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29 Oceania Dover Cruise Reviews

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
I know we took our cruise 11 months ago but I am new to Cruise Critic and figured why not write a review about this wonderful trip. It all started in New York on Aug. 10th where we flew out of JFK non-stop to Heathrow. We arrived early ... Read More
I know we took our cruise 11 months ago but I am new to Cruise Critic and figured why not write a review about this wonderful trip. It all started in New York on Aug. 10th where we flew out of JFK non-stop to Heathrow. We arrived early in the morning and took some time to see the sights of London. We then took the train to Dover followed by a cab ride to the ship. Now to the exciting stuff. Embarkation- Embarkation was painless due to the fact that we arrived on the later side. We were the only people there at that time meaning it took about 5-10 minutes from curb to stateroom. It couldn't have been any easier. Stateroom- We were booked in a Concierge level stateroom meaning that we had all the amenities of a regular stateroom plus some. We were allowed to make 2 reservations in each of the alternative restaurants ( as opposed to 1) along with a few other things. The room was very comfortable if a bit small, as usual. The balcony was sufficient and because our family was in a stateroom next to us we were able to take down the partition and have an extra large balcony which was very nice. After not being able to sleep for about 20 hours now we were all tired and took a nap before dinner. Food- That night we ate in the Grand Dining Room which is very nicely decorated. It is at the back of the ship which means that there are 3 walls of windows. We were extremely impressed with both the food and waiters. Our waiter, Edwin was very friendly and we requested to sit in his section every night. The food was excellent and rivaled some of the top restaurants in New York. There were other options to the Grand Dining Room of course. First, there is the casual buffet, Tapas on the Terrace. It serves Mediterranean specialties along with what is on the menu in the dining room that evening. We never had any problem getting a table up there and the food was very good. There are also two alternative restaurants aboard, Polo Grill and Toscana. Polo Grill serves Steaks and Seafood. The food there was outstanding and we would have eaten there more if we could have. Toscana serves Italian. There are many choices on the menu from pastas to lobster. The food there was very good as well. For lunch there is also a poolside grill, Waves which serves sandwiches and hamburgers. Oceania is near the top in the food category for sure. Entertainment- Entertainment onboard is definitely lacking but by design. At night they have one show at 9:45 in the main show lounge, the Regatta Lounge. They had a comedian one night who was very funny. Other than that it was a singer or mediocre production show. Aside from the main show there was nothing much going on except for a band playing or the Casino. Activities- By design Oceania doesn't have very many activities. Aside from trivia, bingo, shuffleboard and ping-pong there is pretty much nothing. However that was not really a problem for us as the ship was in port all but two days. Oceania also hands out Big "O" points. When you participate in activities you receive anywhere from 1 to 3 points. These are redeemable at the end of the cruise for some OK prizes such as a T-shirt or Portfolio. If anything it just encourages people to participate. Ports- The ports are obviously the highlight of the cruise. We visited 11 amazing countries with an overnight in Stockholm and 2 nights in St. Petersburg, the highlight of the cruise. Every city is different from one another and has so much history and character. This cruise really highlights the best cities of the Baltic. None of these cities are to be missed. I will not go in to detail about all the cities though otherwise I would be typing here for a very long time, but you get the idea. Disembarkation- The disappointing day had arrived, the day our cruise was over. Debarkation began early in the morning and we were off the ship by 7 AM to catch our flight to Frankfurt and then New York. This is most certainly a cruise that we will never forget. I would definitely recommend Oceania to anyone interested in seeing some of the world's finest destinations on board a beautiful ship. Hopefully we will get the chance to sail on Regatta again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2007
Just returned from the Baltic on Regatta on the July 17 sailing. Generally it was a very good cruise, it being our 17th. The good stuff. The ship is clean and well kept; lots of room to move around. Crew is helpful and pleasant. Food is ... Read More
Just returned from the Baltic on Regatta on the July 17 sailing. Generally it was a very good cruise, it being our 17th. The good stuff. The ship is clean and well kept; lots of room to move around. Crew is helpful and pleasant. Food is excellent. Among the best we've had, including Silverseas. Oceania has done a good job here in all venues. Beds are as advertised. We slept well every night. We've booked another Oceania cruise from Istanbul in 2006. If you use Oceania for your air, do yourself a favor and pay extra for direct routing. Otherwise, they'll send you the cheapest, most round about way that'll take you extra hours. We arrived home almost 6 hours later than someone who had direct and we both left Stockholm on the same flight and went the same distance, me to FL, them to Chicago. We really didn't like the nickel and diming: EVERYTHING'S extra. And the prices are a bit high, but cleverly not so high that you'd really pitch a fit. Good research there on Oceania's part. Wine corkage of $20 is ridiculous. Open the bottle in your room, pour a glass, and take it with you. A dinky bottle of water to take on shore excursions is $2.50. It's a really nice size for this. Keep the bottle and refill it. Save you lots of bucks. Oceania@ Sea is a joke. Computers down most of the time; internet service is $.95 PER MINUTE with really sllooowwww servers to make the minutes add up (shades of early AOL), and emails are $2 each, in or out. I sent one email to 4 people; $8. A real rip off. Our butler, David, was great. Always there, very responsive, pleasant. Even when I asked him to clean the dog poo I stepped in. Toscana is so-so, Polo was good, Terrace has a great buffet, Tapa was a worked over lunch, Grand Dining Room was the best as far as service and food. We found service in all restaurants to be spotty; sometimes good, sometimes not so good. The servers tend to be forgetful, but try really hard. In Terrace (the buffet) you are served everything. You do not touch the utensils. Seems like a really nice touch, but the portions handed out are skimpy. Portion control? Good idea as many of the people on this cruise were really big. Lots of fat bellies. The manager of Polo had his nose in the air too much. Andreas, maitre d' in Grand was great. Grand Dining Room is too small. For open seating, there's no excuse for a 20-30 minute wait. Boutique is a bit small, but reasonably well stocked. Staff was pleasant and helpful. Prices were high for everything, except on the "sale" days. Buy then and it was reasonable. With our suite category, we boarded directly, but couldn't get to the cabin until 1 PM. That however was two hours sooner than the regular cabins. Also, penthouse suites are much larger than regular cabins. Shore excursions were good. Guides were knowledgeable and spoke good English for the most part. Most buses had fair leg room. There was lots of confusion in the meeting Regatta lounge before tours. Too many people at one time; too noisy. Spread it out. There's no reason to try to have all the tours leave within a half hour when the ship's in port for 8 hours and most tours are 3-4 hours. Berlin was a long day but well worth the time and cost. So much history. The Moscow day excursion was long and very expensive. Worth every penny. What a thrill to stand in Red Square; ride the metro; go inside the Kremlin; see Putin's office (from the outside). This was the highlight of the cruise for us. I could say more, but then it's rambling. If I didn't mention it, we didn't do it. Swim, spa, golf, etc. As I said above, we've booked another cruise on Oceania, so the plusses way outweigh the bad. Read Less
Sail Date July 2005
Just back from the Regatta Dover to Stockholm trip and as promised, here are some thoughts. First off, we had a great trip. The ship is excellent both in size and staffing. We found the food, cabin, smoking policy, facilities, and ... Read More
Just back from the Regatta Dover to Stockholm trip and as promised, here are some thoughts. First off, we had a great trip. The ship is excellent both in size and staffing. We found the food, cabin, smoking policy, facilities, and cleanliness to be completely as advertised. We had splurged for a vista suite and found it remarkable. Butler service was attentive and responsive and the space itself was expansive and luxurious. We used the fitness facilities and the Spa and found them of excellent quality and they compared very favorably to other cruises we have taken. The Oceania at Sea computer room was available 24 hours a day; pricey but efficient. We were always able to get on a computer and check emails. We only used destination services for one tour to Gdansk. The tour itself was fine. The ship destination staff had warned of potential problems finding a taxi into Gdansk, however it turned out that a number of taxis were available if we had chosen an independent tour (which we would have preferred). The port intensive itinerary for this cruise was exceptional and in most cases the docking locations were very good. We ran like crazy every day and made the most of our time in port. Cannot really comment about the entertainment on board, as we never attended any of the shows. Spent too much Casino time I guess. However, there was certainly a variety of entertainers and music onboard and at the docks. While we never attended the enrichment lectures we did find ourselves watching them on the TV in the cabin and other passengers did comment on their quality. The port talks were less informative and more geared toward selling tours rather than broadly explaining about the ports. However, with a single exception (which I think is quite remarkable) we found the entire staff, when dealing with passengers, to be friendly, helpful and genuinely interested in servicing our needs. From wait staff to cabin staff, from embarkation staff to officers, from casino dealers to maitre'ds, everyone was friendly, helpful and made us feel special. So for a quick snapshot we had a great time on an excellent craft, met interesting people, saw exciting ports (it sure "wasn't Kansas anymore") and spent two weeks focusing on unique towns, interesting local customs and foods, pampering ourselves and not thinking about work and obligations. We found our trip to be both a great learning experience and a darn good time from morning to night. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
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