Oceania Marina Cruise Blog Day 6
Zante / Zakynthos, Greece
Zakynthos, also Zante as it is often referred to in English and Italian, is the third largest of the Ionian Islands. It covers an area of 410 km sq, or 158 sq miles, and has been inhabited from the Neolithic age. The most famous landmark of the island is the Navagio beach. It is a cove on the southwest shore, isolated by high cliffs and accessible only by boats. The beach and sea floor are made of white pebbles and are surrounded by turquoise waters. There is also the National Marine Park of Zakynthos, founded in 1999. This is a national park located in Lagunas Bay, and covers an area of 52 sq miles and is the habitat of the Loggerhead Sea Turtle. The sandy beaches of Lagunas Bay are the places where the turtles lay their eggs on nights during the moths of June, July and August.
If you are visiting this port, I do urge you to book a shore excursion or organise a private tour before you leave as the tender will drop you into town, however its just a Greek port town and there is really not a lot here, pretty disappointing really.
Back on board after a short look around Zante, we headed up to the Canyon Ranch Spa area to sunbathe on the open decks there. As we had a Penthouse, we can use this area for free and make use of the double Balinese beds and Jacuzzis - its wonderful quiet area and a real suntrap.
Just a bit about the shore tours that are available. Oceania Cruises offer tours in every port of call and here are a sample with their durations and cost:
- A Visit to Delos, 2 hours, $105 pp
- A Guided stroll through Mykonos, 2.5 hours, $105 pp
- Best of Kusadasi, 6 hours, $165 pp
- Antique Ephesus, 3 hours, $95 pp
- Santorini Winery and Oia, 4 hours, $145 pp
- Panoramic Zakynthos, 4 hours, $75 pp
Tours can be pre-booked online before embarking.
A quick bit on bar prices, long cocktails are $8.50, spirits are $7.00, beers $4.50 to $5.50, cocktails of the day are $4.25, and a glass of house wine is $6.95. Plus an automatic gratuity is added to each bill.
Oceania Cruises Marina facts
- Marina: Launched in 2011
- Tonnage: 66,084
- Length: 785 feet
- Beam: 106 feet
- Maximum Draught: 24 feet
- Stabilizers: Yes
- Cruising Speed: 20 knots
- Guest Decks: 11
- Total Decks: 15
- Electric Power or Voltage: 110, 220 AC
- Guest Capacity: 1,250 (Double Occupancy)
- Staff Size: 800
- Guest to Staff Ratio: 1.57 to 1
- Nationality of Officers: European
- Nationality of Staff: International
- Country of Registry: Marshall Islands
Just before our farewell cocktail party, we had the opportunity for a quick galley tour with the executive chefs. Chef Frank told us that over a quarter of the crew onboard were chefs and worked in the galley - wow that’s a lot of crew - in fact 1 chef for every 10 guests! Also, the size of the galley onboard Oceania Marina is the same size galley that you would find on a ship taking over 4,000 passengers! Marina takes just 1,200! That’s a serious amount of ship real estate devoted to food preparation. The galley was run like a military operation and was very well organised - they are soon moving to use Ipads for the chefs to see what orders are coming in and to maintain food stock.
That evening we dined in Red Ginger for what had to be one of the best meals we had onboard. I started with 8 pieces of assorted sashimi and sushi rolls, followed by the Tom Kha Gai soup, and for mains went for the Red Curry Chicken. Desert was Bounty Cake, followed by a Ginger Lemon Grass tea. Another satisfying meal onboard Marina!
And so our 6 days have come to an end - we have had a brilliant time onboard, the crew and staff have lived up to my expectations, the ship and the food have far exceeded them and I’m looking forward to seeing what they are going to do with Riviera when she is launched in 2012.