I think this cruise was about as good as it gets. Here are some specifics:
-Our "penthouse suite" (category B) was very comfortable and we were impressed with the walk in closet. We upgraded a couple of weeks before the cruise from a lower category because we were offered a half price deal. However, Our cabin was the same size as the lower categories and the only real difference was butler service. As far as I could tell, the butler's primary function was to bring us six shrimp every afternoon--very good but not work $15 each ($1500 for the upgrade for 15 days).
-The ship was spotless, well maintained and had great facilities. Smoking was limited to very few areas and was not an issue (one reason we chose Regent over Silversea was because Silversea permits smoking throughout the ship and, based on my conversations with them, has no plans to change this outmoded policy).
-The restaurants were excellent. Compass Rose, the main dining room, provided great service and excellent food despite the number of passengers being served.
The speciality restaurants--Prime 7 and Signatures--would be considered excellent on land. There was no upcharge for the restaurants or for any dish on the menu, which was great. We also enjoyed the buffet lunch by the pool and the fact the it had a different theme every day.
-Entertainment was variable, fair to excellent. The classical pianist was great. The singers and dancers were very good, although the lead male singer was frequently off key. The lead female singer was great. Some of the other entertainers--an electric guitarist and a flautist--were OK.
-Ports and shore excursions: We enjoyed most of them. Things were well organized so there were not long lines for leaving the ship and boarding buses.
Guides were excellent. Meals on shore excursions were surprisingly upscale, considering that we did not pay extra for the excursions.
-People: Our fellow passengers were well behaved and extremely friendly. We met many new friends very easily.
-Staff: Regent obviously trains its people to interact with customers very well. Every employee had a smile and a greeting in the hallway, the restaurant, etc. Many employees knew our names after the first day. Service in the restaurants was so good that we had difficulty adjusting to restaurants on land. We enjoyed the captain, who had a great sense of humor and seemed to enjoy interacting with passengers.
-My only criticism pertains to pre cruise details. Our names, along with the names of many other passengers, were not on the transfer list when we arrived at the Auckland airport. Fortunately, this wasn't a big deal as they put us on a hotel bus anyway. At the hotel were given a welcome letter that made no sense (it had details on transfers back to Auckland airport when we were not going back to the airport and talked about a city tour on the day after the Voyager was due to depart with us on it. Turns out there was a city tour on another day which were were supposed to be invited to, but we were not and missed the tour. One of the Regent agents at our hotel in Auckland was very unpleasant, causing us to have a bad first impression of Regent. Fortunately, that changed when we boarded the ship. Finally, getting from the hotel to the ship was chaotic. We were told to be in the hotel lobby at 11 AM, so a big crowd assembled there. We waited nearly two hours for the bus to the ship and it was very unpleasant. We were provided with no information. It seemed unnecessary to make us stand around in a densely packed hotel lobby for this long.
Looking at these criticisms in context, however, the positives far outweigh these few negatives. Overall,it was an excellent cruise and Regent did a great job.