Oceania Cruises Rome to Barcelona on Riviera 2012
Our travel plans all went to plan thank you for your help with that, we appreciated the private transfer arranged by Oceania when we landed in Rome to get us to the ship on time and took your advice about there being ample taxis in Barcelona to the airport for our return journey.
Many thanks also for the surprise bottle of champagne which arrived by post this morning, you really do spoil your clients and it is very much appreciated.
We can safely say we have enjoyed our cruise on the Riveira as much as our first cruise with Oceania last year on the Marina. I believe we have now done 13 cruises with several different cruise lines (Cunard, Princess, P&O and Royal Caribbean) and so far Oceania have been the best for comfort, food, service and relaxing atmosphere.
We enjoyed the Itinerary from Rome to Barcelona, but unfortunately were unable to land at Portofino, Italy on day 5 due to sea conditions and were taken on to the port of Genoa which was disappointing because we did not get to see Portofino. Had we know that it was only a forty minute Taxi ride to the bay of Portofino we would have set off early and done that instead of walking around a very dull and drab town before returning to the ship. Many passengers attempted to go by train but we heard that was not at all straight forward and many of the ticket machines at the station were out of action. (I thought you may need this info for your records.)
Our favourite ports of call were Sorrento, Amalfi and Monte Carlo. Saint-Tropez was interesting, but we were disappointed it did not live up to it's reputation of a glitzy millionaires paradise!
We did not take any organised tours but those that did take the whole day tour with Oceania in Florence/Pisa were given a real lively welcome home on the pier side with many members of the ship's staff forming a welcome line for their return back. They were given fresh damp towels, a drink and played lively music such as the" Saint's come marching home" with all the staff applauding their return home to the ship. We were able to watch all of this from our starboard side balcony deck 8 and it was quite a treat.
The food on board the ship is excellent and the service is always with a smile. We did have one unfortunate experience, when our $60 bottle of wine, which was three quarters full went missing from the Toscana Restaurant and should have been available for us when we dined in the Red Ginger restaurant the following evening. The Tills were out of action in Toscana and we had been given a hand written receipt, but thankfully we did have the necessary proof of our purchase and it was finally sorted out with a complimentary bottle of wine and two glasses of Champagne to smooth my husband's ruffled feathers!!! The lady who is head over all the restaurants wine supplies said she would be carrying out a thorough investigation because not only the wine went missing but also there was no record in the Toscana restaurant that night that we had purchased a bottle even though we had a dated hand written receipt. ( It was all a little suspicious she said and she promised she would get to the bottom of the mystery). The message here is always keep receipts for high value items until the end of your cruise and it paid off for us to do this.)
I feel I must add that the food is always excellent and being able to sample the four speciality restaurants at no extra cost is a very nice addition to the cruise. We also appreciate the free coffee, fruit juices and bottled water that is always available on board, and the afternoon teas in the Horizon lounge are always a treat.
Thank you again Jacqui for all your guidance regarding planing our cruise and we will not hesitate to book our future cruises with you and with Oceania Cruises.
Peter & Barbara
Written by Peter & Barbara