Sail Date: December 2018
WE decided to go for a cruise over Christmas and New Years. We told our travel agent to book Viking out of Miami. It was sold out so our agent suggested we try Oceania, as they were comparable. The are not. We were disappointed in most ... Read More
WE decided to go for a cruise over Christmas and New Years. We told our travel agent to book Viking out of Miami. It was sold out so our agent suggested we try Oceania, as they were comparable. The are not. We were disappointed in most aspects of the cruise with exception to the crew. They were exceptional. The spa was great also. All other aspects where inferior. The entertainment was poor. they had a piano player who was good. A guitar player not so great, a comedian who was not funny. I think the single biggest disappointment was the food. As they are known for their food we had great expectations. We ate in all the venues on the ship and were not impressed. The disembarkation was late due to medical emergencies and was disorganized.it was almost 3 hours after our arrival in Miami before we got off the ship. We will not travel on Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
The oceania riviera desperately needs dry dock updates & upgrades. The same carpet stains from last year's cruise were still there a year later. The carpet is in horrible condition and the wood on the ship needs touch-up's. The ship ... Read More
The oceania riviera desperately needs dry dock updates & upgrades. The same carpet stains from last year's cruise were still there a year later. The carpet is in horrible condition and the wood on the ship needs touch-up's. The ship was scheduled to be in dry dock during 2018, but oceania elected to defer this update until april of 2019, and that poor decision is reflected in the environment on the ship. The internet connection speed on the oceania riviera was horribly slow. Oceania opened up "free internet to all" but should have upgraded their system before doing so to handle that bigger demand. We have been on other larger ships that have blazing fast internet speeds, so oceania needs to get their act together on this immediately. We hear the oceania riviera will be in dry dock in april of 2019, so this needs to be a priority upgrade. We were on the oceania riviera during christmas of 2018 and new years, when all of the bowl games were being played. The ship does not have espn and most other major network tv coverage. It's 2019 oceania - please get with the times and get major network coverage that your competition already has!! One port of call was roseau, dominica. This should not be a port of call due to massive devistation from a hurricane that happened over a year ago. Roads had been washed away during the hurricane and flooding, and two way traffic was trying to navigate a single lane on mountainous roads that were way too dangerous to travel on. There were washed-away sections of the road that had jagged edges from fast flowing water. There was a very dangerous mountainous road that could have given way and caused a shuttle van to fall several hundred feet, which would have killed everyone onboard the shuttle. This is an accident waiting to happen so oceania should remove dominica as a port of call. Much of the fitness equipment was old and in poor condition. The oceania riviera ship's staff tries hard to please, but we had a bad experience with the shore excursion staff, which has poor management and untrained staff. Since we cruised on this ship one year earlier, there was an overall downward shift in the quality of the ship's condition and the attitude/training of the staff. The oceania riviera ship has a lot of potential, but its future success depends heavily on oceania making good management decisions and the right update/upgrade decisions for the scheduled april 2019 dry-dock. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
My wife and I were underwhelmed the first few days,,,inconsistent service ,food and entertainment.not much effort into celebrating xmas,,,but much improvement in the second week,,,New Years eve celebrations were great,,entertainment went ... Read More
My wife and I were underwhelmed the first few days,,,inconsistent service ,food and entertainment.not much effort into celebrating xmas,,,but much improvement in the second week,,,New Years eve celebrations were great,,entertainment went to the next level,,,food improved,,except for the tough meat in Polo restaurant,,strange mix of very old and infirm passengers ,Europeans,wealthy Americans,Brits and Australians,,,generally an interesting and fun crowd .we intend to give Oceania another chance to impress,but not over Xmas and new year.We found the staff to be gracious,well mannered,well dressed and happy to assist in any way,,,sometimes in the face of some very rude passengers (unfortunately).Disembakation was a mess,because the ship was two hours late on arrival,not the ship’s fault .Reservation system for the specialty restaurants seem to work fine,,so long as you got the the reservation desk early on any particular day.we both thought Toscanna was far and away the best restaurant,,the lobster pasta was to die for! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Let me start with a few positive comments that made me glad I was able to have this experience at least once. The finest thing about the trip was the bed. It was gloriously comfortable. Magical. I move a lot when I sleep and the bed seemed ... Read More
Let me start with a few positive comments that made me glad I was able to have this experience at least once. The finest thing about the trip was the bed. It was gloriously comfortable. Magical. I move a lot when I sleep and the bed seemed to make me comfortable no matter how much a moved around. Not too hard and not too soft. Cool. Like a dream cloud with support. Amazing. Fine linens, bedding. Pillows were divine. Still, you can buy the bedding and stay home. I'll explain. The ship is beautiful. Gorgeous lobby, etc. Of course, one doesn't dine or stay in the lobby. It was just nice to look at and pass through. Now for the not so nice stuff. First, the ship claims to have internet service which is technically true. In practice you will have spotty and poor service about 60 percent of the time. You will be completely without service the remainder of that time. The connection is very slow and not intended for viewing videos nor for working much with photographs. Stick to an email or message in text. And if you need to work on the cruise, this isn't really going to work for you. We travelled with the CEO of a company, and he had to wait until we were on an island or city on land to send and receive proper messages. That frequently meant a one or two day delay, and had to be accomplished with internet service not provided by the cruise line. If you are a millenial, you'd say there was no internet service at all. One kind lady told me that I was on vacation, and said that being connected to the outside world shouldn't be a priority. I suppose she's right, but I still believe in full disclosure. You will get fired from your job if you think you can work on the ship in a timely manner or are in IT and had planned on a work/play vacation. I rate the internet service and lack of disclosures at a 2 out of 10. Even the crappy service requires a long list of signing in and out and other manipulations that the average techy will find extremely cumbersome. The real killer, though, was the sales gig. There are many opportunities to spend money, but again they fail in lack of disclosure. If you bank with cash and a debit card, you'll be harassed for the entire trip. They prefer a credit card (I don't use "credit" cards) and they will pin notes to your door and ring your room at all hours of the day and night in a horrific collection attempt while you're still very much stuck on their freaking ship. They will tell all your other family members or persons traveling with you what you have or have not paid for, and which cards or cash you have used to pay or not pay for anything and everything. They will treat you like a thief and a threat. They will be unhelpful and impolite in their fervor for collection efforts. By the time I was ready to leave the boat, I had to borrow $300 dollars from a family member to pay off the various gratuities and undisclosed other charges while they treated me like a serial murderer on a cruise that cost 10K between one brother and myself. Why? When they book your airfare (assuming you get the airfare is in the overall package) they will book you on the cheapest worst most indirect flight on the wrong seat. They had me flying for two days from LAX to Miami in a middle seat in the back of the plane. By the time we paid for checked bags, additional fees for the seat, and a nonstop flight I was out another $500 just one the plane ticket fiasco. I still had to fly on an overnight flight, and spend 8 hours awaiting to "check in" after a night of no sleep on the plane. Yes, they treated to a breakfast at a local hotel. That helped for an hour of that time. I'm surprised the hotel they took us to during the daytime didn't have us all arrested for vagrancy. We all looked like half asleep zombies as we walked around the lobby in circles for six more hours. They should also disclose to passengers that EVEN IF YOU HAVE AN INTERNATIONAL DIALING PLAN, that you will still charge up your phone bill if you dare make an actual phone call during your trip. Those calls are not originating in the US and as such are $6 a minute....regardless of your "international dialing plan." Two, one half hour calls to my bank in France cost me $300 on my phone bill. If you like to count, you can see that I'm out over $800 bucks on plane charges and phone calls, without counting the $300 I took on board in cash for penny cash needs. And then the $300 I borrowed to get out of there alive before they had me sleeping in the halls or on a life boat which I offered to them as an alternative if they couldn't wait for me to get the cash limit on my DEBIT card raised for them and their tender CREDIT CARD preference on board.They really need to work on disclosing realistic cash needs on board PRIOR to boarding. This almost ruined my trip and caused petty fights among family members at Christmas time. I finally went down to the lovely Lalique filled lobby and chewed out the reception desk over their unscrupulous collection efforts on board, their skanky and undisclosed poor internet service, the missed ports (due to rain), and the extra charges and they offered me a bottle of wine... the off brand stuff. I'm giving the cruise an average rating because it was a horrible experience on board unless you were asleep or on land. The ship is a luxury ship and the 10K they collected up front on the room still had them acting like they would die for the last $300 bucks. I told them to stop the calls and notes, and to feel free to call the police if I tried to jump ship without paying. I guess all that money was for the bed. I can get that at Macy's without the pressure of a harassed existence on a ship with no internet that can't drop anchor when it rains. Had they acted better I'd have raised this review to a 4 out of 5 stars. As it is, I'm going to be nice and not lash out with a 1 star rating. Average.3 stars. That's fair. Take Oceania at least once. I'll say that. Oh, I met some nice people on board. The barista was gorgeous too. The restaurants are good and the service impeccable there. The entertainment was also good. The excursions were a cut above if expensive. Better ferries, better buses, etc. They do have a wine list that lets you know just how cheap the complimentary bottle was. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
After over 20 different cruises we tried these ships back to back to back and found the direct comparisons interesting. Usually your memories of the good and bad fade with time but in this case it's all still fresh. Here is what we found. ... Read More
After over 20 different cruises we tried these ships back to back to back and found the direct comparisons interesting. Usually your memories of the good and bad fade with time but in this case it's all still fresh. Here is what we found. SERVICE: Best was Azamara followed very closely by Oceania. Very tough to choose as Azamara Pursuit is such a small ship (compared to the Oceania Rivera) the staff know you quickly and service is very personal. I would have to try Oceania on one of their R-Class ships to really know if Azamara is actually better. Celebrity was as always, probably 70% very good and the rest dour to disinterested. SHIP APPEARANCE : Hands down Oceania. Beautiful in every respect. Azamara was totally refurbed so no wear and tear. Generally very classy and understated. Celebrity Infinity is way overdue for refurb. Lots of signs of wear throughout ship and cabins. Disappointing. ART: Oceania was mostly elegant and interesting. Azamara had a mix of interesting and uninspired. Celebrity was the biggest surprise. In general I have always found they carry a great many interesting photos and inspired pieces of art, regardless of ship. The Infinity was an incredible disappointment. A lot of cheesy looking efforts and all in all well below their usual standard. CABINS: Again, Oceania nails it. Great look and feel in our Concierge balcony. Little to complain about other than it didn’t cool down as much as I would like. Still okay however. Azamara standard balcony room was finished nicely but again R-Class design has limits. Tiny awkward bathroom, small balcony and generally cramped feeling. Again, would have to try an Oceania R-Class to see if it's any better. Excellent beds on both carriers. Celebrity has good cabin size and use of space. Our 11th floor Aqua cabin was comfortable. Everything is a notch or two lower but fully expected at the price point. FOOD: Oceania, no contest. Period. Azamara felt a notch above Celebrity in that food was always piping hot no matter where you ate. Food quality was good but not a huge leap beyond Celebrity, which is not insulting as Celebrity is quite reliably good. A few Azamara meals were standouts such as the "White Night" and the chocolate buffet. Celebrity was consistently good, as always. SPECIALTY RESTAURANTS: Oceania again. Great experience in all four with no surcharges, all are included in your cruise fare. Celebrity does charge for each, however it provides a notably better experience in terms of their regular food and dining experience. The Petit Chef is an interesting experience even though the food is not impressive compared to the other specially restaurants. Worth doing once for sure. Azamara also charges for specially dining but not as much as Celebrity. However the experience was hardly better than the ships standard fare. In fact, Aqualina was a disappointment. Prime C was fine but not worth the surcharge. OUTDOOR GRILL: Celebrity is your standard hot dog, burgers and fries kind of thing. Decent stuff, good size items. Oceania steps it up by offering filet and lobster, Reubens, Cuban sandwiches and a few more interesting items as well as a variety of hot dogs and burgers. Azamara has a different take in that they offer things like chicken wings, nachos, chicken fingers and the like for an interesting assortment of bar type food to go along with the burger type offerings. Interestingly, at night they switch to an evening dinner menu allowing al fresco dining. Nice option, well done. ACTIVITIES/DEMOGRAPHIC/KIDS: Overall, Celebrity seems to have the better productions. Neither Azamara or Oceania are in Celebrity's league when it comes to stage size and production capability. Celebrity easily has the most going on day or night. Caters to a wide variety of guests. Usually some kids about but not over run like some lines. Demographic changes drastically with time of year and length of cruise. Oceania and Azamara are both generally geared to seasoned cruisers who enjoy quite spaces and unobtrusive entertainment. Rare to see any kids. Mostly low key activities and entertainment. BEVERAGES: Celebrity easily outdistanced the others in terms of variety and quality. Comparing premium drink packages across all companies, Celebrity had the better choices. The Oceania selection wasn't bad but Azamara seemed weak in choices after paying for the premium upgrade. OVERALL: Ignoring cost, Oceania provides that special feel that makes cruising unique. Factoring in price, although not perfect, Celebrity provides a good experience for the amount paid if the ship is up to par. We just prefer their Solstice class ship size. Azamara is an odd duck. It really does have a country club feel where you get to know everyone quickly and have a relaxed trip. The very high number of repeat customers means they are doing something right. Just don't think their R-Class ships are for me. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because it's a smaller ship (1200) than we've been on before and a number of our friends recommended Oceania. Wanted a cruise out of Florida as we live there. We chose a Penthouse 2 suite and we loved it. Very ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it's a smaller ship (1200) than we've been on before and a number of our friends recommended Oceania. Wanted a cruise out of Florida as we live there. We chose a Penthouse 2 suite and we loved it. Very spacious. Beds are sooo comfortable. So is the bathroom. So much storage that we didn't use any of it in the cabin itself. Just in the big walk in closet. It has a bunch of drawers, more hangers than I ever saw in a cruise ship closet, as well as a wall mounted shoe rack and many shelves. Also a safe. Didn't use the butler much except for breakfast in our room every morning. He also bought some snacks every evening. Room service was terrific. We'd put the service tag out and they'd practically be there in five minutes making up the room. Morning and evening. Service was exceptional all over the ship. I even said to my husband that they must take good care of their staff because they always seem so happy and can't do enough for you. Food was excellent especially in the four specialty restaurants. No extra charge to dine in any of them. Even the buffet and the poolside restaurant was wonderful. The buffet was probably smaller as far as selections but you'll always find lots of good things there. They serve it to you. No one is allowed to serve themselves. At the poolside restaurant, you order what you want, sit down and they bring it to you when ready. Embarkation was amazingly fast. We were on the ship and in our stateroom within 10 minutes. I'm sure being in a suite helped, but doubt it took much longer for people in other cabins too. Disembarkation was the same. About 10 minutes from the time you requested to leave the ship and through customs. Don't know if that's the norm but I'm guessing it is because there are less passengers. Didn't go to any of the shows but did enjoy the string quartet every night and one day at the 4pm tea. Didn't use any of the shore excursions. Just got off the ship and walked around. Husband stayed onboard so didn't want to leave too long. Again, the service. They just couldn't do more for you. No matter what it was you wanted. We're looking forward to traveling with Oceania again in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Cruised on this ship before and the date worked. The staff onboard is outstanding and always ready to please. Very clean ship everywhere. The cooking classes were amazing and the instructor/chef was amazing. Now the bad parts! The ... Read More
Cruised on this ship before and the date worked. The staff onboard is outstanding and always ready to please. Very clean ship everywhere. The cooking classes were amazing and the instructor/chef was amazing. Now the bad parts! The entertainment and food were sub-par. The shows were so bad ....::that calling it a high school musical is insulting to HS! Their a brand that is suppose to be known for its cuisine...,if you took a poll of guests you’d get a resounding “Terrible”. The management on the ship is fully aware of the quality and presentation. Hard pressed to do this line again. However like the size. Had a great time in St Bart’s and the spa was amazing. Great massage. The itinerary played a big part of my decision and again having sailed on Oceania I knew what to expect. The ship is going into dry dock in April for a very limited refresh Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our fifth Oceania cruise, but the first on their newer ships. Overall, we were very satisfied with the experience. THE SHIP. Like the older R-Class ships, it is homey, spacious, traditional and very comfortable, rather than ... Read More
This was our fifth Oceania cruise, but the first on their newer ships. Overall, we were very satisfied with the experience. THE SHIP. Like the older R-Class ships, it is homey, spacious, traditional and very comfortable, rather than glitzy. There is little wow factor. Although the ship is only about 5 years old, it seemed dated. For example, it lacked electronic aids such as an app on your phone, or interactive screens with port and event information. THE CABIN We had a Penthouse 2. More storage than we could possibly use. Extremely comfortable pillows and bed. High quality bedding. Very well planned layout. Beautiful bathroom with seperate shower. Large walk-in closet. Clean and well maintained. Excellent service as well SERVICE Service was beyond excellent and very friendly. Seemed to be a well managed, happy crew. FOOD Oceania claims to have the Finest Cuisine at Sea. I have a mixed opinion on that. We ate twice at Polo Grill, Toscana and Jacques. Food, service, decor were excellent. We had three dinners in the MDR which were also good. Each night, essentially the same menu as the MDR is available at the Terrace Cafe (Self Service buffet), and we had a wonderful evening eating on the terrace while docked in San Juan. So here is the issue...lunch in the Terrace Cafe was very weak, with an extremely limited selection. Even Waves Grill does not offer a chicken sandwich. While the food in MDR was well prepared and presented, the selection was very limited. If you do not eat pork/bacon/pancetta or fish, the choices were absolutely minimal. Service hours were also an issue. The Terrace Cafe was open from noon till 2pm. The MDR from noon till 1.30. Waves 11.30 till 4pm. So if you spent a day at the beach, and returned late to the ship, your only option was Afternoon tea (4pm to 5pm) or room service. ENTERTAINMENT Never a strong point on Oceania. While most of the shows were energetic, they were nothing special, with one exception. On the last day, they had a special pre-dinner show, "World Beat", which was head and shoulders above their other shows...so it can be done. I also want to mention that we greatly enjoyed the classes in the Culinary Center (need to book before you cruise, as space is limited) and we had a wonderful artist-in-residence who ran a series of excellent sessions, which were packed. Also need to mention the outstanding enrichment lecturer, Cloeta Massie, a marine biologist who was one of the most entertaining and knowledgable lecturers I have experienced on land or sea. CONCLUSION A relaxing cruise experience on a very comfortable ship. Yes, we would book Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Just left the Riviera for the 4 th time, been on all the ships in this line. Consistency! Decided that travel alone after friend got ill...I was at “ home”. Lovely passengers, crew exceptional as always...cruise director ... Read More
Just left the Riviera for the 4 th time, been on all the ships in this line. Consistency! Decided that travel alone after friend got ill...I was at “ home”. Lovely passengers, crew exceptional as always...cruise director John such a pleasure! I typically cruise for itinerary so cruise other upscale luxury liners as sister company Regent...Seabourn, Silversea and Crystal. I think Jacque Pepin brand on culinary part shines through...quality incredible, presentation and taste impeccable. Best food at sea hands down! Big thanks to my bartenders at Horizons and Martini piano bar for their hearts and watching out for me. You made travel without my girlfriend after loosing my husband ( who’s favorite was Oceania) a bit easier as I grew up in my journey of loss. Thank you to entire crew! Happy New Year and I look forward to seeing the ship out of dry dock. Incredible value for the buck. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
service superior, food excellent, best bang for the buck. Urinals much too high...layout of spa poor...mens steam and sauna rooms separate from shaving area..must walk out along a cool to cold hall...the shave area is very poorly lit ... Read More
service superior, food excellent, best bang for the buck. Urinals much too high...layout of spa poor...mens steam and sauna rooms separate from shaving area..must walk out along a cool to cold hall...the shave area is very poorly lit and much too small...one single shower in changing area leads to waiting in line at times which is not fun...the crew is the best, very friendly and helpful..food is very good especially in specialty restaurants...entertainment is more than ample for a ship of that size...shower in cabin could be a bit larger and I do not feel the tub is really needed....turn around time for laundry could be somewhat shorter...for on board internet I think it worked quite well...my wife had some difficulty opening door to veranda...we really enjoyed the daily bridge games ...TV sports coverage could have been better, but that is a very minor detail... all in all it was a very enjoyable and more than expected vacation Read Less
Riviera Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.5
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.5 3.3
Public Rooms 4.5 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 2.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.3
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.8

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