This was our 1st cruise with Regent Seven Seas on m/v Navigator and we were looking forward to an excellent time and service as it is classed as a 6* ship.
The ship was luxurious, a very good suite with top class bedding. The staff kept the suite to an extremely high standard.
The food in the Compass Rose restaurant was also excellent, however, their Prime 7 flagship restaurant was nowhere near the standard we have experienced in the Murano restaurants on Celebrity's ships. The La Veranda was alright for lunch but for breakfast it was a problem if you required any form of eggs other than scrambled. On one occasion I waited 15 minutes for 2 fried eggs, then for 10 minutes later in the cruise and had to get fresh bacon and sausages one day because they had gone cold prior to arrival of the eggs. On one occasion they forgot about the poached eggs my wife ordered from the kitchen. This problem was because there was only one person detailed to fry eggs and create omelettes in a very busy restaurant.
In the evening the La Veranda became the Italian themed Sette Mari and was good.
However, the service for dinner in both Prime 7 and the Compass Rose was nowhere near 6* standard. We experienced a thumb in a coffee cup, sauce along the edge of the plate, entree cutlery being placed on the table whilst we were still eating the appetizers and being reached across whilst eating to remove wine glasses that would not be used. We raised some of these points the first night in Prime 7, and the Maitre D said it would be addressed.
Prior to the cruise we received an e-mail from RSSC saying that a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate or exemption certificate was required to board the ship. I contacted RSSC to inform them that the cruise itinerary of countries to be visited only required it if you had either been in a country recently that had Yellow Fever or you had transited through one of these countries for more than 12 hours. They still insisted on having the vaccination or exemption certificate. On-board we discovered several guests had not had the vaccination because they were categorically told by their vaccination centres it was not required, and as it was a 'live' vaccine the side effects could affect some people badly as my wife experienced. After several conversations with Reception staff, who initially informed us that the certificates were required by the port authorities, they eventually conceded that vaccination certificates might not have been required but stated that they were in daily contact with port authority health officials and the requirement changed daily. Unfortunately, this again was misinformation as confirmed by the South African government website and relevant port authority websites.
We experienced very high winds during the cruise and missed out on 3 of the 8 ports-of-call as we were over 38 hours late leaving Cape Town and about 20 hours late leaving East London leading to a revised time table. On leaving East London, after waiting some time for clearance to leave, many guests were on the sun decks and shortly after leaving the harbour the ship was hit by high winds and a very considerable swell. Guests just had time to get off the sun deck before someone got injured. Sunbeds were careering across the deck, plates crashing in La Veranda and bottles smashing on the floor of the Galileo lounge. The Captain should have known about the weather conditions but made no announcement before leaving the port. However, he did broadcast shortly after that the bad weather and rough conditions would continue for about 3 hours before easing off. Several guests were concerned and extremely worried and fearful about the severe conditions, some felt it was foolhardy to have left port. The reason for leaving in these conditions was probably to ensure we went to Namibia as it is a requirement for a ship to visit at least 2 countries be classed as a 'cruise liner'.
The shore excursions were generally alright except for one around Durban. We had arrived there early due to the amended timetable and the tour we did passed through a lot of building sites. We were only allowed 10 minutes off the coach on the 3 hour tour and the stop at an over-Durban viewpoint there were used hypodermic needles in the grass. We asked the tour staff if they had been on the tour, they had not.
We, and several other guests, asked if a rebate would be given for the missed excursions at the missed 3 ports-of call, however, we were told no rebate would be offered as they were 'free'. I contacted Regent’s CEO by email regarding this and he did not mention or address this in his reply! It certainly gave the impression that the cruise company's view on profits outweighed guest satisfaction as they probably saved considerable money as I am sure they would not have paid the full amount for them, if anything at all. We are still waiting a response to our request from Guest Relations.
A few guests we met had sailed with Regent on numerous occasions, some on the Navigator, and we asked if this was the standard of service they had experienced in the past. All said it had gone 'downhill' considerably. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is now part of Norwegian Cruise Lines.
Although the weather conditions were not ideal, overall the service in our opinion was not up to 6* standard.
Hopefully this was a 'one-off' and our next cruise with Regent will be 6*.
Excellent bedding well maintained.