Travel

Sail in Style! Oceania’s Stunning New Ship, Vista, Revealed

The gray skies greeted me as Oceania Vista docked at the port of Naples, Italy. Determined to brighten my mood, I made my way to Aquamar Kitchen on deck 12 for a Morning Sunrise smoothie. Surrounded by the restaurant’s charming blue accents and white-tiled backsplash, I felt my spirits lift. Encouraged by this small victory, my husband and I decided to venture out in search of unforgettable pizza, undeterred by the rain.

I had the privilege of being one of the 1,200 passengers on Oceania Cruises’ newest ship, Vista. This marked the debut of the Allura class, the first Oceania vessel where every room boasts a balcony. Vista also boasted Starlink Wi-Fi, courtesy of Elon Musk, which provided a strong connection even in the middle of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Among Vista’s 11 bars and restaurants, three were entirely new to Oceania, including a sophisticated cocktail counter reminiscent of Death & Co., and the health-conscious Aquamar, offering made-to-order salads, protein-packed lunch bowls, and refreshing pressed juices.

While some venues were familiar to faithful Oceania cruisers, such as the Polo Grill steakhouse and Toscana Italian restaurant, Vista brought something special. Toscana had the added allure of being supplied with two recipes from its godmother, Giada De Laurentiis. I couldn’t resist trying her signature Capri-inspired lemon spaghetti, a dish that garnered much acclaim on board. Another standout was the duck-and-watermelon salad at the pan-Asian eatery, Red Ginger.

During our cruise from Malta to Naples, we struck gold by securing a reservation at Red Ginger. As we savored dishes like tuna and salmon sashimi, pork-and-vermicelli spring rolls, and the renowned duck-and-watermelon salad, we marveled at the elegant ambiance created by the glass-and-gold light fixtures and the black aluminum dividers. The medium-rare bulgogi rib-eye served on exquisite Tokyo Design Studio ceramic stole the show. We concluded our evening at Martinis, a bar that never ran dry of The Botanist gin and featured a nightly pianist serenading us with Elton John covers.

Most nights, however, Founders Bar was the place to be. With an impressive menu of 26 meticulously crafted cocktails, including the Earl Grey tea-infused Not So Sure, this bar aimed to delight guests with its mixology expertise. I had the opportunity to engage with fellow travelers and industry insiders, including Oceania executives and travel advisors, all while reveling in the innovative drink creations.

Although Oceania typically attracts travelers in their 60s, the cruise line has made strides to cater to younger demographics. The ship boasted excellent Wi-Fi connectivity and offered activities like pickleball, a Sweetgreen-inspired salad counter at Aquamar, and a coffee shop that could easily be mistaken for one in Los Angeles. Oceania also expanded its range of tours and excursions, with over 100 new options, known as “Go Local” tours. These immersive experiences, led by locals, took guests off the beaten path to discover hidden gems and authentic cultural encounters.

One such adventure led me to Corsica, where I embarked on a tour through the mountains of Vizzavona. After a breathtaking drive and a visit to Hôtel-Restaurant Monte d’Oro, the oldest hotel on Corsica, I indulged in a delectable charcuterie spread under cascading vines. It was moments like these that reminded me of the serendipity of travel, where unplanned encounters often lead to the most unforgettable experiences.

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