By Sandy Cares
If you should wake up one morning and find yourself surrounded by a holiday fantasy, chances are you are aboard an Oceania Cruises voyage in the midst of the most festive season of the year.
Mistletoe, red satin ribbons, garlands, holly wreaths and profusions of poinsettias surrounding an elegantly dressed tree are just a few of the final touches you can expect to see adorning the ships.
Oceania Cruises holiday sailings are among the most memorable with sparkling lights twinkling all over. When disembarking you may even find lights decorating the streets and trees of the port you’re visiting. With the daily lighting of the menorah candles, Oceania Cruises also always includes a lovely Hanukkah celebration.
Christmas Day is pure magic on Oceania Cruises with informative and entertaining demonstrations by the chefs on how to make a traditional Christmas Yule Log, or how to brew a special high tea brimming with seasonal flavors like eggnog, ginger, peppermint and marzipan.
Trays of freshly baked, mouth-watering holiday cookies disappear and are magically replenished all day long.
There’s an amazingly elaborate gingerbread cookie table that looks like a toy train chugging through a pine-covered Bavarian landscape amidst a village of snow-capped gingerbread houses.
On New Year’s Day you can expect an impressive brunch served in The Grand Dining Room with impeccable style. This special meal is a feast for the eyes as much as it is for the palate. Half the fun is going back for more when you can’t possibly eat another morsel. The dessert table is filled with rows of Sacher tortes, fruit tarts, cheesecakes, profiteroles, macaroons and chocolate-dipped fruit.
The entertainment staff might delight you with a Christmas Eve show singing holiday tunes like “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” and “Santa Baby,” or they may stroll around the ship singing Christmas carols. Santa Claus might even make a cameo appearance to share some holiday cheer.
A timeless message is always shared during midnight mass as the familiar and fitting chords from Handel’s Messiah reverberate from the String Quartet. Of course, New Year celebrations follow on the heels of Christmas and the ship’s horn sounding at sea at the stroke of midnight is worth the price of admission alone.
There may even be a hilarious staff reenactment of a diapered-baby New Year wrestling the clock away from old-man old year. Then there is that time-honored ceremony of the ship’s bells brought out in white-gloved glory and a midnight changing of the guards replaces the old year ice carving with the new.
Then the ship’s horn signals the popping of Champagne bottles as a wave of hugs, kisses, and toasts fans across the pool decks. Guests, officers, staff and crew alike don paper top hats and glittery tiaras, blow and rattle noisemakers as music and dancing continue into the morning.