The ship's main entertainment venue, Regatta Lounge, is located forward on Deck 5. More a cabaret than a theater, it's congenial but not ideal for stage shows, as the seating is at scattered tables, and sight lines are poor. There's a nice dance floor in the room, though (and a bigger one in Horizons, too). Regatta's entertainment is, therefore, cabaret-style, with entertainers doubling as social hosts and hostesses during the day. There are musicians and solo acts brought onboard, but, in general, entertainment is fairly low-key.
On our cruise, we enjoyed a jazz quartet that played outside during lunch when the weather was nice. They also played inside during tea time at Horizons. There was a classical trio, which played around the ship at different times and welcomed us to the Grand Dining Room for supper. A husband-and-wife magical comedy team regaled us with tricks and jokes. Our cruise director was an accomplished singer and entertainer, so -- aside from his daytime duties of keeping us informed, delighting us with bits of arcane trivia and explaining the day's activities -- we also enjoyed his presence in the evenings.
A small casino offers blackjack and poker tables and some scattered slot machines. The tables were busy on some nights, but the slot machines were too tight to get much play after the first couple of days.
For excursions, we used Oceania's offerings exclusively, except in places where we just wanted to get out and walk. Some were priced substantially higher than if we had done them on our own, but some -- like the Premium Tours we took in St. Petersburg -- were worth every penny. If you'd like a more intimate twist on some of Oceania's popular tours, look for offerings marked as "Oceania Exclusive". These are limited to 10 to 16 participants and feature more personal attention and flexibility than Oceania's standard excursions; they're a cross between a private tour and a typical shore excursion. The Oceania Exclusive tours cost more than their big-coach counterparts but offer great value for travelers who don't like the herd mentality of large group tours.
Regatta brings representatives from the tourism boards of each city visited onto the ship on the morning of arrival. You can get maps and information, but also do your homework, and ask a lot of questions before you go. Some of the info we were given by the shore staff -- even the tourism representatives -- was incorrect.
Regatta Public Rooms
You might not exactly gasp the first time you enter Regatta's main lobby on Deck 4, but most people want to -- at least those who aren't familiar with these small ships and their consistent decor. Some people equate the central staircase with a Titanic replica; I prefer to think of it as Tara-like, since I expect to see Vivien Leigh flouncing down to greet Clark Gable at the bottom. Though in reality, you'll most likely be flouncing down the steps to ask questions at the reception, shore excursions or concierge desks located there. The medical center is also on this deck.
The ambience in Regatta's public rooms is clubby, elegant, comfortable and familiar; you feel as though you're in a country manor house that you've visited before. Plush furnishings and Oriental carpets of red, gold, blue and yellow are framed by the burled walnut of the walls, ornamental sconces and painted ceiling frescoes. Several of the rooms have faux fireplaces, including the beautiful, comfortable library perched over the pool; Martinis, the bar by the casino; and the Grand Bar at the entrance to the dining room.
Most of the public rooms are located on the Deck 5 promenade or on Deck 10 aft (the library) or forward (Horizons). Just before entry into the spa on Deck 9 is the Internet center. Internet service is available at an exorbitant 99 cents per minute (among the highest we've seen at sea), with packages available to bring the price down slightly: $160 for 200 minutes or $27.99 per person, per day, for unlimited use. Package prices might be more expensive on shorter cruises.
Next to the Internet center is a small card room where people like to play Bridge.
The ship's boutiques on Deck 5 offer an array of logo items, perfumes and other duty-free goods, as well as regional tchotchkes that reflect the cruise's itinerary.
Regatta Spa & Fitness
A lovely but small swimming pool, just big enough to do a couple of laps, is located on Deck 9. Two hot tubs flank the pool.
Regatta has one of the prettiest -- albeit smallest -- spa facilities afloat. All the way forward on the pool deck, The Canyon Ranch SpaClub is cool, quiet and relaxing without a lot of gimmickry. Treatments run the gamut from hot stone and aromatherapy massages to wraps and scrubs, waxing, facials, mani-pedis, hair cutting and styling, and reiki.
There is a small but reasonably well-equipped fitness center on the opposite side of the ship from the spa. Classes are offered for spinning, Pilates and yoga ($11 each). Fitness assessments and personal training are also available for a fee.
At the very bow of the ship is a large and lovely thalassotherapy pool, filled with seawater and providing a strong swirl to ease your aches and pains. It's reserved for free use by occupants of Concierge-level cabins and higher, as well as for those who purchase spa treatments. You can also buy a day pass for $25 or multi-day passes at a discount ($60 for three days, $100 for five days or $175 for 10 days).
Deck 10 offers a running track. Deck 11 forward has a shuffleboard court, a putting green, and Regatta's for-fee private cabanas. These outdoor sanctuaries are furnished with double chaise lounges, drink tables and phones for calling in food and drink orders. The glass fronts provide protection from the wind, but the framing of the cabanas includes a ceiling that can be peeled back to let in light and air. Waiters will bring cold towels, drinks, fruit skewers and afternoon tea. You can rent a cabana by the day or purchase a six-day, seven-day or full-cruise package. Packages come with extra amenities, such as two Oceania beach towels, hat, sun visor, sunscreen and after-sun lotion, a free 10-minute shoulder massage (port days only) and 25 percent off select Canyon Ranch SpaClub treatments (also port days only). Pricing begins at $95 for a one-day rental when the ship is in port.