While not experienced cruisers, we have been on five previous cruises over the past 25 - 30 years with Carnival, Norwegian, and Holland America. We chose this cruise due to an invitation from my sister to join her and her husband on what would be their sixth Regent cruise (they booked their seventh while onboard). We found the itinerary interesting which included Spanish, Portuguese, French, and British ports and loved the departure port (Barcelona) having spent a week there last year.
Our journey began with a flawless and on-time flight on Delta through Atlanta to Barcelona. Delta One (their version of business class) was comfortable, the food was delicious, and I was able to sleep a few hours during the flight. We arrived in Barcelona Sunday morning before a Monday cruise departure day to an expectedly chaotic airport where we discovered Barcelona is second to Miami as the busiest cruise port in the world. Our bags were retrieved and turned over to representatives available at the airport and we were on a bus headed for the Fairmont hotel an hour after landing. Our hotel, the included pre-cruise selection by Regent, was very nice and located within a large garden-like area with beautiful grounds. Very quiet and relaxing. Regent representatives were onsite to assist with tours or cruise inquiries although we didn't require their assistance. The provided breakfast Monday morning, the day of the cruise, was high quality with plenty of choices to satisfy everyone. We had a couple of hours to relax prior to boarding our assigned bus to the pier. Bags were retrieved from our room the morning of departure. After a relatively short (45 minute) bus ride to the pier, we were ready to board.
The embarkation process was efficient, easy, and relaxed. We experienced our first memorable interaction with a Regent employee during this process. A gentleman from the entertainment team greeted us with a smile, checked us in, invited us to the show that night, and sent us on our way. A great first impression even before we boarded the ship. Once onboard, we immediately noticed the quality, beauty, opulence, and luxury of the décor, design, furnishings, and atmosphere on the ship. Also, a wide variety of artwork could be found throughout the ship, some of which matched my taste, while some did not. We were aware of the hype surrounding this ship and reality matched the hype. Undeniably, the ship itself is beautiful in every imaginable way.
Our cabin, a Concierge D on deck 10, was located steps away from the elevators and stairs and beneath the library above. The efficiency of the cabin design was impressive by being able to face the very comfortable king size bed toward to balcony so that from the bed we could see the sea or port. An abundance of drawer space (we didn't use half of them) could be found throughout the cabin. The closet was very large in relation to the cabin size and fully accommodated what ended up being our exaggerated over packing. The bathroom was impressive as well with two sinks, a separate tub and shower, and beautiful marble finishing throughout. Pre-cruise, we were attracted to a separate tub and shower, however; after a 12 night cruise, we never used the tub. Similarly, pre-cruise we appreciated that an illy coffeemaker would be located in our cabin yet we never used it. Our balcony was large, approximately 115 sq. ft., and had high quality furnishings including two large wicker reclining chairs, full size chaise lounge, and a table large enough for two people to enjoy a meal. The balcony angled toward the front of the ship which provided an unobstructed view forward without the need to lean over the railing. Furnishings, fixtures, and finishes inside the cabin were consistent with what would be found in four or five star hotel junior suite.