Marina's Owner's Suites run the full width of the ship, an industry first
To understand how important the high-end suites on the new $600 million Marina are to Oceania Cruises, consider its electronics “buy.”
Frank Del Rio, chairman of Prestige Cruise Holdings, told Travel Agent that Oceania is spending $1.5 million in outfitting Marina’s three Owner’s Suites, 12 Oceania Suites and eight Vista Suites. That doesn’t even factor in the expenses on electronics in the ship’s other accommodations.
Marina’s cabins sold briskly when reservations opened in January; at the end of the first day, 53 percent of the ship’s inaugural season was sold. That momentum continues, says Del Rio. “This year is shaping up to be a record year for both Oceania and Regent; we’re ahead about 35 percent year over year [comparing 2009 to 2010],” he adds.
Check out some snap shots of the christening of Marina in the photo gallery below:
We spoke to Del Rio in late May—asking him about these and other “wow factor” amenities. What can agents expect for their clients in Marina’s top suites?
Owner’s Suites—Beam to Beam: Marina’s three Owner’s Suites are basically apartments of more than 2,000 square feet—about the size of an average U.S. home. “Space is the ultimate luxury,” says Del Rio.
These are the first and only suites in the industry built “beam to beam.” Translation? Guests booking these suites will roam comfortably the full width of the ship and take in views through windows on both sides.
Designed by New York-based Tocar Interior Design, the Owner’s Suites will be the first accommodations at sea furnished with furniture, fabrics, lighting and bedding from the Ralph Lauren Home collection.
For Del Rio, Ralph Lauren signifies not just a global brand, but also an American icon, much the way Italy has Armani or Versace and France has Pierre Cardin. “We’ve got Ralph,” Del Rio says.
“As you walk in the double doors, you enter the foyer. It has a baby grand player piano; a wet bar; a floor made of handmade tile designed by David Hicks, trimmed in nickel,” says Del Rio, adding that walking into this setting as well as being greeted with floor-to-ceiling glass showcasing spectacular sea views is the “wow factor.”
Besides, the walls in the bedroom are of cashmere, the coves in the ceilings are trimmed in platinum leaf. “Literally, no expense has been spared,” he says.
Owner’s Suite guests may watch their favorite flicks on four flat-screen TVs, including one outside on the patio. Other suite perks include two bathrooms, two laptops, a fitness area, Bulgari bath amenities and two whirlpools (one on the private patio).
So clients may sit out on the deck, soak in the hot tub, watch TV, enjoy a glass of champagne and drift out to sea!
Vista Suites—Dakota Jackson: Designed by Dakota Jackson, the eight Vista Suites range from 1,200 to 1,500 square feet, depending on the deck. Interior size remains the same for all, but total space varies based on the balcony size. “Dakota is primarily known as a top-notch furniture designer, but he is also involved in some high-end interior architectural work that complements his furniture,” says Del Rio.
All the trim, the windows, doors and the architectural details are Jackson’s. “So you don’t just have Dakota furniture, you’re immersed in the entire Dakota Jackson design,” says Del Rio. In fact, all pieces that Jackson develops for the Oceania and Vista suites will constitute a new collection for the designer, entitled “Marina.”
Del Rio says Jackson’s signature design element is the use of extremely exotic woods. So the Vista and Oceania suites feature Macassar Ebony, White English Sycamore and Umber Bird’s Eye Maple. “It’s just not your typical oak, maple or even mahogany,” he says.
The Vista Suites also use a new type of glass, which Del Rio describes as a spacey, tempered, thick glass with layers inside. It comes in various colors. “We incorporate some of that on surfaces in the Oceania and Vista Suites, and the look is just phenomenal,” he says.
Vista Suites are perched in front of the vessel, so guests may easily envision they’re on the bridge commanding the ship. The suites are similar to Owner’s Suites in that they have two whirlpools—one on the private verandah and the other in the master bath. There is also a TV on the verandah.
These suites also have a second bathroom for guests, a private fitness room and the elements of the Owner’s Suites; they’re just slightly smaller and different in design.
Oceania Suites—Top of the Ship: Twelve Oceania suites of more than 1,000 square feet await guests; they’re offered on Decks 11 and 12. Again, Jackson will design the decor for these suites.
One Jackson-created wall treatment for the Oceania Suites features polished steel inlays on a textured ivory-like surface, bathed in both natural and artificial light. It exudes a “climbing wall” effect that gives the impression of climbing to infinity as opposed to having a high ceiling over you. “I saw the mock-up in his studio and it just blew me away,” Del Rio says.
“The Oceania Suites, I think, are going to be my favorite,” he says, adding that their position at the top of the ship will offer the “best commanding views.” Each will come with a living and dining room, walk-in closet, private verandah and bedroom with a king-sized Prestige Tranquility bed.
Besides a master bath with a whirlpool tub and another guest bath, clients will have, at their disposal, a private whirlpool overlooking the sea.
Del Rio’s “wow factor” for these suites is the dedicated media room. Clients will have their own plush furniture for viewing movies, a state-of-the-art sound and video system, a master remote control designed by Jackson and sound-absorbing wall material.
“Nuts to bolts, A to Z, these suites have their own media server for both video and audio,” says Del Rio. “We have top-of-the-line audio speakers [and] subwoofers and high-quality music, not just a Bose radio. It’s just one notch below a recording studio.”
The dedicated server comes pre-loaded with 500 different movies and more than 2,000 songs. Clients may even burn their own CDs. “I can see [guests] being in Monte Carlo and not getting off the ship, but just playing in the media room,” quips Del Rio.
Suite Matters: “Someday I want to live in a place as cool as these suites,” Del Rio says. Pointing out the phenomenal response to them in the marketplace, he says clients may book an Owner’s Suite in Europe in late May or June 2011 for about $1,400 per person daily, a Vista Suite for $1,100 and an Oceania Suite for $900.
The Owner’s, Vista and Oceania Suites are one-of a kind, handmade piece by piece by craftsmen. “It’s not the same ole, same ole,” says Del Rio. “Given the size, these are apartments. This is what you’d expect to find in the finest tower in New York, San Francisco or London—very sleek, very sophisticated—not on a cruise ship. One of our main commandments in doing the interior design of this ship is that we don’t want you to think you’re on a ship. ”