Our Fall 2012 cruise was our first on a Regent ship, and was (a) a 70th birthday celebration and (b) to fulfill a long time bucket-list item - to visit The Valley of The Kings in Luxor.
Our experience from the day we first booked the cruise through Katherine Arteta of Regent, was outstanding. We flew on KLM - Business Class from LAX to Amsterdam, and then on to Istanbul on the same airline. Great service, and on schedule.
Arriving in Istanbul, on the evening of October 30, the scene at the airport was a little chaotic (our only negative experience throughout the trip, but to offset that, we were assigned a Penthouse suite at Swissotel, and enjoyed one of the most magnificent breakfasts we have ever had the next morning. regent arranged for a relatively brief tour of the highlights of Istanbul on October 31, and following completion of this, we were delivered to the ship.
We were assigned Penthouse suite 784, which is one of the suites on the stern. Our first night at sea was not comfortable because of excessive vibration - our suite was directly above one of the two propellers! Early the following morning, we requested a change of suite and were assigned Suite 729 which proved to be extremely quiet and was conveniently located midships. The transfer was executed by Regent, and all the amenities were moved with us. Very efficient and pleasant!
The excursions arranged by Regent were outstanding, as was the 3-day post cruise tour of Egypt. The tour guides were outstanding (with a couple of exceptions), and the highlight of the cruise itself was a day-long trip to Masada and The Dead Sea.
The food on board was also outstanding, whether one ate in Compass Rose, Prime 7, or Signatures. The service in all of the restaurants was superb. We ate ourselves into oblivion, worked out like fiends in the gym every day, and ended up putting on a manageable 5/6 pounds each!!!!
Our cruise coincided with a series of problems (Turkey/Syria, Gaza/Israel, social unrest in Jordan etc). Regent kept us current with what was going on, and in fact bypassed Port Said and Sharm-el-Sheik.
The post cruise trip was incredible, very well organized, and hit all of the major tourist attractions in that wonderful country. We were blessed to be a part of the "Isis" group under the care of Mohammed, a young, extremely articulate and knowledgeable Egyptologist. He added so much "meat" to each of the places we visited, and also was able and willing to give us insight into the present situation in that very special country.
Our overall experience - outstanding! Will we cruise again with Regent - absolutely!