Insignia emerges from OceaniaNext refurbishment ahead of Dubai cruise

Oceania Insignia has left dry-dock following a 16-day refurbishment that saw almost all of the ship’s cabins and public areas redecorated and upgraded ahead of her 180-day World Cruise, which includes a voyage from Dubai in May.

The World Cruise departed New York on January 11th and will visit 90 ports on five continents, with 14 overnight port calls included in the itinerary.

Oceania Insignia has been thoroughly refurbished ahead of her May, 2019 cruise from Dubai, part of her 180-day World Cruise.

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Insignia is the first ship in the fleet to undergo the OceaniaNext refurbishment, the US $100-million program, which will see all its cruise ships undergo significant refurbishments to create a new on-board aesthetic across the fleet.

Insignia’s Regatta-class sister ships (Sirena, Regatta and Nautica) will undergo identical refurbishments in May, 2019, September, 2019 and June, 2020.

Following the refurbishment, Insignia retains her cozy, country-club feel, but with a more modern and more chic décor that gives the staterooms and public areas a more spacious feel.

There’s a new light blue and cream palette throughout the ship, which is in stark contrast to the busy collection of colours that dominated the vessels before the makeover.

“We’re not moving away from country club casual,” says Isabel Galvan, Vice President of Marketing, Oceania Cruises. “We wanted to give it a more contemporary feel.”

And contemporary she certainly is. The defining public room of the Regatta-class cruise ships has always been the immaculate Grand Staircase, and this area has been dramatically re-imagined.

The ceiling has been opened up to allow the installation of a larger and more impressive chandelier that works in contrast with the dark, art-deco bannisters and bronze railings. The deep red carpet has also been replaced with a power blue and beige pattern instead.

This palette, in various patterns and shades, runs throughout the ship, giving each public space a sense of continuity. The Grand Dining Room for example has new light-colour leather chairs and a royal blue carpet with gold-leaf patterns.

Insignia’s Grand Dining Room has new chairs, carpets and chandelier.

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Here too, a chandelier has been installed, replacing the ceiling fresco that used to dominate the room. In the Grand Bar, the carpet has been removed entirely and the space has been opened up to better-integrate with the rest of the ship.

Not all public spaces have been reimagined, some have just been revamped, such as Martinis, where wood-panelled walls remain, giving the bar and lounge an old-world elegance against a new décor of shades of blue, pewter and chocolate in the soft furnishings. Similarly, Horizons has become brighter, with lighter coloured furniture and carpet and new light fixtures.

The least changes have taken place in Insignia’s specialty restaurants, Toscana and Polo, which have had all soft furnishings replaced, but the décor and atmosphere remains largely the same. In the Library as well, the furniture is lighter and more contemporary, but the decorative ceiling fresco is unchanged.

The greatest changes to the ship have been made in the staterooms. Every single passenger cabin was stripped back to the bare steel and totally redecorated, even the doors are new.

Concierge class Balcony Cabin aboard Insignia.

Gone are the dark woods and brown furnishings, with light blues and grays, with taupe accents, instead.

The master bedroom in the Penthouse Suite aboard Insignia.

The cushioned headboard has been extended to the ceiling, and there are now USB ports and plugs on both sides of the bed. There’s a new interactive TV system, with movies on demand, in every cabin now as well.

The ensuites have been massively improved, with new fixtures, lighting and vanities that reflect the premium space Oceania occupies in the global cruise market. They also feel bigger, because the cheap-looking shower curtains have been replaced with glass French doors.

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    • According to Cruise Mapper, Insignia was refurbished in Freeport, Bahamas by Grand Bahamas Shipyard. Nautica and Sirena are being refurbished in Marseilles, France by Chantiers de l’Atlantique, the same shipyard that built all four ships, and Regatta is being refitted at Vancouver Drydock in Canada.

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