Just back from the Regatta Dover to Stockholm trip and as promised, here are some thoughts.
First off, we had a great trip. The ship is excellent both in size and staffing. We found the food, cabin, smoking policy, facilities, and cleanliness to be completely as advertised.
We had splurged for a vista suite and found it remarkable. Butler service was attentive and responsive and the space itself was expansive and luxurious.
We used the fitness facilities and the Spa and found them of excellent quality and they compared very favorably to other cruises we have taken.
The Oceania at Sea computer room was available 24 hours a day; pricey but efficient. We were always able to get on a computer and check emails.
We only used destination services for one tour to Gdansk. The tour itself was fine. The ship destination staff had warned of potential problems finding a taxi into Gdansk, however it turned out that a number of taxis were available if we had chosen an independent tour (which we would have preferred).
The port intensive itinerary for this cruise was exceptional and in most cases the docking locations were very good. We ran like crazy every day and made the most of our time in port.
Cannot really comment about the entertainment on board, as we never attended any of the shows. Spent too much Casino time I guess. However, there was certainly a variety of entertainers and music onboard and at the docks. While we never attended the enrichment lectures we did find ourselves watching them on the TV in the cabin and other passengers did comment on their quality. The port talks were less informative and more geared toward selling tours rather than broadly explaining about the ports.
However, with a single exception (which I think is quite remarkable) we found the entire staff, when dealing with passengers, to be friendly, helpful and genuinely interested in servicing our needs. From wait staff to cabin staff, from embarkation staff to officers, from casino dealers to maitre’ds, everyone was friendly, helpful and made us feel special.
So for a quick snapshot we had a great time on an excellent craft, met interesting people, saw exciting ports (it sure “wasn’t Kansas anymore”) and spent two weeks focusing on unique towns, interesting local customs and foods, pampering ourselves and not thinking about work and obligations. We found our trip to be both a great learning experience and a darn good time from morning to night.