Sophisticated, elegant and distinctly luxury, you’ll find the atmosphere on board Oceania’s award-winning cruise ships is extremely convivial, and with an unrivalled level of personalized service as a result of having two staff members for every three guests. Oceania Cruises will make sure your destination is everything that you desired, and their fleet will take you there in style.
A leader in destination cruising, Oceania Cruises sails to more than 330 ports around the globe allowing you to explore the world in unequalled style and comfort. Itineraries are unique in that they call on the perfect mix of must-see marquee and boutique, off-the-beaten-path ports. Multiple overnight calls afford an in-depth, enriching destination experience and allow you to immerse yourself in the cuisine, culture and history of every port you visit.
While every aspect of the Oceania Cruises experience is a study in gracious understatement, their passion for serving the Finest Cuisine at Sea is anything but. Oceania’s commitment to culinary excellence shines through gourmet menus and dining experiences on board created by the renowned master chef Jacques Pépin.
Featuring small to medium sized ships of around 700 passengers Oceania Cruises are positioned firmly in the luxury area of the cruise industry. The ships are designed and decorated to create the atmosphere of a country house hotel.
I joined Insignia in Seville for a short voyage to Lisbon.
Due to her size Insignia is able to visit smaller ports. Seville is located inland so the larger ‘mainstream’ cruise ships are unable to visit, instead having to berth on the coast at Cadiz so visiting the beautiful city of Seville requires a coach trip.
Insignia was berthed in the heart of Seville with just a short walk to the centre and the sights and sounds of this beautiful historical city.
The ship was berthed overnight in Seville so for passengers who arrived on their cruise there was plenty of time to visit Seville and experience the flavours of a Spanish City in the evening.
We departed at midday on day 2. An interesting trip down the Rio Guadalquivir during the afternoon. The river is narrow so the ship travels slowly with life on the river banks passing you by, from schoolchildren shouting greetings and waving from the school yards to the numerous wild birds and animals, especially those around the Doñana National Park alongside the lower reaches of the river.
It was late evening by the time we left the river and put out to sea.
Next morning, we arrived in Lisbon, not too early so that we could appreciate the sites of the city as we sailed in. Once again, the itinerary was designed for maximum time for sightseeing with a full night and another day moored in Lisbon for sightseeing. Unfortunately, my trip was over, and I had to leave Insignia on the second day in Lisbon.
Insignia is one of 6 ships in the Oceania fleet. The largest ships (Marina and Riviera) have 1,250 guests the other 4 just 684.
Classed by ‘Berlitz’ as a ‘Small Ship’ Insignia has a beam of 25.5m and a length of 181m. There are 342 staterooms of which 232 have private balcony. She has a compliment of 684 passengers served by 386 crew. There are 9 passenger decks.
Cabins range from Interior Staterooms to Owners Suites (of which there are 6). Some of the lower grade cabins are quite small so it always pays, especially on a longer voyage to go for the higher categories.
The Grand Dining Room is the main restaurant with open dining times. Unlike the main restaurants on larger ships dishes are not prepared en masse but are created individually.
There are 2 speciality restaurants, Toscana is an Italian restaurant and the Polo Grill features prime steaks and seafood. Reservations are required for both these restaurants but, unlike many lines, no extra charge is made.
The Lido Café is a self-service buffet restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating serving breakfast, lunch and casual dinner. It also serves Tapas and there is a small pizzeria and grill.
There is a grill poolside (Waves) that serves delicious lunches.
On sea days traditional afternoon tea is served in the Horizon Lounge.
In my opinion the food served on board was superior to that of similar ships with other cruise lines.
There are many spaces to relax and unwind on board or, if you want to take part, there are plenty of activities (if more stylish and sophisticated than on some ships!).
Spend time in the relaxing in the Canyon Ranch Spa or work of last night’s delicacies in the fitness centre.
At night after dinner be entertained by a show, visit the casino, relax in one of the bars or listen to live music in a different bar. There is plenty to do.
There are no ‘kids clubs’ on board as this line is aimed fairly and squarely at couples looking for a relaxed informal style of cruise in a setting that is elegant and stylish. Children are NOT discouraged, however and on Alaska itineraries they do run a youth explorer programme for 5 – 12 year olds.
As with most cruise lines various inclusive packages are offered at time of booking. Dependant on offers some are included in the cruise price. I would recommend that you take the full drinks package as cost of drinks can mount with the added gratuities.
TwitTwoo and Brilliant Travel are able to offer a number of special O Life Choice packages on selected cruises.
Book selected Oceania Cruises and enjoy even more with O Life Choice – stay in touch with home with free unlimited WiFi internet access, plus choose from a selection of generous on board amenities including:
FREE house beverage package – enjoy complimentary drinks or
FREE on board spending money to enjoy as you like
All of Oceania Cruises O Life Choice amenities are subject to availability and change, the amount of shore excursions or on board spending money received varies by cruise duration. Call us today for the applicable voyages, latest availability and fares!