I have been traveling on Oceania Cruise Line’s Insignia, a mid-sized luxury cruise ship and one of the top rated cruise lines. This Arctic itinerary has been so fascinating, I haven’t been talking much about the ship experience itself. As we have a day at sea, what better time than when?
Oceania Cruises is a very unique product, positioned above the premium cruise lines and at the entry point of the luxury cruise market. It has wonderful service that is always warm, friendly and outgoing, but not formal or snobby at any time. Because of this Oceania has an incredibly high repeat customer rate. The ship I am on is approximately 30,000 GRT, making it small to mid-sized.
The impression you get by the style of décor is of a manor home, warm and cozy. There is a wonderful library and bar with fireplace at the entrance of the grand dining room, providing a living room feel. Oceania Cruises offers many longer voyages, so the ship does truly start to feel like being in a home. One of my personal favorite things about sailing with Oceania over a mainstream cruise line is pricing. Instead of getting a super low price which you think is the bargain of the century, only to get onboard and find your onboard bill is higher than what you spent on the entire cruise, you get much more of a flat price. To start with, airfare is included on all sailings! What you see when you are given your cruise price actually gets you to and from the cruise as well, a much welcomed relief in today’s high airfare market. On many sailings Oceania can offer considerably discounted business class air as well. All non-alcoholic beverages are included, something one generally pays for on mainstream cruise lines. There is also no charge for any of the five dining venues onboard. This is another way Oceania excels in the industry. The dress code onboard is another item that keeps the passengers coming back. No suits, tuxes or gowns are ever needed; every night is country club casual. This is very welcome, especially these days when may be paying for the suitcases you check in on your flight. The value for the money on Oceania is simply one of the best at sea. Of course, the quality of cuisine and your personal comfort is not something reflected in the price, and of superior quality to that of mainstream cruise lines. Oceania cruises all over the world, now with four ships, including the new Marina (which is about 60,000 GRT).