OCEANIA RIVIERA ATLANTIC AND AMBER GEMS
December 3 to December 13 2021
So this year instead of a bunch of Christmas presents we decided to take my brother and go on a very nice cruise. We decided on this Riviera cruise as we expected it to be far enough away from covid and we would not have to fly.
We ended up booking 2 Concierge cabins on deck 10.
As time got closer I watched the health and safety guidelines change over and over again I admit to getting a but nervous as to if we would even be going. 3 days before embarkation we went and did our PCR tests, came back negative the next day. It seems like it this cruise was actually going to happen.
We watched the safety video they had sent us, seemed easy enough.
Embarkation, Covid and Debarkation
The drive down to Miami on Friday morning was uneventful with the exception of a few circles around the port trying to figure out how to get to terminal J. Google maps was not the greatest help here.
Once arrived at J, luggage dropped off, tags attached by the porter and parked we then got in the queue for the required rapid test.
The test, while slow and a bit hot, went well and after about 30 minutes we were cleared to check-in.
Through security and to the check in counter was super fast, then passports scanned, negative test verified, security photos taken and the filling out of the “I have been vaccinated” certification was all done quickly. Note they never actually asked to see our vaccination cards.
We then got our Key to the world cabin cards and straight onto the ship.
First thing was they directed us to our muster station and gave us a 2 minute safety briefing and checked us off the list. Done. Easiest muster ever.
Next stop was in the atrium to get the drink package upgraded, easy and it turned out to be a great decision.
Now we were free to enjoy the ship while we waited for our room to be ready. Of course we went to the Terrace Cafe for lunch.
As for covid protocols on the ship we did not have to wear masks though the crew was always masked. There were about a million hand sanitation stations around the ship and everything was cleaned all the time.
We each got a mask and a hand sanitizer in the rooms.
Some events were cancelled due to covid, like the cooking classes.
Overall covid did not have a large impact on the ship life, though some of the islands were strict, more about that in the destinations section.
As for disembarkation, we picked 8:00AM to leave which normally would be fine. We went to breakfast at 7:00. It was nice as usual. However when it came time to leave the port authority decided that all bags had to be off the ship before any passengers could debark. So we waited until about 8:45 and then they let us off. Grabbed our luggage, had passports checked and we were in the car by 8:50.
We had concierge cabins on deck 10 (10103 and 10105)
We really liked the cabin, but I am not sure the concierge is worth the extra cost. The only amenities we used were a couple trips to the Aquamar spa deck and one free bag of laundry.
The ship is beautiful, we loved the size and pretty much everything about it.
The food was the main reason we picked this trip and it did not disappoint, we enjoyed everything we ate.
The art on the ship was a topic of discussion, while most of it is pretty abstract and simple, there were a lot of interesting/controversial pieces. One couple we met called it straight out “crap”
This cruise was not about the ports, we have done the Caribbean many times.