I recently sailed aboard the Oceania cruises on Oceania Marina, and what I loved the most was the ship, the staff and its cuisine. What's left?
The rooms are well appointed with a beautiful veranda; a stateroom that exudes the feel of the luxury cruise lines, with a well-appointed bathroom and plenty of closet space! All with a price tag that is percentages less!
When I now think of Oceania, I think food, food, food! We experienced a fun cooking activity in the culinary center, where we took a 2-hour class in making Cuban food, since the ship was headed to Cuba for her maiden voyage there! It was straight out of Kitchen Stadium on Iron Chef!
We enjoyed a 7-course wine pairing dinner in La Reserve by Wine Spectator. It is an extraordinary epicurean adventure,complete with the perfect wine pairings! We had the sommeliers and the chefs all to ourselves in this fabulous small private dining room. The food is exquisite and the wine… superb! This is not the only private dining available on the Oceania Marina (or its twin, Oceania Riviera). They also have a very intimate private dining room called Privee, which holds up to 12 guests, and is available for $250.00 for the room for the evening. The menu in Priveé is from the ship's Polo Grill & Toscana restaurants.
The star chef onboard is and always will be Jacques Pepin, with his restaurant onboard named “Jacques” offering classic French cuisine. You know it is going to be amazing, sharing his home recipes and inviting you to enjoy some of his personal artwork on display as well. You leave knowing him just a little better. Magnifique!
The Grand Dining room was beautiful, and the service was spectacular. We also enjoyed Red Ginger, a Nobu-esque restaurant with a brilliant staff and over the moon sushi and Japanese cuisine. The Polo Grill had some of the old-school steaks, seafood and chops that would leave any carnivore satiated!
Other venues are Terrace Café, for a nice breakfast lunch or dinner, Waves for some of the best sandwiches poolside -think Surf & turf on a roll! Baristas is a beautiful coffee bar overlooking the pool deck, near the internet café, and Horizons for that classic English Tea!
There is an artist studio onboard where you can take classes or paint something; we went and produced some very cool Mexican Masks! It was a lot of fun and just feeling creative for a while.
I had a meeting with Bob Binder, co-founder of Oceania; what an impressive and approachable guy! He invited us to a cocktail party in his incredible Owners Suite! Complete with a jacuzzi with a TV out on the wrap around veranda! Elvis would have been jealous!
Overall Oceania is a great cruise vacation, very culinary oriented with lots of dining choices. Beautiful venues and a staff ready and waiting to accommodate you. When they say “Your World Your Way” they mean it!