We booked this cruise with very high expectations, given Oceania's reputation as a "step above" the other cruise lines and the price point. Unfortunately, this cruise was a disappointment; almost from day one. I hope other ... Read More
We booked this cruise with very high expectations, given Oceania's reputation as a "step above" the other cruise lines and the price point. Unfortunately, this cruise was a disappointment; almost from day one. I hope other potential customers will learn from my experience and read all the reviews BEFORE booking a cruise on the Regatta.
I'd like to start with a positive note: the food was very good, particularly in the two specialty restaurants. The service was excellent in the two specialty restaurants. My praise ends there.
The lack of service on the cruise, from the restaurant staff, the cruise director, and destination services was a disappointing surprise. For example, it was more common than not, that we would have to chase down a server just to get a glass of water or a cup or coffee (or a refill) in the Terrace Buffet or the Main Dining Room. And forget getting a second glass of wine in the main dining room (we had a beverage package)! Unlike previous cruises we'd been on, service was perfunctory and most of the staff members we encountered were not friendly. An exception was Marsha, our cabin steward, who was terrific!
Our cabin, on the concierge veranda level (7th floor) was badly in need of refurbishment! Again; quite a disappointment after expecting something better from Oceania.
The Cruise Director was mostly AWOL. I don't think we saw him until almost the last day of the cruise. This contrasts markedly from our other ocean cruises - where the cruise directors are on tv all on the time (!!!) - and from our river cruises where they seem to have a larger role. Another shout-out to Nick, cruise director extraordinaire on the Viking Idi!
Unlike other cruises, there were no daily port briefings, and quite a few of the days, there were no maps or representatives on board to help us figure out what to do in port. What made it worse was that many of the ports had almost nothing to do. Other reviewers have commented on this; had I done my "due diligence" before I booked, I would have seen that.
The staff in Destination Services were very unfriendly, bordering on rude.
Another big "minus" was beyond Oceania's control. On the sailing just before ours, there was a major G-I outbreak. As a result, we were delayed in embarking, so all the cabins could be fumigated, and many cruise amenities were curtailed/discontinued for our entire cruise. For example, all the books were removed from the library and the self-service laundry was closed the entire cruise! And nothing was self-service in the dining areas; to include putting our own salt, pepper, or condiments on our food! Since the Terrace Buffet was full service, breakfasts and lunches were downright chaotic with passengers trying to get waited on in a space that was too small. I've enjoyed the buffet restaurant on the Regatta's sister ships, the Pacific Princess and the Azamara Journey and Quest, where guests select their own food. Since Oceania wants to maintain "full service" on the buffet, they need to reconfigure the design.
We had an unexpected extra sea day when we encountered very rough weather and our port call was cancelled. There were almost no activities on the ship during that day or the next day, which was a scheduled day at sea. Whoever heard of a cruise ship without any daily activities! Not even bingo!! B-o-r-I-n-g!
One outstanding highlight of the cruise took place before the cruise; our pre-excursion to Iguazu Falls!!! It was fantastic. Our tour director, Hernann, was fantastic. It might have been the best part of the entire cruise. Similarly, we enjoyed our free time in Buenos Aires, although the hotel had seen "better days." Buenos Aires is a charming city! Read Less