Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
RLM77

Insignia - Underwhelmed

Recommended Posts

Although I haven’t been lucky enough to spend more than  14 days at a time on an Oceania ship, I never got tired of the food on board.  I could always find something good - even if it was room service.  When business took us to Taipei for a month I couldn’t wait to get to Honolulu so I could have a Big Mac!  It was great!
We’re sailing soon on Insignia so these reviews were very interesting.  So far Riviera was the smallest ship we’ve been on.  Looking forward to this smaller ship😄.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

Agreed.

I only try to worry about myself - that’s enough trouble for me 😊

Ditto for what or how much others eat onboard - it’s their choice and I don’t have to live with it.

 

1 hour ago, LHT28 said:

So judgmental of  what others like to do  or eat & drink

 

Why worry about  others just  do what you like  eat where you want  

If people want KFC   who really cares  ...🙄

Could not agree more!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paul;

 

Since you are an aficionado of Oceania tours, your statement is very true. I’ve even noticed that on many cruises we have booked of late, O tours try to have one back to the ship for lunch so not to face the issue.

 

For those of us that set up all day Roll Call tours it can be a huge issue. As an example, we did a great tour of scenic sights in Northern Ireland. We planned, and did, a delightful lunch in an Irish pub , in a cute Irish village, with an array of great local food, beers, and Irish whiskey. The food and atmosphere were delightful. The bitching and complaining from those that only wanted a MD so to get back to the ship early, agonizing! 

 

Many question why the Roll Calls are so dead of late. I think the reason is because many of us that invested hours researching ,  arranging , and setting up the tours tire of having  to listen to all the complaining . No that beautiful Irish village  setting picturesquely on the sea doesn’t have a BK for you!!!!

 

if you want a tour that stops at McD or Subway, or one that’s gets back to the ship by 14:30, that’s OK, really, then sign up for one that says it will do so! Don’t sign up for mine that clearly says we are doing something else. Pretty simple, huh!??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, pinotlover said:

Paul;.................

if you want a tour that stops at McD or Subway, or one that’s gets back to the ship by 14:30, that’s OK, really, then sign up for one that says it will do so! Don’t sign up for mine that clearly says we are doing something else. Pretty simple, huh!??

I am hoping that here you are talking about a generic “you” and not me personally.

Edited by Paulchili

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PINOT

I do not understand  why you bother sharing tours   just go on your own  then you can walk as fast  as you want eat where & when you want  do not have to sit near people with dirty diapers  or  be with those  that want to eat at BK or other places

They do not drink the right wine or pay for the overpriced wine on O or they do not eat spicy food  so they must be unacceptable  humans

You are so intolerant of others

Time & time again you posted your disdain for others

JMO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The specialty restaurants on the O ships are better, starting with the unique Jacques and La Reserve options and the separate Polo and Tuscany...

 

Plus the fun cooking classes.

 

we generally eat late and skip the shows.

Edited by JPR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lyn;

 

I have little problem getting people to sign up for tours I organize fwiw. With 650+ or 1200+  there are are numerous travelers on a cruise want to experience the ports and countries visited. They want to experience the food,; the wines, food, or spirits; and the culture of the country visited.

 

I have no problem with those that only want to experience the ship. They pay the fare also. However, let’s not feign surprise when 1st timers don’t show up for tea! Let’s not discard those that sail to the Caribbean and ( wrongfully) expect a bit of Caribbean atmosphere aboard. Same with SE Asia or elsewhere. 

 

I can fully enjoy my cruises on O and fully enjoy the ports visited while still recognizing some shortcomings that the cheerleaders are blind to. 

 

Let me give you a bit bit more insight. I still do wine tastings, teach wine and wine pairings classes, and do high level wine training. I’m not in denial! My palate is not what is was even ten years ago and no where near where it was 20 years ago, but still surpasses 95% of the population. I see multitudes that show up with no palate for a variety of reasons, especially the elderly. We have people in classes that blind can’t identify non sugared blackberry versus blueberry or strawberry vs cranberry juice. We’ve had people that couldn’t differentiate lamb from pork! You might be surprised the results we get on simple blind wine tastings. Politely, many say taste is subjective, let me tell you in many cases it’s purely objective and quantifiable. Most don’t even recognize the nature of the issue until quantitatively confronted with it. I have little doubt that in a far to short of time aging will have me joining that group. I ,therefore , have no contempt or ill will on the issue because it will eventually resemble me. I can however call into question , on a personal level, when people make subjective comments on certain food or wines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, JPR said:

The specialty restaurants on the O ships are better, starting with the unique Jacques and La Reserve options and the separate Polo and Tuscany...

 

Plus the fun cooking classes.

 

we generally eat late and skip the shows.

I agree! Both of those restaurants/venues are on O ships only. Oceania has 2 O ships versus over twice that many R ships. People sailing to destinations such as Alaska or the Far East never get to experience an O ship. We maximize La Reserve and Privee as much as possible. The new Dom P dinner is wonderful. Even at the cost, I’ll repeat it on my next Marina cruise. Truly an exceptional evening! However, if you don’t like bubbly or your palate can’t differentiate Dom, Krug, or Ruinart from Korbel or Cold Duck it’s probably not worth the price. 

 

Oceania provides several venues that offer wonderful food. I think most everyone can find something they like and being hungry is never an issue!

Edited by pinotlover

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to add my little bit. I do what gives me pleasure. I eat what I like, I drink what I like. What anyone else thinks of my culinary habits  is of no concern, or relevance to me. I live my life to please me, and as an added bonus, my partner. We are very happy with what we do on Oceania and gain great pleasure from what we eat and drink. It doesn't suit everyone and to be honest, I don't care! Life is wonderful because we are all different, and that's ok. I can enjoy a Burger King, I can also enjoy the best French/ Italian/Spanish etc. etc food. Aren't we lucky that we have those choices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, pinotlover said:

Lyn;

 

I have little problem getting people to sign up for tours I organize fwiw. With 650+ or 1200+  there are are numerous travelers on a cruise want to experience the ports and countries visited. They want to experience the food,; the wines, food, or spirits; and the culture of the country visited.

 

I have no problem with those that only want to experience the ship. They pay the fare also. However, let’s not feign surprise when 1st timers don’t show up for tea! Let’s not discard those that sail to the Caribbean and ( wrongfully) expect a bit of Caribbean atmosphere aboard. Same with SE Asia or elsewhere. 

 

I can fully enjoy my cruises on O and fully enjoy the ports visited while still recognizing some shortcomings that the cheerleaders are blind to. 

 

Let me give you a bit bit more insight. I still do wine tastings, teach wine and wine pairings classes, and do high level wine training. I’m not in denial! My palate is not what is was even ten years ago and no where near where it was 20 years ago, but still surpasses 95% of the population. I see multitudes that show up with no palate for a variety of reasons, especially the elderly. We have people in classes that blind can’t identify non sugared blackberry versus blueberry or strawberry vs cranberry juice. We’ve had people that couldn’t differentiate lamb from pork! You might be surprised the results we get on simple blind wine tastings. Politely, many say taste is subjective, let me tell you in many cases it’s purely objective and quantifiable. Most don’t even recognize the nature of the issue until quantitatively confronted with it. I have little doubt that in a far to short of time aging will have me joining that group. I ,therefore , have no contempt or ill will on the issue because it will eventually resemble me. I can however call into question , on a personal level, when people make subjective comments on certain food or wines.

 

 

Something like this? No Merlot?

 

image.png.5c71858219bd2c4290acb284e340197e.png

 

 

Just kidding. DW and I think we would enjoy being on a cruise with you.

Edited by Rob the Cruiser

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On tours I have arranged -- which have usually been longer than a typical ship's tour, although not always -- I've never had a problem with participants' differing about what to do for lunch.  "My" people have been happy finding a local restaurant when possible ... and if it wouldn't be possible, sometimes we take food with us or find a quick snack on shore.  I cannot recall people fussing because we went to a restaurant when they wanted something else.  And I can't remember anything less than a lovely meal on these tours.  Of course, we aren't looking for Michelin *** locations ... And often the tour itself has set up a lunch location OR they give you free time to do what you want.  Ships' tours often do the same.

 

Perhaps this hasn't been a problem with my groups because when I've set up a tour it wasn't going to a locale where "our" fast food places exist?  On many of our destinations that has been the case.  An all day tour through Provence from Marseille a year ago certainly didn't have U.S. fast food places as an option!

 

I *have* encountered more difficulty in getting participants (6 to 8 usually) for a tour since oLife came into existence but I always thought that was because more people are taking advantage of what appear to be "free" ship's tours.  We have done so ourselves, after all!  Roll Calls just seem to be less active these days because of oLife.

 

I've never deliberately intended to set up a 6-8 hour tour but that's often the case ... unless it's a short port stay and we have to be back much earlier.  But those "back on board" times govern the tour I seek to set up.  When I have interested parties who don't want to be gone too long -- usually not because of "we want lunch on board" considerations but more because they are older and find longer trips difficult -- I do my best to accommodate them.

 

Mura

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/27/2019 at 4:34 AM, Mura said:

We don't normally eat fast food anywhere, but that doesn't mean there have been some times when we were traveling abroad where we had no choice and Macdonald's it was.  Like in Tel Aviv on the sabbath when literally the only place open was a Macdonald's.  Unfortunately, it wasn't one of their better ones -- but we ate there anyway.

 

But I also am not one to judge people on their restaurant choices!

 

 

Well, this isn't really true as Tel Aviv has many restaurants open on Shabbat, including my favorite, Kitchen Market.  In that port/wharf area, you will find many non-kosher restaurants open.  I've even found good restaurants open in Jerusalem on Saturdays (Adom is excellent at the old former train station).  Tel Aviv, for the most part, though is an international city with much open on Saturdays.  The one thing you won't find is public transportation.  

 

There are many cruises that include Friday overnights in Israel and people should book with confidence that restaurants (really good ones) are open.  They just won't be Kosher.  If you are Kosher, all of the hotels put on extravagant buffets.  Nobody is relegated to McDonald's in Israel unless they crave junk food.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, hubofhockey said:

 

Well, this isn't really true as Tel Aviv has many restaurants open on Shabbat, including my favorite, Kitchen Market.  In that port/wharf area, you will find many non-kosher restaurants open.  I've even found good restaurants open in Jerusalem on Saturdays (Adom is excellent at the old former train station).  Tel Aviv, for the most part, though is an international city with much open on Saturdays.  The one thing you won't find is public transportation.  

 

There are many cruises that include Friday overnights in Israel and people should book with confidence that restaurants (really good ones) are open.  They just won't be Kosher.  If you are Kosher, all of the hotels put on extravagant buffets.  Nobody is relegated to McDonald's in Israel unless they crave junk food.  

Unfortunately for us, this happened in November 2006 and in the area where we were staying, there really wasn't anything open.  We certainly looked!  You know Tel Aviv better than we do, of course ... and this was on Friday evening, NOT Saturday.

 

We weren't there on a cruise.  And lastly we weren't staying in a hotel that had ANY kind of buffet!  That night we'd hoped to return to a restaurant where we'd eaten before, but ... they were closed.

 

P.S.  I just checked my diary to make sure my memories about this being in Tel Aviv were correct, and they were.  But my diary also reveals that we did see some places that were open -- but they were so crowded and noisy that we settled for the McDonald's.  I don't blame Tel Aviv for that!  The McDonalds was quite empty ... with good reason.  Not so much because it was a McDonalds but because it wasn't a very good one.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/27/2019 at 2:38 PM, Rob the Cruiser said:

 

 

Something like this? No Merlot?

 

image.png.5c71858219bd2c4290acb284e340197e.png

 

 

Just kidding. DW and I think we would enjoy being on a cruise with you.

All I can say is great pic from Sideways👍
We enjoyed that movie 

Denise😊

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2006 is a long time ago and the development on the wharf is relatively new. I have not been to Israel on a cruise either. The place and area I mentioned definitely has restaurants open on Friday nights and Saturdays.  I would say the same about just about every place in Jaffa.  Again, none of these places would be kosher and I would advise making reservations before you go.  

 

I came on upon this thread because I am looking at Oceania after doing an Azamara (really like the Quest) but for Japan, Oceania's days work better and so does pricing.  I really like the R class ships, but this thread threw me for a curve.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, hubofhockey said:

I came on upon this thread because I am looking at Oceania after doing an Azamara (really like the Quest) but for Japan, Oceania's days work better and so does pricing.  I really like the R class ships, but this thread threw me for a curve.  

Sometimes you have to read between the lines  on reviews

Since you have an idea of what the R ships  are like   you  will probably enjoy Oceania  😉

They do some things differently than Azamara  but  change is good sometimes 

JMO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/30/2019 at 10:51 AM, LHT28 said:

Sometimes you have to read between the lines  on reviews

 

Not sure what you mean by "read between the lines" but I (the OP) will try to add a little clarity as to who and what we are.

We are retired professionals with post-graduate degrees.  Before retiring south we would visit Canada once or twice a summer to attend the Stratford [Shakespeare] Festival.  We also contributed to the Festival as one of the charitable/fine arts organizations we support.  This in addition to partaking of our local cultural opportunities.

 

We can enjoy a production of "King Lear" one week, a concert of baroque music the following week, and a Jimmy Buffet concert the next.  Each has its place; each is enriching in its own way.  In our opinion, you bring Margaritaville on a Caribbean cruise and save Bach, Vivaldi, and Shakespeare for another day.  Additionally, while the socioeconomic distribution on, say, a Carnival or Norwegian ship does not align as closely with our own as that on Insignia, we still usually have a darn good time there.  I wish I could say we had a good time on Oceania, but it was just too sedate for us.  Those who prefer excellent service and an upscale environment will most likely find what they seek on O.  Those who want to let their hair (or what's left of it) down on a cruise will not be happy.  Count us among the latter.

 

Points of view on food and wine are very subjective.  Everyone has an opinion and all opinions are equally valid.  I stand by the views expressed in my original post.  To us there were more similarities than differences between the food on O and the food on the mass market ships.  Your mileage will vary.

 

We have spent 473 nights on cruise ships.  Not anywhere near the number as some who are active on this board, but enough to understand what works for us on a tropical cruise vacation.

 

Forgive me, but I am having trouble seeing what I left "between the lines."  If LHT28 is willing to elaborate then I will try to further fill in the gaps.

 

Rich

Edited by RLM77

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, RLM77 said:

In our opinion, you bring Margaritaville on a Caribbean cruise and save Bach, Vivaldi, and Shakespeare for another day.

I think what you did not know before cruising on Oceania but do know now is that Oceania does not bring Margaritaville any place they cruise - they leave that to other lines. It’s a rather sedate cruise line rather than a party atmosphere one.

 

1 hour ago, RLM77 said:

.  I wish I could say we had a good time on Oceania, but it was just too sedate for us.  Those who prefer excellent service and an upscale environment will most likely find what they seek on O.  Those who want to let their hair (or what's left of it) down on a cruise will not be happy.  Count us among the latter.

I am sorry that you did not have a good time but as you found out and noted, Oceania does not seem to be a good fit for you. Would it suit you better in the Med or Baltic vs the Carib with its entertainment and atmosphere?

That is just the way it is - they cannot be a line for everyone’s tastes or likes. We all make choices, often learned the hard (as in expensive)  way

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/25/2019 at 7:54 PM, Waynetor said:

there is no way most people in wheelchairs or scooter could get through the doors without help

I agree!  The last few cruises my mom was able to take we used a small travel wheelchair to get around the ship and the ports (when she went ashore).  I said several numerous times this cruise (and on prior times on Insignia) to DH, "I couldn't imagine trying to get Mom through that door!"  referring to the doors to the outside decks.  Never mind the tiny elevators!  The R class ships are great, but they were certainly designed before considerations for those with mobility challenges.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, RLM77 said:

Forgive me, but I am having trouble seeing what I left "between the lines."  If LHT28 is willing to elaborate then I will try to further fill in the gaps.

 

Rich

I was not necessarily  saying your  review was  a "read between the lines" type 

You had a good idea  of what the ship may be like  with the exception of entertainment

 Some reviews  complain about the small cabins/ small W/C  ...maybe they did not check the size  before booking

 

People that cruise on  main stream lines are used to more action & much later than on Oceania plus more variety

You do get more bang for your buck on the main stream lines ..they have more pax to pay for the  extras

 

Oceania  seems to be for those that  enjoy meeting others &  can entertaining themselves

most pax on Oceania  do not go for the Margaritaville  atmosphere onboard

The mere mention of children onboard  send many into fits of  rage that the cruiseline like O would allow  them onboard to disturb  the status quo

 

If you decide to try Oceania again maybe check the other ships

H/C are only inside on the R ships  with the exception of Sirena  where have 2 outside cabins on deck 4

the larger ships have some h/c  balcony & outside cabins

 

Another recent thread  someone mentioned a couple taking 6 suitcases  to accommodate their formal wear & were disappointed ..not many others dressed up ...

Oceania does not have formal  nights nor is it required to wear Jackets/ties

So they will not be cruising Oceania  again..why because they did not do their research

this is the type of reviews  where you need to read between the lines

The couple  obviously did not do their  research 

 

if you read the reviews  you can tell those people that are used to cruising on bigger ships with more action

less cost, more restaurant to choose from  etc...

 

Everyone has to decide what line works best for them  

no cruise line works for everyone  & NO cruise line is perfect

just my opinion 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, bradpole said:

I agree!  The last few cruises my mom was able to take we used a small travel wheelchair to get around the ship and the ports (when she went ashore).  I said several numerous times this cruise (and on prior times on Insignia) to DH, "I couldn't imagine trying to get Mom through that door!"  referring to the doors to the outside decks.  Never mind the tiny elevators!  The R class ships are great, but they were certainly designed before considerations for those with mobility challenges.  

Some of the doors are hard even for able bodied people to open

On  the larger ships they have  the automatic opener on some   but still have a lip  to get chairs or scooters over ... probably to keep water out

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on this same sailing, and there were quite a few passengers using scooters.  As the OP pointed out, the elevators are quite compact, and access through outside deck doors is challenging for anyone with mobility issues.  Maybe they weren’t aware of this when they booked.  I would not recommend the R ships for those folks. 

 

 I disagree with the OP about the music.  With my nose in a book even on the pool deck, I was very pleased they didn’t have thumping music out there.  Different strokes, right?

 

Food is subjective, and it’s one of the reasons we love O - the food and the staff.  Someone mentioned the menu in GDR was smaller than in the past.  I have to say there wasn’t one night when we didn’t see something on the menu that excited us.  In fact I actually prefer the GDR to Polo.  I’m sure many will disagree with that statement, but that’s OK too.

 

Key take-away is to do your research to understand if your expectations fit the product.  Happy sailing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, YoPhilly said:

Key take-away is to do your research to understand if your expectations fit the product.

This is very true - research can be very helpful indeed as well as having reasonable expectations.

Even with this good planning, the proof is in the pudding - only actually taking the cruise can one decide if the product suits their preferences.

Someone saying that O has the best food at sea may not hold water for someone else. Likewise, someone may think that entertainment on O is substandard while others may think it’s just fine.

There is nothing like experiences the cruise line in person.

Edited by Paulchili

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/25/2019 at 7:55 PM, LHT28 said:

food is subjective  so I would go with an open mind & judge for yourself

A couple of other reviews on the same cruise  with different outlooks  🤔

 

 

 

On the same cruise as Brad and Rick and in agreement with them. 
We usually cruise O Class, rarely an R ship, but wanted a local get away, so booked Insignia, expecting a good time but not up to O Class. We were wrong!

The refurbishment is beautiful.....cabin and exterior.  Everything new!

Lots of storage, outlets, huge lighted mirror over vanity area, comfortable verandah chairs. 

We ate in the specialty restaurants several times.....excellent food and service. 
The GDR was open for lunch almost daily....not so on Marina in Europe last May. I believe that Oceania monitors its passengers at the ports and apparently shuts GDR when the vast majority are off the ship for the majority of the day.  As many passengers go to the Caribbean multiple times, some don’t get off at every port and many return early. Therefore, GDR open for lunch. 
We dine late and sometimes catch the last 15 minutes of the shows. We agree that the entertainment is not as good as mega ships and Horizons late night is fairly empty but not a priority for us.  We sit on the verandah, play Sinatra on our music cube (low) and have a night cap.....great entertainment!
As to comments regarding the captain’s level of interaction with passengers and not appearing suave, they’re hired for their ship expertise and keeping us safe......not looking like Marcelo Mastroianni. 🤣  
Rick......not only loud music from Majesty of the Seas but we encountered a very happy and noticeably inebriated group from the neighboring Carnival ship when docked in St. Martin. Made us also appreciate the soft jazz at the pool. 
Ship wait staff has always worked at different venues during day/night. Their contract sets schedule and job description.  How could this get included in a “negatives” list?
Next cruise in December on Riviera. Hope the refurbishment is as nice as Insignia.

 


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the last O cruise we were on the decision on whether the GDR would be open or not was made at least the day before, as it was in the Currents each day. I guess they could look at how many ships tours are booked and make an educated guess from there depending on the port, location and expected weather, but I doubt it. I'd think the decision is made well in advance. I hope it's open more in the Caribbean as we are going to be spending 20 days on the Marina real soon now. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...