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Oceania Cruises: Regatta

  • Oceania Cruises
  • Oceania Cruises
  • Oceania Cruises
  • Oceania Cruises

Regatta Review

Insider Take

Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer

Languid days at sea with nothing to do, onboard sports facilities, extensive children's activities.

Onboard Experience

Oceania Cruises offers extraordinary food and service but the prices have crept up over the years as Oceania has learned how to market its ships more effectively. Regatta has retained many of the features that made her popular in a previous incarnation as a Renaissance's R-ship - single, open-seating dining; three alternative restaurants, and a casual dress policy. There's a computer room with classes; plenty of open-deck space, two Jacuzzi whirlpools alongside the pool, and myriad comfortable and inviting bars. The library is open 24 hours a day and will lend you one of its vast collection without a deposit. And the new restaurant Tapas on the Terrace may offer the most romantic dining at sea; you dine by candlelight on the wide aft deck at a table with starched white linens.

The staterooms received extensive comfort upgrades fleetwide including sheets and pillowcases by Ralph Lauren, cushy mattresses, down comforters and extra pillows.

Regatta's smaller size allows the ship to visit more unusual ports of call including places like Bordeaux, Guernsey, Palma de Majorca, Malaga, and Oporto, Portugal.

On the other hand, we'd be derelict to fail to note that, spirits, wine, airport/cruise transfers and shore excursions are all somewhat pricey on Regatta. Moreover, Oceania Cruise Lines makes no bones about not caring one way or another if there are children aboard. After endless hours of ping-pong, shuffleboard, small-pool swimming and TV in the cabin, your kids may be likely to sulk. And just so you know - smoking is forbidden everywhere but on the starboard side of the outdoor Pool Deck.

Public Rooms

In general, the ship has an "English inn at sea" look. In the bow, the spacious, woody Horizons lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows and brass telescopes on three sides. The Martini Bar attached to the casino can make you 29 kinds of martini making it a very relaxing space in the afternoons while the pianist is playing standards. At night, a jazz band takes over.

Decorated in traditional English style with warm red upholstery, mahogany paneling, and faux garden skylight and marble fireplace, the library is very comfortable, and well-stocked.

All of the ships’ main lounges have been refreshed and refurbished. The bar called Horizons now features a new palette of soothing sea blues, cocoa brown and mint, complemented by new sofas, chairs and tables. The nightclub Martinis maintains its classic ambiance with all-new furnishings. The Regatta (or namesake on the other ships) Lounge was completely refurbished with new carpet and chairs, along with luxurious new fabrics and upholsteries.

Cuisine

Featuring the culinary mastery of the iconic Jacques Pepin, the food onboard is above average in the main dining room and buffet areas, and often extraordinary in the alternative restaurants.

Marina (January 2011) and Riviera (April 2012), the new 1260-passenger ships, include 10 eateries onboard including the eponymous "Jacques" which will features some of Pepin's personal favorite recipes. It has been said that no cruise line chef has ever devoted as much attention to a single restaurant as Jacques Pepin has devoted to "Jacques". He even designed the format of the menu and has his personal artwork hanging on the walls.

With single, open seating and four restaurants to choose from, dining on all Oceania ships is as varied as it is consistently delightful. The accent is on variety, and it is highly recommended that you make as many reservations as possible in the alternative restaurants if you are not too tired after a day in port. If you are tired, a casual stroll at your leisure to Tapas on the Terrace is a great way to get fast service and great food without waiting.

Cabins

After a 2014 upgrade, the Penthouse Suites now feature all new furnishings, with rich upholstery in vibrant yet calming colors inspired by the sea, sun and sky. The Owner’s and Vista Suites now contain an all-new elegant, yet contemporary bathroom design featuring wall-to-wall marble with a decorative inlay in the center, and a large vanity with a granite countertop opposite an oversized shower. All staterooms on the ship received new decor elements for a refreshing sense of style and elegance.

For the three smaller ships: Inside cabins are the smallest aboard at 160 sq. ft. Outside staterooms measure 165 sq. ft., some with portholes and others with large picture windows. Category C and D outside cabins with private balcony are 216 sq. ft., including a 45 sq. ft. balcony. Suites with private balconies are a spacious 322 sq. ft., including a 17' x 4.5' balcony with two chairs and a table.

These ships have 330 guestrooms, suites and penthouses, more than half of the outside staterooms with verandas. Every cabin aboard has a "Tranquillity Bed," dressed in 350-count Egyptian cotton linens, silk-cut duvets and goose-down pillows.

Standard cabin amenities include TV with CNN, MSNBC, another news channel and six movie channels showing continuously throughout the day; good closet/drawer space; hair dryer, and a personal safe. All cabins except suites and owner's suites have bathroom with shower. Suites and owner's suites offer butler service, bathtubs and mini-bars. Oceania has added wonderful mattresses and down comforters, but the only mini-refrigerators are in Concierge Level cabins and suites. Staterooms are homey and attractively furnished in Wedgwood blue fabrics and carpeting, accented by yellow drapes and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Those who have cruised in suites aboard other ships will find the standard bathrooms to be small on these ships. While there is a large mirrored cabinet for toiletries, counter space is very skimpy.

The Category A Owner's Suites, ranging from 786 to 962 sq. ft., are all located either completely forward or aft, bad locations in inclement weather. Forward owner's suites (numbers 6002, 6003, 7004, 7005) have direct sight lines of the rope deck on the front of the vessel. Two forward suites facing the front of the ship lack ocean views. Suites have large bathtubs and more counter space.

Though prominently displayed in cabin as though to say, "I'm complimentary; drink me," the bottles of Evian are in fact $3.50. The sole Laundromat, on Deck 7, charges $3 per load, but nonetheless attracts long queues.

Fitness/Spa

The Canyon Ranch SpaClub now includes a flowing mosaic display in reception and brand new peaceful steam rooms with beautiful new tile mosaics, along with renovated changing areas inside the spa.

Overview

One of the smaller original R-ships, good value but less opulent than Marina, refurbished in 2014.

Best For People Who Want

A casual experience on a small ship cruise; a port-intensive itinerary;open seating dining; no additional charge alternative restaurants; a strict smoking policy.

Decor

With wingback chairs facing faux marble fireplaces, paintings hung on landings above Chinese vases, miles of brocade drapes and fabric, dark wood paneling, carved moldings and wrought-iron staircases, the ship has the feel of boutique hotel. The no-nonsense staterooms evoke modern European city hotels.

In 2014 the ship received a refurbishment where new restaurants and public rooms were added, in keeping with the style of the newer and larger ships, Marina and Riviera.

Restaurants

The popular coffee bar from the newer ships employs master baristas to create complimentary espresso and cappuccino from the illy brand to be enjoyed in comfortable, brand new lounge chairs and sofas. On the upgraded ships this coffee bar is centrally located on deck 5, near the Grand Dining Room.

The Grand Dining Room, which opens at 6:30 p.m. and serves until 9:30 p.m., is commonly very crowded, and the acoustics in the center of the room preclude easy conversation. Bowing to customer sentiment, Oceania recently added 26 tables for two. Don't, if you enjoy seafood, miss the pan-seared scallops over Parmesan risotto.

Terrace Cafe: The main casual dining option, open dining in a Lido-style buffet, was transformed completely in 2014 along the lines of the specialized service stations found on the newer ships. New furnishings, floorings, fixtures and lighting accompany the stunning floor-to-ceiling window views. The piece de resistance is the cook-to-order grill featuring delicacies such as steaks, chops and lobster tail.

Reservations are required for the popular Polo Grill (catering to the carnivorous) and Toscana restaurants. The clubby Polo Grill is the most intimate of the three, and offers fresh seafood in addition to the the kind of delicious red meat entrees carnivores adore. Tapas on the Terrace adds new dishes every evening.

Waves, the outside luncheon grill, offering burgers, chicken, salmon,and even fried calamari, plus a daily special and salads, is the place to head for a late lunch ('til 5 p.m.). Everything's served with fries that are wonderful when hot, so-so when not, and cole slaw that will make you moan ecstatically. There's a high tea every afternoon at four in Horizons.

Service

The primarily Eastern European staff is very attentive. They even carry your trays to your table in the casual breakfast and luncheon buffet. And those in the ship's computer center must be the best tech staffers at sea. Room service is unfailingly prompt. The only inevitable crunch occurs in the dining room when everyone arrives for "open-seating" dining at the same time, usually within the first half-hour of opening. The best bet is to be either the first in line, or wait until an hour after opening, in order to avoid the rush.

Tipping

Since Oceania has a flexible dining program, gratuities of $11.50 per person per day (including children) are automatically added to the shipboard account for all dining room and stateroom personnel. An additional $3.50 per passenger per day is added for suites where Butler Service is provided. Tipping is at the passenger's discretion, however, so the amount may be increased, decreased, or all gratuities can be removed, by contacting the front desk. Gratuities of 18 percent are automatically added to bar charges and spa services.

Entertainment

Regatta has a fine onboard orchestra, a string quartet and pianist. Each evening you can enjoy shows in the 358-seat Cabaret Lounge. However, Oceania will tell you frankly that entertainment is not high on their list of priorities as most people find a long day in port followed by haute cuisine to be more than enough for a satisfying day.

The casino is small, with 30 slots and tables for blackjack and roulette, but no craps. Depending upon itinerary, standard shipboard activities like bingo, bridge and dance lessons are limited, since you're in port most of the time. The incomparable cyber-cafe offers instruction, but classes fill up quickly, so don't dawdle.

Attire

With no ties required and "country club casual" recommended at night, you'll see women in everything from blouses with pants and skirts to much more elegant attire.

Fellow Passengers

Guests are well-traveled, educated professionals and businesspeople who know quality and good value. This is not a "cruise crowd" as much as a leisure crowd who enjoys great food and seeing non-touristy parts of the world.




Ship Overview

Originally built in 1998 as the second of a series of eight ships for Renaissance Cruises, which ceased operations in 2001, the former R2 was acquired by Oceania Cruises and launched as Regatta in 2003. After refurbishment in 2011, the ship retained its original midsize ambience with an increased emphasis on cuisine and enrichment programs.

Carefully furnished to impart the atmosphere of a private English country manor, these midsize ships are casual yet elegant, with sweeping central staircases and abundant flower arrangements. Brocade and toile fabrics window coverings, overstuffed sofas, and wing chairs create a warm and intimate feeling throughout.

Authentic-looking faux fireplaces are adjacent to cozy seating areas in the Grand Bar, near the martini bar's grand piano, and in the beautiful libraries—some of the best at sea, with an enormous selection. The casinos are quite small and can feel cramped, and smoking is prohibited. You may have to wait for a seat at a poker table, but there are enough slot machines to go around.

Oceania offers itineraries to smaller ports megaships can't reach and a near-luxury cruise experience for fares much lower than you would expect. The line first set sail in 2003, carving a unique niche in the cruise industry by offering a sophisticated vacation best suited to inquisitive, well-traveled passengers. Its midsize ships carry fewer passengers than popular mainstream lines. Varied, destination-rich itineraries are an important characteristic of Oceania Cruises, and most sailings are in the 10- to 12-night range.

Intimate and cozy public spaces reflect the importance of socializing on Oceania ships. Indoor lounges feature numerous conversation areas, and even the pool deck is a social center. The Patio is a shaded slice of deck adjacent to the pool and hot tubs. Defined by billowing drapes and carpeting underfoot, it is furnished with plush sofas and chairs ideal for relaxation.

Thickly padded single and double loungers are arranged around the pool, but if more privacy appeals to you, private cabanas are available for rent. Each one has a double chaise longue with a view of the sea; overhead drapery can be drawn back for sunbathing, and the side panels can be left open or closed. Waiters are on standby to offer chilled towels or serve occupants with beverages or snacks. In addition, you can request a spa service in your cabana.

What You Should Know

Pros

  • A relaxed, social atmosphere pervades all areas onboard
  • The lobby staircase is a must-see—it's practically identical to the one in the movie Titanic
  • Onboard, you’ll find some of the most lavish afternoon teas at sea

Cons

  • Shipboard charges can add up fast, because drink prices and even Internet services are on the high side
  • There is only one self-serve laundry room
  • The absence of a sauna in the spa is an unfortunate oversight
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 400
  • Entered Service 1998
  • Gross Tons 30,277
  • Length 594 feet
  • Number of Cabins 342
  • Passenger Capacity 684 (824 max)
  • Width 84 feet
  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

May 6, 2016

Mayan Mystic on the regatta

If you go plan on doing the excursions. there were only a few islands with a nice beach. The food and service were excellent. The entertainment team was small but the shows were good and the team spent a lot of time with the passengers. We got the best beverage package and it was well worth it considering how much time we actually spent on the ship. Crew that I especially liked were Ivan the bartender, Emily and Stephany from the entertainment team,

the maitre'd at the Polo restaurant. Average passenger age was about 75 so don't plan on doing anything after 11:00pm. The bar on the top deck for dancing was dead every night. Overall I will do another cruise with Oceania.

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Dec 21, 2012

Amazon

While we thoroughly enjoyed the scenery along the 930 nautical miles (1,700 km) up to Manaus in the heart of the Amazon, we were very disappointed with the quality of the speakers. One was an oceanographer who readily admitted that he knew nothing about rivers and consequently knew nothing about the Amazon (not a good start). The second speaker had no specific knowledge of the Amazon either. One of her lecture was entirely devoted to the slave traffic.

We probably saw a million trees of different shapes and forms. Some with while bark, some with dark red bark. No one had a clue about the varieties of the Amazon trees. In fact, no one had any knowledge of the varieties of birds, fish, etc. While Brazil economy is vibrant (Brazil is one of the BRIC's countries (Brazil, India, China, etc) no one even addressed this phenomenon. While the main theme was the "Enchanted Amazon", the "disenchanting" part was in fact that no one had a true first hand knowledge of the main topic: The Amazon. We believe Oceania should have made the effort to embark a Brazilian expert or even a professor to share his first hand knowledge of the Amazon and be able at least to answer some of the basic questions. We have to assume that Oceania did not want to face the trouble to find such a knowledgeable person or did not have the budget for it. Talking about "budget". We have cruised many different cruise lines and we enjoy playing "Trivia". On most cruise line, the winning team is given, everyday, either a free drink, a mug or a pen, etc. Here on Oceania Regatta, the winning team gets 3 points, the second team 2 points and the third team 1 point. The first redeemable item takes 10 points and guess what it is.....a bookmark (with Oceania Logo). That says it all!!!.

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Nov 3, 2011

San Francisco - New York

I was on the same cruise as the other commentator. The cruise was excellent. One port was cancelled because of criminal activity in Mexico, the other because the port, at the last minute, booked a cargo ship into the space that Oceania had booked. In neither case were these problems the fault of Oceania. I agree that the timing of the port call in Georgetown was less than optimal, but she knew that when she booked the cruise. Overall, it

was an excellent cruise, blessed by extremely good weather. She doesn't like trivia? It is a big thing on most cruises and has a large, enthusiastic group of participants. We have a lot of fun with it. Excellent. Very good. So-so. Trivia was a lot of fun and the lectures were quite good. There were the usual activities: shuffleboard, table tennis, various putting contests. I didn't take any of the excursions. Overall, it was excellent. Everyone who likes cruises should make a point of doing a Panama Canal cruise; this was my fifth one, and it is always interesting, but the first time is always the most impressive. Put a Panama Canal transit on your bucket list!

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Oct 26, 2011

Panama Canal

This cruise was a public relations disaster for the cruise line. Two of the ports offered were missed. The first port of call was missed because of 'scheduled maintenance' on an engine and the second was missed because of double booking of the berth. Our main complaint was that the cruise line chose to engage in scheduled maintenance during the cruise which resulted in one missed port and short stays at several others. Despite many complaints

the only recompense passengers were offered was a credit off the next cruise. As far as we were concerned that was a totally useless offer as our problem was with this cruise not the next! They had offered an equivalent amount as a cabin credit they would have kept most of it. As it was, it spoilt the cruise for us and all the majority of the passengers could talk about was how poorly the cruise line had engaged with their customers. This was a cruise for older wealthier people. At 60 we were in the younger set! This was only our 2nd cruise so we couldn't compare the quality but a lot of regular cruisers said that the Regatta was looking 'tired' We thought the food was excellent - fresh and plentiful. The service was excellent. Loved the Toscana - speciality Italian restaurant. The stateroom was excellent as was the room service Apart from the shows, the activities were pretty boring. Napkin folding, bridge, trivial persuits - not our cup of tea Don't miss zip lining in Puerto Vallarta. The journey through the Panama Canal was exceptional. We went for the stops. We missed two and several others were cut short. Whats the point in arriving at George Town in the Caribean at 2pm on a Saturday when everything is starting to close and leaving at 8pm. This was a disappointment at many destinations - we need to embark in the morning not half way through the afternoon.

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Jun 20, 2009

Barcelona to Venice

Having sailed with Oceania, on the Regatta, to be exact, before, we knew what to expect, and expect indeed. With so many cruises on all sorts of ships and cruise lines over 40 years, we are very picky and demanding. Heavenly. Just what we expect when we dine out and of the standards we enjoy at home. Adequate, not the largest, not the smallest, either. Showers are TINY, shower pressure can not pulse in the Groehe massager shower head (never

found it to do so on any ship, either). Not interested in them. Bored with bingo and casinos on cruise ships. No poll games, no "not so newly wed" game (thankfully). Oceania is NOT for families, at least with children. As of this cruise, probably not to change, the policy on these ships is adults, three to a state room, max, and there is no children's pricing nor activities of any sort. Flew to Barcelona. Flight to JFK had no operable bath room. We were over on our baggage weight, as usual. Arrived far too early for ship boarding, passengers were still on board., We were treated to a half day sight seeing tour of Barcelona, all by car, no getting out, and enjoyed the time to sleep. Finally boarded. No crew to greet us as we boarded, ship was still being readied. We felt so at home from the first minute we boarded the Regatta, as the ship was welcoming enough for us. We book Concierge Level, which allows 4 visits (in place of two) in the reservations only restaurants. There is no fee for any passenger in these venues. A welcome bottle of champagne, fridge/mini bar en suite, DVD player with free rental of movies, cashmere lap blankets, a top quality tote bag (one per), and up graded bath items, and privileges, such as, priority luggage delivery (see more), shoe shine and pressing service (restrictions apply). Well, our priority luggage service arrived alright. I looked on every deck to find our bags, four hours after we sailed. I found them, and I dragged them to our suite. Not impressive. We had trouble on board with the ships TV reception, what with a presidential election looming. FOX was often the only choice, and not acceptable. Finally, CNN and HL News were beamed into the cabins. Passengers were happy then, as were we. We booked our shore excursions long before the cruise, on line, with Oceania, and also booked some massages. The excursion tickets were in the stateroom awaiting us. The massage was a disaster. We prefer a masseur, to administer our massages. The ship did not have one. We canceled the massages, complained to the Purser, Concierge desk, and manager of the spa. On a recent Holland America cruise the same thing happened, and HAL flew a massseur to Cabo so that we could have our massages. Not so, Oceania. They lost $1,000's in revenue from us by not having a masseur on board. We also bought spa products. Our ports were mostly ports we have been to before. Palma de Majorca was a quicky bus tour, and we saw a lot, in a short time. Provence France was heaven on earth, with a call in the fishing port of Cassis, just a wonderful place, excellent tour, wishing we had much more time there. We always love Monte Carlo, and visited there on the Wsterdam in 2007. One real pleasure port, a first for us, Positano, Italy. We did this on our own, and did a lot of shopping here - nothing expensive, just fun touristy items, and things for our grandson. Rome was, and always will be special to us. We took Rome on your own, an excursion with bus only, and we also took on your own in Florence. Dubrovnik was a stroll around, sort of waste of a day, with a few minor items purchased while there. Corfu was not much fun, not on a Sunday. Prices for junk-souvenirs were very high, and the excursions available not worth the price ,we felt. And Venice, an over night on the ship, how divine was that! We had a wonderful lunch in Venice, as well a lunch ashore in Naples, and Monte Carlo. Restaurants in Monte Carlo and Rome we have dined in on past cruises. In fact, in Rome, we've been dining at Quirino for over 30 years! We had a Murano chandelier made for us, and it took three months before it arrived at our house in Virginia, in tact, and beautiful, gracing our dining room. Dining on the Regatta is grand, and it has not changed in the least since our first of several cruises over the past four years on this lovely ship. One thing not so great, the ships pizza, was awful Then, who goes on any ship to enjoy the pizza? If you do, good luck to you. Lobster and high grade meats are the norm on Oceania, Maine lobster and perfect Blacj Angus beef, as well as top veal, chicken and produce items. The eggs had bright orange yolks, even the yogurt was a quality item. Service, exceptional. I complained about the lack of massages, and the pizza. The only other complaint I can voice, is with the price of a drink. Compared to Cunard Line, cocktails on Oceania are very high in price. We enjoyed this 14 day cruise, a lot, with memories to last a long time. Where are we headed? We have two cruises booked on Cunard Lines Queen Victoria, one on the Queen Mary 2; one on Regent Seven Seas Navigator,and one on Oceanias Insignia. We await the next Cunarder, the Queen Elizabeth, and of course, the state of the art Oceania MARINA!

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