Review: Oceania Vista

oceania cruise ship ratings

Reviewed by Madison Flager

What is the line? Oceania Cruises

Name of ship? Vista

Passenger occupancy? 1,200

Itinerary? Rome to Rome

Start out with the big picture—what is this cruise line known for?

Oceania has long prided itself on being a culinary- and destination-focused cruise line, and Vista upholds that reputation. While the newest ship is still geared toward the line’s core demographic—travelers 55 and up—the flexible dining options, health-conscious menus, inventive bars, and well-balanced itineraries are likely to appeal to a slightly younger audience, too.

Tell us about the ship in general.

Oceania’s first new ship in over a decade set sail in spring 2023, and can hold 1,200 passengers. It marks the start of the line’s new Allura Class, and boasts all-veranda cabins (a first for Oceania), a staff-to-guest ratio of 2:3, three new culinary venues, and stronger Wi-Fi, thanks to the adoption of SpaceX’s Starlink technology.

Who is onboard?

During the christening sailing, passengers consisted of journalists from around the world, travel agents, longtime fans of the brand, and friends and family, with nearly every decade accounted for. Typically, Oceania guests tend to be 55-plus, with a mix of couples, solo travelers, and families with adult children looking for a food and beverage-focused experience, and a mix of well-known and off-the-beaten-path ports of call. While children are allowed onboard, there is no kids’ programming.

Describe the cabins.

I stayed in a Concierge Level Veranda Stateroom, which had more than enough elbow room for two guests, thanks to the seating area—there’s a small couch and a chair in front of the dresser and mirror—and balcony. Decorated with cool gray tones, marble and leather accents, and crisp white bedding, the rooms feel upscale but not ostentatious. We were particularly delighted by the large bathroom, especially the shower, and the seemingly endless storage space throughout the cabin; little things like the USB chargers on either side of the bed were appreciated as well.

New to the ship are Concierge Level Solo Veranda Staterooms, offering solo travelers a spacious room in which to rest their head (though that shower size definitely leaves something to be desired), a generous balcony, and access to an airport-like lounge on their floor with snacks and beverages. Guests in Concierge Level cabins also get perks like priority embarkation, a welcome bottle of Champagne, and free laundry service (up to three bags).

On the other end of the spectrum, the Oceania Suite is like a luxury apartment at sea, with a dining table, wet bar, massive balcony, and two bathrooms, one with a standalone bathtub. The Vista and Owner’s Suite are even more elaborate.

Tell us about the crew.

The crew was kind and welcoming, though not overly attentive. Our cabin steward introduced himself on the first day and was a friendly face throughout the week. As the ship is on the smaller side, you can expect to recognize crew members quickly (some may pop up in more than one dining venue). The hero of our sailing was Pablo at the shore excursions desk, who was incredibly patient and helpful when we showed up on day one without a clue what we wanted to do, and a long line behind us.

What food and drink options are available on board?

Of the ship's 11 culinary spaces, three are new: Aquamar Kitchen, where you can offset richer meals with poké bowls, smoothies, or avocado toast; the Bakery at Baristas, serving freshly baked pastries, finger sandwiches, and an impressive breakfast assortment (so much smoked salmon!); and a new signature restaurant, Ember, which was designed to mimic New American restaurants in northern California. It has a cozy feel and is meant to be a slightly quicker dining experience, with family-style sides and hearty entrees (lobster mac and cheese, porcini-dusted bone-in ribeyes).

Returning guests will be happy to see Oceania staples like Toscana, an Italian restaurant where a cart filled with a dozen or so oil and vinegar bottles gets rolled over to you with your bread, and Red Ginger, a pan-Asian restaurant featuring dishes with Thai, Korean, Japanese, and Malaysian influence (the watermelon duck salad came highly recommended, and was in fact delicious). It’s worth nothing that none of these specialty restaurants come with an upcharge.

While not new, Vista ’s Waves Grill stays open for dinner as a pizza joint, and is a great place to dine on days when you come back to the ship late or are eager for a casual dining experience—the pizza was fantastic, and there are at least three different burrata appetizers to choose from, along with a great selection of wine.

Is there a spa on board and is it worth visiting?

The Aquamar Spa and Vitality Center is one of the most beautiful spaces on the ship. Don’t skip a visit to the terrace, where you can relax on plush lounge chairs (including heated ones) in between dips into the plunge pool or hot tub. While the main pool is by no means a party scene, this space is markedly more serene, thanks to its tucked-away location at the back of the ship. As for the treatments, standard fare is offered: massages, facials, hair and nail services, salt scrubs.

Tell us about the activities and entertainment.

Pickleball devotees will be happy to know there is an outdoor court; golf putting greens, shuffleboard, and lawn games like cornhole line the top deck, too. The resort-like pool is a popular space to hang, and at night, guests can visit the casino, the adjacent Founder's Bar (where drinks come smoking, scented, and otherwise made to be photographed), the theater, and the piano bar.

There’s tons of experiential programming on offer as well. Head to the Artists’ Loft to take a class with the talented artists-in-residence, or visit the expanded Culinary Center for cooking demos and classes developed by executive chef Kathryn Kelly.

How was the experience for families?

This isn’t the line to choose if you’re looking for a kids’ club, wave pools, or Go-Karts (Oceania’s sister brand, Norwegian Cruise Line, is better suited for that). Guests under 18 (and over six months) are allowed, but must stay in the same stateroom as an adult, and can’t participate on shore excursions or land tours without an accompanying adult.

Where did it sail and how were the excursions? Did anything stand out?

The christening cruise sailed from Rome to Rome, with stops in Naples; Valletta, Malta; and Ajaccio, France in between. ( Vista will spend most of 2023 in Western Europe, then move to North America and the Caribbean.) We had an overnight in Valletta, something Oceania is working to do more of, along with offering more late-night stays for single-day ports, so that guests can spend more time on land. Their itineraries do a good job of mixing well-known cities with smaller, lesser-known ports, and the shore excursions include both highlights tours of historical sites and landmarks and programs geared toward returning visitors; we heard great things about the pizza crawl in Naples.

Anything we missed?

Oceania offers a great middle ground in terms of experience and offerings—both grand and cozy, with a wider range of fare options than luxury lines, since it’s not all-inclusive. Go for excellent food and beverage, unique ports, good service, and a comfortable space you’ll be happy to come back to at the end of busy days on land.

All listings featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. If you book something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best New Cruises in the World: 2024 Hot List

By CNT Editors

oceania cruise ship ratings

Oceania Cruises Riviera Cruise Review

Oceania’s riviera is the newest upscale cruise ship in the market. it’s a splurge—does it deliver the goods.

Anonymous Cruise Editor

Updated June 2, 2015

Following hot on the heels of Oceania’s Marina that debuted in 2011, sibling Riviera launched in May 2012 and was quickly established as one of cruising’s most elegant options for the upscale audience. With menus overseen by chef Jacques Pépin, a Canyon Ranch spa, sumptuous bedding and tasteful cabin décor, Riviera caters to a discerning crowd that expects deferential service and a refined atmosphere.

Products are chosen independently by our editors. Purchases made through our links may earn us a commission.

About Our Cruise

Comparing splurges, our cabin: veranda cabin, cabin amenities, other cabins, grand dining room, terrace café, waves grill, in-room dining, canyon ranch spa club, other activities, shows & entertainment, other venues, kids programs, ship communications, internet facilities, dress codes, laundry facilities, general health & safety, smoking policy, tips and service charges, alcohol policies, loyalty program.

One of the youngest operators in the business, Oceania Cruises was formed in 2003, coming onto the scene with three of the 684-passenger “R-class” ships from Renaissance Cruises, a luxury line that went belly-up in 2001. When it came time to build two new ships, Oceania started with a clean slate, creating vessels that were double the size of the existing ships—the 66,084-ton Riviera carries 1,258 passengers. Features were carried over, but new ones were established, and the larger ships quickly won a devoted following. Oceania is not as inclusive as most high-end lines, instead following an à la carte model for gratuities and drinks.

Riviera winters in the Caribbean, offering 10-day voyages out of Miami that explore some of the region’s more exotic ports, such as Roatan, Samaná and St. Barths; summers are spent in the Mediterranean’s choicer locales, with itineraries ranging from 7 to 14 nights. We busted out our piggy bank for the splurge, eagerly anticipating smart service and fine dining.

Check-in went smoothly. We arrived shortly after noon and waited about 25 minutes in the lounge while suite and concierge guests were provided preferential embarkation. Upon boarding, we were a little surprised there was no one to show us to our quarters (something we’ve appreciated on most other luxe lines), but the cabin was easy to find, and luggage was delivered well before cast-off. This allowed time to explore the ship at leisure, and Riviera’s public area lived up to all expectations. This is a handsomely designed vessel with generous public spaces and a bevy of fine art. We’d rank the art collection alone as the best we’ve seen at sea—mostly early- and mid-20th century paintings from Cuban and other Latin American artists, with a few provocative, edgy pieces mixed in for good measure.

Oceania’s Riviera offered an adult cruise experience. No children were aboard for our itinerary. Children are allowed but there’s no facility or staff dedicated to them (something we think might be an issue in summer or during school holidays). Instead, Oceania caters to a well-heeled, older crowd—with few exceptions, virtually all guests were over 50. Although there’s no formal night, this crowd doesn’t waltz around after dusk in tracksuits and flip-flops. There’s also no poolside Hairy Chest Contest, no tacky souvenir glasses, and no gold chains sold by the inch. Yet for the most part, an easy-going atmosphere prevails, akin to that of an upscale resort geared to retirees.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p1 g1"}}

Our veranda cabin was very comfortable—definitely a step up in quality, amenities and size from mainstream cruise lines. It was not, however, the size of entry-level cabins on Seabourn, Silversea, or Regent Seven Seas (by our measurements, the square footage Oceania claims for cabins is overstated).

Cuisine is a major focus for the line and, by industry standards, we found most dining on Riviera to be excellent, with a few exceptions. In addition to the rewarding main dining room and a terrific buffet, there are four specialty restaurants, and there’s no surcharge for these meals (though this is where we found food and service to be most uneven). Even the pool bar had tasty grilled fare, starting with a luscious surf and turf sandwich—sliced filet mignon and lobster medallions on toasted ciabatta. There was also a special wine pairing meal offered several nights of the cruise at La Reserve, which we found superb—the $95 add-on was worth it for foodies and wine aficionados.

Deck areas felt relatively spacious, and although we observed loungers to be in short supply around the pool, it wasn’t hard locating a place to stretch out on the decks above (the one pool, by the way, is larger than average for the luxury sector). Though activities were limited, there was a tennis court, mini-golf course and an art studio staffed by an artist. One sterling feature not found on any other cruise ship (except Marina) is hands-on cooking lessons—for a fee—with instruction overseen by the Culinary Institute of America. Shows on Riviera were rudimentary at best—okay if nothing else was going on, but nothing to go out of our way for. This isn’t uncommon with small-ship luxury lines, but given that Riviera has a larger showroom (and more guests), a better entertainment program was in order. There was, however, a good variety of live music on the ship, including a string quartet playing for afternoon tea and a pianist trolling through the standards at the Martini Bar each evening.

Riviera is noteworthy for a few things it doesn’t have. There was no camera crew on board, plaintively asking for poses. The ship lacks a traditional promenade deck, below the lifeboats. But for the most part, guests will be impressed with the number of features available that aren’t found on smaller luxury ships. The atmosphere is somewhat comparable to that of a Ritz-Carlton resort—slightly sterile and corporate, but appealingly polished.

For this reason it’s difficult to make apples-to-apples comparisons about whether Riviera provides good value. But just prior to publication we reviewed per-day rates for cabins on comparable itineraries for the upcoming year, for ships that offer an experience that is a notch above the Oceania product. Riviera’s veranda cabins for Mediterranean cruises averaged about $455 per day, per person—a fare that does not include gratuities or drinks, costs that can top $75 a day, per person (Riviera’s auto-gratuity is $15 to $22 per day and the all-inclusive drink package runs $59.95 per day).

Beyond the initial cruise fare, there are other cost issues to be aware of. Airport transfers arranged through Oceania were outrageous—the per-person rate was about three times the price of a taxi. Oceania’s gratuity rate is the highest in the industry. And shore excursions were extortionate—we dodged the herd and made all our own arrangements for considerably less. By contrast, we noted that Oceania’s airfare add-ons can be reasonable compared to these other lines. And for those who drink no alcohol, Oceania’s à la carte model works well.

Oceania’s Riviera is an undeniably beautiful ship, and it’s the newest vessel at sea designed for the upscale crowd. Not only does Oceania Cruises straddle an underserved market segment between the mass-audience cruise companies and the pure luxury cruise lines, but Riviera (and sister ship Marina) provides a unique bridge between smaller luxe ships with limited amenities and activity-filled large ships that can feel crowded. Only one other upmarket line, Crystal Cruises, has ships (almost) the size of Riviera (though both of Crystal’s ships are now more than a decade old).

We don’t take issue with Oceania marketing its product as “upper premium”—at least not in regard to Riviera. Elegant and classy, with dining that is among the best in the industry, the ship possesses many fine attributes that make a voyage memorable. The size of the ship is just about perfect for our taste—not too big, not too small, easy to get around. We would absolutely look forward to sailing on Riviera again, but for one caveat: It’s overpriced.

While current demand may be allowing Oceania to boost fares, we feel that there are other cruise lines offering similar itineraries that, for comparable fares or just a few dollars more, may provide discernably better value. And for spendthrifts, it’s not hard to find alternatives offering quality suites and good food and service that sell for quite a bit less than Riviera.

Choices fall into four general categories. Inside cabins, the most economical option, are located on decks 8 through 10. Lacking any view, Oceania says they measure a fairly compact 174 square feet, and the bathrooms have a shower stall only, no tub. There are 20 Ocean View cabins, all found at midship on Deck 7 and, with a larger bathroom and floor-to-ceiling window, these represent a significant step up from Inside units.

We stayed in one of the Veranda cabins, located on decks 7 through 11. Though all are the same size, these come at various price points based on location (higher decks being more expensive). A majority of the Veranda cabins (decks 9 and higher) are designated as Concierge Level, and although square footage is the same, extras include early check-in and embarkation, a welcome bottle of Champagne, priority restaurant and shore excursion reservations, unlimited access to the Spa Terrace, in-room laptop computer and discounted internet, iPad for use onboard, Bulgari toiletries, and other extras. There are also four types of Suites , described below.

There was a lounge on Deck 9 for guests in Concierge level cabins. TVs, reading materials and refreshments were available. Guests occupying Owner’s, Vista, Oceania and Penthouse suites could utilize an Executive Lounge on Deck 11.

Tastefully appointed with a generous use of dark walnut wood hues, our Veranda cabin was slightly larger than a typical balcony cabin on a mainstream cruise line (more on that below). With a bathroom featuring a full tub and a balcony decked in teak flooring—a rarity on newer ships—it was a very comfortable space to reside in. Speaking of contented, our bed was sumptuous, engulfed by quality linens that left us snug as a bug in a rug. Oceania says these are a “custom designed mattresses with 700-thread count cotton linens.” Hyper-allergenic pillows were available on request. Our photos below show the bed configuration in both queen-sized and twin layouts.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p2 g1"}}

Cabin lighting was discrete, with recessed lights in the ceiling plus adjustable reading lights on either side of the bed—combined we had sufficient illumination. Fronting the balcony doors were three curtains—one that was a sheer, the other two completely blocked out light. Next to the sofa was an oval coffee table, and facing these was a small desk with a lamp and chair. Between the bathroom and beds was the closet, fronted by sliding doors. The closet measured 41 inches in width and contained 31 wood clothes hangers (plus two for robes). Next to the closet was a cabinet with three drawers and a shelf for the safe; one of the drawers contained a hair dryer. While we heard a few guests grumble about storage space being constrained, we found closets and drawers more than adequate for a trip of longer than a week (it’s not a suite, after all)—then again, we don’t travel with steamer trunks! Next to the drawers was the minibar and ice bucket, and above these were a couple slender shelves for glasses.

Our cabin had a marble- and granite-lined bathroom that was somewhat larger than what we usually get on mainstream cruise ships, however the additional space was devoted to a full-size bathtub (56 inches long, 17 inches deep). This is a terrific amenity for those who take baths, but for those of us who don’t it would have been nice to utilize the square footage toward a less-cramped bathroom (the floor of the shower stall was a fairly average 31 by 37 inches, though this is larger than showers on Oceania’s R-class ships). The shower and bathtub each had handheld showerheads on adjustable poles, and there was a rain showerhead in the shower stall.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p2 g2"}}

Oceania says all Veranda cabins measure 282 square feet, including the balcony, but we take issue with this generous assessment. The inside of our cabin and bathroom came to 210 square feet; our balcony measured 110 inches by 66 inches, or 50.5 square feet. We can only assume that the extra 21 square feet Oceania claims represents unusable space behind walls (i.e., counting the space between cabins, plumbing areas, and between our cabin and balcony). While our cabin was larger than that of a typical mainstream cruise liner, it was not comparable in size to those of most upscale lines. Veranda cabins on Riviera (and Marina) are, however, a good bit larger than veranda units on the line’s three older, “R-class” ships.

The balcony was a decent sized space for two to hang out, with woven synthetic “wicker” chairs, each with a cushion. There was a small table, sufficient for coffee or drinks, but not much else.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p2 g3"}}

Our cabin came with a pair of plush robes and slippers—the bathrobes were available for purchase ($75). Our stocked mini-fridge included complimentary sodas; there was a charge for other items. A corkscrew and bottle opener was provided, along with an ice bucket that was refilled twice daily. Above the fridge were two 100ml bottles of Oceania branded mineral water, replenished as needed.

There was a safe, but it wasn’t large enough for a typical laptop (13.5 inches wide, 8.5 inches deep). A hair dryer and sewing kit were located in a drawer next to the closet. The Oceania branded bathroom amenities included shampoo, conditioner, bath gel and body lotion—above-average products by our estimation. There were, however, no bath salts, and when we called the front desk to request these we were transferred to the spa—a jar of salts was available for $52. Fortunately, when we checked again with our cabin attendant he swiftly delivered a bowl of salts that were ample for a couple soaks.

The TV in our room was a good quality, high-definition 32-inch Insignia model, a smart TV with a built-in Blu-ray player. However not all channels were available with a high-def signal. The problem was probably with the monitor adjustments; some channels appeared in standard definition, some were incorrectly sized for the monitor dimensions. For the ship’s movie channel the grainy image was cropped on the sides, meaning the picture was not displayed as it was meant to be (see photos below).

The channel selection was detailed in a printed guide valid for the whole cruise. There was a typical range of news and sports channels, and channels dedicated to Oceania programming (shopping and shore excursions got the usual plugs). There were five movie channels that played about 100 different movies during the cruise. Some played a few times on one day, others repeated a second or third day, but the range was pretty solid, with some of the biggest commercial hits from the past six months, plus a few unexpected classics, like “Tom Jones” and “Midnight Cowboy.” There was also a DVD library maintained at the reception desk in the lobby. With more than 600 titles encompassing oddities such as the TV show Bewitched (13 discs), as well as both classic and current movies, children’s fare and TV shows, there was something for pretty much everyone.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p2 g4"}}

We did not stay in the rest of these cabins, but we have summaries here provided by Oceania Cruises. Note that photos below have been provided by the cruise line and not our reviewer.

Inside Cabin Wonderful sanctuaries unto their own, these 174-square-foot staterooms boast beautiful designs and handsome furnishings that add to the serenity. Highlights include an oversized bathroom resplendent with marble and granite, and thoughtful touches such as a refrigerated mini-bar, vanity desk, breakfast table and a choice of a queen-size or two twin beds.

Deluxe Ocean View These spacious 242-square-foot staterooms with floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows feel even more commodious with the curtains drawn back, the ocean in full view and natural light streaming in. The rich hues, custom-designed furnishings and stylish fabrics are equally enchanting. Queen or twin bed accommodations, a spacious seating area, vanity desk, breakfast table and oversized marble and granite-clad bathroom with separate tub and shower, are among the many conveniences.

Penthouse Suite Our collection of elegant Penthouse Suites rivals any world-class hotel for comfort. The design of each suite is ingenious, which maximizes its generous 420 square feet of space and puts every creature comfort at your fingertips. At its heart is a spectacularly luxurious queen-size Prestige Tranquility Bed that can be converted into two twin beds, if you wish. Commodious enough for private en-suite dining, the living area features a table and comfortable seating, refrigerated mini-bar and lighted vanity desk. The large marble and granite-clad bathroom features an indulgent, full-size bathtub and separate shower and is conveniently located next to the full-size walk-in closet. For the ultimate view, simply open the sliding glass door and relax on the exquisitely furnished private veranda.

Oceania Suite This new category of suite accommodation combines exquisite elegance with a premier location high atop Marina and adds in a wealth of amenities and copious space for good measure. Sprawling more than 1,000 square feet, each offers a living room and dining room, walk-in closet, expansive private veranda and much more. Enjoy a brisk morning workout followed by a therapeutic whirlpool in either your private Jacuzzi overlooking the sea or in the Jacuzzi tub in your Master Bath. Spend an evening screening first-run movies on your 50-inch LCD flat-screen television in your state-of-the-art media room. Indulge in course-by-course en-suite dining in your dining room or with the caress of a soft sea breeze on the expansive veranda. Wake up refreshed and rested on the king-size Prestige Tranquility Bed. Open the floor-to-ceiling glass doors, walk out on the private teak veranda and take in the stunning panoramic views from the comfort of the resort-style lounge furniture. Everything imaginable is provided in your Oceania Suite, even a second bathroom for guests.

Vista Suite Among the most spacious and luxurious of accommodations at sea, the eight Vista Suites surely will be in high demand. That is no surprise given their premier location overlooking the bow and that every inch of their 1,200 to 1,500 square feet (depending on location) has been meticulously designed for your enjoyment. Indulge in a relaxing soak in one of your suite’s two Jacuzzis – on your private veranda or in your lavish Master Bath. Watch first-run Hollywood films on the 42-inch LCD flat-screen television, enhanced by Bose® surround sound, or view them from the comfort of your bed on a second LCD flat-screen television. Access the Internet with the laptop computer that’s provided for up-to-the-minute news, to research upcoming ports, and to email friends. Wake up refreshed and rested on the king-size Prestige Tranquility Bed. Draw back the curtains from the floor-to-ceiling glass doors, walk out on the wraparound teak veranda and take in the panoramic views from the comfort of the resort-style lounge furniture. Everything imaginable is here in your suite, including a walk-in closet, a second bathroom for guests and your own private fitness room.

Owner’s Suite Even the most lavish superlatives fail to adequately describe the three Owner’s Suites onboard. With rich furnishings from Ralph Lauren Home, each spans the entire beam of the ship and measures more than 2,000 square feet. Boasting a large living room and dining room, spacious bedroom with a king-size Prestige Tranquility Bed, sumptuous bathroom, his and hers walk-in closets, and a dramatic entry foyer and music room overlooking the sea, they are truly palatial. A professional entertainment system with flat-screen televisions, 3D movies, and media library is provided as well as a laptop and iPad® with wireless access. Indoor and outdoor whirlpool spas beckon you for a relaxing soak – the latter has a flat-screen television for alfresco viewing. Enjoy en-suite gourmet dining from any of our six restaurants, served course-by-course by your Butler. No expense has been spared to ensure your total satisfaction.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p2 g5"}} Oceania’s Executive Culinary Director is noted chef and cookbook author Jacques Pépin, and with seven different meal options for dinner alone, Riviera has upped the ante for fine dining on cruise ships. Of course, Monsieur Pépin is not actually working in the galley but, for the most part, we found the dining aboard Riviera to be among the best we’ve experienced at sea—it’s certainly a deserved calling card for the line. The Grand Dining Room , Riviera’s main restaurant, provided above-average meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. What surprised us was the Terrace Café , the buffet venue, where we had a succession of tasty meals.

There are four specialty restaurants on Riviera, open for dinner only, though we found the dining a little more uneven here. Still, with menus ranging from French to Asian, Italian to steakhouse, the variety was pleasing, and there’s no add-on fee for dining at these venues (as is common on mainstream cruise lines). The ne plus ultra was La Reserve , a small dining room used several nights each cruise for intimate wine-pairing meals with a surcharge.

Oceania claims its guests have the “freedom to dine whenever, wherever and with whomever you wish,” but we found tables for two in short supply for the four specialty restaurants, especially at Jacques. Guests in non-suite cabins were allowed to make one reservation for each of the specialty dining venues using Oceania’s clunky online booking system (four reservations total). Yet despite going online weeks ahead of our cruise we were unable to secure a two-top for any of these meals, except very early or late in the evening. Before the cruise we were told by a reservation agent to request changes soon after boarding; we did, but non-shared tables were still not available for two of these meals.

Guests staying in Owner’s, Vista and Oceania suites were allowed to make more than four restaurant reservations ahead of their cruise; these guests were also allowed to order course-by-course in-room dining through their butler from the Grand Dining Room menu or from any of the specialty restaurants, during regular operating hours.

With its bright crystal chandelier floating above, Riviera’s main dining room is, indeed, a grand spot, looking like a luminous space from a regal European hotel. Fine china, Riedel stemware and formal service complete the setting. The room slopes down gently from Deck 6 on terraces leading aft, and there are a number of tables for two lining the windows. For those who decry the dim lighting in many restaurants, request to be seated toward the center of the room and you’ll be basked in the chandelier’s glow. The room seats 566, nearly half the ship’s capacity, and we never waited more than 3 or 4 minutes for a table, even at prime time.

The dinner menu changed nightly, featuring seven different entrées that were notable for their variety (an additional three entrées—steak frites, poached salmon and rotisserie chicken—were available every night). Each evening, one appetizer, a soup and an entrée would be highlighted as part of Canyon Ranch’s Healthy Living menu, focused on healthy fats, whole grains and lean proteins; there were always several vegetarian appetizers and one entrée. And four courses were highlighted each night as the menu dégustation, with recommended wine pairings for each course.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p3 g1"}}

Among the appetizers, we enjoyed the cheese soufflé sitting amid a chive velouté, the scallops served in shell with lemon, capers and seaweed, and a hearty terrine of tomato and eggplant. Looking like shrimp tails engulfed in a bird’s nest, the crispy Albanian kadaif-wrapped tiger prawns were delightful nuggets—a few more, please. There was a faro salad with grilled zucchini that seemed promising, but the dressing overwhelmed the dish—it was almost like a cold risotto. Salads could have used a little more imagination, but we enjoyed the lettuces with paper-thin beets and celery rémoulade, and the spinach salad with pine nuts, shaved parmesan and a bacon dressing. The basket of diverse, hearty breads on our table was hard to resist.

For entrées we loved the Florida lobster, served with a cognac sauce (different lobster entrées were served on several nights). We tried the vegetarian option one evening—potato and vegetable curry over rice; it was pretty ordinary. But the shrimp and zucchini risotto was a melt-in-the-mouth dish, as was the simple rotisserie chicken, smothered in jus de rôti. Desserts were modest in size, but rewarding, from the Cointreau-marinated strawberries in a brandy-snap basket to the chocolate “volcano” with passion fruit lava. There was a nightly ice cream, a sorbet, and a lighter dessert, along with cookies and petits fours. We adored the cheese plate option, which changed nightly and was served with various chutneys, olives and pressed cakes.

If the breakfast menu was fairly conventional, it was beautifully served and the venue was lightly visited. We found juices (the orange was fresh squeezed), stewed fruits, cold cereals and Bircher muesli, hot oatmeal, eggs and omelets, pancakes and waffles, along with typical sides. Among the more unusual offerings were steamed Finnish haddock or broiled kippers, buckwheat pancakes, and breakfast steaks or lamb chops.

We were delighted to find the Grand Dining Room open for lunch daily, even on port days—what’s more, the menu changed daily. We found the salad Niçoise to be perfectly rendered (with a choice of tuna, salmon or halibut), and the hanger steak stroganoff with a paprika cream sauce was rich and satisfying. Other lunch items steered to burgers, sandwiches, and salads, with a number of lighter and vegetarian options available.

Located on Deck 12 aft, the Terrace Café offers one of the best buffet spreads we’ve experienced on any cruise ship. While the space suffered slightly from limited seating during breakfast and lunch peak hours, we enjoyed all of our meals here, many of them on the outer deck where two dozen tables offered fine views and fresh air. A number of items were prepared à la minute—on the spot—and no, we’re not just talking about the omelet station. Servers were stationed throughout the buffet, and almost all food items were placed on our plate for us (helpful in minimizing the spread of food-borne illness).

The breakfast selection featured everything we expected, and a little more—from cold cuts and cheese to a fruit station with delectable options like papaya, raspberries and blackberries. We loved the array of pastries, and there was a station for fried eggs and omelets, and bacon, sausage, potatoes and other sides were nearby. One complaint: We found the brewed coffee not as good here as other restaurants on the ship (cappuccinos and the like could be had from the automated coffee station).

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p3 g2"}}

For lunch, the hot buffet station included such fare as grilled king clip fillet with vegetable aioli, veal scaloppini saltimbocca, and the grill had various meats cooked to order. In addition to a salad bar there was a variety of prepared salads that changed daily—Tuscan lentil salad, Caesar with grilled chicken, marinated tomato and fennel with prawns, Thai beef salad, etc. There was a carving station, a sushi spread, and a pasta bar with sauces that changed daily. Every couple days a lunch theme emerged—Mexican, Oriental, Seafood and Italian were featured on our cruise. We didn’t try all of these, but the south-of-the-border spread was probably our only disappointing lunch here.

Unexpectedly, it was at dinner where Terrace Grill really showed its strength, and a few of the dishes mirrored the offerings at the main dining room. We didn’t dine here in the evening till late in the cruise—some of the fare we missed included coq au vin, Palermo-style grilled swordfish, risotto with fava beans and morel mushrooms, a tajine of winter vegetables over couscous, a classic paella. There was a carving station nightly, which included beef Wellington one night, veal rack loin another. The night we dined at Terrace Grill we dived into Malaysian fish curry—prepared to order—king crab legs, coconut-miso sea bass wrapped in banana leaf, a sliver of prime rib, and sampled some of the competently prepared sushi. We didn’t have room for dessert, but the array was impressive.

While many guests enjoyed Jacques, we were somewhat disappointed by our meal here, especially considering this is the one venue that Oceania’s Executive Culinary Director Jacques Pépin chose to put his name on. The restaurant is designed to be an elegant French bistro, and the menu certainly looked appealing, with such traditional offerings as terrine of foie gras, escargots in garlic butter, sautéed frog legs, bouillabaisse, and Iberian rack of pork.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p3 g3"}}

For our starter we tried the baked French onion soup, which was capped with a crusty ceiling of Gruyère. We also sampled the pumpkin soup, which was impressively presented in a terrine made from a real pumpkin. But the soup that was spooned into our bowl was tepid. We asked our waiter to replace it, and a hot portion arrived seven or eight minutes later. For entrée we ordered the Dover sole, which was deboned at the table—the classic preparation with lemon and caper butter was enhanced with croutons that sopped up the juice. Dessert was an apple tarte, served Tatin-style. A cheese trolley was wheeled over and the selection of AOC French offerings was mouth-watering.

We liked the effort for tableside presentations, and the salmon-colored room is attractive, filled with pickled wood furnishings and a glass and brass show rotisserie. But despite a few windows, the view is obscured by curtains and, with only six two-top tables, we were unable to secure a reservation here for anything but a shared table. Maybe wit hit Jacques on an off night and perhaps we would have enjoyed it more with a table to ourselves, but we felt this meal should have been stronger, more nuanced.

Unique to Riviera and Marina, Red Ginger is one of the ship’s most popular specialty restaurants, an Asian fusion venue with a strong emphasis on a jazzy contemporary décor, and equally jazzy food. While our dinner was good, satisfying in the main, it was not quite the rapturous experience we’d been lead to expect. For instance, every diner receives a small bowl of traditional edamame to start, but this is kind of like receiving a basket of French bread. How more interesting it would have been to be served edamame presented with a dynamic new angle.

But we’re in the minority on this—a number of passengers we spoke to described Red Ginger as their favorite meal. And there’s no denying that the room itself—black, with red and gold accents—was quite handsome, each table graced with a flower-burst of flame ginger. The acoustics weren’t great, it’s a noisier room than the other specialty restaurants—we’d request one of the tables along the walls.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p3 g4"}}

For appetizer we had caramelized tiger prawns—succulent shrimps in a very sweet chili sauce. Another starter, crispy ginger calamari, was better, smartly seasoned and cooked. We found the tom kha gai too creamy, and not spicy enough—it tasted flat (and despite a red chili pepper on the menu used to indicate hot items). Spicy duck and watermelon salad could have been edgier, and we would have preferred seeded watermelon. The Thai beef salad, however, was lovely, studded with eggplant, shallots and basil.

Our entrées were more satisfying. The miso-glazed sea bass was excellent, the tender fish beautifully presented in what appeared to be a ginger leaf. Lobster pad Thai was a fine twist on a well-traveled road, with generous hunks of lobster flesh bursting from the silky noodles. Various sides were available—brown or jasmine rice, stir-fried udon noodles, broccoli and shitake mushrooms, and a meager portion of asparagus. For desserts, the cake was fine, if a bit filling after our feast; the trio of fruit sherbets was an excellent alternative, especially the coconut, which found just the right balance of cream and coconut flakes.

Our most disappointing meal on Riviera was undoubtedly Polo Grill, and that sentiment was shared by all four of us at our table, as well as other passengers we spoke with. A steakhouse on a cruise ship shouldn’t require reinventing the wheel, but we find it amazing how often cruise lines deliver a subpar steakhouse experience (and usually with an up-charge—not the case on Riviera). The room is fine, located on Deck 14 aft, tricked out with masculine dark wood paneling, contemporary art and padded leather chairs—it certainly looks the part.

Our appetizer was the shrimp cocktail, which won us over with massive shrimp served in a martini glass, hovering around a small puddle of cocktail sauce. When more cocktail sauce was offered we said yes and an avalanche was spooned on. The salad we ordered was described as “honey smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and aged cheddar cheese,” but it was decidedly ordinary: a few leaves of Romaine with tomatoes to the side topped with a grate of undistinguished cheddar and bacon crumbles. Dressing for this deconstructed dish was provided in ramekin—it was quite zesty and overwhelmed whatever flavor was to be found.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p3 g5"}}

The menu promised USDA prime, but for a main we ordered the Colorado rack of lamb, a quartet of plump, if petite chops. The dish was okay, but the lamb could have been better seasoned. Off-the-shelf mint jelly was spooned on the side; we would have preferred a savory mint sauce. A side dish of potatoes au gratin was good, a smallish portion suited for one. We also sampled the prime rib—available in a 16-ounce queen’s cut or a 32-ounce, bone-in king’s cut—we found it mediocre. The dessert selection aimed higher, and key lime pie emerged as the standout for our table. For sheer gumption, the chocolate mousse “burger” on an almond bun with apricot jelly was a delight to see. The first bite was a surreal taste sensation, but thereafter it seemed ordinary.

Our service here was attentive, but the courses came out in ponderous fashion, making our meal at Polo Grill a near-three hour experience.

Located just opposite Polo Grill on Deck 14, Toscana is Riviera’s Italian restaurant. Although we didn’t experience anything groundbreaking here, we found our meals here satisfying. Many tables are next to or near the venue’s floor-to-ceiling windows, so it’s a good place to be parked for a scenic sunset sail-away. The long and diverse menu encourages a second visit. The selection of olive oils and vinegars alone is surprisingly inviting, sampled with bread and a roasted bulb of garlic.

For starters we enjoyed the decadent sformatino, a timbale of parmesan, served with black truffle sauce and spiked with fried artichoke leaves. Breaded, fried calamari came with spicy marinara and aioli sauces. Carpaccio of beef tenderloin with shaved parmesan and arugula was presented in classic style, as was the Caesar salad, prepared tableside. Sautéed jumbo shrimp was wrapped in prosciutto, while spinach salad was graced by Sardinian goat cheese and Kalamata olives. Not a loser in the bunch.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p3 g6"}}

For mains, we liked the filet mignon topped with sautéed garlic spinach and Gorgonzola cheese, flanked by grilled polenta tiles. And the pasta trio was perfect for those of us who couldn’t decide on a pasta dish: There was risotto with lobster, tortellini with ricotta and spinach, and fettuccini lathered in way too much cream—we lapped it up.

The wine tasting room just outside the Terrace Café on Deck 12 is the setting for a gourmet meal held on several nights of each cruise. It’s not a restaurant per se, more like a wine cellar that borrows the adjacent kitchen of Terrace Café for an occasional feast. Floor-to-ceiling windows line one side of the room, allowing passengers to drool over the event. Affiliated with Wine Spectator magazine, La Reserve has three different menus, each offering seven courses matched with seven wines. Two of the menus are priced $95 per person, plus 18-percent gratuity; the Connoisseur Menu (starring Kobe beef sous vide and Brittany blue lobster) is $165 plus gratuity. With a maximum of 24 guests each evening we’d strongly recommend booking before boarding (at least two of the nights filled weeks ahead of embarkation).

We chose the Discovery Menu for our evening at La Reserve, a night which began with the ship’s Executive Chef coming out to introduce his team, including sommelier, two waiters and a crew of three assistants. We were provided a glass of Bouvet brut for toasting, a French bubbly from the Loire, then seated at the long, walnut table for the amuse bouche of sea urchin panna cotta topped with caviar—a surprising spoonful of sea and dairy. The evening’s first course was a lobster and mascarpone pancake with carrot emulsion and rock chive cress, a dish that provided the crustacean the elegant stage it deserved. This was paired with Champagne Pommery brut rosé. A cream of porcini soup was sparked by three nuggets of duck foie gras interspersed with three wonderfully oily croutons—a Cervaro Castello della Sala chardonnay from Umbria was the rich and balanced accompaniment.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p3 g7"}}

Our third course was pumpkin ravioli with a sprinkle of crushed amaretto biscotti. The dish was sweet, and we expected a viognier would be too much for the pairing, but the Novelty Hill viognier from Washington was surprisingly complex, a fine marriage of equals with the ravioli. Bay scallops topped with Jamón Ibérico pata negra was petite but scrumptious—the scallops, we were assured, were fresh, loaded onto the ship during embarkation. Our fifth course was the 72-hour braised short rib, cooked sous vide and enticingly pink. It was ravishing in taste and texture, and nicely paired with Silver Trident’s Twenty Seven Fathoms, a cabernet sauvignon from Napa that quickly emerged as the table’s favorite (interestingly, the winery is owned by one of Oceania co-founders).

There was a cheese course, a slab of AOC Brie de Meaux, fragrant and perfectly ripe atop a toast with raisin-onion compote and quince jelly. Another cabernet sauvignon—Hess Collection Allomi Vineyard—was a voluptuous fruit bomb to contrast with the cheese, seducing us down the aisle to dessert. This was a mille-feuille comprised of a hundred sheets of paper-thin dough, interspersed with raspberry and vanilla cream—it was sweetly fragile and flavorful. Alas, the late harvest chenin blanc from Château la Varière accompanying this final course was the only one we found to be a letdown, a 2001 vintage that was metallic and discordant.

The overall meal consumed 3 hours, and wines were poured a healthy half-glass at a time (requests for refills were not refused). While we would not consider Riviera’s cuisine to be Michelin-star quality, La Reserve came close. It was a memorable meal and the wine selection was smartly chosen.

Located on the pool deck, just outside the Terrace Café, the Waves Grill was open for al fresco breakfasts and lunch till 4 p.m. daily. The morning selection was a streamlined version of what was offered at Terrace Café, and also served buffet style. This included an array of fresh fruits, cold cuts, yogurt and muesli. There was an egg station where omelets and fried eggs were cooked to order; next to it was a counter with scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon and potatoes.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p3 g8"}}

The lunch menu stuck primarily to hot sandwiches and Black Angus burgers. Star offering was the surf and turf sandwich—a couple grilled Florida lobster medallions and slices of filet mignon served on toasted ciabatta. It was quite tasty. The burgers were available in various formats—the Texan (grilled onions, bacon and BBQ sauce), the Romano (provolone, roasted peppers, pesto on ciabatta), the Maguro (soy and ginger marinated ahi tuna seared rare), etc. Hot dogs, Cajun chicken paillard, grilled mahi mahi and veggie burgers were also on offer.

Waves also served as the ship’s ice cream stand, and cups or cones were available with various toppings, along with milkshakes, malts and fruit smoothies.

This is Riviera’s private, eight-seat dining room, located between Polo Grill and Toscana. The decadent room, cast in bold red and white tones, can be reserved for the evening for $250. Guests may order off the menu of either Polo Grill or Toscana while relaxing on throne chairs upholstered in supple, white baby crocodile leather.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p3 g9"}}

With so many good dining options available on Riviera it seemed anathema to order in, but room service was available 24 hours. Duty called. The breakfast menu was limited to continental—a little surprising on an upmarket ship. We could order with a tag hung outside the room by 11 p.m. the night before; ordering by phone was also possible. The breakfast selection covered just about anything cold we would want—juices, fruit, yogurt, packaged cereal, along with toast, pastries, muffins and hot coffee.

We filled out our room tag and asked for breakfast to be delivered at 7:45 a.m. Nine minutes prior we received a call to the room to alert us that delivery was on the way, and 2 minutes later came the knock on the door. The table in our cabin was barely adequate to contain a meal for two (even a continental breakfast); the table on the veranda was even smaller.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p3 g10"}}

Our English muffin arrived warm warm, and pitchers of milk brought were hot for coffee and cold for our cereal. But the pot of coffee was not on par with what we were served in the Grand Dining Room. And the fruit plate was unimpressive—simply diced fruit, more like fruit cup. All in all it was fairly mediocre. We also noted that room service breakfast was not available on disembarkation morning (the one time when we’d otherwise consider it).

The 24-hour menu was a little more diverse. There was a selection of salads, including a chef’s pantry salad (with ham, roast beef, turkey, shrimp and cheese), an antipasto selection with cold cuts, and shrimp cocktail on bruschetta. Chicken consommé and French onion soup were offered. Sandwiches included grilled ham and cheese, turkey, roast beef and a club sandwich. Entrées included grilled strip steak, broiled chicken breast, salmon supreme—all served with steamed vegetables—spaghetti all Bolognese or hamburger. During the evening, guests residing in suites could order off the standard restaurant menus through their butler. Riviera had five bars covering most areas of the ship. There was another bar for the Riviera Lounge (open when shows were held), plus an excellent little coffee bar that was one of our favorite hangouts on the ship. Unlike most of the mainstream lines, bottled water, soft drinks, cappuccino, espresso, coffee, iced tea, dispensed juices and milk were all included in the cruise fare. However, unlike most of the luxury cruise lines, alcoholic drinks involved a surcharge.

Wines by the glass started at $8 for a chardonnay or cabernet sauvignon from La Terre; other options for a dollar or two more included Nobilo sauvignon blanc, Danzante pinot grigio, Estancia pinot noir reserve and Spellbound petite sirah; the Champagne available by the glass was Perrier-Jouet grand brut, for $18. The list was stronger for wines by the bottle and included such offerings as La Crema chardonnay ($52), Domaine Huet la Haut-Lieu vouvrey sec ($78), Greg Norman shiraz ($39), and Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico ($132). The very limited selection of beers included the usual American name brands for $5 to $6—Samuel Adams was the most exotic label we spotted.

Each day, a trio of drinks were listed in the Currents newsletter; the cocktails of the day could be had for $5. Happy hour (two-for-one) was offered each evening from 5 to 6 p.m. at most of the bars.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p4 g1"}}

This was a great spot on Riviera, a coffee bar on Deck 14 with seats overlooking the pool and out to the sea. With real Italian baristas preparing proper espresso-based drinks (using Trieste’s best, illy coffee), we almost felt transported to a seaside café in Italy. We came here often. The coffees may be spiked with various liquors for an add-on. There are small bites available from a deli case—pastries, croissants, cookies and biscotti—and juices in the morning. Don’t miss the delicious caramelized French pound cake, known as canelé (and you are forewarned: they are highly addictive).

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p4 g2"}}

Riviera’s piano bar percolated with conversation and soothing music each evening—it was the busiest bar leading up to mealtime. During the day this spot was largely empty except when various activities transpired on sea days, announced in the ship’s newsletter. This included martini and vodka tastings (with a $15 add-on), presentations from the spa (culminating in a product pitch), social gatherings and, most entertainingly, lively Spanish lessons.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p4 g3"}}

This wasn’t a bar, per se, but an art-filled corridor that served as another preprandial gathering spot, with potted palms interspersed between chic couches and chairs. The ship’s string quartet played here for much of the evening. The full bar menu was available (drinks were prepared at the adjacent Casino Bar), and waiters were staffed in the evening. On one of the two evenings we stopped by for a drink, between sitting down and receiving our drink we waited almost 25 minutes. The server seemed unable to multi-task.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p4 g4"}}

Located next to the casino, this was Riviera’s most garish venue, awash in bright light that flooded the room from behind plexi wall coverings. The color of the lighting was adjustable, but usually the volume was set to full-on lavender. We wouldn’t call it ugly, but it was pretty brash compared to the rest of the ship. A half-dozen framed Picasso drawings were showcased here—wonder what he would have thought?

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p4 g5"}}

This was Riviera’s one al fresco bar option, serving the pool area and those dining at the Waves Grill. Servers effectively canvassed the area for orders.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p4 g6"}}

Located on Deck 15, this was the bar with a view, a 270-degree panorama from Riviera’s highest indoor venue. The full bar menu was available here, and the bar was also used for various presentations on sea days, including Bingo, a needlepoint gathering, etc. In the evening there was live music and dancing, though this is not a ship that parties late.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p4 g7"}}

Each day at 4 p.m., Horizons was the setting for afternoon tea. This was a pretty great spread, with assorted finger sandwiches, scones, pastries, and a station for caramelized fruit. We only tried it once during our cruise—wish we’d stopped by earlier.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p4 g8"}}

The Tucson, Arizona-based wellness resort company Canyon Ranch has been operating on cruise ships since 2004, when the brand was brought onboard Queen Mary 2. Since then they have become a competitor to Steiner Leisure, the dominant name in cruise ship spas, currently found on most of the major cruise lines. Occupying the forward portion of Deck 14, Riviera’s Canyon Ranch Spa Club is a sleek and impressive facility, with a steam room, a Finnish sauna, men’s and women’s changing rooms, full salon and boutique selling Canyon Ranch (and other) products.

Costs for massage and skin care treatments ranged between 20 and 50 percent higher than typical Steiner Leisure prices on other cruise lines. But the list of treatments was expanded from the typical cruise selection, incorporating more Asian modalities than we usually see. Massage prices ranged from $165 for the 50-minute Canyon Ranch treatment to $278 for 80-minute deep tissue or sports massages; couples massages started at $330; facials started at $159 for the 50-minute deep cleaning or gentlemen’s facials. An 18-percent gratuity was added to all treatments, services and training in the spa, salon and gym. Other treatments included reflexology, Shiatsu, Reiki, Ayurveda, acupuncture, wraps and scrubs, waxing, hair styling and coloring, manicures and pedicures. A few shorter treatments were offered daily at a discounted rate.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p5 g1"}}

Forward of the spa itself was the quiet Spa Terrace , a private area of the ship that contained shaded loungers, heated ceramic tile loungers, and a thalassotherapy pool, with a butler stationed for drink service. Capacity was limited, and access to the Spa Terrace involved an add-on fee: $25 per person for 1 day, $60 for 3 days, $175 for 10 days.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p5 g2"}}

The Fitness Center had more than 50 pieces of cardio and weight-training equipment featuring the latest from Technogym, including a pair of Kenesis stations. We found plenty of treadmills and bikes, and the gym was never over-crowded when we visited. Complimentary morning stretch, abs training, and legs, bums and tums sessions were available. Spinning, Yoga, and Pilates were offered for $11 per session; one-on-one training was available, starting at $77 for 25 minutes.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p5 g3"}}

Located mid-ship on Deck 12, Riviera has just one pool, but it is one of the more attractive swimming facilities we’ve enjoyed at sea, and generously sized for a midsized ship. Although the pool was usually adequate for the number of passengers, the two small whirlpool tubs were insufficient, and the loungers surrounding the pool were often at a premium (we usually grabbed one easily one deck above).

Bar (and food) service is available from the Waves Bar and Waves Grill, on opposite ends of the pool. For the most part there was no music at the pool, though on sea days a live band played (with great moderation) during the lunch hour.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p5 g4"}}

Although there’s no real promenade deck on Riviera, there was a decent amount of outdoor sunning space, with loungers available beyond the pool deck. Deck 14 had a good number of loungers overlooking the pool area, along with a pair of covered relaxation areas leading to the spa; the port side area was known as the Sanctuary , and we had a lovely nap here on a couple occasions when the sun was too bright.

The outdoor section of Deck 15 extended for only about one-third of the aft section of the ship. Accessed by stairs from Deck 14, this is where the jogging track was located, but it was fairly short—we’d estimate a lap was less than 600 feet in length. The ship’s Shuffleboard and Croquet/Bocce courts were also found here. Deck 16 , accessed by stairs from Deck 15, was a small forward section only, but with plenty of empty loungers for sunning. This is also where the mini-golf green was found, along with a practice golf cage and tennis court.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p5 g5"}}

One of the unique features of Riviera (and its sibling Marina) is the Bon Appétit-sponsored Culinary Center on Deck 12, with cooking stations for lessons conducted by guest chefs. Two classes on each sea day and (usually) one on port days were offered in the studio for hands-on cooking lessons covering subjects and recipes for topics such as pasta, fish, desserts and regional cuisines. There were 12 cooking stations shared by two students, and the charge for the two-hour classes was $69. We signed up for one based on food from the ship’s restaurant Red Ginger, preparing three of the venue’s most popular dishes (and receiving recipes for several others). The class was enjoyable and fast-paced, and we look forward to crafting the lobster pad Thai at home someday. We were impressed by the careful attention to health and sanitation requirements.

More hands-on creativity was invited at the Artist Loft , located opposite the Culinary Center. The ship brings aboard artists-in-residence to provide tutoring in their particular areas of expertise, in a class setting equipped with the tools and supplies for guests to create their own artworks. The artist on our particular cruise was undeniably talented and pleasant to interact with, but his classes leaned toward collage, with varying results. There was no charge for the classes, and they were packed on the days we peeked in.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p5 g6"}}

On Deck 15 there was an artificial green set up for Croquet and Bocci, along with a Shuffleboard court. Several competitions were organized (especially on sea days). On Deck 16 we found a tennis court, nine-hole mini-golf, and a practice golf cage. Next to the pool was an area for table tennis. Other activities included Team Trivia (held in the Riviera Lounge or Martinis once or twice daily), Duplicate Bridge, art auctions, and Bingo.

Located on Deck 5 forward, the Riviera Lounge was the ship’s showroom. While just one deck high the sightlines were generally acceptable in the center of the room, but we found on the sides, latecomers often blocked the aisles and view. But we didn’t feel like we were missing much. No matter whether the music showcased Andrew Lloyd Webber or the Rolling Stones, after a few days, a sense of sameness started to emerge.

Jean Ann Ryan Productions takes credit for the stage shows. The first, “Up in Flames,” was a tribute to Billy Joel and Elton John, with three lead singers and six dancers; the backing band—at least it was live—featured eight musicians. The sound mix was thin, with the highs and lows clipped to avoid offending tender ears. The singers were good, but the dancers had very little room to work with, forcing the most basic staging an choreography. It was a very conservative, play-it-safe entertainment. Another night, “Now and Forever” was organized around the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, and while the sound mix was still free of bass or treble, the costumes and staging were a little more assertive. We were not enticed to see the two remaining shows, “Rock On” and “Flower Power.”

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p5 g7"}}

Other shows that took place in the lounge included a ventriloquist/singer with Muppet-like props and a musty routine, a comedian, and one of the ship’s singers performing a solo concert. Movies were also played here.

Other entertainment included the ship’s band playing by poolside at lunch on sea days, a pianist during the evening at Martini’s, and a string quartet that played in the Grand Bar, all of which we were enjoyed. There was also a band playing light dance music in Horizons most evenings (before 9 p.m.).

Riviera’s casino was at midship on Deck 6 and, though modestly sized, it was usually adequate for the number of passengers using it. There were a few dozen slot machines plus tables for Poker, Blackjack, Craps and a Roulette wheel. We noticed a surge of business on a couple nights as shows let out from the nearby Riviera Lounge—the Roulette table would go from empty to standing room only. As the chips dwindled, the players left, and within 20 minutes the table was virtually empty again.

Smoking was not allowed in or near the casino.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p5 g8"}}

Riviera’s graceful lobby was located on Deck 5. This is where the Reception Desk was found, along with Destination Services (shore excursions) and the Concierge . There were fine paintings, a couple carved pieces and an elegant curved staircase designed by Lalique, topped by a sparkling chandelier. There was rarely a line at the Reception Desk.

The Library was located on Deck 14, conveniently next to Baristas coffee bar. There was a fairly good range of books offered here, and we could “check out” two at a time (no one was on hand to monitor what went in and out). The leather chairs and ersatz fireplace were excellent spots to while away the day when the weather wasn’t cooperating.

In addition to the books, Oceania offered a worldwide newspaper service that provided full-format printed newspapers delivered direct to cabins on the morning of publication. The price was $6.50 per day, per newspaper (Sundays excepted). The periodicals included New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, the Times UK and a number of others, including major European papers.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p5 g9"}}

Also located on Deck 14 next to Oceania@Sea was the Board Room was where we found most of the ship’s games, along with a few card tables for informal play. There was a sign-up sheet for Chess, Mahjong and other games.

On our cruise there was a duo teaching Bridge and overseeing Duplicate Bridge games on sea days; the lessons and games were held inside the Polo Grill. We sat in on a couple of lessons and found the teaching style a bit confused—beginners were quickly in over their heads. We also sat in on a round of Duplicate Bridge one day, joined by about 35 other very competitive guests.

There is no facility or program for children on Riviera. “We don’t really cater to families,” explained an Oceania sales representative.

Shopping on Riviera was concentrated into a trio of side-by-side boutiques located on Deck 5, next to the lobby. The selection wasn’t broad, but the stores were spacious and uncrowded. We saw little that we haven’t seen on most other cruise ships.

One shop carried men’s and women’s clothing from brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Joseph Ribkoff, and Las Olas. There was Oceania logo merchandize—T-shirts, golf shirts, visors, mugs, backpacks, and teddy bears—a few books, snacks and a small selection of sundries such as razors, deodorant, etc. One space was reserved for handbags, including Furla, Chopard, and Alviero Martini, while next door was fragrances and beauty products. The jewelry store featured David Yurman and H. Stern, along with watches from Rado, Yarmond Weill, Dior, DKNY and Fossil.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p6 g1"}}

With a crew of 800 aboard Riviera, there were 1.6 guests for each crewmember, an above-average amount of staff for the cruise industry. For comparison, on the newest Cunard and Celebrity ships there are 2.1 to 2.4 passengers (respectively) for each crewmember; on Seabourn and Silversea ships it’s 1.3 to 1.5 passengers per crewmember.

We found overall service to be quietly discrete—that is, not showy. The senior officers of the ship did not (that we observed) mingle with most passengers. Things got taken care of, but we found that in the specialty restaurants service could was a little uneven, sometimes rushed.

Overall, we didn’t find the crew much more polished than those on less expensive mainstream cruise lines, so Oceania’s $15-per-day day (per person) automatic gratuity seemed out of line. To justify the highest gratuity rate in the industry, we’d expect service on par with what we experience at a typical Four Seasons or Ritz-Carlton resort. It wasn’t.

A daily newsletter, Currents, was distributed to our cabin each evening, covering the activities schedule and hours of operation for the following day. All announcements by the cruise director were handled in English, and they were kept to a minimum, which was refreshing.

Letters and postcards with appropriate postage can be dropped off at the Reception Desk for mailing. Postage may be purchased for a “nominal fee;” mail is collected one hour prior to sailing from each port of call. We had one brief phone call home from our room, which was charged at a rate of $4.95 per minute.

The guest directory says passports will be collected by ship staff upon embarkation, “in order to facilitate the ship’s clearance in each port.” For our cruise, passports were checked but not collected during embarkation.

Right behind the ship’s espresso bar on Deck 14, and opposite the Library, Oceania@Sea was Riviera’s internet station. There were 33 PCs available for use, but we could also log onto the ship’s WiFi signal with our own devices.

The per-minutes rate was a steep 99 cents a minute (the highest we’ve seen at sea), plus $3.95 activation fee, but a more-reasonable 200-minute package was available for $160 (.80/min). The best deal was an unlimited internet access package, priced $27.99 per person, per day.

{{photo_gallery "Oceania Riviera p6 g2"}}

Oceania maintains a fairly relaxed dress code, and no formal nights were designated on our cruise. The recommended attire throughout the cruise was “resort or country club-casual.” For evening dining, “elegant casual resort wear is suggested.” Jeans, shorts, T-shirts, athletic footwear and sandals were not permitted in the Grand Dining room or specialty restaurants. At the Terrace Café dressy shorts and casual shirts were allowed in the evening. Tank tops and swimsuits were not permitted in any restaurants at any time of day.

Self-service laundry facilities are located on decks 7 through 11. Self-service laundry tokens were available through the reception desk. Tokens were $2 per wash and $2 per dry. Detergent, irons and ironing boards were available for use here.

For the safety drill held just prior to sailing away, we were required to bring our life jackets from the cabin, and room keys were checked against a list. Those not in the muster station during the drill were called for over the P.A. system.

Riviera was generally very clean through, as we would have expected (being a new ship).

A clinic is located on Deck 4. Hours were 8 to 9:30 a.m. and 6 to 7:30 p.m. (medical/nurse assistance was available 24 hours).

There were only two designated smoking areas on Oceania Riviera, one inside and one out. These were in the port-side corner of Horizons Bar on Deck 15, in a glassed room set apart from the rest of the bar; and on the forward starboard side of Deck 12, the pool deck. Smoking was not allowed in any other outdoor areas, inside the casino, or in cabins and on their balconies. The policies appeared to be well enforced, as we never saw anyone abusing them.

Oceania Cruises has what is probably the highest gratuity surcharge in the industry. For those in standard cabins a “suggested gratuity” of $15 per guest, per day is automatically added to shipboard accounts “for your steward or stewardess and all restaurant staff.” Guests in Owner’s, Vista, Oceania or Penthouse suites are charged an additional $7 per guest, per day for butler service. Gratuities are pooled. An 18-percent gratuity was automatically added to all beverage purchases, spa and salon services, and for dinner in La Reserve.

Cash advances were available, applied to your credit card, up to $500 per day, incurring a 5 percent service fee. Foreign currency exchange was limitedly available—euros while sailing in Europe—also incurring a 5 percent service fee.

A $25 corkage fee is applied for wine bottles brought aboard for consumption in the restaurants or bars. However, Oceania also “reserves the right to confiscate and retain all alcohol bought ashore for consumption onboard the vessel.” This policy seemed to give the cruise line a lot of latitude to make alcohol decisions on a case-by-case basis. Alcoholic beverages are served to guests age 21 and up only.

Oceania Club is the frequent-cruiser program of Oceania Cruises. Credits are issued for each voyage—1 credit for itineraries up to 24 days, 2 credits for cruises of 25 to 34 days, etc.

With 2 to 4 credits—Blue level—members are invited to a cocktail reception, receive members-only offers and receive a 10-percent discount on Oceania logo merchandize. Bronze level is achieved with 5 to 9 credits and members additionally receive a $200 shipboard credit and a 20-percent discount on internet packages. At 10 credits members attain Silver status, which boosts the shipboard credit to $400, adds in pre-paid gratuities and avails a 10-percent discount on shore excursions and beverage packages. Additional levels and benefits are attained at 15 points (Gold), 20 points (Platinum) and 40 points (Diamond). A free cruise, with certain restrictions, is offered when reaching the Platinum and Diamond levels.

Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

Meet the tester

Anonymous Cruise Editor

Anonymous Cruise Editor

Anonymous is a valued contributor to the family of sites.

Checking our work.

Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you're confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we'll compare notes.

Sign up for our newsletter.

Enter your email:

Thanks for signing up.

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Restaurants
  • Things to do
  • Oceania Cruises
  • Oceania Cruises from California
  • Oceania Cruises from Florida
  • Oceania Cruises from Anchorage
  • Oceania Cruises from Miami
  • Oceania Cruises from New York City
  • Oceania Cruises from Seward
  • Oceania Cruises from Vancouver
  • Oceania Cruises from London
  • Oceania Cruises from Barcelona
  • Oceania Cruises from Venice
  • Oceania Cruises from Amsterdam
  • Oceania Cruises from Lisbon
  • Oceania Cruises from Athens
  • Oceania Cruises from Copenhagen
  • Oceania Cruises from Civitavecchia
  • Oceania Cruises from Sydney
  • Oceania Cruises from Hong Kong
  • Oceania Cruises from Singapore
  • Oceania Cruises from Dubai
  • Oceania Cruises from Auckland
  • Oceania Cruises to Caribbean
  • Oceania Cruises to Barbados
  • Oceania Cruises to St Martin / St Maarten
  • Oceania Cruises to France
  • Oceania Cruises to Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
  • Oceania Cruises to Spain
  • Oceania Cruises to Andalucia
  • Oceania Cruises to Catalonia
  • Oceania Cruises to Barcelona
  • Oceania Cruises to Italy
  • Oceania Cruises to Campania
  • Oceania Cruises to Lazio
  • Oceania Cruises to Taormina
  • Oceania Cruises to The Netherlands
  • Oceania Cruises to Portugal
  • Oceania Cruises to Lisbon
  • Oceania Cruises to Civitavecchia
  • Oceania Cruises to Northwestern District
  • Oceania Cruises to St. Petersburg
  • Oceania Cruises to Dalmatia
  • Luxury Oceania Cruises
  • Things to Do
  • Travel Stories
  • Rental Cars
  • Add a Place
  • Travel Forum
  • Travelers' Choice
  • Help Center

Oceania Cruises Vista Deck Plans & Reviews

oceania cruise ship ratings

Oceania Cruises Vista

Activities & entertainment.

  • Destination Services *
  • Grand Staircase
  • Boutiques *
  • Grand Lounge
  • Concierge Lounge
  • Executive Lounge
  • Whirlpools (4)
  • The Culinary Center
  • Cooking Classes
  • Artist Loft
  • Arts & Crafts
  • LYNC Digital Center
  • Computer Classes
  • Conference Center
  • Aquamar Spa *
  • Thermal Suite *
  • Fitness Center
  • Fitness Track
  • Shuffleboard
  • Paddle Tennis
  • Golf Putting Greens
  • Self-Service Laundry *
  • Medical Center
  • Production Shows
  • Cabaret Shows
  • Guest Speakers
  • The Grand Dining Room - Main
  • Red Ginger - Pan-Asian
  • Ember - American
  • Casino Bar - Casino Bar *
  • Martinis - Martini Bar *
  • Grand Lounge - Popular Bar *
  • Terrace Cafe - Buffet
  • Aquamar Kitchen - Healthy Fare
  • Waves Grill - Pool Grill
  • Waves Bar - Pool Bar *
  • Toscana - Italian
  • Privee - Private Dining
  • Polo Grill - Steakhouse
  • Bakery - Pastries
  • Baristas - Coffee Bar *
  • Horizons - Panoramic Bar *
  • The Culinary Center Dining Room - Regional
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Room Service
  • Excellent 5
  • Very Good 9
  • All languages ( 29 )
  • English ( 28 )
  • German ( 1 )

oceania cruise ship ratings

Courtesy of Oceania Cruises |

oceania cruise ship ratings

Find a Cruise on Regatta

with a cruise advisor

As part of Oceania's fleetwide revamp, Regatta was completely redesigned in September 2019. Passengers in Veranda Staterooms and Suites will enjoy verandas and spaces ranging from 216 to 1,000 square feet, while Inside and Ocean View cabins are smaller. The ship now offers solo staterooms for those who are traveling alone. No matter which you choose, all staterooms are equipped with minibars, flat-screen TVs and 24-hour room service, plus all-new furnishings and marble bathrooms.

The 670 passengers will receive Oceania's signature service, with 400 crew members catering to guests' needs. Recent cruisers noted they rarely encountered crowds in the ship's public areas. The atmosphere aboard Regatta is decidedly adult, as the ship caters to older, affluent cruisers.

Entertainment varies from nightly musical performances to table games at the casino. Dining is also diverse: Regatta offers five venues ranging from the formal dining room to a casual grill. All-new plant-based menu items are also available. 

Regatta sails to destinations in Mexico, Asia, Australia and more.

Pros & Cons

Offers solo staterooms for solo travelers

Some recent passengers were disappointed in service on board

  • Expert Rating » 4.5
  • Traveler Rating » 4.1
  • Health Rating » 5.0

Regatta ranks # 2 out of 7 Oceania Cruises Cruise Ships based on an analysis of expert and user ratings, as well as health ratings.

  • # 2 in Best Oceania Cruises
  • # 6 in Best Cruises to Alaska
  • # 7 in Best Cruises to the Pacific
  • # 15 in Best Cruises for Couples
  • # 20 in Best Luxury Cruises

oceania cruise ship ratings

Regatta offers a wide range of accomodation options. Browse cabins to find the stateroom that suits your needs.

oceania cruise ship ratings

Regatta contains 9 decks. Find out which features are available on each Regatta deck.

Traveler Reviews

A ship’s traveler rating is provided under license by , which manages one of the largest databases of cruise reviews and ratings by travelers. A total of 126 guests have reviewed Regatta , giving it a rating of 4.1 on a scale of 1-5.

Cruiseline Travel Rating:

Reviews by traveler type.

Ship Photos

Disclaimers about ship ratings: A ship’s Health Rating is based on vessel inspection scores published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If a ship did not receive a CDC score within 22 months prior to the calculation of its Overall Rating, its Health Rating appears as N/A; in such a case, the ship’s Overall Rating is calculated using the average Health Rating of all CDC-rated ships within the cruise line. All ship Traveler Ratings are based on ratings provided under license by

You Might Also Like

oceania cruise ship ratings

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Vista cruise ship review: What to expect on Oceania’s first Allura-class ship

Erica Silverstein

"Is this a luxury cruise ship?" That was the question on everyone's lips during the maiden sailing of Oceania Cruises' Vista, the first new Allura-class vessel to debut for the upscale cruise brand.

We gawked at the beautifully designed public spaces, with their detail-oriented accents, eye-catching light fixtures and highly textured materials. (Yes, I petted the walls of the elevators and stroked every chair.) We luxuriated in enormous standard cabin bathrooms and sumptuous Tranquility Beds. We dined on exquisite freshly made pasta, perfectly cooked fish and decadent desserts. We ordered smoked, bubbled, herbed and ice-balled cocktails at the ship's craft cocktail bar and took photos of each creative concoction.

Vista is clearly a ship for travelers who love to explore new destinations, prioritize fine dining and premium beverages and immerse themselves in chic surroundings. However, in the cruise space, this ship is clearly in the upscale category and not true luxury.

Then again, when you're curled up on a circular day bed, drink in hand, on a resort-style pool deck in the Mediterranean, Vista might just provide all the luxury you need.

Overview of Vista

oceania cruise ship ratings

Vista debuted in May 2023, the first new ship for Oceania Cruises in a decade and the flagship of the line's new Allura class. It carries 1,200 passengers in cabins and suites that all have either a true balcony or a French veranda (meaning you can open doors to the fresh air but can't step outside).

The ship's target demographic is well-off, mature couples who are looking for destination-focused itineraries on a ship with elevated dining. For a small, 67,000-ton ship, Vista wows with eight restaurants, plus a bakery and private dining rooms for wine-paired meals. It also stands out for its expanded Culinary Center, for cooking classes and demos, and Artist Loft, where passengers can get crafty under the tutelage of resident artists.

For cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter .

Fans of the line will appreciate that Vista is modeled from sister ships Marina and Riviera, and the layout is strikingly similar.

Vista is not an all-inclusive ship, but it's more inclusive than lines such as Celebrity Cruises or Holland America. Its fares cover all dining (except for private, wine-paired dinners), fitness classes, nonalcoholic beverages and in-port shuttles. Its booking promotions may offer additional inclusions, like free Wi-Fi, airfare, excursions, beverage package or shipboard credit.

What I loved about Vista

Dining choice.

oceania cruise ship ratings

Some people love to return again and again to their favorite restaurants; others prefer to try a new venue every time. I fall into the latter category, so I loved that I could eat at a different restaurant each night of my cruise on Vista.

I could get dolled up and go to a steakhouse or Italian restaurant, or I could play it casual and eat on the buffet's outdoor terrace or at the pizzeria. I could enjoy a multi-course sit-down lunch or take my pick of eight burgers at the grill. Vista also had plenty of options for between-meal grazing – a quiche from the Bakery, a scone at Horizons' afternoon tea, or a cookie from the Concierge Lounge.

Not only did Vista's large selection of eateries keep my meals interesting, but there wasn't a bad option in the bunch. Sure, sometimes I didn't order the right dish, but I enjoyed every meal I ate on board.

oceania cruise ship ratings

Vista will wow you with its gorgeous looks from the moment you step on board. The atrium gives a knockout first impression with its stunning floor-to-ceiling sculpture with a changing light display.

The bold center archway of the Grand Dining Room will immediately catch your eye, as will the ceiling design of the intimate Privee dining room. Each specialty restaurant has been designed with care, from the brick oven-inspired ceilings of Ember to the pagoda-style floor lamps in Red Ginger.

The noteworthy Grand Lounge sports geometric chandeliers and glass shelves of vases and glass sculptures, while the faux wood paneling on the pool deck sets it apart from any cruise ship Lido you've ever seen. The glam settings make you feel like you're a movie star and add to the decadent feeling of being on vacation.

Cocktails and mixology program

oceania cruise ship ratings

The new mixology program on Vista is one of its standout features. I happily ordered cocktail after craft cocktail at the Founders Bar in the name of research, trying drinks with smoke bubbles on top, frozen fruit balls in their center and unique ingredients (like tea) in their centers. The concept turns your standard pre-dinner drink into a playful and exciting event. It also makes a ship carrying mainly retirees feel hip and trendy.

Vista also carries a line of nonalcoholic "liquors" to make zero-proof cocktails that taste like the real deal, as well as nonalcoholic beer. It's a fabulous option for sober cruisers or travelers who need to rest their livers after a lively evening. Unfortunately, not all bars carry nonalcoholic cocktails. On my cruise, I found them on the menu at the new Aquamar restaurant and Horizons observation lounge.

What I didn't love about Vista

oceania cruise ship ratings

I failed to find anything serious to critique about Vista, so what I didn't love about the ship is more about my personality than any real failing of the cruise line.

Evenings on Vista do not offer a variety of pursuits. You can go to a bar, with or without music. You can try your luck at the casino. You can attend the one show each evening, but only if your dinner time allows for it. That's pretty much it.

My cruise did not offer karaoke night, evening trivia and games, or a pool deck party. I missed the two special-guest acts, a pianist and a guitarist, and the song-and-dance performances by the onboard cast failed to impress. The ship didn't offer any secondary shows at night — no comedians or musical acts you came to listen to and not talk over.

To be fair, small-ship upscale cruising isn't about nightlife, and most travelers on Oceania are perfectly content with a long dinner, an evening dancing or drinking in Horizons and an early bedtime. The library does have some board games you can borrow, so consider that as an alternative activity.

oceania cruise ship ratings

One should never judge a ship's service based on its first sailings when the crew is still getting used to each other and the layout and procedures of a new ship. I mention service solely to answer the question of why Vista isn't considered a luxury ship.

In terms of hardware, Vista is one fine ship, which rivals the vessels belonging to luxury lines like Silversea Cruises and Seabourn, even nipping at the heels of over-the-top sister line Regent Seven Seas Cruises. It's in the "software," so to speak, where the line relegates itself to the upscale sector. And that's fine.

In addition to not offering truly all-inclusive fares, Vista doesn't offer the personal, often fawning service you find on true luxury lines. I barely met my room steward. No one offered to carry my plate at the buffet. The chefs weren't offering to make me dishes off-menu, and on occasion, I had to work to flag down a waiter to bring me a drink. Personally, I'm fine with this level of service, but it does not put Vista in competition with ultra-luxury ships.

The few service issues will improve over time. But Vista, by nature, will never offer the crew-to-guest ratio or over-the-top service levels you'd expect to find on a more expensive cruise line.

Vista cabins and suites

oceania cruise ship ratings

Vista has only eight major cabin and suite types, making cabin selection a relatively straightforward process. Its three main non-suite cabin types – French Veranda, Veranda and Concierge Level staterooms – have identical interior layouts, so you're really only choosing between perks and exterior space.

New and noteworthy on Vista are Oceania's first dedicated solo cabins, 270-square-foot balcony cabins with a twin bed, smaller bathroom and slightly narrower design than a regular veranda room. They're Concierge Level rooms, so solo travelers get extra benefits, such as access to the Concierge Lounge and Aquamar Spa Terrace.

My cabin was a regular Concierge Level room with a private veranda. At 291 square feet, it was the same size as a Veranda room, but with a slightly nicer interior design. (French Veranda rooms are identical to Veranda rooms in design, but where the Veranda cabins have a private balcony, French Veranda rooms have floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open to a railing; you can get fresh air but you can't step out.)

I was very happy in my Concierge Level room on Vista. Oceania's Tranquility Beds are some of the best in the business, and I loved falling asleep between a snuggly duvet and 1,000-thread-count sheets. Even better, the bed is flanked by three-drawer nightstands, 100V plugs and USB ports and reading lights.

Storage is decent with a two-door closet, two deep drawers in the desk, two coat hooks on the wall and a few additional shelves. It was the perfect amount of space for me, but I could see how a couple might fight over the drawer space.

The room had a mostly forgettable love seat, other than it looked nice and pulled out into an extra bed. The oval marble table was a perfect size for room service breakfast.

oceania cruise ship ratings

The highlight of the room, in my opinion, was the spacious, marble-tiled bathroom. Here, there was storage in spades: two glass shelves in the large shower, one large drawer and shelf space in the vanity and a corner unit with four deep drawers and three shelves in a mirrored cabinet. The shower had a rain head and a wand on an adjustable mount. The large no-fog mirror lit up at the touch of a button, perfect for putting on makeup.

I also appreciated the comfortable, padded balcony furniture. Standard balconies on Vista come with two upright chairs and a round drinks table, but the cushions made the seating comfier than the mesh-and-metal versions you find on many big-ship cruise lines.

Other thoughtful touches in the room include an electronic thermometer and do not disturb sign touchpad, quiet-close drawers, wooden hangers and carafes of Vero water, plus reusable water bottles to take on tour (to reduce single-use plastic water bottles). The mini fridge was stocked with soft drinks, though my cabin attendant didn't seem to notice that I was drinking exclusively club soda. You'll also find the requisite safe and hair dryer (neither of which I used), an umbrella and a shoehorn.

oceania cruise ship ratings

Concierge Level rooms come with extra perks, most of which are useful but not necessary. You get access to the lovely Aquamar Spa Terrace, with its hot tubs, day beds and thalassotherapy pool. You also get access to the Concierge Lounge on Deck 9; I don't know why you'd want to watch TV in this windowless lounge, but I appreciated the 24/7 drinks and snacks and access to a concierge.

Other amenities include a welcome bottle of Champagne, pashmina-style cashmere lap blankets for use in your cabin and a tote bag. Perks include priority embarkation, lunch and dinner room service from the Grand Dining Room menu (I totally missed this one), priority specialty restaurant reservations, and complimentary laundry (up to three bags), pressing (on embarkation day) and shoeshine service.

oceania cruise ship ratings

For those with an urge to splurge, Oceania has four additional suite categories, each with butler service and access to an Executive Lounge. The Penthouse Suites are simply an expanded version of the balcony rooms, with additional closet and seating areas. The Oceania Suites have a full living and dining room, a separate guest or TV room, large balcony, guest bathroom and marble-clad master bath and dressing area. They are mostly found on Deck 12, but two on Deck 11 aft have wraparound corner balconies.

The eight Vista Suites, which I didn't see, are even bigger than the Oceania Suites and located at the front of the ship, so they have extra-long wraparound balconies. The three Owner's Suites span the entire aft width of the ship, with two balconies, and are designed by Ralph Lauren Home. A light-filled grand foyer opens onto the living, dining and bar area on one side and the enormous master bedroom with king-sized bed, walk-in closet and generous bathroom with soaking tub and ocean-view shower.

Vista restaurants and bars

oceania cruise ship ratings

Oceania prides itself on being a foodie cruise line, and Vista carries on the line's tradition with six major dining venues included in the cruise fare, over-the-top extra-fee wine-paired private dinners and a new mixology program that goes above and beyond what its competitors are offering.

It's hard not to nitpick a line that brags it has "the finest cuisine at sea" (and has even trademarked that tagline). Each meal may not be the best you've ever had on a cruise ship, but each meal you have will be solid, with plenty of choice of both where to dine and what to select from the menu. Vista is certainly a ship foodies will appreciate.


I made a point to try every restaurant on board during my weeklong cruise, and it actually took some scheduling to make it happen. It's a good thing most of Vista's sailings are 10 days or longer, so you have ample time to sample all the dining venues and even make repeat visits to your favorites.

You are allowed to make at least one advance reservation for each of Vista's four specialty restaurants — possibly more depending on the length of the cruise and the type of cabin or suite you book. Once on board, you can ask if there's walk-in availability for additional meals.

oceania cruise ship ratings

The Grand Dining Room is perhaps the most gorgeous main restaurant I've ever seen on a cruise ship. The design, with white archways in the center of the room, is also functional; it separates the giant venue into nooks, so it doesn't have that hotel ballroom feel.

At breakfast, you can order everything from grilled lamb chops and broiled kippers to omelets, pancakes and lighter fare, such as yogurt parfaits. The highlight of the lunch menu is the "Taste of the World" sampler platter themed around a different country each day.

The dinner menu makes three suggestions for themed meals: selections from Jacques Pepin's namesake French restaurant on Vista's sister ships, global cuisine and Aquamar Vitality cuisine (ie lighter dishes). Don't miss the creative Humphry Slocombe ice cream for dessert, with flavors like Elvis the Fat Years and Harvey Milk & Honey Graham.

oceania cruise ship ratings

The Terrace Café is Vista's buffet venue with indoor and outdoor seating. The stunning wall mosaics set the tone for the sophisticated spread you can sample here. Think daily sushi, an array of fine cheeses, made-to-order omelets, pasta and steaks and premium ice cream (including one Humphry Slocombe flavor at lunch and dinner). The vegetarian options weren't always the best at the Terrace Café, though it often had gluten-free pasta.

On either side of the Terrace Café are several new and returning casual dining venues that should not be overlooked.

Waves Grill has always been one of my favorite grill venues at sea. Midday, it serves sandwiches, hot dogs, grilled entrees (mahi mahi, cajun chicken) and a huge selection of burgers, including Wagyu, veggie and salmon, in addition to the classic cheeseburger.

In the morning, it offers a downsized breakfast buffet with made-to-order omelets. At night, it transforms into a pizzeria with Italian-style pizza, a burrata menu (do not miss the burrata and tartufo dish) and a sinful Nutella pizza dessert. Pro tip: You can place an order at Waves and ask for your dish to be delivered to your table at the Terrace Café, so you don't have to choose between the options.

Past Oceania cruisers might wonder where Waves' famous smoothies and power bowls got to. The answer is Vista's new "healthy" dining venue, Aquamar, set up on the opposite side of the Terrace Café from the Waves Grill.

In the morning, don't miss Aquamar's selection of avocado toast or its freshly made juices, unusual lattes and smoothies. (You haven't lived until you've spiked your morning OJ with turmeric and cayenne pepper.) Energy bowls, banana pancakes and omelets round out the breakfast menu.

The lunch menu at Aquamar is vast. You can order poke-style bowls or compose your own, do a breakfast repeat with omelets and avocado toast, or order sandwiches from around the world, including tuna tacos, falafel pita, a Mexican chicken wrap or an Impossible burger. Wash it all down with a nonalcoholic cocktail that will have you convinced you're drinking the real thing.

All the previously mentioned restaurants allow you to dine at will, but Vista has four reservations-required dinner spots that are the stars of the show. Three return from sister ships Marina and Riviera, while one is new, replacing French restaurant Jacques.

oceania cruise ship ratings

The new entrant to Oceania's food scene is Ember, serving inventive American fare. Though the venue is one of Vista's signature restaurants, it has a more casual vibe than the others, and meals here don't take quite as long. Consensus on my sailing is the standout dishes are the spinach and artichoke dip, lobster mac and cheese (with an actual hunk of lobster-in-the-shell on top) and the triple chocolate brownie sundae.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Polo Grill, Vista's fanciest restaurant, where dinners can take hours. It's a classic steakhouse in a dimly lit setting with an enormous menu where protein is the star.

While it was perhaps not my favorite dining venue on board, the salmon I ordered was cooked perfectly, so moist and tender that I raved about it for the rest of the cruise. Folks at my table ordered everything from filet mignon to a whole Maine lobster, and everyone was satisfied with their choices.

Also, you may be understandably tempted to order the Polo Quartet of four desserts to finish your meal. I will save you the trouble by telling you the key lime pie is hands down the best of the bunch, and you should order the full-size version and skip the tasting plate.

oceania cruise ship ratings

Toscana is Oceania's long-standing Italian restaurant, but on Vista, it's newly enhanced with dishes created by the ship's godmother, Italian food star Giada De Laurentiis. If you enjoy veal, this is your spot; nearly half of the secondi menu consists of veal dishes (you can also order lamb and roast suckling pig here). I tried Giada's branzino and wasn't wowed.

Whatever you order, make sure to order at least one pasta dish with Toscana's incredible ship-made pasta. You can't go wrong with Giada's lemon spaghetti or the pesto gnocchi. If you need to skip dessert at one specialty restaurant, this is where I'd pass … unless you are a die-hard tiramisu fan.

The final specialty restaurant is Red Ginger, a pan-Asian dining experience. Perhaps it's because I love Asian food, but I have a hard time choosing what to eat at Red Ginger because everything looks so good. You could make a meal on appetizers alone.

To start, try the sushi, duck and watermelon salad or summer rolls. For your main, consider the miso-glazed sea bass, lobster pad thai, bulgogi ribeye steak or red curry chicken. You might think dessert is a non-starter, but the caramel tapioca was tasty, and the soft ice cream with Japanese togarashi is a fun mix of sweet and spicy.

oceania cruise ship ratings

Vista also offers multiple options for intimate or private wine-pairing lunches and dinners on board. They include a wine-pairing lunch at Ember and wine-themed dinners in private dining rooms attached to Toscana and Polo Grill. Hidden between those two restaurants is Privee, another intimate dining room where two special dinners are held: Odyssey (described as a "gustatory journey for the senses") and the Dom Perignon Experience that pairs special Champagnes with equally special dishes.

But the food options don't end with the restaurants. The Bakery by Baristas was a popular spot for daily beignets, quiches and pastries. Afternoon tea in Horizons is an Oceania specialty, with your choice of Twinings tea, scones with jam and clotted cream, tea sandwiches and cakes and petits fours all wheeled around in glass carts by formally dressed waiters.

oceania cruise ship ratings

Vista's bars are hopping before and after dinner because there's not much else to do on board at night.

The Martini Bar is the most happening lounge, located near the Grand Dining Room, several specialty restaurants and the casino. A pianist performs here on and off throughout the evening. You can find all your standard mixed drinks here, as well as a special martini menu. At peak times, you might not be able to find a seat.

On the other side of the casino is the Founders Bar, a new concept for Oceania, dedicated to creative craft cocktails. If you like your drinks topped with smoke bubbles, frozen balls of fruit or sprigs of herb or dried fruit slices, this is your spot. Seating is limited, but you can request your drink be delivered around the corner to the Grand Lounge, a stunning scenery area where a classical string quartet plays in the evening.

oceania cruise ship ratings

Be careful — it's so fun trying out all the crazy concoctions that you might bust your drink budget if you haven't upgraded to the premium beverage package.

Horizons is the observation lounge at the top of the ship, looking forward. We heard rave reviews of the live band here and some choice words about the resident DJ, but if you want to watch the sunset or get your groove on after deck, Horizons is the bar for you.

Baristas is the coffee bar by day and aperitif bar by night. Get your daytime caffeine fix with Illy espresso, macchiatos, cremas and more, including coffees spiked with booze. After 6 p.m., you'll find an Italian-influenced list of aperitifs and digestifs (amaretto, Campari, limoncello), as well as wines and cocktails (such as an Aperol spritz or negroni).

The pool bar serves all the daiquiris and coladas you can drink while lounging on Vista's gorgeous, resort-style pool deck. You can also order drinks at any of the restaurants. Aquamar has a lovely menu of nonalcoholic cocktails, fresh juices, lattes and smoothies.

Vista is also introducing new immersive cocktail experiences for the cruise line, which unfortunately had not yet debuted on my sailing. These will include a customizable Bubbly Bar in Baristas, a Bloody Mary Bar at lunch in the Terrace Café, a Macallan whisky and chocolate pairing, and cocktail-making seminars pairing Brugal 1888 rum with ice cream or tea.

Vista activities and shows

oceania cruise ship ratings

An Oceania cruise is a destination-focused trip, so onboard activities are kept to a minimum. You'll find trivia contests, spa seminars, casino tournaments and technology classes at the LYNC Digital Center, such as travel photography and photo editing for social media.

Where Oceania excels in onboard activities are with cooking classes and demos in the Culinary Center and art classes at the Artist Loft. Oceania brings on real chefs and working artists to lead the workshops. Sign up as soon as you get on board because these popular classes fill up quickly.

I tried a "drip technique" painting class where we decorated glass plates, and it was a far cry from the watercolor or needlepoint classes you might find on other ships. The two-part class explored a unique technique, and even though I'm not experienced in crafting and my plate looked pretty bad after the first class, the artist knew what he was doing, and my final product was surprisingly good. It's also a fun way to socialize with other passengers and the artists in residence.

Vista's culinary center is three times larger than the versions found on sister ships Marina and Riviera. In addition to the test kitchen with 24 individual cooking stations, a second room can be arranged for lectures or even dinners. Classes are themed, often related to the ship's destination, and yes, you can eat what you cook. They do cost extra; fees start at $79.

oceania cruise ship ratings

On a warm, sunny day, Oceania's gorgeous resort-style pool deck is the place to be with padded loungers and day beds, a main pool with a wading area around it and a couple of hot tubs. Sporty types should head to the ship's topmost half decks for an outdoor running track, shuffleboard, croquet/bocce, pickleball, mini-golf and a golf-driving cage.

The Aquamar Spa on Deck 15 offers a barber shop, salon, fitness center with aerobics studio and sauna and steam rooms in the men's and women's locker rooms. Concierge Level and suite guests receive complimentary access to the Aquamar Spa Terrace at the front of the ship, with two hot tubs and a thalassotherapy pool.

If it's cool and rainy, consider decamping to the nook- and book-filled library, where you can borrow games, settle in with your laptop or peruse guidebooks. Baristas is right around the corner. The ship also has the requisite shops selling fine jewelry and logo items.

oceania cruise ship ratings

In the evenings, you can find a singer-pianist in Martinis, a string quartet in the Grand Lounge and a band followed by a DJ in Horizons. I heard great things about Vista's Music Station Band, but somehow I was always eating dinner when they were performing.

Each night, there's a show in the Vista Lounge, either a guest performer or a typical cruise ship song and dance show by the onboard performers. One of the new shows on Vista was choreographed by Britt Stewart, a professional dancer who's worked with "Dancing with the Stars."

Vista itineraries and pricing

Vista will spend its summers in the Mediterranean and winters in the Caribbean. In fall 2023, the ship will also visit Canada and New England and transit the Panama Canal twice. Cruises range in length from seven to 90 days, but most are one to three weeks in length.

Cruise-only prices start from $1,799 for a French Veranda cabin or $2,049 for the lowest-category balcony room on a seven-night Caribbean cruise. Alternatively, you can choose Oceania's more inclusive and expensive OLife fares; these start from $2,599 for the French Veranda cabin or $2,849 for a regular balcony room.

The current OLife promotion runs through June 30 and includes round-trip airfare and transfers, plus your choice of four shore excursions, a beverage package or $400 onboard credit per cabin. Starting in July, the line will offer a set of included perks, without the need to choose, but the actual inclusions may change during promotional periods.

What to know before you go

oceania cruise ship ratings

Required documents

The travel documents you need for your Vista cruise are determined by your itinerary and homeports. For most cruises, you will need a passport that is valid for six months after your trip ends. For round-trip sailings out of U.S. homeports, a birth certificate and government photo ID will suffice. It's up to each passenger to determine if any of the ports of call require additional visas.

When you finish checking in online for your cruise, Oceania will email you a boarding pass that you should print out and bring with you to the terminal.

Crew gratuities are added to your onboard bill and amount to $18 per person, per day, in Concierge-class rooms and below, or $23 per person, per day, in upper-level suites. Gratuities can be prepaid. You are always welcome to tip above the auto-gratuity for exceptional service. All tour guides should be tipped in cash at the end of a tour.

A 20% gratuity is added to onboard bar and spa bills.

Vista is one of the first Oceania cruise ships to use Starlink high-speed internet. I can attest to the speed of Oceania's premium plan after attending a 90-minute Zoom meeting with only the slightest of lag.

Every cabin comes with one free Wi-Fi login (for one device at a time), or you can pay to add additional devices or for the premium plan that accommodates music and video streaming.

Carry-on drinks policy

Passengers can bring up to six bottles of wine per cabin for consumption in their room. If you wish to drink your own wine in a restaurant or public area of the ship, you will need to pay a $25 per bottle corkage fee.

Smoking policy

oceania cruise ship ratings

Vista offers designated areas on the Deck 12 pool deck (forward, starboard corner) and in the smoking lounge on Deck 14 forward, outside Horizons. The latter is a gorgeous space with forest-green walls, but it is entirely indoors. This policy applies to e-cigarettes, pipes and cigars, in addition to regular cigarettes.

Smoking is forbidden everywhere else on board, including in cabins and on private balconies. Passengers who are caught in violation of the smoking policy will be disembarked at the next port of call and may also be required to pay additional fees to cover costs for cleaning or replacing damaged furniture or decking.

Vista has complimentary self-service launderettes on decks 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11. Each is outfitted with a detergent dispenser, washers and dryers, an ironing board and a seating area with a TV if you choose to wait for your load to finish. You can walk away while your load runs, but set a timer because folks will remove your clothes if you don't pick them up in a timely fashion.

Alternatively, you can pay to send out your clothes to have them washed and/or pressed.

Electrical outlets

Vista's cabins and suites offer electrical outlets and USB ports on both sides of the bed and by the desk. You'll find both U.S. 110V and European 220V outlets. Americans may want to bring an adapter for charging devices in public rooms where the outlets are all European-style.

The onboard currency is the U.S. dollar. The reception desk can change dollars for the local currency.

Drinking age

You must be 21+ to drink alcohol onboard all Oceania cruises. When the ship is in international waters, young adults ages 18 to 20 may purchase and drink beer or wine (as well as the House Select beverage package).

oceania cruise ship ratings

Oceania does not have a complicated dress code with specific attire required on certain evenings. Instead, the line suggests "elegant casual resort wear" for evenings and requests that guests do not wear casual jeans, shorts, T-shirts, baseball caps, casual sandals or sneakers in the restaurants after 6 p.m.

For casual dining, choose the Pizzeria or Terrace Café for your evening meal. Shorts and baseball caps are allowed; athletic wear is not.

Elegant casual resort wear translates into date-night dresses (but not full-on cocktail attire), skirts and blouses or dressy pants and tops for women, and collared shirts and slacks for men. Jackets and ties are not required.

During the day, casual attire is fine, but please don't wear swimwear, bathrobes or pajamas in public areas. You'll need footwear if you leave the pool deck.

Bottom line

Vista is an elegant mid-size cruise ship that's the perfect home base for travelers who appreciate dining variety, enjoy interesting cocktails and fine wines and wish to explore the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

Cabins and suites are thoughtfully designed, though, for longer voyages, you might need to take advantage of onboard launderettes as cabin storage might be tight.

Vista offers a high-end experience on a beautifully designed ship, but you'll have a choice in how you spend your vacation budget rather than paying upfront for all-inclusive fares.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

  • The 5 most desirable cabin locations on any cruise ship
  • A beginners guide to picking a cruise line
  • The 8 worst cabin locations on any cruise ship
  • The ultimate guide to what to pack for a cruise
  • A quick guide to the most popular cruise lines
  • 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
  • 15 ways cruisers waste money
  • The ultimate guide to choosing a cruise ship cabin
  • Credit cards
  • View all credit cards
  • Banking guide
  • Loans guide
  • Insurance guide
  • Personal finance
  • View all personal finance
  • Small business
  • Small business guide
  • View all taxes

You’re our first priority. Every time.

We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. And while our site doesn’t feature every company or financial product available on the market, we’re proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward — and free.

So how do we make money? Our partners compensate us. This may influence which products we review and write about (and where those products appear on the site), but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services. Here is a list of our partners .

Oceania Cruises: The Complete Guide

Ramsey Qubein

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Oceania Cruises is a high-end cruise line with a reputation for excellent dining and the ability to visit a wider variety of ports because its ships aren’t as large as the typical cruise liner.

Oceania Cruises, part of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, launched in 2002. It focuses on travelers who want more privacy and personalized service when they sail. Oceania sits between its two sibling lines — the higher-end Regent Seven Seas and family-friendly Norwegian — when it comes to ship size and prices.

Here’s what you need to know about Oceania.

» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now

About Oceania Cruises

Oceania Cruises sails to all seven continents and visits more than 600 ports in more than 100 countries. The line recently introduced a new base fare, which includes round-trip airfare and Wi-Fi.

Cabin types: The cruise line offers cabins at various prices, ranging from inside staterooms to oceanview rooms with furnished balconies. Suites are also available in a variety of sizes. Oceania ships have a concierge level, which gives passengers access to a private lounge and concierge assistance.

Main U.S. routes: Oceania covers the globe. Those who want to depart from the U.S. will find itineraries for Alaska, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Mexico and New England, among others.  

Loyalty program: Oceania Club awards credits based on the length of the trip. The more credits you earn, the higher the elite status you’ll achieve. Benefits include perks like onboard credit, discounts on spa treatments and complimentary wine and prepaid gratuities. 

Oceania Cruises destinations

Oceania Cruises ships' smaller size gives them access to ports that larger ships can’t visit. The line also offers world cruises that circumnavigate the globe in 180 days, as well as a range of longer, regionally focused sailings.


Canada and New England.

Middle East.

New Zealand.

South Pacific and Tahiti.

Panama Canal.

South America.

Depending on how long you want to sail and where you’re going, you can find itineraries as short as seven days and longs as a whopping 200 days.

» Learn more: The pros and cons of cruises

Oceania cruise prices

Oceania sailings range in price depending on such factors as cabin type, ship, destination and length of trip. Keep in mind that Oceania is an upscale brand that prides itself on gourmet cuisine and onboard service — and its rates tend to reflect that.

For those looking for a weeklong cruise in the Caribbean, a trip departing from Miami and stopping in Mexico, Belize and Honduras starts at $1,399 per person. If you’re interested in Europe, a 10-day trip from Rome to Barcelona starts at $2,470 per person. Both rates are based on double occupancy in an inside stateroom.

Those who want to make like Magellan can book the 180-day around-the-world cruise starting at $48,499. A shorter, but still luxurious, 72-day itinerary in Asia starts at $19,599. Suites will increase the cost of the cruise but add more space for you to relax in your cabin.

The cruise line has announced a new base fare package called “simply MORE,” which comes with a host of inclusions. These include round-trip flights, airport transfers, shore excursions and a beverage package for all guests in the cabin.

» Learn more: The best ways to book a cruise

What is the best Oceania ship?

Oceania has eight ships in a range of sizes; the smallest accommodates just under 700 passengers, while the largest can hold up to 1,250. The cruise line has a low staff-to-passenger ratio, between 1.5 and 1.7 staff per passenger, which allows for more personalized service. Many of its ships have capacity for 684 passengers, which means they can feel less crowded than larger ships.

The best Oceania cruise ship is its newest one — Vista. Every room has a veranda, plus space for storage, rain showers in the bathrooms and upscale furnishings.

What is the newest Oceania ship?

The newest Oceania ships are the Vista, which set sail in 2023, and the Allura, which is scheduled to sail in 2025. Both of these are on the larger end of its fleet, with a capacity for 1,210 passengers.

They’re also part of a new class of Allura ships, which feature more onboard amenities and features compared with the other six ships in the fleet. Some examples of this on the Vista include four new dining venues, concierge-level staterooms for solo travelers and larger standard staterooms with over 290 square feet of space.

» Learn more: Do you need a passport for a Caribbean cruise?

What’s included on Oceania cruises?

Accommodations in the category you select.

All meals and snacks at buffet restaurants, dining rooms and specialty restaurants. 

Water, juice, soft drinks, specialty coffees and teas.

Champagne, wine and beer during lunch and dinner.

Wi-Fi access for two devices.

Fitness center with guided classes.

Shows and entertainment.

Pool access.

Onboard activities.

Round-trip airfare and airport transfers.

Shore excursions.

In-port shuttles.

Cooking school sessions with chef instruction.

Government fees and port taxes.

The mostly all-inclusive nature of Oceania sailings makes the pricing and experience simpler, since you won't need to pull out your credit card for every soda or latte. That said, there are still some things you’ll need to pay extra for, such as spa services, gratuities and certain beverage packages.

» Learn more: Are cruises all-inclusive?

Oceania Cruises loyalty program: Oceania Club

Oceania Club members earn credits on each cruise they take, with more points awarded for longer cruises. For example, a cruise that lasts up to 24 days earns one credit, cruises for 25-34 days receive two credits, and trips longer than 158 days get 15 credits.

Earning status can take a while unless your first cruise is lengthy. If you’re looking for elite status on a cruise line, Oceania isn't especially rewarding for people who cruise occasionally.

Oceania Club elite status tiers

The Oceania Club loyalty program has seven levels:

President’s Circle. 

With your first cruise, you automatically become a Blue member after signing up. The more nights you spend on Oceania ships, the higher your status tier and benefits. Here’s how to reach each tier along with some of the best benefits at each level.

To earn: Accrue at least five credits.

Best benefits: $100 shipboard credit, members-only offers and discount on Wi-Fi packages.

To earn: Accrue at least 10 credits.

Best benefits: $250 shipboard credit, complimentary prepaid gratuities and VIP shore excursion check-in.

To earn: Accrue at least 15 credits.

Best benefits: $400 shipboard credit, $300 spa treatment credit and two custom air fee waivers (worth $398).

To earn: Accrue at least 20 credits.

Best benefits: $500 shipboard credit, a free cruise, priority terminal check-in and an invitation to dine with the ship's officers.

To earn: Accrue at least 40 credits.

Best benefits: $750 shipboard credit, $400 spa treatment credit and complimentary wine tasting.

President’s Circle

To earn: Accrue at least 60 credits.

Best benefits: $1,000 shipboard credit, complimentary prestige beverage package and free laundry service.

How to earn Oceania Club credits

Travelers earn credits based on the length of a sailing. Even a three-week cruise earns just one credit, which means it can take some time to reach the first elite tier — Bronze, which requires five credits. Even though they’re part of the same holding company, you won’t earn Oceania credits when sailing with Norwegian or Regent Seven Seas.

How to redeem points

There are no points to redeem with Oceania Club. The primary purpose of the program is earning credits to reach different elite status tiers. At each level, there are various benefits you receive when on a cruise.

» Learn more: The best cruise lines

What is Oceania Cruises known for?

Oceania is best for travelers who want to go beyond the most commonly visited ports and foodies who prioritize onboard dining. Its smaller ships usually make for a more customized and personal experience. While Oceania has launched a new Allura Class of ships that nearly doubles its average passenger count, the staff-to-passenger ratio is still excellent.

Yes. There’s no need to worry about paying an additional fee to stay connected aboard an Oceania cruise ship, as it’s included in the cruise fare. Each cabin receives two free Wi-Fi logins.

Yes, for the most part. Oceania sailings include accommodations, shore excursions, port shuttles, activities, food and most beverages, specialty dining and entertainment. Not included in the fare are some beverage packages, gratuities, spa treatments, laundry and specialty excursions.

The recently-introduced new base fare, “simply MORE,” also includes round-trip flights, airport transfers and a beverage package for all guests in the cabin.

House Select (included for all passengers)

Premium wine, champagne and beer with lunch and dinner. Specialty coffee, tea, soft drinks and juices.

Prestige Select ($30 per guest, per day)

All House Select drinks.

Unlimited premium wine, champagne, beer and spirits anywhere and whenever you like.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024 :

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

1x-5x 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

75,000 Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card

on Bank of America's website

1.5x-2x Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

60,000 Receive 60,000 online bonus points - a $600 value - after you make at least $4,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

oceania cruise ship ratings

  • Search Please fill out this field.
  • Manage Your Subscription
  • Give a Gift Subscription
  • Newsletters
  • Sweepstakes

T+L's Review of Oceania Cruises' Vista

Oceania Cruises' new ship, Vista, has a resort-style pool, a stunning cocktail bar, and spacious cabins.

oceania cruise ship ratings

Courtesy of Oceania Cruises

​​I woke up to gray skies as Oceania Vista pulled into the port of Naples, Italy. Determined to reverse my weather luck, I went to deck 12 for a Morning Sunrise smoothie at Aquamar Kitchen. It worked. Some combination of the restaurant’s white-tile backsplash and baby-blue accents and the tropical smoothie brightened my mood. Heartened, my husband and I decided to brave the rain and set out in search of life-changing pizza. 

Last week, I was one of 1,200 passengers on Oceania Cruises’ first new ship in 11 years. With the debut of Vista , the brand, owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, rolled out its new Allura class of ship. It’s the first Oceania vessel where every room has a balcony, and it launched with Starlink (yes, the Elon Musk Wi-Fi), which was strong enough for me to take a Zoom call in the middle of the Tyrrhenian Sea with my camera on. Of Vista ’s 11 bars and restaurants, three are entirely new to Oceania — including a high-end cocktail counter that’s giving Death & Co. at sea, and the health-focused Aquamar with made-to-order salads, protein-dominant lunch bowls, and pressed juices.

There are, however, venues that faithful Oceania cruisers will recognize, like steak house Polo Grill and Italian restaurant Toscana, also on the Oceania-class ships, Riviera and Marina , and the older Regatta-class vessels. I was particularly excited to eat at Toscana, not only because I’d heard about the olive oil cart, but because Giada De Laurentiis — the ship’s godmother who sailed with us and christened Vista in a portside ceremony in Valletta, Malta — supplied two recipes for the menu. As someone who watched a lot of Everyday Italian in the early aughts, I felt strongly about trying her signature Capri-inspired lemon spaghetti. The lemon-cream sauce with grilled shrimp and capers delivered . It was easily the most talked-about dish on board, with the exception of the duck-and-watermelon salad at pan-Asian restaurant Red Ginger.

I hit the jackpot – which, on Vista , isn’t winning big at the deck-six casino, it’s scoring a Red Ginger reservation — about halfway through our cruise, as we sailed from Malta to Naples. From our corner table, my husband and I took in the glass-and-gold light fixtures and the geometric black aluminum dividers that created cozy seating nooks near the windows. We dug into tuna and salmon sashimi, pork-and-vermicelli spring rolls, and — of course — the famed duck-and-watermelon salad (which lived up to the hype), all paired with a Sonoma chardonnay. The showstopper, though, was the medium-rare bulgogi rib-eye plated on chic, blue-rimmed Tokyo Design Studio ceramic. We capped our night at Martinis — bet you can guess what that bar serves — where a pianist plays every night and the well of Elton John covers and The Botanist gin seemingly never runs dry.

Maya Kachroo-Levine/Travel+Leisure

Most nights, though, Founders Bar was the spot. New to Oceania, its most ambitious bar aboard has a menu of 26 intricate cocktails that use house-made syrups and top-shelf booze like Whistle Pig and parsley-infused Grey Goose. Of those cocktails, we tried nine (a decent showing, but not our best), and kept coming back to the Not So Sure, a potent take on an old fashioned made with Earl Grey tea–infused Woodford Reserve bourbon.

We marveled over the mixology — smoke, bubbles, and botanical spritzes were all part of the show — with other industry insiders, including Oceania executives and travel advisors who’d joined the preview sailing. Still, the onboard demographic was typical for Oceania, which tends to attract travelers in their 60s. That’s where the stories are. We dined with one couple, in their mid-80s, who have done two month-long stints on Oceania ships. They spent our meal at Ember, Vista ’s new American restaurant, telling us about the preparations that go into cruising the east coast of Africa to safeguard against Somali pirate attacks. Another gentleman, who grew up visiting Malta, sent us to the Valletta pub where actor Oliver Reed spent his time while shooting “Gladiator.” (Apparently, one night, Reed challenged British sailors to a drinking contest — and died in that very bar. At the unassuming pub on a Valletta side street, you can buy a shirt with Reed’s final, unpaid bar tab: eight pints; 12 double rums; 14 whiskeys. We opted for a slightly more restrained order.)

That said, the ship really is putting in the work when it comes to appealing to millennials. There’s the excellent Wi-Fi; pickleball ( America’s fastest growing sport , by the way, with NPR reporting “the strongest growth among players under 55”); a very Sweetgreen-like salad counter at Aquamar; and a coffee shop that looks like one in walking distance of my home in L.A. (marble counters, gold accents, leather bar stools) and pulls an espresso shot of similar quality. 

Meanwhile, Oceania has vastly expanded the number of tours and excursions available, something that should also appeal to a younger crowd. “These aren’t the run-of-the-mill shore excursions that everyone is used to on cruises,” promises Frank Del Rio, Jr., the new president of Oceania Cruises, in an interview with Travel + Leisure . All in, the company has developed more than 100 of these new, smaller-group choices, which leverage the expertise of locals and unlock under-the-radar activities, as T+L   contributing editor Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon recently reported . These “Go Local” tours brought Greaves-Gabbadon to locals’ homes in little-known destinations, like the “Croatian hamlet of Škopljanci (population: nine), where a local farmer welcomed me with homemade cherry schnapps.” 

Eager to find my own version of a nine-person town with cherry schnapps, I opted for a spin around Corsica that promised a visit to the mountains of Vizzavona and “Corsican snacks.” We took an astounding drive from the western port city of Ajaccio to Hôtel-Restaurant Monte d'Oro in the center of the island. I found our guide easy to tune out (she was, indeed, a local, but her monologue felt more suited to an old-school cruise tour of 50 people, rather than a group of 20 snack enthusiasts). But I loved watching the landscape transform from beach and sparkling sea to Alps-rivaling mountain views as our bus climbed 3,815 feet to Vizzavona. Waiting for us inside the hotel, the oldest on Corsica, dating back to 1880, was an impressive charcuterie spread, served under vines weeping down from wood-paneled ceilings. After lunch, I chatted with a server about the biodynamic red wine they were pouring and cozied up in the hotel’s sitting room, where I pulled a Molière biography from a paperback-cluttered shelf and read quietly aloud to my husband. I assume he loved it.

I did absolutely no research on Corsica  – beyond reading the excursion pamphlet on my flight from Paris to Rome, and skimming Napoleon's Wikipedia page. And yet, I still wound up on a stunning stretch of the island I would have never known about. I didn’t have to worry about how to get there. All I had to worry about was how long I had before my husband’s patience ran out on my very slow French-to-English translation of Molière’s life.

Other culinary adventures are a key part of Oceania’s effort to appeal to all age ranges. On Vista, there are 17 new culinary tours on top of an already robust lineup of cooking classes. Executive chef Kathryn Kelly says, in various ports, foodies will head to the market (like the main open-air agorá on Corfu, Greece ), with shopping assignments and euros from Vista chefs. Then, they’ll come back on board for a class at the ship’s culinary center, which is three times larger than the ones on older ships.

After a morning of shopping and an afternoon of Corsican charcuterie, I returned to my cabin and posted up on my balcony to watch as we pulled away from Ajaccio. My concierge-level stateroom, at 270 square feet, had a sizable balcony, a queen-size bed, and a double shower. (I spoke to several experienced Oceania cruisers who were beyond excited about the increased size of the showers.) Though the rooms are about the same square footage as those on other Oceania ships, the Vista designs make smarter use of the floor plan, said Greg Walton, CEO of Studio Dado, the firm that designed most of the ship. To take one example, closets were moved from next to the bed to a spot closer to the door, which freed up room to expand those showers, Walton explained in a conversation with T+L.

The new Allura-class Vista has more suites than others in the Oceania fleet, too: there are 14 Oceania Suites (up to 1,200 square feet); eight Vista Suites (up to 1,850 square feet); and three Owner’s Suites with Ralph Lauren Home decor, two massive terraces, and 2,400 square feet of space. 

As we sailed away from Corsica, I went up to the main pool area, which Walton said is “designed to feel like a resort” with cabanas and light wood–colored accents, ordered a barrel-aged Negroni, and took it with me to the whirlpool. After my soak, I watched the sunset from Polo Grill, over martinis and filet mignon, and then went back to Founders Bar, to continue my absolutely crucial cocktail-sampling mission. 

After seven days on Vista — the longest I’ve ever spent on a ship — I was surprised by how much I wanted to stay on board. I wasn’t ready to part with my new routine, from early Morning Sunrise smoothies to Not So Sure cocktails before bed. “Next year, 40 percent of our trips will be 30-plus days or longer,” Del Rio says. Dubbed Grand Voyages, those itineraries have been extremely popular among Oceania guests as they return to cruising. “We have the 180-day around-the-world cruise that we also sell in segments,” he adds.

Vista will sail in Europe this summer — a June itinerary, for example, goes from Athens to Istanbul in 10 days, from $5,089 per person , including food; select wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages; six shore excursions; and a $600 credit to use on board toward spa services or top-shelf drinks. The ship will come stateside in the fall, starting with an 11-day sail from New York to Montreal, then head to the Caribbean for the winter. A seven-day round-trip cruise from Miami, visiting Mexico, Belize, and Honduras, starts at $2,228 per person (or $318 a day for the trip, including food, non-alcoholic drinks and house wine, four excursions, and a $400 onboard credit).

Related Articles

oceania cruise ship ratings

Ships & Ratings

Ship Ratings Key

oceania cruise ship ratings

  • Holiday Rentals
  • Restaurants
  • Things to do
  • Oceania Cruises
  • Oceania Cruises from California
  • Oceania Cruises from Florida
  • Oceania Cruises from Anchorage
  • Oceania Cruises from Los Angeles
  • Oceania Cruises from New York City
  • Oceania Cruises from Vancouver
  • Oceania Cruises from London
  • Oceania Cruises from Barcelona
  • Oceania Cruises from Venice
  • Oceania Cruises from Amsterdam
  • Oceania Cruises from Lisbon
  • Oceania Cruises from Athens
  • Oceania Cruises from Copenhagen
  • Oceania Cruises from Civitavecchia
  • Oceania Cruises from Sydney
  • Oceania Cruises from Hong Kong
  • Oceania Cruises from Singapore
  • Oceania Cruises from Dubai
  • Oceania Cruises from Buenos Aires
  • Oceania Cruises from Auckland
  • Oceania Cruises to Caribbean
  • Oceania Cruises to Barbados
  • Oceania Cruises to France
  • Oceania Cruises to Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
  • Oceania Cruises to Spain
  • Oceania Cruises to Andalucia
  • Oceania Cruises to Seville
  • Oceania Cruises to Catalonia
  • Oceania Cruises to Barcelona
  • Oceania Cruises to Italy
  • Oceania Cruises to Campania
  • Oceania Cruises to Lazio
  • Oceania Cruises to Tuscany
  • Oceania Cruises to Portugal
  • Oceania Cruises to Lisbon
  • Oceania Cruises to Civitavecchia
  • Oceania Cruises to Province of Naples
  • Oceania Cruises to Province of Rome
  • Oceania Cruises to Lisbon District
  • Oceania Cruises to Central Portugal
  • Luxury Oceania Cruises
  • Things to Do
  • Travel Stories
  • Add a Place
  • Travel Forum
  • Travellers' Choice
  • Help Centre

Oceania Cruises Vista Deck Plans & Reviews

oceania cruise ship ratings

Oceania Cruises Vista

Activities & entertainment.

  • Destination Services *
  • Grand Staircase
  • Boutiques *
  • Grand Lounge
  • Concierge Lounge
  • Executive Lounge
  • Whirlpools (4)
  • The Culinary Center
  • Cooking Classes
  • Artist Loft
  • Arts & Crafts
  • LYNC Digital Center
  • Computer Classes
  • Conference Center
  • Aquamar Spa *
  • Thermal Suite *
  • Fitness Center
  • Fitness Track
  • Shuffleboard
  • Paddle Tennis
  • Golf Putting Greens
  • Self-Service Laundry *
  • Medical Center
  • Production Shows
  • Cabaret Shows
  • Guest Speakers
  • The Grand Dining Room - Main
  • Red Ginger - Pan-Asian
  • Ember - American
  • Casino Bar - Casino Bar *
  • Martinis - Martini Bar *
  • Grand Lounge - Popular Bar *
  • Terrace Cafe - Buffet
  • Aquamar Kitchen - Healthy Fare
  • Waves Grill - Pool Grill
  • Waves Bar - Pool Bar *
  • Toscana - Italian
  • Privee - Private Dining
  • Polo Grill - Steakhouse
  • Bakery - Pastries
  • Baristas - Coffee Bar *
  • Horizons - Panoramic Bar *
  • The Culinary Center Dining Room - Regional
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Room Service

Reviews We perform checks on reviews. Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines , the review is not published. When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site. Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines . Learn more about our review moderation.

  • Excellent 5
  • Very Good 9
  • All languages ( 29 )
  • English ( 28 )
  • German ( 1 )

I stayed in Carnival's cheapest, $90-a-day cabin on its new ship. It was ugly and windowless but shockingly spacious.

  • I booked the cheapest interior cabin for my four-night cruise on Carnival's new Carnival Firenze .
  • It was ugly, dated, and lacked decor, but shockingly spacious. 
  • Interior staterooms in Carnival's newest ship start at $90 per person per day in 2024.

Insider Today

One of the best parts about cruising is feeling the open ocean's cool breeze rush around your skin.

So imagine how grumpy I was when I had to book a windowless interior cabin for my most recent sailing — on my first Carnival cruise , no less.

As a travel reporter, I go on several of these vacations at sea every year. I'm usually put up in balcony staterooms, the most popular cabin category .

Yes, I've been spoiled. And yes, that means I've always feared inside cabins.

oceania cruise ship ratings

Cruises can be overstimulating and overwhelming. Private balconies are the only place I've gotten peace, quiet, and fresh air on some ships.

So, unsurprisingly, I was dreading the interior cabin I had booked for my four-night Carnival Firenze cruise in mid-May.

No fresh air? No cool ocean breeze? The horror!

oceania cruise ship ratings

I expected a small, dark, moldy dungeon deprived of life, happiness, and light.

Turns out, I was being a bit too dramatic. Who would've guessed?

I'll admit was pleasantly surprised.

oceania cruise ship ratings

But before I get to the positives (spoiler alert: it's size), I have to address the negatives.

It might've been the ugliest cabin I've ever stayed in. And that's coming from someone who's sailed on a Margaritaville cruise .

To understand the stateroom, you must understand the ship's relatively short history.

oceania cruise ship ratings

Firenze joined Italy-based Costa Cruises' fleet in 2020. The company, owned by Carnival Corp , had planned to launch the ship in China but couldn't because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Firenze's stint with Costa was then shortlived. In 2022, Carnival announced it would acquire Firenze and its sister ship, Venezia, to grow its US footprint amid "strong interest in people wanting to sail with us," a Carnival spokesperson told Business Insider.

The spokesperson said Firenze underwent a two-month refresh to 'install the Carnival Fun Italian Style Concept.'

oceania cruise ship ratings

That would explain the otherwise unnecessary photo of Florence, Italy behind my bed.

The print was both the only decor and the only reference to Italy in my dingy cabin. Unfortunately, it looked both tacky and misplaced.

It did, however, disguise the ominous "pull the cord for assistance" feature.

It's 2024. Why weren't there any bedside outlets?

oceania cruise ship ratings

The ship is less than four years old. The cabin looked quadruple its age, no thanks to the dated furniture that all came pushed against the wall.

The chaise's greyish pattern clashed with the yellow and red eyesore of a rug. And the small wood and faux-marble side table looked cheap and misplaced.

Gripes about aesthetics aside, everything in the joint living room and bedroom was perfectly functional.

oceania cruise ship ratings

On the bright side, the mattress was comfortable. And the large desk and closet could have provided enough storage for more than two travelers.

The room also had motion-sensing lights mounted by the floor, a necessary amenity for a space devoid of natural light.

Plus, the unappealing decor encouraged me to spend more time around the ship's common spaces.

But if you think the bedroom looks old, wait until you see the bathroom.

oceania cruise ship ratings

It was about as glamorous as a gas station restroom.

Most of my cruise cabin bathrooms have had modern, cool-toned decor, like the one pictured on the left. Carnival seems to have avoided the industry trend as much as possible.

The yellow and red tiles were giving vintage McDonald's.

oceania cruise ship ratings

Unbeknownst to me, the cruise line had put me in one of the ship's accessible, wheelchair-friendly accommodations. This meant the shower (as in, a curtain and a few drains on the floor) was one of the most spacious I've had at sea.

However, it only came with a two-in-one body wash and shampoo. Apparently, both Royal Caribbean and Carnival seem to have a BYOHC (bring your own hair conditioner) policy.

Some storage would've been nice, too.

oceania cruise ship ratings

An unnecessary number of stacked tissue boxes and toilet paper rolls occupied the only shelves in the bathroom.

There was no need for these excess paper products. My cabin attendant already cleaned and restocked my stateroom once a day, as is typical with Carnival.

I'm a girlie with an extensive skincare routine and a compulsive need to organize my products. With almost no storage in the bathroom, I needed these shelves.

With all these complaints, you may wonder why I said I was pleasantly surprised by my stateroom.

oceania cruise ship ratings

It's all because of one major feature: Its size. I never felt claustrophobic despite being stuck in a windowless 150-square-foot box.

The bathroom, one of the most spacious I've seen on a cruise ship, was so big that it could comfortably fit a family of four.

Back in the living room, I could've rolled out a yoga mat and worked out without moving anything around.

oceania cruise ship ratings

Heck, I could've comfortably starfished on the floor without hitting any furniture. I don't know if I can say the same for most of my previous cruise accommodations.

Would I have preferred a balcony or window? Yes.

oceania cruise ship ratings

Did it feel more like a hospital room than a floating hotel room? Yes.

However, for the spaciousness, the cost is hard to beat. As a solo traveler, I paid $735 for my cabin, including $64 in optional gratuities.

In 2024, the cheapest interior cabin for two guests on Carnival Firenze starts at about $360 per person, including taxes and fees, for the same four-night itinerary as the one I went on.

That's $90 a night for a cabin, food, onboard amenities, and stops at Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico.

oceania cruise ship ratings

Plus, it's much cheaper than the newest ships of other cruise lines (I'm looking at you, Royal Caribbean ).

So, if you are desperate for a dirty and cheap getaway, and Carnival Firenze has been catching your eye, don't be afraid of the interior cabin.

oceania cruise ship ratings

Yes, it isn't lovely. But at least it's completely functional and large.

If I — spoiled — can do it, so can you.

oceania cruise ship ratings

  • Main content


  1. Oceania Cruise Reviews (2024 UPDATED): Ratings of Oceania Cruises

    Oceania Cruise Reviews: See what 3,088 cruisers had to say about their Oceania cruise. Find detailed reviews of all Oceania cruise ships and destinations.

  2. Oceania Cruises Review

    Rankings. Oceania Cruises has been ranked based on an expert evaluation of the line's level of luxury, as well as an assessment of user reviews and health ratings. #4. in Best Luxury Cruise Lines ...

  3. 7 Best Oceania Cruises

    U.S. News ranks 7 Best Oceania Cruises based on an analysis of reviews and health ratings. Vista is the top-ranked ship overall. ... Oceania Cruises' first new ship in more than a decade can hold ...

  4. Oceania Cruise Reviews (2024 UPDATED): Ratings of Oceania Cruises

    My Oceania's Riviera cruise was a disappointment. Review for a Asia Cruise on Riviera. CA cruiser 2024. 10+ Cruises • Age 70s. Read More. Sail Date: April 2024. Traveled with children. Helpful. Staff not friendly, helpful, or polite.

  5. Oceania Vista

    Oceania's first new ship in over a decade set sail in spring 2023, and can hold 1,200 passengers. It marks the start of the line's new Allura Class, and boasts all-veranda cabins (a first for ...

  6. Oceania Riviera

    Oceania Riviera. 122 reviews. 1-855-623-2642 Website. All photos (1,586) Traveler ( 254) Common Areas ( 667) Dining and Bars ( 426) Itineraries for this ship. Itinerary.

  7. Oceania Cruises Reviews, Ships & Photos

    Find Oceania Cruises reviews, top Oceania Cruises itineraries, ship details, photos, and more! Check out our guide on why you should sail Oceania Cruises. Oceania Cruises sails 8 ships. Check out 899 candid photos, 845 reviews and advice real cruisers. Compare prices to find the best deal.

  8. Oceania Cruises Riviera Cruise Review

    With Mediterranean itineraries on lines such as Cunard and Celebrity going for $200 to $250 a day for veranda cabins, the premium to sail on Oceania Riviera surprised us. It will be interesting to watch how the coming launch of Viking Ocean Cruises in 2015—potentially a direct competitor to Oceania—changes the scene.

  9. Oceania Insignia

    Oceania Insignia. 37 reviews. 1-855-623-2642 Website. All photos (50) Traveler ( 40) Common Areas ( 28) Dining and Bars ( 3) Itineraries for this ship. Itinerary.

  10. Oceania Cruises Vista

    Oceania Cruise out of Malta. While the ship and food were excellent, unfortunately we had two incidents that reduced star rating to 4. First was a passenger medical emergency which caused the ship to accelerate to a destination. The additional speed created ship turbulence. The second incident was a ship an…. Read more.

  11. Regatta Review

    Regatta ranks # 2 out of 7 Oceania Cruises Cruise Ships based on an analysis of expert and user ratings, as well as health ratings. #2. in Best Oceania Cruises. #6. in Best Cruises to Alaska. #7.

  12. Vista cruise ship review: What to expect on Oceania's first Allura

    Vista debuted in May 2023, the first new ship for Oceania Cruises in a decade and the flagship of the line's new Allura class. It carries 1,200 passengers in cabins and suites that all have either a true balcony or a French veranda (meaning you can open doors to the fresh air but can't step outside). ... For cruise news, reviews and tips, sign ...

  13. Oceania Marina Review

    Under Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Oceania Cruises participates in the SailSafe program, which employed enhanced safety measures for guests and crew throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

  14. Guide to Oceania Cruises

    Oceania has eight ships in a range of sizes; the smallest accommodates just under 700 passengers, while the largest can hold up to 1,250. The cruise line has a low staff-to-passenger ratio ...

  15. Oceania Cruises' Vista Ship Review

    T+L's Review of Oceania Cruises' Vista. Oceania Cruises' new ship, Vista, has a resort-style pool, a stunning cocktail bar, and spacious cabins. I woke up to gray skies as Oceania Vista pulled ...

  16. Oceania Cruises: All Ships and Ratings

    Ships & Ratings. All Oceania ships are listed below. For detailed information about a ship, click any link. The ship rating is based on a 6-star system, and the key to the ratings follows. Ship Ratings Key. Exceptional in every way. Excellent. Very good. Good.

  17. New Margaritaville Cruise Ship Arrives in Florida

    The 85,619-gross-ton, Spirit-class Margaritaville at Sea Islander will more than double the passenger capacity of the boutique cruise line, joining Margaritaville at Sea Paradise. Margaritaville ...

  18. Oceania Cruises Relaunches Personalized Cruise Vacation Guide

    Oceania Cruises has two additional ships on order scheduled for delivery in 2027 and 2028 or 2029[1]. Oceania Cruises is a wholly owned subsidiary of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. ...

  19. Oceania Cruises Vista Deck Plans & Reviews

    Oceania Cruise out of Malta. While the ship and food were excellent, unfortunately we had two incidents that reduced star rating to 4. First was a passenger medical emergency which caused the ship to accelerate to a destination. The additional speed created ship turbulence. The second incident was a ship an…. Read more.

  20. I Stayed in the Cheapest Cabin on Carnival's Newest Ship

    Firenze joined Italy-based Costa Cruises' fleet in 2020. The company, owned by Carnival Corp , had planned to launch the ship in China but couldn't because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Firenze's ...

  21. Cruise Stocks Catch a Lift from Strong Wave Season

    Carnival stock is up more than 3% in recent trading. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean shares are also on the climb. Shareholders recently got a lot of positive information about ...