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.
Our stateroom was also a disappointment. The Voyager was just recently remodeled, but the work appears to have been of less than top quality. The walls in our room creaked loudly whenever the ship moved. We have been on a fair number of cruises, some on rough seas, and while some movement noise is inevitable on ships this was well beyond the ordinary or acceptable. The ship's maintenance staff was able to mitigate the noise to some extent by putting wooden shims between the walls and the ceiling, but surely better ship construction should have made these types of fixes unnecessary.
Also, the ship seemed to have a large number of maintenance problems with the plumbing, with several leaks. Some days we had no water for a while and, when it came on , it was black. The Voyager lounge was closed for a while because of water leaks. Due to the leaks on our deck (7), the carpet outside our room had a mildew odor that penetrated our cabin.
We were also disappointed in the specialty restaurants, both with regard to food quality and service. The meat in the steak restaurant was not of the quality we have had on previous Regent cruises and, as the trip was in major beef producing countries, this should have not been the situation. In Chartreuse, the newly named French restaurant, the main dishes were disappointing. And service was so slow, beyond leisurely, that even starting the meal at 6:30 or 7:00 we were not finished in time to get to the 9:30 entertainment on time. As this was a longer cruise we had multiple opportunities in each restaurant, and were consistently disappointed and eventually cancelled reservations as we preferred the main dining room.
Finally, when we wrote to Norwegian Cruise Lines management expressing our disappointment and our inability to get the promised shore excursions, it took over a month to get a reply from them. This suggests that customer service is not high on their priority list.
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.
This was a pay tour and disappointing. We were rushed through the scenic parts of the Blue Mountains and then dropped in Kuranda for several hours with no planned activities. Kuranda is a touristy town with many shops selling "native" crafts that seem to have been made in China. We went to the Butterfly Sanctuary on our own, and this was very worthwhile. It was too bad the tour couldn't prearrange this type of activity.View All 29 Blue Mountains Reviews
Many of the tours we had hoped to book on the ship were sold out and not available. The Lone Pine Koala park is ok, although we have been in other parts of Australia where koalas are much easier to see.View All 32 Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Reviews
Disappointing. Spent a lot of time driving and the wineries were mediocre.View All 16 Winery Tour Reviews
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.
There are better botanic gardens in Australia (Darwin for one). But the tour was poorly organized. The bus that dropped us off said another bus would pick us up at a designated point, but that bus showed up late and at a different point, leaving all of us in the rain. They had no way to make sure that they had picked up everyone.View All 2 Botanic Gardens Reviews
This is a small but interesting museum, but the excursion planning was awful. This is a tender port with a long (30 minute) tender ride. The water was rough and many passengers got severely seasick on the tender. The Regent staff should have anticipated this with seasick pills and sickness bags, but they didn't.View All 4 James Cook Museum Reviews
this is a beautiful garden and woth visiting.View All undefined undefined Reviews