We were blown away! We were in a party of 6 (3 couples), some of whom have cruised before and others had not. None of us had ever cruised with Regent, but after this cruise, we all decided we would never go on any other line. Our last cruise was a 14 night Australia/NZ cruise on Celebrity, which was OK but just barely, especially in comparison. For background information, we are in our mid-50's, and the other two couples are a bit older. We travel quite a bit, but are comfortable in a wide range of accommodations from La Quinta Inn (great for traveling with the dog) to the Ritz Carlton chain, club level, which for us is big splurge but still a good value once in a long while.
Regent understands customer service. In some ways, they approach Ritz Carlton level...not quite there, but considering the venue and circumstances, they are exceptional. We enjoyed every meal, especially those in the main dining room (Compass Rose) which always included choices from their other restaurants including the prime 7 steak house. Little details made all the difference, and they nailed them! We are not quite oenophiles, but we love our wine...and know good wine from mediocre or worse. We were worried we would have to spend extra for the "premium" wines, but that was not the case- we always had a nice selection to choose from in every category, from old world bordeaux to Aussie Shiraz blends. We did upgrade the champagne once or twice, and were pleased to find good prices on nice bottles (i.e. Veuv Cliquot for $69 US). Each meal was perfectly served and truly memorable, rivaling the nicest restaurants we go to for special occasions.
Some guests like to imbibe quite a bit, and Regent takes care of them. When you are ready for a cocktail, the sky is the limit. Want shots of Patron? Makers Mark Bourbon? Belvedere Vodka? Grappa, Grand Marnier, Sambuca, Baileys? All free, anytime, along with lots more. Mojitos are perfectly muddled, frozen drinks are served perfectly, and every coffee drink under the sun is available all day and night, including those high end machines that spit out perfect cappuccinos. They even stocked our (Concierge level) in-suite bar with our choice of spirits, fresh ice, limes, etc.
We often ordered room service coffee to get us up and moving before joining our group for breakfast, and once ordered a full breakfast room service style before an early morning (6:45) excursion. Wonderful.
Speaking of excursions, they were generally great. We paid extra for two of them (Cruising Tracy Arm and Misty Fjords cruise out of Ketchikan). The Tracy Arm cruise was unforgettable. The White Pass scenic train ride in Skagway was great as was the Kayaking in Sitka, and both were free. As in all group activities, there is some waiting around and lining up, but overall these were well done and worth it.
Two minor annoyances- I felt annoyed at having to pay to check a bag when "airfare is included"- this ended up costing us $100 overall- and our ship was over-run with kids as part of a Toyota promotional reward for top sellers (I think there were over 50 kids!). Regent should have imposed strict rules of behavior, as the kids used the elevators as playhouses and took over both (small) hot tubs and the pool. At least one of the hot tubs should have been adults only. Oh yeah, one more issue- I made a dinner reservation at Prime 7 for our party of 6 on the first possible day, which opened up a month early for those of us in Concierge level or higher rooms. When we embarked, we were given a reservation card that showed the dinner reservation was for 2 people only. To avoid this and make additional reservations, I had called Regent right after making the dinner reservation for 6 to confirm that we were all set and to inquire if EACH couple could make one reservation for each night, and was told that since all 6 of us were dining together on my reservation, we were maxed out. When I got on board the ship, my wife and I went straight to the maitre D to resolve the matter, and he questioned my integrity since I did not have a written confirmation! The first few minutes on board were obviously disappointing and handled poorly, but we got over it...and he found a way to get us a reservation!
Pre-embarkation in Anchorage was fine, as was disembarkation in Vancouver. All smooth and well handled.
A few suggestions: bring good binoculars. The in suite binoculars (concierge level) were terrible. Bring a few travel coffee mugs with lids so you can take a large coffee to the decks and enjoy a large cup of Joe! Wait to buy your ULU knife until after the cruise as they confiscate them from you on entry.
So, in conclusion, while we ran out of superlatives to describe our cruise and the amenities, we all decided that we would add "Regent" to our list, right up there with awesome, incredible unbelievable, stellar, stunning, outrageous, insane, amazing, etc. We would love to go back and explore some of the amazing places we saw, and all of us felt that we actually got good value from the cruise despite the high up-front cost. There is only one way to see Alaska for the first time- by ship- and if you can afford it, only one cruise line- Regent.