I jumped at this opportunity to look around the Marina, which is one of Oceania Cruises‘ two ‘O Class’ ships, as I hadn’t seen either Marina or Riviera before. It also gave me the opportunity to visit Nautica during the afternoon, which is one of the 3 ‘R Class’ ships which recently underwent major refurbishments, so that I could compare the two classes. Watch the video and take a look at all the information below, and then for further information, or would like to book your cruise, call GoCruise with Ian on 01455821770 or 08002922850.
Marina is impressive as you walk onboard, and everywhere is bright and spacious. In fact, most other cruise lines would fit a lot more passengers on a ship of this size, so you do have a lot of space to move around, and should never feel crowded. We had a guided tour of the ship, including a number of staterooms and suites, during which time I took a lot of photos and videos, and there are links at the bottom of this review, should you wish to take a look at them.
The quality of the fixtures and fittings was very good, and they are many original paintings around the ship.
Then we all had an amazing 6 course lunch in the Grand Dining Room, before disembarking and heading across Southampton to board Nautica.
Ship Facts & Figures – Launched in 2011, Marina was the first ship built specifically for Oceania Cruises. She is 66,084 tons, has 11 passenger decks, and carries 1,250 guests at double occupancy, looked after by 800 members of crew.
Accommodation – There are 17 grades of staterooms (cabins) and suites, ranging from an inside stateroom (or cabin) up to the Owner’s Suite, which is 2,000 sq ft and spans the entire beam of the ship, and the various grades are shown below.
- Inside stateroom – F (x14) & G(x4)
- Deluxe Ocean View (outside) – C (x20)
- Veranda (balcony) – B1 (x82), B2 (x68), B3 (x68), B4 (x26)
- Concierge Veranda (balcony) – A1 (x54), A2 (x50), A3 (x72) & A4 (x24)
- Penthouse Suites – PH1 (x52), PH2 (x52) & PH3 (x20)
- Oceania Suite – OC (x12)
- Vista Suite – VS (x8)
- Owner’s Suite – OS (x3)
There are 6 wheelchair accessible cabins – 2 x ‘C’, 2 x ‘B2’ and 2 x ‘F’
All staterooms and suites have Prestige Tranquility Beds (which are exclusive to Oceania Cruises) and 1,000 thread-count linens. You will also benefit from a refrigerated mini-bar which is replenished daily with complimentary soft drinks and bottled water, complimentary 24 hour room service, nightly turndown service with Belgian chocolates, plush cotton towels, fresh milled toiletries, full size bathtub (not inside cabins), security safe, handheld hair dryer, flat-screen television with live satellite news, and DVD player with an extensive media library.
Concierge level has extra benefits including priority embarkation at noon, and luggage delivery, a complimentary welcome bottle of champagne, Bulgari toiletries, unlimited access to the Canyon Ranch SpaClub private Spa Terrace, and complimentary Oceania Cruises logo tote bag. You will also have exclusive card only entry to the Concierge Lounge.
In addition to all of the above, Suite passengers also receive other benefits which include priority 11am embarkation and luggage delivery, 24 hour butler service, exclusive card only access to a private Executive Lounge. Those passengers in the Owner’s, Vista and Oceania suites, will also receive a complimentary in-suite bar setup with 6 full size bottles of your choice of premium spirits and wines, a fresh fruit basket replenished daily, choice of daily printed newspaper, and a customized entertainment system and media library.
Dining Options – Oceania Cruises claim to serve ‘the finest cuisine at sea’, with all the food they serve onboard being prepared from fresh, under the control of their Executive Culinary Director, Master Chef Jacques Pepin. You have a wide choice of open-seating dining venues for breakfast, lunch and dinner, none of which have any additional charge.
- Grand Dining Room – serving a range of Continental cuisine
- Polo Grill – serving 28 day dry-aged steaks, and amazing seafood
- Toscana – for gourmet Italian dining, served on Versace china
- Jacques – serving classic dishes, reinterpreted by Master Chef Jacques Pepin
- Red Ginger – serving contemporary interpretations of Asian classic dishes
- Terrace Café – serving casual and Al Fresco breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Waves Grill – for poolside dining including gourmet burgers and milkshakes
- Baristas – serving coffees, teas, sandwiches and pastries
- Horizons – this popular lounge is home to a delicious afternoon tea at 4pm
Vegetarian, Kosher and special diets are available on request, but it is advisable to enquire about any special diets before booking your cruise.
There are two dining venues which do have an additional charge, but are excellent value for money, and these are: –
- Privee – a private dining room seating up to 10 people, situated between Polo Grill and Toscana, and you can choose from either menu. The is a one-off charge to reserve the room, whether it is for 10 people, or an intimate evening for 2
- La Reserve by Wine Spectator – offers dinners with fine wines specifically paired to each delicious course of your meal
You will receive complimentary and unlimited soft drinks, bottled water, cappuccino, espresso, teas and fruit juices throughout the course of your cruise.
Dress Code – Country Club casual is the order of the day, with no requirement to wear tuxedos / dinner jackets, or gowns. You can just sit back and relax, as if you were visiting your own private country club.
Onboard Facilities & Entertainment – During the day you have use of the pools and sunbathing areas, a library which is stocked with 2,000 books and magazines, a card room, a driving range, and 18 hole miniature golf course, a full size paddle tennis court, and shuffleboard. There is also a fitness centre, Canyon Ranch SpaClub, and a series of talks given by the world renowned guest lecturers, including historians, naturalists and former ambassadors.
If you are looking for an opportunity to learn something new, there is the Artist Loft enrichment centre, where you can have tuition on painting, sewing and crafts. There is also the “Bon Appetit Culinary Centre” where you can sign up for hands-on cooking experience
The evening brings a different choice of activities, which include a casino, exclusive production shows, Jazz nights at Martinis, Dancing at Horizons, an eight-piece orchestra or string quartet.
- The onboard currency is $US, although everything is charged to your onboard account, so you don’t need cash for onboard
- Gratuities for your stateroom and dining room stewards are added to your onboard account, but these can be amended if you wish. In 2014 the amounts are $15 per person per day, or $22 per person per day if you are staying in one of the suites with the services of a personal butler. There are occasionally some promotions running with prepaid gratuities included in the price of the cruise.
- A service charge of 18% is added to all beverage and spa purchases
- Drinks packages are available to purchase, and there are occasionally promotions running which include them in the price of your cruise.
If you are looking for a mid-sized ship, carrying less than 1,500 passengers, and you appreciate fine dining with impeccable service, and prefer country club casual to DJ’s and Ball Gowns, Oceania Cruises is probably the cruise line for you, with the choice of Marina or Riviera. If you would like something a bit smaller, and more intimate, then perhaps the ‘R Class’ sister ships, Nautica, Insignia and Regatta would be a better choice for you. Past passengers with Oceania Cruises, who have only ever cruised on the ‘R Class’ ships shouldn’t be concerned about trying the ‘O Class’ ships. The food, service and ambience are still unmistakably Oceania Cruises, but just on a slightly larger scale.
Click on the following link to look at my photos of Marina on Facebook
Click on the following link to read my review of Nautica
Click on the following link to look at my photos of Nautica on Facebook
Click on the following link to watch my video of Nautica