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Should we try Oceania?


tobique33040
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41 minutes ago, jazznruby said:

Up to 3 days before or after without deviation. Transfers only on day of departure/arrival.

Yes, that is what my invoice stated for Regatta 07 Sept 2023.  Asked my agent for 1 day earlier departure.  Said O would not honor that policy for my cruise, would cost $199pp + possible fare differential.  Was not happy with that response, so I booked my own air.  Another extremely well connected TA with O, told me that it was not an O problem, but rather my agent problem.

 

Many CC posters say O can give different answers to same question.  (Same with Viking)

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I haven’t cruised on Oceania yet. That will not be true in a few days as my first cruise is Friday.

 

My comment is about how to get from London to Southampton. I sailed from there last year. It is important to know that I was a “mature” lady traveling solo.I asked similar questions about the best way to get from London to Southampton.  Since I was solo and simply could not manage luggage on the train, I ended up taking the National Express Coach from the Victoria Coach Station to Southampton. I enjoyed the ride thru the outskirts of London and thru the countryside.  The bus was very clean (including the bathroom),  very comfortable, and about  a 90 minute ride. I went down a couple of days ahead of sailing as I wanted to go to Stonehenge and explore the town of Southampton. The bus drops off in town, and it is a very short cab ride to the port. 

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1 hour ago, tobique33040 said:

I’ve talked to a cruise consultant and it appears the only staterooms available in B1 level are at the front on Deck 6. Looks like it’s right over what is labeled as theatre and dance floor. Ooops! That sounds like it could be noisy and we are early to bed early to rise. Anyone have any experience with those locations.

Sorry, I have no experience with the B1s over the theatre.  But we just got off sister ship Nautica this month and I can tell you that the nightly show (often with live/amplified music) begins at 9:30pm and lasts about an hour or so..  There is certainly the chance that you may hear something in the rooms directly over the show room. 

 

If the budget permits, I suggest you consider a one-level upgrade to A3.  These rooms are one deck up on deck 7 so they are further removed from the public areas.  We were just in an aft A3 on Nautica and the area is quiet.  Also A level rooms get 3 free bags of laundry which was nice!

 

Enjoy the planning!

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41 minutes ago, Straughn said:

I haven’t cruised on Oceania yet. That will not be true in a few days as my first cruise is Friday.

 

My comment is about how to get from London to Southampton. I sailed from there last year. It is important to know that I was a “mature” lady traveling solo.I asked similar questions about the best way to get from London to Southampton.  Since I was solo and simply could not manage luggage on the train, I ended up taking the National Express Coach from the Victoria Coach Station to Southampton. I enjoyed the ride thru the outskirts of London and thru the countryside.  The bus was very clean (including the bathroom),  very comfortable, and about  a 90 minute ride. I went down a couple of days ahead of sailing as I wanted to go to Stonehenge and explore the town of Southampton. The bus drops off in town, and it is a very short cab ride to the port. 

This sounds a very promising strategy. We are older ladies and this might work for us. Thank you. 

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22 minutes ago, PelicanLvr said:

Sorry, I have no experience with the B1s over the theatre.  But we just got off sister ship Nautica this month and I can tell you that the nightly show (often with live/amplified music) begins at 9:30pm and lasts about an hour or so..  There is certainly the chance that you may hear something in the rooms directly over the show room. 

 

If the budget permits, I suggest you consider a one-level upgrade to A3.  These rooms are one deck up on deck 7 so they are further removed from the public areas.  We were just in an aft A3 on Nautica and the area is quiet.  Also A level rooms get 3 free bags of laundry which was nice!

 

Enjoy the planning!

I have to talk to my friend about this. I’m in for going up to A3 because there are a few staterooms there. I’m hoping she will go along with that option. Thanks very much for the idea. 

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7 hours ago, FetaCheese said:

Yes, that is what my invoice stated for Regatta 07 Sept 2023.  Asked my agent for 1 day earlier departure.  Said O would not honor that policy for my cruise, would cost $199pp + possible fare differential.  Was not happy with that response, so I booked my own air.  Another extremely well connected TA with O, told me that it was not an O problem, but rather my agent problem.

 

Many CC posters say O can give different answers to same question.  (Same with Viking)

But if your invoice stated the 3 day policy, you should have been given that option. While it's true that answers can vary among O reps, I think in this case I'd also start looking for a new agent.

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My only experience in dealing with O over flights was very poor. The rep simply did not seem to understand what arrangements we wanted to make, even when we had been very specific in detailing exactly what we needed. And there was a ridiculous offer for the flight home - even though there were convenient direct flights from the disembarkation port to my home airport, O's offer was to route us via another airport, so two flights taking several hours more than the direct flight. In the event, for other unrelated matters, we had to cancel that cruise.

 

On the other hand, for our last cruise, we booked through a TA. Told them what we needed by way of flights. Fifteen minutes later, she was back with a full proposal. Similarly swift proposals for flights and hotels for our forthcoming transatlantic. And, in both cases, cheaper than we had been able to find on the internet. And, of course, by booking both cruise and flight through the TA means it is now a  package financially protected by both ABTA and ATOL bonding in the event of a collapse of one of the businesses involved. 

 

We'd possibly consider booking directly with O for a future cruise that didnt involve flights, as there seems to be no financial benefit to us in using a TA, so it would cut out one step in the process. 

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35 minutes ago, Harters said:

My only experience in dealing with O over flights was very poor. The rep simply did not seem to understand what arrangements we wanted to make, even when we had been very specific in detailing exactly what we needed. And there was a ridiculous offer for the flight home - even though there were convenient direct flights from the disembarkation port to my home airport, O's offer was to route us via another airport, so two flights taking several hours more than the direct flight. In the event, for other unrelated matters, we had to cancel that cruise.

 

On the other hand, for our last cruise, we booked through a TA. Told them what we needed by way of flights. Fifteen minutes later, she was back with a full proposal. Similarly swift proposals for flights and hotels for our forthcoming transatlantic. And, in both cases, cheaper than we had been able to find on the internet. And, of course, by booking both cruise and flight through the TA means it is now a  package financially protected by both ABTA and ATOL bonding in the event of a collapse of one of the businesses involved. 

 

We'd possibly consider booking directly with O for a future cruise that didnt involve flights, as there seems to be no financial benefit to us in using a TA, so it would cut out one step in the process. 


Usually a TA will add a discount to Oceania’s price. I have booked several times either onboard or via Oceania direct and then passed it over to my TA. The discount is usually 10%.

 

I’ve found with most cruise lines that include flights unless you are happy to travel from London the flights, even comparatively short flights to Europe involve, involve a change of plane. They won’t use companies like EasyJet so options become very limited for us in the Northwest. Recently we flew LHR-Athens return. The Manchester flight was routed out via Frankfurt and back via Amsterdam! We decided to take the Heathrow option but only because there were included business class flights!

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12 hours ago, PelicanLvr said:
13 hours ago, PelicanLvr said:

I can tell you that the nightly show (often with live/amplified music) begins at 9:30pm and lasts about an hour or so

 

The timing of the actual show is only part of the potential noise issue. Also need to be concerned about noise from rehearsals which on some ships are after the show and can run into the late hours. Sometimes they are in the afternoon and can interrupt nap time.

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I’m a bit late in replying as it sounds like the OP has decided in favor of O. But for reference, just wanted to say that for cruisers to whom itinerary is THE deciding factor, Oceania does have some nice itineraries but so do other lines, and some of them spend longer in port. 
 

Oceania also seems to have something of a recent habit of ‘missing’ ports as well as shortening port hours.  
 

Neither of these affected my very enjoyable cruise to Iceland and Greenland with O in August, and as I also REALLY like small ships, it was a very good first impression. However, since then I am a bit concerned about how O has handled significant port and itinerary changes to certain regions - not a big deal if you’re cruising the Caribbean or if you primarily cruise for the onboard experience. But for me, looking at potentially more exotic, difficult to reach and often riskier regions, it is troublesome.

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5 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

I’m a bit late in replying as it sounds like the OP has decided in favor of O. But for reference, just wanted to say that for cruisers to whom itinerary is THE deciding factor, Oceania does have some nice itineraries but so do other lines, and some of them spend longer in port. 
 

Oceania also seems to have something of a recent habit of ‘missing’ ports as well as shortening port hours.  
 

Neither of these affected my very enjoyable cruise to Iceland and Greenland with O in August, and as I also REALLY like small ships, it was a very good first impression. However, since then I am a bit concerned about how O has handled significant port and itinerary changes to certain regions - not a big deal if you’re cruising the Caribbean or if you primarily cruise for the onboard experience. But for me, looking at potentially more exotic, difficult to reach and often riskier regions, it is troublesome.

We are looking at Baltic area and our favored line,Viking, doesn’t have a similar itinerary. Other than those two, I have researched and not seen other lines which are affordable and suit us. But I’m open to suggestions. Thank you much.

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15 hours ago, tobique33040 said:

... it appears the only staterooms available in B1 level are at the front on Deck 6. Looks like it’s right over what is labeled as theatre and dance floor. That sounds like it could be noisy and we are early to bed early to rise. Anyone have any experience with those locations.

We stayed in Cabin 6012 on Sirena 11/19-29/22. Right above the Lounge. I did NOT notice any noise from the Lounge. BUT...I wear ear plugs and have a drink before going to bed. We went to bed "early", NLT 10 PM most nights, to get off the ship first thing each day in port.

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On 11/27/2023 at 4:06 PM, tobique33040 said:

My friend and I are looking at a cruise next summer on Sirena. This will be my fourth ocean cruise (all others on Viking) and she has been on one Viking and a lot of Caribbean cruises  years ago. We have seen a lot of bad reviews and dissatisfaction with Oceania recently in reviews and on the boards. The specific itinerary and time frame on Oceania suit us, so we are reaching out to get feedback from those who have experience with this line. Thanks very much.

Please read this very great review.  Oceania is the best--I promise.

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=1621488&key=e0370b737c859bc33c4aea189775e22a

 

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58 minutes ago, zteamtwo said:

That review is very long but will give you lots of good info.

Yes I appreciated reading it. It’s lovely for people to take the time to help others by sharing their views and experiences. IT’s helped me a lot over the years. Thank you.

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We recently completed our first Oceania (Riviera) cruise in an A2 cabin.  We've been cruising over 30 years, more than 30 cruises on almost every major cruise brand.  Since the pandemic we've sailed on Azamara, Regent, Viking, Holland America and Oceania. We choose our cruises first on itinerary and then we try to find the best value.  Everyone has a different idea of what they want in a cruise/cabin/etc.  Our preference in cabins requires at least a PV on Viking, a Concierge or above on Oceania, Club continent on Azamara - so size matters.  We find that in 2025 Viking prices for  a PV are almost as expensive at a deluxe veranda on Regent (Splendor/Grandeur) and most itineraries would permit booking a PH on Oceania for about the same amount.  We've enjoyed Viking cruises, great product.  But dollar for dollar I'd have to rate Oceania (based on our Riviera) experience more bang for the buck?  Terrace  Cafe buffet not quite as good for seafood selections (sushi/sashimi/crab)  as Viking but the service and table arrangements plus the grill give Oceania the edge in my opinion.  And if Regent has one of its newer ships doing the same itinerary at a similar price there wouldn't be a choice.  

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4 minutes ago, BAMA_BOY said:

We recently completed our first Oceania (Riviera) cruise in an A2 cabin. ... Our preference in cabins requires at least a PV on Viking, a Concierge or above on Oceania, Club continent on Azamara - so size matters.  

Having cruised on Riviera in both B3 and A4 & A3, there is NO difference in the size of the Bs and the As. Identical. The As are just located on different decks. And have access to the Concierge Lounge and therapy pool forward in the spa.

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3 hours ago, BAMA_BOY said:

We recently completed our first Oceania (Riviera) cruise in an A2 cabin.  We've been cruising over 30 years, more than 30 cruises on almost every major cruise brand.  Since the pandemic we've sailed on Azamara, Regent, Viking, Holland America and Oceania. We choose our cruises first on itinerary and then we try to find the best value.  Everyone has a different idea of what they want in a cruise/cabin/etc.  Our preference in cabins requires at least a PV on Viking, a Concierge or above on Oceania, Club continent on Azamara - so size matters.  We find that in 2025 Viking prices for  a PV are almost as expensive at a deluxe veranda on Regent (Splendor/Grandeur) and most itineraries would permit booking a PH on Oceania for about the same amount.  We've enjoyed Viking cruises, great product.  But dollar for dollar I'd have to rate Oceania (based on our Riviera) experience more bang for the buck?  Terrace  Cafe buffet not quite as good for seafood selections (sushi/sashimi/crab)  as Viking but the service and table arrangements plus the grill give Oceania the edge in my opinion.  And if Regent has one of its newer ships doing the same itinerary at a similar price there wouldn't be a choice.  

Thank you for that very good and helpful information. We too thought that the prices had gone up precipitously on Viking. We love the ships so much, but also happy to hear many good comments about Oceania. We may have found a new cruise line😊. Thanks again. 

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3 hours ago, MEFIowa said:

Having cruised on Riviera in both B3 and A4 & A3, there is NO difference in the size of the Bs and the As. Identical. The As are just located on different decks. And have access to the Concierge Lounge and therapy pool forward in the spa.

What is the concierge lounge? We booked A1 because of the room location. We would have been happy with B rooms but only rooms way forward were available and didn’t want that. And so it appears from your comments that we will have access to this lounge. 

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7 minutes ago, tobique33040 said:

Oops we are on Sirena so perhaps no concierge lounge. 

That is correct, only on the O & A Class ships. You will have access to the Spa terrace at the front of the boat. 

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We did our first Viking Ocean cruise last year and have just booked our first Oceania cruise. We liked Viking, but didn’t feel, for us, the hype matched the price. We are looking forward to trying Oceania and are trying not to let overly negative or positive reviews get us too worked up. 

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On 11/27/2023 at 3:56 PM, tobique33040 said:

So the Sirena was refurbished in 2019. Is the bathroom nice but tiny? Thank you for the information. Everything we can learn is helpful. 

There are very good videos of the various cabins on YouTube.   Helpful for finding what you want.  My first cruise 25 years ago was on one of the smaller R class ships.

it was 32 days.  I thought everything was great except the small shower had a stupid clingy shower curtain. My only gripe.  Those have long been replaced by glass shower doors. So all is ok.  🤩

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On 11/27/2023 at 4:06 PM, tobique33040 said:

My friend and I are looking at a cruise next summer on Sirena. This will be my fourth ocean cruise (all others on Viking) and she has been on one Viking and a lot of Caribbean cruises  years ago. We have seen a lot of bad reviews and dissatisfaction with Oceania recently in reviews and on the boards. The specific itinerary and time frame on Oceania suit us, so we are reaching out to get feedback from those who have experience with this line. Thanks very much.

 

Our review of Insignia in November 2022 may be of some help. As ever, just two persons opinions. 🍺🥌

 

 

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