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87 Oceania Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

This was our 4th cruise with Oceania and we were just on the Riviera in February for a Caribbean cruise. Oceania is our cruiseline of choice because we like the size of the ship and the excellent food and service. Pre-Cruise: We flew ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with Oceania and we were just on the Riviera in February for a Caribbean cruise. Oceania is our cruiseline of choice because we like the size of the ship and the excellent food and service. Pre-Cruise: We flew into Venice a day early and stayed at a hotel near the Piazza Roma and enjoyed the sights of Venice. We had a private tour of Venice the morning of boarding so we did not get to the ship until mid-afternoon so there was no line for checkin and the Terrace Cafe was empty when we went for a quick lunch. Cabin: We were in a PH2 on deck 10 (#10035) which was right next to the elevators but there was no problem with noise and we really liked the convenience of being close to the elevators. The cabin was big enough for us and had plenty of storage space. I especially like the walkin closet and all the drawers.Our butler was great and whenever we called for extra ice or sparkling water it was delivered quickly. We only did 1 breakfast in the room and it came on time and was hot. Dining: We found the dining and food on the Riviera to be just as good as on previous cruises. We had most of our breakfasts in the main dining room and the staff were always very pleasant and the food was good, We usually had lunches ashore. Dinners were mainly in the specialty restaurants and we were fortunate to get an extra reservation in both Red Ginger and Jacques (our 2 favourites). We enjoyed all the food and the only time we had an issue was when we brought a bottle of wine we had bought onshore to the Terrace Cafe for dinner and they could not locate it. They did eventually find it but then the wine steward was not around very often so we had to ask for service to get our glasses refilled. Service was good in all the other restaurants. Shipboard Activities: This was a port intensive cruise so we did not get to many of the shipboard activities.We did enjoy the pool and spa deck, the string quartet before dinner and afternoon tea. The pool was very busy most days since it was very hot out. The spa deck was really hot so we didn't stay up there for very long. We noticed the demographics were very different on this cruise with a lot more families and children and generally a livelier crowd. The bars were very busy! We didn't go to any of the evening shows but noticed that the musical productions were the same as what we saw in February. Excursions: We did mostly private excursions not through Oceania and they were very good. We did 2 excursions with Oceania. The first was to Murano & Burano and we enjoyed the boat ride to the islands and the tour guides gave a good description of the lagoon and the islands. The glass blowing demonstration in Murano was interesting and there was enough free time to walk around afterwards. In Burano we skipped the lace demonstration and had a nice lunch instead. The second excursion was in Corfu to the Acheillion Palace. This was an OE excursion so it was quite a bit more expensive but with a smaller group(12 people) in a van. However, we went to the same places as the large group so it was just as crowded. The tour guide was good and we had the earpieces so we could hear her, but I did not think it was worth the extra dollars. Ports: We enjoyed all the ports but found them to be very crowded with tourists and it was very hot while we were there. This took away from our enjoyment , especially in Santorini, but this is not a fault of Oceania. We usually found a nice cafe or restaurant near the water and spent a few hours there eating and people watching! Disembarkation: This was the easiest and fastest disembarkation I have ever experienced. They made the announcement, we walked off, got our luggage and were off on our tour of Athens in about 5 minutes. Fantastic! Overall, we enjoyed this cruise and are happy with Oceania and the Riviera. We are looking forward to our two future cruises! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit Israel and the Greek Isles. We spent 3 days in Athens before the cruise and 2 after the cruise. We have been cruising since the early 80's. We chose this ship because we aren't ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit Israel and the Greek Isles. We spent 3 days in Athens before the cruise and 2 after the cruise. We have been cruising since the early 80's. We chose this ship because we aren't comfortable with very large or very small ships. 1,250 passengers was just right for us. Embarkation and debarkation went very smooth. The ship is well laid out. The food in all venues was excellent. We visited the Terrace Buffet one evening and they were grilling lobster tails, lamb chops, slicing prime rib, and serving dover sole. It was excellent. The specialty restaurants were very good. Service was excellent in all restaurants. The ports; Crete, Haifa, Cyprus, Patmos and Santorini were excellent. We missed one port, Rhodes, because the winds were too strong. It added an additional day at sea which was nice. We didn't attend the shows. We turn in about 10:30. The casino was fun, glad to see they still have a craps table. I did feel somewhat sorry for children and teenagers on this ship. Oceania's target market is not children. It is a mature audience. Looking at their advertisement material, it never shows kids. Leave them home. It is a mature audience. This isn't a party ship. We met wonderful people from all over the world. Most of them experienced travelers. Many passengers were on extended stays or were repeat customers. We will definitely sail on this ship again. We did a suite, 1000 sq. ft. It was beautiful. Very comfortable, butler service was excellent. My only complaints are they need to improve internet connection. Also, the only area that seemed to be tired was the deck chairs in the outside pool area in the Canyon Ranch Spa. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this ship and cruise because of the itinerary - great combination of three days in Israel plus Greek Islands. Also, we are foodies and had heard the food was great, and finally, we do not like a super large ship or one that caters ... Read More
We chose this ship and cruise because of the itinerary - great combination of three days in Israel plus Greek Islands. Also, we are foodies and had heard the food was great, and finally, we do not like a super large ship or one that caters to lots of kids. The food in the main dining room was truly awesome every day - wonderful presentation and unique recipes. Also loved Toscana and Jacques. Did not like Red Ginger (freezing cold in there too) - recipes and flavors not to my liking - odd twist on Thai. We have outstanding Vietnamese, Dim Sum, and Chinese in our home town of Philadelphia - this was not good. Also, dinner up at the buffet area does not even come close to what is served in the other restaurants, soggy baked potatoes, lesser meat quality, soggy lobster tails. All of the restaurants are BEAUTIFUL with outstanding service, china, linens. Versace China in Toscana, for example. Fantastic decorating - Kudos. Lighting a little bit too bright however in some of them. The entire ship is spotless and very well kept and elegant. Not too large and easy to get around. Maybe it was the itinerary - but it seemed that most of the passengers were frumpy looking in the way they dressed with zero style - Attention Walmart Shoppers- was sort of shocked by this. Even at dinner. A lot of "red state" passengers, many of whom were vocal about it at dinner - found this unpleasant and really not acceptable behaviour when you are dining with people you do not know (even if you do know them). We found a mix of Americans, Austrailians, Brits and Asian passengers - mostly older as it has been stated. The evening entertainment was very good and very professional - but geared to an older crowd - we are in our sixties - not our eighties - would like some classic rock or acoustic, etc. We had a cabin with an extended veranda that also included chaise lounges - that was a very nice feature and we enjoyed it quite a bit. We did go on three of the tours but did not appreciate being herded into the tour director's choice of shops, etc. He chose an awful one in Jerusalem with tacky souvenirs and many wooden crosses. There were other places I would have loved to go into but no chance was given. Same thing happened on the way back from Lindos on Rhodes - one couple was THIRTY minutes late and we should have left without them - they never apologized. We then had to stop for a pottery demonstration - that was not listed on the tour itinerary and we were already late getting back to the ship. Time is valuable and i do not like having mine taken from me. Cabins are very comfortable and bed is amazing - it said ours came with a Queen size but it seemed to be a king - was very large. Great linens and mattress so comfortable. Very nice housekeeping, free water, soft drinks, etc. We did not take the beverage package - you have to drink a LOT to make that worthwhile. However, the cocktails are super tiny and they don't really carry the premium brands my husband likes such as Bulleit or Woodford or Knob Creek Bourbon or Bulliet Rye. Great room service and Housekeeping outstanding as well. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our 1st Oceania cruise aboard the Riviera, but approximately our 15th cruise, having cruised Celebrity, NCL, RCCL, Holland America and Celebrity (along with a small river cruise in Asia). Overall great impressions with some ... Read More
This was our 1st Oceania cruise aboard the Riviera, but approximately our 15th cruise, having cruised Celebrity, NCL, RCCL, Holland America and Celebrity (along with a small river cruise in Asia). Overall great impressions with some "comments" that I'll note below. We choose Oceania Riviera because of a great special we found via TravelZoo - received discounted cruise fare (basically 2-1), included airfare (more on that later), free unlimited WiFi on board (one device at a time only), and a choice of house beverage package, shore excursions or ship board credit. We usually do not spend this much on a cruise, but since the airfare to Europe was included and Oceania has a great policy of having many "extras" included that other cruise lines nickle and dime you for, plus we were looking for a more "upscale" experience, we thought we would give it a try. We did opt to upgrade to the prestige beverage package (on board at Reception) and it was worth it for us. Gave you more flexibility. I would have liked some more variance in the wine by the glass options at different bars, but still decent selection. Pretty good selection of beers but no craft style beers (that would be nice addition). Nice choose of sparkling wines and Champagne. Oceania does it right to include bottled waters (still/sparking), juice, smoothies, coffee, sodas, etc in your cruise price. Mini fridge in room with small selection of items and 2 large still bottled waters in cabin per day. Robes and slippers were provided for use during trip. Many people seemed to like to wear these to the pool - which I found somewhat odd. Ship: beautiful. About 4 years old I believe. The ship holds about 1250 passengers and we were told there were about 1200 on board. So while almost full, it never felt really crowded (other than the few days we tried breakfast in the Terrace Cafe - buffet). It is so easy to get around the ship. We are used to bigger cruise ships and while it did lack some of the extra activities and more bars/things to do - it felt very serene and relaxing. Good atmosphere. Ship seemed very clean and staff was very friendly (with exception of a horribly rude piano player, Bobby, in Martinis Bar). Everyone else was super accommodating (I don't think they know the word "No"!) and very helpful - for example even in Terrace Cafe they will take your plate of food for you and bring it to your table. Lots of interesting art work around the ship. Casino - just OK - 4 tables - 2 with black jack, one with poker and the other I never saw open. roulette and I think craps. Slots machines - OK - but none of the newer type which I prefer. CAsinon bar in middle of the casino was great with good serve and drinks. The lobby area, while beautiful, it a bit of a let down from the large mega cruise ships. Spa/Fitness Center is very nice. The Fitness center is pretty large for this sized ship and had nice equipment (though limited number) and a nice sized room for stretching, exercises, yoga, etc. The machines were very nice and most of them offered you a nice view out the large windows. Towels and selection of water, gatorade, etc was included. Cabins: We had 8032 a regular Verandah cabin - I think about 282 sq feet. Nice size and larger than the other ships we have been on. Did get lots of offers to upgrade for a fee (upsells), but decided to stick with this cabin. Storage space was adequate. Room was pretty roomy and comfortable. Bed was awesome!!!! Room was quiet. Bathroom - larger than other ships, but felt that the separate bath/shower was a waste of room for us and would have loved a larger walk in shower. The walk in shower was a bit tight but had 2 shower heads and plenty of hot water. Bathroom was attractive looking. Had flat screen TV with DVD player (not Blu Ray). TV stations a bit limited, but had several news stations and music stations and the daily lectures on ports from our cruise director were informative. They do give you Bvlgari amenities that included lotion, shampoo-bath gel and conditioner. They were fine, but nothing I'd rave about. Nice that we did not have to worry about packing these items. While our room was kept clean and comfortable, the floor carpeting could have used a good cleaning. Dining: This is where Oceania excels. The specialty dining restaurants were awesome and my only disappointment was that we were unable to secure more than the guaranteed 4 nights (one in each specialty). It is so great they are included in your cruise price. Can't say enough about how yummy the food was (especially Jacques & Red Ginger). All were fabulous though. Book your reservations early when they open up. Be open to sharing your table as we had some fun dinners with other couples. The main dining room (Grand Dining Room) was good - though I sometimes felt the menu was just so-so on choices. The food was good however and serve was great. We usually ate our breakfast in the Grand dining room and it was good. Prefered that to Terrace Cafe. Waves Grill is a good alternative for a quick lunch or later breakfast, though the menu is limited and didn't seem to change, so after the 1st couple of times there we avoided it for the lack of variety. The coffee bar (Barristas) offers pastries in the morning and small sandwiches at lunch time and little baked goods throughout the rest of the time. This was the only place on the ship where I could find smaller sized pastries which I love. I don't like to waste a whole large pastries that seemed to be everywhere else. The food overall was good or sometimes better than other cruise lines - definitely a selling point for O. Complaints: without a Concierge or above level cabin, your room service breakfast was only cold choices. Though the rest of the time 24 hour room - nice! Good selections and good food (turkey burger was fab and cheese plate a great late night snack). Also we boarded quite late due to the flight plans and there was nothing to eat until 6pm dinner and we were starved! Oh you must do the afternoon 2 - I only had a chance to do it 2 times - but it was great! There are happy hours (2x per day) on the ship were you can get deals on drinks if you don't have the Prestige drink package. Dress code was country club casual and people seemed to adhere - it was nice not to worry about having to dress too formally. Embarkation in Rome - you are a long taxi/ride from the airport (FCO) - take that into consideration - probably took us 45 minutes and there was traffic. Opted to take a shared taxi with 2 other friends - total cost was $130 Euros (the ship charges much much more than that). Getting a taxi was quick and easy as they are all over a FCO and easy to find the taxi line. Getting processed and on the ship was easy (see above complaint re lack of food availability - we got on just after 4pm when dining room (Terrace) had closed. Entertainment: Only saw 2 shows - they all seemed to be at 9:30/9:45 - the singing and dancing were pretty decent, but not up to other cruise line standards. Cruise director Nolan was great and we enjoyed the daily rounds of trivia including name that tune. Shuffleboard and croquet on Deck 15 were fun - but since we were port intensive not a lot of free time except for morning on ship sailing to Zadar. The pool is nice - salt water, but deep (6 feet) with no swallow end. 2 hot tubs - a bit hot for me - but relaxing. Nice lounges and towels and one day they brought out blankets - very nice. Deck area seemed large enough for our cruise, but this was early November so a bit off season. The Culinary Center was a highlight for me. Take one of the cooking classes if you can - it was great!! Did not use the Artists Loft at all. The string orchestra was amazing! They played several times throughout the day at various locations. Just wonderful. Also Emmanuel was a wonderful singer and she gave a great show about Edith Piaf that was quite moving. Don't miss if you can see it. Music several nights in the Horizons lounge that was fun. We did some dancing. Due to port intensive we did not have a lot of late nights, but I heard from some people there was disco dancing until 2pm (which for the older skew of the ship seemed odd - but heard there were like 5 people - lol). Glad to see O accommodated them. Service: outstanding! Better than some other lines we have been on for sure. Though found it odd that we did not meet our cabin steward until day 3. I loved the absence of "upsells" announcements on O (i.e. jewelry selling announcements, watches, no push for photos - well no photos that I saw). Made for it being peaceful and relaxing on board. Ports & Excursions: I would not recommend using O's shore excursions. 1st I found them outrageously expensive than other options and I heard many complaints from others who did go with them - from being overcrowded (buses of 50 people), problems understanding the Guides, etc. It was easy for us to get off the ship wherever we docked (unlike other cruise lines where you have 3000 plus people all trying to get off). Loved the bottled waters given as you departed for shore each day. Nice touch. Would have liked a small bag to carry to port each day that we have received on other cruise lines - I suspect that if you are a repeat customer on O or an upper level cabin you get one. They do provide umbrellas but they are the large kind and we choose to bring our small compact ones from home. We enjoyed most of the ports with the exception of Zadar - just not that impressive or that much to do there that interested us. Kotor Monte Negro was canceled due to weather so we were bummed, but the alternative was Dubrovnik and it was fabulous! Walk the walled old town if you can (lots of steps so not friendly to all). We thought the Greek port (Argostoli) was a bit odd of a choice when so many other nicer Greek ports available - but had a fabulous taxi ride from Christopher and we saw some beautiful beaches and scenery in the area, had a great local lunch. The light house - not a real must see - fyi. Venice was easy to get off the ship and grab a taxi ($45 euros) to Marco Polo airport. No need to book the transfer from O. People that did paid about $165 pp and complained about it as they need to be standing outside for a long time and it was cold. Airfare: ok here's my complaint, but partly my fault for not complaining to O before too late. We had 2 changes of planes before we reached Rome and on our way home from Venice. I heard from others that if I had complained they would have given us a better flight option. Plus we had such close connections in Munich and in Toronto (flew out of San Diego) that we were stressed that we or our luggage would not make the ship. On the way home - too long of a layover at SFO (almost 4 hours). After traveling for almost 24 hours, that really wasn't ideal. I have since heard that you can possibly opt out of the included air and they will give you compensation to do so - no idea how much - but wouldn't hurt to ask. Tip: it was SO worth it to upgrade to Premium Economy for $99. Age group - definitely older group. Only saw 3 kids (which was fine by me). We are late 40's and probably more of the younger group on the ship, though we did see some couples in their 30's. Suggestion: add a bar or add TVs to a bar so sports can be viewed during NFL, etc. Would I sail Oceania Riviera again? If the price was right I would. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The ports of call were places we had not visited before. On the the 4th or 5th day we were unable to go to Kotor, Montenegro as it was very windy and the captain felt it would be unsafe to ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The ports of call were places we had not visited before. On the the 4th or 5th day we were unable to go to Kotor, Montenegro as it was very windy and the captain felt it would be unsafe to sail to this port so on the day before he made arrangements to dock at Dubrovnik, Croatia which was a wonderful port and we truly enjoyed walking through the old city. The cruise line was even able to arrange 3 excursions at the last minute. The food and specialty restaurants which were included were fabulous. Our friends had lobster almost every evening. The service was excellent throughout the ship. The only downsides were, poor entertainment in the evening, bottles of wine were expensive with nothing less than $47 per bottle, the excursions were expensive and the transfers especially in Venice were very expensive so we booked our own at 1/3 the cost. Would definitely choose Oceania again, especially the Riviera or Marina. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I had researched Oceania quite a lot before booking this cruise and it does what it says on the tin. The experience is based around service,destinations and especially food. All three exceeded our reasonably high expectations. We had ... Read More
I had researched Oceania quite a lot before booking this cruise and it does what it says on the tin. The experience is based around service,destinations and especially food. All three exceeded our reasonably high expectations. We had only cruised once before, on the Royal Caribbean's Allure, a mega ship and although not impressed by the Caribbean,as a destination, we really enjoyed the cruise experience onboard. We are therefore cruising novices, which can be both positive and negative for a review perspective. It can be difficult to give comparisons re cruises but sometimes I get the perception that for some nothing is as good as it used to be. That may be absolutely true in some things but equally our evaluation of quality can become distorted over time and we can become "spoilt" or as we get older our ability to maximise our experience diminishes. Anyway that could all be my own nonsense but here goes re my review. From the minute we arrived at the Pireus terminal by taxi from Athens our embarkation was very smooth. We were met at the entrance,our luggage immediately taken and we were guided through the stages very quickly. As we boarded we were met by very pleasant staff who welcomed us warmly and advised us a buffet was available as was our cabin. As we had upgraded to concierge we were met in our cabin by a bottle of bubbly which was pretty decent. The cabin was very nice,certainly a cut above that on the Allure and the bathroom with Bulgari toiletries were very nice, although at 6. 5,a slightly bigger shower would have been nice but it was fine. The bed was excellent and the balcony was fine. Our cabin attendant Natalie introduced herself immediately and from then on she was first class organising diet drinks for our fridge, sorting our complimentary pressing, cases etc Throughout our cruise she was excellent, always very pleasant and helpful as was her colleague. Just a quick note re concierge class, is it worth it? With the access to the concierge lounge, the bottle of bubbly access to the spa terrace, the complimentary pressing and the toiletries, probably just yes. Then it began,the eating and drinking. The food on board varied from pretty good to excellent. From the terrace buffet to the MDR and specialty restaurants we really enjoyed the food, as did all the other people on board that we spoke to, and there were many, even marathon cruisers with 700+ nights under their belts. The odd choice we made was not ideal but that was our issue. Even had the much maligned onion soup which I thought was very nice.A particular treat, which I only discovered after a conversation over dinner with a wonderful couple from Yorkshire, was lunch in the MDR. Really lovely ambience and super food. Highly recommended. We had a premium beverage package and suspect we maximised the value out of it. The house wines were decent and you could drink almost anything else. Waiter service was very good both in the restaurants and at the pool area. I didn't have to keep asking for another glass as on the Allure. My glass was kept topped up as required and the somolliers often remembered our preferences from previous encounters which really impressed. We did the La Reserve experience while on board and it was extremely good, much added to by the head Bulgarian waiter, whom I met on several occasions afterwards. He really added to the evening and throughout the cruise I noticed his immensely pleasant and engaging interaction with numerous fellow passengers of all ages and nationalities. With regard to our fellow passengers, I suppose that is for many what really can make or break a cruise. We met a lot of really nice, interesting people on board. The vast majority were very friendly, the odd shy or odd indidual , but that is life. We are in our late forties and ewarly fifties, among the the youngest passengers on board, which can be a bonus. We met one guy , 87 initially on a tour and he was fantastic as was his lovely wife, so age is no barrier on Oceania, but maybe not ideal for the sub 40's and certainly not kids.At dinner, on tours, tenders in bars and especially among the smokers(not one myself) there was always interaction , this was much more the case than on the larger Allure. No cliques or snobbery detected , as some people explained occurred on other lines. The itinerary was the main reason for booking this tour and it was excellent. Israel was the highlight. We toured independently which was extremely good. The Greek Islands were beautiful. The tender service ran very smoothly, absolutely no complaints.. we didn't take any tours organised by Oceania. Service onboard was excellent, the staff were nearly always very pleasant and never unpleasant. Entertainment was limited and seemed a concern to some. Evenings were centered around eating and for those looking for entertainment or vibrant nightlife into the small hours, then dissappointment is likely. It was fine but much more limited,perhaps understandably, given the age profile and passenger numbers , as compared to a mega ship.The cruise director John seemed omnipresent and was always very pleasant. I suppose the real question is would we go back? Well it's 10 days since our return and yes tomorrow! We had a wonderful 10days on Riviera , not unattainable perfection but if your looking for, excellent service, food and company it certainly ticks the boxes. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We actually chose a cruise in November on the Marina. Shortly after, we were contacted by Oceania to switch to this cruise, giving us many percs. We are so glad we switched! The weather was perfect; the ship is amazing; the food, even ... Read More
We actually chose a cruise in November on the Marina. Shortly after, we were contacted by Oceania to switch to this cruise, giving us many percs. We are so glad we switched! The weather was perfect; the ship is amazing; the food, even better; the service, impeccable. Embarkation was a breeze as was disembarkation. We felt the entertainment was good, not great. The friendliness of the staff was incredible. We tried each of the specialty restaurants and found them all outstanding! The Grand Dining room was excellent as well. We really enjoyed having lunch daily in the Terrace Café. We did go to Waves Grill once for lunch and the food was very, very good. The milk shakes are to die for! We had a great time at one of the Culinary Classes. We learned a great deal and will be using some of the principles taught. We have previously sailed on NCL three times, but my wife and I will never go on any other cruises than with Oceania! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We cruised for the first time last year and went with Oceania and chose Oceania again this year as we were so impressed previously. We were on the Marina last year and the Riviera is an identical sister ship so we felt at home (even ... Read More
We cruised for the first time last year and went with Oceania and chose Oceania again this year as we were so impressed previously. We were on the Marina last year and the Riviera is an identical sister ship so we felt at home (even booking the same stateroom number). Whist we deemed this cruise excellent there were some small negatives when compared to last year: the attention to detail in cleaning the stateroom and replacement of bathroom consumables, the difficulty of some serving staff in the buffet restaurant to understand requests and also greater detail in briefing them on the food they were serving would have helped. The entertainment was better than last year (apart from a rather dire ventriloquist who had used up all his A-level material in his first show and was left with nothing for his second show) with a very talented team of core singers who made the shows and poolside performances wonderful. Food was excellent in all the restaurants; the four speciality restaurants exceptional. However, for probably the first time the Brits outnumbered the Americans by a considerable number and so this exposed some failings in understanding UK preferences: e.g., the night they offered traditional roast beef and Yorkshire pudding there was not a roast potato in sight and they totally ran out of orange marmalade by day 3!Looking forward to our next Oceania cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose this cruise to experience something different. We flew to Venice a couple of days before and stayed in Mestre. We then boarded the Riviera on 31st August, it was everything we had read about and then some. The staff were ... Read More
We chose this cruise to experience something different. We flew to Venice a couple of days before and stayed in Mestre. We then boarded the Riviera on 31st August, it was everything we had read about and then some. The staff were amazing and helped us a lot, my husband who is disabled was very well cared for, he has a little mobility scooter, and the waiters etc, took turns in riding it "to park it". Stateroom, 10101 was lovely, we had to park the scooter outside, as we needed a little more space, don't think the extra we paid for "concierge level" was really worth it, perhaps next time we will think again. Dining, was great, lots of choice in beautiful décor. Entertainment and Activities. We felt was not that good. There is only one show a night, and if you were having a late meal and lingering over it, you missed the show. There is room for improvement. If you did not go ashore, there was little to do. As neither of us could reach the Sports Deck we could not use it We travelled together, no children or other people. Ports were very interesting, a little restricting for disabled people. We did our own shore excursions. Would we go again, hopefully yes. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We selected Oceania Riveria for their port itinerary and it did not disappoint. Fantastic rooms, excellent speciality restaurants, beautiful ship and lovely hard working staff made this a wonderful experience. We booked an A3 concierge ... Read More
We selected Oceania Riveria for their port itinerary and it did not disappoint. Fantastic rooms, excellent speciality restaurants, beautiful ship and lovely hard working staff made this a wonderful experience. We booked an A3 concierge stateroom which comes with a few extras like access to the heated spa pool area at the front of the ship which we loved and used most days, a bottle of champagne on arrival, early online booking of speciality restaurants, access to a small concierge lounge on level 8 and the bathroom was stocked with beautiful Bvlgari products. For us these extras certainly justified the additional cost. We meet a lot of lovely people who were happy to share their cruising and port experiences and I'm sure we will be friends for many years to come. The entertainment was the only area we marked down. Overall great value cruise, highly recommend Oceania Riveria. Looking forward to our next cruise with Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
The Sirena is a mid-sized ship so I was delighted not to see so many people in line during check in. It was smooth and easy. We were extremely disappointed when at check-in they told us that our stop in Egypt was cancelled and provided ... Read More
The Sirena is a mid-sized ship so I was delighted not to see so many people in line during check in. It was smooth and easy. We were extremely disappointed when at check-in they told us that our stop in Egypt was cancelled and provided no explanation for this decision only saying it was foe security reasons. Many of the people booked this trip because we were stopping in Egypt for two days and the cruise line did not offer any compensation. Needless to say there were many irritated passengers. This was our first trip on Oceania and I was impressed with the Sirena. Some other comments claim that the ship was released to soon before renovations were completed but we saw none of that. Clearly they do have the best food at sea and we were impressed with the service and selection of food to choose from. The staff was constantly filling our glasses with water coffee or whatever without the need to ask. We preferred to eat breakfast outside on the nice sun deck at the rear of the ship. I learned that on a midsize ship there are not the long lines for service like you would see on other cruise lines. They also have their upgraded Tuscan Steakhouse and Red Ginger. Both were nice but I thought the Red Ginger was over rated. I love Asian food and we ate there during ruff seas which detracted from the experience but overall I would have preferred a Hibachi style experience. Our room on level 6 mid ship was superb and I compliment the staff for making sure our room was always refreshed and clean. They worked hard to make our experience a great one. You will love the tranquility beds Oceania puts in their rooms along with the pillow selection. They even sell these beds online if you like them and they are imported from Italy. The entertainment was OK. The Sirena does not have a huge stage and from what I hear the entertainment has improved. Frankly we did not go to the entertainment every night so I might give what we saw a 6.7 rating. Clearly Oceania appeals to a more mature group. We brought our 18 year old son and there was not much for him to do but we knew that booking the ship. The ports of call were the main reason we booked as the offered a fantastic selection. It was nice not having a lot of kids running around so I appreciated the age group of 50 + that they market to. The décor of the ship gives passengers a luxury feel like you are in someone's elegant home. The seating make you feel like you are in a living room. The smaller number of passengers gave a more intimate feel and a chance to meet some really nice people. The cruise excursions are expensive and I found you are much better going to Trip advisor and finding your own to book. We saved probably $2000 doing this and avoided the huge bus loads of other people and had a much more private experience. The nice thing about Oceania is you can bring your own adult beverages on board. Only if you have it served with your meal will the charge a corking fee. The internet service was very good for a cruise. Of course it will not allow you quick speeds for video downloads but it was adequate for email and surfing the net, Overall I was really impressed with the staff on Oceania. Rest Rooms ere maintained constantly throughout the day and were clean.They all were professional, friendly and hard-working. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go in a less crowded ship. Before, we've sailed in larger ships of about 2500 passengers. We really enjoyed less people aboard, more tranquility. Athens is really a very interesting place ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go in a less crowded ship. Before, we've sailed in larger ships of about 2500 passengers. We really enjoyed less people aboard, more tranquility. Athens is really a very interesting place to visit, Achropolis is incredible and its musueum. The embarkation and disembarkation process went really smoothly. Is a very nice refurbished ship, with a nice and well distribuited cabin, alll very clean and a very comfortable bed. Dining was superb. The patisserie just delicious. Red Ginger is a must. We were looking for a silent ship and we found it. Shows were good, a very good pianist (with an incredible memory) and the young singers and dancers were also fine. Dedicated service. Fantastic all the ports we visited. We did all the excursions by our own, and we really had a very good time. In five ports we rented a car (Santorini, Katakolon, Corfú, Kotor and Bari). We want to go again next year to other ports in the mediterranean in another similar ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was our first Oceania cruise, having used Celebrity and Cunard in the past. We booked on the basis of the itinerary (Greek Islands) and the reputation Oceania has of being a solid notch above the mass market cruises. The cruise ... Read More
This was our first Oceania cruise, having used Celebrity and Cunard in the past. We booked on the basis of the itinerary (Greek Islands) and the reputation Oceania has of being a solid notch above the mass market cruises. The cruise originated and ended in Istanbul. Embarkation was easy with a maximum of 15 minutes to drop off the luggage and check-in. Tip - if you are looking for well known Western brand hotels close to the cruise terminal, I would recommend the Grand Hyatt or Intercontinental, both close to Taksim Square and less than 10 minutes by taxi to the ship. Our Penthouse Suite (PH2) cabin was 11005. We were very happy with all aspects of the cabin, particularly with the walk in closet and lots of storage space. Tip - deck 11 forward is a great location. It's behind the bridge so is a dead-end and therefore has no corridor noise. Also deck 12 (pool deck) is wider than 11, that gives more shade/protection to the balconies on 11. Our cabin staff (Christina, Joe and Dean the butler) were excellent, attentive and always smiling. More-over, we would say that all Oceania staff were professional and in particular seemed a very happy bunch! Food/Drink - Oceania pride themselves on cuisine, while we were not at any point dis-appointed, we did not honestly feel the food standard was exceptional. In our view Red Ginger was the best, followed by Toscana, and the Main Dining room. The terrace buffet was perfectly good, but not "sumptuous" by any standard. In our view the Polo Grille Steak/seafood) was the earliest and we did not try the French restaurant as we live in France. Tip - we did not start making reservations in the specialty restaurants until late on the first cruise day, and found difficulty in obtaining good times.....so book early. Tip - my wife does not drink so we did not go with any of the daily beverage packages. Bottled beer prices ($6.50) and good wines by the glass ($10ish) we're reasonable to me. Tip - oceania allows purchased alcohol on board (sadly I only discovered this with 3 days left), and with the mini bar stocked daily with free soft drinks, it made cocktails in the cabin very affordable! Ports of call/excursions - I never understand shore excursion pricing, and we prefer to do our own thing in anycase. All ports of call (both docked and tendered) were close enough to town to not need prior arrangements. Ship facilities/entertainment - Riviera is a well appointed mid size ship, with all the usual ship-board activities on a mid-size, but nothing revolutionary (no climbing wall, simulators etc). Late afternoons on shore excursion days and all day when sailing, the pool areas and seating areas do become busy, but I have never seen a ship where this is not the case. We were pleasantly surprised by the cabin TV movie channels, with recent run films available free of charge. Dis-embarkation - Approx 15 minutes in the passport control queue, but the luggage was waiting for us, and plentiful taxis outside. Again I don't understand the pricing on offer for ground transport by Oceania, that was almost x10 the price of taking a regular taxi? Summary - happy with Oceania, particularly with great staff and excellent cabin. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The Riviera is truly a magnificent ship, no expense spared in the furnishings and fittings. Everywhere on the ship is excellent, with staterooms beautifully furnished with the most comfortable beds, best quality linens and soft ... Read More
The Riviera is truly a magnificent ship, no expense spared in the furnishings and fittings. Everywhere on the ship is excellent, with staterooms beautifully furnished with the most comfortable beds, best quality linens and soft furnishings. Very soft gently colour schemes, with a very large balcony and comfy chairs, plus cashmere covers for cooler sailings. Staff have been wonderful – nothing is too much to ask for and requests are dealt with promptly and with good grace. Meals have been magnificent, everyone a treat and choice has been all too much. There are 4 speciality restaurants each with their own theme and all should be tried. There is also a Grand Dining Room, beautifully appointed with a la carte meals available. Can’t complain about lobster nearly every day. Never thought I’d be guilty of looking at a menu and asking “What else is there to eat other than bloody lobster”! Breakfast in the Terrace Café is also a treat with one of the best selection of fruits, cereals, all manner of eggs breakfast meats and breads I have ever seen. Staff here are also extremely efficient and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Don't do this in the summer. We were hit with temperatures in the upper 90s and higher, with humidity around 100-percent much of the time. Other than that, and the chairs scraping noise from the grill above our stateroom (see cabin ... Read More
Don't do this in the summer. We were hit with temperatures in the upper 90s and higher, with humidity around 100-percent much of the time. Other than that, and the chairs scraping noise from the grill above our stateroom (see cabin review below), this was a wonderful cruise. The ship is on the small side, only 684 passengers. You begin to recognize folks a few weeks into the cruise. There are only two specialty restaurants, along with the Main Dining Room (MDR), the buffet, and the poolside grill. We found the food to be outstanding, especially at the buffet. The offerings changed daily, although there were always certain standard items such as steak and lobster. The food was served to your plate by the staff, rather than passengers handling the spoons and tongs. We appreciate this good sanitary practice. The MDR usually offered a "Food of the World" at lunchtime, specialty items from one different country each day. It arrived on a lazy susan and was delicious. The two specialty restaurants were Polo Grill (a steak house) and Toscana (Italian). Their menus didn't change, and we got pretty tired of them after eating at each of them twice. The steaks were enormous and usually cooked to perfection. If not, the servers insisted on taking them back and trying again. Essentially, there was too much food. I gained 13 pounds overall. Don't take Insignia if you value entertainment. The main lounge doesn't really have a stage and there's not enough space to mount a full-blown production. You mainly get vocalists and solo musicians. Furthermore, there was only one nightly performance at 9:30, which is kind of late. There was a lot of grumbling about this, but frankly, we cruise to see the world around us, not to see acrobats and Broadway-type shows. The ship is relatively old, built in 1998 as part of the Renaissance fleet. It was fully refurbished in 2014 and looks really good. The dark wood paneling and rugs look brand new, and there is wonderful artwork throughout the ship. We did have some chipped paint on our balcony, but nothing major. The staff was unfailingly polite and friendly. We loved our butler and room attendants, and spent lots of time chatting with them. They were generous with the little Bulgari shampoo and conditioner bottles, ice, and (free) bottled water. We don't drink alcohol, so our refrigerator was always kept fully stocked with diet sodas. The enrichment lectures were so-so. Some were very interesting, but others were obviously just cribbed from Wikipedia. We watched many of them when they were replayed on the ship's TV system, but then they only showed the slides. This doesn't work well when the lecturer uses a laser pointer and tells you about a particular place on a map. On our first day passing through the Suez Canal, we encountered a massive swarm of flies that got into everything. It was terrible. The poolside grill had to be shut down and sanitized. But the pesky flies even got into the buffet (and everywhere else), and everyone was constantly waving away those pesky insects. Luckily they didn't bite, and their lifespan expired after a few days. Obviously this wasn't the ship's fault, and they responded as best they could. I would recommend this cruise for couples approaching seniorhood and older. There were a few younger couples, but I think they may not have had a very good time. We did. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Admittedly, we and others were disappointed at the itinerary changes with eliminating Tunisia and the two days in Egypt. That proved prescient as there were terrorist attacks in Tunis and, for our days in Egypt, there were attacks in Giza ... Read More
Admittedly, we and others were disappointed at the itinerary changes with eliminating Tunisia and the two days in Egypt. That proved prescient as there were terrorist attacks in Tunis and, for our days in Egypt, there were attacks in Giza outside Cairo and in Luxor. The substitute ports were less than inspiring but, hey, what can one do? As noted, Trapani in Sicily on a Sunday was pleasant but most places were closed. Limmasol was a dump but Analya, Turkey was a nice surprise being on old Venetian trading port with an interesting port. I note that other reviews complain about the high cost of ship tours. We avoid ship tours at all cost - not just for the high tariff but getting on and off a bus with 30 others is not a positive experience. I was struck how many mobility challenged passengers there were on this cruise, most especially since Oceania had advised prospective customers this was not a suitable trip for those with such problems. I heard repeated complaints about how mobility challenged passengers had difficulty getting on/off the ship's gangplank and ship tour buses. That took up considerable time which may have caused the ire of others. The food was excellent in all dining venues at all meals. We do not favor the specialty restaurants but Jacques was pleasant on the one night. The Grand Dining Room suits our needs perfectly at dinner as we dine early and the staff are eager to help. Our meal in Toscana was marred by the GM seating us - we were the 4th ones in at 6:30 - right next to the waiter station which is absolutely the worst table in Toscana. We objected and then had to wait to be reseated as the GM ignored us. I complained to Boris, restaurant manager, about the attitude problem but aside from that one incident, the service and eagerness to please was top notch at all our meals. Breakfast and lunch in the Terrace were lovely, most especially at an outdoor table. The wine list was fine for our needs and, unlike others, I felt pricing was reasonable and the sommeliers were both knowledgeable about selections on the list based upon our tastes and in terms of servicing our table throughout the meal. Our PH cabin was beautiful, the cabin stewards did a fantastic job keeping it clean and tidy and our butler, Raj, was the best butler we have had on Oceania in almost 10 sailings with a butler. He anticipated our needs, he was not obtrusive and he was a delight to deal with. We avoid going to the entertainment at night as we go to bed early and get up early to tour. This was a port intensive cruise so I am amazed at stories other passengers would relate about staying for the show, then off to karaoke and drinks in Horizons until late. To each his/her own. We don't care for the live shows and the so-called port lectures by the Excursions Desk staff were poor - often just reciting the printed tour description in the sales brochure. Why bother attending the so-called lecture when you can endure it on tv in the cabin? Leslie Jon, the cruise director, was terrific and his management of the afternoon Trivia sessions were masterful. A huge plus. Embarkation and disembarkation were handled professionally and pleasantly. Unlike the chaos and bizarre behavior by senior staff in Miami last year, getting on and off in Rome was flawless. We had a wonderful experience and have booked two more cruises on Riviera. It is our favorite ship - the right size, the right amount of passengers which allows for various options and choices not available on smaller ships. Plus, there is no clustering or queing except for the several instances when tendering into port was required. Finally, there was criticism of the Captain on his announcement after being notified by the Greek authorities of a bomb threat while we were at sea. He might have worded his late night announcement better but had he not so informed guests, the rumor mongering and speculation would have caused considerably more disruption the following morning as many of us saw first hand the crew at their stations and security sweeping the ship. Finally, a special thank you to the concierge Ana in the Executive Lounge on deck 11. She did a wonderful job with so many different (and cranky) passengers but she provided a special personality that made coming into the lounge a positive experience. Love the ship, loved the cruise, loved the effort the staff put forth all day every day. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was our first experience with O as we are avid HAL cruisers (and are very happy with them). What to really to us has made the difference is that as staff levels are higher (compared O to HAL) that this is surely noticable, from ... Read More
This was our first experience with O as we are avid HAL cruisers (and are very happy with them). What to really to us has made the difference is that as staff levels are higher (compared O to HAL) that this is surely noticable, from embarkation to the final departure. As in general a price for a cruise is higher (O higher than HAL and compared an O inside cabin price to HAl equivelant; it is nearly double the price) you understand than why you pay more. Staff engages with you and many staff, although they all took turns in different stations and/or restaurants, recognized you. They all stopped by for little chats or you were greated with a big smile. Dining was great and all restaurants were great: our favourite was Red Ginger! Main dining room is actually a lovely and elegant place and as we dined later by 8pm, most the time a table to 2 was available. We also made new friends by sharing a table or meeting fellow passengers at the bar or pool. Also the normal buffet restaurant offers excellent meals, for breakfast you require a poached egg? Just order and it si made fresh. I miss the desserts already and specially during lunch I made sure I would treat myself to a home made dessert. The bread (baguette) was crusty and we became addicted to it during our journey. Pool staff was trying to enforce 'not reserving sun beds for over 30 minutes' but still passengers play a silly game: we noticed a fellow passenger reserving 3 beds for 2 persons and jumped from sun to shade when staff was checking, really silly! The shows put on by the professional cast were really good, one show premiered during our cruise and we loved them all: live singing & dancing and 2 of 3 shows had even a 'live' orchestra playing. Greek harbour Gythion was poor: it was a maiden call and there were no taxis at all available: we returned within 30 minutes back to the ship. Excursions we have all done by ourselves, it is amazing to see ship's excursions with 50 seater busses fololow similar routes as your own private ones, only they paid double or triple prices. Israel was amazing (little difficult due to Shabath Saturday). Our cabin was comfortable and cleaned verey well by our cabin attendants, well done! We could not provide many improvement points and can say well done Riviera & crew! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
CRUISE OVERVIEW:  Cabin: 11051 PH1 Penthouse on 11th floor, mid-ship  Dates: 10/22-10/29/2014 Itinerary: Istanbul, Turkey (2 days); Kavala/Philippi, Greece; Mykonos, Greece; Rhodes, Greece; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Santorini, Greece; ... Read More
CRUISE OVERVIEW:  Cabin: 11051 PH1 Penthouse on 11th floor, mid-ship  Dates: 10/22-10/29/2014 Itinerary: Istanbul, Turkey (2 days); Kavala/Philippi, Greece; Mykonos, Greece; Rhodes, Greece; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Santorini, Greece; Athens (Piraeus), Greece Excursions: All were private except in Kavala (Xanthi) where we booked an Oceania tour FLIGHTS: We paid the flight deviation fee as we wanted to arrive in Istanbul 2 days prior to boarding the ship. The original flights offered by Oceania were terrible -- we researched flights, asked for and received the ones that we requested at no additional charge. We flew KLM from SFO-->Amsterdam-->Istanbul. We went online on KLM after receiving our booking # from Oceania and paid to upgrade our seats. Unfortunately, KLM has a strange system where you pay for the upgrade in airfare class (we paid for economy plus) but they only "request" the seats for you. You must confirm at the airport when you check in. They gave away the three seats we requested -- the three people in our party ended up nowhere near each other. KLM's staff were horrible and misled us and I'd never fly with them again because of our experience. Return flights were with Air France and everything with them went smoothly. We flew from Athens-->Paris-->SFO. Easy check-in, comfortable seats, great free entertainment on board the flights. Our first time flying with them and I would highly recommend Air France. HOTELS: In Istanbul, we booked the Hotel Sultania on our own. Fabulous location, and wonderful boutique hotel with an old-world feeling. Loved the "family room" we booked -- staff was outstanding. Food and view from their rooftop restaurant, Olive, was excellent. Location walking distance to many tourist sites, and public transportation available one block away. Shopping nearby -- we walked to the Grand Bazar and many sites such as the Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, and Hagia Sofia. Highly recommend this hotel. In Athens, we booked the Athens Gate hotel because of its location. Walking distance to many sites such as the Temple of Zeus, Acropolis, and the shopping Plaka. Metro available right in front of the hotel. Cute, modern boutique hotel. Staff was outstanding. Minor grumble about the lack of fan in the bathroom (short shower produced bathroom walls dripping with condensation & wet/slippery floors). Very small elevators (not for those that are claustrophobic). Free wi-fi (in public areas - charge applies if accessed from your room). Wi-fi was unbelievably slow! But, plenty of local restaurants and cafes that offered fast, free wi-fi. Would still recommend this hotel, and wouldn't hesitate to stay there again. PORTS: Will review separately, where available. Ports that weren't available for review below are included here. Kavala/Philipi/Xanthi - Trust me on this -- Do NOT book through Oceania. Horrible, depressing, awful experience. They shouldn't even offer this tour. Took us to a public park w/river (okay, but cold/windy). Then a bus ride through graffitti filled area to Xanthi. Took us on a very boring walking tour of Xanthi -- not the typical "history" tour we expected. Dropped us off at a tavern that didn't offer enough seating, and the included food was inedible. Gave us "free time" to walk around. No real shopping to be had. Locals were unfriendly (I don't think they are used to tourists visiting their city). Very bad tour. If I could do it over again, I'd just get off the ship and walk around the port. Those on the ship who did that seemed to enjoy themselves, so that would be my recommendation. Ephesus/Kusadasi/Sirince - We booked a totally private tour for the three of us. Included Ephesus ruins, then on to Sirince for wine tasting, shopping and an excellent lunch prepared by a local family on their farm. On the way back we requested to be taken to the leather factory where we got our own private runway show! Such fun! Would loved to have been able to afford the amazing lamb leather jackets, but settled for purses that were in our price range. Would love to go back to Ephesus and Sirince and spend more time there. EMBARKATION/DEBARKATION: Embarkation: Easy -- Walked right up with no wait at all. Done in 5 mins. Debarkation: Confusing -- No instructions as to where to locate our baggage in the Athens terminal. Got wrong information from one of the employees, but eventually located our luggage despite that. Asked porter to help us with our luggage and get a cab. Was told it'd be 20-25 Euros. After cab driver took off, I confirmed the price -- he stated 28-30 Euros, but I didn't want to argue. When we arrived at hotel, I (over)paid him the 28 Euros. He started screaming at me saying that it was 38 Euros! He scared the bejeusus out of us and we paid him the extra 10 Euros. BE CAREFUL and have the porter or someone confirm the cost of the cab ride, and if there is a problem when you arrive, ASK someone, anyone, to help you. Scary and, unfortunately, made us mistrust all cabs in Athens. SUMMARY: My third cruise with Oceania. I think the specialty restaurants & food in the Terrace Cafe were not as good as on previous cruises. Menus in the specialty restaurants need to be updated. Restaurants, in order of my favorite to least favorite: Red Ginger, Toscana, Polo Grill, and Jacques (which we chose not to even eat in -- we dislike their food that much). Everything else was up to the same excellent standards that I've come to expect and enjoy from Oceania. Loved the 11th floor PH -- we had previously always stayed on the 7th floor (in aft Penthouses). My only bitch about Oceania is the fact that they charge for wi-fi. Why not just build the cost into the price of the cruise? Or, at least charge a reasonable amount. Sometimes you can get it included for free (we did on two cruises). Otherwise, it's approx. $170 for unlimited access for a week. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
My husband and I just returned from this cruise with Oceania. This was our 3rd Oceania cruise. The ports of call were awesome - Split and Dubrovnick, Croatia, Kotor Montengro, Greece and Italy. The views were incredible! Oceania is a very ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from this cruise with Oceania. This was our 3rd Oceania cruise. The ports of call were awesome - Split and Dubrovnick, Croatia, Kotor Montengro, Greece and Italy. The views were incredible! Oceania is a very nice ship with great amenities - the restaurants continue to be very good, the customer service is excellent and you always feel safe and comfortable. However, we will NEVER sail with Oceania during the summer months ever again. If you don't want to be subjected to a bunch of yelling kids in the pool and loud people everywhere, you may want to avoid sailing with Oceania in the summer months. There is a very definite difference in the clientele compared to the off-summer months. Oceania is clear in its materials that they cater to a mature adult audience and do not provide activities for children. Their written materials do not recommend families with children. It is beyond me why people would want to book a family cruise with a company that clearly states this. I don't think it is too bad for pre-teens and teens (thought they looked very bored) but it is definitely not the cruise line for kids under 10. The staff does not know how to handle the kids, they just run around causing chaos everywhere. The pool area is too small for everyone in the summer months and we ended up escaping to the canyon ranch spa deck (happy we booked a penthouse room) for most of the days to get away from the crowds, kids and inebriated adults being generally loud and obnoxious. The excursions are not worth the money at all - we just booked our 4th cruise with Oceania and we will not be using their shore excursions anymore. Some suggestions for Oceania: electronic clock in rooms so you can see the time in the dark; update afternoon canape selections; expand pool area; make shore excursions more reasonable. Be more clear on your website and brochures that this is an adult cruise experience to discourage children OR add activities for the kids so they have something to do and are not bothering the adults. While we LOVE the spa deck and the hot tub there, perhaps you should put a cold water pool on the spa deck so there is a quiet place for adults who don't want to be subjected to kids screaming and splashing in the big pool. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Just back from the most amazing cruise. The embarkation in Istanbul was very smooth and the welcome aboard was great. The ship is a work of art and certainly the best looking ship I have ever seen. Then you are treated to the many pieces ... Read More
Just back from the most amazing cruise. The embarkation in Istanbul was very smooth and the welcome aboard was great. The ship is a work of art and certainly the best looking ship I have ever seen. Then you are treated to the many pieces of art aboard such as the eight Picasso's in the Casino Bar. Our stateroom was a B1 veranda and was very spacious with lots of wardrobe space and places to put everything. The bathroom was all granite and marble with a bath and shower. I was travelling with my mother so we had twin beds and they were luxurious. The food was outstanding as were all the staff who were all so friendly and remembered our names. I really can't choose a favourite restaurant as they were all fantastic and so different. I thought I would be one of the youngest on board, being 48, as I had read other reviews. I was surprised to see a lot of children on board and they were all very well behaved. There were so many different nationalities as well and everyone got on so well. The entertainment was excellent and run very well by Andy Heath our cruise director.We loved the shows starring the Jean Ann Ryan Company, especially the lead singer Elias Hendricks. Being a smoker I was pleased to see that we had two great places to smoke. One being on the pool deck and one at the entrance to Horizons which was inside but far enough away from others so it wouldn't bother them. We had tenders into Santorini and Zakynthos which were regular and we never had to queue and also shuttles into Corfu and Dubrovnik organised by the Port Authorities which were also regular and once again no queues. We had to miss one port of call,Durres in Albania due to the clearance underneath the ship on entering being only 6.5 metres and not the required 8 metres so we ran a risk of grounding. We went straight onto Kotor and nearly everyone was really happy to spend two days there as it is such a beautiful place. We loved the afternoon tea in Horizons,the captains cocktail party where the champagne flowed and my mother enjoyed the putting green and her afternoons playing bridge. Our Captain was Gunnar Romtveit and I had many a chat with him. All the officers and staff were friendly and made you feel special.Disembarkation in Venice was quick and efficient and was a very sad moment. It was awful having to say goodbye to so many many wonderful people such as W Andre Allen who was the artist from the Artist Loft who I became good friends with. Truly a fantastic experience and can't wait to Cruise on the Riviera again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was our 3rd cruise with Oceania and our 2nd on the beautiful Rivera ship. We chose this cruise because of the interesting itinerary and that it was the Rivera. It was great to have 2 days in Istanbul and then 2 days in Venice. Some ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise with Oceania and our 2nd on the beautiful Rivera ship. We chose this cruise because of the interesting itinerary and that it was the Rivera. It was great to have 2 days in Istanbul and then 2 days in Venice. Some highlights: the cruise into Kotor (amazing and worth getting up at 6 AM) and then the cruise into Venice on the Grand Canal. The Rivera is a beautiful ship and all the restaurants are first-rate in cuisine and decor; our personal favourite is Red Ginger (we love having the 4 speciality restaurants as their smaller ships only have 2); great to get our coffee fix at Baristas and our Concierge Lounge was also first rate service with Katja. Service from all crew was wonderful and having a self-serve laundry facility on each deck is brilliant. We opt out of the include airfare and prefer to arrange our own. Love the room service especially each morning and found all of our cruise excursions very interesting; we like ensure that some ports are just for walking around/touring at our own pace e.g. Zakynthos and Corfu as having an excursion each day can be tiring. Due to low tide/narrow channel our stop in Albania was cancelled and we stayed 2 days in Kotor (told we didn't miss much in Albania and Kotor is so lovely). Did notice more children/teens on this ship which was not the norm but no complaints. We look forward to booking another cruise with Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Just returned from my first cruise on Oceania. I am not a huge cruise fan. I've done a few short cruises in the past (Bahamas, Mexico, etc.) and have never really been impressed. In general, I prefer independent travel. That said, I ... Read More
Just returned from my first cruise on Oceania. I am not a huge cruise fan. I've done a few short cruises in the past (Bahamas, Mexico, etc.) and have never really been impressed. In general, I prefer independent travel. That said, I really enjoyed this cruise--more than I thought I would. Embarkation: Read about long lines but honestly, we arrived at noon and were on the ship and in our cabin in about 30 minutes. I couldn't believe how easy it was. Food: Quite good in all venues with a few exceptions. I wish the menu in the Grand Dining room had more variety--it got boring. Really enjoyed both Polo and Toscana (though our second dinner in Toscana suffered from really poor service). I was eager to try one of those milkshakes that people on CC rave about. That was a huge let down. Probably the worst milkshake I've ever had. The smoothies were better. Desserts were the weak point in all venues. If you are calling something New York Cheesecake then it should be New York Cheesecake (believe me, it wasn't). At least four nights I took one bite of a dessert and pushed it away (on the plus side, I saved all those calories). Service/Staff: Overall we were impressed with the staff and the service. And every staff person we encountered was extremely friendly and gracious. High marks here. Though I'm not sure that I felt like we received any special service due to our Concierge level cabin. Pool: Way too small. More like a dunk tank. And of course, not enough chairs on the pool deck. We got lucky--got there early and stayed all day so didn't have to fight for chairs. But I did witness and nasty little argument between a chair saver and someone who got tired of seeing an empty chair sit idle for hours... Spa: Passed on booking spa appointments because they were just too expensive. If I had more OBC to burn, I might have used them. Ports of Call: We enjoyed them all except Limassol. It would have been better to have another sea day and miss this stop. Entertainment: I was surprisingly impressed by the Insignia Singers--they were very good. Their costumes need a huge makeover but their talent was real. Found the CD to be a bit dated in his humor. And, his voice reminded me of Stanley Tucci in The Hunger Games movie. I just couldn't take him seriously. Rechristening Celebrations: Nice but a little over the top corny. I mean, a portrait unveiling???? That said. the ship's Godmother and her husband were impressive in the way they seemed to go out of their way to NOT seek preferential treatment throughout the cruise. Classy folks. Shore Excursions: We didn't use the ships tours. Found great independent guides and definitely preferred to tour that way. Destination Experts: Weak marks here. They didn't strike me as "expert" at all. Other Passengers: All in all we met some really wonderful people--some who cruise a lot. Made some friends along the way. WiFi: In my opinion this was one of the weakest parts of the cruise--connectivity was next to impossible. The only saving grace was that we had free WiFi as part of a promotion. If I had been paying by the minute I would have raised Hell--five minutes to download ONE email (no attachments); web pages timing out repeatedly. If they can get wifi on a plane, there has to be a better way to get it on board a ship! Overall, a very good experience. I think I would try one of the larger O ships next time (I hear the cabins are bigger). I did enjoy the relaxed nature of the cruise--no formal nights and the ability to dine on our own schedule. I probably won't do another cruise for a few years but when I do I will definitely consider Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was the second in a b2b, our first time on Oceania. We've been on most of the mainstream lines and decided to try something more upscale. What a wonderful experience, worth every penny. High Points: Food, Service, the Ship Food ... Read More
This was the second in a b2b, our first time on Oceania. We've been on most of the mainstream lines and decided to try something more upscale. What a wonderful experience, worth every penny. High Points: Food, Service, the Ship Food was outstanding. Ironically, the two specialty restaurants were not wonderful, but the GDR was amazing. Most lines have good food, some excellent. But Oceania was consistently out of this world. Service was excellent. Every crew member was friendly and helpful. Just outstanding. This really made our cruise memorable. The large number of staff really does make a difference. The ship itself was beautiful. I really liked how uncrowded it felt. It was a world away from the small cities at sea common to other lines. No waiting for anything. Well, once, see below. No ship photographer, art auctions or loud announcements. Our cabin (standard balcony B2) was comfortable but cramped. Low Points: A few minor glitches The DVD player in our cabin didn't work. The toilet had some problems. We were told that parts had been ordered and would be installed for the next cruise. Shore excursion staff needs training. Total chaos on arrival in Israel for local customs officials. Shore excurions themselves were good, but overpriced. Port lectures tended to be mediocre. In all, a fantastic experience. We ended up booking a Panama Canal cruise on Regatta for December.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Like all our previous cruises, we booked this only for the itinerary. Oceania was an unknown brand to us, so we were interested to see if it was true to all the raving reviews. This was Insignia’s ‘rechristening’ cruise, as ... Read More
Like all our previous cruises, we booked this only for the itinerary. Oceania was an unknown brand to us, so we were interested to see if it was true to all the raving reviews. This was Insignia’s ‘rechristening’ cruise, as apparently it had been on loan for a couple of years, and was now back in the Oceania fleet. As such, the Founding Chairman and his good lady were aboard for the duration, and although they were seen from time to time, they tended to keep a low profile. ( After the debacle of the previous week’s cruise I don’t exactly blame them!) I’m sure someone will have reviewed that cruise on here somewhere. INSIGNIA is a mid sized 35,000 tonne vessel and exuded a luxurious feel from the moment we boarded. Lots of dark wood, tasteful décor, and probably the most comfortable bed/pillows we’ve ever had on a ship. Cabin was just about large enough, but storage space was plentiful. Bathroom was quite small, but efficiently laid out. Passengers of a certain ‘size’ may well have found it difficult to manoeuver in there. Passenger mix is principally US / Canadian. If I had to to guess I’d say they made up 70%, the rest being from UK, Australia and rest of EU. It is indeed at the top end of the cruise market, and as such attracts a fairly wealthy and discerning passenger……well – it DID until we arrived! There are no formal nights and evening dress code is ‘country club casual’ attire. Unfortunately a smallish number defined this as ‘won’t-make-any-effort-at-all’ so cut off trousers and flip-flops were not an uncommon sight in the Grand Dining Room. I wore a jacket, but soon realised I was in a minority. I think that the dress code could be enforced a little more – but I accept its not easy telling someone to go back to their cabin and change. To be honest, a few people just looked downright scruffy. But it was only a few, and the majority dressed with the ‘casual but elegant’ ethos, to one degree or another. The STAFF are multi-nationality, and without exception are always smart, friendly and can’t do enough for you. Reception staff responded to a couple of small requests very efficiently, and I heard similar from other guests. They even place a man on the quayside at the bottom of the gangway whose only role is to tell you to ‘mind the step’ as you leave or board! My Dearly Beloved ( hereafter referred to as MDB) thought he was checking passports etc, and was so busy grovelling in her handbag she lost her footing and tripped up the very gangway he was there to warn us about! He’s probably been sacked now!! Oceania make a very big thing about their FOOD. Now, call us odd but personally we don’t go on cruises to indulge in constant fine 6* dining. With 2/3 of the world starving I guess we just have different priorities. Don’t get me wrong, we like and expect edible meals in nice surroundings on cruises, but providing the menu is varied, the food is cooked well, tastes how it’s supposed to taste and looks fairly appetising – then that’s really all we ask for. Meals could be taken in the Grand Dining Room, Terrace Café ( Buffet style) or in 2 ‘speciality’ restaurants – ( no extra cost, but must be pre-booked prior to the cruise). I got the impression that someone sat in an office somewhere and created very fancy names for their dishes, just to make them sound good. Early in the cruise I suffered food poisoning from a lobster soufflé, and spent 6 hours dashing into the previously mentioned bathroom while it desperately tried to leave me from one end or the other. MDB ordered a rather nice sounding finan haddock for breakfast, which was so overcooked it was inedible. She asked two slices of plain common-or-garden wholemeal bread, and got three rolls with a posh name. After that we breakfasted in the Terrace Café every day where the choice of food was excellent, and catered for all tastes and diets. Interestingly, the opposite was true in the evenings where shellfish seemed to dominate the buffet, and the Grand Dining Room was the better option. MDB had the nicest steak ever in there, and it inspired me to have my first steak for years. Tender is hardly an adequate description, but for someone who is not a big red meat eater, getting me to chomp on a steak must be Oceania’s greatest achievement for 2014. We did hear occasional grumbles about food, but catering for such varied tastes and diets is always going to be a challenge for any ship. The catering staff ( especially in the terrace café ) seem to be under threat of death if they don’t perform at 200% efficiency. As soon as you’re finished, your plate / glass / bowl is whipped away ( twice I had to stop them as I had not quite finished – just taking a brief respite between mouthfuls!) While carrying food to my table in the Terrace café I was plagued by waiters wanting to carry it for me. To me that level of attention is just suffocating –but I did notice others ( able bodied and active ) actually looking for a waiter to carry their intolerably heavy burden of a bowl of cereal and banana, - bless. I also prefer to help myself at buffets, but this didn’t seem to be allowed ( probably some hygene or health and safety thing ). Wasn’t even allowed to open my own box of cereal ! After a healthy breakfast, the next thing you want is a good day trip. We booked three ( all in Israel ) through Oceania simply because there were some doubts about dates/availability/numbers etc. So we bit the bullet and paid through the nose. However - all were well organised, well conducted, very enjoyable but hellishly overpriced. We booked an independent tour to Ephesus, and did the other destinations ourselves. (The Patmos tour via the ship cost well over 100euro, we did it for the cost of a local bus (3euro each rtn) and some footwork.) If you can’t be bothered to investigate alternatives – or love spending money unnecessarily – then the ships tours are good and used first class busses and guides. ENTERTAINMENT was variable. The resident Insignia Singers were competent and entertaining. Guest entertainers included an excellent magician/illusionist, and a rather sinister looking violinist. The Insignia dance band had the potential to be good – if they could play music that you could actually dance to! Most of it was Jazz / Soul style and while very good easy-listening, was not dance music. ( I seriously think they could be prosecuted under the UK Trades Description Act ! ) We love dancing, and were looking forward to taking to the dance floor each night. First problem for a dancer is that the dance floor is oval – not ideal for routines that rely on a more conventional oblong. Ok if you just want to hop from one foot to another while hugging your spouse, which – given the combination of music and floor – was about all you could do. We can’t be the only ones who were disappointed by this as the final night was billed as Save The Last Dance For Me. By the time they were on their third number, just 3 couples remained. Yes that’s right – 3 ! We actually requested a Waltz as they hadn’t played one any night in 9 days. It has to be said though that after the main entertainment, the ship became something of a ghost ship. Everyone just melted away. Music in the horizons bar was usually the very competent cruise director sat at the bar, sending music from his i-player to the sound system. I counted 7 people in the whole of the lounge on one of the nights we were there. Finally – remember the bad lobster and the overcooked haddock. These, and the overzealous staff were mentioned on the ‘how’s –it-going-so-far’ mid cruise survey. A senior manager actually spoke with us 2 mornings later – apologising for the very minor comment I’d made about the staff – but never even mentioned my toxic lobster or the haddock cooked in a nuclear reactor. That annoyed MDB more than the haddock itself. This seems to be in keeping with other reviews, that Oceania won’t acknowledge or react to problems. Overall – we enjoyed the cruise immensely. We would certainly go with Oceania again, if they were going to where we wanted to go, and at a time to suit our work.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We aren't exactly cruise veterans - just a couple of Disney cruises. But for our 25th wedding anniversary I wanted to go big. So we booked Istanbul-Kusadasi-Rhodes-Limassol-Haifa-Patmos-Piraeus on Oceania Riviera. We brought our 19 ... Read More
We aren't exactly cruise veterans - just a couple of Disney cruises. But for our 25th wedding anniversary I wanted to go big. So we booked Istanbul-Kusadasi-Rhodes-Limassol-Haifa-Patmos-Piraeus on Oceania Riviera. We brought our 19 year old daughter along. Simply: the ship is beautiful, the food is awesome, the service is First Class. We had a butler: get a stateroom with a butler! Restaurants: All the table-service restaurants were great, but we especially loved Red Ginger. And the La Reserve wine pairing dinner is incomparable. Bon Appetit Culinary Classes: Highly recommended; very professional and informative; more delicious food we made ourselves. Nearly first-run movies on TV for free: saw all the Oscar nominees. Did all but one shore excursion on our own, but did do the ship's Culinary Excursion in Rhodes: great; more food. Didn't use the casino. Used the spa facilities (beautiful) but not any of the services. Too busy eating or too tired to see a show. Daughter met all the singers and dancers who were very nice to her. She didn't have time to get bored, with Istanbul, Haifa, and Athens on the itinerary. But it is not a party boat. After about 11 you'll have the ship to yourself. Make sure your package includes internet service (it's slow but it works) and understand the alcohol/wine program: it's expensive whether you do the packages or a la carte. Sign up for the reserved restaurants as soon as you can...early reservations go fast. We have only two real complaints: The food is so good you want to eat it all, but you can't. And we are now so spoiled that any other cruise will be a let-down. I need to win the lottery. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
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