Oceania Regatta Cruise Guide & Menus

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Ultimate Alaska Cruise Experiece - Oceania Regatta

Oceania Regatta: The Ultimate Foodie & Small-Ship Cruise to Alaska

DISCLOSURE: Special thanks to Oceania for hosting our family on this voyage. You can research and book your Oceania Cruise here, or with your travel advisor.

We’ve just tried a 12-night Gold Rush Trails cruise on Oceania Regatta to Alaska from Los Angeles to Vancouver where we enjoyed fine cuisine, took a helicopter to a glacier, listened to a string quartet play baroque and classics, rode the world’s largest zip rider, and sped around Alaska on wave runners. 

While we planned and researched, our Alaska Cruise on Oceania Regatta wasn’t what we expected. We had a hard time finding much information about Regatta before our cruise, so we hope this video gives you an idea of what the Oceania cruise experience is REALLY like, especially if you’re accustomed to mainstream and premium cruise lines. 

Oceania’s small ship cruises to Alaska couldn’t be more different from a mainstream cruise, yet it’s more affordable than most luxury lines. And because it’s a small ship, it’s a unique and special way to experience Alaska in a more intimate way, without crowds and lines. 

In this blog post, we’ll share information about the ship, the room we stayed in, food and drinks, service, and dress code, as well as our Alaska cruise experience on Oceania Regatta. If you’d like to skip ahead to the Oceania Regatta Menus, simply scroll down to the “Food” section.

The Ship

Oceania Regatta holds up to 670 Guests, and 400 Staff Members to pamper you. In 2019, the ship was refurbished, and each suite and stateroom is entirely new from floor to ceiling, including the bathrooms. 

Oceania Regatta offers four unique restaurants, the Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center (aka the Fitness Center) eight lounges and bars, a casino, a show lounge where you can catch stage shows, and 333 suites and staterooms, nearly 70% of which feature private verandas. There’s also a beautiful heated pool, several hot tubs, a mini-golf course, shuffleboard, and a stunning observation lounge.

HOT TIP: The Horizons Lounge is a wonderful place to grab a bar drink or espresso, with panoramic views of majestic Alaska. We loved Horizons Lounge when the weather was cold and rainy. The views are dramatic, and you’ll stay dry and warm!

Oceania Regatta - Horizons
Oceania Regatta – Horizons

Staterooms

There are a variety of stateroom layouts on Oceania Regatta, from suites to inside cabins, ocean view options, and verandah or balcony accommodations. There are also ADA inside staterooms.

We stayed in a verandah cabin, which has a cozy tranquility bed, thick cotton robes and slippers, Bulgari amenities, and nightly turndown service with chocolates. There are also comfortable furnishings on the verandah, a perfect spot to enjoy room service and a bottle of champagne.

Oceania Regatta - Stateroom
Oceania Regatta – Stateroom

HOT TIP: The bathrooms and showers in most staterooms are quite small, so some passengers showered in the locker room area at the Aquamar Spa on occasion.

The stocked mini-bar is complementary and is refreshed daily with your choice of soft drinks and you’ll also find complimentary in-room Vero water and reusable water bottles. You can take the reusable water bottles home with you at the end of the cruise. Ample bedside and desktop charging is available, with AC and USB ports, as well as bedside reading lights. 

Food & Bars

Oceania is best known for its food and beverage offerings, and for a small ship, Regatta has so much to offer. There are four restaurant options on Regatta. The elegant main dining room, the Grand Dining Room, serves dinner nightly and sit-down breakfast and lunch menus depending on the ship schedule. The service and views here are fabulous, and this space offers a wonderful traditional dining experience with lovely ocean views.

Oceania Regatta - Grand Dining Room Food
Oceania Regatta – Grand Dining Room Food

Terrace Cafe – Buffet Restaurant

Terrace Cafe, the buffet restaurant serves full-serve breakfast lunch, and dinner daily. In the morning, made-to-order omelets, pastries, fruit, and various hot and cold dishes are served. The staff serves your food here, which is more hygienic than a self-serve buffet.

By night, there’s always a pasta station, a carving station, multiple salad options, and several themed dishes, like Indian or Mexican food. The theme at the Terrace Cafe changes every evening and the variety makes it tempting to come back time and time again to try different types of cuisine. Our favorite was the sushi bar, served with wasabi, ginger, and dipping sauces.

HOT TIP: Don’t miss the regional dinners at the Terrace Cafe Buffet when cruising to Alaska. On our sailing, they offered freshly caught fish, lobster tails grilled to order, and a variety of local specialties. This regional buffet on Oceania was so popular, they featured it twice!

Waves Cafe – Comfortable Poolside Dining

Just outside the Terrace cafe, you’ll find the covered poolside Waves Cafe. While this is a poolside restaurant, you’ll find it to be elevated and far more comfortable than a typical poolside eatery. The seating is lovely, and mounted heaters keep you toasty while dining alfresco. This quickly became a go-to lunch spot for us.

They serve grilled-to-order burgers, hot dogs, and regional items like mahi mahi, salmon and salmon burgers. You can also enjoy a self-serve salad bar here, as well as delicious hand-scooped ice creams, malts, and milkshakes. They have a light breakfast here too with pastries, muesli, fresh fruit and cold cuts. On cold days, you may find blankets on the back of the chairs, to bundle up and enjoy the majesty of Alaska.

HOT TIP: The Waves Bar surf and turf sandwich with lobster medallions and filet mignon hits the spot after a shore excursion!

Oceania Regatta - Waves surf and turf sandwich with lobster medallions
Oceania Regatta – Waves surf and turf sandwich with lobster medallions

Specialty Dining

Also included in your cruise fare, Regatta’s two specialty restaurants. Polo, the onboard steakhouse serves steaks and chops in an elegant environment. We enjoyed starters like crab cakes, lobster bisque and a stacked beet salad, and surf and turf for our main course. Our server shared that Polo is famous for its 32-ounce prime rib here, but we didn’t try it on this cruise. The desserts here are fabulous too, so save room. 

Speaking of bringing your appetite, just next door to Polo is Toscana, the Italian restaurant onboard. We were surprised and delighted that our meal started with a FULL selection of olive oils and balsamic vinegar, and even more surprised at the portion sizes. Pace yourself, because the 4-course menu here is more than generous, and you won’t leave hungry. While everything was excellent, a few of our favorites were the lasagna, and the Dover Sole, as well as the dessert sampler- a taste of 4 of of Toscana’s desserts. 

Oceania Regatta - Toscana Oils Vinegar
Oceania Regatta – Toscana Oils Vinegar

HOT TIP: Sommeliers greet you in the main dining and specialty restaurants- such a nice touch and a wonderful way to enjoy the included wines onboard Oceania Regatta.  

Oceania Regatta Food Menus

Main Dining Room Menus – 12 night Gold Rush Trails Itinerary

Polo Dinner Menu (Steakhouse)
Polo Dessert Menu

Toscana Dinner Menu (Specialty)
Toscana Dessert Menu

Daily Tea Service

Daily tea service is offered in the Horizons lounge each afternoon from 4-5 pm. You’ll choose your tea and can enjoy your choice of tea sandwiches, sweets, and pastries. Scones, cream, and jam were sometimes offered, and on other days, we had to ask. HOT TIP: Arrive early to score a seat on sea days, or during inclement weather. Afternoon tea is popular on Oceania Regatta!

The Finest Ice Cream At Sea

All around the ship, you’ll be treated to Humphry Slocombe’s artisanal ice cream flavors. We loved seeing what flavors were offered each day. To name a few: Secret Breakfast- a Bourbon ice cream with cornflake cookies, sweet summer corn, Meyer lemon pound cake, and my favorite, Vietnamese Coffee. So good, and so addictive! HOT TIP: Try a malt or shake at the poolside Waves ice cream bar! Shakes taste better outdoors!

Oceania Regatta - Ice Cream
Oceania Regatta – Ice Cream

Complimentary 24-Hour Room Service

Perhaps one of the most luxurious parts of cruising with Oceania is the INCLUDED 24-hour room service. You can use the traditional breakfast card to put your order out the night before (for breakfast only), or dial the in room dining line from your stateroom phone anytime, even on the first day of your cruise. There are light items like soups and salads, as well as entrees like salmon and pasta, and even desserts and appetizers. HOT TIP: Try the club sandwich and the cheese plate, as well as the full, hot breakfast.

Bars & Beverages

On Oceania, Complimentary water, soft drinks, coffee, wine, beer, and champagne with dinner are included with your cruise fare. You can upgrade to a beverage package that includes spirits, or better yet, take advantage of the daily happy hours, which you can find in your Currents newsletters.  There are several bars on board; my favorite is Martinis. With Retro decor, strong drinks, and live piano music- Martini’s is the place to be before dinner for happy hour. 

HOT TIP: Try the Bardot martini at Martini’s Bar, or ask the waiter for a recommendation based on your favorite spirit. They are happy to help!

Oceania Regatta - Bardot martini
Oceania Regatta – Bardot martini

The bar at Horizons on Deck 10 forward is great too and the views can’t be beat, and the poolside Waves bar has a great selection and friendly service as well. 

Oceania Regatta Bar Menus

Martini’s Bar Menu

Horizon’s & All Other Bars

Our Oceania Regatta Alaska Experience

The 12-night “Gold Rush Trails” itinerary on Oceania Regatta differed from anything we’d tried in the past because it was an open jaw cruise that started in Los Angeles and visited Alaska. Once in Alaska, the ports we visited were Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Icy Strait Point. While we were scheduled to visit Hubbard Glacier, the ship couldn’t fully reach the glacier due to heavy fog and ice in the passage.

Astoria & San Francisco

En route to Alaska, we stopped in San Francisco, California, and Astoria Oregon- a unique twist on the typical Alaska itinerary. In Astoria, we booked a shore excursion called “shot in astoria” which took us to well-known movie sights, as well as the wreck of the Peter Iredale. If you saw Goonies, Short Circuit or Free Willy growing up, you’ll love the “shot in astoria” tour!

Oceania Regatta - San Francisco Golden Gate
Oceania Regatta – San Francisco Golden Gate

Sitka

Our first stop in the great state of Alaska, Sitka! Sitka is the first and oldest city in Alaska. On this wet day, we were SURE our excursion would be canceled due to rain. But, if you know anything about Alaskans, they’ll do just about anything in the rain. So, we donned military-grade dry suits and boarded our personal watercraft for a thrilling waverunner tour of the Sitka sound. Along the way, we learned about the wildlife and volcanos here, and found ourselves in awe of the majesty and beauty Sitka has to offer. 

Oceania Regatta - Sitka Waverunners
Oceania Regatta – Sitka Waverunners

This and all of our excursions were booked through Oceania, and our tours were generally small groups. 

Juneau

Next up, we stopped in Juneau – the largest capital city in the United States. The weather conditions were clear, and we boarded a helicopter for a breathtaking flight to a glacier. This was our son’s first helicopter ride, and he enjoyed it so much! The views were breathtaking, and we stopped on the glacier to take photos.

Oceania Regatta - Juneau Northstar Helicopter
Oceania Regatta – Juneau Northstar Helicopter

Ketchikan  

In Ketchikan, the sun was shining and we headed out on a bike tour. Not just any bike tour, an “E-Bike” adventure. The bikes were super easy to operate, and if you didn’t want to pedal the entire time, you didn’t have to. There were people of all ages on this tour, and we can’t recommend it highly enough.

Oceania Regatta - Ketchikan E-Bikes
Oceania Regatta – Ketchikan E-Bikes

We rode three easy miles to Connell lake for a photo stop, then biked to another stopping point for a short nature walk and a crackling campfire, complete with S’mores and hot drinks. The guides on this tour were amazing and taught us more about the area, and the surrounding flora and fauna than we could absorb. We simply loved it, and it was great to see Ketchikan in a new way. Like a local!

Oceania Regatta Entertainment

While we didn’t stay up late enough each evening to catch most of the shows (hello time zone change!), the few we saw were outstanding, and the variety is impressive for a smaller ship. Oceania Regatta holds most shows in the Regatta Lounge, an intimate 1-level theatre with excellent visibility.

We saw an award-winning classical pianist who could also belt out Billy Joel, a full stage production, a Mexican Music production, nightly piano tunes in the martini bar, and of course, the sunrise string quartet who played at afternoon tea, and in the evenings around the ship. 

Oceania Regatta - Entertainment Abner Sanchez
Oceania Regatta – Entertainment Abner Sanchez

Little Things = BIG Difference!

Every cruise experience comes down to the little things, right? Those unique elements that make a cruise line stand out…

Throughout our time onboard Oceania Regatta, I noticed so many special touches that made this cruise feel different and special, that I had to start writing them down on the notes app of my phone, to ensure I didn’t miss sharing these “little touches” with you.

Some of these things I’ve experienced on other cruises, and some were unique to Oceania. 

Service

First, the service. The guest-to-staff ratio on this ship creates an environment where you feel like the center of the universe. The Staff remembers your name & it feels like there’s always someone there to help you. Whether it’s opening a door for you, or assisting with a drink order, you’re going to be pampered on Oceania Regatta. 

Lack of Crowds

Getting on and off the ship on Regatta is a breeze, and it really spoiled us. NO lines, and very little waiting, and it lends to a more relaxed and happy cruise experience for us. The ONLY times we experienced lines and crowding onboard Oceania Regatta were during tea time (sometimes, every table would fill up before tea even started), and just before dinner in front of the main dining room. However, these were small and inconsequential compared to mass market cruise crowds.

Little Touches of Luxury

Then, there are little touches like the wallets provided on embarkation to hold your room card. There are even blankets in your room and the outdoor dining areas for chilly days in Alaska. Regatta also offers Complimentary laundry in self-serve laundrettes, self-service espresso in the Horizon Lounge, and nightly turn-down service with chocolates on your pillow.

They even place little cards outside your room confirming your specialty dining reservations the night before your dinner. 

And there’s so much space – the ship never feels crowded because there’s cozy seating and venues everywhere to relax, usually with a view. To find a little personal space, you needn’t go far. But, if you’re looking for quiet, try the card room, the beautiful horizon lounge with forward-facing views, and the handsome martini bar with cozy seating and live piano music each night. And my favorite, the library stocked with hundreds of books to enjoy along with maps and globes.

Oceania Regatta - Library
Oceania Regatta – Library

These little touches had a BIG impact and made our cruise special. 

Dress Code

So, what exactly is the Dress Code on Oceania Regatta? Do you have to dress up every night? Will it feel stuffy?

The dress code onboard is “country club casual”- that means you can wear pretty much whatever you want – just no t-shirts or shorts in the main dining room and at special events in the evening hours. Formal wear is optional and there were no designated formal nights. In the daytime, you’ll see t-shirts, hoodies, jeans, athletic wear, sneakers, and shorts. In the evening, slacks and dress shirts for men, the occasional sportcoat, and even sweaters and casual pants were common. For women, we saw dresses, skirts with blouses, casual pants, tops, sweaters, and the occasional elegant gown.   Overall, it’s actually very casual and laid-back. 

What’s Included

If you’re new to Oceania, you may be wondering What’s included & what’s not in your cruise fare.  At the time of our cruise, Oceania’s simply more fare means that all passengers book with lots of things paid for – specialty dining, basic wifi, shore excursion credits, and beer wine, and champagne with lunch and dinner are all included.  Some itineraries also include pre-cruise hotels and more, but it’s best to check with your travel advisor for details.

Packing Tips & Packing List Links

Two quick packing tips for you, if you’re cruising on Oceania Regatta!

#1- You can save some space in your suitcase and leave your water bottle at home, Oceania provides a reusable one. 

#2- Formal attire is optional – if you’d like to pack light, you could skip the ultra-dressy wear in favor of some nice evening wear that you’d wear on a dinner date.

Here are a few helpful Alaska packing resources: This video provides a look at 20 must-pack items for Alaska. If you prefer a printable, we have a full Alaska Cruise packing list alongside 10 Alaska Packing do’s and don’ts.

Oceania Regatta - Water Bottle
Oceania Regatta – Water Bottle

Is Oceania Right for YOU?

Oceania offers a premium small-ship cruise experience to Alaska. Children onboard, especially on longer voyages – are rare, but families are welcome. The atmosphere is quiet and elegant but never stuffy or snooty. Fellow passengers are friendly, but there’s no forced mingling. You can always find a private table at dinner, or dine with others if you wish.

We think Oceania is best suited for:

  • Travelers who love premium cruising, but in a small ship environment.
  • Those who appreciate places to lounge and read.
  • Wine lovers! Oceania has an extensive array of wines, many of which are include with your cruise fare.
  • Small ship enthusiasts who crave a more quiet cruise experience but may want to meet with new friends in the martini bar each evening. 
  • Cruising without lines and crowds, and lots of space onboard to spread out! Boarding, debarking and excursions are typically less crowded that large ship cruise lines, and this makes such a difference in the cruise experience!
  • Foodies! Oceania truly has something for every taste- from the high-quality full serve buffet, to sit-down dinners in the main dining room, you’re sure to find some favorites. And the service is impeccable!

In short, the vibe is laid-back but never stuffy, and you’ll likely meet well-traveled and retired professionals from the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe who love good food and a cruise experience that’s focused on the destinations.

Thank you for following our Journey on Oceania Regatta!

The memories we made on this cruise will live with us forever, and seeing Alaska with all new shore experiences was amazing. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and catch our Oceania Regatta Review video there!

Thanks so much for reading along, and until next time, we’ll see you on the high seas! 

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Sheri
Sheri and her family are cruise content creators focused on providing practical tips and advice to new and seasoned cruisers. CruiseTipsTV’s audience enjoys following Sheri and her family as they travel the world by ship creating travel films. Sheri has visited destinations like Japan, Mexico, Alaska, Europe and the Caribbean, and has experienced 33 cruises on 6 cruise lines. She was named one of Porthole Cruise Magazine’s 10 Travel Influencers Changing How We Vacation in 2018 and 2019. Sheri has been quoted in the New York Times, CNBC, Forbes, Prevention, and Business Innovator Radio. Her YouTube Channel, CruiseTipsTV has over 87,000 subscribers and 17 million views.