This small Oceania ship packs a lot of style, from the decor to the activities. Design choices — including suites styled by Ralph Lauren and a Lalique staircase in the grand foyer — are sophisticated and elegant. The Canyon Ranch SpaClub, the best brand on the high seas, has a gorgeous outdoor hot tub. And the 1,250-passenger Oceania Riviera sails with an Artist Loft, where artists-in-residence teach classes in painting or photography on sea days to guests eager to commemorate their trip with what just may be the best cruise souvenir ever.
What We Love
Cooking School: Not only does this culinary school have a dozen stations, where pairs of cruisers can recreate a dish under the watchful eye of an instructor, but the line also pairs cooking classes with shore excursions that let you follow the chef around a market, picking up ingredients as you go.
Red Ginger: This dark and sexy restaurant serves up Asia-inspired cocktails and top dishes from the cuisines of the region, ranging from rich Malaysian beef to Penang curry with coconut rice to Thai roasted duck with a bright salad of watermelon, mint, and Thai basil.
Best Known For
Jacques: Celebrity chef, cookbook author, and TV personality Jacques Pepin decorated his eponymous restaurant to look like a proper Parisian bistro, with art from his own collection and an antique cheese cart trolley you won't want to pass up. Look for steak frites, coq au vin, and rotisserie chicken from the first-of-its-kind rotisserie to be made for a cruise ship.
Baristas: Oceania may not be all-inclusive, but it offers a complimentary espresso bar to rival the one in your hometown. Come in the morning for a proper cappuccino and a croissant, or after dinner for espresso and sweets. Unless you add alcohol to your brew, it's free of charge.
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Who It's Best For
Sybarites: If art, cuisine, and the spa are your favorite aspects of life at sea, then you'll be drawn to the cosmopolitan features of this country club-style ship.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Evening Entertainment Is Simple: If you're looking for Broadway-style productions or large-scale dance ensembles, you may be disappointed to emerge from dinner to find a pianist, a singer ... and couples playing bridge.
Sherri Eisenberg is the New York City-based editorial director of ShermansCruise.com.
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Oceania Riviera at a Glance
- Line: Oceania
- Class: Oceania
- Number of Passengers: 1250
- Ship Size: Large
- Launch Date: 2012