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Cruise Ratings
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Chose this cruise for the ports we were going to visit. Upon embarkation we were informed that two of the ports had been cancelled (egypt)-not happy! Then, the ship lost my passport! The most interesting thing is that when the ceo was ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the ports we were going to visit. Upon embarkation we were informed that two of the ports had been cancelled (egypt)-not happy! Then, the ship lost my passport! The most interesting thing is that when the ceo was contacted about our poor experince, his response was to send our email to a subordinate to respond. Her response was that the contract allowed them to change ports! The staff are phenomenal, cabin was ok and food was great. The cruise entertainment director made himself available to everyone and had well planned activities. Shore excursions were plentiful and informative. The only negative was that when shopping was allowed every shore excyrsion had a defined shopping experience- kind of felt like tge guide was getting a kickback! They may have been protecting us but nit sure about that! This was our second oceania cruise and based on this experience, our last! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
Our cruising days started in 1999, sailing with P & O and Princess. In the last three years we have hanged our allegiance to the luxury lines (Seabourn, Regent and Oceania to date), and are enjoying the difference!! We returned from ... Read More
Our cruising days started in 1999, sailing with P & O and Princess. In the last three years we have hanged our allegiance to the luxury lines (Seabourn, Regent and Oceania to date), and are enjoying the difference!! We returned from our first Oceania cruise a couple of weeks ago. We went to the Black Sea starting from Istanbul, Turkey and ending in Athens,Greece. 22nd September to 2nd October. Unfortunately, due to the Troubles in Crimea and Ukraine the company had to cancel the ports of Yalta, Sabastopol and Odessa, ports we have visited before. We had booked this cruise after the changes were made, so no complaints there. A couple of the replacement ports were however, not the best so we stayed on board. CHECK IN… We stayed overnight in Istanbul and had a taxi to the port, arriving at about 1.00pm. We had to show our passports and tickets to a port officer, outside the port gate and it was a bit of a scrum but after depositing our luggage and going to the ship’s check in desks in the (sort of) terminal, the procedure was quick and hassle free although we did have our our passports looked at, three separate times!! THE SHIP.. Riviera is beautiful The art work throughout the ship is interesting and eclectic. The furnishings and carpets are presented in delightfully soft colours. There is plenty of space. in the public areas. She is not small, but carries only 1200 passengers. (Compared with P & Os Aurora, which is the same size, and carries 1800 passengers.) so Riviera is never crowded. We could always find a sun lounger in the right place. Never a problem getting a drink at the bars, or in Baristas coffee lounge. THE CABIN.. Ours was a balcony cabin on deck Seven Aft. Rather smaller than either Seabourn's or Regent’s equivalent cabin level, but as a bonus we had a double depth balcony. More of that later. The drawers and cupboards were plentiful but not all at a convenient height for a little short person like me! The wardrobe doors were not very easy to access. The bathroom? Small, only room for one person at a time! but well appointed and had bath with shower over, shower cabinet with glass door, one basin, good lighting, marble and mirror fittings. Super thick towels and nice toiletries. The good exceeded the not so good. DINING…. The best cuisine at sea? Probably. The Grand Dining Room is very Grand indeed decorated in gold and cream with a magnificent large crystal chandelier in the ceiling. There is no fixed time dining. The service was perfect for us, certainly not slow, but at proper dining speed. All the staff were attentive, they were well trained and charming. The restaurant Managers were on hand all the time and made sure everything ran smoothly. We are not wine connoisseurs and so had no complaints about the wine offered on the package. We were always able to have a table for two if we chose to. There is no extra charge for dining in the alternative restaurants but you must book in advance. We ate in all four having made reservations on line prior to the cruise. Toscana was my favourite, and the Polo Grill surprised me,(I thought the portions would be to big for my small appetite) Jacques was a great pleasure. We dined with lovely people at each venue. I enjoyed Red Pepper food the least, but my husband thought it was the best! The internet connection was the best we have ever had on a ship. EXTRA NOTE.. A little anecdote to illustrate the care Oceania takes …… As mentioned before, our balcony was double depth. On the Interim Questionnaire, I wrote that the balcony furniture was rather small and the chairs did not recline. I suggested that on such a large balcony, a sun lounger might be nice. The next morning, on opening the curtains, we found a sun lounger on the balcony, which must have been delivered while we were having our dinner the evening before. That’s attention to detail, and proof that the questionnaire was not only read but acted upon without delay! Thank you. The only criticism we have of Oceania Cruises, (apart from the mean balcony furniture), is the cost of the Tours. Very, very expensive. We only took one tour ( a boat trip along the Danube Delta) and it was only OK and not value for money. Even so we had an enjoyable time with our fun fellow passengers!! Did we have a good cruise? Yes. Would be go with Oceania again? Definitely.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
Personal Background Information: I've been on the S. S. France in 1969 with roomates from University, crossing the Atlantic from New York to LeHavre; and subsequently the Norwegian Prince in the middle 1970's in the Caribbean ... Read More
Personal Background Information: I've been on the S. S. France in 1969 with roomates from University, crossing the Atlantic from New York to LeHavre; and subsequently the Norwegian Prince in the middle 1970's in the Caribbean with a group of 12 on a pre-wedding trip- Bermuda and Puerto Rico; and on the Crystal Symphony as a solo traveler in 2009 in Norwegian Arctic waters. The Riviera is the most modern ship for me. This was my second solo trip. Travel to Port of Embarkation: I flew on my own on Turkish Airlines from Naples, italy to Istanbul, Turkey which is only a 2 hour flight. I spent about a week in Italy prior to flying to Istanbul to embark the ship. Hotel Info: The Ritz Carlton in Istanbul was hospitable and helpful with a swimming pool with a view and easy taxi access to the port of embarkation. Embarkation: When arranging for my transportation from the hotel to the port of embarkation, the transportation company needed to know which port in Istanbul. The cruise line provided the information about which port in Istanbul only a few days prior to sailing which I thought was odd. The embarkation itself was uneventful. The Vista Suite is allowed to board at 11:00 a.m. which allowed me to explore the ship before a large number of passengers are on board. It is a bit eery though having the ship quite empty. Stateroom: The Vista Suite is located at the bow of the ship directly underneath the Bridge where the Captain and crew are located while navigating the ship. There was no noise from them. The suite has one-half the front of the ship. It is great for taking photos when entering ports. The view of the Bosphorus at night leaving Istanbul was memorable. I booked an early dinner to be able to return to my suite to watch this great display of Turkey. Ship Info: The Riviera is a modern ship and is well designed for inland waters in terms of stabilizers and engines. It is not an ocean liner, though. Dining: I preferred having room service in my suite because of the beautiful view. I only booked two evenings in the restaurants. I have to avoid certain foods such as Asian (uses soy heavily) and where wine is used heavily in cooking. In booking the suite, I was allowed to order room service from any of the restaurants and was not restricted to just the main dining room menu. My butler served the meal at the full size dining table in my suite. Activities: I brought e books to read out on the terrace of my suite and found that delightful. I have no information for the readers about children's clubs. Staff & Service: Sometimes the staff was a bit disorganized which as the reader will see further on in my narrative might be a reflection of upper management in the cruise line. However, I do believe that they were doing their very best. Entertainment: I did not book the cruise with the intention of seeking out entertainment. I was interested in being healthy and having a good time with shore excursions. Since the Riviera did not have stellar reviews from members about its entertainment, I did not seek it out. Shore Excursions: Unfortunately, the Riviera had four changes of itinerary before leaving port. When I received an Oceania brochure in the U.S. mail describing the itinerary, the cruise line had already changed the itinerary three times but failed to reveal that fact until after I booked the cruise and paid in full for the cruise. My advice to cruisers is, prior to booking to receive a written statement from the cruise line that lists any prior changes of itinerary. It is very important in these unsettled days to look carefully at the political climate in the area and not assume that it will improve. In my case, the fourth change came after my booking and full payment. The cruise line made me wait until I boarded the vessel to find out specifically how my shore excursions would be affected by the change. Ephesus is a major world heritage site in Turkey and very important to see. Even cruises that are only 2-3 days long and start in Athens, Greece make port to see Ephesus. We were originally due to make port very close to Ephesus. Instead we were several hours away in Izmir. Since this was the last port before disembarkation from the cruise, the entire treatment of it was a disappointing and marred the end of my trip memories. Also, prior to leaving on the trip the cruise line generated a final bill that did not correctly show my ground transportation in Istanbul and Athens. When I wanted it corrected, the cruise line again insisted that I had to wait until I boarded the Riviera to get the change made. Those are the facts. The reader can judge for herself whether or not you want to book with this cruise line. Disembarkaton: I never really knew if the transportation situation in Athens was solved until we arrived in Athens. I had to hunt around for my private sedan and driver. I also wasn't told until onboard the ship which day of my stay in Athens would be the tour. Summary: Disorganization marred the trip.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
The ship is lovely and the employees are wonderful - we are experienced cruisers and we thought most of the staff on board the ship rated five stars plus - maybe the best we have ever enjoyed on the seas. Very professional. We loved our ... Read More
The ship is lovely and the employees are wonderful - we are experienced cruisers and we thought most of the staff on board the ship rated five stars plus - maybe the best we have ever enjoyed on the seas. Very professional. We loved our experiences with the staff in most every area of the ship - truly extraordinary! Oceania seems to have a very old clientele - average age seemed around 70 - so make note of the lack of activity on the ship. Perfect if all you want is relaxation and like to be around mostly (polite and quite interesting) seniors. Not much going on at night and ship is asleep by about 10:30 or 11:00. Food is delicious and the interior decor and maintenance of the ship are exceptional. Very clean and lots of attention to detail. Shows are good - if the leads were stronger singers, I would even say they shows were great ... especially for a smaller sized ship. Good production team and sets. As for excursions, I would say definitely plan ahead and take your own private excursions. Either from the ship concierge (more expensive) or have your credit card company or travel agent set them up ahead of time - or just grab taxis at the ports, when you land in areas more developed for tourism such as in Turkey. Do not waste the extra money and time on ship excursions - most of the passengers on our ship did not like the cost and quality of the shore excursions arranged for the groups - even though I think the staff tries very hard to make guests happy. This is a management or pre-cruise issue they need to address. We wished for a more lively and enthusiastic cruise director, but the lady in charge was certainly nice, seemed qualified, organized and professional - but perhaps a bit tired or maybe had other issues distracting her during our cruise. The front desk staff was the only weak spot - not always so friendly or helpful to us and I noticed the same with other passengers. IMPORTANT NOTE: We caught an illness - thankfully not severe - on the ship and I do not think they handled that very well for our sake or the other people on the ship - they would not give us statistical information that would have been helpful. The front desk was especially troubling in their response. I must say that the doctor and nurse were outstanding and we were so grateful to have them present to help us. Seems like the management just wants to keep quiet about illness aboard the ship. Maybe not the case, but that was my impression. Quickly went on line to review - with the slight chance that it might help someone to know to use extra precaution aboard Riviera ... particularly in common areas and with shared computers, etc. I suppose we all have to be careful aboard cruises and the ship always makes an effort to sanitize things, but the response given to us made me a little uncertain about their policies. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
We are just back from a fantastic cruise on Oceania Riviera from Istanbul to Athens with stops in Nessebar (Bulgaria), Constanta (Romania) for 2 days, Batumi (Georgie), Trabzon (turkey), Sinop (Turkey), Kusadasi (Turkey). Everything was ... Read More
We are just back from a fantastic cruise on Oceania Riviera from Istanbul to Athens with stops in Nessebar (Bulgaria), Constanta (Romania) for 2 days, Batumi (Georgie), Trabzon (turkey), Sinop (Turkey), Kusadasi (Turkey). Everything was perfect from food to service by all employees. Everybody was smiling, try to help in anyway they can. Everyday was sunny and hot....perfect for visiting... The ship itself is very beautiful, very clean. We had an interior room and it was perfect because we like to be around the pool, walking on the 14th deck or visiting around in all ports of call....The food was faboulous in every restaurants we tried (Main dining room, 4 speciality restaurants complimentary with no extra charge(Toscana, Red Ginger, Polo grill and Jacques) and the terrace cafe/wave grill). For the ports of call (we did many excursions with the ship and it was very well organised and the guides in every excursions were very interesting and knowledgeable): Nessebar (Bulgaria): very nice town, small and easy to walk around (no need for an excursion); Constanta (Romania): we did two excursions..one at the ancient city of Histria..it was a bit disappointing (not much to see) and we did one other excursion for a visit at two museums plus folkloric show and wine tasting (we really apreciated that tour); Batumi (Georgie): very nice town and we did an excursion for the botanical garden, a fortress, a mosquee, folkloric show with a meal and we really appreciated that tour; Trabzon (Turkey): we did a tour to the Sumela monastery, a mosquee and a beautifull house and we really enjoyed it; Sinop (Turkey): very small town and the ship docked directly in town....so we walked around and see an old prison, ethnological museum, archeological museum, we saw an old church they were excavating and while we were there they just discover an human squeletton and we were very happy to see that discovery; Kusadasi (Turkey): we did an excursion to Ephesus and we liked it a lot. The embarkation and disembarkation process was very smooth.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
My wife and I sail on either Oceania or Azamara. We sailed on the Riviera last year. We noticed the staff made a concerted effort to be friendly this time. Embarkation was very easy. It would have been nice to have been welcomed on board ... Read More
My wife and I sail on either Oceania or Azamara. We sailed on the Riviera last year. We noticed the staff made a concerted effort to be friendly this time. Embarkation was very easy. It would have been nice to have been welcomed on board by a crew member and a glass of champagne but that’s a minor point. A nice feature is there are no bothersome ship photographers on board. The food is outstanding but wine should be included with dinner. Both the cabin attendants and the restaurant staff provided excellent service. Gratuities, internet and an onboard credit were part of the cruise fare promotion this year. Because of this, we didn’t feel like we were being nickeled and dimed to death like last year. The problems in the Ukraine caused the ports to change, and might have been the reason for the fare promotion as we booked the cruise after the changes were made. The main reason we took this cruise was because it spent two days in Romania. This allowed us to take an overnight tour to Transylvania. There really wasn’t much to see in the other ports with the exception of Kusadasi. The port of Sinop can be dropped as there’s nothing to see, and there’s very little shopping. On the tours we took, at best we only had a few minutes to shop for souvenirs. The Transylvania trip wasn’t well advertised. You had to look for it under Land Programs versus Shore Excursions. We met several fellow passengers who stated they would have liked to have joined the tour if they had known about it. In all, there were only twenty people on the tour. We were thankful it wasn’t cancelled for lack of participation. There are two things I don’t understand about the TVs in the staterooms. One, you can’t check your onboard account. You have to go to Reception. Second, there’s no listing of programs and movies. They should be listed in the Daily Current. Our cabin on the Concierge level was very nice though my wife did not like the lotions. The only issue we had was trying to get additional specialty restaurants reservations. Prior to the cruise we made three out of our four allotted reservations as you’re only allowed to book one per restaurant prior to the cruise. We were told we could make additional reservations the day we boarded the ship. We tried to do this on embarkation day but we were told we couldn’t for a couple more days to allow people who hadn’t made advance reservations a chance to make them. By the time we tried, there were no openings available. It’s not that big a deal though since the food in the Grand Dining Room is superb. You also get a better selection of sea food at the buffet in the Terrace Café. We don’t feel you get anything special by booking the Concierge level other than a bottle of champagne. You’re allowed the pressing of four garments but it doesn’t apply to either dry cleaning or laundry. The Concierge’s hours aren’t convenient as the desk is only manned a few hours a day. Another nice feature that Azamara does is that they have a tent set up with drinks and towels to welcome you back to the ship in the various ports. Oceania should consider doing this. We heard there were about 1000 passengers on the ship with about 330 Americans. This allowed you to meet people from other countries. All of the passengers were very nice and cordial though it was generally an older crowd. We really enjoyed ourselves and plan on cruising with Oceania again. As I mentioned, we sail on either Oceania or Azamara. Each cruise line does some things a little better than the other one but both are great.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
We were two couples from Northern England seasoned cruises i must add, and chose this cruise because we had not been to the Black Sea before.Unfortunately some of the usual places they visit were changed on the itinerary because of the ... Read More
We were two couples from Northern England seasoned cruises i must add, and chose this cruise because we had not been to the Black Sea before.Unfortunately some of the usual places they visit were changed on the itinerary because of the troubles in that area.Nevertheless we still enjoyed the cruise. Embarkation went smoothly although we did have to walk the full length of one ship before boarding Riviera. Stateroom: We both had Penthouse suites on Deck 11 midship on starboard side.They were spacious and comfortable and with a butler, everything was catered for. All the public rooms lounges etc.were decorated to a high standard and were all in a pristine condition as was throughout the ship. We chose to dine for dinner in the main dining room with a good variety of menus.Service here was good although on one occasion they were under pressure one night, as everybody came at the same time due to the Captains welcome party.Also dined at 3 of the 4 speciality restaurants.Great cuisine in each of them,except Jacques the French restaurant.Two of our guests chose a lamb main course which was lamb wrapped in pistachio filling then encased in a pastry encrute.When it was sliced open the piece of lamb inside was no bigger than a postage stamp!! Come on Oceania more lamb please.We were offered another course which was declined. Entertainment of the 4 shows by the Jean Ann Ryan company were excellent.Standard of the other entertainment was good also. No tours were taken as everybody knows Oceania are rather expensive.When will they get the message! Brief description of ports visited; Nessebar,Quaint town with narrow streets/walkways with souvenir shops,restaurants and bars. Constanta,Not as bad as some blogs suggest.Have to go with open mind.Old part does have derelict buildings but there is a new pedestrian walkway through the area with cafes and bars. Betumi,Nice esplanade to walk along then head inland to come to the town with buildings of a Russian influence. Trazbon,Typical Turkish city with shops and a fortress to visit. Sinop,Nice port area and esplanade to walk along and head inland also to the town. Kusadasi,This is the port for Ephesus to visit although the town of Kusadasi is worth a visit to the shops to buy genuine fake goods and haggle for a good price. Disembarkation was a smooth transiton to Athens airport, transfers by Oceania. As we all have done Oceania cruises before, the conclusion was would we travel with them again and the answer would be a resounding yes.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2014
This is the first time I cruised with Oceania. I picked the cruise because the itinerary is one I have wanted to do for a long time. Unfortunately, because of the situation in Ukraine we were unable to go to Sevastapol, Yalta or Odessa. ... Read More
This is the first time I cruised with Oceania. I picked the cruise because the itinerary is one I have wanted to do for a long time. Unfortunately, because of the situation in Ukraine we were unable to go to Sevastapol, Yalta or Odessa. This was not Oceania's fault but they were very sneaky in not informing us until it was too late to cancel. And worse was to come - we lost 3 ports and they didn't put any others in! We had one day cruising, 2 nights in Constanta instead of one and arrived in Istanbul a day early. Everyone on board had complained to Oceania before and during the cruise but management in Miami ignored it all and we were offered nothing to compensate for our disappointment. Now for the good things. The ship is small so there is no scrum in the buffet or getting off the ship in port. It's tastefully furnished and the food is superb. Our cabin was fine, kept clean, although the bathroom is a bit small. Service is first rate in the restaurant but could be a bit slow in the bars. All the staff are very friendly and efficient. But ... there is very little atmosphere. It was like a ghost ship after the entertainment finished at 10.30; most people went to bed! Now I'm 63 but I still like to dance and enjoy myself on holiday but the main lounge had a terrible 'disco' every night with music being played by the Cruise Director on his iPad while he sat at the bar. Only usually 10-12 people up there. Most people we spoke to liked the small ship experience and weren't interested in the entertainment. We did private tours in port but from what we heard the ship's tours were very expensive and not as good as ours. Several people told me the ship's tours were very poor value. I think we were in Constanta for 2 nights so the ship could sell their overnight tour to Bucharest for £500 per person! Otherwise our 4 hour tour covered everything there was to see so the second day was a waste. And it wasn't a pleasant place to wander on your own. After the appalling treatment from Oceania, I won't be back. This was an expensive cruise and I have to ask myself - was it worth £1000 per person more than a Celebrity cruise? And the answer is a resounding 'NO'. So Oceania have lost my custom and next time I want a special cruise, I'll go with Azamara. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2014
Although the cancellation of 3 ports was unavoidable, the delayed timing was later than was needed to cancel without a large loss. The included air far gave us such bad connections that we had to pay $175/pp deviation & another $100/pp ... Read More
Although the cancellation of 3 ports was unavoidable, the delayed timing was later than was needed to cancel without a large loss. The included air far gave us such bad connections that we had to pay $175/pp deviation & another $100/pp = $275/pp to get reasonable flights. Beware. They hold the cards. Although I was assure that our 40 minute transfer time in Munich was no problem, it was a disaster with our names called to say we were to go to a gate as we ran up 3 flights of stairs(no escalators), through a very slow security line & along a very lengthy corridor. Thank God they held the flight. I think one other couple didn't make it. We upgraded to a Concierge Level & then learned that there was 1 concierge in the lobby for everyone!! Beware. We were forwarned about needing a Turkish visa & they were collected as we boarded. 2 days prior to the port of Socchi we were told we needed a Russian visa unless we took an excursion with Oceania. Their excursions are overpriced but it was also a complete loss. The 4 hour tour($195) lasted 3.25 hours. The visit to Stalin's Dacha included 45 minutes in a room waiting for 40 people to use 1 washroom. The spa visit was 35 minutes standing outside looking at a building. Everyone expected to go in but it didn't happen. One of the excursion reps was with us & agreed that it was a short tour with problems. The excursion dept got back bad news from Miami. Too bad! The concierge, Diego, & the Destinations person, Jenn, were very busy contacting Miami head office but I talked to no one who received any satisfaction. And complain we did. I thought it was about to be a mutiny. Oceania told their staff not to talk about the problems. I have cruised over 750 days with many companies but had more problems & least satisfaction on this 13 day Oceania cruise than on all others combined. I love Azamara & the small ships but Oceania will never be an option again. In all the terrible flight connections with expensive additions, the no Concierge upgrade, the lack of Russian visa info, the delayed cancellations of ports, the shortened, expensive uninteresting excursion, the lack of any positive response from Miami made for a memorable cruise but most of them negative. How low can I rate this? Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2014
We selected this cruise for two reasons; to celebrate our 25th anniversary and because of the originally scheduled itinerary. Unfortunately situations in Ukraine forced the cancellation of the ports of Yalta, Sevastapol and Odessa. I am ... Read More
We selected this cruise for two reasons; to celebrate our 25th anniversary and because of the originally scheduled itinerary. Unfortunately situations in Ukraine forced the cancellation of the ports of Yalta, Sevastapol and Odessa. I am not stupid. I know this is not the fault of Oceania and this is something they had to do. The big issue was their communications on the situation (and lack thereof), their suspicious timing on cancelling these ports after the cancellation period had passed, even though they cancelled these ports on later cruises much earlier, their lack of any attempt to compensate for these changes, and their lack of imagination in revising the itinerary. Many cruisers I spoke with had experiences with other cruise lines which handled situations in much better ways, such as waiving cancellation penalties, onboard credits, free internet, future cruise discounts or applying the money to future cruises. We were offered nothing. The ship had apparently just emerged from dry dock and refurbishment. This was noticeable in the common areas, but in the cabin we had, there were dents in the doors, scuff marks on the hallways, and scratches in the walls, the railing in our room had faded varnish (however this was redone during a day ashore). Not terrible but pretty off putting for what is marketed as a luxury cruise experience. I found the bed way too soft. The cabin temperature wasn't very comfortable most of the time, but we never really got a good answer in response to our complaints. The food was generally OK. The quality of steaks was not really that good, IMHO. They lacked seasoning in a lot of dishes. I don't know if that was to cater to older and duller palates or what. The salads were especially disappointing. They offered a Caesars salad, but the dressing was bland, and barely passable for calling itself a Caesars salad. Hardly a shred of parmesan cheese. But they were free with the anchovies. Apparently throwing anchovies on a pile of lettuce makes it a Caesars salad. In the specialty restaurants they offer 'table side preparation of Caesars salad". What a joke. They wheeled out a cart with lettuce, anchovies, some meager and often stale croutons, and bunch of anchovies, and a previously prepared container of the same bland dressing you get at the buffet and main dining room. The exception to this was the food in Toscano which was superb. Polo Grill didn't compare to most of the finer steak houses we dine at here in Denver. The service was impeccable however, and I cannot criticize a single person we dealt with onboard. The cruise director Leslie John was very nice and we enjoyed his work. The entertainment offering was typical for cruises. Decent but not great singers and musicians. There was a couple of good specialty acts. A lot of the music arrangement was very odd to my ear. Didn't like the fact that they shut off the TV sound and video during PA announcements, but the announcements didn't play over the TV, only in the common area, so we had to listen out the door in our bath robes. It seems to me the proper way to handle this would be that if I already have the TV on, play the announcement over the TV. If the TV is off, don't play it over the TV. Overall I don't think the premium we paid over another cruise line was worth the value at all, and we won't be returning to Oceania. We did enjoy the small ship experience so we will probably look at Azamara or another of the Oceania competitors in the future. We only did one of the Oceania provided excursions, because of the cost. This was the one in Sochi which we did because of the visa restrictions. Just OK. Too much drive-by sight seeing in my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
Booked the Oceania Insignia for its historical Black Sea ports which were cancelled due to crisis in the Ukraine. Although this was not the cruise lines fault they failed to provide any consideration to make up for the missed ports. We ... Read More
Booked the Oceania Insignia for its historical Black Sea ports which were cancelled due to crisis in the Ukraine. Although this was not the cruise lines fault they failed to provide any consideration to make up for the missed ports. We booked all our tours privately (except Sochi Russia) due to high cost and herding cats atmosphere of cruise line tours. The Sochi tour was an expensive waste of time and money. Called the highlight tour - Sochi has no highlights. Stalin's Dacha was the only thing worthwhile and it could have been done in a couple hours; of course the cruise line would not have made much on that. We took advantage of the extra night in Bulgaria and spent the night in Bucharest which was the highlight of our cruise. We strongly advise experienced travelers to book private tours in order to save 30-50% and have a small group. It allows you to pick the exact places and times spent at each.With Cruise Critic and Trip Advisor there is no problem finding tours at all the major ports. The Insignia is a fine ship with an outstanding crew and staff. Can't say the same for management. The food was excellent in all dining rooms. Entertainment was weak and enrichment lectures were tour talks. The Oceania small ships are the same as the Azamara ships yet Azamara gives you better value in that they always include pre-paid gratuities, beer, wine, and spirits with better entertainment. If you like the small ships you really should give Azamara a try. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Our first trip with Oceania and we loved it. Previous cruises include Seabourn, SeaDream, Le Ponant, Island Sky, Windstar, Star Clippers, Hapag-Lloyd's Hanseatic, Paul Gauguin, and others. Embarkation -- Seamless, speedy and we were ... Read More
Our first trip with Oceania and we loved it. Previous cruises include Seabourn, SeaDream, Le Ponant, Island Sky, Windstar, Star Clippers, Hapag-Lloyd's Hanseatic, Paul Gauguin, and others. Embarkation -- Seamless, speedy and we were sipping a glass of bubbly before we knew it. Luggage placed outside the door which was just fine by us. When the day comes that we can't move our cases a few feet, it's time to pack it in! We bought the booze package and never found it intrusive to have to show the card. In fact, the best waiters/bartenders (here's looking at you, "D" in the Grand Bar) memorized our cabin number so did not ask for it repeatedly. We had a PH cabin with a balcony and butler. We used the balcony only a couple of times as this was a port intensive cruise. We used the butler once. We loved our cabin category due to the size, but did not need the butler. Excursions -- did all private one with people we "met" on our roll call. Food -- nearly the best I have ever had at sea. The dining room took only 2 days to get my boiled eggs correct (and my odd way of breaking them into a bowl to eat). Other ships never did get the concept! The breads and especially the croissants were terrific. One night I commented how great the bay scallops were and the next thing I knew I had another order in front of me. Decor -- we loved it. Yes, I know it is not very nautical and is reminiscent of an English Country house, but it fit our tastes. Was it all perfect? No. Our room was not made up one night. Our first meal in Toscana was not the best (veal limone -- skip it), and we had an annoying problem with the Oceania Ambassador re a future cruise. Nothing is perfect but for us, Oceania comes close. We'll be returning and I heartily recommend Oceania to others Read Less
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