Seven Seas Navigator Review

Our Costly Repositioning Cruise to Dubai !

Review for Trans-Ocean Cruise on Seven Seas Navigator
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10+ Cruises • Age 70s

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Sail Date: Nov 2023

Let me first state that the previous commenter did not exaggerate at all. As a matter of fact he was kind to give our cruise a two rating, but I stand by my one rating.

We are Platinum member of the RSS Society, with many wonderful cruises and experiences with this cruise line. We are only 40 days away from Titanium level. And we have booked 3 future cruises with Regent. That said, we loved Regent until this sailing. We always review itineraries and pick our cruises on itinerary first. We made a deposit on this cruise "Wonders of Antiquity" back in 2021when it first posted. A cruise of a lifetime to ports of call still on our bucket list: Israel, Jordan, Oman and even Luxor & a sail on the Nile. We would begin in Istanbul and end in Dubai. With many wonderful ports of call in-between. We booked all pre & post programs and also booked all overland programs. Again, this was a cruise oh so special. To add to the special experience, this would happen on our 50th Anniversary. So we justified spending much more money for the special experience. Sadly, October 7th, Israel declared war. So sad and of course we understood that Israel's ports of call were cancelled. It took until October 16th for Regent to send us a new itinerary. They started to change everything. Why we don't know and it was never explained to us as all other ports of call had nothing to do with the Israel war. We asked for a future cruise credit and they said NO they can change ports anytime. "read your contract" was the Regent Miami response and said with an attitude. Then on November 2nd we got another email with a second itinerary change, this just before we left for Istanbul and our pre-land tours & our cruise on November 10th. This itinerary was a tour of Greece & Croatia of all places and repositioning cruise to Dubai. We didn't want to go. Again, Regent said no FCC , cancel & loose your money. But no other response from Regent at all. If we cancelled we would have lost over $42,000+. We went and started in Istanbul. Pre- Hotel - Intercontinental nice hotel. But front desk was disorganized and never gave us the Regent schedules or the hotel schedules. We found out by accident meeting other guests that arrived on the next day. Tours - We arrived a few days early to enjoy the city. We had 2 days of tours. They were fine and gave a nice overview of the city. We had been to Istanbul before and love the city. Port - Arrived at approx. 3:00 p.m. after a day tour. No one greeted us as we arrived. Oh security scanned us in but we were met by a tray of champagne on a table. Cabin - At first, a nicely appointed cabin. The Navigator cabins are smaller than the new ships and all cabins are the same size, except the really expensive ones. As we settled in I noted, a damaged sink with huge crack and a piece of porcelain missing. Then when I took my first shower, the bar holding the handheld was missing a piece but it was on the floor of the shower. Bar and piece was rusted. When I informed the GM he said he would look into it. At 9:20 pm that night we got a call to change our cabin??!! We just unpacked and said no we were about to go to sleep after a long day. Our stewardess was outstanding. Then there was a flood in our cabin, along with the corridor and a total of 9 cabins flooded. For this we were moved. They said we were upgraded for our inconveniences to a Concierge room. The same size cabin but with a coffee pot. If I want a cup of coffee while on vacation I would call room service! On November 30th, we got a letter from the GM apologizing and giving us each 500 FCC. Ship - Obviously old and dated. But of all the Regent ships this was our favorite. Maybe because it was small 490 people and the crew really gave personal attention. NOT this time. We had 370 on board as many did cancel. As a matter of fact, guests left the ship during the cruise. Reducing that number even more. It was obvious on day one that the ship was short staffed, in all areas. I can't imagine what service would have been if the ship was fully booked. At the pool it was better to go to the bar and get your own glass of water or a drink. Only once did a server come around with a tray of ice water and ice tea, only once. The dining room was no better. Our waiter (we sat at the same table) was great but they gave him an assistant that didn't have a clue. Every single time, he gave us the wrong dinner and twice from a different table. Breakfast in the dining room, on a sea day, is great for us, but not on this cruise. As they were short-staffed only two stations were open and it took at least one hr. to get eggs sunny side up, much longer a few times. Coffee was poured as if it was gold. I repeatedly asked them to put the pot on the table, but no. Now in the buffet, the coffee servers were so scarce, I actually went to the service area, got a pot (there were 6 pots, so there wasn't a shortage) to help myself. Others around me laughed and asked for coffee too. Not one server or manager even noticed. We went to the main dining room on the last morning arriving at exactly 6:30 a.m. the time posted.Not single server or crew member was there. Six others were waiting before us. One girl walks in and says sit anywhere we are just opening!! The woman in the black suit shows up and she acts as our waitress but she is supposed to be the maitre de. We sit till 7:10 before getting food, and only one cup of coffee too. Oh only one other server showed up as we left. I will explain later that we should not have been in a rush as Regent had another debacle in store for us. Entertain - Almost non-existent. The Cruise Director was non-existent during the day. Never saw but heard her on the sound system, telling us of the wonderful afternoons we are having at sea. Oh so many sea days! Why didn't she schedule any live music at the pool during lunch? Why wasn't there a piano player in the Navigator Lounge during cocktail hour? Oh so many Why's? Mediocre comedians and a few singers and she started having them perform at 5:45 p.m. and the after dinner shows were movies. Oh so many movies. Her voice over the PA system became grating and very annoying. How did she ever get the job of CD? Tours - With so many changes we did not want to go to Greece or Croatia or Montenegro but took tours just to get off the ship. Every single port of call was closed for the season. We got on buses and things were pointed out to us but every tour guide stated that in every location the tourist season ended October 31. So Regent doesn't know this? One port even had the electricity shut off for the off-season. We had 9 seas days on their final itinerary and one additional sea day as Mykonos had weather issues but they too were closed for the season. Never, never would we have booked this itinerary. Food - Mediocre at best. If the dining venues were here at home, we would never go back a second time. What has happened at Regent? So many items no longer available (Foie gras & pates for example). Blueberries are a special request. Pizza is on the in-suite dining menu but not anywhere else. We asked for a pizza at the pool area and were reprimanded by the maitre d for doing so. In room only!! So we went to our room, ordered a pizza, waited 20 minutes then brought it to the pool area for our lunch!! Labels missing on the buffet so you had to find someone to tell you what it is. If you could find someone as staff were hard to find. A waiter would ask you if you needed something, yes, a glass of wine. He would then say he would find someone. Most of the time you got nothing. So why ask in the first place, I was looking for the drinks server to begin with. Only once did I ask the Head sommelier for the specialty wine menu. I asked for a wine, he went away and came back while we were having salad, sorry we are out of that. I looked again and picked another. We are now waiting our entree and he returns stating we are out of that too. He offer us a wine, I ask how much, he states, he didn't know but would find out. We drank water that evening! This is just another example of untrained personnel. No we didn't buy it. But if you call yourself "Head Sommelier" why don't you know your specialty inventory, that menu isn't that large. Oh and why no flowers at all on this cruise? No table flowers no floral arrangements anywhere? Are flowers now too expensive? When we asked we just got smiles, no answers. Disembark- Now here is another example that Regent no longer does any research into a port of call. We must be out of our cabins at 8:00 a.m. We have been docked since 6:00 a.m. We sit until 9:30 a.m. waiting to be called. Then go to customs and wait for another 1/2 hr. Dubai is doing a new immigration system. Doesn't the port and the cruise line ever speak with each other? Oh and the Cruise Director doesn't even give us the actual info as to what is going on in the terminal. This was a cruise that never should have happened. The circumstances were so unique that we should have been offered a FCC to apply to another Regent cruise. But no, Regent reps were just rude and even belligerent to us begging for answers prior to the cruise. Oh and if the ports of Oman were cancelled due to security reasons (whatever that means) why was our post tour from Dubai, taking us on a tour in Oman? NO WAY WAS THIS CRUISE CONSIDERED LUXURY, NO WAY !!

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