This was our first cruise with Oceania. We chose this cruise because of the wonderful itinerary. We arrived a week early to tour Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and, of course, Machu Picchu. all of this part of the trip was wonderful.
Embarkation: Not at all optimal. The process of getting on the ship was quick and easy. From there the experience went downhill. Upon getting on the ship we were told that the ship was in a CODE RED LEVEL II condition with both "A" type flu and Norovirus onboard. As a result, we were held in Terrace Cafe for 3+ hours while the crew "cleaned" the ship. Moreover, our luggage was never delivered to our cabin! It was instead delivered to one end of the corridor and we had to "hunt" for it among the piles of bags.
Ship: the Regatta, is in serious need of a Dry Dock experience. I understand that she is scheduled for a "refit" later this year. Until that time cruisers will see a fair amount of rust, as well as fatigued furnishings.
Cabin : see review below. The cabin and bath areas are small, but you expect that while sailing in the "small ship" category. Our Cabin Steward, Odelia and her assistant worked very well to keep our stateroom clean and well serviced. We had a verandah, which we highly recommend as it gives you "additional" space, and besides, it is a lot of fun along the way. The verandah gives you an opportunity to observe sunsets, ports, sail - aways, and wild life all from the comfort of your stateroom.
Dining: Good, bad, and just plain ugly. Dining in the specialty restaurants, Polo Grill and Toscana, as well as the Grand Dining Room was excellent. Food was excellent as was the service. Dining in Terrace Café and Waves Grill was "challenging". The food was good, the service was non-existent. The servers in the space were lackadaisical, and clearly uncaring, servers behind the counters were unwelcoming, and occasionally rude.
Entertainment and activities: the entertainment was spotty. The String Quartet was outstanding. The Pianist and the Soprano were also outstanding. In fact, we'd been entertained by the pianist on another cruise with a different provider.
The Regatta Show Band had only recently began to play together and were still "finding their way" musically. The Cast Show was painfully amateurish.
Ports: Guayaquil, Ecuador: wonderful, with beautiful parks
Manta, Ecuador a lively place during Presidential elections!
Panama Canal: and exciting experience
All in all the ports and excursions met and exceeded our expectations.
Disembarkation: another disaster! We were not allowed to leave the ship until over an hour later than published. Passengers with flights were frantic. All passengers were allowed to leave at once which led to an interesting retrieval scene.
As I said, this was our first cruise with Oceania. It will be our last. There are other, far better, small ship cruise ships out there.
Although the stateroom was small, which is typical for this size ship, it was kept very clean and comfortable by Odelia, our cabin steward , and her assistant.
We took a taxi to Santa Rosa de Lima Shrine. A wonderful, prayerful site. It is"out of the way" but well worth a visit.
We took a taxi to Metropolitan Park. We enjoyed a stroll through this large "city" park. We were able to see a fair number of birds, but no sloths.
We toured virtually all of Puerto Limon! Markets, museum, etc. Syltravel is a very good tour provider.
We went with a private provider. An excellent experience! By all means, go to the sloth sanctuary!! you will not be disappointed!
We were able to visit Chccchoben withn a small group and it made all the difference. Our guide was a local descendent of Mayans. He was excited and honored to share the history of his poeple with us. He made the tour "come alive". The Ruins themselves are very impressive. If you have a chance, go with a small group and take the time to appereciate the people and the space.View All 418 Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Reviews