7 Tips to Maximize Oceania Cruises’ Riviera
Photo by Jason Leppert
Fresh off Oceania Cruises’ beautiful Riviera, we have several suggestions on things to try aboard and ways to make the most out of your time on the premium cruise ship.
Make Specialty Dining Reservations Early
Fine dining is a hallmark of Oceania, and the Riviera has four complimentary specialty restaurants that only require advance reservations. The Polo Grill steakhouse and Toscana for Italian, Jacques for French and Red Ginger for Asian fill up very quickly and were packed during our cruise. To ensure a spot at your favorites, we suggest making your reservations for these excellent dining rooms as soon as possible.
Don’t Miss the Grand Dining Room and La Reserve
With so much emphasis placed on the four core specialty restaurants, it’s easy to miss sight of the great main dining room, which is available for included open seating dinners, and La Reserve by “Wine Spectator,” the only extra-cost dining option onboard. The Grand Dining Room is truly on par with the boutique venues, features a new menu daily and serves delicious a la minute-prepared courses. Plus, for an even more special experience, La Reserve pairs fine wines with expertly crafted dishes that is also worth checking out.
READ MORE: What Defines Oceania Cruises?
Channel Your Inner Picasso at the Artist Loft
Only the Riviera and its Marina sister ship (and the Insignia on world cruises) offer the Artist Loft space and enrichment program to guests free of charge. Under the tutelage of an onboard artist in residence, guests can create their own masterpieces. On our cruise, for example, W. Andre Allen taught five sessions dedicated to painting acrylic on glass.
Master Fine Cooking at the Culinary Center
Mirroring the Artist Loft on the other side of the ship is the Culinary Center where cooking classes at individual galley stations are available for an extra fee. Here guests can learn how to prepare dishes comparable to those served onboard and even get a taste for local flavors on special culinary shore excursions that depart from the center.
Head to Waves Grill When the Buffet is Busy
When it’s time to actually eat again, the buffet can sometimes get busy, especially during breakfast and lunch, but the adjacent Waves Grill offers similar breakfast fare and gourmet lunch burgers and sandwiches that can be had quicker and with fewer crowds. Plus, the wonderful smoothie and ice cream bar is attached for something else to treat yourself to.
Enjoy a Quiet Respite at Several Lounges
One thing that was remarkable on the Riviera was how quiet great interior venues like Horizons, the Grand Bar and Martinis, as well as the great library and Baristas coffee bar, were during the day. If you wish to ever get away from the hustle and bustle, these are the perfect spots to hang out for a relaxing book read or great tea time in the observation lounge every afternoon.
Cover Up Under the Shade of the Sanctuary and Patio
Of course, a popular area onboard is the pool deck, and thankfully there are great shaded areas around it as well at the Sanctuary (pictured above) and Patio. The former was particularly nice with overhead ceiling fans for cooling off and padded loungers that looked out upon the scenic ocean and ports of call.
More by Jason Leppert
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