13 Oceania Riviera First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

The Riviera cruise (Oceania) was very satisfying on a number of levels, because of what they call ‘enrichment experiences’. On a culinary level, there is a choice between speciality restaurants serving some exceptional food (at no ... Read More
The Riviera cruise (Oceania) was very satisfying on a number of levels, because of what they call ‘enrichment experiences’. On a culinary level, there is a choice between speciality restaurants serving some exceptional food (at no extra cost) to the grand dining room that caters to the bulk of the passenger compliment. (The mass market) Service is attentive and exemplary but not the unobtrusive ‘British’ type of service that I prefer. Instead it is more of the false “how ya all doing, how was your day” introduction accompanied with an ear-to-ear smile. Dentistry on board, for the crew, must be of a high level??? On an emotional level it was satisfying. I know that I am over weight and am carrying 7 – 10 kg more than I should. The demographic on board makes me feel anorexic and there is no need to refuse that rich dessert. Yummy On a cultural level, there are all those ‘enrichment’ opportunities. An art school, a cooking school, educational guest speakers, karaoke (if that can be called enrichment), Trivia and a host of entertainment performances ranging from the exceptional to the ……. well let’s just say less than exceptional, with the opportunity of experiencing both giving the audience the opportunity of making their own judgement call.1 On a sight seeing level. Some tours started at 8:00 am and others as late as 12:00. This mix meant that on some days the alarm went off as the sun rose, and on other days one could enjoy a more relaxed morning. With all tours that we took, we were able to enjoy a scrumptious, not weigh limiting, afternoon tea. A custom that I could easily become accustomed to. No tour was full. (Very important) Busses were never more than about 50% full, by design. Some tours had multiple busses all only half full. This is important as the tour guides could talk to the group whilst out and about, without having to resort to having to use radio transmitters and earphones. This also reduces the risk of participants wandering off, causing delays for the rest of us. On an organisational level. ‘Herding’ over one thousand people can be an issue. At no time did I ever get that part of a herd impression. Boarding cruises as well as boarding the vessel initially, were all very well managed. On a financial level. They do not have a hand in your wallet at every turn. Most things are free with the exception of alcoholic drinks. (which are not cheap) Soft drinks, tea and scones, bottled water and entertainment are all available at no extra charge. On a relaxational level. My late mother had an expression ‘half baked’. Any person who came up with a dumb idea was ‘half baked’ Fortunately the ship provides ample opportunity for passenger to complete the baking process on sun loungers around the pool. Originating from colder northern hemisphere climes, perhaps they are not as much aware of the consequences as are passenger from Australasia. For those who prefer a more strenuous activity, there is a gym that I promised myself that I would visit frequently, but did not, as well as the usual deck games and golf putting. One afternoon, there was an on-selling promotional activity where guest were invited to listen to a presentation about future tours. One was ‘around the world in 180 days’ Six months of on-board life style would kill me! But a back to back cruise of perhaps 18 to 21 days? Well that is something to add to the bucket list. 1) During a song and dance routine, I had the impression that one of the dancers very nearly dropped another dancer. Not the way to ‘reject’ a lady’s advances in front of hundreds of on-lookers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We went on a seven night cruise aboard the Riviera stopping in Key West, Trujillo (Honduras), Belize City (Belize), and Cozumel (Mexico). This was our first cruise ever (as a child I had once done an Atlantic crossing, but this was back in ... Read More
We went on a seven night cruise aboard the Riviera stopping in Key West, Trujillo (Honduras), Belize City (Belize), and Cozumel (Mexico). This was our first cruise ever (as a child I had once done an Atlantic crossing, but this was back in the 1970s), and we kind of splurged, celebrating my wife's speedy recovery from intensive surgery. We had an Oceania Suite, with over 1,000 square feet. The Riviera, simply put, is of pure elegance. She is not gaudy or over the top, but a thoughtfully put together example of fine design. The dining venues are wonderful, the staff and service highly trained and very international. The food choices were, to the most part, far better than very good. It was kind of funny - some people preferred, for example, the Red Ginger restaurant (Asian) over Polo's (steak house), so we did not go to Polo's with high expectations, only to be pleasantly surprised by the high quality. The Riviera is a more expensive ship, and therefore the audience that can afford to travel on her generally tends to consist on older retirees, so expect to see very few younger people. This has an adverse effect on the entertainment choices - musical selections in the Riviera Lounge, the only stage on the ship, were of a bygone era. Though the performers were very good, the actual productions simply failed to move us. Shore excursions ranged from so-so to very good. Trujillo still needs a lot of development - the town has just recently started to accept cruises. The glass-bottomed boat in Key West was a pure blast. We went to see the ancient Maya ruins in Belize - this was a very well put together tour, with expert guides. Cozumel was a lot of fun - this is the Caribbean's second-highest earner in cruise ship revenues, at the heels of St. Maarten. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
CRUISE ON THE OCEANIA RIVERIA DEPARING FEB 22, 2016. CABIN 7122 I have waited some time to reflect on this cruise, calm down and get over my disappointment and disgust. This was to be my first luxury cruise. As it turned out it was the ... Read More
CRUISE ON THE OCEANIA RIVERIA DEPARING FEB 22, 2016. CABIN 7122 I have waited some time to reflect on this cruise, calm down and get over my disappointment and disgust. This was to be my first luxury cruise. As it turned out it was the cruise from hell for the reasons listed below. Because of the reasons listed below it will also be my last on an Oceania cruise ship. 1. No notification that the prior cruise came in early due to norovirus, which had we known, we would have cancelled so that we would not be exposed to any lingering effects of the virus. 2. Long delay until we were able to get the room/more staff should have been on hand to handle the backlog that you knew would occur. Also water and snacks could have been served. 3. Bad crew attitude/unresponsive/little English 4. Our cabin was quite dirty with stained carpets and severe sweat stains on the chaise lounge chairs. We were told that the stains were due to the cleaner used to sanitize the carpets. No so. My boyfriend took a wet rag and black dirt readily came out of the carpet. This condition existed because the crew overlooked the dirt. Not what one would expect from a "luxury ship". We spoke with an individual who was able to get the carpets and chaise lounge seats cleaned while we were in Nassau. While it was better it was far from perfect. 5. Frayed robes 6. The common area carpets could use replacing-as could all the ships carpet and the comments thought the furniture looked aged. This ship is only 4 years old but looks 20. 7. What’s up with the thrusters?? We cruise a lot (9 in 14 months) and we have NEVER been so shaken awake at 8 am on 2 mornings as from the severe vibration when pushing into a dock. 8. Staff should clear prime window tables so others may use them. The dining room had a habit of saying none available instead of cleaning them right away—everyone wants a window seat so prepare for cleaning. 9.Wine menu expensive and not that good-We had a $55 bottle of Red Zin and it got worse as it breathed. Thought it was me but the guy next to me smelled it and didn’t even want to taste it. 10. We were the only couple told to finish eating and leave the buffet because it was closing while there were still people in the buffet line waiting to get food. There were some positives. The breakfast menu in the dining room is the best ever. The Red Ginger restaurant is superb. There were several crew members/servers who provided outstanding service. But the negatives still out way any positive. We have been on 9 cruises/3 different cruise lines in the last year and have enjoyed every one of them. Oceania is definitely not included in this group.They breached their contract to furnish a superior upgraded “luxury “ cruise failing to do so in many ways. It is sad to say that we have never wanted to leave a ship as much as we did when we hit the gangway to get off in Miami. We would have left in Nassau were we able to get our money back. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Have to say. OCEANIA, honestly made our holiday " the holiday from hell..." Understand the NORO outbreak & the measures taken to help. At any time did they do try to make our life more comfortable or help. No staff. ... Read More
Have to say. OCEANIA, honestly made our holiday " the holiday from hell..." Understand the NORO outbreak & the measures taken to help. At any time did they do try to make our life more comfortable or help. No staff. to busy applying wet chemicals, no Concierge lounges, no cooking class, no art classes, no gym class.. try 15 min for a cup of coffee then another 15 for the staff to return with cream, so you need to start over again..so you can imagine all the other services Cabin service was delayed, They were to busy washing wall.. Canyon Ranch manager fumigating the walls.. Nice sight when your thinking of enjoying a day in spa.. If your going to apply this, then bring more staff on.. Food service was a joke... Hate at dinner or place settings? you needed to trip someone.. First time ever, I bought liquor & snacks for the cabin. Easier then dealing with this floating science lab& MIA staff staff had gloves & mask's. Never once were we asked? Wonder, if they kept saying the chemical applied was safe? why were they wearing these??? makes me wonder. best was to come in St. Marteen, the local health authority said, we could not leave the ship, finally after hours of delay we could. Only to come back to the Captains announcement he decided to go back to MIAMI and cut the cruise short for our health.. (was not the captains decision, it was the CDC) sailing get back ASAP.along with the Port of Nassau saying we could not come ashore. Then to come back to all land staff,customs agents, ports etc.. wearing masks again..as we were leopards, transferred to numerous hotels .. for the balance of our stay. So I ask is 25% refund enough? 1) no ammenties 2) cruise was bad from the start from the previous cruise outbreak, 3) no service? 4) no additional services 5) being exposed to chemicals daily? 6) every day was something else take away? 7)trip cut by 30% 8) hotel stay only paying for breakfast, not other meals as they should as if we were on board the ship? 9) no staff to busy cleaning.. In closing, i do understand the health & reasons why this was being done.. I have no problem with this. I do have have a problem, they did nothing to accommodate us during the time on board, help us or compensate the passengers... 25% is more a insult.. again... Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
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
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
This was our first cruise, so we had nothing to compare. However, we did our research and chose Oceania because of the great ratings. The Riviera is certainly a beautiful new ship, and our amenities were excellent in our Concierge Suite. ... Read More
This was our first cruise, so we had nothing to compare. However, we did our research and chose Oceania because of the great ratings. The Riviera is certainly a beautiful new ship, and our amenities were excellent in our Concierge Suite. Don't think we would bother with the whole Concierge level again, as the advantages of paying more were not apparent. You get an extra lounge with tea coffee and that's about it! A standard verandah room would suffice. Loved the bathroom and the fact there was an actual bath. Also the Bulgari toiletries are a nice touch. Room service was impeccable. The food - have to say found the Polo Grill overrated - with limited choices. However, the Grand Dining room was excellent every time. Hated the way people "reserved" sun lounges even though they were directed not to. I guess it's embarrassing for staff to try and prevent this too. Awkward. We were disappointed that the Egypt leg was cancelled. Our Australian travel agent was extremely unhelpful and we only found out about the cancellation through this site and had to chase it up with them. However, given the troubles in the region, we appreciate the reasoning behind the change to the itinerary. We never received a welcome pack like other passengers either, including important luggage tags! Will not be booking with that company again. We arranged mainly private tours and were very happy with most of them in preference to the ship's options. The entertainment was pretty ordinary and on too late after long day's touring and given we would have been among the younger passengers on board I am sure this was an issue for many. The cooking classes are a fun addition and welcome distraction on sea days. All in all we had a fabulous holiday and are now converted to cruising as a holiday option. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
My husband and I sailed on Oceania's 1,200 passenger ship, The Riviera, from Barcelona to Rome for 10 days in late May 2015. It was our first cruise ever and it was utterly grand in every way. In retrospect we started right at the ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on Oceania's 1,200 passenger ship, The Riviera, from Barcelona to Rome for 10 days in late May 2015. It was our first cruise ever and it was utterly grand in every way. In retrospect we started right at the top! Prior to the cruise I read the Oceania forum here on CruiseCritic.com and learned a LOT of valuable information about what to expect. However nothing prepared us for the sheer fabulosity of Oceania's Riviera! We stayed in Barcelona for several days prior to the cruise. After embarking on May 22, 2015, we visited Spain's Costa Brava (Palamos), Marseille where we toured Provence, the French riviera (St. Tropez, Cannes, & Antibes), Monaco (Monte Carlo), and then Italy where we toured Portofino, Cinque Terre, Florence & Tuscany. Finally we disembarked in Rome. I'll review ports elsewhere; this review focuses on the ship. Overall Impressions: I highly recommend Oceania's Riviera for its luxurious and elegant ambiance; the fresh, top-notch and expertly prepared food & extensive wine selection; the many cozy corners (indoors and outdoors) throughout the ship; the pristine cleanliness of literally every space we saw; the Canyon Ranch Spa; the Culinary Center; and most of all, the service. The crew and staff were very friendly, welcoming, responsive, hard-working, competent and professional. They were outstanding in every way. Despite working long hours, they always greeted us with a smile. If you want to see excellence in action, observe the staff. The Demographic: adult (no kids), people mostly in their 50s, 60s, & 70s, and mostly Americans, then Brits and Aussies, with fewer Asians. A few passengers had limited mobility, using canes, walkers, wheelchairs and scooters. The staff were extremely accommodating, helping in every way possible. We were supposed to tender in only four ports but it ended up being six. This was not good for people with mobility challenges. There were of course many fit people on board, too. Most passengers were very nicely dressed, courteous, and friendly. We met many wonderful people on board and shared private tours with them. There was lots of laughing & comraderie - fun! Accommodations: Our suite was in the Concierge Level. The beds and linens are so crazy comfy that Oceania gives details on where to purchase because they get so many requests for this info. Bathrooms are marble and suites are beautifully furnished. Ours had luxurious fabrics in cream, bronze, and pale blue with a little chocolate for contrast. There were many lovely amenities such as Bulgari toiletries, bath salts for the soaking tub, cashmere lap robes for sitting out on the veranda, plush terrycloth robes, and much, much more. Our suite was made up twice a day. There were chocolates on our pillows every night. Our cabin stewardess, Mariana, kept our fridge stocked with water and diet ginger ale and resupplied our ice bucket several times a day. My husband enjoyed the freshly baked cookies from the Concierge Lounge a few times. OK, I did, too, ha ha... Food: To die for! Four specialty restaurants (at no add'l cost) and a Grand Dining Room plus the buffet (Terraces), afternoon tea (Horizons) and the pool grill (Waves). Special small dining venues with wine pairings. Creative menus, fresh food expertly prepared. A very extensive wine list. The single best thing I had (and it was a tough call!) was a crispy duck and watermelon salad at Red Ginger, the Asian fusion restaurant. The pool grill (Waves) had a surf & turf sandwich (filet mignon & sliced grilled lobster), Kobe beef burgers, fruit smoothies, salads, etc. The buffet (Terraces) had indoor & outdoor seating. There were tons of fresh fruit daily, beautifully cut up and displayed. A vast array of fresh baked goods daily. The croissants were works of art! Healthy stuff daily - grilled lobster & shrimp, fish, meat, vegetarian options, lots of different veg, and great salads. Specialty items like sushi, home made pasta, Thai food, and so forth. Countless desserts, many of which were reasonable (not gigantic) portions. Staff serve the passengers at the buffet, thus limiting the number of people who touch the serving utensils. We appreciated this measure! Afternoon tea is served daily at 4:00. 24-hour room service is available. Wonderful lattes, cappuchinos, and coffee at Baristas. So much more! Entertainment: A good pianist in the Martinis bar & lounge (with comfy couches and armchairs and the usual impeccable service), a string quartet (pretty good in my view), a lovely jazz trio, a violinist, a vocalist, and more. Two ballroom dancers performed and that was fun! There were 10 or 12 singers & dancers who performed but I didn't think they (or the material) were impressive. You had to appreciate their "heart," though.... The Spa: The treatments were excellent. I had the best facial of my life (Oxygen, 80 mins). My skin is still glowing! I got my first great haircut since moving out of DC three years ago. I got makeup advice and a massage. Expensive but totally worth it to me. The spa has a fitness center & many classes; quiet and very comfy areas for relaxing - indoors & outdoors, a "thalassotherapy" (sp?) pool which is basically a huge and fancy hot tub, a sauna and steam room, a private sun deck - so much more! Value: Overall the value was excellent. Drinks were expensive but on the other hand, we were glad they weren't included in the cruise cost; we prefer not to have to help cover others' drinking habits. We ordered what we wanted and enjoyed it. We liked being able to order bottles of wine and have them stored and then served to us at any dining venue. Oceania's shore excursions are very expensive and many of them are via bus. If you don't want to fuss with arranging or signing up for private tours and are not concerned about the cost, Oceania makes it easy for you. We participated in four private tours (for two to eight people) and all of them were superb. They were about 1/3rd of the cost of the ship's excursions. The private drivers and guides focus on the interests of the small groups and are very knowledgeable and flexible. We found them via reviews on TripAdvisor and CruiseCritic. The roll call for our cruise had lots of posts re: private tours. We weren't that interested in the on board casino so we don't know about the costs there. Other Stuff: We enjoyed the art and sculptures throughout the ship. It wasn't all to our taste but it was all interesting. We loved the on board library. Whoever chose the books did a terrific job. We were frequent flyers at Baristas, the on board coffee cafe. Massimo staffed it and we really enjoyed chatting with him. Our hands-on cooking class was fabulous! The chef gave great instructions, ingredients were pre-measured and set up at each workstation - it was wonderful. I learned some basics and some "wow!" moves. We ate what we prepared and it was all delish! Boarding and leaving the ship were always smooth processes. We liked that bottles of water were available every time we left the ship. I never made it to the Artists' Loft for lessons, to my disappointment. Also never made it to the Team Trivia games but we heard players laughing hysterically. We could have had bridge lessons & played bridge but we never made it to that, either. Ditto for most of the available fitness activities. We weren't interested in the Guest Speaker (a sports person). It sounds like we were the cruise slackers but we walked a lot in the ports! You could do a lot, or very little, on board. The Riviera accommodates about 1,200 passengers but I can honestly say that it never, ever felt crowded. The ship stabilizers worked well; there was very little motion. The waters were calm, too. I was worried about motion sickness but I took Bonine (an OTC preventative) and I never had one moment of discomfort. The Cruise Director, Leslie Jon, greeted us warmly and chatted with us a little; he was great. Overall, it was the vacation of a lifetime for us. We really don't have much desire to try another cruise line. We can't imagine being as satisfied with another line as we were with Oceania. I feel like other cruise lines would pale in comparison! Thanks to everyone on The Riviera for an absolutely wonderful experience that exceeded our (high) expectations. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Even before we got on board the pre cruise service was great. We had a problem with our booking which was fixed immediately. Riviera looked pristine as we got on board. The welcome was as we have come to expect. As always we had the ... Read More
Even before we got on board the pre cruise service was great. We had a problem with our booking which was fixed immediately. Riviera looked pristine as we got on board. The welcome was as we have come to expect. As always we had the Kobe Burger in Waves Grill. Delicious. Our room was ready promptly and our luggage was waiting outside. We were greeted by our butler and room stewardess. A bottle of champagne was on ice. We love The Grand Dining Room breakfast, and it did not disappoint. The waiters and Maitre Ds were very attentive and added to the overall experience. We had a great experience in Red Ginger as always. Thanks Riviera for a wonderfully relaxing holiday. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
For a first time cruiser, I think this was an excellent ship to sail away on. For a vegetarian, maybe a culinary cruise, not so much. More on that later. I shared a PH suite with a friend, and we thoroughly enjoyed, and took advantage ... Read More
For a first time cruiser, I think this was an excellent ship to sail away on. For a vegetarian, maybe a culinary cruise, not so much. More on that later. I shared a PH suite with a friend, and we thoroughly enjoyed, and took advantage of, the extra space in the suite. The walk-in closet alone was well worth it, since we had packed for multiple events (dresses for evenings, board shorts and all for kayaking and swimming, casual wear for sightseeing and hiking). We did spend a bit more time in the room than expected because we took advantage of the lovely veranda, enjoying afternoon canapes in the room, and breakfast in the room on shore days. I found service to be spectacular, everywhere. Including in the buffet, which was quite crowded a couple of times. Sometimes I'd think I'd need something, and it would materialize. Having a butler at hand also added to the experience, I think, as well as access to the executive lounge (made getting that morning cup of coffee much easier!). I wasn't as impressed with the fact that we were tendered to shore one additional time (we were expecting to be tendered in twice, and that was not the case -- apparently being the last to arrive, or the smallest ship, meant we were to be tendered in and not docked. This was a bit of a disappointment as it did shorten the time we had on shore. Also was disappointed with the amount of time we had in Key West (due to the sunset celebrations and having to leave port so early). Having to also allow for the shuttle to/from the ship in Key West also cut into the time in port, and that really was a disappointment. Other activities for the shore excursions were well received. We did our own thing in Cozumel and that worked out well, with plenty of time to shop in Cozumel before returning to the ship late afternoon. In Trujillo, we returned to the ship earlier than planned, but that was simply because there was just not a lot to do in Trujillo (they are still working out the kinks there, but the Campo Del Mar half-day nature walk was lovely). The Lamanai Mayan ruins day long tour was fabulous, and they did accommodate me, as a vegetarian, for the lunch on our return. Now for the food. Apparently, most everyone seemed pleased with your food. And they did appear to try to accommodate me, by delivering menus two days in advance and I could circle the items I'd like to eat in the future. The problem was that the pickings were quite slim and honestly, how do I know what I want to eat two days hence? Two of the signature restaurants I could not eat a main meal at all (and instead had to eat appetizers for my main meal). This was very disappointing, and while they tried to make the apps look like a main dish, and they were delicious, it just was not a main dish. In the buffet, vegetarians were also largely ignored -- steamed vegetables and salad and rice were the main dishes I could have one night (I think I could have had a potato dish also). I think there may have been three vegetarians on board. If the others were treated as I was, I'm a bit appalled. I'm not a second class citizen. I was not impressed that I was not offered menus when seated at a signature restaurant, instead being told "my meal was being 'handled'." This made me feel "different" and I was asked why I wasn't given a menu by our dining partners (we shared tables at all of the signature restaurants). Really, not a fun experience. BTW, the culinary cooking classes? A waste of time if you're a vegetarian (yeah, I wouldn't be able to eat what I cooked). And I wasn't impressed with the "resident artist." But I love Baristas, and I liked the idea of the library and Internet cafe (although the latter two were not used). For the days that we were at sea, there was also an extraordinary number of chairs reserved at the pool, contrary to specific requests not to do so. This was quite rude by the other guests. The staff working at the pool were not enforcing this holding of chairs, and it was apparent they were uncomfortable in wanting to do so. Service by the pool was also spotty... the second day at sea I was not once asked if I wanted a drink when I was out by the pool for well over an hour. (Too bad, that attendant lost out on an extra tip.) Speaking of other guests, there was a lack of manners from some of the guests that I was a bit stunned by. For a luxury ship such as this, to see a man push past others politely waiting for an elevator so he could be first? This same person did this to get on the tenders also. There were several occasions when I would have thought better manners would prevail but I guess I was wrong. (And yes, he would have made it on to that elevator, so there was no need to push past those of us waiting.) Will I go on this ship again? Yes, because I loved the service and I absolutely LOVED the fact that there were (mostly) no children. But I will be a lot more particular about requesting vegetarian food. (When your best meal in 7 days is on a shore excursion in Key West, having a vegetarian Cubano sandwich -- and you've been on a luxury culinary cruise? Something is wrong.) Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Last year my wife and I experienced a fine 10 day cruise with another couple. We appreciated the service and especially enjoyed our meals. Accordingly, we returned to the same ship and expected another excellent cruise. MISTAKE ! It ... Read More
Last year my wife and I experienced a fine 10 day cruise with another couple. We appreciated the service and especially enjoyed our meals. Accordingly, we returned to the same ship and expected another excellent cruise. MISTAKE ! It seems the Cruise Line was purchased by Norwegian and everything has now changed. Our impressions were that the "bean counters" have taken over and cost savings are now required all over the ship with special emphasis given to lowering the quality of the food. What was once excellent food now is merely mediocre at best. Previously, Oceania Cruises prided itself upon a "gourmet culinary experience. Not now! The quality of the meals now offered left a great deal to be desired. Nightly Shrimp Cocktails were no longer offered or provided. Twice, the menu offered "Tiger Prawns". What was actually provided was not "Tiger Prawns" but instead just large shrimp. Not even Extra Large or Jumbo Shrimp but just Large Shrimp! At" Toscana", an offering of "Mozzarella di Bufala Caprese" did not actually provide Bufala Mozzarella but offered an inexpensive poor quality regular Mozzarella. A serving of Pasta produced pasta that was badly overcooked and gummy. A meal at the "Polo Grill" offered a "Tomato and Sweet Onion" Salad. Instead of Sweet Onions, slices of cheap red onion was served. No Chef swhould serve red onion as a "sweet onion". The menu states that all meats are of "Prime Quality". Not true at all! My steak was full of fat and gristle and was neither peppered or salted. Just plain BAD! All in all, during the entire cruise, the meals offered are now bland, devoid of flavor, and were of poor quality. As an indication of cost savings there is the issue of the Televisions in the cabin. All of them of low end brands of extremely poor picture quality. There was not a single day that there was full TV available. "No signal" was the rule each and every day rather then the exception. Of the five offered Movie Channels two were non-operable. As another indication of "cost cutting" the ship did NOT offer one of two NFL Championship games. The cost of the license fee for a second game was beyond that of the Oceania to provide. Guests were offered the "opportunity" to leave the ship and watch the non-provided game in a bar in Belieze. Upscale Cruise Line? I don't think so.. To be fair, let me say that most of the crew tries very hard to please. However, the service offered can not begin to make up for the deficiencies given the cost of a cruise. One last item of concern. A booklet in the Cabin lists "Guide to Services" of the Canyon Ranch Spa Club on board. The information provided is out of date and not in effect as per booklet. There is no Spa Butler, no refreshments offered, and no snacks! An offered 100 minute massage is now 80 minutes but the price for the 100 minute massage is still being charged. Why? Who knows? Oh yes... the carpet in our Cabin (#9077) was absolutely FILTHY and obviously needed to be cleaned. A final bit of information. The Cruise line wanted to confiscate and "hold onto" all passports upon departure. Why ? Who really knows. Not a nice "surprise" and I would not allow that to be imposed. After much discussion we were "allowed" to keep our passports! In summation, this cruise showed a lack of style, cost cutting measures, and all in all, a diminished cruise experience. Would we ever sail again on a Oceania ship? I think NOT in this lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Our cruise went Barcelona to Lisbon via Casablanca. The Spain section consisted of daily drop-ins to several Spanish Holiday islands followed by a day in Gibraltar. Then it was off to North Africa and Morocco. The lure of Casablanca was ... Read More
Our cruise went Barcelona to Lisbon via Casablanca. The Spain section consisted of daily drop-ins to several Spanish Holiday islands followed by a day in Gibraltar. Then it was off to North Africa and Morocco. The lure of Casablanca was strong and turned out to be completely different to other parts of Southern Europe. WE also went to see the old city of Rabat mainly to visit the souks and old forts. The it wa soff to Lisbon as the final port. We would strongly recommend Lisbon and Portugal - great sights as a discounted cost to Spain. The trams in Lisbon are magical. The Riviera is a top class ship with all the bells and whistles. We found the food and dining room service exceptional and other facilities enough to keep us happy for the time we were actually on the boat. Evening entertainment starts late and is hard work if you have spent the day sightseeing on land. The only major gripe was the cost of Internet facilities. The cost was real penny pinching considering the quality of other services and the cost of the cruise in general. P.S. Ricks Café was shut. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
We were very excited to sail on the Riviera. Check- in for our Concierge Class cabin was a breeze followed by a leisurely lunch at the Terrace Cafe. Cabins are small, as expected, but the bathroom is much more luxurious than other lines ... Read More
We were very excited to sail on the Riviera. Check- in for our Concierge Class cabin was a breeze followed by a leisurely lunch at the Terrace Cafe. Cabins are small, as expected, but the bathroom is much more luxurious than other lines we have sailed. Our luggage appeared promptly and our room steward came to introduce herself as soon as we arrived. Dining was the best part of the cruise! The main dining room is gorgeous and the four specialty restaurants served interesting, delicious food. The public spaces are comfortable - especially the library and Spa Deck. Service everywhere on the ship is superb. There was not much in the way of night life on the Riviera once the evening show ended. The passengers were much older than we anticipated and everywhere you looked there were motorized scooters, canes and walkers. Several times my husband had to assist guests who were struggling with steps on excursions. The ports of call on the Mayan Mystique were not the greatest. Belize City is difficult to navigate with many detours and closed roads. The drive to the ruins at Altun Ha was not for those with back or neck problems, although once we were there the sights were very interesting. There was not much to do in Santo Tomas which was really a very industrial shipping port. In the other ports we made arrangement on-line prior to sailing. That turned out to be for the best. We had a great time in Cozumal with a private driver and in Costa Maya at a beautiful beach. Overall, we had a lovely time and would sail on Oceania again but we would look for an itinerary that appealed to a slightly younger demographic. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
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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