My husband and I recently returned from the 12 night holiday cruise on the Regatta. Although we have traveled on other ships on these holidays and many other times before, this was our first time on the Regatta. It was one of the best experiences we have had.
Embarkation: We live in Florida and traveled to the port by car. We found the garage at the terminal to be full when we arrived around 1pm. My husband dropped me and the luggage and the curb and went looking for an open garage. He was back in about 20 minutes and we went in and checked in without incident. Everything went very smoothly.
Ship: The ship was tastefully decorated for the holidays. This beautiful ship had Christmas trees, garland, and gingerbread houses. There was even the occasional menorah. Everything was lovely. We wandered the ship to orient ourselves without any trouble. The ship is large enough to be comfortable and small enough to be cozy.
Room: We had a 7th floor concierge level balcony room. It was nicely decorated and thought was clearly spent finding a way to put so much storage space in the room. We found we did not even need every shelf and drawer! Unbelievable! We had an ample supply of thick absorbent towels, hand towels and face cloths. We never had to ask for more. A first for us. I unfortunately forgot my shampoo and conditioner but found that I did not even miss them after trying the products in the room. Everything was very good quality and in ample supply. Our room stewards were polite, friendly and thorough. Our morning service was always done by the time we returned to our room even if we were only good 30 minutes. My husband and I brought all of our scuba gear from home and were concerned that cleaning it and storing it would be a problem. No such thing! We had more than enough space in our room for storing the gear. More later on cleaning it.
Food: As most already know it was wonderful. We did not go to the dining room except for dinner. We found the buffet and grill to be excellent. We usually went to Tapas for sushi and other appetizers around 6pm and then went to dinner at either the main dinning room, Polo Grill or Toscana around 8:30 or 9pm. We ate in Polo Grill 1 night and thoroughly enjoyed it. The lobster bisque was terrific. We at in Toscana 3 nights and would have gone there more had we tried it sooner. (The maitre de can usually get you in if you ask nicely.) Everything we tried was scrumptious. The chef is magical. The main dining room was an absolutely enjoyable event as well. There were always so many options that the decision what to eat was difficult.
Entertainment: We did not go to too many shows we were usually at dinner when the occurred. However, we thoroughly enjoyed the ones we did attend. There is a piano in the bar near the small casino and the player was very talented. The DJ, Christian, in the night club was extremely personable and played the music the patrons requested without hesitation.
The art director, Dan, was knowledgeable, informative and friendly. All this without being pushy.
Shore Excursions: The staff at the shore excursions desk was incredibly helpful. They knew an awful lot about each port and what might interest each person. Natasa was also a diver and helped my husband and me with several dive excursions.
Ports: We went to Virgin Gorda, St. Barts, Dominica, St. Lucia, Antigua, Tortola, Dominican Republic and Grand Turk. We also had 3 sea days. We choose to dive on 4 of the islands (St. Barts, Dominica, St. Lucia, and Grant Turk). Although the diving in St. Barts was not so great, it was probably a good choice because it was Christmas day and most shops and other stuff were closed. We heard many couples say they had taken taxis to beachfront resorts and had glorious lunches.
Disembarkation: One word SMOOTH! We were off the ship and driving home by 8:30am. I was so impressed with how this went. The buffet wasn't too crowded. The public rooms were not too crowded either.
Summary: This was our first Oceania cruise but certainly not our last. Not one single thing to complain about. We loved the ship. We enjoyed the staff and crew. We enjoyed the fellow guests. We can't wait to be back onboard this ship.