Oceania Enthusiasm: When you can’t believe cruising can be like this
✓ A prestigious luxury cruise line.
✓ A stunning 684-passenger mid-size ship.
✓ Award-winning dining.
✓ Regular New York departures.
✓ Fabulous Bulgari bath amenities (a lot of ‘em!) in suites.
✓ Calls at some of my favorite ports including my beloved Bermuda.
It’s like an early Christmas present! Oceania Cruises has just announced regular sailings from New York City beginning this summer!
Here’s the story: On Friday, I strolled (okay, I was propelled by a fierce wind) from my Sixth Avenue office to Pier 88 on Twelfth Avenue for a luncheon aboard the latest addition to the Oceania fleet: the beautiful Sirena. I swiped my visitor’s pass to board and suddenly felt like I was Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz when she steps out of the fallen house and finds everything transformed from black-and-white to glorious color. This was exactly my kind of décor. No harsh glass and chrome, polka dots, or zebra stripes but, instead, warm jewel tones and comfortable plush elegance from stern to bow — sort of like the living room of a very, very, very rich friend with exquisite taste.
And speaking of taste, lunch in Sirena’s main dining room was a triumph: caviar, risotto with lobster, pasta, venison Wellington and an ethereal sweet meringue to top it off. And the wines? I wanted to wash my hair in the red one, it was so good.
I have to admit, before Friday I had never set foot on any of Oceania’s six ships but after one look around, one sampling of the cuisine, and one glimpse at that hat box filled with Bulgari toiletries in the Owner’s Suite, there’s no question: I like this line’s style.
And I really like their approach to New York sailings!
Beginning in July and continuing right through the fall, Sirena’s sister ship Insignia will operate regular 10-day, 11-day and longer sailings to Canada and Bermuda from…drum roll…the ever-so-convenient New York Passenger Ship Terminal right smack in midtown. That means I can throw out those Mapquest directions that attempt to explain how the heck to get to Bayonne and Red Hook.
Itineraries? Thanks to Oceania, there’s no need to decide between cruising to Canada and New England or to Bermuda because, like two-mints-in one, you get both on many sailings. And the biggest kick is that most of these sailings offer overnights in Bermuda — both Hamilton and the lovely and historic St. George’s, the latter all but ignored once ships started growing wider than Charlize Theron’s butt did for her role in Tully and could no longer fit through the narrow Town Cut. Now, with the 30,200 grt Insignia, a whole new generation of cruisers will be able to marvel as their ship navigates this unforgiving passage.
Welcome to the neighborhood, Oceania! It’ll be a pleasure, and a luxury, to have you here!
— Judi Cuervo
Photos: Oceania Cruises, Judi Cuervo
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