You might call Regatta the perfect "Goldilocks" ship -- it's not too big, not too small, but rather just right. With only 694 passengers, you never feel like you're in a herd of cattle; there's plenty of space, whether you want to sit quietly with a book or hang out at a bar. The ship is big enough to feature a range of facilities, from lounges like the Horizon's ship-top observatory to the Martini Bar and from restaurants such as the Italian Toscana to the poolside Waves Grill. Even better: Regatta's size gives it a cozy, sociable ambiance and means it can access out-of-the-way ports of call that are off-limits to mega-ships.
Oceania is known for its cuisine, and Regatta lives up to the reputation. While it has fewer specialty restaurants than the line's larger ships, the variety and quality of food onboard is impressive.
The ship nimbly walks a line between full-on luxury cruising and a more mass-market approach. You can tailor your experience to the style you prefer. On the one hand, every cabin is equipped with the most heavenly plush beds we've ever encountered, toiletries are by Bulgari, the luxurious spa is run by Canyon Ranch and the excellent specialty restaurants carry no surcharge. On the other hand, drinks and other extras are priced on an a la carte basis, standard cabins can be small (cozy, but small) with basic, shower-only bathrooms, and there are plenty of inside cabins. Want to dial it up? Splash out a little more for a Penthouse Suite with butler service. Add a drinks package or choose the OLife Choice option and get free internet, plus shore excursions or a beverage package. We like that flexibility.
While Regatta might attract both the more value-minded and bigger spenders, it's likely you won't be able to tell them apart. The ship has a "country club casual" dress code, and passengers tend to be low-key in dress and behavior. That same description could apply to the decor, which is what you'd find at an upscale country club -- classic and classy. The ship attracts an older crowd, thanks to longer itineraries and far-flung destinations in places like Asia, as well as around-the-world cruises. The exception is when it visits Alaska in the summer, when you might see younger cruisers.
Service is friendly and polished, whether it's your steward always calling you by name or a waiter who makes spot-on menu recommendations. Regatta's butlers are downright miracle workers, who anticipate things you haven't even thought to ask for.
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One area where you'll notice a marked difference from bigger ships is entertainment. While Regatta does have a small production cast, its shows aren't going to be the most memorable part of your cruise. Guest solo performers and a versatile show band help add some variety.
If you're looking for excellent food, outstanding service, itineraries that offer overnights in port, leisurely sea days and a continual parade of different, intriguing destinations, Regatta -- and its sister ships -- are definitely worth considering.
North Americans, particularly from the U.S., tend to be the major passenger contingent on Regatta. You'll also find Aussies and New Zealanders represented, with a few Europeans as well as other nationalities, depending on which part of the world Regatta is sailing. Because of the longer itineraries, the crowd skews older, from 60s to 70s and beyond. Most are experienced cruisers -- and it's not unusual for half the ship (or more) to be returning Oceania loyalists. An exception to all of the above can be Alaska cruises, where the ship offers a kids' program and you'll likely encounter folks new to cruising.
Regatta's dress code calls for country-club casual or resort attire throughout the day. Tank tops and swimming suits are not allowed in any onboard restaurants at any time, or at afternoon tea in Horizons lounge. At night in the main dining room and specialty restaurants, men usually wear collared shirts, slacks and sometimes a jacket; ties are rare. Women sport dressy slacks and tops or a dress. There's not a "dress to impress" attitude. Shorts, casual jeans, T-shirts, baseball caps, athletic footwear and rubber sandals are not permitted in the main dining room or specialty restaurants in the evening. However, baseball caps, dressy shorts and casual shirts can be worn at dinner in the Terrace Cafe buffet restaurant. The two occasions when you might see a few sequins (on the women, that is) are at the captain's welcome cocktail party (typically night two of the cruise) and at a cocktail party for repeat cruisers who belong to the Oceania Club. Some men don ties for these events, but most do not.
Oceania is not an all-inclusive cruise line, so you'll pay separately for flights, alcoholic beverages, internet, shore excursions and pre- or post-cruise hotel stays -- unless you opt for an OLife Choice program fare, which includes unlimited internet (one sign-in at a time per cabin, unless you're in a Vista or Owner's Suite), and a choice of either some shore excursions (the number varies with the length of voyage; not all excursions are eligible), a House Select beverage package or a shipboard credit. Passengers in the same stateroom must choose the same perk.
As with most cruise lines, you'll also find offers for specific sailing dates with deals for land tours, bargain flight upgrades, free air and other goodies. The perks are particularly plentiful on around-the-world cruises
Nonalcoholic beverages are included in your fare, available both in public venues and stateroom mini-fridges. There's no charge for 24-hour room service. And, you'll also receive a free daily four-page news brief, should you wish to keep up on happenings in the outside world.
For passengers residing in standard staterooms, Regatta automatically levies tips of $16.50 per person, per day (added to your onboard account), split among the crew. Those in Penthouse, Vista and Owner's Suites pay $23.50 per person, per day, which covers the added butler service these suites receive. Eighteen percent gratuities are levied automatically on all spa and beverage tabs.
The currency used aboard Regatta is the U.S. dollar. On European voyages, currency exchange for euros is offered, with a 5 percent service charge. Exchange for other currencies is sometimes offered, depending on itinerary and availability. You can also get a cash advance on your credit card, up to $500 per day, also with a 5 percent service charge.