A bucket list cruise that included a visit to Easter Island and French Polynesia. The demographics on this particular cruise was older than my previous experiences on this ship. The cruise was significantly impacted due to the need to implement extreme sanitation procedures in response to GI issues among passengers and crew.
While there were a number sea days on this particular itinerary, the ship offered many on-board activities and dining opportunities.
2 out of 5
The Port of Callao (Lima) is a cargo port and does not provide amenities associated with cruise ports. Unfortunately, Oceania did not appropriately adequately plan to accommodate a smooth embarkation. Hundreds of guests unnecessarily stood in the hot sun for over an hour. Two years ago we had previously embarked from this port on the Oceania Marina and did not have any issues.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
This was our third cruise on the Oceania Marina in the past two years and the first time we had experienced a sick ship to this extent we did on this trip. On day 7 of the cruise initiated increased sanitation protocols that were escalated over the following week to extremes I have never experienced. Diners were seated to totally cleared table and all amenities (utensils, napkins, water, salt, pepper, sugar, cream, bread...) were brought to the diner on request. Menus were disposable paper sheets. Sharing of tables was not encouraged. Rooms were wiped down with antibacterials, public areas were fogged with antibacterials and tenders were disinfected via spray in between trips to and from the ship. The buffet was not shut down but all items were handed tot he guests.
5 out of 5
Participated in the martini tasting and had a very good time. Bar staff were very attentive and responsive to patrons. On arrival at happy hour, my favorite drink would sometimes beat me to my table.
5 out of 5
The shuffle board court has been replaced and is significantly improved compared to our previous voyages. There are may outdoor activity areas that we utilized to escape the confines of the ship due to the irritating smell of the antiseptic.
This ship does not have many programs geared for children.
Service and Staff
4 out of 5
I believe the service staff made the best of a bad situation. But, I fault the management staff as being behind of the root cause of our issues. It was rumored that there was a significant staff turn over in Lima. Additionally, I noted less emphasis on use of hand sanitation use when we boarded in Lima than on my previous trips. The fact that the Cruise Director was isolated due to illness for a extended period of the cruise makes me suspicious that the extent of the problem was in someway related to improper training of the oncoming crew. Considering the number of guests who took an opportunity to travel to Machu Picchu either during or before the cruise, more care should have been taken relative to sanitation when we left Peru.
4 out of 5
The ship is very well maintained aside from the fact that we unfortunately became a sick ship.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
The veranda rooms are spacious and quite comfortable. My wife likes the fact that there is a full tub in the bathroom and I like the fact that there are two showers. Previously we have been on veranda rooms on the 8th deck and found the lower deck more stable during rough seas.
This being our third trip on this ship my wife and I find the experience normally quite pleasant. Get specialty restaurant reservations when you first get on and don't be shy about going back for more as the cruise goes on. Participate in one or two of the on board cooking classes, The artists loft offers free classes on sea days. Collect your Big O Points and cash them in for hats, shirts, etc. at the end of the cruise. From 5 to 6 in the evening drinks are 2 for one in most of the bars, take a glass of wine to dinner. Wash your hands. (Note: If they start increase sanitation they will shut down the self service laundry. But you can get 20 items washed in 24 hours for $26)
We did our own tour riding dune buggies and going sand boarding.
Hanga Roa, Easter Island
5 out of 5
We were lucky to be able to actually get on the island both days. It is a very rough tender and many ships do not successfully allow guest ashore. We rented a car on the island and were able to tor all the major sites in one afternoon. Do to the uncertainty of being able to tender and the number of sea days to and from the island, I would not take the risk. There is a very nice airport on the island, plan to stay a couple of nights.
Disembarked. Not much opportunist to tour the island while waiting for flight.
3 out of 5
The ship transfer started at 7:30 AM where we were loaded onto a bus and taken to a local hotel. Our accommodation (~200 people) was a large conference center with minimal refreshments. Lunch and afternoon snack was provided. Lunch was very good, the snack not so good.
Loaded on to a bus in the evening and taken to the airport for a 9PM flight.
An afternoon bus tour of the island in the rain was offered for an additional $50/pp.
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