20 Venice Oceania Marina Cruise Reviews

We choose this cruise because chef Jacques Pepin was going to be onboard! Unfortunately, the entire cruise was overshadowed with the onboard illness of some cruisers and staff! We were told little about it except that protocol and ... Read More
We choose this cruise because chef Jacques Pepin was going to be onboard! Unfortunately, the entire cruise was overshadowed with the onboard illness of some cruisers and staff! We were told little about it except that protocol and precautions were put in place to handle it! Thus for the entire remainder of the cruise we had no laundry, no concierge lounge, no preset tables, no salt and pepper shakers, and informal dining area that was wrapped in Saran Wrap and difficult for us and staff to use! but we did have the constant wiping of tables,railings and chairs etc as we tried to dine, and/ or enjoy the views! They were able to have chef Pepin provide us with a book signing, although it was poorly promoted and we heard about it through word of mouth,and a demo and question and answer time, which we enjoyed! We felt the staff were tense, and under pressure. The captain gave us very little info, although several days after his first announcement he did say it was not a norovirus but precautions were going to continue for the rest of the cruise! We are glad this wasn't our first cruise or one that was for a very special occasion, because we would have been very disappointed! We enjoyed our shore excursions, liked the ship size and ease of getting around, also liked that the age of our fellow passengers had gotten younger since our last Oceania cruise! We do not go to evening entertainment,or the casino. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Marina is a beautiful ship and the public areas are not only amazingly gorgeous in their decor but the entire ship is just a joy to behold. All the public areas have amazing and interesting furniture, works of art, soft furnishings, ... Read More
Marina is a beautiful ship and the public areas are not only amazingly gorgeous in their decor but the entire ship is just a joy to behold. All the public areas have amazing and interesting furniture, works of art, soft furnishings, fabrics etc. The ports of call on this cruise were so interesting. We visited Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bari Italy, Corfu Greece, Zakynthos Greece, Valetta Malta, Catania Siciliy, Naples/Pompei and the cruise disembarked in Rome. The veranda stateroom on level 8 was very acceptable with a comfortable bed and it was clean and well presented. All of the staff were lovely as usual and did an excellent job. Shore excursions were all wonderful and very interesting and 'destination services' staff who organise the booking of on shore excursions did an excellent job. Entertainment was fairly tame but we had chef Jacques Pepin on board which was enough entertainment on its own and we so enjoyed seeing his face around the ship and at the book signing. Cruise Director and his male assistant were average and could have been more helpful with the following issue but I suspect he may have been unwell. Much to our disappointment this cruise was ruined by a mystery virus or food poisoning, which was reported the CDC. The captain made an announcement some days after the problem surfaced advising '...anyone who feels ill should remain in their room and notify the medical centre and the doctor would visit them in their room and the service would be complimentary (free)'. We soon discovered this was incorrect advice, the same incorrect advice was repeated a couple of days later in another announcement from the captain to our astonishment. The medical service was not free but was charged and the rates were quoted over the phone by a the nurse who would not send the doctor unless we agreed to be charged fees and reported certain symptoms. I had an extensive conversation with the general manager about the inconsistent advice from the captain. I was so glad that I had my own medical knowledge and carried medications with me for such events as I found the medical services on board rude and of no help at all. Obviously the hypocratic oath has a dollar value with the medical staff on this ship. The television, which is inadequate at the best of times with limited channels and poor picture bombarded us with a cruise director from another ship (Dottie) singing to us with instructions about how to wash our hands - it was repetitive, annoying and one didn't even want to turn the TV on. We were treated like children with the repetitive messages on the TV and around the ship about cleaning our hands and instead of having a wonderful experience we began to hate the cruise. All the elegant trimmings and presentations were removed from any dining experience and were greeted with all the food displays in the Terrace cafe being wrapped in cling wrap (as in the actual glass covered enclosures). We were forbidden from touching any food, we were policed about using the antibacterial fluids upon entry to food serving areas so much so that my hands suffered a severe outbreak rash from an allergic reaction the product - if I objected to using it on my hands that had just been washed in the adjacent bathroom I was not allowed into the dining room. We were not allowed to touch or even use a salt and pepper shaker let alone cutlery on the table - we were given cutlery wrapped in a napkin onto a totally bare table minus all the lovely Versace china and wine glasses that are normally displayed at their dining venues. We understood the precautions that they were taking but it was a horrid, policed, sanitary, unappealing cruise which soured our previously favourable view of Oceania and its management. We also lost faith in the ability of management to convey an accurate instruction to the passengers about medical care in the situation. They seemed to just be rubbing their hands together about charging people for a medical issue which was clearly out of control on board the ship. I was shocked to see a clearly unwell and exhausted staff member serving coffee in Baristas when he was clearly unwell and exhausted but someone must have signed him on as fit for duty. No wonder Oceania had a problem on board ship! I had a great deal of on board credit on this cruise - in excess of $US1000 and as the cruise was so dreadful I did not spend much of my on board credit. On the 6th day I received a letter stating I should go to reception before disembarkation day to receive a cash refund. I still have this letter even though the reception staff tried to keep it. I want it as proof of their poor attitude and inept service. The letter advising a cash refund softened my frustration and anger about the unpleasantness of the cruise due to matters beyond our control. I considered that was the least that Oceania could do for us given I'd paid thousands of dollars to do the cruise and it had been a complete disaster as far as a pleasant experience goes. When I took my letter to reception to collect the cash as per their instructions I was told that they wouldn't give it to me. It was non refundable. Having been refunded / reimbursed previously on another Oceania cruise that encountered a hurricane I had sincerely believe that they intended to do what they stated in their letter as a gesture of goodwill. (I stress that it was a voluntary refund and not requested). I felt humiliated and angry at being denied my money which they/Oceania told me to collect from reception desk. I was left on the last night of the cruise with a great deal of money not spent and refused a refund which Oceania put in writing and offered to give me. There were other passengers waiting in line who were being given the same news and they ushered them away to avoid a scene. Needless to say I left the cruise the next morning furious with Oceania management. From the Captain through to the Medical Staff through to the General Manager I felt that they all needed some training regarding delivering a clear and consistent message, honouring what they put in writing, customer service and how to not treat passengers like 5 year olds! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We will never travel on Oceania again. Rampant sickness -- the previous sailing of the Marina also had sickness involving the crew and passengers. It carried over to our cruise. My wife was violently ill for more than 18 hours. The ... Read More
We will never travel on Oceania again. Rampant sickness -- the previous sailing of the Marina also had sickness involving the crew and passengers. It carried over to our cruise. My wife was violently ill for more than 18 hours. The response from the medical center was terrible. My wife never saw or spoke to the doctor, who nonetheless prescribed a course of treatment that involved taking antibiotics that had the same side effects that she was already experiencing. The nurse could not have been more dis-interested, except to make sure that we were quarantined. Oh yes, and please sign these releases authorizing Oceania to charge you for the medical services even though the nurse told us that the costs would be covered by Oceania .... and please sign this release authorizing Oceania to release medical and other information to such organizations as the FBI (I am not making this up!!!!). I refused to sign. Poor service -- a waiter in one of the restaurants made a sarcastic and demeaning comment to my wife when she was inquiring about a menu item. It ruined our evening and we ended up leaving the restaurant and eating elsewhere. Dealt with Reception Services on 3 separate occasions. First expressed concern about being charged for a particular service, given assurances that it would not be charged, then having to deal with them to get it removed from our bill. When my wife was ill I went to the medical center (closed of course!), then read the sign that said go to Reception Services if an emergency. Reception Services response -- "we are not medical people, wait until the medical center opens up and get in line". Why have a sign that refers you to Reception Services for help if no help is available? Because we believed that the ship remained unsafe (sickness continued to grow in numbers), we decided to leave the ship at the next available port of call after quarantine was lifted. I was presented with a bill that included payment for shore excursions that were part of the original cruise package, including ones that we were not able to take because of quarantine and ones that were scheduled after we left the ship. I was also charged for other items that were not supposed to be included. It took some effort to have them removed, but not without "attitude" on the part of the Reception Services staff. Poor Communications It was difficult to get information about what was going on around the ship with the sickness. There was both the "official" announcements and the information provided by individual crew members. The information from crew members proved to be more reliable (the "official" announcements only gave the bare information and only what they wanted you to hear). Some services were "temporarily closed", but in fact never opened. Even Poorer Response When we told them we were getting off the ship because it was unsafe (because of the sickness) we asked for compensation. We were referred to "Guest Relations" in Miami. What a joke that is. Guest Relations does not talk to guests. You have to write them and they will get back to you within 3 weeks (maybe). Well, it took a lot longer than 3 weeks and of course the response was we will give you the equivalent of 2 days cruise credits so long as you use them in the next 12 months. Everyone who was affected received a letter from the ship's Master with this offer (except us of course). In short, we paid good money, and Oceania offered us something of no value in return. Oh yes, it took more than 7 weeks before anyone even offered an apology. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
My husband and I are in our 50's. We recently joined family members on a recent cruise to the Southern Mediterranean. We were in a new port everyday (no sea days). Embarkation and disembarkation was extremely smooth! The Marina is ... Read More
My husband and I are in our 50's. We recently joined family members on a recent cruise to the Southern Mediterranean. We were in a new port everyday (no sea days). Embarkation and disembarkation was extremely smooth! The Marina is beautiful and our cabin (veranda) was fantastic. The food was very good, especially in Red Ginger! Loved the specialty activities such as the cooking (additional charge) and art classes. The excursions were very well run. Some of the passengers and crew experienced viral episodes during our cruise, and Oceania went above and beyond with taking precautions and reminding passengers of good sanitary habits. Having primarily cruised Celebrity, we were a little disappointed in the entertainment. What we saw was fine, just nothing exciting. We also had a couple issues with Room Service, but nothing major. I wrote to Oceania to share our concerns, and have not yet received a response. Overall, we were impressed with Oceania, but will probably choose Celebrity for the next few cruises. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose this cruise as we were hoping to have a better cruise experience by going up a catagory. Did it live up to its hype. Not really. We were kept from our stateroom for hours as they said that they were deep cleaning the rooms due to ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we were hoping to have a better cruise experience by going up a catagory. Did it live up to its hype. Not really. We were kept from our stateroom for hours as they said that they were deep cleaning the rooms due to the gastro virus. So when we finally were able to access our stateroom, it was dirty, dusty and the bathroom still had used shampoo bottles in the tub....deep cleaning, not so sure. The remote for the tv looked like one from Motel 6., we put it in a plastic bag for the remainder of the cruise Not a great first experience on Oceania Cruises. I was interested to read the review from Neil b, as he mentioned the captain and many officers on board. Truthfully, we never saw an officer, and the Captain only once in the main dining room. . This ship had the least presence of officers that I have ever encountered on 20 plus sailings. Oceania is very class conscience and although we were in a Balcony Stateroom we felt that we were in steerage. Food was good but not outstanding. My husband had a piece of wood in his hamburger, called to complain and the restaurant manager called us to make it right, told us he would book us into Toscana, but never followed through. Although, Celebrity is not my favourite cruiseline, when they falter, they do make it right. She overall, I would say sail Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We booked this cruise because of the ports and Jacques Pepin would be on board. We upgraded to a marvelous Owners suite--8th floor. I didn't like we were on the 8th floor at first, but once in suite, it was glorious and contrary to ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of the ports and Jacques Pepin would be on board. We upgraded to a marvelous Owners suite--8th floor. I didn't like we were on the 8th floor at first, but once in suite, it was glorious and contrary to other reports, we got lots of sun on the balcony (we were in an oceania suite on prior cruise and never got sun...so it depends on how the ship is sailing). Food was always good...service in Jacques was rushed, Toscana very slow and Polo right on the mark. We ate in our room several times and Butler always did a great job. Service: Cabin service was always good. Our butler was very good. We were alerted by another CC person that there was a virus on the previous cruise. When we boarded there was no sign of the virus OTHER THAN the endless TV "ads" about washing hands and singing happy birthday twice. There were also announcements about how important it was to have a clean ship. Needless to say, even though, (and I applaud the Staff) we weren't at a high level of sickness, the Captain was always one step ahead of protocol to prevent further spreading. It didn't work! I got sick on day 3--24 hour virus as did at least 6 other people I knew from CC. It took me two bounces to get attention from the infirmary and got a great nurse to come to my room with nausea pills and tylenol for my fever. Here is my BIG issue: When I wanted to speak to the GM and applaud the efforts of the crew in trying to keep one step ahead (as well as point out some of the areas that could be improved), the front desk wanted to know if I had an appt, then would not give me an appt and asked if I could speak to the Cruise director...and eventually got the assistant cruise director. REALLY? Each and every time on previous cruises, when I wanted to speak to the GM, I GOT TO THE GM! I am only a 7th time cruiser and I was in the Owners suite, but that made no never mind. This is the second cruise in 1 year that got a virus. CLEARLY there is a problem with Oceania protocol, even though I do applaud their efforts for going above and beyond. For example, on Riviera last year, they NEVER enclosed the buffet with saran as they did on the Marina to prevent folks from trying to touch things. I STILL THINK OCEANIA DOESN'T GET IT. AND the GUESTS don't get it. When the Cruise Director refused to pas the mike around during a wonderful event with Jacques, the guests booed the concept. REALLY? They wanted to pass germs around? Unfortunately the CD didn't handle it well as he did not tell Jacques in advance how he would handle the Q/A and even Jacques made fun of the arrangement. The CD should have made a direct comment about the safety of the passengers but instead just said this was CDC protocol (like who cares or understands)..... Bottom LINE...I am going to try a different cruise line before I return to Oceania...I am very disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We cruised with Oceania in January 2016 from Hong Kong to Bangkok and had a very good time. In November 2016 we did a Med Cruise going from Venice to Rome, however this one was a bit of a disappointment. It was billed as a Jacques Pepin ... Read More
We cruised with Oceania in January 2016 from Hong Kong to Bangkok and had a very good time. In November 2016 we did a Med Cruise going from Venice to Rome, however this one was a bit of a disappointment. It was billed as a Jacques Pepin food oriented cruise and it was advertised as one with special menus, food talks, excursions, etc. There was one cooking demo by M. Pepin which was very interesting, but no real innovative menus or other presentations. By the time we booked (We'd tried to book the cruise early in the year but were told it was sold out.), all the shore excursions involving cooking were booked as well as all the ones on board with no additional selections added. Some of our shore excursions involved some time spent with a tour guide and then too much time on our own for shopping. We don't visit foreign countries and pay for shore excursions to shop for more than an hour at several different stops. Also, if you're looking for variety among your ports of call, this is not the one for you. Several of them were very similar. We found out mid way on the cruise there was noro virus on board. Their beautiful library was locked down from the very beginning and a few days into the cruise, the laundromat was locked up. We expected some consideration in a price break on ship's laundry but there was none. Internet was very bad so lots of folks were not happy about that. The evening shows didn't start until after 9:30 so all of those were out for us since we're not late night people. I don't think we'll consider another Oceania cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Below the neck line, creature comforts are good. The cabin was spacious, well furnished and with an excellent bathroom, all extremely comfortable. The food was also some of the best cruise food we have experienced; there is a main ... Read More
Below the neck line, creature comforts are good. The cabin was spacious, well furnished and with an excellent bathroom, all extremely comfortable. The food was also some of the best cruise food we have experienced; there is a main restaurant, a buffet restaurant, plus 4 other speciality restaurants (no extra charge) and all of them had excellent offerings. The ship is very quiet and vibration-free. There is a very good gymnasium and a nice library, and there is a variety of pleasant bars and other spaces. So the basic needs of food and shelter are attended to in luxury. Above the neck line, I started to think that various issues contained a common thread about how the ship treats its customers. The Cruise Director made PA announcements in a formal monotone which has something of the estate agent and station announcer about it. Doubtless well-intentioned, but a far cry from the chatty, witty and informal announcements of the English Captain on our first cruise quite some years ago. The restaurant service was plentiful (lots of waiters) but seemed to be scripted, too many formulaic comments of the “have a nice day” variety. And the service can become intrusive, with waiters repeatedly interrupting table conversations. We arrived (by prior arrangement) on the second day of docking at Venice. The Reception gave us a room key and a number. No directions, no offer to carry cases. We discovered the ship had brought forward its departure time by 2 hours: no attempt had been made to contact us. In fact, reception denied that the departure had been changed, although several couples we met had booked trips ashore with local companies and had been seriously inconvenienced. The ship's excursions set new levels of stratospheric pricing. For example, docked at Livorno, “Pisa on your Own' was priced at $ 129 – basically a coach trip to drop you in a car park in central Pisa. The actual cost of a return journey to Pisa is 1.20 Euros each way bus fare to Livorno station, plus 7.50 Euros return train fare. So less than 10 Euros return or 9 dollars. The ship thus charges 14 times the public transport cost. The “Historic Pisa” excursion is the coach trip, plus a ticket to 3 monuments (not including the campanile) and costs $ 179. That's an extra 50 dollars for a ticket which anyone can buy for 8 Euros at the ticket office just behind the campanile. There is little real service for the 'independent” traveller who is not buying the ship's excursions. On two occasions, the ship announced that landings by Tender would not be possible, and docked 30 miles up the coast. Although it was easily possible to get to the original destinations in under an hour, no-one at “Destination Services” took the trouble to spend 10 minutes on the internet and post up the train times....... let alone organise a shuttle bus to the train station. Local Tourist representatives came on board with some photocopy maps of the town, but perhaps it would have undermined the ships trips to give out any information indicating that passengers could travel around on shore by other means !! The ship's disembarkation information at Monte Carlo made very heavy weather about taxi prices and waiting times for transfer to Nice airport. It recommended the ship's own transfer bus for 100 dollars each. But it failed to mention that an easy 10 to 15 minutes walk from the ship, there is an express bus direct to the airport for 20 Euros. Prices for beer, wine etc were about double normal UK prices. There was no draught ale on the ship. Bottled beer cost £7.70 per pint. (ie a 355 ml bottle for 7.67 dollars). The cheapest wine was 47 dollars per bottle. (£30.60). These prices are expressed as 6.50 dollars and 40 dollars plus a compulsory 18% service charge. As the charge is compulsory, I found it irritating:- is the intention to lull the customer with the lower “headline” figure ? Or do they think that I am not adept enough to work it out ? The best solution was often to buy wine ashore and pay the corkage charge. This was stated to be $20 per bottle in the cabin handbook, However the restaurant staff insisted on charging $25 even with the printed word in front of them. This ability to flatly contradict a customer against your own printed literature was certainly a novelty. Most people we spoke to thought that entertainments on the ship were lacklustre across the range. The “dance” group had a completely inadequate vocalist and should not have been selected for this role. There were many fewer crew “shows” than on other ships. On the last night of the cruise, there was no event, and no party......... merely a showing of “Jurassic Park”. One might be forgiven for musing “We've had your on-board spend, so now just go to bed whilst we unload the suitcases” So overall, the ship's relations with its customers appeared to lack enthusiasm or transparency, and any sense of espirit. In summary, if you require good food and a comfortable environment, this ship provides it. And if you simply want to take photographs of foreign places without getting outside the bubble and you are happy to pay maybe 1500 dollars for a collection of tours which could be achieved for 200 dollars you will have no problem. On the other hand, if you hope for more from a cruise than merely good towels and posh food, if you cannot put aside your basic sense of value for money, and if you think that a ship has some duty to “play straight” and assist its travellers (albeit with a reasonable mark-up) then there are aspects of this experience which you may find profoundly irritating. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We have done many cruises but this was our first experience on Oceania. We had heard good things about the cruise line and the ship so were really looking to it even though we had been to most of the ports of call before. It was a real ... Read More
We have done many cruises but this was our first experience on Oceania. We had heard good things about the cruise line and the ship so were really looking to it even though we had been to most of the ports of call before. It was a real disappointment however and not as good as many less expensive cruises we have done. It is interesting to note that of the last 10 reviews 9 have a score of average or less. Given that of the total 275 reviews only 57 are average or less, it looks like something has gone wrong recently - we hope they take notice of this trend and do something about it so others are not as disappointed as us. The ship itself is nicely furnished / laid out and is kept clean and tidy but we didn't notice any fresh flowers which seemed a bit odd as there are usually loads both around the ship and in your cabin. The Food: Being foodies, we especially liked their claim that they have the finest cuisine at sea, but this was no our experience - we found the food to be uninspiring and very average. The specialist restaurants do offer more choice and better quality fare but the Grand dining room served the same vegetables and bread every single day - how boring is that? The selection of meat and fish was not very varied either and the desserts were very poor - sounded nice but tasted blah. Afternoon tea was nice enough but one visit was sufficient and the chocolates left on the pillow tasted like they came from a cheap shop so we didn't eat them - they had strange flavours like raspberry milk and toffee crunch and no indication of manufacturer or chocolate content. We thought the best place was Baristas - great coffee and biscotti! The Cabin: We were in concierge class and the cabin was very nice with good storage. The cabin seemed smaller than advertised but we think that is because the bathroom was pretty big so the main room was smaller to compensate. The toiletries were good but we found the towels a little rough for our tastes. The Staff: There were lots of staff - more than required really as we are perfectly capable of carrying our own plates from the buffet to a table, but there were always about 4 people who wanted to wrestle the plates from us even when we said we didn't want the help. You couldn't help yourself to anything at the buffet so there were lots of staff lined up to serve you. They took a dim view of us getting our own tea but when we had asked for green tea we kept receiving green jasmine, which we don't like, so thought it best to get our own. Many of the staff were friendly but many were not - some being arrogant and unhelpful like the reception and destinations people. The Drinks: Not inspiring, mostly American and very overpriced even without the 18% service charge on top. Like many others, we bought bottles ashore and either drank them in our cabin or took the corkage charge hit. They clearly want you to drink lots and keep coming around asking if you want more and filling your wine up at dinner. The Ports of Call and Excursions: We went to a place called Igoumenitsa in Greece - what a dump. We also went to Messina and Naples instead of Taormina and Sorrento. Both were fairly industrial and not at all pretty so we ended up paying to go where should have gone. We were told that the change of venue was because the weather forecast was bad so tendering would be problem. The day we went to Messina the sea was like a millpond -maybe the comment about Oceania not liking to tender isn't that far off the mark. The excursions were very expensive and not very exciting so we only did one. Much easier, cheaper and more satisfying to organise your own, unless they take you to a different place of course!! The Entertainment: We liked the production team who put on the shows; they were young and enthusiastic and they could sing and dance too. The "guest" stars were varied - the gypsy violinist was good, the tenor had a voice far too loud and strong for the venue so it was painful to listen to him and the comedian was married to the cruise director (who did a grand job) - say no more. We have never seen so many people walk our during shows. The 4 sets of musicians who play around the ship were not very good so we never sat and listened to them. Embarkation and Disembarkation: This was very efficient and timely. The Gym: This was well equipped and kept very clean. Plenty of cold drinks and towels were provided. We didn't do any of the classes you have to pay for or use the spa so can't comment on those. Activities: We didn't tend to do anything other than a couple of quizzes, and we avoided the boutiques as they were rather pricey and opulent. Final Night: On our penultimate night there was a show and then about 300 of the ships crew got on the stage, we all had to link hands and sing auld lang syne and the Captain thanked us for travelling with them. As we still had nearly 36 hours before disembarkation we thought this odd. Our final night was very unexciting - no show, only a film and our cases had to be ready for collection by 10pm so your evening was curtailed unless you wanted to carry lots of clothes and toiletries in your hand luggage. Most other cruises want your cases by midnight or even 2am. We felt as though they couldn't wait to get rid of us. Summary: Based on our experience we would not recommend the line or ship or travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Advice - do not have a suite on deck 11, ours, 11031, was under the smoking area and lounger area and at night there was constant noise from the late night smokers and deck hands moving the loungers. Deck 11 suites also have a big overhang ... Read More
Advice - do not have a suite on deck 11, ours, 11031, was under the smoking area and lounger area and at night there was constant noise from the late night smokers and deck hands moving the loungers. Deck 11 suites also have a big overhang so you get little sun on your veranda. We constantly complained about our lack of sleep but whilst they sympathised with us nothing could be done . We had paid extra for our suite ! Do research where the trips go. Trips through the Company are extortionate and on three that we did we would have saved £500 by taking local trains as other passengers did. The main ports of Taormina and Sorrento were missed due to us being unable to use the tenders. Instead we docked at Mesinna and Naples which were industrial. Our concierge said that Ociania rarely dock at tendered ports . This was extremely disappointing as we went on the cruise to see both of these scheduled places. Wifi again is expensive, do as most did and use the local wifi when docked. The food was excellent and use the speciality restaurants whenever possible plus The Grand Dining Room. Avoid the Terrace and Waves cafes, the food is fair but they are busy and chaotic places. Cabins lack the wow factor but are comfortable Wine is very expensive , go for the 7 bottle package, at £300 it is one of the cheapest ways to drink For our suite gratuities were £30 a day, and all alcohol has a 18 percent add on. A 5 percent add on is applied for credit card users, we took cash Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This is a wonderful ship with a great ports of call. My question is "why so expensive?" The cabins are almost identical to Celebrity or Holland American new builds. This is a foodies cruise and the food was wonderful. Each ... Read More
This is a wonderful ship with a great ports of call. My question is "why so expensive?" The cabins are almost identical to Celebrity or Holland American new builds. This is a foodies cruise and the food was wonderful. Each dinning room has a unique menu. It is somewhat complicated to get reservations. Do not waste money an upgrade to concierge level because you receive very little. We asked for help twice with dinner reservations and received nothing. Shore excursions are three times the price you can get an shore. Airport transfers offered by ship should be ignored. Example: In Barcelona ship offered bus transfer to the airport for $79 per person. Cab fare is less than 40 euros. WHY? In Venice ship wanted $139 per person. Bus from airport to within one mile of ship 6 euros per person followed by an 11 euro cab. At the time of our booking cruise line was offering prepaid gratuities and $500 on board credit. When we got our bill at the end of the cruise we received neither. Upon returning home we were told we had a" Special" fare and these percs were not included. All literature and the web site did not make any mention of "Specials" They had my money and did not care what I thought. Overall very good cruise but not worth the money. Stick with Celebrity!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
This was our first cruise and Oceania & the Marina have set a really high standard. There was some apprehension on our part about going on our first cruise & certainly a high level of expectation. One of the reasons for choosing ... Read More
This was our first cruise and Oceania & the Marina have set a really high standard. There was some apprehension on our part about going on our first cruise & certainly a high level of expectation. One of the reasons for choosing this cruise was the number of destinations & their locations. We need not have been at all concerned as the staff on the Marina soon made us at home. The embarkation in Venice was not plain sailing & due to a computer meltdown, there was a reasonable delay. It wasn't the smoothest starts but it was forgotten by the second day. OUR STATEROOM The room was beautifully finished and there was adequate room for three adults (our adult daughter travelled with us). It was a bit squishy with the divan down at night but daytime was fine & having the balcony was a big plus, especially when we were in port. The bed was exceptionally comfortable. There was sufficient space for all of us to store our clothes. We had read reviews about the bathroom & shower but really it didn't worry us. The design & fittings are first class. Our room was towards the front of the ship and was quiet & smooth & rarely would you know you were at sea. Everything was spotless. The air-conditioning was also just right. THE STAFF What ever Oceania are doing with their staff they are doing it right! The staff were incredible. No matter where you were they made an effort to be polite & pleasant to you. Nothing was too much trouble. Maria who looked after our room always had a smile & made sure the room was always ready. The waiters in all the dining areas were super & genuinely seemed to enjoy their jobs. THE FOOD Unbelievable! No matter where we ate & we experienced all the options it was first class. I have never experienced anything like it. The speciality restaurants provided experiences that are hard to forget. eg a two page menu of different olive oils for your bread in Toscana, the Italian restaurant. Or the birthday cake brought out for my daughter in the Polo Grill.I liked the less formal arrangements & at no time did we ever have to wait to be seated. The wait time for courses was also very reasonable for such a large number of diners. I also liked the fact that the staff served guests at the buffet as this was a health precaution THE SHIP Not having had the experience of sailing on other ships I can't compare but we choose a mid size ship & it didn't disappoint.It was modern, clean & the pool area & other public areas were a good size. Saftey was also a bit issue & the life jacket & emergency drills were taken very seriously. All tenders were done in avery organised & safe manner. The washing facilities, close to our room were very good & also appreciated THE DESTINATIONS This was one of the reasons we choose this cruise & we weren't disappointed. We were also blessed with unbelievable weather. To arrive in a different destination each morning was magic. Who could forget docking in Kotor? Everyone of the places had a different setting but that's why you go. We enjoyed them all-Dubrovnik, Kotor,Corfu,Monemvasia,Crete,Santorini, Kusadasi and Mykonos.SHORE EXCURSIONS We went on one to Ephesus & found it well organised & are glad we did it. Most of the excursions were a little pricey & we prefer at times to do our own thing, for instance in several ports we booked local taxis for several hours & did our own tours. ENTERTAINMENT We went to several show and enjoyed them but due to our high level of physical activity during the day, we were too tired and usually went to bed early. My only criticism would relate to the internet usage. It was too slow & too expensive. SUMMARY We had a wonderful time. Everything about the ship was fantastic & the fine weather was a bonus. Would we sail with Oceania again? Of course! Highly recommended & would do it all again, tomorrow, if possible! Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Oceania's Marina was a joy. We went on their 10 day excursion, Pearls of the Aegean from Venice to Athens with a different port every morning. It was a fabulous ship with excellent food and service. All the employees couldn't do ... Read More
Oceania's Marina was a joy. We went on their 10 day excursion, Pearls of the Aegean from Venice to Athens with a different port every morning. It was a fabulous ship with excellent food and service. All the employees couldn't do enough for you and seemed genuinely happy which is not the case on all other lines. We travelled with2 other couples,one of which have been on inumerable cruises and said Marina has raised the bar. Let me break it down: FOOD- Above average to excellent. Besides the Main Dining Room which is beautiful and the food and decor "above average" you have a choice of 3 "speciality" restaurants: French(great), Italian(great),Asian(very good), and Steak/Lobster(great). Advce: Make reservations 45 days in advance. Terrace Grill on pool deck was great also for casual buffett, both lunch and dinners. CABINS- Beautiful and quite spacious(282 sq.feet) with nice veranda. Drawer space numerous but narrow. Beautifully maintained. Despite some choppy seas the ship has good stabilizers and very little "rocking" to and fro. EXCURSIONS- Overpriced. We only took one and arranged all others in advance online. You can do much better especiallyif travelling in a group by checking out Trip Advisor or other sites. CONCIERGE LEVEL- Not worth the price. We were offered upgrade 5 days before cruise for $200 and were on 2 decks higher and midship which was worthwhile but don't waste extra $$ at time of booking. Service throughout ship was so good you don't need a concierge loung or free pressing of 4 garments on arrival. ENTERTAINMENT- Remember it's a mid-sized ship and you're not going to get Vegas quality entertainment but it's fine to sit and be entertained a bit after dinner. The casino on 6th floor was good if you enjoy gaming.INTERNET- This was the only criticism everyone agreed on. It was slow and quite costly(85 cents a minute) and hard to log on and off. Use a smart phone and purchase extra memory and don't use at sea, only in a port. Overall it was a wonderful cruise and ship. I can't see how anyone could complain about this ship unless they are complainers by nature. There were very few children and the crowd was in the 50-70 year old range for the most part but that varies by season, I suppose. Bravo, Oceania. I wouldn't hesitate to cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
This was our fourth cruise in Europe in past five years. Took private port tours throughout so no perspective on Oceania value in that regard. Will keep this high level and hopefully simple to follow. Will try to be very objective in ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise in Europe in past five years. Took private port tours throughout so no perspective on Oceania value in that regard. Will keep this high level and hopefully simple to follow. Will try to be very objective in summary thoughts. Arrived in Venice several days before the cruise which was quite enjoyable but still crowded for October. Stayed over this past weekend in Rome...and it was typical crowded as well. Had great weather in both cities and throughout the cruise except for one day in Corfu, a complete wet and windy washout but got out there touring anyway. Missed Montenegro due to the port being closed for high winds. Got involved in a late afternoon wild hail storm in Dubrovnik but our touring for the day had ended. Tendered twice. Overall- Very impressed with food and overall service throughout the cruise and the beautiful Marina. The vast majority of cruise passengers we talked to had a great time. In fact talked to not one soul who had major issues. Rate it 4.7 stars on a five scale/nothing is perfect but this was pretty close. We had a Penthouse 3 suite. High percentage of passengers from the US and very high english speaking population. Positives- Food- As most everyone has mentioned, the food on this ship is outstanding. Hard to imagine anyone could find reason to complain with the multitude of choices. Terrace Cafe was a jewel for all three meals but a surprise at dinner. How can you top grilled lobster tails, steaks, kabobs and vegies every night. Ate at all four specialty restaurants and loved them all. Beautiful designs, great service and wonderful tastes and preparation. Also thought La Reserve was the highlight of the cruise and worth the $75 upchage. I have paid $500 for two in NY for a five course meal with wine pairings at a great Mario Batali Italian restaurant that was no better. Great value for a terrific three hour evening with interesting people. Main dining room was very good the two times we tried it. Service- With a few minor exceptions (noted below), service from our butler, room attendent and in all the restaurants was excellent. Lots of smiling faces around the ship, including the cruise director. Front desk cashes euros at a reasonable exchange rate (adds to your bill). Ambience- Ship is drop dead beautiful and easy to navigate. I liked the size much better than the 2000+ ships we have been on before. We hit the track and exercise room but not the spa. Took the stairs whenever possible to counter balance all the lobster tails. Country Club Casual- I liked it...no ties which I wear for a living. People dressed well and appropriate for the most part. Very nice well educated and well traveled crowd on the ship. The Beds- best we have had on a cruise ship. Better than home. The Penthouse 3 was great. Boarding and Departing was a breeze. I like getting off whenever you feel like it...not color code tags with assigned times. Guest Lecturers- Spent time with cameraman extraordinaire (just ask him) Joe Dimaggio in his camera workshop classes. Very interesting guy. Fun times. Culinary School- had a hard time going at 430 with all the day touring but did attend the pizza making class and had a blast. What a great concept. No kids (just one) and very limited smoking areas. For us that was a home run. Like the concept of an all adult cruise with active passengers. We did our Disney time. Room for Improvement- Entertainment- no reason to expand on what others have said. Just not a place Oceania puts a lot of money or effort but not missed on a cruise with no sea days. Not surprised after all after the comments here and no big deal imo. People that went to shows seemed to enjoy themselves. Spa- we didn't have much time for the spa anyway with a busy schedule. Prices were double what we have paid on other cruise ships. That was the only observation. Conceirge- on level five was a "grump bag" to most passengers. Actually sort of funny after a while...the guy was at least consistent. How he got that job i have no idea but a change is in order. This was the rare exception to otherwise exceptional service. Penthouse 3 Shower- felt like I was in a car wash albeit a tiny one at that. It worked but could have been better designed. Loved all the storage space in the bathroom. Executive Lounge- has no limited access so anyone can wander in and use it. Attendent was rarely on duty. It was a nice perk but have seen better. Overall I highly recommend Marina and will be cruising it again next August to the Baltics. Had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
In March this year we tried Oceania for the first time on Marina. Immediately it was clear to us that this was a very good choice. Now we just returned from our second cruise on marina and we have to say it was even a better ... Read More
In March this year we tried Oceania for the first time on Marina. Immediately it was clear to us that this was a very good choice. Now we just returned from our second cruise on marina and we have to say it was even a better experience than the first time. In a lot of areas I noticed significant improvement (mainly due to fact the staff was more used to the new ship). The embarkation was very smooth and very quick. Within 10 minutes we were on board. The food is really something special. Highlights for me were The spicy duck and water melon salad at Red Ginger, La Reserve (again money well spend)and the lobster thermidor at Jacques. On our first cruise we did not go for the Terrace Cafe for dinner but after reading so many good reviews we tried it and it was a delight. Great selection on the Grill form rib eye to lobster every evening. The cabin was similar to our last cruise except this time we had a veranda. The first time I had some difficulty with the shower. I am 6.4 and the shower was really small. Now for the second time I did not mind so much as I knew what to expect. Overall very nice cabins and more than enough space. We cannot comment on the entertainment as we only went to 2 shows. The shows we saw were very entertaining but then again some magic and some good jokes and we are happy. The ports were very nice with as highlights Kotor and Athens. Where necessary shuttle services were provided. We did not book any shore excursions with Oceania as the prices were extremely high. It was very easy to arrange our own tours even on the destination itself. Disembarkation in Istanbul was quite chaotic because in total 3 ships were disembarking and the parking space for the shuttles, buses and private transfers was completely gridlocked. We took a taxi and that was by far the quickest way. If you like excellent food, no kids, great service, great itineraries and no hassle this is definitely the ship for you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We have done six enjoyable cruises and booked on the September Oceania Marina cruise in December 2010 as we thought it would be good to try a new ship and bookings might sell quickly. On boarding the ship we had many discussions with ... Read More
We have done six enjoyable cruises and booked on the September Oceania Marina cruise in December 2010 as we thought it would be good to try a new ship and bookings might sell quickly. On boarding the ship we had many discussions with passengers, some had only booked less than a month before it sailed and all paid a fraction of the price we paid plus a large onboard credit. We paid a premium price for a verandah stateroom and were very upset as we saw the price decreasing month by month. Oceania and our Sydney travel company Cruiseco did not bother to help us with an up-grade or extras. My cabin card caused endless trouble which we had mentioned to staff. I was treated very rudely by the reception staff when we took it to them after the security on leaving and boarding the ship also had trouble with my key card. We were very disappointed with the standard of the food on the Marina. The Grand Dining room choice, service and standard of meals was way below other cruises we have enjoyed. As the port tours were quite expensive we only booked two-the Ancient Olympia from Patras was an enjoyable tour aided by a very good guide but the Corfu tour was disappointing. The Cruise Director was most unfriendly and not at all interested in interacting with passengers. The Marina was not a well designed ship. One of the most disappointing features was the fitness track which was on a high deck out in the open with no cover or shelter from the hot sun or wind. The shower cubicle in the cabin was poor. Our cruise on the Marina was a most unhappy, expensive mistake and we would not recommend Oceania to anyone, in fact the opposite. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Introduction: We are veteran cruisers and travelers, having taken 19 cruises on a variety of cruise lines over 30 years, including Disney, Oceania, RCI, Princess, Cunard and Holland America. We are in our mid-fifties, with no children. In ... Read More
Introduction: We are veteran cruisers and travelers, having taken 19 cruises on a variety of cruise lines over 30 years, including Disney, Oceania, RCI, Princess, Cunard and Holland America. We are in our mid-fifties, with no children. In recent years, I have had some disabilities due to arthritis, requiring the use of a cane or a travel wheelchair. Our cruise on Marina that embarked in Venice on September 7 is our second on OCL. The cruise called at Koper, Slovenia; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; Corfu, Patras, Zakynthos, Athens and Chios, Greece; and Kusadasi and Istanbul, Turkey. Other than Venice, this cruise took us to five new countries that we have not visited before (one of the reasons we selected the cruise). Pre-cruise hotel and flights: We booked our own flights using frequent flyer miles, electing to spend a night in Frankfurt before arriving in Venice and again on our way back to the US from Istanbul (our disembarkation port). In Venice, we stayed at the delightful Westin Europa and Regina; although quite expensive, this beautiful hotel had excellent service and views of the Grand Canal and Lagoon that were worth the price of admission. Embarkation: Using a water taxi service, we traveled from our hotel to the terminal. We were on board within a few minutes of our arrival at the terminal (very efficient service). Stateroom: Our stateroom, a PH2 (Penthouse) suite on the 11th deck forward port side was ready when we boarded at 1:30 pm. Our original booking for this cruise was in an A3 concierge veranda. A month prior to the cruise, OCL made a very good offer on an upgrade to the PH2 category. The saddest aspect of our decision to upgrade is that it will be very, very difficult to ever go back to a "regular" veranda stateroom again!. This suite was magnificent and is the best room we have ever had on a cruise. We had so much space, including a walk-in closet (great for storing my collapsible wheelchair) and a large sitting area, a large desk and vanity stand, plus a huge bathroom with tub and shower. I have read previous reviews of Marina and the concerns for the rain head shower space, but we loved this shower (apparently the suites have a larger shower stall). The room was elegantly decorated and very quiet. The bed was incredibly comfortable. Other reviews have noted that deck 12 has a large overhang over the deck 11 verandas, but we did not find this to be a problem and it often served to block the direct sun. We spent many hours on that veranda because we had such warm weather on our cruise. Ship: The public spaces on Marina are elegant and understated. Although I'm not a big fan of abstract art, which predominates. the decor is restful and unobtrusive. The seats in some areas were a little too low (most of them in Horizons lounge), but we found other options that were more comfortable. Our biggest complaint about the ship design would be the difficulty getting on and off the ship, whether docked or anchored, for a person who doesn't walk very well. The normal egress when docked is from deck 5, down many stairs to the dock area; I did this once, taking each step one at a time, and was shocked to have a fellow passenger waiting at the bottom to come up berate me for taking so long (can't pick your fellow passengers, I guess). Other times we used the deck 4 crew exit, ramp but even this ramp was very steep at times and we looked at other ships docked nearby with nearly flat ramps leading onto the docks and wondered what happened when they designed Marina. Tender access was also challenging, requiring us to go down many steps from deck 4 into the tender. The tenders were strangely designed, with most passengers required to go down additional narrow steps once on board into seating areas across from other passengers. I certainly would not want to be on these tenders for an extended period of time in an emergency situation. Dining: The food on Marina was absolutely outstanding and is, of course, one of the big reasons that customers come back to OCL. We ate in all four specialty restaurants and could not honestly say which one was the best and we would eagerly try all four again if given the opportunity. The Terrace cafe was also a top choice and most of our non-reservation dinners were in this buffet option. We only visited the Grand Dining Room once; although this is a lovely space, we much preferred the specialty restaurants and the outdoor experience at the Terrace. Waves had the usual complement of excellent sandwiches and salads (Kobe beef burger - yum!) and we liked having a light continental breakfast at Barista's on many early mornings; we didn't try the specialty coffees, being die-hard "American" coffee drinkers. The ultimate experience, however, was our night at La Reserve. This seven-course trip to culinary heaven was accompanied by some excellent wines and was certainly worth the premium charge of $75 per person. Service: Service on Marina was impeccable, with a couple of minor exceptions. The wait staff in the specialty restaurants were superb, especially the staff in Toscana and Red Ginger. The bar staff and wine stewards were delightful and we had great conversations with many of them. The staff at Barista's and the Terrace cafe was wonderful. Our butler was a terrific guy who found us to be somewhat perplexed on how to use his services, so he took it upon himself to bring us some canapes every evening and he worked out a change to a specialty restaurant reservation without any issues. Our room attendant was extremely efficient and kept our suite in top condition. Crew members, including ones that normally don't interface with the passengers, were very helpful getting me on and off the ship (not easy in any case, whether docked or anchored, as noted above). The only exceptions to our glowing reports on service are the staff at the reception desk and the wait staff in the Grand Dining Room, whom we barely recall seeing (although they did serve food promptly). The reception desk left us a very tersely worded letter at our stateroom about getting our passports turned in immediately for Turkish customs processing halfway through the cruise (we needed them with us for Slovenia and Croatia), but we never heard any announcements about this request or saw it in the daily newsletter. Other passengers complained about the letter and its language as well. The reception staff were also quite unfriendly. The destination services desk did take down information from us on a very disappointing shore excursion and sent us a letter thanking us for our input; although no reimbursement was offered. Activities: We signed up for one of the Bon Appetit culinary classes on board and really had a blast! Chef Kelly and her staff were a lot of fun to work with and our end results were delightful (Italian favorites). Unfortunately, the class was interrupted by the mandatory life boat drill, but that almost added to the experience when we showed up in the Marina Lounge in our aprons! We didn't do any other activities on board. We did not use the spa services and we usually don't use the pool. Shopping: Marina has some beautiful boutiques, but the products, for the most part, did not appeal to us. There was a very limited selection of logo wear, which we like to purchase on cruises and there were no items that were from our ports of call. I usually don't go on a cruise to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on jewelry or clothing that I can get at home. Internet access: As usual, Internet access was expensive and slow, although not as slow as some other cruises we have been on. We used our own equipment for access (iPads and laptop). I stretched my 300 minutes through almost the entire cruise; my hubby, who had to keep in touch for his business, used 800 minutes. Entertainment: We are notorious entertainment avoiders on cruise ships and have been for years (even on Disney, which has remarkable entertainment). We prefer sitting in a quiet lounge or on the veranda, sipping a drink and reading. We did not see any of the shows on board, but we did get some laughs at Karaoke night in the Horizons lounge one night. In fact, we never even turned on the TV in our room! Port and shore excursions: We booked two excursions through OCL and did private tours or our own explorations in all other cases. The two ship excursions were overpriced and the experiences were mediocre or downright disappointing. In Slovenia, we did an excursion to Lake Bled, an admittedly gorgeous location, that was advertised as "wheelchair accessible". What this meant was that my travel wheelchair got to spend the entire excursion in the luggage compartment of the bus! The stops on this excursion were not accessible and i ended up sitting 45 minutes on the bus while others explored the castle overlooking the lake and also sat on a bench on the shore on the lake island because the famous church was "only" 99 steps above me Our other excursion was in Istanbul and it was acceptable, but certainly not worth the price. All of our private tours were excellent, however. We used Dubrovnik Private Tours, Corfu Taxi Tours, George the Taxi Driver (Athens) and Kusadasi Tours (Turkey Explorers) and certainly had no real complaints. We also rented a car on Chios and had a marvelous day and only spent $70 for the experience!. After many cruises where we played it "safe" and signed up for ship tours in most places, this cruise reinforced my opinion that those tours should be the last option of choice. Our favorite ports were Dubrovnik, Chios, Kotor and Kusadasi (plus we love Venice). Greece is unfortunately showing many signs of its financial difficulties, particularly in Patras and Athens. Disembarkation: We disembarked in Istanbul; it was nearly gridlock leaving the port area due to so many ships in port, but we did to the airport in plenty of time with our ship transfer for our flight to Frankfurt. Summary: Our cruise was an excellent experience, with the minor exceptions noted above. We have already booked another OCL cruise next year (on Marina again) and just bit the bullet and upgraded to a PH2 category again. We have not tried any other premium or luxury cruise lines, so we have no basis of comparison, but we are generally quite pleased with the Oceania experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
The public areas in the ship are beautiful. We particularly enjoyed the bar with the pianist (Mario, I think). All the dining rooms are beautiful. The dEcor in the rooms is beautiful. The main beds are very comfortable (but not the ... Read More
The public areas in the ship are beautiful. We particularly enjoyed the bar with the pianist (Mario, I think). All the dining rooms are beautiful. The dEcor in the rooms is beautiful. The main beds are very comfortable (but not the pull out couch).The ship is very stable.Ports were fabulous. Particularly Monemvasia, a pleasant surprise since the ship didn't hype it very much. It was probably the best stop.Library and workout room fabulous.Solid winelists. Great that ship is mostly non-smoking.Overall, the cruise was very nice.Cabins: The separate tub and shower makes for a very small shower.We don't use tubs and the shower was very small for a large man. The closet was too small for all our clothes and difficult to reach the far end of it near the bedside table. One of our suitcases didn't fit under the bed and we didn't realize until the cruise was over that we could have asked our attendant to store it. In the shower, we don't like rainshower heads. The holder for the handheld shower head is at your waist so you can't use that as your showerhead. Some men used the handheld shower head in the tub.Our 2 attendants did a marvelous job. However, friends of ours complained that their room was not ready at 6:30 p.m. and the attendant was rude. There was nail polish on the tub that was not removed. And the door to the balcony didn't work. There is only one electrical plug by the TV. Bring an extension cord.Laundry: great self-service laundry but 45 minutes is not enough time on high heat to get all the clothes dry. $2 per wash and dry., each. Grand Dining Room service was erratic. We had a wonderful lunch there when it was nearly empty; great service and food. We had a horrible dinner where it took 3 hours to get our meal start to finish, food was overcooked, and the waiters didn't pay attention to empty water glasses, etc. Outdoor Grill: same thing with service. Generally very good, but once it took 45 minutes to get a sandwich. We think they forgot us. Definitely some training and experience needed for the staff as this is a new ship.Quality of food overall was equal to Regent and slightly better than Celebrity. But the specialty French restaurant on our last Celebrity cruise was better than all of your specialty restaurants, including La Reserve. There were highlights but everything was not consistently outstanding. Service in the specialty restaurants was excellent in all cases.Room Service: On Regent, the Grand Dining Room menu was available for that night's room service during dining room hours. I'd like to see this added. And a few more appetizer options. Room service menu is quite limited.Tenders: Being a new ship, they don't have the tender process perfected.Last day in Mykonos, everyone waited 45 minutes to get off the ship which annoyed everyone. Not a pleasant way to end a luxury cruise.Entertainment: The auditorium is awful. You cannot see over the heads of people in front of you. Entertainment was only so-so. Best entertainment on the ship was in the bars.Shopping: Ridiculously limited and outrageously expensive. The only shops were high priced jewelry and boutique. On Regent, they brought in special vendors on different days. There was nothing reasonably priced on the ship and we didn't want to spend out time in port shopping. On Regent, we bought a black pearl and diamond pendant after a pearl presentation. They had sales on Regent branded goods the last few days at sea. And they had high end costume jewelry and a gold by the inch sale. Marina needs to add things like this. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
The Marina is a wonderful ship and a great addition to the Oceania fleet. After about 30 cruises, including previously on Insignia and Nautica, both of which we loved but I felt were just too small to guarantee me a sickness-free voyage, ... Read More
The Marina is a wonderful ship and a great addition to the Oceania fleet. After about 30 cruises, including previously on Insignia and Nautica, both of which we loved but I felt were just too small to guarantee me a sickness-free voyage, the Marina looked to be the perfect ship for us and, in all but one respect, it delivered perfection. I must explain here that DH travels with a small folding mobility scooter following a stroke 4 years ago and disabled access to the ship is the one area in which Oceania have made an enormous mistake, which will probably prevent us from sailing on Marina again. I will return to this at the end for anyone who is interested and no doubt it will be discussed on the disabled cruising board but on the assumption that 99% of readers will not even notice this problem, let alone encounter a difficulty with it, I really want to focus on what a wonderful ship it is for the able-bodied and give a bit of information about the ports of call, some of which are fairly unusual.The ship is definitely the most comfortable we have ever travelled on, from the beds to the sun loungers to the chairs in just about every location the emphasis is on luxury. The decor is fairly understated but very nice throughout. The food was even better than on the smaller ships, if that is possible. The Tapas on the Terrace idea (which had never tempted us) has been replaced by a full evening dining experience including cooked-to-order steaks, fish, even lobster some evenings. We would gladly have eaten there, although I must admit we loved the Grand Dining Room so much that we dined there on the evenings not booked at the specialty restaurants.Of the specialities I loved Red Ginger, my husband still preferred Polos (in line with our respective tastes in food). We both like Italian food but Toscana was perhaps our least favourite restaurant (although still wonderful). The service in Jacques was very slow, it took over an hour from arrival to even take our order and well over 3 hours to complete the meal, but my lobster thermidor was well worth missing the show for. Talking of shows, they are, typically for Oceania, entertaining without being exceptional, and the single performance takes place at 9.45pm each evening. To be sure of making it to the show you need to be eating by 7pm. We made all our reservations for 7.30pm and hardly ever got to see the show from the beginning, but really did not mind as the food and the company of the many lovely fellow passengers we shared it with was a very nice way to spend the evenings.My personal dislike on Oceania, which is the same on Marina as other ships, is that the Terrace Cafe is not truly a buffet, the crew serve you each item and it is very difficult to get a small portion to try several different things. Especially at breakfast time I would prefer to be left in peace to choose what I want rather than ambushed by a hundred renditions of "good morning Madame would you like some toast/cereal/bacon/coffee/juice etc etc " - OK I understand that it is "service" that justifies the price differential over the mass market lines, I am just antisocial and unappreciative of such service in the mornings !Waves has a wonderful new addition to its menu, Surf and Turf - yes really a fillet steak and a piece of lobster tail in a burger bun at the pool bar - which other line does that ! The ice creams, smoothies and milk shakes are still fabulous and included in the fare as are soft drinks now - sodas and juices as well as iced tea and American lemonade, and that includes cans from the mini bar in your cabin. As you leave the ship there was always a table from which to help yourself to small bottles of water, and there were 2 litre sized bottles in the cabin each day.Another fantastic addition for Oceania was free shuttle buses in ports of call where transport is needed into town. These were not advertised until the 'Currents' magazine arrived each evening but it was really useful not to have to worry about having small change in the right currency for local transport. Yes, Oceania are a bit more expensive than some lines but these little touches all help to justify the extra. Venice, ItalyArriving on an early morning flight from the UK gave us nearly 2 full days in Venice, one of our favourite cities, and we spent the time just wandering. There was a free shuttle bus from the port to Piazzale Roma but we walked back each time, it is mostly downhill coming back to the port and only takes about 10 minutes. The first evening we spent in St Marks Square listening to the various orchestras that play at the restaurants. The second day the square was cordoned off due to a visit by the Pope. We should have sailed past just as he was due at the outside altar on the square but our departure was delayed for 2 hours to avoid that occurring (sadly). Dubrovnik, CroatiaDocking at Gruz harbour a couple of miles from the old city meant another shuttle bus, there was rather a long wait as we did not arrive until 1pm and everyone one headed ashore at the same time, but again the bus was free so avoided the need to acquire local currency or agree a taxi fare, that is such a help. We had been to Dubrovnik before so knew that 2-3 hours is enough (unless you want to visit the various museums or walk the walls) but spent a nice sunny Sunday afternoon wandering around. A local brass band competition was going on which added to the atmosphere, all shops and museums were open but there was a surprising absence of tourists apart from those from the ship.Kotor, MontenegroThis old city is a real gem, yet I had barely heard of it when we booked the cruise. It's another walled city but has a far more genuine, lived-in feel than Dubrovnik and sits at the end of a long, deep fjord, that took 90 scenic minutes to sail out from, you could easily be in Norway. The port is right by the city wall, literally two minutes walk into the city. Just outside the wall is a market in one direction and the new town in the other, where there is a nice, if small, modern shopping precinct (free wifi). Accessibility had concerned me here but all the streets were well worn marble type surface, not really cobblestone as had been described, so no problem for the scooter. High above the city stands an old fortress, it costs 3 euros to enter the pathway up, apparently it is about 1500 steps but the bottom was cobble slopes rather than steps and rather slippery as it had rained. I decided against the walk but our table mates that evening had done it and said the view was wonderful. It drizzled on and off most of the day and became quite cold, but this is a port I would love to return to in better weather. To the left from the port, past the new town, there was long seafront walk and looked like little beaches a mile or so along, although I expect the fjord water would always be a bit chilly. Corfu, GreeceOnce again a free shuttle bus took us into town, this new innovation from Oceania is really welcome. It drops off by the "old fortress" (having passed the seemingly equally old "new fortress" en route !) which looked an interesting place to visit (4 euros, or 2 for over 65s). There is a large park through which you walk to the little streets of the old town, filled with fascinating little shops many selling local kumquats in candied or liqueur form. We found a very attractive Greek Orthodox church which was clearly an attraction as several tour groups were there, and generally enjoyed a day of wandering.Zakynthos (a.k.a. Zante)No need for a shuttle today as we tendered right into town. The tender operation seemed to work well even though the sea gave us a slightly rough ride. The town consists of a large square, several churches and a number of unremarkable shops and, along with most other passengers we spoke to, we considered it to be our least favourite stop on this itinerary. There are car hire shops along the harbour front so if we should ever find ourselves there again I think we will rent a car and get out of town to see the island. Apparently there are some nice beaches. In fact, after getting back on the ship, I noticed a small beach a short distance from the tender pier (turn right when leaving the pier rather than left into town). Monemvasia, GreeceWhat a wonderful surprise - a port we had never even heard of before booking this cruise and it was the highlight of the voyage ! It is a huge red rock, known as the "Gibraltar of Greece" joined to the mainland by a causeway. There are two tender piers, Marina used the one to the right of the causeway, looking from the sea, which was the closest to the Rock. Two smaller ships were tendering into a small harbour on the other side of the causeway, making their walk to the old city walls probably close to a mile whereas ours was about half that distance. There is a new Tarmac road leading around the rock and gently sloping upwards (fine for the scooter, would have been hard going pushing a wheelchair). On entering the old city through a gate in the huge thick old walls you go back several centuries. The streets are then narrow, steep and cobbled (no good for anybody with walking troubles - DH sat in the entrance gate and waited for me)but it is just so beautiful - easily as pretty as Santorini, in my opinion, but the buildings are earthy browns and reds instead of white, and I just cannot believe that it is not better known. It does seem that many of the houses are being restored and turned into holiday cottages so maybe tourism in just finding Monemvasia. From the lower part of the old city you can walk up to the ruined upper city on top of the rock. It is about 500 steps and I got about half way when the rain came down, as it had several times that day, so I aborted the climb and returned to look around the pretty little shops at the lower level. Sadly there had been very little information on board about Monemvasia and many passengers had been put off by the weather and missed out on seeing this lovely place, I am so glad we decided to risk a drenching to see it. In better weather it would be possible to use the pebbly beaches across the causeway in the new town (which is only really a few restaurants) or swim in a cut out rocky sea pool a short distance from the pier going towards the old city, where there are steps down into the water.Santorini, GreeceWe have been to Santorini before and know that it is completely inaccessible to us, but it is still a beautiful place to spend a day on the ship. It was very windy so not really suitable to sit on deck but the ship was being blown around giving us a continually changing view from the Horizon lounge, where we spent most of a lazy day.Kusadasi, TurkeyAlways one of our favourite ports, especially as it was warm and sunny, naturally a lot of people head off to Ephesus but there is plenty to do in the town, which begins virtually as you step off the ship, although better prices and less hassle are to be found by heading a few blocks back from the cruise terminal into the little streets packed with 'genuine fakes' of everything you can imagine, not to mention Turkish carpets, leather coats etc. For once we managed to resist any major purchases on this visit to turkey but returned to the ship loaded with Turkish delight as gifts for our friends and a year's supply of apple tea for me.Mykonos, GreeceThe ship made a morning stop at Delos but having visited on a previous Oceania cruise we did not go ashore but enjoyed a lovely sunny morning around the pool. After lunch tendering into Mykonos started but took nearly 2 hours before open tendering was announced. However, we were in port until 8pm and a couple of hours wandering around the pretty white & blue town was enough, as we had visited before. Athens, Greece8am was a little early to have to vacate the cabin but disembarkation went very smoothly. We always arrange our own flights and transfers but had used some on board credit to take Oceania transfers to Athens airport and it was lovely to have our luggage moved for us for a change. The journey took just over and hour and we arrived in plenty of time for our flight home. Accessibility Now for the problem area. The ship itself is completely accessible to scooters/wheelchairs and, having booked late on a 'guarantee' basis we were pleasantly surprised to have been allocated one of the few accessible cabins. Our scooter folds and fits under the bed of a standard cabin so it was not essential that we got an accessible cabin but the extra space and walk in shower are a great help. It lacked some of the innovative accessibility features we have found on other ships (eg downward swivelling mirrors or lower-able clothes rails) but had a huge shower area (just remember to remove the toilet paper before showering, as it is located inside the shower curtain !) with a large seat that folds down if needed and plenty of grab rails. Unusually the disabled cabins on Marina are midships rather than near the elevators but the corridor (on deck10) was reasonable in width so a standard wheelchair and a stewards trolley could probably just pass each other. So the ship is fine for disabled people IF you can get aboard. From numerous discussions with various crew members on board it seems that Marina's entrance doors are not suitable for the standard short flat/slightly sloped shore gangways that we have found on all previous cruise ships, so the passenger gangway leads to deck five and consists of about 30 steps that wobbled severely, especially in some of the windy conditions we encountered. On several occasions I had to carry the scooter up or down on my own as no crew members were available but I can manage that, the problem was DH's difficulty in keeping his balance on the moving steps. There was a second gangway, allocated to crew and leading to deck 4. When we first asked we were not allowed to use it but another time a helpful senior officer was present and agreed that we could do so. After completion of a mid-cruise comment card drawing attention to our problem the concierge also gave permission for us to use the crew entrance. This was a help for me or whoever carried the scooter, but for a disabled person it is really no better as there are several steps up to the gangway, which have no handrail at all, and the gangway itself has large raised footholds every few inches, obviously so that it can be used on a slope, but leaving no flat surface to walk on. After speaking to several other people on board who had varying disabilities (some of whom chose not to get off the ship because of the difficulty) I enquired what would happen if a passenger was unable to walk at all - the concierge's answer was that 4 strong crew members would have to carry their wheelchair up and down the steps !! Come on, Oceania, that is not a dignified or, probably even a safe, solution. One lady told us she had been carried down once but was so terrified that she never got off the ship again until the end of the cruise. If the Marina is going to advertise disabled accessible cabins there has to be a safe way for disabled people to get on and off the ship without the embarrassment of being carried down a stepped gangway. If anyone is concerned about this problem do email me k@justinheritance.co.uk and I can send you some photos of the gangways. If the powers that be at Oceania read this please do something about it - I can send you a photo of the normal, perfectly accessible, gangway on the ship that happened to dock next to us at one port to show you what is needed. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Having made all our own flight and hotel arrangements (we stayed one night at the excellent Gritti Palace Hotel in Venice before embarking the ship), my comments are all about Marina and the cruise.We travelled with friends from home who ... Read More
Having made all our own flight and hotel arrangements (we stayed one night at the excellent Gritti Palace Hotel in Venice before embarking the ship), my comments are all about Marina and the cruise.We travelled with friends from home who had never cruised before. Fortunately they were delighted with the experience. The service on board Marina was outstanding - probably the best I have encountered on some 40 or more cruises spanning the last 30+ years. The food was also consistently excellent.The itinerary was good, although port-intensive. This suited our 'newcomer' friends. At most ports we arranged our own sightseeing (this is a part of the world I am quite familiar with) but we did take organised shore excursions at Monemvasia (to see Mystras) and Kusadasi (to visit Didyma and Miletus). Both were excellent with good local guides - important when visiting ancient sites. Good weather throughout (apart from a rainy day in Kotor Fjord) also helped. The Eastern Mediterranean in Spring is breathtakingly beautiful with carpets of wild flowers everywhere. Also the Summer crowds were yet to arrive. Daytime temperatures hovering around 20 degrees (68degF) were perfect for walking and sightseeing.To return to the ship. There are serious design faults. We had cabins on Deck 11 designated 'Penthouse Suites' at the PH1 grade. When we walked into our cabin I wondered why it was so dark (the day outside in Venice being brilliantly sunny). The reason became clear when I opened the balcony door. There is an enormous overhang (I estimate about 20 feet wide) which runs all around the deck caused by Deck 12 above (the pool deck) being so much wider. The ship's architect has made a big mistake in siting the best cabins on Deck 11 rather than lower down on the ship. I would recommend readers to avoid this deck at all costs and go for a cheaper cabin. Sunlight does not fall on the Deck 11 balconies other than in the very early morning or late evening. Incidentally, the balconies are not teak (as trumpeted in the brochure) but a rather unpleasant laminate designed to look like teak!The other mistakes are in the design and location of two of the bars. The 'Grand Bar' - located by the main dining room - is just a wide corridor with chairs and tables either side. People pass through in constant procession and I cannot imagine wanting to sit there (though a few did). It is utterly devoid of atmosphere. The adjacent bar 'Martinis' is ruined by being very dark and having windows which overlook the lifeboats! This leaves only one nice bar - 'Horizons' - up on Deck 15 forward. This is a lovely room for drinks before or after dinner and where the best afternoon tea afloat was served daily at 4pm. However, the bar is not open during the day for lunchtime drinks! Also the furniture is over-large which makes for difficult ease of movement by passengers and stewards alike. This could be rectified by removing 10% of the tables and chairs.The pool deck is lovely and properly finished in teak, but other outside decks either have that nasty faux teak laminate (like the cabin balconies) or a blue rubberised flooring. A great mistake. Both are unbearably hot to the feet on sunny days. This could be put right at a future refit.Turning now to the restaurants, we ate in Toscana (Italian), Jacques (French) and the Grand Dining Room. None of us are big eaters of red meat so we eschewed the Polo Grill, and we could not get a sensible dining time in Red Ginger (Asian) so we did not bother. The Dining Room, Toscana and Jacques were excellent. The food and service were of the highest standard. Menus were wide and varied and international in appeal. Service was seamless, attentive and friendly without being over-familiar. The crew were immaculately groomed and could have graced any hotel or restaurant on land, however grand.Breakfast and lunch in the Terrace Cafe was also most enjoyable and rarely did we have any difficulty finding a table. On most days we had breakfast or lunch (or both) outdoors on the Terrace Cafe verandah.We had a 'butler' but really did not need him. The restaurants on board are so lovely that I cannot imagine wanting to eat meals in the cabin (unless you are ill, which we fortunately were not), and over-elaborate 'canapes' seem to be unnecessary and difficult to fit in between the excellent tea and dinner. We just needed our 'butler' to bring early morning tea, and glasses and ice for drinks before dinner - which he did perfectly!We went to one 'production show' after dinner in the Marina Lounge but it was so amateurish and bad that we all got the giggles and had to leave! Thereafter we made our own entertainment. The lack of good organised entertainment does not bother us.So, all in all, apart from the design faults (which will be difficult for Oceania to do anything about), we were well satisfied. The passenger profile is still predominantly American, but Oceania are starting to realise the danger of being over-reliant on one market (remember the impact on the travel industry post '9/11') and are now marketing their cruises more widely in Europe, Asia and Australia.I shall be happy to return to this ship. But not to Deck 11. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
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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