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16 Oceania Dover Cruise Reviews

It is important that everyone knows that the O'life promotion if you pick the free excursions they must be booked at least 14 days before sailing. Once on board you can not pick your excursions and will have to pay the full price of ... Read More
It is important that everyone knows that the O'life promotion if you pick the free excursions they must be booked at least 14 days before sailing. Once on board you can not pick your excursions and will have to pay the full price of the excursions. I did not know that so I thought I would pass that information along. This ship Insignia had the best food of any cruise or land based restaurant I have eaten in. We live in downtown Chicago and eat at high end restaurants. The food was better than what we have eaten at top restaurants in Chicago including the Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton or the Four Seasons. The food exceeded what we ate on Regent and Seabourn as well as Windstar. This was not institutional food. Our itinerary included France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Ingredients were fresh. Good selections of meats, fruits, vegetables and starches. The bread was delicious with home made bread sticks, rolls and pastries. Milk shakes, smoothies, specialty coffees were very good. The afternoon tea each day was a treat. We started off with an obstructed ocean view. Our cabin steward was exceptional. We upgraded to a superior ocean view and got a new cabin steward. He was good but there was a marked difference between the two. Prior to my cruise I had injured my leg. The first steward had buckets of ice delivered daily before we got back from tour because I always iced my leg when I got back and the room was spotless. The other picked up daily but I noticed dust on shelves, and would have to ask for ice if I wanted it before the nightly turn down - subtle but noticeable the difference between very good and exceptional. The cruise director didn't really speak to us which is different from other Oceania cruises we have been on where the cruise director got to know us and would greet us by name. The cruise hostesses who also sang didn't talk to us either which was different from other Oceania cruises. The shuttle service to town from the ports was nice. The restaurant service was exceptional. The cocktail service in the Horizon lounge was poor. My husband and I don't drink alcohol. It was clear that we were not going to get even "ok" service. People who came in after us were getting alcohol drinks and we would still be sitting there if we had ordered two diet cokes. In the other lounges we had the same problem. It is clear the first level of service goes to alcohol drinkers given they add an 18% tip. We ended up taking board games or cards with us and if we were really thirsty and the drinks didn't come I would get up and go to the bar and then they would bring them. The most conspicuous aspect of our cruise is that we found that many of the workers on the cruise used the horizon lounge as their own area to have drinks, relax and talk. It was unsettling that while we were vacationing not 5 feet away mid to upper level manager workers would be talking about what they did not like about the new management. One lady who managed the spa was let go while we were on board and was due to get off the ship. She was talking to several other women who worked on the ship and they were talking about how she had 10 years of service and so forth. How the new management wanted shorter spa services, how she was a reikki and if passengers wanted it she would provide it etc. And she was not happy about her termination. The women she was talking to also worked on the ship and we weren't trying to listen they were in a very public lounge discussing in normal tone how they did not care for the new management. The cruise director also would kick back with the other singers and people who worked on the ship and they would socialize. They did not interact with the guests and it seemed that they socialized more with each other than be hosts to the guests. They ordered wine and I would see them getting served while we couldn't get our diet cokes. We were on the ship for 19 days and this was a regular occurrence so much so that my husband and I used to joke about it. I got the feeling the management with regard to the entertainment and spa staff was in the air. The pool was clean and I enjoyed the pool deck area. I always got great service around the pool. The deck chairs were comfortable and there was never a problem getting a chair, towel or blanket. My husband used the gym and he likes the treadmills. The first five days of the cruise none of them were working due to a software issue. The security staff I felt went above and beyond. They were always very kind and offered assistance helping me get on and off the ship. I had injured my knee before coming on board and they were exceptional in offering me a hand and also helping me get my Luggie scooter on and off at each port. Traveling with my scooter was a breeze and when we would take the shuttle bus the driver would lower the ramp and on I would drive. I found that most public buses in France, Monaco and Spain had ramps for my scooter. Most of the streets had ramps except I found Livorno more difficult to navigate because there might be a ramp and then I would drive a little ways on the scooter and could find there was no ramp. However, I found overall that having the scooter was wonderful. Pisa was good for traveling with a scooter as was Bilbao, Bordeaux, Paris, London, and Barcelona. Portugal was ok but I did not attempt all the hills in Lisbon rather I got on the hop on hop off bus by the port and did not use the scooter much there. The same in Porto. Overall the ports were great, the food was great the servers in all dining venues were amazing, the entertainment was fine, the spa changed management while I was on the ship and it was a much better environment once the disgruntled employee who I believe was managing the spa when we got on left. The actual workers in the spa were wonderful. The cabin steward was fine and for the most part people were friendly. We didn't care for the concierge he was aloof and not helpful. We found the general manager Victor to be much more helpful than the concierge. Victor always said hello and addressed me by name. I would love to go on another one of his ships. There were three people who worked at guest services. The assistant purser from South America was exceptional. She would look into any concern and went above and beyond. The other two did not want to be bothered and dismissed me without listening and did not want to help me with any concerns. There were several issues because I initially had to cancel my reservation because of my injury but then restated my reservation. As such all my dinner reservations, excursions, and a room upgrade offer had been lost. Would not have been a problem but with the Olife promotion you need to book excursions 14 days in advance and since mine did not auto populate to my second reservation number they were lost as was the upgrade offer. I was getting charged full price for my and hubbies excursions. UGG. However, my TA took care of the problem when I emailed her. Victor the general manager and the assistant purser also helped me and I did get my room upgrade near the end of day three.. The concierge and the other two at guest relations didn't do much and just kept telling me no and they could not help me that it was the main office in Miami not them etc. Victor did correspond with Miami and the lovely woman who was the assistant purser handled crediting my account for the excursion issue. I will definitely travel on Oceania again. We felt this cruise was a great value for the money and enjoyed it despite a few hiccups. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We loved this cruise. The only criticism that I have is that the entertainment was subpar for the most part, compared to other cruises we have taken. We saw a couple of the production shows, and were not impressed at all. The port ... Read More
We loved this cruise. The only criticism that I have is that the entertainment was subpar for the most part, compared to other cruises we have taken. We saw a couple of the production shows, and were not impressed at all. The port talks given by Terry Bishop we very informative and entertaining - we looked forward to them just about very day. We also saw him sing, and perform with Blue Weaver, and that was our entertainment highlight. The service was terrific. After the first morning, we were greeted by name in the main dining room at breakfast. With the exception of one meal, every venue had great service. The food was outstanding! We ate at the 4 specialty restaurants, and loved them all. Red Ginger was especially beautiful and well appointed. The shore excursions we booked though Oceania were all of high quality. I would not hesitate to travel on this line again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We are the sort of cruisers who bring our own water bottles, a 12 pack of water and flavored drink packets to avoid the $4.50+ bar charge most cruise lines impose on passengers for just a bottle of water. Oceania is a different ... Read More
We are the sort of cruisers who bring our own water bottles, a 12 pack of water and flavored drink packets to avoid the $4.50+ bar charge most cruise lines impose on passengers for just a bottle of water. Oceania is a different "animal". We were delighted to find that bottled water, smoothies, malts & shakes, espresso and latte were all part of the cruise price. The Ship was clean, well maintained and easy to navigate around. We really enjoyed the speciality dining and the food portions were perfect. Our inside cabin was adequate in size, beds comfortable and the shower just a little too small for my Texas size husband. Cabin service was excellent. We never felt the ship move. All staff were very well trained and friendly. We met the most interesting people who were well traveled, mostly retired and primarily Canadian or American. Many of them had been on the ship on the New York to Dover cruise, were doing the Dover to Copenhagen, and then continuing on into the Baltic Sea. This not a ship for families with teens or younger as they have no scheduled activities. We will definitely cruise with Oceania again, but will opt for a larger cabin. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This will likely be one of the most memorable cruises of all of those we've ever taken. I wish to thank everyone at Oceania from Frank Del Rio on down. You guys are wonderful. Ship: Of course, the Marina was virtually brand ... Read More
This will likely be one of the most memorable cruises of all of those we've ever taken. I wish to thank everyone at Oceania from Frank Del Rio on down. You guys are wonderful. Ship: Of course, the Marina was virtually brand new-and quite beautiful. Very spacious-even more so than the Oceania R-Ships. We sailed with less than 1,200 on a 65,000 gross ton ship, so venues were very uncrowded and there was never really a line or wait for anything—Except the tenders in tender ports-which was fairly frustrating at times as those of us on private tours were delayed leaving the ship while they got all of the shore excursions off first. The Grand Dining Room was very ample with tables always open. Each of the four main specialty restaurants was very nicely done. Unlike the R-Ships, the Marina finally has a real dedicated theater-style showroom. Some people may like the lounge seating of the R-ships to this, but, to seat enough people for a ship this size, this is the right way to do it. The walkways in front of each row of seats was sufficiently wide enough to allow people to pass without forcing anyone seated to stand and the viewing angles were pretty good from most seats. The only questionable part, IMHO, were the desk-type tables that pulled up out of the armrests-a little too tight for most of us overeating cruise passengers. Of course, I never saw many people using these. Cabin: We were in one of the "Oceania Suites"--#12006. What can I say? One of the best and best thought-out suites I have ever seen on a ship. I could live in this suite. Living/Dining Room, TV Room, Bedroom, more than ample walk-in closet, two bathrooms (Though every husband we met said the same thing—the wife pretty much took over the "big" bathroom and the husbands all ended up permanently relegated to the "guest" bathroom!). Private (one-person) Jacuzzi on the balcony with a big screen TV over the Jacuzzi! Very nice-sized bar came fully stocked with a bottle of Bacardi Rum, Grey Goose Vodka, Black Label Scotch, a red and a white wine and a bottle of Gin (which I quickly traded for a second bottle of scotch!). My only real issue with the suite was that there were so many light switches that it usually took me 20 minutes to figure out how to turn off all of the lights. My wife's issue was that there seemed to be constant whistling from the bedroom sliding glass door on windy nights. Of course, I slept right through it. Service: The dining room and specialty restaurant service was even better than I recall from past Oceania cruises, if that is possible. Grand Dining Room staff was excellent, very accommodating—never a problem. Specialty restaurants, of course, were a step above. Our "team" taking care of us in our suite—Butler Ravi and the Assistant Butler (whose name suddenly escapes me) were always available to fill all requests, and our Cabin Steward, Jahaira and her two assistants were just flat-out excellent.. Food: Food, of course, was the highlight of the cruise. And, this, of course, was the "Jacques Pepin cruise". Jacques was staying just down the hall from us and we were invited one night to La Reserve for dinner with Jacques and his wife and his Sous Chef, Jean-Claude and his wife and a few other passengers. Absolutely the most incredible dinner experience. Appetizers and champagne, followed by six incredible courses with a wine paired to each one: Scallop, Risotto, a Fish dish, Chateaubriand, Pear and Goat Cheese and a Chocolate Mousse topped gateau. Three and a half hours of sheer pleasure and great conversation. We also had eight specialty reservations, two in each of the main four, and we managed to squeeze in an extra at Toscana for our final night—a very special final dinner onboard with two couples with whom we had shared most of our private tours. I think of all of the specialty restaurants (aside from La Reserve), Toscana was my clear favorite. Starting with the choice of Olive Oils and Balsamic vinegars and through the meal, everything was outstanding. And the Veal Scaloppine Marsala my favorite dish on the ship. And, the Pennette San Gimignano as a "side dish" was incredible—I could have eaten that as a full meal and been very happy. Of course, the other specialty restaurants were each very good in their own right. Red Ginger was a big hit with everyone. Very well done. Get the Sushi as an appetizer. Entertainment: Food, of course, was the high point—and, as usual with Oceania, Entertainment was the most disappointing area—Although, it was actually a considerable improvement from our past Oceania cruises. With the dedicated stage and showroom, they now had a troupe of singers and dancers (four of each) putting on actual "production shows" with costume changes and some variety. Not quite up to the par of the production shows one sees on other cruise lines, but definitely a worthy bit of entertainment. We especially enjoyed Jennifer, from New Jersey-one of the young singers. They did the "Welcome" show and three other full productions plus participated in other activities around the ship. The spotlight performers were a mixed bag: Artur Banaskiewicz - Violinist: He did two shows before leaving mid-cruise. He was good at what it is he does, but two full shows of gypsy music on the violin is far too much for me. I think I found his manner of speaking and accent more entertaining than the music. Danny Buckler - Magician/Comedian: As a magician, his act was fairly pedestrian. Small time magic starting with the trite and obvious "Indian Rope Trick". But, as a comedian, this guy was clearly the most entertaining act on the ship. Great rapport with the crowd, quick delivery and reaction. Absolutely charming. Two shows. Agata Sava - Soprano. Two shows. We missed her first show as we were in La Reserve for a long evening, but, after seeing her second show, we were more than happy that we missed the first. Absolutely excruciating—a soprano who had trouble hitting the high notes. And a style reminiscent of the Bride of Frankenstein in a full body cast. No movement, little expression—and an accent and delivery that made it sound as if she did not speak English—at all. Sounded as if she'd memorized the lyrics by sound or phonetics. The worst. Bruce Parker "California Soul Man": Two shows (we missed the second). He was actually quite good—very energetic. Sort of the Anti-Agata Sava. Moved around the stage, involved the audience. Really worked it. If there was a problem, it was in the material and the audience. This was, quite simply, not an R&B/Motown crowd. And, among all of the available R&B/Motown material, he tended to pick some of the more obscure songs—not good to do with a crowd who isn't into that style of music and only knows the "big hits". Don Bryan - Ventriloquist: I've seen his act before—must have been on Nautica. Decent Ventriloquist, funny enough act with a couple of entertaining twists The nights in Le Verdon, Cadiz and Livorno, there was no real show. Ports: HONFLEUR - 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.: We didn't really have an interest in doing a long D-Day beaches tour here and we'd been to Rouen and Giverny on a recent cruise stop, so we decided to just walk around Honfleur, visited the Boudin Museum and returned to the ship in the afternoon. Picturesque little town. SAINT-MALO - 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.: Here we did a private tour with a party of eight to Mont St. Michel, Dinan and Saint Malo with Westcapades for 80€ pp. Our guide was Marc, the owner of the company. He did a very nice job of providing commentary on the way to Mont St. Michel in the morning. Having left the ship promptly upon arrival, we beat most of the crowds to this site. Very impressive old monastery. Then it was on to Medieval Dinan. Very nice little town, free time and lunch, then back over to St. Malo, where we parted ways with Marc and walked through the walled city, then tendered back to the ship. One key here with the early start was to report to the showroom ahead of the time the first of the ship's shore excursions was to depart—so we were able to get tender tickets for the first tender while the shorex participants were still amassing. http://www.westcapades.com/english.php PONT AVEN - 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.: It was raining a good portion of the day, so we just spent some time wandering around Concarneau. Very touristy little town-walled medieval city—a short walk from the tender pier. LA ROCHELLE - 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.: This is one of only two ports where we took a shore excursion—"Saintes & Cognac", a full day tour for $199 per person—not bad as shorexes go—we had a nice little visit to La Rochelle, then Saintes and then a tour of the Hennessey Cognac distillery with tastings. Only real negative was 38 people on the tour. BORDEAUX - 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. -Here we had a simply marvelous tour with Maryse of Bordeaux Excursions, party of 8 for 118.75€ per person. Maryse picked us up at the pier in Le Verdon and drove us to two wineries in the morning-- chateau LOUDENNE www.lafragette.com - Crû Bourgeois of Medoc - also called the "Pink Chateau" for its outstanding XVIIth Century architecture and château LYNCH-BAGES in Pauillac, listed in the 1855 Classification Medoc Wines www.lynchbages.com, then lunch at "brasserie" LE CAFE LAVINAL www.villagedebages.com After lunch, we continued through Saint-Julien and Margaux vineyards with stops for pictures by the renowned chateaux (Pichon, latour, margaux, etc...) Then on to Bordeaux for a walking tour through the city. Maryse is one of the best guides we've had. http://www.bordeaux-excursions.com/-English- BIARRITZ - 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. - Actually, the port is St. Jean de Luz. We had nothing planned here. We thought we might take a taxi to Bayonne or Biarritz, but we found the town of St. Jean so charming that we spent the day here instead. Took the little tourist train (5€ per person) for an orientation of the city, then just walked around on our own. BILBAO - 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.: Here we decided to do the city on our own. A free Oceania shuttle took us to the center of town from where we walked to the "Casco Viejo"—The Old City, then around the riverfront to the Guggenheim Museum. There are three very interesting and distinct bridges across the river near the Guggenheim. We crossed the river on the first, then took the elevator to the top of the second and came back across the river on the third, getting some incredible photos on this route. LA CORUNA - 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.: Here we hired a private tour for six of us with Brendan Lowe of Guided Galicia. Brendan is an expatriate Kiwi living in Vigo—very nice guy. We went, in the morning to the Pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela through the church, market and town, then on to Cambados for lunch, then to the town of Betanzos then back to La Coruña and a visit to the Tower of Hercules -Cost for the tour was 91.67€ per person. http://guidedgalicia.blogspot.com/p/cruise-tours.html OPORTO - 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.: Here we were supposed to do our second shorex—"The Medieval City of Guimaraes" (half day, $119 pp), but the city was completely fogged in and they could not dock the ship—so, disappointingly, we missed this port altogether. CADIZ - 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.: We had a party of 10 here on a private tour to Seville with Cadiz and Beyond for 85€ per person. It was, by far, the hottest day of the cruise—46 Celsius/114 Fahrenheit. Our guide in Seville was excellent and the visit to the Cathedral and the Palace was quite interesting. No way we walk up the Giralda Tower in that heat though! Still, Seville is an enchanting city. http://www.cadizandbeyond.com/CruiseTourClubRollCall/tabid/167/Default.aspx/ CASABLANCA - 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.: Here we booked a private tour for six with travel exploration Morocco for a cost of $108 per person, payable in advance by credit card in US$. Our guide, Redouane, met us at the ship and took us to the Mosque, the Synagogue and an open air market and on a driving tour through the city. Both the Mosque and Synagogue were impressive, each in their own way, but most in our party were not thrilled with the market or the city itself—sort of filthy with crazy traffic. http://www.travel-exploration.com/page.cfm/About_Travel_Exploration BARCELONA - 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.: After several visits here, we know Barcelona so well that we did not see a need for a tour. This visit, we made it a point to visit a couple of sites we've neglected in last visits. We, basically, wandered through the Barri Gotic, visiting the Synagogue (Oldest in Europe and rediscovered only a few years ago) and the Cathedral, then a visit to El Corte Ingles and a stroll down Las Ramblas. MONTE CARLO - 12:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.: Here we did a private tour with a party of 8 visiting the towns of Grasse (and the Fragonard Perfume Factory), Gourdon and St. Paul de Vence. St. Paul is one of my favorite towns in France-incredibly picturesque. Cost was 65€ per person. privateshoretrips.com LIVORNO - 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.: This was our second shore excursion—"Pisa - Lucca - Puccini", approximately 10 hours for $179 per person. After an interesting visit to the home of the composer Puccini, we visited the beautiful walled city of Lucca and the wonderful Pisa with its Leaning Tower and other landmarks. Only 16 passengers on this tour and a very good guide, making it one of the better shore excursions. ROME - Here, we joined a group of eight for a tour of the main sights of Rome with Valerio Nacci of NCC. For only 50€ per person, he picked us up at the ship and took us to the Vatican, Trevi, Piazza Navona, Vittorio Emanuel, Pantheon and Coliseum, then dropped us off at our hotel and returned the others (who were doing back-to-backs) to the ship in Civitavecchia. Very much worth the price. http://www.nccportodicivitavecchia.it/en/index.asp http://it-it.facebook.com/people/Valerio-Nacci/100000180156934 Pre-Cruise: We flew into Heathrow several days before the cruise, rented a car and spent four nights in Canterbury, staying at the House of Agnes: http://www.houseofagnes.co.uk/ Excellent little bed and breakfast. It's a centuries-old B&B, but we had a very modern and newly built-out "stable room" for £80 per night. The place was very well run with an excellent breakfast. There was ample convenient on-site parking though the driveway was a little difficult to navigate. The location was right outside the main West Gate to the old walled city so everything was in close walking distance. Canterbury turned out to be an outstanding choice for a pre-cruise stay. Much nicer than the industrial Dover, yet within a half hour drive of the port. We took a charming river boat ride one morning, visited the Cathedral the next and took a drive out to the picturesque town of Sandwich the third. Other than that, we just relaxed, walked about the town, ate, shopped and enjoyed. Post-Cruise: We spent two nights in Rome post cruise at the Residenza Farnese: http://www.residenzafarneseroma.it/ A steal at 120€ per night. One of the absolute best locations in Rome. About a block from the Campo di Fiore and about three blocks from the Piazza Navona on a quiet side street. The Campo di Fiore is now one of my favorite piazzas in all of Rome. A vibrant piazza lined with several very reasonably priced restaurants with ample outdoor seating. We ate in two of them: Maranega: http://millerrome2011.blogspot.com/2011/04/new-addition-to-campo-de-fiori.html and Sloppy Sam's: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sloppy-Sams/101906753220836?v=info I had pasta in both and both were VERY good. It is hard to beat the outdoor tables on the Campo. My wife loved the Gelato at Blue Ice. They have not one, but two, locations within a block of each other on the road leaving the Campo in the direction of the Piazza Navona. All in all, this was an absolutely GREAT cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
This was our first cruise with Oceania and we were very impressed. In particular, the food was several notches above any previous cruise we have taken. All four alternate restaurants were fantastic. We also enjoyed La Reserve, which is not ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Oceania and we were very impressed. In particular, the food was several notches above any previous cruise we have taken. All four alternate restaurants were fantastic. We also enjoyed La Reserve, which is not to be missed ! The Terrace Cafe is beyond belief. It is set up like a wonderful restaurant and not as a cafeteria. The food is outstanding and one would not be wrong to eat every meal here. Fabulous choices each meal. The main dining room is OK, but the choices are somewhat limited with some weird concoctions. We only ate two of our dinners there, since all the other restaurants were so fabulous. No extra charges except for the special Wine and Food at "La Reserve" The PH3 cabin we had was great. Feels like a 5 star European hotel room. Wonderful marble bathrooms and beds that are beyond belief. I have a serious problem with beds as I get backaches every night. Even at home, I have not found a bed to solve this problem. Well, I slept like a baby all 12 nights and never had a backache. I would give anything to have brought that bed home with me ! Makes other cruise lines feel like you are sleeping on a cot. The entire ship feels more like a hotel than a ship. Quality everywhere. The crew was outstanding and so was the entertainment. Every show, either production or outside entertainers was first class. The thing that impresses right off the bat is that nobody is trying to sell you anything. No photos, ( never had our picture taken once ), no soda specials and water charges, no hawking of boutique wares in the corridors, etc. The lack of formal nights is wonderful. Country club casual is the attire, but you do see many woman dressed up and even some gentlement in tuxes, but if you just want to wear a shirt and slacks, no problem. Everyone complied with the dress code. Even the internet worked very well. Our embarkation and debarkation went very smoothly. Our cabin came with a Butler, who seemed to know exactly what we wanted and when we wanted it. He was everywhere, but was not obtrusive at all. Port tours were OK, but nothing different than any other cruise line. They all use the same outside vendors. The port tours are more expensive than some other cruise line charge, but they were very well organized. We did miss two ports due to weather, the sea swells being too much for the tenders to safely operate. However, Oceania cruises are very port intensive and missing these two actually were enjoyable to a degree to have some more cruising time. All in all, a very impressive and enjoyable cruise. While on board, we booked another cruise for April, 2012. Highly recommend doing this as you get an additional 5% discount for booking on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
We booked this cruise primarily to relax and enjoy good food. We were not disappointed. The cabin was very comfortable; good bed; balcony. The bathroom was ok, but the shower was rather small. The tub takes much space and was unneccessary ... Read More
We booked this cruise primarily to relax and enjoy good food. We were not disappointed. The cabin was very comfortable; good bed; balcony. The bathroom was ok, but the shower was rather small. The tub takes much space and was unneccessary for us. The food in all restaurants (4 speciality restaurants, dining room, terrace cafe, wave grill) was excellent; the best we ever had on a cruise. While non-alcoholic beverages are free, alcohol is rather expensive. The staff was friendly and helpful. We did not book any shore excursions due to their high price level. Two ports were cancelled due to bad weather conditions. We recommend this ship to anyone who likes good food and a comfortable cabin. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Having read much about Oceania's newest ship, we decided to see for ourselves, and a cruise from dover, around the edges of the Bay of Biscay, seemed an ideal opportunity, visiting ports we knew well from land-based travel. ... Read More
Having read much about Oceania's newest ship, we decided to see for ourselves, and a cruise from dover, around the edges of the Bay of Biscay, seemed an ideal opportunity, visiting ports we knew well from land-based travel. Embarkation was swift and efficient, but rather disconcertingly we did not have to produce any ID until we were aboard the ship. We found our way to our cabin, wondering why there was no "welcome aboard" glass of fizz, and found ourselves in a delightful, elegant balcony cabin, with wonderfully comfortable bed, beautiful bed linen, comfy sofa and marble bathroom , complete with both showere and tub. Storage was not the best feature,as drawers were shallow, and wardrobe awkwardly placed alongside the bed. for a cruise line selling itself as 5* we were surprised to find no bottle of champagne on ice, basket of fruit or flowers, but the minibar wa stocked with soft drinks and bottled waters, which were replaced daily, and a plate of fruit was soon delivered, on request. The ship has wonderful decor,with a fabulous Laligue stairway, lalique vases and tables in bays off the main lobby, and delightful abstract sculptures in hallways and landings. The main dining room , large, well lit and airy, has an incredible central crystal chandelier, and touches of classy elegance abound throughout all loung areas. The large lounge areas had delightful sofas, comfortable chairs and love seats, softly lit by elegant crystal lamps Dining is a main event on Marina, with a choice of 7 dining venues which incur no extra charge, from the Grand Dining room, a grill and roomy Terrace cafe, serving huge choices of wonderful quality food, to 4 themed speciality restaurants, of which we liked the more atmospheric Asian -fusion Red Ginger the best. Each restaurant had its own chefs, and offered varied quality menus, and a reasonably efficient level of good service from teams of friendly waiters. If celebrating a special occasion, or as a treat, Marina offers wonderful tasting menus in La Reserve, a joint venture with Wine Spectator at a cost of $75, which we thought amazing, with dishes comparable to any Michelin restaurant in London. The one negative aspect to Marina is the low standard of entertainment, with shows delivered by an enthusiastic small team, doing their best with poor costumes and staging in a dull, low-ceiling-ed show lounge, which had absolutely no wow factor, no glitz, and was not very comfortable. the same entertainment team also organised the daily deck activities, tasks they did with good humour and good organisation. Alternative shows were offered by a poor comedian and a mediocre magician. Enrichment lectures, were often port lectures under another name, with, disappointingly, no well-known guest speakers, which we had hoped for on a ship of this calibre. A lovely library kept many passengers happy, with its club atmosphere, comfortable leather chairs, and huge choice of books, and it was a delight to find a busy coffee bar next door, offering lattes, cappuccino and juices. The nearby Internet centre was little used, due to the high cost Deck areas were lovely, with a decent size pool, two hot tubs, excellent sunbeds and curved rattan loungers, all laid with snowy towels. Atop the ship is a delightful, wide, forward facing Horizons lounge, with small dance floor, and ample seating, served by a busy bar, the place to which many passengers gravitated pre and post dinner, with live music provided for those wishing to dance. Also facing forward is an incredible, spacious spa, with many treatments on offer, gorgeous relaxing areas, including one outside, complete with hot tub, and well trained, discrete staff. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Everything about this trip was outstanding. From the moment we landed at Heathrow things started rolling smoothly. We were driven the The Millennium Mayfair Hotel in a chauffer driven limo. Our hotel was very comfortable & wonderfully ... Read More
Everything about this trip was outstanding. From the moment we landed at Heathrow things started rolling smoothly. We were driven the The Millennium Mayfair Hotel in a chauffer driven limo. Our hotel was very comfortable & wonderfully located. All pre-cruise arrangements were made by Oceania. They did a fine job!!! The Mariner is a beautiful ship. The cabins are well appointed, roomy in fact, with plenty of storage space. The bathroom is large, with a shower that could be larger & an unnecessary tub. The shampoo, lotions, etc. are of excellent quality & beautifully presented. All of the public areas on Marina are attractive & comfortable. The Library is quiet, comfortable & very well stocked. All of the dining venues are attractive. I think the the weakest link in the operation is The Main Dining Room. They seem to get overwhelmed. I must admit that when I complained, the matter was given immediate attention. I think that the staff really wants to excell. The Terrace Cafe was wonderful as were all of the speciality restaurants. We enjoyed the evening entertainment - both speciality acts & production shows. I think that the ship tours are very pricey. We got together with some CC folks on our thread & did 2 tours for less than half the price. Our ports of call were every interesting & not too crowded. The weather prevented us from going into 2 ports. The sea days were welcome & the staff adjusted very quickly to a totally new schedule. Well done!!!!! We met some very nice folks, had a lot of fun, won $ on the penny slots & look forward to cruising again with Oceania.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
This was our first experience of Oceania Cruises and we were attracted by their claim to provide itinerary rich cruises with the best food and service at sea. We were not disappointed with Marina, she is a beautiful ship with some ... Read More
This was our first experience of Oceania Cruises and we were attracted by their claim to provide itinerary rich cruises with the best food and service at sea. We were not disappointed with Marina, she is a beautiful ship with some wonderful rooms and very comfortable accommodation. Pity about the poor build quality, finishes and some lack of attention to detail. The balcony cabin was very comfortable, although not much bigger than others. There was adequate storage and the bathroom worked fine for us. We did not make much use of the bath but neither did we have any real problems with the shower. It is compact but it has two shower heads and is easy to use. At least there is no curtain to fight off! The food was well above the standard that we have experienced anywhere before in all areas except La Reserve. La Reserve was a disappointment when compared with all of the other dining venues. The Grand Dining Room was wonderful, more like a 5* restaurant than a cruise ship dining room. Red Ginger was exquisite, Jacques provides a wonderful dining experience, Polo Grill was very good but the service in Toscana was disappointing. Afternoon tea was a real treat with the white glove service and a very tasty selection of temptations. The pool side grill and the Terrace cafe raise the bar considerably. One real delight for us was the included quality freshly ground coffee at every dining venue and all bars. The free unlimited coffee, mineral waters and soft drinks add up to a sizable bill on most lines so this was a real value add. With the exception of our Toscana experience, the accommodation and food and beverage staff were all exceptionally courteous and helpful, a real pleasure to engage with. The Horizon Lounge was our favourite. The library and Barista's coffee bar were very well equipped and offered a great escape. The deck space was very well managed with high quality furnishings, plenty of loungers and very attentive pool butlers keeping everything ship shape. There was never a problem getting a lounger and the freshly laundered covers and thick towels were very comfortable. The entertainment was not great, but we did not expect it to be. The chef demonstrations were by far the best entertainment! The Canyon Ranch Spa was wonderful both in terms of facilities and service. The reception and Destinations staff were not anywhere near as accommodating and in general their answers were not helpful and they took a lot of prompting to resolve issues. This was particularly associated with the shuttle services which were provided at 2 of the ports with very long disorganised queues which caused some discomfort to some of the less able passengers. The quay side organisation was noticeable by its absence which at times was a little worrying from a security point of view. You cannot get away with blaming the port agent! The shore excursions were a serious rip off and we did not use them. It was easy to venture ashore on your own in most ports and where tendering was achieved (we missed 2 ports through the sea conditions) it was very well organised. Guernsey is another old favourite and it was a great pleasure to spend some time in St Peters Port. We took the best value for money island tour ever - 1.5 hour round island tour on the number 7 bus, all for £1!!! And they leave every 20 minutes. St Malo is a wonderful city that we have visited a number of times before but a wonderfull sunny day and time to stroll the city walls and beaches was followed by a very enjoyable lunch. La Rochelle had not captivated us in the past but a very well run shuttle service gave us plenty of time to explore the old town and harbour on foot. Another vey enjoyable day. La Verdon for Bordeaux. This place is isolated at the end of a peninsula with very little to do and miles from anywhere. A waste of a day, especially as it rained most of the day. Santander in Spain was a real joy. We were berthed right in the centre of the city, the location of which is spectacular. Overall we felt that Marina was a much nicer size than the former "R" ships and it provided a very comfortable cruise. At the price that we paid and with $1,000 on board credit is was also good value. At full price it would probably not compare in terms of value for money with the excellent rounded experience provided by Celebrity, but at the right price, we will be back on Marina or Riviera. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
We sailed on the Treasures of the Continent 12-day cruise embarking and returning to Dover (London) on July 29-August 10. Ports were: Amsterdam, Zeebrugge, Le Havre/Honfleur, Guernsey Island, St. Malo, La Rochelle, Le Verdon and Santander. ... Read More
We sailed on the Treasures of the Continent 12-day cruise embarking and returning to Dover (London) on July 29-August 10. Ports were: Amsterdam, Zeebrugge, Le Havre/Honfleur, Guernsey Island, St. Malo, La Rochelle, Le Verdon and Santander. Two ports were omitted due to seas and weather, those being Concarneau and St. Jean de Luz/Biarritz. The cruise was to celebrate a special birthday and it was a magnificent way to do so. We did book the optional 2-night pre-cruise stay in London through Oceania and stayed at the Millenium Mayfair hotel. It was a lovely option including a half-day bus tour of London (it was our first time there, so we appreciated this offering). The hotel was comfortable and in a quiet location adjacent to Grosvenor Square. Their in-house restaurant was honestly fantastic (we had heard the horror stories of food in London). We stayed in for dinner the first night due to jet-lag and had an Italian meal we're still talking about. Their breakfast buffet was varied and delicious. the hotel is several blocks from a tube station, but is a pleasant walk in good weather. As for our cruise, Oceania left us very impressed. Our travel and transportation was flawless and effortless from the time we left Boston and arrived in Heathrow. Oceania has everything down to a science and we had no wait nor confusion transferring from airport to hotel to port. Once at the port, we had expected to wait to board, but were on the ship within 45 minutes of arrival at the port. We expected long lines, but there were none. Once aboard, we were given our Oceania Cards and never had to handle money except when using the guest laundry center as the machines use US quarters. Nearly everything we could want except wine & alcohol or gift shop purchases was included in our fare. It was really nice to not have to worry about what was included and what wasn't. Marina is a lovely ship which felt just the right size to us. The staff seemed to genuinely take pride in everything that they did....as though they were welcoming you into their own homes. The food was amazing in ALL venues. Sadly, unless you are in an Owner's Suite, you are only given the ability to reserve one meal in each of the 4 specialty restaurants. However, the main dining room and the Terrace Cafe buffet were excellent. We especially liked that the passengers DO NOT handle the food at the buffet. It is served to you by a staff member, thereby reducing the transmission of foodborne illness. There are plenty of places to find a quiet nook to read and relax besides your cabin and we rarely felt like we were on board with 1200 people. Also, there were probably fewer than 10 ten children onboard, which was very nice. Oceania states that they do not have offerings for children, but does not refuse them. We did not avail ourselves of any of the entertainment offered, but there was quite a bit. My husband did take one class in the Bon Appetit cooking center and enjoyed it very much. I used some of the Canyon Ranch spa services and was quite pleased. We were disappointed with the shore excursions offered by Oceania and will not book them on our next cruise. We did not feel that we got our money's worth, especially when paying extra for a small group "Oceania's Choice" tour in Brugge, Belgium. We had a chatty, opinionated tour guide who spent more time espousing his politics than telling us about his city. This left us only minutes to shop and no time to enjoy the city on our own. However, this was really the only negative during the whole trip. We did "miss" two ports. The first was Concarneau/Pont Aven, France due to bad weather and the inability to safely tender off the ship. And the second being St. Jean de Luz/Biarritz, France due to rolling seas and the inability to safely tender again. The first weather issue was obviously not within the control of Oceania. However, in St. Jean de Luz, it was a lovely day. But, the waves were rolling into the shore at 5-10ft. They launched and attempted to board the tenders but could not safely do so. I later overhead a "local" who was working on the ship state that it was very doubtful that they would be able to get into this port as the seas are always like this here. He said cruise ships never visit this port for that reason. After all, Biarritz is known for surfing. It was disappointing to miss this port and it will be interesting to see if Oceania continues this port in their itineraries. Our veranda cabin was very comfortable and quiet. Plenty of closet and storage space was available. The bathroom was well appointed but without an outlet for my blow dryer. The desk/vanity was were I sat to dry my hair. We are both tall 5'10" & 6'2" and we found the shower to be a bit short, though the water pressure was excellent. They are small corner showers and we've read other passengers had issue with them. They were tight, but certainly kept you from losing your balance if the seas were rough. Unfortunately, the large, gorgeous bathtub has no shower doors or shower curtain, so it became our drying space or dirty towel receptacle. We are not bath people, so it was wasted space for us. Overall, we really enjoyed our first experience with Oceania and are already looking to sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
This was actually the 2nd time on this particular ship -- previously when it was Renaissance in 2001. Love the size of ship with less than 700 passengers. Love that fact that you don't have the continuous overhead announcements and ... Read More
This was actually the 2nd time on this particular ship -- previously when it was Renaissance in 2001. Love the size of ship with less than 700 passengers. Love that fact that you don't have the continuous overhead announcements and picture taking. Very personalized service both in the cabins, dining room and through out. Due to the capacity, getting off and back on the ship was easy. This particular cruise was very busy as only 1 or 2 days at sea and the rest in various ports. I took the opportunity to fly to Moscow for the day from St. Petersburg which was very worthwhile. All the tours were very well organized and interesting. Yes, maybe a little more pricey but it was a vacation -- someone else took care of everything! The food was quite good and varied in the dining room and extraordinary in the specialty restaurants. Just sorry that access is limited by level of accommodations. I enjoyed this ship so much, will be going on it a 3rd time in February to Australia/New Zealand! Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
This was our second cruise on Oceania, both on the Regatta. The ship was as clean and before, and the staff maintained its excellent level of service and responsiveness. We flew into London Heathrow, were met quickly by the Oceania rep, ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Oceania, both on the Regatta. The ship was as clean and before, and the staff maintained its excellent level of service and responsiveness. We flew into London Heathrow, were met quickly by the Oceania rep, got on the shuttle within 15 minutes and were enroute to Dover. After a 90-minute drive (during which we caught up on our sleep), we were at the ship. It was already 4:30 pm, so we went directly aboard rather than walking through town. The check-in process went very smoothly (they now have a questionnaire asking if you have a cough, cold, etc., which probably does little good given that someone who has paid a boatload of cash to get there probably wouldn't confess in any case...). We were in our room in ten minutes, and our luggage arrived shortly thereafter. We booked a PH suite for the first time & our butler (Iljco) was great throughout. We wanted to make the trip special, and the PH was certainly worth the added cost due to the port-intense itinerary. We were able to order from the specialty restaurant menu when desired, and did so several times after returning from a long day's excursion. Nothing like a great dinner on our balcony without the hassle of leaving the room... On several nights, we ate at Tapas on the Terrace. We really enjoy a served buffet, and the variety of foods available. They had fresh pasta, fresh seafood dishes, etc., and their buffet (IMHO) exceeds that found on other luxury lines in every category. We usually ate breakfast in our room; we eat lightly, so it was toast and juice, then off for the day. We also ate at Waves for late lunch a few times. They have a serviceable salad bar, ice cream and shakes and will cook to order a hamburger, chicken burger or fish. Once again, better casual option than offered in other luxury lines IMHO. Entertainment was as expected; we only attended shows on three nights due to busy days. Good, not great, but enjoyable nonetheless. We did the trivia game most evenings just for fun (one area of suggested improvement is to make the points earned a little more valuable- in fact, they should give a hat and keychain to everyone for advertising value if nothing else). We did most shore excursions on our own (except for Gdansk, where we did a ship's tour to Stutthof and the Old City- good tour, fair price). We had a bad experience during our Amazon cruise previously with canceled ship tours, and didn't want to chance it this time. Even when traveling independently, the travel desk and local folks they brought aboard were pleasant, informative and willing to help. We used Red October for our tour in St Petersburg, and they did a fantastic job at a very fair price. One note of caution for independent travelers is the use of hop on-hop off buses and boats in the respective cities they visit. In the high season, it is not uncommon for those buses or boats to be absolutely full by the middle of the day, thus meaning you lose a lot of time waiting unless you plan ahead. Advice would be to book some sight ahead of time (especially the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, where you can avoid a wait of at least an hour by buying on line); use taxis to get around, and to form ad hoc groups on the ship or at the dock to save a little money. In Bruges, unless you are in great shape, don't try to walk to the train station to get to town. It is a 35-40 minutes walk on a difficult road. A taxi for eight to the center of Bruges is about $10 each, each way- a good value. Disembarkation was smooth; received the tags and time the evening prior, and all went as planned. We had the advantage of flying back from Stockholm perhaps the most civilized and organized airport I've visited. Loooong flight back home, but we're already planning our next cruise. We booked the Roman Revelations 14-day in Oct 2010 while aboard to take advantage of the discounts, and are confident next year's cruise will be on par with this one. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
My wife and I are in our 60's and we planned this cruise with another couple about a year in advance. We wanted to celebrate my wife's 65th birthday and were not disappointed. We do try to travel 2-3 times a year but this is the ... Read More
My wife and I are in our 60's and we planned this cruise with another couple about a year in advance. We wanted to celebrate my wife's 65th birthday and were not disappointed. We do try to travel 2-3 times a year but this is the first extended cruise we have taken. When planning we looked at the number of ports which were included and decided we would not be able to see all of the countries we covered for the cost involved and the time spent in each area. We started with a 2 day stay in London to avoid being exhausted upon arrival at the ship. Stayed at the Hilton Hyde Park for two nights and it was very acceptable. The package included dinner the first night which really worked out since we did not have to chose a restaurant in an unfamiliar town. The meal was very good. Also included breakfast each morning and that was also very good. Complete with most everything you would want. We had prearranged transportation from the airport to hotel and then to the ship. While expensive, it was the best way to go for the four of us and would do this again as opposed to arranging this thru the ship. It ended up costing less and we were more comfortable. The drive from London to Dover is a little over two hours and being in a comfortable van as opposed to a bus was better. Checking in on arrival was very smooth as there were no others passengers checking in at the time. We had a concierge level room which gave us a dedicated line for check in but was not needed. We arrived about 1:00 pm and our room was ready which was an advantage of the concierge level. Others were not able to get their room until about 3:00 pm (Deck 6 and below) Lunch was available and was in the Terrace Cafe buffet. I would recommend making your dining reservations for the Polo Grill and Toscana as soon as you arrive on the ship. They fill up fast and to get time days and times you want, do it ASAP. Our stateroom was as expected with plenty of closet space and storage. Included with this room was a small refrigerator with drinks of all types. Be aware there is a charge for all that you use but the cost is the same as anywhere on the ship. We also had a DVD player which was used sparingly. Having a balcony was a definite advantage both for relaxation and arriving at the different ports. It was nice to be able to relax and see the sights on arrival. We were fortunate to have Olena and her assistant John as our cabin steward. They did a fantastic job. If you do not like the duvee you can ask for a blanket instead which suited us better. The only complaint about the room is the size of the shower but on a ship you do not expect large areas. The Penthouse suites and above included a tub and more living space. You have to decide whether the extra cost is worth it. We tried to find anything bad about the food and the dining areas and could not. The food was excellent in all of the dining rooms and the service was always first class. Our favorite server in the dining room as Shiaiane who was a wine and cocktail server. From the first night she never forgot what we wanted for cocktails and even when she was not our server, always check to make sure all was OK. A very special person if you get to meet her. Toscana and Polo Grill were top notch with the food being above and beyond what we expected. On my wifes birthday they sang Happy Birthday and brought a special personalized cake which was the best dessert I have ever had, truly special. For the men, a sport coat is not required for country club casual. I had planned to take two and changed to one and was very pleased to have done so. I wore it 5 times for the whole cruise. Nice dress slacks and a sport shirt are very acceptable in all areas. I wore the sport coat in the Polo Grill and Toscana and one night in the Grand dining room. The size of the ship is perfect. The average age of the passengers is 55 and above. We saw a few younger kids but not many and this cruise is not designed for children. We only took one ship excursion and that was in Helsinki and it worked out fine. We had pre-arranged tours in Germany and St Petersburg with Viktoria of spb-tours.com. We can truly recommend this company as the best. We did not want to be on a bus so arranged for the four of us only and it was worth the small additional cost. You could do what you wanted when you wanted to deviate from our original plans if necessary. We did and saw many things that the ships tours did not do including going to special local restaurants in St Petersburg. The 3 days there were the highlight of the cruise. I had also prearranged a stop at the Absolute Ice Bar in Stockholm which happened to be the last night of the cruise and was really lots of fun and quite and experience and would recommend it for a fun thing to do. All other port we would take a cab into town or take local transportation which included the hop on and off buses and canal boats. Do not miss the Van Gogh museum and get tickets before you get to the museum. There is a place about 1/2 a block away which you can do this an avoid the long lines for tickets. At each port the ship had a representative from that town on board to help and I would take advantage of that resource. We did not get involved in many of the ships activities as we were touring much of the time. Did participate in the putting and ping pong which was fun and got to meet many of your shipmates. Entertainment was available each evening but did not attend to many as long days of touring do run you down. The service on the ship was outstanding. Everytime you passed a crew member, they always said hello and greeted you with a smile. The only negative feature you have to deal with is the lack of do it yourself laundry facilities. There is one room with four washers and dryers so you need to plan ahead. We ended up using the room service facilities and the extra cost was not that great and much more convenient. We took advantage of the ships buses to the airport in Stockholm and would recommend doing this. You need to be of the ship by 9:00am and they have your luggage ready and by the bus when you disembark. Very smooth and easy. Overall, this was the Cruise of a Lifetime. It is well worth the cost as you get what you pay for. The size of the ship was perfect with 600 passengers. It never seemed crowded at any time. Having the ship as your hotel in each port was the only way to go. Never had to pack or unpack. I would highly recommend Oceania Regatta or any of their ships. You get what you pay for and this being an upscale cruise was well worth the cost to us. We are still talking about the trip and will continue to do so for some time to come. Putting your pictures together after the trip will take a good period of time but will keep the memories alive. Read Less
Sail Date July 2008
I know we took our cruise 11 months ago but I am new to Cruise Critic and figured why not write a review about this wonderful trip. It all started in New York on Aug. 10th where we flew out of JFK non-stop to Heathrow. We arrived early ... Read More
I know we took our cruise 11 months ago but I am new to Cruise Critic and figured why not write a review about this wonderful trip. It all started in New York on Aug. 10th where we flew out of JFK non-stop to Heathrow. We arrived early in the morning and took some time to see the sights of London. We then took the train to Dover followed by a cab ride to the ship. Now to the exciting stuff. Embarkation- Embarkation was painless due to the fact that we arrived on the later side. We were the only people there at that time meaning it took about 5-10 minutes from curb to stateroom. It couldn't have been any easier. Stateroom- We were booked in a Concierge level stateroom meaning that we had all the amenities of a regular stateroom plus some. We were allowed to make 2 reservations in each of the alternative restaurants ( as opposed to 1) along with a few other things. The room was very comfortable if a bit small, as usual. The balcony was sufficient and because our family was in a stateroom next to us we were able to take down the partition and have an extra large balcony which was very nice. After not being able to sleep for about 20 hours now we were all tired and took a nap before dinner. Food- That night we ate in the Grand Dining Room which is very nicely decorated. It is at the back of the ship which means that there are 3 walls of windows. We were extremely impressed with both the food and waiters. Our waiter, Edwin was very friendly and we requested to sit in his section every night. The food was excellent and rivaled some of the top restaurants in New York. There were other options to the Grand Dining Room of course. First, there is the casual buffet, Tapas on the Terrace. It serves Mediterranean specialties along with what is on the menu in the dining room that evening. We never had any problem getting a table up there and the food was very good. There are also two alternative restaurants aboard, Polo Grill and Toscana. Polo Grill serves Steaks and Seafood. The food there was outstanding and we would have eaten there more if we could have. Toscana serves Italian. There are many choices on the menu from pastas to lobster. The food there was very good as well. For lunch there is also a poolside grill, Waves which serves sandwiches and hamburgers. Oceania is near the top in the food category for sure. Entertainment- Entertainment onboard is definitely lacking but by design. At night they have one show at 9:45 in the main show lounge, the Regatta Lounge. They had a comedian one night who was very funny. Other than that it was a singer or mediocre production show. Aside from the main show there was nothing much going on except for a band playing or the Casino. Activities- By design Oceania doesn't have very many activities. Aside from trivia, bingo, shuffleboard and ping-pong there is pretty much nothing. However that was not really a problem for us as the ship was in port all but two days. Oceania also hands out Big "O" points. When you participate in activities you receive anywhere from 1 to 3 points. These are redeemable at the end of the cruise for some OK prizes such as a T-shirt or Portfolio. If anything it just encourages people to participate. Ports- The ports are obviously the highlight of the cruise. We visited 11 amazing countries with an overnight in Stockholm and 2 nights in St. Petersburg, the highlight of the cruise. Every city is different from one another and has so much history and character. This cruise really highlights the best cities of the Baltic. None of these cities are to be missed. I will not go in to detail about all the cities though otherwise I would be typing here for a very long time, but you get the idea. Disembarkation- The disappointing day had arrived, the day our cruise was over. Debarkation began early in the morning and we were off the ship by 7 AM to catch our flight to Frankfurt and then New York. This is most certainly a cruise that we will never forget. I would definitely recommend Oceania to anyone interested in seeing some of the world's finest destinations on board a beautiful ship. Hopefully we will get the chance to sail on Regatta again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2007
Just returned from the Baltic on Regatta on the July 17 sailing. Generally it was a very good cruise, it being our 17th. The good stuff. The ship is clean and well kept; lots of room to move around. Crew is helpful and pleasant. Food is ... Read More
Just returned from the Baltic on Regatta on the July 17 sailing. Generally it was a very good cruise, it being our 17th. The good stuff. The ship is clean and well kept; lots of room to move around. Crew is helpful and pleasant. Food is excellent. Among the best we've had, including Silverseas. Oceania has done a good job here in all venues. Beds are as advertised. We slept well every night. We've booked another Oceania cruise from Istanbul in 2006. If you use Oceania for your air, do yourself a favor and pay extra for direct routing. Otherwise, they'll send you the cheapest, most round about way that'll take you extra hours. We arrived home almost 6 hours later than someone who had direct and we both left Stockholm on the same flight and went the same distance, me to FL, them to Chicago. We really didn't like the nickel and diming: EVERYTHING'S extra. And the prices are a bit high, but cleverly not so high that you'd really pitch a fit. Good research there on Oceania's part. Wine corkage of $20 is ridiculous. Open the bottle in your room, pour a glass, and take it with you. A dinky bottle of water to take on shore excursions is $2.50. It's a really nice size for this. Keep the bottle and refill it. Save you lots of bucks. Oceania@ Sea is a joke. Computers down most of the time; internet service is $.95 PER MINUTE with really sllooowwww servers to make the minutes add up (shades of early AOL), and emails are $2 each, in or out. I sent one email to 4 people; $8. A real rip off. Our butler, David, was great. Always there, very responsive, pleasant. Even when I asked him to clean the dog poo I stepped in. Toscana is so-so, Polo was good, Terrace has a great buffet, Tapa was a worked over lunch, Grand Dining Room was the best as far as service and food. We found service in all restaurants to be spotty; sometimes good, sometimes not so good. The servers tend to be forgetful, but try really hard. In Terrace (the buffet) you are served everything. You do not touch the utensils. Seems like a really nice touch, but the portions handed out are skimpy. Portion control? Good idea as many of the people on this cruise were really big. Lots of fat bellies. The manager of Polo had his nose in the air too much. Andreas, maitre d' in Grand was great. Grand Dining Room is too small. For open seating, there's no excuse for a 20-30 minute wait. Boutique is a bit small, but reasonably well stocked. Staff was pleasant and helpful. Prices were high for everything, except on the "sale" days. Buy then and it was reasonable. With our suite category, we boarded directly, but couldn't get to the cabin until 1 PM. That however was two hours sooner than the regular cabins. Also, penthouse suites are much larger than regular cabins. Shore excursions were good. Guides were knowledgeable and spoke good English for the most part. Most buses had fair leg room. There was lots of confusion in the meeting Regatta lounge before tours. Too many people at one time; too noisy. Spread it out. There's no reason to try to have all the tours leave within a half hour when the ship's in port for 8 hours and most tours are 3-4 hours. Berlin was a long day but well worth the time and cost. So much history. The Moscow day excursion was long and very expensive. Worth every penny. What a thrill to stand in Red Square; ride the metro; go inside the Kremlin; see Putin's office (from the outside). This was the highlight of the cruise for us. I could say more, but then it's rambling. If I didn't mention it, we didn't do it. Swim, spa, golf, etc. As I said above, we've booked another cruise on Oceania, so the plusses way outweigh the bad. Read Less
Sail Date July 2005
Just back from the Regatta Dover to Stockholm trip and as promised, here are some thoughts. First off, we had a great trip. The ship is excellent both in size and staffing. We found the food, cabin, smoking policy, facilities, and ... Read More
Just back from the Regatta Dover to Stockholm trip and as promised, here are some thoughts. First off, we had a great trip. The ship is excellent both in size and staffing. We found the food, cabin, smoking policy, facilities, and cleanliness to be completely as advertised. We had splurged for a vista suite and found it remarkable. Butler service was attentive and responsive and the space itself was expansive and luxurious. We used the fitness facilities and the Spa and found them of excellent quality and they compared very favorably to other cruises we have taken. The Oceania at Sea computer room was available 24 hours a day; pricey but efficient. We were always able to get on a computer and check emails. We only used destination services for one tour to Gdansk. The tour itself was fine. The ship destination staff had warned of potential problems finding a taxi into Gdansk, however it turned out that a number of taxis were available if we had chosen an independent tour (which we would have preferred). The port intensive itinerary for this cruise was exceptional and in most cases the docking locations were very good. We ran like crazy every day and made the most of our time in port. Cannot really comment about the entertainment on board, as we never attended any of the shows. Spent too much Casino time I guess. However, there was certainly a variety of entertainers and music onboard and at the docks. While we never attended the enrichment lectures we did find ourselves watching them on the TV in the cabin and other passengers did comment on their quality. The port talks were less informative and more geared toward selling tours rather than broadly explaining about the ports. However, with a single exception (which I think is quite remarkable) we found the entire staff, when dealing with passengers, to be friendly, helpful and genuinely interested in servicing our needs. From wait staff to cabin staff, from embarkation staff to officers, from casino dealers to maitre'ds, everyone was friendly, helpful and made us feel special. So for a quick snapshot we had a great time on an excellent craft, met interesting people, saw exciting ports (it sure "wasn't Kansas anymore") and spent two weeks focusing on unique towns, interesting local customs and foods, pampering ourselves and not thinking about work and obligations. We found our trip to be both a great learning experience and a darn good time from morning to night. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
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