3 Sydney (Australia) to South Pacific Oceania Marina Cruise Reviews

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
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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