A week ago today I returned home to San Francisco from a long weekend in New York City. I was invited by Oceania to visit their latest ship, and first new build, the Marina.
I’m crazy enough, and into cruises enough, to just have done this for no particular reason, but I’ve seen amazing pictures of this ship, Oceania is selling very well in my client circles, and my 10 year old nieces and 13 year old nephew hadn’t seen their SF uncle for a while.
The idea of the ‘premium sector’ overall, is to bring toned-down luxury to a much broader audience than the bespoke crowd who sails on Seabourn, Crystal, Silversea or Regent Seven Seas. In the Premium sector the ships are bigger, the drinks not inclusive, the cabins are cabins, not suites, the prices are lower and the labels on his tuxedo or her gown at dinner aren’t a big deal.
Here’s a link to my photo site – better to pull this up now and review it with the below.
This ship is a game changer. It took the idea of Premium and while not changing that, made it a lot more desirable. After a few days back home, I realized that it’s Bellagio Las Vegas in ship form. It’s 4 star luxury. It’s fun (check out the photo of Prive, the all white private dining room), it’s themed (check out the photos of Jacques — the very French restaurant managed by Mr. Pepin), it’s blingy (the bar and casino), it’s elegant (the drapes and chandelier in the main dining room are magnificent), it’s continental (they’re serving Illy cafe! from Italy), it’s American (the Polo Grill is your great American steak house).
The cabins are bigger and better than most in this class of ship or below, but don’t bring much to wear as the closets are tiny. The flip side is that with the bigger rooms, you can at least put your clothes somewhere. The higher level cabins have Bulgari amenities while your basic ones have Oceania branded shampoo and conditioner. If you have some extra cash, I’d probably suggest getting one of the about 140 penthouse suites. But then you might prefer Seabourn .
Which brings me to the next point — and probably another blog post. Ultra Luxury like Seabourn and the ilk, or premium like Oceania’s Marina and the soon to be launched Oceania Riviera? There are big differences but some guests could be happy on either. Just depends on what you’re looking for in any given vacation.