A last minute decision to take a cruise led to us discovering Oceania's Regatta. What a lucky find! There are only a few ships taking interesting cruises from our home port of Fremantle and as we had never seen New Zealand, our travel agents recommendation of 16 days from Sydney round New Zealand aboard Regatta turned out to be inspirational.
Having experienced premium cruising with Seabourn, we were prepared to lower our sights a little, but this turned out be unnecessary. We were able to book a Penthouse Suite at a reasonable price and this turned out to be quite spacious and service by a charming butler who I think my Wife would have liked to take home.
The Penthouse Suite gave us plenty of room and the bathroom was adequate although a separate shower would have been appreciated. The balcony contained a couple of loungers and again was a reasonable size.
The only disappointment was a very disfunctional TV system which was excessively devoted to promoting Oceania and consequently, things like movies never matched the printed schedules and no information about a movie could be accessed once it had started. The DVD library was like going back in time and badly needs updating.
Although the ship was full with 684 passengers, it never seemed crowded except for the main lounge in the evenings where seats were at a premium if there was a good show on. Regatta is obviously a very well run ship from the bridge downwards and she is always immaculate. The crew are well trained and the service was excellent.
If asked what aspect of the cruise was best, it would be hard to go past the food. Head Chef Anthony Maupassain and his 67 cooks served what we considered the best food we had ever experienced. The 2 specialty restaurants, Polo Grill and Toscana are as good as any 5 star restaurant ashore and there is no surcharge.
An excellent overall experience and well done Regatta.