Oceania Cruises' small, luxurious ships offer a country club casual ambiance. Credit: Oceania Cruises

How do Oceania do it? A masterclass in personalised excellence

Author: Daniel Edward

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The luxury cruise line can teach us a thing or two about making people feel special.

‘Tis the season for hosting friends and family and making everyone feel special, so who better to turn to for some hints and tips than Oceania – a cruise line famed for its fabulous food and impressive personal service.

So when your family is gathered around the table this festive season, just think – “What would Oceania do?” – and you’ll be sure to delight with your impeccable hosting skills.

But what are their secrets?

Penthouse suites are ultra-spacious and true sea-going residences. Credit: Oceania Cruises

Especially happy to see YOU
Well, first of all, their staff are genuinely delighted to see you. The authenticity in their smiles, and the honesty in their desire to make their guests happy goes a long way.

So, go through your invite list and remind yourself of your special connection with each of your guests – what can you do for them that will make them feel like the most special person in the room.

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Bring the tidings of joy
For Oceania staff, their ship is their home, and their home is a happy place. You can see it in their warm smiles and hear it in the sincere tone of their voices. Hosting their guests brings true joy to them, the sort of joy that fills the lounges and bars with laughter and new memories.

So, if you’re hosting, remember that you’re not just serving up food on the table – serve up the joy as well. While the plates will return to the kitchen licked clean, the joy will remain with your guests for long after the meal has ended.

Share the load
Santa doesn’t deliver all of the world’s gifts alone. He needs his crack team of reindeers to get the job done. And he probably picked up the importance of a good team on his last Oceania cruise. Onboard Oceania’s luxury ships, there is a ratio of two staff members to every three guests, including one chef for every 10 guests.

Sharing the workload makes hosting special guests a pleasurable experience, so invite someone to join you in the kitchen, or clearing the table, and emulate Oceania’s effortless elegance around your dining table.

Oceania Cruises is known to be the world's leading culinary and destination-focused cruise line. Credit: Oceania Cruises

Be the best of the best
Ok, this one’s harder to copy without a little bit of practice because, well, Oceania’s secret is that they only select the very best at what they do. Waiters come from the best restaurants in the land, chef’s from the most highly decorated kitchens, and concierge and butlers are educated at the highest level.

But we can learn from this approach too. Identify your strengths and play to them. If you’re a dab hand in the kitchen, create a spectacular dinner from scratch. Are hosting and making guests laugh more your thing? Focus on that and send someone else into the kitchen… or order food in. Your guests will remember how great a time you gave them, so lead with your strongest talents.

Did you know that all of Oceania Cruises' suites include 24-hour Butler service? Credit: Oceania Cruises

Go beyond the expected
Guests sailing in an Owner’s, Vista, Oceania or Penthouse Suite benefit from the services of a dedicated English-trained butler. We don’t know how they do it, but this expertly trained team somehow knows what we want even before we do.

Everything’s anticipated in an almost miraculous way. Whether that’s course-by-course in-suite dining, or packing your luggage for you at the end of the voyage.

Surprise your guests by anticipating their needs. Aunt Mary lives a little far? Tell her you’ve already arranged a car to pick her up. Cousin Nick has separation anxiety from his Covid-era cockapoo? Tell him there’ll be a bone and basket under the table waiting.

Learning from the hospitality experts at Oceania promises to turn your home into a bastion of personalised excellence. We must warn you though… if you do too good a job at it, everyone will want another invitation next year!

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