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Kenneth Eden

Age: 60

Occupation:retired

Number of Cruises: 72

Cruise Line: Oceania

Ship: Regatta

Sailing Date: 2008-09-23

Itinerary: 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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