The first new ship to be built for Oceania Cruises in over a decade, Vista is, at first blush, quite similar in appearance to fleetmates Marina and Riviera. From the outside, the trio are nearly identical, save for a few differing stylistic and architectural changes here and there. The three ships even share the same basic dimensions: a length of 785 to 791 feet and tonnage that hovers around 67,000 for each.
But that's where the similarities end. On the inside, Oceania has gone back to the drawing board with Vista, crafting new interior spaces, accommodations and venues that draw the best features of Oceania's past vessels and refine them with additional flair and style. And it works: stepping aboard Vista, you could be forgiven for thinking you've wandered into a high-end hotel rather than a cruise ship that is nestled firmly in the "upper premium" category, where the price of admission is significantly less than many all-inclusive luxury cruise lines.
Stepping onboard Vista, there's a sense of grandeur and glamour that might not be expected for a ship of this size. A sweeping staircase rises attractively from Deck 5 to 6, framing a rotunda of sorts that acts as a bookend for the ship's shops, dining venues, shore excursion and purser's desks.
The glamourous atrium is the place to see and be seen aboard Vista (and is instantly Instagrammable -- expect to see plenty of passengers posing there). But it also sets the tone for Vista's interior décor, which presents itself as delightfully lavish and endlessly interesting. Wandering the decks is a journey in discovery. Don't expect stale pastels and minimalist design here; Vista has a bold, imaginative interior design palette that brings hues of champagne and caviar, accented with healthy splashes of gold and nautical hues.
Couple that with a huge assortment of bars and dining options and a generous amount of ingeniously designed open deck space that somehow manages to never feel crowded, and Oceania manages to exude a sort of "home-away-from-home" feeling -- if, that is, your home featured immaculate wainscotting, plush deckchairs, and plenty of marble.
Cabins are lavishly presented, with beds so soft and inviting that simply getting out of bed in the morning is something of a chore. But you'll want to: Vista, like the rest of Oceania's fleet, sails port-intensive itineraries to places you might not expect and stays there longer than many competitors.
The result is a ship that punches above its weight. Were Vista to debut for a luxury cruise line, it would fit right in, both in terms of style, design and comfort. Oceania thought of the little things, too, when designing Vista. Cabin carpeting is only made from naturally-occurring wool colors and not dyes that passengers can have allergic reactions to, and butter and flour for the onboard croissants are imported from France.
Everything about Vista feels, well, la dolce vita -- for a fraction of the price. If there's an immediate con of the ship, it's that ceilings in general in several public spaces feel rather low compared with other vessels. If you're over six foot two, you might have to watch your step.
The lead ship in Oceania's new Allura-class, Vista will be joined by a sister-ship, perhaps unsurprisingly named Allura, in 2025.
Oceania full embraces its "upper premium" pedigree and runs with it, crafting cozy and inviting spaces -- both indoors and out -- that exist only for the pleasure of passengers aboard Vista.
To that end, Vista sports a magnificent Library on Deck 14 that is divided into three sections -- all of which are just steps away from the nearby Baristas coffee bar and the brand-new onboard Bakery. Hundreds of titles are present, from modern fiction to classics, and with a generous selection of nonfiction books covering a plethora of topics -- including maritime history, for those interested.
Oceania has also raised the bar on creative spaces aboard Vista as well. The line's Culinary Center has been dramatically expanded aboard Vista, and features interactive cooking stations with induction ranges next to an adjacent classroom for demonstrations and presentations.
Across the corridor, the new Artist's Loft features two Artists-In-Residence per sailing, each of whom sell their creations onboard in addition to offering up masterclasses that highlight their unique individual style and techniques. It's adjacent to the LYNC Digital Center -- perfect for those looking to brush up on their image editing skills or simply catch up on some emails.
But the newest and coziest space onboard (perhaps too cozy for its own good, given its popularity), is the superb Founders Bar on Deck 6. Tucked away on the port side of the ship just aft of the Casino, this bar -- which Oceania's own deckplans still list as the "Casino Bar" -- is a den of craft cocktail mixology. Frequently packed to standing room only on our sailing, people come here for the intimate atmosphere that really gets hopping in the post-dinner hours, and the luscious drinks that are delivered with no small amount of flair, thanks to "flavor blaster" garnishes: smoke bubbles that burst and dissipate dramatically.
It's also the place to be for high-end bourbon, rye, scotch and whisky, like WhistlePig's cleverly-named (and beautifully-tasty) Boss Hog V: The Spirit of Mauve.
Other unexpected pleasures aboard Oceania's new Vista include dedicated courts for pickleball, croquet/bocce and shuffleboard; a generously-sized mini-golf course forward of the radar mast on Deck 15; and plenty of secluded chaise lounges scattered amongst the central Pool Deck on Deck 12, attractively sheltered from the wind via faux slatted wood panels.
Oceania went all-out when designing the cabins aboard Vista, all of which offer private balconies. In fact, even the smallest room is still generously-sized at 261 square feet, and the bulk of cabins onboard hover around 300 square feet, leaving plenty of space to lounge around.
That's a good thing, because you'll want to spend time in these cabins, which are graced with rich hues of grey and marble, and accented by recessed lighting that softly illuminates rooms by day and night. Beds are soft; linens are high-quality and crisp to the touch; and bathrooms are stocked with Bulgari toiletries as a matter of course.
Bathrooms -- which can politely be described as cavernous at nearly every cabin grade -- have so much free space you could almost do a cartwheel. Almost. Ditto for the glass-enclosed shower, which is generously sized. You'll need to outstretch your arms to touch the walls here; something that is a rarity among oceangoing ships, where tight bathrooms and smaller showers have become the butt of every cruise ship comedian's repertoire.
Passengers will also find plenty of power options, from North American and European-style outlets to USB and Lightning charging ports that are located literally everywhere you could think of.
Things only get better from there. Vista's top-end suites are a sight to behold, including the three mammoth Owner's Suites that take up the entire width of the aft portions of Decks 8, 9 and 10 and span a whopping 2,400 square feet apiece.
For a ship of its size, Oceania's Vista offers an astonishing 12 different dining options onboard, including three all-new venues for the line. And with the consistently high level of quality present in the cuisine onboard, passengers are unlikely to find themselves wanting for culinary delights -- whether it's simpler fare like pizza, or full-blown, multi-course dining extravaganzas.
In addition to standard cruise expectations like the Main Dining Room and Terrace Café buffet, Vista introduces a new casual option: the Aquamar Kitchen. Here, passengers can indulge on fresh-made power juices, smoothies and non-alcoholic beverages while dining on a variety of avocado toasts and muesli for breakfast, while lunches trot out a variety of healthy poke and buddha bowls, pitas, sandwiches and other fare with flavors inspired from around the globe.
For those who are at peace with the calories consumed on a cruise, The Bakery on Deck 14 adjacent to Baristas coffee bar does not disappoint. Freshly-baked produce of all kinds is available here from morning until evening. The croissants are authentically French, thanks to ingredients imported directly from France, while the beignets will have you thinking you've stumbled onto Bourbon Street.
The last new entrant to the culinary scene aboard Vista is Ember. Oceania's take on a modern American steakhouse, Ember blends California's wine heritage with more relaxed, casual steakhouse elements. The focus here is on good, flavorful food paired with wines from Oceania's cellar or American craft beers. It's a nice counterpart to the more formal, heavy, rich steakhouse experience found on many ships, with an atmosphere that is relaxed and convivial.
Rounding out the classic dining options onboard Vista are Oceania favorites Toscana (Italian), Polo Grill (formal steakhouse), Red Ginger (Asian), poolside staple Waves Grill, and the exclusive small-table dining experience Privee (degustation). Vista also offers round-the-clock room service.
Vista, like all Oceania Cruises vessels, draws a mostly English-speaking passenger that typically hails from North America. Passengers are affable and well-travelled, and are generally drawn to the line for its semi-inclusiveness and focus on destination-driven cruise itineraries.
Two camps of people are typically drawn to Oceania: passengers who want to step up from the big ship lines to something smaller and more inclusive, and passengers who have cruised the luxury lines before but are drawn to Oceania for its destination-oriented itineraries. Passengers tend to be experienced cruisers from all walks of life, though new-to-cruise passengers are well represented thanks to the line's broad worldwide itinerary selection.
While people hail from all walks of life, they all, naturally, tend to be working professionals or well-off retirees with a taste for life's finer things -- from Bulgari toiletries to lush linens and indulgent dinners.
Oceania is not a good choice for families with children. There are no children's facilities onboard, and the prevailing atmosphere is one best suited to adults -- though children between age 1 and 18 can technically sail with the line if accompanied by adults.
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