Oceania Cruises Marina

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Oceania Cruises Marina

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Marina is the first purpose built ship for Oceania Cruises, and will proudly take her place alongside, Insignia, Nautica, and Regatta.

Marina is a beautiful mid size ship of 65.000 tons, and a capacity for 1252 passengers.  Frank Del Rio Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Prestige Holdings had a vision of how this latest vessel should be and has executed his vision perfectly. Frank was on hand when we all excitedly set sail for the first time from Fincantieri's shipyard in Genoa, en route to Barcelona.

As I expectantly explored what Marina had to offer as a seasoned cruiser was amazed at how magnificent and luxurious her finish is.  From gracious stairways finished with lalique crystal, to probably the most beautifully furnished and intimate library afloat.

Marina is the first ship to have its own culinary center with a superb 24 state of the art marble top work stations where passengers can indulge in culinary arts with various chefs who will show off their skills. 

Canyon Ranch spa offers every conceivable beauty routine imaginable always very tempting, the spa menu is also available for those who want to count calories!

The Gym is once again state of the art including new machines I have never seen before.   Friendly staff is on hand to direct you.  If you want to shop at the tempting boutiques, or perhaps try your luck at the casino the choice is yours.

Marina's ten restaurants are out of this world, sadly with only three nights could only sample three; all were superb as was the service.  They range from French {Jacques Pepin} one of the original super chefs, to Italian Toscana and Asian-fusion Red Ginger.  Unlike other cruises you do not have to pay a supplement to dine in these restaurants, you only have to reserve.  The main Grand Dining room seats 650, and without question is one of the most beautiful elegant dining rooms I have seen at sea  The menus will rotate every 16 days.  Its 17-foot ceilings give it a wonderful airy feeling, and the décor is luxury personified, in gorgeous muted gold shades.  Marina's other restaurants include Waves, Tapas on the Terrace, and the Polo Grill, certainly passengers will be spoilt for choice, every taste has been catered to.  Afternoon tea certainly rivalled or surpassed any major London Hotel, all part of life onboard majestic Marina.

Another innovative idea is La Reserve, a 24 seat wine themed restaurant which has wine-paired menus; this restaurant is an indoor/outdoor venue and will offer wine tastings and other unusual events, very exciting.  

There are numerous bars and clubs where you can indulge in exotic cocktails or just savour a glass of wine.

The all important staterooms are staggering in the selection available. You can choose between 3 Owners Suites all spectacularly different in décor courtesy of world renowned decorator Dakota who personally showed me his incredible designs. There are also 8 vista suites; these are Ralph Lauren décor, 12 Oceania Suites, 20 Window suites, 122 Penthouse suites, 466 standard balcony staterooms, and 14 inside cabins. The Owner's and Vista suites have their own private outdoor whirlpools; imagine indulging in a whirlpool on your balcony as you gaze out to sea! Heaven.

I had an A4 concierge level stateroom which was truly luxurious.  All the staterooms on board have larger than normal bathrooms one of Frank Del Rio's many musts, along side ample closet and drawer space.  My bathroom featured a marble sink, full size tub and separate shower.  My favourite Bvlgari toiletries were on hand along side generous fluffy towels. The luxurious bed with it's 1000  thread sheet count was so comfortable I found it hard to leave every morning, it is one of the few cruise ships I have experienced where especially in some of the larger suites you might be tempted to never leave you suite!

Any crumpled clothes from your travels are gladly pressed and returned by your attendant, all part of the concierge service.  All the furnishings from the drapes to the carpets are of the highest quality.

As you can imagine my four days were not enough to soak up all this incredible new ship has to offer, so the only alternative is to book another voyage in the very near future.

I bid a sad farewell to Marina as she set sail on her maiden Transatlantic crossing via several exotic ports en route to her christening ceremony in Miami on February 5th.

I have no hesitation when I say Marina is the way of the future and has set a very high standard which other lines will be hard pressed to match.  Luckily for us her sister ship Riviera will be launched in April 2012, don't think I can wait!

Written by Valerie Blondeau

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