Regatta is a fine ship, to be sure, yet not without fault. We sailed from Miami on Feb. 20, returned Mar. 4, 2005. Overall, the ship is well appointed, with dark woods, oriental style carpeting, comfortable eating areas and superb, friendly service.
We enjoyed the serving staff a great deal--friendly, concerned, and thoughtful. The food was generally excellent, as well. Fresh fruit, and unusual fruits at that, were readily available. The omelets were prepared to order and competent. The eggs were powdered on the buffet, but the dining room cooked them to order. Lunches were enhanced with salad choices, a variety of meats and desserts and cheeses. Dinners featured a good variety of entrees, soups, and salads. We enjoyed our cabin attendant, and found the bartenders competent and eager to please. So no personnel complaints.
The room was comfortable, with delightful pillows and comfortable beds. They were roomy enough for us, since our rooms on most cruises are used for showers, sleeping, and clothes storage. We don't spend a lot of time in the rooms, in other words. Yet the cruise has several bumps to overcome.
In the first place, most of us found the concierge not only unhelpful, but surly and unwilling to help. We could not get him to call onto the pier to arrange a simple matter for us, for example. Another couple found the concierge unable and unwilling to help with a question about room pillows. The entrees in the specialty restaurant called Tuscany were out of keeping with the fine service and attentive help. Apparently, one needs to order meat at least two degrees more well done than normal. If you order something medium, it will arrive rare. So if you want something medium rare, you need to order it medium. My lamb chops, which I ordered medium rare, arrived so rare as to be inedible. We sent our orders back. Mine came back just as rare, and my wife's was presented so well-done as to be leathery. To be fair, the staff was concerned and wanted to make it up to us. Yet this does not seem difficult. In the Polo Room, I ordered prime rib medium. It arrived very rare.
Also, this ship doesn't seem to be stable. I found that I needed to take sea-sick pills to function on the ship--this for the first time on any cruise.
Don't get sick on Regatta. Medical costs are exorbitant. So were the Drinks on the pool deck: they were preposterously expensive, as was the wine list. 30 dollars for a five dollar wine seems disingenuous, even bordering on gouging. Nor were the wines in any way exceptional. Just expensive. In addition, the ship had several medical emergencies and gave the impression of being incapable of dealing with the problems with effectiveness. An unintentionally hilarious scene occurred at Porto Playa in the Dominican Republic, which I'm sure someone will recount in a review. Yet the humor of the scene was set against the backdrop of a gravely ill passenger. This ship has the potential of being a great ship. It isn't there yet. Several aspects need to be cleaned up.
Two recommendations. On Dominica, find a cab company run by Lester. Excellent, funny, genial. On St. Lucia, go with Frank. Both men were great fun and knowledgeable.