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Copyright © 1995-2003 
Linda Coffman


Cruise Diva's CRUISE DIARY
~ Oceania Cruises' REGATTA ~

Caribbean Hideaways

Debarkation and lasting impressions

All good things must come to an end and our cruise was no exception. After an early breakfast and final cup of coffee, it was time to report to the Regatta Lounge to claim passports and pass through US Immigration. That process was smooth and efficient. Unfortunately, what followed the announcement that we were cleared to debark the vessel wasn't pleasant. 

US Customs officials were NOT waiting to examine our forms in the terminal—for some reason, they were still aboard the ship! (Drinking coffee and eating croissants?) When they finally manned their stations, a couple of them were arrogant beyond belief. The head-agent-in-charge stormed through the terminal, by now filling with passengers anxious to leave, and declared the ship was NOT cleared and no one could leave until HE straightened out "the cruise line's mess." I found this attitude toward the cruise line and statements to passengers insulting. Whatever the problem was, we didn't create it and there was no need to treat us like criminals.

Most Americans understand the need for security, but according to Oceania spokesman Tim Rubacky: "For those cruising in the near future from/to US ports, be prepared for the possibility of a rather lengthy disembarkation process. Today (January 2, 2004), in Miami, after ships went through the normal clearance procedures and guests were allowed to proceed ashore, Customs/INS officers stood at the head of the gangway and checked EVERY passport of EVERY guest. Some guests were also pulled aside for random questioning (some US citizens, some non-US citizens). Guests then went through passport control again along with customs after claiming luggage." 

Personally, I feel the treatment passengers are being subjected to is quite heavy handed and unnecessary.

If you go...

What You WILL Find:

  • Lovely, soothing interior spaces

  • Remarkably comfortable Tranquility Beds™

  • High end toiletries in every stateroom bath

  • Activities and entertainment that appeal to a wide range of interests and age groups

  • Oceania@Sea computer classes

  • Exquisite meals, creatively presented

  • Open-seating dining

  • Alternative restaurants with no cover charge

  • Service by a professional, attentive staff

  • Onboard duty free shops with an assortment of affordably priced merchandise

  • A small self-service passenger laundry room with ironing facilities

  • A Cruise Consultant to book future cruises

  • Longer itineraries to some of the world's most desirable ports of call

  • Film processing and photographic services

  • Oceania Spa operated by Harding Brothers

  • Complimentary Thalassotherapy pool and private spa sun deck

  • Jogging/walking track & fitness program

  • Butlers for suite accommodations

  • 73% of all ocean view staterooms with private verandahs

  • Teak decking and padded chairs and loungers poolside

  • Two areas set aside for smokers—in Horizons Lounge and near the Pool Bar; smoking is prohibited in staterooms, on balconies, and in all other public areas on the ship

What You WON'T Find:

  • Excessive PA announcements, particularly in staterooms

  • Splashy "Broadway" and "Vegas" style production shows

  • A playroom and organized children's program

Fast Stats from the Bridge

  • 30,200 gross registered tons
  • 593.7 feet long
  • 83.5 feet wide
  • 19.5 feet draft
  • Cruising speed 18 knots
  • Nine passenger decks
  • Capacity 684 (double occupancy)
  • European officers & staff

Bon Voyage!


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