Monday, April 4, 2011

Oceania Marina Ship Inspection

We were lucky enough to be invited to see Oceania Cruise Line's newest ship, the M/S Marina while she was in New York City this weekend. This ship is the epitome of elegance yet not stuffy or formal. In fact, the cruise line's dress guidelines are "Country Club Casual" - meaning no gowns or tuxedos required.

One feature that stood out on this ship is Oceanias partnership with Lalique Crystal. The grand staircase when embarking had beautiful Lalique crystal accents and a Lalique Crystal Cactus table at the bottom of the steps. You'll see Lalique displayed throughout the ship.

The cabin decor was tasteful and elegant, regardless of the cabin category. There is ample storage space. With the exception of interior cabins, all bathrooms have a separate tub and shower. Deluxe oceanview cabins had a floor to ceiling window, not just a small window or porthole. Deluxe Oceanview Cabin

Suites were exquisite. The Vista and Oceania Suites were designed by Dakota Jackson and were stunning. The bathrooms and outside deck areas were huge. The Owners suite was 2,000 square feet of luxury. All of these suites come with their own private gym next to the bedrooms!

There are six restaurants onboard with excellent food. Each guest has the option of making reservations in these restaurants, which are included at no extra charge. We had a luncheon consisting of several courses from several of the restuarants and if our lunch was indicative of the food quality, you won't go wrong here. Caviar as an appetizer, a wonderful risotto, Lobster and the best chocolate mousse dessert I've ever tasted.

There is a moderate sized pool with several beds around it as well as very comfortable lounge chairs. Since the ship only carried 1,260 passengers, there was only one pool.

There are two unique features on this ship. One is an Artists Studio, where various art lessons are given (at no extra fee) throughout the cruise by an Artist in Residence. Another is a Culinary Center, where guests can take cooking classes (extra fee). The only draw back to the Culinary Center - it was located on Deck 12 and guests in suites near the Center can clearly smell the cooking as it is going on!

This ship is brand new and would be a wonderful choice for clients who want to cruise in relaxed elegance. Great option for retiree's, or a couple who have two weeks or more to travel.

Oceania currently is offering some 2 for 1 Cruise Fares in Europe with Free Airfare! One current special is a 12 day Rome to Venice itinerary on the Marina on August 26, 2011 from Rome to Monte Carlo, Cannes, Portofino, Florence (Livorno), Sorrento, Amalfi, Taormina, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Kotor, and back to Venice. Prices start at $4599. (Offers expire 8/31 and are subject to availability,free air is from certain airports).

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