Until the introduction of ships like the Royal Princess and Pacific Princess Oceania was by far way out front due to the size of the ship and personal services. While Princess does not have the extent of service i.e., the passenger to crew ratio, that slight shortfall now is compensated for by the lower fares offered by Princess in these smaller ships.
But if one puts an Oceania ship against the humongous passenger ladened ships of the fleet, give us Oceania every time.
Just returned from an Oceania cruise. It was very good, very similar to Crystal, which is our favorite cruise line. It is somewhat smaller, food is almost as good, the service is equally excellent, but the entertainment is not at all as good. There are no shows, just a soloist, a singer, or a comedian. There is no movie theater, so if you don't gamble you have nothing to do at night if you are not interested in the soloist. (I usually returned to my cabin while my wife and friends gambled.) Drinks are more expensive but they have a two-for-one hour between 5 and 6 PM, enabling me to get a decent sized cocktail for $8. Their Caribbean cruise has a stop almost every day. There are no formal nights, which most people prefer, but when eating in the special restaurants most men wore jackets. I didn't because their brochure led me to believe that it was more casual, considering their comment about no formal nights. Open seating works out well. The age of the guests are older than on Crystal, i.e., closer to my age, but healthier than guests on HAL. Staterooms are similar to Crystal, except they have a love seat sofa, unlike Crystal who replaced the love seat with a single chair--a dumb idea that many of us complained about. You have to pay for bottled water, something that Crystal stopped doing years ago. Considering that Crystal has no Caribbean cruises of ten days or so that leaves and returns to Florida, we will probably sails with Oceania again. (We sailed through the Panama Canal 3 times with Crystal so that we could get a longer cruise. But having to tale a long flight to or from Costa Rica is a pain and the canal loses its appeal after 3 trips.) Unlike Crystal, the ship has no promenade deck that encircles the ship and thus is short on deck chairs in shaded areas. It also has no aft decks that are often in the shade on Crystal. That prevents you from taking a brisk walk without being sun baked. And I missed hearing Satchmo sing Its a Wonderful World as we left port.
Unlike Crystal, the ship has no promenade deck that encircles the ship and thus is short on deck chairs in shaded areas. It also has no aft decks that are often in the shade on Crystal. That prevents you from taking a brisk walk without being sun baked. And I missed hearing Satchmo sing Its a Wonderful World as we left port.
Considering the O ships are half the size of Crystal ships it would be hard to have a promenade deck.
We usually will walk back & forth on deck 5 (boring I know) or use the walking track on deck 10
O is not known for the entertainment or their shore excursions.
You can get movies from reception to watch in your cabin if the evening entertainment is not to your liking
It is a personal preference for men to wear a jacket to dinner ...some do some do not.
It really does not matter.
On the basis of number of passengers, Crystal Symphony has 940 and the Oceania Regatta has 684, Crystal is far from being twice as big. However, it is almost 70% bigger in terms of tonnage, which would account for the larger bathrooms, a movie theater, and the additional deck space.
BTW Oceania is building a larger ship, which may provide the additional features that Crystal provides.
The beds on Oceania are the hardest in the world. They brag about tranquility, plush, heavenly beds, oh my, they are made in Italy, they are one sided pillow top, the bed is hard as a rock with a 1" pillow top. The pillow top side was saggy so the maids were instructed to turn them over, the other side is the bottom, not meant to be slept on.
When I complained to my room girl she brough me another down comforter, which just flattened out to nothing, then I discovered I was sleeping on the bottom, so I flipped it myself, added 4 room towels to bring up the sag, and I slept on that. I did tell the girl in charge of housekeeping, she just stood there and listened, then she told my room attendent to flip my mattress, so I slept on the bottom another night.....I was so mad the next day! Even with my fixing - it was horrible.
Every night I woke up at 3AM in pain and couldn't go back to sleep.
We travel a whole lot, I've never had any trouble, and it's taken my back 2 weeks to be pain free since we got home.
I mentioned the beds to all the passengers on the ship, they all agreed, I heard one guy demanded another bed 3 times, was never okay.
When I told the main guy in charge he said I was one of a few to complain, in other words....it must be your problem madam, not ours. That's why very few complain, it doesn't get you anywhere, just makes everything worse.
I think when it comes to bedding, it's a matter of personal taste. I have a terrible back and had no problems on our 4 Oceania cruises. I must say that I prefer a hard mattress, and I know that lots of people would prefer a soft one. Oceania is in the process of replacing all the mattresses on the 3 existing ships and the new Marina.