Courtesy of Oceania Cruises
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Courtesy of Oceania Cruises
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Courtesy of Oceania Cruises
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Courtesy of Oceania Cruises
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Courtesy of Oceania Cruises
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Oceania Vista

Our Ship Review
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

As the first ship in Oceania Cruises’ new Allura Class — and its first new build since 2012 — 1,200-passenger Oceania Vista has been eagerly anticipated by fans of the premium cruise line. Is it fabulous enough to live up to the hype? Yes — but it’s also familiar enough for a smooth transition from Oceania’s previously more traditional design approach to a dazzling new contemporary ambiance that bridges the premium and luxury cruise categories.

Those who have sailed aboard 2012’s Oceania Riviera and 2011’s Oceania Marina, each carrying 1,250 guests, should feel right at home — if that home had undergone a top-to-bottom renovation by a world-class interior design firm (Miami-based Studio DADO). The three ships’ layouts are pretty much identical, although Vista features several new dining and bar venues and both its public spaces and staterooms/suites are designed in a lighter, more contemporary palette. That said, fans of Oceania’s four smaller 656-guest ships (Regatta, Insignia, Nautica, and Sirena) might step aboard Vista and feel like they are sailing with an entirely different cruise line — perhaps sister luxury line Regent Seven Seas Cruises. 

This is a ship that looks and feels indulgent, with polished surfaces, gleaming finishes, and a pool deck that’s chic and resort-like. Vista also feels remarkably spacious, even when sailing at full capacity. For those wondering why Vista is part of the Allura Class, her sister ship Oceania Allura will debut in 2025.

What We Love

Spacious Staterooms and Bathrooms: Vista is an all-balcony ship, meaning every stateroom and suite has sliding-door access to fresh air — although you can’t sit on the balconies in the French Veranda Staterooms on deck 7. Also worth noting is the staterooms’ generous square footage (the smallest is 240 square feet, and most are 290 square feet) and their bathrooms, which feature a large rain shower, back-lit mirror, and ample storage. In our view, they are some of the best standard bathrooms at sea. Suites range from 440 square feet to 2,400 square feet.

Sophisticated Interior Design: Some ships feel disjointed as you walk around them, but Vista’s interior spaces are cohesive in a way that’s both soothing and inspiring. The mood is set the moment guests step into the two-level Atrium, which features a sleek curved staircase and a cascading floor-to-ceiling chandelier. Studio DADO’s designers play with shape, pattern, and texture to turn neutrals into a sophisticated mosaic (figuratively and literally — eye-catching mosaics are scattered about the ship) and have selected furniture that’s both chic and comfortable. Art has always been part of Oceania’s DNA, and Vista has a collection focused on oversized contemporary pieces that lend panache to stairwells and create focal points in restaurants and lounges. 

The Library & Barista: There’s no need to lug a book from home since Vista, like all Oceania ships, features a well-stocked Library. The space also happens to be exceptionally elegant and inviting — and its location on deck 14 adjacent to the complimentary coffee shop, Barista, and a new pastry spot, Bakery (don’t miss the Nutella-filled beignets), makes it a great spot to get comfy and read.

Best Known For

Culinary Focus: Oceania likes to boast that it offers “The Finest Cuisine at Sea,” which must surely be a bone of contention for sister brand Regent, which is justifiably celebrated for its culinary excellence. Oceania’s onboard cuisine is certainly laudable, especially in specialty restaurants Polo Grill (an upscale steakhouse), Toscana (authentic Italian presented on custom Versace dinnerware), and Red Ginger (flavorful Pan-Asian specialties in an elegant setting). That said, the menus in the Grand Dining Room and Vista’s two new restaurant concepts get mixed reviews, especially when it comes to vegetarian protein options. While Aquamar Kitchen, open for breakfast and lunch, offers light and healthy menu choices (poke bowls, seared salmon with tabbouleh), Ember’s “modern American” dinner menu may be too comfort food–heavy (baked potato soup, lobster mac ‘n cheese) and too casual (cheeseburgers and fish ‘n chips) for some. What Vista does get right: an invigorated cocktail program, especially in Martinis, the Casino Mixology Bar (aka the Founder’s Bar), and the Grand Lounge; a fabulous Cellar Masters Classic wine-pairing lunch; and an expanded Culinary Arts Center. Twice the size of those on Riviera and Marina, it’s a haven for guests who love to cook.

Who It's Best For

Couples Seeking an Ultra-Premium Cruise Experience: For travelers with a luxury cruise sensibility but only a premium cruise ship budget, Oceania Vista is the perfect solution. The ship’s elegant contemporary décor, generously sized staterooms, and complimentary specialty restaurants combine to create an ultra-premium cruise experience priced a few thousand dollars below comparable luxury sailings. 

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Stateroom Storage is Quirky: Drawer space is important and placement matters, too. Despite their visual appeal, Vista’s staterooms feature too little storage for folded clothes in the living/sleeping area (just two shallow drawers in the desk and three small drawers in each bedside nightstand) and too much storage in the bathroom. 

Spa Prices are Steep: Cruise ship spas are notoriously overpriced, but $199 for a 50-minute facial or Swedish massage at the Aquamar Spa is a bit over the top. The 100-minute couple’s massage is $699. Group fitness classes, however, are free, and day passes for the Aquamar Spa Deck and thalassotherapy pool are just $25 per person per day; guests who book a Concierge Veranda Stateroom or higher get complimentary access.

Entertainment is Mixed: While there is a performance each night in the Vista Lounge, including by some wonderful guest musicians, the quality of the production shows was inconsistent. Kudos to the dancers in “Into the Night” (choreographed by Dancing with the Stars pro Britt Stewart), but “The Anchor Inn” was a bit of a snooze.

Donna Heiderstadt
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger
Cruise Expert