Oceania Cruises are known for their cuisine but the itineraries they offer are also spectacular. Join CP Travel Ambassador Susan Harsell as she takes us to Spain, France and Andorra on the Oceania Riviera.
What specific cities and /or countries did you visit? Italy, France, Spain, Andorra
What was your favorite memory from this trip? The day I had breakfast in Spain, lunch in France, snacks in Andorra, and then dinner in Spain again.
Top excursions and landmarks/sites to visit: The Dali sculpture in downtown Andorra la Vella, Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum in Rome
Were there any standout restaurants or foodie must-haves on this trip? Bar Lobo in Barcelona for the Iberian Ham and fried eggs over chips. Twilight Trastevere Food Tour in Rome with EatingEurope. Another food tour exploring tapas in Barcelona. The scallops at Jacques specialty restaurant onboard Oceania Riviera. Prosciutto, melon and burrata at a restaurant called da Enzo in Rome.
How would you describe the people and culture of this destination? Any interesting cultural lessons? We learned about the history of the Catalan Independence Movement and about how some want to secede from Spain and others do not.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about this destination? Andorra is not part of the EU, but they do use the Euro and their national language is Catalan! In Rome there are wild parrots living in the trees which line the Tiber River (or "Fiume Tavere" as the Italians call it.)
Top 5 Tips and recommendations for this trip:
- Be flexible. We missed one port due to weather, and had our schedule changed around because of a storm.
- Take fewer shoes than you think you'll wear, but make sure at least one pair are good walking shoes.
- Getting from the ship onto a tender boat can be tricky in the Med and difficult for passengers with mobility issues.
- Definitely book food tours in major cities. They introduce you to a number of local foods, restaurants and typically come with an excellent history and cultural lesson
- Prepare yourself ahead of time so you know when a tip is expected in the location you're traveling to, how much to tip, and tip well. Every country is a little bit different.
What makes this destination a must-see in your opinion? Barcelona is a favorite of mine. Excellent food, inexpensive wine, walkable, the people are gracious, and most speak English and they are happy to share their beautiful city with you. Of course the architecture and history are amazing.
Additional thoughts and insights? The end of September is a wonderful time to visit these locations. The weather was lovely (except for the storm that made us miss porting in Livorno) even in Andorra when it can sometimes be cold and snowy.
Did you travel via cruise ship? If so, please describe the experience and some of the standout features that you ere excited about. We travelled on the Oceania Riviera. I was excited to taste the finest cuisine at sea on a luxurious small ship. We had the pleasure to dine at all 4 specialty restaurants, and were lucky to experience Red Ginger twice. Later in the evening if they have some open tables they'll usually accommodate you even if you don't have a reservation. I also loved the fresh pressed juice bar in the mornings!
If you're ready to become a travel ambassador yourself and share these experiences with your clients, contact our franchise development team today!