We sailed on the January-February 2017 cruise from Aukland to Singapore. The trip was a very mixed experience, with some parts very enjoyable and others quite disappointing.
On the positive side, the cabin stewards did a great job, and our stateroom was always neat and orderly. We enjoyed the new menu in the Compass Rose dining room, with a wide variety of items always available and daily specials. The evening variety shows were much improved over those on our previous cruises on Regent. The enrichment lectures given by Terry Bishop were outstanding, and we would certainly look for cruises where he was featured.
On the negative side, there were several problems. Regent had clearly not planned an adequate number of shore excursions, and in many ports there were just no free excursions available. Every day seemed to have long lines at the Destination Services desk of people trying to book tours, often with no success. they offered the excuse that the ports we visited did not have an adequate infrastructure to accommodate a ship our size but, in talking with local guides, it seems that they had no problem with much larger ships. Many of us felt that Regent management was just cutting their excursion budget and not booking enough tours. After all, the ports we visited in New Zealand and Australia are major cruise ship ports, and infrastructure should not be a problem. In some ports Regent tried to upsell us to paid tours, but we found better and less expensive tours on our own over the internet. The excursions we were able to get were often disappointing, often with a lot of wasted time when we were dropped off in uninteresting towns with little to do for several hours.
Comfortable except for the noise mentioned in my review and the water problems. When the cabins were remodeled the amount of drawer space was cut back, which is unfortunate.
One of the better tours. The albatross reserve is unique and worth seeing.
None of Regent's free tours covered the key geothermal or Maori cultural features of the Rotorua area, so we arranged for an independent tour that turned out to be terrific. Regent did add on a pay tour to cover some of these features, but the independent one we took covered much more and was slightly less expensive. Also, it was a small group (6) so we didn't have long waits to load and unload a bus.