0 comments on “The Suite Life: Top 10 Butler Services
 

The Suite Life: Top 10 Butler Services
 

Once you’re settled in your suite, what can your Butler do to enhance your voyage? We’re so glad you asked. Trained by the Guild of Professional English Butlers, our Butlers are true professionals with the ability to meticulously attend to every detail – and even often anticipate your wishes before you realize them yourself, so the options are endless. Below are our Butlers’ top suggestions on ways they can make your voyage even more relaxing and memorable.

  1. Bring you coffee and pastries from Baristas in the morning or afternoon so you can relax in the privacy of your suite.
  2. Make your specialty dining reservations for you.
  3. Arrange shoreside dining, entertainment and transportation perfectly tailored to your preferences.
  4. Plan an in-suite cocktail party for you and your family or friends.
  5. Make arrangements or decorate for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary.
  6. Assist with laundry, dry cleaning and pressing requests.
  7. Provide advice on destination experiences or offerings and services on board.
  8. Arrange for course-by-course in-suite dining on your veranda or in your sitting area.
  9. Book your onboard spa appointments at the Canyon Ranch Spa.
  10. Draw a relaxing bath for you after an adventurous excursion ashore.

What’s your favorite butler service? Share it with us below or on Facebook!

 

0 comments on “3 Off-the-Beaten-Path San Juan Surprises
By Guest Lecturer Sandy Cares

3 Off-the-Beaten-Path San Juan Surprises
By Guest Lecturer Sandy Cares

Just when you think you have seen it all, new secrets emerge proving you can always learn something new – even in a familiar port of call. Here are three of my favorite off-the-beaten-path surprises in Old San Juan and how to find them.

The Catacombs of St. Francis of Assisi

The Catacombs of San Juan
Starting at the Plaza Colon, with the namesake statue of Christopher Columbus in the center and the imposing fortress of San Cristobal looming over it, take Calle San Francisco until you arrive at an open plaza on your right. This plaza is in front of the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, built in 1756 and where Franciscan monks wearing brown frocks tied with rope belts still walk the grounds and greet visitors. Down the short staircase directly in front of the main door, you will discover the catacombs of San Juan where departed Franciscan monks rest.

The Old Kitchen
Enter the main door of the blue university building on Calle Cristo and take the stairs to the second floor. The first thing you’ll notice against the wall to your right is a replica of the legendary Chest of Three Keys that once held the riches of the city. It could only be opened with three different keys simultaneously, each in the possession of a different person. Continue across the breezy atrium and up a short set of tiled stairs and through the doors at the left to find yourself inside a 17th-century kitchen, transporting you to a different era. You’ll see an old wood-burning stove and the wall behind the chimney vent displays a delightful mosaic of hand-painted tiles depicting fish, game, fruit, pies, cooking utensils and other culinary morsels of the era.

Old Kitchen – Sandy at Stove
Old Prison Cells

The Old Prison Cells
Paseo de la Princesa is San Juan’s own Prado, affording a stroll along a shaded boulevard with bustling local life and beautiful views. The charming Paseo leads from the port area to the Fountain of the Races and then continues along the boardwalk, with the Caribbean Sea on one side and the old city wall on the other. Along the way to the Fountain of the Races, which showcases the robust mix of races that comprise the population of Puerto Rico, stop at the gray tourist board building (Compañía de Turismo de Puerto Rico) and enter the door, continuing through to the door directly opposite the one you entered. A few steps to your right, you’ll find several ominous looking prison cells from the Spanish colonial era – this building was actually the San Juan jail during the 19th century! The combination of high wood-beamed and iron-rung ceilings, thick walls and iron gratings over windows several feet higher than a man could reach assured that no one could have escaped from these old prison cells.

Next time you visit San Juan, seek out these off-the-beaten-path gems and keep an eye out for even more wonderful surprises along the way!

About Sandy Cares
Guest lecturer Sandy Cares has been sharing her entertaining lectures aboard Oceania Cruises since January 2014. Drawing from stories by local authors as she weaves in anecdotes from travel and life, Sandy combines meticulous research with effervescent enthusiasm and humor for a fresh and fun look at destinations throughout the Caribbean and Central America.

0 comments on “Top 10 Ways to Meet & Mingle with Fellow Guests
 

Top 10 Ways to Meet & Mingle with Fellow Guests
 

Once you are on board, it’s time to relax and get to know your new home. Below are our guests’ favorite ways to socialize with fellow cruisers on board and meet new travel friends during their voyage. Next time you are on board, we invite you to try a few new spots and activities to meet and socialize with other guests.

1. Enjoy cocktails at The Grand Bar.

2. Socialize at the Captain’s Welcome Party.

3. Join a hands-on cooking class at The Culinary Center.

4. Play Team Trivia & Brainteaser Trivia.

5. Gather with friends for fresh illy® coffee at Baristas.

6. Meet fellow creative travelers at Artist Loft.

7. Participate in bridge lessons & tournaments.

8. Spend an evening at the Casino.

9. Practice your swing on the Sports Deck.

10. Unwind with cocktails during jazz nights at Martinis.

What’s your favorite way to mingle with other guests on board? Share it below or in the comments on Facebook!

1 comment on “Inside An Artist’s Cruising Journal”

Inside An Artist’s Cruising Journal

By Dorothy Simpson Krause

Dot KrauseOn Riveria, Marina and Insignia, I’ve traveled to the far corners of the globe as I inspire and help guests in Artist Loft to create meaningful work – I’ve sailed everywhere from Denmark, Latvia and Norway to Australia, New Zealand, Tonga and French Polynesia to Oman, Egypt and Israel to Aruba, Curacao and Grenada. What journeys I’ve had.

Journal cover

 

I’ve been an artist-in-residence on Oceania Cruises since 2012, and for these past several years I have also been keeping an on-going journal that chronicles and captures the places I visit during the voyage. From the beginning, I hoped that the journal wouldn’t be completed on a single cruise but would span a number of voyages.

For me, this journal is the perfect way to pay homage to the places I’ve been because it allows me freedom in what I include and the elements or details that are meaningful and memorable to me. I mostly collage the journal pages with interesting images or ephemera that I find on the voyages. The inside front cover incorporates an image of Riviera which was cut from an Oceania Cruises brochure. Other pages also use Oceania Cruises images combined or contrasted with found objects and images from other sources. They’re designed to capture the spirit of the place without being location specific. To provide continuity, the pages have been given the effect of age with pigment and watercolor using stencils and rubber stamps in brown and sepia.

Journal inside 4In order to be able to add to the journal, instead of working in a bound book I folded sheets of cream-colored paper into 5.5” x 6.5”-sized pages and placed them into a rectangular piece of pigskin cut from an outdated jacket. Designed to wrap around the pages with considerable overlap, the leather allows the journal to expand over time. It was painted with layers of acrylic paint and rubbed with gold metallic pigment to give it a patina. A Riviera 2012 commemorative pin was affixed to the wrapped cover to hold an elastic band in place and provide both a closure and a focal point.

Journal page
When my journal, entitled “Oceania” is complete, I’ll sew the loose pages into the spine of the cover to hold it all together. Currently I’ve completed 67 pages, and I look forward to adding many more to come as I meet more of you on board!

About Artist-in-Residence Dorothy Simpson Krause
Dorothy Simpson Krause is a painter, collage artist and printmaker who incorporates digital mixed media into her art. Her work is exhibited regularly in galleries and is in the collections of more than two dozen museums. Dot is a Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts College of Art where she taught for 35 years, and has also been an Artist-in-Residence at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, as well as at many other celebrated institutions. She is the author of Book + Art: Handcrafting Artists’ Books, and co-author of Digital Art Studio: Techniques for Combining Inkjet Printing with Traditional Art Materials. You can see her work at www.DotKrause.com and www.facebook.com/DotKrause.

1 comment on “Artist-in-Residence Frank Hyder & The Janis Project”

Artist-in-Residence Frank Hyder & The Janis Project

What happens when you combine art and travel? You get the worldwide, mobile and inflatable sculpture installation of a talented Miami-based artist, and one of Oceania Cruises’ artists-in-residence, Frank Hyder. Frank’s inflatable sculptures, conceived in 2008 for a group show named “Giants in the City,” found its origins in street and parade art. Janis, the giant two-faced painted head, is about 10 feet tall and is currently sailing aboard Marina with Frank. He first launched the installation aboard Nautica in 2015. This summer, he has been working on an array of colorful watercolors of Janis as the inflatable sculpture travels with him.