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we're booked on Regatta December 9 and have been reading rave reviews about the Oceania adn Regatta...until today. There are several recent rviews by people who had little or nothing good to say. Is Oceania changing or was this just a few people who are never satisfied. We have cruised previously on Celebrity and are trying Oceania because the quality of Celebrity's product (notably the food) has dropped noticeably, So is Regatta a good choice or a mistake? Oh, incidentally, we don't care much about shows, we go on cryuises to veg and graze.

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You will be amazed at the quality of the product that Oecania presents. My wife and I cruised on Regatta in Jan and we were totally thrilled by the service, ship and of course the fine dining. Oceania far exceded all of our expectations in these areas. This was our 10th or 11th, can't remember exactly, cruise. I am in my 50s wife 40s and we had a great time. We were a little younger than most on the ship, meeting people is not why we cruise. We cruise to be together, which is very hard to do in this busy work world we live in. We did find the people that we met were quite nice and very interesting. We were so disapointed in the food on other lines that we both said "if Oceania's food didn't make us happy this would be our last Cruise. We are looking forward to another with Oceania.

My wife and I dine out in fine restaurants here in Las Vegas all the time due to our jobs. We both felt that if we were to have paid for all of the fine dining on land that was included in the price of our cruise we would have been out many hundreds of dollars more than we paid for our 11 day cruise.

The entertainment was just fine for us. The piano player was wonderful and the string quartet quite nice. The group Black Tie very good. Leslie Jon cruise director worked very hard. They did have a magician that needed a little help. He would have had a hard time getting a job here in LV on a street corner. Who knows maybe he was a comic? We got a good laugh at his act.

I hope you enjoy your vacation half as much as we enjoyed ours...if so, you will be thrilled. Please e mail me if you want details.


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What a relief. Sounds like Oceania is indeed what we're looking for. This is only our third but the others were both on Celebrity and it sounds like they aren't really comparable to the Oceania experience. So from a food perspective, which dining option was your favorite? Does The Polo Grill compare favorably to say a Ruth's Chris? Also, our previous cruises were both on Millenium class ships which had very little ntocieable movement at sea. I assume Regatta rolls a little more due to her size. Is motion sickness a concern?


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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by chazaroo:

What a relief. Sounds like Oceania is indeed what we're looking for. This is only our third but the others were both on Celebrity and it sounds like they aren't really comparable to the Oceania experience. So from a food perspective, which dining option was your favorite? Does The Polo Grill compare favorably to say a Ruth's Chris? Also, our previous cruises were both on Millenium class ships which had very little ntocieable movement at sea. I assume Regatta rolls a little more due to her size. Is motion sickness a concern?




Our favorite place to dine was the Grand Dining room. We had some very good meals in all of the venues. The Toscana was not our favorite since we are not big pasta or veal eaters, on our curise the service was a little slow the two nights we ate there. The polo had filets very much in line with top steak houses around the country. I could cut the two filets that I orderd with my fork both nights. The lobster was nothing to write home about but good. One word of caution, if you go to the bar in Polo which is really nice and quaint, be careful when you get out of your bar stool. They seem to be made for giant people and the first step down is WAY DOWN especially after a few pre dinner cocktails and the rolling of the sea. LOL

While growing up in So Cal our front yard was sand on the ocean in Palos Verdes. My dad was a famous competition spear fisherman / skin diver. When lobster was in season we would have it just about daily. I am pertty hard to please when it comes to this dish and don't order it much because nothing tastes better than a pacific spiney 20 minutes out of the water on to your plate and that is hard to find these days. On other cruise lines I have found it quite funny watching people order as many extra lobster tails as they can get, I guess they are trying to off set the price of their cruise by eating low quaility tasteless rubbery lobster. Oceanias lobster was as good as you usually get in a good restaurant.

We did not have dinner in Tapas. We did look at it a few times and everything looked great but the menu looked so good in the grand dining room on these nights we were afraid that we miss something wonderful by dining in Tapas. We did not miss anything! The waves grille on deck for lunch was always fantastic. We even got the cooks to sear us some Ahi Tuna rare the day it was on the menu with cajun blackenend seasoning. This was out of this world. They are not supose to do it rare but we promised not to tell. The cuts of tuna were about the size you would get at dinner in a nice restaurant. The burgers at waves were also the best we have ever had a sea. Geez I am making myself hungry as I type.

I know everyone has different tastes when it comes to food, but on our cruise I didn't hear many complaints. We did hear a lot of rave reviews from people that I am sure are very hard to please. If you like fish don't miss the sea bass when you see it on the dinner menu it is probably one of the best dishes my wife and I have ever had. We dined by ourselves every night which was very nice. The tables are pretty close to each other and people in the area would alwasy ask each other how they like their dish and I never heard anyone say anything less than great.

As far as sea sickness goes. We alway use meclazine I think that is bonnie? When ever you are on the ocean the sea has its own mind. I don't know why anyone would complain about rough seas when they choose to take a cruise in the first place. This is all part of the cruise expierence. The Regatta was in a little weather on our cruise and I enjoyed the rolling. It might have been a little more movement than on a huge ship but not bad at all. I have been in a Cyclone in the Tasman sea on Princess for 4 days cruising the south pacific for 16 days, was it fun? NO. Was it a cruise expierence YES. Have I talked about it many times since YES. Do I look forward to that again NO, but it would not let it wreck my vacation if it happened again. These ships are not made for Lake Crusing they are made for the Ocean. One thing nice about bad weather is there is usually no lines anywhere on the ship. One other thing you can't believe the sound the ship makes when it is bending and twisting in terrible weather.LOL

Take Meclazine a few day before you go on your cruise to see if you get sleepy from it. I have found it to be very good. If you have an inside cabin motion sickness seems to come up on you more than if you have a balcony or cabin with a window.

Have a great time.

If Oceania is as bad as just a few people feel it is, on these boards you won't have to worry come next December they will be out of business.

I don't think there is even a slight chance of that. They have a great product and I am sure it will be even better by December.

Good Luck.


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Thanks for the info on dining. We'll definitely watch for the Sea Bass. We get it here in Florida periodically and it's one of our favorites. As for lobster, I tried it last december on Celebrity's Summit. It was an interesting combination of rubbery texture and very fishy taste. I should have known. Trying to cook lobster for eight or nine hundred people at a crack is insane. Although that still doesn't excuse the fishy taste. As for the bonine,we tried that on the last cruise and had no problems with it. Then again, as I said before, ships that big don't roll a whole lot. Anyway your description of the food makes me wish we were leaving now. We have six months and change to develop an appetite. Thanks again for the scoop on Oceania. I'm convinced now that those bad reviews were people who will never be happy with anything.


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We've been on Celebrity twice, the Infinity and the Mercury, both in the Caribbean. We liked Infinity better, but both were good ships and we had a great time on both cruises. I have to say, we've never had a bad cruise, no matter what ship, or how "upscale" or "downscale" the line. A decent cabin, plenty of good food, a willing crew, some good weather and some interesting ports, how could anyone be unhappy? More to the point, why would anyone want to let a couple of little things spoil an entire cruise?


Oceania's food is definitely a notch, or two, above Celebrity's, which we thought was quite good in it's own right. An added plus is the 2 no-surcharge alternative restaurants (3 if you count Tapas). Celebrity had flashier entertainment, and I have to admit, for big-ship the Millenium class is our favorite. OTOH, on Oceania, you don't need a skateboard or a moped to get around the [much smaller] ship, and the ship itself we thought was equally nice.


We were highly impressed with the crew on Insignia in April. Overall, it was the best dining room service we've had at sea, and we thought the rest of the crew was equally efficient, and dare I say it, RELAXED. You can spot a good crew a mile off because they're good while making it seem easy. Insignia had that feel last month.


We were on the Regatta's inaugural along with many other frequent posters on this line, and while a good time was had by all, it was clear that Oceania, ahem, had a few details to work on. I'm perhaps even more impressed than Claudia at how hard they've worked over the past 10 months to address passenger comments, and incorporate passenger suggestions. We generally turn in crammed comment cards, and I'd say Oceania implemented over 90% of our remarks by the time of our latest cruise.


I would agree with Twine that the main dining room was excellent, although we enjoyed our meals at the other 3. Tapas is a particularly good choice if you've had a late day ashore, while Polo served some truly huge and excellent steaks. We liked Toscana quite well, but they had fewewr menu choices that appealed to us (the menus in Toscana and Polo are the same every night) while the main dining room menu changed every night. Waves does serve the best burgers we've had at sea. I think they use ground sirloin or something, rather than the cheap hamburger meat you get on most lines.


About 7 or 8 of the staff recognized and greeted us when we boarded, as repeat cruisers, which was a very nice feeling. Because we were on back-to-back cruises, (there were only about 6 others) many of the crew gave us extra attention on the second cruise. The Maitre 'D, a wonderfully suave (and according to the ladies, wonderfully good-looking) fellow named Enzo called us by name on the second cruise. Even on a 650 passenger ship, how many pax get that from the Maitre 'D? Not only were we pleased with him, we were impressed with the job he did of running the dining room staff. All of them were good, and Erceg, Adele, Zjhost, Zshusanna, Stephanie, Robert, Stephen and Esme were only a few of those that deserve special mention. Our cabin stewards Maya and Adrian couldn't do enough for us. We made friends with Cruise Consultant Jennifer Faust and pianist Tian Jiang, both incredibly warm and humorous people. Leslie Jon, the cruise director, started recognizing me by face if not name (probably as that "crazy exercise guy"). We left with the feeling that this was a happy ship staffed with mostly very warm people. Needless to say, we booked a couple more cruises while aboard, and I hope to manage a couple cruises a year with Oceania for many years to come.


As for recent negative postings, without commenting on the posts themselves, this board has several hundred members who have already tried Oceania and reported back on their satisfaction. Recently, there have been two posters who've been quite vocal about how unhappy they were. You can decide for yourself whether you wish to place more weight on the opinions of 2 vs 200.


IMHO, Oceania has done nothing but improve steadily over the past year, from what was a pretty good beginning. I have litle doubt that their passenger experience will get even beter with time.


Having said all that, our next cruise is on Constellation for a July Baltic cruise. For us, Connie's itinerary was better (already done the North Sea), and the pricing was about $3,000 less for 2 people. While we definitely prefer "O", it's hard for me to think of a cruise on "X" as a hardship. icon_smile.gif


Doug n Sherry


[This message was edited by douganswerphone on 05-25-04 at 08:19 PM.]


[This message was edited by douganswerphone on 05-25-04 at 08:30 PM.]

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As somebody who sailed on the same cruise with Doug, I'll second his comments, adding a few of my own.


First, the Tapas buffet saved us countless hours in the dining rooms, especially when we returned late from a tour and wanted to hit the sack early for an 8 am tour the next. I'd recommend saving your reservations for Polo or Toscana for the sea days or on those evenings when you don't have to be in bed early or don't care to catch the 9:45 entertainment offering.


Also, after the first or second day, I noticed that many of the items at Tapas Buffet were also offered on the menu in the Grand Dining Room, the only difference being that you could get as much (or as little) as you liked. So if you're into portion control or in want of a quick meal, keep Tapas in mind.


The Waves Grill has expanded their menu beyond the standard hamburger, hot dog, and fries. In addition to the aforementioned tuna, panini had a permanent spot on the menu, along with a couple of traditional grilled sandwiches. They were open until 3 or 4, serving those passengers who happened to sleep through lunch.


Fishy-tasting lobster tails are probably due to the tails being frozen (or thawed) in salt water. And when it's prepared, it might be boiled in salt water instead of grilled. I've never had problems when eating fresh ones, and I try to avoid mass-prepared ones for exactly that reason - I hate to waste calories on a previously frozen and now overcooked lobster tail - especially when there's red meat on the menu!


I don't know if you noticed, but the handful of complainants were passengers who sailed on the Regatta's transatlantic cruise back in March. One explanation is that many of the Regatta's seasoned crew members left the Regatta to staff the newer Insignia that month, turning the transatlantic voyage into a shakedown cruise for their inexperienced replacements. But judging from the comments from the more recent Regatta cruisers, I think the new staff has caught up pretty well. And to second Doug's vote of confidence, we booked ourselves for another Oceania cruise while we were aboard (on another inaugural voyage, no less!).


The R-class ships (including the Regatta, Insignia, and Tahitian Princess) tend to ride a little rougher in heavy seas due to their smaller size and their shallower drafts. It's a trade-off that enabled them to get into smaller ports, but it does makes them more susceptible to ocean swells. If seasickness bothers you, try to avoid a cabin (or a dining room table, especially) that faces the bow or stern where you're forced to see how much the ship is pitching or yawing. Instead, go for a nice view of the ship's interior. icon_smile.gif


If you don't like taking medication to treat mal de mer, there are these copper bracelets you can wear that trigger pressure points on your wrist that takes your mind off the rocking motion. I've never tried them because I don't get seasick, but they don't leave you feeling all doped up before heading off on an 8-hour tour!





From the Insignia's Inaugural sailing (4/3/2004)


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Thanks to all for the info on Oceania. You have eliminated any doubts I had about our choice. Although I must add that the negative comments I read were a little suspect from the beginning. Also thanks for the explanation of the fishy tasting lobster on Summit. I'd never experienced that before. In closing I think it's safe to say that the toughest part of this cruise is going to be waiting for December 9th. thanks all! icon_biggrin.gif

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Really appreciate everyone's comments. Just booked our first Oceania cruise--Manaus to Bridgetown, 3-1-05--and am RIDICULOUSLY excited to try this wonderful-sounding cruise line with these stunning ports. The great food will just be a bonus!

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My wife and I are booked for the 9/23 cruise from Barcelona to Venice. We sailed on Regatta when it was Renaissance cruises. We are looking forward to this cruise as it will be a celebration of my wife's retirement and my 60th birthday. We have traveled a great deal through France and Italy but would like some info on some of the ports on this cruise. Dubrovnik, Marseille, Corsica. We usually do our own thing in port and don't use the cruise tours.

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I would absolutely agree with Paragraph 6 of drwangs statement. I was on the March Regatta and there were many, many inexperienced staff members. It did make a difference. Different ships, Insignia vs Regatta and different ports provide different experiences. I can't compare my carrib. cruises with a European cruise. I don't agree with the "unhappy people" statements. It's different cruises with different experiences. To me its hard to be on any cruise and not have a good time. At this particular time there were a few too many crew members that were clueless, smiled and gave you that blank stare.

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  • 1 year later...

I am so excited ,we also have booked a cruise on the insignia with 2 other couples.Sept. 30th 2006.We are going from Rome to Athens.I heard oceania is a little poor when it comes to excursions.Can anyone help me plan excursions or give me some info.I guess I'll have to book online.Any other tibits would be great.We are in our late 40's will be the youngest on the ship or is there a nice range of ages?I think I found transfers in Rome I just need to find transfers to the airport in Athens.Any ideas?:confused:


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If you go to the Ports of Call section, you will find lots of information about each port.


It will be easier for us to help you if you list your ports. I admit that I'm too lazy to go to the Oceania website and look them up.


You will be among the younger passengers, but I think you will still find lots of interesting passengers.

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We tried Oceania Insignia this past January around the Horn, and we were so pleasantly surprised that wef have 2 more booked with them. We have been on Crystal, Oceania, Vistafjord, Saga, HAL, Seabourn, and many others, and I have found Oceania to be a true, relaxing vacation. You have made an excellent choice.

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I don't know if you noticed, but the handful of complainants were passengers who sailed on the Regatta's transatlantic cruise back in March. One explanation is that many of the Regatta's seasoned crew members left the Regatta to staff the newer Insignia that month, turning the transatlantic voyage into a shakedown cruise for their inexperienced replacements.


This comment gives me pause.......................


We are on the Regatta T/A on 17 Nov. Any chance that Oceania will do this again to staff the Nautica? I really wouldn't knowingly choose to be on a cruise like that again. At least not on my first cruise on that line. We did that with RCI once and didn't go back again. If first impressions are that bad, who would go back for a second one?:eek:

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