Our cruise began inauspiciously with the Oceania staff at the airport having no record of our booking the cruise. But after being shown the confirmation, the response was impressive. We were guided by two employees -- one in charge of our ... Read More
Our cruise began inauspiciously with the Oceania staff at the airport having no record of our booking the cruise. But after being shown the confirmation, the response was impressive. We were guided by two employees -- one in charge of our bags -- to the taxi stand and sent on our way to the ship.
This set the tone for the entire cruise. The staff onboard was superb, always pleasant and responsive to any needs. Just first rate. The ship itself, which is immaculate, demonstrated the crew's attention to detail.
As well, we booked a smaller ship on purpose, and were rewarded because there were only a few teenagers and no screaming children aboard.
So, why then only three stars?
If you are going to hype a cruise as one providing gourmet food, the meals had to at least occasionally been superlative. Instead, they were merely good, with occasional blunders. Especially disappointing were those produced by the specialty restaurants. In each, the quality of the meat ordered was excellent, but the rest of the meals were mediocre to bad.
Then there is the amount of food being served. Calling the portions nouvelle would be a generous description. In the main dining room, a duck dish consisted of three tiny medallions and a pigmy leg. A scallop dish was three medium sized scallops sitting on a puddle of mashed potatoes. A shrimp scampi appetizer consisted of two shrimp and nothing else on an oversized plate.
There is also a buffet being served in the Terrace Cafe. However, it is not help yourself. There are servers at each station and so a negotiation ensues. Ask for a herring appetizer and the server automatically will give you one tiny piece. So you quickly learn you have to ask for a specific amount of whatever you order. Not that that really helps. An order of beef will be cut so thin it is a joke. The reduced size even involves beverages. Coffee is served in half-sized cups. The same is true for orange juice. If a larger glass is used, then it is only half-filled.
you wonder why you are paying approximately double what is charged on the huge cruise lines, yet are still being nickled and dimed on food and beverages. (Oh, I should mention that drinks are so watered down they might as well be non-alcoholic).
And, finally, book early enough so that you can purchase excursions. Even if they are overpriced, they are still worth it since the stops themselves are worthless. Hoonah/Icy Point is the equivilent of one of those bogus "our island" stops in the Cariibbean. Wrangell is a two-block nothing to see town. Haines is only slightly larger. Ketchikan has 45 jewelry stores. Even Sitka, supposedly the closest thing to a real small city, had little to offer.
So, in summation, if you just love cruising, enjoy being pampered, and don't mind eating like a bird, you will have a great time on Regatta. Our response was different, obviously, and we doubt we would book again with Oceania. Read Less