My wife and i have sailed on over 25 cruises ranging from large, to midsize, and to small ships, at both luxury and premium levels. For several years now we have wanted to try Regent but could not find an itinerary nor price point suitable for us. When this cruise was offered it was to sail to Havana as well as the western Caribbean, which we had not done before but was subsequently rerouted, thanks to our President disallowing Cuba visits.
The Explorer is indeed a beautiful ship throughout, but as a luxury cruise experience it fell short.
Embarkation was a long and arduous process, and when we finally embarked the ship, we were welcomed with a glass of champagne, but no one offered to direct us to our cabin.
Our Penthouse, which was quite comfortable, but the "living-room" space was very narrow and the sofa was quite uncomfortable.
Our butler did not show up until we called for service and instructions regarding the room set-up, etc. Our pre-arrival requests had not been fulfilled and so we had to try again then.
Although our butler was very personable, we did not find this service particularly worthwhile.
The food was a mixed bag of mostly quite good in the restaurants, but pretty lame at the buffets and coffee bar. In fact I don't remember ever having such consistently below par food and selections on any cruise ship we have sailed on before. At the risk of sounding snobbish, I want to mention that the two caviar and champagne breakfasts boasted offering "the worlds finest caviar" where in fact it was salmon and a pathetic paddle fish roe, which tasted like nothing more than salty fish paste. Even lesser cruise ships do better than that. When Maine lobster tails were offered in the restaurants, they turned out to be warm water lobsters, which don't taste at al like Maine lobster. Another way to cheapen the experience.
The desserts and breads in the restaurants were quite good, but pastries were pretty poor. It seems like all they could make was different versions of dry pound cake based items.
Entertainment shows by the song and dance ensemble were quite good, but the other single entertainers were OK, at best.
WiFi and computer room were mixed. There were a number of problems being able to connect, but we were told an upgrade was to made on the ship's return to Miami.
Service throughout the ship was mostly quite good and attentive. We have no substantial complaints.
All in all, while our Regent experience was mostly positive, it did not measure up to a level of "Luxury" we have experienced on Seabourn, Crystal, or even on Oceania and several Celebrity Cruises suite class sailings we have taken in the past. For the premium one pays to sail on Regent, we cannot recommend them for value.
Mostly comfortable, good bed, storage and appointments. Living area very narrow.
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