Joanie Ogg CTC MCC
Occupation:President - NACTA
Number of Cruises: Lots
Cruise Line: Oceania
Sailing Date: n/a
Regatta Cruise Review
Finding the pier that Oceania uses in Miami is easy and it is located in a great location. As one heads to the Miami Pier over the causeway, simply exit where you see the Royal Caribbean International offices and follow the simple signs to Pier 12. If you are driving a car, you can pull up right in front of pier and leave your luggage to be checked and park less than 200 feet away at a covered lot with plenty of parking. The cost was $12.00 a day and must be prepaid. They accept cash, MasterCard or Visa, but no American Express.
I made my way to check-in and the time was about 1:00 pm. There were no lines, and it was a very pleasant process overall. I made my way to the ship, to my lovely cabin and began to explore the Regatta. I had been on the ship with Tom about 7 months before in Europe, so I was familiar with the lay of the land, but it is always fun to explore once again and see what changes there may have been made. I went to the gym to check it out, as I knew I would be spending a great deal of time there during the 12-day itinerary. I was pleased that they had added some new and updated cardio equipment and even TV screens to view movies and the news while walking, biking or using the treadmill.
I had some things to prepare for the group, so I headed back to my cabin and found my luggage had already arrived. This was a real treat, as it had only been about 40 minutes since I had checked it curbside. The remainder of the afternoon was spent setting up the programs for our meetings.
There has already been a very thorough review of the Regatta done with lots of pictures of the ship, so I will forego that aspect of the review and share my travelogue of the cruise. To read the review of the Regatta itself click here.
Beautiful and spacious describe it well. It is approximately 322 square feet and has a great deal of drawer and closet space, which for me is always an issue since I tend to over pack. The Penthouse Suites have a small mini-bar and a safe, as well as robes and slippers for your personal use. The linens on the beds are to die for and the cabin had a huge balcony with two reclining chairs and a table. The cabin features a large couch and a table with two chairs as well. A full-length mirror and several other mirrors located strategically throughout the cabin. There is a nice size bathtub shower and a good size sink with two large vanities. There is even a magnifying mirror in the room, which is unusual, and a nice compliment for the ladies to have use of. I arrived to a bottle of chilled champagne and welcome letters from our hosts at Oceania.
The Penthouse accommodation that I was so fortunate to enjoy boasts butler service and a great deal of additional amenities. I would highly recommend the Penthouse cabins as the size of the room along with all of the extra amenities really does make the experience very special. My butler Eduard came by to introduce him and to share with me what is included in his service. The information is as follows:
Complimentary Pressing of Two Garments Per Person Upon Arrival
Delivery of Afternoon Canapés and Cookies
Delivery of Full, Hot Breakfast In-Suite or On Your Veranda
In-Suite High Tea Service
Assistance with Reservations for Toscana and Polo Grill
Course by Course In-Suite Dining
Assistance with Destination Services and Shore Excursions
Assistance with Reservations for Mandara Spa
Packing and Unpacking Service
Assistance with Laundry and Dry Cleaning
Private Ship Tour
Oceania Hosted Cocktail
Reception for NACTA Members
At 7:00pm Jeff Drew, James Rodriquez and Bob Bender hosted us to a lovely cocktail reception in the Horizons Lounge. We had an opportunity to mingle and discussed some of the plans for the week’s seminars as we enjoyed cruising out of the Port of Miami.
I had dinner that evening with Jeff and James in the Grand Dining Room where we enjoyed a delicious dinner that was prepared beautifully. The presentation of the meals is really lovely.
Friday, December 10th 2004; Day at Sea
I started the day with an early workout and run in the gym prior to our first Meeting and Presentation by the gentlemen with Oceania. The meeting took place in the Polo Grill, which of course is empty in the daytime. Coffee, tea, juice and pastries were awaiting the group and the presentation was done by Bob Binder and followed by Jeff Drew. They shared all the new and updated offerings for Oceania and really put us in the know to better assist our clients.
The meeting ended at 11:00 am and most of the agents headed off to enjoy various activities taking place on the ship during the sea day. Such activities included, Pilates and yoga classes, bridge lessons, art auctions, trivia games, poolside music and many more great ways to spend the afternoon. A number of folks took advantage of the classes being taught in the Internet Café known as Oceania@Sea. They offer classes on Photo Shop, Word, Excel and many other great options. The instructors are a lovely couple that are very experienced and well versed in their fields. Many told me they look forward to attending more classes throughout the week.
Tonight was the Captains Welcome Reception in the Regatta Lounge which was a nice event and the Captain Dimitrios Flokos is a very friendly and gregarious gentleman who shared some very interesting information with us about the upcoming cruise as well as some great jokes.
Some of us decided to try out the Tapas on the Terrace for a more casual dinner venue. There were about nine of us and we had a table outside which was lovely. The Tapas option is a great one and personally one of my favorite eating venues on this ship. One can enjoy a delightful Caesar Salad personally prepared to your liking as well as many other options, which change nightly. Delicious food and very friendly waiters made this a great evening. Our group highly recommends the Sangria that is made fresh in the Tapas on the Terrace.
The show, which took place in the Regatta Lounge, featured Mark Friedman, who is a pianist playing a variety of music types, which was enjoyed by all.
Saturday, December 11th 2004; Day at Sea
This morning I met a number of our members in the gym for our early morning ritual, after which we enjoyed another great seminar presentation in the Polo Grill with our hosts from Oceania. Today we had a presentation by James Rodriquez on their new portal for agents and their special area designed just for agents who work from home. This was spectacular and everyone was anxious to start using these features when they return home. The second part of our seminar featured three department heads from the Regatta who shared the inner workings and responsibilities of their various teams. We were able to meet the General Manager Nicola Volpe and a representative from the Mandara Spa, the Shore Excursions department as well as the Chief Purser. It is so important to be able to better understand how these departments work and work so well to satisfy the guests. They are a great team and the result is simply a tremendous experience on Regatta. I applaud their efforts and their success at achieving such a great result with Oceania.
The rest of the day was again an enjoyable and leisurely day at sea where everyone was able to just enjoy the spa treatments, some sunbathing or simply napping on the great beds here on the Regatta.
This evening we met for a group picture in the Horizon’s Lounge and the photographers had quite a challenge with a group our size. They did a tremendous job as you can see below.
The NACTA Regatta Group
The picture was followed by dinner in both the Toscana and the Polo Grill hosted by Oceania. Half our group enjoyed Toscana and half enjoyed the Polo Grill. Toscana features a wide array and selection of delicious Italian offerings. It is difficult to decide so as you sit deciding you simply decide to come again and try what you may have missed.
The Polo Grill is somewhat like a steak/seafood house with beautiful menus framed in leather and the restaurant offers a great atmosphere. Our hosts treated us to some wine, which we all loved and found later were from the Captains Special Reserve! We all appreciated this special attention. Dinner went well in to the night and some left for the show, which featured a comedian, and others just sat and enjoyed great conversation and good friends.Day 4, Sunday, December 13th 2004; Dominican Republic
Today was our first Port of Call where we visited La Romana in the Dominican Republic. The island was discovered by Columbus in 1492 and was originally called Espanola. Columbus’ brother founded the first European city n the New World here and called it Santo Domingo. Today it is the capital of the Dominican Republic.
The tender service began at about 8:30am and there were no lines or delays getting one’s ticket to tender and depart the ship for the day. The tender ride took about 10 minutes to arrive at the dock. The dock was actually a yacht harbor and part of the Casa de Campo area of La Dominica. It was a lovely dock with a nice array of beautiful shops and some lovely restaurants.
A group of us decided to get a cab and head out to visit a few sites. Our drive took us though some of the residential areas of Casa de Campo where our driver Enoc (who spoke perfect English) shared with us that houses cost from about 2 million to perhaps 5 or more in the area. The homes were huge and the area was beautifully manicured and obviously very special.
Our first stop was Altos de Chavon, which is a living replica of a 16th-century Mediterranean village. It is so quaint and beautiful that honestly you did feel as if you were on a completely different continent when you walked the stone streets and viewed the sites. It overlooks the Chavon River and offers a variety of galleries, shops, restaurants and a museum all in the true décor of the setting. We were told that this area has been the site of many movie sets and as we peered at the river below Enoc told us that the river area had been a movie set for Rambo, Apocalypse Now, and several other action films. In the center of the village sits a beautiful chapel, which was not open to visit unfortunately. We did however learn that the well known Michael Jackson married Priscilla Presley there and that soon Sammy Sosa of baseball fame would be married at that site. Apparently Sammy Sosa was born very nearby at the neighboring city, San Pedro de Macoris.
We headed back to the yacht harbor to drop some of the group who wanted to head back to the ship and three of us asked Enoc to take us to a great beach. He certainly did that as we drove about 30 minutes and arrived at a gorgeous white sand beach known as Dominiceus. It was an optional attire beach with a number of topless and yes totally nude bathers so just be aware. We had great fun and enjoyed a delicious lunch of sodas and Pringles while basking in the sun. Yes, there were restaurants beach side but we were just having a snack attack. The water was a perfect temperature and it was a lovely way to spend the afternoon. The beach seemed to be frequented by both tourists and locals with hotels on either side of us. Enoc waited for us for two hours and then we headed back to the ship for the remainder of the afternoon. We paid $3.00 each roundtrip for the trip to Altos de Chavon and the trip to the beach with two hours of sunning was $45 for all three of us. We found this to be very reasonable and Enoc was a great guide.
I had planned a surprise party for one of our great hosts Jeff Drew, as his birthday was the following day.
Birthday Boy Jeff Drew
He and the other Oceana sales and marketing team where disembarking to return to Miami on the 14th so we wanted to surprise him before he left.
Surprise Birthday Party Group
What a great group we have as everyone showed and we hid as best we could in the Horizon Lounge awaiting his arrival. My partner in crime James Rodriguez with Oceania told Jeff I needed to speak with him about a problem we had with one of the staff on the ship. Of course this was totally bogus and I think he was pretty nervous when he arrived. I met him at the door and headed around to the back of the lounge. I gave the string quartet the “Thumbs Up” and as he saw the group they played Happy Birthday for him. He was shocked and pleasantly so.
Celebrating a Birthday Toast
We gave him a gift of an Oceania shot glass with a shot of Whiskey and an Oceania shirt. The entire group had signed a card for him and we also gave him a copy of our group shot from the previous day. It was great fun and our way of thanking him for hosting the NACTA group with such style.
The group headed off to dinner in various directions and all and all a great day on the Regatta and in La Romana.Day 5, Monday, December 13th 2004; Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
This morning I had scheduled an optional seminar for the group in the Polo Grill. More than 30 early risers joined me to have a roundtable discussion about the cruise thus far as well as other industry trends that were taking place. All and all, it was a great exchange of information and enjoyed by all.
We arrived in Virgin Gorda at 12:00pm where we anchored just outside of the harbor. I lucked out and was on the first tender with some other agents and we headed straight for the famed Baths. We hopped on an open-air shuttle and for $3.00 was taken to The Baths, which is only about 15, minutes away. It started to pour down rain as we arrived so we looked for shelter in the small shops that are at the top of the trail leading to The Baths. The rain was brief as is typical but it was certainly a strong downpour. We were pretty drenched but laughed and enjoyed the experience.
The fee to go down the trail to the beach and The Baths is $3.00 as it is a National Reserve and the fee is used to keep the area beautiful and it certainly is that. We headed down the path, which was beautiful, but a bit challenging depending on one’s physical condition. I would recommend one wear tennis shoes to go down the path as one must walk on and through the rocks and stones to get to the beach. Once at the beach there is a refreshment and souvenir stand right on the beach. You can simply enjoy the beach which is truly spectacular or you might join the Survivor Club we dubbed ourselves and head into The Baths and the caves that lead to one of the prettiest coves and beaches I have seen in the Caribbean.
Three ladies finding our way through the caves was truly great fun and we laughed at our antics and lack of coordination as we made our way through the maze. There are beautiful pools in the rocks and caves where several folks stopped to enjoy a swim. We were on a mission so we made our way to the end of the trail and happened on the beautiful beach there. I had left my snorkel at home so I just sat on the beach and enjoyed the ambiance. The ladies with me went snorkeling and said it was truly some of the finest snorkeling they had yet to experience in the Caribbean.
It looked like rain was imminent so we decided to head back. Instead of taking the cave route we made a right at the fork in the path that said Car Park. Of course we had no idea where that might take us but as the rain started to pour down we figured it was worth a shot. Bad idea…. While it was a beautiful trail and without the strong downpour would have probably been a lovely walk, we were unable to look up to see it, as the rain was so strong. We again had some great times and will never forget our bad timing or wrong turn. Ultimately we did end up at the same place where the transfer had let us off which really gave us a chuckle. However, it took about 20 minutes longer than going through the caves. Lesson learned but we had great fun.
I enjoyed the shops at the top of The Baths and then took the ride back to the harbor. There are several shops and quaint restaurants right at the dock to explore. There is a great dive shop where I indulged in a Virgin Gorda tee shirt since I felt like such a Survivor! Back to the ship and a lovely dinner with some agents in the Tapas on Deck 10.Day 6, Tuesday, December 14th 2004; Basseterre, St. Kitts
Another beautiful day awaited us in St. Kitts. Coming in to the dock was really a beautiful site to behold. We docked at about 8:00am and after working in my cabin I ventured off the ship, as I wanted to try to get to Nevis, the sister island to St. Kitts as I had not yet been there. It was a Tuesday and I found that the ferry service to St. Kitts is limited on certain days so I had just missed the first ferry. So I made an executive decision to check out one of the beaches in order to do an in-depth beach review. I grabbed a cab for $10 with tip. It was only $8.00 each way but the driver was so informative that I wanted to thank him with a generous tip. It was a beautiful drive by some of the many sugar cane fields that run throughout the island. I opted for the closest beach as I had work to do back on the ship later in the day. There are several other beach choices such as Turtle Bay Beach, Cockleshell and Major’s Bay but I opted for South Frigate Bay.
The beach was beautiful and my early arrival at about 10:00am made for some great pictures of a relatively vacant beach. There are several small bars, restaurants as well as various vendors who make their personal beach area and beach lounges available for a fee. I picked one of the most comfortable looking lounge chair areas and for $6.00 had a chair right on the water and an umbrella to boot. I spent about 3 hours there and simply reveled in the beauty and the tranquility of the islands ambiance. Several beach vendors are anxious to give you Aloe Vera Massages and to sell local crafts but I opted to read my book and simply enjoy the day.
The beach became quite busy later in the day as the P & O Lines Oceana was in port with thousands of cruisers primarily from the U.K. I grabbed a taxi back to the town and did some picture taking and made some phone calls. I also found an Internet café in town, which was very reasonable. For 30 minutes it cost me about $3.00 US. It is easy to find and anyone from the ship’s staff can share directions with you as can the helpful tourist information booths right off the ship.
This evening several of us enjoyed a delicious meal in Toscana. It is truly a tremendous restaurant with so many choices on the menu as well as daily specials that are available. We shared a great evening of food and wine and I headed off to my cabin for another long sleep on the great beds on Oceania!Day 7, Wednesday, December 15th 2004; Roseau, Dominica
Dominica is well known for being the Nature Island of the Caribbean and it has truly earned that title. It is one of the most untouched islands I have visited in the Caribbean and was really a great experience. We docked at about 8:00am and some of us met at about 10:00am to make our way to discover some of the island pleasures and some beach/snorkel time.
For $15.00 each we hired a driver and his guide to take us to some of the key sites on the island. Sherry was our guide and we all just loved her. As she stated, she knows everything there is to know about her island and I believe she does. At 24 she is well versed in the flora, culture and distinctive areas that her island showcases. Her pride and love of her island made everyone enjoy the day all that much more.
We headed to the Botanical Gardens to see some of the very unique and beautiful flora and trees of Dominica. Then up the hill to the Trafalgar area to visit the rainforest and the famed waterfalls. There are 365 waterfalls in Dominica, which means one per day to enjoy! We left our van and paid a $2.00 fee to enter the rainforest. The walk was a beautiful experience and Sherry pointed out various creatures and plants along the way. There is a point where you get a tremendous view of the two waterfalls known as the “Mama” and the “Papa”. One is hot water and the other cold. The fall into pools that we made our way down to. One is, as you would suspect much like a warm hot tub and the other a cold pool. Definitely worth the trek down but not for all physical types so be aware. I also recommend tennis shoes for this day’s events.
After we made our way back we visited some of the local ladies at the parking area as they sold their wares. There were also two stands to purchase cold drinks, beer or rum if one wished to do so. We were ready for the beach now so Sherry and the driver took us what is known as Champagne Beach for our next adventure. There was a $3.00 fee to enter and that included a guide named Thomas who escorted us down the hill and across about ½ mile of very stony terrain to arrive at the best snorkel spot. Again, we had some great laughs as none of us was quite prepared for the long walk on the very challenging stones. The motto of the day was “Don’t step on the wrong rock” meaning of course that several will move under your feet and leave you on your backside. We huffed and puffed from our big walk and enjoyed some great snorkeling and swimming in clear blue water that was a perfect temperature.
We headed back to the ship and thanked Sherry with a nice tip for her great tour of “Her Island”. I made my way out later in the day and took pictures, made phone calls and then returned to the ship for a great workout in the gym and a wonderful dinner and great conversation in the Polo Grill with some NACTA Members.Day 8, Thursday, December 16th, 2004; Castries, St. Lucia
We arrived in St. Lucia to a rather rainy morning with the benefit of the rain being a spectacular rainbow over the water from one side of St. Lucia to the other. It was a great way to start the day.
Today was a not full of activities other than work as I had a great deal of emails and other work to catch up on. Seemed a rather rainy day would be a good one to make use of. It did clear and get quite warm off and on all day and I made my way off the ship to find an Internet café in town.
One can walk in Castries but it is quite a jaunt and the off and on rain talked me out of that option. I took the yellow and white ferry that goes from Point Seraphine where we docked to Castries. The fare is $2.00 USD roundtrip and runs every 15 minutes. A great buy and a fun ride which takes you right to dock that is located directly in front of the duty free shops and the downtown area of Castries.
I found a great internet café where the cost was about $2.00 for 30 minutes called Clickcom. I spent a few hours there catching up on my emails and work. The access was very fast and it was air-conditioned and a very comfortable café. I headed out to walk the downtown area and visited the Castries Market and the Vendors Arcade. There are open-air stalls in the Vendor’s Arcade and the Castries Market where they sell straw crafts, local produce and food, costume jewelry, T-shirts, hot sauces, honey and marmalade.
I had hoped to get out to a beach but the rain and lack of time left in the day made that something I will have to do the next time I visit the beautiful island of St. Lucia.
At about 4:00pm the Regatta featured a local Steel Drum Band poolside that was enjoyed by all. Just another great feature that Oceania offers to make the on board experience unique and special. We departed St. Lucia at about 6:00pm and the trip out of the harbor was a beautiful site to see. The lights from Castries made for a magical site to behold.
This evening a new and very special show was featured in the Regatta Lounge entitled “Bookmarks, a musical journey in our time.” It stared Shani Raney, JR Lustig, Amanda Cason and Daniel Stone. It was a great show with an absolutely full house of guests enjoying the musical stroll down memory lane performed by very talented singers and dancers. Do not miss this show if you have the chance to see it. It is a must!
Friday, December 17th, 2004;
St. Johns, Antigua
We awoke to yet another beautiful and sunny day as we entered St. Johns, Antigua known as the island with 365 beaches. I think a year on this island visiting one beach a day would be great fun! Antigua is located in the middle of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean. It is the largest of the English-speaking Leeward Islands at about 14 miles long and 11 miles wide.
The Nevis Pier where we docked is a charming area with a great variety of shops featuring local goods as well as some lovely clothes and other unique items. One could spend hours just roaming through the shops in this area. There are small restaurants and bars speckled through the shops as well. After leaving the ship I was able to find a great Internet Café right off the ship upstairs in one of the shopping complexes. I spent a few hours there at a whopping $2.00 US.
Several other ships were docked at the same area and therefore the tourist population today was rather high. I had asked a representative from the Island where one might find a quiet beach with services such as food and facilities but close by. She recommends her favorite, Runaway Bay so that was my next destination.
Runway Bay is about a 15-minute drive from St. Johns and was one of the most beautiful white-sand beaches I have seen in the Caribbean. I was there rather early so I had the beach almost to myself as the pictures show. The cab fare was $10 USD each way. Of course with more folks in the cab it would have been considerably less per person. I was traveling solo today. Bikini’s Bar and Restaurant is where the cab drops you. They have restroom facilities, showers and lounge chairs to use. The cost for a lounge chair with a palm umbrella and table was only $5.00USD. It was a very quiet and relaxing beach and one I highly recommend. Lunch was great and the service tremendous.
My cab driver in the morning said he would come back to get me about 2:00PM and sure enough he was there right on time. He took me back to the Internet Café for more email time and then I returned to the ship.
Tonight was dinner in the Toscana with some agents and again the food in this restaurant is consistently wonderful and the service terrific.Day 10, Saturday, December 18, 2004; St. Barths
Upon arriving in St. Barths located in the French West Indies we tendered just outside of Gustavia Harbor. Looking out over St. Barths and the surrounding hills and the beautiful yachts in the harbor reminded me of Monte Carlo. There is no doubt that St. Barths is a popular stop for private yachts making their way through the Caribbean. The size and obvious expense of the yachts and what looked like “mini-cruise ships” was unbelievable.
I am very fond of France and all other destinations that share the French culture and flavor. I loved St. Barths. The town of Gustavia right on the waters edge is not only charming but a great shopping venue as well. While items are relatively pricey and of course seemingly more so due to the Euro versus the dollar these days, the shopping was still a delight. Shops featured beautiful designer clothes and unique items and artists’ work making a stroll through the sunny streets of Gustavia a real joy. I made my way through town to Shell Beach, which is within easy walking distance of the tender drop. I stopped along the way to window shop and even then it only took about 20 minutes.
Shell Beach, more appropriately named Petite Anse de Galet is just a gorgeous bay with clear blue water and an incredible abundance of shells. Optional sunbathing attire is the norm as it is at most beaches frequented by Europeans. The beach offers a nice restaurant and bar and all an all a must beach on my favorite beaches list. Just south of Shell Beach is Anse du Governeur and Anse de Grande Saline often proclaimed to be the most perfect beaches in the world.
Sadly we had only a short day in St. Barths as we had to be back on the ship by 3:00pm. I found a wonderful market in town and purchased some great French wine and cheese for our group cocktail reception in my cabin tonight. I can only say that St. Barths is on my personal “Have to go back to” spots in the world. I loved it and hope to go spend a week there sometime. Once I found out it has surf that Andy and Tom would enjoy I knew selling this as a must go back to spot would not be difficult.
My butler Eduard kindly prepared my penthouse cabin for our group Open House and Cocktail party which began at 5pm. Everyone enjoyed drinks and watching an absolutely breathtaking sunset from the suite. The group was invited to the cocktail reception hosted by Nicola Volpe the General Manager of the M/S Regatta for Oceania Club Members. It was a lovely event and folks went to dinner to the various venues after the cocktail hour. I decided to return the cabin and catch up on some work. The food on the Regatta is just spectacular and I have been overindulging. I felt one night without dinner would not kill me…. Sure did miss it though!
11, Sunday, December 19, 2004; Day at Sea
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas on the Regatta! Last night while we all slept the crew decorated the ship with all of the trimmings. It looks beautiful and I have taken pictures of every tree I could find and there are so many. It truly put everyone in the Christmas spirit and it makes the ship look even more beautiful with all of the grand décor.
Today we are headed back to Miami and are looking forward to two glorious sea days on this spectacular ship. Some of today’s activities on board included a presentation by Nicola Volpe the GM of the Regatta on their upcoming journeys and plans for itineraries and ships for Oceania. The Mandara Spa offered a variety of treatments and classes and the always popular Jackpot Bingo and Art Auction were big hits for the day. There were also classes offered on various topics in the Internet Café. These classes have been a real hit and many of our agents have enjoyed the instructors and their tremendous experience and knowledge. The sun shined all day with a perfect blend of fluffy clouds to cool down the sunbathers. It was a great day and a very relaxing one of all.
I met with some folks in the Martini’s Lounge for pre-dinner discussion and to listen to the music of Maciek the pianist who so skillfully played for us all week. He is from Gadansk in Poland and is truly a master at his art.
Some of us dined in the Polo Grill and enjoyed yet another sumptuous meal with the most terrific service performed by our personal favorites…. Waiter Luarentio Roncea, and Daniel Biacu his master assistant waiter. The majority of the group dubbed these two young and might I add very handsome men our favorites. Their tremendous sense of humor and expert style made our dining in Polo the best of experiences. I promised them a picture on this review so here they are…. If you travel on the Regatta you must ask for their table and say hi from the NACTA agents for us.
After dinner we enjoyed a great performance in the Regatta Lounge staring Shani Raey, JR Lustig, Amanda Cason and Daniel Stone and featuring the Regatta Orchestra. The music was wonderful as was the dancing. These four performers are so talented that each time they are on the stage the room is full to overflowing. This evening’s performance ended with very special and heartfelt thoughts. They performed a series of songs for those in our military now serving and those in the room who had served. Each song they sang had the ladies and gentlemen who gave their service standing proudly. After which they brought on what looked to be the entire crew of the ship all the way to the great folks who work in the galley. They sang for us “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” which brought tears to many eyes and warm feelings to our hearts. This crew and its officers are really not to be compared with any other that I have experienced on a ship. They are like a family and treat you as if you too are part of their family.Day 11, Monday, December 20, 2004; Day at Sea
Today is our last day on board the Regatta and it while most of us are anxious to get home for Christmas, we are not anxious to leave this new home we have moved into.
We had a seminar this morning and then everyone went their ways to enjoy the ships services for the day.
As with yesterday’s schedule there were a variety of classes, games, seminars offered throughout the day. Some great sale prices were also available on items in the gift store. Many enjoyed the Grand Finale Art Show and Auction as well. Many passengers have shared with me that these auctions are some of the best they have ever attended on ships.
Tonight there will be a pre-dinner show entitled” 50’s & 60’s Stroll Down Memory Lane” followed by other evening cocktail and music enjoyment throughout the ship.
Bags must be out by11:00pm and we will disembark the ship starting at 8:00am on December 21st.