What Defines Oceania Cruises?
Photo by Jason Leppert
Oceania Cruises is an upscale cruise line sitting above premium brands like Celebrity Cruises and Holland America Line that comes in just below luxury lines like Crystal Cruises and Silversea Cruises. Here are five ways Oceania sets itself apart.
When a cruise line rests comfortably between premium and luxury experiences, the sweet spot is usually great value, and Oceania offers its own brand that starts with quality nearing luxury for a lower price.
Specifically, the line makes its specialty restaurants and 24-hour room service available entirely free as well as unlimited soft drinks, bottled water, cappuccino, espresso, teas and juices. It also offers complimentary shuttle service into town in many ports and Artist Loft enrichment programming.
Plus, under certain promotions and accommodation categories, guests also get combinations of free airfare, shore excursions, alcoholic beverages, internet and Canyon Ranch SpaClub terrace access.
Once you’re onboard, it's pleasant to know you won’t be crowded as Oceania’s smaller ships are sized to accommodate just under 700 or 1,250 passengers. Even though there is a bigger jump from the smaller capacity of say the newly introduced Sirena and its three sister ships to the Marina and Riviera, the latter two still feel very intimate.
Country Club Casual
Also contributing to the atmosphere onboard is Oceania’s country club casual dress code. While plenty about the line is luxurious, its expected apparel never reaches the formal levels required aboard the premium Cunard Line. This makes for a more relaxed setting, where shorts are a common sight during the day, and slacks and polo shirts for men and sun dresses for women are as fancy as it gets at night.
One thing that is fancy, however, is the food on Oceania. As the line’s Executive Culinary Director, master chef Jacques Pépin has set the table for the best dining at sea, remarkably beating most luxury line cuisine in the process.
The entire fleet features main dining rooms that alone serve exquisite culinary creations, but the Polo Grill steakhouse and Toscana Italian specialty restaurants across the board are even finer. The Sirena combines the two into Tuscan Steak to introduce the tempting Red Ginger pan-Asian fare from the Marina and Riviera as well.
Meanwhile, the larger two ships also include Jacques for a taste of the chef’s French favorites. On those, Privee also offers private dining, and La Reserve by “Wine Spectator,” the only extra-charge option, pairs fine wines with a set menu. But even the Terrace Cafe buffet, Waves Grill and ice cream bar impress with everything from freshly prepared lobster tail and wagyu beef burgers to banana milkshakes and custom sundaes.
Culinary Classes and Tours
The foodie-side of Oceania Cruises doesn’t even stop there as the Culinary Center on the Marina and Riviera and the line’s Culinary Discovery Tours ashore train guests at individual cooking stations in a full demonstration galley onboard and locally feature international markets, restaurants and flavors on land respectively.
In other words, the Oceania Cruises sentiment of choice is bon appetit!
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