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Big Ships (Riviera) vs. small ships (Regatta)


molemaui
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When we last sailed Oceania this past summer, we were in a Concierge Veranda which is listed at 282 ft/2 including the veranda. I've noticed the smaller ships such as the Regatta have veranda cabins at only 216 ft/2. 

 

Has anyone who has sailed both classes of ships noticed the regatta is too small and a need to upgrade to the penthouse suite which is only 322 ft/2?

 

Because of price points I book suites when on Celebrity or HAL. With Oceania we were perfectly happy in the Concierge Veranda but are looking at itineraries on the smaller ships. Really interested in your observations regarding the differences in cabin sizes. 

 

 

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This is a good question Larger O ships have more included specialty restaurants, an area for cooking classes and an art studio The smaller ships can dock closer in many ports Both are very nice I would take either class 

 

 

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We like both ship categories.  Yes, for us on the "R" ships we prefer the PH.  BUT -- we took a downsell a few years ago on Nautica from a PH to a B1 and were not at all unhappy with the space.  Considering that when we first sailed on the "R" ships in the late 1990s I really objected to the shower.  But when we took that downsell in 2016 it didn't bother me at all.  And of course now they have been "renovated" so that shower curtain is no longer there.

 

As Ginabab said, there are more opportunities on the "O" ships for restaurants, crafts, etc.  There are many here who prefer one ship category over the other, but we are not among them.  And many prefer the smaller size of the "R" ships.

 

We like all of the ships ...

 

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I liked the Riviera better for her size and amenities. We were on the Regatta with a butler and on an Azamara ship (same ship class) in a narrow balcony cabin. I hated the shower curtain on the Azamara ship and the feeling of being crowded when the weather was cool and passengers couldn't sit outside. On sea days, we spend much time in the cabin and on our balcony.

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Each ship has its points   Have sailed in PH on both down to Insides.       I book  the larger ships  in B#3  extended verandas as they are way better than the PH  in usable  space   Who wants to dine in the cabin at the foot of the bed....    On R ships the PH is ok  but a poor value.. The verandas, while underway are not all that usable...wind rain,  make them mostly not practical   ( vista suites I heard are booked by Lockheed to test air foils  when their wind tunnels are broken.....)

 I book F insides on the PH deck  R ships and find the difference in space not a problem   Its all about cabin location to me.... Why spend for minimal return.   Veranda and concierige cabins are really inside cabins with a balcony !     Ocean view  even smaller than insides !!! 

 O ships for art classes and extra restaurants.   R class for that homey feel and classic decor.   I enjoy the shower as it is easire to use tha the PH/tub set up.    Butlers to me are a 5th wheel....  intrusive and to me useless.

I find the ride on both classes to be the same..... It  is personal ..  The older I get  the less I need.   I would rather have a less expensive cabin and have more outside the cabin experiences with others than get a place to hole up.... I found the view from Horizons and main desk to be vastly more satisfying than any veranda  .

Edited by Hawaiidan
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We've bern on Marina twice and Sirena once. We had a B1 on Marina both times - was large and comfortable. We like midship with cabins above and below and tend to choose the lowest level cabin that gets us that. 

On Sirena we chose A1 concierge for the same reason. We were apprehensive because we had never been in that small a cabin but it was fine. Bathroons are very small but the rest of the cabin felt large with plenty of storage.

 

We love the O ships and have a cruise booked on the Riviera for Oct 2020. The Sirena was a lovely ship in most resoects except we found the GDR and Terrace food was not nearly as good as on the Marina. Would still take it again.

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22 hours ago, molemaui said:

When we last sailed Oceania this past summer, we were in a Concierge Veranda which is listed at 282 ft/2 including the veranda. I've noticed the smaller ships such as the Regatta have veranda cabins at only 216 ft/2. 

 

Has anyone who has sailed both classes of ships noticed the regatta is too small and a need to upgrade to the penthouse suite which is only 322 ft/2?

 

Because of price points I book suites when on Celebrity or HAL. With Oceania we were perfectly happy in the Concierge Veranda but are looking at itineraries on the smaller ships. Really interested in your observations regarding the differences in cabin sizes. 

 

 

We normally book PH stateroom on both the O and R ships because, although we are not big people in height or width, we like the room size.  We tend to spend time in the stateroom, especially on sea days and enjoy the hot breakfast in the suite, rather than in one of the dining venues.  This especially works for us on day with morning excursions.

 

We tried a Veranda on an O ship once and found ourselves tripping over each other.  We never tried a Veranda on an R ship, but "toured" one and realized it would not work for us at all.

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5 hours ago, srdancer said:

We were apprehensive because we had never been in that small a cabin but it was fine. Bathroons are very small but the rest of the cabin felt large with plenty of storage.

There exists one very misleading misconception about veranda cabins on R vs O class ships - at least IMO.

The numbers show that the O class cabin is much larger but in reality most of that difference is in the larger bathroom rather than the cabin itself. In fact, the R class cabin itself  is very close in size to the one on O class but the R class actually has better storage space and more logical location of the closet

The O class bathrooms are definitely larger and that in itself is nice.

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26 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

There exists one very misleading misconception about veranda cabins on R vs O class ships - at least IMO.

The numbers show that the O class cabin is much larger but in reality most of that difference is in the larger bathroom rather than the cabin itself. In fact, the R class cabin itself  is very close in size to the one on O class but the R class actually has better storage space and more logical location of the closet

The O class bathrooms are definitely larger and that in itself is nice.

Paul,

Thanks for highlighting the potential pitfall when comparing O and R Veranda stateroom sizes.  The same is true when comparing PHs on O and R ships.  The larger bathrooms and walkin closet on the O ships eat up a significant chunk of difference between the overall stateroom sizes.  In terms of living/bedroom space, the difference is much smaller,.  We find that when the rather awkward dining table at the foot of the bed on the O ships is taken into account the useful living/bedroom space on the O ship doesn't feel much larger than on an R ship.

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I also prefer the PH on the "R" ships to the "O" ships in terms of dining in the room.  (The larger bathroom and closet is certainly welcome!)  I do NOT like putting the dinner table at the foot of the bed as happens on the "O" ships.  I find that the location of the diner table on the "R" ships is far more comfortable.

 

Then again, the OC on the "O" ships is also a lot more comfortable than the PH ...  But of course the OC comes at a rather larger cost.

 

Mura

 

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On 1/2/2020 at 7:49 PM, ginabab said:

This is a good question Larger O ships have more included specialty restaurants, an area for cooking classes and an art studio The smaller ships can dock closer in many ports Both are very nice I would take either class 

 

 

 

Can you or someone else provide some examples of ports where R ships can dock but O ships cannot? Or where both ships can dock but bigger ships like Celebrity cannot?

 

Thank you!

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30 minutes ago, ak1004 said:

 

Can you or someone else provide some examples of ports where R ships can dock but O ships cannot? Or where both ships can dock but bigger ships like Celebrity cannot?

 

Thank you!

I can think of four very important examples where R ships can dock much closer to town and O ships cannot

1 Saigon

2Bangkok

3 Shanghai

4 St. Petersburg

There may be others as well

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1 hour ago, Paulchili said:

I can think of four very important examples where R ships can dock much closer to town and O ships cannot

1 Saigon

2Bangkok

3 Shanghai

4 St. Petersburg

There may be others as well

 

Haven't yet cruised on O but based on my small ship experience on other lines I imagine Seville might be another one?

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18 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

Haven't yet cruised on O but based on my small ship experience on other lines I imagine Seville might be another one?

I have not been there on an R ship as yet - only larger ships that dock in Cadiz.

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6 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

I have not been there on an R ship as yet - only larger ships that dock in Cadiz.

 

Just looked up the port schedule -- in August 2020, both Oceania Sirena and Azamara Quest call at the Seville port (not Cadiz), so it would appear the R class ships can navigate up the river.

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42 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

Just looked up the port schedule -- in August 2020, both Oceania Sirena and Azamara Quest call at the Seville port (not Cadiz), so it would appear the R class ships can navigate up the river.

It would appear to be the case.

Our Marina in May 2020 says Seville (Cadiz).

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We have sailed twice on Marina and once on Nautica (longer voyage here in May!).  We had veranda cabins all 3 times but I would like to point something out about use.  In French Polynesia, we sat on our balcony with a drink almost every night enjoying the view or the sail away.  In the Baltic, it was not nice enough nor timing right to sit outside every night (in July) so we did not use the balcony much. Same thing with Nautica: weather was not always pleasant enough nor was the timing right (Iberian Peninsula-Atlantic portion had rougher seas).  We have an inside booked for Southeast Asia as there are plenty of places to sit outside the cabin.

 

Also, Marina had to be way outside of town in St Petersburg as mentioned above so that an R ship might be a better choice for that cruise (it is very port intensive so hard to do all the things available on O ships).  When the ships do the overnight at Bordeaux, R ships can usually dock in the town but I heard that O ships cannot always do that and the ocean port is far away from most of the things to be visited.  Even the R ship had to leave town the next morning while the tides were right so that all tours returned to the ocean port.

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I believe that it is a mistake to use port access as a guide to what value the R ships carry.

 

In this day and age where the "average" cruise ship is becoming larger than the Superliners of our parents generation,  there IS something to be said for the experience of sailing with 600 others versus 6000.

 

The R ships are  the only small ship option at anywhere NEAR their pricepoints.

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22 minutes ago, StanandJim said:

I believe that it is a mistake to use port access as a guide to what value the R ships carry.

 

In this day and age where the "average" cruise ship is becoming larger than the Superliners of our parents generation,  there IS something to be said for the experience of sailing with 600 others versus 6000.

 

The R ships are  the only small ship option at anywhere NEAR their pricepoints.

Not true. The Windstar yachts are at close to the same price point as the R ships if you plan ahead. Now, they carry 200 pax but after the stretch they will carry 300. I have sailed on both Oceania R ships and Windstar yachts so I have firsthand experience. For a Caribbean or warm weather itinerary, I prefer Windstar for the water sports platform. If you like to snorkel, Windstar gives you a set of snorkel equipment to use during the duration of the cruise. That's a plus, not having to pack and bring your own.

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1 hour ago, StanandJim said:

I believe that it is a mistake to use port access as a guide to what value the R ships carry.

 

In this day and age where the "average" cruise ship is becoming larger than the Superliners of our parents generation,  there IS something to be said for the experience of sailing with 600 others versus 6000.

 

The R ships are  the only small ship option at anywhere NEAR their pricepoints.

 

I would agree with your first statement if amended to say it is a mistake to use port access as THE ONLY guide to what value the R ships carry.  The port access is a HUGE deal to someone who cruises more for the ports and itinerary than for the onboard experience (yet still wants a nice onboard experience!). I do agree there is a more pleasant experience onboard when there are fewer people. I enjoy it when the same people sitting next to you at the pool also end up in front of you in the buffet line and across from you on the excursion. It just creates a greater rapport.

 

(There are a few other "niche" options for small ships. I've sailed extensively on Aegean Odyssey in the Med, a 350 passenger ship with excellent guest lecturers related to itinerary, free wine/beer/soft drinks with dinner, no gratuities and less expensive than O....)  I wish there were more choices!  

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On 1/2/2020 at 5:50 PM, molemaui said:

When we last sailed Oceania this past summer, we were in a Concierge Veranda which is listed at 282 ft/2 including the veranda. I've noticed the smaller ships such as the Regatta have veranda cabins at only 216 ft/2. 

 

Has anyone who has sailed both classes of ships noticed the regatta is too small and a need to upgrade to the penthouse suite which is only 322 ft/2?

 

Because of price points I book suites when on Celebrity or HAL. With Oceania we were perfectly happy in the Concierge Veranda but are looking at itineraries on the smaller ships. Really interested in your observations regarding the differences in cabin sizes. 

We've sailed on the Nautica and Sirena in an aft-facing A1 cabin and loved them! If you enjoy aft-facing views, then that would be our recommendation for the R class ships. Yes, the bathrooms are small on the R-class balcony cabins, but they serve their purpose. On O class ships, we have sailed many times on the Riviera and had no issues with the size of the balcony cabins. On those cruises we usually booked an A3 as we enjoyed the 3 free bags of laundry and the location really didn't matter.

 

But we never have stayed in a PH as the price point for us just never seemed worth the extra $100+ pp/day for a slightly bigger cabin and a few extra days to make specialty restaurant reservations.

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25 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

We've sailed on the Nautica and Sirena in an aft-facing A1 cabin and loved them! If you enjoy aft-facing views, then that would be our recommendation for the R class ships. Yes, the bathrooms are small on the R-class balcony cabins, but they serve their purpose. On O class ships, we have sailed many times on the Riviera and had no issues with the size of the balcony cabins. On those cruises we usually booked an A3 as we enjoyed the 3 free bags of laundry and the location really didn't matter.

 

But we never have stayed in a PH as the price point for us just never seemed worth the extra $100+ pp/day for a slightly bigger cabin and a few extra days to make specialty restaurant reservations.

 

Thanks for the insight. Perhaps we'll try the smaller ship on a 7 day cruise just to see if we're comfortable. We love smaller ships (Silversea and Regent) but their basic veranda is over 300 ft/2. Do not see at all the value of Regent (very average at best cruise) but absolutely loved Silversea except for having to get dressed up. 

 

Oceana seems to be the best of all worlds given ship size and outstanding food and casual.

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14 hours ago, ak1004 said:

 

Can you or someone else provide some examples of ports where R ships can dock but O ships cannot? Or where both ships can dock but bigger ships like Celebrity cannot?

 

Thank you!

Bermuda, docking in Hamilton or St George vs Royal Dockyards. 

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2 hours ago, susiesan said:

Not true. The Windstar yachts are at close to the same price point as the R ships if you plan ahead. Now, they carry 200 pax but after the stretch they will carry 300.

I do not consider the Windstar boats to be in the same luxury league as the R ships.  Their cabin  bathrooms make those on the R ships look like Ballrooms.

FWIW I also find their "Chariots of Fire" sail away routine to be inane and mindless.

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