Greetings from Brazil and the 9th Oceania Club Reunion Cruise. It’s hard to believe there are only 6 days left, and we still get to visit Porto Belo, São Paulo, Parati, Ilha Grande, Buzios and Rio de Janeiro.
The past few days have been extraordinary
and full of wonderful experiences. On Saturday we visited the delightful city of
Punta del Este, or the “Peninsula of the East,” where several of our Reunion
Cruise guests took the exclusive shore excursion The Iconic Art & Flavor of Punta del Este. This lovely city on
a scenic peninsula is known for its beautiful beaches. We started the day at Brava
Beach where there is an open-air collection of sculptures, including the famous
Mano de Desierto, or “Hand of the
Desert,” by Mario Irarrázabal.
Our next stop was the Ralli Museum, which has
several galleries all over the world. The first was established here in Punta
del Este in 1988; the second in Santiago, Chile, in 1992; the third (Ralli 1)
in Caesarea, Israel, in 1993; the fourth in Marbella, Spain, in 2000; and the fifth
(Ralli 2) in Caesarea, Israel, in 2007. The Ralli Museums house one of the most important
collections of contemporary Latin American art in the world.
Then we moved on to the Pablo Atchugarry Foundation, a nonprofit
organization founded by renowned artist Pablo Atchugarry in 2007 to promote
visual arts, literature, music and other creative pursuits. Atchugarry, a
prolific artist, began sculpting when he was only eight years old and had his
first show at age 11.
Before the end of the tour, we stopped
for lunch at Finca Narbona, where we ate wonderful locally made cheeses and fresh cold cuts
and enjoyed some delicious wines. Punta del Este is one of my favorite stops so
The following evening, we had a special
Reunion Cruise Chef’s Patio Dinner for a few of our guests who have sailed with
us the most. It was hosted by Senior Vice President of Sales Michael Hirsch, Oceania
Club Ambassador Cary Arias, Chief Purser Gurdep Besla, Human Resources Manager
Maria Cormane and myself. The six-course meal was selected by Executive Chef Lisa
Anne Jones and prepared by Sous Chef Thorsten Czap. We started with a crispy polenta with olive
tapenade and cherry tomato confit, followed by a main course of either Chilean
sea bass with palmito salad or roast veal rack with rosemary and glazed vegetables.
The dessert, chosen especially to
celebrate Oceania Cruises’ 10th anniversary, was a Manjari chocolate bar with milky
yuzu-flavored gianduja chocolate and hazelnut croquant. Everything was incredible. It was an evening
The next day we had another very special event
– a caviar brunch in the Grand Dining Room. Everyone onboard had an opportunity
to enjoy this delicious feast. There was a full brunch menu, including caviar, as
well as complimentary mimosas and Bloody Marys. If you are on a Reunion Cruise
in the future, I highly recommend attending this event. Everyone had a
Later that morning there was a one-hour Town
Hall Meeting for guests that was hosted by Michael Hirsch, General Manager Carlo
Gunetti and yours truly. The turn-out was great, with more than 100 guests in
attendance. Cruise Director Leslie Jon moderated the Town Hall and asked our panel
a variety of questions based on past guest feedback.
One request was that I talk about some of
the exciting new features in our enhanced Oceania Club loyalty program. The new
program started at the beginning of this year with the introduction of a new “Blue”
level of membership, plus additional benefits for all existing levels. This information
can found in the Oceania Club section of Oceania Cruises’ website, as well as in
many of our brochures.
We still have a lot of planned activities for the remainder
of the cruise, including an evening pool deck party and an Oceania Club cocktail
party. We will also be honoring our 14 Silver level Oceania Club members and 56
Bronze members, 26 of whom will be receiving their Bronze pins!
There are still more exciting days to come on the 9th Oceania Club Reunion