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jawlaw

Tried Oceania Marina . . . and was disappointed.

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31 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

LOL

You're on Oceania????

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I have travelled on the Marina 4 times and have just returned from the last of these. On this latest trip it was certainly apparent that some cost cutting had been brought in. The largest change was with the Afternoon tea, which used to be a highlight but is now a very pale imitation of what it was only a few months ago. With an intensifying competitive environment and Oceania's prices rising, this feels like a wrong move that will be felt the most by those that have been loyal to the company.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, clo said:

You're on Oceania????

No, right now we’re on the HAL Maasdam heading towards New Caledonia and then on to circumnavigating Australia. The only reason I brought up our internet experiences on this cruise in an earlier post was to point out that even HAL, a mass market cruise line, has realized the importance of providing a quality internet service even on their oldest and now smallest ship in the fleet (approx 1250 passengers). 

Edited by Ken the cruiser

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Roaring_ahead said:

I have travelled on the Marina 4 times and have just returned from the last of these. On this latest trip it was certainly apparent that some cost cutting had been brought in. The largest change was with the Afternoon tea, which used to be a highlight but is now a very pale imitation of what it was only a few months ago. With an intensifying competitive environment and Oceania's prices rising, this feels like a wrong move that will be felt the most by those that have been loyal to the company.

 

I’m anxious to hear more. Can you say anything else about where you are seeing cost cutting? I’m booked on Marina in 2020 and seriously thinking of giving Regent a try instead. 

Edited by JVNYC

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9 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

But I also have to say with regards to internet reception out on our balcony, we bought a RavPower travel router for the cruise which allows up to 5 devices within 50 feet to use one shipboard account and it works great!!!

 

So really  it is not  just the ship's service  you are better better reception on the balcony then

Did you use this router on Oceania ?  maybe it would have boosted the service there as well

 

Or maybe it is location location  location 😎

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4 hours ago, Roaring_ahead said:

I have travelled on the Marina 4 times and have just returned from the last of these. On this latest trip it was certainly apparent that some cost cutting had been brought in. The largest change was with the Afternoon tea, which used to be a highlight but is now a very pale imitation of what it was only a few months ago. With an intensifying competitive environment and Oceania's prices rising, this feels like a wrong move that will be felt the most by those that have been loyal to the company.

Can you elaborate?

Photos of the new afternoon tea offerings?

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Posted (edited)

Well I never go to Tea so I wouldn't know. I also just recently got off the Marina and thought the things I experienced were fine, pretty much what it always has been. I've been on 5 or 6 cruises on Marina in the past. 

 

Perhaps people new to Oceania wouldn't know what it used to be either and accept it for what it is now. 

 

I'm not making excuses for them, just pointing out a different view. 

 

Although I said I never go I was in there the other day as tea started and the cart came around. It had tea, sandwiches, cake, cookies, scones(plain & raisin) with toppings. 

Edited by ORV

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Just received email from Oceania debuting the new Aquamar Spa & Viltality Center. 

Just my opinion but It appears to be more services to pay for.  Nothing I have an interest in.

For me, vitality and wellness on my cruise is not cutting back on my menu choices or afternoon tea and not slashing my benefits for Loyalty Program. Those who had already reached a status level should have been grandfathered in.

At 15th Cruise there is no longer 2 spa visits and $100 OBC reduction. In November our OBC at 13th & 14th Cruise will be reduced $150 each. But they’re giving us a “cap” so all the loyal customers can wear it and advertise free for Oceania.  Let them know what you think of the cutbacks....and return the cap to the main desk with your Comment Card!

 

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26 minutes ago, ORV said:

Perhaps people new to Oceania wouldn't know what it used to be either and accept it for what it is now. 

This is the key - maybe O counts on their ever larger “new blood” that may not know the difference and are usually moving up from the mass market lines - thus they may well be satisfied.

For those of us that know O the way it was 10+ years ago, it may be a different story.

Am anxious to find out for myself in the near future.

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6 hours ago, LHT28 said:

So really  it is not  just the ship's service  you are better better reception on the balcony then

Did you use this router on Oceania ?  maybe it would have boosted the service there as well

 

Or maybe it is location location  location 😎

Nice try, but all the travel router does is act as a hub between our devices and the ship router in our cabin area. The same issue would still apply only instead our hub router connection would get bumped off every 2-3 minutes rather than my DW’s iPhone. 
 

As far as ship location goes, we were in the Med for 34 days before we started back across the Atlantic and had slow bandwidth the whole time. But to be honest, getting knocked off the cabin area router every 2-3 minutes was the really annoying factor. It was only magnified by the slow bandwidth when my DW was sending an email with an attachment and it would fail because her iPhone connection would be terminated before the email had finished transmitting. 
 

But when one is on a cruise where these ship network router issues are not an issue and you only have one account, this travel router is pretty cool!

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21 hours ago, cruisr said:

Are they still serving lobster tails at the dinner buffet?

Yes.  Just got off Insignia (9/28-10/5) and they are still serving lobster tails and steaks in the buffet; cooked to order.  (shrimp too)   But be aware, at least on Insignia, everything is overcooked.

 

Lobster tails overcooked & rubbery  (in all venus:  MDR, Buffet, Waves, Italian)

Steak overcooked too.  Ask for Med-Rare and its always well done.  (pinkless)

Wagyu burgers so overcooked.

 

After reading the comments on this thread, I have to agree that Oceania is cost cutting to the core.  I went on my first and last cruise with them.  I wanted to experience the great food, instead it was a disaster.  Food was bland and some was just terrible.  Tried all the venues and it was all the same.  Breakfasts were always the same stuff.  They were understaffed and when staffed; most didn't care.  Water glasses empty, not asked if you wanted other drinks.  Management was no where in sight, and the staff knew it.  (reading their phones, filling one glass at a table, never asking the guests if they needed or wanted anything)

There were definitely staff that went out of their way.  They made the trip enjoyable.

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1 hour ago, farmerj said:

Lobster tails overcooked & rubbery  (in all venus:  MDR, Buffet, Waves, Italian)

Steak overcooked too.  Ask for Med-Rare and its always well done.  (pinkless)

Wagyu burgers so overcooked.

Whether on land or sea, if my food is overcooked I send it back and have them cook some new.

 

You wrote that "breakfasts were always the same stuff."  Here's the sample menu from their site. 

 

https://www.oceaniacruises.com/Documents/Menus/81604382387/Grand-Dining-Breakfast-Menu.pdf/

 

Are you saying that they're lying about this?  I'm asking sincerely because if they are I want to know it right now so I can start complaining to top management immediately.  Thank in advance for your reply.

 

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I wrote a similar report about our August cruise on the Nautica. Over cooked steak and grotesquely over cooked lobster, especially in the Terrace. I always assume those raving about the steaks and lobster in the Terrace love chewing on rubber bands and shoe leather!

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This is one interesting thread.  I have enjoyed reading and contributing to the open dialog.  Everyone who had contributed has had a point of view and have been quite serious with that point of view.  My frustration is simple. All I want is a cruise brand, ship and experience that exceeds the NCL, Royal C, HAL, Celebrity and Carnival offerings.  All I want is a better cruise experience without going bankrupt.  I don't need internet that is the same as my home services.  Hell, why the hell am i on the net or phone at all. I am on vacation. I know that I won't get 100% restaurant quality 5 star food.  I am on a cruise ship, not New York, Chicago or LA. 

 

Listening to every person on this thread dislike of Oceania and the Marina makes me wonder how this brand and ship is even in business at this point.  Cruise Critic is about making cruising better. Informing us all of what to expect.  It is supposed to be about information. Instead I find it is about complaining, letting everyone know you are complaining. I got it, message recieved.  Just don't cruise on Oceania again, go on vacation vs. needing to be connected with your phone or computer 24/7.  Don't like the steak served, then eat salmon. Or better, just don't go on this brand and ship ever again.  

 

I just wish someone would just either take proactive action or give a better alternative.  Life is so good but listening to some of those commenting, life on Oceania and Marina is totally awful.  Wow.  I get it.  SOLD move on. Tell me and others where to spend our money, PLEASE.  We just want to enjoy our next opportunity to enjoy life on the sea.  

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1 hour ago, pinotlover said:

I wrote a similar report about our August cruise on the Nautica. Over cooked steak and grotesquely over cooked lobster, especially in the Terrace. I always assume those raving about the steaks and lobster in the Terrace love chewing on rubber bands and shoe leather!

Well, you're no wuss 🙂  Did you send them back at least?  Have I read that the Terrace ones aren't from Maine...or some such?  And are the whole ones better?  I love lobster but would likely go for something that I'm unlikely to cook at home.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Sthrngary said:

This is one interesting thread.  I have enjoyed reading and contributing to the open dialog.  Everyone who had contributed has had a point of view and have been quite serious with that point of view.  My frustration is simple. All I want is a cruise brand, ship and experience that exceeds the NCL, Royal C, HAL, Celebrity and Carnival offerings.  All I want is a better cruise experience without going bankrupt.  I don't need internet that is the same as my home services.  Hell, why the hell am i on the net or phone at all. I am on vacation. I know that I won't get 100% restaurant quality 5 star food.  I am on a cruise ship, not New York, Chicago or LA. 

 

Listening to every person on this thread dislike of Oceania and the Marina makes me wonder how this brand and ship is even in business at this point.  Cruise Critic is about making cruising better. Informing us all of what to expect.  It is supposed to be about information. Instead I find it is about complaining, letting everyone know you are complaining. I got it, message recieved.  Just don't cruise on Oceania again, go on vacation vs. needing to be connected with your phone or computer 24/7.  Don't like the steak served, then eat salmon. Or better, just don't go on this brand and ship ever again.  

 

I just wish someone would just either take proactive action or give a better alternative.  Life is so good but listening to some of those commenting, life on Oceania and Marina is totally awful.  Wow.  I get it.  SOLD move on. Tell me and others where to spend our money, PLEASE.  We just want to enjoy our next opportunity to enjoy life on the sea.  

May I suggest you open up a new thread and ask the questions you would like to know about Oceania. As you may have noticed this is more of a “venting” thread rather than an informative thread.  
 

For example we’re in our mid 60s and cruise around 100-120 days a year on various cruise lines (see my signature) where the average itinerary runs between 3-6 weeks. 
 

Which cruise line depends upon itinerary, time of year, fun factor, our current loyalty status and what do we need to do to get to the next level. But, at the same time, our decision will also be based on prior experiences with a particular cruise line, good and bad, and as you may have noticed keeping in touch with our world back home is important to us. 

Edited by Ken the cruiser

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Posted (edited)

I started this thread because, when I was thinking about booking my first Oceania cruise, and then after I actually booked it (on Marina to go to the Baltics this past August), I was looking for this kind of discussion, but I could not find it.  
 

First, I wanted real, current information from recent passengers.  
 

And then I wanted validation that my ten (twelve?) grand was a wise vacation investment.
 

Others out there must be looking for the same type of information; there have been lots of posts in the thread, and over 10,000 views.  
 

Sadly, if I had read this thread back when I was first considering Oceania, I would have gone in a different direction.  


This thread sort of got hijacked for a bit by some discussions that were focused first on some special food requirements, and then on the abysmal internet, but those discussions actually led to many broader and honest comments from longtime Oceania fans that indicate that this cruise line is simply not the same cruise line that it was when it built its reputation.  
 

It appears that Oceania is resting on its laurels, having substantially cut back on its quality of food and its level of service.  
 

Having sampled the product, I now feel that Oceania’s (incessant) glossy brochures promise an elegant experience of days gone by that it no longer delivers. 

Edited by jawlaw
correction

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7 hours ago, jawlaw said:

I started this thread because, when I was thinking about booking my first Oceania cruise, and then after I actually booked it (on Marina to go to the Baltics this past August), I was looking for this kind of discussion, but I could not find it.  
 

First, I wanted real, current information from recent passengers.  
 

And then I wanted validation that my ten (twelve?) grand was a wise vacation investment.
 

Others out there must be looking for the same type of information; there have been lots of posts in the thread, and over 10,000 views.  
 

Sadly, if I had read this thread back when I was first considering Oceania, I would have gone in a different direction.  


This thread sort of got hijacked for a bit by some discussions that were focused first on some special food requirements, and then on the abysmal internet, but those discussions actually led to many broader and honest comments from longtime Oceania fans that indicate that this cruise line is simply not the same cruise line that it was when it built its reputation.  
 

It appears that Oceania is resting on its laurels, having substantially cut back on its quality of food and its level of service.  
 

Having sampled the product, I now feel that Oceania’s (incessant) glossy brochures promise an elegant experience of days gone by that it no longer delivers. 

I think you accurately and very well summarized the situation. When I started sailing on Oceania in 2008 I raved about the line to one and all and it was our go to cruise line. Times have changed and so has Oceania. It is in the mix but no longer a first choice. If you look at the reviews on CC over the years they tell the same story. In the beginning, all the reviews were stellar and now they have declined significantly. Today it it a matter of itinerary and value before I consider Oceania whereas in the past I wouldn't have reason to really look at another cruise line. I have noticed cost cutting over the last several years as well as an attitude change in the wonderful staff. 

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1 hour ago, TERRIER1 said:

I think you accurately and very well summarized the situation. When I started sailing on Oceania in 2008 I raved about the line to one and all and it was our go to cruise line. Times have changed and so has Oceania. It is in the mix but no longer a first choice. If you look at the reviews on CC over the years they tell the same story. In the beginning, all the reviews were stellar and now they have declined significantly. Today it it a matter of itinerary and value before I consider Oceania whereas in the past I wouldn't have reason to really look at another cruise line. I have noticed cost cutting over the last several years as well as an attitude change in the wonderful staff. 

+1 .  Actually Regent and Crystal have been offering great deals, which make them the same price as Oceania.  That’s how we first switched to luxury, and they IMHO, provide an upscale total pkg.  

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Cruseforme said:

 Actually Regent and Crystal have been offering great deals, which make them the same price as Oceania.  That’s how we first switched to luxury, and they IMHO, provide an upscale total pkg.  

Obviously this is an individual opinion and choice to which you are fully entitled.

We came off of a Regent cruise 2 weeks ago and while it was very nice it did not make me want to leave Oceania for Regent at this point.

Granted, my last O cruise was last Oct/Nov and things might have changed since then but I doubt that the changes were that significant.

That said, I do agree that O has changed over the years and not for the better. We started in 2006 and are approaching 30 cruises with them. Within last last 2 years we have cruised on Crystal, Seabourn and recently on Regent. All were excellent cruises with some pluses over Oceania but taken OVERALL at this point O suits US best.

This may change - our next O cruise is in May 2020 - we’ll see how we feel then.

Edited by Paulchili

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14 hours ago, pinotlover said:

I wrote a similar report about our August cruise on the Nautica. Over cooked steak and grotesquely over cooked lobster, especially in the Terrace. I always assume those raving about the steaks and lobster in the Terrace love chewing on rubber bands and shoe leather!

 

I think a lot of people are ignorant as to how steak, and especially lobster, ought to be cooked. 

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On 9/30/2019 at 9:13 AM, JVNYC said:

 

Glad you had a great cruise.  What do you mean you missed the choices in the MDR?  Are there really less choices?  How many dinner choices are there now?  I haven't been on Oceania since 2016 and we have a cruise booked in 2020 and I'm worried that our dining experience will be very different than what we are used to.  Any details are greatly appreciated!  Thanks.

 

 

2 hours ago, TERRIER1 said:

I think you accurately and very well summarized the situation. When I started sailing on Oceania in 2008 I raved about the line to one and all and it was our go to cruise line. Times have changed and so has Oceania. It is in the mix but no longer a first choice. If you look at the reviews on CC over the years they tell the same story. In the beginning, all the reviews were stellar and now they have declined significantly. Today it it a matter of itinerary and value before I consider Oceania whereas in the past I wouldn't have reason to really look at another cruise line. I have noticed cost cutting over the last several years as well as an attitude change in the wonderful staff. 

I am in complete agreement with your statement. Our 1st O Cruise was 2007 and we also raved about the line. Convinced others who went and completely agreed.  We never looked at another line.

As we approach our 15th Cruise, (4 booked from next week to August) the cutbacks on food choices, MDR closed lunchtime most days, loyalty cutbacks especially, no shareholder benefit........coupled with fact I can’t think of anything added......oh yes, I’m getting a “cap” in exchange for reducing my OBC from $400 down to $250! 

All started when O became part of a publicly traded company. Not surprised.

As to staff, we’ve never experienced anything but friendly people always trying to please. 

In December we cruise with friends doing 21st and 33rd cruises with O. We are all going to look at other lines unless O reverts to what initially was a 5* experience.

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1 hour ago, Cruseforme said:

+1 .  Actually Regent and Crystal have been offering great deals, which make them the same price as Oceania.  That’s how we first switched to luxury, and they IMHO, provide an upscale total pkg.  

 

I keep reading this from different people.

I'm not going to say that everyone's mistaken, but when I go price out cruises I'm actually interested in and try to apples-to-apples it as best I can (similar cabins; adding on to the O price for shore-ex; etc.), the luxury lines still come out 50% more expensive than O.

 

What am I missing? Is it certain itineraries, certain times of year, what? 

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Isn't the downward trend of all cruise lines a known fact?  I don't know of any cruise line that has improved over the past 20 years.  So, we've moved from primarily sailing RCI to X and now are looking beyond those in attempt to have a certain level of quality in food and service.

 

The good news is that there are options and, with a little research, values can still be found within the chosen segment (mainstream, premium, etc.).

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