As Silversea fanatics, we never thought we would "jump ship." It was the itinerary on the Voyager, --Reykjavik to Copenhagen that sold us on Regent. The ports were stellar -- Reykjavik, Isafjordur, Akureyri (Iceland), Torshavn and Copenhagen (Denmark), Lerwick (United Kingdom), and Alesund, Geiranger,Flam, Bergen, and Oslo (Norway).
We were absolutely delighted with Regent. The Voyager is a lovely ship, -- sleek, simple elegance. We had a Horizon View suite (highly recommended.) As previous reviews of the Voyager have provided excellent in-depth coverage of the ship, I thought I would simply add a few highlights.
Genius! At the sound of ship's "cocktail bell," we were invited to grab a glass from our rooms and head out into the hallways to meet our neighbors. Wine, champagne, and appetizers were served by the ship's staff. Captain Gianmario, General Manager Franck Galzy, and Cruise Director Willie Aames combed the decks and hallways greeting the guests. The atmosphere was festive and fun. From then on, we could greet our neighbors by name. Such a creative, thoughtful touch.
CHAMPAGNE AND CAVIAR FOR BREAKFAST
A lovely Sunday breakfast tradition. What luck! We had two Sundays on the ship. Talk about living la dolce vita.
We have lost count of the number of cruises we have taken. At least fifty. Sandra Bowern was, in our opinion, the best enrichment lecturer of all. Not only was she supremely knowledgeable, -- her engaging, cheerful, charming, and warm style was absolutely wonderful.
ESPRESSO MACHINE IN SUITES
There are many venues on the ship for coffee, including room service. The problem, we find, is that in order to obtain coffee, one most likely will have to encounter people. We love people. After a cup of coffee, that is. (We barely talk to each other until at least a half cup is downed.) Sipping espresso from our balcony with our darling little demi-tasse cups while arriving at the port of day ... exquisite.
We thoroughly enjoyed the shows. We especially appreciated the variety of the shows and the talent of the Jean Ann Ryan Singers and Dancers. Real dancers! With real bodies ... wow. Seriously -- on some cruise lines the dancers have so much silicone that, in case of emergency, possibly the best survival technique would be to simply hold on to a dancer. (Guaranteed floatation.)
The trio in the Voyager Lounge, Nature's Rhythm, drew us in nightly. They played a variety of music and the dance floor was rarely empty (but not full, which was sweet.) The tall one who played the base had the most amazing voice. They were also hilarious...sprinkling a dose of their quirky dry humor throughout their show.
What a personable lot! All of them. Two stand out:
Willie Aames, the Cruise Director, was one of the most down-to-earth cruise directors we've met. Willie even conducted the non-denominational Sunday service. He crafted a lovely service, sharing his experience of going from a movie star-to playboy-to becoming an ordained minister. Very touching. Willie was a refreshing change from the "Rico Suave" types we're used to. In fact, he was often seen wearing hand knit sweaters from the local Scandinavian ports. He was approachable and genuinely kind.
Conny the Concierge was our hero. Icelandair managed to lose our luggage. The agent at Icelandair promised our luggage would arrive the following day. Nope. Not the following day, either. Or the next. We called a number of times and the agent, let's just call him "Lars Liarsson," kept promising: "your luggages vill be dare een da morgen." Once we got onboard and gave the information to Conny, she was all over Icelandair. And effective. She gave us frequent updates on her progress. On day four of the cruise, she personally delivered our suitcases. We doubt that we would have been reunited with our luggage without Conny. So grateful.
In wrapping up, we were, basically blown away in the best way by the entire cruise. We encountered just one glitch:
THERE IS ALWAYS ONE (in every crowd)
Regent Seven Sea's "no tolerance" policy on smoking was another influence in our decision to try RSSC. It was not long after setting sail that we were aware that someone was smoking. Uninvited carcinogens aside, we are also stench-averse. And what a stench! Once we traced the location of the culprit, we left a nice note on his cabin door requesting that he cease smoking on his balcony. It might have been my imagination, but it seemed as if he stepped it up. I don't much like being a tattle-tale, but we were cruising in one of the most staggeringly beautiful places, -- blessed with a sheer abundance of purifying pristine alpine air...and yet -- there was that stench.
We made a report. The situation was immediately investigated, but the guy denied that anyone in the cabin smoked. What could they do?
So the stench continued.
So...do you know what I did?
I shot him.
With my camera. It was a good shot. Crystal-clear obvious who was smoking and where.
The guy was that idiot-arrogant...leaning on his balcony, just puffing away. He saw me take the picture. What a scowl! Then he disappeared.
So did the stench. Ah. Clean, clear air. He didn't smoke on his balcony again until the last morning of the cruise. I guess he figured: "what're they going to do? Kick me off the ship?"
With a twelve night cruise and only one negative experience, we can call this one fabulous cruise.
We will forever treasure our memories of our Vikings and Vistas voyage on the Voyager.
We can hardly wait for our next cruise with RSSC.