57 Oceania Riviera Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

This was our 4th cruise with Oceania and we were just on the Riviera in February for a Caribbean cruise. Oceania is our cruiseline of choice because we like the size of the ship and the excellent food and service. Pre-Cruise: We flew ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with Oceania and we were just on the Riviera in February for a Caribbean cruise. Oceania is our cruiseline of choice because we like the size of the ship and the excellent food and service. Pre-Cruise: We flew into Venice a day early and stayed at a hotel near the Piazza Roma and enjoyed the sights of Venice. We had a private tour of Venice the morning of boarding so we did not get to the ship until mid-afternoon so there was no line for checkin and the Terrace Cafe was empty when we went for a quick lunch. Cabin: We were in a PH2 on deck 10 (#10035) which was right next to the elevators but there was no problem with noise and we really liked the convenience of being close to the elevators. The cabin was big enough for us and had plenty of storage space. I especially like the walkin closet and all the drawers.Our butler was great and whenever we called for extra ice or sparkling water it was delivered quickly. We only did 1 breakfast in the room and it came on time and was hot. Dining: We found the dining and food on the Riviera to be just as good as on previous cruises. We had most of our breakfasts in the main dining room and the staff were always very pleasant and the food was good, We usually had lunches ashore. Dinners were mainly in the specialty restaurants and we were fortunate to get an extra reservation in both Red Ginger and Jacques (our 2 favourites). We enjoyed all the food and the only time we had an issue was when we brought a bottle of wine we had bought onshore to the Terrace Cafe for dinner and they could not locate it. They did eventually find it but then the wine steward was not around very often so we had to ask for service to get our glasses refilled. Service was good in all the other restaurants. Shipboard Activities: This was a port intensive cruise so we did not get to many of the shipboard activities.We did enjoy the pool and spa deck, the string quartet before dinner and afternoon tea. The pool was very busy most days since it was very hot out. The spa deck was really hot so we didn't stay up there for very long. We noticed the demographics were very different on this cruise with a lot more families and children and generally a livelier crowd. The bars were very busy! We didn't go to any of the evening shows but noticed that the musical productions were the same as what we saw in February. Excursions: We did mostly private excursions not through Oceania and they were very good. We did 2 excursions with Oceania. The first was to Murano & Burano and we enjoyed the boat ride to the islands and the tour guides gave a good description of the lagoon and the islands. The glass blowing demonstration in Murano was interesting and there was enough free time to walk around afterwards. In Burano we skipped the lace demonstration and had a nice lunch instead. The second excursion was in Corfu to the Acheillion Palace. This was an OE excursion so it was quite a bit more expensive but with a smaller group(12 people) in a van. However, we went to the same places as the large group so it was just as crowded. The tour guide was good and we had the earpieces so we could hear her, but I did not think it was worth the extra dollars. Ports: We enjoyed all the ports but found them to be very crowded with tourists and it was very hot while we were there. This took away from our enjoyment , especially in Santorini, but this is not a fault of Oceania. We usually found a nice cafe or restaurant near the water and spent a few hours there eating and people watching! Disembarkation: This was the easiest and fastest disembarkation I have ever experienced. They made the announcement, we walked off, got our luggage and were off on our tour of Athens in about 5 minutes. Fantastic! Overall, we enjoyed this cruise and are happy with Oceania and the Riviera. We are looking forward to our two future cruises! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit Israel and the Greek Isles. We spent 3 days in Athens before the cruise and 2 after the cruise. We have been cruising since the early 80's. We chose this ship because we aren't ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit Israel and the Greek Isles. We spent 3 days in Athens before the cruise and 2 after the cruise. We have been cruising since the early 80's. We chose this ship because we aren't comfortable with very large or very small ships. 1,250 passengers was just right for us. Embarkation and debarkation went very smooth. The ship is well laid out. The food in all venues was excellent. We visited the Terrace Buffet one evening and they were grilling lobster tails, lamb chops, slicing prime rib, and serving dover sole. It was excellent. The specialty restaurants were very good. Service was excellent in all restaurants. The ports; Crete, Haifa, Cyprus, Patmos and Santorini were excellent. We missed one port, Rhodes, because the winds were too strong. It added an additional day at sea which was nice. We didn't attend the shows. We turn in about 10:30. The casino was fun, glad to see they still have a craps table. I did feel somewhat sorry for children and teenagers on this ship. Oceania's target market is not children. It is a mature audience. Looking at their advertisement material, it never shows kids. Leave them home. It is a mature audience. This isn't a party ship. We met wonderful people from all over the world. Most of them experienced travelers. Many passengers were on extended stays or were repeat customers. We will definitely sail on this ship again. We did a suite, 1000 sq. ft. It was beautiful. Very comfortable, butler service was excellent. My only complaints are they need to improve internet connection. Also, the only area that seemed to be tired was the deck chairs in the outside pool area in the Canyon Ranch Spa. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This cruise was selected for several reasons. For one, the reputation of Oceania for serving the best food on the ocean was an attraction. Also, the itenery ... we have been to Greece and Italy several times, but those traveling with us ... Read More
This cruise was selected for several reasons. For one, the reputation of Oceania for serving the best food on the ocean was an attraction. Also, the itenery ... we have been to Greece and Italy several times, but those traveling with us had not been to the Mediterranean. It also helped that the price was right! "The Good" ... The public space is lovely. Well cared for and immaculately clean. The staff is the most attentive that I have ever experienced on land or sea. The specialty restaurants were wonderful and diverse. It was refreshing to see that the policy of not allowing passengers to place a book and a hat on a pool lounge chair at 6:00 AM and then return to claim their space after lunch ... is being enforced. All cruise lines talk abut it, but do not have the gonads to enforce it. "The Bad" ... the main dining room was just average at best. It would take a good 15 minutes to be approached by staff. This happened 4 nights in a row. Once they started your table, the service was excellent. The food was dry and lacked flavor. We would have opted out of the main dining room if we had been allowed to dine in the specialty restaurants ... but you are only allowed to dine once in each specialty restaurants per leg of the cruise. If you were less than 45 minutes arriving to board the ship prior to the mandatory departure time, the tent, cold towels, and water were gone. This is not the biggest of deals if the ship is docked but if it is tendered ... good luck location the correct tender. We were forced to have The Princess Cruise Line staff help us find our tender in Santorini ... located in a totally different place than the AM landing point. If you have an independent excursion the staff will not pass out tender passes as you arrive. They wait until all of the cruise line tours are off and then announce that the independent passes will now be passed out ... so there is a major fight to claw yourself up the aisle hoping to secure a pass that allows you to only be 45 minutes late getting off the ship. "The Ugly" Our cabin ... I can only speak for our cabin, and I will not give you the cabin number since the stewardess that maintained this room was not responsible for the lack of preventive maintenance in this cabin. My only complaint with her was that she never replaced the shampoo with 2 days left on the cruise and our balcony glass was never cleaned. We were located at the rear of the ship and the vibration was unacceptable. The cables connecting the TV and the VCR were hanging out all over the place. The knob for the shower rain head kept falling off ... and being a round knob, try turning it on or off whit soap on your hands. The carpet in the room was filthy. The sheers had shrunk and were too narrow to close all of the way. The same issue was a problem with the blackout curtains, thus at 5:30 AM you were hit in the face with shards of sunlight. There were signs of the previous guest in the desk drawer. 2 postcards from a hotel and a Marriott desk pen. I worked for Hilton for 20 plus years and this alone would fail a room. Would I travel with Oceania again? Well, if the deal is good and the itenery is desirable ... you bet! But I do think that Oceania needs to save a bit of money and stop sending me cruise literature ... we something every day from them! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this ship and cruise because of the itinerary - great combination of three days in Israel plus Greek Islands. Also, we are foodies and had heard the food was great, and finally, we do not like a super large ship or one that caters ... Read More
We chose this ship and cruise because of the itinerary - great combination of three days in Israel plus Greek Islands. Also, we are foodies and had heard the food was great, and finally, we do not like a super large ship or one that caters to lots of kids. The food in the main dining room was truly awesome every day - wonderful presentation and unique recipes. Also loved Toscana and Jacques. Did not like Red Ginger (freezing cold in there too) - recipes and flavors not to my liking - odd twist on Thai. We have outstanding Vietnamese, Dim Sum, and Chinese in our home town of Philadelphia - this was not good. Also, dinner up at the buffet area does not even come close to what is served in the other restaurants, soggy baked potatoes, lesser meat quality, soggy lobster tails. All of the restaurants are BEAUTIFUL with outstanding service, china, linens. Versace China in Toscana, for example. Fantastic decorating - Kudos. Lighting a little bit too bright however in some of them. The entire ship is spotless and very well kept and elegant. Not too large and easy to get around. Maybe it was the itinerary - but it seemed that most of the passengers were frumpy looking in the way they dressed with zero style - Attention Walmart Shoppers- was sort of shocked by this. Even at dinner. A lot of "red state" passengers, many of whom were vocal about it at dinner - found this unpleasant and really not acceptable behaviour when you are dining with people you do not know (even if you do know them). We found a mix of Americans, Austrailians, Brits and Asian passengers - mostly older as it has been stated. The evening entertainment was very good and very professional - but geared to an older crowd - we are in our sixties - not our eighties - would like some classic rock or acoustic, etc. We had a cabin with an extended veranda that also included chaise lounges - that was a very nice feature and we enjoyed it quite a bit. We did go on three of the tours but did not appreciate being herded into the tour director's choice of shops, etc. He chose an awful one in Jerusalem with tacky souvenirs and many wooden crosses. There were other places I would have loved to go into but no chance was given. Same thing happened on the way back from Lindos on Rhodes - one couple was THIRTY minutes late and we should have left without them - they never apologized. We then had to stop for a pottery demonstration - that was not listed on the tour itinerary and we were already late getting back to the ship. Time is valuable and i do not like having mine taken from me. Cabins are very comfortable and bed is amazing - it said ours came with a Queen size but it seemed to be a king - was very large. Great linens and mattress so comfortable. Very nice housekeeping, free water, soft drinks, etc. We did not take the beverage package - you have to drink a LOT to make that worthwhile. However, the cocktails are super tiny and they don't really carry the premium brands my husband likes such as Bulleit or Woodford or Knob Creek Bourbon or Bulliet Rye. Great room service and Housekeeping outstanding as well. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Loved the ship, and the crew extended themselves to make certain we were comfortable. A few glitches with the transfer from Rome airport to ship, hopefully future passengers won't have to endure a 3 hour bus ride with no bathroom ... Read More
Loved the ship, and the crew extended themselves to make certain we were comfortable. A few glitches with the transfer from Rome airport to ship, hopefully future passengers won't have to endure a 3 hour bus ride with no bathroom breaks after getting of overseas flights. Food was perfect, lots of choices.We did not take advantage of entertainment , were too tired after long days in port. The ship provided good information about each port, I researched the ports and was able to negotiate without pricey excursions. Even in the unexpected stop in Dubrovnick, the ship provided a free shuttle to the old city, just perfect for walking and exploring. I traveled solo, and the social director went above and beyond to connect the solo travelers. Hated paying double for the cabin though. Value of the trip was great,prices were greatly reduced and almost everyone got an upgrade of some sort. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was our 1st Oceania cruise aboard the Riviera, but approximately our 15th cruise, having cruised Celebrity, NCL, RCCL, Holland America and Celebrity (along with a small river cruise in Asia). Overall great impressions with some ... Read More
This was our 1st Oceania cruise aboard the Riviera, but approximately our 15th cruise, having cruised Celebrity, NCL, RCCL, Holland America and Celebrity (along with a small river cruise in Asia). Overall great impressions with some "comments" that I'll note below. We choose Oceania Riviera because of a great special we found via TravelZoo - received discounted cruise fare (basically 2-1), included airfare (more on that later), free unlimited WiFi on board (one device at a time only), and a choice of house beverage package, shore excursions or ship board credit. We usually do not spend this much on a cruise, but since the airfare to Europe was included and Oceania has a great policy of having many "extras" included that other cruise lines nickle and dime you for, plus we were looking for a more "upscale" experience, we thought we would give it a try. We did opt to upgrade to the prestige beverage package (on board at Reception) and it was worth it for us. Gave you more flexibility. I would have liked some more variance in the wine by the glass options at different bars, but still decent selection. Pretty good selection of beers but no craft style beers (that would be nice addition). Nice choose of sparkling wines and Champagne. Oceania does it right to include bottled waters (still/sparking), juice, smoothies, coffee, sodas, etc in your cruise price. Mini fridge in room with small selection of items and 2 large still bottled waters in cabin per day. Robes and slippers were provided for use during trip. Many people seemed to like to wear these to the pool - which I found somewhat odd. Ship: beautiful. About 4 years old I believe. The ship holds about 1250 passengers and we were told there were about 1200 on board. So while almost full, it never felt really crowded (other than the few days we tried breakfast in the Terrace Cafe - buffet). It is so easy to get around the ship. We are used to bigger cruise ships and while it did lack some of the extra activities and more bars/things to do - it felt very serene and relaxing. Good atmosphere. Ship seemed very clean and staff was very friendly (with exception of a horribly rude piano player, Bobby, in Martinis Bar). Everyone else was super accommodating (I don't think they know the word "No"!) and very helpful - for example even in Terrace Cafe they will take your plate of food for you and bring it to your table. Lots of interesting art work around the ship. Casino - just OK - 4 tables - 2 with black jack, one with poker and the other I never saw open. roulette and I think craps. Slots machines - OK - but none of the newer type which I prefer. CAsinon bar in middle of the casino was great with good serve and drinks. The lobby area, while beautiful, it a bit of a let down from the large mega cruise ships. Spa/Fitness Center is very nice. The Fitness center is pretty large for this sized ship and had nice equipment (though limited number) and a nice sized room for stretching, exercises, yoga, etc. The machines were very nice and most of them offered you a nice view out the large windows. Towels and selection of water, gatorade, etc was included. Cabins: We had 8032 a regular Verandah cabin - I think about 282 sq feet. Nice size and larger than the other ships we have been on. Did get lots of offers to upgrade for a fee (upsells), but decided to stick with this cabin. Storage space was adequate. Room was pretty roomy and comfortable. Bed was awesome!!!! Room was quiet. Bathroom - larger than other ships, but felt that the separate bath/shower was a waste of room for us and would have loved a larger walk in shower. The walk in shower was a bit tight but had 2 shower heads and plenty of hot water. Bathroom was attractive looking. Had flat screen TV with DVD player (not Blu Ray). TV stations a bit limited, but had several news stations and music stations and the daily lectures on ports from our cruise director were informative. They do give you Bvlgari amenities that included lotion, shampoo-bath gel and conditioner. They were fine, but nothing I'd rave about. Nice that we did not have to worry about packing these items. While our room was kept clean and comfortable, the floor carpeting could have used a good cleaning. Dining: This is where Oceania excels. The specialty dining restaurants were awesome and my only disappointment was that we were unable to secure more than the guaranteed 4 nights (one in each specialty). It is so great they are included in your cruise price. Can't say enough about how yummy the food was (especially Jacques & Red Ginger). All were fabulous though. Book your reservations early when they open up. Be open to sharing your table as we had some fun dinners with other couples. The main dining room (Grand Dining Room) was good - though I sometimes felt the menu was just so-so on choices. The food was good however and serve was great. We usually ate our breakfast in the Grand dining room and it was good. Prefered that to Terrace Cafe. Waves Grill is a good alternative for a quick lunch or later breakfast, though the menu is limited and didn't seem to change, so after the 1st couple of times there we avoided it for the lack of variety. The coffee bar (Barristas) offers pastries in the morning and small sandwiches at lunch time and little baked goods throughout the rest of the time. This was the only place on the ship where I could find smaller sized pastries which I love. I don't like to waste a whole large pastries that seemed to be everywhere else. The food overall was good or sometimes better than other cruise lines - definitely a selling point for O. Complaints: without a Concierge or above level cabin, your room service breakfast was only cold choices. Though the rest of the time 24 hour room - nice! Good selections and good food (turkey burger was fab and cheese plate a great late night snack). Also we boarded quite late due to the flight plans and there was nothing to eat until 6pm dinner and we were starved! Oh you must do the afternoon 2 - I only had a chance to do it 2 times - but it was great! There are happy hours (2x per day) on the ship were you can get deals on drinks if you don't have the Prestige drink package. Dress code was country club casual and people seemed to adhere - it was nice not to worry about having to dress too formally. Embarkation in Rome - you are a long taxi/ride from the airport (FCO) - take that into consideration - probably took us 45 minutes and there was traffic. Opted to take a shared taxi with 2 other friends - total cost was $130 Euros (the ship charges much much more than that). Getting a taxi was quick and easy as they are all over a FCO and easy to find the taxi line. Getting processed and on the ship was easy (see above complaint re lack of food availability - we got on just after 4pm when dining room (Terrace) had closed. Entertainment: Only saw 2 shows - they all seemed to be at 9:30/9:45 - the singing and dancing were pretty decent, but not up to other cruise line standards. Cruise director Nolan was great and we enjoyed the daily rounds of trivia including name that tune. Shuffleboard and croquet on Deck 15 were fun - but since we were port intensive not a lot of free time except for morning on ship sailing to Zadar. The pool is nice - salt water, but deep (6 feet) with no swallow end. 2 hot tubs - a bit hot for me - but relaxing. Nice lounges and towels and one day they brought out blankets - very nice. Deck area seemed large enough for our cruise, but this was early November so a bit off season. The Culinary Center was a highlight for me. Take one of the cooking classes if you can - it was great!! Did not use the Artists Loft at all. The string orchestra was amazing! They played several times throughout the day at various locations. Just wonderful. Also Emmanuel was a wonderful singer and she gave a great show about Edith Piaf that was quite moving. Don't miss if you can see it. Music several nights in the Horizons lounge that was fun. We did some dancing. Due to port intensive we did not have a lot of late nights, but I heard from some people there was disco dancing until 2pm (which for the older skew of the ship seemed odd - but heard there were like 5 people - lol). Glad to see O accommodated them. Service: outstanding! Better than some other lines we have been on for sure. Though found it odd that we did not meet our cabin steward until day 3. I loved the absence of "upsells" announcements on O (i.e. jewelry selling announcements, watches, no push for photos - well no photos that I saw). Made for it being peaceful and relaxing on board. Ports & Excursions: I would not recommend using O's shore excursions. 1st I found them outrageously expensive than other options and I heard many complaints from others who did go with them - from being overcrowded (buses of 50 people), problems understanding the Guides, etc. It was easy for us to get off the ship wherever we docked (unlike other cruise lines where you have 3000 plus people all trying to get off). Loved the bottled waters given as you departed for shore each day. Nice touch. Would have liked a small bag to carry to port each day that we have received on other cruise lines - I suspect that if you are a repeat customer on O or an upper level cabin you get one. They do provide umbrellas but they are the large kind and we choose to bring our small compact ones from home. We enjoyed most of the ports with the exception of Zadar - just not that impressive or that much to do there that interested us. Kotor Monte Negro was canceled due to weather so we were bummed, but the alternative was Dubrovnik and it was fabulous! Walk the walled old town if you can (lots of steps so not friendly to all). We thought the Greek port (Argostoli) was a bit odd of a choice when so many other nicer Greek ports available - but had a fabulous taxi ride from Christopher and we saw some beautiful beaches and scenery in the area, had a great local lunch. The light house - not a real must see - fyi. Venice was easy to get off the ship and grab a taxi ($45 euros) to Marco Polo airport. No need to book the transfer from O. People that did paid about $165 pp and complained about it as they need to be standing outside for a long time and it was cold. Airfare: ok here's my complaint, but partly my fault for not complaining to O before too late. We had 2 changes of planes before we reached Rome and on our way home from Venice. I heard from others that if I had complained they would have given us a better flight option. Plus we had such close connections in Munich and in Toronto (flew out of San Diego) that we were stressed that we or our luggage would not make the ship. On the way home - too long of a layover at SFO (almost 4 hours). After traveling for almost 24 hours, that really wasn't ideal. I have since heard that you can possibly opt out of the included air and they will give you compensation to do so - no idea how much - but wouldn't hurt to ask. Tip: it was SO worth it to upgrade to Premium Economy for $99. Age group - definitely older group. Only saw 3 kids (which was fine by me). We are late 40's and probably more of the younger group on the ship, though we did see some couples in their 30's. Suggestion: add a bar or add TVs to a bar so sports can be viewed during NFL, etc. Would I sail Oceania Riviera again? If the price was right I would. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The ports of call were places we had not visited before. On the the 4th or 5th day we were unable to go to Kotor, Montenegro as it was very windy and the captain felt it would be unsafe to ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The ports of call were places we had not visited before. On the the 4th or 5th day we were unable to go to Kotor, Montenegro as it was very windy and the captain felt it would be unsafe to sail to this port so on the day before he made arrangements to dock at Dubrovnik, Croatia which was a wonderful port and we truly enjoyed walking through the old city. The cruise line was even able to arrange 3 excursions at the last minute. The food and specialty restaurants which were included were fabulous. Our friends had lobster almost every evening. The service was excellent throughout the ship. The only downsides were, poor entertainment in the evening, bottles of wine were expensive with nothing less than $47 per bottle, the excursions were expensive and the transfers especially in Venice were very expensive so we booked our own at 1/3 the cost. Would definitely choose Oceania again, especially the Riviera or Marina. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I had researched Oceania quite a lot before booking this cruise and it does what it says on the tin. The experience is based around service,destinations and especially food. All three exceeded our reasonably high expectations. We had ... Read More
I had researched Oceania quite a lot before booking this cruise and it does what it says on the tin. The experience is based around service,destinations and especially food. All three exceeded our reasonably high expectations. We had only cruised once before, on the Royal Caribbean's Allure, a mega ship and although not impressed by the Caribbean,as a destination, we really enjoyed the cruise experience onboard. We are therefore cruising novices, which can be both positive and negative for a review perspective. It can be difficult to give comparisons re cruises but sometimes I get the perception that for some nothing is as good as it used to be. That may be absolutely true in some things but equally our evaluation of quality can become distorted over time and we can become "spoilt" or as we get older our ability to maximise our experience diminishes. Anyway that could all be my own nonsense but here goes re my review. From the minute we arrived at the Pireus terminal by taxi from Athens our embarkation was very smooth. We were met at the entrance,our luggage immediately taken and we were guided through the stages very quickly. As we boarded we were met by very pleasant staff who welcomed us warmly and advised us a buffet was available as was our cabin. As we had upgraded to concierge we were met in our cabin by a bottle of bubbly which was pretty decent. The cabin was very nice,certainly a cut above that on the Allure and the bathroom with Bulgari toiletries were very nice, although at 6. 5,a slightly bigger shower would have been nice but it was fine. The bed was excellent and the balcony was fine. Our cabin attendant Natalie introduced herself immediately and from then on she was first class organising diet drinks for our fridge, sorting our complimentary pressing, cases etc Throughout our cruise she was excellent, always very pleasant and helpful as was her colleague. Just a quick note re concierge class, is it worth it? With the access to the concierge lounge, the bottle of bubbly access to the spa terrace, the complimentary pressing and the toiletries, probably just yes. Then it began,the eating and drinking. The food on board varied from pretty good to excellent. From the terrace buffet to the MDR and specialty restaurants we really enjoyed the food, as did all the other people on board that we spoke to, and there were many, even marathon cruisers with 700+ nights under their belts. The odd choice we made was not ideal but that was our issue. Even had the much maligned onion soup which I thought was very nice.A particular treat, which I only discovered after a conversation over dinner with a wonderful couple from Yorkshire, was lunch in the MDR. Really lovely ambience and super food. Highly recommended. We had a premium beverage package and suspect we maximised the value out of it. The house wines were decent and you could drink almost anything else. Waiter service was very good both in the restaurants and at the pool area. I didn't have to keep asking for another glass as on the Allure. My glass was kept topped up as required and the somolliers often remembered our preferences from previous encounters which really impressed. We did the La Reserve experience while on board and it was extremely good, much added to by the head Bulgarian waiter, whom I met on several occasions afterwards. He really added to the evening and throughout the cruise I noticed his immensely pleasant and engaging interaction with numerous fellow passengers of all ages and nationalities. With regard to our fellow passengers, I suppose that is for many what really can make or break a cruise. We met a lot of really nice, interesting people on board. The vast majority were very friendly, the odd shy or odd indidual , but that is life. We are in our late forties and ewarly fifties, among the the youngest passengers on board, which can be a bonus. We met one guy , 87 initially on a tour and he was fantastic as was his lovely wife, so age is no barrier on Oceania, but maybe not ideal for the sub 40's and certainly not kids.At dinner, on tours, tenders in bars and especially among the smokers(not one myself) there was always interaction , this was much more the case than on the larger Allure. No cliques or snobbery detected , as some people explained occurred on other lines. The itinerary was the main reason for booking this tour and it was excellent. Israel was the highlight. We toured independently which was extremely good. The Greek Islands were beautiful. The tender service ran very smoothly, absolutely no complaints.. we didn't take any tours organised by Oceania. Service onboard was excellent, the staff were nearly always very pleasant and never unpleasant. Entertainment was limited and seemed a concern to some. Evenings were centered around eating and for those looking for entertainment or vibrant nightlife into the small hours, then dissappointment is likely. It was fine but much more limited,perhaps understandably, given the age profile and passenger numbers , as compared to a mega ship.The cruise director John seemed omnipresent and was always very pleasant. I suppose the real question is would we go back? Well it's 10 days since our return and yes tomorrow! We had a wonderful 10days on Riviera , not unattainable perfection but if your looking for, excellent service, food and company it certainly ticks the boxes. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We actually chose a cruise in November on the Marina. Shortly after, we were contacted by Oceania to switch to this cruise, giving us many percs. We are so glad we switched! The weather was perfect; the ship is amazing; the food, even ... Read More
We actually chose a cruise in November on the Marina. Shortly after, we were contacted by Oceania to switch to this cruise, giving us many percs. We are so glad we switched! The weather was perfect; the ship is amazing; the food, even better; the service, impeccable. Embarkation was a breeze as was disembarkation. We felt the entertainment was good, not great. The friendliness of the staff was incredible. We tried each of the specialty restaurants and found them all outstanding! The Grand Dining room was excellent as well. We really enjoyed having lunch daily in the Terrace Café. We did go to Waves Grill once for lunch and the food was very, very good. The milk shakes are to die for! We had a great time at one of the Culinary Classes. We learned a great deal and will be using some of the principles taught. We have previously sailed on NCL three times, but my wife and I will never go on any other cruises than with Oceania! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We decided to try Oceania, normally we travel on Celebrity or one of the Royal Caribbean ships. We enjoyed the experience. It was more expensive that our other cruises. One couple felt that our cabin category should have had a larger room ... Read More
We decided to try Oceania, normally we travel on Celebrity or one of the Royal Caribbean ships. We enjoyed the experience. It was more expensive that our other cruises. One couple felt that our cabin category should have had a larger room size My husband and I enjoyed the specialty restaurants. The service in Jacques and the Italian restaurant was outstanding. We weren't that happy with the food in the Grand Dining Room. Polo Grill was ok for us. Enjoyed the spa treatments. Manicure and Pedicure and massage on different days. Specials are available during the cruise. Entertainment on the next to the last night was very good. Try to make that show if you only can go to one! Waves Grill my husband and I enjoyed breakfast there. Smoothies are good. If you want to eat lunch outside - you will enjoy it. The staff at Waves provides excellent service. For dinner we went to the buffet and had lobster along with various seafood and sushi. So plan to eat there at least one night for dinner. Service was excellent and you can eat on the back deck. Land excursions make sure you read the details. We should have just enjoyed going into the port and walking around instead of boarding buses for tours - bus rides took up too much of our valuable time. Before you book the cruise ask your travel agent what is the best deal that they can get for you....we got a great one and that is why we took the cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
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
We cruised for the first time last year and went with Oceania and chose Oceania again this year as we were so impressed previously. We were on the Marina last year and the Riviera is an identical sister ship so we felt at home (even ... Read More
We cruised for the first time last year and went with Oceania and chose Oceania again this year as we were so impressed previously. We were on the Marina last year and the Riviera is an identical sister ship so we felt at home (even booking the same stateroom number). Whist we deemed this cruise excellent there were some small negatives when compared to last year: the attention to detail in cleaning the stateroom and replacement of bathroom consumables, the difficulty of some serving staff in the buffet restaurant to understand requests and also greater detail in briefing them on the food they were serving would have helped. The entertainment was better than last year (apart from a rather dire ventriloquist who had used up all his A-level material in his first show and was left with nothing for his second show) with a very talented team of core singers who made the shows and poolside performances wonderful. Food was excellent in all the restaurants; the four speciality restaurants exceptional. However, for probably the first time the Brits outnumbered the Americans by a considerable number and so this exposed some failings in understanding UK preferences: e.g., the night they offered traditional roast beef and Yorkshire pudding there was not a roast potato in sight and they totally ran out of orange marmalade by day 3!Looking forward to our next Oceania cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This is our fifth cruise and it was chosen because of the size of ship and the ports visited. Booked through a travel agent and all forms and tickets arrived prior to leaving our home base. Able to logon to the website and prefill details ... Read More
This is our fifth cruise and it was chosen because of the size of ship and the ports visited. Booked through a travel agent and all forms and tickets arrived prior to leaving our home base. Able to logon to the website and prefill details and preferences for cruise as well as book shore excursions and book restaurants. Our weather perfect, seas smooth so great conditions. We were really looking forward to this cruise but upon embarkation we were filled with gloom as we had just completed a different cruise just prior to this one that spoiled us. Our personal taste but but the decor felt dark, heavy and claustrophobic. Apparently refurb in 2014, certainly not in the decor area. Embarkation: After we dropped our bags we weren't sure where we were to proceed next, as I moved forward I was rudely told to stop and go out somewhere else. Signage or pleasant direction would be nice. Strange place, minimal sleep, people get confused or have no idea where to go. Apart from that desk check in quick and easy. Leaing and returning to ship slow and cumbersome with staff having to take your card and scan it, tap and go better option. Cabin: Penthouse Suite. Roomy with good sized verandah and nice outdoor furniture. Bed very comfortable, linens lovely, bathroom linen very good. No tea or coffee making facilities in this cabin but use of lounge or butler I suppose for this. Adequate storage in cabin and wardrobe great space with enough hangers for clothes. Safe inside wardrobe. Cabin lovely and clean and kept this way throughout the cruise. Bathroom amenities of good quality. Hand hygiene: Found it to be lax, hard to see the containers at times and the alcohol rub in the executive lounge was empty the entire cruise. Laundry: Price per item by staff or self serve laundry for use on each floor for a small price per wash and dry cycle. Iron available in laundry room. Cool bottled water available in laundry room. Executive Lounge: This was part of the Penthouse deal. It was a nice quiet area most of the time with nibblies, tea and coffee and computer and printing. Ruined of course by ignorant people that were dressed inappropriately, I mean shirtless man in shorts loudly talking and disturbing everyone there, then proceeding to "pick over" the foods for his selection even though tongs right on front of him. Yuk, Staff: Appeared friendly, nothing outstanding. Remember to place do not disturb sign on door whenever in cabin as had a few walkins when in cabin. Bit disconcerting. Meals: Found them to be average, served by staff behind glass that was good to stop people fingering food but lead to not really getting the amount or felt a bit rushed at times to make a decision. Tables cleared promptly, able to share tables if none available. Tried various restaurants but nothing really grabbed us with fantastic flavours. After all the hype about the food it wasn't for us. Tendering: Excellent. Boats good and well organised. Internet: our cabin came with 200 mins of free internet for one device at a time, most of the internet time spent was for it to connect or timed trying to connect to email or download small item.. Found it very frustrating and not really worth it. I do realise we are at sea but having experienced other at sea internet this was one of the slowest. Most people only want to look at emails or download their home newspaper etc not stream movies whilst away. Entertainment: TV in cabin and movies etc on offer poor choice, as tv internet based it was "thinking" a lot. Alcohol: Quite expensive, drank very little on board. Smoking: Found the designated smoking area to be too visible. Had to walk past it from our cabin to get to meals until we worked out a different route. Quite near the pool area. Could smell it all the time. The ports were ok, had previously been to Zadar but with Oceania we were in a port away from the main area. Did not use any of the port excursions, found them expensive. All in all, it was ok, for our expectations and the hype it was not to our taste. I wouldn't book again, some of the lesser cruises we have been on were better value and more enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We selected Oceania Riveria for their port itinerary and it did not disappoint. Fantastic rooms, excellent speciality restaurants, beautiful ship and lovely hard working staff made this a wonderful experience. We booked an A3 concierge ... Read More
We selected Oceania Riveria for their port itinerary and it did not disappoint. Fantastic rooms, excellent speciality restaurants, beautiful ship and lovely hard working staff made this a wonderful experience. We booked an A3 concierge stateroom which comes with a few extras like access to the heated spa pool area at the front of the ship which we loved and used most days, a bottle of champagne on arrival, early online booking of speciality restaurants, access to a small concierge lounge on level 8 and the bathroom was stocked with beautiful Bvlgari products. For us these extras certainly justified the additional cost. We meet a lot of lovely people who were happy to share their cruising and port experiences and I'm sure we will be friends for many years to come. The entertainment was the only area we marked down. Overall great value cruise, highly recommend Oceania Riveria. Looking forward to our next cruise with Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Oceania offered a trip to ports which interested us, with a reputation for fine service. In most aspects, we were very satisfied. The cabin was commodious and well furnished, with a full bed, love seat, desk, two large closets, and a ... Read More
Oceania offered a trip to ports which interested us, with a reputation for fine service. In most aspects, we were very satisfied. The cabin was commodious and well furnished, with a full bed, love seat, desk, two large closets, and a large bathroom tiled in granite which included both spacious shower and a tub. The Riviera had an elegant, low key color scheme of beige, gold, tan, and black accents, unlike the bright, gaudy decor on some other ships. Dining service differed from what we had experienced elsewhere: servers behind the glass counters dish out food at passengers' requests. Passengers may not help themselves to any food at the buffet. Often, ship employees offered to carry food and drinks to tables, so that passengers did not carry their own plates or cups. We had not been told our cabin number at the time of boarding, so we could not tag our luggage with cabin numbers. As a result, it took several hours, longer than for most other passengers, for us to receive our luggage. The staff had to consult the office to look up the number. That was frustrating. Quality and variety of food varied. Lunches offered the least variety for those of us who do not eat meat or shellfish. The hot vegetables were always steamed carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli medley. At the outdoor grill, we found freshly grilled fish with limited salad offerings. Dinners were generally good, although we would have liked more pasta choices and greater variety of local fish, especially when sailing in the Mediterranean. Very plain salmon was available daily. Seasoning was also generally plain Continental, except in the specialty restaurants. We did appreciate access to the specialty restaurants. Jacques, the French restaurant, disappointed. Dover sole was delicious, but the night's special entree, sea bream, tasted very fishy and over cooked. Salads and appetizers were also disappointing at Jacques. Tuscany, the Italian specialty restaurant, served Manhattan caliber food, with excellent service. Red Ginger had decent food, but not on a par with the Asian food that we enjoy in New York. The waiter was also brusque. Wines were overpriced. The seven bottle wine package included mainly fair choices, with high markups. Most of the ports were very worthwhile: Alicante, Algeria (Granada disappointed), Cadiz (ship biking excursion was great!), Casablanca (terrible waste of time, dirty), Gibraltar ( extremely worthwhile), Lisbon (lovely city). Many passengers were older, as we are in our mid- 50's. We noticed that the ship accommodated those who used wheelchairs. Ship entertainment was fairly standard, pleasant. The comedian was very good. Disembarking had better service than at most ships. Ship staff took our luggage from the dock to the area of waiting taxis. That ended our vacation on a very satisfactory note. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our first Oceania cruise, having used Celebrity and Cunard in the past. We booked on the basis of the itinerary (Greek Islands) and the reputation Oceania has of being a solid notch above the mass market cruises. The cruise ... Read More
This was our first Oceania cruise, having used Celebrity and Cunard in the past. We booked on the basis of the itinerary (Greek Islands) and the reputation Oceania has of being a solid notch above the mass market cruises. The cruise originated and ended in Istanbul. Embarkation was easy with a maximum of 15 minutes to drop off the luggage and check-in. Tip - if you are looking for well known Western brand hotels close to the cruise terminal, I would recommend the Grand Hyatt or Intercontinental, both close to Taksim Square and less than 10 minutes by taxi to the ship. Our Penthouse Suite (PH2) cabin was 11005. We were very happy with all aspects of the cabin, particularly with the walk in closet and lots of storage space. Tip - deck 11 forward is a great location. It's behind the bridge so is a dead-end and therefore has no corridor noise. Also deck 12 (pool deck) is wider than 11, that gives more shade/protection to the balconies on 11. Our cabin staff (Christina, Joe and Dean the butler) were excellent, attentive and always smiling. More-over, we would say that all Oceania staff were professional and in particular seemed a very happy bunch! Food/Drink - Oceania pride themselves on cuisine, while we were not at any point dis-appointed, we did not honestly feel the food standard was exceptional. In our view Red Ginger was the best, followed by Toscana, and the Main Dining room. The terrace buffet was perfectly good, but not "sumptuous" by any standard. In our view the Polo Grille Steak/seafood) was the earliest and we did not try the French restaurant as we live in France. Tip - we did not start making reservations in the specialty restaurants until late on the first cruise day, and found difficulty in obtaining good times.....so book early. Tip - my wife does not drink so we did not go with any of the daily beverage packages. Bottled beer prices ($6.50) and good wines by the glass ($10ish) we're reasonable to me. Tip - oceania allows purchased alcohol on board (sadly I only discovered this with 3 days left), and with the mini bar stocked daily with free soft drinks, it made cocktails in the cabin very affordable! Ports of call/excursions - I never understand shore excursion pricing, and we prefer to do our own thing in anycase. All ports of call (both docked and tendered) were close enough to town to not need prior arrangements. Ship facilities/entertainment - Riviera is a well appointed mid size ship, with all the usual ship-board activities on a mid-size, but nothing revolutionary (no climbing wall, simulators etc). Late afternoons on shore excursion days and all day when sailing, the pool areas and seating areas do become busy, but I have never seen a ship where this is not the case. We were pleasantly surprised by the cabin TV movie channels, with recent run films available free of charge. Dis-embarkation - Approx 15 minutes in the passport control queue, but the luggage was waiting for us, and plentiful taxis outside. Again I don't understand the pricing on offer for ground transport by Oceania, that was almost x10 the price of taking a regular taxi? Summary - happy with Oceania, particularly with great staff and excellent cabin. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The Riviera is truly a magnificent ship, no expense spared in the furnishings and fittings. Everywhere on the ship is excellent, with staterooms beautifully furnished with the most comfortable beds, best quality linens and soft ... Read More
The Riviera is truly a magnificent ship, no expense spared in the furnishings and fittings. Everywhere on the ship is excellent, with staterooms beautifully furnished with the most comfortable beds, best quality linens and soft furnishings. Very soft gently colour schemes, with a very large balcony and comfy chairs, plus cashmere covers for cooler sailings. Staff have been wonderful – nothing is too much to ask for and requests are dealt with promptly and with good grace. Meals have been magnificent, everyone a treat and choice has been all too much. There are 4 speciality restaurants each with their own theme and all should be tried. There is also a Grand Dining Room, beautifully appointed with a la carte meals available. Can’t complain about lobster nearly every day. Never thought I’d be guilty of looking at a menu and asking “What else is there to eat other than bloody lobster”! Breakfast in the Terrace Café is also a treat with one of the best selection of fruits, cereals, all manner of eggs breakfast meats and breads I have ever seen. Staff here are also extremely efficient and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We joined the ship in Istanbul. Embarkation was quick and smooth. Don't expect any kind of welcome in board; no senior staff or welcome drink. The ship is beautiful and the service and house staff really do a great job. Senior ... Read More
We joined the ship in Istanbul. Embarkation was quick and smooth. Don't expect any kind of welcome in board; no senior staff or welcome drink. The ship is beautiful and the service and house staff really do a great job. Senior staff are conspicuous by their absence. For a ship of this size you would expect them to be more visible, but they are not. The food was excellent in all venues. The entertainment was generally ok too, except the "night club". Handing round an iPad for people to choose their own music lead to a haphazard playlist that resulted in a mostly empty dance floor and club. Whilst we had a thoroughly enjoyable cruise, we did have an issue with wine availability. We took out the wine package, but from day 3 certain wines became unavailable. By day 4, they ran out of three of the wines and we struggled to get prosecco in some of the bars. This situation lasted until the penultimate day of the cruise!! We have never been on a cruise where they have run out of wine!! In addition to running out of some of the wines, they also run out of breakfast tea and some cereals?! You really do have to question their back office supply chain process. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Admittedly, we and others were disappointed at the itinerary changes with eliminating Tunisia and the two days in Egypt. That proved prescient as there were terrorist attacks in Tunis and, for our days in Egypt, there were attacks in Giza ... Read More
Admittedly, we and others were disappointed at the itinerary changes with eliminating Tunisia and the two days in Egypt. That proved prescient as there were terrorist attacks in Tunis and, for our days in Egypt, there were attacks in Giza outside Cairo and in Luxor. The substitute ports were less than inspiring but, hey, what can one do? As noted, Trapani in Sicily on a Sunday was pleasant but most places were closed. Limmasol was a dump but Analya, Turkey was a nice surprise being on old Venetian trading port with an interesting port. I note that other reviews complain about the high cost of ship tours. We avoid ship tours at all cost - not just for the high tariff but getting on and off a bus with 30 others is not a positive experience. I was struck how many mobility challenged passengers there were on this cruise, most especially since Oceania had advised prospective customers this was not a suitable trip for those with such problems. I heard repeated complaints about how mobility challenged passengers had difficulty getting on/off the ship's gangplank and ship tour buses. That took up considerable time which may have caused the ire of others. The food was excellent in all dining venues at all meals. We do not favor the specialty restaurants but Jacques was pleasant on the one night. The Grand Dining Room suits our needs perfectly at dinner as we dine early and the staff are eager to help. Our meal in Toscana was marred by the GM seating us - we were the 4th ones in at 6:30 - right next to the waiter station which is absolutely the worst table in Toscana. We objected and then had to wait to be reseated as the GM ignored us. I complained to Boris, restaurant manager, about the attitude problem but aside from that one incident, the service and eagerness to please was top notch at all our meals. Breakfast and lunch in the Terrace were lovely, most especially at an outdoor table. The wine list was fine for our needs and, unlike others, I felt pricing was reasonable and the sommeliers were both knowledgeable about selections on the list based upon our tastes and in terms of servicing our table throughout the meal. Our PH cabin was beautiful, the cabin stewards did a fantastic job keeping it clean and tidy and our butler, Raj, was the best butler we have had on Oceania in almost 10 sailings with a butler. He anticipated our needs, he was not obtrusive and he was a delight to deal with. We avoid going to the entertainment at night as we go to bed early and get up early to tour. This was a port intensive cruise so I am amazed at stories other passengers would relate about staying for the show, then off to karaoke and drinks in Horizons until late. To each his/her own. We don't care for the live shows and the so-called port lectures by the Excursions Desk staff were poor - often just reciting the printed tour description in the sales brochure. Why bother attending the so-called lecture when you can endure it on tv in the cabin? Leslie Jon, the cruise director, was terrific and his management of the afternoon Trivia sessions were masterful. A huge plus. Embarkation and disembarkation were handled professionally and pleasantly. Unlike the chaos and bizarre behavior by senior staff in Miami last year, getting on and off in Rome was flawless. We had a wonderful experience and have booked two more cruises on Riviera. It is our favorite ship - the right size, the right amount of passengers which allows for various options and choices not available on smaller ships. Plus, there is no clustering or queing except for the several instances when tendering into port was required. Finally, there was criticism of the Captain on his announcement after being notified by the Greek authorities of a bomb threat while we were at sea. He might have worded his late night announcement better but had he not so informed guests, the rumor mongering and speculation would have caused considerably more disruption the following morning as many of us saw first hand the crew at their stations and security sweeping the ship. Finally, a special thank you to the concierge Ana in the Executive Lounge on deck 11. She did a wonderful job with so many different (and cranky) passengers but she provided a special personality that made coming into the lounge a positive experience. Love the ship, loved the cruise, loved the effort the staff put forth all day every day. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Before the cruise, I read some negative reviews of the quality going down after the NCL acquisition of Oceania. And the quality of their tours is not that always good. In our case, thankfully, the crew in this cruise is the best out of ... Read More
Before the cruise, I read some negative reviews of the quality going down after the NCL acquisition of Oceania. And the quality of their tours is not that always good. In our case, thankfully, the crew in this cruise is the best out of our 3 experience. And the Oceania tour we took in Jerusalem + Bethlehem was fine. Excellent wait staff at Polo Grill and Toscana. Our stateroom attendants were very good. Made to order pasta chef at the buffet was very friendly. The staff, who took the orders, at the made to order grill at the buffet was very friendly too. Food is in general good, but not always the best. On a full day at sea, there was roast pig at buffet, fresh pasta at buffet. Port Said and Port Alexandria were canceled a few days before the embankment! In their place, Oceania chose Limassol, Cyprus and Alanya, Turkey. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was our first experience with O as we are avid HAL cruisers (and are very happy with them). What to really to us has made the difference is that as staff levels are higher (compared O to HAL) that this is surely noticable, from ... Read More
This was our first experience with O as we are avid HAL cruisers (and are very happy with them). What to really to us has made the difference is that as staff levels are higher (compared O to HAL) that this is surely noticable, from embarkation to the final departure. As in general a price for a cruise is higher (O higher than HAL and compared an O inside cabin price to HAl equivelant; it is nearly double the price) you understand than why you pay more. Staff engages with you and many staff, although they all took turns in different stations and/or restaurants, recognized you. They all stopped by for little chats or you were greated with a big smile. Dining was great and all restaurants were great: our favourite was Red Ginger! Main dining room is actually a lovely and elegant place and as we dined later by 8pm, most the time a table to 2 was available. We also made new friends by sharing a table or meeting fellow passengers at the bar or pool. Also the normal buffet restaurant offers excellent meals, for breakfast you require a poached egg? Just order and it si made fresh. I miss the desserts already and specially during lunch I made sure I would treat myself to a home made dessert. The bread (baguette) was crusty and we became addicted to it during our journey. Pool staff was trying to enforce 'not reserving sun beds for over 30 minutes' but still passengers play a silly game: we noticed a fellow passenger reserving 3 beds for 2 persons and jumped from sun to shade when staff was checking, really silly! The shows put on by the professional cast were really good, one show premiered during our cruise and we loved them all: live singing & dancing and 2 of 3 shows had even a 'live' orchestra playing. Greek harbour Gythion was poor: it was a maiden call and there were no taxis at all available: we returned within 30 minutes back to the ship. Excursions we have all done by ourselves, it is amazing to see ship's excursions with 50 seater busses fololow similar routes as your own private ones, only they paid double or triple prices. Israel was amazing (little difficult due to Shabath Saturday). Our cabin was comfortable and cleaned verey well by our cabin attendants, well done! We could not provide many improvement points and can say well done Riviera & crew! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
The Good- Food and service in the Grand dining room and specialty restaurants were excellent and particularly in the Polo Grill, Red Ginger and Toscana restaurants. The Mediocre – Entertainment was very mediocre, save for the ... Read More
The Good- Food and service in the Grand dining room and specialty restaurants were excellent and particularly in the Polo Grill, Red Ginger and Toscana restaurants. The Mediocre – Entertainment was very mediocre, save for the show personally put on by Leslie Jon, the guest/entertainment manager which was excellent. The Poor – Service in other areas of the ship has deteriorated markedly since our 2014 cruise on the Riviera, particularly- Cabin service - on boarding, we found hairs in our shower that hadn’t been removed from the previous cruise; we also had to ask a number of times for shampoo and conditioner to be replenished, notwithstanding that empty bottles had been left on the floor of the shower; we also asked for 2 wine glasses to be placed in our cabin every day, and most days found only 1 glass present resulting in us having to continually request another. Pool deck service – sitting around the pool area, we were very seldom offered a drink, resulting in us having to often get up and go to the pool bar ourselves. Generally, other than the service in the dining rooms as previously noted, we felt as if many of the staff were in robot mode and them not really wanting to be on board. Also, we noted a real deterioration of staff friendliness, compared to past Oceania cruises. Certain port stops – with 4 sea days on this particular cruise, why does Oceania plan stops in Israel on a Saturday when the country virtually comes to a stop in most respects because of the Jewish Sabbath and a stop in Trapani when virtually everything is closed on Sundays? The Very Poor – Head office customer service: days before departure, we were informed that the stops in Egypt had been cancelled. I addressed an email to the CEO of Oceania/Norwegian in this connection through the Oceania email web server. To date, more than 5 weeks later, I have never received an acknowledgment nor the courtesy of a reply to this communication. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
CRUISE OVERVIEW:  Cabin: 11051 PH1 Penthouse on 11th floor, mid-ship  Dates: 10/22-10/29/2014 Itinerary: Istanbul, Turkey (2 days); Kavala/Philippi, Greece; Mykonos, Greece; Rhodes, Greece; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Santorini, Greece; ... Read More
CRUISE OVERVIEW:  Cabin: 11051 PH1 Penthouse on 11th floor, mid-ship  Dates: 10/22-10/29/2014 Itinerary: Istanbul, Turkey (2 days); Kavala/Philippi, Greece; Mykonos, Greece; Rhodes, Greece; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Santorini, Greece; Athens (Piraeus), Greece Excursions: All were private except in Kavala (Xanthi) where we booked an Oceania tour FLIGHTS: We paid the flight deviation fee as we wanted to arrive in Istanbul 2 days prior to boarding the ship. The original flights offered by Oceania were terrible -- we researched flights, asked for and received the ones that we requested at no additional charge. We flew KLM from SFO-->Amsterdam-->Istanbul. We went online on KLM after receiving our booking # from Oceania and paid to upgrade our seats. Unfortunately, KLM has a strange system where you pay for the upgrade in airfare class (we paid for economy plus) but they only "request" the seats for you. You must confirm at the airport when you check in. They gave away the three seats we requested -- the three people in our party ended up nowhere near each other. KLM's staff were horrible and misled us and I'd never fly with them again because of our experience. Return flights were with Air France and everything with them went smoothly. We flew from Athens-->Paris-->SFO. Easy check-in, comfortable seats, great free entertainment on board the flights. Our first time flying with them and I would highly recommend Air France. HOTELS: In Istanbul, we booked the Hotel Sultania on our own. Fabulous location, and wonderful boutique hotel with an old-world feeling. Loved the "family room" we booked -- staff was outstanding. Food and view from their rooftop restaurant, Olive, was excellent. Location walking distance to many tourist sites, and public transportation available one block away. Shopping nearby -- we walked to the Grand Bazar and many sites such as the Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, and Hagia Sofia. Highly recommend this hotel. In Athens, we booked the Athens Gate hotel because of its location. Walking distance to many sites such as the Temple of Zeus, Acropolis, and the shopping Plaka. Metro available right in front of the hotel. Cute, modern boutique hotel. Staff was outstanding. Minor grumble about the lack of fan in the bathroom (short shower produced bathroom walls dripping with condensation & wet/slippery floors). Very small elevators (not for those that are claustrophobic). Free wi-fi (in public areas - charge applies if accessed from your room). Wi-fi was unbelievably slow! But, plenty of local restaurants and cafes that offered fast, free wi-fi. Would still recommend this hotel, and wouldn't hesitate to stay there again. PORTS: Will review separately, where available. Ports that weren't available for review below are included here. Kavala/Philipi/Xanthi - Trust me on this -- Do NOT book through Oceania. Horrible, depressing, awful experience. They shouldn't even offer this tour. Took us to a public park w/river (okay, but cold/windy). Then a bus ride through graffitti filled area to Xanthi. Took us on a very boring walking tour of Xanthi -- not the typical "history" tour we expected. Dropped us off at a tavern that didn't offer enough seating, and the included food was inedible. Gave us "free time" to walk around. No real shopping to be had. Locals were unfriendly (I don't think they are used to tourists visiting their city). Very bad tour. If I could do it over again, I'd just get off the ship and walk around the port. Those on the ship who did that seemed to enjoy themselves, so that would be my recommendation. Ephesus/Kusadasi/Sirince - We booked a totally private tour for the three of us. Included Ephesus ruins, then on to Sirince for wine tasting, shopping and an excellent lunch prepared by a local family on their farm. On the way back we requested to be taken to the leather factory where we got our own private runway show! Such fun! Would loved to have been able to afford the amazing lamb leather jackets, but settled for purses that were in our price range. Would love to go back to Ephesus and Sirince and spend more time there. EMBARKATION/DEBARKATION: Embarkation: Easy -- Walked right up with no wait at all. Done in 5 mins. Debarkation: Confusing -- No instructions as to where to locate our baggage in the Athens terminal. Got wrong information from one of the employees, but eventually located our luggage despite that. Asked porter to help us with our luggage and get a cab. Was told it'd be 20-25 Euros. After cab driver took off, I confirmed the price -- he stated 28-30 Euros, but I didn't want to argue. When we arrived at hotel, I (over)paid him the 28 Euros. He started screaming at me saying that it was 38 Euros! He scared the bejeusus out of us and we paid him the extra 10 Euros. BE CAREFUL and have the porter or someone confirm the cost of the cab ride, and if there is a problem when you arrive, ASK someone, anyone, to help you. Scary and, unfortunately, made us mistrust all cabs in Athens. SUMMARY: My third cruise with Oceania. I think the specialty restaurants & food in the Terrace Cafe were not as good as on previous cruises. Menus in the specialty restaurants need to be updated. Restaurants, in order of my favorite to least favorite: Red Ginger, Toscana, Polo Grill, and Jacques (which we chose not to even eat in -- we dislike their food that much). Everything else was up to the same excellent standards that I've come to expect and enjoy from Oceania. Loved the 11th floor PH -- we had previously always stayed on the 7th floor (in aft Penthouses). My only bitch about Oceania is the fact that they charge for wi-fi. Why not just build the cost into the price of the cruise? Or, at least charge a reasonable amount. Sometimes you can get it included for free (we did on two cruises). Otherwise, it's approx. $170 for unlimited access for a week. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
My husband and I just returned from this cruise with Oceania. This was our 3rd Oceania cruise. The ports of call were awesome - Split and Dubrovnick, Croatia, Kotor Montengro, Greece and Italy. The views were incredible! Oceania is a very ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from this cruise with Oceania. This was our 3rd Oceania cruise. The ports of call were awesome - Split and Dubrovnick, Croatia, Kotor Montengro, Greece and Italy. The views were incredible! Oceania is a very nice ship with great amenities - the restaurants continue to be very good, the customer service is excellent and you always feel safe and comfortable. However, we will NEVER sail with Oceania during the summer months ever again. If you don't want to be subjected to a bunch of yelling kids in the pool and loud people everywhere, you may want to avoid sailing with Oceania in the summer months. There is a very definite difference in the clientele compared to the off-summer months. Oceania is clear in its materials that they cater to a mature adult audience and do not provide activities for children. Their written materials do not recommend families with children. It is beyond me why people would want to book a family cruise with a company that clearly states this. I don't think it is too bad for pre-teens and teens (thought they looked very bored) but it is definitely not the cruise line for kids under 10. The staff does not know how to handle the kids, they just run around causing chaos everywhere. The pool area is too small for everyone in the summer months and we ended up escaping to the canyon ranch spa deck (happy we booked a penthouse room) for most of the days to get away from the crowds, kids and inebriated adults being generally loud and obnoxious. The excursions are not worth the money at all - we just booked our 4th cruise with Oceania and we will not be using their shore excursions anymore. Some suggestions for Oceania: electronic clock in rooms so you can see the time in the dark; update afternoon canape selections; expand pool area; make shore excursions more reasonable. Be more clear on your website and brochures that this is an adult cruise experience to discourage children OR add activities for the kids so they have something to do and are not bothering the adults. While we LOVE the spa deck and the hot tub there, perhaps you should put a cold water pool on the spa deck so there is a quiet place for adults who don't want to be subjected to kids screaming and splashing in the big pool. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
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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