We looked forward to what we believed to be a cruise to have an insight into Australia. The actual outcome on the Regatta to circumvent round Australia was something else. Having being taken in by what cruise details via the Oceania ... Read More
We looked forward to what we believed to be a cruise to have an insight into Australia. The actual outcome on the Regatta to circumvent round Australia was something else. Having being taken in by what cruise details via the Oceania brochure and having researched over a considerable amount organising private and ship tours at the proposed destinations. From the day of departure the cruise became a great disappointment as we missed 4 ports of calls, our personal brochure had Esperance and Exmoor as docked and Alotua and Port Moresby were anchors. This turned out to be the complete opposite. We also have now learnt of the ships ongoing problems from when the ship left San Diego to reaching Sydney for our cruise.
Unfortunately any excuse was made to not use the tenders for going on shore, this became a joke as every time we heard the Captain or the Cruise Director come over the speakers we knew there was going to be a statement saying that the sea was to rough and the tenders as you can see are taking on water via the open windows. And that we are waiting for Miami to make a decision. It was obvious the ship engines were not being taxed as for some days it just virtually treading water.
Out of a 34 day cruise we had 13 days at sea, so we were left to look at the horizon for 2 x 4 days and 1 X 3 days at sea. The entrainment was really never changed to accommodate this fact. An additional film was laid on in the grand lounge. And we continually heard from the Cruise Director that Oceania appreciated the passengers understanding and by way of appreciation Oceania will be giving free cocktails for 1 hour. Well, that was really considerate. Well, some passengers did not drink alcohol.
We only watched one of the ships entertainment staff as a warm up act for the main act, it was an embarrassment to sit through, really second rate stuff considering it was New Year's Eve.
We also noticed the amount of ships officers having meals in the grand dinning room, Polo and Toscannas. In fact one night whilst docked in Adelaide, there was 2 tables taken solely by ships officers. Some of these Officers were to the point of being rude, just walking past you and not speaking. The destinations team was the usual type, ask anything outside their tours and they did not want to know, one individual came into the main dinning room one night for dinner with a ships officer and some fellow countrymen on board and we have never seen such poor etiquette by any staff member of all the years we have been cruising. In our opinion the owners, ships senior management let down not only the guests on board, but also the Food & Beverage crew in the majority who were working very had to keep a high standard.
The ship was under booked, we were told by at least 100 passengers. On the very last leg some 20 travel agents boarded the ship to up the numbers, plus help future bookings for Oceania cruises.
The fact that NCL now own Oceania and RSS is quite visible by the condition of the Regatta, like any take over profit has to be made from the monetary borrowed and interest paid off and this always comes about by making cost cutting measures, the level of training, amount of fresh food, maintaining the ship in all areas has clearly been compromised e.g even the ships golf putting area had been damaged and the hole markers missing. No money to even repair such as a simple thing as that. Our room 8030 was in reasonable condition, however on the last 4-5 days a very heavy odour appeared.
We wrote a letter to Frank Del Rio, Bob Binder and Guest relations and received a reply. It's not until you challenge an organisation where you really find out if you are a valued guest. Be warned you may think you are, even if you are/have been a lifelong Oceania customer. They actually replied to some of our criticism by saying that it was e.g the reason the ship did not leave Sydney at the correct time was because the Captain was aware of rough seas ahead, well once we challenged this statement, Oceania corrected their statement and said yes the PA system was also a problem. This was typical not only on the cruise, but also in Oceania's replies about problems we incurred on board the ship.
So summing up, if are the type who has no problem laying on sun beds every day, have days and days at sea, and do not mind missing ports. Then the Regatta and Oceania is for you. If you are travellers who wish to explore the world, be adventurous, do not take lightly to the patronisation of Oceania. Then stay well clear of this ship and this company, we have sailed with them for the last time after sailing with them 5 times before.
There other more modern cruise companies out there who offer just a supposedly up market experience. If Oceania via NCL foolishly think that they are the best, then sadly they are so far out to sea, they cannot sea the shore. Read Less