24 San Francisco Oceania Regatta Cruise Reviews

We've always wanted to go to Alaska and out of the blue, got an Oceania brochure in the mail. With a couple RC cruises under our belts (which were fine), we decided to try a smaller, more upscale cruise line. Mainly we were looking ... Read More
We've always wanted to go to Alaska and out of the blue, got an Oceania brochure in the mail. With a couple RC cruises under our belts (which were fine), we decided to try a smaller, more upscale cruise line. Mainly we were looking to avoid the crowds & lines of the big ships, and see if the food was as good as they brag about. Both hopes were met. There were times walking around the ship where is seemed like we were the only passengers on board. Never any lines for anything - meals, shows, getting on & off, etc. Never any problem getting a good seat for anything. The food in the dining room, specialty restaurants or poolside grill. But the big surprise to us was the outstanding buffet. We've never been to a buffet anywhere with the quality, selection or service of this one. We didn't expect the entertainment to be as good as on the bigger ships, but we were pleasantly surprised to find it every bit as good - a terrific little song & dance team, a string quartet playing here & there, it was great. Plus the enrichment lectures, in this case a marine biologist, were really interesting and not something the other cruises offered. The library, which seems to be disappearing from the mainstream lines, was excellent. Cons: Smaller ships don't do as well in rough seas, and the first leg from SF to Alaska, was a bit rough. But we expected that and the seasick pill handled the problem pretty well. There's nothing for kids and were none on board. But that's not a con for old geezers like us who enjoy the peace & quiet. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Primary reason for choosing this cruise was the ports of call. Unfortunately three of our ports of call were bypassed by Oceania; Carbo San Lucas Mexico, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Instead we spent 2 1/2-additional days at sea. It is like ... Read More
Primary reason for choosing this cruise was the ports of call. Unfortunately three of our ports of call were bypassed by Oceania; Carbo San Lucas Mexico, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Instead we spent 2 1/2-additional days at sea. It is like a cruise to no where. We have no idea why the ship was unable to arrive at Costa Rica on time. We arrived five hours late causing us to miss the eco excursion, which was most important for my wife and I. Since we had two and have extra days at sea, you would think we would have arrived on time in Costa Rica. We arranged a meeting with the ships general manager. We received little sympathy. As a matter of fact we were threatened by the general manager not to have conversation with other passengers relative to our disappointment.We are in the process of filing a formal complaint with Oceania's senior management and parent company(Norwegian). All in all the cruise was a big disappointment. The hostile atmosphere made us very anxious and apprehensive for 18 days. The cruise was my wife and my seventh cruise with Oceania. The Staff in the Terrace Café had a major communication problem. Most of them were(I believe) from India or the Philippines. You had to explain to them exactly what you wanted and half the time it was received incorrectly. Big disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I have been on 2 previous Oceania cruises and chose this one because it left from San Francisco to many ports I hadn't visited and through the Panama Canal. Unfortunately, we changed itinerary for 8 days due to a tropical storm and ... Read More
I have been on 2 previous Oceania cruises and chose this one because it left from San Francisco to many ports I hadn't visited and through the Panama Canal. Unfortunately, we changed itinerary for 8 days due to a tropical storm and missed 5 excursions. Communication from Captain or cruise director was terrible. No explanation for any thing. Morale among the passengers was very poor. I'm sure they lost some loyal customers (including my husband and myself) The food in Grand Dining Room and The Terrace is still very good, but a step down from what we experienced on previous sailings. Toscana and Polo Grill are still wonderful. Service staff in general were lovely, but some were poorly trained with snafus on drink orders and restaurant reservations which seemed to disappear even though we had the print out summary of our reservations from the front desk. There was no explanation, no apology and we were supposed to feel grateful that they managed to "fit us in." There were power outages and some ship sections experienced non- flushing toilets at times. The ship is due for an overhaul and we got the impression it had many ongoing mechanical issues. But none of this was address by the staff. Our cabin was quite nice and kept very clean by housekeeping staff. There was good entertainment and plenty of activities like Trivia, golf putting, shuffleboard, ping pong, Bridge lessons and games, casino w slots and poker tournaments, karaoke. But we went for the port visits and excursions, not endless sea days. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
There are many reviews of this poor cruise already posted. I support the information and analysis and conclusions reached by the reviewers as well as information and analysis in the current thread on the current Oceania board. ... Read More
There are many reviews of this poor cruise already posted. I support the information and analysis and conclusions reached by the reviewers as well as information and analysis in the current thread on the current Oceania board. While new to CC (thanks to my TA), I am not new to cruising across many brands. This was my 3rd and last Oceania cruise. My concerns are: 1) Oceania management anti customer first attitude - as reviewers have stated, no attempt was made to reinstate ports or find another port from the many cruise friendly ports along the Mexican and Central American pacific coast. Apparently they made the decision to kill ports 7 days before reaching the Baja and the tropical storm, Bottom line, we passed the Baja a day and a bit after the storm left the area. As others have noted, so we lost 3 days of ports but only were delayed 1 day in San Diego (a port swap from Cabo). Really? For 4 days be plodded along slowly - no attempt was made to speed up to get to a replacement port. They had the nerve to show up at 3 pm in Puntarenas Costa Rica which was 2 hours before dark. I heard an officer say to another that they had to get staff off for training in Miami. Ah, the real reason they showed up there. Bottom line, Oceania did not care about providing replacement ports because they already had our $ and frankly I believe they thought we were all sheep accepting Oceania's claim to fame. They have found out differently. The Oceania arrogance is the main reason why I will not patronize Oceania again. 2) The harassment and threats to guests. Thankfully I was not one of them, but I did hear comments from others about the situation. Not acceptable Oceania. 3) Regatta has a dubious mechanical history. I should have done more investigation on the history of this ship. It is not a pretty history. On the cruise before ours, the ship missed Juneau and lost power. On this trip, there were flickering lights, short power outages, toilets not working. I will check out the track record of any future ship before I book. 4) Food decline. The new menus reduced the choice and quality of food offerings. The food in the GDR was no better than my last Celebrity MDR experience. The food in the Terrace was a step down as well, granted they do have grilled lobster etc but that hardly makes up for the limited buffet. I have to say the food on this trip had little to no taste and I quickly lost interest in eating. The table side caesar salad in Toscanna was bland and of middling quality. The hard working staff were outstanding as usual. The overall atmosphere on this cruise was one of irritation and distrust - this did not go away and was overt on the last day when cruise comments were being prepared. In my many cruises, I have never heard a passenger load speak with such hostility towards the cruise line. There are many choices in the world of cruising so I will move my cruise business to a different cruise line. I will not speak highly of Oceania in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Oceania Regatta – Panama Canal – From San Francisco to Miami – 18 Days – October 8 to 26, 2018 This voyage was a significant disappointment to me, my spouse and members of our group. It is doubtful if we and our group will ... Read More
Oceania Regatta – Panama Canal – From San Francisco to Miami – 18 Days – October 8 to 26, 2018 This voyage was a significant disappointment to me, my spouse and members of our group. It is doubtful if we and our group will patronize Oceania again because we did not receive a premium cruise line ship nor product and the negative specifics of this cruise as noted below sealed our decision. To summarize: 1) Cancelled ports before we left the dock in San Fran. We had 2 cancelled ports, 1 port reduced to 2 hrs before darkness and 1 port swap. Guests were provided minimal information on the reasons why quickly dying Sergio had such an impact on our itinerary - other than the Captain saying there is a tropical storm. San Diego was swapped for Cabo. Missed Nicaragua and El Salvador. Supposed to be in Puntarenas at 11 but arrived at 3. Were told tides were a problem there. We actually arrived 1.5 hrs before the lowest tide. The tide is 1 metre there. We believe that the tide excuse was a lie. We found out that the ship had to be at this port because staff were flying to Miami. They created 2 tours there both of which had the last 1 hour in total darkness. So they put their corporate requirements ahead of giving the passengers a real port day. There is a history of mechanical issues with Regatta as previously posted on CC (see below). There are also CC Oceania regulars who note Oceania has a history of missing and shortening ports. Bottom line - slowed down for 1 day to allow the storm to pass but missed 3 days of ports. The math does not work in Oceania’s favor. 2) No attempt to reinstate some ports given that Sergio moved across the Baja very quickly - many on the ship monitored NOAA so we were very much aware of the situation. Ship management never explained why we could not make another port. Total silence. 3) Number 2) then contributed to 3). On the pacific side, why was the ship going 15.3 knots for long periods of time? The ship is capable of a higher speed, why was it not engaged to reinstate a port? 4) On the Atlantic side, suddenly the ship was doing 20.9 knots. Why was this speed not available on the Pacific side? ie 2) and 3) above. The speed differential on the different sides set myself and the passengers into further disillusionment. 5) Water, Toilet, Power Disruptions - Lights were flashing from time to time, power was out 1 night at 2am, repeated toilet malfunction throughout the ship. Water was luke warm most of the time in the bathroom sink. No cold water in the bathroom. 6) Treatment of Guests. Guest relations was swamped with guests asking for information, return of port fees, more information on why the port cancellations, the unsatisfactory and unsafe tour buses in Acapulco, the poor tour in Puntarenas etc. Regatta management searched out guests who went to guest relations (particularly those requesting return of port fees and why no attempt to reinstate a port) and forced them to meet with the General Manager and other managers. In some cases there was 1 guest to 3 management. Guests were intimidated into signing paperwork to cease talking to guests, (myself included). If we did not sign, would be consequences. The defensiveness of the Regatta management was very overt. For 3 nights, Ray the CD, was booed in the Regatta show room. Some of the guests forced a meeting with the Captain. 7) Decline of food quality. Post the new menu in August 2018, the food size, quality, appearance, variety in the GDR and the Terrace had declined since my last trip in Sept 2017. All meat was tougher and portions smaller. Something was off, there was so little taste to anything even when labeled as Cajun. Quality examples – salads swimming in mayonnaise, bean salad in the GDR was 3 types of canned beans with 2 sliced onion rings, no dressing, no taste. A salad had the white/pale yellow insides of an iceberg lettuce with 3 pieces of blue cheese and 2 walnuts that is it. A very noticeable cut back were the high tea sandwiches – much higher % of white bread, less ingredients and decoration, less seafood fillings – and, a number of them were frozen, not cold. A couple at the next table took the frozen sandwiches down to guest relations to complain. They came back to their table and told guests that they were dismissed. There was some repeats given the voyage was 18 days. Thinking about Oceania's marketing "finest cuisine at sea" - did not end my trip with that impression. The food on this trip was similar to my mass cruise line experiences, with the exception of the specialties which were better. 8) The Ship and Cabin. A small ship with considerable movement in only 6 foot waves – would never book this type of ship again, found the movement actually dangerous. Given it is 20 years old it shows decent maintenance. As often reported of all the R ships of Oceania and Azamara, the small size of the bathroom and cabin size is not appropriate for a premium cruise line. A negative is also the balcony dividers, the dividers had a 2 inch opening against the hull so you really did not have privacy. 9) Shore Excursions. In Acapulco, the 12 person size tour van were unsafe. The seat belts did not work, there were no headrests and there was no A/C for the back half of the bus. Guests in the back left the excursion half way through. There was no pa system on the van, so the driver was constantly during towards the back to yell information - this often while driving!. The tour was good though seeing all the highlights and viewpoints. The vans were not premium quality as should be the case given this was an Oceania cruise. I and others were scared the entire time the van was moving. On to Puntarenas. As noted above, we were very late arriving. Only 2 hours to darkness. They put together two tours - one a brief area tour and shopping and one for a horse show. Our friends did the shopping tour. The bus was not well equipped and the last hour was driving in the dark. There was a very large lineup at guest relations and shore excursions thereafter. On the positive side: 10) Staff/Crew - simply outstanding in every regard. Their smiles, salutations, work ethic, friendliness and engagement a 10/10. All the staff, everyone, was great. The room stewardess and steward were wonderful and kept our cabin spotless and in order. The service was at a premium level. Unlike Celebrity who used to have pool wait staff, Oceania does and they also provide glasses of iced water on a regular basis. The service level was at the premium category. 11) Cabin 7047. Concierge. Excellent mid ship location. Quiet, no mechanical sounds and no operational rooms across from the cabin. 12) Other – Very good specialty restaurants with significant menu choice, a real high tea every day, a real Sunday brunch with ice carvings etc just like the old days, excellent live music aboard, excellent soundtracks and volume level, the breads were divine, port lectures good. The Oceania mattress was excellent. 13) No ship within a ship – everyone on Oceania ships mingle together and eat together and enjoy the same level of service. There is no overt class segmentation which isolates guests from each other like on the mass lines. There were many guests I spoke to who were on Oceania and Viking and Crystal because they refuse to sail on the mass cruise line ships that promote physical class segmentation. This is a major reason I have sailed with Oceania. 14) No mass market shrilling for sales, photo sales, painting sales etc. It was delightful to not have the mass market intrusive revenue generating experience. 15) Appropriate entertainment. The Oceania orchestra was excellent and very personable. "Grace" the string group were super especially their rendition of Michael Jackson's Thriller. The type of music like 60's and 70's songs, Broadway theme songs complimented the passenger profile. There were no Vegas style shows. Bottom line on this trip, the premium quality was not there and there was no trust in Oceania ship management and corporate. Like my household, many guests booked this cruise for the birding and naturalist opportunities to be provided in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador - all were eliminated. I and others, ended up not trusting Oceania's explanation of why our itinerary was adjusted to such a significant degree. Everyone was aware of dying tropical storm Sergio. Perhaps a more customer friendly and detailed explanation of the impacts of the storm might have enabled guests to understand and accept the significant changes. It seemed that Oceania was not interested in working hard to reinstate a port for the benefit of the guests. The ship was plodding along at below 16 knots for many days, we do wonder why an original port, or another port of many along the Pacific side, could not have been reinstated since the ship can sail in excess of 18 knots. As well, there were guests who were well aware of Regatta's past mechanical history in the past year. This information became common knowledge on the ship. Some of these mechanical issues have previously been reported on CC. November 7, 2017 being towed by the Coast Guard into Honolulu after being dead in the water with no power. May 2018, delayed in Cartagena awaiting parts. On the Alaska cruise just before this one, the ship missed Juneau and again was dead in the water for hours. Other than the excellent service and excellent specialty restaurants, Oceania’s product was not better than other mass market cruises. One of the most telling experiences on this voyage was on the last day. By the pool, groups of guests were completing their questionnaires. People were talking and sharing their forms with the general comments being “cruise from hell”, “poor value”, “don’t trust them”, “food really declined” etc. People were angry. The group of 12 guests close to my chaise lounge were competing to see who could produce the most negative rating. In the end, Oceania management's aggressive response to guest questions told me they had something to hide. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We selected this cruise for it's itinerary - San Francisco to Miami with stops in Catallina, Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia and Havana. On day one an announcement was made that ... Read More
We selected this cruise for it's itinerary - San Francisco to Miami with stops in Catallina, Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia and Havana. On day one an announcement was made that because of Hurricane Sergio we could not stop at Cabo San Lucas, El Salvador, Nicaragua and we would get to Costa Rica very late in the day. Pretty quickly "Hurricane Sergio" fizzled out. With no further explanation the ports were not added back in. When questioned, the Executive Consigliere and others had no answer. The best we got was "we would arrive at the port at night". This explanation made no sense. While I am very in favor of safety, this seemed to be an opportunity for Oceania to save on port charges. Is the increase of spending on days at sea better for them? Some of the passengers had been on the Regatta prior to this cruise for an Alaska cruise (back to back cruises). The port in Juneau was deleted because of wind. These ports deletions gave us many more days at sea. On a small ship there is only so much bingo (45 minutes a day) and shuffleboard you can play. Another passenger told us that on a previous Oceania cruise that was to include Easter Island there were 11 straight days at sea also because of deleted ports. At the halfway point of the cruise we were given a survey to complete. We felt that the Main Dining Room food quality had really declined since our last cruise. We had several staff personally find us and discuss with us and try to rectify. Of course we mentioned the deletion of the ports on the survey - NO ONE addressed that with us. The excursions were not as good as we have experienced in the past. The last one - Highlights of Havana - was a waste of time and money. It was a bus tour. While the very high back seats were comfortable, they blocked vision. We could see very little from our seats. The tour guide was very hard to understand and he took us to a cemetery and told us we would have a special guide there who we should tip. The special guide spoke no English. Also the bathroom on the bus was out of order. Not good with the age of the group. Food in the specialty restaurants was excellent. Service there was excellent as well. Cruise Director did a good job. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We had a great experience on an Atlantic crossing on the Riviera a few years ago so when we found a Panama Canal cruise with oceana with el Salvador, Nicaragua and Cuba on the itinerary, we signed up. During our safety drill, before even ... Read More
We had a great experience on an Atlantic crossing on the Riviera a few years ago so when we found a Panama Canal cruise with oceana with el Salvador, Nicaragua and Cuba on the itinerary, we signed up. During our safety drill, before even leaving port in San Francisco, we were told that because of hurricane, we will be skipping Cabo’s, El Salvador and Nicaragua, substituting instead San Diego, all for our safety. We can understand substituting San Diego for Cabo’s, but El Salvador and Nicaragua were 9 and 10 days later, with hurricane heading north while we are heading south. Deciding to chuck those ports at that time seemed premature. Sure enough, two days later, the coast was clear, but we were told it was too late to reinstate the original itinerary. Despite the fact that we still had a week to go before originally scheduled dates of arrival. And as though this was not enough, and despite the three extra sea days, we arrived five hours late in Costa Rica so any meaningful tours were cancelled. Instead, we took a tour called Scenis Costa Rica with half of the tour in the dark since the sun sets there at 5:30. Four excursion were included free on this cruise so Oceana saved a nice tidy sum with all these changes, just on abandoned shore excursions alone. It doesn’t matter how good the food or services were when ports of call get jettisoned so opportunistically! If we just wanted sea days, we would have taken a much less expensive repositioning cruise. Yesterday we learned that oceana was purchased by Norwegian since we last cruised on the Riviera. What a shame to purchase a line with impeccable reputation and then ruin it! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
. We have previously sailed on Oceania Sirena twice and we loved both cruises so much we couldn’t wait to get on board Regatta, what a disaster this turned out to be. During the mandatory life boat drill in San Francisco all the ... Read More
. We have previously sailed on Oceania Sirena twice and we loved both cruises so much we couldn’t wait to get on board Regatta, what a disaster this turned out to be. During the mandatory life boat drill in San Francisco all the passengers, mostly quite elderly were made to stand around in the sun while a long and totally unintelligent broadcast was made about regulations regarding Cuba, which was sixteen days distant, totally unnecessary. We choose this cruise in particular for the ports of call but before we even sailed we were told that three of the destinations we most wanted to see had been cancelled because of a hurricane that was moving up the Mexican coast, as it turned out by the time we should have got to Cabo San Lucas the hurricane had already passed through, we visited Acapulco and then sailed straight to Costa Rica and despite spending four days at sea we arrived five hours late, all the tours bar two were cancelled and the tour we went on was supposed to be a scenic tour consisted of a three hour drive in the dark with a ten minute stop to watch some dancers, it was cold dark and treacherous, with most of us finding nowhere to sit. Disembarkation was a nightmare as it ran over an hour late, and some passengers missed their flights. The food on the whole was very disappointing, if you didn’t like Mexican food - tough ! Our cabin was poorly laid out, there was nowhere to sit apart from on the bed, but it did have a round glass table which just got in the way, with no chairs, what’s the point! Most of the entertainment, with three exceptions was pretty poor, and the worst Cruise Director we have ever sailed with, brash and boring! All the other passengers I spoke to were similarly diasenchanted with the total misinformation from the bridge, no one believed a word of what was said, and no mention of recompense for such a dreadful cruise, our worst ever!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
After much research, we chose this sailing because of the nine ports of call included in the itinerary, which means fewer days at sea of course. We boarded the ship in San Francisco on Mon. Oct 8 with a 6 pm sailing scheduled. ... Read More
After much research, we chose this sailing because of the nine ports of call included in the itinerary, which means fewer days at sea of course. We boarded the ship in San Francisco on Mon. Oct 8 with a 6 pm sailing scheduled. Emergency evacuation drill was in the hour prior to sailing. After getting us all assembled on the deck, the captain came over the PA system telling us that due to a storm forming in the Pacific, Sergio, our itinerary would be changing. Sergio was set to make landfall on the Baja Peninsula on Fri. Oct 12. Therefore, we would not be visiting the ports of Cabo San Lucas, El Salvador, Nicaragua and instead of a docking time of 11 am in Costa Rica we would be delayed until 1 pm. We would still have Catalina Island and San Diego would be added. That would mean the first sea day as planned, 2 stops in the US and then 3 and a half days at sea in a row before arriving in Costa Rica. Catalina Island is very small and while San Diego is an interesting city, many had been there before, or at the vey least, we all know how easy it is to visit if one wishes. This announcement brought immediate negative, unhappy reactions from the guests. Sergio? There was nothing in the news about this storm. The captain emphasized safety first. Safety yes. But this seemed to be a drastic reaction to a storm that had not yet made any presence in the news media. Many of us wondered why, if we had to miss ports, the decision was not made to push out right away, skip the US ports and get south of the path of the storm. Visiting the countries in Central America was a big attraction to this sailing and they were wiped out from the get-go. In the end we did not even dock in Costa Rica until 3 pm (we were told because of tides??) and had to be back on board in 4.5 hours. At first glance that might seem acceptable but one must realize that it was dark about 5pm so we could see nothing of their stunning natural environment. As it turned out Sergio crossed the Baja late Fri. morning as expected and was only a tropical storm. Missing the ports was disappointing enough but there was no apology, seemingly no remorse and absolutely no perk or credit of any kind offered to soften the blow. Sergio fizzled out. but apparently, we could not even pick up one of the missed ports. And we were late arriving in Costa Rica because of tides? What does that mean? No explanation given. After returning from this cruise we began searching the internet and found reviews reporting that Regatta has a habit of missing ports. Why? No answers have seemingly been given to anyone. I must say though that the food on the ship was wonderful. The service staff were generally attentive and responded to requests. Their methods of communication however need improving. Most important announcements were printed and placed on the bed. Sometimes we found notices stuck on our door. Once they placed a printed notice at the gangway expecting passengers to see it and pick it up. WHAT? Not everyone got off the ship at that port and many people simply did not see the notice as it was not handed out or pointed out in any way. They continued to post incorrect information on the TV days after changes took place. A smaller point that should be addressed includes reminding guests of the dress code for the grand dining room and actually making an effort to ask guests to adhere. Caps, shorts and flipflops don't belong there. If this had been my first Oceania cruise it might very well have been my last, so disappointed was I with this sailing. One last comment here- debarkation was a nightmare. It took about 2 hours for the ship to be cleared and the removal of luggage was dreadfully slow. People were anxious as flights were leaving and some had to have missed theirs. Upon investigation it seems this is not the first time Regatta has had this problem either. Other ships in Miami seemed to get their passengers off. But Regatta was abysmal.!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because of the great intinerary, half of which we never got to see. Before we even left San Francisco it was announced that we would be skipping three of the ports and we got to Costa Rica too late to do anything, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the great intinerary, half of which we never got to see. Before we even left San Francisco it was announced that we would be skipping three of the ports and we got to Costa Rica too late to do anything, basically missing four ports. There was no credible explanation given. Never an apology or offer off compensation. To top it off we had a horrific experience on the tour in Cartegena and asked for a refund. Hah! Of course not. This was our third and last Oceania cruise. Every one has had ports canceled with no offer of refunds or credits. We went on an Easter Island cruise two years ago and they cancelled Easter Island!! The food was mediocre. The entertainment was good, as were most of the crew members. Oceania customer service very poor. Every passenger we spoke to on the ship said this is their last trip with Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our first, and last, Oceania cruise. As other reviews on this voyage have noted, Oceania failed to deliver a premium cruise and their arrogance towards the guests was visible and disgusting. The one bright spot was the ... Read More
This was our first, and last, Oceania cruise. As other reviews on this voyage have noted, Oceania failed to deliver a premium cruise and their arrogance towards the guests was visible and disgusting. The one bright spot was the hardworking crew - the best service we have received on a cruise. * The ship itself is small and not stable even in low wave height * The food in the Terrace and GDR was marginally better than the mass cruise lines we have patronized, but the service in these venues was better as there was less handling of food by passengers - simply more staff and more clean tables. Nice ambiance given all the tables had tablecloths. This was a premium item. * The specialties were only a bit better than experienced on Celebrity really, but there were more menu items to choose from, but more offerings does not automatically equate to quality. A bit better refers to having the roasted garlic in the bread basket in Toscana, the olive oil wagon etc. * Enjoyed the real high tea. The tea sandwiches were cheap though * The shore excursions were few due to the inappropriate port cancellations. Vans in Acapulco were unsafe with no seat belts, limited to no a/c. The shore excursions were often focused on shopping etc We did not believe Oceania's explanation on why 2 ports were cancelled, 1 port shortened to 2 hrs only before nightfall, a swap of Cabo to San Diego. The small tropical storm off the baja moved quickly. We passed the baja the next day with no sign of clouds or waves. The most insulting aspect of the cruise was Oceania's 0 effort to provide guests with a replacement port as the tropical storm had died quickly. There are many ports along the pacific side which we could have visited. I also heard from guests that Regatta management was harassing guests who complained. The mood was very depressed on this cruise. For the entire 18 days guests were complaining about the loss of ports etc. We could hardly wait to get off this ship and end the cruise. We paid a premium price to Oceania and they failed to deliver. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our 12th O Cruise and we have been cruising with this line since 2006. To begin, the ship was very delayed getting in to San Fran and we were 8 hours late in boarding. We choose to head into the city and have lunch and walk ... Read More
This was our 12th O Cruise and we have been cruising with this line since 2006. To begin, the ship was very delayed getting in to San Fran and we were 8 hours late in boarding. We choose to head into the city and have lunch and walk around, but with some luggage in tow, only so much we could do. I've learned after over 25 cruises that we never leave essentials or valuables with the porters! The embarkation process was the worst we have ever been through in all our years of cruising. Oceania waited until all the passengers had left the very late arriving Regatta to begin to start even checking in the new passengers. A complete mess with long lines and very angry people everywhere! Even on larger ships, we NEVER had this horrible of an embarkation issue. Completely mishandled by Oceania. The ship was also arriving with 19 people on board (we were told by an officer this number) that had picked up Norvo Virus or something of that nature in route around Mexico. Due to that, a complete Sanitary process had to be completed on the ship before anyone could board, of course. That process takes an extra 2 hours, we were informed. Upon boarding, we noticed that the ship was extremely dated and looked old and worn out. Much of the furniture along window areas was faded and in dire need of replacement. This ship was so overdue for a dry dock and when we asked them when it was going in for that, all we were told was sometime in the end of 2019, they think!!! Our stateroom was extremely small, but we could have been ok with that if the bathroom wasn't so completely disgusting! The toilet seat had deep cracks in it, to the point it was uncomfortable to use and was very old looking, and yellowed. The sink faucet was scratched and green with corrosion and the shower handles/faucets were also in bad condition with much corrosion and chipping. The flooring was a dark rose pink colored non slip plastic and was so ugly and dated. Needless to say we could not stand to spend much time in the room due to its size and poor condition. There were even some dirty spots on the carpet due to the carpet being so old. The ship had not had any dry dock time in many years and it was very apparent! Throughout the ship there was a very stale and musty odor due to the age and poor maintenance of the ship. The food was no where near the quality that we have had with our past cruises with Oceania. Many meals arrived room temperature as if they had been sitting out too long or service was so slow and food sat too long. We had the worst meal of all in Polo Grill on one night with every item that we ordered was horrible and on the cold side. On top of the poor food quality, there was very spotty service. Some meals were ok, and others, terrible. We were told multiple times by crew members that they preferred working on the small ships because there wasn't much management on them, that was certainly obvious!!! There was an odd "stale" taste in many of the cold food dishes, salads, appetizers, etc. Similar to if one leaves an item in the freezer too long. We believe they must have had some sort of mold in the refrigeration on board as I opened wrapped butter and it had a huge overgrowth of mold in it!!! Overall, if this was my first Oceania cruise, it would certainly be my last!!! We have cancelled 3 future cruises with them due to this disappointing cruise and will NEVER go on any of the "small ships" again due to the dated, worn look all over the smaller ships. We heard nothing but complaints from so many of the passengers that we spoke with. We were not offered any type of compensation at all for all the things that went terribly wrong with this cruise. Our TA has sent multiple emails to corporate Oceania regarding all the problems and we are waiting to see if Oceania steps up and compensates us in some way. If they do not, then we will be taking our loyalty and money to another cruise line in the near future and cancelling all the other future cruises we have booked with O. It appears to us that Oceania is cutting corners and looking to become the "budget" end of luxury cruising. How is it possible for this ship to keep going in the shape that it is in? Certainly NOT A FIVE STAR EXPERIENCE. MORE LIKE A 2 STAR CRUISE!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
My husband and I were celebrating a big anniversary, we had never been to Alaska, and we wanted to do something memorable so we decided to go visit this huge state. We began our cruising on Oceania shortly after this cruise line was ... Read More
My husband and I were celebrating a big anniversary, we had never been to Alaska, and we wanted to do something memorable so we decided to go visit this huge state. We began our cruising on Oceania shortly after this cruise line was founded, but we had not sailed with them since the ownership change. We more recently sailed with some luxury category cruise lines on ocean and river but this timing worked for us and the embarkation was perfect out of San Francisco since we also wanted to visit friends in Sacramento. Next time we will begin our Alaska journey farther north. The Regatta was late arriving to San Francisco due to problems on the previous cruise but we had gotten a phone call from Oceania informing us of this late arrival so we were able to extend our time in our airport hotel room and wait until we could board. Some passengers chose to visit San Francisco but we had been in California for a week so we were fine to just relax. Once we were onboard we were told our ship would not leave until the following morning and we would not stop in Astoria, Oregon in order to make up the lost time. Since we were celebrating our anniversary we did book a PH 1 cabin and, while the ship is an older ship, we really enjoyed our room with the wide windows letting in lots of light. Anna, Puku, and Xavier took excellent care of us and our room. As seniors, we would have enjoyed a walk-in shower but after receiving a requested tub mat we were able to make the bath/ shower combination work without any mishaps. The food is still wonderful!!! Every meal was delicious and served so beautifully. Executive Chef Gary Potiphar was delightful in his cooking demonstrations and we saw him quite often throughout the ship with a smile on his face as he stopped at many tables to introduce himself to the guests. He obviously loves what he does. The staff and crew were also excellent as they served us efficiently and warmly. A surprise for us on this small ship were the production shows. The vocals and choreography were wonderful in all 4 shows presented during this 11-day cruise. The presentations from Sandra Mowry about Alaska and, later in the cruise, about nutrition were quite good and informative. She was always prepared and her handouts were helpful. We also very much enjoyed the strings and the ship's band. I must say after reading some of the discussions about Regatta prior to the cruise I was wondering if we had chosen the right ship on the right cruise line for our special celebration, but we were quite pleased and actually booked a future cruise while onboard. We did book our own private excursions in several ports and we did not use Oceania's air since we were visiting California a week prior to the cruise. We did choose the onboard credit and I would definitely do that again if I went with "OLife choice". Next time I will give some thought to going cruise only, but it was fun to have some "spending money" while onboard. We will be on Marina for our next cruise and look forward to the bigger ship with more specialties, but Regatta and its crew and staff provided us with a wonderful trip. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Although the cruise had a late start (almost one entire day) and missed one of the ports to be visited, the experience was good. Service on board is very good, as is the food and the restaurants. The size of the ship and number of ... Read More
Although the cruise had a late start (almost one entire day) and missed one of the ports to be visited, the experience was good. Service on board is very good, as is the food and the restaurants. The size of the ship and number of passengers on board made it possible that, with very few exceptions, there was always places in any of the ship's restaurants, bars and living spaces. Embarkation and Disembarkation procedures were very well organized and swift. While value for money of the entire cruise was good, the tours offered by the company, although good, are very expensive and the same basic tour can be found at the ports for prices that are around 20/30 per cent cheaper. My wife needed to use the medical services and was very well attended to, altough the price charged for the antibiotic eyedrops was outrageous, The same drug the could be purchased at land drugstores in the US for around 16 dollars was charged at 103 dollars. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We like leaving from the port of San Francisco. Wanted to see the Panama Canal. It was a long cruise, 17 days. The ship is nice, but we were disappointed with what they called a penthouse. It is very small, nice bed & bedding, ... Read More
We like leaving from the port of San Francisco. Wanted to see the Panama Canal. It was a long cruise, 17 days. The ship is nice, but we were disappointed with what they called a penthouse. It is very small, nice bed & bedding, little TV about 20", and only 2 plugs for American voltage! Bring a power Strip! The ship is very clean, very good food, nice staff. Very attentive to all our needs. Our Butler, Sanjay was an outstanding Bulter! Always right on top of our every need. The itinerary was not a good one for us. There really isn't a lot to see. The Panama Canal became boring after about 3 locks. The locks on our river cruise very more interesting. It was hot & humid 2 ports were canceled due to weather; Cayman Islands was to replace Key West, ended up being canceled too. We had 3 dinners brought from the speciality restaurants & served course by course in our suite by our Butler, Sanjay. Most other nights we enjoyed dinner on the outdoor terrace in the buffet. Getting on & off the ship was made very easily, no stress or long lines. There was a lot of time to sit by the pool, read & relax. Oceania does not push drinks on you; no art auction; no photographer; no coffee cards to buy, the speciality restaurants are always no extra charge serving wonderful food. This was our forth Oceania cruise, all the others being European, The Black Sea, Baltics. The one port we did enjoy was Acapulco where we had a private tour. It was a one time itinerary for us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The Regatta is a very nice ship. The crew and staff were very nice. I thought it would be special cruise. I found that this ship is not any different than any of the others we we have been on. The entertainment was average, the food ... Read More
The Regatta is a very nice ship. The crew and staff were very nice. I thought it would be special cruise. I found that this ship is not any different than any of the others we we have been on. The entertainment was average, the food was good but also average. It was hard to get served wine before your dinner. Sometimes not until the middle of the first course. There were not many things to keep you busy on sea days. Due to the fact that it cost more to be on Oceania, I would not pay more for this cruise line. I did like the size of the ship. They were very good about transporting you to town when you docked. I would not go again unless their offers were as good as other ships of the same size. Due to our weather being cold, it was hard to find a seat in the Terrace Cafe. You could not sit outside. The Polo Grill and Toscana were nice but you were limited to reservations. All in all, I found this to be another cruise not much unlike many others we have been on. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this itinerary because it left from a port 25 minutes from our home. We were glad we chose Oceania to take us to Alaska! The size of the Regatta was perfect for us and there was absolutely no nickel and dimeing as there is on ... Read More
We chose this itinerary because it left from a port 25 minutes from our home. We were glad we chose Oceania to take us to Alaska! The size of the Regatta was perfect for us and there was absolutely no nickel and dimeing as there is on Holland America. (Our last cruise was on Holland America and we agreed it would be nice our last on that line. It was a miserable cruise experience, with the exception of the wonderful Cruise Critic passengers we met.) The Regatta is an older ship, but the decor is kept in tip-too shape. (We saw one of the Housekeeping inspectors with a white glove checking for cleanliness.) The food was excellent, the room attendants kept our balcony stateroom spotless. Many on CC have noted that the rooms are small, but we felt they were adequate and comfortable. Yes, the bathrooms are small, but highly efficient and because of the thoughtful design we never had water from the shower spill onto the bathroom floor! We look forward to our next Oceania cruise, however we wish they had accessible balcony staterooms. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Past experience with Oceania and desire for Alaska cruise. As always, food was great, cabins excellent. Only criticism is that shore excursions seem significantly higher and those available elsewhere. Found there were other bridge players ... Read More
Past experience with Oceania and desire for Alaska cruise. As always, food was great, cabins excellent. Only criticism is that shore excursions seem significantly higher and those available elsewhere. Found there were other bridge players on the cruise and a bridge director/teacher husband/wife team who were excellent. Crew was outstanding and were quite approachable and willing to discuss any aspect of the cruise or chat socially. Took in only one entertainment which was very good as well. Only one port had required the use of tenders so docking at all other ports was highly convenient. Had a butler for our penthouse suite and the service he provided was great. Housekeeping staff were excellent and always available and willing to provide any services required. Ship was immaculate. This was our third Oceania cruise and the first where we had to pay gratuities. We underestimated that cost (it is per person and not per cabin) so we over spent slightly trying to use our shipboard credits. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This the best cruise we have taken (20). The weather was not the best so two of our stops were cancelled. The food was excellent (the best) and the one Sunday buffet was superior. The ship was filled but not crowded and the passengers were ... Read More
This the best cruise we have taken (20). The weather was not the best so two of our stops were cancelled. The food was excellent (the best) and the one Sunday buffet was superior. The ship was filled but not crowded and the passengers were polite and friendly - there was not one negative experience. The cruise director was the best and most helpful of any we have seen and seemed to be always present. Her memory for names was outstanding - she met us once and never forgot - two Sundays in a row she knew every person at the worship service after meeting them. The captain ran a good ship and crew and set the example for being friendly and accessible. Every member of the crew we met was happy and smiling no matter what their job. Not one time did we see someone in an upset or poor mood. In fact, the attitude of the crew made the cruise a delight even with the stormy weather. The entertainers were as good as we have seen - we both thought the smaller theater made the atmosphere most enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Having had a very poor cruise earlier in the year on Azamara Journey, just out of refit, and with high expectations having become accustomed to excellent cruises with Seabourn and Windstar, we were a little apprehensive about trying ... Read More
Having had a very poor cruise earlier in the year on Azamara Journey, just out of refit, and with high expectations having become accustomed to excellent cruises with Seabourn and Windstar, we were a little apprehensive about trying Oceania. We were soon put at ease with an excellent embarkation process in San Francisco. Having sailed on several 'R' class ships similar to Regatta, we knew there was little if any difference between cabins on Decks 6,7 and 8 but there is usually a difference in price and a worthwhile saving if you take Deck 6 instead of 7 or 8. 6023 was very clean, smart and comfortable and we had excellent service throughout the voyage. Open dining is a must have option on any cruise as far as we are concerned and we were not disappointed with the Grand Dining Room. Far from it it. The menu selection was diverse and interesting and often included fresh fish / seafood brought on board at various ports of call. The speciality restaurants (no extra charge) disappointed with neither food nor service being as good as the main dining room. The running buffets at lunch were excellent and the Waves Bistro served an excellent hot dog! Entertainment seemed to please most of our fellow passengers but we found it to be indifferent in variety and standards. It was a memorable sail through the labyrinth of Alaskan sea ways and the captain plotted a very interesting course which took us very close ( a few hundred yards) to the Hubbard Glacier which obligingly "calved" spectacularly whilst we were there. We visited the forgettable little town of Astoria in Oregon and the surprisingly pleasant and interesting town of Sitka where we booked our own Wildlife tour at a quarter of the price charged on the ship. Bears were a pleasant surprise in a sanctuary and a walk in the woods was fascinating. Whale Watching in Juneau was hugely enjoyable and successful with a camera full of interesting shots. Like Juneau, Ketchikan is overrun with touristy shops selling a lot of tatty souvenirs. Wrangell was forgettable too but there are very interesting tours on offer. All the destinations are a jumping off point for excursions which are readily available locally, usually at less than half the price if booked on the ship BUT without the security / insurance offered by the ship. We can't wait to go back to Alaska and would certainly go there (or anywhere) again with Oceania and we would put that company a shade behind Seabourne but well ahead of Azamara and Windstar with P&O at the bottom of the list. The service charges of 18% added to the onboard bill, as well as gratuities of $160 each, were steep and only slightly offset by free wifi wrath, at $29 per day. Factor them into you cruise cost with Oceania! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Started our holiday with 5 nights in San Francisco and had a late boarding due to uncontrollable circumstances. Having cruised with Oceania before we expected a great experience and weren't disappointed. The food (in our ... Read More
Started our holiday with 5 nights in San Francisco and had a late boarding due to uncontrollable circumstances. Having cruised with Oceania before we expected a great experience and weren't disappointed. The food (in our opinion) is the best at sea with only a few issues in the GDR with staff being a bit inconsistent. We had a Penthouse (8043) and loved the space and condition of the suite. The improvements following last years refurbishment are worthwhile and enjoyed the barista addition. The entertainment was better than expected and the cruise director (David Peterson) was just right. We did not overwork our butler but were pleasantly surprised by the canapes each evening. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I sailed on the first Regatta Alaska cruise of the season (May 9-18)- Gateway to Alaska. I had previously been to Alaska four times on four different cruiselines other than Oceania, but this cruise, of course, was the best ever in terms of ... Read More
I sailed on the first Regatta Alaska cruise of the season (May 9-18)- Gateway to Alaska. I had previously been to Alaska four times on four different cruiselines other than Oceania, but this cruise, of course, was the best ever in terms of the ship. I had previously sailed on Nautica on an Eastern Mediterranean itinerary, so it seemed almost like coming home stepping aboard the Regatta. Regatta was in pristine condition. Both in the public rooms and my stateroom, everything was clean and in perfect order: no worn upholstery or carpets, no stains, no scratches or gouges on any of the wood surfaces on my stateroom desk or on any of the chair arms in the dining room or other public areas. All the crew were helpful, energetic and friendly. My room attendant appeared to always be in the vicinity when I left my room in the morning and called out, addressed me by name, and wished me a good day. Dining room staff always greeted you, whether they were serving your tables or not, and everyone, including the maitre'd, would say goodbye when you left. Even the maintenance man changing lightbulbs would acknowledge you with an hello.Of course, the food was great. Everything made with the freshest, high quality ingredients. We learned all foodstuffs served on Oceania are containered-in to every port where the ship is resupplied, so that quality is maintained on each ship, wherever they may be in the world. They even ship in French flour for making all their breads, so that they truly taste as if you were in France.MY RESERVATION. I sail solo most of the time, so when my travel agent e-mailed me in March with an excellent solo price, I jumped at the chance to go to Alaska again. I never tire of the majestic scenery in Alaska, and this was a chance to go on my favorite cruise line. I was immediately assigned to an "F" inside cabin.EMBARKATION. Living in Southern California, I broke the cardinal rule of cruising, which is to fly in a day ahead of time, and flew to San Francisco on the morning of the cruise. I arrived at the Embarcadero terminal at about 10:30 a.m. The porters were right at curbside to take your luggage. Passports were checked by security at the door, and then you proceeded to the check-in area. The health check questionnaire was handed out for completion and, other than penthouse and suite guests who could check in immediately, was advised to take a seat and that check-in would begin shortly. When it did begin, the check-in process went quickly, and I had the distinction of boarding at exactly noon. In a letter we received at check-in, we were advised that the staterooms would not be available until 3:00 p.m., but that the Terrace Cafe was open for lunch, and the elevator took us directly to Deck 9. At 3:00 p.m., announcement was made that the staterooms were available and, upon arriving, the luggage outside the door. The mandatory lifeboat drill was held at 5:15 p.m., with rollcall taken. You first assembled at your station in either the Main Dining Room or the Lounge, were instructed on how to put on the life vest, and then were taken out to your assigned lifeboat on Deck 5. Silence was requested throughout the drill, and everyone complied, which is more than can be said for many of the drills I have attended.CABIN. My stateroom was an inside on Deck 8. The room supposedly could accommodate four persons, but it would be a tight fit. The queen bed was positioned in straight line to the door, with about 2-1/2 feet on either side. Prior the bed was a desk on one side of the cabin and a loveseat on the opposite wall that could be made up into a bed and a glass-topped table. There would be no way that four adults could comfortably sleep in the cabin. The cabin had adequate storage space with a closet and many storage drawers both in a half closet and the desk. The closet had 36 actual wooden hangers! There was also a battery-operated alarm clock on one of the bedside tables. The bed was comfortably firm, and the bed linens were of the highest quality. The bed was turned down every night with chocolates on the bed, and white towel mat on the floor by your bedside. I loved the white duvet and the pillow shams with two navy blue stripes, which matched the room decor. The bathroom was somewhat of a shock. On my Nautica trip, I had been allocated an inside handicapped rooms, and the room itself, and particularly the bathroom, were sized for easy mobility of a wheelchair. This bathroom was tiny, but totally adequate. There was a medicine cabinet with shelves and four shelves located behind the towel racks for storage. I also loved that the shower could be hand-held. Same old problem with the clingy shower curtain. Television, safe and mini-refrigerator completed the furnishings. The room was very quiet: only occasional sound from surrounding cabins and no slamming doors ever.SEADAYS. Our first day was at sea enroute to Astoria, Oregon. Here generally are the onboard activities. --Coffee chat and needlepoint hosted by one of the social hostesses each morning. The needlepoint canvas and yarns were available for purchase.--Bridge. Non-hosted bridge scheduled each day. We were informed that the bridge instructor did not make the ship, so no bridge lessons.--Bingo.--Trivia. Team trivia held each afternoon--Backgammon, Mah Jongg, Scrabble and other games in the 9th Floor Game Room.Chess board was set up in the Upper Hall and usually had someone playing.--Indoor Putting Competition. Also had putting and golf challenges scheduled outdoors, but I don't think any of these were held. Weather was rainy, windy and cold most of the time were were at sea.--Table Tennis--Russian Art Presentation by on-board guest artist Liliya Yunerman. Wide selection of amber jewelry, Russian lacquered boxes and matruska dolls.--Spa Presentations.--Art Auctions.--Shopping Lectures. Lectures presented by the shops on board and also the Shopping lecturer for the ports being visited.--Cooking Demonstration by two of the chefs in the Regatta Lounge on one of the seadays. Executive Chef Ronald Marczak prepared Tabbouleh with Tuna and Citrus Butter Sauce, and Pastry Chef Rene Bleus prepared Bittersweet Chocolate Fondant Cakes. Recipes were handed out, and both dishes appeared on the Grand Dining Room menus. -- Wine, Martini, Cognac and Malt tastings.ON BOARD LECTURERS. Our cruise had three on board lecturers who gave presentations both on sea days and in the late afternoons after the All On Board Call on shore days.--Dr. John Palmisano, Marine Biologist. Had spent time in Alaska studying sea otters and their ecology. Lectured on otters, killer and humpback whales, salmon ecology, and the formation and movement of glaciers.--Dr Dan Ostler - Lectures were on Alaskan and Native history, effect of glaciers on global climate and water supply, and early ocean explorers.--Donna Giesler, the Star Lady. Lectured on what we would see in the sky during our voyage (cloudy and rainy every evening so no telescope viewings), the Northern Lights, Milky Way, and photographs taken by the Hubble telescope and the International Space Station.All of the lecturers were very good to the point that I told Dr. Palmisano that I felt that I should have been taking notes.ENTERTAINMENT Willie Aames was our cruise director, and he was ever present around the ship. He hosted the trivia competitions and was always in the Lounge in the morning when the shore excursion groups were being assembled and would hold an informal question and answer time while we were waiting.Entertainment Team consisted of Maeve, Jessica, Chris and Andrew, who had various entertainment duties around the ship in addition to presenting three musical productions during the course of the cruise. Did not attend any of these productions, so cannot comment on quality.Guest Entertainers:--Brandi Chapman,vocalist. Background of being opening act in Branson for many years. Sang Broadway, Motown, Nashville and Vegas. Performed two nights. I saw only her first show, which was fine. -- Michael Minor, vocalist and ventriloquist. Excellent voice and very good ventriloquist. Dummies were not very funny however. Also performed two nights.Music:The Sweet Secret Band. Played for the evenings' show productions, some days at the 4:00 afternooon tea, and for dancing in Horizons and the Lounge.Quadrivium String Quartet. Played at afternoon tea and in the Upper Hall during dinner hours.Pavel Pluzek at the Piano. Played throughout the evening in Martinis.PORTSAstoria, Oregon. Ship was docked in the shipping port. Day started out cloudy but cleared by late morning. Shuttlebus into Astoria was offered for $7.00 for all-day pass.I participated in the Williamette Wine Valley excursion. Left the ship at 7:15 a.m. bus ride which took approximately two hours. Visited the Willakenzie Estate and had a wine tasting of a flight of five pinot varieties. Then proceeded to Carlton, Oregon, where we had a pasta lunch with various cheescakes for dessert, and the opportunity for more wine tasting. The tour was very good for the places visited, but was a lot of time spent on the bus.Interesting departure from Astoria, as we were docked on the Columbia River, and needed to cross the bar back into the Pacific Ocean. Over the years over 2,000 ships have been shipwrecked in this crossing. Harbor pilot who took us over the bar was transported off the ship by helicopter. That night was the only rough really rough night on the ship. I, apparently with many others, succumbed to sea sickness and retired to bed with Bonine and ginger ale, missing dinner (horrors!).Sitka. After another day at sea, we arrived in Sitka at noon. Temperature was 45F and raining. We docked at a new pier that Sitka has just built. Prior to this, all cruises stopping at Sitka had tendered in. The pier is located six miles from downtown Sitka and free shuttlebuses were available all day to take people into Sitka. I chose a Sea Otter and Wildlife Quest boat excursion. We boarded the boat from the opposite side of the pier and were taken on a large catamar with waterjets for power out into the Sitka Sound. The bottom portion of the boat was glass enclosed, but you could go topside to an outside open viewing deck. We saw stellar sea lions, eagles, a male group of otters, a group of female otters with the pups on their stomachs, and a breaching whale. The ship delivered us back to the dock next to downtown Sitka for those who wanted to explore the town. As I had been there before, I took the shuttle, which left from this pier, back to Regatte pierand enjoyed a wonderful afternoon tea viewing the beautiful site of the harbor, the tree-covered islands, and the low-hanging clouds. Sailaway at 8:00 p.m.Hubbard Glacier. 38F and raining heavily. We proceeded into Yakutat Bay at approximately 11:00 a.m. Things did not look good. Besides the rain, the entire bay was fully of ice and icefloes. Willie Aames, the tour director, was providing commentary as we approached the end of the bay where we would turn towards the glacier. When we reached that point, Willie advised that the harbor pilot on board would not permit passage any farther because of the large amount of ice covering the entrance to the glacier. The captain gave us a glimpse into the approach to the glacier to get a sense of its size, and then turned the ship for the other side to get a glance, and we then proceeded out of Yakutat Bay. I would estimate we got no farther than 10 miles from the glacier. No one seemed very disappointed that this was all we saw of the glacier. As most were first-time cruisers to Alaska, did not appreciate the opportunity you have when the ship is right in front of the glacier to view the scope of the glacier and the sound and sight of the glacier calving. Bummer.Juneau. We arrived early morning. Temperature 44F and raining. Ship was anchored offshore, and the tender ride into the dock at the front end of the cruise ship pier was maybe seven minutes. Four other large cruise ships were already in docked in port. The gangway from the tender dock up to the main street of Juneau was very steep, and those with mobility problems were having difficulty. I participated in the Whalewatching and Mendenhall Glacier tour. We were driven out to Auke Bay to board another large enclosed catamaran to take us out into the Lynn Canal. On each of these wildlife excursions, we were presented with a very nice brochure with a large map showing where we were going, and pictures of the wildlife likely to be encountered. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate were served, and we were always given a sample of smoked salmon on a cracker. Saw one or more small humpbacks breaching, along with eagles on the shoreline. The sky brightened up towards the end of our cruise, and we were able to see the many snow-covered mountains that surround Juneau.When we returned to the Auke pier we were bussed back toward Juneau to visit the Mendenhall Glacier. The U.S. Forest Service is in charge of the Glacier site and has built a beautiful observation center high above the glacier's ravine. Access is by elevator, stairs, or ramp. There are various exhibits and photographs regarding the glacier and personnel to interpret the exhibits. Also there is a wonderful 15-minute film taken on and above the glacier that shows its true magnitude. I had previously been to the glacier 35 years ago and the change in the landscape was amazing. At that time, the glacier was two miles closer to the bay than present and the lake now in front of the glacier was merely a creek which you could cross and stand directly at the front of the glacier. I could truly appreciate the phenomena of a moving field of ice. For those than want to go independently to the glacier, tickets are sold in Juneau for a shuttlebus to the glacier. The cost is $8.00 each way. At departure time, the ship had to send the tender back to shore to pick up a couple that they had paged several times after the All OnBoard time. The tender had to wait while all the floatplanes which dock at the pier adjacent to the tender dock had flown in and docked for the evening, thus delaying our departure from Juneau.KETCHIKANArrived at 11:00 a.m. to light rain and approximately 48F. I took the all-day boat excursion to Misty Fjords National Monument. The catamaran, the biggest one yet, was anchored directly in front of our ship for easy access. The trip consisted of a fast boat journey of what I believe the captain said was 75 miles one way. We traveled directly up to the end of the Behm Canal to witness the steep rock walls carved out by a glacier in its retreat and the many waterfalls descending off the rock wells from the snows melting on the mountains behind the fjord. The clouds hanging in among the trees in the fjord truly show where the name Misty Fjords comes from. By the time we had come back out of the fjord, the sky had cleared, and we saw whales on a wonderful ride back to Ketchikan. Regatta departed Ketchikan under mostly clear skies.INNER PASSAGE RETURN TO VANCOUVERWeather cloudy, all day rain and 45F degrees. After our sail out from Ketchikan among the islands, we were back in open water under late the following afternoon. This was disappointing to me, because on a previous cruise we had entered to the inside passage early in the afternoon on a wonderful sunny day and had spent the entire afternoon with land close on either sides of us. When Regatta finally reached the inside passage, it was late in the afternoon, raining steadily, and it proceeded to get dark. No chance at all to view the spectacular scenery surrounding the ship.FOODWhat is there left to say about the food other than it was all wonderful. The things I especially enjoyed were the breakfast croissants, including pain aux chocolat; the bowl of fresh berries for breakfast; the best Caesar salad I have ever had, and I had it every evening except one; the assorted breads, rolls and bread sticks; Waves Grill with the Kobe beefburgers, french fries and ice cream (all things I never have at home); and the Terrace Cafe. Enjoyed that the Terrance Cafe was not self serve and that the tables were nicely set with placemats, glasses and silverware. Never had the opportunity to enjoy dinner there, but the lunch selections I had were all very tasty, including the Mexican buffet one noon.Afternoon Tea: Enjoyed the large selection of sandwiches and pastries offered at teatime, and the scones were even served with real clotted cream, something that is not even offered on Cunard. Toscano: Enjoyed all the dishes I had in Toscano, and I love Italian food, but I did not think that the food was any better than served in the Main Dining Room. Had lasagne, calamari, and sole that was fileted by the waiter directly in front of you on your plate.Polo Grill: A bit of a disaster servicewise, but the food was all delicious.When I arrived for my reservation, I was seated at a table for four. After several minutes, the maitre'd asked if I would mind moving to a larger table, which I did not. At the larger table, it was eventually filled by four other singles and a couple. We chatted and perused the menu for 1/2 hour before our order was finally taken. Than after another long pause, the appetizer finally appeared. Another long pause and our main dishes were served. After that was cleared, a plate of jellied candies were placed on the table. Another long pause, and the dessert menu appeared. Dessert was served in due course and the waiters went back to clearing all the others tables surrounding us that had long ago been vacated. Never were we asked about coffee service. We finally gave up and left the now-vacant grill at 10:30, after having been seated at 7:30. The steaks and other main dishes were grilled to everyone's liking with the exception of one very overdone medium rare.DISEMBARKATION We were issued the usual colored tags for disembarkation, and it proceeded in a timely fashion. The first color was called at 8:00 a.m. and I disembarked at my time of 8:15 a.m. The only problem was finding where they had placed the baggage with the different color tags. No signs were evident. I finally found mine in a corner against a wall. There were many people milling about in the area who had either gotten off before their color was called, or the baggage had been slow in coming off the ship. A little busy with three other ships also disembarking. Everyone was to be off Regatta by 9:00 a.m. CONCLUSIONWith the exception of the Polo Grill incident, everything else in this cruise was absolutely perfect. Sailing as a single, I was never made to feel out of place or extraneous. In the dining room I was always asked whether I would like to share or sit alone, and seating me was never a problem like I have encountered with other lines. Likewise, accommodation in the Lounge, in Horizons, and on excursions was never a problem. I met so many nice people from all over the world sharing tables at dinner and other events. There were 20 different countries represented in the passengers on this cruise.I really went on the cruise more to experience the ship than to visit Alaska, because of having been there and seen so much before. I was, though, disappointed that the weather was so cool and rain, that it dampened (pun intended) the experience of being on the outside decks and viewing of the scenery up close, although I realized that this might be the case so early in the season. Anyway, booked another cruise on board and don't think I will have to worry about rain on that one. I'm going to Egypt! Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
The Regatta is a beautiful ship with wonderful staff and great entertainers. We left San Francisco and headed out to Victoria. We took our very first ever ship's tour to Butchart Gardens and it was beautiful. They just drop ... Read More
The Regatta is a beautiful ship with wonderful staff and great entertainers. We left San Francisco and headed out to Victoria. We took our very first ever ship's tour to Butchart Gardens and it was beautiful. They just drop you off and pick you up and since we did not have a lot of time we thought the ship's tour would be best - it was great. Sitka was our next stop and we did a private tour with Captain Davey (puffinsandwhales.com) and he gave us an amazing tour. We saw whales, puffins, sea lions, eagles and lots of other wildlife. Icy Strait Point we did another whale watching trip this time with Glacier Wind Charters and had another wonderful tour. Capt. was great and wildlife was abundant! Skagway we did a tour with Chilkoot Charters and Tours which was the white pass train and riding in a van back. The train was fun (I stayed outside most of the trip) and the tour driver in the van was full of great stories; also we saw two black bears (one of which came right up to our van door and looked like he wanted to get in - we left then). Juneau we went to Mendenhall Glacier. The bus wasn't running until the afternoon so we hired a car and driver and she gave us a great tour and took us to the Glacier - impressive, like all of Alaska. Also found a wonderful store "Jim Hopkins" a great artist who makes jewelry out of fossil walrus ivory and mammoth ivory. Look for signs in the windows of shops (usually off the main streets) that say "Alaska owned". Ketchikan we went flight seeing with Michelle from Island Wings Air Service. It was a four hour tour over the glaciers and landing in a beautiful lake surrounded by serenity. Perfect day! As others have said - always dress in layers. We wore a lot of fleece and a light gore-tex jacket. It never really rained ( a few sprinkles in Butchart Gardens in Victoria) until we got back to San Francisco but the jacket is good for the chill. Gloves and hat or ear warmers for boat trips or just getting out early on the ship. Loved having a balcony - actually used it more than I thought we would. The bed is so comfortable, the food delicious, the staff very personable. We met some wonderful people from Cruise Critic (now friends)and that was just an extra bonus. I still packed more then I needed, but I'm getting better. Go, you will be so glad that you did. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We booked our own flight - United non-stop from Boston to San Francisco. I fly enough on United that I can reliably get Economy Plus seats w/extra legroom (nice!). We have family in Silicon Valley and hence used an airport hotel ... Read More
We booked our own flight - United non-stop from Boston to San Francisco. I fly enough on United that I can reliably get Economy Plus seats w/extra legroom (nice!). We have family in Silicon Valley and hence used an airport hotel from which it was easy to visit them and get to downtown SF, Marriott's Fairfield Inn in Millbrae. We recommend this hotel, as unlike many SFO airport hotels, it's in a neighborhood with interesting (mostly Asian) restaurants nearby - many other hotels are isolated between 101 and the Bay south of the airport. The Millbrae BART/Caltrain station is within walking distance - no waiting for the hotel shuttle. We found a good Vietnamese restaurant close to the hotel for dinner after we arrived (La Petite Camille). This hotel was originally built as a Comfort Suites, so the rooms are small suites - the hotel did a fine job and we will likely stay there again. Embarkation in San Francisco can be easy if one plans ahead. We went into SF the day before on Caltrain and rented a car from an Enterprise location near the cruise terminal (pier 35). On embarkation day, we had lunch with my family and then drove into SF. I-280 becomes the Embarcadero and goes right by the pier. We dropped our luggage off with a porter, and returned the rental car. Enterprise then happily drove us back to the pier and dropped us off right at the front door. Check in at the pier and on-board (Regatta lounge) was quick. Unfortunately, the HVAC in Horizons was turned off, causing cigarette smoke to infest the entire lounge; we wound up waiting for our cabins in the Library. Smoke in Horizons was a recurring problem during the cruise - Oceania's head office in Miami is going to get a blunt letter from us about this problem, as afflicted Horizons at multiple times throughout the cruise, keeping us out of that area, as DW is physically allergic to tobacco smoke. Our B2 balcony cabin worked out very well - while we didn't spend much time out on the balcony, the wall of glass provided wonderful views of Alaska, much better than through smaller windows in the C oceanview cabins. Regatta's recent renovation resulted in much better beds, a headboard that one can comfortably lean against, useful bedside reading lights, and usable bedside tables (the stupid lamps built into the center of the tabletops are gone!) - big improvements, well done Oceania! Regatta's a relatively small ship, and wasn't full - about 550 passengers (full capacity would be 684). We don't know where those 100+ missing people were, but they missed a spectacular Alaska cruise. Getting to Alaska took several days (two at-sea days, plus a port day in Astoria, Oregon). Departure from San Francisco was in picture-postcard-perfect weather - sailing under the Golden Gate bridge was spectacular, and the best views were from the terrace in the rear (!). The sea was a bit choppy, especially the first night out, but by the afternoon of the third day, we had the Queen Charlotte Islands (officially Haida Gwaii) between the ship and the Pacific, and all was calm. The next morning we awoke and the view out the windows was clearly Alaska. The timing and weather in Alaska were near perfect. Around Memorial Day, all the peaks in Alaska still had snow on them, and the snow-melt resulted in waterfalls down their sides in places. Despite predictions of rain, it was clear for almost the entire cruise. In fact, it was very clear - one could see the Chilkat mountains to the north of Juneau from Mt. Roberts, a sight that locals said is rare! Details on ports are in the port reviews below, but here's a summary: - Astoria, Oregon. Interesting place to break the journey north. We liked the Columbia River Maritime Museum. - Wrangell, Alaska. A working fishing town, real Alaska, including a visit from the state ferry (blue canoe). The chief's house was interesting, Petroglyph Beach wasn't. - Juneau, Alaska. Spectacular weather for the Mt. Roberts tram and Mendenhall Glacier. - Icy Strait Point (Hoonah) Alaska. For a port built for the cruise business this was surprisingly well done. Great whale watching with Allen Marine. - Hubbard Glacier. Unfortunately, the spectacular weather increased the glacier's calving; we couldn't get as close as we would have liked to. - Sitka, Alaska. Great wildlife watching with Allen Marine including an active totem pole carver's studio in the visitor's center - Ketchikan, Alaska. It had to happen, we finally got rained on. Make sure to get out of town - downtown Ketchikan is starting to resemble a Caribbean cruise port. There are interesting totem poles at Totem Bight Park and the Totem Heritage Center - Victoria, BC. Butchart Gardens and the Royal BC Museum are both wonderful must-see attractions. The ship's shore excursions were generally good, but not cheap - we had a lot of use-it-or-lose-it shipboard credit that we mostly used for shore excursions. As noted above, Allen Marine ran two very good wildlife watching excursion cruises. Service on-board was up to Oceania's usual fine standards. The food was still very good, particularly in Toscana (we're not steakhouse people, so we don't eat in the Polo Grill). The inclusion of the next day's Grand Dining Room menu in Currents (nightly newsletter) was very helpful in determining where to eat - we wound up eating more in the GDR than on past cruises. Portion sizes seem to have been reduced somewhat but are still generous. There was fresh locally caught fish available for dinner starting after we got to Juneau - tasty! Oceania's sorbets are still excellent, particularly the chocolate (yes, sorbet!) and mango. As usual, afternoon tea was amazing - this is where the pastry chefs show off. Entertainment was a diversion in the evening, and a bit inconsistent. We started the cruise with a fabulous singer who was an original Christine in one of the Phantom of Opera traveling companies . OTOH, we didn't bother with the pianist, and thought the comic magician was OK (the one on our previous cruise was much better). The concert guitarist put on a nice show, albeit to recorded accompaniment rather than live. In contrast, the ship's entertainment staff were all talented singers, and their show on the last night was a tour de force. The string quartet was pleasant to listen to, particularly during afternoon tea and when playing in the atrium area before dinner. Disembarkation in Vancouver was at the Canada Place cruise terminal. This took a while, in part because the luggage with the Yellow 1 and Yellow 3 luggage tags had gotten slightly mixed up in the luggage claim area, plus the terminal is a large facility. Eventually we made our way out and took a taxi to the airport Hilton, where our room was ready and waiting. That worked well - the hotel is convenient to the Canada Line rapid transit to go downtown and has a shuttle directly to the airport. On the day we went home, United had weather problems in Chicago and had already re-booked us via Denver by the time we got to the airport. The trip home was routine, and Air Canada's Maple Leaf Lounge in the YVR airport was a nice convenient place to wait for a flight. All-in-all, it was a wonderful cruise, and we'd do it again if we could. Unfortunately, Regatta's not going to Alaska next year, so we'll probably be on her Panama Canal cruise over Memorial Day. The following two port reviews are here because Astoria and Wrangell aren't on Cruise Critic's port list. -- Port Review: Astoria, Oregon -- Rating: 4 This was a pleasant place to break what would otherwise be a long stretch at sea between San Francisco and Alaska. There's a trolley along the waterfront, but no overhead wires - it tows its own diesel generator on a trailer. The main attraction in town is the Columbia River Maritime Museum, which is focused on the history of navigating the mouth (bar) of the Columbia River - we had no idea how dangerous this could get or the skill required of the pilots, but on sailing away, we noticed a small fishing boat bobbing in the bar area on an otherwise relatively calm day.. Not many ships call in Astoria, and the locals seemed genuinely pleased to see us. -- Port Review: Wrangell, Alaska -- Rating: 4 This was our first port of call in Alaska, and we didn't arrive until mid-day making for a spectacular morning of sailing through straits with forested hills and snow-capped peaks in the background. Wrangell is a small working fishing port, so there's not much there. The local historical museum and Chief Shakes house were definitely worth visiting. On the other hand, Petroglyph Beach was disappointing - the reproduction petroglyphs in the overlook area were better than the real ones on the beach. To see a stunning collection of real petroglyphs, go to the Royal BC museum in Victoria. A nearby garnet deposit with large garnet crystals has been left to the children of the area, and hence there are plenty of children selling garnets, both loose and in the original stone matrix. Late in the day, an Alaska State Ferry (blue canoe) arrived, and left at the same time as Regatta, making for lovely views of the ferry against the mountains of southeast Alaska. This was a nice half-day introduction to Alaska before going on to Juneau. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Regatta Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 5.0 4.2
Entertainment 3.5 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.5 3.8
Family 2.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.2
Enrichment 4.5 3.5
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.5
Rates 4.0 4.0

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