My husband and I travelled with Oceania for the first time due to the great itinerary and great special offer (reasonable price with onboard spending money included). The itinerary lived up to expectation and all ports were great. The cruise ship had many great features and we enjoyed the cruise, but also some big drawbacks.
Crew - the best I have experienced - all friendly, helpful, efficient - without the servility experienced on some expensive cruise ships. You were able to have a joke with them - and they were all smiles. Nothing was too much problem and the one or two times we had small issues they were dealt with quickly and with no fuss.
Food -generally very good. Outstanding in Toscana - try the Dover Sole!!! One or two odd dishes particularly at lunch, but overall no issues. Afternoon teas the best I have known in a cruise ship - lovely selection of sandwiches, cakes, scones etc - and all served in beautiful china cups.
Public rooms - very attractive, open and airy. The library is stunning! Lovely china at all restaurants added to the country house ambience.
Cabins nicely furnished and attractive.
Free soft drinks (even alcohol-free cocktails) were a bonus as I do not drink much alcohol, and also because it was very very hot on the cruise. Also the staff were always happy to serve you - no feeling that they would have preferred to serve paying customers with alcoholic drinks.
Small bathroom with tiny shower so you were constantly touching the wall or the shower curtain - we spoke to one man who just used the whole bathroom as shower cubicle to make it usable and we were tempted to follow suit!! You could not even sit straight on the toilet - had to sit at a slight angle!!! Shower water pressure was feeble, so the whole experience was poor. Not good for a supposedly luxurious ship.
Ship often felt crowded because the pool area is so small - every sunbed taken even the ones in full sun (in 30 degree plus heat!). You couldn't swim in the pool in the afternoon - it was like playing sardines just to squeeze yourself in!
No outdoor seating, only sunbeds. This is a problem for me becaue I have sciatica and the beds are poor for posture.
Everything overpriced - drinks, tours, boutiques. The tours were 50-100% higher priced than on other ships I have used. The drinks had a big markup, although the wine selections was good. The jewellery and clothes sold had 100% markup compared to expensive shops! I have quite a lot of jewellery amd know the market prices and they were charging gold jewellery prices for silver items and precious stone prices for semi-precious!!!
Other comments - tendering was quite well-managed but it needed to be as we tendered in 6 ports out of 10. Also, it felt like it was being done on the cheap - not as many tenders as most ships, not as many shuttle buses, tendering points on shore not very close to the centre.
All in all, difficult to assess the cruise as it combined excellent with appalling! It depends if the bathroom size and lack of space for outdoor seating matters to you. I might use Regatta again but my husband says no way!!