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29 Bermuda Luxury Cruise Reviews

This was our best cruise ever. We decided to allow NCL to handle our air and pre and post hotel for this cruise. They truly made this an all-inclusive vacation. We sailed out of Boston and spent a day before and a day after the cruise ... Read More
This was our best cruise ever. We decided to allow NCL to handle our air and pre and post hotel for this cruise. They truly made this an all-inclusive vacation. We sailed out of Boston and spent a day before and a day after the cruise there. We love sailing out of Boston, it is a much better embarkation than New York. NCL air sent us a list of what to expect for the all-inclusive cruise and they delivered exactly what they promised and more. They scheduled great flights both ways that were at appropriate times not too early for departure we arrived a 1:30 and the return flight was at 3:30 which gave us a leisurely morning in Boston. I did the math on the flights and we would have paid just under $800 for the tickets for which we paid $99 each. There seems to be some confusion online about how this works but if you can read and just trust that NCL is going to take care of you it all works fine. You won't get the flights until a few weeks before. But once you do, they are your flights and you have to get into the airlines website and choose a seat. You can then upgrade if you like, which we did. The airlines were Delta and American - one was direct, and one had one stop. Once purchased they are your tickets. It was a good experience on this cruise, but it didn't stop there. When we arrived in Boston, just as the info stated, an NCL representative met us at baggage. She was wonderful lady from Boston wearing an NCL bandana. She was there to meet only us. She loaded our bags on a cart and contacted the hotel van to pick us up. She waited with us until the Sheraton Airport van picked us and our luggage up. (about 15 minutes). While waiting she told us some things we could do while in Boston. It is nice arriving without having to figure out where to go next! Upon arriving at the hotel, we were literally greeted with a red carpet. We were immediately checked in and given access to the hotel. It was early. They gave us a gift bag with treats and water. The check in hostess provided us with info about the shuttle and how to get around. We were a little concerned at first as the Sheraton/Airport is outside of Boston, but there are some perks it is beside a shopping center which we found was a great place to pick up things for the cruise and really just shop if you like. There are several restaurants there as well and one in the hotel as well as a bar. They also provide free service to the subway/train to Boston. We checked in and took the shuttle to the train. It takes about $6 per person to go and return on the train. We went to the Aquarium stop from which there is a lot to see and do. We returned that evening and all we had to do is phone the hotel and they dispatched a van for us - about 15 minutes. They even verify the arrival by text just in case the driver cannot find you. They will also transport you to local restaurants as well. The breakfast at the Sheraton is good as well. Everything was included in our cruise price including tips. We were told at check in to be downstairs at about 11:30 for our transportation to the pier. Which at first concerned us as we usually like to board early. But we decided to just go with the flow. We checked out about 10:30 after breakfast and waited for the "ride" to the ship. While waiting we noticed a limo arrive and thought someone famous must be staying here. Surprise they transported us to the ship by limo. It was the best trip to port ever. A BMW limo with free Wi-Fi, snacks and water. We could’ve actually just driven around for a while. We were dropped off right at the door of the port and never touched a bag. (The tips were already included) For embarkation we processed through security in about 10 minutes and then the line at registration took about another 5 to get to the agent. After the presentation of all the docs and taking pictures the agent said you need to follow me. We followed him behind the priority boarding curtain and met our Concierge, Anoop. We were afforded priority boarding and given access to a concierge for the entire trip. We were in Cagney's eating a great lunch within an hour of arriving at the pier. This was the best embarkation ever! It really could not be better. We were finally on the ship and just had to do what NCL had planned for us all we had to do was get to the local airport on time. 5 stars!!!! This was our first time on the Gem. Though we have spent a lot of time on the Dawn over the past year as well as some of the bigger ships. The Gem is slightly bigger than the Dawn. There is a Great Outdoors much like the Sun and the Sky. The buffet seems to be a bit larger and is only on one side. We stayed in a balcony room 10128 which was a great choice, very near the stairs with easy access up and down. The cabin is slightly bigger than the Dawn, well at least a little more storage. It was clean and always kept that way by our steward. We only had to ask for Ice in the Ice bucket once, which was automatic after that. Dining on the Gem was GREAT!!! The breakfasts in Moderno each morning were really a highlight. We could’ve eaten lunch in Cagney’s each day but wow we were so stuffed! We dined in Le Bistro, Cagney’s, Moderno, The Grand Pacific and Magenta. They all were excellent. In fact, the Grand Pacific had the best wait staff on the whole cruise. This is the free restaurant. Magenta was a little too crowded but was okay, so if you hate crowds sail away the buffet is literally better. The one issue with dining was in La Cucina. It was nice looking facility however the experience was because they booked multiple large parties in too small of a space. It was raucous to say the least. We just skipped dessert and went to the bar. The concierge found us almost immediately and did admit that they knew it was too loud and they were working on it. My suggestion - don’t eat there!!!! Maybe then it could be really fixed! The buffet was good as well as the great outdoors. We did usually stop by the great outdoors before bed for a snack. The coolest dining experience on the Gem was the barbeque they prepared everyday on the pool deck. It was very safe and was awesome. I thought at first, we would never get anything to eat there but it was so fast there really was never a wait. This really was a unique experience. 5 stars!!!! And on the last day at sea they made the largest Black Forest Cake at sea. We found the Whisky Bar to the best, Zoran was a great bartender even when he had to explain to people that a Whisky Bar is not where you go to order a Margarita. He went next door an made them one. Bar service overall was 4 stars. A few times it seemed to be understaffed a little on the pool deck, but a good job. The entertainment on the ship was excellent as we have grown to expect from NCL. There was guitar Karaoke/tracks performer that we really did NOT care for. However, it seemed a lot of people liked tracks and pitchy, so they had something to go listen to. The biggest ISSUE on the whole cruise was in during the “White Hot” or “Glow Party” and yes, I know NCL is trying to rebrand it which is another issue. But, for some reason they had it inside and it was too packed and the allowed the youth to come after they had already had one especially for them. It was literally dangerous on the dance floor. Not sure who is responsible for this --- It was a beautiful night outside at the end of July leaving Bermuda. So, it was not a weather issue. THIS NEEDS TO BE TAKEN CARE OF! If they do this again, I will NEVER attend! I do not wish to get into a fight which almost happened as there was so much pushing around! I might mention there was also NO security present. Drinking and an overcrowded dance floor party is really a bad idea. My wife is small I had to shield her from the parents with kids hanging in the air and teenagers jumping into her. Bermuda is a great place to cruise it was 2 nights and three days in port. There is nothing near Bermuda so that is difficult to change. Bermuda is very safe compared to many other ports. The White-Hot Party Sunset Cruise offered by NCL was Superior. The same company did a cruise for snorkeling when we arrived. It is called Rising Son. We did another Sunset Cruise it was okay. It was cloudy and no I don’t blame the company on the weather. The ones from Rising Son are much better!!!! I got to drive the catamaran on the way back to the ship. We did book and off ship Food Tour in Hamilton for lunch. It was good, however too HOT! On the last day we took an NCL tour to Tobacco Bay. This was a great excursion. The snorkeling there is good especially if you have a wife that is not a strong swimmer. We went on a short historical tour and walked there from St. Georges. Probably a mile – though they will transport you if necessary. There was a lunch and we snorkeled for hours. There were so many fish right off the shore. Of course, the feeding of French fries probably contributed to this. I was caught in a true feeding frenzy once, but it was cool. We traveled back to Boston and we had the same treatment in reverse because we decided to stay a day later before going home. Boston is a great place to visit, lots to see and do for everyone. If you want a great local seafood experience check out Salty Girl. You will probably have to wait but it is worth it. We had limo back to hotel and a great time waiting to go home. This was a true all-inclusive cruise. I am not sure how it could really be much better. NCL free air and lodging the day before or after is a great deal and a wonderful experience. Just booked the next 3 with those included. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We wanted to sail again on a small ship. Since this cruise was NY to NY it made sense. This was the best cruise we have been on. Every thing was excellent. The ship, the food, the shows and the service. The Captain was very visible and ... Read More
We wanted to sail again on a small ship. Since this cruise was NY to NY it made sense. This was the best cruise we have been on. Every thing was excellent. The ship, the food, the shows and the service. The Captain was very visible and personable. The Cruise Director Eric was a hoot and very talented. Food in the main dining room and the best with at least a dozen selections every night. Food in the Steak House and Italian rest. was excellent with terrific service. They could not do more for you. the shows were great, Singers and dancers were great. Eric CD had a great voice. The Amazing Night aboard the Yorktown was the tops and something we never experienced before. The White Night in Bermuda was also a one of a kind. Everyone of the Staff and crew were extremely friendly and always said hello and how are you. Even the passengers were great. Having a Bridge Director pushed it over the top. 53% of the passengers were past Azamara guests. We became one as we booked another Amazing Cruise on board. It would be great to see more Azamara cruise out of NY. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I wanted to sail on one of the new big ships and the Escape fit this bill. With outside dining and beautifully designed rooms it was wonderful. The food is a big improvement over some of the smaller ships. This trip went to Bermuda and ... Read More
I wanted to sail on one of the new big ships and the Escape fit this bill. With outside dining and beautifully designed rooms it was wonderful. The food is a big improvement over some of the smaller ships. This trip went to Bermuda and we were there for parts of three days. So it was a more restful itinerary than others where you are in a different port every day. Bermuda was beautiful with pink sand beaches and lovely people. No hustle no hassle compared to some Caribbean Islands. You can rent scooters and travel the island. St Georges is a UNESCO site and is a charming seaside village that you can walk around and see forts and visit lovely beaches. The weather rained a little but cleared up most of the time. I would visit Bermuda again and spend more time. Hats off to NCL for a great ship and a wonderful itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I’ve cruised many lines, including Princess, Celebrity, Windstar, Paul Gauguin, RCCL, HAL & Crystal. I had heard so many accolades regarding Regent, & I was determined to try them. It’s been 6 months since our cruise (there ... Read More
I’ve cruised many lines, including Princess, Celebrity, Windstar, Paul Gauguin, RCCL, HAL & Crystal. I had heard so many accolades regarding Regent, & I was determined to try them. It’s been 6 months since our cruise (there were 4 of us, in 2 cabins), but my disappointment has not waned & I cannot see myself attempting another Regent cruise - at their prices, they were far below my expectations & not worthy of a repeat. — The cabins were wonderful, comfortable, & our attendant was also wonderful. — The main dining room was too brightly lit & it ruined the ambiance of a gracious evening. One night they lost power for a short time in the brightest lights & people cheered; when the brights came back on, you could hear the grumbling disappointment. We asked for dimmer lighting, but I suppose we were one of the few because that did not happen. It was bright like a MacDonalds, no exaggeration. The food was very good, the wait staff rushed with service varying accordingly. We had some kind of VIPs on board & it was pretty angering to watch the multiple staff tripping on themselves to serve them - while we sat unattended waiting. — The 2 specialty restaurants were both disappointments, in food & in service. All 4 of us agreed, our meals were poor. We complained about the meals in the steak restaurant & they apologized profusely, asked us to give them another try ... why would we try again when we couldn’t even eat the steaks? — The drinks were poor & I sent back a few of them. I also had to start asking for doubles and/or extra shots because they skimped on the alcohol. Even the martini olives were small! That may sound petty, but I enjoy a well made martini with great olives - which was not to be had on this ship ... nor a decent Old Fashion, nor a decent Manhattan. The bar staff were polite, but not friendly & after 10 days on the ship not one of them acted like they had ever seen us before, even when we greeted them by name & tried to engage them. — Most of the tours were terrible. We paid $150 per person extra (as best I recall) for a tour in Boston to the Kennedy Library. We arrived at the library later than had been expected by the guide & our time in the library was very rushed - so I didn’t enjoy what I had been looking forward to. Our tours on Bermuda were both terrible - one was on a sailboat that was too small for all the passengers & many of us sat uncomfortably on deck. Many sat packed into the well. There was never a discussion of safety or life jackets & if I had not sailed before I imagine I would’ve been scaired sitting against the mast on a flat deck, cutting through windy seas. The other Bermuda tour was 7 people packed into an RV & a drive-about. We ended up in the 3rd row of seats, with 3 of us tucked in, which meant that 2 of us half-sat on the wheel wells & the one in the middle was a sardine. We left that tour at the first stop & were thrilled to be out of that RV. A very disappointing cruise, for many reasons. This was definitely not the “luxury” I had anticipated, was far less luxurious than many other ships I’ve been on, and was way, WAY overpriced for what we received. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I have been a long time Regent cruiser and was concerned about the quality of service after the takeover by Norwegian. In October my wife and I took a 10-day cruise to Canada and then Bermuda. We found the staff as warm and friendly as ... Read More
I have been a long time Regent cruiser and was concerned about the quality of service after the takeover by Norwegian. In October my wife and I took a 10-day cruise to Canada and then Bermuda. We found the staff as warm and friendly as in the past and the food was at least as good. The entertainment was moderate as I expect on a small ship, but the performers were enthusiastic. But… My wife uses a mobility scooter and transport chair which we brought on the cruise. The access to the pool deck and specialty restaurants was made especially difficult. Scooters had to navigate the lip between the corridor and deck and they created an extra barricade with an inclined plane to ease the scooter across the lip. But the plane did not slope to the ground but started with a two-inch vertical rise. To negotiate this the scooter had to be perpendicular to the rise and moving relatively fast. The problem was the stairwell was close to the deck access and there was little room for maneuvering. It was worse leaving the deck since the fast-moving scooter was headed toward the stairwell. A tense experience, to say the least. Leaving the ship in port was an adventure-in-itself. The gangway was set up in much the same way as the as access to the pool deck and disregards the needs of those who need mobility assistance. It took two crew members to move the scooter over the hump. The ship stayed in Bermuda for two days, the longest on the cruise. But none of the excursions were available to the mobility impaired -- even folding wheelchairs. This really did not matter since the gangway was steps rather than an incline. The crew offered to carry my wife and scooter down the steps, but we did not want to be singled out. Finally, the stress was too much and the scooter transmission was damaged. Half way through the cruise we filled out a questionnaire and we expressed these complaints. We were ignored. The changes that would have solved these problems were simple and inexpensive and the failure to implement these changes shows indifference, at best. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
No straws ! Bring your own if you like frozen drinks ! You cannot sip them til it melts Get the iconcierge app. You can communicate with others on board who have the app and give you their special number to add as a contact $9.99 total ... Read More
No straws ! Bring your own if you like frozen drinks ! You cannot sip them til it melts Get the iconcierge app. You can communicate with others on board who have the app and give you their special number to add as a contact $9.99 total for the week per phone, no other charges It will give you all the daily activities by time each day and the Deck # ! You can also check future days activities. ALSO you can check your charges and get problem charges resoled that day Last day the lines are VERY long with people paying cash and resolving issues 2 hrs at least ! I went 5 times to get prices resolved The pools are too crowded If you want to save seats get there by 7 AM on sea days . In port its much better at the pool. Many things cost money and can be charged to your room. Bingo 49.00 for 2, Deal or no deal 25.00 for 2games pp Some drinks are an upgrade like Gentleman Jack Daniels for 2.35 per drink Gambling , lotto.and more . Cagneys steak house was the BEST ! Great everything ! OSheehans is most popular because you can look down below to the Atrium where there is so much to see and participate in like Deal or no deal and battle of the sexes and Trivia. If bad weather outside you will not get near the atrium or Osheehans on the overlook My husband is phobic clean and he gave ths hip an A+ ! We had Ashok as our Steward and he was amazing Always took care of our room when we left never disturbed us There is pen and paper in the room to leave a note if you needed something from him . My 15 yr old grandaughter did not connect with the teen group, but heard from another father that his 2 girls did (15-16yrs old) and did not get in til 5AM one morning, then he gave them a curfew ! This ship is Beautiful, everywhere ! I would highly recommend it !! we sailed from NYV 7/22-7/30 We got to a close parking lot in NYC we got there around 8:30 There are only 400 spaces I think The next lot over was a walk So parking in this lot right at Port 88 we just took the terminal down to the port Leaving was easy too after we got our bags thru custome which went pretty fast Enjoy ! Its worth it Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Despite missing Bermuda and adding a day in New York and an extra sea day, this cruise was very nice. The service was excellent. The tours were well organized. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The food is good and well ... Read More
Despite missing Bermuda and adding a day in New York and an extra sea day, this cruise was very nice. The service was excellent. The tours were well organized. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The food is good and well presented. We had not been on the Navigator since it was refurbished and thought the decor overall was very pleasant. Tea time was poorly attended which we found surprising. Setti Mari was also not very busy the one time we dined there. The food was very good, but we do not like the buffet part of it. We ate in Prime 7 once, and found the service a bit lacking. The Compass Rose is our favorite restaurant. The maitre’d’s and wait staff are just outstanding. We found there was always enough on the menu to choose from when the specials did not appeal to us. There is a reason this was our sixth cruise with Regent: the level of personal service is outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Heartless RC would not move my sail date or cancel and reimburse despite my pleas as my Mom, an 87 year old victim of Hurricane Maria was alone, with no electricity, water or any means of communication. The Voom is a waste of time. ... Read More
Heartless RC would not move my sail date or cancel and reimburse despite my pleas as my Mom, an 87 year old victim of Hurricane Maria was alone, with no electricity, water or any means of communication. The Voom is a waste of time. Doesn't work half the time and when it does it knocks you off every 2 hours. The drink package is exorbitant. Not worth it unless you have 5 or more drinks each per day. Smoking on board is ridiculous and a health hazard even though in designated areas. You have to run through them to go eat. Really? The shows were lame for the most part. Loud and confusing. Most of the staff is very good and helpful. The food in the main dining rooms is mediocre at best. The Bingo is a major rip off. The clubs are fun, the music ok. The on board merchandise is expensive. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The itinerary allowing us to travel to Bermuda from Florida on the ship was our deciding factor to celebrate our 44th anniversary. We cruised on the Navigator for our 30th anniversary and did not want to miss out on this last trip to ... Read More
The itinerary allowing us to travel to Bermuda from Florida on the ship was our deciding factor to celebrate our 44th anniversary. We cruised on the Navigator for our 30th anniversary and did not want to miss out on this last trip to Bermuda. The ship was beautiful, having been refurbished last year, and was better than our expectations. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and easy. The food delicious and always flavorful, attractive and top service. We especially enjoyed several of the cast productions however felt Clive Carrington's classics and piano bar entertainment was the best we have enjoyed (this was our 28th cruise). His amazing talent playing everything from classical to current venues as well as singing kept us entertained nightly. Guests and one of the bar servers, Elvis, even shared his mike adding so much to the evenings. Singer Shauna Hicks' Broadway show was also amazing. She was featured two nights and we wish she was on stage at least once more. Another great talent who hope to see in the future. We enjoyed the special interest lectures with Kim Orlando. Service was always perfect, helping with smiles and warm greetings. We definitely will cruise on Regent again and plan to book one of their other ships for variety and itinerary from Florida. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Our friends found a great deal for RSS 25th Anniversary cruise and so we jumped at the chance to join them and try our first luxury cruise (previously sailed with Celebrity, HAL and NCL). It started well with an upgrade to a balcony suite. ... Read More
Our friends found a great deal for RSS 25th Anniversary cruise and so we jumped at the chance to join them and try our first luxury cruise (previously sailed with Celebrity, HAL and NCL). It started well with an upgrade to a balcony suite. Embarkation was smooth although they did not have our cards and had to escort us to Guest Services which was unusual. The ship has been recently remodelled and we were impressed by our cabin and the public spaces. The ship has notable vibration problems in the rear spaces such as the theatre and bars. At times all the bottles were clinking and sitting on stools almost required hanging on. It was also notable how much more this smaller ship moves. Especially in our forward cabin, this cabin was very noisy when arriving in ports as well. As a married couple in our early 40's we were regularly queried if we were entertainment when embarking so I think it highlights the average age is much higher than our previous cruise experiences. Unfortunately we did not meet our room attendant for the first 2 days and eventually when we queried how we were supposed to set up the personal bar, the assistant HK visited us with our attendants to find out why we had not been given a tour of our cabin and requests for our personnel requirements. Things improved after this. The first 2 nights in the Compass Rose we also found the service to be very casual and when my wife asked if she could taste a different wine to the daily special the sommelier quoted it was not a wine tasting event?!!? A query to the FB manager was handled quickly and professionally and we had no future problems. Many of us felt that the crew seemed very tired and uninterested and that this may have been due to them just completing the world cruise and apparently having a very rough crossing. After a couple of days service improved and after visiting Bermuda where the weather was great and the crew got a chance to get ashore, service notably improved from then on and by the end was an excellent standard. We appreciated the amazing dinnerware, quality of furnishings, pool chairs, sporting equipment, the library etc. It was a noticeable improvement in quality. We felt breakfast was average to good (except the caviar Sunday which was fun). Lunch options were plentiful but the standout was dinner. The compass Rose has a great dinner, Prime 7 was superb and the Italian was a nice change (although hard to get into with the limited seating). Entertainment was not as good as we have experienced on the larger ships, most other passengers thought the production shows were great. The last one was excellent but the earlier ones were a bit flat and the quality of some of the singing and dancing wasn't great. The theatre looks amazing but unfortunately gets very crowded and could be difficult to find a comfortable seating arrangement. We enjoyed the silly activities and the deck games. The pool area was nice but shade was limited and unfortunately rude passengers reserved deck chairs for hours without using them and this was never policed. Also many use multiple deck chairs which is even more arrogant. Included tours were quite good but we are not group tour people and with large groups and elderly members it made for very slow going. Overall we had a very fun time and appreciated the lift in quality especially as we were fortunate to sail on a very good deal which made the value for money even more outstanding. If we had paid full price the early service issues would have been unforgivable. The vibration, movement and noise issues would be annoying. At our age it is probably preferable to sail on the ships with a slightly different demographic but still appreciate what an amazing time we had. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was my very first time cruising, so i didn't know what to expect. I am 49, and I took my 19 year old niece. Obviosly youngest on Regent. While we enjoyed dressing up for dinner a few times, we didn't like feeling obligated ... Read More
This was my very first time cruising, so i didn't know what to expect. I am 49, and I took my 19 year old niece. Obviosly youngest on Regent. While we enjoyed dressing up for dinner a few times, we didn't like feeling obligated to. Well, if you want to leave cabin that is... We had the first night at hotel in Miami. That was extremely disorganized. Even though Regent knew of an embarkation time change weeks before and notified me, they aparently didnt tell anyone at the hotel. Or the staff just didnt know. The Epic hotel, imo, was a complete disaster. On the plus side, transport both from airport and from hotel to port was great. Very organized. The ship itself definitely not worth the amount we paid. I did read other reviews prior, so perhaps Navigator isn"t a fair representation of Regent. If not, it should be much cheaper than the other 3 in Regent's fleet. Since it was nicely refurbished, it looked really great. But old. There was a lot of vibration and noise! I dont think all elevators were working simultaneously at any time the entire cruise. So you can imagine the wait times! And they actually use this ship for world cruises? I had my fill after only 11 nights. Definitely not a luxury experience. Service was excellant, everywhere. All waitstaff, bar staff, cabin steward.... They all go out of their way for you. Any shows or entertainment were definitely geared to a much older crowd. Not an issue though. The crew gave a great performance on the last night. Not being a drinker I really can't comment on lounges or nightlife. The food was good, but not the best. Certainly not what I was expecting. Room service menu was poor. But if it is during dinner, you can order from Compass Rose. We were both very pleased with the shore excursions. Both the quality and the way Regent handled them-very organized. Even when there were time changes. Towels and bottled water as you leave ship. But then, this is all what you should expect for a luxury cruise, right? Overall, I would probably do Regent cruise again only if it were a different ship. Or a LOT cheaper! Otherwise I would go with a more casual line. I booked another cruise for 2019, but not with Regent. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
It stopped at places we had not been to.. canaverel, charleston and Bermuda. Plus the name of Cunard. First time and last time with Cunard Embarkation at Fort Lauderdale was chaotic took nearly an hour through process. Not well ... Read More
It stopped at places we had not been to.. canaverel, charleston and Bermuda. Plus the name of Cunard. First time and last time with Cunard Embarkation at Fort Lauderdale was chaotic took nearly an hour through process. Not well organised. Got to cabin straight away once on board. Went to Lido buffet. Food looked ok, but expected better for Cunard. Thought first day so would get better. Paul our cabin steward was very welcoming and excellent throughout cruise. Dinner first night poor standard food served as per 20 years ago, ambient poor presentation. Entertainment was mediocre throughout cruise except for comedians, female singer and the bluejays. Cunard own singers were poor, dance troupe were fair Non courteous officers, did not acknowledge especially younger officers. Tried to book trips. Only bus to Disney on second day available and limited trips at other ports. Food was very poor as stated. Waiters Bernie and Rey excellent as was Sylvaner (wine waiter) and Warren (maitre d) food totally lacked imagination. In both restaurant and Lido. Poorly cooked, poorly presented and from a different era. I understood the exec chef had been with Cunard over 20 years. It showed. Been on over 15 cruises with 8 cruise companies. This is by far the worst. In the Lido food allowed to dry out and limp. Ambient temperatures, lacked presentation. The only thing was cold desserts excellent and bread was good. Hot desserts from 20 years ago. No one seemed to be checking hot plates. Overall the ship was tired but expected that as it was going in for refitting It appeared to us that Cunard is living on its name and has not pdated certainly it's catering standards. Drinks we found expensive and specialty restaurants were hardly used as was the drinking areas? It could have done with a drinks service in royal court theatre. Although there are no facilities to have drinks in there. Cunard needs to look at other cruise ompanies facilities and update. Would I sail with them or recommend them, an emfatic NO. Disembarkation (pleased to get off) was well organised. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
A little late in getting this review out, but not a reflection on the outstanding trip we had on the Summit in June, 2016. A little about us…we love our vacations, and have been on smaller and mega-ships, balconies and suites, and ... Read More
A little late in getting this review out, but not a reflection on the outstanding trip we had on the Summit in June, 2016. A little about us…we love our vacations, and have been on smaller and mega-ships, balconies and suites, and throughout the Caribbean and Mexico areas. Out time on the Summit was, from the moment we drove into NJ to the moment we sadly got in our car to depart, by far, the best experience we have had in 4 years of cruising on four different cruise lines. EMBARKATION NJ is a breeze; tons of parking, easy luggage drop off, and friendly porters. Parking is a bargain at around 150$ for the week. Now, I admit, we were spoiled because as Suite guests, we had no line, a lovely waiting area, and literally a 30 minute wait to get onto the ship. That being said, we noticed very few lines in general, tons of seating, and very helpful staff for all passengers. Why spend the extra money on a Suite? Well…in addition to the bigger room, the amenities cannot be beaten, especially literally getting out of your car and having a hop, skip and jump right into your vacation! When we got onto the ship, the touch of mimosas and champagne was lovely and refreshing. We had fun wandering around the decks for a while and enjoying the beautiful skyline. We then headed to Michael’s Club for a snack, and were greeted with a hug BY NAME by our Suite Concierge Maja… Oh “Falla, Falla” (Macedonian for “Thank you”) to this tirelessly cheerful and wonderful woman. She is an absolute treasure – there is nothing that she could not do for us, and was extraordinary in arranging unforgettable adventures for our son – a private galley Tour with Chef Wayne (more about that later), and meet and greets with the Captain and Senior Staff. Maja should be congratulated on making us feel like we were the most treasured guests on the ship – what a woman! She also arranged for us to be on the helicopter landing area as we pulled away from NYC – the most beautiful views of the harbor and with patriotic music playing as Captain Kate “buzzed” the Statue of Liberty. Michaels Club was wonderful – the events there were nightly and varied, from High Tea with a classical string duo, to Senior Staff meet and greets, nightly snacks, photo ops…also a quiet place to mingle with other guests. The whole of Michael’s staff was great. So…after meeting Maja, it was off to one of many fantastic meals at Lumiere. Again…I know it’s the Suite Restaurant and the service is expected to be a level above, but the entire staff took it to the roof! Charles, the Head Maitre D, knew my son’s name from 5 minutes in, knew his meal preferences, and always himself or Olga (absolutely wonderful smile and patience), escorted my picky and occasionally fussy 7 year old to “his” seat, and had his preferred lunch or dinner meal ready within 5 minutes of being seated. No fuss, no questions. All of the waiters, Vlad, Jose, and Louis the Sommelier were fantastic, but a special shout out for Dominic who was our main waiter, and made it his mission to make each meal better than the one before. I have heard criticism that the menus are limited…of course they are…why would you need more than 5 or 6 amazing entrees on a 7 day sailing? Guess what…all you have to do is ask, and they will make anything you could possibly want to tailor your mood. For me especially, a vegan, Dominic went out of his way to recommend / modify anything I was interested in on the menu. My husband said the lamb burger he had at lunch on day 3 was by far, the best thing he had ever eaten. We never had a bad meal, and I personally had some of the best vegan cuisine of my life. Louis was great in choosing wines / drinks to go with our meals, and again, knew our preferences by dinner on the 1st night. He was even great in helping us choose a wine for a lovely couple we met celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. A great hello also to a great couple we sat next to for three nights before figuring out that they lived in the town next to us in New York! They also agreed that the Summit was fantastic, and they are veteran cruisers (very, very jealous of their international trips). FUN FACTORY While waiting for our room to be ready, we enrolled our son at the Fun Factory. The Fun Factory staff, especially Nellie, were amazing – My son has some communication challenges and this was, along with our Disney trips, the best experience we have ever had on a cruise ship. All of the counselors were absolutely fantastic adapting to our son’s special needs, and when he had a few challenging days, they were 100% willing to work with us to make sure we had alternative activities for him. I highly recommend the “VIP Package” – for I believe 75$, this includes a special trip to the Bridge, a backstage theater tour, special meet and greets, and sleep-overs / dinner times. What a great treat for us as parents to have a safe place let our son play while we went on our own “play dates”. SUITE We splurged on an upgrade to a Concierge Suite (7138) from a Sky Suite, and were not disappointed. The room layout was fantastic, and having the extra living room and dining space was perfect for our family of three. The entire wall of windows and large balcony were amazing, especially for sunrises and sunsets. The only downside – it was very open to seeing other balconies. General word of advice – do not assume if you are on your balcony naked or in your underwear that no one can see you (just sayin’). The room was gorgeous, clean and the bathroom was spacious. There was more storage than we had luggage for, and we especially loved the changing room in the closet – perfect for a “work space” for my busy 7 year old. Literally the only complaint was like others, we found the deep bathtub challenging to get in and out of. Special shout-outs to our butler Kim who was amazing in finding daily treats for us, arranging room service, and making sure every detail was perfect. She was absolutely tireless, and her sweet smile and endless hugs for our son were truly welcomed. From housekeeping, Jose and Kumar were outstanding. Our room was spotless, the towel animals were fantastic, and it only took us asking once for extra supplies for them to be present every day. The best past of these three, was Kim, Jose and Kumar arranging a special anniversary and birthday celebration for us – what a wonderful surprise! SENIOR STAFF Of the senior staff, five stood out among all. Cannot say enough about Captain Kate – so personable, funny and available in every corner of the ship. She was heading to see her husband for her 3 months off-ship, and you could tell was excited! We had the great fortune of having a few private meet-and-greets with her, and my son absolutely fell in love. She remembered his name, and he was able to have 2 private deck tours – one with the Kids Club, and one with the suite guests. The Summit is a wonderful ship, and we are booking specifically next year for a cruise in which she is at the helm and Chef Wayne is in the kitchen. Chef Wayne gave our family the most incredible experience of a private galley tour – gave my son his own chef’s coat, and we spent 30 minutes touring the galley, and were amazed at the cleanliness and efficiency of the entire staff. He introduced my son as “the new head chef”, and everyone saluted and said “Hi Chef” or “Yes Chef” when we walked by. Seeing how this one small area produces amazing meals for the entire ship was so cool – I definitely rank this among the coolest things I have ever done. World Wide Wayne, Srjeon, Eddy and Oz are senior staff members who are ever-present making sure all guests have a great time, organizing events, games, entertainment – and still, remembered our names and faces every time we saw them. All four should be commended on their professionalisms and politeness. ENTERTAINMENT Great Broadway-style shows, wonderful “pop-ups”, and a fantastic cello-violin duo were highlights. The pianist’s repertoire was endless, and he was incredibly talented. We loved sitting down before and after dinner and listening to the jazz groups, pop singers, and even the country duo – really lovely. OTHER RESTAURANTS Though we had the luxury of eating almost 75% of our meals at Lumiere, we absolutely loved Café Al Bachio for coffee and nightly snacks. The Tapas restaurant Qsine was such the experience. Our waiter made suggestions for my vegan palate and my husband’s love of meat and seafood – the tapas were gorgeous, and we actually had to cancel a few “flights” as we were stuffed to the gills. We ate at Tuscan Grill twice – outstanding service and meals. The fresh pasta was perfect, and they even made a special pizza for our son. I had amazing soups and salads, and the sommelier was right on point with his suggestions. Some of the best Italian food we have eaten in a beautiful, warm setting. We did not eat in the main dining room, but loved the juice bar by the pool (yes…I do love a good morning cucumber and apple smoothie), and thought that the buffet was fantastic – so clean, and the staff were vigilant in making sure that everything was sanitized and keep either warm or hot. There were not a thousand options, but who needs a thousand mediocre dishes when you can have 100 really great choices. BERMUDA Beautiful island, and had the great fortune of taking a private tour with another couple we met online at CruiseCritic – Kim…you made this trip so special! Winsome Tours with Julie (the owner) was a private van tour for 5 hours of the entire island tailored to our taste – wonderful stops, feeding the ducks and fish, and sitting in the first chapel on the island were highlights. This tour was a surprise, and there is a reason that they are rated so highly on Trip Advisor. What we really loved about Bermuda were the clean beaches, lack of tourist traps, and easy ferry and bus access. There are taxis everywhere, and the restaurants are plentiful. A few thoughts – were were underwhelmed by the Crustal Caves – nice tour guide, very cheerful, but it was, um, a cave. A hot, muggy, sticky cave. FINAL THOUGHTS Cannot wait to come back – we loved Bermuda, loved the Summit, and loved the luxury of our Concierge Suite. Could not more highly recommend this ship and this crew. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Judging from the reviews and boards of Cruise Critic at least, It’s not been a good year so far for Oceania with all of the norovirus on RIVIERA and continued worry or real experiences that “things aren’t the same” under new NCL ... Read More
Judging from the reviews and boards of Cruise Critic at least, It’s not been a good year so far for Oceania with all of the norovirus on RIVIERA and continued worry or real experiences that “things aren’t the same” under new NCL ownership. For us, it was returning to REGATTA for our sixth cruise in her and our first since 2011 having sailing in the meantime once in MARINA and three times in RIVIERA. My wife prefers “the big ships” (especially the cabin bathrooms with tubs!) but I still prefer “the little ships”. This cruise in REGATTA reinforced that for me and reassured me that Oceania remains largely “as is” and a superb cruise product across the board. REGATTA was just the right size for this 12-day itinerary, a new one for us, from Miami to Nassau, Bermuda (and yes with that preferred Hamilton Front Street berth), Charleston (delightful!) and Port Canaveral. Our call at Norfolk was sadly cancelled owing to bad weather in the Atlantic and the captain wisely deciding to spend an additional (and idyllic) day in Bermuda instead. April in the Atlantic is a crap-shoot weather-wise but was was pretty good with only first evening and morning out of Bermuda rough although it was quite windy and cloudy in Bermuda one day. This was our first return to REGATTA since her extensive refurbishment in 2013. Happy to see that Oceania retains the original Edwardian décor of the original “R” ships which I prefer to the flashier style of the RIVIERA/MARINA. The Grand Dining Room, Hall and staircase remain among the most handsome spaces afloat. Sadly, I think they ruined the Terrace Café, replacing the charming murals and light pastel colors with institutional fake wood laminate and plastic covered chairs right out of a nursing home. Oddly, the lovely colorful mosaics on the lido deck have also been replaced with the most harsh and dreary grey rough stone. A lot of the charm and character of these areas have been spoilt and for no good reason it seems. Essential maintenance remains excellent but high-use Martinis not tidied up anywhere near as often as before (or as necessary) and the gents dressing room in the Canyon Ranch Spa and the outside spa deck were often a mess of heaped, used towels, robes and sandals… something you’d never have seen before. Our own cabin (7074, a Concierge Veranda) was kept immaculate and the cabin stewardesses were superbly efficient, friendly and helpful. Food, food, food… Oceania has always been as obsessed about eating as its passengers. And happy to report, it remains as superb as ever. Tastes and expectations vary and you can’t get more subjective than food but I thought it was uniformly excellent in choice, presentation, quality and finished product and in every venue and every meal. If anything, our experience in Toscana and Polo were the best of our ten Oceania cruises, making the prospect of them being “combined” as Tuscan Steak all that more sad. We love the little bar in Polo on these ships. Service in the Main Dining Room can be slow, yes… the menus are simply too extensive I think for anything else… and there remain long (15-20 min) waits for tables for two even after 8.00 pm. But this is one good dining experience make no mistake. Oceania may focus too much on food but the results are very tasty indeed. The most enjoyable aspect of cruising with Oceania for us has always been the crew and we always come away having made new friends from all over the world and delighted to be reacquainted with some familiar faces from cruises past. Adrian (Mexico) the deck steward was my prize this trip serving up the best margaritas afloat and in quantity as well as a quality. Some really delightful staff (especially Oscar from Peru) in the Terrace Café and dining room and Horizons, too. Service in Martinis was frankly not very good, so poor in fact that we complained when it seemed obvious that people with the beverage package were not getting the same level of service. Our complaint was promptly handled by the bar manager and the service did get better but we preferred Horizons on this trip for service and friendliness. REGATTA, Oceania’s first ship and still the flagship of the ever expanding fleet, remains an utterly charming and delightful vessel offering exceptional standards of cuisine, service and surroundings. And most of all, some very nice people to look after you. Adrian’s margaritas already seem a distant memory. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Not interested in another Caribbean cruise, we jumped at the opportunity to sail out of Miami going northeast instead. All the ports except Nassau were new to us, and two were overnights, so it offered a chance to really explore these ... Read More
Not interested in another Caribbean cruise, we jumped at the opportunity to sail out of Miami going northeast instead. All the ports except Nassau were new to us, and two were overnights, so it offered a chance to really explore these destinations. We were offered an exceptional price for a concierge-level cabin mid-ship on deck 9. We've decided that these 700-passenger ships are our favorites--big enough to find your favorite places to relax but small enough to run back to the room from time to time without it seeming like a hike (or using the elevators). We're walkers, so out we went into the streets of Miami, Nassau, Hamilton, St. George, Norfolk, and Charleston, finding interesting pubs, local beers, vernacular and notable architecture, and impromptu cemetery and garden tours. I think being on foot gives you a look at the city unobtainable in any other way. Some on our ship saw a certain church in Charleston as they went by on their tour bus, while we wandered in for noon prayers and sat in the same pew that George Washington and Robert E. Lee did. Signing on late meant we were shut out of the more popular shore excursions. The few we took were our least favorite part of the cruise. Only the space center was memorable. Had we gone on the all day trips to Williamsburg or Jamestown, or seen the plantations in South Carolina, we may have had more to say on those, but we chose to do our own thing. Bermuda and Charleston both rated highly in interesting things to do, and I wish we had had another day in each. We enjoyed the food more on this voyage than our previous Regent cruise, particularly Signatures. Compass Rose did a great job, too, and I'm thankful for the Canyon Ranch selections. La Veranda/Sette Mari seemed a bit frantic and crowded. We only ate there a few times for lunch and once for dinner. The bartenders were great; the Horizon lounge became our go-to spot before and after dinner. The big stage shows were entertaining and impressive in that space. I hope to never see another ventriloquist on board, however. The enrichment speaker was a disappointment. His information was a bit scattered, occasionally useful, but had some out-of-date elements, like when he said that the birdcage in Hamilton is used by traffic cops (it hasn't been for some time) and that the boat to Fort Sumter is a hundred yards from our ship (more like five blocks). As always, Regent handled the boarding and debarking process nicely. A Regent vacation is an easy choice. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
My husband and I have just returned from a 14night transatlantic cruise on seven seas navigator. It was a final cruise before a complete refurbishment in dry dock for 2 weeks. We had read the reviews so had a few concerns about the ... Read More
My husband and I have just returned from a 14night transatlantic cruise on seven seas navigator. It was a final cruise before a complete refurbishment in dry dock for 2 weeks. We had read the reviews so had a few concerns about the negative reviews. Let me reassure you it was the best cruise line we have ever cruised with and we have cruised with many others including Cunard and Royal Caribbean. Embarkation was quick and easy and we were met by friendly staff handing out champagne. A nice start! Cabins were not quite ready so we went to the restaurant for lunch. The staff were there to make sure you had a table of your choice and were serving drinks to our table. It was a self service restaurant, The Veranda, the food was excellent and again the staff were really helpful, especially with elderly passengers carrying their food to the tables for them, always with a smile. Nothing was ever too much trouble. When we arrived to our cabin we were very impressed with the cleanliness and the size of it! A bathroom with bath and shower, large king size bed, seating area which led into the balcony which although small plenty of room for a table and 2 chairs which we used often when the weather was nice. I loved the walk in wardrobe which had loads of space for hanging clothes plus drawers that even I couldn't fill and I take a lot of just in case clothes with me!!!! There was a bottle of champagne on ice and a lovely selection of fresh fruit. The fruit was replenished daily and the fridge filled with soft and alcoholic drinks plus bottled water which was also replaced as we used it. The bed was very comfortable with lovely fresh Cotten bedding and the most comfortable pillows! We were in a cabin at the rear of the ship which unfortunately was as noisy as other passengers said it was!! We slept with earplugs in and managed at first but after a few days of this noise we went to reception to ask if there was another cabin we could have as we were very tired from the disturbances due to the noise in the cabin, we found out we were near the propellers which is the reason for the noise and the vibrations which was constant. They were really sympathetic and upgraded us to a coseirge cabin at no extra cost which was mid ship. No noise or vibration!!! Fantastic! I would advise to pay the extra for mid ship cabins if you will struggle with the noise and vibrations. It was extreme vibrations! The food was superb in all the restaurants and the staff in all areas of the ship were friendly and helpful at all times. Not having to sign for every drink and not think about the price of everything was so easy. Plus free excursions which we booked ahead of the cruise. All online and simple to do. The tickets for these were in our cabin on arrival. The shows were pretty much the same as all cruises but were good entertainment. The seating for shows was very comfortable and we never struggled to find seating. Room service is fantastic. The day of departure was well organised and easy too. Coach transfers and hotel pre cruise etc were all organised for us and coach to airport at end of cruise had regency staff there until we entered the airport so we all knew where to go. This was a top class cruise company that we would highly recommend to anyone. Don't believe the negative reviews as we couldn't fault a thing. Worth the extra cost and will definately use them again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was my 55th cruise and my husband's 51st cruise. We have sailed on all the major lines multiple times, and on some lines that no longer exist. For the past 15 years we have pretty much only sailed in suites. We chose this ... Read More
This was my 55th cruise and my husband's 51st cruise. We have sailed on all the major lines multiple times, and on some lines that no longer exist. For the past 15 years we have pretty much only sailed in suites. We chose this cruise for the itinerary and after reading reviews decided that we would go Yacht Club. At the time we booked the only cabins available were the larger YC2 with no balcony on deck 12 or the smaller YC1 on deck 15. We went with the smaller cabin YC1. It was more the size of a standard balcony, but was luxuriously appointed. The bed was the most comfortable I have ever had and we will be out buying a new Memory Foam mattress next week after the comfort we had on MSC. We flew into Miami the day before and stayed at the Miami Airport Marriott. We got a pretty good deal on the room with a breakfast package. The room was small, overlooked the A/C units, but the furniture and carpets had been updated. The food in the hotel restaurant was good, but lacking in choices, especially for dinner. The lobby was like Grand Central Station. It was always crowded and noisy. There were several groups staying there. While our stay was OK, we decided we would never stay there again. Around 11am we checked out and got a taxi to the MSC Divina. Our driver pulled up right in front of the Yacht Club tent and a porter immediately took the bags out of the trunk and handed them over to Luis Cuenca who was in full butler regalia. Luis put new tags on the bags, checked our paperwork and whisked us inside the building. He insisted on taking our carry on bags. He took us through some barriers right to the front of the Security line. We quickly cleared security and went up to the Yacht Club Lounge in the terminal to check in. There was water, juice, pastries etc. available in the lounge. We completed the check in process in a few minutes and had only been seated a few minute when Kamil, the head butler announced that we could now board the ship. Kamil took the carry on bags from us and led us and a group of others onto the ship and up to the Concierge Lounge. We met with Guissepe, the Asst. Maitre D and selected our dining time for Le Muse. From there, our regular Butler Aaron Pineda collected us and took us to our cabin. We were booked in 15012, a YC1, that is directly across from the entrance to the Concierge Lounge. After Aaron put the carry on bags in the room he gave us a little tour of the Concierge area, library and Top Sail Lounge. He said he would come to collect us that evening to lead us to Le Muse. Le Muse, the YC dining room, is at the other end of Deck 15. If the weather is nice you can just go outside and walk to the back, but if it is windy or raining you have to go down to Deck 7 and navigate your way to the back elevator bank and then go up to 15 right by Le Muse. This escort to the restaurant also served as a lesson in how to navigate the front elevators with the YC card. The card needed to be put into the slot outside the elevator in order to get the elevator to stop at deck 15. Then you put it in the slot in the elevator and it often overrides the other buttons pushed and Aaron explained that I could change a down elevator to an up elevator by using the card. Whenever my card turned the elevator into an express to Deck 15 or changed the direction, there were either nasty comments or bemused looks from other passengers. As late as 5 days into the cruise we met other YC guests at the elevator who did not know about using the card to call the elevator and thought the elevators were just really slow. We originally selected 7pm for our dining time, but the first night it was so busy that we decided that we wanted to change our time. The next morning after breakfast we met with Guiseppe and asked too change to a less busy time. He assured us it would be better since they decided to open Le Muse at 5:30 since so many YC guests wanted an early dining time. We said we just wanted the least busy time so he said to come at 8:30 and Gabrielle, our waiter, would be ready for us. It turned out to be a great decision. The service was better, waiters were less harried and we had more time to engage with the staff. Since we chose the later dining time we went to the shows nightly at 6:45pm. We never had trouble finding a seat. The entertainment on this ship was by far the best we have seen on any cruise ship. There was a full production show every single night. The cast got unsolicited standing ovations. From the Frank Sinatra show to Wunderland, the Pirates show, The Michael Jackson show (with a fabulous ending), the Classical tribute with both ballet and opera, we enjoyed it all, There was also a wonderful afternoon opera performance. My husband, who is not an opera fan and thought he would hate the Classical Tribute show ,was on his feet yelling Bravo at the end. As for the food, we have to eat Gluten Free and MSC Divina took good care of us. They have a GF menu and we were given that menu and the regular menu the night before so we could choose what we wanted for dinner. Since some things are naturally GF like Filet Mignon and lobster, we could have them off the regular menu. The GF pasta dishes were excellent. They also have GF breakfast and lunch menus and we did not have to pre-order from those. Our waiter figured out by day 2 that I always get the same thing for breakfast so I did not even need to see a menu. He also quickly figured out my husband's regular rotation of GF Eggs Benedict, Steak and Eggs or a Ham and Cheese Omelet and he too did not have to say a word. The GF bread was excellent. At breakfast they also brought us GF Chocolate Croissants, muffins, tarts, cookies, crackers which were all very good. Gabrielle and Anna his assistant took great care of us all week for nearly every meal. They quickly learned we liked still water and red wine and brought it immediately at lunch and dinner. We could not have asked for a more congenial, efficient waiter than Gabrielle. In order to be able to communicate even better with Gabrielle we went to Italian lessons and enjoyed trying it out on him. He also taught us additional words. Grazie and prego were the norm. The MSC Divina is a stunning ship and is the most immaculately maintained ship we have ever sailed. The ship was spotless and there was not a speck of rust on her anywhere. We recently sailed a RCCL ship that had undergone an extensive dry dock just before, yet when we were out on our balcony all we saw around us was the rust. The public rooms on the Divina are luxuriously decorated. The Italian design sensibility is evident. All the crew members we encountered were friendly and helpful. We really didn't have to ask our Butler for anything - he anticipated our needs and met them before we could even ask. The complimentary mini bar in the cabin was refreshed twice daily and he saw that we drank the same things and ate the same snacks all the time, so he brought extras of those for us. He and his assistant serviced the cabin while we were at breakfast and again while we were at the show. Since we usually had 45 minutes to an hour between the show and dinner, we made it a habit to go back to the cabin and then to cocktails in Top Sail. Vartsan, our main bar waiter there was delightful. On the sea days we hung out up by Bar One and the YC Pool an hot tubs. The service from Martha and Kamil up there was great. There were plenty of clean towels always available and they came around often taking drink orders. We also could have a light lunch up there and have snacks. It was so calm and relaxing. We took excursions in both ports. That was handled well. We were given a letter along with the excursion tickets and told what time to meet at the Concierge area. Then, Kamil escorted us the back way to the gangway, off the ship and right to our bus in Bermuda. In Nassau another butler escorted us to the designated tour operator who then led the group to the buses. Debarkation was a breeze. We had to be out of the cabins by 8am. Around 7am we went to Le Muse for a full breakfast and final hugs and kisses from the staff. We went back to the cabin, gathered our carry on bags and went into Topsail Lounge. We could have had drinks or coffee or continental breakfast there, but declined since we had already eaten. When you are ready to get off, starting around 7:45am, if you have told your butler the time you wish to depart he comes to escort you to the gangway. We decided to play it by ear and Aaron came several times to check on us. We decided to get off around 9:45am and the Concierge paged our butler and he took us down the back way and put us at the front of the line at the gangway. We said our good byes and got off the ship. We immediately found our luggage, zipped through Immigration and were in a taxi. From the gangway to the taxi took us all of about 7 minutes. We will definitely sail MSC again, but have agreed that the Yacht Club is the only way to go. We loved having the intimate spaces of the YC and also the advantage of the larger ship when you wanted to go hear music, see a show, go to the casino or even pop into the Buffet for a bite to eat. The service in the YC was wonderful. Considering how much wine we had at lunch and dinner, the drinks by the pool, the nightly cocktails in TopSail, etc. we would have had a huge bar bill. But, since it was all included the only things on our bill were the daily service charge of $12.00 per person and the shore excursions and internet package. We had a nice OBC from the booking promo so our bill was minimal when we got off. The extra money for the YC was well worth it and for a big drinker, you will probably break even or come out ahead, plus you get pampered all week. Also, when you stay in YC the Captain comes to you. The officers invited all YC guests to a late morning cocktail party. The Captain greeted everyone. He was just so personable, as was the Social Hostess Manuela, who spoke for him in German and French. We had the privilege of getting to know her on a shore excursion and saw her around the ship and again at Atlantis and she was always very cordial. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Our Cruise – Celebrity Summit –Roundtrip from Port Liberty to Bermuda– June 29 to July 6, 2014 This was a honeymoon cruise for my wife and I. I have personally sailed on NCL and she has sailed on NCL, RCI and Celebrity in the past. ... Read More
Our Cruise – Celebrity Summit –Roundtrip from Port Liberty to Bermuda– June 29 to July 6, 2014 This was a honeymoon cruise for my wife and I. I have personally sailed on NCL and she has sailed on NCL, RCI and Celebrity in the past. Between the 2 of us we have 10 cruises under our belts. We chose Celebrity as it claims to be a luxury cruise experience, as NCL’s Breakaway was doing an identical cruise, its port was easier to get to (In Manhattan) and was less expensive. Travel to Cape Liberty cruise port from Manhattan was reasonable and comfortable in a town car hired specifically for this trip, minimal wait for the driver to park and get our luggage into a porters hands and us into the line to get on board. Our embarkation, although traveling Concierge Class, did not seem to get us any faster service than others traveling in other classes. Once we checked in , received our boarding cards and picture taken, we were immediately allowed onto the ship. The Summit shows signs of age, rust in many places. It was recently “solticized”, thus it has newer TV’s in the cabin, and I am sure other things as well were updated, but it still seemed like an older ship. Dining was as good in the Main, Q-Sine & Normandie restaurants, although portions were small. The Café was poorly laid out and a lot of time was spent traversing the entire area to find what you wanted to eat and drink. Activities on this ship seemed very limited, at least for us. Bingo was very expensive and the games played were a joke, single line, four corners and X, thus total time of regular Bingo was about 30 minutes. Final day Bingo they added coverall and the drawing for the free cruise, this maybe added 20 minutes. Be advised, the raffle tickets for the free cruise do not only come from Bingo Players, casino also offers raffle tickets based on amount played in the daily lottery. Needless to say, on this cruise the cruise winner was someone who probably paid for it twice over, as I personally saw him put over 100 tickets into the hopper. The staff and service were deplorable, with a few exceptions. The Captain, Cruise Director, Captain’s Club Concierge and 2 Bartenders did their job very well. Our cabin Main cabin Steward was useless, her assistant at least was tolerable. Reminder, we were in Concierge Class, had to ask for towel animals, daily flowers in room apparently is no longer part of the package, although it is still listed as an amenity, free champagne that came with room, although iced upon arrival, was never re-iced until it was brought to their attention. Had an issue on this cruise and needed Guest Relations Desk to assist in sorting it out, useless they were. Met an Officer at Meet and Mingle who promised to help sort out our issue, promised to get back to us, never heard from or saw him again. Captain’s Club Meet and Greet is where we met Captain’s Club Concierge and she did everything within her power to appease us, but by this time things were snowballing out of control and the whole trip had been ruined. Please see my summary below for details. The one excursion out of three we pre-purchased was excellent. It was the Sunset Catamaran. Included bottomless Rum Swizzles or Champagne, crew was funny and informative, was not crowded and I highly recommend it. The other two were cancelled, first due to choppy seas and the other for some undisclosed operational issue. We managed to really enjoy Bermuda even without our pre-planned excursions and I will definitely visit this island paradise again. Our disembarkation was slightly hectic, we were sent from our aft cabin all the way to the front of the ship, the ships theatre, there were more people than seats and some were standing in the halls and aisles making navigation difficult. Our luggage was at the other end of the terminal and we had to wait in line for a porter to assist us. Travel from Port Liberty via Taxi is absurd, they have set prices that are twice what you will pay if you arrange a car service. My summary will not be complete without stating these facts as well. I secretly purchased the Birthday Package ($ 40.00) for July 1st and the Premium Romance Package ($ 225.00) that was to be put in our room upon embarkation. It was not, when cabin steward was queried, she stated that was to be done on the same day as birthday package, of course this was stated in front of my wife, and thus both of my surprises were now blown. This prompted the first visit to Guest Relations Desk, they assured me it would be corrected at this time and I hoped it was all taken care of. Unfortunately it was not, a phone message received 2 hours later stated it was not going to happen until July 1st. Prompting my second visit. The Premium Romance Package includes slippers, robes- not the robes they put in your room, as I expected, but a very cheap and light-weight version, a better bottle of champagne than provided just for booking the room, and a dinner at a specialty restaurant of our choosing. Well upon bringing it to their attention that the slippers were not going to be as useful if we do not get them until the 3rd night of our cruise they managed to get it done on that evenings turn down, a little late, but better than 3 days later. They were also to secure our dinning arrangements at Normandie for the evening of July 1st at 6:30 PM. On July 1st I just happen to check and verify our time for dinner and this reservation was never made, and this time slot was no longer available, we ended up having to eat earlier than we wanted at 5:30 when they opened. Overall I have had better service in an inside cabin than was received on this luxury cruise lines concierge class.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was our second cruise with Regent, and the first on the Navigator. We cruised last January on the Mariner, and were less than blown away, so were somewhat concerned about what our experience would be like on the smaller Navigator. ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Regent, and the first on the Navigator. We cruised last January on the Mariner, and were less than blown away, so were somewhat concerned about what our experience would be like on the smaller Navigator. We need not have been worried...the ship and her crew were amazing! Embarkation in Fort Lauderdale was a breeze. It probably helped that there were only 500 passengers to check in, and we were in the last 100 or so, arriving at the pier at around 1:30. It was also a Tuesday, so the pier was not busy at all. It probably only took about 15 minutes from the time we entered the terminal until we were stepping onboard the ship...very nice. We were finally allowed into our cabins around 2:30. We found the cabin to be very large, with a nice walk-in closet and very nicely laid out bathroom with shower and separate tub. Our bags actually arrived before the safety drill, so I was able to unpack before the drill and sailaway, which was a first for us. As spacious and well laid out the cabin was, we were soon to find that it was exceptionally noisy (which is why I only rated it a 3). We have been on a lot of cruises, and we have never, ever heard our neighbors on either side of us...that changed with this cruise. It isn't that they were overly loud...it just seems as if the walls were extremely thin. Several other passengers complained of this throughout the cruise, so it wasn't just our cabin or neighbors. It probably didn't help that there were three people...two adults and one teen...in the cabin next to us. However, that cabin is NOT designated as a 3-person cabin in the Regent brochures, and indeed, their sofa did not pull out to a bed. Instead, a rollaway bed was delivered to them at the start of the cruise! I had specifically booked our room to be as far as possible from any of the 3-berth cabins because, quite frankly, I did not care to possibly be around children (I left mine at home!!). So you can imagine my frustration when I discovered that apparently Regent will make any cabin a 3-berth one if they find themselves overbooked (which was the case in our cruise). I do not know if the third person was the reason for the extra noise, but I doubt it, as I could hear the husband/father snoring at night, and if I tried hard enough, could actually make out what they were saying next door. Plus, the people above us must have been early risers, as we could hear them clomping around in the early hours, and then soon thereafter, the cabin stewardess would re-wake us with her vacuuming, which literally vibrated and shook the wall next to our bed every time she slammed the vacuum into the wall. I was amazed that I came home from this cruise more tired than when I left! But that was probably the biggest negative for us, and truthfully, it was more of an inconvenience than something that would ruin our cruise (although I will pick my cabin more carefully the next time). The only other thing that was somewhat negative was the soot that spewed out of the smokestacks all over the decks. We had noticed that there were black spots all over the deck chairs on Deck 11 (one deck above the pool deck), but didn't think anything about it. Well, after an hour or so on the deck our first day, we discovered that those black spots were from the soot of the smokestack (we could see it flying around), and it does NOT wash out. The laundry onboard tried to get the spots out of my new yellow bathing suit, but they just couldn't. To be fair, the concierge did offer to pay for a replacement, but I declined. I just didn't go up to Deck 11 to lounge around anymore. However, I do wish the response to my request to put signs up there warning people of the "soot danger" would have been taken more seriously. Based on the conditions of the chair cushions, this was not an isolated incident, and I just felt that perhaps even just a small notice would have been nice...at least my bathing suit might have been saved. From the moment we stepped onboard to the moment we left, we were treated like royalty by everyone on the crew. This was the most amazing crew we have ever cruised with, and could not believe the level of service we received. The cruise director, Lorraine Weimerskirch, was by far the best we've ever seen. She was engaging and fun, and was always "out in the open." Not only was she a fantastic singer, but she also was just a neat person to be around, and she literally made the cruise for us (in fact, we asked what her schedule is, so we can hopefully book another cruise with her). Surprisingly, the entertainment was fantastic as well. We had heard that it was less than stellar on other cruises, but again, it was the best we've ever seen. This particular group is nearing the end of their contract, and they have apparently all become fast friends, and it shows in their performances. We usually pass on the evening shows when we cruise, because we just don't find them very good...not so in this case! They were great! Food is always so subjective, and I will just say that it was very good on this cruise. Nothing to blow you away, but we certainly never had to send anything back and I certainly gained enough weight that it shows! We were not all that impressed with Prime 7...the steaks were just so-so, although the Dover Sole was very good. However, the service there was well above par, so that made up for a lot. The service in Compass Rose seemed rushed...we felt a little sorry sometimes for the waiters, as they had to run around, literally, to take care of all their tables. But we never had a surly waiter, and we found that if we told them ahead of time that we would not be having dessert or coffee, we could just enjoy our entrees and then leave whenever we wanted to. That kept our dining times down below 2 hours (we never had a dinner that took less than 2.5 hours on the Mariner). As for the pool grill, it was wonderful, and we ate breakfast and lunch there almost every day. If I couldn't find something I liked out there (my husband was always ordering a specialty burger), I could just walk inside to La Veranda and get some salads. We only did La Veranda for dinner once, and liked it, but are not really buffet fans (at least not for dinner). We definitely prefer the way it is done on the Mariner, where appetizers and desserts are buffet, but you order your entree off the menu, from a waiter. As for the wines, we were not very impressed. When a Bogle Cab was presented with a flourish at Prime 7, I had to laugh. Yes, Bogle is a very decent label...but when I'm cruising on a luxury line, I hope to have something presented to me that I cannot buy at my local grocery store. If we asked for something else, they would bring it without question or complaint...but we found that even the alternate wines were not always to our liking. Also, wines that were supposed to have been available (according to the list we were given) were no longer available (apparently they had run out, and not bothered to re-stock them). We ended up just not bothering with wine more often than not. We ran into some bad weather, and so had to miss our stops in Wilmington and St. Georges in Bermuda. We were disappointed, especially since Savannah was taken off the itinerary a few months ago, but the crew did a great job of taking care of us on the extra sea days. I have also heard several negative comments about the Destinations personnel, but we found them to be extremely helpful, with one exception. We were on the Dolphin Encounter in Nassau, and specifically asked the Destinations personnel if we should wear bathing suits. They told us, "Absolutely not...you will NOT get in the water." Thankfully, the Dolphin Encounter people had wetsuits we could use, because we most certainly DID get in the water...all the way up to our necks! That kind of information really should have been something the Destinations people were smart about. However, the excursions we did were all excellent, and we never really had that "round 'em up" feeling while waiting in the Seven Seas Lounge to be called for our excursion. In fact, two of them (Airboat Adventure in Port Canaveral, and the Dolphin Adventure) rank right up there as two of the best we've ever done. We hit some extremely rough seas between Charleston and Bermuda, and yes, the Navigator moves a LOT in rough seas. Thankfully we had our SeaBands, or else we might have been like so many other people (including the spa's hairdresser) who were unable to even get out of bed. Many, many people tried to crowd into the Navigator Lounge and the library, as that is as low and center as you can go on the ship. Only then did the ship feel a bit crowded to us...so we just went up to the pool deck, which, even though higher, is still in the center of the ship so the motion was not as bad (still bad though...water from the waves would hit the side of the ship and sprinkle down on us, even though we were way up on Deck 10!!!). We had friends traveling with us who did not like the layout of the ship at all, as they said it felt too crowded all the time to them. But we spent most of our free time on the pool deck, and it never felt overcrowded, so we came out of it with a different opinion...in fact, we loved the Navigator and her layout. If I had to say there was one thing that blew us away on this cruise, it would be the crew and service. When a bartender can remember your name after only meeting you once, and know exactly what you want to drink, that is impressive. When the cruise director participates in karaoke with the passengers, that is impressive (especially when she can really sing!). When the entertainers actually act as part of the crew, rather than just entertaining, that really enhances the experience (it was great fun talking to them around the ship). And when you get hugs from so many of them as you are leaving the ship (not without at least a few tears on my part), you really do feel as if they are family. Bottom line: Best cruise we've ever been on and I cannot wait to board the Navigator again!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
We booked the Azamara package so our flights were organised for us. It was a long journey to San Juan from the UK, made worse by a 6 hour stop over in Atlanta. If we cruise from San Juan again, we would consider stopping over after the ... Read More
We booked the Azamara package so our flights were organised for us. It was a long journey to San Juan from the UK, made worse by a 6 hour stop over in Atlanta. If we cruise from San Juan again, we would consider stopping over after the first flight and taking the second flight the next day. The Conrad Hilton in San Juan was lovely - Azamara chose well and everything about it was excellent. Transfer to the ship and embarkation was also very well organised. Our room was ready quickly and was immaculate. It was kept this way throughout by Mannish and Ever. From the moment we joined the ship we felt relaxed. Senior Officers and all staff were very friendly and welcoming. We were very impressed with staff at every level - nothing was too much trouble. Louise on Guest Relations is also a credit to Azamara and was always very helpful. Food was excellent everywhere on the ship. Room service was the best we have ever experienced and so too was the buffet in Windows. All credit to Heike and her team. Captain Jason must feel proud to lead such a wonderful team. Entertainment was fun - lots to do for those who wanted to join in. Tony worked hard and it showed. We liked the banter between him and Activities Manager Chris on the daily TV reports. The itinerary was special and didn't disappoint. Virgin Gorda, Bermuda and New York were the highlights for us. We didn't do any organised excursions but still managed to see everything that we wanted. The other thing that struck us was how friendly other guests were. We enjoyed making new friends and meeting many lovely people. This was our 10th cruise and so far has been our favourite. We will definitely cruise with Azamara again - you really do feel like part of an extended family. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
This was a lovely cruise from NYC to Bermuda. My tips are: Not every extra fee restaurant was better than the free dining options but at the same time I was not ONCE disappointed or regretful I spent the extra couple of bucks. Well ... Read More
This was a lovely cruise from NYC to Bermuda. My tips are: Not every extra fee restaurant was better than the free dining options but at the same time I was not ONCE disappointed or regretful I spent the extra couple of bucks. Well worth the money was Cagney's Steak House, Sushi, the French place. Check the wine list then decide whether or not to bring your own at a $15 per bottle fee. Example...This cruise had Paraduxx for $96. I can buy Paraduxx for $40 + $15 to bring it on the ship for a total of $55 AKA a savings of $41. Don't be enticed by a "free" bottle as some reward unless you know what it is. Friends had a free bottle for booking with some agency and the free bottle was straight up gross. If you're going to get a balcony you can take pieces from the sofa that rolls out into a bed and make a nest outside. HOWEVER - be aware they spray down the windows when docked and if your neighbor spill something next door your nest might get wet too. Also be aware there may be a person in the maintenance rover that runs along the ship. If you're shy you may want to close the drapes before getting naked in your room - of if your like me you'll wait until you hear the guy outside and throw it open. Luckily the people in the maintenance rover are strapped right too it so they don't fall too far. If you can reach behind the lowest drawer in the closet unit sometimes you can find treasure from the previous guests - or as in my case a pair of granny panties and a lady's shirt. We had a bonus sock under our bed too and we were not billed for any of those items - BONUS! See the Man from Mars act - he's hot and his lady assistant is hot too. And they do all sorts of flexible sexy maneuvers that would be cool even if they were not hot. The drink is always better when you tell the bartender what kind of alcohol you want in it and "house" won't get you the best drink. Spend a minute cleaning your windows or ask some one to do it for you on the first day. When they hose them down they don't dry them so you get water spots and it can be distracting. Overall, I loved my vacation on the Gem. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
This is our second Regent cruise, first on The Navigator. The cabins are perhaps Regent's strong point, and the spacious suite was a great place...fortunate since we had to spend significant time there during the sea days to and from ... Read More
This is our second Regent cruise, first on The Navigator. The cabins are perhaps Regent's strong point, and the spacious suite was a great place...fortunate since we had to spend significant time there during the sea days to and from Bermuda. Of course, the Ocean is the Ocean, but the ship did poorly (worse than on ships of similar size we've been on) with persistent 20-25 foot swells. Our first night out of Charleston was spent in what felt like a cycling elevator ride, up 15-20 feet, slide right, down 20 feet and repeat. The next day wasn't much better. On the leg from Bermuda to Nassau, the real thrills occurred...(all who were aboard will remember this for a loooong time). More 20-foot plus waves; one lifted us into a right hand yaw (quick swerve) followed quickly by another wave that hit us broadside, which tilted the ship about 25-30 degrees to the left (really). In La Veranda, a couple dozen folks were thrown from their chairs to skid across the floor, pots, pans, dishware and glasses fell and broke, and there were a few seconds that had me deliberating over the best way to find a life preserver...they went on the PA soon thereafter to ask people to go to their cabins and remain there. OK, back to the ship; great crew, excellent service throughout, especially in Compass Rose for dinners. Very good food (except the steaks, which didn't seem to have much flavor, and where anything from rare to medium was essentially the same) and menu choices. The ship's amenities were good for a vessel of that size, and the Cruise Director (Ray Solaire) is the best CD I have experienced in a dozen cruises on 5 different lines. The fitness center was more than adequate for a boat of this size; they may want to consider adding another elliptical (take out one treadmill) to keep up with trends in exercise. The shorex were generally very good, and the variety of things to do was fine in re what one might expect. Due to the heavy weather, though, both snorkling days (one in Bermuda and one in Nassau) were cancelled. Also due to the heavy swells enroute to Bermuda, we arrived several hours late, pushing some shorex to the next day and causing us and others to miss some due to conflicts in time. Perhaps to make up for Bermuda (where we had to stay in Hamilton and not move to St George's due to ocean conditions) we did arrive early in Nassau. Ship entertainment was better than expected, and the dance and singing performances were generally very good. They did a Cirque show one evening that I would have paid for in a land-based resort. The band was enjoyable, and their work in the various lounges and dance venues was appreciated. The ship did a Halloween dance and party one night, which was well-done and should be considered as a recurring activity (of course, the theme would change with the seasons). The comedian wasn't to our taste (not bad, just not very funny, which is subjective, I know). The enrichment lectures were OK, although the photography guy spent more time lauding the Occupy movement and a return to 60's style protests than much else. One area of concern was both getting onboard the first day, and then leaving the ship at the end of the cruise. Check-in was slowed by about an hour when the shore-side computers wouldn't sync with the ship. After about 30-40 minutes, they packed it all up and then checked us in after we boarded and were guided to the show lounge. Leaving the ship on the last morning was also delayed due to problems offloading luggage. The first group didn't run from the ship until about 0845, causing some tense moments for those flying out earlier in the day. Staff was hesitant in both instances to advise passengers about the delays, mostly just assuring us it would be "about five minutes" every 5-10 minutes or so. Our particular suite (809) had a staccato clicking and loud creaking in the heavy weather around the vanity; I could see foam shims had already been shoved into place at various spots, so this seems a recurring issue with that space. Overall, it was a memorable cruise, and we enjoyed the time onboard. The seas made for memories, also, but not the ones you necessarily want. When you dine, watching green water repeatedly cover the Compass Rose windows does help to focus dinner conversation, though... Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
B A C K G R O U N D When I learnt that I had to go to the United States this Summer, I had already booked our annual family holiday- it was to be a 7 night cruise in the Western Mediterranean on the Seabourn Spirit. Upon realizing that ... Read More
B A C K G R O U N D When I learnt that I had to go to the United States this Summer, I had already booked our annual family holiday- it was to be a 7 night cruise in the Western Mediterranean on the Seabourn Spirit. Upon realizing that could no longer be, I cancelled with Seabourn and started looking for a cruise departing from the USA. Two things intrigued me about the Veendam's offering- one, was the size of the ship, as she is very much the last relatively small, 55,000 ton cruise ship deployed on one week 'Sun' cruises during the Summer ex. USA from a major cruise line. Second was the nature of her itinerary- she sailed the Bermuda run of 'old', visiting St. George prior to sailing for an hour or so into Hamilton, Bermuda, docking right on Front Street. This was the Bermuda voyage of old, the classical Bermudan cruise that took you right into the heart of the island, and didn't strew you on the Royal Navy Dockyard miles away from anything of interest. You saw Bermuda for what it really was, something that is rare on today's island cruises (i.e. St. Thomas, St. Martin). And so, I booked an outside cabin, class FF Number 716. The fare per person for this cruise was $1199. P R E- C R U I S E I arrived in New York one week prior to the departure of the cruise. I stayed in The Ritz-Carlton, New York Battery Park, which although not bad was very much over-priced and I would struggle to justify staying here again. It was not akin to all the other Ritz-Carlton hotels I have stayed in, and although being on Battery Park proved tranquil at night, it was a 40 minute subway ride to anyplace of interest besides Wall Street. Again, the hotel wasn't terrible by any stretch, but for the cut-throat market that New York City is, the Ritz left a lot to be desired. E M B A R K A T I O N This was a quick, sound embarkation. Upon arriving at the Manhattan docks, a porter took our luggage and we moved into the terminal. Upon completing the signing of the medical form, we arrived at the check in desk where we quickly completed the procedure before being handed our cruise card, clearing security and then boarding the beautiful M/S Veendam. 5+ stars, a great embarkation. T H E S H I P The Veendam was recently very extensively refurbished, even being partially re-built. This has created a cruise ship which is traditional in design, yet has all the modernity that one would expect from a vessel of this age. The Explorers Cafe, a library, coffee shop, lounge and internet cafe area seemed very much like the Seabourn Square, which is quite a compliment. It was a lovely area to have on the ship. The two tiered main dining room, with a string quartet playing every night was also reminiscent of dining being an event, not the mere consumption of food- the theater was a comfortable show lounge, although I would recommend going to a show early. The Lido was akin to that of any cruise ship, with enough tables. The stern pool with the movies under the stars screen was a great addition to the ship, as was the culinary arts center which doubled into quite a nice cinema. The fitness center was more than adequate, with commanding views of the bow. Through a little-known about corridor, which you can access either from the fitness center or the promenade, one can right onto the bow of the ship. The Veendam had a sophisticated ambiance about her, with all of the comforts, intimacy and familiarity you would expect from a smaller ship, coupled with most, if not all of the features one would find on the larger vessels. When all is said and done, she was a lovely measured balance. E N T E R T A I N T M E N T The entertainment aboard was plentiful and varied, if not a slight tad more sedate than that found on the larger vessels on this route. The evening shows all were great, as were the cabaret acts that really did make you roar in laughter. There were interesting dance classes, seminars, music all over the ship, pool games on deck, dancing on deck too, the disco at night, and so on. It was lively, fun, but not over-the-top or in your face. The Culinary Arts Center had a varied program which was great for foodies, and there was also a dedicated wine tasting area. The Arts Center coupled into a cinema, and HAL would keep a table of popcorn, etc. ready at the entrance. Julie, the Cruise Director did her job well. Overall a fine balance in the on board entertainment. P O R T S OF C A L L St. George, Bermuda- When we arrived at St. George we were informed that the port had been cancelled for all but excursion guests, as one of the two tenders had had an engine failure and was unable to sail that day. Holland America Line offered non-excursion passengers a free bus transfer from Hamilton to go back and see St. George (about 40 minutes drive) as compensation. As I had taken the Bermuda island tour, we were put on tenders to St. George- as soon as our tender left the Veendam raised her anchor and set out for the 1 hour cruise into Hamilton. Upon boarding the bus for out tour, we only spent minimum time in the parish, as we had a tour of the entire island coming up. Nonetheless, from what one saw St. George really is a beautiful part of Bermuda- think St. Martin prior to the cruise boom, when she was still as she used to be. Islands people living their lives, shops, etc. designed to cater to the Bermudan people, not tourists. One needs not speak about the beauty of Bermudan beeches, for they really are something else. Nothing can possibly compare (I, myself, live on an island, and the Bermudan beeches blew me away). Although the future Veendam cruises in 2012 will not include St. George, I would strongly recommend getting on a bus and spending some time there. Hamilton, Bermuda- As Bermuda is such a small island, our stay in Hamilton was very much a stay of every parish in the country, as our great excursion took us on a round trip of the entire island. As I have repeatedly said, outside of the Royal Navy Dockyard, Bermuda is very much an relatively untouched, not overtly touristy place, which makes it all the better. As the Veendam docks right on Front Street, she acts as your city center hotel- you get off the ship and voila, you are in the heart of Hamilton. The city itself is fully walk-able, and has some good shopping, quite comfortable surroundings as well as a colonial British flair that reminded me of my own country (itself a former British island colony). I took a diving excursion which was one of the best dives I have undertaken, and we dived a recent wreck of a ferry which was good in the sense that they had cleaned her out to make her accessible to non-wreck divers. The beeches in Bermuda, again, need no introduction as they are truly fabulous, especially if you go to anyone other than Horseshoe, which can get quite crowded. C A B I N- Our cabin, Class FF Number 716 on A Deck was very comfortable, and had as much space as I expected. Two twin beds as well as a sofa that extended into a third bed during the nights, and a sitting area in the morning/daytime hours. The toilet, although small, had enough space with a bathtub that coupled as a shower. I do believe, however, that although there was nothing outwardly wrong with the cabin, the toilet needs a freshening up. Nonetheless, overall, a comfortable place to dwell and sleep in, enough room, good storage space and a good sea-view from the picture window. We had air conditioning problems for the first two nights, but to be honest they were not too extreme. It was fixed after two nights, a letter of apology was sent to us, as well as a credit which was more than generous. S E R V I C E- The service on board was wonderful, and, as HAL markets itself, premium. The waiters were great, the room steward attentive and friendly, the excursion staff helpful, the cruise director approachable, and the bar staff were courteous. Everything was as needed to be. The reception helped a lot in many situations. The Captain, however, was far less visible than that of any master in a cruise I have previously taken. He did seem to live in his own cocoon and never mixed with passengers. Even when I sent him a letter about a wonderful experience, I received a message from the Guest Relations supervisor telling me that they were pleased- the Captain didn't do anything less than his duty, which although fine, isn't what I expected. Beside this, which I wouldn't even call a gripe, the service on board was truly great. F O O D This is where the Veendam really shone. When once considers this isn't a luxury cruise, the food was approaching luxury standards. Exciting menus, everything was cooked very well, tasted wonderful and dinner was something to look forward too every evening. The lido also had a wide variety of food, although lunch would end at 2:30 every day, which was about the time I'd come back aboard from touring Bermuda. They had nothing but very light snacks until dinner, which was a shame. Some days the burger joint and pizzeria would be open at this time, and in those situations there was no problem. I think it is vital for a cruise ship to have at least one eatery serving food during all daytime hours, other than room service. Other than that, the food was superb. C O N C L U S I O N Will I be returning to Bermuda in the future? Yes, yes and yes ! Will I be returning to HAL in the future? Three yeses. Both proved to be wonderful and replenishing. It is a shame that HAL are pulling this itinerary after 2012, so if I were you I'd do everything to experience it before then. This is the last remnant of 'classical' Bermudan cruising, of going to the islands through their real gateways, St. George and Hamilton, not the massive cruise port on the North of the island. When the Veendam departs Bermuda for the last time, an era in Bermudan cruising would be over. The Veendam is a delightful ship, that offers a premium experience with great value for money. This is a wonderful cruise vacation that was very much a 'premium' experience that I would full heartily recommend. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Went on a Regent cruise from 4/15 to 4/25/2011 aboard the Seven Seas Navigator out of Ft. Lauderdale. Stopped at Port Canaveral, Charleston, Bermuda ,Nassau and back to Lauderdale. I read all the reviews on this vessel before we left and ... Read More
Went on a Regent cruise from 4/15 to 4/25/2011 aboard the Seven Seas Navigator out of Ft. Lauderdale. Stopped at Port Canaveral, Charleston, Bermuda ,Nassau and back to Lauderdale. I read all the reviews on this vessel before we left and just had to comment. I was looking for a 5 star cruise, something way above the ordinary and didn't mind the price tag if the experience was worth it. It was to us in spades. Keep in mind that this price was not for the faint of heart and thus you did not see families with children or honeymooners. The average age was easily over sixty. The mood was laid back and comfortable. Not a lot of rock climbers in this group but plenty of dancers. The oldies night and the Beetles night saw the floor crowded. The rooms were big by most cruise standards and probably 80% were the same size, 630 sq.ft. with a balcony. We were on deck seven and had the same room as decks 8 and 9. The higher up, add a $1000 per deck. Rooms were squeaky clean and well attended by a stewardess. The food was absolutely excellent from top to bottom. Not one bad dish. Fresh bread, fruit, fish and prepared just right. Two days into the cruise, we talked to a couple (around 70 years old) who were not pleased with the food, stating that it was much better on another up scale cruise line that they had used. To each there own I guess, but to us, we have never had better anywhere while traveling. I have read a review or two that said the dining service was lacking maybe because of in sufficient staff. Maybe then, not now, every meal was extremely well served. The staff was great. Room service was included and while we only ate breakfast in our suite, we could have had shrimp cocktails and surf and turf every day if so inclined. My significant other and I have been known to tip a few in our time and this was where we made a huge dent in Regent's profit. I was interested to see at what level the brands of spirits offered would be and was pleasantly surprised. For example: Glenfitich, Johnny Walker Red and Black, Chevis, Crown Royal to name a very few and all name brand liquors. Absolutely an excellent wine selection. Yes, you could get a bottle of Dom Perion or something else completely out of sight for an additional cost. Not needed in my opinion. Asked our stewardess for a bottle of wine for the room and one showed up each afternoon in our suite. You could have gotten a bottle of anything for your room. The staff did not in any way hold back just because this was all inclusive. AND we already had a designated driver. This ship has one flaw and I was aware of it because of reviews like this. It does have a significant vibration at the rear and especially on the lower decks. A refit of the hull when in dry dock a few years ago did not completely fix the problem. It was most pronounced when in the theater on deck 6 at the rear. Thus when booking, I chose a room well forward. However, I did not hear of one complaint from anyone about their rooms so I guess the vibration is just prevalent on the lower decks. My better half and I agreed that there was one huge drawback........this cruise has absolutely spoiled us. Cannot imagine returning to a ship where I have to sign a bill and add a tip every time I turn around. Will definitely return to Regent. Would like to try one of their other ships. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
This was the 38th cruise for my wife and I; we are both retired Seniors living in S. Florida. We booked with a local agent of long standing and our transportation to the Port of Miami was via private car, a family member. We arrived ... Read More
This was the 38th cruise for my wife and I; we are both retired Seniors living in S. Florida. We booked with a local agent of long standing and our transportation to the Port of Miami was via private car, a family member. We arrived at the terminal (conveniently located; Oceania's berth and embarkation slots are the very first as you enter the port, just after Noon and were on the ship and at our (Inside, number 8014) cabin easily before 1:00PM. Check in (done online before boarding) was quick, easy and courteously and professionally handled. We had been told that the cabin(s) would not be ready this early,so we quickly visited ours to see if we could drop our carryons before heading to the Terrace Cafe (the buffet) for lunch. We surprised our steward Ada, who was just finishing servicing our rooms and caught an elevator to the 9th floor Terrace. This venue, where we ate breakfast often, is as usual, located at the stern, our cabin, toward the bow, which gave us a good walk to sharpen our appetites...Being as this was prime time for both lunch and boarding, we did not find seating readily available; finally a friendly couple at a larger table graciously invited us to sit with them. Note: Will comment on food later, as a separate comment section. From lunch we made a quick ship's tour to familiarize ourselves. An easy task as we had a year plus before sailed on the Azamara Journey, sister ship of the Regatta as both were originally part of the Renaissance line, spun off after financial difficulties post 9/11. An added theater has been well designed, and cabin modifications are well thought out. Again, separate category follows! The Gym/fitness center/Spa is, as usual on the same deck as the buffet but at the opposite (bow) end. The gym is well equipped for the size allotted to it, and well thought out. There are fourteen cardio/treadmill machines, six upper body machines, one stationary stand to do "dips" etc. on, and a half dozen "Spinner" bicycles. The demographic being what it was on this cruise, we saw none of the "spinners" in use at any time, though they could have been. There is on Deck 5, enroute to the Theater, a small shopping section, an all purpose outlet with mainly clothing and a few sundries which might be needed if anyone had forgotten to pack them, and on the opposite side of the walkway, a jewelry outlet. One of the frequently mentioned hallmarks of the Oceania line is its exemplary service, and with only two very disappointing exceptions (which make it even more disappointing by comparison) this was true. Front desk crew, i.e, always happy, smiling and willing to help it all possible. Try to get by any staff in the hallways without a smile and greeting; we found it impossible to do. Dining staff, very happy in demeanor and performance. Two examples: Steward Ada; with whom there was a mixup on a cabin treat, not of her making, apologized profusely and said that the wrong paperwork had been delivered due to the noted cabin class. Quite soon, a staff officer, nice young lady "Jolanta" appeared and assured us that as it was a ship's error we would receive the particular perc, and we did. Waiter Raymond, also a standout. Ex.2: Writer has a dairy allergy, which had been properly communicated and confirmed. Main dining room Ass't. Maitre' d Cora Aguisando (my spelling) arranged for the dinner menu to be delivered to our cabin early mornings, so that I might mark it with my specific requests and return it to her desk so that it would be on file in the kitchen when our order was taken. As we entered for dinner, a printout had already been prepared and was handed to the waiter so that all arrangements were handled expeditiously and correctly. We noted that there were several similar printouts at her reception desk and found this very admirable, that this level of preparation is made. Well done indeed. There are two alternative restaurants, Polo Grill, specializing in meats, and Tuscano, an Italian themed venue. Both are complimentary, as opposed to added charge on most lines, and reservations need to be made so that everyone has a fair chance. Well, that said, let's talk about food in general and start with these. We dined at each twice and in general were well pleased. In Polo I had the single best prime rib ever in my life. Offerings in both were outstanding indeed. A sight to behold was BW's (for the unitiated, Beautiful Wife's) sampler dessert plate in Polo, consisting of tastes of all desserts from the main menu. Quite a sight indeed, husband watched with considerable envy, he freely admits. Service, from entry to exit, beyond compare. May I repeat, Beyond Compare. Grand Dining Room (Yes, that is its true name) presents what has to be cuisine which is literally, as good as it gets, and is in the main, outstanding. We have not sailed on the absolutely top-rated (and accordingly priced) luxe lines, but would say the only comparable food would be on the aforementioned Azamara. Different styles, different to compare, both are outstanding. It is worthy of note that several things menu wise are beyond what could be anticipated or expected. GDR, breakfast, "Steel Cut Oatmeal" and Lamb Chops to order...two breakfast specials which were both impressive and appreciated. On two lunches, Conch fritters came as very meaty and very little breading or filler, as opposed to the opposite on most lines. A hamburger ordered at lunch was the single best ever eaten; it seemed to be the highest quality beef ground and served as a "Burger". In the latter part of the voyage, a sugar free sorbet, a welcome choice, appeared both in the GDR and the Terraces. A signature dish, broiled free range chicken, was outstanding and was so good it was ordered several times. ___ Entertainment? Now up to par with other ships of its class and size. The absolutely best BY FAR of any ship's orchestra we have ever heard. Eight pieces, all perfect and very pleasing. A good mix of music for the demographic, which was almost totally seniors. (Oceania has no facilities or entertainment for young children and does not pretend to) This band plays for dancing before evening shows and often appears elsewhere throughout the ship, though often in abbreviated (perhaps Five Piece) form. For some shows they combined with the roving String Quartet to form a full big band. This classical group plays daily at the 4:00PM tea which we did not attend, as we usually had other commitments. The talented young cast of four singers/dancers (two of each, of course) gave several varied musical presentations and were well received, often appearing through the ship assisting in other activities (Trivia, golf-putting, ping-pong competition etc) and mixing with the passengers on a good will basis. There were three solo acts which appeared twice each, a banjo player, a magician, and a comedian/guitarist. All were talented and well received. Trivia fan? One daily presentation, well attended, and an occasional evening quiz in a smaller venue. As opposed to, and pleasingly so, the usual onslaught of key chains and ballpoint pens, points are earned in all daily competitions, both trivia and skill, and larger prizes can be claimed the last sea day. Cruise Director, Nolan Dean, presented the daily Trivia, and did his job very well, personable and pleasing in all respects. Enrichment speaker, Ret. Col. Steven Bauer, gave a series of highly pleasing talks on Social Life in the White House, under various presidents. With his wife Linda, also on board, he has authored a number of books ranging from said White House duties to best selling cook books. They are the single best speakers we have ever heard and others echoed our sentiments. They combined for a joint added talk on the last sea day where they gave interesting background on both their personal lives and the authoring of their books. ___ Cabins? Our inside cabin was well laid out and had a surprising amount of available storage. Though smaller than many of its class, it was well laid out and usable. BW and I agreed that the reading lamps for bedtime reading were the best designed we had ever seen on any ship. Switches are convenient bedside and a small auxiliary gooseneck can be directed at your material, or even turned against the wall to make a convenient nightlight. We found the bathroom smaller than many, but in Oceania's ready defense, they can only present what they received as already built. Hopefully this is remedied on the two larger new-builds, Marina, already in service, and Riviera to be, in 2012, we understand. We would add one caution: we do not recommend a forward eighth floor cabin. There were early morning noises of deck chairs being set up on the pool deck directly above, and after one pool party, the chairs or tables being moved around woke me up twice. ___ As is hinted at in our preamble, when you provide, as Oceania did and does, and we are sure will continue to do, the few slipups are especially appalling, as they go so against the norm. We mention as it was so bizarre and the other as so purely and unexpectedly disappointing. The Bizarre: Having had the sugar free sorbet in the Terraces a preceding day, and also ordering it that night in the GDR, as it was available the next day in the Terrace at lunch, we asked at dinner if, though not on the dessert menu, it were still available. The waiter "advised" me: No, that was last night; we threw it out..." I replied: "Well, I just had it upstairs for lunch?" Said waiter than quickly and silently turned and hurriedly walked away...Gotcha? Advice to Oceania: Don't try to kid me, I've been kidded before and know a kidder when I see and hear one... The disappointing: As frequent cruisers know, service the last morning of a cruise can be more hurried and perhaps a bit less, well, cheerful? But let's not overdo it, please. At breakfast, the waiter was not interested in the least in any bit of cheer of any sort, simply took the order, turned on his heel without even an acknowledgment and walked away. As service had been far and above many if not most experiences, this was most disappointing, to experience the apparent viewpoint of: "Well, this bunch is headed out, tips have been written up, now let's just get this done, period, and no more." Such a dichotomy to previous experience over two weeks, this was especially disappointing, more than it ordinarily would have been. ___ In conclusions, ports and comments. First stop from Miami, Charleston S.C. A delightful experience and a port we had not been to before. We did a brief self-directed walking tour, past the Customs House, with Azaleas in full bloom, to the regional market, by far the most pleasant we have ever experienced. After leaving Charleston, the weather and seas turned bad and we were not able to dock in Yorktown, the entry port for both Williamsburg and Norfolk. The Captain proceeded on to Bermuda and the seas were so rough that even though this would have theoretically given us an extra day, we did not gain this at all. We did another brief shore walk from our dock in Hamilton, having been in Bermuda twice before. Then to San Juan, P.R. where we stayed on shipboard as it being Easter weekend, adjacent shopping areas were closed and we had been to San Juan also before and there was no tour that we chose. Dominican Republic next stop, again, no tours of interest; a nearly island that we could have tendered to, we were told, had only swimming and sunning available. We were later told by other passengers that this was incorrect, that there had been a number of local shops open with craftwork and better than usual souveniers available. At Turks and Caicos, we docked at an attractive and newly built shopping area, but again, many stores were not open. Oddly, there was no Cruise Critic meeting available to be signed up for and none found on board. We can only assume not enough people inquired? Debarkation: As Embarkation, seamless and quick..that says all that need be said! Would we do Oceania again? Probably so, all things considered and would definitely look forward to one of the two newer ships, for variety's sake. 30 Read Less
Sail Date April 2011

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