Sail Date: January 2019
I had taken Insignia last fall to the cottages and coves, and fell in love with Oceania. I was a die hard Windstar cruiser. This was my fourth trip to the French Polynesia and decided to take Oceania. We upgraded to the PH. 11009 and ... Read More
I had taken Insignia last fall to the cottages and coves, and fell in love with Oceania. I was a die hard Windstar cruiser. This was my fourth trip to the French Polynesia and decided to take Oceania. We upgraded to the PH. 11009 and we’re very pleased with our room and the services. The customer service from Oceania is by far the best in the industry. Thank you for another great cruise. You have yet again, exceeded my expectations. I’m not big on the entertainment though. While I believe Oceania does draw an older clientele, the music and shows I found were somewhat dated. The comedian was very good. Your customer service representative Rachael Ruebel who handled some of my daughters and my requests went above and beyond the call of duty, and she should be acknowledged for her talents and truly being one of your greatest assets in customer service. She, I would say was one of the main reason I am a committed cruiser on Oceania. In this day and age, when customer service seems to be lacking, your employees from the top, all the way to the not so top are exceptional. You treat your employees good, they bring your customers back. Great cruise. Thank you for making my daughter and my cruise amazing. See you on the next one. Just wish you had single cruises for us widow travelers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We just returned from our first Oceania cruise. (This is our 5th cruise). We did the South Pacific starting and ending in Papeete Tahiti for a 10 day cruise. We absolutely loved Oceania. We would sail Oceania again in a heart beat and ... Read More
We just returned from our first Oceania cruise. (This is our 5th cruise). We did the South Pacific starting and ending in Papeete Tahiti for a 10 day cruise. We absolutely loved Oceania. We would sail Oceania again in a heart beat and most of the fellow travelers we talked to felt the same. The staff are plentiful, kind, caring and sensitive. They serve the food in buffets to keep you safe. They change the linens on lounge chairs to keep everything safe and comfortable. I have never had such consistently wonderful service on a cruise. I felt spoiled each and every momment. I had to go to the medical clinic and received excellent service (ok the bill was pretty high-like USA healthcare prices!) The rooms, the amenities, the food and the service were all spectacular! The bed and bedding were just dreamy. We did not sample the entertainment. We find our entertainment by watching the natural beauty so cannot report on the ships entertainment. We booked last minute within a month of sailing date. We booked a concierge suite with a balcony and had no regrets. We could have taken better advantage of the very wonderful (and free to us) concierge. The concierge can help you with anything! The fridge in our room and the concierge lounge is stocked with free beverages. No charges for coffee (including specialty coffees), water bottles, soft drinks, room service 24 X7 was wonderful and quick. The food was FANTASTIC! All specialty dining is included in the cruise fare. You need recommendations and we got reservations into all 4 ahead of time (that may be the limit-1 reservation in all 4). For general dining we loved the Grand Dining Room. In the Terrace Cafe you can get grilled lobster, fish, steaks every evening with an outdoor table. One night we ate lobster while watching the sunset in Bora Bora. I had serval surf and turf sandwiches in the patio grill near the pool. Ice cream, malts, shakes, and smoothies are free and delicious. So much fresh fruit and veggies! It was easy to eat healthy. I am gluten free/Celiac and never had a better experience with help with food. I could eat at every venue and stayed completely safe. That is a real accomplishment for a 10 day cruise. The wine and drinks by the glass were fantastic and cost 10 dollars or less. My husband does not drink so I just paid as I went and used my onboard ship credit for alcohol. All of the oceania excursions were closed when we booked late-so we arranged our own excursions. Some ahead of time, many at the peer! We paid Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
The food and service on this cruise were fabulous. I could really not have asked for more or better. I was sad that we missed stopping in Huahine because of a heavy rain but that could not be avoided and I absolutely would recommend this ... Read More
The food and service on this cruise were fabulous. I could really not have asked for more or better. I was sad that we missed stopping in Huahine because of a heavy rain but that could not be avoided and I absolutely would recommend this trip to anyone! We expected bad weather and really had hardly any rain. The locals were wonderful, did a beautiful job welcoming the ship and the guests to each port. The food in Red Ginger might be the best food I have ever eaten in my life. I had the Lobster Pad Thai and my husband had the Chilean Sea Bass, both were delicious. We stayed at Chalet Tahiti one night on either end of trip and host, Jean Denis was amazing as well. If you stay in one of the other hotels you are better off booking it yourself rather than through the cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
The food really is wonderful. The cabin was really nice too, comfortable bed and linens. The staff was very friendly especially our steward.But if you wanted a drink at the pool you best hustle on over to the bar because they aren't ... Read More
The food really is wonderful. The cabin was really nice too, comfortable bed and linens. The staff was very friendly especially our steward.But if you wanted a drink at the pool you best hustle on over to the bar because they aren't going to ask if you need anything. Odd because all the restaurant people were on it! Entertainment was marginal to poor. The pool side band played about an hour and quit at noon. What's up with that. The comedian was great - talking about marriage. One of the lectures was the "history of cruise ships" -- which was not interesting to us. Other topics would have been more interesting. The cooking classes were always full - and also had a cost. There were wonderful restaurants which had no cost. You had to make a reservation for the restaurants on the day you wanted If it was not full or others did not show or canceled you could then go to the restaurant. Our really bad experience was with the destination services desk. The counter Manager raised her voice at a girl, Natalie, who was trying her best to explain her complaint in English. Her issue, which ironically was ours too, was failure to get a $199 credit for an excursion that was canceled due to bad weather. She, like us, thought we should get full credit for it - as it was one of the 3 included excursions in our fare. We were to get 3 "free" excursions. When we got 2 "free" excursions - we felt a credit was appropriate. We weren't the only ones that felt this way. When Natalie asked what she was supposed to do with her excursion tickets - the manager replied "keep them for a souvenir". Natalie, her husband and my wife and I talked to the General Manager. He explained that the "free" excursions were an advertising gimmick to get customers to sign up for the cruise. The "free" excursions essentially had no value - but, as a courtesy Oceania would credit our account $100. My stance was that if the excursions had no value then why did they put a $199 charge for them. We ended up getting $100 credit for a $199 excursion. But if I can convince you to cruise with other lines I'm happy. We paid nearly $10,000 for the cruise and they chose to cheat us out of $198 on one excursion and $240 on another. Amazing!!! I wouldn't say this cruise was "fun". It did offer excursions that were incredible with talented locals who entertained with glee. Post cruise we had to be off the ship by 9:00 am. Flights out of Tahiti are at 11:00 pm. One of the good things Oceanic gave us a choice to have our luggage transported to the airport - which meant we did not have to lug it around all day. The luggage was delivered at 6:30 at the airport. That was really nice. One of the hotels, Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort,Oceania offered an excursion that picked up passengers to hotels until transport to the airport in the evening. This resort was the same place we stayed before the cruise. Please read my wife's review of Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort. We gave it a 2 star rating, the breakfast ($30 each) was fine - dinner food was terrible and expensive. The resort had uncomfortable living room furnishings Anyway, the post cruise excursion lets passengers hang out in a ballroom with the rest of the gang, eat bad food and relax. We noticed that the hotel had a sign that a day rate was $125 but we found out from other travelers that the resort charged up to $400 for a day room. The pool at the Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort was nice when they weren't having spinner classes - twice a day. Try Royal Caribbean, Viking, Holland America or anything else Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Easter Island-RAPA NUI was wonderful. The stop at Pitcairn Island to visit the descendants of the BOUNTY mutineers was terrific. Tahiti, Bora Bora, Raiatea are classic south seas destinations. Tours of ports of call were extremely costly ... Read More
Easter Island-RAPA NUI was wonderful. The stop at Pitcairn Island to visit the descendants of the BOUNTY mutineers was terrific. Tahiti, Bora Bora, Raiatea are classic south seas destinations. Tours of ports of call were extremely costly but all were excellent. Seeing the giant MOI on Rapa Nui is a once in the lifetime experience. It was a surprise that Easter Island is absolutely beautiful. Greenery abounds since vegetation has been planted from all around the world since the late 1800's. Marina pax were extremely fortunate that we could tender to the island on the two days of our visit. Oceania Marina did not live up to its glossy reputation on this cruise. Food especially in the vaunted speciality restaurants was not totally enjoyable. The main dining room had the best most consistent food on the ship. Food on Celebrity,NCL,HAL, Princess is s good or better. While we went on Marina for the itinerary-not its reportedly wonderful food, we were surprised that many people shared our less than positive food experiences. It seemed that people's feelings about the food improved after multiple glasses of adult beverages at mealtime. And it was nice to have six or seven restaurants to choose from- no set mealtimes Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We have traveled on Oceania before and loved it....and we still do! Everything about the crew, service, ship, etc was great, but the food left a bit to be desired. Certainly not bad, but not the finest. It was our only disappointment. ... Read More
We have traveled on Oceania before and loved it....and we still do! Everything about the crew, service, ship, etc was great, but the food left a bit to be desired. Certainly not bad, but not the finest. It was our only disappointment. Our Butler was incredibly attentive to our every need and the bartenders were great. We didn’t do any of the ship excursions cause we were fortunate to find wonderful friends and groups via cruise critic. We thought the entertainment was excellent— I don’t think one should expect a broadway show level of entertainment, cause you’re not going to find it on a small ship. For the size of ship we were very pleased. You find a lovely group of travelers of the socio economic level one would expect at this price point. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our 4th cruise with Oceania so we are obviously biased. Although we have sailed on a few other ocean cruise lines and river cruise lines, we keep coming back to Oceania. The food is Fantastic, the service superb and the atmosphere ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with Oceania so we are obviously biased. Although we have sailed on a few other ocean cruise lines and river cruise lines, we keep coming back to Oceania. The food is Fantastic, the service superb and the atmosphere is very warm, casual and comfortable. It feels like a home away from home. We just completed an 18 day voyage (our longest cruise yet) and we wished we could have stayed longer. We met some very interesting and lovely passengers with whom we had much in common. Oceania seems to attract like minded customers. Information about ports and sites was timely and thorough. Local tour information was provided on board as well as on cctv. No guess work or Google searches required. There was plenty to do on board if one took the time to read the daily activity bulletin. Front desk staff were also very helpful when memory failed. Kudos to the staff, crew and management for a job very well done! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Embarkation was great & smooth (vs. disembarkation which was a rotten experience; later). Rio de Janeiro was interesting to see with beaches, Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf. The city is a typical Latin city that is overcrowded ... Read More
Embarkation was great & smooth (vs. disembarkation which was a rotten experience; later). Rio de Janeiro was interesting to see with beaches, Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf. The city is a typical Latin city that is overcrowded and dirty. Spent a lot of time in traffic. Food however was excellent; fast, tasty & uniquely served. The next port was a non+, pretty much a repeat of Rio without the great attraction. Two cities in Uruguay were like the Riviera, clean very safe. Buenos Aires was more of Rio. Walk with the penguins was good but a long drive from port & a lot more walking to the ocean. Great welcome center but the bathrooms at the park were HORRIBLE; 3 of 5 toilets were broken, stalls had no paper and toilets were barely usable with no flush water (TP was on ONE roll outside the stalls). For the money that goes into that park, they need to do a better job! Rode a great train in Ushuaia, a new, replica of a 0*1*1*0 Garratt. The first port in Chile was a nice walk in the Antarctic rain forest, along a river to a great water fall, + a wine tasting at the end. Disembarked in Chile at San Antonio and traveled to Santiago. We had to CLEAR the ship by 0900. There was one gang-way for entrance of new crew and departing passenger. There was no order and no one controlling exiting passenger; it was a group, screwed-up mess (Viet Nam vets have an expression that I cannot use here - like cluster...). Groups were called before there was room to accommodate them for disembarkation. Long walk to buses (& I mean long). We took a shore excursion since our flight did not leave until 950 PM. Drive into Santiago was nice, stopped for snack on the way a cute little restaurant. In the city, typical traffic & inability to stop to & see points of interest. One local craft market that was overpriced and then a fancy mall for lunch (on our own). We at seafood of Abalone, potato salad and greens; delicious! Then on to the airport. WE STOOD for two hours before we could even check in, THOUSANDS of disembarked ship's passengers. This was INEXCUSABLE! I will never depart from Santiago, Chile again!!! Worse than De Gaul in Paris. Overall life on ship was great, great staff, great food & VERY comfortable accommodations. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Love this itinerary. 6th time to Rio, Diverse ports, lots of sea days, good friends. Little changes- many fewer European staff, new CD and GM. Fantastic value. Took ship's tours as I am travelling solo, private tours see more, ... Read More
Love this itinerary. 6th time to Rio, Diverse ports, lots of sea days, good friends. Little changes- many fewer European staff, new CD and GM. Fantastic value. Took ship's tours as I am travelling solo, private tours see more, more leasurely pace. I felt rushed as there was a need to cram many sites in limited time. Have been to Rio before- never attempted to do Sugerloaf and Christ the Redeemer the same day. Tours used all the time, very little time for shopping. Food was wonderful, but this length of cruise was long enough to tire of it. The ship started to decorate for Christmas, but the major construction was still hidden under a curtain when I left. Weather was warm, Rio was over 100. All the Brazilian stops were hot. New port of Praia was interesting, terribly poor country. Well, time to start my diet, scheduled doctor visit Friday. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
So far we have always cruised on Oceania’s Riviera but decided to “pay a visit” to her older sister, the M/S Marina. The Transatlantic Passage from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro began on November 28th and ended on December 14th. We flew ... Read More
So far we have always cruised on Oceania’s Riviera but decided to “pay a visit” to her older sister, the M/S Marina. The Transatlantic Passage from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro began on November 28th and ended on December 14th. We flew into Lisbon a day early and stayed over at a hotel close to the port. On the embarkation day the departure from the cruise terminal was very disorganized and chaotic; no special area for suites guests to wait, in fact Regent was embarking their guests in the same hall at the same time with no clear separation. As we arrived without luggage tags (not our fault), we worried for a while that our luggage may end up on the wrong ship. Eventually, we were sent off to do the registration on board but it was not clear how to get there. All of a sudden an agent showed up and indicated which door to exit to board the ship. We had to follow others hoping it was the right way. It turned out that the ship was located at about ¼ of a mile away and we all walked off into strong, cold winds. All the usual procedures (info, Credit Cards, photos, etc.) were done at the Marina’s reception desk. It was indeed, a very unusual and surprising way to embark. It is impossible not to compare the two ships; the layouts are the same, locations of restaurants, lounges, spa, exercise room, etc. are located exactly on the same decks and area. The clearest differences (for our taste) were in general, the art work; by far Riviera is much superior and Marina looks/feels older though it’s quite well maintained. The staff were as usual, excellent, coming from different parts of the world: many from Ukraine, quite a number from Honduras, Serbia, a surprisingly good number of Italians and French, from India (mainly being Butlers), etc. The food…..well, there are some issues here. I will start where we had our first meal. *The Terrace (Lunch on day of embarkation) - Choices were very good in all the categories and the servers, excellent as usual. The difference and number in choices were starting to be felt, day after day of sailing, so imagine after 16 days; happy to say that the staff kept being as friendly and helpful as from day one. A note on breads and bread sticks. All are fantastic and always fresh. Especially good were the sliced baguettes and a new bread for me called ‘Normandy’ which was perfect in sandwiches and it toasted extremely well. It can be recognized as a wider than tall domed loaf with three slots or grooves on the top border of each slice. Normandy bread was only available in The Terrace and Waves Grill. On the first night of the cruise we were able to get a table in *Toscana and we were impressed not only with the food but the spaciousness of the place and the excellent Maître d’ and servers and being able to speak Italian with the staff was another big plus. So far so good. *The Grand Restaurant - Everything clicked perfectly: choices, food temperature, taste, service (Maître’d, brothers Julio Cesar & Geovanni/Honduras) ambience, etc. This excellence didn’t change at all being dinner, lunch or breakfast, during the whole cruise. *Waves Grill– I was looking forward to have lunch there but, unfortunately it was a big disappointment; the staff were great but the quality of the food was not so good; e.g. the surf and turf was a big flop though the Kobe Burger was quite good. It is possible that the weather, very strong cold winds, played a big part in making those visits not so enjoyable. Warning: the regular coffee that is served in all the restaurants is very weak so if you like stronger coffee, ask for a cappuccino or a double espresso or simply go to Barristers, one deck up from Waves, and have some great cookies with it! *Red Ginger – We went twice and both times we were satisfied with the food (not to be missed the Miso Sea Bass or the Tuna Tataki) and the great staff (Katerina and Khrystyna/Ukraine, Maria/Serbia) but I found the place a bit narrow, with tables too close to each other and the low chairs and lighting didn’t help. *Jacques – I think that this will be the last time in Jacques regardless it was possible to speak French with a few of them. The food in general is just okay but nothing to rave about it, what I found with every one of my visits was that everybody (diners and staff) behaved in a very pretentious, affected and arrogant manner. It doesn’t make you feel at ease nor able to enjoy the special food or elegant surroundings. *Polo – All the way, another winner! Roasted beet root and goat cheese as an entrée was excellent and the 7 oz. Filet Mignon was cooked to perfection with excellent side dishes. The mashed potatoes were excellent and the string beans superbly steamed. On the last day at sea, we went again to *Toscana and if the first time was very good this one was exceptional! And the night before arriving in Rio we had dinner at *The Terrace hoping to take advantage of such a hot night to dine al fresco while sampling the so much praised lobster. Both were a disappointment; for dinner the tables are set with table clothes but that is only done inside the restaurant. We did not like the al fresco ambiance of no lighting and no table clothes so we opted to eat inside. The “famous” lobster (1/2 a tail, grilled to order) was dry and almost meatless. Regardless and thanks to a beautiful Chardonnay white and the fantastic staff we had a great and tranquil evening much needed after packing at full speed for the three hours before dinner time. Our Ratings for the various specialty restaurants: 1) Toscana 2) Polo very close 3) Ginger 4) Jacques *Entertainment – Lackluster to say the least. Too much screaming (singing??!) and their dancing moves although quite sophisticated and well performed, were the same over and over again; that’s why we went only a couple of times and just for half of the show. The real star of the cruise shows was a singer and his name is Jamie Michael Stewart; his second show titled “Sinatra and friends” was superb!! If you have him on any of your future cruises do not miss going to hear him sing!!! And about the Cruise Director, the only thing I am allowed to say about him personally is that he tried to be funny but he only accomplished being completely pathetic. Oceania management needs to realize how important the Cruise Director’s role is. First and foremost he is a host for each and every guest and considering that Oceania is an upscale cruise line, he should have more in common with the guests. That means an older and more sophisticated person than is the industry norm, i.e. young comical entertainers. **Cooking demonstrations – They were given in the Marina Lounge (Theater) by the Senior Executive Chef Laurent Trias and they were all very instructive and many times very funny. Although considering the present “# Me Too era”, this top chef was quite a bully with his underlings. On Dec. 7th, at the second Captain’s cocktail Reception I met the very curt and polite Captain Leo Strazicic and his very friendly and welcoming GM Marck Warmenhoven. Both took the time for meaningful conversations. *Canyon Ranch Terrace an excellent place to enjoy the sun, soaking yourself in the hot tub, taking a shower or simply relaxing in peace with no hoopla around you. Excellent place. *Fitness Center located close by, is ample with a lot of machines with great views thru the surrounding floor to ceiling windows. Very busy especially on sea days. This was our second long (more than 10/12 days) cruise and for sure that will never happen again; after the first one (different Cruise Line) I swore that I would not do it again but the opportunity to cruise past the Equator on board Oceania Marina, took over but it won’t happen again! Simply what goes wrong is that after a while everything starts to get too repetitious and that leads to boredom with both food and staff. *Tours – We only took one of the ship’s tours and that was in Salvador da Bahia (Brazil) the rest of the ports we were on our own. Unfortunately, Viator did not have anything to offer on any of the transatlantic ports on this passage so for all the other ports we had to do it on our own. The reason we do this, is because we find the way our fellow passengers behave is completely unacceptable; e.g. waiting in the Marina Lounge for your tour number to be called and when that happens there is an stampede of “grown-ups” rushing to the exit, bumping into everybody just to be first to the bus and get the seats they want; and the same happens at every stop, they are all rushing to be the first to get off. Sorry, but for me and in the way I was educated (and have taught my children) that is not civilized and shows a complete lack of respect for your fellow travellers. At any rate that’s how we generally feel about ship sponsored tours but I am sure you won’t mind if I give some pointers on what we found and how we approached the various ports visited on this cruise. *Cadiz – Although this was our second time there we visited a different and unknown area; from the pier you have quite a long but enjoyable walk to an area where we read you could find numerous tapas bars; the weather was not good (cold, windy and little sun) and all those bars were located on shady streets so we ended up in a bar in the sunny main plaza (under construction with lots of noise); the food wasn’t what we expected, the wine was so-so but we met a beautiful girl (Vanessa) with whom we talked and laughed a lot which made up for the lack of authentic tapas. You know, you go on your own so you take your chances. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Anyway it is a beautiful city that deserves to be visited and explored on a longer stay. *Arrecife – There is nothing worthwhile to see on your own so if you don’t mind to go thru the ‘tour hassle’ I mentioned above, better to take any of the ship’s guided tours. *Tenerife – Walked to the center of town (long walk and not as nice as it was in Cadiz). We got there on a Sunday, meaning that ALL the outdoor bars and restaurants were taken over by big families with a lot of kids (running and screaming around tables). We walked around trying to find some nice and tranquil place but this was not possible so we went right back to the ship. Advice: again take a ship tour, especially if you arrive on a Sunday! *Praia (Cape Verde) – We had a tour booked but after reading info given by the ship that the busses they use are not comfortable and without A/C we cancelled it. We took the offered shuttle that leaves you not far from the main square where you can visit a very nice and simple church, visited the Market extremely busy, cramped and strong fish smell etc., back to the main plaza/park where there is a modern building with a covered bar and had a couple of local beers (good) while watching the city crew install Christmas decorations around the park. For payment they accepted US$ (paper no coins) but the change returned was in their currency and only in coins. Walked back down the hill suffering the very hot and heavy weather to take the return shuttle to the ship. As we approached the dock we saw one of the returning tour busses and we got very upset because we could see that the tour bus was a regular van, quite ample and I am sure had A/C. So now you know and we strongly recommending the ship tour instead of wandering around a quiet town with but one spot to enjoy a drink and people watching. Here is the best time to point out that the first part of the cruise the weather wasn’t good (cold, strong winds, etc.) but starting in Praia the whole thing changed completely and in a way, for the worse! Having high temperatures and exceedingly high humidity is not much fun, especially if walking around on your own! *Cruising the Equator – This was quite an experience! It happened on the third sea day’ December 8th prior to arriving in Recife. The day was perfect; very hot and humid with a soft breeze. So it was a lot of fun seeing how all the participants and onlookers were enjoying the colourful ceremony. We enjoyed all this with our ever present topped up white wine glasses in hand. Thus expectations were fully met. *Recife (Brazil) – On our own again (after yesterday’s revelation about better busses etc. we tried to book a tour but all were filled up) and taking the shuttle into town; they left us in a big building not getting any idea were to go next or what to do. Decided to take a taxi to Mercado Central located in the old part of the city. Warnings! Unless you are fluent in Portuguese DO NOT take a taxi because they will fool you as much as they can/want and second warning, DO NOT go around the Old City because it is quite depressing to see so much poverty, chaos and dirt besides trying to walk along very crowded, boisterous, treacherous streets where if you missed one step you would end up on the ground or in a gutter. Take a tour and go to the modern Recife that for the skyline we saw from the ship, at least it looks more orderly and is very expansive. In fact, on leaving Recife, the skyline continued for what seemed like 5 or ten miles, so this place is much more developed that was apparent in the old downtown quarter. *San Salvador da Bahia – Had an overnight there so the first day we left the ship early (remembering the h&h!) and walked to the two story Mercado Central that was full of souvenir shops on the ground level and a very nice restaurant with an encircling terrace on the second floor. After eating and drinking lightly, we went to the Lacerda Elevator that quickly brings you up about 200 feet to the upper part of the city were unfortunately large areas were boarded up due to repairs in progress. Advice: The price of the Elevator was 15 real p/p (coins only) each way, that’s only 3 cents US but they won’t accept any other currencies. A local food cart operator gave us the change and would not take even one US dollar, so if it had not been up to his generosity/kindness we would have missed the top of the town visit. Afterwards, we learnt that the trip was free for all over 65 years (Brazil offers many such seniors benefits). The following day we took a ship’s tour (all the same hassle as previously described); the tour guide was very knowledgeable and the highlight was walking the steep hill to the Bon Fin Church. Quite a trek but it was worth it. Great views from up there and lots of photos of the thousands and thousands of coloured ribbons tied to the metal fencing/gates all around the church. The relics/photos of all whose prayers were answered was interesting and reminded us of another such chamber at St. Joseph’s Oratory atop Mount Royal in Montreal, Canada. The Carnival in Salvador is as famous as the Rio one and our tour bus covered much of the seaside route that the procession follows every February. Also along the route are an amazing number of architectural splendors. The facades are multi-coloured and with a wide variety of design and materials. They seem to have captured the market for needle condo’s that have but one or two apartments per floor, quite amazing. *Cabo Frio – After one day at sea, we arrived at this beautiful place and after all we’ve seen so far in Brazil this is the one place I would love to come back to and spent days visiting the so many beautiful beaches full of beautiful youth. We made the effort as it was at least 1 kilometer to the main beach! But we left longing for more. Here is an opportunity for Oceania or the city of Cabo Frio to set up a shuttle service. With more time at or near the beach rather than walking, more passengers would spend on drinks, food or shopping. Arrival and Disembarkation Day Disembarkation in Rio went smoothly (amazingly no passport nor customs check nor personnel were around). And once again another very long walk from the ship to where the luggage was; once inside that area things went well. Happy to say that all this happened in the early morning before the heat and humidity took over Rio. Rio is a city that we’ve been to many times (including the crazy and amazing “Carnaval”) so we skipped and sightseeing and headed straight to the airport to catch our flight back home!! At that moment, I/we were very much looking forward to being back in our beautiful and cold Canada! All in all, it was a great trip with a lot of new experiences (one of the reasons you travel, eh?) and although this will be our last long cruise it won’t be our last; we are still in love with Oceania! We already booked our next one on Insignia, it will be the first time on the smaller ships. We are very curious to see what Insignia’s new look will be after the upcoming and soon to be finished major refurbishment. We know that the suites are much smaller than on Marina and Riviera, with 500 or so fewer passengers (and lower ceilings!) That’s a personal concern of mine as I’m 6+ feet tall so we’ll see if it fits me. I will be sure to let all of you know, okay? Till my next one and have all of you a very Happy New Year!!! Read Less
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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