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82 Oceania Family Cruise Reviews

The Riviera is a new ship. Oceania has outdone itself with this beauty. Everything was perfection - food, wines, service, staff, decor, cabin, space, ports and smooth sailing. Bravo Oceania. Let's start with the food. We know from ... Read More
The Riviera is a new ship. Oceania has outdone itself with this beauty. Everything was perfection - food, wines, service, staff, decor, cabin, space, ports and smooth sailing. Bravo Oceania. Let's start with the food. We know from past sailings on the best lines that Oceania has always had the best food at sea. Now with Riviera this is re-confirmed. Not just in the main dining room, where the food is delicious, service outstanding and the decor stunning, but throughout. From the casual Waves pool grill venue, to the new speciality restaurants. All under famous French chef Jacques 's overall supervision, from concept to decor to food and service, these places are amazing restaurants. Jacques is not around of course, but his influence is felt. His signature place Jacques offers up some of the best French food my wife and I have ever had. And I am talking about Michelin rated restaurants in Paris and elsewhere in France where we have dined. Truly outstanding classic French cuisine. Toscana and Red Ginger also outstanding. And now with the alcohol packages Oceania offers, this cruise line offers an equal dining and drinking experience with any of the so called all inclusive lines should one want to purchase the package, which is fairly priced for those who enjoy wines and liquor with their meals or anytime on the ship. Cabins are very nicely sized and appointed. Concierge level one we had was nearly 300 sq ft. Nice sized veranda. Nice sized bathroom with separate stall shower. Everything built with high end materials. We really appreciated the construction of the sliding door window glass that must be insulated to keep out the severe Mediterranean sunlight and heat, and the AC was fabulous. Staff is well trained and so pleasant. Oceania does this so well. Everyone we interfaced with throughout the cruise. And no language problem the way one cruise critic we read said they experienced. Staff always smiling and friendly. They go the extra mile in the dining rooms or elsewhere thigh out the ship. We have sailed close to 20 times before on the high end cruise lines like Silversea, which so many people we talked to see as slipping, Crystal and Regent, plus Cunard and HA, and Oceania staff are the best we have ever seen. Officers pleasant and available as they walk around ship or grab a bite in Waves or Barristas. David the ship cruise director is simply the best we have ever seen. So on top of things. Ports were interesting and excursions mostly very useful. embarkation and disembarkation so easy. And finally the entertainment .....Oceania with the Riviera has set the new standard for itself and it's competitors.They have engaged a top line outside production company to put on top professional productions with great talent. The dancers and singers are not just very attractive people but also very talented. We saw 3 different and spectacular production numbers. Complete with fabulous costumes, lighting and scenery effects and marvelous musicians. Everyone was raving about the troupe of performers they have engaged. Not like the semi talent shows we have seen so often on other ships. And in a beautiful new room without all those clumsy, get in your way glass topped cocktail tables and drinks being hawked throughout. Bravo again Oceania. Pool and pool deck spacious. The interior decor of the ship is out of Architectural Digest, with each piece of artwork adorning the walls of every hallway and public are personally selected supposedly by the CEO. Well done. So tasteful and interesting to look at. All in all, outstanding cruise and ship. Th Mediterranean very smooth this time of year, and the ship glided along without any vibrations or even a sense we were moving. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
We cruised on May 2nd, 2012, Mediterranean Tapestry, arriving a day early and stayed at Ledra Marriott for the night. It was a pleasant day altogether to relax, enjoy Athens a bit before embarking on our wonderful journey the next day. ... Read More
We cruised on May 2nd, 2012, Mediterranean Tapestry, arriving a day early and stayed at Ledra Marriott for the night. It was a pleasant day altogether to relax, enjoy Athens a bit before embarking on our wonderful journey the next day. Staff at the airport and hotel were very efficient, competent and friendly. We had transfer service to the ship, however, were given the option of having our luggage transferred, with us checking in at a later time, thus giving us more time to wander around Athens. This was a splendid service that was greatly appreciated. We utilized the Hop-on Hop-off bus to visit the various sites in Athens, before hopping off at the cruise terminal. Check in was superb, since we arrived at 3:30 p.m., with no line up. This was the beginning of a host of "no line ups" on this cruise. It took us maybe 10 minutes and we're on our way to our cabin. Marina is very beautiful, elegant and sparkling clean. Our cabin, situated mid ship, was very quiet and stable, we did not feel any swaying at all. The bathroom is very spacious, using granite flooring instead of plastic bathroom flooring which made for a very elegant feel. The bed and pillows were very comfortable, and linens luxurious. Balcony spacious, more than enough room to move around even with two big armchairs and a table. The only negative comment I have with our cabin was the alarm clock, which needed to be replaced three times before we got one that worked. Another observation, laminated trimming from the desk kept falling off, not once, but three times. I inserted the piece of wood back on the first time, then put it in plain view so the cabin attendant can glue it back on the second time, and when it came off again, I gave up. Strange to have fixtures falling apart for such a brand new ship. Public areas were nicely decorated, subtle and elegant. Public areas, including the restaurants gave me the impression that we were sailing half capacity, but when I enquired further, we were only short 100 to full capacity. Never did we have to wait for a table, either dinner, lunch nor breakfast. Tables were plentiful, there were never any line ups, be it for food, or disembarkation. Seating for the shows were also plentiful. Food was a little bit disappointing, compared to Insignia. For some reason, some of the food items were sometimes bland, or arrived luke warm. However, it was not so bad that we need to send it back. We enjoyed the meals at Terrace Cafe because it provided us with a wider selection of entrees, desserts etc. Service in all restaurants were impeccable. However, I do agree with another member's review in that the restaurant reservation staff member could have been a little more welcoming in her interaction with guests. Recognized a few faces from Insignia, which was very nice.Entertainment was superb - we only made it to the ship's own production, and all the lead singers on this cruise were very strong singers, can hold their own, and did a very good job in their rendition of the songs. Wish we could have seen the other shows, however, our time in port was so hectic, we're just plain tired. Ports of call were fabulous, and the process of disembarkation very smooth. Even on ports that needed tender was done so well, there never was any wait time. Well done. Amalfi/Positano port was very beautiful. Enjoyed looking at the ripening lemons, so huge it was unbelievable!! Our first stop was a visit to Ravello, super beautiful village with lots of ceramic shops. A very nice walk along the mountainside (again, not for the mobility impaired). Then, a quick drive to Pompeii for a one hour visit (not enough). For lunch, we stopped at Positano and the the view from our restaurant, Da Constantino, was so breathtaking, I thought I was looking at a calendar!! Food was very good as well. Ephesus, Turkey - a very worthwhile port of call. Enjoyed the tour with Ephesus Shuttle, visiting Private Ephesus - a must see, Artemission Temple, The house of the Virgin Mary, St. John's Basilica and Sirince Village, with lunch included. All in all, it was a very pleasant cruise. Can't wait to return. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Booked with Oceania after our already paid cruise on a different line dropped all Middle East ports(Arab spring concerns). This itinerary was similar to our original booking but 2 days longer with more ports. We like booking way in ... Read More
Booked with Oceania after our already paid cruise on a different line dropped all Middle East ports(Arab spring concerns). This itinerary was similar to our original booking but 2 days longer with more ports. We like booking way in advance, so a new search with only a few months to travel date was not what we wanted. The fact we had already purchased airfare, further complicated matters. One day I received an e-mail from our TA about a sale on Oceania. The time frame was right and required only one additional flight(much cheaper than making changes to our existing ones). We are 3 adults and were able to obtain an inside cabin that would accommodate us. The sq ft. was the smallest we had ever been in, but surprisingly the layout was great and had workable room to move about. Room stewards friendly, efficient and responsive. From the moment we checked in, the service was outstanding. No long lines for embarking, obtaining and returning passports, disembarking, pursers desk etc. We always found available deck chairs, seats during the shows, tables for lunch and breakfast. What a great relaxing atmosphere! The ship was not glitzy but comfortable. Great library. Pool was small but acceptable. Casino also small, but sufficient considering only 650 passengers on board. Specialty restaurants were very nice with lovely china,crystal,and real silverware,and the food was good(not phenomenal). The quality and abundance of fresh fruits and ice cream was outstanding(best raspberries!) and served stylishly (no plastic forks, spoons, glasses anywhere). The wait staff kept asking if we liked the food, how they could better serve us, and overall pampered us to no end. Texas burgers and Cuban sandwiches were awesome. When returning from an overnight tour the red carpet was out and room stewards greeted us at the gangway with "Welcome Home"! Ship excursions were pricey so we connected with fellow cruise critic members for nice private tours. Love kids but glad there weren't any on-board. The gym was very nice and the most utilized ever. There was a never-ending supply of FREE cold bottled water in the room and upon exiting and entering the ship. Everything was immaculate and staff super attentive. Country club casual dress code is great, and though we enjoy dressing up, lugging all the extra clothes on long overseas trips is a hassle. This was by far the most relaxing ship experience we've ever had. Oceania's rates are higher than mid range lines (Xbrity, Holland etc.)so we'll keep looking for their special sales as we would love to cruise with them again. Thanks Oceania, have more sales! Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Oceania - Regatta - Cruise - Dover to Stockholm-14 days My wife and I took this cruise on July12, 2010. We flew to Heathrow and were driven to the ship at Dover by a van booked through Oceania (they also drove us from the ship to the ... Read More
Oceania - Regatta - Cruise - Dover to Stockholm-14 days My wife and I took this cruise on July12, 2010. We flew to Heathrow and were driven to the ship at Dover by a van booked through Oceania (they also drove us from the ship to the airport in Stockholm at the cruise's conclusion). Cost per person: $189. Very smooth and easy...and pricey. Our ocean view cabin on deck three was well laid out and typical of the cabins we had had on various other ships on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. The cabin included a t.v. and dvd player but lacked an adequate number of electrical outlets. If you are electronics heavy, bring a multiplug adapter. The worse thing about our cabin was that it was at wharf level when docked, which resulted in a lack of privacy unless the curtains were drawn. The service we had everywhere on the ship ranged from very good to excellent. The Regatta has open seating in its main dining room and scheduled seating in its two "limited engagement" dining rooms, the Polo Grill and Toscana. These latter two had to be booked in advance (unless there was a last minute cancellation) and were only open for dinner. The number of advance reservations (which are at no additional charge) depended on your cabin class. There was a buffet open for all three meals, plus a pool area sandwich style restaurant and an afternoon tea. In general, I found the food and service in the main dining room at least equal to that in the "limited engagement" restaurants, and the buffet good for breakfast. The lunch and dinner buffets were well prepared and the choices reasonably abundant, but the food, in my opinion, did not match the quality of the food served in the main, Polo, or Toscana restaurants. The service was great in all the dining areas, and the food excellent in the main, Polo, and Toscana dining rooms. The wine list was extensive. A bottle of decent California red (Rodney Strong 2006 or Franciscan 2006 Cabernet) was, with the mandatory 18% gratuirty included, in the $40 range. A bottle Chateau Petrus was available for $2000. We explored most cities on our own. It would have been nice if Oceania supplied transportation from the wharf to the cities, when appropriate. We did take an Oceania tour in Tallinn, which was adequate. We booked three Oceania excursions in St. Petersburg. The first, of Catherine's Palace, was fine, largely because the guide spoke good English and was knowledgeable. The second, of the Hermitage, the highlight of St. Petersburg, was a disaster. The guide was inexperienced, spoke poor English, and gave inadequate and confusing directions. The museum was immensely crowded, the tour was rushed and scattershot, and, all in all, a tremendous disappointment. The third, of the Jewish Synagogue, was half disaster and half joy. The guide's English was not only poor, but he mumbled and was often unintelligible. However, when the Miami-trained Cantor at the museum sang for us, it was pure joy. My advice to prospective passengers on this Oceania cruise itinerary (and probably on others as well) is to book your onshore excursions independent of Oceania. There are various companies available on the internet that will provide excursions (with necessary visas in Russia) and are, according to the passengers who did this, both superior and 30-50% less expensive. I do want to include one issue that particularly irritated me. The folder that was sent to pasengers about a month prior to sailing noted that email "Charges are $2 for the first 100KB of each inbound message address and each outbound address," and that an Outlook Email account had been set up for us (addresses were included in the handbook. (p.40) However, when we visited the computer center we were informed this was the "old" policy, and that the "new" and current policy was that each email cost $3.95 plus $.95 a minute. Furthermore, you had to compose the email on rather than off line. When I complained that this ex post facto change was a bit unethical, I was informed, albeit politely, by the computer specialist, that there was nothing he could do and that I might wish to see the concierge, Furthermore, the promised email addresses had been cancelled. In summary, the cruise featured great food and service, but poor and expensive excursions (although our experience in this last was quite limited). Will we book another Oceania cruise? I don't know, but we certainly will be more discriminating in booking excursions. Nota Bene: I omitted references to entertainment because we did not attend any events. I was told that the magician was quite good, however. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
We traveled on Oceania in its inaugural year and it was fabulous.  In many ways, it is still a notch above other lines but it also is less than what it was.  The food is decidedly less varied, with cheaper selections.  There are no ... Read More
We traveled on Oceania in its inaugural year and it was fabulous.  In many ways, it is still a notch above other lines but it also is less than what it was.  The food is decidedly less varied, with cheaper selections.  There are no fresh pancakes or waffles in the morning and precooked items could break windows.  Lunch was fine but the dining room dinners were boring and somewhat repetitive with little shell fish on the menu.  Polo restaurant has slipped.  The lobster bisque was horrible and the ship does not know how to make real Caesar salad.  The ports of call were handled well but the ship provides no free water like Azamara does.  It also has no comfort station upon return with cold drinks nor cold hand towels. Too many ports are only half day.  The hotel they used in Egypt made hundreds of people sick from the food and the line at the doctors was unreal as our cabin was right across the hall from the doctor.  Entertainment was lacking.  The magician did the same tricks he did inaugural year and they should fire him.  The comedian was fine as was the quartet.  There are also not enough chairs at the pool and they do not enforce the policy of not holding deck chairs for hours at a time and then not returning.  The ship is clean, the crew is exceptional and service is polite and prompt.  But the line is trading on it past and needs to fine tune.  Bean counters have gotten to it.  They had no flowers nor wine for past repeat cruisers, no ship board credit until cruising five times and with what they charge should be giving kids free soda, instead of 2.50 a can plus 18% gratuity.  They are penny pinching and it is distinctly unclassy. Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
Our family cruised on the Nautica Ocenia in 2009 July, from Istanbul to Athens. We were excited to cruise on the Oceania line, as we had never been on this cruising line before. From Australia were are very laid back people so with our ... Read More
Our family cruised on the Nautica Ocenia in 2009 July, from Istanbul to Athens. We were excited to cruise on the Oceania line, as we had never been on this cruising line before. From Australia were are very laid back people so with our extensive cruising experience behind us we can fairly critique our experience on board. Food was amazing. It was bar far the best dining we have had ever on board. It was exquisite, everywhere! The Buffet, The Grand Dining Room, Toscana and the SteakHouse. Service was incredible; the staff when out of their way to service to ensure the best possible service: pulling out chairs, taking your plate to your seat after buffet service, new cutlery immediately, polite, friendly. It was the best service we ever received on any cruise, by the then 67 nationalities on board. Even the Captain and his staff were exceptional and went out of their way to accommodate us. The buffet themes were very good and food AMAZING! Rooms were smaller than we expected them to be, finding ourselves cramped and crowded in the bedroom and especially the bathroom. The shower size was small however the freshly stocked shampoos and body washes were great (their size was good). Towels instantly restocked. Beds made everyday, new sheets every second day. Fridges restocked instantly. Balcony always cleaned. TV and in-room entertainment was wonderful, lots of programs, movies and an in cabin DVD for you. Interconnecting rooms were wonderful (that was our room arrangement due to the limited four person suite accommodation) however expected larger sized stateroom space. Entertainment was average. The performers, band, magician, comedian... were all average (if sometimes below) however the staff were fantastic. The assistant cruise director Ian was the funniest bloke on board and a true gentleman, as well as other crew Lucy Jo and Dan. Meanwhile, Cruise Director Dottie was never spotted anywhere except Captains cocktails or her morning show. Activities were great as well. One exception to the entertainment was Vincenzo, the classical guitarist, who was amazing and very talented. His two shows were brilliant. Spa/Salon/Fitness centre were all fantastic and service and staff were again friendly and polite. Shop staff wonderful and always happy/friendly. Samuel, was in charge of the shops on board, and he was extraordinary. Everything was expensive: treatments, drinks, tours (I'll get to that)... Ports of Call were beautiful ports but most tours were expensive and disappointment. Nessebur (bulgaria) we did a village tour which seemed like a scam. For all that money the poor was very poor. Odessa was a beautiful port where we didn't do any tours. Sevastopol itself was very disappointing however the tour to Khersonushus was great. Yalta tour to Livadia palace was fantastic.... Sochi was awful, horrible, the worst port we have ever been to EVER. The tour was a MAJOR ripoff, overpriced. The spas were disgusting, smelt, rude people. The attractions could barely be called that and the best part of the whole experience was the air conditioned bus. Fortunately we saw Stalin's Dacha (villa) in between the over priced chaos. Turkey and Greece were amazing and worthwhile, despite Santorini being very busy (that comes with the time of year). There were not photographers on board, which is agreed to be a saving financially but our family enjoys such a memoir. Fellow cruising passengers were unlike our previous cruise experience. All passengers were American, with a few Canadians and us the Aussies onboard. Americans were very particular and fussy travellers, complaining with everything and making their arrogance and ignorance known TO EVERYONE on board. It doesn't get much better than Nautica. Though there are always exceptions to rules and some Americans were pleasant company, majority were rude, fussy and arrogant. On tours they were only concerned with the US and the Baltic relationships, asking them if they heard of Obama, knew of CNN and watched American television shows. For us and the Canadians it was annoying to witness, and we felt the Americans needed to know that the entire world (especially the developing countries in the Baltic such as Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine) don't revolve around them. Also, I can understand if people want to wear shorts and everyday shirts out to evening dining, but turning up to captains cocktails in shorts, polo as a collar(t-shirt), boots/thongs is an insult to the staff, the ship and the captain. Seeing fellow passengers in this attire on the most formal (and only formal) night on the cruise is really horrbile. THat was embarrasing on the fellow passengers behalf. The best part of the entire cruise was the second last night when there was the farewell show (which is better the 2nd last night as people are packing and giving farewells to staff the last night). Every act performed and then the string quartet performed TIME TO SAY GOODBYE. A DVd of our cruise experience was played and then the whole crew (all 600 of then) came to the stage and sang with us an Irish Blessing. We danced with them in the showroom till the wee hours of the morning. Never before have we experienced something so emotional and touching as that. Overall, this cruise was our best cruising experience and everyone from the waiting staff, to disembarkation people, to the salon staff, the tender staff, the captain and his crew and the everyone in between were extra ordinary, and it was our best cruise ever. five star!!!!! ultimate holiday and a voyage to remember! Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
Our cruise began May 10, 2009, in Istanbul, Turkey, went to Mitilini, Kusadasi, Rhodes, Delos, Mykonos, Santorini, Athens, Strait of Messina, Amalfi/Positano, Taormina, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Venice. We recommend the ship to any adults who want ... Read More
Our cruise began May 10, 2009, in Istanbul, Turkey, went to Mitilini, Kusadasi, Rhodes, Delos, Mykonos, Santorini, Athens, Strait of Messina, Amalfi/Positano, Taormina, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Venice. We recommend the ship to any adults who want good food, good company, and good experiences ashore.We spent a day in Istanbul  before  embarking Nautica. We had a private tour to the wonderful sites Topakapi Palace, Church of St. Sophia, Blue Mosque and Covered Bazaar. Enjoyed it very much. We had our arrangements through Transbalkan Tours (www.transbalkan.com) which we used them for Ephesus as well during the cruise. We overnighted in a boutique hotel located in the old city. Next day we took a cab to Nautica. Boarding process was simple and friendly. We were in our stateroom within 15 minutes of leaving the taxi and at the welcoming lunch buffet 10 minutes later. Most of the luggage arrived promptly. The final piece was delayed a couple hours.Overall, the ship was beautiful, very well decorated, traditional but not old-fashioned, and superbly maintained. You could hardly find a scuff mark anywhere. The ship carries only 680 passengers, which puts it on the small side these days. We, and everyone we talked to, liked the size, which was big enough but not too big. While cruising, the ship was stable. The swimming pool was small but adequate, with two whirlpools, and the deck area was adequate. There were a variety of places to sit in the sun or lean on the railing. There was a nice library, a good-sized fitness area, a small casino, and two shops. A string quartet frequently played, as did a pianist. The stage entertainment was typical of cruise ships. There were few children on our trip, and there should have been none.Nautica doesn't encourage children, and these kind of trips aren't suited for them. Food was usually very good, sometimes excellent, and a few times even superb. It would occasionally fall into the "okay" category. The elegant Grand Dining Room operates during specified periods as announced each day in the ship newsletter. You are not assigned a table or an eating time.There are no formal nights. You dress "country club casual." No tie or jacket is required for men. Some jackets but only a few ties were in evidence. You decide whether to eat with others or not. Service was good. The buffet, at the stern of the ship, has superb views and is called the Terrace Caf? for breakfast and lunch and Tapas for dinner. On three consecutive evenings, we sat at one of the outdoor tables at the buffet and watched the sun set over the Black Sea, an experience to treasure. Menu selection was varied, and presentation was excellent in both restaurants. Oceania advertises that "legendary chief" Jacques Pepin created some of the dishes on the menu. That seemed overrated to us. Near the pool was a grill, operating from about noon to 4 p.m., where you could get good hamburgers and hotdogs, a few other sandwiches, ice cream, and go through a salad buffet. There are two alternative restaurants, Toscana, featuring Italian, and the Polo Grill, featuring beef. You make reservations, but do not pay extra at them. While fine, they are over-hyped. The dining room and buffet were just as good. The Nautica does not scrimp on food. Prime rib was on the menu several nights, a roast sucking pig was served one day, and shrimp prepared in various ways was available almost every day.We met the captain once at a ship's party. Otherwise, he was not much in evidence. Tours of the bridge, kitchen and engine room were not advertised. A concierge is available during the day. When our room keys acted up, he quickly had the problem fixed. The staff comes from many countries, and most had good command of English and were very friendly.Shore excursions were as with many ships, terribly overpriced. Details about them, necessary to decide which ones to select, were hard to come by before we boarded. Calls to the 800 Oceania number were answered by dour, unhelpful individuals. For some of the port of calls we decided to pre-book private shore excursions through local tour operators before boarding to Nautica. We were very happy with the tours provided through them. Saw more and Saved a lot.Local Tour Operators we used:Santorini: www.santorinidaytours.comKusadasi:  www.transbalkan.comAthens: www.athenstaxi.netIn talking to many of our fellow passengers, we heard nearly-unanimous praise for the Nautica. A surprising number of them had been on Oceania two or three times before, although the company has existed only a few years. One woman, apparently a chronic complainer, said maintenance of her stateroom was lacking, crew were impolite, and food was not "phenomenal." It was difficult to believe her first two claims. As for the food, meals were always enjoyable and delicious; for "phenomenal," you go to gourmet restaurants. Several passengers got on board without their luggage. I suspect that was the fault of airlines. I would strongly advise against arriving in Europe on the same day your cruise ship departs - WAY too much opportunity for trouble. Service in the Nautica buffet was at times a little slow. The staff should also enforce the dress code. We had a few louts who came to the buffet in sleeve-less t-shirts and baggy shorts, and one who talked loudly on a cell phone. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
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