Oceania Insignia, which was built in 1998 for the now-defunct Renaissance Cruises, underwent a major refurb in 2014 but the public spaces still have traditional, plush furnishings befitting this "country club at sea." Oceania serves up some of the top food afloat: You'll find selections from Jacques Pepin, as well as diet-conscious recipes from Canyon Ranch at all of the eateries.
What We Love
Concierge Level Perks: Book a Concierge Level cabin or any suite, and you'll get use of an iPad, priority embarkation, a bottle of Champagne, and a complimentary Internet package.
The Espresso Bar: The Illy coffees are a great post-refurb addition — and they come with no extra charge. Order up a morning latte or jump-start the afternoon with a jolt of espresso.
Best Known For
Far-Reaching Itineraries: Oceania's itineraries roam the world, and Insignia might take you from Hong Kong to Cape Town on a single cruise. That means sailings tend to be longer than average, too.
Great Enrichment Programs: For its size, Insignia offers a good variety of speakers. Get ready for lectures from historians, authors, or a former ambassador. You might even be treated to cooking demos by the ship's executive chef.
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Who It's Best For
The Country Club Set: If you're a traditionalist, you'll feel right at home amid Insignia's surroundings.
Chowhounds: Returning passengers say the food — including the caviar, steamed lobster, and Jacques Pepin's herb-crusted chicken — was one of their top reasons for coming back.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Bathrooms Are Cramped: An unfortunate leftover from its Renaissance days, the bathrooms in regular cabins are small and not well-organized.
Gayle Keck is a San Francisco-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times.
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Oceania Insignia at a Glance
- Line: Oceania Cruises
- Class: Regatta
- Number of Passengers: 684
- Ship Size: Medium
- Launch Date: 1998
- Refurbish Date: 2014