My wife and I wanted to take an Alaska Cruise, and we aren't interested in large ships. Our travel agent recommended Oceania for its quality and the reasonable size (684 passengers) of the ship. The food was excellent, and the dining rooms were attractive and well designed. In the main dining room, we tried to sit at one of Denham's tables for dinner because he was an excellent and entertaining server. Food choices changed daily and offered wonderful choices. Help and service by our Stateroom Attendant, Rowell, was also excellent. Our only food and beverage complaint involved the extremely high charges for cocktails, While charges for wines by the glass and beer were in line with those at fine dining restaurants, the cocktail were enormously overpriced for the quantities served. Our main complaint had to do with a "bait and switch" on charges for shore excursions, which are overpriced to begin with. Our cruise was booked a year in advance, and one of the incentives was "4 FREE SHORE EXCURSIONS (GUESTS 1 & 2)." Whereas the invoice had pages of small print explaining or limiting other items, there was NO mention about any restrictions on this benefit. However, when I went online 2-3 months before the cruise to book individual excursions, my wife and I chose 4 excursions for which we were to be charged over $2000. We were informed that our "free" tours could only be chosen from among the least costly ones. By that time, we had already arranged other travel arrangements, so that it was too late to make alternative plans. The best that Oceania would offer was a shipboard credit of $800, which was less than $1200 smaller than the promised benefit. The frosting on the cake, however, was a tour change that highlighted to us Oceania's deceptiveness. On the day before one of our booked excursions, an advertising notice was put into staterooms highlighting a new tour offering. When I reviewed the details, I noticed that the first 3 hours of the new tour were identical to our entire excursion. We were to be on a boat viewing whales and other wildlife. The "new" tour went on for 2 additional hours, visiting 2 museums onshore. The 5 hour tour cost $40 per person less than the shorter one. The Destination Desk staff claimed that the 2 tours were completely different and would not allow us to change tours. On our boat the next day, people taking the longer, lower-priced excursion were on the same boat with us, and, when we were returned to shore, we were done, while the others boarded a bus for the other 2 hours of their tour. I contacted Oceania on their website on August 16th, respectfully expressing my complaint and requesting reimbursement of the $80 that we had, at a minimum, been overcharged. That day, I received an automatic email reply: "Thank you for contacting us for more information. Please note that all correspondence is answered in the order in which it is received and every effort will be made to respond to you within a timely manner." It is now 2.5 weeks later, and I haven't heard from them. If you choose Oceania, enjoy the cruise but watch your wallet.

Great for quality, not so for honesty and integrity.

Regatta Cruise Review by lhafkenmd@gmail.com

20 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2016
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Veranda Stateroom
My wife and I wanted to take an Alaska Cruise, and we aren't interested in large ships. Our travel agent recommended Oceania for its quality and the reasonable size (684 passengers) of the ship. The food was excellent, and the dining rooms were attractive and well designed. In the main dining room, we tried to sit at one of Denham's tables for dinner because he was an excellent and entertaining server. Food choices changed daily and offered wonderful choices. Help and service by our Stateroom Attendant, Rowell, was also excellent. Our only food and beverage complaint involved the extremely high charges for cocktails, While charges for wines by the glass and beer were in line with those at fine dining restaurants, the cocktail were enormously overpriced for the quantities served.

Our main complaint had to do with a "bait and switch" on charges for shore excursions, which are overpriced to begin with. Our cruise was booked a year in advance, and one of the incentives was "4 FREE SHORE EXCURSIONS (GUESTS 1 & 2)." Whereas the invoice had pages of small print explaining or limiting other items, there was NO mention about any restrictions on this benefit. However, when I went online 2-3 months before the cruise to book individual excursions, my wife and I chose 4 excursions for which we were to be charged over $2000. We were informed that our "free" tours could only be chosen from among the least costly ones. By that time, we had already arranged other travel arrangements, so that it was too late to make alternative plans. The best that Oceania would offer was a shipboard credit of $800, which was less than $1200 smaller than the promised benefit. The frosting on the cake, however, was a tour change that highlighted to us Oceania's deceptiveness. On the day before one of our booked excursions, an advertising notice was put into staterooms highlighting a new tour offering. When I reviewed the details, I noticed that the first 3 hours of the new tour were identical to our entire excursion. We were to be on a boat viewing whales and other wildlife. The "new" tour went on for 2 additional hours, visiting 2 museums onshore. The 5 hour tour cost $40 per person less than the shorter one. The Destination Desk staff claimed that the 2 tours were completely different and would not allow us to change tours. On our boat the next day, people taking the longer, lower-priced excursion were on the same boat with us, and, when we were returned to shore, we were done, while the others boarded a bus for the other 2 hours of their tour. I contacted Oceania on their website on August 16th, respectfully expressing my complaint and requesting reimbursement of the $80 that we had, at a minimum, been overcharged. That day, I received an automatic email reply: "Thank you for contacting us for more information. Please note that all correspondence is answered in the order in which it is received and every effort will be made to respond to you within a timely manner." It is now 2.5 weeks later, and I haven't heard from them.

If you choose Oceania, enjoy the cruise but watch your wallet.
lhafkenmd@gmail.com’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Veranda Stateroom
Cabin B2 6018
The cabin was of adequate size and very comfortable. There was a desk area for our laptop computer, and the WiFi was slow although reliable. The bed was comfortable, and storage space was very good. The bathroom was functional with adequate storage space, but the shower stall could have been more roomy.
Deck 6 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins