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221 Regent Seven Seas Cruise Reviews

I think the only reason I have mixed feelings regarding our first luxury cruise experience is due to our cabin location. I had read a few things about possible ship vibration at the rear and even one review where someone said they ... Read More
I think the only reason I have mixed feelings regarding our first luxury cruise experience is due to our cabin location. I had read a few things about possible ship vibration at the rear and even one review where someone said they "fixed the problem." According to my husband who served on navy ships for 34 years, if there is a problem like vibration, it will always remain. After the 1st night at sea he called down to the front desk to see about moving...we were even willing to take a non balcony just to avoid the vibration. Everyone was bothered by it at the rear of the ship. I am not certain why we weren't given an option to choose a cabin as we have been given on other cruise lines, but we were not the only guests who had the same experience. (thinking that having paid a certain amount of money, we would be given a good room). My husband even said that the Navy doesn't put it's crew in berthing above the propeller. Unfortunately they couldn't move us so we had to just get used to it. Our neighbor rearranged all the glassware to try and dampen the residual noise caused by the vibration. Fortunately we were not in rough seas or it would have been worse. One night I even dreamed I was driving an ATV (never been on one in my life) and I was careening down a rocky hillside. So thank goodness for all the free alcohol - that's what helped us sleep. That is a definite positive on this cruise line. As for the cabin itself, it was spacious with even a walk in closet and bathtub. Rating service, we didn't feel it was necessarily better than on other lines we have sailed (holland, celebrity and even royal carribean) In fact, even though it is a smaller line with capacity up to 500 (as was the case on our southbound alaska cruise), we felt just as crowded at the buffet - even more so with more lines since the dining areas are so small. If we dined at compass rose at lunch, the wait for food was noticeable. You do get free excursions which is nice. The children's program was located across the hall from the cigar lounge and we had quite a few smoking passengers so I didn't care for this. (not sure how the kids felt!)Lots of kids on this cruise - while well behaved, it was unexpected to have such a high percentage on this luxury line. So overall I don't think the extra price was worth the experience. Perhaps if we had been midship we would have felt differently. I am more inclined to choose a cruise based on itinerary and maybe get a suite on a less expensive ship. As for the food, it was hit or miss. Only one dinner was unacceptable so had to order something else. There were more seafood choices and the seafood cocktail at lunch was nice. Breakfast was virtually the same each day. Prime 7 is the standout - definitely 5 stars for that experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
This was our second cruise with Regent on the Navigator, so we were familiar with the ship, its layout, just not the destination - Alaska. For the first time, we took advantage of the Regent air package and were very pleased with ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Regent on the Navigator, so we were familiar with the ship, its layout, just not the destination - Alaska. For the first time, we took advantage of the Regent air package and were very pleased with the arrangements they made for us, travelling out of Toronto, changing in Vancouver for a flight to Anchorage. On the way back, we took a deviation so that we could stay in Vancouver for three days. On arrival at Anchorage, the Regent Reps were very much in evidence and it was a mere minutes before we and our luggage were on a coach with other passengers heading for the Hilton in Anchorage. The Hilton (never our favourite hotel chain) has definitely seen better days. It is tired looking in its furnishings. Our impressions of it were probably not helped by striking workers demonstrating outside the hotel later in the afternoon. Our room was adequate, but no more and we were both bothered by allergies while there which we suspect came from the air conditioning as they cleared up as soon as we left the next day. Regent had a desk set up and manned until 10:00 p.m. in the lobby and when we signed in there, we were given a voucher for a buffet breakfast the next morning and told that we would then be able to pick what time we took the bus to Seward. We were also given the option of changing our booking from the bus to the train if we wanted to do so. We did not. We very much enjoyed walking around Anchorage and explored the downtown area quite thoroughly, enjoying the beer at the Glacier Bay Brewhouse very much indeed. That night we ate at Orso, which had been recommended to us by someone on the Regent Forum on Cruise Critic and had a wonderful meal of incredibly fresh fish. Still being on Ontario time, we were up very early the next morning and hit the buffet breakfast as it opened. We chose the second coach to Seward at 11:30 a.m. Our luggage was to be left just inside our room door for pick up after 9:00. After that everything continued to go very smoothly. We had a delightful coach driver who gave a running commentary of what we should look out for as she drove. What should have been a two and a half hour journey turned into a three and a half hour one, as there was quite a large amount of construction en route. Once at the quay in Seward, we were on the ship in a matter of minutes, steered by staff into the main theatre where we got our cards and then directed to our room which was ready with our luggage already there. We had chosen a Grand Suite thinking that we would make good use of the wrap around balcony, having had a similar suite on the Paul Gauguin when we cruised in French Polynesia, when it came to viewing the Hubbard Glacier or wildlife and scenery in general. Our first day was beautifully sunny and we were thrilled to see a small sitting area with a table and two chairs on the balcony and then when we walked round, two very nice sun beds. Our hopes of making use of this were dashed by the appalling weather we had on this cruise. It's the luck of the draw in Alaska where the weather is so unpredictable, but it was really dire with only one afternoon of sunshine for the rest of the cruise (Skagway), which rendered this beautiful outdoor space a waste of time and money. When sailing close to the Hubbard Glacier we did use the balcony, but it was sheer doggedness to do so. We were kitted out in full waterproofs, gloves, hats and used the umbrellas provided in the suite as well. On the days when it wasn't raining, just merely grey and cold, the wind was so strong that it was not pleasant to be on the balcony at all. Our stewardess, Nelma, and butler, John, were both very pleasant and very efficient in all they did and nothing was too much trouble, not that we are particularly demanding. We did notice, however, that there seem to be a little cost cutting going on. We are not huge drinkers and on our Caribbean cruise on the Navigator, we asked whether we could exchange the four bottles of liquor in our suite for one bottle of Knob Creek bourbon and this was not a problem. When we asked if we could do the same this time, we were told that this was not possible without an additional charge. Food is always very subjective. We found the food to be, on the whole very good, but not really outstanding. We never had a bad meal, but looking back I can't say we ever had an exceptional one either. This was highlighted when we compared the meals on board with the ones we had in Vancouver. Soups were always very good and I noticed a huge improvement in the quality of the bread and other baked goods from our last cruise. Alaska has such plentiful fish and seafood that I hoped to see more of it used on board. There was always a destination dish of salmon available in Compass Rose and on several days Yellow Eye as well, but I would have definitely liked to see more. Interestingly in Ketchikan, when I got off to explore (yet again in driving rain) a refrigerated trunk had just pulled up from a local fish company. Service in all the restaurants was excellent. There were quite a few staff who remembered us from our last cruise and we were very happy to see Daniela, the head sommelier, as my husband really liked talking wine with her. I was ill one day and even though it was not on the room service menu, the kitchen came up trumps and provided the clear chicken broth which was the only thing I could face eating. We took a mixture of the ship's free excursions and some with an additional charge. Two of these were run by Allen Marine and we were very impressed with this company, particularly with the quality of the guides they provided. In Sitka, after exploring on our own, we took the Sea Otter and Wildlife quest which was excellent. I was thrilled to see sea otters and was astonished by their size. We also took the Tracy Arm excursion at an additional charge and this was well worth the extra money. A catamaran picked us up from the ship which briefly stopped and then whisked us away to view the Sawyer glaciers. Our luck was in as the ice was thin enough for us to get very close to the North Sawyer and we saw it calve twice. It also stopped raining so that we were able to go out on deck to take some very good pictures. Allen Marine then took us back to rejoin the Navigator which had docked in Juneau. In Skagway we took the gold panning and dredging trip which we knew was going to be hokey. It didn't disappoint. Skagway and Sitka were probably my two favourite stops as they weren't completely inundated with gaudy, tacky jewellery stores as Juneau and Ketchikan were. I later learned that many of these jewellery stores were branches of stores in the Caribbean who come to Alaska for just the summer to follow the cruise ships. It explained why some other stores had large notices in their windows proclaiming that they were owned and run by Alaskan families. We were meant to arrive in Ketchikan by noon and had booked to do another excursion with an additional charge, the float plane fjord viewing and crab feast. The weather was so bad with strong cross winds that the Navigator's arrival was delayed. Destination services were obviously on top of this and were in touch with the local tour operators as we struggled through the rough seas. They announced that some excursions were going to have to be cancelled, and asked passengers to come to the desk to discuss options. Ours was in the second batch to be cancelled, and rather than just do the crab feast, getting there by bus rather than float plane, we decided to take the refund which was promptly applied to our onboard account and which we used to pay for a Connoisseurs Wine Tasting that Daniela ran the next day - which was very good indeed as she brought out some rare and interesting wines for us to try. I delayed writing this review until I had had time to mull it over a little. We had a very good time and were happy with the service on the Navigator and with the ship itself. Alaska is beautiful and we saw wildlife and scenery that we will always remember. There is no getting away from the fact, however, that weather plays a huge part in a cruise like this and we were singularly unlucky with maybe three quarters of a day of good weather in the whole cruise. Reading comments from people who took the cruise immediately after us they were lucky enough to have exactly the reverse in terms of weather, a lot of sunshine and minimal bad weather. We would certainly cruise again, probably with Regent, although we are open to other luxury lines if the itinerary is right for us, but we have learned from this cruise that we are probably better suited to one that has an itinerary based more on history than on scenery. We like museums, old buildings, churches, galleries and, although we enjoy magnificent scenery we need an alternative if the weather isn't good! Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
We sailed on the British Isles cruise in August. Luckily we had very good weather, so that helped the whole experience. All in all, we were satisfied with the ship and the service. However, they aren't up to the level of some of the ... Read More
We sailed on the British Isles cruise in August. Luckily we had very good weather, so that helped the whole experience. All in all, we were satisfied with the ship and the service. However, they aren't up to the level of some of the other high end lines we have been on such as Seabourn and Windstar. The buffet restaurant was not well laid out for the crowds which occurred at breakfast. There was little variety from morning to morning, and they need to learn how to properly cook scrambled eggs, especially since they are on the buffet every morning. The buffet restaurant is made over to what they call a romantic Mediterranean dinner in the evenings, but was little different except for the menu, which was decent. Except for the main course, still a buffet, not the specialty restaurant we expected from the glowing marketing description.The main restaurant was fine, although service slowed down when it got busy. Food quality was generally good, but not the level of some of the competition. Wines were adequate but nothing special. However, the steak specialty restaurant overcooked two of the six orders from our party - why?? My wife's order had to be sent back, the other two decided not to.The free shore excursions were a nice feature. They fill up fast, so book them as soon as possible. One tour we were particularly interested in was cancelled for an unknown reason, so people were added on to other tours. Conversely, the Balfour Castle tour was very nicely done, especially with the feature of tea and pastries in the main dining room. Don't bother with the river sightseeing cruise in Dublin - you're better off to do a general tour and have time to see the pubs and historic area.Considering the price, we felt a little let down in comparison with other cruises we have taken, but can't point to any one glaring fault. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We have previously travelled with mainstream cruise lines such as P&O, Princess, Celebrity, RCI etc and thought we would try a more expensive '5 star' cruise. While many elements of the ship and the cruise were excellent and ... Read More
We have previously travelled with mainstream cruise lines such as P&O, Princess, Celebrity, RCI etc and thought we would try a more expensive '5 star' cruise. While many elements of the ship and the cruise were excellent and merited the extra cost, there were some surprising negatives also. Food varied from acceptable to excellent, with the exception of the Signatures restaurant - pretentious menu and average to poor food! The main restauarant was great for couples with lots of tables for 2 by the windows! The food was often great - lunches in the main restaurant were particularly unusual and excellently flavoured; also the portions were not too big which is great at lunchtime. Occasionally, however, there were some very odd and definitely second class offerings - one afternoon tea, the only sandwiches were cheap potted meat or jam (I haven't been offered a jam sandwich since I was a child when it was definitely food for the poor!!!) The upsides first:- Wonderful cabin - spacious, well-equipped, good balcony, beautifully furnished. Some things we particularly liked were the curtained area for sitting, separated from the bedroom - this allowed me to get up earlier than my husband and to read and use the balcony without disturbing him!; the walk-in closet with lots of hanging space and drawers; big bathroom with very big shower area, lovely toiletries and lots of space. (We had a cabin with only a shower and this gives you lots of room if, like us, you do not want a bath. Great staff - friendly throughout the ship, including the officers; nothing too much trouble; efficient and helpful. Even the tour staff were good and this is often one area where cruise ships are poor!! Lots of space in the ship - no queues for anything, even the buffet restaurant had lots of tables whenever you wanted to eat. The ship felt quiet and uncrowded throughout the cruise - very relaxing. No attempts to keep selling to you, which is unusual - no photographers constantly in your face trying to take photos and sell them to you, no pressure to use the shops. This is all in line with the fact that everything is included so you don't constantly have to show your cruise card. At the same time, the staff were great in keeping you supplied with food and drink - no need to chase them at all. It makes for a very relaxing time. Tours were good - no feeling that, because they are free, they are a lesser class than those sold on other cruise ships. Ports of call were all great - some a bit busy but that is the only possible negative, and is not RSSC's fault!! Downsides:- The tours were all early morning and nearly all scheduled at similar times. This made a few issues - overcrowding and lines waiting to disembark. The worst point, however, was that the mealtimes were not adjusted to take account of the tours. So, the restaurant was only open in the morning as you were reporting to the tour - you could only have a sit-down meal if you were staying on the ship! You had to use the buffet (sometimes cold food!!) or have room service which was often the only practical option. Similarly, you had to rush back at the end of the tour if you wanted to be served because many of the tours ended at 1.00-1.15 and the restaurant closed at 1.30. Even the buffet closed at 2.00 so you could not have a look round the port after the tour if you wanted to eat. There was always room service but that always takes time to order and receive, and the choice is limited. Generally, the availability of food was the poorest I have come across on any ship. Apart from room service, there were gaps in the morning and afternoon where you struggled to find food. This meant you had to keep an eye on the time to ensure you did not miss a meal - not what you want on a cruise. One morning we got up at 9.00 (hardly sleeping in!!) and found only one place we could eat cold food!! It would be nice when you get back to the ship to find cold drinks and cold towels available - they do this on Celebrity which is a cheaper option. A bit galling to be moored next to a cheaper cruiseline and seeing them being regaled with cold towels!! The public areas looked a bit tired to us and no wow factor. Downsides may sound a bit picky but this cruise is expensive and is meant to be top class so I think you should expect excellence! Overall, a very good experience but I think RSSC should travel on some other lines to see how it could be improved to 5 star all round Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
This is our second Regent cruise, first on The Navigator. The cabins are perhaps Regent's strong point, and the spacious suite was a great place...fortunate since we had to spend significant time there during the sea days to and from ... Read More
This is our second Regent cruise, first on The Navigator. The cabins are perhaps Regent's strong point, and the spacious suite was a great place...fortunate since we had to spend significant time there during the sea days to and from Bermuda. Of course, the Ocean is the Ocean, but the ship did poorly (worse than on ships of similar size we've been on) with persistent 20-25 foot swells. Our first night out of Charleston was spent in what felt like a cycling elevator ride, up 15-20 feet, slide right, down 20 feet and repeat. The next day wasn't much better. On the leg from Bermuda to Nassau, the real thrills occurred...(all who were aboard will remember this for a loooong time). More 20-foot plus waves; one lifted us into a right hand yaw (quick swerve) followed quickly by another wave that hit us broadside, which tilted the ship about 25-30 degrees to the left (really). In La Veranda, a couple dozen folks were thrown from their chairs to skid across the floor, pots, pans, dishware and glasses fell and broke, and there were a few seconds that had me deliberating over the best way to find a life preserver...they went on the PA soon thereafter to ask people to go to their cabins and remain there. OK, back to the ship; great crew, excellent service throughout, especially in Compass Rose for dinners. Very good food (except the steaks, which didn't seem to have much flavor, and where anything from rare to medium was essentially the same) and menu choices. The ship's amenities were good for a vessel of that size, and the Cruise Director (Ray Solaire) is the best CD I have experienced in a dozen cruises on 5 different lines. The fitness center was more than adequate for a boat of this size; they may want to consider adding another elliptical (take out one treadmill) to keep up with trends in exercise. The shorex were generally very good, and the variety of things to do was fine in re what one might expect. Due to the heavy weather, though, both snorkling days (one in Bermuda and one in Nassau) were cancelled. Also due to the heavy swells enroute to Bermuda, we arrived several hours late, pushing some shorex to the next day and causing us and others to miss some due to conflicts in time. Perhaps to make up for Bermuda (where we had to stay in Hamilton and not move to St George's due to ocean conditions) we did arrive early in Nassau. Ship entertainment was better than expected, and the dance and singing performances were generally very good. They did a Cirque show one evening that I would have paid for in a land-based resort. The band was enjoyable, and their work in the various lounges and dance venues was appreciated. The ship did a Halloween dance and party one night, which was well-done and should be considered as a recurring activity (of course, the theme would change with the seasons). The comedian wasn't to our taste (not bad, just not very funny, which is subjective, I know). The enrichment lectures were OK, although the photography guy spent more time lauding the Occupy movement and a return to 60's style protests than much else. One area of concern was both getting onboard the first day, and then leaving the ship at the end of the cruise. Check-in was slowed by about an hour when the shore-side computers wouldn't sync with the ship. After about 30-40 minutes, they packed it all up and then checked us in after we boarded and were guided to the show lounge. Leaving the ship on the last morning was also delayed due to problems offloading luggage. The first group didn't run from the ship until about 0845, causing some tense moments for those flying out earlier in the day. Staff was hesitant in both instances to advise passengers about the delays, mostly just assuring us it would be "about five minutes" every 5-10 minutes or so. Our particular suite (809) had a staccato clicking and loud creaking in the heavy weather around the vanity; I could see foam shims had already been shoved into place at various spots, so this seems a recurring issue with that space. Overall, it was a memorable cruise, and we enjoyed the time onboard. The seas made for memories, also, but not the ones you necessarily want. When you dine, watching green water repeatedly cover the Compass Rose windows does help to focus dinner conversation, though... Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We recently returned from a 12-day Caribbean cruise aboard Regent Mariner. We keenly anticipated it, after more than 30 cruises on premium lines including HAL, Oceania and Azamara. We've also been on small expedition ships in remote ... Read More
We recently returned from a 12-day Caribbean cruise aboard Regent Mariner. We keenly anticipated it, after more than 30 cruises on premium lines including HAL, Oceania and Azamara. We've also been on small expedition ships in remote corners of the world, which were exciting but not luxurious! Our only luxury cruise was on Paul Gauguin earlier this year and we enjoyed it very much. So we were ready for the Regent 6-star experience. While we enjoyed our Mariner cruise overall, Regent was not vastly superior to some of our other cruises. We thought there would be a significant bump-up in the on-board experience compared to our other cruises. Not so. In fact, many things were done as well, or better, on our non-luxury cruises. ACCOMMODATION Our deluxe suite was comfortable and well appointed. The walk-in closet was great and amply stocked with wooden hangers. The bathroom was functional and well designed, although our shower drain was sluggish. L'Occitane amenities were a nice touch. For the most part, linens and towels were acceptable. Our stewardess kept our suite immaculately clean, although on many days it was not serviced before noon. Our mini-fridge was replenished daily, except for a couple of Buds that DH drank a few days into the cruise. No biggie, but isn't this part of the promised Regent experience? Our smoke alarm went off at 5:10 am mid-way through the cruise. We jolted out of bed, dazed and confused, but the alarm turned off about 2 minutes later. We settled back into bed but the alarm went off again at 5:44 am. Only this time it didn't turn off. A maintenance guy came to our suite and removed the sensor, thus stopping the alarm. He seemed confused as to why the alarm went off and mentioned it would be replaced later that day. It wasn't and still hadn't been by the time we disembarked a few days later. Stuff happens and we know to roll with it, but we would have appreciated an apology or explanation for the rude awakenings! Like others have reported about Mariner, we noticed a sewer smell on several occasions. Thankfully, this was only obvious in the corridors and not in our suite. RESTAURANTS Our expectations for dining were set fairly high and Regent met them most of the time, but not always. La Veranda We ate most breakfasts at La Veranda. The hot and cold buffet items were identical each day and featured the usual suspects, along with an egg station and a daily special. Everything was OK but nothing was exceptional. I was disappointed by the variety and quality of fresh fruit, much of it under ripe and flavorless. Waffles and pancakes were well prepared and presented. There were no fresh juices available, unless you ventured to the nearby Pool Grill, where a most unhappy guy would reluctantly make fresh-squeezed juices. We had lunch at La Veranda most days. The cold buffet included an assortment of salads, deli, cheese, panini and seafood. Hot items included a daily carving station, a daily pasta, as well as entrees that mirrored what was available for lunch in Compass Rose. Food was nicely displayed and tasty. Pizza was excellent, especially the wonderful thin-crust Margarita. Dinner at La Veranda was an unexpected delight. The room was transformed into a Mediterranean bistro and overseen by a very accommodating Maitre d'. There was an excellent selection of antipasti on the self-serve buffet, followed by table service for soup, pasta and entrees. We were pleased with every aspect of food and service during dinner. Gnocchi with butter and sage was exceptional, as was osso bucco with creamy polenta. Grilled mahi mahi with anchovy butter was superb and beef tournedos were expertly prepared. Our biggest issue at La Veranda was inconsistent service at breakfast and lunch. We received prompt attention on several occasions, with staff eager to serve in any way. But we also had very inattentive service and sat with plates waiting to be cleared or coffee cups (or wine glasses) waiting to be refilled for way too long. Staff walked past us on numerous occasions, ignoring our stacked plates and oblivious that we required service. Sometimes we needed to hail for attention, which just doesn't jive with 6-star service. Pool Grill Our first experience with Regent food was at the Pool Grill on embarkation day. DH loved his gorgonzola beef burger and I enjoyed an Asian salmon burger, both accompanied by crispy yam fries. We returned to the Pool Grill for several lunches, including Tex Mex BBQ, Seafood Extravaganza and Mediterranean BBQ. They were pretty ordinary, with the exception of the bountiful seafood buffet. The Pool Grill was the go-to spot for ice cream and sherbets, which were consistently excellent in flavor and texture. There was also a menu of milkshakes and smoothies. Unfortunately, the ice cream man had little experience in making the offered concoctions and was daunted by my request for a caramel latte milkshake, which was on the menu. He asked another server for help in making it, which was met with a bored shrug. Oh well. Compass Rose We had most dinners at Compass Rose and our experiences could best be described as mixed. Some meals were outstanding, others were very good and a few were just average. Menu choices were varied and interesting. Each night, there were also featured items from both Signatures and Prime 7. Some stand-outs included Dover sole, rack of lamb, osso bucco, Beef Wellington, Monte Cristo salad and pasta in truffle oil. Caviar atop fingerling potatoes and seared foie gras were outstanding. Soups were consistently well done, while desserts were hit or miss. We learned quickly that we had to order the palate-cleansing sorbet each night, otherwise it didn't arrive. Who would have guessed? Service depended on where we were seated. We had excellent service on many occasions, with attentive waiters and wine stewards. On those nights, dining in Compass Rose was a real delight. We had the wonderful pleasure of being served wine by the head sommelier on several nights. She is a real treasure. But we also had spotty service more than once, with rushed waiters, inexcusable delays or unobservant wine stewards. We usually dined around 7:45 pm and never had a problem getting a deuce, but we rarely had the same wait staff. Perhaps we should have requested to be seated with a good team once we discovered them. Lesson learned. Signatures We went to Signatures twice and had completely different experiences. Our first visit, on embarkation day, was very good in all respects. We both enjoyed the scallop appetizer, followed by delicious crustacean bisque. My Magret duck was perfectly prepared and DH loved his beef tournedos with foie gras. We asked for a different red wine than the suggested daily pour and it was graciously provided. Crème brule lived up to expectation. We received expert and attentive service throughout the meal, without a hint of pretension. We liked Signatures enough to request an additional reservation. Perhaps we should have stopped after our first visit, since the second time was not nearly as good. We arrived on time at 8:00 pm, only to be asked to wait for the Maitre d', who was nowhere in sight. When he appeared about 5 minutes later, he seemed harried and unfriendly. He gave us several choices for a deuce and seated us. Menus in hand, we then waited and waited and waited. We seriously debated leaving after about 15 minutes, but then the sommelier arrived to offer wine. That kept us happier while we waited an additional 10 minutes for our waiter. He was full of gushy apologies for the delay, but it seemed quite insincere. Close to half an hour after being seated, we placed our orders. Our escargot appetizers came in short order and were unremarkable. We both had the wonderful crustacean bisque again, but this time it was lukewarm and a skin had formed over the top. The entrees arrived with drama but under the domed cloches was lukewarm food. My lamb loin was delicious and would have been exceptional had it been served hot. DH had veal medallions, which were flavorful but lukewarm. Crème brule was excellent once again. Nobody asked how our meals were until the plates were cleared, so there was no opportunity to make things right. In fairness, the Maitre d' offered us an additional reservation, acknowledging that they could do better. We weren't tempted to try again. Consistency is a hallmark of excellence and Regent failed on that score. Prime 7 We enjoyed everything about our only meal in Prime 7, from a warm welcome by the most competent Maitre d' to anticipatory service from waiters and wine stewards. The food was delicious. Amuse bouche of Wagyu beef sliders was wonderful. Oysters Rockefeller, steak tartare, crab cakes and clam chowder were all memorable starters. My filet mignon was a tad overdone from my requested medium rare, but with fabulous béarnaise sauce, was very tasty. DH thought his rib eye was sensational. We both enjoyed crab legs, which were sweet and succulent. Sides of truffle fries, asparagus and creamed spinach were served piping hot. Key lime pie was a perfect finish to a perfect meal. We tried to get an additional reservation at Prime 7 but were unsuccessful. ACTIVITIES AND ENTERTAINMENT This was a port-intensive cruise, so there was limited daily programming. The usual spa sponsored seminars featured prominently, as did art lectures presented by Park West. Marketing pitches given by the on-board boutique rounded out the typical activities. There was an enrichment lecturer on-board, who was boring in the extreme. But at least she spoke on topics relevant to the areas being visited, which is not always the case. We attended the only culinary demo that was offered. It was entertaining, mostly in trying to figure out what the French chef was saying! We didn't participate in any of the Regent rewards events, though they had a dedicated following. We lurked at trivia a few times and it seemed like fun. Bingo attracted a core crowd every day. Afternoon tea was offered daily, as a prelude to trivia. There were also a few special themed teas on sea days. We attended the special crepes tea and found it to be most unimpressive. Food was self-serve with stations scattered about the room. The set-up seemed to be an after-thought and trivia was the main event. The absolute best activity was a wine tasting class presented by the head sommelier. Her knowledge was impressive and her passion and enthusiasm were genuine. She provided a ton of great info in a user-friendly manner. It was outstanding. Also fun was the embarkation day block party where we met our neighbours over a glass of wine. The fly-past of the Captain, General Manager and CD was a great way to meet the core team early in the cruise. Each evening, there were production shows by the resident troupe or performances by guest entertainers. We attended a few and enjoyed them immensely, especially Le Cirque Mariner and James Bond Martini Cocktails. Liar's Club was a hoot, as was Krew Kapers. We loved going to the various bars for pre-dinner cocktails and post-dinner nightcaps and even managed to have the legendary martini with bleu cheese stuffed olives! EXCURSIONS We pre-booked all our shore excursions as soon as they were available on-line. We also waitlisted a few others, but didn't clear before sailing. For the most part, shore excursions were well handled. Destinations staff seemed knowledgeable about the various tours and they maintained their enthusiasm throughout, which I'm sure was difficult at times. With few exceptions, there was minimal waiting for tour tickets or tender tickets. In some instances, the on-line description of the included tours did not match the on-the-ground experience. Whenever this happened, the actual tour was less than described on-line. Grand Turk: Chukka Off-Road Safari. Orientation to top spots on the island aboard 4x4 vehicles with decent commentary from an enthusiastic guide/driver. 3/5 San Juan: We cancelled El Yunque Long Hike in favor of San Juan & Bacardi Rum Distillery. Big mistake. We wasted over half the tour time at the Bacardi distillery which left precious little time to see Old San Juan and other places noted on the itinerary. So our guide decided he would just skip them! 2/5 St. Barts: We pre-booked Blue Cat on the Blue Sea and waitlisted for Semi-Submersible Exploration. We cleared the waitlist and had tickets for both tours waiting for us upon embarkation. But there was also a note from Destination Services asking us to choose between the tours, since they wanted to accommodate others. As luck would have it, we had already decided to cancel the snorkeling excursion, so no harm done. We walked around St. Barts on our own for a few hours and then hopped on the semi-submersible. Pretty lame, although the guide tried to rally enthusiasm every time a fish swam past. Saw a few turtles and reef sharks. Missed the feeding frenzy highlight promised in the on-line description. 2/5 Castries: Land and Sea to Soufriere. A long but interesting day. Nice balance of an overview of key places around St. Lucia by mini-van, followed by a relaxing catamaran cruise. Marigot Bay was stunningly beautiful! Excellent guides. Average lunch at an historic plantation. 4/5 Barbados: Luxury 4x4 Safari. A journey inland to rugged hillsides, rainforests and several parishes on the island. Outstanding vistas. Brief refreshment stop at gorgeous Bathsheba. Entertaining guides. 4/5 Roseau: Dominica's Favorites. We opted not to take this tour, turned in our tickets and wandered the streets of Roseau instead. Maybe we should have stuck with our original program, since there wasn't much to see or do in Roseau, especially since it was Sunday. Heard good reports of Trafalgar Falls and Emerald Pool. Virgin Gorda: Best of Virgin Gorda. Drive around the island in an open-air safari bus. Uncomfortable sideways bench seating, making it difficult to sightsee. Poorly organized with upwards of 40 minutes for a restroom stop but only 5 minutes to catch a quick photo of featured highlights. Dropped off at the Baths, where there were huge crowds. Disorganized return shuttle. 3/5 Cayo Levantado: Cave and Mangrove Exploration. No contest, our best tour. A 55-minute speed boat ride to reach Los Haitises National Park, but well worth the time and effort. The area was spectacular and full of birds, mangroves and rainforests. A mini Amazon. We also explored ancient caves where our guide explained some petroglyphs by now-extinct native Indians. Highly recommended for nature buffs. 5/5 Princess Cay: Private Beach Party. Lovely setting for a final beach BBQ. All water activities were at extra charge, which was surprising given the all-included nature of Regent tours. Snorkeling was free if you had your own gear, otherwise a rental charge applied. Average BBQ lunch. 4/5 FINAL THOUGHTS We eagerly anticipated this cruise and hoped Regent would become our preferred luxury line. We enjoyed the cruise overall and didn't let the few glitches overshadow an otherwise wonderful time. We had excellent weather, visited amazing ports, took some interesting tours, shared many fine meals and met delightful fellow travelers. What's not to like? However, Regent didn't meet our expectations for a luxury experience, mostly because of inconsistency in customer-focused service. We've had as good, if not better, service on non-luxury lines. Since it boasts a 6-star experience in all its marketing, Regent should deliver impeccable service and unfailing attention to detail, at least most of the time. We saw too many gaps in service on Mariner. All inclusive, yes. Luxury, not so much. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
My husband and I did this cruise partly because we love trans-Atlantic cruises with their wonderful sea days and partly to celebrate my 70th birthday. For the latter reason we had a Seven Seas Aft suite on Deck 9. We flew from ... Read More
My husband and I did this cruise partly because we love trans-Atlantic cruises with their wonderful sea days and partly to celebrate my 70th birthday. For the latter reason we had a Seven Seas Aft suite on Deck 9. We flew from Switzerland to Florida via Dublin on Aer Lingus as they provide an adequate Business Class service and a one way fare which was very attractive. Boarding: Regent is still sailing from Ft Lauderdale and the traffic getting into the port was very intense! Over 11 large ships were sailing on the same Sunday. When we arrived at our pier the doors were closed even though it was noon. A short queue formed and by about 1215 we were allowed inside to sit and wait for the boarding (a good thing since by this time it was raining!) Things inside were very orderly. We were called in the order in which we were seated, having gone through security. The check-in was halted for a little while when the computers went down but by 1250 we were on board, having a light lunch at la Veranda. Our suite was ready by about 1420 and we went down there (Deck 9). My first impression was not good. The furniture in the sitting room was basically lined up around the walls, looking for all the world like a "Negotiation Room" in a Chinese University! However with my husband's help I re-positioned it so it was more conventionally placed with coffee table in front of the couch and the two easy chairs facing the coffee table! The dining table also needed re-positioning but once we finished all this it looked very nice. The balcony -- terrace really -- is huge and nicely furnished with two chaises-longues, a small couch and two easy chairs and two footrests (only one of which had a cushion! Don't know where the other was!!) I did notice that the upholstery on the sitting room furniture was worn and hope that new furniture will arrive when the Mariner has its next drydock -- it needs it! The bedroom was a good size (bigger than that in the Navigator suite on the Navigator) and one could move around the bed easily. I did not like the fact that the access to the bathroom was through the clothes closet. This meant that every time we went through our clothes got pushed around on the railings! My impression was that the closet was smaller than that of the Penthouse suite we normally have. Having two bathrooms -- well, one and a half -- was very nice. We had opted for a bath rather than the new shower set up and I would say that I think the plumbing fixtures could stand replacing! They were worn and scratched... Our Butler and Stewardess were excellent. I have never been so well looked after before -- Felix the Butler was charming and very attentive. He brought us our favourite hors d'oeuvres (guacamole and nachos) every evening and arranged two drinks parties for us with great aplomb. Ana-Lyn kept the place as clean as a whistle and had a delightful personality as well!! Our suite was normally cleaned before we returned from breakfast. I really did not want to leave these two behind when we got off the ship!! Here is a small illustration of how they worked as a team -- I had put two rather large empty suitcases into the closet. They were not in my way and I have done this quite often before. They vanished on the second day and miraculously re-appeared on the day I needed to pack! Ana-Lyn had noticed them, she told Felix, and he spirited them out of my way. We ate at all the restaurants -- Prime 7 once, Signatures twice and for the rest mostly the Pool Grill at lunch and Compass Rose or "at home" in the evenings. We did have dinner at la Veranda once as people have said they really like this but we found no basic change from the way things were done there before and there was nothing about it that we really enjoy, so once was enough! We had no problems at all with speed and efficiency of service in any of the restaurants. Courses came at a normal speed and for us that means eating a three or four course meal in about two hours, give or take some. The Cellar Master -- a wonderful Turk with whom we had sailed twice before -- made sure our glasses were topped up and in general we found the wines excellent. More than drinkable!! We did buy some "special bottles" as well and they were great! Prime 7 was OK -- no more. I had the prime rib of beef and forgot to ask for thinner slices so got a mound of quivering beef on my plate! The sauce had clearly been put on a while earlier and the plate had been sitting under the heat of the "Passe" so that the sauce had just about dried out. Signatures, on the other hand, was excellent. No complaints except that on the second evening there was no crouton for the Tournedos Rossini and the foie gras had fallen off the tournedos somewhere between the kitchen and the table and was served upside down on the plate with the garnish buried under it! The Chef came around at the end of the meal -- very nice touch! -- and I told him that it should have been re-plated. He agreed and asked who our waiter was... I did also notice that they only French-speaking person in the restaurant was the Ma'tre d'h'tel. In the past almost all the waiters there were French. The Compass Rose was good (not wonderful) and we liked the variety of dishes but had the general impression that the presentation of each dish was not as good as it had been on previous cruises and that the general level of the offerings had gone down a notch. The general level of service from all the waiters in all the restaurants and on the Pool Deck was terrific. Even when the Compass Rose was very, very busy waiters took time to see what was needed and to anticipate... and to ask with a smile how things were. And this ship was 100% full as well! The main -- only! -- complaint we had was the coffee -- everywhere except at the Coffee Connection and the espresso machine on the Pool Deck. It was weak and tasteless. Like dishwater. Regent's coffee used to be like this when we first started cruising with them, but since around 2005 it has been lots better. I think they have changed brands and need to change back! I took to making myself triple espressos at the Pool deck before going in to la Veranda to eat in the mornings. One day I encountered someone else who was doing the same thing! She explained that she had a Nespresso machine at home and hated Regent's coffee. I laughed because I, too, have a Nespresso machine!! And to my taste even the espresso at la Veranda tasted burnt... The lecture series are usually amongst the things we like best about a crossing. Not this time! The offerings were meagre. One lecturer -- Prof. Aguillar from Harvard -- was outstanding. His topic was Astronomy and he was utterly fascinating. The fellow who spoke on the various ports we visited and their history -- Roger Lamm -- was terrible. He provided inaccurate information and had a very boring delivery. And that was about it! Very disappointing!! The Cruise Director and his staff were great. Ray Solaire is a most interesting man and very good not only at his immediate job as Cruise Director but also was the best entertainer on board! We loved his shows and were delighted that he gave us three of them. Associate Cruise Director Elda is terrific. We have sailed with her twice before (and I am not quite sure why she isn't a CD herself!!) Social Hostess Nicola was very good too. No complaints in this department! Our fellow passengers were a bit of a mixed bag. There were a lot -- really a lot -- of first timers on board and while this is good for Regent it did mean that the general feeling one usually has about one's companions was not there. I thought many of them must have either been first time cruisers as well or had migrated from one of the mass market lines. This may sound snobby but is not meant that way. We have really enjoyed the usual group we find on Regent and have made many good friends while on board. For the most part that feeling was absent on this cruise. The ports we visited and the guides were generally very interesting. In fact with one exception (Picasso Museum in Malaga) the guides were all outstanding. We had been to all the ports before with the exception of Cartagena and discovering this gem of a historic small town was a huge pleasure! We took the Hamilton walking tour in Bermuda. We toured the Botanic Garden in Madeira with a guide who knew all the botanical names of the plants. Our guide to Rabat was terrific and brought us up to date on the "Moroccan spring" as well as filling in gaps in our knowledge of the country's history. The guide for our tour of Roman Cartagena was equally competent. And the woman who took us to Valdemosa in Majorca was too. Well done Regent on this score!! My only criticism of the tour organisation is that passengers should be more carefully screened for their choice of tour. We twice had people on tours (listed as having a reasonable amount of walking and steps) who clearly were handicapped and could not manage to keep up. This isn't fair to the other participants on the tour and the Destinations Services staff should have told them when they boarded the busses that they would not be allowed to slow the group down. Going around Rabat with a "walker" is definitely not a good idea. In fact I thought at the time that it was in fact actually dangerous given the uneven pavements and steps. And having to wait while someone huffed and puffed up the small hill in Hamilton is really not fair to the rest of the group. Regent makes it very clear in all its materials that certain tours require a certain level of physical activity. Having done so I think the staff should be free to advise people not to take a particular tour. All in all I thought that the administration of the tours -- getting us together in the theatre, sending us off the ship when the busses were ready etc -- were very well done by the Destination Services staff. Katia, the director, was on shore supervising the loading of departure of busses at each port. In general I would say that while the cruise was good it was not wonderful. And this is the first time I have come away from Regent with this feeling! Certainly better on board lecturers speaking on at least two or three more topics would have made the sea days nicer. An upgrade in the Compass Rose food to bring it back to the standards we experienced on our last three cruises would be great. And the coffee needs attention!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Regent Voyager is a lovely ship, brilliant captain, smiling and ever helpful staff, very clean, pleasant artworks (in the main), great library, and a stunning itinerary that included Oman, Petra, the pyramids, Jerusalem, Dead Sea and ... Read More
Regent Voyager is a lovely ship, brilliant captain, smiling and ever helpful staff, very clean, pleasant artworks (in the main), great library, and a stunning itinerary that included Oman, Petra, the pyramids, Jerusalem, Dead Sea and Masada. Our cabin was perfectly maintained by our stewardess. And it was all inclusive - no chits to sign. Who could ask for more? Call me Oliver Twist, but I can. The ship was let down a little by food in the main dining room. It was similar in quality to RCL and far below Seabourn, and Azamara. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't as good as I had been expecting. The specialist restaurants were a little better, but not much. It could be that my judgement of the latter is a little jaundiced because we booked a table for two but were put on one with six (very nice) people. However the biggest disappointment was the La Veranda buffet. It isn't fit for purpose. Now my cruising experience is limited to half a dozen different lines but they all, without exception, have had what is perhaps best described as a U shaped buffet. You can walk in one side and if seating is scarce continue round to the other side to check the situation. Not with La Veranda because it splits along the stern part - a Berlin Wall of serving stations. So you have two identical mirror-image buffets. And identical includes the food offered - it's the same on each side. Ridiculous. This can lead to the silly situation where the bacon or whatever on one side has gone and you can see some on the other side, but can't reach it. So you have to call a server for assistance. This also limits choice: with a flow-through layout other ships can offer twice the number of items. Senior staff were good but some junior waiters were not fully trained, especially when it came to wine. I asked for a Cote du Rhone and received something completely different. Oh yes, it said "Cote" on the bottle but not one that was within a hundred miles of the River Rhone. However on the whole there was a good choice of included wine throughout the ship (if you knew what to ask for). Did buy three "premium" wines but left two and returned one. Not actually bad, but dead. Maybe wine doesn't keep well on a ship. In the evening La Veranda becomes a themed (Indian, Chinese, Mexican whatever) eatery that is part waiter service and part buffet. We tried it once and it was ok. However turning it into a quasi bistro means that there is nowhere on Voyager to enjoy basic - collapse in a heap back from a long tour, can't be bothered to change - help-yourself simple food. Despite the failings of La Veranda this is a good ship and I would sail on her again without hesitation. In fact Voyager has pushed Seabourn Odyssey down to third place in my list of favourite ships. The food on Odyssey is way better but Voyager just edged it with its free excursions. And they were excellent. My top ship? Azamara Journey. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Background: This is my husband and my first Regent SS cruise. Our past cruise lines include Paul Gauguin, Azamara, Celebrity, HAL, Princess. Port-intensive Itinerary was the main reason we selected this cruise. Secondary reason was ... Read More
Background: This is my husband and my first Regent SS cruise. Our past cruise lines include Paul Gauguin, Azamara, Celebrity, HAL, Princess. Port-intensive Itinerary was the main reason we selected this cruise. Secondary reason was to try an All Inclusive (including excursions) cruise. Our last experience of all-inclusive was Paul Gauguin, and we loved it! Our LIKES Itinerary Hotel stay the night before Cabin Room Service All-inclusive Small ship-Understated elegant No formal nights All-inclusive excursions Our DISLIKES La Veranda Lining up for excursions Our UNDECIDED Food All-inclusive excursions Itinerary This is a superfantastic itinerary. I cannot find words that would do these places justice. Every port was worth seeing, feeling, and understanding. (our favorites were Ephesus, Corfu, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Venice.) The view as our ship approaches the ports was breath-taking. These cities are beyond words. They must be experienced. Hotel Stay the Night Before Grand Hyatt in Istanbul was where we stayed the night before our sailing. It wasn't just the hotel that added to the Regent SS experience. It was the all the extras such as free internet, free scrumptious breakfast, and the "club" benefits that blew us away. This was the start of the Regent Cruise, and Regent certainly made an unforgettable first impression with this hotel and the extra service provided. Our cabin We chose this cruise based on its port-intensive itineraries. This cabin is a spacious suite, love the walk-in closet and the marble bathroom. Prefer to have bigger shower, and no tub. However, this port-intensive sailing did not allow us cocooning and indulging much in this gorgeous suite! And that is unfortunate. Being on deck 6, we had no problem with noise. We did have a minor inconvenience--the base of the shower slopes away from the drain, which caused the water to pool while showering. We never used the tub. I could not bear to waste so much water taking a bath, on a ship! I am sure it is a welcome relief for longer trips. Room Service We were particularly impressed with the room service. Their phone etiquette was superb. They made us feel our call was very important, and our requests were top priority, even though I could hear the raucous in the background. (they were still in the midst of busy meal time.) The food was delivered to us promptly, and the table was set up for us, with attention to every detail. We felt very pampered, in our robes! We enjoyed our room service, even though it was only a couple of times. All-Inclusive This all-inclusiveness seemed to be a big draw for us newbie passengers. As CC Travelcat has pointed out, there was a higher % of newbies on this sailing. (Another observation: I noticed lower age group of passengers in their 20's, 30's, 40's) And we newbies seem to enjoy and embrace this all-inclusive feature. It is liberating not have to sign for every cocktail, coffee, or water bottle. For someone who is not into drinks, I was amazed with how much I really enjoyed sitting at the Coffee Connection, with a cup of Cafe au lait, reading my ipad; or watching the sun sets at the back of Horizon Lounge, sampling a glass of apple martini. Surprising to me, these "Little pleasures" added much "value" to our Regent SS cruise experience. Ship & Service--Overall Ship --We like the size of the ship. The stairs are great for people like us who rarely take the elevator. Being on 6th deck, we were close to most services: the Service desk, the destination desk, the library, Coffee Connection, the theater (where we gathered almost every morning for excursions.) The decor was understated elegant. We like that. It seemed to us, Regent takes maintenance seriously. Almost every night, something was done to the pool deck in addition to being washed. Overall, the ship seemed very well cared for. Service--Service to us means connection with us guests. Having someone anticipates my needs because they know my likes and dislikes is HUGE for me. For example, when I sit down at dinner in Compass Rose, my waiter will bring my cup of hot tea instead of ice cold water, without asking me again. He already knows. That, is service to me. Given to us by an experienced Regent fan--CC Travelcat, a tip for getting consistently good service in the main dining room Compass Rose: Choose the same table, with the same waiter as often as possible. And in order to do that, you have to be earlier than 7pm. We can attest to that--it worked for us. We had the same waiter, the same assistant, and the same sommelier. And at 6:30pm when it was before the "storm", we were able to enjoy personable service, and deeper connection with the staff. My husband and I find much pleasure in that. After 7pm, it was impossible. The crew became too busy. This is the reason why I prefer fixed time dining. With fixed time dining, the crew has a rhythm and they have buffer time, allowing them to connect with their guests. On the other hand, with daily tour excursions, getting to dinner at fixed time is inconvenient and unrealistic sometimes. It comes down to individual preference: what adds to a good cruise experience for each one of us. For my husband and I, connecting with the crew and fellow passenger (at least at dinner) is an important part of an unforgettable cruise experience. During this cruise, we somehow had fewer opportunities "connecting" (more than a simple hello) with the crew, and with fellow guests. Not sure of the reasons yet. No Formal Nights With the luggage weight restriction, and long flights for us from West coast Canada, the less we bring, the easier it is. PLUS, our focus was the ports and excursions. No formal nights allow us more freedom and enjoyment. Even though there were no formal nights, we find fellow passengers dress very elegantly in the evening. To me, one does not have to be in formal gowns to look beautiful, respectful, and elegant. NO Formal Nights was a big PLUS for me. All-Inclusive Excursions This was an interesting feature we wanted to experiment. I have always organized our own excursions with private organizations in ports. We were not fans of cruise-organized tours--large groups, standard cookie cutter tour packages, a bit bland and too big of a group for us. However, what I like about this all-inclusive is the fact we do go to ports every day, with knowledgeable guides. I did not do any planning, organizing, and risking. It took the worry out of my mind. My favorite excursions: biking in Croatia; climbing the Volcano in Santorini, visiting the Terrace Houses in Ephesus. I have to admit, the Regent excursions DO include some interesting visits to local restaurants, winery, or hot spring (or cold spring, in Santorini's case.) we wouldn't have selected if we were on our own. We thoroughly enjoyed them. The flip side is the waiting in line, in the theater in the morning of the excursions. (We felt as we were in elementary school, waiting to be called to the principle's office!) The tour group was 2 or 3X bigger than the 8 to 12 people group we are used to. Being in a larger group, the guides had logistics to consider (waiting for us to go to WC, for example). Also, we had less individual time. We were on a tighter schedule. The tour could not be altered or customized to suit us. These are all understandable. Overall, I think Regent did a superb job providing many interesting excursions for us to choose from. I am not sure if we guests appreciate the effort and the amount of organization behind the scene Regent did to make it happen for us. For those of us who are planners of tours and excursions for ourselves, I certainly appreciate it. DISLIKES The quasi full-service/self-service in La Veranda and the Grill was a bit awkward for us. Or maybe we were not used to it. We had our breakfasts and ONE dinner at La Veranda. For breakfast, the egg order is brought to our table. This was awkward for us, in that, we almost always forget to check our table number before lining up at the buffet stations. Because the egg station is not a separate station, the line up clogs up the line for all stations. The line gets longer due to the fact a staff will have to take the time to write down my table number on a little piece of paper. The line gets even longer. When we have excursions, which means we have very little time in the morning to enjoy our breakfast leisurely. We had dinner once at La Veranda. We wanted a casual, less formal environment. Less formal in La Veranda meant we helped ourselves with salads, but our main course will be taken care of by our waiter. The main course took a very long time, and we noticed how flustered and confused the staff were. Mistakes made not only at our table, but also others. It was not a good night for them. Fortunately, we had lovely table mates, the waiting time was filled with lively conversation. I was told La Veranda may be going through a major change. And this was their transition period. I do hope Regent keep this option open. Some days, we prefer the self-serve, non-rigid, minimum service buffet style dining, selecting what we want to eat, and how we want to eat, without offending others. Food Quality and Presentation Food is very personal and subjective. For a cruise line, be it 5 star or 6 star, satisfying the taste buds of many different cultures is an impossible task and unrealistic expectation, in my opinion. With that in mind, the only dish that did not meet our expectation was fish. They were overcooked in Compass Rose as well as in Signature. However, my Sea bass one night in Compass Rose was moist and delicious. What impressed me tremendously is the food presentation. Every dish was an art on display. The food quality was good, and rich. The Champagne caviar on Sunday was a treat. That was nice. All-inclusive Excursions The only one part of an excursion we did not enjoy was the carpet store at the end of Ephesus tour. We did not care for the well-orchestrated sales pitch. That was anti-climatic after such a fantastic Ephesus and Terrace Houses tour! Summary--I think Regent is worth a try for anyone considering an all-inclusive cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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