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jamieandsam

Reviews of Oceania

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I wonder if some of the disappointed reviews suggest that Viking Ocean is putting pressure on Oceania?  I was checking Med cruises for the spring of '19 and '20 today.  Viking's are filling up very quickly but a Riviera for spring of next year still has around 200 empty cabins.  This even though the Oceania itineraries are more interesting than Viking's.

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Every season brings a new generation of folks who imagine that they have a deep insight into Cruise economics and pricing.  Enjoy the freshman euphoria, you'll soon realize how complex the equations actually are.  🤑

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54 minutes ago, sattva said:

I wonder if some of the disappointed reviews suggest that Viking Ocean is putting pressure on Oceania?  I was checking Med cruises for the spring of '19 and '20 today.  Viking's are filling up very quickly but a Riviera for spring of next year still has around 200 empty cabins.  This even though the Oceania itineraries are more interesting than Viking's.

 

Viking ocean has been wildly successful with customers and travel media.  They have a nice product but IMO Oceania offers superior food, ship comfort, and probably service.   Not to mention Oceania itineraries are much more interesting.  

Viking has shiny new ships with gorgeous interiors,  free wine, beer with meals and an included excursion in every port.  The marketplace likes their package.  

I’m amazed customers are willing to book so far in advance because Viking requires early final payment.  Our two Viking trips have been booked close to sailing date when prices were cut in half.  

Oceania is doing very well too, I’m paying higher prices and the ships seem pretty full at sailing time.  The O life packages rolled out several years ago in response to the Viking launch but I like that you can still book Oceania cruise only.  

 

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Well, for US ... we left Viking riverboats because of unhappiness with the product a number of years (after two wonderful cruises with them, one in Europe, one in China).  So I'm not inclined to switch to their ocean shups, especially since we remain happy with the Oceania product.  Besides, I don't like the glitz of the photos I've seen of the Viking ships.

 

It didn't help that on one of their first two ships first sailing (maybe the second), they also had severe problems!  There were many posts here at CC at the time.  I'm not saying that was a typical situation!

 

We probably won't be traveling much in the future because DH has decided he's done with travels, and while I'd like to do so I'm not sure how much I will do on my own after my upcoming Marina cruise in April 2019.  His reason for abandoning travel is his vision problems, and if the time comes when I cannot leave him alone, then I will have to abandon travels as well.

 

But unless I am as unhappy with Marina in April as others have been with various ships here to date, I won't switch.  Actually,

I doubt I'd switch anyway!

 

Mura

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I was on the Nautica in July/August. The service was excellent and the food good.  Yes there is some wear and tear, but no more than the mass lines that we have sailed on.  The itinerary decides which ship we will sail on.

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For me, choosing the Insignia for my world cruise, was all about the fantastic itinerary, that will hit about five of my bucket list cruises in one long shot.    While I would have preferred to sail on a newer ship, and at a lower cost, I am going aboard my first ever Oceania cruise, with reasonable expectation's, so I know I won't be disappointed, and hopefully, will be pleased...

I did get aboard the Pacific Princess, one of the original 'R' class ships for a luncheon and tour this past summer, and liked the layout, which is very similar...

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9 hours ago, bob brown said:

 

I did get aboard the Pacific Princess, one of the original 'R' class ships for a luncheon and tour this past summer, and liked the layout, which is very similar...

I will bet the layout  of Insignia  is  the same  as PP 

only the  Insignia  (also one of the original R ships)  will be in better nick   😉

 

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On 11/23/2018 at 3:32 AM, jamieandsam said:

I've been following a number of the Oceania boards and the reviews seem to lean negative. Old ships, cancelled ports, decreased quality. I'm booked on the Insignia in 2020 but am considering switching to the Nautica instead for the itinerary. Insignia is being refurbished this year but Nautica won't be until after I would cruise in 2020. I'd love to hear people's thoughts on the ships, and particularly some positives as I've read a lot of negatives already. 

Hello Jamieandsam

We went on our first ever cruise this year - Oceania Riviera Athen to Athens. The week before our cruise, they had flooding in Athens and a friend travelling the Greek islands got stuck on Mykonos due to inclement stormy weather. We were fortunate to sail through a balmy few days, until a huge weather system off the coast of Italy and Malta. The captain (wisely, we felt) travelled to Messina instead of Malta & Taormina. We overnighted in Messina (an unscheduled stop)and those on tours to Taormina still managed to do the tours. So yes, there was a cancelled port - however, given the size of the weather system, I would much rather have the unscheduled stop than have the captain plough through huge seas and a storm. As it was, we were able to go ashore each and every day of the cruise.

With regards to accommodation - we were in a concierge veranda room smack bang in the centre of the ship and on the right side to view the shoreline at each and every sail away and entry to port. Absolutely magical memories. The bathroom was much larger than we expected, having both a stand alone shower with glass doors (and fantastic water pressure) and a full sized bath with shower and glassed section. The handbasin had plenty of cabinet space (more than we both needed).

We were able to store both our large suitcases out of sight (one in the wardrobe and one under the bed). There was a sitting area with sofa and large coffee table and the balcony had a comfortable small table and chairs.

The ship is advertised as a foodie paradise and caters very much for American tastes. We were rather bemused by some of the offerings and there was so much lobster on offer, we wondered if how many had to die to fulfil the appetites of the passengers...

We found the main dining room pretentious and did not like the menu, however others did not. What we thought were outstanding were the specialty restaurants (all free), both in the quality of food offered and the decor and service - which was outstanding.

There is almost one staff member per passenger and the staff in general took pride in their jobs. It was interesting to see how many different nationalities they represented.

I do hope this review assists you. I know that before our cruise, we relied on the advice of our roll call passengers. Our experience was so positive, we have booked another cruise this year. Sadly, we could not afford Oceania to Scandinavia, so have booked Azamara ( much smaller ship). I realise we were thoroughly spoiled on Riviera, as the bathrooms on Azamara are much smaller and specialty restaurants not free. However, we have booked this one for the overnight stays in ports.

So - I would say - book for the food or the destinations or the experience and tread your own path!

 

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5 hours ago, le chat said:

Hello Jamieandsam

We went on our first ever cruise this year - Oceania Riviera Athen to Athens. The week before our cruise, they had flooding in Athens and a friend travelling the Greek islands got stuck on Mykonos due to inclement stormy weather. We were fortunate to sail through a balmy few days, until a huge weather system off the coast of Italy and Malta. The captain (wisely, we felt) travelled to Messina instead of Malta & Taormina. We overnighted in Messina (an unscheduled stop)and those on tours to Taormina still managed to do the tours. So yes, there was a cancelled port - however, given the size of the weather system, I would much rather have the unscheduled stop than have the captain plough through huge seas and a storm. As it was, we were able to go ashore each and every day of the cruise.

With regards to accommodation - we were in a concierge veranda room smack bang in the centre of the ship and on the right side to view the shoreline at each and every sail away and entry to port. Absolutely magical memories. The bathroom was much larger than we expected, having both a stand alone shower with glass doors (and fantastic water pressure) and a full sized bath with shower and glassed section. The handbasin had plenty of cabinet space (more than we both needed).

We were able to store both our large suitcases out of sight (one in the wardrobe and one under the bed). There was a sitting area with sofa and large coffee table and the balcony had a comfortable small table and chairs.

The ship is advertised as a foodie paradise and caters very much for American tastes. We were rather bemused by some of the offerings and there was so much lobster on offer, we wondered if how many had to die to fulfil the appetites of the passengers...

We found the main dining room pretentious and did not like the menu, however others did not. What we thought were outstanding were the specialty restaurants (all free), both in the quality of food offered and the decor and service - which was outstanding.

There is almost one staff member per passenger and the staff in general took pride in their jobs. It was interesting to see how many different nationalities they represented.

I do hope this review assists you. I know that before our cruise, we relied on the advice of our roll call passengers. Our experience was so positive, we have booked another cruise this year. Sadly, we could not afford Oceania to Scandinavia, so have booked Azamara ( much smaller ship). I realise we were thoroughly spoiled on Riviera, as the bathrooms on Azamara are much smaller and specialty restaurants not free. However, we have booked this one for the overnight stays in ports.

So - I would say - book for the food or the destinations or the experience and tread your own path!

 

 

Excellent post.  

We definitely fall into the category of people who find our own paths.  We’ve sailed on eight cruise lines.  I’m fairly sure we will try a ninth or tenth line.

We have been pleased and occasionally  blown away by Oceania.  We’ve been on all ships in the fleet,  more than once on most.  We prefer the O ships but our most interesting trips have been on the R ships.  We do not expect perfection, I don’t think it exists.  I am OK if someone writes they were unimpressed with Oceania.  But if someone pushes  too hard in repetitive fashion, I may tune out.  

In contrast, we have been occasionally unimpressed with other cruise line experiences that others rave about.   

 

Regarding mattresses, we were just on Sirena and heard they had hundreds of new mattresses on board, awaiting installation.  

The R ship English country decor is dated, but IMO it is remarkably well done and in very good to excellent condition.  

We’ve missed ports on multiple cruise lines.  There is no profit motive behind a captains decisions not to port.   Shore excursions are a major profit driver with price markups of 50, 100, perhaps 200 % over cost.  Why do people keep saying Oceania makes more money by skipping ports?  This is a flawed argument being repeated over and over by a few. 

We have received port charge refunds from mass market lines,  one refund was nine dollars.  

Edited by sammiedawg

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To those who have problems and post (like this thread).   Please note, in your post here, if you included your issues on the mid-cruise and ( along with a follow-up) on the end of cruise survey comments.  I have had strong indications that they are read and some acted upon immediately.  

 

I do think it is possible that Oceania has not gotten its fair share of attention ( especially $ attention) from Norwegian Cruise Lines , Inc. ( the corporate parent )  This is only my opinion.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, UDSpud said:

To those who have problems and post (like this thread).   Please note, in your post here, if you included your issues on the mid-cruise and ( along with a follow-up) on the end of cruise survey comments.  I have had strong indications that they are read and some acted upon immediately.  

 

I do think it is possible that Oceania has not gotten its fair share of attention ( especially $ attention) from Norwegian Cruise Lines , Inc. ( the corporate parent )  This is only my opinion.

 

 

Considering that the co-founder of Oceania is the CEO of Oceania's parent, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., I doubt your opinion is valid.

 

Edited by njhorseman

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20 hours ago, njhorseman said:

Considering that the co-founder of Oceania is the CEO of Oceania's parent, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., I doubt your opinion is valid.

 

Agree 100%.   Oceania is FDR's baby and would not let anything to go wrong there. 

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On board Marina.  Staff in Toscana & baristas now mostly central American.  Orchestra from Brazil, so is quartet.  Seems like they are hiring from different part of the world.  Everything is fine, but I notice a different vibe.

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2 minutes ago, sitraveler said:

On board Marina.  Staff in Toscana & baristas now mostly central American.  Orchestra from Brazil, so is quartet.  Seems like they are hiring from different part of the world.  Everything is fine, but I notice a different vibe.

Thanks  for the update Lou

I noticed a different vibe in July  many waitstaff  from Goa

some very efficient  others  not so much

will be interesting to see  where the crew are from when we sail in April 😉 

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Other changes:

CD channel now 10, no more headlines.

Can exchange champagne into house wine. 

Was invited to a lunch with staff, no dinner yet 

More as I think of it.

Edited by sitraveler
Thought of it.

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1 hour ago, sitraveler said:

Other changes:

CD channel now 10, no more headlines.

 

can you explain?

TIA

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20 hours ago, sitraveler said:

On board Marina.  Staff in Toscana & baristas now mostly central American.  Orchestra from Brazil, so is quartet.  Seems like they are hiring from different part of the world.  Everything is fine, but I notice a different vibe.

 

On Riviera last month, I was surprised at how many of the food/beverage staff were from Warsaw Pact and former-Yugoslavia.

A great comfort to my travelling companions who speak Russian only. (Staff's English seemed rich and clear as well.)

Slavic population did not seem to extend to other departments (Housekeeping, Reception etc.)

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19 hours ago, LHT28 said:

can you explain?

TIA

Cruise Director was always a low numbered channel, now on Marina is on #10.  There was a news headline channel there.  Still MSNBC, CNBC, FOX.

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Had dinner in Red Ginger tonight.  Cast iron tea pots are gone, so are the bamboo sherbet cups.  Ceramic pots don't keep the water as hot. Allegedly due to US health authorities.

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On ‎11‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 12:46 AM, Paulchili said:

Some people love to complain but refuse to change cruise lines. It would seem that complaining is more fun than being happy elsewhere.

I liked but didn’t love Crystal - rather than complaining about their shortcomings (for me) I moved back to where I am happier. My complaints about “deficiencies” on Crystal would be futile - so I moved on.

Agree that sometimes the best choice is to leave a cruise line. Having cruised both Crystal and Oceania five times, my complaints against Oceania entail mostly the bothersome cruise director announcements, bureaucratic, non passenger focused corporate culture, much less friendly crew and fellow passengers and weaker enrichment speaker program than Crystal, so I am moving in the other direction. 

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Trying not to be confrontational here!  I haven't sailed on Crystal so I make no comparisons, since I cannot.

 

But I haven't found either crew or fellow passengers on Oceania to be unfriendly.  As to the enrichment programs, I admit that a fair number of times on Oceania they haven't been what I would have liked.  On some cruises they were, on others they were adequate but no more than that.  Many Crystal passengers have stated that on that line these programs are preferable. So I don't argue that point.

 

But we all have to choose the line we prefer.  For us, Oceania is still #1.

 

Mura

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1 hour ago, edgee said:

Agree that sometimes the best choice is to leave a cruise line. Having cruised both Crystal and Oceania five times, my complaints against Oceania entail mostly the bothersome cruise director announcements, bureaucratic, non passenger focused corporate culture, much less friendly crew and fellow passengers and weaker enrichment speaker program than Crystal, so I am moving in the other direction. 

A perfectly reasonable approach.

As the saying goes - to each their own.

Happy sailings 🙂

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On 12/8/2018 at 5:13 PM, sitraveler said:

Had dinner in Red Ginger tonight.  Cast iron tea pots are gone, so are the bamboo sherbet cups.  Ceramic pots don't keep the water as hot. Allegedly due to US health authorities.

So it took the US Health department eight years to decide that cast iron pots are not safe?

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