390 Oceania Regatta Cruise Reviews

This was our first cruise! We were celebrating my husband's 60th birthday and our 25th wedding anniversary on August 1, 2017. We chose Oceania Regatta for it's size (684 passengers) and the itinerary. We did not want to cruise ... Read More
This was our first cruise! We were celebrating my husband's 60th birthday and our 25th wedding anniversary on August 1, 2017. We chose Oceania Regatta for it's size (684 passengers) and the itinerary. We did not want to cruise on a mega ship, it had six ports of call including Victoria, BC and we cruised Hubbard Glacier on our anniversary! We drove from our home in Northern California to the Seattle Hilton where they have a Stay and Cruise package. They let us check in early on Thursday and we spent the whole day exploring Seattle. We rode the Metro light rail downtown to Pike's Place, rode the monorail to the Spaceneedle and then both back to the hotel. We spent one night at the Hilton and then they stored our car for the 10 days we cruised providing a shuttle to and from the ship. Embarkation could not have gone smoother! We were on the ship quickly and eating lunch in the Terrace Cafe with a younger couple that let us join them. This was their 6th Oceania cruise! We quickly found that most passengers had cruised before and most with Oceania multiple times. Our cabin was ready by 2:00pm. We were in a Concierge level balcony stateroom, aft cabin. From what we had read we expected a small cabin with little storage and an even smaller bathroom. We were pleasantly surprised by the amount of closet and storage space with plenty of hangers. Two of our empty suitcases fit under the bed and the third, which was too big, did fit in the closet. The bathroom was small but adequate with storage. Our only complaint with the bathroom was only one electrical plug and in an odd place. The bed was larger than an advertised queen and very comfortable. The end of the room was an entire sliding glass door to our balcony which gave us a great view of the ocean. The Regatta is beautiful! The rich decor, teakwood, and original art everywhere is gorgeous. The decor is not modern but more of ships gone by, but we loved it! We were allowed two reservations in both specialty restaurants and found them both very good to excellent. We especially enjoyed Toscana, the Italian restaurant. We ate dinner once in the MDR which was good but a little slow. We ate lunch a couple times in Waves Grill but the rest of our meals were in the Terrace Cafe, Regatta's buffet. We found it time saving with excellent food, many choices, yummy desserts and ice cream for the hubby. A highlight for us was afternoon tea held daily in the MDR at 4:00 pm with the Avista String Quartet! We loved the entertainment! The shows put on by the Regatta Production Cast were excellent! The Regatta Show Band was also very good especially the saxophonist. The two shows by comedian Tom Drake were great. We went to every 9:30 pm show but two! The activities aboard were many and varied. We had so many activities we wanted to participate in and many at the same time! My husband enjoyed the ping pong tournaments and we both played bingo and participated in some of the trivia contests. I went to two of the enrichment lectures, one on Alaskan wildlife and the other on Glaciers. My husband caught part of the presentation on earthquakes. All were good. We visited Ketchikan, Juneau, Icy Straight Pt. In Hoonah, Skagway, Sitka, and Victoria, BC. We had a shore excursion in every port but Icy Straight. Highlights were the Mendenhall Glacier and gardens in Juneau, the White Mountain Pass railroad in Skagway, kayaking in Sitka and Butchart Gardens in Victoria. The service aboard the Regatta was excellent! The ship was always being cleaned! All the staff from entertainment, to waitstaff, to cabin stewards were so nice, helpful, and personable. Within a few days we were being called by name. We both used the Canyan Ranch Spa and I had the best facial I have ever had and my husband had the best therapeutic massage ever. We enjoyed interacting with other passengers. Most were in there 50's, 60's and 70's but we met younger passengers, multi-generational families and a very few children. All were nice, eager to share where they were from and previous cruise experiences. We wished we had seen more wildlife. It may have been the time of year and warmer weather. We had weather mostly in the 60's and even 70. The excursions we chose did not center on wildlife. We did see many bald eagles, fish, Sitka black tailed deer, whales spouting and my husband saw one humpback whale. I had wanted to see Orcas, brown bears and the black and white porpoises. We did hear of sightings of these. We did get a late start from Seattle. The ship was suppose to sail at 5:00pm but did not leave until 7pm. Our second evening onboard, a sea day, was quite rough with about four hours of rolling about with many reports of seasickness. The rest of the cruise was fine. Disembarking went very smoothly with no complaints from us. We hope to cruise again in the future and would definitely choose Oceania again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Before I begin, let me say that I had a fabulous trip a few years ago on Oceania's Riviera in the Mediterranean. It was superb in every way possible, so my view of the Regatta suffered in comparison. I realize my review will sound ... Read More
Before I begin, let me say that I had a fabulous trip a few years ago on Oceania's Riviera in the Mediterranean. It was superb in every way possible, so my view of the Regatta suffered in comparison. I realize my review will sound very negative and I am sorry, but I am just being totally honest in my comments. I will not book a cruise on the Regatta again. Overpriced across the board. First, we allowed Oceania to book our flight from South Carolina to Seattle. Big mistake! Very inconvenient times of departures and arrivals...leaving Charlotte 7 AM which required our booking a hotel for a prior night's stay because we live 2 hours from the airport...and then our return time was midnight which required our booking yet another hotel night to avoid driving home in the middle of the night. Also, we had a connecting flight coming and going with 2 hours delay each way! Next time, I will book a non-stop flight and enjoy our flight time a whole lot more and save $$ on two extra hotel bookings!! We chose Oceania's Pre-Cruise Package to spend the night before our cruise in the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. It was hugely overpriced! It did include shuttle from airport to hotel and from hotel to pier which was good. Next time, I will book my own hotel near the pier and pay for a taxi. We chose an "A1 Concierge Level Veranda". Suite 7121. This level is up there right next to the Penthouse Suites so it leads you to believe they may be somewhat alike....NOT! It was totally aft and the view out from our deck was beautiful although it rained most every day or was too cold to sit outside. We had one large suitcase that would not fit under the bed so it sat next to the deck door for the journey. I had read reviews on here about how small the bathroom is, but we still were shocked!! When sitting on the toilet, your left knee is about 3-4 inches from the bathroom door. The shower is maybe 18-24 inches in front of you and you can rest your right elbow on the sink. Dim lighting and no magnifying mirror for putting on make-up or shaving. The shower is 3-4 feet square...a tight fit even for normal sized people! Total counter space is approx. 12-18 inches long and about 5 inches deep. The suite itself was VERY compact. My friend and I had twin beds that were pushed together..made up separately, thank goodness!....there was certainly not room enough to separate them. There was just enough room for one person at a time to walk between the end of the beds and the slender dresser. We met our "concierge" Jemilie" upon arrival, but only saw her during the week in the hallway as she and her helper cleaned other suites. They were friendly and our room was always made up promptly when we left it. We had room service bring us coffee each morning and barely had room to place a pot with 2 cups on the tiny table in our suite. The food was generally good. We ate at both speciality restaurants and were pleased with the service in both. The Terrace Cafe was best! The lobster tails each night were wonderful!! Entertainment, etc: We enjoyed the String Quartet at many venues during the cruise, we played a little in the (very small) casino, played bingo a couple of times, enjoyed afternoon tea in the Main Dining Room at 4, attended the comedian's show (so-so), chatted with the computer guy (Paulo) a couple of times (he was helpful and great!) . The overall look of the ship is a bit dated. I know it was refurbished in 2014, but still needs updates. The furniture in the open, gathering areas is tired. By far, a highlight of our trip was in Ketchikan...riding in the catamaran to enjoy a Crab Feast !! Never have we had Dungeness Crabs cooked to perfection and never ending!! In Sitka, we took the 3.5 hour catamaran tour to see Brown Alaskan Bear, Sea Otters and Bald Eagles. Beautiful views and knowledgeable Naturalist to explain many things. Embarkation and Disembarkation were seamless and easy. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Ultimately forgettable Regatta... EMBARKING: *We arrived by private car, so our arrival experience will be different than if you are arriving on a cruise arranged bus.* If arriving Seattle to park in a garage, drive to the baggage ... Read More
Ultimately forgettable Regatta... EMBARKING: *We arrived by private car, so our arrival experience will be different than if you are arriving on a cruise arranged bus.* If arriving Seattle to park in a garage, drive to the baggage drop area at the pier first. Porters will take your checked luggage, and you won’t have to schlep it from the parking garage, as we did. There isn’t a soul to be seen in the parking garage, so don’t believe the bit about a shuttle and service. Check in is similar to the airport. Documents at a desk, more lines, security check, and on to the ship. At t hat point you will probably be sitting in a lounge or out by the pool for two hours. Your room will be ready around 3pm, and everyone showed up at 1 on our ship. There were no announcements for the staterooms. Only the suites were called at 1 and 1:30, and then nothing. STATEROOM: Having taken other cruises with other companies, we knew we wouldn’t be in our room much, so we chose a lower level stateroom. However on Regatta the 3000’s are on the same hall with crew quarters and crew operations, so you will be dodging workmen and not just other guests in your narrow hall. The stateroom was average. Same tiny shower as all other ships, hard couch, tiny dressing table mostly taken up by an ice bucket, and tiny porthole. Closet was a reasonable size and had a generous amount of hangers, and there were two rows of small drawers flanking the refrigerator compartment. Our luggage fit under the bed, and our carry on sized bags on the window ledge. You can ask the room steward to take your luggage away to store, but I was using it to access my items in addition to the drawers. Worst part of the room: the water temperature. One minute of scalding water, adjusted to warm, then went stone cold within two mins. Men would likely be able to soap, rinse, and run- but don’t try lingering to condition your hair or shave your legs, ladies. I don’t know if this was because we were in the steerage class, but I would hope the suites had better regulation of the temp. Also the much touted Bulgari shower gel and shampoo provided ensure that you will be knocked down by the odor constantly while aboard. The crew and the guests all reeked powerfully of it. SHORE EXCURSIONS: If you are new to cruising, you may not realize the eye popping prices on the shore excursion packages. This cruise stops at Ketchikan, Sitka, and Prince Rupert. There isn’t much to do in any of those towns, so they package up sightseeing flights ($300+), salmon sportfishing ($300+), and even a zip line in Ketchikan ($200+). Even a “walking tour” is eighty dollars. This is where the cruise really makes their money on you, so choose carefully. You will be lumped in with other cruise ships coming in as well, so it is not a private tour for Oceania cruises. I cannot comment on the quality of the tours, as we did not elect to buy any of their offerings. We walked around the towns ourselves. Ketchikan is the most touristy, with all the junk shops right at the pier. Sitka is more “lived in” and smaller. Prince Rupert bordered on scary downtown. Walking uphill from the pier area quickly degenerates in to boarded up stores, government welfare offices, thrift shops, and Walmart. Sketchy looking folks lying in doorways and rude groups of teenagers had us heading back to the ship. ON BOARD SHIP DAYS: There are two “days at sea” on this cruise. One was supposed to be a tour of the glaciers, but due to large chunks in the water, the ship could not risk the props. (Another ship ahead of us had apparently become stuck while trying to navigate the narrow channel) We glimpsed a ribbon of glacier coming down a hill, and some gorgeous waterfalls and blue ice in the channel. The final day at sea, cruising back to Seattle, has no views. If you rise by 4 AM on the final day you might watch Whidbey Island passing by as you enter Admiralty Inlet. Seattle skyline views will appear around 6AM. SHIP AREAS: -LIBRARY is well stocked and very English. Deep leather chairs with ottomans were prized lingering spots. Good views out side windows. -POOL is very small, and it and the hot tub were constantly filled with children on this cruise. More on that later. Towels and blankets provided, but usually not well stocked. Lounge chairs only face in to pool, none to the view, so we had to constantly turn them out. Loud 70s music over the PA. -COMPUTER CENTER-has available terminals. We received free WiFi with our package, so we just used our tablets. -CASINO- lots of slots, and a few tables. Slot tourney most evenings, and a Bingo jackpot ongoing. Careful- using your room card on the machine carries a surcharge. -SHOPS-Two. One a standard high end jewelry store, featuring pearls and inlaid turquoise/tribal jewelry, and perfumes. And the usual gift shop with clothing and sundries. Wait for the last evening for 50% off sales on certain items in the gift shop. - Gym- standard equipment. Some classes, such as Pilates or yoga, but mostly CanyonRanch special spa services. No one using the gym most days. Kids playing on equipment on others. -CanyonRanch Spa. Can't comment on this as we declined services. DINING : -We thought the Main Dining Room would be a more laid back experience for us than other cruises because we could request a table for two, and not have to make awkward small talk with six other people. However, the dining service will take two hours, and you will be listening to the other diners at your elbow, especially the tables filled with babies and small children. The food in the main dining room has pretensions to grandeur, but falls short. Both lunch and dinner have choices from the “CanyonRanch” spa menu, and they are the least inviting. Appetizers of scallops or consommé or raw (“tartare”) salmon are offered. They also had themed lunch days, with Moroccan (eggplant, yogurt sauces, chickpeas) and Greek (tzatziki, lamb, more eggplant), and Mexican (fish ceviche, chimichangas). Dinner ranged from lobster, steak, pastas, and chicken to more exotic duck a l’orange, guinea fowl, veal sweetbread, and venison. There was always the “Chef Pepin” menu of New York strip steak, rotisserie chicken, or poached salmon as well. The portion sizes are such that you can order an appetizer, soup, salad, and entrée and still manage a dessert. The dessert are uniformly NOT sweet. Chocolate is dark to almost bitter, and cakes are dry. We began to choose the ice cream option after a few evenings. **The dining room distinguished itself on the first night by serving my husband a salad with a thick black hair in it. I put on my glasses to view the rest of my plates after that. The waiter didn’t really apologize. Just rolled his eyes and whisked the plate away. Wine pairings are offered on the menu. We do not partake so I cannot comment on the offerings. THE TERRACE CAFÉ- This is just…weird. Presented like a buffet, but it isn’t. Throngs of people mill around, pushing between two rows of service areas with no clear start or end. Servers stand behind the glass, holding plates, and waiting for you to choose your food item. They don’t speak enough English to understand any variation, so when I asked for “half tomato and half alfredo sauce” on my pasta, the poor boy was reduced to a gibbering panic. I don’t know if it is the fear of contamination and spreading illness (see constant reminds to use hand sanitizers throughout the ship) or to keep the patrons from gorging with full buffet plates. After you juggle your plates to a table, a waiter will bring beverages and specialty coffees. This “half service” benefits no one. The food is what I would call “casino standard” here. Pizza with toppings like tuna and crab, special Asian day with whole roast pig and sushi rolls, and always sandwich makings and pasta. But everything is very bland and homogenous. Desserts are a tragedy. The 4th of July cake, dutifully decorated with red/white/ blue frosting, turned out to be Italian cream cake, heaped with fruit inside. Cookies are not sweet, chocolate is dark and trending bitter, and puddings are bland and usually heaped with more fruit. We chose the daily ice cream usually, with their best offerings being a milk chocolate cappuccino and a very good sorbet offering in lemon and raspberry. We did eat breakfast in the Terrace on the final day, as we could not order room service. Eggs were tasteless and runny, with harder chunks of hard cooked parts. Toast was blackened and bacon was hard and crumbly. Husband tried to obtain cereal, but bowls and milk were kept behind the counter and he couldn’t see asking for a box of cereal to be dumped in a bowl and milked, and then try to carry it to the table. (NOTE: room service is “continental”. No eggs or hot foods, except toast or English muffins. Each day we ordered a fruit bowl of various melon chunks, cereals, coffee, and a pastry. Much more relaxing way to begin your day. Make your selections in the evening and leave the card on the door, and the phone will ring in the morning as the food is on the way.) WAVES GRILL: This poolside café offers Panini sandwiches and burgers, and a small array of changing salads and fruit. I tried an Angus burger on arrival before our room was ready. It was watery, tasteless, and gray. Husband said his chicken Panini also lacked flavor. Fries on the side were bland. Also in Waves is the milkshake station. These are thin and runny. The server takes a few scoops of ice cream and adds milk to blend. The result is flavored milk. I would only recommend Waves for children. AFTERNOON TEA: How we were looking forward to this. Alas, again something has gone wrong with service. After fighting for a seat in Horizons (one of the few good viewing spots with comfortable chairs), a server brings a pot of hot water. Another brings by a box with a selection of tea. Much later a cart is wheeled by, whereupon everyone springs from their chairs and swarms him. There are no sandwich cookies or “biscuits”. There is a cake offering, some various wilted sandwiches (shrimp salad, etc) and some attempt at petit fours that were leathery and dry inside. Another server is by the door with platters from which you may choose items, if you can’t make your way to the cart service. Why not make it a true tea? Sit at a table and be served. They could take a lesson from Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC. POLO GRILL: One of our dinners was spent in the Polo Grill. This is where you will receive the most food on the cruise. Your appetizer is large, your soup bowl big, and your entrée comes with full sized sides. I chose the filet mignon, which was easily 8 ounces and not 5, as the menu said. (There is a 20 oz Porterhouse, if you want to get crazy. ) I chose the truffle mashed potatoes (interesting, but not wow) and sautéed mushrooms for sides, and the French onion soup. The meat was delicious. The service was OK, but again they lost interest in refilling our water glasses after realizing we weren’t ordering wine. You should never have an empty glass in what bills itself fine service. TOSCANA: Another dinner was at Toscana. Declining the octopus carpaccio (shudder), I instead had the mozzarella and tomatoes with olive oil. Boring. Hubby went straight for the ham and potato soup, and gnocchi in pesto sauce. Both just fine. For the entrée, I passed over veal, lamb, and sea bass and chose a ravioli, which I now realize must have been meant to be a starter. Filled with a plain meat and rosemary and tomato filling, it was sticky and chewy. Hubby chose a Dover sole, which he pronounced tasty. Hubby happened to be celebrating his birthday this evening, but I had not filled anything out on the cruise questionnaire about it, nor requested any special service. We were surprised and taken aback when the waiters crowded around the table to sing (cringe!) and deliver a chocolate mousse birthday cake. I would have expected that at Applebee’s or TGIFriday’s- not at a fine dining restaurant. The cake was divided between us, and no other dessert menu offered, so luckily we like chocolate! I guess I appreciate the effort with the cake, but perhaps it should be arranged by the spouse, and not sprung upon us as a couple. Coffee bar outside Main Dining Room: Afternoon snooze can be fought off with a cappuccino or espresso from the bar here. There is also a frozen chocolate frappuccino, given in a tiny paper cup. A small offering of cookies and tea sandwiches is available for self service, but the sandwiches look terrifyingly wilted. No one wants to eat a shrimp salad sandwich that has been sitting in the heat for an hour! The cookies are the same as the Terrace café- raisin, peanut butter, a plain cookie with some chocolate bits, and a taste free dark chocolate cookie. ENTERTAINMENT: We attended two shows of the singing/dancing - both high energy and of the “god bless ‘em, they tried” sort. Three boys and three girls shoulder the responsibility of the night’s entertainment (and they double as your muster drill attendants) and there is a live band which is very good. A string quartet floats about various areas- near the shops or at the tea service, and they are very good but given to playing arrangement of pop tunes instead of sticking to traditional classical music. We declined to see the two shows featuring a pickpocket, who apparently told jokes and lectured on how not to get robbed. Yes, that really was two shows. Also doing two shows was a comedian, working “clean”, so I am imagining some Seinfeld type humor. We did not attend. A guest lecturer showed slides and gave an 8th grade level talk on whales and fish. National Geographic, it was not. “Luigi at the piano” plays in the martini bar and can be heard howling ABBA and Elton John and Carly Simon. Yikes. Other entertainment includes mandatory cruise staples of Bingo, shuffleboard, bridge, trivia, and golf putting. DISEMBARKING: Be prepared to be out of your room by 8AM. Your “checked” bags have to be in the hallway no later than 10pm the night before, so make sure you haven’t left your passport or anything vital in them. Check your final bill carefully in the morning. (Many people were in line the next morning haggling their bill )About 7:30 your room steward will be hopping in the hallway, so you’ll go upstairs to eat in the crush at Terrace or wait in one of the lounge areas for your colored boarding pass to be called. After passing through a long line to give one last scan of your Oceania card (to make sure you actually left the ship!) you’ll proceed many football field lengths to where your checked bags wait. Gather those and haul them through Customs, and from there you either pick up your after ship tour, or bus to the airport, or proceed to the parking garage. Again, without help for your bags, so don’t plan on that. FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm sure you think I've been picky and cranky by now, if you've read this far. But we travel a lot, know good service, and expect quality for our dollar. If you’ve never been on a cruise, I suggest you pick a line with lower prices. Oceania is a standard cruise. We were convinced, looking at the literature, that it was a cruise for older adults with higher standards for cruising and entertainment, and demanding a higher standard of dress. All brochures stressed “country club casual”. Don’t believe it. Jeans appeared regularly in the dining room, and besides showing up in a swim suit, I’d be surprised if they turned away anyone. This Seattle to Seattle run was filled with parents with babies, toddlers, and school aged children. There was nothing for them to do. Other lines have babysitting services and children’s programs. On this boat the children will be everywhere their parents are, which includes in the hot tub, round the clock in the pool, playing in the elevators, and screaming in the fine restaurants when they don’t happen to like foie gras. We thought a smaller ship with only 600 guests would feel more open and relaxing than one of the huge Celebrity or Carnival ships. It turns out it just feels like a smaller ship with the same amount of people. Less amenities, less places to be alone or have quiet, and apparently attracting lesser entertainment- let Regatta be “forgotta”. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My husband and I have done roughly a dozen cruises on various luxury lines, and I have done two others on mainstream line Holland America (including in a Neptune Suite), so the review below compares the cruise on this “upper ... Read More
My husband and I have done roughly a dozen cruises on various luxury lines, and I have done two others on mainstream line Holland America (including in a Neptune Suite), so the review below compares the cruise on this “upper premium" ship with prior, different style experiences. We have not previously sailed a line labeled “upper premium” and were curious to compare with luxury lines. We were in a Penthouse Suite which was comparably sized to Seabourn, Silversea, Regent, and Hapag-Lloyd base veranda suites. It had an assigned butler/stewardess team. Overall, we were not very impressed, primarily because of the mediocre food. We had originally booked this 7-day test cruise over the 4th of July holiday based on a recommendation for Oceania’s reputation for excellent food, and after the cruise, are mystified how that reputation came about. We also could discern the difference between “upper premium” and “luxury” cruising in other areas as well. EMBARKATION Overall, no major problems. We embarked around 12:30 for the cruise, which was leaving at 5 PM. We could have embarked as early as 11AM. Lines were very short, and after surrendering our larger luggage pieces and going through security, we were on board within 30 minutes. We ate an embarkation luncheon at the Terrace Grill buffet, and indoor/outdoor venue, which was very crowded, open “seat yourself”. Food was nothing special (a lot of hard, over-cooked meats, very limited salad choices, bland desserts) and a bit on the cafeteria side of quality, with service to match. We were allowed into our cabin a little after 2. Luggage appeared one piece at a time (two were brought to the cabin by different valets, one was left in the hall, where many other pax suitcases were also lined up, as our deck included both PH and non-PH cabins). A bottle of chilled Jacquard champagne greeted us in the penthouse suite cabin, and our butler introduced himself soon thereafter. Muster was at 4, took about 45 minutes, and involved both a sit-down lecture in the main lounge venue (Regatta Lounge) then filing out to the deck to one’s muster station wearing life jackets, then standing around. At sailaway the ship’s band of five talented men played excellent bluesy music to a surprisingly small audience at the very small pool. There were no sail-away snacks or free drinks handed out. A couple waiters went around offering weak fruit/alcohol drinks, for $10 each plus 18% mandatory service charge to the few pax who were standing around (sign for the drink while standing up, after presenting your room card). DEMOGRAPHICS AND AMBIENCE. Mean age seemed around 55-60, with wide variance, which surprised us as we’d heard Oceania has many old pax. We were told almost all of the 650 or so mostly healthy-appearing pax on board held American passports, as did we, though based on the languages spoken I heard, a few of these were foreign-born. There were quite a few middle-aged people, and the younger adults (a few of whom I would call “dudes”) and 44 children on board traveling with extended family thus skewed the mean age downwards. There was a handful of mobility-impaired pax, but much less than I saw on prior Alaska cruises with Silversea and Holland America. I didn’t see any obvious solos on board (not surprising, as the prices are solo-unfriendly). Dress code: There were no formal nights or formal optional nights. During the day in all dining venues, and in the Terrace Grill at night, the designated dress code was resort casual. This meant that some people wore resort casual, some wore casual casual, and others wore hoodies and/or baseball caps set forwards or backwards. A few wore wrinkled shirts, or tops with writing on them saying important things like “be kind” or “go for it.” Sports-team related shirts and caps were also popular. In the MDR and specialty restaurants at dinner, most wore elegant casual at dinner, a few wore a jacket, usually without a tie. The CD was a friendly woman who unfortunately made announcements that were broadcast to all venues about many different things several times a day, so we dreaded when she would come on the overhead. Announcements were excessively detailed and included too much information about activities that only a minority of pax would likely be interested in (e.g., info about the “snowball jackpot bingo session”, and “name that tune”) and which we definitely did not want to hear at noon when we sat down to lunch in the MDR at noon to try and enjoy the calm venue, or during an enrichment lecture. Officers were European, crew seemed to be mostly Filipino (including a mumbling assistant sommelier who seemed to be on duty for all dining areas), Indonesian, and Indian. There were also some eastern Europeans and a smattering of others, e.g., a non-smiling South African woman at the Destinations desk. Crew wore name tags which indicated what country they were from. DECOR AND COMFORT This is a very comfortable, clean, well-maintained ship. There was comfortable, or very comfortable, furniture in all venues. There was a soft but supportive bed in our room, with an equally pleasant sofa. MDR chairs were simply heaven for my muscles and bones (I struggle with the hard chairs and sofas on Seabourn), and were plush on the bottom, top and everywhere else. The decor was a bit old-fashioned aesthetically, and tried to simulate an old European hotel, e.g., with pictures of odd Renaissance figures scattered here and there including in the public toilet areas, but also had some art which showed distorted pictures of women a la Picasso, alternating with more expected calm seascapes. None of the odd art impaired our enjoyment of the cruise. The pool was small and sometimes occupied by loud children (e.g., while we approached the Sawyer Glacier, even when overhead announcements and loud talking were banned). It was surrounded by two hot tubs, often used by larger groups. The only other hot tub in a more private area was near the spa itself and was very nice, large, sparsely used, and was accessible without cost to PH suite and above pax, and charged out at $25/person/day to others, or for use when pax had a spa appointment. DH used it a lot. CABIN Penthouse Suite, forward in the bow The PH suite was listed as having 332 square feet, had a balcony, and was as expected. It was clean and spacious with a soft but supportive comfortable queen bed, 3-seater sofa, table and 2 chairs. The suite bathroom was ok, a combination tub/shower with a retractable clothesline, one deep sink, and Bulgari toiletries. There was an immobile glass partition blocking off half of the tub, which made it awkward to put in the bathtub stopper before filling the tub (you either had to climb into the tub, and jump out before the water started, or contort your body). There were two welcome and well-positioned grab bars plus ribbing at the bottom of the tub, minimizing fall risk. It was hard to get our full-size suitcases to fit under the bed, but we managed (or could have asked the butler to help). Closet space was more than adequate for our week’s worth, or more, of stuff, though it was not a walk-in. The balcony had two cushionless adjustable chairs and a table, but no lounger. There were two oddly shaped footstools which were too low and flimsy for us to use. The balcony rail was metal with interrupted horizontal sections, so you could see the view through them when sitting down. Sound insulation was good, so we did not hear our neighbors through the walls. Though we were far up in the bow, near the bridge, we heard no noise from there, and the ride was smooth (but so were the seas). There were two thin cashmere blankets for our use. Linens and pillows were soft and luxurious. There was a small TV perched up and sidewards to the bed and sofa with basic cable channels, but you could not see your account or restaurant menus on the TV. The suite included butler service, which did not mean much for us. He brought afternoon “canapés" at 5 PM, which came from the same offered list every day, (you could pick two per couple from the list) and consisted of tiny portions of BBQ chicken wings, or tea style mini sandwiches with dried out bread, tiny celery sticks with blue cheese dip, or assorted other forgettable items like guacamole and salsa with taco shell chips that were not crispy. None of them looked like the pictures of the canapés in the catalogue. Fancier canapés were available for special order by big groups. There was a small non-fluorescent clock on the counter. Amenities of the PH suite included rights to reserve 2 nights at each of the specialty restaurants, pressing of 4 garments, butler assistance with packing, unpacking, shoe shining, booking dining reservations and excursions, rights to have hot and not just cold breakfast room service, as well as potential to have en-suite course by course dinner service. We passed on all of this, did not need a butler, just enjoyed the PH space. FOOD AND BEVERAGE: This was mostly mediocre, which was surprising, based on the internet Oceania food build-up we’d read. Perhaps the food on the Riviera and Marina are awesome, or this was an off week for the chef. But for whatever reason, on this cruise almost every meal (some exceptions) was disappointing at breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea time, and at en-suite canapés. Food was mostly uninteresting and not particularly innovative. Portions were large compared with luxury cruise lines, which some people might like, and generally more than we wanted, especially with the quality of the food. The two specialty, by-reservation restaurants are the Polo Grill (steak place) and Toscana (Italian). The Polo Grill, which we tried once, had good but not “oh my God” steak and prime rib, and was not as good as Seabourn’s Thomas Keller Grill. Toscana, which we also tried once, had a very large menu, and offered so-so pasta dishes (we had a trio of them as an entree and another as an appetizer), and a special was king salmon (overcooked). Especially poor was the lobster risotto style dish. The best thing about Toscana was that it had an olive oil and balsamic vinegar cart waiters wheeled around, from which you could choose which type of oils to dip your so-so bread in. The waiters also had fun Italian accents and sounded like Formula One or Moto-GP drivers doing post-race interviews. The Terrace Grill is the indoor/outdoor seat yourself buffet venue, and it has great views and comfortable chairs. Unfortunately, it also exuded a hectic atmosphere breakfast, lunch and dinner. It served “cafeteria-plus" quality food, often with meat hot dishes where the meat was overcooked. Fish was usually overcooked or forgettable, or pre-made sushi. Lamb stew in the MDR had hard, dried out meat, and a veal stew concoction at the Terrace Grill on French buffet night also had chewy hard veal. The “French” buffet night at the Terrace Grill was ridiculous: hard meats, no French-style white baguettes, they were out of creme brûlée by 8PM, cheeseless "French" onion soup tasted like Lipton's, cream puffs tasted like they had cream from a commercial squirt bottle instead of freshly whipped cream, there were only 3 cheeses and they were all Italian, and the only thing authentically French was the bad service and waiters’ annoyed attitudes. Bizarrely, the same night, there were also sushi offerings. The basic pate was ok so I filled up on that. We returned to the room feeling annoyed and discovered the butler had left us a little bowl of partially broken potato chips as an evening “treat”. What’s worse is that the chips were sadly welcome after our disappointing dinner, and DH devoured them. Coffee was drinkable or good in almost all venues. It included the option of serve-yourself coffee machines in Horizons, the equivalent of the Observation Lounge on Seabourn, where sleepy people lined up early in the morning to watch others fumble with the machines, or from Barrista the coffee bar, where people also lined up, similar to the way they do in Seabourn Square. Mixed drinks were weak and expensive and a poor value without a so-called “drinks package". One ounze of Calvados was $10 + 18% mandatory service charge, again, even if service was mediocre or poor. Wine purchased on board without a “drinks package” was heavily marked up (e.g., a $38/bottle retail wine, likely purchased for much less by the cruise line, was billed out at $90 plus mandatory 18% service charge). Soft drinks and waters, plus basic coffee and tea (in bags) and juices (from concentrate, not freshly squeezed) were included in the cruise fare. Wine service was generally cumbersome: first you had to wait for a waiter to come by and ask for the wine list, then wait to get the wine, then at the end find a waiter and wait to pay for the wine with your card. You were better off just quickly picking the one white or red wine by the 4-5 ounce glass for the day, to keep things moving. After experimenting with the Terrace Grill and two specialty venues, we gave up and took as many meals as possible in the MDR. There was a very nice red pepper soup, and an ok pasta with pancetta for lunch once in the MDR, but mostly the food was forgettable even though the views from the dining rooms were very nice, I loved the chairs, and there were many window tables for two. The best dish there was dubbed a “Taste from Red Ginger”, the Asian restaurant on the larger Oceania ships, called pork luc lac, though DH must have been allergic to an ingredient as he broke out in total body hives 2 hours later. I also enjoyed a vichyssoise appetizer soup, and the Duck L’orange was decently flavored, though it had some gristle. Lunch in the MDR often featured a special of the day “tastes of the world” with an offering of various dishes from other countries, e.g., Mexico, Greece, Morocco, India. Of those we had, they were usually ok, not stellar. An angus burger with fries was a basic burger, not gourmet. A caesar salad was a basic caeser, with nothing to distinguish it. Most soups lacked flavor. Desserts called “mousse” were mostly just puddings, ice cream was generic so I only ordered it once. A “Jacques” poached salmon with rice pilaf was a disgrace, and consisted of two slabs of deflavored overboiled salmon sitting on a plate next to a blob of rice without anything else in it that was called “rice pilaf”, and some overcooked green beans. The dish cried out for butter, tartar sauce, herbs, anything to give it taste. The uninspired presentation and bland flavors were well-suited to a nursing home. A Wienerschnitzel entree the last night, in addition to being overcooked (as usual) had a weird aftertaste resembling old cooking oil. Creme brulee was excellent. Morning small croissants were pretty good. Most of the danish and other morning pastries were not, lacking butter and/or sugar. Only one type of bread in the same daily bread basket, other than breadsticks, was not rubbery. SERVICE The cruise was not “all inclusive”, so it was made clear we would be charged $16/person/day plus $7/person/day for the butler on top of our PH suite cruise fare plus 18 percent for anything bought on board including alcohol not part of a "package". Nor was there an honor system (as is done on Hapag Lloyd) where you could just verbally give your cabin number for drinks ordered without having to pull out your room key card from its pouch and then sign. You had to sign for the drinks and wine, plus the mandatory 18% service charge. This was annoying and disruptive, e.g., if we were listening to a show, or standing up somewhere, or were in a hurry to leave after eating but needed to pay for the alcohol brought previously, or had poor service. The fact that crew would get their 18% service charge no matter what did not provide some with much incentive to do more than the minimum. We had no complaints about our PH butler, who was fine, he had previously served on luxury lines, but he did not need to do much for us. My only criticism is that one day we had the Do Not Disturb sign still out and 5 o'clock, canapé time, came up, so he called the phone in our room to check on delivery, that could have gone either way. We had brought 3 nice CA wines on board (legal, per policy) which we had served to us for a $25 surcharge at dinner. It was repeatedly a challenge to get dining room personnel to get around to opening our bottles so the wine could breathe while we waited for our food, even though personnel clearly saw the bottles on our table after we arrived. Apparently only the sommelier is allowed to open bottles brought on board. Some waiters were smart-alecky, e.g., one in the Polo Grill offered us "Crystal Geyser water, vintage 2017”, after we sat down and he saw our bottle of high end Napa cab we had put on the table. Too many personnel (usually from eastern Europe) were sullen or acted bored and overworked. Service at lunch in the MDR and dinner was on average better than at the Terrace Grill. Language barriers sometimes contributed to confusion. At breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the Terrace Grill service was poor, to match the chaotic atmosphere and food, with either delays, mix-ups, oversights, or attitude, which created a sense of dread going there, as with a negatively conditioned Pavlovian dog. The mostly Filipino or other Asian crew who dished out the Terrace Grill food, however, (for alleged hygienic purposes, they spooned everything out for pax, with rare exceptions pax could not serve themselves), were pleasant and eager, though English communication skills were variable. On a day when we were in port, in Sitka, we went to eat lunch in the MDR, and everyone eating there got deliberately seated bunched up in one quarter of the dining room’s space, which created a louder and more crowded atmosphere, and did not utilize all the window seats. This arrangement was surely more convenient for the waiters. Unfortunately. that still did not help the waiters keep the orders straight. When we got off the ship in Ketchikan, while waiting pierside before our excursion, we watched the remaining pax attempt to disembark: they had a long wait, as there was only one crew member manning the room card clicking device and station, and he worked slowly. At 35 minutes, pax were still in line waiting to get off into port. Reception and Destination services personnel were cool and efficient in person, but there were consistently long delays in picking up the phone when we called from our suite. The dining reservations line kept ringing, without routing to an informational voicemail about hours, or another center, if you called during off hours. So if you called in the afternoon when you wanted to make a reservation for dinner, no one answered the dining line, and if you called Reception, and they finally answered, they told you to check back at dinnertime on the dining line. You also had to go to reception to have them print your account's running balance, to keep track of charges accuracy, as they were n/a on the TV. On the final bill, they also changed the format, grouping charges not by date but by location, and only added the service charges at the end of the cruise, so be careful if you are trying to use up On Board Credit and no more. Cancelled excursions that had been booked and paid for by credit card before the cruise were refunded into OBC, but you could cash out up to that amount. ENTERTAINMENT AND OTHER OFFERED ACTIVITIES Entertainment was good for such a small ship, though the floor in the Regatta Lounge, which is the main venue, is barely sloped, so it is hard to see the stage from many seats. The 5-man band was skilled, especially the sax player. The 3 women and 3 male singer/dancers did a decent job on their production numbers. There was a comedian from NJ named Tom Drake who was a bit low-brow but very funny -- even though there were hardly any people from NJ or NY on the cruise compared with Seabourn, (based on “where you from” applause). There were a few Floridians, and a lot of Californians, like us. We learned Tom Drake is married to the CD, as he made jokes about her. There was a funny magician-pickpocket, Bob Arno. A classical music string quartet played at teatime, but pax mostly just crowded into the Horizons lounge to feed on the mediocre cakes, and to loudly talk about various things like their card game hands, relatives, or food preferences, rather than to listen to the music, so the musicians were drowned out. On the first sea day, people were crowding the door to the entrance, and had difficulty finding seats where they could drink their bagged (not loose leaf) teas. Not much was done special for the 4th of July (the CD wore little wiggling flag ears on her head, and from 10:30-11:30 PM the band played some rock music, that was it). Several other late night bar and music and dancing venues were listed, we did not go there. The fitness center is large, and was crowded on sea days. Some of the equipment was at times broken and no one was around to fix it. DH, who came regularly, was sometimes able to gain access to a piece of non-functioning equipment by fixing it himself. There was a casino, shuffleboard, golf putting, trivia, ping pong, bridge, needlepoint, zumba, poker, jewelry “education”, as well as a former electrical engineer turned metals expert who gave an interesting talk about gold, both in and out of Alaska. In case you felt tempted to drink alcohol and weren’t supposed to, there was also a Friends of Bill W. get-together. I did not see a Friends of Dorothy meeting announcement. There were surprisingly very few enrichment lectures, though this was a cruise to Alaska. DVDs are available for rental at reception (a thousand). Internet worked ok for a cruise, we had opted for unlimited service, got to use one device at a time. There are also “packages” you can buy. The spa is in the bow, very pretty with views and calm music in the waiting area, though they played loud annoying overhead music in the manicure and hair service area (as they did in the restaurants), apparently that is what the often humming-along personnel like to listen to. DH had a good massage. I had a painful and mediocre manicure/pedicure with a somewhat unhappy young lady who was just going through the motions. We went to an hour long Italian wine tasting ($75 per person) where a couple dozen of us tasted just one ounze each of representative Italians wines paired with tiny bites, barely enough to taste before and with food, plus an intro glass of prosecco. The head sommelier ran the session, and did a good job. EXCURSIONS: For convenience, and because I had had success with Silversea and Holland America excursions in Alaska, we booked one ship-run excursion at each port before the cruise (there are "packages" for that too). They were expensive, relative to the cost of excursions on Silversea and Seabourn. On glacier day, the ship sailed into Tracy Arm towards the Sawyer Glacier, after an aborted sail into the Endicott area (allegedly too much ice -- the captain is a senior officer, but the CD told us this was only the second time this captain had captained this ship, and another ship had gotten stuck in the ice, so we needed to play it safe). Unfortunately we only got within 3 miles of the glacier, just close enough to see it in the distance but not close enough to hear anything. Some people gathered on the top deck to watch scenery, while others at the same time clanked away at shuffleboard on the top deck, and even more sat in the dirty-windowed Observation Lounge in the bow while drinking complimentary cocoa or ordering $10 plus 18% mandatory gratuity drinks. There is no outdoor area in front of the Observation Lounge, and the top deck has high glass surrounding it, so it was hard to find a place to get great forward-looking pictures or simulate the stretched-out arms bow scene in the movie Titanic. One pre-booked excursion (a 4x4 adventure safari out of Sitka) got cancelled, and we had to rebook short notice. We did a 5 hour catamaran explorer tour to Misty Fjiords National Monument out of Ketchikan (not exclusive to Oceania pax) which was nicely done by a local family, that was fine, but it is available for independent booking. We walked around Ketchikan, where I had been 3 times before, old Creek Street is colorful, and Alaska Fish House has great chowder and fresh seafood. In Sitka we did a rainforest hike at the Starragavan and Mosquito loop trails, which was a pleasant, easy walk for 2-3 miles on gentle terrain, a few miles outside of Sitka by minivan. We enjoyed it even though there seemed to be more standing than hiking, as the guide stopped frequently and talked way too much about plant names which no one will remember, how to use various grasses to homeopathically treat cancer (I think I'd rather go to an oncologist) and how to tell one species of slug from the next, all of which resulted in needless chatter and interrupted the flow of what could have been a serene walk. It was followed by standing around for 35 minutes in a parking lot waiting for our delayed ride back to the ship. There are many things to do in Sitka without booking an excursion. In Prince Rupert we did an overpriced excursion dubbed "jet boat adventure and walk”. This consisted of meeting at 11AM in the Regatta Lounge (along with most other pax on the ship), milling around, then getting off and milling around some more at the pier, departure close to 12 for a scenic drive on a comfortable though crowded bus with over 50 people including some “dudes”, and arrival at 1 PM in a parking lot next to a river. We were escorted by a ditzy young guide who called herself a “biologist", but who seemed to have problems communicating distance concepts to American tourists (e.g., once she described an attraction as being “far away — about 160 kilometers, so it would be about double that in miles” [sic]). On arrival at the parking lot, twelve people then suited up in vests to go jet-boating for 30 minutes, twelve did a 30-minute very slow stroll through mosquito-infested woods with the guide (bug spray available), and the remainder sat around in the sun waiting for some locals to very slowly, at their leisure, (they were just firing up the grill when we arrived) grill salmon two at a time and talk about interesting things like battles with the Canadian government to extend disability payments and their views on a certain American political figure. Groups then rotated through the activities, sitting on a few chairs either in the parking lot in the sun or under a canopy, standing, swatting bugs, waiting and waiting for salmon to get cooked, playing games with their kids, or using the stinky equally mosquito-infested outhouse or bus toilet, until 4 PM when we were bussed back. A day after this excursion, at the end of the last day of the cruise, though I had utilized the "free" bug spray, I developed itchy red welts clustered in rows all over my lower body and am still scratching as I write this (there is medical debate as to whether this was caused by mosquito bites from the excursion, or occult bed bugs on the ship). DISEMBARKATION Bags officially had to be put out by 10 the night before, (show was at 9:30) though some put them out later, with the usual color-coding disembarkation set-up. Oceania and port personnel did a good job keeping the flow of people moving well as we got off. We overpaid for a reserved communal bus trip to the Seattle airport, $85 per person for flights after 12, and were deposited in a parking lot about a 15-minute walk from the baggage check-in area for distant United Airlines ( we had to wheel our bags through a parking structure). Seattle port and airport personnel were pleasant and efficient. SUMMARY: I’m sure this is a perfectly fine line for certain demographics, but it is not for us. The ship itself is pretty and comfortable and I would love to love this ship. The key disappointment was the uninteresting and poorly prepared food and to a lesser degree, the mass market service and nickle-and-diming atmosphere. It certainly was not a good value to get a PH suite, compared with an all-inclusive base veranda cabin on Seabourn or Silversea, once we added in the cost of the alcohol and other service (or non-service) with its steep markups and 18% mandatory surcharge regardless of service quality, high excursion costs, and other extras. I actually thought the food was better and more consistent on mainstream Holland America’s Westerdam on an Alaska cruise in 2015, at least at dinner. I did not gain any weight on this cruise, very unusual and indicative of unsatisfactory food quality, as I usually gain about 3 pounds per week when I overeat goodies that are available.. And yet this ship appeared to be a good choice for some. Most people on board seemed to love their cruise including the food. Pax appeared to be for the most part down to earth, easy to please middle Americans enjoying a special, but casual, family or couples vacation, something that is a little nicer and more intimate than what mainstream lines offer. Oceania offers a smaller ship, on average cheaper and smaller entry level cabins per person per day, and seems to save by avoiding over-the-top luxury food and service. Entry level cabins on small ship lines like Seabourn and Silversea are more expensive per diem. Parents or grandparents can book themselves a nice PH suite on Oceania, and then put their young adult kids or grandkids or "dudes" into inside cabins or tiny window cabins to save some money. Then everyone can dine on the same hot dishes with overcooked meat together, and do overpriced communal excursions. Or, non-drinkers, non-gourmets, people who always do their own excursions, or people who do not need or expect individualized pampering, can enjoy the benefits of a clean, small ship with pleasant decor, comfortable seating, and a variety of entertainment options. DH and I, however, will be going back to luxury lines, where securing flavorful and interesting food, dining room service, ability to customize, and attention to detail, without outrageously priced extras, are less likely to be an issue (though even there, there is no certainty anymore, see my other reviews). We are unlikely to retry Oceania in the near future for these prices, and if we do, it would be on the newer ships Oceania and Riviera, perhaps the food is better there. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Cruised with friends that picked ship and itinirary. My first cruise so nothing to compare it to. Food was OK, but not up to the lofty expectations I had coming in. Never got a good steak, even hamburger meat tasted weird. My first ... Read More
Cruised with friends that picked ship and itinirary. My first cruise so nothing to compare it to. Food was OK, but not up to the lofty expectations I had coming in. Never got a good steak, even hamburger meat tasted weird. My first breakfast was in the main dining room and I ordered Eggs Benedict - huge disappointment. Theme nights at Terrace were good, especially the seafood night. Deserts were also disappointing. Service in main dining room was always a two hour affair for dinner. Loved our waiter, but just a slow process. Wine selection by the glass were hugely disappointing. Fortunately I had brought some great Oregon wines onboard and poured them in my room and brought them to dinner avoiding a corkage fee. Cruise Director, Dottie, was great. Were fortunate to share the cruise with Big Ten alumni and they brought great speakers and athletes from the past. Vern Lundquist was a great speaker. Loved the entertainment, kids sang and danced their tails off. Ports of call were fine other than Wrangell - totally a wasted day. Highlight was the seaplane ride to Taku Lodge for salmon dinner. Amazing views of glaciers in area, just mind blowing. We had an interior room to save money and it was fine for us - great beds. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This cruise was organized by Michigan State University and Go Next travel. All big ten schools were included for this cruise. We enjoyed stops in Alaska and excursions planned by Go Next. We had sports dignitaries on board and enjoyed ... Read More
This cruise was organized by Michigan State University and Go Next travel. All big ten schools were included for this cruise. We enjoyed stops in Alaska and excursions planned by Go Next. We had sports dignitaries on board and enjoyed panel discussions. We stopped in Wrangell, Sitka, Juneau, Hoonah, Skagway and Victoria. Our meals were delicious,the staff friendly and efficient and the voyage was fantastic. The atmosphere was casual but dinner required country club casual.The terrace could be crowded especially at lunch. The staff was exceptional and learned our names quickly. The spa services were very expensive and the transfer costs to the airports were very expensive. I liked the size of the ship and we are planning on another cruise in several years. I would recommend Oceana and the Regatta to friends and family. I would have enjoyed a yoga and Zumba class or other fitness activity offered onboard. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Chose cruise because of length of trip, size of ship as we prefer small ships, and the itinerary. Fantastic experience with stunning scenery, lots of wildlife and all on well-organised shore excursions. Seeing the Hubbard Glacier so close ... Read More
Chose cruise because of length of trip, size of ship as we prefer small ships, and the itinerary. Fantastic experience with stunning scenery, lots of wildlife and all on well-organised shore excursions. Seeing the Hubbard Glacier so close was extra special. Excellent cruise director, great entertainment and lectures. The crew were great, giving a superb service. Our only complaint on board was how cold it was. Not referring to the Alaskan weather, but the freezing cold temperature in the public rooms on board. When we disembarked, one of our cases was damaged - the fabric was split and we were concerned about its security for our onward journeys. We reported the problem to the port agents, SMS (Guest Port Services). A written report was completed and we were told we would hear within a few days. That was on 20th June. Since then, we have exchanged several emails with the SMS Seattle port supervisor, who in turn has been in contact with Oceania. We have had no contact whatsoever from Oceania. We have also sent an enquiry direct to Oceania, using their online contact service and still have received no reply. It is now 8th July. In this, they have really let themselves down and tarnished our view. We understand that things go wrong, but expect the company to put things right. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Alaska has been on our bucket list and since it does involve some walking, we thought this was the right year for us to go. Plus we liked the Vancouver embarkation and Seattle ending as we wanted to spend some time in both. With three at ... Read More
Alaska has been on our bucket list and since it does involve some walking, we thought this was the right year for us to go. Plus we liked the Vancouver embarkation and Seattle ending as we wanted to spend some time in both. With three at sea days, there was more time on the ship than normal but we enjoyed the lectures and found plenty to keep us busy. We did not book the specialty restaurants ahead of time and that was a mistake, The Main Dining Room food was very good but did not have as much variety as we expected. Excursions booked by Oceania were good but local providers were available and we used several of those at 1/2 the price. Cabin was kept very well, room service was excellent. A very good cruise. Would like to see more interaction from the ship officers other than the designated events.Entertainment was good. Interesting that there were so few on the Cruise Critic Roll Call - not even enough to have a reception. The Captain did an excellent job of doing a 360 degree turn at the Hubbard Glacier. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was our first cruise on Oceania. We chose this cruise for the itinerary, which was rewarding for the spectacular scenery and wildlife. The excursions were generally good. After cruising on Viking and other cruise lines, we found ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Oceania. We chose this cruise for the itinerary, which was rewarding for the spectacular scenery and wildlife. The excursions were generally good. After cruising on Viking and other cruise lines, we found the Regatta to be aged, worn and dark in decor. It was like returning to the 1980s. The staff were generally well trained and responsive to our needs, although there were some issues with language. Embarkation in Vancouver was a taxing experience, as the facility was not designed to be used as a cruise terminal and involved a lot of unnecessary walking and up and down escalators in order clear processing and board the ship. Dining was hit and miss. The speciality restaurants were comfortable and well serviced. However, the food quality was less than what we are accustomed to. Over ten days, Regatta's kitchens failed to deliver one serving of meat done at the requested medium rare temperature. At our first dinner in Toscana, my veal was so tough that it was unchewable. Dining in the Terrace buffet was inconsistent, but probably average for a cruise ship buffet. Service in the Grand Dining Room was often slow and inattendant. Oceania's claim that it has the best cuisine at sea is not accurate. Being a smaller ship with older technology, Regatta rocked and rolled in the Gulf of Alaska seas, leaving my wife queasy at times. The ship's elevators were reminiscent of old buildings that had elevator operators and barely held six people. The headboard above our bed generated a vibration noise while cruising that kept us awake at night. In addition, the HVAC system in our room emitted strange noises that sounded like a phone ringing without being answered. The European style half-shower/tubs are extremely frustrating for someone accustomed to a comfortable, roomy shower experience that doesn't flood the floor. Disembarkation in Seattle was smooth and uneventful. Overall, there are better alternatives for a higher end experience for the money. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Chose for itinerary and reputation for dining. Previous cruise on Nautica had been great. Lack of timely service in grand dining room appeared to be due to a shortage of staff. Food was not always served timely or warm. Waves had good ... Read More
Chose for itinerary and reputation for dining. Previous cruise on Nautica had been great. Lack of timely service in grand dining room appeared to be due to a shortage of staff. Food was not always served timely or warm. Waves had good selection and nice assortment of food and dinner themes. Room was kept clean and neat with ice and water. Embarkation and debarkation were well handled. Much of decor in public areas has not been refreshed. E.g. Sports pictures in bathrooms were from renaissance days. Wine and wine packages expensive and $25 corkage fee seemed high. Shore excursions were expensive but handled well and we enjoyed the ones we took. Entertainment was creative and enjoyable. Have another Oceania on insignia in December and hope that it is more up to the previous Nautica standard. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The ship decor has a lot of character with beautiful furniture and mahogony walls and trim. Lovely marble and gorgeous rugs grace the whole ship. We enjoyed the peaceful spacious surroundings with not a lot of people around as ... Read More
The ship decor has a lot of character with beautiful furniture and mahogony walls and trim. Lovely marble and gorgeous rugs grace the whole ship. We enjoyed the peaceful spacious surroundings with not a lot of people around as opposed to ships with thousands of people. The food was outstanding as well as the service at the buffet and main dining room. Staff was always friendly, curteous and caring. Our cabin 6004 had a very large window and since it didn't have a balcony the room was bigger than the ones next to us with balconies. We took advantage of the free excursions and had fabulous well spoken guides. The entertainment was first call and excellent!!! The internet service on the ship was top notch and faster than what we have at home! I highly recommend the Regatta ship as well as the other Oceania cruise ships! This was our 4th Oceania cruise and we plan to sail with them again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The service was great. Food was wonderful. Stateroom was spacious and the butler was always waiting on us. The ship was amazingly clean and well maintained. Mirshra, our butler, was amazing. We were in an Owners Suite. Whenever we left ... Read More
The service was great. Food was wonderful. Stateroom was spacious and the butler was always waiting on us. The ship was amazingly clean and well maintained. Mirshra, our butler, was amazing. We were in an Owners Suite. Whenever we left the room the maid promptly came in and made sure the room was clean and toiletries were stocked. My wife has a hip problem and has to sleep on an ice bag. Every evening a champagne bucket was filled with her ice bags chilling. Regatta always had activities throughout the day and the shore excursions offered addressed a ton of things to do while in port. The service in Polo and Toscana were a little slow but the quality of food and presentation were great. We spent most of our time eating in the Terrance Cafe. A lot of different items to choose from and it is cooked right in front of you. Alaska was totally beautiful. Enough said. We are heading back next year on Oceania Marina for a trip to Italy. I will probably never cruise on another line. Go if you have the chance. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Good deal on single room price to a destination I had never been before. Getting there was a challenge. Flight from Minneapolis was 2 hours late. Had to change terminals in Los Angeles and since changing carriers too, no help with ... Read More
Good deal on single room price to a destination I had never been before. Getting there was a challenge. Flight from Minneapolis was 2 hours late. Had to change terminals in Los Angeles and since changing carriers too, no help with luggage which was difficult for me with bad legs. In international terminal, nobody knew anything about Air Tahiti. Had to drag bags around for an hour before finding check in desk at the far end of terminal. Air Tahiti was 4 hours late too, so got into Tahiti in middle of night and all I ever saw of first stop, Tahiti itself, was from headlights on old shuttle bus from airport to pier When boarding, exhausted, they first hearded us into showroom for an abbreviated lifeboat drill, never did figure out where lifeboat station was. Flopped in bed way after midnight and Tahiti itself was long gone out of site by the time I woke upnext morning. The tiny little islands on the first ports of call were interesting but tours were in mostly pick up trucks. A couple were old volcanic mountains and one was a flat coral island that will be under water in a few years. Then we had few days sailing to Hawaii. I spent a lot of time in the nice top forward lounge reading. Food service was pretty average and a bit disappointing. Especially the night I got to their “famed” steak house. Got their headliner big porterhouse. ‘Where is the meat?” The tender side of the steak was completely missing! I sent it back, explaining to the waiter that a porterhouse streak has meat on both sides of the bone. Chef came out and told me all were that way. Cheapskates! Hawaii was ok but I had been there, done that many times before. Then another long sail back to USA. Their customer service did help me out by rearranging my flights home, getting me on a direct to Minneapoliis flight, eliminating a long layover in Chicago getting me home early evening instead of after midnight. In general the trip went pretty well and was mostly what I expected and I had lots of good reading stored on my iPad. The ship was calm and quiet and relaxing. Good lectures on everything from muitany on the bounty to how the islands fared in WW2 (overrun by US Troups). Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The Regatta is a very nice ship. The crew and staff were very nice. I thought it would be special cruise. I found that this ship is not any different than any of the others we we have been on. The entertainment was average, the food ... Read More
The Regatta is a very nice ship. The crew and staff were very nice. I thought it would be special cruise. I found that this ship is not any different than any of the others we we have been on. The entertainment was average, the food was good but also average. It was hard to get served wine before your dinner. Sometimes not until the middle of the first course. There were not many things to keep you busy on sea days. Due to the fact that it cost more to be on Oceania, I would not pay more for this cruise line. I did like the size of the ship. They were very good about transporting you to town when you docked. I would not go again unless their offers were as good as other ships of the same size. Due to our weather being cold, it was hard to find a seat in the Terrace Cafe. You could not sit outside. The Polo Grill and Toscana were nice but you were limited to reservations. All in all, I found this to be another cruise not much unlike many others we have been on. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this itinerary because it left from a port 25 minutes from our home. We were glad we chose Oceania to take us to Alaska! The size of the Regatta was perfect for us and there was absolutely no nickel and dimeing as there is on ... Read More
We chose this itinerary because it left from a port 25 minutes from our home. We were glad we chose Oceania to take us to Alaska! The size of the Regatta was perfect for us and there was absolutely no nickel and dimeing as there is on Holland America. (Our last cruise was on Holland America and we agreed it would be nice our last on that line. It was a miserable cruise experience, with the exception of the wonderful Cruise Critic passengers we met.) The Regatta is an older ship, but the decor is kept in tip-too shape. (We saw one of the Housekeeping inspectors with a white glove checking for cleanliness.) The food was excellent, the room attendants kept our balcony stateroom spotless. Many on CC have noted that the rooms are small, but we felt they were adequate and comfortable. Yes, the bathrooms are small, but highly efficient and because of the thoughtful design we never had water from the shower spill onto the bathroom floor! We look forward to our next Oceania cruise, however we wish they had accessible balcony staterooms. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Past experience with Oceania and desire for Alaska cruise. As always, food was great, cabins excellent. Only criticism is that shore excursions seem significantly higher and those available elsewhere. Found there were other bridge players ... Read More
Past experience with Oceania and desire for Alaska cruise. As always, food was great, cabins excellent. Only criticism is that shore excursions seem significantly higher and those available elsewhere. Found there were other bridge players on the cruise and a bridge director/teacher husband/wife team who were excellent. Crew was outstanding and were quite approachable and willing to discuss any aspect of the cruise or chat socially. Took in only one entertainment which was very good as well. Only one port had required the use of tenders so docking at all other ports was highly convenient. Had a butler for our penthouse suite and the service he provided was great. Housekeeping staff were excellent and always available and willing to provide any services required. Ship was immaculate. This was our third Oceania cruise and the first where we had to pay gratuities. We underestimated that cost (it is per person and not per cabin) so we over spent slightly trying to use our shipboard credits. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We wanted to go through the Panama Canal with a different line to have a variety of ports and experiences. I had heard good reviews of Oceania. We thought it would be a nice change. The first impression was of a classy lounge, dining ... Read More
We wanted to go through the Panama Canal with a different line to have a variety of ports and experiences. I had heard good reviews of Oceania. We thought it would be a nice change. The first impression was of a classy lounge, dining area and reception. Our cabin was nice enough, but not one iota bigger than other cruise lines and the balcony was the smallest ever. AND, we had upgraded to Concierge. We had booked through a travel agent for universities. They took our money and did nothing to help us. Insurance was outrageous. We booked with the option for the "beverage package" and learned when we got onboard that they had booked us with free excursions instead. Well, then we learned that beverage package was beer and wine only in the dining rooms at meals. Two previous cruise lines had included ALL beverages anytime. Ok? Bad start. Food was excellent, entertainment was good, lectures were good. Service was usually good, but there were inconsistencies. We had a server and a manager snap at us when we requested something. Wifi was a big draw. Free wifi. Well. It was for one device at a time, so my husband and I could not use our devices at He same time. That was ok, but for 75% of the time, the wifi was not working. Big negative! Self serve laundry was nice, but there were 4 machines for 694 guests and often there was at least one machine not working. One lady was ironing clothes that she had paid for ship laundry service. She said the clothes were still damp. Specialty dining was no charge and the Polo Grill was as good as any fine dining experience I had anywhere. Toscano was not as good. Service was less than the main dining room and my husband had a veal dish that was inedible. The buffet service was not good and the main dining room was mostly good. Food was fine in both places. I liked the healthy dinner options. Pool is small, fitness area is adequate, card room was good. Library was amazing. So, overall, we were a bit disappointed based on the money we spent, but there were some positive points. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose Oceania Regatta because we had sailed on the Insignia last year to Australia, New Zealand, and French Polynesia. The Regatta is the sister ship. This time we introduced our friends to Oceania! This was our 2nd cruise with ... Read More
We chose Oceania Regatta because we had sailed on the Insignia last year to Australia, New Zealand, and French Polynesia. The Regatta is the sister ship. This time we introduced our friends to Oceania! This was our 2nd cruise with Oceania Cruise Lines. Everything from start to finish was excellent. We chose the same type of cabin, the penthouse suite. A few days into our trip, we were surprised to have a lack of hot water in the shower but, it was handled quickly. :-( The lectures and spa services were all enjoyable. The narration by the specialist during the Panama Canal crossing was great. Larry, the professor on board gave fabulous lectures. The shows performed by the Regatta Singers was also excellent! Corey Powell, our Cruise Director was so friendly and personable. One night there was a pianist another, a magician. The magician gave a great lecture about the history of magic - it was great! The pianist in Martinis was so enjoyable. The String Quartet was fabulous--- every night for 2 hours! The dining on Regatta --- what can I say. The food delicious and service wonderful. The Veal Milanese in Toscana was better on the Insignia though. Polo Grill was great! The cooking demonstrations were fun! **I was injured while on board (not badly), and taken to the medical facility. Being an R.N., I was very impressed with the care by the Doctor and R.N. on board. ** Our Butler, Raj made sure I had ice for the ice-packs - Raj was great all throughout the trip! All of our Ports were interesting --- I wished we had a longer stay at each one. We chose to make our own arrangements for excursions. I would like to try one of Oceania's larger ships in the future! Would we sail on Regatta again - you bet! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We sailed from Montreal to London last year on Oceania's Marina and were interested in trying one of its "R" class ships. We were also looking for a RESTFUL cruise as a break from very heavy work loads lately on the jobs. ... Read More
We sailed from Montreal to London last year on Oceania's Marina and were interested in trying one of its "R" class ships. We were also looking for a RESTFUL cruise as a break from very heavy work loads lately on the jobs. This year the Regatta was on a 10-day voyage from Miami--> Cape Canaveral--> Charleston--> Hamilton, Bermuda--> St George, Bermuda --> Nassau, Bahamas, then back to Miami, with some nice days at sea. Embarkation was a "well-oiled Machine", with everyone boarded and bedded down very quickly with their luggage. The public areas of the ship were absolutely lovely, very well-maintained, and the happy crew tended the ship like their own baby. Everything was spotlessly clean, and every care was taken to avoid the Noro virus--we had NO outbreaks of tummy trouble and no bleach brigades having to fight off the nasty Noro. The Regatta is very much a "traditional" ship in its decor and traditions, and we were looking sort of cruise experience over Carnival's neon glitter overkill. The furniture, fixtures, woodwork, curtains, and marble work were just incredible. If you ever wanted to cruise like the gilded age tycoons did during the Edwardian Age, the Regatta is just the ship for you, very civilized as well as indulgent. There is the beautiful Grand Staircase, which is absolutely lovely, and quite the focal point. We loved the Library, and the staff had an incredible selection of DVDs to loan the passengers. There were plenty of activities going on--lectures, demonstrations, music, dong, and dance--but we were too lazy for that and just wanted to lay on our balcony and take it easy. Our butler Rahman was a treasure, and he made sure to keep the latest chocolate treats in our room (as we're major-league chocoholics), We enjoyed the Grand Dining Room, the Terrace Cafe, Tuscany, Polo Steak, and ESPECIALLY Waves Grill (where the Wagu Beef Burgers reigned supreme, the Surf and Turf rocked, and the best strawberry milkshakes in the universe were there for the asking. Another aspect of Oceania we appreciate is that people who drink alcohol can buy separate beverage packages--thus people like us (who do not drink) are not forced to subsidize the "Booze Cruises" of individuals who do imbibe. We particularly enjoyed Charleston and Hamilton+St George, Bermuda. Lovely weather, plenty for the history and beach buffs to explore. Much less impressive was Nassau in the Bahamas, where the monstrous Atlantis Resort loomed in the distance--by then, the weather had become sticky, hot, and very humid. Unlike Hamilton and St George, Nassau had become a bit run-down, especially in the dockyard area. All in all, a VERY nice cruise. R-n-R on the waves. and everything was about as perfect as it could be. We will be back again on Oceania soon. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise because of the convenience for us to depart and return to Miami, for Oceania's reputation for good food, and for the experience of cruising on a smaller ship than we had previously experienced. Embarkation at ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the convenience for us to depart and return to Miami, for Oceania's reputation for good food, and for the experience of cruising on a smaller ship than we had previously experienced. Embarkation at noon was very fast and easy. We immediately lunched at Waves. I had a surf and turf on a roll - lobster and steak. Bad start for me. The lobster was undercooked and the dish did not sit well on my stomach. We were called to our stateroom between 1:30-2. I will review our very small cabin separately. The public rooms on the ship are stunning. Many have beautiful ceilings, and all have lovely, cozy traditional furnishings. There are many inviting small conversation areas. The library is especially lovely - it has a tasteful bird theme, lots of books, and a fabulous ceiling. Much care went into the selection of furnishings and accessories throughout the ship. I found the fitness center well equipped for my needs. The service was excellent - from our cabin crew to the wait staff. Each crew member was responsive to any request we made. Dining: we had many hits, but some unhappy misses. We loved the two specialty restaurants, having had great meals in both Toscana and Polo Grill. I had lamb chops and filet mignon both done exactly as requested. My husband's steak was perfection. Breakfast in the Grand Dining Room daily was very good. The croissants were fabulous! However, neither of us was happy with lunch selections, particularly at the Terrace. In general, lunch selections were heavier than either of us wanted. There were few simple sandwiches, such as grilled cheese, BLT, etc. Unless one wanted a salad or burger, the choices were pasta, heavy meats, fishes, etc. neither of us cared for the Terrace buffet for any meal. There was not specific direction in which to move along, there were often too few servers, and it was sometimes difficult to find a seat. We almost always ate in the Grand Dining Room or the specialty restaurants. Tea service was elegant. The tea selections, finger sandwiches, and pastries were wonderful. We did attend several of the port lectures. They were somewhat interesting. We also joined in the team trivia, which was fun - lots of laughs. We only went to two evening shows, which were as expected. The entertainers were talented and enthusiastic. We would have preferred an earlier show time. The Kennedy Space Center excursion was one of the best we had ever had. The Glass bottom boat was fun. Otherwise, we found the offered excursions overpriced and did far better getting our own tours or private guides. Our fellow cruisers looked primarily over sixty-five, with most in their seventies or eighties. There were a few exceptions, but not many. Most were interesting conversationalists and well traveled. We met lots of fascinating people. Surprisingly to me, most of the folks with whom we chatted were returning Oceania cruisers. Many had taken multiple Oceania cruises, up to 35. I would cruise again with Oceania, but only on the larger "O" ships, as the balcony cabins are far more spacious, making us more comfortable. In addition, the larger ships have less motion, as I am bothered at times. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our first cruise with Oceania, and will almost certainly be our last. We were unfortunate enough to board at a time when gastrointestinal disease had taken hold on the ship. This can happen on any ship, but the way that Oceania ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Oceania, and will almost certainly be our last. We were unfortunate enough to board at a time when gastrointestinal disease had taken hold on the ship. This can happen on any ship, but the way that Oceania handled, or rather mishandled, this and the level of outright dishonesty was shocking. We were boarding in Lima, Peru and received an email even before we left home several days before the ship was due to sail, saying that our embarkation would be put back an hour as the ship was to be deep-cleaned. This is the extract from the email I received from Oceania: " Recently, in the vicinity of Callao/Lima, there have been several outbreaks of influenza and gastroenteritis. To ensure that you and your fellow guests are able to enjoy your cruise and minimize the possibility of any health issues being brought on board, we will be delaying the start of embarkation until at least 1 PM local time. This delay will allow the ship’s staff ample time to implement a full “sanitation barrier” between the embarkation area and the Regatta, to ensure healthy guests and a healthy ship." It turned out it wasn't a healthy ship with restrictions imposed for more than half the cruise and on the previous leg from Buenos Aires.. Lima had suffered some pretty severe flooding so this seemed reasonable but it turned out that the sanitising process was actually trying to clear up an GI outbreak that had started long before the ship ever arrived in Lima. We discovered this in talking to other passengers who had been on the previous leg of the journey and who been told told to leave the ship so it could be deep-cleaned. We had this conversation during the melée of embarkation when ship's pens were being shared by passengers completing health questionnaires on the dock - you really couldn't make this up! Later in the cruise we were told that the problem was passengers who had embarked in Lima after the ship's own pre-trip to Machu Picchu - but this was just another lie as the deep-cleaning had preceded the arrival of these passengers. Embarkation was a shambles. First of all, passengers get dropped just outside the port and are transported to the ship by shuttle buses. As soon as taxis carrying passengers arrived they were literally swarmed over by a bunch of freelance baggage handlers who tried to grab luggage to put on the shuttle. Our taxi was parked about 5m from the bus but as soon as the car boot was opened the bags were seized upon without asking. We had several bags and we and our driver were trying to monitor where they were going but we didn't need help to move them. We refused to give in to intimidation to pay these unwanted helpers. Other taxi drivers were also defending their passengers and one even went to the aid of an unaccompanied elderly couple, remonstrating with the swarm and gathering the passengers up to wait with the people he was dropping off. Meanwhile, a young man wearing an Oceania badge stood looking on but doing nothing - he was absolutely useless and might as well have not been there. Oceania really need to look at the passenger experience in this area and make sure they have enough people at the shuttle point to contend with this behaviour. There were huge queues to get on board and very poor organisation once there. Normally embarkation would be staggered with suites and PH cabins getting earlier access. It seemed that only the 11am and 12am embarkations had been delayed so everyone turned up at the same time and the staff simply could not cope. What turned out to be the executive concierge was attempting to control the queues but this was a task that was beyond his powers. Someone should tell them that breezy upbeat staff pretending that nothing is amiss just raises hackles on the part of the paying passengers. We had booked a PH3 stateroom - we thought the basic staterooms were just too small. The cabin was nice - about 1.5 times the width of a standard balcony cabin so we had a nice outdoor area. The width of the cabin made it feel a lot more spacious than a larger cabin we had on Regent's Voyager. The bathroom though was a lot smaller even though it was about twice the size of the lower level staterooms on Regatta. We did see one of these and it really was tiny. Even though there isn't a walk-in wardrobe in the PH, there was ample storage, in fact I suspect more than the walk-in would have offered. There was a lot more room to walk around the bed and the sofa and two chairs and table were far enough apart to make eating in the cabin a practical proposition. The restrictions on board owing to the GI seemed to only apply to those elements that would cause maximum inconvenience to passengers but not to those aspects that might affect Oceania's profits. For example, the library was closed, the laundry was closed, there were no cruet sets or milk jugs or sugar containers available on tables, menus were in paper format rather than bound books. Yet the casino, with its banks of slots machines, and the boutiques were open with special events where crowds of people would turn up to paw handbags, clothing and jewellery, whilst in the dining room I was handed a bound wine list which we didn't even ask for. There were no hand sanitisers in the casino or at the entrances to the shops but entering the restaurants there were multiple units and members of staff monitoring diners as they arrived. I was actually very rudely shouted at by one person and loudly called back to sanitise the hands that I had sanitised just ten seconds earlier (I assume she didn't see): this woman's customer service skills were better suited to a prison than a so-called luxury cruise. I mentioned the incident in the mid-cruise review and one of the maitre d's did apologise profusely. At least it was an apology - given the absence of any apology for the inconvenience to passengers and the inability of senior staff to tell passengers the truth in relation to the GI outbreak, I suppose I should be grateful that the word 'sorry' passed anyone's lips. By the time any real attempt was made to assuage passenger feelings it was too late. There were a few simple things which could have been done which might have taken some of the rancour - for example, an early and straightforward apology for the inconveniences. I heard a lot of people who were enraged that whilst the laundrette was closed, Oceania was capitalising on this by charging for laundry services. A simple gesture of allowing passengers a limited number of items of clothing to be laundered free of charge would have gone some way to reducing anger. Lots of people saw the hypocrisy of allowing the boutiques & casino to open whilst the laundry & library were off limits. It was day 10 or 11 (out of 16) before all the restrictions were removed which made life a lot better for everyone. Service in the dining room had been slowed down by people constantly having to ask for salt, pepper, milk, bread, butter etc because none of his was left on the table initially. We also missed a port. I was sort of forewarned about this by the independent tour operator with whom we had made a booking when he told me about 36 hours before embarkation that the cruise ship had cancelled all its tours, and asked if we had been told that we were missing the first port. After having learned this I also thought we wouldn't port (why pay port fees if you aren't going to let people off the boat?) but Oceania did not even attempt to tell passengers in advance. This was only confirmed to me when I specifically asked on embarkation and the member of staff who told me said that everyone had been informed before embarkation (either this was just another lie or he didn't know and made this part up). Several people I spoke to were unaware of this even late on in the day. Oceania prides itself on serving the best food at sea. I simply didn't see this. Our previous cruising experience was with Regent and the food there is better in my view. Regent also will prepare something off menu as long as they have the ingredients but this is not possible on Oceania. Provision for vegetarians was pretty poor although another passenger told me that it was vastly improved from her cruise a year before when she had had to complain about the lack of vegetarian options. I noticed that some of the veggie menu items were ones I remembered from Regent. This issue is particularly noticeable in Polo - yes it is a steak & seafood restaurant but my husband is a confirmed carnivore. The restaurant staff seemed to think it was odd that I would want to eat there, but why should a vegetarian's partner have to lose out on a speciality restaurant? They did arrange for a veggie meal to be supplied from the main dining room but I was left with the feeling that I was an inconvenience (yes - it was inconvenient for them, but a passenger should not be made to feel, particularly when the ship had imposed serious restrictions on paying passengers). It would have been much easier if they had simply let me choose from the menu of the other speciality restaurant, Toscana, which is adjacent to Polo. There just seemed to be a rigidity of mindset and it contrasted unfavourably with my experience with Regent. We didn't have great expectations of the entertainment on board, and to be honest it was never going to be a highlight for us, but it was far worse than we anticipated. The house team of singers and dancers were amateurish, with the singing being particularly poor. This was highlighted on the last night when one of the pastry cooks, Cordelia, was brought onto the stage as part of the farewell to staff. We had only come into the show for the farewell and probably endured only ten or fifteen minutes of the house team (we had learned from experience). Cordelia came in, in her chef's whites, sang one song and showed the rest of them up for the poor performers they were. There was a good string quartet although they seemed to be placed out of the way and I think more could have been done with them. The showband weren't bad but probably need time to gel. In Martinis bar in the evening an Italian singer/pianist played - the best of the entertainment in our view, and again, much under-used. It was rather unfortunate that Martinis is open to the casino and its myriad of slots machines so the pianist was fighting against ringing bells and flashing lights plus shouts when people won something. From what I had read before we took the cruise, Martinis sounded like a sophisticated cocktail bar but, at least on Regatta, its proximity to the casino completely ruined the atmosphere. Had I been the pianist I would have been livid! In addition to the cruise line's own entertainers, performers were brought on board. These were universally dire - a Chilean former wedding singer who bounded onto the stage looking like Ricky Gervais parodying a leather-clad aging rockstar; an 'Irish' 'comedian' (living in America for 45 years with an accent that sounded more forced 'oirish' than real County Clare) whose 'good, clean' comedy included 'jokes' that were old thirty years ago. It was so predictable that not more than two minutes after my husband said the guy would be telling the 'letter from Ireland' joke next, this did indeed happen. There was also a man billed as the world's only legal pickpocket presenting the sort of show I have seen delivered better by others, and a Russian pianist who might have been better had she concentrated on playing rather than gurning and flouncing. I am probably expecting too much of cruise ship entertainers but this lot were cringe-making whereas the performers on Regent were competent at worst and excellent in some cases. There weren't many lectures - mostly presentations related to the onboard jewellery boutique or the hugely expensive Canyon Ranch spa. The pickpocket man presented lectures on protecting your retirement account (irrelevant to non-American passengers) and something entitled 'In pursuit of ISIS Terrorist, Mohamed Belkaid' (one of the Brussels terrorists who was killed in a police raid) but also taking in phishing attacks, skimming techniques, tracking credit card thieves, etc.. We didn't attend that one because the title & content didn't seem to match and it wasn't clear to us that the guy had any real knowledge or qualification to speak about terrorism. We would have appreciated lectures which actually related in some way to the area we were cruising, maybe something on Mayan culture & history, or natural history, flora & fauna, wildlife. Other activities on offer included bingo (yes- really), karaoke, casino tournaments and line dancing (yes - really). We took only one ship's excursion at NCL's (Oceania's parent company) private island, Harvest Caye, where there is no way to tour independently or even reach the mainland unless you are taking a cruise ship tour. Harvest Caye itself is an abomination - it is described as "an authentic, immersive and enriching Belizean experience". The person who wrote this obviously has no understanding of the word 'authentic' and has probably never visited the real Belize either. It is just a theme park you can't escape from with row upon row of loungers around the pool and stretching along the beach as far as the eye can see, the beach a man-made one of gritty, horrible sand. There is an extremely sad excuse of a nature experience, and a few over-priced shops. The manatee experience struck us as hilarious given how many manatees were killed inadvertently during the construction process. We didn't even see a single fish in the water - on the coast of Belize this is nothing short of astonishing. You have to pay for all food and drinks (no use of onboard drinks packages even though you can use your ship's card to pay for everything) - why bother when you can just go back to the ship. Ironically we didn't see many people using the Harvest Caye facilities but the ship's pool and sun deck were heaving when we re-boarded. The beach area seemed to be occupied by a few of the ship's off-duty staff. I am aware that this is a very negative review and I am sure some people will have enjoyed elements that I found wanting. We booked the cruise on the basis of the itinerary and had expected Oceania to be similar to Regent. We found the experience was distinctly downmarket with some activities being the sort of thing you would expect on large, cheap ships. We were also very disappointed by the mishandling of passenger communications during the outbreak of illness. Whilst the room attendants, waiting & bar staff were excellent, the ship's management left a lot to be desired. Reception and Destination Services staff were surly and uninterested in helping. Early on in the cruise I wanted to discuss something with the hotel director or equivalent. I was told no-one was available at that time (fair enough) but they would ask him to call me. No call came. Two days later a card was left in the room asking me to make an appointment with the executive concierge. By that stage we'd seen enough to know such a meeting would be a complete waste of time. We are very unlikely to travel with Oceania again. You get one chance to make a good impression and Oceania failed dismally. Ultimately it is a matter of trusting people to give you the holiday you have paid for and after the lies, half truths and evasions there is no trust left. We set the bar high on our first cruise with Oceania's sister company, Regent. We thought there wouldn't be a lot of difference between the two lines but even leaving aside the GI outbreak, the two lines were in so many respects like chalk & cheese. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was our first cruise with Oceania. We chose this cruise because of the wonderful itinerary. We arrived a week early to tour Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and, of course, Machu Picchu. all of this part of the trip was wonderful. ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Oceania. We chose this cruise because of the wonderful itinerary. We arrived a week early to tour Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and, of course, Machu Picchu. all of this part of the trip was wonderful. Embarkation: Not at all optimal. The process of getting on the ship was quick and easy. From there the experience went downhill. Upon getting on the ship we were told that the ship was in a CODE RED LEVEL II condition with both "A" type flu and Norovirus onboard. As a result, we were held in Terrace Cafe for 3+ hours while the crew "cleaned" the ship. Moreover, our luggage was never delivered to our cabin! It was instead delivered to one end of the corridor and we had to "hunt" for it among the piles of bags. Ship: the Regatta, is in serious need of a Dry Dock experience. I understand that she is scheduled for a "refit" later this year. Until that time cruisers will see a fair amount of rust, as well as fatigued furnishings. Cabin : see review below. The cabin and bath areas are small, but you expect that while sailing in the "small ship" category. Our Cabin Steward, Odelia and her assistant worked very well to keep our stateroom clean and well serviced. We had a verandah, which we highly recommend as it gives you "additional" space, and besides, it is a lot of fun along the way. The verandah gives you an opportunity to observe sunsets, ports, sail - aways, and wild life all from the comfort of your stateroom. Dining: Good, bad, and just plain ugly. Dining in the specialty restaurants, Polo Grill and Toscana, as well as the Grand Dining Room was excellent. Food was excellent as was the service. Dining in Terrace Café and Waves Grill was "challenging". The food was good, the service was non-existent. The servers in the space were lackadaisical, and clearly uncaring, servers behind the counters were unwelcoming, and occasionally rude. Entertainment and activities: the entertainment was spotty. The String Quartet was outstanding. The Pianist and the Soprano were also outstanding. In fact, we'd been entertained by the pianist on another cruise with a different provider. The Regatta Show Band had only recently began to play together and were still "finding their way" musically. The Cast Show was painfully amateurish. Ports: Guayaquil, Ecuador: wonderful, with beautiful parks Manta, Ecuador a lively place during Presidential elections! Panama Canal: and exciting experience All in all the ports and excursions met and exceeded our expectations. Disembarkation: another disaster! We were not allowed to leave the ship until over an hour later than published. Passengers with flights were frantic. All passengers were allowed to leave at once which led to an interesting retrieval scene. As I said, this was our first cruise with Oceania. It will be our last. There are other, far better, small ship cruise ships out there. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We've cruised many different lines and this was the absolute worse experience. Staff were unfriendly and had difficulty understanding English. The food was good but not the culinary experience we were expecting. We were under a ... Read More
We've cruised many different lines and this was the absolute worse experience. Staff were unfriendly and had difficulty understanding English. The food was good but not the culinary experience we were expecting. We were under a "code red" during our first week and we couldn't do anything for ourselves including using salt and pepper on the table. Wine stewards and servers took forever to come to the table. Perhaps it was the code red, but we didn't notice any uptick in their friendliness until the 16 cruise was near the end. That's also when they started acknowledging us by our names. The lack of communication regarding our first few days was unacceptable. Their Executive Concierge merely wrote down our complaints and never once apologized or thanked us for our feedback. Just updated his log. The highlight of the trip was our room butler who went out of his way to provide the best service. But he too was spread thin and his pager was constantly going off. Finally, the embarkation process from arrival into the port -- where NO ONE from Oceania was there to explain that we needed to get on a bus and shuttled to the boat -- to getting our room was a disaster. People were visibly upset and the process took five hours from the time were told to be on the boat to the time our room was ready. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this cruise for its itinerary. But it turned out to be disaster. Ship came back from Ushuaia and Machu Pichu infected with GI problems and influenza. Passengers were quarantined in their cabins and ship was supposingly being fully ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary. But it turned out to be disaster. Ship came back from Ushuaia and Machu Pichu infected with GI problems and influenza. Passengers were quarantined in their cabins and ship was supposingly being fully disinfected. Embarkation was delayed due to disinfecting procedures. All crew was working 2 extra hours a day to clean the ship. Unfortunately the cleaning they were doing was rather superficial. What is the point of cleaning top of the tables when bottom is not touched or hairs are not cleaned etc. What about life jackets we wore first day during our safety drill? And so on. During our cruise 16 days they tried to clean and disinfect, but to us it was not proper cleaning. People were still falling sick and imprisoned in their cabins after paying hefty price for their cruise. Staff was constantly making jokes how they have to sterilize everything even microphones for the show. After few days I got cough and fever had to take antibiotics. My husband was coughing terribly and also developed fever. I started getting better but he got worse. Had to visit ship doctor who after multiple tests chest X-ray and influenza nasal swab told us that he has influenza A and needs to start antibiotics and tamiflu antiviral tablets. This visit cost us 1800 US dollars !! Unbelievable, hopefully insurance will reimburse us. It was not our fault that we got sick. We got infected on the ship that was not properly sterilized! We should never have been allowed on this ship in the first place. After doctors visit we were asked to return our room keys and do not leave our cabin for 48 hours. We were stuck in our cabin without being able to get out in ports. It was ok for My husband but I was feeling well already and was really disappointed not being able to see Belize and Coco Maya. I felt like I was in prison! We are seasoned cruisers and have been on Oceania few times before but this time never again.! I. Also blame CDC for allowing passengers to board this ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We picked Oceania because friends had commented that its food was among the best of all cruise lines. That wasn't our experience, especially compared with Silver Seas. When the ship set sail from Lima, it was already loaded with ... Read More
We picked Oceania because friends had commented that its food was among the best of all cruise lines. That wasn't our experience, especially compared with Silver Seas. When the ship set sail from Lima, it was already loaded with sick crew and a few sick passengers. Code Red, Level 2 CDC precautions were in place. Some public areas were closed but others weren't and that made no sense. Why weren't books available from the library, when common slot machines touched by countless were? My husband was one who came down with Influenza A symptoms soon after boarding. I was healthy but we were both understandably quarantined - first, for 48 hrs. and then ultimately for 72 hours. No sympathy from room service, who refused us ice until I complained to the nurse and she finally called room service and authorized our getting ice. No books or magazines, until I finally insisted that the front desk "ask via e-mail to other passengers if some would be willing to part with read books or magazines that they wouldn't need to have returned." With my threatening to leave the room if the front desk didn't at least try to get me some reading material, I got four magazines. And later I was told that the front desk person who did that for me was chastised for doing so. The nurse asked how I, the healthy one, was feeling each day she checked via phone, on my husband. I remained healthy, only to come down with his symptoms at the very end of the cruise. Upon returning to our home in the states, my own physician said they should have started me on prophylactic meds when they treated my husband. I might possibly have not gotten sick. There was no sympathy, no concern for our well-being, just lots of emphasis to not leave our room under any circumstances. And, after asking three times, my husband still couldn't get the lab work from the doctor that was performed when they examined him before our quarantine. They said it was expensive. I call that pretty stinking service. Really, the cost of photocopying existing reports?!?!?!? The best service was from the bar staff/bartenders and the cabin cleaners. They were always pleasant and helpful. The cruise director was upbeat and fun, too. But scratch the rest of the crew. And why no onboard talks to tell us of our upcoming destinations, something of the local culture, flora, fauna, history, archaeology? Nada, except for a great onboard guide through the Panama Canal, the only real plus on the whole 16 day journey. On one excursion the rainforest guide couldn't point out one medicinal plant or tree; he didn't bother to look for animals, either, we just walked to the pools and I might have well stayed at home and watched a Nature program, for what I got from this tour. Harvest Caye is still under development, that is, commercial development. No real fish nor birds to see; most of the manatees, if there were any there at one time, were probably relocated or injured in the building of the man made island. It has the "Disney" feel, which is good I guess, if you want to zip line, but not for much else. Why pay extra for a private cabana with a butler in this area??? I did enjoy the placid waters and beach for bathing in the sun and swimming a bit. But there was no decent snorkeling there, a shame. Our room never got really cool; we should have complained, but since we were "trained to not expect much" after the initial quarantined time in our cabin, we didn't say anything. Back to food: who seriously puts corn flakes in a smoothie? And when I told the chef in the Italian restaurant that the veal piccata was a bit tough and not lemony enough, he blamed the cooking on "corporate's mandated direction." Wow, do they not have their act together. He made me feel bad for giving feedback. I did really like the fitness center and the spa, and when the library was open, it as well. The library was charming, cool and not crowded. The ship size was good, neither so big that I felt like a sardine stuffed in a can, nor so small that amenities weren't available. But I do wish service had been emphasized, and more care had been taken in the excursion choices and in our having an onboard lecturer to tell us what was in store. Seeing just the excursions on a poor-reception TV wasn't the way to go. And the weather forecast and the ship's location on the cabin TVs were always wrong - outdated or nonexistent. I won't/we won't travel Oceania Cruises again. Ever. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
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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