Regatta, at 30,000 tons and a capacity of 670 passengers and 400 crew, is more akin to a yacht when lined up against today's mega-ships. Originally built as a series of eight vessels for the luxury line Renaissance Cruises, Regatta and sisters Nautica and Insignia were each given 5-million-dollar facelifts and compose the entire Oceania fleet today (meaning that one ship on Royal Caribbean, Carnival, or Princess would be larger than all of Oceania Cruises). From our stateroom amidships on Deck Seven, we were within a three or four minute walk of essentially everywhere onboard, a feat not possible with larger vessels. Not that we mind the walking, especially with all the food bound to be consumed on one of these sailings, yet it's nice to have it all on a manageable scale.
Up top and forward is Horizons lounge, royal blue and plaid motif with generous cherry-wood paneling and floor-to-ceiling, 180-degree views. Horizons serves as the music and dancing venue in the evenings; is used for continental breakfast on port days best croissants at sea, crusty and flaky on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside and elegant afternoon tea every day, scones and the string quartet, not to be missed. Above Horizons is the sun deck, with private cabanas rarely if ever in use during the entire duration of the cruise, while below is the spa and fitness centre. Outside the spa are what had been two conference rooms, one of which has been converted into a card room and the other into Oceania@Sea, the ship's internet and computer facility. While we did not go online at $0.95 per minute, we did take advantage of a couple of free classes on digital photography and Adobe PhotoShop; and even better were able to download our digital photos every day, sort through and touch them up, and burn two CDs (we'd taken nearly 1500 pictures, after all) at the end of the cruise, all for a $30 fee.
Amidships is the teak-decked pool area, with a running track circling the top, a salt-water pool and two hot tubs, comfortable lounge chairs running along the port and starboard sides, and wooden double benches that face either end of the pool and were oh, so relaxing when at sea. Aft of the pool area, top deck, is one of the nicest areas on Regatta, the library. With over a thousand titles available I took Tom Friedman's latest (while also reading Devils of the Deep Blue Sea, a tome about the cruise industry presumably not on the shelves of any ship at sea) this wood-paneled room is a cozy spot to read or chat.