Ready to board!
We immediately fell in love with this dazzling man-made creation! Owned by Oceania Cruise Lines, Marina is to us the ultimate in what a cruise ship should be. Everything about Marina is relaxed, creatively decorated, efficient in the way it cares for its guests (yes, they are guests - not passengers or clients) and a level of luxury that compliments one's every need. The staff from some thirty nationalities is friendly, yet professional. Nothing seems to be too much to ask for. I could continue to rave on further, but merely wish to say that whenever we wish to cruise again (and we have already booked another cruise) it will be with Oceania.
I wrote recently to the General Manager of Marina conveying our delight with the two cruises we have completed:
"Let me say how delighted we were with the excellent service we enjoyed courtesy of Marina staff. You are quite a TEAM!Oceania’s quest for excellence in customer service is highly commendable. During our two cruises we observed a high level of morale. This is a credit to senior management as well as to the work ethic of your staff. It requires dedication and discipline to ‘due process’.I have rarely come across such an outstanding balance of professionalism and friendliness. Marina’s décor is distinctive and very beautiful; the variety, quality and choice of fine food together with cheerful, helpful staff made our Oceania experience very special. Congratulations!Why did we choose Oceania? We were looking for a cruise with a smaller passenger list than most and our travel agent, Sarah Hewitt from Cruiseabout in Hobart recommended your line. Thank You Sarah!!"
One could happily say more, but perhaps I should just say, 'try it for yourself!' and show you some pics of this floating palace:"From stem to stern, Marina’s vibe is upscale, mature, and unhurried."
Welcome! A grand entrance indeed!
Grand corridors with original art that changed regularly
made one feel like being in an art gallery!
Our Nordic Explorer is about to get under way. Even a personalised itinerary with lots of information in the booklet below:
Oceania does it in style!
I mentioned in my introduction that Marina is 'creatively decorated' and the following photographs confirm that most eloquently:
Naturally, we were looking forward to a comfortable room where we could relax, enjoy a drink, read a book and just chill out. Well, we were not disappointed. Our room was spacious and beautifully appointed. Our cabin attendants went beyond the call of duty and we very much enjoyed Anna and Marco's sensitive care, delighting us with good personalised service. "Thank you!" We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming them in Hobart in late February when Marina berths across the river from us.
What can I say?
A room like this and a bottle of champagne to welcome us!
Fine dining is a priority in making the journey an unforgettable experience. We heard from friends that the greatest danger is to eat too much. I am sure that is true, but we did try very hard to keep our indulgences within acceptable limits. I put on a kg, while Jeanette was really well behaved and lost a kg or so, despite the most excellent dishes and grand dinners that were set before us, including lobster as often as you wished. Once again, the food was beautifully prepared and delicious to the point where we ran out of superlatives.
We had the choice of several restaurants and were always in the company of different folk, which made the experience even more enjoyable. We tried at least six of the restaurants available including:
Grand Dining Room
The presentation and service was always excellent:
And this was only (???) breakfast!
High Tea in the Horizons
Every day this grand piano was used and , as well, the string quartet also
played while we enjoyed pre-dinner and post-dinner drinks. How civilised!
While some of the guests enjoyed the pool, others indulged in more creative activities, like Jeanette who booked herself in a glass painting session, which she found enjoyable and relaxing.
For those who didn't mind the cooler weather!
Our 14 day cruise is about to get under way, the first port of call, Helsinki in Finland. Then.....? Well, here is a map of our route. This blog will seek to cover all the ports.
Enjoy the journey with us!