This was my first cruise but definitely not my last. My husband and I picked this cruise in particular because it looked like it wouldn't have any small children running around, as it was after Labor Day and the target demographic ... Read More
This was my first cruise but definitely not my last. My husband and I picked this cruise in particular because it looked like it wouldn't have any small children running around, as it was after Labor Day and the target demographic seemed to be for those 40 and up. It worked- we were nearly the youngest couple on board. Everyone we spoke to was an Oceania regular or had come from one of the bigger ship lines and not gone back. One couple was on their 20th Oceania cruise! The Oceania Regatta was everything I pictured a cruise ship to be. All the decor was very classically elegant and reminded me a bit of an English country home. The service was great, the food was delicious, and I never felt crowded. I spent lots of time in the beautiful Horizons bar/tearoom just looking at the amazing views. It was cool out but the saltwater pool was heated- we were nearly always the only ones utilizing it and the hot tubs.
We got 4 nights at the specialty restaurants on board, 2 at Polo Grill, 2 at Toscana. I am in sales and so spend a lot of time taking customers to steakhouses, so I'm a bit hard to please, I suppose. I was pretty unimpressed with Polo Grill on both occasions. The service felt very rushed and the food was average. Toscana, on the other hand, was absolutely amazing. The two meals we had there were the best of the whole cruise. The service was impeccable.
The main dining room food and service was excellent every time. We had breakfast outside nearly every morning in the Terrace Cafe, overlooking the wake of the ship. Beautiful and relaxing. I will say my biggest complaint about the Regatta was the coffee. It always tasted old and terrible. They have espresso machines with Illy beans but I like good brewed coffee and you just could not get it anywhere on board.
We stopped in Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, The Hubbard Glacier, Victoria (BC), and Astoria (OR). Ketchikan was very charming, they have a nice little area on a pier with shops overlooking a creek. The salmon were getting near the end of spawning and you could watch them from the pier. We went to Dolly's House and took the $10 tour, which was worth it just to see the well-preserved kitchen and household items from the early 1900s. We also took an Oceania excursion that included a short nature walk and canoe trip. We were very fortunate to have a beautiful clear sunny day, apparently that is a rarity in Ketchikan. I was saddened to see that Ketchikan and Juneau's dockfronts were very cheesy and touristy. Apparently the cruise lines recently purchased all the waterfront property and filled it with jewelry and souvenir shops like you see in the Caribbean. There were dozens of tacky jewelry shops with sales people out front trying to lure you inside, it was really off-putting. The locals we spoke to were not happy about it. Sitka was much smaller and quaint, we really enjoyed our hike and shopping downtown. They had lots of unique little shops. All of our excursions (mostly hiking/nature walks) were very well run, had great local guides, and were very enjoyable. Another stroke of luck was on glacier day. Visibility was great and we were able to get right next to the Hubbard Glacier. Apparently on previous runs the fog had kept the Regatta from getting to it/near it. We saw lots of calving as we had cocktails on deck. What a great experience.
Victoria and Astoria were nice, a bit boring. My husband and I managed to find the only bad restaurant in Victoria's Chinatown. Yelp really let us down there! The Flavel house in Astoria was a nice little tour of a beautifully preserved mansion from the 1800s. The Buoy Brewery was the highlight of our trip to Astoria, it is a waterfront brewery built on a dock with amazing food and drinks, with sea lions that live underneath it. There is a glass section of the floor you can look through to see them all lazing about and barking at each other.
Our days at sea were relaxing and fun. We didn't attend any shows (they looked corny) or participate in too many activities, we just relaxed and lurked in our stateroom.
Our cruise ended in San Francisco. We skipped the long taxi line and grabbed an Uber (apparently the taxis shun the ports because the fares aren't profitable).
All in all, it was a great trip. We booked another cruise on Oceania while we were on board, we really enjoyed the all inclusive smaller ship atmosphere. Read Less