Aboard Oceania Riviera – Review
The Riviera is one of Oceania’s newer and larger ships. With just over 66,000 tons it’s a relatively small ship compared to the bigger ones of Royal Caribbean, Princess or Celebrity Cruises. The size of the ship is perfect- not too big and easy to get around.
It’s the second time that we sail on this ship and are still impressed by the classy interior and design. It has a real opulent feel throughout.
Service on the ship was superb as always, the staff were all really friendly and they made us feel very welcome.
We really love the pool area on the Riviera. It looks very fancy and pretty. The lounge chairs and balinese beds are very comfortable and one of the best we ever had on a cruise ship.
A reasonable sized swimming pool (saltwater chlorinated) and two Jacuzzis are available for you to enjoy.
There is plenty of good seating around the pool, which was available most of the time.
In the front of the pool area there are two very nice shaded areas called the Patio and Sanctuary. Both contain comfortable lounge chairs and beds, and are loved by many guests for reading a book or taking a nap.
We stayed in cabin number 8042, a regular veranda stateroom cat. B1 on deck 8. The location was excellent close to the elevators and self-serve launderette.
The beautiful room is very spacious, measuring 282 square feet. Storage throughout the cabin is great with ample hanging and storage space for clothing and luggage. We always travel with two large suitcases and they did fit under the large bed with ease. If it’s not possible, you can always ask your steward to store it for you.
There a two fluffy white robes in the wardrobe/closet which has plenty of wooden hangers as well, but you can always ask for some extra if you want.
Bed is fantastic and one of the most comfortable ones we’ve slept in on a cruise ship.
There is also a fairly large flatscreen TV on the wall with all necessary information about the ship, weather and excursions. Our stateroom had a nice size balcony with 2 very comfortable chairs and a table.
The Marble Bathroom comes with a bath and seperate shower. The only downside is that the shower is a bit small. It works well for me, but for some it might be a little tight.
Loved having Bulgari products in the room, and even bath salts.
The food on Riviera is superb and one of the highlights of cruising with Oceania Cruises. We dined in all four specialty restaurants as well as the Terrace Grill and the Grand Dining Room and were not disappointed at all.
Grand Dining Room
The ship’s main dining room. You can eat whenever you want, as there are no fixed seating times. Impressive is the large circular crystal chandelier in the center of this elegant restaurant.
Dining venues on the Riviera include 4 specialty restaurants, each has it’s own identity. The food is excellent as is the service in all venues. Not only are they superb, best is there is no extra charge. Though, you have to make reservations.
We enjoyed the specialty restaurants. My favourites were Jacques, which serves typical French food, and Red Ginger serving Asian fusion cuisine.
Jacques is a lovely French restaurant, designed as a Parisian bistro. It’s named after Jacques Pépin which is Oceania’s Executive Culinary Director. Really loved the Chliean Sea Bass Salad, Poached Scallop Gnocchi with Lobster and Filet Steak with Truffle Sauce. They were delicious.
Red Ginger serves sushi, Japanese, Indonesian and thai dishes. You should try the Miso Glazed Seabass, one of my favourites.
Other restaurants include Polo Grill, an opulent steak house speciality restaurant and Toscana, the Italian restaurant. A classic at Polo Grill is Surf and Turf, featuring a grilled Florida Lobster Tail and tender Filet Mignon.
Both Jacques and Red Ginger are located on deck 5 near the boutiques. Polo Grill and Toscana are located on the top deck, opposite from each other.
Terrace Café (Buffet Restaurant)
Informal Buffet restaurant located on deck 12 aft at the top of the ship. Venue is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Loved the breakfast on Riviera, their bakery and croissants are delicious. In addition there is daily fresh fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, blue and blackberries, mango, etc.
In the evening the Terrace Café is transformed into a lovely dining area. Sushi, steaks and lobsters are available every night. The lobster on the grill is hard to resist.
It’s one of the best self-service restaurants on any ship that we have experienced.
A nice feature onboard is the outdoor seating section of the Terrace Café. We really enjoyed sitting here outside for breakfast or lunch.
Waves Grill is a favourite by many guests for lunch. If you love hot dogs, sandwiches and burgers, this is the place to be. There is the ice cream bar too, which was great for shakes, smoothies and ice creams at no extra charge.
The Riviera is elegantly decorated with a color scheme of beige, brown, gold and black accents. The ship itself is very well maintained and clean.
There are two lovely sitting areas on both sides of the atrium. On one side there is a large picture of celebrity chef Cat Cora, Riviera’s Godmother.
Shops located on deck 5.
Horizons is the largest lounge on the ship. Located in front and on top of the vessel at deck 15 it offers superb views.
Horizons lounge on Deck 15 turns into the afternoon tea venue at 4.00 p.m. We loved having afternoon tea here while enjoying the magnificent ocean views and the accompaniment of the String quartet. Versace china is laid on the perfect white linen table cloths.
Quality of food was excellent. You should try the scrumptious desserts, colorful petits fours, sandwiches and scones with clotted cream.
We really loved Oceania and had a wonderful cruise.
It’s truly a cruise for foodies who want quality, great service and to travel in luxury.