Regatta - Eastern Caribbean: Regatta Cruise Review by celebritynewbie

Regatta 5
Member Since 2004
24 Forum Posts

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Regatta - Eastern Caribbean

Sail Date: January 2005
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
Background: My boyfriend and I are 26 and went on our 1st cruise last year aboard the Celebrity Constellation. While we had a great time with Celebrity, we enjoyed Oceania even more because of the small size of the ship, excellent staff members, ports visited, relaxed but elegant atmosphere and pool area. It should be noted though that with the exception of one child on board, we were by far the youngest couple aboard. This was not an issue for us as the purpose of the vacation was to relax and spend time together. Although, it did become somewhat of a joke as practically everyone on the ship commented to us about being so young, including the cruise director who was concerned that we would be bored and the customs agent who asked if we knew that we were the youngest on board at the end of the cruise.

Embarkation/Disembarkation: The worst times of our vacation. If you have a suite you can board at 11am, if not (like us) you have to sit and wait as if you were a second class More citizen. No drinks or food were provided and there is nothing close by at the port. I think that Oceania should come up with a better privilege for suite guests and let everyone board at 11am.

Debarkation was slow. We were told that we would be off by 9am but did not leave the port until 11am. Allow extra time as Miami Airport is very busy and lines were incredibly long. We had a 2pm flight home and were happy to allow so much extra time. Itinerary: We loved the 2 days at sea followed by 5 days of ports followed by 2 days at sea format.

Days 1 & 2 and 8 & 9: Typical sea days. Woke up and had breakfast in the dining room. Excellent selection including lamb chops (!!), though we stuck with brioche, fresh berries, and eggs. After a workout in the gym (great layout and we never had a wait), we spend the day lounging by the pool and enjoyed listening to live music provided by the Regatta Orchestra. Definitively improvement over the loud Reggae/DJ music played poolside on our cruise last year on Celebrity. Also, Waves, the pool side grill has incredible burgers that they serve with great caramelized onions. Art auction, bridge lessons, lectures, bingo, shuffleboard, etc were also offered but, if you are looking for lots of activity this probably isnt the cruise for you.

Day 3: Dominican Republic. Oceania provides a shuttle to Casa de Campo for $6 pp each way. We booked an excursion through Oceania to visit the all inclusive Casa Del Mar resort. Given the luxury aboard the Oceania, this resort was disappointing. Crowded beach, with lots of smokers. Wished we would have brought bug spray.

Day 4: British Virgin Gorda (Tender). Only had a half day here and wished we had had more time. The Baths were fantastic! Loved climbing through the caves and discovering the great beach on the other side. ($6 pp each way for a taxi and $3 national park admission charge). Heard from others who visited Little Dix bay that they had no problem accessing the beach or resort and that it was beautiful and relaxing.

Day 5: St. Kitts: Many complaints that shops were closed on Sundays but not a problem for us as were not big shoppers. By boyfriend wanted a break from the beach, so we hired a cab (many were waiting at the end of the dock) and Wally (who recently lost the election for local government) took us on a ½ island tour (Cost: $70 including tip). He was a wealth of information and we learned a lot about the island. Enjoyed a visit to batik center and gardens (just ok) and Brimstone Fortress (excellent, and worth the $8 admission fee). Day 6 Antigua: Took a cab to the beach at Curtain Bluff ($80 round trip) Passed Turners and Darkwood Beach which looked great.

Day 7: St Barts: Our favorite day of the whole trip. St Barts is beautiful and expensive. Felt like a French Nantucket. Happy that I took French in college as it made it easier to get around. Had a taxi take us (and arranged with driver for pick-up for $35 total) to Saline Beach which was incredible with turquoise water, waves to play in and rising cliffs in the background. Note that there are no facilities and you need to climb a slightly rocky path to access the beach. Spent the afternoon walking around Gustavia and looking at shops (Hermes, Dior, etc. that we couldnt afford). Enjoyed eating lunch at a café ($8 for 2 sodas and 2 pieces of quiche; apparently a bargain according to others we spoke with) and dessert at the creperie ($5).

Cabin: A deluxe Ocean View on the 4th floor. While the brochure said that the widow would be panoramic, it was similar in size to the window in our ocean view cabin aboard Celebrity last year. A little disappointing but not really a big deal. Loved the lux royal blue, gold and dark wood color scheme over the bright orange of last year. Bathroom was small as expected but well designed and came with great toiletries (lotion, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel), lots of plush white towels, bathrobes and slippers. While not big television viewers we enjoyed the programming, movies and channels provided by Oceania (CNN, TNT, new movies, CSI channel).

Food: After all the hype about Oceania having the best food of any cruise ship, we found the food to be 4 out of 5 stars. The quality of food was excellent and besides great fresh produce included unexpected items such as fois gras and caviar. Stick with meat (great tenderloin) and poultry and you wont be disappointed. Found lobster and scallops to be disappointing but then again, I am from Boston and used to very fresh seafood. Steak frites, roast chicken (comes with fantastic mashed potatoes) and salmon are offered each night in case you dont like whats on the menu. See Oceanias website for menus. Menus could have had a little more variety and we saw the same dishes with slight variations repeated. Only allowed 1 night in the Polo Grill and Toscana which were great but not significantly better than the dining room. Also, liked the flambé station each night at Tapas on the Terrace (buffet area). Formal tea was lovely every day with a great selection of sandwiches, scones and pastries and live music provided by the ships string quartet. Most menus are posted on Oceanias website.

Entertainment: Great cabaret style shows which start at 9:45pm each night. Never made it to the Disco but heard that it was pretty quiet. Loved the Regatta orchestra.

Summary: A fantastic 10 days. We felt that overall, Oceania is succeeding in the companys mission of providing both luxury and value. Less

Published 02/22/06

Cabin review: C4029

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