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Douglas F wrote a review Jan 2024
15 contributions
This is our third cruise on Oceania, out of about sixty cruises overall, a 24 day Amazon River cruise beginning and ending in Miami.. It was among our most disappointing cruise experiences. Oceania is usually classed as an
“Upper Premium” cruise line, one that sells itself as providing a luxury experience. What Oceania provided on Sirena was at best a premium product. Cutbacks are evident throughout the ship and Oceania did not provide the luxurious cruise experience they promise. Rather, they are providing less and less at a higher cost.
Sirena is a lovely, comfortable ship, impeccably maintained. The public rooms are neat and up-to-date. In this respect, there was no problem spending nearly a month on her. The free Wi-Fi was surprisingly good: fast and efficient.
The itinerary for this cruise was excellent: 4 Caribbean ports on the way to Brazil; 5 stops in the Amazon, including an overnight in Manaus; and 3 Caribbean ports on the way back. There were ten sea days. The shore excursions were generally very good. However we arrived at three ports (Fort-de-France, Manaus, and Bridgetown) on Sundays and in one of the Amazon ports (Santarem) on a religious holiday. Most things were closed. A shift of one day in the itinerary would have allowed us to visit all the ports when they were active.
The crew on Sirena is extraordinary. They are friendly and eager to provide you with whatever you need. Bar service was exemplary and the cabin crew kept our room spotless and neat.
However, we always got the impression that the crew was working against the policies established by management. There was an extraordinary sense of stinginess on board, a sense that the company was constantly trying to save money by providing the minimum. Nothing was ever given freely; you had to ask for everything: from bar snacks to beach towels to a fresh bar of soap for the shower. Getting more than a minimal serving in the Terrace Café (one slice of turkey, one spoonful of vegetable) required major negotiation. Serving plates and bowls in the buffet and grill were left partially or completely empty rather than being refilled so that dishes were always available for the passengers. Portion sizes in the Grand Dining Room were embarrassingly small. Many of us got tired of having to ask for everything.
After the mid-cruise comment cards were submitted, there was a bit more generosity apparent throughout the ship, but there was still much that should have been readily available but had to be requested.
Food is central to any cruise experience. Oceania has trademarked “The Finest Cuisine at Sea,” and there might have been a time when that was true. It is certainly not true any longer. The line is now providing mediocre food at best. Twice in the Grand Dining room we were served rotisserie chicken that was mostly raw. Plating was haphazard and often unattractive: a couple of pieces of overcooked meat with a spoonful of vegetables and a spoonful of potatoes plopped next to it.
We were surprised when menus started repeating in the first week of the cruise. We found the variety both in the Terrace Café and the Grand Dining Room often quite limited, with essentially the same menu in both venues on many nights. The Terrace Café Market Buffets appeared to be an excuse to repeat buffet menus two or three times.
My husband, who cannot eat sugar, was told that there was always a no-sugar-added desert on the lunch buffet. However, he could never find it, and the servers never knew which desert it might be. He was also told that sugar-free chocolate ice cream was always available, but when he ordered it, they either were out or they didn’t have it that day (every day). Occasionally, if he asked, someone would find a no-sugar-added chocolate mousse for him.
The buffets often quickly ran out of things, which were only slowly replaced, if at all. By the third week of the cruise the kitchen completely ran out of lettuce, bananas and Diet Coke. There seemed to be no attention to details in the Food and Beverage Department.
Unlike the spectacular Brunch Buffet on our first Oceania cruise, the one Brunch Buffet on Sirena was the least generous we have ever seen: essentially the standard breakfast items laid out on prettier serving dishes: no special carved meats, no shrimp bowl, no ice carvings. There were no other gala dining events and no deck buffets.
The best food on board was probably in the Waves Grill. The hamburgers and sandwiches there were excellent, though these delicious burgers were about a third smaller than one would normally expect.
We were told that Oceania’s objective in minimizing everything is to “avoid waste,” which means cutting costs, which means increasing profits at the expense of the guests. But the quality and variety of the cuisine on board certainly gives the lie to their “Finest cuisine at sea” trademark.
Norwegian Cruise Holdings prides itself on the highest on board spending in the cruise business. To achieve this, they offer their guests less and charge more for what they offer. Prices in the shops and the bars on board were extraordinarily high. If I hadn’t upgraded to the drinks package, my nightly double Scotch would have cost over $40.00! That’s for one double whiskey.
We thought we would miss having a veranda cabin on this longish, warm-weather cruise, but we found that having only a window was fine. The cabin, though small, was quite comfortable, with a queen-sized bed, a small sofa, and plenty of storage space. The bathroom was quite small, but it provided sufficient space to store everything. The small shower is quite serviceable as long as you’re not a very large person. The bathroom has mainly ambient lighting, with no direct, overhead light, so we often felt as if we were shaving in the dark.
When we boarded Sirena we planned to book an Asian cruise on Oceania for 2025. By the end of the first week, we decided not to.
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Sail Date: November 2023
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Destination: South America
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Oceania Sirena

57 reviews
 All photos (112)112
Full view
Traveller (99)
Common Areas (44)
Dining and Bars (14)
Itineraries for this ship
Itinerary
10 Night Cruise to the Baltic Sea
Departure date
Wednesday, 31/07/24
Route
Hamburg, North Sea (Cruising), Haugesund, Alesund, Nordfjordeid, Stavanger, Kristiansund, Skagen, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Oslo
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Overview

About
Passengers: 684   |   Crew: 373
Passengers to crew: 1.83:1
Passengers to space: 44.2:1
Launched: 2002   

Decks

  • Deck 3
  • Deck 4
  • Deck 5
  • Deck 6
  • Deck 7
  • Deck 8
Additional decks
Deck 3 layout
Cabins
  Ocean View (D)  
 

Cabins

Balcony
Cabin size: 216 - 216 sq. ft.
Connected rooms: 14
Accessible rooms: 0
Maximum passengers: 3
Number of cabins: 170

Activities & entertainment

Activities (21)
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Canyon Ranch SpaClub*
  • Coffee Chats
  • Cooking Demonstrations
  • Enrichment Lectures
  • Fitness Center
  • Fitness Track
  • Games and Activities
  • Golf Putting Greens
  • Hot Tubs (2)
  • Late Night Disco
  • Library
  • Oceania@Sea
  • Pools
  • Scotch and Spirits Tastings*
  • Shuffleboard
  • Spa Seminars
  • Spa Terrace*
  • Styling Salon*
  • Team Trivia
  • Wine Tastings*
Entertainment (3)
  • Live Music
  • Casino*
  • Lounge
Dining (9)
  • Terrace Café - Casual
  • The Patio - Casual
  • Waves Grill - Casual
  • Baristas / Grand Bar - Gourmet Coffee
  • Grand Dining Room - International
  • Martinis - Martini Bar*
  • Waves Bar - Pool Bar*
  • Horizons - Sophisticated Bar*
  • Polo Grill - Steakhouse
* May require additional fees

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Voyager62867869803 wrote a review 10 Jul
1 contribution
Just off Sirena from a 12 day cruise from Copenhagen to Reykjavik--in a Penthouse Suite. Ship is well-maintained, although because of its age, rooms and bathrooms are quite small compared to the competition. My Penthouse suite would compare to a plain small balcony room on most upscale cruise lines [no walk in closet, no bath tub, single sink, no marble or granite, etc.]. Food is excellent [although I would skip the lobster tails or lobster in the Polo Grill--very small and usually over-cooked on my two meals]. Service was very friendly throughout the ship, although dining room staff was quite slow and I often had to wait too long for drinks or the next course [or even for my initial order to be taken]. They have another annoying practice that only the wine steward can take your alcohol drink orders, which results in very slow and clumsy service. The cruise director, Dottie, is one of the best at sea. Knows your name, is personable, funny and entertaining. Entertainment staff was talented and friendly. Of course Oceania still has the annoying practice of charging mandatory gratuities, although the specialty dining has no upcharge. Of course since it is not open bar and you have to purchase a drink package, it also requires the annoyance of pulling out your ship card every time you order a drink. All in from a price perspective, you could be on one of the ultra-luxury lines for what you will pay on Oceania. Passengers were mostly in the 70-85 age range. I'd go again, but only if the itinerary was particularly appealing.
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Sightseer660649 wrote a review 1 Jul
1 contribution
Our Oceania Sirena cruise to Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Sweden was fantastic. The accommodations, staff, dining were all excellent. We look forward to cruising with Oceania again.
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Dave E wrote a review May 2024
1 contribution
+1
I was on the Dreams of Britain voyage from April 22 - May 03, 2024. Although I have not been on a cruise in many years since I was at a very young age, and so I don't have too much other experience to compare it to, it was certainly an outstanding experience! The food, service, and entertainment on board was amazing! As a smaller ship, it had a more intimate feel as well. It was wonderful spending those 11 days visiting a number of fascinating places around the British Isles, and is something I'll always remember! 10/10
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Compass11218406203 wrote a review May 2024
Northern California, California3 contributions
Not fans of huge cruise ships, so we booked a 12-day cruise on Oceania's Sirena. It exceeded our expectations. We had an adult vacation with minimal crowding, excellent cuisine, a comfortable stateroom, and a wonderful service staff dedicated to our enjoyment. No children running wild, no crowded/noisy pool, no pushy buffet moments. Our only regret was the shows were at 9:30 and,after a day walking and roaming around the ports, we were too tired to attend!
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Curiosity67626296835 wrote a review Apr 2024
1 contribution
I cruised Concierge Class on Sirena on a 12 day cruise commencing in Tenerife in the Canary Islands and concluding in London. The itinerary was excellent. Housekeeping service was excellent. My stateroom was well maintained. Concierge Class included 3 bags of laundry ironed and folded. That service reduced the number of clothes to be packed. The food quality, variety and service at the various restaurants was outstanding. The lounges and bars were well stocked and the service five star. Destination services and Reception services were very helpful. Spa services were excellent. Overall the vessel was maintained to the highest standards. This was my third Oceania cruise. I look forward to cruising with Oceania in 2025.
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Upcoming itineraries

Itinerary
10 Night Cruise to the Baltic Sea
Departure date
Wednesday, 31/07/24
The map for this itinerary is not available at this time.
Itinerary
Prices are cruise only, per person, double occupancy, and are provided by our partners. Taxes, fees and port expenses are not included. Fuel supplements may apply. Availability of prices is subject to the supplier’s pricing availability.