coffee or tea outside of picking it up in the Terrace Cafe or a bar, we didn't always feel like room service and sitting in our cabin. Ports Stops in Egypt were our main reason for choosing this cruise so its cancellation was a major disappointment. I contacted Oceania by phone upon being informed of the change of port, while I realize the decision to change ports had to be made in advance I feel the port chosen was a very poor substitute. I don't think very many people would look and say "I have to take this cruise it stops in Antalya." Also it took us well off the original course resulting in really only a half extra day in Ashdod. A stop in one of the Greek islands or Piraeus (Athens) would have kept the ship closer to Israel. Other than that the ports were pretty much as advertised. Shore excursions and the Destinations desk on the ship We found the excursions while expensive were pretty much hit and miss. We had very good guides in Ibiza and Istanbul, not so much in Israel. People who commented on the guides who didn't go in the museums should realize that some museums have their own guides would have been paid separately from the tour guides, we didn't have enough time to warrant hiring one so I don't think looking by yourself at your own pace was a bad choice. We didn't use Oceania's excursions in several ports or our pre-cruise in Barcelona. If you weren't buying an excursion the staff at the desk was not helpful at all nor was the representative in Barcelona. We had planned Barcelona but still had a few questions the only thing they offered was a coach tour of Barcelona on the morning of the day we sailed. When we declined her attempt to up sell us, suddenly we were the last people arriving and she was going home. The receptionist in the hotel was very helpful and gave us maps and directions as well as pointing out some significant landmarks we could use if we lost our way. When we asked at shore excursions for information on Antalya once again the only thing offered were the Oceania excursions, we had decided with some research to just take the shuttle bus and sight see ourselves. We were surprised that as soon as we declined the excursions the Destination staff's reply was that it was the first time they had stopped there and they really had no other information except the excursions. As it turned out there was a tourist information booth as soon as we got off the shuttle bus and we found our way around and saw everything that was on the walking tour. As well we had 2 hours to spend in the Archeological Museum ( audio headsets were available at a reasonable price so we had a good explanation of the displays as well) while an Oceania tour that arrived while we were there was whisked through in a minimum of time. Entertaiment and Activivities We only attended the show on the first night and only stayed for about fifteen minutes. The entertainment appeared to be aimed at a target market older than us, watching the highlights of the shows on the TV in our room confirmed this simply not our thing. There was nothing else offered in this time period and we felt that it would have been a good time to offer some lectures on the ports of call or repeat some of the day's activities that were only offered while active people were ashore. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Having just completed an 10 port cruise from Athens, around the Black Sea to Istanbul on Oceania Cruises "Regatta," I was tremendously impressed with the seamanship demonstrated by its master, Vitaliy Silvachynsky, and his crew. ... Read More
Having just completed an 10 port cruise from Athens, around the Black Sea to Istanbul on Oceania Cruises "Regatta," I was tremendously impressed with the seamanship demonstrated by its master, Vitaliy Silvachynsky, and his crew. He made an unassisted docking at Sochi in Russian so perfectly that an egg suspended between the dock and the ship would not have even been cracked. And it had to have given our master, a native Ukranian, a special thrill to do this with his family on board while two Russian tugs hung around uselessly, who could only watch in admiration. And watching our master battle his way into our final port Istanbul, when his docking space was being hogged by a competitor who had overstayed his berthing schedule, ESTour's creaky rehabbed Carnival liner redubbed "Aegean Paradise," and fight with the harbor master for being allowed tender service to keep faith with his passengers' tour schedules was enlightening. Enroute, the meal service, quality, and attentiveness of the crew on every level were absolutely superb. The staterooms delivered clean, useful, and well-maintained space at a competitive price. And the entertainment was adequate with a good comedian and an extraordinary Polish Tatra quartet who could play anything from Jerome Kern to an obscure movement of a Dvorak quartet. And like most cruises, the drinks were overpriced and the sluggish internet service was an invitation to bankruptcy with every use plan optimized to trade your expense and inconvenience in favor of Oceania. Several scholars on board gave some excellent background on our ports of call at no cost to Oceania. But the real surprise was how poor the over 50 land tours arranged enroute by Oceania's "Destination Services" department were. They sure weren't cheap. Some gave the passenger 5 hours crowded into a bus with a guide who knew little more about where they were going than a paragraph in any guidebook-- for the price of a weekend in NYC with a Broadway show. One I took gave me a four hour trip to construction sites in what is left of the Russian Riviera in Sochi, Russia, a trip to a dried up stream bed smelling like rotten eggs which supplied a "famous spa" (which we weren't allowed in) and a trip to a Botanical Gardens in which our Oceania guide could barely distinguish between the grass and the trees, and while any other visitor got an illustrated guide to the collection, none of us on the tour did... and all for a mere $338. My complaints about this particular tour were complimented by John Mortensen, the Regatta's "Destination Services Manager" as "positive and constructive feedback" and I (and others who had complained) were given the same unctuous assurance that "we stand by the quality of our staff and shore excursion program" common to morticians and bureaucrats the world over.... But not enough to refund the fee having admitted lousy service. Some tours went well, but 2/3 of mine were a total waste of money. I learned that when the ship docked far better tour guides showed up at a lot lower cost, some on foot only, others with cabs. And if they didn't, there was still plenty of time to book an Oceania tour and take a chance. And the internet today gives a lot of flexibility in finding tour guides abroad in advance. As Cruise Critic readers know. It can't be as easy to arrange top guides in 10 ports as it is to arrange top prices, but it would be nice if one felt Oceania was making an effort to do so. Seemed to me like the Destinations Services crew was so busy servicing destinations that they were allowed no time to properly research its guides on site. If the cruise prices make sense to you, expect any site excursions will be up to you. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Regatta is a beautiful ship. We were on a 12 day Italian Interludes out of Rome ending in Venice. We stopped in Monaco, Capri, Sorrento, Sicily, Greece, Dubrovnik, and Venice. We were a group of 8 people flew in from the US 2 days before ... Read More
Regatta is a beautiful ship. We were on a 12 day Italian Interludes out of Rome ending in Venice. We stopped in Monaco, Capri, Sorrento, Sicily, Greece, Dubrovnik, and Venice. We were a group of 8 people flew in from the US 2 days before the cruise. Very easy embarking- we waited maybe 30 minutes and got straight aboard. The service was excellent. It was nice seeing the same staff members every day. I have previously cruised with RCI, Princess, and Celebrity. Celebrity being my favorite line. Oceania had maybe 700 people, which was great with dining- but nightlife was terrible. The "night club" was an on air jukebox where you could pick songs you wanted to play. The entertainment was in a small ballroom where chairs are set out for guests to sit. This is not by any means an auditorium. The Entertainment staff was very talented, however, the shows were lacking in appeal as I would see many people leave halfway through them. Oceania truly targets an older audience. Even on board activities were limited to wine/ liquor tastings (hey- didn't have much else to do)or late night bingo (8pm) and the pool was always crowded. Food was outstanding. The visit to the Steakhouse was one on my best experiences I have ever had. The ports were incredible. Being that she was such a small ship, we were able to tender to smaller ports like Capri. ( Previously sailed Solstice for Greek Isles cruise and we had to go through Naples to get to Amalfi- so from a convenience standpoint it was great) We did have one issue. In Dubrovnik, Oceania literally reserves 1 bus for 700 people to ferry them into Old town. We found that people were pushing and shoving to get on the bus. We waited 45 minutes in a puddle of people ( no line/ tickets etc for those who came first) and were ultimately shoved off the coach. Thus, we never made into our port. It was most disappointing and frustrating considering this was one of the highlight ports. The buses only came back every hour and we were only in port for 6. Also, there were several other cruise ships in port so traffic was insane as for what I understand. Other than that mishap and lack of appeal for a younger crowd- Oceania is a great deal. Airfare was included in our cruise price as well as all beverages minus alcohol. If you are a younger demographic- I would bring a big group along as to enjoy yourself. Go for the itinerary and the price- do not go for the nightlife or activities available on board. Would I sail Regatta again? With the right people and the right itinerary- absolutely- Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
The disappointment started in Barcelona we wanted to spend a day and a half of sightseeing in Barcelona we asked Oceania to get us a room at a hotel they suggested the Rey Juan Carlos This was a terrible choice because of its non ... Read More
The disappointment started in Barcelona we wanted to spend a day and a half of sightseeing in Barcelona we asked Oceania to get us a room at a hotel they suggested the Rey Juan Carlos This was a terrible choice because of its non desireous location a long distance from any central Location. Secondly the cruise line charged us 2 1/2 times the published rate of the hotel. the Biggest aggravation was that we had to be out of our rooms by 8:30 am to take bus to the ship Which we could not get to our cabins till after 3:00 pm. It seems that the entire reason for that was To sell us an overpriced 4 hour tour of Barcelona. The ship itself was beautiful but how bad can a new ship be. The thing that was touted by Oceania Was the food and for the most part it was very acceptable. the buffet food was plentiful but I kinda Like my food served hot and this was impossible. The famous restaurant Jaques was a total dissapointment the food was good but not exceptional . The thing that disturbed me most was the French onion soup gratinee a total dissapointment I have had better at a local diner. The two venues that were good were Red Ginger(good service,hot food good presentation and very satisfying, The other was Polo also good service, hot food, good presentation. Also the main dining room was Quite adequate but not outstanding. Thing that also seemed that every aspect of the trip was only for the convenience of Oceania On the day of debarkation we were told to have our luggage out in front of our cabins by 8:00 am and Had to be out of our cabin by 9:00am . We were bussed to the Istanbul airport at 9:30 am and We had to wait at the airport with our luggage for over 2 hours we could not check in to our flights untill 2 hours before flight time. The thing I recommend to every one do not bring your computer for the Wi Fi is so slow that it is aggravating and they charge a fortune for the service $21.95 per day plus one time install charge of $3.95. Also do not book a hotel through the cruise line, also book your flights on your own to your own convenience. And book your own tours they are much less expensive usually better more comfortable and more convenient you will save as much as 75% Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
By the time I added the cruise cost and my final bill, I could have cruised the luxury lines for very little extra.  I would have had a suite almost twice the size and and forgotten how to sign my name.  Not to mention having to order ... Read More
By the time I added the cruise cost and my final bill, I could have cruised the luxury lines for very little extra.  I would have had a suite almost twice the size and and forgotten how to sign my name.  Not to mention having to order doubles to taste the booze.On the plus side, the staff was very attentive (though only one or two staff took the time to learn our names in two weeks, remember our desires (like real creamas we sat at the same tables with the same wait staff).  Destination staff was really lacking in attentiveness, responsiveness to problems with tours and general demeanor.Polo and Toscana were saviors as the dining room was at best hit or miss.  HAL and Princess do a better job at mass dining with no special orders allowed:  not even shrimp cocktail when not on the menue.Itineraries seem to be the saving grace for Oceania.   They are unique compared to others and the ship size for the money (though not cheap by any means) allows docking at smaller ports.Sea Dream II docked along side in Kusadasi.  A breath of fresh air.  I took some friends for a tour (having sailed SD many times, I knew the Captain, Christophe, Frank, and others).  Christophe took us on the tour and while in the spa treated us to a 10 minute massage.  I honkered down at the Top of the Yacht for at least one complimentary champagne (it was noon somewhere).  We almost jumped ship as there were a few cabins available and they were on their day 2 of 9.  Alas, the dog would not have appreciated us.  SD II....now we are talking small and wonderful!!Having done a few two week and longer curises, this was the first that I could not wait to get home.  Enough was enough.OH!!  We received a gift early in our cruise on our bed one evening:  a small tube of sanitizer....was that a clue or what.  No other notification from the ship but several cruisers had to have IV's due to dehydration.  I think the greatest profit center on our cruise was the doctors office!!OH!! The internet computer program on Oceania "sucks".  At amost a $1.00 per minute and slow as mollasses.  Silversea is only 40 cents a minute and twice as fast.  Oh, Well there is a Starbucks at almost every port with free WiFi.And to my predecessor's comment about the magician, Harry Maurer and the "lovely" Carol Ann, they were delightful and entertaining.  Besides, I wanted to see the 3 ring trick and the rope trick again and again.  The certainly outshined the social hostess singing (good voice lousy program).Speaking of quality, the cruise director Dotti, was always entertaining except for her growner joke about the 3 legged dog...(I gave that to her and she used it !!!) and her husband Tom, the comedian, were spectacular.  OK!  That should be enough flavor for one cruise and one review.ASHDOD AND HAIFA Israel is one of the most interesting countries I have sailed to. A full day walking tour of Jerusalem didn't even scratch the surface. When you go a local guide on a personal tour is an absolute necessity. Haifa is the gateway to the Golan Heights. GO GO GO! We actually left the ship in Ashdod overnighted at the Crown Plaza in Haifa and rejoined the next night. The local color in Haifa and the added touring time was well worth the cost of the hotel. Alexandria and Port Said in Egypt were overkill. They both are about 3 hours from Cairo and the National Museum (a must) and Giza to see the pyramids (once is enough and once is necessary). Read Less
Sail Date June 2009
My sister and I took this cruise together and she lives in Mississippi and I in Texas. From the beginning, Oceania sent everything to me. My sister never received one thing directly from the cruise line. I had to email or mail her ... Read More
My sister and I took this cruise together and she lives in Mississippi and I in Texas. From the beginning, Oceania sent everything to me. My sister never received one thing directly from the cruise line. I had to email or mail her everything which was extremely irritating considering how much we paid for the cruise. I have been on several cruises and each time it was with someone who lived in a different town, but all of those line were able to get info to each passenger individually. We had a terrible time getting to Istanbul - cancelled flights, etc. and we did not arrive at the ship until almost 2:00 a.m. We were completely exhausted when we boarded and the reception didn't give the escort our card keys so we had to wait for her to go back to the front desk and retrieve the key. We had a penthouse level suite and from the pictures on the website, we expected more than we got. The room was not very big and we were definitely disappointed. I thought the bathroom was a decent size as was the bathtub. I loved the size of the verandah, but the panels separating each verandah gave very little privacy and they rattled terribly during windy nights at sea. We called up someone from maintenance and they couldn't eliminate the noise which was very distracting. When we were getting settled in the room, my sister called to get one of the hypo-allergenic pillows that they advertise on their website only to be told that they did not have any. My sister is very allergic to down so we never went to bed that night which was approximately 72 hours without sleep. She was able to get one the next day. The other thing that bothered us was the noise from level 9 (the pool deck) when they moved the chairs around every morning at 5ish. It doesn't seem to be the brightest move to have the suites right under that level. After reading all of the rave reviews about the food on Oceania, we were so excited about trying the food. I can't say that I thought that it was better than other ships that I have been on. It was fine, but that is about all I can say. The only outstanding meal that I had was in Polo Grill - the rack of lamb was cooked to perfection and it was truly the best lamb that I have ever eaten. Pretty much everything else was mediocre. I did enjoy the pasta of the day prepared at Tapas on the Terrace. One of the guys made it to order each night. The sandwiches at Waves were also very good and the lemonade was excellent. The personnel on the ships were for the most part excellent. Our butler, Dimitry, was wonderful and our cabin stewardess, Maria, was outstanding. Nipat, one of the pool waiters, was so sweet that we wanted to bring him back with us. The security officers who check people on and off of the ship bordered on rude. I can't forget to mention Philippe, the reception manager. He was so nice and helpful and I really enjoyed getting to know him. The tender situation sucked! I have never been on a cruise where they make you get a ticket so by the time that we figured out that we needed a ticket, they stopped the tenders going to mykonos because of the rough seas. We found out later that this was the third time in the last three cruises that this had occurred. Seems like they should figure out some other alternative if it happens so often. That was the one place that I most wanted to return to since I know several people there and I wanted to visit. It was very disappointing. They also do not enforce the policy about saving deck chairs on the pool level. We only had two sea days since the itinerary was so port intensive. On one of those days, they opened the upper level sun deck and we went up there to sun, but on the second day, it was too windy for them to open that deck. We watched several chairs that had personal effects on them and no one sat in them for over three hours. My sister and I were not able to get a chair next to each other. I also hated the nickel and dimeing they do on board. I think it is ridiculous that they charge for soft drinks. You would think that at a minimum guests in a suite should get one a day. I don't have a problem with a charge for alcohol, but soft drinks? Especially considering how few children sail on this line. I love that the cruise is non-smoking, but we were able to smell the smoke from level 9 on the starboard side (one of the designated smoking areas) when we sat on our verandah at night since the window to that area was right above us. We knew that entertainment was not the strong suit of this cruise line so we didn't have very high expectations. We only went to one night's program and it was so bad that we never went to anything else. The string quartet at high tea was very good and we did enjoy listening to them. High tea was also very nice. We only had one spa service and that was a facial. It was very relaxing and the technician was very professional. We also enjoyed using the thesolatherapy pool that is in the spa area. The ship also has a decent workout facility and library. One final word on the cruise - the passengers. This was by far the rudest group of traveler that I have ever encountered. I thought that maybe we felt that way since we were not "a couple", but we talked to our neighbors, L and J, and they felt the same way. They spoke with one of the ship's employees (I won't mention any names in case it might cause the person trouble), and he/she said that it was the rudest group that had been on the ship since he/she had been employed there. If these people were as rude in port, then I know where the term "ugly American" comes from. The only thing that was entice me to sail with Oceania again would be the size of the ship, the no-smoking policy, and the staff and crew on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2007
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