11 Venice Oceania Regatta Cruise Reviews

We were really looking forward to this as we have heard so many good things about them from the press. Keep in mind that this was our 91 st cruise. SHIP Being a new build it was not what we have experienced on other lines. As an ... Read More
We were really looking forward to this as we have heard so many good things about them from the press. Keep in mind that this was our 91 st cruise. SHIP Being a new build it was not what we have experienced on other lines. As an example there were two main bars but neither had windows to the outside. A little strange. Other than that it was nothing special. But nice. CABINS Concierge 10085 was small with limited hanging space and sparse drawer space. Not as accommodating as Azamara for comparison. Shower very small, so I choose the gym shower. FOOD Nothing special. The service on the terrace was terrible. The selections in the specialty restaurants always appeared in the main restaurant. DRINKS Very expensive and with short pours. Pretty tricky too. On nights with happy hour they only pour 1 once booze. On regular drinks they pour 3/4 of a normal shot glass. CONCLUSION It seems that they are relying on their old reputation. Since being purchased by the NCL it was verified that all they care about is the bottom line. The crew were very robotic in their greetings and we never saw any officers. We even saw people holding chairs by the pool! The ship and crew had absolutely no personality. It was the worst cruise I have taken. This in no way should be considered a luxury cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Just returned from Oceania's Med Legends and Myths, Oct. 12-24. We weren't assigned a stateroom until we arrived at the port. We had opted for a B2 Stateroom category but were upgraded to an A3. I'm not looking a gift ... Read More
Just returned from Oceania's Med Legends and Myths, Oct. 12-24. We weren't assigned a stateroom until we arrived at the port. We had opted for a B2 Stateroom category but were upgraded to an A3. I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth but I wouldn't pay for this upgrade. Though it was just fine. The only differences are that you get 4 options for dining in Toscana and the Polo Grill, a canvas bag, and some free clothes pressing. Oh yes, free soft drinks from the minibar. All very nice, but not worth spending another $200 per person. I really can't fault Oceania. The Service from the time you arrive at the airport until you depart is superb. Someone is always there to give special assistance or answer a question. The stateroom was small, but comfortable and well fitted. The food is every venue is excellent. Service lagged occasionally in the Terrace Cafe, but the food there was far better than the equivalent on Holland American. (The only other line we've been on) the abundance of fresh fruit, berries in particular, makes one wonder how they do it. We had decided not to partake of any excursions, rather, to hire a guide or driver when we felt it was needed and on three or four of the stops we planned to use the Ipod Discovery Series offered by Oceania. However, we were notified on arrival that the Discovery Series had been cancelled. We couldn't imagine why and when we questioned that weren't given a very satisfactory answer. So, we were left to our own devices which was fine except for Itea/Delhi. Actually it may not have mattered as there were only six cabs in town and if you weren't there early then you were out of luck. I would strongly suggest signing up for your ship's excursion for Delphi if for no other. For Crete, we contacted Lefteris Nikiforakis, who we found on a posting on Cruise Critic. His website is: www.taxiservices-crete.gr or email elinkigr@yahoo.com. He is charming, genuine, philosophical and very knowledgeable. He knew his history and loved his job. He was very proud to be a Cretan. I recommend him without reservation. He is not a tour guide, so will not be allowed to take you into the Palace of Knossos, but he prepares you very well for your visit. Oh yes, Lefteris charged us 40 USD an hour, which was less than we would have paid on the ship's excursion. The other guide we hired was for Ephesus, also found on Cruise Critic. We went through Ekol and requested Ali, since we had read about him. They couldn't guarantee it, but we did get him and were delighted. He is extremely bright, serious with a quiet sense of humor. We strongly recommend him. We did Ephesus, which included the Terrace Houses, which aren't to be missed. The price was competitive. www.ekoltravel.com Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
This was my first cruise on Oceania and I had heard so many good things about the line that perhaps my expectations were too high. I had previously sailed on Regent (Mariner of the Seas)at the same class of service and cannot say enough ... Read More
This was my first cruise on Oceania and I had heard so many good things about the line that perhaps my expectations were too high. I had previously sailed on Regent (Mariner of the Seas)at the same class of service and cannot say enough about that experience. Unfortunately, although a lovely ship, Oceania does not match Regent's class of service. The penthouse suites (with butler)do not come close to the luxurious feel of the Regent Penthouse Suites. The bathroom is quite small, and the feeling of separation between the sleeping and sitting area is non-existent. This may not be the case on their newest ship, Marina (there is a lot of anticipation by Oceania cruisers and staff about this new ship), but we were not impressed with the Penthouse Suites on the Regatta. They tout that your refrigerator will be kept supplied with water and soft drinks, but that was not our experience. We had to ask each time the supply was low and they grudgingly restocked only by request. They advertise that the butler will act as your own personal concierge and try to comply with requests for reservations at the specialty restaurants. I would advise that you make certain your reservations are booked before sailing, as our butler never complied with any request that we made. He did not even notify us of his failure to book. We were pretty much left to our own devices (luckily we had booked ahead of time). The only sign of punctuality that he showed was his on-time arrival before we left the ship. Of course, this was because he was looking for a tip (which we felt compelled to give him) above the amount that the ship charged to our account. The in-room appetizers become boring by the end of the first week. The selections offered never varied, and they do not offer nuts, chips, pretzels, etc. The food was not up to the standards that were advertised. It is certainly edible (and the restaurant ambiance is lovely), but the staff at the buffet seemed disgruntled and had a "take it or leave it" attitude. They did not seem to know anything about the daily offerings and they NEVER offered to carry your plate to your table as they do on Regent. One morning I had eggs benedict and the yolk exploded when pierced with a fork. It went all over the table, and was observed by one of the staff. Luckily she came over and was appalled by the incident. The eggs were obviously cooked the morning prior to serving and had been saved to re-appear the second morning. She promptly got me a fresh order, but my appetite and clothes had been ruined. If ice cream is your thing, (the chat boards give Oceania the thumbs up for their ice cream and milkshakes)you may be pleased with the offerings. I found the selections limited and uninspired. Yes, the milkshakes are good, but not exceptional--most milkshakes are good and almost every ship that I've been on offers some sort of ice cream service. Oceania restricts the opening hours that ice cream is served and, with only one server, lines can be long. I will warn you, although it is discussed often on the chat boards, the coffee is VILE. I don't mean that it is weak or strong--just HORRIBLE. Even the room stewards admit that they bring their own supply of instant coffee on board rather than drink the coffee offered on the ship. Is anyone at Oceania listening??? We did not go on the shore excursions offered by Oceania, but booked our own guides in each port and we were very pleased with that decision. We chose this particular Oceania cruise for the line's reputation and the various ports that were included on this trip. We were not disappointed by the selection of ports. Organization of the docking and tendering by the staff was very efficient and well managed. There were no delays in port and the wait for a tender was minimal. Since our time on board was limited (the ship more or less served as a floating hotel), and there were no "at sea" days, we did not participate in the on-board offerings such as the casino, evening shows, bingo, etc. so I cannot comment on those events. I will tell you that common areas are quite lovely (the library is very restful)and it is certainly a beautiful ship, but most of the staff seems to have the attitude "We are Oceania and criticism and suggestions are not appreciated." I don't believe that I will cruise with Oceania again. It's not my cup of tea--or coffee to be more exact. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
Sadly, I need to report it was very difficult to deal with the home office of Oceania because we had booked this cruise through an internet agency. Once they were aware of that, they did not want to provide requested information, and we ... Read More
Sadly, I need to report it was very difficult to deal with the home office of Oceania because we had booked this cruise through an internet agency. Once they were aware of that, they did not want to provide requested information, and we essentially felt like second class citizens. WE boarded a plane out of DC for Munich. That was nice. We like Lufthansa. Then it was Munich to Vienna. Nice flights. However only my baggage arrived, my husband's did not. We made our way to the ship via bus, not a bad connection. Then a short water bus ride to the ship. We had, of course filed a report of missing baggage with Lufthansa, and were told it would arrive. However, the plane leaving Munich was too small to carry the "lost" luggage (more than l) and regular passenger luggage to Vienna. His luggage instead had to go to Frankfurt where they have bigger planes. Oh, the joys of air travel! It was with some trepidation we boarded the Regatta in Venice. If not for other cruise critic members, we may have given it up ahead of time. (thank you cruise critic) It was Saturday when we arrived on the ship; no luggage Saturday. No luggage Sunday, we EMBARK AT 3:00 pm. The Oceania staff was made aware of our dilemma. As we understand it, the "manager" of such things went to Vienna airport himself and we received the luggage at 2:00PM. Yeah Oceania! We had previously cruised to Venice. We hated it! Never wanted to go back; however, this cruise offered wonderful ports, etc. Now we realize why we hated it; it was July, it was 95 degrees, it was crowded in St. Marks square and walking through the shopping area. Not so in October, less people and we made full use of the water taxis, that in itself is a wonderful experience viewing the grand buildings from the canals on Sunday, watching the pilots of the gondolas, have team races down the canal. Prior to our arrival in Dubrovnik, Croatia, the cruise critic group met sharing ideas and gathering information. Our balcony room was lovely and we made use of it throughout the trip even tho there was a cloud that formed when we left Vienna and followed us the entire trip, sometimes dumping rain, sometimes, wind. However, I can understand getting a lesser cabin on this most intesive port venue. Remember, our luggage was late; well our darling room attendant said we could get free laundry any time. OK a few days later we compiled our laundry. And sent it on. Lovely returned all on hangers, etc. Then a few days later we received a preliminary bill for charges on the cruise thus far. $58 for laundry. We were perplexed. The laundry ticket clearly said, no charge. However, calls to the laundry billing resulted in no return phone calls to clarify this matter. What to do???? By chance my husband ran into the General Manager of the ship at breakfast buffet. He asked how things were going. My husband related the laundry story. He said, "I'll check into it". Within an hour we received a call from Dennis in charge of laundry who did not call us back previously. He said, there was a mistake, there will be no charge. Yeah Oceania! Speaking of breakfast, it was delicious as were all the meals on board. The specialty restaurants were especially delightful, but grand dining room great too. It was the best food we have enjoyed on a cruise. Yeah Oceania! We did not go to much of the entertainment. It is not a Princess ship with extravaganzas. However, a wonderful group from Russia playing classical music, just lovely. Summary: wE'RE REALLY GLAD WE ATTENDED WHISPERS OF ANTIQUITY Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
We have traveled by one other cruise when we book our recent trip with Oceania Cruise line for an October 16th to October 31st 2009 cruise to the Greek Isles, Italy and Turkey. Previously we had sailed with Cunard on the Queen Mary and ... Read More
We have traveled by one other cruise when we book our recent trip with Oceania Cruise line for an October 16th to October 31st 2009 cruise to the Greek Isles, Italy and Turkey. Previously we had sailed with Cunard on the Queen Mary and Queen Victoria to the Western Mediterrian and Christmas Market in the Baltic Sea area. I was alittle concerned about booking with a smaller cruise line but was delighted with the ship size, ports of call, and on-shore excursions, and food. We began our trip in Venice, Italy on October 16th having flown from Charlotte, NC to Atlanta, to Rome, to Venice. The Rome airport is a zoo but Delta got us there and we had to deal with "pushy" people who bust lines. Our trip into Venice was uneventful except for the first of 13 days of rain ! Venice is everything it is cracked up to be. It is beautiful and crowded. Considering that it was an October trip the Doge was still crammed with people. Our guide kept us away from the crowds and was very helpful in helping us purchase Venetian Masks from a shop on Ca' Del Sol. We spent the next day just walking in Venice. If I were Marco Polo I would never have left Venice - silk road or not. We left on our cruise that night and began to see the merits or Oceania and it's small ship concept. The room we had was small - 214 sq ft with a smaller bathroom but it was well kept and stocked with appropriate beverages. When you cruise with Oceania you have choices of eating areas. The main dinning room is large and noisy but well run with a staff of waiters and waitresses. The only drawback to the dinning room is being in the back of the ship it "rocks" and "rolls" when the sea is rough. The two other dining facilities - Polo and Toscana are good places to eat, but nothing exceptional. The outdoor area called Waves makes the best cheeseburgers and fries you could want. The Terrace Cafe is where we spent many nights. This service is where you can help yourselves to the same food as you would receive in the main dining room. The staff is very efficient. At night you sleep on the best mattresses ever designed. If I could have stuffed one into my luggage upon retuning home I would have.Kotor. An absolutey amazing port. We were taken to a church built and dedicated to the sailors who had returned from a trip each bringing a rock to help build this island. You can't believe its beauty. The onlt reason we got to see Kotor is because of the ships - Regatta - size. Large ships cannot dock in this area, I assume. Don't miss seeing this city. Still raining ! Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
This was a 12 night cruise with port stops every day and our second Oceania cruise, we have also cruised on Princess to Alaska and Celebrity in the Caribbean.  Our previous Oceania cruise had been Rome to Istanbul on the Nautica and the ... Read More
This was a 12 night cruise with port stops every day and our second Oceania cruise, we have also cruised on Princess to Alaska and Celebrity in the Caribbean.  Our previous Oceania cruise had been Rome to Istanbul on the Nautica and the three sister ships are very much the same with just subtle differences in decor.  We felt at home immediately.  We were in the younger crowd on the ship, I'm 44 and DH is 58.  The cruise was very port intensive so we did not attend too many of the entertainment venues after dinner, or if we did attend, we often left early.  We spent 4 nights pre-cruise in Tuscany before spending another pre-cruise night in Venice and then 4 nights post-cruise in Rome.  The ports on this cruise were Venice (overnight), Dubrovnik, Kotor, Corfu, Taormina, Sorrento, Amalfi, Livorno, Monte Carlo, La Spezia, Portofino and ending in Civitavecchia.Embarkation was easy, we did need to fill out a health questionaire, the swine flu scare had just started, we saw sanitizing solution dispensers in evidence every where around the ship, from dock to eating venues and in various other places as well.  We shared a water taxi to the ship with another couple staying at our hotel, this worked out nicely for us and involved a lot less lugging of luggage than taking the vaporettos to the port, the water taxi fee from San Marco area to San Basillio was 80-85 euros.  There were port representatives right where the water taxis stopped and near the vaporetto stop to help take luggage right away so we really did not have to lug anything around except our carry-ons that afternoon.  We went straight to our cabin after boarding to drop off our carry-ons and met our cabin steward, who was just fantastic at anticipating any requests.  After settling in a little bit we then went and explored the ship.  We were docked at the San Basilio dock which made going back into Venice pretty easy with vaporetto passes.Cabin 7116, aft A2 level cabin on deck 7, was our home for our next 12 nights and it was almost identical to the same cabin on the Nautica.  They have gone to flat screen TVs in the rooms and wireless on the ship and even in our cabin was consistent with speeds in the computer room.  The cabin amenities were very similar to our last cruise and we had plenty of room to store all of our stuff and luggage.  We slept well during the cruise and did not hear very much, if any, noise from the hallway or surrounding cabins.  The aft cabins do have a bit more vibration and noise from the engines and thrusters, on this trip we really only noticed it when we were docking or leaving a port.  We also had a deeper veranda than normal though in those aft cabins and that is why we choose them, we spend a lot of time out there.Food - we found the food to be very good throughout all the dining venues.  We ate in Toscana twice and the Polo Grill once, the Grand Dining Room for a few dinners and the buffet for all our breakfasts and a few dinners.  All but one of our lunches were eaten in the ports, the one day we ate lunch on the ship we ate at Waves which was also very good.  The wine list was fairly broad in price range and we always found something we liked from it.  There was also a sale in the first day or two where we were able to buy some bottles on sale and without tip or corkage fees to be served in the dining venues.  We also had tea a couple of times in Horizons and enjoyed that as well, nice mix of sandwiches and cakes.  They do use tea bags for the tea, but I can only imagine the mess there would have been trying to do loose leaf for people who are not familiar with it.Service - we had fantastic service everywhere on the ship.  There were two mornings in the buffet when everybody must have gone there and at the same time, those mornings there was some confusion and a few mix ups, but that was very minor for us.Laundry - we used the self serve laundry room a few times on the ship and did not have any issues, we happened to get in there when it was not crowded but we saw crowds in there quite often.  One of the washing machines did seem to be a bit fussy, but if you watched over it until it really got going then it was fine.  O has gone to the stacked washer/dryers which made for more space in the laundry room, there are only 2 ironing boards though and there were often lines trying to get to those.Entertainment - this is one of Oceania's weaker points, but not an important factor for us especially on such a port intensive cruise.  We enjoyed the juggler, Tivor Szabo, his act was not perfect, but definitely fun.  The other musical events were not our style of music so we often left those early.  The quartet was usually enjoyable, they had a few off moments, but overall they were nice to listen to, as was the pianist in the Martinis bar.  The enrichment speaker, Sam Hunt, was very knowledgeable and very interesting to listen to.  His talks were all very on topic with the ports we visited.Shore excursions - we did all the ports on our own and one port with a private guide so cannot comment on the quality of the ship excursions.  The people we talked to that did utilize them seemed to enjoy them.Disembarkation was also easy for us.  We had arranged for a private transfer with 2 other couples into Rome.  We were all of the ship in the 8:20-8:30am time frame and all found our luggage very easily.  Our driver from Romecabs was waiting for us and entertained us all the way into Rome.Internet access - we were able to use wireless from in our cabin and up in the buffet and from various other locations.  Our big beef with Oceania here is that they charge quite a bit per minute and the access is so painfully slow that its practically unusable for anything but very basic email.  Since we usually have to work a little bit on vacation, this was very annoying to us.  The computer room computer connections were no faster than the wireless connection.  This is an issue for every ship we have cruised on and something we wish would improve at some point in the future, either speed it up or reduce the charges for now.Overall - the itinerary was what drew us to this cruise, the ports were all very good even though it was a very busy cruise.  The port representatives that came on board usually had good information and maps for us to take with us.  We had a really good time on ths cruise and enjoyed meeting up with our Cruise Critic buddies on and off theoughout the trip.  We had 5 tender ports on this cruise and managed to make it to all of them, that was a bonus to us even though we did have backup plans in case we had to dock at another port instead of the tenders.  Our last tender port, Portofino did have some small swells and some people were obvioulsy bothered by them but we're sickos and rather enjoyed the action that day.  We had good weather throughout the trip, a few bits of rain and thunder storms our first few days and drips and drizzles every so often, but overall very nice.  This itinerary was great for anyone who wants to concentrate on some of the different areas of Italy as 2/3 of the ports were in Italy. 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Sail Date May 2009
We chose this cruise for it's itinerary and we were not disappointed with the lovely spots we visited.  Our cruise began with an overnight in a lovely hotel in Venice not too far from the port area.  This gave us the opportunity to ... Read More
We chose this cruise for it's itinerary and we were not disappointed with the lovely spots we visited.  Our cruise began with an overnight in a lovely hotel in Venice not too far from the port area.  This gave us the opportunity to spend some additional time touring the city.  Lots of walking to and from the various points of interest.   Our embarkation process went quickly and we were onboard and relaxing in the Terrace Cafe within a short period of time. As this was our second cruise ( previously did the 16 day Panama Canal ) with Oceania on the Regatta, we were very familiar with the ship and found it to be in very good condition all around. It is an attractive vessel and obviously well maintained.   Our cabin was midship as I can have issues with motion, however this was never a problem as we experienced fabulous weather and calm seas throughout the entire cruise.  As expected we had plenty of space for luggage etc. and found everything in good working order.  Our cabin stewards kept things neat and tidy. All of the wonderful ports of call were interesting and we chose to do self tours of the various spots, as we are not ones that really enjoy ship excursions.  This offered lots of flexibility in terms of what we wanted to see and do and worked well for our particular needs.  We were always able to have a leisurely breakfast and then disembark after all the tour groups were off the ship.  A couple of our favorite spots were the quaint and charming Taormina, Sicily and Portofino.   The cuisine on board was of good quality.  We had all of our breakfasts in the Terrace Cafe and were pleased with the variety offered.  Also had a number of lunches there as well and enjoyed the great fresh pasta dishes and pizza that were served daily along with other nice dishes. Great ice cream too!!  With the exception of one evening at Toscana, we ate all of our dinners in the Grand Dining Room.  There were plenty of choices on the menu and some meals were better than others but overall we were more than satisfied with the food. Can't really comment much on the entertainment as we didn't get to any of the evening shows like we had on our previous O cruise.  With such a busy itinerary we chose to retire relatively early most nights.  Did enjoy one afternoon tea in the Horizons Lounge listening to the string quartet.  They played a nice variety of tunes. The service offered from the crew throughout the ship was good and we had no complaints to speak of.  Everyone appeared quite attentive and courteous.  Our disembarkation for Rome went smoothly as well and we were off the ship and on our way into the city quickly.   Oceania does offer a quality product and we enjoy the smaller vessels with a casual dress code and adult orientation. Would choose this line for any future cruises based on our two experiences. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
This was the 7th and most expensive cruise my husband and I have taken. The beauty of Oceania is the itinerary and service. Being a mid-sized ship, we never had to wait to speak with someone at the excursion desk, the concierge desk, or ... Read More
This was the 7th and most expensive cruise my husband and I have taken. The beauty of Oceania is the itinerary and service. Being a mid-sized ship, we never had to wait to speak with someone at the excursion desk, the concierge desk, or any other desk. The smaller sized ship allowed us to visit places that larger ships could not dock at, such as the island of Elba off the coast of Italy, which was our favorite destination of the 14 day cruise. We've traveled the scale of accommodation types (balcony, ocean view, inside) and for this cruise, we chose an inside cabin (best available) and ended up with a roomy handicapped room that included a bath. I couldn't have been more pleased, especially after seeing my brother's tight-spaced and much more expensive balcony room. We booked this cruise for the itinerary, but only having 1 day at sea in 14 days makes for a very busy trip (which was why we didn't want to pour out money for a more expensive room that we'd only sleep in). After 14 days, we departed the ship wondering what we saw where. Of course, it was sorted out once the 800+ photos were developed. We spent 2 days in Venice, which was wonderful, and I think it would have been wonderful to have that arrangement at other ports, as well. Dubrovnik Croatia, we went on a tour of the walled city and a wine tour outside the walled city. That, too, was a favorite place. I wish we had booked a tour of Corfu, because we saw many wonderful places, but had no idea what we were looking at. It was all Greek to us. The Amalfi coast, Pompeii, Positano, Marguerita, Sorrento, Rome, Florence, Portofino. We loved Italy. Our least favorite port was Monaco. The ship offered no information except to say that we could get information onshore. Onshore, we asked how to get to the train to Nice or Edz France, and we were told to stay in Monaco, that Nice was dirty. No information or cooperation whatsoever. We spent several hours trying to find the correct bus to Edz, and finally, we gave up. We went to the Sun Casino and back to the ship, quite disillusioned. The highlight of Monaco was finding a yacht with my name on it. I'd have rather spent another day in Marseilles, Elba, or another Greek island. Overall, we loved our cruise itinerary. The cruise, though, was overpriced. My brother took a British Isle cruise 2 weeks later aboard Celebrity, at a fraction of the cost, with a larger balcony room, more onboard activities, equally good food, and yes, he had to wait in line for some services. He even calculated the time he spent in line over that 2 week cruise. One hour and ten minutes. He's traveled with Oceania 3 times, and he's loved every cruise. But even he agreed that $6000 was a pretty hefty price to pay for the convenience of not waiting one hour and ten minutes over a two week period. Since I've not taken a similar itinerary on any other ship, I can't be sure that this was better than any other Mediterranean cruise. If you're on a budget, you might want to explore the options, and have more money in pocket for excursions and souvenirs. Read Less
Sail Date April 2008
INTRO We booked this cruise in June 2006; it would be our 30th anniversary/kids are finished university reward! We have never cruised before. I knew I wanted my first cruise to be to the Med, I particularly wanted as many Italian ports ... Read More
INTRO We booked this cruise in June 2006; it would be our 30th anniversary/kids are finished university reward! We have never cruised before. I knew I wanted my first cruise to be to the Med, I particularly wanted as many Italian ports as possible. When I began researching, I googled something like "rate cruise lines" and got to a site where Oceania came up as 100%, along with a couple of other lines that offered river or clipper ship cruises. Disney was the highest recognizable line known to me, with 91%, but I wasn't interested. I admit I hadn't heard of Oceania, but was very intrigued... I went to the Oceania site, and fell in love. I barely looked at any other cruise line sites, as I was sold on the smaller size ship, the port intensive itineraries, and the lack of programs for children. I pondered over a 10 day Rome to Venice, and 14 day Venice to Barcelona for a couple of days and in the end, the longer cruise won...I am so glad, as I LOVED France! I booked through a local travel agent, during the "2 for 1, free airfare" promo, but since we had enough points to fly business class, we got the air credited back. After we had booked, friends asked if they could join us and we were thrilled! We had adjacent B2 balcony rooms. I started the roll call for the cruise and "met" people, as I am a would-be travel agent, and wanted to plan my own tours, hoping to find people to join the 4 of us on them. I planned 5 tours immediately, and a sixth tour about 2 months before sailing. It was great to finally meet the roll call people on board; some folks joined us on our tours, others were great dinner companions, some were both! I became ADDICTED to cruisecritic( and fodors) for 15 months, and I can't say thank you enough for the wealth of info I gathered ! One week before the cruise started, the TA had phoned and said we (both couples) could upgrade to a PH for $700, act fast! I said DO IT, unfortunately our friends didn't reply as quickly, and their PH opportunity was gone. We were to board on Tues, Oct 2nd, but arrived in Venice on the Sat before. We stayed at La Calcina for 3 nights and it was fabulous. Loved Venice, walked through so many town squares, just sat on the vaporetto drinking in the scenery, enjoyed the usual tourist sights. Murano and Burano were so pretty! Regatta arrived , and docked just down from our hotel, rather than the big docking area, we could easily have walked to the ship. However, we had prepaid a water taxi, and it could not be cancelled, so we paid 80 Euros for a 5min boat ride. Live and learn. THE CRUISE . On Oct 2nd, we were finally setting out on our first cruise. There was a rather long line and only one check in point at the port, so that was kind of slow. We could board at 1100 because of our PH status, but our friends had no problem boarding with us. Registration in the Regatta lounge was quick, and the walk there was our first glimpse of this beautiful ship. Then we went to the Terrace Cafe for our first taste of the incredible cuisine. At 1300 our room was ready, and we were WOWED! Room 8035, mid ship. We sailed the following day after muster, sipping our champagne as we said goodbye to Venezia, with the first of many beautiful sunsets that first night. DUBROVNIK: we walked the walls, after admiring the walled old city, with its' beautiful marble streets. Cats everywhere. Found the famous Buza Bar, where we soaked in the view. Then walked outside the walls to a small beach, where our friends went for a dip in the Adriatic. It was HOT walking the walls, and the pool was wonderful on our return to Regatta. CORFU: hubby has a cousin from England who retired to Corfu with her husband, so this is where we met for the first time! They rented a van and showed us the highlights of the island, Paleokastritska, took us to their favourite taverna, where we ate wonderful Greek food on a beach, then took us to old Corfu. We were fortunate to see the island through "local" eyes. DAY AT SEA: nice relaxing pool/see the ship/ use the computer/watch the ship go through Strait of Messina day. At 2100 we passed the volcanic island of Stromboli. It was dark but we could see its' conical outline against the sky, with tiny little flashes of light in the clouds above it. Later that night, about 0200, I was wakened by a thunderstorm and the ship had the most motion we were ever to experience on the cruise. Now, I love thunderstorms, and watch whenever able, but that night I was simply unable to stay awake. I did go out on the balcony for just long enough to think: what if I fall overboard?, then returned to the safety of bed. Next day, the motion was THE subject at breakfast, but much as it felt immense to us, it couldn't have been much...the tall slender bud vase on the table in our room hadn't even MOVED! SORRENTO/CAPRI: it was raining as we tendered to port, but stopped before we touched land. We walked about through the town, where everyone was cleaning up from the downpour they had had the night before, mud everywhere, and seemed to be overturned flowerpots. Shopped a bit, noticed the sky clearing, and headed to Capri, where we had a beautiful sunny remainder of the day. Took the local bus up to Anacapri, where we wandered, lunched, then took the local bus to the Blue Grotto. Unfortunately the water was too rough to enter, so one dream unfulfilled. On returning to Anacapri, we came upon the chair lift and took it to the summit. Very reasonably priced, fun, with exquisite views. Headed back to Regatta. AMALFI/POMPEII: had our first tour booked here with Fabrizio from amalfi-drive.com. We started in Ravello, then drove to Pompeii, where a 2 hour tour had been booked for us. Our guide in Pompeii was Dario, and he asked if anyone had specific requests, and planned our route so all requests were seen. I loved Pompeii, wanted to see it since learning of it in grade school! Dario was great. Then we drove along the Amalfi coast and stopped at a restaurant in Positano, where we had a FABULOUS meal, served family style. Had time for some shopping, then back to ship. Grazie, Fabrizio, we enjoyed our tour so much! ROME :toured with Marcello, a new driver with limoinrome.com. We drove into Rome, and saw the Collesium, Forum, Circus Maximus, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and can't remember what else. He took us a to a market area where we had FABULOUS pizza for lunch, they lop a piece off of a plank shaped pizza, and weigh it. We then went to Vatican City, where we had arranged a 2 hour tour through limoinrome, with a guide named Christina. We saw the museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Paul's. It was JAMMED everywhere, slow to proceed down halls, and difficult to keep within eyesight of our guide and each other. The tour seems to show us only a fraction of the museum, but that was enough. The Sistine Chapel was awe inspiring, but crowded, and was where we lingered longest, but PACKED. Then on to St. Paul's, where we really only had time to see the Pieta, which was very moving. Then we had to meet back up with Marcello to get back to the ship. Both Marcello and Christina were great guides, informative, easy to talk to, and Marcello made sure we saw as much of Roma as possible! SARDINIA: I had planned for this to be an R&R day, but then did some research and thought Costa Smeralda should be seen. Booked a tour with Claudio from sardiniandiscovery.com , and it was fabulous! Claudio has spent his whole life on the island, and his love for and knowledge of it is obvious. We were in a Land Rover, and went inland and up a mountain for great views, stopping to learn about, and taste the fruit of Sardinian flora. Then we headed for the coast and saw Porto Cervo, and the beaches. It was a great tour, and I highly recommend Claudio! FLORENCE: couldn't decide between a tour of Tuscany or Florence, and decided to go with Florence. Booked with Luca of hillsandroads.com. We ended up getting the best of both...saw the highlights of Florence, including David, and still had time for a drive through the Tuscan countryside, with a stop in the charming village of San Gimigiano. It was wonderful that we could do both, and we thank Luca for making this happen! PORTOFINO: did this pretty port on our own. Took boat to Santa Margherita Ligure and back, and simply enjoyed walking in both towns. MONACO: a fabulous day with Jean Marc from dream-tours.com. First saw the Casino, Hotel de Paris, and Cafe de Paris, then made a stop to see views from up high, Eze, on to Nice where we were at the market, to the wonderful St. Paul de Vence...my most favourite place on the whole trip. Back to Monaco to see the palace and cathedral then back to the ship. Great Day! Thanks Jean Marc! MARSEILLES: booked a tour of Provence with Catherine from provence-travel.com . This was the first tour I booked for the cruise, as I had read about the Calenques in Cassis in another review, and fell in love with photos of them. Catherine took us to Aix en Provence, a lovely town, where we visited a beautiful church with a lovely courtyard garden,and a baptistry dating from 400AD. We then went to the local market, and walked down the main street, where an antique market was going on. After a lovely drive to Cassis, I was most disappointed to learn it was too windy to take a boat ride of the calenques. My second unfulfilled dream, but the one I had looked most forward to. We were able to see them from above, from the highest cliff along the whole Mediterranean coast, I believe Catherine had said. We headed back to Marseilles to see the highlights. Catherine was knowledgable, and most informative, and her driving skills in tight places were amazing! Merci beaucoup! SETE: I must say this port was a bit of a disappointment, and I notice that next year's itineraries have replaced it with Palma de Majorca. We climbed to the highest point, and did some wandering, but were back on ship after about 3 hours, and relaxed by the pool for the last time. Maybe the fact that it was our last stop was why I couldn't enjoy Sete... BARCELONA: disembarked at 0830(no problem at all) and checked into Apsis Splendid for one night. Stored our luggage and took the HOHO bus. Barcelona is a gorgeous city and I was amazed by the Sagrada Familia, and Parc Guell. The HOHO took us back to the port, where Regatta was and there were NEW people on MY ship! Rub salt in the wound! (we did go on to London and Paris after the cruise, but I won't go into that here) TO CLOSE We LOVED it! Can't imagine ever trying another cruise line, feel we started at the top! Beautiful ship, lovely room, fabulous food, incredible, friendly congenial staff. Had to tender to port 3 times, and never had to wait 5 mins-if that- to get on the tender, even though it was early after docking, and there were ship tours. We are not late night people, so the entertainment was not important to us, however the shows we did go to were very good, my hubby particularly liked the comedian. We would have preferred the shows to start earlier than 2145, after a day of touring, with another one planned for early the next day, we found it difficult to stay awake. Food was INCREDIBLE!!! Breakfast everyday at the Terrace Cafe, can't imagine someone thinking of something that wasn't available. We loved the Grand Dining Room, and Tapas on the Terrace. Such attention to detail! We had 2 fabulous meals each at Toscana and Polo Grill. What I would give to have Crème Brulee or Chocolate Lasagna one more time! And the filet mignon, veal limone, mushroom risotto, pain au chocolate, fresh berries, vanilla milkshake, cream of artichoke soup...I'll stop now, or never will. Lunch was often off the ship, but we did enjoy Waves when able. We had a butler, Eric, most pleasant, but we never really asked to be butled. He brought canapEs every afternoon, and after we boarded from Sete with a lovely French baguette, I called and asked for some butter, Brie and grapes...we had it within 5 minutes. Our room steward, Marica, was also wonderful. Requests for firmer pillows, and a more lightweight duvet were handled quickly. Everyone on staff was friendly, personable, willing to answer questions, and engage in conversation if able. I am trying to figure out just what kind of job I could do on board...I am an RN... Hi to Pat and Matt, Graciella and Trevor, Fred and Jeanne, Naomi and David, sure was fun! Only negatives, and they are minimal: Internet expensive and slow; and there was a problem with a sewage odour coming from the drain in our washroom at times. We mentioned it to our room steward a couple of times at the beginning of our cruise, and some chemical was poured down the drain. It seemed to get worse again toward the end of the cruise, and we had to call again. It was always dealt with quickly. Maybe this just happens sometimes...? Can't get back on Oceania soon enough! PS: please forgive spelling errors, haven't checked the correct spelling of all the towns we visited. Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
We were expecting quite a lot before this trip and it certainly lived up to and more than exceeded our expectations. The embarkation process was very smooth and took only a couple of minutes and we were aboard and in our Concierge class ... Read More
We were expecting quite a lot before this trip and it certainly lived up to and more than exceeded our expectations. The embarkation process was very smooth and took only a couple of minutes and we were aboard and in our Concierge class cabin. We were very impressed with both the food and the service on this ship. The three restaurants with their open dining policy impressed us - there was never any waiting at the main restaurant - The Grand Dining Room, and the two other restaurants - Polo Grill and Toscana required a booking time but no surcharge. It was silver service at all three dining rooms - fantastic prime rib of beef, filet mignon with lobster and a great variety each day. The buffet for breakfast and lunch served by the staff which certainly a bonus from a hygiene point of view. Our Concierge cabin with balcony was a bit on the small side, as was the bathroom, but was fine for our needs. Our room steward, Ivan was fantastic - cabin was always cleaned while we were at breakfast and at night while we were at dinner. Ice in the ice bucket, curtains drawn at night - everything beautifully tidied up. We have been on six previous cruises with Celebrity, Princess and the Star line in Asia, but this trip surpassed them all with great ports of call,fabulous food and service and great attention to detail. Disembarkation was a breeze - luggage well organized on the dock and porters standing by. Congratulations Oceania and all the staff on the Regatta - we can't wait to sail with you again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2006
A private country club at sea is the best and probably the most accurate way to describe a cruise experience on Oceania's beautiful ship "Regatta." Although we had traveled on this former Renaissance vessel before, the $10 ... Read More
A private country club at sea is the best and probably the most accurate way to describe a cruise experience on Oceania's beautiful ship "Regatta." Although we had traveled on this former Renaissance vessel before, the $10 million refurbishing by Oceania of the Regatta proved to make the vessel an even finer cruise experience. With only 660 passengers on board this 30,000 ton vessel, the ship offered a wide variety of activities as well as gleaming decor and eye-appealing art work. For my wife and I, one of the most important features of a country club on land or at sea, is the staff training and their response to requests and service. This mix of young men and women from countries all over the world always greeted passengers with a smile, anxious to be of service. Professionally trained, the staff at all levels catered to our every wants and needs. The two-week Mediterranean cruise set sail from Venice, Italy and ended in Barcelona, Spain. Ports of call included Dubrovnik, Croatia; Corfu, Greece; Sorrento, Italy; Amalfi, Italy; Civitavecchia (Rome); Bonifacio, Corsica; Livorno, Italy, Portofiono, Italy; Monte Carlo, Monaco; and Marseilles, France. The weather cooperated in the Med style with smooth sailing and only one day of rain. A sweater and a light jacket took care of most touring days. The destination services staff arranged educational and interesting tours, although expensive, at each port. We traveled with two couples, the Shaws and the Proctors, all of Sarasota and experienced cruise folks. We all enjoyed the casual yet elegant atmosphere of the restaurants. Informal dress meant no need to pack a tux or suits with only collared shirts required at the evening meals. However, we very often wore the men's traditional blue blazer to these elegant bistros. Country club casual was the in-thing to wear! However, if you are looking for the extravaganza floor shows of larger cruise ships, forget it! There was nightly entertainment but it wasn't the best. We gave the shows a "B-" rating. As for the other shipboard services, our group held a rating cocktail party and gave the following shipboard services these ratings: Food, A-; Main dining room service, A+; Specialty dining rooms A-; Cabins and cabin steward service A; Tours B+. An overall rating of the Regatta and its staff we gave an A and for overall value, an A. Our group gave the ship and staff a "five star" rating! The planning by the staff for the embarkation and the debarkation was evident as both went very smoothly. We have experienced some long waits for boarding when leaving some larger vessels. But not the Regatta! We were informed the night before the end of this traveling adventure, that our color (passengers given various colored tags for bags and then the colors are called for departure) would be called about 8:20 am. Our bags except for carry-ons had to be outside our cabins by 11:00 pm the night before leaving. Also, we could stay in our cabin until called, a different and nice feature. Promptly at 8:20 our color (green) was announced. Easily identifying our luggage in the large warehouse next to the ship, we quickly passed through the officials to the buses and on to the airport in Barcelona for the flight home. On board was the Oceania sales representative Carmen Miranda. An indication of this "five star" rating our group gave the Regatta, Carmen was kept very busy toward the end of the cruise booking people for future voyages. A good indication of quality! After this two-week cruise, we look forward to again experiencing the gracious "Country Club Style" cruising with Oceania.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2004
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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