New Riviera 15Greetings from the Blogger-at-Large! I’m here onboard Riviera helping count down the days to her Maiden Voyage, and we’re now only eight days away. Those of you joining us for the Maiden Voyage are in for a treat because Riviera is absolutely spectacular. It has been such a pleasure to explore the ship over the past few days. It seems like I discover some beautiful new detail around every corner.

New Riviera 16Many people have been inquiring on our blog and Facebook pages about the differences between Marina and Riviera. First, let me assure you that all the most important things have not changed. For instance, the staff is just as warm, friendly and enthusiastic as ever (as you can see in the photo above of our server, Newman, from last night in the Grand Dining Room). And it has been so wonderful to see so many familiar faces onboard.

Of course, the cuisine is as exquisite as ever. Take a look at the beautiful John Dory with tomato and cucumber we had in the Grand Dining Room last night. It was caught fresh that day in Marseille. Senior Executive Chef Christophe Belin and Fleet Corporate Chef Franck Garanger continue to ensure that nothing but the finest cuisine is served onboard Riviera.

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But while Riviera exhibits all the hallmarks you would expect of an Oceania Cruises ship, and while she is just as elegant and sophisticated as her sister ship, Marina, Riviera does have her own unique personality.  In fact, I’ve been told there are 727 differences between Marina and Riviera. I took myself on a scavenger hunt to find some of these differences, and although I didn’t have time to seek out all 727, I did find several.

We’ve already been touting the stunning new chandelier that hangs above the Grand Staircase. Professional and amateur photographers alike continue to try to capture the perfect picture of this beauty.

New Riviera02The furnishings in the Grand Bar have a different fabric, and the lamps are a similar style to those on Marina, but a different color.

New Riviera01The floor of the Grand Bar is laid with a beautifully patterned marble, rather than the carpet that adorns Marina.

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The furniture in Martinis lounge also differs in color and texture from that on Marina.

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The rich fabric of this deck chair is different from any I’ve seen onboard Marina.

New Riviera 14We’ve also talked a lot on the blog about the artwork onboard Riviera, and I’m sure you’re eager to see all the masterpieces we’ve been touting. Of course, a photograph simply cannot do justice to a painting, but I did catch some interesting close-ups of several pieces to give you a teaser of what you can find onboard.

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Everyone has their own personal taste in art, but whether you prefer the profound or the provocative, you will find at least one piece you love onboard Riviera and likely many more. The variety of works is astounding, from shockingly realistic to utterly abstract. If you enjoy exploring world-class museums ashore, you can do the same during a day at sea onboard Riviera! Below are some of the works of renowned artists you can see just by strolling along the decks.

New Riviera 13Arcadio Cancio

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Ismael Peralta

New Riviera07C. Lunace

New Riviera08Mirabel

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Sandro D. La Rosa

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A. F. Boyyell

More photos will be coming soon as we continue the countdown to Riviera’s Maiden Voyage!