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Considering Oceania - Anyone Been on Oceania?

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Jul 4th, 2007, 08:40 AM
  #1
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Considering Oceania - Anyone Been on Oceania?

We are considering Oceania cruiseline. For any of you who have cruised them, what do you think?
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Jul 5th, 2007, 02:30 AM
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There is tons of info for cruising with Oceania - just do a search . Also look at cruisecritic.com. Go to Boards and click on Oceania. Ships are "small" and it isn't as razzle-dazzle as the big ones. Depends on what you are looking for in a cruise - ports or entertainment. Actually I hope you decide not to book - this cruise line is way too popular and almost always sells out early. Just kidding,you can join us Oceania fans.
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Jul 5th, 2007, 07:36 AM
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Charli, we did check cruisecritic.com. Been following cruisecritic boards for a while, but want a different perspective. On some Cruisecritic cruiseline boards, there are vociferous "cheerleaders." On Oceania, this does not seem to be the case, but we still are curious.
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Jul 5th, 2007, 12:36 PM
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golfette: We've taken two Oceania cruises: Sept.'04 Venice to Athens and May '07 Rome to Stockholm, and we're already booked on a third, Feb.'08 round trip Miami, to Mexico, Central America and Panama.

It really depends on what you're looking for. Oceania is not a mass market ship -- no rock climbing or Broadway shows. Maximum 678 passengers and very port intensive itineraries. Country club casual dress, excellent food and open dining. Both alternative restaurants are free. Most passengers tend to be very well traveled and more than 40% are repeaters on Oceania ships.

We've sailed on other lines but after unpleasant mega-ship experiences (can't get lounge chairs at the pool, can't get seats at the shows, groups traveling together who don't talk to anyone else) we discovered the joy of smaller ships -- Viking River Cruises and especially Oceania. We feel comfortable with Oceania.

The Oceania staff greets you at the gangway after being ashore for a few hours with the words....."Welcome Home." And you believe it.

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Jul 5th, 2007, 02:55 PM
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Oh what a lovely review! It's exactly what we're looking for. HATE megaships. Went on one, will never go back. We, too, have been on Viking River cruises Amsterdam to Vienna about 3-4 years ago. A great scenic trip. Oceania should be just fine. We're looking at Pearls of the Riviera in 2008.
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Jul 6th, 2007, 05:51 AM
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golfette: We took Viking River cruises in Russia and round trip Vienna-Black Sea-Vienna. Both wonderful experiences.
Still hoping to take their Amsterdam to Budapest itinerary.

Just want to reiterate what Charli said -- Oceania books up early and their 2 for 1 with free air offers expire. So if you're interested in a particular sailing, you should contact your TA -- deposits are refundable up to 90 days prior to sailing. We booked our Rome-Stockholm trip one year in advance -- a record for us, but there was only one sailing in 2007. About 2 weeks before we were set to leave, Oceania asked if we would be willing to give up the cabin as they were waitlisted. But we had purchased our own air and pre-and-post-cruise hotels, so we declined.

We're taking my parents on the upcoming Oceania sailing to celebrate some significant birthdays -- 85 and 90, and still going strong. They've been on more than 87 cruises, but never on Oceania and they really want to know why we love it so much. Now that they've slowed down -- no more surfing, ice skating or rock climbing, we think they're finally ready for the Oceania experience!
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Jul 6th, 2007, 02:33 PM
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Want to second Mimi's endorsement of Oceania. We took their Istanbul to Venice trip 9/06 and loved it. We enjoyed our fellow travelers and as Mimi said, most of them are well traveled. We did think the staterooms were a little small and next time would opt for a higher grade, if possible, for more room. We're scheduled for our first Viking trip this Sept to China/Tibet so we'll see how that goes.
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Jul 6th, 2007, 04:55 PM
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We have booked, with another couple, more than a year in advance - Oct. 2008. Somehow I can't believe it'll ever happen. We have veranda cabins on the "concierge level" on Insignia. Pearls of the Riviera - Barcelona to Rome. It's a 2 for 1 with air deal, with a few other goodies thrown in. Has anyone had the free air fare deal? Was the flight horrible, crowded & cramped? That's the part that really bothers me.
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Jul 6th, 2007, 06:05 PM
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Oceania is our favorite cruise line.

We love the open seating dining, the free specialty restaurants, the wonderful staff, the lack of glitzy production number shows, the size of the ships, the port intensive itineraries, the Tourist Information reps who board at each port.
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Jul 7th, 2007, 11:40 AM
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golfette: We took the free air on our first cruise with Oceania. They did not have a direct flight to Venice, but it wasn't too bad, though there was quite a wait in the Venice airport until Oceania filled a bus with passengers from several flights to take us all to the ship. At the end of the trip, we paid for a flight deviation and stayed in Athens for 3 days and got a direct flight home. (made our own hotel arrangements.)

I really dislike the flying part of any trip, especially layovers (have had 5-6 hr.layovers in Frankfort airport on previous trips) so on our last cruise, we took the air credit and booked our own direct flights. Of course, we also booked pre and post cruise hotels and arranged our own transportation to and from the ship. We hooked up with another couple we met through CruiseCritic and shared the cost of a taxi from Rome, then took the Arlanda Airport express train with them in Stockholm. Oceania's air credit more than covered the cost of the flights, and our transfers were less expensive than their's.

Just a suggestion, you might want to inquire now about air connections on your favorite carrier and what the air credit actually is.
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Jul 7th, 2007, 11:55 AM
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More food for thought.

Are you going in early or staying later? What I did at the time I booked our cruise (yes a year out) is opt for Oceania's airfare. We knew though that we were going into Istanbul a couple of nights prior to catching the ship so we also paid Oceania's deviation fee to go in early.

When I got within the 329 day limit (as far out as airlines will let you look) to check for myself, I looked at all the airfares I could to decide if I would take Oceania's "free" air, which really isn't free. They will give you credit for airfare if you elect not to use theirs. The credit they were willing to give us was $1,200 per person. However, the flights I found on my own cost us over $2,000 per person so it wasn't worth booking my own tickets. What I did do though was ask my travel agent to check with Oceania to find out which carriers they intended to use out of Phoenix. I then used those carrier's websites and wrote down the flights I preferred and asked my travel agent to ask Oceania's air desk to see if I could get them. I actually got what I wanted.
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Jul 7th, 2007, 12:05 PM
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Forgot to address your question on "cramped and horrible." For us going out it wasn't too bad. We flew British Airways non-stop Phx to London and had two seats on the side. Flight to Istanbul was on a smaller plane, but only an hour so just like a shorter flight here in the U.S. we survived. Coming back, to the States was United from (left from Venice) Munich. We lucked out and they upgraded us to Economy Plus, but we confess after our BA flight and their nice perks, United as a bit of a let down and yes it was CROWDED!

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Jul 8th, 2007, 10:26 AM
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We just cruised with Crystal. This is without a doubt the Rolls Royce of cruise lines. Everyone we spoke to on board who had sailed other upscale cruise lines all said Crystal was their favorite. The food and service are outstanding. No staff knows the meaning of "no" on Crystal. Check it out before you book Oceania.
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Jul 10th, 2007, 03:17 PM
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Mimi and PatandHank - if I understand correctly, Oceania is only giving us $500 pp airfare & thats from LAX to Barcelona??? Can't do much with $500 pp. How is the "economy upgrade" different from regular economy? Also, do you know what the difference is in Business Class? We traveled to Amsterdam from LAX (can't remember which carrier although it was something like United?) economy & it was a NIGHTMARE. Trying somehow to get around that without paying an extra $3,600 pp (!!!) to fly from LAX to Barcelona & then from Rome to LAX. Oh lord - how did we ever get into this mess?
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