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Welcome onboard Oceania Marina

Earlier this week my wife and I were delighted to be invited, as guests of Oceania Cruises, to a lunch and ship tour  onboard Oceania Marina which had docked at Southampton.

Berthed at the Queen Elizabeth II Terminal it was for Marina  a ‘turnover day’ with passengers disembarking and embarking…

Irrespective of any other routines, the organisation to get us onboard, along with a number of other groups invited by travel agents, was outstanding and without delay. Welcome onboard…

We were escorted to the Horizon Lounge…

 

…offered a Mimosa refreshment…

…before being  given a short but comprehensive briefing on Oceania’s ethos, its ships and future cruises…

On completion we were assigned to a small group and escorted on a pretty comprehensive tour of Marina, starting with the various levels of accommodation.

 

First up was the ‘Owners Suite’…

There are three of these suites that span the entire beam of the ship…

…with separate Ralph Lauren Home Collection bedroom…

…and boasting an indoor and outdoor whirlpool spa…

*****

(come on, did you spot the TV above the balcony whirlpool?)

 

Next up was the Vista Suite. There are eight of these suite categories on Marina…

Boasting some 1,500 square feet and again with a fully separate bedroom…

Once again with indoor and outdoor whirlpool spas…

…and there’s that TV over the balcony whirlpool again…

On the next level are the Oceania Suites of which there are 12 onboard Marina. Offering more than 1,000 square feet these suites are again beautifully appointed…..

 

*****

…and include a fully equipped Media Room…

The en-suite…

…and a quick zoom in to note the Bvlgari amenities…

…and the balcony…

There are a large number of Penthouse suites…

…that enjoy a more than reasonable marbled en-suite with separate bath and shower…

with, of course, a comfortable balcony…

The basic level of balcony staterooms onboard Marina are the Concierge Veranda and  the Veranda Stateroom…

…which, as with the Penthouse Suite, have a marble and granite clad en-suite…

 

Passengers occupying Concierge level staterooms and above have exclusive access to a dedicated Concierge Lounge on Deck 9, while those occupying Penthouse Suites and above have card-only access to an Executive Lounge on Deck 11…

 

Concierge and Suite guests also enjoy free unlimited access to the Canyon Ranch Spa Club private Spa Terrace…

*****

Little doubt as to the quality of the accommodation onboard Marina then.

Oceania Cruises also boast ‘The Finest Cuisine at Sea’ and to support that boast they have, on Marina, a variety of distinctive open-seating restaurants which have no additional charge for their use. In no particular order we visited them all during the course of our visit…

 

Polo Grill

In a nutshell the classic steakhouse with a wide ranging menu that includes seafood as well as the best USDA beef…

Toscana

Italian as they come this Tuscan style restaurant exudes style and decor with  excellent vista views…

 

…and Mediterranean colour…

Jacques

The quintessential Parisian bistro ambiance with pickled wood furnishings and serving classic dish interpretations  from Master Chef Jacques Pepin…

*****

Red Ginger

With a nod to Feng Shui this is bold Asian Cuisine at sea and at its best. Contemporary interpretations of Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai and Malaysian classic dishes feature in this popular restaurant…

*****

The main restaurant is called the Grand Dining Room…

…and is where we had our lunch. More about that later as we continue to see other dining venues.

For passengers preferring an informal and carefree dining experience the Terrace Cafe is their venue…

Dine inside or alfresco…

…internationally inspired choices are available for breakfast, lunch and dinner…

*****

…not to mention the lunchtime carved Roasted Steamboat showpiece…

On the same deck as the Terrace Cafe, but closer to the pool, is the really laid back ‘Waves Grill’…

Here one can watch the chefs grill gourmet burgers and barbecue seafood all accompanied by side dishes of fresh salad.

There are two dining venues that do carry a surcharge, the reason for which is truly self explanatory.

First up is La Reserve…

 

This is the home of the gourmet dinner with fine wine pairing and the ultimate onboard epicurean experience offering a selection of menus…

*****

For that special occasion Oceania has the perfect venue,  Privée...

Host a private party for up to 10 guests in this most exclusive dining venue. A truly romantic setting…

…illuminated by a golden Venini chandelier…

During the course of the meal each guest may select any number of dishes from both the Polo Grill and Toscana menus.

No matter where onboard one ventures,  the overall impression is always one of quality and space, whether it be on

The upper decks…

 

*****

*****

The Bars…

*****

 

*****

 

or the central atrium…

*****

Even in the Marina Lounge (theatre)  the space between rows of seating is remarkably generous…

…while the library just exudes quality, comfort and classic decor…

*****

And in addition to the usual onboard activities available Marina boasts two enrichment centres. For budding artists, there is the Artist Loft enrichment center, where talented artists-in-residence offer step-by-step instruction…

*****

…while for those wishing to expand their culinary flair, hands-on classes are available in a professional teaching kitchen, the Culinary Centre…

Spa facilities onboard Marina are courtesy of The Canyon Ranch experience…

…the service of which goes without saying.

And so to our lunch which was in the Grand Dining Room where we shared a table with another couple who had cruised with Oceania a number of times…

The first course was Steamed Maine Lobster and Caviar Salad with Daikon Radish in an Acacia Honey and Sherry Glaze...

This was followed by a pasta dish of Handmade Tortelloni stuffed with Ricotta Cheese and Spinach, tossed with Butternut Squash…

The choices for entrée was Miso Glazed Seabass…

or, Filet Steak with Seared Foie Gras and Truffle Sauce

while dessert was Papuan Chocolate Volcano with Passion Fruit Heart and Caramel Lava…

Lunch was, as expected, an excellent occasion with superb wine service and  excellent waiter service by Bernard.

The organisation for the day was outstanding and we had a most informative tour despite it being a change-over day for the majority of passengers: well done all concerned.

My wife and I would like to thank Oceania Cruises for their kind invitation and as always we have no reservations in recommending any of their ships to our readers and blog followers who are considering a cruise on their comfortable and luxurious ships.

Indeed, we were also delighted to receive, as a result of our visit, a follow-up email offering a further $200.00 per stateroom as an added incentive to rebook: madness not to really.

If you have enjoyed this review of a visit to Oceania’s Marina and would like to be amongst the first to hear of new reviews including  a forthcoming cruise review of  Star Clipper,  a Mississippi  river cruise onboard the American Queen, plus  updated port reviews of  New York and Hong Kong,   why not join over 580  followers by clicking on the ‘Follow’ link on the front page.

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