4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
Miami-based Oceania Cruises has been known since its 2002 debut for its upscale culinary offerings and destination-intensive focus. The line pioneered overnights in port and offers creative itineraries, like the Around the World in 180 Days annual world cruise.
Passengers tend to be 50-plus and well traveled, hailing mostly from the U.S. and Canada; generally, the longer the cruise, the older the cruiser. The line also draws travelers from the U.K., Ireland, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Generally, Oceania doesn't have a formal children's program or onboard facilities, but in Alaska the line offers the Alaska Explorer Youth Program for kids between the ages of 5 and 12, with activities that reflect the region.
The dress code onboard Oceania cruise ships is country club casual, intended to partner perfectly with the line's "whatever you want, whenever you want" mindset. Passengers typically do dress up, by their own choice, for occasions like a night dining in Jacques Pepin's onboard restaurant, and you won't see jeans, shorts, T-shirts or tennis shoes in the dining venues.
The spotlight onboard an Oceania sailing is on the destination, and enrichment lectures are always well attended. When the ships are at sea, many passengers head for the English-style library to stake out a huge leather chair and a good book along with pastry and coffee. The fitness center and spa also get a lot of use, and on Marina and Riviera, the large Artist's Loft studio is usually filled to capacity for creative workshops in painting and drawing, as are the Culinary Center's hands-on cooking classes.
Cruisers also show up for martini and wine tastings, lavish afternoon teas and classical string ensembles.
Oceania is partially inclusive. All Oceania cruisers get free and unlimited soft drinks, bottled water, specialty coffees, teas and juices, as well as free unlimited internet and at least one reservation at the specialty restaurants. (Repeaters can go again by getting placed on a waiting list.)
Oceania cruisers have two fare options: Cruise Only or OLife Choice. Those who select the higher-priced OLife Choice fare receive complimentary round trip airfare and their choice of one of three options: up to eight shore excursions, a free beverage package or up to $800 shipboard credit. Passengers in the same stateroom must select the same amenity.
Extra costs include shore excursions, alcoholic beverages, spa and beauty services, and shop purchases. Cruisers in higher accommodation categories may have more inclusions.