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Lighthouse68

Whoa...what’s going on with Oceania!

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Good Morning, I am thinking about returning to cruising after a 3 year hiatus. I have done many cruises with Oceania and a couple on other lines. I am looking at a transatlantic April 2020 on Sirena ( she is the only O ship I haven’t sailed on) so in doing my homework I started reading some reviews. To say I was shocked was an understatement! What shocked and disappointed me most was report of rudeness, poor attitudes , and general unhappiness of the staff. I understand that Sirena has just been refurbished and she is beautiful. On past cruises I have found the staff friendly and helpful, but some more reserved than others. I appreciate they often have difficult passenger situations to deal with. They are all hard working but usually cheerful.

Are these reviews written by people who have had an isolated bad experience or have the formerly excellent service levels slipped. The transatlantic voyage entails a lot of sea days....something I was looking forward to but not with an unhappy crew!

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the crew move  around  so who knows what they will be like on your sailing

It is not the same Oceania as it was  even 2 yrs ago

JMO

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Hi

I just think that people come away from a cruise with a different feeling about their experience.

Our first Oceania cruise was T/A on board Regatta and we had a wonderful time.  The staff put on  a great fun experience on the pool deck in the middle of the sea days ( I won't spoil the fun by telling you!) 

I think that sometime staff pick up vibes from passengers who can be so demanding.

Go for your cruise and make up your own mind.

best wishes

josie x

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7 minutes ago, Lighthouse68 said:

Good Morning, I am thinking about returning to cruising after a 3 year hiatus. I have done many cruises with Oceania and a couple on other lines. I am looking at a transatlantic April 2020 on Sirena ( she is the only O ship I haven’t sailed on) so in doing my homework I started reading some reviews. To say I was shocked was an understatement! What shocked and disappointed me most was report of rudeness, poor attitudes , and general unhappiness of the staff. I understand that Sirena has just been refurbished and she is beautiful. On past cruises I have found the staff friendly and helpful, but some more reserved than others. I appreciate they often have difficult passenger situations to deal with. They are all hard working but usually cheerful.

Are these reviews written by people who have had an isolated bad experience or have the formerly excellent service levels slipped. The transatlantic voyage entails a lot of sea days....something I was looking forward to but not with an unhappy crew!

We all know that reviews are more often written by unhappy folks than by satisfied customers.

 

We are very regular O cruisers (3+\- long cruises/year). And we spent close to a month on Sirena earlier this year. The quality of food and service was the same as we have experienced in the past. 

 

Oceania really serves a niche market of well traveled cosmopolitan adults, most of whom have worked hard for their money and expect efficacious value in a decorous environment.

 

For some folks who are not part of the 70%+ repeat cruisers on an O itinerary, their first O experience may be very different than what had been their mass market experience ("what, no photographers? Where's the 24 hour pizza and wannabe Broadway production of CATS?"). 

 

In any case, I think you can rest easy that Oceania still defines ultra-premium.

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If you're referring to this one...

https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=660654

 

Most of the moaning seems to be about the Cruise Director not setting the right 'vibe' for the ship (whatever that means) and the crew being unhappy.

In your shoes, it wouldn't bug me.

I couldn't care less who the CD is--I find them to be intrusions. 

If the staff is unhappy, that's really no good, but they'll mostly be out of contract by April -- and I hope they can find a better place they like to work.

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We've been on all of the ships over the years and have never experienced a crew that was unhappy (or rude, dismissive, fill in the blank).  We have always been satisfied.  Sure, sometimes more than others.

 

Our experience on Sirena is nearly three years old so that wouldn't be relevant to someone looking to sail now!

 

As Lyn says, the crew changes over regularly.

 

Mura

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9 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

the crew move  around  so who knows what they will be like on your sailing

It is not the same Oceania as it was  even 2 yrs ago

JMO

It really depends on the particular issue in question.

 

For example, on the plus side, I've noticed far more overnights in ports, the terrific NEXT makeovers (including a quantum jump with things like "on demand" TV, more officer engagement with passengers). 

 

On the negative side, my chief "complaint" is the allowance of a self-serving cold cuts station in Terrace Café at dinner (a pet peeve). Also, a couple of the newer CDs (who came from the mass market cruise environment) need to become better acclimatized to the O culture.

 

FWIW, even certain members of management in Miami have really gone out of their way to be responsive to inquiries and issues.

 

Finally, I have to mention one of the newer GMs: Claudio Melli, who came to Oceania from previous GM positions at multiple Intercontinental Hotels. We first met him on a Sirena cruise and his wonderful approach to customer service was echoed by crew throughout the cruise.

 

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21 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

We all know that reviews are more often written by unhappy folks than by satisfied customers.

 

I call it "quick to criticize, slow to praise."

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I read more than I post. Early on, when I first started to read about the cruises we went on, I was thinking we have made a mistake in booking the cruise after reading about them here.....they have turned out great...all of them!  This site lives up to its name...Cruise Critic.

We have never been hungry, thirsty or never had fun on a cruise. We mostly cruise on Regent, Seabourn and Oceania. we are looking forward to our Christmas cruise on Oceania.

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1 hour ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

Finally, I have to mention one of the newer GMs: Claudio Melli, who came to Oceania from previous GM positions at multiple Intercontinental Hotels. We first met him on a Sirena cruise and his wonderful approach to customer service was echoed by crew throughout the cruise.

I want to confirm that Claudio is a superb GM! I believe I was on the same cruise as you, and his attention, friendliness, and concern made him stand out as a manager. He definitely Inspired a positive attitude among the staff and crew.

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2 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

 Also, a couple of the newer CDs (who came from the mass market cruise environment) need to become better acclimatized to the O culture.

 

I just want to chime in what has already been said and that is do not make any conclusions based on one or two bad reviews.  I haven't been on Sirena but I have never encountered any rude or unhappy staff.  The service has been excellent.

 

There have been a couple of comments on this thread and a few others about Cruise Directors coming from the mass market lines and not fitting in with Oceania.  I'm just curious what people mean by that.  I was on Marina earlier this summer and the CD was new to Oceania.  From what I've read on CC, he came from a mass market line - either Princess or HAL. We liked him and thought he did a good job.  He was not boring and he was at ease in what he did (the CD on an O cruise we did a couple of years ago seemed very uncomfortable with his job).   We were eating lunch in Waves one day and he was walking through.  We stopped him to ask a question and he was friendly.    We haven't been on Princess or HAL but we've been on Royal Caribbean and he was nothing like the CDs there. It's a different audience.  The new CD on Marina knew who his audience was and made the adjustment well, IMO. 

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Posted (edited)

The bottom line is  you can choose to have bad experience  or not..   You are in control of your happiness.  Things only upset you if you choose to let them..  Likewise only you can choose what you like.          I have never  allowed  my self to have a experience that I  allowed to upset me.....I came to enjoy the specific cruise and was more than successful  in that desire over the past 30 years.    Life is too short to get wound up in the details....look at the big picture.       I enjoy every ship and every cruise... and will continue to do so.

Edited by Hawaiidan

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Currently on the Nautica. To restate what Lyn said “ This is not the same Oceania as a couple of years ago”. This is true in several areas including food and service.

 

An overall shift in service and attitudes was witnessed when the staff was shifted from primarily Eastern Europeans to SE Asian. That is what it is and it’s not going back. 

 

Differences in service can be witnessed when staff changes over. A brand new service staff with many first timers will present a different level of service than an experienced staff mid contract. A bunch of short timers near the end of their contract can often pose other issues.

 

We currently have a Butler and have on our last several cruises. 1. Not all Butlers are the same. 2. We utilize our Butler extensively while others adamantly refuse to utilize their’s at all. How can we compare service with those folks? there is so much a Butler can do for you! 

 

While the food overall remains good, there have been lots of misses in that area on this cruise. A lot more than on previous cruises. That’s for a different thread!

 

Things change. Still a great experience on Oceania.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, pinotlover said:

Currently on the Nautica. To restate what Lyn said “ This is not the same Oceania as a couple of years ago”. This is true in several areas including food and service.

 

An overall shift in service and attitudes was witnessed when the staff was shifted from primarily Eastern Europeans to SE Asian. That is what it is and it’s not going back. 

 

Differences in service can be witnessed when staff changes over. A brand new service staff with many first timers will present a different level of service than an experienced staff mid contract. A bunch of short timers near the end of their contract can often pose other issues.

 

We currently have a Butler and have on our last several cruises. 1. Not all Butlers are the same. 2. We utilize our Butler extensively while others adamantly refuse to utilize their’s at all. How can we compare service with those folks? there is so much a Butler can do for you! 

 

While the food overall remains good, there have been lots of misses in that area on this cruise. A lot more than on previous cruises. That’s for a different thread!

 

Things change. Still a great experience on Oceania.

 

 

For what it is worth  we change too.   As we frequent the same product perhaps our expectations grow too much from familiarity that we did not on our first cruises have?

Interesting on the change  in crew demographics from European   to Asian.  When it comes to cuisine, passion is needed and  that comes from culture.   If your serving  French and Continental based cuisine  its harder for a non European to  have that feel /passion    ( for some silly reason I have found that I enjoyed more French food prepared by French  chefs   and Asian  cuisine prepared by Asians   and so on )

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Thank you everyone for your input. I have booked my cabin and look forward to a great cruise next April

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9 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

It really depends on the particular issue in question.

 

For example, on the plus side, I've noticed far more overnights in ports, the terrific NEXT makeovers (including a quantum jump with things like "on demand" TV, more officer engagement with passengers). 

 

On the negative side, my chief "complaint" is the allowance of a self-serving cold cuts station in Terrace Café at dinner (a pet peeve). Also, a couple of the newer CDs (who came from the mass market cruise environment) need to become better acclimatized to the O culture.

 

FWIW, even certain members of management in Miami have really gone out of their way to be responsive to inquiries and issues.

 

Finally, I have to mention one of the newer GMs: Claudio Melli, who came to Oceania from previous GM positions at multiple Intercontinental Hotels. We first met him on a Sirena cruise and his wonderful approach to customer service was echoed by crew throughout the cruise.

 

Yes, Claudio is one of the best.  Always ready to talk to you and address any concerns you have.  Would be happy to be on any cruise that he is GM  

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Last cruise we noticed there were more S/E Asian wait staff and we asked our butler about it. He said they usually come back to O after vacation.  We were quite pleased with the staff.

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We were on Sirena about a month ago.  We thought that our cabin steward and assistant were super, staff overall were friendly and helpful, waitstaff in Terrace were great except for one person who seemed grouchy a lot of the time (I assumed that was just her), and waitstaff in the MDR were friendly and accommodating, but some were less knowledgable about the menu than ideal.  Overall, staff's attitudes seemed no different than previous cruises.   If anything, they were better/seemed happier than on our last cruise on Riviera a few years ago.  

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19 hours ago, pinotlover said:

Currently on the Nautica. To restate what Lyn said “ This is not the same Oceania as a couple of years ago”. This is true in several areas including food and service.

 

An overall shift in service and attitudes was witnessed when the staff was shifted from primarily Eastern Europeans to SE Asian. That is what it is and it’s not going back. 

 

Differences in service can be witnessed when staff changes over. A brand new service staff with many first timers will present a different level of service than an experienced staff mid contract. A bunch of short timers near the end of their contract can often pose other issues.

 

We currently have a Butler and have on our last several cruises. 1. Not all Butlers are the same. 2. We utilize our Butler extensively while others adamantly refuse to utilize their’s at all. How can we compare service with those folks? there is so much a Butler can do for you! 

 

While the food overall remains good, there have been lots of misses in that area on this cruise. A lot more than on previous cruises. That’s for a different thread!

 

Things change. Still a great experience on Oceania.

 

 

Just finished reading your comment.  While we enjoy having a butler, we do not use him much.  I was wondering what some of the things you use him for.

 

thank you

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Posted (edited)

We were on Sirena in January and had a fabulous time. Yes, it was pre-retro but Sirena probably has many of the crew after the retro. We didn't encounter any rude or angry staff. On the contrary, they were upbeat and seemingly happy to serve.

 

On the flip side, there were some passengers that complained about anything and everything. One person was so obnoxious that we called him "angry man". 

 

We would be delighted to sail on Sirena again.

Edited by Rob the Cruiser

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2 hours ago, roberts2005 said:

Just finished reading your comment.  While we enjoy having a butler, we do not use him much.  I was wondering what some of the things you use him for.

 

thank you

I am in the same boat so to speak....Have had several butlers  and  other than stock the refer  I  did not need anything from him, never experienced  needing someone to do something I could not as a passenger.    

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most of the new crew we met were from Goa   & some areas close by

We enjoyed more of the Eastern European crew  more

Just saying

 

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On 8/15/2019 at 7:40 AM, clo said:

I call it "quick to criticize, slow to praise."

We agree, "you get, what you give" !  Are you polite to the crew ?  Do you say, please and thank you to everybody?  Or do you get your drinks and food without a word ?  If not, then if I served you, I'd treat you the way you treated me.  And I'd go out of my way to please people who were polite to me.  So, guess what, I've never had to complain about any service on a ship or anwhere, really.  Try it, it works !

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4 hours ago, daveispar said:

Try it, it works !

It sure does!  I'm no Sally Sweetness but I try to walk around with a friendly face.  Ask people about their families, their backgrounds, what music they like, whatever.  Unless I'm alone at home, it's the rare day that I don't compliment somebody about something.  And I frequently am told "you made my day."  Yep, try it; it works.  Promise.  You get back what you give out.

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