Review of Oceania Insignia deck 5 (Dining-Lounge-Casino-Shops)
“Insignia Lounge” is the ship’s main show lounge/theater with a Stage (for live evening entertainment) and a large dance floor (for themed dancing parties). This venue also hosts daily trivia quizzes, guest lectures and media presentations, various social events. The Lounge offers stylish nightly entertainment with live comedy acts, magician shows, classic concerts, jazz ensembles.
The Casino (portside location, age limit 18yo) operates with USD bets (max daily limit $1000 per person/per day). It is served by the Casino Bar and has gaming tables (blackjack, poker, roulette, operational between 2-5:30 pm) and slots (8:30 pm till closing).
“Martinis” is a classy piano bar serving 30+ Martini brands and hosting martini tastings. Entertainment options here are live piano performances by a resident pianist (including jazz and cabaret).
2 Boutiques (portside and starboard) sell duty-free jewelry, perfumes, cosmetics, Oceania-logoed merchandise, gifts, souvenirs, clothing, convenience goods.
The “Upper Hall” lounge area (by the aft elevators) has grand piano for live performances and it’s served by the Martinis Bar.
“Grand Bar” is a wine bar (starboard location, right next to the MDR-Dining Room Restaurant) hosts wine tastings in the evening (sommelier service). It has an extensive fine wines list (by the glass). Since MS Insignia’s 2014 refurbishment, the Grand Bar is also served by Baristas making complimentary illy beverages (espresso, cappuccino, latte) and also serving fresh pastries, biscotti, finger sandwiches.
Grand Dining Room is an aft complimentary restaurant (capacity 340 seats) for open-seating Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (French-inspired dishes, menus change daily). It features high-quality cotton linens, Versace china, Riedel crystal, Christofle silverware, and a frescoed dome-ceiling.
Since March 2018, MS Insignia offers Oceania Cruises' new (bistro-style) dining concept. At lunch, the ship’s MDR (Main Dining Room) transforms into "The Bistro by Jacques” (aka “Jacques Bistro”). The new concept allows the MDR to serve lunch also on port days, as opposed to the traditional self-serve port day lunches at the buffet restaurant. This lunch-only French bistro serves an exclusive menu with signature dishes by Oceania Cruises' executive chef Jacques Pepin. The lunch menu is rotational and varies by season and itineraries, as most ingredients are locally sourced (at ports of call).
The Bistro’s menu includes grilled and short-cooked meat meals, stews and sauces, gourmet soups and salads. The list of signature specialties features Dover Sole (aka common sole / flatfish), Blanquette de veau (veal ragout), Escargots a la Bourguignonne (snails in butter), croque-monsieur (fried boiled ham-and-cheese sandwich), Steak au poivres (aka pepper steak / filet mignon), roast chicken, gourmet burger, Salade Nicoise (tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, olives, anchovies), Croque-Monsieur (baked ham and cheese sandwich), many vegetarian dishes, desserts, plus daily specials.
The "Lunchtime at The Bistro" also offers 14 "Taste of the World" food selections, each dish featuring 6 different regional / local specialties inspired by the cruise ship's culinary team.