14 Santiago (Valparaiso) Oceania Marina Cruise Reviews

We chose this itinerary and line because of our prior experience and because of the Panama Canal crossing and an opportunity to see the Mayan Ruins in Mexico. The ship itself is beautiful and very well maintained, but as a overall ... Read More
We chose this itinerary and line because of our prior experience and because of the Panama Canal crossing and an opportunity to see the Mayan Ruins in Mexico. The ship itself is beautiful and very well maintained, but as a overall "luxury cruise" experience lacked service and reasonable ports. Most of the ports were very much off the beaten path and had very little to offer, for the most part........until Mexico, we never saw another cruise ship in port. The service had it high points but overall the crew was not that attentive and often seemed confused. If we did not get the included "perks" (of which there were many), we would be far less satisfied.......net/net it was OK for what the fee + perks were, but had we paid more our satisfaction would be far less. I guess what I am saying is that this was not a "luxury" cruise and we have traveled on Oceania, Wind Star and Regent......possibly this has something to do with the NCL takeover?? Not sure. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We wanted to try Oceania instead of our usual Princess or HAL. My review is very mixed because some things were better and others were not. For example, embarkation was great, we walked right on and there were some little kiosks with ... Read More
We wanted to try Oceania instead of our usual Princess or HAL. My review is very mixed because some things were better and others were not. For example, embarkation was great, we walked right on and there were some little kiosks with nice items for sale before you boarded, including wine which you could take onboard. Disembarkation was horrible. They told us to be on one floor, then changed the floor. Everyone was packed standing in the halls and there was not even a place to sit. I was lucky I could lean against a wall. The disembarked by color code and people would push their way through with different colors. Finally, one passenger took charge and told those whose colors were called to go one way, and those whose colors were not called to go another. I believe we were standing there about an hour, perhaps more. So this is what to expect from this review. Some things were great, others terrible. The first surprise came when my husband saw there was no promenade deck. Perhaps, I should have checked this, but who would have thought. You could walk on the upper deck exposed to the sun. To make this easier, I am going to just go by category- Ship - The ship was beautiful, our cabin was beautiful, it was easy to navigate. The bathroom was large with both a tub and a shower and the shampoo and conditioner you could actually use, unlike some of the other lines. Dining- As everyone has probably told you, the onboard specialty restaurants are fantastic. You could also go to them more frequently at no charge if there were openings. If possible, book before you board. You will have a better chance of getting the time you want if you are willing to share. Main Dining Room - The food was good but the service left a bit to be desired. We did have a GI type of virus during the cruise and I believe it affected more staff than passengers, so that might explain part of the problem. One day my husband finished his lunch before they even brought mine. As the cruise went on, because of the illness, things changed. First they didn't put the rolls on the table, then you could not get salt and pepper etc. By the end, when you sat down, there was nothing on the table. I am not criticizing them for this, as it is probably standard operating procedure but I started saving salt packets because I could not always get them. Outside Grill - Again, the food was good but it was confusing at first because you order at the grill but then someone brings your food so they ask for your table number, which we didn't know and the table numbers sometimes were not there. Lido Deck - This is where I was really displeased. From the beginning, you could not help yourself to anything, even a roll. It was hard to communicate with the people serving you between the language barrier and the physical barriers and they would often get things wrong. The salad bar varied every day but not with the usual things. It was difficult to maneuver and very frustrating. Entertainment - We did not attend many shows but those we did were not that good. I did like the art lessons and I heard the cooking classes were good. Shore excursions - Many of these were included in the cost and they were poorly done. The tour guides did not speak very good English. In Panama, I paid extra for the train and that excursion was very good. I guess you get what you pay for. That said, I do want to commend them for what they did in Lima, which was to have a few select vendors available at the dock, right off the ship. I could shop as long as I wanted while my husband kept an eye on me from the balcony. I believe the selection and pricing were every bit as good as in the markets. Kudos for that! Since Oceania advertises itself as slightly better than mass market, I had some concerns about the other passengers which were totally unfounded. We met the same types of people we meet on the other lines and everyone was very nice. So there you have it. I thought it was okay but not a cut above Princess or HAL. My husband hated it because of the service and will not sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Wanted to go through Panama Canal and wanted a longer cruise. We've been working up in the length of time as we move toward retirement. Heard good things about Ocean and it fit the other criteria so we booked. Food is their claim ... Read More
Wanted to go through Panama Canal and wanted a longer cruise. We've been working up in the length of time as we move toward retirement. Heard good things about Ocean and it fit the other criteria so we booked. Food is their claim to fame and it does not disappoint. Specialty restaurants really are special both in terms of food and even more so in terms of service. We especially enjoyed Toscana and Red Ginger. Grand Dining Room and Terrace cafe are also very good. I would suggest more vegetarian options as frequently there was no soup option that worked for us and once or twice there was meat in some salad without being listed in the dish explanation. Cabin was very comfy but as someone else stated I would leave out the tub and opt for two sinks. Tub got used once and really did not make the bathroom any bigger than standard other than having the tub. Entertainment varied. Oceania singers and dancers were OK but not outstanding. Specialty acts: two terrific, two not so good. Service was mostly very good and there were certainly some stand out staff. The one big weakness was the Destination Services staff which basically took the you booked it so don't complain to us. Only the manager seemed willing to help passengers. Not the best ports in the world that I've visited but I was more interested in seeing the canal and putting South America on my bucket list but I personally find other areas more interesting. Would we go again: I would not rule out Oceania but I would not go out of my way to seek it out. It would depend on where and when I wanted to go and what lines were available to do that. There are other lines I would actively seek out. Overall good experience and would not discourage anyone from going but would offer my thoughts if asked. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We cruised Oceania for the first time on Marian on Jan 7, 2016 from Valparaiso to Papeete. This was our 40 something cruise. We cruised previously with Seabourne, Crystal, Azamara, HAL, Princess and RCC, but first time with Oceania. We ... Read More
We cruised Oceania for the first time on Marian on Jan 7, 2016 from Valparaiso to Papeete. This was our 40 something cruise. We cruised previously with Seabourne, Crystal, Azamara, HAL, Princess and RCC, but first time with Oceania. We are mostly itinerary driven so we picked Oceania because she is scheduled to stop at Easter Island for two days. As it turned out, we were there only one day because the Captain said the sea was too rough for tender the second day (no compensation). We love the ship: it is well designed and spacious. The food was good with 4 specialty restaurants (with no extra charge), two casual venues plus the main dining room. The staff were attentive and courteous. They have a generous liquor policy for people to bring wine on board and even provide a cork screw in the room. The not so good part comes on services outside of the ship. The included (and probably not separable) air package which does not have user friendly itinerary. Transfer and shore excursion are expansive. Any deviation are subject to non-bashful charges. But the worse is the fellow passengers. Some probably take the Oceania slogan, "Your World, Your Way" too literary and think and act to have "Their Way". In my travel experience, have never encountered so many episodes of unfriendly, uncivil, rude and downright aggressive behavior from fellow cruisers. So when I sat in the hot and humid, none air conditioned airport in Papeete at 9pm, after disembarked since 9am, waiting for the flight home, even before witnessing those people cutting in line to board, I concluded that it would be a long time, if ever, I would travel with Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
First time on Oceania but about 25 cruises under our belt ranging from Azamara, Celebrity, Princess, etc. We had really looked forward to this cruise based on the itinerary (Tahiti) and the Oceania's reputation for excellent food. ... Read More
First time on Oceania but about 25 cruises under our belt ranging from Azamara, Celebrity, Princess, etc. We had really looked forward to this cruise based on the itinerary (Tahiti) and the Oceania's reputation for excellent food. Unfortunately we found the menus to be repetitive, not too extensive and in many cases just plain mediocre. Indeed, we have experienced better food and choices on many other cruise lines. This was unfortunate as we are our lovers of good food and discerning but not snobbish critics. Even the specialty restaurants weren't that special, with a lot of too rich and over salted items. The steaks in all venues were not the prime one would expect and the lobster, fish and shrimp was usually stringy and either under or overcooked. I guess Jacques was the best but after our 4th visit there, we'd had enough. The Terrace is a nice alternative dining area but again the food choices were skimpy and on occasion quite poorly prepared. Top side by the pool is Waves which could always be counted on for a decent Kobe beef hamburger. On the other hand, the Marina is a classy, perfectly sized, clean and comfortable ship with large veranda cabins. Our only complaint was that, although only a few steps to the elevator and stairs, we were close to a service door that was constantly slamming shut at all hours. We pasted a notice on the offending door (that came in the daily activity sheet warning passengers be considerate about slamming doors), spoke nicely to a steward and finally mentioned the problem in a nice way to the Reception staff, all to no avail. Not the biggest problem. We arranged all our own excursions prior to sailing and as so many others have pointed out, these were better and much less expensive than the ship tours. Some highlights of the cruise include the daily High Tea accompanied by a talented string quartet and an accomplished concert pianist who played nightly in the Martini Lounge (and on one night, at his own special concert). We also found the crew to be the most friendly, capable, and genuinely happy group we've ever had the pleasure of serving us, from the stateroom staff to waiters and even deck hands, all smiling and saying hello. Our travel agent found a special deal for this cruise so everything considered, it was a very good time, especially meeting so many well traveled cruisers from so many different countries. Surprised though that for such a nice cruise line, we found many passengers very poorly, evenly sloppily dressed, and of course there are the ubiquitous clods who wear hats in the dining rooms. But because of the food issue which we said was a major surprise and disappointment for us, we're not sure we'd travel on this ship again. Oceania's recent involvement with Norwegian Cruise Line may be indicative of possibly lower standards in the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was our first cruise with Oceania and I have to admit to being a little disappointed with the company. The Itinerary was great, although you have to be prepared for a lot of sea days (10) for the opportunity to visit Easter Island. ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Oceania and I have to admit to being a little disappointed with the company. The Itinerary was great, although you have to be prepared for a lot of sea days (10) for the opportunity to visit Easter Island. Oceania's strong points are service and dining. The Marina itself is beautiful, well fitted and decorated, food is good and staff are absolutely excellent! Administration and organization however are their weak points. Once booked, be prepared to be flooded with a host of sometimes contradictory e-mails leading up to the voyage. On board chaos ensued as independent passengers and scheduled excursions tried to disembark at the first port of call. It was very embarrassing for the company and everyone involved. Staff couldn't seem to get control of the situation to organize departures. One would have thought this was the first time Oceania ever went through disembarkation?? While things got better at subsequent stops, they never approached the smooth process normally experienced on other cruise lines. Similarly there was confusion at another stop as staff loaded luggage and passengers onto the same tender, which apparently is not allowed - and - everyone sat waiting for someone in charge to decide how they would deal with the situation - until passengers took it upon themselves to disembark and board another tender. While it isn't unusual for cruise lines to overprice excursions, these seemed to be excessively high, e.g. $229.00 for a half day 4x4 excursion, which can be booked on the dock for $70.00. There also seemed to be a lot of confusion and contradictory information over whether passengers who had pre-paid for excursions that were cancelled by Oceania would receive full refunds, or simply be given ship board credit that had to be used before the end of this cruise. Entertainment and enrichment lectures were also a bit disappointing. Don't expect Vegas style shows. Performances were of a lower caliber than experienced on other cruise lines and to make matters worse, Oceania did not have the second group of entertainers ready to board the first day at Easter Island and had to cancel them when sea conditions changed on the second day. So shows for the second half of the cruise consisted of pulling in entertainers normally performing in the lounges (pianist, string quartet) and vocalists from the dance ensemble. With the exception of Daniel Osler, experts brought in for the Enrichment Lectures were very poor presenters. In summary, Oceania has beautiful ships, well appointed staterooms, great staff/service and above average dining, but lacks some of the organizational skills that ensure a smooth no hassle cruise.. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
The marina is a very comfortable ship and we and our 4 friends had a great time. Staff is very courteous and helpful; entertainment was excellent; the 4 speciality restaurants were superior - my favorite was toscana (italian). The ... Read More
The marina is a very comfortable ship and we and our 4 friends had a great time. Staff is very courteous and helpful; entertainment was excellent; the 4 speciality restaurants were superior - my favorite was toscana (italian). The main dining room was a disappoint. service was slow and uneven and i generally did not care for the menu offerings. we tried it 3 times for dinner. the sunday brunch at sea was quite nice. however, it seemed to all of us that it was cut back from previous sailings (the effect of now being part of nclh ???). The buffet is superior as compared to princess and holland. lamb chops & lobster tails always available at the grill. unfortunately, the king crab legs which used to be available every day were absent for all but the last day or two of the cruise (another nclh cutback???). We tendered at all ports and unfortunately could not tender at easter island on day 2 of that port. bummer, but not oceania's fault. Lectures were very interesting and the lecturers seemed to know their stuff. (oh, btb, if you're saving your "o" points for their junk prizes, most of them have increased the number of points required.). O's transport is pricey and we booked private transport to/from the ship at a significantly lower cost. ditto for excursions. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We sailed from Valparaiso to Tahiti in January 2016. This was our first Oceania cruise. I doubt we would sail with Oceania again. First thing was their loss leader concept on their brochures. Advertise a low fare and when you try to ... Read More
We sailed from Valparaiso to Tahiti in January 2016. This was our first Oceania cruise. I doubt we would sail with Oceania again. First thing was their loss leader concept on their brochures. Advertise a low fare and when you try to book that fare, it's long gone. I just don't appreciate that in a company. We picked this cruise specifically because of the itinerary. Mainly Easter Island and Pitcairn Island. When we got to Easter Island, the boarding process for the tenders was a complete disaster. We are independent travelers and we had a car rented for the first day on the island---fortunately the first day because the 2nd day was cancelled due to swells. Because all Oceania tours were allowed to board tenders first, it took us 2 1/2, yes 2 1/2 hours!, to get to the island on a tender. We had to call our car rental company from the ship to tell them we were going to be very late. It all worked out fine in the end since we saw most of the island. BUT, Oceania did a terrible job administering tender tickets and boarding. This one experience would keep me from using Oceania again. We found out later that here is a 50+ % chance of not being able to go to Easter Island at all because of the tender situation. Of course this wasn't mentioned in any of the literature when booking. Think about booking this 'trip of a lifetime' and finding out you couldn't even see Easter Island at all. The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. Pitcairn Island, where the islanders visit the ship, was great. Very neat experience meeting direct descendants of the Bounty mutineers. This was definitely the highlight of the entire trip. Visits to two atolls in Tahiti plus Bora Bora were very nice but not the point of this particular cruise. I've seen a couple of posts about this cruise and one said that people were generally pushy and rude. I would agree. We met lots of nice folks and made many friends. But in general, people on this cruise pushed to get in line first, were generally very aggressive and self centered. One nice thing, not a lot of drinking like you would see on a cheaper Caribbean cruise. Entertainment in the evening was very mediocre---almost the quality you would see in a bar. Some was better than others, but generally below average. Lectures were average. One of the lecturers was excellent, but mostly not that good. With 9 days at sea, Oceania needed to make sure this part was better. The people who came on board from Pitcairn gave heartfelt and memorable talks and we appreciated that. Food was excellent and I mean excellent. Service was excellent. These two things are obviously Oceania's priority and it showed. Entertainment, lectures, and shore excursions were not their priority obviously. Disembarkation was handled very well. Bottom line, we would not likely cruise with Oceania again. Thanks for listening. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Note: we only did the 18 day portion of this longer voyage, i.e., Valparaiso to Papeete. After a many years hiatus from cruising (due to professional responsibilities), retirement found us back in the cruise world. Fortunately, several ... Read More
Note: we only did the 18 day portion of this longer voyage, i.e., Valparaiso to Papeete. After a many years hiatus from cruising (due to professional responsibilities), retirement found us back in the cruise world. Fortunately, several well-respected cruise specialist TAs steered us to Oceania. With multiple O cruises now under our belts, the first observation I'll make is that O's consistency of food and service quality is excellent. This was a great itinerary and our first with more sea days than ports. Sooooo relaxing. And the ports we did visit were both unique and unusual including 'up close and personal" with Easter Island's Moai (I can't believe another reviewer expected "compensation" for the captain's decision to not tender the second day due to truly rough seas that created a very dangerous condition for small craft). As has been our past practice on the O ships, we took an extended B3 balcony, which allowed us loungers that added to our relaxation. Our pre-cruise reserved four specialty restaurant reservations easily doubled once on board and the attentiveness of the maitre d's to any little hiccup in service was impeccable. As usual, the food was impressive with a nice mix of repetitive classics for the not-so-brave and truly unique efforts (occasionally themed - e.g., Polynesian buffet in the Terrace Cafe while in Bora Bora (and who can beat dining outside at Terrace with such beautiful scenery and weather. For those reading these reviews, do your research and you'll find that Oceania is truly a lot of "bang for the buck" when bottom line daily rate for your vacation is compared to wannabes like Celebrity, Princess, HAL or even Azamara (It was interesting how many former Celebrity and Azamara passengers we met on Marina, many of whom were on their first O cruise and pleasantly surprised at just how much better is the food and service on O. Can't wait for the end of this coming August and our next 18 day Panama Canal Cruise on O's Regatta from SF to NYC. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We're seasoned cruisers (33 total - going all the way back to Grace Lines "Santa Rosa" in 1957), and this marked our first time aboard Oceania. We sailed on Marina from Valparaiso on 17 Dec & disembarked in Tahiti on 4 ... Read More
We're seasoned cruisers (33 total - going all the way back to Grace Lines "Santa Rosa" in 1957), and this marked our first time aboard Oceania. We sailed on Marina from Valparaiso on 17 Dec & disembarked in Tahiti on 4 Jan 2015. We'd booked our air through Oceania as well, and were quite concerned from the start that Oceania had cut the time to catch our connecting AA international flight from Miami to Santiago just a bit too close for comfort (80 minutes.) We were right: Murphy's Law!!! Our 16 Dec AA flight from Dallas to Miami was 30 minutes late taking off, and we were delayed an additional 30 minutes on the MIA tarmac waiting for a gate. Finally, once we rolled up at our assigned gate, we were advised that before we could disembark, we'd have to sit tight while a medical team came on board to check out a sick passenger. Bottom Line: If our connecting flight (from Bogota) had not arrived late itself, we'd have been SOL and would've likely missed our cruise!! Embarkation was fairly tedious, and included the fairly worthless health status declarations for both EBOLA and the flu. (If Oceania. or any other cruise line, were truly serious about preventing the spread of disease aboard their ships, they'd set up a dedicated ship's medical check-in station ashore ( a la Ellis Island), manned by the ship's doctor or nurses, and routinely take temperature scans, and quickly evaluate all passengers. (Some folks might be directed to go directly to sick bay for further eval, followed by quarantine in their cabins, for a few days to protect the health of all - or they'd be denied permission to board!!) On day two of the cruise, the captain announced over the ship's PA at midday that since 2% of the passengers and crew had already been diagnosed with a virus, that the ship would be initiating strict CDC procedures to combat it. Accommodations (9065 Concierge Veranda) were adequate, and we enjoyed having both the separate, full-sized, glass enclosed shower & dedicated tub. We partook of the ships 4 specialty restaurants on 14 of our 18 nights aboard, but had to admit that we'd had much better food at Azamara "Quest's" two specialty restaurants on 20 evenings, during an epic 56-day cruise! The Marina's Broadway-style song and dance shows were outstanding, but the rest were of little consequence. The Marina's guest lecturers were well-qualified and their topics were spot on, as were the ships afternoon movies in the main showroom (Mutiny on the Bounty, Easter Island). Easter Island was definitely the highlight of the entire cruise. All ports of call on this cruise (except Tahiti) necessitated tendering ashore. Unfortunately, the Captain opted not to let any his passengers go ashore on Pitcairn Island, due to rough surf around the island. My better half enjoyed five of the ship's $69 "Hands-On" cooking classes at the Cordon Blue Cooking Center on Deck 12. And we both enjoyed the Hands-On art classes taught by retired Art Professor Tony Turpin, right across the deck, in the ship's Artist Loft. Following disembarkation on 4 Jan, We'd booked an extra day and night ashore at a Beach Resort in Tahiti, through Oceania. Imagine our surprise, when our Oceania-contracted bus departed from the pier & quickly delivered my wife & I a mere few blocks from the ship to the rundown City Hall complex @ exactly 0815 AM. We were advised that we would be required to unload our own baggage here but would "Not Be Passing Go" and would not be scheduled to leave City Hall for the Resort UNTIL 1;20 PM. Bottom Line: we had to endure FIVE HOURS in a rundown, third world City Hall, with no air conditioning, no food, no security for our baggage, and huge conga lines waiting to use two single-stall toilets, co-mingled with hundreds of other displaced persons/Oceania passengers (including a few hundred who'd just flown in and were waiting to board the Marina!!) We'd much preferred to have been driven directly to the resort, where we could have checked our luggage into the resort's locked storage room until our rooms were ready, filled out our registration forms at our leisure, sat by the pool or on their beach, and enjoyed their food and beverages!!!! Thanks Oceania: YOU TOTALLY MANAGED TO WASTE AWAY OUR DAY IN PARADISE!!!! (We had to catch a 3 AM bus from the Resort to the Tahiti airport on 5 January!!!) Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We had been trying to get to the South Pacific for some time and had always been thwarted in our efforts. Then we noticed the Oceania cruise from Valparaiso. A bit of a tight squeeze getting there after Christmas but the flight ... Read More
We had been trying to get to the South Pacific for some time and had always been thwarted in our efforts. Then we noticed the Oceania cruise from Valparaiso. A bit of a tight squeeze getting there after Christmas but the flight arrangements Toronto-Miami-Santiago worked out just fine. We took the transfer from Santiago to the port of Valparaiso - a very busy port and it was interesting to watch all the cargo operations on the dock. We had sailed twice before with Oceania - on the Insigna and the Regatta - but this was our first time on the Marina - and we loved it! We loved the itinerary since we visited Robinson Crusoe, Easter Island - 2 days (spectacular - we did a private tour with Easter Island Spirit tours), Pitcairn (couldn't go ashore but the islanders came on board and sold local produce....(honey, crafts, t shirts, stamps etc- )Fakarava (really unspoit) then Bora Bora (2 days) and finally Tahiti (where we stayed on for an extra 2 days at the Intercontinental). Alot of days at sea but we were never bored - always something to do and we had lots of time to catch up on reading (take an e-reader but the library is really excellent). We were pleased we chose the concierge level cabin (an A4) which permitted access to the concierge private lounge area which has its own concierge and access to coffee and soft drinks and snacks 24/7 and International newspapers are available in the lounge. We also had access to a private deck off the spa area which was very relaxing but, unfortunately, too exposed to the sun. It would be nice if Oceania covered off a part of the area to provide more shade. We tried the so called Sanctuary area which is open to all passengers but it is open and pool noise is a problem (plus passengers use the doors for access to the deck all the time which creates noise). I guess our main criticism is that there is little space on board for passengers who want to read quietly but who want to be outside in a shaded area. The library is really lovely but many of us prefer to be outside and to read in a quiet, shaded area (the Sanctuary area on Princess ships is ideal). Most of our dinners were in the Grand Dining room (food was excellent - very good choices each day and presented very well. Plus the wait staff are very good indeed). What we like most about Oceania is the flexiblity in dining arrangements - no set meal times which leads to a much more relaxed feeling in the dining room. We really hate all the lining up and general rush to get into the dining room on most ships which have set dining times. The only warning is that if you want a table for two you will have to get there reasonably early because after 7 pm most of the tables for 2 are taken. For breakfast and lunches we used the Terrace cafe which was very good - and we ate dinner there on our last evening and found it very good indeed. In future we might choose to eat there more often. We tried all 4 of the speciality restaurants (kudos to Oceania for not imposing extra charges) and they were all truly excellent - our particular favourites being Toscana and Red Ginger. We had dinner at the former on new year's eve and it was very special indeed (nice party on deck afterwards!) The decor in Red Ginger is spectacular and the food very good indeed (especially the sea bass). The artwork in the ship is the best I have ever seen - some wonderful glass pieces and generally very elegant and understated. We liked Horizons - great views and wonderful afternoon tea with scones and clotted cream and jam at 4 every afternoon while being entertained by an incredibly talented string quartet (the best entertainment on board - they also played in the long bar area in the evening). We also went there for a single malt scotch nosing! We found the ship's band rather noisy - but that's a matter of taste since we are not keen on brass instruments. The enrichment lecture series - husband and wife team -were excellent. He covered many aspects of the South Pacific (navigation, coral etc etc plus the history of the Bounty) while the Star Lady gave us some very important instruction on the stars in the southern sky and even had some sessions on deck where we tried to locate the Southern Cross - success! It's really nice to have these instructional sessions on longer cruises. Are there any criticisms? A few. On this cruise we had to use tenders at most of the ports. The arrangements at Easter Island were truly chaotic since only 1 tender was permitted to dock. The staff seemed ill prepared for this situation and it caused a lot of annoyance since there seemed to be no system - and everyone rushed forward. Oceania needs to make sure that everyone is treated fairly and should not permit queue-jumping by those with sharp elbows! By the end of the cruise they seemed a bit better organized but of all the staff on board the destinations staff seemed the least organized. We booked only one excursion with the ship (2nd day in Bora Bora - snorkelling with rays and beach - it was good but other passengers booked independently and got much better deals. The Oceania excursions seem generally overpriced). Another criticism is of post-cruise arrangements. We booked the 2 day extension at the Intercontinental Tahiti through Oceania. We were given a half day tour of part of the island before being taken to the hotel. Check in was 2 pm so we had lunch first. No-one seemed clear about the arrangements and where check in was to take place. First we were told Tiki Bar then without telling anyone it was switched upstairs. Some people got the Oceania handout about checkout arrangements....others including us did not and we only learned of it from other people later. Then we were given the wrong handout! One handout said the water was safe to drink...the other said not! There was no rep from Oceania at the hotel......the hotel staff did their best but they were clearly uncomfortable since Oceania never liaised.with them to confirm what was to happen. This part of the trip really needs work! The Intercontinental staff were great but they need Oceania to co-operate with them. One further criticism - the concierge who is in the special concierge level lounge booked a lunch for us at the Intercontinental Thalasso in Bora Bora. She confirmed we had reservation for noon. After we got there (following a boat ride) we were told we couldn't have lunch but had to have a day pass costing over $100 each! We had not taken swim wear with us - which we would have done had we known. The concierge at the Intercontinental was wonderful and she apologized but said they never received the reservation etc. and that it is not possible to only have lunch....she indicated they had ongoing problems contacting Oceania and they wanted to get things straightened out so this would not happen to other passengers. We paid the $100 plus and were glad we did - we had a wonderful lunch and the day pass is a very good deal - just wish we had known of that in advance and we would have gone with swim wear. Overall it was a wonderful cruise and we would certainly do it again - the ports of call were truly incredible. Our criticisms relate only to a few issues where Oceania can certainly make improvements.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was our first experience traveling with Oceania. We usually choose our cruise based on the itinerary. We had always wanted to see Easter Island and Pitcairn Island so we booked the trip. Oceania was offering free air as well as free ... Read More
This was our first experience traveling with Oceania. We usually choose our cruise based on the itinerary. We had always wanted to see Easter Island and Pitcairn Island so we booked the trip. Oceania was offering free air as well as free internet and prepaid gratuities. They also offered $500 in onboard credit and our travel agent also gave us $500 in onboard credit. Even with inflated wine and drink prices we would have a hard time spending that. We chose to take a credit for the airfare and used frequent flyer mileage to get to Santiago and fly back from Papeete. This gave us a little more flexibility and allowed us to stay on for a few days at the end of the cruise. We flew down from Los Angeles on LAN Chile and we are very impressed with the service LAN offered. We spent a couple of days in Santiago pre cruise and then took the bus down to Valparaiso. The ship offered transfers but they were expensive. The bus from Santiago was about $8 and very easy to take. Very modern Mercedes buses leave about every half hour for the 2 hour trip. Check in was super easy. We were onboard about 20 minutes after we arrived. Of course our cabins were not yet ready but we hung out in the upstairs restaurant having a light lunch while we waited. It wasn’t long until we could get into our cabins and stow our carry on luggage. We then explored the ship. We mostly have cruised with Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Holland America. We quickly noticed a big difference in that Oceania isn’t always trying to sell you extra stuff. There were no photographers trying to get you to pose for pictures. That is not to say there were not opportunities to spend money. There is a small casino but there were not really that many people playing in it. Wine was expensive (least expensive bottles were around $35 but most were closer to $50 and some were in the hundreds) When we first got on, they were selling a wine package where if you bought two bottles you got a 20% discount and if you bought 3 bottles you got a 30% discount. We had a lot of shipboard credit so we used some on wine. Our cabin was quite spacious and the bath was fantastic with full bathtub as well as shower and granite counters and tile. The shower was a bit small so it made it a bit difficult to bend down if you dropped the soap. Still it was without doubt the best bathroom of any ship we have been on. The bed was extremely comfortable and we had a large balcony. The one design drawback was the closet access was limited by the location of a bedside table. It just meant that to access it, you had to lean way over. The room stewardess kept the room made up and always seemed to have it ready by the time we returned from breakfast. One small early complaint was that they forgot to bring ice several times. After I told them I really liked having ice, my ice bucket was filled twice a day. The food. What can you say that hasn’t been said a thousand times. It was the best we have ever had on a cruise. We were allowed 4 reservations at the specialty restaurants and we visited them all. We also could make additional reservations the day of, and managed 3 more visits. Red Ginger was our favorite but I couldn’t really see the need for being offered 6 different kinds of chopsticks. If we were not at a specialty restaurant, we ate our meals in the main dining room, usually asking for a share table. We met so many interesting people over dinner. The cliental on this ship were very well traveled. One dinner we sat with a couple that were taking their 53rd cruise and the other couple were on their 35th. Many dinners extended beyond 2 hours, partly due to the interesting conversations, and partly due to the wait staff not hurrying you to clear your table for more diners. In fact the main restaurant was rarely crowded. Many people were in the specialty restaurants and people in more of a hurry were eating in the buffet. We did eat in the buffet one night and it was very good for a buffet but it still didn’t have the elegance of the main dining room where you were treated like royalty and waited on. Still, the food at the buffet in the evening was just as good as the food in the main dining room, with lobster tails available every evening – not something we had experienced on any other cruise. The tours. We arranged tours for Easter Island and Bora Bora in advance with local tour companies. They cost less than half what the ship was charging and we saw a lot more. The only advantage I could see with a ship tour is you had priority for the tenders. We did take the “Le truck” bus tour around the island on our second day in Bora Bora but that was because we had extra shipboard credit to use up. The shops. They supplied the ship when they were in Barcelona so by the time the ship got to Valparaiso, there was not all that much available to buy in regards to clothes. They had a lot of high end jewelry but overall, the shops were small with limited selection. And we were surprised that there was no liquor store on board. Wine was available for purchase but that was the only alcohol. We were pleasantly surprised that they had a very good bridge program onboard. They had two excellent bridge instructors who taught lessons and then every afternoon on sea days, they had a duplicate game. We usually had 12 tables and they gave out ACBL points if you were an ACBL member. One disappointment was we never got to land on Pitcairn island. I had read prior to the cruise that usually the ships don’t land passengers due to the difficult harbor and the changing sea conditions but we had hopes we might be the lucky ones. Alas, we were not. A group of Pitcairn islanders did come out to the ship and they set up a bazaar in the observation lounge where they sold all sorts of stuff they make on the island. (honey, moisturizing cream, wood carvings, stamps, postcards, T-shirts and a whole lot more) They are trying to build a new harbor on the lee side of the island but for now, if you go to Pitcairn and want to actually land, you better go on a smaller boat and pray for absolute calm sea conditions. Entertainment was only so so. They had one show at 9:45 each night.. I liked the magician and have no idea how he did what he did. I was very disappointed in one of the comics as his material bordered on racism as he mocked the accents of Latinos. I just thought it had no place in a show, especially one that sailed from Chile and had lots of Spanish speaking folks on board. The music was sort of hit and miss. They had one lady who had been in a number of Broadway shows and she could really belt out a song. I kind of look at the entertainment as sort of a bonus. You don’t take an Oceania cruise for the shows. My overall impression of the cruise was very favorable. It was a little more expensive than what we were used to but the value was there. I will sail with Oceania again if I find a cruise that has an interesting itinerary at a time that fits my schedule.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was our first experience traveling with Oceania. We usually choose our cruise based on the itinerary. We had always wanted to see Easter Island and Pitcairn Island so we booked the trip. Oceania was offering free air as well as free ... Read More
This was our first experience traveling with Oceania. We usually choose our cruise based on the itinerary. We had always wanted to see Easter Island and Pitcairn Island so we booked the trip. Oceania was offering free air as well as free internet and prepaid gratuities. They also offered $500 in onboard credit and our travel agent also gave us $500 in onboard credit. Even with inflated wine and drink prices we would have a hard time spending that. We chose to take a credit for the airfare and used frequent flyer mileage to get to Santiago and fly back from Papeete. This gave us a little more flexibility and allowed us to stay on for a few days at the end of the cruise. We flew down from Los Angeles on LAN Chile and we are very impressed with the service LAN offered. We spent a couple of days in Santiago pre cruise and then took the bus down to Valparaiso. The ship offered transfers but they were expensive. The bus from Santiago was about $8 and very easy to take. Very modern Mercedes buses leave about every half hour for the 2 hour trip. Check in was super easy. We were onboard about 20 minutes after we arrived. Of course our cabins were not yet ready but we hung out in the upstairs restaurant having a light lunch while we waited. It wasn’t long until we could get into our cabins and stow our carry on luggage. We then explored the ship. We mostly have cruised with Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Holland America. We quickly noticed a big difference in that Oceania isn’t always trying to sell you extra stuff. There were no photographers trying to get you to pose for pictures. That is not to say there were not opportunities to spend money. There is a small casino but there were not really that many people playing in it. Wine was expensive (least expensive bottles were around $35 but most were closer to $50 and some were in the hundreds) When we first got on, they were selling a wine package where if you bought two bottles you got a 20% discount and if you bought 3 bottles you got a 30% discount. We had a lot of shipboard credit so we used some on wine. Our cabin was quite spacious and the bath was fantastic with full bathtub as well as shower and granite counters and tile. The shower was a bit small so it made it a bit difficult to bend down if you dropped the soap. Still it was without doubt the best bathroom of any ship we have been on. The bed was extremely comfortable and we had a large balcony. The one design drawback was the closet access was limited by the location of a bedside table. It just meant that to access it, you had to lean way over. The room stewardess kept the room made up and always seemed to have it ready by the time we returned from breakfast. One small early complaint was that they forgot to bring ice several times. After I told them I really liked having ice, my ice bucket was filled twice a day. The food. What can you say that hasn’t been said a thousand times. It was the best we have ever had on a cruise. We were allowed 4 reservations at the specialty restaurants and we visited them all. We also could make additional reservations the day of, and managed 3 more visits. Red Ginger was our favorite but I couldn’t really see the need for being offered 6 different kinds of chopsticks. If we were not at a specialty restaurant, we ate our meals in the main dining room, usually asking for a share table. We met so many interesting people over dinner. The cliental on this ship were very well traveled. One dinner we sat with a couple that were taking their 53rd cruise and the other couple were on their 35th. Many dinners extended beyond 2 hours, partly due to the interesting conversations, and partly due to the wait staff not hurrying you to clear your table for more diners. In fact the main restaurant was rarely crowded. Many people were in the specialty restaurants and people in more of a hurry were eating in the buffet. We did eat in the buffet one night and it was very good for a buffet but it still didn’t have the elegance of the main dining room where you were treated like royalty and waited on. Still, the food at the buffet in the evening was just as good as the food in the main dining room, with lobster tails available every evening – not something we had experienced on any other cruise. The tours. We arranged tours for Easter Island and Bora Bora in advance with local tour companies. They cost less than half what the ship was charging and we saw a lot more. The only advantage I could see with a ship tour is you had priority for the tenders. We did take the “Le truck” bus tour around the island on our second day in Bora Bora but that was because we had extra shipboard credit to use up. The shops. They supplied the ship when they were in Barcelona so by the time the ship got to Valparaiso, there was not all that much available to buy in regards to clothes. They had a lot of high end jewelry but overall, the shops were small with limited selection. And we were surprised that there was no liquor store on board. Wine was available for purchase but that was the only alcohol. We were pleasantly surprised that they had a very good bridge program onboard. They had two excellent bridge instructors who taught lessons and then every afternoon on sea days, they had a duplicate game. We usually had 12 tables and they gave out ACBL points if you were an ACBL member. One disappointment was we never got to land on Pitcairn island. I had read prior to the cruise that usually the ships don’t land passengers due to the difficult harbor and the changing sea conditions but we had hopes we might be the lucky ones. Alas, we were not. A group of Pitcairn islanders did come out to the ship and they set up a bazaar in the observation lounge where they sold all sorts of stuff they make on the island. (honey, moisturizing cream, wood carvings, stamps, postcards, T-shirts and a whole lot more) They are trying to build a new harbor on the lee side of the island but for now, if you go to Pitcairn and want to actually land, you better go on a smaller boat and pray for absolute calm sea conditions. Entertainment was only so so. They had one show at 9:45 each night.. I liked the magician and have no idea how he did what he did. I was very disappointed in one of the comics as his material bordered on racism as he mocked the accents of Latinos. I just thought it had no place in a show, especially one that sailed from Chile and had lots of Spanish speaking folks on board. The music was sort of hit and miss. They had one lady who had been in a number of Broadway shows and she could really belt out a song. I kind of look at the entertainment as sort of a bonus. You don’t take an Oceania cruise for the shows. My overall impression of the cruise was very favorable. It was a little more expensive than what we were used to but the value was there. I will sail with Oceania again if I find a cruise that has an interesting itinerary at a time that fits my schedule.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
The Marina is a beautiful ship with large open areas. Even when the ship is completely full, as it was for us, you do not feel crowded anywhere. On the top of the ship is a running track and below it and above the pool another walking ... Read More
The Marina is a beautiful ship with large open areas. Even when the ship is completely full, as it was for us, you do not feel crowded anywhere. On the top of the ship is a running track and below it and above the pool another walking area. Unfortunately, both are without cover and provide the only options for walking outside since there is no promenade deck on this ship. Also, on the top deck you will find an 18 hole putting course, a golf driving net and a very nice coquet and shuffleboard courts. The showroom is lovely, but aside from 4 good ship company singers, the shows were not exceptional. The ship has one pool which could be larger for the number of passengers Marina carries, 1200. Unfortunately for us, this ship had no photo department nor any photographers to take pictures other than your own. Had it not been for a crew member loaning us a camera cord, we might have been very restricted in the number of digital pictures we could take and not download to our laptop. There are seven different restaurants; five are specialty which require reservations. Only one of the five, La Reserve, requires an additional charge; the rest are included in your cruise fare. The Grand Dining room and Terrace Café are both dine at any time restaurants. The Terrace Café, being the ships buffet restaurant, had a good selection most days and most selections were changed daily except there is little change at breakfast. A good and different experience was his ship's staff serve you at the buffet rather than each passenger serving themselves. We like the fact that several hundred people do not touch serving utensils but instead the ship's staff do with hands in protective gloves. Added to this protection is this ship has more than the usual number of antibacterial dispensers. Of the four specialty restaurants that do not charge extra, the Red Ginger is the only one that is not located on the ship's perimeter; it is an inside restaurant. It, like the other specialty restaurants, is nicely decorated to match the restaurant's theme which in this case is Asian. It is not a Chinese restaurant. Jacques is not a French restaurant either but it does have French dishes on the menu. The Polo Grill has the lamb, steak and some seafood items you would expect. It was very good but the meat was not cooked to order twice. Toscana, the Italian restaurant was great, and like 4 other restaurants on the ship, has many tables for two along the window walls - very romantic. The Grand Dining room was our favorite and had good menu selections almost every day. Service in all restaurants was the best we have had on any ship to date. And we enjoyed the fact that restaurants were not loud; you could even hear the overhead music. One evening we did have a couple of issues in the Grand Dining room, aside from another steak that was not cooked to order. The supervisory staff handled and resolved the problems very quickly and did more than we expected. Again, it was great service. But the food was not to that level. We found the entrées at times with little taste. The bread and deserts were exceptional, however. Oceania charges more than we are accustom to for its mixed drinks, wine by the glass and bottled wine. Sodas and bottled water are free. It also charges a lot more for its excursions vs. Cunard and Princess which were the last two cruises we took this past year before Oceania. The veranda cabin we booked on the seventh floor was a nicest cabin we can remember. It was tastefully decorated and that, combined with a large granite bathroom with tub and shower gave us daily a feeling of space that made our trip more relaxing. We had an exceptional cabin stewardess. Every day our sliding glass door was washed so we could have a good view every day. Unfortunately, upon arriving at the ship on the first day we found that our deck had an obstruction which blocked the view on the lower 14 inches of the railing. We had booked an unobstructed cabin and Oceania assured us in making our booking that it was unobstructed. This was a big issue for us because a few years ago we booked and paid for another Oceania cruise in an unobstructed cabin and when we arrived at the ship found our cabin had 40% of its balcony obstructed by decorative sheet metal. In that case Oceana did nothing for us and we were stuck with a situation. In this cruise Oceana did give us a shipboard credit, but it did not make up for 18 days looking at the obstruction and again we were stuck with it. This really impacted our enjoyment of the trip for again the ship was full and we could not move. The trust factor was lost with Oceania as a result. On this particular cruise we have a few more comments to pass on. Two days out on our 28 day cruise we were told the ship ran out of small US currency. It also did not have Chilean currency so we were in a little trouble for our stop at Easter Island because we had mostly large currency. Next, the ship's store is small for items such as toothpaste and suntan lotion. It was running out of items before we get on our 28 day cruise and we were told that it would not be replenished until the ship reached Sydney Australia; that's several cruises after ours. They had an art company on board providing art auctions on sea days. We purchased a couple of pieces and when we arrived home Oceania called us and said they were refunding our money as it canceled its agreement with the art company. We wish they would have advised us of this while we were on ship. On a positive note, there was a lot of tendering off the ship during our stops in the islands. The service was very well handled, efficient and safety was always the first order of business. From our perspective, Oceania promotes itself as a luxury cruise line and prices its cruises accordingly. During our cruise the ship's staff tried very hard to measure up to a luxury line but Oceania is not there yet. Although the service and food were good, the price for the cruise and the higher costs for alcoholic beverages and excursions did not provide good value compared to other cruise lines taken recently.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Marina Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.5
Dining 4.5 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 3.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 1.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 5.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 3.9

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