Cruise review

10 04 2015

For those who’ve been following along, I went on my first-ever cruise last month — 7 nights in the Caribbean aboard the Oceania Riviera. TripAdvisor doesn’t seem to take reviews for cruise ships, and I don’t want to join cruisecritic.com, so I’ll post my review here.

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This was my first-time cruise. My friend and I shared a Penthouse stateroom, which was a great size (420 sq ft) for two people. They split the Queen bed into two singles.

Positives:

  • Fantastic food in all restaurants, every time. My favourite specialty restaurants were Jacques and Toscana
  • Impeccable service in the stateroom and restaurants; not as good around the pool
  • Gorgeous spacious Penthouse stateroom (Deck 10, midship location)
  • Luxurious bed linen and beds — slept the best I’ve slept in a long time
  • No activities for children or teens, so there weren’t many of either on board. Those that were on board were well-behaved.
  • Small number of people on board (1250 max), so easy to get to and from things and no long lines for anything
  • Embarkation and disembarkation processes were smooth and practiced, as was tendering people to shore in Cozumel, Trujillo, and Belize City
  • HEAPS of storage in the Penthouse stateroom — we were still finding storage hidey-holes 2 days into the cruise
  • Veranda is great for just observing, relaxing, etc. Plenty of room.
  • Afternoon canapes were a delight, even if we didn’t always get exactly what we’d requested. In fact, we usually got more.
  • Our butler, Jemeesh, was a delight and nothing was too hard for him.
  • Culinary Center was great.

Negatives:

  • Internet access was spotty, but usually worked enough for checking emails. Forget about uploading photos!
  • Internet access was expensive at US$30 per day
  • Internet access was for ONE device in a room at ONE time. There were two of us, and we had to coordinate who was on and when — we could use multiple devices (phones, tablets, laptops), but only ONE could be logged in at any time. For $30/day, I thought that was an unnecessary restriction.
  • A small percentage of passengers on board were quite rude, pushing into line/elevators etc. in front of others. However, most people seemed lovely.
  • Artists Loft — nothing advertised prior to the cruise about who the artist was or what he would teach/demonstrate. It was all very confusing, even after I spoke to his wife in the artists loft one day. I was interested in this, but never attended as I got the impression he was only demonstrating oil and palette knife techniques, neither of which interested me.
  • Pool is VERY small. You can’t swim in it, only immerse your body. The pool on the Spa Terrace is only a HOT jacuzzi-style therapeutic pool, also not for swimming, and too hot to stay in on a Caribbean cruise. Not enough space/lounges on the Spa Terrace for all those wanting access.

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