Whether it’s cruising down a Panamanian river by canoe or picnicking in the gardens of Versailles, Nikki F. Upshaw has a passion for exploring the four corners of the globe. As Senior Vice President of Oceania Cruises, she is often on the road for work, but some of her most memorable travel experiences are when she has a chance to share the adventures with her three children: Alexandra, 19; Connor, 16; and Keira, 9. This year, Nikki is thrilled to be hosting the 14th Oceania Club Reunion Cruise, an alluring Greek Isles exploration with two overnights in Jerusalem. We sat down with her to find out what she’s looking forward to most on the Reunion Cruise, some of her most favorite travel memories, top culinary destinations and more.
Executive Vice President James Rodriguez shares stories from the Oceania Club Reunion Cruise, sailing from Rome to Lisbon on board Marina.
The Oceania Club Reunion Cruise is one of my favorite events of the year because it gives me the chance to see past guests with whom I’ve sailed before, and so many have become dear friends. I also enjoy meeting new Oceania Club members for the first time, hearing all the stories of their cruise, and having the opportunity to thank them for their loyalty. Our guests have always been my favorite part of cruising, and the Oceania Club Reunion Cruise is all about celebrating our guests.
As if visiting the world’s most fascinating destinations weren’t enticing enough, Oceania Cruises also offers several Signature Sailings with guest celebrities and special events to enhance your remarkable vacation.
In a recent blog, I wrote about the Viking Passage Signature Sailing, featuring hall of fame broadcaster Verne Lundquist. But he won’t be the only special guest on board this transoceanic voyage. Barbara Seagram, an American Contract Bridge League accredited master instructor, will be on board to conduct classes and tournaments.
If bridge is your passion, there are eight other opportunities to see the world and improve your bridge game with American Contract Bridge League instructors on board between May and December.
World-renowned master chef Jacques Pépin, who is the executive culinary director for Oceania Cruises, will be on board the Explore the Isles sailing, which departs July 23 and sails roundtrip from London. Guests will enjoy special signature menus, engaging lectures, culinary demonstrations and much more.
Departing June 10, Historic Holy Lands will be an especially noteworthy Signature Sailing as it celebrates the return of Insignia to the Oceania Cruises fleet. Founding Chairman Joe Watters will host this gala voyage aboard the newly refurbished Insignia with his wife, Virginia, who is Insignia’s godmother. Guests will be treated to a number of exclusive events and festivities, including a momentous rechristening ceremony in Istanbul.
Always a special occasion for Oceania Cruises’ valued past guests, the 11th Oceania Club Reunion Cruise promises a memorable Signature Sailing when Riviera departs on the Gems of Antiquity voyage on July 29. Reunion cruises honor our cherished Oceania Club members, and this year’s cruise will feature a private cocktail reception hosted by the Captain as well as exclusive shore excursions in Istanbul, Santorini and Kusadasi, among other celebratory events.
From Europe to Africa and South America to the South Pacific, don’t miss your opportunity to explore your world and beyond on one of Oceania Cruises’ special Signature Sailings.
On a sailing that has
already created so many fond memories for me, last night was the most memorable
yet. As Riviera set sail from
Taormina, Sicily, I headed to Toscana with my wife, Daniela, to host some of
our most loyal guests for a dinner in celebration of Oceania Cruises’ 10th
anniversary. Through the windows of Toscana, we could see the beautiful sunset
behind Mount Etna, a perfect backdrop for a very special evening.
Riviera’s string quartet played as our guests arrived. Daniela
and I welcomed each guest, as did Captain Gunnar Romtveit and General Manager
Thierry Tholon. We were also joined by several of the senior officers, each of
whom hosted a table for the evening. Our guests were more than 50 of our most
loyal Oceania Club members, from Bronze level through Platinum, and we were
honored to be celebrating 10 years at sea with some of the guests who had made
it all possible.
Senior Executive Chef
Alexis Quaretti prepared a six-course dinner befitting the exclusive event. The
menu was printed for each guest as a keepsake to remember not only the
exquisite meal but also the wonderful company we all enjoyed as we celebrated
this special occasion together. It was such a pleasure to be able to talk with
our guests in this intimate setting and to hear their delightful stories and
fond memories of their voyages with Oceania Cruises. I was pleased to hear
that, while the ships are beautiful and the cuisine exceeds their highest
expectations, it is our officers, staff and crew
that truly differentiate the
Oceania Cruises experience from any other. As one guest put it, “It’s like
coming back to see family every time.”
We are so grateful to
have these cherished guests as part of our Oceania Cruises family, and I
offered a toast to their health and happiness. I was glad to have the
opportunity to personally thank them for choosing to explore the world with us
and for making it possible for us to expand our fleet and deliver even more
dream vacation experiences. We raised our glasses to the wonderful journeys
we’ve enjoyed over the past 10 years and to creating more treasured memories onboard
Oceania Cruises in the years to come.
Everyone in Toscana
last night said they are looking forward to the next decade with great
excitement, and in fact, we made a commitment to each other that we would
reunite the group and celebrate Oceania Cruises’ 20th anniversary together as
well. In the meantime, we will always cherish our memories of this special
evening, and I hope our paths cross again many times.
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.