My wife and I have traveled a lot, but had never cruised and had never been to the Caribbean. But an important number wedding anniversary prompted a desire to try...and the fact that we now are already booked for two more Regent trips is probably reference enough.
We decided on Regent after some research...as in avoiding big ships and looking for high quality. Regent goes to the front fairly quickly in that small list. The two travel agents we worked with initially were not much help...as in having little knowledge of the line other than it was A+ and $$$. So, we worked directly with Regent and our sales contact there was and is very helpful...good advice on cabin location, shore excursions, and ship services. Plus, we got a late and big upgrade at very reasonable cost. Our own butler, who knew?!
The pre night in Miami was fine. Well organized and on time. Embarkation was easier than any other passport based process we have ever had (note to last Lufthansa experience!)
First hour on the boat was a bit confusing, but not for lack of good service and attention...just our own first timer glitches.
The suite was far more than we expected and was just a wonderful haven throughout. Roomy, clean, well laid out, comfortable and quiet.
Our room attendants and butler were fabulous. Caring, attentive, and knew our names and needs within 24 hours. Not sure if I would always need the butler service, but it is a nice extravagance and our fellow was superb. Also, the three of them...attendants and butler...on our anniversary day were wonderful with extra comments, care and a sculptured pair of swans...from towels and roses...on our bed.
Dining was wonderful throughout...particularly once we established quite quickly an excellent relationship with a particular waiter and wait captain in Compass Rose. Breakfast was on the Veranda, the buffet choices many and something of a feeding frenzy when it was shore excursion days...but eating outside was a peaceful delight. Compass Rose then our favorite...quiet at lunch, and very well done at dinner. Portions were just right, food was always quite good and with some items truly superb. We topped off each evening with lengthy coffee and port wine respite. Prime 7 was good, but not sure why the big fuss between that and Compass Rose. Pool bar was good, quick, and easy...and it helps to have endless ice cream!
Entertainment, not our priority, was mixed bag. Cirque de Soleil type show was very good, if for reason alone of impressive acrobatic moves on a rough water evening. Piano duo act, however, was out of a bad movie. Crew capers and ship band were great. Not casino types ( not many were). Library was unexpected benefit...good selection and nice gathering place.
We were impressed throughout with care and attention of all staff. Tour of the bridge with the Captain and of the galley with Executive Chef were high points, but each and every contact was friendly, professional and service oriented. (Note to those who critique crew in other reviews and amongst one or two of our fellow passengers...treating people nicely, usually results in being treated well...storming about no hand delivered butter for lobster tails, or other boorishness, gets what you deserve!).
Shore excursions were generally good, although we came away from our Caribbean experience with an over all "been there, done that" reaction. The 12 meter yacht trip on Snt. Martin was fabulous! St. Barthes was a nice laid back place and sailing respite. Nassau was tourist trap...not aided by 5 2000+ passenger ships docked next to us (but good lesson as to why to avoid big ships). The climb down/up to the baths at Virgin Gorda is much more physically demanding than announced and was real issue for several fellow passengers. But, generally not impressed with Carib...more interesting sites and better beaches we have seen in other travels...that said, it is nice to be at sea on warm, star lit nights.
Price/value is interesting equation. It is NOT cheap, but the all inclusive pays you back...we had zero additional expenses, other than taxi to the Miami airport, for 12 days...and that is a nice way to go. Plus, order what all you want...it's paid for!
Navigator was our first cruise ship and was fine by us...refined, quiet, spacious, not crowded...bounces/rolls a little in high seas as we had one day, but it is a smaller ship and you are at sea!
So, we are now believers in Regent and we very much look forward to Europe and Asia trips. True, just our first cruise, but we have no reason or desire to change from Regent...well done!