This was our second Regent cruise, the first being to Alaska last year. Our cruise was from Copenhagen, Denmark to Stockholm, Sweden, via Visby, Tallin Estonia and St Petersburg, Russia. Regent delivered everything as promised.
The travel agent booked everything through Regent including all travel and pre and post cruise layovers. At first glance the routing from Toronto to Copenhagen, via Washington DC looked a tad wobbly but upon further scrutiny, it proved to be the most direct route. We were met at the airport by a friendly and helpful Regent agent and from then on, never had a second though about travel arrangements, connections etc.
The Hotel in Copenhagen was the D'Angeleterre, a delightful classic venue in the heart of the city. It was pouring rain of monsoon proportions when we landed and we were fortunate to get a room immediately. After a nap, we awoke to a semblance of sunshine , went for a stroll, dined at the hotel and visited Tivolli Gardens in the evening. Tivolli was a treat. It was packed with people of all ages, eating walking and listening to music.
We boarded the Voyageur around 4pm on Saturday, Aug. 12, after a pre-booked motor coach tour of the area surrounding Copenhagen and a quick visit to view the Little Mermaid. Unfortunately, our late arrival meant that we missed the welcoming glass of champagne and the Embarkation Photo. This was no big deal as a chilled bottle of champagne and two glasses awaited us in our stateroom.
The stateroom is as described everywhere. It has more than enough room and in fact gives you the sense of having far more space then most conventional hotel rooms. If you have ever stayed at Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resort, then I'm willing to bet that a Regent stateroom has as much usable space. The bath tub and separate shower was a nice treat.
Dining Regent spends a lot of money hyping their Cordon Bleu restaurant, Signatures. On this cruise, Signatures did not live up to the advance billing. It was merely, the Compass Rose restaurant dressed up with a different name. (I'm sure we just blundered in on an off night as previously on the Seven Seas Mariner in Alaska, Signatures was everything it was advertised. On this trip, the service was indifferent, and the food wasn't anything better than the fare in Compass Rose.
However, Latitudes Restaurant excelled! It was everything that Signatures should have been and more. The service was spectacular, efficient and attentive. The meal was divine.
Room Service dining was pathetic. Twice I ordered breakfast and twice it arrive cold and wrong. Its not like it was complicated either. Two toasted BLT's which arrived untoasted and cold, with lukewarm tea to boot. Oh well, a quick trip to La Veranda and everything was right with the world.
Visby- We arrive on the last day of the annual Medieval Festival. The locals paraded in period costumes, played games etc. Unfortunately, we had booked a coastal hike- which ended up being a walk in a cow pasture. It was all right, but it didn't leave much time to explore the town.
Tallin: Walking Tour and Concert 31/2 hours This was a great tour mainly because our guide was knowledgeable and entertaining.
St. Petersburg Russia Day
Pushkin and Pavlovsk This was a spectacular tour as the palaces were mind boggling in their opulence and our guide was very knowledgeable and efficient. Her experience enabled our group to by-pass the hordes of other tour groups and land second in line. This was important as their were 5 cruise ships in port in St. Petersburg and everyone wanted to see the same sights.
Peterhoff Palace- another spectacular sight, well worth the trip
Hermitage and Gold Rooms-The Hermitage lives up to its billing but due to the tremendous crowds during the day, the better trip (as advised by fellow passengers) was the private tour of the Hermitage and Ballet performance.
Another thing to note when booking tours is that Regent keeps your group numbers to a manageable 14-18 while from my observations other lines had large (30+ groups)
After everything is said and done, Regent Seven Seas Cruise Lines delivers.