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209 Regent Seven Seas Cruise Reviews

This was our first trip with Regent. Started in Rio & then to West Africa, the Canaries, Morocco, Malaga finishing in Barcelona. The captain & staff were first class. Nothing was too much trouble. Our penthouse suite was kept ... Read More
This was our first trip with Regent. Started in Rio & then to West Africa, the Canaries, Morocco, Malaga finishing in Barcelona. The captain & staff were first class. Nothing was too much trouble. Our penthouse suite was kept immaculately. The included tours were a mixed bag. In Malaga our guide had difficulty shepherding the coachload of passengers through the crowded back streets. On arrival at the Picasso Museum we were informed that only small groups were allowed in & our party would have to be split. As part of the second batch we were asked to wait outside the building. Stood there for 1/2 hour whilst another guide appeared & tried to negotiate admittance. Wasn't worth the effort. None of Picasso's important works were displayed. Even more variable was the food on board. A light breakfast in the room included soggy toast. Was replaced the following day with soggy Danish. Dispensed with these & tried a favoured American staple - waffles. Arrived in equally poor condition. Having sampled some poor cooking we were invited to meet the chef & catering team. They were aware of problems & informed me that these had been "identified". The worst cuisine was in the Italian restaurant when for 3 nights they changed the format to Spanish. My wife's paella was dry. Tasted as though it had been reheated. My own cod dish wrapped in cabbage was inedible. The maître d' explained it was a new dish that had not been well received. Catering standards fell short of other luxury lines. Oceania is part of the same group but offers better food. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
This was our first Mariner experience – probably a little cheaper than it might otherwise have been because it was a re-positioning cruise - taking the Mariner from Buenos Aires to Barcelona (from where it progressed to Marseilles for a ... Read More
This was our first Mariner experience – probably a little cheaper than it might otherwise have been because it was a re-positioning cruise - taking the Mariner from Buenos Aires to Barcelona (from where it progressed to Marseilles for a much needed refurbishment). We wondered before the cruise, how we’d find the Seven Seas all inclusive package compared say, to Cunard’s offer. Certainly, the additional cost of the Mariner experience is significantly offset by the value of free excursions and free drinks. But even taking account of those things, it’s still a great deal more expensive. Irrespective of price there are some things about the Mariner which are unequivocally outstanding. The food isn’t just the best we have experienced on a cruise ship (and we’ve tried Cunard, Viking, Holland America and Princess) it’s some of the best food we’ve eaten anywhere. The Italian restaurant produces pasta every evening which is near perfect and the French Restaurant is outstanding. There are four restaurants: the Compass Rose, the main dining room; Sette Mari, an Italian restaurant; and two speciality restaurants for which there was no additional charge but for which bookings have to be made. We ate in one of the speciality restaurants about every fourth night. The Steak Restaurant was the most popular but we preferred the excellent French Restaurant whose food and wine was the best on the ship (typically a good Sancerre and an excellent Chateauneuf Du Pape were the house wines on offer). We could have eaten in the speciality restaurants more frequently had we been prepared to share a table. But although we enjoy fixed seating, the sharing of a table with different people each night, and the same tiresome conversations about where you’re from and how did you travel here were tedious. But to Mariner’s credit they had little difficulty in providing us with our own table each evening (the tables for two in Compass Rose and Sette Mari are, in any case, the best tables in the restaurant each being next to a window). The ship is quite small, although the relatively small number of guests meant that it rarely felt crowded. Sometimes there was a shortage of sunbeds on the sun deck and the really tiny single pool – in which a maximum of only 12 swimmers are allowed – was crowded when more than three or four swimmers were present. The elderly nature of the passengers on this 28 day cruise meant that was not often a problem. But on a shorter Mediterranean itinerary the pool would be inadequate. The sun deck itself has relatively little shelter (there’s no roof of course) and even in relatively calm weather it was surprisingly windy. The refurbishment may change things a little but the interior of the ship was extremely bland – as if a designer was trying too hard to be tasteful - and the selection of art around the ship, including innumerable Rothko prints, was monotonous. But the ship’s worst fault was that it rolls a lot when the wind is blowing across the beam. We crossed the Atlantic without mishap but running up the west coast of Africa, particularly near the Canaries (but in relatively modest seas), the rolling was so pronounced that on two evenings the pool had to be emptied. The entertainment was variable. The Theatre troupe were pretty much third rate (I heard one American speculate as to whether they had ever thought about rehearsing) On the other hand, free from the confines of the Theatre, the orchestra, in whole or in part, were very good. And a three-man band Nature Rhythm Trio were excellent. The excursions were disappointing and we returned our tickets for about half of those we’d booked. Arrangements were sometimes chaotic, departures were inevitably delayed and there was often an inordinate amount of waiting for tenders. The Mariner might only have 700 passengers but when excursions are included in the all inclusive price, most people take advantage of them and the excursion staff struggled to cope. They were better at explaining the reasons for frequent delays than preventing them. This was a pity because there was no shortage of investment from Mariner in the quality of some of the experiences. In Brazil we enjoyed an excursion which involved three cable car trips, a walk through the rainforest and an hour at a beautiful beach. But even though the beach visit was chopped from 60 minutes to 15 we still returned more than an hour late and without our guide who became irretrievably lost. Not all excursions were well planned. Delivering us to Arrecife in Lanzarote on a Sunday in March when almost everything was closed – including most restaurants and cafes – was pretty thoughtless when, just a few miles away, Tenerife would have offered much more. Dakar, in Senegal, was very disappointing and the much vaunted Goree Island did not live up to its reputation. In Brazil, we tendered at a number of entirely forgettable ports when an overnight stay in Rio would have offered so much more. The tendering for excursions was not simply frustrating but, in my opinion, occasionally dangerous. Very frequently our tenders failed to tie up along side the ship both fore and aft (although visiting schooners always did so). Instead they would tie up either fore or aft and use the tender engine to keep the craft close to the Mariner. But this looked unsafe on more than one occasion and caused some real problems for the less able when leaving the tenders. When I wrote – very politely - to the General Manager, mid cruise, suggesting that the tendering was not always competent. I received a message on my cabin phone, which thanked me for writing, promised me that my comments had been forwarded to Miami, and urging me to have a great day. Part of the problem was that the Cruise Director, Jamie Logan, seemed much more comfortable in the bars or the theatre than in managing excursions. On one occasion, returning from an excursion to Olinda in Brazil, there was a serious shortage of buses to transport us back to the ship from the hill town. The delays were such that our guide - herself exasperated by a 45 minute wait without shade – told us that Mariner had miscalculated and ordered only half the necessary number of vehicles. When we explained this to Mr Logan, he seemed to think we were just passing the time of day. He needs to learn that an amiable grin does not compensate for unnecessary and repetitive frustrations. The Mariner experience overall is very good and in parts, outstanding. Will we book again with Mariner? Probably not. Our view is that although the food is better, many other things about the Mariner product are disappointing. We shall almost certainly return to Cunard and pocket the saving.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
Let me begin by saying that since 2008 we have loved Regent cruises. Many cruises on the Navigator and the Mariner. But something is slowly happening to the Regent brand that is both unfortunate and shameful. Head Office seems to slowly ... Read More
Let me begin by saying that since 2008 we have loved Regent cruises. Many cruises on the Navigator and the Mariner. But something is slowly happening to the Regent brand that is both unfortunate and shameful. Head Office seems to slowly want to destroy what was once a great company with a unique "all inclusive" concept. Regent still claims 6 Star service but this must be amended as false advertising. For at least a year or more services are being reduced and/or eliminated. Sometimes we get a Carnival LLC feeling while on board the Voyager this past cruise. Last winter we cruised South America on the Mariner and that trip was our first experience with downgrading and changes (not good for us travelers). I had thought it would be a one off of bad experiences and booked our first trip to Asia on the Voyager, also our first time on the Voyager. Embarkment: After spending 7 nights, on our own, in Hong Kong, embarkment was easy and simple from the cruise terminal near the Star Ferry Terminal. Walking around the Voyager, it looks similar but better then the other two ships in the fleet. Several staff remembered us from other cruises and made us feel right at home. Stateroom: On deck 7 forward, we experienced a constant smell of sewage near the elevators & the corridor. This smell dissipated but remained for our entire 33 days aboard. Our stateroom is the large deluxe suite with a large bathroom and walk-in closet. The layout is the same as the other ships but the color scheme is much better. Upon closer look, the carpet was stained and so were the upholstered furniture. There are a pair of sheer drapes on the balcony door/window but from two different sets. One sheer was longer, one sheer shorter then the other. The wood trim, desk, vanity & molding woods are beaten up and need of major repair or removal. When I commented about the stains to the cabin steward he stated that he would take of it while we were at dinner. Upon return the carpet stains remained but the chair cushions were cleaned, but no, the steward just flipped the cushions. The furniture arms & backs remained stained. I bought a cheap brush on day 4 and removed all the stains myself. A little elbow grease and it was fine. An officer stated that all public rooms were refurbished recently (cosmetically only) but no work has been on the suites in years. This is not 6 star service. Dining: La Veranda is the buffet by day and an Italian restaurant by night. Breakfast here is sometimes a chore and many times laughable. The staff all want to help and for the most part they are great kids but with lousy supervision. We arrived early some mornings before early tours and only one or two staff were there. Although open for business they were still setting up. Bacon was usually cold and toast could take 10 minutes without a line. Ask for an omelet and wait. You are told a server would bring it to your table but after 10 minutes I went back to find out she gave my omelet to someone else. We found that breakfast was better served in the main dining room Compass Rose but if you have an early tour forget it, Compass Rose opens at 8:00 a.m. It took longer to order from the dining room but it was civilized and service was much better. Our biggest complaint in all dining rooms was the coffee. It was undrinkable. Always tasted like burnt, bottom of the pot coffee. One maitre d' told a group of us that Head Office approved and ships this particular coffee for dining room use. We heard much about Head Office during our cruise. Voyager has a coffee shop and a coffee station on the Pool Deck with fresh brewed self-service machines. This coffee was great. So if you wanted a good cup of coffee you went to one of these machines then brought it back to your dining room. Sure doesn't sound like 6 star to me. The menus were mediocre except for the "Destination Dishes" being offered. We were told that the chefs must use only the approved Head Office menus. Except for a Destination Dish made to enhance the port of call for that day or the next day. The Lead Chef Kelly did wonders with these Destination Dishes and we only ordered these off the menu and so did most others when they got tired of the Head Office offerings. Prime 7 is Regent's steak restaurant and we loved this restaurant on both the Navigator and the Mariner. But here on the Voyager we experienced a staff and maitre d' that ruined the evening for us. And many others too. We had a problem with cold Oysters Rockefeller and returned them, twice. They were almost still frozen in the center. In Asia I knew they would be frozen but not at the table. After the second return the maitre d' came over with a haughty attitude and stated " I here you have a problem with your appetizer". And this is supposed to be 6 star service. The rest of dinner was a disaster, I guess we were being punished for complaining. Again 6 star service? Signatures is the French restaurant and under the leadership of Christian this room and it's staff are wonderful. But unfortunately, this wonderful staff must present a truly lousy menu and anything but French. My first night there I was served Medallions of Veal with gnocchi. Now we have been to France and French restaurants all over the world and truly love French cuisine but gnocchi? French? Again, when I questioned this item I was told that this is Head Office's menu and the chef must prepare what Head Office tells him. And this is 6 star service? Last year on the Mariner we were served filet mignon with foie gras and a side of Mac & Cheese. So Italian gnocchi must be a step up! So two alternative restaurants. One with a great menu and lousy staff and the other with a great staff and a lousy menu. Why? 6 Stars? Entertainment: The Regent Singers and Dancers are so much better then in the past. New acts and new shows but still just young talented boys and girls starting their careers. Paid professionals were rare to see and we even had the Cruise Director, Ray, doing several of the evening shows himself. He was excellent but why can't Regent hire good quality talent. For the price we pay, you would think we would get the best. I guess not. Is this 6 star service? Canyon Ranch Spa: You must be kidding. $122 for a simple pedi/mani? $39 for men's haircut, $92 for a ladies wash & set? Ridiculous pricing and just average quality and 18% mandatory gratuity? Shameful. Shore Excursions: Regent advertising Free Excursions but in many ports they offered private car tours at an additional price. The free excursions are getting worse and worse. Does Head Office ever send anyone to investigate a port and the tours they offer us? Guides that barely speak English, absolutely no guides or even audio headsets at any of the museums. Ports that offer absolutely nothing of value and we are docked at a tanker port and no way to get into any town. Many of the ports we were miles away from anything only to find out that there are cruise terminals in town. Can't Regent paid the additional fee to get us closer to town. On the second segment of the cruise Regent was docked at the old Hong Kong airport turned into a cruise terminal for two days. From ship to bus took at least 20 minutes walking and you were still in the terminal. Why? Is this 6 star service? I paid extra for private tours and even an overnight and had a wonderful experience each time. So when they say Free, it now means cheap. There are wonderful quality excursions everywhere but you must pay extra. Is this false advertising? Is this 6 star quality? Disembarkation & Land Tour: Early departure in Bangkok for a three day land excursion with 2 days at Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Smooth transfer and flight to Siem Reap. Sofitel Hotel was outstanding and we were in groups of 14 with a wonderful guide, Tee. Back to Bangkok and two nights at the Sofitel there, again wonderful. Staffing: The Asian staff are professional, wonderful, kind and caring, every one of them. The European and specifically Eastern European staff are arrogant, rude and act like they are doing us a favor by serving us. Who hires these guys? They treat the Asian staff like garbage, yelling and belittling them. This change in staffing was first noted last year on the Mariner and it is shocking to find it spreading to all the ships. Why? The crews on all the Regent ships are so talented and help to make our vacations/travels a unique experience and Head Office is hiring a few Eastern European guys that are helping to bring down the brand. Why? This is definitely not 6 star service. Overall: For our first time in Asia we had a wonderful time and made the best out of every port. The majority of the crew, especially Ray, Elda, Vivienne, Christian, Olga (waitress), Olfa & Katje (bartenders), ViJay, Frank & Dennis (waiters), Francesco, the entire Destinations staff, the entire Reception/Purser staff, just to name a few help to make our cruise special. The few idiots did not ruin it for us but caused us not to go into the Observation or Voyager lounges for most of the cruise. No more flowers in the suites, a few days of a flower in the dining rooms then no more flowers on the dining room tables, lousy "free" excursions, staterooms not repaired & stateroom furniture looking like it is a cheap motel and these little things add up. Doesn't Head Office realize that we guests talk with each other. My observations are not just mine but shared by many others. I keep hearing "Oceania is so much better", Seaborne is so much better, Crystal is my favorite, never Regent again". Why is Head Office determined to ruin what I thought was the best cruise line at sea. It looks like the new boss has given Regent to his niece and/or nephew to run and/or ruin. Definitely no longer 6 stars.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
Flew from Scotland, flight to Newark good, flight to Miami had to turn back because of hydraulic failure, bit scary but handled exceptionally well by United's lady pilot. Pre cruise overnight hotel fine, embarkation good. Suite, ... Read More
Flew from Scotland, flight to Newark good, flight to Miami had to turn back because of hydraulic failure, bit scary but handled exceptionally well by United's lady pilot. Pre cruise overnight hotel fine, embarkation good. Suite, outside cabin, plenty of storage space, walk in wardrobe. Comfy beds, decor OK but believe ship is leaving the fleet soon. Bathroom plenty room bath and shower, though never had need of the bath. Food good, dining room nice, nearly all tables for 2, not keen to have table sharing, which we quite like. Big downside: service exceptionally slow, really disappointed, thought there would be more staff to customer ratio. This cruise being all inclusive we had good service from drinks waiters. Entertainment was good, one show per evening, which was excellent, not too many other things going on though. Plenty sunbeds big comfy cushions. Shore excursions: Belize, I think they must have found the oldest bus ever, most uncomfortable, especially on roads not too well kept, boneshaker being the operative word. Big Highlight: The Dolphin Experience Honduras, this was amazing, recommend it. We got a late deal on this cruise which was fine, however if we had paid full price we would have been extremely disappointed, would not have been value for money. Tried this 6 star line to see the differences, would only use again if it was a fabulous deal.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
As expected, Regent offers more than the regular cruise lines, and you feel pampered onboard. Embarcation starts at 2pm, we got there at 2.30pm and apparently everyone was aboard already. The cabin (called suite) is very comfortable, ... Read More
As expected, Regent offers more than the regular cruise lines, and you feel pampered onboard. Embarcation starts at 2pm, we got there at 2.30pm and apparently everyone was aboard already. The cabin (called suite) is very comfortable, with plenty of space, walk-in wardrobe with adequate space for two and bathroom with both shower and bath. The refrigerator was refilled every day, the cabin attendant did a fine job in keeping all very clean morning and evening. The restaurants are very good, Prime 7 is excellent. We came back twice without reservations, and they had no problem accommodating us and a couple of friends.The wines and liquor included are good choices, and you can always upgrade to better. Surprisingly, the lunch at the grill by the pool served chewy ribs that needed another hour in the oven and burgers that were often raw or overcooked. We perceived the staff as being generally kind and attentive. During the day and for the tours, people would mostly dress in swimwear and a polo shirt. For the evenings, men would wear a shirt, many a jacket and some a tie, The average age of the passengers is high. The laundry service is very good. We enjoyed the shows and the dancing to live music. The Internet service is very expensive. They charge 99 cents per minute plus a connection fee, and whatever you do will take very long because of the speed being so slow. The gym is small but adequate, there is a small sauna and a steam bath. We walked the deck every morning. The spa service is fine and expensive. The tours are well organized, disembarking is fairly quick, but you need to book early, many tours were sold out months in advance. The Blue lagoon in Nassau, Bahamas is a boat trip to a nice beach with music, bar and the lunch is included. They even offer free internet. We enjoyed that. The art museum in San Juan is not worth a visit, we heard the other tours were better. Starbucks near the port, in the old town, offer high speed internet. In St. Barts we did the island overview and then walked the streets of this charming town. St. Johns, Antigua offers the Swim with the Stingrays, and that was great! In Castries, St. Lucia we did the Land and Sea to Souffrier and that was too long with many hours on a little bus. Should have done the Scuba or Snorkel. In St. Maarten we went on a Golden Eagle Sailaway, snorkeling in a place where nobody saw a fish, but the tour and the catamaran were nice. This ship has a problem with strong vibrations, and anything loose will keep you awake. We had two incidents with plumbing in our bathroom, once we heard strange sounds at 2 am and the bathroom and hallway were covered with water. The repair was done immediately, but we had to live with a big noisy fan in our suite the last day of sailing. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
This little ship, 490 passenger, is still one of our favorite ships. We found her in 2008 and have sailed her 6 times. The staff are wonderful and help to make your cruise special. The cruise director, Lorraine, is one of the best. ... Read More
This little ship, 490 passenger, is still one of our favorite ships. We found her in 2008 and have sailed her 6 times. The staff are wonderful and help to make your cruise special. The cruise director, Lorraine, is one of the best. Embarkment was easy and painless. The shore excursions are free but Head Office is now skimping on the quality of the free excursions. Prime 7, the steak house restaurant has a wonderful menu and the staff are outstanding and we had 3 wonderful nights at this venue. Compass Rose is well appointed and the dining staff work great together for a nice dining experience. The wine selections are falling short from previous cruises. The sommeliers are not as knowledgeable as in the past and the "free" wines are no longer memorable. The wines for sale are great but why must we now pay for wines previously offered free? Galley Tour - We were offered a free galley tour per AMEX and had fun with the Head Chef and the workings of his kitchen. He stated that wherever you now travel on Regent all foods come from Miami FL. With few exceptions Head Office controls the whole kitchen. After the tour, the Chef gave us all on the tour a special luncheon. He personally prepared this lunch and was very proud to tell us that Head Office had nothing to do with this lunch, the Head Chef used his own creativity and recipes. Why can't Head Office allow this talented chef and all the other talented chefs to use their own talents and creativity in the galleys? Work with the chefs not against them. Entertainment - Much better as the ships singers & dancers were given knew material to work with. But the professional performers are almost non-existent. Why skimping on the evening shows? Excursions - Free yes, good: not really. For a good tour you must pay. Overall: We love the Navigator and the crew that works so hard to make our cruise special. The staterooms need repairs, the public rooms need comfortable chairs to sit in not just look at and Head Office must stop removing extras and still increase the pricing. We faithful travelers who love Regent don't love what the new management is doing and Head Office must realize they are removing that 6 star rating all by themselves and we guests can only complain for just so long before we just cruise with the competition.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
This was our second Mediterranean cruise with Regent. We had previously traveled on the Voyager from Monte Carlo to Athens, arriving in Athens as the city began a strike. Despite many weather problems that eliminated a lot of port stops, ... Read More
This was our second Mediterranean cruise with Regent. We had previously traveled on the Voyager from Monte Carlo to Athens, arriving in Athens as the city began a strike. Despite many weather problems that eliminated a lot of port stops, it was a great cruise. The social director was terrific (Jamie) and Regent went above and beyond in taking care of us during Athens' civil strife. We weren't planning on taking another Mediterranean cruise again so soon, but we had loved Rome and wanted more tiime there and also wanted to go to Barcelona; this cruise last Nov. began in Rome, so we were able to add a few days before hand, and ended in Barcelona, where we also had a couple of days. In addition, it had an overnight port stay, which appealed to us, so we decided to take another Regent cruise. This cruise was on the Mariner, which is very similar to the Voyager, but I preferred the layout of the Voyager. Also, our social director wasn't nearly as energetic or involved on this second cruise, and that made a big difference. There were fewer events planned and less enthusiasm or originality in the events that did occur. The quality of the entertainment was also inferior to our first Regent cruise. The musicians in the late-night bar were very amateurish, just two people with canned music they played along to; our first Regent cruise had a great band, who sang and played instruments, performing excellent covers that we enjoyed tremendously. Finally, our biggest disappointment this second time with Regent was that there were hardly any active excursion choices and, even when some were listed as being active, the average age of the passengers was so old that the pace of the excursions was very slow. (Some tours that were labeled "active" had passengers using canes or walkers.) For me, this took away a lot of the enjoyment of really exploring the places we saw at a reasonable pace. It was still very nice to be on a luxury cruise that was all-inclusive, with great service and good food. The all-suites on the Regent Mariner were slightly smaller than those in the Voyager, but very similar and comfortable. Both the embarkation and the disembarkation processes were easy and pleasant, and the quality of the tour guides was very good. We also appreciate Regent having complimentary laundry rooms, which helps us to pack a little bit lighter. I've also cruised on Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. The cabin on the Norwegian cruise was exceedingly small, but it was decades ago. We cruised on Royal Caribbean about 1 1/2 years ago and enjoyed it a lot; it was about half the price of Regent and did not feel like half the quality. We have booked another cruise for this summer and decided to give Royal Caribbean another try. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My wife and I just returned from our tenth cruise with Regent, seventh on the Seven Seas Mariner. We have never sailed with another line, so we have no comparison. As to the ship, crew and cruise, it was fabulous. We have seen very minor ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from our tenth cruise with Regent, seventh on the Seven Seas Mariner. We have never sailed with another line, so we have no comparison. As to the ship, crew and cruise, it was fabulous. We have seen very minor cutbacks in service, but not in quality. We were again, treated like royalty. The dining room waiters quickly learned our preferences and names, and treated us accordingly. The food was superb, and being an all-inclusive fare, the wine flowed at mealtimes! BUT, the pre-cruise and post-cruise programs left much to be desired. Going to Rome, Regent offers arrival the day before the ship departs, and previously, we were put up in hotels on the Via Veneto in downtown Rome, convenient to restaurants and attractions. This time, only the pricier cabins were housed there. We in "steerage" were housed in a Sheraton Golf resort, way out of town, inconvenient and costly to commute to downtown. The hotel restaurant was OK, but I didn't go to Rome to eat in a hotel restaurant. In Rio, again the poor folk were housed in another Sheraton, away from the action. The hotel would have been OK but they were renovating, including their restaurants, and the only open facility was a pizza kiosk. We were forced to do room service, due to the warnings about nighttime crime. Then checkout was at noon. Our flight back to the States was at midnight, so the option was sitting in a hotel ballroom, or at the airport for twelve hours. We were very happy with the cruise itself, which of course, was why we went. The pre and post logistics led much to be desired. Makes us think about next year. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Regent market their all inclusive Regent experience as including a pre cruise "luxury” hotel stay  although I believe that this will be limited to the more expensive suites from 2014? We were disappointed to learn some time after ... Read More
Regent market their all inclusive Regent experience as including a pre cruise "luxury” hotel stay  although I believe that this will be limited to the more expensive suites from 2014? We were disappointed to learn some time after booking the cruise that our hotel was to be the Sheraton Golf which is situated near to the airport and in a semi industrial area and a long way from Rome, our starting point for the cruise. We had spent a day there with Seabourn post cruise in May 2013 but not stayed over. My review of this hotel has more detail on Tripadvisor. This hotel is certainly not "luxury” and I commented on this when Graham Sadler answered questions on Cruise Critic and you can read his reply for yourself!! Regent ‘s representatives met us at the airport luggage belt and took our luggage straight away. We then followed them to the waiting coach but unfortunately the coach wouldn't start. The driver seemed to be expecting a problem and didn’t spend any time trying to fix it. Instead he told us to get off and onto the spare coach behind the first one. It was a pity we all had to get on and off especially the less mobile. The driver also insisted on some carry-on luggage being put into the hold of the coach in spite of the fact they carried some fragile items. The rule seems to be anything with wheels goes underneath? The transfer to the hotel was quick but then it went downhill. Check in was slow as was check out but more on TA. Breakfast was included but not dinner. The transfer to the ship was supposed to be staged with those who had been in the hotel longest going first but ended up being a bit of a free for all. We were supposed to be on the 13.00 bus but as check out was 12.00 we were in the lobby and there was space on a bus at 11.45 and we were put on it. The check in at the port was slick with about 10 desks in a quayside building completing the formalities and we were on the ship in no time. We did think the welcome on board was a bit lacking and there was no one on hand to help with the carry-on luggage as on previous cruises. The welcome drink of barely a half a glass of champagne on boarding was a bit poor also. Lunch was available for all on deck 11 on boarding at the Pool Grill and La Veranda. Suites were available from 14.30 and an announcement was made on board when they were available. The luggage appeared soon after 14.30 and I did a bit of self service and collected ours from the lift area. We had an F suite on deck 8 which was fine especially in the rough seas leaving Rome (lower the better). We didn't find the suites tired but the long corridors are a bit drab. The safe in the suite is very small and remember the thick door protrudes into the safe quite a bit so don’t try to force it shut. There is only room for some jewellery and a few credit cards but not much more. Forget putting your i-pad in there or your expensive camera. Our suite had been converted to a walk in shower with no tub which was ok for us. It still has a pull out washing line if required. The suite was generally kept clean but the mini bar top up was a bit erratic. We did get our two bottles of spirits in the suite promptly after asking the steward he did not ask us if we wanted drinks unlike on previous Regent cruises. We had to prompt the cabin steward to give us a new loo roll after a few days which he did but he didn’t leave a spare then two days later we suddenly had 4 in the suite? The air con in the suite seemed to switch off through the night? Even when we had it on full cold we sometimes woke up in the night very hot. We heard others complain about the same problem. Room service for breakfast on first morning wasn't great with no cereal delivered, the wrong bacon and cold toast. We used it only once more on our final morning and it arrived 15 minutes early (06.15) and the order was wrong again. No drinks were delivered and we asked for orange juice and coffee? The Compass Rose food was generally ok but not special. On our first night we were disappointed but it improved after that. The Strips of beef we had were definitely a cheaper cut. The Compass Rose service was very variable depending on when you dined and your seating location. At 18.30 our normal dining time the service was generally ok but we did have a problem when dining an hour later with friends. Our group of 4 had two cold starters (which were supposed to be hot), a wrong salad, one undercooked and one overcooked duck, and some stale bread. It also took the wine waiters 25 minutes to get an alternative bottle of wine to the one on the menu. The service at 18.30 on the last night was also very poor. There seemed to be a shortage of wait staff with some serving stations left un- manned. I took this up with the restaurants manager but he said that there was not a shortage of staff and that the problem was that all that passengers came in at the same time. This was obviously not the case as there were numerous empty tables close to where we were sitting. Some passengers came in after us and left before but I suspect some passed on their desert. The design of the buffet breakfast/lunchtime restaurant La Veranda is not as good as on some ships (e.g. Silver Shadow). The buffet area is restricted and gets quite crowded. Service was also a bit variable. Sometimes we had to chase staff to get a coffee refill which is not 6 star service. There was no smoked salmon on the buffet at lunchtime many days which I missed although we did have trout and mackerel which was nice. When we did get salmon it was quite tasteless? The salad bar lacked variety as did the pasta bar. After our 10 days I found it quite boring and was glad I wasn’t going all the way to Rio. We tried the Italian restaurant twice and it was very good. It was not as popular as Compass Rose so only half the restaurant was used but it seemed to have more staff and the service was very good. Our one and only dinner in prime 7 (booked on the internet in advance) was very good but the wine on offer was poor. The Sommelier rose to the occasion and got us a bottle of Châteauneuf du pape which was nice. We tried to get a second booking but no luck as this restaurant is very popular. We didn’t try Signatures as the menu is not to our taste. Our friends tried it and liked it and were able to secure another reservation. The chef Kelly appeared at most meal times but if you had a complaint he couldn’t get away quick enough. Coffee corner is very popular and generally understaffed but serves a good cup of strong coffee. The tables are not cleared very well and they sometimes run out of cups. The self service machines frequently run out of milk. Bent forks, dirty bowls, several wait staff offering drinks, or no staff offering drinks generally there seemed to be a lack of supervision and attention to detail that a ship of this quality should have. The organisation of the tours as usual is excellent. Gathering in the theatre and exchanging your ticket for a bus number works for me. Some tour guides this time however were poor  one even resorted to asking the driver what things were en-route so that they could give a commentary. They assume no one can speak their language and some make inappropriate comments about the guests. There is also no flexibility in tour itinerary in bad weather even when whole bus rebels on some tours the guests decided that they would desert the guide and take the shuttle bus back to the ship. It was a big disappointment that we missed out Valencia from our itinerary and had to spend another day in Barcelona. The Captain was worried we wouldn't be able to dock at Barcelona in time for our flights due to a storm in the area but as we had an overnight in port was that likely? Three large Costa ships managed to dock ok on the day we were scheduled to dock and one even did a very slick turn in the harbour whilst we had breakfast. I did find the people who were presumably measuring up for the upcoming refit annoying as they spread plans and tools over tables and the floor and had loud conversations in open bars and areas where passengers were trying to read. They also took over restaurant tables outside in the sunshine and had lunch whilst fare paying passengers had to take a table inside. Some entertainment staff also took a prime table when they had family and friends visiting. Surely they should follow the captains lead and take a table in a corner at the end of the restaurant. Cruise director Lorraine was hardly ever seen unlike some others. The dress code on Regent has become more relaxed. No formal nights now on shorter cruises. T shirts were in evidence in the evening in Compass Rose. We even saw one couple in coffee corner in their nightwear at 11.00 not a pretty sight!! Overall the trip was as usual good but Regent has somehow lost its sparkle. None of the staff apart from the cabin steward knew our name, no one carried our food from the buffet to our table etc. They were all warm and friendly but I think the supervision and direction was lacking. Some of the issues could have been caused by the recent typhoon in the Philippines and some of the staff having to go home but that is giving Regent the benefit of the doubt. We will still cruise with Regent but will try some others next year.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
The Mariner is in need of a major renovation of carpet and updating amenities. The Crew was fabulous, they could not have been nicer and more attentive. The food was surprisingly good with the exception that the sociality dining rooms ... Read More
The Mariner is in need of a major renovation of carpet and updating amenities. The Crew was fabulous, they could not have been nicer and more attentive. The food was surprisingly good with the exception that the sociality dining rooms never changed menus or offered a special for the evening for appetizer or main courses. it was always the same. POOR planning ! Compass Rose the main dining room did change their selection every night and you could count on finding something you want to try. The Pool grill server fresh seafood and did a masterful job of serving a huge hungry crowd most days. Drinks were served none stop around the pool and most people did drink all day and night ..no drunks put lots of liquor was served none stop. The tours and ports of call were on the most part not great but better then not going ashore. Most port were not recommended to go off on your own and that was good advise. LOTS of very POOR people and horrible poverty beyond anything you have ever seen, very disturbing. The Rich are very rich but the hills team with stacked cubes of living space with no windows or doors and hordes of families living like the discarded. I thought the port were beautiful from afar but up close filthy. The ship knew our flight home has been cancel and did not tell us we were not getting out of Rio on American Airlines due to ice in Dallas. The Oceana passenger has been informed that morning BUT we were dumped at the airport with NO HELP to get flights out of South America, It was crazy with hundreds of stranded passengers crushed into the airport and left to find their way home without any assistance from Regent at all. Delays out were estimated at 2-3 days. my husband and I got lucky and brave and found a supervisor to help find us a plane out that night to another city in the states (we didn't care what city ) because going back to Rio and finding a hotel and being told how unsafe it was to be in Rio by ourselves was NOT and OPTION. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
I will not review the ports as they are covered regularly by others. The company my wife works for chartered the ship for a special 6 day northbound Alaska cruise. We were 352 on a ship that is designed to carry 490. Don't know if ... Read More
I will not review the ports as they are covered regularly by others. The company my wife works for chartered the ship for a special 6 day northbound Alaska cruise. We were 352 on a ship that is designed to carry 490. Don't know if the line used the smaller passenger count to grant furlough to some extra employees, so some of my comments may not be applicable to a "normal" cruise. For example: our category B suite normally comes with a butler; we did not have one. In general, we enjoyed the cruise and the pluses outweighed the minuses by far. The ship itself is a strange looking vessel that i thought was less attractive than more traditional ships, but I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Once aboard, the decor is pleasing and muted, with some areas looking well worn and in need of attention. Not shabby, but not up to snuff for an upscale ship. And that describes my overall feeling about the cruise. The cabin stewardess was efficient and friendly, but requests were handled as a one time event rather than a preferred, on-going request. In room coffee pods for example, were only refilled when we asked. We asked every day. The toilet had a bath and a shower, and superb toiletries by Bulgari. This opulence was balanced by the cheapest toilet paper I have ever used in my life. Sam's Club is better. Food was universally good and professionally served. Menu choices were adequate but not noteworthy, with some unusual items. Cruising in Alaska with it's famed seafood and the one night (only) lobster was offered... was Florida lobster. Why ? Also, In both restaurants the wine steward regularly offered refills of your chosen wine, but we had to ask for water or coffee refills almost every time we ate. Again... a mixed message. I know that other nationalities do not drink water/milk/coffee/soda during meals but this ship serves a predominantly American clientele for much of the year. Breakfast had a wonderful, bountiful, cornucopia in the buffet, with attendants to serve. But only one chef/cook to handle egg requests. Delicious but oh-so-slow. Two percent milk was provided for coffee in every venue. Cream was not available but the server would trot back to the galley to get half and half if one asked. 2 percent milk ? Now for the positives: I loved the small scale of the ship. Everything is near by and decks are served by the fastest elevators at sea. Never... Never ... waited more than 5 seconds for an elevator. The compact size allows public room placement to be a non-issue, and getting on and off the ship was a pleasure every time. The all-inclusive style used by Regent Seven Seas is a gift from the gods. Booze, soft drinks, shore excursions (some not all ), gratuities and the like are simply not an issue. Not once all week did I have to produce the cabin card to buy something. Not much of a gambler so the casino wasn't visited. Room service breakfast is full menu and full service. The attendant sets up a full height table with linens and silverware. Classy. The Captain and senior officers were visible and approachable every day. When was the last time a ship's Master approached you to shake your hand ? In my case, not once in 16 cruises, but it happened on Navigator. In closing, I reiterate that we enjoyed the cruise very much and would sail on this ship again in a heartbeat. Not sure it's worth the premium pricing, however, since there were hiccups in service.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Positives: Beautiful Ship Beautiful Cabin (Seven Seas Suite) Exceptional Butler Services Courteous & pleasant crew Negatives: Average food. Dull crowd, no excitement Poor entertainment / poor organized ... Read More
Positives: Beautiful Ship Beautiful Cabin (Seven Seas Suite) Exceptional Butler Services Courteous & pleasant crew Negatives: Average food. Dull crowd, no excitement Poor entertainment / poor organized activities Men's Spa - Totally inadequate Tours overcrowded Disembarkation disorganized Can't compare with Seabourn's excellence. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We embarked on the Rekjavik to Stockholm cruise this past June and found the quality degrading in several areas. 1 - The hotel in Reykjavik (Icelandair Rekyjavik Marina) was awful and certainly not up to Regent's previous standards. ... Read More
We embarked on the Rekjavik to Stockholm cruise this past June and found the quality degrading in several areas. 1 - The hotel in Reykjavik (Icelandair Rekyjavik Marina) was awful and certainly not up to Regent's previous standards. The bathroom was separated from the room by frosted glass sliding doors that didn't close completely and were only inches from the bed. The shower didn't have a pan floor so water ran all over the bathroom floor when you used it. The floor tiles were so slippery when wet that we laid down 3 bath towels to avoid falling. Only liquid hand soap was provided for sink and shower. No shampoo, conditioner or lotion. 2 - The suite was typical pleasant cat. D,E,F,G,H but the sink drain leaked and 2 lights were out in the bathroom. Of course these were fixed when we complained but why did we have these problems in the first place. 3 - The Voyager had an annoying vibration in our suite and it even could be felt in the observation lounge on deck 11. I assumed a problem with the engines or propellers. I was told that it happens when the ship goes fast. Never had that before and after hearing that there were propulsion problems earlier in the year my suspicions were confirmed. It is good that the ship is going into drydock in October. She needs it. 4 - Food and wine not what it used to be. Lower quality wine being served in all restaurants. Thanks to Boris, the head wine sommelier we got a list of all wines the ship had in stock for pouring (about 75 different labels) and were able to choose satisfactory labels from that. This was the only cruise in our 123 days with Regent that I had to send steaks back because they were full of gristle and fat. Compass Rose and Prime 7. The lobster in Prime 7 was overcooked also. We are booked for 63 days on the Voyager in 2014 and I am having second thoughts before committing the final payment. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
I'm from Hong Kong and went with my parents to our first cruise in Apr 2013. Since it was not the busy season yet, the price was lower than cruises in May-Aug. Overall it is a good experience with Regent. Embarkation and ... Read More
I'm from Hong Kong and went with my parents to our first cruise in Apr 2013. Since it was not the busy season yet, the price was lower than cruises in May-Aug. Overall it is a good experience with Regent. Embarkation and disembarkation We embarked after having lunch in Venice near the port. Overall the process was smooth. There was sufficient staff there to help. We are in our stateroom in less than an hour. Disembarkation was smooth as well. The Ship The cabin steward knew our names and was always around, and when he was, he would open the door for us. The stateroom was clean, spacious and beautiful and there was sufficient room for 3 people. The walk-in closet was large. Bathroom amenities were replenished very quickly. The sliding door to the balcony was a bit difficult to open but we managed to do so. The ship was also clean, spacious and beautiful. We loved that it was quiet and was not full of people. Maybe westerners like to socialize but due to difference in culture,we loved to enjoy ourselves without interference rather than socializing with other guests. There were sufficient laundry facilities for us to do our own washing and ironing. Services were execellent. All the staff were genuine and polite and they understood English well. Dining The food was overall good but there was a few misses. Surprsingly, dinner in the main dining room Compass Rose is the best, but the specility restaurants are not as good as expected. Crabcake in Prime 7 was good, but the lettuce in the Ceasar salad was not fresh! The so-called "Signature" Surf and Turf was bad, the lobster must have been freezed for too long, they were not fresh and, in fact, tasteless. The filet mignon was dry and also quite tasteless. What a disappointment! Signatures was better. The foie gras and mushroom soup were good, but the caviar did not taste good. Obviously they should buy better quality caviar for a 6-star ship. The steak and the dover sole were ok, the halibut was acceptable. Anyway, we didn't border making another reservation. The main dining room Compass Rose is however very good at dinner time. There was usually something fresh from the port of call to choose from. So the lobsters and seafood there were fresh, and the chef was flexible enough to cook the food according to our request (we asked for the lobsters to be pan-fried instead of steamed one night). However, the lunch was not as good. We wondered if they had a different chef for lunch? In particular, the so-called "Asian" dishes were not authentic at all, such as Indonesian fried rice lacked the essential black soya sauce, the chef must have no idea what Indonesian fried rice was at all! The Japanese dishes were also not done very well. Maybe they could get away with Westerners who were not familiar with Asian cuisines, but they could not fool Asians like us. They should really hire some Asian chefs if the would like to offer Asian cuisine on board. Otherwise, please just stick to Western cuisine. The breakfast buffet and some made-to-order dishes at La Veranda was excellent, but disappointedly there was only one champagne + caviar breakfast. The quality of the caviar was better then Signatures but still not too good. The lunch buffet was quite good except the pizzas which were poorly done. Dinner at Sette Mari at La Veranda was quite good too but not as good as Compass Rose because the seafood was not as fresh. Overall the wine selections were acceptable. Moreover, the services in all the restaurants were very good. Entertainment The night shows on board were generally quite good but they were a bit too short. However, the singers in the disco sung poorly. As we didn't have any seadays and we went on shore excursions every day, we didn't have much time on the ship during daytime for other activities. Shore excursions There were all well organized and efficient. Water was offered when we got off the ship. The guides were usually ok, but sometime it was difficult to hear them due to the large open spaces and the size of the group. The lunches/snacks offered during the trips were quite good, there was always wine on offer. We particularly like having champagne afternoon tea in a luxury hotel in Istanbul, and all were inclusive! Conclusion Overall, we were satisfied with the cruise for the price we paid. Will we return? Yes but perhaps not too soon because we'd like to try other similar cruise lines such as Crystal or maybe Seabourn to compare.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Ship's appearance: Other reviewers have remarked on the poor condition of Mariner's carpeting and I can verify those comments. The rugs look like someone randomly tossed full buckets of water on them and instead of evaporating ... Read More
Ship's appearance: Other reviewers have remarked on the poor condition of Mariner's carpeting and I can verify those comments. The rugs look like someone randomly tossed full buckets of water on them and instead of evaporating the water stained the carpets with a mottled, dark hue throughout the ship. I wonder if there was a septic issue at some point. There were occasional faint odors of sewage at odd times amidship on deck 6 and in some hallways. Luckily for us the odor did not seep into our cabin. Notice I call it a cabin, not a suite. It really wasn't much larger than a typical balcony cabin on most ships. Admittedly the bathroom was much larger and there was a walk-in closet so the lack of size in the living area was offset by this. Still to call it a suite is somewhat ambitious. You would have to upgrade a few levels to get larger accomodations. Cuisine: Consistently good I would say. Not in the class of parent line Oceania by a long shot but still better than most. Excellent breads, rolls and baked goods. Sette Mari, the Italian restaurant, had a nice variety of entrees that kept us going back a few times. They put out appetizers of meatballs, fried mozzarella, chunks of pecorino Romano cheese and olives at our table among other antipasti items available at a buffet. All were very tasty. We're Italian ourselves and therefore a bit picky but we had no complaints with Sette Mari. Compass Rose items were at least passable to very good. Steakhouse Prime 7 and Signatures, the French restaurant were good but not memorable. I had a tasteless veal chop in Prime 7 and just about every time my wife ordered lobster anywhere on the ship she complained that it was tough and overcooked. Breakfast and lunch buffet items were not as varied as we are used to but the quality was fine just the same. Still enough that you would come to appreciate are there. Many passengers ate their lunches at the Pool Grill and it seemed to be a big hit. Forgive me if I don't rate too many individual dishes because it would just take too long. The culinary highlight of the cruise in our opinion were the daily teatimes. At sea(there were 8 sea days on this crossing) the pastry chef held themed teatime desserts that were truly spectacular. In addition to the traditional scones and finger sandwiches they put out French crepes one day, specialty cheesecakes the next, chocolate the day after that and so on. We ended up skipping desserts in the restaurants at night and loaded up at the teatimes. Much praise to Regent Mariner for taking a mundane snack activity and turning it into an event that everyone on the ship looked forward to on a daily basis. Entertainment: A mixed bag. The best musical act was Les DeMerle, a drummer who once played for Lionel Hampton and later Harry James. You might think he was a bit ancient but he actually got these gigs when he was in his early twenties back in the 60's. He led the ship's orchestra in some Big Band classics and it was top grade stuff all the way. The guy who had me scratching my head was somebody named Bill Prince. He was a non-descript chubby little guy who came out with a mortarboard on his head and a clarinet in his hand. The show I saw he played movie themes on the clarinet and asked the audience to name the song and the movie it came from. "That's right! That was Chim Chim Cheree. From? Right! Mary Poppins! Very good!" He did this for 30 minutes. I wonder if 50 years from now when my kids go on a Regent cruise some old guy with a Stratocaster guitar will say, "That's right! That was Born to Run. By? That's right! Bruce Springsteen! Very good!" From the ridiculous to the sublime. The classiest activity of the whole trip was the lecture series by former U.S. Ambassador Samuel Hart. I learned more about U.S. foreign policy in his 6 talks than I got from reading the NY Times in the last ten years. All cruise lines should consider this brand of enrichment series. It was the first of its kind I've experienced on a ship and I hope not the last. General activities were not exactly plentiful or challenging. There was a daily trivia contest which was very well attended and competitive but many ships have 3 and sometimes even 4 trivias a day. Mariner would have been well advised to add at least one more daily trivia game to the schedule considering the popularity of the one they held. With 8 sea days it would have helped. Casino: Do you like slots? If you do, I hope you like really old slots. I think Frank Sinatra & Dean Martin themselves played these very machines in the old Sands Hotel. There wasn't a single modern slot machine in Mariner's tiny casino. The video poker machines had no simple Jacks or Better games. Every game was bonus based where the best you can get for 2 pair is even money. A rip-off to be sure. A complete overhaul is in order here. Overall: Regent really shined when it came to organizing their shore activities. We were met at the baggage claim in Miami without having to search for the Regent rep. After everyone was gathered we were driven to our hotel(for us it was the Conrad, an upscale Hilton property). Regent's rep was visibly accessible at the hotel. She told us when to meet the next day for transfer to the pier for check-in all of which went smoothly. The included shore excursions were well planned and went smoothly as well, as did disembarkation. A Regent rep guided us to the right bus for our trip to the Barcelona airport where another rep walked with us to the American Airlines counter. Attentive and caring service throughout was the norm on the entire cruise. We had a very good time, met some terrific people and ate some very good food. Still some of these things can be had on less expensive ships. Maybe the service won't be matched by other lines but cuisine, entertainment and activities don't set Regent apart. For the price they should. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Let me begin by saying that we love Regent Seven Seas. This will be our eighth cruise with the company. With research and planning we were looking forward to this once in a lifetime cruise of South America. Unfortunately, several ... Read More
Let me begin by saying that we love Regent Seven Seas. This will be our eighth cruise with the company. With research and planning we were looking forward to this once in a lifetime cruise of South America. Unfortunately, several experiences can truly put a damper on an otherwise wonderful trip. Embankment: Quick and easy. The ship: We have cruised on the Mariner before but still enjoyed the day of getting reacquainted with the ship. Our stateroom was nice although the suites are smaller then those of the Navigator and Voyager. And our bathroom had a bathtub/shower combo. If you are tall, avoid these suites and book a shower stall only suite. We had assumed, when booking, that all suites had shower stalls. The various lounges are set up nicely. The evening entertainment in each is very nice, although the piano players only perform for a hour in each. The string band was the best but unfortunately only played, most of the time, in the lounge that allows smoking. Yes, smoking in a public lounge. The dining venues are appointed nicely. And public areas are all comfortable. The staff: Our steward & stewardess were wonderful. Every morning when we went for breakfast the stateroom was made up and wonderfully clean by the time we returned. They were friendly,efficient and very professional The bartenders and waitstaff were also the best. Unfortunately, many "supervisors" (not all but many)have no idea how to supervise and/or treat the staff they are responsible to supervise. We experienced many instances of supervisors yelling, berating & ridiculing staff in front of the guests and/or within earshot. This was most prevalent in La Veranda the buffet room. The predominant European supervisor with no knowledge of supervising behaving very unprofessionally with their Asian staff. The only exception was one Asian bar supervisor constantly ridiculing his female bartenders in front of the guests.This lousy, unprofessional behavior was almost a daily experience and many guests were disgusted by it. Although I spoke directly with these offensive people and many guests filed complaints, nothing changes, so it seemed that Regent condones this behavior. This was one of the constant issues that really put a damper on our cruise. Excursions: Most excursions are free. Part of the cost per person. Some are not. The Excursion Department on the Mariner was an abomination. The worse staff of incompetent people I have ever met. Rude, nasty, uninformed, unprofessional, and just downright lousy people. They treated us like we were doing them a favor. None of them should ever have anything to do with the public. Never, never, on any cruise ship have we been treated like this. And after years of enjoying Regent ships were never encountered truly nasty employees treating guests like dirt. I have pages of examples but let me give you one. Day 1 of our second segment, in Lima, we were not given our pre-booked excursion tickets for this second segment. I went to the Destinations Desk asking for my excursion tickets. I was told I had no excursions for this trip. I told Fillipo that yes, I had booked months earlier via the Regent website. He said NO. He had no record of it and there were no excursions for me. I insisted that he check again but he said and I quote "Prove it. Prove that you booked these excursions and prove that you paid extra for several of them." I was then dismissed. I was flabbergasted. I went to the computer room and went to my old emails trying to prove it. If you have ever been on a cruise you know the internet is snail slow. It took me over an hour to get copies of initial bookings and Regent confirmations. Copy of my credit card statement with the payment for the extra excursions that required additional money. I then went back with the proof and guess what? other guests have the same problem. I go to the General Manager to complain and then I am told it's a known problem with Head Office and it will be corrected. A known, ongoing problem and this idiot Fillipo has us doing research to prove we booked excursions. Shameful. Everyone we spoke with had a "horror" with this department. And just about everyone got sick and tired of hearing the phrase, "Call Head Office, it's their problem" Excursions: The Regent approved and free excursions have almost always been fun. Not this time. Ports with nothing to do. Buses without AC and/or sound systems so the guide can speak to us. Guides that barely spoke English. Museum tours with no English guides, no English descriptions, no English headsets. One excursion had us on a bus for 1 1/2 hrs. each way, no AC, to have a cup of tea. And the guide said walk around for an hour before we return. Nothing to see. Lima was wonderful. Montevideo nice. Buenos Aires fun. Sea days on board always great. But most of the ports were a waste of time. Never has a Regent cruise been so disappointing, in this regard. Shows: Fair at best. One or two good comedians. The ship's singers & dancers are nice but very amateurish. Many of the shows were poorly attended. One woman, a "singer", had a mass exodus by her third song. The staff at the Excursions Desk tried but did not ruin what was a overall nice experience. Even the lack of decent excursions didn't ruin the cruise. We met wonderful people, most of the ship's crew went over the top to please us. We have only praise for the Navigator and the Voyager. Our first experience on the Mariner was wonderful. I hope this current experience with the Mariner was a one off experience and not a trend with Regent now that they are owned by the Oceania group. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
This was our third Regent cruise with two more booked in 2013/14 so obviously we are fans (but not necessarily cheerleaders!). Overall it was a great way to spend Christmas letting someone else do all the work and as usual the cheerful ... Read More
This was our third Regent cruise with two more booked in 2013/14 so obviously we are fans (but not necessarily cheerleaders!). Overall it was a great way to spend Christmas letting someone else do all the work and as usual the cheerful and professional staff were absolutely terrific - with one exception I'll discuss later. The pre-cruise hotel, Bali Hyatt at Sanur, was fine for the couple of nights we stayed there but it's starting to look very tatty, especially the rather austere concrete accommodation blocks. Evening dining options were extremely limited and it took almost an hour to be served a simple meal in an almost deserted restaurant. Apparently the chef was "busy". Doing what!? The extensive hotel grounds and gardens are beautifully maintained and worth exploring. Transfer to the ship docked at nearby Benoa was quick and painless, as was actual embarkation. We didn't join the throng for lunch, preferring to find a quiet spot with a long, cold beer! Suites were ready at 1.30pm and our suitcases were waiting for us there. By now, we are very familiar with Voyager's layout and "look" and everything was as we expected although I have to say that despite the immaculately clean and freshly painted exteriors some of the carpets, decor and furnishings are starting to look rather tired and worn in places. Some fresh artwork in public areas wouldn't go amiss either. It all needs a bit of a "lift". The Christmas decorations were tastefully done throughout with some magnificent (real) gingerbread houses with all the trimmings placed strategically around the ship. The food was up to its usual high standard in Compass Rose and particularly good in Signatures. We didn't eat at Prime but heard glowing reports. Breakfast and lunch at La Veranda were good too but I remain unconvinced about the Sette Mari concept in the evenings. I also know I'm in the minority on this one so you'll have to give it a try and decide for yourselves! The wine choice was extensive, although we did have to work at tracking down an actual list, but disappointingly few Aussie and Kiwi wines. There was a major changeover of crew/staff in Bali and its fair to say things were a little hit and miss for a couple of days but they quickly got into the swing of things and everything was great after that. Our young Balinese cabin stewardess was lovely, if a little inexperienced, and any items we did have to remind her about, eg, fresh fruit were quickly replaced. The bed is blissfully comfortable but I missed a couple of firmer pillows which apparently weren't available. This cruise called at Exmouth, Geraldton and Perth in Western Australia and Kangaroo Island near Adelaide in South Australia and I have to say that with the exception of Perth none of these small towns are really geared for cruises. It's partly a question of geography but they also lack a lot of the infrastructure required for a sudden influx of visitors and in the case of Exmouth there isn't much to visit anyway! The Destinations staff did what they could with the very limited options available but it must have been a very disappointing introduction to Australia for first timers. NW Australia has some magnificent scenary but it's really only accessible by land or the very small "expedition" type ships that ply that coast. We had plenty of sea days (a big plus for us) and were blessed with blue skies and calm seas during our 3-day crossing of the notorious Great Australian Bight. Many other cruisers haven't been so lucky.... And speaking of the Destinations staff I have a bit of a whinge. Why do they always seem so indifferent. Do they put up this "barrier" as a defence against the barrage of complaints and other problems from "difficult" passengers? Before our arrival in Melbourne I was concerned to read their info sheet about the city, much of which was plain wrong, and some completely obsolete information about the public transport system here and how to use it. I explained to them that they risk the wrath of a lot of irate and frustrated passengers who might try to follow these incorrect instructions and was met with blank stares and shrugs. They just didn't seem concerned. They even admitted they knew the info sheet was wrong but sent it out anyway. Huh? The shop was a major disappointment and a huge missed opportunity for Regent. The range of items on offer was pretty dire with no "local" things like Aussie pearls, opals, etc and other special gifts for people to buy at Christmas. The H. Stern jewellery outlet stocked high and low end stuff but nothing to tempt us either way. We could have purchased a valuable collectors item at the Park West art auction but resisted the temptation. We don't usually see much of the live evening entertainment and this cruise was no exception so I can't comment on the offerings we missed but we heard some good reports, especially the violinist whose name I forget (sorry!). The Regent musicians, soloists and bands, were excellent, very good indeed. Our Cruise Director was Paul Reynolds who was usually dashing about the ship on his way to something important which meant he didn't have much time to stop and chat which was a pity. So, all in all we'd give this cruise 8/10 and we look forward to our Northern Inspirations cruise on Voyager in June. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Good and Bad can best describe this cruise A. Suite 1. Master Suite 1000 on Navigator -- high cost but poor value due to forward location 2. Beautiful suite but not enjoyable when underway due to wave motion of ... Read More
Good and Bad can best describe this cruise A. Suite 1. Master Suite 1000 on Navigator -- high cost but poor value due to forward location 2. Beautiful suite but not enjoyable when underway due to wave motion of ship. Impossible to walk comfortably in cabin. 3. Balcony not useable at all when underway due to unobstructed high winds. Furniture on balcony was strapped down. Used all balcony furniture only one day, while at port. 4. Suggestion: construct wind barrier door, similar to dividers between suites that can be opened when at port. 5. Butler,exceeded expectations. Room stewardess,was also exceptional. 6. Unable to schedule in-suite cocktail party due to wave motion of ship (sometimes extreme motion). I realize that you can't control the seas but this motion was constant when ship was underway, even in calm seas. B. Food 1. Our first meal in Prime 7 was very good the 2nd visit to Prime 7 was fair I ordered a porterhouse that was tough and had to be sent back and replaced with a fillet that was good. Others in our party had well to very good entrees. 2. Sette Mari was very good on our first visit but the meat entrees selected on the second visit were very tough and lacked flavor. 3. Breakfasts were always excellent at La Veranda. 4. Meals at the Pool Grill were consistently very good as were the bar drinks. Suggest they offer pizza. 5. Meals at Compass Rose were consistently good to very good. 6. From all reviews we received, the food was reported to be excellent. However, we found only a few items to be outstanding as compared to other cruise lines. Superb food was one of the reasons we selected Regent. 7. The matre de, Stephano Frattori, was truly excellent no matter where or when we encountered him. We noted that he extended the same superior service to all of his guests. He is a true asset to the Regent family. 8. The Pool Grill bar staff was also truly excellent. They took the time to learn exactly how their guests preferred their drinks. 9. In general, all restaurant staff were excellent. C. Shore Excursions 1. On the whole, the shore excursions were very enjoyable. 2. There is a discrepancy between some of the requirements/limitations on-line versus what is allowed when on the cruise. 3. We were greatly disappointed at an early departure at Turks and Cacos. Our day was cut in half. Many other passengers also felt the same. It appeared that the Navigator lost its dockage to the larger Carnival and Princess Cruise lines. We understand tender limitations but Regent should have known where these other cruise ships were located and where they planned to dock. Other arrangements should have been made for Regent passengers. This was not our problem!! Instead, it was a half day of vacation lost. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Let me provide some background as I believe we all have such subjective views. I have cruised on Celebrity and Oceania, this is the first Regent Cruise. I travel a lot for business, with my standard stays at Marriotts, Hyatts, etc. This ... Read More
Let me provide some background as I believe we all have such subjective views. I have cruised on Celebrity and Oceania, this is the first Regent Cruise. I travel a lot for business, with my standard stays at Marriotts, Hyatts, etc. This cruise was 7 nights starting in Rome ending in Istanbul. Overall it was very enjoyable,a few highlights: Positive- -Embarkation was the easiest I ever experienced. -The crew were all extremely friendly and helpful. I don't recall having crew that always had a smile on their face, and offered to assist with anything -The bed was very comfortable and the bath amenities very nice -I really like the all inclusive fare. I don't drink much, however, not signing chits throughout the cruise was very nice -The excursions were better than I expected. All but one of the guides was excellent. The maximum tour size was 20, I noted that the other larger ships had groups of 30-40 -This cruise had two significant issues to deal with. The first was a suspected case of meningitis where the passenger had to be taken off the ship overnight for medical help, and the second Hurricane Sandy. The communications and transparency from the Captain and Jamie the cruise director was excellent. There is a thread on the medical issue on the Boards. The Italian authorities did not let us disembark in Messina. All passengers were given Cipro to take as a precaution. On the hurricane side, we did use Regent Air and they were working to make sure our flight home were running as usual. In what I thought was a nice gesture, they provided free internet for the last two days of the cruise to those flying to/through the east coast. -The food was good-very good. I live in a city with excellent restaurants. I'm not sure its completely fair to compare a restaurant at home that seats 200 to the volume on the ship. Our meals in Prime 7 and Signatures were very good. The service in Signatures was surprisingly average. The Sette Mare concept worked for us and it was casual and enjoyable.Compass Rose was good, but our service there was excellent. Neutral-Negative. -I took advantage of the upsell to a "A" Penthouse suite. Our butler arrived to the ship late due to a delay in his travel back from leave. He was very pleasant, but since he was late did not do a good job of explaining what services he could provide. My wife and I are pretty self sufficient. We did not really use the butler, so whatever the incremental cost was for that was a waste of money for us. The layout of the suite, especially with the extra window was very nice however. -The gym and spa were very small. I'm not sure that the "Canyon Ranch" association adds anything -Since this cruise was so port intensive, we did not attend any of the shows. We peeked in on one, it didnt knock our socks off Overall, we had a very pleasant week. We would definitely sail on Regent again, however, it wasn't a home run. We would at least compare the price of a similar itinerary that was not all inclusive to see the difference. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
Regent Seven Seas Voyager Cruise Sunday, 30 Sep. 12 We left home at 02.45, to make 05.00 check-in at LHR, which is a downside to booking flights through the tour operator. Usually we fly in a couple of days before, enabling us to fly ... Read More
Regent Seven Seas Voyager Cruise Sunday, 30 Sep. 12 We left home at 02.45, to make 05.00 check-in at LHR, which is a downside to booking flights through the tour operator. Usually we fly in a couple of days before, enabling us to fly at a more sociable time. We are flying to Barcelona, where we should be met and transferred to the ship. We have been very lucky in gaining access to the BA lounge, as I have a frequent flyer card, with Cathay Pacific, but I've never flown with them. On arrival at the airport, we waited a few minutes for the valet parking service, then handed over our keys and took our bags to fast bag drop, before quickly clearing security and heading for the lounge, to enjoy a decent breakfast and Bucks Fizz (Mimosa). These lunges are wonderfully quiet places to relax and take advantage of the free Wi-Fi. We had a very comfortable flight, though slightly delayed due to stormy weather around southern Spain, but arrived about 10.30 and now wait in arrivals for other passengers. We were offered a breakfast roll and a choice of hot and cold drinks. We arrived just a few minutes late, but t glorious sunshine, which followed 36 hours of heavy rain, so were really very lucky! Our bags came through pretty fast and we were met by Regent reps, who took our bags and escorted us to a bus. The bus journey was very quick and our ship was berthed at the Trade Cetre, as opposed to the main cruise terminal, where all the other cruise ships were docked. This enabled pax to take a short walk into the city, raher than taking the bus or taxi. We arrived a bit early so we had to wait to check in, so Rosy and I went outside to sit in the warm sunshine, which was a really nice surprise as the forecast wasn't good. Check-in soon commenced and we were soon boarding our temporary home. No intrusive photographers to avoid, just a short walk and a champagne greeting, though Regent was a bit stingy with the measure! One sip and it was gone! Therefore, we had to walk around the circle and get another one! We boarded at about mid-day and suites wouldn't be available until 14.30, so we had a buffet lunch, found some recliners on deck 12 and started to work our way through the cocktail menu. Rosy went off to find the library and I had a look around the ship. Time soon passed and we were able to access our suite, which was originally an 'H' guarantee, but were upgraded to F 872, the same size, but a couple of decks higher. It was a quiet location near the stern, but very handy for the laundry room. The use of the laundry facilities was free for self-service. My baggage soon arrived, but Rosy's was delayed, so I went to find it, which was easy. There was plenty of storage space, in drawers, cupboards and plenty of hangers. We had a separate dressing room and a large bathroom with shower and tub. The tub also had a handheld shower fitting. There were good supplies of toiletries, including lemon-scented soap. The bed was large and extremely comfortable and we slept very well. I often struggle to sleep, particularly when the sea is rough, but no problems this time. Our suite was decorated with balloons and a 'happy birthday' banner, due to Rosy letting slip that it was my birthday. I also had a postcard from Regent, with birthday wishes and presenting a bottle of bubbly and a small cake. We didn't drink the 'fizz' until about the fourth day, as we'd had more than enough cocktails and wanted to enjoy and 'remember' the evening! Following pre-cruise advice, we had made advance reservations for the speciality restaurants for the first two nights, thereby giving us further chances later in the cruise, should we so wish. We had also pre-booked our free shore excursions. For the first night we had booked Dinner in Prime 7, the steak-house. We both had 'surf and turf', a 6oz fillet steak, plus lobster tail. It was very good, but no better than we had enjoyed on other cruise lines. We were very tired after our early start, so we headed off to bed at around 10.30, rather than seeking out entertainment. Day 2 Marseilles We awoke late, resulting in a hurried breakfast on a glorious warm morning. For our first Regent excursion we had booked a half-day tour of Marseilles and Cassis, which included a stop at the pretty seaside village of Cassis, accessed by a road train. I bought some delicious croissants from a local Boulanger. The traffic in Marseilles was very bad, mostly due to extensive harbour regeneration work, as the local tourist board were trying to change the image form industrial city to tourism destination, by introducing cultural activities. We got back to the ship just in time for a buffet lunch, with cocktails, at the Terrace Restaurant. We became very fond of the rear section, which was very quiet and offered excellent views. We decided to stay on-board for the afternoon, to drink cocktails and to play putting, croquet and shuffle-board. We had booked dinner in Signatures, the French Restaurant, which Rosy really enjoyed, but I thought it no better than the Compass Rose, the standard restaurant, where reservations weren't required, or available. Day 3 Cannes -- another beautifully sunny morning We enjoyed a more leisurely breakfast in our favoured aft location. Most mornings I had the same food, home-made muesli and fresh strawberries, together with fruit juice and coffee. Occasionally I had the daily special, pancakes or waffles. One day I had a rather disappointing omelette. This was our first tender port, so picked up bus tickets in the theatre and then waited our turn. Our guide took us on what was called a 'Gourmet Tour'. I'm not sure why it was named 'Gourmet', but it did include visits to two wineries for some tasting. At the first stop we enjoyed a very informative wine-tasting, though we seemed to be running out of time, so it felt a bit rushed. We enjoyed some good wines, at a wine distributor but maybe in view of the time of day, late morning, I should have used the spitting bucket more, rather than drinking mine and Rosy's wine! The second stop saw us visiting a Chateau and sitting around large tables, sampling various savoury chutneys on crackers, together with assorted wines. On our return to the ship, we were disappointed to find the lunch buffet close, so apart from room service; eating options were very limited, which we feel unnecessary on such a premium cruise. After our snack lunch, we returned to shore for Rosy to swim in the sea and me to take advantage of the free Wi-Fi in the customer 'lounge', which was of poor quality, then we walked around the harbour, gazing at the large yachts, wondering how people can afford such luxuries. We returned to the ship for a wallow in the Jacuzzi and pre-dinner cocktails. There was a wonderful sunset and it was a balmy evening. Life couldn't be better, thank you Lord. We were going to Dine al fresco in the open air, on Deck 11, eating Italian food, but the wind was a little cool, so we joined another couple inside. We had met them in the Steak-house, so it was nice to meet again. Again I was surprised that he wasn't drinking any wine and it turned out he was a recovering (20 years ago) alcoholic. It must have been difficult seeing everyone guzzling away. I had previously read that Chateau Neuf Du Pape was available on the included wine list, but hadn't seen it, so I asked and out it came. I never looked back and drank it for the rest of the cruise, sharing my good fortune with others! Day 4 Livorno I was surprised to see us dock in Livorno, very close to the City, as on previous cruises we had always berthed in the industrial area, requiring a bus ride to the dock gates. This time we could walk and our location was much more attractive. We enjoyed our usual breakfast, and then took our Lucca and wine tour. We tried to sway to the Lucca cycling tour, but it was full. As it turned out we were fortunate as it rained that morning, the only rain for the entire cruise, so we were glad to return to our bus and the visit to Buonamico wine shop and winery, where we enjoyed a tour and a tasting. I found a nice comfy armchair to sit and watch the world go by, whilst sampling. At one point I was brought a large sample of Grappa, a sort of Schnapps. It was quite strong and I felt a bit sleepy on the return trip. It was strange to see the Carnival Breeze also in port, knowing that my good friend John Heald was so near, yet so far. We hoped to meet but he was too busy. I had told our CD that John was nearby and he admitted to being an avid reader of the JH Blog and asked me to invite him for lunch. Unfortunately he couldn't make it, but he and John did meet on the Breeze, the next day at Civitavecchia. He was thrilled to have met John and been mentioned on the FB page. After lunch, on board, we walked into the city for an hour or so, and then returned to the ship. We had a very enjoyable dinner in the Compass Rose. Day 5 Rome As usual for Rome, we had an early start. We had booked the Roma Express, a private train (several cruise lines had coaches on this train). Passengers are bussed about a mile to a special station, where the train awaits, and then a non-stop journey to Rome's St Pietro station. This could be an excellent trip, but give me the standard train any day. If I had paid the $70 for the trip, I'd have felt cheated. We usually pay 11 Euros for a return train journey, with free city transportation for Rome included. Ok we have to walk to station (about 10-15 minutes), but we have plenty of room on the train and they usually run to time. We waited on the 'Special' train for about 15 minutes, then it crawled around the docks, before racing to Rome, but it wasn't any quicker than the normal service and there was very little legroom. The return departure was late, due I think to passengers missing. It was very frustrating and there was no communication. Clearly it is a good option for those who worry about missing the ship, but for intrepid travellers, it's a waste of time and money! Day 6 Portofino Portofino is another tender port, but one of the prettiest I have been to and well worth a visit, albeit that the tenders take a long time. We had an afternoon boat trip as our tour, so left the ship straight after breakfast and walked around the coast to the next village (about 30 minutes). The local authority has constructed a good path, offering excellent views. It is possible to walk a lot further, but we wanted to have lunch on the ship, and then return for our tour, but as we had such a long wait for a tender, as did many others, we were all late for the tour. The boat trip took us to another small harbour, but we found it a bit tedious and were glad to get back to Portofino. That night we returned to the Italian restaurant for our dinner, which was excellent again, helped by drinking copious amounts of red wine. Day 7 Monte Carlo Monte Carlo was our last port and we also stayed overnight on the ship, before disembarking on day 8. We had arranged a tour of Villefrance and the Chateau of Baroness Rothschild. Villefrance is a pretty harbour and town and is a popular tender port for cruises. There were some lovely views of the coastline from our tour bus. We stayed in the town for about 45 minutes, before leaving for the Rothschild home, surrounded by beautiful gardens and a dancing fountain. We were given a guided tour of the house and gardens, before returning to the ship for lunch. In the afternoon we walked around the harbour and went to see some vintage cars, before returning to pack our bags. We had an excellent dinner in Compass Rose, preceded by the crew show, which was quite good fun. Day 8 Departure via Nice On our final day, we had opted for a Riviera Tour on the way to Nice airport. This tour also included a somewhat tedious tour of Nice, when all I wanted was to get to the airport. Mind you, we had plenty of time, once we got to the airport. It was well organised, as porters met the bus and took our bags inside the terminal, where we checked in easily. Once again, we were able to enjoy the comfort and peace of the lounge, before our short flight back to London. This was one of best ever cruise experiences, helped by good fortune, good weather and a premium ship, but we didn't consider the cruise to be particularly good value for money. Additional comments The entertainment wasn't very exciting and lacked variety. We don't particularly like shows, so all but the 'Beatles' tribute was of no interest. There was an excellent trio, who played and sang well. There was also a pianist who played soft music in the Horizon lounge. We missed the comedians and variety of the bigger ships. Sometimes it was difficult to get a drink, without actually visiting the bar, particularly on the pool deck. Maybe this was because they were included! At times they needed more bar staff. The coffee was disappointing, apart from that served in the coffee lounge on deck 5. It was useful to be able to collect free bottled water before leaving on tours. The Champagne wasn't as nice as we're used to drinking at home. Some of the wine wasn't to our liking and they immediately tried to sell us an expensive bottle. I wasn't amused. The water temperature in the hot tubs varied enormously and the staff seemed unwilling or unable to do anything about it. Rather surprisingly, whilst we found all the serving staff very friendly, some of the officers were not so. One officer ignored my 'good morning'. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We took the Regent Mariner on a Western Mediterranean cruise starting in Monte Carlo and ending in Barcelona. Let me say upfront..we had a wonderful time and wouldn't have missed it for the world. That being said, we probably would ... Read More
We took the Regent Mariner on a Western Mediterranean cruise starting in Monte Carlo and ending in Barcelona. Let me say upfront..we had a wonderful time and wouldn't have missed it for the world. That being said, we probably would not go on Regent again, because of the value for the money. We took this particular cruise because we wanted to stop in Sardinia, Italy where we met 30 years ago, and this cruise had a wonderful itinerary and stopped in Sardinia. The food and service on Regent are excellent. Everyone tries so very hard to make you happy and I will admit it was very nice not to have to hand over a cruise card constantly when I wanted something. The food in all of the restaurants was very good. Compass Rose, the main dining room had an excellent selection and everything was well prepared. The wine list was pretty good, not outstanding, but we are avid wine tasters, so we are used to some very nice wines...but the wines were good. We also had wonderful meals at Prime Seven, Signatures and Sette Mare. You don't have to pay an extra charge at any of the premium restaurants, and that is nice, but you are limited to one visit each, which was fine. Sette Mare, the Italian restaurant was a wonderful surprise. It's not considered a premium restaurant, but definitely feels like one. Get there early, because it is popular. Room service and cabin service was amazing. They stock your frig with beer, water and sodas and keep it stocked, plus you can have 2 bottles of any spirits they have, and the selection was very good. We had one bottle of Meyers Rum and One of Wild Turkey. We also had room service for breakfast each morning and it was wonderful pulling into port having breakfast on the balcony. Our room steward was excellent and our room was always well made up and clean. Shore excursions were very good...we only paid for one and that was a Vatican St Peters tour in Rome...$159 a piece which seemed a little pricey, but it was a good tour. The rest of the tours were excellent. Now..the not so good. Before embarkation while at the pre-cruise hotel, we asked the Regent representatives if my cousins who were in the area, could come on board with us for a little while before departure. They said yes. They even let us take them on the bus to the ship. Once we got to the ship however, they would not let them on, and so they had to stand on the gangway for 20 minutes while we ran to our rooms and stashed our carry on items and then hurried back. That was an unfortunate incident and wasn't a great first impression to start off the cruise. We never went to any of the entertainments offered because they were all stage productions and all seemed rather old fashioned. It wasn't really a big deal to us, because we were on excursions each day of the cruise (no sea days unfortunately)and by the time we had dinner and an after dinner drink we were ready to just sit on the balcony and watch the waves go by for an hour before bed! Decor of the ship....very boring and dull...death by beige...yikes! Carnival is way to much on the other side of color...too wild...but this ship was a little too...uh soothing. Also in the middle of the ship area there was a constant sewer smell that I'd heard about in other reviews. We couldn't smell it in the room, but by the shops and the Casino...ugh... Internet- AWFUL....!! I wasn't trying to work or do anything data intensive, but wow...you used up three quarters of your minutes just trying to get to a web page. Customer service was almost non-existent, and when you did reach them they were not pleasant. I finally gave up and waited until I got home to connect. Fellow passengers- Really didn't get to meet any. We were always seated by ourselves at dinner although we wanted to be at a larger table, so we just didn't have much opportunity to meet people. We did notice that the first few days of the cruise there were ALOT of very drunk people walking around the ship...probably a result of the "kid in a candy store" syndrome of all inclusive alcohol. We ventured into the casino one night and sat down at the blackjack table but left after about 15 minutes because the individuals to the right and left of us were so loaded they were practically falling off of their chairs!! Anyway, after a few days, that seemed to subside. There was also a very large...and loud tour group that was on board and in the speciality dining rooms, you could hear their conversations half across the room. Overall though, we had an excellent cruise. The itinerary was wonderful, the food and service were wonderful and the shore excursions were very good. The value for the money...not so much. I priced a similar itinerary on Royal Caribbean for the Western Mediterranean and even adding in excursion fees daily, a bottle of good wine daily, $100 of alcohol daily, gratuities...it still pencilled out 30% LESS than Regent. Are we glad we took the cruise? Definitely..everyone should do Regent cruise once...then go back to RCL, Princess, Norwegian or Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Review - Regent Seven Seas "Navigator" Anchorage to Vancouver 2-13 July 2012 I think it's often wiser to write a review with the benefit of objective hindsight so I have spent a few days thinking this through before ... Read More
Review - Regent Seven Seas "Navigator" Anchorage to Vancouver 2-13 July 2012 I think it's often wiser to write a review with the benefit of objective hindsight so I have spent a few days thinking this through before risking the ire of the Regent loyalists of whom I consider myself one believe it or not! I will also keep it as brief as possible and apologise now if I omit any important details. If so, feel free to ask. No food pics either. We all know what food looks like! Overall we enjoyed our cruise but can't help feeling disappointed that it didn't meet our expectations. It is also perhaps unfair to compare one Regent cruise against another with such different ships and itineraries. Or maybe our Sydney to Beijing Voyager cruise last year was exceptional compared to this Navigator experience. Getting to Anchorage on the trans-Pacific haul is always a challenge for those of us who live Down Under but this one was made much easier by the excellent Air New Zealand service from Melbourne (via Auckland) to Vancouver. If you want to avoid the added stress of transiting through LAX or San Francisco then I can highly recommend it. Unfortunately we had to go via San Fran to make it to Anchorage/Seward on time so we had the customary surly and rude "welcome" to the US from the border/customs officials so many visitors are now subjected to. A truly terrible "first class" 5 hour United flight in an ancient 737 from San Fran to Anchorage with broken seats and inedible food - an outrageous waste of money - soured the mood even further. A major attitude adjustment is required from their cranky and impatient flight attendants too. Hotel was the Captain Cook. It was clean and comfortable but we were so jetlagged and exhausted after almost 24 hours of airports/travel we really didn't care. There were a number of Regent and Princess pax staying there so there was a long queue for breakfast. Hint: Ask for a later bus to Seward to avoid the early brekky queue and a very quick and easy embarkation. A 2 hour bus ride at midday to Seward was uneventful and we were about the last group of passengers to embark so the process was entirely painless and smooth . 10 minutes max. Penthouse Suite on deck 11 was classic Regent and exactly as you'd expect, ie clean, spacious, comfortable and smart with all the usual attention to detail. I can't comment on the recent refit as I didn't see what it was like beforehand but everything was fine apart from paint spattered verandah furniture and a bit of minor 'finishing off' required here and there. That being said, the ship is obviously getting old and tired which no amount of cosmetic surgery is going to fix. A bit like me really. We did notice the infamous "vibration problem", especially when sailing at higher speeds but it didn't bother us. More intrusive was the early morning thump, thump, thump of the gym treadmills which were directly over our cabin. Our butler Irshad was a delight and very efficient and attentive , as was our steward Raz who always had a cheerful smile and time for a quick chat no matter how busy he was. Dining was very hit and miss with regards to the actual food and the service during both breakfast and dinner. I think there were a lot of new recruits among the waiters as dining room service in both the Compass Rose and Sette Mari (we couldn't get a table in Prime 7 except at 9pm one night which is way too late for us) seemed chaotic and lacking direction. I won't bore you with the several minor incidents which added up to one major problem but it wasn't as good as it could and should be and as I know it can be. On one night we had inexplicably poor service in CR and so I wrote a fairly stern mid-cruise report which seemed to have the desired effect as the crew were all over us after that but it didn't always translate into improved service. I think our names and photos were on the crew briefing room as These Two Are Trouble! One very obvious example of Regent's cost cutting was the very limited wine choices which were average quality and uninspiring. OK to drink with a meal but nothing you'd want to enjoy on its own. The sommeliers were also slow or invisible with wine often served well into the main course. Sette Mari is already a divisive topic but for us it was nothing more than a gimmick in a restaurant that's already very small (made smaller by the expanded Prime 7). OK if you like semi-formal Italian dining every night but it means that if you want a less structured or flexible evening meal then room service is your only option. I'm possibly in the minority on this one but I really don't think Regent can afford to severely restrict our dining choices like this. I know it's a matter of limited space but that makes the Sette Mari "experiment" even less practical. Bring back the La Veranda model for informal evening buffet dining please! Entertainment is limited to the very competant Jean Ann Ryan Dancers doing various themed shows and the inimitable and quirky (!) Cruise Director Ray Solaire. I don't doubt his talent as an entertainer (and he's an excellent singer) but we were hoping for something a bit different some nights. I guess the logistics of the Alaska itinerary limit the opportunities for other entertainers to join/leave the ship? The band was professional and versatile and did a great job. Demographics can be an emotive topic but on this cruise I think they played a major factor in our overall enjoyment or lack thereof. The moribund CC Roll Call for this voyage should have been a clue about what to expect perhaps. The vast majority of passengers were American seniors as you would expect on an Alaskan voyage but I'm afraid it wasn't easy to engage with most of them. Maybe it was our "weird" Aussie accents but many people made it perfectly clear they weren't interested in any kind of conversation, with some being downright rude, almost hostile. Even a friendly "G'day!" while passing in a corridor was often met with suspicious or alarmed stares or they stonewalled us altogether. We are usually happy to dine at a large table in CR in order to meet our fellow passengers but on this cruise we were sufficiently intimidated not to risk an awkward evening. The overall ambiance just wasn't the usual relaxed and happy Regent experience I'm afraid. Perhaps it had something to do with the...... Weather which was dull and damp most days which meant we were unable to see much, if any, of the magnificent Alaskan scenary except on the last two days (Prince Rupert and Inner Passage) when the sun finally came out and gave everyone a long awaited treat of warmth and those stunning views and a few welcome hours soaking up the rays relaxing on the pool deck. Our first stop at the Hubbard Glacier was a complete wash-out with very poor visibility and too much ice making it impossible to see anything at all. Seeing Terry Breen's spectacular photos of what we were missing in all that murk made it even more disappointing. The upside of all the damp and cloud was very calm seas apart from one lumpy evening (nothing serious) so we were lucky in that respect as we could tell that Navigator wouldn't handle rough seas very well. Alaskan weather is always the luck of the draw and we knew that before we booked so there's no point complaining about something that can't be predicted or fixed anyway! Excursions (or at least the ones we did) were well organized and enjoyable but they all offer basically the same thing - whales, wildlife and glaciers. Alaska does those things superbly well of course but after a week it does make all the ports tend to blend into each other. I admit we did skip a couple of "free" excursions because we were all whaled out by then. The Destinations staff was helpful and very (very) patient as there always seemed to be people asking questions and changing their minds about excursions. Disembarkation was quick and seamless and we were at Vancouver airport within an hour of leaving our suite for the last time. This was no doubt due in part to the fact that there was only one other ship docked at Canada Place that morning. In conclusion this was a good cruise overall but not a great one. The poor weather was no doubt a significant factor but we feel there was a more fundamental underlying problem which I still can't quite put my finger on. Navigator just didn't seem like a 'happy ship' for some reason either for the passengers or the crew who appeared to be lacking training, leadership and supervision. The general malaise was highlighted one morning when two dining room staff almost came to blows during breakfast in La Veranda. While there were a few families with young children on board this cruise doesn't really cater for them and while they behaved very well they didn't have much to entertain them. But Regent has always geared its product towards adults so it's something to take into consideration if you are planning a family cruise. Would we cruise with Regent again? Of course, in fact we are already booked on the Voyager in 2013. Will we choose Navigator again? Probably not. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
This was the most expensive cruise we had ever booked but the advertising made us think it would be worth it. When you board a ship and your heart sinks because the carpets are so shabby looking, is not a good omen for the remainder of the ... Read More
This was the most expensive cruise we had ever booked but the advertising made us think it would be worth it. When you board a ship and your heart sinks because the carpets are so shabby looking, is not a good omen for the remainder of the trip. This vessel is in dire need of refurbishment and indeed, at the end of this cruise it was rumoured to be going into dry dock for 2 weeks for some improvements. The cabin was spacious and well presented with a much valued bath and walk in wardrobe, but a large raised bubble in the middle of the carpet where somebody had tried to remove a stain did nothing to lift my spirits. Our friends' cabin next door had awful scuff marks on the walls and the furniture was very shabby. The weather was not good so the cabins creaked and groaned all night. We became experts at knowing where to strategically place cushions and towels to minimise movement squeaks. Any reported problems were promptly dealt with but I would never book a cabin at the rear again. The organisation was first class from arrival to departure - speedy and efficient so top marks there. On the whole, the staff were attentive and extremely pleasant but several times in the Compass Rose restaurant service fell well below the expected standard. We realised this was because we chose to eat well into the sitting when staff were being redeployed to other areas of the ship after the initial rush to get people out in time for the theatre presentation. This was such a shame because the food was truly excellent but service did not match that experienced on other cruise lines. If you have open dining you should have sufficient staff no matter what time people want to eat. A 30 to 40 minute wait to place an order is not acceptable. The trips were first class although better wet weather gear could have been provided on the Fort Stevens cycling event. Other trips provided excellent protective clothing which was very much needed and I would be better prepared on another trip to Alaska and take more of my own. Despite the weather, we came back from every trip smiling. One slight niggle about trips was that our $1,000 onboard credit could only be used for premium trips booked once on board and not in advance, which meant we were scrabbling to find something to spend the money on at the end of the voyage. I wouldn't book premium trips in advance again. As the journey progressed we were slowly seduced by the Navigator; by the fact that there was always somewhere to sit and have a drink, the evening entertainment, the daytime lectures, the quality of the food, the dedicated bar staff, the hardworking cabin staff and the feeling of relaxation that comes from knowing that everything is included in the price. When we disembarked at Vancouver we just wished that we had delayed the trip by one month to benefit from the makeover. Would we pay such a high price again? We're still debating that one but I suspect the answer might be yes. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
we have been on several cruises, our all time favorite being the seabourn. this came close second. we picked this cruise as we were taking our two teenage boys and treating my inlaws to a family vacation. the hotel pre cruise was ... Read More
we have been on several cruises, our all time favorite being the seabourn. this came close second. we picked this cruise as we were taking our two teenage boys and treating my inlaws to a family vacation. the hotel pre cruise was terrific(casa fuster), embarkation was flawless, the rooms ready on time. we had the largest room on board, the two bedroom, two and half bath room. we booked this as they were running a special for kids in your room for $999, so we paid exorbitantly, but we ended up prob breaking even, as we normally would do two penthouse staterooms for the four of our immediate family. my in laws were in a room right down the hall, which was spacious and lovely. our room was terrific, enormous, with a huge balcony. the carpet was a little worn and the furnishings could have used updating. the food was very good in the regular restaurants, but surprisingly, not that great in their two high end restaurants, prime 7 and signatures. the best meal we have ever had was on princess cruise,in their steakhouse. my sons still talk about that meal. service was brisk and depending on the heritage of the waiter, either brusque or extremely friendly. our cabin steward and butler were efficient and friendly. the staff on the regent friendly to a fault. ports were wonderful except marseilles. the wharf in the lowliest of towns would be better than marseilles...dirty, graffiti covered, etc. the tours were very well run and never felt crowded. we did all day trips which were a little long and realized we should have stuck to half day trips. we also had the good fortune to be invited to a wine dinner as an owner of the banfi wines was on board. this was truly the highlight of the trip, exceptional food and service and wine. the other cruisers were a mixed lot, some having won the cruise as an award for service, families and primarily american, mixed age groups. most cruisers were friendly, but there definitely some very odd and rude fellow cruisers. one cruiser almost came to blows with our friendly tour guide(she felt her question wasn't being properly answered). ugh!! no wonder the world thinks of us as ugly americans. i would do regent again, but as always seabourn will be my favorite.(i am not a nightlife person, love relaxation, luxury, no lines, etc.) on a last note, i am a workout fanatic, this was by far the worst gym i have ever seen. small, no ventilationk, dimly lit, crowded, smelly, etc. because of the shortcomings of the gym, the high end restaurants and the room needing updating, i gave it a four star review. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Having seen the reviews, read the brochures and travelled A LOT, my husband and I expected a little more from this cruise. It reminded us of Holland America--a lot of hype and some substance to back it up, but not all that it was supposed ... Read More
Having seen the reviews, read the brochures and travelled A LOT, my husband and I expected a little more from this cruise. It reminded us of Holland America--a lot of hype and some substance to back it up, but not all that it was supposed to be. Pros: *ports of call--Ephesus with an expert excursion--worth every penny--one of the most memorable places I will ever visit (my only remaining ancient wonder of the world is Babylon) *transfers--extremely smooth, professional and well done *dining--90% of the time: outstanding *staffing--90% of the time: outstanding *free excursions--wonderful perk to booking this cruise, though we only did two *stateroom--large enough for 2 and plenty of storage. The walk in closet was great *spa--one of the best stone massages ever and they didn't try to sell us stuff Cons: *bartending: no Martini olives and no bartenders who could make "pool" drinks. My rum runner was brown..... *staffing--the other 10% of the not so friendly staff did not endear us to this cruise line *value--the complimentary beverages, tipping and excellent house wines don't make it worth the price that we paid. Final Comments: Were Windstar to go all inclusive we would never look back and are thinking that even with a bar bill at the end, Windstar and the Paul Gaughin (which is all inclusive) are the best cruiselines we have travelled with. We have not travelled with Crystal nor Seabourn, so they might live up to their reputations, but we do not feel that Regent is worth the price paid. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
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