11 Night Iconic Coastlines (Venice To Barcelona) Sail Date: September 11, 2017 Ship: Sirena Cabin Number: 6021 Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 8 months ago
This was our second cruise aboard Sirena and not our last - we are so happy with the ship (and the company) that we have three more cruises scheduled over the next year and a half. This was our second Mediterranean cruise, selected for the ports and time of year, and we loved seeing a mix of old favorite ports and brand-new ones.
4 out of 5
We loved the embarkation at San Basilio - very convenient by vaporetto. the process would have been "excellent" except that we had to sit and wait for 20 minutes & no one could explain why. Other than that, everything ran smoothly, and we were soon at the Terrace Café having a wonderful lunch overlooking Venice.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
Even better than our first cruise on Sirena last December. We dined at Red Ginger twice, Tuscan whatever once, with other dinners split between GDR and Terrace. Food was wonderful, varied, and it was often difficult to choose between venues. I have to say, I NEVER eat desserts any more and just save up the calories for my Oceania cruises - they're that good. We love being able to grab a quick lunch outside at Waves after a long excursion - didn't have a chance to use the 24/7 room service.
4 out of 5
On this port-intensive cruise we didn't have much time for shipboard activities. We did hit the gym a few times, and we loved the pool deck for relaxing after half-day excursions.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Once again, our room steward was efficient, personable and I think telepathic. A few of the restaurant servers had been on our earlier cruise and actually remembered us - this is a big reason why we always return to Oceania. We are just regular folks, not Penthouse Suite types. The ship's officers are also very personable and went out of their way to make us feel "at home at sea." This is where I believe Oceania excels: whether a first time cruiser (we all are once) or a seasoned veteran people are welcomed and treated like family aboard the ships.
5 out of 5
Simply amazing. It's most obvious when there are other ships from other lines anchored near Sirena. She's truly the classiest one around. We love the R-class ship size: easy to avoid ever using an elevator to get around.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
I do wish the bathrooms were larger, like on the O-class ships, but that's not going to happen. Other than the smallish shower (no tub like on Marina or Riviera) everything else is fine - plenty of storage for a much longer cruise. Everything in good repair - and whatever they did to the wifi system in the past few months was great. We had no problems at all keeping in touch.
Don't overlook the library on Deck 10 - so many great books AND a paperback exchange.
Of course Venice is excellent. It's unique. We stayed several days before embarkation and enjoyed the chance to get lost in areas we hadn't visited before. Sailing out of Venice is an amazing experience, simply not like anyplace else.
Kind of a B-list port, but new to us. Sirena's size enabled us to dock right in the center of town, making it possible to cover the entire old city on foot, return to the ship for lunch, and then go out again. We did not take an excursion, not wanting to go any distance by bus to see the national parks, etc.
Amazing! The sail-in was jaw-dropping, with the high mountains all around. Again we had planned a hike to the fortress on the city walls high above the city so did not take an excursion. The climb is challenging but certainly worth the spectacular views. Returning to the town, we found it very charming and relatively undiscovered (very cheap prices for beer and souvenirs). One of the best ports on the voyage.
Bus trip excursion to Paleokastritsa & monastery was OK but I would have liked more time to photograph the lovely beaches and less time packed like sardines into the monastery. Returned to Corfu town for a brief walk-around after driving by a viewpoint to see the...airport. Definitely a weak excursion.
Waited all my life to see the Greek Theater, only to have the Dalai Lama in town and the theater unavailable. Wonderful tour company made arrangements to switch the order of our excursion so that we could enter for a few minutes. Unbelievable photos. Don't visit Sicily without seeking out the best cannoli you can find - we found some of the better ones EVER along Corso Umberto.
So much to do during a visit to Sorrento! Having spent quite a lot of time there, we took the earliest tender and grabbed a hydrofoil to Capri. There we hiked a circular route past the Faraglioni rocks to the Arco Naturale, capped off by lunch at Le Grotelle - an amazing out-of-the-way cliffside restaurant with incredible views. The food's good too!
Another port with so much to offer. Having spent time here previously, we opted for a private tour to Eze-village. The botanical gardens at the very top are spectacular, as are the views up and down the Riviera.
Having little interest in Cannes itself, we took a half-day ship excursion to Gorges du Loup and ultimately Gourdon. It was a wonderful excursion, and the bus driver was very skilled to negotiate the road going up (coming back down is quick and easy). Gourdon itself is very relaxed and quaint - we enjoyed it very much.
Barcelona is always excellent. We stayed on after disembarking as we have developed a list of favorite spots for pinxtos and tapas. The independence referendum was front and center, with crowds, posters, flags and (I hope they were ) fireworks.
5 out of 5
Actually it was "terrible" to leave Sirena but the process could not have been more efficient.
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