63 Oceania Regatta Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise, back-to-back, San Francisco to Papeete and then on to Sydney, because of the itinerary and we have been pleased so far. This is our second Oceania cruise. The weather has been great, the facilities on the ship are ... Read More
We chose this cruise, back-to-back, San Francisco to Papeete and then on to Sydney, because of the itinerary and we have been pleased so far. This is our second Oceania cruise. The weather has been great, the facilities on the ship are in good order and our cabin (veranda) has ample storage room and is nicely furnished, good bedding, fake wicker on the veranda. Embarkation was very fast and easy, even though I had to change credit cards due to a fraud. Let's go with the good stuff first. The food has been, almost half way through the cruise, excellent. They must have amazing refrigeration to keep berries fresh for so long. There are ample choices at all meals and high quality. The food service at the buffet, Grand Dining Room, and specialty restaurants is professional and friendly at the same time. The Waves poolside grill is also very good with a great menu. The public areas are spotless and well-maintained. Our cabin steward is a wonder. Our cabin is always clean and fresh, with everything well maintained. Sharmila goes above and beyond to give good service. The wifi on this ship is the best I've seen on any cruise line and we have sailed on many. Help in the computer room is here for many hours each day. The spa services are priced as usual at sea (double what I pay at home) but service is excellent. The contract with Canyon Ranch will expire in 6 months and they will be switching to Steiner, so I don't know what staff changes there will be, but those working there now are great! The gym facilities are more than adequate for the passenger load. The tours are overpriced, of course as expected. We are using private tours whenever possible. The entertainment has been better than expected in the Regatta Lounge and the string quartet and pianist have large audiences every evening. Now for the bad stuff. Oceania must know the demographics of their passengers, especially on an itinerary like this one. Most are over 70 and at least half use canes or other mobility devices. The ship and, from talking with the concierge, the company, makes little effort to accommodate these passengers. Maybe is it a cost issue, but the piers chosen in Hawaii (3 ports) were out of the way, with long and difficult, badly paved walks to get out to a street. I have been to Hawaii 3 times and never had this problem with any other cruise line. Not only didn't they not mention the difficulty such as a half mile walk in Maui with no place to stop or rest, but the concierge said "It's not our fault." No mention in the Currents newsletter or port information about this. Other cruise lines provide golf cart or other shuttles, wheelchair assistance when needed and warnings. I saw a man with double canes struggling and a woman trying to get off the pier to meet a relative on Maui (not allowed to drive to near the ship) look faint as she and her sister walked with canes. This is not only inconsiderate, but dangerous as there was no way to get help. My husband and I (82 and 78) are capable of the walk, but I can't say it was easy. We had to phone relatives we are traveling with and tell them not to even try. In speaking to other passengers, we have found that this is a common complaint on this cruise, one man even taking most meals in his cabin because the ship is so unaccommodating. We have never seen or heard about this before in the 60+ cruises we've taken on many different cruise lines, including, in this price class, Viking Ocean and Azamara. And nobody in management seems to care or even admit there is a problem. Another policy issue. I spoke to the Fitness Manager and asked about offering chair yoga for those of us who can't get down on the ground. She told me she would be glad to do so but had no chairs. I suggested they use the chairs in the Card room which is right next to the Spa. She said that management won't allow it and that is true. The official line is that the card room must be kept available for card players. There are none at 8AM, I pointed out, but there would be at least a dozen yogis, maybe more, at that hour. The concierge reiterated that the room must always be available to card players, illustrating a total lack of flexibility and willingness to fill guest needs. Both Azamara and Viking Ocean are really great in doing whatever they can to be helpful, but Oceania is more about following corporate rules. For these reasons, I will probably not be cruising with Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise for ports, suppose to be beautiful coming out of dry dock,service and dining great but not a five star cruise as usual..many problems, constantly construction..pounding, drilling closure of the decks, pool and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for ports, suppose to be beautiful coming out of dry dock,service and dining great but not a five star cruise as usual..many problems, constantly construction..pounding, drilling closure of the decks, pool and balconies ,paint and varnish smell everywhere-on Regatta, room seventh floor..you pay for five star and get a 2-3 star, not fair and so far they just say sorry..unacceptable ... We have sailed on Oceania 21 times, so extremely disappointing.. The staff are trying hard to please everyone but hard with all the noise and bad smell going on... The excursions have been great, as usual. And the guides have been very good as well, speaking good English.. We would hope that they compensate us at some point..hoping for return travelers.. They still start their entertainment to late 9:30..with not much to do after dinner..between 7:30 and 9 p.m.the cabin is beautiful but the balconies were absolutely not ready.. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Oceania regulars organized this Alaska cruise for a party of 10. Our cabin was very nice and the best service on the ship was our room attendants. The wait staff in the restaurants were either over-worked or just had an attitude. ... Read More
Oceania regulars organized this Alaska cruise for a party of 10. Our cabin was very nice and the best service on the ship was our room attendants. The wait staff in the restaurants were either over-worked or just had an attitude. We usually asked several times for water, or another soft drink. We have cruised quite a bit, and notice that Ukrainian, Russian or Slavic men tend to have a chip on their shoulder. The women are only a bit better. The waiter would push certain items on the menu - which I always find suspicious. The passengers were an average age of 60. When eating with my husband, we usually had to move our table to a better location in the restaurant. Open windows or being out of the sun were not considered when placing us, it seemed. We were entitled to two dinners at the specialty restaurants. One was at Tuscana. We were told we could dine only at 9 pm; the restaurant was basically empty, we were placed in the back of the restaurant above the engine. The servers failed to provide one of the menus. She tried to explain the selection of balsamic vinegar and olive oils but couldn't be understood because of her broken English. We only know this because later that week we returned with our friends from the Owner's Suite, and were given the whole service. We definitely had something to compare it too. I had to ask several times for tonic water, or parmesan cheese. We left before dessert. The other restaurant was the Polo Club. My steak was undercooked, I sent back, after 9 minutes it was returned still undercooked and all my other items were cold and my friends were finished with their meals. The ship was very much in need of servicing. The engine cavitation was at times very loud and distracting. Afternoon tea would spill out of the cup. Our friends in the Owners suite had such loud shaking in their cabin that our get togethers before dinner seemed uncomfortable because the shaking was the elephant in the room. Waiters by the pool were walking back and forth but not assisting passengers with drinks. It was as if they were trying to look busy. As a former Broadway entertainer and cruise ship performer, I paid particular attention to the shows. The specialty acts were geared more toward the geriatric set. The live performances (with click track) were ok. The dancers were not necessary. 6 singers would have been better to augment the sound. The recorded music was more balanced than the live band - which had way to much sax. Two items I really enjoyed were the Library, which is the hidden treasure on the Regatta and I love the thick chaise lounge cushions by the pool. Bottom line, is that the old adage, "You get what you pay for" doesn't apply to this cruise. Oceania is considered one of the higher end Cruise Lines. This was not. It wasn't worth the money spent. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
REVIEW OF REGATTA BY CIRCUMNAVIGATORS MEMBER This is our second long voyage on this once outstanding cruise line - we are currently onboard for 45 days on circumnavigation of Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately the vessel has ... Read More
REVIEW OF REGATTA BY CIRCUMNAVIGATORS MEMBER This is our second long voyage on this once outstanding cruise line - we are currently onboard for 45 days on circumnavigation of Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately the vessel has fallen greatly in the large constellation of mid size cruisers. We attempted to obtain cabin upgrade from the front desk but received no reply after several requests in person and through our travel agent. The shore ex and lecture functions are poor and passengers are not well briefed on destinations. Further, any concierge service with regard to shore arrangements is lacking. On a positive note, the food service is good and cabin service staff are pleasant . However Pricing for basic shore excursions and onboard beverages is excessive and not transparent . My conclusion is that because cruise office staff is now completely on contract they seem not to care about service and response to passenger inquiry. Bad results here ! In addition the vessel is not clean in many respects and show her age ( 20 years ) by old worn furnishings. Regatta should be sold off to Holland American or another bargain line where she might provide value for budget cruisers ? Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
18 months previously, my wife and I did a cruise on Oceania Insignia, which was quite enjoyable. This cruise on the Oceania Regatta was a disappointment. Unfortunately for the Regatta, we had just done a cruise on the Cunard Queen Victoria ... Read More
18 months previously, my wife and I did a cruise on Oceania Insignia, which was quite enjoyable. This cruise on the Oceania Regatta was a disappointment. Unfortunately for the Regatta, we had just done a cruise on the Cunard Queen Victoria and there was no comparison. The Queen Victoria is far better. We have done 26 cruises on 11 different cruise lines. The cost of cruising with Oceania is very expensive because they claim they are so good. The crew on Regatta were wonderful, polite and friendly. So were the Queen Victoria and other cruise line crew. The cabin was the same as many other cruise lines. The single beds were very narrow and had a sloping top so that you had to be constantly alert not to roll out of bed. The general decor of the ship was very good, but again, inferior to the Queen Victoria. The food was the biggest disappointment. Oceania claim they have the best cuisine of any cruise ship. This is definitely not true. It appeared that there were two chefs working. One was very good and the other was hopeless. One meal of fish or meat would be exquisite and the next had to be left uneaten due to being so dry and tough. Many of the meals would have so much salt on them that your mouth and throat burned for hours afterwards. What would this do to people with a heart problem who could not have salt? In the buffet on the 9th deck, the passageway between the serving counters was so narrow that one had trouble getting to the counter and you were being continually bumped by other passengers. My wife and I reached the stage that we looked upon eating as an unpleasant chore. So many other passengers whom we spoke to all felt the same way. The dress code is claimed to be upper country club. There were a large percentage of passengers who dressed as if they were having a day at a fun park. The gratuities and service charge on drinks was very high and it was interesting that if I ordered a double Drambuie then I would be charged service on the higher price, although they were still only bringing one glass. We did not take any shore excursions as they are far too expensive. Having travelled through over 100 countries, many of them by backpacking, we always do our own thing when on shore. The entertainment at night was very average and became monotonous. The seating is such that it is difficult to see unless you are in the front row. So inferior to the Queen Victoria's magnificent theatre. The entertainers on the Queen Victoria had 1,000 people in their 70's, 80's and 90's all standing up, clapping and swaying in time to the music and singing. When we arrived in Sydney Australia, the cruise line wanted USD119 per person for a transfer to the airport. A Taxi cost us USD75 for two people. The final insult was to collect my suitcase on the jetty when we disembarked and found that the Regatta crew had split the AUD500 Samsonite case down the side when they unloaded it. Oceania will only refund less than ¼ to me. We will never sail with Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
On March 21, 2012, I received the news that no person ever wants to hear . . . "You have cancer!" Thus began my journey up through today toward recover from breast cancer. And what a journey it has been! In the past six ... Read More
On March 21, 2012, I received the news that no person ever wants to hear . . . "You have cancer!" Thus began my journey up through today toward recover from breast cancer. And what a journey it has been! In the past six years, I have endured more than ten operations and procedures relating to my breast cancer plus a total knee replacement of both knees! Couple all that with my husband’s paraplegia from three spinal surgeries and you can then understand why our recent “Glistening Glaciers” cruise to Alaska aboard Oceania Cruises Regatta (September 7–17, 2018) was so special and very important to us. The cruise was a realization of a dream and the completion of a long held wanderlust. We boarded the ship in Seattle after flying in from our home in Miami, Florida. We settled into Penthouse Suite 8065 (which showed signs of wear and tear) and were soon greeted by our butler. What a delight! Throughout the voyage, our butler attended to our needs, our wishes, and our desires! Bravo and thanks to him for making the voyage extra special! The veranda afforded us stunning views and phenomenal photographic opportunities! Compliments are also extended to the entire crew for a mostly lovely experience and pleasant journey. The afternoon tea was charming and the treats delicious, the martini bar tastings were fun and laughter filled, the grand dining room staff and food was delightful though nothing truly special. The specialty restaurant menues were sumptuous but had limited options! The library was cozy and well stocked, the Illy coffee bar was amazing, and all the entertainment was energetic but a tad amaturish! The scenery was a visual and sensual delight! The air was crisp and we were continually amazed by the splendors as we effortlessly glided past! What a boon to our collective spirits! The beauty of nature was in full display and we were ecstatic! It was disappointing, however, that the closest we got to any glaciers was seven miles! I expected more than a long distance view! There were, unfortunately and disappointingly, several aspects of our cruise greatly in need of improvement or enhancement. TOURS: My husband and I each purchased the Unlimited Passport Collection at a cost of $659.00 per person. It was stated in the brochure that this would result in a savings of up to 40% off the ala carte prices. It didn’t! Why? Because many of the “tours” we selected were not worth leaving the ship to experience! I didn’t want to over tax myself or my husband with activities that were too strenuous, but riding the Hoonah tram through a “forest” was a joke! We simply rode a muddy path along the shore! The Saxman Village tour featured a 15 year old who mumbled his memorized speech and got lost when someone interrupted with a question! Most of the tour bus drives were from other states and were in Alaska for only 3-6 months. They learned their speeches from the same guide books that I had read! Not impressive aat all! The “High Tea” at The Empress Hotel was abysmal! It was a rushed affair. We were grouped with people from the ship by the hostess. We were not even given china tea pots but prefilled stainless steel tea pots! No choice of teas was offered! Not at all a high tea. Not worth $199.00 per person! When I complained, I was told that that was what our “package” consisted of! I have been to The Empress for high tea and it was never like this! These Oceania sanctioned and promoted tours were beyond disappointing! SHIP BOARD LECTURES: Who hired some of these folks? I knew more about Alaska than one young guy who struggled all through his “lecture”! He knew almost nothing! Same with the jewelry presentation, a waste of time! MEIDCAL CENTER: Surprise! Don’t ask for anything! They don’t have it or won’t give it! My wrist was hurting and we were near the medical center and stopped in to ask for an Ace bandage to wrap it up. I was told that they weren’t available to give out. So I asked for an ice pack and was told that they didn’t have any! That they just put some ice in a bag when needed! Outrageous! Also, the hours of operation were ridiculously short! SPA: This was very disappointing as I had thought to spend the majority of my free time at this location! I attended a “lecture” on reflexology but could barely understand the young man’s heavy accent. Regardless, 4 of us were crammed into a treatment room for the talk and it was quite unnerving and uncomfortable. FLIGHTS: Who was the masochist that arranged this flight schedule? We traveled for over 8 hours pre cruise as well as nearly 12 hours post cruise! Our landing and connecting gates in Houston was nearly a mile apart and due to a delay, we had only 10 minutes to get there! Were it not for a transporter that we begged for help, we would have missed our flight! Not a pleasant way to end a supposed trip of a lifetime. I realize that I am but one voice, and that my comments and opinions carry little weight. However, I felt it compelled to compliment and commend even if I also had to conversely complain and condemn. I sent these same comments to Oceania. They responded that they didn't often get complaints from passangers but wished us well and hoped to see us on a future cruise! Translation, they did not care! Go for the scenery, but don't expect too much more! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and our previous experiences on the Regatta. The three star rating is an average between excellent food and dining experience, poor stateroom accommodations and very poor service with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and our previous experiences on the Regatta. The three star rating is an average between excellent food and dining experience, poor stateroom accommodations and very poor service with luggage delivery upon embarkation. One of our suitcases was not delivered because the room tag had fallen off. When we inquired about it we got excuses and downright lies, but no apology. It was a challenge to get staff to bring out undelivered luggage so that we could identify ours and get unpacked prior to sailing. The destination staff were not well informed about the shore excursions and provided poor advice for our excursion in Juneau. In general, we think we could have done better arranging our own excursions. When we last sailed on the Regatta in 2006, our experience was completely positive. We have sailed on the Regatta since it was owned by Renaissance. The food and service in the dining venues was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Just an OK cruise with a few disappointments . . . we have sailed on Oceania before, this cruise one of our least favorite. Panama Canal from Miami to San Francisco. We did get to Cuba which was fascinating to say the least. We arranged ... Read More
Just an OK cruise with a few disappointments . . . we have sailed on Oceania before, this cruise one of our least favorite. Panama Canal from Miami to San Francisco. We did get to Cuba which was fascinating to say the least. We arranged a private tour for the two of us all day . . . $65/pp. Museums, walks through town and ride in a 57 Chevy convertible. Great guide, provided lots of information. For reasons unknown, we did not stop in Cartagena, all sorts of excuses from the bridge which irritated the majority of passengers. Technical problems with the engines, paperwork, all sorts of reasons for arriving three hours late, dropping anchor for two hours, and then just leaving, which no one believed. Everyone had tours booked and were looking forward to Colombia. Add one sea day. Panama canal was interesting. Day long passage but the guide brought on board pointed out a lot of things along the way to include history of the canal. In Costa Rica we had another private tour to see crocs and monkeys. Excellent boat ride down a river. Like to mention that we had private guides for every port, all arranged from recommendations by Cruise critic members. Two people, private car, air-conditioned, anywhere we wanted to go for less. Nicaragua was skipped due to “civil unrest” so lost out on our second port. Guatamala was excellent . . . private tour took us to Antigua, ride on a chicken bus (highlight of our trip), chocolate factory, and macaws and toucans. Acapulco was a dive, the town and beaches are filthy, roads terrible, traffic and congestion. The cliff divers were fun, and did a little sight seeing to spots that big stars frequented. Private tour of Johnny Wieissmuller’s Casa Tarzan Room at the Los Flamingos Hotel. Cary Grant, Red Skelton, John Wayne, etc. Cabo was breathtaking but we were only there for 5 hours. Another big disappointment but the ship just had to sail to get to San Fran on time. A couple more hours in Cabo would have made a huge difference. Tenders totally disorganized and independent travelers had to fight for tender tickets, yet every tender with “priority” Oceania tours left with empty seats. Like to reiterate, tenders were a mess. Once we were finally on shore, we took a short boat ride, saw tons of pelicans, crabs, exotic fish, sea lions, and awesome scenery. One place we will have to go back to. Supposedly, a group of around 18-20 in Acapulco came down with some intestinal issues from a lunch on their Oceania tour so the whole ship was placed on strict sanitation precautions. Stories changed in talking with other passengers so not sure of the source of GI problems. Regardless, the ship responded as one would expect . . . just put a damper on the rest of the cruise. Couldn’t touch anything, some passengers quarantined in their rooms, all food cooked thoroughly and some public places even closed. So another thing to have to put up with. No compensation for inconvenience or lost ports, of course. Oh, well, checked Cuba and Canal off the bucket list. But crew was very nice. Restaurant staff very friendly. Officers kept a low profile. Room nice, mixed reviews on the food, menu for the most part hasn’t changed or been updated in years, it seemed. Wine selection not exceptional but adequate once we found something we liked. After 10 sea days, it was time to go home. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
My wife and I are frequent cruisers and chose this cruise as an alternative to the all inclusive lines where we always are charged for something we don't take part in. We also used this cruise to determine if we wanted to hold or ... Read More
My wife and I are frequent cruisers and chose this cruise as an alternative to the all inclusive lines where we always are charged for something we don't take part in. We also used this cruise to determine if we wanted to hold or cancel a 45 day trip on this ship next year out of New Zealand & the South Pacific. Our embarkation in Miami was swift and without incident. Our first port out of Miami was Havana which was absolutely wonderful. Then things started to go downhill, as we did not touch land for the next 5 days. My number one complaint with Regatta was that the ship has trouble maintaining its published schedule. On the previous cruise the ship missed at least one port and was 3 to 4 hours late into Nassau. On leaving Havana we were told that we would be several hours late into our next port, Cartagena, Columbia due to "minor technical difficulties" (a good friend says this is code for "we are now going to lie to you"). We did not have a long scheduled call in Cartagena and sure enough we arrived just after lunch and departed almost an hour later, without ever going to a dock or even dropping the anchor. You could see it but not touch it. The canal was fantastic as always, but the next port was Costa Rica, a much appreciated stop. The following port in Nicaragua was missed account political unrest, code for rioting. Oceania must get a pass as it is out of their control. Subsequent stops were in Acapulco and Cabo. Low and behold, we were about 45 minutes late into Cabo. A trend is developing .... On leaving Cabo San Lucas it quickly became apparent that we would not be on time into San Francisco. The ship provides basic navigation data (Chanel 3 on the room TV) and it was not too hard to do a speed and distance calculation on the number of hours needed to travel the remaining distance. 36 hours later the ship admitted what I already knew and then the natives became very restless when it was obvious that they would miss flights in San Fran (my wife and I were continuing on to Alaska). Off of LA the ship diverted around military maneuvers making the late train later. Any ship making a passenger change out needs to arrive around 6 AM to have max time to swap, clean and provision. Our San Fran arrival was at 2:30 PM, and it was a disaster. After arrival we were told to sit in the show lounge to await clearance. This took about 1.5 to 2 hours during which almost no announcements were made. We later learned that US Customs was to blame, but no one came on to blame them and comfort the rapidly rising blood pressures. We later learned that those getting on were equally frustrated and I'll bet that there is a review out there from one of those folks. When we finally got off, we (through passengers - there were about 40) were given a much shortened bus tour of San Francisco. On returning we were greeted by a mob scene of new passengers trying to board. We reboarded, cleaned up and went to the city for dinner rather than face those mad folks, some of whom never got the word that the ship would be late. Later we learned that we would spend the night in San Francisco and leave at 10 am and would, again, miss another port - Astoria, Oregon, one which we had greatly looked forward to. After missing that port, things got back on schedule. On the last port we did leave 2 hours early to make our last port of Vancouver, on time. In all we missed 25% of our scheduled ports. We had planned on a full day in San Fran, instead we got off close to 5 PM and had to be on board the next morning at 9 AM. I spoke with ships management about the delays, as many others did as well. The delays were blamed on weather. Yes, we had headwinds, but as I pointed out, any ship should have head winds 50% of the time. I refused the excuse and using facts about missed ports simply explained that that many missed ports (search other reviews on this site as well) indicates a problem. One of two statements is true: The ship cannot maintain tight schedules account mechanical issues OR the team responsible for planning and scheduling has made grave errors and not allowed for any "wiggle room" on longer segments. Overall, the missed ports and lateness really ruined the cruise for us. We have been on crossings (Atlantic) with fewer sea days. On board though the rest of the cruise was very good to excellent. On board service was excellent. We never had an issue. The service staff, largely Filipino and Indonesian was better than many of the ultra luxury lines. This great service was in bars, restaurants, cabin service etc. The quality of the food in the specialty restaurants was excellent. 5 stars for both. The buffets and main restaurants had a few issues. I would rate these at about 4 stars. The only bad item encountered was pizza which looked like the stuff you buy in an American convenience store. Related to the food is a problem that can't be solved. Both segments were full. On arrival at the Veranda buffet, you knew it. There wasn't a table to be found unless you hovered waiting for someone to get up or eat at an odd time. This held true for breakfast and lunch and I'm not sure about dinner as we are not buffet eaters at dinner. Yes, we could storm the door upon opening but that is not our style. When you did get a table you faced a mass of people at the food stations and there wasn't much room to move. My wife and I purchased a beverage package. Having sailed on all inclusive lines, we didn't want to worry about every drink. If we want only an additional 1/2 glass of wine, at the end of dinner then no problem. The problem occurs that having paid for the beverage package, you still had to present your room card. We were told that this was for accounting and inventory control. After several days the crew knew we had the package, yet we had to always present at least one card, a real pain when you are trying to get up and go. Approaching San Francisco I tried to get a beer with lunch. Oh no - it didn't happen. Despite having paid for it the system closed to the old passengers as they prepared for the new. Real reason - once they closed out the old they couldn't charge them anymore. There was zero accommodation for those of us going through. Luckily, I bought a bottle of rum in Havana, so we retreated to the room and opened it! Overall the ship is showing its 20 years of age, though Oceania works to keep it up. The interior is beautiful with fine woodwork and paintings. Carpets have an Oriental theme, public chairs are plush though some areas show signs of aging, with torn lamp shades and other minor things. Outside, you won't find much rust, though you will find many layers of paint which indicate repeated paintings. The pool had 1 inch square tiles which were falling off in mass. The crew was gluing back plastic replacements, which were again falling off. Our travel agent warned us not to expect much for entertainment. We found that she was wrong as we enjoyed almost all of the entertainment, including the ships shows (we saw them all twice). However, like the Veranda, if there was a popular show you better arrive early as the lounge did not accommodate everyone. On at least 2 nights we left because there were no seats available. Another note needs to be addressed that was a negative, though possibly unavoidable incident. The ship underwent a GI "protocol". Yes - the Norovirus appeared. We knew something was up leaving Acapulco when the cruise director came on the noon updated suggesting that anyone with stomach issues report to the doctor for a free consultation. Given a previous Oceania experience (see my January review on the Riviera) the treatment would not be free. Within 24 hours, full protocol was in effect. The ship took away things that multiple folks would touch. Not nuts trays or appetizers with cocktails. No cream, sugar, salt pepper or bread trays. No water set out for anyone to take. No menus in leather holders. On arrival, tables were bare and staff brought everything, but left nothing. Through it all both the fitness center and casino remained open, which I found interesting. The protocol or reactive management is set by CDC. However, reviews on this site indicate that this is not a first for Regatta. Passengers who showed symptoms were quarantined for 48 hours. In one case they escaped and security had to run them down. The protocol went until 2 days north of San Francisco when things gradually returned to normal. In total we had 5 days of limited service. The protocal also called for extra cleaning in San Francisco which further added to the woes of being late with new passengers arriving. We also found that the dress code on Oceania left something to be desired. The line allows shorts after 6 anywhere except the dining room(s). You can also wear baseball caps. Most dressed nicely, but there are always a few who have to take full advantage. Many dressed nicely for the specialty restaurants, but it was not enjoyable to be in the bar with a coat and tie on sitting next to an individual in a jogging suit with his hat on backwards. We enjoyed a penthouse with butler service. The room was wider which made a big difference. See the review below. In conclusion, this may not be the line for us. We have many nights on Seabourn, Crystal and Regent. All are all inclusive though all have been taking big price increases. I suspect that we will be back at some point though it will be in a Penthouse or Oceania Suite on one of the 2 larger ships. And, it won't likely be a long voyage. If you are moving up from Celebrity, Holland America, RCL or NCL, you will most likely love Oceania. Due to the feeling of being cramped at public venues, (plus the other listed issues) we just don't like it. Oceania puts almost 700 people into a 30,000 ton vessel while Seabourn has less than 500 in the same tonnage ship. New Zealand trip canceled. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise as an end of winter getaway to the lovely Caribbean. Embarkation was efficient and we were on board within minutes. Disembarkation was on time and also efficient. The ship is old but clean and well maintained. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise as an end of winter getaway to the lovely Caribbean. Embarkation was efficient and we were on board within minutes. Disembarkation was on time and also efficient. The ship is old but clean and well maintained. We were offered an upgrade to a higher category which we gladly accepted and paid for, however, we were in a cabin directly above the show lounge which meant no afternoon naps due to the noise of rehearsals and no bedtime prior to 10:30 pm. Although this is not very late, the entertainment is so poor one may desire an early night rather than sitting through another mundane show. This was our third time on Oceania and most likely our last, as we have missed ports on every cruise. On this cruise we had a medical emergency and diverted to the Turks and Caicos Islands which meant we were unable to make it to St. Kitts. We were also 4 hours late getting into Nassau without explanation from the Captain. As a result we had four and a half seas day, rather than the 3 we were supposed to have on the 10 day cruise. Fellow passengers were less than happy. Service on board was excellent, always pleasant and professional. The quality of food did not meet expectations. Sometimes the meat was tough, other times the food was lukewarm. The food in the Toscana and Polo Grill was not as good as on the Marina. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We decided to cruise to the Caribbean for our 40th wedding anniversary, and chose Oceania because we had a wonderful experience a few years ago cruising on the Marina to the Mediterranean. We were confident that the ship's size (only ... Read More
We decided to cruise to the Caribbean for our 40th wedding anniversary, and chose Oceania because we had a wonderful experience a few years ago cruising on the Marina to the Mediterranean. We were confident that the ship's size (only 684 passengers) would suit us - we're not party-animals and were looking forward to enjoying the excellent food and service we appreciated on Marina in a relatively intimate setting. We were not disappointed by the ship in any way. Our cabin was attractive, comfortable, offered plenty of storage, and featured a large 'picture' window. Our bathroom was small (a fellow-passenger described it as a plane restroom), but not an issue for us. The food was amazing - virtually everything we ate in every venue was delicious, well-prepared and beautifully served. Yes, service was slow, and we encountered an occasional cut of meat that could have been more tender, but there is absolutely no comparison to the kind of 'food' served on other cruise lines, which tends to be mediocre to awful and very limited, unless you're willing to pay for better meals. Every crew member we met, including the officers, were friendly and welcoming, with some regularly going above and beyond. Our one complaint, and it is a serious one, was what turned out to be an awful itinerary Great Stirrup Cay is a pretty beach and nothing else (luckily there were no other cruise ships docked at the same time, because it would have been just awful if it had been really crowded); after two days at sea we missed St. Kitts because of a medical evac (we know, these things happen), but our next port was Antigua where we seriously regretted not heading to the beach for snorkeling - the town is dirty, run-down and unfriendly. San Juan came next, and we were more than pleasantly surprised to find it absolutely beautiful, with some fascinating historic sites and a wonderfully restored Old City. We were really looking forward to Samana as there is a fantastic park there featuring a Karst landscape (ala Ha Long Bay in Vietnam), a mangrove swamp and caves with petroglyphs and rock paintings. Unfortunately (and this came as a complete surprise), we weren't able to go there as 'independents', but only if we had booked an excursion. We couldn't even visit Samana, unless we had booked an excursion! The only place we could go was Cayo Levantado - a small island with a nice-ish beach, but you can only sit on the beach - the island has been almost entirely taken over by a Bahia Principe All-Inclusive - we were refused entry to their lobby and although the information sheet about the island advised us to 'explore the beautiful coves and find a secret beach', everything was fenced off and inaccessible except the rather dirty public beach. In addition, there were many rather grotty lounge chairs on the beach, but you had to pay to sit on them. Following this disaster, we had another day at sea and then visited Nassau. If you've been to Nassau, then you don't need me to comment, but I will say that the highlight of the visit was the Queen's Steps - a lovely garden and stairs cut into rock with a waterfall to the side. And that's it for Nassau, unless you were keen to visit the huge Atlantis complex, which didn't interest us in the slightest. All in all my title says it: We loved the ship and ended up disliking all but one of the ports. We suspect this is how Oceania's new owners (NCL) are running this Line - same service and food, but not so good (and therefore less expensive) ports. It's a shame, because our previous Oceania experience had brought back a love of cruising. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Embarkation: Quick and easy. Port of Miami employees were friendly and helpful. Passengers: The person who penned Oceania brochure's "country club casual" dress code might want to spend some time on Regatta checking out ... Read More
Embarkation: Quick and easy. Port of Miami employees were friendly and helpful. Passengers: The person who penned Oceania brochure's "country club casual" dress code might want to spend some time on Regatta checking out the passengers' attire as "Costco casual" seems a more apt description. There was nothing country club, elegant or sophisticated about our fellow passengers. Most travelers fell into the 65-80 demographic and were split evenly between middle, upper-middle and upper classes. Most of the people I met were nurses, bank branch managers and property management employees rather than engineers, doctors and lawyers. While I enjoyed the diversity of passengers Oceania seems to somewhat misrepresent the experience based on brochure photos. Ports and excursions: St Kitts was canceled due to a passenger death and ensuing delay. Nassau was cut short due to a storm. Oceania should be required to post average number of ports missed per cruise. Note, other cruise lines will refund your unused port taxes. Oceania will NOT (seems highly unethical). Food: Passable if you like under-seasoned fare but certainly not fine dining. I informed Waves Grill staff that their french fries are seasoned with MSG. When they strongly denied my accusation I suggested they read the ingredient list and look up any unidentified items. Sure enough the fries contained MSG. I feel certain lots of other dishes were seasoned with MSG as well. Fruit was served underripe the first two days at sea. Pastry dough was oil rather than butter based. Breakfast potatoes were soggy, tasteless and an overall embarrassment. Toscana was fine. Polo was pathetic; you'll find more carefully prepared food in the buffet. Value: I received a spectacular deal on Vacations to Go ($1375pp for an oceanview) so no complaints here. I would have felt cheated had I paid full fare. Activities: Most were silly and poorly thought out. Indoor putting and bean bag toss belong at an eight-year-old's birthday party not on a pretend-elegant cruise. Mensa quiz questions were flawed to the extent I assumed they must be fraudulent. When I called Mensa headquarters I was informed that while they do have a contract with Oceania they suspect the cruise line is not carefully copying or transcribing the problems. For example, one quiz item supposedly contained a Fibonacci sequence only it didn't. Another question misrepresented a song lyric. The woman with whom I spoke at Mensa headquarters said her copy of the problem contained "..." to separate lyrics. Unfortunately the dots were removed from the Regatta's quiz sheet. Cabin: We were "upgraded" to a 143 sf E-class cabin that was too small to fit either a sofa or even a chair. My traveling companion noticed worn out hardware and frayed linen. Public Rooms: Perfect for a floating mortuary. Staff: Friendly and efficient except for the final day when buffet waiters neglected to remove plates. It seemed as though staff was ready for the party to end. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
medical evacuation forced us to miss this stop at st kitts. Oceania did NOTHING for us... no substitute island NOR ship credit. Heck , the evacuation took place and Turks...could have let us go ashore there. San juan was great ! Polo ... Read More
medical evacuation forced us to miss this stop at st kitts. Oceania did NOTHING for us... no substitute island NOR ship credit. Heck , the evacuation took place and Turks...could have let us go ashore there. San juan was great ! Polo grill could not get my steak to be well done, even after 3 tries. Toscona was a super restaurant with the timing of service and food spices being just superb. Salt water pool was small but refreshing . Spa service was excellent. Wifi was ok...youtube and skype are blocked. The fellow cruisers were in their 80's and had walkers. Truly a bit boring . This experience of missing and island and then having another visit cut short in the bahamas, well, that has soured us on crusing. My wife and i will simply fly to the vigin islands and have the contracts and recourse that provides , get there faster and spend way more time on the beach with folks our own age. The demographic was just a bit much being folks in their 80s and many quite ill. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and our previous experience on Oceania. However, our cruise on the Regatta left much to be desired. We found the service in the Main Dining Room to be extremely slow. The General Manager aboard ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and our previous experience on Oceania. However, our cruise on the Regatta left much to be desired. We found the service in the Main Dining Room to be extremely slow. The General Manager aboard indicated that their goal is 1-3/4 hours to 2 hours per table for dinner. We had 2 dinners where it took over 2-1/2 hours to finish. I attribute this to a lack of staff as while the dining room staff were enthusiastic and personable they were running around trying to service their tables. The staff in Polo also seemed to be under staffed and the servers were slow in responding and mixed the orders on more than one occasion. Overall, the quality of the food was very good, however, several times the meats were overcooked and dry. We had the unfortunate experience on an onboard medical emergency that required the ship to turn around and head back to the Hawaiian islands to rendezvous with a helicopter to medevac the patient. This caused the ship to lose about 25 hours and as a result Oceania decided to drop 2 ports of call: Cabo San Lucas and Guatemala. Interestingly enough the Oceania Marina had the same itinerary as the Regatta from San Diego through the Panama Canal, but they stopped at every port that we were scheduled to stop at and even had more port time than we were to have. Many passengers felt that Regatta could have made up the requisite time and only dropped one port, not two. The communications between the Captain and the passengers left much to be desired. It started when everyone came aboard and found that the ship was being sanitized from an apparent Noro Virus that developed on the previous segment. There was no official explanation of the problem and no continuing updates as to the progress in rectifying the problem. The shore excursions were, for the most part, only fair. In many ports they were shortened even though there was more time in port. It seemed that the ship wanted to leave port as soon as possible. In some ports the tours were not as described in the brochures. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. Not a fan of sea days, but the ports were interesting, as was the panama canal and Havana stop. Embarkation in Honolulu was good and bad. There was no one to help us with our luggage when we ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. Not a fan of sea days, but the ports were interesting, as was the panama canal and Havana stop. Embarkation in Honolulu was good and bad. There was no one to help us with our luggage when we got to the port. We were told this isn't the norm. The rest of the embarkation was good getting on the ship, but due to the CDC restrictions, we were unable to get to our cabin until 15 minutes before muster. Also I had to find and take my invoice down to guest services because they gave me a card without showing my drink package, although my cabin mates did have it. I stood in lline for over an hour while my friends were having lunch. Disembarkation was a total nightmare. Baggage tags for those who were to depart by 8:15 through 9:15. I was also told Oceania does not allow you to self depart with a large suitcase. At 7:15 people were lining up with their suitcases to self disembark. By 7:45 I got in line. At about 8:23 they started to allow the line to start disembarking. Those of us who had red and green baggage tags for an 8:15 departure were held up in the warehouse (about 20 of us), we could see our bags sitting there. We were told no one could collect their bags until every single bag was in the warehouse, meaning to wait until at lease 9. At this point they had stopped letting passengers off the ship. Many arguements were going back and forth between some of the passengers who were already in the warehouse and the dockside security. Obviously the Red and Green tags bags were within reach but no one was allowed. At about 8:45, the land side representative stepped away to take a call and the group rush to grab their bags. Many had early flights. I heard from friends still on board that it got ugly on the ship as well. The rain didn't help. While I have over 47 cruise in my history, none on Oceania and I’m a young active 64 year old). After a good two weeks, we started judging the average age of passengers was somewhere between 75-80. Though most everyone were in shape, healthy, happy and enjoying the bars though very few showed up in the dance lounge after the 9:30 nightly show. The choice of food venues was nice and overall excellent food. Deserts to die for. The Terrace buffet usually offered the same as the main dining room, but IMHO the dining room was the better option as the food was fresh, normal portion, although for me, I asked for and received 1/2 portions of most meals. In the terrace you were unable to serve yourself and the server would always just slop on a big portion and typically you just eat more than you should in the buffets. You can also get lobster for lunch and most nights. The Wave serves a surf and turf sandwich. A friend ordered lobster only each day and put it on top of her salad, also from the Waves. She managed to each lobster and/or crab twice a day. The few times I ate lobster I will say the Waves tasted the best. We had four bookings for specialites (Polo and Toscana) but easily went to the Terrace early morning and either go another reservation or wait listed for that night. You can also try showing up at whichever restaurant, but your chances are low. Drinks: We had the basic beverage package (wine with lunch and dinner). There were some decent wines, but my favorites are the ones that I brought on board myself. With the package, the waiters had no problem switching your wine glasses to go so you were able to walk out of the venues with your wine. Drinks are pricey, if not choosing drink of the day. The happy hour 2 for 1 were a big hit with us. The pool drink of the day was different, so make sure you check both. The typically advertised the drink of the day in the Currents (but not the pool drink). Cabin, we had a deluxe oceanview on Deck 4, which was easy access to most things, same level as guest services. I had to walk past the medical service most days and would hold my breathe walking past, lol. It was one busy place. The beds were separated as I was traveling with a friend. It was a pretty small cabin. We did not meet our cabin steward until late Day 2. Since the ship was under a CDC Code Red we were very delayed in getting into our stateroom and when we did we had quite the surprise in the toilet. We also needed maintenance to fix our less than cooling air conditioner. No one responded to us until Day 2 when we met our stateroom attendant and his supervisor. They basically said they were so busy sanitizing the ship they did not have the resources to go back and re-check every cabin. It seems there were a few cabins, where the pipes backed up and feces entered the toilets after the cleaning. Medical: We had about five medavacs or passengers who left the ship during the 24 nights, one which required return to Hawaiian waters so coast guard could airlift the passenger. We had been well on our way crossing the Pacific. This turn-a-round, caused us to skip two ports (we didn't have that many to begin with for a Transpacific), delayed by a day in two ports and shortened our time in those ports. This was a lesson learned for me. I've been on many cruises that had medavas and even an airlift or two, but we were always close enough to land and/or a port not to cause such a change in itinerary. Unlike other cruises I have taken where they return your port charges if skipped, Oceania does not do this. Another turn off to me, was they were not apologetic to those who had private tours booked. They would actually say, we are so sorry to those who have ship excursions and the destination desk is working to reaccomodate you. At least say your sorry to the rest of us. Those who did book ship excursions were learning quickly that although they paid up front via credit card, Oceania was putting their payment as OBC to be used before they got off, and/or charge them 5% if taken out as cash. Another note which many may be aware, one of the ladies whom we did some excursions with fainted of dehydration during the Panama canal transit (it was hot on the upper deck). She was brought to but insisted on going to the medical for IV fluids rather than drink her bottle of water which she wanted to do. $1500 later.... Also two others we spoke to with bronchitis received bills of $6,000 and $9,000. Not sure what that entailed. Two tylenol cost $37 from medical. Go buy them in the shops instead if you forget them. The ship is older, very dark wood. Horizons is the only indoor area (air conditioned or heated) with big glass windows. The other floors with windows for general seating is limited but the windows are small with heavy drapes. I did eat in the MDR each morning and requests an aft table which had a great view. Entertainment: The ship's entertainment was okay, there was one great singer, Crystal, a pretty decent singer Daniel, the Cruise Director Shawn also sang. Amy and Mervin were both sick the second half of the cruise - disappointing. We had a vegas style singer who was entertaining, an electric violin (jazz celtic fiddle), a ventriloquist, a magician, both good. The bad was a harpist and another female vegas style who I did not enjoy whatsoever. After the 9:30 show, the Regatta band would play in Horizons but most nights there were just a handful of us who showed up. There were two men who did the very informative lectures. The cruise director staff had a gaggle of games, shuffleboard, bingo, trivia, toss games, needlepoints, majong, and of course bridge. I almost forgot line dancing, my favorite. They give out O points which you redeem the day before you disembark for a range of items such a clothing, hats, luggage tags and travel accessories. Service: Once we were over the CDC restrictions, the staff was extremely helpful and went out of the way to please you. I can not say the same about the guest services or destination staff - they were of little help whatsoever. I wouldn't do another Transpacific again knowing the pitfalls to potential medavacs when so far out to sea. I have been on other ships where we have had airlifts and/or medavacs, but barely a blip in the itinerary. I've read that Oceania does drop ports very easily which was also the case with my itinerary. I'd like to give her another chance, but the communication was so bad and they just didn't seem to care to compensate whatsoever that we certainly didn't get the cruise we paid for. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was our first cruise on Oceania. The itinerary hit several of our bucket list locations and we had always wanted to sail on a small ship, so booking was kind of a no-brainer. The prior cruise had been hit with the Norovirus and ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Oceania. The itinerary hit several of our bucket list locations and we had always wanted to sail on a small ship, so booking was kind of a no-brainer. The prior cruise had been hit with the Norovirus and the first 5 days the crew was working overtime on sanitation (less service for the passengers). We totally understood that and with a 24-day cruise assumed we would have exemplary service many days. Next problem - we were unable to stop at either Cabos San Lucas or Guatemala due to an emergency medical evacuation several hours out of Kauai - the right call by the captain. Unfortunately, we found the service to be lacking throughout the entire cruise. We were never able to get through dinner in less than 2 1/2 hours and twice it was over 3 as the dining room staff at all of the restaurants was exceptionally slow. The only way around this was to eat in the Terrace Cafe and we much prefer a restaurant to a buffet. The service in the pool area and other reading/conversation "nooks" was also very poor. The ship had one server for to cover very large sections. No matter how good, no server can give great service when their section is too large. That said, our stateroom steward and her assistant were absolute gems, the Terrace Cafe also had some "shining stars" and the hostesses and hosts were very good. The food was the best we have ever had aboard any ship. The library and card/game room was exceptionally well stocked. Over all, we enjoyed our cruise tremendously. However, we found the level of service no better than we can get on other lines, the entertainment in the show lounge was sub-par, and the casino was almost non-existent. We will probably never sail Oceania again. The additional cost to cruise with so few passengers is not worth the level of service we found and the lesser entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Our first cruise with Oceania, and second cruise overall. Service was excellent. Lots of nationalities on board and they gave a really welcoming feeling. They also cared about the guests : when my wife got seasick, several asked her, ... Read More
Our first cruise with Oceania, and second cruise overall. Service was excellent. Lots of nationalities on board and they gave a really welcoming feeling. They also cared about the guests : when my wife got seasick, several asked her, the next day, if she was feeling better. Catering was also very good, even excellent in the speciality restaurants. Only two remarks : 1) We found the Terrace Cafe on deck 9 to be very draughty. When doors where simultaneously open back (terrace) and front (pool side) a cold wind blew through the restaurant. 2) several times unripe fruit was served. A pity and a waste of food. We had the impression that the itinerary and timing were not high on the priority list of Oceania. At least twice we arrived at noon in a port, with excursions starting at 12:15. Instead of being able to view the arrival, this forces people to be in a restaurant instead. The biggest disappointment was the passage of Seymour Narrows. While the daily newsletter addressed and documented it, the captain was more honest in his announcement : it was planned for 2:00 AM ! In other words : in the dark. Yet, when we'd stayed in the nearby village of Campbell River, we'd seen cruise ships during day time. You understand our disappointment. "Luckily" we actually woke up shortly before and were on our terrace : but the only thing we saw, near the ship, in the lights of it, were at least 10 dolphins following at short distance. Poor pictures, but at least some exitement. Actually, we cannot recall having heard the cruisedirector mention anything about the interesting things along the route. Quite a difference from our first cruise. But everybody was clearly informed about opening hours of boutiques and casino. To show were the priorities were. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Oceania generally offers an excellent experience. But not in the summer!! Our Alaska cruise was overrun with undisciplined kids. We could have saved packing our swimsuits, sunscreen, deck shoes and coverups, because there was no way to ... Read More
Oceania generally offers an excellent experience. But not in the summer!! Our Alaska cruise was overrun with undisciplined kids. We could have saved packing our swimsuits, sunscreen, deck shoes and coverups, because there was no way to get anywhere near the pool or jacuzzis. Since Oceania specifically discourages children on board, shame on the parents who think that they are the exceptions, and that their own children are angels? NOT SO! There were 40 (or was it 60?) kids onboard. It really doesn't matter, because when two kids get in a pool, no one else need apply. They were jumping off of handrails, running, yelling, splashing, and taking over the entire area. It's what kids do in and around pools - duh! It was very disappointing to have been denied that part of our cruise experience, which was important to us. Parents, please take your darlings on Disney Cruises, where they (and the other pax) can enjoy themselves. A note about the entertainment: There were two of the best entertainers we have seen on a cruise ship - a magician (Becker) and a comedian (Tom Blake). There were also some of the worst - a troupe of young singers and dancers who tried very hard, but would have been excellent at a high school musical. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
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 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
Having cruised with Oceania before for a total of 63 days on two cruises, we knew what to expect. Small cabins (even the conceriage cabins have only 165 sq ft of living area) and a buffet that is overcrowded probably half the time. ... Read More
Having cruised with Oceania before for a total of 63 days on two cruises, we knew what to expect. Small cabins (even the conceriage cabins have only 165 sq ft of living area) and a buffet that is overcrowded probably half the time. That said, we got a really good deal on this cruise (free shore excursions, free gratuities, free WIFI, free drink package) so went ahead and booked. First off, we noticed that our room never cooled off. We finally removed the duvet from the bad and slept under the sheet only. After two days, we asked if something could be done. After climbing up in the ceiling, the crew said everything should be OK. Well, then we had to start wearing our jackets in the cabin because it was so cold. Back to reception to ask for the second time if anything could be done. They came back, and the cabin was still warm, but not as hot as it had been previously. We just left the thermostat at its lowest setting, and that way we were able to sleep at night under two light blankets. We started eating most lunch and dinners in the dining room, as the buffet was so overcrowded. The biggest problem was for three or possibly four days they closed the dining room during lunch. Three or four excursion buses arrived back at the ship all at the same time, so you had probably 100 or more people all trying to get into the buffet at the same time. This was even worse than usual, as no one was leaving the buffet and everyone was trying to get into the buffet. Even on a good day you often had to watch when someone was leaving their table, and sit down at the vacant table before it is even set-up for the next person. I think the buffet is really inadequate for the number of passengers this ship carries. Especially if the outside deck is closed due to poor weather Who knows who made the decision to close the dining room for some lunches. Poor planning. Their soups were average at best. We had one supposed cream of cauliflower soup that tasted like watered down chicken broth with flour in it. Neither of us ate it, and I love creamed soups. They claim to have the "best cruisine at sea". Well you can claim anything, it doesn't make it so. The rest of the food was just average in my opinion, though the meats were good. Then were were the three passengers that came down with norovirus (fancy name for what we used to call the stomach flu). No one else got that, but then cases of influenza started popping up. We heard reports of 45 total among guests and crew. When everyone heard what the doctor was charging (anywhere from $500 to $1500 for a visit, including medication), people quit going to the doctor, so we had no more cases. At least ones that were reported. They also locked you in your cabin until they felt you were not contagious anymore. But, as the crew was also sick, the level of service seriously deteriorated. There went the 24 hour self-service coffee and pastries in the morning. They do not let you serve yourself at any time in the buffet (we have been on Seaborne and Silversea, both ultra-luxury cruise lines and they let you serve yourself, so I don't know why Oceania feels it is more "upscale" to have them serve you). One day there were only two people to work one whole side of the buffet. Also, service in the dining room slowed down. It is not their fault the crew got sick, but they should have contingenciency plans drawn up. Ones that WORK. Lastly, on the day of embarcation, we had to leave our cabin at 6:45 AM so they could decontaminate them. So we had no access to our own bathrooms. But then they started decontaminating the public bathrooms! So they were also unavailable. There was a liine of probably eight women outside the one operating bathroom on deck nine. Again, poor planning. I doubt if we will go with Oceania again. They made a lot of poor choices on this cruise, not about people being sick, but the way they thoughtlessly inconvenienced the passengers. Oh, and we made our own airline reservations, which ended up costing us $50 more per person than their reservations. We paid the variance charge, but Oceania still would not let us choose our own flights. Instead of going from Portland to Houston to Buenos Aires, as we did on the way down, they wanted us to route us PDX, SFO, Lima and then Buenos Aires. Making a totally unnecessary stop and a longer flight. The man who gave the lectures was actually a dentist, so don't know what makes him an expert on South American history. My husband seemed to like his lectures, though. I tend to sleep through lectures, so have started skipping them unless its something I'm particularly interested in, and I think I can stay awake. Usually there was only one lecture a day, and it would have been nice to have an afternoon lecture. We go to bed around 10:00 or so, so didn't attend the evening entertainment. The piano player in Martinis was good - sort of Casablanca style. We did hear the entertainers do an on-deck performance, and thought they were just average. About what youd expect for a small ship like this. On the plus side, the bartenders were attentive and remembered your name and your "regular" drink if you had one. Housekeeping was good, though my husband gets upset because they "touch his stuff" on the desk top. But their just trying to do their job. 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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