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118 Oceania South America Cruise Reviews

I was very disappointed with this cruise after having a wonderful experience on the Nautica last January on a cruise from South Africa. I found the entertainment average, although the staff entertainment was very good. The shore excursions ... Read More
I was very disappointed with this cruise after having a wonderful experience on the Nautica last January on a cruise from South Africa. I found the entertainment average, although the staff entertainment was very good. The shore excursions were very poor. The guides were good, but I found none of the sites at all interesting. At the excursion in Cozumel they put us on a bus for a tour of the island where the bus had heavy screening covering all the windows, so you couldn't see out. Several of the ports, ie: Costa Maya only had excursions that were rated moderate (scuba diving) or strenuous. They should have had other choices. The ship activities, I felt, were not varied. They were they same every day - Mensa, trivia, lectures, bingo. They seemed to be geared to a college graduate, highly educated crowd, but very little just to have fun. The shops sold high end expensive merchandise, nothing souvenir like or representative that you might want to bring home. HOWEVER - my main complaint was the food which I felt was substandard, especially for a cruise line that advertises itself for its gourmet food. I have never returned so many dprovided.ishes because they were inedible. The meat was tough, the fish overcooked, the vegetables undercooked, the cookies I couldn't eat (and I love cookies). Portions - main dish: scallops 3, raviolli 4, beef wellington size of half a dollar! The best food - the ice cream. I lost 4 pounds on the cruise. With food choices on the menu that I was not sure what they were, I asked the waiter, and, on multiple occasions, then waiters were not able to explain to me what the item was. Once I wanted to order fish and the waiter told me not to orders the fish was dry and once I wanted to order steak and the waiter said don't because the meat was tough. On days where shore excursions lasted over the lunch hours and meals were not provided as part of the tours, the only food available was at the Wave's Grill, which could not accommodate the number of people coming off tours who needed to eat. On all other cruise lines where we have sailed, accommodations have been provided. In summary, I am very disappointed by this experience and will not cruise with Oceania again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We have been on over 40 cruises throughout the years. We cruise on all cruise lines including Crystal, Princess, Holland America, and Celebrity; depending on our schedules. We took this cruise because of the reasonably good itinerary, ... Read More
We have been on over 40 cruises throughout the years. We cruise on all cruise lines including Crystal, Princess, Holland America, and Celebrity; depending on our schedules. We took this cruise because of the reasonably good itinerary, but, sadly this cruse was a disappointment mainly because of the ship. The major disappointment was the food. ( There were a few bright spots, like the soup and the steak in the Polo Grill. ) Other than that, the rest of the dinning experiences were sub-par. The bread were dry and hard. So were the pastries, the muffins and croissants. The meat ( chicken, beef and all others ) in the main Dinning Room and the Terrace Cafe were tough and chewy. Same old, same old ice cream flavors every day and without much condiments variations. The presentations of the food were not welcoming either. One lobster dish from the Toscana looked like a left over from the previous dinner. The Red Ginger was a mix mash of nothing-not Chinese, not Japanese, not Thai and not Vietnamese. It was like throwing all the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and other spices together and calling it a creation. The chopsticks which were offered to each diner were all worn out. The gym equipments were antiquated and not working properly. The weights handles were all worn out. The excursions were over priced and complicated to book. The sound system, especially in the theater, was poor. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We have cruised on different cruise lines and are Princess platinum members. We are celebrating a special anniversary and based on the Oceania marketing decided to spend twice as much money as any other cruise line would charge to ... Read More
We have cruised on different cruise lines and are Princess platinum members. We are celebrating a special anniversary and based on the Oceania marketing decided to spend twice as much money as any other cruise line would charge to experience the “above and beyond” the Oceania offers. And in my mind the first thing would be exceptional service and attention from the cruise staff. So, here is what we experienced: 1. Disorganized boarding. Partially due to the necessity to rely on the locals. You have to be transported from the check in to the ship by a small bus. That bus has been waiting until it was bursting at the seams with passengers and carry on luggage until it took you to the ship. However, one would expect that there will be a cruise staff helping organize those bus transfers. There were none. You were on your own, all those who paid lots for suites and those who paid a lot less for insides. We were neither, but I am giving this as an example of the promise of pampering the guests. 2. Ok, finally on the ship. If you expect ANYTHING different from any other cruise line, lower your expectations. NOTHING is different. Oh, yeah, the exception and the claim to fame is that you get free soft drinks that we haven’t touched. And free water and coffee throughout. But after doing a simple math and assuming you pay for every bottle of water and specialty coffee cup on any other cruise line, it will not amount to thousands you have to pay for an Oceania ticket. 3. The “real” breakfast, not continental, is ceased by 10 am. So, if you are a late sleeper, you have to have an alarm wake you up to make it to the same boring and limited menu in the dining room before 9.30am. Or, you can run up to the Terrace Cafe before 10 where you can find more and better variety. Of course, it’s completely crowded, but the service is very nice. But wait... The Terrace Cafe has doors to the outside that are kept open and from the moment you step out of the elevator until you get inside the cafe, you are propelled by drafts. Of course, Oceania has no control over the weather outside, but they have total control of the inside conditions and assuring that every minute you spend on board their “ luxurious “ vessel is comfortable and you are not exposed to the horrible condition when the wind is blowing into your face and back because they don’t keep the doors outside closed. You call it caring for your guests’ well being, comfort and health? So, if you don’t want to get sick, you can exclude the Terrace Cafe from your itinerary and become prisoner of the dining room if you want to eat. 5. Exceptional food and specialty restaurants. The only memorable occasion was not the exceptional food ( because it was not), but ordering decaf cappuccino that lead to my husband’s sleepless night, that leads me to believe it was caff and not decaf. Aside from that, don’t expect above ordinary. Very unimaginative and boring average food. 6. They give you free WiFi for ONE device only. But don’t worry, it works very, very poorly anyway. 4. No activities to speak of, laughable so called “ entertainment “ 5. Disorganized disembarkation. Having said that, this is MY experience and the conclusion that Oceania Marina may not be for everyone, but may satisfy those who love smaller vessels ( 1300 passengers) who are not interested in entertainment and simply don’t like a lot of people. Case in point: lots of tables for two ( that’s a good thing, though, if you want to be on your own). Many tables for 2 along the windows that differentiates Marina from other cruise lines tables for 2 that are practically next to each other. Bottom line: no matter how you look at it, it’s highly overrated and overpriced. They don’t offer ANYTHING above and beyond. I found better and much more organized service at Holland and Princess. The Oceania advertising is not just exaggerated, it’s simply not true. Not true at all... Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this trip for a few reasons: 1) the itinerary - to sail around Cape Horn/southern ocean 2) Timing - wanted a trip over the holidays (this one was from Dec 19-Jan 4) 3) Friends had sailed on the Oceania Marina ship To the ... Read More
We chose this trip for a few reasons: 1) the itinerary - to sail around Cape Horn/southern ocean 2) Timing - wanted a trip over the holidays (this one was from Dec 19-Jan 4) 3) Friends had sailed on the Oceania Marina ship To the Baltic a couple of summers ago - and had raved about their experience SERVICE: Overall, the service was fantastic - ratio of Crew to Passengers is 1.56:1 - - with 1250 passengers I think. We were told there are146 chefs on board and can see that this must be true. This makes sense, as the food on Oceania is ranked as one of their big selling points. All of the day to day crew on board couldn’t have been nicer/more pleasant/professional - from housekeeping, butler, waitstaff. Not such great marks for the Reception Desk, Concierge, Destination Services and Reservations desks - we were never greeted with enthusiasm or smiles - and were made to feel as if we were bothering them. NOTE TO OCEANIA: Those desks are your first face to the customer - would recommend that you staff them with pleasant and accommodating people. We never saw the Officers - who made themselves scarce - with the exception of the “Meet the Bridge” cocktail reception and the Captain who said Farewell at the end during the “Crew Salute”. We would have liked to have heard and seen the Bridge Officers more often. FOOD: There were four Specialty restaurants - NO UPCHARGE for any of the Specialty restaurants which was great- and you were able to book One reservation at each restaurant in advance of departure. Because we had a PH1 suite, we were able to reserve as of Oct 5th. The food in all was very good, but service at their signature Jacques, was less than stellar. Don’t overlook the Grand Dining Room which had a different menu every night and fantastic service! And the Terrace Cafe (amazing breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets!). SPA: Used the Spa for Acupuncture (3 sessions) and a manicure - - those were all great - however, I didn’t like the hustle/upsell for products or additional sessions - it was fairly high pressure. Did Pilates and Yoga classes - they were OK - they guy leading the classes is really more of an intense “Bootcamp” guy - used the equipment in the gym - plenty of it - water bottles, towels, mats, well equipped gym. Because we had a Penthouse suite, we had access to the private Spa Deck, which to us, was such a nice perk. It was super quiet, soothing music, right on the bow of the ship - in nice weather, it was a perfect place to be - watching the ocean in front of you, sitting in lovely cabana seating, and also had two hot tubs up there. Spent time reading and relaxing there. Being our first Oceania cruise, we were favorably impressed, but others we met who have done numerous (Oceania) cruises - mentioned that the ship/food were not as up to snuff as it used to be before Norwegian acquired them. To us, It was a beautiful ship, everything very clean - and the food was fantastic. However, you can see that materials/carpets/furnishings could use a touch up - and from what we heard, they are planning a refurb in April/May 2020. ITINERARY: overall, the ports of call were nothing to write home about - but we were on this cruise for Cape Horn, Falkland islands, Ushuaia, Chilean Fjords - and we were IN AWE and not disappointed. 1) Started in Buenos Aires - recommend that you arrive in BA early. We gave ourselves two full days there and it was perfect. Oceania had us in the Alvear Art Hotel which was really nice and modern - big rooms, lots of USB ports, great shower, bedding, etc - the contemporary sister to the more lush Alvear Palace. Did a Tango show one night (booked it through Viator - $156 for two of us - at Piazola (?) - fantastic two hour show, plus dinner, plus option to take a 30 minute tango lesson - which we did and it was a lot of fun. Day 1 (arrival in AM) Walked around the city - walked to the Recoletta Cemetary (Eva Peron burial site) - we used the Tour Guide who shows up there every day at 3pm for a two hour tour, and so glad we did - we would have missed so much otherwise. Had dinner at hotel because we were exhausted. Day 2 - full day of walking to The Obelisk and to Plaza de Mayo. (FYI, pronouncing “y’s” is the sound of “je”. So, Plaza de Mayo sounds like Plaza de Majoh). Gorgeous architecture all over BA - very French - The Paris of South America as it’s called. Plaza de Mayo is the home of banking and federal buildings including the Catedral Metropolitana de Buenos Aires (gorgeous! Make sure you walk through and spend time) and the Casa Rosado (Pink House) where Eva Peron stood on the balcony to address the people of Argentina. Returned to hotel mid-day and had a delightful lunch buffet and iced teas and included a glass of wine! - Total of $33 (!) for Two people! Prices in BA very good. 2) Montevideo (Uruguay) - felt like you needed to be on your guard a bit - the market area was interesting and felt safe enough - but you probably don’t want to wander off too much more without a guide. not much to see there. 3) Puerto d’Este (Uruguay) - ended up skipping this due to incoming inclement weather and the Captain wanted to keep moving to stay in front of the system - which was appreciated - (we still had very uncomfortable seas for a 12+ hours, but subsided. 4) Puerto Madryn - nothing to write home about - We had an excursion planned to see the Penguins at Punto Tombo - but ended up bailing on it - because it was going to be a THREE HOUR drive each way - and then only one hour of seeing penguins. Didn’t feel like doing the 6 hour drive for penguins. We were glad we cancelled - and there were plenty of other opportunities to see Penguins in other portions of the trip. Instead, we got off the ship and walked for an hour or so into/around town - nice little beachy town, clean, civilized and didn’t seem so poor, like Montevideo did (nor as sketchy). Huge tide comes in and out of there. And the sea seemed dirty, especially close to shore, like sewery... (Smelly for sure). 5) Falkland Islands - very cool that we were able to even get there. Many cruises cannot make it in there if there is rough weather. We arrived on Christmas morning, thus, not much open, but it was great to walk around and look at the charming British homes/shops. 6) Ushuaia - WOW FACTOR all the way - this was where the trip REALLY took off. Woke up to a brilliant, clear, sunny crisp morning - and a gorgeous harbor filled with sailboats and dramatic snow-capped mountains all around us. EXCURSION: Boarded a high speed catamaran for 90 minutes - packed with people, stopped for about 90 minutes at Estancia Haberton (oldest farm in Argentina) and then took a two hour bus ride back which had spectacular scenery (and a few moments of good naptime!) Sailed the Beagle Channel for about 90 minutes - saw Terns, Sea Lions, Lighthouse, Mountains 7) Cruising CAPE HORN & BEagle Channel - AWESOME! SO EXCITED that we got to circumnavigate the Cape Hornas Islands - truly the last slice of land before you get to Antartica. There was talk that we were going to skip it - due to what looked like poor weather conditions, but the weather-gods were with us, and Captain decided (after much prodding from us and fellow passengers) to do Cape Horn - - after all, THIS is the reason we chose this itinerary! In addition to seeing the infamous Cape Horn, we also Enjoyed a full day of Glacier after Glacier - magnificent!! EXCURSION: Estancia Fitzroy - sheep farm - About a 90 minute bus ride each way - to a very cool sheep ranch - saw tons of old artifacts - old plane, trucks, dishwashers, stoves, demonstration on sheering sheep, little calves that I got to nurse with milk, baby lambs, big bull and cows and llamas and herding dogs - watching them corral the sheep. 
Wonderful Lamb BBQ lunch - with salads, wine, dessert 8) Cruising the Chilean Fjords (two days) - beautiful as well - tucked into the archipegleo (thus better/smooth sea conditions) and saw islands after islands going by. (We LOVE the sea days - getting into the rhythym of the sea, having time to relax, read, exercise, spa - and think we had more Sea Days than land days on this itinerary which was perfect for us. 9) Puerto Charabuco - as we started heading north on the Pacific side of South America - EXCURSION: did a Wellness Excursion on New Years Day - a 90 minute catamaran ride through beautiful fjords, mountains to Thermal Hot Springs where we relaxed/rejuvinated in three different thermal pools - they served us drinks, waters, snacks - and then another catamaran ride back - volcanos, and gorgeous scenery! 10) Puerto Montt - Disappointing and Dirty. (This is a place where you SHOULD have an excursion planned!) We did not have an excursion, so got off the ship and walked to “the Markets” - little shanties with trinkets for sale - didn’t buy anything - crossed over the street and were going to walk into the Centro (center of town) but as we proceeded, lots of homeless, urinating/deficating in the streets, graffiti all over - it was gross - so we cut our walk short and went back to the “Civilization” of Oceania Marina. 11) Cruising Pacific Ocean to San Antonio (Santiago disembarkation) - at sea for a day EMBARKATION: Good and smooth DISEMBARKATION: Fubar - could have been better organized process ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES ONBOARD: 1) They had a few speakers - but our favorite was Greg Wheeler, a retired (10 year) professor from Cal State Poly. As a Geologist, he taught us a lot about the earth, ice ages, volcanos, glaciers, etc - we always looked forward to his lectures and tried not to miss them. 2) Hands on Cooking Classes with “Chef Steph” (Stephanie Hirsch - who used to work with Julia Childs for many years). THESE CLASSES WERE EXCELLENT!! $69 per class - you work in pairs - my husband REALLY loved these classes as well. Really cool clean kitchen - we watched and listened up close while Chef explained what we were cooking, doing, how to prepare - and then she sent us back to our workstations to do it. Then you get to eat your cooking and everything was Fabulous! (We did our classes at 4pm - 6pm - - SUGGESTION: Try to book for 10-Noon classes - because then you can eat your food without guilt - especially if you have dinner plans, you will be too full to eat dinner if you do the 4pm class!) 3) The head chef - French guy can’t remember his name, brought along a side kick each time - either the Italian Pastry Chef, etc - and it was a like a comedy show - - very entertaining yet also instructive. (Not to be considered a substitute for Chef Steph classes, though!!) ENTERTAINMENT: While some of the entertainers were not top notch, what made it worse was the lame audience. Passengers just sit there - don’t show any energy - didn’t clap or inspire the performers. C’mon people - lighten up, have some fun, show the entertainers you appreciate their efforts, at least. - There was a group of singers/dancers who were sweet young things, seems that they are getting their start. Not necessarily top notch Broadway talent, but you have to start somewhere and they had great energy and were fun to watch. They performed three or four nights. - Salvatore Hasard - multi-faceted musician and singer who performed on two nights - FANTASTIC - plays multiple instruments and great voice. - Paul Hughes - also FANTASTIC - singer, crooner, does standards - i.e. Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble - really great - Nicole Sasser - female trumpet player and singer - very personable and a good musician- but to her credit, she plowed through despite a Dead Audience. - Comedian and Magician - who we did not go to see CRUISE DIRECTOR: Speaking of Comedian, Peter Roberts always had a good joke or two each day -but he was a bit of a flamboyant clown. I think Oceania would do better to be represented with a more upscale professional tone - not stuffy - but someone who epitomizes the class and service of Oceania. WOULD DEFINITELY DO THIS TRIP AGAIN. And will go with Oceania again. Very impressed overall with the quality and service we experienced. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Short attention span version - Fabulous! The itinerary was Buenos Aires - Miami 34-day "Grand Voyage", AKA B2B. Captain - Luci Manzi General Manager - Dominique Nicolle Cruise Director - Peter Roberts First ... Read More
Short attention span version - Fabulous! The itinerary was Buenos Aires - Miami 34-day "Grand Voyage", AKA B2B. Captain - Luci Manzi General Manager - Dominique Nicolle Cruise Director - Peter Roberts First impression: Marina is in outstanding condition. DW and I didn't observe any unsatisfactory issues as some have described. Excellent dining in GDR, Wave Grill and specify restaurants. We didn't dine in Terrace. Speaking of specialty restaurants, we had no problem obtaining additional reservations than allowed for our B3 cabin. Due to rough seas and last minute cancellations, we obtained reservations for 2 alone on 23 of 34 days. Average age of passengers Buenos Aires - Santiago de Chile was 60s - 70s. In addition, there were 27 young children. Average age of passengers Santiago - Miami was late 60s - early 80s. In addition, there were 2 young children and 2 teenagers. Zero behavioral issues due to parental control. Dress code was only enforced on a random basis. "Dressy" (sarcasm) Levis or Wranglers were allowed in GDR and specialty restaurants unless they were faded. Minimum age guideline for specialty restaurants were also ignored. For example, there were 5 - 6 children, approximate age of 5, dining in Toscana that had no interest in the food but enjoyed a lively game of hide-and-go-seek around the tables. Jumping on their chairs was also acceptable. Parents were oblivious to it all. Vero water - excellent. Sparkling and still were available. Passengers don't have access to a refilling station. Cabin attendants don't refill partially used bottles. They are replaced twice - daily in the morning and at turndown by new bottles. Additional bottles were available on request. New 4X water filtration system takes the "odd" taste out of desalinated water. In addition, most of the time the tap water was cool instead of warm. Announcements - Peter kept his 10:00 am announcements to around ten minutes most of the time, except on shore days. If you wanted more detailed info, it would be broadcast on cannel 10. The captains 12:00noon announcement was also informative but short. No problem. Noro issue first half of cruise - During Peter's announcements, he would mention that Marina was a "healthy ship" and we would do our best to keep it that way. The usual direction, wash hands often and use the sanitizers. Noro precautions second half of cruise - Pater warned that the area was notorious for noro, Extra steps were taken to prevent a potential outbreak. There were spray sanitizers provided in the cabins. Passengers using board games were instructed to return them to the front desk. Books were to be left on the tables rather than returned to the bookshelves. There we no outbreaks that we heard of. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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
This year, we dumped Viking, after a decade, because of the recent cutbacks to their on-board experience. We were delighted to find none of those annoyances on Insignia. The food is outstanding. We enjoyed trying a lot of ... Read More
This year, we dumped Viking, after a decade, because of the recent cutbacks to their on-board experience. We were delighted to find none of those annoyances on Insignia. The food is outstanding. We enjoyed trying a lot of "luxury" foods that we don't have at home: oysters Rockefeller; caviar; lobster, escargot, filet mignon, etc. And we enjoyed the wide variety of fresh fruits, especially the berries. We cruise for the destinations, and on this trip they were excellent. Our favourites were Manaus, Alter Do Chao, Devil's Island, and Trinidad. Just cruising on the largest river in the world was spectacular. There was lots of variety in evening entertainment in the theatre; some suited our tastes while others did not. However the quality overall was excellent. The staff musicians were the best we've heard on any cruise ship: Constantin was amazing on piano; the jazz quartet with saxophone was superb, as was the string quartet. Sandy Cares does all the enrichment lectures and port talks and is exceptional. Service throughout the ship was attentive and professional. We appreciated that staff members approached their jobs with a quiet competency. Everyone was friendly, but there was none of the gushing, effusive greetings that we heard from Viking's staff all day long. We were most impressed that Oceania hired several people who were able to sign for a group of about 30 deaf people who came on this cruise. As a result, those handicapped guests were able to enjoy everything that happened on and off the ship as much as anyone else. We spent a lot of time on deck 10, the sports deck, and enjoyed being able to run on the track, and play shuffleboard and nine hole mini-golf. We also liked the various lounges throughout the ship. Most contain high back chairs that are very comfortable to sit (or snooze) in. The library is huge and is absolutely magnificent. It is well-stocked with hundreds of hard-cover books, many of them being recent best-sellers. As well, there is a whole bookcase of Lonely Planet travel books dealing with all of Oceania's destinations. Certainly, the cost of an Oceania cruise is higher than with HAL, NCL, etc. However, that's to be expected when you are on a ship that holds 625 guests instead of a few thousand. And we also like the fact that we are not two-bitted for basics such as WiFi, all day non-alcoholic drinks, use of the laundry room, and specialty restaurant bookings. Any negatives worth mentioning are caused by the ship's design. There are sometimes long line-ups in the buffet restaurant and at the gangway while trying to embark the ship after shore excursions. That's because of the narrowness of the aisles in those areas. As far as the staterooms go, you get what you pay for. We hate reading negative comments from people who choose a cheaper room and then complain that they don't like the size. Everyone can read the exact square-footage of every room on the ship before they book. A deck 3 porthole room was fine for us because we were only in it to sleep and shower. Contrary to some of the exaggerated reviews we've read, although the bathroom is small, you don't have to leave the door open in order to sit comfortably on the toilet (unless perhaps you're a 300 pounder). Two years ago, Oceania did a superb job of renovating the entire ship. Everything is sparkling new and now, Insignia is one of the most elegant cruise ships we have been on. We would recommend Oceania without reservations, and are booked on cruises with them in 2020 and 2021. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This cruise was 3 back to back segments totalling 34 days covering East and West Mediterranean islands and ports some of which we had not previously visited and an Atlantic Crossing with a stop in Cape Verde Marina and Riviera are ... Read More
This cruise was 3 back to back segments totalling 34 days covering East and West Mediterranean islands and ports some of which we had not previously visited and an Atlantic Crossing with a stop in Cape Verde Marina and Riviera are comfortable stable ships and we choose them for that reason. On this trip there were challenges. Strong wind forecasts 2 days ahead of arrival in Monte Carlo made docking in that confined port risky. Oceania remained in Marseilles to accommodate a passenger change over. This was indeed a great inconvenience for embarking and disembarking passengers but any idea that somehow Oceania did this to inconvenience people given the cost and total disruption to them of making a safety decision is absurd. We had a private tour arranged for Livorno. On communication with that local provider they had no problem refunding our payment given the change in the ship schedule. Two days out of Marseilles Noro Virus cases began to appear and the crew began to take appropriate precautions. As cases increased appropriate appeals to all passengers to follow prescribed sanitation requirements were made. We followed the instructions, could not pass a hand sanitizer without using it, and washed hands frequently And used bathroom facilities in our own cabin. Oceania followed the required procedures, Oceania did not invite the virus aboard. We have experienced a similar problem on Cunard. All cruise lines encounter this problem. The entire ship was sanitized in Barcelona and that caused more discomfort and inconvenience to embarking passengers and the 48 of us who were staying aboard to Rio and beyond. During this virus event, buffet food services reverted to being served and this added a burden on the catering staff who handled it very well. Unlike some comment we found the staff to be polite and very helpful. It did not take any effort to understand why this change in service and react accordingly and appreciate the increased pressure the staff were encountering to give service. With a maximum of 1200 passengers and the size and number of ship function rooms, the scope of the entertainment is obviously very different from a 5000 passenger ship. So when selecting a cruise personal expectations have to match the ships ability to deliver. We do not use Oceania for its entertainment. We like Oceania for the ship and have made many voyages over 20 days. Their approach to dress as Country Club casual sets a good standard that some do not respect but is not as formal as say Cunard where there also were people who disregarded the set code. The service delivered is very good, the staff are well trained. We watched with great interest a new and young employee grow in confidence as every day passed. What an experience and opportunity she was experiencing but it is hard work. The virus was a reality, the ship did what it needed to do, we received our meals in the quantity and selection we wanted. We were only slightly inconvenienced but we had the time. Marina is due for a refit and it is beginning to be time for her to be freshened up. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We arranged this cruise to South America whilst on our previous Oceania cruise which was on Marina. We were prepared for the smaller ship and looked forward to the experience. We were in stateroom 7076, a Concierge room. We had previously ... Read More
We arranged this cruise to South America whilst on our previous Oceania cruise which was on Marina. We were prepared for the smaller ship and looked forward to the experience. We were in stateroom 7076, a Concierge room. We had previously read how small the bathrooms are, believe it, they are tiny. The ship is about to be refurbished and shower curtains replaced with doors. I cant imagine how anyone on the slightly larger side will get in and shut the door. Most of the ports were interesting especially Paracas and Punta Arenas. We enjoyed seeing many different penguins, birds and sea lions. This is very much a nature, rather than a cultural cruise. Evening entertainment was variable, but on the whole good. There were many sea days with very little going on. There were 2 lecturers, one on wildlife and one on Ocean sustainability. Both were good, but that still left too much time with nothing going on. As a Bridge player I appreciated the supervised Bridge, my husband did a lot of reading. On sea day when the weather was inclement it was difficult to find somewhere to sit and the Terrace restaurant was mayhem. They should open the Main dining room for much longer. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise because Oceania has smaller ships and their food is excellent. This was a South America cruise going from Lima Peru to Buenos Aires Argentina. Being the month of March in the Southern Hemisphere, we expected and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because Oceania has smaller ships and their food is excellent. This was a South America cruise going from Lima Peru to Buenos Aires Argentina. Being the month of March in the Southern Hemisphere, we expected and received September type temperatures like the Northern Hemisphere. Sirena is very well kept still clean and attractive though it will be renovated soon. I like all the colors and schemes she has now but that will disappear with the addition of gray interior decor. My only issue with the ship was the aggressiveness and interruptions of the wine stewards and waiters in the main dining room. Those personnel need to be trained to present themselves and be recognized. So many times they would interrupt the table guests which to me is rude. On the last bus tour in BA, there was a passenger that was coughing incessantly. I caught his cold and am still suffering from it. I wrote a separate letter to Oceania suggesting that their ship chaperon(s) on the tours provide disposable masks on those busses for the "coughers" and on the vessel too. There are sick people who come on the ship even though they are given a questionnaire prior to boarding. Passengers do not have to divulge that they have a cold. Anyhow, I would recommend the Sirena and Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The itinerary was spectacular from hot Buenos Aires to chilly Falkland Islands, around the Horn into icy Patagonia, then back into warmer climate into Peru. So, we did not use outdoor spaces much for about half the trip. Favorite stops ... Read More
The itinerary was spectacular from hot Buenos Aires to chilly Falkland Islands, around the Horn into icy Patagonia, then back into warmer climate into Peru. So, we did not use outdoor spaces much for about half the trip. Favorite stops were Punta Del Este, Falkland Islands (so many penguins), Amalia Glacier in Patagonia, Chilean Andes from Coquimo, Orsorno Glacier from Puerto Montt, Valparaiso, Ballestas Islands from Pisco, Barranco district of Lima. We made it safely and without incident to every scheduled port. Naturalist on board was good and some of the entertainment, musicians were really special. The staff was great and it was nice to return to a sparkling room every day and night. The restaurants were good but Red Ginger was outstanding. The menu in the main dining room was different most nights. Buffet is great for breakfast, outdoor grill is nice for mid-afternoon snack after a day on tour. Baristas was very nice for a leisurely coffee and pastry. Martinis was a fun place to gather with new friends before dinner. Never used the casino and we did not participate in many on-board activities except for the single malt tasting which was fun. Note: organize land tours with a small group (8-12 people) on your own as we did. These land excursions can be the best part of the experience. An excursion with 25 folks on a bus is quite limiting, and the prices for small group ship tours are quite high. Final analysis: we would definitely cruise with Oceania again and look forward to it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We were looking for the cruise of a lifetime, in the best cabin. It was our first cruise with Oceania, but our 7th overall. There was a lovely mix of nationalities, mostly American and Canadians, then Brits like us, Aussies and others. ... Read More
We were looking for the cruise of a lifetime, in the best cabin. It was our first cruise with Oceania, but our 7th overall. There was a lovely mix of nationalities, mostly American and Canadians, then Brits like us, Aussies and others. English was the majority main language. We are in our 50s and found we were amongst the youngest onboard. The median age was around 70. Our fellow cruisers were sophisticated, gentle, friendly, polite people who were well travelled. There were absolutely no children on board We treated ourselves to an Owners Suite ....wow! It was stunning, beautifully equipped, with lovely welcome gifts, like champagne, a set of Bulgari toiletries, a tote bag and a beach bag with fluffy towels to take home. Our butler, Abhi, had been well trained and was friendly and professional, arranging anything we needed, even before we knew we needed it. He made us feel so special and so spoilt. Meals were served in suite from any restaurant on board, so we often ate in. There is a bar setup for some suites, so we had a choice of spirits or wine, which was great. We used the suite far more than we would normally because it felt so lovely .....it was like a Manhattan apartment. We thought the standard of food was generally very high.The main dining room was very good, buffet had plenty of choice and was good, Waves grill was OK, Tuscan was variable and Red Ginger was excellent with great food and service. Special mention must go to the Maitre D’ in Red Ginger, Hula from Cape Town who was outstanding. Baristas coffee bar was our first port of call each morning...a lifesaver The small ship was much more intimate than larger ones which meant no queues for getting on and off the ship. We also liked the country club casual dress code and found that people generally dressed up for the evenings. The captain and crew were often seen around and were very friendly. The Captain’s cocktail party was a lovely evening and it was nice to see staff being rewarded for long service. We also enjoyed the farewell from the crew, where we were able to clap them onstage and they, in turn, clapped us out of the lounge. We didn’t really do the shows so can’t comment, neither did we use the bars or enrichment activities. The library was amazing - leave your books at home, there are plenty to suit all tastes. The spa was expensive but I did get a good manicure and my husband had a relaxing massage. We did 6 shore excursions, having bought a discounted package. I disagree with previous poor comments, as we had nothing but good experiences. The tours were professional, with a fair standard of English and buses far exceeded our expectations. Our cruise was from Buenos Aires to Lima, taking 3 weeks. It was amazing, despite a couple of days of bad weather, which is so much more obvious on a small ship. Thank goodness for seasickness patches! There were quite a few sea days, but that is the nature of the distances covered On the negative side, I burnt my hand due to ill fitting lids on takeaway coffee cups and found I was not alone. I cursed myself for having left our reusable cups in the cabin that day! Please get lids that fit or give guests reusable cups, which would be a greener option. Also the vibrations at the back of the ship were terrible and the cabin shook and rattled when going at speed. We did get used to it, but it would put me off spending that kind of money again on that suite. We would absolutely travel on Oceania again and we loved this trip. My husband commented that if he were a billionaire he would employ our butler Abhi in a heartbeat. We can dream...... Read Less
Sail Date February 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
Chose this cruise to see the Amazon. Went 1500 km to Manaus. Was not disappointed!! Smooth getting on and off. Ports were very good. Shore excursion in St Lucia was not great due to heavy rains and the last hour and a half was in the ... Read More
Chose this cruise to see the Amazon. Went 1500 km to Manaus. Was not disappointed!! Smooth getting on and off. Ports were very good. Shore excursion in St Lucia was not great due to heavy rains and the last hour and a half was in the dark. So not researched very well. Cabin was very comfortable and clean. Dining was very good activities were a lot of fun. Entertainment was usually very good. Small ship so always lots of pool chairs and never crowded. Guest speakers were excellent. Service also very good. Transfer from Fort Lauderdale to Miami with SAS transportation was really good and very reasonable $15 pp and we used the service both going and returning to Fort Lauderdale . Cruise staff were really friendly There were no children on this cruise. Very hot and muggy in the Amazon area and length of cruise 35 days was prob why. Great overall!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 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 have been on many Oceania cruises and loved them all. We selected this 33 day cruise that started in Buenos Aires and ended in Miami, primarily because my husband wanted to experience the Amazon. The ship is almost exactly like the ... Read More
We have been on many Oceania cruises and loved them all. We selected this 33 day cruise that started in Buenos Aires and ended in Miami, primarily because my husband wanted to experience the Amazon. The ship is almost exactly like the other three smaller Oceania ships and the staff were really attentive and friendly. I didn't feel that way with the Officers. When I completed my mid-cruise feedback form, I really expected to hear from someone as I was pretty specific with my concerns. Never heard. My major issue with the ship...is really an Corporate/Operations Issue. They specially wrote in the cruise itinerary literature, and reconfirmed it when I called, that the itinerary would not stop in an endemic area that is experiencing Yellow Fever now. WRONG!!! According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) bulletins, we were visiting two ports that are considered Ground Zero for the recent rash of Yellow Fever in Brazil. Needless to say, based on their information, we chose not to take the vaccination and were pretty stressed when we were in these areas. The cruise itself. Although there were some interesting ports scattered through the itinerary, most of the port calls were boring with nothing to offer. Several resulted in a very quick turnaround back to the ship as there was nothing to see or do. And safety was an issue too. Brazil is not a place where you hail a cab. And police were telling folks not to walk here and there. There were WAY too many sea days, some scheduled, others because the ship couldn't anchor due to weather. Our 33 day cruise ended with almost 10 sea days. And Sirena does not offer any extra activities for those days. At one point we had 5 sea days in a row and everyone on board was ready to scream. Although we enjoy a quiet ship, there should be some exciting activities when having such a long stretch. Oceania food is noteworthy. Its one of the reasons we enjoy Oceania. But I have to say that although we have traveled on Nautica and Insigna many times, we didn't feel that the Sirena reached the same bar with food. It was good, usually, but not great. Even the two specialty restaurants were just ok. An example of lack of attention to detail is the coffee bar near the grand dining room. Great afternoon coffee, but the few snacks that are available there didn't change during the 33 days we were on the cruise. Yes, we could have gone to the afternoon tea and indulged in all of those treats, but we intentionally do not. But a good tasting cookie with the coffee was not to be had. Others who did indulge also offered the same tasteless comments. The Amazon. I guess our expectations were considerably different from the reality of our 1,000 mile cruise into and out of the Amazon. We were expecting a fairly narrow river with rainforest on either size...and monkeys and other observable wildlife with the aid of binoculars. The reality was that the river was sometimes 100 miles wide and never narrow enough so that you felt like you were in a jungle atmosphere. That required private excursions. The tiny villages we anticipated were good sized cities of up to 300,000 residents. Had we traveled the Amazon from the Pacific side (Ecuador or Peru), rather than the Atlantic, I think our expectations would have been realized. In summary, this is not an itinerary I will recommend to anyone! There are too many other fascinating places to see and enjoy to waste most of your time visiting insignificant ports with nothing to offer. I hate having such a negative report, but I was not alone in my analysis of this trip. I didn't speak to one person who thought this itinerary was worth traversing. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Our first cruises were on Riviera and Marina, both commencing in Barcelona. We chose this cruise to see Rio and escape the cold Canadian winter. Wasn't Sure whether the smaller Sirena would be as nice as Riviera or Marina, but I ... Read More
Our first cruises were on Riviera and Marina, both commencing in Barcelona. We chose this cruise to see Rio and escape the cold Canadian winter. Wasn't Sure whether the smaller Sirena would be as nice as Riviera or Marina, but I liked it even better. Beautiful European decor and all the same function rooms including a library to die for! The balcony stateroom was slightly smaller than Riviera and the bathroom has shower only but this was OK as far as we were concerned. First few ports...Rio Grande de Sul and Porto Belo were unimpressive but sailing in to Rio past Sugar Loaf at 5 am was a thrill of a lifetime. Food was wonderful, entertainment entertaining, shore excursions overpriced and not well co-ordinated by Oceania with local tour providers. That is my one criticism. That, and they should engage more qualified onboard lecturers in my view. but I cannot imagine cruise lines more luxurious than Oceania, certainly not better cuisine. The food and the libraries on Oceania will keep me coming back. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Some stops were boring, food has gone down, quarantined without much consulting with nurse or Doctor and whole ship under watch for illness. Quarantined for 48 hours while some for just 24--communication was very poor about this issue. ... Read More
Some stops were boring, food has gone down, quarantined without much consulting with nurse or Doctor and whole ship under watch for illness. Quarantined for 48 hours while some for just 24--communication was very poor about this issue. Many complained about service in some areas especially the dining room and I felt the rooms needed a major cleaning especially the carpets But we still had some great people--our butler and room attendants were great. Some of the mater-dies were also great. Had dinner with the General manager and that was a delightful night We have been on 5 Oceania cruises and this one was very disappointing Items in the boutiques we very high end and too pricey. I would like to see them have more local items as some of the other ships offer. More souvenir items The speakers put most listeners to sleep and there were not many interesting things to do on the at sea days Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was our third cruise with Oceania. We chose it for the warm weather and ports of call. Food and service were excellent. Veranda concierge state room was great. Red Ginger restaurant was our favorite. Shore excursions were ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Oceania. We chose it for the warm weather and ports of call. Food and service were excellent. Veranda concierge state room was great. Red Ginger restaurant was our favorite. Shore excursions were very good We booked a cruise from Seattle to Alaska while on the ship. Only problem was avoiding over eating, particularly the great desserts but the Canyon ranch spa menu in the main dining room helped The variety of food was great with four restaurants and no added charge for the reservation only restaurants. We particularly liked the ice cream, milk shakes and smoothies available at the Waves Grill. The variety at the buffer was amazing. Service in the main dining room was very attentive. The barista had excellent drinks and snacks The library had an excellent selection of books and was a great place to sit and relax. The outdoor searing area in front of the spa was very scenic Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was our 4th time on either Marina or her sister ship. The cruise was 18 days from Miami to Lima with going through the Panama Canal. It made port in several interesting countries along the way. We were again very pleased. The ship ... Read More
This was our 4th time on either Marina or her sister ship. The cruise was 18 days from Miami to Lima with going through the Panama Canal. It made port in several interesting countries along the way. We were again very pleased. The ship is in excellent condition and immaculate. It is continuously cleaned! Our cabin was a concierge on 9th floor. This is our favorite floor because we almost always take the stairs, and it is centrally located to the action on floors 5/6 and 12/14. Ninth floor also has a laundry accessible from both sides and concierge lounge. Our cabin was large enough with plenty of storage. Yes, dining has a lot to do with our coming back to Oceania. Again, it was excellent. Service in the specialty restaurants is impeccable, and along with the wonderful food, it is a memorable experience. Actually, our dining in Grand Dining Room was excellent at lunch and in all but one evening. Service through out the ship was friendly, prompt and efficient. It just gives one a good feeling to be warmly greeted every where you go. As others have commented, we appreciate the lack of announcements, lack of someone always stopping you to take your picture or to sell you something. We also appreciate the relative lack of small children, and all of the kids on board seemed to be well behaved. The entertainment is fairly minimal and TV choices poor, but slightly improved over our previous voyages. My Comcast e-mails would not open on board ship. G-mail account was fine. My husband also appreciates the sanctioned duplicate bridge games provided on sea days. Oceania shore excursions are fair. Traveling with a bus load of people is not the best way to see the ports. We generally do a combination of private and ship tours, and the private tours are always better and considerably cheaper. So why do ship tours? Well, it is easier and can be an O-life free choice. Read Less
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
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
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
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
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
Sail Date December 2017
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