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7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This is cruise 18 with Oceania on all ships but Serena. I am not sure if i have been unlucky but the service level was less than “normal”. For example at the Sunday brunch my wife and i finished before any staff member asked us if we ... Read More
This is cruise 18 with Oceania on all ships but Serena. I am not sure if i have been unlucky but the service level was less than “normal”. For example at the Sunday brunch my wife and i finished before any staff member asked us if we wanted water, juice or anything else except cocktails. At dinner in the dining room the opposite, cant find a drink waiter and have to ask. It seems there is a staff shortage. The other annoying thing is the berths, there was a German ship “AIDA’ shadowing us and in every common port it had the in town berth when one was available and we got the container terminal. This happened even when the advertised Oceania berth was in town. Is all this Norwegian cost cutting a little at a time? I also note that the level benefits are being downgraded next year. In a way that is good news for me because the loyalty program did have me captive to an extent so I now feel less trapped. About to try Viking for the first time and maybe not the last. Have already tried Ponant and although it is a very different product being “expedition” yachts of 200 pax it has overcome finding new places to cruise given i have exhausted the Oceania network. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary (Panama Canal). We’ve heard great things about the R ships because of the size and we thought we’d do a comparison with the O ships as we have sailed with the Riviera last year. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary (Panama Canal). We’ve heard great things about the R ships because of the size and we thought we’d do a comparison with the O ships as we have sailed with the Riviera last year. Insignia is too tired and could use a lot of makeover. Paint peeling, rusting, carpets buckling, smelly, you get the picture... We chose a penthouse suite because we needed a little bit more room. The bed is very comfortable and very nice. The bathroom could use some work too. We had a bathtub/shower combo and I don’t know how a person taller than me could comfortably take a shower. I’m 5’3 and barely had the shower above my head. Bulgari amenities were nice which is the standard for the suite. Dining is of course excellent in which Oceania prides themselves. There were only two specialty restaurants (Toscana and Polo) on Insignia compared to Riviera which has four. But to be fair, the grand dining room features specialties from the Red Ginger and Jacques often enough that we didn’t miss those. Afternoon tea is always divine but watch that you don’t spoil your appetite for dinner. It’s so easy to do with those scrumptious treats! Entertainment is sorely lacking on this cruise. The guest singers were okay. The guest comedian, Fred Klett was good. The Insignia production show artists/singers were awful! One couple got up in the middle of the show and muttered “their singing is dreadful!” which I agreed. They’ve been better off having karaoke singers as they could have been better. In fairness, the Smile String Quartet and the Insignia Band were excellent. Except when they accompany the Insignia singers who drown out their music with the singers’ caterwauling. There is enough activities on board like bridge lessons and lectures which my husband enjoyed. There was a lame line dancing lesson. Trivia and bingo also. And of course, there’s a beautiful library on board that has beautiful and comfortable sofas and lounges to read and snooze and relax. Spa on board has various services offered at a very expensive premium price. It’s no wonder, they were never busy. There’s a separate steam room, showers and locker rooms for ladies and gents. It would have been nice to have a sauna. There’s also a nice fitness room with various machines and weights and have some free group exercise classes in the morning. And of course, there’s the usual up sell on personal training, coaching and nutrition training. The service on board is excellent which is expected for an upscale cruise line. Although we sometimes felt like those who were not part of the Around The World cruisers were the after thought. There were about 195 ATW cruisers on board and this ship fully catered to them. I guess, you have to follow where the $ is. We didn’t do shire excursions through Oceania as they were overpriced. My husband and I hired a van with another couple to take us around in Acapulco, Cartagena and grand Cayman and did our own thing. We spent a total of $150 for all tours which is the equivalent of one shore tour per person if we did it through Oceania. Disembarkation was a little messy for my liking compared to embarkation which was a breeze. But then again, a lot of people (ATW cruisers) were already on board and everyone had to disembark in Miami which was the end of the tour. Would I go on Insignia again? Probably not. I like the Riviera ship better because it has more to offer. Bigger staterooms, bigger hallway, bigger elevator, ones that can fit more than 4 people. But if Oceania continues to improve or maintain their cuisine and service level, we will continue to sail with them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was our fourth cruise on Oceania, and second on the Insignia. Check-in in Los Angeles was a breeze, and I had no trouble bringing on board 6 bottles of good quality wine, for which I payed the high corkage fee of $25 per bottle; yet ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise on Oceania, and second on the Insignia. Check-in in Los Angeles was a breeze, and I had no trouble bringing on board 6 bottles of good quality wine, for which I payed the high corkage fee of $25 per bottle; yet I would do this again considering the very high prices they charge for wine. Food in all the restaurants and buffet was outstanding, and service was excellent, except for my cabin attendant who had to be reminded to do things. I really like the size of the old 'R ships', but the cabins, although in good repair, are way too small. While the ship had no dance or zumba lessons, the five piece band was outstanding, and there were usually five or six couples dancing each evening. Another high point was the wonderful bridge lessons taught by Harold; a very gifted teacher, and there was almost bridge play at several levels each afternoon. The internet was far-faster than any other ship we were on. There were never any lines for the restaurants or the tendering. There were some negatives besides the tiny concierge cabin. This was the last stage of the around the world cruise; avoid booking any segment of an around-the world- cruise; you'll be a second class citizen. Some of the staff seemed 'burned out' and exhausted. While the Panama Canal is excellent, the other ports are quite bad. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Alumni group, canal transit, fairly good destinations. However, we purposefully left behind our personal computers and electrical outlet adaptors because the ADVERTISEMENT said 120 outlets and a personal computer would be provided, along ... Read More
Alumni group, canal transit, fairly good destinations. However, we purposefully left behind our personal computers and electrical outlet adaptors because the ADVERTISEMENT said 120 outlets and a personal computer would be provided, along with FREE internet. The actuality of the situation was that this boat was built in ITALY, and half the outlets were the standard Italian recessed oval double plug outlets!! The "free" internet service was the ABSOLUTE WORST I've ever had on a cruise, but, of course, there was an 'upgrade' provided for a cost, of course, of course, of course!! The 'provided' laptop was an old one with the speed of a 2088 operating system, and even the internet guy on board said he never advises anyone to use the provided computers!!! Although the suite was very nice, It was small compared to others I've had at the same level of service and price. Most of the staff were friendly, but some were very rude, especially those at the Waves grill taking orders!!! An occasional guest was rude, and when I reported one or two, I got nowhere with the staff. Most of the staff spoke good English, but there was the occasional staff who could basically understand nothing I asked. Overall, an OK cruise, but overstated or frankly false claims about the quality of service provided!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Positives: Beautiful, functional ship, and gorgeous suite. Outstanding dining options--6 restaurants to rotate among for dinner. Meals, with a couple notable exceptions, were excellent. Beautiful dining rooms, and very fine service from ... Read More
Positives: Beautiful, functional ship, and gorgeous suite. Outstanding dining options--6 restaurants to rotate among for dinner. Meals, with a couple notable exceptions, were excellent. Beautiful dining rooms, and very fine service from dining room staff, room stewards, butler. Wonderful guest lecturer gave 8 afternoon talks (mostly on days at sea) all related to our ports and destinations. A woman from Panama gave great narration as we traversed the canal. We liked the pool and pool area and used it often, especially on our warm and sunny sea days. Waves pool restaurant (hamburgers and sandwiches etc; also breakfast items and ice cream station) was heavily used and I believe enjoyed by everyone. Warning: in the Terrace buffet, the grilled-to-order grilled food was very good, but the buffet food was sometimes lukewarm and not appetizing. Great fresh fruit selection in the AM though! And we liked sitting outside aft when eating at the Terrace. Overall, we thought the ship ambiance was ideal. Note; we did not see guests, with very few exceptions, under age 60. Zero children. We are in our 60's so that was fine for us; but be cautious about booking if you are younger. Cons: People in destination services were not helpful, nor friendly. If you hadn't booked a ship excursion, they had no interest in helping. They had no knowledge of ports. No help at all for those who wanted to explore on our own. We were disappointed in that. Nightly entertainment: some good to excellent, some poor to mediocre. Regarding the piano bar, house band, pop band, etc., times listed in the ship newspaper were often not accurate--we showed up and they didn't. Also, events would be announced (like a band playing in the afternoon at the pool) that just did not happen, with no explanation. Whoever manages these events is evidently not detail-oriented. Another minor beef: the cookies were uniformly awful--and we spoke with other guests who agreed with us. Decent-tasting cookies are not hard to bake! There were two showers by the pool. One was scalding hot and the other freezing cold--go figure. Not adjustable. So we could not shower before/after pool use. Regarding tender ports: the ship gave priority for tenders to guests with ship-purchased excursions. Nevertheless we were granted tender access quickly each time--lucky? The tender boats themselves are awful--hot, crowded and uncomfortable. We had an embarkation problem. Our key passes were not ready for us--don't know why. We were delayed 20 minutes while a staff member went onboard to get the keycards. Then they were the wrong color (designating what type of room you have) so we had to get them redone. Minor annoyance, but not a good start. My con paragraph above is longer than my pro paragraph, but that is just because i went into more detail on the cons, to warn folks about the negatives. But the pros easily outweighed the cons; overall, we enjoyed the trip. The suite, meals, and butler service were SO good. We will sail the Marina again, and in fact already have another voyage reserved. (Roughly 5% discount by booking onboard.) Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Primarily chose this cruise because we wanted the Panama Canal crossing. Food was overall good. Disappointed that French Onion soup was never served. The main dining room is also Jacques as there is insufficient space for 4 ... Read More
Primarily chose this cruise because we wanted the Panama Canal crossing. Food was overall good. Disappointed that French Onion soup was never served. The main dining room is also Jacques as there is insufficient space for 4 specialty restaurants. However, main or Grand dining room is never open when in port. C'est la vie. Service in the main dining room was erratic. Sometimes excellent; sometimes terrible. C'est la vie. Terrace Cafe was very good but a smaller selection than Marina/Riviera (crab legs are gone - C'est la vie). Red Ginger was excellent - sea bass portion was consistently smaller. Tuscan Steak House was excellent. Pretty much the same menu as Marina/Riviera. Terrace cafe seemed to have significantly less staff to help those that couldn't manage carrying their own dinner plate. Lobster tails, lamb chops, steak, etc still served at the grill. as well as make your own pasta. Cabin (balcony) was adequate - but just felt like I needed more elbow room. Entertainers were good but the main lounge doesn't really have a stage and it limits the type of production show they can perform. Also visibility is generally not good as it's not stadium type seating. Overall, we had a good time.....but I personally much preferred the Marina/Riviera. I've sailed Oceania 5 times and only once on the smaller ships. I'll only do their smaller ships if desperate. As you might expect, there's considerably less shops due to the lack of space. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Chose this cruise line because if it's sister company Regent who we have been with before and loved. Decided to have a change but it was a mistake. No less expensive taking everything into account that we spent and definitely a star ... Read More
Chose this cruise line because if it's sister company Regent who we have been with before and loved. Decided to have a change but it was a mistake. No less expensive taking everything into account that we spent and definitely a star grade less. Ship was full and felt very overcrowded. Also oldest age profile of pax We have ever cruised with and their lack of mobility was a factor in several things like shore excursions! Many times (at least 50%) couldn't get a table for dinner and had to wait 20/25 mins. This made us late for showtime and couldn't get a seat there either, so very disappointing. Shows better than expected. Shore excursions extremely expensive, not sure who is making the money but probably Oceania. Booking a tender berth in Cayman a disaster! Five other huge ships in that day I.e. 19,000 pax available to disembark. Overall fairly enjoyable but wouldn't go with Oceania again. Old ship and not geared up to open seating dining and showtime, you need to pick one of their newer ships. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Chose this cruise for itinerary + the Iowa State Alumni group. We arrived at the Los Angeles Port at 6:30 pm after a cross country flight and 1 hour 15 min transfer. It was rather dark, one man met the shuttle saying, "it's ... Read More
Chose this cruise for itinerary + the Iowa State Alumni group. We arrived at the Los Angeles Port at 6:30 pm after a cross country flight and 1 hour 15 min transfer. It was rather dark, one man met the shuttle saying, "it's late and everyone has gone home, you'll have to handle all your own luggage, no carts available" and pointed to a door. It didn't get better, no smiles or information! Fortunately from that beginning, the rest of the experience was wonderful!! We enjoyed all restaurants, had 2 reservations for Toscana and Polo Grill (outstanding service and cuisine choices), The Terrace restaurant was great for all meals plus the outside provided wonderful views. We had an issue 2 hot items that were cold the first few days, let them know via written comment, the next day it was resolved! (even a apology from the head chef!) Loved that we had NO formal nights! Entertainment was very good for the size ship, Activities plentiful. Service excellent. Ports of call mixed, shore excursions very expensive. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We had always wanted to experience the Panama Canal, and had been very satisfied with our previous cruise on the Oceania Marina. The Regatta is the smallest ship we've ever cruised, and we had an Aft Cabin (8069), so we were a little ... Read More
We had always wanted to experience the Panama Canal, and had been very satisfied with our previous cruise on the Oceania Marina. The Regatta is the smallest ship we've ever cruised, and we had an Aft Cabin (8069), so we were a little apprehensive. I didn't know what to expect in terms of embarkation, as the cruise was sold out. However, we walked directly up to the counter, did our paperwork, and were on the ship within 10 minutes. As this is a smaller ship, we expected smaller accommodations, so we weren't surprised, or disappointed. They were about what we had expected. We really enjoyed the Aft balcony, as it seems that we had a more panaramic view than normal. Cabin attendants were very friendly, and provided excellent service. As we had learned from our first Oceania cruise (2016), the food is absolutely superb! We had high expectations, and were not disappointed. The food, and staff, in the dining room, Terrace Cafe, and both specialty restaurants were exceptional. Entertainment and Activities aboard the ship were about average. We had a large contingent of Iowa State alumni on the cruise, so the daily Trivia contest was competitive (though not the "blood sport" described by our personable Cruise Director). My wife was excited to learn a couple of magic tricks from the comedian/magician. We arranged our own shore excursions, and really enjoyed touring Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas, and Colombia. Guatemala and Nicaragua were not what I would consider tourist destinations, but worth the trip, and educational. Overall, this was another excellent vacation. My wife and I are experienced cruisers, and will look at Oceania itineraries first in the future. Two things that set them apart (in my opinion): the food is incredible, and the fact that I can bring beer aboard from all of the ports allows me to sample all of the local beers from the comfort of my balcony. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We travelled the pacific visiting Hawaiian & Polynesian Islands in January 2017. The communal areas of the ship are of excellent standard, most are very grand & opulent. We had a veranda cabin which was comfortable but very dark in ... Read More
We travelled the pacific visiting Hawaiian & Polynesian Islands in January 2017. The communal areas of the ship are of excellent standard, most are very grand & opulent. We had a veranda cabin which was comfortable but very dark in design and could be a bit gloomy. The Shower/bathroom was the smallest I have ever seen in my life and the fittings were of poor quality - a plastic shower curtain for goodness sake!!! Meals were usually of an excellent standard although we did have a couple of poor quality meals. The service in the Grand dining room was mostly very slow. It wasn't unusual to wait 20mins before a Sommelier took our drinks order but once food & drink were ordered, the service improved. The tours offered were expensive, so we booked 2 local tours from the UK prior to our trip & the rest we took from the many tour operators/taxis usually situated just at the docking point. The ship is quite small - only 650 passengers and we feel it was too small to cope with the rough waters of the pacific at this time of year. A great deal of passengers and crew suffered motion sickness and this didn't really improve during sailing times. Our lasting memory of this holiday wasn't the wonderful places we visited but the abysmal service we received pre and post cruise. Pre - we were provided a room at the Westin (LA) and firstly we weren't told there was a complimentary breakfast on the 1st floor and paid $50 for breakfast, then the transfers to the ship were totally dis-organised. We were told to wait in reception at 10am but didn't actually arrive on board until 3.30 pm, it was a shambles. Post - we had to disembark at 8am and our check-in luggage was sent straight to the airport. We were taken by bus with our hand luggage to City Hall where Oceania had a provided a room for us with only hard back chairs, water & soft drinks, nowhere to safely store luggage and only a toilet & hand basin. Our flight was at 10.30pm!! That's 14.5 hours without proper facilities!! Any 4 or 5 star hotel would provide a courtesy room to enable guests to shower & change before their flight. It was extremely hot & humid, we were lucky we had booked a hotel a couple of days prior so that we could at least rest, use the pool and shower before our flight. Oceania did offer us the use of a day pass at a local hotel but at the exorbitant cost of £258. We will not be using Oceania again & would not recommend. Read Less
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