We were on the "Caribbean Hideaways" 12-night cruise of Oceania's Regatta last week. Here are our thoughts:
We are a married couple, in our 50s, and this was our tenth cruise. Previously, all our cruises have been on "mainstream" lines such as Royal Caribbean, Princess, Carnival, and Celebrity. This was our first "upscale" line to try.
Embarkation was smooth and quick; we were on in a flash, and escorted to our stateroom by a smiling white-gloved attendant. Our cabin was a Category B balcony, and it was pretty much the same as the other cruises we've been on, except that there are very high quality sheets, a down comforter, and six down pillows on the bed, making for a very relaxing sleep experience. The room had no refrigerator, and, as we like to have a drink on our balcony from time to time, we brought a soft-sided collapsible cooler that our stewardess kept filled with ice daily. We brought our own wine and vodka and kept these iced down.
The public areas of the ship are gorgeous. I am an interior decorator, and very critical in this area, and I was blown away! The oriental rugs, elaborate draperies, fine furniture, and dark wood paneling evoke a luxurious "Ritz Carlton" feeling.
There are four restaurants, with open seating in each. They are all very good quality. I would rate the food an A-; it was the best we've had at sea, but not better than the best restaurants on land. The French pastries were to die for!
There was a lack of entertainment options, in our opinion. At night there is only one show -- at 9:45 -- and while they were good, they were not to everyone's taste. If you did not go to the show, there was little else to do at night. The dancing options were limited to before dinner, and then after 11 p.m., and in 12 nights they only had dancing for the "younger set" (under 60) twice. Otherwise it was the fox trot, waltz, and rumba. The pool deck was also pretty quiet -- no parties or reggae bands, just relaxation.
Mike took some computer lessons during the day, and I mainly was out by the pool during sea days.
One thing we really liked is that the size of the ship offered numerous opportunities to meet new friends, as you kept running into the same people. And we were part of an Internet group that had met before going (Yahoo Oceania board) and were given a very nice cocktail party to get the cruise started off right.
The service was excellent in the cabin, but a little lacking in the dining venues. I guess we were expecting better due to Oceania's claim that they "cater to your every whim." I would say we've had better service several times in the past on less expensive lines.
Would we sail Oceania again? Probably in Europe, where it's all about the ports -- then we could go, go, go during the day seeing all the sights, come back, shower, change, eat a nice meal, and crash in a good bed. In the Caribbean, I would go back to Celebrity or Princess, which have lots more fun activities, good food, better service, and cost way less money.