Regatta Cruise Review by MollyMcGee
- Sail Date: April 2016
- Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
We were on a waiting list for a veranda cabin but ended up with an ocean view cabin with a large picture window and small sitting area. I found the cabin to be small and the bathroom even smaller. (I've been spoiled by Regent Navigator's cabins with separate tub and shower and walk-in closet.) We had enough storage space for our things - but in a small wardrobe and lots of different little cabinets and drawers.
The shipboard experience really was wonderful, and we met so many interesting people. Most of the travelers were retirement age. (I think we saw only two couples under the age of 50 and no children at all & this really isn't a ship for children.)
The entertainment was very good and varied. Singers/dancers put on 4 great shows, the string quartet also had 2 lovely shows as well as playing in the upper hall at dinner time. There were also two very good pianists - one played in one of the bars and the other did two shows. We didn't see the harpist's shows nor the magician/comedian so can't rate them - other couples' opinions on them were divided between great and ok.
I've reduced the number of stars due to the poor selection of port excursions and their cost. My friend and I have mobility challenges (walk with canes and can't walk long distances) and there were several ports that offered not a single tour option for us. The one we did take was in Costa Rica and was an Eco Mangrove Swamp tour that involved about an hour plus bus ride (air conditioned) to and from the swamp to board the small boats with very uncomfortable seats. The tour guide spoke excellent English and was very knowledgeable about wildlife and birds and shared some of his country's history and challenges with obvious national pride. The boat driver was quite alert and spotted many different crocodiles and animals and birds - he also would reverse and turn the boat so that both sides could see. The base in the swamp had clean restrooms, and offered free and delicious pineapple, bottled water, and Costa Rican beer after the boat tour of the swamp.
We had arranged a private tour in Acapulco, but the captain decided to skip Acapulco due to a shooting and violence in the streets. We were a bit disappointed but would rather be safe and appreciated that the captain made a difficult decision. Instead of Acapulco, the ship stopped at Zihuantenejo-Ixtapa. and had scurried to offer a couple of excursions. Amazingly, there was one suitable for us, but going ashore was by tender and we didn't feel secure enough to try that with the heavy swells so passed.
To sum it up, the ship is older and has smaller cabins, but it is very comfortable. The food is truly outstanding and with a lovely variety. Activities and entertainment on board were great. The excursion offerings were expensive and limited. And the staff were amazingly friendly, funny, and helpful.
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