Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo Harbor

Monte Carlo Harbor

We took a tender into this gorgeous port and had our only touring mishap of our cruise. We had hoped to take a public bus to Eze, the charming medieval village high above the Mediterranean, with its winding cobblestone streets filled with art galleries and shops. Unfortunately, we received incorrect information about the bus schedule. We waited for a while, but when no bus showed up, we decided to just wander the streets on Monte Carlo past the casino, the Hotel de Paris and the beautiful port.
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Barcelona

Gaudi Apartment in Barcelona

Gaudi Apartment in Barcelona

Irene and I have been to Barcelona several times and chose to just wander the Ramblas, Barcelona’s famed downtown promenade. We walked the old Gothic Quarter and saw several churches. We also saw one of Antonio Gaudi’s famous and completely unique Art Nouveau apartment houses.
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A Day at Sea

I haven't said much about Oceania's Marina and this is a good time to fill you in. Irene and I had been invited to the ship's christening back in January and were very impressed with what we saw that weekend. But it's actually sailing on the Marina for 16 days that's given us a real feeling for what this magnificent ship is all about. Simply put, we loved it. We had a Concierge Cabin on the Penthouse deck. Of all the perks that go with being in Concierge class, the one I appreciated the most was having access to the Executive Lounge, reserved for Concierge and Penthouse passengers. Here you can get a continental breakfast and snacks throughout the day and evening, enjoy a terrific coffee machine for espressos and cappuccinos as well as regular coffee and tea, and relax in front of a large screen TV and read newspapers from around the world. A concierge is at your disposal throughout the day.
Jacques Pepin

Jacques Pepin in his onboard restaurant, Jacques

Stunning artwork

Stunning artwork

Quiet corner

Quiet corner



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Casablanca

Hassan Mosque

Hassan Mosque

We did not know what to expect in this Moroccan city, but decided not to wander about by ourselves, so we took a shore excursion offered by Oceania that took in the city's landmarks. We started our tour with a visit to an olive market — very colorful — then a drive to the Royal Quarter, which houses the most luxurious villas of the city. We saw the Hassan II Mosque. Begun in 1993; this massive structure features the world's highest minaret and room for 25,000 people inside and another 80,000 outside.
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Cadiz

We were very much looking forward to visiting one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Seville, and we were not disappointed. Again, we used the services of Made for Spain and met our driver for the 1 hour 45 minute trip. We had been warned by the ship’s concierge that it would be hot, but we were not prepared for the 105 degrees which became debilitating as the day progressed.
White Pigeons in Seville

White Pigeons in the gardens of the Museum

We stopped first at the Plaza de America in Maria Luisa Park, site of the Spain-American Exposition of 1929. We had never seen white pigeons before, but we found them here. Beautiful architecture! We then drove to the center of the city to meet our guide. We started with a visit to the third largest cathedral and the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. Christopher Columbus is buried here. His tomb is absolutely magnificent. The treasury was perhaps the most amazing I have seen, with vast quantities of gold ornaments, crowns and religious articles. . . .Read more
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Oporto

We were supposed to dock in this port at 8:00 am. The fog was so thick, we could not see three feet past our verandah. After waiting several hours to see if the port authorities would allow us to continue, the ship's captain, Captain Manzi, decided that the fog would not lift, and we sailed on to Cadiz, Spain, the port of Seville. Another restful day at sea which we all enjoyed.
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