With a new ship come some new ideas in mixology for Oceania Cruises, which is rolling out an expanded beverage program on the Vista. The 1,200-passenger ship is scheduled to make its debut in May, the line's first newbuild in more than a decade.
The mixology program is meant to upgrade the current beverage options by onboarding contemporary trends seen at land-based bars and resorts.
"We're really bringing some of the modern flair you see in the beverage world, the cocktail world, to our brand," said Frank A. Del Rio, recently named president of Oceania. "It's really rounding out the complete culinary experience."
Oceania has long prided itself on its gastronomy. The Vista, currently being finished at the Fincantieri shipyard near Genoa, Italy, will have 12 dining venues and seven bars spread across a dozen passenger decks.
Martini's, which Oceania calls its signature bar, is a piano bar that also offers many variations on the classic gin and vermouth libation. New to the menu are tribute drinks to some famous Hollywood names: Lady Hepburn, Blue Eyes Sinatra and Notorious Bond.
The Grand Bar, also on Deck 6, is a wine bar for rare vintages by the glass. In the evenings it will host sommelier-led wine tastings.
The ship's Casino Mixology Bar is focused on the art of the cocktail, such as this drink topped with a vapor-filled aromatic bubble. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Oceania Cruises
A concept that will make its debut on the Vista is the Casino Mixology Bar, which is focused on the art of the cocktail. Barrel-aged Negronis on tap and drinks topped with vapor-filled aromatic bubbles are two of the novelties on offer.
The 24-seat La Reserve wine bar will host daily wine tastings and will offer guests a seven-course dinner menu with premium wine pairings.
But bars aren't the only place to enjoy spirits and wines on the Vista.
A hot trend at upscale resorts has been mobile beverage carts, often devoted to a particular brand.
On the Vista, the roaming Bubbly Bar will deliver Champagne cocktails, while the Ultimate Bloody Mary Bar will also make the rounds, serving that eye-opening favorite.
Exclusive cocktails have also been crafted to be served in specialty restaurants, such as the Embers steakhouse and Red Ginger Pan-Asian venue.
Oceania guests have a multitude of pairing options to choose from. A new Moet & Chandon Champagne Experience will debut on the Vista with three courses paired with three rare vintage Champagnes. Then there's the Dom Perignon Experience, a six-course pairing dinner served on all Oceania ships that will be offered in the intimate dining venue Privee aboard the Vista.
Wine with lunch? Two epicurean lunch menus each include five Mediterranean-influenced dishes paired with premium wines.
For guests who prefer their beverages with little or no alcohol, there also will be new options on the Vista. The newly created Aquamar Kitchen, focused on "lean and healthy cuisine," will serve nonalcoholic "wines" from Pierre Zero and "sober cocktails" such as the Skinny Mimosa, Innocent Kir, Passionfruit Colada and a NO-Groni.
Although there are no plans yet to roll out the new products on other Oceania ships, Del Rio didn't rule it out either, presuming they're a hit with guests. "We're really excited to debut a few of these new concepts onboard Vista," he said.