This was our second Regent cruise, and the first on Voyager. We selected a standard balcony suite on deck seven. No need for a butler on Regent, as the housekeeping and room service staff take care of everything, except perhaps that extra night in the speciality restaurant, that you want, but don't want to do it for yourself.
The cruise from start to finish was well done. We arrived a day early and were picked up at the Dubai airport, and taken to the pre-cruise hotel, which was the very nice Intercontinental Festival Island. A nice city tour was provided, and the next day we boarded the ship. At the end, we stayed over in Athens for a day due to flight capacity issues, and it was a nice bonus. Regent took care of us the whole time, and then delivered us to the Athens airport for the trip home. This cruise line is all inclusive start to finish, and there is always someone from Regent there.
We visited 10 ports in 17 days, and some of the excursions lasted up More
to 13 hours. Excursions ranged from good to excellent, and there were additional charges for some of the really long ones. In some of the ports we visited there wasn't much to see, so excursions were just narrated drive throughs that took only four hours. If it was there to be seen, you saw it. This was particularly true of Muscat, Oman. I would have rather that we drove around in circles at sea, but after all it was the capital of Oman.
Food was uniformly good regardless of venue. Compass Rose, the main dining room was as good as either of the speciality restaurants, with an excellent, and varied selection of dishes. Safety of the passengers, was clearly a high priority, as we would be spending time in pirate seas. The crew drilled every two to three days on all aspects of vessel, and passenger safety, and we had a group of about six special security staff, who I think were South African, who were quitely going about their business. A last word about the suite that we really liked was that it had both a shower, and a separate bath, a feature which her sister Mariner does not have. Less
Sharm El Shiek was also a day port stop, before the Cairo port stop. Lovely place for shopping, and snorkeling. The only clean place in the country. I guess when the former president moved their it got cleaned up. A lot like Newport Beach, CA. The pyramids were awesome. The city of Cairo was a cesspit. Too bad you can't get their without going through the city. Same problem with vendors at the site. They were really aggressive, and we were warned before hand about their tricks. Lunch was at a beautiful hotel in downtown, a block from the pyramids. An oasis, in a desert of filth.
Regent did the best they could with what they had. Egypt is a mess. At all tour sites vendors swarmed around us like flies, and in some cases had to be shoved away after they waylaid you. A surprise at the Valley of the Kings--please leave your cameras on the bus. I guess the Egyptians want us to buy their lousy post cards. The tombs, temples were all awesome, but the constant annoyance by vendors spoiled the experience.