The Diva and the Deep Blue Sea

 

It was everything and I expected a little more–and in some spots a little less. But our 16-day inaugural voyage on Oceania Cruises’ new  Marina definitely deserves a 5 star rating for the food and a 4 star rating for the entire experience. (They need some work in the room service and reception desk departments. Not food service, but attention to passengers who call for ice or other services but can never reach anyone).

(above rotisserie pork from Jacques, one of the free alternative dining venues)

Anyhow it’s hard to complain because this is one friendly ship with the best food afloat  that’s as good as some of the top shore side restaurants.

Here’s tidbits from the journal I kept for my National Cruise Examiner column on examiner.com: Yesterday’s  bumpy seas smoothed out over night.  The pool is open again and all’s good on Oceania’s Marina—the newest member of Oceania Cruises that seems to have raised the bar on luxury cruising.

The finely-tuned 1,28-passenger vessel sails seamlessly  with one of the most accommodating and efficient  crews afloat. (Rumor has it   that the crème de la crème  of  the crew from the  company’s other ships  were recruited for Marina’s maiden voyages.  Whatever,  passengers are eating  it up—many of whom have  sailed several times  with Oceania.  This marks our first experience with  the company and so far we’re impressed.

 Last night we dined casually at the Terrace buffet—one of 10  dining on this new 1,258-passenger luxury liner. (For more about the amazing food see yesterday’s article).

We arrived in Cartagena, Colombia today, at a bustling port. The Old Town is a mile away but we were advised not to walk—bummer. Richard and I  have been here before so we opted to stay on board the ship.

The Savvy Seafarer at work

My favorite bar stool

Oceania Cruises certainly sails to the tune a different drummer, and we like  that.  The  Marina has a laid-back, but efficient style, a  super helpful staff and as previously noted great food.

Some of the interesting touches are the laptop  computers provided in upper level staterooms;  freedom of  meal  times, tables and  conveniently-located  espresso and cappuccino machines (no charge  either).

We sailed in what they call a Concierge verandah  cabin that came with a tote bag, mini fridge with free soft drinks, flat screen tv,  1000  count sheets,  big fluffy towels, nice sofa, soft closed drawers, granite tile bathroom and tub, rain shower (not good for people 6  feet tall),

Our conceirge verandah bathroom

 a concierge lounge, robes, slippers, hair dryer and a balcony with two chairs and a table.  For the first time in our long history cruising we never order meals in our cabin. But we try to get ice a few times to no avail, so probably better we didn’t. This afterall was a  maiden voyage and those often have kinks, although the Marina’s were few and far between.

 

Ship facts:

Marina: built 2011, 65,000 tons, 1258 passengers, 16 decks,  www.oceaniacruises.com

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About Patti Pietschmann

I'm Patti Covello Pietschmann, a travel diva and proud of it. I've been all over the world. I prefer luxury travel (penthouse suites, fine d
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