Oceania Marina Review – Summary
The Oceania Marina accommodates 1,200 passengers. In early 2016 I traveled on it from Buenos Aires around the tip of South America and on to Tahiti. The summary of my trip – I’ve been converted into the group of travelers who only want to cruise with Oceania Cruises.
Oceania Marina Review – Specialty Restaurants
The Oceania Marina Review covered all 4 specialty restaurants. These are included in the basic cruise fare but seating is by reservation only. Passengers get 4 reservations to start but can continue subsequently to book reservations without limit, but subject to availability. The specialty restaurants are Jacques, Red Ginger, Toscana and Polo which cover off French, Asian, Italian and steak. These are all great options. We met people who tried to eat at the same one every night, because they liked it so much. In conclusion, Oceania has always had great reviews for their cuisine and they did not disappoint.
Waves Grill – Great for Breakfast & Lunch
This is an excellent option for breakfast and lunch when the weather is warm enough. Seating is covered so rain is never a factor. For breakfast they cook eggs and omelettes. They also have staff managed coffee machines for decaf and regular lattes or cappuccinos. In the mornings we would pick up anything of interest at the Terrace Cafe and then sit at Waves Grill, where we would have eggs and lattes delivered to our table . At lunch time, Waves Grill had two very nice options that we enjoyed. First there were Angus burgers cooked to taste. Second, there was always an option of fillet mignon and lobster for lunch. With a selection of gelato, shakes and smoothies also available, this area is a culinary masterpiece.
Oceania Marina Review – Terrace Cafe
As our time on board lengthened we grew more and more fond of the buffet at the Terrace Cafe. They present all the same selections as the Grand Dining Room, but we found it was much more enjoyable to sample a little bit of everything instead of selecting only one meal in the Grand Dining Room. For example, one night I had frog legs in Alsatian Riesling garlic, swordfish on a potato and veggie base, Roast lamb, coq au vin and BBQ meat balls. Delicious. It’s also a lot easier to preview and sample multiple desserts at the buffet.
Oceania Marina Review – Grand Dining Room
This was clearly a very popular option for dinner, bit we ended up enjoying the buffet more. Staff here were frequently confused about seating plans and delivery mix ups. We heard that part of the issue may have had to do with the recent acquisition of Oceania by NCL and related staffing turnover / reduction. We never noticed service issues like this at any other venue on the ship. The other downside we found at the Grand Dining Room was the awkwardness of conversations touching on American politics. Eventually we switched to the Terrace Cafe for dinner and found that all the main courses from the Grand Dining Room were available there in proportions of your own choosing.
In Room Dining
This is a thoroughly enjoyable experience and is included service for all passengers. Burgers and sandwiches are available. Fries were thinner cut than at Waves. Potato chips were a refreshing change of pace with sandwiches. I found the sandwiches so large that I ordered half amounts. It was nice to have things such as cold milk and chocolate chip cookies, even though they weren’t on the menu. If we’d been bigger eaters, I’m sure we would have had rave reviews about the breakfasts too, but we were already hooked on Waves Grill each morning.
Oceania Marina Review – Afternoon Tea
Each day at 4 pm the fancy tea settings are placed. Tea or coffee and a host of pastries are served by staff in white gloves while live classical music is played. Afternoon tea is simply addictive.
Oceania Marina Review – Veranda Staterooms
The veranda staterooms on the Marina are all 280 sq feet. The room size is adequate, but the plan could have been better thought out. The closet and much of the drawers space is beside the bed, making access difficult for more than one person. There is a locking safe, but the door must be locked shut or it will continuously bang up against the covering closet door. The bathroom is pleasant and includes a tile floor, tub and a very narrow separate shower. The decks on Deck 7 are pleasantly oversized.
Oceania Marina – King Sized Beds
The best feature of the suites are the king sized beds. I usually miss my bed at home, but not on this trip. These beds are so amazingly comfortable that I found myself considering purchasing one from Oceania.
Oceania Marina Review – Concierge Level Staterooms
On the Concierge level of decks 9 and 10 passengers have 24 hour key card access to a lounge on deck 9. A concierge is on duty during most hours of the day. Coffees and snacks at any time. In general though, you are paying extra for easier access to services and amenities that are included for all passengers.
Oceania Marina Review – Shore Excursions
Shore excursions are very expensive. Here are some comparisons. The Rangiroa 1 hour snorkel excursion to the sandbar near the pier was $129 per person. The same excursion could be purchased independently on the pier for $40 per person. The Le Truck circle island tour of Bora Bora was $129. You could buy a circle island tour at the pier for $35. The Bora Bora snorkel experience was $129 but independents offered a full circle island tour by boat with several stops for $70.