On a recent hard-hat tour of Oceania’s new ship, Marina, at Italy’s Fincantieri Shipyard, a group of journalists, agents and frequent Oceania cruisers got a first glimpse of what the new member of Oceania’s fleet will look like.
“Marina will embody the essence of the Oceania brand,” said Oceania founder Frank Del Rio.
The Marina is spacious. From the staterooms, which, at their smallest are more than 170 square feet, to the culinary center, with 24 individual cooking stations, to the English-style library, so far, the ship offers plenty of room to move around without feeling ostentatious. Although, in the interest of full disclosure, this was a hard-hat tour and the ship still doesn’t have windows, let alone furnishings.
Oceania’s Marina at Fincantieri’s Sestri Ponente shipyard in Genoa, Italy // (c) 2010 Oceania Cruises
One of the best glimpses we got of the Marina was in the model rooms set up next to the gangway, which allowed our group to see what the staterooms will look like when complete. Although finishing touches have yet to be decided, what was immediately obvious was that a lot of thought went into the design of the rooms, and a variety of personal touches in each cabin set Oceania apart from other lines.
For example, the closets are huge by cruise-ship standards. Oceania president, Bob Binder, pointed out that, because the line offers longer itineraries, guests need more space to store belongings. He also showed us a dividable loveseat at the foot of the bed that can be transformed into two chairs, with a table in the middle, and used for in-room dining. There is even a hidden vanity, which stows in the countertop in the bedroom, allowing for storage space when not in use. It’s these personal touches that truly make the Marina stand apart from other vessels her size.
If the staterooms can be considered spacious, the ship’s four suite categories are downright enormous. The Penthouse Suites alone, of which there are 124, offer more than 400 square feet of living space. There are 12 Oceania Suites at more than 1,000 square feet with private Jacuzzis. The eight Vista Suites offer between 1,200 and 1,500 square feet of space and two Jacuzzis, as well as some of the best views onboard.
The three Owner’s Suites, however, are Marina’s piece de resistance. With more than 2,000 square feet of space, it seems like these suites span the entire stern of the ship. Unique features include a private fitness room, a foyer and a music room.
At the end of our hard-hat tour, the ship was christened during her floating out ceremony. And then, Binder made a surprise announcement — not only was Oceania celebrating a new phase for the Marina, but they were cutting the steel for her sister ship, the Riviera.
“Riviera will be an exact duplicate of Marina,” said Del Rio, who jokingly added that you can’t improve on perfection.
Construction on Riviera began in February, and she is expected to sail her first cruise in April of 2012.