Oceania Cruises started off as a humble operation, chartering vessels from the now-defunct Renaissance Cruises back during its infancy. Indeed, the founder of Renaissance Cruises – Frank Del Rio – and Joe Watters, of Crystal Cruises, teamed up to form Oceania Cruises back around the year 2003. After chartering its ships for a short spell, Oceania Cruises wound up buying Renaissance’s ships and gave them each a major face lift. The result? A cruise line that places a major emphasis on luxury – at a very reasonable price. Oceania Cruises’ ships are very well appointed, and the line offers up enough perks to keep customers coming back for more.
Without a doubt, the biggest news in the world of Oceania Cruises these days is its first-ever newly built ship. Dubbed the Marina, this ship will be taking to the waters in the fall of 2010. This is a major step for Oceania Cruises, who has relied on the three ships it originally purchased from Renaissance Cruises since its inception. Despite major upgrades to those ships – and they were phenomenal upgrades, indeed – it became clear that in order to remain competitive, Oceania simply had to expand its fleet and offer something new and exciting to its customer base. It appears that the Marina will more than satisfy that requirement, and hopes are high that Oceania Cruises will sail forward with additional exciting renovations and perks going forward.
When it comes to Royal Caribbean, massive ships and larger-than-life entertainment options are par for the course. Consider these key characteristics:
The driving philosophy behind the service on any Oceania Cruises ship is that as a passenger, your every need can – and should – be catered to. Indeed, Oceania’s strict adherence to impeccable customer service is largely behind its early and remarkable success. The staff and crew are incredibly well-trained and each member is more than capable of assisting passengers with whatever they need.
Chef Jacques Pepin is the executive culinary director of Oceania Cruises; as a master chef, he ensures that the menu on board every ship in the fleet is sumptuous, delicious and absolutely unbeatable. With an impressive roster of credentials – Pepin is a published author, and served as personal chef to three separate heads of state, including de Gaulle – this master chef brings an wonderful amount of experience and expertise to the table for Oceania.
Although children are absolutely permitted on board all of Oceania’s ships, the fact of the matter is that this cruise line really does cater primarily to adults. None of the ships have children’s activities or services to offer; if you bring children on an Oceania cruise, they will more than likely become terribly bored. The upside? Those who want to enjoy a cruise without a lot of scampering kids underfoot will get their wish.
South America & Antarctica
Those who want to see Antarctica while still enjoying the amenities and services of a topnotch cruise line should consider Oceania’s South America & Antarctica itineraries. Ports of call usually include the Falkland Islands, Montevideo and the Chilean fjords. This is truly a once in a lifetime type of cruise.
Sharm al Sheikh, Luxor, Cairo and the Suez Canal are just a few of the ports of call that Oceania ships stop in at during a Middle East itinerary. This is a magnificent way to see this ancient – and fascinating – part of the world.
Oceania’s Baltic itineraries are always hot sellers. This definitely has a lot to do with the many truly excellent ports of call that are included. Gdansk, Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Copenhagen are just a few examples of where these cruises will take you.
Handsome, Edwardian interior décor help lend the Insignia a regal and elegant ambiance. This ship – like others in the Oceania fleet – features alternative restaurants that passengers can enjoy at no additional charge. Those who splurge on higher class accommodation can enjoy in-cabin mini-fridges and other small but welcome perks. Also, you have the option of renting a private cabana on the top of the ship, where you will be waited on hand and foot by your own personal waiter.
The Nautica is small enough to be intimate, but large enough to offer plenty of pleasant extras. Its passenger-to-crew ratio is impressive – it holds a maximum capacity of 684 passengers and boasts a crew and staff of 400. The dining on board Nautica is absolutely amazing – and, surprisingly, also quite healthy. The library is massive and a faux fireplace lends it a scholarly air.
Out of all of Oceania’s ships, the Regatta is best known for featuring port-intensive itineraries. When you’re on board the Regatta, you can rest assured that you’ll have many chances to see fascinating places up close and personally. There are no major Las Vegas-style shows or other extravaganzas, but the social aspects of being on such a cozy ship are excellent.
The Marina will be Oceania Cruises first-ever newly built ship. One slated feature that already has the cruise world abuzz with excitement is a culinary arts center that will boast more than twenty different food stations. Participation will be the cornerstone of the Marina experience, and it is an exciting new direction for Oceania.