I had cruised several years previously on the Regatta, so many things on the ship felt familiar.
Horizons Lounge, the Riviera Show Lounge, the pool area, Terrace Cafe, Waves Grill & Martini Bar were very similar in layout, but with a more contemporary look.
The cabins also felt similar, with the exception of the bathrooms. They are larger, and most have bathtubs as well as separate showers. The library is larger, with many cosy nooks, and a coffee bar. The gym has a separate aerobics area, and there is a Spa Terrace for Concierge passengers. There is a Mini Golf course on the top deck, and 2 more specialty restaurants, making 4 in all. The biggest difference is the new Culinary center, and the Artists loft. Both offer hands on classes which are extremely popular!
Overall, the Riviera impressed. Although the ship was completely sold out, if never felt full. The only time we lined up was for tenders, and it wasn't a long wait. No matter what time or location we ate at, there was never a problem getting a table (reservations are required at the specialty restaurants). Food was excellent in all of the venues, and service is fantastic.
Clients (who haven't cruised with Oceania before) ask me if it's worth the extra money to sail on Oceania. I think it is, and here is why;
I think Oceania have found the "sweet spot" between luxury and contemporary cruising. You get more included with your cruise, there is no extra charge for soft drinks, specialty coffee and bottled water. There is no extra charge for specialty dining or room service. It places where the cruise dock is a distance from town, there is a complimentary shuttle to town. At every port, someone from the local tourist board comes on-board to give out information and answer questions. And the beds have to be the most comfortable at sea!
But the main thing is the relaxed feel , no line-ups, no rush, no feeling of being constantly "sold to".
If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer!