Regent Seven Seas Voyager: The ship is not safe.
We are very knowledgeable of cruise ships; however, hands down the Regent Voyager, if not the entire Regent company, was the worst cruise experience we have ever had. We should have ... Read More
Regent Seven Seas Voyager: The ship is not safe.
We are very knowledgeable of cruise ships; however, hands down the Regent Voyager, if not the entire Regent company, was the worst cruise experience we have ever had. We should have known this as last October when we were in London to board the Silversea Whisper, I picked up a copy of Conde Nast Traveler (European edition) and Regent was not listed at all as one of the top cruise lines. Then, in the November, 2014 issue of Conde Nast Traveler (American edition), Regent was not listed as one of the top five cruise lines in any category. And here on Cruise Critic, under “Luxury Cruise Reviews,” it has a very low rating of 69 percent.
The pre-boarding with Regent consisted of a cheap plastic folder with no personal message, a generic list of instructions, and luggage tags you were to fill out for yourself.
We were on a 19-day cruise of China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan paying the most we have ever paid for a cruise.
Our Grand Suite
In a grand suite that is the next level below the Owner’s Suite, our bedroom did not have an end table next to the bed. There was a tiny hole in the wall. And this is advertised as a luxury ship?
The bathroom room door opens directly into the path leading from the living room to the bedroom causing us to get banged (we did initially) if we did not walk that path carefully. This is an example of how poorly designed is this ship.
The deck plans shows a closet (I have pictures of all these items) that reaches from the bedroom to the outside wall of the suite. This is a lie. Instead, there is a small closet with an ugly hallway that runs the length of the side of the room. This hallway had a secondary door to our suite which we kept double locked. One day, while we were sitting in the living room (thank goodness we were fully dressed and sitting), a workman comes through the hallway door, pops his head out of the bedroom and says, “Excuse me. I am here to fix the shower (the door molding had fallen off).” What a shock. He never knocked at the main door to ask for permission to enter. The ship is not safe!
The desk drawer only opened if great effort was used to pull it open. Cheap construction. The exit to the balcony was blocked by deck furniture. The mats from the deck furniture were stacked and stored inside the room, an ugly display that also cut walking access. The cabinet door to the refrigerator fell off.
The safe was so small that a laptop could not be secured. The television was not installed into the cabinet. It was mounted on a mismatched, after-thought board that stuck out into the room and the wires could be seen.
The evening canapés were so bad (tasteless, non-descript, and cheap) that we asked the butler not to bring us anymore. Even the presentation of them had no thought behind it. And the assorted nuts were the cheapest brand and variety they could buy.
Ship’s Common Area
The main dining room was a joke. The tables and chairs were so close that people and waiters had to walk sideways to get to tables. Many of the chairs abutted the back of the chair at another table. During dinner you could feel a constant brushing against the back of your chair as people walked behind you. We saw a waiter spill wine on the back of a passenger.
I watched a man on crutches become angry with the staff because he had to hobble sideways between chairs. And because the tables and chairs are so close together, you can hear every conversation all around you. The table arrangements in the specialty dining rooms were just as crowded. And as for the buffet at lunch, it was even more crowded.
During tea time, you had to queue a buffet line to get your food and then wait forever for an understaffed room to bring tea in a metal pot (it never said high tea, so I should not expect ceramic pots). Then, thirty-minutes into tea time (when you may have finally gotten your food and tea), any relaxing, social tea time you expected was transformed into urging people to get into groups to play trivia with an accompanying loudspeaker blaring into the tea room. This is not a luxury cruise line.
Theater seating was even worse than dining room seating. There are long rows of bench seats fronted by very heavy sofa chairs, all but immovable, abutted to each other. The only way to sit on a bench seat is to enter from the end; however, some of the rows are blocked by handrails thus preventing entrance to the row of bench seats. Like the bathroom door in our room that opened into a pathway, the design of the dining room and the theater is ludicrous.
Several times during the evening shows, cynical digs were hurled at Carnival. If you claim to be a luxury cruise line you do not delve into this kind of behavior, but then Regent is not a luxury cruise line. The senior staff on Carnival has more class and behaves better than Regent. The basic service staff was very polite, but then most of them are Filipino and they are all polite no matter what cruise line you find them on.
The “All-inclusive” Tours
Regent loves to advertise that all excursions are included in the cruise price. We paid $66,000 for this cruise and believe me, the price of all the tours were hidden in the total price. They are not inclusive. Because the tours were all included, hundreds of passengers were crowded into the theater early every morning to be dispatched to a collection of buses for tours. There is nothing restful or luxurious about this feature on Regent.
At the end of the cruise, you can be very tired going from one “free” tour to the next. If you want to relax on a cruise, the Regent concept of “free excursions” is not for you. The tours are a carefully orchestrated set of skimpy, budget tours, cleverly disguised as all-inclusive tours to lure you into cruising with Regent. For instance, on a tour of Shanghai, we were taken to an 88-story observation deck and then a round trip ride on the magnetic elevation train for an eight-minute ride, each way, to and return from the airport. We were then returned to the ship.
On a tour of Osaka, we were bussed for several hours to Osaka Castle, a Buddhist temple, and returned to the ship. On our tour of Seoul, we were taken to the government palace, an adjacent museum, and let off on a shopping street to walk back to the bus parked at the end of the street.
Not all tours on Regent are included free. There are selected tours you can purchase. We did this for a high-tea tour to a village in Taiwan to include stops for tea, an art museum, temple, and garden. Tea was not high tea; it was in a crowded restaurant where our group was squeezed into round tables, served tea, and then told to wander the one street to shop for over two hours (easily done in 20 minutes) until the bus returned us to the ship. We never went to the art museum, temple, or garden, but were charged for a bus ride to have a cup of low-tea.
Numerous people complained about this tour and our suite numbers were taken along with other suite numbers. The night before disembarkation, we received a note under our door after dinner telling us that “based on overall feedback we have received, no adjustment will be made.” This is a lie as no survey was ever taken of any of the tours. When this was brought up to the CEO of Regent in a letter, he did not respond.
The following morning at disembarkation, NO ONE from the ship was present to thank us or bid us “good-bye” as we left the ship. In the survey given to all passengers, we ticked “Will never recommend Regent.” Read Less