This was our first cruise on Oceania and we were looking forward to it greatly. We have taken 20 previous cruises, mostly with Celebrity and Azamara, though with all the other major lines except Norwegian as well. We receive about 3 pieces of mail from Oceania every week, and had particularly been looking forwarded to the much-vaunted Jacques Pépin cuisine. We were familiar with the R-class ships from our Azamara experience and while they are great for getting into smaller ports (which we like), in a cold and/or foul weather environment the Regatta got quickly claustrophobic as there are few places indoors to walk; the best available is deck 5 with the paltry shops, but that's about it. Embarkation was very professional and quick; the cabins were not ready when we boarded, which is a fairly common issue across lines (though Princess normally manages to have them ready at boarding). Our cabin (6004) was compact but beautifully kept except the showerhead which was not attached to the hose correctly. One call got it quickly corrected. Our stateroom attendant was excellent throughout. The bathroom is cramped but the storage is well-designed for the space available. The bed was extremely comfortable. The cabin was quiet except when something was going on in the theater (it's right above it). On balance, we were quite pleased with the cabin and the condition of the ship. We only went on once shore excursion, to a grizzly bear sanctuary in Prince Rupert: it was extremely expensive but worth every cent. We had no interest in any of the onboard entertainment, so cannot comment on that with two exceptions: the string quartet that plays largely in the central part of deck 5 is excellent and I appreciated the ambiance. The guest lecturer was knowledgeable, but we found his style grating and condescending. He sat behind us at the lifeboat drill and talked incessantly, which I thought rude and unprofessional. Service was generally good with a couple of exceptions. You could sit for 20 minutes in a lounge before a waiter noticed you: this was a recurring issue and more often than not resulted in me or my wife having to go to the bar and order. Once they realized you were there the service was fine. In the restaurants the waiters were very bad about letting water (and other beverage) glasses run dry for protracted periods of time. Some were worse than others. The Grand Dining Room is a lovely restaurant and the two specialty restaurants are excellent. We ate lunch and dinner in the buffet and the main dining room; we noticed little difference in quality or menu between the two. The food quality was extremely average, maybe a bit below average. it is CERTAINLY not what I had been led to believe by the extensive foodie press Oceania tries to create for themselves. The menus were exceptionally repetitive, and food was rarely at optimum temperature, especially in the buffet. Variety was poor. Three times in a 7-night cruise the buffet featured Chicken Satay, which I happen to like. It was, every time, cold which is a shame as the spicing was very delicate and nuanced. Every meal had a mixture of vegetables available, and every time it was zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli. There were some other vegetables available sometimes, but that was the staple. The buffet is maddening. It is poorly laid out and virtually begs people to cluster in the middle near the grill station. The staff serves the food in the buffet which may sound nice until you realize that many of them have very poor English comprehension and if you want something particular you may be disappointed. I recall once asking for sea bass and having mixed vegetables (again!) ladled onto my plate. When I asked for the fish again I was given more vegetables. Desserts were even more complex to get right, apparently. In my survey at the end of the cruise I said that their food was a notch below many if not most mass-marked cruise companies, certainly worse than Celebrity and Princess. I have thought about that survey since then and think I was, if anything, generous. What did we like? Well besides the cabin, the condition of the ship, and the shore excursion, we loved the itinerary. Regatta is able to get into smaller ports than bigger ships, and we particularly liked Wrangell and Prince Rupert. The itinerary is why we chose this particular cruise, and I have no regrets about doing so. The service and food were a disappointment, but we enjoyed our cruise overall, though we certainly won't seek out Oceania in preference to other lines in the future.

Great Itinerary, Nice Cabin, Boring Food, and Occasionally Spotty Service

Regatta Cruise Review by L-1011

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2016
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean View
This was our first cruise on Oceania and we were looking forward to it greatly. We have taken 20 previous cruises, mostly with Celebrity and Azamara, though with all the other major lines except Norwegian as well. We receive about 3 pieces of mail from Oceania every week, and had particularly been looking forwarded to the much-vaunted Jacques Pépin cuisine.

We were familiar with the R-class ships from our Azamara experience and while they are great for getting into smaller ports (which we like), in a cold and/or foul weather environment the Regatta got quickly claustrophobic as there are few places indoors to walk; the best available is deck 5 with the paltry shops, but that's about it.

Embarkation was very professional and quick; the cabins were not ready when we boarded, which is a fairly common issue across lines (though Princess normally manages to have them ready at boarding). Our cabin (6004) was compact but beautifully kept except the showerhead which was not attached to the hose correctly. One call got it quickly corrected. Our stateroom attendant was excellent throughout. The bathroom is cramped but the storage is well-designed for the space available. The bed was extremely comfortable. The cabin was quiet except when something was going on in the theater (it's right above it). On balance, we were quite pleased with the cabin and the condition of the ship.

We only went on once shore excursion, to a grizzly bear sanctuary in Prince Rupert: it was extremely expensive but worth every cent. We had no interest in any of the onboard entertainment, so cannot comment on that with two exceptions: the string quartet that plays largely in the central part of deck 5 is excellent and I appreciated the ambiance. The guest lecturer was knowledgeable, but we found his style grating and condescending. He sat behind us at the lifeboat drill and talked incessantly, which I thought rude and unprofessional.

Service was generally good with a couple of exceptions. You could sit for 20 minutes in a lounge before a waiter noticed you: this was a recurring issue and more often than not resulted in me or my wife having to go to the bar and order. Once they realized you were there the service was fine. In the restaurants the waiters were very bad about letting water (and other beverage) glasses run dry for protracted periods of time. Some were worse than others. The Grand Dining Room is a lovely restaurant and the two specialty restaurants are excellent. We ate lunch and dinner in the buffet and the main dining room; we noticed little difference in quality or menu between the two. The food quality was extremely average, maybe a bit below average. it is CERTAINLY not what I had been led to believe by the extensive foodie press Oceania tries to create for themselves. The menus were exceptionally repetitive, and food was rarely at optimum temperature, especially in the buffet. Variety was poor. Three times in a 7-night cruise the buffet featured Chicken Satay, which I happen to like. It was, every time, cold which is a shame as the spicing was very delicate and nuanced. Every meal had a mixture of vegetables available, and every time it was zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli. There were some other vegetables available sometimes, but that was the staple. The buffet is maddening. It is poorly laid out and virtually begs people to cluster in the middle near the grill station. The staff serves the food in the buffet which may sound nice until you realize that many of them have very poor English comprehension and if you want something particular you may be disappointed. I recall once asking for sea bass and having mixed vegetables (again!) ladled onto my plate. When I asked for the fish again I was given more vegetables. Desserts were even more complex to get right, apparently. In my survey at the end of the cruise I said that their food was a notch below many if not most mass-marked cruise companies, certainly worse than Celebrity and Princess. I have thought about that survey since then and think I was, if anything, generous.

What did we like? Well besides the cabin, the condition of the ship, and the shore excursion, we loved the itinerary. Regatta is able to get into smaller ports than bigger ships, and we particularly liked Wrangell and Prince Rupert. The itinerary is why we chose this particular cruise, and I have no regrets about doing so. The service and food were a disappointment, but we enjoyed our cruise overall, though we certainly won't seek out Oceania in preference to other lines in the future.
L-1011’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean View
Cabin C2 6004
Very nice cabin. We booked late and had limited selection of cabins: we normally book a veranda or suite, but given the cold weather we were completely happy with the cabin 6004.
Deck 4 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews