April 2016 - Sirena to Europe - Mediterranean
This was the inaugural cruise for Oceania's newest ship, Sirena. We upgraded our stay to the concierge level. We had expected a special level of service and that was not evident. We had to constantly leave notes for the room attendants to fill the fridge, replace the soap, supply clean glasses, etc. This was a similar experience with service at the restaurants, pool, and bars. We would constantly have to find a waiter or waitress. Simple things like refilling drinks, replacing silverware that they had taken up were a constant aggravation. At the cafe where you can "graze" for food you had to have someone serve you food that was right in front of you. It is a nice idea to make you feel special but the staff struggled with fulfilling simple tasks like toasting bread. To make sure you got the food you asked for you had to wait. Watching the toaster to avoid burning was a necessity as well as waiting for items that had to be cooked because if you left that section to get other food it was a good chance your food would be given to someone else.
I would not fault the staff. They were working hard but didn't appear to have the training and experience to this "higher end" cruise line. This was clearly a management problem. To make the point even stronger the ship had a significant amount of maintenance issues. Toilets stopped working, electricity went off on part of the ship, the hot tub jets never worked, handicap doors were inoperable, and air-conditioning stopped on part of the ship. To cap it off there was a fire in the engine room and it gets even better. On the last day we were in Venice. They shut down the entire pool deck for maintenance for the whole day. Those of us who had been to Venice before had nothing to do except to watch movies in our rooms. Oh and of course the satellite TV's had spotty reception.
My wife and I have cruised many different cruise lines. We thought we would try paying the extra costs for a smaller ship. In the future, we will probably opt for a premium suite on a larger boat where we know the mechanics of the ship and the staff will be well trained.