A day at sea on the Insignia

During our 15 day journey on the Oceania Insignia, we had five full-day opportunities to take a break at sea. The Insignia is a rather small ship, with a maximum capacity of 680 guests. So the on board entertainment options are limited. When the weather didn’t play along, we spent a lot of time in the library, reading and browsing the internet. Additionally we had cooking presentations by the chef and lectures by the the on board expert about the ports of call and their history to look forward too. Whenever the weather allowed it, we could be found playing shuffleboard mini golf or table tennis or relaxing by the pool.

 

The entertainment

Every evening there was a show. Though the quality of the singers, dancers, magicians and what-have-you varied quite a lot. Those expecting broadway level entertainment and generally have difficulties keeping themselves busy should not be looking at cruising with the Insignia. The few activities that were offered – like table tennis and poker tournaments or bridge lessons and trivia games – were the same every day (or sea day in case of poker). Not exactly what you’d call variety. On the other hand, the small size of the ship does allow you to get to know your fellow travellers more quickly. I our case the vast majority was quite a bit older than we are, which is of course in no way Oceania’s fault.

The highlight: food

Oceania is known for its excellent cuisine and we can only confirm that it’s deserved. The grand dining room as well as both speciality restaurants – a steakhouse and an italian – offered fantastic food throughout. There is also a buffet restaurant which was often overcrowded – and which we for that reason didn’t visit very often – and a poolside grill offering exquisite burgers and sandwiches. As opposed to most comparable cruising companies, Oceania offers all of this as included in the price, even the speciality dining restaurants and all drinks save for alcoholic beverages, which are available for normal pub prices.

Boarding the Oceania Insignia

The bus from the Blue Lagoon dropped us of at Skafabakki Harbour, where the Insignia was already docked. We entered our home for the next 15 days and it felt like a ghost ship – there was no one in sight! Having been on bigger cruise ships we’re used to having to wait in line for a bit to get checked in but this time we just walked straight through, seeing almost ten crew members but not a single guest until we hit the Waves Grill, Oceania’s poolside grill. It’s our favourite venue for lunch and the Grilled Reuben Sandwich is still as good as I remembered from our last cruise. Being a German living in Switzerland I guess I just can’t resist the combination of Sauerkraut and Swiss cheese 😉

We had booked a mid-ship inside stateroom on a low deck because both Rik and I are prone to seasickness and that’s the most stable place on the ship. We were assigned a handicapped cabin which means it’s a lot bigger than a normal inside cabin but the layout is a bit weird. There is no couch and the TV is next to the bed rather than in front of it. Also the TV is tiny – smaller than my computer screen at home – and for some reason it uses only half of that tiny screen to actually show the movie… But we don’t plan on spending much time in the cabin anyways so it doesn’t really matter.