Introduction: Oceania Cruises’ Vista Inaugural Sailings

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a large cruise ship in the water
Oceania Cruises' Vista at Port in Kusadasi, Turkey

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ruins of Delos with rocks and water in the background
Delos, Greece

This will be the first in a series of posts on our 12-day sailing on Oceania Cruises’ newest ship in more than a decade, the beautiful Oceania Vista.  This will also be an opportunity to share a bit about my wife, Melanie and me and some of the reasons why we love to sail on Oceania Cruises.

First a bit about the ship – Vista is the first of two new Allura Class ships, with the second ship, cleverly named Allura, scheduled to float out in the summer of 2025. By modern standards these ships are at the large end of “small” ships with a guest capacity of 1,200, 791 feet long, and a tonnage of 67,000.  Onboard the ship has a crew of approximately 800, making for a generous 1.5 passengers to 1 crew member.  These ships are a bit larger than Oceania’s last class of new ships – Riviera and Marina which are 66,000 tons but hold approximately 50 more passengers.

A bit about Oceania Cruises for those that aren’t familiar with the cruise line, except possibly from Rene’s posts on how to redeem SkyPennies for an Oceania Cruise – Remarkable Oceania Skymiles Auctions 11 Day Mediterranean Cruise.  Oceania Cruises is currently one of three lines owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. the parent of Norwegian Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Oceania currently has a fleet of seven ships that help to tell the 20-year history of Oceania Cruises.  There are four small ships, purchased over a number of years starting with the founding of Oceania Cruises with just one ship –  Regatta that was initially leased following the bankruptcy of Renaissance Cruises, the builder of the ship, initially named “R Two”.  These ships were all named R and their number based on when they were delivered to Renaissance.  Those that have sailed on Azamara have sailed on one of the non-Oceania owned R ships as they have the other four ships.  The remaining Oceania “R-Class” ships are – Insignia, Nautica, and Sirena.  These ships are intimate, holding just 648 passengers and 401 crew.

Oceania had great success with their R-Class ships enabling them to build two new ships, unique to Oceania – Marina entering the fleet in 2011 and Riviera a year later.  These “O-Class” ships effectively doubled the passenger capacity of the line.

Then came the announcement in March 2021 that Oceania was going to build two new ships, with the first scheduled to deliver in spring April 2023.  We didn’t book right away, given all that was going on in the world, but we started looking.  Then when we were on board Oceania Marina in October 2021 in one of the first “COVID bubble” cruises, we were flipping through the upcoming cruise catalogue and decided to book what was supposed to be one of the first cruises aboard Vista.  We like to book on board as it provides a number of benefits that I’ll outline in a future post.

Given all of the supply chain challenges that took place over the past few years, the delivery of Oceania Vista was delayed.  We watched and wondered if our cruise would happen, or if it would get cancelled due to the delayed completion of the ship.  Ultimately the news came that we were going to be the Inaugural Cruise.  Then a few months later Oceania announced that they were going to add a “Founders Cruise” immediately before our Ancient Adriatic cruise and that we could add it on to our booking as a back-to-back sailing.

a screenshot of a computer

As Melanie and I are both working full time, turning our 12-day cruise into a 19-day cruise wasn’t possible as much as we might have wanted to find a way.  So it was set. We would be sailing on the third cruise aboard Vista.  No, that’s not a typo, because the first cruise aboard Vista was what the industry refers to as a “knock-down” cruise with the passengers being made up of media, travel agents, and cruise line executives while they work through the kinks on board.  These cruises are rarely talked about, but when you see a review of a new ship coming out around the time of the first cruise, this is generally how that content came out simultaneously with the first cruise.

As you can see this will be a multi-post review where we’ll share our experiences both good and bad and a few tips and tricks.  The theme of this blog is Sea – Sand – Points and we’ll of course share how we combined deals and offers to enhance our trip while maximizing value. – Michael

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2 COMMENTS

  1. How amazing that you got invited on the media sailing! So far, I’ve only gotten an invite for one of them. Keep pitching the cruise lines but so far that hasn’t worked out. Congrats on getting the invite!

    • I was not part of the shake-down/media cruise. We were paying passengers on a subsequent cruise. No free cruise for us, though we did have friends on board the media cruise as well as the Founders Cruise.

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