Greetings from the Italian Escapade sailing onboard Riviera and the ongoing celebration of
Oceania Cruises’ 10th anniversary. It has been a wonderful cruise so far, and
I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to meet many of our past and first time guests. I
couldn’t be more proud of the officers and crew who continue to make everyone
onboard a part of the Oceania Cruises family.
Oceania Cruises was founded on the vision of
a group of people with a passion for spectacular destinations and fine cuisine,
and we are enjoying both as part of this anniversary sailing. In celebration of
10 years of culinary delights, Senior Executive Chef Alexis Quaretti and Bon
Appétit Culinary Center Executive Chef Kathryn Kelly hosted a culinary
demonstration. I welcomed guests to the event and shared a bit about the
culinary history of Oceania Cruises before turning it over to the experts to
share some of the secrets behind our exquisite cuisine.
As we were celebrating 10 years at sea, it
seemed appropriate that the chefs would prepare dishes from the sea. They
demonstrated three guest favorites: Salmon Gravlax with Cucumber Salad, Poached
Halibut with Lemon Cream Cuisson on a Quinoa Cake, and the ever-popular Red
Ginger specialty – Miso-Glazed Chilean Sea Bass. It was both educational and heartwarming
to see Chef Quaretti and Chef Kelly, two special members of the Oceania Cruises
family, working together to share their knowledge with our guests and
illustrating one of the reasons that our guests have continued to return to us
for the past 10 years: the finest cuisine at sea prepared by some of the most
talented – and entertaining – chefs in the culinary world.
Soon after the
demonstration, Riviera dropped anchor in Sorrento with the impressive Mount Vesuvius looming in the background. Situated
on a terrace overlooking the splendid Amalfi coastline, Sorrento is imbued with
charm and echoes of the ancient past.
There are a number of
appealing ways to spend a day in Sorrento, from going to see the ruins of
ancient Pompeii to visiting the Blue Grotto in Capri to simply walking around
the rustic, sun-drenched town of Sorrento. The Blue Grotto was on the bucket
list of many guests, so a group of us boarded a ferry and headed to Capri for
The grotto is a uniquely
beautiful sea cave on the coast of the island of Capri. A small opening in the
cave at the surface of the water and a larger opening beneath the surface provide
the only light sources. We entered the grotto through the small opening, just
large enough for a rowboat to pass through. Inside the cavern itself was dark,
but the water was illuminated with a brilliant blue glow. The effect was
absolutely dazzling. It’s difficult to fully capture the beauty of the
experience in a photograph, so if you haven’t visited the Blue Grotto, I highly
recommend you add it to your own bucket list.
After a spectacular day in
Sorrento, we returned to the ship and enjoyed an excellent dinner at Jacques.
Then everyone gathered on the pool deck for a sail away party.
Cruise Director Leslie Jon was emcee of the event, and General Manager Thierry Tholon led the entire crew in a parade around the decks. This was truly an emotional evening as the officers and crew of Riviera celebrated Oceania Cruises’ 10th anniversary with our cherished guests.
I look forward to more celebrations with our guests, officers and
crew, and I’ll share further stories here on the blog as our Italian Escapade continues.