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Click here to view sample dinner menu for The Grand Dining Room

 

 

 
 

 

Click here to view sample meal times

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 
 

Page 6 of 9

"Perhaps the most anticipated event of the day will be the moment you enter the Grand Dining Room". That is what the cruise line promises us in large advertisements. I was curious to see if Oceania would live up to its ambitious claims of providing the best onboard food in its class.

I'm happy to say that during my seven days on board, the line's promise proved all too real. The food served on Regatta surpassed all of my expectations and I am sure it will have passengers return to Oceania Cruises again and again. Talented French Executive Chef Eric Barale tells us during a galley tour that his team cook all dishes to order, just like they do in fine restaurants ashore. And boy, did we taste the difference!

Our favorite hangout is the Terrace Cafe on deck 9, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and featuring both indoor and outdoor seating. The choice of breakfast items is extensive, ranging from smoked salmon & cream cheese to a full American breakfast. Barbara and I were inevitably drawn to the home made Power Muesli, giving us all the energy we needed for a day of sightseeing. For lunch, I was very impressed with the setup of the Waves Grill poolside, featuring waiter service from an appealing lunch menu that includes a mean grilled tomato and mozzarella ciabatta, broiled mahi mahi, sandwiches, burgers and other treats.

Regatta's wait staff will only be too pleased to get something for you from the buffet, like orange juice or another helping of fresh pasta at lunchtime. They serve coffee or tea and are cheerful and professional. We learned that Oceania only hires experienced wait staff from all corners of the world and were taken with the charm of many of Regatta's crewmembers.

Should you wish to "sit down and be served", The stunning Grand Dining Room opens for both breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, offering a culinary extravaganza from the always changing a la carte menu. Dinner at The Grand Dining Room Service is indeed a much-anticipated event, often enhanced by live music from the ship's string quartet. Service is never rushed and always attentive. And the food here is fabulous! Perfectly cooked, beautifully presented and oh, so delicious! 

Dinner is served daily in no less than four locations, all offering open seating. For the a la carte sensations at The Grand Dining Room and for the buffet offerings at Tapas on the Terrace, you just report to the dining room when you feel like having dinner, anytime between 6:30 and 9:00 pm. Reservations are required for the two specialty restaurants aft on deck 10, but Oceania should be commended for not charging a fee for any of their restaurants. At the Polo Grill, the menu is of giant proportions, just like the steak knives. Served on very attractive custom-designed under plates, you will discover the best in steaks and seafood. Someone told me the Surf & Turf was excellent and I was definitely not disappointed here!. Portions are what I would call "U.S. sized", catering to the very hungry among us.

Next door is Toscana. As the name implies, expect a lot of scrumptious Italian Food here, including some wonderful Italian classics like carpaccio and tiramisu. With its semi-classical looks, the restaurant looks a little over the top during the day, but when the sun sets and the lights go on, Toscana exudes just the right atmosphere for an evening of culinary enjoyment. Just like the Polo Grill, expect dinner to last well over two hours. Food quality, ambiance, service and presentation are all second to none - downright sensational. Never stuffy, always friendly. Perfect!

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The Grand Dining Room

The Grand Dining Room

Toscana

Polo Grill

Toscana

Polo Grill

Tapas on the Terrace

Tapas on the Terrace

Terrace Café

Terrace Café

Regatta's Galley

Executive Chef Eric Barale

Regatta's Galley

Regatta's Galley

 

All photos and text: © 2003 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com. All rights reserved

First published on November 24, 2003