This was our 9th cruise with Regent and much anticipated. We embarked in Stockholm and sailed the Baltic returning to Southampton. We looked forward to being on the new ship having watched the programme about it's construction. The decor is dark wood everywhere and lots of old fashioned bling. Regent missed a real opportunity to tap in to the younger age group who can afford luxury all inclusive holidays. There has been a real drop in standards. The beds were always super comfortable on the other ships. Not this time. The bedding was always silky and luxurious so much so I have in the past tried to buy some without success. Apparently you can now buy it from the ship but it so inferior I would not bother.
The service is patchy with more of the " couldn't care less attitude" in evidence. Breakfast was a shambles with insufficient seating and staff too busy to pay attention. I had to wait 15 minutes for an espresso one morning which arrived in the form of luke warm filter coffee with froth on top. Other days it arrived at the service point and I had to collect it. We were not offered water and the food was bland cafeteria quality and staff looked harrassed and unhappy. It used to be that the miserable ones stood out now it is the other way around. Lunch was bland with little choice of hot dishes which again looked like they had been sat there all day and were only just warm. The pool deck was the same with lukewarm fries. No special buffets were staged even when at sea for the day. The restaurants have not changed their menus much in the seven years we have been cruising. Does the menu itself have to be bigger than A4size and in an incredibly heavy awkward cover!The fillet minion in Prime Seven, the specialist steak place, was dry and inedible. The new restaurant Chartreuse, replacing Signatures , was the only fine dining we experienced and we were limited to one booking.. in the coffee lounge I was either ignored or palmed off with the wrong coffee in the wrong cup. At tea they failed to anticipate the numbers and at one point a long queue stretched behind a single trolley with one sandwhich on it. When more did arrive they had yo be served on saucers as there were no plates. They ran out of scones and at that point we gave up.
We gave up on the entertainment years ago and went to bed early. It is all Broadway themed from 60 years ago or the usual Beatles night. The Cruise Director and his partner were appalling and did nothing to include all guests just their" groupies" The tours were mixed. The ambience on the ship is nothing compared to Seabourne. We criuised twice with them and the dancers and officers all come down to the bars and get involved. Those on Regent do their hours and that's it. They are just not interested. The dvd's and in suite films are put of date. We spent a lot of time reading. We had three days in St Petersburg and wasted one and a half as were advised not to book morning and afternoon tours. This was incorrect and others did both. Very disappointing. We did try and get on one when we arrived back at lunchtime but a very very unhelpful and very brusque member of destinations would not budge. Her excuse" there's no one on the desk to print out your ticket" She was at the time sitting down doing nothing. When I pointed out that this was very unhelpful she said we had all been warned not to book last minute! That had not actually happened and surely on a luxury cruise staff should go above and beyond wherever possible. That's how it used to be..The other tours were ok but one in to Sweden from Denmark was a waste of time. Although included in the price you pay many of these tours are very basic. In St Petersburg for example we only drove past the Hermitage and could not stop to take a picture in the square. At the very picturesque church in the centre we had ten minutes to run and take a picture then spent twenty minutes in a tatty souvenir shop. Most guests stayed on the bus. That should tell them something but as usual nothing changes in that respect.