18 Oceania Riviera Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

Oceania is my favorite cruise line, always has excellent food and service. From the stewards to the servers in the dining areas, always outstanding service. Dijon and Suprano took good care of us, always available to our needs. Sedeep in ... Read More
Oceania is my favorite cruise line, always has excellent food and service. From the stewards to the servers in the dining areas, always outstanding service. Dijon and Suprano took good care of us, always available to our needs. Sedeep in the grill in the Terrace Cafe always greeted you with a big smile and asked you what your needs were and often brought our hot dishes to our table if time permitted since my husband is disabled. Jason also assisted him with breakfast ordered an omelette and bacon and brought it to his table. Buddha in the Toscano was outstanding. He provided extra assistance by cutting his food in bite size pieces since he had noticed he had a walker. Mark in the Polo Grill was great too. He also assisted my husband with his steak. All were very caring and helpful, always with a smile. glad I was able to cancel some excursions in New York city because of weather and schedule a panoramic one. My only problem is not enough accessible rooms/cabins. If you look around what is the average age of most your guests and they’re in walkers, wheelchairs, and have walking canes. They put a chair in the shower, it was so big that there was no room for him to step in the shower and it did not fit in the tub either. If you could at least position some hand rails in the shower and tub to hold on to while taking a shower it would make a BIG difference for your physically challenged guests. It would also help every one during rough seas. I already made a reservation for an Alaskan cruise for next year so we could get a handicapped cabin. The Regatta has ONLY 3 Handicapped rooms available in the whole ship an they are inside cabins Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose Oceania because of their heavily advertised claim that they offered some of the best food on the high seas. We chose the Riviera because the itinerary promised a trans-Atlantic crossing out of Barcelona where we wished to spend ... Read More
We chose Oceania because of their heavily advertised claim that they offered some of the best food on the high seas. We chose the Riviera because the itinerary promised a trans-Atlantic crossing out of Barcelona where we wished to spend some extra days. And the price was right for a veranda cabin. The cruise didn't wholly live up to our hopes. But it was nonetheless an enjoyable experience. The ship itself is very handsome, though suffering a few signs of damage (scratches, bumps, stains here and there). The grand dining room is particularly pleasant, colourful, open, and airy. The cabin was large and attractive, with plenty of room to store a travel wheelchair. Moving around the ship with that wheelchair was very easy because many of the doors are automatic. Staff were friendly and helpful and efficient: cabin steward, waiters, reception desk. The captain was old-style, largely absent and not very communicative. The cruise director, by contrast, was a bit too present – on the television and on the speaker, often telling us what you could read in the daily paper. We didn’t attend most of the entertainment: the dancers were energetic and skilful, the singers unfortunately loud but unimpressive, and the classical quartet unaccountably lacking harmony. Nor did we find the so-called enrichment lecture topics sufficiently interesting to warrant going. What was the idea? Lectures on forensic science on a cruise? And we avoided the few excursions as too pricey. Not a problem: we entertained ourselves on the ship and in the ports. By the way, wifi (for one device at a time) might be included in O'Life but it is terrible even when close to land or a city. Worst I’ve experienced lately. But it is free and the email eventually does come in – well, usually. One of the reasons we chose the Riviera was the fact it promised two stops in the Canaries. That didn’t happen. The prospect of bad weather led the ship authorities to cancel both. So we lost some of the Spain we were looking forward to. Reading the reviews, it seems Oceania has a bad habit of cancelling ports. Disappointing. It is possible we would have made the crossing with Azamara (going at the same time) except it had less Spanish ports in theory. Worth keeping in mind that Oceania's itinerary isn’t a solid promise. And no compensation for their failure to deliver. The cruise did offer other activities: bridge lessons, culinary classes, art classes, assorted games. None of these we sampled. There was some seriously over-priced “private dining,” that wasn’t private at all because you sat at a common table,or so it seemed. Didn’t do that either. Never tried the exercise room but my wife had success twice with the hair services at the Canyon Ranch Spa. One minor plus: a good, free dvd library (by contrast, disappeared from the Azamara Quest anyway). Now as to the food. Three of the specialty restaurants were truly excellent. Unquestionably the most outstanding was Red Ginger, the Asian restaurant: the food delicious and plentiful, novel, varied, and interestingly spiced – the duck and watermelon salad as well as the sea bass were stellar. I found Red Ginger the best specialty restaurant (compared to Azamara, Crystal, Princess, and Holland America) I’ve enjoyed in the past five years. Jacques (French) and Toscana (Italian) were almost as impressive: a fine bouillabaisse and a marvellous dover sole at the first, some superb lamb and a tasty seafood linguine at the second. The one specialty restaurant that was a bit weak (though the crab cakes were fine) was the steakhouse, Polo Grill: I’ve had far tastier ribeye on Azamara's Prime C. The food in the other venues was generally good for lunch and dinner. If the steakhouse failed, the steaks in the buffet (Terrace Café) and the dining room were tasty. The caesar salad everywhere was a pleasure. The room service menu had decent lunch offerings, especially gravlax and a fine cheese plate as well as a novelty (for me) the Lombardy salad and an excellent small steak. The Waves Grill (outside, casual) had the standard fare: burgers, hot dogs (the Mexican a standout), salad makings, etc. Some of the dishes in the buffet restaurant were very good (e.g. the Thanksgiving turkey), most were enjoyable, but there were occasional failures like the paella (bland and mushy). Strangely enough, the appetizers and the soups and the bread seemed the most exciting offerings in the main dining room. The entrees were ok but not memorable – and occasionally poor (e.g. tough lamb, bland fish). Desserts everywhere weren’t outstanding, although the assorted crème brules were very enjoyable, as was the varied cheese plate (far better than on Azamara, but best on Crystal). The weakest dining was at breakfast. The room service only offered a basic, and to my mind substandard (blah breads, fruit bits) , continental menu. The eggs prepared in the buffet and the dining room were never exciting. The bacon didn’t appeal, the sweet breads (danishes etc) were uninteresting but for one fruity semi-muffin (and only occasionally available), the flaccid bagels a shame. But I did try some breakfast fish and lamb chops in the dining room – both were very good, as was the carved ham at a brunch. Also the buffet had tasty smoked salmon and various herring dishes that were welcome. Service in the dining room at breakfast seemed slow, slower than on other occasions. Coffee was only ok. Nothing special in the restaurants. Overly mild from the coffee place Baristas (though some people might prefer such). Better in short on Azamara and Crystal. Wine could be a problem, depending on the time, place, and the wine steward. We had the House Select plan which meant wine by the glass at lunch and dinner. If you had a good wine steward, like Milos, then fine: he always watched to ensure his clients were well served. If you had a rushed or negligent wine steward, then you would go dry during the course of the meal. Oceania needs to hire more wine stewards, train them better, and find more of the quality of Milos. In any case the wine offerings were acceptable but not so good for our tastes (Chilean, Argentine, Spanish reds, German whites) as on Azamara, Princess, and Holland America, and especially on Crystal. In all the cruise was delicious. It does often offer good and varied food, and some of the dishes are just superb. But on the whole Crystal does it better, if at a much higher cost. And Azamara, the more comparable cruise line in price and service, has roughly the same ‘score,’ much good and some not, when it comes to food. However I think Azamara offers even more on ambience, service, entertainment, and excursions. We would likely take another Oceania if the price and itinerary were especially appealing. But we have no plans to do so soon. We’re off on other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Manly booked this for the itinerary. It was a 12 night - Venice to Barcelona . 11-1-18 to 11-13-18. Excursions were not as described. The stops listed were not accurate. One location did not have the handicrafts village as highlighted. ... Read More
Manly booked this for the itinerary. It was a 12 night - Venice to Barcelona . 11-1-18 to 11-13-18. Excursions were not as described. The stops listed were not accurate. One location did not have the handicrafts village as highlighted. Another town was completely closed on the day we were there. Nothing to see at all! They return you back to the ship 2-3 hours before ship left port. Not enough time given to sights that were available. Big waste of money. The destination desk personnel were useless and could care less. This Cruise line is over rated. Horrible entertainment. It doesn't exist. First time on Oceania and probably the last. Expected more from a so called upper class sailing. This is also not recommended for any one who is handicap. All ports of call and the excursions we were part of would be a real challenge for those who are handicap. The food was very good compared to other Cruise lines. But do NOT touch anything or the food Nazis will repremand you. Sparkling water and soft drinks are all included. As for cocktails, way over priced. Friends were charged $56.00 for 2 drinks in the main dining room because he made the mortal mistake of ordering a " double" rum and coke. He only made that mistake once. The staff were very good and attended to all your needs in the beginning of this itinerary, but slowly declined as the days passed. It seemed as though many have had enough and were anxious to go home, as this was their final voyage for the season. As previously noted the worst was the " Destinations" personnel. They could care less about anything. For your O Life choice, do yourself a favor and use the ship board credit. The free excursions are NOT the way to go! Go with an outside company or explore on your own. It should also be noted that this was not a voyage for families with young children. They would be extremely board due to the lack of entertainment and the ports of call. It's catered towards the adults. For the fees charged on this line, we expected a little more. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
As first time cruisers with Oeania, chose this cruise for two reasons: (1) had reserved twice and cancelled because found very similar cruise at almost the same price with Regent Seven Seas, and (2) this cruise took us to places we wanted ... Read More
As first time cruisers with Oeania, chose this cruise for two reasons: (1) had reserved twice and cancelled because found very similar cruise at almost the same price with Regent Seven Seas, and (2) this cruise took us to places we wanted to see again (Dubrovnik, Kotor, Valeta, Monaco, Marseille), price was very attractive and the potential alternative (RSS) is no longer in quality and value what it once was. Our experience began arriving at Venice 3 days before embarkation only to encounter record flooding forcing us to almost swim to our hotel just off Piazza San Marco and again swim to emark on the Riviera. Fortunately, we were able to find a porter to take our bagggage and buy boots to waddle behind him.. Embarkation was OK, having to walk under the drizzling rain for abour half a mile, but quick and easier than expected. Cabin was as expected, not large but not small, adequate balcony, very well maintained and excellent attendants. Bathroom much larger than expected with all the amenities expected, shower equally as expected. And by expected we mean in terms of Oceani's own promotional advertising and our own perception comparing other cruise lines we have experieced such as Azamara, Cunard, Crystal and Regent Seven Seas. Dining was much better than expected even though twice we found hairs in our meals. The quality and variety of the food quite good, if not excellent, served by crew members who prevented passengers from touching the food even when doing so would not have affected other food. Service was not only clean and efficient, but very friendly and helpful. All dining areas were bigger and amplier than in most other ships we have cruised, with the decoration very comfortable, if not attractive. Very few times were we forced to wait for a table, which upon being vacated were immediatly cleaned and prepared for use again. Better than expected, since it constantly attracted our attention, was the quality and variety of fruits at breakfast time, especially tropical frutis like papaya and mango, along with kiwi, which were almost always ripe and sweet. Less than expected, the variety of plain bread (as opposed to sweetened breads and pastries), such as what one finds at bakeries and in fact in ALL other ships we have cruised (especialoly european style breads, which are much better than american style breads). We tried breakfast at the main dining room once and decided it was not for us. We never visited the main dining room at lunch and only once for dinner, both times deciding it was not for us.. (No comment regarding food and service,) The buffet lunch was equally good in quality and variety , as was the buffet dinner (although we frequented the specialty restaurants as often as we could, considering them much better in all respects. Particularly Polo Grill and Red Ginger, without implying that Jacques and Toscana were inferior. Significantly more attractive than the other three was the service at Red Ginger and in our view the quality and variety of offers at the Polo Grill was superior to the other three. But all were excellent and we recommend taking advantage of them every time possible. Entertainment was for us good but not excellent. In our view, the singers were not what we expected in terms of profoundness and extension of voice. Their dancing was very good, but as in other ships rather mechanical and repetitive. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the performances and would suggest Oeania add more comics, magicians (the one who performed was above excellence and should be hired as a permanent contributor) and classical piano performers. In this respect, a comment regarding the theater. Although excellent in seat comfort and amplitud, we consider it should be improved by either raising the stage or increasing the incline. It is very difficult to really enjoy performances from the back because of insufficient incline or the stage too low. At the various bars and public rooms such as Horizon, the performers were all excellent, particularly when playing classical mushic. Suggest adding more music appropriate to the predominantly elderly passengers (such as us) with pieces from the 30s to the 50s. The pool area actually better than expected because of its size and comfort. The elevators very efficient and ample, although at times somewhat unavailable due to excessive traffic, which is to be expected. Our Consierge was excellent and the facility equally excellent, both in all respects, as our two cabin attendants. We did have difficulties with the toilet, which several times decided to have its own way forcing us to call for help from the Reception to reestablish its proper functioning condition. We do not know the cause and look forward to having it permanently fixed as soon as possible. Reception staff was efficient but we found it too serious and somewhat unfriendly in many occasions, perhaps because of their long hours at work and the many requests they may have been receiving from guests like us. Hence, not what we expected, when comparing with other cruise ships we know. Bar tenders, on the other hand, were at all times very friendly although not as efficient or well prepared as perhaps they could or should have been. In this respect, we do praise Oceania for its Happy Hours that reduced the price of drinks by half, since their premium package is overwhelmingly unreachable ($59.95 pp/day meaning daily ingestion of 4 drinks at an average price of $15 per drink to just cover the cost, whether wine or spirits), since walking to one/s cabin was not always smooth. Excursions were as expected, including the tenders when needed. Well organized and exercised. Excursion staff, however, not very helpful in resolving issues. This happened to us with respect to disembarkation, which they could have easily resolved but insisted they could (would) not. In the end, what we had requested became null because the ship did not apply its established rules, deciding in favor of the flexibility we had requested (we are sure this had nothing to do with our request, rather due to port authorities). Finally, we were surpried to see so many passengers with disabilities, more than what we expected, even when we have cruised on Regent Seven Seas (many times) and Cunard (also many times), and even more surprised with the excellent service to attend to those in need, at all times and at all places. Even when not necessary or needed, some crew member would appear to serve if and as required, quite often even when not required, just in case. Hence, the cruise line's demonstrated preparedmess at all times, even if or when affecting passenger tranquility -- frequent crew exercises and avoiding two planned ports (Spanish Canary Islands) because of a potentially troublesome ocean, enabling us to enjoy two additional days at sea (which was minimally motioned, in my opinion although no in my wife's opinion). Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Oceania is still one of the best cruise lines and the Riviera is one of the best ships in the fleet. It's large enough to offer all the amenities and yet small enough to feel intimate in many ways. We once again had an Oceania suite ... Read More
Oceania is still one of the best cruise lines and the Riviera is one of the best ships in the fleet. It's large enough to offer all the amenities and yet small enough to feel intimate in many ways. We once again had an Oceania suite and this is one of the finest staterooms on any ship we've been on; large enough to live in long-term. There is a butler and a stateroom attendant to look after your every need; the suite is serviced at least twice a day. it also comes with a mini-fridge with soft drinks and beer, and the bar has six full bottles of premium liquor. We swapped the liquor for six bottles of wine that we drank in the restaurants and the suite. And the food remains to be some of the best - anyplace.There are four specialty venues aboard and there is no additional charge for using them. With the Oceania suite, you have two nights in each restaurant. Plus there is the Grand Dining Room, the Terrace Buffet and Waves Grill, plus a barista and the daily high tea. This ship is a foodie's delight! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
As usual, we chose this Oceania cruise for the itinerary, the food, and the service and it did not disappoint. Venice is a wonderful city to explore when you get away from the crowds around San Marco square. Other highlights on this ... Read More
As usual, we chose this Oceania cruise for the itinerary, the food, and the service and it did not disappoint. Venice is a wonderful city to explore when you get away from the crowds around San Marco square. Other highlights on this itinerary included Malta, Rome and Barcelona. Although Oceania’s shore excursions are pricey and we are not fond of large group tours, we booked quite a few of their excursions for this cruise because I was too busy to research independent tours. I did not enjoy some of their excursions because none of the guides provided headsets and some did not even use a microphone, which makes it difficult to hear them unless you barge your way to the front of the group. But we really enjoyed Oceania’s culinary tours in Corfu and Barcelona with Chef Kelly, which included a walking tour with a local guide. Chef Kelly has a great personality and we liked the smaller group sizes of these excursions. The food on this cruise was also excellent, especially the fish and seafood, and the crew was very friendly and attentive. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
The cruise was superb, nice stops , great service, cleanliness at the highest level. The food everywhere was superb, highlights were Jacques first, Red Ginger a close second, Toscana s and Polo. The best salad certainly was the ... Read More
The cruise was superb, nice stops , great service, cleanliness at the highest level. The food everywhere was superb, highlights were Jacques first, Red Ginger a close second, Toscana s and Polo. The best salad certainly was the Watermelon and Duck salad served at Red Ginger. The Tournedos Rossini at Jacques was incredible as well as the Mille Feuilles dessert. At Toscana s I had The Filet mignon covered with a Gargonzola cheese sauce. I literrally cut my filet mignon with my fork. The tiramisu there was to die for. Anyway not a bad meal or a bad choice anywhere, the food was great. The Suites was great , the bedding and towels were first class. I could not find fault anywhere. The few things missing, more flowers or flower arramgements on the tables . One small annoyance was the fact that they did not have any way for you to verify your credit statement in your cabin, the only way is to go down to the customer service desk and ask for a printout. The other bugaboo was that they do not put the charge for daily tips on your invoice until the last day. Entertainment was not great but its a small ship. Small ships have many advantages, like no lineups, elevator when you want them, availability everywhere but one thing that suffers is usually entertainement Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Our Oceania Cruise was the first cruise that either I or my wife have ever taken, but we hope it won't be the last. Nearly everyone on our cruise were old hands at cruising; a majority having taken a half dozen if not double-digit ... Read More
Our Oceania Cruise was the first cruise that either I or my wife have ever taken, but we hope it won't be the last. Nearly everyone on our cruise were old hands at cruising; a majority having taken a half dozen if not double-digit tours before. Almost everyone was impressed that we first picked what has become their preferred cruise line. I must give all the credit for the research to my wife. She started by looking for cruises where young children wouldn't be prevalent, if not outlawed completely. Hey, we adore our children and grandchildren, but we wanted a vacation away from kids. Of course, we learned that longer trips on any cruise line would limit families with children as they seldom have time for more than a week’s vacation; cruises over 10 days reduced the odds of the little ankle-biters. But when we found Oceania we realized that there were no water slides, roller coasters, rock climbing walls, or obstacles courses on the top of their ships. In fact, they have nothing aboard that would interest a child. In fact, anyone under 14 can’t even operate the elevator (though I seriously question this wisdom as kids older than 14 are much more likely to push every button just for fun). But our ship, the Riviera, is much smaller than the large liners, which made for an intimate group - I find it hard to believe that you'd see the same people often on the larger ships. Then again,we noticed people with the same habits as us: early risers, early off at port, etc. and are sure there are a great many we didn't see, let alone meet. When my wife discovered that Oceania is renowned for their quality food we were hooked. Jacque Pepin has a restaurant aboard and both he and Cat Cora, the ship’s “Godmother,” are advisors for the ship’s kitchens. But Oceania, considered a mid-range luxury line, it more expensive than most cruises. And yes, this really is a senior cruise - we turn 55 this year and were probably 10 years junior to the average. There might have been a dozen younger than us, including the obvious newlyweds who we didn't see outside their state room until the last day! Unless you consider afternoon tea and ballroom dancing, this is not a party line. But we enjoyed the pace of our fellow travelers. Yes, you have to slow down walking through the ship, but you will hear some interesting stories. One of our challenges is that because so many of the passengers are retired “chronic cruisers,” with dozens of trips under their belts, it can be hard to move the conversation around to anything other than cruises. Besides, we looked great in our swimwear at the pool! More importantly, even the eldest on our ship looked better than the chain smoking speedo wearing passengers on the German liner that docked next to us one day! And the food was excellent. Our favorite meal was at the La Reserve (we did the Connoisseur menu). It isn't inexpensive, but it's a wonderful experience for foodies. Wine pairings for a seven course meal were excellent and the menu was divine. They also have four specialty restaurants and my wife was originally upset when she learned that we could only book one night at each in advance - and while we could reserve early because we upgraded to the Concierge level, all our reservations were for later hours. However, we found out that it was quite easy to arrange reservations the day of dinner as long as you would share a table. While we enjoyed our intimate late diners, sitting with others is a great way to get to know the other guests. Our favorite of the specialty dining was Asian food at Red Ginger (the duck & watermelon salad and the sea bass are terrific). Jacques, their French restaurant, offered some outstanding choices including what they call a gnocchi that was actually bay scallops with lobster. They also do a great Lobster Thermidor. Often, the first thing folks think about when they think about good cruise dining is lobster night, but across the ship, every meal is lobster night. In fact, the buffet grill serves lobster every night and there are 26 different dishes with lobster in them! In truth, we got sick of lobster! The only restaurant we wouldn't recommend is Waves. “Sir, what wine pairing would you suggest with that hot dog,” my wife asked the Sommelier. Soon after she called the server over to suggest that “the defining characteristic of a hot dog is that it’s hot.” Stick to the bar at Waves. Overall, it's hard to imagine better cruise food, which after all is industrial cooking. More than a handful of dishes stand up to the finest restaurant these two foodies have been to. My only issue was that having bought an unlimited drink plan, we had to chase down our cocktails, and were made to feel that it was inconvenient to get anything other than wine in the dining rooms, and since we we getting wine by the glass as part of the plan, we didn't get as much attention as folks buying wine by the bottle. If nightlife is your kind of thing, Oceania might not be your line. They offer nightly entertainment, but it isn't where their money is invested. The accommodations were wonderful. Compact for sure, but they are so well organized that we fit all four of our bags of clothing handily. I would recommend getting a veranda and can't say enough about our Stewards and how well they kept up with our room. They quickly learned our habits and preferences and adapted. Actually, the thing that stands out the most is the quality of service across the entire staff. Their dedication to a high service standard shows in everything they do. None of the crew act like anything is not their job. We watch a server drop some ice cubes and before she promptly came back to clean it up another server ran to get a broom and dust pan. I saw the head bartender show up at the poolside bar because a lady didn't like the way the other bartender made Pina Coladas, which everyone else seemed to adore! If there is a complaint about service is that while it remains on the attentive side of obsequious, this attention to details sometimes clouds the bigger picture. For example, we felt like covert spies trying to avoid the runners that would grab your plate from us as w left the buffet so they could take it to the table. There are certainly plenty of people on this line that actually need help, like the fellow with a walker who started trying to balance his load on his walker -they should have been right there for that guy instead of chasing perfectly able bodied guests around the restaurant. Actually, it got to the point where it became a game to see if you could hide behind the palm trees to get to the table un-assaulted - I felt like I was in a Mr. Bean comedy sketch. While sitting on the deck off the buffet first thing in the morning is peaceful, after a few days we found that we really enjoyed the table service off at the Grand Dining room. Basically, you can get all the same food brought to you instead of dealing with the busier contact sport required to navigate the buffet and the plate runners. There are other examples of missing the big picture, but the service is so outstanding that these slights are easily overlooked. Furthermore, if anything isn’t how you like it, these people will jump through every hoop to make you happy. And let's be honest, the ship was full of privileged people, and many of the wealthy elderly elite seem to think everything revolves around them. However, the overwhelming majority appreciate the service being offs and will step in much sooner than the staff when someone has ridiculous expectations. At first we didn't understand why the pool had a three foot lip around it. Then we made it to the high seas. Instant wave pool! The poolside music was an interesting mix ranging from big band to soft classic rock and a live duo in the afternoon. Yes, the same elevator music these aged flower children have come to expect. However, there was a hidden theme: tragedies. Theme from Love story, Godfather, the theme from Lion King; we entertained ourselves identifying the disaster in their selections. Many seemed to deal with tragedies at sea like Wish upon a Star - poor Gazpacho got eaten by a whale. But, the winner is the song from Titanic! Not a good thing when your only exposure to ocean liners is your reading about disasters like the Lusitania (Erik Larsen has a great book). You should have heard my wife cackle when the the theme song from the Titanic came on. Better yet, we discovered that it's in their video library and we watched it one rainy morning! I'll be the first to understand that satellite reception can be slow and we shouldn't expect a lot of bandwidth when accessing the Internet but a simple web page shouldn't take 20 seconds to load. Even if the technology can’t do much better, the access software is in serious need of being updated - it’s copyright is 1996 - that’s twenty year old software technology. It's my business and trust me, it’s archaic. We should need little more than a last name and room number and our devices should be able to remember those accounts while on board. This isn’t the NSA, then again we came to disconnect from the Interwebz. While we are newbies, we have some advice. Pack a power strip. You don't need as many clothes as you think, but be prepared to change several times a day. We are usually jeans and t shirt people but really did enjoy dressing for dinner. While the novelty of the ship will entertain for the first week, go on excursions and have shared meals early on in the voyage so you get a jump on meeting other people. Unless, perhaps, if you are that honeymooning couple! A great experience. We will probably never try another line if Oceania goes there and can maintain their very high standards. My biggest criticism is that Oceania is still stuck with “in the box” thinking on their cancellation policies. Considering that the vast majority of people we met were repeat customers, I struggle to understand why they would force their aging customers to purchase travel insurance at a whopping 10% of the price of their service? Wouldn’t you think they would have an even stronger customer base if they could offer some flexibility for when last minute changes must be made? A common occurance for their aging customer base. At least a smaller penalty fee, but perhaps offset it by selling “overbooked” options, that would probably be reasonably predictable. Seems this would be a perfect service for their targeted best customers. Indeed, they are missing the boat. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose this cruise to experience something different. We flew to Venice a couple of days before and stayed in Mestre. We then boarded the Riviera on 31st August, it was everything we had read about and then some. The staff were ... Read More
We chose this cruise to experience something different. We flew to Venice a couple of days before and stayed in Mestre. We then boarded the Riviera on 31st August, it was everything we had read about and then some. The staff were amazing and helped us a lot, my husband who is disabled was very well cared for, he has a little mobility scooter, and the waiters etc, took turns in riding it "to park it". Stateroom, 10101 was lovely, we had to park the scooter outside, as we needed a little more space, don't think the extra we paid for "concierge level" was really worth it, perhaps next time we will think again. Dining, was great, lots of choice in beautiful décor. Entertainment and Activities. We felt was not that good. There is only one show a night, and if you were having a late meal and lingering over it, you missed the show. There is room for improvement. If you did not go ashore, there was little to do. As neither of us could reach the Sports Deck we could not use it We travelled together, no children or other people. Ports were very interesting, a little restricting for disabled people. We did our own shore excursions. Would we go again, hopefully yes. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Very nice cruiseship, a little on the small side, but nice. Cabin (9 floor) with veranda was also nice, welcoming champagne (and yes it was champagne, not sparkling wine). 3 excursions was included in the price. Lots of speciality ... Read More
Very nice cruiseship, a little on the small side, but nice. Cabin (9 floor) with veranda was also nice, welcoming champagne (and yes it was champagne, not sparkling wine). 3 excursions was included in the price. Lots of speciality restaurants you can book in advance, great cooking in all of them. Service was great, but coffee wasn't. Only place to get coffee was the barista cafe...everywhere else its was just like tea or something worse. Pools on the small side, same with gym. But all in all we did enjoy the cruise very much and would defiantly go again. All staff onboard do there utmost to make you feel welcome and excursions went very smooth, much better than other cruises we have been on. Waiting was at an all time low and everything was very well organized. You can get great deals on wine packets, we didn't have one, but everyone had free sofdrinks and water everywhere, so the only thing extra was wine and spirits. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We had never travelled on Oceania but our travel agent recommended this cruise as we were going with our parents who are older people and need help in many ways. She said the service was great and the food was excellent and the itinerary ... Read More
We had never travelled on Oceania but our travel agent recommended this cruise as we were going with our parents who are older people and need help in many ways. She said the service was great and the food was excellent and the itinerary was also interesting for all our age ranges (from 10 to 82). Since we embarked the cruise we felt a personal service, we went to have lunch at the buffet and the waiters were ready at any moment to help my parents carry their plates or ask them if they needed something else. Before the drill someone from the crew came to my parents cabin and told them he was in charge of taking them to the drill station, help them put on their life jackets etc.. very nice of Oceania to do that. The cabins are very spacious and the shower is great. The cabin attendants great and the laundry area in each floor very useful. The food is simply fabulous either at the buffet or at any of the dinning rooms. You have many options to choose from. What I really liked is only the staff serves you the food from the buffet, you are not allowed to serve yourself which is good because you reduce the risk of transmitting viruses. We loved the ports, and the excursions were great. The Destinations crew was very professional and open. We were lucky that is was not too hot. The pool area is also very nice and the afternoon tea was great. My mom hurried us every day from the excursions so she could arrive in time for tea. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Just returned last night from a 12 night Mediterranean cruise on the Riviera. Overall the cruise was excellent. Ports of call were a great variety and a couple were hidden gems that I would never have considered visiting previously. ... Read More
Just returned last night from a 12 night Mediterranean cruise on the Riviera. Overall the cruise was excellent. Ports of call were a great variety and a couple were hidden gems that I would never have considered visiting previously. Excellent options for dining including Joques, Tuscana, Red Ginger and Polo Grill. Toscana was hands down the best. Rooms were fairly spacious and services on board were top notch. Not very handicap accessible on ship or on excursions. Major concern---flew into Venice a day ahead of cruise and booked room through Oceania at the Hilton. Hotel was TERIBBLE!! Waited hours for luggage, staff was rude and not helpful with information, waited hours for room and way over priced. After traveling 15 hours my least favorite part. Oceania did an excellent job of taking care of transfers, excursions and were on time with everything--very little waiting once on board. We left several people throughout the 12 days who did not return to port on time. Helpful hint-- Pay more in booking for extra services such as internet (very slow and you are charged by the minute), excursions, transfers and gratuities. If not you will pay double in the end. Will cruise with them again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Slightly apprehensive as I was somewhat immobile for this trip.... and we were reliant on what the ship had to offer because we could not do any excursions or even get off the ship unless we were moored up as opposed to having to tender in ... Read More
Slightly apprehensive as I was somewhat immobile for this trip.... and we were reliant on what the ship had to offer because we could not do any excursions or even get off the ship unless we were moored up as opposed to having to tender in by lifeboats. we have cruised with Oceania before and we had high expectations - which were fully met this time. We need not have worried about being restricted to the ship, the enrichment programme was excellent, both lecturers very informative entertaining and quirky. And terrific variety. Both did not use notes and were extremely knowledgable and very friendly. Some lecturers can be knowledgable, others read form notes they have clearly read many times before and other simply cannot perform. The entertainment was interesting, we particularly enjoyed the pickpocket expert and have decided to increase our personal security both at home and when we travel, as a result of what we learned, again in an amusing way. The painting classes however were a disappointment. The artist was pleasant but did not know how to teach and he needed more guidance. I have done painting classes before and again, it is not good enough to be able to do something yourself, you have to be able to explain it to others! Not doing the excursions gave us the unexpected bonus of having the ship pretty much to ourselves when we were in port - blissful! also loved the old fashioned gentleman's library and the adjacent coffee bar and internet room...all very handy..... Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Pros: 1. Food was outstanding. 5-star restaurant quality in the specialty restaurants. 2. Common areas very nice, such as impressive library area, nice fitness room, etc. Cons: 1. Web site makes it so difficult to sign up for ... Read More
Pros: 1. Food was outstanding. 5-star restaurant quality in the specialty restaurants. 2. Common areas very nice, such as impressive library area, nice fitness room, etc. Cons: 1. Web site makes it so difficult to sign up for a cruise, we almost gave up. 2. Embarkation process poor. Had to wait 3+ hours after boarding until our cabin was ready. They could have sequenced the boarding times to avoid the long wait. 3. Disembarkation was TERRIBLE. Mass crowds pushing and shoving for baggage. Oceania only requested 18 porters and 3 customs stations for 1,200 guests. The line for a porter was 45-60 minutes long. Elderly people were experiencing medical concerns because of the lengthy waits to get through the crowd. It took nearly 2-1/2 hours to disembark. 4. Only after the cruise was underway were the guests informed that the in-port times for all ports was being reduced. In fact, the total in-port time was reduced 20 hours, which was almost 20% of what was advertised. As a result, our Christmas dinner plans ashore had to be cancelled at the very last minute, leaving us with nothing special on what was to have been a special evening. We considered this to be unacceptable. We go on cruises to see sights in different places, not to see more of the inside of the ship. The advertising for this cruise was inaccurate. 5. Value: This is a higher than average priced cruise line, but besides the food, there was little that was much different than we've experienced on other lines. In short, the "value" was lacking. Other: Service was adequate, but we wondered if the automatic gratuities reduced the incentives of staff to provide outstanding service. Other cruise lines without automatic gratuities seem to have a better overall service level, in our experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Our first experience and we could not be more pleased! The ship was spectacular, the service was outstanding and the amenities were the top of the line. The food was more than expected, and we are from New Orleans, in fact it was very ... Read More
Our first experience and we could not be more pleased! The ship was spectacular, the service was outstanding and the amenities were the top of the line. The food was more than expected, and we are from New Orleans, in fact it was very hard to come home. The excursions were easy and well organised, the staff....from the deckhands to the officers, the service staff, were a real credit to this cruise line. I had a broken ankle (skydiving, blindfolded, from top of Empire State bldg, er.......) and we were very well cared for in every way, from transportation to pre and post stays. I will always recommend this line simply from the experience we had. I cannot wait to see the other ships in Oceana as the art on this ship was like living in a museum. The glass vases, the Lalique crystal EVERYWHERE , the fragrance of the ship, the crew....the restaurants. We did it all, from the Privee to the room service. I cried when we left. Am still teary. And I have NEVER written a review before. We stayed at magnificent hotel in Athens and stayed in a wonderful Hilton in Barcelona and Oceana and our travel agent were the best. Will be doing this forever. Thank you Oceania Cruise Lines and crew and staff of Rivera , for the life memories! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I am not a cruise person and have only been on one other cruise. last year with my parents on Norwegian. My 86 year old father did not like the large amount of people so I heard good things about Oceania. We started our trip two days ago. ... Read More
I am not a cruise person and have only been on one other cruise. last year with my parents on Norwegian. My 86 year old father did not like the large amount of people so I heard good things about Oceania. We started our trip two days ago. As a surprise I upgraded them to a penthouse suite. The cruise was about 4x more than we paid on Norwegian although this time airfare was included. In spite of that I have found the staff not helpful at all and the amenities not worth the price. If you want to do shore excursions I learned that I should have booked 6 months in advance. I wanted to go to Tikal which was listed as costing $1,000. In spite of that myself and about 8 others were wait listed a few weeks before. Oceania has not been willing to help us get another charter. Of greater importance is the fact that there are quite a few elderly people on board. That's not a problem and because my mother is frail we brought a wheelchair. However, my father also started having problems so I have been shuttling them with the one wheelchair. I am upset because our wheelchair broke and Oceania staff will not let us borrow or even rent one of theirs. I also had a problem with logging on to the internet. I teach at university so I needed to take care of some business online. I was told by reception I would have to wait until the next day when their internet person would be working. They neglected to tell me there was an internet cafe that was open 24 hours. So, that has been experience so far, and once again, I do not think Oceania is not worth the money they charge. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I want to preface my comments by saying that until we took an Oceania cruise to the Baltics a few years ago I was through with cruising. I had been on four lines (one a small South American one which I loved) and I just wasn't fond of ... Read More
I want to preface my comments by saying that until we took an Oceania cruise to the Baltics a few years ago I was through with cruising. I had been on four lines (one a small South American one which I loved) and I just wasn't fond of cruising. It might have been the ports and the Caribbean. But friends convinced us to go with them to the Baltics on Oceania, which we knew had a very good reputation. It was wonderful. WE had never been to the Mediterranean and were planing to do a land/sea tour when we found a great itinerary from Oceania so we decided to try ti again. The new Riviera was a bit daunting to us after that small boat from Oceania, , but we loved it. What do we love about Oceania after two cruises? The no-dress-up policy, the very high quality and variety of food, the terrific people we met on both cruises, our more spacious veranda room on the Riviera, the variety of activities on the boat and the various places you can go when you are at sea, the terrific staff and personal attention, etc. I also find it pretty hassle free, although we were not happy with the restaurant reservation policy for both our one-night bookings and when trying to get return visits to restaurants (which many people were more successful at than us). Larger veranda room than on smaller boats. Much better bathroom with two showers. We had trouble with our veranda door the first day. ad they came right away to fix it., We received almost a call a day to make sure it was fixed and working properly. That's what we call service. Overall the choice of ports is superb and we loved the extra night stays in ports. Occasionally there are itinerary changes and changes in docking time and that does not make me happy. But given the cruise lines out there, I would go Oceania any day. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We found Oceania 4 years ago and it is our favourite cruise line by far, out of about 30 cruises in total we have sailed on four of their ships, including the Marina last year. I wrote a review about that trip Marina Review saying how ... Read More
We found Oceania 4 years ago and it is our favourite cruise line by far, out of about 30 cruises in total we have sailed on four of their ships, including the Marina last year. I wrote a review about that trip Marina Review saying how wonderful it was but that gangway accessibility for my husband, who is disabled following a stroke and uses a small folding mobility scooter, would prevent us from cruising on Marina again. Shortly before the launch of Riviera I emailed Oceania to ask whether it had been improved for the new ship and received a polite and apologetic reply that no, it was the same. But then we saw a bargain and the temptation to try the new ship was too much for us, so we booked, prepared to stay onboard in some of the ports if getting ashore was just too difficult. Then we arrived in Athens and were overjoyed to see a (reasonably) accessible gangway ! As with Marina, the main access is up a flight of external stairs to deck 5 but the crew gangway leads to deck 4, and this time there was absolutely no question as to whether we could use it - "of course, madame". In some ports there were a couple of steps at each end and at others it was sloped up and down - rarely possible to drive the scooter off and would be difficult for anyone with a large scooter or electric wheelchair but much much easier for someone like him who can walk a short distance. Also the lift down to the tender embarkation, which had been out of order on Marina, was working and made it much easier too. So well done Oceania for vastly improved, if not yet quite perfect, accessibility. The next delight was that our inside guarantee, for which a cabin number had not been assigned before boarding, turned out to be a balcony. It was lovely to have and I really appreciated it but it did reinforce our view that we would never pay for a balcony - we only used it for a few minutes each morning to check the weather. Husband said he preferred the wheelchair accessible inside we had on Marina last year, indeed it was much bigger and better for us, but we knew when we booked that no accessible cabins were available (we can manage fine in a standard cabin anyway) and the balcony was a lovely surprise. The bathroom was large and contained not one, not two but three showers - one over the bath and then within a separate small shower cubicle both a handheld showerhead that clipped into a normal rack and a ceiling mounted showerhead, that produced a waterfall-like effect. The bed was wonderfully comfortable, as usual, and we slept very well. Everything else was almost identical to Marina and just as good. The entertainment, as expected on Oceania, was fine, if not exceptional, the Andrew Lloyd Webber show especially good, and all the singers had good voices and also mingled with guests around the ship and were very pleasant and friendly. All of the speciality restaurants were excellent, I think maybe Jacques was my favourite this time, and food and service in those and in the grand dining room were always first class. Like on Marina, the food in the Terrace Cafe was lovely and the presentation beautiful. When it was busy and the waiters left us alone to enjoy the food and the outdoor terrace it was the best buffet ever. However I personally felt that the service in there was often "over the top" going way beyond service and turning into hassle at times. It seemed to be vastly overstaffed (maybe due to the newness of the ship), sometimes during the last hour or so of breakfast or at lunchtime on port days there seemed to be more waiters than guests. They were all extremely pleasant and must have been bored to tears so I don't blame them for trying to find something to do, but it got really too much, every few seconds somebody seemed to be asking was everything alright and could they get us anything else etc . Maybe some of it was due to DHs disability, it is an area that Oceania still need to work on, I will post a bit more on that subject on the disabled cruising board, but I did write on the questionnaire that it is not helpful to be swooped on by 3 or 4 staff all wanting to 'help' every time he stood up or sat down, I know it was done with the best will in the world, but in reality they just got in the way and made him feel embarrassed and me stressed as I was never sure who was going to pull his walking stick out of his hand (as happened several times) or, worst 'help' of all, a waiter who took the brakes off his wheelchair just as he was about to sit down. After that incident I must admit that I became rather more vocal in asking people to stand back and insisting on a bit of space around us . I hope that was not taken the wrong way, I did not in any way want to offend the lovely staff, next time I will have a polite word with the maitre d's of the various restaurants on the first day and make it clear from the start that we really appreciate their concern but that he really is best left to do things at his own pace. That said, it was a minor annoyance and a tiny blip on an otherwise perfect cruise. Oceania is still the cruise line we constantly recommend. They have, for us, achieved the perfect combination of including useful 'extras' like soft drinks and shuttle buses but not to the extent of going to the cost of a full blown all inclusive, which as we do not take tours and are not big alcohol drinkers would not be worthwhile for us. Marina and Riviera are my ideal size of ship -- large enough to be stable, and Riviera handled very well in some seriously strong winds over the last couple of days, but small enough to be friendly and not require a major hike from one end to the other. We also love the no-fee specialty restaurants, the (very nearly) child-free and (very nearly) smoke-free environment and the absence of photographers and hard-sell on-board shopping -- indeed on both Marina and Riviera we had difficultly using up our on-board credit ! We took this particular cruise for relaxation after a particularly difficult few months of work/health troubles so did not plan too much in each of the ports, all of which, except Marseille, we had visited several times before, but a few random thought below might be of use to somebody else: TAORMINA - we tendered into Giardini Naxos where previously there had been plenty of taxis, but leaving the ship about midday there were none around, which did not bother us as we had no plans to go up to Taormina, no doubt we would have found one had we enquired, but just be aware they are not always there. We walked all around the bay to the station, just as a destination to aim for, and it must have been at least two miles each way. The beach was nice and quite a lot of people were renting sunbeds in the lido cafes but nobody was bathing, I though maybe it was too cold so went for a paddle to test the water and it was OK, I would have gone swimming except that the sea was full of rubbish, plastic bags, cardboard, bottles, just general junk of every description - yuk. AMALFI - the sea here was clean and plenty of people swimming from the public beach by the tender pier, in fact there seemed to be more public beach area than our last visit, its a lovely little town with great views from the ship all long the stunning coastline. ROME - the BIRG ticket now costs €12 which is the same whether you buy at the station or one of several shops on the way there. There are now 3 wheelchair lifts at San Pietro station so every platform is accessible (and all 3 were working !) despite Trenitalia replying to my email a couple of weeks before saying that we had to go on to Termini as it was no longer possible to cross the lines at San Pietro. We did that, having been escorted across the lines as usual at Civitavecchia, walked back through Rome (replacing DHs scooter that had sadly broken earlier that day with a wheelchair at a mobility shop en-route) to the Vatican and on a hunch decided to see if we could get on the train at San Pietro station, hence discovered the lifts. A coach company had several representatives at the port gate offering tours of Rome for €30. We were not interested as we are quite familiar with Rome and only really wanted to visit St Peters but it sounded like a good deal for anyone wanting to see the main sights without bothering with trains and buses or going to the expense of a ships tour. LIVORNO - Oceania often seem to dock at the small port near the foot of the Via Grande, which is great. To walk in to town rather than follow the blue Uscita/Exit signs to the left on leaving the ship, which comes out near the American Market, turn right by the orange Guardia Costiere building and walk across a small swingbridge, it is a shorter route and, for anyone pushing a wheelchair, avoids the uphill section of the bridge. MARSEILLE -- we had quite a nice day here, maybe because our expectations were quite low after reading negative reviews. There is building work going on everywhere, apparently because it is going to be European City of Culture next year. It is a huge city with several markets and streets lined with shops, many at the lower end of the price spectrum for clothes and shoes. There was a free shuttle bus (Oceania said it was run by the port not them) which dropped off just outside the Centre Bourse shopping centre, just a couple of minutes' walk from the old port. 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Sail Date May 2012
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

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