This was out third Ocean crossing. This time from Cape Town to Rio.
We have been cruising since 2006 but have done a lot of independent traveling over the years.
We flew from JFK through Paris to Cape Town. The connection we booked allowed for a 15 hour layover in Paris. We took the train into Paris, had lunch and then visited the D'orsay and returned to CDG. Arrived the next day in Cape Town. Checked into our hotel. The next day, Friday, we took a private excursion to Wine Country. On Saturday we connected with a couple we met on the cruise roll call. We shared a van for a sightseeing trip to the Cape and then were dropped off at the ship. We did want to visit Table Mountain on Sunday morning but it was clouded over and there was about a 3 hour wait to get to the top.
The Marina is a very comfortable ship. We had book a concierge level veranda suite but our travel agent called offering a nominal cost for an upgrade to a penthouse. We took the upgrade and enjoyed the extra space.
The ports the ship stopped in West Africa were not great. WE did make arrangements for a whale/dolphin boat trip rather then taking the ships excursion. We boarded the boat and shortly after that a baby seal climbed on board. He allowed everyone who wanted to pet him to do so. When the boat left the pier, a pair of pelicans came aboard. They to allowed those aboard to touch them. Although we did not see any whales or dolphins everyone enjoyed the trip as we saw lots of seals and were able to get close to them when w few came on board. These seals knew they would be fed.
The crossing was uneventful. The service aboard was excellent. We did book 3 hands on cooking classes which were educational and fun.
As an aside, I ran into the parents of our daughter's first boyfriend from kindergarten.
Dining: We ate a number of meals in the main dining room where we opted to sit with others. e met a lot of nice people this way. The food selection was very good and the service attentive. We also found that we could book the specialty restaurants more frequently the advertised since on many nights they were not fully booked.
Embarkation: Quick and easy as we boarded late on Saturday. the ship was doing an overnight in Cape Town.
Disembarkation: Rio - We had arranged for transportation to our hotel, the Copacabana Palace and were able to get off the ship fairly early.
Overall, we enjoyed this cruise on the Marina. However, we do like smaller ships like the Nautica. Yes, I would book another Oceania cruise if the itinerary was of interest
Took our own excursions
Again booked out own excursions. those were very good but Rio is trying to get ready for the Olympics and there is construction everywhere.