Sailing with Oceania Sirena
Updated: Jun 9
Ship report on Oceania cruises sailing from Rome, Italy to Athens, Greece on the Adriatic.
I had the opportunity to sail from Rome to Athens on Oceania’s Sirena. Oceania is part of the NCL group and Oceania is their premium cruise brand experience with a maximum passenger capacity of 648 and a crew of 400, though on this sailing we were around 60% of capacity. The ship has a total of 342 suites and staterooms, nearly 70% of which feature private verandas.
My home away from home for 10-nights was in a Concierge Veranda Suite (7032 Portside). The 216 square foot cabin was comfortable and had a fresh new feel and look as it was part of the ship wide renovation in 2019. The spa like bathroom complete with BVLGARI bath products, though I found the scent of the bath products a bit too floral for my liking. The bathroom was very functional though on the small side, the vanity/medicine cabinet was great for storing all your things as well as had a plug hidden behind the mirror. I found the shower was fairly narrow and some guests may find it too tight. The water pressure and temperature controls were both excellent. The Ultra Tranquility Beds were amazing with fine linens and great pillows. Guests have the option of ordering the Ultra Tranquility bedding online and have them shipped to your home. → side note: bed linens start at USD$1609.
Overall housekeeping did an excellent job and I really enjoyed the cabin.
One of the perks of the Concierge level suites is complimentary laundry and unlimited access to the spa’s steam room and private Aquamar Spa Terrace and hydro pool at the front of the ship. This was one of my favourite places to unwind from a day’s excursions as it was a tranquil space with great day beds for lounging. The health club's showers also used L'Occitane which had a scent I preferred.
Oceania is known for its culinary experiences, however I did not find this to be the case. The food and beverage experience was good, but after 8-nights I still had not been wowed by any of the offerings. When I compare my experiences with Celebrity, Azamara, and Virgin Voyages - all of which have offered me some incredible culinary experiences, Oceania did not. The flavours were all very conservative and the presentation of the dishes lacked any real interest or appeal. The ship had two speciality restaurants that are included in your cruise fare. The Tuscan Steak house which serves Italian favourites, steaks and fresh seafood inspired by Toscana and Polo Grill. The pasta was great and but the steaks and lamb were all fairly standard. Their second speciality restaurant, the Red Ginger, is an Asian-infusion restaurant with more interesting dishes. This was one of my favourite places to dine - in fact I ended up eating here five times during the cruise! Some of the more memorable dishes were the Duck and Watermelon Salad, Malaysian Beef Panning, Duck breast, and rack of lamb. The main dining room, Terrace Cafe (buffet style for breakfast, lunch and dinner), and Waves Grill were all okay.
However, what I did like with Oceania is that all of the speciality coffees/ teas, juices, smoothies, and speciality restaurants were all part of the package. So no extra fees. I was on the OLife package which gave me a choice of either free shore tours, beverage package or an onboard credit to spend as I choose. The OLife beverage package included your choice of beer or wine with lunch and dinner. All other alcoholic beverages outside of this time was chargeable. The average cost of wine is about $12. If you assume you are going to have 2 glasses of wine at lunch and maybe 2-3 glasses of wine over dinner over the 10-days this is a $720 value. The shore tours and on-board credit also had a similar value of $600-800 depending on what you choose. In my opinion I think the onboard credit may be a better value offering you the choice of using it towards some beverages, a shore tour, spa treatment, etc.
Other services on the ship included the Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center. Overall the spa was fairly typical of what you would find on most ships, however I did find the regular pricing of their services to be on the higher side than what is normally offered. I was able to take advantage of a Port-Day “Perfect Day” spa package that included 50-minute massage and a 25-minute mini facial at a reduced rate. The massage therapist, Carlos, was amazing.
Sirena also had eight lounges and bars to meet up with our fellow passengers and enjoy a drink and listen to some of the great entertainment on board. It also had a casino and the typical boutique stores.
It was encouraging to see the cruise line was playing its part in helping to reduce their environmental impact. The most noticeable was their reduction in single use plastics. Throughout the ship they had hydration stations and gave all guests re-useable water bottles (to keep) to use for off-shore and around the ship. You had a choice of still or sparkling water. In the cabins you also had glass refillable water bottles that the cabin stewards always kept topped up. At the bar straws have been replaced with paper straws.
Though my experience onboard the Oceania was okay, speaking with some of the passengers that are frequent loyal Oceania guests all said this was not typical. The crew is still working out the kinks from bring the ships back out into operations after nearly a two year shut down due to the pandemic. Hopefully with some of our collective feedback, the team at NCL / Oceania will work on improvements so future passengers will have a better experience.
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