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Oceania Cruises: Riviera

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  • Oceania Cruises
  • Oceania Cruises
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Riviera Review

The second ship built to Oceania Cruises’ specifications, Riviera debuted in 2012. A sister ship to Marina, she was conceived to appeal to lovers of fine dining and travel. Signature features are similar to those on Marina, but Riviera has the

advantage in some public spaces, which were designed with higher ceilings, and in an enlarged culinary arts center.

Marina and Riviera are the first brand-new ships built for Oceania Cruises and, although they are an all new design in a larger ship, they include the basic deluxe features found on the smaller fleetmates—specialty dining in intimate restaurants, country-club casual ambience, and enrichment programs. The emphasis is on destination cruising in style and the decor is classic and comfortable. With a larger ship, designers expanded some of the elements, such as the staircase in the grand foyer, which has a landing with two sweeping sets of steps.

Attention to detail is an Oceania hallmark that can be found in Privée—the private dining room that can be reserved for dinner parties—where a custom-made one-of-a-kind Lalique-crystal table is illuminated by a white Venini-glass chandelier, and fanciful Murano-glass chandeliers glitter in the buffet restaurant. A classical string quartet plays softly in the background at afternoon tea in Horizons, the observation lounge with dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows.

This distinctive cruise line was founded by Frank Del Rio and Joe Watters, cruise-industry veterans with the know-how to satisfy the wants of inquisitive passengers. By offering itineraries to interesting ports of call and upscale touches—all for fares much lower than you would expect—they are succeeding quite nicely. Oceania Cruises set sail in 2003 to carve a unique, almost boutique niche in the cruise industry by obtaining midsize R-class ships that formerly made up the popular Renaissance Cruises fleet. The line is now owned by Prestige Cruise Holdings.

Intimate and cozy public spaces reflect the importance of socializing on Oceania ships. Indoor lounges feature numerous conversation areas, and even the pool deck is a social center. The Patio is a shaded slice of deck adjacent to the pool and hot tubs. Defined by billowing drapes and carpeting underfoot, it is furnished with plush sofas and chairs ideal for relaxation.

Thickly padded single and double loungers are arranged around the pool, but if more privacy appeals to you, private cabanas are available for rent. Each one has a double chaise longue with a view of the sea; overhead drapery can be drawn back for sunbathing, and the side panels can be left open or closed. Waiters are on standby to offer chilled towels or serve occupants with beverages or snacks. In addition, you can request a spa service in your cabana.

Varied, destination-rich itineraries are an important characteristic of Oceania Cruises, and most sailings are in the 10- to 12-night range.

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What You Should Know

Pros

  • Baristas coffee bar is conveniently adjacent to the library
  • The library is well stocked with more than 2,000 books and periodicals
  • Artists share their expertise during hands-on classes in the enrichment center

Cons

  • Self-serve laundry rooms can be crowded on sea days
  • There is a fee to use the hot tub adjacent to the spa
  • There is no charge for food and service in Le Reserve, but wine is a pricey addition
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 800
  • Entered Service 2012
  • Gross Tons 65,000
  • Length 774 feet
  • Number of Cabins 629
  • Passenger Capacity 1,258
  • Width 105 feet
  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Jun 11, 2016

Bait and Switch

Oceania pulled the bait and switch with our cabin choice. We booked the cruise seven months in advance. Oceania did not inform us before we left for Rome that they had overbooked the cruise. After we had traveled to Europe from Texas, we found out that Oceania was not going to honor our cabin assignment, and was downgrading us to a cabin almost half the size. Once we arrived in the port city it was time to start negotiating for the cabin we had paid

for by credit card months in advance. The fact that Oceania charges your credit card months in advance does not mean your cabin assignment is a guarantee. This is their policy and they do not apologize for the inconvenience. We threatened and negotiated to keep the cabin we had already paid for. It was too stressful to fight and negotiate for a cabin assignment to ever consider booking another cruise with Oceania. Gregory L Howard,MD Michelle Howard,MD Houston, Texas

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Jun 10, 2016

Eastern Mediterranean

Oceania pulled the bait and switch with our cabin choice. We booked the cruise seven months in advance. Oceania did not inform us before we left for Rome that they had overbooked the cruise. After we had traveled to Europe from Texas, we found out that Oceania was not going to honor our cabin assignment, and was downgrading us to a cabin almost half the size. Once we arrived in the port city it was time to start negotiating for the cabin we had paid

for by credit card months in advance. The fact that Oceania charges your credit card months in advance does not mean your cabin assignment is a guarantee. This is their policy and they do not apologize for the inconvenience. We threatened and negotiated to keep the cabin we had already paid for. It was too stressful to fight and negotiate for a cabin assignment to ever consider booking another cruise with Oceania. Food was average. Specialty restaurants nice, but food still average. Stateroom was a Penthouse, but again very average.

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Oct 12, 2013

Barcelona to Lisbon

The cruise was lovely. The food was good and the service was great. We were in cabin #11083 (Oceania Suite) Our Butler service was really great and my husband, who is not used to sailing, quickly became dependent on him! My only complaint was that the Canyon Ranch Spa really let me down. Having been to Tuscan and a frequent visitor to Lenox my expectations were high. First off, I told my manicurist/pedicurist I was allergic to

OPI and she assured me they only used CR special polish. She refused to do what I wanted, just staying with her ideas. Of course in an hour or two, it was bubbling and peeling! I have many complaints about the noise level, but no area was peaceful and tranquil. All the treatment rooms had "elevator music" piped in, just what was in the rest of the facility! No peaceful or tranquil alternative was available. It was so annoying, after 20 minutes I had to have her turn it off!. I had to cancel my final massage. It was a real disappointment to me since I now have MS and couldn't take any of the excursions. The food was really good....especially the DESSERTS! We were in # 11083 "Oceania Suite" The room and balcony were surprisingly gorgeous for a ship! My husband thought he was signed up for an "Exclusive" tour of the Alhambra. There were 40 or 50 people and so he didn't feel free to ask questions or talk to the tour guide. We were told later onboard the ship that there was no exclusive tour. All of our private tours, arranged through our Travel Agent and Oceania Cruises were really fantastic! We enjoyed our cruise experience very much.

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