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Oceania regatta June11-June 25

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:22 pm
by Marybeth
I'm finally all caught up with stuff at home and ready to report on my wonderful cruise on the Oceania regatta.

This cruise left Miami and ended in Barcelona 14 days later.

These are my thoughts. I want to emphasize that I have never cruised on Crystal so I cannot compare Oceania to Crystal, I have cruised frequently on other lines. I consider myself a Celebrity girl.

I flew to Miami on Sunday, June 10. I used the Oceania air and upgraded to Business class for my flight home. As it worked out I was able to get a last minute upgrade to First class on the trip to Miami. I also took the precruise hotel in Miami. We were housed at the Marriott Key Biscayne. If you have stayed at one Marriott you know exactly what you are getting. After check in I was directed to a special desk for Oceania guests were I was given a letter welcoming me etc. etc. etc. It also contained information about transport to the pier in the morning.

Our pickup was scheduled for 11:15am. Our luggage was in the lobby by 10am. Before we got on the bus we had to visually identify our luggage and then it was put on the bus. That was the last we saw it until it arrived at our cabin.

EMBARKATION: This was very disorganized. We were placed into numbered groups and waited until our numbers were called. The main issue was the lack of people doing the check in. There were only about 6 stations open and 3 of those were for suites and concierge. People in line were super friendly and time did pass quickly. My room was not ready when I got on but there are so many beautiful places to sit and watch people that I spent an hour very happily waiting for the rest of my party to arrive.

DINING Regatta has a Main Dining Room, a buffet area(Terrace Buffet) and Waves Grill. They also have 2 specialty restaurants-Polo Grill and Toscano. I found the food to be very good to outstanding. The only place lacking at all was the buffet area. But even then the fresh fruit and desserts were amazing. The Waves Grill had made to order sandwiches that were excellent. I've never had a rueben as good as the ones I had on the ship.They also served fresh Mahi mahi and burgers etc. The MDR was wonderful too. It is open seating and we never had to wait for a table. The MDR was also open everyday for breakfast and lunch(even on port days). They had many everyday selections in addition to the daily menus. I frequently just asked the waiter for his suggestions and he never let me down. The specialty restaurants were the best I have ever been too, especially Toscano. If you are into afternoon tea, this s the cruise line for you. The daily high teas were over the top and the only thing they could do to improve is to provide a bag of the scones as passengers are departing the ship on the last day. In fact the Pastry chef on this ship is a genius.

CABINS I usually have a balcony but went with an outside this time. I felt I didn't need a balcony and I was right. I was upgraded two categories so I ended up with a C1 very close to the Reception area on deck 4. It was perfect. The bathroom was smallish but very usable.

ACTIVITIES There was plenty to do if you wanted. We did trivia, read , sat by the pool, went to a wide variety of lectures, my sister played bridge a lot, etc. They did have bingo and cooking demos. The evening entertainment was fine. They don't have a big area for the performers but they certainly made good use of what they did have. The Regatta singers and dancers put on several shows that were heavy on singing. They were very good and enjoyable. They also had a vocalist, a comedienne and a magician. The cruise director put on a very good show too. The cruise director was wonderful. He doesn't have much of staff so he is very involved with everything.

PORTS Ports are ports and I'm not going to bore you with the details. We stopped at St. George Bermuda; Horta and Punta Delgado in the Azores; Motril(Granada), Valencia and ended in Barcelona. We had lots of sea days and I love sea days. I will say that Horta and Punta Delgado are absolutely spectacular. If you haven't been there and you have the opportunity take it.

OVERALL I loved my first Oceania cruise and I would go again in a heartbeat. It was so relaxing and the people were so friendly. At least half of the nights we joined other people for dinner and drinks That never has happened to us on other lines. (I read about it happening to Keith all of the time and now I know what he is talking about it.) I wasn't disappointed in any area, but then again I am usually so happy to be cruising that I can manage to overlook a lot. But I really didn't need to overlook anything to enjoy this cruise.

If you have any questions feel free to ask. I'll try to answer qickly.

Re: Oceania regatta June11-June 25

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:26 pm
by Marybeth
I just realized I didn't mention DISEMBARKATION. It was super easy and so fast. It seemed like we were the only people getting off the ship. We were scheduled to leave at 8 am and we did. We had a van to get us to BCN waiting and we were at the airport by about 8:50. Like I mentioned earlier the only thing they could have done better at disembarkation was to hand us a bag of scones and maybe some of the sugar free cookies.

Re: Oceania regatta June11-June 25

Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:58 pm
by HostDave
Thank you so much for your report! Sounds like you had a great time.

Re: Oceania regatta June11-June 25

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:29 am
by YFlower
My thanks, as well, for the report!

When I travel solo, one of the things I like on Crystal is one can order room service off the MDR menu for dinner. Apparently HAL permits this, too. Do you know if Oceania does?

Re: Oceania regatta June11-June 25

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:59 am
by Marybeth
I don't really know. they have a very extensive room service menu, although I never used it. I would think you could order off of the menu. I can't see a reason why they wouldn't accommodate you.