Windowless cabins are gone and specialty restaurants come free on Oceania’s new ship, finds Jane Archer
Overview: Fans of Oceania Cruises have waited a decade for a new ship, but they won’t be disappointed with Vista – and neither will anyone trying the brand for the first time. The vessel launched in May and is slightly smaller than the line’s other big ships (1,200 passengers versus 1,248 on Marina and Riviera). It has a softer, more contemporary design, plus new casual and healthy dining options.
Cabins: Oceania Cruises has scrapped inside cabins on Vista, so everyone gets a view, whether through French windows or from a balcony. The change means everyone also gets a new-look big bathroom with a large rain shower.
The cabins are spacious and easy on the eye but light on storage space. For more of everything, the suites are perfect, especially the three Owner’s Suites, which span the width of the ship, are decked out by Ralph Lauren Home and come with butler service, a free minibar and first dibs on restaurant tables.
Food and drink: Three speciality restaurants that are favourites on Marina and Riviera are back – Polo Grill for steaks, Red Ginger for Asian cuisine and Toscana for Italian dishes. Ember is a new, more casual eatery offering a break from fine dining. The art deco-style Grand Dining Room has open seating and serves a not-to-be-missed Sunday brunch.
The Terrace Cafe buffet has salads and charcuterie, plus meat, fish and veggie options. Aquamar Kitchen, new on the pool deck, serves a healthy salads and wraps menu at breakfast and lunch, counter-balancing the burgers and fries dished out in neighbouring Waves.
Prices include drinks with lunch and dinner; trading up to an unlimited Prestige Select drinks package costs $30 a day. A new wine collection lists 80 luxury and vintage labels from around the world.
Facilities: It’s hard to escape food on Vista. Keen chefs can prepare (and eat) dishes inspired by the places they are visiting in the Culinary Center and a new bakery by baristas means coffee fans can indulge in pastries with their flat whites.
For a culinary detox, try the spa or gym, the library, a lounger by the pool or Artist Loft, where creative sorts can create some artwork of their own.
USP: All speciality restaurants on Vista are good, and they’re free. However, epicureans can splash the cash on private degustation experiences. A new two-hour Cellar’s Wine Luncheon in Ember comprising five courses, each accompanied with a premium wine, costs $159 per person. A six-course Dom Pérignon tasting experience in Privée, a private dining room for eight, is priced at $395 per person.
Book it: A 10-day Ionian & Adriatic Seas cruise from Valletta in Malta to Trieste in Italy departing April 21, 2024, and calling into Turkey, Greece and Croatia costs from £3,919 including flights, transfers, drinks with lunch and dinner, $800 shore excursion credit per cabin and Wi-Fi.
PICTURES: Nick Tortajada/Vrx Studios
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