We sent Cruise118.com’s Ryan Creeney on a voyage aboard Oceania Cruises’ Oceania Marina to experience the luxury cruising lifestyle. Here’s what he thought of his time on-board:
From the start, everything was smooth and stress-free. Check-in was really quick and easy, only taking about 15 minutes, and although there wasn’t very little to eat in the morning, we did get a 7 course meal later in the day which was delicious.
In terms of decor, Marina was traditional with a modern edge. The colour scheme was subtle in the main areas and suites, while in the many dining venues, especially Red Ginger restaurant, our surroundings were really quite vibrant and impressive. Oceania Marina has the most deck space I’ve ever seen on board a ship and the vessel’s staterooms were larger compared to other cruise lines!
The ship is really geared towards the adult cruise market and those who enjoy the finer things in life. There is a theatre on-board which had big comfortable seats, but Oceania tend not to offer big broadway style production likes other cruise lines do. One activity that is quite unique to this brand, however, is their cookery lessons. There was large classroom with the full set up of hobs, ovens and worktops ready for everyone to take advantage of. The chef even took us into the port to go and purchase the food that we then prepared and ate! In general the entertainment was rather low-key, but the cooking and art lessons were fantastic and all about guests getting involved and learning new things.
Dining on-board is completely open, so passengers are free to dine at their leisure in all restaurants. It’s country casual for the dress code, so there was no pressure to dress up unless we wanted to. The standard of food is arguably the best in the cruise industry and everything is served ‘a la minute’, which means as soon as it’s cooked, it’s taken straight to the passengers table, allowing the freshest dining experience possible. All of the dining experiences on-board are covered in the original fare, although alcoholic drinks, speciality coffees & teas, gratuities, excursions, service charges & Wi-Fi aren’t included.
I very much got a feeling of space aboard Marina, but the biggest wow factor was the detail and quality of the suite features, fixtures and fittings – despite how boring that might sound to some people! The Ralph Lauren Suite has to be the most impressive suite I’ve been in my entire career. Everything from the Grand Piano that plays itself and the amazing Bang and Oulfson sound system, to the on-deck bath and hot tub and the private bar area complete with barman, was just stunning.
The service on-board was typical of the six-star cruise experience. My drinks were topped up before I had even reached the bottom, I was pampered at the on-board spa and my suite was kept in tip-top condition, no matter how messy I left it.
I was blown away by Oceania Marina in all areas of the ship. This luxurious nature of the Oceania brand is obvious throughout the vessel and I would highly recommend her to anyone looking to experience six-star cruising for a more affordable price.