11 Sydney (Australia) Oceania Marina Cruise Reviews

This was our second experience on Oceania, the first being the Riviera in the Med. The ship sponsored shore excursions as noted in previous comments were really limited coach tours of the countryside. One described as an extraordinary rail ... Read More
This was our second experience on Oceania, the first being the Riviera in the Med. The ship sponsored shore excursions as noted in previous comments were really limited coach tours of the countryside. One described as an extraordinary rail journey was 5 hours on a couch and an hour on a train retracing the same scenery the coach traveled. There were only about 15 minutes that the train traveled over several gorges with great views. Others were quite basic and little explanation from guides. A few exceptions but not many. Tour organization on board was slow to the point of 30 minute delays starting tours from scheduled times as passengers could not be moved ashore quickly enough. With all the advertising Oceania does on cuisine, we found it no better than other 4 star lines. In some cases such as the Polo Grill the quality of the meat was tough and lacked even basic seasoning. The ship is fairly new and well maintained with high standards of cleanliness. Staff were attentive though a tad robotic and lacking a warmth that one finds on some other lines with this long an itinerary. Riviera seemed to have the edge on staff. Very little visibility or interaction with officers on this cruise. Embarkation and arrival efficient and well handled. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was our fourth Oceania cruise and we have become accustomed to the high standard of service and food. One disadvantage of going ashore in a tender/life boat is that high waves will keep you onboard. That happened on one stop in ... Read More
This was our fourth Oceania cruise and we have become accustomed to the high standard of service and food. One disadvantage of going ashore in a tender/life boat is that high waves will keep you onboard. That happened on one stop in Australia. Paid tours were refunded. Another disadvantage of stopping at small ports is the limited resources there to accommodate all passengers who want a particular shore tour. We were shut out of 3-4 tours that we wanted when we tried to book them 3+ months before embarkation. The service and food on the cruise were excellent. The stops in New Zealand were more numerous and more enriching than the ports in Australia. We were introduced to the Maori people and culture in three shore tours, a very worthwhile experience. Oceania ship board entertainment was excellent and the cruise director was one of a kind in a good way. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was our first cruise. We travelled for more than 30 hours to reach Sydney and then were told that we could not board the ship for 5 more hours. We were exhausted and just wanted to get to our cabin and crash, not spend 4 hours on a ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We travelled for more than 30 hours to reach Sydney and then were told that we could not board the ship for 5 more hours. We were exhausted and just wanted to get to our cabin and crash, not spend 4 hours on a bus tour of Sydney. The ship was very good and offered a variety of activities and dining options. The cabin service was also very good and the staff was very hospitable. The restaurants had interesting menus; the wine lists were touted, but were limited. The onboard barista was terrific as were the chef instructor and cooking classes. The port and shore excursions were a BIG disappointment. Many were no better than field trips for elementary school children. The excursions usually included large groups of people herded onto buses for long drives with few stops and limited guidance/education regarding the activity. The shore excursions were NOT AS ADVERTISED. Most activities on the cruise were a la carte and the dollars added up quickly. Internet connectivity was a joke while on board. Airline connections were terrible and did not allow for different travel options. On the whole, we will probably not choose another cruise unless the size of the ship and passenger complement is much smaller. We do better with less structure and with making our own arrangements for excursions. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
• Pre-cruise communications o A personalized booklet was prepared for the travelers in each cabin and delivered about 1-month before the cruise. This is the most impressive document we have ever had which includes all the dates and ... Read More
• Pre-cruise communications o A personalized booklet was prepared for the travelers in each cabin and delivered about 1-month before the cruise. This is the most impressive document we have ever had which includes all the dates and ports-of-call, stateroom information, embarkation information, dinner reservations, a listing of available ship’s tours, descriptions of available services and pre-printed luggage tags. Deluxe in every way • Embarkation o We tend to arrive for boarding mid-afternoon for 5PM or 6PM sailings when the crowd is lighter as it seems many passengers want to get on the ship as soon as possible. We arrived about 3PM and were almost the only passengers going thru the embarkation process so we were onboard and in our stateroom in • Stateroom o Our stateroom was as expected, clean and everything in order. The furnishings showed no wear and adequately comfortable. We quickly and easily settled in making the cabin our home for the voyage. o TV has a DVD player and the ship offers a huge library of films however you are only given a list of film titles to make your selections which for me turns in to guessing. • Stateroom Attendant o We booked Concierge Level and were expecting superior service but received below average service based on all the cruises we have been on. o This is the 1st cruise we have been on in recent memory where our Stateroom Attendant did not come to our cabin during embarkation to introduce themself, explain their services/responsibilities and ask for any of our special needs. This was even more astounding since we had a cabin on the Concierge Level. Although we eventually saw our Stateroom Attendant the following day, she never officially introduced herself nor welcomed us aboard. o Our stateroom was cleaned twice daily so no complaints other than our personal belongings were continually being moved and not replaced where they were which had never happened before. • Public Areas o All of the open areas of the ship are beautiful and extremely well maintained. No sign of wear and tear anywhere. • Food o The food is over the top excellent and you could have steak & lobster literally every night plus every few nights Alaskan king crab legs are offered. This is a foodies delight to the extreme. The choices and preparation of dishes rivals any high quality restaurant. The selection varies daily and every dish is prepared and presented exquisitely. The main dining room performs as well as the specialty dining rooms. The buffet also maintains a very high level of quality and selection so you do not feel that you are lowering your standards when eating there. • Beverages o Non-alcoholic drinks are complementary. Alcohol is on the high side with mixed drinks starting at $9 and wine generally $40 & up. There are 3-drinks daily as “drink of the day” at $5.50 and a ½ price happy hour daily. • Dining Areas o Specialty dining, main dining, buffet and terrace dining are all beautifully and appropriately appointed. Once again the furnishings are excellently maintained with no signs of wear. • Bar Areas o Once again, they are all beautifully and appropriately appointed and the furnishings are excellently maintained with no signs of wear. • Dining Service Staff o All service was professional and the staff is well trained o For all dining staff that we have encountered, English is clearly their second language and communication has been a continuing problem both in understanding them and them understanding what we want especially when it is a special request or menu variation. On this ship most servers seemed to be from Indonesia and because their culture and personal experiences were so different than the passengers making oneself understood or gaining adequate explanations was extremely difficult. o In the buffet area we frequently felt we were getting in the way of staff bringing food to the various stations. Rarely would the staff yield the way to the passengers. o Accept for coffee refills in the AM, rarely were we offered refills of our beverages • All staff who interact with guests- o Everyone was polite, well dressed and well groomed at all times. Everyone would get you anything you wanted but you almost always had to ask for everything you wanted and were rarely offered anything. When staff were asked they cheerfully complied. • Entertainment- o Scratch entertainment off your list if you are cruising Oceania. The worst main stage performances we have ever attended which covers Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess and Crystal. Early in the cruise there was one male dancer who had clearly studied ballet but did not have the rhythm to perform the dance moves required and he later was replaced. Female production group vocalists whose training was classical and had difficulty transitioning to other music styles and frequently sang off-key. The male singers had the problem to a lesser degree. o Oceana has only one main performance nightly at 9:30PM which we found inconvenient and incredibly, for the 15-30 minutes prior to the Main show and for the 1st 30-minutes during the show there is no alternative entertainment on the ship. No piano bar, now small group band just nothing. • Non-Entertainment presentations- o We were on a back-to-back cruise which was booked as one cruise but the lecturer, who is excellent, repeated the same talk on the 1st and 2nd legs. o The Executive Chef hosts and cooking demonstration which is excellent and I highly recommend. He has a chef from one of the specialty restaurants accompany him and they prepare 4-5 dished and provide the recipes. What makes the show great is the Executive Chef has a lot of personality and he interacts humorously with his guest chef. It is an entertaining show. The down side is they repeated the same talk on the 1st and 2nd legs so unless you like reruns you just have to find something else to do. • Tours o The ship offers a broad range of tours but most are on busses with +40 other passengers and are >2X the cost of what you might be able to book a similar tour independently.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
My husband and I spent 32 days aboard the Marina of Oceania Cruises February - March 2015. We had a room on Deck level 9, Concierge level A2. Our room was very nice with a spacious bath which included a marbled bath and a shower. The room ... Read More
My husband and I spent 32 days aboard the Marina of Oceania Cruises February - March 2015. We had a room on Deck level 9, Concierge level A2. Our room was very nice with a spacious bath which included a marbled bath and a shower. The room was spacious enough for the two of us for the month long cruise. The food was excellent, although the Grand Dining was slow. The Marina is a fairly new ship, beautifully decorated with lovely art. The entertainment was good, not excellent, but we were usually tired so we skipped it on occasion. The culinary and art classes were fun and the lectures informative. We have no complaints about the ship or the staff. Our biggest complaint is Oceania's marketing. We booked our 32 day voyage with no added amenities from the cruise line. That meant that we had no free internet, no free gratuities and no ship board credit. Once on board, we heard story after story of people who were given free everything. That is very disappointing to someone who has booked a Grand Voyage. When I talked to the Ambassador's, they basically said too bad. Once you have paid in full, and if offers come out online, you do not get them. And if you booked a Grand Voyage and offers come out on any of your two cruises, you don't get those offers either. The second half of our cruise was the South Pacific, and since they were not filling the ship for that cruise they were offering free amenities, and in some cases 50% off the cruise. I will never go on a cruise again where I feel taken advantage of. Oceania promotes people meeting other people with their classes and lectures, etc. People talk. I don't see how they expect to keep their clients happy if some get deals and others don't. If I cruise with Oceania again, it will be the same amenities that everyone else gets. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, I don't think so. Warning! At the end of our cruise, we were required to put our luggage outside our door at 10 pm the night before disembarkation. When we went to retrieve our luggage one suitcase was missing. We were told by the Oceania representative that it was not there responsibility and that was why we had insurance. How can that be? Where was their security? We will never put our luggage out the night before again.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Don't book on Oceania: Unless you want to be "nickeled & dimed". Unless you are over 70 years old. Unless you are a married couple.... and don't, don't, don't book directly with Oceania (use a travel ... Read More
Don't book on Oceania: Unless you want to be "nickeled & dimed". Unless you are over 70 years old. Unless you are a married couple.... and don't, don't, don't book directly with Oceania (use a travel agent- that was you have an advocate and perks that you don't get with Oceania directly. Don't upgrade to the concierge level (it is a total waste of money). I booked this cruise a year in advance directly with Oceania. I booked airfare with Oceania on my return home, thinking they would "take care" of me from the ship to the airport they wouldn't even take our luggage to the airport for us! We had to get off the ship at 9:00 am and our flight departed at 7:15 pm (it was not my choice to have that departure time). We had to purchase an excursion for the day of our departure for $169, on which they dropped us off at the military museum for 3 hours for a "self-guided tour", then we were dropped off at a shopping area for 3 hours for lunch on our own and shopping. The 1st excursion I had on this cruise was a vintage train ride for $200.00. The tour guide took us down Collins Street in Melbourne during lunch hour and we sat in traffic for an hour (the tour guide told us where she had lived, where she had gotten married and when we asked her a question about Melbourne, she looked up the answer in a book!) - then we were taken on the train ride, which was just ok, then on the way back to the ship she put on a tape for everyone to listen to of a British humorist telling "pub" jokes (sexual). I wrote a review on the mid-cruise comment sheet and went to the destinations counter and was told the complaint must be written again on their form, which I did. The next day I received a form letter that said Oceania was sorry I was not satisfied with the excursion... nothing else (I ran into others that were on the same excursion that also filled out the form - they received the same form letter). I booked 6 excursions on this cruise - they were all expensive - from $155 to $350. I was told from other passengers on the ship that they had onboard credits from their travel agent (for the same cabin that we had) for $650.00. Oceania (we booked directly with them) gave us nothing. There was a meet & greet for gays & lesbians, but not for single people. I felt like I was hearded the entire trip. There was inadequate communication about the departure from the ship on the day of departure (it came the night before departure). Three days before departure from the ship I asked to speak to the general manager, Damien LaCroix, and was asked if I had an appointment; I said "no, but I would like an appointment". "Randall" called us back - I never heard from Mr. LaCroix. This was my third cruise on Oceania and I will NEVER cruise on Oceania again! The wait staff and cabin cleaners were wonderful, the food was good, the entertainment was amateurish, the coffee was horrible (unless you went to the baristas on deck 14 - who closed at 6pm). Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
This was our first Oceania cruise which was recommended by our travel agent. We have previously cruised on Celebrity, Azamara, Carnival, Uniworld and Silversea. We choose this itinerary as it has long been on our bucket list to see ... Read More
This was our first Oceania cruise which was recommended by our travel agent. We have previously cruised on Celebrity, Azamara, Carnival, Uniworld and Silversea. We choose this itinerary as it has long been on our bucket list to see Australia/New Zealand. Flight arrangements were made with Oceania with air deviation to arrive several days ahead of time in Sydney and to stay an extra night in Auckland. With air deviation the extra cost involved was an additional $1500. to our fares. We had booked an A2 concierge cabin on the 10th deck aft. Due to weather we missed the South Island of New Zealand which was a disappointment but realize that it was for the safety of all concerned. We were impressed with the decor of the ship and the space in our cabin. There was adequate space for everything but having the closet open next to the bed was a bit tight at times. We did not feel that extra cost for concierge was worth it as all the veranda staterooms are the same size and the only benefit that we enjoyed was being able to book restaurants at an earlier date. The concierge lounge was on deck 9 forward and it was easier for us to go Terrace Cafe for morning coffee then to the lounge. Service was good most of the time but inconsistent, one staff would tell you something was included and another would tell you something else. Also it was difficult to get to know all of the waiters as they sit you at a different table each time you go to the dining room. We did not get the beverage package and spent far less than what it would have cost us and still enjoyed martinis before dinner, a bottle of wine at dinner and occ. drink at lunch or after dinner. The food was excellent the majority of the times and we enjoyed the Dining room most nights and esp Red Ginger and Toscana. The Terrace Cafe was good but could be crowded at times. We esp enjoyed Waves Grill for breakfast on warmer days and occ. for lunch when not off the ship. Excursions on Oceania are overpriced and we were able to book excellent excursions on our own at a much lower rate than Oceania. Enrichment lectures were enjoyable and cooking demonstrations on sea days fun. Entertainment, we only went to 2 shows, one was excellent, a pianist and one average performer who sang pop opera numbers. Overall, we enjoyed our cruise but much preferred having the all inclusive aspect of Silversea and being on a smaller ship. With all costs involved there was little difference in price between Oceania and an all inclusive cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Third cruise on the Marina. I love a new ship no smells or mold. Penthouse 1 a perfect size for a longer cruise. Butler and cleaning staff were excellent. Room under Waves Grill a bit too much noise at times. Gym and trainer excellent. ... Read More
Third cruise on the Marina. I love a new ship no smells or mold. Penthouse 1 a perfect size for a longer cruise. Butler and cleaning staff were excellent. Room under Waves Grill a bit too much noise at times. Gym and trainer excellent. Good equipment and nice selection of classes at the gym. Was a wine cruise, with good lectures on wine. Food not the best. The special wine dinner at $95./person was exceptional. Food service and wine were 1st class. The specialty restaurants are okay, but you need patience, service is slow. Main dining room good food, slow service. The Terrace Grill(serve yourself) okay, but food selection limited. Not a very friendly atmosphere, excepting our butler and cabin cleaners. Cruise director it very good and friendly. Officers kind of cold. Biggest complaint are the outrageous excursion costs. These are over the top. Get off ship and get your own tours or book online before leaving home. I wouldn't use their airfare or transfers. I like direct flights and I have at least 4 days before and after cruise in hotels of my choice. I would sail with them again, book most of my own tours, airfare, transfers, etc. The staterooms, room service meals, and the gym are the main reasons. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
After 25 days on board Marina, I'm reminded of a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln: "People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like." Marina is a wonderful ship -- well designed, ... Read More
After 25 days on board Marina, I'm reminded of a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln: "People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like." Marina is a wonderful ship -- well designed, comfortable, wide-ranging and excellent dining options. The staff was - almost - uniformly superb. For most cruisers who don't care about such (to my mind) nonsense as rock-climbing walls and extravagant entertainment, I suspect it is just about perfect. My wife and I enjoyed it thoroughly. And yet our personal bias got in the way. We know we are in the minority, but we found our ideal ship years ago in Alaska - the 100-passnger Spirit of Oceanus, part of the late, much lamented Cruise West. Even though Marina is 12.5x bigger, we heard so many wonderful things about Oceania we gave it a try. To our own taste, the ship was a bit glitzy. Our penthouse suite was comfortable enough, but was starting to show some wear from repeated voyages, as was the passageway on our deck, leading past a bazillion cabins. From our wonderful butler - thank you, Sonu - to the dining staff, cabin attendants, excursion staff, officers and crew, all the Marina folks were friendly, gracious, helpful and welcoming. The exception was the Main Dining Room maitre d' (who doubled as boss of the outdoor grill) who had the personality of a prison warden. We arrived in Sydney a couple days early (very good plan) and arranged our own hotel (also, from what I hear, a very good plan.) Embarkation, for getting 1200 souls on board, was surprisingly easy, although it got off to a somewhat late start. Unlike some reviewers, we found the service and the food in the Main Dining Room to be quite good. We were shown to tables where we could meet and chat with shipmates, and there spent a charming evening with the featured lecturer, Ambassador Paul Cotton, finding to our delight we have a mutual friend. The specialty restaurants are the hot tickets, but the butler, the concierge or the dining desk in the lobby can usually get you in. Our favorite was the clubby Polo Grill, and we loved Toscana (first time ever seeing an olive oil sommelier) and Red Ginger. We are not big evening entertainment people, so I'm not qualified to judge. Some reviewers bemoan the lack of cast-of-thousand stage shows, some of our fellow passengers thought the shows were great - particularly the comedian. Shore excursions should raise an enormous red flag for any potential cruiser. In the main, we found them to be overpriced bus rides with 40-50 of your new best friends, where you'd make several stops and wait and wait and wait for the laggards to clamber back aboard the bus. For our next Oceania cruise, we'll be doing careful port research and going independently where we can, or joining with folks in the Cruise Critic roll call for our cruise to arrange a small group trip -- far better, far cheaper. We wish we had known about that prior to this cruise. Midway through the cruise, my wife became ill. She's fine now, thanks. The doctor on board seems professional and capable, but - holy moly - be prepared to pay a fortune. Here's another hint for South Pacific cruisers: if you really must get sick, and think you need to visit a hospital, go the ER in Auckland at the city hospital there. They are extremely competent, extremely friendly, extremely inexpensive. Wonderful people and wonderful care. But, then, that's the Kiwis for you. So, for us, Marina is as big as it's going to get. Our next cruise is on Nautica, roughly half the size and for us that's double the appeal. If that doesn't work out? Well, there's always a rowboat.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
This was our third cruise on Oceania (including one on the predecessor Ranaissance) and the first on Marina. We did the itinerary from Sydney to Tahiti - 25 days - in March/April 2013. I cannot say enough about the quality of this ship. ... Read More
This was our third cruise on Oceania (including one on the predecessor Ranaissance) and the first on Marina. We did the itinerary from Sydney to Tahiti - 25 days - in March/April 2013. I cannot say enough about the quality of this ship. Luxury is found in every aspect of the ship. Among the most important elements is that the ship is very well sized for the passenger count. The Marina is larger than the previous Oceania ships and takes 1250 passengers. Both the physical size of the ship and the size of the staff is perfectly matched to the passenger count. There is never any difficulty finding a place to sit anywhere, whether in the buffet dining room, poolside, lounges, casino, or even getting on equipment in the fitness center. The cabins are very well sized and the space is very well used. The staff is uniformly excellent. I have never seen such friendly and pleasant people who are so eager to be helpful without being overbearing. The food is the best I have encountered on any other cruise line (and I have been on many others). There are four specialty restaurants (French, Italian, Asian and Beef) and each is fantastic with regard to both the quality of food, quality of presentation, breadth of menu and quality of service. There are no additional charges for these restaurants, although reservations are needed. The main dining room does not come up to the same high standard. Although the service there is excellent, and being seated (open dining) was never a problem, the menus and food quality not not nearly as good as the specialty restaurants. As a result, we had 19 of our 25 diners at the specialty restaurants. We eventually learned that on the nights when we could not get a reservation at a specialty restaurant, the buffet was an excellent alternative. The selection and quality was actually much better than the main dining room. As long as you don't mind the informality of a buffet, it is an excellent choice.We really enjoyed the more casual dress code of this ship. A jacket is never required at any of the restaurants. There are no "formal nights" which for us is a pleasure. We really appreciated that there are no extra charges for anything except liquor. Soft drinks, cappuccino, mixers, etc. are all free. We were on the concierge level and the concierge lounge was always well stocked with juice, soft drinks, bottled water, small snacks, coffee/tea/cappuccino. The fridge in out room was also stocked with soft drinks and water. Of course, alcohol is available for purchase, but much to our delight, they do not constantly push it on you as is the case on many other ships. If you are poolside and want a soft drink, it will be brought to you. If you want a drink you will get one easily but you won't be bombarded with constant attempts to sell you liquor. Especially nice that that whenever you leave the ship there is bottled water available as you leave. On so many other ships, they squeeze an extra few bucks out of you by selling water to you as you leave the ship. Now for the one big negative...the pricing of their shore excursions is outrageously high compared to any other ship I have been on. Also, the quality of the excursions is nothing special. At a couple of our ports we took independently arranged excursions and they were much better and very much cheaper (1/2 to 1/3 the cost). One striking example is that at our disembarkation in Pappete, Tahiti, they ship charged $149/person to transfer to the airport by bus (a 15-20 minute ride). We took a cab which cost us $20 for 4 people. Read Less
Sail Date March 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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