Jump to content

Oceania Riviera B2B Review a Home Run!


Recommended Posts

B2B Oceania Riviera Cruise November 15th to December 5th.


We just got back from another short cruise and with the holidays and all just haven't had time to get this review in.


Food:    Are you kidding me the food was awesome!  Grand Dining Room, Terrace Cafe, Red Ginger and Polo were our favorites!  Jaques and Toscana were very good as well.  The waiters on this ship are excellent!  We were trying to get a bad one as an inside joke and couldn't.  Our favorite waiter Eduardo ended his contract at the end of our first leg and we found him still working at 11pm the night before and gave him a nice tip and got a picture with our new friend.   Ask for Kathryn a Supervisor in the Terrace Cafe and tell her we say hi.


Entertainment:    Found out all but one of the production team were brand new and had been training in Tampa prior.  I was amazed how they pulled it off like they were veterans.  The Cruise Director deserves some credit there as well as all the burden fell on her.  I would be very nervous if I had basically a brand new team onstage.   For having a small stage we were quite impressed with the shows.  I think we had lower expectations in this area and they exceeded this by a bunch.
Ship activities:  This concerned us as we had never been on a ship this small but there was plenty to do and we were never bored.  It was also nice the production team were out there running the activities and they were having fun too because they were all new!


Pool area:    Yes the chair hogs are alive and well on Oceania as well.   We often went to the front of the ship as we were Concierge Class.


Cabin:    Nateesh and Aji were spot on for 20 consecutive days and they always seemed to know where we were going and when we would be back.  We had zero problem with the cabin size over the 20 days.


Ports:    We did alot of things in the different ports but I would say the highlight was renting a car in St Barts and driving the entire island and stopping and taking pictures and then a nice swim at the hotel at Eden Rock which had reopened after a two year renovation.  We also had a great time walking into town in Guatemala and then bargaining with the locals bringing back jade rings, coffee and chocolate.


Misc:  We had a few very small issues which I won't list and only one employee who was not up to the standards of this great cruise.  I will not name them because I think it is wrong to call people out on the internet like that.  It impacts them personally and professionally and their department heads and in my opinion shows no class by people who do that. Years ago we would write a letter which we can still do or we can mention it on our survey,  but we wouldn't publicly shame people and their bosses.  For 20 days on a ship I would call those few issues........normal.


Thank you to those who helped us newbies plan and now that we have our O luggage tags we feel properly indoctrinated.  On a side note I was amazed when we got off the ship after the first leg how many Oceania employees asked us if we were on a back to back.  It is proper terminology after all!   When we came back to the ship from Miami Bayside they asked us if we were on a B2B and moved us quickly to the front of the line.  We never even brought up the terminology they just kept saying B2B.


Conclusion:   We did not want to get off the ship but because we had so much great food for health reasons we had to!  Now back to our regular routine and we will work off the extra pounds we gained!  It was worth every fork full!  This was a 5 star cruise for us and one we will never forget.  Yes we have had better cabins like in the Haven.  Yes we have seen great production shows on other lines.  But the food and the overall experience including the cabin and the shows was arguably our best cruise out of the 24 we have taken.  We did meet with the GM and gave him a long list of the people who we met who made our trip memorable.  There was at least 20 names some of which that I mentioned here.  He took notes as well.


We bought our future cruise certificates and will begin glancing at when we will be on Oceania next.

 

 Happy Holidays to all and to all a good night.  🙂


 

Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, Nymich said:

B2B Oceania Riviera Cruise November 15th to December 5th.


Ports:    

On a side note I was amazed when we got off the ship after the first leg how many Oceania employees asked us if we were on a back to back.  It is proper terminology after all!   When we came back to the ship from Miami Bayside they asked us if we were on a B2B and moved us quickly to the front of the line.  We never even brought up the terminology they just kept saying B2B


 

Glad you thoroughly enjoyed your first Oceania cruise "segments." It's not unusual to hear that happiness from folks who have moved to O from other lines. 

 

As for the ever continuing discussion about the term "B2B," you will never see that wording in any recent/current Oceania marketing materials because the pricing/cruise credits now associated with consecutive cruise segments are very specifically related to how the consecutive segments are assembled/titled/booked. 

 

There was a time in O's history when B2Bs (separate booking numbers) were regularly booked by both O and TAs. But, more than a year ago, all consecutive segments not already marketed/advertised as "extended journeys" (I.e., multiple segments with a single booking number and discounted total price), were supposed to start being booked as "custom cruises,"' also with single booking numbers, total discount and other idiosyncrasies.

 

However, the transition appears to drag on with some separate booking number B2Bs being deposited by "behind-the-times" well meaning TAs. In many cases, the error is corrected by the home office and a single booking number with corrected discounted pricing/perks is assigned (note that, for awhile, this was also problematic for the website account- but that's now fixed).

 

While the pros and cons of "yes/no B2B"  have been discussed often here on CC, suffice to say that how best to book (or try to book) on O  depends in large part on a mix of itinerary length, cruise cost and loyalty status.

 

What is clear, however, is that "staff" in a terminal (many of  whom are port employees or non-O Club Ambassador O staff) are not schooled in the booking distinctions and just use the common vernacular associated with multiple segments in the cruise industry.

 

It may seem unimportant right now. But when you go to book that future long/expensive multi-segment O Cruise, the difference in booking terminology can represent significantly more than "chump change" in your bottom line.

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

 

 

What is clear, however, is that "staff" in a terminal (many of  whom are port employees or non-O Club Ambassador O staff) are not schooled in the booking distinctions and just use the common vernacular associated with multiple segments in the cruise industry.

The terminology B2B was used by EVERYBODY including our Room stewards, Waiters, Terrace Café staff, Guest Relations as well as Future Cruise Department.  It was not just a land thing.  May have started on land but at least in Miami on these two cruises it made its way to sea.

1 hour ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

 

It may seem unimportant right now. But when you go to book that future long/expensive multi-segment O Cruise, the difference in booking terminology can represent significantly more than "chump change" in your bottom line.

Very good info

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if this information about our B2B (I'll use the old terminology) will help but I thought I'd mention it.

 

This was a May 2018 cruise boarding in Monte Carlo; our interim port was Civitavecchia and the departure port was Venice. The total days were 15. We had ONE booking number but we got the amenities in our OC on both legs:  the "free gifts" (beach towels and hats for both of us) and the 6 bottle liquor set-up. We received our blue booklets separately -- the second one was delayed for the second leg of the cruise.  We were rather surprised that they didn't just print ONE.  OTOH, if you are on a very extended cruise I can see where sending one booklet covering everything could be very cumbersome -- especially if you are on the RTW but even if you are on for "only" 40-50 days.

 

I remember some discussion with our TA about how to book it -- extended cruise or whatever -- but don't recall the details.  We booked the way that was most advantageous in terms of final cost as far as I recall.

 

Then again the ship lost our paid La Reserve reservation on the first leg but was able to replace it (with a higher cost dinner) on the second leg.  I don't know what they would have done if we'd only been on the first leg.  Perhaps just refund our money?  Very possibly.

 

Mura

 

P.S.  I just checked an email we received from our TA early on in the process:  This is what she said ...

 

This is what Oceania calls a combination cruise, so you will receive your club amenities and the O Life amenities on both segments.

 

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

I don't know if this information about our B2B (I'll use the old terminology) will help but I thought I'd mention it.

 

This was a May 2018 cruise boarding in Monte Carlo; our interim port was Civitavecchia and the departure port was Venice. The total days were 15. We had ONE booking number but we got the amenities in our OC on both legs:  the "free gifts" (beach towels and hats for both of us) and the 6 bottle liquor set-up. We received our blue booklets separately -- the second one was delayed for the second leg of the cruise.  We were rather surprised that they didn't just print ONE.  OTOH, if you are on a very extended cruise I can see where sending one booklet covering everything could be very cumbersome -- especially if you are on the RTW but even if you are on for "only" 40-50 days.

 

I remember some discussion with our TA about how to book it -- extended cruise or whatever -- but don't recall the details.  We booked the way that was most advantageous in terms of final cost as far as I recall.

 

Then again the ship lost our paid La Reserve reservation on the first leg but was able to replace it (with a higher cost dinner) on the second leg.  I don't know what they would have done if we'd only been on the first leg.  Perhaps just refund our money?  Very possibly.

 

Mura

 

P.S.  I just checked an email we received from our TA early on in the process:  This is what she said ...

 

This is what Oceania calls a combination cruise, so you will receive your club amenities and the O Life amenities on both segments.

 

The official term for what you had is "custom cruise" (i.e., you determine an unpublished multi-segment itinerary) and, usually, the associated perks can be better than they are for the "extended journeys" (which are the published/marketed discounted multi-segment cruises). 

 

Further confusing things is the O website "find a cruise" tool, which lists the "extended cruises" under the heading "grand voyages." There used to be a group of "grand voyages" which were 3-4 or more segments. But they now are left to "custom" bookings and someone forgot to change the website name in the marketing of the "extended voyages," which are only 2-3 consecutive segments.

 

BTW, in general, the reason why the discounted "extended journeys" may not be as value laden with extra perks as are the "custom cruises" is mostly because they (the published "extended journeys") are very popular itineraries that sell out quickly.

 

Bottom line: supply and demand.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was onboard the Riviera for the leg from November 25th to December 5th.  The cruise director was Dottie.  She was great!  She was also the cruise director on my Alaska cruise a few years ago.  We enjoyed her on that cruise as well.  I have read the fairly recent posts about her and I am surprised that some were so negative.  She was not loud or over the top as some stated.  She was always pleasant and helpful whenever we saw her.

 

I agree with Nymich that the food was great.  We ate in every venue.  The Dover Sole in Jacques was as wonderful as ever.  The Terrace Cafe had many new items since my 28 day cruise last year.  Delicious!  Some posters have said the quality of the food has gone down a bit on Oceania  but we didn't experience that.  

 

The servers were excellent.  We had many favorites.  My only complaint is that the final comment survey was only online.  I tried for two days to complete it, but either there was no internet (I complained, to no avail) or the survey program was malfunctioning.  I tried to compliment the servers and our butler. But it came out in Yoda-speak.  When I typed "Anand was an excellent butler,"  it came out as "Butler Excellent An Was Anand."  (Yes, all initial capital letters).  I gave up and didn't complete my comments.  Who could decipher them anyway?  The tech guy at the computer room was no help.  He blamed it on too many people not logging off when not using the internet.  But, I knew Oceania has horrible internet, so I resorted to old-fashioned handwritten comments.

 

Our suite was excellent.  We received an upsell offer to a Vista Suite.  The initial offer was too high, but after several phone calls with Oceania the price came down, so I grabbed it.  We were in 12001.  The location was great!  We did not experience any problems with that location, except a little wind one day.  I spent time sitting on the veranda every day.  I would love to have that suite every cruise!

Link to post
Share on other sites

We will be taking our first Oceania cruise in February.   So delighted to hear such positive comments.   I have read some negative things lately.   Your report assures me we are going to enjoy Oceania.

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

I was onboard the Riviera for the leg from November 25th to December 5th.  The cruise director was Dottie.  She was great!  She was also the cruise director on my Alaska cruise a few years ago.  We enjoyed her on that cruise as well.  I have read the fairly recent posts about her and I am surprised that some were so negative.  She was not loud or over the top as some stated.  She was always pleasant and helpful whenever we saw her.

The problem that many of us have with Dottie does not involve her terrific personality, great Trivia and helpfulness.

The problem is the incessant hawking of shipboard services on her morning show and throughout the day on the PA system ad nauseum (far more than any other Oceania CD we know). Worse still, she suggests that O requires it, which we know is not true.

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

We will be taking our first Oceania cruise in February.   So delighted to hear such positive comments.   I have read some negative things lately.   Your report assures me we are going to enjoy Oceania.

From your profile, it looks like you may be a Celebrity regular. Don't worry, you'll be overjoyed at O's excellent food and service.

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

We will be taking our first Oceania cruise in February.   So delighted to hear such positive comments.   I have read some negative things lately.   Your report assures me we are going to enjoy Oceania.

I tried to write fairly about our experience and having done a few cruises we know how to keep our expectations in check and let the rest take care of itself.  Unfortunately the negativity has a way of smothering out the positives on CC sometimes.

It appears this review helped one person (so far) so thanks for the kind comments.  You will have a great time!🙂

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Nymich said:

I tried to write fairly about our experience and having done a few cruises we know how to keep our expectations in check and let the rest take care of itself.  Unfortunately the negativity has a way of smothering out the positives on CC sometimes.

It appears this review helped one person (so far) so thanks for the kind comments.  You will have a great time!🙂

I really appreciated your efforts. Getting ready to embark Sirena next month, and I was becoming very alarmed that my expectations (based on previous O cruises) might be unrealistic. You have reminded me that maybe (!) possibly (!) it might be okay. Or even excellent. 
 

thank you and Happy Holidays!

 

Donna

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was on Sirena last year from Athens to Miami.  It was terrific!  Many evenings in the Terrace Cafe they set up made to order cooking stations, usually on the outside dining area, featuring Indian, Spanish, and fresh fish, among others.  It was fun to talk with the chefs as they cooked my food.  You will love Sirena!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dan, nice meeting you & your wife onboard. I'm happy to see your positive review, especially since you said I influenced to choice to book both cruises. I also enjoyed this B2B cruise quite a bit. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, ORV said:

Dan, nice meeting you & your wife onboard. I'm happy to see your positive review, especially since you said I influenced to choice to book both cruises. I also enjoyed this B2B cruise quite a bit. 

Yes you were a big influence and the one who led me to the B2B and very helpful with other tips

prior to the cruise as well.  I know you have done 20 plus cruises with O but you call balls and strikes

fairly and my Wife and I found the two of you to be "very kind".  

 

 (@cruisingxpert)was awesome prior to the the cruise/s and it was nice to meet her as well.  We ran into her up on the mountain in St. Bart's and it was funny because she helped give me some tips on renting cars there.  We ended up there at the same time far from the ship!  When I got in my rental car to drive away I had to smile about how information I got from people like the two of you impacted our great trip.

 

Nice to see how this community can really help out when you need it. 

 

So if anyone is new to O and wants people who have the wisdom and patience to walk you through it all here are two that helped us a bunch!.  And now...…..we know a little bit too!

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

 

 

 (@cruisingxpert)was awesome prior to the the cruise/s and it was nice to meet her as well.  We ran into her up on the mountain in St. Bart's and it was funny because she helped give me some tips on renting cars there.  We ended up there at the same time far from the ship!  When I got in my rental car to drive away I had to smile about how information I got from people like the two of you impacted our great trip.

 

 

 

 

It was nice to meet you and Dawn on this trip and what a small world to see each other on St Barts.  Thank you for the kind words to me and to Orv & Teresa.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, cruisingxpert said:

It was nice to meet you and Dawn on this trip and what a small world to see each other on St Barts.  Thank you for the kind words to me and to Orv & Teresa.

You are very welcome Catherine 🙂

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
      • Thank You for 25 Years - Click for Fun Stuff!
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: American Queen Steamboat Company - Celebrate Your Freedom
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com - June 2021
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...