Travel

Oceania Baltic Sea Cruise

At the beginning of July, my mom, brother, Christian and I went on a cruise through the Baltic Sea.  When we were researching which cruise line to take, we looked into Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Oceania.  The Celebrity cruise was 12 days, didn’t include Lithuania & only two days in St. Petersburg.  Royal Caribbean was seven days & again, only two days in St. Petersburg.  The Oceania cruise was 10 days, included Lithuania and had three days in St. Petersburg.  We wanted to visit Lithuania because family on our father’s side is from Lithuania and we were told that there is so much to see in St. Petersburg, that three days is really best.  Oceania was the more expensive option but covered everything that we wanted and had excellent reviews.  We were really happy with our decision to go with Oceania!

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Our 10 day itinerary for the trip included Stockholm, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Riga, Klaipeda, one day at sea, Berlin (Warnemunde) & Copenhagen.  Christian & I are used to fast-paced city touring.  This number of cities, especially three days of touring in St. Petersburg was a lot for my mom and brother.  Some days we all toured together, another day one or two went back to the boat for the afternoon or we all went back to the boat after just a morning of touring.  Everything was really flexible with having the boat nearby.  Let’s take a look at the boat, the Oceania Marina!

Embarkation day in Stockholm!  We quickly explored the ship and attended the mandatory safety drill meeting.

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We had balcony cabins.  I think they have very few interior cabins & after Christian experienced the joy of being able to watch the ship arrive & depart port each day, he will always request a balcony cabin!  The rooms were really spacious with plenty of storage.  There was a mini-fridge that was stocked with water and soft drinks of your choice.

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The bathroom was also good-sized with both a bathtub and separate shower.  Sorry for the messy picture!

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The library & the main staircase.  There was also a board room, where they had tables to play cards & board games.  We brought a couple of our own games & went there every night to play.

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The weather wasn’t extremely warm but we did sit out by the pool a few days during the cruise.  The pool was heated and the hot tub is nice no matter the weather.

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They also had shuffle board, a putting green & tennis court.

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We used the fitness center every day.  They had cardio machines, a separate studio for cycling & other classes, free weights & weight machines.  Everything that you could need to get a workout in, which was important because the food was delicious!!

There are always plenty of places to eat on a cruise & we tried them all!  There is the Grand Dining Room, Terrace Café (buffet), Waves Grill (located by the pool) & four specialty restaurants.  We ate breakfast at the Terrace Café everyday.

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If we went back to the ship in the afternoon, we would eat lunch at either the Terrace Café or the Waves Grill.  We had dinner only twice at the Grand Dining Room, the other nights were either at the Terrace Café or the specialty restaurants.  The attire for the restaurants in the evening was country-club casual, meaning you didn’t need to get very dressed up.  As I mentioned, there are specialty restaurants that you are allowed to make reservations for before the cruise starts, Toscana (Italian), Polo Grill (steakhouse), Jacques (French) & Red Ginger (Asian).  We tried out all but Jacques and were happy with all the meals & desserts!

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Non-alcoholic drinks, including specialty coffees & non-alcoholic cocktails were free & unlimited.  They had afternoon tea every day at 4pm in one of the bar/dance areas.  We tried it one afternoon.  Room service is available 24/7 & my brother took advantage of that by ordering cereal & after-workout meals!

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Oceania Cruises are geared more for retirees.  There were a few children onboard but they don’t have any special programs for them.  We definitely brought down the average age onboard.  This means that they didn’t have spectacular evening programs.  We knew that based on reviews that we read but we were fine with it.  Like I mentioned, we played board games in the evening, so we weren’t visiting the bars and only saw the opening & last evening’s show.

We love the ease of seeing lots of cities in a short amount of time and never needing to worry about the logistics of getting there.  We would definitely recommend an Oceania cruise and book another trip with them!

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