Riviera Review

Riviera
Riviera
2019 Best Overall
2019 Best for Cabins
2019 Best for Dining

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Riviera
4.5 / 5.0 Cruise Critic Editor Rating
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Pros

Emphasis on food and wine pays off with some of the best dining at sea.

Cons

Entertainment is lackluster, and the ship shuts down pretty early.

Bottom Line

The ship is a perfect fit for foodies and those who want a deeper dive into ports.


About

Passengers 1,250
Crew 800
Passenger to Crew 1.56:1
Launched 2012
Shore Excursions 1,302
Colleen McDaniel
Cruise Critic Editor-In-Chief

Riviera Overview

Accommodating 1,250 passengers, Riviera is the right size with the right amenities to provide an upscale cruise into ports that are difficult for larger cruise ships to reach. The ship includes a wide range of cabins, which all feel luxurious thanks to premium fabrics and materials such as Italian marble.  

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A recent renovation to Riviera updated some of the public areas and suite categories as part of the OceaniaNEXT program during an early 2019 dry-dock in Marseille. Its cabins are beautifully designed yet feel comfortable and sensible at the same time. The top-tier suites can only be described as opulent, with marble detailing and lush fabrics practically everywhere; the Owners Suites are Ralph Lauren branded.

It's impossible to talk about Riviera without mentioning food. That's because dining and cuisine are deeply entwined with the ship and its programming. Cuisine is an art form onboard, with attention given to even the smallest details, from idea to execution. Menus are vast and balanced; even people who don't think of themselves as foodies will be happy with the selection.

Oceania smartly leverages partnerships and branding with the likes of Jacques Pepin and Wine Spectator to ensure tours and enrichment include cuisine as well. This is evident at Riviera's Culinary Center, at meals at La Reserve (a wine-pairing dinner) and in ports as passengers try out the line's unique Culinary Destination Tours. Everyone associated with the ship understands the importance food plays in the overall experience and treats dining with reverence.

The ship visits new ports almost every day, so the schedule onboard is designed to accommodate early mornings. Consequently, the pace is a bit slow at night, and entertainment varies between live bands in the Horizons lounge to musical revues in the Riviera Lounge.

Working around busy port schedules also means passengers might have to sacrifice entertainment or enrichment options for the sake of dining; only one show is offered at night, and dining times often conflict with those, so passengers have to make decisions that might leave them feeling like they missed out.

Service, for the most part, is excellent. Crew members are professional and polite, and they know their product and customers thoroughly. Special requests and personal preferences are a hallmark of the staff in restaurants. The notable exception is poolside, where there don't seem to be enough cocktail servers to keep up with passenger demand.

Fellow Passengers

Passengers on Riviera are older -- expect most to fall into the 65-plus category, though the age skews younger when itineraries are shorter. Most of them are American, with Canadians, Brits and Australians rounding out the mix, but passengers from many other countries often sail. You'll also find a few families onboard during the summer and around the holidays, when kids are free from the shackles of school.


Oceania Riviera Dress Code

Daytime: Casual, with shorts and Polo shirts on most excursions and bathing suits and cover-ups common on the pool deck. Shorts, tees, jeans, capris, and casual dresses are appropriate in all public spaces.

Evening: At night, the dress code is similar to what you'd find at a country club or resort on land. Men wear dress pants or khakis and button-down or collared shirts, while women might wear dresses or blouses with skirts, capris or dress pants. Riviera doesn't have a formal night, so glitzy dresses or jackets and ties aren't required, though some passengers do dress for dinner, especially in the specialty venues.

Not permitted: Passengers aren't permitted to wear tank tops or swimsuits in restaurants, regardless of the time of day. Jeans, t-shirts, and tennis shoes are discouraged in public areas after 6 p.m.

For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Oceania.

Oceania Riviera Inclusions

Included with your cruise fare:

  • Main dining room, buffet, and all specialty restaurants except La Reserve.
  • Unlimited soft drinks, bottled water, cappuccino, espresso, teas and juices
  • Most daily activities unless noted below
  • Use of the gym
  • Free Wi-Fi (on one device)
  • Dining in most specialty restaurants (except La Reserve)

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Gratuities ($16.00 per person, per day or $23 per person, per day for suites with butler service
  • Automatic beverage and spa tips (18 percent for both)
  • Dinners in La Reserve
  • Beer, wine, spirits, cocktails
  • Spa treatments
  • Shore excursions


Oceania Riviera Awards

Cruisers’ Choice Awards

2019 Best Overall
2019 Best for Cabins
2019 Best for Dining
2019 Best for Embarkation
2019 Best for Fitness & Recreation
2019 Best for Public Rooms
2019 Best for Service
2019 Best for Value
2018 Best Overall
2018 Best for Cabins
2018 Best for Dining
2018 Best for Embarkation
2018 Best for Fitness & Recreation
2018 Best for Public Rooms
2018 Best for Service
2018 Best for Value
2017 Best Overall
2017 Best for Cabins
2017 Best for Dining
2017 Best for Fitness & Recreation
2017 Best for Public Rooms
2017 Best for Service
2017 Best for Shore Excursions
2017 Best for Value
2016 Best Overall
2016 Best for Cabins
2016 Best for Dining
2016 Best for Embarkation
2016 Best for Fitness & Recreation
2016 Best for Public Rooms
2016 Best for Shore Excursions
2016 Best for Value
2015 Best Overall
2015 Best for Cabins
2015 Best for Dining
2015 Best for Embarkation
2015 Best for Entertainment
2015 Best for Fitness
2015 Best for Public Rooms
2015 Best for Service
2015 Best for Shore Excursions
2015 Best for Value
2014 Best Overall
2014 Best for Cabins
2014 Best for Dining
2014 Best for Embarkation
2014 Best for Public Rooms
2014 Best for Service
2014 Best for Value

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Oceania Riviera Member Reviews

Kristi B.
Sail Date: Mar 2019
We went on the Oceania Riviera because we wanted top of the line service, a smallish ship, and to see a different part of the Caribbean. As soon as we went to the buffet after embarkation, I knew we...Read More
Holmesie
Sail Date: Mar 2019
that I can always have a safe breakfast and dinner in every port. This was our second time on Riviera and we really love this ship. The size works for us with the additional restaurants, cooking school...Read More
barbon2
Sail Date: Feb 2019
We like the atmosphere on Oceania cruises. The Riviera was our second Oceania cruise this year. We were in the Caribbean and liked having a larger ship on this itinerary. We do prefer the smaller...Read More
cruiseraw
Sail Date: Dec 2018
The oceania riviera desperately needs dry dock updates & upgrades. The same carpet stains from last year's cruise were still there a year later. The carpet is in horrible condition and the wood on the...Read More

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