Home Lines’ Oceanic was the best cruise ship ever. No debate. You’ll never change my mind.
In August, 1970, I was lucky enough to accompany my parents and brother on a seven-day Oceanic cruise: New York-Nassau-New York. I’ve been on many other cruises since then. Many different ships; many different lines. None were better than Oceanic.
Here’s what I loved about that cruise:
- Food. Italian food. Italian chefs. Italian wait staff. Midnight buffet. Late night pizza. I’m stuffed. Give me some more.
- Entertainment. No theatre. Nightclub-style. old-fashioned by today’s standards, but immensely entertaining in its own unique way.
- Underage Drinking. Even at age 15, I had no trouble ordering whatever I wanted. Drinks were cheap, too.
- Beautiful ship. Since she was originally designed for transatlantic service, Oceanic looked like a traditional ocean liner. I felt like I was on a real ship, not some kind of giant floating Lego toy.
- Pinball machines. The kind of old-fashioned pinball machines with bright lights and mechanical “flippers.” My brother and I almost wore them out.
- Unintentional amusements. Like the time my brother and I saw the drunk guy stagger and fall into a deserted swimming pool in the middle of the night. You can’t hire that sort of entertainment.
- Frisky stewards. Like the one who pinched my sister’s ass as she passed him in the corridor. Today, such behavior would result in a lawsuit and full coverage in the Daily Mail.
- Ralph Michele. The Vin Scully of cruise directors. There’s an art to being personable, and Ralph Michele had it down cold.
- Bingo for fun. Sure, I won $40 one night. Yet it was a simple, clean game with no upsell.
- Food. I know I’m repeating myself, but Oceanic’s food was magnificent. Plus, you didn’t have to pay extra for it.
Bonus. No hand sanitizers. People were immune to norovirus in the 1970s. Either that, or they washed their hands more often.
I feel sorry for you younger folks.
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