First Time (and Not the Last) on Oceania: Regatta Cruise Review by Listonian
Overall Member Rating
First Time (and Not the Last) on Oceania
Embarkation: San Francisco
6023 was very clean, smart and comfortable and we had excellent service throughout the voyage. Open dining is a must have option on any cruise as far as we are concerned and we were not disappointed with the Grand Dining Room. Far from it it. The menu selection was diverse and interesting and often included fresh fish / seafood brought on board at various ports of call. The speciality restaurants (no extra charge) More disappointed with neither food nor service being as good as the main dining room.
The running buffets at lunch were excellent and the Waves Bistro served an excellent hot dog!
Entertainment seemed to please most of our fellow passengers but we found it to be indifferent in variety and standards.
It was a memorable sail through the labyrinth of Alaskan sea ways and the captain plotted a very interesting course which took us very close ( a few hundred yards) to the Hubbard Glacier which obligingly "calved" spectacularly whilst we were there.
We visited the forgettable little town of Astoria in Oregon and the surprisingly pleasant and interesting town of Sitka where we booked our own Wildlife tour at a quarter of the price charged on the ship. Bears were a pleasant surprise in a sanctuary and a walk in the woods was fascinating.
Whale Watching in Juneau was hugely enjoyable and successful with a camera full of interesting shots. Like Juneau, Ketchikan is overrun with touristy shops selling a lot of tatty souvenirs. Wrangell was forgettable too but there are very interesting tours on offer.
All the destinations are a jumping off point for excursions which are readily available locally, usually at less than half the price if booked on the ship BUT without the security / insurance offered by the ship.
We can't wait to go back to Alaska and would certainly go there (or anywhere) again with Oceania and we would put that company a shade behind Seabourne but well ahead of Azamara and Windstar with P&O at the bottom of the list. The service charges of 18% added to the onboard bill, as well as gratuities of $160 each, were steep and only slightly offset by free wifi wrath, at $29 per day. Factor them into you cruise cost with Oceania! Less
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