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My thoughts; Crystal versus Oceania

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First I'm going to give the good and the bad on my just completed trip on Oceania Sirena and where there should be I'll do a comparison to Crystal in italics.

I took my son on a 7 day cruise from MIA - MIA (Jan 6 - 13, 2020) on Oceania's Sirena with stops in Key West, Belize Harvest Caye, Roatan, and Costa Maya. The ship is a small ship with only 684 pax. I can't speak about drinks as neither my son nor I drink. (On Crystal, I will occasionally have a 1/2 glass of wine with dinner, but if I have to pay for it, I won't.)

 

First the Very Good:

We got to the ship around 1 PM and check in was quick and painless. I was able to go to my room immediately but my son's room as expected wasn't ready yet. We dropped our carry-ons in my room, introduced ourselves to our room stewardess and butler, and off we went to find lunch.

 

The cabin while small for a PH cabin was pretty and well appointed with lots of storage drawers and were light and bright. The bed was extremely comfortable and my butler and stewardess were excellent.

My son's cabin while very small was also well appointed with good storage and was also very light and bright. 

The ship had been recently redone and was quite attractive.

The main staff, (reception, destinations, concierge, casino) were all excellent and were only too happy to try and please.

They did an excellent job regarding concerns with food allergies.

Hand washing stations were all over the ship and not just at the entrances to dining facilities.

The ice cream was made onboard and was delicious.

 

The OK and Not So Good:

The Room:
There was no sofa or love seat in the PH room. Only a club chair and two uncomfortable chairs at the dining table. If I had been traveling with my SO, it would have meant one of us would have had to sit on one of those chairs. Additionally when I am in the cabin, I like to sprawl out on a sofa or love seat. Compare this to Crystal where the PH cabin is larger and they have a love seat or sofa in the room. 

Normally when traveling in a PH on other lines there has been fruit in the cabin to pick at. There was none. Again, compared to Crystal where there is always a bowl of fruit that is refreshed daily.

I found the hanging space lacking. It was fine for myself for the one week cruise but if I was with my SO, it would definitely have not been enough room. In the Crystal PH's the closets are walk in closets with lots more room for hanging and storing stuff. Plus there's ample room for storing stuff in drawers.

Hanging space in my son's room I also found lacking. Again compared to a standard window cabin on Crystal, the hanging space was 1/2 to 1/3 what it is on Crystal.

The bathroom was smaller than a standard window cabin on Crystal. To use the toilet, I had to angle my legs almost sideways or else I'd wind up hitting the shower door with my knees. And it was a single sink. Compare that to Crystal's double sink and in a regular PH having the jacuzzi tub and shower and enough room to comfortably um, do what's needed.

They "upgraded" the PH shower to a rain head shower. My son had the standard shower head where you can adjust for the type of spray you prefer. I had no option and to add to that, the pressure was very poor. I have chin length hair and it took me over 5 minutes to wash the soap out of my hair because the pressure was so poor. I had no choice to change the shower head. In this case they fixed what wasn't broke. Again, compare that to Crystal's showers with excellent pressure and the ability to change shower sprays.  

Lastly, there was no full length mirror in the PH! My son in his window cabin on deck 4 had a full length mirror but the PH has none? I know that every cabin on Crystal has a full length mirror. I can't believe they left it out.

 

Public Washrooms:

The one negative to the public washrooms was they used cloth napkins instead of actual hand towels to dry one's hands. Additionally there is soap but no hand lotion. Crystal's towels in the public washrooms are soft hand towels and there is always both soap and hand lotion.

 

Public Rooms:

What I found lacking was anyplace to gather to meet other people. Yes there was Martini's bar and Horizons (similar to Palm Court) but it was small and really not conducive to gathering. Compare that to Crystal and the Cove.

 

Internet:

While the internet on Oceania worked fairly well for basic stuff, if one wanted to stream they had to upgrade and pay for it. Additionally one was only allowed one device per room! And to make matters worse, if I forgot to turn off the internet on my iPad and left it in the room, I was unable to turn it off from my phone, even though they supposedly gave you that option. However that option never worked on my phone. On Crystal we are allowed 2 devices per person so no need to switch from one to the other and no need to share if you're in a cabin with someone else! 

 

Tours:

My son and I did a river rafting tour in Belize which was well done. We had signed up for the river tubing but not enough people signed up. While disappointing we had a wonderful tour guide and a fun time.

We did a snorkel tour in Roatan which was probably the best snorkel tour ever in terms of the guides concern for our safety and well being. I was extremely impressed. 

We were supposed to do an ATV adventure in Costa Maya but because of strong currents we could not dock and had another sea day. My one negative about the tours was there was no one from the ship accompanying either of the two tours we were on. Each tour included either a long boat ride and/or bus ride to get to where we needed to be. I found the lack of someone from the ship on with us to be a huge negative. Needless to say, someone from Crystal always accompanies the guests on all tours.

 

Dining:

First the good. Red Ginger and Tuscan Grill were excellent and the service in both were top notch. 

 

Food in the MDR was inconsistent and definitely not the quality I remembered from 3 years ago on Marina. Our first night in the MDR, the only thing I found worth eating was the pasta with red sauce. (I am allergic to shellfish and do not eat red meat, lamb or pork.) The choices were definitely limited and one could not make substitutions. Additionally my son ordered the roast chicken which was supposed to be one of Jacques Pepin's specialties. It came out undercooked! 

I spoke to the dining room manager and was told I could ask for whatever food I wanted if I asked for it 24 hours in advance, so I asked the second night to have chicken scallopini sautéed in a lemon butter sauce. What I got was a thick hunk of chicken grilled with the lemon butter sauce on the side! Compare this to Crystal where if on the rare occasion nothing suits you on the menu, they will actually make something up for you right there. No having to give 24 hours notice!

Service also was hit or miss in the MDR. I asked for red pepper flakes and cheese for on top of my pasta. Instead of the waiter going to get it immediately, he instead went to a table of 6 to take their order. Sorry but I prefer to not sit there staring at my food waiting for it to get cold before I eat it.

Other misses were serving my son before me and my son having to ask the waiter multiple times to get his Sprite. This didn't happen once, but every time we ate in the MDR.

 

Other very small things. I asked for almond milk for my coffee and it was served in a glass so when you went to pour it into your cup, the milk spilled all over. 

 

One thing Oceania touts is how if you don't choose to eat in the MDR, you can go up to the buffet for a more casual dining experience. However what they don't tell you is whatever they serve in the MDR is exactly the exact same food they serve in the buffet. So if there was nothing that I could eat or wanted to eat in the MDR, there was nothing in the buffet!

 

On Thursday night, they had Caribbean night both in the buffet and the MDR. I found nothing to eat in either place and was then informed that the following night they were once again having Caribbean night! Two nights in a row! I wound up going up to Red Ginger the first night and begging to be seated so I could have some sushi to eat. While eating in Red Ginger, the food manager came to my table since we had the issue of the undercooked food the first night and I explained about my food issues and how there was nothing to eat at the Caribbean buffet. As I said above, the head staff was wonderful. They managed to get my son and I a reservation in Tuscan Grill for the second Caribbean night so I wouldn't have to scrounge for something to eat the second night.

 

Now having said that, at Tuscan Grill, they had on the menu veal scallopini. I asked if they instead could make me chicken scallopini. I was told no they could not, that they needed 24 hours notice. Compare that to Crystal where in Prego they also have veal scallopini on the menu. Every time I've been to Prego, I've asked to instead have chicken scallopini and it's never been an issue and I've never had to give 24 hour notice to get it.

I did get  my chicken scallopini the second night we ate in Tuscan Grill and yes, it was delicious. I knew to ask in advance.

 

Lunch:

If we wanted to eat a bit later or came back from a tour late, our only choice was to eat in the Grill. And in the Grill no chance to get a simple sandwich such as a tuna sandwich or a grilled cheese sandwich. In fact, even in the buffet and the MDR, there was no chance to get a simple sandwich. One day the buffet did have an egg salad sandwich but it was mixed with peppers, olives, onions and something else I forgot. Compare this to Crystal where in the Grill you can get a tuna sandwich, or a tuna melt or even a plain grilled cheese sandwich. There are times one doesn't want rich food that is overly heavy.

 

Tea Time:

I went to tea time once since it tended to be later in the day. Again the sandwiches were overly fancy. Egg salad with peas? Stilton cheese with radishes on what seemed to be a bagel?

I think my son (31 years old so not a child) summed up the food very well. It seems like Oceania tries too hard to be impressive, forgetting that not everything has to be fancied up with food.

 

Sea Day Activities:

I'll just post the list of activities. Oceania is sorely lacking. There was a total of one lecture a day from an outside lecturer. Other activities were as listed. You could go to a lecture on why you should book another Oceania cruise or you could pay $75 + 18% for a vodka tasting. Or you could pay to play bingo, or pay to play in a blackjack tournament, a slots tournament or a  texas hold em tournament. We had 3 sea days (was supposed to have only 2 but the missed port) and all three days they had the same tournaments. Notice the list of activities takes up less than one page in the bulletin. Compare that to Crystal where there are usually 3 different lectures a day on sea days as well as knitting, daily movie, computer university, art lessons, dance lessons, golf lessons, bridge lessons and all the other activities. In fact on Crystal the list of activities takes up 2 pages!

 

Evening Entertainment:

Once again, Oceania is sorely lacking. They had a good comedian on 2 of the 7 days and then a harpest on 2 days, except the last day the harpest played at 5 PM. The evening's activity was a lousy movie on the last day. The Oceania show band and singers were definitely B rated. 

 

Now having said all that, we did meet some wonderful folks and we did manage to make our own entertainment and the best part was getting to spend a week with my son. Would I sail on Oceania again (this being our second time and my SO and I weren't thrilled the first time)? Most likely no. But I always believe in giving something a second chance and this time one of the best things was the staff.

 

Below are photos I took. First is showing how little room in my PH bathroom between the toilet and the shower door.

Second pic is the activities on the first sea day. It didn't get better on the other two sea days.

Third pic is the menu at the grill. 

Fourth pic shows the rest of the PH bathroom.That's it!

Fifth pic is my son's room I was standing where the closet and door to the bathroom is.

Last pic is my room the first day. The one chair is by the bed.

 

 

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Edited by AtA

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While I agree broadly with the OP’s assessment as we prefer the Serenity to Oceania’s Riviera for other reasons, I do have to say, that comparing one entire cruise line  to another is really difficult if not impossible.    I would compare ship to ship not cruiseline to entire cruiseline and point out what I feel is similar and then different. The O Class Oceania Ships (Riviera and Marina) are like day and night comparison to the R Class smaller ships (Sirena, Nautica, Regatta...etc).    I feel that a comparison could be made from O class to Serenity, but not R Class, as there really is such a difference between Oceania ships in general.  I agree in most points, having been on the Serenity twice, however, I do disagree about scrounging for food.   The Terrace has made to order items every night (fresh fish, Lobster tails..) as well as sushi and a wonderful pasta selection, that is not in the GDR. Also many side dishes ala carte... I believe it is a very personal decision, and Marina and Riviera would be a better comparison and closer to what the OP is up used to IMHO.  My anger would be directed at the TA who misrepresented the ship and neglected to advise of the allergy process with the chef, and smaller cabins, etc.   Shame on them, and I would xfer to a luxury TA that has actually been  on the ships they book.   We also prefer Serenity over Oceania’s Sirena, but have had a negative experience on the Symphony and will never sail on that ship again.   

Edited by Cruseforme

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While I agree broadly with the OP’s assessment as we prefer the Serenity to Oceania’s Riviera for other reasons, I do have to say, that comparing one entire cruise line  to another is really difficult if not impossible.    I would compare ship to ship not cruiseline to entire cruiseline and point out what I feel is similar and then different. The O Class Oceania Ships (Riviera and Marina) are like day and night comparison to the R Class smaller ships (Sirena, Nautica, Regatta...etc).

 

Well I had been on Marina 3 years ago with my SO and we had sworn we'd never sail Oceania again because when we got to our PH the room was dirty (previous tenant's medications and stuff in a drawer, sand in the drawers in the closet and salt spray 1/4" thick on the balcony and the balcony chairs) as well as the staff being surly. On top of that I have a sensitivity to shellfish and at tea time I had asked what one of the sandwiches was. I was told it was egg salad. When I bit into it, I bit into a shrimp! That could kills someone with a severe allergy. When I complained to the maitre'd he shrugged it off. When we then went down to the concierge, he said he'd look into it and get back to us. He never did!

 

I agree in most points, having been on the Serenity twice, however, I do disagree about scrounging for food.   The Terrace has made to order items every night (fresh fish, Lobster tails..) as well as sushi and a wonderful pasta selection, that is not in the GDR.

 

Obviously you did not read where I said I have a shellfish allergy and where I said I do not eat meat, lamb or pork!

Yes they had sushi the first night we went up there but as I had sushi the night before boarding, I didn't want sushi. And no they did NOT have a pasta selection. The selection was the same pasta as in the MDR.

 

And on the Caribbean night, you could NOT get sushi. There was alsolutely NONE available.

 

Also many side dishes ala carte... I believe it is a very personal decision, and Marina and Riviera would be a better comparison and closer to what the OP is up used to IMHO.  My anger would be directed at the TA who misrepresented the ship and neglected to advise of the allergy process with the chef, and smaller cabins, etc.   Shame on them, and I would xfer to a luxury TA that has actually been  on the ships they book.   We also prefer Serenity over Oceania’s Sirena, but have had a negative experience on the Symphony and will never sail on that ship again.   

 

My TA did a wonderful job letting me know about the smaller ship. It is why she insisted I take a PH. She was quite clear I wouldn't be happy in a standard cabin with the bathroom you can't even stand in because it's so tiny. My broom closet is larger!

 

She did not know that the Terrace serves the exact same foods as the MDR or the lack of choice compared to Crystal. I recall that you are correct in that Marina had different dining choices if you didn't like what was in the MDR but that was 3 years ago. Is that still the same or are they now serving the exact same food? And what is the point of having two dining venues serving the same food?

 

Sorry to hear you had a negative experience on Symphony because that actually is my favorite of the two ships.

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Thanks for your post.  We will stick to Crystal but will not rule out Seabourn or the new Regent ships.  Crystal is our go to but they have yet to produce a new luxury ship.

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We sailed on Oceania Riviera in 2018. I agree with many of your observations (especially regarding entertainment and daily activities), but food selection in the buffet was actually better than on Crystal, and we found the food overall comparable on Riviera and Symphony.

 

I cannot comment on the cabins as we only sleep and take shower in the cabin, so I couldn't care less.

 

Overall we found Crystal a step up mostly because of entertainment and enrichment program, but we consider the two ships comparable in terms of overall experience. We would not hesitate to sail on both ships again, but probably not on Oceania R ship - unless there is a really unique itinerary and good price.   

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I've sailed on Both Marina and Riviera and Nautica and Regatta on Oceania in Penthouse and concierge. I've sailed now in Crystal's ships in PH, Verandah and Oceanview. I'd rather have an Oceanview on Crystal than a Penthouse on the Riviera. Space is so well done. Service impeccable and the cabin well appointed.

 

While I haven't had an issue with the food, on Oceania  I felt Crystal has much better food both in prep and quality and service is head and shoulders above Oceania. As we do drink, there is a huge difference in wine quality and beverage quality. When we sailed Oceania, we bought a bottle of wine nightly because the included wine not drinkable for us.

 

And the entertainment dismal.  So....I agree with you. It's Crystal or bust.

 

 

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57 minutes ago, ChatKat in Ca. said:

I've sailed on Both Marina and Riviera and Nautica and Regatta on Oceania in Penthouse and concierge. I've sailed now in Crystal's ships in PH, Verandah and Oceanview. I'd rather have an Oceanview on Crystal than a Penthouse on the Riviera. Space is so well done. Service impeccable and the cabin well appointed.

 

While I haven't had an issue with the food, on Oceania  I felt Crystal has much better food both in prep and quality and service is head and shoulders above Oceania. As we do drink, there is a huge difference in wine quality and beverage quality. When we sailed Oceania, we bought a bottle of wine nightly because the included wine not drinkable for us.

 

And the entertainment dismal.  So....I agree with you. It's Crystal or bust.

 

 

I'm completely with you on this.

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Similarly agree with OP.  The small ships definitely have their limitations.  Also considering that 4 of 6 are R class ships limits choices.  We are itinerary driven and will chose O when it suits that need (our next one is on O).  But even the O ships have no gathering place for coffee and a snack, like Bistro (or Seabourn Square), I hope they will correct that in their new builds.

 

Food is subjective, but we have had very few good meals in their MDR (mainly food temp).  We tend to gravitate to the specialty restaurants and the Terrace.

 

To say you can find Sushi in the Terrace is to say you can find Sushi in Publix/Kroger.  Not the same..

 

What O does best is bread, deserts and ice cream.  (and their pizza is better) 🙂

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Comparing the Oceania O ships to the Crystal vessels is the most appropriate. The Oceania R ships are not in the same category.

 

I concur with the majority of assessments noted above.

 

Crystal provides a more comprehensive product overall of higher quality.

 

Oceania is trading on its past. Take a broad look at the Oceania reviews of the past months - many 1 and 2 stars.  Then look at Celebrity/Crystal etc reviews - much more consistent 4 and 5, much less % of poor reviews.  The Oceania reviews of 1 and 2 starts come from both new customers to Oceania who say what they received did not match the advertising and those regulars who note the decline in the product.

 

Oceania degraded their food service and menu selections in August 2018. At the same time their overall service levels declined.

 

Our group's last cruise had frozen tea sandwiches on cheap white bread, fried avocado in the MDR with the breading falling off, watery ceasar salad in every venue including the specialties, Pepins everyday salmon that had freezer burn with very basic broccoli and potatos (like in a retirement home), on and on.   Many defend the declining food on Oceania by saying that you can get grilled lobster etc at the Terrace Grill, it seems their only defense.

 

The staff and officer persona on Crystal is more upbeat and gracious. The officer class on Oceania are plain nasty and arrogant. On Oceania is is no constantly.

 

Suffice it to say none of our group will book with Oceania again. Our bookings now go to Crystal or other lines. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, PaulMCO said:

Similarly agree with OP.  The small ships definitely have their limitations.  Also considering that 4 of 6 are R class ships limits choices.  We are itinerary driven and will chose O when it suits that need (our next one is on O).  But even the O ships have no gathering place for coffee and a snack, like Bistro (or Seabourn Square), I hope they will correct that in their new builds.

 

Food is subjective, but we have had very few good meals in their MDR (mainly food temp).  We tend to gravitate to the specialty restaurants and the Terrace.

 

To say you can find Sushi in the Terrace is to say you can find Sushi in Publix/Kroger.  Not the same..

 

What O does best is bread, deserts and ice cream.  (and their pizza is better) 🙂

LOL about sushi in Publix. 

 

As to bread, I actually prefer the bread on Crystal. And someone in the past raved about the croissants on O. When served they were cold and the chocolate inside the chocolate croissant was cold and hard. 

 

I agree however about the ice cream. It was the best although I was less impressed with the toppings compared to Crystal and the fact that O used Hershey's chocolate syrup.

 

My son was not impressed with the pizza but then again, we're from NY.

 

And I agree about the lack of a gathering place and we missed that. Unfortunately my son is a smoker so the only gathering space was outdoors on the pool deck with the other smokers.

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1 hour ago, ABoatNerd said:

 

 

The staff and officer persona on Crystal is more upbeat and gracious. The officer class on Oceania are plain nasty and arrogant. On Oceania is is no constantly.

 

Suffice it to say none of our group will book with Oceania again. Our bookings now go to Crystal or other lines. 

 

 

This is the one area on this one cruise I'll disagree. I found the staff excellent and the officers always had a hello. The captain spent 5 minutes talking to a group of us who were needlepointing one morning and he was charming. In fact he and I had a conversation about the old Home Lines Oceanic cruises as that was my first cruise.

 

But yes, when it came to dining, it seemed that anything not on the menu was a hardship for them to do.

 

I guess there's a reason we have 11 cruises on Crystal with 3 more booked. 

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3 hours ago, AtA said:

LOL about sushi in Publix. 

 

As to bread, I actually prefer the bread on Crystal. And someone in the past raved about the croissants on O. When served they were cold and the chocolate inside the chocolate croissant was cold and hard. 

 

I agree however about the ice cream. It was the best although I was less impressed with the toppings compared to Crystal and the fact that O used Hershey's chocolate syrup.

 

My son was not impressed with the pizza but then again, we're from NY.

 

And I agree about the lack of a gathering place and we missed that. Unfortunately my son is a smoker so the only gathering space was outdoors on the pool deck with the other smokers.

 

As for the Pizza -- so I am I ex-NY.  I find the Crystal Pizza the worst at Sea.  🙂

As far as staff and officers -- it depends; I know of two GMs on O that are very outgoing and interact with passengers.  However never found an outgoing Captain on O, unlike Crystal. 

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On 1/14/2020 at 4:40 PM, AtA said:

My TA did a wonderful job letting me know about the smaller ship. It is why she insisted I take a PH. She was quite clear I wouldn't be happy in a standard cabin with the bathroom you can't even stand in because it's so tiny. My broom closet is larger!

I may be in trouble.  We sail Sirena next month in a verandah cabin.  That bathroom sounds pretty small.  We have sailed Riveria once, while its not crystal, we enjoyed it.  We like to escape the  cold in the winter months and Crystal is so limited with their 2 ocean vessels —- nothing available for us this year.

Edited by riandei

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59 minutes ago, riandei said:

I may be in trouble.  We sail Sirena next month in a verandah cabin.  That bathroom sounds pretty small. 

What cabin  cat did you sail on Azamara  in?

 If  a veranda or oceanview   they will be the same  as Oceania R ship

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51 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

What cabin  cat did you sail on Azamara  in?

 If  a veranda or oceanview   they will be the same  as Oceania R ship

We booked a verandah but the upgrade fairy blessed us with an upgrade to a suite.

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6 hours ago, riandei said:

I may be in trouble.  We sail Sirena next month in a verandah cabin.  That bathroom sounds pretty small.  We have sailed Riveria once, while its not crystal, we enjoyed it.  We like to escape the  cold in the winter months and Crystal is so limited with their 2 ocean vessels —- nothing available for us this year.

The shower in a standard cabin is very small. If you are a larger person, I don't know how you'll turn around in the shower. The standard cabin bathroom is about 1/2 the size of the PH bathroom.

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I've sailed both, and my summary is a bit shorter. Crystal wins.

 

Oceania's MDR is abysmal, Crystal's is spectacular.  Crystal has far better shipboard entertainment (in all categories).  One can argue about the specialty restaurants; they all require pre-planning and reservations. Both lines have smaller rooms.  I don't really care about one sink or two and I never use a tub - but I do care about lots of out-of-sight storage space and a walk-in closet. Crystal personnel (bartenders, waiters, cabin staff, front desk) are much more friendlier and helpful.

 

One comment: Having a Crystal rep on the excursions is better, it's true, but they don't add much. They are employees from other venues that are just along for the ride (like sales personnel, card game instructors or computer techs). We always had to find our own way back to the ship (the reps disappeared) and they never took charge when there were issues. On one very expensive catamaran excursion the rep couldn't swim and tied up one of the tour guides to help her in the water.

 

I will definitely sail Crystal again.  I'll never sail Oceania again.  My 2 cents.

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Honestly, I could never understand people's obsession with cabin sizes. For us, our cabin is a place to sleep and take a shower. Nothing more.

 

We sailed on Azamara. Yes, cabins are small, bathrooms are small, and showers are small. I'm fairly tall, never had an issue. For us, it would never be a deal breaker if other aspects of the ship are good.

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On ‎1‎/‎15‎/‎2020 at 2:46 AM, ChatKat in Ca. said:

I've sailed on Both Marina and Riviera and Nautica and Regatta on Oceania in Penthouse and concierge. I've sailed now in Crystal's ships in PH, Verandah and Oceanview. I'd rather have an Oceanview on Crystal than a Penthouse on the Riviera. Space is so well done. Service impeccable and the cabin well appointed.

 

While I haven't had an issue with the food, on Oceania  I felt Crystal has much better food both in prep and quality and service is head and shoulders above Oceania. As we do drink, there is a huge difference in wine quality and beverage quality. When we sailed Oceania, we bought a bottle of wine nightly because the included wine not drinkable for us.

 

And the entertainment dismal.  So....I agree with you. It's Crystal or bust.

 

 

I agree in full with you - the Champagne and wines by the glass on O are extremely cheap and of a low quality. And i do not like the onerous wine prices neither and the 18 % gratuity for "your convenience"

No fresh orange juice, ketchup mayo out of big plastic flasks … service around the pool on Riviera was very soso.

And as somebody else said : senior officers on O are avoiding contact with  passengers , even the doctor went to sit in a corner away from other people.  

In only did O for Caribbean , never intending to go elsewhere with that company.

Ok, breads pastries and ice cream are good as is the speciality restaurant Jacques  - Crystal should consider a "French" resto on the new ocean going ships.

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Cruise-y:  My experience with having a Crystal rep along with the tour made a difference for the group.  I have observed the rep turning rating sheets on the specific tour,  being the "look out" for straggler members, helping with the  head count and  carrying the first aid kit for on the spot issues.  On occasion, a tour member may need the escort to arrange for an early return to the ship.  

The shore excursion team is available to listen to the comments of returning tour members about their experience:  good or bad or what .they think would improve the visit  

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One personal observation. The size of the cabins will never stop me from sailing on Crystal (have never been on anything above a veranda cabin and I find them more than adequate, light and airy and with plenty of storage). However, we found that having a PH cabin on Oceania Regatta was probably the best decision we ever made. There was so little to do around the ship on sea days, particularly in bad weather, that having a spacious cabin and a well-appointed bathroom (yes I do love taking baths here and there) was the saving grace. I checked out the veranda cabins on Regatta and they looked tiny and tight. Good luck if you drop the soap while in the shower 🙂

Edited by claudiaYVR
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13 hours ago, ak1004 said:

Honestly, I could never understand people's obsession with cabin sizes. For us, our cabin is a place to sleep and take a shower. Nothing more.

 

We sailed on Azamara. Yes, cabins are small, bathrooms are small, and showers are small. I'm fairly tall, never had an issue. For us, it would never be a deal breaker if other aspects of the ship are good.

I am very thankful I had my PH on Oceania because I wound up spending quite a bit of time in the room and on my balcony. Why? Because the pool deck was completely full and the only other places that were comfortable to sit were the library which I found dark and Horizons when nothing else was going on. And like Claudia alluded to above, there really is nothing to do during the day on sea days, so the room was a good respite to read or take a nap.

 

There are times I enjoy my privacy too and I'm glad to have a cabin that is large enough to be comfortable when I want to be in my room.

Edited by AtA

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We were on our first Oceania in September, the Marina, shabby & very dated. Very disappointing. Booked it because of the itinerary & all the wonderful things we heard about the food. food at buffet was very good, sushi every night, food in MDR inedible. Terrible WiFi. We were on a Viking ocean cruise last march, fabulous! Fantastic food, great staff, beautiful ship. Will never do O again, have booked 2 Viking ocean cruises for 2021. Have not been on a Crystal, may try it sometime if itinerary is what we want, almost done with traveling. I’d choose Viking any day,

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We were Oceania devotees ((16 cruises)until we sailed Crystal.

 

In our opinion there is no category where Oceania is better EXCEPT FOR SIZE OF SUITES.

We care about the size of the suite but because we are on Crystal we are never in the suite.

 

We cannot go back to Oceania.

 

 

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