Oceania is near the top of my list of favorite cruise lines.
It features mid-sized ships, in the 600 to 1,250 passenger range, interesting itineraries covering much of the world, and terrific food — or, as their ads put it, “the finest cuisine at sea.” In my experience — which includes two Oceania Mediterranean cruises — this is no exageration.
Oceania cruises are ideal for baby boomers — the atmosphere onboard is refined and the passengers tend to be older adults.
The cruise line is rolling out two new ships, one in 2022 and another in 2025, the first two in its new 1,200-passenger Allura-Class line.
And now for the good news: Oceania is currently conducting a contest to name the 2022 ship, with a top prize of a free inaugural cruise for two in an Oceania Suite, plus economy airfare to the embarkation point (yet to be announced).
The retail value of the prize is approximately $15,000, so you can be pretty sure the cruise will be of decent length and include some inaugural cruise-worthy ports.
The runner-up receives a free cruise for two in a verandah stateroom on the naming voyage, with a retail value of about $2,400.
You Need No Skill to Win
While you have to enter a prospective name for the ship to enter the contest, the winner will actually be determined by random drawing, so the name you choose is basically irrelevant. And even if you choose a name the cruise line likes, you won’t get any further remuneration — though it would certainly be a point of pride.
However, should you want to get into the spirit of the contest and submit a name that has real potential for being picked, here are some tips:
Oceania currently has six ships at sea, with the names Insignia, Marina, Nautica, Regatta, Riviera, and Sirena.
Note that unless the cruise line execs want to break the mold, all the names end with “a” and all have either three or four syllables. Several have seafaring connotations.
Beyond that, it’s fair game.
The Fine Print
You can read the complete rules at the contest site, but the key facts are these:
December 31: contest ends.
January 15: the random drawing is held.
Feb. 3: winners are notified.
And sorry, far-flung readers, the contest is open only to legal residents of the United States and Canada.
But, for all those eligible, good luck!