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