We landed at Athens airport after a bit of a bumpy flight and were met by the local Oceania representative, who escorted us to the transfer bus. After what seems a long transfer - it was only about 30 mins, we arrived at a very busy Piraeus harbour. There were a number of ships in today, including the massive Costa Pacifica, a Princess Cruises ship, numerous ferries, the Princess Daphne, the Wind Surf, and it was lovely to see the Aegean Odyssey again, a ship we had cruised on previously.
We made our way through the large main terminal and through the security procedures, then onto another bus to take us to the gangway of the ship. Piraeus port is so vast you need extra transport! As we approached, the Marina looked stunning, sleek and classy basking in the late summer sunshine. We quickly boarded and were warmly welcomed by the smiling ships crew. We caught a glimpse of the stunning ships lobby, with its impressive staircase and Murano glass, and made our way to the Marina Lounge, which is the main show lounge for a very quick check-in - and were soon on our way to our Penthouse Suite.
Our suite was up on Deck 10, a PH3 Grade suite. The design of each suite is ingenious, which maximizes its 420 square feet of space and puts every creature comfort at your fingertips. At its heart is a luxurious queen-size "Prestige Tranquillity Bed" that has an embedded "Camomile Infused Layer" to aid a good nights sleep. I had heard great things about these beds and can confirm they are very, very comfy indeed! At the end of the bed is a seating area, 2 chairs and table for private en-suite dining, there is also refrigerated mini-bar and lighted vanity desk. The large marble and granite-clad bathroom features a full-size bathtub and separate shower and is conveniently located next to the full-size walk-in closet with loads of hanging space plus plenty of hangers too. There is a small window looking out to sea and next to that a sliding glass door leading to the furnished private veranda.
We arrived at 5pm, barely time to look around the suite before it was time for life boat drill. After the drill we returned to the suite and our cases had arrived so we unpacked and did some ironing (there are 3 ironing rooms on decks 10, 11 and 12) Then it is was off to a private cocktail party and then on to Toscana, the Italian restaurant. There is no surcharge for dining in any of the alternative restaurants ( apart from La Reserve as you pay for the wine pairings) but you do need to pre book them.
Our meal in Toscana was presented on elegant, custom-designed Versace china. Menu items included antipasti like Carpaccio of Beef Topped with Aged Reggiano Parmigiano, Sautéed Jumbo Scampi Tenderly Wrapped in Proscuitto San Daniele, traditional Porcini Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Shallots and Fresh Thyme and Tender Bone-In Milk-Fed Veal Chop. Dinner was delicious - I had the lobster for main course served with a chilli pasta, followed by an exquisite tiramisu that was the best I had ever tasted.
Feeling well fed and rather full - we retired to the Casino Bar for a nightcap before heading to bed.
|Author||Mr Guy Scarborough|
|Date||03 October 2011|
|Comment||Really enjoy your day by day blogs – a nice honest expert opinion is whats needed especially when your dealing with a quite a new ship. Following yourself on Twitter as well :) keep up the good work Guy|