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Like so many disappointed cruisers we have had our cruise scheduled for April cancelled. In many ways we have been very lucky that in that we have not been in quarantine on a ship going nowhere and we should get all our money back. Although everyone’s attention is rightly on Covid-19 I have tentatively been looking at other ships for a cruise next year. No one knows what the world is going to be like next month never mind next year but there’s no harm in looking. We a have cruised predominantly with Celebrity and Azamara but we would like try something else.  So my question to you experienced Oceania cruises is what us so special about them ?

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We love the small size of the ships, port intensive itineraries, wonderful food, excellent staff, lack of formal nights, no additional charge for specialty dining rooms, quality lecturers--snd so much more.

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OP: Peruse the Oceania forums and you'll find that O's regulars are generally well traveled, accomplished folks who have worked hard for their money. Most importantly, they know O has an outstanding quality/value ratio.

 

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1 hour ago, chromered7 said:

Like so many disappointed cruisers we have had our cruise scheduled for April cancelled. In many ways we have been very lucky that in that we have not been in quarantine on a ship going nowhere and we should get all our money back. Although everyone’s attention is rightly on Covid-19 I have tentatively been looking at other ships for a cruise next year. No one knows what the world is going to be like next month never mind next year but there’s no harm in looking. We a have cruised predominantly with Celebrity and Azamara but we would like try something else.  So my question to you experienced Oceania cruises is what us so special about them ?

Oceania  has 2 size  ships  so it depends on what one you are considering

Ask yourself  what did you like about Azamara? 

Oceania  has the same R ships but different decor/different amenities

Oceania also have the O class ships  which are similar in layout to the R ships but twice the size

Oceania is quiet maybe for those that can entertain themselves  more often onboard

We like the quiet ambience of O

I would look at the O website  & see if it would suit your needs/wants   everyone has a different  requirement  on a cruise

JMO

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All cruises are NOT  for ALL people.....   make a list of your wants and needs.   Then review the many features of any and every line  to see how  they fit YOU.     

  I can only answer for me.    O fits me to a T and is what I want  small ship, outstanding food, quality well mannered low key passengers and  nice ships.

 

To me smaller is better.  I loathe the floating amusement  parks with circus acts, sky dicing  rock climbing, Glass blowing, ice skating, sky rides, watersides  and  silly pool deck games for the gold chain set .  Bigger is worse.

 

So.... anything we say  is what we like....You have to decide what it is You want/like     Not being rude  but that is the bottom line.

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To us, it's like a 5-star hotel at sea.  It is quiet, if that's what you want.  One common criticism of O is their shore excursions.  We will generally do one or two of the O shore excursions, while arranging private ones in other ports.  Food and service is outstanding.  We also appreciate that there are no formal nights; so we're not filling suitcases with all that extra fancy, stiff clothing.

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Posted (edited)

I think it really is personal and subjective.  We have sailed Princess, and I have really liked the Regal.  It is not a huge floating city / amusement park.   It is def. and adult geared cruise line.  But, it isn't quiet/stuffy either.   (I don't mind a larger ship, would probably have to be an O class for us). They have more activities than lectures.  Just as much time with the party band or jazz band as with the strings.     We enjoy the Sanctuary on Regal Princess. It is indulgent and amazing.  (not sure I remember what this would be called on Celebrity)

 

We have been planning on sailing Oceania for the reasons mentioned above.  The food, the itineraries.  The NOT-amusement park sailing.   I wouldn't mind sea days. As, in fact, the itinerary that has what we are looking for that we found on Oceania has NO sea days.  So, the down-time will be sea-days at port at the lessor ports.

 

Another reason that we are looking at Oceania is that I do not like the changes that have been being made at Princess.  The changes to the ships,, the cutbacks (food offerings and less service).     And these new ships and new changes will be the new norm with Princess.  Regal is now moving to the West Coast.  We are near the East Coast.

 

I also get the idea from everything that I have read or seen over the past few months is that there is some difference in the vibe in the passenger demographic.   We are at retirement, but still look for some activity and a bit of a lighter experience.  (a slight fun-factor). I see a vacation as a time to be upbeat and happy.  (ones idea of this might be subjective and influenced by relative age?).  I guess that while I appreciate the more casual vibe,  we appreciate the opportunity to get fancied up a bit.  And, I do think this should be more of an opportunity (not an encouraged mandate).  Seems almost discouraged here?  

 

Happy Cruising!!!!

Edited by Wishing on a star
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odd that you are interested in booking a cruise now.  I am cruising now, and am not booking again until more normal times. Oceania is really nice.  Great service, good food, etc. ship is really clean.  I prefer their larger O ships, Marina and Riviera.  We are now on Sirena, a R ship.  It is nice. However, the cabins are small and the bathrooms are tiny. Marina and a Riviera have huge cabins with large bathrooms. It is much nicer than the R ships. Azamara has only R ships with the small cabins. Azamara does a nice cruise. However, food is not as good as Oceania. Celebrity is mass market. I have sailed on them many times. In recent years, there have been too many cutbacks. I will only sail on them as part of a group. As a couple, we gave up Celebrity.  

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chromered7,

I will probably get slammed but I am trying to be honest AND fair.

We recently returned from our first Oceania cruise on the Marina. We have sailed on 8 cruise lines through the years.

The Marina was a great size, easy to negotiate from deck to deck so that was a plus.

The lauded food was hit or miss. True there is Florida lobster available at lunch and dinner but the beef and veal was not top drawer. The menus were stellar and there were so many things I would have loved to try but we just weren't on the ship long enough. I am not really contradicting myself just highlighting my experience.

The glaring miss for me was the demeanor of the crew and staff. The one exception was the head chef who was always looking after the passengers. Our cabin attendant was quasi-efficient but not pleasant. There were few smiles outside the restaurants. I guess if you have sailed with Capt. Kate there will rarely be a crew and staff as welcoming. We just didn't feel the pleasant vibes we have gotten on our Azamara cruises either.

If we had paid for our shore excursions we would have asked for a refund for two of the three. They were horrible, really bad. So bad in fact that no one tipped the guide on either excursion and that was a first for us. If we had been sailing almost anywhere else in the world we would not have used a ship's excursion program. And there was no support from the shore excursion staff for those who jumped off the bus and headed straight there after one of the two tours. 

Our fellow passengers were delightful, particularly our Roll Call group and that was an added bonus.

Don't think all was bad, we did book another O cruise for '21 and on an R class ship. And when the world returns to good health we will probably book another O cruise particularly since we will more than likely be forced to cancel our May cruise on Celebrity. 

Do give Oceania a try. 

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Posted (edited)

We enjoyed our cruises with Celebrity but wouldn't consider them again after our fantastic experiences on Oceania.

 

To make comparisons to hotels:

Celebrity = Hilton

Oceania = Four Seasons

 

If you need highly visible officers that treat passengers as if they are best friends, then Oceania wouldn't be a good choice.

 

There are no pesky photographers, art auctions or crew members pushing specialty restaurants and drink packages.

 

Restaurants are open to all passengers, unlike Blu and Luminae on Celebrity.

 

There is no additional cost for the specialty restaurants.

Edited by Rob the Cruiser
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I went on a cruise twice in my life unfortunately and they both seemed to me to be the same. I mean I have no idea what exactly people expect from those cruises but in my opinion, as long as there is a nice bar, a nice view from the window, good weather and qualitative food - your trip should be fine no matter what cruiser you are on.. or maybe its just me. I dont know..  

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3 hours ago, Roger88 said:

I went on a cruise twice in my life unfortunately and they both seemed to me to be the same. I mean I have no idea what exactly people expect from those cruises but in my opinion, as long as there is a nice bar, a nice view from the window, good weather and qualitative food - your trip should be fine no matter what cruiser you are on.. or maybe its just me. I dont know..  

Excellent....your grounded in reality....  Many feel they are special and deserve to be fawned over,  Others just flat out think complaining shows their sophistication  and breeding.   And others  just complain because  they read others do it.   Finally, some just were born   ticked off at life. at everything and dare the world to please them.

On the other hand...  as long as I have a dry bed, running water, a functioning toilet,  toilet paper, warm food. and the ship dosent sink and nobody gets killed.. it  is a pretty good trip...... Anything over that is pure gravy......savor it.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

On the other hand...  as long as I have a dry bed, running water, a functioning toilet,  toilet paper, warm food. and the ship dosent sink and nobody gets killed.. it  is a pretty good trip......

Dan - I seem to recall that you mentioned that you would never sail again on Celebrity (or was is HAL?) 😀

I could be mistaken.

Edited by Paulchili
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We ourselves loved Renaissance in its time and Oceania even more when it came into existence.  We've tried a few other lines over the years -- rather sporadically, I admit -- and still prefer Oceania.  But that doesn't mean I'd ever say to someone, "Try it, you'll love it."  We can't say that.  Ever.  Just because we do doesn't mean someone else will feel the same way.

 

In the past other members have advised people who made the same inquiry:  you have to try it yourself.  Take a short cruise to see if it suits.  That's the only real test.  A short cruise is advised in case (1) you don't like it, (2) to keep costs down on an experiment!

 

Mura

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Paulchili said:

Dan - I seem to recall that you mentioned that you would never sail again on Celebrity (or was is HAL?) 😀

I could be mistaken.

It was HAL..... due to the political correct BS that I experienced  and their Cracker Barrel food ( I hesitated to call it "cuisine"   But more the anti american attitude that Sr staff has .. ( I have the same problem with a few western cities too  so it is not just cruises) 

Celebrity.... well , as a devotee  of " Mister Roberts,"   I have an aversion to palm trees and lawns on ships. 

I had a good time in the ports  the cruises were not terrible, it is just they did not fit me.   Too many people in one place.

 

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Edited by Hawaiidan
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On 3/15/2020 at 10:02 AM, LHT28 said:

Oceania is quiet maybe for those that can entertain themselves  more often onboard

We like the quiet ambience of O

I like that description quite well. Thanks.

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Husband & I have sailed with several cruise lines: Princess, Norwegiian, RCL, and Oceania. We LOVED Oceania - did a 12 day Baltic Cruise with them in 2017 on the Marina. Now we are spoiled. The food & service were excellent. We had a Concierge stateroom and really enjoyed the Concierge lounge with coffee & snacks all day long. It was a nice place to read newspapers, watch the news and generally hang out.

We also liked the fact that it was Club Casual for dinner. We never had to dress up.

We do wish the entertainment was better, but it was not that big a deal. Our itinerary was very port-intensive with only one sea day. And we really needed that day to rest and do laundry, etc.

We would love to cruise with them again - sooner rather than later.

 

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On 3/16/2020 at 9:49 AM, Rob the Cruiser said:

Oceania = Four Seasons

 

 

I stay at Four Season regularly -- and O is no Four Seasons (maybe Crystal or Regent and that is a stretch).

 

You said you like Azamara -- well if you are on the R Ships it is very comparable especially the rooms and service.  Food is subjective. Both have pluses and minuses,   Gratuities are extra on O for first time travelers. Wine and beer are extra at meals on O unless you op for the various packages (which cost extra).

 

Of course you can get O life (for the beverage package) and OBC form your TA for your gratuities.  But remember you pay for O life and your TA will give you OBC for your Azamara cruise anyway.

 

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Have cruised Oceania 7 times; twice on R (smaller) ships...rest on O ships. Like the informal dress, food, smaller size and general ambience of Oceania. Will cruise them again. Downsides, IMHO are lack of many enrichment/lecture programs on sea days, inflated price of tours and alchoholic beverages, often inflexible, less than friendly attitude of senior officers and usually poor quality of evening entertainment. To be fair, we have occasionally enjoyed very talented guest entertainers, however the crew entertainment is not much better than what we see at musicals performed by our local high school students.

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46 minutes ago, edgee said:

however the crew entertainment is not much better than what we see at musicals performed by our local high school students.

Agree with most of your post but not only is this part unnecessarily harsh it is also unfair and untrue IMO - a bit of an exaggeration to make a point.

While the performers are not Broadway or West End quality - if they were, that is where they would be performing - very often they quite talented. Most of the time it is hard to find a seat on either R or O ships.

As always, YMMV.

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8 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

Agree with most of your post but not only is this part unnecessarily harsh it is also unfair and untrue IMO - a bit of an exaggeration to make a point.

While the performers are not Broadway or West End quality - if they were, that is where they would be performing - very often they quite talented. Most of the time it is hard to find a seat on either R or O ships.

As always, YMMV.

I agree unduly harsh. I stick by my overall point, but could have stated it more courteously. Unduly influenced perhaps by our most recent Oceania cruise (on Riviera) where we were especially underwhelmed by the entertainers. 

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36 minutes ago, edgee said:

I agree unduly harsh. I stick by my overall point, but could have stated it more courteously. Unduly influenced perhaps by our most recent Oceania cruise (on Riviera) where we were especially underwhelmed by the entertainers. 

Fair enough 🙂

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm elite plus on Celebrity and am definitely going with them again. But Oceania has good points too.

  • The beds are really comfy
  • The buffet - served by waitstaff, no unhealthy grabs by passengers - is good
  • I found the crew helpful and friendly
  • There's a good library which Celebrity just doesn't do

 

I would cruise on both lines. If you've not done Oceania before I'd definitely say they are worth a try.

 

 

 

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On 3/15/2020 at 10:27 AM, chromered7 said:

Like so many disappointed cruisers we have had our cruise scheduled for April cancelled. In many ways we have been very lucky that in that we have not been in quarantine on a ship going nowhere and we should get all our money back. Although everyone’s attention is rightly on Covid-19 I have tentatively been looking at other ships for a cruise next year. No one knows what the world is going to be like next month never mind next year but there’s no harm in looking. We a have cruised predominantly with Celebrity and Azamara but we would like try something else.  So my question to you experienced Oceania cruises is what us so special about them ?

One thing we always look forward to is eating meals outside up at the Terrace Cafe. Also, booking our reservations in the free specialty restaurants is something we look forward to doing. But my recommendation is to find an itinerary that sparks your interest, meets your budget requirements and book it to see for yourself. You will not be disappointed.

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