My first experience with Regent was two years ago on a trip from Tokyo to Beijing. It was problematic due to poor excursions in Tokyo for two days of the precruise as well as very uneven service and food during the cruise. Bad weather did not help the situation but could not be blamed on Regent.
Jump forward two years. Just about everything went well. The service throughout the ship was remarkably improved, especially in Compass Rose, Using the new electronic ordering system, we could easily be seated by 7:30 and be out by around 9 pm to see the show in the Constellation lounge. The new menu is excellent. Simple dishes available each day on the left side with the ability to order sides for each dish and accompanying sauces (eg peppercorn for a steak) all available separately. PERFECT. On the right side were daily specials, including healthy options based upon Canyon Ranch Spa recommendations. Each day had a recommended wine choice but others were available at no additional charge or you could go upscale. I am not a food or wine snob and found excellent food and wine choices each meal. Even Sette Mari, the Italian restaurant at LA Veranda was much improved. Just stay away from the tough as leather veal scallopini.
I routinely ate lunch on the pool deck due to the mostly good weather and enjoyed the Theme Day food. Best as usual was the Indian food but other days were also good. If I was not impressed, I chose grilled fish or a turkey burger. I was not fond of the beef burger. The fries were always excellent, unfortunately, as was the ice cream.
The coffee service, Coffee Connection, on deck 5 also improved. The coffee went from terrible on the first cruise to passable. The espresso was generally better from the machines. Never underestimate the skill of a good Barista. Pastries and cookies were always good with fresh fruit always available for those desiring healthy choices
The included tours on Regent went very well this time. Other than Samarang Indonesia, where we had monsoon rains and there was literally nothing of real interest to see on the tour, the other ports were quite good. Seats were a bit tight in Bali for Both American size passengers and the Australia buses were uniformly hard seats and no place for water bottles or maps. ODD.
The arranged tours in the Sydney post trip were also excellent. Our host hotel, the Four
Seasons did not treat us well. The daily breakfast was marred by limited choice and uneven quality when compared to the main dining room. After the first day of this experience, I was allowed to eat at the main dining room. We were also stuck in a handicapped room against our choice. Only after making a firm demand to the manager were we finally moved after one day.A far cry from the fantastic Fairmont Singapore on the precruise.
The entertainment on the ship was absolutely fantastic, in part thanks to the Cruise Directo,r Ray. The five piece Regent Orchestra, downsized from our prior cruise was absolutely first class, with Sasha, the sax player a stellar performer. I would be please to see them at any paying venue. The Broadway style shows were uniformly good, but different from the old Jean Ayers shows. These were now produced by Norwegian and I felt the singing and dancing was first rate. Make sure to go to Horizons before dinner to hear the band and after 10:30 in Horizon Lounge for the late show. This was spectacular entertainment in an intimate venue.
Based upon our experience this trip we would again travel with RegentOther than Cyclone Gita giving us a bit of rough water at the end of the trip and missing a port near the beginning due to a passenger emergency, this was a great cruise, worth the premium price. By the way, I had no problem with the new interior after the refit. The buffet in La Veranda worked much better. The sound and lighting system at the Constellation lounge was great. The ordering system at Compass Rose was much improved. Some complained there was less storage in the rooms. I did not notice as I travel pretty light.
We went down a notch on this cruise. Previously we had a penthouse cabin with butler. It was a waste. We never used the butler. We did not really like the specialty restaurants so increased access to them was no benefit. The Penthouse suites are near the back of the ship which we found had much more vibration than the front of the ship. The room was fine for our needs and we did not need a bigger walk in wardrobe or the enhanced cosmetics.
This tour took us to many craft sites where we purchased arts and crafts from local producers, one of our goals of this tour. The second day we went to a distant temple, which allowed us to see the beautiful countrysideView All 30 Bali Heritage Sites Reviews
a naturalist guided tour of the island where we saw lots of Komodo dragons up close as well as other flora and fauna. The locals who sold crafts at the end of the tour had a lot of nice stuff that was unique and very reasonable if you negotiated. it also supported the local population
Our first experience with koalas and wallabies. What is not to like. There is a lot of walking and the train around the park is infrequent, at every 30 minutes. Did I say it was really hot. You only have about 2 hours so skip the raptor show.View All 10 Territory Wildlife Park Reviews
This was a typical butterfly conservatory and much smaller than in Florida. Theshopping nearby was very good. The nature park on the second half of the tour allowed us to get a photo with a koala, which we did. That was a bit of luck since another tour in Brisbane cancelled that option due to heat stress on the animals. The park was a bit small and I am not sure it was a great environment for the animals. The city itself is a bit of a tourist trap but it is the centre of access to the Great Barrier ReefView All 3 Butterfly Sanctuary Reviews
Absolutely the best place to see koalas and kangaroos. The aviary, which was in a large enclosed netted area was also very good. The animals seem much better cared for than in other locations. Walking in Brisbane after the tour was nice. The pedestrian only central district is lovely. Go to Georges for lunch, a Greek restaurant on the waterfront with good food and lovely viewsView All 32 Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Reviews
We took two trips with the ship including a ferry tour of the harbour and the Blue Mountains. Both were well organized and interesting. We stayed another two days and did Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay ourselves. We took the free tours of Sydney and the Rocks and they were sensational. Py what you want and we gave them $15 each and well worth it.View All 29 Blue Mountains Reviews
The harbour tour with lunch was lovely. High quality boat with glass everywhere for good views and outdoor access as you wished. The lunch was very high quality and service was good.View All 11 Ferry Reviews