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636 Oceania Miami Cruise Reviews

Let me start with the entertainment. First Rate. 12 Person very high end team dancers and Singers. Great shows. We saw three different shows in ten days. So well produced and choreographed. Beautiful costumes with many changes. And ... Read More
Let me start with the entertainment. First Rate. 12 Person very high end team dancers and Singers. Great shows. We saw three different shows in ten days. So well produced and choreographed. Beautiful costumes with many changes. And excellent recorded music. Sets and background video images on screens. Of the forty cruises we have been on, on Cunard, HA, Seabourn, Silversea, Regent and Celebrity, and Oceania, this is the best set of shows we have ever seen and the most talented entertainers. We have sat through some real snooze cruise shows over the years and honestly we were so impressed with this team and the shows themselves. Handsome young men and beautiful girls, all well choreographed, talented and produced.I cannot enough. The pool deck chairs, while packed in like sardines, are very comfortable. Very thick chair pads and towel covers. Unlike some competitors, who provide no chair pads. Oh my aching back. Food on board Oceania is said to be the best at sea, and the 4 specialty restaurants of Asian (Red Ginger), Jacques the signature French of Jacques Pepin, the Italian Toscana and the grill Polo Lounge all provide really knockout and authentic meals. High end ingredients used and great chefs that produce truly fine dining experiences. The MDR itself is also very good, and service superb throughout the ship's restaurants. Very attentive and competent waiting staff. Buffet in the Terrace is so dull and boring, although many onboard could not wait to fill their plates and stomachs. Speaking of which, many oversize anatomies on board. Growing worse we have observed over the years. The cabins are very nice. We had any A class cabin, and while the bathroom is small, the size of the cabin and balcony was fine for a ten day cruise of the Caribbean. Anything longer we would have opted for a more spacious P cabin with a walk in closet and more interior space.. Officer staff removed and not very passenger interactive or friendly. Not a good mark for Oceania. Captain made his daily announcements but was a ghost. The ship itself is only 5 or 6 years old and very modern. Very open with lots of public space and bars. Martinis is the place for cocktails. Ship sails well, but the Caribbean seas were calm throughout the ten days. The drinks packages offered were fair priced, and the wines included drinkable if not great. All typical of what passes for wine lists on all cruise lines today. Bottle a la carte prices exorbitant for the product available. Horrendous boarding experience in Miami. Oceania should be ashamed, even though some of it was caused by the unfortunate death of a crew person and ship's late arrival.. But no command presence on the ground to handle the huge backed up crowd waiting to board, and very poor communications. It almost got out of control. Not a bright spot on this cruise, but fortunately it was not a harbinger of bad things to come as many feared. All in all Oceania continues to do a very good job, even under NCL ownership. Many fears have been allayed. The product is the same as it first was for us ten years ago when we first sailed with Oceania, which is very good indeed .And the ships size of 1250 passengers while large for us was not too problematic, except for sea days when the sardine factory on the pool deck was overactive. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
There were some islands on this cruise we've not been to before, which is the reason we took it. That & the wonderful food on board Riviera. We do need to stress that entertainment is rather bland on this ship. The food IS the ... Read More
There were some islands on this cruise we've not been to before, which is the reason we took it. That & the wonderful food on board Riviera. We do need to stress that entertainment is rather bland on this ship. The food IS the entertainment. We're both in the food industry & this is a reason we've done 2 cruises on the Riviera. We'd have gone back in 2020 for another 14 days, but the only cruise is a 14 day "midweek" type cruise. We hate getting back midweek. We like that 2 day relaxing affair that a Fri-Sat cruise ending affords. Unpacking etc. winding down from the enjoyment & getting ready to be back to work(Uhhgg!) We've noticed with lots of cruises, that the quality starts to slide each year. Not so on Oceania. Our cabin was 8100, which is a great cabin. You hop off the elevator & you're right outside your door. NO noise issues at all. The only thing was, that a prior guest had "bent" the shower door a bit, so it didn't close properly. This allowed water to get out, which wet the floor allowing for the floor tiles to get wet & "pop" up. We notified our attendant about this...It looked like it had been going on awhile as you could see new grout in the floor. This time they fixed the problem & no more issues after about day 3. The room itself was very nice. Fairly large for a Veranda type cabin. With a decent sized Veranda, that you could actually relax on. If there is one thing about Oceania that we've noticed, it's that they really don't offer much to the LGBT community. There was one & only one get together & it was set right at dinner time. Needless to say we didn't attend. Last year we share a table with a Texas couple In Polo Grill, who upon "figuring" us out, just totally "clammed" up for the rest of the meal. Not a good experience for us or them. This Year we had to again share a table(this time in Jacques)The couple saw us & immediately came up with the excuse that the table was too close to the entrance(not at all!) So we had a 4 person table to ourselves & thoroughly enjoyed it. It's obvious to the reader that we try to not share tables to avoid making us or other tablemates uncomfortable. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Itinerary. After 21 cruises on O, and having been part of the christening and inaugural sailings, I was amazed at the decline of this lovely ship. The staff was AWESOME. They worked so hard as it was obvious there was a reduced staff ... Read More
Itinerary. After 21 cruises on O, and having been part of the christening and inaugural sailings, I was amazed at the decline of this lovely ship. The staff was AWESOME. They worked so hard as it was obvious there was a reduced staff serving. For example, if you arrived a bit early to the specialty restaurants, they couldn't accommodate you yet the dining room was half empty. Obvious they adjusted to staffing. The main dining room service was sooooo slow. Never saw the cruise director, John??? TV programming was years old. This was the first cruise on O that I did not book a future cruise. I decided from what I saw that I need to open up my options, and now was the time. Please O, come back to your original purpose and serving. The food was not very good, and I'm usually easy to please. Knowing that Claudette Pepin is the Godmother, I am shocked. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I’m an avid cruise enthusiast and a longtime reader of Cruise Travel Magazine. In planning our travels, I do a considerable amount of online research. This was our first trip with Oceania. Our cruise on the Sirena from Miami to Cuba, ... Read More
I’m an avid cruise enthusiast and a longtime reader of Cruise Travel Magazine. In planning our travels, I do a considerable amount of online research. This was our first trip with Oceania. Our cruise on the Sirena from Miami to Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Nassau was truly one of our better cruise experiences. Oceania’s four small sister ships, originally built for defunct Renaissance Cruises, do not earn high marks for their tiny bathrooms, so-so entertainment, and a very limited variety of shipboard activities while at sea. But as described in the company’s colorful and prolific advertising, these ships are intimate and luxurious. Their guests (us included) are typically seasoned travelers enjoying their Golden Years. Anyone seeking budget prices, a party atmosphere, Las Vegas-style entertainment, and/or children and teen activities will surely be happier on a different cruise line. For the Missus and me, the promise of an immersive itinerary and a high standard of service are what brought us to Oceania. Our itinerary featured FOUR days including one overnight in Cuba. At-sea days were nicely interspersed with port days; the former were a welcome opportunity to relax and savor onboard life. Not a fan of shuffleboard, Mahjong, etc., between ports I was content to sit on deck, keep up-to-date with email, and eat myself silly. Oceania touts the “Finest Cuisine at Sea” and theirs ranks among the more extravagant chow we’ve experienced on a cruise. The food in the Terrace Café, Waves Grill, and Grand Dining Room was generally very good and of high quality. We encountered a couple subpar dishes (watery pasta and tough steak) which our servers cheerfully replaced. Bear in mind that food onboard is typically prepared in “banquet” quantities. The exception is the food in the specialty restaurants—Tuscan Steak House and Red Ginger—which, along with the service, was absolutely outstanding. All of Sirena’s staterooms and public areas were scheduled to undergo a “sweeping array of dramatic enhancements” (in one word, refurbishing) during Spring of 2019. We don’t understand why this was necessary because the Sirena underwent a major revitalization in 2016 that gave it a fresh and elegant look. Oh, alright, the Grand Staircase with its faux skylight did look a bit cheesy. We had a few other nits to pick. The Cruise Director seemed aloof and seldom mingled with guests. The ship’s two boutiques, featuring high-end jewelry and fashion, offered relatively few moderately-priced-to-inexpensive items. We disputed two bar charges to our shipboard account. One was for “half-price sail-away mojitos” that were billed at full price; ditto “2-for-1 Happy Hour” drinks. Due to protocols, it took a while for our account to be adjusted. Apart from booze plus fees for some optional activities (e.g. Bingo) and services (e.g. Canyon Ranch Spa), Oceania is a welcome respite from companies that nickel-and-dime for every little extra. There are ZERO surcharges for alternate dining, steamed lobster, cappuccino, soda pop, ice cream treats, and room service. Internet (speed improved) is free and unlimited, a vital perk that other cruise lines have been slow to offer. Oceania’s OLife option includes roundrip airfare plus a choice of free shore excursions, free beverage package, or shipboard credit. My advice? Compare airfares first. Then, if you go for the option, request the shipboard credit (you can apply this towards gratuities) and make your own port arrangements for considerably less than the cost of Oceania’s overpriced and underwhelming shore excursions and transfers. In Cuba and elsewhere, visitors are under no obligation whatsoever to purchase the cruise line’s shore excursions. I seldom use the word “fantastic,” but this adjective perfectly describes the caliber of service we received from both our stateroom attendant and the servers in the various dining venues, all of whom were extraordinarily friendly and considerate. We celebrated a birthday onboard and the staff went far beyond the call of duty to make our occasion memorable. We’re looking forward to future cruises with Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Chose this ship because we had enjoyed it before. Sailed on it the season it came out. It was wonderful then. Now it is old and tired. The gdr selections were poor. Had to send back our food twice. We had reason to use the ... Read More
Chose this ship because we had enjoyed it before. Sailed on it the season it came out. It was wonderful then. Now it is old and tired. The gdr selections were poor. Had to send back our food twice. We had reason to use the medical facility. I understand i had to pay extrra, but they chased me for the fifty dollar fee like i hadn't paid a small fortune to be on the ship to begin with. After we used our four speciality rest. Reservatins had to endure the feeling of not knowing somebody to get another reservation. Not a way to feel special or part of a luxory cruise. The cruise started with a two hour wait to board in miami.we were crammed together like sardines. No one attempted to explain why. The shows were poor and at bad times. The internet service was slow. There was no tv programing or on line movies. The fight for deck chairs was nuts. I will not sail with oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I prefer cruises to interesting destinations. Caribbean cruises involve visiting tropical flea markets, but we enjoy the shipboard experience. We took an Oceania cruise to Alaska 6 months earlier and enjoyed it very much. The food ... Read More
I prefer cruises to interesting destinations. Caribbean cruises involve visiting tropical flea markets, but we enjoy the shipboard experience. We took an Oceania cruise to Alaska 6 months earlier and enjoyed it very much. The food quality in the main dining room was not as good as our Alaskan cruise. It deteriorated markedly. The food quality and menu selection were disappointing. The specialty restaurants were superb, but Oceania limits the number of visits during each cruise. Also, the quality of room service also deteriorated. For example, the French onion soup at the specialty restaurant was excellent but barely edible for room service. We had a balcony room. Because of its location, it was nearly twice as large as the others. The in-room television programming was terrible. Oceania cruisers are older and spend more time in the rooms. Three years ago, we took a Viking river cruise that had on-demand programming. Oceania needs to step up. The Internet service is sub-par. Other companies have upgraded transmission speeds, and Oceania should keep up. The gym is adequate. I suggest they invest in a variety of kettlebells. They also have a trunk flexion machine that damages the spine. I enjoy playing video poker, but their machines are a rip-off. Installing some 9-6 machines wouldn’t impact their bottom line. I won’t play their machines, so they have no chance to take my money. I like Oceania and have booked a cruise to Tahiti. However, if they don’t step up, we’re going to go with another company. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
First time back To Oceania after 10 years - very impressed w/ ship and crew! I would sail w/ them again. Pros Ship and it's condition Service Food Overall Room comfort Decent Internet Cons MDR menus were very ... Read More
First time back To Oceania after 10 years - very impressed w/ ship and crew! I would sail w/ them again. Pros Ship and it's condition Service Food Overall Room comfort Decent Internet Cons MDR menus were very weak( new menu I was told)- more passengers ate in the eve buffet than MDR every night! MDR overall- were inflexible on menu choices,take it or leave it! Shore tours were extremely poor ,they do not measure up to Oceania's standards.They would be better off NOT to offer some of the shore tours than to allow the joke island tours! Worst of any cruise we have taken! Embarkation was delayed for over 3 hours- passengers were not informed as to the delay.It was complete chaos,confusion beginning w/ luggage at the curb,most passengers were confused because of no information provided. As it turned out we found out later while we were onboard that Oceania was dealing w/ a significant problem at the dock.This could of been handled better. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We have sailed with Oceania several times on the vessels same size as the Sirena always in Vista Suites. This time there was no Vista suite available and so based on the photos we saw in various brochures decided to go for the Penthouse ... Read More
We have sailed with Oceania several times on the vessels same size as the Sirena always in Vista Suites. This time there was no Vista suite available and so based on the photos we saw in various brochures decided to go for the Penthouse suite since we had read Oceania had done a $50 million refurbishment of the vessel. This suite was a disappointment and nothing like the modern versions shown in the brochures. The bathroom was ridiculously tiny probably no more than 6 ft. X 5 ft. although it had obviously been redone and had a glass enclosed shower instead of a bathtub a single sink and some storage space on either side. The stateroom was really a glorified balcony suite with a little extra space and by no means deserved the name "Penthouse". There was just one double door hanging closet and a single door closet containing 4 drawers and the safe and a short hanging space not long enough for shirts or pants doubled on a hanger. We had to leave about half our clothes in our suitcases. There was a cupboard that contained a mini bar behind one door with free water and soft drinks restocked daily and a 2 shelf same size space underneath. There was a very long desk with a cupboard underneath on either side supporting it one with shelves behind double doors the other with drawers behind the double doors which were a nuisance to open and close every time you took something out of a drawer. All the closets/cupboards were a drab dark brown varnish color and not the light colors shown in the brochures. The carpet was nondescript and looked soiled there was a light green sofa which had obviously been used a lot two rounded upholstered chairs which were extremely hard and a tiny table which could hold just about a tray and not a whole meal. The television was absurdly small and rolled out of the wall beside the bed it was the size of a monitor and you had to turn on your right side to see it from the bed and turn your head to the left to see it from the sofa any writing on the screen was so small you couldn't read it. The bed was comfortable as were the pillows and the headrest was a shade of blue/green. The balcony door had been redone and there were two upright wicker chairs no foot rests and another small metal table on the balcony which had railings and balcony dividers that had such wide gaps on both sides that you could see the neighbors' balconies and them sitting there - no privacy whatsoever. The Penthouse suites have a butler and a concierge desk. The butler realized we were really disappointed and unhappy with the stateroom and did his best to make our stay there as pleasant as he could and suggested we contact the concierge about it. We went to the concierge desk and spoke to the woman manning it politely about how we chose the penthouse based on the photos we saw and had no idea it would be so different. She dug out an old brochure and showed us a picture of our room and was very unresponsive and tactless and finally downright demeaning. We have never encountered treatment like this from anyone on any of the cruise lines we have traveled with and frankly we don't think she is the right person for that job. Speaking with other passengers we found several of them had the same impression as we did of the concierge and complained about her behavior. We found the rest of the vessel services and staff excellent as always. The food in the dining room was generally good the terrace café was hit and miss the specialty restaurants service and food was delicious the service exceptional. Some people complained about the quality of the steaks in Tuscan Steakhouse and did not like the merging of Tuscany and the Polo Grill because the menu is now reduced. We liked Red Ginger but not enough to go there repeatedly their tea was completely bland and insipid the tea in the Horizon's Lounge is much better. We enjoyed the ports and excursions and spent as little time as possible in that Penthouse suite. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
As this was our first visit to Cuba (but by far not our first cruise), we were a bit nervous about visas, licenses, etc. for US citizens. Oceania arranged for our Cuban visa, and we checked “Support for the Cuban People” on our license ... Read More
As this was our first visit to Cuba (but by far not our first cruise), we were a bit nervous about visas, licenses, etc. for US citizens. Oceania arranged for our Cuban visa, and we checked “Support for the Cuban People” on our license application. We had no trouble exiting the ship and finding our independently-arranged excursion guides. (We booked all of our tours ahead of time. Be sure to choose OFAC-compliant tours if you are a US citizen booking tours on your own rather than through the cruise line.) We were also a bit nervous about the condition of the ship, given some negative comments we’d read. We booked a concierge level veranda suite about 18 months prior to our sail date. The bathroom was remarkably small and not at all luxurious. The sleeping area is also very small, but of course, the Sirena is a relatively small ship with fewer than 700 guests. The bedding was very comfortable, especially after we requested a regular blanket. The down comforters are quite warm! Public rooms were in good condition, but we heard some complaints about missing tiles in the pool area. Don’t look for the bells and whistles of other lines. There are no photographers on board, the cabin attendants don’t create those clever towel animals, and from our perspective the activity schedule was very light. The lecturer, Sandy Cares, was phenomenal. We really appreciated that her lectures were recorded and available through the TV in the cabin. Food was a disappointment. We had high expectations, given how extensively Oceania promotes its culinary offerings. Presentation was careless, many dishes were bland, and several dishes either had extra ingredients or were missing ingredients. It was troubling to discover plates and utensils were dirty. On a luxury cruise line (on ANY cruise line, really) one shouldn’t have to send dishes back because they’re not as described or the serving ware is dirty. We’ve sailed on Regent and Silversea, and prefer their quality over Oceania. We absolutely appreciated the opportunity to visit Cuba, and the itinerary was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
There were several things that made this an attractive cruise: circumnavigating Cuba, sailing over New Years Eve, but being home for Christmas, and a 7 day cruise. We have sailed with Oceania a number of times, and all of their ships are ... Read More
There were several things that made this an attractive cruise: circumnavigating Cuba, sailing over New Years Eve, but being home for Christmas, and a 7 day cruise. We have sailed with Oceania a number of times, and all of their ships are excellent. They are spotlessly clean, the staff is pleasant and welcoming, and the food is excellent. This cruise was no different. We ate in all the venues, from the casual Waves, to the specialty restaurants Tuscan Grill, and Red Ginger. Each had good choices and we enjoyed them immensely. We treated ourselves to a penthouse suite, which was not extensively large, but very comfortable with good storage space, a very nice shower, and a roomy sitting area. Housekeeping and butler service were excellent. We are quite independent so did not use the butler service that much, but when we needed something, it was immediately looked after. Cuba is fascinating. There was an overnight in Havana, and we also docked in Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. We definitely felt we had stepped back in time. While there were some crumbling buildings, others had been restored or maintained. Hopefully with an increase in tourism, there will be more funds to look after the beautiful architecture. We saw Spanish Colonial, Art Deco, and of course Soviet style buildings. The old American cars were wonderful to see around every corner in Havana. There was a very comprehensive choice of excursions. Ours included a walking tour of old Havana, a ride in a beautifully maintained 1950 turquoise Chevy, a cabaret at the Tropicana (not to be missed!), a tour of colonial Trinidad which left from Cienfuegos, and a tour of sites in Santiago de Cuba, related to the revolution. Each was interesting and enjoyable in its own way. The tour guides were intelligent, spoke English well, and gave excellent information. We did have some difficulty hearing our guide in Cienfuegos. On board, there were informative and entertaining lectures given by Sandy Cares which, combined with the information on the tours, provided an insightful overview of the country. Local residents were all friendly, and many spoke some English. Entertainment was not our main focus but we enjoyed a hilarious comedian, and a talented string quartet. We did find some of the other clientele a bit rude and entitled, but we are able to hold our own. It may have been a function of the cruise being over New Years, and should not stop anyone from either sailing with Oceania or seeing Cuba. It is not typical of Oceania. Our only suggestions are that there should have been more done for New Years Eve, as this was a very expensive sailing, and more time and guidance could be given for shopping. Overall, an excellent cruise with a great itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The oceania riviera desperately needs dry dock updates & upgrades. The same carpet stains from last year's cruise were still there a year later. The carpet is in horrible condition and the wood on the ship needs touch-up's. ... Read More
The oceania riviera desperately needs dry dock updates & upgrades. The same carpet stains from last year's cruise were still there a year later. The carpet is in horrible condition and the wood on the ship needs touch-up's. The ship was scheduled to be in dry dock during 2018, but oceania elected to defer this update until april of 2019, and that poor decision is reflected in the environment on the ship. The internet connection speed on the oceania riviera was horribly slow. Oceania opened up "free internet to all" but should have upgraded their system before doing so to handle that bigger demand. We have been on other larger ships that have blazing fast internet speeds, so oceania needs to get their act together on this immediately. We hear the oceania riviera will be in dry dock in april of 2019, so this needs to be a priority upgrade. We were on the oceania riviera during christmas of 2018 and new years, when all of the bowl games were being played. The ship does not have espn and most other major network tv coverage. It's 2019 oceania - please get with the times and get major network coverage that your competition already has!! One port of call was roseau, dominica. This should not be a port of call due to massive devistation from a hurricane that happened over a year ago. Roads had been washed away during the hurricane and flooding, and two way traffic was trying to navigate a single lane on mountainous roads that were way too dangerous to travel on. There were washed-away sections of the road that had jagged edges from fast flowing water. There was a very dangerous mountainous road that could have given way and caused a shuttle van to fall several hundred feet, which would have killed everyone onboard the shuttle. This is an accident waiting to happen so oceania should remove dominica as a port of call. Much of the fitness equipment was old and in poor condition. The oceania riviera ship's staff tries hard to please, but we had a bad experience with the shore excursion staff, which has poor management and untrained staff. Since we cruised on this ship one year earlier, there was an overall downward shift in the quality of the ship's condition and the attitude/training of the staff. The oceania riviera ship has a lot of potential, but its future success depends heavily on oceania making good management decisions and the right update/upgrade decisions for the scheduled april 2019 dry-dock. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was my fourth and last cruise on Oceania; although we said that after our third Oceania cruise. We are seniors and don't move quickly ourselves, but the number of people on walkers, using canes and oxygen tents and in ... Read More
This was my fourth and last cruise on Oceania; although we said that after our third Oceania cruise. We are seniors and don't move quickly ourselves, but the number of people on walkers, using canes and oxygen tents and in wheelchairs can cause frustration onboard as many don't feel the need to allow others to pass. Instead they spread out across the hallway, preventing people from passing. It is even more frustrating during shore excursions waiting for the nearly disabled to get on and off busses. Most of us will reach that point in our lives and I'm sorry to be mean, but at that point, it would be considerate to do private tours instead of group excursions. And, seriously, just like driving, if you're slow, stay to the right so others can pass you on the left. It is generally acknowledged by repeat customers that Oceania's weakness is the shore excursion. So often, especially in poor countries, the transportation is unsatisfactory; that is, too small with filthy upholstery. Too many people with bad knees, bad backs, etc. all vying for the few comfortable seats on a bus that was built by the Japanese for Japanese, not for fat Americans or tall people. The trip to Bois Cotlette in Domica (and back) was actually painful! The bus was way too small for "gordos Americanos," not to mention the tall people. Oceania needs to check out the transportation and include these facts in their Description before people spend their money on a three-hour cruise that turned into four hours, two of which were physically painful due to the size and configuration of the bus. Oh -- have an older person review the bus, not a young, lithe, healthy 20-year-old. The food is touted as "the finest at sea." That might be the case, the food is very good. Prices have increased quite a bit. I paid $15 for a Wine Tasting in 2012. In 2018, we paid $75 per person. Bottles of Heineken have gone from $5 in 2011 to $7.50 today. Looking at my Scrapbooks from 2011, 2012, 2016 and now: There has been a steady decline in the quality of the Champagne that is in our suite upon arrival as well as in the number and selection of "welcome treats." From six to five to four. This is the first time we encountered a Sommelier who kept trying to upsell us. I wanted a single glass of Reisling for a single dish. Somehow, he convinced us to buy the bottle. As a rule, neither my husband nor I like Reisling. It took us three days to finish it off, because we don't like it. At the same time, that same Sommelier convinced us to sign up for the wine tasting at $75 pp. Then, at lunch another day, I wanted a single glass of red wine to go with a steak. Same Sommelier once again tried to get me to buy a bottle. I told him "Please don't try to upsell me. I'm still trying to finish off that bottle of Reisling we didn't want." The other Sommeliers didn't do that BUT on two or maybe even three separate occasions, the Sommeliers did forget to give my husband the 15% discount to which he was entitled. He had bought a liquor package for himself. It included certain drinks for free (but not all drinks, so beware) plus 15% off bottles of wines. On two occasions, the Sommelier forgot the discount and my husband signed without looking. I'd see the receipt the next day and then Hubby would have to go to Reception to have obtain a credit for the "forgotten" discount. Made us wonder if they haven't put the Sommeliers on commission; you know, salary + commission. I've been to the Canyon Ranch Spa-at-Sea twice during four cruises. Had an issue the first time; don't remember what it was. But this time it was a "hair appointment gone terribly wrong." What my hairdresser does in two hours (highlights, lowlights and a cut) took three hours at Canyon Ranch! I didn't get highlights and lowlights; I left completely blonde which is not what I had asked for when I made the appointment or when I arrived or at any time during the appointment. The young female hairdresser wouldn't cut my hair short. "Short." "Around the ears short." Finally, "What part of short, around-the-ears-short, do you not understand?" So she whacked off a piece of what was by then dry hair and it stuck out of the side of my head! I panicked and asked for the manager who immediately handed me off to Thalmo who finished the job, and had me out of the chair in 15 minutes. Not exactly the cut I wanted, but close enough. He had to work with what the other hairdresser started. The Spa totally overcharged me, as the Manager later admitted. I was initially charged for "roots" and "all over" color. Aren't roots part of "all over?" Especially when the hair is very short. Here is what I later learned: At-sea spas use their at-sea spas as a training ground. So you're paying for the Canyon Ranch Spa name -- paying A LOT for that name -- BUT you're often getting a trainee and should, therefore, be paying "beauty college" prices. What a rip off!!!! I highly recommend you stay out of the Canyon Ranch Spa which has no incentive to make things right. They have a captive audience. The Concierge for Oceania responded to our mid-cruise Survey. He addressed Oceania-related concerns and assured me that the manager from the spa would contact me my spa-related concern(s). Every time I saw him I'd say "Carlos, I haven't heard from the spa." I finally told him that she'll never call because she knows she's wrong but has no incentive to make their customers happy because Oceania has guaranteed their business survivability. Finally, the spa manager left a message telling me that I had been over-charged and she was making a partial refund. Because that appointment ran so long, we missed the Captain's Welcome Dinner. (Carlos the Concierge stayed on top of this. Kudos to Carlos.) My husband and I enjoy a cocktail or two before dinner. We like to get dressed, go to Tea and then go to a bar and sip drinks and relax. For the first time aboard Oceania, we found it difficult to do so. We went into Martinis one evening and the Cruise Director was on a microphone calling out Trivial Pursuit questions. He invited us to play but we didn't want to play; we wanted to sit at a bar, drink, maybe chat, maybe listen to piano music. Instead, we had one bar and left. Another bar is now being used for cornholing; or "Baggo," as they call it. Seriously, they are now using two bars for games. And there aren't that many bars on board the ship as it is. Richard Branson will be launching a new cruise line soon which boasts "over 20 eating and drinking venues." If only. This cruise included free laundry. My black t-shirt was returned covered in blonde hairs. (The hairs might be mine, but didn't the shirt get laundered?) Hubby sent his sport coat to be pressed. It came back. When he finally opened the plastic and put the jacket on, the back was all wrinkled. Looked as if they didn't press it. Embarassing to wear it that way, it was that bad. The dress code needs to be enforced. OMG, the number of men (both young and way old enough to know better) who wore ballcaps while sitting at a dinner table was totally unacceptable on this most recent cruise. Enforce "country club casual" at Tea. Include a reminder in brochures that men should not wear hats at tables. (How sad is that that we're no longer taught etiquette?) We've said this for awhile. Either enforce "country club casual" or give it up. Oceania has jumped on the "no straws" kick. I went ashore, hitched a ride to a mercado and bought my own box of straws. I get the problem with plastic straws; so, use paper straws. One simply cannot drink from a Hurricane glass without a straw. I think enough people complained, they started providing straws after a few days, at least for drinks in Hurricane glasses. Common sense, folks. If you try to finish a drink that is in a Hurricane glass, and you don't have a straw, the drink is going to end up all over the drinker! To summarize: The food is excellent, the service very good. (Not perfect, but very good.) I like Oceania but next cruise will have to be on a line with a more diverse clientele; not so many old people. It's both depressing and frustrating. The apparent lack of accountability with the Canyon Ranch Spa is an issue for me. If they are hosting newbies, prices for services provided by newbies should reflect the newbie's lack of experience. Make them "specials." Be honest; be ethical. But why would they? Unlike most businesses, Canyon Ranch Spa-at-Sea has been guaranteed survivability. Bars need to be freed up so passengers can use the bars for drinking! Oceania definitely needs to do a better job of describing the transportation used by the Shore Excursion companies. After all, they cater to an older clientele, so this is much more critical than it is with cruise lines that have a younger clientele. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
WE decided to go for a cruise over Christmas and New Years. We told our travel agent to book Viking out of Miami. It was sold out so our agent suggested we try Oceania, as they were comparable. The are not. We were disappointed in most ... Read More
WE decided to go for a cruise over Christmas and New Years. We told our travel agent to book Viking out of Miami. It was sold out so our agent suggested we try Oceania, as they were comparable. The are not. We were disappointed in most aspects of the cruise with exception to the crew. They were exceptional. The spa was great also. All other aspects where inferior. The entertainment was poor. they had a piano player who was good. A guitar player not so great, a comedian who was not funny. I think the single biggest disappointment was the food. As they are known for their food we had great expectations. We ate in all the venues on the ship and were not impressed. The disembarkation was late due to medical emergencies and was disorganized.it was almost 3 hours after our arrival in Miami before we got off the ship. We will not travel on Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My wife and I were underwhelmed the first few days,,,inconsistent service ,food and entertainment.not much effort into celebrating xmas,,,but much improvement in the second week,,,New Years eve celebrations were great,,entertainment went ... Read More
My wife and I were underwhelmed the first few days,,,inconsistent service ,food and entertainment.not much effort into celebrating xmas,,,but much improvement in the second week,,,New Years eve celebrations were great,,entertainment went to the next level,,,food improved,,except for the tough meat in Polo restaurant,,strange mix of very old and infirm passengers ,Europeans,wealthy Americans,Brits and Australians,,,generally an interesting and fun crowd .we intend to give Oceania another chance to impress,but not over Xmas and new year.We found the staff to be gracious,well mannered,well dressed and happy to assist in any way,,,sometimes in the face of some very rude passengers (unfortunately).Disembakation was a mess,because the ship was two hours late on arrival,not the ship’s fault .Reservation system for the specialty restaurants seem to work fine,,so long as you got the the reservation desk early on any particular day.we both thought Toscanna was far and away the best restaurant,,the lobster pasta was to die for! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We are experienced cruisers on both large (Celebrity, RCCL, NCL, Princess, Costa) and small (Azamara, Windstar) ships. I think our expectations were in line with the size of the ship, and of course I did quite a bit of research before ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers on both large (Celebrity, RCCL, NCL, Princess, Costa) and small (Azamara, Windstar) ships. I think our expectations were in line with the size of the ship, and of course I did quite a bit of research before leaving. We knew the bathroom was going to be small- but sheesh! The shower is REALLY small. I'm a small person and it still seemed tiny- I don't know how some people even manage to fit! The cabin itself seemed smaller than what I thought was the same cabin on the Azamara Quest. (6090, Aft) The cabin seeming small was not a big deal but what we were really disappointed in was the food and some of the policies. We had a concierge class cabin so had four nights in the specialty restaurants. I was looking forward to some nice prime rib at the Polo Grill. I ordered an "end cut" and wow-- what I got was a very under cooked (almost raw...) piece of end cut. It would have been better if they just said "sorry, we don't have any available." They took it back and "grilled" it which is not prime rib. They offered to switch it for something else but at that point I just ate the baked potato and called it a night. We thought the food was better at Toscana. I guess I heard to much about how good the food is and my expectations might have been too high. We found the service on the ship to be very good. The only other thing we were disappointed in was their so-called included laundry service for concierge class. You have to allow three days turn around time which on a 10 night trip seems a bit excessive. They do say the included laundry is only "fluff and fold" and boy was that correct! I used the included pressing of four items which resolved some of the fluff and fold problem but not all of it. When we booked our trip the only thing available was concierge class-- not sure it was worth the extra cost on the smaller ships but we were okay with it as we wanted this timing and itinerary. From what I have read most seem to enjoy the concierge lounge on the larger ships. My other issue was that their policy allows scooters or wheelchairs to be in the hallway. As long as the cleaning carts can get by they let them stay there. I mentioned this to the front desk as I seem to remember that most cruise ships do not allow this. If you hit rough seas they become flying missiles that could hurt employees or passengers. She said "they don't have enough accessible cabins so this is our way around it." When someone gets hurt my guess is they will change the policy,,,,,, They brought out Christmas decorations around the 15th of December which were very nice. I thought the entertainment was good for a small ship and the cruise director, Shawn Carter, was very good. He did some entertainment one afternoon and we enjoyed that quite a bit. I also really enjoyed Constantine Dragulov, a pianist and vocalist. All in all I don't think we'd return to Oceania. Some of the employees were terrific, (such as bartender Desi and sommelier Andre) and all were at least adequate. With that said, I don't want to be the one that has a scooter come flying at me! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We were pleasantly surprised by the outstanding cabin! Renovations are outstanding! Service and food the entire cruise was excellent --- no matter where we ate. The eggs benedict was outstanding at the Terrace Cafe! Fresh muffin, Canadian ... Read More
We were pleasantly surprised by the outstanding cabin! Renovations are outstanding! Service and food the entire cruise was excellent --- no matter where we ate. The eggs benedict was outstanding at the Terrace Cafe! Fresh muffin, Canadian bacon with freshly poached egg and topped with outstanding Hollandaise sauce. Yum! In fact all the selections in the Terrace Cafe were excellent --- spoiled by all the servers who were there to please. My husband fell in love with the extra thick chocolate shake in Waves. Grand Dining room had excellent food and service, but at times could be slow and a bit frustrating. If you needed something "out of the ordinary" it was hard to get the item. Polo and Toscano Specialty restaurants were both excellent! Entertainment was varied and good. The singers were extremely talented and the Frank Sinatra impersonator was outstanding! The Martini Bar piano player and entertainer at one of the big shows was excellent. Martinis were outstanding! The enrichment lectures could have been better --- we expected to hear more about Cuba's history and politics. The presentations were limited and bland -- that was disappointing. Excursions on Cienfuegos were the best; though the one going to Colonial Trinidad in Santiago was very interesting and good. The buffet lunch in one of the local restaurants was delicious. Time was limited in Havana ... would have been good if we'd been able to see a Tropicana Show there and had more shopping time to get cigars & local crafts.. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Three couples from their 60-80s wanted to see Cuba in luxury . This cruise overnights in Havana ( could have used another day) and had two more interesting ports. We had been on the Sirena when it was owned by Princess. We took the same ... Read More
Three couples from their 60-80s wanted to see Cuba in luxury . This cruise overnights in Havana ( could have used another day) and had two more interesting ports. We had been on the Sirena when it was owned by Princess. We took the same cabin ( now called penthouse suite) on Princess in Tahiti it was called a mini suite. It is a large lovely room with a renovated bathroom. The other two couples took A1 thinking their cabins would be like the new Marina. They spent the whole cruise complaining about the tiny shower with a flapping curtain. My cabin had a terrific walk in glass enclosed shower with great storage and wonderful bed and bedding. Towels are fluffy. Bring an electric surge protector as there are limited outlets. Balcony is skinny and the two wicker chairs have no footrests . I stuck my feet thru the railings. The food is very good, especially the two specialty restaurants Tuscan Grill and Red Ginger. The miso sea bass melts in your mouth. The main dinning room has service shortages. They are running around like chickens without heads. The buffet is ok and Waves makes a great burger at lunch. Ice cream is everywhere. Entertainment is poor. The Sinatra show the best. The young singers try hard but except for a funny ventriloquist it is pretty bad. The cruise director runs a great cut throat trivia that we found fun. The real problem are the excursions. Oceania messes up royally. We spent hours picking our tours and booked the passport collection. Very pricey as you cannot legally go off on your own. The ship gets the $75 visa for you. There are two US government officials on board watching. Some people did it anyway and took their chances. Tours were canceled the day before. Some were flipped from morning to afternoon then the morning tour came back late and you couldn’t go. No time to take a ride in the cars unless you book it as a $450 excursion. No reimbursement or apology. Told it was Cuba’s fault but I paid my money to Oceania! The best was the Tropicana nightclub . And you can take phone photos no charge. Spectacular!! The young tour guides spoke English well and just want the Embargo over. The country is very poor. Beautiful colonial buildings so shabby . The classic cars fabulous to see. A very interesting trip. Great hot room service breakfasts on port days. I would definitely go back. And a cruise makes it a comfortable way to see it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My husband and I were on Oceania Marina for the Baltic cruise a few years ago, so we expected similar experience this time even though it's a different ship. Somehow Sirena did not turn out as good as Marina. Even though Sirena was ... Read More
My husband and I were on Oceania Marina for the Baltic cruise a few years ago, so we expected similar experience this time even though it's a different ship. Somehow Sirena did not turn out as good as Marina. Even though Sirena was refurbished two years, it still shows some wear and tear. The bathroom is a bit small. But the bed and pillows are very comfortable. Food in the Grand Dining Room is not as good as Marina, so are the Specialty Restaurants. Red Ginger is a disappointment as the food is too salty. Service-wise, the crew and room attendants are very friendly but not as personable. I do not know whether it is due to a shorter cruise this time. We only joined one ship excursion in Santiago de Cuba. It is very disappointing as the guide brought us to watch a traditional Cuban performance which was not listed on the description. The time would have been better spent in the historical city center. Besides, when we were at the Morro Castle, the guide just dropped us off to wander around, without giving any information about the different areas of the castle. We chose Oceania mainly because of itinerary and the anticipated good food served on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Three ports in Cuba - having been to all the major islands in the Caribbean we decide on something different. Cruise food and staff were wonderful! As soon as you sit down anywhere they ask if you want water, coffee, drinks. Very ... Read More
Three ports in Cuba - having been to all the major islands in the Caribbean we decide on something different. Cruise food and staff were wonderful! As soon as you sit down anywhere they ask if you want water, coffee, drinks. Very friendly staff but not pushy. All non-alcoholic beverages are included. Food quality was great - lobster in the dining room, specialty restaurants and even a lobster sandwich by the pool grill. Small ship had a much more intimate vibe to it and nothing was crowded - no lines anywhere. There were lectures on the ports and history of Cuba every day. The lecturer was excellent. It is quite a lot more expensive than Royal or Carnival. Also, if you want glitzy shows and entertainment then it is not for you. It is laid-back and classy. Cuban people are so friendly! Recommend doing something local like the Buena Vista social club in Havana. Our private guide in Cienfuegos took us to a very good private restaurant where we had small shrimps, rice and beans and plantains. Guide (tonycubavacations@gmail.com) was very knowledgable and spoke perfect English. The cost of the all day tour was reasonable compared to the ship tours. All in all it was an excellent trip for someone who likes to explore and relax. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Cruised on this ship before and the date worked. The staff onboard is outstanding and always ready to please. Very clean ship everywhere. The cooking classes were amazing and the instructor/chef was amazing. Now the bad parts! The ... Read More
Cruised on this ship before and the date worked. The staff onboard is outstanding and always ready to please. Very clean ship everywhere. The cooking classes were amazing and the instructor/chef was amazing. Now the bad parts! The entertainment and food were sub-par. The shows were so bad ....::that calling it a high school musical is insulting to HS! Their a brand that is suppose to be known for its cuisine...,if you took a poll of guests you’d get a resounding “Terrible”. The management on the ship is fully aware of the quality and presentation. Hard pressed to do this line again. However like the size. Had a great time in St Bart’s and the spa was amazing. Great massage. The itinerary played a big part of my decision and again having sailed on Oceania I knew what to expect. The ship is going into dry dock in April for a very limited refresh Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Let me start with a few positive comments that made me glad I was able to have this experience at least once. The finest thing about the trip was the bed. It was gloriously comfortable. Magical. I move a lot when I sleep and the bed seemed ... Read More
Let me start with a few positive comments that made me glad I was able to have this experience at least once. The finest thing about the trip was the bed. It was gloriously comfortable. Magical. I move a lot when I sleep and the bed seemed to make me comfortable no matter how much a moved around. Not too hard and not too soft. Cool. Like a dream cloud with support. Amazing. Fine linens, bedding. Pillows were divine. Still, you can buy the bedding and stay home. I'll explain. The ship is beautiful. Gorgeous lobby, etc. Of course, one doesn't dine or stay in the lobby. It was just nice to look at and pass through. Now for the not so nice stuff. First, the ship claims to have internet service which is technically true. In practice you will have spotty and poor service about 60 percent of the time. You will be completely without service the remainder of that time. The connection is very slow and not intended for viewing videos nor for working much with photographs. Stick to an email or message in text. And if you need to work on the cruise, this isn't really going to work for you. We travelled with the CEO of a company, and he had to wait until we were on an island or city on land to send and receive proper messages. That frequently meant a one or two day delay, and had to be accomplished with internet service not provided by the cruise line. If you are a millenial, you'd say there was no internet service at all. One kind lady told me that I was on vacation, and said that being connected to the outside world shouldn't be a priority. I suppose she's right, but I still believe in full disclosure. You will get fired from your job if you think you can work on the ship in a timely manner or are in IT and had planned on a work/play vacation. I rate the internet service and lack of disclosures at a 2 out of 10. Even the crappy service requires a long list of signing in and out and other manipulations that the average techy will find extremely cumbersome. The real killer, though, was the sales gig. There are many opportunities to spend money, but again they fail in lack of disclosure. If you bank with cash and a debit card, you'll be harassed for the entire trip. They prefer a credit card (I don't use "credit" cards) and they will pin notes to your door and ring your room at all hours of the day and night in a horrific collection attempt while you're still very much stuck on their freaking ship. They will tell all your other family members or persons traveling with you what you have or have not paid for, and which cards or cash you have used to pay or not pay for anything and everything. They will treat you like a thief and a threat. They will be unhelpful and impolite in their fervor for collection efforts. By the time I was ready to leave the boat, I had to borrow $300 dollars from a family member to pay off the various gratuities and undisclosed other charges while they treated me like a serial murderer on a cruise that cost 10K between one brother and myself. Why? When they book your airfare (assuming you get the airfare is in the overall package) they will book you on the cheapest worst most indirect flight on the wrong seat. They had me flying for two days from LAX to Miami in a middle seat in the back of the plane. By the time we paid for checked bags, additional fees for the seat, and a nonstop flight I was out another $500 just one the plane ticket fiasco. I still had to fly on an overnight flight, and spend 8 hours awaiting to "check in" after a night of no sleep on the plane. Yes, they treated to a breakfast at a local hotel. That helped for an hour of that time. I'm surprised the hotel they took us to during the daytime didn't have us all arrested for vagrancy. We all looked like half asleep zombies as we walked around the lobby in circles for six more hours. They should also disclose to passengers that EVEN IF YOU HAVE AN INTERNATIONAL DIALING PLAN, that you will still charge up your phone bill if you dare make an actual phone call during your trip. Those calls are not originating in the US and as such are $6 a minute....regardless of your "international dialing plan." Two, one half hour calls to my bank in France cost me $300 on my phone bill. If you like to count, you can see that I'm out over $800 bucks on plane charges and phone calls, without counting the $300 I took on board in cash for penny cash needs. And then the $300 I borrowed to get out of there alive before they had me sleeping in the halls or on a life boat which I offered to them as an alternative if they couldn't wait for me to get the cash limit on my DEBIT card raised for them and their tender CREDIT CARD preference on board.They really need to work on disclosing realistic cash needs on board PRIOR to boarding. This almost ruined my trip and caused petty fights among family members at Christmas time. I finally went down to the lovely Lalique filled lobby and chewed out the reception desk over their unscrupulous collection efforts on board, their skanky and undisclosed poor internet service, the missed ports (due to rain), and the extra charges and they offered me a bottle of wine... the off brand stuff. I'm giving the cruise an average rating because it was a horrible experience on board unless you were asleep or on land. The ship is a luxury ship and the 10K they collected up front on the room still had them acting like they would die for the last $300 bucks. I told them to stop the calls and notes, and to feel free to call the police if I tried to jump ship without paying. I guess all that money was for the bed. I can get that at Macy's without the pressure of a harassed existence on a ship with no internet that can't drop anchor when it rains. Had they acted better I'd have raised this review to a 4 out of 5 stars. As it is, I'm going to be nice and not lash out with a 1 star rating. Average.3 stars. That's fair. Take Oceania at least once. I'll say that. Oh, I met some nice people on board. The barista was gorgeous too. The restaurants are good and the service impeccable there. The entertainment was also good. The excursions were a cut above if expensive. Better ferries, better buses, etc. They do have a wine list that lets you know just how cheap the complimentary bottle was. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
service superior, food excellent, best bang for the buck. Urinals much too high...layout of spa poor...mens steam and sauna rooms separate from shaving area..must walk out along a cool to cold hall...the shave area is very poorly lit ... Read More
service superior, food excellent, best bang for the buck. Urinals much too high...layout of spa poor...mens steam and sauna rooms separate from shaving area..must walk out along a cool to cold hall...the shave area is very poorly lit and much too small...one single shower in changing area leads to waiting in line at times which is not fun...the crew is the best, very friendly and helpful..food is very good especially in specialty restaurants...entertainment is more than ample for a ship of that size...shower in cabin could be a bit larger and I do not feel the tub is really needed....turn around time for laundry could be somewhat shorter...for on board internet I think it worked quite well...my wife had some difficulty opening door to veranda...we really enjoyed the daily bridge games ...TV sports coverage could have been better, but that is a very minor detail... all in all it was a very enjoyable and more than expected vacation Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise because it's a smaller ship (1200) than we've been on before and a number of our friends recommended Oceania. Wanted a cruise out of Florida as we live there. We chose a Penthouse 2 suite and we loved ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it's a smaller ship (1200) than we've been on before and a number of our friends recommended Oceania. Wanted a cruise out of Florida as we live there. We chose a Penthouse 2 suite and we loved it. Very spacious. Beds are sooo comfortable. So is the bathroom. So much storage that we didn't use any of it in the cabin itself. Just in the big walk in closet. It has a bunch of drawers, more hangers than I ever saw in a cruise ship closet, as well as a wall mounted shoe rack and many shelves. Also a safe. Didn't use the butler much except for breakfast in our room every morning. He also bought some snacks every evening. Room service was terrific. We'd put the service tag out and they'd practically be there in five minutes making up the room. Morning and evening. Service was exceptional all over the ship. I even said to my husband that they must take good care of their staff because they always seem so happy and can't do enough for you. Food was excellent especially in the four specialty restaurants. No extra charge to dine in any of them. Even the buffet and the poolside restaurant was wonderful. The buffet was probably smaller as far as selections but you'll always find lots of good things there. They serve it to you. No one is allowed to serve themselves. At the poolside restaurant, you order what you want, sit down and they bring it to you when ready. Embarkation was amazingly fast. We were on the ship and in our stateroom within 10 minutes. I'm sure being in a suite helped, but doubt it took much longer for people in other cabins too. Disembarkation was the same. About 10 minutes from the time you requested to leave the ship and through customs. Don't know if that's the norm but I'm guessing it is because there are less passengers. Didn't go to any of the shows but did enjoy the string quartet every night and one day at the 4pm tea. Didn't use any of the shore excursions. Just got off the ship and walked around. Husband stayed onboard so didn't want to leave too long. Again, the service. They just couldn't do more for you. No matter what it was you wanted. We're looking forward to traveling with Oceania again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
After over 20 different cruises we tried these ships back to back to back and found the direct comparisons interesting. Usually your memories of the good and bad fade with time but in this case it's all still fresh. Here is what we ... Read More
After over 20 different cruises we tried these ships back to back to back and found the direct comparisons interesting. Usually your memories of the good and bad fade with time but in this case it's all still fresh. Here is what we found. SERVICE: Best was Azamara followed very closely by Oceania. Very tough to choose as Azamara Pursuit is such a small ship (compared to the Oceania Rivera) the staff know you quickly and service is very personal. I would have to try Oceania on one of their R-Class ships to really know if Azamara is actually better. Celebrity was as always, probably 70% very good and the rest dour to disinterested. SHIP APPEARANCE : Hands down Oceania. Beautiful in every respect. Azamara was totally refurbed so no wear and tear. Generally very classy and understated. Celebrity Infinity is way overdue for refurb. Lots of signs of wear throughout ship and cabins. Disappointing. ART: Oceania was mostly elegant and interesting. Azamara had a mix of interesting and uninspired. Celebrity was the biggest surprise. In general I have always found they carry a great many interesting photos and inspired pieces of art, regardless of ship. The Infinity was an incredible disappointment. A lot of cheesy looking efforts and all in all well below their usual standard. CABINS: Again, Oceania nails it. Great look and feel in our Concierge balcony. Little to complain about other than it didn’t cool down as much as I would like. Still okay however. Azamara standard balcony room was finished nicely but again R-Class design has limits. Tiny awkward bathroom, small balcony and generally cramped feeling. Again, would have to try an Oceania R-Class to see if it's any better. Excellent beds on both carriers. Celebrity has good cabin size and use of space. Our 11th floor Aqua cabin was comfortable. Everything is a notch or two lower but fully expected at the price point. FOOD: Oceania, no contest. Period. Azamara felt a notch above Celebrity in that food was always piping hot no matter where you ate. Food quality was good but not a huge leap beyond Celebrity, which is not insulting as Celebrity is quite reliably good. A few Azamara meals were standouts such as the "White Night" and the chocolate buffet. Celebrity was consistently good, as always. SPECIALTY RESTAURANTS: Oceania again. Great experience in all four with no surcharges, all are included in your cruise fare. Celebrity does charge for each, however it provides a notably better experience in terms of their regular food and dining experience. The Petit Chef is an interesting experience even though the food is not impressive compared to the other specially restaurants. Worth doing once for sure. Azamara also charges for specially dining but not as much as Celebrity. However the experience was hardly better than the ships standard fare. In fact, Aqualina was a disappointment. Prime C was fine but not worth the surcharge. OUTDOOR GRILL: Celebrity is your standard hot dog, burgers and fries kind of thing. Decent stuff, good size items. Oceania steps it up by offering filet and lobster, Reubens, Cuban sandwiches and a few more interesting items as well as a variety of hot dogs and burgers. Azamara has a different take in that they offer things like chicken wings, nachos, chicken fingers and the like for an interesting assortment of bar type food to go along with the burger type offerings. Interestingly, at night they switch to an evening dinner menu allowing al fresco dining. Nice option, well done. ACTIVITIES/DEMOGRAPHIC/KIDS: Overall, Celebrity seems to have the better productions. Neither Azamara or Oceania are in Celebrity's league when it comes to stage size and production capability. Celebrity easily has the most going on day or night. Caters to a wide variety of guests. Usually some kids about but not over run like some lines. Demographic changes drastically with time of year and length of cruise. Oceania and Azamara are both generally geared to seasoned cruisers who enjoy quite spaces and unobtrusive entertainment. Rare to see any kids. Mostly low key activities and entertainment. BEVERAGES: Celebrity easily outdistanced the others in terms of variety and quality. Comparing premium drink packages across all companies, Celebrity had the better choices. The Oceania selection wasn't bad but Azamara seemed weak in choices after paying for the premium upgrade. OVERALL: Ignoring cost, Oceania provides that special feel that makes cruising unique. Factoring in price, although not perfect, Celebrity provides a good experience for the amount paid if the ship is up to par. We just prefer their Solstice class ship size. Azamara is an odd duck. It really does have a country club feel where you get to know everyone quickly and have a relaxed trip. The very high number of repeat customers means they are doing something right. Just don't think their R-Class ships are for me. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our fifth Oceania cruise, but the first on their newer ships. Overall, we were very satisfied with the experience. THE SHIP. Like the older R-Class ships, it is homey, spacious, traditional and very comfortable, rather than ... Read More
This was our fifth Oceania cruise, but the first on their newer ships. Overall, we were very satisfied with the experience. THE SHIP. Like the older R-Class ships, it is homey, spacious, traditional and very comfortable, rather than glitzy. There is little wow factor. Although the ship is only about 5 years old, it seemed dated. For example, it lacked electronic aids such as an app on your phone, or interactive screens with port and event information. THE CABIN We had a Penthouse 2. More storage than we could possibly use. Extremely comfortable pillows and bed. High quality bedding. Very well planned layout. Beautiful bathroom with seperate shower. Large walk-in closet. Clean and well maintained. Excellent service as well SERVICE Service was beyond excellent and very friendly. Seemed to be a well managed, happy crew. FOOD Oceania claims to have the Finest Cuisine at Sea. I have a mixed opinion on that. We ate twice at Polo Grill, Toscana and Jacques. Food, service, decor were excellent. We had three dinners in the MDR which were also good. Each night, essentially the same menu as the MDR is available at the Terrace Cafe (Self Service buffet), and we had a wonderful evening eating on the terrace while docked in San Juan. So here is the issue...lunch in the Terrace Cafe was very weak, with an extremely limited selection. Even Waves Grill does not offer a chicken sandwich. While the food in MDR was well prepared and presented, the selection was very limited. If you do not eat pork/bacon/pancetta or fish, the choices were absolutely minimal. Service hours were also an issue. The Terrace Cafe was open from noon till 2pm. The MDR from noon till 1.30. Waves 11.30 till 4pm. So if you spent a day at the beach, and returned late to the ship, your only option was Afternoon tea (4pm to 5pm) or room service. ENTERTAINMENT Never a strong point on Oceania. While most of the shows were energetic, they were nothing special, with one exception. On the last day, they had a special pre-dinner show, "World Beat", which was head and shoulders above their other shows...so it can be done. I also want to mention that we greatly enjoyed the classes in the Culinary Center (need to book before you cruise, as space is limited) and we had a wonderful artist-in-residence who ran a series of excellent sessions, which were packed. Also need to mention the outstanding enrichment lecturer, Cloeta Massie, a marine biologist who was one of the most entertaining and knowledgable lecturers I have experienced on land or sea. CONCLUSION A relaxing cruise experience on a very comfortable ship. Yes, we would book Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
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