I hope nobody misconstrues any of the following into thinking that I didn’t like the Oceania Riviera or the overall cruise. As I stated previously, the weather often is not what we would have picked, it was cold for this part of the world, cloudy and rainy, with a lot of wind. We were as far south as 1600 miles north of the equator when we were in Santo Tomas, Guatemala. Should be HOT, not 65 degrees! But enough about the weather.
WHAT WE LIKED
First of all the ship was only a couple of years old, and the captain must insist in keeping it looking like new. It looked like an inaugural cruise. It was by far the cleanest ship we had ever been on!
Our cabin crew were the best we ever had! Gabriella who hailed from Poland and her assistant, were seldom seen, but the room was always immaculate, including the outside of the glass in the sliding door to our veranda! I have gone out and cleaned the glass on the door on a few cruises, but not this one. It got cleaned every day! The mini bar was updated frequently with our selection of water and free soft drinks, that are unheard of on many other cruises. We each got some snuggly slippers, and one of the thickest bathrobes I have ever seen!
The bathroom was something I would have liked to have at home! Consider this, a full bathtub AND a separate shower stall with a telephone shower and a huge rain type separate shower head! Luxury to be sure, just don’t drop the soap, or you will have to open the door to get the room needed to pick it up. All of this on a ship!
A flat panel screen showed a number of movies and all the usual information related to the cruise, our progress, our position and a selection of news channels, and a video camera of view from the bridge, a “Bridge Cam”.
The cabin was almost silent, hall noise was never a problem, wind noise around the sliding doors was non existent. There was no noise transfer from any other cabin.
Dining was convenient, in addition to room service, there were 3 locations for regular meals and 4 locations with specialty restaurants. Starting with Waves Grill, an outside location near the pool, that served breakfast and other meals throughout the day, the next option was the Terrace Cafe, with a little more panache. It connects to tables on the fantail, where one can eat outside when weather permits. The Grand Dining Room serves anytime dining, and is a more formal arrangement where breakfast lunch and dinner are offered. Dress restrictions apply in this venue, as it does for the 4 specialty restaurants.
The Specialty restaurants are upscale again, with the same dress code as the dining room. There is Jacques, a French restaurant, Red Ginger, a Thai food experience, Polo Grill where the food is seafood and beef mostly, and finally Toscana where an Italian menu is offered. All four of these restaurants require that you reserve and all carry an additional charge, but as a passenger you get to try all four without charge once. All the food was good, but I have more on that later.
We ate most of our meals in the Terrace Cafe, as did a lot of people we spoke with. The meals were often made to order, and were very good. There were a lot of wait staff on hand, and as the week went by they got to know you, and of course, you got to know them.
A nice touch was the digest of Canadian News and the digest from USA today, These were delivered to our cabin on a daily basis. One could also get a complete newspaper delivered daily, at a cost of $6.95 a day. A number of papers were available from around the world.
The entertainment was somewhat of a mixed bag, although it does depend on what you like. We enjoyed the two shows put on by the magician, and the two done by the comedian. Both were funny and entertaining. Joan took in the Elvis impersonator which she enjoyed. They all started at 9:45 a bit late for some.
It was not all a near perfect event however, and I hope to cover some of the areas that we and others considered to be not so nice. I will do that tomorrow if possible.
To be continued……
QUOTE OF THE DAY
The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
A cab driver reaches the Pearly Gates, and announces his presence to St. Peter, who looks him up in the Big Book. Upon reading the entry for the cabby, St. Peter invites him to select a silk robe and a golden staff and to proceed into Heaven.
A preacher is next in line behind the cabby, and has been watching the proceedings with interest. He announces himself to St. Peter. Upon scanning the preachers entry in the Big Book, St. Peter furrows his brow and says, "Okay, we’ll let you in, but take that cloth robe, and wooden staff".
The preacher is astonished and says, "St. Peter, I am a man of the cloth. You gave that cab driver a gold staff and a silk robe, surely I rate higher than a cabby."
St. Peter replied matter of factly; "Here we are interested in results. When you preached, people slept. When the cabby drove his cab, people prayed."
Have a Great Day, and be kind to one another.