6 Oceania Riviera Cuba Cruise Reviews

We booked this cruise as it included four countries we previously hadn't visited: Cuba, Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala. The timing worked well to have some family join us on this 7-night cruise. I would note that we are Oceania ... Read More
We booked this cruise as it included four countries we previously hadn't visited: Cuba, Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala. The timing worked well to have some family join us on this 7-night cruise. I would note that we are Oceania loyalists based on the cuisine, quality of the ships and their excellent crews, as well as the vast assortment of 7-12 day cruises on offer work for our busy lifestyle (in our early 40s and both working full-time). We're always being asked about being the youngest passengers on the ship (we are both fit and look like we're in our 30s), and our response is always "what's not to like, great vacations with interesting fellow passengers". One more disclosure - I'm Gluten Free (GF) and LOVE the way that Oceania tends to my dietary restrictions. Taking the stress out of eating all over the world is a game changer for me knowing 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, larger Baristas with great views, and larger cabins across all categories. We've previously sailed on Insignia and enjoyed the intimacy of the smaller ship but the PH cabins on these R-class ships are the size of standard veranda cabins on Riviera/Marina. The PH cabins on Riviera are as nice as our PH on a previous Regent SS Voyager cruise. On this cruise we took a cooking class "If it Swims" and really loved the class and the instructor - Stephanie Hersh. Stephanie was the long-time assistant of Julia Child and had great stories and a depth of knowledge that was greatly appreciated by everyone on the ship who interacted with her. We enjoyed the "La Cuisine Bourgeois" in La Reserve with wine pairings. We love the La Reserve team and the effort they put into these dinners. We also stopped in for a wine flight and they had excellent nibbles to go with that made it worth the supplement. The one thing we would do differently on the next Riviera/Marina cruise would be to go back to a PH on Deck 11. Being one of only 4 PHs on Deck 7 (all aft with huge balconies which is why we chose our cabin for this warm weather cruise) we felt a bit neglected as we rarely saw our butler. We also note that while it's not a written policy, passengers in suites tend to be seated at better tables in the restaurants. We noticed that unlike our previous cruises we found ourselves with less prime tables when giving a cabin number starting with '7' than '11' at the host stands. When I read Oceania reviews it seems like a lot of folks complain about NCL's ownership economizing on-board. I would note that it does seem like there's a bit less staffing in the MDR and around the pool, but we haven't noticed any other negative changes. We haven't noticed any cost-cutting in the food or prices for the wines by the bottle which are the key for us. I do wonder if Oceania will feel the need to match the included beer/wine with meals offered by Azamara and Viking as these main competitors have Oceania beat in this category. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our tenth cruise and second with Oceania. We were on the Riviera last year and had a wonderful time. Much to our delight this cruise was even better than the previous one. For us, as good as the ship itself was and all it had to ... Read More
This was our tenth cruise and second with Oceania. We were on the Riviera last year and had a wonderful time. Much to our delight this cruise was even better than the previous one. For us, as good as the ship itself was and all it had to offer, the best part of the cruise was the people. We met so many amazing people on this cruise and had a delightful time with them from the minute we boarded to the moment we left. We’ve been on the big ships in the past, but we much prefer the size of the Riviera. We find it's a little more intimate, with a sense of community when the ship is not a floating mega-city! Also, and I don’t mean to sound like a stuffy snob, but the type of people that cruise with Oceania appeal much more to our age and tastes than some of the other cruise lines. As so many others have noted, the food is outstanding from the main dining room to the specialty restaurants to the Terrace Café buffet. The buffet selection was as good as any of the other restaurants. Beyond the buffet's amazing selection, what also appealed to us about the buffet was that we don’t touch the food – it is served to us and as a result it is so much healthier. Speaking of healthy, we loved the fact that every morning we could get fresh veggie juice just like we have at home. In all the restaurants there were all sorts of healthy eating alternatives. The room was cozy but large enough. The storage space was adequate. Of course, we loved the balcony where we spent a lot of time enjoying our books and having a drink and taking in the gorgeous views. Even the bathroom was great. It was roomy and we loved having a tub. As for the entertainment, we’re not big on the song and dance shows, but we do love comedy, and on this cruise standup comedian Tom Drake was featured. He did two hysterically funny shows as well as a workshop on comedy. We were very happy with the ports we went to this year. The ports were Aruba, Bonaire, Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Barts. The stays in the ports for the most part were all day so we never felt rushed. Most of the excursions we chose were good – some better than others. St. Kitts was probably our favourite. We loved the beach and the drive there was breathtaking at times. Beach day at Aruba was great. We visited a lovely beach with lots of shade which we appreciated, and there was very good snorkelling there. We not impressed with the Spice Beach club excursion on Bonaire. It wasn’t much of a beach, but the snorkelling was good. There was only one port we didn’t visit, St. Barts, because we would have had to tender there. We don’t like the tenders that Oceania use. They use their lifeboats, and they are just too rocky. We had a bad experience on one last year and decided to avoid it this year. We found more than enough to do on board – trivia, miniature golf, shuffleboard, cooking lessons, (okay we’re 65, what do you expect!!) The staff was top notch. Everyone from our cabin attendants to the severs in the restaurants to everyone else on board were helpful, courteous and friendly. I should also point out that on this cruise we had the best cruise director ever. Her name was Dottie and she was by far the best Cruise Director we have come across in our ten cruises. She connected with the guests so perfectly. She was always bubbly, funny and just downright nice. Embarkation and debarkation was unbelievably smooth and quick. We hope to go on another Oceania cruise next year. We understand that the Riviera is going to be getting a little refurbishing. We did see some people complaining in previous reviews that the ship looked a little worn. We thought the ship was totally charming. We had no complaints about the appearance or performance of the ship. Hopefully we'll see what is new next year. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Caribbean snorkeling cruise. Great space in the penthouse suite. Chose for the itinerary but wish they stayed longer in Bonaire. Did not like that we had to wear a life preserver is when taking the cruises excursion to snorkel. Food was ... Read More
Caribbean snorkeling cruise. Great space in the penthouse suite. Chose for the itinerary but wish they stayed longer in Bonaire. Did not like that we had to wear a life preserver is when taking the cruises excursion to snorkel. Food was quite good but wish there was more variety as 12 days I would’ve liked to seen different choices. Overall Oceania did a great job with organization embarkation disembarkation and meeting my requests. Pre-ordered particular juices ahead of time and we did indeed get them. Privee was very good. It was our third time booking Privee and it’s a fun evening. Jaques is way too creamy and rich. How could somebody possibly ruin escargot? By smothering cheese all over it. The easiest muster we ever did...thanks for that, luggage arrived by the time we entered suite... Crew friendly and helpful. Bingo run well until too many people ....had to stand in line for 30 min to purchase cards...unacceptable...Should have had several stations or areas to purchase cards to avoid long lines. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this one over one that we had booked on the MSC Seaside because it included a stop in Cuba and one other country that we had not been to before in the Western Caribbean. We (my wife and I) also had her two brothers along for a ... Read More
We chose this one over one that we had booked on the MSC Seaside because it included a stop in Cuba and one other country that we had not been to before in the Western Caribbean. We (my wife and I) also had her two brothers along for a much needed vacation and we had wanted to see if Oceania cruises would live up to all the hype especially their cuisine. The food was very good, among the best we have had on cruises. Even though the choices on the buffet were limited what they had tasted very good and the sushi for dinner was the best that I had on any cruise. For breakfast I had to see how their lox (smoked salmon) stacked up against the best that I had on a cruise (Royal Caribbean 2006) and they came in a credible second to that one. Specialty restaurants didn't disappoint although they weren't the best we have eaten at they were good. At least the lobster I had on Oceania was better than that on board a recent Regent cruise. Our excursions were all enjoyable and nicely different from the typical cruise line fare. There were a couple of ports that Oceania didn't offer much if any that were exciting or even remotely interesting so we opted to get others from outside companies. The one we got for Cozumel, the Mayan Kun Che Park, was awesome and one that I would recommend to anyone who wasn't interested in visiting the ruins. This was the first time in several cruises that we didn't get a suite and I felt the squeeze in all aspects. We had a veranda room w/concierge and walk around room was minimal - the two of us couldn't go past the bed at the same time. Speaking of the bed, it was a queen bed, had no space under it to store our large suitcases. It has been decades since we shared one that small. The bathroom was large though and that could have had the bathtub taken out to add another 30 sq.feet to the room itself. As it was the only use the tub got was as storage for our suitcases. The staff was uniformly friendly, courteous and bent over backwards to accommodate our every need except for one exception - our concierge. First of all he never bothered to introduce himself when we arrived and a day or two into our cruise I noticed that one of our excursions was different than what we had wanted so I gave him a call and asked him if he would try to get it changed - a normal enough task for a concierge. His response: "You will have to go to Destination Services and ask them yourself." We went on a NCL cruise and had a concierge then who was outstanding. If I had asked him the same thing he would have wanted to know the numbers of both excursions and then would have gotten back to me within two hours with an answer. We never bothered this so called concierge again since it was obvious to us that he didn't want to do his job. I have to say this was the easiest disembarkation that we ever had. Even though we were given a time to get off the ship once we got down to the gangway level we were told that we could just leave - no muss, no fuss, no waiting for our tag color and number to be called. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. All in all, we enjoyed the cruise and if Oceania has another itinerary that we like will consider them again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was my 6 th cruise on Oceania, unfortunately is see the quality being eroded from past trips. Menus were repeated on a 10 day cruise, never had that before. Entertainment never a strong point with this line, generally that’s ok ... Read More
This was my 6 th cruise on Oceania, unfortunately is see the quality being eroded from past trips. Menus were repeated on a 10 day cruise, never had that before. Entertainment never a strong point with this line, generally that’s ok but this year was a repeat of the shows I saw last year. Quality of food was good, however it is never hot enough and I constantly had to request, send back etc dishes in all venues. Staff are still attentive but sometimes at breakfast waiting for coffee became almos am adventure. Smiles were a bit scarce too. Our trip to Havana less than great as we were not able to leave for our tour until after 11.00 due to the number of passengers booked on tours, something of a miscalculation on Destination Services part. Will be looking for another line next cruise to see if they are better. Sorry Oceania, time to oullup your socks and stop cutting corners! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We've cruised about 20 times and had sailed with Oceania twice in the past, including another cruise on Riviera. We absolutely loved it. Oceania had become our favorite cruise line. Not any more. We were among many passengers we spoke ... Read More
We've cruised about 20 times and had sailed with Oceania twice in the past, including another cruise on Riviera. We absolutely loved it. Oceania had become our favorite cruise line. Not any more. We were among many passengers we spoke with who felt the same way. Always known for outstanding food, that's no longer the case. Perhaps half of the time the food was very good, The rest of the time it was very average, far too frequently bland or over-cooked. The buffet was especially boring but even the speciality restaurants were disappointing. The ship itself was often unpleasant. It was so cold in many of the public areas that we simply couldn't stay in that venue even though we were dressed in warmer clothing. They actually were offering blankets to guests in Red Ginger restaurant. Our Concierge level Veranda cabin was fine. Bed was comfortable. However, the closet doors banged together all night and we had to shove towels between them to keep them quiet. I don't recall the bathroom being so small, nor do I remember that it had a bathtub with shower and a separate walk-in shower. The sink area was tiny. I don't understand why there were two showers in such a small space. Perhaps the walk-in shower was added to accommodate the elderly passengers. The average age on the ship appeared to be in the early 80's. I'm not young, but I felt as though I had been allowed on a ship chartered by a nursing home. Not exaggerating! Most of the crew members were extremely nice and accommodating, especially the cabin stewards. We chose not to participate in many activities, so I cannot rate that part of the cruise. According to our pre-cruise itinerary we were supposed to be in Cuba from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM. We booked a 3-hr shore excursion scheduled for 8:30. We weren't able to get on the bus until 10:30, thereby losing 2 hours in port. To make matters worse, the ship left at 5:00 instead of 6:00, meaning we lost another hour. We had to be back on the ship at 4:30, which left us with just 3 hours after our excursion to enjoy Havana instead of the 6 hours we had expected. We loved Havana and were sad that we had so little time there. We're unsure whether or not we'll sail with Oceania again. We may, but it won't be on Riviera. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Riviera Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.5
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.5 3.2
Public Rooms 4.5 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 2.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.2
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.8

Find a Riviera Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click