The Oceania Cruises' Marina is a 1250-guest ship launched in early 2011. The ship is absolutely gorgeous, with elegant, rich furnishings and interesting decor and artwork. Marina is perfect for Oceania's primary market of travelers over 50 who want a country-club-style casual cruise vacation to fascinating destinations, with good food and at a good value. Marina's sister ship, the Riviera is similar in size and design.
Since the Marina is about twice as large as Oceania's three smaller ships, she has more dining venues, lounges, public spaces, and cabin/suite categories. However, since the Marina is still a mid-sized ship, she can easily sail to many smaller, more exotic ports of call, which will be very appealing to her well-traveled clientele.
I attended the Marina christening and sailed for three nights on a preview cruise of the new ship. Let me take you on a tour of the Marina.
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The Marina has four categories of cabins and four categories of suites. All of the cabins seem spacious and have extra-nice amenities and furnishings. The Tranquility Beds are especially comfortable. Only 34 (14 inside and 20 oceanview) of the 625 accommodations do not have a veranda.
Most of the cabins are either standard veranda or Concierge level veranda. These spacious cabins are about 30 percent larger than the same cabins on the smaller Oceania ships. The bathroom is especially large, with a separate shower and tub, plenty of light, and good storage space.
The Marina has 124 Penthouse suites, which have a generous 420 square feet of space. The even larger Vista, Oceania, and Owner's Suites are really special. The Vista and Oceania Suites were designed by Dakota Jackson, and the 2000-square-foot Owner's Suites were designed by Susan Bedner Long.
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Oceania Cruises' management wanted the the Marina to be a ship for epicureans, and I think they have succeeded. The dining venues are diverse, with interesting menu choices. Guest favorites from the other ships like the Grand Dining Room, Polo Grill and Toscana are on the Marina, and they've been joined by the Pan-Asian Red Ginger and Jacques Pepin's first restaurant at sea, aptly named Jacques.
Marina also has two very special dining experiences, and they are the only two on the ship with an extra surcharge. Privee is a private dining room with one table that seats 10. It is used for memorable Chef's Table dinners. La Reserve is a wine tasting room that also features food and wine pairings.
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Marina of Oceania Cruises - Lounges and BarsMarina is not a "party" ship, but it does have several quiet bars and lounges like Martinis and the Grand Bar that are perfect for having a drink or conversation with new or old cruise friends. The Marina Lounge is the ship's show lounge, and is used for musical entertainment, comedians, and cabaret performers.
The "purple" lounge, just off the casino, is hip and fun, and Horizons, which is forward on deck 15, provides amazing views from its panoramic windows. Horizons also has a dance floor, and often features either live music or a deejay for dancing.
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The Marina has elegant, yet comfortable decor, much like her smaller sister ships. This Oceania ship has some new onboard activities that will be very popular with her guests, as well as keeping some of the traditional ones like High Tea every afternoon at 4:00 pm in Horizons.
The hands-on cooking classes at the new Marina Bon Appetit Culinary Center are fun and educational, as are the art lessons in the Artist Loft Enrichment Center. Those wanting to expand their knowledge of food or wine can join one of the wine tastings at La Reserve or try a cheese or chocolate tasting.
Those looking to stay fit or be pampered will love the Canyon Ranch Spa and Fitness Center. The spa has all the most relaxing and rejuvenating treatments, and the fitness center has state-of-the-art equipment and some great classes.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Marina of Oceania Cruises - Outdoor Activities and Pool Deck
An adult-friendly cruise ship like the Marina does not have water slides, rock climbing walls, or other high energy outdoor activities. However, the ship does have a nice pool, hot tubs, and comfortable lounges and sun beds.
The Marina also has a miniature golf course, croquet/bocce green, golf cage, shuffleboard court, and paddle tennis court outdoors on the top deck, along with a walking track around the funnel.
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Marina of Oceania Cruises - Conclusion
Fans of Oceania Cruises have long-awaited the cruise line's first newbuild, and the wait for Marina was worth it. The ship has elegant furnishings, fine dining venues, excellent spa and fitness center, comfortable lounge chairs by the pool, and interesting onboard activities. The Marina sails to exotic locales around the world, visiting many fascinating ports of call.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary cruise accommodation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.