Cruise Line Focus

Cruise line focus: Oceania Cruises

Oceania Cruises is a premium cruise line that focuses on gourmet food and port-intensive cruise itineraries aboard luxury boutique cruise ships.

Oceania

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Oceania Cruises is all about find food, destination-heavy itineraries and top-notch service.

It provides these attributes, aboard cruise ships that are exceptionally well-appointed, but at a price point that is lower than most classic cruise lines, as there are fewer inclusions in its base fares.

It could therefore be called the world’s most accessible luxury cruise line.

It’s a concept that was started by cruise industry veterans Frank Del Rio and Joe Watters, the former heads of Renaissance Cruises and Crystal Cruises.

From 2007 to 2014, Oceania was owned by New York-based investment firm Apollo Management, L.P. It was managed by Prestige Cruises International, along with luxury sibling Regent Seven Seas.

In 2014, Prestige Cruises International was purchased by Norwegian Cruise Line Holding (which also owns Norwegian Cruise Line). Del Rio is now the larger corporation’s CEO and president.

The Oceania Cruises on-board experience

Oceania Cruises have made their ships the epitome of class and sophistication, both in terms of the on-board experience and the décor.

It’s all about polished dark mahoganies, muted fabrics and thick, richly coloured carpets. The dress code is country club casual, matching the line’s “whatever you want, whenever you want” mindset and the service is enthusiastic and gracious, with just the right blend of friendliness and professionalism.

There’s a marked difference in size between the line’s four smaller ships (Regatta, Insignia, Sirena and Nautica) and her two newbuilds Marina and Riviera.

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Oceania Insignia is one of the line’s four smaller cruise ships.

Extra specialty restaurants, a Wine Spectator La Reserve Wine Bar and The Culinary Center are only available on the newer, larger ships (although Sirena does have a Red Ginger).

It’s been said by some passengers that the smaller Regatta, Insignia, Sirena and Nautica have a cozier ambience, which is part of what passengers like about a luxury cruise experience, but even Marina and Riviera are easy to get to know within the first night on-board.

The main difference is that the two newer ships have a more modern décor, more closely matching that of Seabourn and Silversea, as well as a higher ratio of balcony cabins.

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Dining aboard Oceania Cruises

Also going with the ‘what you want, whenever you want’ approach to luxury cruising is the all open-seating dining policy.

Aboard Regatta, Insignia and Nautica there are five dining options, in addition to the traditional main dining room.

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Main dining room aboard Oceania Mariner.

The ships have Waves Grill, The Polo Grill for steaks, Toscana for Italian and The Terrace Café. The buffet that has upscale choices like lobster, steak and lamb chops and none of these dining options comes with an extra charge.

Oceania Sirena is the same size as the other R-class ships, but she has five restaurants beyond the main dining room: Waves, Terrace Cafe, Jacques Bistro (lunch only), Red Ginger and Tuscan Steak.

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Terrace Cafe aboard Oceania Riviera.

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Riviera and Marina have these and additional options, such as the Asian Red Ginger and French Jacques Pepin and the La Reserve wine-tasting menu.

Oceania Cruises spas

Aboard all the ships, the spas are operated by the American destination spa company Canyon Ranch.

Premium services are offered, but the thalassotherapy whirlpool on the three smaller ships is complimentary with the purchase of a spa treatment.

The same applies to similar pools on the forward deck on Marina and Riviera’s facilities; on Sirena, the pool is part of the suite class perks. Pilates, yoga, and aerobics classes are offered in the fitness centre.

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Types of Oceania Cruises passengers

While Oceania Cruises neither encourages nor discourages children on-board, it provides no children’s programs or facilities, apart from table tennis, shuffleboard and Monopoly in the game room.

As such, it tends to be popular with couples and retirees, who also tend to be very well-travelled and extremely loyal to the line.

Americans, Canadians and the British make up the bulk of passengers on most itineraries, although on certain sailings (Oceania does a number of cruises from South Africa and Australia) there are more South Africans, Australians and New Zealanders aboard.

Cruise ships in the Oceania fleet:

Insignia

Marina

Nautica

Regatta

Riviera

Sirena

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