Number of Cruises: 25+
Cruise Line: Oceania
Sailing Date: n/a
would first like to say this was an incredible
experience on a beautiful ship. Oceania offers a great product for the price
compared to other high end cruise lines.
Our beginning experience with Oceania got off to a very bumpy start due to uneducated and inexperienced staff in their Florida office. Our travel agent was given fragmented and inaccurate info regarding meet and greet at the airport and embarkation.
We managed our own flight to London and spent the night in the city. The next day we went back to the arrival terminal at the airport and were greeted by Oceania Staff. We had purchased Oceania's bus transfer to Dover. The 2 hour bus ride to Dover was relaxing and comfortable. Embarkation was seamless with no lines. We were on board in no time and escorted to our Penthouse Suite #8000. This is a beautiful stateroom at the end of the hall. It is very quiet. The room was awesome. Plenty of storage space, lot's of extra hangers. Mini bar, fridge, 300TC sheets and duvet, feather down pillow, fresh flowers, a chilling bottle of champagne, canapes every afternoon, a large teak deck and a butler. The penthouse suites are worth every dime because of your butler and the space. Our butler was Edward. The first day I did not know what to ask of him, but quickly got over that one. He made our cruise so enjoyable. He made it seem like we were the only people he needed to tend to. The only draw back for us in the suite was the height of the shower. My husband is 6'4", 210# (before the cruise) and it was a little short and tight for him. The bath amenities are so so. They rave about them but they are nothing special.
We unpacked ourselves, although Edward could have done so and ran off to see the ship. This is a gorgeous ship. Extremely clean and well cared for. I never saw a turkish towel out of place in the public baths the entire 2 weeks. Every single public room is devine.
Service: 90% of the entire staff were incredible: helpful and friendly. They couldn't do enough for us, but in a very professional manner. The destinations staff, the concierge and the front desk staff were down right rude and arrogant. We tried to deal with them as little as possible.
Food: I would rate the food overall between 88-90% on quality, freshness, presentation and flavors. They have an extensive wine selection and the sommeliers were very knowledgable.
Restaurants: The best one on board was the grand dining room. At the beginning of the cruise there were long lines for Polo and Toscana reservations. Initially we ate at each one 2 different times for a total of 4 in all. I was really disappointed all 4 times. Toscana's food would come out cold, or they would forget one of our orders. Polo grill was better but rather bland, and I love good quality beef. The rest of the cruise we ate lunch and dinner in the grand dining room. The chef was from Belgium and the food was incredible. We would eat lunch up on deck at the waves grill for days in port. They always had fresh grilled fish and salads.
Night Life: The shows were boring and geared toward an older group, but they seemed bored as well. The casino was always very busy and a fun lively place to meet people. Our favorite bar was the Martini bar, yummy drinks, great piano player and a fun atmosphere.
Spa and Salon: Both are beautiful. The spa is very small and the massage tables were too short for my husband. He signed up for a deep tissue massage with a male masseuse and got a female who stated she didn't give deep tissue massages.......hmmmmmmmmmmmm. The gym and machines were top of the line, and were always in use. The best part about the spa is the large jacuzzi tub on it's back deck. It hardly ever saw much use, so you know where we were after a long day of walking.
Ports: This is an incredible adventure as far as the variety of ports go. The main reason we took the cruise was for the 3 days in St. Petersburg. We obtained our own Russian visas and hit the city. We walked a great deal. We also hired a taxi driver that was waiting outside the ship for 2 days, so that we could see Katherine's palace and Peterhoff. Some couples on board set up personal guides via the internet before they arrived. For $30 per day, they had a personal escort. This comes in very handy since you can't read the signs or speak the language.
The Best: The ship, the crew, the food, our stateroom.
The Worst: Oceania's high pressured sale tactics for their tours. Destinations staff told out and out lies about taxi availability at ports and public transportation. They warned everyone that the only way to see St. Petersburg or any other port was with them, otherwise we'd probably not see anything or fall victim to crime. Of course you have to be careful in any city and I think we saw more than most on board.
I would absolutely sail with Oceania again.