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9 Oceania Baltic Sea Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because it fitted in with the dates of our round the world itinerary and it was an opportunity to visit ports we've never been to before. We were a little surprised that this company charges approximately 1/3 ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it fitted in with the dates of our round the world itinerary and it was an opportunity to visit ports we've never been to before. We were a little surprised that this company charges approximately 1/3 more than previous cruises we've taken in similar categories but, we were constantly assured by all the advertising before travelling, that it was "the finest cuisine afloat", hence the premium price. Well, apart from the speciality restaurants, this was certainly not the case. The food was no better than other cruises we've been on... and the distinct lack of Vegetarian options in the Terrace restaurants was a huge shock to me. Despite talking to many of the staff about this, I receive no satisfactory answer or resolution. The standard of the entertainment on board was way below par. But that wouldn't have mattered so much to us if we'd been able to do what we normally do on board... i.e. have dinner and then spend an hour or so in a bar with music to dance to. The only place on board where 'apparently' we could do this was at the front top deck of the ship and it didn't start till 10.30pm. and given shore excursions were brutally early, that was a little late for us... and I hasten to add... the majority of passengers on this cruise. As regards having a little nightcap... we had mistakenly opted for shore excursion packages instead of the drinks package and found the price of drinks on board, exorbitant... not only that, they add gratuities to everything... despite having boasted "gratuities have been included for your convenience!!" And, despite being discouraged to book our own shore excursions, it would have been a far better option. Our Concierge was disinterested in my concerns about lack of Vegetarian options... barely looked up from her laptop when I spoke to her... so we only went in there once. I am in my late 60s and I have been cruising since I was 19 (when I actually worked for P&O) and I can say with hand on heart, that this company is the worst I have ever travelled with... we actually felt quite conned. This company is trying to convince passengers that it is on a par with the other companies with smaller ships - e.g. Silversea, Azamara but that is so far from the truth it would be laughable if it wasn't so insulting. Finally, I sent a full report of our experiences to Oceania 3 months ago and I am still waiting for a response... since they haven't bothered to reply, I feel quite justified in warning as many people as possible. PS) our Cabin steward was excellent Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have cruised with Oceania several times over the past several years and it is apparent that Oceania is in decline as an organization. We just competed two cruises on the Marina (Norway and British Isles), and though there are lots of ... Read More
We have cruised with Oceania several times over the past several years and it is apparent that Oceania is in decline as an organization. We just competed two cruises on the Marina (Norway and British Isles), and though there are lots of good staff on the Marina, there seem to be corporate decisions that are having a strongly negative impact on the service we received lately. First, there were numerous situations for which there were not enough staff to handle things, in restaurant/wine staff, housekeeping staff, and security staff. Individual Marina staff members were wonderful, but when you don't have enough security staff assigned to the gangways during a time period when lots of passengers are coming from excursions and heading to excursions, you end up with serious bottlenecks. Also, I don't know how many times we had to wait for a wine steward to come to our table to take our order, while the first course of food was being brought to the table. We'd look around the room and see only one wine steward trying to serve the entire specialty restaurant. Oceania is not providing sufficient staff for the cruises anymore. The wine lists are a scam. We repeatedly were given a wine of newer vintage, even though the wine list said they had an older one, with sometimes as much as five years in difference. Yet, the wine list only listed the older vintage and the newer wine was sold at the same price as the older with no notification about this difference in vintage. This is a serious problem, given the partnership between La Reserve and Wine Spectator. Also, La Reserve has gotten stale, in their menus and service. The staff didn't seem all that interested in our experience this last time on the Marina, and the food was pedestrian. We no longer purchase the Oceania excursions, because they are wildly overpriced and have not been very good lately. We booked private tours on this last trip, and that worked fine. Finally, we sent an email to Oceania Guest Services regarding various issues about our cruise, as soon as we got back from the cruise. Two weeks later, we have yet to receive even an acknowledgement of our email. They simply are not interested in customer service anymore. It is very unlikely that we will use Oceania again. It seems that getting bought up by Norwegian made some major changes to the corporate philosophy, and Oceania is now into pinching pennies, rather than striving for better customer service. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
My wife and I have cruised on over 10 different lines. This was a Special Anniversary Cruise. We spent Three days in London touring prior to Embarkation in South Hampton. Embarkation was a disaster. We had booked back to back cruises- ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised on over 10 different lines. This was a Special Anniversary Cruise. We spent Three days in London touring prior to Embarkation in South Hampton. Embarkation was a disaster. We had booked back to back cruises- Folklore and Fairytails - 19 days total cruise. All 136 people, 68 State Rooms whom booked the Folklore and Fairytails back to back, had the same experience. Oceania lost all our booking information. When we showed them our confirmations, they would NOT accept them. We couldn't board the ship in South Hampton for approx 3 to 4 hours. Oceania had lost our entire bookings. No one from the ship came to explain the problem, nor offered water or food or chairs, Totally ignored by Oceana staff. Upon finally boarding we found out that all of our Shore excursions, restaurant reservations were all lost. Oceana Staff would not accept the fact of the written confirmation proof of our booking and paid shore excursions. Staff at Destination services was Rude, Unapologetic & made it clear THEY DID NOT CARE. We had to fight to get anything from the Reservations Desk & Destination Services. We were to receive champagne in our suite. Upon arriving at our suite, the champagne was warm, the ice melted, the room was being made up. It took four days to begin to get information regarding our tours, mean time the destinations services booked other people into our tour slots. We then had to argue more that we had booked the excursions prior, before the Crew begrudgingly acknowledged the error and said "OK, you can go". Attitudes were surley, rude, arrogant. Managers were always unavailable. Oceania offered $75.00 ships credit each person with a half-hearted at letter of apology. Credit for lost Shore excursions took 12 days to get the ships dollars offered converted into US Dollars which we were charged when we booked. Fought Oceania to return monies owed in actual US Dollars. Most Shore Excursions were Fair to Good, but not exemplary. Internet Services worked 50 percent of the time at best. Continuous problems, Few Real Solutions. SHORE EXCURSIONS: We went to : Paris, France OK but hurried, Bruges, Belgium Cancelled by Oceania - fought to get money back, NO Reason for Cancellation. Antwerpe, Belgium, Good Tour, informative. Amsterdam, Netherlands, Fair Tour, Not outstanding, Guide went thru the motions. Hamburg, Germany, Good Tour, Informative, Colorful, Fair Guide. Kristianstand, Norway, Good Tour & Guide. Oslo, Norway Another Good Tour So-So Guide. Gothenburg, Sweden, Very Good Tour and seemingly interested Guide. 2 days in Copenhagen, Denmark, No Tours Available for Back to Back Cruisers, Oceania Dropped the Ball again. Not even helpful with information as to what to do or see on your own, Getting around town or anything. Helsingborg, Sweden, Not outstanding, Guide went thru the motions, Berlin, Germany, Good Tour, and Informative, Engaging Guide. Riga, Latvia, Another Good Tour, So-So Guide, Tallinn, Estonia, Tours were Poor at Best, watching movies of sites was not what I expected. Poor. 2 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sites were interesting, Guide was Helpful, but Bus Driver was Rude and Uncooperative. While In St Petersburg, Russia, we went to the Ballet at the Hermitage. High School Students performance at best. Nice performance of Swan Lake, but NOT Real Ballet. Helsinki, Finland, Beautiful Sights, So-So Guide, More going thru the motions. Score out of 1 to 10, 4.5 at best, Stockholm, Sweden, Disembarkation, Spent One Night at a Hotel which Oceania offered, was Utter Chaos. Six Buses at one time, Luggage all over the Place, Oceania must Own part of the Hotel. Not Co-ordinated by Oceania at all. 300 people in the lobby at one time. Absolute Bedlam. More reasons NOT TO CHOOSE TO SAIL WITH Oceania. Your Dollar Spends better with other Cruise lines. Who also treat you like a Customer ! ! Crystal Cruises is far Superior in every way. I would be hard pressed to openly sail with Oceania again. They owe me for a 19 day FAILED CRUISE. NOT WORTH THE MONEY ! ! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This would have to be the most difficult review I have undertaken and I know many of you will find it hard to believe, that the following occurred on our first cruise with Oceania, on the fairytales and folklore Baltic cruise. As a past ... Read More
This would have to be the most difficult review I have undertaken and I know many of you will find it hard to believe, that the following occurred on our first cruise with Oceania, on the fairytales and folklore Baltic cruise. As a past cruiser with Seabourn, Regent and Celebrity, I looked forward to experiencing Oceania on what was, a wonderful 19 day itinerary along the Baltic region. Regrettably, it was a nightmare from check in to check out. The start of our cruise was the worst I have ever experienced in any form of travel. Check in, was simply disgraceful. In brief, some 150 cruisers who booked this cruise leg, were not on the passenger register list provided by head office in Miami. Accordingly, they and we, were not allowed on the ship. All affected cruisers were forced to stand aside and wait in a small confined corner of the pier entry, like we were naughty children, whilst the crew debated with English border force and attempted to determine what the problem was. During this time, no one from Oceania sparred any time to consider all those waiting in disgusting conditions. The necessities of life, like getting some water, food, additional space or chairs for those affected, especially the elderly and frail amongst them, did not even enter their minds, over the 3 to 4 hour period. Totally incompetent and that is understating it ! Some of those who waited and waited, desperately required the use of toilets, but were hesitant to leave, in the event, they would be called and permitted to enter the ship. It was quite sad to witness this situation, in my normal occupation as General Manager/President of a large construction company and distressing to many of those cruisers affected. I saw two women so distressed they started crying as they feared they would not be allowed on the ship. Terrible. Personally, after witnessing this debacle continuing for far too long, I requested the attendance of the captain, cruise director and general manager on 4 separate occasions, as the current crew team were overwhelmed and simply incompetent. My requests were unsuccessful and denied. It was bewildering and beyond belief that my request was denied. In a desperate attempt to get someone to view what was happening to all those affected and the level of distress exhibited, I called the Oceania 24 hour emergency line, to which no one answered. I could not believe it, no one answered. So, no leadership present, no assistance to those long suffering affected cruisers and now, no available emergency support. How does this happen in today's world ? In a totally frantic environment, the crew started to issue ship passes on a progressive basis, with no apparent order at all, where some cruisers who had waited for 1 hour entered and others including us waited for 3. My pass was printed twice, with them calling our names as we finally started climbing the gangway. Honestly, it was a circus, a disgraceful and incompetent one at that. But it doesn't stop there, it got worse. Once on the ship, not only was there no record of our (and others) attendance on the cruise, all excursions pre booked were gone, with other cruisers booking those apparent available spots. All reservations for the speciality restaurants were also gone, with similar double booking occur. Once affected cruisers found this out, well you can imagine the anger was at boiling point ! But it continues, yes, it only gets worse, the Oceania provided ship credits were also lost and finally, no access to the Internet was provided due to the lack of records. To compound all this, as many were not recorded as cruisers, their rooms were simply not made as they were recorded as empty. What an incompetent administration effort on behalf of Oceania Miami head office. It is clearly obvious, that the data which is transferred at the end of each cruise with the new cruise data, was incomplete. But when the crew tried to review this matter with Miami, due to time difference, no one was available. Remember that unanswered emergency call I mentioned earlier. Unbelievable ! To top it off, once ship had sailed, I received a call from reception seeking some of my passport details, as was required from others on the ship. I enquired why ? Then, what exactly do you require ?. It so happens that no passport details were on record, even though I had provided these 12 months ago and confirmed before departure from home. So this ship, the Marina, left port, with the Captain, not being aware of the complete details of all his cruisers and corresponding luggage on his ship. Tell me, what captain of a ship, plane or any vessel, allows a depart unless there is a complete and accurate inventory list of every single person on this ship. What crew member after noting the problem, not contact each affected cruisers immediately enquiring for these vital details, BEFORE the ship leaves. Simply, in today's world of security risk, there is no other way to describe this breach other than a fundamental failure in all the required security protocols and such is the seriousness of this breach, I will be advising the authorities of it, as it should not happen, never, ever. I condemn all responsible for this fundamental breach of our security. Not only did Captain Leo Strazicic not attend or enquire of the suffering cruisers which still astounds me, but in the 10 days of the first leg of this cruise, I never saw him walking around the ship, attending the captains cocktail function, nothing ! After a wave of complaints, at times heated abuse from those affected, numerous meetings which continued for 4 to 5 days after departure, finally, Oceania acted in their view, where they provided a $ 150 credit. You have got to be joking ? As one cruiser said to me, "I drank that in an hour to try and calm my nerves !" How does $ 150 per suite resolve the lost feeling that you normally feel, when you walk onto the ship embarking on your next cruise. How does it compensate the tears that numerous women shed, in this totally confusing and challenging environment ? How does this support Oceania motto, "your world, your way" The lack of compassion and attentive care was breathtaking. The captain, the cruise director, destination manager, no one cared, then it all clicked when the second leg started, Captain Leo Stratzicic, Mr Peter Roberts (cruise director) and Mr Peter Morris (destination service manager) all departed for their breaks, which I'm sure they will enjoy, unlike us. Oceania lacked, without doubt or fear of error, the understanding of what determines the point of difference between all other cruise lines. That being, personal care for your cruise experience and attention to ensuring you are happy. Simple things like, no glass of refreshing juice, water, cold towel, whilst you check in. Returning from excursions, no refreshments and welcoming crew members. At the pool, at bars, a lack of serving staff to provide drinks which is puzzling given they charge you for drinks. A bottle of champagne is provided in our penthouse suite, which honestly, we didn't even open, the moment of happiness being on another cruise was gone. I was dreading what we just went through and wondered what we would be confronted with in the future. The direct crew that deals with you on a daily basis, such as our butler, the waiters, they all try to do the best, but obviously lack the necessary level of training that is consistent with Oceania's promoted alleged level of personal service. They were poorly supported and let down by their leaders. The reception desk is difficult, probably due to abuse they had received by frustrated cruisers. Restaurant reservations frankly, was useless, not able to assist with any simple request for instance, altering a restaurant reservation. It was simply too hard for them. It was so poor, I felt that they simply, did not care. We had better success with the managers. As mentioned earlier, excursions office was incompetent and dismissive of a number of cruisers who had lost their booked trips. I witnessed the manager, Mr Peter Morris, not even batting an eyelid, when a woman who had booked and paid for 14 excursions, commenced crying. Needless to say her husband was justifiably annoyed with the lack of required compassion and care. Hell after they left, I expressed my view that his conduct was disgraceful and how could he make women cry ? Again, didn't bat an eyelid ! The only positive I can express on Oceania, is on the food side, it is very good, especially the speciality restaurants. Red Ginger (Asian) an absolute highlight for me, followed closely by Jacques (French cuisine), then Toscana (Italian) and Polo Grill. All these require reservations. So, after all this, honestly, I just wanted to get off this ship, the experience had ruined our holiday, a $ 28,000 AUD cruise holiday. And even then, I couldn't get off the damn thing. Disembarking was an absolute disgrace as well ! Here we are, over 1 hour late, hundreds of people jammed in tight, on the 5th floor, desperately trying to get off, but we could not, as the luggage was not totally removed off the ship. The new cruise director, David, apologising to all, but everyone had simply, had enough. To top it off, a large contingent of Chinese cruisers, who pushed, rudely bullied there way like a thundering heard of cattle throughout the second leg, ignored the pleas of David as he told them they had to wait. Again, I saw a woman suffering anxiety as she was so concerned she would miss her plane flight home. No one there to help, guide, or lead. Again I took upon myself to make way so she could at least get off as quick as possible. Then it was mass hysteria trying to get a cab, as everyone got off at once rather than a programmed and time consumed manner. Again, no one to direct cruisers, no indication where your bags were, amongst the thousand stored. A total and absolute disgrace. This unforgivable conduct, unprofessionalism, incompetency and total disregard to the safety and well being of its clients, I place at the steps of senior management who lacked clear leadership, ability to make decisions with the necessary compassion and understanding to act immediately upon discovery of fundamental failures, all of which they caused. Every single one of them. And it starts from the top, from head office in Miami which I will be clearly expressing to Mr Jason Montagne, their president upon my return. So would I return back to Oceania, definitely not. Even if they were the only cruise line on earth. I will be returning back to the excellent service of Seabourn and Regent cruises, where at least, you are treated as a valued customer, for the same cost of this sad and terrible cruise experience. If you want the Oceania type of casual service, do yourself a favour, go to Celebrity cruises for at least half the cost and be actually treated better rather than be treated as a herd of sheep. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We have previously cruised with Princess 31 days. We have chosen cruising over land tours due to travel traveling between destinations is done while we eat, dance, and sleep. This time I chose Oceania because of a special they were ... Read More
We have previously cruised with Princess 31 days. We have chosen cruising over land tours due to travel traveling between destinations is done while we eat, dance, and sleep. This time I chose Oceania because of a special they were running: free airfare, free unlimited Saint Petersburg excursions, free internet, free gratuities, $100 shipboard credit and more. The Saint Petersburg excursions were available on line to view. We chose our excursions; savings about $1,200. Free internet I was not of value to me, but to my wife it would save her time trying to communicate with family; leave the computer at home and enjoy yourself. When I finally went to book, I thought I knew most of the costs or had a good idea what they were. Oceania in their flyers seemed to be upfront, but what I found were way too many hidden costs you cannot find out until after you book and then it is too late. It took many attempts to learn the location of the port of embarkation and disembarkation. Oceania was unable to provide any details as to how one might get to or from the ports. On Princess, they always provided a map and directions. Copenhagen identified the pier and from all indications it was within walking distance 100yds of public transportation. However, Oceania was unable to provide directions. What we found out was there was construction being done on the water front. Public transportation could get you close, but no cigar. We walked a good mile. In fact taxi cabs had difficult finding the pier. Oceania could easily have sent a map of the location and directions, but they did/would not. Free airfare I find out is not worth it. I do not live near a gateway city and therefor, I have to drive or fly. We decided if we flew we could leave a day earlier and spend a day in Copenhagen. This meant we could spend three days in Stockholm after the cruise. We called our travel agent, presented our dates and then waited for Oceania to give us their free flight info. By the time we got it, our air fair had gone up $46 each. Ok, not to bad, so I ok'd the flights. What we learned after landing in Copenhagen was that our bags never made it out of Chicago. We did not have seamless airline reservations, but a stinking voucher from Chicago to Amesterdam then to Copenhagen. We were not alone, there were well over 40 bags that did not reach the ship. $0 were delivered in Helsinki, day four and our two bags arrived in Tallinn as we were leaving port, our last day. In the end I could have purchased round trip tickets for two for $100 less than the cost of the Free Airfare from Oceania, plus $$175 air deviation fee each, plus $100 air increase fair each, plus $50 times two for bags plus the $296 round trip air to Chicago each. In simple terms if our not a gateway city, the free air fare most likely will not save you any money. To us it is worthless. We tried to buy clothes in the botique, but it was too small and as I guy I have more selection than they did. With so many missing bags, there were not enough clothes. Only one pair of pant's, $125 and it would need to be hemmed. Shirts started at $125. As for the food, Red Ginger did not go ever well at all. McDonald's would have been much better. As for the other three dinning venues, they were ok, but no better than we were experienced with on Princess. Breakfast was better on Oceania, only because they serve you, instead of people trying to serve themselves. You stand in a line, order what you want, it is cooked, served to you standing there. the Terrace Cafe was good. they served to order grill food fast. We had a problem with our wine. An unfinished bottled went missing, but they provided another bottle, though less full than what we had left the evening before. This is the first time a bottle on any cruise had gone missing. I had reserved our four nights at the "best" venues "Polo", "Jacques", "Red Ginger" and "Tuscana" online We like to share a table, but the online reservation would not allow me to select sharing without having the names/booking of those we wished to share with. One of the pleasures of dining on a cruise ship is meeting others from around the world. We found out upon boarding the ship we were setup not to share. It was too late to change our first venue, but the other three we were able to change to sharing. We found the veranda stateroom nice, same quality as on Princess. The tub was a nice touch. We found that we could never go to the shows because of meal times. On Oceania they begin a 9PM. They really need to start later at 9:30 o 9:45 so that those who eat, can go. I found a smaller ship was nice, not as much walking, but this small convenience was not worth the cost. We found the excursions nice, but very pricey. On Princess they always had maps of where the ship would be and a map of the surrounding area. Oceania only did this once and provided as we were going ashore. I booked all our excursions online. When I tried to make changes, the online website went down. On line there was a notices stating that Saint Petersburg Free Excursions would be adjusted for after final submission. A month after booking our excursions I got a bill for over $1,000 for Saint Petersburg Excursions that I thought were supposed to be free an unlimited. Free soda and water is not a selling point. I liked to have a coke when I came back, but there would only be one in the frig. I do not know why they could not have had four or even more. At disembarkation, we left from deck five. This required we walk down steps with luggage. Deck four had a ramp which would have made getting off the ship easier, safer and faster. In Summary, Oceania is 50% more expensive. The free airfare turned out to be a nightmare. Food was not nearly as good as I was expecting. I wasted my wife's seven vacation days. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
It all started on the wrong foot. On the morning of our starting flight, which had been arranged by Oceania, we found it was delayed. Panic set in about meeting our connecting flight and arriving at the embarkation dock on time. When we ... Read More
It all started on the wrong foot. On the morning of our starting flight, which had been arranged by Oceania, we found it was delayed. Panic set in about meeting our connecting flight and arriving at the embarkation dock on time. When we arrived in Southampton, we found a huge "Princess" ship where the Oceania was to be docked, according to our brochure supplied by Oceania. Nobody seemed to know where the "Marina" was docked, Many dock employees tried to guess where it might be docked, but to no avail.. Our cab driver drove around for over an hour before we finally found our ship, about a mile away from where it was supposed to have been. Later, when pointed out to the front desk receptionist we were told, "Oh that happens all the time." !! As far as the food was concerned, it lacked flavor, the hot food wasn't hot enough and the cold food wasn't cold enough. Near the end of our cruise, I pointed out to a waiter that the watermelon was rancid, his reply? "Oh, it got spoiled faster this time." We found the staff in the main dining room to be aloof and arrogant. At times we had to wait and wait for service. Our special request was not met, even though I had sent an email well in advance. My husband was actually called in by the Head Chef, to ask why he had criticised the food?. Last month my email came back, "Unopened" We are "Elite" members with Princess and have never been treated in this manner. There were many people who were sick on this excursion, and I came home with "Bronchial Pneumonia" Oh, and the internet? .93 cents per minute. Yikes! The good parts, the shore excursions through a private company and our wonderful, pleasant, room steward.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
My husband and I recently took a two week Baltic cruise on the Regatta starting June 18. This was our first cruise with Oceania and we expected treatment above that of our previous experiences with Princess and Royal Caribbean. We ... Read More
My husband and I recently took a two week Baltic cruise on the Regatta starting June 18. This was our first cruise with Oceania and we expected treatment above that of our previous experiences with Princess and Royal Caribbean. We regret that we did not stick with Princess and Royal Caribbean. It was not worth the extra money and they failed to treat us in a first class manner. The balcony room was a little small as was the bathroom. The stewardess was excellent. The reception staff was wonderful. The dining room service was good and most of the time the food choices were adequate. We quickly found out that on Regatta, you cannot order anything except what you saw on the menu in front of you. Their rules make no attempt to cater to your wishes. One night none of the appetizers appealed to me. I asked for shrimp cocktail, an option that is never a problem on the other 2 less expensive cruise ships. To his credit, my waiter immediately summoned his superior, who then summoned his superior and so forth until I had serveral higher levels of dining room staff at my table. They refused to deviate from the menu. Although this item is always available in their specialty grill restaurant, I could not have it in the main dining room. I also discovered that you cannot deviate from the exact way that any item is prepared. The entertainment is extremely inferior to the kind that I enjoyed on Princess and Royal Caribbean. One person singing or playing the violin or the clarinet provided the evening's show. The dance band was often flat and only provided dancing for 30 minutes before the "show." The shore excursions were disappointing to say the least. Many people (ourselves included) had Oceania booked tours cancelled with less than 24 hours notice. The staff offered no alternative to the cancelled tour. The tours that did go through provided a ratio of 30 passengers to 1 guide with no microphone. I would advise others to book with independent tour companies that specialize in their ports of call. I know much more after this cruise that I wished that I had known before. It is my pleasure to offer this advice to others so they can avoid my nightmare in St. Petersburg. We had arranged 3 days and 2 nights of touring with a driver and guide provided by Alla Tours. I knew from research on-line before we left home that some cruise lines try to interfere with those taking private tours by refusing to let then off the ship in time to meet their guide. We thought, it's a good thing that we are on an upscale line. We were very wrong. David, the cruise director did not announced that the ship was clear for us to leave. Luckily I noticed people leaving the ship around 8:15 and we went out soon after. When my husband and I walked towards the Russian passport control, we moved forward with a solid mass of people about 6 people wide and about 75 people deep. No one from Regatta was at the rear of this mass of people to direct us. After moving slowly along with no discernible lines for 20 minutes, we saw JR, the assistant cruise director, standing in front of the Russian passport control booths. There was a computer generated sign above 3 of the booths saying "Oceania Tours" and the booth on the right was labeled "Independent Tours." I now know that I could have exited through any of the booths since the Russian officials don't care whose passport they process. JR said we were in the Oceania Tours line and in a very nasty manner pointed his finger and insisted that we go to the back of the line of 400 people and move up only on the right side of the crowd. He also claimed that Javier (his boss and the concierge) was out there directing passengers where to line up. We never saw him nor did any of the other independent travelers with whom we spoke. I wish that I had just continued straight ahead instead of "cutting" in line. Now we have JR screaming at us and fellow passengers annoyed with us for "cutting" in the independent tours line. When our guide told us that JR had no right to insist we exit only through the booth on the right, I felt betrayed and abused. We paid for the same "luxury" cruise that the other passengers paid for. Why were treated like we were traveling "steerage?" When we returned from touring on Friday, we spoke to David about our experience. He made no apology or explanation. On Monday I saw David and said that I was still waiting for an apology. He told me in a less than cordial manner that I would not be getting an apology. This added insult to the injury and affected the remainder of the rest of our time onboard. I did write a letter to the CEO and received no reply. My travel agent sent my letter to her Oceania representative, and I have not heard from them either. If you are tour-savy, you can cruise this line. Any others should beware. I will never cruise this line again. It is not worth the extra money. Read Less
Sail Date June 2008
Our 18th cruise, the first aboard Oceania's Regatta. We prefer smaller ships (under 500 passengers) but she was fine at over 600. Intimate enough, and we'd book on her again for appealing destinations. Pluses are her service ... Read More
Our 18th cruise, the first aboard Oceania's Regatta. We prefer smaller ships (under 500 passengers) but she was fine at over 600. Intimate enough, and we'd book on her again for appealing destinations. Pluses are her service and food. Staff is congenial and promptly helpful, ship is spotless, cabins are nice but not spacious, highly touted beds are very nice but not that big a deal. Meals are excellent, and you can eat as much (or little) as you like. The Regatta is excellent, but does have its flaws. There is no feeling of bonding with other passengers, no gathering at cocktail hours, no mixing and smiling. That's not all bad, but we enjoy getting to know those we're sailing with and we do that on smaller ships. Open seating in the main dining room is the system, and we hate open seating, much preferring getting to know our waiter and his/her helpers. But open seating works okay on the Regatta, with minimal waits. The buffet meals are very popular, but one can be badly hurt there (kidding) by all the rudeness and shoving and such by fellow passengers. Hamburgers on the bbq are uninspired at best. The two "exclusive" restaurant options, available for booking twice on each 14 day voyage to each passenger, are musts. The steak house is outstanding, the Italian is very good. Shore excursions are well done but a rip-off financially. Much overpriced. Far better to do your own thing, get a taxi and driver to tour you, or ride local transportation (trollies, subways, canal boat taxis, etc.). Example of pricing: A Helsinke harbour tour cruise booked aboard ship is just under $100 per person. Take it on your own and it's much cheaper at under $25 per person. Oceania needs to reevaluate its excursion pricing or increase cruise charges to offset this bloated profit center. Cocktail pricing is too high, too. $8 for a glass of Chard is a bit much! Another profit center that irritates. And if you're a smoker you're a leper aboard this ship. Two small areas on the whole ship that allows smoking, one outside in a corner of the pool deck, the other in the corner of a lounge. No smoking on your veranda and the maids look for evidence (be smart and discreet!). Smoking areas are frequented by crew, sometimes leaving little seating for passengers. Good luck if you smoke. Still, with all our grumbling, the Regatta is a bit cut above most and we recommend her. So there. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
We are just back from 26 day Miami -Barcelona cruise aboard Regatta. Perhaps our expectations were too high, but this cruise line did not live up to the rave reviews we had seen posted. A number of incidents on this cruise that made it ... Read More
We are just back from 26 day Miami -Barcelona cruise aboard Regatta. Perhaps our expectations were too high, but this cruise line did not live up to the rave reviews we had seen posted. A number of incidents on this cruise that made it less than enjoyable for us. The following experiences and impressions are the personal observations of my wife and I only, and certainly may not reflect the feelings and experiences of other people on the same cruise who were more lucky than us. We do a great deal of cruising and had booked on Regatta because of the positive reports, and the fact that Joe Waters from Crystal had and interest in the operation, and that this line was going after a niche market priced below Crystal but offering similar luxury. We were upbeat and excited when we arrived at the Oceania desk in Miami - as we all know it is always an effort to get packed, travel and finally get to the ship. To our dismay the girl at the Oceania desk never looked up, only grunted instructions like "passport", "tickets" etc. we were taken aback by the gruffness - so we boarded the ship with the wind taken out of our sails. Little did we know that this was only a precursor of what was to come. We sailed at 9pm after a 3 hour delay, caused by some passengers who experienced a flight delay from Vancouver. We were pleased with our cabin, but unlike other cruise ships our steward never came by to introduce himself. I made a point of introducing myself to him the next day, he was a fine young man and, as it turned out, did an excellent job. We were in cabin 7049 and although we had a veranda, the plastic "Wal-Mart" chairs were so uncomfortable that it made use of the veranda for more than 10 minutes at a time difficult. Two days out of Miami, I decided to have a massage - $99 plus $15 tip. The next night on everyone's bed appeared a flyer offering $20 off "for the rest of the cruise" on the very massage I had the day before. I felt this unfair & went to the Spa suggesting that if they would refund the $20 it could go directly to my cabin steward. I did not want the money, but out of principle it just did not seem right. The Spa turned me down flat. I went to the front desk to plead my case, never thinking I would have a problem. I repeated my proposal to the lady at the desk who was most understanding. She brought out the General Manager, Mr. Volpe, who took an immediate confrontational attitude saying, and I quote his words exactly "I approved that, and I don't know why you are getting so upset over such a small thing. For example if you booked a cruise today and we dropped the price tomorrow you are out of luck". I gave up at this point and walked away. Now I was angry and depressed, thought that we still had to endure over 20 more days on this ship. One of the reasons we go on a cruise is to relax, and here I was being aggravated no end by the employees. That was the end of this matter, there was no follow up by the General Manager, who obviously had a "don't care" attitude. We had similar "attitude" shockers from the Destination Services desk on a couple of occasions. The casino staff were not a happy lot and most unfriendly. Example: One fellow, who had a personality clash with the manager, was in the casino every day for hours. All of a sudden toward the end of the cruise the casino would not cash his travelers cheques because the manager said all of a sudden his signature didn't match that on the cheques. He showed them though - he won $1,800 on one machine and $2,500 on another - he didn't need to cash any travelers cheques after that. This is far from my definition of the luxury cruise line that had been advertised. I kept justifying my displeasure by telling myself "you get what you pay for". This was a relatively inexpensive cruise compared to the luxury cruise lines. I should not try and compare the two for it would be like comparing apples to oranges. I say it was inexpensive, but by the time you get finished paying for every little thing (other postings show it as nickel & diming) I'm not sure how much less expensive it really was from a luxury cruise. We love sea days, and having done consecutive sea days often. For instance: New Orleans-Hawaii; LA-Hong Kong. There were always activities if you so chose to participate. Regatta is about destinations, so on our first segment which involved crossing the Atlantic it was boring, very boring. There were lecturers but the topics were poor (Reorganizing the Pentagon" & "Transforming the Army") so unless you wanted to take bridge lessons or play bingo at $15 per card, there was virtually nothing to do for 8 days other than read, eat, drink and hang out in the casino. Most nights there were long waits to get into the dining room if you went around 7:30 to 8pm. We solved this by eating at 9pm, but then missed most of the shows which started at 9:45pm. There is no extra charge for the specialty restaurants. This is understandable, because the food is equally good at all three venues, Toscana, Polo and the Main Dining Room. We went to Tapas only one night, because we are not fans of buffets for dinner, but the food there was also very acceptable. We differ with the claim that the food is "the finest at sea". I think it is good and compares favorably with Crystal and Raddison, but a notch below some of the best specialty restaurants like the "Olympic Restaurant" on Millennium. The service was inconsistent in that Oceania was apparently staffing Insignia at the time and half of our crew were new, and although they were trying hard they were definitely on a learning curve. The second segment Lisbon to Barcelona was better in that we had numerous ports to occupy our time. I heard complaints about the cost of the tours, but I can't comment because we have not cruised in this part of the world before and cannot compare the tour prices on Oceania with those of other cruise lines. Examples of a couple are: A 90 min bus ride to Seville and back with a tour of a cathedral and a couple of hours free time to shop was $125US pp and the Vatican was $150US pp for the day. We took seven tours, and found the guides ranged from good to mute (hardly talked). Speaking of ports, I noticed on various postings here that shortly before we boarded people complained of a virulent upper respiratory virus infecting many passengers. With this in mind we were surprised (or perhaps not surprised) to see there was no disinfecting of hands when boarding the ship at various ports and no disinfecting of handrails on the gangplank as has been done on the 5 cruises we have been on since the SARS outbreaks. The shows were done on the cheap, but we thought they were very good. Singer, John Paul Almon (who ran the shuffleboard during the day) did a couple of shows and was sensational. The pianist from the Martini bar did a show a couple of nights and the assistant social hostess Diana Dimarzio did a show, as did a group from the Orchestra, plus the Orchestra itself did a show. In all our years of cruising, we have never counted the days until the end of our cruise - this time we had a countdown going before the cruise was half over. The highlight of our cruise was the day we disembarked. Read Less
Sail Date March 2004
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