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Celebrity cruisers considering Oceana


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We are currently scheduled to go on a Celebrity Reflection cruise to the Baltic in August 2021.  While this cruise has not been cancelled (yet), it seems with each passing day that if it sails, the itinerary may be changed (or perhaps being forced to take the Celebrity shore excursions), which could be a deal breaker for us.   

 

All things considered, we would be starting from scratch as we look to 2022.  I've spent some time looking at Oceana Mediterranean itineraries (Baltic prices seem so HIGH).  We have several Celebrity cruises under our belts, and we typically travel with a beverage package, and have done both ocean view and verandah cabins.  We have paid for specialty dining 1-3 times per trip (I understand most options on Oceana are included).  

 

We definitely have enjoyed the food on Celebrity (especially Murano), and the small music ensembles in the lounges, etc.  We are in our late 50's, and not looking for the amusement parks, water parks, etc., and appreciate a very refined, elegant experience (which is what is appealing about Oceana).  

 

It looks like Oceana might be a good fit for us?  Curious to hear from people with experience on both?  We also have experience on HAL, MSC (Caribbean cruise on Divina - really liked it), and Carnival (never again!). 

 

Major concern is what appears to be a large leap in prices from this year into 2022 (but Celebrity is doing this too).

 

Appreciate any comments or advice.

 

Thanks,

Dale

Edited by DENIE
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We have sailed Celebrity quite a few times and only sailed Oceania once but have had one Oceania Covid cancelled and one to Alaska on the Regatta that we don't think will sail. We've got one on Sirena for next year that we think should embark.

Oceania has two different sized ships. The smaller carry 690 passengers and are sister ships to the Azamara fleet. We have sailed with Azamara. The two larger ships carry 1250 passengers and have the four specialty restaurants while the smaller ships have just two.

We quite liked our Marina (1250 passengers) sailing. The cabin was well laid out. The balcony was smaller than Celebrity's balconies on the M and S class ships. The bathroom was larger. But on the smaller ships unless you are in a Penthouse suite (or above) the bathrooms are tiny. With a good itinerary it's just something to accept and deal with.

The food, for the most part, is better than the MDR on any Celebrity ship we have sailed within the last ten years. The Waves Grill (poolside) really does (or did) serve small lobster for lunch. 

The ambiance is a little more refined. There is little action in the casino and no pool games. It's definitely not stuffy and we found the passengers quite friendly. 

 

With the new pricing on Celebrity Oceania is looking far more attractive.

There are quite a few Cruise Critic members on the Oceania board who have sailed Celebrity extensively and many find Oceania more to their liking.

I do think for the short term, perhaps till middle 2022 or so, every cruise line will require shore excursions be booked via the ship. Wish it were otherwise..... Take a look at the O excursions and factor in the O Life component and you will have a better idea of cruise + excursions + amenities etc. 

I know others will pop in to share their more expansive experiences with Oceania. 

It's good to contemplate options.

 

 

 

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alcpa1

Thanks!  Very good info!  Sounds like a good fit for us.  Agree with your comments on the pool and casino.  We might spend 5 minutes in the casino and blow $20, and we like the pools, but not some of the crazy pool games (like on Carnival - ugh!).  Good to hear about the food, which IS important to us.  Also was looking at the O Life options.

 

We will see what happens over the coming months.  I hope we don't have to take a break from cruising, as it truly is a great escape for us! 🙂

 

 

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Hi Dale,

 

We are Elite on Celebrity and have been on Riviera twice and Sirena once. We are also booked on the Riviera TA for March 2022. We see the comparison this way, based on our experience:

 

Food - hands down Oceania is way better. The specialties are comparable to Murano and much better than Tuscan Grill. The terrace buffet is much better than Celebrity's buffet. The Oceania MDR is far better than Celebrity's MDR or AQ Blue and Celebrity does not have anything to compare to Waves. All of these are included in your fare. If you would typically spend $ on these, then that serves to offset the fare to some extent.

 

Beverages - Soda, fruit juices, bottled water and the coffee bar are all included in your fare on Oceania. If you would typically spend $ on these, then that serves to offset the fare to some extent. The drink packages on Oceania are pricey. Note that the basic beverage package is lunch and dinner only. However, Oceania does allow alcohol to be brought on board for consumption in your cabin.

 

Service - Oceania is somewhat better but this is situational. We have had both good and bad service on both lines. Oceania does seem to have a better crew/passenger ratio.

 

Entertainment - hands down Celebrity is way better. Oceania has less activity scheduled and does not have anything to compare to Celebrity's featured entertainment in the theater. Oceania does have some nice bars and lounges but less live music at them than Celebrity. If this is important to you, it should be carefully considered. 

 

Rooms - If this is important to you, there is a lot of discussion on here. For a port intensive itinerary the room should be a little less important. It is less important to us but we found the Oceania balconies to be quite satisfactory. The soft goods are higher quality on Oceania. People on here rave about the mattresses.

 

Atmosphere - We expected a more refined upscale clientele on Oceania but have not found that to be the case. That was a surprise. However, the much lower passenger count results in a less crowded and generally more relaxed atmosphere on board. You won't have as much of a contest getting on and off the ship or queuing at venues around the ship. We found very few kids on board and the ones we saw appeared to be bored to tears.

 

On Board Sales Activity - Oceania takes a much more subdued approach to generating additional on board revenue revenue. No sidewalk sales or barrage of fliers, voicemails, etc. 

 

Shore Excursions - no comment. We almost always arrange independently.

 

Airfare - We have found Celebrity's airfare program to be far superior and, until our next Oceania trip, have never used Oceania air. Note that many Oceania trips have a good price on Premium Economy but not so much for Business. If flying coach, Oceania may well be the best price. If you are considering using Oceania air, it is advisable to understand their deviation and upgrade charges as well as seat assignment policies.

 

Pricing - We run a spreadsheet to compare and normalize pricing. We adjust for gratuities, OBC/rebates, beverages and airfare. We are finding that Celebrity is = or > than Oceania. YMMV. When pricing Oceania be aware of the following: There are a few different ways to book Oceania and they all affect pricing. You can book with O Life and air included. You can book cruise only with no O Life and no air. You can book with air included but no O life (the website did not offer us this option but it is available). On our next trip, the O Life OBC was exactly the same as the difference in price - so a no brainer to decline O Life unless you are considering O shore excursions. Some TAs will offer OBC, prepaid gratuities and/or cash rebates on Oceania. We have found that the % value of these is about the same on both lines - it obviously varies by itinerary and date.

 

All of the above are our opinions and some would differ in their opinions (see our sig line). We would like to experience the Edge class and also Viking Sea but both are currently priced much higher on an adjusted basis.

 

For now, Oceania has become our goto. 

 

HTH

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Croooser - very helpful!  Thanks so much for taking the time to put that together.  It does sound like we should consider it.  So, when you say the beverage package that is part of O Life, that is only for lunch and dinner, then?  

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Beverage packages are not part of O life. They are in addition to O Life:

 

Beverage Packages
  • Prestige Select. Enjoy unlimited premium spirits, Champagne, wine and beer wherever and whenever you wish from $59.95 per guest, per day.
  • House Select+ Enjoy unlimited Champagne, wine and beer with lunch and dinner from $39.95 per guest, per day.

HTH

 

 

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41 minutes ago, DENIE said:

Croooser - very helpful!  Thanks so much for taking the time to put that together.  It does sound like we should consider it.  So, when you say the beverage package that is part of O Life, that is only for lunch and dinner, then?  

The  Beverage package offered  as an O Life perk is the House Select  package  you can upgrade onboard  for $20 PP PD

Both parties have to take the same O Life perk but both parties do not have to take the upgrade 

The best perk of O Life is the Excursion deal

 

As noted above  the OBC you could be paying for the Non Refundable  credit yourself  so you need to do the math before deciding

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1 hour ago, Croooser said:

Beverage packages are not part of O life. They are in addition to O Life:

 

Beverage Packages
  • Prestige Select. Enjoy unlimited premium spirits, Champagne, wine and beer wherever and whenever you wish from $59.95 per guest, per day.
  • House Select+ Enjoy unlimited Champagne, wine and beer with lunch and dinner from $39.95 per guest, per day.

HTH

 

 

The House Select beverage package is one of the choices for O Life.  On the 10-day cruise that I am booked on, the O Life price is $300/person.  At $30/day, it can be a better value than purchasing the beverage package separately but it depends on the individual.  As has been mentioned, both people in the cabin have to choose the same O Life option.

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2 hours ago, Croooser said:

Hi Dale,

 

We are Elite on Celebrity and have been on Riviera twice and Sirena once. We are also booked on the Riviera TA for March 2022. We see the comparison this way, based on our experience:

 

Food - hands down Oceania is way better. The specialties are comparable to Murano and much better than Tuscan Grill. The terrace buffet is much better than Celebrity's buffet. The Oceania MDR is far better than Celebrity's MDR or AQ Blue and Celebrity does not have anything to compare to Waves. All of these are included in your fare. If you would typically spend $ on these, then that serves to offset the fare to some extent.

 

Beverages - Soda, fruit juices, bottled water and the coffee bar are all included in your fare on Oceania. If you would typically spend $ on these, then that serves to offset the fare to some extent. The drink packages on Oceania are pricey. Note that the basic beverage package is lunch and dinner only. However, Oceania does allow alcohol to be brought on board for consumption in your cabin.

 

Service - Oceania is somewhat better but this is situational. We have had both good and bad service on both lines. Oceania does seem to have a better crew/passenger ratio.

 

Entertainment - hands down Celebrity is way better. Oceania has less activity scheduled and does not have anything to compare to Celebrity's featured entertainment in the theater. Oceania does have some nice bars and lounges but less live music at them than Celebrity. If this is important to you, it should be carefully considered. 

 

Rooms - If this is important to you, there is a lot of discussion on here. For a port intensive itinerary the room should be a little less important. It is less important to us but we found the Oceania balconies to be quite satisfactory. The soft goods are higher quality on Oceania. People on here rave about the mattresses.

 

Atmosphere - We expected a more refined upscale clientele on Oceania but have not found that to be the case. That was a surprise. However, the much lower passenger count results in a less crowded and generally more relaxed atmosphere on board. You won't have as much of a contest getting on and off the ship or queuing at venues around the ship. We found very few kids on board and the ones we saw appeared to be bored to tears.

 

On Board Sales Activity - Oceania takes a much more subdued approach to generating additional on board revenue revenue. No sidewalk sales or barrage of fliers, voicemails, etc. 

 

Shore Excursions - no comment. We almost always arrange independently.

 

Airfare - We have found Celebrity's airfare program to be far superior and, until our next Oceania trip, have never used Oceania air. Note that many Oceania trips have a good price on Premium Economy but not so much for Business. If flying coach, Oceania may well be the best price. If you are considering using Oceania air, it is advisable to understand their deviation and upgrade charges as well as seat assignment policies.

 

Pricing - We run a spreadsheet to compare and normalize pricing. We adjust for gratuities, OBC/rebates, beverages and airfare. We are finding that Celebrity is = or > than Oceania. YMMV. When pricing Oceania be aware of the following: There are a few different ways to book Oceania and they all affect pricing. You can book with O Life and air included. You can book cruise only with no O Life and no air. You can book with air included but no O life (the website did not offer us this option but it is available). On our next trip, the O Life OBC was exactly the same as the difference in price - so a no brainer to decline O Life unless you are considering O shore excursions. Some TAs will offer OBC, prepaid gratuities and/or cash rebates on Oceania. We have found that the % value of these is about the same on both lines - it obviously varies by itinerary and date.

 

All of the above are our opinions and some would differ in their opinions (see our sig line). We would like to experience the Edge class and also Viking Sea but both are currently priced much higher on an adjusted basis.

 

For now, Oceania has become our goto. 

 

HTH

Very good synopsis and post. It's good to see someone that "gets it".

 

The only thing I'd take issue with is the drink package being expensive. It's actually cheaper than Celebrity's, but your basic fare on Oceania already includes a lot of items that are part of the package on Celebrity. So in essence for your $60 a day you are just paying for alcohol. It also depends how important alcoholic beverages are to you on vacation. Generally we will take the House Select as our O life choice, bring a couple of bottles on board with us, maybe pick up another one or two at at ports, and then upgrade to the Prestige 5 or 6 days into the cruise, depending on the length of the cruise. 

 

Just as an example on the drink package being a good price. I like to get the best alcohol available when I have a drink. Historically they have had a rum that is around $15 a shot. In the afternoon I'll have a double Mojito or Rum & Ginger Ale. Add in the tip and each of these drinks are around $36. At dinner I might have a glass of wine that's $9-$15 and maybe after dinner I'll have a single malt that runs around $15 a shot, make mine a double please. Once again, about a $36 dollar drink. So just in those 3 drinks alone I would have spent $87- $90. The key is that I wouldn't be getting them unless I had the Prestige package, but since I do then why not? Odds are good that may not be the only 3 drinks I'll have in a day. 

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Hi Dale.  With regards to drinks, it’s worth noting that “O” also have 2 Happy Hours each day when 2 alcoholic drinks can be purchased for the cost of 1.  Drinks also flow well and complimentary at the Captains welcome aboard cocktail party.

 

Some really good information supplied and good luck in your deliberations.

 

Regards

 

 

 



 

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3 hours ago, ORV said:

Very good synopsis and post. It's good to see someone that "gets it".

 

The only thing I'd take issue with is the drink package being expensive. It's actually cheaper than Celebrity's, but your basic fare on Oceania already includes a lot of items that are part of the package on Celebrity. So in essence for your $60 a day you are just paying for alcohol. It also depends how important alcoholic beverages are to you on vacation. Generally we will take the House Select as our O life choice, bring a couple of bottles on board with us, maybe pick up another one or two at at ports, and then upgrade to the Prestige 5 or 6 days into the cruise, depending on the length of the cruise. 

 

Just as an example on the drink package being a good price. I like to get the best alcohol available when I have a drink. Historically they have had a rum that is around $15 a shot. In the afternoon I'll have a double Mojito or Rum & Ginger Ale. Add in the tip and each of these drinks are around $36. At dinner I might have a glass of wine that's $9-$15 and maybe after dinner I'll have a single malt that runs around $15 a shot, make mine a double please. Once again, about a $36 dollar drink. So just in those 3 drinks alone I would have spent $87- $90. The key is that I wouldn't be getting them unless I had the Prestige package, but since I do then why not? Odds are good that may not be the only 3 drinks I'll have in a day. 

Orv....thanks!  We do tend to get our money's worth from the beverage package on Celebrity (of course, we use Cafe al Bacio and get lots of bottled water - I do see these things are already included on Oceana.  

 

We love to start our days with mimosa's (maybe 2?), and do have a bit more to drink while on vacation, so it ends up being worth it for us!

 

Thanks everyone for their tips!  Much appreciated! 🙂

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I am elite plus on Celebrity.  They do a good cruise.  However, they have added more cabins which makes some of their venues too crowded.  Hate crowding.  We find Oceania is never crowded.  We prefer their larger ships, Marina and Riviera. Those ships are spacious. Cabins are huge.  Oceania R ships are nice. However,  they have small cabins.  Oceania experience has a big focus on luxury furnishings, fine dining, and outstanding service. It is amazing compared to Celebrity.  Their entertainment is like most cruise ships.....can be good or bad. It all depends on what agencies provide.  Excursions are usually ok.  You pay more for Oceania. You will definitely see the difference.  Other lines that I enjoy are Azamara and Windstar. 

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Agree with Croozer- good review and Orv.  I have cruised Celebrity, HAL and Oceania O & R ships and Oceania is my favorite cruise line..

 

One thing I would add about Beverages.  I am more of a wine drinker and Celebrity wine selection on their Beverage packages is way better than what you will get on Oceania.  I wish they would expand their choices and quality of wine choices.

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When comparing similar O and X itineraries, may I suggest you compare O's balcony cabin price with that of a Sky Suite on X. You might be surprised how similar they are. And it's for that reason, among others, we mostly sail with X now.

 

We very much enjoyed our 10 cruises with O, but really enjoy are X cruises in a SS and all the perks that go along with it!

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8 hours ago, Croooser said:

Hi Dale,

 

We are Elite on Celebrity and have been on Riviera twice and Sirena once. We are also booked on the Riviera TA for March 2022. We see the comparison this way, based on our experience:

 

 

<SNIP>

 

 

All of the above are our opinions and some would differ in their opinions (see our sig line). We would like to experience the Edge class and also Viking Sea but both are currently priced much higher on an adjusted basis.

 

For now, Oceania has become our goto. 

 

HTH

This is a great comparison, Croooser. I often do not read or respond to them as they are usually not balanced and get over the top either way. Yours is clear, to the point and while of course a personal opinion, explains what is important to you and your "why". 

 

O is our preferred line too but options are always good. And sometimes helps one to appreciate what they are missing when they "stray" to a different line.

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1 hour ago, cruisingxpert said:

Agree with Croozer- good review and Orv.  I have cruised Celebrity, HAL and Oceania O & R ships and Oceania is my favorite cruise line..

 

One thing I would add about Beverages.  I am more of a wine drinker and Celebrity wine selection on their Beverage packages is way better than what you will get on Oceania.  I wish they would expand their choices and quality of wine choices.

Thanks cruisingxpert!

 

We are wine drinkers primarily.  Since we have been getting the Classic package included as a perk, we usually upgrade to premium on board, and it has been worth it.  Have been very happy with the selection.  Although we happily indulge in martini's and other fun drinks.

 

Good points to keep in mind!  Thanks again!

 

Dale

 

 

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We love Oceania and agree with most everything on this thread, except OP did say how much they enjoy music ensembles on Celebrity. Music on Oceania is primarily confined to violin entertainment before dinner and a bar pianist who plays a little bit at cocktail hour before dinner and then on a spotty basis during the evening. I have never been able to find any logic to timing of this entertainment. Main showroom entertainment on Oceania is offered each evening at about 9:30 and, with the exception of occasional guest entertainers, the quality is fairly amateurish. JMHO.

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7 minutes ago, edgee said:

We love Oceania and agree with most everything on this thread, except OP did say how much they enjoy music ensembles on Celebrity. Music on Oceania is primarily confined to violin entertainment before dinner and a bar pianist who plays a little bit at cocktail hour before dinner and then on a spotty basis during the evening. I have never been able to find any logic to timing of this entertainment. Main showroom entertainment on Oceania is offered each evening at about 9:30 and, with the exception of occasional guest entertainers, the quality is fairly amateurish. JMHO.

I think a general challenge is that the larger the ship, the more budget they have for entertainment.  I suspect the O-class ships do better than the R-class in this regard, but neither is likely to match up to the options on a large Celebrity ship.  We've enjoyed our cruises on smaller ships, but did miss the more extensive live music options.  

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We are Elite Plus on Celebrity. Although we enjoyed our cruises on Celebrity, we feel that Oceania takes the cruise experience to a much higher level. 

 

Looking at the comparison from a different perspective, here are a few things that Oceania doesn't have:

  • Agressive photographers.
  • Roving staff members trying to sell/upgrade drink packages, shore excursions, specialty dining, etc.
  • "Art" auctions.
  • Massive shopping promotions.
  • Crowds or long lines.

We were shocked to find that the food in the Grand Dining Room on Oceania is as good, if not better, than similar dishes served in Blu aboard Celebrity. Imagine having lamb chops cooked to order at breakfast. When I first saw lamb chops listed for breakfast I thought it was a typo. 

 

As soon as you are aboard, head straight for Waves and order this:

 

SURF & TURF - Grilled Florida lobster medallions, sliced black angus filet mignon, tomato, toasted ciabatta, roasted garlic jus, remoulade dipping sauce. The dish also includes truffle fries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 1/30/2021 at 9:37 AM, Croooser said:

Hi Dale,

 

We are Elite on Celebrity and have been on Riviera twice and Sirena once. We are also booked on the Riviera TA for March 2022. We see the comparison this way, based on our experience:

 

Food - hands down Oceania is way better. The specialties are comparable to Murano and much better than Tuscan Grill. The terrace buffet is much better than Celebrity's buffet. The Oceania MDR is far better than Celebrity's MDR or AQ Blue and Celebrity does not have anything to compare to Waves. All of these are included in your fare. If you would typically spend $ on these, then that serves to offset the fare to some extent.

 

Beverages - Soda, fruit juices, bottled water and the coffee bar are all included in your fare on Oceania. If you would typically spend $ on these, then that serves to offset the fare to some extent. The drink packages on Oceania are pricey. Note that the basic beverage package is lunch and dinner only. However, Oceania does allow alcohol to be brought on board for consumption in your cabin.

 

Service - Oceania is somewhat better but this is situational. We have had both good and bad service on both lines. Oceania does seem to have a better crew/passenger ratio.

 

Entertainment - hands down Celebrity is way better. Oceania has less activity scheduled and does not have anything to compare to Celebrity's featured entertainment in the theater. Oceania does have some nice bars and lounges but less live music at them than Celebrity. If this is important to you, it should be carefully considered. 

 

Rooms - If this is important to you, there is a lot of discussion on here. For a port intensive itinerary the room should be a little less important. It is less important to us but we found the Oceania balconies to be quite satisfactory. The soft goods are higher quality on Oceania. People on here rave about the mattresses.

 

Atmosphere - We expected a more refined upscale clientele on Oceania but have not found that to be the case. That was a surprise. However, the much lower passenger count results in a less crowded and generally more relaxed atmosphere on board. You won't have as much of a contest getting on and off the ship or queuing at venues around the ship. We found very few kids on board and the ones we saw appeared to be bored to tears.

 

On Board Sales Activity - Oceania takes a much more subdued approach to generating additional on board revenue revenue. No sidewalk sales or barrage of fliers, voicemails, etc. 

 

Shore Excursions - no comment. We almost always arrange independently.

 

Airfare - We have found Celebrity's airfare program to be far superior and, until our next Oceania trip, have never used Oceania air. Note that many Oceania trips have a good price on Premium Economy but not so much for Business. If flying coach, Oceania may well be the best price. If you are considering using Oceania air, it is advisable to understand their deviation and upgrade charges as well as seat assignment policies.

 

Pricing - We run a spreadsheet to compare and normalize pricing. We adjust for gratuities, OBC/rebates, beverages and airfare. We are finding that Celebrity is = or > than Oceania. YMMV. When pricing Oceania be aware of the following: There are a few different ways to book Oceania and they all affect pricing. You can book with O Life and air included. You can book cruise only with no O Life and no air. You can book with air included but no O life (the website did not offer us this option but it is available). On our next trip, the O Life OBC was exactly the same as the difference in price - so a no brainer to decline O Life unless you are considering O shore excursions. Some TAs will offer OBC, prepaid gratuities and/or cash rebates on Oceania. We have found that the % value of these is about the same on both lines - it obviously varies by itinerary and date.

 

All of the above are our opinions and some would differ in their opinions (see our sig line). We would like to experience the Edge class and also Viking Sea but both are currently priced much higher on an adjusted basis.

 

For now, Oceania has become our go to 

 

HTH

Great summary. 

 

To me you cannot even compare the two lines as they are like apples and oranges. It is like comparing a Mercedes-Benz and a Toyota. You cannot compare because it is not a fair comparison.

 

I think if you are looking at cruising Oceania you need to consider your reason for the cruise. Is it about the destination or the ship; as Oceania is more about the ship experience, with their ship offered shore excursions not being as good as Celebrity's (except for the one point that the group is generally much smaller, because the ship is smaller.) Celebrity has more "adventurous" excursions due to their younger demographic, but larger groups. And so as Croooser notes private excursions are great. However, private excursions do not look likely when cruising starts up again this fall, and therefore, this is an important factor to consider.

 

On an Oceania ship, there is a lower crew to passenger ratio and so I find the crew seems to materialize whenever I am in a public space. It is like magic! Your any want or desire is always looked after! 

 

Of note regarding food, on Oceania unless you are in a suite you cannot get a hot breakfast room service. This seems strange to me, but as my DH and always use room service on port days this was important to us. Concierge gets continental breakfast, veranda and inside, I believe it is beverages. 

 

Generally, Croooser has articulated the differences between between the two cruise lines, but be aware these two cruise lines are really comparable as one is much more luxurious and high end, than the other.  

 

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15 minutes ago, Sabbycat said:

Of note regarding food, on Oceania unless you are in a suite you cannot get a hot breakfast room service. This seems strange to me, but as my DH and always use room service on port days this was important to us. Concierge gets continental breakfast, veranda and inside, I believe it is beverages. 

 

You are misinformed

 In Concierge & above  you can order a hot breakfast   as well as lunch & dinner from the GDR during opening hours

You can also use the 24/7  room service menu  like the rest of the pax

Continental breakfast  has mostly cold items  yogurt, cold cereal, rolls/bagels pasties etc

 

 

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6 hours ago, Sabbycat said:

Great summary. 

 

To me you cannot even compare the two lines as they are like apples and oranges. It is like comparing a Mercedes-Benz and a Toyota. You cannot compare because it is not a fair comparison.

 

I think if you are looking at cruising Oceania you need to consider your reason for the cruise. Is it about the destination or the ship; as Oceania is more about the ship experience, with their ship offered shore excursions not being as good as Celebrity's (except for the one point that the group is generally much smaller, because the ship is smaller.) Celebrity has more "adventurous" excursions due to their younger demographic, but larger groups. And so as Croooser notes private excursions are great. However, private excursions do not look likely when cruising starts up again this fall, and therefore, this is an important factor to consider.

 

On an Oceania ship, there is a lower crew to passenger ratio and so I find the crew seems to materialize whenever I am in a public space. It is like magic! Your any want or desire is always looked after! 

 

Of note regarding food, on Oceania unless you are in a suite you cannot get a hot breakfast room service. This seems strange to me, but as my DH and always use room service on port days this was important to us. Concierge gets continental breakfast, veranda and inside, I believe it is beverages. 

 

Generally, Croooser has articulated the differences between between the two cruise lines, but be aware these two cruise lines are really comparable as one is much more luxurious and high end, than the other.  

 

Thanks Sabbycat.  Yes, we do know that this is a different market than Celebrity, but one we might be willing to jump to.  Also, our reason for consideration is two-fold (based on your comments above) - both the shipboard experience (for sure), but also the fact we are seeing itineraries that get us to smaller ports that we would really like to see which aren't available on Celebrity cruises.

 

Thanks again everyone for your advice!

 

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On 1/31/2021 at 8:18 AM, Rob the Cruiser said:

We are Elite Plus on Celebrity. Although we enjoyed our cruises on Celebrity, we feel that Oceania takes the cruise experience to a much higher level. 

.......

As soon as you are aboard, head straight for Waves and order this:

 

SURF & TURF - Grilled Florida lobster medallions, sliced black angus filet mignon, tomato, toasted ciabatta, roasted garlic jus, remoulade dipping sauce. The dish also includes truffle fries.

 

Or simply order double surf, no turf, no bread followed by the specialty Humphry Slocombe flavor of the day ice cream! 

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On 1/31/2021 at 7:18 AM, Rob the Cruiser said:

We are Elite Plus on Celebrity. Although we enjoyed our cruises on Celebrity, we feel that Oceania takes the cruise experience to a much higher level. 

 

Looking at the comparison from a different perspective, here are a few things that Oceania doesn't have:

  • Agressive photographers.
  • Roving staff members trying to sell/upgrade drink packages, shore excursions, specialty dining, etc.
  • "Art" auctions.
  • Massive shopping promotions.
  • Crowds or long lines.

We were shocked to find that the food in the Grand Dining Room on Oceania is as good, if not better, than similar dishes served in Blu aboard Celebrity. Imagine having lamb chops cooked to order at breakfast. When I first saw lamb chops listed for breakfast I thought it was a typo. 

 

As soon as you are aboard, head straight for Waves and order this:

 

SURF & TURF - Grilled Florida lobster medallions, sliced black angus filet mignon, tomato, toasted ciabatta, roasted garlic jus, remoulade dipping sauce. The dish also includes truffle fries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What he said! We are also Elite Plus on Celebrity. 

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On 1/30/2021 at 3:07 PM, DENIE said:

Orv....thanks!  We do tend to get our money's worth from the beverage package on Celebrity (of course, we use Cafe al Bacio and get lots of bottled water - I do see these things are already included on Oceana.  

 

We love to start our days with mimosa's (maybe 2?), and do have a bit more to drink while on vacation, so it ends up being worth it for us!

 

Thanks everyone for their tips!  Much appreciated! 🙂

Please note that the Basic Package is for lunch and dinner only.

 

We can’t remember ever seeing anyone getting a mimosa or Bloody Mary at breakfast. Adult beverage service in the Terrace is problematic even at lunch and dinner. There are no bars open that early, so at breakfast it’s highly unlikely one might actually get a drink delivered in the Terrace before they get up and leave. Maybe possible in the GDR, if you sit and wait long enough.

 

In the dining venues, orders for adult beverages are taken and delivered by a dedicated staff, not your regular waiter. Good luck finding one of those at breakfast in particular.

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