If you only have 7 days to take a Mediterranean cruise, pick one just like this. And if you have the option to take a luxury cruise pick Regent. I can't say it is a good value because it isn't cheap but Regent pampers its passengers and treats them like valued clients.
We booked this Monte Carlo to Athens cruise on the Navigator despite having a 'not so good' trip on the Navigator several years ago. The ship is a little small to offer a wide range of activities but was more than adequate for a port intensive cruise. We opted for a butler suite with business class air and that was the good value selling point. Round trip air arrangements from Atlanta were great with good connections and much cheaper booking through Regent than booking through the airlines. KLM and Lufthansa were efficient but not as service oriented as Singapore or Air New Zealand. The Frankfurt airport is huge and is undergoing major construction so if you have a tight connection you might request transport assistance. The ship has been maintained very well and this time we completely enjoyed our trip on the Navigator.
The new all-inclusive policy on Regent was even better than we expected. Our excursions, booked on-line prior to the cruise were very good. The trip to Rome was the only one that was disappointing because we missed seeing the Pope by a few minutes and the tour operator could have changed the itinerary slightly to allow us that opportunity. We choose a paid excursion on Santorini and had a wonderful time at an out of the way restaurant attending a cooking class/demonstration and having a great lunch. We spoke with several other passengers taking an assortment of the excursions and they all had positive reports. Naturally Regent's liberal liquor policy and 'no gratuities expected' was welcome once again.
Our suite was located on Deck 10 mid ship and was very clean. Our butler was always close by and smiling but not intrusive. We enjoyed breakfast daily in our suite to save time and be ready for the day's excursions. We requested and were served dinner in our suite twice because we were just too tired to dress for dinner after the day's busy excursion trips. Manuel, the butler brought us dinner course by course and served at our pace. We have had butler service before but he was the most professional and pleasant server we have encountered. The first day on board one of our bags was delayed and when it finally was delivered some of the clothes were damp. Not a problem for Manuel, he whisked things out and returned with them freshly dried and pressed. The wet luggage was a mystery because we had no rain on the trip over and we wondered if they dropped the bag in the water or somehow found a puddle to lay it down in. We always had an ample supply of toiletries in the bathroom.
The meals on Regent are really good and you can get almost anything you want on board. One night in the dining room my husband wasn't tempted by the gourmet selections and asked for a cheeseburger. The waiter smiled and said, "On Regent we never say NO" and came back with the best looking cheeseburger ever. The servings are a reasonable size and the service is usually very good.
We did not have time to attend the production shows on this cruise but most comments were favorable. The casino was small, smoky and crowded. One of our favorite Regent bartenders, Eduardo was there each night to mix his special drinks for us. The ship's staff seems to enjoy their work and that is a reflection on Captain MacNeill. A tour of the bridge was offered to all passengers. The Block Party was fun as usual, Regents' idea for breaking the ice with your fellow travelers on the first night.
The embarkation process in Monte Carlo was a minor irritation with long slow moving lines in the hot sun. After an overnight flight it was not a good start to the cruise but a nice glass of champagne and warm welcome once on board cured that bump in the road.
Overall, we had a wonderful cruise and wish it could have lasted longer.