Published On: Thu, Jan 18th, 2024

Everything you need to know about Oceania Cruises’ Vista | Cruise | Travel


The bedroom on Oceania Vista Cruises

The bedroom on Oceania Vista Cruises (Image: Deb Stone)

Vista was Oceania Cruises’ first new ship for more than a decade when she was launched in 2022, although Covid held up the christening for a year, and her sister ship Allura will be arriving in summer 2025.

All Oceania’s ships have off-the-beaten-path itineraries and what it describes as “the finest cuisine at sea” and all manage a sophisticated luxury that’s neither too fussy nor overly pared-down contemporary.

Four of the ships are what used to be described as mid-size although, with so many huge ships now, Oceania describes them as small ships. Vista and Allura take a maximum 1,200 passengers and sister ships Marina and Riviera have 1,250.

But Regatta, Insignia, Nautica and Sirena – also sister ships – only take 670 guests. All the older ships were refurbished with the OceaniaNEXT treatment between 2018 and 2022 and Marina is due to be refurbished again in May 2024.

What’s it like onboard?

It feels like you’re walking into a sophisticated high-end hotel thanks to Vista’s army of attentive staff – there are two crew members for every three guests – and spacious standard staterooms, which all have balconies.

The pool deck has a relaxed beach resort vibe, with a pool long enough to swim in surrounded by a shallow expanse of water for people who want to cool off but not get too wet.

Most impressive of all are Vista’s gorgeous eating places, including three brand-new concepts, from the dreamy Main Restaurant to the ship’s impressive set of speciality dining rooms.

The WOW factor

Possibly the best thing about Oceania Cruises’ ships is that they are virtually all-inclusive at a more accessible price than some other small luxury cruise lines.

Oceania restaurant Ember

Oceania restaurant Ember (Image: Deb Stone)

Its SimplyMORE offer includes air fares, transfers, gratuities gorgeous speciality restaurants (although you’ll have to book), most drinks – from house wine to non-premium spirits – WiFi and up to $600 excursions per cabin.

Barista-standard coffee is also complimentary and best from Deck 14’s Bakery, a much-improved snacking venue on Vista, next to the Library and overlooking the pool deck.

Staterooms

There are no interior cabins on Vista and its Standard staterooms are more than 290 square feet, which is on the generous side.

New for Vista are Concierge Level Veranda staterooms for solo travellers and the suites come in four categories: Penthouse, Oceania, Vista and Owner’s Suites with size and facilities increasing from Penthouse upwards.

All staterooms and suites have luxurious bathrooms, with rainforest showers, and all have comfy balcony loungers, interactive TVs and plenty of storage.

Dining

Food and drink is the onboard focus of every Oceania Cruises ship, which is why Italian-American TV chef Giada De Laurentiis is a “perfect fit” as the ship’s godmother.

Vista has 11 dining venues including the new Aquamar Kitchen, offering healthy servings with a hint of indulgence; the Bakery at Baristas, where the freshly baked pastries are simply indulgent, and Ember – the new signature restaurant.

Ember’s menu is an eclectic mix. You could have Thai barbecue pork ribs for starters followed by Sashima tuna salad and a main course of lobster mac & cheese.

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Oceania Vista Pool Deck

Oceania Vista Pool Deck (Image: Deb Stone)

All the speciality restaurants are complimentary, including Polo Grill, a club-like steak house on one side of Deck 14, and Italian restaurant Toscana on the other side. Both are at the back of the ship with floor-to-ceiling windows so you can watch the sun setting at dinner time. Also excellent but tucked away in the middle of Deck 5 is Red Ginger, with a superb Pan-Asian menu.

However the sumptuous Grand Dining Room – a light-filled cream and white affair with glass panelling to create intimate corners – should not be missed and for those who prefer self-service Deck 12’s Waves Grill and Terrace Café is one of the most elegant ship’s buffets and has a wonderful outdoor seating area.

The other dining option is Aquamar Kitchen, hidden away on Deck 14, which specialises in healthy eating as part of the Aquamar Spa concept. It’s open for breakfast and lunch, with special events some evenings.

Lifestyle

There are plenty of things to do during the day, if you’re not off on an excursion: from relaxing around the pool to playing 18-hole mini golf, joining in the American craze for the racquet sport pickleball, having a go at croquet or bocce (an Italian form of boules) – or deck shuffleboard.

If you want to keep your steps up there’s an outdoor walking track and for exercise bunnies there’s the free gym with free fitness classes – although there are also paid-for classes.

Aquamar Spa has a good range of paid-for treatments and a private sun deck with small pool for guests in suites or those who pay a daily rate.

There are paid-for cookery lessons in the smart Culinary Centre, paid for art classes in the Artist Loft and social media lessons at the all-new LYNC Digital Center.

Afternoon tea with a view in the Horizons Lounge is another enjoyable way to spend time during sea days or you can create the perfect cocktail in the new Casino Mixology Bar – another first for Vista.

Entertainment

As the sun goes down, a great place for cocktails is the Waves Bar. Alternatively you can listen to piano favourites in Martinis or see the Vista Showband in Horizon before dinner, which most people follow by a visit to Vista Lounge – a flexible theatre space – to see the dance show, Into The Night, or hit music production, Headliners, featuring songs made famous by Billy Joel, Adele and other stars.

Vista has eight bar lounges in all and most have after-dinner live music of one type or another, then there’s late-night dancing at Horizons. The Abba Night is very popular.

Fact box

Vista’s 2024 summer season will focus on a series of Grand Voyages in the eastern Mediterranean, Aegean and Adriatic Seas, calling at boutique ports in Italy, Turkey and Greece. It returns to Miami in November for a winter season in the Caribbean. From mid-April 2025 it will sail from Southampton for round-UK cruises and to Scandinavia before sailing to Spain in mid-August for late-summer Mediterranean and Aegean cruises.

* 14-day London to Oslo cruise aboard Vista with calls in Ireland, Scotland, Denmark and Norway departs June 15, from £5,799pp, two sharing (oceaniacruises.com).



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