This was our first Regent cruise and, in fact, although we've generally done larger suites on RcCL and Celebrity, this was our first truly "upscale" cruise. The others were great fun but much more of a mixed crowd. The CruiselineA and passengers are quite as described except that we were pleasantly surprised to find it was more mixed in terms of age - not many under 35 but more than we expected in our 40-50 age group. The ambien was not stuffy at all (or else our group of 10 simply ignored an attempted snobbiness described in some of the reviews). We had fun and were often fairly loud about it ( always appropriately of course!). I don't recall ever feeling looked down upon by frequent cruisers which seemed to be the case based on a number of reviews posted. We loved the variety of restaurants on board. The elegant casual dress code was nice ( our men would have preferred to have a sports bar for the occasional visit to catch up with their bloody fantasy football and baseball scores but we were grateful for it!).
The only ral complaint (and boy, I really had to think hard!) was that (1) they aren't able to easily accommodate parties of 10 with some fuss and (2) there really ought to be some music around the pool. A few in our group complained about the terrible and high priced Internet access but I think that just us being spoilt. With the $200+ on board credits we got and the fact that this really is all inclusive other than Internet, spa treatments and casino.
The food was pretty good (of Capital Grill type quality back in the States) and the service was generally very good indeed. One could nit-pick here and there but that's what it would be. We all had the lowest category cabins (G on decks 7 and8) which were all plenty nice. The cabins are very well laid out with enough room for my 25 dresses and 15 pairs of shoes - with still more to accommodate my husband's stuff. The bathrooms were nice and again very well laid out. If you are over 6'2, you definitely want to request the shower only cabins.
Though. We loved the Italian restaurant - Sette Mare - because some of us preferred to opt for the lighter salad bar buffet instead of the normal 4-5 course meal although Signatures and Prime 7 on the two nights ( only two times) we got a booking there.
We didn't bother with most of the shows. entertainment was not spectacular and it would be nice if that improved ( like getting some music past November 2011 forthe jukebox in the disco or having the piano bar player play past 10 am, but we made our own fun and honestly not many people on this port intensive itenerary seemed to stay up very late. We brought 10 friends with us and made a few new ones on the ship. We pretty much entertained ourselves but I imagine if it was just my husband and I, I may whine a little more at the mediocre entertainment -- btw, the finale night was a lovely "dancing under the stars" BBQ which was fabulous. The Cruise director sang with the entertainers and did a better job than most of them.
Service on the ship was pretty good. For the most part they will not say no to you if they can avoid it. The ships gym even offers spin classes which was a very nice surprise.
Embarking and disembarking was always very organized and smooth. They let us check in at noon in Monte Carlo even though the ship didn't sail until midnight. We got to enjoy a lovely afternoon at the pool bar ;)
The cabin's were cleaned often and thoroughly. I asked for extra hangers and they were promptly provided. The onboard self laundry (also included) was a nice touch so I didn't have to save my smelly gym clothes for when I got home.
The ship is decorated in an elegant and understated way. All the liquor was top shelf and we never felt like we were being hustled for tips because tipping is not encouraged since its included. It never once felt crowded despite the ship being over 90% capacity. In fact, sometimes it was almost eerily uncrowded compared to our previous cruises. Every one can find some little thing to complain about but it would require an effort or a particularly unhappy person to do so. These chaps do a great job and certainly make a big effort. I always suggest going with friends because after being married for a few years, 2 days with ones partner, no matter how delightful they are, can get a tad .... Boring? Annoying? I suspect if the weather on our trip wasn't as perfect or the excursions were worse, this might not be as stellar a review but the weather was brilliant, the included excursions were generally very good, the staff and food were quality and the overall experience was excellent.
And also, none of the smells some of the reviewers noted so it may be port specif (Grrece).
All 10 of concluded we would definitely do Regent again. I think I feel a Spanish or Greek cruise for 2014 coming on!