Having sailed with Regent Cruises several times over the past 15 years, I’ve always found each voyage to be the perfect experience of what a first-class travel adventure should be: perfection in service, accommodations, attention to detail, generous amenities, well-planned tours, and fine dining. Even though I was a bit apprehensive about sailing with Regent again after learning last year that it had been acquired by Norwegian Cruise lines, my expectations were still high when I booked another long cruise on Regent Voyager, just recently completed.
The verdict on the impact of the Norwegian Cruises takeover of Regent Cruises? Major disappointment! It is almost impossible to conceive of how far Regent has fallen. Where meals on Regent used to be the equivalent of dining in 3-star restaurants, the food now is mediocre, at best, with very little variety in dishes served — making one bored of Regent food after just 3 weeks.What used to be an almost unlimited selection of outstanding wines at meals has now devolved into a choice of one inferior red or white.
The tours now are not well planned, with guests forced to spend too much time driving on buses, sometimes waiting for more than an hour before departing to the next destination, and spending time on destinations that were not worth visiting in the first place. On longer tours where lunch is served, the quality of the local meals is often less than satisfactory.