Escaping the holiday craziness by sailing to the Caribbean on Oceania Cruises

Once again the suitcase is on the bed and I am trying to figure out what to pack for our cruise that departs Wednesday.

The Riviera, new-built in 2012
The Riviera, new-built in 2012

You would think I would have this figured out by now but every cruise is different. Sometimes we are traveling in cool climes and sometimes very hot ones. Some ships are more formal than others. It is important to do your homework in this regard.

We will be sailing on Oceania Cruises from Miami on a 10-day cruise on the Riviera, the company’s newest ship. It is quite small – 1,250 passengers – which is our preference. We have booked a veranda cabin which they boast is one of the largest of this category at sea, 282 square feet. The layout looks comfortable, with the bed toward the door and the sitting area toward the balcony.

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 2.06.47 PMOceania boasts that its cruises are luxurious yet casual. There are no formal nights so Chet can leave the tux in the closet here and no really glitzy garb for me. I think I will stick to a couple of simple dresses and an array of splashy tops to wear with white or black pants for the evenings.

We do know it is going to be hot…our itinerary is heading into the heart of the Caribbean islands and the outside temps will undoubtedly be in the 80’s and usually the humidity is high. So a couple of bathing suits for sure plus some light clothing for wearing ashore. But the air conditioning inside is always on the cold side so I have to add a couple of sweaters.

We are fortunate that we are driving to Miami to board the ship so we can add in a couple of straw hats that are often cumbersome to take on planes.

Our itinerary is as follows:

Dec 2 Wed Miami, United States Embark 1 PM 6 PM
Dec 3 Thu Cruising the Atlantic Ocean
Dec 4 Fri Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands 8 AM 4 PM
Dec 5 Sat San Juan, Puerto Rico 1 PM 8 PM
Dec 6 Sun Gustavia, St. Barts 9 AM 11 PM
Dec 7 Mon Philipsburg, St. Maarten 8 AM 11 PM
Dec 8 Tue Tortola, British Virgin Islands 8 AM 4 PM
Dec 9 Wed Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic 9 AM 6 PM
Dec 10 Thu Cruising the Atlantic Ocean
Dec 11 Fri Nassau, Bahamas 8 AM 5 PM
Dec 12 Sat Miami, United States


We have been to all of these island multiple times, with the exception of Cayo Levantado which in near the port of Samana in the Dominican Republic. We will plan to do some extra exploring there. Otherwise, we are going to be creative on the other islands, in most cases seeking out interesting lunch places that we can share with you here.

We always enjoy cruising at this time of year when prices are better and we can get away from the pre-holiday craziness here.

So, stay posted. We will be sailing soon!

Leave a Comment

Trusted by over 1.5 million cruisers since 2003.
Get FREE access to members-only pricing.
There is a highly acclaimed way to receive multiple quotes from a site called CruiseCompete, where cruise specialists compete to offer you the best deal. The media sums it up for CruiseCompete:
Score Luxury Cruises at Bargain Prices” (The Street)
Best site for cruise deals” (The Wall Street Journal)
28 Best Travel Sites” (Kiplinger's) Multiple annual mentions
36 Web Addresses You Should Know” (The Washington Post)