Day 6: Is an Oceania cruise for you? Here are what it does and doesn’t have, which might help you decide

ONBOARD THE OCEANIA RIVIERA – With just five – soon to be six – small ships, Oceania is considered a boutique cruise line. Of course, it’s new parent company, Norwegian Cruise Lines Corporation Ltd., is the third largest cruise company in the world (behind Carnival and Royal Cruise Lines). The parent also owns Norwegian Cruise Lines and ultra-luxury Regent Cruise Lines. So what makes Oceania distinctive? Here are some haves and have-nots that will help you decide …

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Day 7: A culinary shore tour takes us to an organic farm on Tortola

ONBOARD THE OCEANIA RIVIERA – Oceania is known for its great food and culinary programs and is the reason that many people choose to sail on this line. After all, famous master chef Jacques Pepin is the executive culinary director for Oceania and celebrity chef Cat Cora is godmother of this ship. Oceania is one of only two cruise lines offering professional culinary classes at sea. But this week’s program was jinxed. Not only did the Culinary …

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Days 4 & 5: Rained out on St. Bart’s but great shopping on St. Maarten

ONBOARD THE OCEANIA RIVIERA – Ah, memories! Some 30+ years ago Chet and I used to visit St. Maarten regularly over the Easter holidays. We would spend a week with our friends Pete and Nancy in the Pasanggrahan Guest House, in a little apartment right on the Philipsburg waterfront. Each morning we would sip coffee while sitting in beach chairs as we watched cruise ships sail into the bay and drop anchor. One or two a day …

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Day 3: Oceania features high tea and exceptional entertainment

  ONBOARD THE OCEANIA RIVIERA – Yesterday is what I consider a perfect sailing day. We spent the morning at sea and then the afternoon and early evening docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Because the Riviera is small in size – just 1,250 passengers – it can dock close in and we were in very good company as the Silver Wind was next to us (Silversea Cruises). We could walk right off the ship and into …

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Day 2: Here on Oceania…it is all about the food

ONBOARD THE OCEANIA RIVIERA – Yesterday was a full day at sea and everyone seemed to be spending the time settling in. There was a full array of onboard activities. In the morning we attended a lecture about the history of the Turks & Caicos islands and then a vegan cooking demonstration. Later I attended a port shopping talk and then we participated in team trivia later in the afternoon. Cooking is a theme that runs throughout …

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Day 1: Boarding Oceania cruise complicated by norovirus cleanup

ABOARD THE OCEANIA RIVIERA – We were forewarned. Two days ago we were sent an email by Oceania Cruises telling us that there had been an outbreak of norovirus on the previous cruise and that the ship would be undergoing thorough sanitization before we boarded yesterday. They said boarding would probably be delayed. Which it was. By several hours. This was not Oceania’s fault, of course. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has strict protocols for this …

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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. 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 …

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