3 Lisbon Oceania Regatta Cruise Reviews

While planning to take a Transatlantic cruise in the spring, personal circumstances dictated that the November crossing was a better choice. I booked through my travel agent, travelling to Lisbon 3 days before the ship sailed. ... Read More
While planning to take a Transatlantic cruise in the spring, personal circumstances dictated that the November crossing was a better choice. I booked through my travel agent, travelling to Lisbon 3 days before the ship sailed. EMBARKATION - I had only been on one other cruise, however embarking the ship was seamless. It took less than 20 minutes, staff pleasant and helpful and there was a lovely lunch awaiting. Cabins were ready when promised. CABIN - I booked guaranteed inside, single traveller. There was a very minimal single supplement and was immediately upgraded to a window cabin. I paid for a verandah and was upgraded to a concierge verandah. Cabins are adequately sized, well furnished and there was enough storage. The beds are everything they say. I have never slept so well. Nice size TV with excellent choices. Verandah better than adequate. STAFF - Just wonderful. Pleasant, helpful and always with a smile. Service excellent in all places. There were only two glitches in my experience here. Once with some failed service recovery in Polo, one of the specialty restaurants and one with a bartender attempting to correct me about a cocktail I ordered. All in all these were nothing compared to the overall level of service FELLOW PASSENGERS - No children on board, a nice mix of ages, younger than I might have expected. No attitude. As a single traveller, I made a few good friends and many acquaintances. DINING - Generally excellent. I had a bad dinner at Polo, but that will teach me to order lobster on a ship. Toscana was much better. The food in the Grand Dining Room was equal to that in the Restaurants. Tapas is pleasant but seemed to me to be sort of the lunch buffet enhanced. The Terrace has excellent breakfasts and lunch, as does the dining room. the Waves Grill was popular. I did not use room service. There is coffee all morning in Horizons. Great early on; it opens at 0630, but somewhat cooked by closing. Again, service good everywhere LIFE ON BOARD - This was almost 10 days at sea so this was a very relaxing vacation. Bridge lessons everyday, art classes every other day and when the weather was good, shuffleboard and table tennis. Team Trivia was fun and popular. The shows were enthusiastic cabaret style events which not all liked but I found enjoyable. There were the invariable art auctions. The Spa is attractive, but I suspect like all of them overpriced. I would not use it again, unless perhaps I took advantage of a special. This was not a cruise for someone who wanted a jam-packed vacation, but aped older, more traditional shipboard life. CAVEATS - The only one I really had was that I was very seasick and while medication was available at reception I didn't know this, and waited until the next morning after I got sick to go to the Infirmary. As the weather was rough the first day or two (Several folks left the ship in the Azores) there should have been some way to make this known to passengers. but I know now for the next time. All in all this was one of the best vacations I have ever had and would strongly recommend it. It was a great trip for me a solo traveller, with friendly faces, great conversation and lots of friends Read Less
Sail Date November 2006
My 81 year old Father and I have previously sailed on Holland America (3 times), Orient (1 time) and Viking River (1 time). While we enjoyed all of these cruises, the Regatta has spoiled us for any other cruise line. The embarkation ... Read More
My 81 year old Father and I have previously sailed on Holland America (3 times), Orient (1 time) and Viking River (1 time). While we enjoyed all of these cruises, the Regatta has spoiled us for any other cruise line. The embarkation process took all of two minutes. The disembarkation took roughly 10 minutes. The food was wonderful. We especially enjoyed the Tapas on the Terrace for dinner. It is a buffet, but you do not have trays. You have over-sized dinner plates. The dinner choices always include paella, at least two types of seafood, a poultry of some sort and a "carved" meat. There is a lovely salad bar and "made to order" Ceasar salad.Tapas is the Terrace Cafe at breakfast and lunch. There are two specialty restaurants - Toscana for Italian food and Polo for steak and beef. Reservations are required, but there is no additional charge. Our cabin was nice. The bathroom is VERY small, but you do have excellent toiletries and towels. We wonder if there is some type of sensor in the floor. Each time we returned to the cabin we could tell that our Stewardess, Sagita, had been in the cabin refreshing the towels, adding ice to the bucket, turning down the beds, etc. We took only ship offered shore excursions. All were acceptable, some were very good. The motor coaches were always nice and the guides were very fluent in English. The only complaint is with the activity rating on the excursions. Some Moderate Rated excursions were definitely Strenuous. We were too tired in the evening to go to any of the entertainment, but did enjoy the various musicians who performed throughout the ship. The cruise was a Western Mediterranean Cruise that went from Lisbon to Civitavecchia with stops along the way. I will not bore you with words on the Ports as they have been covered by many other cruisers. The Regatta is a very nice ship with staff that believes in pampering the guest. Read Less
Sail Date September 2004
Flight times as set up by Oceania. My flight was changed about 3 times by them. Flight left 1 hr. late, thank goodness my connecting flight was late too. The seats arranged by my travel agent were not honored and we had other seats ... Read More
Flight times as set up by Oceania. My flight was changed about 3 times by them. Flight left 1 hr. late, thank goodness my connecting flight was late too. The seats arranged by my travel agent were not honored and we had other seats assigned to us. We were met by Oceania staff on arrival to Lisbon and after collecting our luggage quickly bused to the port. The embarkation crew did not seem to be prepared for us and there were long lines as they were getting ready. I was in the front of the line and once they started we were processed quickly. I'm not sure about all the people behind me. Once on board we went to the Terrace cafe (Buffet). Then we made our 2 reservations for each of the restaurants (Polo and Toscana). There was some discrepancy about this. The Reception desk told us we couldn't but when you go up to the respective restaurants you can make your 2 reservations. You also need not remember when they are, you will be reminded by a card in your door. We were very tired at this point and made our way down to the cabin. It was ready and we crashed until dinner. Dinner for my first night was in the Toscana. We were still quite tired and didn't really order much. There was also no encouragement on the part of the waiter to try anything. Left there a little on the hungry side and went to the 9th floor. Overall, I would say the food was quite good except for a couple of meals. One was where I ordered sword fish in the Polo and the fish really wasn't cooked. The waiter was trying to convince me and the other woman at the table who had the same fish that it was supposed to be that way. We thought it was strange when we couldn't cut it with the knife. Maitre D. confirmed this with us and the fish went back to the kitchen. My cabin was on level 3, port hole. The cabin was small, but I had great neighbors. Everyone was very friendly. Lots of crew traffic on the 3rd level. Also, you can only access the cabins from one elevator. The other half of the 3rd level is for "crew only". Destination service: This is where Oceania really needs some improvement. At the last minute I decided to book a shore excursion package. It states in the booklet that is sent to you that this is not available for purchase on the ship. In fact they did allow you to purchase this on the ship. The real disadvantage of prebooking is that you are not allowed to use any ship board credits towards this purchase. (I did have a small credit from my travel agent). I had been reading these boards before my cruise and felt that I didn't have a good handle on what I could do independently. I am geographically challenged and didn't want to waste what time I did have getting lost and finding my way back. By booking these tours I had quantity activities but did not have quality. They say and do use reputable tour companies, which means the bus is clean. I wasn't prepared for a bus that is much like the airlines whereby if the person in front of you reclines their seat, their head is in your lap. There was no leg room on these buses and I am 5'4" and complaining. The tour buses were usually not filled to capacity, but there was always upward of 40 people. Many of the tour guides I experienced were struggling with their English and had a memorized script of what to say. In the bus its not a big deal, just enjoy the pretty scenery, but when you're on your tour and your standing there with this big crowd of 40 plus people struggling to hear it is a problem and a big waste of time. Some of the people who I did meet canceled the package after Spain. For me it was an expensive waste of time. I forgot to mention I did the explorer collection. I also almost forgot to mention we didn't dock at one of the ports we were supposed to. Portofino, the weather was bad and they couldn't tender us. We went to Genoa instead. Peter, the charge destination person, was quick to say there would be no refunds for the excursion in Portofino. They instead "had something of better quality" that would be even more exciting. No one had any idea of what was being planned but it was better. Peter had the best adjectives. To bad they weren't true. I was looking forward to cruising on the Italian Riveria and not another bus tour. We received another bus tour with yet another struggling English tour guide. This guide even apologized for her English. As for the destination service desk and the Reception desk: this is one of my favorite stories. It didn't happen to me but I did hear it at dinner that night. At the port in Livorno, 2 women went to the desk to get a map so they could take the train to Florence. They were wandering around looking for the train station. Finally, they met someone and to make a long story short, what they had received from the reception desk was a map of Civitaveccia not Livorno. Good thing they had been to Florence before. Peter was also advising people not to take the trains because of what happened in Madrid. I felt they (Peter) were unnecessarily scaring people out of doing things on their own. Obviously for economic reasons the shore excursions were highly encouraged and there was no help or support if you wanted to do anything on your own. For me they were something to do but I wouldn't do them again nor would I recommend them at this point. It is the one thing that Oceania may get a letter from me about. Lets go back to the food. Dining experience in general good. I liked the Grand Dining Room. Somewhere on these boards or reviews someone mentioned they didn't enforce a dress code. It was probably me. After those all day excursions I was too tired to change. My least favorite place to eat was the Terrace Cafe. Some had to do with my taste in food and that is where some of the wait staff seemed really oblivious. Either they were really good or they stood there like space cadets. This was also my first experience with open seating. It's wonderful to meet other passengers, but there is no one to really take care of you. Entertainment: I did not spend a lot of time in the lounge. I did go see John Paul who was excellent. Afternoon tea: I really enjoyed this. Excellent scones. The enrichment Lecturer, Dieter, very interesting and informative to listen to. Way more interesting to listen to than the tour guides on those expensive excursions. I hope this helps gives some information to any readers out there in cyberspace.  As for me this was my 5th cruise. Second European one. I must say even if I wasn't really impressed with the shore excursions we did have a really nice time. A lot of that was due to the really nice fellow passengers that I met. It was a very nice experience but I don't feel Oceania is at that upscale cruising experience they are advertising or trying to achieve. I will also mention my flight home. Had an extra night stay. My flight departed from Barcelona, stop over in Amsterdam, to the US. Well guess what, got to Amsterdam. The minute I reached the terminal there was an announcement that the flight was canceled. Within minutes we were whisked out of the airport to a hotel in Haag. Got to see a place not on Oceania's itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date March 2004
Regatta Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 5.0 4.2
Entertainment 3.5 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.5 3.8
Family 2.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.2
Enrichment 4.5 3.5
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.5
Rates 4.0 4.0

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