Having sailed several times with Seabourn we thought we would try Regent for a change. A bad mistake !!
First the ship is far too big for luxury cruising. This results in long lines for dinner in the main restaurant. There are 2 other speciality restaurants but you can only book once in each on a 7 day trip. Service in the main restaurant was slow and the food often luke warm, so we begged night after night to be allowed seating in the speciality restaurants, where the food was excellent. We found the speciality restaurants were only ever 50% full and were told the reason being was in case premium guests (higher cabin levels) or long-term Regent cruisers decided at the last minute to turn up. This was obvious discrimination and surely more should have been done to encourage `new-comers` to want to return.The waiting staff spoke very poor English and training was obviously lacking (when I requested jam with my scone at afternoon tea the jam was simply spooned over the top of the sconewhich I was consequently forced to eat with a knife and folk).
Again we found discrimination in the sense that North Americans were travelling 2 for the price of 1 which Europeans were not. North Americans had been informed of the ship`s initial delay of 6 hours in leaving Athens whereas we Europeans were picked up at our hotel, taken to the dock (45 mins ride), told at the docks that there would be a delay of 6 hours and subsequently driven back to another Athens hotel (30 mins ride).
The ship was supposed to have completed a $1 million refurbishment in Athens but we found an electric socket hanging out of the wall and the telephone in the cabin didn`t work.
The final blow hit when leaving the ship in Venice. Regent had buses waiting to take passengers to hotels and the airport. Our travel agent had booked a private transfer service to take us to the airport. Unfortunately a strike was preventing traffic reaching the port (including our taxi) whereas all traffic was leaving the port without hinderance. When I asked a Regent staff member to help us out by allowing us to travel in one of their buses I received the abrupt reply `sorry our buses are full, we can`t help you`. In the end I had to pay â‚¬110 to use a water taxi. When I later wrote a letter of complaint to Regent about the lack of help in Venice I received an unapologetic reply that once I`d left the boat I was no longer their responsibility.
Sorry, Regent it just isn`t good enough ----- high prices but no commitment to customer service. We can`t wait for our next cruise with Seabourn !!