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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
I would not recommend cruising on Oceania’s Insignia ship. I have traveled on the Regatta once and the Marina twice, with an excellent experience on each. The Insignia does not rise to the level of service and quality of the other ships. ... Read More
I would not recommend cruising on Oceania’s Insignia ship. I have traveled on the Regatta once and the Marina twice, with an excellent experience on each. The Insignia does not rise to the level of service and quality of the other ships. It took numerous requests to get Housekeeping to deliver beach towels to our stateroom. Food in the Grand Dining Room was generally very good to excellent, but often the wrong meal was delivered. Polo Grill was a disappointment. It took over 2 ½ hours to complete the meal and most meals were overcooked and substandard. On the other hand, the Toscana dining experience was great. Clearly they were shorthanded. In the lounge show, after several requests, we were never able to order a drink as they only had two waiters for the full room. If you travel on Oceania, stick with the other ships. You should also consider whether you want to cruise Oceania given the incompetence you may receive from the Florida operation in setting up your trip. They are the weakest link. There are often changes in itineraries (ports and dock times) from the time you first book your cruise and that is why Oceania sends out a corrected Final Cruise Vacation Summary a short time before you travel. It is assumed to be correct and accurate. The following are examples of what they did to us. 1. The Final Cruise Vacation Summary stated our Embarkation Port Terminal was Port Of San Juan. I was reading Cruise Critic the day before our departure, and read where someone commented that Oceania had changed from the Port of San Juan to the Pan American Terminal across the water and about a seven mile cab ride. I called Oceania in Florida, and they confirmed there was no change, and I would have been notified if there was a change. I was told that only the big ships dock at the Pan American Terminal. It turned out the Insignia was docked across the water in the Pan American Terminal. Two traveling partners were dropped off by their cab at the wrong port. I was able to get to the Pan American terminal by chance, ignoring what Oceania told me the day before. 2. The Final Cruise Vacation Summary states we would be in St. George's Grenada on 05Dec from 12:00pm to 8:00pm. I arranged a private tour for our group of eight for the afternoon. It wasn't until 10:30pm the night before that I learned the ship would be in Grenada from 8am until 6pm. Oceania knew this many weeks before the trip and still didn’t correct the itinerary or notify travelers. The Reception Desk did their best to help solve the problem created by Oceania Florida. I was up very late calling the rest of our group informing them of the problem. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep worrying about what I planned for my group. Other passengers were at the desk with the same issue. 3. When I received my flight arrangements from Oceania (Florida), my wife and I were seated in opposite ends of the plane. A couple traveling with us found that Oceania (Florida) had them seated in row 33 of a 30 row plane. We called American, and they told us the plane was full, other than a few single seats, and blamed the problem on the travel agency-Oceania. I requested a response to my issues from Oceania in Florida, via my Travel Agent, and I received no response. It is possible that these problems are a result of the recent purchase of Oceania by NCL.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
We have been the guests of Oceania for 5 cruises. We have always been impressed by their attention to detail and overall quality. Not so with this most recent cruise. It started with having incorrect information on where to board the ship, ... Read More
We have been the guests of Oceania for 5 cruises. We have always been impressed by their attention to detail and overall quality. Not so with this most recent cruise. It started with having incorrect information on where to board the ship, and ended with a most disappointing evening at Polo Grill. According to our Oceania paperwork, we were to depart from the Port of San Juan. We were dropped there by our taxi, and had we not been quick on our feet, we would have incurred an additional cab fare, as in fact we were to depart from the Pan American Pier. News to us, as that was not clarified in our paperwork. We were expecting to meet our steward/stewardess during our first 24 hours so that we would know who to contact if need be. Well, she never did introduce herself, and we didn't sign for expected shipboard credit until day 5. We called housekeeping 3 different times, never getting a call back when we were in need of beach towels for the following day. We finally had to go to reception and complain, thereby getting the needed towels right before our excursion. Our printed itinerary noted that one our port docking time was 12 noon and depart time was 8 PM. We reserved our tour time accordingly, Needless to say we were surprised when the night before we were informed at the nightly entertainment that our docking time would be 8AM with departure at 5PM. We had to scramble, overnight, to rearrange our tour time of Granada. The last evening on board was to have an entertainment/happy hour in the Insignia Lounge. The entertainment was superb, but the "Happy Hour" didn't happen. There were 2 waiters working the entire floor, and though we asked each of them to come take our drink orders, it never happened. Poor planning on the ship's part to accommodate a very large crowd. In all fairness, we did complain to the cruise director and he did try to accommodate us, but the entertainment was over and we were on our way to Polo Grill so we declined the late offer. And finally, our last evening at sea was to be at the Polo Grill. We had been looking forward to this for the entire cruise, not to mention our buildup to 4 traveling partners new to the Oceania experience. The meal, beginning to end, was less than satisfactory. It stared with our waiter saying he would be back to take our order when we had not yet even received the menu. Appetizers sat on a tray side table for over 10 minutes before being served. The filets were not of the usual quality. It appeared that we sat forever between courses, as they had only one waitress and assistant for the front half of the dining room. The dining started a little before 6:30, and we were not leaving the restaurant until after 9:10. This was not by our choice, but rather by the timelessness of service. All that being said, there were some outstanding parts of our cruise, things you come to expect with the Oceania name; the entertainment all nights on board in the Insignia Lounge, the Bellissimo String Quartet (the best we have heard on board), Corey the cruise director, and the food and wait staff in the Grand Dining Room. We can't help but wonder if our disappointment is directly related to the recent acquisition of Oceania by the Norwegian Cruise Line. Hmm........ something to ponder. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
First time on an Oceania cruise. Unfortunately our cruise ended on Thursday, Dec. 11th. When we were docked in St. Lucia on Thurs morning, apparently a fire broke out in the engine room that eventually caused 3 people dead. I was about ... Read More
First time on an Oceania cruise. Unfortunately our cruise ended on Thursday, Dec. 11th. When we were docked in St. Lucia on Thurs morning, apparently a fire broke out in the engine room that eventually caused 3 people dead. I was about finished breakfast around 9:15 on Deck 9 where buffet breakfast was served. All of a sudden, power went out. They announced there was a fire on Deck 1 Aft (which is where the engine room is located), and everything was under control. When I went out to the deck, I saw the fire truck arrived. In the meantime, a lot of passengers had already left the ship to go for shore excursions or to the beaches. They further announced things were ok and even encouraged us to go ashore. We left the ship at around 10:15 am, and within 2 minutes when we were still at the pier, we heard the abandon ship signal (6 short blasts and 1 long blast) and my heart sank. There's no way we can go back to the ship. I was kinda worried. I had no mood of doing anything not knowing exactly what's going to happen. It was hot and humid in Castries, and everywhere was busy in the port area as there were 2 other cruise ships in port. We finally decided to get a taxi to get out of town for a breather. When we came back at 2 pm, they announced the cruise was terminated and arrangements will be made for us to fly back to Miami, then, home. No one is allowed back to the ship and it's still considered unsafe (due to toxic air, power outage, etc). It was a long ordeal for us. They chartered 5 planes to fly back to Miami and we were on the 4th plane. We did not leave St Lucia until the 6 am Friday morning, arrived Miami at 9:30, they took us to a hotel and freshen up, took the 3 pm flight back to Toronto. They returned our passports, stuff in the safe. They will pack our luggage and send them home to us. Keeping my fingers crossed that I will get my luggage next week. Last we heard from the Oceania rep in Miami that they are still awaiting for clearance to go into the cabins to pack the luggage. First time ever that happened to us with so many cruises we've been on. Apparently first time happened to the cruise company too. Luckily, it happened when we were docked, and that it's a small ship with only 648 passengers and 400 crew members. We were also lucky that the fire only happened in the engine room. It could have spread to the rest of the ship, sink, etc. As much as there were complaints from people how things were being handled, I think the cruise company did an excellent job. Yes, we were in the ferry terminal for almost 13 hours, but they continually supplied us with water, drinks, and food. Sanitation was acceptable. They returned our passports, medication and stuff in the safe deposit box intact. What more can you expect! The President of Oceania was at the St. Lucia airport greeting everyone, apologizing to every passenger. At least that was a good gesture. They provided us with per diem when we were in Miami. My hubby and I only had t-shirts, shorts, on. I was able to get a hoodie and pants in the airport for the Toronto weather when we came home last night. Felt so sorry for the 3 crew members who died. So sad! Deepest sympathy for their families!   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2014
This was sold as an upscale luxury cruise with the best food of cruising which we did not find to be the case. The food in some cases was below standard and not edible, and at best it was equal to the food on Princess and Celebrity. The ... Read More
This was sold as an upscale luxury cruise with the best food of cruising which we did not find to be the case. The food in some cases was below standard and not edible, and at best it was equal to the food on Princess and Celebrity. The baked goods were consistently mediocre and stale, the fish was nondescript, and the steak in the Polo Grill was totally not edible. Only after my companions had finished eating and my plate was untouched was I offered a replacement. Too little too late as I was not about to wait for another steak while others were finished. This cruise was not worth the extra money even with free water, coffee and soda included in the high price. What was the luxury supposed to mean? Read Less
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