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7 Oceania Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

We had a wonderful time and met a lot of really nice people. I would highly recommend this cruise. The only thing is didn't like is I felt they needed more activities on days at sea. The activities were all revenue based. The ... Read More
We had a wonderful time and met a lot of really nice people. I would highly recommend this cruise. The only thing is didn't like is I felt they needed more activities on days at sea. The activities were all revenue based. The food was delicous. The specialty restaurants were especially good. The Miso Sea Bass is absolutely fabulous. There were so many good choices it was hard to decide. We liked the ports. But some of the ports were far from the activities. It took up to 2 hours to get to see the important sights. The drivers in these countries are awful so we are glad we had drivers. The staff was wonderful aboard. Everyone went out of their way to be friendly and nice. The ship was decorated for the holidays. They did a lovely Chanukah service every night for those who wanted to particiate. The entertainers were very nice to everyone too. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This was our third Oceania Cruise, our previous two being on Regatta to Alaska. We chose Oceania this time due to an excellent experience on Regatta last July. I will be concise here as compared to my previous reviews. Overall I would ... Read More
This was our third Oceania Cruise, our previous two being on Regatta to Alaska. We chose Oceania this time due to an excellent experience on Regatta last July. I will be concise here as compared to my previous reviews. Overall I would rank this cruise a B+ on the school grading scale. 1) The Ship/Cabin: We never sailed the Sirena when she was a Princess ship, but the $50 million dollar upgrade looks well spent. Hard to believe it was a 17 year old ship. She is beautiful: New and better furniture, marble public Bathrooms. computer screens in the elevators. Nearly a carbon copy of Regatta, but quite a bit newer feeling. Beds and linens brand new. Still need to get used to the small cabins on R-ships, but the public areas are immaculate. 2) Dining: We may not be a good source for this. We ate exclusively @ the Terrace Cafe with a couple stops @ Waves Grill. I was told that the table service at the Grand Dining Room was quite long (slow). We typically eat dinner early (5-6 pm) so we decided not to wait. That being said, the Terrace was excellent with a great assortment of food cooked to perfection. The new Tapas selections were particularly wonderful. Waves was just okay; nothing spectacular. Reminded me of an upscale Dennys. Fries were great however. We unfortunately did not reserve any specialty restaurants, and were going to wing it on board. Very difficult to get a seating this way as both restaurants were fully booked by the 3rd day of a 10 day cruise. I am sure if we pressed, we could have gotten a seating, but my wife was satisfied with just eating at the Terrace. Frankly, I was just as happy. After 25 cruises on several lines, in our experience, nothing compares to the food quality on Oceania in terms of buffets. It is astoundingly good. Most of the dishes in the Dining Room were served here as well, but it was warm and ready to eat instantly @ 630pm when Terrace opens. Rarely a crowd here for dinner. 3) Service: As always, Oceania excels in this department. No problems whatsoever. As we do eat early, out room stewardess and steward were right on the ball making up our room spotlessly in record time. Excellent. Bar Service and Terrace service were equally excellent. 4) Ports: We have done the Mexican Riviera many times, so nothing new here, except for La Paz which was really nice. If you go, check out the Whale Museum in the heart of the Melancon. We also went to their local Anthropology Museum and had a nice guided tour. We did somewhat boring excursions in Cabo and Ensenada. Ensenada has great wines in case you did not know. 5) Entertainment: The Activities Staff did wonderful with a somewhat grouchy crowd. The String Quartet and House Band were great. We listened to the quartet extensively. They are amazing. Afternoon Tea was also excellent, with the Quartet being the centerpiece. We missed most shows as we are early crashers Casino staff were wonderful. My wife actually won. The Enrichment lecturer was quite good and very professional. Overall Expression: Sirena is not quite up to the par of Regatta, or perhaps the other O-ships. 90% excellent, but it was the little things. Something was lacking. The Cappuccino machines were sometimes malfunctioning or not being maintained. Towels were sometimes not available in the bathrooms. A public toilet or two was not flushable, as was ours once (they fixed it immediately). Water and soft drinks would be available for bingo, but no glasses (once). The bingo machine died halfway through the cruise. One of the early morning cleaning guys had significantly bad B.O. and he would clean the library while I was reading and leave a NASTY presence. I was not sure how to address that, but clearly the Hotel manager should do so or at least notice. Little things kept reminding me of a certain lack of attention to detail. Christmas cookies would be out along some displays, but the next morning empty plates and a disastrous spread of cookies was sitting there way too long. Little things like that. Even Dottie, the cruise director, wasn't as bubbly and nice as previously. Our fellow passengers consisted of a large number of whiners and complainers which sort of put a damper on our experience. The demographic on this particular cruise was a bit older than I expected. There was only one child on board. Don't get me wrong; we had a GREAT cruise, but not the best cruise. Still, we got what we wanted: a nice relaxing 10 days off to relax, to do nothing and to overeat some outstanding food. We were well pampered and well satisfied. Sirena is only 6 months into her life as an O ship. Still working out the bugs I suspect. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
My mom and I were on the December 11, 10-day "Coast to Canyons" cruise on the Sirena. We traveled as part of a larger group. Other than a transatlantic cruise on the Queen Mary 2, Oceania is the highest-end cruise line either of ... Read More
My mom and I were on the December 11, 10-day "Coast to Canyons" cruise on the Sirena. We traveled as part of a larger group. Other than a transatlantic cruise on the Queen Mary 2, Oceania is the highest-end cruise line either of us had been on. I was a bit nervous coming into the cruise, having read some negative reviews of the ship. However, overall it was one of the best cruises I've been on, especially for the food. Embarkation and Debarkation: The Sirena was by far the smallest cruise ship I've ever been on—Holland America's Maasdam was the smallest until now. With only 599 passengers to board, and no other ship at the Port of Los Angeles on our first or last day, getting on and off the ship was incredibly easy. It took barely 20 minutes from the time our group was called on the last morning to having our luggage and waiting for the bus home. The Ship: Sirena was incredibly easy to get around. You could walk from one end of the ship to the other in just a few minutes. One night we had dinner at Tuscan Steak on the 10th deck and didn't finish until 9:20, and we were down the elevator and across to the Sirena Lounge on the 5th deck just after 9:30 and in time for the show. Our cabin, Stateroom 6017, was right above the Sirena Lounge but we never heard any noise from there, even during one of the production shows. I also didn't notice any signs of wear and tear with the furnishings. All the chairs were very comfortable, though I would suggest having chairs that are slightly less heavy in the Sirena Lounge to make it easier to arrange them for trivia. The boutiques were small but we made good use of all our shipboard credit. I was surprised that they don't sell bottles of liquor in the boutiques to take home. The Cabin: Ok, this is the one big issue I had. The cabins were just too small. I knew going in the bathroom would be tiny, and it was. And I know that Oceania couldn't do anything about the cabin size. However, it was still a huge shock to open the door and see how little room there was to move about. I lost count of how many times I walked into the beds or makeup table. We did have enough space for all our belongings, by using every drawer and hanger available to us. We also used the laundry facilities once, and they would be a must on a longer cruise. But the beds were incredibly comfortable, and our cabin attendant Zin and her assistant were fantastic. We also appreciated having a minibar. The Passengers: Befitting the higher cost compared to most ships that sail out of Southern California, the passengers on the Sirena were largely older. I'm 43 and was probably in the bottom 10 percent in terms of age. There was one little girl traveling with her grandparents, but no other children. We had a good mix of different cruising experiences, from Carnival through Seabourn. People were by and large very friendly and dressed nicely for dinner. I still can't figure out what country club casual is, though. The Food and Drink: The food on the Sirena was easily the best part of the cruise. There were a few items we didn't like as much—my mom was disappointed by her monkfish in the GDR one night, as was I with the roast chicken, and our entrees at Tuscan Steak were overdone—but those were rare missteps. It's too hard to list all the highlights, but some of the best meals and dishes we had were the miso seabass at Red Ginger, all the breakfast pastries in the GDR and Terrace Café, the ice cream at lunch and dinner, the veal Bolognese in the GDR, and the omelettes. And I must give a specific shout out to the holiday cookies they started putting out midway through the cruise. The cocktails and wine by the glass selection were also very good, though we weren't able to get Moscow Mules in the Horizons Lounge one night because they had already run out of ginger beer. My favorite drink wound up being a sparkling wine cocktail, the Hugo. The Activities and Entertainment: I do wish there had been more activities on port days, especially because these are ports that the heavily West Coast crowd had likely visited numerous times. Morning trivia would be nice, or perhaps other choices beyond putting, shuffleboard, bean bag toss, and spa seminars. I did enjoy the lectures we attended on sea days. The bright side was I got a lot of reading done on the port days where we didn't take excursions. The nighttime entertainment was very good and high quality. My mom enjoyed being able to understand the production show singers, and Dale Kristien was excellent. After a two-hour dinner and show, we were too tired to go up to the Horizon Lounge, so I can't speak to that. The Excursions: We took three excursions, one each in La Paz, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. I liked the La Paz tour, which mostly took us around the city, and the Puerto Vallarta excursion, which included a tour and tasting of a tequila factory. However, the Mazatlan excursion was disappointing. It was an hour shorter than scheduled, and the guide did not make it clear when we were in the Gold Zone. Also, both the Mazatlan and PV tours included long stops in jewelry stores. I would expect a little better from Oceania. The Service: Next to the food, this was the best part of the cruise. It helped to have 400 crew members to 599 passengers. The staff was always very helpful without ever being obtrusive. I loved not being asked over and over again if I'd like something to drink. The staff at the Terrace Café was always on top of things. I thought being served at the buffet might be inefficient but it worked great. A special nod to Valentina, who was always really kind and helpful, and very generous with desserts. The Value: I have never been on a cruise before, excluding a riverboat, where so much was included. No charge for coffee drinks, or for lobster, or for ice cream. It's hard to judge how much we saved compared to sailing on Princess or Carnival or Celebrity, because I wouldn't have indulged like this on those ships. However, given the level of service and all that's included, I think Oceania is a much better value than I anticipated. I don't know when the opportunity to sail with them again might arise but I would certainly consider it. Overall, I would give the Oceania Sirena very high marks but perhaps wouldn't mind trying an Oceania ship with larger cabins next time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Oceania Sirena Baja California – Mexico Cruise December 11-21 2016 Why this cruise? We are experienced cruisers with 34 ocean and 3 river cruises over the past 17 years, enjoying ... Read More
Oceania Sirena Baja California – Mexico Cruise December 11-21 2016 Why this cruise? We are experienced cruisers with 34 ocean and 3 river cruises over the past 17 years, enjoying Crystal, Oceania, Celebrity, Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Commodore, Azamara, Princess and Holland America ships, as well as Viking, Avalon and Ama Waterways river boats. We have always enjoyed the “small ship” cruises we have done on Azamara Quest as well as Oceania’s Insignia and Nautilus. We do not particularly enjoy the pre-Christmas commercial rush and noise, so this seemed like a good opportunity for a relaxing time. Getting there and Embarkation. We considered driving from our home in Phoenix to a Long Beach CA hotel and leaving our car there until our return. We did this on our first cruise with Carnival in 1999, but finally decided that since we could avoid the crowds and confusion of LAX by flying directly into the Long Beach Airport on Sunday morning, we would do that. This airport is quite small and easy to navigate, and had only one other flight on the ground; so this proved to be a good way to go. The timing was virtually perfect and we went through the embarkation process at the Los Angeles Cruise Terminal in a few minutes. While waiting for the elevator upon boarding, we were pleased to hear that our deck’s staterooms were ready and available so we dropped our carry on belongings off, went to the buffet for lunch and then proceeded to the beautiful library on deck 10 to pick up some reading material. Since Sirena has only been sailing since the spring, the book selection was very up to date. Our Stateroom. The eight identical Renaissance ships; named without much imagination as Renaissance I through Renaissance VIII; were built between 1998 and 2001. So they all suffer from the somewhat dated design ideas of 20 years ago. This means that the “standard” verandah cabin is rather small, 204 square feet including 34 square feet of verandah. The Penthouse suite has 332 square feet which includes 66 square feet of verandah. We had chosen this suite for our initial cruise from Manaus out the Amazon to Barbados on Insignia, and been upgraded by Oceania to this class on a Mediterranean cruise. Our third Oceania trip was in a standard Verandah class, but since this seemed cramped we opted for the larger suite on Azamara Quest, (an identical Renaissance ship), in 2015, and chose it again for this trip. Our stateroom was 8010. The prime motif was dark wood, with light grey textured walls, a large mirror on one wall, and a nice, modern painting above the sofa. The desk arrangement was convenient, and next to it was the decent sized sofa. There were two arm chairs and a small table, probably adequate for room service (which we never use on any cruise). The verandah was good sized with two adjustable cane arm chairs that could be fitted with a padded seat and back cushion. There was a small table and a faux teak deck. The bed had two gooseneck directed focused reading lamps as well as normal wall lamps. These focused lamps made reading in bed very easy. The desk held a good sized laptop with internet service, which due to our suite status and prior sailing record, was free. I normally used the available computers in the Oceania @Sea computer room on Deck 9, since I like a mouse. We also enjoyed the full glass wall with the door leading out to the verandah, as it provided nice light all day. The bathroom had a full sized, obviously new shower, with both a rain shower head, a hand held spray head and a towel rack holding huge bath towels in addition to the normal sized bath towels and other towels on racks in the bathroom. There was a single sink, but cabinets and drawers on both sides providing all the room needed for toiletries. The closet was good sized with an easily sufficient number of nice quality clothes hangers provided. As usual on board ship, there was more than enough drawer space for all we brought aboard. The additional room provided in a suite meant that the stateroom was easy to navigate and well designed for relaxation. We liked Oceania’s layout better than the jazzy new design for these suites that we experienced on Azamara Quest on our cruise to Norway in July 2015. We had the prototype of this suite, and this meant that it was visited by the company CEO to show to a group of travel agents on our full day in port in Edinburgh prior to sailing. But the Azamara version has an open space between the closet and the desk, which is located all the way over to the verandah wall. This means that there is no sofa. In addition, the Azamara cabin chairs were less comfortable. In short, we think Oceania’s Penthouse suite on the ships is a good idea for a more comfortable journey with some nice amenities. However, if one really wants a great ship’s cabin experience the penthouse suites on Oceania’s Marina and Riviera, with more than 400 square feet, are a most delightful way to sail away. The ship itself. Sirena was launched as Renaissance IV in 1999, purchased by Princess Cruises and sailed as Ocean Princess for that line until bought by Oceania in 2015. Its “maiden sailing” for this line was in April 2017. The refurbishing done in connection with this acquisition shows up in many ways. Virtually all the furniture is new, as are some of the bathrooms, such as ours. The carpeting is new and the art work along the corridors and stairwells also, reflecting a very nice taste in non-objective art (if you like this art, as we do). Apparently the poolside decking was replaced also, as it looked very new and attractive. There were one or two blemishes or “dings” in two of the elevator doors, but we don’t know if these occurred before or after refurbishment. The essential layout of the ship remained the same, of course with its handy concept of “eat aft” and “enjoy forward”. The one exception to this rule was that the daily tea was served in the delightful Horizon Room, forward on Deck 10. This site offers excellent views, forward, port and starboard from comfortable seats, with a small dance floor in the center. It is used for some daytime activities and ship sponsored gatherings, as well as late night music and dancing. The center section of Deck 10 is open to the pool below, with a walking deck leading aft. This is where you find the two specialty restaurants, Tuscan Steak and Red Ginger, as well as the most attractive small library at sea. Deck 9 has the buffet aft, the pool area and the Spa and Gym forward. Decks 8, 7 and 6 are all cabins, with the bridge, forward of course, on Deck 8. Deck 5 has the show lounge forward, the casino, shops, the main bar, “Martinis” an “Upper Hall” seating area and the main dining room aft. Deck 4 has cabins and the Reception Desk, Destination Services and the Concierge, as well as the Medical Center. There are a few cabins on Deck 3 as well as the tender exits. Generally speaking the ship was well taken care of, with crew members frequently in evidence maintaining furnishings and ensuring cleanliness. All in all, Sirena is a compact, nicely designed, easily navigated and attractive vessel. Dining and such. Oceania has a well deserved reputation for providing a quality dining experience. Our personal favorite remains Crystal, and to be fair, we have not sailed on Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn or Silverseas ships. But Oceania comes in as our second favorite dining cruise line. It should be noted that Marina and Riviera, with four rather than two specialty restaurants, are a cut above the other four Oceania Renaissance class dining venues. Oceania does not have any added charges for its specialty restaurants and I believe that this is true for the other three high end cruise lines referenced above. All of the other major cruise lines have a range of extra charges for food venues beyond the main dining rooms and buffets. Sirena offers 5 dining options in four locations. This arises from the creation of “Jacques’ Bistro” as a separate lunch option in the main dining room. We tried it once and it was quite nice with an orientation to French food as might be expected in a restaurant named after Oceania’s cuisine supervisor, Jacques Pepin. The buffet offered a pleasant dinner option having the tables set up with linen table cloths and nice tableware. I have mentioned the specialty restaurants on Deck 10; Tuscan Steak and Red Ginger. The menu for the latter is Asian fusion, while the former, as one might expect from the name, features beef and Italian dishes. Without going into detail about our meals, it is enough to say that we were very satisfied. If Crystal scores 97 out of 100, and Marina 95, Sirena would reach 93. The range of ships in the Celebrity line would make it a little more difficult to reach an exact rating, but we think the probable score would be around 90. Azamara would come in about the same level, although, like Celebrity, it has additional charges for its specialty restaurants. We especially loved Red Ginger, dining there three times. We did not visit Tuscan Steak since we are not into that style of food. We did hear that the service there was not that great, that they tried to sell ordinary lobster tails as “Maine Lobster” but that the small filet mignon was great according to one diner. The main dining room has one level, and is a trifle noisy. The staff worked hard and was very pleasant, with no glitches in delivery. Open seating is the rule everywhere, and we used both the option to dine by ourselves or with others with no problem. Since the dining rooms open at 6:30 each night, there were lines at that time, but the maître d’ handled the rush very well. The menu selection was good with very little duplication of choices over 10 days. As noted, we ate at Red Ginger three nights. We loved this venue on our two Marina cruises, and were not disappointed here. The hostess; Alina, I believe, was charming and efficient, and the overall service level very high. The décor is very attractive and the venue quieter than the main dining room, with just enough bustle and activity to make it a charming experience. We ate one luncheon at Jacques’ Bistro, where the menu is fashioned after a Paris bistro, and thought that this was a great idea with a small but excellent menu and equally fine service. It was not too crowded, but probably draws enough patronage to justify its continued place in the dining firmament. We ate every breakfast and most lunches at the buffet. The “small ship” limitations was evident here in that the size of the service area was limited and that limits the extent of the menu. Despite this, the food was generally extremely good, and the selection broad enough for most tastes. The selection of fruit for breakfast was as large and good as on any ship. The service here was occasionally spotty. Edith liked to order cappuccino for her breakfast coffee, and sometimes delivery was slow. It should be noted that the tableware in all venues was first class. The dining room featured Rosenthal Versace dishes, and all other venues used well designed ware from Schoenwald. This is “hotel” china, and not porcelain of course, but I used to sell fine china in a school job long ago at a classy Georgetown D.C. store, and have kept my love of good tableware ever since. The glass ware and utensils were of equal quality. One other change from our prior Oceania experiences was the switching of the small bar next to the main dining room to a Barista serving cappuccinos, lattes etc. all day long without charge. Since this location is on Deck 5, fairly close to the main bar, Martinis, it made sense to skip the duplication and provide a new and pleasant choice. Entertainment. There were four forms of entertainment aboard. A pleasant lady offered some good lectures on sea days, all connected with Mexico and our ports. Martinis has a pianist “in residence” providing appropriate cocktail lounge music. There was a string quartet from Eastern Europe playing largely classical music in the evening in the Upper Hall near the boutiques on Deck 5, and every day at 4:00 in the Horizon Lounge for afternoon tea. They were enjoyable. Then there were the main shows every evening in the Sirena Lounge on Deck 5. The problem affecting these shows is that the lounge has two levels of flat floor, so most of the seats are directly behind other seats, limiting the view somewhat. This did not make a lot of difference for the solo singer, nor I would guess, the comedian whose shows we skipped. But it did limit views of the “production shows” and I would think, the magician, who we also chose not to see. The other issue we had was the schedule. There was only on show each night, and that was at 9:30. This was simply very late for us, and we were often tired, especially after shore visits. We thought that the production shows, with three singers and three dancers were entertaining in a simplistic way; about par for the cruise ship course. The solo singer, Dale Kristien, had been the lead female singer in the Broadway production of Phantom of the Opera as well as the original Los Angeles production; and performed it over 1700 times. She was very good, and had a nice selection of songs. We don’t enjoy comedians, and as noted, were simply too tired at 9:30 for the magician, despite that fact that I enjoy these acts. Overall we found the entertainment about what you expect on a small ship. Only Crystal seems to have its act entirely together as far as entertainment and enrichment go, even though their ships are not exactly huge, Crystal Symphony carrying slightly less and Crystal Serenity slightly more than 1000 passengers. The crew. By and large their performance was exemplary. Our cabin attendant, Carolina and her assistant had our cabin made up every morning by the time we returned from breakfast. Our butler, Dorian, was efficient and helpful, although we did not use him very much and could have done without the $14.00 daily gratuity. We really did not need the 5:00 P.M. daily serving of peanuts, and could have managed the reservation at Red Ginger ourselves. All the rest of the staff was usually smiling and friendly. We were told by the Captain that while there were 14 different nations represented by the 599 person passenger complement, the 400 crew members came from 46 different countries. There were a few minor language difficulties, but all needed communications were accomplished. The Itinerary. This was not the most adventuresome trip we have done, but had enough places of interest to be enjoyable. Our initial sailing was “26 Miles Across the Bay” to Santa Catalina Island, where we had never been before. We took a local bus ride with a somewhat strange driver, but still enjoyed this unique place and the cozy little town of Avalon with its plethora of four passenger golf carts. Cabo San Lucas was a partial tour failure. This was not a ships tour, and we did reach Todos Santos up the Pacific Coast for an abbreviated excursion. We received partial reimbursement. La Paz on the Sea of Cortez side was about 11 miles from where we docked, but again a free shuttle was provided. We spent an hour or so there, and the waterfront with its Malecon is attractive. Our private tour into the hills outside Matzalan was very worthwhile. This city has grown a lot, and the north waterfront area has a wide range of newer hotels, condos and apartments. The interior was more typical of rural Mexico, and we enjoyed walking in on a three baby baptismal ceremony in a local church. Since many of the relatives were using their cell phone cameras, we felt comfortable in using ours. Another church in our final destination, Copala, was built in 1565, and still dramatic. There was another tour mix-up in Puerto Vallarta. But we did arrange a short tour downtown, with a full refund of our pre-paid charge. Since it was a Sunday, many stores were closed, but once again, the stunning growth of this area in the 16 years since our first visit was remarkable. Summary. This was largely an enjoyable trip. One very pleasing facet of the small ship experience is the higher degree of contact with your fellow passengers. If you are cruising on a 5000 passenger Royal Caribbean monster, and have dinner with a nice couple, the odds that you will ever run into them again are miniscule. On a 600 passenger ship you will probably see them at the buffet, a show, or tea or in a boutique some other day. This makes for a friendly and cheerful atmosphere. We also noted that almost all our fellow passengers were very experienced cruisers. While most were from the United States, there was a contingent, as always, from Canada, and some from Australia, as well as Europe. We were mostly senior citizens, and while Oceania does not have a children’s program, there were two young – about 10-12 years old – persons aboard, and they seemed to be doing fine. We would recommend Sirena for any cruise up to 21 days. Beyond that its size limitations might make the sailing grow a little tiring and boring. But it is a first class ship and rates very highly among our cruising favorites. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Chose Oceania because of friends recommendation , in filling out registration, we made the HUGE mistake of missing part that they wouldn't accept U.S. passport card even though completely valid on this particular cruise. Sadly, travel ... Read More
Chose Oceania because of friends recommendation , in filling out registration, we made the HUGE mistake of missing part that they wouldn't accept U.S. passport card even though completely valid on this particular cruise. Sadly, travel documents to be reviewed before cruise came 3 days into cruise, sent overnight by Oceania,hmm. They wouldn't let us board ,so we had our passport books overnighted and met up with ship in Ensenada. When being turned down in LA ,the person who was rude ,indifferent ,cold, uncaring, absolutely unapologetic to our dilemma turns out was ships officer in charge of...Customer relations! When on board ,no attempt to say a "Glad you made it! " or even a welcome. The rest of cruise after that was OK at best. The crew/help seemed overworked,trying to keep a smile .The port stops were way to short,the ship was boring, too small. Oceania is trying to cram too much in a cruise to seem as good as the higher end lines, but in doing so fail to give that great cruise feeling we had from previous cruises. Lesson learned , spend the extra money and be hating to disembark instead of having a feeling you did not get what you paid for! Never say never unless you're talking about cruising on Oceania! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Beautiful Ship. Generally very good food. Beautiful art throughout ship. Excellent cabin. Advertises free unlimited internet. Doesn't tell you in advertisement that it is for 1 person per stateroom. My wife and I like to check email ... Read More
Beautiful Ship. Generally very good food. Beautiful art throughout ship. Excellent cabin. Advertises free unlimited internet. Doesn't tell you in advertisement that it is for 1 person per stateroom. My wife and I like to check email first thing in morning and before going to bed. Had to keep switching by one of us logging off and other logging on. Was treated very rudely when I complained. They pointed out the language on my confirmation which I received after paying for cruise. and which was confusing. Witnessed internet person refuse to print an elderly passenger's boarding pass un less he purchased an internet package. Never had a hotel refuse to do that. No place to get coffee and desert after buffet closes at 9 pm. Concierge couldn't accomplish anything asked of him including internet issue. Tough to get pool lounges in shade. Didn't enforce no saving rules. Service good but doesn't compare to the service on Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This will be a realitively quick review. Let me start by saying this is not the "fantastic" cruise line that everybody on Cruise Critic raved about prior to our signing up. We sailed on March 15th from Miami bound for Azores, ... Read More
This will be a realitively quick review. Let me start by saying this is not the "fantastic" cruise line that everybody on Cruise Critic raved about prior to our signing up. We sailed on March 15th from Miami bound for Azores, Cadiz, Spain and Lisbon, Portugal. By the way, all airfare and transfer arrangements were part of the package deal with Oceania Cruise Lines. We were met at the Miami airport by reps from Oceonia (from Las Vegas)and were quickly escorted to a bus to the ship. No problems there and no problems boarding. We were escorted to our veranda cabin by a very nice young lady and settled in. Our cabin was nice but not much different in size than any other veranda cabin we've sailed on other cruise lines. The pillows, sheets and covers were nice but no big deal. We sailed that night around 6 PM looking towards 7 straight days and nights at sea before we hit our first port at the Azores, Portugal. The main dining room, Grand Dining room is very nice but only holds around 370 passengers. (the ship on this sailing had about 680 passengers). All restaurants have open seating (except the two "gourmet" restaurants, Polo Grill and Toscana where reservations are required and you are told that you can only make two advance reservations for both of these restaurants when you board in their newsletter). I forget whether it was the first or second night but when my wife and I arrived for dinner at the Grand Dining Room at about 8:30 (the Grand Dining Room is open for dinner between 6:30 and 9:30 PM), we were told that we would have to wait 45 minutes before we could be seated. We've been on approximately 20 cruises before this Regatta cruise and we've never had to wait 45 minutes for dinner. In all fairness, all the other cruises we've been on all had pre-assigned seating arrangements with two seatings, early and late. The Regatta has only one seating, open seating served between the dinners hours mentioned above. We decided not to wait and went to the Tapas on the Grill restaurant on the 10th deck and had a very nice buffet type meal. (We ate most of our meals in this restaurant. It's called the Terrace Cafe for breakfast and lunch and converts to Tapas for dinner. We were told that the reason for the 45 minute wait at the Grand Dining room this particular night was because it was a Captain's dinner and lobster tails and caviar were on the menu. We had a similar waiting time one other night when King Crab legs were on the menu. Around the 4th day out, we received a ratings form asking everyones opinion on how we're enjoying the cruise so far. Needless to say I mentioned how peturbed my wife and I were that we were told we had to wait 45 minutes for dinner one night. The next day I receieved a letter for a Mr. Volpe, the "hotel" captain on the ship asking for a meeting with me to discuss the problem. We met later that day and he explained that this does not normally happen and he was sorry, etc, etc. but offered no other solution. Mr. Volpe was very pleasant and very professional but obviously there was not much he could do to solve this problem because we had the same wait situation the night they served the crab legs. As far as the gourmet restaurants, Polo Grill and Toscana are concerned, the food was very good but not excellent. We ate in the Polo Grill twice with mixed results both nights. The surf and grill consisting of a small filet and a very small lobster tail were good but I had to send the steak back both nights because of undercooking. The best thing on that menu were the shrimp cocktails. The shrimp were very large and the cocktail sauce excellent. The Italian restaurant was very good as well but again not excellent. The Tapas on the Grill restaurant served paella every night as one of their entress and was very good. Food overall in the Tapas was very good but again, nothing comes to mind as being outstanding. One dish we really enjoyed was the hamburgers served on the pool deck in the Waves restaurant. The hamburgers were excellent. I'm convinced they use sirloin or filet for the beef in the hamburgers. Nice large size and excellent taste. (By the way, let me mention here that there is no surcharge for eating in the two gourmet restaurants as there usually is on most cruise lines, a big plus for Oceonia) Entertainment on the ship is only average. Don't take a cruise on the Regatta looking for Las Vegas type shows; they don't exist. And on this cruise, there was no pool deck entertainment. On every other cruise line I've been on, there's always a steel band on the pool deck. To be fair, on some days the weather was inclement but even on fair days, no pool deck entertainment. Overall, the entertainment on the ship was below average. One important note: The prices for drinks are absurd. I paid $10.62 for a martini in the martini bar, $8 for a glass of only fair wine in the dining room, $6 for a small glass of sangria in the Tapas restaurant, and $6 for a Pina Colada on the pool deck from the Waves bar. All drinks include a automatic 18% tip. Until we got way out to sea around the 2nd day, we were also charged tax with the drinks. Cokes are $2. Speaking of tips, you are billed AUTOMATICALLY $10.50 per person, per day for tips for the dining room help and the cleaning persons. If you would like to remove these automatic tips from your bill, let the reception desk know that you will do your own tipping. Maybe it's my imagination but I felt we didn't get the excellent service we normally got on other cruise lines when the tips were given at the end of the cruise in those handy envelopes. Some of our waiters and waitresses and bus boys seemed to just be going thru the motions. Knowing that they were going to automatically get tips at the end of the cruise seem to me that they were not willing to go that extra mile. Many a time we found ourselves trying to flag down our wait person to try to get a coffee or ice tea refill. This was a repositioning cruise and I honestly believe that there was less of a crew (a lot of new people as well seeming to be struggling to get orientated). We saw many waiters at many of our meals in the Grand Dining room waiting on 8 or 9 tables. His bus boy was always busy running to get the food so on most occasions, our waiter took our orders, delivered our food, cleaned our tables and refilled our drinks when we lucky enough to flag him down. We took two tours, one in Spain to Seville and one in Lisbon. They were nice but how many churches can one see. Other than that, the people in Spain and Portugal were pleasant enough but not overly friendly. Disembarkation in Lisbon was very smooth with no problems at all. Oceonia even was nice enough to send one of their reps all the way to the airport with us realizing that some passengers would have a hard time with the departure screens at the airport. The hell we went thru at the Madrid and Lisbon airports is another horror story that I will not go into. All I can suggest is stay away from Iberia airlines if at all possible. If anyone would care for further details about this cruise line or anything else, feel free to email me and I will answer all questions.   amaes10036@aol.com Read Less
Sail Date March 2004
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