Sunday, 26 May 2019

Our First Impressions of Cruise Life - Oceania Riviera

Wow, what an amazing trip that was! One of those once in a lifetime things that now feels like a bit of a dream. I have been going on about it on my Instagram if you want to see more of a day by day breakdown (click here) but I thought I would give you a little update on the trip here before I go into more detail in upcoming posts. 

Oceania Riviera Cruise Ship On The SeaWe were sent on the trip by Joe's company following a fantastic financial year, the top 8% of the company attended. Joe had achieved over his target and was allowed to bring me along for the ride. We managed to get Joe's parents to have the children, it did mean taking Ted out of school for 4 days but they were really understanding given the circumstances. A trip we really couldn't turn down. 

The trip itself was a cruise around the French and Italian Riviera, starting in Nice and ending in Rome. 5 days all inclusive on board stopping at a new destination each day. Fine dining, excursions and alcohol included, the latter was taken full advantage of as you can imagine! 

We flew from Heathrow on the Friday afternoon after fuelling up on Giraffe grub for lunch. Joe has sinus issues and I am not the best flier so nerves were quite high. The flight to Nice went really smoothly though, I caught up on some episodes of Umbrella Academy (must watch show BTW) and enjoyed a nice brew and biscuits before landing in France. 

Upon landing we were greeted by one of the Club reps for our trip, collected our luggage and joined another couple from America in a taxi to the port in Monaco. With Joe's company being international we met so many people from across the world, most of which Joe had never met before. It was a bit strange at first but we soon settled into the groove of talking to complete strangers. Getting to know new people was fun. 

Anyway, we got to the port and the ship was anchored. It was huge. Way bigger than I had imagined. The Riviera has 16 decks, 11 of them guest decks. It has a swimming pool, spa, sports deck, library, boutiques, culinary centre, nightclub, martini bar, theatre and several restaurants. Literally everything you could ever want in a holiday all in one place and all of the highest standards. The staff were impeccable, super friendly and helpful. The ship was spotless, they even cleaned the windows in the time we were there which must have been a whole days job for several people! 



Martini's Bar and Grand Piano

Library with Joe looking well educated!

When we arrived we were greeted and checked in, our room was on the 8th deck which was the smaller cabins but they were nicer than most hotels we have stayed in. The bed was such high quality, more comfortable than our bed at home and given how long it took us to find the right mattress for us that is saying something! Egyptian cotton bedding, Bvlgari toiletries, robes and slippers all in the room as standard and room service included just a phone call away. Ultimate luxury. 

Oceania Club Room 8043BInside Our Cabin 8043B

Inside Our Cabin 8043B
View from Our Cabin 8043B
We felt a bit out of place the first night, we weren't used to people calling us sir and madam or pulling our chairs out at dinner. We weren't prepared for 5 members of staff to wait on us at dinner or offer to carry our plates back to the table at breakfast. All out of our comfort zone but on the first night we bumped into Joe's work colleague whom I have met once before. He introduced us to his wife and the next day some more people. Those people made our holiday. They welcomed us into their group and we would not have had the same trip without them. Eventually our nerves settled and we got used to being waited on hand and foot...a luxury we certainly missed when we got home! 

Dinner the first night was lovely, we both chose Steak and Chips and enjoyed it while looking out at Monaco harbour. It was breathtaking. That night we took a walk around the ship getting our bearings. It took the whole trip for us to get to grips with the layout as it was just so big. Overlooking Monaco at night with the beautiful lights I felt so lucky to be where we were and proud of Joe for his hard work and ambition that has gotten him where he is today. 

panoramic picture of monaco harbour at night time

I have some posts coming up about each of our day trips, what I wore each day, food on and off board and maybe a few extra ones if I can squeeze them in. I would love to know if you have been on a cruise before and what you think of them. 

Would you do one again? 

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