3 Santiago (Valparaiso) to Transpacific Oceania Marina Cruise Reviews

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
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
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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