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stevenr597

Princess compared to Oceania.

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My wife and I are looking at two fantastic Trans-Atlantic Cruises for 2020.  Both leave from Barcelona and arrive at Ft. Lauderdale.  One will be on the Brand New Enchanted Princess, the other is on Ocean's Marina.  Both have excellent itineraries, and frankly we are torn about which one to select.

We would like to have some thoughts about Princess (which we love) compared  Oceania (which we have never cruised on). 

Which would you prefer?

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We have liked, but not loved, Oceania when we have sail on their ships.(4 Voyages) The price structure has been quite a bit more than most Princess cruises. Also, we found the the resort causal atmosphere that is observed on Oceania was followed about as well as the Princess dress code.

There is nothing like going on a new ship, as long as it is not the first voyage as the first voyages we have sailed always have had operation problems. (yes, we did expect that)

I don't think you would go wrong with either, but we generally go with the savings and buy extra luxuries that we want.

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Oceania ships are much smaller so I wonder how they'd handle the crossing compared to Princess ships?? We were going to go on Oceania to Cuba since she did that very well but did not choose to stay on board for the Caribbean when Cuba cruises were cancelled.

With a lot of sea days I'd want a ship with more activities than what Oceania appears to offer.

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I've sailed on Princess and not Oceania because of price. The Oceania cruises I've looked at have been double the price or more than my Princess cruises on similar itineraries. The people who can afford Oceania cruises seem to enjoy them. 

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They are both good experiences.

 

Oceania's Positives:

Included specialty dining.  They are no charge. Only problem is if you want more than your allotment, you may not get another reservation.

 

The buffet has a grill at night including seafood.  It is served for you.

 

Main dining room each night is comparable to food on formal nights on on other lines.

 

Smaller ship makes getting on and off much easier.  Saves alot of time and fewer queues everywhere.

 

Oceania Negative:  The adult drinks and drink packages are more expensive.  Corkage fee is $25.  Sodas and water are included. 

 

Also Oceania charges a air deviation fee even for the included airfare, so you air fare may end up costing the same.

 

Princess will have more pools and since there are few children on TAs they should not be crowded.  Same will more theaters and lounges.

 

Buffet is open more hours especially from lunch to dinner time and later.

 

Since you are booking Marina, you will have comparable cabins.  Probably a better balcony if you are booking that category.

 

Adult beverages are lower priced including the packages.

 

Just keep reading and asking questions.  There probably is not a deal breaker between them, but only you know what matters to you.

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Have you ever sailed a Transatlantic before? I wouldn't think it the best way to try a new cruise line for the first time (other than the Queen Mary 2, the exception to most all rules...but I digress).

 

Oceania is a premium line, though not a luxury/all inclusive. But several of their touts love to pepper the boards with posts that any Travel Agent worth the time it takes to call them should get your gratuities paid and a beverage package (though not necessarily the top one) included. Making Oceania on a par with Princess, net cost-wise. However if you weren't planning on purchasing a lot of extras on Sky Princess I would choose the cruise and line (and fare) I was more familiar with. Try Oceania on a shorter cruise more balanced between port and sea days.

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We have been on 3 Oceania Cruises with 2 of them crossing the ocean. We have taken well over 20 Princess Cruises. Princess is our go to cruise line. But we love Oceania as well. Oceania has the best food I’ve ever encountered at sea and getting extra specialty reservations is dependent on the ship’s capacity and how persistent you are. (On our last 14 night Oceania, we dined in specialties 12 times!) There is no nickel and diming on Oceania. There is no photographer, no formal nights, and very few children. That being said, Oceania is much more costly than Princess unless you spot a deal which is usually a transocean with few ports. With the Oceania package of flights and tours etc., you can sometimes do very well.   

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4 hours ago, riffatsea said:

Oceania ships are much smaller so I wonder how they'd handle the crossing compared to Princess ships?? We were going to go on Oceania to Cuba since she did that very well but did not choose to stay on board for the Caribbean when Cuba cruises were cancelled.

With a lot of sea days I'd want a ship with more activities than what Oceania appears to offer.

Marina and Riviera are not small compared to the other ships in the fleet Nautica/Regatta/Insignia

 

Marina/Riviera are 66,000 GT and 782 ft carrying 1250 passengers.

Have sailed both many times and they handle sea and the crossing very well.

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We were on the Oceania Marina for a 12-Day Baltic Cruise. The Marina is a lovely ship, but is not large compared to the Enchanted Princess. Oceania is known for their excellent food. It's true that you get a certain number of reservations in the specialty restaurants on board, but we had no trouble getting into them on additional nights - you just need to stop at the desk in the lobby in the morning and ask if they have any openings for that evening.

The Marina does have some shops, but not nearly the selection you will find on a larger ship, so if shopping is something you're looking for, Princess will be the better option.

Oceania is not known for their entertainment. So if you want lots of shows and other entertainment, then Princess may be the better option.

I think it's all a matter of what is important to you. Do you value entertainment & shopping? (choose Princess)

Do you value excellent food (choose Oceania!).

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I did a crossing on the Riviera (sister ship to Marina) 5-6 years ago. The ship is beautiful, service is great and the food is outstanding. The ship also handled the sea well. That being said, for my taste there just wasn’t enough to do. I enjoy the activities and entertainment on Princess, and I’ve grown accustomed to that. Princess is still my cruise line of choice. I don’t think you can go wrong with either one - but wanted to put in my 2 cents! 

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Thanks for the replies.  The decision was rather hard because we are big big fans of Princess, especially the Royal Class Ships.  However, we decided  this time to  try Oceania.  

What was the deciding factor was the itinerary.  

The Marina had several stops in Spain, one in Portugal, as well as sailing to Bermuda and then Nassau.  

My wife summed it up when she said, "We never sailed Oceania, lets give it a try."

But since the cruise is way way off, we probably will be doing Princess before the Trans-Atlantic.

 

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We are considering a cruise on the Island Princess, TA Southampton to NY, next summer.

We have crossed on the QM2(twice) in a balcony cabin and it was perfect. We are looking at Princess because of the itinerary (specifically - Lerwick, Shetland) and arriving NY. 

We have been in a penthouse suite on the Oceania Insignia and will do so again this summer. The choice of cabin was because of the normal sized bathroom (supposedly the bathrooms are very small in the other cabins. We do not need the services of a butler and could do without. )

Any suggestions about what cabin would be equivalent to the QM2 balcony? I noticed mini-suites and balcony available.

On Celebrity there are all sorts of extras included if you boook a suite making balcony vs sky suites quite close in price, at times.

Is there specific dining for specific cabin types? (For instance on Cunard they have a Grill suites)

Can anyone speak to how well the Island Princess handles the North Atlantic?

Any comments comparing the lines, cabins would be appreciated. Also, I must have adhere to a gluten free diet and am told Princess is great handling dietary issues.

Thank you in advance!

 

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Have you ever READ a review of ANY Oceania cruise?  IMO you should

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I agree that the food is phenomenal on Oceania. The entertainment was horrendous. So much more to do on the Princess lines.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/22/2019 at 2:28 PM, Fredalyn said:

We are considering a cruise on the Island Princess, TA Southampton to NY, next summer.

We have crossed on the QM2(twice) in a balcony cabin and it was perfect. We are looking at Princess because of the itinerary (specifically - Lerwick, Shetland) and arriving NY. 

We have been in a penthouse suite on the Oceania Insignia and will do so again this summer. The choice of cabin was because of the normal sized bathroom (supposedly the bathrooms are very small in the other cabins. We do not need the services of a butler and could do without. )

Any suggestions about what cabin would be equivalent to the QM2 balcony? I noticed mini-suites and balcony available.

On Celebrity there are all sorts of extras included if you boook a suite making balcony vs sky suites quite close in price, at times.

Is there specific dining for specific cabin types? (For instance on Cunard they have a Grill suites)

Can anyone speak to how well the Island Princess handles the North Atlantic?

Any comments comparing the lines, cabins would be appreciated. Also, I must have adhere to a gluten free diet and am told Princess is great handling dietary issues.

Thank you in advance!

 

First, I believe that next summer will be the second time the Island has done a TA, the first being when it goes east to Europe.  So no really knows what a TA would be like on that ship.  We've done a number of TAs in both directions but on nothing smaller than the Crown P.  We have been on the Coral, the Island's "sister", and enjoyed that Panama Canal cruise.  Never been on the QM2 so can't compare.  But I believe it's a larger ship and, obviously, was built to do TAs as that's what it does a lot of.  One last point, we have twice been scheduled to stop in Lerwick but were not able to do so either time--generally weather and/or wind related.  I assume ships do make it there more often than not and we were just unlucky.

Edited by BarbinMich

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1 hour ago, BarbinMich said:

First, I believe that next summer will be the second time the Island has done a TA, the first being when it goes east to Europe.  So no really knows what a TA would be like on that ship.  We've done a number of TAs in both directions but on nothing smaller than the Crown P.  We have been on the Coral, the Island's "sister", and enjoyed that Panama Canal cruise.  Never been on the QM2 so can't compare.  But I believe it's a larger ship and, obviously, was built to do TAs as that's what it does a lot of.  One last point, we have twice been scheduled to stop in Lerwick but were not able to do so either time--generally weather and/or wind related.  I assume ships do make it there more often than not and we were just unlucky.

Thank you so much for letting me know about Lerwick. I have always wanted to visit the Shetland Islands. However, if it is sometimes missed, we may rethink cruising there. Fred Olsen does have an itinerary that stops there overnight, making actually getting there more likely. I just don't know much about the cruiseline other than what my cousins in England saying- the vessels are old.

 

 

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On 7/23/2019 at 4:43 PM, Fredalyn said:

I have always wanted to visit the Shetland Islands. However, if it is sometimes missed, we may rethink cruising there. 

 

Lerwick was a fabulous stop...I was on Celebrity Silhouette and we had a gorgeous July day when we were there. If you like yarn, there is a yarn shop in town with yarns from local sheep. 

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Posted (edited)
On 7/15/2019 at 2:04 PM, stevenr597 said:

My wife and I are looking at two fantastic Trans-Atlantic Cruises for 2020.  Both leave from Barcelona and arrive at Ft. Lauderdale.  One will be on the Brand New Enchanted Princess, the other is on Ocean's Marina.  Both have excellent itineraries, and frankly we are torn about which one to select.

We would like to have some thoughts about Princess (which we love) compared  Oceania (which we have never cruised on). 

Which would you prefer?

 

I've done 9 Princess cruises and 4 on Oceania, but only on the small "R" ship Insignia...I'm actually on it now and have been here continuously since January! I took the 6 month long world cruise (in a penthouse suite) and now the next 2 cruises after the world cruise. I can tell you that this little ship, same as the Pacific Princess, is very smooth sailing!!  I've been told, by experienced Oceania cruisers, that their larger ships Riviera and Marina are fabulous and even better than the small ones...in 2021 I'll find out when I take my free cruise (one of the loyalty perks on Oceania...I also get prepaid gratuities, obc and air deviations forever). And when you see the Oceania prices, they usually include airfare and one OLife perk, but you don't have to include them so you pay less than the listed price.

 

As one poster said correctly, Oceania excels in food and service!! The crew has become like my family and are very attentive. But entertainment is lacking in variety and quality. I can keep myself busy so it doesn't bother me, but some people want constant games and such. One thing I like is that they give out nice needlepoint kits to do and there is an Artist's Loft with an art teacher (no charge for either). On the bigger ships they give cooking classes. Absolutely NO nickel and diming...no photos, no art auctions, no coffee cards (all non-alcoholic beverages, including lattes, cappuccinos, milk shakes, smoothies  and brewed coffee, are free and any type of pop you want will be kept stocked in your fridge), free unlimited internet for everyone, free specialty restaurants, free exercise classes, steak and lobster at all food venues everyday and more. Also, there are no formal nights although most people dress nicely in the evenings. 

 

That said, I still love Princess and plan to sail both lines. I have a 2 month long South America cruise on the Island coming up which will make me Elite. The laundry perk will be great for a long cruise.

 

I suggest trying Oceania...I had wanted to for a few years and am glad I did. Each line has its pros and cons, but I like having 2 "go to" lines that offer great itineraries. 

Edited by Go-Bucks!

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On 7/23/2019 at 9:43 PM, Fredalyn said:

Thank you so much for letting me know about Lerwick. I have always wanted to visit the Shetland Islands. However, if it is sometimes missed, we may rethink cruising there. Fred Olsen does have an itinerary that stops there overnight, making actually getting there more likely. I just don't know much about the cruiseline other than what my cousins in England saying- the vessels are old.

 

 

Having cruised with Fred Olsen and many other lines, IMO it is the worst by far. Old ships and even older passengers. Now before I get slammed, I am 73 so am no spring chicken. The average age on our FO cruise must have been 80 and many were travelling single and could hardly walk, even with aides. We were constantly helping people who had fallen and again IMO should not have been allowed to travel. Food was very average, so was the entertainment.

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6 hours ago, bobstheboy said:

Having cruised with Fred Olsen and many other lines, IMO it is the worst by far. Old ships and even older passengers. Now before I get slammed, I am 73 so am no spring chicken. The average age on our FO cruise must have been 80 and many were travelling single and could hardly walk, even with aides. We were constantly helping people who had fallen and again IMO should not have been allowed to travel. Food was very average, so was the entertainment.

Your input is most appreciated and supports my families comments. Fred has been eliminated from our list of  possibilities for next summer!

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10 hours ago, Go-Bucks! said:

 

Lerwick was a fabulous stop...I was on Celebrity Silhouette and we had a gorgeous July day when we were there. If you like yarn, there is a yarn shop in town with yarns from local sheep. 

We have been following your posts on the Oceania Board. Great commentary! Thank you. We are on a Bermuda b2b because there will be no flying involved this summer and loved our experience last year. (We love the ship experience and for the most part have travelled extensively and usually don't care where we go lol). Nautica includes Lerwick next summer. However, it means 2 flights, unless we can arrange TA to and from. Also, it is a leg of a longer cruise and all the PH are spoken for.  Are the A and B cabin bathrroms that much smaller? We will ask for a look in August. The Island Princess leaves from Southampton and would require only 1 flight there.  DH has some health issues which makes flying less than desirable, at this point in time. If we didn't want to include Lerwick, Cunard has a 21 day NY-NY. So much fun to think about. 

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On 7/23/2019 at 4:43 PM, Fredalyn said:

Thank you so much for letting me know about Lerwick. I have always wanted to visit the Shetland Islands. However, if it is sometimes missed, we may rethink cruising there. Fred Olsen does have an itinerary that stops there overnight, making actually getting there more likely. I just don't know much about the cruiseline other than what my cousins in England saying- the vessels are old.

I should have mentioned that our attempts to get to Lerwick were on WB TAs from Southampton via ports in Norway in September when the weather can be bad.  The first time we missed Lerwick was because the weather was so bad in the Atlantic we had to stay overnight in the protected harbor where Bergen, Norway is located.  Thus, we didn't have time to stop in Lerwick.  As I had spent a lot of time planning a private excursion in the Shetlands for a dozen folks in our CC group, it was very disappointing to miss it.  The second miss happened on a beautiful day, but it was too windy for a large ship to dock there.   Fred Olsen's ships are much smaller than the Princess ships we were on, so hopefully it has better luck getting into Lerwick!

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18 hours ago, Go-Bucks! said:

 

I've done 9 Princess cruises and 4 on Oceania, but only on the small "R" ship Insignia...I'm actually on it now and have been here continuously since January! I took the 6 month long world cruise (in a penthouse suite) and now the next 2 cruises after the world cruise. I can tell you that this little ship, same as the Pacific Princess, is very smooth sailing!!  I've been told, by experienced Oceania cruisers, that their larger ships Riviera and Marina are fabulous and even better than the small ones...in 2021 I'll find out when I take my free cruise (one of the loyalty perks on Oceania...I also get prepaid gratuities, obc and air deviations forever). And when you see the Oceania prices, they usually include airfare and one OLife perk, but you don't have to include them so you pay less than the listed price.

 

As one poster said correctly, Oceania excels in food and service!! The crew has become like my family and are very attentive. But entertainment is lacking in variety and quality. I can keep myself busy so it doesn't bother me, but some people want constant games and such. One thing I like is that they give out nice needlepoint kits to do and there is an Artist's Loft with an art teacher (no charge for either). On the bigger ships they give cooking classes. Absolutely NO nickel and diming...no photos, no art auctions, no coffee cards (all non-alcoholic beverages, including lattes, cappuccinos, milk shakes, smoothies  and brewed coffee, are free and any type of pop you want will be kept stocked in your fridge), free unlimited internet for everyone, free specialty restaurants, free exercise classes, steak and lobster at all food venues everyday and more. Also, there are no formal nights although most people dress nicely in the evenings. 

 

That said, I still love Princess and plan to sail both lines. I have a 2 month long South America cruise on the Island coming up which will make me Elite. The laundry perk will be great for a long cruise.

 

I suggest trying Oceania...I had wanted to for a few years and am glad I did. Each line has its pros and cons, but I like having 2 "go to" lines that offer great itineraries. 

Thanks so much for your thoughtful response.  This will be our first cruise on Oceania.  Several years ago we sailed on of the R Class Ships on Azamara (Southeast Asia) and we were upgraded to a Penthouse Suite.  We did have a fantastic, fantastic time.  With that being said, we have also sailed Princess for many years, starting many years ago on Sun Princess Cruise to Alaska.  We are big fans of the Royal Class Ships.

Sailing for many years we have come to realize that no cruise or cruise ship is perfect.  Why did we decide to go with Oceania.  Why wife summed it up by saying, "Let's try it, we have never sailed Oceania before."

Against thanks, and thanks to everybody for their interesting and kind replies. 

By the way, this September we go with out grandchildren on Disney. LOL

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On ‎7‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 4:33 PM, pthjudy said:

We have been on 3 Oceania Cruises with 2 of them crossing the ocean. We have taken well over 20 Princess Cruises. Princess is our go to cruise line. But we love Oceania as well. Oceania has the best food I’ve ever encountered at sea and getting extra specialty reservations is dependent on the ship’s capacity and how persistent you are. (On our last 14 night Oceania, we dined in specialties 12 times!) There is no nickel and diming on Oceania. There is no photographer, no formal nights, and very few children. That being said, Oceania is much more costly than Princess unless you spot a deal which is usually a transocean with few ports. With the Oceania package of flights and tours etc., you can sometimes do very well.   

 

I agree.  I have only been on 1 Oceania and it was the BEST, at that time you could take as much alcohol on board as you wanted, I understand that has changed.  The food was top notch, not much of a comparison, its like one is a volkswagon and one a Cadillac.  Oceania is much more expensive than Princess, depends on your budget.  If I could afford it I would do Oceania, but I also like Princess.

Marlster.

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