CENTRAL AMERICA CRUISING 2012


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Published: December 18th 2012
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Last summer Cruise Specialists asked us if we would like to try out a new ship in December. We had heard rave reviews about Oceania’s two recently launched ships and we were eager to give it a go.

Since we would embark the Oceania Riviera in Miami, we decided to spend some time in Florida prior to the cruise. Once the Giants brought home the World Series Trophy and the Presidential election was over, we took off like snow birds for the warmth of Ft Myers, Florida. We lucked out with perfect weather for our month long visit and watched a series of winter storms pound the San Francisco Bay area in our absence. We met up with friends and spent time walking and biking the long stretches of white sand beaches on the barrier islands.

We drove across Alligator Alley to Miami to catch the ship. Not having been in Miami for a number of years, we were surprised by the traffic and the freeways crisscrossing this once fabled old beach town. We arrived at the cruise terminal around noon and promptly boarded the ship and immediately started running into familiar faces, both passengers and crew. Kevin and
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At the Welcome Aboard party
I always bet to see which of us will be the first to recognize someone we know. But this time we heard our names called out by Dick and Judy almost as soon as we boarded. Dick was the computer instructor on our first world cruise back in 2001 on Seabourn Sun. Since Regent and Oceania are owned by the same company, crew and staff move back and forth between the ships. So we have reconnected with many great employees whom we have sailed with over the years.

The Riviera is a medium size ship which carries 1200 passengers and is noted for her fine cuisine. There are four specialty restaurants—French, Asian, Italian and an American steakhouse. In addition there are five other dining venues. So there is something to suit everyone’s tastes. Jacques Pepin is the Culinary Director and he has vowed to create the finest food at sea. After dining in several of the restaurants, it would be safe to say that he is very close to achieving his goal.

We greeted our 35 Cruise Specialists passengers at our welcome aboard party as we sailed away from Miami. This 10 day cruise would take us to the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and after a short port call in Key West end the cruise back in Miami. With only two sea days, it will be tough to avail ourselves of everything this ship has to offer. The Bon Appétit Culinary Center has 14 fully equipped individual workstations where passengers are guided by expert chefs in preparing fine dishes. There is also an Artist Loft where guests can try their hand at various creative endeavors guided by artists-in-residence. There is a full computer center with an instructor and an extensive library on board. The fitness center has all the fancy exercise machines including our favorites, the rowing machines and stationary bikes. There is an extensive collection of art work displayed throughout the ship: everything from colorful Murano glassware pieces to marble and brass sculptures.

We like many of the outdoor offerings such as paddle tennis, swimming and ping pong. We were surprised while golfing on the putting course to hear music emanating from the decorative fiberglass “rocks.”

The focus of this cruise is Mayan Mystique. Our guest lecturer on board, Bob Berlin, is filling us in on this amazing culture. Right now the Mayan
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A favorite smile from Jakarta
calendar is greatly in the news because it ends on December 21 at 10am. Many people think that this is a prediction that the world will end on that day. Dr Berlin has assured us that this date is just the end of a Mayan cycle and that we’ll all be around to exchange Christmas gifts and welcome in 2013 as scheduled. Let’s hope Bob knows his stuff!


Additional photos below
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SHARON MICELLISHARON MICELLI
SHARON MICELLI

Cruise sales and fun
JOCELYN & NIKKIJOCELYN & NIKKI
JOCELYN & NIKKI

Stewardesses from Phillippines and South Africa
JACQUES PEPINJACQUES PEPIN
JACQUES PEPIN

Jacques designed Oceania's cuisine
TOSCANATOSCANA
TOSCANA

Italian restaurant
COOKING SCHOOLCOOKING SCHOOL
COOKING SCHOOL

Individual cooking stations to do it yourself!
MANNYMANNY
MANNY

Room service master
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ZANA

Art instructor from Australia


18th December 2012

enjoy your blog.
Have a great voyage. Glad to have spent some time together. be

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