We booked this cruise back in April 2021 when everyone was getting vaccinated for covid and thinking the pandemic would be long over by July of 2022 (silly us!) We thought it would be a great way to reconnect in person with relatives we had not been able to see since before the pandemic. We booked five cabins for ten people. Each couple came from a different part of the US; New York City, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Knoxville, Salt Lake City, and Seattle. Our ages ranged from 13 through "pushing 80." Just getting everyone to the cruise ship in time turned out to be a logistical miracle that could have gone very wrong, so we started out on an excellent note!
Although some of us had been on a cruise or two in the past, this was the first time we went as a relatively large group, and it was the first time on a cruise ship for most. We chose Oceania because of the relatively small ship size, the reputation for service and food, the ratio of crew to passengers (around 600 passengers/400 crew), and the great ten day itinerary along the Southeastern coast of Alaska.
Oceania is pricier than a lot of other cruise lines and we had some moments of second guessing the whole idea due to rising covid contamination numbers in the travel/cruise industry this spring (when final payment came due) but we decided to go for it, come what may. All I can say is we made the right decision!