The destinations were magnificent. A great boat for very mature people.
The food was incredible, the best cruise food I have had.
The activities on board were not for me at all.
The entertainment was just OK, mostly singers.
The staff were so but so good, all of them, they are there to please you.
food and service usually very good; had some rough seas ( 4 foot waves) making the ride rough for 3 or 4 days; not sure if stabilizers were working properly or it was rough due to ship being " mid-sized" ( maybe a larger ship can handle the waves better ?)
ports not great; the 2 better ones ( Caymen Islands and Roatan ) did not allow enough time to enjoy ( we had to return by mid-afternoon )
The food is the most outstanding part of any Oceania cruise. And this one was no exception. However, the Insignia is not quite as good an experience as other Oceania ships of the same size, particularly the Regatta.
Dining and service were outstanding. The Main Dining Room and Toscana were first rate with wonderful dishes and service. Terrace café was excellent for breakfast and good for lunch. MDR was great for lunch. The High Tea was the highlight of the afternoon and eagerly awaited. Head Chef, Mario Santoro was wonderful and a constant presence. The shows were better than anticipated and the Sting Quartet were wonderful and very entertaining. The only disappointments related to the very poor handling of the Egyptian port cancellations (no notice) and the lack of help or support from the Destinations staff. Additionally, several items prominently displayed in all advertising material were not available--nor Artist in residence and no sauna. Corporate offices need to correct errors and not mislead customers on ports of call.
Our recent Nordic cruise on Oceania's Insignia will be remembered as one of our favorite cruises among the many that we have taken. The itinerary was a perfect introduction to this part of the world -- taking us to places we hadn't been before. It was a nice blend of ports that featured stunning natural wonders (geysers, waterfalls, mountains and fjords) as well as cosmopolitan cities and historic neighborhoods worth exploring on foot. We enjoyed a variety of experiences on the ship's shore excursions and on our own. The ship won our hearts with its tasteful and refined decor, outstanding cuisine, and excellent service. We found it to be the perfect size for us: not too big and not too small. We appreciated its quiet, relaxing atmosphere, smoke-free venues, and the fact that there were very few children on board. I overheard one passenger complaining about the lack of activities onboard, but we rejoiced that there was no rock-climbing wall, no non-stop disco, bingo, karaoke, art auctions, and all the other noise and nonsense of big cruise ships. We cruise for the sheer pleasure of cruising and to visit interesting ports of call. We don't need a floating amusement park. We look forward to sailing on Oceania's Insignia again someday.
First, the itinerary was exceptional. An 18 day adventure including 3 stops in Canada Maritimes, 3 stops in Greenland, and finally Reykjavik. Next was the food on the ship. There are 2 specialty restaurants, Tuscana and Polo, as well as the Grand Dining Room, the Terrace Cafe (buffet), and the Waves Grill. We ate at all of them several times and the food was varied, fresh, well prepared, attractive, and tasty. Special requests were always accommodated and the service was personal, attentive, and professional. Then, I felt that everyone on the staff was personally invested in seeing to it that we enjoyed ourselves. If we had an issue, it was immediately addressed, no matter how minor. Next, our room, a penthouse suite, 322 sq ft, was very well laid out and functional. Our room staff was very efficient, friendly, and helpful. Also, we met a lot of new people. Not everyone you meet on a cruise will be your new bestie, but we met several who we will stay in touch with in the future. We were so happy with the ship, crew, and overall experience that we booked 3 more cruises before leaving the ship.
So much beauty to experience in each island, so many interesting and fun people I met along the way. The experience of having a fruit buffet before returning to the pier in Nuku Hiva was unforgettable; the tour guide in Kauai was the best lecturer on the island's history (better than a book); and the afternoon on the glass bottom boat in Rangiroa was fun with lots of laughter. I met amazing and interesting people and made new friends. The staff are highly professional, committed to high standards of customer services. The only aspect that Oceania needs to improve is travel arraignments: scheduled flights, connections, and time between connections were the number one complaint from the majority of people on this trip.
The best part of the cruise was the low key atmosphere and nightly string quartet.
Several items need improvement most notably:
1. Air travel in all aspects.
2. Last day of trip in hotel which is what leaves last impression.
We left Miami on January 4, 2016. We were booked on the first two legs of an 'Around the World Cruise', cruising for 36 days from Miami Florida to Cape Town South Africa. We have selected Oceania as our preferred cruise line, having sailed with them on five cruises in the past three years. Again they met and exceeded our expectations - the staff, the crew, and the itinerary. Approximately 600 guests and 400 crew. We visited 19 ports in 36 days, and took excursions in 17 of the ports in the Caribbean, Brazil, and in West Africa.
Oceania dinning rooms are open seating, and the food is exceptional. The Grand Dining Room is open seating, as a couple or with friends. The specialty dining rooms are also open seating, and at no extra charge. The food is excellent in all of them.
We have our next two cruises already booked!!
we sailed on the Insignia ship from Oceania. Because we had previously sailed on one of their newer ships, we were disappointed in this ship. Suites were much smaller, restaurant choices were fewer, entertainment was less, and other amenities such as concierge room was absent. We did find the service to be excellent throughout the ship, the food to be delicious, and the ports satisfactory. We were however displeased with most of the excursions, and have decided that for future cruises we will book our excursions independently with private tour guides.
rWe took the 35-day leg of this around the world trip from Cape Town to Singapore. We decided on Oceania because of the itinerary they offered on this leg of the trip.
The problems we had with Oceania just getting us transportation to Cape Town should have been a hint of what was to come. We wanted to book a 3-day pre-cruise tour through Oceania, and did so; but then they couldn't get us on a flight to get us there in time; really? So we ended up having to cancel that safari and wind land 3-day event. Disappointed greatly with that.
There were many problems with this cruise, mostly on the ship, but also with some ports. So much to say...
1st: Regarding the ship - it is an older smaller ship, with a lot of problems. While we were on it, they had (in addition to a norovirus-like epidemic) a horrible leak of pool chemicals (sulfur hydrochloride, I believe) which forced us out of our cabin for a couple of hours and was awful to breath in. We didn't hear anything definitive from the captain for several hours - some communication would have been advised. After he finally did make an announcement it was never mentioned again. No "we apologize for the inconvenience and have a drink on us" or "can we make that up to you?". Nothing. The woman in the suite 2 doors down from us had to go to the hospital as it caused breathing difficulties for her, even though we were all exposed. It stunk our eyes, chests, throats, noses - etc. We were advised that it wasn't toxic, but when we asked what it was they said they didn't know. (So how do they know it wasn't toxic?) All I can say about that is that it hurt physically throughout our reparatory systems.
2nd: The cabin next to our suite had a bathroom leak which leaked into our cabin, causing a sopping wet carpet for several days. It still was soaking wet when we disembarked in Singapore at the end of the trip. Again, no apologies for anyone about it.
Next, let's discuss the attitude of the officers and staff.....
1st: We were on one 35-day leg of the 180-day Around the World Trip. It seemed that the ship's officers and crew catered mostly to the "180's" (as we came to refer to them), and couldn't have cared less about there rest of us. For example - the 180's were given unlimited internet which many of them just stayed connected to full-time. That made it nearly impossible for the rest of us to get on the Internet. Extremely frustrating. Also, they charged 95 cents a minute for internet service, and sometimes it took more than 30 minutes just to get connected! What a joke, and how cheesy of them to charge us that kind of $$ when more than half our time on the Internet was just trying to get connected. Super expensive, we spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars "on" the Internet.
Next, the 180's got free laundry. The rest of us had to pay (despite the fact that we were even in a suite). We've never had to pay for laundry on any other cruise line when you book a suite - again they were nickel and dime-ing us. Additionally, at one point during the norovirus outbreak, they closed the laundramat altogether, meaning that the only way to wash clothes was to pay to have that done; really?
The 180's also were given free excursions, even overnight ones - the rest of us paid dearly.
All in all, we were NOT made to feel like we mattered at all to this company on this cruise. You know the ads (for other cruise lines) that refer to being treated like queens and kings on a cruse? Well, that was so NOT the case on the Oceania Insignia.
Now, let's talk about the ports of call and excursions --
1. There were several really depressing, dirty ports of call that should not have even
been on the itinerary - Maputo, Mozambique for example. Really filthy and urine
smell everywhere. We did a walking tour there, and couldn't wait to get back on the
2. Several of their excursions had questionable guides. Some of them never shut up
for hours, and on one, when several of us were trying to sleep toward the end of
the long tour, the tour guide came around the bus and in a VERY LOUD voice yelled "NO SLEEPING". (A similar thing happened with another tour guide, too.) 3. Several tour guides wanted to sing for us (heaven help us), and as if that wasn't
bad enough, they were insisting that we all sing with them - songs we didn't know &
in one case, a language none of us spoke.
4. We went on a total of 5 game park excursions - not once did we see any elephants
or big cats (lions or cheetahs). That was really disappointing as it will probably be the only time we will ever have that chance again in our lives. The tour guides said
it was because by the time the ship docks at the port and we get to the game
preserves, it's late morning and most of the animals are already resting. Perhaps if
Oceania wants to offer these excursions, they should plan to get to the dock earlier
to ensure that their customers actually get to see some game. (Shimba Hills Park was the most disappointing - we saw VERY little in the way of wildlife.)
Entertainment and casino.....
Entertainment was disappointing - no shows - just 1 or 2 performing artists with the ship's 5-piece back-up bank. We (and most passengers we talked to on the ship) prefer the shows.
Casino - nice staff, but they didn't offer even one Slot Tourmament - while every day at sea a Black Jack Tournament was offered.
Lastly, the food.......
I would have rated this cruise only 1 star but because the food was so wonderfully delicious and beautifully prepared, they got an extra star in the rating. It was very difficult to resist the temptation to overeat. The dining room service was slow (perhaps due to missing staff suffering from the virus that was so prevalent), but the staff was very good and friendly. Standouts were Neil and Anatoli (sp??)
Should also mention that Andy and Tammy were excellent and really took good care of us while on tours and on the ship - not an easy task with so many elderly people on board.
My wife and I love to cruise. This past cruise was our 15th and it was totally enjoyable. The Insignia isn't the newest or the largest but it is filled with great crew members who are always available to assist you in any way possible. Our eleven night cruise from London to Barcelona was out of this world. This was our first cruise on the Insignia but we are hoping it will not be our last. Our cruise expert went over the top for us, everything he told us about was 100% correct. We are so very pleased he helped us with our choice. Thanks Rickie, you are the best!
The Insignia is identical to the two Azamara ships. They all are intimate, small and provide excellent service. Perhaps Oceania offers just a notch above Azamara.
We enjoyed the bed so much that we ordered one for our home along with the pillows. We had the best nights' sleep at sea of any cruise. I have back issues and actually awoke in the mornings without pain! You can check out the bedding on their website. Our cabin, a balcony, was small as expected and was meticulously maintained.
The food.....it was excellent. Even in the buffet lobster was available for the meals we had there. The only disappointments were the cookies and caviar. Everything else was top notch and the buffet is really not quite that for you are served your food. My wife, a coffee drinker, said the coffee was the best she ever had. The dining tables are elegantly set. It was a pleasure just to walk into the restaurants. Speaking of which, the specialty restaurants do not charge extra. Isn't that refreshing! However, book them before you even board or as soon as you board or you will not be able to get in or be limited to a day and time. Some people we met had reservations for every night.
The Insignia is not for anyone looking to have a wild time. It is beautifully appointed, no formal wear nights (thank goodness), super library in case you forgot reading material and is a quiet ship. There are no hairy leg contests, photographers pestering to take your photos, or waiters doing the same with drinks at poolside. It is a reserved class act allowing you to simply relax and enjoy life. It certainly is not a ship for youngsters. The only item they might enjoy would be the pool.
As with Azamara, poolside lounges are at a premium on sea days. If you simply want to be out in the sun there are other decks available.
In our opinion, Oceania and the Insignia provide ideal and luxurious service well worth our travelling dollar.
We were docked in St. Lucia several days into the cruise when a fire on board took the lives of 3 people and terminated the voyage.
Oceania does include air in their pricing. Be advised this does not include transportation to and from the airport. On other lines we have traveled when we purchased air through them transportation to and from the ship was included or it was clearly stated it was an extra. This may be a petty item and we stumbled across it just two weeks from departure. My thought, Oceania, being an upper scale line, should include this in their pricing. Raise the price if necessary but cover it. I wonder how many unsuspecting passengers found out too late about this?
We boarded in San Juan. There was no one at the boarding ramp to help me board! I needed assistance and none was available or provided. A person not affiliated with the line walked by, saw my dilemma and provided the aid needed. This was the only lack of service we encountered.
We intend to sail with Oceania again.
*Cruiseline.com is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. Cruiseline.com does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. Cruiseline.com is not responsible for content on external web sites.