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5 Haifa (Tel Aviv) to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because it would take us to interesting archeological sites. We landed in Tel Aviv where the company had a bus waiting to take us to Haifa. The ship was beautiful and to me the right size. The room was excellent. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it would take us to interesting archeological sites. We landed in Tel Aviv where the company had a bus waiting to take us to Haifa. The ship was beautiful and to me the right size. The room was excellent. We had one of the least expensive ones, but it still had a good sized balcony, really comfortable beds, a marble bathroom with separate shower and tub. plenty of space and anything we could want or need. We were met with champagne. In the room there was more champagne and fresh fruit that was replenished daily. I had asked if the ship would have cranberry juice and it was in the min bar when we arrived. We found that the food at every venue exceeded our expectations, including room service that we used for morning coffee and on early excursion days, for breakfast. The line has restaurants that most lines charge extra for, but are included so we were able to dine at the steak house and at the French restaurant without paying extra. We also liked the excursions that took us to Jerusalem, to Ephesus in Turkey, to Delos on Mykonos and other places. They were also included at no extra charge. It was a perfect eight days. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Having cruised with Silverseas on other trips I was a little apprehensive that no other could match their comfort, service and cuisine. After 14 days aboard Explorer I had no such reservations. 1. Although a larger vessel, the ... Read More
Having cruised with Silverseas on other trips I was a little apprehensive that no other could match their comfort, service and cuisine. After 14 days aboard Explorer I had no such reservations. 1. Although a larger vessel, the efficiency of embarking/disembarking for excursions was excellent and the ship rarely felt crowded, except perhaps the popularity of Sette Mare restaurant; 2. Suites (Concierge) were well laid out, perfectly comfortable and very well appointed - reading lights and coffee machine ++; 3. A very happy ship, which I attribute to good management from the Captain down. 4. Evening entertainment in the theatre were generally good; 5. All the restaurants excelled with the specialty ones worthy of a Michelin star, and not too difficult to get a table, particularly for dining later; 6. Included wifi and excursions were what finally decided me in favour of Explorer and sets the standard now for other cruise lines; 7. It seemed that every time we left the suite an attendant would materialise and magically make beds, change towels, tidy, clean and replace items. Cannot recommend highly enough. We will return! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
The biggest asset Regent have are their staff. The suites are well designed, larger but why no chair other than a desk chair and the couch is poor. The bathroom/ shower is excellent. The Veranda restaurant has a lot more space ... Read More
The biggest asset Regent have are their staff. The suites are well designed, larger but why no chair other than a desk chair and the couch is poor. The bathroom/ shower is excellent. The Veranda restaurant has a lot more space outside and the chairs are much improved. The tables are already getting chipped. The Speciality restaurants, Prime 7 , Chatreuse, and Pacific Rim are good although some a little inconsistent. The main restaurant The Compass Rose resembles a cafeteria, although smaller than on other Regent vessels the lighting is horrific ( think Las Vegas ), the service stations are many and the used plates and plastic covers are in full view. The extensive art work may be an acquired taste....to many the majority of the hangings are dark, ugly and disturbing. The balcony windows whistle even in light winds. The cooking smoke from the pool grill wafts across the deck permeating clothes There is no access to the bow of the ship outside at any level .99% of gusts have no front view except from the Observation Lounge where the dark glass is so dark, observing anything is difficult. The rear entrance to Compass Rose has been closed off meaning for some a route march to the entrance. Some lifts are "flask" shaped with a narrow entrance....dangerous as are the steps in the theatre. Those steps are badly lit. The disembarkation arrangements in Miami were a shambles and the Hop on Hop off tour with Big Bus a nightmare Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
At this writing we are still onboard our second leg of a 30 day back to back. This ship is beautiful. I like the dark panels opposite the white so that it doesn't seem gloomy. I love my blue carpet in my concierge room and the ... Read More
At this writing we are still onboard our second leg of a 30 day back to back. This ship is beautiful. I like the dark panels opposite the white so that it doesn't seem gloomy. I love my blue carpet in my concierge room and the double sinks with tub and shower. Since I use the tub almost every day, it is a necessity for me. The penthouse suites have no tub. We brought our night light for bathroom and are glad we did. There is a nightlight you can turn on from the bedside which is in the hallway outside the bath, but it is very bright! The staff service has been very good, some off days, but not frequently. We have two speakers on this transatlantic. The food is outstanding! My least favorite is at Chartruese but everywhere else has been great. They have varying buffets on sea days from Greek to German to bar-b-que. All shows, with only 1 exception since we boarded, are at 9:30 pm. Last night was the only 6 pm showtime, which was packed. Dancers and singers are excellent, but other entertainment has been about the same as always on a ship. (Note we have sailed over 100 times so this is old hat to us). The first leg was back to back ports with good excursions. Now we have 8 sea days. I would say you need to be a reader to enjoy those days as there is not a lot to do. (Lectures, one trivia quiz all day, cooking demos. NO movies, except in room) Ship has a good gym which hasn't had much use on these cruises. Very small gym class area, but hasn't been packed anyway. Yes, I would sail the explorer again!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
My wife and I chose this cruise in particular because it was port intensive with many places we've never been, on a brand new ship with a line about which we had heard great things. It was a full 14 days, and we loved the fact that we ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise in particular because it was port intensive with many places we've never been, on a brand new ship with a line about which we had heard great things. It was a full 14 days, and we loved the fact that we would avoid the intense summer heat. Over the weeks leading up to the cruise, we had read a ton of reviews and reactions to the ship, both positive and negative, and frankly we had grown a tad apprehensive. Ultimately, we learned there was absolutely no need to be...the experience as an incredible one, but not without a few hiccups. So here goes! Pre-Cruise Hotel A pre-cruise one night stay in Haifa was included with our cabin. It was a horrendously long day of flying, and we didn't get to Tel Aviv (airport for Haifa) until 11:00pm. A driver was waiting for us, and we set out on the approx. hour long drive to our hotel. All of our pre-cruise excitement basically vanished when we checked in. The hotel was a generic but decent enough looking tower, but the room itself was not up to any even mildly acceptable standard. It felt like a 1960s era Soviet block youth hostile. The room was small, old, horribly outdated, not clean, dank and depressing, with two tiny, hard twin beds instead of the king or queen we had expected. One of the windows would not latch properly, and with a strong wind outside, it felt like a jet engine was blasting inside our room. It's no fun having to change rooms at 1:00 AM, but we had to. What was Regent thinking? Did anyone at the home office bother to check this place out? It started our vacation on a nightmarishly sour note. Embarkation Sadly, this was no better. Getting on the bus provided by Regent to the port was disorganized and stressful. Once we arrived, our bags were lined up by the bus and we were told to get a cart ourselves, load them onto the cart ourselves (not easy for anyone because they're so heavy), and wheel them inside ourselves. This whole process was as unpleasant as the hotel. The Ship Thank heaven, everything turned around once we got on board. The ship itself is stunning. The wood and marble throughout is neither dark nor excessive, it's just monumentally high end and beautiful. The spaces themselves are bright and fun to explore. And that staircase in the atrium is amazing. Throughout, the level of detail, the artwork (sadly, there is no guide to the explain it's pedigree), the elevators, the staircases, the theatre, and the design throughout represent a level we've never encountered on a cruise ship. The Cabin The design felt lush and rich. We had a Concierge level "D" which was so spacious and comfortable. Loved the bed facing the window, the walk-in closet, and the marble bathroom with full shower, dual sinks and tub. The size of the balcony was a pleasant surprise. It's easily three times the size of the one we had on Crystal. The Dining Imaginative, gourmet, fresh, delicious. We felt it was higher quality and higher end than Crystal, which is no small feat. Our favorite was Compass Rose, where we ate most dinners. The space is beautiful, with the blue glass lighting fixture on the ceiling. Contrary to what we had read, it's not overpowering. It's gorgeous. We had a great meal at all the specialty restaurants. They too are jaw droppingly designed. We liked Pacific Rim the best. It's a very unique take on an Asian restaurant with a fresh and unique menu. La Veranda, the ship's buffet, is nice, but we were a little disappointed. It's very well prepared but somewhat standard breakfast fare. Also, since all the pancakes, French toast etc is made to order on the grill, it's just too long a wait when you have an upcoming excursion. We never ate lunch there, and instead went to the Pool Grill, which we loved. La Veranda turns into Sette Mari at night, an Italian restaurant. Our one night dining there was a chaotic disorganized affair. My veal was rubbery and poorly prepared. The Service Amazing and so personable. Everyone seems happy to be there and happy to help, and it truly doesn't seem like an act. And there's never any waiting. The cruise director and his staff were so likeable, classy and first rate. He did a show himself which was fantastic. The Entertainment We loved the three production shows, which were well directed and produced and cast. They're transporting. The booked acts were fine, with the exception of a "comedy magician" who we were excited to see, but who proved to be really bad. The magic was on the level of a children's birthday party, and the jokes just not funny. Find someone better, Regent! The Ports And Excursions A definite highlight. We loved Rhodes the best, with an excursion to a beautiful seaside town and a hike up a mountain to a Greek temple overlooking it. For the most part the excursions were informative and well handled, but they can take a turn south with a bad guide. In Cyprus, our guide seemed knowledgeable, but it felt like she was tired and did not want to be there. Her way of speaking was unintelligible, so the tour was a complete failure. So was the one in Palermo, where our guide was completely unprepared and let us wander around the sights ourselves with only a brief and vague introduction on the bus. Our other eight shore excursions (there were a lot of ports!) were quite good. Our takeaway was that Regent needs to do a better job of vetting the guides. I'm sure that's easier said than done but they need to figure out a way. Also, we were scheduled to visit Gozo Island, but instead stayed on Malta an extra day. It was unclear whether it was because of rough seas or "maintenance" and it was hard to get a straight answer out of anyone as to the real reason. Better communication would have been appreciated. Internet It's the worst we've ever had on a ship. They need to fix it. Stat! Wrap Up Our quibbles aside, we'd sail again with Regent, and plan to. The level of service, attention and luxury was unparalleled. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016

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