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Oceania Cruises: What's new and how to get the best deal

Cruise Advice

In 2002 Oceania Cruises was founded by cruise industry veteran Frank Del Rio, who was joined by luxury executive Joe Watters to launch something completely different, rising from the ashes of the defunct Renaissance Cruises.

From the start Oceania had a really clear vision of its market position: great value, fascinating port intensive itineraries with lots of overnights, a laid back relaxed ambience and, of course, outstanding cuisine. Carefully managed growth combined with a clear proposition has resulted in an excellent outcome, both for Oceania's happy clients, and for the owners of the company.

Christened in Barcelona in April after a $40million refurbishment, Oceania's newest addition is Sirena, a sister ship to Regatta, Insignia and Nautica, bringing half of the former Renaissance Cruises R Class ships into the Oceania fleet. Following the introduction of Oceania's two larger new build vessels Marina and Riviera, Sirena combines the culinary options that have proven so popular on board these new ships to ensure Oceania's reputation for outstanding cuisine remains true. Two new dining options are featured - Tuscan Steak, a new speciality restaurant serving Italian favourites, replaces Toscana and Polo Grill, whilst The Grand Dining Room offers a surprise transformation into Jacques Bistro during lunch, offering a menu of classic dishes reinterpreted by Master Chef Pépin. Sirena also features Red Ginger, the popular Asian restaurant that has had such success on Marina and Riviera.

As well as the quest to offer the very best food at sea, Oceania continue to carefully position themselves just below the cruise lines we refer to as the 'Best of the best', and have a number of offers available. Picking the best time to book is tricky so it's worth knowing how Oceania's current promotions are structured.

Perhaps most importantly Oceania now guarantee that guests booking on board will always get the best fare: should the sailing they have confirmed be reduced or enhanced with additional amenities, the lower price/additional enhancements will be applied. Add to this the $100 shipboard credit to be enjoyed on the current cruise and a price saving (calculated when on board) and there is every reason to go on your cruise with an idea of a future cruise in mind. Should you need a little extra time to consider your trip, if you book within 45 days of returning you'll receive $200 per stateroom to spend on your new cruise.

If you're considering Oceania for the first time, when new sailings are released the early booking promotion 'O-Life Choice' is applied, offering free internet and a choice of one of the following amenities: free shore excursions, free house beverage package or shipboard credit. The number of shore excursions and amount of shipboard credit is dependent of the length of cruise. Popular itineraries and higher grades of accommodation can often sell out while on this promotion so it may be advisable to book early.

On occasion further incentives may be applied, enhancing the 'O-Life Choice' offer. 'O-Life Choice Plus' includes all of the existing amenities with the addition of a fare saving. The most recently launched offer, available on selected sailings in Northern Europe, the Mediterranean and South America if booked by the end of August, is 'O-Life Choice Select'. This includes a fare saving, free internet, plus a choice of two of the amenities included on the O-Life Choice for balcony grades and higher.

There are also occasions when complimentary business class airfares and pre- or post-cruise land programmes may be offered on selected cruises and in certain grades of accommodation. Confused? We're not surprised! It's a complicated decision, so it's worth taking a little time to call us and discuss what the options are, for expert advice on the voyage you are considering.

Meet the author

Alex is Director of Sales & Marketing at Mundy Cruising, having worked with the company for 10 years and in travel for over 18 years. Most recently he's cruised on Regent Seven Seas and has also sailed with Seabourn, Crystal, SeaDream, Tauck and Ponant. His favourite destination is South America however he's also enjoyed cruises in the Western Mediterranean, Middle East, East Africa & Indian Ocean, India, Myanmar, South East Asia and Antarctica. When he’s not travelling he loves walking holidays; a favourite included a trek to Everest Base Camp.

More about Alex

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