PENTHOUSE SUITE VS CONCIERGE VERANDA ABOARD OCEANIA’S RIVIERA
Hello and thanks for stopping in today. Just before Christmas Brad & I, along with our 19 year-old son, Austin, took our 2nd cruise onboard Oceania Cruise line’s ship, The Riviera. We had truly enjoyed sailing on The Riviera on her maiden voyage in Europe back in 2012. For that cruise (which we also enjoyed with our son) we selected a Penthouse Suite. But this time, in an effort to save a little money just before Christmas, we decided to book a Concierge Veranda Stateroom. So today I thought I’d do a comparison for you, looking at the Penthouse Suite vs Concierge Veranda aboard Oceania’s Riviera.
On our 1st cruise aboard The Riviera we occupied Penthouse Suite #11008 in the PH2 category.
The generously sized 420 square foot space featured a dining table with 2 chairs, a separate seating area, a full-size bathtub/shower combo plus a separate shower, a large walk-in closet and a 39 square foot private veranda.
By comparison, our category A4 Concierge Veranda Stateroom # 9002 was only 282-square-feet, 138 square-feet smaller than the Penthouse Suite. It did have many of the same amenities found in our Penthouse Suite and had the same layout but was considerably more narrow as you can see by comparing the 2 floorplans.
Concierge Veranda Stateroom
Now let’s take a look at each of the staterooms and compare them side-by-side. You can see in the photo below, the Penthouse Suite has curtains that divide the bedroom area from the sitting room area. The privacy this affords when traveling with a 3rd person was a nice feature.
Concierge Veranda Stateroom
You can really see the difference in the width of the 2 cabins in the photos below. As you enter into the front door of the Penthouse Suite there is a spacious walk-in closet along the right wall.
In the Concierge Veranda Stateroom the closet was located along the left side of the bed. Therefore it lacked the walk-in closet which I really loved because it was large enough to use as a dressing room. This was a particularly nice feature because we were sailing with our teenage son.
Now let’s compare the desk areas. In the Penthouse Suite there was a dedicated desk with a laptop computer. We always travel with our own computers so the addition of a computer was not a meaningful feature for us.
In the Concierge Veranda the desk doubled as a vanity. It had far less cabinet & drawer space than was available in the Penthouse Suite.
In the Penthouse Suite there was an additional long builtin cabinet with a dedicated vanity area, minibar and storage space.
The Penthouse Suite included 2 chairs and a dining table that were situated at the foot of the bed. This was where we enjoyed coffee in the morning as well as cocktails with canapes, delivered to our suite by the Butler in the afternoons. The Concierge Veranda did not come with Butler Service.
Below is a photo of the sitting area in the Penthouse Suite. Because of the depth of the stateroom the couch was placed against a window with a view to the veranda and beyond.
Because of the lack of depth in the Concierge Veranda Staterooms the sitting area did not have the addition of the window. Nor did it have the extra upholstered chair. The coffee table was slightly different as well. The couches that converted into a bed were virtually identical in each stateroom.
The other annoying thing about the narrowness of the Concierge Veranda stateroom was the fact that when the couch was turned into a bed for our son, there was not enough room to walk by at the end of the bed. Therefore when the bed was open you could not exit onto the veranda.
Now, let’s step outside and compare the verandas. The photo below was our veranda in the Penthouse Suite. It featured a small table and 2 comfortable chairs that converted into almost layflat lounge chairs.
You can see in the diagram below that our Penthouse Suite number 11008 was located on the port side of the ship, forward and very near the bridge.
Our view looking forward was what you see in the photo below. We could watch the officers at work on the bridge. If you look at the photo below you can also make out the narrow deck that juts out in a curved fashion just below the bridge. Little did we know at the time I took this photo that 4 years later we’d sail the Riviera again in the stateroom attached to that veranda, #9002.
As you can see in the diagram below, our Concierge Veranda Stateroom #9002 was located way forward, 2 floors down from our Penthouse Suite #11008.
While it is not shown on the diagram above, because of its unique location, the forward section of the balcony curved way out beyond the edge of the adjacent balconies. This feature makes this particular Concierge Veranda stateroom quite special, and was actually a little bit more spacious than the veranda of our Penthouse Suite 11008. The 2 chairs provided on the balcony were not convertible.
Now let’s step back inside so I can show you the bathroom, which in the case of both stateroom categories was generously sized and sumptuously appointed. Below is a photo of the sink area in the Penthouse Suite. It’s slightly wider than the sink area shown below in the Concierge Veranda.
Both categories of staterooms had a wonderful assortment of Bvlgari toiletries including 2 different types of bath salts for use in the full-size soaking tub. The cotton towels were plush and absorbent.
The marble enclosed tub also featured a shower with hand sprayer and a handy retractable clothes drying line.
In addition to the tub/shower combo there was a dedicated shower with a rain showerhead in the Penthouse Suite Bathroom. The Concierge Veranda Stateroom had a separate shower as well, however, I believe it was slightly smaller.
Now lets discuss the various privileges associated with BOTH the Concierge Level Veranda Stateroom & the Penthouse Suite:
- Priority noon ship embarkation with priority luggage delivery
- Exclusive card-only access to private Lounge staffed by a dedicated Concierge, featuring complimentary soft drinks, coffees and snacks throughout the day
- Complimentary welcome bottle of Champagne
- Priority online specialty restaurant reservations
- Unlimited access to Canyon Ranch SpaClub® private Spa Terrace
- Laptop computer with wireless Internet access
- FREE Internet Package
- iPad® upon request
- Exclusive discounts on Internet usage plans
- Variety of Bulgari amenities
- Complimentary Oceania Cruises logo tote bag
- Cashmere lap blankets, perfect for relaxing on your veranda
- Complimentary shoe shine service
- Complimentary pressing of garments upon embarkation
In addition to the amenities listed above, Penthouse Suite occupants receive these additional privileges:
- 24-hour Butler service
- Course-by-course in-suite dining
- Order in-suite dining from any of the specialty restaurants
- Coordination of shore-side dinner and entertainment reservations
- Priority shore excursion reservations
- Packing and unpacking upon request
- Last minute luggage collection at debarkation
- Complimentary garment pressing
- Complimentary shoe shine service
- Gourmet evening canapés
- Special services upon request
Bottom line, we found the accommodations very, very tight for 3 people in the Concierge Veranda level stateroom. By contrast, we did not feel cramped at all traveling in the Penthouse Suite. Revisiting the photos I took of the Concierge Veranda Stateroom made me feel uncomfortable just looking at them. Frankly, once you experience the spacious, elegant accommodations of the Penthouse Suite you feel a rather dramatic difference traveling in the smaller stateroom. Somehow the voyage we took in the Concierge Veranda Stateroom just did not seem like the same ship, or even the same experience at all. It was not as luxurious, certainly not as comfortable, and in every way was not as pleasurable as the voyage we enjoyed in the Penthouse Suite.
As a result my husband and I have decided that in the future we would rather not cruise if we can’t do it in a “Suite”. I know this sounds a bit snooty and jaded, but for us the level of comfort is very important. We like to spend time relaxing in our stateroom, especially during days at sea which is something we always look for when selecting a cruise itinerary. We find that days at sea give one a chance to relax a bit on vacation, read on the veranda, explore the ship and enjoy the spa. Therefore, the comfort of the stateroom is very meaningful.
As for Oceania Cruise Line, having sailed with them twice, both times on their vessel, The Riviera, I would highly recommend it for mature travelers. The smaller size of their vessels do not allow room for the typical amenities associated with the mega ships that cater to families. They do not have a kids program and we saw very few young people aboard. In fact, our son was one of only about a half dozen children onboard at the time we sailed.
Want to take a tour of the whole ship? Check out my blog post here and watch the short video below.
Hope this helps you decide on the best stateroom for you. Still have questions about a Penthouse Suite vs Concierge Veranda aboard Oceania’s Riviera? Leave a comment below and I’d be happy to help.
Having sailed on most of the other cruise lines we love Oceania and have booked another voyage, this time around the British Isles on Riviera’s sister ship, Marina. We will be staying in a Penthouse Suite, this time in an aft location.
Wishing you smooth sailing…
So there you have it: PENTHOUSE SUITE VS CONCIERGE VERANDA ABOARD OCEANIA’S RIVIERA
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All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Unless otherwise noted, all photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission.