I was worried that Oceania would ruin me for all other cruise lines. Oceania was my first luxury cruise. All previous cruises I had been on were main line cruise companies; Carnival, Celebrity, Norwegian, Princess and Royal Caribbean. Well that worry was fruitless. I would tell people I was going on Oceania some would say “Ohhh Oceania”. I thought when the vacation finally got there I would get on the ship and think Ohhhh. Although Oceania had some high points I was never really “Ohhh-ed”.
The first problem were the missed ports. I fully understand that it was the governments that made the decision to not allow us to make our visits. But how Oceania handled it is what I had a problem with. We book this cruise based only on the itinerary. We have a goal to visit all US National Parks. The very first person we spoke to once we boarded the ship was at the Destination Desk. She was who informed us the Pago Pago, American Samoa stop was cancelled. Pago Pago is where American Samoa National Park is located. You can imagine our disappointment knowing that we are on a VERY expensive cruise that now is not making the stop we booked it for. I said “what! thats the only reason we booked this cruise”. This the response I got from the Oceania representative “You signed a contract, we can make changes”. I guess to Oceania I’m just a contact and money, not a person devastated because something I had been planning and preparing for for several years was cancelled.
The ship was nicely decorated and was well maintained. Our cabin was also very well maintained, also nicely decorated and clean. Our cabin steward was great very attentive and pleasant during every meeting. She was great.
Most of the food was very good with only a few exceptions. On embarkation day we had our first dinner in the Grand Dining Room. I ordered lobster bisque (one of my favorites). It was not good and the color seemed odd. The waiter saw that I didn’t eat and ask if I didn’t like it? I said no it’s not good. He picks it up an said “alright I’ll tell the chef. Didn’t ask if I would like something else just whished it away. My husband didn’t enjoy his main dish either and only took a couple bites. They didn’t even ask about it. I left the dining thinking cancelled ports, bad food and bad service. I’m not Ohhh-ed!!!! I have to say though, I never had a bad meal after that, everything was very good. Although the Grand Dining Room serves didn’t really show much improvement. I usually only drink water with my diner meal (the weather was really hot and the ship recommended 10 glasses of water a day) it was not unusual for my glass to only be refilled once if at all. I remember nights that my glass would be empty before appetizers arrived and never get refilled. I felt on most cases the serves was better at the Terrace Cafe during dinner then in the Grand Dining Room. There were a few exceptions to the Grand Dining Room serves, some waiters were good and there was one I remember refilling my water glass frequently. The young ladies who was at the Grand Dining podium would very pleasantly greet us by name. She was always smiling and asked about our day. She was a joy to interact with. She is an example of what I thought all Oceania Crew members would be like.
Now for the theater. To say there isn’t a bad seat in the house, would be a 110% exaggeration for the Regatta. It was the worst theater I’ve seen at sea or otherwise. The entertainment was ok. Two gentlemen got on the ship with us in Auckland, a magician and a singer. Both provided great shows. The singer/piano player was excellent. When I heard him I thought “well Oceania knows how to get talent” “too bad I can’t see him”. They each did two show. I started going to the theater an hour early so we could get seat where I could see. They also brought a local Fijian dance troop on board to perform before we sailed. They were amazing. There was standing room only in the theater. Since I had to stand I did see a good portion of the show. After that we spent four days at sea passing our scheduled port, the only theater entertainment was various crew members. We quit going it wasn’t worth fighting for a seat with a view.
The ship offered free self services laundry facility. The room was always clean and the machines were in good repair. I think that it was a great service they offered their guests. It also acted as a social event. That where you could get cought up on all the gossip.
Because I tend to be a bit of a Nervous Nellie I always book my excursions through the ship. Oceania’s excursions are way over priced. I opted to buy the all inclusive package. I found most of the excursions to be good, some only fair and some spectacular. Now when they sell you an Excursion Package do you think the price is same for every sailing or is it based on the amount of stops? With ports be taken away and some being added in we still didn’t go to the amount ports promised. I feel like at the very least Oceania should have offered a prorated refund of my excursions package. I also feel that, again at the very least, Oceania should have refunded the port fees for missed stop as well. But as previously mentioned “I’m just a contract to Oceania.
I think because of the size of the ship the activities were limited. I don’t feel like there was enough of a variety of activities. However, when we ended up spending four very long days at sea I felt like the Activities Department did try to come up with things for us to do. The Country Fair was corny but fun. Very unique.
So, all said and done, even if no problems with itinerary had came up, my water glass still would have been empty, the theater would have still had horrible seating and I still probably wouldn’t have been ohhh-ed.
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The stop was canceled.
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