35 Oceania Sirena Cuba Cruise Reviews

We just returned from circumnavigating Cuba, and the cruise was fantastic It was an older crowd, with no children on board. The ship was beautiful and the food was great, as were the entertainment and staff. We had superior educational ... Read More
We just returned from circumnavigating Cuba, and the cruise was fantastic It was an older crowd, with no children on board. The ship was beautiful and the food was great, as were the entertainment and staff. We had superior educational programs arranged by the faculty of the school we were traveling with. We don't tend to spend much time in our cabins other than to sleep, so the cabins were perfect for us. The shore excursions, especially in Cienfuegos and Trinidad, were a lot of fun. The Tropicana in Havana is not to be missed. The Cienfuegos and its nature excusion was a huge hit with everyone who went into the mountains to El Nicho. We had a terrible guide in Santiago de Cuba, and that really made the trip sour on our last day in Cuba. She was constantly rushing us, oppressively so. We had no opportunity to shop, other than at the trinket stalls by the port. No opportunity to eat. My wife wanted to buy a few gifts for our adult daughters back home, and if we had known the Santiago day would go the way it did, we would have done our shopping earlier in the trip. No such issues in Havana, Cienfuegos, or Trinidad. This was not the cruise lines fault, but I do hope they make passenger concerns known to the excursion operators. Also, customs is a bit of hit or a miss. One traveler bought art and tried to bring it on the ship after exchanging all his Cuban money into US dollars. It was his last chance to do so. The Cuban customs officer demanded payment in CUC's, and the passenger had to borrow some from a stranger. Again, not the cruise lines fault and no such issues in other ports, probably because all the Cuban money had not been converted back yet. Cuba is beautiful and the people are great. It is a unique experience. Pack some patience and understanding, and you will be enthralled. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We cruised on the Oceania Nautica 13 years ago and have wanted to return to this line for a long time because of what a wonderful Mediterranean cruise we had. Our recent seven night cruise around Cuba was not the same as our prior cruise. ... Read More
We cruised on the Oceania Nautica 13 years ago and have wanted to return to this line for a long time because of what a wonderful Mediterranean cruise we had. Our recent seven night cruise around Cuba was not the same as our prior cruise. What was different? Most notably, the food. What was great on this cruise were the two speciality restaurants - Red Ginger and the Tuscan Steakhouse. The main dining room and the buffet were not even close. Some offerings were not eatable and we are not picky eaters! I hope in the upcoming remodel they "fix" the buffet area. It was too congested and chaotic as it currently is. There is also a lack of outdoor dining tables at the Terrace. Our other major disappointment was with the shore excursions. Fortunately, we booked a private guide in Havana and enjoyed our day there. We had four excursions through the OLife promo and for the most part those where not good. This was the first cruise we have been on which had no port talks! Unbelievable lack of information. Maybe the poor excursions were due to it being Cuba, but Oceania is not new here and they should do a much better job. Our complaints involved poor guides, (sadly we had the bad luck of getting assigned the same guide two days in a row in Cienfuegos), itineraries which were not like the actual tour, and cancelled excursions. All our guide really wanted was for us to shop and refer him to others. We really wanted to visit a cigar factory and when we boarded, destination services told us it was closed and we need to pick a different excursions. There is only one cigar factory in all of Cuba? Originally, Havana was to two be two days with an overnight. This was changed to one day, with two in Cienfuegos. This was a poor idea. The fittings of the ship definitely need to be redone. Much in our veranda cabin needed a refit from the love seat to the cabinets. Don't get me started on the tiny bathroom. I'm a small woman and felt cramped in the shower. All things considered, we have cruised with several other lines including Regent, Silverseas, Seabourn, and National Geographic, with a Viking Ocean cruise coming up in April. All of those lines were far superior to our recent experience on Oceania Sirena. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Nice ship. Love the size. Nothing to do during the day. The food was very good. Limited selection for breakfast and lunch, but what there was - was very tasty. Balcony room is very small...Bathroom is terrible, but will be redone in ... Read More
Nice ship. Love the size. Nothing to do during the day. The food was very good. Limited selection for breakfast and lunch, but what there was - was very tasty. Balcony room is very small...Bathroom is terrible, but will be redone in the near future. TV was the size of my computer screen, but also will be replaced in dry dock. Asked to be seated at a shared table and twice was sent to a table for four, and did not share. Enjoyed meeting people; do not like getting our request for a table for four or six not honored in the main dinning room. Red Ginger was okay. Cuba was interesting, but not yet ready for Americans. They even state this in their literature. The pool is very small. Four or five people and it is crowded. A bit hard to get into and especially out of the pool. No easy steps to get out... Very few shops. They need to offer more drug store style items. Almost no way to spend our money on this ship. The drinks were very expensive ($13.00 per glass+ tip). Embarkation and disembarkation was very easy. Delayed about 30 minutes because of a rainstorm, but then went very fast. We were lucky in that the weather was wonderful the entire week. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I’m an avid cruise enthusiast and a longtime reader of Cruise Travel Magazine. In planning our travels, I do a considerable amount of online research. This was our first trip with Oceania. Our cruise on the Sirena from Miami to Cuba, ... Read More
I’m an avid cruise enthusiast and a longtime reader of Cruise Travel Magazine. In planning our travels, I do a considerable amount of online research. This was our first trip with Oceania. Our cruise on the Sirena from Miami to Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Nassau was truly one of our better cruise experiences. Oceania’s four small sister ships, originally built for defunct Renaissance Cruises, do not earn high marks for their tiny bathrooms, so-so entertainment, and a very limited variety of shipboard activities while at sea. But as described in the company’s colorful and prolific advertising, these ships are intimate and luxurious. Their guests (us included) are typically seasoned travelers enjoying their Golden Years. Anyone seeking budget prices, a party atmosphere, Las Vegas-style entertainment, and/or children and teen activities will surely be happier on a different cruise line. For the Missus and me, the promise of an immersive itinerary and a high standard of service are what brought us to Oceania. Our itinerary featured FOUR days including one overnight in Cuba. At-sea days were nicely interspersed with port days; the former were a welcome opportunity to relax and savor onboard life. Not a fan of shuffleboard, Mahjong, etc., between ports I was content to sit on deck, keep up-to-date with email, and eat myself silly. Oceania touts the “Finest Cuisine at Sea” and theirs ranks among the more extravagant chow we’ve experienced on a cruise. The food in the Terrace Café, Waves Grill, and Grand Dining Room was generally very good and of high quality. We encountered a couple subpar dishes (watery pasta and tough steak) which our servers cheerfully replaced. Bear in mind that food onboard is typically prepared in “banquet” quantities. The exception is the food in the specialty restaurants—Tuscan Steak House and Red Ginger—which, along with the service, was absolutely outstanding. All of Sirena’s staterooms and public areas were scheduled to undergo a “sweeping array of dramatic enhancements” (in one word, refurbishing) during Spring of 2019. We don’t understand why this was necessary because the Sirena underwent a major revitalization in 2016 that gave it a fresh and elegant look. Oh, alright, the Grand Staircase with its faux skylight did look a bit cheesy. We had a few other nits to pick. The Cruise Director seemed aloof and seldom mingled with guests. The ship’s two boutiques, featuring high-end jewelry and fashion, offered relatively few moderately-priced-to-inexpensive items. We disputed two bar charges to our shipboard account. One was for “half-price sail-away mojitos” that were billed at full price; ditto “2-for-1 Happy Hour” drinks. Due to protocols, it took a while for our account to be adjusted. Apart from booze plus fees for some optional activities (e.g. Bingo) and services (e.g. Canyon Ranch Spa), Oceania is a welcome respite from companies that nickel-and-dime for every little extra. There are ZERO surcharges for alternate dining, steamed lobster, cappuccino, soda pop, ice cream treats, and room service. Internet (speed improved) is free and unlimited, a vital perk that other cruise lines have been slow to offer. Oceania’s OLife option includes roundrip airfare plus a choice of free shore excursions, free beverage package, or shipboard credit. My advice? Compare airfares first. Then, if you go for the option, request the shipboard credit (you can apply this towards gratuities) and make your own port arrangements for considerably less than the cost of Oceania’s overpriced and underwhelming shore excursions and transfers. In Cuba and elsewhere, visitors are under no obligation whatsoever to purchase the cruise line’s shore excursions. I seldom use the word “fantastic,” but this adjective perfectly describes the caliber of service we received from both our stateroom attendant and the servers in the various dining venues, all of whom were extraordinarily friendly and considerate. We celebrated a birthday onboard and the staff went far beyond the call of duty to make our occasion memorable. We’re looking forward to future cruises with Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Itinerary. After 21 cruises on O, and having been part of the christening and inaugural sailings, I was amazed at the decline of this lovely ship. The staff was AWESOME. They worked so hard as it was obvious there was a reduced staff ... Read More
Itinerary. After 21 cruises on O, and having been part of the christening and inaugural sailings, I was amazed at the decline of this lovely ship. The staff was AWESOME. They worked so hard as it was obvious there was a reduced staff serving. For example, if you arrived a bit early to the specialty restaurants, they couldn't accommodate you yet the dining room was half empty. Obvious they adjusted to staffing. The main dining room service was sooooo slow. Never saw the cruise director, John??? TV programming was years old. This was the first cruise on O that I did not book a future cruise. I decided from what I saw that I need to open up my options, and now was the time. Please O, come back to your original purpose and serving. The food was not very good, and I'm usually easy to please. Knowing that Claudette Pepin is the Godmother, I am shocked. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
There were several things that made this an attractive cruise: circumnavigating Cuba, sailing over New Years Eve, but being home for Christmas, and a 7 day cruise. We have sailed with Oceania a number of times, and all of their ships are ... Read More
There were several things that made this an attractive cruise: circumnavigating Cuba, sailing over New Years Eve, but being home for Christmas, and a 7 day cruise. We have sailed with Oceania a number of times, and all of their ships are excellent. They are spotlessly clean, the staff is pleasant and welcoming, and the food is excellent. This cruise was no different. We ate in all the venues, from the casual Waves, to the specialty restaurants Tuscan Grill, and Red Ginger. Each had good choices and we enjoyed them immensely. We treated ourselves to a penthouse suite, which was not extensively large, but very comfortable with good storage space, a very nice shower, and a roomy sitting area. Housekeeping and butler service were excellent. We are quite independent so did not use the butler service that much, but when we needed something, it was immediately looked after. Cuba is fascinating. There was an overnight in Havana, and we also docked in Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. We definitely felt we had stepped back in time. While there were some crumbling buildings, others had been restored or maintained. Hopefully with an increase in tourism, there will be more funds to look after the beautiful architecture. We saw Spanish Colonial, Art Deco, and of course Soviet style buildings. The old American cars were wonderful to see around every corner in Havana. There was a very comprehensive choice of excursions. Ours included a walking tour of old Havana, a ride in a beautifully maintained 1950 turquoise Chevy, a cabaret at the Tropicana (not to be missed!), a tour of colonial Trinidad which left from Cienfuegos, and a tour of sites in Santiago de Cuba, related to the revolution. Each was interesting and enjoyable in its own way. The tour guides were intelligent, spoke English well, and gave excellent information. We did have some difficulty hearing our guide in Cienfuegos. On board, there were informative and entertaining lectures given by Sandy Cares which, combined with the information on the tours, provided an insightful overview of the country. Local residents were all friendly, and many spoke some English. Entertainment was not our main focus but we enjoyed a hilarious comedian, and a talented string quartet. We did find some of the other clientele a bit rude and entitled, but we are able to hold our own. It may have been a function of the cruise being over New Years, and should not stop anyone from either sailing with Oceania or seeing Cuba. It is not typical of Oceania. Our only suggestions are that there should have been more done for New Years Eve, as this was a very expensive sailing, and more time and guidance could be given for shopping. Overall, an excellent cruise with a great itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We have sailed with Oceania several times on the vessels same size as the Sirena always in Vista Suites. This time there was no Vista suite available and so based on the photos we saw in various brochures decided to go for the Penthouse ... Read More
We have sailed with Oceania several times on the vessels same size as the Sirena always in Vista Suites. This time there was no Vista suite available and so based on the photos we saw in various brochures decided to go for the Penthouse suite since we had read Oceania had done a $50 million refurbishment of the vessel. This suite was a disappointment and nothing like the modern versions shown in the brochures. The bathroom was ridiculously tiny probably no more than 6 ft. X 5 ft. although it had obviously been redone and had a glass enclosed shower instead of a bathtub a single sink and some storage space on either side. The stateroom was really a glorified balcony suite with a little extra space and by no means deserved the name "Penthouse". There was just one double door hanging closet and a single door closet containing 4 drawers and the safe and a short hanging space not long enough for shirts or pants doubled on a hanger. We had to leave about half our clothes in our suitcases. There was a cupboard that contained a mini bar behind one door with free water and soft drinks restocked daily and a 2 shelf same size space underneath. There was a very long desk with a cupboard underneath on either side supporting it one with shelves behind double doors the other with drawers behind the double doors which were a nuisance to open and close every time you took something out of a drawer. All the closets/cupboards were a drab dark brown varnish color and not the light colors shown in the brochures. The carpet was nondescript and looked soiled there was a light green sofa which had obviously been used a lot two rounded upholstered chairs which were extremely hard and a tiny table which could hold just about a tray and not a whole meal. The television was absurdly small and rolled out of the wall beside the bed it was the size of a monitor and you had to turn on your right side to see it from the bed and turn your head to the left to see it from the sofa any writing on the screen was so small you couldn't read it. The bed was comfortable as were the pillows and the headrest was a shade of blue/green. The balcony door had been redone and there were two upright wicker chairs no foot rests and another small metal table on the balcony which had railings and balcony dividers that had such wide gaps on both sides that you could see the neighbors' balconies and them sitting there - no privacy whatsoever. The Penthouse suites have a butler and a concierge desk. The butler realized we were really disappointed and unhappy with the stateroom and did his best to make our stay there as pleasant as he could and suggested we contact the concierge about it. We went to the concierge desk and spoke to the woman manning it politely about how we chose the penthouse based on the photos we saw and had no idea it would be so different. She dug out an old brochure and showed us a picture of our room and was very unresponsive and tactless and finally downright demeaning. We have never encountered treatment like this from anyone on any of the cruise lines we have traveled with and frankly we don't think she is the right person for that job. Speaking with other passengers we found several of them had the same impression as we did of the concierge and complained about her behavior. We found the rest of the vessel services and staff excellent as always. The food in the dining room was generally good the terrace café was hit and miss the specialty restaurants service and food was delicious the service exceptional. Some people complained about the quality of the steaks in Tuscan Steakhouse and did not like the merging of Tuscany and the Polo Grill because the menu is now reduced. We liked Red Ginger but not enough to go there repeatedly their tea was completely bland and insipid the tea in the Horizon's Lounge is much better. We enjoyed the ports and excursions and spent as little time as possible in that Penthouse suite. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
As this was our first visit to Cuba (but by far not our first cruise), we were a bit nervous about visas, licenses, etc. for US citizens. Oceania arranged for our Cuban visa, and we checked “Support for the Cuban People” on our license ... Read More
As this was our first visit to Cuba (but by far not our first cruise), we were a bit nervous about visas, licenses, etc. for US citizens. Oceania arranged for our Cuban visa, and we checked “Support for the Cuban People” on our license application. We had no trouble exiting the ship and finding our independently-arranged excursion guides. (We booked all of our tours ahead of time. Be sure to choose OFAC-compliant tours if you are a US citizen booking tours on your own rather than through the cruise line.) We were also a bit nervous about the condition of the ship, given some negative comments we’d read. We booked a concierge level veranda suite about 18 months prior to our sail date. The bathroom was remarkably small and not at all luxurious. The sleeping area is also very small, but of course, the Sirena is a relatively small ship with fewer than 700 guests. The bedding was very comfortable, especially after we requested a regular blanket. The down comforters are quite warm! Public rooms were in good condition, but we heard some complaints about missing tiles in the pool area. Don’t look for the bells and whistles of other lines. There are no photographers on board, the cabin attendants don’t create those clever towel animals, and from our perspective the activity schedule was very light. The lecturer, Sandy Cares, was phenomenal. We really appreciated that her lectures were recorded and available through the TV in the cabin. Food was a disappointment. We had high expectations, given how extensively Oceania promotes its culinary offerings. Presentation was careless, many dishes were bland, and several dishes either had extra ingredients or were missing ingredients. It was troubling to discover plates and utensils were dirty. On a luxury cruise line (on ANY cruise line, really) one shouldn’t have to send dishes back because they’re not as described or the serving ware is dirty. We’ve sailed on Regent and Silversea, and prefer their quality over Oceania. We absolutely appreciated the opportunity to visit Cuba, and the itinerary was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Three ports in Cuba - having been to all the major islands in the Caribbean we decide on something different. Cruise food and staff were wonderful! As soon as you sit down anywhere they ask if you want water, coffee, drinks. Very ... Read More
Three ports in Cuba - having been to all the major islands in the Caribbean we decide on something different. Cruise food and staff were wonderful! As soon as you sit down anywhere they ask if you want water, coffee, drinks. Very friendly staff but not pushy. All non-alcoholic beverages are included. Food quality was great - lobster in the dining room, specialty restaurants and even a lobster sandwich by the pool grill. Small ship had a much more intimate vibe to it and nothing was crowded - no lines anywhere. There were lectures on the ports and history of Cuba every day. The lecturer was excellent. It is quite a lot more expensive than Royal or Carnival. Also, if you want glitzy shows and entertainment then it is not for you. It is laid-back and classy. Cuban people are so friendly! Recommend doing something local like the Buena Vista social club in Havana. Our private guide in Cienfuegos took us to a very good private restaurant where we had small shrimps, rice and beans and plantains. Guide (tonycubavacations@gmail.com) was very knowledgable and spoke perfect English. The cost of the all day tour was reasonable compared to the ship tours. All in all it was an excellent trip for someone who likes to explore and relax. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Three couples from their 60-80s wanted to see Cuba in luxury . This cruise overnights in Havana ( could have used another day) and had two more interesting ports. We had been on the Sirena when it was owned by Princess. We took the same ... Read More
Three couples from their 60-80s wanted to see Cuba in luxury . This cruise overnights in Havana ( could have used another day) and had two more interesting ports. We had been on the Sirena when it was owned by Princess. We took the same cabin ( now called penthouse suite) on Princess in Tahiti it was called a mini suite. It is a large lovely room with a renovated bathroom. The other two couples took A1 thinking their cabins would be like the new Marina. They spent the whole cruise complaining about the tiny shower with a flapping curtain. My cabin had a terrific walk in glass enclosed shower with great storage and wonderful bed and bedding. Towels are fluffy. Bring an electric surge protector as there are limited outlets. Balcony is skinny and the two wicker chairs have no footrests . I stuck my feet thru the railings. The food is very good, especially the two specialty restaurants Tuscan Grill and Red Ginger. The miso sea bass melts in your mouth. The main dinning room has service shortages. They are running around like chickens without heads. The buffet is ok and Waves makes a great burger at lunch. Ice cream is everywhere. Entertainment is poor. The Sinatra show the best. The young singers try hard but except for a funny ventriloquist it is pretty bad. The cruise director runs a great cut throat trivia that we found fun. The real problem are the excursions. Oceania messes up royally. We spent hours picking our tours and booked the passport collection. Very pricey as you cannot legally go off on your own. The ship gets the $75 visa for you. There are two US government officials on board watching. Some people did it anyway and took their chances. Tours were canceled the day before. Some were flipped from morning to afternoon then the morning tour came back late and you couldn’t go. No time to take a ride in the cars unless you book it as a $450 excursion. No reimbursement or apology. Told it was Cuba’s fault but I paid my money to Oceania! The best was the Tropicana nightclub . And you can take phone photos no charge. Spectacular!! The young tour guides spoke English well and just want the Embargo over. The country is very poor. Beautiful colonial buildings so shabby . The classic cars fabulous to see. A very interesting trip. Great hot room service breakfasts on port days. I would definitely go back. And a cruise makes it a comfortable way to see it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My husband and I were on Oceania Marina for the Baltic cruise a few years ago, so we expected similar experience this time even though it's a different ship. Somehow Sirena did not turn out as good as Marina. Even though Sirena was ... Read More
My husband and I were on Oceania Marina for the Baltic cruise a few years ago, so we expected similar experience this time even though it's a different ship. Somehow Sirena did not turn out as good as Marina. Even though Sirena was refurbished two years, it still shows some wear and tear. The bathroom is a bit small. But the bed and pillows are very comfortable. Food in the Grand Dining Room is not as good as Marina, so are the Specialty Restaurants. Red Ginger is a disappointment as the food is too salty. Service-wise, the crew and room attendants are very friendly but not as personable. I do not know whether it is due to a shorter cruise this time. We only joined one ship excursion in Santiago de Cuba. It is very disappointing as the guide brought us to watch a traditional Cuban performance which was not listed on the description. The time would have been better spent in the historical city center. Besides, when we were at the Morro Castle, the guide just dropped us off to wander around, without giving any information about the different areas of the castle. We chose Oceania mainly because of itinerary and the anticipated good food served on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our first time on Oceania. We've done a bunch of Caribbean cruises over the years, and kinda got burnt out on it, but the lure of Cuba made this cruise of interest to me. I know Oceania makes a big deal about their food, ... Read More
This was our first time on Oceania. We've done a bunch of Caribbean cruises over the years, and kinda got burnt out on it, but the lure of Cuba made this cruise of interest to me. I know Oceania makes a big deal about their food, and for the most part I would say that they delivered. The dinners that we had in specialty restaurants Red Ginger, and Tuscan Steak were outstanding (5 star). The Grand dining room was excellent too, but just not quite on the same level as the specialty rooms. The only complaint my wife had was about the "lobster bisque" which she ordered both in the Tuscan Steak, and in the main dining room. She said it tasted like fish soup, not lobster bisque. Now I know I'm being a bit picky here, and if this was our only complaint, well then things weren't so bad. The stateroom was adequate, with the bathroom being very small. I was prepared for this though, as I had previously read comments online regarding this. Decor on the ship itself was very elegant, but unfortunately Oceania is intent on mucking this up next year by refurbishing their ships using some sort of boring, modern, monochromatic gray color scheme that came from a Marriott hotel somewhere in Newark, NJ. Too bad that they are going to do away with the elegance of this ship. But for me the best part of the cruise was the 4 o'clock High Tea in Horizons. Just a surreal experience looking out at the ocean while the string quartet was playing, eating finger sandwiches and miniature tarts. Just grand. Would I cruise on Oceania again? You bet I would, but this time probably with a European, or Asian itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
What a great opportunity and way to experience Cuba! We had the over-the-top comfort and dining of Oceania, and lots of time to experience this interesting country. With an overnight in Havana, we packed more excursions and time ... Read More
What a great opportunity and way to experience Cuba! We had the over-the-top comfort and dining of Oceania, and lots of time to experience this interesting country. With an overnight in Havana, we packed more excursions and time ashore than would have been possible with other lines that only spend a few hours in the port. Then, getting to experience two cities on the south side of the island provided a unique contrast. While the onboard crowd was a tad bit 'older' than we prefer, the ship's activities fit the bill. And the entertainment was the BEST we've ever experienced on a ship!! The cast worked so well together, have fantastic vocal harmony, and made excellent choices when it came to musical numbers. The couple that provided dance numbers were also soooo good. Then we had sessions where that couple taught us several ballroom dances (now I just need to practice!). Oceania also provided excellent Enrichment talks about Cuba and the history of the area! We highly recommend not only this cruise line, but this itinerary! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We are a couple in our mid-50s. The demographics on this cruise, and likely most Oceania cruises, are a small number in their 50s or younger, with the majority who are retirees in their 60s and 70s, and likely a few in their 80s or older. ... Read More
We are a couple in our mid-50s. The demographics on this cruise, and likely most Oceania cruises, are a small number in their 50s or younger, with the majority who are retirees in their 60s and 70s, and likely a few in their 80s or older. We saw a lot of walking canes, one oxygen cart, handful of wheelchairs, and that's OK - live life to the fullest and don't let anything hold you back. We like Holland America and have cruised a number of times as a couple with them but also with our children when they were young and then as teenagers. The comedian made a joke about the geriatric crowd on Holland America but seriously, the demographics on this were not much different. To put our comments into perspective, we are experienced cruises on our 43rd cruise, having sailed previously with Cunard (Platinum), Princess (Platinum), Holland America (3-star Mariner), Disney (Gold Castaway) and 4 cruises with Celebrity (Classic level, I think), two with Royal Caribbean and a river cruise with Vantage. We have some older neighbours (in their early 70s) who have been regulars with Oceania and were disappointed at how the standards have gone down over the years and have now moved on to Crystal. We therefore went into this with low expectations but we must say that this cruise greatly exceeded our expectations and we had a wonderful time. We know that there are many who are loyal to Oceania and for them, there is just no other line to travel with. Our experiences with a vast variety of cruise lines have allowed us to see that each has its strength and weaknesses, and that remains the case here with Oceania. First, the strengths. The slogan “Finest Cuisine at Sea” was accurate as far as our experiences were concerned. Of the 6 lines we have cruised with, we would definitely rate this #1 for cuisine. Celebrity (Solstice class) and Disney come next, followed by Princess, HAL and Cunard in the third tier and Royal Caribbean at the bottom. The Main Dining Room with unique such as Jacques Bistro and the Taste of the World sampler plate at lunch, with unique offerings from dinner, including items from Tuscan Steak and Red Ginger was thoroughly enjoyable. We also enjoyed the few times we ate at the buffet at dinner time to take advantage of the cooked-to-order fish, steak, lamb chops and lobster tails. The library, the unlimited sodas, smoothies, specialty coffees was especially nice treat. We dined once at Tuscan Steak and Red Ginger. Both are great atmospheres although the ribeye was tougher than I expected. The weaknesses are not a big issue. We really like the entertainment on large ships with huge productions but the one show each night at 9:30 pm is good for the size of ship. Great vocals overall, one dancing couple, great music from the ship`s 5 piece band, supplemented with the string quartet at times. We were in a C2 category Deluxe Oceanview in stateroom 4000. While the rooms are on the small size at about 165 sq ft., these bathrooms are the smallest we have ever experienced, not just the shower but the entire layout was very unfriendly. We went to Great Stirrup Cay, nice and compares ok with other ship private islands but nothing close to meeting the standard at Disney's Castaway Cay. Cuba was interesting. The $479 (for two) cost of the "Modern Havana in an American Classic" which included a 90 minute classic car ride as part of a 3.5 hour tour was outrageously costly. Depends on how important it was to do this excursion. Overall, a very nice cruise and a pleasant way to see Cuba. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The ship stayed in Cuba for the entire cruise which was great. Absolutely loved Cuba. In Havana the city tour is a must in order to learn about life there. We also did a farm to table ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The ship stayed in Cuba for the entire cruise which was great. Absolutely loved Cuba. In Havana the city tour is a must in order to learn about life there. We also did a farm to table experience which was amazing. As far as the cruise experience we were so excited to take a “luxury”cruise! However, we found ourselves wondering when the luxury was going to start. An upgrade got us a bottle of champagne nothing more (most expensive champagne ever!). Average cruise meals, average cruise wines and to our surprise the “free” drink package was a total joke. It included wine at dinner only which was a shock!! What? The entertainment was average as were the specialty restaurants. Of course we had to pay another $160 to “upgrade”. There was absolutely no difference in that cruise than any other cruise I’ve been on. In fact I think Royal Caribbean is a much better cruise experience and the cost is half of an Oceania cruise. Also, FYI the ship is OLD and needs a refurbishment, and the pool was tiny. To sum it up, loved the destination but did not understand why Oceania claims to be a luxury cruise line. Lesson learned. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This is the first time we have used Oceania. We chose this cruise because it is about the only cruise line which circum navigates Cuba. This gave us the opportunity to visit 3 ports, Havana for 2 days, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. ... Read More
This is the first time we have used Oceania. We chose this cruise because it is about the only cruise line which circum navigates Cuba. This gave us the opportunity to visit 3 ports, Havana for 2 days, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. We also chose Oceania because we have friends who rave about Oceania service and the food. We boarded the ship with very high expectations. Firstly, let me say the staff on Oceania are second to none. They are friendly, helpful and hospitable. Our steward did a remarkable job keeping our cabin up to the mark. The food presentation is remarkable, all food including the buffet presented beautifully. However, the ship itself is old and tired. And it shows. We were told that 4 of Oceania ships are getting a $100 Million refurbish in the future, which will make a big difference. We bought the premium drinks package, and they do serve premium brands. At happy hour there was such a rush on drinks, we were able to wait until the bars had cleared and there was seating in the lounges because of the package. Otherwise there was always a queue of people waiting for drinks. The staff at these times are flat out, but other staff were not recruited to help out. The food itself was disappointing at times. Breakfast in the Terrace Cafe (buffet) was very good, and food was served by staff rather than helping ourselves (possibly because of contamination). Meals at Lunch also very good, both in the Terrace Cafe and the Main Dining Room. In the Terrace Cafe, at the salad bar, the same dressing was served every day when we ate there, no other choices offered. Service was always very good in these venues. Dinner at Red Ginger and the Steakhouse excellent. Dinner in the Main Dining Room in the evenings was a bit hit and miss. Two of my meals, the Osso Bucco and the Roast Lamb were practically inedible. The Osso Bucco was dry and stringy and the Roast Lamb, although rolled, was tough and dry. My husband also had Roast Lamb, his was much better, so we shared it. Mint sauce was not offered and when we requested it, never arrived. We liked the small ship concept of Oceania. However, the age of the ship did not appeal to us. Would we go on Oceania again? Possibly, if the itinerary was something that appealed. However, we went to the Future Cruises Talk and there is nothing new for us for the next couple of years. The one cruise we would have considered, from Santiago to Auckland NZ is available for 2019, but not 2020 when we would like to do it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We went with our Alumni association, which was great fun to have something in common with fellow travelers. We also chose this because of the itinerary "timeless Cuba" which gave us a chance to see three different cities in ... Read More
We went with our Alumni association, which was great fun to have something in common with fellow travelers. We also chose this because of the itinerary "timeless Cuba" which gave us a chance to see three different cities in Cuba. Embarkation and Disembarkation went very smoothly. The ship only has 690 passengers which make things so much easier. Dining, getting around the ship and even getting deck chairs was easy. the ship was beautiful and our cabin was a outside stateroom and very clean and roomy. Dining was freestyle and we also could eat at two different specialty restaurants at no additional charge. The first thing we noticed at boarding was no photographers! It was so nice not to be bugged all the time for photos. The passengers were an older group and we enjoyed having no loud music at the pool. In the evening the lounges has nice music and dancing upstairs in the lounge. The entertainment was low key but very good singers and dancers and a comedian. Ports were very interesting, Cuba itself was interesting and the excursions were very good. Moreover , the service and staff were outstanding! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We selected Sirena and Oceania because the schedule was good for us and the itinerary just what we wanted. Sirena is a smaller cruise ship than previously booked and we wanted to see if size and quality of ship, as advertised, were ... Read More
We selected Sirena and Oceania because the schedule was good for us and the itinerary just what we wanted. Sirena is a smaller cruise ship than previously booked and we wanted to see if size and quality of ship, as advertised, were true. Sirena did not disappoint on either account. With only some 680 passengers the ship was well proportioned for this capacity and certainly there was never an issue with numbers or access to restaurants or facilities. We booked a Concierge Stateroom which was certainly big enough for us although the ensuite was compact, This is an older ship that doesn’t show its age yet has all the features of a stately ship. The ship was immaculately clean and the internal passageways and staircases were equally fastidiously maintained. Ship’s staff were excellent, attentive and ever-present to meet your every need. Food standards were exceptional! Day to day organisation was discrete-with brief rundown of events/activities broadcast once and then you went and did your thing. Everything was included in the cost except alcohol and shore excursions. There was no hassle Re photos or any other big ship pressures eg art sales etc. Perhaps the only - and often mentioned criticism- was the cost of shore tours. They were very expensive. We did our own research and booked tours independently ourselves. We selected the OLife option when booking to cover off internet and gratuities. All in all a very well presented ship with outstanding staff and exquisite food. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We just completed a cruise on Oceania Sirena, cruising to Cuba. Therr we're eight of us in the group. It was to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. We enjoyed seeing Cuba and the food was terrific. Really special. The Red ... Read More
We just completed a cruise on Oceania Sirena, cruising to Cuba. Therr we're eight of us in the group. It was to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. We enjoyed seeing Cuba and the food was terrific. Really special. The Red Ginger's food is as good as it gets The cabin service was great also. The excursions were just OK. Routine cruise eexcursions. Lots of them were cancelled for unclear reasons. The downside was their bar and wine staff focus on money. If we ordered water or a Coke, often they were a bit put out or simply forgot to deliver it. We were charged $50 corking fees. At the table we were told they would credit it. It was on the bill. When I asked about it, they challenged me, saying that is not true. I felt they were calling me a liar. Dumb dumb. Overall, I'm glad we saw Cuva but won't cruise again on Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our first cruise on Oceania and had chosen to give them a try when we first saw their published itineraries for Cuba. We visited Havana for 2 days, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba on this 7 night cruise from Miami. We really ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Oceania and had chosen to give them a try when we first saw their published itineraries for Cuba. We visited Havana for 2 days, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba on this 7 night cruise from Miami. We really enjoyed being on a small ship and never had any major issues getting seats for meals or lounges on the pool deck. The food was very good. We were very impressed with the Terrace Cafe which is the buffet and offered the same items as served in the Grand Dining Room plus had lobster tails and grilled shrimp every night. There are outside tables where you can dine and also inside tables all with white tablecloths which made dining very pleasant and much quicker than spending two hours in the Grand Dining Room. We ate at Red Ginger one night and was disappointed in the preparation of our entrees. Both were greasy and appeared to have sat for a while before being served. The lobster on my :Lobster Pad Thai was delicious but the noodles were tasty but too oily to eat. The server never came back to check on our dishes so after eating some of each entree, we left with no one even asking if there was a problem. We went to the Terrace Cafe and had dessert. The Tuscan Steak House was very nice with great service and delicious food. Hubby and the Surf & Turf which was prepared perfectly and I had the Veal Shank which was delicious but a very large serving. Waves was a nice place for lunch a few times with the surf & turf sandwhich (sliced filet mignon & lobster) was a real winner. We enjoyed the nightly entertainment by the 8 person entertainment group, the ventriloquist and a female who sang & played the trumpet. The demographic of this cruise was definitely 50+ but very active, seasoned cruisers. This is definitely a cruise line that has worked hard to provide very well trained crewmembers all of whom were very polite. We liked the buffet not being self-service and a chef appearing as soon as I asked about anything special we needed. We were not impressed by the two excursions by Oceania that we took in Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. We had a private guide from ToursbyLocals for a group of 8 for the 2 full days we had in Havana. This was a great way to see Havana and also enjoy the Tropicana nightclub the night we were in port. Our guide assured that we had a wonderful tour of the four squares in colonial Havana, a tour in the classic cars, lunch at a lovely paladar specializing in tapas & Spanish food, a night at the Tropicana, and on the second day a farm to table experience in Cojima that was very enjoyable and time to shop at the San Jose Market. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Sirena Cuba Cruise Why this cruise? In a word – Cuba. We had never been there; and were unlikely to make a second visit given our advancing years; so, when Oceania offered this trip we were quick to grab it. This would be our 7th ... Read More
Sirena Cuba Cruise Why this cruise? In a word – Cuba. We had never been there; and were unlikely to make a second visit given our advancing years; so, when Oceania offered this trip we were quick to grab it. This would be our 7th Oceania cruise; and the second on Sirena. It would be for only 7 days with two days in Havana, one in Cienfuegos and one in Santiago de Cuba so it seemed like a good idea- which proved to be true. The ship Sirena is the most recently acquired of four identical former Renaissance ships owned by Oceania. It is small, 684 passengers, but reasonably spacious at 30,277 tons for an above average passenger space ratio of 44. It was completely re-done after Oceania acquired it in 2016, so it has a new appearance. There is a lot of dark wood, and varied furniture looking like the 1940s. There are two elevator banks of 2 elevators each; but they seemed to do the job well. The basic plan is to have entertainment forward and food aft, with the center used for management, shops, the casino, library, pool deck and lounging areas. Decks 6, 7 and 8 are all for staterooms; with about half of Deck 5 and a small portion of Deck 4 for passenger cabins also. Deck 5 forward has the show lounge; Deck 9 the Canyon Ranch Spa, and Deck 10 the Horizon Lounge. The main dining room is on Deck 5, the Terrace Buffet on 9, and Deck 10 has the 2 specialty restaurants, Red Ginger and the Tuscan Steak Grill. All in all, Sirena is a well designed ship; easy to navigate, and very attractive in its appearance. Living Aboard Our stateroom was 8046. The prime motif was dark wood, with light grey textured walls, a large mirror on one wall, and a nice, modern painting above the sofa. The desk arrangement was convenient, and next to it was the decent sized sofa. There were two arm chairs and a small table, probably adequate for room service (which we never use on any cruise). The verandah was good sized with two adjustable cane arm chairs that could be fitted with a padded seat and back cushion. There was a small table and a faux teak deck. The bed had two gooseneck directed focused reading lamps as well as normal wall lamps. These focused lamps made reading in bed very easy. We also enjoyed the full glass wall with the door leading out to the verandah, as it provided nice light all day. The bathroom had a full sized, obviously new shower, with both a rain shower head, a hand held spray head and a towel rack holding huge bath towels in addition to the normal sized bath towels and other towels on racks in the bathroom. There was a single sink, but cabinets and drawers on both sides providing all the room needed for toiletries. The closet was good sized with an easily sufficient number of nice quality clothes hangers provided. As usual on board ship, there was more than enough drawer space for all we brought aboard This was a Penthouse Suite. It is about 304 square feet compared to the somewhat small “normal” Verandah Suite; which we had experienced on other Oceania small ships. We have used the Penthouse Suite on most of our cruises for the ease of use and room. It also offers faster embarkation, free internet, free laundry service and a butler who was very nice, but not used at all. We had enough food without afternoon canapes, thank you. Dining Oceania is a fine dining cruise line. Their larger two ships have 4 specialty restaurants, but the four smaller ones do very well with the 2 noted above. There is no charge for using any of these specialty venues. Overall, with 42 cruises to date on 13 cruise lines; 10 ocean and 3 river cruises; we would rate Oceania’s dining performance as superior to all cruise lines except Crystal cruises; and it is quite close to that line’s marvelous ships. The main dining room is traditional, with excellent service, open dining and a fine selection. Red Ginger is one of our favorite restaurants. Reservations are required, but we were entitled to two, which we took advantage of. We are not steak people (Edith is a vegetarian) so we skipped the Tuscan Steak Grill. The Terrace Buffet has a wide selection and offered some special daily choices by way of Cuban and Italian food. It can get a little crowded for breakfast, but we always found seats. The service is fine. There is a “Barista” café outside the main dining room which offers a free selection of various coffee treats; and a “Waves” sandwich, ice cream and hamburger bar near the pool outside the Terrace Café. Entertainment As a small ship, with limited options, Sirena was constrained in its offerings. There was a small “show” group with 5 singers and 2 dancers, a lady who played the trumpet and a ventriloquist. We only went to one of the “production” nights, and it was okay. The most attractive entertainment offering was Sandy Cares, the Enrichment speaker. We had seen her on an earlier Oceania cruise, and very much enjoyed her well informed and lively presentations on this cruise as well. Oceania is well served by her. There was a very nice string quartet composed of young ladies from the Ukraine, who played every afternoon at tea in the Horizon Room, and several sessions on Deck 5 as well. Unfortunately, these sessions often conflicted with other events as well such as dinner and some special meetings for frequent Oceania passengers. Extending their presentation until later in the evening would be a good idea. The Crew There are 400 crew members on this ship. With a passenger total of 684, the ratio is 1.71 passengers for each crew member. This is a very great ratio, exceeded only by a few of the small, super luxury cruise lines. The ratio on the large ships is more like 2.5 to 3.8. This means that the cabins are promptly and well cared for, the wait staff in all restaurants and the buffet are easily sufficient for fast and friendly service, and the entire operation of the vessel is smooth and pleasant. Embarkation and Debarkation As noted above, our Penthouse status gave us priority in boarding. The Miami cruise terminal set up has a fairly large waiting area. We got there about 10:30, and were among the first on board at 11:00 where, as usual, we had to wait until 1:00 to go to our stateroom. When we checked in we were provided with Cuban visas as promised (for $75.00 each). Of course this allowed us to have lunch in the buffet and to check out some books in the delightful library. Our luggage was at the room when we went there. Debarkation went pretty quickly also, although there is a lot of walking through the terminal involved. We were not required to fill out a customs form and easily got through the customs and border check. In Cuba We sailed away at 5:00 and arrived in Havana at about 8:00 the following morning. We seldom, if ever, use Oceania’s excursions due to their limited nature and very high cost. We had made e-mail contact earlier with a private tour guide, Yuri, whose e-mail is: yuri,arcayaborrego@nauta.cu. Using CruiseCritic we made contact with several people, and some others had made contact with Yuri also, so our group numbered 14. There was much discussion about how to pay for the services. Yuri said that his tour would be both days in Havana, then in Cienfuegos, and then in Santiago. His charges would be 350 cuc (Cuban money) per person for all four tours. Cucs are only available in Cuba. While the “formal” exchange rate is 1 cuc per 1 U.S. dollar, the exchange charges made the actual rate about 0.87 to 1; so 350 cucs would be about $402.00. However Euros had no such exchange premium; so 350 cucs were about 311 Euros. We already had about 280 Euros from prior trips, so we bought 550 more from our bank, and were on our way. We checked in through Cuban customs, showed our visas and were photographed. We then exchanged some Euros for cucs and met Yuri outside the port building. We had noticed on the way in that many port buildings were in very bad shape. This turned out to be true of many places in Cuba. It is a very poor country, with no solid economic base. We all had heard about the pre-Castro American cars preserved by the Cubans, and we saw a number of them, all in very good shape. Of course most of the motor transportation is vis European or Asian vehicles. and I was fortunate to get a new MG taxi with a working ac unit to fight the 87 degree heat. We saw a lot of Havana, including a stop for a very inexpensive lunch, and returned about 4:00 P.M. We were told that next day would be spent mostly walking, so I decided to skip it. Some people on the ship went to a night club show that night. The next day was spent in several museums. Yuri speaks very good English and made his comments enjoyable. The next day was a sea day and we then arrived in Cienfuegos at about 7:00 A.M. This tour was also a walking-museum tour which I skipped again, although it involved about an hours trip to Trinidad. The return to the ship was at about 1:00 since we sailed at 3:00 The final day was spent in Santiago de Cuba. This is a part of the country absolutely dedicated to Fidel Castro. It is where he landed to start his successful revolution, and where he chose to be buried in a rather simple grave. Since this tour also involved walking, Edith again did it alone. What was nice is that Yuri did not charge us for the three days I missed. We paid at the end of each day. As noted, Cuba is a very poor country, without many prospects for the future under its present form of government. Tourism is bringing in some money, but not much with few hotels or resorts, and a limited flow of visitors from the United States. The people are delightful, and very fond of US citizens (and, of course, our money). They make do with limited resources but have talent and energy and a “we will survive” attitude. In Phoenix, where we live we have an excellent Ballet company which has received praise in New York newspapers. 3 of the dancers, including a leading ballerina, learned their art at their home in Cuba. They evidently were allowed to leave, and at least one has returned home between seasons; so it is possible to leave. Concluding Thoughts This was a very worthwhile cruise, even though my limited walking ability severely restricted my ability to see and enjoy the country. There are supposed limits on what Americans can do in Cuba, and the ship uses a couple of the entertainers (who were the only US citizens) to act as OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control, a US agency) officers to keep people informed of the restrictions. However there was virtually no enforcement of these rules. Even the Cuban government, which was everywhere, did not man the entry point in Havana the second day, so anyone on board could simply go ashore and do whatever they wanted to do. We were supposed to go ashore in Santiago de Cuba to surrender our Cuban visas, but if someone did not, there was no follow up. So, if you want to see Cuba in comfort on a beautiful and immensely comfortable ship. Oceania Sirena is the way to go. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
3rd Oceania cruise, 2 on the Marina. this is a smaller ship that the Marina, so it had fewer specialty restaurants but this didn't matter that much. What it did lack was any WOW factor. I hope this will improve when the ships are ... Read More
3rd Oceania cruise, 2 on the Marina. this is a smaller ship that the Marina, so it had fewer specialty restaurants but this didn't matter that much. What it did lack was any WOW factor. I hope this will improve when the ships are redone. EMBARKATION: arrived at port around 1:00 and probably was on ship by 1:20. We went to lunch which was fine. Rooms weren't ready until after 3 for us, because of an "inspection" of the ship. CABIN: We were in an inside cabin, which was small and the bathroom was tiny. DINING: we ate in both specialty restaurants, red ginger twice and tuscan steak houseonce. Food was excellent, service not so much. 20 minutes to get a soda. Dinner at steak house took more than 2 hours, causing us to miss 9:30 show. Staff in main diningroom at times seemed overwhelmed. Food was ok. As far as the buffet, eggs at breakfast were some type of liquid that was not very good. food at buffet was just fair. Even the Surf and turf sandwich at the grill were mediocre . (on marina, they were great) ENTERTAINMENT; surprisingly excellent. For a small ship, we were not expecting muchand we were pleasantly surprised. Also the enrichment program was terrific. Sandra Cares was beyond exceptional in her presentations. We appreciate that these were televised at a later time on the TV. The gym classes were also very good. I took spin, stretch, yoga and pilates. the room was small, so sign up early. I was closed out of a spin class. SERVICE: oUR housekeepers were great, and all staff were friendly and made you feelat "home" rather than needing to sell you something as on other cruise lines. PORTS; We took private tours and I was not impressed by our tour guide, althoughit was much cheaper than Oceania excursion. We went to Havana which was disappointing in that many places were so run down and frozen in time (and not in a good way) We also went to Cienfuegos, and took an hour fifteen drive to the city of Trinidad that I didnt think was worthwhile, but others in our group liked. Santiago wasour last stop, we did this on our own. Walked a 1/4 mile uphill to a main square wherethere was a church, a building that Castro gave his famous speech, and museum calledthe "old house" which was interesting and worthwhile. disembarkation: we walked off and it was quite easy Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My wife and I have been on numerous cruises (20+) throughout the world on various cruise lines over the years. This was our third cruise with Oceania; the previous cruises were the northeastern seaboard and Bermuda, and India, the Middle ... Read More
My wife and I have been on numerous cruises (20+) throughout the world on various cruise lines over the years. This was our third cruise with Oceania; the previous cruises were the northeastern seaboard and Bermuda, and India, the Middle East and Europe . The 9-day Cuban Charisma Cruise started in Miami on September 24, 2018. We drove down from our home in The Villages through southwestern Florida and the Everglades to Miami. Boarding the ship was very easy. Our room was at the front of the ship on deck 6, room 6001. This was a good location because we were near the areas of the ship we used the most. Most points of interest are on 5 (dining room at the rear) and the Sirena Lounge at the front. Deck 9 has the computer room, card room and spa. The ship was a few years old and was very nice; very clean. The staff was great and the food was excellent. Coffee, including specialty coffees, was available 24/7 on Deck 10 front and also, during select hours on Deck 5 rear. The ship provided complimentary water and soft drinks. The Program Director provided information about tours and basically everything you needed to know on a timely basis. The ship had a cast of great entertainers on board and also a great band. They were very professional and excellent musicians. The cruise line provided a speaker, Sandy Cares, who covered a wide range of interesting topics on Cuba and also, bananas. The passengers and the crew were all very nice people from all walks of life. The people on the ship made the cruise interesting and enjoyable. The only real negative was the price of alcoholic beverages. The prices are ridiculous for what you get. We had a lot of fun playing games and competitions to earn Big O points. We earned almost 200 points which were cashed in on the last full day for Oceania merchandise. The visited Ports of Call follow. KEY WEST – Living in Florida, we have been to Key West many times. It's a fun little city. We took the President Truman's Key West tour. Truman's Key West home was something we had not seen before. It was very interesting and worth the time ... a nice history lesson. We also spent time at a free museum, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary; interesting place. More importantly, we enjoyed a frozen chocolate covered Key Lime pie on a stick prior to walking back to the ship. . HAVANA – We took the Old Colonial Havana tour; this was a walking tour that included, to our surprise, a bus tour too. This tour lasted almost two hours longer than scheduled which caused us to miss our next tour. But, that was all right, by then, we really didn't need another tour of Havana. Our guide was a well educated engineer who spoke good English and was very pro Cuba. The walking tour was easy and slow. The bus tour covered much of the city missed on the walking tour including a “5-Star” hotel stop to buy cigars, rum and coffee. We also stopped at a large market near the ship in case you needed to buy more Cuban stuff. We also took the Legendary Tropicana Cabaret tour. This is worth the trip to Havana! The show was fantastic. It started around 9:30 pm and lasted until about 11:15. It was the highlight of Havana. We had very good seats to watch the over 100 performers. It included a complimentary cigar, peanuts, a glass of Champagne and a bottle of rum to share among four people. The rum wasn't the best rum we tasted in Cuba (personal opinion). CIENFUEGOS – On the first day in port, we took the Colonial Trinidad tour. The bus ride to Trinidad was the highlight of the trip. We passed many horse pulled wagons, fields of sugar cane, bananas and various fruits and vegetables. Trinidad is an old city that shows its age. We stopped at La Canchanchara to enjoy a cocktail made from rum, sugar and limes and listened to a local band under a cooling fan. We also stopped at pottery shops located behind a few homes. Lunch at a local hotel was a large buffet including a beer. The lunch was good. This was a nice tour. On the second day, we took the Cienfuegos Dolphins show. This was a bus trip that included a 40-minute dolphin show with many locals in attendance and also, a great flute concert by 10 local young women. This was also a nice tour. SANTIAGO DE CUBA – On the first day in Santiago, we took the Colonial Santiago tour. This was a tour that included a great Spanish fort on the coast, San Juan Hill and the city's main square. Great photo opportunities. This was really the first time we encountered beggars. They were a bit of a problem. We also learned a lot about the history of Cuba and the Triumph of the Revolution. The history of the battle at San Juan Hill and the Spanish Cuban American War was an interesting portion of the tour. We attended the Tropicana Santiago Show. This was very different from the Havana show. It was more African dancing in nature but include one bottle of rum per person, cheese, meats and olives to munch on during the show. The Havana show was much better but the rum in Santiago was better than in Havana. The Havana show was more Las Vegas like while the Santiago show was more Cuban history with a little pop. The music was very, very loud …. too loud. On the second day, we took the Birthplace of the Revolution tour. This tour duplicated the prior days tour at times, but that was fine. It was very informative about the Revolution … the Triumph of the Revolution, as the locals would say it. One of the highlights of the tour was visiting the Santa Ifigenia cemetery. The cemetery includes the body of Fidel Castro and also, the hero of the country, Jose Marti. You will hear about Jose Marti throughout your time in Cuba. The cemetery was the only place in Cuba that was is perfect physical condition. Don't miss the changing of the guard every 30 minutes. TWO DAYS AT SEA – The cruise included two days a sea … a great time to relax and earn Big O points to cash in for Oceania merchandise. All of our tour guides were very good. They all spoke English well and were very approachable. On this cruise, you will learn a lot about Cuba, their free healthcare, free education, guaranteed jobs, low state wages … do your own research. You will see a lot of horse transportation, motor bikes, old American cars, clean streets (at least where you are taken), lots of people just sitting around, structures in need of paint, pot holes, well educated tour guides and generally, very friendly people. You will hear, at least while on the ship, a lot about OFAC. While in Cuba, all you need is US dollars; most stores will take them. The official story is that you will need to convert them into CUCs (Cuban Convertible Peso). The cost is around 85 to 90 CUCs per $100. They are suppose to be a 1 and 1 conversion but if you are from the US, they change a 10% to 15% fee. The CUCs are only for tourists, the locals use Pesos (around 25 Pesos per CUC). The locals like CUCs and US dollars. Cuba is a reflection of what it was, and what it might be in the future. Overall, the cruise was great. You will see many cannons buried in the clean streets, many old American cars and you will meet many very nice people on the ship and also, tour guides and locals. Oceania really took good care of us; they were always there to make sure everything was taken care of during the trip. They really seemed to care. A great trip. If they only reduced the price of alcoholic drinks. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We are seasoned cruisers and chose this cruise for a convenient way to travel home from Rome after attending a wedding in Malta. Past Transatlantic experiences have been exemplary on Cunard. We cruised on the Marina last year and ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers and chose this cruise for a convenient way to travel home from Rome after attending a wedding in Malta. Past Transatlantic experiences have been exemplary on Cunard. We cruised on the Marina last year and anticipated a similar positive experience on the Sirena. The ship is tired at best and in need of updates. Tiles surrounding the pool were missing and cracked. Oceania makes a very bold claim to have the finest cuisine at sea. Only Red Ginger was able to live up to that expectation. The other venues were just average at best with most food too salty. Booked a Concierge level room with no advantage over a standard room except for the laundry service. There was significant vibration at the rear of the ship. There seemed to be no plan for a change in itinerary due to hurricane Florence and 8 straight days at sea. The layout of the theater means that only the front row gets a clear view of the stage. All other seating is obscured. The Horizons lounge offered afternoon tea, and karoke and dancing later in the evening. It is unlikely I would cruise Oceania again. I'll continue cruising Transatlantic itineraries on Cunard and favor other premium cruise lines for other cruise vacations. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Don't listen to any hype on this line. Food is horrible, way too salty. Boat is falling apart, broken drawers, no remote control worked, pool rusty and tiles falling out. NOTHING to do...all guest under the age of 80 hated it and ... Read More
Don't listen to any hype on this line. Food is horrible, way too salty. Boat is falling apart, broken drawers, no remote control worked, pool rusty and tiles falling out. NOTHING to do...all guest under the age of 80 hated it and couldn't wait to get off. Sub par shows where entertainers went through the motions. Most staff were good...2 stated to us the were board. No music, no life, no fun...they actually advertised being cheaper than a convalescent home....seriously. it was a convalescent home, who are they kidding. Cooking demonstration was a comedic act of buffoonery and a total insult. Wine tasting is 100.00, manicure is 100.00 get over yourself Oceania. Noon on sea day and the casino was closed because no one was playing. Snore fest on a dilapidated ghost ship with gross food. Excursions not at all what was advertised and many closed venues. They tried to have us snorkel in contaminated brackish water where dead fish floated on top and it smelled so bad it made me sick. Those who went in were surely ill. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Sirena Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.8
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 3.5 3.3
Public Rooms 5.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 1.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.5

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