We recently returned from our first Oceania cruise to Alaska on the Regatta. We had previously sailed on the Marina in the Med and so had high hopes of the Regatta. Like previous reviewers we found the bathrooms pretty small with only enough room for a small shower, sink and toilet. The space was well arranged and there was plenty of room to store toiletries but we we are of average height and we felt that and larger or taller passengers might struggle. We were especially disappointed with our Veranda cabin. We didn't realise that having a cabin at the rear of the ship (6089) would mean that the view from the veranda would be obstructed by the ships superstructure. We estimated that about one third of the view was obscured and it obviously also affected the amount of sunlight that the veranda received. We reported our disappointment to Oceania through our travel agent and received a particularly patronising reply stating that, 'Whereas this stateroom is not considered or designated as an ‘obstructed view’ room, we do recognize that there is a slight impediment to the full ocean view from within the stateroom, which is due to the angle/slant of the superstructure in the aft section of the ship.' As we went to Alaska for the views we did feel that being allocated this cabin had materially affected our enjoyment of the holiday, especially as we had paid extra to have a cabin with a veranda to avoid these views.
The itinerary included Wrangell, Icy Strait Point, Haines, Sitka, Ketchican and Victoria In fact we selected this cruise based on those ports as we felt it would give us a more 'authentic' taste of Alaskan towns. This was true to an extent but the small size of some places, particular Haines, Icy Strait Point and Wrangell, meant that there was very little to do if you hadn't booked one of Oceania's expensive excursions especially if the weather was poor. One of the main things we would have liked to see in Alaska were the bears, but it was not possible just to pick the tour to see 'the Bears of Annan' from Wrangell as there are a limited number of permits available for each day in port and those paying the $659 per person "unlimited passport collection" had an opportunity to book the excursion first. Needless to say, there are no places left if you do not pick this option. Other cruisers either arranged private tours or were lucky enough to 'chance' upon bears whilst on other trips.
We ate in the main dining room for lunch sometimes and for dinner some nights. The food was good although it seemed to go downhill as the cruise progressed. The staff were universally pleasant and helpful but the service was invariably slow and we missed the show on a couple of occasions in addition, the food was never more than lukewarm. The buffet meals were good, especially the breakfasts, and the servers were usually very pleasant.We sometimes ate outside if there were free tables which was usually quite comfortable as they have heaters and enjoyed the wonderful views.
We had a pleasant cruise but the highlights were due to the people we met and the trips we organized ourselves and were not due to Oceania. We booked with them due to our positive experiences on Marina and feel, on balance, we would be wary of travelling with them again unless we went on one of the newer boats. Their on-board staff work hard and are invariably pleasant and helpful but our experience of their 'Guest Relations' customer service was disappointing.
Small bathroom like other rooms of this category. Comfortable bed. Veranda with partially obstructed view.