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13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Initially I chose this cruise for two reasons, the itinerary around the Baltic and the 3 day stay in St. Petersburg. Additionally having been on two prior cruises with Oceania I was once again attracted to the cuisine as well as the level ... Read More
Initially I chose this cruise for two reasons, the itinerary around the Baltic and the 3 day stay in St. Petersburg. Additionally having been on two prior cruises with Oceania I was once again attracted to the cuisine as well as the level of service offered in concierge and generally throughout the ship. I was very disappointed in the food this time ( with a couple of exceptions in the speciality restaurants) I felt the quality had declined and the menus seemed tired and needed some fresh input from a culinary standpoint. Essentially what I had on my first cruise was now the same over a 10 year period. Of note are the “scrambled eggs” they were more like scrambled soup. The bacon, ham, sausage, cold meats etc. were poor quality and the fruit was tasteless. Additionally the wait staff were poorly informed as to what some dishes actually were. I purchased the full beverage package and so did my wife, it is convenient and I like convenience, the wine by the glass is generally good so no complaints in that regard. However competing for a decent drink during the daily “Happy Hour” was virtually impossible and impossible to get a seat. The crowd takes over the Martini Lounge like a gas station running out of gas and the person who paid for a full beverage package ends up subsidizing the rest with drinks from the “well” The system of “Happy Hour” needs to be revamped to accommodate those paying full price. Many drinks were not delivered correctly and not with the liquor of my choice. The wait staff did their level best to keep up with the hoards of cheap well drinkers who ordered 2-3 drinks prior to the cutoff time and sat there for another hour. It should be noted that Oceania is registered in the Marshall Islands and that the labor law rights of those working this ship are virtually non existent (so I doubt that management gets many complaints for fear of dismissal) It has been noted by several people that the $16.00 per day per person in gratuities does not trickle down to the staff as a whole and that is just another way for Oceania to improve their bottom line at the expense of the hard working crew. I felt that many of the crew seemed to feel they were like indentured servants working for less than when gratuities were handed In cash to those deserving it. It does not make for an ideal environment for many of these hard working people who otherwise have no options from the countries they come from. Oceania is the only cruise line registered on the Marshall Islands and for good reason.They can avoid taxes, safety as well as labor regulations and justice. Think twice before you decide on this company. The third time was not a charm and the country club atmosphere has definitely disappeared in exchange for the look and feel of a Holiday Inn in need of an overhaul. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We were booked in a concierge level cabin and it was kind of a disappointment. The bathroom was quite small and was tight on storage. Our cabin steward was not the friendliest and hardly spoke to us. The only benefit we had of the ... Read More
We were booked in a concierge level cabin and it was kind of a disappointment. The bathroom was quite small and was tight on storage. Our cabin steward was not the friendliest and hardly spoke to us. The only benefit we had of the concierge level was the use of laundry facilities. Internet was sketchy much of the time and we had even purchased a $299 internet package. We found a lot of the staff to be not always considerate of the passengers - frequently we had them walk across right in front of us, without as much as an excuse me. Breakfast and lunch were like on any cruise we’ve been on and dinners were very good, especially in the speciality restaurants. The Grand dining room was also good, but some nights the menu was hard to find something appealing. We did shore excursions in every port and most were very good. A couple of them made us very aware that the guide can make or break a tour. Sometimes the departures seemed a bit unorganized. Overall the ship seemed a bit tired and could use some updating. The passengers overall weren’t as friendly as on other cruises. The alcohol packages were ridiculously expensive. A cooking class was a highlight of the cruise. Our disembarkation experience was less than stellar. We left the ship with our assigned group and when we went to get our luggage, one piece was missing. We asked for help and they didn’t seem to know what to do. After a frantic 45 minutes of looking a lady came in with the luggage that she had taken without verifying that it was hers. It seems like there could be some way to prevent this from happening. Overall, I doubt we sail with Oceania again. For the money we had a much, much better experience with Viking Ocean. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Husband's Big 80 birthday - chose Oceania as previous experience on Riviera was very good. Love our food. Very nice itinerary, so we thought, out of Southampton finishing up in Barcelona. Ship - very similar to Riviera. ... Read More
Husband's Big 80 birthday - chose Oceania as previous experience on Riviera was very good. Love our food. Very nice itinerary, so we thought, out of Southampton finishing up in Barcelona. Ship - very similar to Riviera. Beautifully decorated and spotlessly clean. We had Penthouse Suite which was excellent. Very good design. Everything worked except WiFi which was dreadful and you could only have one device working (if it did!) at any one time. Cabin staff were excellent - always cleaned and ready for when we returned. Butler was helpful but we don't really use the Butler. Concierge was awful, rude, arrogant, ignorant both to me and about other guests. Overall the food was good as you would expect from the Cruise line that advertises "The best food at sea..." However........service was slow and seemed disorganised in the Grand Dining Room, the buffet area you had to have everything served to you, often not what you really wanted, which slowed down the process. Often plates were taken away before you finished your last mouthful which I hate! It was over busy at times - I think because the Grand Dining Room was certainly not up to standard. When we did go to the GDR for breakfast there were issues. The worst kipper and smoked haddock I have ever seen - so awful we walked out! Speciality restaurants were good but we were not keen on the Italian Restaurant. Polo Grill, Red Ginger and the French restaurant were all good. There was little coordination between the booking systems and the actual restaurants. Wine was very expensive. The added on gratuities plus another Spanish tax made it a ridiculous price. Entertainment was mixed - some excellent and some awful. Art loft..... well I've never seen such awful examples of a tutors work. The sessions were ok but overcrowded and chaotic. The Culinary Centre was good. Fun and informative . The Special Dining in Prive was an experience, interesting and the food delicious. There were some booking issues for other guests though - they were not happy! Gym was good, classes limited. Front Spa area not serviced, loungers uncomfortable, jacuzzi far too hot on one occasion and outside shower not working. Ports were very interesting - we do not do Ships excursions as we prefer to be independent. Transfers to the ship however were poor in a number of the ports and trying to get accurate info difficult. This did cause us issues as often long waits for buses without any seated waiting areas - my husband cannot stand for long. Some very long unnecessary walks off the ship into the port - little consideration for anyone with any disability. Other Cruise lines seem to have far better in port service. We had a number of Public Holiday days in ports which meant access to attractions was limited and shops closed. The 2 nights in Bordeaux was not 2 nights as they moved the ship on the second day making any independent excursions very difficult especially as it was a public holiday. We saw the Captain once during the whole cruise. He did not attend his drinks party nor did he attend the Thank you parade for the staff. Poor! Would we travel with Oceania again?. Sadly I very much doubt it. I think if we go 6 star again we will try another company. The rudeness of the Concierge was unacceptable. Oh and they got our final account wrong... so beware - we have never had that on a cruise before they are normally spot on! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We selected this cruise based upon itinerary. We really wanted to sail around the Iberian peninsula and also have the opportunity to explore the Bordeaux wine area (this gave us two days in Bordeaux). The extra addition of Tangier in ... Read More
We selected this cruise based upon itinerary. We really wanted to sail around the Iberian peninsula and also have the opportunity to explore the Bordeaux wine area (this gave us two days in Bordeaux). The extra addition of Tangier in Morocco was also enticing and we loved our tour there. It was our second time with Oceania having previously sailed on the sister ship Riviera. These are the two "larger" ships with about 1200 passengers. The cruise appeared to be pretty full and sold out. This is the perfect size ship for us- I like that it has the four xtra restaurants yet not too large to get around easily. It is beautiful and well maintained. We flew in same day and left directly so utilized the ship transfers - they are expensive but it is not easy to get to Southampton.Two hours of crawling traffic all the way down. Other ppl we met booked driver on their own and got taken to the wrong port - taxi drove away and they had to find another way to the ship. I was not happy with the way all of the luggage was tossed together by the airport porters and not supervised by Oceania staff.Our two bags were together and got separated. We get into our cabin took until well after four PM until my husband got his suitcase - mine came right away. So the perc of getting early access due to concierge level was moot - you cannot get unpacked without you luggage. This time we opted for the Concierge level with a veranda. Last time we took one of the non-concierge level veranda rooms(they are very tiny verandas). on the 7th level (there are a few with extended verandas and that was awesome - I might do that again especially in a warmer climate). Two main reasons we chose concierge level was to be able to book the specialty restaurants earlier and to get the dates and times we wanted. Also, and people might not know this.....There is a difference in room service breakfast offerings. Concierge level includes hot breakfast options like omelets, pancakes, French toast and oatmeal. Non-concierge level gets continental breakfast only with only cold options. This was a port intensive trip with many early morning meet-up times for tours. We are not morning people and it is easier to get breakfast in the room then to trek up to the 12th floor, wait for elevators and such. Also, we selected a room nearby the concierge lounge (9046) and near the elevator and stairs and it was very convenient. Concierge lounge is great to run in for quick coffees, teas, light snacks at any time of day. There are no coffee makers in the cabins and not all that convenient to get to the other places on the ship that have coffee. You can run in in your bathrobe and many ppl did. As for the concierge himself - we did not interract with him all that much - he did make us one extra restaurant reservation but the two reasons just cited are the main reasons we selected it. I am not sure I would spend the xtra again esp if you are on a Caribbean cruise without a lot of ports. Considering the ship has been around since 2011 it looks extremely good - especially the common areas. The cabins are showing some wear and tear like bedskirts, carpet and drapes but overall ok. I am not a fan of the decorating or color schemes but I am not moving in permanently. There are no electric outlets in the bathroom so you have to dry your hair outside at the dressing table- hairs get all over the place ( I am a neat clean nut type) and did not like this. Another pet peeve is how they clutter up all of the counter areas and desktops etc with toiletries, papers, stuff we do not need or want - took it out and hid it inside our suitcases until we left - barely had room for our own stuff. The touted "Bulgari" toiletries were nothing special at all - just a name. Food on Oceania is absolutely awesome for the most part - very few thing were less than a home run. We are foodies and live downtown in a very food-centric city. We dine out often at some ot the best restaurants in the area and even the country. Main dining room is always changing up their offerings. Presentation is outstanding. We loved Polo, Toscana, and Jacques.... not a huge fan of Red Ginger... It seems that Red Ginger doesn't know what it wants to be. Trying to mix too many types and styles of food - they should stick to one. Sushi there not great. Sea Bass - sauce too heavy - nothing all that awesome. I thought this on the first cruise also. They should maybe try to update it with Korean robatayaki skewers, Japanese Izakaya style food, updated Chinese (they need to do some serious R & D). Come to Philadelphia and go to Royal Izakaya or Double Know for example. We mostly took excursions offered by the ship with one exception - (the tour to Alhambra from Granada was sold out and we went on this tour with Spain Day tours - it was very good). We selected the O life eight excursions as our option. We are not the type that like to spend so much time exploring and researching all these options. What some people might not realize when they complain that the Oceania tours are too expensive is the following. Once you have booked even six tours (three per person) - every tour you book after that is 25% off (If you book before sailing). The eight "free" tours satisfy this requirement - therefore if you take the eight tours as your O life Option (the include any tour up to and including $199.00 base price)... save some of the less expensive ones for those you will pay out of pocket and get them for 25% off. This is essentially a $1600 credit and a far better value in our opinion than only getting the $800 credit that was offered. As far as the alcohol and spirits package - it is ridiculously expensive - you would have to be a borderline alcoholic to consume that much booze and we like to have cocktails, drinks and wine as much as the next person. We always book our own airfare - if they do it - they can route you in inconvenient ways unless you pay 75 dollars per person which allows you to select your own flights. We always use the same airline due to points and got a first class upgrade on the way over which is hard to negotiate on the with the cruise line doing it. Common areas on the ship such as the pool area, barristas, library, etc are all really nice.We did not try the culinary center or painting classes but people seemed to lvoe it. Entertainment is mixed - we don't care - we didn't go on the cruise for that reason. They had a comedian who was British and very very funny - saw him twice. Most of the music sounds like it is for our parents' generation in their nineties and kind of corny - like Peggy Lee.m(Seriously?) We grew up with rock and roll. The sailaway parties are great and fun - but I think they should offer at least one free drink to all of the passengers that one time - they had drinks on trays but you had to pay for them. The band and singer in Horizons was great (they also played at the sailaway party) - we would've liked to dance but no one was dancing. Part of the reason is the stage and dance floor is kind of lit up and you feel like you're on stage alone. Hardly anyone was up there in the evenings. We were on smaller river boat in the past (Uniworld - also awesome) and had a chance to do a lot of dancing- this is not a dancing type of crowd - a little disappointing. Same thing on last Oceania cruise. All of the staff is pretty much friendly and very professional. However, on this cruise as compared to last one - it seemed some of the staff was very new and did not know certain things. The waiters in the past got to know us and connect with us and tell us some things about themselves - did not happen this time - they did not seem interested in engaging and were a bit more stiff and formal. That's fine. Age group on this cruise seemed to be average late sixties and seventies with many much much older. Saw two kids the first day but none after that. (wonder where they went?!) There is nothing for kids to do on this cruise. It was a bit too chilly to swim but we did have a few warmer days and was lovely relaxing around the pool in the sunshine. Our fellow cruisers that we got to meet were mostly very friendly. They also seemed to be a lot better dressed and less frumpy than our last cruise. I even found some nice things in the shops on board. Had no idea it would be so cold in Bordeaux, etc - had to buy a pullover sweater - had not packed one. Two weeks was a long cruise for us - was glad to be getting off the ship - cannot really understand how ppl do much longer ones - I would be a fat blimp. Hard living in such close quarters after a couple of weeks also. Also, we are not cruise-only type of ppl - we also enjoy going to hotels on land and having more time to explore at our own speed. With so many ports - no time to really dine ashore - never had a chance to get good tapas in Spain etc. Oceania needs to offer more cruises that feature two nights in each port rather than a new one every day. The write-ups in the daily "Currents" (the daily cruise list of activities and port info) tells you about all the things a specific port is known for (looks like they copied and pasted out of pre-written tour books) and it is not realistic that you will be able to do much independently in just one day -especially if you take a tour - they do not allow very much free time during the excursions. In Porto (which is gorgeous) we had only thirty minutes to shop or get a coffee at the "Ribiera" - first twenty minutes spent finding a bathroom. I would def sail with Oceania again but might also try Crystal - the latter includes everything other than excursions and has many shorter itineraries with multiple nights in port. Ports - Too tired after flying - we did not visit Guernsey - was a warm sunny day (few others at the beginning were - was great relaxing around the pool. Bordeaux - took two excursions - one to the St. Emilion area and one to Bordeaux to visit vineyards and have tastings. Both very good. The first included plenty of time to shop and tour the city of Bordeaux and have a bite at a cafe - just great. Could not tender at Biarritz - sea was too rough. This cruise had some very rocky days on board - I took Bonine most of those sailing days - it works - non- drowsy formula. (even a half a tablet works but take it in advance by at least an hour before sailing). Bilbao was a wow - spent two days there - loved the Pinxtos(Basque style tapas) we had on our own at the Plaza Nueva (arcade NeoClassical Square) near the old town - don't miss it - fun to walk around; La Coruna - could have skipped this one other than Hercules tower. Porto and Lisbon both great - did ship tours both days and went for a port tasting. These are both ports that need an overnight stay. Cadiz we went on tour that included Flamenco (was great) and some tapas ( they were far from great - have had much better at Jose' Garces reataurants in our home town and the Sangria was not good either). Overall, a wonderful fun cruise - did not get sick this time - had fun. Highly recommend Oceania. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise for a chance to try Oceania, who has a great reputation, especially for foodies. We had cruised on Celebrity several times, a mainstream line known for good dining, and Princess to Alaska. Oceania seems to really ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a chance to try Oceania, who has a great reputation, especially for foodies. We had cruised on Celebrity several times, a mainstream line known for good dining, and Princess to Alaska. Oceania seems to really have honed in on their target audience, with many travelers we met haven taken 10+ cruises with the line and some even 20+ (and many Oceania cruises are more than two weeks). My wife and I are in our early 70s and most of the passengers seemed a bit older than we were. Many were from England, Australia, etc and most were very well traveled. In general, they were a friendly bunch The ship is pretty in a subdued sort of way, mostly decorated in a traditional way. We preferred Celebrity’s more contemporary looks, but it certainly was nice and easy to navigate. The public rooms are showing a bit of wear and tear, however, although nothing dramatic. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze, possibly because of the relatively small number of passengers. Service was always cheerful, although not always as high a professional standard as you might expect. For example, waiters were great about greeting you and efficient about removing plates and silverware, etc., but often were unaware of how the food was prepared. To compound the problem, menu items were sometimes inadequately described or not what one would expect (deep fried veal picatta anyone?). The food in the main dining room was generally good to very good, although two nights we did not find any dishes to our liking. The specialty restaurants were better, with Jaques being our favorite. Be aware, however, that even initial reservations at the specialty restaurants are given first to those in the most expensive cabins/suites, so you must share a table with strangers unless you wish to eat at 8:30 or later. Lunches and breakfasts were about equal to those on Celebrity, but the dinners were better on the Marina. Chilean sea bass was spectacular in Red Ginger and the other restaurants as well Entertainment was mostly just OK, especially the production evenings and they were sparsely attended, compared to those on larger ships. We did two cooking classes on board and both were great. I guess one of the biggest pluses for passengers onboard Marina, was what the was NOT on board. No constant announcements or forced joviality poolside. No photo ops of passengers or small children running around. It’s pretty quiet on board, with most people just reading on sea days. Unfortunately we had cold, cloudy weather on our days at sea and several other days as well, so the pool was not used. This cruise was very port intensive, however, so we did not spend that much time aboard the ship during the day. Another thing Oceania does not do and is appreciated by their passengers, is stop at the regular main cruise ports, which can be a madhouse! Instead you get to see many places you may only be vaguely familiar with. As far as the ship’s excursions, we did not use them. They seemed to be 2-3x the price of the local ones and the tour groups were larger than the local ones. We used Spain Day Tours and thought they were excellent. So the question is, would we do Oceania again? The answer in “maybe”. We liked the smaller ship size and passenger mix on the ship and the food was very good, if not consistently excellent. Crystal and Silversea,etc., are quite a bit more expensive and it seems that Oceania’s main competition is Viking Sea. It probably would depend on the itinerary as to which line we would prefer for our next cruise. Happy sailing, everybody! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We decided on this particular cruise as my friend had not been to Spain. The ports were wonderful! As always, everything about Oceania was terrific. Meals, service accommodations - just EVERYTHING! Embarkation took less than 30 minutes. ... Read More
We decided on this particular cruise as my friend had not been to Spain. The ports were wonderful! As always, everything about Oceania was terrific. Meals, service accommodations - just EVERYTHING! Embarkation took less than 30 minutes. Our room was ready on schedule, after we enjoyed a lovely buffet lunch in the Terrace Cafe. Every interaction with crew and staff was a pleasant experience. Beds in our cabin were too comfortable and we really wanted to take the pillows with us as they were so wonderful. Oceania never fails to exceed expectations with their cuisine. The variety is amazing. My friend has a strange allergy and their efforts to accommodate her were terrific. Most of our shore excursions were arranged privately as we prefer the smaller groups that are available through cruise critic. We had a stop in Guernsey which was interesting as I had read the "Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society". Unfortunately, most of the WWII emplacements were no longer available. All in all, a wonderful cruise with Oceania! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise with friends, as they wanted to see the British Isles. Scheduled ports in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales. This particular itinerary included Liverpool, which interested us as we are big Beatles fans. ... Read More
We chose this cruise with friends, as they wanted to see the British Isles. Scheduled ports in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales. This particular itinerary included Liverpool, which interested us as we are big Beatles fans. Well....... They give you the embarkation berth number, but not the GATE at Southampton. Our driver had to ask around and take 20 extra minutes or more to get us to the ship. Embarkation was fairly easy. Immediately disappointed by the SIZE of the cabin. Paid extra for Concierge Level suite. Ha Ha, it is exactly the same as less expensive cabins on other decks, it's just on deck 7. What advantage does that give you??? NONE! No concierge service, no great perks, just a tiny cabin with a tiny bathroom that costs a lot of money. The food that they rave about as being BEST of any cruise line did not prove to be outstanding. Most dinners were good, a couple were POOR----tough meat, or extreme lack of seasoning. We liked Toscana much better than Polo Grill. Entertainment was pretty good. The singers had great voices. Service: hit and miss. Some good, some average, some poor. Shore Excursions: two good ones, two POOR ones, all expensive. One cancelled because we lost two ports due to bad weather! We had been on Oceania before. But we are not sure we will go with them again. Not a good value for the money. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our second Oceania cruise. We were on the Nautica cruising the Baltic. We thought food was nothing special. It was good quality, but it lacked any special flavours. It was nowhere as good as we experienced on our previous ... Read More
This was our second Oceania cruise. We were on the Nautica cruising the Baltic. We thought food was nothing special. It was good quality, but it lacked any special flavours. It was nowhere as good as we experienced on our previous Oceania cruise. The service was fine but the last few days the service in the Terrace Café fell away significantly. The entertainment was outstanding for relatively small cruise ship. The berths at the ports were varied with some close to the city and others some quite a distance from the city. The excursions were just okay. We found them to be rushed and not very informative. They charged the equivalent of $150 USD for a walking tour that you can pick up at the local tourist office for $10 USD. There was too much free time, wasted time, long toilet breaks and waiting for people who get lost. I am aware that some other cruise lines have two guides, one at the front and one at the rear. Good idea. Wine prices were nothing short of extortion. French village wines which would retail in France for 20 Euro per bottle were about 15 Euro per glass plus 18% gratuities. They would charge 80 Euro for a reasonable quality bottle plus 18%. The enrichment talks were okay but they were fairly shallow for those of us interested in history. There was only limited time spent on the history of cities on our itinerary. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My attempt at a more objective and comprehensive review of Oceania Nautica: ITINERARY – London to Stockholm, 14 nights 1 sea days, 3 nights at St Petersburg - an excellent itinerary. • This is a port intensive cruise visiting ... Read More
My attempt at a more objective and comprehensive review of Oceania Nautica: ITINERARY – London to Stockholm, 14 nights 1 sea days, 3 nights at St Petersburg - an excellent itinerary. • This is a port intensive cruise visiting major cities like, Berlin, Helsinki and Copenhagen, Stockholm, St Petersburg whilst also visiting quieter destinations such as Kristiansand, Klapeida, Tallinn, Karlskrona, Riga (listed in order of increasing preference). • 1- 2 more sea day would be relaxing but we had to fly out. There were scammers who attempted to scam us at London and Berlin. • Mostly smooth sailing with minor waves at night time in the Baltic seas. We do appreciate good stabilisation system with deep hull in the ships. EMBARKATION – No lines, straight through at the later part of the day. ROOMS – Very neatly appointed, the smaller bathroom meant a larger ratio of living space. • The showers are small but have been told they will refurbish in the near future. • The cabin is kept clean and stewardess Rosario was nice. I personally like the current bed style a lot and find the new design of the proposed refurbishment a bit tacky. • The bed and pillows are very comfortable, probably the best I have had at sea. PUBLIC SPACE – Spacious, lots of elegant seating in different decks. A few other cruises I have been on, felt like you must buy a drink to sit in the bar area, or must purchase this to lounge at a corner, i.e. less inviting. This ship had a lot more “free” space that you can comfortably sit and have a chat with friends. Dining alfresco in the Terrace café is great when warm; the sunset view (quick photo) is worth the chilly wind! OTHER PASSENGERS – most demographics lean towards retirees from North America, Europe Australia etc. • Some passengers are very warm and friendly, some others were very discerning, a few were ageist and slightly chauvinistic towards non Anglos because there is hardly any non Anglo passenger on board – no wonder other Asian male passengers were mistaken for crew and there were lots of staring. • In Australia, we see a variety of nationalities like Middle East, East and South East Asia, Africa, South American people. Perhaps with a few of the passengers, they don’t see much of the greater world as much and developed more curiosity as such, hmm. • I have also witnessed a few passengers been rather rude to the crew and are quite demanding, my guess is there is a correlation between more luxury cruises with more discerning cruisers. Contrastingly, I have witnessed people pushing in lines at buffet…but you probably expected this on any cruise. • Passengers on other mass and premium lines saw happier looking passengers who are on holiday, Nautica passengers appears that this is the everyday life (probably because they cruised with Oceania a lot and this became their normal home). CREW – Mostly excellent and friendly: only some very minor hiccups with some waiter and lady at the bar near the casino area. John the cruise director was amazing and the chef (not sure of the name) grilling lobsters, steak and fish in the terrace cafe for most part of the cruise is a master, the best grilled lobsters I have ever tasted. The chef changed on the last two days, the lobster quality dropped significantly and not cleaned properly (accidental slice of the excretory glands by the chef when cutting the lobster meant a unique taste…). FOOD - Having cruised with Celebrity (same menu in different ships rotating), RCL, Carnival, Princess, this line has the best food out of the above. Celebrity and princess are still decent and I enjoyed my meals with them. Carnival was good value for money and fun, but RCL was cost cutting. 1. If food is important to you, as it is for me, you are likely to enjoy this cruise. 2. The only comment I will make is that the sashimi is not that great, i.e. powdery and breakfast was getting boring after 2 weeks of continental breakfast. This is likely because I am spoiled in Australia where the café brunch options are excellent and access to other cultures like Chinese dumplings, dim sums with congee and fresh sashimi etc. I am not sure how adventurous the other passengers are with trying “non-western” style breakfast. .. 3. The fruit options for breakfast are impeccable and fresh. I can’t rave enough about the grilled lobster done by that particular Chef in the buffet, simply the best, he needs a bonus. 4. The main dining room is mostly great, tip: the daily menus are better than the Pepin inspired ones. Miso glazed Sea Bass was delicious. 5. The Russian evening buffet was outstanding with lots of choices and interesting dishes. We really appreciated trying other cuisines and the culture, especially when the food is made nicely. 6. Desserts – I have not had a bad dessert on board and have gotten seconds, very nicely presented and produced. You will be eating with nice silverware and plates. Afternoon tea with string quartet is very good but often hard to find a seat. SHORE EXCURSIONS – • Did a private tour for SPB for Catherine palace + Peterhof and it was great. • The complimentary shore excursion to Hermitage was disappointing, I could only look and take pictures of the ceiling because it is too crowded to see artworks on the side. Perhaps I needed to grow a few inches taller. Good thing that the ceilings were intricately beautiful. Because of the massive crowds, I did not see the peacock clock. Your face is literally up behind someone’s back. It was like a battle against time and the 50-60k people per day to take a quick peak of some highlights and get out ASAP. Don’t get me wrong though, the rooms within the hermitage were very opulent. • The local guide who gets on board at the ports Is quite good – provides a local maps with tips and answers. Also the shuttle to city centre, both very nice touches added by Oceania. • The complimentary tours for the 3 cathedrals however, were very good. See the ports info below for tips. • In general the ship excursions and transfers are very expensive for what they offer. ENTERTAINMENT The lectures on history of the ports were interesting and John’s magic show and talks were excellent. You are more or less expected to entertain yourself on board, which is perfectly fine given the intensive itinerary. Take the extra time to recharge, read a book and relax somewhere. I will be more than happy if Oceania spends the money on other things to improve vacation experience. There was minigolf and a shuffle board. Summary of tips: take naps in the very comfy bed and deck chairs with good cushions, try the afternoon tea listening to strings, try Toscana, try the miso glazed sea bass, eat the desserts, relax in the public areas, read in the library and relax after a long day (30k steps per day sometimes) of sightseeing ! Baltic cruises are definitely not only for the retirees. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This ship was a perfect size for us. The food was excellent. Polo Grill very good and Toscana great. I also really enjoyed the meals in the Grand Dining room. Wine can get expensive but Happy Hour is 2 for 1. Brought our wine to the ... Read More
This ship was a perfect size for us. The food was excellent. Polo Grill very good and Toscana great. I also really enjoyed the meals in the Grand Dining room. Wine can get expensive but Happy Hour is 2 for 1. Brought our wine to the dining room. Great entertainment. John's magic show during happy hour was the best. The speakers were outstanding. Enjoyed Black Jack tournaments. Some couples really wanted to play Poker but not enough players. I can't say enough about the staff. Very helpful and kind. The best. Julio at the concierge desk was so helpful with all. I mostly booked my own excursions. Love the Orkney Islands. Our favorite stop. Did a walking tour in Londonderry and that was on the spot 4 GBP so great value. Being able to get a special coffee anytime, an ice cream etc. was great. Service at the dining room was very efficient. Loved showing up and being seated so quickly. The buffet was good but often crowded as the weather did not lend itself to dining outdoors so they brought those seats in. Prefer the dining room and personalize service. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
This was my third cruise with Oceania. Having been on the Marina my first reaction when I entered the cabin was “ it has shrunk”. The shower was tiny. As a solo traveller I have no idea how a couple would cope. The ship was tired. But ... Read More
This was my third cruise with Oceania. Having been on the Marina my first reaction when I entered the cabin was “ it has shrunk”. The shower was tiny. As a solo traveller I have no idea how a couple would cope. The ship was tired. But while on board Oceania announced their revamp. For the first time the shows actually contained some music from the 50 and 60. The last show was amazing. I was amazed to hear that a Florida had decided to can it. I hope they don’t go back to Broadway and Frank Sinantra (more my mothers era). Another positive was a focus on the solo travellers. I have asked before why Oceania don’t value their solo travellers only to be told the economic model is two people per cabin not one. This time they hosted 4 events for us and we were very grateful. John the cruise director was very friendly and efficient. Very focused on the US guests but they are the majority I suppose. Captain Max was also amazing with his talks and updates. He made us feel included and his talks were funny and educational. Great to have the free shuttles in port for those organising their own shore activities. The dress code was very casual. John kept asking people to comply with code but many ignored it. I did see a specialty restaurant turn away a guest dressed in track pants and joggers once. On the negative side, the food in the terrace cafe left a lot to be desired. Breakfast was just what one would expect. The other meal times were very ordinary. The Grand dining room was ok but after 20 days one was just eating much the same. The polo grill and Tuscany were top. The Ambassador was very abrupt. Maybe it was her culture. However previous cruise Ambassadors were more helpful. Her attitude was “ look in the books and handout and when u have decided come back. Otherwise don’t waste my time”. The internet is very poor. One connection per cabin. My travel companions had to have one person log off before the other one could use it!!! I had to keep logging off and on devices. Let’s hope this is included in Oceania Next!!! The beverage package is very expensive for what one gets. We went to a couple of wine tastings. The last one we paid $50 to drink what was included in our beverage package!!! Activities were limited but they flew in from US two bridge masters as they had about 300 people playing bridge. If u did not play trivia or bridge there was not much else to do on sea days but rest ( maybe that is an idea). Finally I must say how wonderful all the staff are. From the Captain to the dr and nurse ( very rough seas resulted in a visit to the dr) through to the cabin staff. No one said goodbye as we left the ship. Well with over 80% of return guests I guess that is not important. The trip has made me rethink if I should not explore some other lines ( have only been on Holland America) Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We picked this cruise for the itinerary. We wanted to see Iceland and Greenland and we got to go back to Ireland again. The Orkney Islands were interesting. We used Oceania for tender ports except for one and that was the only ... Read More
We picked this cruise for the itinerary. We wanted to see Iceland and Greenland and we got to go back to Ireland again. The Orkney Islands were interesting. We used Oceania for tender ports except for one and that was the only disappointment. It was more of the shuttle service company’s misinformation rather than Destination Services fault. The information the shuttle company gave to the ship was incorrect, so we decide to stay at Castlegreen, visit a local pub, rather than wait for the shuttle to take us to Londonderry. If we had waited, by the time we would have arrived, everything would have been closed. Now, the wow factor. The production team was the best I have ever had on an Oceania cruise or any other cruise line I have been on. All of the singers had strong voices and blended well together and the dancers were great. The whole team was strong and you sensed and saw that they worked together as a team. They were also highly visible when not performing. It would be nice if they had a few more desserts on each menu that did not have nuts, but that is my personal choice. I enjoyed the surf and turf in Waves but skipped the Terrace cafe, not because of the food but because people were hogging tables. The weather was not nice enough to be able to eat outside and because the water was so rough, the outer decks were closed several sea days. That is to be expected, so no complaints from me. If you are a poor sailer I would not recommend this particular cruise as the majority of the passengers were feeling poorly. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I chose this cruise based on the destinations and more importantly on the recommendation of previous Oceania cruisers. The ship was fine although it seemed to be ready for refurbishing. The food was okay, but not as special as I had ... Read More
I chose this cruise based on the destinations and more importantly on the recommendation of previous Oceania cruisers. The ship was fine although it seemed to be ready for refurbishing. The food was okay, but not as special as I had anticipated. Desserts were the most disappointing aspect of the food train. They seemed bland and unimaginative. I heard several complaints about the lack of or taste of the "chocolate" desserts. The behind the counter servers in the buffet area were attentive and accommodating, but the wait staff (coffee and incidentals) in that area were somewhat less so. Service and accommodation in the main dinning room was first rate. Food and service in both of the specialty restaurants was first rate. The entertainment on board was very good. We greatly enjoyed the young performers. Interacting with the cruise director, Julie, was a treat. Room attendants and their service was excellent. The entire ship's company with exceptions noted were very responsive. Midway through the cruise we filled out a questionnaire critiquing our experience. Almost all issues we noted were addressed within 24 hours. Once the response was simply an explanation of why things were as they were, but they did get back to us on the issues. Largest single disappointment in the cruise was the inconsistency of the shore excursions. Some were good to excellent and others were not so much. This seemed to result from lack of proper planning on the tour operator's (management) part and perhaps not so much on the individual tour guides. Overall I considered the cruise a success and would do it again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We normally cruise on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We were invited to join a Wine Makers Cruise aboard Marina. The embarkation for this cruise was like none we had ever experienced, it was fantastic. There were no lines and ... Read More
We normally cruise on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We were invited to join a Wine Makers Cruise aboard Marina. The embarkation for this cruise was like none we had ever experienced, it was fantastic. There were no lines and the staff could not have been nicer. When we booked we chose a balcony cabin and were told there were cabins available at the rear of the shift with an extended balcony. Research on Cruise Critic revealed these are very nice cabins to have. They are twice as big with 2 lounges and 2 chairs and a table. Our friends had the cabin next to us so we were able to open the panel to allow access to both balconies. The cabin was large with plenty of storage in the closet and many drawers. The temperature in the room could be adjusted to our liking. The bathroom was spacious and beautiful. My favorite thing is the bathroom has a light switch inside. On all other ships I have been on the switch is on the outside so you must turn it on and it lights up the whole cabin during the night. Great feature. The dining was overall a "10" . The food was fantastic, especially in the specialty restaurants which are no additional fee. Service in these restaurants was perfection. My only food complaint is the Terrace Cafe. This is a buffet with very good food but they must serve you the food and there is no queue for the lines. It is people jockeying for position and taking cuts without thinking about it. There is a beautiful back outdoor area to eat your food, very comfortable if not windy with great views. The Waves grill is very nice, you order and sit and they bring you your meal. Excellent food there. Afternoon tea in Horizons was lovely. Fantastic wait service and excellent food to pair with your tea. The ship is overall in perfect condition. I only had a few complaints- a hair dryer with only low speed. Complained early on and by the end of cruise got one with two speeds. The bottle of VO I ordered came as a cheaper Seagrams 7. This error was fixed quickly. The toilets were out of order for a full day on a large portion of the ship. It smelled quite a bit that day. They made no announcement on it and no apologies were made. We know this can happen on cruise ships but please acknowledge the problem and let us know you are working on it. Also let us know which areas are not affected so we can use those facilities. The toilet in our friends cabin overflowed and the staff did nothing to apologize for this inconvenience. The Entertainment is good, they had entertainers that sang and danced and they used them several nights in the showroom and spotlighted a few other nights in Horizons. I think they started the dance hour too late in Horizons, as with the travel we did it would be nicer to allow dancing at 9:00 for those who wanted to. There was trivia, golf putting, food classes and of note the casino was smoke free. That was literally refreshing as it kept the ship smoke free. My husband won money on the slot machines which for a cruise ship is rare. I used the gym and while small it had wonderful equipment. I did not use the spa or salon due to the usual high cruise pricing. They did have the ceramic lounges and a steam/sauna available to all. The one day I went to use the steam, it was being worked on so not available. Ty, the concierge, was a great help. We purchased OLife as we wanted Wi-Fi. So we picked excursions with it just to get the WiFi. After we booked I read there is now complimentary Wi-Fi. We complained that we in essence paid for something that was now free. Ty worked with us allowing us to cancel 2 of our 3 shore excursions and we were credited the charge for those. Very accommodating. The Wi-Fi on board was better than most ships. Only one person from your cabin allowed to be on at one time which is standard. You can purchase an additional person but it is costly. The desktops and internet area were very nice. The library was excellent and was in constant use. The game room had lots of choices of games. There is ping pong, shuffleboard, croquet, a putting green, paddle board and a netted one person driving range. The pool is beautiful and there were at least two spas. The chaise lounges by the pool were comfortable and each covered with attached towels. The crew works so hard every morning get it to look great. Ports: Oslo, Norway- It was quite crowded as traffic was President of Solvakia was visiting and we had trouble getting around. We visited the Ice Bar, I would say one and done. Probably not worth going to. Copenhagen Denmark - Just beautiful. We took a wonderful canal tour and loved the sights. Later we stopped by an amazing Tivoli Gardens, what a fun place but not enough time to see it all. Berlin- We took a tour with Alla Tours and had a great guide from Ireland. It was a long but pretty 3 hours bus ride. Our tour group was only 12 which made it easier. The Berlin Wall was amazing. Visited Checkpoint Charlie, stopped at a nice food court to eat and returned in time to the ship. Thank you guide Daniel Flaherty. Visby - Visby is an island, so serene and beautiful. We took the ship's Excursion- Visby by Bicycle. It was a nine mile ride. We had a great time. There were some long hills and the bikes were heavier than we are used to. Overall everyone made it and it was very enjoyable and a great way to see a good portion of Visby, the only City on the island and a tourist destination for Scandinavians. We could see why it is so popular. Helsinki - We began with a boat cruise which was just beautiful . After we walked to the Uspenski Cathedral. A nice walk and a beautiful place. We visited Senate Square and the building was closed for a wedding. Very beautiful. We missed Rock Church but saw unique photos from others. We ate lunch at a fabulous restaurant on the way back to the ship. Salutorget- a Scandanavian Bistro. Fabulous hamburgers and french fried potatoes, not to mention the best Gin and Tonics on our trip. St Petersburg- Our port for 2 days. You must be on a guided tour to get off the ship. Our group signed up for a two day tour. Day one we visited Catherine's Palace and Peterhof Grand Palace and Fountains. An amazing sight to see. Our guide, Anna with TJ Travel, was fantastic. It is a crowded difficult place to get around but she made sure we got up close to things we wanted to see. Day Two - we decided to stay on the ship. Others in our group went to Hermitage Museum (it was three hours and I am not a huge museum person). I enjoyed the ship and relaxation. I must admit it was frustrating not to be able to go ashore from the ship due to Russian Restrictions. Also I thought we would be able to see the lighted bridges during the White Nights in Russia from the Ship. Due to were they dock this is not viewable. Highly recommend you take an evening tour of the canals. I sure would have if I had known. I think we really missed some beautiful views. Tallin Estonia- A very unique beautiful port, but due to the size it is a extremely crowded. Old Town is the #1 destination and the streets are all cobblestone. The churches are very beautiful but getting in and out of them is a real challenge due to the crowds. We did the hop on hop off bus and enjoyed seeing the sights along the way. Stockholm- We ended our cruise in Stockholm. We stayed on 3 days and are glad we did. What a wonderful city. I have never seen such great transportation (and I know London is good), but the artwork in the underground is amazing. The people are friendly and helpful. We visited the Vasa Museum, unique story here; Abba Museum (you must be a big fan) and it was wonderful. We got 3 day pass for the underground and the hop on hop off boats and bus. Great way to get around, exception: Hop on Hop Off bus just too crowded to even get on. We took a wonderful boat ride to Fjäderholmarna, which is only 25 minutes away. We spent an hour walking the island. I would recommend more islands if time allows. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose the cruise based on its itinerary. We wanted to go to the main ports of the UK and Ireland. The ship docked at Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Liverpool, Holyhead, Waterford and the Isle of Portland. A similar ... Read More
We chose the cruise based on its itinerary. We wanted to go to the main ports of the UK and Ireland. The ship docked at Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Liverpool, Holyhead, Waterford and the Isle of Portland. A similar cruise on the Caribbean Princess didn’t dock at Newcastle where we had friends living. It was a much smaller (mid-size) ship than the ones we had sailed on prior. We had a Veranda Stateroom. We were suprised at the small sized bathroom. If you disregard the small shower, the room was about the size of an airplane’s toilet. However, they had turned the toilet at an angle towards the wall, which meant you couldn’t use it without pressing your knees into the wall. It would be impossible for a tall person to use it. Other than that the stateroom and veranda were mostly as we had found on the Celebrity and HAL cruises. There was also a lot of noise from the engine when they were traveling around 16 knots. We were near the back of the ship where the engine room is. I guess when the ship was built soundproofing material was scarce. Our perks were a free beverage package, free internet and 6 free excursions. The agency also kicked in a $550 onboard credit. We found the excursions to be extremely expensive compared to celebrity and HAL offerings. Also the Nautica excursions were mostly a short half day in length. We decided to book our own tours directly with the tour companies through Viator etc. We saved a ton of money doing so and the tour content was much fuller than the Ship’s tours. Overall the food selection was excellent. Cabin staff were ok. We thought that being on a smaller ship would mean less wait times the main dining room and buffet but that was not the case. Entertainment was mainly individual singers. Because of the September weather, no one was using any of the outdoor amenities. The entertainment system in the stateroom was out of date with small screen TV and a DVD player for DVD’s obtained at the main reception desk. Overall, the ship got us to where we wanted to go. Food was above average. However, it needs a major refurbishment. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Nautica Round British Isles 9 - 21st September 17 This is our third Oceania cruise. Our first two were on Riviera, but we have cruised on Nautica before when she was Princess’ Royal Princess many years ago. We are English and ... Read More
Nautica Round British Isles 9 - 21st September 17 This is our third Oceania cruise. Our first two were on Riviera, but we have cruised on Nautica before when she was Princess’ Royal Princess many years ago. We are English and live around two hours’ drive from Southampton. We arrived at around 2.30 pm at the terminal. Check in was pretty straight forward as there were no guests waiting and we were soon on board and in the Terrace Cafe having a bite to eat. Our bags were waiting when we got to our stateroom at 3pm. THE ITINERARY Nautica was sailing from Southampton UK and visiting Newcastle, UK, Edinburg and Glasgow Scotland, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Dublin, Ireland, Liverpool UK, Holyhead, Wales , Waterford, Ireland, Portland, UK and finally returning to Southampton. There were two sea days. We had not been to these Cities before. THE SHIP Nautica is very “old fashioned” in the best possible way. Her decor is comfortable and inviting. No glitz. No loud music. Just cosy. There are two sets of lifts and they all face the same direction so you never turn the wrong way to get to your stateroom (well hardly ever), There were only 580 guests on board, short by nearly 100. The majority of guests were American, with the rest made up of Canadians, Australians and Brits with a few Italians, Germans and French. All the British guests we met on board had not visited the ports before! THE STATEROOM We were in Veranda Stateroom 6084. This is the very last stateroom before the Owners Suits on the aft of deck six. The accommodation is small compared with Riviera. There is adequate drawer and wardrobe space, but the entrance, wardrobe and bathroom doors all open onto each other and when you exit the bathroom, you can easily “loose” your travelling companion inside the wardrobe!! The bathroom is tiny and the shower cubicle even tinier. You learn to live with it, but it is not ideal. Bed and bedding is wonderful, but bedside cupboard is ridiculously low and inaccessible. The general lighting needs modernising as it is quite gloomy. At certain speeds and/or wind direction this room is subject to quite lot of engine noise and vibration. I do not recommend it for that reason, even though most of the time it was quiet and comfortable. SERVICE I have read on here that service in the restaurant is not up to scratch; that there are queues at reception and long waits for room service. None of this happened to us. Restaurant service was exemplary. Jacqueline on the desk at the MDR remembered our name and room number within a couple of days. She was always charming. We always got a window table at breakfast. Alan a senior waiter was excellent. Irene was always smiling. There were others who impressed us, but I do not remember all the names. Room service was astonishing. We counted two minutes from ordering our tea in the morning to it arriving in the stateroom……. every morning. The terrace cafe was never full. The cruise was not full to capacity, perhaps that helped. PORTS We enjoyed every port but one. We did not take Oceania’s tours they are much too expensive and not value for money, in our opinion. We used the shuttle bus sometimes and arranged private tours on other occasions. Surprisingly the least enjoyable port was Dublin. After the shuttle bus we took a Hop on Hop off ride. Dreadful traffic, cold and windy quite “run down” in many areas. Nowhere we wanted to have a closer look at. Disappointing. Everywhere else we found interesting and absorbing. We are so pleased we took this cruise. The sea was kind. with only one lumpy day. ENTERTAINMENT This was mediocre. We only tried three shows and walked away from two of them. Tuxedo was the only good one, and it was great. Generally our entertainment was a long leisurely dinner with interesting new friends. We were last in the dining room more than once!! I am sure the waiters were not amused, but of course, they never let us know. To sum up. Excellent trip. Good weather. Oceania did not let us down. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. Cruising the North Sea was wonderful and those countries are wonderful. It was a busy cruise with only one sea day. The food which the Cruise Line constantly talks about was good but still cruise ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. Cruising the North Sea was wonderful and those countries are wonderful. It was a busy cruise with only one sea day. The food which the Cruise Line constantly talks about was good but still cruise food. The ship was nice, newer, and well maintained. The cruise was boring. There was really nothing to do during off times. Drinks were ridiculously expensive. I must say, though, that the service on this cruise was the best on a cruise I have ever experienced. They were helpful, friendly, attentive, and friendly. I can't praise the staff enough. The shows and entertainment were sorely lacking. The shows weren't promoted much. I went to one show and it was not very good. There was never piped in music at the pool or bars and this cruise could have used some. Sitting by the pool, there was never any bands or performers. I think a pool should have a little entertainment. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I write this from the perspective of a 47 year old cruiser who has sailed with Oceania 7 times. My cabin experience has always been a PH2 or PH3 on deck 10 or 11 on Riviera/Marina and deck 8 on the R Class ships. For reference and point ... Read More
I write this from the perspective of a 47 year old cruiser who has sailed with Oceania 7 times. My cabin experience has always been a PH2 or PH3 on deck 10 or 11 on Riviera/Marina and deck 8 on the R Class ships. For reference and point of view purposes I have sailed on most major mass market lines. In recent years my taste has changed and strongly desire smaller ships with less passengers and a more inclusive experience where you are not nickel and dimed. Therefore, lines such as Oceania, Crystal, Seabourn, Azamara, Regent and Silversea have been strongly preferenced. The condition of the Marina is tip top shape - especially for a ship built in 2011. Food remains outstanding. Cruising on Oceania is more akin to staying in a really nice floating hotel as opposed to a true cruising experience. Highlights not only include the dining room and specialty restaurants, but also tea time and the strings. I also believe Oceania and Regent have the best pool areas at sea. Unfortunately, I feel strongly that Oceania has lost ground compared to the competition - so much so that we just booked our first Viking Ocean cruise as reviews seem to compare the two lines as apples to apples with Viking Ocean being the better apple. Unfortunately, Oceania's apple has become a bit rotten. Here's why: Despite a beautiful ship and producing excellent food something is missing on Oceania and has been progressively more noticeable. That "something" is service and absolute lack of personalization. I've noticed on my last few Oceania cruises that the crew does not engage with the passengers and it is clear they are there to do their job and that's it. There is frequent talk in front of guests about "when my contract is up". No similes, no being addressed by name, no remembering preferences. In fact, for the most part no warmth. For example, my wife and I kept bumping into a social hostess we met at a captain's function the second day of the cruise and we would always say hello and try to engage. She would not give us the time of day. A social hostess! Another example - this one from the top - the captain's cabin was just in front of ours and I would frequently see him in the corridor. It was painful for him to return a simple hello. Staff were regimented and inflexible. All decisions - no matter how minor - had to come from the top. There was no willingness or ability to even make small decisions to cater to guests on their own. For example, at the juice bar I asked for bananas, oranges and ice. The employee said he was only allowed to make what was on the preset menu despite all the ingredients and a blender sitting right in front of him. Sounds picky? Not really when every aspect of any small request is treated this way. The overall lack of flexibility and unfriendliness of the staff is unfortunate. Part of what makes cruising enjoyable is the staff. When the staff is miserable and stupidly rigid it impacts the overall experience. In summary - regarding the staff - they walked around like creatures from the Walking Dead and did not seem happy. Unless you bought a drink package getting an honest drink is impossible on Oceania. All drinks are measured pours and quite stingy. Even the "doubles" are weak. A double top shelf (i.e. Kettle One or Grey Goose) martini costs north of $22 before tip is included. Bartenders have zero flexibility to think on their own and actually some are worried about their pours because they are "scrutinized" according to one. Remarkably, Celebrity - a mass market line - makes much more honest and better drinks without the measured pour. Oceania shore excursions are consistently awful. I would not waste your money and instead visit sites such as tours by locals or Viator to arrange your own tours. Not only will you have a more customized experienced and skip out on painful bus journeys, but you will save a ton of money. As an aside, I think Oceania would benefit from increasing their prices slightly and making drinks all-inclusive. They should get rid of O Life promotions and just make every sailing with included WiFi, beverages, gratuities and lastly not insult guests by requiring tokens for the laundry. Those inclusions coupled with some serious Ritz Carlton style customer service training would potentially put Oceania back in the running. On all my previous Oceania cruises I booked future cruises. Not on this one. I am done with Oceania for the foreseeable future as I've tried other options and liked them better; hence the danger of trying other things as you might just like them better and change your spending habits. Sorry Oceania - what was once a fabulous product is just fair now when compared to the competition in the market. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
My wife and I cruised on Marina, from Southampton to Copenhagen, in August of 2017. We had originally booked on the Concierge level, but when offered an upgrade for an additional fee, we upgraded to a Penthouse Suite. We were not too ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on Marina, from Southampton to Copenhagen, in August of 2017. We had originally booked on the Concierge level, but when offered an upgrade for an additional fee, we upgraded to a Penthouse Suite. We were not too impressed with some of the issues we faced while on the cruise and the way some of the ship’s staff responded to these matters. Before getting into detail on the issues, we must stress that our butler, the housekeeping staff, and the restaurant and dining room staff did a fabulous job, were attentive and courteous, and are not related to the issues we encountered. Additionally, the Penthouse Suite itself was very well-appointed, a good size compared to the Concierge rooms, had lots of storage and a walk-in closet, and a sizeable washroom (the shower can feel a bit tight, however, when you’re over six-feet tall). Now for the issues we encountered. The first one concerned a bottle of 18-year-old Scotch ordered for our suite. The Oceania website indicated that this was a one litre bottle, but when we opened the box containing the Scotch, it was only a 750 ml bottle. When asked, our butler pursued the matter with other staff on the ship, but it took two days before I was informed that they did not have one litre bottles, at which time the original bottle was returned to me. During the two days that elapsed, there were a couple of differing stories about what was happening. In the end, I was offered four shots of the Scotch in any of the restaurants in addition to the smaller bottle, which still did not match the one litre quantity originally described on their website. I accepted this, only because I was getting tired of how long it was taking them to handle the matter. Given this is an error, I wonder if Oceania and their marketing folks will correct their website to reflect the fact that Glenmorangie 18 Year Scotch is not available in a 1 Litre bottle. Two other matters related to shore excursions. First, we had originally booked eight excursions each in March, choosing them to fit our schedule based on our preferences for dining on the ship. When we arrived on the ship, we received a letter indicating that one of our tours had been cancelled. After reviewing alternatives for this port, we could not find a suitable tour as a replacement. When I tried to get an answer from a supposedly higher level person, I was told that the excursion had been cancelled because “only 4 people had signed up” for the tour. If that were the case, why didn’t Oceania recognise this well in advance (say in July), and inform us at an earlier date, rather than after we arrived on the ship. For a supposedly premium cruise line, they should do better than last-minute advice. The other tour issue was related to an excursion where the time was arbitrarily changed from morning to afternoon. We didn’t notice this until the day before the excursion when we pulled the tickets out. Someone on the ship stated that the ticket pack included a warning that time could change, which may cover their posterior, but they should inform customers more actively when such changes occur. Perhaps Oceania needs to recognise that when people arrive on the ship, customers are actively trying to unpack while receiving communication about W-Fi, booze upselling, cruise details, etc., and may not check all details assuming that Oceania would be properly informed of such changes. The next problem was related to the canceled excursion. We advised the ‘Destinations’ people that we could not find a suitable alternative, and then asked the individual if the refund would be applied as a credit to my wife’s credit card. The individual responded in the affirmative. However, a few days before the end of the cruise, we checked with the ‘Reception’ people to confirm this, and were told that the refund was a shipboard credit that was required to be spent on board Marina. My wife and I told them in no uncertain terms that we had been advised differently, and it there was no way that we would be spending the amount onboard. At the point we checked, the credit and not even been applied to our shipboard account. I then asked to whom I should speak to escalate the issue, and was advised to return later to discuss with the assistant purser. When I returned to discuss with the assistant purser, she then agreed that they would refund the amount in US cash, but that she would need to talk to the “Destinations” people to have them process the refund. The assistant purser, then called me later to advise that a $100 per person amount would be applied as a ‘goodwill gesture’ – an amount less than what the excursions actually cost. So I pushed back again, and talked to the ‘Destinations’ people, who frankly were not very customer friendly, but who finally agreed to an amount that reflected the actual out-of-pocket cost for the excursion. I was then advised by the assistant purser that processing the refund would occur overnight, and we could see it on a preliminary statement the next day. When I went to check the account the next day, Oceania had added significant amounts for gratuities – gratuities which we had prepaid months before the cruise. We insisted that we had prepaid the gratuities, and the assistant purser agreed to check in the matter – the next day, the charges for gratuities were removed from the next preliminary statement. In the end, we finally received the amount in US cash. However, the lack of consistency and answers from various staff, the back and forth to resolve the issue, and the additional erroneous accounting charges were what I would call a classic ‘Gong Show’. The last item was related to our baggage upon disembarkation. The website description for the Penthouse suite specifically listed ”Last minute luggage collection” as one of the services exclusive to the suite. However, when we received our letter outlining luggage preparation, it stated. “Please place your luggage outside her sweeper statement by 10 PM the night” before disembarkation. Again, another visit to talk to the staff in ’Reception’ confirmed the 10 PM deadline – I showed them a printed copy of their webpage, and still got a deer in the headlights look. Obviously, Oceania links to upsell people to premium suites with promises that are blatantly misleading; the definition of last-minute to most reasonable people would be most couple of hours prior to disembarkation. Regarding the restaurants and the food, there were some items in Red Ginger that were ‘Wows’ (the Spicy Duck and Watermelon Salad, the Miso Glazed Seabass, and the Twice-cooked Crispy Chicken). Polo Grill was comparable in quality to most steak houses at which I’ve eaten, albeit not as good as higher end steakhouses. The Caesar Salad was definitely mediocre compared to most restaurants – while it’s prepared ‘tableside’, the dressing appeared to be prepared in advance, rather than the dressing ingredients being combined at tableside. Overall, I would rank the food as better than average, but not consistently as great as Oceania implies in their marketing materials. Additionally, in the Penthouse Suite, we were entitled to nightly canapes; however, there were a limited number of choices, and the choices never changed during the entire cruise. Oceania provides a survey for passengers to complete at the end of the cruise and I overheard one of the people in ‘Reception’ stated that they take these and customer feedback seriously. I did not complete the detailed survey as intended, as I was so frustrated with the above, but I did complete the free form section firmly requesting that someone with some authority contact me at home to discuss the several issues that we encountered on the cruise. To date (over fifteen business days since returning home), Oceania has not made contact, so it appears that they’re not interested in customer concerns or feedback, nor do they appear to be interested in making changes to avoid such problems in future. Perhaps Oceania should consider reducing the number of direct mail pieces trying to sell future cruises, and divert these funds so they can focus on responding properly to customer issues and improving communication and training to improve the customer experience. Given they purport to be a premium cruise line (and are often described as ‘upper premium’), our experience demonstrates that they seem to overpromise and under deliver. As someone who has spent several decades in the consumer and business-to-business marketing, communication, advertising, and web realm, dealing with customer issues is something that I was passionate about, and to which I responded extremely quickly. Oceania’s standards and resolution, or lack thereof, do not come close to the standards I would expect from a brand that purports to be a premium (or upper premium) cruise line. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We always wanted to cruise on Oceania but never really wanted to pay the higher price. My husband is always looking for deals so when he came across this cruise and figured out everything that would be included this turned out to be a ... Read More
We always wanted to cruise on Oceania but never really wanted to pay the higher price. My husband is always looking for deals so when he came across this cruise and figured out everything that would be included this turned out to be a wonderful deal. Because this was our 1st Oceania cruise we decided to do everything through them (airline and transfers) once we arrived at the airport an Oceania representative was right there to greet us and took us to breakfast at the airport hotel. There was a wonderful lounge at the hotel we were able to use while we waited for the bus to take us to the pier. Embarkation was smooth and before we knew we were in our cabin. Needless to say Oceania did not disappoint, everything was fabulous. The food from the buffet to the specialty restaurants was the best I've ever had on a cruise ship. The service in the restaurants was top notch, they couldn't have been any more attentive. The cruise staff was so friendly I felt like I had known them forever. I will be sailing Oceania many more times. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our first cruise with Oceania on the recommendation of our travel agent after an extremely disappointing Christmas/New Year Cruise with Seabourn earlier in the year. After 8 cruises with Seabourn our loyalty was trashed and we ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Oceania on the recommendation of our travel agent after an extremely disappointing Christmas/New Year Cruise with Seabourn earlier in the year. After 8 cruises with Seabourn our loyalty was trashed and we needed to look elsewhere. We enjoy good food, good service and wine and Oceania exceeded our expectations on all levels. Embarkation and Disembarkation was as smooth as you would expect and we were delighted to board this beautiful ship. Original artwork graced the walls throughout, lots of beautiful spaces are available to relax and generally the décor was very pleasing. We never felt crowded on this ship or had trouble finding a table in a restaurant or by the pool. The cabins are smaller than the Seabourn suites but this did not worry us in the least. We had a balcony and were not short on room. The food and the service were nothing short of excellent. The variety of cuisines available with the four specialty restaurants was wonderful and apart from these the dining room was always good as was the buffet in the Terrace. Oceania definitely provided us with the best dining experiences we have had at sea. We had internet and a beverage package included in our fare which meant we did not have to put our hand in our pocket for anything other than shore excursions if we chose to partake. We are not big on entertainment with regard to shows when we cruise as we are so busy throughout the days exploring new ports that it would be unfair to comment regarding the quality of the entertainment. As far as we were concerned the shore excursions were good when we decided to utilise them. Overall we loved our first cruise with Oceania and have put down a deposit for our next adventure. The more casual atmosphere they provide is a welcome change for us as we are so over formal nights and it was a delight for my husband not to pack the dinner suit. We embarked on this cruise with no expectations and we were thrilled with our experience on all levels. Thank you Oceania! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this for the fabulous itinerary, ending up with three sunny days in St Petersburg. The tours were good, the on-board lectures about our destination were outstanding. The food was excellent, especially in the specialty restaurants, ... Read More
We chose this for the fabulous itinerary, ending up with three sunny days in St Petersburg. The tours were good, the on-board lectures about our destination were outstanding. The food was excellent, especially in the specialty restaurants, which proved quite easy to book. The passengers were mostly American, and not as old and decrepit as you get on some ships; there were also quite a few Australians and New Zealanders, hardly any British. The crew were mostly from the far East and Europe and went out of their way to be helpful. You could dine at any time and had the chance to meet different people at a shared table if you wanted. The entertainment was pretty poor - naff comedians, rather amateur shows, scratchy classical music. The casino was large and almost always empty. Oceania should replace it with more shops or other use. The shops were unimaginatively stocked - the usual cheap jewellery at inflated prices, as well as some real jewellery, and clothes and bags that you would not look at on land. Nothing useful. The library was extensive, but very American - fiction by authors and biographies of people I had never heard of, so bring your own reading material. The wifi was incredibly expensive, over $300 for two weeks, and it hardly worked. We had sailed on this ship when it was Renaissance nearly 20 years ago and connection had hardly improved since then. There was not much help from the IT staff. We waited until on shore to try to get a decent connection, but Oceania should not charge so much for a poor service. Also they charge a gratuity on every drink, and then expect you to pay another huge gratuity per day at the end of the trip - this is exorbitant. We were lucky with the weather until the final day. Disembarkation at Stockholm was awful - try to avoid Stockholm - the "terminal" was a tent erected in the pouring rain, with no chairs, no toilets, no facilities, just luggage awaiting pickup. Passengers had to stand in whatever cover they could find, waiting for taxis to arrive outside a metal fence. Disembarkation left a bad taste after a very good journey otherwise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We have been to London many times, but have not been around the British Isles very much. We read the reviews and looked at the brochures and felt we would have great time. The first issue was the WiFi, speed less than 1Mbps and often ... Read More
We have been to London many times, but have not been around the British Isles very much. We read the reviews and looked at the brochures and felt we would have great time. The first issue was the WiFi, speed less than 1Mbps and often down, despite the recent "upgrades" A lot of people on the ship complained, but all we were give was excuses. The food was very good and decor nicely decorated. Cabins (Penthouse) a little smaller that we are use to, but the service was very poor. The tours from the ship were poorly handled and some of them involved a two hour bus ride to see the remnants of a roman wall or fort. Best tours were in Ireland and Scotland. The entertainment was poor to okay. It appears you have to go to the larger ships for entertainment, but that's not as important as the overall service which suffered. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose the British Isles as our itinerary this time on Oceania. We wanted to go in August so hopefully it wouldn't be too cold. We were lucky in that mother nature cooperated and it was only cold and rainy in Edinburgh. We had ... Read More
We chose the British Isles as our itinerary this time on Oceania. We wanted to go in August so hopefully it wouldn't be too cold. We were lucky in that mother nature cooperated and it was only cold and rainy in Edinburgh. We had take on other Oceania cruise three years ago, then two Azamara cruises in between. We remembered Oceania as having better food, so we went with them this time. Although we were disappointed by some aspects of the experience, we would cruise with them again. Unlike the first time we cruised Oceania, the food was average. My prime rib in Polo was inedible, a pink slab of meet no marbling, dry, virtually inedible. Other dishes aboard the ship were outstanding such as the sea bass in Red Ginger. We found few of the desserts to be very special, baked potatoes were served with watery sour cream, very little butter unless we asked for more. The captain didn't show for his cocktail party ( this NEVER happened on Silversea or Azamara. We rarely saw any ship's officers ( unlike Azamara), the only time I spied any was when there were 3 trying on sunglasses in the gift shop. The crew by and large were not very friendly. The servers in general had smiles on their faces and at least pretended they were glad to see us. The crew that were at the embarkation and disembarkation spots at the ports were not friendly at all. The staff serving drinks during the captain's cocktail party for the most part acted as if they'd rather be anywhere else! We saw two pretty decent shows, the string quartet grew tiresome after 12 nights, and the guy in the piano bar was average at best. All in all, not as good an experience as last time on the Nautica. I hope they try and improve their food and customer service. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
Book your own transport. It took well over an hour AFTER we had gotten thru customs and immigration control before the bus arrived. Then the bus stopped at two other Terminals in Heathrow to pick up passengers. At $130 per person ... Read More
Book your own transport. It took well over an hour AFTER we had gotten thru customs and immigration control before the bus arrived. Then the bus stopped at two other Terminals in Heathrow to pick up passengers. At $130 per person one-way, you can arrange a private van or limo that would be more comfortable, less expensive and reliable. Believe Oceania may want to seek another transport contractor at LHR. On-board ship entertainment was sub-par, even for Oceania. Liked the 12 dancers/singers in the production shows but other entertainers were average at best. Cabin attendant (Mikolina) was excellent and arranged to provide bath towels with more nap on them. Butler gave the impression that pre-paid gratuities were not sufficient. He did provide good service. Ate in all four specialty restaurants at prearranged tables for 8 with fine experience in each one. Malbec wine that I had ordered on 5 nights was unavailable about three days prior to the cruise ending. This shouldn't happen. Packets of cocoa were unavailable on the ship (including the Executive Lounge) about half-way thru the cruise. Read Less
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