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1,146 Regent Seven Seas Cruise Reviews

We just returned from our inaugural, “all inclusive,”11-night cruise with Regent Seven Seas. There were six travelers in our party. Our journey was to the British Isles on the Navigator. The trip met but did not exceed our ... Read More
We just returned from our inaugural, “all inclusive,”11-night cruise with Regent Seven Seas. There were six travelers in our party. Our journey was to the British Isles on the Navigator. The trip met but did not exceed our expectations, with a few minor and two major disappointments. Despite the few problems, we found this cruise to be enjoyable and close to a luxury experience. This was our 13th cruise overall. Regent is known for including Business Class international air travel as a part of its packages. Their booking for us went well. The chosen air itinerary was efficient and our British Air flights were comfortable and well-serviced. The Pre-Cruise in London, purchased by two of us, was fair. We were housed in a very nice hotel with a good room, included and good breakfasts, and an incredible, central location (we could walk in 10 minutes to Buckingham Palace and to many of the major sites). The two tours we took were mixed. The London tour was fantastic while the second tour to the English countryside including Bath and the Cotswolds was disappointing and a waste of time (with way too much bus time). A second day in London seeing the sites we missed and perhaps visiting some museums would have been much more desirable. Our transfers to the hotel and to the ship on the third Pre-Cruise day went flawlessly. The Navigator is an old ship and it shows. But it is clean and extremely well-serviced. It met our expectations. The smaller ship, with under 500 passengers, was quiet and a nice change from the frenzy of larger ships. We never waited in line (even for the buffet; by the way, the buffet was the best ever in our travels). At the pool, the well-appointed chairs and lounges always had availability. From our perspective, smaller is definitely better than larger, though you sacrifice a larger diversity of amenities and entertainment options, aspects we did not miss. Service largely met expectations and was excellent. We felt pampered! In our cabin, the only disappointment was consistently low water pressure. However, the service provided by our cabin attendant and her assistant was superb. The room had a walk-in closet, large bathroom with a small shower and conventional tub. There was a sleeping area and a “living” area with a new large TV. The food was very good—not excellent though. Service in the main dining room (Compass Rose) and the Buffet was great. The two specialty restaurants, though, were disappointing. The Italian restaurant (where the buffet is converted into an evening venue) had marginal food and poor service. Our waiter ignored us, did not respond to requests and had an “attitude,” the only truly bad service while on board. The Prime 7 restaurant had adequate service, but food taste and quality were not up to par. We’ve had better specialty restaurant experiences on “main stream” carriers like Holland America, Celebrity, and, even (at times) Royal Caribbean. The 12-person entertainment troupe and band were excellent—as good as or better than on much larger ships. Bar service was truly excellent, with great offerings, superb bar attendants and bar tenders. Other entertainment offerings were okay. We found all to our liking, but the music at the piano bar and elsewhere was “outdated,” with a lot from the 1950s to 1970s, perhaps in keeping with an older clientele (we are in our 60s and thought we were on the younger side!). Our two major disappointments involved disembarkation and the included excursions. Disembarkation was completely botched. Regent arranged a 4 am departure from the ship to enable us to make a 7 am Aer Lingus connecting flight from Dublin to London. This was unavoidable. However, the roughly 30 people leaving at that time were taken to a bus and our luggage was already in the dark cargo hold below the bus. We were asked to identify our bags to ensure they were on the bus. It was still nighttime. It was 4 am! There was no light other than from the bus. Bags sat randomly all across the hold (maybe 100 to 125 bags). It was impossible to see all the bags (many of us used our cell phone flashlights). You had to contort yourself to get even a fair view. A few of us had difficulty finding our bags and asked that some of the “first row” bags be removed. Grunting, the few personal resisted (there was one young woman from Regent without any authority or real understanding of what was happening, two ship's crew or port stevedores—and the bus driver). I could not locate one of our large bags. I was told staff would find it and send it on. I refused saying they should find it now. The staff insisted that I had overlooked the bag. I had not. They began unloading all of the loaded bags. Mine was not there. One crew member was dispatched to look for it and, lo and behold, he came back with it a few minutes later. At 4 am time was wasted (my apologies for holding up other passengers) and, more importantly, no thought was given to this process. A more traditional approach of identifying bags in a lit area and having cruise personal take them to the bus would have solved this problem. We guessed that Regent decided that its very hard working staff (I mean this sincerely) needed their sleep and that the few passengers leaving at 4 am (based on flights chosen BY Regent) could fetch for themselves, including looking in the dark for their bags under a bus in a parking lot without lights. If 4 am is a reasonable departure time, as selected by Regent (after all, they booked our flights), it should be a reasonable time to have the process fully staffed. Foolishness and enough to make us think twice about booking again with Regent...but the saga continues... We were driven to the Dublin Airport. We passed the terminals and were let off the bus in a dark parking lot exclusively reserved for tour buses, some distance away from the terminals. The young lady from Regent, instructed us to find our bags, which were taken off the bus by the driver working alone (with our assistance). We asked, “what now?” and were told we needed to walk to the terminal—no less than a 15-minute hike with each group of passengers having roughly four large bags. No one knew which terminal was “right” for them, there were no signs showing arrivals and departures (why have signs in a bus parking lot?), and we were set on our way. There were airport carts nearby and our group, feeling a bit like refugees, began a slow caravan to the terminals. We passed by Terminal One because it looked old and empty (later we learned that many of us could have completed our arrangements in Terminal One, but no one—especially Regent—informed us of this). We arrived at Terminal Two, seemingly the major Aer Lingus terminal. It looked like a New York Subway at 5 pm on a Friday afternoon—people everywhere with lines of hundreds of people. Even though there is no business class for Aer Lingus on our flight, we were fortunate enough to find their “club” line, which was fairly short, and we were able to check in and avoid the very long lines (we were elated but a bit guilty-feeling after we passed large families who had to endure the long lines). Regent failed us. They could have made arrangements to get us to the correct terminals with our baggage. Instead, it was like being released from prison, “take this bus and your belongings to the city and we hope someone will be there to pick you up” (and this is a purported luxury carrier?). Much of the good from our vacation was undone by this poorly planned disembarkation. We were already tired waking up after a few hours sleep and our moods and physical selves were depleted by Regent’s extremely poor handling of this situation. This most definitely was NOT a luxury experience. The second negative involved many of our included, self-picked excursions. Way too much time was spent on buses and not enough time in towns seeing the sites. A good example: In Holyhead, Wales we elected to take a tour to one of England’s premier national parks—Snowdonia. The weather was poor, but so be it. Our first stop was a restroom break in a nice town, Caernarfon. There was a fabled castle (which we'd have liked to tour) and nice shops in the town. We were there for 20 minutes to urinate! We then drove through Snowdonia—beautiful. We finally went to another town, bordering Snowdonia, and spent more than an hour looking at stores and bathrooms. The second town was not nearly as intriguing or as nice as the first. This was a recurring theme of our trip. We began calling it “the teasing.” We’d stop for a restroom break in a seemingly great venue, only to drive much farther to find a not as interesting venue. Why? Guides were not to blame—most were wonderful. Much more thought should be given by Regent to excursion venues and routes (and by us, acknowledging that we chose our own excursions from among the “included” list). A guiding precept should be to minimize bus time. If there is a great venue enroute, don’t just stop for the bathroom; allow some time there, perhaps eliminating the second town from the tour. This recurrent theme also affected the pre-cruise and it is, in our view, a significant problem. Regent staff should go on all considered excursions before they are chosen by the line. Tweaking should occur so that the trips are improved. The bottom line, from this long-winded review, is that Regent generally has great service and staff, nice ships, but has wrinkles that need to be addressed. We had high expectations based on Regent’s claim to be “luxury.” We were committed to trying an all-inclusive cruise and Regent could have had us as a future customer without much more effort had they not botched the disembarkation and had given more thought to excursions. Now, we will continue to search for the “best” cruise line--the one we hope to use for the balance of our travels. They had us hooked, then lost us. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My husband and I just returned from a wonderful 11-night cruise on board Regent’s Seven Seas Voyager. After months of anticipation, we can’t believe that our voyage is over. We knew the first half of 2019 was going to be a pressure ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from a wonderful 11-night cruise on board Regent’s Seven Seas Voyager. After months of anticipation, we can’t believe that our voyage is over. We knew the first half of 2019 was going to be a pressure cooker, so it was important to have a major trip on our calendar to keep us going through the winter and spring. More importantly, we needed to go somewhere spectacular to celebrate my husband’s 60th birthday. Choosing the Cruise and Making Reservations: We decided to set sail for the Dalmatian Coast and the French/Italian Rivieras. Planning for our Adriatic/Mediterranean adventure began in July 2018 when we logged on to a number of cruise line websites to research our options. We focused on Seabourn, Silver Seas, Celebrity, Cunard, and Regent. After significant discussion, we chose Regent, which offered excellent and all-inclusive pricing, great itineraries, and convenient travel dates. Being a bit of a control freak, I did not use a travel agent; rather, I contacted Regent directly through its website and its toll-free telephone number. I called Regent on a Sunday to finalize the reservation. The agent was friendly, efficient, and knowledgeable. After 30 minutes on the phone, we were confirmed on the Voyager for its 11-night “Treasures of the Mediterranean” cruise, departing from Venice on Saturday, June 15 and ending in Monaco on Tuesday, June 25. We opted for a Concierge Suite on Deck 7 (Suite 738.) While the cruise itinerary did not include any sea days, we were attracted to the fabulous port calls of Split and Dubrovnik in Croatia; Durres (for Tirana), Albania; Corfu, Greece; Taormina, Sorrento (for Capri), Civitavecchia (for Rome), Livorno (for Florence/Pisa) in Italy; and St. Tropez, France. The user-friendly Regent website is the perfect place to manage your cruise experience. As soon as the reservation was final, I was able to sign on to complete our guest information forms. Most importantly, the site provides a calendar of key dates, including when you can make excursion and specialty dining reservations. Once I had those dates in hand, I programmed task items into my personal Outlook account and set reminders so I wouldn’t forget to act. During the eleven months between making the reservation and our departure date, I checked the Regent website numerous times just to remind myself that we had a fabulous vacation in our future. In October 2018, my husband and I sat down at the computer to review all of our excursion options. It took us about an hour to make our choices. Most of Regent’s excursions are included in your cruise fare and we were pleased that we could reserve space eight months ahead of time– one less thing to worry about on embarkation day when the lines at the excursion desk are long and many popular tours are sold out. Moreover, if we changed our minds about a certain excursion we could cancel or book an alternative at any time. In March, Regent opened online reservations for the Voyager’s specialty restaurants – Chartreuse, a charming French bistro and Prime 7, a traditional American steakhouse. There is no upcharge for either restaurant, but seating is limited so I highly recommend making reservations ahead of time. The Trip Begins: After months of anticipation, the sun finally rose on Thursday, June 13, 2019. We spent the morning packing and preparing the house for our pet sitter. After saying goodbye to our two beautiful dachshunds (our most precious possessions,) the car service to SFO pulled away from our house in Marin County. The exact time was 10:27 a.m. in California, or 7:27 p.m. at our first destination -- Venice. Air Arrangements and Ground Transfers: Regent cruise fares include roundtrip business class airfare, even if your port of embarkation and port of disembarkation are different. In our case, we began in Venice and ended in Monaco. If you decide to make your own air transportation arrangements, Regent will issue you a credit. Because most cruise lines don’t include business class airfare as part of their standard cruise fares, I normally make our own air reservations. We will not fly economy class, so on previous cruises we purchased our airline tickets independently – sometimes with cash and other times with cash + points. For this trip, however, I took a leap of faith and decided to let Regent make the air arrangements for me. I wasn’t about to give up total control, however, so I paid $350 ($175/pp.) to submit an air deviation request, which allows you to pick your own carrier and routes. Air deviation requests are accepted beginning 270 days before departure and must be made at least 35 days before departure. In our case, we wanted to fly on a Star Alliance carrier (for the points) and we wanted at least the outbound connection to be in Europe. 270 days before departure, I contacted the Regent Air Deviation Department with a list of five possible itineraries. My first choice was on Swiss Air, with connections through Zurich. Unfortunately, seats were not available. My second choice was on Lufthansa, with connections through Germany. Space was available and reserved. Regent sent me a confirmation email (with the Lufthansa booking code) on the same day and even was able to assign us our preferred seats. And even though the ticket was purchased through Regent, we earned United Mileage Plus PQMs with the business class bonuses. Our departure from SFO was delayed about an hour because of various ground issues (occupied gate for incoming flight from FRA and the breakdown of a catering truck.). We arrived at FRA with about 35 minutes to clear European passport control and connect to our next flight. Luckily, there were nearly 40 people on our flight who were connecting to VCE, so the Lufthansa ground staff had a special bus waiting for us that first took us to a lower level private room where we proceeded through passport control, and then to our A320. In the end, we left FRA 15 minutes late, but arrived at VCE on time at 2:00 p.m. Our luggage did not make the connection. This was the only major hiccup of the trip. As is common in Europe, there were not separate baggage offices for each airline at VCE. Instead, issues related to lost luggage for all airlines are outsourced and handled by one company. The Regent representative who met us (and many others) at VCE knew exactly what to do and before you know it I was at the front of the line at the baggage office. My bar-coded baggage tags were not useful. The agent told me that she did not have the ability to track our bags and that we would have to file a claim. She further said that once the bags arrived at VCE, they would be delivered either to the hotel that night or to the ship the next day. She added, however, that the delivery schedule was up to the driver and she could not guarantee that we would receive our bags before our ship sailed the next evening. There was no Lufthansa representative in the baggage hall and calls to Lufthansa both in Germany and the United States were fruitless. The next Lufthansa arrival from FRA was scheduled for 3:30 p.m., so we decided to wait in the baggage hall (a secure area, so we could not leave.) It was delayed and did not arrive in Venice until 4:45 p.m. Unfortunately, our bags were not on that flight either. We were exhausted, frustrated, and annoyed. Luckily, just as I was about to have a public and ugly meltdown, I got a text message from Lufthansa that said our bags were being loaded on to a flight that was expected to arrive at VCE shortly after 6:00 p.m. We were not confident, however, that they would be delivered to us either that night or the next day, so we decided to wait at the airport. Finally, around 6:20 p.m., we had our bags in hand. In retrospect, I am glad we waited at VCE. One couple who was on our flight from FRA to VCE and on our cruise did not receive their bags until one week later. All during our time in the baggage hall, we kept the Regent representative apprised of our situation. When we learned that the bags would be arriving sometime around 6:00 p.m., he told us that the last transfer to the hotel departed at 6:00 p.m. Keeping in mind that all of our transfers were included in our cruise fare, we asked him what arrangements would be made to get us to the hotel. He said we were on our own. We asked him if he could wait for us or give us some sort of voucher for transportation, but he refused and said there was nothing he could do. In the end, he left without us and we spent the equivalent of $145 for a private water taxi to the hotel. I brought this issue to Regent’s attention once we were on board the Voyager. The front desk clerk profusely apologized, documented all of the details, and called me two days later to tell me that I would receive a $145 credit to my onboard account. Nice job Regent. On the back end of the trip, Regent provided coach service from the pier in Monaco to NCE. The ride was comfortable and scenic. We arrived at NCE with plenty of time to spare. Hotel Accommodations in Venice: At 7:00 p.m. (local time) on Friday, June 14, our water taxi pulled up to the dock in front of the Hilton Molino Stucky in Venice. We were excited, but exhausted from traveling nearly 24 hours – the last five of which were spent at VCE’s baggage claim area, but as I said above that was just a hiccup and we were happy. The Hilton Molino is a wonderful hotel on Giudecca Island. The building is a former pasta factory. How Italian!!! Our room was small, but lovely, with a large bathroom that included a separate shower stall. The king size bed was comfortable. It was a great place to spend our first night abroad. The hotel was included in our cruise fare and Regent made the reservation for us. It was a great choice. Having traveled to Europe often, we knew that if we wanted to get a good night’s sleep, we needed to remain awake as late as possible. So, upon arrival at the Hilton we quickly changed clothes and headed to the hotel’s outdoor restaurant, Bacaromi, for dinner. It was delightful to sit in the open air and watch the sun set as the boats traveled back and forth along the Giudecca Canal. After dinner we took a brief stroll in the immediate neighborhood before heading up to our room where we promptly fell asleep. The next morning we rose around 6:00 a.m. feeling rested and ready to go. Before a satisfying buffet breakfast in the hotel restaurant, we checked in with the onsite Regent representative, who told us that we were booked on the 1:45 p.m. water shuttle from the hotel to the Port of Venice. This gave us plenty time to wander around the city. The Hilton has a free water shuttle to San Marco Square, so off we went to explore. Embarkation, Ship, Cabin, and Sail Away: We returned to the Hilton around 1:00 p.m. Earlier that morning, we left our luggage outside our room so it could be picked up and transferred to the ship. We asked the Regent representative if we could catch an earlier water shuttle to the port. There was one about to depart and she told us to hop on. Twenty minutes later, we were at the Venice passenger ship terminal. Check in was a breeze. We filled out a health form, and presented the agent with our passports and credit card. In return, she gave us our “key card” room key and maps of the ship. Shortly thereafter, we breezed through security and boarded the Voyager via a gangway that was connected to Deck 4. There was not a photographer at the gangway to take our picture as is common on so many other cruise lines. We did not miss this service. We were on board at 1:45 p.m. The ship’s interior and public space décor is classy and understated. She is not the flashiest ship at sea, but she is comfortable. We particularly liked to hang out in the Observation Lounge on Deck 11 for a pre-dinner cocktail and afternoon trivia matches. We also spent a lot of time outside on Deck 12. We liked to be on that deck early in the morning as we sailed into our next port (so peaceful) and often were back in the evening as we sailed away. The dress code never gets any more formal than elegant casual, which essentially means no jeans, shorts, or t-shirts in the public spaces after 6:00 p.m. No need to bring a tuxedo, tie or suitcoat. After spending all day in the hot sun, it was nice to be able to relax at dinner in an open collar shirt and slacks. Three weeks before departure we received an email from Regent with a reasonable offer to upgrade to a Penthouse Suite. My husband and I discussed the offer and decided to accept it. We were assigned to Suite 787, which is in the aft of the ship. We have been in aft cabins before on other cruise lines and enjoyed the experience. They tend to be quieter. We have never been disturbed by engine noise or exhaust, and we like having the both the port and starboard side views. Our suite was approximately 300 square feet, with a 50 sft. veranda. Regent informed us well ahead of time that the suites would not be ready until 2:30 p.m. on embarkation day. Nevertheless, curiosity got the best of us, so the first thing we did was to make our way to Suite 787, primarily to see its location vis-a-vie the stairs and the elevators. Just as we got to the cabin, an announcement was made that all of the suites were ready for occupancy. Great timing!!! Penthouse Suites come with butler service. The butler serves in-suite meals (we had breakfast in our suite a number of times.) Had we asked, he would have packed and unpacked for us or would have arranged a cocktail party in our cabin. Each evening he delivered a tray of canapes, and made sure that our bar remained stocked. Once a reservation is confirmed (and up to seven days before departure,) passengers can submit personalized requests on the Regent website to select in-suite preferences for premium beverages, snacks, bedding, pillow types, and arrangements for special occasions. Our suite had a large bathroom with a shower and a bathtub. We are not bathtub people, so I would have taken that space to enlarge the vanity for his/his sinks and to install a private toilet, so one person could shower/shave, while the other person could poop in private. The walk-in closet was surprisingly large with plenty of room for all of our clothes and shoes. The bedroom and adjoining sitting room were the perfect size for two people. In addition to the beds, there was a small, but comfortable couch, an armchair, a coffee table and a built-in shelf under the television. The shelf is too narrow to be used as a desk. Underneath the shelf is the mini-bar cabinet that also houses barware. At the back of our cabin was the sliding-glass doors that led to the veranda, which included two lounge chairs and a small table. The interactive flat-screen television offers complimentary movies on demand, standard channels include MSNBC, CNN (and unfortunately Fox News), Sky News, CNBC and BBC World, plus 15 channels of music. You can also see the view from the Bridge Cam, tune in to the nautical information channel and watch the Destination Services channel to learn more about your ports of call. There are electric outlets throughout the suite, but only two U.S.-standard outlets. The adjustable thermostat indicates hotter or cooler, but not specific temperatures. We adjusted it to the coolest setting possible and were quite comfortable. The individual reading lights above the bed were a nice touch. Our cruise was scheduled to depart Venice at 5:30 p.m., but because of the June 2nd crash of the MSC Opera into the River Countess, local authorities placed restrictions on cruise ship traffic in the Giudecca Canal. As a result, only one cruise ship per hour was allowed into the canal. There were seven other ships in port with us, so our departure was delayed until 10:00 p.m. Despite the delay, it was a delightful sail away. The Passengers and Crew. Regent is a luxury cruise line. Nearly everything is included in your fare, so it is pricey compared to other lines. We were expecting the passengers to be couples primarily in their 40s and older traveling without children. We were wrong. This particular cruise had a number of large families with multiple children ranging from infants to kids in college. We were told that this was highly unusual, and that most of the time Regent draws an older crowd. Although we did not want or expect to be on a “family” cruise, the kids (for the most part) were well-behaved, and did not interfere with our positive experience. (The one exception was the one group of kids on Deck 8 who got their kicks playing with the elevators, and knocking on cabin doors and then running away. I had a brief run-in with their nasty, nasty grandmother in the elevator. She has no reason to be proud of her bratty grandkids, but I digress…) My guess is that more than 65% of the passengers were American (luckily, we saw no MAGA hats), and 20% were from Great Britain. The other 15% primarily were from China, Australia, and Germany. Public announcements were limited and were in English only. The crew, of course, comes from everywhere. The captain was Italian. The crew was impressive. Customer service was paramount. From the minute we stepped on board, we felt that each crew member made us the center of attention. Whenever we passed a crew member in the hall, they would smile and greet us with a warm hello. They were friendly, helpful, and approachable. Many of them had a terrific sense of humor. They worked hard and did their best to create a luxurious, but relaxed atmosphere. Our butler and cabin attendant were fantastic, and the waiters and bartenders went out of their way to make us feel special. This was our 13th cruise and this was the best crew by far. The only small exception was the Destination Services staff – more on that below. We met some wonderful people on board, which formed our “circle of friends” for the entire voyage. So far, we have done a great job at keeping in touch with each other through social media. Regent doesn’t force people to socialize, but provides ample opportunities to do so. One interesting Regent tradition is the “Block Party.” Once each cruise (on this one it was the day we sailed away from Corfu), everyone is encouraged to step into the hallway around 6:00 p.m. to meet their neighbors. During this social hour, waiters make their way through the ship with champagne and hors d’oeuvres, and the senior staff circulates around the decks to say hello. It was a fun and relaxing way to meet people. Food and Entertainment: The food on board was excellent. La Veranda and the Pool Grill, both on Deck 11, were great options for breakfast and lunch. For breakfast we rotated between room service, sitting on the aft deck at La Veranda, and a more formal breakfast in Compass Rose. My favorite breakfast was the Avocado Toast in Compass Rose, although the Eggs Benedict (not on the menu) was a close second. We both agreed that the ship’s “house blend” coffee was horrible. Most mornings we ended up at the Coffee Connection on Deck 5 for a decent cup of coffee or for a cappuccino. We often ate lunch on shore. The highlight was a fabulous ravioli in Rome and a seaside lunch in St. Tropez at La Terrasse at the Cheval Blanc Hotel. Outstanding!!! Lunch on the ship was either at La Veranda or the Pool Grill. I liked the informality of the Pool Grill, which offered a wonderful selection of salads, fruits, and sandwiches, in addition to hamburgers and hot dogs that were made on a real outside grill. Dinner, of course, was the main meal of the day. Most of the time we ate in the Compass Rose, which offers open seating until 9:30 p.m. We usually ate at 8:00 p.m. – sometimes alone, but often with some of our new friends. The menu was extensive and changed daily, although some of the appetizers were offered every night (the crab and avocado starter was exquisite.). Also offered daily were USDA prime steaks and seafood, prepared a variety of ways. We are not big meat eaters, but we both agreed that the steaks on the Voyager were phenomenal. Service in Compass Rose was consistently attentive. On our first full day on the ship we had dinner at Chartreuse, which Regent describes as a “chic Parisian fine dining restaurant.” The service and the cuisine exceeded our expectations. When we first arrived we were seated at a table toward the back of the restaurant. We noticed, however, that a couple at a window table were about to leave. We asked the maître d’ if we could move, and he made sure the table was cleared and cleaned quickly after the couple left. The highlight of the dinner was the cheese soufflé, which was light, airy, and delicious. My husband’s scallops were divine. Each scallop was topped with a thin sliver of prosciutto, which added texture and additional flavor. On our third day we had dinner at Prime 7. Prior to leaving home, I let Regent know that this would be a celebration dinner for my husband’s 60th birthday. Not only did our butler decorate our cabin that day with a “Happy Birthday” banner and balloons, but the Prime 7 staff had champagne and a decedent chocolate birthday cake ready for him. When the time came, the restaurant staff gathered around our table to sing Happy Birthday. It was an evening to remember. Our Prime 7 dinner was out of this world. I had the goat cheese, red pepper, and portabella tart to start. The crust was buttery and flaky, and the flavors delighted my palate. For my main course, I had the traditional surf and turf and my husband had a steak. The cruise fare includes unlimited drinks – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, including most premium wines and beers. I am not a big drinker, but I really enjoyed the Aperol Spritz in the Observation Lounge. My husband enjoys his beer, occasional cocktail, and wine at dinner – not to mention his Bailey’s on the rocks night cap. We did not attend any of the shows in the Constellation Theatre. We preferred to have dinner around 8:00 p.m., and unlike at home where we tend to eat fast, dinner usually lasted around two hours. A couple of times we stopped by the casino (gross winnings of $225), but because we are early risers, we often were back in our cabin by 11:00 p.m. Excursions and Ports of Call: My only complaint about our itinerary was the lack of sea days; they are my favorite. Sea days are incredibly relaxing and a great time to truly unwind. Because we left Venice late, our arrival in Split was delayed until Noon the next day, which gave us at least a morning at sea. We chose our excursions before leaving home, but made a couple of adjustments on board. Excursions are arranged by the ship’s Destination Services crew. They were the least impressive staff group on board. They were often rude, a bit bossy, and didn’t seem interested in answering your questions or assisting you with changes. On a positive note, our excursion tickets were waiting for us in our suite when we boarded. Check in for all excursions was in the Constellation Theatre on Deck 4, and was generally efficient. In most ports, we were alongside the pier, so it was easy to get on and off the ship. In three ports – Taormina, Sorrento, and St. Tropez, we used tender boats to get to shore. Although some of the tenders were crowded, the crew did an excellent job getting people from ship to shore. I’m not going to review each excursion here; rather, here are some observations. In Split, we signed up for an excursion to historic Trogir, about 20 miles west of Split, which ended with a short walking tour in Split, including the Diocletian Palace. In retrospect, we should have spent more time in Split. We didn’t get a lot of time at the Palace or an opportunity to see other landmarks in the city. Trogir was interesting, but we spent too much time there. In Taormina (you dock in Naxos) we originally signed up for the Mt. Etna tour, but were so glad that we changed our minds and opted instead for a walking tour of Taormina. The city, which is 1,200 feet above the sea, is spectacularly beautiful. Rome was a bit of a bust. We’ve been to Rome before and have seen most of the major sites. On this trip, we did “Rome on our Own,” which only included roundtrip express train service from Civitavecchia to the city. Rome in June is not the place to be if you only have eight hours. It was hot, dirty, and crowded. (We spent a week there in January and it was delightful.). Lunch was fantastic and our second visit to the Vatican museums was somewhat enjoyable. In retrospect, however, we should have opted for another excursion that did not take us into the city. Lesson learned. The biggest fail logistically was in Sorrento. We opted for an excursion to Capri with two other couples. This required a tender boat ride to the pier in Sorrento, a hydrofoil boat ride to Capri, and then a minibus ride to Anacapri. Anacapri is on the highest part of the island at the base of Monte Solaro. Once there we hopped on the Monte Solaro chair lift. The ride was spectacular. During a 13-minute ascent to the summit we enjoyed splendid views of the Gulf of Naples with Vesuvius in the background, the Gulf of Salerno, the Isle of Ischia and the breathtaking beauty of the blue Mediterranean. Monte Solaro is the highest point on Capri and provides stunning Kodak moments. You ride alone on the chair lift and it is not for anyone who has a fear of heights. You can hike back down to Anacapri from Monte Solaro, but we opted to take the chair lift round trip. After our visit to Anacapri, we took a minibus down to Capri town in the middle of the island. While we had a wonderful lunch at Ristorante di Giorgio, we felt like we should have been a bit more discerning and not let our tour guide pressure us into eating there. Still, we couldn’t complain about the views of the sea or the wonderful pizza. Things fell apart after lunch. To get back to the ship we had to take a funicular down to the port of Capri, take the hydrofoil back to Sorrento, and then catch the tender boat back to the ship. Unfortunately, Regent held all of the excursion groups in Capri until a set time instead of letting us make our way back to the ship on our own. The result was long lines, big crowds, lots of waiting around, and a 2.5-hour trip from Capri back to the ship. Not fun. Disembarkation: On our penultimate day, we left St. Tropez at 11:00 p.m. and made our way to Monaco – 60 nautical miles away. We were awake and on Deck 12 at 6:00 a.m. as we approached Monaco and docked alongside Quai Prince Rainer II. This would be a day where we saw the sun rise over Monaco and the sun set behind the Golden Gate Bridge, 5,989 miles away. I was very sad that the cruise was ending. The prior evening, we place our luggage outside our suite so the crew could off load it in Monaco. After a final breakfast in our cabin, we disembarked at 9:00 a.m., claimed our luggage, and boarded our coach transfer to NCE. The trip home on Lufthansa (NCE-MUC-SFO) was uneventful (no issues with our luggage) and we arrived home at 9:00 p.m. Our dogs were very happy to see us, and we were overjoyed to see them. Our Mediterranean adventure exceeded our expectations. It was a great way to spend our vacation time. We were very pleased with our experience on the Voyager and would not hesitate to sail with Regent again. In fact, while on board we made reservations for an August 2020 voyage on the Seven Seas Navigator from Amsterdam to Barcelona. The countdown has begun…..!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We had tried to get a group of friends together to tour the British Isles for a few years, but it never happened. My wife and I decided to take a British Isles cruise on Regent's Explorer instead, and are very glad we did. We used ... Read More
We had tried to get a group of friends together to tour the British Isles for a few years, but it never happened. My wife and I decided to take a British Isles cruise on Regent's Explorer instead, and are very glad we did. We used the included business class to arrive in Southampton a day early. We mainly used the day to shake off jet lag, and the next day used the hotel's complimentary car service to get to the port at around 12:30. Embarkation was a breeze; we were the only passengers there, and had a choice of 10 people to take care of us. We had cocktails on the pool deck, and were in our room with our luggage just after 2:00. That couldn't have been easier. The room was an F2 (Superior) suite. It had a large walk in closet, with more hangers than we needed (and we overpacked). The bathroom was nice with double sinks, a bathtub and a separate shower. All of the surfaces were luxurious marble. The bed was very comfy and faced the veranda, the veranda was big and had nice wicker chairs,and our room attendant dropped off a bottle of scotch and a bottle of bourbon. No complaints about our room at all, and it was one of the bottom end suites! We spent some time touring the ship, and were frankly amazed at how nice all of the public areas were. It's maximum luxury, almost obsessively so. Everything was spotless and appeared to be in perfect shape. Explorer has been in service for about three years, and looks like it's a brand new vessel. It's supposed to be refurbished this fall, but the passenger-visible areas don't seem to need it. We split our dinners between Compass Rose (the main dining room) and the specialty restaurants. We like to eat late, and that made it easy to get additional reservations at the specialty places. We can honestly say that we didn't have a single dish that we were unhappy with. The service was also great, everything was perfectly paced. One or both of Prime 7 and Chartreuse are open for lunch each day, and that was really nice. All in all, it couldn't have been better. We don't pay much attention to the entertainment. Since we eat late, the show has usually started by the time we're ready. But what we did see was pretty good. Cruise director John Barron's show was excellent. He's really a great CD, the best we've run across. They had an Irish flute player that we liked. The real highlights were two groups that John brought on board. In Belfast there was a troupe of musicians and dancers that told the Belfast story. But the topper was in Liverpool where he had the Cavern Club Beatles on stage. They are the house band at the Cavern Club, the place the actual Beatles play hundreds of times. The theater was definitely rocking that night! Cons: 1. The theater has too many obstructed vision seats. The steps are tricky when the lights go out, and we saw a woman fall and break her ankle. She had to be airlifted off the ship the next day. 2. British weather. Pros: 1. Literally everything else. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My husband and I just finished 9 days on the Regent Navigator, a fund-raising private charter cruise sponsored by the WWII Museum in New Orleans. The trip was in honor of the 75th DDAY Normandy invasion commemoration, and its veterans, ... Read More
My husband and I just finished 9 days on the Regent Navigator, a fund-raising private charter cruise sponsored by the WWII Museum in New Orleans. The trip was in honor of the 75th DDAY Normandy invasion commemoration, and its veterans, and the excursions were primarily focussed on historic locations along the route and culminated in attendance of the DDAY ceremonies at the American Cemetery near Omaha Beach. My review rating of 3/5 is only about the ship experience itself, compared with other mostly luxury lines I have cruised with before (Seabourn (SB), Silversea (SS), Hapag-Lloyd (HL), and Crystal, plus Oceania, and also compared with a prior, non-charter cruise we had taken on the Regent Voyager several years ago. I was informed in advance by a Regent expert that the facilities, food and crew on Regent charters would be the same quality as one experiences on non-charter cruises, so this gave me a chance to resample Regent after several years of absence to give them another chance, though my primary reason for booking was the special event. Short summary: Overall I give the ship, food and crew a 3.4 rating overall and would not be tempted to book more cruises with Regent absent unusual circumstances. Again, this is my rating only for the ship, food and crew, not the customized entertainment and excursion agenda, as we did not have traditional stage “entertainment” as is usual on board Regent (BTW the topical events on and off ship organized by the WWII museum were very good, no regrets there, 5/5, though the ceremonies on DDAY involved very tiring long lines, neither Regent's nor WW2 Museum's fault). Food quality, service, and ship condition were good enough, though with flaws, i.e., like several years ago. Food on SB and SS previously was better, and it was much better on HL (though the latter also charges a higher per diem). Details: SHIP, ambience and suite: uncrowded and comfortable, well-maintained and clean in general, but the ship is showing its age a bit. All the furniture (the bed, couches, loungers, etc.) were much more comfortable and softer (important for those of us with musculoskeletal problems) than on SB. We were in a basic deluxe window suite (no veranda) on deck 5, aft. It had around 300 sq feet including a spacious walk-in closet, mini-fridge (all-inclusive and customizable), couch, desk area, vanity table, and bathroom with separate shower and bathtub areas with two nice grab bars and a rubber mat. Moderate ship/structure negatives were: 1. Initially we had brown water and low water pressure during high demand periods (but this was fixed with some pipe and filter work within 24 hours of reporting it). Per other reviews, this has happened before in recent months 2. The bathtub plug did not work (a common problem in my travels, so I used my portable rubber bathtub plug) 3. No bedside charger (only available at the desk and vanity). 4. The decor is a bit dated and carpeting is faded or slightly spotted 5. The desk area had no storage above or below it other than 1 small middle drawer (space was occupied by the fridge, glassware storage, and a flat-screen on the wall), though there was some room on top. TV had nice resolution, with basic dining venue menus available, though it did not display the MDR (Compass Rose) daily specials (only the “always available” options), and excursions listed were inaccurate Unfortunately the destinations descriptions and enrichment lecture recordings ran in a loop rather than being available for on-demand selection, like they were on other lines 6. Bath towels in our suite were thin and scratchy the first few days (definitely not luxury, as hey were old and worn out), then some got softer and fluffier. 7. Although our cabin was thankfully quiet and peaceful, with no vibrations, the main auditorium area (called the Seven Seas Lounge) often had loud vibration you could not miss during presentations. 8. There is also no large, dedicated forward outdoor observation area like on SB (here, you had to stand on the mini-golf lawn). 9. Internet was slow most of the time, impossible at others, but this is just like on all other lines I have been on, and (if not on a charter like this one where internet was included), quoted prices were high. 10. DH also did not like that the only two hot tubs were right near the pool, i.e., none were in a more private area like SB offers, and access was already closed early in the evening, before it even got dark, so there was no option for post-dinner soaks at sunset. FOOD: We had a few good, properly prepared meals (lamb dish in the small Prime 7 venue, and a good spare rib BBQ over noodles in MDR). We also had good croissants (though not as good as on SB) and generally good breads with variety (except in the Italian venue in the evening) . The food was mostly disappointing, though there were many choices, e.g., there were “always available” options to accommodate a variety of basic American taste combinations. Salmon entrees are hard to ruin, but they managed to do so in the MDR, Compass Rose. Most food was overcooked, e.g., ordering something medium meant it would arrive well-done. Breakfast meat and cheese selections were mundane, but morning bacon was always very good. The all-day coffee bar was self-serve push-button style, like on Oceania and Holland America, and was neither luxurious nor good anywhere. Desserts were no better than several years ago, and what they described as “cream” parts tasted more like Cool Whip than real whipped cream). Cookies at the cafe and cafeteria venue (La Veranda) were always the same sugar-free or regular basics, and were not very tasty, with no change for 9 nights. The evening Italian venue (buffet plus ordered entree) meal, was unremarkable. Hamburgers and hot dogs at the pool grill and room service were overcooked. The final insult was the “special farewell dinner” that was advertised to pax by the CD during the day, so the MDR got packed and was so full we were even turned away, so came back an hour later. It turned out to just be a labor-saving 3 course dinner with 3 fixed entree choices of fish, surf and turf, or vegetarian. We ordered the surf and turf and despite sawing away with great strength, I could barely cut, much less chew, the rubbery pieces of freezer-tasting disgusting old stuff they called lobster tail. Entrees also arrived cold, with oil around the potato and veggies already globbing up into clumps. I rarely send food with animal protein back, but I did here. Unlike on other lines (SB, HL), where we gravitated to enjoying a luxury lunch on board that surpassed venues portside, on this ship I would have made a point of eating off the ship as often as possible for lunch and dinner. SERVICE: Our cabin stewardess was a fast learner, and with her less bright male assistant, did a good job cleaning and meeting our limited customization requests in a timely manner, as long as we spelled everything out (so we had no service surprises or initiative from her, but she was good at following instructions). I still do not understand why hard, unripe fruit was mindlessly brought to the suite (bananas and apples are ready to eat, but what do you do with a rock-hard unripe plum or pear on a short cruise?) Very important was that the Do Not Disturb sign was always respected. Laundry came back the same day, unfortunately much of it shrunk as personnel likely did not always follow the international standardized laundry tag washing and drying instructions. Many clothing items that had been washed on other cruise lines without problems, shrank here, despite no weight gain. Food venue crew were mostly Filipino, who definitely smiled a lot, but who seemed inadequately trained for “luxury” service. Most annoying (beyond irritating fiascos with major wine service delays and comprehension barriers) was that most had an unfortunate habit of incessantly interrupting dining conversations, just as they did several years ago (I had forgotten about it until now). They would charge up to the table determined to recite their descriptions of food items or to ask questions, without pauses or regard for whether people were mid-sentence or had just put food into their mouths, and with no apologies for interrupting. They just needed to get their speeches over with and move on. I really appreciate the subtleness of good waiters on HL or SB more, when compared with most of these waiters and waitresses. Though they were almost always hard-working, because they were understaffed (e.g., tables in venues were often uncleared or unset for more guests to sit down), I did not find them to be any better than on mainstream Holland America. I usually have better and more consistent service at Applebee’s or other chain diners in the U.S. I only ordered cocktails a couple times at bars (cosmo), and each time they came back barely cooled and poorly prepared. Front desk personnel were polite and helpful (e.g., Julie). EMBARKATION and DISEMBARKATION: embarkation took an hour, probably because everyone showed at the same time from pre-cruise tours. Disembarkation was organized well by Regent, luggage had to be out at 11PM the night before, and we disembarked by color coding. IN SUM, even knowing what I know, because of the event, I would have booked this charter cruise anyway, as we came for the event, not for the food. We did not perceive the service we received here as up to what we expect from a company that calls itself luxury, however, and did not find it better than several years ago on a non-charter cruise on the Voyager. So we will be reluctant to book Regent again for a regular cruise, and will not consider it unless it is for a special event like this one where we book primarily for the event. Perhaps there were problems because this was a charter cruise and, contrary to what we had been advised prior to booking Regent, there may actually have been both food and staff cost-cutting measures implemented after all, without cruise line admission (we are not sure if Regent received more or less payment per passenger on this charter, compared with non-charters, though our total per diem for the event cruise was high). Management and crew may have known very well that most pax were there just for the event and would not likely be back anyway, so cut some corners, but I am speculating. So for now, we will stick with other luxury lines for non-charter cruising. After I had booked this cruise I learned that SB Ovation also had a charter option added for DDAY for the Museum, and in hindsight I of course have to wonder if food and service were similar, or better on that charter, event-oriented cruise. If there is a choice in the future, I will likely opt for a ship other than Regent Navigator. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was my 5th cruise with RSSC, so I already knew I would like it. Here are some of the things I like about it. The Mariner is just the right size-small enough to go places others can't and large enough to have multiple places to ... Read More
This was my 5th cruise with RSSC, so I already knew I would like it. Here are some of the things I like about it. The Mariner is just the right size-small enough to go places others can't and large enough to have multiple places to dine and hang out. I like that it is really all inclusive, once on the ship I don't have to spend another dime if I don't want to. I like that even the lowest tier suites are large by the industry standard and are very comfortable and include a veranda. I like that it is generally all adult. On this cruise there were a few children, but they had special programs for them. There are no mandatory formal nights or assigned meal times. They generally offer a good selection of shore excursions, many of which included for free. The specialty restaurants are good, but the food in the main dining room is always very good as well. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
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 ... Read More
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. Contrary to certain reviews, we found the dining onboard to be excellent without exception. Every meal was high quality, well presented, without lengthy wait times, and flavored deliciously. We dined at each specialty restaurant twice, ordered room service breakfast six times, and tried all other dining venues except the pool grill multiple times. I had seafood, veal, beef, and pasta main course dishes and all were great. Service was outstanding. Wines offered were very good and our glasses were never empty. Desserts were, unfortunately, too tempting to avoid. Frankly, absolutely no complaints related to food whatsoever. We experienced none of the issues to be found in reviews critical of dining venues located on the ship. We were left assuming we were either very fortunate or simply easy to please. Notably, the design, décor and atmosphere in the three specialty dining venues is truly unique and beautiful. The entertainment we found enjoyable and, well..............entertaining. Other reviews indicate entertainment leaves something to be desired yet we attended three stage productions, the cruise director John Barron's show, his assistant's show, and every performance by the two guest performers with Will Martin's shows being the best. The shows were an hour in length which we found to be perfect. We didn't expect Lady GaGa, Adelle, Elton John, or a Broadway theater production of Phantom of the Opera or Les Miserables to be performing on the cruise and therefore we appreciated the quality of the entertainment available. Additionally, we were always able to find comfortable seats available in the theater without obstructed sightlines. We also scheduled two cooking classes in the Culinary Arts Kitchen and thoroughly enjoyed both. The instructing chef made it fun with her energy and enthusiasm and by playing music and serving wine while teaching. Both classes were full (I believe 18 is capacity) which further added to the fun atmosphere. The facility itself is state of the art. Finally, we scheduled five appointments in the Canyon Ranch spa and were pleased with their services and facility. I had a massage that I would rank as good as any I have ever received. Service on the cruise is where the separation occurred between great and extraordinary. The meaningful difference maker for us. Nice ship, itinerary, tours, food, and entertainment - otherworldly service. One example: 6:30 am I go to the coffee shop to get a latte for my wife which Andre gladly prepares and a green tea for me. I then head to the pool deck where the fresh juice bar is located and pick up a celery and orange juice for my wife and head back to the cabin with my hands full. As I walk through the pool area the attendants who are changing the terry cloth covers on all the pool loungers smile and wish me a good morning. As I approach the door, one stops what he is doing and runs to open the door for me and asks if I need further assistance. As I near the door to our cabin, from behind me appears one of the captain's staff members from the bridge and he asks me if he can open my cabin door for me with his master key. This is only one example of many other incredibly positive interactions with Regent staff members on the ship. The training program must be world class because we never encountered anyone who wasn't pleasant, wasn't eager to serve, and who wasn't genuinely kind. The crew seemed happy. At dinner in Prime 7, our excellent server Ruth's assistant, who I would guess to be 21 or 22 years old, engaged in conversation with us and twice said how much she loved her job. How many 21 or 22 year olds in the U.S. would say how much they love their jobs? From beginning to end, we had no complaints whatsoever regarding the service we received and we compliment Regent for their very effective hiring and training practices. We experienced eleven ports while on our cruise and found many points of interest, cultural experiences, historical significance, and beauty at every one. All tours with the exception of Lisbon met or exceeded our expectations. Most notable tours included a D Day Landing Beach tour in Normandy and a wonderful dinner at Chateau Du Tertre in Bordeaux. We had high quality guides who were knowledgeable and understandable. Each bus would depart about half full. Very efficient system for organizing tour departures on the ship. We never waited more than ten minutes before being directed to our bus. The one complaint I have from the entire cruise experience is related to the tours and, unfortunately, I believe the issue is beyond Regent's control: passengers go on tours they should not take due to physical limitations. We were provided tour descriptions online before the cruise, after we boarded, and each day with the newsletter; all of which made abundantly clear the physical requirements of each tour and the physical limitations that should prevent someone from taking certain tours. On every tour, in my opinion, people were present who should not have been. Certain participants placed unreasonable expectations on the guides due to their limitations. A man fell down stepping off the curb in Lisbon and somehow the guide was implicated? Another guide was rudely told to slow down because a couple couldn't keep up. One guide was told to slow down by a woman who said her back hurts when she climbs stairs. And lastly, a guide was asked to be available at the port to help a couple back to the ship. Very frustrating and my heart goes out to the guides and what they must endure. Regent can't be placed into a position of evaluating each passenger's physical ability before every tour. Passengers need to read the information, readily available via multiple sources, regarding the tours, and be honest about their ability to take the, clearly stated, more physically demanding tours. Again, my only complaint during the entire cruise. Disembarkation was difficult only because we didn't want to leave. The process itself was easy as long as your luggage was outside your door on time and you were listening for your number to be called indicating it was time to disembark. In summary, we had a wonderful and memorable trip and thanks to Regent for performing so incredibly well every step of the way. To perform so well requires outstanding organization, training, quality control, accountability, and teamwork. It was fascinating to watch the team work so well together and deliver so well time and time again. Partly attributable to my sister telling me to prepare to be spoiled and partly because of the price, our expectations were very high yet Regent consistently met or exceeded our expectations. Consequently, we are now hooked and booked an Alaska cruise in 2020 while onboard. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Six months since our last holiday, by May 2019 it was time for a break. I am a firm believer in the HR notion that a break every six months is restorative (if not to ones bank account, at least for the soul). So I looked for a cruise that ... Read More
Six months since our last holiday, by May 2019 it was time for a break. I am a firm believer in the HR notion that a break every six months is restorative (if not to ones bank account, at least for the soul). So I looked for a cruise that would please me and my wife. A bit about us: we are late middle-aged (later 50's, early 60's), one of us still works, and we have done many cruises since 2001. Mostly on Holland America, yet more recently on Seabourn. We very much liked the almost all-inclusive nature of our Seabourn cruises, as well as the smaller ships. In May 2019 Seabourn had an interesting cruise option, yet on that ship the verandah cabin guarantee offered may well have come with the opaque (metal) balcony railings. That is a show-stopper for my wife, who wants to be able to see out her balcony while seated. Seabourn would put us in a balcony with the Plexiglas railing--yet only if we ponied up another $2 grand each. It looked like we would not be cruising after all in May. Happily, searching the usual websites, I found this interesting Regent cruise--a trans-Atlantic, which we like (the days at sea can be quite restful), some interesting ports, a departure from New York, which is only an hours flight from Toronto, and with the airfare and shore excursions included. We also would have a proper balcony in the verandah cabin, with no metal railing blocking the view. All this, including business class air for the transatlantic flight home, for about the same price as Seabourn wanted for the obstructed view balcony. Hmmm, it was time to give Regent a try. Cutting to the chase for any impatient readers, we quite enjoyed our Regent cruise and would return to them. This line is now on our list, along with Seabourn. We would also return to HAL, even though we do like not having to sign for most things, for the right itinerary and pricing. It is nice to have options and choices. We found Regent a well organized operator. Their shore staff met us at Newark airport, and we were escorted to the van (we were the only passengers) provided to take us to the port of Manhattan. Ironically, the drive from the airport took longer than our 1.3 hour flight. It was nice, accordingly, that I did not have to pay for a taxi or limo, and that such ground transportation was included. As we checked in around 2PM, we had missed the rush. On board quickly, we headed to the Verandah for a casual lunch. This was the first of many very good meals on board. Ultimately to our cabin--we had received and accepted an upsell offer for a penthouse. The basic amenity was that the cabin, same size as the verandah cabin but better located, came with a butler, who was excellent! Between the butler and our stewardess, and her assistant, we were very well looked after for the next 15 days. Having never had a butler before, and wondering what we would use him for, now I wonder how we could survive without one! The cabin was a little tight compared with what we are used to. On HAL we get a Neptune Suite, and on Seabourn a regular verandah. Yet the Seabourn ships are newer than this particular ship, Navigator, which is about 20 years old. We found that there was not quite as much drawer space or storage generally, as we have had on Seabourn in the regular verandah cabins--yet we managed to get everything put away. Still, I would not have wanted a room service dinner in the cabin. Again, other than having the daily snacks which the butler brought, it was a tad tight for dining. We were not impressed with the lifeboat drill. Held partly inside, and then being taken out to the boat deck was superfluous, as the boats you were shown at the drill may well not be the boat to which you would be assigned when you gather in the event of an emergency. In my view this is not well thought out. Either do the entire drill outside, or inside. I would also think specific lifeboats should be assigned per cabin, so everyone knows exactly where to go in case of an emergency. Other lines do this in a more organized fashion. We had a little difficulty in getting the cabin stocked with my wife's favourite Vodka, Chopin, a potato-based vodka. A substitute was provided, and Chopin was available in the bars. Ultimately, our butler scrounged us a bottle for the cabin. Unfortunately, we were told that Chopin was no longer to be provided on Regent once current inventory was finished. Too bad, as it is an excellent luxury brand. The included/available Scotches were also not quite top drawer. I mean, seriously, Johnny Walker Red? Yes, they had Black, Chivas Regal (my daily tipple), and some single malts. Yet for a luxury cruise line, at a minimum 12 year old single malts (not just one, but a choice of several) should be included, and frankly, they should provide 15 year old Scotch without a surcharge. In addition to most friendly, warm, welcoming, and personable cabin staff, the same could be said about all the bar staff. They were great. It was nice to be seated, and ones regular drink brought around without having to say a word. Kudos to them for fostering a welcoming and clubby atmosphere. The food quality was truly excellent--and we are foodies. It was the best we have experienced on any cruise. Being fair, HAL provides in our experience very good Banquet style meals. Seabourn provides very good meals as well, just not a lot of variety at times, and at times, overly salted. Regent's food was not overly salted, yet was well seasoned. There was also plenty of variety at lunch, and especially at dinner in the main restaurant. Some of the "always available" dinner items included genuine whole Dover Sole, which would be filleted table-side--a pleasure to watch. We found the food prepared "a la minute", and was an example of fine dining. Not every dish was a success, but the effort was clearly present. We were surprised that someone on the cruise after ours, a Veterans charter, did not enjoy the food. Yet that may have been because it was a charter. We enjoyed the dining room or the upstairs casual restaurant which becomes an Italian restaurant at night. Happily, it was not a buffet, unless one wanted to go up and select items. We much preferred the lovely Italian servers bringing us our meal. We also enjoyed two meals in the steakhouse. We found the personnel there most welcoming and accommodating, too. The beef was very good. Yet, as I have a great local butcher, and enjoy making a BBQ during decent weather, unlike some I do not get all excited about a steakhouse! Service in the dining room, however, was not quite as good as was the food. Some of the servers were great: warm, friendly, yet also competent. Over 15 days there can be one or two food items that are not to ones taste--the better wait staff knew to check and to quickly rectify the situation. Alas, not all of the servers fit into that category. We are used to on HAL our fixed table at 8PM, where we build a rapport with the same team of waiter, assistant waiter, and wine waiter over the cruise. While we do appreciate the flexibility of open seating available on smaller ships, one sacrifices, to some extent, that personal rapport which can, if one is lucky (and we have always had good luck on HAL in that regard), develop between server and customer. The challenge for Regent and Seabourn is to imbue their wait staff with the feeling that, even if for one night, each passenger is "their" passenger, and the goal should be to make the evening special, for each guest. Not easy to accomplish, but worth aiming for. In any case on this cruise we had a word with hotel management about some initial service issues, and happily, things improved. The ports included Bermuda, and the shore excursions, also included, were very good. Unfortunately, a couple of the afternoon tours were cancelled. As I get up early most weekday mornings, the last thing I want to do on any cruise is get up early to go on tour. I prefer a leisurely morning. In most European ports, Regent did offer afternoon tours, and again, we enjoyed them. We found the laundry to be expensive, albeit thankfully we were using "Monopoly money" (our ship-board credits) for that. Seabourn offers laundry at $50 for as much as one can stuff into a bag. Regent should follow that example. If I did not have sufficient credits, the cost of laundry would be a factor worth considering, along with the other factors such as included shore excursions, included air-fare, etc. There are, it seems, always trade-offs to be made. The lectures were in our view poorly timed. The fellow who spoke at 10 AM I would have preferred hearing in the afternoon, and I could have skipped the afternoon guy who talked about photography. The onboard shows were decent, although the layout of the theatre makes it hard to find an unobstructed view unless you arrive early. Some of the specialty performers were excellent! The piano bar was ok. While the piano player could play, he often mangled the lyrics. A little more practice to make perfect may help. Bar staff there, however, were great. The demographics of this cruise included, in our view, a somewhat older crowd. That made us feel comparatively younger (not a bad thing!). Still, we met a few folk to, on occasion, have a drink with. People were quite pleasant for the most part. We were surprised that the dress code on Regent was specified as "elegant-casual" each night. Apparently for cruises of 15 days or less, there are no formal-optional nights. I had brought a couple of ties, yet never wore one. In the main dining room, however, most men did wear a sports-jacket or the ubiquitous navy blazer. People were for the most part indeed elegantly casual. We flew home on May 30, and have to say that Amsterdam's airport is very disorganized. I would also warn folks not to connect through London-Heathrow, as the security and other line ups are horrendous. In hindsight, I would have tried for a non-stop flight which, as we all know, is the best bet. Generally, and if the price is right, we would definitely return to Regent. Yet right now they seem to be charging nearly $1,000.00 per person per day. That is far more than what we paid for this cruise. So, if one can afford it, go for it--yet it pays to shop around. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose Regent based on prior experience. This was our 4th cruise, and on this beautiful new ship Explorer everything was even better than we remembered. Crew, amenities, excursions, food -- all just absolutely top notch! We embarked ... Read More
We chose Regent based on prior experience. This was our 4th cruise, and on this beautiful new ship Explorer everything was even better than we remembered. Crew, amenities, excursions, food -- all just absolutely top notch! We embarked in Rome, and stopped at multiple locations in Italy, France and Spain. Valencia as a real highlight for us, as was Florence. But every port was great. The onboard entertainment was really top flight as well. Often on cruise ships you get a bit of the 'amateur hour' feel. But this troupe was really exceptional. And the assistant cruise director David Nevin was also one of the featured performers, and he was perhaps the best of all. There are always a wealth of organized activities available on board, in case you don't want to depart for a shore excursion. Other ships we have been on simply do not have that same level of customer focus. All in all, if you want a truly first class experience, book a cruise with Regent! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our first cruise. We chose this because we were told it was a 'luxury" cruise. A 10 day cruise of Mediterranean: Greece, Italy, and a bit of France. First of all Staff: A large number of the staff does not speak English ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We chose this because we were told it was a 'luxury" cruise. A 10 day cruise of Mediterranean: Greece, Italy, and a bit of France. First of all Staff: A large number of the staff does not speak English well, we were really shocked by that. And while most are very nice, the restaurant director was a surprisingly rude (his manager was VERY nice), and a couple dealers in the casino were very rude. Food as a whole was mediocre, especially the variety. The Steak restaurant wasn't bad, and the Compass Rose was pretty good, and the buffet on the last night was good. We didn't go to two of our ports due to weather. No really fun fitness classes (spin class one day). I mean, come on! I feel like they cater to the elderly, and while there were a significant amount of folks over the age of 65 onboard, they still need to cater to others under that as well. Don't even get me started on the entertainment. For $25K we expected way more. I honestly can't imagine anyone on the cruise being that impressed to be honest. They should be ashamed of themselves for charging that much, with such mediocrity. Should have done Seabourne Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Chose this cruise for itinerary an Regent's reputation. Overall really beautiful ship. Very well maintained. Excellent cabin and bathroom with more storage then we could use. Outstanding food. Service was excellent and very friendly. ... Read More
Chose this cruise for itinerary an Regent's reputation. Overall really beautiful ship. Very well maintained. Excellent cabin and bathroom with more storage then we could use. Outstanding food. Service was excellent and very friendly. One port of call skipped and another changed because of weather(obviously not Regent's fault). They did not handle the excursion changes well. Included excursions were average at best. Entertainment was poor. At this price point that was inexcusable. I discussed this mid-cruise with the cruise director. She mentioned the production cast changed for our cruise and were busy rehearsing and could not provide many entertainment activities during our cruise (just 2 shows in 10 nights-one of which was at 9:30 pm the night before the end of the cruise when bags needed to be out by 11 pm). I found the shows to be really dull. Very few entertainment options around the ship.Overall the entertainment was inexcusable. I wasn't given a discounted fare for the lack of the entertainment due to the need to rehearse. They should have been fully ready when the cruise started. The boat does need one dining venue which is casual at night (and not the very limited Pool Grill which is open to the elements). This is important for if you have a late arriving tour you may not want to change for dinner. Overall not worth the cruise fare. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
From Italy with Love was the title of the cruise. We chose this cruise because of the ports of call. It was a birthday and anniversary cruise and Regent did not disappoint. Regent surprised me with a birthday cake and champagne ... Read More
From Italy with Love was the title of the cruise. We chose this cruise because of the ports of call. It was a birthday and anniversary cruise and Regent did not disappoint. Regent surprised me with a birthday cake and champagne upon sailing and the same on our anniversary. Personal attention is their key. The itinerary was great. We had never sailed Regent Seven Seas and have been totally spoiled with the smaller ship, service and food. The Concierge cabin is spacious and the difference between the Superior was the one night in Venice before the cruise. The transfers from airport to hotel to ship were all included and what a difference it made. When figuring the cost difference, there was no comparison to upgrade to the Concierge. We did the hotel add on at the end of the cruise. The hotels are 4-5 star and the service was wonderful. The Majestic Roma was beautiful and upon arrival and departure, Regent had reps to help. This was especially noted at the airport when Vincenzo took us from the cab right on through check in to the TSA pre-check. No matter what suite you choose, make sure to look at the deck plan to choose a cabin with the extra balcony as you will appreciate the added space. It's easily recognizable! Included items: All alcohol/beer/wine/sodas are included in the cost and the info says that your suite frig is replenished daily. Our suite was to be outfitted with alcohol/wine/soda but we had to ask our cabin attendants on a daily to replenish diet coke and wine. The specialty restaurants were included and an added bonus. It's nice to go into a bar, sit down and order a glass of wine and not get a bar bill at the end of the cruise. Excursions are also included and, for the most part, were top notch. There is no need to tip as they are also included. However, we did give a little extra to our cabin stewardesses and a few in the cocktail lounges and restaurants who went above and beyond. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We picked this ship and cruise line because we had a wonderful experience on the Explorer in 2017 going from Barcelona to Rome. We wanted to complete a trip around the boot so we started in Venice and ended up in Rome this time. Our ... Read More
We picked this ship and cruise line because we had a wonderful experience on the Explorer in 2017 going from Barcelona to Rome. We wanted to complete a trip around the boot so we started in Venice and ended up in Rome this time. Our first experience with Regent was so fun, we really didn't think it could be topped. This trip was every bit as nice and even more fun because we knew the "lay of the land" on the ship and met a lot of very nice people. The ports and excursions were great! The ship is beautiful, our suite was wonderful, the thermal suite is amazing, and the food was good! But, the best thing of all this time, as well as last time, was the friendliness, dedication, personal attention, and professionalism of the crew. We did not have (and don't need) a butler. Our room steward and assistant were wonderful and kept everything in tip top shape, attended to any requests efficiently, and smiled through it all. The service we received was excellent everywhere on the ship! We are already thinking about our next cruise and will definitely stay with Regent, because I don't think it could be any better. (Business Class air from San Francisco to Europe, pre-cruise night in a 5 star hotel with buffet breakfast, all transfers, tips, drinks, and excursions included). We definitely got spoiled! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I will start my review by saying my wife and I are 60, a little plus and minus. We have been on about 30 cruises with most of our time spent on Celebrity ships. Except for the Paul Gauguin, this was our first entry in what I expected to ... Read More
I will start my review by saying my wife and I are 60, a little plus and minus. We have been on about 30 cruises with most of our time spent on Celebrity ships. Except for the Paul Gauguin, this was our first entry in what I expected to be the high-end cruise market. I have to start by giving the crew of this ship the highest possible praise. Not sure how Regent makes it happen, but I believe that every crew member we ran in to actually loved their job and wanted you to feel 100% pampered. The service was absolutely fantastic in every way and everyone was so nice. The other thing that made the cruise nice was the all inclusive nature of the cruise. If you stay out of the spa and shops there is really no reason to spend one dime on the cruise. They even have a tremendous selection of movies on demand in the room for those times you just want to kick back. I will say that although there is no tipping required, with the level of service you get, you will want to tip and we gave money to numerous people around the ship in addition to our normal room stewards and bartenders. In general the ship is old, but it does have a level of elegance that we enjoyed. It was like going back in time a bit when we first started cruising. I will say that the vibration that everyone talks about was worse than expected. Read my comment under room for that piece, but I would never take this ship across the big oceans again. I did like the layout of the ship and it was unusual with the main dining room in the middle of the ship and everything else at the back of the ship to include the show lounge. It had some nice touches like a putting green on the front of the ship and ping pong table on one floor. The pool is a salt water pool and since the ocean was cold, no one used the pool. My wife and I and maybe one other couple used the hot tub which are fresh water and were nice. My wife enjoyed two massages in the spa and liked those. They are a little pricey so watch for the specials. Internet was OK for email and messaging, but not for streaming or sending pictures. Entertainment was good, but just let me say that with the average age of passengers at or above 70, most of the entertainment was like being stuck in an elevator for 16 days. Need I say more so practice up on your ball room dancing. Ports were great and the shore excursions were on par with what you would normally pay for except these were free. The groups seemed smaller as well which was nice. This may be a result of the mobility of many of the passengers. Embarkation was easy, but debarkation was supposed to start at 7:00 AM, but did not start until around 8:15 AM. So what are my complaints? First, except for the service I mentioned, everything was average to poor. This would be fine except when you put it in the value for your money category the price is way too high for what you get. Even in the Prime 7, reservations required restaurant the food was average at best and the lobster and crab tasted old and watered down from being frozen for so long. They missed the mark on many normal recipes. My wife planned to send them in a couple because we were not sure what they were making in some cases. My advice is to try things you have never had so you have no preconceived expectation. Finally I am going to end with my pet peeve, “Water Quality”. Every ship I have been on has said that the water out of the tap is better then water out of the bottle. After the brown and yellow water that came out of our taps we were told to not drink it. How can you pay this kind of money pour a bath that looks like diarrhea water? They did make it better by replacing filters twice outside our room, but really? They go through so much bottled water that they literally have pallets of water stored on the back decks where passengers should be able to go, but I assume for safety they are limited to crew only. So in the end, if you want a cruise to snooze, read a book or two and eat average food, this is the one for you. For me and the money spent, I think I will try something else because I do not see Regent as an upscale cruise line, just an all-inclusive one. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise for its interesting itinerary, which included calling at Petropavlovsk, Russia, en route from Tokyo to Alaska. We also had a three night pre-cruise package included. For reasons best known to themselves Regent flew ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its interesting itinerary, which included calling at Petropavlovsk, Russia, en route from Tokyo to Alaska. We also had a three night pre-cruise package included. For reasons best known to themselves Regent flew us from London Heathrow to Tokyo Narita via Doha on Qatar Airways. A rather circuitous route, when LHR to Tokyo direct would have been a much shorter flying time. It took us 25 hours from leaving home (20-minutes from LHR) to arriving at the Hilton in Tokyo. As a result we had severe jet-lag and didn’t benefit from two full days in Tokyo due to exhaustion. We managed the first half-day afternoon tour, which was rather boring and involved a lot of time driving through Tokyo traffic. The following day, having been woken in the night by constant emergency service vehicle sirens, we were unable to take the morning tour. According to the other travellers we didn’t miss anything. Given that we chose this cruise because of time in Tokyo, the word disappointment doesn’t cover how we felt. Our spirits revived on boarding. The suite, 736, was spacious and comfortable and the crew welcoming. The three brief visits to Hitachinaka, Sendai, and Hakodate were interesting. Unfortunately our stop at Petropavlovsk was cancelled due to bad weather. All the passengers were disappointed as this was one place everyone wanted to see...after all it is a remote place that few tourists have been too. As a result we were six days at sea on a small ship with limited activities. The rain, wind and cold prevented anyone from going outside for fresh air. We were all stir-crazy by the time we reached Dutch Harbor, Unalaska. All though there were no tours on offer the local school buses were drafted in to shuttle us into the ‘town’. Not a lot to see but it was very enjoyable to walk around in the fresh air, seeing eagles, and looking around the settlement. All the stops in Alaska were great, we were blessed with warm weather and blue skies (apart from Ketchikan). Plenty of wild life to see: orcas, sea otters, black bears, eagles. The White Pass & Yukon railway was an excellent trip. The Seven Seas Mariner cannot be faulted for service, however the food was a disappointment. I found the meals to be average. The only time it was to a higher standard was when we ate in Prime 7 or Chartreuse. The entertainment was mediocre apart from Matt Marcy, a magician. The enrichment programmed left a lot to be desired...the female Alaskan lecturer was not a particularly good or inspiring speaker. The trip was made fun by the people we met and by the interesting Alaskan section of the journey. Was it worth the money? NO. We cashed in savings to pay for this trip of a lifetime...and, although the weather is always a risk, the overall ship experience did not live up to the hype of travelling with Regent. With hindsight for less than the cost of this cruise we could have afforded a package trip to Japan, plus an Alaskan cruise. Somehow I feel ripped off. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, to visit places that would be difficult to get to otherwise. We had previously visited Japan, and one of us had been on an overland trip to Alaska. This was our 6th cruise and our second Regent. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, to visit places that would be difficult to get to otherwise. We had previously visited Japan, and one of us had been on an overland trip to Alaska. This was our 6th cruise and our second Regent. We decided to do the more expensive pre-cruise excursion which took in the Mt Fuji area. The pre-cruise itinerary was quite good, but unfortunately we had a very grey foggy day for our visit to the the Mt Fuji area. We stayed at a Hilton Spa hotel in Odawara, about 90 minutes from Tokyo and that was very enjoyable with the baths and traditional Japanese food. The cruise was generally good, although due to trying to avoid bad weather, we missed the port of Petropavlosk in Russia. We seemed to ride on the edge of teh storm for about 4 days. We were also unable to see the Hubbard Glacier due to fog and rain, despite cruising right up next to it. However, we were blessed with excellent weather in Kodiak & Juneau and decent weather elsewhere - better than we could have expected. Missing the Russian port meant we had 6 consecutive days at sea - everyone was well and truly ready to get off by the time we reached Dutch Harbour. All the Alaskan ports were good apart from Ketchikan which was unpleasantly touristy. The 3 Japanese ports were all interesting places to visit. Dining was miixed. We had 2 good and one average experience in Chartreuse, one great and one average in Prime. A couple of nice meals in the Italian place and Compass Rose was variable, but generally good. They seemed to us to have added more variety to Compass Rose since our last Regent cruise with more Asian food which suited us. Choice of wine is just confusing. There is a wine of the day and others area available if you request. You just have to know what to request. Entertainment was mixed. The magician Matt Marcy was outstanding and the singer Chris Ritchie very good. The Regent Show team wasn't particularly good. The enrichment program was OK. We found the political stuff from the ex-diplomat interesting and some of the sessions from the Alaskan resident interesting, but she was a bit unstructured. The gym was OK when we went and given the weather much of the time there wasn't much competition for space on the exercise deck (when it was open). The quiz was good fun and kept us sane for our 6 days at sea. Shore Excursions were generally well organised and mostly good. We visited Hitachinaka in Japan. The city made a huge effort and provided a dockside village, with stalls and entertainment for the entire day. The small Aleutian island ports of Dutch Harbour & Kodiak also went to a lot of effort. They have no real tourist infrastructure so everyone in the town pitches in - school buses were used for the day to ferry us around. Our main complaint would be that we had trouble getting the shore excursions that we wanted. Many were booked out and while we were wait listed for some, we were unable to wait list for others until we got on board. It made no sense. In Kodiak, all tours were booked out and a number of people couldn't get a tour. No tours were provided in Dutch Harbour, but shuttles to town were provided. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have completed 13 Regent cruises (with 222 nights), and was surprised with a poor review on Cruise Critic from one couple. We were on that same Regent Mariner cruise and had none of the 'problems' described--we adapted ... Read More
We have completed 13 Regent cruises (with 222 nights), and was surprised with a poor review on Cruise Critic from one couple. We were on that same Regent Mariner cruise and had none of the 'problems' described--we adapted to changes that we could not control. Both Regent and we could not control the weather. First--If they did not like their multi-hour air-schedule, it can be changed. We were scheduled on an overnight flight from Vancouver to NYC but we changed it to an early afternoon flight that got us home. Regent’s initial late-day flight selection gave guests the opportunity to take a tour of Vancouver! Ask, and Regent changes the air flights--yes it cost a little money, but we are Platinum level, and one flight schedule change was allowed. Second—This was a relocation cruise--we expected multiple days at sea. We were scheduled to have 5-days-at-sea, and we had 6-days-at-sea, when we bypassed the Russian port. There were wonderful lectures by Hugh Neighbour and Karen Dodd. There were extra social events added to entertain the guests. If you were bored, that was your fault. Third--YES, we skipped the Russian port. Their comment that “ALL OF THE GUESTS WERE UPSET” is very unfair and UNTRUE. There were 50-knot winds over the deck--added to the forward speed of the Mariner, it gives a 75mph deck wind. The decks were closed for outside walking. My wife and I exercised by walking the interior walkways on various decks. There were 23 feet swells. We had very wet and salt encrusted balcony windows, which were cleaned at the next port. I enclosed two photos of the TV screen in our suite showing these numbers. The Mariner has stabilizers, I knew of no one who was sick from mal de mer. The captain/master changed the direction (and avoided the worst of the storm). I saw him at the Coffee Connection, and thanked him, for consideration of the safety of the guests. After his direction changes, we then had MUCH weaker winds, and less than six feet swell. [I BELIEVE that the Mariner was originally scheduled to use their tenders to transport the guests to and from shore at the Russian port. With a pitching sea, it could be a human disaster! On two previous Regent cruises (Amalfi coast, Italy and Galle, Sri Lanka), the Captain declared that the sea was too rough to have guests enter the tenders and we skipped the port!] Fourth--We had great weather on all Alaskan ports; but it rained at Ketchikan, as usual. We did not see the Hubbard Glacier because there was very dense fog. Many guests, including me, stood on the top deck and got wet from the weather. Regent did supply snacks and hot coffee for those awaiting a breeze to dissipate the fog. After about an hour of only seeing sea-ice, the Mariner left Yakutat Bay. The weather then was fine, at distance of about 10-miles where some wind, and a change in air-temperature resulted in no fog and a blue-sky. When the ship was docked in any Alaska port, we often sat outside in the sun on the pool deck for lunch and enjoyed the snow covered mountains, numerous playful otters, eagles, (once saw some orcas playing by our ship), and had another great meal. I know of no one who used the pool, but the hot tubs were used by some. I really cannot understand such a negative review--but it was from one couple. We have three more Regent cruises booked, and look forward to the ship, food, staff, and meeting other well-traveled guests. It is a pleasure to be take care of by Regent. I would highly recommend cruising with Regent for those people who enjoy “joie de vie”. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise because it would take us to interesting archeological sites. We landed in Tel Aviv where the company had a bus waiting to take us to Haifa. The ship was beautiful and to me the right size. The room was excellent. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it would take us to interesting archeological sites. We landed in Tel Aviv where the company had a bus waiting to take us to Haifa. The ship was beautiful and to me the right size. The room was excellent. We had one of the least expensive ones, but it still had a good sized balcony, really comfortable beds, a marble bathroom with separate shower and tub. plenty of space and anything we could want or need. We were met with champagne. In the room there was more champagne and fresh fruit that was replenished daily. I had asked if the ship would have cranberry juice and it was in the min bar when we arrived. We found that the food at every venue exceeded our expectations, including room service that we used for morning coffee and on early excursion days, for breakfast. The line has restaurants that most lines charge extra for, but are included so we were able to dine at the steak house and at the French restaurant without paying extra. We also liked the excursions that took us to Jerusalem, to Ephesus in Turkey, to Delos on Mykonos and other places. They were also included at no extra charge. It was a perfect eight days. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have traveled extensively but are new to cruising. This was our second cruise both on Regent, I would rate the first an A and this one a B-. Cabin: The newly refurbished cabin was beautiful and the housekeeping was phenomenal. ... Read More
We have traveled extensively but are new to cruising. This was our second cruise both on Regent, I would rate the first an A and this one a B-. Cabin: The newly refurbished cabin was beautiful and the housekeeping was phenomenal. Housekeeping not only did their job well they also were very interested that we were happy & enjoying ourselves. Unfortunately our toilet overflowed which wasn't pleasant, water all over. I will say housekeeping did everything in their power to fix the problem and the head of housekeeping apologized. No one else from Regent on board seemed to care. When I asked reception if they could contact us when it was resolved they acted like I was bothering them. I would have at least expected an apology letter and a bottle of wine (all inclusive) or something. crickets!! Dining: Prime 7: Excellent food & service - great evening. Sette Mare: Service was great (ty Nixon). Food was 1/2 excellent - 1/2 average and poor, veal chops were great bronzino was awful, some pastas great some average. Compass Rose: Food was excellent, wide section. Service was decent, some excellent some ok. One big problem with Compass Rose is the new design, it is very bright and they have service stations every 10 yards so almost no matter were you sit you have constant dishes clanging in your ear all evening. Not well thought out. Chartreuse was poor, the menu was very limited, some of the food was ok some poor and the waitress had no interest in our experience. All meals in all restaurants were served at a reasonable pace. Pool Bar & coffee connection were both excellent. Embarkation: Well executed on both sides. Enrichment: Terrible. Entertainment: We don't go on Regent for the entertainment. Fitness Center: Nice new gym. Its small and crowded at peak times. The guy at the desk was pleasant. Onboard experience: All good, we don't partake in the games, with one exception. The on board customs in Japan (when we re entered from Korea) was to say the least a disaster and spiraled into mayhem. The procedure was communicated and executed extremely poorly by Regent, everyone was confused and angry. When one lady complained to the cruise director he actually barked at her and told her you people didn't listen. He would have been better off taking the bull by the horns and fixing the chaos. When you have a group of people who's average age is 70-75 and the alcohol is free you need to be very specific, disciplined and communicate clearly. :) Public Rooms: Mariner just had a beautiful makeover, lovely ship. Service: For the most part good. On our last cruise the service was fantastic, not only did they do their job well they also seemed to have a vested interest in your experience. Here they did their jobs correctly but many of the people had an edge. You felt like they either didn't like their jobs or you. One waitress in the Mariner Lounge was downright rude. I should say some of the people were fantastic, just not a majority. Excursions: Most of the excursions were well executed and interesting. All the tour guides were superb. All were well prepared, knowledgeable, personable and timely. My main complaint is that many of the excursions were very crowed. Value for the Money: With the money that Regent charges it has to be a 5 star experience. You can stay in a great hotel and eat at best restaurants in most cities for less money. Would we go on Regent again? Maybe but after or first experience we only looked at Regent. Now will also look at Seabourn, Crystal etc. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This is our 3rd Regent cruise, and 2nd on the Mariner. Happy on the 1st & 2nd cruises, but not so on this one. Let's start with the good points: * Excursions: Wide choice and well executed. * Drinks: Good variety, and ... Read More
This is our 3rd Regent cruise, and 2nd on the Mariner. Happy on the 1st & 2nd cruises, but not so on this one. Let's start with the good points: * Excursions: Wide choice and well executed. * Drinks: Good variety, and quality. Wines range is excellent. Bar staff are great, and very flexible. Shout-out to Maya in Observation lounge for her great mixing skills. * Rooms/Ship: Nothing to complain about here. Very quiet (no noise from corridor or rooms next door). Matched expectations and the brochure promises. * Entertainment: Standard fare. Not what we come on a cruise for. * Lecturers: Up there with the best we have seen. * Main Dining Room (MDR): Never denied a table. Good food & varied nightly, but a bit unimaginative. A few small hiccups with a lunch that took 90 mins to arrive, but not a show stopper. But the elephant in the room is the fiasco that is the congested La Veranda/Sette Mare. BREAKFAST (La Veranda) * The congestion is horrible. One example: Toast is made by 1 staff member, and the numerous guests waiting for their toast block the already narrow passage. * The limited space makes some guests pushy and rude; especially if time is short before an excursion. * Saw one guest served under-cooked fried eggs; she did not eat them. * Never went a 2nd time. LUNCH (La Veranda) * Best described as an unpleasant bun-fight on busy days. Continuously running out of things (Main dishes, butter, cheese, etc). When asked, staff would replenish but it just adds to the crazy congestion, frustration, and delays. * Staff will take orders and deliver - which is great is you want your food cold. DINNER (Sette Mare) * 4 nights in a row: Denied a table for 4 between 19:30 ~ 20:15. Usually told the wait was 45 mins. Or told: "Suggest you come at 18:30 tomorrow". So we went to MDR each time. * 5th time lucky, but underwhelming food. So what is the problem? As we were on the same ship just 3 months ago, and did not have the same issues, I concluded it is simply that when full (as it is on this cruise) the La Veranda/Sette Mare simply can not cater properly for the guests on board. This is especially acute if the weather means the pool grill is unpopular that day/night. Once we realised all our frustrations centred on La Veranda/Sette Mare, we simply stopped going there. The little frustrations vanished and we really enjoyed the rest of the ship & cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I would like to give a bit of back ground info on myself so that when reading this review you can judge if it is relevant to what you deem important in your cruise experience.  My husband and I are in our late 50's early 60's we ... Read More
I would like to give a bit of back ground info on myself so that when reading this review you can judge if it is relevant to what you deem important in your cruise experience.  My husband and I are in our late 50's early 60's we have over 250 days on Seabourn, 150 days on Silversea and 60 days on Regent.  We sailed the Navigator for a month and loved that ship (even though I felt it was a little crowded at times).  We sailed on the Mariner in Nov/Dec 2018 and enjoyed the cruise experience very much.  We would sail on either of the three lines mentioned but the itinerary comes first for us.  In fact we have a Silversea cruise booked in June 2019, I will be taking my mother on the Voyager in August and we have a Seabourn cruise booked in February 2020.  In this review I won't go into the ports because there have been live blogs done of this cruise so I feel that is redundant.  What I will do is talk about the on board cruise experience.  I'm a positive person and I'm aware how fortunate we are to be able to vacation in such a luxurious way but want to give both the positive and negative views of our latest cruise so it may help others in selecting a cruise line that suits their needs whilst also giving a realistic view of what to expect and not what the glossy brochures portray. The good: Cruise director: John Baron is probably my favourite cruise director.  We sailed with him on Seabourn (his first actually) and then again on both Mariner cruises we have taken.  He is friendly, approachable a good entertainer (his show was really enjoyable) and a great trivia host.  We have also sailed with Marla (his assistant) on Seabourn many times and it is always nice to catch up with her. Compass Rose and both specialty restaurants.  Food was very good at all three of these restaurants. Wine: I feel Regent along with Silversea offer the best wines on any cruise line we have been on.  I also really appreciate the wine tasting of non revenue wines that Regent does.  I wish other cruise lines did this.  The selection of beer and spirits is very good. Cocktails:  The best of all three lines as mentioned above.  Yes, Seabourn has this new mixology cocktail menu.  Very trendy but honestly IMO not as good as Regents offerings.   Shore excursions:  I know a lot of guest really enjoy having the all included shore excursions.  I'm not a fan really as I like to do a bit of both and I know I could do that on Regent but I feel in some way I have already paid for these so I may as well take them.  I find I'm far more adventurous when sailing Seabourn or Silversea as I do a bit of both the cruise lines excursions an independent excursions.  Having said that I can not fault both the organization and the tours themselves.  They are as good as anything that you would pay for on either Silversea or Seabourn.   We did two tours that included lunch and both were a highlight of the trip. Room Service:  I really like the way Regent handles room service.  You place your order and then they call you just before it arrives to your room.  We often have breakfast in our room and it is so nice to get this call and be ready for when it arrives.  Seabourn and Silversea call you after to ask how your food was and inform you that they are going to pick up the tray.  Every time! This gets annoying and feels somewhat disingenuous.  Also when you ask for a glass of Champagne from room service they bring you a bottle.  Seabourn will bring you a glass.  So kudos to Regent for that. Quietness and stability of the Mariner:  This ship rides so smoothly in rough seas and we had a couple of days of those.  The noise insulation is very good.  Never heard our neighbour or any guests in the passage ways.  No vibration that we felt. Breads:  My husband loves bread (french bread in particular) and I will agree with him that Regent has the best bread of the three cruise lines.  Crusty French bread and great artisan breads. Internet: My husband is Tech person and he finds it very important to have good internet access so he can keep in touch with his business.  He appreciates that you can have multiple devices connected in your room.  The not so good: Waiting two hours to be served lunch in Compass Rose.  I later spoke with Ricky (Food and Beverage Manager) and he explained they were implementing a new ordering system and had some teething  problems. This did get better as the cruise went along.  We did get numerous apologies for the wait. He also let know that on our last cruise there were only 500 passengers on board and that this cruise they was at capacity with a full ship. La Veranda:  I can not tell you how disappointed we were in this venue.  Crowded beyond acceptable.  Extra tables were put in the walkway on both side of the buffet and whilst this was appreciated by guests trying to find a table it made the buffet even more crowded.  A full ship with early spring weather (some sunshine but mostly cool) and the Veranda could not handle the passenger numbers.  Management needs to have a good look at this problem.  Perhaps offering a special menu in Compass Rose for lunch to entice more passengers to dine there at lunch would help.  We just avoided going there as it was a disaster.  People bumping into one another.  Dishes running out (seafood platter) and people waiting in queues for 10 minutes to get a portion.  They just did not cope with the amount of guests trying to dine here.  People couldn't find a table, food running out, long waits for it to be replenished.  I also found the food here to be unimaginative.  This is where Regent falls down.  Seabourn's buffet is so much better in variety and quality.  I will say the pizza was good but honestly that was about it. Regent makes the best burger as sea I have ever tasted.  That is where the good ends.  Look at what Seabourn and Silversea do at night on their pool deck.  A real alternative dinning option.  The buffet on the Mariner for lunch is not great at the pool deck.  They had a Mexican buffet and Greek one day and that was just okay but they could really improve on the food offerings here. Afternoon Tea:  Again this is an area where Regent falls behind the other two lines.  Chocolate afternoon tea.  Same tea bags that you can get in any venue and a couple of the cakes were still frozen.  If it is not a special afternoon tea event, you get a small buffet and an offering of tea bags.  Both Seabourn and Silversea have a tea selection which is served at your table and on Silversea a tower of afternoon tea snacks.  Some times we like to skip lunch and just do afternoon tea but we did not do this on Regent. Entertainment:   Some good and some not so good.  The pianist Nicky was fantastic.  The Duo at the bar at the back of the ship are great in the disco but not really suited to pre- evening dance music.  An example of this is that we had a full ship and only 4 or 5 couples dancing.  They are not great and we had them on the last Mariner cruise as well.  Seabourn wins out in this regard as they have a trio and a guitarist and also a pianist so you have much more choice.  Silversea is about the same as Regent.  The guests entertainers were also a mixed bag.  The Australian entertainer was very good.  The Filipino vocalist who won The Voice (or something similar) was good the first night but not so good the second night.  The entertainment is not the most important part of a cruise for me but I do like to dance before and after dinner and we did not do much of this on this cruise as the Duo was really not good.  Summary: As you can see there are more positives than negatives and we really did enjoy this cruise.  Having said that we have never experienced so many little hiccups on one cruise before.  Yes, no cruise is ever going to be perfect or perfect for every guest on board but there were a lot of little hiccups that I have not mentioned. These hiccups happen on all cruise lines but on this cruise there were more than usual.  I have tried to be honest and balanced in my review as I think this helps perspective guests set their expectations and helps them to select a cruise lines that works for them.  I usually like to end my review with would I cruise on this ship again.  Well, yes and no.  I would not cruise Mariner on a cold weather cruise where there was a possibility of a full ship.  I would probably cruise Mariner again a hot weather cruise if the itinerary was right but it may not be my first choice. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Based on the Regent brand, I was expecting a lot more than was delivered. I have been on other Luxury cruises which far surpassed this experience in every way possible. Even cruises which are lower in the luxury scale have often (if ... Read More
Based on the Regent brand, I was expecting a lot more than was delivered. I have been on other Luxury cruises which far surpassed this experience in every way possible. Even cruises which are lower in the luxury scale have often (if not always) surpassed the entertainment and enrichment series which is so important on TAs with many days at sea. The cabin was acceptable but like the rest of the ship worn and tired. The food was plentiful and certainly looked appetizing. In fact the issue was not the looks of the food or the variety, rather the flavor or lack of it....this was true in all restaurant venues. The one place where the cruise truly stood out is in service. I cannot site one exception - all staff members were courteous, professional and willing to do everything for your comfort. I would give Regent a 50/50 chance of getting us back on board. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I recently sailed on a trans-Atlantic voyage and a western Med cruise. I had a Grand Suite for the first segment and a Penthouse Suite on the second leg. Both staterooms were equipped with a bluetooth Bose speaker. I enjoy listening to ... Read More
I recently sailed on a trans-Atlantic voyage and a western Med cruise. I had a Grand Suite for the first segment and a Penthouse Suite on the second leg. Both staterooms were equipped with a bluetooth Bose speaker. I enjoy listening to my own playlists on Spotify. If you do too, I recommend that you download your favorites before leaving home as streaming services are blocked once you're on board. The Grand Suite was spacious and it was nice to be able to host a cocktail party for nine. The butler arranged for a bartender and canapes. It was a very nice get together. We also enjoyed the convenience of having a second bathroom. The crossing was very smooth - one of the best, according to the Captain. The itinerary was interesting and featured some nice ports of call. I especially liked Madeira and Cadiz. Would highly recommend this as a wonderful way of getting to Europe. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Two years ago, my wife and I with three other couples enjoyed a GREAT cruise on this ship. Accordingly, another couple and ourselves chose to repeat our positive previous experience with this 16 day cruise. Spoiler Alert- Big big ... Read More
Two years ago, my wife and I with three other couples enjoyed a GREAT cruise on this ship. Accordingly, another couple and ourselves chose to repeat our positive previous experience with this 16 day cruise. Spoiler Alert- Big big MISTAKE! Very little worked on this so called "Luxury Experience" . It is quite obvious that the "bean counters" at Regent have decided to squeeze every single dollar out of every single cruise and then let the customer "suffer" their decisions. The problems began with the so called "Free" Airfare. This is nothing more then a marketing ploy as the cruise fare is increased by $ 300 per couple if you decide to take their "Free" airfare. Regent's response, when questioned, it that if you do not take the "Free" Airfare they will credit $ 150 pp. So much for the "Free" Airfare!. We decided to upgrade our flight to LAX via First Class @ an upcharge of $ 699 pp. When we finally received our flight information we found that Regent had booked 4 Senior Citizens to fly out of Miami on a 6:30AM flight to Chicago! Yes... fly to Chicago in mid-winter! We would have to get up at 3 AM in the morning to try and catch that flight. Really! When we objected, our travel agent finally had Regent offer us a 9:30 flight from Miami to Orlando and then to LAX. Somewhat better but that "new" flight was @ a $350 per couple upcharge! We declined and made our own First Class flight to LAX. Regent included a one night stay at the" Beverly Wilshire" Hotel which was fine. After checking in we were told that Regent had a "Hospitality Suite" available for all information about the next days travel to the ship. The so called "Hospitality Suite" offered NOTHING in the way of either Food or drink! Not even a bottle of water! The Regent "representative" could answer none of our questions except to say that our luggage should be ready to be picked up at 7:30 AM and we should meet in a Hotel Ballroom @ 11:15 AM. The "free" included breakfast was not offered in the Hotel's restaurant but instead was a buffet-style "Holiday-Inn Express" type of breakfast. Shame on "Regent" for that! The buses to the ship did not even arrive until 1:30 in the afternoon! Regent"representative offered little information except to wait. Arriving at the pier involved another l o n g wait. Once on the ship we again had to wait even though our quarters were supposed to be ready at 1:30 PM. No apologies were offered for the delay! We heard through the grapevine that the ship was inspected by the Coast Guard that day and experienced some "difficulties". In addition, many of the crew's contracts had expired and they were leaving and a new crew had come onboard. Many of the "new" crew were in-experienced and it showed. They just did not know what to do. Breakfast in "Compass Rose" took close to a hour and 45 minutes. Two years ago at breakfast, you were immediately served juice and coffee/tea and a server came right offer and offered Muffins/Pastries. Now, we waited and waited and waited. Finally, we were served Coffee/Tea and then waited some more to juice. The server offering pastries/muffins made only a single pass at the table and did not return. Each morning we had to ask our server what the Breakfast "special" was. They either did not know or were instructed not to offer that information. Orders are transcribed via Tablets and mistakes (missing orders) were common. Coffee refills had to be requested. An order of Smoked Salmon and a Bagel resulted in being presented with a single small scoop of cream cheese. You had to request more cream cheese or ask for a triple serving of it when ordering. Head Waiters tried very very hard but were totally overcome3 by problems/issues with the kitchen and the inexperienced staff! Breakfast service at "Compass Rose" was overall a failure! Our quarters were excellent as was our Butler and Steward! Kudo's to them! Dinner at "Compass Rose" matched that of Breakfast except the food quality overall was fair at best. We dined 5 nights at the "Pacific Rim" Restaurant and overall both the food and service was excellent. The steakhouse. "Prime" featured quality food and excellent service also. As to the French "Chartruese"... forgetabout it! Poor food and even worse execution. Service was even worse as demonstrated by our request for Onion Soup. Both "Chartruese" and "Prime" share a kitchen with two separate lines working. Onion Soup is offered at "Prime". Two of use requested Onion soup at "Chartruese" and were told NO!!!. No exceptions..!! Way to go Regent! We never went back to "Chartruese" with their poor food. As to the cutbacks- portion sizes have been cut back... obvious to us was the fact that previously when ice cream was ordered as a desert, you received 3 scoops plus a cigar shaped cookie (a "Pirouette"". Now, only 2 scoops and no cookie! Cost savings are now the norm and not the exception as to both the quality and quantity of the food. An example of the cost cutting is the fact that on one night dinner was ONLY served on the pool deck as a buffet. ALL other Restaurants were closed so either eat at the buffet or order room service. There is little question that this "move" by Regent saves them money overall. At dinner, I like to be served and help myself to a buffet. Overall, the crew is very very nice and helpful. However, here again, Regent drops the ball. One night a notice was placed on our bed that "Painting and Varnishing" of our deck were take place the next day. We returned to our room and noted one crewman was entering our cabin with a paint bucket/varnish materials. We followed him in and noted another crewman working on our deck and they finished shortly afterwards. However, they had left the doors leading to the deck open, so our quarters were both hot and humid as well as smelling from the paint/varnish. I called to complain and was told it would not happen again. Two days later, in the late afternoon, my wife was napping, and I was shaving. Our curtains were open and I then noted a crewman on our deck, varnishing. I chased him away and again complained that our privacy had been compromised. I received an apology again but clearly this is no way to treat a passenger. I do not expect perfection in an imperfect world. However, if I am paying top dollar for a cruise experience, ( over $ 30,000 in this case) , I do expect more then we received from "Regent" on this cruise. In speaking to other repeat "Regent" passengers on this cruise, I found my experiences not to be that unusual. The conclusion reached appeared to that "Regent" has changed... sadly, not for the better... Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We have cruised for a number of years with different cruise lines but promised ourselves that one day we would try one of the supposed most luxurious cruise ships. After much research and saving we decided to try Regent Seven Seas Explorer ... Read More
We have cruised for a number of years with different cruise lines but promised ourselves that one day we would try one of the supposed most luxurious cruise ships. After much research and saving we decided to try Regent Seven Seas Explorer and booked the Mexican Riviera to Panama Canal cruise.We flew to Los Angeles and were transferred to a 1st class hotel for the first night bit of a shock in the bar 2 beers $48.00. We were informed to be downstairs by 11am for coach transfer to ship but then waited 1 1/2 hours for collection which I considered very poor. On arrival at the port we had another wait of over 1 hour before we could book in, this was the worst book in of any cruise we have ever been on and was starting to wonder whether we had made the right decision to cruise with Regent, later on board we were told this was due to a customs inspection of the ship if we had been told the reason for delay a number of passengers would not have been so angry. We eventually got on board and went to our cabin 1409 which was a D grade Concierge. The cabin was presented immaculately with a wealth of cupboards and hanging space for clothing, the bathroom had a bath and large walk in shower. The balcony was large with very comfortable reclining chairs.Our cabin stewards were excellent even going to the trouble of decorating our cabin on my Birthday with balloons and happy birthday banner, a large cake and champagne was also supplied. We ate in all the restaurants while on board and the standard of food and waiting service was excellent as was the menu and the best of any ship we have ever sailed on. Due to the low number of passengers only 750 only one show at 9.30pm was performed but at no time was it necessary to get into theater early to get a seat, we walked in a 9.25 and could always find a good seat. The production shows were 1st class as was the guest entertainers. Most of the many and varied excursions ashore are included and of a good and interesting nature, a point to note that a few trips have a supplement to pay but check once on board and a very similar trip may have been added which is included but was not shown when booking. The bar staff again were excellent and no matter what drink or cocktail you wanted it was available.It would be nice if a day room at a hotel was included on disembarkation as you have to leave ship at 9am and in our case our flight was not till the evening a hop on hop off trip of Miami was included but was poor and once completed at 1pm waited a further hour for luggage which was stored by the bus company. One day I will hopefully cruise with Regent again as we will always compare other ships to this which will be a very hard act to follow. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I am writing this review after a 3 day pre-cruise itinerary in Hong Kong and first full day, while fresh in my mind. I will add further updates. The airport pickup and transfer well, even though they were not prepared for 4 people with ... Read More
I am writing this review after a 3 day pre-cruise itinerary in Hong Kong and first full day, while fresh in my mind. I will add further updates. The airport pickup and transfer well, even though they were not prepared for 4 people with 2 pieces of luggage with carryons each (although that is what we told them we would have). The Langham Hotel was excellent in all aspects - location, rooms, breakfast provided. The first day tour was just hotel transfer to the hotel, but we booked our own private tour which was great. Day 2 with Regent was really sub-par, made worse by rainy, cloudy weather. Nevertheless, we stuck to the itinerary of a train trip to the top of Victoria Peak for the (non)view (we went to the top to re-board our bus and spent no time there). Then on to our lunch at Stanley Market (which was a pretty poor example of a street market compared to the center of Kowloon). We ate at an authentic buffet lunch of —— German food in Hong Kong! Day 3 was a long trip to Po Lin Monastery (of course the cable car was closed) , a better than expected vegetarian lunch, then a visit to tourist trap Ngong Ping village. Pretty lame day - definitely best to explore on your own and set up private tours. The mid-cruise feedback form was filled with issues. We have not heard back from the crew - do not believe the “commitment to excellence.” They are committed to apologizing and being empathetic, as they have much practice from what I have heard from many other cruisers. More specifics: 1] The towels placed on the poolside chairs are changed once a day. If someone is lying on the towel and leaves, the towels are reused for the unsuspecting next poolside guest. 2] First day of the cruise (we paid plenty extra for alcohol included, but no Riesling wine (they did find one bottle for the 12 day cruise) and no Pina Colada mix ( after 9 days they did get off the ship to get more mix, but ran out after 1 day). 3] Salad poolside is served warm - not kept on ice or refrigerated. The salad plates are hot, also not kept in a cooler. Who really wants warm salad? 4] Same for the sodas. Warm Coke cans are opened - so they are not carbonated well. Poured over ice results in flat, diluted soda. I’ll stick to water, but it is warm if you want it from a bottle (or boxed water) - only water from the ship is cold (gee - wasn’t it brown water in my room)? Even refrigerator in room barely kept drinks cool. 5] Although I had expected great service due to a smaller ship with a high staff:passenger ratio, I felt that the service was really poor compared to Oceana. At the buffets, people were leaning over food and mis-handling the serving utensils (not very hygienic) similar to any Golden Corral in the U.S.)- as opposed to being served by gloved staff. It frequently took my asking servers multiple times to bring me drinks, bread, etc. Sometimes I just got up to do it myself. 6] The food menu is pretty extensive - which is good. The food is generally good (although I personally did not think it was uniformly good, but I did have alternative choices) - not as good as the restaurants I had experienced on Oceana but much better than Royal Carribean. Prime 7 is very good. The staff in the Italian buffet are understaffed and running around making it a hectic, not relaxing dinner, but better the second night. 7] When going on tours, only warm water is handed out when leaving the ship. Cold water is not routinely given out on the buses. Generally, the tour buses are good, the tours are pretty average to sub-par. 8] Now at day 10 after completing Bangkok “2 day“ visit. Rather than dock in Bangkok as was in the original itinerary, we docked 2.5 hours away in Laem Chabang. The excuse was low tide (we found out after boarding, others found out 1 week before). I am sure the real reason was it cheaper, as there were no other cruise ships in our port and other cruise ships were docked in Bangkok at the same time. The times of our docking did not change, so there was no way to reasonably go to Bangkok on day 1, with the “alternative offered was to go to Bangkok on day 1 (and at my own expense) book a hotel room and book my own tours to return on day 2 at 1:30 PM. On day 2 we left at 6 AM to have a very rushed visit to the Grand Palace, canal ride on the Chao Phraya river and a buffet lunch at a Sheraton hotel before returning at 1:30 PM - spent more time driving than touring - 2 days wasted in Thailand. I need to come back another time to actually visit the sites and see Bangkok! The entertainment has been better than expected. Staff are pleasant and very apologetic. When we explained our concerns personally to the ship General Manager, she was understanding and apologetic, offering a laughable $750 credit toward a future cruise, with no adjustment to the top dollar price of this cruise. With more protests, we were offered $750 each current cruise credit or $1500 eachfuture cruise credit. 9] The regular internet is very spotty, which I have found. To be fairly typical at sea. I paid for the upgrade to streaming internet, but became good friends with the internet guru with my daily visits due to inability to access the internet, and inability to stream (I tried to video stream a Peloton 45 minute exercise program, which worked for 12 minutes during my 45 minute exercise period). Other sites would not stream at all. Finally, I was told I would not be charged the $120 for the fast internet access I was not receiving). The good parts of this cruise: 1] The staff are friendly and try to be helpful, but are poorly trained (not their fault) and are limited with the ability to fix issues with a ship that should be taken out of service. The 10 day dry dock is not going to repair all the issues with the ship. They did try hard to address the many issues. 2] Bed is comfortable. The suite is comfortable (excluding the smell, toilet and brown sink water). High beds had plenty of storage underneath for big luggage. 3] Good quality entertainment. 4] Very good food and food choices. 5] We received a credit in order to book our own air travel, and were met in a timely fashion at the airport. Luggage transfers were seamless and done well. 6] Itinerary was good (better than the ports actually docked or the time allotted for touring). 7] Although it took great effort, we did receive $ credit. It did not make up for the lost time and aggravation of our vacation, but at least it was a token acknowledgement that there are major issues with the ship that were known beforehand but not publicized. We paid for a Ritz Carlton , and got a Motel 6 (sorry to Motel 6- as I am sure they have clean water in the bathroom Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
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