Oceania Riviera “Sunny Celebrations” voyage wrap up

PORT OF MIAMI-“Brown 3,” said the voice over the Oceania Riviera intercom, the signal that  our cruise is officially over. All guests holding “Brown 3” luggage tags headed for the gangway on Deck 6 for disembarkation at the Port of Miami, where we started this voyage back on Dec. 22. Over the past 12 days, we visited seven islands, celebrated Christmas and New Year’s and covered over 3,000 nautical miles. All the while, with a crew that …

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New Years Day spent at sea aboard the Oceania Riviera

ABOARD OCEANIA RIVIERA, DAY ELEVEN — The first day of 2017 is sunny and bright, and we are on our way back home to Miami. This is the first of two days at sea as we cover the 1,000-plus nautical miles ahead. The staff has prepared personalized disembarkation printouts for each guest that provide all the specifics for making our departure. And it seems like we just arrived on board. Dining-wise, the main event today is Sunday …

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New Year’s Eve in St. Maarten

ABOARD OCEANIA RIVIERA, DAY TEN –– It’s the last day of 2016, New Year’s Eve, and the weather gods aren’t smiling any more. In fact, they’re downright grumpy. We are docked in St. Maarten, our last port of call on this voyage. It’s windy, chilly and gray, with a light rain peppering down. No tour today, by choice. We have been here on numerous occasions, and it’s still one of our favorite islands. Parked beside us — …

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St. Lucia-“Island of Splendor” tour

ABOARD OCEANIA RIVIERA, DAY NINE — Day nine, really? The calendar says it’s Friday, but on a cruise they really do all run together. It truly is just another day in paradise. Today’s slice of paradise is St. Lucia, another island we have never visited but have heard so much about. So we are really looking forward to taking the “Island Splendor” tour. The weather gods are smiling on us once again. This day is bright and …

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St. George’s, Grenada — the Spice Island

ABOARD OCEANIA RIVIERA, DAY EIGHT — Our island hopping continues. This morning we have hopped over to St. George’s, Grenada — the Spice Island. We also have reached the southern-most point in our cruise, 90 miles from the South American coast. Docked beside us and looming large is MSC Poesia, with a passenger capacity almost three times ours. But unlike Barbados, we appear to be the only two cruise ships here today. Since we have stopped at …

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“Discover Barbados” tour gives overview of Bridgetown

ABOARD OCEANIA RIVIERA, DAY SEVEN- We are docked at Bridgetown, Barbados. So it seems is every other cruise ship in the world. Also here are Princess, Carnival, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, MSC, Pullmantur and a few others. It’s going to be a BUSY day at the port. As first-time visitors, we are going on the “Discover Barbados” tour. Prior to docking, passengers were told two “don’ts” about the island: Don’t smoke in public places (OK – we …

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Tropical rain forest experience in Balata Botanical Garden in Fort de France, Martinique

ABOARD OCEANIA RIVIERA, DAY 6 – It’s hard to believe we are already six days into our cruise — it goes so fast. This morning we wake up to a view of Ft. St. Louis, which means we are docked at Fort de France, Martinique. Weather-wise, the winds are still around and periodic rain is roaming the area. But overall, mostly bright and sunny. This is our inaugural visit here, the capital city of this French island …

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After two windy days at sea, we take an overview tour of Antigua

ABOARD OCEANIA RIVIERA, DAY 5 — After two days at sea in a wind tunnel, we are docked at St. Johns, Antigua. Population 80,000, it and its sister island, Barbuda, are part of the Leeward Islands, or the Lesser Antilles if you like. This is our first visit, and we have opted to take the “Best of Antigua” excursion and get acquainted. Oceania has this shore excursion business down to a science. We traded in our tickets …

Read moreAfter two windy days at sea, we take an overview tour of Antigua

Christmas day at sea: Festive inside, but blustery outside

ABOARD OCEANIA RIVIERA, DAY 4 — Today is Christmas — our first time to celebrate this special occasion at sea. Santa has already made a surprise visit to the atrium on Deck 5, and actually stopped by our room as well. There was a wrapped package on our bed, compliments of Oceania. Inside was a colorful glass ball and stand commemorating our cruise and marked with the date. Thank you Santa, and thank you Oceania! Later in …

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A blustery day at sea, but the Captain’s Cocktail Party is still a success

ABOARD OCEANIA RIVIERA, DAY 3 — You’ve heard about “Blow the man down”? That’s pretty much what you can expect on the outdoor decks today. We’ve encountered blustery headwinds as we motor toward Antigua. The pool on Deck 12 more resembles a giant hot tub as water swishes this way and that across the decks. It doesn’t deter determined sun worshipers who take it all in stride with a good book or beverage. The ship may be …

Read moreA blustery day at sea, but the Captain’s Cocktail Party is still a success

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