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Oceania Cruises Review

U.S. News Travel
  • Overall Rating: 4.0stars 4.0 4.0
  • Expert Rating:4.0stars 4.2
  • Traveler Rating:4.0stars 3.8
    • Couples: 3.6
    • Families w/ young children: 5.0
    • Families w/ older children: 4.0
    • Singles/Friends: 4.4
    • Groups: 4.7
  • Health Rating:
    4.5
    4.5

Oceania Cruises Overview

How it Ranks: Oceania has been ranked based on an expert evaluation of the line's level of luxury, as well as an assessment of user reviews and health ratings. Oceania Cruises appears on the following ranking lists:

Oceania's five ships — Marina, Riviera, Regatta, Nautica and Insignia — stand apart from other midsize cruise ships with their low 1-to-2 crew-to-passenger ratios, gourmet cuisine and comprehensive itineraries. Oceania sails around the world, with 2015 trips spanning Europe, Alaska, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, South America and the South Pacific, among other places. Oceania's shore experiences are just as varied as its journeys, ranging from active pursuits like glacier sea kayaking in Juneau to culinary endeavors like wine tours in Tuscany. Should you wish to extend your time on shore, you can sign up for a pre- or post-cruise land tour with Oceania; the price of the land tours includes lodging, dining and transportation costs. On board an Oceania cruise, you'll find plenty of ways to fill the time at sea. Wine and martini tastings and educational presentations are offered on the line's smaller Regatta, Nautica and Insignia ships, which carry up to 684 guests, and cooking demonstrations and art classes take place aboard the larger Marina and Riviera ships (which can carry up to 1,250 guests). During your voyage — which can last anywhere from seven to 180 days — you can also take advantage of the casino and the Canyon Ranch SpaClub. And if you're a traveling foodie, you can also sample the offerings available across the fleet's numerous open-seating dining venues, including the Grand Dining Room, which serves French fare from a menu created by master chef, Jacques Pépin.

Pros & Cons

  • Ships make voyages to off-the-beaten-path destinations
  • Wide selection of specialty dining venues
  • Can earn benefits, such as shipboard credits, through the Oceania Club Loyalty Program
  • Not all onboard services are included in the cruise fare
  • No programming, facilities or supervision for children
  • Fewer daily activities available compared to larger luxury lines

On Board

Oceania Cruises attracts affluent retirees looking for a refined, no-frills experience. That said, Oceania's sophisticated atmosphere also draws solo travelers and couples in their 30s who are looking for an atmosphere sans kids. Regardless of which cruise you choose, expect to sail with an American crowd.

More about the onboard experience»

On Shore

While exploring different destinations, you can take your pick from navigating on your own or reserving a customized shore excursion. Activities vary by voyage and itinerary, though many expeditions promote cultural immersion through art, history and culinary tours. Excursions might include sampling Barcelona's tasty Spanish and Catalan food offerings ...

More about the on shore experience»

Before You Book

  • All cruise fares are quoted in U.S. dollars and are per person and based on double occupancy. The price of your cruise includes lodging, most meals at specialty dining venues, soft drinks, bottled water and most onboard entertainment.
  • Shore excursions, baggage handling, alcoholic beverages, travel insurance, gratuities, spa services and other onboard services (such as laundry and medical services) are not covered in the cost of your cruise.
  • You are required to make a $750 per-person cruise fare deposit ($1,500 for Grand Voyages) if you book an Inside, Ocean View or Veranda category stateroom. Meanwhile, those booking an Owner's, Vista or Oceania Suite category room must make a per person deposit equal to 20 percent of the cruise fare. If your cruise is scheduled to set sail in 90 or fewer days, your deposit fee is due the same day as booking. Your full cruise payment is due 90 days prior to departure for cruises that last fewer than 15 days, and 150 days prior to departure for cruises that last 15 days or longer. For cruises that are scheduled to set sail 91 to 120 days or longer from the date of booking, different deposit due dates apply.
  • Cruise cancellation fees depend on the cruise length and whether you purchase Oceania Cruises Travel Protection. You will forfeit 10 to 100 percent of your total cruise fare for sailings 15 days or fewer should you cancel your cruise 120 or fewer days prior to your sail date (depending on the cruise duration, cabin selection and how soon before departure you choose to cancel). Additionally, a $250 per person administrative fee may apply. Different cancellation deadlines and fees apply to 180-day sailings and voyages 15 days or longer. For more information regarding cancellation and refund policies, consult Oceania's Pricing and Payments page.
  • If you enroll in Oceania's Travel Protection Program, you may receive up to $50,000 per each insured guest for fees charged for pre- or mid-cruise cancellations due to medical circumstances. The program can also cover travel delays, medical protection, baggage protection and emergency evacuation. To learn more about the travel protection programs available, visit Oceania's Travel Protection program page.
  • With Oceania's FREE AIRFARE Program, you can view the lowest Economy airfare option from 27 airports (based in the U.S. and Canada) to your departure port. If your flight is delayed or canceled, the program will help you rebook to reach your embarkation destination, at no additional charge. Airfare pricing and availability is based on Oceania's agreements established with partnering carriers; supplemental fees and carrier-imposed charges may apply.
  • Individuals must be at least 1 year old to sail with Oceania. Additionally, passengers ages 17 and younger must be accompanied by and share a stateroom with an adult who is at least 18 years old.

Before You Board

  • It is your responsibility to acquire all necessary travel documents (including any applicable visas) for your selected itinerary. You may be denied boarding if you do not possess the necessary documentation. Also keep in mind that your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months after the cruise ends.
  • Depending on your itinerary's ports of call, you may need to get vaccinated before setting sail. Prior to departure, consult the World Health Organization, which features a list of routine vaccines, as well as additional immunizations you may need. You must also bring any essential inoculation records with you to the embarkation point; failing to do so may prevent you from boarding.
  • You must board the ship at least one hour prior to embarkation. Priority boarding is available for guests staying in Concierge and above cabin categories.
  • Different luggage limitations and fees may apply to all checked baggage depending on your chosen air carrier. Additionally, guests are responsible for all hand-carried cargo. Also bear in mind suitcases exceeding 70 pounds are prohibited from being loaded on or off Oceania's ships.
  • You may purchase a Medical Protection package to protect yourself from additional medical fees incurred from sickness or an accident during your trip.
  • If you require additional care or have an existing medical condition, you must notify Oceania in writing when you book your cruise. Some ports of call cannot accommodate cruisers with limited mobility, and in such instances, Oceania may prohibit guests who require a motorized scooter or wheelchair from exiting the ship.
  • The number of specialty dining reservations available and the time frame you'll have to use Oceania's online dining reservation system depends on your ship and stateroom selection. If you book a Veranda, Ocean View or Inside stateroom, you can make your dining reservations between seven and 45 days prior to departure. If you book a Concierge Level Veranda Stateroom or a Penthouse Suite, you can make your specialty dining reservations between seven and 60 or 75 days, respectively, prior to your scheduled sail date. If you book an Owner's, Vista or Oceania Suite, you can make your specialty dining reservations seven to 90 days in advance of your cruise.

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Disclaimers about ship ratings: A ship's Health Rating is based on vessel inspection scores published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If a ship did not receive a CDC score within 22 months prior to the calculation of its Overall Rating, its Health Rating appears as N/A; in such a case, the ship's Overall Rating is calculated using the average Health Rating of all CDC-rated ships within the cruise line. All ship Traveler Ratings are based on ratings provided under license by Cruiseline.com.