Whoo-hoo! Foodies should be happy about this news. Oceania Cruises, known for its superb cuisine, has unveiled details about the major, spring 2024 revitalization of the Oceania Marina. What’s special is that three new culinary spots will be added to the 1,250-passenger ship.
While the ship will be totally enhanced from bow to stern — emerging completely refreshed and looking new — cruise guests can also expect these new food options:
- Aquamar Kitchen, the popular new wellness-focused dining venue that debuted on Vista this year.
- A new casual al fresco trattoria — Waves Grill transformed into a new evening dining experience — offering sumptuous Italian dishes including freshly made pizzas.
- An expanded poolside ice cream parlor serving milkshakes and smoothies, plus inventive flavors from artisan ice cream company Humphry Slocombe.
(Photo above of Oceania Marina is by Oceania Cruises.)
Designed and Built by Foodies
Putting Marina’s culinary enhancements in perspective is Frank A. Del Rio, president, Oceania Cruises. “Marina is a ship designed by foodies, built by foodies, for foodies,” he proudly pronounces.
For instance, the cruise line’s tag line of “The Finest Cuisine at Sea” is more than just that. “It is a mantra which we have built the business around,” Del Rio emphasizes. “Food is the foundation of what we do onboard each of our ships and, globally, in the destinations we visit.”
So, the cruise line is particularly excited to expand the Aquamar Kitchen concept to Marina. Oceania’s guests have loved the concept since it and other new features were introduced on Vista earlier this year.
Oceania Marina: Refurbishment
Marina is the last of the line’s existing fleet to be refurbished. If you’re tallying up the refurbishments, Oceania says that it now has eight new, or better-than-new ships.
What’s next fleet-wise? The line’s eighth ship, the new Allura, a sister to Vista, will launch in spring 2025.
For True Foodies
Officials describe Marina and sister Riviera as the world’s first true foodie ships. Why so? In fact, they were the first cruise ships to have an onboard cooking school. The two ships also have more dedicated galley space and fresh food storage space than many other cruise industry vessels.
They’ve now been joined by Vista and soon Allura, both fielding that same concept. Another foodie tidbit? Oceania Cruises has the highest percentage of culinary personnel devoted to the dining experience than any other cruise company.
Almost unbelievable, but true, the upscale line has one chef for every 10 guests. In addition, half the onboard crew is involved in either the cooking or serving of food.
Oceania Marina: Aquamar Kitchen
As a new signature restaurant, Aquamar Kitchen will offer Marina’s guests new wellness-inspired menus. Yet, the line also promises “a hint of indulgence” in those menu choices.
For breakfast, guests might order smoothies, cold-pressed juices and energy bowls. Or, at lunch, we’d check out the globally inspired salads and wraps, or perhaps the avocado toast selections.
Guests will also find heartier options. For instance, they will have such choices as an Impossible burger, yellowfin tuna tacos and a crunchy chicken sandwich.
Aquamar’s Nonalcoholic Drinks
In addition to the wellness-inspired dishes, Aquamar Kitchen’s menu will feature a selection of Pierre Zero premium, award-winning non-alcoholic wines from France. Also, guests will discover a refreshing collection of mocktails crafted with Lyre’s non-alcoholic spirits.
As with all of Marina’s onboard restaurants, Aquamar Kitchen will be complimentary for guests. No reservations will be needed, plus it will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Good to Know
With the addition of Aquamar Kitchen, Oceania Cruises’ signature pairing dinners typically featured in La Reserve will be showcased in Privee, Marina’s exclusive private dining space.
In this space, culinary aficionados will find the long-standing favorite pairing menus of La Reserve, including the Odyssey Menu and the Dom Perignon Experience.
Oceania Marina: Italian and Sweet Treats
In the evening, Waves Grill will transform into a new al fresco trattoria. Here guests will order succulently grilled Italian specialties; spicy, dry-rubbed chicken wings; as well as freshly hand-crafted pizzas.
Guests can also order delectable salads and yummy rosemary focaccia with lush burrata. Indulgent desserts are also on tap for those still hungry after their meal.
Humphry Slocombe Favorites
Separately, an all-day ice cream parlor will be added to the pool deck. Look for many ice cream flavor choices from Humphry Slocombe. Plus, guests will have a selection of milkshakes or smoothies.
Oceania Marina: New Ambience
Beyond the three new dining options, Marina’s private and public spaces will be refreshed and emerge with a new ambience. For instance, all upper suites will be reimagined.
Guests will find them lighter, brighter and seemingly even more spacious, thanks to cleverly designed new features.
The Penthouse Suites will be completely refurbished. They’ll sport new, custom-crafted furniture, plus new closets and cabinetry to increase guest storage space.
Plus, these suites will feature new carpets and upholstery and updated modern lighting. If you’re bringing many techie devices, no worries. That’s because Marina’s guests will find more outlets and USB ports.
In addition, each Penthouse Suite will offer a sleek, restyled bathroom. Look for abundant Italian marble as well as oversized showers and many drawer spaces.
Public Space Updates
The classic steakhouse Polo Grill also will receive new carpeting and stylish window treatments. Even its dining chairs will be redesigned.
Many favorite public spaces such as Martinis, Horizons, The Grand Dining Room and Library will also be elegantly updated. These venues will receive plush new carpets and refreshed upholstery.
Throughout the revitalization project, Oceania’s goal is for the ship to emerge with a renewed sense of grandeur. Yet, it will still maintain a home-away-from-home feel.
Oceania Marina: Relaunch Timing
So, when can guests expect to see the refreshed Marina? Oceania says the big debut is May 18, 2024.
And while the ship will undergo significant cosmetic changes, the line is assuring us that one Oceania Cruises’ trademark — warm and personalized service — will continue unabated.
So, whether guests are sailing for the first time or the 15th time, they’ll see the ease with which staff remember names and guest preferences. And they’ll do so with a smile and heartfelt caring.
Good Options for Summer 2024
Okay, so suppose you’d like to sail on the newly revitalized Marina. Well, The Meandering Traveler has picked out a few options that we’d consider. If any pique your interest, just give your personal travel advisor a jingle.
Operating a 20-day “Scandinavian Symphony” itinerary, the refreshed Marina will sail from Oslo, Norway, to Copenhagen, Denmark. First up on this voyage is Skagen, Denmark, and then the ship will continue to six other Norwegian ports of call. They include Kristiansand, Haugesund, Alesund, Kristiansund, Trondheim and Nordfjordeid.
Other Baltic/Scandinavian region port visits will include: Kirkwall in the U.K.’s Orkney Islands; London (Southampton), U.K.; Gothenburg, Visby and Stockholm, Sweden; Kiel, Warnemunde (for Berlin) and Ronne (Bornholm), Germany; Klaipeda, Lithuania; and Gdansk (Gdynia), Poland.
So, this is a robust Baltic region cruise. At press time, fares started at $6,599 per person, double occupancy. Click on the “Scandinavian Symphony” header above for the complete itinerary details.
“But be sure to check with Pavlus Travel as we have unadvertised discounts on Oceania Cruises,” says Shelby Steudle, the line’s president, adding: “We pride ourselves on great service too.”
Or how about exploring Norway on a 10-day “Legends of Norway” journey that spotlights fishing villages, Viking heritage, soaring mountains and gorgeous fjords? Sailing from Oslo to Tromso, Norway, this Oceania trip will call at the Norwegian destinations of Kristiansand, Bergen, Leknes (Lofoten Islands), Harstad, and Hammerfest.
Undoubtedly, though, the highlight for many travelers will be to arrive at Norway’s North Cape (Honningsvag). Situated within the land of the Midnight Sun, Honningsvag should be illuminated throughout the evening that time of year. For visitors, it’s spectacular to watch the late-night sun hang eerily over the Arctic Ocean.
While in town, we’d suggest checking out the North Cape Museum. The area is also home to the Gjesværstappan Nature Reserve, where literally millions of arctic birds flourish during the summer nesting period.
Pricing started at $3,899 per person, double occupancy, at press time. “To assure the best deal, though, talk to your personal travel advisor about any promotions, unadvertised discounts or amenities, says Pavlus’ Steudle.
So, as 2024 is just a month away, it’s great to start thinking about next summer’s vacation. Certainly, one savory option is to enjoy the new dining options and refreshed spaces on Oceania Marina!
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