Line: Oceania Cruises
Star rating: 5 star
Tonnage: 30,277 GRT
What's included in the price:
- All meals
- Port taxes
- Government fees
- Room service
This distinctive cruise line was established in 2003 by two veterans of the cruise ship industry. All four ships are of medium size in today’s terms and are extremely comfortable. They are designed to have the air of an English country house, even to the point of having faux fireplaces in many of the relaxing places in the lounges. These are furnished with over-stuffed furniture that assists to create a pleasant atmosphere for gentile socialising.
The ships visit very interesting destinations off the beaten track of the large cruise ships. Before each stop, talks are given so that passengers going ashore will get the most from their visit. This might include talks on wildlife, architecture or the local culture.
This stylish comfort is even carried through to the pool area which is a venue in itself. Here will be found thickly padded and extremely comfortable loungers whilst strolling waiters offer tasty snacks and cool towels to those who want them. For those who want privacy, a cabana can be hired to which a private spa treatment can be added.
A very popular event on board are the demonstrations given by the ship’s own chefs as well as by visiting celebrities. The chefs allow hands-on practice and passengers leave with much enhanced cooking skills. There are also lectures on various topical items, arts and crafts demonstrations and the ever popular wine tasting courses. There is also computer training for those who want it.
The food on Oceania cruises is always of five star quality. Menus are extremely varied and designed to please the most discerning palate. The main restaurants offer French cuisine but there are other options, which need to be booked in advance. There is usually Tapas on the Terrace which is al fresco dining on the lido deck. This area is transformed into a Spanish courtyard with candleholders and starched linen. During the day, this area serves breakfast and lunch buffets and there is a pizza counter. Burgers and hot dogs are also available here throughout the day. What is without doubt is that Oceania probably offers the best quality of food of any fleet of cruise ships.
Whilst the standard of food is very high, there is no strict dress code in the restaurants. Many passengers do dress up to eat in the stylish restaurants but all that is asked is that no jeans, shorts or T-shirts are worn in public areas in the evenings.
Although Oceania ships are relatively small, they have well equipped fitness centres that are adequate for the number of passengers carried. There are fitness classes and personally designed fitness programs are available for a small fee. There is a jogging track around the top of the ship.
Oceania cruises are not really designed for families with children. There are no special arrangements for children and parents are strictly held responsible for their children at all times. There are no video games or other teenage equipment and probably the only children who might enjoy a cruise are those who would find visiting the various islands of interest.
Cabins are fitted out to a very high standard and carry the country house theme through to the furnishings. The beds are extremely comfortable and cabins are fitted with all of the usual accessories.
The passenger lists tend to be mostly made up of North Americans with some Europeans. The age group tends to be from mid 30s to retirees who have the time for longer cruises. Passengers tend to be attracted by the excellent service, sophisticated atmosphere, creative cuisine and interesting destinations.
With more time in port, there's a chance to discover the entertainment your destination has to offer. Back on board, you'll discover a diversity of headline acts consisting of singers, comedians and illusionists who will dazzle and amaze into the night.
Guests enjoy the flexibility of four open-seating restaurants so they dine when, where and with whom they choose from five-star menus created by master chef Jacques Pepin. The Grand dining room offers fine French dining while gourmet Italian is served in Toscana. Steaks and seafood feature in the Polo Grill and Mediterranean specialities at Tapas on the Terrace.
For your convenience and comfort on board, the ships feature an internet centre, well stocked library, card room, duty free shopping, and eight bars and lounges. To help you relax while on board, there's the Canyan Ranch Spa, heated swimming pool, three whirlpool spas, eight private cabanas, state-of-the-art gymnasium and casino.
Ranging in size from 15 to 90 square metres, 70 per cent of staterooms feature private teak verandahs. All staterooms have tranquillity beds with 700-thread-count Egyptain cotton linen, goose down pillows and silk-cut Italian duvets. Upgrade to a concierge level verandah stateroom to receive a wealth of privileges including priority embarkation, restaurant reservations and minibar.