Courtesy of Mark Tré – "The Cruise Examiner" at Cybercruises.com
When Oceania Cruises new 66,000-ton Marina was delivered in January, Frank Del Rio, founder of Oceania Cruises and chairman & CEO of parent Prestige Cruise Holdings, was quoted as saying Marina is unlike any ship built in the past 50 years and is destined to be a game-changer in the industry. The superb gourmet restaurants and exquisite residential interiors reflect the best of what makes Oceania Cruises such an unrivalled experience.
At the same time, Giuseppe Bono, CEO of her builders Fincantieri, said "the new Marina is not only beautiful, but one of the most elegant ships we have built in the last years."
Reports from Tenerife, where the new ship called recently, indicate that both her owners and passengers were happy with her. The ship’s master, Capt Dimitrios Flokos, previously of Regatta, commanded five of the eight former Renaissance "R" ships, three of which are now in the Oceania fleet, and while with Commodore Cruise Line commanded Caribe, a ship that his own father had commanded thirty years earlier when she was the Greek Line’s Olympia.
The last few days on board Marina have been moments I will never forget and it is an honour to share them with our loyal guests, said Frank Del Rio, after he disembarked in Casablanca. I look forward to welcoming the guests and crew to my hometown of Miami in a few short days and hearing all about their experiences on board our new gem.
Marina features the first "Bon Appétit" culinary centre, master chef Jacques Pepin’s first namesake restaurant at sea, Ralph Lauren Home-furnished Owner’s Suites, other accommodations by Dakota Jackson, a "Wine Spectator" wine programme, a grand stairway of Lalique glass and a "Canyon Ranch" Spa. Marina also offers ten different dining venues, all comparable in quality to the very best shore-side restaurants.
Following her arrival in Miami four days of showcasing and a gala launch celebration will follow, after which she departs for San Francisco on the first of two Trans-Panama cruises.
The new ship’s sponsor, Mary Hart, is well-known in North America as the hostess of the nightly programme "Entertainment Tonight," an electronic imitation of "People" magazine and an institution on American television since 1982. Ms Hart, who also speaks fluent Danish and Swedish, will end a thirty-year run when she leaves the show at the end of the current season for pastures new. Marina, meanwhile, will return to Europe for the summer cruise season.