If you have never cruised on Oceania, you are missing out. It's not just a cruise, its an experience. From the day you receive your travel documents, you will feel special. You will receive that special blue folder personalized just for you. It will include information about your particular stateroom, excursions, dining, etc. It will tell you about Oceania and the inclusions and it will include your 3 luggage tags so you don't have to fumble around at home trying to print them.
On arrival to the pier, its not business like usual as you would expect on a cruise. With just 670 people onboard, there is no crowd. I am in the Concierge level, so I am able to board through an expedited line. From the time I step into the door of the pier, go through security, check in and board, I am literally on the ship in less then 15 minutes, truly amazing. They greet each guest at the the door with a refreshing bottle of water and a smile. As you board the ship, a crew member in the traditional red hat and uniform smiles and welcomes you onboard and as you enter the main area, someone will be there to help you find what you need, and let you know which time your room will be ready. If you are in a Suite it is 12:00, Concierge 13:30 and all other rooms 15:00. I chose to lounge on the gorgeous sundeck as I waited and enjoy a little lunch at the Waves Grill. The prosciutto panini was amazing.
As they page to let us know our rooms are ready, I proceeded to deck 7 forward to room 7010, a Concierge Verandah Room. The ship is recently updated and you can tell immediately. There is plenty of closet space, a nice king bed, flat screen tv, a small but nice bathroom, comfortable couch and desk area and a beautiful verandah with nice outdoor furniture. Also sitting on the table is a chilled (on ice) bottle of champagne. There is a fridge with complimentary sodas and also a large bottle of water.
On Oceania, all juices, coffee (including specialty coffee), tea, soda, ice tea, non-alcoholic blended drinks and more are complimentary. There is also no charge to eat in the specialty restaurants and free wi-fi.
My luggage is already at my room and they do offer complimentary pressing of 4 items in this category and a minimal charge for pressing of other items. On my floor there is also a laundry room that has complimentary (including detergent) washers & dryers and also an ironing board, however in the concierge level room that I have, it also includes 3 bags of laundry at no charge!
After unpacking a bit, I decide to explore the ship a bit more. Its not a huge ship, so should be easy enough to see, but you would be surprised at all of the small details, including their great artwork spread around the ship.
I am traveling with a group, so we had a cocktail party in Horizons Lounge at 6:30pm so I proceeded up to the lounge. The lounge is at the forward part of the ship with floor to ceiling windows to enjoy the gorgeous view. The staff is very attentive, and there is a staff to passenger ratio of about 1 to 6. The crew seems to genuinely care and they enjoy engaging in conversation, which you don't always see on the larger ships.
After the cocktail reception I proceeded to the Grand Dining Room for dinner. My phone died so I was not able to get photos of my dinner (sorry), but the food was great. I enjoyed the Beef Tartare starter, mixed green salad and the Sirloin steak. Everything was cooked to perfection.
After skipping dessert, I proceeded directly to the Insignia Lounge to watch "Broadway in Concert" which was a dazzling array of classic and contemporary broadway songs. The show was great and included songs from many of my broadway favorites. If you enjoy the large productions of the large ships, you may be disappointed, the shows here are a lot smaller and intimate but full of amazing talent.
I went back up to the lounge for a little while to enjoy a little social time, but found myself to be so exhausted from a long day, that I retired to my stateroom and rested. The on demand TV has lots to offer, including MANY movies on demand, movies playing as well as TV shows, news, sports and more!
Day #1 has been a success and I am excited to see what day #2 brings!