An Introduction to: Oceania Cruise Line
April 27, 2016
Oceania Cruises is a line formed back in 2002 by three luxury cruise industry veterans who wanted to offer the world intimate ships with ultimate luxury.
If you haven’t seen anything about Oceania cruise line before you’ll want to know that they aim to provide guests with a truly extraordinary travel experience by offering the finest culinary experience at sea with a warm and luxurious ambiance on every voyage (to sum up, it’s all very fancy and elegant. Oh, and you’ll be reading ‘luxury’ a lot more now…)
So, what do you need to know? What type of guests will you find on-board? What type of dining is on offer? We’ll give you a rundown about everything from the type of cabins you can choose to whether you’ll need to bring your best frock (surprisingly, you won’t). Read on to find out the rest!
Meet the Fleet:
Oceania have a total of 6 ships, most with similar specifications, some slightly larger, but all with the same elegance:
Riviera: She is the newest ship, built in 2012, weighing the same and holding the same capacity as Marina. She is the epitome of refined elegance and embraces the same warmth and charm of Regatta, Insignia, Nautica and Sirena.
Marina: In 2011 this ship was built and holds a whole 1,250 guests and 800 staff; this means the guest to staff ratio works out as 1.56 to 1. She weighs 66,804 tonnes and promises to blend sophistication with contemporary flair.
Nautica: This ship was built in 2000 and can hold 684 guests and 400 staff, making the guest to staff ratio 1.71 to 1, same as Regatta. She offers every luxury you can expect on-board the other ships!
Sirena: She was built in 1999 and can hold the same amount of guests and crew as her sister ships. She is said to embody the most treasured elements of their celebrated fleet and was newly renovated in 2016!
Insignia: This ship was also built in 1998 and features the same specifications of Regatta and having undergone the same multi-million dollar transformation, she was created into a virtually new ship that is both elegantly sleek and charming.
Regatta: Built back in 1998 and elegantly charming, she can hold 684 guests and 400 staff (that means the guest to staff ratio is 1.71 to 1!) She weighs a whole 30,277 tonnes and is the flagship of the fleet.
Is there a typical Oceania passenger?
If you like luxury, you’ll fit in here. Oceania attracts sophisticated travellers in search of something world-class, whether it be the cuisine, décor or service. You’ll be surrounded by dark mahoganies, muted fabrics and rich-coloured carpets so if the traditional is to your taste, so will all six ships of the fleet.
When reviewing the cruise line as a whole, Mackay from Rotterdam said: ‘I would definitely book another Oceania cruise again for the high quality of service, size of staterooms and all round excellent passenger service.’ You can read more of this review here.
Anyone looking for a particularly memorable dining experience will feel satisfied on-board and any couples who fancy a romantic getaway, where an exquisite attention to detail is key, will feel the most comfortable on any ship you pick.
Oceania doesn’t discourage or encourage children on-board and state that any children travelling on the ship must be one years old, although there aren’t any children programmes in place. There is however, a strong country club feel where passengers may feel they are part of an exclusive experience on-board with the luxe surroundings and style that Oceania is notorious for.
You might be surprised at the immense variety of entertainment and activities on-board these ships with such grand, rich taste…
Like most ships, you’ll have more than enough live shows to choose from with spectacular headliners and enriching performances! That’s Entertainment offers you a visit to the past from the Golden Age of Cinema to the glitz glamour of current pop culture, inspired by Sinatra, Elvis, Monroe and Madonna (the old classics!) Or opt to feel transported to something even more glamorous than Oceania cruises; One More For The Road takes you to the Las Vegas strip through an evening concert that gives you the sparkle of the big city along with the voices of Michael Buble, Alicia Keys, Adele and Justin Timberlake!
Sticking with the Las Vegas theme you can head straight to the casino if you fancy a go on the slot machines or if you think you can try your hand at a game of blackjack. If you’re feeling a little more creative though, Oceania invites you to the Culinary Centre where you can learn and prepare a variety of dishes yourself in their state-of-the-art teaching kitchen-let’s call it the first British Bake Off at sea!
When reviewing the entertainment on-board, Rye in Telford said: ‘there was music available to suit all tastes in various venues throughout the ship, the resident cast performed 3 excellent shows in the riviera lounge and other entertainment included an award winning magician and a violinist: both professional acts’. You can read more of this review here.
On the days where you feel like some quiet time on deck, grab one of the 2000 books from the English style library, sit back and relax. Quiet time can turn into an excuse to get educated and you won’t even have to lift a finger with the chance to sit and listen to a famous guest lecturer; it could be a historian, a naturalist or former ambassador that shares their exclusive inside knowledge with you one day on the ship…
But ultimate relaxation is not possible until you’ve found the Canyon Ranch Spa Club. With a focus on healthy living and spiritual awareness, you can rejuvenate with their state-of-the-art fitness centre: indoor cycling, yoga, pilates, fitness track and so on. You can immediately reward yourself with the relaxation room, sauna, steam room or just head straight to the salon (you’ll find us on the heated ceramic loungers, maybe after a nutrition and lifestyle consultation- you may as well give it a go!)
Food and Dining
If you don’t already know, Oceania Cruises has a reputation for cuisine that is the finest at sea and prides itself on its à la minute preparation (don’t worry, we don’t speak French either- it means all your meals will be made fresh as soon as you order them!)
The cruise line’s exquisite dining experience is open seated and all of them are complimentary! This means you’ll have a lot of freedom with when and where you dine and there’ll be no additional charge for any restaurant you choose: whether its continental cuisine, authentic Italian or classic steakhouse fare.
The legendary Master Chef Jacques Pépin is behind it all so prepare your tastebuds for an extraordinary experience that’ll rival any you’ve had offshore!
You can choose from a variety of classic favourites:
Grand Dining Room: The ambiance is inspired by Europe’s five-star hotel restaurants and will feature Jacques Pépin’s signature dishes along with continental cuisine and some savoury selections from Canyon Ranch.
Terrace Café: Here you can choose to dine indoors or alfresco and the menu of international dishes will change daily: select from savour grilled lobster tails, jumbo shrimp, hand-cut steaks, a sushi bar and fresh pastas.
Waves Grill: If you’re in the mood for a gourmet burger, head here and you’ll also have the option of succulent seafood with sides of hand-cut truffle fries. Even the dessert is one not to be missed with a choice of creamy homemade gelato or a hand-dipped milkshake!
Horizons: What else is there to do at four o’clock in the afternoon? Teatime is a daily event on-board where you can indulge in treats elegantly displayed on four-tiered carts like scones, desserts, petis fours, finger sandwiches and artisanal teas!
Did you know: even room service is complimentary and is 24-hours! We think this calls for a midnight feast…
One thing you won’t be short of on-board an Oceania ship is variety; you can choose from a selection of speciality gourmet restaurants, too…
Polo Grill: You’ll find all the elements of a classic steakhouse here, from filet mignon to New York strip, and there’s even something for seafood lovers, such as whole Marine lobster!
Jacques Bistro: Time for lunch? Why not transport yourself to an authentic Parisian bistro at the Grand Dining Room? Savour some fresh and seasonal French dishes that are inspired by Jacques Pépin’s personal recipes- exclusive or what!
Toscana: We all love a family recipe that’s handed down through generations, so come here to experience these masterpiece dishes that hold the essence of Tuscany and are elegantly presented on Versace china.
Red Ginger: The Red Ginger’s chefs offer you their own contemporary interpretations of Asian classics and even the striking décor will be a feast for the eyes!
The only thing you will have a choice to pay a little extra for is Privée: the ultimate in exclusivity. You can reserve the area for a party of up to ten guests and will have a choice of the full menu from both Polo Grill and Tuscany. It counts as a one-of-a-kind experience and most importantly, you’ll be seated under a white Venini glass chandelier around a custom-made oval table (after all, décor is everything).
Did you know: one more thing you can enjoy for an added fee is an exquisite wine experience with La Reserve. You can sample distinctive vintages from the wine cellar and even enjoy wine seminars. Can Oceania get any fancier!
If you don’t feel like you’ve experienced luxury in your first few moments on the ship (but we assure you, you will) then wait until you get to your stateroom or suite! Every room features a Prestige Tranquility bed- exclusive to Oceania Cruises! Mr Collins in Weymouth described them as: ‘the best beds at sea’– (you can read the rest of his review here).
Across all six ships you’ll have a choice of staterooms…
Inside Stateroom: Named as a private sanctuary, these inside rooms can stretch to 174-square-foot and, of course, feature rich and elegant décor. Although our favourite part is the thoughtful touches, like the vanity desk and breakfast table, or the marble and granite-clad bathroom (very thoughtful indeed).
Ocean View Stateroom: These elegant 143-square-foot staterooms offer you stylish furnishings and a panorama window with obstructed views. Or you can upgrade to a Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom where the windows will be floor-to-ceiling (not to mention, they’ll be 242-square-foot!)
Veranda Stateroom: This is the largest stateroom at sea at 282-square-foot! It is handsomely decorated and features a private teak veranda where you can watch the ever changing panoramas. You can also rely on its generous features, such as the spacious seating area and refrigerated mini-bar!
Concierge Level Veranda Stateroom: These rooms feature a lot of the luxurious amenities you’ll find in the cruise line’s penthouse suites! Not only will you get to enjoy a full sized bathtub/shower and the private veranda with plush seating area, but you’ll also have access to the private Concierge Lounge that’ll feature your own dedicated concierge, daily newspapers and snacks (doesn’t get much more exclusive than that!)
Did you know: in all of these rooms you’ll have free and unlimited soft drinks that will be replenished daily in your refrigerated mini-bar- as if by magic!
Aside from the vast choice of staterooms, you’ll also be able to choose from various suites…
Penthouse suite: Oceania cruise ships hold a collection of penthouse suites that give that five-star-hotel feel with its ingenious design and generous 420 square feet of space! You’ll get an exclusive card-only access to the private executive lounge and even a walk-in closet (dreams come true, girls!)
Oceania suite: This is what you call home at sea: a suite that features a living room, dining room, fully equipped media room, large walk-in closet, king size bed, private veranda and outdoor whirlpool spas (okay, we’ll admit we don’t even have most of those things in our own house!) You’ll feel privileged in this suite as the flawless décor came from the mind of the famous New York designer, Dakota Jackson.
Vista suite: With another fantastic interior designed by Dakota Jackson, these eight suites are in very high demand so make sure you get here first! You’ll find every imaginable amenity here in the space of up to 1,500-square-foot, plus a second bathroom for guests and your own private fitness room.
Owner’s suite: If the Ralph Lauren Home collection is to your taste then try it out here at sea in the owner’s suite! The rich furnishings will welcome you and so will your dramatic entry foyer with a music room (oh, and don’t forget about your oversized showers and king size bed!)
It really is the little things with Oceania and the thoughtful touches will leave you feeling valued and homely on your holiday, such as the signature Belgian chocolates and nightly turndown service!
Oceania describe their staterooms and suites as the ultimate sanctuary from the outside world and your escape includes 24-hour butler service and free access to the Wi-Fi so you can stay in touch with those back home (although you might just be too distracted with the room service menu that’s available all day- and it’s free!)
Did you know: You can even upgrade your experience with Concierge. This would include a complimentary welcome bottle of champagne, an iPad upon request for you to enjoy on-board and complimentary shoe shine service!
Oceania pride themselves on never charging for a dining supplement on-board and allowing their guests unlimited soft drinks, bottled water, speciality coffees, teas and juices. But they do also offer special beverage packages where wine, beer and spirits can be purchased for a fair price.
It gets better, Oceania offer value without compromise in the form of free shuttle service from the ship to the city centre in many ports of call (the daily value is up to £34 per guest!)
Staff, dress codes and gratuities
You’ll find that Oceania have an impressive staff-to-guest ratio (1 to 1.6) and claim their staff to hold genuinity, enthusiasm, sincerity and exquisite attention to detail all at once. Their butlers are formally trained by members of the Guild of Professional English Butlers (we have to experience this) and the suite/stateroom attendants are carefully selected from the world’s finest 5-star hotels!
As you already may know, the amount you’re advised to tip varies on each cruise line; for Oceania cruises just over £10 is automatically added per day, per person and an extra amount of just under £5 is added per day, per person, for cruisers occupying Penthouse, Oceania, Vista or Owner suites (where butler services is provided). And like most other cruise lines, you have the freedom to adjust your gratuities while on-board at your own discretion.
Although you might assume you need a new sequined dress or fancy tuxedo for Oceania cruises, this is actually not the case as there are no formal nights on-board, but instead a simple and casual policy (some of you may feel a sigh of relief at this!) The cruise line understands the need to feel comfortable when travelling and so gives you intimate casual spaces where everything is designed with your well-being in mind.
The ships go with the ‘country club casual’ theme to make you feel relaxed and as if you’re just visiting your own private country club where everyone knows your name! The warm and welcoming ambiance makes it easy to be sociable and the ‘come and go as you please’ rule will leave you feeling the ultimate comfort, as if you’re just at home.
You can find out more about Oceania cruises here!
So, there you have it; everything you need to know about Oceania cruises! Have you sailed with them before? Which ship is your favourite? Do you fancy a stateroom or suite? Let us know in the comments below!
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