Year Started: 2002
Ships in Fleet: 5
Summary: This cruise line features some of the best cuisine and itineraries in the cruise industry, a top pick for value and excellence in style
Regions:Australia/New Zealand, Caribbean, Oceania/South Pacific, Etc.
Good for: Foodies. Group. Families.
Regions:Africa, Mediterranean, Scandinavia/Northern Europe
Good for: Seniors. Luxury Travelers. Foodies.
Regions:Alaska, Caribbean, Eastern Seaboard, Inland Waterways
Good for: Seniors. Luxury Travelers.
Good for: Foodies. Luxury Travelers. Seniors.
We had previously cruised twice with Renaissance Cruise Ship Line. The Oceania Cruise Line was formed after the bankruptcy of Renaissance. Regatta was previously know as the R2.
We received the brochure about the startup of Oceania and immediately booked 2 cruises. We had always enjoyed the size of the ship, and the penthouse suites staterooms. The price was right at $4314.00 each for the first cruise, 16 days, and $3714.00 for the second, 14 days.
My wife and I recently returned from the first cruise, Barcelona to Lisbon, leaving Oct. 25, 2003. The cruise was fair, the cuisine was excellent, but food does make the whole cruise. The dining room staff needed a lot of improvement, lack of training seemed to be very evident. The service was extremely slow. The room stewardess was a disaster, it never improved, we had to communicate via notes left on the bed, as we never saw her. We thought that a lot of the problems were due to the fixed gratuity, there is no incentive for the help to perform better to help increase the gratuity. They get the same if they do nothing.
We hadbooked the second Regatta cruise which was sailing from Miami on Nov. 25, 2003. We had flew home from Lisbon to Calif., and back to Miami. Embarkation was a disaster, it took over one hour standing in a line that was very disorganized. Embarkation does not start until 3 PM, on the Regatta. I think this alone is a bad policy, as customers are arriving at all times of the day.
We booked a PH suite just one staterooms from our prior room and were expecting the same girl. It wasn't, it was worse. The last day of the cruise she was banging on our door, 15 minutes after she thought we should have vacated the room. We left the room but we really didn't need to for another 30 minutes, as suite passengers are allowed a little extra time.
The dining room staff seemed to improve and became more friendly. It was like they had had a pep talk.
The ship had not been fully restocked for some reason in Miami. I ordered V8 juice the first morning and was informed there was no V8. I had V8 juice for 2 weeks straight on the cruise 2 weeks prior. They eventually ran out of tomato juice, lemonade and if you can believe it Orange Juice, they were serving a orange juice substitute, maybe TANG.
The ship never made CNN plus several other channels available on the TV, they had been available on my previous cruise in Europe. They did manage to get up and running a pay per view movie channel, including XXX movies at $10.99 per viewing I guess that they felt seniors needed some excitement as there sure wasn't any exciting entertainment offered on board.
The crowning blow was that the overpriced soft drinks, wine, beer, bottled water and all other drinks had received a 15% gratuity charge added to the bill. Without any notice this was increased to 18%. The bad will that was created by this can never be repaired. If your going to raise the gratuity at least give the customer the courtesy of notifying them. I got a little more upset then most and was called into the hotel managers office and was told in no uncertain terms that I was out of hand by my attitude, he verbally talked about having me removed from the ship.
We had booked two back to back cruise in May 2004, which have been cancelled. We have traveled extensively for over 30 years , somewhere in the area of 35 cruise, this was I have rate as my all time worse experience.
John & Mary Bailey 5965 Oak Valley Court Santa Maria, CA 93455 Phone: 805-934-4422 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
by Julie - March 2, 2004
Nice ship. Booked thru Oceania and took recommended room 7007C-Delux outside. Great room but up on 7th floor, lots of rocking and rolling first 2 days and return of 2 days. Food great and service outstanding. Room attendent just did her job so didn't tip extra. Tours overpriced so did our own thing on piers.
Disappointed with Tortola as got great reviews, just another city-fied island. Intertainment upscale, but boring and very late in evening. I would go again on Oceania but not on rough seas.
I had the pleasure of sailing on Oceania Cruise Line's Regatta's first transatlantic crossing, though the ship had been operating in Europe for several months. For those looking for something better than the impersonal service, mass hysteria, college dining hall environments of the mega ships, this 675 passenger, 30,000 beauty is a Godsend.
No wonder Douglas Ward in the 2004 Edition of the Berlitz Guide to Cruising gives the Regatta such a superlative review (and Doug Ward is really the only truly objective cruise critic out there). The food is triumphant (SO much better than the now mediocre Celebrity), the ambiance "country Club informal," the entertainment smart (best orchestra at sea!) and the itineraries well planned. And the pricing is very competitive (check out special 2 for 1 and air fare inclusive offers on the Oceania Web site - www.oceaniacruises.com. What a superb overall product!