25 Oceania Riviera Cruise Reviews for Luxury Cruises to Transatlantic

We chose this cruise because we haven’t been to the Canary Is., and were looking forward to visiting. As explained earlier, we still haven’t visited them.. The Captain Did the right thing by avoiding the 70ft waves that hit Tenerife. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we haven’t been to the Canary Is., and were looking forward to visiting. As explained earlier, we still haven’t visited them.. The Captain Did the right thing by avoiding the 70ft waves that hit Tenerife. The Company did the wrong thing by not crediting our accounts or offering some compensation for the missed ports and fuel savings. it was also wrong to not totally reimburse passengers for the price of booked tours. Embarkation and disembarkation were handled efficiently. We will not let Oceania book our airfare again. this was their second chance. this time we travelled for 21 hours joining the ship in Barcelona from Phoenix. we actually enjoyed the 8 sea days with no schedules to keep or ABC tours to take. did a bus tour on our own in Malaga, a very lovely town. entertainment on board was to our liking. Yes, the production company is young. But, unlike some, the singers can indeed dance, and the dancers also can sing. a few flat notes here and there. If you want Broadway caliber, those BIG ships or Broadway are the Place for you. all on board staff, except one front desk guy seems to be happy doing their jobs and were very kind. We did meet two women who enjoyed soaking In their tubs. Most of us wish the showers had taken the place of those tubs which just took up valuable space. How small? well, If you dropped your soap you had to open the door to be able to bend down and retrieve it. Hubby says this is the best food at sea, Regent is right there in the running too.we enjoyed all the specialty restaurants. Food at Jacques, as you may guess, is very rich. the main dining room offers a fine selection each meal as well as the waves grill and the big buffet. the special brunch buffet featured all the ice carvings and specialty desserts, and beautiful fruit and.vegie displays. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Several months ago, my wife and I decided to do a transatlantic crossing. Having cruised with Oceania before, we decided to book the crossing on the Riviera. Our preference is typically small to medium size ships. The Riviera (as well as ... Read More
Several months ago, my wife and I decided to do a transatlantic crossing. Having cruised with Oceania before, we decided to book the crossing on the Riviera. Our preference is typically small to medium size ships. The Riviera (as well as the Marina) are a little larger than we typically would book but for the crossing it was perfect. The booking experience as easy and convenient. Specialty restaurant reservations were easy to make on Oceania's website. Cruise documents arrived 30 days before the cruise. Checking in on embarkation day was very easy. We arrived at the Miami port at noon and were on board by 12:20 pm. Our cabin (PH 11049) was ready at exactly 1:00 pm. By 2:00 pm, we were completely unpacked and ready for our journey. Oceania made it very easy for us! Having cruise on the Oceania Marina before, the Riviera's sister ship, we did not have to spend much time getting re-acquainted with facilities and layout of the vessel. Our cabin was a Penthouse on the 11th deck - 11049. It was very comfortable, clean and well appointed. We did notice a little bit of wear and tear on the carpet and several cabinets with small scratches. The crew did a great job keeping the room nice and clean with stocked with the appropriate beverages, canapés and bathroom supplies. A word of caution is that cabin's on the 11th deck are right below the swimming pool deck and, sometimes, one can hear deck furniture being moved. This was only an annoyance in the early evening as the crew re-stacked the lounge chairs. The ship is in great condition. Oceania is clearly focusing on ensuring the vessel is well maintained. All public areas were very clean. The crew was constantly cleaning and performing maintenance. Great to see this level of care and attention. Our dining experience was very good to excellent. Prior to the cruise, we booked four dinners at the four specialty restaurants as well as one evening at La Reserve. We are "foodies" and Oceania's Riviera did not disappoint. Service and food quality in the specialty restaurants was excellent. La Reserve was a terrific 3 plus hours of good food and wine as well as the social aspect of the evening - well worth the price of admission. On two evenings we decided to just go to The Terrace for dinner and have a light buffet dinner. To our surprise, the buffet was very well done (wonderful salads, fresh sushi, lobster among other delicacies). The Grand Dining Room was very good with the exception of one evening in which the service and food quality was not as consistent. A consistent and enjoyable start of the day (everyday!) was a visit to Baristas. Lastly, during the cruise, we were able to book additional evenings at the specialty restaurants. Since our voyage required a lot of sea days, the crew of the Riviera had to plan and execute a lot of activities during the day. Since this was our first transatlantic crossing, we were concerned about this cruise being too slow. Well, this concern was not an issue. Corey Powell (Cruise Director) and his team worked tirelessly to keep everyone engaged. One of our favorite activities was to attend the chats with Sandy Cares - a terrific speaker. We also attended several Wine Tastings and cooking class - both always fun! In terms of wellness, we used the health and fitness center almost daily, it has excellent equipment, never overly crowded and very clean. We also enjoyed the Canyon Ranch Spa - a bit pricey but the massage and facial services were excellent. Regarding, entertainment, it was better than we expected. It is clear that Oceania has been listening to passenger and reviewer feedback. Among our favorites was the string quartet. Also, the Riviera band played some nice Jazz. The Riviera singers and dances are very talented and did a nice job to keep everyone entertained. Oceania also brought in a several guest stars for entertainment that we would rate from fair to very good (magician (fair), violinist (very good), pianist/singer (good) and comedian (fair) . In terms of ports, our scheduled stops were Bermuda, Ponta Delgado (Azores), Tangier, Mallorca and Barcelona. We typically prefer private or semi private tours since we like to have the flexibility to move quickly and adjust the day as we go; however, for this trip, we decided to take three Oceania offered tours. In Bermuda, we joined a small group totally 16 on a small bus in which we visited Hamilton and St. George. Unfortunately, due to bad weather, we were not able to dock in Ponta Delgada. As for Tangier, our group was a bit larger (20 or so) but the 4 1/2 hour excursion was well done. Mallorca and Barcelona we did on our own. Overall, we were pleased with the Oceania tours we joined. The disembarkation process in Barcelona was a breeze. We were scheduled to disembark at 7:45 am but were able to do so at 7:40 am. We were on a taxi to our hotel by 7:50 am! Lastly, we want to recognize the Riviera's leadership staff. The Captain and his Officers were very visible and approachable. Furthermore, we really enjoyed how they recognized members of the crew with 5 Year Service Anniversaries. And, a night of celebration in which over 300 crew members were brought into the Riviera lounge to celebrate to appreciate the passengers. What's interesting is that it was the passengers that celebrated the crew for excellent service. These actions speak volumes of the culture of the company and leadership. After all, cruising is about people! We will certainly continue to cruise and plan to be back with Oceania in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
A transatlantic crossing has been on my bucket list for five tpyears but something always got in the way. When my wife and I made the decision to do it this spring we decided to go upscale since we would be on for two weeks with minimal ... Read More
A transatlantic crossing has been on my bucket list for five tpyears but something always got in the way. When my wife and I made the decision to do it this spring we decided to go upscale since we would be on for two weeks with minimal port calls...thus we picked Oceana. We had a standard veranda cabin and the size and appointments were more than fine. Of special note...the staff to a person were exceptional and helpful. Food was great and with four specialty restaurants, a main dining room, and a buffet it more than met our needs. Never thought I’d get tired of grilled lobster tails with lamb chops...but I did! Fortunately there were a myriad of other choices available. Also worth noting was the caliber of the guests on board, unlike some of the mass market cruises we’ve been on. All in all it was worth every penny we paid and would sail Oceana again in a heartbeat! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We were on the Marina for 14 days, 6 of them at sea, and I have only high praise. The service was outstanding, everyone smiling and saying hello, the food was superb and the presentation of the dishes was truly over the top. Based on the ... Read More
We were on the Marina for 14 days, 6 of them at sea, and I have only high praise. The service was outstanding, everyone smiling and saying hello, the food was superb and the presentation of the dishes was truly over the top. Based on the itinerary, Barcelona to Miami, the shore excursions were as interesting as they could be although we thought they were overpriced. The classes at the culinary enter were a life saver on the days at sea and Chef Karlis is a great instructor and chef. Shipboard activities were well geared to the age level of the passengers and the evening entertainment was well attended most of the nights. No disco, no photographer, no children taking over the pool, plenty of lounge chairs and no signing a ticket every time you wanted a soft drink or cold water or a specialty coffee A high class operation, beautiful décor and furnishings. Oceania provides so many "little touches" that make a big difference.. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We have been on Oceania before and loved it and this was a great itinerary. The cabin was a little disappointing. It seemed a bit worn out. The bathroom has a big bathtub shower in addition to a small stall shower. Cabin steward was ... Read More
We have been on Oceania before and loved it and this was a great itinerary. The cabin was a little disappointing. It seemed a bit worn out. The bathroom has a big bathtub shower in addition to a small stall shower. Cabin steward was excellent. Food on Oceania has always been fantastic but this time we were disappointed. There are 4 specialty restaurants which were all excellent but the main dining room which is beautiful was not as good as in the past. The food was good but the selections were not as good. Overall we still love Oceania and would cruise again. The ports were very good and Oceania provides a free shuttle to the center of town in a lot of the ports. We generally do our own tours because we like smaller groups and lower prices than those tours that Oceania offers. The entertainment was good. We had a violinist, a piano player, a comedian and a magician in addition to the ship's singers and dancers. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Great ports to visit. The ship itself was 1st class in every way. We chose a penthouse which was spacious and very well designed. THE ENTIRE STAFF WERE EXTREMELY FRIENDLY AND The speciality restaurants were great, although we ... Read More
Great ports to visit. The ship itself was 1st class in every way. We chose a penthouse which was spacious and very well designed. THE ENTIRE STAFF WERE EXTREMELY FRIENDLY AND The speciality restaurants were great, although we felt that the french restaurant was the weakest, while others thought it was the best. WE THOUGHT THAT THE ENTERTAINMENT WAS FOR THE MOST PART SO-SO AND Not enough on board activities during days in port. The internet was a big disappointment, the service was almost non existent for the most part. Another disappointment was the lack of snacks during the afternoon,other than cookies . Even with these negatives the entire trip was fabulous and we would not hesitate to book this ship again. It was a costly trip, but as they say you get what you pay for. IWE WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS SHIP TO ANY ONE WHO IS THINKING OF CRUISING Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Having already covered the mainstream Med ports pretty thoroughly, we chose this cruise because they offered places we had not been to. Having settled on the itinerary we then read reviews and were quickly sold on Oceania thanks to the ... Read More
Having already covered the mainstream Med ports pretty thoroughly, we chose this cruise because they offered places we had not been to. Having settled on the itinerary we then read reviews and were quickly sold on Oceania thanks to the positive reports. None of them were wrong. The ship is beautiful and wonderfully maintained, the crew are all totally friendly and more than eager to please, the Concierge level suite was outstanding in both comfort and space, and the cuisine was way above any that we have encountered on previous cruises - both ocean and river types. The policy of being treated as an adult with regard to bringing alcohol on board was a good one. We didn't utilise this as we purchased a Beverage package but would have appreciated it otherwise. Not having been to any of the shows in the theatre I can't pass comment. But we did enjoy the classical quartet and also the singer/pianist in one of the bars. Quizzes were always good fun as the Entertainment Manager had a great sense of humour. The only negative I can post is that the Future Tours Manageress made us feel less than worthy of her precious time and was so rude to us that we walked out without booking as we had intended. I have since been in touch online with a marvellous Oceania agent based in London, take a bow Mr. Charles Deeall, and he has restored our faith to the point where we have booked a December sailing from Cape Town (our home) to Singapore. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise and cruise line because of the itinerary. The reviews closed the deal. The standard room and bathroom are "big," the stateroom attendants were great. The air conditioning worked great. The ship is ... Read More
We chose this cruise and cruise line because of the itinerary. The reviews closed the deal. The standard room and bathroom are "big," the stateroom attendants were great. The air conditioning worked great. The ship is comfortable, not too large, not crowded for the most part. Feels like a country club. The dress code is country club casual at all times, so no need for men's jackets or ties. Embarkation and disembarkation could not have been easier. There were crew members to help you find your luggage upon leaving. The restaurants offer plenty of variety. The food is good but not better than you can find at good restaurants in the big cities. The service is great except for the end of the meal. The coffee service is sporatic, sometimes non-existant. The main dining room coffee is awful, so get a cappucino or have the waiter get the americano from the machine. The room service breakfast quality was not so great. We gave up and ate at the buffet. We tried the dining room for breakfast, but it was just too slow and nothing special. Besides, a blueberry in the pancake I ordered in the dining room exploded on me and my shirt, the ship cleaned the shirt for free. The cruise directors were great. The few shows we saw were forgettable but the band was always good. There is only one show seating, so if you eat late, you will miss most of the entertainment. The crew, under questioning, say people go on Oceania for the food, not the shows. We went to one trivia contest, it was fun. Since this cruise was port-intensive, there was no time for the mundane shipboard activities. The guest lecturer was great. The onboard internet was slow, if it worked. When in port, better to use your phone data plan. There were some decent and some really bad port excursions. If you go to Ibiza, stay on the ship. "Overview" tours can be slept through. Better to concentrate on one particular aspect. What really makes this ship and cruise line are the passengers. They are predominately well-off, educated, and sociable, and older. It is easy to meet people and make friends. While this ship is a cut above the big lines like Holland and Celebrity, it is not quite perfect. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My husband and I have cruised many, many times on different cruise lines. This was our first Oceania cruise and chose this particular cruise because the Riviera has a good reputation and this 17 Day cruise spent 3 days in Israel - in ... Read More
My husband and I have cruised many, many times on different cruise lines. This was our first Oceania cruise and chose this particular cruise because the Riviera has a good reputation and this 17 Day cruise spent 3 days in Israel - in addition to a number of Greek Islands and a few Italy ports. Oceania claims to have the best food at sea - and I tend to agree with that. Oceania also claims to have great service. Usually, the service is good but it lacks in a number of ways, including Cabin Steward service can be spotty. The Grand Dining Room service was so slow and poor that we never went back after our first experience there. We ate in the Terrace Café for lunch and dinner most of the time and the food there was mostly the same menu as the Grand Dining Room and you can get in and out much more quickly. Jacques Restaurant was good - both food and service. Tuscana (Italian) was my absolute favorite. The food and service were unbelievable and in my opinion could not be improved upon. Red Ginger was a disappointment - not because of the service which was very good, but because of the menu. Of course, Asian food is not my favorite but my husband really wanted to go and even he was disappointed that the items you would expect to be on the menu were missing. Polo Grill (Steakhouse) was definitely the most disappointing. The service was poor and the 20 oz. Porterhouse Steak my husband had was so tough and hard to eat that he could only swallow a small portion of the steak. He had really expected that experience to be exemplary but it was the worst of all. Unfortunately, the Reception Desk will tell you anything just to get you to "go on". Also, the Shore Excursions Department would tell us that we would be anchored in a particular area and then it would turn out to be a different place which would be must more inconvenient and harder to get to the desired areas - and more time consuming. If you do not take the Ship's own Shore Excursions, you are definitely at a disadvantage each day. Oceania says they provide transportation into "town" most of the time if they do not dock near the town. On this cruise, Oceania did not provide such complimentary transportation in areas needed. We had a Concierge Veranda and with the amount of money we invested in this cruise, we can honestly say it was tremendously over priced. We would much more recommend either Holland America or Celebrity (especially Celebrity if you are a "foodie") and take several cruises for the price of this one on Oceania. Yes, the food was good but not worth that many more thousands of dollars than say either Holland America or Celebrity. The bed was extremely comfortable - probably the most comfortable of any hotel, including the very premium hotels. Dr. Wulf, the Enrichment Speaker was very good and informative as well as interesting. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We cruised on the Riviera from 19 April through 29 April for the Sacred Sanctuaries itinerary. We cruised on other lines in the past, but decided to try Oceania for the stop in Israel and the particular stateroom that we selected. We ... Read More
We cruised on the Riviera from 19 April through 29 April for the Sacred Sanctuaries itinerary. We cruised on other lines in the past, but decided to try Oceania for the stop in Israel and the particular stateroom that we selected. We had a bit of a nightmare getting to Athens to get on the cruise, but that has nothing to do with Oceania. However, we made it! We found the embarkation process extremely easy, but that is probably because we were two of only a handful of folks getting on the ship at that point. It probably looked a lot different a bit earlier in the day. We went straight to our stateroom, 11080, an Oceania Suite on the aft. It is an amazing room. There is some noise from the Terrace Café above in the morning or during peak dining hours, but it was nothing that a cheap set of ear plugs couldn’t cure. The suite itself features a media room, a living and dining room combo, a bedroom with king size bed, a walk-in closet, one HUGE bathroom, another half bath (deck 12 Oceania Suites have a full second bath), and then the best part – a massive wrap-around balcony. We spent most of our time on the balcony watching the aft view. The ship was beautifully maintained. I found customer service to be perfect. Always a smile and an offer to make your day a bit easier. Our stateroom attendants and our butler were also wonderful. They took this cruise to another level. Our room was cleaned as soon as we left the suite. Our butler provided a level of professionalism and luxury that made our experience on the Riviera something that we will never forget. The food was great. We only ate in the MDR one night as we were invited to dine with the general manager. The specialty restaurants are like nothing we have tasted at sea. I would highly recommend Oceania for any foodies out there. The ports were everything you would expect and the weather was near perfect for the entire cruise. I would recommend looking into private tours for trips to Israel. We had a much nicer experience on a private tour to Jerusalem, but our Oceania tours were mostly wonderful. You are just at the mercy of your fellow tour goers and their pace. We didn’t use the pool deck as we were spoiled with the suite balcony, but it looked clean, comfy, and not crowded. We also didn’t go to any shows….with the itinerary, we were usually passed out asleep by 9:30pm. I used the running track on deck 15 on most mornings. It is a nice option for a run while you are entering a new port! The fitness center is also a very nice facility. There is a good variety of equipment. It is clean and well stocked with water and other fitness beverages. Having self-service laundry facilities on the ship is another benefit! Disembarkation was also seamless and easy. We were on our transfer to our hotel within 10 minutes of leaving the Riviera lounge. We were just sad that we had to leave :-). Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The itinerary was perfect for us giving us a chance to see Athens before sailing then 3 days in Israel docked in Haifa. The size of the cabin and Oceania's reputation aided in the decision. When we planned this we were looking for ... Read More
The itinerary was perfect for us giving us a chance to see Athens before sailing then 3 days in Israel docked in Haifa. The size of the cabin and Oceania's reputation aided in the decision. When we planned this we were looking for something going to Israel and the length of time we were going to be there was the most attractive aspect. Cruising to the Greek islands was an added bonus. The Oceania staff was superb both in the cabin and all the other venues. The were happy and courteous We traveled with friends and made new freiends. We found the food good and the specialty restaurants superb. The ship was clean and the shops adequate We were usually too tired after touring and eating late to avail ourselves of any of the entertainment Our shore excursions were done privately and I think were as good as or better than Oceania's and less expensive Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We had a great Butler. Specialty restaurants were excellent. Buffet dinners were excellent. Main dining room a step below but good. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Suite was excellent. Would like to have seen 2 ... Read More
We had a great Butler. Specialty restaurants were excellent. Buffet dinners were excellent. Main dining room a step below but good. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Suite was excellent. Would like to have seen 2 sinks in bathroom. Shower tough for me to use but I'm 6'5". Very well furnished. Bed very comfortable. Walk in closet well done. Entertainment was very good. Enjoyed in house dancers and singers. Thought band was excellent. Comedian very funny. Enjoyed Cruise director and staff. We do not use ships port and shore excursion. Do them on our own through Cruise Critic roll call. Very overpriced and do not enjoy being bused with 20 to 40 people. Not a ship that caters to children. Atlantic was rough most of the trip. Had to avoid Azores because of weather. Went to Madeira instead. Excellent cruise, Excellent ship. Excellent service. Would certainly sail with Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We recently completed the transatlantic cruise on Riviera from Miami to Barcelona. The boarding process was set up in a temporary tent, though not as professional a set up, the staff got the job done, quickly and efficiently. The ship ... Read More
We recently completed the transatlantic cruise on Riviera from Miami to Barcelona. The boarding process was set up in a temporary tent, though not as professional a set up, the staff got the job done, quickly and efficiently. The ship has been immaculately maintained, the staff very well trained. We dined in all restaurants, including the specialty restaurants several times. Aside from our standard reservation allotment, we found they were able to accommodate walk-ins for 4 after 8:00pm with ease. Toscana is still one of my favorites. The bartenders in Horizons were most pleasant and entertaining as well. Spent most of our time relaxing and reading on the Canyon Ranch Spa Deck, a very peaceful, un-crowded space. We took a Culinary Class, which was very well done, and lots of fun. Excellent set-up and instruction, a must do on your next cruise. The class offerings in the gym were varied and well instructed by Mario. From start to finish we have no complaints, and cannot wait to book another cruise on Oceania! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This cruise being a repositioning cruise offered a penthouse with butler at an affordable price on one of Oceania newer vessels the Riviera..The butler was able to get us into the specialty restaurants on additional nights as well as ... Read More
This cruise being a repositioning cruise offered a penthouse with butler at an affordable price on one of Oceania newer vessels the Riviera..The butler was able to get us into the specialty restaurants on additional nights as well as deliver in room breakfast of any food not only the ones listed on the breakfast card Highlights included some outstanding tours particularly the one organized by the Culinary Institute in Madeira which includes sampling wines shopping in an open market where we were give 5 euros per individual to buy food and lunch where we were able to taste some local dishes such as the black scabbard fish The ships food is excellent and I particularly love the lobster tails off the grill. The entertainment ranged from excellent to mediocre depending on the evening The room stewards were excellent and so was our butler We only travel on Oceania because there in no dressup and no photographer Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We just returned from our 21 cruise with oceania and have never been disappointed. The food is outstanding and the service is splendid. From juice coffee and great omelet in the morning to a wonderful lunch in the afternoon, the nightly ... Read More
We just returned from our 21 cruise with oceania and have never been disappointed. The food is outstanding and the service is splendid. From juice coffee and great omelet in the morning to a wonderful lunch in the afternoon, the nightly meal is out of this world ! You can enjoy grilled shrimp and lobster tails every evening at the terrace grill, which also has many other choices from salads to a carving station to desserts. From the loyalty programs that Oceania has, we took our free cruise (20) to the far east. Oh my, what an experience, no hangups, no delays, no missed connections. When we arrived in Singapore it was 6am and we could not board till 1pm, so Oceania took us to a 5star hotel where we were given a full breakfast buffet in a very good atmosphere and a lounge to rest . At 12 a bus furnished by Oceania took us to board the ship. Once again a smooth cruise, Boarding and leaving the ship is very efficient because of the number of passengers 1,250 on Riviera and Marina..Do yourself a favor and cruise Oceana!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
My wife found the cruise from a brochure for Oceania and talked 6 of us into going. Our first time aboard any Oceania vessel. We were very pleased! No NORO, after a discussion on cruise critic roll call of this cruise and some ... Read More
My wife found the cruise from a brochure for Oceania and talked 6 of us into going. Our first time aboard any Oceania vessel. We were very pleased! No NORO, after a discussion on cruise critic roll call of this cruise and some unnecessary worrying, there was no Norovirus that I ever heard of. A lovely time, cruise critic met each sea day it was an excellent cruise. The internet is the same speed you would expect at sea, we used my laptop and I am glad I did cause I could watch Fox, MSNBC as I waited on the internet. We used Apple's FaceTime to call home and see the grandchildren live. The shows are not on ship's television so I only went to one. The restaurants on the ship delicious with new dishes I have never had, I began to let the restaurant waiter pick my meals, that worked spactacularly, never had sea bass and it was the best meal I had onboard, then there was the prime rib, tuna salad, very healthy too, I only gained 6 pounds over our two weeks aboard. The stops Bermuda (5th visit there) we took a tour of Bermuda just the 6 of us (three Cabins) it was a beautiful day , consider taking a peek at Morgan's beach a post card photo. Funchal Maderia, a beautiful and friendly stop our first time there a delight so much to see but it was raining so hard you could not see across the street which is rare for Maderia, we will go back there. Gibraltar, another beautiful friendly stop, another land tour for the six of us, Ill bet you didn't know there are over 40 miles of roads within the Rock of Gibraltar. Barcelona, so much to do there not enough time we were ready to go home missing the grandkids. Flights - the necessary evil - push for a non connection flight back home, I wish we did, we waited 2 hours for a light to Frankfurt (you can't get a Frankfurter hot dog there) ending up on Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 with built in video for each passenger it made the 8 hour flight to Boston. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Having cruised on NCL, Celebrity, Princess, Disney and Holland America LIne (cruise line of choice of late), we were looking forward to our experience on Riviera and our "step up" from mass market lines to Premier cruising on O. ... Read More
Having cruised on NCL, Celebrity, Princess, Disney and Holland America LIne (cruise line of choice of late), we were looking forward to our experience on Riviera and our "step up" from mass market lines to Premier cruising on O. We researched so that we would be familiar with Oceania and planned what we thought would be nice change from what we were used to on other cruise lines. Our embarkation was very smooth and rooms were ready at 1:00 p.m. Our room was very, very nice (PH), well laid out, tons of outlets, beautiful bathroom, huge walk in closet, etc. Everything you could ask for. The ship is very pretty as well. What we were to discover is that although the cabins and ship are lovely, it was all looks and no substance. Service was very inconsistent on the ship. While there were some good waiters and crew, the poor, uncaring ones outnumbered them. It could be difficult to find a table in the Terrace Grill as tables were not cleared off and left with dirty dishes. Service in the specialty restaurants was the same. The only waiter who asked if we were enjoying our meal was in Jacques (along with one waiter in the GDR). In the rest of the restaurants, we were ignored, left to sit with dirty plates for over 45 minutes on several occasions. (This included Polo where one of our table mates could not eat any of his meal and it sat there on his plate staring at him). Speaking to the restaurant managers did little to improve the situation. While we did not enjoy our meal in Red Ginger, our friends who had a different waiter did. Our food had most likely sat under a heat lamp far too long and suffered accordingly. Their service was far better than ours. So, you could be in the same restaurant at the same time and have a totally different experience because of the inconsistency in the service. Jacques was fabulous as was the service there. Highly recommend. We also did La Reserve and Privee and these were very good. Fabulous service and food. Both of these come at a cost, but the service and experience were certainly worth it. Overall, the ship does not deliver the gastronomy experience and service that it promotes. Other than the few exceptions mentioned, we have had better service on mass market lines. Sadly, Noro raised it ugly head on this cruise. Now, we have been on Noro ships before and it doesn't have to be the end of the world. It can put a bit of a damper on things but normally these outbreaks are handled well. This was not the case on our cruise. Management was non - existent. No communication other than to say we were over 2%. While the ship closed the self serve laundries, other than applying goop on surfaces, little else was done. Pool, hot tub, casino, computer room, library all remained open for everyone to touch. Worse, the silverware, cutlery, glasses were all out in the open at both Waves and the Terrace Grill. Food was placed out prior to 5:00 a.m. (Pastries, fruits, etc.) in Waves and the Terrace Grill uncovered and unprotected. Salt and pepper remained on the tables along with the sugar cubes in the GDR, etc. Tea cups in Horizons are out long before tea time for anyone to touch or handle. No wonder the ship couldn't defeat Noro. Looking back, I am not surprised at the Noro outbreak since the Culinary Class chef was allowing people who were coughing to take the class despite the health stipulation you must sign to take the class. Service continued to deteriorate to the point that when we received our mid cruise survey, a letter requesting a meeting with the GM was sent to discuss issues. We received a form letter back and were unsuccessful at a meeting. O's management stuck their heads in the sand and left the passengers in the dark. Had they communicated it would have improved things somewhat. A lot of new crew boarded in Barcelona and while the tendency is to blame the new crew, the ones we met were the ones giving the good service. Many of us were disappointed with the last minute announcement (at dinner time the night before we were to dock) that Bermuda's Ministry of Health had refused the Riviera permission to dock. (We were supposed to have a two day stay here.) That was more revealing than any information the ship had provided to us. This added two sea days to our Transatlantic crossing so instead of 5 days at sea, we were 7 days. There were no special events or additional activities planned for these two days. Same old, same old. There was no token apology as you see on other cruise lines. No opening of bars, not even a cheap glass of sparkling wine. It just appeared that no one in management cared, so why should the rest of the staff? In fact, passengers nearly got treated as nuisances as our cruise was drawing to a close. Disembarkation was horrific. I have never seen such a bad one. People came from every crevice on the ship trying to get in the line. There was little staff there to keep things organized so it took far longer than it should have. Inconsistency is a huge issue on this ship. If you luck into the right waiters, you can have a great experience on this ship. If you don't......beware - like us, you may feel you didn't get what you paid for. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We had an amazing experience on Marina in 2013 when we went to Brazil. The ship was fantastic and the service was first rate. Our butler was exceptional and kept in touch with us on a daily basis. I still have a little wooden parrot at ... Read More
We had an amazing experience on Marina in 2013 when we went to Brazil. The ship was fantastic and the service was first rate. Our butler was exceptional and kept in touch with us on a daily basis. I still have a little wooden parrot at home named in his honour. We therefore booked with Oceania again for a trip to Miami. Once agin we booked an Oceania suite and for nearly two years looked forward to the trip. Our first impressions at Barcelona were extremely good. At just after 11am we boarded the ship. The whole process of boarding took about twenty minutes and was completely hassle free. As Riviera is a sister ship to Marina we immediately felt at home and once again had a wow moment as we entered our suite. For the first few days all seemed well and we enjoyed our time. The only thing we could find to criticze was the new thelassa pool on the spa deck. It had little seating and the controls were hard to access and in anything but dead calm sea you tended to be sloshed from one end to another. The food was exactly as we had expected. Toscana was enjoyable as was Polo grill and Red Ginger was brilliant. Jacques we didn't like but that was mainly because the food was not really to our taste. Service in Jacques made up for that though and service was generally good in Polo and Toscana. I have to say though that the service in Red Ginger eclipsed all others. We also used Waves and the food was as before and what you would expect from a grill on deck. We had a sneaking suspicion that food at The Terrace was not as good and despite the huge selection often struggled to choose anything. The quality of the hot items often left a lot to be desired. We attended the "Rock the wok" cookery course. This consisted of us brushing a marinade onto salmon, chopping a few vegetables and cooking them and then assembling a couple of bits of sushi. It was a pretty poor experience that taught us nothing new..... In those first few days we noticed that we had little contact with our butler and on the occasions that we did contact him it wasn't a great experience. For example we ordered an in suite breakfast so that we could get out early for a tour. the breakfast was nearly twenty minutes late and ( I know this might seem a little petty) but he didn't bother to set it out. On another occasion we rang at 3.45 and asked for tea but he snapped back that we would have to wait until after 4pm as the scones had not been cooked. On another occasion I was leaving the cabin when I met the butler returning some items from the laundry. I told him my partner was in the cabin and he could knock despite the privacy sign. When he did so he told my partner that "Your friend said it was ok to knock". if he found our sexuality awkward he could have referred to us by name. I would say our super stewardess knew our names within minutes of first meting us and never failed to greet us when she encountered us Just before we arrived at Medeira we began to hear rumours about the Norvo virus and upon leaving the crew began in earnest to start disinfecting everywhere. Certain services were curtailed (particularly the laundrette) and the crew worked tirelessly to bring things under control. I would certainly not blame Oceania for the outbreak of this bug but I think they share responsibility for the following reasons. Firstly, when we embarked at Barcelona there was absolutely no effort made to get passengers to concentrate on hygiene such as using the sanitizer gels around the ship. Had this been done at an early stage the extent of the outbreak would probably have been much reduced. As it was we had five days in which there was no effort made to take control. Secondly, when precautions were implemented they were not consistent. For example, salt and pepper pots were not removed from tables until quite late into the cruise in certain venues. I used the gym every day and saw the most awful examples of personal hygiene there - it was not until the last three or four days of the cruise that I saw staff there supervising the gym to get people to wipe down the equipment. Given that cleanliness was key to combatting the bug it also was crazy that the laundrettes were closed making it harder for passengers to have clean clothing. I am not sure compensation would have been appropriate for what happened but I think letting passengers have at least one complimentary set of clothing to the main laundry would have been reasonable. We received no updates from anyone about the illness on board and it was only the day before we were due to get to Bermuda that we heard that we were not going there. The tone from those in charge was a little arrogant. It was as if they could not utter the word "sorry" in case they made themselves liable in some way. The ship then noticeably slowed down as we were told that we would head towards Bahamas for a two day stay. The extra sea days were difficult for crew and passengers alike. One day in Nassau is a day too many and two was exceptionally tedious. It is hard to see its charms and the tour we had of the "highlights" felt a little desperate and made the loss of Bermuda more keenly felt. By his time too we had had to get used to all meat being incinerated in all of the restaurants for health reasons apparently. As we neared the end of our cruise our butler was supposed to return our passports. Other butlers had contacted guests in the morning and organised things. Ours did not and when we found him at 11.50 am he told us we would have to queue at reception to retrieve it. His attitude towards us had made us feel uncomfortable and we effectively stopped using his services as a result some time before . At the point of disembarkation we also discovered that we had not had a form to complete from him which would have detailed our preference for disembarkation. We therefore were amongst the last to be called to leave the ship. I cannot say for certain why we had this experience with the butler. In the UK equality has become so entrenched that we hardly ever consider that we are different from anyone else. Perhaps we should be more aware that this is not always the same elsewhere. We met some wonderful people on the cruise and they made up for the shortcomings of the cruise in no small part. It is also true that the crew (on the whole) worked their socks off and we're delighted to be able to recognise some of those in the end of cruise questionnaire. With a heavy heart I am really sorry to say that I am not going to return to Oceania. I know all cruise lines have diehard adherents including Oceania and they will howl with outrage at my comments and seek to point to my failings rather than those of Oceania but I can only relate experiences from our viewpoint. I fully accept that others will have had very different experiences....... Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We sailed the Riviera on a Trans Atlantic cruise beginning April 1 from Miami. From the time we entered the building to register we knew Oceania was going to get the Royal Treatment. Not only was everything handled with us being ... Read More
We sailed the Riviera on a Trans Atlantic cruise beginning April 1 from Miami. From the time we entered the building to register we knew Oceania was going to get the Royal Treatment. Not only was everything handled with us being registered like we were the only people sailing when registering, it continued throughout the entire voyage. Any request was handled immediately and asked if we were satisfied before they left us. We were amazed that the crew didn't stand around an talk with each other, they spent their time speaking with each guest and asking if there was anything else we needed. There wasn't a minute that went by that we did not feel pampered. The food was very good but I would not say it was exceptional, however, the waitstaff in the different dining areas was exceptional. It was nice to have the option to eat in the Specialty restaurants without an additional cost. We are people who like a table for 2 when cruising, after 30 some cruises we were tired of the same , "hello my name is and we live , etc". But this cruise opened our eyes to the lovely people who travel on Oceania and since there were several occasions where they had to sit us with others, we found ourselves enjoying the different guests that we actually asked for a "shared' table. The ship was lovely and just the right size. The theater was not too large, however all shows started at 9:30pm and for some, it was too late. We found the entertainment mediocre at best......we feel Oceania needs to improve in that area. Disembarking on the last day has always been a nightmare, but not with Oceania. It was actually pleasant. There were no crowds, no pushing, just a relaxed group of people of about 20 to 30 at a time. What a pleasure!!!! Like I said, Oceania is now our cruise line of choice. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Background: Married, 60's with about 50 cruises including 6 Oceania and this same cruise and ship 2 yrs ago. Summary and Oceania update: This line has rightfully held the reputation for the best cuisine on the seas since it formed 11 ... Read More
Background: Married, 60's with about 50 cruises including 6 Oceania and this same cruise and ship 2 yrs ago. Summary and Oceania update: This line has rightfully held the reputation for the best cuisine on the seas since it formed 11 yrs ago, but it has been through 2 ownership changes in the last several years and now belongs to NCL. The once great food is gone both in terms of high quality product procurement and consistently outstanding preparation. We would now choose Celebrity over this food, especially the specialty venues. Also, interest in the client concerns or desires is now just average for the industry. Ship: Nice, well maintained ship, but it offers nothing over other newer ships in the 1200-2400 size. No lower or good walking deck. The only enclosed level for general passenger use is part of level 6 which has no windows that you can see anything from but a lifeboat. Their R ships are much nicer. Stateroom: Veranda room was very nice and slightly larger than some ships. Excellent sleeping comfort and linens. No issues. Free water and soda in room. Dining: As above. Highly erratic quality. There has clearly been a large cut in the food procurement budget or abilities. The veal would not qualify as veal in Europe and was tough with no veal flavor. Some fish was OK, but most was fishy and clearly not fresh or flash frozen fresh. Avoid the beef because it is only Choice at best and quite tough even when medium rare when you could get properly prepared. Most meats ordered rare came medium to medium well. Specialty restaurants were no better except Toscano, but avoid the veal chop there. Lamb was generally mutton. I know IBP quality is above budget, but at the price of the cruise you would expect the beef and lamb to be at least Cosco/Sam's quality. They do warn you that the chicken may be tough and dry by generally using the descriptive euphuism "free range". Wines: Mark ups with extra gratuity are now $40 or more against wholesale cost, and they clearly stock wines that are past vintage excess. Selection is not very good at all. They have several decent wines on the package that works out at $42/bottle, but you have to buy 7, 14, or 21 bottles. I guess that is "The World" NCL's way. Beer: They have not recognized the changing the world here. They have may be 10 old time regular beers in bottles with no craft beers. Not a problem for us, but it would keep my kids and their middle age friends off. Shore excursions: The prices were so out of line, even for a high end line, that even the suite clientele resisted and complained. You could pay nearly $100 for a walking tour from the dock with no admissions. Only one person we dined with over the 14 days took a single tour. Pools: I knew going on that Oceania uses bromine rather than chlorine in some of its pools, and I am one of the 10% of the population with a bromine allergy so I cannot utilize. Most people with this allergy have no other allergies, so they assume pools are infected and just stay away from them. I only saw a rare person in the pool, so it does not seem to be a cruiser attraction anyhow. Clientele: I would guess the average to be 10 years older than our last Oceania cruise, so I suspect some of our concerns are on the social networks. Entertainment: Lots of very good entertainment, but only one show per night at 9:45. Best part: If you like working with real art, the Artist Loft is very good and included. The hands on cooking is also good, but about $50/hour. Internet access: At $1 per minute, I did not test it. They clearly are not interested in the under 70 group, but we get along fine without it.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
There are those who say Oceania food is not what it once was including one review of this particular cruise. I must vehemently disagree. My wife and I both food the food to be outstanding in every venue. The only food criticisms we had was ... Read More
There are those who say Oceania food is not what it once was including one review of this particular cruise. I must vehemently disagree. My wife and I both food the food to be outstanding in every venue. The only food criticisms we had was that we did not find the Thanksgiving night dinner to be to our taste or what we would have expected. Others thought it was fine. Every other meal we had was excellent in every regard save for one side dish that was not hot enough on one night, a minor issue. One could easily travel on Oceania just for the food experience. We enjoyed a wonderful meal in La Reserve on the second night of the cruise. If someone told me in advance that I would fully enjoy a three plus hour meal, I would have thought him crazy. But I enjoyed it immensely. The commentary about the food and accompanying wines was interesting and spot on. Watching the pastry chef construct the delicious dessert was fascinating. And we made great friends at our table (there are three tables of eight in La Reserve) who became our best cruise buddies on this trip. The four specialty restaurants were grand! If we were forced to pick a favorite, I guess we would choose Red Ginger just for the uniqueness of the menu choices. The duck was perfect. In Jacques I ordered a veal chop with trepidation because I am usually disappointed in veal chops. No worries as it was possibly the perfect veal chop. In the Polo Grill I had a rib eye that any luxury steak restaurant would proudly serve. We had solo tables in all the specialty restaurants. The Grand Dining Room was totally enjoyable. We were always seated promptly whether were sharing, dining alone, or arriving with a group of six to eat together. Service was excellent, both from waiters and wine stewards. And the food was of consistently high quality every night save for that one side dish that was not hot enough. The Terrace Cafe or Waves Cafe were our go to spots for breakfast and lunch every day. The breakfast and lunch specials at Waves were very enjoyable - order at the counter and have the food delivered to your table picked in advance. The pizza in the Terrace was good and I often had it for lunch along with a salad. I must also say that the Terrace Cafe is a great spot for dinner when it is set with white tablecloths. It's nice to be able to wander and pick your various courses without ordering from a menu. The sushi and sashimi were mainstays for appetizers as the quality and taste was excellent day after day. The variety of choices in the Terrace is almost unending, and we enjoyed everything we tried. I must add a few side notes: 1) The bread and the pastries throughout the ship were wonderful. We spent five days in France prior to boarding and I thought I would miss the French bread, but I did not. It was like still being in France. 2) The Caesar salad in all venues was done right and there was never a need to worry about anchovies without which it is NOT a Caesar salad. You can get as many or as few as you want. 3) The ice cream bar in the Terrace Cafe and at Waves is superlatively delicious. Often my dessert consisted of a two-scoop cone from the Waves ice cream bar. The bars were where we made the most friends of both passengers and crew. Bartenders Gregory, Daniel, Nikola, and Baptiste were a pleasure to deal with. The pina coladas (pre-lunch favorites of ours) were always smooth, creamy, and delicious with a topping of Myers dark rum. Kir Royales were expertly prepared. And they had my Grey Goose Gimlet down pat after one day. We had the unlimited beverage package and it worked out grand. There was no problem getting glasses of wine in any dining room (as bottles are not included in the package), and the choice of wines by the glass was more than adequate with five or six reds being delicious to our taste. We spent lots of time at the Waves Bar on the pool deck and at the Martini Bar before and after dinner. We also liked the Horizon Bar. The Casino Bar was too neony bright for our tastes. Getting drinks while seated on the pool deck was always easy and quick. We were in a penthouse suite, and our butler, Sonu, was a revelation. We don't ask for a lot as we prefer not to dine in cabin for any meals, and we certainly don't need the offered packing/unpacking service. Sonu was a fountain of information and was always on times with our canapes at 5:30 each day. When we were eating in specialty restaurants he was there at our cabin to escort us to the venue with my wife on his elbow, making us feel very special. Perhaps his presence announcing us to the maitre d' at the dining room helped to ensure that we got a great table (as we always did). He handled all questions and requests with aplomb, and we especially enjoyed seeing pictures of his new bride. Our cabin attendants were very friendly and very efficient and quickly learned when we would be gone so that they could make up the room morning and night. In the morning that is especially difficult as my wife and I go to the gym and eat breakfast on separate schedules. The suite itself was great - more than enough storage space for everything. The walk-in closet was big enough for both of us to be in at at the same time. I am 6'6", so the shower stall is small for me, but it was perfectly adequate, and the bathroom as a whole was plenty big enough. We spent lots of time sitting on our balcony as well. Controlling the room temperature, always a worry, was a non-issue -- we could make it as cool as warm as we liked. The gym was very well equipped and there were always machines ready for my use whenever I went in the morning. The library is well stocked and comfortable. We didn't utilize Barista's. The stores had the few items that we needed although we are not shoppers. We didn't take any culinary classes, but I think on our next cruise we will. Melanie, who ran the classes, was wonderful as we watched through the picture windows. Our friends from La Reserve took two courses, and they were allowed to invite friends to the Culinary Center after preparations were complete to taste the results. We enjoyed that both times we were invited. The music entertainment during the day and early evening in the various venues was very nice. The enrichment lectures were not particularly to our taste. We didn't attend night performances as we preferred to have discussions and drinks with new friends after dinner. Port information was more than adequate, and wherever needed, Oceania provided free shuttle buses from the dock to the center of town, a nice touch. We made frequent use the self service laundry and find it hard to understand why some people complained about the $2 charge for the washers and driers. We also used the ship laundry and dry cleaner once, and the results were as promised. The Executive Lounge was useful to take advantage of the full size computer-printers newspapers that were available each day or to review the specialty restaurant menus or to grab a quick Diet Coke. We don't do cruise line excursions on any cruise line so I have no comments on what was offered. I will say that the choices seemed to be very expensive. We also do our own air arrangements and transfers, so no comment on them either. Boarding was as easy as pie. We got on at 12:30 and our room was ready by 1:15 before we even finished our first pina coladas. Disembarking was a smooth as any process could be when over 1,000 people are getting off a ship in an hour's time. Getting a taxi to Miami Airport ($24) where we picked up a rental car took less than five minutes from when we gathered up our luggage. As a final note I will say that the whole experience on Oceania was outstanding as we have come to expect. We are already booked for Montreal to London (Southampton) in May and greatly looking forward to it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We had opted for a pre-cruise night at the Hilton Barcelona. Our flight to Barcelona went well and we were promptly transferred to our Hotel. Although we were there in the morning, our room was ready. The room was very nice, clean and ... Read More
We had opted for a pre-cruise night at the Hilton Barcelona. Our flight to Barcelona went well and we were promptly transferred to our Hotel. Although we were there in the morning, our room was ready. The room was very nice, clean and comfortable. We had friends arriving later in the afternoon on a different flight. They also arrived on schedule. The next day we just had time to take a tour of La Sagrada Familia. We had seen this several times in the past from the outside, but this was the first time to take a tour which included the inside. We then went back to the hotel just in time for the included transfrer to the ship. Embarkation was fast and smooth. Now came the big surprise I had planned for my wife. I had upgraded my original booking to an Oceania suite. She had never caught on and when I opened the door to our suite, she thought she was in the wrong place. This suite is 1000 SF and is absolutely beautiful. This suite will spoil you beyond belief. It has a large living room quite suitable for entertaining or just relaxing. It also has a media room with a large television set. The bedroom contains a King Size bed and a large walk in closet. The bathroom is gorgeous, with large double sinks, a larger than normal shower, a whirlpool bath and a toilet and bidet. There is also a separate powder room inside the suite entry door that has a shower, sink and toilet. Everything is marble and sparkling chrome and glass. The veranda is quite large with two chairs, a lounger and also a whirlpool tub and television ! Quite an amazing suite. This was our fifth cruise on either Marina or Riviera, so we knew what to expect. Outstanding food in all restaurants and excellent entertainment each night. Nothing disappointed. We love the alternate restaurants, but there is nothing to complain about in the main dining room. The Terrace buffet and Waves grill are also excellent. My only complaint and suggestion is that on Port days they keep the buffet open a little longer since the two o'clock closing time conflicts with your activities in Port and it is difficult to get back in time for lunch, thus leaving the Waves grill as the only option. Overall, we find Oceania to have the best food at sea and have not noticed any lessening of quality since merging with NCL as other reviewers have suggested. Our Butler Madan did a good job. He was there when you wanted him but did not make a pest of himself. Also, cannot say enough about the stewards who kept our suite in perfect condition. They timed their visits perfectly so as not to bother us. Since this voyage included a lot of sea days, we only had a few ports to visit. Although I agree that Oceania's shore excursions are very costly, if you buy a package of them ahead of time you can save 25% or 40% depending on how many you select. This brings the cost within reason. We took an excursion in both Cartagena and Malaga. The one in Cartagena to the City of Elche is particularly interesting with the Palm Gardens and the overall look of the city. They should give more time in the botanical gardens as there is much to see. All the tours in the Canary Island were cancelled due to weather. A refund was automatically credited to our account. Our next stop was a two day visit to Bermuda. This time we did a glass bottom boat tour which was very interesting and entertaining. Our final stop was Nasssau, where we simply spent time walking the town and shopping. We really did this cruise for the many relaxing days at sea. Oceania does keep you busy, if you want, with interesting lecturers and other activities. Or you can just hibernate and read a book or watch a movie in your room. My wife particularly loves taking the cooking classes and on this cruise she signed up for four of them. She can't say enough good things about these classes. We have already booked another Transatlantic cruise for May, 2016 and look forward to once again sail with Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
You would think that after eleven cruises with Oceania, we would be unimpressed and complacent about our twelfth cruise. But you would be wrong! This was our first exposure to one of the larger ships or “O” class ships, as they are ... Read More
You would think that after eleven cruises with Oceania, we would be unimpressed and complacent about our twelfth cruise. But you would be wrong! This was our first exposure to one of the larger ships or “O” class ships, as they are often referred to, and we were blown away by the beauty and design of the Riviera. We have always loved the size and feel of the smaller “R” class ships, and had concerns that the double capacity of passengers would impact negatively on the cruise. This proved not to be the case. Actually, we felt that there were less passengers on board this ship as compared to that on the smaller “R” class ships. We attributed this to the design and abundance of open space on the ship. All in all, we had a wonderful cruise. This cruise was a repositioning cruise from Miami to Barcelona with three ports of call, and nine sea days. We flew to Miami on the day of departure, something we have never done before, as we usually arrive at least one day prior to departure. But we thought that it would be safe to travel to Miami on the day departure because of the number of flights from Atlanta to Miami. We had no trouble and our plane arrived at 8:00 a.m. on that morning. We took a taxi to the Intercontinental Hotel and had a lovely breakfast there, before taking a taxi to the ship terminal. Our embarkation time was 1:00 p.m., but we arrived at the terminal at 11:05 and were welcomed and processed on board immediately. We had a leisurely lunch in the Terrace Cafe, met some Cruise Critic friends, and enjoyed the sail-away. Initially, we had some concern about crossing the Atlantic in April, but were pleasantly surprised with smooth sailing the entire time. Our cabin was located on deck 7 aft, and it was quiet for the entire voyage. We liked being in the aft portion of the ship because it was a quick staircase down to the Grand Dining Room, and five staircases up to the Terrace Café. Of course, there are elevators for those who want them, but I was trying to minimize the weight gain by climbing the stairs. As one Cruise Critic friend said, “Fun in the front of the ship, food in the back”. And was there ever food!! We always enjoy the wonderful food on the Oceania ships, but we both agreed that the food on Riviera was beyond wonderful. I think I had the best meal I have ever had, ever in my life, at our second visit to Jacques. It was wonderful and the service was beyond reproach. We both enjoyed all the specialty restaurants (Red Ginger, Jacques, Toscana and Polo), but the food in the Grand Dining Room was wonderful, also. We loved the beauty of the Grand Dining Room and being waited upon by the staff. And the menu offered so many choices. I am embarrassed to say that we never made it to the Terrace Café for dinner because we had so many other choices of dinner locations. We were able to eat at the specialty restaurants a total of eight times. Many of our fellow cruisers couldn’t believe that we had not been to the Terrace Café for dinner, and stated that it was their favorite place to eat. It seemed like there just weren’t enough nights on the cruise to eat where we wanted. We loved our cabin. It was compact, efficiently designed, and very attractive. We had a place for everything, and even had empty drawers. We had the extra large balcony, which was nice, but we really didn’t use the balcony that much. The granite in the bathroom was beautiful and a great improvement over the “R” class ships’ bathrooms in general. Our steward, Andrii from the Ukraine, was on top of everything and took great care of us, all the while training a new employee. There was a lot of staff training of new employees on board our cruise, I believe in preparation for the return of Insignia. But this did not impact on us or the service on board. Generally, we do not go to the evening entertainment. However, with the addition of the Jean Ann Ryan Singers and Dancers, we enjoyed the entertainment. They presented four production shows that were very professional, well done, and most enjoyable. It was the best entertainment we have seen on an Oceania cruise and I hope they will continue to provide entertainment on all their ships.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
In April my husband and I sailed on the beautiful Riviera. This was our first Trans Atlantic and our first Oceania cruise. Since we had previously taken a port intensive cruise we were uncertain what we would do with all of the sea days. ... Read More
In April my husband and I sailed on the beautiful Riviera. This was our first Trans Atlantic and our first Oceania cruise. Since we had previously taken a port intensive cruise we were uncertain what we would do with all of the sea days. Our concern should have been how do we budget our time to include all of the fun and interesting activities. Nolan Dean was our CD and we were impressed with his wit, talent, and boundless energy. We chose to be busy but had ample time to relax. Life onboard Riviera was very good !! Dining options were plentiful. We dined in all of them including La Reserve and Privee'. We recommend dining in all of the venues. Dining is an experience not to be missed. Each venue is unique and we found the service and food quality to be at the highest level in all the venues. In the interest of brevity we will say that the service was the best we have ever received. The crew from top to bottom seemed to like their job and seemed to like us. All of our crew interactions were professional and accommodating. We arranged our own excursions. Tangiers was our least favorite port. However, we are glad we got to experience this area. Even though we only had three ports before ending in Barcelona, they were all three interesting and worth the "stop". Now that we are home we daily reminisce about our unforgettable Trans Atlantic cruise with Oceania aboard the Riviera. The crew and our fellow passengers will surely be our favorite memories. We are longing for our next opportunity to share this experience. Well done Oceania !!!   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
This was the first time that we cruised on the Riviera and the third time on Oceania. The ship is beautiful and comfortable, but not perfect. The staterooms, even the smallest ones, are much larger than the smaller Oceania ships, and very ... Read More
This was the first time that we cruised on the Riviera and the third time on Oceania. The ship is beautiful and comfortable, but not perfect. The staterooms, even the smallest ones, are much larger than the smaller Oceania ships, and very well appointed. If I were designing them, the showers would have been larger but, still, that is a small problem. I always try to be on the lowest outside passenger level in the center of the ship. This is the largest ship on which we have sailed at 1250 passengers, the next largest being 750 passengers. For a port-intensive cruise, we would look for a smaller ship, but this was perfect for the trans-Atlantic cruise. It was very stabile and it was a very smooth crossing, except between Madeira and Tangier, which we were told is always rough. I will say that the cruise line handled the shore excursion that we took through them well. Even at that number of passengers, the staff remembers your name, what you like or don't like to eat, where you like to sit in the dining room. We had sailed with some members of the staff on past cruises both with Oceania and Regent. We were always treated extremely well. The specialty restaurants are excellent, especially Red Ginger and Jacques. We would have eaten in Red Ginger every night if we could have. We ran into some passengers with whom we had sailed before, and thanks to Cruise Critic, were able to book a private tour in Tangier, and made some new friends. The string quartet, who played outside the main dining room in the evening, got better as the cruise continued. We were told that they had not met before the first day of the cruise so they took a few days to get used to each other, but they were pretty good by the end of the cruise. A major problem with the string quartet was that the area in which they played was really a wide hallway between a bar near the casino and the dining room. It was an area where people met before dinner to talk, and so it was often difficult to hear the music. There were two enrichment speakers on this cruise. In the past, some of the best speakers we have heard have been on Oceania cruises. However, that was not the case with this one. The talks given by one speaker speaker were very shallow (one of the other passengers called it "History for Dummies") and the other gave good information but his delivery put us to sleep. If you are accustomed to sailing on larger ships, you will love this one. I think the speakers on a cruise ship are hit or miss, but that does make a difference to us. All-in-all, the Oceania experience is a good one. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Riviera Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.5
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.5 3.2
Public Rooms 4.5 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 2.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.2
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.8

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