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16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
My husband and I, wanted to upscale we call it from (Celebrity & Holland America). To see if their was a big difference. I love Celebrity cruise line, especially the food. I never find any fault with their food or ships and service. ... Read More
My husband and I, wanted to upscale we call it from (Celebrity & Holland America). To see if their was a big difference. I love Celebrity cruise line, especially the food. I never find any fault with their food or ships and service. After 40 or more cruises through out my life time I must say it was time to up scale it. We booked Oceania. It was a 10 night. Nice Caribbean itinerary. The food excellent. Not only the Grand dining room and buffet to eat at but 4 specialty restaurants that are included in your price.All wonderful. The french restaurant was so french I must say I had a hard time with the wonderful taste. Not sure you get what I mean. Yes, a older population on board, very low key, not much going on but was fine for us. we are both 55 years old. If you are in your 20s or 30s may not be a good fit. Smaller portions of food which I really liked as so much food is wasted on a cruise. Not only that but older people like smaller portions. In the buffet and dining room but very large portions in the restaurants They take very serious the fact that you should be having a good time with no issues, if so they want to know right away so it can be fixed. In the middle of the cruise you even get a comment card to fill out to make sure everything is up to your standards.If not you will be contacted that day. I had a problem with a seal on our balcony door being broken. The wind would whistle through it every so often at night, we had a balcony cabin.I was switched to a penthouse suite ! free butler service if I wanted. It was wonderful the way they will take care of you. All in all will I cruise with them again. Yes, most definitely. I think I can say it is a step up from celebrity's food.Even the wave grill was wonderful ! high quality hamburgers Tuna, surf & turf. Milkshakes were free, morning smoothies, they served your drinks, helped you carry your plate to your table, no waiting in lines like the bigger ships. A good size ship not to big or small. All in all a wonderful cruise from someone who is very picky. You will not be dissatisfied unless you are young looking for alot of night life, then this cruise line is not for you. If you really want to relax, unwind, read a book, have alot of quite time then give them a try. Their tea time is grand.Not to be missed. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Embarkation easy. The first 3 days went well if you excluded the very poor entertainment. I found the cabin very dusty and the windows were filthy. Service is good in the specialty restaurants but spotty in the MDR and worse in the bar ... Read More
Embarkation easy. The first 3 days went well if you excluded the very poor entertainment. I found the cabin very dusty and the windows were filthy. Service is good in the specialty restaurants but spotty in the MDR and worse in the bar areas and by the pool. $5 wine sells for $48 on the ship but that is your choice. The shore excursions are the usual overpriced Oceania rip off but in 2 cases we actually used them we felt totally betrayed. We paid an extra $100 ($129 each) for a "luxury" 4X4 Land Rover 3 hour tour only to be shown to a old beat up Toyota pick up with beach seats. Complaint by several victims of this bait and switch fell on deaf ears. Returning from our last port of St. Barts, the tender operator lost control of the boat and smashed nose first into the hull of the Riviera at over 10 mph. Over 20 of the 50 people on board needed medical attention and many more woke up to sore backs and necks the next day. People had cuts and bruises and with strained backs and more prevalent whiplash symptoms. People were triaged by the doctor and patients we seen leaving the clinic with neck braces and bandages. The people with more minors problems were seen in a few hours with a promise to follow up. Oceania has not given an explanation whether mechanical failure or human error was responsible. We are just headed back to Miami now and I can't wait to get of this ship. The shelves in the store are almost totally empty from day one. I was told they will be replenished for the next cruise. What a shame considering the price of this cruise. We have enjoyed Oceania for 5 years but if the take over by NCL means the quality of this line is falling as has happened on this 10 day stint, it will be my last. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
This was our 4th sailing with Oceania and our second sailing on Riviera (we have also sailed on her sister ship, Marina). This is the first sailing we have taken with Oceania that was not "port intensive". We had 5 stops in the ... Read More
This was our 4th sailing with Oceania and our second sailing on Riviera (we have also sailed on her sister ship, Marina). This is the first sailing we have taken with Oceania that was not "port intensive". We had 5 stops in the southern Caribbean that were very easy and simple and did not require any excursions to be booked. All the excursions were basically a trip around the island or transportation to a beach, which you could easily do on your own. A good way to avoid the very high prices Oceania charges for excursions. We used this trip as a way to recover from the holidays. We had a lovely, oversized veranda balcony (two lounge chairs, plus two sitting chairs and a table) on the 7th deck that we used a great deal to hang out on our 4 days at sea. We sailed 100% full - 1,280 passengers. We were concerned that the ship would seem crowded, but it was absolutely no problem getting a table for meals, a seat in the bar, and no lines waiting for an elevator. Service as always was exemplary on board. We had the premium drink package which made ordering and paying for liquor very simple. The wine stewards were very good at assisting us select appropriate wines to go with our courses at meals. Cocktails were much improved over prior sailings as free hand pouring now appears to be allowed. Our cabin stewards were, as in the past, absolutely perfect and gracious. We skipped Toscana and Red Ginger based on prior sailings, but had two dinners at Polo Grill (we like to get the whole Maine lobster) and Jacques - our absolute favorite. The food is superb at Jacques. I look forward to the Mille Fleur dessert each time I am on board. We do not go the entertainment in the theater (just not our thing), but enjoyed the Brazilian guitar/singer in the Horizons Lounge at cocktail hour and the string quartet that plays adjacent to the Martini bar each evening. Both added to the peaceful atmosphere on board. There were also four lectures presented on the days at sea. The ship itself is on of our all time favorites. We have sailed with Viking, Celebrity, Norwegian and many of the very small cruise lines. Riviera is a beautiful elegant ship with exciting art work and impressive furnishings done in very good taste. The Lalique staircase is magnificent. We will continue to book with Oceania in the future. We thoroughly enjoyed this relaxing cruise. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We have taken several cruises previously on Holland America but we wanted something a little more upscale to celebrate a milestone wedding anniversary so we decided to try Oceania. We are so glad we did. We loved Oceania and will be ... Read More
We have taken several cruises previously on Holland America but we wanted something a little more upscale to celebrate a milestone wedding anniversary so we decided to try Oceania. We are so glad we did. We loved Oceania and will be booking our future cruises with them. Embarkation and disembarkation were well organized and were a breeze. For embarkation, within about 20 minutes after arrival at the terminal, around noon, we were on the ship. The 4 main things we were looking for on the Oceania cruise were i) excellent food, ii) excellent service, iii) a nice stateroom & ship facilities and iv) not constantly feeling "nickeled and dimed". Oceania delivered on all 4... i) Food - The food in the Main Dining Room (MDR) at dinner varied from very good to excellent. Presentation and service were fine. For dinner, we generally arrived at 6:30pm, when the MDR opened, and we never had difficulty getting a nice table for 2, which is our preference. We also had several luxurious breakfasts and two lunches in the MDR. We were very impressed by the selection and the quality of the food. We ate breakfast at the Terrace Café often. Having breakfast outdoors as the ship slowly docks in a new port is wonderful. There is a wide selection at the Terrace Café for breakfast and I was really impressed with the quality of the fresh fruit - would start each breakfast with a plate of fresh fruit that I selected. Moreover their pastries (almond croissants!) and bread are terrific. Kudos to the people responsible for the bakery on board. Unlike Holland, at the buffet you are served by Oceania staff, which is nice. They will even carry your plate to your table for you. We had several lunches at the Waves Grill, especially when we got back early to mid afternoon from an excursion. Waves Grill was delightful - very nice salads, lovely french fries and excellent selection of burgers and sandwiches, all cooked to order. My favorites were the surf and turf (a must!), the Angus burger and the Reuben. We both liked the smoothies and the milkshakes. The best dining experiences, however, were in the specialty restaurants. It was so nice having access one time during the cruise to each of the 4 specialty restaurants. We actually cheated - managed to go a 2nd time to Red Ginger by checking on the 1st day of the cruise at 6pm when the restaurant opened to see whether they had any extra space - they did. Red Ginger was our favorite specialty restaurant. The subtlety and combination of flavors in the dishes we ordered were terrific. My wife and I absolutely loved the crispy duck and watermelon salad as well as the miso-glazed seabass (served in a banana leaf). A "10" !!! Polo Grill and Toscana were fine too. We were a little disappointed with the signature French restaurant, Jacques, however. The menu was very traditional, the service was rushed and the food ordinary. Have definitely eaten at much better French restaurants. And we don't appreciate it when we are served the 1st course almost immediately after ordering, even before the wine steward has had a chance to come take our order. ii) Service - consistently very good to excellent. Were pleasantly surprised by nice little touches. For example, when a server in the Terrace Café greeted us & asked us how we were doing, I mentioned that my wife seemed to be coming down with a cold. The server, Melissa from Serbia, immediately offered to bring my wife some tea with lemon and honey for her throat, which was much appreciated. Our cabin stewards were excellent and in a few cases when we had a small request, they made sure we got what we asked for. Even for the muster drill we were directed to the dining room where we could sit down during the demonstrations, rather than standing in a large group for an interminable period of time on a ship deck. Ratio of staff to guests (800/1250) is higher than on Holland and it showed. iii) Stateroom/Ship Facilities - we really liked our Concierge verandah stateroom. It was clean, functional, had plenty of storage space & everything worked well. My wife particularly liked the bathroom, with separate bath tub & shower. In other reviews we saw complaints about the shower, which is very small, but I am quite tall and didn't have a problem with it. Liked very much being able to take a bath as well, so having the separate bathtub was a plus for us. The verandah was a bit small and only had 2 basic chairs & a small table but was OK. The ship is smaller than what we were accustomed to but had excellent facilities. I used the gym often. We also used the deck at the front of the ship in the spa area that Concierge rooms can access, with its own whirlpool and chairs, during the At Sea days - very nice & quiet & one of our favorite spots. The library is a nice place to relax & has a very good choice of books. Baristas coffee bar, right next to the library, was great. Would often go there for a morning cappuccino. So nice that this is included.....The main Riviera theater is comfortable and well laid out. We went to Horizons on the 15th floor for High Tea 3X during the cruise - listening to a string quartet while eating your scones, cream and jam (&/or small sandwiches and other pastries), with panoramic views in all directions, is simply wonderful! iv) Not being "nickeled and dimed" - no charge for specialty restaurants, bottles of water provided each time you leave the ship, free specialty coffees and all non-alcoholic drinks, including a stocked mini bar with water, sodas and juice in your stateroom. Bottles water and Gatorade available (for free) in the gym. Snacks and coffee available throughout the day in the Concierge Lounge. With O-Life, cost of excursions covered in the price of the cruise. Free Internet - slow & temperamental so don't get your expectations up but fine for sending emails & checking Sports scores. Even managed to Facetime back home once. Concierge class - we liked the concierge format and when we book next time we will stick with it. We appreciated the access to the Concierge lounge and used it almost daily. The bottle of champagne (real champagne btw) at the beginning of the cruise was a nice touch. We also really enjoyed the Concierge access to the spa whirlpool and deck at the bow of the ship. Being in Concierge class also meant a shorter embarkation, which was helpful. Entertainment - We only attended one show while we were on board but we enjoyed it very much - much better than similar "production" type shows we had seen on Holland America. Otherwise after dinner we were quite happy returning to our room & relaxing there. Excursions/Ports - We took 3 excursions with Oceania during this cruise - best by far was the Beach Break in Barbados. Beach was spectacular & facilities excellent. Island tour of Antigua was OK too but the beach stop at the end of the tour was disappointing - beach was small & very ordinary, nothing spectacular. Excursion to Virgin Gorda by catamaran, then bus in Tortola was a disappointment - small site was completely overrun with tourists and access to caves and baths was difficult, even though we are in decent shape & very mobile. Devil's Bay beach, with imposing boulders, is pretty but it is a small beach and there were too many people there. In St Lucia we just got off the ship briefly to look at the shops around the port but there was nothing in that area to get excited about. Tender at St Barts was a little long & not a great experience but once we got on the island we enjoyed our time there. Explored Gustavia on our own and then made our way to Shell Beach, a pleasant 10-15 minute walk from the tender port. Great place to beachcomb for shells & kept myself busy with a little snorkeling as well. Afterwards enjoyed a drink at Le Gustav with pretty views of the harbor & marina. Overall we thought this was an excellent cruise and liked it so much, we tried to book for the very next one, so we wouldn't have to leave the ship. Unfortunately the following cruise was overbooked and the Oceania Club Ambassador we dealt with was not helpful at all but that is another story. We were extremely happy with our 1st experience with Oceania and only regret not having tried them earlier. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
My husband and I chose this cruise because of the advertised reputation of Oceania and because it embarked in Venice, which was a place we wanted to return to, and it had a stop in Antibes that would allow us to see the French Riviera for ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because of the advertised reputation of Oceania and because it embarked in Venice, which was a place we wanted to return to, and it had a stop in Antibes that would allow us to see the French Riviera for the first time. We are not expert cruisers, having only cruised twice before, once with Royal Caribbean and once with Celebrity. We were also drawn to Oceania because of the smaller ship size. We felt like the price was reasonable, especially considering the perks being offered on our particular cruise. After we booked the cruise directly with an Oceania representative, we found all of the talk online about norovirus having been on this ship, the Riviera, 4 times during the period of November 2015 through April 2016. We were extremely upset at not having been informed of this prior to our booking, but we discovered the cruise line had no obligation to do so. We then worried ourselves sick about the possibility of not just getting sick, but about the changes aboard ship that would be occurring should other passengers or crew become ill with the virus. This is not a good way to begin what was supposed to have been a relaxing luxurious vacation. We sent numerous emails and questions concerning the outbreaks and asked what had been done by the cruise line to ensure the elimination of the norovirus to no avail. They would not even tell us if our assigned cabin had housed guests who had been diagnosed with norovirus during the recent outbreaks. They had our money, and we were stuck. To my knowledge, and according to the CDC, the Riviera has not had an outbreak since April 2, 2016, which was about 6 weeks prior to our cruise in May 2016. The Riviera was not full during our May 21--June 2 cruise, which was probably why we had been given such a good price. We found many return cruisers, so obviously this cruise line has a good reputation. Several of the return cruisers commented that the ship did not feel full. In the end, we were satisfied with the ship (beautiful and easy to get around), crew (top notch), and dining. (Room service was excellent as well.) Our Concierge level room was very nice, had plenty of room, and the beds were good enough to have at home. We thought the ports of call were weak overall--Venice, Zadar (Croatia), Kotor (Montenegro), Sicily, Rome, Florence, Antibes (France), Marseille (France), Port Vendres (France), and Barcelona. We had to cancel our full-day French Riviera tour from Antibes due to inclement weather; we lost another scheduled tour when the Captain chose another port over Port Vendres due to choppy seas. So that left only Venice, Rome, Florence, and Barcelona that had (in our opinion) something to offer on the 12-day cruise. We are a couple in our mid 60's and wanted to see things; we think that a lot of Oceania cruisers (on this cruise) had either already "been there." We may have been toward the lower end of the age bracket on this cruise, which did not matter to us at all. The entertainment was ok, but not as good as what we experienced on RC and Celebrity. A final note is that we packed for country club casual, but felt a little underdressed for dinner most nights. A lot of the customers chose to wear more cocktail attire than country club casual. The shore excursions offered by Oceania were over-priced and the transportation provided by the cruise line seemed disorganized in several ports, especially in Zadar, Croatia. All that said, we would probably cruise with Oceania again if the ports have more to offer. Read Less
38 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We are 4 time cruisers on Oceania, 3 times on Riviera and 1 time on Marina. We LOVED Oceania! But this cruise was a huge disappointment!! First up was the food.. they advertise that its for foodies of which we are.. we did love their ... Read More
We are 4 time cruisers on Oceania, 3 times on Riviera and 1 time on Marina. We LOVED Oceania! But this cruise was a huge disappointment!! First up was the food.. they advertise that its for foodies of which we are.. we did love their food and thought is was truly the best of all the lines we travelled on. On the first day (embarkation) at the Terrace Buffet (one of my favourite places to dine on the ship) I noticed that instead of having 4 choices on the main buffet they had 4 of the same thing.. the service was unorganized in the Terrace, some of the servers just wandering around and not even looking to see if you are trying to call them (their were other servers at the other dining venues that were really great) I racked it up to first day embarkation but it was just the start of a bad situation.. don’t get me wrong the food is not bad.. but it has really really gone down hill since last year. I heard they were bought by Norwegian so maybe this is why?? I find it hard to believe that any of the wonderful french chefs are still aboard this ship... the food and presentation at most dining locations was mediocre.. Then there was NOROVIRUS!! We got sick on the 3rd day but pretty sure it was not from Noro, we felt it was food poisoning, we were sick just once and the runs for a few hours and then we were ok. Our cabin attendant found it necessary to report us to the ships infirmary on Tues, they took away our guest cards, basically locking us in the room for the next 48 hours (coming in with masks, rubber gloves, food was brought into us on paper plates, plastic knives and forks, plastic cups and the food was alway served cold, they fumigated our whole cabin, bed and all) Don’t get me wrong I understand the need to quarantine people that have NORO, but we were not diagnosed with NOGO. The “nurse” only came in the day later, we had no temperature taken, a couple of questions as to how we were, a bottle of immmodium and another pill for the nausea and she was gone, we never saw anyone from the infirmary again. We were treated as if we had leprosy..even fellow passengers were not admitting to anyone if they were part of the sick group or not, other passengers commented that we must have lied on our declaration at the airport and really were sick. For me, if you have NORO the last thing you would want to do or could do is fly and travel.. I realized now that a ship is the last place you want to be if you are sick, it’s a dictatorship and you have no rights. Now, we were on the list of sick people along with others that “maybe" had Noro. Once we were out of quarantine and given back our cards we were still on this list and could not get off in the first 3 ports.. of course the cruise line blamed it on the ports and did not take any responsibility for the outbreak or even our situation. Talking to officers on board the comment was “well some tourists must have been sick and brought it on the ship”. Just remember that this was the 3 sailing since Dec that Riviera had an outbreak. We were not notified by our travel agent or Oceania prior to sailing that this had taken place. When we asked Oceania what compensation we could be given the answer was NONE... When we asked out travel agent why they didn’t tell us, they claimed they didn’t know and they said when they called Oceania, they were also unaware there had been any outbreak before this, or even on this cruise... Like really??? I won’t bother to mention what others have on reviews before me.. the crew washing down walls, elevator buttons, railings, door handles, basically everything was wet and sticky. The Library was closed, the artists loft was closed, the cooking classes were cancelled.. and this is not a reasonably priced cruise, I would consider it fairly expensive compared to other lines, so the bar was high. Frank Del Rio and the others that envisioned Oceania as a wonderful Lux Lite line with amazing food must be so disappointed...Never again...... Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We have almost 300 days at sea with Cunard, Crystal, Hollande America, Celebrity, Royal Carribean, Princess, Norwegian and Oceania! This first Cruise with Oceania was a complete disapointment. Food was just ok not the ´best food at ... Read More
We have almost 300 days at sea with Cunard, Crystal, Hollande America, Celebrity, Royal Carribean, Princess, Norwegian and Oceania! This first Cruise with Oceania was a complete disapointment. Food was just ok not the ´best food at sea' as advertized by Oceania. Oil was used in the pastries instead of butter. Same sauce served with beef,veal and chicken, same vegetables served in the Terrace Café every lunch... Entertainment was poor. No activity to participe in since everything was closed - the norovirus was with us! CDC came on the ship to investigate , is it only norovirus ?? 10 spécimens were evaluated and are still under investigation by the CDC. One of our party of 4 was sick the second day at sea and there was no doctor visit, no temperature taken, no specimen taken, is it the norovirus? Minimum 48 Hours in your cabin with your spouse and no right to go out of the ship for the next 3 ports! We had no welcome glass of wine when we board the ship - thank you to Celebrity for doing it. Hat and jeans in the dining venues for men, no jacket for the Captain's evening - is it country club? Pricing of the wine questionnable - a $15 botte sold at $60 + 18% for the service! And the wine list is not long and not interesting. Will We recommand Oceania? NO. Will we repeat with Oceania? NO. And many other passengers on this cruise who were repeaters told us that they will not repeat again. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was our third cruise with Oceania, first on Riveria (probably our last), second with Marina. We were very excited about this cruise because the ports of call were different from any we had taken in the past, especially Aruba. Lo and ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Oceania, first on Riveria (probably our last), second with Marina. We were very excited about this cruise because the ports of call were different from any we had taken in the past, especially Aruba. Lo and behold, two days out, Norovirus was announced by the Captain and the ship went into quarantine mode and all of the niceties that we have come to expect from Oceania disappeared immediately. The tables were cleared, the buckets of disinfectant came out and hands had to be sanitized at least a dozen times a day. It was like being on a floating horror movie with disinfectant dripping down the walls, wallpaper lifting off the walls, railings, counters and doors all sticky and goopy to the touch so much so that you couldn't even hold the stair railings when you went up and down. It was serious overkill. There were passengers who had a bit of stomach upset who were reported by room stewards that were quarantined without being tested for Norovirus and then subjected to the same stigma as those that actually had the virus. We were not allowed to dock in Aruba by the port authorities. We were very upset as this was the main reason we chose this cruise in the first place. We had to show our world cards every time we entered any of the restaurants to make sure we were not one of the "infected" people as they took their cards away and taped their doors shut and took them food on paper plates and plastic cutlery; apparently cold food for at least 48 hours. There was no captains reception for returning guests as is the norm on Oceania, the culinary school was closed, library, anywhere that they thought could pass germs. As soon as you got up from a table, the cloth was whisked away and it was sloshed down, table and chairs with disinfectant and left for at least 10 minutes. You had to ask for cream and sugar or salt and pepper and they would bring it to you and pour the cream and give you a paper packet of sugar or salt and pepper. I felt like I was in a low class cafeteria not a luxury cruise ship. Lastly, this cruise was completely sold out. Full to the brim. We should have been told that this ship had had Norovirus not once but twice before this cruise so that we could have made an informed decision as to whether or not we wanted to put ourselves into this situation. Oceania did send an urgent email to my travel agent shortly before left but it was only to offer us an upgrade for an additional cost. They chose not to tell us about the Norovirus. Fortunately for us and fortunately for Oceania, we did not get sick. Had we been one of the many very elderly people with depressed immune systems on board, this could have gone very badly. One last thing. Oceania did not plan very well for a sold out cruise ship. They ran out of wine, Pellegrino water, several foods. I for one like blueberries in my blueberry pancakes. When you have a full ship, you plan accordingly, and clearly they did not. I was not impressed. The saving grace for us was we had a penthouse suite with a lovely butler named Hamesh that saw to our every need. He brought me my Pellegrino and lots of it to the room. I suffer from migraines and always had a full ice bucket for my ice pack thanks to Hamesh. We had dinner in our room which was wonderful and daily canapés and drinks on the veranda as we pulled out of port. The room was beautifully appointed and we would never book anything other than a penthouse suite. It is well worth the extra money you pay for it. We have always enjoyed sailing with Oceania and sing their praises to all of our friends and while we know Norovirus is not their fault, they could have behaved very differently at the end of the cruise to make us feel better about the whole thing. They never said the simple words we are sorry for this or that this has inconvenienced you or perhaps ruined your holiday and hope that it won't influence your decision to sail with us again. Simple words that would have made a big difference and perhaps made us feel better. Secondly, I think they should have provided a cruise refund for this cruise and a credit for a future cruise. This would have made us want to cruise with them again and give them another chance. This cruise was seriously ruined and we spent major dollars with this company. We have told our travel agent that we were tried and true Oceania'ers but we are now looking at other luxury cruise companies. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was our second cruise on the Riviera and we were so looking forward to the food, playing tennis, golf and croquet on the forward sports deck and taking art and culinary classes when we were at sea. We also had high expectations for ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Riviera and we were so looking forward to the food, playing tennis, golf and croquet on the forward sports deck and taking art and culinary classes when we were at sea. We also had high expectations for the entertainment as it was better than average on our previous cruise. But, above all we booked the cruise for the food. Before I start, let me just say Oceania, unlike other cruiselines, DOES NOT require passengers to santitize their hands the first 48 hours of the cruise prior to going into a dining area. Due to this company policy, we feel strongly the 100+ passengers that caught the norovirus on this cruise as well as those of us that caught a solid case of bronchitis could have been minimized. What we found so amazing was this was the 3rd time CDC had been notified by the Riviera that over 2% of the passengers had come down with the virus since Nov 2015! If fact according to our room steward, it was actually the 5th time. I guess the other 2 times didn't reach the CDC notification level. Now, for the rest of the story, but I'll try to be brief. By the second day there were so many cases of the norovirus being reported, they cancelled the culinary and art classes for the duration of the cruise as well as all the sports equipment was put under lock and key. As far as access to dining areas, they started making everyone sanitize their hands and show their room cards before entering. The room card check stumped me until I found out they had confiscated the infected passengers room cards. They did that for the remainder of the cruise, which was fine, especially when it came to sanitizing hands. As far as the entertainment went, they only had 2 acts that boarded the 14 day cruise and stayed for a few days before leaving. The rest of the time there was a comedian, who was pretty good, that was married to the cruise director, 2 solo singing acts which were meager at best performed by the assistant cruise director and from one of the girls from the Oceania singer and dancer group. My point being saving money on entertainment appeared to be one of the goals of this now Norwegian-owned cruise line and it showed. Now, the reason we came on the cruise as I mentioned earlier was for the food! What a let down. When we went last spring on the Riviera we were definitely wowed! Not this time. It was still good and the specialty restaurants were still good, but they never reached the wow factor, except for maybe the Polo Grill and the Red Ginger. The rest of the time we ate outside up at the Terrace Cafe. However, most of the time we ordered from the grill because the prepared food was just so so. Again, nothing like the last cruise. As a final note Oceania did not compensate anyone on this cruise that we know of for their lack of being able to provide a quality cruise. It goes without saying this will be the last time we will sail on an Oceania cruise. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
My husband and I were really looking forward to taking this trip because of the ease of leaving from Miami, and we live in Florida. We've been on the Riviera three times before so knew the elegance and luxury of this ship. ... Read More
My husband and I were really looking forward to taking this trip because of the ease of leaving from Miami, and we live in Florida. We've been on the Riviera three times before so knew the elegance and luxury of this ship. Unfortunately, the second day we started to hear rumors that people were getting sick. Then the captain announced that, yes, people were getting sick with suspected norovirus and CDC pocedures were put in place. That meant that the library was closed, also Baristas, no cooking classes and artist loft closed. Then they started to sanitize everything, and I do mean everything! The teak chairs in Waves Grill were sticky and clung to your back! No silverware was put on the table so everything looked sparse and empty. When you sat down in any restaurant, the table was empty. Then, the waiter came along and put down some plates and silverware, but no salt or pepper, or milk in the morning. The lounge tables were constantly wiped down and goopy, that's the only word I can think of. The atmosphere was completely lost! practically everyone we spoke to was afraid of getting sick. It ended up that 98 people were ill and had to be quarantined for four days. There were red tapes put on their doors so they couldn't leave, and their ocean cards were taken away so they couldn't go to the dining rooms. We had to show our cards every time we ate, even if it was an ice cream! And you couldn't go to the Terrace Café and bring anything back to your room because food was not allowed out of the café. Now, did we have a good time? Well, my husband and I enjoy each other and we met some really nice people so we had a good time. Aruba wouldn't let the ship dock so that port was cancelled. But, this was the second time out of our four cruises with Oceania that the virus has been in the ship and the last time we got sick! Norovirus isn't pleasant, to say the least. So bottom line, that is the end of Oceania for us. The only "compensation" anyone got was free drinks during dinner two days of the cruise and our waiter told us to keep quiet about it. We still don't know if only our table got the drinks or everyone did! How tasteless. There are many luxury lines in the cruising market and I just don't want t waste my money feeling afraid that I will get it. Pass on Oceania. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Riviera is a perfect size ship being very easy to get around. Amazingly for it's relatively small size, it boasts a total of 14 musicians (excellent), 11 singers/dancers (all exceptional), and very entertaining shows. The 9:45 show ... Read More
Riviera is a perfect size ship being very easy to get around. Amazingly for it's relatively small size, it boasts a total of 14 musicians (excellent), 11 singers/dancers (all exceptional), and very entertaining shows. The 9:45 show time is perfect to have a pleasant dinner beforehand and not have to rush to see the show. We found the room, a standard balcony, a bit on the smallish side compared to our last cruise on Windstar´s Star Pride. They could have left out the bath tub, made the bathroom a bit smaller & gained room in the stateroom itself. However, it was really the width of the room that we found a bit restricting. We were on deck 7 which is just above the lifeboats. It is close enough to the waterline that if the sea is even a bit high, you can't go out on the balcony as you will be hit with spray. Having said that, we used the balcony often, particularly for a bit of reading after being in port for the day Food all around was very good as was the attention given by all the staff. The specialty restaurants are fun as an alternative to the main dining room and the food is exceptional. Exaggerated wine prices in all dining venues! Compared to other cruise lines, we paid approximately double what we would normally pay for an average wine. Count on spending at least $50 a bottle for a just so-so wine. And, a simple ladies hair wash/dry & comb came to $70+ for my wife, when she has never paid more than $35 on other cruise lines. Absolutely loved "Baristas", the coffee corner, where you could get a proper espresso at any time of the day, and the fellow working there was friendly and very good at giving you just the coffee you wanted. Then, oh my....the Norovirus! This was the 3rd. time Riviera had this problem in the last 4 months, so their telling us all that we brought it aboard was insulting, to say the least! Yes, the Captain actually said that! We knew they had had the problem twice already, but assumed this would be the cleanest ship on the seas for our cruise, However, they had obviously not solved the on-ship problem, and trying to put the blame on the passengers was beyond understanding. They worked very hard to control the virus, and were able to keep most of us healthy. What a shame for those that did become ill. Most passengers accepted the problem as well as can be expected, and everyone appreciated the extra work all the crew did with their cleaning duties. There must have been a mutiny or something in the kitchen one night as we waited 45 minutes between courses...each course, meaning a very long meal! The next night everyone was treated to free wine, although it wasn't particularly a nice wine! Still, I guess it was a nice gesture. It was a shame we weren't allowed to dock in Aruba. The Captain kept saying "just another 15 minutes", etc. After a 4 hour wait the rumors were flying around the ship, as you can imagine. That was at the beginning of the cruise, and little had been admitted publicly as to the problem on board. After that, the Captain made a statement every day at noon as to the status of the illness. Nevertheless, we had a great time on board Riviera, and highly recommend it for all the good things mentioned above. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Well day 2 the norovirus struck the ship again. We were on this protocol the rest of the cruise even though after 10 days no new cases and down to 2 quarantined. The staff was doing their best but could never keep up. This was ... Read More
Well day 2 the norovirus struck the ship again. We were on this protocol the rest of the cruise even though after 10 days no new cases and down to 2 quarantined. The staff was doing their best but could never keep up. This was especially noticed by the last few days of the 14 day cruise. Terrace Cafe was a disaster with keeping up with food and service. We were not allowed to port in Aruba due to this and never offered our port charges back. They gave you free wine but big deal! We don't drink. I was not informed (having first time on Oceania lines) that dinner service is not until 6:30 pm. I am a diabetic on insulin and meal times have to be spaced out and 6:30 is too late and then having to take insulin again at 10 pm. The shows at 9:45 is too late due to the above-mentioned situation. The food was not the best at sea by a long shot. Same veges each night in buffet, same potatoes, same grilled items. Not impressed and after day 2 my immune system was a mess with the sugar not being able to be regulated and having allergies to items used in their menu. I am allergic to MSG and soy and it was downhill from onset. No norovirus for us, Thank God, but my system was a mess. Most of the passengers were not happy on this cruise and we will not do Oceania again. We are back to Holland America for transatlantic in 2 weeks. WE tried a new line and never will do again. Again, the staff did the best they can but is it the clientele or what that this ship is sick every month? To add insult to injury, I had a credit of $72 and they took that money out of my credit card! Trying to get that changed. Good luck on that situation. What a mess this is! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This is the first cruise I've been on in which it improved with each day. At first, I had misgivings & couldn't see any differences, but the overall service and attention to detail soon became apparent. The ship is ... Read More
This is the first cruise I've been on in which it improved with each day. At first, I had misgivings & couldn't see any differences, but the overall service and attention to detail soon became apparent. The ship is beautifully decorated with modern art and amphora vases throughout. It is kept immaculately clean. Our balcony cabin was very well appointed, the bedding was super soft and the marble bathroom had a stall shower in addition to a full size tub. Many thanks to Joel and Komong for your excellent service and ice deliveries each afternoon. The ship's library consisted of tall book cabinets making small cubicles within which comfy chairs and tables were placed. A reader could sink into a chair surrounded by books, enjoy a coffee and zone out. It was heaven!!! Dining was strictly done by servers at the Terrace Cafe. There was always a nice variety of food for breakfast and lunch, especially healthy ones which pleased me. Beverages were served tableside. The specialty restaurants were outrageously delicious. We did not try Red Ginger. The majority of passengers were 60+. We met many nice people from England, Canada and the midwest. Our trivia team BRITUS won the competition! It was a lot of fun and good times. Kudos to social director, Dottie Kolloso, who without a doubt, is the busiest social director on the seven seas. She can outperform the Energizer Bunny. We loved the casual dresscode, no photographers and no pushy sales people. It was a very laid back, lowkey cruise. We bumped into past Crystal cruisers who switched over because, according to them, Crystal had become too "stuffy". The in-room TVs never had good reception (satellite problems we were told), but we didn't care since we weren't on vacation to watch TV. I got my hair cut by JOSEPH. It was the best precision cut I ever received, so I rushed back to the cabin and took selfies so my stylist could copy it. Thanks, Joseph!!! The one complaint we had was the entertainment troupe was pretty bad. It amounted to a bunch of kids jumping around & screaming through their headsets. I suffered through two performances and opted to go to the casino after that. The magician, Greg Moreland, was good. He gave 2 magic tricks classes that were excellent. Also, harpist Shirley Dominguez, entertained us with her electric harp. In conclusion, the consistently very good food, specialty restaurants, relaxed dresscode, and lovely cabin amenities made it a cruise worth repeating. It truly is a "Your Cruise, Your Way" atmosphere. Skip this cruise if you are a family with kids because Oceania provides NOTHING in the way of Kidtertainment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
Our 9th Oceania Cruise (five on REGATTA, one on MARINA and three on RIVIERA) did nothing to dispel our opinion this is the best cruise product out there. Indeed, I rate it as perhaps our best in terms of the overall cuisine and service. I ... Read More
Our 9th Oceania Cruise (five on REGATTA, one on MARINA and three on RIVIERA) did nothing to dispel our opinion this is the best cruise product out there. Indeed, I rate it as perhaps our best in terms of the overall cuisine and service. I appreciate there is a lot of worry about standards slipping with Oceania now owned by Norwegian Cruise Lines (the antithesis of everything we like in cruising) but it sure hasn't happened yet. You'd have to be pretty picky, miserable or both to find serious fault with this ship or her crew. RIVIERA remains the most immaculate, perfectly maintained ship on the planet. It is impossible for one to be any cleaner and given the decor seems designed for difficult maintenance, it's even more impressive. This doesn't happen by accident so my top rating for the crew goes to the humble but ever so hardworking cleaners. Overall, the service remains astonishing yet reassuringly superb. We noticed fewer familiar faces this cruise than in the past but made new friends and found new favourites among the new ones or at least new to us. Everyone seems genuinely friendly, courteous and helpful, challenging the unfortunate preference among some for faceless service. These wonderful people, from all over the world, just seem to enjoy excelling at their jobs and exceeding our expectations in all they do. The cuisine, the heart of the Oceania experience... gosh can it get any better? New menu choices for breakfast and lunch, the best lido and informal dining afloat (we normally hate lido style dining on ships but this time we had every breakfast and lunch delightfully al fresco and loved it) and the Grand Dining Room seemed much improved in terms of overall service although it can still be a bit slow owing to the epic menu and open sitting. Toscana and Red Ginger remain our favourites among the specialty restaurants but we also had our best ever Polo experience thanks to a delightful steward. They do need to do more to cater to gluten free (my wife) diets and she got ill aboard after eating something she was told was gluten free and was not. Most shoreside restaurants can cater to gluten free a lot better and work needs to be done here for sure. Entertainment: never why we go on cruises in the first place but the bands aboard were just fantastic this time and a HUGE improvement over other Oceania cruises especially the "Best Seller Band" in Horizons for before and after dinner. They have improved the live music before and after meal times from previous years and this is most appreciated. We didn't really go to the "shows" and the comedian was, well shall we say, not the best... my wife had a wonderful nap through most of his routine! Three criticisms: Itinerary: odd for a line that boasts having midsized ships that can go where the big ships cannot, this cruise had us among SIX ships in St. Maarten (yuck!), five in Nassau and six in Antigua... we had to dock at the container pier at the later it was so packed and in all three places, elected to stay aboard to avoid the mobs. Oceania needs to return to calls at St. Kitts, Virgin Gorda etc. It's hard to find solitude in the Caribbean nowadays precisely because of mass cruising but they can and should do better to find it. RIVIERA shouldn't be in the same ports as OASIS OF THE SEAS and we were... twice! Spa Deck (Canyon Ranch): now available to anyone booked in Concierge and above cabins and risked being ruined by becoming just another lido deck pool area. The intended quiet relaxation was spoilt by too many loud passengers. They need to put signs up there indicating "Quiet Zone" and discouraging loud conversations, food and alcohol. We were not the only ones wondering what distinguished this area from any other cruise ship pool area. Recorded "music" around the pool: again, hard to reconcile being forced to listen to audio pap blaring from loudspeakers with Oceania's "Your World, Your Way" slogan. In an age of Mp3 players, why are we forced to listen to other people's idea of music?? But yep, this remains one superb cruise product and experience across the board. Thanks to everyone aboard RIVIERA for their hard work in making our too short time aboard so pleasant.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
CONS: Concierge Level is NOT worth it. There are no advantages to paying more for this privilege. A few upscale toiletries are about the extent of this level. The “Concierge Lounge” is nothing more that an inside stateroom, with a ... Read More
CONS: Concierge Level is NOT worth it. There are no advantages to paying more for this privilege. A few upscale toiletries are about the extent of this level. The “Concierge Lounge” is nothing more that an inside stateroom, with a blaring TV (CNN) a few newspapers, four computer terminals, and a mini-fridge with sodas. There is a “Concierge Person” available – sometimes. The “10% discount on internet services” was not honored and was repeatedly refused. Embarkation is no faster. Luggage does not arrive any sooner. Rooms may be entered only a few minutes (5 – 10 minutes) before other levels. “Tranquility Beds?” NOT! Our beds were the most uncomfortable beds we have ever encountered while cruising. There are no king-sized beds, only queens, and “queens” are actually two singles (small singles-think “camping cots”) put together. My husband is a little over six feet tall, and his feet hung over the end. To turn over, one must lift up and turn, or end up on the floor. I requested a foam pillow. Our room concierge-stewardess was not able to provide one. I received yet another lumpy, hard, pillow and was told, “This IS a foam pillow!” Entertainment was very poor Evening shows do not begin until 9:45 pm. Several were so disappointing (that) we left before the end. Most passengers are far past age 70. There are lots of walkers and motorized chairs and, at times, if you are stuck behind them, movement about the ship can be cumbersome. Wine and spirits are VERY EXPENSIVE. “Packages” are offered, but the sommelier may have the last laugh, as the vintages are foreign, and there is no way to know what you are getting. Wines by the glass are highly inflated, and an 18% gratuity is added on to the already outrageous cost. Room service coffee is abominable. Coffee in the restaurants is very good, but morning coffee on the balcony was so bad, it had to be sent back. Shore excursions were a joke and the joke was on us! We did the “Jungle ATV Adventure” and when, after the first few minutes we realized we were driving around in circles, we had to laugh at our own gullibility. The tour operators were ingenious. They were making big bucks for doing donuts in the jungle. Specialty restaurants What they do not tell you is that you may only dine in the four specialty restaurants ONCE. No more, only one time. You may request subsequent dining, but will be told you are “on the wait list” to no avail. PROS: The ship is lovely. Understated and elegant décor and soft, unobtrusive music. Some of the artwork is bizarre (What were they thinking?!) but overall the ship was very refined. Room service was lightening fast, and the pastries were divine. No extra charge for room service was nice. Embarkation was a breeze. We were on the ship in less than 10 minutes. The library was lovely and well appointed. Dining was fun with almost too many waitpersons in attendance. The food was no more special than the faire offered on other cruise lines. The china, crystal, and silver were superior. There was always plenty of lounge chairs poolside. Each one is covered with a clean white terrycloth covering. The cooking classes were fabulous. Our class began at 4:00 pm, and we were so full from the samples, that we had to forego dinner that evening. We came home with several great recipes and new skills. Oceania boasts that their staterooms at 282 sq.ft. are larger than most others. I was shocked upon entering our stateroom, as it was no bigger than what we have experiences on three other cruise lines. The elegant bathroom, however, was spacious with two showers, a full tub, and well appointed storage. We had a delightful cruise, but for the money, other cruise lines offer a better value. Oceania’s refusing to offer free internet, and then refusing to honor their own offer of a 10% discount on an internet package was petty. The nickel and dimeing for several little things, that should have been included, was offensive.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
For the last three years my DH has been trying to get me to try Oceania and when this one came up in a price point I was comfortable with doing, I agreed. We originally booked a 10 day cruise that would take place this month but O asked if ... Read More
For the last three years my DH has been trying to get me to try Oceania and when this one came up in a price point I was comfortable with doing, I agreed. We originally booked a 10 day cruise that would take place this month but O asked if we'd be willing to do the 14 day Southern Caribbean cruise (Nov 29 - Dec 13) instead.Both cruises began and ended in Miami.To do the change, we would be upgraded to a balcony from an oceanview - with both being around midship. Since we could change our airfare with no problem we agreed. Let me say in advance, overall I loved the experience and with a good price point and itinerary would definitely cruise O again. We've been on over 30 cruises and tried all the other mainline cruises including Crystal. We like the ships with under 1500 passengers. Next year we plan to try river cruising. The day of our cruise, there was a coast guard inspection so we were told not to arrive until around 3 pm. That's when we did our embarkation and found that at least 75% of the guests were already on board. This meant we got through the process quickly. What I didn't like is that our room was not yet available so we had to keep our carryon with us. Finally had approval to go to our cabin around 4 pm. Never had to wait that long with other cruise lines. Though it didn't seem like it at first, I found our room had a lot of storage space - especially when you add the rack space under the sink and over the commode. My only issue with the room was the TV. If we tried to watch a movie on TV the reception kept going out or the sound got garbled. Didn't seem to run into that issue with news channels. First impression of the ship was one of spaciousness and minimal crowds - even in the Terrace Grill. We had our late lunch out on the deck overlooking the city which was lovely. However, my first experience with the Grill - was less than stellar. Felt they were lacking for "lunch" options of salads and sandwiches. I don't want overcooked vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy with meat for lunch. My other issue was with in the salad dressing options. I've had better dressing options at cheap buffets. I was especially appalled by what they considered Caesar dressing - basically whipped mayonnaise with some Italian seasonings. Had a chat with one of the chefs about it and he said they would be tweaking it some to make it more traditional. Worked around the lunch options other days by ordering turf & surf solo or grilled ahi from Waves (which should not be missed) and having them bring it to the Terrace where I had a small salad with the balsamic vinaigrette and added some cheese and dried fruit. Loved the food options at Waves, but they had several problems with getting my order correct. Their fries are the hottest and crispest I've found on any cruise line. Tried all the specialty restaurants for dinner two or three times. This is where O excels. They had outstanding appetizers, pastas and desserts. Enjoyed the olive oil and vinegar menu at Toscana. Our favorite appetizer was the eggplant wrapped veal. Want to make that at home! We keep talking about it. Since I'm a big fan of teas, I loved the tea options at Red Ginger. My new favorite is the Ginger Pear White tea. Was not a fan of the standard teas found in all the other venues. Only option for herbal teas was chamomile and a lemon. I like herbals with a little more flavor. However, made up for that by having vitamin waters which I could pick up at the gym. Afternoon tea - tried it once and enjoyed a couple of their samplings which were pretty standard fare for cruise line teas. The disappointing part is they don't offer any different teas than those found in the grill or dining room.(Get the idea I like my teas.) Barista - My DH enjoyed the coffee options here and we both liked the mini- versions of the pastries they served here. Entertainment - went to a few shows which were what you'd typically find on any other ship of this size. I enjoy them though I know others say they are not Broadway caliber; but then I'm not paying Broadway ticket prices. We really liked listening to the live bands. My DH is a musician and he thought they were very talented. Ports - This is the reason we switched our cruise - the option to do ports not normally seen. Favorites were Grenada, St. Kitts, Columbia & Venezuela. The latter for the learning experience of what life is like under a despot. Tours in Grenada and St Kitts were independent and would highly recommend the tour operators. Debarkation - Had a leisurely breakfast in the dining room with few other in attendance which was surprising. Service was good as it was other mornings we dined there. Good choices for breakfast. I had one of my favorites of a hamburger with a fried egg. And it was served at the right temperature. We rarely have to catch an early plane as we often stay in the port an extra night. In many of the specialty restaurants we shared tables and enjoyed chatting with other avid cruisers. Also enjoyed the exercise of doing the mini-sports games with the fun-spirited singers and dancers. As usual did trivia daily and enjoyed the camaraderie of my team (many times a winner) and the other teams. Had lots of wonderful memories from this cruise and the ports. Would highly recommend it to others. Read Less
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2014
This is my second sailing with Oceania, my husband's first. Embarkation was quite easy, despite the fact that our taxi driver had difficulty find the dock and that Oceania had indicated that the "Regatta" was sailing that ... Read More
This is my second sailing with Oceania, my husband's first. Embarkation was quite easy, despite the fact that our taxi driver had difficulty find the dock and that Oceania had indicated that the "Regatta" was sailing that day, not the "Insignia". This added to the confusion. We had chased an Concierge Veranda cabin on deck 7. The big advantage to this category, beyond the veranda, is the fact that you can eat a minimum of four times at the specialty restaurants. Apart from that, not sure if it's worth it. The cabin itself is 215 sq ft, with a tiny and very basic bathroom-shower only. This ship has just been in dry dock for a return, but that was not evident in our cabin. The penthouses have been totally redone. We saw one and it was lovely. Service on this vessel was exemplary. They exceeded our expectations and with a smile. our stewardess, Kristina, was fantastic, professional and fun. Food on this ship is delicious, particularly in the specialty restaurants, Toscana and Polo. Most of the food in the Grand Dining room was delicious, particularly the breakfasts. One or two dinners were a bit off. I, Personally did not enjoy the food at the Terrace cafe as much. This restaurant is now open for dinner and it is a buffet. they also do lobster tails, fish , chicken and steak on a grill. There is a great deal of choice. However, quite a few items looked better than they tasted. The pate en croute was superb, as was the lobster and cheesecake. Afternoon read is to die for. My husband is british and he loved it. the scones are superb, as are the French pastries. We only went twice-too tempting. Oceania was recently purchased by Norwegian Cruise Line and I could see some tine cutbacks since my cruise win January. No more Pouisse Fuisse by the glass and I was looking forward to that. The chocolates on your pillow are no longer truffles, but plain chocolate. We only booked one excursion on the cruise, as their shore trips are very expensive and we like doing our own thing. I had booked the boat excursion to Pinney's Beach in Nevis weeks before sailing. about three days before this trip, I was reading their booklet and noticed that they had totally changed this excursion. No one had informed us of this change and had we not read the brochure, we would have been out of luck. I proceeded to the shore excursion desk, where I talked to Marina, who was totally unaware that our excursion had been changed. she said that she would contact the tour operator and then contact us. she did not contact us. My husband returned to speak to her again. We received an refund. Apparently some people met on the day of the tour where Oceania had not prepared for this eventuality and had passengers vote on how to proceed. really? Now we come to entertainment, where Oceania fails. Their philosophy on entertainment is cheesy, dated and boring. Too bad, because the entertainers are talented. Even the music at the pool was horrible- and endless repetitions of 70"s standards. It was like swimming in a giant outdoor elevator. If Oceania is to be considered a world class cruise line, then they need to address their entertainment philosophy. I found the same thing on the regatta in January. We spent most nights on our veranda looking at the stars. That was amazing. After two cruises on Oceania, I would hesitate to rebook. We did much prefer Silverseas, where drinks are included, cabins are brighter, lighter and larger (315 sq ft), and the entertainment far superior. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
This was our second cruise on the Riviera, we have been on 25+ trips on a mix of lines. We got to Miami a day early and stayed at the Sonesta in Connut Grove. Very nice hotel although pricey. Took a cab to the port, 20 minute ride. As we ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Riviera, we have been on 25+ trips on a mix of lines. We got to Miami a day early and stayed at the Sonesta in Connut Grove. Very nice hotel although pricey. Took a cab to the port, 20 minute ride. As we had a B1 cabin we got there at 1pm as the pre cruise docs advised and were on the ship in ten minutes. Oceania boards the ship in the order of your room type so we were last. We were in B1 cabin 8105. All the A and B cabins are the same as are the ocean view expect instead of a sliding door they have a floor to ceiling window. Our cabin was ready at 3pm as the boarding letter stated. Again Oceania gets the cabins ready by room type so we were again last. The cabin is very nice with plenty of storage, comfortable furniture and bed, nice size veranda with two comfortable chairs. Large bathroom with good storage. It was by the aft stairway, quite and convenient. The B cabins and below get Oceania brand bath products, no tote bag and no thanks for cruising gift. They also get no hot items for breakfast from room service. The room was always kept clean and still looked new. Service in all areas of the ship was excellent, the crew is very hard working, knew their jobs and seemed efficient. They all were pleasant however too busy to talk much. As an example we did not meet our room person until day 3. Her and her helper took care of 24 rooms, one of which was the owners suite. The ships officers showed little interest in the passenger's, in fact when one passed they seemed to go out of their way not to make eye contact. The ship still looks new, is very clean, easy to get around and never seemed crowded except around the pool. It is built and furnished with high quality products. A disappointment is the fact it has no promenade deck at all and the way the open decks are built the only was to sit outdoors by the rail and watch the sea go past is your veranda. We ate in all the restaurants expect La Reserve. I made my specialty restaurant reservations on the first day I could at midnight. I got what I wanted in all but Jocks, here I was locked out and had to share a table. Ok but not what I wanted. Oceania lets the better cabins have more reservations and get them earlier on line and once on the ship the better cabins can go to a separate place at 11am on the first day to make them, while to lower ones must wait till 1pm. We had a B cabin so again last. This is the Oceania class system at work. Food was good all around, personal tastes vary so what I will say is we never had a bad meal, very high grade products are used and things like steak, lobster, chops etc. are out every day cooked to order. Service in all the dinning rooms and the terrace was excellent and at a pace to match yours. There was a show each night at 9:45. I thought this was a little late as last time they were at 9:15. Between dinner and the show there is little to do so it can be boring. They had 4 large shows with the whole cast witch was 6 dancers, 4 singers, a lead singer and a dance couple. We found them to be very good. They also had a magician, singer who was the asst. cruise director and 2 different comedian's. They showed a movie by the pool on three nights and had late night music in Horizons. I felt it was all good to very good. The problem this ship has is the show lounge. It is small, the stage is one foot high, very poor sight lines and the most uncomfortable seats I ever sat in, reminds me of grade school. The age group on this trip was a disappointment. I am 66 years old and I feel 90%+ on board were my age or older. I really prefer to be with a cross section of age groups. By the end I felt I was at the senior center for two weeks!! We went to ten ports in the Southern Caribbean, all were good, just what you would expect. One was a tender port and that went fine. We did not use Oceania shore trips as they are 2 to 3 times the going price. There were two guest speakers on board, one did a talk on each island we visited and the Titanic, the other did a 4 part talk on the civil war. Both were top quality. My wife went to the artists loft each day for a two hour art class which she felt was great. We did not use the culinary class this time. Overall we had a very nice time. I will say that the things that are not included in the fare are, in my opinion, very overpriced. We are not locked into one line, I would use them again and I would recommend them to others. For now we will try a few other lines. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
With more than 60 cruises on all levels of cruise lines (from Carnival, Celebrity to Cunard) as a guideline for this review, my husband and I are not sure we would be enticed to cruise on Oceania again when considering the price of this ... Read More
With more than 60 cruises on all levels of cruise lines (from Carnival, Celebrity to Cunard) as a guideline for this review, my husband and I are not sure we would be enticed to cruise on Oceania again when considering the price of this cruise compared to our experience while on board. Driving over to Miami is nothing out of the ordinary for us, but pulling up to a small, unorganized porter area to drop off luggage and then a long wait in line to prepay for our garage parking was not the standard we expected from a luxury cruise port. The port employees park here as well and finding a place not under the top floor sun was difficult. Once we entered the check-in building, it was a breeze. Ship is elegant, lovely lounges surround pool and Terrace Spa area is perfect for afternoon whirlpool and nap. But, some guests do not respect the serenity and carry on as though it's a pool party area. Gym is well equipped but noticed no hands-on staff nearby to help with equipment. More than 3 machines had TV/Radio not working and no one to notify. The sanitary wipe containers were usually empty by mid-morning. Our penthouse suite was not ready when boarding near noon, so we went to the poolside bar to have a cocktail. Asking for Absolute for my Bloody took forever as the bar did not have it stocked. Husband asked for Bud and was told they do not carry that beer. For two days he drank Corona, at a higher price, and then saw another passenger with a Bud bottle. This was the normal level of service with the bars on board. Slow and not polished. Plus the drinks are more expensive than on other lines. The suite was lovely. The bed and linens were exceptional. Tons of storage and probably the best layout we've had on any ship. The bathroom was wonderful, too. Problems with A/C during night continued even after reported and supposedly repaired. Always got hot during the middle of night. The veranda was very salty when we arrived. Seriously...huge pieces of dried salt were on the deck and every chair and railing had salt residue. Not a great first impression. Finally cleaned the next day. Our butler, Gyan, was attentive without being annoying. Suite was always clean and our stewardess and assistant should be commended, too. The steam room did not work probably during the entire cruise. Repeated reports to spa manager, guest relations and finally a mid cruise questionnaire brought attention to the engineer. We were told it was clogged and new parts needed when returning to Miami. Food ranged from average to excellent. Polo was just OK, Ginger and Jacque's excellent. Toscana was very good, too. Grand dining room ranged from average to suburb. But, other than Ginger, all the service was slow. Entertainment was fine. Enjoyed the string quartet prior to dinner and also the piano in the martini bar. Saw a couple of shows and they were nice. Nothing exceptional, but entertaining. Only booked one Oceania 7 hour excursion while in St Lucia. For the high charge, all land transportation should have been Air Conditioned. When in parking lots, we noticed Royal Caribbean buses were more new, in better condition and with A/C. We both took the Italian cooking class and it was a great experience. Lots of fun and out of the ordinary. Would highly recommend any class. Heard lots of conversation from fellow passengers who had cruised on Oceania previous. Liquor is very expensive, food has gone downhill and service isn't what it used to be. At times the crowding on board seemed unbearable. Ship's muster caused stairway congestion and pushing. Finding pool lounges could be tedious for those who didn't come on deck early in morning. Disembarking was not smooth either. The halls were too narrow to accompany all the wheelchair and hovercrafts trying to get to a lounge to wait to be called. Passengers were "stuck" after exiting elevators as no one could move. Cruising on the Oasis of Seas seemed less populated than the Riviera when comparing wait for elevators or entering dining room. Think we'll continue to cruise on Celebrity or RCI where our club's level provides complimentary cocktails and will upgrade to at least a jr suite. We believe it to be a better value and equal experience. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
We just got back from sailing for the first time on Oceania, it was marvelous. I see why they were awarded the ship of the year for 2013. The food in ALL the restaurants was top quality and so much variety. Dining in specialty restaurants ... Read More
We just got back from sailing for the first time on Oceania, it was marvelous. I see why they were awarded the ship of the year for 2013. The food in ALL the restaurants was top quality and so much variety. Dining in specialty restaurants without the upcharge was very nice. All the staff and crew were friendly and were greeting us by name by the second week. The cabins were spacious, comfortable and clean. Granite bathroom with bathtub and linens were top notch. We have never gone on Oceania before and now I am not sure we could ever take another line. I felt pampered the whole time. We did 9 ports, so it was a port intensive cruise, was happy to have two sea days at the end to just "chill". Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
Embarkation Well done. This is our 14th cruise so we knew what to expect (first with Oceania). We were on the ship very early—about 11:45. We couldn’t get into our room until about 2:45. One suitcase arrived before the safety drill ... Read More
Embarkation Well done. This is our 14th cruise so we knew what to expect (first with Oceania). We were on the ship very early—about 11:45. We couldn’t get into our room until about 2:45. One suitcase arrived before the safety drill and one shortly thereafter Stateroom We were in a B3, 7114 with the extended balcony. It was nice but other than the bathroom which was very nice, the cabin was similar to the mass market lines. The bed was comfortable. We did not care for the position of the closet (right alongside the bed). It was hard to get to everything. If you can afford it, a PH is the way to go! The closet is awesome.We enjoyed having cold water and sodas in the fridge. We did not meet our cabin steward until the second day. I asked for a lounger but did not get one. He made it seem like it was my fault for not hunting him down on day one. Otherwise, he and his assistant did a fine job. Food Loved the corned beef Rueben from the Waves Grill. Tried it on day one and had it for lunch two more times! The Roman burger was good too. We also liked their chocolate milkshake. I didn’t care for the lunch buffet in the Terrace Café very much but my husband always found something. We had dinner twice at the buffet and I really enjoyed the filet and strip steak with a side of béarnaise sauce—yum. I didn’t care for the grilled lobster tails. I prefer mine steamed. Jacques and Red Ginger were our favorite restaurants. Polo was our least favorite—maybe I made some bad choices. The steak was fine but my clam chowder and Waldorf salad where both kind of bland. We didn’t really give Toscana a fair chance. We came back from an excursion and were starving so we ordered room service (good food) fairly late in the afternoon on the day that we ate at Toscana. We were lucky enough to get a second reservation at Jacques and Red Ginger. Some of our favorite things; Pot of Chocolate, prime rib, and Dover Sole in Jacques; Sea Bass, Fried Calamari, Beef Carpaccio, tuna appetizer and Ginger cake in Red Ginger. Onion soup was delicious in Jacques and Polo. We tried the Exploration menu in LaReserve and did not enjoy the food but we had great company so it was a nice evening. The wine pairings featured too many white choices. There was one excellent burgundy that we liked very much. I wouldn't book LaReserve again. I have to say that the desserts were awesome. We tried to get the recipe for the chocolate safari cake but no luck. We also enjoyed the cooking demonstration in the theater and the Italian Table culinary class. We have made the Pasta Michelangelo at home. The food in the Grand Dining Room was hit or miss for me. The service in all of the venues was excellent. I have nothing but good things to say about the staff. Didn’t care for the afternoon tea. The scones were not as good as on Princess. On-Board Activities We are couch potatoes and don’t require much in the way of entertainment on sea days. I like to read on the balcony and my husband likes to catch up on the latest movies on TV. We spent one sea day at the pool. We also did a wine tasting and played mini golf. On the first sea day, we attended a Meet and Greet for our Roll Call. Oceania did not support it all. We were booted out of the venue when the Acupuncture class started. I did a bit of damage in the boutique; some new perfume and a few Fire CZ rings. Many people have complained about not being able to find a server to bring them a drink, we had not trouble getting a drink the few times that we wanted to order one. We did bring on our own wine and enjoyed that immensely! We attended 3 shows in the evening and I thought they were on par with other cruise lines. The casino is tiny and some of the machines seem really old which can’t be since the ship is only 2 years old. But, I did win $154.00! We did not listen to any of the acts playing in the bar. We met more people on this cruise than on our past cruises. My husband and I still work for a living and we were in the minority. Just about everyone we met was retired. Maybe that is why they were all so friendly! Or, it could be the fact that the size of the ship means that you run into the same people more often. We used the laundry room on one occasion. It was nice to have. Oceania provides a TV, bottled water and detergent. The irons are free. You pay $2.00 each for the washer and dryer. Shore Excursions: Only took one Oceania excursion to Jost Van Dyke. It was well run and the price was fair; we enjoyed it. All other excursions were private. Disembarkation We booked Quality Limo Service in advance and were waiting on the curb at the appointed time. The driver called to say that he was twenty minutes away due to traffic. Really? All of the other limo services were there on time. The reason we booked a private car was because we had a very early flight back home: 11:21 AM. We ended up taking a Quality van instead and they did give us a $60 credit but it was stress that I did not need at the end of our vacation. There was a wonderful gentleman working for the Miami Port Authority who did a great job of finding a van that would leave right away for Fort Lauderdale. Oceania did a fine job of sorting the luggage and having it available to us in the terminal. It was very crowded exiting the ship. Some passengers have mobility issues that slow down the process. Hopefully, I will be one of those folks someday—slowing down but still able to enjoy cruising! We booked our next cruise while onboard for June 2015, London, Ireland, Scotland.   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
Embarkation in Miami was smooth and efficient. We booked concierge cabin so bypassed the short line for embarkation. Room was not ready but we had lunch and afterwards our room was ready for our arrival. We attempted to modify one of our ... Read More
Embarkation in Miami was smooth and efficient. We booked concierge cabin so bypassed the short line for embarkation. Room was not ready but we had lunch and afterwards our room was ready for our arrival. We attempted to modify one of our specialty restaurant reservations and lines were fairly long for reservation support. Strongly advise booking all specialty restaurant reservations before embarkation and as soon as you are allowed to. Staff on ship advised us they only save 10% of the Time slots for on board reservations so choices on board are extremely limited. We reserved our specialty dining two months before the cruise on the first day allowed for concierge class cabins. Even then, choices were only available for late (8pm) or early (5:30/6pm) dining. Apparently higher level cabins scoop up the 7/7:30 reservations. However food is exceptional in all locations including the terrace cafe and main dining room. I had lobster in some fashion everyday. In the terrace cafe, crabs seems to be available each evening in some format, either claws or legs. We ordered room service for breakfast each day and food was promptly delivered and was great, including the lamb reb chops I occasionally ordered. Ports-in Tortola, we went to the baths, using the speedy ferry service. They had a package that included the ride to the baths beach and return which helped remove some uncertainty around transportation. Baths were scenic although there is a gap in ferry schedule in the early afternoon so we spent more time at the baths than we preferred. In Antigua, we browses around the skips at the pier which were very convenient. In Barbados, we did an island tour thru a local cab driver. Was pretty disappointing and might have been better off booking something in advance. He took us to what he claimed was the best beach on Barbados and boy, was that disappointing. In st Lucia, we caught the only rain showers on the cruise so we cancelled our prearranged tour. When weather cleared, we left the ship and were accosted by local entrepreneurs looking to sell us their services. They were the most aggressive we have ever come across and we quickly reboarded the ship. I recommend pre-booking for st Lucia so you can avoid the independent guides. When we got to Miami, we had a 11am flight so disembarked in one of the first groups. We found luggage, got thru customs, and after a short wait for a cab, were headed to the airport. From disembarkation until airport arrival, it was one hour total so no trouble making our flight. Service-service was generally very good. Oceania does a mid cruise cus sat survey and they will try to rectify any issues you flag in that survey. I give them credit for checking your satisfaction while they can still fix problems. Service in the terrace cafe during dinner is pretty sparse and finding someone to take a drink order during dinner in the terrace can be tough. During the day however, poolside service for drinks is prompt and available. Our cabin steward and service were great. We did find the many passengers abuse reserving pool chaises with books/hats and then disappear for maybe hours... Pool staff does not appear to police these abuses at all although Oceania has a stated policy of not allowing reserving for long periods of time. When I could not find an available chaise, I would ask the pool attendants to find me one. When they reported they were all taken, I asked them to clear some abandoned chaises and they got a supervisor who did find or clear a chaise for me. So they did oblige with some prompting. Cabin-well appointed and very comfortable. Full sized tub and separate shower in concierge cabins. Great, comfy bed!, Entertainment-staff singers/dancers were an experienced team and were fantastic. Showroom seating was never a problem with plenty of seats. Guest entertainers were varied. Overall-food quality is the real differentiator on Oceania and the food is absolutely great. Ship is very nice and still new. Itinerary was great as we had four days at sea to enjoy all the amenities. We will definitely be back on Oceania. Read Less
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