Brownell Independent Travel Advisor Linda Allen was recently aboard Oceania’s new ship, Riviera. Take a look at the article below to read her review and see photos of the ship’s interior.
Exuding unpretentious elegance the Oceania Riviera has broad appeal to the well traveled. At just 1250 passengers she is a mid-size ship with a private home feeling.
The focal point of the Riviera is the Lalique grand staircase, opulent yet extraordinarily tasteful.
The target market skews to couples in their 50′s. Many of the passengers are repeaters. Primary attractions are the lack of a children’s program (except Alaska) and the country club casual ambiance. Warm friendliness combined with elegant graciousness welcomes discerning passengers.
Suggestions would be for a memory foam topper when beds are converted to Queen. Raise the mirror over the desk for drying hair or put a plug in the bath.
Near the end of the cruise we sailed in winds of over 50 knots with whitecaps. The ship exceeded my expectations and handled the seas remarkably. However the cabin was the star, with self closing drawers and magnetic closures on the closet doors. The cabin was absent the rattle that happens on other ships. The cabin was always pleasantly peaceful with no noise wafting in from adjoining cabins or the hallway.
Upper Premium but not luxury, Oceania strives to be known for its great food and wine. Apollo catering provided the level of service they are well known for servicing food, beverages and cabins.
Foodies will delight in cooking classes and La Reserve as well as top of the line specialty restaurants, with Red Ginger being a favorite. The Culinary Director is Jacques Pepin and the Godmother of this ship is Cat Cora. (A popular TV Chef)
Culinary discovery tours with a chef are new all day tours that can be pre-booked. The Bon Appetite Culinary experience has proven to be very popular and the Oceania cookbook is available at Amazon.
Canyon Ranch operates the spa, beauty and fitness centers on board offering their acclaimed treatments and Canyon Ranch menus are available for those looking for lighter fare.
Entertainment is ramped up onRiviera as a conscious decision and will be extended fleet wide. However, being able to entertain yourself is always a plus on a smaller ship.
New shore excursion packages are offered with an overall reduction in costs on average of 25-40% in order to deliver more value. Upper end clients will want to pre book private excursions as standard excursions are, in fact, standard.
Destination oriented and port intensive Oceania saw the need to allow clients a chance to rest and enjoy the ships so there will be at least one sea day per sailing for new sailings.
Some returning Oceania passengers continue to prefer the smaller ships, but product is consistent within both the smaller and larger ships.
2013 sales are ahead of 2012. South Pacific is HOT as is Asia and South America. Rivierain the Caribbean offer some of the best availability.