On Oceania Regatta

Click for background music while reading.

 

In April 2019, we cruised from San Diego, California to Miami, Florida through the Panama Canal. The purpose of this post is not to report on the stops, but to review the cruise line and the ship.

This was our first time on Oceania Cruises. We primarily selected it because of the itinerary; plus, several friends raved about Oceania – so we decided to “step up” on this cruise.

 

Oceania is not a luxury, all-inclusive cruise line as Regency, Crystal, Silversea, Seaborne and others – but it is a higher standard/level and more expensive than our previous experiences on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and Princess. Then again, every cruise line has their niche and identity – that’s good business!

Oceania uses smaller ships. Our ship, Regatta, is about 600 ft (180 m) long with a customer capacity of nearly 700. The capacity of their larger ships is only 1200, where as the majority of Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and Princess ships are 2000-3000, plus Royal has several mega ships capable of carrying over 5000 vacationers. It is important to remember ports with smaller harbors are more accessible to cruise lines with smaller ships (like Oceania).

 

Oceania markets itself as a cruise with a casual country club atmosphere. Although no formal nights, they want customers to dress casually nice in certain areas. The overall quality of food was better than previous cruises. Regatta also offers two specialty restaurants, and the price includes a meal in each. The larger Oceania ships have additional specialty restaurants.

Not only did we enjoy Oceania’s policy of no set time for dining or assigned seating, we were always willing to share our table with others. This also allowed us to meet many interesting and nice people.

This dessert looked like a hamburger with relish – but moose with fruit and more. Tasty! Here’s the menu description: “Chocolate Mousse Burger on Almond Bun Topped with a Layer of Apricot Jelly”

 

Entertainment was on-par with the other cruise lines, but with less lavish productions. Instead of a larger theater, entertainment was in a large lounge that provided an intimate, cabernet atmosphere. For cruise days (which this itinerary had many), Oceania offered very good enrichment lectures. Between the two of us, we attended most of them.

Staff is predictably friendly, and there wasn’t a push to buy drinks, services, and merchandise as on the other cruise lines. We didn’t even see a ship photographer! Coffee, tea, soft drinks, and bottled water are inclusive, which is a nice touch that isn’t always the case. Servers would graciously serve passengers those drinks. Plus, soft drinks and water are also in the cabin.

Complimentary wireless is a nice feature, but with the following twist: only one person per cabin at a time. My wife and I made it work, although Oceania offers a streaming upgrade.

On the downside, although cruise ships are not known for spacious cabins, Regatta’s cabins seemed smaller than normal. News about the ship’s upcoming renovation mentioned an additional shower door, which caused me to wonder “where’s the space” in an already small shower. However, Oceania cabins are known for having a plush mattress – oh yes!

The majority of the passengers are retired – including many in the upper 70s and into their 80s. Therefore, others must exercise an extra level of patience in dealing with slowness, standing, and waiting.

Atypical for us, we took our share of cruise excursions/tours, which are very much “hurry up and wait” operations in the cruise industry. We relied on the ship excursions because of our safety concerns in a region known for safety concerns. On the plus side, Oceania gives a 25% discount when booking 4 or more tours. Then again, we encountered several avoidable issues and heard of several others.

The Bottom Line

Would I consider Oceania in the future? Yes. Would they will be my first choice? No. Destinations and itinerary are the prime factors in our cruise selection – not the cruise line. Relative price would also be a factor. However, in my opinion, what we got did not justifies the extra price.

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39 thoughts on “On Oceania Regatta

    • Pauline,
      Cruising isn’t for everyone. Interestingly, we were married about 20 years before taking our first cruise. For us, we were hooked after the first one … and want to cruise your land someday.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, some cruise ships put into Port Chalmers and disgorge their contents into the surrounds. I’ve noticed a tendency for the rain to be pelting down on days when the big liners dock, though all the tourists tend to look a little bedraggled and determinedly cheerful as they dash about seeing the sights. If you do it let me know and we’ll meet up – that would be fun!!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Cincy,

    I could never do a cruise, for myriad reasons. But I always enjoy hearing about people’s experiences on these jaunts. That dish looked pretty decadent! But I was confused (not hard to do). What do you mean one per cabin as far as streaming services?

    Here’s to the ocean!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll probably never go in for those big cruises, but the review is interesting – I like a “Cabernet” atmosphere, too. 😜

    One alternative to consider are ferry lines – the one in Norway is awesome. I’d love to do their full itinerary someday.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Eilene,
      “Big” is relative. The ship was 700 passengers, which is small compared to 2,000 passengers … but 2,000 is small compared to 6,000 passenger mega-ships!

      A recall a friend taking (in Norway) a ferry line or a working ship that allowed passengers. They loved it! …. but I can’t recall the name. 😦

      Liked by 2 people

      • The ferry we went on is run by Hurtigruten. Much like a really small cruise ship, but with larger cabins. Not fancy, but they offer shore excursions, or you can do your own thing. They go all the way up to northern tip of Norway, year-round, which cruise ships don’t do. We only took a 24-hour cruise and brought a rental car aboard to drive around and back to Bergen.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for helping my wife and me learn more about the cruise industry. It’s still not our cup of tea, but who knows? Especially when we join those upper 70s and into their 80s folks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim,
      I also recall that Mrs. Tim is concerned about motion sickness issues. In that sense, smaller ships tend to have more motion. However, the major source remains to be the motion of the sea. After all, even a mega-ship is a thimble in a bathtub when the sea is rough.

      Like

  4. Thank you for a stellar review. I was planning on taking my mom on a cruise early next year and will keep this in mind. Normally we go Royal but I’d love to get away from the floating cities. But I might be tempted to try Oceana for the Chocolate Mousse Burger. Just saying. ⛴

    Liked by 1 person

    • Monika,
      In my opinion, although Royal still has reasonable sized ships, they seem to be racing Norwegian (NCL) in a battle of the mega ships. Celebrity (2000-3400 passengers) is a good alternative. Oceania is the smaller, upscale line of NCL, and Azamara is the same niche for the Royal family. We’ve never taken them, but we have friends who praise Holland America. Meanwhile, that Mouse Burger dessert was outstanding!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll keep ahh those alternatives in mind. I don’t need/want a fancy room. I’m always too busy checking out the local sites and scenery even if it’s on the open seas. Would prefer small boats, less people, less environmental impact. Hopefully.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I believe Holland America ships are small. Oceania and Azamara are too – but include more – well, for a price. I say pick you itinerary first, then find a cruise line that does it. Just a thought.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Resa,
      Glad you enjoyed the reading music. … plus, it’s good to know someone used it! 🙂 I know you aren’t a cruiser, but comparing cruise lines is interesting. For instance, I recently compared Oceania & Azamara (one that we haven’t taken) … but they have similar niches. When I calculated the price per day per passenger, Oceania was cheaper by $16 per day per passenger. Interestingly, Azamara’s price includes daily gratuities (Oceania did not) …. You guessed it – the Oceania gratuities price is $16 per day per passenger. In other words, free is actually calculated into the price.

      Like

  5. This reminds me of the Bolero – Festival Cruise Lines – the first cruise we took and that I mentioned in my tribute to Patrick. Small ship but we did have a formal night and the shows were great. Of course, we had befriended one of the dancers so there is that.
    The food was right up there on the first cruise, not so much on the second and way better than the Royal Caribbean we took years later.
    While this is my favourite song, I have trouble concentrating on reading your text and trying not to sing along 😉

    Like

  6. We have good friends who LOVE to cruise and do so often, trying out different cruise lines as you have done. For me, an anti-vacation would be a cruise (I get horribly motion sick, even on a dock and I’m an introvert). But for you and our friends, its a great way to enjoy the ocean and visit some beautiful places. Thanks for taking us along!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pamela
      Thanks for adding your perspective to this. Cruising definitely isn’t for everyone. In terms of motion sickness, in general, the bigger the ship – the less movement. On the other hand, even the mega-ships are a thimble in the bathtub. After all, rough seas are going to do what they do!

      Medications also exist. Besides the over-the-counter stuff, the patch (scopolamine) is effective. I am not only subject to motion sickness, but also have a horrible side effect from the patch. Then again, for some, medication isn’t a guarantee. Thanks for boarding this post. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve tried so many motion sickness “remedies”! They all make me sleepy and nauseated. I thought the Patch would be the answer – would love to know what your reactions to it are. My guy won’t let me take it – says it makes me act like I’ve just gulped down three martinis. (and he’s only seen me in reality drink one martini a year – and that ain’t pretty). 🙂
        All abbbbboard!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Perhaps, our ships crossed out on the sea. 😀
    We took the Panama cruise from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco on the Equinox 3 years ago. It was 5 *****. This past April we were on the Holland America line through Central America. I must review the cruise line in a post. I found your review extremely helpful. I’ve thought about the Oceania cruise line many times but a friend mentioned the older clientele. Thanks for the well written review.
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 2 people

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