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6 Oceania Honolulu Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise line and ship due to its small size (approx 650 passengers) and having gone on an extended and enjoyable cruise last year with them to New Zealand and Australia. This year's cruise from Honolulu to Miami was ... Read More
We chose this cruise line and ship due to its small size (approx 650 passengers) and having gone on an extended and enjoyable cruise last year with them to New Zealand and Australia. This year's cruise from Honolulu to Miami was unfortunately very unpleasant. I am writing this review to voice my and my wife's extreme disappointment concerning the above Regatta cruise which we recently completed. It started off on a sour note when we were forced at the last minute to delay our stateroom boarding by over four hours due to a medical issue suffered on the previous excursion in which over four passengers had come down with the norovirus. This required the entire boat to be continuously disinfected for the first seven days of our cruse. Although it did not affect any of our Hawaii destinations it certainly affected the level of on board service which was extremely slow and at times disorganized. We understand the necessity for the precautions which had to be taken to ensure there was not another outbreak but it still was a irritating issue to deal with. However this is not the reason for this review. Our main complaint had to do with an issue which occurred after leaving the Hawaiian islands. During our sea cruise towards San Diego a passenger became ill which necessitated the ship being turned around and returned to Hawaii so the passenger could be air lifted to a medical facility. This caused an eventual 26 hour delay and some major changes to our remaining itinerary. As a result two of our remaining nine port calls were cancelled (Cabo San Lucas Puerto Quetzal) and a third (Corinto) was reduced in time from the nine hours to five. Two private tours we had booked had to be cancelled and others rearranged. The itinerary changes also added two additional sea cruising days (going from 11 to 13) to an already onerous amount. So basically of the nine remaining port calls we lost two entirely and half of a third. Needless to say we are very unhappy about all this lost time and disruption to our trip due to the illness of one passenger. We understand the situation was possibly life threatening and the necessity to get the passenger medical attention. However because of all the port cancellations and disruptions this caused we felt at the very least we should be entitled to some compensation. We discussed the matter with the Regatta on board executive concierge who was attentive but basically said if we had any complaints we should notify Oceania guest relations and gave us the email address. We knew the cruise line could change itineraries at its discretion, however we felt this went way beyond a minor inconvenience and certainly was not an act of god. This was our second long cruise with Oceania (we attended last year's 23 day Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia which we greatly enjoyed) and strongly felt we should have been at least partially compensated financially for all the lost time due to one passenger's illness. This complaint was sent to the Oceania guest relations email while we were still on the cruise and after seven days and having received no response we sent a copy of the email to Robert Binder, the CEO of Oceania. Within 24 hours we received a reply from guest relations which basically said no compensation and referred us to the fine print in the cruise contract about changing itineraries. It is sad to think it required a letter to the CEO in order to get guest relations attention and the courtesy of a response. What was sadder and inexcusable was the total indifference of Oceania to our complaints. For a company that touts its world class cruising experience its customers relations staff was woefully indifferent to passenger complaints. We more than likely will not be cruising with them again. As far as the onboard experience was concerned we have the following comments: Cabin - room service staff was excellent - maintenance staff was not. Our air conditioning was mostly inoperative the first four days of the cruise before finally being fixed on the third attempt on the fifth day. Dining - service in the beginning was very slow probably due to the sanitation precautions that were being taken due to norovirus outbreak on previous cruise. After first seven days and discontinuance of constant disinfecting, service was very good. Food for the most part was very good to excellent especially in the speciality dining rooms. Activities: very poor selection of activities unless you like bingo, line dancing and gambling. Fortunately the onboard lecturers were very good and knowledgeable. entertainment: was typical cruise ship caliber - nothing special. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was our first cruise on Oceania. The itinerary hit several of our bucket list locations and we had always wanted to sail on a small ship, so booking was kind of a no-brainer. The prior cruise had been hit with the Norovirus and ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Oceania. The itinerary hit several of our bucket list locations and we had always wanted to sail on a small ship, so booking was kind of a no-brainer. The prior cruise had been hit with the Norovirus and the first 5 days the crew was working overtime on sanitation (less service for the passengers). We totally understood that and with a 24-day cruise assumed we would have exemplary service many days. Next problem - we were unable to stop at either Cabos San Lucas or Guatemala due to an emergency medical evacuation several hours out of Kauai - the right call by the captain. Unfortunately, we found the service to be lacking throughout the entire cruise. We were never able to get through dinner in less than 2 1/2 hours and twice it was over 3 as the dining room staff at all of the restaurants was exceptionally slow. The only way around this was to eat in the Terrace Cafe and we much prefer a restaurant to a buffet. The service in the pool area and other reading/conversation "nooks" was also very poor. The ship had one server for to cover very large sections. No matter how good, no server can give great service when their section is too large. That said, our stateroom steward and her assistant were absolute gems, the Terrace Cafe also had some "shining stars" and the hostesses and hosts were very good. The food was the best we have ever had aboard any ship. The library and card/game room was exceptionally well stocked. Over all, we enjoyed our cruise tremendously. However, we found the level of service no better than we can get on other lines, the entertainment in the show lounge was sub-par, and the casino was almost non-existent. We will probably never sail Oceania again. The additional cost to cruise with so few passengers is not worth the level of service we found and the lesser entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. Not a fan of sea days, but the ports were interesting, as was the panama canal and Havana stop. Embarkation in Honolulu was good and bad. There was no one to help us with our luggage when we ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. Not a fan of sea days, but the ports were interesting, as was the panama canal and Havana stop. Embarkation in Honolulu was good and bad. There was no one to help us with our luggage when we got to the port. We were told this isn't the norm. The rest of the embarkation was good getting on the ship, but due to the CDC restrictions, we were unable to get to our cabin until 15 minutes before muster. Also I had to find and take my invoice down to guest services because they gave me a card without showing my drink package, although my cabin mates did have it. I stood in lline for over an hour while my friends were having lunch. Disembarkation was a total nightmare. Baggage tags for those who were to depart by 8:15 through 9:15. I was also told Oceania does not allow you to self depart with a large suitcase. At 7:15 people were lining up with their suitcases to self disembark. By 7:45 I got in line. At about 8:23 they started to allow the line to start disembarking. Those of us who had red and green baggage tags for an 8:15 departure were held up in the warehouse (about 20 of us), we could see our bags sitting there. We were told no one could collect their bags until every single bag was in the warehouse, meaning to wait until at lease 9. At this point they had stopped letting passengers off the ship. Many arguements were going back and forth between some of the passengers who were already in the warehouse and the dockside security. Obviously the Red and Green tags bags were within reach but no one was allowed. At about 8:45, the land side representative stepped away to take a call and the group rush to grab their bags. Many had early flights. I heard from friends still on board that it got ugly on the ship as well. The rain didn't help. While I have over 47 cruise in my history, none on Oceania and I’m a young active 64 year old). After a good two weeks, we started judging the average age of passengers was somewhere between 75-80. Though most everyone were in shape, healthy, happy and enjoying the bars though very few showed up in the dance lounge after the 9:30 nightly show. The choice of food venues was nice and overall excellent food. Deserts to die for. The Terrace buffet usually offered the same as the main dining room, but IMHO the dining room was the better option as the food was fresh, normal portion, although for me, I asked for and received 1/2 portions of most meals. In the terrace you were unable to serve yourself and the server would always just slop on a big portion and typically you just eat more than you should in the buffets. You can also get lobster for lunch and most nights. The Wave serves a surf and turf sandwich. A friend ordered lobster only each day and put it on top of her salad, also from the Waves. She managed to each lobster and/or crab twice a day. The few times I ate lobster I will say the Waves tasted the best. We had four bookings for specialites (Polo and Toscana) but easily went to the Terrace early morning and either go another reservation or wait listed for that night. You can also try showing up at whichever restaurant, but your chances are low. Drinks: We had the basic beverage package (wine with lunch and dinner). There were some decent wines, but my favorites are the ones that I brought on board myself. With the package, the waiters had no problem switching your wine glasses to go so you were able to walk out of the venues with your wine. Drinks are pricey, if not choosing drink of the day. The happy hour 2 for 1 were a big hit with us. The pool drink of the day was different, so make sure you check both. The typically advertised the drink of the day in the Currents (but not the pool drink). Cabin, we had a deluxe oceanview on Deck 4, which was easy access to most things, same level as guest services. I had to walk past the medical service most days and would hold my breathe walking past, lol. It was one busy place. The beds were separated as I was traveling with a friend. It was a pretty small cabin. We did not meet our cabin steward until late Day 2. Since the ship was under a CDC Code Red we were very delayed in getting into our stateroom and when we did we had quite the surprise in the toilet. We also needed maintenance to fix our less than cooling air conditioner. No one responded to us until Day 2 when we met our stateroom attendant and his supervisor. They basically said they were so busy sanitizing the ship they did not have the resources to go back and re-check every cabin. It seems there were a few cabins, where the pipes backed up and feces entered the toilets after the cleaning. Medical: We had about five medavacs or passengers who left the ship during the 24 nights, one which required return to Hawaiian waters so coast guard could airlift the passenger. We had been well on our way crossing the Pacific. This turn-a-round, caused us to skip two ports (we didn't have that many to begin with for a Transpacific), delayed by a day in two ports and shortened our time in those ports. This was a lesson learned for me. I've been on many cruises that had medavas and even an airlift or two, but we were always close enough to land and/or a port not to cause such a change in itinerary. Unlike other cruises I have taken where they return your port charges if skipped, Oceania does not do this. Another turn off to me, was they were not apologetic to those who had private tours booked. They would actually say, we are so sorry to those who have ship excursions and the destination desk is working to reaccomodate you. At least say your sorry to the rest of us. Those who did book ship excursions were learning quickly that although they paid up front via credit card, Oceania was putting their payment as OBC to be used before they got off, and/or charge them 5% if taken out as cash. Another note which many may be aware, one of the ladies whom we did some excursions with fainted of dehydration during the Panama canal transit (it was hot on the upper deck). She was brought to but insisted on going to the medical for IV fluids rather than drink her bottle of water which she wanted to do. $1500 later.... Also two others we spoke to with bronchitis received bills of $6,000 and $9,000. Not sure what that entailed. Two tylenol cost $37 from medical. Go buy them in the shops instead if you forget them. The ship is older, very dark wood. Horizons is the only indoor area (air conditioned or heated) with big glass windows. The other floors with windows for general seating is limited but the windows are small with heavy drapes. I did eat in the MDR each morning and requests an aft table which had a great view. Entertainment: The ship's entertainment was okay, there was one great singer, Crystal, a pretty decent singer Daniel, the Cruise Director Shawn also sang. Amy and Mervin were both sick the second half of the cruise - disappointing. We had a vegas style singer who was entertaining, an electric violin (jazz celtic fiddle), a ventriloquist, a magician, both good. The bad was a harpist and another female vegas style who I did not enjoy whatsoever. After the 9:30 show, the Regatta band would play in Horizons but most nights there were just a handful of us who showed up. There were two men who did the very informative lectures. The cruise director staff had a gaggle of games, shuffleboard, bingo, trivia, toss games, needlepoints, majong, and of course bridge. I almost forgot line dancing, my favorite. They give out O points which you redeem the day before you disembark for a range of items such a clothing, hats, luggage tags and travel accessories. Service: Once we were over the CDC restrictions, the staff was extremely helpful and went out of the way to please you. I can not say the same about the guest services or destination staff - they were of little help whatsoever. I wouldn't do another Transpacific again knowing the pitfalls to potential medavacs when so far out to sea. I have been on other ships where we have had airlifts and/or medavacs, but barely a blip in the itinerary. I've read that Oceania does drop ports very easily which was also the case with my itinerary. I'd like to give her another chance, but the communication was so bad and they just didn't seem to care to compensate whatsoever that we certainly didn't get the cruise we paid for. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and our previous experience on Oceania. However, our cruise on the Regatta left much to be desired. We found the service in the Main Dining Room to be extremely slow. The General Manager aboard ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and our previous experience on Oceania. However, our cruise on the Regatta left much to be desired. We found the service in the Main Dining Room to be extremely slow. The General Manager aboard indicated that their goal is 1-3/4 hours to 2 hours per table for dinner. We had 2 dinners where it took over 2-1/2 hours to finish. I attribute this to a lack of staff as while the dining room staff were enthusiastic and personable they were running around trying to service their tables. The staff in Polo also seemed to be under staffed and the servers were slow in responding and mixed the orders on more than one occasion. Overall, the quality of the food was very good, however, several times the meats were overcooked and dry. We had the unfortunate experience on an onboard medical emergency that required the ship to turn around and head back to the Hawaiian islands to rendezvous with a helicopter to medevac the patient. This caused the ship to lose about 25 hours and as a result Oceania decided to drop 2 ports of call: Cabo San Lucas and Guatemala. Interestingly enough the Oceania Marina had the same itinerary as the Regatta from San Diego through the Panama Canal, but they stopped at every port that we were scheduled to stop at and even had more port time than we were to have. Many passengers felt that Regatta could have made up the requisite time and only dropped one port, not two. The communications between the Captain and the passengers left much to be desired. It started when everyone came aboard and found that the ship was being sanitized from an apparent Noro Virus that developed on the previous segment. There was no official explanation of the problem and no continuing updates as to the progress in rectifying the problem. The shore excursions were, for the most part, only fair. In many ports they were shortened even though there was more time in port. It seemed that the ship wanted to leave port as soon as possible. In some ports the tours were not as described in the brochures. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Long Review We were apprehensive to try our first step up from mainstream cruising. Oceania came highly recommended by some friends of ours who share our taste in food, service and fellow travelers. Despite a rocky start, this was ... Read More
Long Review We were apprehensive to try our first step up from mainstream cruising. Oceania came highly recommended by some friends of ours who share our taste in food, service and fellow travelers. Despite a rocky start, this was the best cruise we have ever taken. Due to a norovirus outbreak on the previous segment we boarded a little late and spent several days under strict CDC sanitation guidelines (we have experienced this before). Also our itinerary was upset and we missed a few ports due to a need to turn the ship back to Hawaii in order to medivac a passenger who became ill. We lost about 26 hours, spending an extra sea day in the Pacific and we had to forego Cabo San Lucas and Guatemala from our itinerary. Honestly - we understood and while it’s disappointing and inconvenient - it did not impact our enjoyment of the trip at all. Embarkation: We were notified by email early that day of the delay in boarding and boarded late about 2:00 pm and had to wait to enter our cabin for a couple of hours. While waiting we met the first of many amazing staff, Todor from Bulgaria who was a bartender/barista. Our cabin 7099 was aft and starboard. The cabin was small but adequate. More of a matter of laughter than complaint .. I think the shower in our travel trailer is bigger. We had a *Concierge Level cabin. The bed is VERY COMFORTABLE. The ships is old but really elegant and homey. Built in 1998 but maintained pretty well considering its age. Holding only 680 passengers it’s quite a bit smaller than what we are used to. AND WE LOVED IT. Lots of dark wood and comfortable furniture all over the ship, reminiscent of a European parlour. There are so many things about Oceania that set them apart from the mainstream cruise lines. Here are some of the things we personally loved that they did NOT HAVE and some thoughts: 1) No photographers or photo galleries 2) No towel animals on the bed 3) No loud music or silly games at the pool 4) No dancing or singing waiters (except a very few Happy Birthdays) 5) No up charges for specialty dining, coffees or bottled water 6) No excessive announcements in cabin from the cruise director 7) No formal night and most everyone looked very sharp in “country club casual” 8) No kids (they are allowed but there are no amenities specifically for them) 9) No hard sell of tours, unwanted cocktails, merchandise (but all available) 10) No reservations needed for dinner in the main dining room Here’s the short list of all the things Oceania HAS that we really loved and some thoughts: 1) Every single crew member from a maintenance worker to maitre’d was cordial and friendly beyond belief. Many of whom know your name by day 2 and are always smiling. 2) Food quality was superb. Portions were perfect. Truly the best cuisine at sea we have ever experienced. One night we had calm seas and had room service dinner on our balcony ... the filet mignon was cooked to perfection.* *Concierge level cabins may order room service from the main dining room menu as well as the regular room service menu. 3) Specialty restaurants by reservation and after that you can make a last minute reservation if they have space. Both are adventures in slow eating ..... and I mean that in a good way. A really good meal should never be rushed. Most nights we went to Polo or Toscana we spent 2 hours over dinner with cocktails, 4 course meals and desserts. 4) Beverage package + $20 per day per person upgrade. Cocktails with top shelf brands and really wonderful wines by the glass making it unnecessary to buy wine by the bottle. We did pay corkage for an exquisite bottle we brought onboard for one evening ($25 corkage fee including decanting and a very slow pace of consumption ...the sommeliers did not rush our pours and helped us enjoy the bottle of wine our way. Our favorite bartender Anna from Ukraine can make you the best Singapore Sling. 5) Cabin stewards unlike any we have encountered. Friendly, non intrusive, happy to do anything for you. Our cabin was kept impeccable and they were always on top of any little maintenance issues we told them of. (Older ship.. some hinges were loose, a shower head needed replacing and the heat wasn’t working properly one day... all RESOLVED immediately by Desy and Nilesh. 6) Bridge lessons and duplicate bridge as well as rubber (party) bridge on every sea day .. even on the Panama Canal day (extra bonus) ... our bridge instructors Kay and Darwin Afdahl were so accommodating and such good instructors. We are beginners but they made us feel so welcome and we learned so much. I hope they continue to offer bridge on many more sailings. 7) Did I mention the FOOD? 8) The gym is excellent too. State of the art equipment - sufficient variety of machines and weights and floor space for the size of the ship. Morning stretch classes were frequented by many and the locker rooms and steam room is heaven. 9) Thassotherapy pool forward of the spa for *Concierge level and up was very relaxing yet NOT HOT ENOUGH 10) Two hot tubs (with no kids) were also very relaxing but NOT HOT ENOUGH .... that was our one complaint. We were told max was 104 but they were always around 85-90 degrees. We have a hot tub at home and need that daily soak for our aches and pains so this was a disappointment. We asked a maintenance worker twice but it was never adjusted. 11) Free internet. If even for just one account. This made the trip far more enjoyable for communicating with friends and family back home and although it’s was very slow, it was very much appreciated. Excursions) We did only book one excursion via the ship in Acapulco. I have to say we were disappointed in the tour. We generally find tours are a better value on our own. Fellow Passengers) The demographic of this cruise was definatly older than most cruises we have been on - so I think the entertainment is more geared toward that. We are 58 and 66 and enjoyed most of the on board entertainment, although I think there is room for improvement considering the tariff of an Oceania sailing. Personally I would like to see the show band hire a singer and provide more opportunity to dance to the American songbook type music. A few more comments: We really loved the ambience and we met far more fellow passengers than normal due to the size of the ship and small number of passengers. On disembarkation day we were all running around the ships trying to say goodbye to new friends. The lecturers on board were drawing big crowds every day and well appreciated and if you missed the talk you could get a re-run on the cabin tv. The library was extensive and beautiful. The chairs and loungers by the pool are WONDERFUL and relaxing and comfortable. The Internet cafe seemed mostly unused now that most people have laptops and iPads The smoking section was too close to the only pool bar and the door leading in/out of the gym... terrible placement. No escaping the whiff of second hand smoke. 24 nights flew by .... we booked another voyage before we left the ship and are looking forward to our 2nd Oceania cruise to South America. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Chose this for the itinerary. Food and service great. The food selection in buffet/ terrace was excellent and the serving staff were always smiling and happy., The Menu in the grand dinning room was really good. I had a dietary ... Read More
Chose this for the itinerary. Food and service great. The food selection in buffet/ terrace was excellent and the serving staff were always smiling and happy., The Menu in the grand dinning room was really good. I had a dietary requirement and made my selection a day in advance although this was change 3 times by the chef. Went to the Polo grill for a Valentine dinner, expected a table for 2 but had to share with 2 others. There was no real entertainment. No ballroom dancing after 9.15 there was little thought in planning some evening entertainment ie, dancing was listed in the daily programme however on two occasions when arriving at venue the dance floor was set up with empty chairs and music stands for the show which is scheduled to commence 15 minutes after dancing (this preparation could have been done in the 15 minutes thereby freeing up the dance floor for guests to enjoy and dance to the band). Guest entertainers were good but in-house performers were very poor, high school standard. At 10.30 the Horizon entertainment consisted of the staff just chatting among themselves and could not deal with requests for music. Also in Horizon, 24 hour coffee machine was taken out of service for cleaning just when the lounge opened for the night. Twice reported dust in grand dinning room. First time discreetly to restaurant manager and on following night found more dust in another area. The dress code (country club) was not adhered to at all. Hardly any jackets worn during the evening and on one occasion a female guest walked into the main Grand Dining area wearing a cap! Some guests still wore shorts in the Insignia Lounge in the evening. No pool side entertainment during the day. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
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