We recently experienced a 20 night cruise on Seven Seas Voyager, departing from Singapore and terminating in Dubai. To put the following comments into context, in the last 18 years we have spent over 400 days at sea on 31 cruises with 8 different cruise lines. This particular cruise was the last sector of our “around the world by sea” adventure and was therefore very special for us.
Overall this was not a bad cruise but there were worrying signs that all is not well at Regent Seven Seas. Firstly at the embarkation day buffet lunch we noticed a lot of arguing amongst the serving staff as to their duties. This continued into the following day where it became obvious that a significant number of Eastern European waiters had been taken on and were undergoing “on the job” training. Further into the cruise it became obvious that the waiters in the Compass Rose Restaurant were also “under training” as evidenced one night when my main course meal arrived at the table with ingredients I had not ordered. On being asked to change the plate the waiter returned to his station, scraped off the unwanted items and returned the plate to me clearly showing where the removed items had once been. On another day, again in the Compass Rose, it took over two hours to serve a straight forward three course luncheon when there were no more than thirty people in the restaurant. Most nights the wine service was extremely poor – OK on arrival at our table but heaven forbid if you wanted your glass replenished or would have liked to change wines. None of these incidents could be described as acceptable service from a Line that markets itself as the most inclusive luxury experience. Luxury Experience ought to mean impeccable service.
Shore excursions were another are of concern. An outing in Yangon included a visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda. We had been warned about taking our shoes and socks off but we were not warned about the baking hot floor tiles which resulted in scalded feet. A visit to Abu Dhabi included a visit to the Emirates Palace Hotel for Tea. This necessitated an additional “fee” (Regent Excursions are normally free) and had been billed as though it was the equivalent of having tea at the Ritz. How naïve we were. Tea was no better than that served on the ship and we had been herded into a downstairs conference room well away from the main areas of the hotel. On reporting this on our return to the ship, the indifferent and unsympathetic attitude of the Destinations Desk staff was extremely disappointing.