Review: Sailing With Oceania Cruises
Review: Sailing With Oceania Cruises
Here is our review sailing with Oceania Cruises on the Riviera in the Caribbean.
Carol and I are on the last leg of a 10-day sailing with Oceania Cruises from Miami to Miami.
We sailed for two days getting to St. Kitts, and then on the way back to Miami, we visited St. Vincent, Dominica, St. Barts, and Puerto Rico. We were supposed to spend a day in the Dominican Republic, but high winds and strong currents kept us from docking, so we’ll spend another day at sea on our way back to Miami, Florida.
Oceania Cruises has six ships currently sailing the world’s oceans, with a seventh ship being delivered later this year.
Four of their ships, the Regatta, Insignia, Nautica, and Sirena, hold a maximum of 656 guests with 410 staff members. The Riviera and Marina have a maximum of 1,238 guests with 776 staff members. And very exciting for fans of Oceania Cruises, the new Vista debuts in 2023, and she will hold a maximum of 1,200 passengers.
To help you find a place in your brain for the service and experience levels on an Oceania cruise, let’s call it a 4.5-star experience, where we would characterize Regent, Silversea, Seabourn, & Explora Journeys catering to the five-star crowd.
Having said that, we indeed find the Riviera luxurious and very elegant, and our Penthouse Suite came replete with a butler. And, as I will talk about later in this post, the cuisine aboard an Oceania Cruises is best of class and can stand toe-to-toe with some of its five-star cruise competitors.
If you consider yourself a foodie and don’t require the extra service levels of the five-star cruise lines, then Oceania Cruises is your cruise line. Period!
To give you a sense of the elegance of the Riviera, take a look at the Lalique Grand Staircase.
Sunrise aboard the Oceania Cruises Riviera sailing in the Caribbean.
Sailing by San Juan, Puerto Rico’s Castillo San Felipe del Morro.
Dining With Oceania Cruises
Many things go through a consumer’s mind when choosing a cruise line. The destination, the price, the ship, the staterooms, the service, and certainly not the least of these: the food.
After a busy day of exploring, luxury travelers are looking for and even expecting a fabulous dining experience.
Let’s not bury the lead: Oceania Cruises’ culinary experiences can stand toe to toe with the best of the best.
Our clients have been telling us this for years. But now, having experienced Oceania Cruises’ culinary offerings, we can better understand why they boldly claim they have “The Finest Cuisine at Sea.”
While “the finest cuisine” is certainly subjective, we found the culinary offerings we experienced aboard the Riviera some of the best cuisines we’ve had at sea. And Carol and I have enjoyed some of the best.
As is customary with most cruise lines, there are two main dining rooms: The Grand Dining Room (for sit-down dining) and the Terrace Cafe (offering buffet-style dining). And for a quick meal while in your bathing suit, there is also Waves Grill and the Pizzeria.
But it is Oceania Cruises’ Specialty Restaurants that have people talking. And gleefully, we had the opportunity to sample them all:
- Jacques – French cuisine interpreted by Master Chef Jacques Pépin.
- Polo Grill – A classic steakhouse offering certified Black Angus USDA Prime steaks and succulent seafood.
- Toscana – Classic Italian. The Osso Buco was to die for.
- Red Ginger – For us, this was the sleeper. I’ll never forget the Spicy Duck & Watermelon Salad. And the Miso Sea Bass was the best I’ve ever experienced.
- La Reserve by Wine Spectator – This experience carries an additional fee, but if you’re a food and wine aficionado, this wine pairing experience is a must. This was our favorite dining experience.
And for even more culinary exploration, there are Culinary Discovery Tours and a hands-on culinary cooking school aboard the ship.
Listen, I could go on and on after a 10-day cruise with Oceania Cruises. Let me say this, Oceania Cruises is getting bumped up to our list of Favorite Ocean Cruise Brands. Our experience was outstanding, and our confidence in the brand has gone way up.
How to Book An Oceania Cruises Cruise
An Oceania Cruises price is the same booking directly with the cruise line or booking with Roaming Boomers Travel Services.
However, Oceania Cruises is a member of our Virtuoso Voyages program. Therefore, we have complimentary VIP perks to share on many of their voyages.
For more information or to book a fun Oceania Cruises sailing, please call Roaming Boomers Travel Services at (480) 550-1235 or use our convenient online information request (click here), and we’ll reach out to you.
If you enjoyed this article, sign up for our travel newsletter to keep abreast of our best travel tips, on-location reviews, exclusive travel offers, group travel events, and much more.
Roaming Boomers Travel Services is an Independent Affiliate of Cadence, a Virtuoso® member. CST#201120-40
Great article. We agree that the food and overall elegance of an Oceania cruise rates a 5. Last time we were on O they had liquor packages at an extra cost and then charge a sales tax for each drink. Is that still the case? As I remember their excursion were not at NC and seemed expensive. Is that still the case. Those are the two reasons I would rate Regent a little higher than O.
Great to hear from you. from a market position perspective, Oceania doesn’t try to compete with Regent as a 5-star cruise line. They would position themselves between Regent and the large-ship cruise lines. There are a lot of folks who abhor the large ship cruise lines but might not want the price tag of the 5-star cruise lines. Oceania seeks to fill that void. I don’t know about the sales tax question. I’ll look into that. With regards to shore excursions, I’ve not found them to be any more expensive than their competitors in this regard.
I checked in with Oceania, and they do not charge extra taxes for their drink packages. Quote, “the price is the price and no additional fees.” You’re right; Oceania does not make all shore excursions complimentary, as Regent does. They make several complimentary shore excursions if you book using their “O Life” offer, but Oceania’s pricing is far more ala carte than Regent, where “every luxury is included.” Again, great to hear from you, and all the best to you both.