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26 Oceania Rio de Janeiro Cruise Reviews

We chose this particular cruise because the itinerary and dates matched what we wanted so we were excited to try Oceania, having heard great things. We stayed in cabin 10015, which was the lowest Penthouse Suite Category. Overall, the ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because the itinerary and dates matched what we wanted so we were excited to try Oceania, having heard great things. We stayed in cabin 10015, which was the lowest Penthouse Suite Category. Overall, the cruise was *good*. The food was good but not great except for Polo Grill, which was fabulous. The most aggravating thing about the food experience was not being able to serve yourself at the buffets. The crew served you, even if it was a salad bar, a dessert or the entire buffet line. It was very crowded in the Terrace Cafe and Waves Grill. Also, in mid afternoon when many people were returning from excursions, the restaurants were closed so the only way to get something to eat was room service. Waves Grill was open but had 1/2 hour to an hour wait to get food. At this price point, we expected more options and higher quality. The wine selection was good, but for wine by the glass, there were not many choices. The drink package at $56/pp per day was well worth it with a $15 price tag per drink and $32 for a double with tax, gratuity and Brazil's absurd 25% tax while in Brazilian waters. Embarkation at the Suite level was a breeze. Definitely worth the extra money to board with virtually no wait. Likewise, luggage retrieval was very easy. The cabin was nice and well appointed. One thing I have to say is we were given the option of using Oceania's hotel transfer service to our hotel (Park Tower) in Buenos Aires for $349 USD for 2 people. I looked at a map and it was about 2KM... I literally can see the ship from our hotel on the 14th Floor. We arranged transport from Quickcar for $35USD for a Mercedes and professional driver who met us right at the pier. This was 1/10 the cost Oceania wanted; That is a disgrace. The idea that they would offer transport at such an outrageous inflated price would lead me to never sail Oceania again. As for ports of call, We loved Buzios, Porto Belo and Punta Del Este. Parati isn't for everyone and Rio Grande should not even be a stop on a cruise at this price point. We're not really show people so I can't speak to the quality of the shows. The crowd was decidedly older; probably 70's was the age bracket with a few younger folks. I saw one child on board the whole time and a few older teens with a family. Overall, I wouldn't sail Oceania again unless the itinerary was solely the determining factor as we preferred Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
April 2019 - My wife and I have been on numerous cruises (22+) throughout the world on various cruise lines over the years. This was our fifth cruise with Oceania; the previous cruises were the Northeastern Seaboard, Bermuda, Cuba, India, ... Read More
April 2019 - My wife and I have been on numerous cruises (22+) throughout the world on various cruise lines over the years. This was our fifth cruise with Oceania; the previous cruises were the Northeastern Seaboard, Bermuda, Cuba, India, the Middle East and Europe and Southern Africa cruises. The 17-day Rio to Barcelona Cruise started on April 18, 2019. Our trip actually started on April 14, with our flight landing in Rio on April 15. Our pre cruise Rio de Janeiro tour included a few days at the Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort, which is located on the beach just west of Ipanema Beach; a great location. The hotel had great food and a very nice HUGE pool. It also had free car service to the city. We toured the HStern manufacturing offices and store (free tour from the hotel and back … worth the time to see how they manufacture jewels), Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf. The Oceania pre tour provided a lot of time to visit the local area on our own and also, the hotel pool area (nice pool). The hotel arranged for us to enjoy a Samba Dinner Show. The dinner was at a local restaurant and the show was near by. Both were wonderful. Boarding the ship was very easy. Our room was at the front of the ship on deck 6, room 6014. This was a good location as we were near the entertainment areas and the Spa, Game and Computer Rooms. The primary sources of food are in the rear; decks 5 and 9. Most points of interest are on 5, dining room at the rear and the Sirena Lounge at the front. Deck 9 has the computer room, card room and spa. The ship is a few years old but was very nice; very clean. It will be remodeled after our cruise. The staff was great and the food was excellent. Coffee, including specialty coffees, was available 24/7 on Deck 10 front and also, during select hours on Deck 5 rear. The ship provided complimentary water and soft drinks. The Program Director provided information about basically everything you needed to know on a timely basis. The ship had a cast of great entertainers on board and also a great band. They were very professional and excellent musicians. The cruise line provided two speakers who covered a wide range of interesting topics on the locations we visited and also, sea life. The passengers and the crew were all very nice people from all walks of life. The people on the ship made the cruise interesting and enjoyable. The only real negative was the price of alcoholic beverages; they are a little pricey. I signed up for the Scotch Tasting (around $20). They provided 11 bottles of Scotch to taste but only allowed 3 tastings. Three very small tastings. The bottom line … Don't do it. Take your $20 and go to the bar for your own glass of one or two Scotches. We had a lot of fun playing games and competitions to earn Big O points. We earned over 400 points which were cashed in on the last full day for Oceania merchandise. The visited Ports of Call follow. First, While in Brazil, the ship charges a 25% tax on purchases. RECIFE, BRAZIL – Our first port was located north of Rio, just south of the Equator. Recife is a quiet little city. The tour included a nice view of the city from the high point in the area, a pretty little chapel, a free coconut drink in the market and generally, a nice tour of the city with nothing spectacular to offer. It was a good introduction to life in Brazil outside of a big city. NATAL, BRAZIL – We took the Highlights of Natal tour. The drive out into the countryside was very nice and the world's largest cashew tree interesting (the tree is huge, covering more than a soccer field in area but only maybe 20 feet high). We stopped at an old prison that now is a market. The tour included a lot of time on the bus. Again, it was a nice tour of the area with nothing spectacular to offer …. oh, the cashew tree was interesting …. the highlight of the tour. Crossing the Equator was fun. Those of us who had not crossed the line before on a ship were transformed from a Polliwog into the Ancient Order of the Deep through a Special Ceremony not to be discussed further. The Atlantic Ocean was relatively came the entire cruise. MINDELO, CAPE VERDE – Cape Verde is sort of the middle of the North Atlantic, west of the African coast. The Mindelo – The Cultural Capital tour included a tour of several markets and the a liqueur tasting. The rum was great. This tour included a lot of walking through parts of Mindelo. SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, CANARY ISLANDS – We took the Canada Del Teide tour. This was a wonderful tour that included a great lunch in a beautiful old monastery. This is a beautiful island with many interesting buildings and natural wonders. This was a very nice tour of the island. ARRECIFE, CANARY ISLANDS – The Southern Lanzarote & Wine Tasting tour presented a completely different perspective on the Canary Islands. This island is volcanic! The tour included an extensive tour of volcanic areas of the island, a ride on a camel and a meaningless wine tasting, although the vineyards were interesting. The high point of the island is the treeless volcanic areas. It's like being on Mars. This was an interesting tour. TANGIER, MOROCCO – The Highlights of Tangier tour was a fun time in a beautiful city. We visited a mountain top vista that overlooked the city and then drove down to the coast to walk into the Hercules Cave. This was interesting. We then toured the narrow streets of the city stopping in a market and a spice demonstration. The spice demonstration was very well done and worth the time. Tangier is a very interesting city with many different ethnic areas. Again, while in Spain, the ship charges a 10% tax on purchases. ALMERIA, SPAIN – We toured the area on the Mojacar & Cabo De Gata tour. The bus ride to Mojacar was very long but worth it: Mojacar is very similar to Santorini with white buildings (no blue roofs) built up on a hill top. The views are fantastic. The tour included a nice walk around the hill top city with some free time to walk around or purchase a beer, wine or whatever. The drive through Cabo De Gata reminded me of the hillsides of Southern California; dry. The tour is generally on the bus and the views are beautiful. ALICANTE, SPAIN – We took the Alicante, Novelda and Wine Tasting tour. Alicante is a beautiful city. The tour took us to a beautiful hill top church with a organ being constructed of stone; stone is abundant in the area. We then visited the Bodega Heretat de Cesilia winery. The tour of the winery was very nice and the wine tasting … worth the wait! The wines were very nice and free flowing. Most of us purchased a bottle or two to take home. The winery is small but the grounds are large. A beautiful place to drink a few glasses. This was one of the better tours on the cruise. BARCELONA, SPAIN – We left Barcelona immediately on a bus for Madrid. Getting off the ship was easy … you just had to wait your turn. Our tour guide was standing next to our baggage and when we all were accounted for, we left on a small bus. There were only 10 of us on the port cruise tour. Our first stop was at the Poblet Monastery where most of us generally froze. We were not dressed for a tour of a cold stone fortress. The tour was very nice and worth the stop though. From there, we continued to Montblanc for a FANTASIC lunch and city tour. Then we continued to Zaragoza for the night. Our guide took us out for a beer and snack. We were then left on our own to walked around. This is a very interesting place … beautiful by night. The next morning, were toured the city including the El Pilar Cathedral …. unbelievable!!! On the road again, we stopped at Madinaceli for a quick tour and another FANTASIC lunch. That night, we were at the Melia Madrid Princess hotel. The hotel was in a great location and was very nice. The next day we took a tour of the city with the afternoon on our own. We arranged to go to a Flamenco Dinner Show. We walked there and back with several other couples. Great dinner and show. The next morning we were picked up and driven to the airport. All of our tour guides were very good. They all spoke English well and were very approachable. Overall, the cruise was educational and enlightening … no security concerns anywhere. Overall, the cruise was great and the pre and post trips fantastic. You will see many different types of architecture, topography, and vegetation. You will meet many very nice people on the ship and also, tour guides and locals. Oceania really took good care of us; they were always there to make sure everything was taken care of during the cruise and also, during the pre and post trips. They really seemed to care. A great trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have traveled on Oceania before and loved it....and we still do! Everything about the crew, service, ship, etc was great, but the food left a bit to be desired. Certainly not bad, but not the finest. It was our only disappointment. ... Read More
We have traveled on Oceania before and loved it....and we still do! Everything about the crew, service, ship, etc was great, but the food left a bit to be desired. Certainly not bad, but not the finest. It was our only disappointment. Our Butler was incredibly attentive to our every need and the bartenders were great. We didn’t do any of the ship excursions cause we were fortunate to find wonderful friends and groups via cruise critic. We thought the entertainment was excellent— I don’t think one should expect a broadway show level of entertainment, cause you’re not going to find it on a small ship. For the size of ship we were very pleased. You find a lovely group of travelers of the socio economic level one would expect at this price point. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Embarkation was great & smooth (vs. disembarkation which was a rotten experience; later). Rio de Janeiro was interesting to see with beaches, Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf. The city is a typical Latin city that is overcrowded ... Read More
Embarkation was great & smooth (vs. disembarkation which was a rotten experience; later). Rio de Janeiro was interesting to see with beaches, Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf. The city is a typical Latin city that is overcrowded and dirty. Spent a lot of time in traffic. Food however was excellent; fast, tasty & uniquely served. The next port was a non+, pretty much a repeat of Rio without the great attraction. Two cities in Uruguay were like the Riviera, clean very safe. Buenos Aires was more of Rio. Walk with the penguins was good but a long drive from port & a lot more walking to the ocean. Great welcome center but the bathrooms at the park were HORRIBLE; 3 of 5 toilets were broken, stalls had no paper and toilets were barely usable with no flush water (TP was on ONE roll outside the stalls). For the money that goes into that park, they need to do a better job! Rode a great train in Ushuaia, a new, replica of a 0*1*1*0 Garratt. The first port in Chile was a nice walk in the Antarctic rain forest, along a river to a great water fall, + a wine tasting at the end. Disembarked in Chile at San Antonio and traveled to Santiago. We had to CLEAR the ship by 0900. There was one gang-way for entrance of new crew and departing passenger. There was no order and no one controlling exiting passenger; it was a group, screwed-up mess (Viet Nam vets have an expression that I cannot use here - like cluster...). Groups were called before there was room to accommodate them for disembarkation. Long walk to buses (& I mean long). We took a shore excursion since our flight did not leave until 950 PM. Drive into Santiago was nice, stopped for snack on the way a cute little restaurant. In the city, typical traffic & inability to stop to & see points of interest. One local craft market that was overpriced and then a fancy mall for lunch (on our own). We at seafood of Abalone, potato salad and greens; delicious! Then on to the airport. WE STOOD for two hours before we could even check in, THOUSANDS of disembarked ship's passengers. This was INEXCUSABLE! I will never depart from Santiago, Chile again!!! Worse than De Gaul in Paris. Overall life on ship was great, great staff, great food & VERY comfortable accommodations. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
There are now so many awful cruise reviews that despite not usually writing a review I am forced to do so to redress the balance Having read the reviews of Marina over time I believe that some people only go on a cruise so that they can ... Read More
There are now so many awful cruise reviews that despite not usually writing a review I am forced to do so to redress the balance Having read the reviews of Marina over time I believe that some people only go on a cruise so that they can complain about it afterwards whereas my only complaint for the trip as a whole is that it would have been much better had a number of ignorant, rude and objectionable passengers stayed at home. This is how I found the cruise. Ship We found the ship to be in excellent condition, well ran and well maintained. All of the staff we encountered went out of their way to be helpful and ensure that we were having a good time. We were in a Concierge Cabin on deck 9 Mid Ship and did not suffer from Vibration, excessive noise or too much rock and roll although at the front of the ship it was noticeably more so. Concierge lounge was good for early morning coffee and cake. There were a small number of children on board however this was not a cruise suitable for them. Cabins. Clean, comfortable and spaceous with sufficient storage and size of bathroom to satisfy most people. Despite the huge range of termperatures on this cruise it was neither too hot or too cold was always keep very tidy by the room attendant and suffered from no external noise problems. The bed was particularly comfortable and the choice of amenities of a good standard. Ideally, it could have had coffee making facilities but my only real complaint was the fact that during rough weather the closet rattled so much I had to wedge it closed. Restaurants We eat at all of the restaurants and found the food to be of a very good quality throughout. Service was equally good and there was a real desire by the staff to please the passengers on board. Alcoholic drinks were sometimes a little slow arriving however this was more to do with how this is organised with the Sommeliers being responsible for wine and therefore being fewer in number than the general waiting staff I had booked one visit to each of the speciality restaurants beforehand and was able to obtain additional bookings on board, 2 more at each, without problem. Our favourite was Red Ginger because of the exemplary levels of service as well as excellent food. Of note also is the Waves Grill which served excellent Sandwiches at lunchtime. Bars Most days we frequented the pool bar and in the evening Martinis. The service in the pool bar was great and staff again excellent. Martinis had an amazing Pianist called Andre Mieux who was by far the best entertainer on board the ship and the cocktails particularly the Big O, very good. We purchased the Prestige Select drinks package for the cruise and found that it was for us value for money particularly when a 25% surchange was applied to all drinks whilst in Brazilian waters on top of the 18% gratuity normally added to each drink Entertainment Proved to be a bit of a mixed bag with some which we liked other no so good Most people found that the shows are not the same on a small ship as in the West End or Vagas so will always generate comment. Personally I would have liked to have seen a little more local culture rather than acts such as An Evening with Allen. Enrichment Lectures I fell asleep at the only one I attended Shore Excursions Generally handled well by the staff on board with the booked tours getting off the ship first. Generally, they are expensive and most people we met preferred to take the chance and book their own. We did a mix of both however careful research is needed for a private tour and this takes time. Getting on and off. Mostly hassle free on embarkation less so on disembarkation due to the onward travel arrangements and large number of people. Overall this was an excellent cruise which was good value for money and I will definitely book another in future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our 4th cruise with Oceania so we are obviously biased. Although we have sailed on a few other ocean cruise lines and river cruise lines, we keep coming back to Oceania. The food is Fantastic, the service superb and the atmosphere ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with Oceania so we are obviously biased. Although we have sailed on a few other ocean cruise lines and river cruise lines, we keep coming back to Oceania. The food is Fantastic, the service superb and the atmosphere is very warm, casual and comfortable. It feels like a home away from home. We just completed an 18 day voyage (our longest cruise yet) and we wished we could have stayed longer. We met some very interesting and lovely passengers with whom we had much in common. Oceania seems to attract like minded customers. Information about ports and sites was timely and thorough. Local tour information was provided on board as well as on cctv. No guess work or Google searches required. There was plenty to do on board if one took the time to read the daily activity bulletin. Front desk staff were also very helpful when memory failed. Kudos to the staff, crew and management for a job very well done! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
For us it was a good time to travel in this region. We expected a nice quiet room on the stern of the ship in between the owners staterooms on deck 7. However the vibration of the propellorshaft or engine are realy bad. It disturbs your ... Read More
For us it was a good time to travel in this region. We expected a nice quiet room on the stern of the ship in between the owners staterooms on deck 7. However the vibration of the propellorshaft or engine are realy bad. It disturbs your sleep. Your bed and room are shaking enormes. We did not have this problem before on the Insignia. And the explanation of the concierge sofar is that we are on a old ship.. We are halve way the cruise and hope to get a better explanation the coming days on the vibration. Anyway the rest is what you may expect from Oceania: good service, expensive excursions. Make sure you have everything in writing on your final confirmation so you have a good start when you embark. We enjoy traveling with Oceania although we get the impression that entertainment on the ship that does the 180 days is better. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We've just returned from a 12 day cruise from Rio to Buenos Aires. We met a great crowd of people and made several new friends. The food was generally of a very high standard although the portions were small like nouvelle cuisine - a ... Read More
We've just returned from a 12 day cruise from Rio to Buenos Aires. We met a great crowd of people and made several new friends. The food was generally of a very high standard although the portions were small like nouvelle cuisine - a started portion of 3 Tiger prawns is hardly going to satisfy most people. The website stated that the Sirena was refitted in 2016. This is misleading - the speciality restaurants may have been but the common areas were very dated rather like a 3 star hotel. Very disappointing as we had only previously sailed with Celebrity and we were told that Oceania was a step up. I would strongly disagree. The Staterooms (I prefer to call them Boxrooms) were minuscule and the shower rooms were like telephone kiosks and fitted to a standard that reminded me of an NHS hospital. In summary I would say that the Sirena is past its "Sail by" date. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The itinerary was a main reason for taking this cruise. The staff and food are exceptional. My only complaint is the size and layout of the cabins. We are in a concierge cabin and it's too small. The bathroom is just okay with a ... Read More
The itinerary was a main reason for taking this cruise. The staff and food are exceptional. My only complaint is the size and layout of the cabins. We are in a concierge cabin and it's too small. The bathroom is just okay with a bathtub and separate small stall shower. The closet and drawer space are totally inadequate. I have to move the desk chair to walk between that and the coffee table to get to the terrace. The concierge lounge is a big plus. We often opt to have a continental breakfast there instead of going to one of the dining rooms or ordering room service. The specialty restaurants are good and it's a bonus that there is no up charge for dining in them. My only complaint there is that some of the vegetables were overcooked and soggy. The activities are not as extensive as on other cruises we've been on where there was an interesting lecture every morning and duplicate bridge and a movie every afternoon. On the first segment, with only 1 day at sea, there was duplicate bridge almost every day. 3 days into this longer segment with more sea days and I haven't seen a bridge director Hopefully that will change. The shore excursions have exceeded my expectations. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was our first Oceania cruise- and we're glad we did! I have been hearing about how great Oceania was from friends for several years, but we have become quite partial to our familiar Celebrity. We've also cruised with ... Read More
This was our first Oceania cruise- and we're glad we did! I have been hearing about how great Oceania was from friends for several years, but we have become quite partial to our familiar Celebrity. We've also cruised with Seabourne, and actually preferred Oceania in that it seemed a little less pretentious, and the specialty restaurants were wonderful. We chose this cruise because of the amazing deal- we ended up with internet, cabin credit, free gratuities, and a drink package, as well as free shore excursions for a very reasonable price. On Celebrity, we always upgrade our beverage package to the premium one, but were really glad that we did not on this cruise. Generally, we mainly drink wine with our dinner, and don't drink a lot that isn't around meal times. The basic beverage package covers all wines and beer with meals- with no price limit by the glass. This differs from Celebrity in that the better wines are only available on the premium package. Probably different if you wanted to drink several cocktails in the evenings. We flew into Rio de Janeiro, and elected to come three days early to go to the Iguazu Falls- so glad we did! It was very easy to arrange to just tag a one hour flight to Fos do Iguacu onto our incoming flight and carry on. We easily booked a hotel- the Viale towers- that was more than reasonable for the price and right in the middle of town, so that we had a choice of restaurants. Tip- go onto Trip Advisor- there were a few very good restaurants to choose from. Try The Mafia- lovely little Italian place- make a reservation- they will come and pick you up from the hotel. Also eat at Zaragoza- great old style elegant Spanish restaurant with wonderful paella. We found that the desk staff at the Viale were very helpful. The breakfast came with the room and it was very good, with lots of selection of hot and cold food, as well as a very good cup of coffee. From the Viale, we took the staff's recommendation and caught the local bus to the Brazilian side of the falls- for about 1.50$. The bus stopped right at the entrance, and we only walked about one block. It was very easy to spend 2-3 hours walking around the paths at the falls and we walked over to the bird sanctuary after- about 2-3 blocks away. A lovely day! The next day, the staff arranged a taxi to take us to the Argentinian side of the falls- for about 45.00$ he helped us through the border crossing and waited for us for four hours while we were at the falls. It was nice to see them from both sides- you do get closer to the falls from the Argentinian side, but you are above them, so it gave a great perspective of their size to have seen them from below the day before. We flew back to Rio easily, and checked onto the ship by 11 am. We just took a taxi from the airport to the ship for about 30 dollars. We were able to sit in the buffet restaurant, until our room was ready at about one. We had been offered and accepted an upgrade to a Penthouse suite so really enjoyed the extra space. The bed, as per reputation, was extremely comfortable. There was more than enough storage space, with a walk in closet, as well as many drawers in the room. We had a butler for the first time, Akshay- who was lovely, but underutilized as we didn't quite know what we were supposed to be asking him to do! He shone our shoes, ironed a few things, and helped us get reservations practically nightly for the specialty restaurants. The ship was not full, or I assume that would not have been possible. Despite our understanding that there was only one reservation at each of the restaurants per cruise, the reservation desk in the main lobby was very reasonable to work with to find reservations on a daily basis. Try all of the restaurants- Red Ginger was definitely our favourite- the duck confit and watermelon salad was so good! Because we had a penthouse suite we were also able to order off the specialty restaurant menus for room service and we did have a few of those salads along the way. The staff were amazing in the entire ship and called us by name, and remembered our favourite wines for dinner. We had breakfast daily in the Terrace restaurant- lovely to sit outside with a huge selection of foods, juices and coffee drinks. Even dinner was very good in the Terrace when you wanted a break from the two hour multi course dining experience. The Grand Dining room was great for dinner. All in all, the only trouble was figuring out how to ration out the places to eat so that you didn't feel overfull all of the time. We finally tried the 4 pm tea in Horizons on a rainy day in Buenos Aires, and it was lovely, with a four piece string band playing classical music. The only problem with the tea was that it was hard not to overindulge and ruin your dinner! The ship itself has many lovely quiet areas to hang out in- the library is exceptional, and adjoins the coffee shop- so you can sit and read in deep comfortable leather chairs while sipping cappuccino and munching on bakery treats. We had access to the area at the front of the spa for lounge chairs and hot tubs- also a great spot. We went daily to the trivia sessions- Peter, our cruise director was so funny- and he seemed to deal pretty well with the die hard, very serious, fight to the death teams that were really taking themselves way too seriously. We went to several of the entertainment shows- a British band called 5 O'Clock Somewhere were absolutely fantastic. The ships own crew were pretty good. The house band was also quite good. We enjoyed the educational lectures about the local area that were put on in the afternoons. There were no cooking classes due to some funny Brazilian laws. However, I must admit that we go on holidays to relax and love to spend a lot of time just chilling and reading our books, so I'm not really a good judge of quality of the shows- We loved the air of relaxation that the boat promoted. All in all, I'm very happy that we tried Oceania, and look forward to sailing with them again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Background: We are veteran cruisers and travelers. This was our 27th cruise, our 7th cruise on Oceania and our first cruise that included ports in Brazil, including a week on the Amazon river. It was our longest cruise to date (22 ... Read More
Background: We are veteran cruisers and travelers. This was our 27th cruise, our 7th cruise on Oceania and our first cruise that included ports in Brazil, including a week on the Amazon river. It was our longest cruise to date (22 days). Our primary reasons for cruising on Oceania are their unique itineraries and destinations. Our cruise was re-booked in its entirety right at final payment time to take advantage of the O-Life benefits (excursions, beverage package, internet, shipboard credit). I have some minor mobility issues but these are usually not a concern on the ship or in most of the ports we visited. Pre-Cruise package: We arranged for our own air using miles and flew into Rio De Janeiro on United airlines, arriving November 15. We booked the pre-cruise hotel package through Oceania, which was very expensive, but probably worth the cost in this city. The hotel was the JW Marriott on Copacabana Beach, a very nice hotel with good service and views of the beach. We had two excellent half-day tours with a great guide (Licia) and enjoyed the area and restaurants around Copacabana beach. The transfers were also professionally done. Embarkation and ship: We embarked on Insignia on November 19. The embarkation process was quick and efficient. Insignia is one of the "R" ships in the Oceania fleet and is the oldest. The ship definitely showed its age in various areas, included outdated carpeting and furnishings, barely readable elevator buttons, old signs for ship areas by and on the elevators, etc. The art is uninteresting for the most part. Although we have been on the sister ships Nautica and Regatta and also noticed some outdated and worn infrastructure, it was the most prominent on this ship. Other passengers also noted and commented on the infrastructure. Cabin: Our cabin was an A3 concierge veranda cabin. It was cozy but fairly comfortable, with a small balcony. The bathroom is tiny, but manageable. There is plenty of storage space in the closets and drawers and under the bed. The bed was very comfortable, one of the top features of an Oceania cruise (great pillows, too). Activities: Our primary activity that we participated in on-board was Trivia, which was done at least once a day. This was competitive and fun. Most of our ship time was relaxing and we had a lot of outdoor time because of the climate. Service: The service on Insignia was very good, but was not as superb as previous Oceania cruises. Our requests for water/juice/coffee or other drinks occasionally had to be done more than once in the various dining venues. Service in the Grand Dining Room was exceptionally slow and we only ate in this venue twice. The counter service in the Terrace Cafe was excellent, as was the service in Polo Grill and Toscana (the two specialty restaurants). Our cabin attendant did an acceptable, not outstanding job, on cabin maintenance (trash wasn't always removed, water bottles were not replaced). We did have excellent service from the Oceania Club Ambassador (we like Oceania enough to always consider future cruises and did book a future cruise on-board). We also had laundry done three times and they did prompt and excellent service. Dining: Oceania Cruise Lines is known for the quality of their food. The food on-board Insignia was high-quality for the most part, but the "wow" factor was just not there. With the exception of a few specialty dishes featuring Amazonian fish, the menus were quite repetitive. The beef products (steak, hamburgers, etc.) were not very good at all, with tough and flavorless meats and strange textures. Seasoning was done blandly, even with stir fry dishes and sauces were also not very exciting. The pasta dishes were among the best bets and the pizza (lunchtime in the Terrace) was very good. Everyone was anxious to have BBQ, Mexican food or some other comfort or spicy foods by the end of the trip. Entertainment: Oceania is not known for its entertainment and this cruise was no exception. We went to a few shows that were ok, with the passenger/crew talent show being the most fun. The Insignia Show Band was outstanding, an excellent jazz group full of superb musicians. On the other hand, the pianist/vocalist in Martini's ruined this favorite venue for us. He was singularly untalented, playing piano in a bizarre and mistake-filled style; his singing was worse, a half-talking grunting "sing song" that was very off-putting. Martini's business was down substantially because of this guy and we avoided it during the golden happy hour. We did not use the small casino and it seemed very empty on most sea days. The boutiques are nice but small, and we did find a few bargains after we left Brazilian waters (a 25% tax on on-board purchases is in place while you are in Brazil). We did not use the Canyon Ranch spa services. Internet: The internet on Insignia is the worst we have had in the last 10-15 cruises; it was never better than the slowest dial-up modem speed and often required re-logging in multiple times to stay on-line. I had the free internet, but my spouse bought the unlimited internet to do some work and was very frustrated by the experience. When we arrived in Miami, one of the INMARSAT satellite dishes was being dismantled and replaced, a condition they had to know about during the cruise. My spouse has written to Oceania asking for at least a partial refund for the internet (not likely to happen, I'm sure). The Oceania@Sea representative was useless and rude. Ports and shore excursions: We had five free excursions each, which helped the overall cost of the excursions. The excursions were good to very good. Probably the best tour overall was in Recife, Brazil (an all day expedition to a variety of places) and we also enjoyed the tours in Manaus, Santarem (piranha fishing!), Parintins (the amazing Boi Bumba show) and Barbados. The Amazon river was fascinating and we had two stops in small villages that were quite interesting, besides our stops in Manaus, Santarem and Parintins. We did not leave the ship in San Juan, Puerto Rico and our final port, Punta Cana (DR) was canceled due to rough tender conditions. The primary purpose for the cruise, seeing the Amazon river and its tributaries, was the top highlight. Other ship services worth noting: I came down with acute bronchitis due to the heat, humidity and agricultural smoke on the river in the Amazon (having suffered from chronic asthma). The ship's doctor and nurse were superb - very caring and the nebulizer treatments they recommended helped me get back to normal very quickly. The tender crews are phenomenal and are very cautious helping those who are disabled (also true in my case). Disembarkation: We chose to disembark on our own with our bags due to an early flight in Miami. After some delays clearing the ship, the actual process was extremely quick and we were on our way to the airport in minutes. Summary: Our Amazing Amazon cruise was very memorable because of the unique places we saw on the river and the great weather we enjoyed on almost the entire cruise (lots of outdoor time), plus we crossed the equator three times. It was not the best Oceania experience, but we are still loyal to the cruise line and are working a future booking from the open booking we did on board. We like the size of the "R" ships and hope they can do some upgrades in the future on Insignia to make it more up-to-date. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We boarded the boat in Rio, after a delay to sanitize the ship. We did receive an email with the delay in boarding the day before and managed to check our bags and take the tour we arranged. We were given sandwiches and lemonade while we ... Read More
We boarded the boat in Rio, after a delay to sanitize the ship. We did receive an email with the delay in boarding the day before and managed to check our bags and take the tour we arranged. We were given sandwiches and lemonade while we waited. We were aware that most of the ports were small without experienced tour guides and air conditioned buses. We found some private tours that were excellent. The ports were small but interesting. We did do our homework and investigated the ports before we left home. My husband was disappointed in the pizza bar, no pepperoni. I did like the pizza. He did enjoy the hamburgers. The food in the dining room was very good and we had very good service. We liked the cappuccinos. We also enjoyed high tea in the horizon. If we were hungry we were able to find some place that had food. We also had people sick on board and lost the laundry, library and salt and pepper shakers. It was inconvenient but it only lasted a few days. Some people would not agree to quarantine so they had to disembark. People were making poor choices about eating and drinking when they bought off the ship. We were visiting third world counties. We had been on other South American cruises and had been warned on the dangers. We had two excellent enrichment speakers. Their topics were interesting and helpful when visiting the ports. We learned a lot from the speakers Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We cruised last year on Regatta from Lima to Buenos Aires and had a fantastic voyage. We cruised this year from Rio to Miami. Very disappointed, would not choose Oceania again. -a definite lack of service throughout the ship. Asked for ... Read More
We cruised last year on Regatta from Lima to Buenos Aires and had a fantastic voyage. We cruised this year from Rio to Miami. Very disappointed, would not choose Oceania again. -a definite lack of service throughout the ship. Asked for tea, water, and refills continually. Did not have cranberry juice or camomile tea available. Some days the omelet maker could not be bothered to get bacon or cheese for omelets. - the cruise director was worthless. Very few activities, especially at night. The entertainment was bad and boring. The young entertainers only performed twice in 23 days. Only one show at 9:30 or 9:45.... Many people were just not interested in Brazilian guitar players or singers. - the voice mail system did not work and no one would comment. No messages could be retrieved. Had to knock on the door or a friend or slip note under the door. - the staff seemed bored; they wanted to be elsewhere. Had to ask the housekeeper twice for hair conditioner and then she said she did not have any on her cart this time. -shore excursions were a waste of time and expensive. Took the yellow submarine in StBarts. Saw less than 4 varieties of fish... -during the outbreak of the norvovirus when the library and self serve laundry were closed; the casino was open with the exchange of chips and use of the slot machine. This was not the usual Oceania cruise; too many expectations were not met. We think everyone just wanted to get to Miami and go home. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We sailed from Rio to Valparasio. We had previously sailed on the Marina 4 years ago during the summer of her maiden year. The ship is in excellent shape with beautiful art work and tasteful decor. We can't say enough about the Crew, ... Read More
We sailed from Rio to Valparasio. We had previously sailed on the Marina 4 years ago during the summer of her maiden year. The ship is in excellent shape with beautiful art work and tasteful decor. We can't say enough about the Crew, everyone from the cabin stewards, dining staff, baristas, reception desk and Canyon Ranch Spa staff were exceptional helpful, friendly and could not do enough to make the trip enjoyable. The food was very good with many selections, excellent presentations and enjoyable venues. The lectures on South America were informative and enjoyable. Much of the entertainment was enjoyable especially the Tango performers, the classical guitarist, a lovely singer from England and a classical pianist. The string quartet was a lovely to enjoy before or after dinner. Satisfaction with the tours depended on the guides. When we travel with Oceania again we will try booking our own small group tours and compare. Oceania was a wonderful way to experience the coastal towns of Patagonia and the Straits of Magellan. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We had never been to South America so we decided on this cruise. Rio De Janeiro and Buenos Aires were places on our bucket list. Our final decision for this trip was that the price of this cruise seemed to be quite good. Oceania is ... Read More
We had never been to South America so we decided on this cruise. Rio De Janeiro and Buenos Aires were places on our bucket list. Our final decision for this trip was that the price of this cruise seemed to be quite good. Oceania is a our favorite cruise line. The size of the ship is perfect for us. Not too much waiting. Food is excellent, especially at the specialty restaurants. Service is also excellent. Overall we enjoyed this cruise very much. We met some new friends. The excursions were a bit weak on this trip. Locations not as good as in their europe offerings. Some excursions had such bad traffic that most of the time was spent on the bus. Also, this cruise had more ports which required tendering from further away. There were a lot of complaints due to the length of time and weather situation (hot!). The South America cruise is good if you like warm weather. There isn't as much to see as the Europe cruises. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Sailed 10 day cruise from Rio to Buenos Aries. We haved sailed on multiple lines before but Oceania has my vote as "favorite." Ship is smaller than other ships we have sailed with about 1200 passengers, is very low key and very ... Read More
Sailed 10 day cruise from Rio to Buenos Aries. We haved sailed on multiple lines before but Oceania has my vote as "favorite." Ship is smaller than other ships we have sailed with about 1200 passengers, is very low key and very tastefully adorned. Everything was quickly reachable and "crowds" were non-existent. Food, especially the 4 included dine-around restaurants, was the best of any previous cruises and was gourmet level. We were on Concierge Deck and cabin was excellent; very roomy with couch, table and balcony. Daily on-board activities was limited (I expected some topical talks), but the overall atmosphere lent itself to total relaxation. We love bridge and there was a daily game but we spent more time just lounging around the pool. Service was excellent. Shows were entertaining but don't expect major productions like bigger ships. Several Ports of Call on this particular trip were not particularly interesting unless you are into beach or water activities but this lent itself to more on-board relaxation. Boarding and disembarkation was very smooth and efficient, especially latter. Overall, Oceania is more pricey than other Lines but definitely our first choice and will watch promos for future trips. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Our cruise started in Rio on March 7, 2015 and ended 3 weeks later in Miami, visiting Recife, Brazil before entering the Amazon for a week then out to the Caribbean ports of Barbados, Devils Island (part of French Guiana), Barbados, Puerto ... Read More
Our cruise started in Rio on March 7, 2015 and ended 3 weeks later in Miami, visiting Recife, Brazil before entering the Amazon for a week then out to the Caribbean ports of Barbados, Devils Island (part of French Guiana), Barbados, Puerto Rico and Nassau before ending in Miami on March 28. Check-in was slow in Rio as they only allocated one window to the lower categories, while allocating three windows to the expensive staterooms--this was the first time in 12 cruises that I was disappointed with the check-in process. However, once on the ship after an hour, we had our usual exceptional service that we have come to expect on Oceania cruises. The service was exceptional all the time; the room, albeit somewhat small, was spotless and the bed was very comfortable. However the TV was small and the channel selection was inadequate (I complain about this on the comment card after every cruise, but it hasn't changed over the years). The food and service in all the restaurants was great, including the buffet. I guess if I have one complaint, it was the hot dogs and hamburgers in the Waves grill--I thought they were undercooked, but still well presented. I learned to ask for them well done when I went there for lunch (but you can still go to the buffet or grand dining room for lunch). The cruise director--Ray Michaels--was definitely the best I've had on any ship (and I've had several). Very personable, always around, and also very talented (he headlined two of the shows). Everyone liked him. We didn't take any port excursions. On Oceania, they are overpriced and undervalued, and I've learned to find my own on the internet, or just get a taxi at the port (especially if you're with another couple). The entertainment was good, but not great. Because these are not huge ships, the lounges are not very big. The shows are less than an hour, but still worth your time. Communication is very good. There is a newsletter put in your stateroom every night with good information about upcoming activities and timetables. There are also several announcements throughout the day over the P.A. system. Overall, we had a great time, and booked another cruise while on board. We will continue with Oceania cruises once or twice a year as long as the quality doesn't go downhill under their new NCL ownership. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We did a 5 day pre-cruise which included Iguazu falls, and three days at the Windsor Atlantic on the Coca-cabana Beach. Everything was awesome. Iguazu falls trip amazing beyond belief, and hotel had a 90 degree view of the beach, and was ... Read More
We did a 5 day pre-cruise which included Iguazu falls, and three days at the Windsor Atlantic on the Coca-cabana Beach. Everything was awesome. Iguazu falls trip amazing beyond belief, and hotel had a 90 degree view of the beach, and was right on it--like just across the street! Our fifth time on Regatta. We requested our favorite Butler, and got him. Thanks, Oceania, Bogdon is just the best! Penthouse room 8051, great location. Why every one wanted to be on the port side, who knows, we were very happy with our starboard cabin. We did the Business class upgrade, and were routed LAX-JFK-RIO. No issues, JFK was clear sunny, and warm (26 degrees!). United 757 BusinessFirst was great, TAM Business Class was a real treat. Pampered all the way. Boarded the ship 11 AM on 3/7. First class embarkation service all the way. Bought both the excursion, and booze package, both bargains if you plan on going off the boat or like to drink wine. One surprise, the 25% Brazilian sales tax surcharge once you get on the ship. Buy the packages, and you side step it, and don't buy anything in the shops, or drinks at the bar, (that is why the booze package is such a deal) until you leave Brazilian waters and you will be just fine. The cruise was a real treat. Reciefe, an eye opening insight into Brazil, the Amazon, was unbelievable, Devils Island, ( you will understand why Papillon wanted out of there). The southern Caribbean (Barbadoes, St. Barts) are a wonderful treat. Puerto Rico, and Nassua, Bahamas--do yourself a favor--stay on the ship. When you have five 3-4K passenger ships in port with you, there is no point in going ashore. Food, superb. Meat in Polo exceptional (no skimping on quality here), Toscana always excellent, main dining room, excellent with tributes to Jacques, and Red Ginger. Invented the Lobster roll at Waves. Four tails on a toasted chibata roll with thousand island dressing. The only thing I missed was a New York style deli--I think they will figure this out pretty soon as something new to do. As to the entertainment, Oceania, particularly the small boats gets dissed on this. Our cruise director Ray, and the entertainment staff really excelled here, on innovation, and creativity given the small staff on board. The Pudra strings Quartet, was simply amazing, and had a large following. They also had a hard rock strings side to them, and did two shows that blew the contract singers away. Compliments to Ray, and the whole staff for an excellent job! Greek cruise coming up in August, this will be #3 in 12 months. Rivera, this time, also a wonderful ship. We have found no better, for the price than Oceania. Regent, as all inclusive, is good depending on itinerary. If you like the casual cruising style there is no better line than Oceania! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
First time on Oceania, but will be the last because they did not live up to "consistently delivering excellent service and value", as they state. The Marina ship was very nice and the service on board was fine. We found the ... Read More
First time on Oceania, but will be the last because they did not live up to "consistently delivering excellent service and value", as they state. The Marina ship was very nice and the service on board was fine. We found the food was above average. However, we took an excursion "The Best of Santos & Guaruja" and absolutely horrible. In fact, Oceania's "Award-Winning Tour Program" was disappointing overall (we took 7 of their excursions), but the Santos excursion was a total disaster. We have cruised for years and have never written a complaint or asked for money back on an excursion or anything else. After the Santos tour, we, however, along with a long line of others on the trip, went immediately to the Reception counter demanding complaint forms and refunds. The person behind the counter was trying to control the crowd, a site to behold. Here is a summary of the excursion: - Travel time in the bus was very lengthy to the "largest aquarium in South America". A deceptive play on words since it was the smallest and most uninteresting aquarium we have ever seen. It took only a very few minutes and we were all done seeing what there was to see. There were NO "adventurous divers hand feeding creatures". - The botanical gardens, the "highlight is the orchidarium", was closed. It was advertised to be "remarkable" with more than 100 exotic species of all shapes and colors". Our guide said there was nothing in it. We were supposed to see an array of macaws and toucans. There was 1 bird! The guide said there have not been any toucans there for at least 10 years. - The Coffee Museum - most of it was on the second floor, which was closed. First floor had very little to see, just a shop to buy coffee. - Brazilian BBQ lunch - bus driver dropped us off but guide took us on a 20 minute walk one-way to another restaurant only to find out it was the wrong place. Some of us had difficulty with such a long walk due to health/disability issues. This was supposed to be a low-activity tour. Another 20 minute walk to a not-so-nice restaurant that wasn't ready for us. Our guide went around asking for food to be made and brought out. We had to wait for sub-par food. - The "high-end stores and unusual merchandise" LaPlage mall. What a joke. There was a McDonalds and Burger King and only a few junkie stores. None of us stayed in the mall or purchased anything, we all went outside to look at the beach while waiting for the bus. The guide said he couldn't wait for this horrible day to be over. We all felt it was a waste of time, not worth the money, and was extremely disappointing. With all the complaints, Oceania gave us only 30% back of our $374 cost of the tour. We all felt they should have refunded it all, and even paid us for wasting our time and suffering with the entire fiasco. I wrote a letter when my husband and I returned home, asking for a full refund. No reply but I followed up. We finally got a reply from Gair O'Neill, Sr. Director, Guest Relations and Risk Management. He offered an on-board credit on our next cruise if we booked it within a year. I responded back that we would not be able to take a cruise within that time frame and still felt a full refund was in order, which for both of us would be $260. No reply - I followed up and finally got a short letter stating "no additional compensation will be forth coming". Ouch. I am stunned that Oceania would be so short-sighted to not refund a more than deserved measly $260 to us, as we cruise often. We will never go on another Oceania cruise, will tell anyone who wants to know how we were treated. Their customer service suffers from a lack of fair and reasonable understanding. For us it was the principle of the thing, but for them, I can only suspect it was to not let loose of a tiny bit of their profit to do the right thing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
My husband and I have had our third Oceana cruise in 5 years, -and each one has been progressively worse in several major respects. While the specialty restaurants provide interesting Culinary choices, you only get 4 chances to dine here. ... Read More
My husband and I have had our third Oceana cruise in 5 years, -and each one has been progressively worse in several major respects. While the specialty restaurants provide interesting Culinary choices, you only get 4 chances to dine here. The remaining meals are boring, tasteless, lacking in choices and ridiculously small in portions. They have eliminated so many dining selections over the year that I actually lost weight on our last cruise. As one of many examples we sailed in slough America the entire cruise but the fruit the offered was not fresh, ripe, edible nor did they even serve bananas. The room service is good only if you pay the money to sail at concierge level. The tender service is disorganized and sparsely some ports. Entertainment is not worth going to. You will always find someone to serve you wine or alcohol, presumable because they make their money I honestly think you get more for your money on Royal Caribbean Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Our group of 3 couples booked this cruise with Oceania which left Rio De Janeiro on March 29, 2014 and ended at Miami on April 19, 2014. For clarifiaction, this was not an Antarctic cruise. The reason we chose this certain cruise was that ... Read More
Our group of 3 couples booked this cruise with Oceania which left Rio De Janeiro on March 29, 2014 and ended at Miami on April 19, 2014. For clarifiaction, this was not an Antarctic cruise. The reason we chose this certain cruise was that it included 7 nights on the Amazon River, going up river as far as Manaus, Brazil. The cruise itinerary was absolutely delightful and the Regatta cruise ship was great - including the gourmet food. Oh heck, especially the food!!! We docked at at least 14 ports during the cruise and had booked excursion tours for the day. The Regatta is a smaller ship, with only 684 passengers - very different from our normal cruises with 4,000 people on board. This ship is geared to an older clientelle which we sometimes found somewhat frustrating as we are quite active. (We are in our mid 60's). We had heard that Oceania cruiselines is a more upscale line and we found this to be very true. We had booked an ocean view room on dectk 4 which was great but I think that a balcony would have been much better. However, our group normally spent a lot of time on the main deck anyway. The service on Regatta was superb from room servcie to the dining room. I personally did not really participate in a lot of activities but there was certainly lots of things to kkep a person occupied. The entertainment was fantastic with only the magician act being changed partway through the trip. The singers and dancers kept us well entertained. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
Our first trip on Oceania was on the Marina--South American Holiday. We boarded in Rio de Janeiro on December 8 with departure on December 9, traveled around the Cape eventually to Valparaiso and disembarked in Valparaiso on December 28. ... Read More
Our first trip on Oceania was on the Marina--South American Holiday. We boarded in Rio de Janeiro on December 8 with departure on December 9, traveled around the Cape eventually to Valparaiso and disembarked in Valparaiso on December 28. Overall experience was wonderful!! The ship is beautiful, as many have already mentioned, and the ports were very good giving us a great experience in four South American countries--Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile. We could never have visited on a land tour as much as we did on this cruise. Just for background: my husband and I have done about 10-12 previous cruises. The most recent ones were three on Regent's Voyager over the last 5-6 years. We did the Baltics, Hong Kong to Bangkok and a B2B Greece and Turkey on Regent. Previous to those three we did several other cruises in the 80s and 90s. Most of our travel has been land tours throughout Europe, Canada, China and a week in Egypt. A good friend is an avid Oceania cruiser and encouraged us to try Oceania. I must admit that we had an Oceania suite which is an astounding cabin--certainly the best we have ever stayed in. It is spacious, comfortable, with the best bedding we have ever experienced in any hotel or on any cruise. We were on deck 12, very convenient to the pool, to the Waves bar and Waves grill and to the Terrace dining room/café. Our butler, Ismail, was superb. He anticipated our needs and made frequent suggestions which he thought might improve our experience. He made several reservations for us at the specialty restaurants (above and beyond our pre-cruise reservations), booked a couples massage for us at the spa, served us room service two nights when we had just run out of energy and was there whenever we had a thought about what we wanted to do next! Kosta, our room steward, evidently had a camera on our door because we no sooner left our room than he serviced it before our return (many times while we were at breakfast with no expectation that the room would be cleaned while we were out). We did a combination of private tours for just the two of us with tours we arranged through Cruise Critic with some other folks prior to embarkation. The tours we arranged through Cruise Critic turned out to be some of our best experiences. The people were very friendly, the folks who did all the arranging should be given medals of honor (thanks, Howard and Martha--you are my idols!) and we were so pleased with the level of exposure we got in each of those ports. We didn't do any of the ship's excursions; I must say we heard many complaints from others about the poor quality of the ship's tours. We were patting ourselves on the back for using the Cruise Critic roll call feature. We had 8 sea days for our 21 day cruise. We have never been on that long a cruise (14 days was our longest previously) and were a bit concerned about the number of sea days. I cannot begin to tell you how much we enjoyed the sea days! How incredible to be able to enjoy the ship and socialize in a different way than when you are on an excursion or just meeting folks at dinner and, maybe, never really getting to know them. We did three of the cooking classes, several wine tastings, bingo (both of us won--how did that happen!) and lazing on deck. Neither of us sit in the sun very much (both cancer survivors) but you can still enjoy the pool sitting in the shade, reading and people watching! As for the ports, we loved Buenos Aires (great private guide, fabulous tango show, a culinary excursion with the ship's chef), Puerto Madryn (don't let anyone tell you that you won't enjoy a penguin rookery--the penguins are astounding) and Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego--has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth! We also really enjoyed the other ports with the exception of Rio de Janeiro--poor infrastructure, dirty and just uninspiring. On the ship itself, we found Jacques to be our favorite specialty restaurant with Toscana and Polo closely tied for second. Frankly, we found Red Ginger to be overdone with the food not particularly appealing to us. That's our opinion and I know flies in the face of what many others have found. We visited Red Ginger once and that was it for us. The Grand Dining Room was just okay. The food was average and frequently we found only two or three things on the menu that we might want to eat. We had some service problems in the Grand Dining Room; during one dinner they messed up one of our appetizer orders and both of our entrée orders. On another dinner, they messed up one entrée. At breakfast one morning they messed up one order. We just found little consistency in service although the servers were always trying. Frankly, I think they were understaffed. We watched one main waiter try to handle seven tables with no real assistance one evening. I wasn't surprised by the mistakes when I noticed that. One outstanding experience was the Christmas Eve buffet brunch--it was fantastic--I don't think I have ever been to a better buffet brunch--the dining staff outdid itself. I am not a fan of the Terrace Café either. Frequently, breakfast was a zoo with everyone showing up at the same time (right before excursions) trying to get breakfast. We had the same experience at dinner. Having lobster tail as a choice during dinner did not make up for that fact that we never felt relaxed during dinner; would we get a table or have to wait, watching like a hawk for someone to be finished and get up and walk away so we could get a seat--this is not a five star experience! It was always a concern about how crowded the serving areas would be and how long we would have to wait in line to get an order of lobster tail or something else from the grill. The two nights we ordered room service were to avoid having to go to the Terrace Café. Both my husband and I tried not to compare Oceania to Regent's Voyager but the contrast was most evident in the Terrace Café and was not to the benefit of Marina. We did enjoy the Waves Grill and had lunch there several days; the sandwiches were good and the "control" by the staff to ensure orders were accurate made it seem more relaxed and enjoyable compared to the Terrace. Bars were a pleasure in that there were always plenty of bartenders and wait staff. We particularly enjoyed the Waves Bar during the sea days and the Martinis bar for our happy hour before dinner. The staff of both were excellent, very friendly and always trying to make sure you had a great experience. We had a great trip and thoroughly enjoyed South America. Some additional comments on our experience on the ship: we chose a beverage package; we still found it a chore to have to show our card every time we wanted a drink. (Maybe there is a message here to us that we just wanted too much to drink!) We much prefer Regent's all inclusive when one doesn't need to show a card. I realize this is a minute problem; however, it did take away some element of the experience. The entertainment was average but we were expecting that so I won't compare it or complain about it. It provided some enjoyment although not necessarily one of great quality. The Main Dining Room was an overall disappointment. Food choices were not particularly great and it was understaffed. It never felt like a fine dining experience. The specialty restaurants are outstanding--I would go to sea just to eat in them again! The canapés offered through butler service at happy hour were a disappointment. Again, while we tried not to do so, we did compare it to hors d'ouevres we experienced on Regent. Regent had shrimp cocktail, crab claws and other "bites" of that level if you wanted them every evening. We didn't order the canapés after the first day on Marina because they just weren't very good. There were numerous activities during the day but they quickly became repetitive as the same activity at the same time was repeated pretty much throughout the cruise each and every day. Overall we did greatly enjoy the ship and its beauty, the fantastic itinerary and the great people we met especially on our excursions. We experienced sharing a table at dinner a few times and had some great dining companions during those dinners. It seems most of our shipmates were very well traveled and enjoyed meeting others making such experiences a lot of fun. The itinerary is what is most important; all other things being equal, we would go back to Regent if the itineraries are quite similar as the negative things I mentioned above did impact our experience.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
First time on Oceania line. First time on a smaller ship (700 or so passengers). Terrific experience overall and a wonderful series of ports in Brazil, Uraguay and Argentina. Highlights: food, service, housekeeping, complimentary ... Read More
First time on Oceania line. First time on a smaller ship (700 or so passengers). Terrific experience overall and a wonderful series of ports in Brazil, Uraguay and Argentina. Highlights: food, service, housekeeping, complimentary water and soft drinks, bar and wine staff, cruise director (Leslie Jon), premium restaurant (Toscana), cruise entertainment staff, veranda, ample deck seating, excellent Terrace Cafe for all meals, no annoying photographers, and a ship Master/Captain with personality. Wishes to be Different: casino slots boring with mechanical problems, cramped card room, few at sea day activities available, uneven entertainment (Juggler Michael Mena), Polo premium restaurant, mixed server competency in the Main Dining Room, and very costly shore excursions that don't quite live up to Oceania's reputation. Kudos to Cruise Director Leslie Jon, the best we've seen in our 14 other cruises. Personable, singing and storytelling talent, mixed with the passengers, always available and visible. Great communications re: weather, tender issues, etc. More Kudos to Ship's Master/Captain. Also visible walking the ship, not just at the Captain's cocktail party. Kept up informed via PA announcements as well as TV briefings. Beautiful ship inside and out, well maintained and up to date. If using Oceania again we would prefer their larger newer ships. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
My wife and I recently (from Dec 10 until Jan 16) sailed on our longest cruise ever with Oceania (or anyone for that matter) with our teenage children. The cruise was a 37 day back to back cruise on Marina sailing from Rio de Janeiro to ... Read More
My wife and I recently (from Dec 10 until Jan 16) sailed on our longest cruise ever with Oceania (or anyone for that matter) with our teenage children. The cruise was a 37 day back to back cruise on Marina sailing from Rio de Janeiro to Valparaiso and on to Papeete via Easter Island. The short story is that it was a wonderful cruise on a gorgeous ship with a spectacular itinerary, and we met many wonderful people.       Embarkation:       You will have seen those period movies in which people embark on steamers in crowded chaotic docks, where on arrival you are confronted with a seething chaos from which no order seems likely to emerge. Well that's what happened. There was little that Oceania could do about it but four cruise ships were embarking in Rio and the port facility is barely up to one. In fact all the passenger port facilities we visited in South America are in need of serious review. Miraculously we made it into the calm cool sophisticated Marina in reasonable time and our luggage even appeared.       There were issues for those embarking on the second leg starting in Valparaiso due to major problems with flights. Some poor folk left on the cruise without their luggage and didn't see it for 8 days due to the fairly remote destinations the ship visited and the number of sea days. Oceania could not do a lot about this either.       The Itinerary:       The ship stayed overnight in Rio, Valparaiso, Easter Island and Bora Bora. The one port where an overnight stay was necessary but not scheduled was Buenos Aires. The cruise offered considerable variety in ports including cities like Rio, Sao Paolo, Buenos Aires, Ushuaia and Valparaiso/Santiago, and the scenery and natural beauty of Patagonia and the Chilean fjords. The second cruise from Valparaiso to Papeete of course involved no cities but some amazing locations like Easter Island and the Society Islands. In other words we were very spoiled. If sea days aren't your thing then there would have been too many for you, and on a rough count about half the days were sea days with four in a row being the maximum.       Weather:       We were very lucky. Mostly it was warm to hot and fine except around Cape Horn. We didn't realize how cool it would get as we sailed south and Ushuaia is not a balmy place. Once we reached Valparaiso though the weather was warm and mostly fine again. The second leg of this cruise across the Pacific depended on fine weather and largely we got it, with peaceful seas and lots of sun, In Tahiti though it is the wet season and we had rain particularly on the first day. Difficult seas could also put at risk many ports on the Pacific leg and particularly Easter Island which was one of the great highlights of the cruise. All ports after Valparaiso and until Papeete were tender only and the only port we had to miss was Pitcairn Island, and the locals came aboard instead. We didn't consider this a great loss.   Demographic:       The guests on the first cruise (around South America) were wiser than the second, if age is a measure of that, but were largely vigorous and keen to charge out on excursions. The second cruise seemed to have a broader spread on nationalities. There were of course many from the US, a large Canadian contingent, few fellow Australians, some New Zealanders and quite a group of Europeans. On each cruise no more than 6-8 children.       We met many wonderful people and were very sad to bid them farewell.       Marina:       A beautiful ship. We have sailed on all the smaller Oceania ships before and loved them, but I think that Marina may have seduced us to the Oceania class ships. She is stylishly decorated, and well laid out. The ambiance on board the ship is of understated elegance although there isn't much that's understated about the Casino Bar, with its UV glow and avant garde furnishings. The Art is quite well selected and the whole ship has the feel of a floating palace.       The Christmas decorations were great.       Not everything is better than the smaller ships but Baristas, Red Ginger and Jacques, the Culinary Centre and Artists Lofts are among them. The gym is much better, and there are more sporting type activities. The Terrace Cafe is a stand out. The Library is not as good (but has been overly maligned - I still liked it and spent many hours there), and I like the Lounge better on the smaller ships.       The ship is never crowded, and there were times I wondered where everyone was. The pool deck area is large with heaps of sun chairs, and the pool is a reasonable size for a cruise ship.Food:       This is always subjective but hey, this is my review so I get to be subjective.       The Grand Dining Room menu's varied, and we didn't eat there all that much but enjoyed the food and the theatre of dining there. I prefer the room itself on the O ships, as it seems lighter and more spacious with higher ceilings. The food was in our view not generally as good as Terrace Cafe, and well below the specialty restaurants. That is not to say it was bad, and in fact it was better than previous cruises, and some meals were wonderful, but it maintains the fine tradition of Grand Dining Rooms being hit and miss. Service was good.       The Terrace Cafe is smart and elegant completely shrugging off any bad buffet connotations. Dining outside on balmy nights was wonderful. The food was fresh, varied, and well cooked. The grill is brilliant with good cuts of meat, Lobster, big shrimps, and too much more to mention. For breakfast the fruit was good although not always as ripe as I would like, and they ran out of some items for a few days toward the end of the cruise, chiefly berries and lettuce. The Pacific cant be an easy place to restock.       The ranking of the specialty restaurants was the subject of considerable family debate, ending in a stalemate. What was agreed was that Red Ginger was exceptional, and Toscana came second. The argument was hottest over Jacques and Polo. Lets just say that ranking these is silly but hey it's also fun. The fact is they are all good, with the caveat that red Ginger is a stand out. We were fortunate to get extra bookings and we ate at Red Ginger 5 times, Polo for 2, Toscana for 4 and Jacques 5.       We also booked for the La Reserve Connoisseur and Explorer menus. The former was expensive at $160 each, but a wonderful experience although you probably need to be a bigger foodie than I, and some of the effort may have been lost on me. The food is carefully selected and independently sourced and the wine matches. The Explorer menu was probably more me at $95 pp. It was also wonderful but more approachable.       The Wine Tastings undertaken by the head sommelier Oona were not to be missed. She was wonderful, informative and amusing, and La Reserve wine happy hours were a great initiative. Her army of sommeliers were knowledgeably, helpful ,efficient and friendly., particularly Vedran, Susanna, Enrique, and Alex. The wine tasting sessions ranged from $10 pp to $100 for a premium tasting. The premium wines were the sort I only get to try in a self indulgent wine tasting of this sort and included some super tuscans among other notable and famous wines..       Afternoon tea remains fantastic.       The Wine List gets a tick for well done. We didn't do the drinks package. I have an allergy to them and do not like them. We mostly drink wine and prefer to order bottles. An analysis of value for money showed it would not have paid off for us anyway. We don't drink enough (which is saying something) - I think you need to be a cocktail person for this to work.       Service:       This has really stepped up in my view. The staff of Marina were mostly all friendly and attentive without being suffocating. Many went well beyond this and were just delightful. In my view the leadership team is doing a great job and you can see how diligent they are about it.       We really liked David Shermet as a Cruise Director, and the General Manager was very approachable and helpful. The Reception desk is something I have in the past approached with trepidation but on this occasion found the staff efficient friendly and enormously patient.       Service around the Pool was generally good but could be a little more attentive to my every whim and sudden need for a drink. Philmar, at the bar was brilliant, addressed us by name from the first few days (no we didn't drink so much as to be instantly recognized.) Baristas was great and Alessio and Fabio made excellent coffee. The tender service was efficient and safe (in some heavy seas).       The Maitre D s at each restaurant were without exception excellent and the wait staff also very good with Red Ginger again the stand out with the fantastic Angie and Mical. It was wonderful crew members like these that made the whole journey exceptional.       I could and should name more but suffice it to say service was very good. No doubt there are some poor experiences but we didn't endure many, and on a cruise of 37 days that was impressive.       Activities:       I don't really do shows, but the Christmas show and the con Molto grand finale were fun. The music on board was generally good. The only criticism I have is a personal one. If there is one instrument Noah could have left off the ark to be forgotten in time, it would be the piano accordion, and so the duo violin and you guessed what wasn't exactly my thing. But then others may have loved it.       The enrichment lectures on both cruises were excellent and well attended with well chosen topics. The mysteries of scarf tying, and bingo weren't for me, and trivia is too scary. My wife loved the free bridge classes (also too scary for me). A Mahjong cabal seemed to be flourishing as well. There were dancing classes and whisky tastings, and cocktail making classes.       Matt at the gym provided a truly excellent lecture on nutrition that surprised me in its level of detail and his demonstrated expertise and knowledge. It even altered my eating habits (although sadly not my drinking habits).       I enjoyed my culinary class but my wife did not. We had different teachers and my wife felt hers was quite rude. Apparently she wasn't alone in that experience. The facility is great. I didn't use the Artist Loft, my artistic talent having long been judged well wanting.       We travelled with our kids. The 18 y/o threatened never to leave the ship and was perfectly happy. The 14 y/o professed boredom on occasion, but then she does that a few times a day in any event. She did however christened it the best holiday ever. Swimming with Mantas and Sharks and water sports in Tahiti clinching the deal. Not much is provided for kids although most of those on board on the second cruise were eventually introduced to each other and had a good time. On the first cruise language was something of a barrier.       Accommodation:       We were in concierge staterooms near midship and found them well appointed and spacious. Storage was fine for us, and the bathrooms were well laid out with a separate bath and shower.       While initially dubious about the concierge lounge we found it very useful, and the concierge lounge attendants on both cruises to be a great help. For a long cruise it makes a difference. We didn't use the spa deck much. My skin burns in moonlight so it wasn't for me.       Laundries on every deck work well and if the urge to do the laundry took you, it was never a hassle to get a washer and dryer.           Tours and Technology and other:       Not much has changed here. The tours remain over priced and not well reviewed in many cases. We took private tours that were usually much cheaper.       Internet remains a problem although it is improving and the per day charge worked well for us. Just don't try doing anything close to exciting online. Heaps of band width intensive programs seem to be blocked.       Oceania says internet is bad at sea, but I have had far better experiences on other lines.       The Medical Centre remains as expensive as ever, but I suppose we should be grateful we have it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
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