First Time Aboard Oceania: A Client Review

Mar 04, 2020 Avatar Wendy Sandridge Wendy Sandridge
We love it when clients send us their travel stories, and we’re happy to share this Oceania cruise review from Emily H. in McKinney, TX.
I experienced my first Oceania sailing, which was a unique chance to experience it through the eyes of several different demographics. I was with my 85-year-old grandmother, my aunt and uncle who are in their 50s, and my 20-something-year-old cousin with her boyfriend. Everyone enjoyed themselves, but each in a different way.
Everyone enjoyed the size of the ship with its smaller passenger count. This provided us with ease of boarding and not fighting over availability of amenities. The pool area was incredibly lovely with comfortable loungers and thoughtful service of iced waters when out sunbathing. The bars and lounges were always quiet and classy, and they certainly make a mean dirty martini! They rarely got too over-crowded. We didn’t attend too many of the evening performances but those that we did see were intimate and fun. They had very nice talent aboard! I really appreciated the enrichment lectures.

We certainly enjoyed the food, but I would say that it didn’t beat my AmaWaterways river cruise experience in quality. That said, it was definitely better than any other large cruise liner I’ve been on. Our favorite specialty restaurant was Red Ginger. We dined there for my aunt’s birthday, and we loved it so much that we went back again the final night thanks to a group’s cancellation.

We enjoyed the amount of time spent in most ports. We never felt rushed. On the one occasion where our time was cut short due to a spectacular international fireworks competition, they threw us a special party on the top deck with dancing and complimentary drinks. We had the opportunity to view the fireworks from our veranda!

Our rooms were comfortable and practical. The bed was incredibly nice! We appreciated the soft linens and quality toiletries. The complimentary minibar is a fantastic element as well! Not needing to worry about how much you’re being nickeled and dimed offers a value in and of itself.

As for the level of customer service, I would give them a very good instead of an excellent, and that is mostly due to the fact that I have a Disney background and training so my bar for excellence in service is set rather high. Svetlana, our housekeeper, worked very hard and was always pleasant. An employee in the Terrace was sweet and always smiling. But the people who blew us away and really went above and beyond were the maître d’ named Hala as well as our server Tatiana and her partner in the Red Ginger restaurant. Koushik, the maître d’ in the Terrace buffet restaurant, delivered far and away the most outstanding service. My grandmother only has one fully functioning arm at the time of the cruise, and Koushik would always carry her plate for her. He would hold tables for us since we were such a large group; he remembered our names; and he greeted us with incredible warmth. What’s more is that I noticed he was just as amicable and hospitable with other groups. He was inexhaustible and patient!

Overall, we all enjoyed our experience aboard Oceania, but we valued different things. We did see all ages onboard – there were even quite a few children – but my cousin and her boyfriend were certainly bored at times and craved more excitement. Even my aunt and uncle wanted more nighttime goings-on.

I would have liked more activity in the evening as well… themed evenings or events that help to promote bonding among the passengers. Most people didn’t mingle much, but when we had the chance to do a scotch tasting and the one-night of karaoke, people were finally chatting and mixing with other people. In any event, with all of the inclusions (three excursions, all non-alcoholic beverages, minibar, wi-fi, etc.) and the size of the ship, quality of the amenities, and food, I would rate it as very good. Going back to a large cruise ship will be difficult!

Emily H., client of Wendy Sandridge. Reach out to her for your Oceania cruise with TravelStore!