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Ship Review: A look at the new Oceania Marina

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Posted in Ship Reviews By Tom Baker

Oceania Marina Cruise Ship. Photo: Tom Baker

Oceania Marina Cruise Ship. Photo: Tom Baker

“This ship may just be the crowning jewel of the cruise industry! — Tom Baker

Have you sailed Oceania? Please comment at the bottom of this review!

The Marina has arrived! She was christened by E entertainment host and Godmother Mary Hart in early February, 2011.

I was fortunate to be among early travelers on a 3-day voyage to the Bahamas from Miami on this one-of-a-kind new ship.

It was my first Oceania Cruises voyage and one filled with many pleasant surprises. This 774 foot-long ship carries 1,258 passengers, and caters “upper premium” (not luxury) traveler.

While Marina is quite a bit larger than the smaller trio of 700-passenger ships in the Oceania fleet, she is a lovely addition and will be one of the most coveted ships in the cruise industry–this I promise. Oceania has a very loyal following, they post sold-out signs on cruises worldwide much farther in advance than any other premium line. This speaks for itself…

Brand Positioning:

The company positions itself above Holland America and Celebrity with prices that run about $100 per person a day higher than those major players… It is a cruise ship for well-traveled foodies who enjoy a true country club atmosphere, port-rich itineraries, and a relaxed dress-code onboard.

The reality is that the ship offers many luxury elements that exceed some of the best luxury lines I have been on… What does this mean?

Dining:

  • There are eight dining venues.

    A dining venue onboard Oceania Marina. Photo: Tom Baker

    A dining venue onboard Oceania Marina. Photo: Tom Baker

  • Included in the cruise price are Asian-inspired Red Ginger, Polo Grill (steak house), Toscana (Italian), Terrace Café (lido buffet), and Grande Dining Room. All require reservations except for the Grand Dining Room and Terrace Café.
  • There are two fee restaurants: A 6-course meal in La Reserve with pairings from Wine Spectator Magazine at $75pp; and the luxurious, intimate (maximum 10 guest Prive where the fee is $100 per guest for a gourmet feast.
  • Most menus are designed by Master Chef and notable food celebrity, Jaques Pepin, with a no-cover-charge restaurant named for him onboard.
  • The Grand Dining room has open seating and ever- changing continental cuisine menus including French inspired Jaques’ favorites.
  • For the calorie-conscious, there are items from Canyon Ranch Spa Club.

Public Areas:

  • The ship is drop dead gorgeous and filled with custom designed residential style furnishings, has a $7 million dollar contemporary art collection, and is spacious beyond other ships in her class.
  • Her lobby is filled with exquisite Lalique.
  • New touches include a culinary arts cooking center sponsored by Bon Appétit Magazine and the Artists Loft where guests can learn to paint among other artful touches.
  • There is full scale entertainment
  • Canyon Ranch Spa Club at sea… The pool areas are exquisite and rival any land-based resort for elegance and comfort.

Cabins:

  • We sailed in a Concierge Class cabin, at 282 square feet with balcony. They are extremely comfortable, spacious, are well designed.

    Bathroom in an Oceania Marina cabin. Photo: Tom Baker

    Bathroom in an Oceania Marina cabin. Photo: Tom Baker

  • The all marble/granite bathrooms include separate full-sized tub shower stall–a plus. The shower stall was a bit small, however, and the rain shower head would be difficult to use for anyone over 6 feet tall.
  • These lovely rooms have a special amenities including laptop usage in the cabin, upgrade Bvlgari bath products, priority alternative dining reservations, and a dedicated Concierge Lounge with many more touches…
  • There are many penthouses and suites onboard and some of the largest ever designed including massive suites designed entirely by noted designer Dakota Jackson and Ralph Lauren Home.
  • There are non-concierge outside cabins and some inside cabins as well, with reduced sizes and different bathroom layouts, but still very pleasant.

Staff: The service staff on Oceania hail mostly from the Philippines and Eastern Europe. They are hospitable and have a polite can-do attitude.


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