Insignia and Oceania — the second time around

Over the years, we've known a couple of couples who have been married twice. To each other. That's the same bride and the same groom…twice. One second wedding lasted, and one didn't.

In cruise vernacular, that analogy could compare to the Oceania Insignia.

At birth, she was called R One, an unimaginative name for one of the Renaissance ships that all went on to bigger and better things with new names and new owners (spouses, if you will). When R One was five, she became the Insignia, a member of InsigniaOceania's Regatta Class. By the time she was in her teens, Insignia changed her name to Columbus 2.

And now, still only 15 (much older in ship years), she's soon to be Insignia again. 

After Renaissance Cruises ceased to exist, she was a workhorse for more than eight years for Oceania, with R siblings Regatta and Nautica, helping to establish the brand, which the owners like to call "upper premium."  

When the cruise line brought in newer, more modern ships called Marina and Riviera, the economics were such that it made sense to farm out the old girl, Insignia. So off she went to Hapag-Lloyd — that's the name of a small cruise line — and she's been toiling there for almost two years as Columbus 2.

Next spring, they'll strip off that painted name and — while giving her a second facelift, which in the ship world is called a refurbishment — they'll decorate her with "Insignia" again (Insignia 2 maybe?). She'll split her first year back between Europe and the Caribbean, as many ships do, and then she'll be sent around the world in 180 days. 

Twice.

The first such cruise leaves Miami in January 2015, the second in July 2015. The first sold out in eight days, the second goes on sale next week. So Insignia's more popular than ever.

This time, it looks like she and Oceania are in it for the long haul, maybe until their Golden Years.

Carnival Glory
7 nights
December 8, 2013
Miami (return): CozumelCosta MayaRoatanGrand Caymen
Inside: $299
Cost per day: $42
www.carnival.com

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