Oceania Cruises

Overall Editor Rating

Fodor’s Expert Review

Cruise StylePremium
Ship SizeMidsize

Oceania offers itineraries to smaller ports megaships can’t reach and a near-luxury cruise experience for fares much lower than you would expect. The line first set sail in 2003, carving a unique niche in the cruise industry by offering a sophisticated vacation best suited to inquisitive, well-traveled passengers. Its midsize ships carry fewer passengers than popular mainstream lines. Varied, destination-rich itineraries are an important characteristic of Oceania Cruises, and most sailings are in the 10- to 12-night range.Read More

Intimate and cozy public spaces reflect the importance of socializing on Oceania ships. Indoor lounges feature numerous conversation areas, and even the pool deck is a social center. The Patio is a shaded slice of deck adjacent to the pool and hot tubs. Defined by billowing drapes and carpeting underfoot, it is furnished with plush sofas and chairs ideal for relaxation.

Thickly padded single and double loungers are arranged around the pool, but if more privacy appeals to you, private cabanas are available for rent. Each one has a double chaise longue with a view of the sea; overhead drapery can be drawn back for sunbathing, and the side panels can be left open or closed. Waiters are on standby to offer chilled towels or serve occupants with beverages or snacks. In addition, you can request a spa service in your cabana.

Top Reasons to Cruise

Cuisine.Oceania Cruises’ chefs are serious about food and serve noteworthy cuisine in all restaurants onboard.
Great Destinations.Oceania itineraries are destination-oriented and offer overnights in many top ports.
Midsize Ships.Oceania’s deluxe ships are quite manageable in size: four ships have fewer than 850 passengers, the two largest fewer than 1,300 passengers.
No Smoking.Oceania ships are almost entirely smoke-free, with small, designated areas set aside for smokers.
Surprisingly Affordable.Cruises on Oceania approach true luxury in style, but not when it comes to fares—they are quite affordable.

Is This Line Right for You?

Choose this Line If
Don’t Choose this Line If
Socializing plays a more important role in your lifestyle than dancing the night away.
You love to read. These ships have extensive libraries that are ideal for curling up with a good book.
You have a bad back. You’re sure to love the Tranquility Beds.
You like the action in a huge casino. Oceania casinos are small, and seats at a poker table can be difficult to get.
You want to bring your children. Most passengers book with Oceania anticipating a kid-free atmosphere.
Glitzy production shows are your thing. Oceania’s showrooms are decidedly low-key.

What to Expect on Board

Fitness & Recreation

Several top cruise-industry chefs were lured away from other cruise lines to ensure that the artistry of world-renowned master chef Jacques Pépin, who crafted five-star menus for Oceania, is properly carried out.

The results are sure to please the most discriminating palate. Oceania simply serves some of the best food at sea, particularly impressive for a cruise line that charges far less than luxury rates. The main restaurant offers trendy, French-Continental cuisine with an always-on-the-menu steak, seafood, or poultry choice and a vegetarian option.

Intimate specialty restaurants require reservations, but there’s no additional charge for Toscana, the Italian restaurant, or Polo Grill, the steak house. On Marina and Riviera, passengers have those and more restaurants from which to choose—Jacques, the first restaurant to bear Jacques Pépin’s name, serves French cuisine; Red Ginger features contemporary interpretations of Asian classics; Privée hosts private, seven-course menu degustation dinners for a single party of up to 10; and La Reserve serves exclusive wine and food pairings.

A casual dinner option is alfresco dining at the Terrace Café (the daytime Lido deck buffet). Although service is from the buffet, outdoor seating on the aft deck is transformed into a charming Mediterranean courtyard with candleholders and starched linens.

The Terrace Café also serves breakfast and lunch buffet-style, and has a small pizzeria window that operates during the day. At an outdoor poolside grill you can order up burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches for lunch and then take a seat; waiters are at hand to serve you either at a nearby table or your lounge chair by the pool. Afternoon tea is a decadent spread of finger foods and includes a rolling dessert cart, which has to be seen to be believed.


Culinary demonstrations by guest presenters and Oceania’s own executive chefs are extremely popular.

Lectures on varied topics, computer courses, hands-on arts and crafts classes, and wine or champagne seminars round out the popular enrichment series onboard. Before arrival in ports of call, lectures are presented on the historical background, culture, and traditions of the destinations.

Evening entertainment leans toward light cabaret, solo artists, music for dancing, and conversation with fellow passengers; however, you’ll find lively karaoke sessions on the schedule as well. The sophisticated, adult atmosphere on days at sea is enhanced by a combo performing jazz or easy-listening melodies poolside. Enrichment programs feature guest lecturers who are experts in such topics as wine appreciation, culinary arts, history, and world events.

Fitness & Recreation

The Canyon Ranch SpaClub spas and salons and well-equipped fitness centers are adequate for the number of passengers onboard.

In addition to individual body-toning machines and complimentary exercise classes, there’s a walking-jogging track circling the top of the ship. A personal trainer is available for individual instruction for an additional charge.

Key cruising tips

Many Oceania voyages include airfare in the fare pricing.
Pre- or post-cruise Hotel Collection Packages are available and include private group transfers.
There is never a dining charge on Oceania ships, but cocktail and wine prices are relatively high.
You may bring up to three bottles of wine per stateroom onboard upon embarkation or from ports of call, but there’s a corkage fee of $25 per bottle if you bring wine to the dining room.
Oceania Cruises offers two shore excursion collections that must be reserved prior to sailing and can save a lot of money.
Oceania was the first cruise line to upgrade their bedding to the highest standard, so you can count on a good night’s sleep on these ships.

Your Shipmates

Oceania Cruises appeal to singles and couples from their late-thirties to well-traveled retirees who have the time for and prefer longer cruises. Most are American couples attracted to the casually sophisticated atmosphere, creative cuisine, and high level of service. Many are past passengers of the now-defunct Renaissance Cruises who are loyal to their favorite ships, which now offer a variety of in-depth destination-rich itineraries.

Dress Code

Leave the formal wear at home—attire on Oceania ships is country-club casual every evening, although some guests can’t help dressing up to dine in the beautifully appointed restaurants. A jacket and tie are never required for dinner, but many men wear sport jackets, as they would to dine in an upscale restaurant ashore. Jeans, shorts, T-shirts, and tennis shoes are discouraged after 6 pm in public rooms.

Junior Cruisers

Oceania Cruises are adult-oriented and not a good choice for families, particularly those traveling with infants and toddlers. No dedicated children’s facilities are available, and parents are completely responsible for their behavior and entertainment. Teenagers with sophisticated tastes (and who don’t mind the absence of a video arcade) might enjoy the intriguing ports of call.


Highly personalized service by a mostly European staff is crisp and efficient without being intrusive. Butlers are on hand to fulfill the requests of suite guests and will even assist with packing and unpacking when asked.


Gratuities of $16 per person per day are added to shipboard accounts for distribution to stewards and waitstaff; an additional $7 per person per day is added for occupants of suites with butler service. Passengers may adjust the amount based on the level of service experienced. An automatic 18% gratuity is added to all bar tabs for bartenders and drink servers and to all bills for salon and spa services.

Past Passengers

After you take two Oceania cruises, you’ll receive several benefits along with a free subscription to the OLifemagazine. Invitations to Shipboard Club parties hosted by the captain and senior officers, a club pin, savings on Oceania Cruises logo merchandise, and special pricing and mailings about upcoming promotions are some of the benefits. Members further qualify for elite-level status based on the number of sailings aboard Oceania Cruises, which include such benefits as shipboard credits, complimentary gratuities, spa treatments, and Internet. Once you take your 20th cruise, you receive the above and get a free cruise as well as complimentary spa treatments. After 60 cruises you also receive a complimentary beverage package, and complimentary laundry service.

305/514–2300 or 800/531–5658

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