HAL vs. Oceania

Jan 20th, 2008, 02:19 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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HAL vs. Oceania

We want to take a cruise to Greek Islands, Athens, Istanbul. Thoughts about these lines? We are less formal people in early 60's.
wordsmith is offline  
Jan 20th, 2008, 03:01 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
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We took Oceania's Nautica Istanbul to Venice in 9/06 which included the Greek Islands and Amalfi Coast as well as Sicily. We loved the cruise. Our first with Oceania. Had been on Celebrity and NCL. The smaller ship was really enjoyable, food was great and the people were all friendly without being snobs. Age groups was late 40's through late 70's. The line doesn't cater to children. Attire was "country club casual" which meant dressier tops for the ladies and usually slacks. Men usually wore collared shirts at night and slacks.

www.cruisecritic.com has specific threads for both of these cruise lines which may help you. I also did a trip report that I've e-mailed to several people and you're welcome to it if you send me an e-mail.

We're looking to do Oceania's Baltic cruise for 2009 since we enjoyed them so much.
patandhank is offline  
Jan 20th, 2008, 06:45 PM
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Oceania is less formal than HAL. I love HAL for mass market cruising but would definitely prefer Oceania for food, service, ship size, country club casual and extended port times.
kfusto is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2008, 04:34 PM
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Depends on where you want to go and how much you want to spend. I just returned from my 1st HAL cruise on Oosterdam to Mexican Riviera. We thought the service on HAL was wonderful compared to Princess. We thought the food on HAL was mediocre - not in quantity but quality. Steaks were tough & tasteless, crablegs, the one time we had them were very fishy. It mass-market banquet food. We had a suite and it was wonderful & the beds terrific. There are usually formal nites on HAL cruises, but there are dining options other than the main DRs if you don't want to dress up. Also HAL has room service for all meals with a considerable choice for each meal, which many lines do not.

We're booked on Oceania this coming Oct. I understand the food is much better and the staterooms much smaller. Also the Oceania ships carry considerably less passengers which is a definite plus. Oceania is also more expensive.

Again, depends on what you're looking for and what you can afford.
golfette is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2008, 04:08 AM
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We found the Oosterdam to have very good food, lots of fresh fish and healthy options. It was my third HAL cruise and 115th overall. Of all the mass market lines, we find HAL to be the best for food and service.

kfusto is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2008, 02:30 PM
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I will agree with kfusto. We have done two Med cruises with HA -- the Nordam and ?? I will think of it. Both excellent with far better food than other lines.
fmpden is online now  
Jan 23rd, 2008, 06:09 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Of these two cruise lines, I would recommend Oceania because of the smaller ship size. That really improves your experience in Greece. You'll like the lack of formality on Oceania, not to mention the level of luxury, which is higher than on HAL.
doug_stallings is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 06:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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I too would recommend Oceania for the Med, unless you're a smoker. They have very stringent smoking rules.

It's a good cruise line with fewer passengers, beautiful ships and good food which suits me perfect, especially in the Med. You could also look at Seabourn, Silversea and Regent but those will have formal nights which you could opt out of if you choose. HAL will also have formal nights, but again you could opt out.

I think smaller ships are definitely better.
patsy120 is offline  
Jan 27th, 2008, 07:36 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Food is a very subjective topic. Where you live, where you come from, what you've been exposed to most of your life plays a big part in your food tastes. It is acknowledged on cruise ship website boards that mainline ship food is "hotel banquet fare."

We found HAL food to be exactly that - basically bland, mostly tasteless and uninteresting. There are many, however, who think it's wonderful. It's all in the eye of the beholder.

Oceania is not a mainline cruiseline and only carries about 650 passengers. It is more expensive also. If food is really important to someone and they can afford it, Oceania would really be a better choice.
golfette is offline  

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