Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oceania Cruises Ups Its Game: Pillars of Distinction Part II

Yesterday I attending a meeting/seminar with Oceania Cruises regarding upcoming changes to its product and for some new information on its newest ship, Marina, which will be delivered in January 2011.

Overall, as Celebrity has done, Oceania is introducing some new concepts (at least new to Oceania) on its newest ship and then, over time, will be introducing them on its R-Class ships (Regatta, Nautica and Insignia) in the spring of 2011.

More specifically:

1.  There will be an expanded menu of “Jacques Pepin Signature Items” in the Grand Dining Rooms, which include Cotes d’Agneau Grillees -- grilled lamb chop served with ratatouille and lamb gravy with thyme -- and Gambas Sauté Provençal -- sautéed shrimp in olive oil from Nice with garlic, parsley and tomatoes.

2.  Evening menus in the Terrace Café will focus on regional specialties from the area the ship is sailing in addition to the changing selection of traditional favorites.

3.  Gourmet VIP canapé service for all suite guests now includes a wider array of specialty delicacies presented on new custom-designed china.

4.  Espresso and cappuccino will be from Illy Coffee of Italy.

5.  Service enhancements include free shuttle service in more than 90 ports worldwide where the ship is docked away from the city center. (This cures a particular pet peeve of mine!)

6.  New production with a full ensemble, original choreography, lavish costuming and musical numbers rather than the modest cabaret style presently offered.

7.  Faster Internet speeds. (This is another pet peeve, but the upgrade is more as a result of MTN phasing out antiquated satellite and software systems so data is more efficiently compressed.)

8.  Owner’s, Vista and Oceania suites will get complimentary in-suite newspaper delivery.

9.  Upgraded bath amenities and toiletries in all accommodations, including Bulgari for Concierge-level and suite guests.

9.  Laptops, currently featured in all Owner’s and Vista suites on Regatta, Insignia and Nautica, will be added to all Penthouse Suites, while iPads will be installed all Owner’s, Vista and Oceania suites.