351 Oceania Riviera Luxury Cruise Reviews

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
We love Oceania cruise line! The ship is small & has excellent rooms & decor. We took friends who had never gone on a cruise before and they could not believe the attention given to every detail. The art work, grand staircase with ... Read More
We love Oceania cruise line! The ship is small & has excellent rooms & decor. We took friends who had never gone on a cruise before and they could not believe the attention given to every detail. The art work, grand staircase with it chandler , the table ware etc. Our cabins were top notch. The bed was so comfortable that we were tempted to purchase one! Our stewards keep our linens, towels & room in impeccable shape. It was great to "go home" after a fun day ashore! The dining was gourmet in every restaurant . All four of the specialty restaurants were no extra charge. The food....oh my gosh..I felt like my husband had taken me out on a date to 5 star restaurants ever night! The service was amazing! I really got spoiled! And loved every minute of it! The service from the restaurants, to bars, to having our laundry done was truly exceptional. The staff was delightful ...and it was fun to get to know them! We only saw one show...which was good...but I am not a show person. I am sure many other passengers enjoyed them. Serice Service Service......all amazing I would definitely recommend Oceania & we will be travelling with them again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We decided to try Oceania for the raved about food. Being in the food industry & foodies we thought we'd try them out. Two days before the cruise, I got a e-mail asking if we'd upgrade from an interior cabin to a balcony ... Read More
We decided to try Oceania for the raved about food. Being in the food industry & foodies we thought we'd try them out. Two days before the cruise, I got a e-mail asking if we'd upgrade from an interior cabin to a balcony cabin for $200pp. Of course I said yes. Getting on board was quick & easy as there's only about 1200 pax, as compared to 3000+ pax on larger ships. We still waited until 2:30 to get to our cabin. Seems they like to have your luggage outside your room waiting for you when you arrive. Upon entering, Richard was overly delighted it was a veranda cabin. I kept the upgrade a secret knowing he'd love the room. The room is close to 300 sq. ft.(incl. balcony) I was surprised to see a tub as well as a separate enclosed shower. The enclosed shower is quite small, but we like the duel shower heads. One a "rain" head the other a hand held shower head. The tub has a shower as well, but it's tough to use the shower as it's only partially enclosed, so water can easily get on the floor. The room had abundant storage. Some of the storage is in drawers inside cabinets. For those, like me who have a CPAP machine there's an outlet next to the bed, so extension cords aren't necessary. Food is the main attraction on Oceania. No disappointment here! The Grand Dining room(G/D)is an elegant venue with lots of Swarovski crystal. Meals here are very nice. Food quality is like the way Celebrity was about 5 years ago, before the cutbacks. As the price of an Oceania cruise is about $1500pp more than Celebrity/Princess the attention to detail & the food is much better. You have several specialty rest. on board all but one are included in the cost. These are: Polo Grill(steaks/seafood etc.)Toscana(Italian food, but really highend)Red Ginger(Asian, obviously)Jacques(Jacque Pepin's on board rest. highend French Cuisine)La Reserve is the extra cost venue. Dinners range from $60pp-195pp for the "Connoisseur's" dinner. Tea service is offered daily in the Horizon's Lounge. The Tea service with Tea cakes/Scones/Tea sandwiches was excellent, accompanied by an excellent string quartet. Entertainment takes a backstage to the food. It was what we expected a few good singers/dancers. A very talented small band. The Sax player was outstanding. There's also a String Quartet, which was excellent. We had a talented Ventriloquist, who was really quite funny. The Cruise director, Peter was top notch. Loved his wild outfits that highlighted the end of each show. He'd tell a joke or 2 some were really quite funny, some really bad(on purpose). There are really good education seminars & cooking demonstrations to be had. The only downside were some of the excursions. Some of these were really quite pricey compared to similar excursions on Cunard/Celebrity/Princess. One excursion on Grand Cayman was new to the cruiseline, so we were Guinea Pigs, so to speak. It was not as good as the brochure claimed. We got 25% refunded back to us. If you have an excursion that is not good(be honest here!)upon returning, bring it to the attention of the excursion desk. Do BE polite about it! In most cases they will offer a partial refund. If many pax complain about it, the refund might be the full amount(not too often) Our ports of call were Grand Cayman/Cozumel/Costa Maya/Roatas/Santo Tomas/Key West. The weather slowly clouded up as we headed from Costa Maya to Central America. Cloudy/showery weather was the rule from here until we got to Key West. We had a nice lunch at Louis' Backyard( a popular rest.)Key West, unfortunately is really been getting more trashy over the last 20 years. No longer a stop I really care to do. Of all the ports of call, I'd say Santo Tomas is the least developed & ready for cruiseship tourism. There's a few nice beaches & small resorts a few miles from the ship, but otherwise I'd shop at the local port shopping mall & then just get back on the ship. Roatan, Honduras has nice beaches but the weather precluded the enjoyment. There is a great golf/beach resort called Pristine Bay. Oceania should really offer excursions there. You can also go yourself as well. Overall a great ship/cruiseline Would definitely go on Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was our first cruise on Riviera, our second on Oceania. Our previous Oceania was the Nautica, and our cabin had been a disappointment. Our apprehensions were dismissed the moment we entered our cabin on Riviera. It was a very good ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Riviera, our second on Oceania. Our previous Oceania was the Nautica, and our cabin had been a disappointment. Our apprehensions were dismissed the moment we entered our cabin on Riviera. It was a very good size, and most importantly, the bathroom was much much better than the airplane-size bathroom on Nautica. No 'Psycho' shower but a full bathtub and separate shower. Yay! The ship is beautiful, I spent some time going through the ship to view all the beautiful artwork. Most amazing is how quiet the ship is; our cabin was on deck 8 midship and we never heard a sound ; we had to look out to check if we had docked or sailed away. The only reason I didn't give full marks is the entertainment and sound system in the cabins. I had the same complaint on Nautica and I was given the same lame excuse that Oceania buys its entertainment system from a provider and this is what they provide (!). The TV is old non-hd technology. The sound is terrible and the picture is so blurred you can't read the credits at the end of a film. There is no docking station for your phone, or bluetooth that would allow you to listen to your music. Unlike in most hotels nowadays, you can't access your account information. There was a Grand Slam tennis tournament going on, but no station to view it. There are only 3 news channels: MSNBC and FOX, and, thankfully, BBC World, a welcome relief from 24-hour US-centered news. It is time Oceania followed the competition into the 21st century, all the rest of the cruise is such a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
My wife and I generally travel on the luxury lines and decided to try Oceania for the first time in 9 years. We booked well in advance and chose the 100 square foot Oceania suite which was on the stern of the ship on deck 11. In over ... Read More
My wife and I generally travel on the luxury lines and decided to try Oceania for the first time in 9 years. We booked well in advance and chose the 100 square foot Oceania suite which was on the stern of the ship on deck 11. In over 20 cruises in the past 10 years, this was far and away the best cabin that we have had. Service by the butler and stewardess was excellent. Booking the large suite came with lots of perks such as double the number of specialty restaurants, meaning that we only ate dinner in the main dining room 2 or 3 times. We did eat many breakfast and lunches there and found that the staff quickly knew us by name and gave us excellent service. Oceania provides guests with a key card indicating the room category and we felt that much of the service was recognizing us from the suite listed on the gold key card. Bar service was excellent as well and the specialty restaurants would have been enjoyed much more if I hadn't gotten sick ...... On the 2nd day I developed a chest cough accompanied by some minor gastric problems. In all my time cruising I had never darkened the door of the medical center and did not know what to expect. I went to the medical center and was honest about my symptoms, indicating that I was sick but not deathly sick. I did sign the release for treatment so from here on I should have no complaint, but I'll relate so others might be warned. I was given tests for everything from the flue to mono. The doctor decided I needed an IV and I was given multiple IVs over the course of the next 3 hours. I received urine and blood tests as well. The process took about 4 hours and I never inquired as to cost. My fault. I was informed to return at 6 PM for a follow up. All this made me feel better and I asked to have the IV needle removed which they had left inserted in my hand. The doctor said to leave it in in case I needed another IV - this was my warning sign that I did not heed. The next morning I returned to the medical center saying I was feeling even better. The doctor prescribed more IVs. After these, they took the IV needle out and told me to drink Gatorade, giving me 3 packs to mix. The bill was presented at the final follow up and I almost fainted. Charges for day 1 were around $3500 and day 2 was over $1400 making the charges come in just a hair under $5000. All this for a 57 year old male with slight discomfort. Medical insurance won't pay and we have never taken trip insurance which might have paid some or all of the cost. (with all our cruises we have never taken insurance and even with this bill I'm still money ahead over having taken insurance and not made claims). Lesson learned - I'll be very sick before I ever again go to the medical center. If I do have to go I'll get out my cell phone and call my personal doctor in the United States for consultation with the on board doctor. From the next trip forward we'll have a medical kit including a thermometer, some basic antibiotics, Pepto-Bismal, and perhaps some Imodium. I jokingly told my wife that I would want to take my own AED as well. In 4 or 5 days I was back to normal. The rest of the cruise brought lots of rain and bad weather, which is just bad luck. The only great day we had was the last port of Key West, perfect weather and we had returned to full health. We'll be on Oceania again, due to great service, food and room, but we'll be prepared to treat our own minor ailments. 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
My wife and I enjoy well prepared and presented food and we had heard wonderful things about Oceania's offerings so we decided to try them out for a holiday getaway. Embarkation in Miami was quick and efficient. The ship is ... Read More
My wife and I enjoy well prepared and presented food and we had heard wonderful things about Oceania's offerings so we decided to try them out for a holiday getaway. Embarkation in Miami was quick and efficient. The ship is tastefully understated and was nicely decorated for the season. Our cabin stewardess Charissa and her assistant were terrific. They seemed representative of all the staff who by and large were very friendly, attentive and provided excellent service. Oceania did provide some extra niceties for Christmas. Santa Claus and his helpers made an appearance Christmas morning to offer a small gift to every child aboard, and there were 50 on this sailing. They also left a small gift for each couple in every cabin. Overall the food was quite good. The selections in the main dining room were broad with enough variety for most any palate and the dishes were generally well prepared and nicely presented. My wife does have several dietary restrictions and on two evenings she was unable to find anything that both wet her appetite and met her dietary needs so she ordered a steak and on both occasions the meat was actually a bit chewy and really disappointing. We did of course dine in all the specialty venues and enjoyed them all immensely and we both agreed the miso glazed Sea Bass in Red Ginger was absolutely fabulous. There are two other issues we had with the food. We love salads and were both disappointed in the lack of variety of vegetables for making a really great garden salad in the buffet. Also after the Terrace Cafe closes for lunch at 2:30 there is nothing available other than sandwiches at the Wave Grill until 4:00 and then dinner isn't served until 6:30. Entertainment is the other weak link. There was one show each evening at 9:00 and while most of the performances were quiet good you had to have an early dinner or eat at the buffet to be able to make the show. We are not big drinkers; we usually have a drink before dinner and then share a bottle of wine with our food so one thing Oceania does that we quite appreciated is all the soft drinks, juices, water and specialty coffees are included. The ship is lovely, the staff is attentive, the food is mostly wonderful but the entertainment is lacking. We found our fellow cruisers pleasant but we didn't really bond with anyone like we have on other ships (Carnival, RCL, NCL, Princess, VTA & Celebrity). Did we enjoy it - yes we did. Will we sail Oceania again - probably; but not until we're less interested in evening entertainment venues. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We love Oceania's food and they didn't disappoint, again. The Grand Dining Room is very good, but the four specialty restaurants are truly special. They also went out of their way to accommodate the special dining needs of ... Read More
We love Oceania's food and they didn't disappoint, again. The Grand Dining Room is very good, but the four specialty restaurants are truly special. They also went out of their way to accommodate the special dining needs of several of our co-sailors. All you needed to do was ask. The ship is wonderful, not too crowded, plenty to do, and with service that is in line with other luxury lines. The cabins are fine; not particularly large but sufficient and well appointed. The nightly entertainment was spotty - sometimes very good and sometimes quite forgettable. But the daily activities were top-notch and fun: daily bridge, trivia, putting contests, casino tournaments, culinary center classes, afternoon tea, etc. No comments on the ship's shore excursions, since we didn't find a single one that we were induced to purchase: like some other lines, they are not sufficiently interesting and are over-priced. Overall, Oceania does a great job on the things that matter and we really enjoy the understated elegance. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
From the moment you arrive you know this is a luxury cruise. The size of the ship is just right. Four specialty restaurants add to the appeal, each one excellent. Jacques, Polo Grill, Toscana and Red Ginger, can't say enough about ... Read More
From the moment you arrive you know this is a luxury cruise. The size of the ship is just right. Four specialty restaurants add to the appeal, each one excellent. Jacques, Polo Grill, Toscana and Red Ginger, can't say enough about them. Every member of the staff went out of their way to make this a memorable cruise. Attentive, pleasant, courteous. The food was excellent and the pastry chef gets 5 stars for the wonderful chocolate desserts. We enjoyed the various music around the ship, the string quartet, small ensemble and the Riviera orchestra. Our cabin on the Concierge level was immaculate and our steward/stewardess were a delight and paid attention to every detail. We chose to do private shore excursions as we are avid snorkelers and had previous experience in Roatan and Costa Maya, so we have no review of the excursions. This is our third Oceania cruise and it did not disappoint, we will be booking again soon. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I am writing this to help other new cruisers on Oceania. We had many questions before we left...some that we were uncertain of...and I hope this helps. Our cruise was the Mayan Mystique...10 days...MIA to MIA. The ship is in ... Read More
I am writing this to help other new cruisers on Oceania. We had many questions before we left...some that we were uncertain of...and I hope this helps. Our cruise was the Mayan Mystique...10 days...MIA to MIA. The ship is in wonderful shape! Very clean...beautiful artwork throughout. This ship is undoubtedly for luxury and food. Here are a few bulleted thoughts: ~The pool is very quiet. Too quiet for me. But relaxing. The lounge chairs have fitted sheet over cushioned chairs. There are "beds" as well. We never had a problem finding a seat in the sun or shade. The pool is not large but large enough. There are 2 hot tubs. ~The food is incredible. I did not have one item that was not excellent. This is the highlight of the ship. I gained a lot of weight. :( ~The drinks are not strong, but if you take advantage of happy hour there are worth it. But, at happy hour (2 for 1) the drink must be the same drink. ~Speaking of alcohol, even though their policy states otherwise, they do not care how much you bring on and you CAN bring it on at each port. Beer, wine ,hard liquor...doesn't matter. They do not care. ~The service is impeccable. Everyone was very nice and very accommodating. Extra friendly. It bothered me that so many people never said please and thank you. If you go on this ship, be polite! These people work their tails off. ~I've read many reviews about sickness on the boat. I did not see one sick person, other than the one that passed away, and never felt sick. They go over and beyond to make sure this does not happen. You never handle your own food until it is on your plate, no ice machines, etc. ~The entertainment was top notch. The "World Beat" show was one of the best I've ever seen. ~Many debates about tipping on top of what they add. I did not see a single person tip on this ship. Doesn't mean you can't, but for those wondering...that's that. ~The median age on this ship is about 65. There are many scooters, wheelchairs, walkers, etc. You will not be moving fast around the ship. My last comment is this: this experience for my wife and I was wonderful. We had a fantastic time! The people are great, everything is very organized, the food is top notch, and I could go on and on. If you did not have a good time on this ship, this truly is a "you" problem. You could not ask much more of a ship to give you a great time! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Our second time with Oceania, first time on Riviera. Beautiful ship, accommodations were first rate. Our Concierge Level stateroom was beautiful, plenty of room. The staff, as always, was over the top. Our heartfelt thanks ... Read More
Our second time with Oceania, first time on Riviera. Beautiful ship, accommodations were first rate. Our Concierge Level stateroom was beautiful, plenty of room. The staff, as always, was over the top. Our heartfelt thanks particularly to Carla and Melissa. We have some suggestions for making Red Ginger an even better dining experience which we will detail in our review which we will mail in. The days at sea were very nice, and there were plenty of activities to keep everyone busy on those days without everything seeming too crowded. The Grand Dining Room is our favorite dining venue, not taking anything away from the specialty restaurants, which were all outstanding. The GDR had a great selection and variety each evening, and the breakfasts there were nice and relaxing. The ports of call were all very interesting, and it was nice to be the only ship in at a few of them. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Our 3rd cruise on Riviera....love the ship and the staff. Ship had to undergo an inspection before we boarded on 12/2 so check in was the most chaotic we have ever experienced on Oceania. We chalked it up to badly managed and went on to ... Read More
Our 3rd cruise on Riviera....love the ship and the staff. Ship had to undergo an inspection before we boarded on 12/2 so check in was the most chaotic we have ever experienced on Oceania. We chalked it up to badly managed and went on to enjoy a wonderful cruise and vacation. Food is awesome...regardless of where you eat. World Beat was the best show I have ever seen on any ship! The comedian was funny the first night but not so much the 2nd night. Seems like Oceania has listened to our complaints in re show quality and really amped up their shows. We enjoyed them! Staff is fabulous - we especially loved Natallia in Horizons, our cabin steward Robylyn and Jason the Assistant Cruise Director. Go to his line dancing classes...so fun! Looking forward to another Oceania cruise next year! We were in concierge veranda room on 10 and location and cabin were perfect. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This was our 13th cruise and thankfully proved to be not that unlucky. We had sailed on the sister ship, Marina, on a transatlantic the previous year so knew what to expect regarding the layout of the ship and the facilities. Like last ... Read More
This was our 13th cruise and thankfully proved to be not that unlucky. We had sailed on the sister ship, Marina, on a transatlantic the previous year so knew what to expect regarding the layout of the ship and the facilities. Like last time we booked a concierge stateroom, this time on deck 9, which came with a few added extras. We flew from Glasgow via Heathrow to Miami with BA on the large A380 the day before and had a trouble free flight. Meals on board were better than expected as was the room to stretch out. In flight entertainment was about average but no where near the likes of Emirates. I think the main bonus was that our luggage arrived safely because several fellow passengers were not so lucky and were still waiting on their's several days into the cruise. We had an overnight in the Marriott at Biscayne Bay, near to the cruise terminal. Large clean room with comfortable bed. Not much else around the area though but fine for 1 night. Got a groupon deal before we left for the power boat ride that leaves next to the hotel for a 30 min ride around the bay. Enjoyable but not worth the full cost. The breakfast was expensive so went to the mall next door and found a deli which sold just about everything, including my wife's favourite wine, so happy wife!! Now, as many of you will know, Oceania do a staggered embarkation according to the class of accommodation,status etc. which on our previous cruise in Manhattan went extremely well. However a few days before leaving we all got an email letting us know that the ship was being inspected by the Coastguard in the morning. Unfortunately the letter was wrongly worded and gave the impression everyone had to arrive at a certain time. Needless to say this caused mayhem and, without labouring the point, was not Oceania's finest hour. {or in this case several hours!}. Anyway, once onboard, the ship was immaculate. I really love this size of ship compared to the large floating tower blocks that are becoming the norm. The fixtures and fittings are high end and the ship oozes class! We ate in the Grand dining room on 6 occasions and once each in the 4 speciality restaurants. My favourite was Polo Grill because they got my filet mignon just the way I like it. My wife preferred Red Ginger, but to be honest all the dining was very good and no complaints with the quality of the food. We did not do any Oceania shore excursions as, apart from the excessive price, we didn’t see many we liked. We booked with local tour operators in most and did car hire in St Barts. The entertainment on the ship was mixed. The string quartet were excellent musicians but the production shows were only average at best. The comedian lost her way on several occasions and had many people up and leave I believe principally because too much of her reference material made no sense to non American’s. The daily entertainment programme was fair but the best part was the Artists Loft which my wife loved from our time on the Marina and made full use of again. Gave me time to catch up with some reading and chill! Stateroom was excellent with plenty of storage space and a separate bath and shower. My wife really enjoys a bath and with the premium salts provided it was hard to get her back out in time for dinner. The bed is the best ever and we are seriously thinking of buying it for home as have never slept so well! Due to the sea swells we never made it to the Dominican Republic but we enjoyed our time at the other ports of call. Had an easy disembarkation and then 2 nights at Miami Beach, which was way better than expected, to relax before the overnight flight home to winter! Overall, had a very good cruise experience and will be booking with Oceania again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Cruised on Riviera previously. Onboard is fantastic. Cabins service food all 5 star plus. Relaxed atmosphere and no dressing up required. Public areas are luxurious. Lots of activities appropriate to the demographic of the clientele. (The ... Read More
Cruised on Riviera previously. Onboard is fantastic. Cabins service food all 5 star plus. Relaxed atmosphere and no dressing up required. Public areas are luxurious. Lots of activities appropriate to the demographic of the clientele. (The majority of passengers were clearly retired). Staff could not be more accommodating. Ports of call were uninspiring. I don't know about the excursions offered by Oceania - they are too expensive for my budget. The one we took independently on St Kitts was ok and no more. We took the cruise for the ship the food the service and the weather and we would do so again. However - embarkation in Miami was an absolute disaster. First time Oceania customers will have been put off for ever. There was no effective organisation or leadership shown at all. The elderly and disabled of whom there were many were (as far as I could see) left to fend for themselves. Quite shameful in fact. They had to stand in line for an unacceptable amount of time. I was fine - I'm a young 67 year old. I heard that it was the fault of Miami port services but I didn't pay big bucks to that body. I paid 5 grand plus to Oceania for our cruise and was expecting better. You can cruise more cheaply and you can cruise more expensively. Why would you? This is the best money can buy as far as I have experienced. 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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