Onboard Oceania's Brand New Riviera!
Managing Partner, Susan Reder, was onboard the brand new Oceania Riviera and she returned to our office with rave reviews. After hearing her amazing stories seeing her beautiful pictures, I understood why.
The Riviera sailed from Monte Carlo on an ideal Mediterranean itinerary including the south coast of France, Spain and Venice, Italy. Cat Cora, celebrity chef and godmother of the Riviera, was there to christen the ship. Susan said the excitement level was off the charts and guests and travel professionals were thrilled to be a part of the big celebration.
One of the highlights for Susan was the cuisine. Oceania Cruises wants guests to feel that the restaurants are destinations as well as the many ports they visit. The Grand Dining Room never disappoints in the quality, presentation, and taste of their food. The specialty restaurants are included in the cost of the cruise and each restaurant is fabulous and delicious. Among Susan's favorites were Jacques, the first restaurant ever created on land or sea by celebrity chef Jacques Pepin. The menu is based on traditional French country cuisine and is mouthwatering. Her other favorite was the Polo Grill, which is a traditional steakhouse. She says the cuts of meat were of top quality and prepared perfectly. Accompanying the steak were side dishes such as baked potatoes, onion rings, creamed spinach and other decadent dishes.
Susan also enjoyed attending classes at the Bon Appetit Culinary Center. Onboard the Riviera is a cooking school with 10 stations for guests to learn, prepare, and eat delicious meals taught by one of their talented chefs. One morning during class they prepared French toast with poached fruit which was delectable. Other options included menus inspired by the region they were traveling through at the time. They also have shore excursions where the chef takes guests to the local markets to shop for ingredients for the dishes they will learn to prepare. As cooking is a hobby for Susan, she loved this part of the experience!
Since the food is simply divine and you want to try everything, Susan made it a point to visit the Canyon Ranch Spa Club each day where she was able to take spin classes, yoga, and use the cardio and resistance training equipment. The fitness center is spacious and has the latest equipment. The spa treatments are as decadent as the Canyon Ranch Spa Clubs on land.
Evenings were normally spent lingering over dinner with friends and then to the piano bar for after dinner drinks and live music. According to Susan, this is the perfect way to end a perfect day onboard the Riviera! Of course, you can always find some time to visit the casino or other lounges onboard.
The stateroom was beautiful and had the "Prestige Tranquility Bed". Amazingly comfortable and with the sea rocking you to sleep, you are assured a great night's sleep to be ready for the next day's adventures. The stateroom verandah was the perfect spot for a cup of coffee and a light breakfast.
Overall, Susan says the cruise was a huge success and she just cannot praise it enough. Oceania surpasses their stellar reputation in the upper-premium cruise segment. She highly recommends Oceani's Riviera to travelers who have high expectations for their vacation experiences. Whether it is cuisine, enrichment, ports-of-call, exemplary service or simply rest and relaxation, they won't be disappointed.