On Oceania's Insignia, size matters. At 684 passengers, the ship is large enough to have most of the familiar attributes of a cruise ship, but onboard the environment is intimate -- and quiet. A few hundred passengers smaller than fleetmates Marina and Riviera, Insignia carries an elegant yet contemporary atmosphere, perfect for a mature crowd looking to travel unique itineraries -- Insignia is used as Oceania's ship for six-month World Cruises -- in comfort.
Service onboard Insignia is attentive and professional -- a constant flurry of greetings, many times with your surname intact, ma'ams, sirs and "right away." We never had to ask for much and when we did, we didn't have to wait long for our request to be fulfilled. If you ask for a single piece of toast to be well done, that is precisely what you will get.
Food is a main event, and Insignia's culinary offerings are a true highlight of the sailing. The chandelier in the Grand Dining Room makes the space sparkle, literally, and Versace plates lend an aura of high-end restaurant gravitas to your meals. Oceania consistently invests in its food and wine, most recently adding a full plant-based menu that spans all dining areas.
There's no fear of missing out on something aboard Insignia. That's because there's never so much happening that attending a lecture or a game of shuffleboard would create a strain in a tight schedule. For many, that's a relief -- you can lie in the sun and sleep soundly at night knowing you only skipped golf putting. You'll be hard-pressed to find a crowded place onboard (except, perhaps, the buffet at peak mealtimes) -- and that can be both good and bad.
Overall, the essentials -- your room, the food, the surroundings, the crew -- are top-notch on Insignia, and a vacation with plenty of ports will distract from some of the gaps in programming. The ship has a lot of fans, and the contemporary, elegant look, outstanding dining and interesting itineraries will likely bring more into the fold.
Retired couples, friend groups and adult children traveling with elderly parents are largely what you'll find onboard Insignia sailings; it would be very rare to spot a child or even a young adult. The passenger mix on Insignia is predominantly English-speaking -- about 85 to 90 percent American (depending on the itinerary), followed by Canadians and some Brits. A wider variation of cultures can be found on world cruises, and a slightly younger crowd sails the Caribbean itineraries.
Daytime: Country club casual is the term used for daywear, which is much the same as you would find at a resort -- shorts, collared tops, sundresses and so forth.
Evening: There are no formal nights onboard Insignia, but elegant casual is encouraged for the evenings. That means button-downs and slacks for men; skirts, dresses and dressy pants outfits for women. Passengers opting for a less dressy evening can visit the Terrace restaurant for dinner.
Not permitted: No jeans, athletic shoes or sandals, casual T-shirts or hats in the main dining room or specialty restaurants at dinner. Tank tops and swimwear are never accepted at any of the main venues, including tea time.
For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Oceania
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Pleasant escape from Winter, along Pacific coast of Central & South America