Oceania is considered a premium, boutique cruise line, bordering on luxury. However, even though the ships feel luxurious, there is a "country club" casual ambiance with no formal nights and only open seating at dinner. Oceania's ships sail the world, and its mid-sized ships are able to get into many of the smaller, more exotic ports of call, which appeals to its well-traveled clientele. Many cruise lovers consider the overall food and cuisine on Oceania to be the best afloat.
Oceania Cruises Ships
Oceania's fleet includes four mid-sized ships—the Regatta (refurbished in 2014), Insignia (refurbished in 2018), Nautica (refurbished in 2014), and Sirena (refurbished in 2016)—each carrying 684 passengers. These four ships were formerly owned by Renaissance Cruise Lines and were known as the "R" class. Oceania also launched the 1250-passenger Marina in January 2011 (refurbished in 2016), and her sister ship the Riviera in April 2012 (refurbished in 2014).
As with most premium and luxury lines, Oceania passengers are middle-aged (or older), well-traveled, and enjoy the elegantly-casual atmosphere and relaxed dining options. The mid-sized Oceania ships do not have quite as many onboard amenities as the mega-ships, but Oceania passengers choose this cruise line for its excellent service, new destinations, and exotic locales at a good value, not constant onboard activities.
Accommodations and Cabins
Oceania's four identical ships have six cabin categories. The standard interior and ocean-view cabins are smallish at about 165 square feet, but have good storage and are very comfortable. Over two-thirds of the cabins have balconies as well as a refrigerator, small sitting area, and teak deck chairs. About 100 of the balcony cabins are Concierge Level, with extra amenities and better toiletries.
Dining and Cuisine
The four original Oceania ships have four restaurants where the dress code is "smart casual." The Grand Dining Room has very comfortable chairs and a great view over the stern of the ship. The two specialty restaurants seat about 100 each. The restaurants require reservations, but there is no charge. One serves Italian cuisine, and the other is a steak and seafood grill. The Terrace Cafe serves buffet breakfast and lunch, with casual tapas or Mediterranean cuisine at night.
The Marina and Riviera have nine delectable dining venues; only two have a surcharge. The Asian, Italian, French, and grill specialty restaurants are all excellent, and none have an extra fee. The Red Ginger Asian restaurant is one of the best dining venues at sea.
Onboard Activities and Entertainment
Each of the Oceania ships has a show lounge with standard cruise entertainment, lectures, and some social events. These ships have very port-intensive itineraries, so the onboard activities and entertainment are not as varied or plentiful as on some of the mega-ships.
The Marina and Riviera feature an excellent Culinary Center, with fun (and educational) cooking classes. These two ships also have a well-equipped enrichment center called the Artist Loft, with fascinating classes for budding artists.
The interior design of the two older Oceania ships is a strong point for the line. The decor is quite elegant and stunning, with dark woods, leathers, and a traditional feel. The library is very attractive with a fireplace, comfortable chairs with footstools, and lots of books. The six bars are also quite nice and are a popular place to gather before dinner.
The decor of the Marina and Riviera is also lovely. Although the ships are marketed as "upper premium," these two mid-sized ships certainly have the same feel as those classified as "luxury."
Spa, Gym, and Fitness Areas
The ships have a nice outdoor pool with plenty of room for sunbathing. Eight private cabanas can be rented by the day or for the full cruise for those seeking privacy and extra special treatment. The ships each have a thalassotherapy tub featuring flowing saltwater to sooth away your aches. The spa, which is operated by Canyon Ranch, the award-winning health resort, has three treatment rooms and a steam room.
The outdoor deck includes a jogging track, golf driving range net, and shuffleboard court. The fitness center has all the latest machines, and passengers can engage a personal trainer or take exercise classes to stay in shape.
Oceania Cruises sails the world, and its destinations include Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica, the Amazon, Baltic, Black Sea, China, the Far East, Greek Isles, Mediterranean, Scandinavia, Russia, Southeast Asia, India, Arabia, Africa, Central America, the Caribbean, South America, and the Panama Canal.
The cruise line also offers an exciting around-the-world cruise in 180 days starting in Miami and ending in New York. The cruise includes 70 shore excursions and a range of amenities for prices starting at $38,499.