Oceania Riviera Canary Islands

Day 4 on our Oceania Riviera cruise was on Thursday, April 7th, 2022. This was an “at sea” day – really an “at ocean” day – as we cruised out toward the Canary Islands. On Thursdays I teach an Outschool teen writing class which on ship time was going to be from 8-9pm. That was my only external time constraint. On board I had a still life two-part session at 9am and then 5pm. So I couldn’t sleep in :).

I’m not really a breakfast person, so I just grabbed a few pieces of fruit and some OJ before heading down to my art class. By now it was the ‘usual cast of suspects’ – about 8 of us – coming to these. I was sad to find that someone had stolen my calla lily drawing from the previous sessions! How the art classes work is that each of us gets an open cubby on the wall to store our graphite, erasers, paper, etc. in between sessions. That way if we want to work on our art during quiet time we can come in to the art room (which is always open) and work on things. The ship doesn’t want us taking charcoal / graphite / etc. back to our rooms for sort of obvious mess reasons.

My cubby stuff was completely gone. Someone had taken my picture and supplies. I’d signed my picture, too, so it’s not like someone could reasonably have thought it was theirs. It was just gone. So I had to get fresh supplies from the instructor. Luckily, at least, the calla lily sessions were done and we were moving on to starting a fruit still life. I was sad, though. I’d worked hard on my calla lily and a friend of mine loves calla lilies, so I was going to give my drawing to her. I guess now I will need to create a new one for her.

In any case, the morning still life session was really wonderful, and I learned a lot. I stayed after class working on it. Then I asked Noel which painting on the ship he recommended I study. He suggested the one right near the art room which was of tree leaves. He said it had wonderful shading and contrast. That was “El Descanso” by Luis Armando Zesatti.

I decided to explore more of the ship’s art while waiting for lunch to open. Some of the art I found a bit iffy, like buxom naked ‘women’ without heads being hunted for consumption (“Feast of Love” by Ramon Vasquez):

I didn’t take a photo of the ‘man in lust with a horse’ painting :).

Finally it was lunchtime and I went to the patio at the back of the ship. It was pretty much empty. I sat down with my laptop and tarot deck to do some more card readings for people. I had a nice veggy selection of cucumber salad and spring rolls. The server even carried it out to the table for me when he saw my hands were a bit shaky. That was quite nice. The food was delicious and just what I like for lunch.

I did a lot more ship exploring and art-viewing during the afternoon. There is a wealth of quite intriguing art on the ship in all areas. There were all sorts of details on the artwork to draw you in. This is “Eden Before the Apple” by Ramon Vasquez, with then just one detail from it. How long must this painting have taken to create?

The artist Humberto Benitez had quite a few faces-hidden paintings around the ship.

Occasionally one would see a staff member on cabin levels wearing protective gear. I was glad they were taking precautions to clean things. Nearly all people wore masks while walking the halls, but all masks came off any time people were sitting either watching the tea-time music or in a restaurant or in a ‘cocktail area’. So there were lots and lots of people congregating maskless and talking.

Finally it was 4pm and time for classical music. They were lovely as always. Right when they ended it was 5pm and time for my next art session. We worked more on our still life. And right after that it was time for our dinner reservation at Jacques. This specialty restaurant was about half full. This was nice in terms of quiet experience, but again, was just a bit odd compared with normal cruising. So again a clear sign that the ship was fairly empty.

The food here was nice. It was not the mouth-nebulae level of Daniel Bruce at the Boston Harbor Hotel, but of the level of a nice regular-city steakhouse. I think my expectations were starting to settle in to what this post-pandemic Oceania cruise would have for food.

I had to go right from dinner up to Baristas to prepare for my teen writing zoom class. Again the wifi signal is really poor so I had to be really cautious about how I did things on my laptop during class, so I didn’t compromise the wifi signal in any way. Luckily the signal held on during the class – the wifi on the boat would randomly come and go without warning.

By the time class was over I was ready for sleep. I wanted to be sure to be fresh and ready for the Canary Island in the morning!

Ask with any questions!

The next day was Day 5 –

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