61 Oceania Riviera Cruise Reviews for Luxury Cruises to Caribbean - All

Sixth Oceania cruise, just wanted a short escape before Christmas. We didn't care about the ports, we just wanted to relax and enjoy the ship. We were not expecting the worst service ever received on an Oceania cruise, and actually ... Read More
Sixth Oceania cruise, just wanted a short escape before Christmas. We didn't care about the ports, we just wanted to relax and enjoy the ship. We were not expecting the worst service ever received on an Oceania cruise, and actually some of the poorest service I've ever experienced on any of my past 25 or so previous cruises My guess is that between having management raided by Viking Ocean cruises and others, and higher than normal turnover in staff, and procedural changes caused by the merger/takeover by NCL that the hotel side of the ship's operation is in chaos. 1) Embarcation - We were supposed to have expedited embarkation (paid for last-minute upgrade). Total disaster, lobby jammed with passengers, computers said to be down, took more than 1 and 1/2 hours for so-called expedited service. I couldn't find anyone from the ship's management to discuss the problem. 2) Finally boarded the ship, crew at the gate was cordial and welcoming. We went to the lunch buffet and were surprised at the general attitude of the crew. Not one person said hello, welcome to our ship, or anything else. Got the feeling that we were an inconvenience to them, not the folks that paid their salary. Very different than the past. 3) Cabin was spotlessly clean, but also very warm. Adjusting thermostat was of no help, had to call for maintenance to reset the controls in our cabin. Serviceman was cordial and fixed the problem. 4) Service in the bars and areas surrounding them was poor. We almost always had to ask for help and for additional service. Given that they charge $12 for Canadian Club on the rocks I expected that they might pour a decent drink. I was wrong, could not have been more than a 1 oz. pour. Also, almost always seemed to be short-staffed and servers apparently had no idea what good customer service was. Cold at best, borderline rude at worst. Pianist on board the ship would have been better replaced by a player piano. NO personality, average ability and mostly annoying. 5) Specialty restaurants - Service was good, staff was attentive, food was excellent as in the past. I must say the overall quality of the food and it's preparation has not suffered with whatever else is going downhill. Food in the main dining room was good, service seemed fine, the nights we dined there the dining room seemed to be about 1/3 empty. 6) In conclusion, there is something terribly wrong with Oceania if our cruise is any indication. They have forgotten customer service, we've had better treatment on almost every other cruise line we've traveled in the past (25+). I doubt that we'll ever return to Oceania. It saddens me to say that, but it's become just a bit above average at luxury prices. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The ship was beautiful and well maintained. The pool deck furniture was a little tired, particularly in the spa area, but that's a nit pick. Otherwise, the Riviera is a beautiful ship! The crew, almost to a person, was ... Read More
The ship was beautiful and well maintained. The pool deck furniture was a little tired, particularly in the spa area, but that's a nit pick. Otherwise, the Riviera is a beautiful ship! The crew, almost to a person, was friendly, outgoing, and helpful. This cruise, for us, was for relaxation and to get away from the cold weather up north. We did not participate in any of the ships excursions so we can't evaluate them. Due to "strong winds" we had to skip the stop in Belize. So instead , we spent the day cruising around the Gulf of Mexico. The on-board entertainment, particularly the evening shows in the theater ("lounge"), was as expected. Not to the same level or quality that we have enjoyed on Celebrity or Princess but not bad. The comedians and magicians were very good. It was nice to be on this size ship. No problem getting a deck chair, no waiting in line to embark or dis-embark, no problem finding a table in the "buffet". But, "buffet" probably isn't the best way to describe this venue. Yes, you do go to various counters to pick what you would like to eat but the staff plates it for you, no 500 hands on each serving utensil. At the grill you can order rib-eye, lobster tail, LARGE shrimp, lamb chops, etc. What surprised me was the standard question, "how many lobster would you like?". In any case, the food was excellent. Not perfect, but I don't know how Oceania could have catered to the varied tastes of 1250 passengers in a better way. All the specialty restaurants, particularly the Polo Grill and Toscano, were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This is our 12th cruise on Oceania. We have been on Rivera a total of 3 times and have just disembarked the ship on March 6. The food, service, and and attention to detail were excellent! I noticed a slight "wear and tear" ... Read More
This is our 12th cruise on Oceania. We have been on Rivera a total of 3 times and have just disembarked the ship on March 6. The food, service, and and attention to detail were excellent! I noticed a slight "wear and tear" on the ship and was informed that the ship will receive an update this April. We had been on Riviera when it was a new ship so I was able to notice any changes. We had a Penthouse 3 cabin which was huge with plenty of storage. There was a separate shower and bathtub, two vanities,and also a huge walk in closet. The room stewardess and butler were also excellent. The cabin was kept spotless and they were very accommodating. Oceania asks for a Mid-cruise evaluation. They really pay attention to your comments. If there is a negative comment, the appropriate department follows up concerning your comment and tries to make you happy. The entire staff is friendly and professional. We love Oceania and now only cruise with this company. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We like the atmosphere on Oceania cruises. The Riviera was our second Oceania cruise this year. We were in the Caribbean and liked having a larger ship on this itinerary. We do prefer the smaller ships for touring itineraries. ... Read More
We like the atmosphere on Oceania cruises. The Riviera was our second Oceania cruise this year. We were in the Caribbean and liked having a larger ship on this itinerary. We do prefer the smaller ships for touring itineraries. We had a Concierge Cabin. Since it is basically the same size as a balcony, it probably isn’t worth the difference in price. The only amenity that was worth it was the opportunity to book specialty restaurants further in advance. I know that the Riviera is being renovated soon and I could see where it needs it. The specialty restaurants are phenomenal on this ship. For those who have not done this line before, they probably have the most comfortable pool chairs of any line. If you like a quiet upscale atmosphere, you won’t be disappointed. The only turn off to me was that they pushed bingo, which brought the line down a notch in my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Finally got to take another cruise from my bucket list. Sailed on Riviera and found the staff very enjoyable. Everyone were more than happy to help in anyway to make my stay with them an enjoyable one. I had dinner at Red Ginger (get ... Read More
Finally got to take another cruise from my bucket list. Sailed on Riviera and found the staff very enjoyable. Everyone were more than happy to help in anyway to make my stay with them an enjoyable one. I had dinner at Red Ginger (get the Sea Bass), Polo Grill, Toscana and the Main Dining room. All the meals were delicious and I found the wait staff very friendly. I can’t wait for my next cruise. Being a solo traveller, I decided to sign up for some of the ships tours. The kayaking experience was very interesting with our tour guide filling us in on the sea life around Great Stirrup Cay. I think the group thoroughly enjoyed his talk. Another day found me on a trolley train in St.Lucia. It was a great ride and our conductor was a very funny man. We got to see through the town of Castries, as well as a ride to a lovely beach, it was a fun day for everyone. We were never far from areas to shop at any of the islands that we visited. I did overdue it a little bit at the jewelry table on the ship, but that’s what vacations are all about. Touring by day, shopping by night! The catamaran sail at Sr. Bart’s was a wonderful way to spend time there. While many found the shopping very expensive, I found the sailing and swimming in the cove to be a wonderful way to spend the day. I would highly recommend any of these tours. Disembarkation was smooth and timely. A shout out as well to Judy for all her hard work. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Let me start with the entertainment. First Rate. 12 Person very high end team dancers and Singers. Great shows. We saw three different shows in ten days. So well produced and choreographed. Beautiful costumes with many changes. And ... Read More
Let me start with the entertainment. First Rate. 12 Person very high end team dancers and Singers. Great shows. We saw three different shows in ten days. So well produced and choreographed. Beautiful costumes with many changes. And excellent recorded music. Sets and background video images on screens. Of the forty cruises we have been on, on Cunard, HA, Seabourn, Silversea, Regent and Celebrity, and Oceania, this is the best set of shows we have ever seen and the most talented entertainers. We have sat through some real snooze cruise shows over the years and honestly we were so impressed with this team and the shows themselves. Handsome young men and beautiful girls, all well choreographed, talented and produced.I cannot enough. The pool deck chairs, while packed in like sardines, are very comfortable. Very thick chair pads and towel covers. Unlike some competitors, who provide no chair pads. Oh my aching back. Food on board Oceania is said to be the best at sea, and the 4 specialty restaurants of Asian (Red Ginger), Jacques the signature French of Jacques Pepin, the Italian Toscana and the grill Polo Lounge all provide really knockout and authentic meals. High end ingredients used and great chefs that produce truly fine dining experiences. The MDR itself is also very good, and service superb throughout the ship's restaurants. Very attentive and competent waiting staff. Buffet in the Terrace is so dull and boring, although many onboard could not wait to fill their plates and stomachs. Speaking of which, many oversize anatomies on board. Growing worse we have observed over the years. The cabins are very nice. We had any A class cabin, and while the bathroom is small, the size of the cabin and balcony was fine for a ten day cruise of the Caribbean. Anything longer we would have opted for a more spacious P cabin with a walk in closet and more interior space.. Officer staff removed and not very passenger interactive or friendly. Not a good mark for Oceania. Captain made his daily announcements but was a ghost. The ship itself is only 5 or 6 years old and very modern. Very open with lots of public space and bars. Martinis is the place for cocktails. Ship sails well, but the Caribbean seas were calm throughout the ten days. The drinks packages offered were fair priced, and the wines included drinkable if not great. All typical of what passes for wine lists on all cruise lines today. Bottle a la carte prices exorbitant for the product available. Horrendous boarding experience in Miami. Oceania should be ashamed, even though some of it was caused by the unfortunate death of a crew person and ship's late arrival.. But no command presence on the ground to handle the huge backed up crowd waiting to board, and very poor communications. It almost got out of control. Not a bright spot on this cruise, but fortunately it was not a harbinger of bad things to come as many feared. All in all Oceania continues to do a very good job, even under NCL ownership. Many fears have been allayed. The product is the same as it first was for us ten years ago when we first sailed with Oceania, which is very good indeed .And the ships size of 1250 passengers while large for us was not too problematic, except for sea days when the sardine factory on the pool deck was overactive. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
WE decided to go for a cruise over Christmas and New Years. We told our travel agent to book Viking out of Miami. It was sold out so our agent suggested we try Oceania, as they were comparable. The are not. We were disappointed in most ... Read More
WE decided to go for a cruise over Christmas and New Years. We told our travel agent to book Viking out of Miami. It was sold out so our agent suggested we try Oceania, as they were comparable. The are not. We were disappointed in most aspects of the cruise with exception to the crew. They were exceptional. The spa was great also. All other aspects where inferior. The entertainment was poor. they had a piano player who was good. A guitar player not so great, a comedian who was not funny. I think the single biggest disappointment was the food. As they are known for their food we had great expectations. We ate in all the venues on the ship and were not impressed. The disembarkation was late due to medical emergencies and was disorganized.it was almost 3 hours after our arrival in Miami before we got off the ship. We will not travel on Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My wife and I were underwhelmed the first few days,,,inconsistent service ,food and entertainment.not much effort into celebrating xmas,,,but much improvement in the second week,,,New Years eve celebrations were great,,entertainment went ... Read More
My wife and I were underwhelmed the first few days,,,inconsistent service ,food and entertainment.not much effort into celebrating xmas,,,but much improvement in the second week,,,New Years eve celebrations were great,,entertainment went to the next level,,,food improved,,except for the tough meat in Polo restaurant,,strange mix of very old and infirm passengers ,Europeans,wealthy Americans,Brits and Australians,,,generally an interesting and fun crowd .we intend to give Oceania another chance to impress,but not over Xmas and new year.We found the staff to be gracious,well mannered,well dressed and happy to assist in any way,,,sometimes in the face of some very rude passengers (unfortunately).Disembakation was a mess,because the ship was two hours late on arrival,not the ship’s fault .Reservation system for the specialty restaurants seem to work fine,,so long as you got the the reservation desk early on any particular day.we both thought Toscanna was far and away the best restaurant,,the lobster pasta was to die for! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Cruised on this ship before and the date worked. The staff onboard is outstanding and always ready to please. Very clean ship everywhere. The cooking classes were amazing and the instructor/chef was amazing. Now the bad parts! The ... Read More
Cruised on this ship before and the date worked. The staff onboard is outstanding and always ready to please. Very clean ship everywhere. The cooking classes were amazing and the instructor/chef was amazing. Now the bad parts! The entertainment and food were sub-par. The shows were so bad ....::that calling it a high school musical is insulting to HS! Their a brand that is suppose to be known for its cuisine...,if you took a poll of guests you’d get a resounding “Terrible”. The management on the ship is fully aware of the quality and presentation. Hard pressed to do this line again. However like the size. Had a great time in St Bart’s and the spa was amazing. Great massage. The itinerary played a big part of my decision and again having sailed on Oceania I knew what to expect. The ship is going into dry dock in April for a very limited refresh Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise because it's a smaller ship (1200) than we've been on before and a number of our friends recommended Oceania. Wanted a cruise out of Florida as we live there. We chose a Penthouse 2 suite and we loved ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it's a smaller ship (1200) than we've been on before and a number of our friends recommended Oceania. Wanted a cruise out of Florida as we live there. We chose a Penthouse 2 suite and we loved it. Very spacious. Beds are sooo comfortable. So is the bathroom. So much storage that we didn't use any of it in the cabin itself. Just in the big walk in closet. It has a bunch of drawers, more hangers than I ever saw in a cruise ship closet, as well as a wall mounted shoe rack and many shelves. Also a safe. Didn't use the butler much except for breakfast in our room every morning. He also bought some snacks every evening. Room service was terrific. We'd put the service tag out and they'd practically be there in five minutes making up the room. Morning and evening. Service was exceptional all over the ship. I even said to my husband that they must take good care of their staff because they always seem so happy and can't do enough for you. Food was excellent especially in the four specialty restaurants. No extra charge to dine in any of them. Even the buffet and the poolside restaurant was wonderful. The buffet was probably smaller as far as selections but you'll always find lots of good things there. They serve it to you. No one is allowed to serve themselves. At the poolside restaurant, you order what you want, sit down and they bring it to you when ready. Embarkation was amazingly fast. We were on the ship and in our stateroom within 10 minutes. I'm sure being in a suite helped, but doubt it took much longer for people in other cabins too. Disembarkation was the same. About 10 minutes from the time you requested to leave the ship and through customs. Don't know if that's the norm but I'm guessing it is because there are less passengers. Didn't go to any of the shows but did enjoy the string quartet every night and one day at the 4pm tea. Didn't use any of the shore excursions. Just got off the ship and walked around. Husband stayed onboard so didn't want to leave too long. Again, the service. They just couldn't do more for you. No matter what it was you wanted. We're looking forward to traveling with Oceania again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our fifth Oceania cruise, but the first on their newer ships. Overall, we were very satisfied with the experience. THE SHIP. Like the older R-Class ships, it is homey, spacious, traditional and very comfortable, rather than ... Read More
This was our fifth Oceania cruise, but the first on their newer ships. Overall, we were very satisfied with the experience. THE SHIP. Like the older R-Class ships, it is homey, spacious, traditional and very comfortable, rather than glitzy. There is little wow factor. Although the ship is only about 5 years old, it seemed dated. For example, it lacked electronic aids such as an app on your phone, or interactive screens with port and event information. THE CABIN We had a Penthouse 2. More storage than we could possibly use. Extremely comfortable pillows and bed. High quality bedding. Very well planned layout. Beautiful bathroom with seperate shower. Large walk-in closet. Clean and well maintained. Excellent service as well SERVICE Service was beyond excellent and very friendly. Seemed to be a well managed, happy crew. FOOD Oceania claims to have the Finest Cuisine at Sea. I have a mixed opinion on that. We ate twice at Polo Grill, Toscana and Jacques. Food, service, decor were excellent. We had three dinners in the MDR which were also good. Each night, essentially the same menu as the MDR is available at the Terrace Cafe (Self Service buffet), and we had a wonderful evening eating on the terrace while docked in San Juan. So here is the issue...lunch in the Terrace Cafe was very weak, with an extremely limited selection. Even Waves Grill does not offer a chicken sandwich. While the food in MDR was well prepared and presented, the selection was very limited. If you do not eat pork/bacon/pancetta or fish, the choices were absolutely minimal. Service hours were also an issue. The Terrace Cafe was open from noon till 2pm. The MDR from noon till 1.30. Waves 11.30 till 4pm. So if you spent a day at the beach, and returned late to the ship, your only option was Afternoon tea (4pm to 5pm) or room service. ENTERTAINMENT Never a strong point on Oceania. While most of the shows were energetic, they were nothing special, with one exception. On the last day, they had a special pre-dinner show, "World Beat", which was head and shoulders above their other shows...so it can be done. I also want to mention that we greatly enjoyed the classes in the Culinary Center (need to book before you cruise, as space is limited) and we had a wonderful artist-in-residence who ran a series of excellent sessions, which were packed. Also need to mention the outstanding enrichment lecturer, Cloeta Massie, a marine biologist who was one of the most entertaining and knowledgable lecturers I have experienced on land or sea. CONCLUSION A relaxing cruise experience on a very comfortable ship. Yes, we would book Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We have been on several cruises mainly around the Mediterranean and wanted to try the Caribbean. We normally cruise with Cunard, but they hadn’t any sailings when we were free so decided to try Oceania as we do like our food! We had ... Read More
We have been on several cruises mainly around the Mediterranean and wanted to try the Caribbean. We normally cruise with Cunard, but they hadn’t any sailings when we were free so decided to try Oceania as we do like our food! We had three days in Miami first as we hadn’t been there before. Miami is great for a short break, but I wouldn’t want to stay much longer as not a lot to explore once you have done the Ocean Drive and South Beach area. The ship is fantastic and well presented. Our cabin was spacious and the butler service second to none. Just as good as Cunard. We loved the restaurant choices and had excellent meals in every one apart from a tough rib eye in the Polo Grill. Red Ginger was the best by far. The breakfast in bed was superb. We had the upgraded wine package which was good, but I would have preferred a wider selection of wines. We didn’t do much in onboard entertainment other than the quizzes, but there was plenty to do and other passengers seemed to enjoy it. Service and cleanliness was top notch. The range of ports we visited was good. The excursions, as with all cruise lines, were pricey so we only did one. We found getting a taxi with a knowledgeable driver gave us more flexibility and better value for money. The booking people on the phone were not brilliant. Definitely would cruise with Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Reviews and references from friends. We chose this trip because we wanted to try out this ship since we are sailing in Europe with them in May. It was outstanding with an A grade or 6 stars all the way. The Trivia Team nights were really ... Read More
Reviews and references from friends. We chose this trip because we wanted to try out this ship since we are sailing in Europe with them in May. It was outstanding with an A grade or 6 stars all the way. The Trivia Team nights were really a great add on! Pool was great in that it had actual stairs for entrance as opposed to other cruise lines (luxury) who have only steps. One big problem, which I understand will be addressed at the refit, is the smoking area is not closed in and when you get off the elevator to go to Horizons, you get a whif of second hand smoke...from the smokers area in back of the elevators... Food was excellent...big kudos to Red Ginger and Toscana...their host and hostess go way beyond to be sure the customer is happy. I highly recommend and will look forward to sailing this ship again after the refit....highly allergic to second hand smoke. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Oceania is a "Class Act". You are treated like royalty. Food, service, friendliness, cabin size, cleanliness, choice of ports, etc. are wonderful. You cannot ask for a better cruise experience! All the Specialty Restaurants ... Read More
Oceania is a "Class Act". You are treated like royalty. Food, service, friendliness, cabin size, cleanliness, choice of ports, etc. are wonderful. You cannot ask for a better cruise experience! All the Specialty Restaurants are included in the cruise fare. Our favorite is the Polo Grill. If you like Ruth Chris' Streak House, then you will love the Polo Grill. You can even eat whole fresh lobster at no extra cost. We have sailed on approximately 50 cruises covering many different cruise lines, but Oceania has the best food and service of any of the cruises. Your are frequently greeted by your name and a lot of the staff know your needs even before you ask for something. I call it "Pure Luxury". The ships are small; less than 700 on the four small sister ships, and approximately 1,200 on the larger two sister ships. Thus, you receive very personal attention. The ratio of staff to passenger is very high. However, this is not a cruise line for young people or couples that want nightlife like Carnival, NCL, or RCCL. The shows and entertainers are enjoyable, but not spectacular Las Vegas type shows at all. The casino is very small with limited gaming.. There are no children facilities. There is no entertainment for teenagers. My husband and I will now only travel on Oceania and we are already booked for two cruises in 2019! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise because after cruising last year on Oceania in the Mediterranean, we found the food, crew, and all adult passengers very relaxing and enjoyable. This is not a family cruise line because there are no children ... Read More
We chose this cruise because after cruising last year on Oceania in the Mediterranean, we found the food, crew, and all adult passengers very relaxing and enjoyable. This is not a family cruise line because there are no children activities or play areas. Passenger ages ranged from mid 40s to 85... with most passengers 55-70. That is our age group. The restaurants do not cost extra and the food is fantastic. The dress code for special reservations in restaurants is business casual ... NO ties required. That is what also appealed to my spouse. The butler and cabin attendants treated us with friendliness and respect 24 hours a day. Our only disappointment was seeing how the Eastern Caribbean islands are still not back to pre hurricane status. We will not visit the Eastern Caribbean islands of St. Lucia, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, or Puerto Rico for at least a year or more. I know the islands need our tourist dollars, but the water from rain run off and trash is not like it used to be before September 2017. If you want to be spoiled rotten, eat fabulous food, see good entertainment, and socialize with adults, this might interest you. Before I forget, our Cruise Director, Cory Powell, was on TV every morning giving daily highlights. He hosted 2 karaoke late nights in Horizons Lounge and everyone laughed and had great fun. All in all, our onboard experience was perfectly worth every dollar we spent. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise because a great deal allowed us to indulge in our first Oceania cruise, and in a suite (Penthouse) to boot. We were not disappointed. The staff stand out. Every staff member greeted us with friendly smiles. This was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because a great deal allowed us to indulge in our first Oceania cruise, and in a suite (Penthouse) to boot. We were not disappointed. The staff stand out. Every staff member greeted us with friendly smiles. This was not just the staff members we directly interacted with, but the staff we passed, e.g. on our way to or from our table in the MDR. Whether smiles were good hiring, good training, or simply the rules-- the staff made it feel genuine. Oceania's reputation for excellent dining is well-deserved. Red Ginger was the highlight. I thoroughly enjoyed my meals in the MDR. We ate in the buffet only once because I don't like going from station to station to make choices. That said, the food and service were excellent. We enjoyed Waves a couple times. I did think the bread for the Reuben too thick though. Be sure to claim a table before ordering. They want your table number so they know where to deliver the food. You might want to avoid tables toward the front-- a faint whiff of smoke reached us there. I'm very glad we checked out the afternoon tea-- a very nice selection of pastries and savory little sandwiches as well. It was an especially nice option on the day we had a late dining reservation. The chicken served for lunch on Great Stirrup Cay was a little dry. The entertainment was enjoyable if not exceptional. I particularly enjoyed the musicians-- string quartet at tea, band at happy hour. The showroom has low clearance on the stage, and that created something of a challenge for the juggler. Sometimes the lights were briefly turned toward the audience and were blinding. We went to two free cooking demonstrations in the Riviera Lounge and enjoyed them very much. They were equal parts entertainment and information. Note-- these are not the classes in the culinary center. We didn't any of those. We enjoyed talks by Sandy Cares. She had a presentation for each port; she even put one together for the morning of our arrival in St Thomas. She also had presentations for sea days. One was Pirates of the Spanish Main. The facilities were very nice. The ship offers many places to relax-- inside, outside, and under cover outside. We enjoyed access to the spa terrace. The therapy pool was pretty nice, but you had to hang on if you wanted to stay in one place. And, being forward on a high deck, it was a little breezy (cool) getting out of the pool. - - - A little of the nuts and bolts-- We had a 12:00 check-in time and arrived at about 12:30. We were directed to the line for our category of cabin and saw the next avaialble agent. The people there who had arrived early for a later check-in time had a bit of a line (not bad) and a little more of a wait because those with earlier check-ins (higher categories) were taken care of first. We were on the ship about 12:45. Our cabin was supposed to be available at 1:PM. We chanced going by our cabin to drop our carry-ons. We were in luck. The stewardess had just finished our cabin. Lunch, explore, unpack. Our butler introduced himself. The overview he gave was a little long. And it turned out that he could not deal with destination services to reserve a clamshell ($39) on our behalf. The overview did not include the free embarkation day pressing (2 pieces per person), so we contacted him later about that. We asked for our items to be returned before dinner the next day. I don't know whether same day would have been a problem. The most useful piece of information in the initial orientation was the card with contact number for cabin attendants and ship services. We used the island's tenders a Great Stirrup Cay. The announcement presented like a positive thing (no tender tickets), but I think there is less waiting with the ship's tenders. We had to wait quite a while to fill up the island's tender. Great Stirrup Cay beach is not nearly as nice as Half Moon Cay (HAL). San Juan was substituted for Punta Cana because swells were reported too much for tender operations at the latter. I was glad. We had good notice, and Destination Services put together a package of shore excursions. (I didn't go on any ship's excursions.) St Thomas was substituted for St Barth's for the same reason. That disappointed me. The notice was the evening before, so there was more of a scramble to publish a package of excursion options. Destinations stayed open a little late and opened a little early to accommodate the change. In this case, I wish I had booked a ship's excursion. There wasn't any time to make independent arrangements, and the options when we arrived in port at about 11:AM were limited. I didn't want an island tour, so we took a taxi to a beach. The beach was Secret Cove because Magen's was reportedly closed. Secret Cove was a disappointment. We brought two bottles of wine from home. I think we opened them both in different specialty restaurants ($25 corkage fee). We enjoyed that option. I was also satisfied with the wines I bought by the glass. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
All four specialty restaurants were exceptional for both food and service. Even the main dining room was excellent. The ship itself is beautiful and very easy to navigate. The food on this ship is far superior to any of the other ... Read More
All four specialty restaurants were exceptional for both food and service. Even the main dining room was excellent. The ship itself is beautiful and very easy to navigate. The food on this ship is far superior to any of the other cruises we have been on to date, i.e., Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Princess, etc. The average age on this ship was probably about 70. My wife and I are in our fifties and would prefer the average age to be a bit younger but age is a state of mind and we made friends with a family the parents which were 75 and 80 years old. The entertainment was average but perfection is difficult to achieve. We would definitely go on this ship again because of the food and the service. My advice is to go with a group of friends and enjoy the food and the company. Can't imagine going on a ship with lesser food after this experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Wanted to get some 'warm time' in the middle of winter. Oceania does an excellent job of staff training. We did not meet or pass a crew member who did not have a friendly greeting. This was our third sailing with them and two ... Read More
Wanted to get some 'warm time' in the middle of winter. Oceania does an excellent job of staff training. We did not meet or pass a crew member who did not have a friendly greeting. This was our third sailing with them and two more already booked. Food and service is excellent. Our butler for the suite could not have been more accommodating and pleasant. Housekeeping is top notch and cannot do enough to please.The entertainment is somewhat weak but that's not what is all about on this type of cruise. We thought that some of the cast shows were somewhat ambitious productions. They do try very hard to please. We did think that the cruise director was difficult to understand when he speaks. The welcome aboard party and the Captain's party for returnees is a nice touch with free drinks and hors d'oeuvres . All in all you cannot go wrong with Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
First and foremost, the passengers on board all tended to be senior, with an average age of 75. Lot's of scooters, walkers and wheelchairs. Lots of slow moving people. What would you prefer: Lots of children or lots or seniors? ... Read More
First and foremost, the passengers on board all tended to be senior, with an average age of 75. Lot's of scooters, walkers and wheelchairs. Lots of slow moving people. What would you prefer: Lots of children or lots or seniors? I'll take the latter any day! Pros (in order of importance): Food! Every single meal was gourmet.. like $200 back home. Foie Gras, Escargot, Sweetbreads, Frogs Legs, Duck breast, Osso Bucco, Beef Wellington... you get the picture. Every meal was a home run. Restaurants. the main dining was fantastic. 4 specialty restaurants (Italian, US style steakhouse, French and Asian) are all included for free (allows to dine at each once). With the ability to check in daily for availability. We dined at all 4 and were lucky to get in to the Italian one additional time. The Italian was our fave. BYOB. One of the only cruise lines that allow you to bring your own alcohol on board. $25 corkage fee at any restaurant and will re-cork if you don't finish it, and store it in a central cellar for any Somalier in any bar or restaurant to retrieve an re-open without any fee. At St. Barth's, we found a grocery store that had fantastic well priced French wine. Service. Every crew member is on top behavior to ensure an enjoyable time. Waves grill is buffet, but you place your order and a waiter will bring your burger to your table. The Terrace Buffet would not allow passengers to help themselves. Staff stood behind the buffet counter and served each passenger. Classy, but also very sanitary. High Tea. Sounds corny and even pretentious; however it was the highlight of every afternoon. So nice to get out of the sun and inside for a lovely selection of Tea, sandwiches and treats while being entertained by a live band. Barista. Italian espresso bar is included for free. Small ship, easy to get around. Cons: Tenders. The brochure showed only one of our ports to be tendered. Turns out there were 3. Cap Cana was swapped to San Juan (docked) due to weather, St. Barth's was a go, but was very challenging with rough seas. St. Kitt's was aborted due to high seas. I was not happy losing 2 beach days. Demographics. 99% of the ships passengers were 65+. In our early 50's we stood out. In fact, one fellow senior passenger introduced herself to us and then asked "How did you end up on this cruise? Did you make a mistake or something?" ! True story.. Overall, if you like food, regardless of your age, you will love this cruise. It was very relaxing. Other cruises full of activities left me needing a vacation at the end. It's low key, classy and comfortable. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I chose this cruise to experience the ship. I wasn’t enthralled so much by the itinerary (the eastern Caribbean) but it was a warmer destination than our winter weather at home. We cruised several times on HAL, in particular the ... Read More
I chose this cruise to experience the ship. I wasn’t enthralled so much by the itinerary (the eastern Caribbean) but it was a warmer destination than our winter weather at home. We cruised several times on HAL, in particular the Konningsdam (Greece) and the Nieuw Amsterdam (Italy, France, Spain) along with the Noordam (land and sea Alaska). So this was more of a comparison of the relatively new Konningsdam vs. the Riviera. Although smaller (1250) than the Konningsdam (2200+) and older, we didn’t feel cramped at all. In fact, the HORIZONS on Riviera was prettier and bigger than the CROWS NEST on the Konningsdam. I loved the GRAND DININGROOM on the Riviera-subtle elegance! In fact, we’re used to the speciality restaurants having much better food than the main diningrooom but on the Riviera, it was a dead heat. There were many activities offered on a continual basis to keep anyone busy (culinary classes; art classes; miniature golf; paddle ball; swimming; Bingo; cards; poker/slot/black jack tournaments etc....). The staff was the nicest group we’ve ever encountered from our room attendants to the waitstaff. Our cabin was lovely with the dark cabinets/light turquoise and tan/cream colors and such comfortable beds/pillows. The bathroom had both a tub/shower and individual shower also! We had to be a little creative with storing our clothes but we used my open suitcase as another two drawers and slid it under the bed. Viola!!! Would I cruise again on the Riviera=DEFINITELY! Would I cruise again on the Konningsdam-DEFINITELY! Both ships are lovely but I’d say the Riviera has an elegance and grace about it (combined with the fantastic food choices) that can’t be beat!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We had our first ever cruise on Riviera a few years ago and wanted to repeat the experience. Embarkation was relatively smooth. The ship was lovely. Cabin roomy and well placed with an excellent balcony. Steward did a first class job. We ... Read More
We had our first ever cruise on Riviera a few years ago and wanted to repeat the experience. Embarkation was relatively smooth. The ship was lovely. Cabin roomy and well placed with an excellent balcony. Steward did a first class job. We visited all the speciality restaurants once - Red Ginger the one we enjoyed most. The Grand Dining Room was very good and Martini's a good venue for pre and post dinner drinks. My partner went to a coupe of enrichment lectures and to three evening shows all of which she enjoyed. Sun loungers usually available although there were the usual towels out early. This issue was not really addressed.The service was, of course, good. We didn't do much in the way of shore excursions as I was laid up with a chest infection unfortunately. This took the edge off the cruise although not Riviera's fault. Would we go again? Don't know right now, would probably want to do another cruise on Nautica first. Travel to and from Miami was fine but breakfast in the hotel eye wateringly expensive. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
My wife and I have cruised over 80 times in the last 10 years. Typically on Royal Caribbean-Diamond Plus; NCL-Platinum Latitudes; Celebrity and Princess. All have pluses and minuses, but we are not new to cruising. Lately, we have ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised over 80 times in the last 10 years. Typically on Royal Caribbean-Diamond Plus; NCL-Platinum Latitudes; Celebrity and Princess. All have pluses and minuses, but we are not new to cruising. Lately, we have cruised primarily NCL, due to knowledge of the staff and captains on the various ships. We decided to try the upscale Oceania cruise line for a trip to Tahiti this January/February 2018. Booked Penthouse suite with Butler and expected "great things" Cruise from Tahiti was late boarding due to Noro Virus. Service was about as bad as it gets on a cruise the first day-no announcements! Butler was not nearly as good as what we have on NCL or Celebrity-forgetful, and always rushed. None of the staff was friendly. On the plus side, Ship was beautiful inside, with excellent dining room food. Because it is a smaller ship-105' beam, it moves a great deal in minor seas. Absolutely a rocking mess in anything over 8'. In our opinion, it has no identity-not good at entertainment-service-excursions-staff interaction-casino. Everyone does what is expected and nothing more. Not at all like NCL, where Butler/Concierge will make you feel like royalty. If you want great service and great food, book on Celebrity, or a Penthouse on NCL. This cruise line is 3 times the price and 1/3 the value. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Riviera 2018 Caribbean Cruise – January 23 – February 6, 2018 Why this cruise? It had been over 12 years and 19 ocean cruises since we had last visited the Caribbean, so we felt that there had been enough time between trips, and ... Read More
Riviera 2018 Caribbean Cruise – January 23 – February 6, 2018 Why this cruise? It had been over 12 years and 19 ocean cruises since we had last visited the Caribbean, so we felt that there had been enough time between trips, and there were a few ports on this itinerary which we had not visited on our first 6 Caribbean cruises. Also, we like Oceania, and had enjoyed our prior two cruises on Marina, the sister ship to Riviera. The ship. We do not like large ships. We have sailed 4 times on Oceania’s smaller ships, and once on Azamara Quest, a former Renaissance vessel like Oceania’s small ships. We have also sailed on Crystal’s Serenity and Symphony; both 1000 passenger ships, as well as the 950 passenger Viking Sky. So we felt well satisfied with Riviera’s 1250 passenger capacity. The ship’s gross tonnage is over 66,000, so there is plenty of space on board. Oceania puts all of its food service venues aft, with two of its 4 specialty restaurants, Toscana’s and the Polo Grill, on Deck 14; the buffet and the outdoors (sort of) Waves Grill on Deck 12, Jacques and Red Ginger on 6 and the main dining room on 5. The activities are forward starting with Horizon Room on Deck 15, the Spa and Spa Terrace, as well as the fitness center on 14, and the show lounge on 5. There are some large staterooms forward on 12, with Decks 11 through 7 holding the rest of the staterooms. The center of Deck 14 has the library and internet center as well as a sun deck. Deck 12 has the main pool as well as the Culinary Center for cooking classes, and the Artists Loft for art classes. Deck 6 has 2 bars, a lounge area and the casino. Deck 5 has the reception and tour booking desk, as well as the small boutiques. There is an open aft area on Deck 15, with a fitness track and two areas for shuffleboard and croquet. There are two elevator/stair banks, the one aft with 2 elevators and the forward one with 4. Suite passengers have an “Executive Lounge” on Deck 11, and concierge level passengers a “Concierge Lounge” on Deck 9. Both feature their own computers, a huge TV screen, lots of daily newspapers and a food service bar, as well as an attendant to help with matters. The corridors are lined with paintings, mostly abstract, and this is the concept in the public areas also. There are some very nice works as well as some striking glassware. As noted, Riviera has a great deal of room for its passengers, with plenty of places to simply sit and relax. I was even able to find a poolside lounge chair on the times I used the pool. When all is said and done, it is a very well laid out, attractively designed and spotlessly clean ship, with everything a cruiser will want. Food and food service. Oceania prides itself on its food, and with good reason. If Crystal Cruises scores 98 out of 100, then Marina and Riviera come in at a 96. We confess that we only tried Red Ginger among the specialty restaurants, mainly because my wife is a vegetarian, and also because we could not book Jacques any earlier than 8:30. We did use the buffet for one dinner, as well as all breakfasts and lunches. We heard of a few glitches in the main dining room service, and a complaint about noise from someone sitting along the wall in Red Ginger. But everything else was excellent. My wife especially loved the fruit smoothie she had for breakfast every day from the Waves Juice Bar. The specialty restaurants require reservations, but are without any additional charge. All dining seating is open, and we were able to sit either by ourselves when we wanted to, or with one other couple when we requested this. The service was uniformly excellent; the china and other tableware first class and the overall experience a delight. Our Stateroom We usually opt for Concierge Verandah class, and did so here. These are the same size as the standard Verandah cabins, but offer a few other features, such as unlimited internet use. 3 free laundry usages, some advantage in booking specialty restaurants and increased on board shipboard credits. The cabin is roomy enough, with a small sofa, a decent coffee table, a nice desk and both a full size tub/shower as well as a full (albeit small) separate shower. The verandah had two comfortable wicker chairs and a small table. The closet was more than adequate for our needs, and there was plenty of drawer space. The cabin featured dark wood where appropriate, and a nice cream finish on the walls, with one picture over the sofa. The lighting was good, with goose neck reading lights on each side of the bed, in addition to regular lamps. The TV was large and offered a fairly good range of newscasts as well as the usual shipboard channels and four movie/TV show channels. It did not have a shipboard account channel however, which most cruise lines offer these days. The Crew For a maximum of 1250 passengers the crew numbers 800. This is a ratio of 1.56 passenger per crew member; one of the highest ratios at sea. And the results are a level of service that is as good as one can get. The excellent service at all the food venues was noted earlier, but this effort extended to the room service, with our cabins being made up every day by the time we returned from breakfast, and all other aspects of service being very well attended. We had a slight glitch with the laundry once, being charged for it because I used the wrong laundry slip. The charge was quickly erased when I brought it to the reception area’s attention. People can make mistakes, but Oceania’s willingness to correct any error was exemplary. Entertainment We believe that only Crystal Cruises offers first class entertainment, but Oceania’s two larger ships do fairly well. The Enrichment Lecturer, Sandy Cares, was especially good, offering at least one talk every day which was both entertaining and informative; concerning the Caribbean, both as to its history and ports of call. The show production team was quite talented and their shows had some good, though overly loud, musical numbers. We do not bother with magicians much, nor comedians, but did enjoy a lady songstress and the classical music quartet, both in their regular tea time presentations, and one evening show. What we did not like was the fact that all the evening shows started at 9:30. That really is pretty late for us. The Ports We started off with two sea days. We were disappointed by the fact that the weather did not allow us to land at our first scheduled stop, Santa Marta in Columbia, even though the sea seemed pretty smooth. We saw this as our only opportunity to see this country, and were sad at not being able to do this. The next stop was Aruba, where we had been twice before, and we did our favorite tour – taking the local bus to the east end of the island and returning. We also opted for the in-town free trolley, but this was a waste of time. Next was small Bonaire, which we had never seen. We rented a golf cart and toured one end of the island. It has only a small population, but seems quite nice, with a higher percentage of Dutch residents than Aruba, but both islands, and probably Curacao also, show their clean Dutch management. After a sea day we arrived in Grenada where we went on a private tour with four other passengers in a trip arranged by one of them. This was a 7 hour exploration of a lot of this island, conducted by Grenada Explorers, for $110.00 per couple, with an excellent guide and an experienced driver. It rained during part of the mountainside portion, but fortunately was dry when we got out to see things. This was an excellent tour. We had a pretty good lunch that was a trifle pricey. The next day in St. Vincent we had another private tour, this time with 8 fellow passengers plus three people staying on the island. This also was a fairly long tour, with lunch included for $174.00 per couple. It was called Sailor’s Wilderness Tour and was quite good. On the following day in Martinique we did a ship’s tour of the Balata Botanical Gardens at a cost of $198.00 per couple for a three hour decent tour of a nice garden. We then landed in St. Kitts where we did a private tour again, this one lasting about 5 hours with a very amusing driver/guide in an 8 passenger van. It is called Inside Paradise Tours, and was well worth the $110.00 per couple price. The final stop was in St. Barts, a French possession. It had suffered some damage in Hurricane Irma (the only port on our trip that was hit by this storm), but it all seemd to be fully repaired. We took a ship’s tour on the Yellow Submarine for $198.00 per couple again. This is a partly submersed small boat with about 20 passengers, which allows you to look at a lot of fish and some turtles. It made me want to snorkel; but was nice. St. Barts was our last stop before returning home with two more sea days. Embarkation and Debarkation Getting from Phoenix to Miami to take a cruise is a headache. One either has to leave the day prior to sail date, staying at an overpriced Miami hotel, or do what we did this time. We had Oceania book our flights – non-stop. But this involved taking the redeye at 1:45 in the morning of our sailing day, arriving at 7:45 and spending a thrilling 3 hours sitting in the Miami airport. We took a taxi to the cruise pier for a flat $30.00 rate. Once there, at about 10:45, we joined a sizeable group waiting to check in on board. The check-in started at 11:00, and was very well run so we were on board by 11:30. As usual, everyone had to wait for the cabins to be made up, but we had lunch and were in our stateroom, with luggage delivered, by 1:30. Debarkation was slow as usual, but this was not Oceania’s fault. It simply involves U.S Customs, even though we no longer had to fill out a declarations form. Of course we were among the last off since our return flight did not leave until 1:45. This time we caught an airport shuttle van for $20.00 and it worked out fine. Overall This was a very good cruise. Nothing is ever perfect, but our biggest disappointment was in missing Santa Marta, Columbia. This was a weather problem, and not Oceania’s fault. In virtually all other aspects Riviera was just fine, and is to be highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Chose the Riviera January 2018 cruise because of its 10 day cruise. Embarkation was a disaster, taking 1 1/2 hours to get on board. Our embarkation staff was not well trained as I asked him whether he needed a credit card imprint and was ... Read More
Chose the Riviera January 2018 cruise because of its 10 day cruise. Embarkation was a disaster, taking 1 1/2 hours to get on board. Our embarkation staff was not well trained as I asked him whether he needed a credit card imprint and was told ,no. After a few days on board, we received a letter to attend at reception desk to provide credit card. What a waste of time. Very disappointing, as our May 2017 Marina cruise from Barcelona literally took minutes to embark with no hiccups. Once onboard, the staff as usual, was excellent always greeting guests with a smile. Dining in the specialty restaurants was outstanding , the Grand Dining Room also disappointed many nights with inconsistency of the entrees, with two people ordering the same item, one had tender meat the other un chewable. The staterooms are in need of refurbishment. Overall had a wonderful vacation and would return to Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We went on the cruise out of Miami on the 22nd December 2018 after previously cruising on same ship a couple of years ago around the Med! What a difference. I cannot understand when a cruise advisors guests to dress smart casual to dine ... Read More
We went on the cruise out of Miami on the 22nd December 2018 after previously cruising on same ship a couple of years ago around the Med! What a difference. I cannot understand when a cruise advisors guests to dress smart casual to dine in restaurants and then allow guests to go into restaurants in shorts and flip flops!!!! It also states that smoking is not allowed in your cabin or on your veranda, it would seem that passengers pleased themselves as when you ventured onto your veranda the smell of smoke coming from surrounding veranda’s was disgusting first thing in the morning. The Med cruise was different or perhaps the guests were! No the next cruise we take will not be out of Miami and maybe not on Oceania as it does not rate being under the six star rating. Sorry to say this as enjoyed the Med cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
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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