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Sail Date: December 2017
Superb time. Food and service were impeccable, as always; excursions were mostly excellent. Updates made to Sirena were nice improvements. The ideal cruise for mature adults (not recommended for children). Staff attentive, ... Read More
Superb time. Food and service were impeccable, as always; excursions were mostly excellent. Updates made to Sirena were nice improvements. The ideal cruise for mature adults (not recommended for children). Staff attentive, knowledgeable, helpful, pleasant, and engaging. Our cabin was always immaculate and well-stocked; our butler anticipated our every need. String quartet was the best we've encountered on Oceania. Lots of on-board activities, day and night: Bridge classes & afternoon social and duplicate play, Bingo, Team Trivia, great enrichment lectures, cooking demonstrations, variety of music shows, country fair, golf & ping pong, etc. One can be as athletic or couch-potato-ish as desired. But you're always going to have excellent food and drink. We were too pooped at the end of each day's activities to take advantage of the evening - and late evening - activities! Dining options are different on Sirena: Grand Dining Room essentially the same, but at lunch-time has a French Bistro vibe and menu. Toscana and Polo are combined into a Tuscan Steak House to make room for Red Ginger (as in the larger ships). Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our first cruise with Oceania, ship Sirena, for 35 days, 2017-2018. Picked this cruise line to experience a smaller passenger venue and interesting itinerary. Before the cruise, we stayed at the Best Western Bayside Inn in San ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Oceania, ship Sirena, for 35 days, 2017-2018. Picked this cruise line to experience a smaller passenger venue and interesting itinerary. Before the cruise, we stayed at the Best Western Bayside Inn in San Diego, very close to the ship terminal. This hotel picked you up at the airport and also took you to the cruise terminal. Bonus! Staff was very friendly and helpful. Room was very clean and more than adequate for a stopover. Bought our bottles of wine for our ship cabin at a new store called, Roma, a short walk away. It is an Italian deli style atmosphere so you could buy a meal, drinks or snacks if desired. Embarkation was painless, efficient and welcoming. Cabin 6016 was nicely appointed, plenty of closet, drawers and bathroom shelf space. Used fabric packing cases for the first time and they measured 9"wide x 12"long x 4" deep (could be 2" longer if you want) and they fit right into the drawers for easy access, also for final packing. In the beginning, we had A/C issues which were taken care of immediately. Our only complaint was the swaying of the ship which could really be felt. It took a little bit of time to adjust to the motion. We were not overly impressed with the food but you could always find something to eat. On the other hand, other passengers were very pleased with the cuisine. One thing that stands out for me, on two occasions, the lobster and shrimp were mushy to the taste in the Grand Dining Room. I had a better cooked lobster and shrimp at the Terrace Buffet. A special thanks to Uptal and Rangit for their expert cooking of it. We appreciated the Terrace Cafe Buffet method of serving food. All food was served by staff to avoid cross contamination. Kudos to the person who had that idea! Also, if you wanted to eat outdoors, there was a very nice area outside the dining room on the back deck. Tours? We did it ourselves. For our first stop, it was Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Since we had vacationed here before, we got off the ship, approached the local tourist information booth at the bottom of the gang plank and asked questions. The artisan' s market nearby was our focus, no lengthy tours. There is a shuttle that transports you, for free, to the market. Just ask the representative for directions. Across the road from the terminal is a Walmart, Sam's and a huge shopping mall. We replenished our room wine supplies and picked up some mosquito repellent and other toiletries. Beautiful Chilean and Argentinian red wine cost $6.00 to $8.00 U.S. a bottle. I booked one city tour in Nicaragua with "Julio Tours Nicaragua." I did so on line. No money up front, to be paid after the tour. For a van, it was $60.00 U.S. per person for a city tour of the colonial city of Leon. Refer to his web site for details as prices will fluctuate over time. -Entertainment was okay. Some shows were better than others. Overall we had a good time because the Oceania staff were exceptional and we met a lot of fun people to tour with. A special thanks to Nancy and Cal from California, John and Denise from Barrie, Ontario, Margaret and Mesfin from Geneva, Joy and Mike from Callander, Ontario and Kevin and Margaret from New Zealand for helping to create beautiful memories. Pros: -nice cabins-plenty of storage space-toiletries-outstanding Maid-Veronika and Cabin Stewart-Wayans who anticipated our every need-example:wine glasses for our room -food is okay-Terrace Buffet offers enough variety that you can find something to eat, lobster and shrimp almost every night was a real treat -Staff serving you in the Terrace Buffet eliminates cross contamination, food waste and food was served hot as well -service is excellent by all waiters on board-a special thank you to the Terrace Cafe staff where we ate most of the time-Dianne, Shane, Mary Jane, Joy, Sue, Alina, Jimmy, Juan, Uptal, Rangit, Yusseff, tall Milos, Ariel, Erik, Louisa, Maritisa just to name a few. -very interesting itinerary for the 35 days, enjoyed the sea days to recuperate after touring -shuttle bus almost at every port to transport you to the terminal, city central or artisan market -being able to bring wine on board for your cabin was a bonus-check out Puerto Vallarta's Walmart for great wine prices (no problem bringing "large" amounts on board) and beautiful, reasonably priced t-shirts-also purchased some reasonably priced, beaded, local crafted jewelry and colourful cotton pants at the Artisan market near the pier -excellent library facilities-no need to bring reading material -extra curricular activities during sea days if you wished to participate-Bingo, Bridge, Trivial Pursuit, Needlepoint, cake decorating, Ping Pong, Shuffleboard, Golf Putting, Bean Bag Toss, Canasta, Mah Jongg, Country Line Dancing etc. -live music playing everywhere on the ship at different times -4:00 pm. Horizon Tea Time is very elegantly served with a music ensemble -embarkation and disembarkation were very efficient and easy -thoroughly enjoyed the food and service at the Tuscan Steak Specialty Restaurant. -very clean ship in all areas -port side cabin seemed to be the best when docked for viewing and shade on the balcony -issue with A/C at the beginning of our voyage. The repairman was prompt and addressed the problem efficiently -Tourist table was set up inside, near the gangplank so you could secure a map or information before exploring. Bonus! Cons: -a big concern for people who suffer from seasickness-totally unexpected was the extremes of ship motion especially on the ocean segment and I don't get seasick-may have to insist on mid-ship cabin to avoid most of the turbulence -tours were outrageously expensive that were offered by the ship-arranged our own with local guides and with another couple on board for safety-see my descriptions of different tours,especially Manaus. -very few port talks about what to see outside the ship tours to familiarize yourself for independent exploring-ship information was dated at these talks and tourist bureaus at each port were overrun with passengers from other ships and English was limited-suggest you do your own research of each place prior to the cruise so independent touring is easier -beware of a ship doctor visit-could cost as much as the cruise itself-LOL-**take your own cold/cough medication, Cipro antibiotic, seasickness prevention -Destination Desk staff were very aloof and not very helpful especially in regards to ship to shore help at the end of the voyage. $519.00 U.S. for a van to take you to your hotel is unreasonable to ask. No guidance was given regarding reliable taxis at the terminal- fortunately, we found our own gypsy cab outside the cruise terminal, very reasonable, took U.S. money, $80.00 to Copacabana Beach, Golden Tulip Hotel Rio Leme Hotel (see review), good, safe driver, father and son enterprise, great help with our heavy suitcases, "Nascimento Tour" cell: (55+21) 99701-2813 97058-8820 -regular taxis wanted $100.00 U.S. -did not enjoy the Red Ginger Specialty Restaurant. Service was excellent but the spice cilantro, garlic were used heavily in everything you ordered. You have to like those spices. -stores on board were lacking in variety-overkill with jewelry promotions -passengers were mainly very elderly people who did not appear happy for the most part-if you laughed at meals you received disapproving stares from the old folk around you-we are seniors but I felt overwhelmed by the sadness of the older people, on the other hand, no children aboard and we met some like-minded people to party with. -"free" internet was very spotty and you kept losing connection Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise rather last minute when we had to abandon plans for a land tour due to a number of reasons. We are so glad we did. This cruise embarked 60 miles from our home making it easy to get to with no prior arrangements. ... Read More
We chose this cruise rather last minute when we had to abandon plans for a land tour due to a number of reasons. We are so glad we did. This cruise embarked 60 miles from our home making it easy to get to with no prior arrangements. And, the itinerary included a couple of destinations that were high on our TO See list. This ship isn't really equipped for or caters to children. So I would not think it would be a good choice for families. The string quartet was excellent and we enjoyed their music before dinner every evening and at afternoon tea when we added that to our busy schedule. The staff on board was attentive, friendly and very approachable. Food quality, selection, preparation and presentation in the Terrance Buffet, Main Dining Room, and in the specialty dining Red Ginger and Toscan Steak House is exceptional and better than on any ship on which we have cruised. The ports were all interesting and most of.our excursions were made through folks on Cruise Critic. The ship tours were disappointing, but we had only a couple of them. They were rushed, had too many people and were held up by folks who were mobility impaired resulting in considerable loss of valuable siteseeing time at the various stops. Also, many of the guests on the ship tours chat endlessly so that it is hard to hear the commentary of the local guides. We avoid ship tours for those reasons. We will sail again on the Sirena or other Oceania ships and look forward to doing so. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We just returned from a 35 day cruise on Oceania's newest ship - Sirena. This is actually one of the old "R" ships which Oceania has 3 of already. Sirena is now the 4th "R" ship. When Oceania took over this ship ... Read More
We just returned from a 35 day cruise on Oceania's newest ship - Sirena. This is actually one of the old "R" ships which Oceania has 3 of already. Sirena is now the 4th "R" ship. When Oceania took over this ship from Princess, it was in deplorable shape and underwent a massive renovation. Horizons was redone completely opening up the room making it more functional. Princess had added men's and woman's bathrooms which is necessary as the old "R" ships don't have a bathroom on the 10th floor and one has to walk down one flight. The room now is much nicer. I hope they will add bathrooms to the other smaller "R" ships. The Penthouse cabins have been redone. The bathroom which had a small shower and tub, has been upgraded. They took out the tub and shower and made a much larger shower, which is great. We unfortunately were in one of the veranda cabins which doesn't appear to have been updated. But we visited a penthouse and the occupants really enjoyed the changes. Restaurants: The "R" ships have 2 nice restaurants aft on 10 and one Main Dining room on deck 5. Then there is the Terrace café on deck 9 which is a self serve lunch and dinner facility. The change that Oceania made was in the 2 restaurants on deck 10. Oceania's other "R" ships have the Polo Grill and Toscana on 10. Oceania turned these 2 restaurants into one for one of the restaurants on deck10 combining both menus. So we still get our lobster, and steaks, plus some of the great Italian dishes Oceania is famous for. This restaurant is called The Tuscan Grill. To be noted is that not all of the menu items that were in Polo and Toscana are offered. The trade off is the other restaurant on 10 was turned into Oceania's famous "Red Ginger" (which is only on their larger ships) and is absolutely beautiful. RG doesn't exit on the other R ships that Oceania owns. I really like this change because I enjoy RG. Then Oceania added Jacques for lunch in the MDR. This has been fabulous! Of course, now we're fighting the extra pounds we gained with all this wonderful food. The other services on Sirena are the same as all of Oceania's ships' services. The officers and staff are always wonderful. Ports of Call: It's important to research this before you book a cruise. If you enjoy luxury ports where the towns visited are clean and beautiful, don't book a cruise that goes to the Amazon. But if you want to learn about the primitive life along the Amazon and the history of this part of the world, then you will enjoy this cruise. Oceania always comes up with different and interesting ports to visit. Entertainment: I usually enjoy the shows that are put on by the hired entertainers but this cruise we only had 5 such shows for 35 days. The CD, Dottie who is fabulous, asked the 2 top entertainers to come up with a show on their own. This was the best show they played. The other entertainment is usually one person playing an instrument. While these people are usually good, it makes for a boring show in my opinion. I think for longer cruises, some of the main production shows should be repeated. Since they are always held at 9:30 sometimes people are not finished dinner yet, or are too tired to attend. This would give options. This cruise took place over the holidays, and it was the first time we've ever been away for the holidays. The ship was beautifully decorated and we enjoyed the festivities that Oceania created. We were also given a nice gift from Oceania. In close, I understand that Oceania put a lot of money into renovations of Sirena, but it seems to be a work in progress with a lot to still be done. I enjoyed the different feel of Sirena. I also enjoy cruising on their larger ships. Sirena adds a variety to the fleet with the changes Oceania has made. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We are experienced cruisers with more than 50 cruises. This was our second cruise with Oceania. The first one was, 10 years ago. This review is about a 35 days cruise on the Oceania Sirena from San Diego to Rio de Janeiro including the ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers with more than 50 cruises. This was our second cruise with Oceania. The first one was, 10 years ago. This review is about a 35 days cruise on the Oceania Sirena from San Diego to Rio de Janeiro including the Amazon River. During our trip, I have also had a live thread, which can be seen on the Oceania Forum. We had a wonderful cruise on board Oceania Sirena. The cruise came to an end and we are back home now. About the ship The ship was familiar from the beginning, because we have cruised before many times with Azamara, which has the same type of ships. Standard Cabins are small and bathrooms are tiny. The ship and cabins are well maintained and kept in a pristine condition. An area of improvement could be to add or renew the filter for the type of smoke that comes out of the ship, when in movement. That smoke was for us, many times, annoying when sitting at the Terrace outside for lunch. It has a peculiar smell. Nevertheless our overall impression of the ship is very positive. About the itinerary We have chosen this cruise because we were interested in cruising the Amazon river. As a matter of fact if Oceania would not have offered that possibility, we would have not taken this cruise. The ship started in San Diego, which for us, international guests, is more complicated than Los Angeles or Miami. The ports of call in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean were as good as any port in those areas. Our favorites were Tobago and Curaçao. I would have preferred to stay overnight in one of those ports and maybe skip Bridgetown. The crossing of the Panama Canal as usual spectacular. An interesting port, because of the historical implications was Devils Island. The cruising of the Amazon river did not disappoint us. On the contrary, we had lowered our expectations, thinking that cruising there with a large ship was not going to be that good. We were surprised by the diversity of the ports and we have enjoyed most of them. I did not like Santarem very much because I found it very loud, with loudspeakers everywhere. We have enjoyed Manaus, Parintins and Alter do Chao. The other Brazilian ports outside the Amazon, were all known to us: Fortaleza, Recife, Salvador Bahia and Rio. We like Salvador Bahia the most and we were surprised by a different aspect from Recife. Rio de Janeiro was our disembarking port and having been there many times we did not stay. Overall, we are satisfied with the itinerary. About the entertainment on board There were plenty of activities on board: bridge, golf putting, knitting, pilates, etc. We have appreciated very much the enrichment lectures, specially from Dr. Don Klein. We have learned a lot through those lectures. The production shows on small ships like Oceania Sirena are not particularly inviting. I do appreciate the efforts of the young entertainers but somehow, those shows are not to our taste. Maybe because we do not know the music being played. We have liked single performances like the one from Jamie Stewart: music from Frank Sinatra and friends. Our favorite entertainers were the Panache string quartet and the Band. We have tried not to miss their performances. About the food and wine Yes, we do think Oceania has the best dining experience in comparison to other ocean cruise lines. We found the house select package a good choice as part of the Olife offer. Now, this was a long cruise of 35 days, so there were many repetitions of food. Since Oceania offers many restaurants we have tried to avoid getting bored by changing venues as much as we could. Our favorite restaurant is the Red Ginger. The wines included in the house select package, were all quite good imho. Now, some were better than others and unfortunately those better wines would disappear quite soon. It was confusing because the lists of available wines were not updated. I imagine that it is a matter of logistics. This is an area of improvement since it has caused many complaints not only during this cruise but we remember having seen it also before our cruise in discussions of Oceania cruises at the Cruise Critics Forum. Despite of this, we are very satisfied with the quality of food and wine during our cruise. About the shore excursions I guess the main complaint about the shore excursions with Oceania are the prices and that the excursion’s team is not really interested in providing port information unless you have booked an excursion with them. We have booked only two ship excursions and they were fine. Since we have done many things on our own in the ports, we could see that prices of excursions when bought locally were half the price. I am not sure who is getting the overheads for those inflated prices for excursions. Anyhow, we consider this a weakness. About the shops and the services at the Spa Similar to the shore excursions, the prices at the Spa are very expensive even comparing to other ocean cruise lines. So we did not use those services. The shops unfortunately, did not have in our opinion, a good selection of products. We were lucky that we did not choose the option of non refundable on board credit as part of the Olife offer. We would have been in trouble spending it. About the officers, the crew and service on board We are very satisfied with the excellent service on board the Sirena. The restaurant managers, sommeliers, waiters and cabin attendants were efficient and friendly. We did not experience any situation, in which who could have had a reason to complain. The Manager, Rafaelle Cinque, the Cruise Director and the Concierge were always available and taking corrective action in case of need. We are happy to have cruise with such high qualified and friendly officers and we hope to meet them again. A BIG thanks to all of them. They have made us feel at home and have treated us, as if we were very important persons. Our overall assessment of our cruise with the Oceania Sirena is that it was a very good cruise. We would certainly now actively look for Oceania offers when we are looking for future cruises. Our thanks go also to the cruise critic members, who have followed my live thread. You have encouraged me with your interest and comments to share our experiences with you. It was not always easy, since I was some days lazy, but you an me, made it together. Have happy cruises! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
The itinerary. We have traveled a lot & truly enjoy venturing to different countries. We like to engage with the locals wherever we visit to find out what the heartbeat of the community is & what makes it tick, On this ... Read More
The itinerary. We have traveled a lot & truly enjoy venturing to different countries. We like to engage with the locals wherever we visit to find out what the heartbeat of the community is & what makes it tick, On this particular trip we met people who were aghast at some of the ports & extremely poor communities we visited. We found the mindset of these people had expectations that it was just like home & could not believe that Oceania would take them to such places. The reason to travel is to broaden ones horizons & see how the rest of the world lives & copes with their lot in life. Everyone has a story & it is so important to listen??? The naysayers complaints were 1st. world country & I truly hope that when they returned to their homes that they would take a few minutes to reflect on the hardships of others. The Sirena crew were wonderful---they would do anything to please their guests & from the captain right down to a deck hand they fostered a wonderful ambience that felt like one big family. My hat is of to each & everyone who were part of our wonderful journey---thank you from the bottom of our hearts & we look forward to joining you again in the near future. The only thing that we would fault Oceania on were our flights. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose the cruise for the Itinerary and based on Oceania's reputation. Well yes the food exceeded expectations, so much so it was too fancy and by the end of the cruise we were looking for plain and simple. The Entertainment was ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the Itinerary and based on Oceania's reputation. Well yes the food exceeded expectations, so much so it was too fancy and by the end of the cruise we were looking for plain and simple. The Entertainment was very, I mean very poor with old and has been entertainers, a lot of repetitive entertainment and a poor use of the ships own entertainers. Do not cruise Oceania if you want to be entertained you will be disappointed. Shore excursions, we did only do 2 Ships excursions but both lacked content and were vastly over priced. Passengers .. the vast majority of guests were great and this helped to at least make the sea days bearable as although they offer activity's its the same old boring stuff over and over again. Crew .... The Room Stewards, Waiters, Drink staff all worked their butts off and were excellent. The Officers were aloof and did not really mix or respond to the passengers, preferring to mainly look the other way when they walked past. And lastly if you happen to book and get a BEST PRICE Guarantee, don't count on it we found it was not worth the paper it was printed on due to the FINE PRINT. We will most probably not be back, having cruised in excess of 60 times with other much better lines, Goodbye Oceania and Good Riddance. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Cruise: San Diego to Rio de Janeiro on Oceania's Sirena - December 16, 2017 to January 20, 2018. Cabin - Concierge Balcony Category A1 This was our (my wife and I) 19th cruise and first one with Oceania. We chose this cruise ... Read More
Cruise: San Diego to Rio de Janeiro on Oceania's Sirena - December 16, 2017 to January 20, 2018. Cabin - Concierge Balcony Category A1 This was our (my wife and I) 19th cruise and first one with Oceania. We chose this cruise because we liked the itinerary and also because we had sailed on the R1 with Renaissance, around the turn of the century, and had fond memories of that sister ship. We are going to get rid of the sour taste in our mouth, up front, before we go on! LINGERING SOUR TASTE: The one area we were extremely disappointed with was the Destination Services area (Shore Excursions and Port Services). The excursion costs were exorbitant, excursion contents were way below par, some tour guides were high school students, some tour guides could speak very little English, the department staff had none or very little port information/assistance to offer and were totally unresponsive and tactless, almost to the point of being rude (including Gustavo Brasil, the manager ~ I have no Supervisor on the ship. Fill this form and complain to Miami office ~ who was almost never to be seen except when he came for his dinner). Waste of BIG money and waste of valuable opportunities on Oceania’s shore excursions! Ah, that feels better! On to the rest of our experience!! DEMOGRAPHICS: Most of the guests appeared to be between 65 to 85 years of age (few younger, some older). While there were people from several parts of Europe, Australasia and some other places, most of the people were from the US, UK and Canada. SHIP: In spite of its age, Sirena is a very beautiful, well appointed and generally well maintained ship (brass railings on the stairs need to be polished, though). However, the ship appeared to be under-powered for the itinerary and we found ourselves racing at maximum rated speeds many a times (sometimes even slightly above the maximum rated speed), presumably to catch up on time. The ship rocked way too much (the pitch - front to back, more often than roll - side to side), just about everyday. The Tender Service was very good. The SIrena, Regatta, Insignia and Nautica (the smaller 4 Oceania ships) do not offer as many benefits/amenities at the Concierge Balcony A1 level as Oceania's larger ships. The Cabins were small but well maintained and furnished tastefully with reasonable amount of storage space. The public places were very nicely decorated and well maintained. The Library - collection, furniture, decor and maintenance - was excellent. SERVICE: The Embarkation and Disembarkation were quite smooth with a minimal wait. The cabin was ready a bit ahead of time. The bags were handled carefully and delivered promptly. The Officers were quite visible, friendly and easily approachable. The staff was very friendly and generally very eager to please guests in almost all areas - Special Mention must be made of Housekeeping, Laundry Service, Entertainment and Restaurants' staff. Sirena held a mid-voyage survey about guest experience and they actually read the filled forms and followed through with responses/corrections right away - Impressive! The exception to the foregoing being the Destinations Services (Shore Excursions and Port Services) Department. FOOD: This is a mixed bag with quality of dishes, variety in menus, and service being inconsistent from restaurant to restaurant. (a) There are 2 Specialty Restaurants (Red Ginger - Oriental, Tuscan Steak - Italian Steak House) and there is no extra cover charge for either. Each offers its own exact same menu every day, from day to day. The food and ambiance in both is mediocre with Tuscan Steak being a bit better than Red Ginger. The locations of the two restaurants is poor - Deck 10 Aft. Both are generally not crowded and service in both restaurants is good. (b) The Grand Dining Room (main restaurant) is spacious, has excellent decor and the food quality is good with a different menu every day but the service was extremely slow. If you didn't mind spending 2+ hours at a dinner table then this is your place. This restaurant also served Lunch as Jacques Bistro. (c) Terrace Cafe is a semi-casual buffet. This is a popular place and seating is tight, at times, for the demand. It has a large variety on the menu from day to day with lobster tails, steaks and shrimp (all cooked to order before you) every day. The service and food quality are both excellent. (d) Waves Grill is a pool side grill (under shade) and has a salad and dessert bar and cooked to order (limited) entrees. The food and service is good and this a good place for a quick lunch. (e) Room Service is at no extra charge and in addition to the three meals it is available for snacks in between meal hours. The menu is, of course, limited but the food is good. The quality of delivery service is somewhat sub-par with orders not being filled right or at times delayed (luke warm). The mini-bar in the cabin is stocked daily with soft drinks of your choice at no extra cost (charge for alcoholic drinks/snacks). (f) There are some nice special features like the Four O'Clock Tea in the Horizons Bar, two Cocktail Parties (more for repeat guests), Cake Decorating and Ginger Bread House Decorating Contests, Food Demos and Themed Dinners which sometimes include local fare. PORT INFORMATION & ENRICHMENT LECTURES: This is one of two areas that was sub-par (the other being Shore Excursions). In this case it was either because of bad/boring information or bad presenters. ENTERTAINMENT: The Serena has a small but a very talented and energetic entertainment staff headed by an excellent Cruise Director, Dotty. They have great personalities, work well together and also double up for a variety of other on-board activities. Special mention must be made of Frank, Gabriela, Hunter and Shandy, the vocalists. The orchestra does a good job! The String Quartet is excellent! The talent, quality and style of outside contracted artists/entertainers varied and could use improvement. Special mention must be made of the excellent Bridge Instructors/Tournament Directors team of Dave and Dianne who did an outstanding job! On-board Entertainment is Sirena's untold secret. SHORE EXCURSIONS: We should have done our research about Oceania's Destination Services (Shore Excursion and Port Services) prior to booking. As indicated above, this is a major shortcoming of Oceania and apparently quite well known, but we were not aware of that. This is a major Black-Mark on the image of an otherwise good ship/cruise line. Enough said about this area! THE BOTTOM LINE(S): On the whole, it was a good cruise but definitely over-priced for the value. Sirena is a beautiful, well maintained ship. But it was under-powered for this itinerary and therefore mis-matched for this cruise. It has an excellent entertainment staff and very good shows for a small ship. The food and restaurants are significantly over-rated. The cost of Shore Excursions was exorbitant and the content was terrible – they were the worst we have experienced in our 19 cruises. It has excellent officers and staff who provided excellent service (except Destinations Services/Shore Excursions staff). If you like a quiet ambiance and good service, can handle the daily rocking of the ship, you want lobster tails, shrimp and steak for every lunch/dinner, you get port information on your own and arrange port visits/excursions through your own vendors, or stay on board during port stops and and read a book in the wonderful library, or buy your favorite drink in a short/tall glass and lay by the pool, enjoy the sunshine and get a good tan, and, yes, you don't mind the cost of all this, then this is definitely your cruise and you will love it! Now we know what Oceania is all about and hope our above experience is useful to you! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
The ship broke down after leaving Honolulu, had to be towed by tugs back to port. Stuck in Honolulu for three days. Missed 40% of ports of call on the San Diego to Papeete Cruise. Feelings of insecurity, uncertainty and disappointment. ... Read More
The ship broke down after leaving Honolulu, had to be towed by tugs back to port. Stuck in Honolulu for three days. Missed 40% of ports of call on the San Diego to Papeete Cruise. Feelings of insecurity, uncertainty and disappointment. Oceania offered $500 shipboard credit on cruise in 2018/19 as compensation and that's all. No respect or empathy for passengers. Trying to benefit from passenger misfortune and their failure to provide a sea worthy ship. This is an example of anonymous corporate bean counters sabotaging the hard work and sincere efforts of the crew and staff to provide a high quality cruise experience. Many passengers were extremely angry and frustrated and will take legal action, write trip reviews and certainly not sail with Oceania again. The company emphasizes their committment to passanger satisfaction but when they have an opportunity to prove it we realize it's all just marketing lip service Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We found what we believed to be and should have been a once in a lifetime 18 day paradise cruise to the South Pacific. It was an anniversary so we went big and purchased a Vista Suite. Left from San Diego on Nov 1 for a wonderful 5 day ... Read More
We found what we believed to be and should have been a once in a lifetime 18 day paradise cruise to the South Pacific. It was an anniversary so we went big and purchased a Vista Suite. Left from San Diego on Nov 1 for a wonderful 5 day cruise aboard the Regatta to Honolulu. Schedule was one day on Honolulu, then to Kauai for a day, Maui for most of a day, a 4 day cruise to Farakova then to Nuku Hiva, Bora Bora, Moorea and Tahiti. Problem is we left Honolulu at midnight and about 1 am the ship went totally dead in the water with zero power anywhere, i.e. no toilets, water, nothing. At 5 am the Captain announced that we all needed to muster in common areas as they were running out of battery power and would not be able to communicate to the passengers. This was done and I must say the crew was fantastic, keeping all calm and happy. Turns out one issue was the emergency generator did not work at first, thus no power for the ship. We do not know why it went dead in the water. Final result was a tow back to Honolulu where we were allowed to disembark after noon to spend another half day on Oahu (not the best of the islands). Next morning we were told we were not going to leave until probably after noon so we were off for another half day repeat and back by 1:30 to spend another half day on board in port, not leaving until 9 that evening. Instead of seeing Kauai, Maui and Farakova, we cruised for another 5 days directly to Nuku Hiva. The rest of the cruise went very well but for missing 3 important islands Oceania offered a free cocktail party and $500 toward a future cruise in the next two years. Oh, and the chartered flight from Papeete to LA was supposed to leave at 10 but even the day before they found out it would not leave until 1 am. Many of us, ourselves included, had to miss our connections and in our case it cost us another $750 to change and book another flight. Very unacceptable. Please do not get me wrong here. Oceania is a wonderful line, the crew always exceptional and the food spectacular. The Vista Suite on the bow was a great way to go and we did have a great time overall, but of course were very disappointed to miss three islands. Regatta is a terrific ship and our first in the smaller class. We found that for us, we probably prefer the larger version with more restaurants, boutiques and other amenities but hey, that is personal. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
This cruise was to celebrate our 50th anniversary and we had always wanted to travel to Tahiti and French Polynesia, plus the stops in Hawaii were also of interest. We have been to Hawaii before and were looking forward to Maui as we ... Read More
This cruise was to celebrate our 50th anniversary and we had always wanted to travel to Tahiti and French Polynesia, plus the stops in Hawaii were also of interest. We have been to Hawaii before and were looking forward to Maui as we have some favorite spots there we wanted to visit, plus had never been to Kauai. This was the unfortunate cruise that lost power and sat in Honolulu for three days. I won't go into details as others have stated at length the problems that guests were subjected to when they wrote their reviews. When the revised itinerary was given to us their letter said there would be "only minor adjustments to our itinerary". Imagine our surprise when we realized that minor adjustments meant we would lose 3 of the 8 ports, or nearly 40% of our cruise ports!!! Minor??? They referred to the loss of power as "Technical Issues". I agree with others that this is more than technical issues, these are major problems and this ship either needs to be totally overhauled, or retired. It was frightening to think of the outcome if loss of power had happened when we were hundreds of miles away from any assistance!! We spoke to the concierge on two occasions about compensation for the loss of such a big part of our cruise experience. On both occasions he told us to write to guest relations at the home office when we got home, to request compensation, implying that there would be something available, but not until the cruise was over. That was all fluff, he just wanted to get us away from his desk so he didn't have to listen to our frustrations. I believe he always knew Oceania would do nothing more than cruise credits. How dumb do you have to be to spend more money on a cruise line that fails to provide the trip that was promised the first time you traveled with them. Because this was a special trip for us, we pulled out all the stops and reserved a Penthouse stateroom, plus a deluxe dayroom at a resort in Papeete while we waited for our flight back to CA. Considering everything we spent, flights to and from California, excursions, tipping of staff, hotel stays at both ends of the trip, our cost was upward of $20,000. So we felt we had a legitimate argument for some kind of compensation, if nothing more than to refund the port charges and taxes for the 3 stops that were eliminated. NOPE! They just wanted to give us a few more dollars in cruise credits. It was insulting!! Our travel agent also intervened on our behalf to request a refund, but they didn't even acknowledge her email. As to what we received while on the ship, the food was OK but not the excellent cuisine that we had heard about with Oceania. They made a big deal about making reservations to the two specialty restaurants, but we did not find them to be exceptional at all. We actually preferred eating evening meals in the Grand Dining Room. We were very pleased with the staff, our butler was absolutely wonderful, as were all of the housekeeping crew, servers in the restaurants, attendants on the pool deck, etc. They all gave us wonderful service for which we tipped generously. Entertainment was mediocre most of the time, but we weren't expecting any broadway shows on a ship of this size with fewer than 600 passengers. We attended several of the evening shows, and also several of the daytime lectures, which were generally quite informative. Public areas of the ship were attractive, but showing their age. Our overall feeling after the cruise was relief to get home safely and sadly we felt we had spent alot of money for experiences we didn't receive. Instead of owning up to their responsibility to their guests, after the cruise was over, Oceania sent out letters with hollow platitudes and apologies, telling us our comments had been noted for Oceania's "reflection and future planning". How does that help the passenger who lost out on their trip? Lastly I would like to comment on the onslaught of brochures and publications that Oceania continues to send us with the beautiful pictures of faraway places we might want to cruise to. We receive at least one or two per week. If they devoted even a fraction of their promotional budget to delivering what we were promised, they wouldn't have to work so hard to get new guests. Their existing customers would be coming back for add'l cruises. Every time we receive another mailing from them it is like salt in the wound. We would just like the forget this cruise!!! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise because of the 8 ports scheduled and the area. Due to a power failure we were tugged back to Oahu in the middle of the night, no lights, no toilets, and we were evacuated to the 9th deck in our pajamas and jackets for ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the 8 ports scheduled and the area. Due to a power failure we were tugged back to Oahu in the middle of the night, no lights, no toilets, and we were evacuated to the 9th deck in our pajamas and jackets for 4 hours. We were stuck in Oahu for 3 days while the ship was "fixed". There was a fire on board during that time with no explanation given. 3 ports were eliminated from our itinerary, ones that were important to us. The incident was called an "inconvenience". Upon leaving the ship in Papeete, we were bused to a hotel meeting room where we sat for 12 hours. Our charter flight was delayed 4 hours, causing a change in our connection at LAX. We missed our flight to San Diego because LAX immigration was so crowded. Our luggage made it to SD but we did not. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We wanted to visit Hawaii and French Polynesia and the time fit in with our schedule. I am writing in Papeete Tahiti Airport, for a flight that doesn’t leave for 10 hours. Oceania Cruise Line arranged this wonderful itinerary prior ... Read More
We wanted to visit Hawaii and French Polynesia and the time fit in with our schedule. I am writing in Papeete Tahiti Airport, for a flight that doesn’t leave for 10 hours. Oceania Cruise Line arranged this wonderful itinerary prior to our cruise from San Diego to Tahiti, November 1 to 19, 2017. My wife and I are seasoned cruisers having 24 cruises under our belts, 3 with Oceania. On this cruise the first 5 days across to Honolulu were uneventful except for the food which was, for lack of a better word, insignificant!!!! (Oceania prides itself on the finest cuisine). After spending a day in Honolulu we proceeded to our next destination, Kauai. 2 a.m. all is dark and quiet. Engines broke down, no power, Captain came on intercom “emergency power”. Everyone up to Terrace Café and Horizon Lounge. At day light we were allowed back to our cabins. Very little communication from the Captain while they repaired whatever. We were never told what happened only that testing was being done and we were to resume our voyage 2 days later “with trepidation”. Prior to the departure there were a few guests that left the cruise, terrified!!!! Our new announced itinerary skipped Maui, Kauai and Fakarava in French Polynesia. We lost 3 destinations out of 8. Hundreds of guests complained to Concierge and were told that the company would be coming out with a letter of explanation and compensation. Our trip cost us $10,700.00 with air from Papeete to LAX. We received an offer of $500 future cruise credit usable in 2018-19 – WOW!!! What an insult to our intelligence. We lose over 1/3 of our itinerary and they offer a cruise credit which costs them nothing!!! We had expected at least $1,000.00 cash/credit. Very nervous continuing another 5 days at sea at ¾ speed cause they didn’t want to tax the engines. We were not going to complain about other aspects of our trip but after this experience we might as well spell it out!!! Room - smallest balcony stateroom ever, smallest bathroom, smallest shower Food - rotten anchovies in Caesar salad - Cold food - constantly tough cuts of beef, pork lamb - rubbery lobster - cold soups at lunch and strange tasting - poached eggs cooked in too much vinegar – rubbery chicken stew – cold fresh fruit served on hot dishes taken out of dishwasher – cold, rubbery scrambled eggs etc etc etc Internet – slowest on the planet – we were not able to reply to emails – toooooo slow. Entertainment – poor to mediocre To add insult to insult the final port was Papeete, arriving at 8.00 p.m. on a Saturday night. Guests leaving the cruise were told to be off the ship by 8.00 a.m. Sunday. They were not given the opportunity to take advantage of tours offered to guests continuing on to New Zealand. Stores were closed since it was Sunday. Upon questioning what was available for guests while waiting for the chartered fight leaving at 10.00 p.m. we were told we could pay $150 each and go to a hotel where we could sit in the lobby and drink free coffee and juices. It should go without saying the guests were extremely fed up with the way they had been treated by Oceania. Oceania was happy to take their money and dump them as soon as possible!!!! Oh, by the way the plane did not leave at 10 p.m. on Sunday due to an Air France strike – plane left at 1.00 a.m. Monday morning arriving LAX 8 hours later only to sit for an hour on the tarmac waiting for a gate. We would appreciate your explanation as to why you did not provide the guests with the true experience you mention as set out in the top right hand corner on page 8 of the Cruise Vacation Guide Book i.e. “OCEANIA CRUISES PIONERED OVERNIGHT PORT STAYS AND LATE EVENING DEPARTURES, ALLOWING GUESTS TO TRULY EXPERIENCE EACH DESTINATION TO ITS FULLEST” This DID NOT happen in Papeete – the true experience was being kicked off the boat with no thanx!!!!!! We could go on and on but why belabor it. It was a 19 year old tub, badly in need of repairs. “Regatta” Don’t go, you may be sorry, we were!!!!!!!!!!!! If asked for recommendations you can assume what they will be!!!! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Wanted to visit hawaii and french polynesia. oceania cruise line arranged this wonderful itinerary prior to our cruise from san diego to tahiti, november 1 to 19, 2017. My husband and i are seasoned cruisers having 24 cruises under ... Read More
Wanted to visit hawaii and french polynesia. oceania cruise line arranged this wonderful itinerary prior to our cruise from san diego to tahiti, november 1 to 19, 2017. My husband and i are seasoned cruisers having 24 cruises under our belts, 2 with oceania. On this cruise the first 5 days across to honolulu we had no air conditioning or hot water. Safe not working. food which was, for lack of a better word, insignificant!!!! (oceania prides itself on the finest cuisine). After spending a day in honolulu we proceeded to our next destination, kauai. 2 a.m. All went dark and quiet. Engines broke down, no power, captain came on intercom “emergency power”. Everyone up to terrace café and horizon lounge. At day light we were allowed back to our cabins. Very little communication from the captain while they repaired whatever. We were never told what happened only that testing was being done and we were to resume our voyage 2 days later “with trepidation”. Prior to the departure there were a few guests that left the cruise, terrified!!!! Our new announced itinerary skipped maui, kauai and fakarava in french polynesia. While in port of honolulu fire caught on deck 11.officers smoking area. They announced it was a small fire. While looking down 11 fire trucks were at the bottom of the ship. we lost 3 destinations out of 8. Hundreds of guests complained to concierge and were told that the company would be coming out with a letter of explanation and compensation. Our trip cost us $ 15,000 with air from papeete to lax. We received an offer of $500 future cruise credit usable in 2018-19 – wow!!! What an insult to our intelligence. We lose over 1/3 of our itinerary and they offer a cruise credit which costs them nothing!!! We had expected at least $1,000.00 cash/credit. Very nervous continuing another 5 days at sea at ¾ speed cause they didn’t want to tax the engines. We were not going to complain about other aspects of our trip but after this experience we might as well spell it out!!! Room - smallest balcony stateroom ever, smallest bathroom, smallest shower Food - rotten anchovies in Caesar salad - Cold food - constantly tough cuts of beef, pork lamb - rubbery lobster - cold soups at lunch and strange tasting - poached eggs cooked in too much vinegar – rubbery chicken stew – cold fresh fruit served on hot dishes taken out of dishwasher – cold, rubbery scrambled eggs etc etc etc Internet – slowest on the planet – we were not able to reply to emails – toooooo slow. Entertainment – poor to mediocre To add insult to insult the final port was papeete, arriving at 8.00 p.m. On a saturday night. Guests leaving the cruise were told to be off the ship by 8.00 a.m. Sunday. They were not given the opportunity to take advantage of tours offered to guests continuing on to new zealand. Stores were closed since it was sunday. Upon questioning what was available for guests while waiting for the chartered fight leaving at 10.00 p.m. We were told we could pay $150 each and go to a hotel where we could sit in the lobby and drink free coffee and juices. It should go without saying the guests were extremely fed up with the way they had been treated by oceania. Oceania was happy to take their money and dump them as soon as possible!!! We would appreciate your explanation as to why you did not provide the guests with the true experience you mention as set out in the top right hand corner on page 8 of the cruise vacation guide book i.e. “OCEANIA CRUISES PIONERED OVERNIGHT PORT STAYS AND LATE EVENING DEPARTURES, ALLOWING GUESTS TO TRULY EXPERIENCE EACH DESTINATION TO ITS FULLEST” This did not happen in papeete – the true experience was being kicked off the boat with no thanx!!!!!! We could go on and on but why belabor it. It was a 19 year old tub, badly in need of repairs. “regatta” don’t go, you may be sorry, we were!!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We had cruised from san diego on a 19 day cruise to hawaii and tahiti. we stopped in honolulu for a day and left at 12 midnight. . approx. 2 to 3 in the morning ; i found the room to be very stuffy.. Soon afterward the captain got on the ... Read More
We had cruised from san diego on a 19 day cruise to hawaii and tahiti. we stopped in honolulu for a day and left at 12 midnight. . approx. 2 to 3 in the morning ; i found the room to be very stuffy.. Soon afterward the captain got on the pa to inform us they had lost all power on the ship and ship was dead in the water.. worse than that the aux. Power would not go on ... Therefore the captain (rightfully so) instructed all passangers to go to open pool area because there would be daylight shortly and it would be dangerous for anybody to walk about in the dark.. worse part of this 'incident' is the good will gesture oceania had offerred all passangers .. A future cruise credit of $500 towards a future cruise. are you kidding!!! also, they changed the itenerary.but not informed of the change till after the ship was cleared to leave honlulu (ps we had to be towed into honolulu ...even though the power eventually came back on).. moreover, the captain instructed evrybody to be back on the ship bt 2:30pm (believe it was november 8th) with further info re departure. .. Never recieved info re departure till after 8pm when the ship was about to leave and most of the passangers were at dinner. We were informed the change of itenerary would be in print in the stateroom.. Upon review of the new intenerary, we were informed of loss of 3 ports and added 5 more sea days. this is not what i signed up for... If given my drutherers and given the opportunity i would have left the cruise in honolulu..... By the way ncl executives had flown in from miami were on the ship when the change of intnerary occurred ncl and oceania messed up terribly miss handeled this situation and owes each passanger more than the $500.00 future cruisecredit... This is an insult we have choices for future cruises..for me it will not be the regatta or oceania. Read Less
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