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6 Lisbon to Africa Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for its itinerary having sailed from Dubai to Cape Town via East Africa with Regent three years ago (a cruise which rated as one of the best we have ever done). A bonus was a chance to sail on the Explorer. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary having sailed from Dubai to Cape Town via East Africa with Regent three years ago (a cruise which rated as one of the best we have ever done). A bonus was a chance to sail on the Explorer. We chose the pre-cruise experience on offer in Lisbon as the post cruise with a Safari meant coming home on Christmas Day! Pre-Cruise - Lapa Palace - good hotel but too far out of town and no good bars or restaurants nearby. Also, the buses couldn't get to it causing problems for excursions and transfer to boat. Not well organised. the second excursion was a disaster! Sintra was vaguely interesting but poor organisation meant a mile walk for coffee, loads of food which no one wanted and long delays resulting in lunch not arriving until well into the afternoon. The transfer to the boat was also poor. This is not the first time we have felt that Regent need to vet the pre and post tour operators more carefully. Initially the Explorer is much more impressive than any of the other three Regent ships despite their valiant attempts to upgrade them to match. You do feel this is luxury. Sadly, the ship did not live up to expectations. Suite, service and food were good, but lack of outside space spoilt the voyage. Very lush inside but if you wanted to sit outside it was a sunbed or one of ten or so seats at the pool bar. We enjoy sitting on deck during the morning and early evening with a coffee or drink. There is nowhere to do this other than the very limited seating round the pool bar which does not get the sun. Eating on the balcony of Veranda was good when the weather was fine, and it was open, but it shut for three days with no good explanation given! Something to do with a crew member getting bitten we heard eventually. Strange because we never saw an insect on the boat! The Pool Grill is mainly covered in. It was good to see they have got rid of the sauce bottles and some of the food was very good e.g. prawn skewers but the main choice was largely burgers (we don't consider that five-star luxury) and the whole place in our view resembles a diner. We did appreciate the speciality restaurants opening at lunchtime. The itinerary was as expected but not as interesting as East Africa, partly because the ports had little to offer (not Regent's fault). Destination Services did a good job in a difficult part of the world and we enjoyed the excursions. We were, however, disappointed not to go to Togo. Togo was taken out at what was said to be the last minute with no alternative provided. There has been unrest in Togo for a considerable time and with elections coming up on the 20th December this was clearly unlikely to abate. Regent are risk adverse at the best of times (which I understand although I do not necessarily agree with decisions) so it would seem clear that the chances of going to this port were slim. If indeed this was a last-minute decision, as said, then I agree it would be difficult to provide an alternative. However, the decision not to go should have been taken much earlier and provision other than sailing around the Atlantic in a circle made! Sao Tome early and Walvis for two nights perhaps. We choose cruises for the itinerary and while we are aware that ports may be omitted it appears to be quite a regular occurrence with Regent (more than with say Silversea or Seabourn). Entertainment was similar to other Regent Cruises - we don't generally participate in this and find daytime activities very uninteresting unless an early show is put on. Sally Jones was good, as usual and we appreciated her re-arranging her show due to illness. We did feel that there was an overemphasis on the classical pianist. It would be nice to see something other than Trivia, cooking demonstrations and bingo. Disembarkation in Cape Town was efficient, and the City tour we booked to fill the time before the flight good. Overall a good cruise but not one of Regent’s best. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We originally travelled on the ship nine years ago when it was owned by Seabourn. We decided to revisit the ship for sentimental reasons. The ship is now run by Windstar. All I can say to anyone who is thinking of doing the same not to ... Read More
We originally travelled on the ship nine years ago when it was owned by Seabourn. We decided to revisit the ship for sentimental reasons. The ship is now run by Windstar. All I can say to anyone who is thinking of doing the same not to do so as you will be very disappointed. The experience was a million miles away from the experience we previously had. It was like everything that made the cruise so special with Seabourn had been taken away and the cruise with Windstar was down to the absolute basics. On Seabourn the food is stunning. With Windstar the food was on the whole uninspiring and in many cases tasteless. On Seabourn the wine is of a very high standard and included. With Windstar we had difficulties finding decent bottles worth buying. On Seabourn the courtesy of the staff is exceptional. On Windstar the service was over familiar and some of the staff walk around the ship with their hands in their pockets and some were even entertaining their own family and friends on the ship while leaving guests unattended to. I do not want to recall the number of times I had to re-order food or drinks because the first order never arrives. On Seabourn there is a refined party atmosphere. On Windstar there was no atmosphere and hardly any entertainment provided on an evening. We were in bed most nights by 9.00 p.m. as there was nothing to do. In the main bar for pre-dinner drinks, the bar was closed shortly after 7.00 p.m. so that the staff could help elsewhere. When we complained, there was no offer to redress the position and instead we were asked to complete a complaint form ! A member of the senior staff spoke to us on the last day to ask whether we had enjoyed our holiday. We said not and the lady concerned just walked away and did not dare ask us why or what could have been improved. This came as no surprise since the senior staff appear very complacent and uninterested. The overall standard of the ship when run by Seabourn was exceptional. It was very sad to see how tired the ship has become. I dare not recall how many times I said to my partner "this would not happen on Seabourn" when we encountered a problem. If you treat a cruise on this ship like a bargain basement cruise or a school holiday you will be ok. If you have high expectations this will not be for you. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We have traveled extensively on Silversea and Regent. This was our 6th cruise on the Navigator after cruising on the Voyager for 7 cruises. I have waited a couple of months before writing this review... and wanted to read some of the ... Read More
We have traveled extensively on Silversea and Regent. This was our 6th cruise on the Navigator after cruising on the Voyager for 7 cruises. I have waited a couple of months before writing this review... and wanted to read some of the other current reviews. I have observed that some passengers are just plain rude. They complain all day and nothing a crew member can do is good enough. They think that because they paid lots of money for the cruise, their feet should be kissed. Yes, I am sure not everything has gone well on all cruises..we to have had a flooded room, no air conditioning and missed ports for what seemed no reason at all-except for Regent to save money on docking and tours. There are many passengers from lots of different countries that have different customs. We noticed that some passengers after a wonderful 8 hour tour tip the tour guide and bus driver one dollar...if anything at all. These passengers in my opinion should stay at home..AND these passengers are ALWAYS the ones who will not stop asking the tour guide stupid questions and will not shut up..for 8 hours! Alan, the head supervisor for all the Navigator restaurants seemed to be everyplace at the same time.. checking to see if everything was good... Lorenzo, was in charge of La Veranda was excellent..The supervisor at Prime 7 was also wonderful, always ready to please. Yes, sometimes the food in all 3 of the restaurants was not perfect.. but this ship cooks about 3,000 meals a day for the passengers and the crew... this is not your home or a famous Beverly Hills restaurant... which I do frequent and at times their food is not all that great. Yes the rear of the ship vibrates.. it always has.. I have no idea why... Get a room midships.. we have NEVER felt the ship vibrate from our room 918. There is a problem, and now you know the solution.. We did have a problem with a member of the dance crew.. and reported it to guest relations. Within an hour I was contacted by the general manager, who came to me for a meeting... then the head of personnel asked me to meet him... and the problem much to my shock was resolved.. What more could I ask for? We started in Cape Town with a 3 day African Safari at the Bayethe Lodge. Words cannot express how wonderful this was.. The company that operates this animal preserve is first class.. the best lodging, the best food and the best employees. Jacque was our guide and if he does not become president of this company, it will be their loss. He was knowledgeable, caring and intelligent. We have already booked our next trip on the Navigator back to Africa and Bayethe for April of 2018! 95% of the passengers were as usual wonderful.. and over the years we have made great friends while cruising... they go with the flow and keep their complaints to a minimum... but some people just cannot be pleased.. Yes I have for the most part taken the Navigator's position in this review.. but then these crew members are away from home for 8 months at a time and they also deserve some consideration. Lastly, do not waste your time contactin Regent's main office.. THEY DO NOT CARE. They fill up their ships and make lots of money and if you do not return, someone from Crystal or Silversea who has had a bad experience there will come to Regent and take your place. THEY DO NOT CARE...!!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose the cruise from Lisbon to Cape Town for the itinerary & because we wanted to try a supposed 6* cruise. Having stayed at some fabulous hotels we were hoping for similar standards on board. The transfer/embarkation was poorly ... Read More
We chose the cruise from Lisbon to Cape Town for the itinerary & because we wanted to try a supposed 6* cruise. Having stayed at some fabulous hotels we were hoping for similar standards on board. The transfer/embarkation was poorly handled. We couldn't visit Madeira but just 2 coaches were offered for an alternative day out from Lisbon The ship has had a facelift but the bedrooms are tired. Beds, towels, toiletries, butler & cabin staff all excellent though. Compass Rose service was a joke. 3 hours for a 3 course meal was good going - though I did get 3 courses 1 lunch in 20 minutes! Shows were usually missed though that was no great loss. The ship's troupe were great & should have been used more. Food was average - the premise appears to be quantity over quality. Food was lukewarm, dishes forgotten just so many faults. Wine service incredibly slow. Best wine we found was on offer at £6.50 at Morrison's when we returned. Hardly fine wines! This is a brief summary of 6 page letter I sent to Regent. Usual response I believe for dissatisfied customers, money off next cruise. Do they really think I'll cruise with them again?! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We love the size of this ship. The cabins are a very nice size, the dining in Compass Rose is very good. the wait staff there is wonderful. We do not like the specialty restaurants because the portion sizes are too large. The tours ... Read More
We love the size of this ship. The cabins are a very nice size, the dining in Compass Rose is very good. the wait staff there is wonderful. We do not like the specialty restaurants because the portion sizes are too large. The tours can be a bit harsh but the ports visited did not have any luxury buses to offer. Most tours were doable. This is a port issue not the ship problem. The refurbishment of the ship is very nice. The cabins did loose some storage space but you are not making the cabin your home for life. TV was sporadic along the west coast of Africa. We liked the entertainment that was done by the ship staff and dance crew. We did not care for the entertainers that were brought on board for limited shows. The exception was a wonderful children's choir from a local port area. We have booked the Amazon on this ship for the summer. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We have just completed a 25 day cruise from Lisbon to Cape Town and we enjoyed every moment. The staff were amazing catering to our every need. Smiles all around and a willingness to please. In general, there is always a great deal of ... Read More
We have just completed a 25 day cruise from Lisbon to Cape Town and we enjoyed every moment. The staff were amazing catering to our every need. Smiles all around and a willingness to please. In general, there is always a great deal of criticism about the food on board ships but really, I found nothing wrong with anything served on this trip. We have cruised often and I know that regular cruisers have high expectations and can be infuriatingly demanding. In fact we had a few of those on board and you can see how they carry their misery on their faces. Born to complain that's what I say. There is always a bit of boredom with food, especially after a long cruise but to my mind, Seven Seas Mariner catered perfectly. The entertainment was fabulous and the dancers so friendly spending time with the guests. Marla, the social hostess whom we met on another cruise ship years before was a blessing making us feel even more at home. Having full free Wi-Fi access was another added on board pleasure. Yes, we will most definitely be back and thank you for a really great holiday. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015

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