Wonderful Small Ship Experience: Regatta Cruise Review by nana2many

Regatta 5
Member Since 2010

Overall Member Rating

Wonderful Small Ship Experience

Sail Date: December 2011
Destination: South Pacific
Embarkation: Los Angeles
The itinerary was what originally attracted us, plus the value for price. It was an extraordinary experience. The embarkation process was extremely easy. We live near the port and waited until the 3pm suggested embarkation time. We were processed immediately. Our room was ready immediately and luggage arrived by the time we got back from lunch. The Terrace Cafe was our choice for breakfast and lunch. The fresh fruits especially berries, were wonderful in the morning. The omelette station was very good and fixed fried, poached and benedict style as well. There was a good variety of foods available at lunch. The service at the buffet was marvelous. You were served rather than help yourself. The staff was courteous. Linens were used. There were no trays. Servers helped you to your table and poured water in goblets and served the coffee and other drinks, quickly. They refered to the ladies as Madam. Made me feel very special.
We are not handicapped, but many guests More were, and I noticed special attention from the staff to their needs. Everyone was really taken care of. The Main Dining room was wonderful for dinner, as were the Polo Grill and Toscana. What a delight to be able to choose alternative dining venues with no additional charge. The fish was all delicious, especially those brought in fresh from the port. We could see Chef Farid and his assistant hauling in the huge tunas in mesh bags over their shoulders. Speaking of Chef Farid, he was fantastic! He and the Sous Chef put on cooking demonstations that were hilarious - a real show. He also managed to visit all the restaurant venues every day and interact with the guests. Free beverages included Perrier, sodas, as well as cappuchino and expresso.
I have never before had anything to say about a cruise director. They are what they are. But Willie Ames is truly a wonderful cruise director. A real, approachable person. He took care of situations with ease and diplomacy. He is an oradained minister and led Sunday devotions as well as Christmas Eve service and communion. He even joined in singing on several occasions with the entertainment team, with very acceptable results.
The ship itself is beautiful. I called it understated luxury. The rooms are a bit small, but comfortable and very clean. I saw our cabin stewardess give the furniture the white glove test for dust around the corners. I was impressed. There was plenty of storage for clothing on a 21 day cruise. Fresh bottled water was delivered to the room every day at no extra charge.
Entertainment was good. I enjoyed the shows. The last night they had a Tahitian Folkloric Show. There were no big production shows, which I always enjoy on a larger cruise ship, but the entire small cruise experience made up for it.
The ports were fantastic and tender service was good. Again, extra care was taken with handicapped guests to make sure they were safe and comfortable. Port excursions were pricey. We only booked two from the ship.
The disembarkation was a piece of cake. Never have I seen such organization. The color coding was efficient, luggage was easily identified, and everything was on time. Our flight didn't leave until 10 pm, so they bussed us to a waiting lounge at the Radisson. It was a wonderful hotel. The hospitality room
had coffee, tea, and water available. It was a windowless room, but we weren't restricted there. There were open air lounges all around and plenty of room to spread out and find a comfortable chair. We were allowed access to the pool and beach area, as well as free wi-fi. The day went quickly and pleasantly.
In conclusion, I can understand why people only choose Oceania or other small ship cruise lines after an experience like this. I wouldn't recommend for families with children. Less

Published 01/11/12
1 Helpful Vote

Cabin review: G8031 Inside

Our cabin was midships on 8th floor. It was an inside cabin. It was fine for us, but a balcony would have been really nice. I don't see the point of having just a window or porthole. The location was very convenient for everything. It was smallish, but adequate. The bed was very comfortable and linens nice. Closet was big enough for 21 days of clothing. There were 8 drawers plus some other shelves. Lighting controls were convenient and there was a reading light on each side of bed, which was nice. TV and DVD player. DVDs available for checkout. TV programming good. Mini bar contained wine and spirits for a fee, but all sodas Perrier, etc. were complimentary. Bathroom small. Toiletries were nice quality.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Island tour by Le Truck. $70 booked on the ship, was a good overview, not too expensive, and not too uncomfortable. The scenery is spectacular. I thought it was my favorite island until we got to the next port.

Actually, it was Christmas Island in Kiribati. There was no listing for this port, so I chose Fanning Island which is in the same archipelago. Not a good port. We had a horrific experience in tendering. The port authority was not honest with our captain about the tides. They assured him it was navigable by tender. We got on the island, scraping bottom with only 40 people per tender. The departure time was scheduled for 3pm, but they had to call off tendering at around noon because the tide became to low. We were on the last tender back to the ship and only 30 people were allowed. 200 people were stranded on the island. They resumed tendering at around 4pm with only 10 per tender allowed. Small motor boats from the island transported food and water from the ship to the stranded guests. The last ones arrived just before dark. I don't know what would have happened if they hadn't all got back before nightfall. I think the worst thing that happened was sunburn. There wasn't anything to do in the town. We did take a tour of the island in a taxi. It is a very poor island, and not tropical. We had taken toothbrushes and combs to distribute to the islanders. I don't think Regatta will be calling there again, ever.

I love this island and port! The dock is right next to the Aloha Tower Shopping area and local public buses and trolleys are available. We chose the trolley. Hop off and on all day for $20. Took in the Iolani Palace which was beautiful. Also walked along Waikiki Beach and the International Market Place. Took the trolley out to Diamond Head and did the whole loop. Honolulu and Waikiki are large and congested, but I love the beat. There is something very exciting about them.
Read 506 Honolulu Reviews

Free shuttles are available to Hilo Hattie's and Walmart, which will put you in the downtown village of Lihue. You can walk around and view the town. This is what we did because we have spent weeks there before. But if you haven't seen the island, you must. It is not to be missed. The canyon is awesome. The north shore by Zodiac is an adventure. If you can afford it and aren't afraid, do the helicopter.
Read 409 Kauai Reviews

It was Christmas day in Kona, so many of the shops were closed. But the dock is within easy walking distance of the delightful town. The King Kamehameha Hotel has a nice beach nobody minded that we used it. We didn't take a tour. Been there, done that.
Read 295 Kona Reviews

Again, we have spent quite a bit of time on this island and seen practically everything. We have friends living in Kulu, upcountry at 3,700 feet elevation. They picked us up at the port and took us to their lovely home. The port itself is kind of isolated.
Read 480 Maui Reviews

Even more spectacular than Bora Bora. Took a bus tour from dock. Got to see the whole island, plus Belvedere view point for $45. Well worth it.
Read 110 Moorea Reviews

Nice island. Flatter than Bora Bora and Moorea. Took a boat trip from the dock to the only navigable river in Fr. Polynesia. $70 booked on shore. The river wasn't great, but the trip out there was. We were dropped off at a public Motu (small outer island) where swimming and beach were available and delightful. Snorkeling was superb and you didn't need equipment to see fish and rays. They were just there, waist deep in water. You could stay at the Motu as long as you wanted. Boat came about every hour to take people back.
Read 35 Raiatea Reviews

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