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Overview of the Oceania Regatta
The 684-passenger Regatta cruise ship of Oceania Cruises is marketed as a "premium" ship, but it includes many features such as excellent service and cuisine normally expected only on "luxury" lines. Therefore, the Regatta is a good value for cruise travelers who enjoy something extra for their vacation dollar.
Although the ship's atmosphere is comfortable and casual, the ship interiors are elegant and stunning. The Grand Staircase leading from Reception to the Upper Hall is reminiscent of those seen in some of the grand mansions of the Old South. The ship's decor has a lot of rich, dark wood paneling, Oriental carpets, and heavy draperies.
Oceania Cruises is primarily a destination-oriented cruise line. Its mid-sized ships can visit ports inaccessible to larger ships, and it features many longer itineraries or those designed for combination into multiple segments. As a mid-sized ship, the Regatta is large enough to feature multiple dining venues and spacious interiors, but small enough to avoid the crowds and lines many travelers dislike on big ships. However, like most smaller ships, the Regatta does not offer as many onboard activities or the varied entertainment options seen on larger ships.
This article provides a tour of the Regatta, including more information on the accommodations, cuisine, spa and fitness center, onboard activities, and entertainment.Continue to 2 of 6 below.
02 of 06
Regatta Accommodations - Cabins and Suites on the Oceania Regatta Cruise Ship
The Regatta has six types of cabins and suites, with multiple price level categories, depending on the deck, location, or amenities. All the accommodations have private baths and good storage, and some are connecting.
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- Inside Stateroom (category F and G) -- These 28 cabins are inside (no window or porthole) on decks 4, 6, 7, and 8. Measuring 169 square feet, the inside cabins have a shower, vanity desk, and queen or two twin beds. Some inside cabins have extra Pullman beds, turning them into triples or quads.
- Ocean View Stateroom (category E) -- The 18 category E ocean view cabins are on deck 6. Although the 143-square foot cabins have natural light from a large window, they have obstructed views. The category E cabins have a shower, vanity desk, and small table. The queen-size bed can be converted to two twins.
- Ocean View Stateroom (category D) -- The 15 category D ocean view staterooms are on deck 3. They are 165-square feet and have a porthole. They feature a shower, sofa, vanity desk, and table. The queen-size bed can be converted to two twins. Some of the category D cabins are triples with a sofabed.
- Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom (category C1 and C2) -- The 56 category C1 and C2 deluxe ocean view cabins are located on decks 4, 6, and 7. Like the category D cabins, they measure 165-square feet but have a large window rather than a porthole. The category C1 and C2 cabins have a shower, sofa, vanity desk, and breakfast table. The queen-sized bed can be converted into two twins, and some of the cabins are triples with a sofabed.
- Veranda Stateroom (category B1 and B2) -- The 216-square foot veranda cabins on deck 6 feature a private teak balcony, shower, vanity desk, sofa, and table. The queen-sized bed can be converted into two twins, and some of the cabins are triples with a sofabed.
- Concierge Level Veranda Stateroom (category A1, A2, and A3) -- The concierge cabins on deck 7 are 216-square feet, the same size as the veranda staterooms on deck 6. However, they have some of the same amenities as the penthouse cabins, including a flat-screen TV, refrigerated mini-bar, priority restaurant reservations, and early embarkation.
- Penthouse Suite (category PH1, PH2, PH3) -- The 322-square foot Penthouse suites on deck 8 are not true suites since they do not have a separate sleeping area. They do include all the amenities found on the concierge level. In addition, they feature a tub/shower combination, a larger seating area, and butler services.
More on the Regatta Penthouse Suites
- Owner's Suite and Vista Suite (category OS and VS) -- These 10 luxurious suites in the corners of decks 6, 7, and 8 are often the first booked. They range from 786 to almost 1000 square feet and are true suites, with a separate sleeping area. These suites include all sorts of amenities such as butler service, large decks, a guest toilet, and two TVs. The suites also include an exclusive invitation to a special "Chef's Patio" dinner.
03 of 06
Regatta Dining and Cuisine - Dining Venues on the Oceania Regatta
The Regatta has four main dining venues, and all provide an excellent selection of diverse choices for the cruise ship passengers. The Executive Culinary Director for Oceania Cruises is Master Chef Jacques Pepin and he and his team of onboard executive chefs have developed interesting menus with delightful dishes. All four restaurants have open seating, and none have an extra surcharge. The four restaurants are:
- The Grand Dining Room features American-inspired Continental cuisine for dinner. It is also open for breakfast and lunch. The armchairs are very comfortable, and the table settings are exquisite. Located aft on deck 5, many tables offer a window view. Six courses are served for dinner, and a wide array of traditional and regional dishes are available. A "light fare" menu is also available.
- The Terrace Cafe aft on deck 9 serves buffet breakfast and lunch, with different cuisines (Oriental, seafood, Mexican, Italian) featured on some days. Many of the passengers (including me) loved having fresh berries every day for breakfast. In the evenings, the alfresco dining area of the Terrace Cafe becomes Tapas on the Terrace, a casual buffet of Mediterranean specialties. It was too cold to sit outside the evening we ate at the Terrace, but we still enjoyed the delicious selections.
- Toscana is an intimate Italian restaurant (90 guests) specializing in Tuscan dishes. The menu is large and the selections are numerous. Anyone who loves fresh pasta and other Italian dishes will love this place. Located aft on deck 10, many of the tables have a nice view of the sea. Reservations are required.
- The Polo Grill is also aft on deck 10 and located next to Toscana. It seats 96 and looks much like a 1930's style steakhouse with leather chairs and photos of famous old movie stars covering the walls. The steaks, prime rib, and grilled lobster are all delicious, as were the salads and desserts. Reservations are required.
In addition to these four dining options, guests can choose from an extensive room service menu. Penthouse and suite guests can have dinner served by the course in the comfort of their suite.
Once each cruise, the guests in the 10 suites are invited to an exclusive "Chef's Patio" dinner served poolside under the stars. It's a very special meal, designed and prepared by the executive chef.Continue to 4 of 6 below.
04 of 06
Regatta - Bars and Lounges on the Oceania Regatta
The Regatta features several elegant lounges. The observation lounge forward on deck 10 is aptly named the Horizons Lounge. It features marvelous views of the sea and is perfect for sunset watching. Service starts early in Horizons, with early continental breakfast (with yummy pastries) available after 6:30 am. Horizons is also a good place to read a book and keep an eye on the ocean. Horizons has a small dance floor and features live music for dancing in the late afternoon and before and after dinner.
Horizons is very popular in the mid-afternoon. One of the traditions Oceania has carried over from the elegant ocean liners of the past is afternoon tea. Served in the Horizons Observation Lounge forward on deck 10, tea is a peaceful way to enjoy an hour in the late afternoon. (I also love those scones, jam, and cream!) A string quartet or small combo provides live music to accompany the tea and snacks. Very nice.
Horizons is not the only popular bar on the Regatta. The outdoor Waves bar is open from mid-morning until late night. The Grand Bar next to the Grand Dining Room is open during lunch and before and after dinner. It has a faux fireplace and is a good place to meet friends for a drink before dinner. Martinis is centrally located next to the casino on deck 5. It has comfortable seating, an atmosphere conducive to conversation, and an excellent pianist.
The Regatta featured daily Happy Hour "2-for-1" specials in Horizons and Martinis each evening between 5:00 and 6:00 pm. Both bars are crowded with those seeking a bargain.
Since many of the cruisers are often senior citizens, it probably won't be much of a party crowd, but the bars will usually full of travelers sharing stories.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
Regatta Canyon Ranch Spa and Fitness Center
The Regatta's spa and fitness center are operated by the Canyon Ranch SpaClub, the same company that owns the famous Canyon Ranch Health Resorts in Arizona, Massachusetts, and Florida.
The Regatta Canyon Ranch SpaClub includes most of the skin care, body treatments, massages, acupuncture, Ayurveda, and salon services found in spas ashore and on other cruise ships.
Regatta also has an aromatic steam room and thalassotherapy pool with adjoining private sundeck. Passengers can purchase daily passes for these thermal environments, and those with spa appointments can use the facilities for free on the day of their appointment.
The fitness center adjoins the spa on the Regatta. The fitness center features all the latest equipment, including treadmills, bicycles, and ellipticals. Located forward on deck 9, you will have great sea views while working out. The fitness center staff lead many complimentary classes each day, but the spinning, yoga, and Pilates classes have a small fee, as do other specialty classes. The staff will also perform a basic fitness assessment or develop a personalized SpaClub exercise program for those wanting to go home in better shape than when they boarded.Continue to 6 of 6 below.
06 of 06
Regatta Onboard Activities and Entertainment
Although most travelers love their cruise experience on the Regatta, it would not be a good choice for those who expect Las Vegas-style entertainment and onboard activities like rock climbing, bowling, or ice skating. The casino has slots, roulette, and card game tables, but lacks a craps table.
Evening entertainment is held in the Regatta show lounge. The ship does not have an onboard song and dance troupe. The Regatta Lounge stage and venue is relatively small, and the entertainment is more cabaret style. Cruises often feature musicians, magicians, comedians, impressionists, and vocalists. The entertainment was good, but not comparable to that seen on large ships. However, the Regatta Lounge is usually packed for every show, which indicates that most people enjoyed what they saw and wanted more. One small problem is that the lounge floor is flat, so it can be difficult to see the entertainment if sitting in the back. However, three large screens are used to augment the shows.
Passengers spent their days at sea on the Regatta expanding their knowledge through excellent onboard lecturers, computer classes, or Spanish lessons. Some enjoyed traditional indoor activities such as bingo, sewing, bridge, and wine tastings, while others ventured outside for shuffleboard, table tennis, putting competitions, or the pool. The afternoon trivia contests usually attracted over 100 participants. Of course, with a group of lifelong learners onboard, it seemed like everyone was reading a book from the beautiful library. Many of my fellow travelers loved to read there and enjoy the atmosphere. The ship also has DVDs and several movies each day on the cabin TVs.
The Regatta has a computer center, Oceania @ Sea, where passengers can check their email or surf the Internet for a fee. Computer classes on fixing and organizing digital photos and basic computer skills were well-attended. WiFi is available ship-wide, even in the cabins. However, the WiFi speed was much slower than on the computers hard-wired in Oceania @ Sea.
As noted earlier, the lack of mega-ship features has not seemed to hurt the Regatta or Oceania Cruises. Oceania passengers return again and again for the fascinating itineraries, good service, good food, and beautiful ships.