Just as introduction: I like Oceania's smaller ships a little bit better than their bigger ones, but mostly we choose by itinerary. We're Oceania regulars, but occasionally cruise on Viking Ocean, which we also love. We've also cruised about 4 times on other ships. We were happy to find that Oceania's quality had not gone down in the year plus it had been since we had last cruised. The itinerary was what we like, and what Oceania generally offers -- a mixture between lesser-known ports and better-known ports, with a decent ratio of port to sea days, as I really like being in a port almost every day. However, when you're cruising a large country/continent like Australia, you have more sea days than expected. I managed.
Service and food were still wonderful (with a few exceptions, of course - nobody's perfect, and each person's taste is different). The crowd was a little older than usual, and there were a good number of Aussies and Kiwis on board, which is a first for me. Most of the people had been on the cruise for the previous cruise or had embarked Dec. 6 to do a circumnavigation of Australia, embarking/disembarking in Sydney. There were only about 80 of us embarking in Bali of the completely full ship (788 max, I believe).
Regatta was re-furbished maybe 4 months ago, and it is now nicer than when I cruised on her last. I loved the new, more modern and light decor and furniture in our stateroom (we were in an inside cabin) and the enhancements to the TV system, although I mostly used the TV to watch/listen to port talks/enrichments lectures/destination talks rather than movies or music. It seemed like there was more space in the bathroom for things - plenty of room, and not on shelves, but hidden behind the mirrored cabinet. I also liked the two part mirrored cabinet, as I could put things I used a lot in that part of the cabinet and just open that part. The new hooks were nice, but I would have preferred if my spouse had NOT hung things up there. I should have made HIM sleep on that side of the bed to solve the (tiny) issue of having to walk carefully to avoid hitting clothing and a backpack when going to bed!
We like the F inside cabins because location is great - midship (never far to walk), not way in the bottom of the ship, not far from The Terrace, where we spend a lot of time.
The bathrooms & shower are a little small, but fine. I liked the extra storage space there.
Love the new look, with lighter decor and more modern furnishings and furniture. Spouse liked the hooks.
Tried to arrange a taxi trip pre-cruise to get me to the lighthouse on the other side of Geraldton from where we docked. That fell through, so walked to the lighthouse and back, then found Midwest Adventure Tours, and we took a 3 hour tour of the gorgeous HMAS memorial, plus maritime museum (OK), Old Gaol & Craft center, and one or two other places.
I researched pre-trip and found that the Busy Blue Bus was going to offer at least one small bus trip to the Natural Gap, which interested me. The price and time worked for me, so that's what I did. It was fun and worthwhile - spent time at a windmill farm, got to see some wonderful landscapes not far from Albany, and would recommend this tour to just about anyone, unless you can only walk short distances, as there was a decent amount of walking, and occasionally scrambling around!
Nothing really grabbed me here, so we just went to the Botanic Garden and Zoo via trams. Adelaide, however, is nice in that you basically walk about the equivalent of 1 1/2 blocks to get on a tram that goes downtown. But it's a 40 minute ride, so you may want to just take a ship's excursion here! Zoo was OK, nothing special, but at least we saw Australian animals for the first time!
So much to do in Melbourne, so little time! We went to the central business district by trams 109 and 35, including Chinatown. It was OK. Then after lunch I went to St Kilda - pretty fun if you like to do photography. I fell in love with Luna Park.