This I a review of our Mayan Mystique cruise on Oceania Riviera that departed Miami on January 14th and returned January 24th. This was my 4th cruise with Oceania. I admit to being a fan but that also makes me extra critical at times. I ... Read More
This I a review of our Mayan Mystique cruise on Oceania Riviera that departed Miami on January 14th and returned January 24th. This was my 4th cruise with Oceania. I admit to being a fan but that also makes me extra critical at times. I have previously cruised on Carnival, Star Clippers and Celebrity. This is a very lengthy review so if you do not want to read through the whole text (and I can understand that) I’ll give a short summary first…
Riviera is a beautiful ship, well designed and built with very high quality materials. She has many big ship amenities and mostly succeeds in giving guests a personable small ship feel and service. Every public room and deck is gorgeous and so is the art you find throughout the ship. Walking around the ship is a pleasure. The layout is very similar to the smaller R-Class ships so everything feels familiar. Food is good to excellent and so is most of the service. Excursions and the Spa services are expensive and if you do a little research you can get a much better tour for half the price.
Our ‘Penthouse Suite’ was gorgeous and more beautiful and spacious than many 4-star hotel rooms. Our stateroom attendants did their work perfectly fine, but either where either very economical with replenishing bath products or forgot to replace them on a regular basis. Our butler was very friendly but we barely used his services. The butler can be a nice perk but not for us. We are among the youngest guests on board and can pack, unpack and manage extra reservations and appointments ourselves.
Guests in ‘Penthouse Suites’ get one reservation in each specialty restaurant just like the rest of the guests in other staterooms. It would really be a nice perk if ‘Penthouse Suite guests’ could get two reservations like those in ‘Oceania’, ‘Vista’ and ‘Owner Suites’.
Although the design of the ship is very well executed there is a flaw. The pool deck and the outside deck of the ‘Terrace Café’ should have been larger. These areas can get really crowded on many occasions (breakfast, sea days et cetera) and those spaces then feel less luxurious than they could and should. This is partly because of the tables and chairs that are big, heavy (naturally when placed on a ship) and placed to close together.
We loved the 4 specialty restaurants. The French themed restaurant ‘Jacques’ serves rich comfort food. It’s the type of food you always hope to find in a bistro in France, but almost never seem to get. The room is beautifully decorated and you feel like being in the countryside in France.
‘Toscana’ is the Italian restaurant and serves very taste dishes. Good to know that you can order almost everything on the menu in smaller portions. Great if you like to taste multiple items on the menu. I can highly recommend the artichoke and truffle starter and the freshly made pasta’s. Also the veal chop is very good. As a dessert the Tiramisu is a real treat.
‘Red Ginger’ is Asian themed and has a very attractive menu. The watermelon and duck salad is a special you should try. They have a very tasty lobster pad thai. If you like Asian you can’t go wrong in this restaurant although they keep the spices very limited and that makes some dishes less authentic in taste.
‘Polo Grill’ is a great seaworthy version of an upscale American steakhouse. You will find quality meats and seafood that are cooked to order and done exactly as requested. We liked this restaurant but the entrée portions are gigantic and would be even more enjoyable if done a little smaller. We prefer not to leave the table feeling like we will explode any minute. Also if you like meat you can also order steaks in all dining venues aboard. I hope they will update this restaurant menu a little to make this beautiful restaurant stand out just a bit more.
The main dining room is one of the most stunning places on the ship. It’s bright and with high ceilings and warm hues of gold and soft whites a very nice place to have dinner. The room’s most iconic feature is the grand chandelier. From a distance it’s spectacular but the LED lighting within the chandelier makes sitting directly under it less romantic than it could be. The light emitted by the chandelier is so white that a plastic surgeon could perform his duties from the tables that are located in the center of the room. The food in the ‘Grand Dining Room’ is very good and the service is equally good.
I would recommend Oceania for everybody who likes good food, art and an upscale setting that never feels stiff or rigid. Not packing a tux makes it even more attractive. It is a cruise line that attracts the more mature travellers and motorized scooters en wheelchairs are a familiar sight. There is nothing wrong with that but personally I would love if Oceania would spice up some aspects of their product so that the little less mature guests onboard also feel right at home. Not playing classical music and theatrical and movie themes performed on the pan flute around the pool 24/7 would be a nice start. Some menus in the specialty restaurants could also use a small rejuvenation without scaring away the loyal guests.
The Internet is very slow and also very expensive ($27 per day) and that’s a wicked combo for people who use modern things like those nasty portable computers, smartphones and iPads.
During our trip we noticed many crewmembers that looked or acted worn-out and many even told us that the had been working so hard that they were simply exhausted. I hope Oceania’s management can do something positive for them because the crew really makes the difference.
As I said we love Oceania but also see points where O can improve their product. All in all Oceania is our preferred cruise line and we can’t wait to be back on board again.
This was the ‘short review’ and for those who would like to know the day-by-day experiences from a 30 something couple please continue reading.
Pre-Cruise Anglers Hotel, Miami Beach.
We arrived in Miami 4 days before our cruise to get in to the vacation spirit. We choose the Angles Hotel and that was a good choice. What a great little big hotel in the center of South Beach. We enjoyed our stay in this boutique hotel tremendously. The staff was great! We had a small glitch with our reservation the first night, but that was more than made up for the next day. We loved the beautiful room, spacious bathrooms (yes we had two), patio and the wonderful jacuzzi. It was like having our own two-story luxury apartment in Miami. Breakfast was also very good. We can recommend the very rich Challah French Toast with vanilla sauce. The hotel got us a nice cab for a great rate to get us to the port of Miami.
Cruise Day 1
We arrived all excited at the Port of Miami at around 11:30 and check-in could not have been easier. Our luggage was whisked away by the friendly porters and after filling out the health questionnaire and a few other formalities we walked straight on to the ship. This was all done in les than 15 minutes. I have sailed on Oceania 3 times before and on this ship ‘Riviera’ 2 years ago when she was almost brand new. This was my girlfriend’s first cruise and she was a little anxious to try a cruise. The ship is beautiful and still in great shape. It maybe was a little less sparkly than 2 years ago, but that’s understandable. The carpeting has some stains and is fading on a few spots, and there is noticeable wear and tear on the furnishings. Nothing bad but visible non the less. The thing that struck me was that part of the staff didn’t seem as welcoming as on previous trips.
It’s not that they weren’t friendly, but we got the impression that many of them were fatigued. Normally everybody you see greets you with a smile, but this time around that was not the case. Luckily we were so excited that we didn’t mind. We had lunch on deck at the Terrace Cafe and it was as good as I remembered. An enormous selection of delicacies beautifully presented. I still think they have to little space with to many (big) tables packed to close together. For a luxury cruise ship carrying up to 1250 guests this area is just to small. Should Oceania/NCL ever decide to build a new O-class ship this space should be expanded!
After lunch we were told that our staterooms were ready. Our luggage was already waiting for us. My girlfriend loved our Penthouse Suite. The layout is very good with a large walk-in closet, good-sized bathroom with lovely bathtub (that we used a lot) and even a separate shower. The bed is exceptionally comfortable with superb soft linens and good firm pillows.
You also have a small sitting area, a writing desk that holds a complementary laptop and a balcony with nice furnishings consisting of two reclining lounge chairs and a small table. Dining on your balcony isn’t possible but enjoying a drink and watching the sun set is!
The only design mistake is the location of the faucets on the bathtub. They are located behind a glass shower partition and difficult to reach when you are not sitting in the tub. So when you want to fill up the bath you need to be a little athletic.
We did some unpacking until the safety drill started. We went to our assigned ‘Muster Station B’ that was located in Martinis and listened to the cruise director and crewmembers explaining what to do in the event of and emergency, the strict smoking policy et cetera. Again we noticed staff here that seemed unhappy. A flamboyant crewmember suddenly snapped at my girlfriend for having opened up her life vest a little. The thing was she didn’t do that herself, it was done by another crew member who was doing the same for other passengers, since the drill was almost over and people were getting hot sitting and standing (like us so that older people could sit) with their vests on tight for quite some time. He was really rude to her while she did nothing wrong. After the drill I showed my girlfriend around the ship. She was amazed and the art and public rooms impressed her. I was feeling very good about my decision to beg her to take a cruise with me!
During the so called ‘sail away party’ on deck we ordered two glasses of sparkling wine and the server asked us why we didn’t order a bottle since that was so much cheaper. I explained that we already had a bottle of champagne waiting for us in the suite and just wanted to enjoy two glasses now while sailing out of Miami. Than a second crewmember came to us and said that it was really stupid (yes, stupid) of us not to order a bottle. After these very thoughtful comments we just gazed at the stunning scenery as the ship left Miami.
We went to the spa deck at the front of the ship and got in to the jacuzzi pool. There were only a couple of people and that made the experience even more magical. After it got dark and a little cold we went back to our stateroom to finish unpacking and to get ready for our first dinner on board. The butler introduced himself and was very friendly. He didn’t seem to know that I already had done 4 cruises with Oceania and explained everything about his services, the ship and the stateroom to me.
We had a reservation at Toscana and got a beautiful table there. I was very pleased to see the menu I have come to love so much hadn’t changed a lot. The only thing that was different wat the ‘Aragosta Fra Diavolo con Tagliolini‘. The Maine lobster had been changed to a lobster tail. (I know, I know first world problems) The food was very good, but maybe a little less well presented than before and the sauce of my ‘Linguine Choppino’ was nice but a little les refined than I remembered; still an excellent meal with great service by our well-informed Italian waiter. After dinner we walked around the deck and spent some time on our balcony watching the stars and letting in the fresh sea air. Before our cruise my girlfriend was worried about maybe getting seasick but with calm seas she felt great. We had a good night sleep in the best bed at sea.
Day 2 at sea
We woke up at sunrise and sat on our balcony and watched as the sun and world came to life. I got us both a cup of tea (and some tasty pastries) from the ‘Executive Lounge’ and afterwards we had a leisurely breakfast outside at the crowded ‘Terrace Café’. We went back to our cabin with a small stop at ‘Barista’s’ for a real strong Italian espresso and after that enjoyed the sunbeds at the pool. What a great way to start the day.
I had some work to do and a real point of criticism concerns the Internet on board. At a whopping $27 dollars per day a decent connection is expected (as on other ships for far less). The internet on ‘Riviera’ was painfully slow and especially switching between devices like a laptop or different smartphones causes troubles. You have to logout with device 1 and login with device 2. This sounds simple but it isn’t… The system is slow and doesn’t notice when a device is logged out, even when you go to the special website for that and/or switch off your connection, you have to try and connect with the other device multiple times to get online again and even then you get error messages, loading screens that take forever to load and sometimes you have to repeat the whole process again and again or are thrown from the internet all together. Also each time you try to login you have to fill in if your are a new user or returning user, last name, first name, stateroom number and password. Very frustrating when you have to do it over and over again and than have a connection speed that is best described as a dial-up. At those prices please just let multiple devices use the same account at the same time.
What I also noticed was that on our previous cruise the bottled water was all from premium brands like Evian, San Pellegrino and Perrier. This time we got bottles from let’s say ‘lesser-known brands’ that unfortunately had a different taste.
Lunch at the ‘Terrace Café’ was again very good with attractive salads, meat, fish, fruit, flavorful Italian bruschetta and French bouillabaisse. Everything tasted fresh and was well prepared. Before and after lunch the pool area was packed with people. There weren’t enough chaises and sunbeds for all the people on this sunny day at sea.
As soon as someone left their sunbed to go in to the pool, grab an ice cream or eat lunch a card was placed on the bed by the pool stewards telling them that items left unattended for 30 minutes would be removed. Although I totally understand that its very frustrating when people ‘reserve seats’ or leave their beds for an extended period of time it felt patronizing to us when we went to get a quick scoop of ice-cream and came back within a few minutes to find a card already placed on the beds warning us our stuff would be removed shortly.
That evening was the ‘Captains Welcome Party’ with free booze for everyone. The bars were full of people talking to each other and having a good time. You could order every cocktail or drink you liked. Fantastic! We had dinner outside at the ‘Terrace Café’ and that was lovely as well. We had lamb chops, grilled shrimp, sushi, sashimi, salad, and excellent chocolate cake. Should I go on about all the delicious dishes?
After dinner we went up to ‘Horizons’ to find it totally empty. We went back to the pool deck and had a drink there under the stars. A very nice way to end a beautiful day!
When we arrived back in our stateroom the disembarkation forms were already waiting for us on the bed to be filled out a.s.a.p. Since this was a 10-day cruise I think day 2 is a little early for this. I try not to think about the end of my vacation when I just got to the ship.
Day 3 Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
The ship anchored in front of the town of Grand Cayman. In the distance we observed three ‘Fun Ship’ funnels and that felt a little like a bad omen, but the weather was fantastic again with blue skies and a very slight breeze.
After breakfast we got our tender tickets and got on the tender within in a couple of minutes. Naturally we had to wait for the tender to fill up with other guest and that took longer than anticipated and was somewhat of a challenge with the sun slowly roasting us in the boat.
Grand Cayman itself is pretty much a tourist trap with jewelry stores selling every imaginable luxury brand ‘tax free’. A tip for fellow guests; do your research before buying since the so called ‘tax free’ or ‘special sale’ prices are still on the very high side. I checked the price of a watch I got couple if months earlier and the price in this ‘tax free heaven’ was significantly higher. We walked around the town, had a drink at a nice seaside café that was a little farther from the port but didn’t go to Stingray City, the world famous Turtle Farm or de Rumcake factory.
We decided to return to the ship en had lunch on deck. The ship was almost empty and we had a great spot with a nice breeze and again fabulously prepared food with fresh humus, pita bread, Greek salad, succulent spare-ribs and so much more. We spent a few hours on the spa deck and experienced sailing away to our next stop from the jacuzzi. Next up was our reservation in ‘Polo Grill’
Most people comment that this restaurant is their favorite and I understand. They have delicious lobster bisque, shrimp cocktail, Kobe beef sliders, Maine lobster, big cuts of quality meat like prime-rib and sides as lobster mac & cheese, creamed spinach and green beans with almonds and garlic mashed potatoes. Everything was wonderful, good service and we drank the complementary bottle of champagne from our stateroom. Portions are big, maybe to big for us. It would be nice to order smaller cuts of meat.
After dinner we decided to go down to the ‘Riviera Lounge’ to see a show. I wasn’t expecting much but our cruise director Nolan Dean put up a very good and funny show. We loved his humor and had great night. When we retired for the evening our room mas made up again, with small chocolates on the pillows and again a letter on the bed. This time it was not about debarkation but concerning our ESTA’s. It asked of us to head down to reception that same night with these documents so they could be inspected. It must be possible to give people a little more time for this (like the next morning instead of now?) or have this done as part of the embarkation process. We did what was asked and afterwards slept like babies, while the ship slowly rocked its way to Cozumel.
Day 4 – Cozumel, Mexico
We woke up early in the morning and went out on our balcony. There was some wind and rain. Now we felt like we were really sailing. My girlfriend still didn’t feel seasick so we got dressed and went for breakfast.
Our timing matched that of almost all the other guests onboard; it was packed. We went out on the terrace to see that they partly cleared the deck and removed the cushions from the seats due to the rain. The cushions were stacked up near the entrance and blocked part of the already very small pathways in and out of the buffet area. We still had luck and found a nice table and got the best French toast ever and also fruit, almond croissants and a soft-boiled egg with salt. I’m almost sure that I’m not loosing weight this trip (again).
In Cozumel we rented a Jeep that hadn’t seen a workshop or maintenance in the last 10 years, but it was fun to drive around the beaches and feel all adventurous. When it started to rain heavenly we returned to the ship. The ship was docked in an area with lots of jewelry shops and famous painters presenting their artwork involving cruise ships, Mayan ruins and car brands like BMW and Mercedes. They also had a few pieces that combined the car brands, Mayan structures and cruise ships in to one big work of art! It was all very tempting, but we decided not to buy.
Back on the ship my girlfriend noticed that I forgot to place our form for ‘the evening canapés’ (a nice suite perk) in the holder outside the room. I called our friendly butler, who got her favorite chocolate covered strawberries right away.
That evening we decided to give ‘The Main Dining Room’ a try. I’m happy to report that food and service were again very good. We had delicious carpaccio of tomato with mozzarella cream, crab cakes, the best tasting Caesar salad ever (stronger than the regular version onboard) and angel hair pasta with fresh tomato sauce, prime rib (that was as good or maybe even better than the one in Polo Grill) and a side of French fries. Everything tasted superb. After dinner we enjoyed our balcony with a glass of sparkling wine.
Belize City, Belize
I woke up early in the morning and while my girlfriend was sleeping I continued reading a book from the huge collection from the library. We had our beloved breakfast on deck and decided to stay on the ship and relax by the pool since the weather was rainy and grey. We went up to Barista’s for a strong cappuccino and a delicious canelé pastry. I walked past the computer room and noticed that the gentleman in charge of ICT was there. I complained about the agonizing slowness of their system, the problems that occur when switching devices and the endless loading screens and waiting times for even the simplest websites. He assured me that this was the fastest Internet on any cruise liner he had worked on (his last position must have been on the White Star Line) and that their system was running perfectly fine. Of course we had been the only ones to complain about this…
We had a very relaxing day at the deserted pool. It felt like we had the ship to ourselves. What a great way to unwind; just take a small nap and go for swim once in a while. If Oceania ever wants to attract a slightly younger demographic I would suggest not playing instrumental versions of musicals and movie themes every day on the entire voyage around the pool area. I love classical music but also would like some more modern, up and happy tunes at the pool. I do understand this is a matter of personal taste and when the ship sets sail there is band playing.
Back in our stateroom our butler had my girlfriends favorite chocolate dipped strawberries waiting for her and some fruit skewers for me.
In the evening we had our reservation in ‘Jacques’ the French restaurant named after celebrity chef Jacques Pepin. This restaurant has a very nice French looking décor and everyone from the staff greeted with a typically French ‘bonsoir’ pronounced in various and some very interesting ways.
The temperature in the room was also very Côte d'Azur, in summer, without air-conditioning. We did have a lovely dinner with great service from our servers that also could perform as a comedy duo. We had goat cheese soufflé, onion soup, pumpkin soup, rotisserie chicken and pork chops accompanied by mashed potatoes and cauliflower with cheese from the oven. In short not a very low-calorie meal but it was delicious. We didn’t have any desserts but everything looked very good.
We didn’t go to the show in the lounge but did spend time walking around on deck before heading back to our stateroom
Day 6 – Santo Tomas de Castillia, Guatemala
We arrived early at the port of Santo Thomas de Castillia in Guatemala under partly cloudy skies. It’s a busy industrial port with lots of cargo that’s loaded on and from ships. After our breakfast that included French toast (of course), sausages and soft-boiled eggs we decided to walk around the port area. There was a market with ‘original’ pieces of art, jewelry and clothing. There was a local group of dancers and musicians playing. Many passengers seemed to enjoy it. We decided to take a taxi to see a little bit more of the country. We had a very friendly driver, who spoke Spanish fluently and enthusiastically, but unfortunately we didn’t and so we made it work with a few words of English, Spanish, French and our hands and feet. He drove us around for 4 hours to various spots and along the Dulce River. It is really a country in development and it was a very interesting port, without many tourists and still fairly unspoiled.
After our private tour we went back to the ship and had a very lazy afternoon. We had dinner in the ‘Main Dining Room’ and that was again good with grilled scallops, lobster and Dover sole. We had to look hard for a sommelier to order a drink and later to give our stateroom card for the charge. We waited for more than 20 minutes both times before our waiter finally found the sommelier.
We left and enjoyed a cup of tea on deck at the terrace café before turning back to our stateroom.
Day 7 Roatán, Honduras
I visited Roatán a couple of years ago, when sailing on Celebrity Silhouette and back than it was a less visited port with not many tourists flocking the island. Today we noticed a ‘Fun Ship’ docked at the new pier and the ‘remarkably’ painted hull of NCL’s ‘Norwegian Sun’ docked at the older pier. The port felt like a mad house with taxi drivers, tour guides and other merchants shouting for attention. We got into a taxi and got a nice tour of the Island. Our driver took us to, according to him, a very secluded beach with only locals. On route he bumped in to another car, but he didn’t seem to mind. We walked up to the beach and noticed many hundreds of very non-local appearing guests packed together on a very small beach. We left after a few minutes and our driver happily showed us the rest of the island.
It really is a very attractive island that still has a well-preserved Caribbean feeling to it. After returning to the ship we spent time around the now very busy pool. While writing this review, I also want to point out that the artwork throughout the ship is stunning (not the ones for sale by the ‘Artist in Residence’ that has his Venetian inspired pieces on display (for sale) and his infomercial that has been recorded on ‘Celebrity Cruises’ on a dedicated channel running in all staterooms). Also the attention to detail that went in to designing the public areas is very impressive, even the restrooms are noteworthy. Everything looks and feels luxurious.
That evening we got to enjoy our second reservation in Toscana thanks to our butler. Great staff and fantastic food once again! We had artichokes with black truffle cream sauce, carpaccio di manzo, linguine with Maine lobster (yeah!), sautéed spinach and tiramisu. Everything was great. While the ship slowly sailed for Costa Maya we later sat on deck and were thankful for such a great experience.
Day 8 Costa Maya
We woke up early in the morning while the port of Costa Maya came into sight. It wasn’t hard to distinguish that a Princess Cruises ship was already there and a big RCL ship was in the process of docking. You know the moment you see a red tourist train on wheels making ‘train noises’ and carrying loads of people from and to the ships that you have arrived at a busy spot.
We had a berth next to the RCL ship and looked at the people flocking the dock. It didn’t look promising. We had breakfast on deck and then proceeded to the gangway to check if we were wrong and that Costa Maya maybe was much nicer than we thought. We didn’t take the red train, did not get a pictures with ‘indigenous people’ wearing very ‘native clothing’.
We walked in to the port area that had a striking resemblance with an amusement park that had seen better days. At every step vendors, tour guides and shop owners try to lure… no better shout you in to their shop or sell you a tour. It just wasn’t for us, but other people were very impressed by the ‘authentic’ architecture around the dock.
We stood still at the dolphin pool that had barely living dolphins swimming in a water basin smaller than our ships pool, waiting for tourists to hug them to death just a little further. I’m no fan of keeping these beautiful creatures confined and in captivity for the pleasure of well-fed tourists.
Since we loved the ‘Riviera’ itself so much we decided to head back and get a chaise by the pool and continue reading and catch up with work. We had a lovely and very lazy afternoon (again).
We sailed at 6:00 pm and had the private sun deck at the front of the ship almost to ourselves. As the ship sailed towards Key West we got a little sad because our cruise would soon come to an end.
We had dinner at the ‘Terrace Café’. We went in early and spend several hours there getting little bites from the buffet and relaxing outside with just a few other guests that liked the warm Caribbean air. Food and service again were wonderful. We had Pinot Grigio, Chianti and of course to much of all the dishes on offer. The cheesecake was especially tasty. To finish our day we both had a cocktail in the bar.
Day 9 At Sea
Calm seas and sun greeted us when we woke up. We stood out on the balcony and took in the view. There is nothing like being on open sea, with nothing but water surrounding you. Breakfast was busy but very nice as always. Since our cruise was nearing its end, we decided to just sit at the pool get some extra sun and read a book. The weather back home didn’t sound very promising so this was our last opportunity. It was a gorgeous day.
We also had a good time on the spa deck and had a leisurely lunch at the ‘Terrace Café’. I finally sampled the ice cream that had been flirting with me the entire voyage. I wasn’t overly impressed but maybe because we have a very good Italian gelato shop a few blocks behind our home. Since I didn’t get any slimmer on this fit for foodies cruise I wasn’t saddened by the unimpressive ice cream.
Dinner was in ‘The Main Dining Room’. We had a lovely meal but getting the attention of our sommelier proved to be difficult once again. When we finally got our glass of wine the first course had already been consumed. At the end of the meal the sommelier had disappeared completely. We had to ask someone else for the ‘wine check’. Instead of ordering a dessert in ‘The Main Dining Room’ we went op to the Terrace Café and found a nice table outside under the stars. The sweet Socrates from India provided us with green tea, while we got a few small pastries from the buffet. What a treat!
Day 10 Key West
Key West was on my bucket list for years since my family members know it very well and can’t stop talking about it. The ship was docked a few minutes walking from all the fun. When arriving in Key West you have to go through immigration. This is so much better than having to do that in Miami. It was well arranged and we loved it. We were excited about this port so decided to have an early breakfast and than had out to explore.
Our butler came to the room to ask if we wanted him to place our suitcases on the bed. We told him that wasn’t necessary since we still had 24 hours before disembarking and were perfectly capable of grabbing our two empty suitcases ourselves. When we returned after breakfast our suitcases had been placed on the bed. We placed them back in the walk-in closet and left the ship to see our last port of call.
I really liked Key West but it felt a little like walking in to Disney’s Main Street. We noticed more tourist trains on stand-by than tourists taking them. We walked around quite a bit and found many lovely spots, homes and shops. I also explored a museum near the port that had a fascinating exposition about pirates and slave ships. Of course I didn’t leave Key West without sampling a few Key Lime Pie items like the ice cream (very nice) and some cookies (a little less nice).
While the ship slowly sailed to Miami we had our last experience in the pool on the spa deck. We were sad that our vacation was almost over. Dinner was at the Terrace Café and very good. We tried to maximize our last evening and walked around to enjoy our last hours on the ship. We returned to our cabin, packed our bags and placed them in the hallway. We slept like babies and floated the idea to try and fit the entire Oceania bed in to our hand luggage. It was a little to big. ;-)
Day 11 Miami
Our last morning on the ship had arrived. Oceania does a pretty descent job here. Every cruise line wants it’s guests to leave the ship as soon as possible to prepare for the new guests who arrive just a couple of hours later. Still we didn’t feel really rushed. We had our normal breakfast and then got the announcement that our group number was called to disembark. When we went down to deck 6 it was chaotic and there was a long line of people waiting to get out. But to soon we had to swipe our ‘Oceania World Card’ one last time at 08:45.
We had a great cruise and hope to sail Oceania again in the very near future.