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Oceania Insignia ReviewSouth AmericaCarmichael Smith-Low

Age: 57

Occupation:Attorney

Number of Cruises: Fiv

Cruise Line: Oceania

Ship: Insignia

Sailing Date: February 17th, 2006

Itinerary: NOT FOUND

Oceania Cruises
Insignia Cruise Review
South America

Carmichael Smith-Low

This is perhaps not the "usual" cruisereviews review, in that the cruise about which I am writing was organized by Atlantis Events, a gay and lesbian vacation getaway organization, whose motto is "The Way We Play."

That being said, the experience was an incredible one.

The ship was everything I expected it to be, and more. I have cruised on larger ships, and was hoping for a friendlier, more intimate experience, and the Insignia provided just that. [the comparison, by the way, is to other gay cruises on larger ships. It was spotlessly maintained, the public spaces [particularly the wonderful library] were inviting and traditional, there were adequate deck chairs [although not on the boat deck, my favorite reading spot] for the most part, and the cabins were logically laid out, with sufficient storage space for everything.

The crew was fantastic, friendly and fun. This may have in part been because they were invited to partipate in/attend the numerous tea dances, disco parties, etc., put on by Atlantis. Several crew members also remarked that our group was significantly younger - and, sorry folks, more fun - than the usual Insignia passenger.

The food was memorable. I was particularly impressed with the Polo Grill. Tapas on the Terrace, as others has remarked, was a nice al fresco alternative to the traditional dining room, with some of the same entrees.

The itinerary included Montevideo, Punta del Este, Rio Grande, Porto Bello, Santos, Parati and the aforementioned Rio. Rio Grande was renamed "Rio Grungy", for what it's worth, and I personally found Montevideo somewhat depressing [especially as a friend I was walking with was mugged] but it was fun and exciting to be visiting some off the beaten path places.

Excursions - I did two, one from Porto Bello to Florianopolis and another that involved swimming and snorkeling in the incredible waters of Parati - were, I thought, well-priced and well-planned. We were in Santos [the port for Sao Paolo] on Good Friday, not a good traffic day in Brazil. I had been told this by friends, but those that had not reported spending hours and hours in buses and having very little time to see Sao Paolo.

I would most definitely travel on the Insignia again [and in fact am already booked on Atlantis' Buenos Aires to Rio cruise next year] and would highly recommend it to anyone.

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