This was a cruise in celebration of forthcoming Golden Wedding and a birthday on board. We had selected this cruise because of recommendations from our friends how helpful they had found the crew with respect to special meals. We had sailed on one of the early voyages of the RSS Explorer in 2016 and found the service and cabin exceptional, catering for every need without any problems.
On this cruise we experienced exactly the opposite. The special meals coordinator was not dedicated and had other duties that prevented him devoting detailed attention to our requirements compared to the one on the Explorer. The chef was laid back and whilst promised to make special exceptional dishes in addition to the prepacked meals to meet our dietary requirements did not check the food preparation and presentation so it lacked the finesse one would expect. It appeared it had been left to an apprentice chef to deal with our requirements.
On several occasions we ate with friends we had made on the voyage, they being aware of our special Kosher diet. We always gave the special diets coordinate more than 24 hours notice of our requirements and where we would be taking our meals. Even so, when we "strayed" from the main dinning room we experienced major problems. Our table had been preordered and whilst the other guests made their selection of the dishes, ours had already been registered. Imagine having to sit at a table where the other guests had been served with their food and after a half hour our food had still not appeared. One of the other guests dinning with us summoned the head waiter and asked why our meal had not been served at the same time as theirs. There were apologies all round by the crew but the truth of the matter was as we were the only ones on the ship having Kosher food the buck was passed between the restaurant staff, the kitchen and the executive chef - the later could not even be bothered to express personal apologies nor did the Restaurant Manager.
As to the prepacked Sterling Kosher meals they left a lot to be desired and were certainly not of gourmet standard one would expect, but more like economy airline meals. We had selected a dessert on several occasions and when it was presented in its prepacked package found that the packaging had changed, even though we had been assured that we would be served all of our pre cruise food selection - it was as if, as one of the waiters put it, the kitchen staff had found the same item that had come from previous voyages. When we requested to speak to the Provisions Manager to query this, the Executive Chef advised that they all work for him and it was his responsibility but he could not give us an assurance regarding this issue and did not consider it of any importance that old stock was being used. Of course the individual packages did not have the date they were prepared or a use by date and the Executive Chef claimed the date was on the outer packaging of the box.
When we had booked the cruise in October, it was on the proviso that we could disembark in Singapore the day before the general disembarkation at that port. From the date of the booking till the night before our disembarkation nobody advised us that when early disembarkation takes place one is expected to take ones luggage off the ship and proceed to the port immigration. On the night before our disembarkation we received a letter in our state room advising that there would be nobody from Regent Seven Seas who would help us to disembark with our luggage. We immediately emailed the CEO of Regent pointing out this was not an acceptable way to handle disembarking passengers from a six star cruise but we received no reply. The distance from the ship on the elevated bridge to the immigration was 330 meters. We requested assistance from the front desk of the ship who refused as did all members of the crew who were going ashore. As such, since there were no trolleys available because the Port Authorities do not provide them for passenger use until after immigration, we were left to take 5 suitcases, including 2 carry-ons, with 4 hands, to the Customs & Immigration area. We had a schedule to meet after our disembarkation and we could not wait around even though we had advised the Front Desk 2 days earlier that we would be disembarking at a certain time.to meet our onward schedule.
What a wonderful way to end an expensive superior luxury cruise. Certainly we would not recommend Regent after this experience. . .
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