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138 Regent Seven Seas Cruise Reviews

Cruise May 16 on Regent Seven Seas NavigatorWe have cruised many times with this cruise line before it changed its name from Radisson to Regent, and what I can say is that Regent is no Radisson. While Radisson tried its best to accommodate ... Read More
Cruise May 16 on Regent Seven Seas NavigatorWe have cruised many times with this cruise line before it changed its name from Radisson to Regent, and what I can say is that Regent is no Radisson. While Radisson tried its best to accommodate customer needs, Regent does not seem to care.Prior to this cruise, I had occasion to contact its corporate staff (Gair O'Neill and Ken Watson). Getting them to return phone calls was like pulling teeth. I never managed to speak to O'Neill, and Watson was totally unhelpful when I managed to track him down.On boarding the ship, the same uncaring attitude continued. As they requested, I had booked my shore excursions on-line, prior to boarding. After boarding, I found that they did not have my bookings. When I pointed it out, they blamed their computer. What is worse, the ship's staff did not care because they said it was a corporate office problem, not theirs. They refused to put me on the shore excursion they lost even though they had a few vacancies, because they were holding them for some passengers who had not boarded yet. A more clear-cut case of discrimination I cannot think of. As for the food and service, economy seems to be the watchword for all meals, but especially in the afternoon teas. Their pastry chef appears to be learning the trade. The rooms are adequate in size, but chips in the shower tiles and a tight-fisted policy towards bath amenities do not go with a cruise that bills itself as a six star experience.The entertainment is embarrassing. While they had quite a few performers, they should note that quality is preferred over quantity.In all respects, the cruise line does not compare to Radisson. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
Many praise the Regent Seven Seas Cruises line, including friends of ours whose views we trust. I doubt, however, that their reaction would be positive today. The Voyager is no longer what it was.Perhaps a change in ownership in 2008 is ... Read More
Many praise the Regent Seven Seas Cruises line, including friends of ours whose views we trust. I doubt, however, that their reaction would be positive today. The Voyager is no longer what it was.Perhaps a change in ownership in 2008 is a factor. The wilting economy might have something to do with it; there were 434 passengers on the cruise we took, while the ship is intended for 700. What we did not know while on the trip was that the company had just sustained a loss of nearly $20 million—all because the Voyager ran over a fishing line as it pulled out of Singapore harbor on March 18, embarking on what was intended to be a world cruise. That caused mechanical problems, reducing the ship's speed, resulting in canceling some of the scheduled dockingsthen being in drydock for a spell, with refunds being made to those who booked two cruises. Whatever the cause, my wife, Jo-Ann, and I felt the effect on our 2009 Norwegian cruise. Right from the first day, we realized that our on the Regent Voyager would not be of the quality commonly ascribed to the cruise line.When we arrived on board, the rooms weren't ready yet, but a buffet lunch was available on Deck 11.Danish sausage was being served, fresh off a grill at the poolside. I picked up a plate to hand to  Jo-Ann. The plate was filthy. Well, OK, soot was probably being emitted from the grill; it was understandable. I put that plate to the side, and handed Jo-Ann the next one in the stack, which was clean. I picked up the next plate for myself. Filthy. The next one. Filthy. The next one was clean.We took our sausage inside and sat down. The sausage was good—but, of course, anyone, with no schooling in culinary arts, should be able to heat a sausage on a grill. What we were to soon learn is that the food is just fine on this cruise line if you have something that is taken from a package, tin, or jar, requiring no involvement of anyone purporting to be a chef. As we were finishing our sausage, a waiter asked if we wanted coffee. Jo-Ann said yes. I asked for hot chocolate. The waiter put down two cups. I looked inside mine. There was a dirty rim around the inside, about a third of the way down. I took a napkin, poured water on it, cleaned out the inside of the cup, the dark-brown sediment now transferred to the napkin. We drank our beverages and left. When we finally entered the cabin, we encountered sweltering heat. That was, we found out, not a matter of an oversight. Information in printed material in the cabin indicated that guests would need to adjust the thermostat upon entry and that it would take about 30 minutes for temperature to be altered. In the course of the housekeeping staff preparing the rooms, the preparation could have included rendering the rooms habitable by turning on the air conditioning. Apparently, Regent didn't want to waste the kilowatts on empty rooms, opting to economize even though guests would start their journeys, once they got to the cabins, in discomfort. Each guest gets to make a reservation on two nights during the cruise in the "Prime 7" restaurant, featuring what is supposedly prime meat. We made a reservation there for the first night. Lucky us. "With the chef's compliments," there was triumphantly presented a mini-hamburger with a brown sauce. It had the flavor—what flavor there was—of boiled beef. It was in the nature of a patty of chopped pot roast. If you come to the lunchroom at our office in downtown Los Angeles and insert a $1 bill in our food machine, you can often procure a patty on a bun with a brown sauce which, after being heated in the microwave, is adequate to qualify as a meal, though barely so. That packaged, quick-food dish is gourmet fare compared with the mini-hamburger which Regent mistakes for a treat, The waiter was taken aback that we hadn't devoured the offering. "Why?," he presumptuously inquired. Jo-Ann told him it was a weak imitation of a hamburger. Then came the salad Jo-Ann ordered. No problem. There also came the intriguing appetizer that caught my attention: three kinds of steak tartare: "classical," oriental, and veal. None was particularly good. There were three small blobs of raw ground meat, with differing seasonings. The "classical" rendition wasn't. That globule was missing anchovies, capers, onions, egg yolk—that is, the essentials. Also, no toast points were served; not even unpointed toast. Just the three small blobs. Next: the entrees. Jo-Ann had ordered an end cut of prime rib. What she got what a slab of meat that struck me from its appearance as quite unappetizing. Jo-Ann confirms that the taste was not that of prime rib. Perhaps it was a piece of inartfully prepared bull's rump. She thinks it might well have been baked in a pot. I had lamb chops. Yes, the meat was lamb. But was it prime meat? Either the meat was other than prime—meaning that the name of the restaurant, Prime Seven, was a sham and the cruise line's express representation of serving prime meats there a lie—or the cooks posing as chefs were so grossly inept that they turned good meat into cafeteria fare. We left. A young woman from the restaurant, discerning our disgruntlement, followed us out and evinced concern. She displayed graciousness and a desire to set things right. What was irresolvable was the woeful lack of talent on the part of the food-preparers. The second night, we ate at the French restaurant. It was much better, but not excellent. The food in the main dining room was, we found, adequate. Jo-Ann had some cod one night which, she remarked, was not as good as that we had on the SAS flight between London and Copenhagen. When cruise food does not match that an airline serves, something is wrong. One night a menu item which I chose was sea scallops with oyster sauce and oriental seasonings. What came was a small bowl of spaghetti with a few tiny bay scallops tossed in. However, it is possible to get really food onboard. There was, at buffets,  herring in mustard sauce and herring marinated in vinegar at buffets. It's just like that we get in the U.S. in jars, imported from Sweden. (On the next-to-last day, they apparently had excess mustard sauce at the bottom of a jar and added vinegar-marinated herring to the sauce, thus devising an innovative and unpalatable dish.) Some of the cheeses, both in the French restaurant and the buffets, were superb. In other words, they do have the competence to serve packaged foods. It's just that cooking is not their forte. At one lunch buffet, I made the mistake of having some suckling pig carved. It was so overcooked that, if served to prison inmates, the ACLU would bring a lawsuit based on cruel treatment. But the graved lachs at that buffet was quite good...which shows, again, they need to stick to packaged foods. On the Fourth of July, Jo-Ann and I wanted a traditional hot dog for lunch. At a lavish buffet, they did, indeed, have hot dogs. When we sat down, we realized they were cold. An accommodating waiter offered to heat them. The problem is that when you microwave hot dogs, the frankfurter gets dried out and the bun becomes hard. One day they offered "Scandinavian delicacies" at a lunch buffet. They had "Swedish potato dumplings." The authentic ones are like Norwegian potato balls ("raspeballer" or "kumle") except that the Swedes sometimes stick a piece of ham inside. My grandfather made kumle, my mother did, and Jo-Ann and I have eaten it in Seattle and in Bergen. This was not raspeballer; this was a wad of glue. On our last night on the ship, we had a superb meal of Norwegian smoked salmon, smoked whale, peppered mackerel, and a Norwegian brown goat cheese called gjetost. It was all food we had brought on board from ports. When we paid the charge for the cruise, we didn't know we would be brown-bagging. And then there's the matter of "Lars." That's the moniker Jo-Ann ascribed to a crumb...a large one that resembled a corn flake. Lars was there on the floor of the bathroom when we boarded in Copenhagen and Lars was still there when we left the ship 14 days later in Copenhagen. It must be said that the Regent staff is, in general, well-trained and attentive. We brought two seagull eggs on board with us from Tromsø, and they were kind enough to scramble them for us. There are some language difficulties, however. I wanted to get a peanut butter malt for Jo-Ann. They had peanut butter ice cream. They had a malted milk machine. But the attendant didn't know what a "malt" is. I substituted the term "malted milk." I was told: "We have two kinds of milk: regular and no-fat." Jo-Ann did not get a malt. There is no separate charge for drinks, and tips are built into the price. Overall, the quality is far beneath what we had expected based on the cruise line's reputation. Aside from the cuisine here being second-rate, the dEcor lacks elegance, the stage productions are unimpressive, and if you ask for a gin fizz, you get sparkling lemonade with a bit of froth on top.   This was our fourth trip to Norway, and we intend to go there again. But not on a Regent cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
I sailed on the Regent Seven Seas Navigator with my wife and 11-yr old son August 14, 2009 for 7 days, Athens (Piraeus) to Istanbul. My previous cruise experiences have been on Seaborn, Crystal and Lindblad/Nat. Geo. (small ships in ... Read More
I sailed on the Regent Seven Seas Navigator with my wife and 11-yr old son August 14, 2009 for 7 days, Athens (Piraeus) to Istanbul. My previous cruise experiences have been on Seaborn, Crystal and Lindblad/Nat. Geo. (small ships in Galapagos and Baja). I am not particularly picky about things and although I give almost anyone the benefit of the doubt if their heart is in the right place, I do notice things and, if things don't go well, those things stick in my craw. Anyway, the things I noticed (but would never complain about) are towards the end of this review, after "You're OUT!!!). I had, admittedly, somewhat high expectations of Regent, as I had originally chosen a 12-day itinerary on Oceania and my wife and agent 'upsold" me to Regent, as a definitive step-up from Oceania. As the title to this review portends, I was disappointed to the core with many aspects of the cruise that, in my opinion, leave no doubt as to the answer to question where Regent Seven Seas belongs in any "rating" of cruise lines. First, the good. We had a basic room which, on the Navigator, is stunning and huge (even without the generous balcony) relative to anything I have experienced on Seaborn or Crystal in the same general category. 24-hr room service. So, if your idea of a perfect cruise is sitting in the room, reading or watching videos and living off of room service, you've come to the right place. Room service food was reported to be good by my son, who enjoyed it several times. We only had the "fixings" delivered for some caviar we had, all good. Now, the misery. This was to be a designated family-oriented cruise, replete with a kids program in 3 age groups. There were between 50 and 60 kids on the cruise (representing over 10% of the passengers on board). When we inquired after boarding, we were told that the two women who ran the program were "asked to leave the ship" at a prior cruise port. No explanation, no apology, no alternatives, just mystery. Further inquiry yielded no details or explanation. I can say with 100% assurance that if this had happened on Crystal, they would have flown new staff from another location, co-opted crew from other duties or otherwise figured out how to deliver on a promise so essential to the concept of family cruise "vacation" (i.e., mom and dad can have some time together alone) and the number of affected passengers. Not with Regent. Had there not been a ping-pong table on board, the seas would have been littered with parents jumping from the rails. We had the opportunity to dine with some of the senior staff one evening and danced around the subject - but they were all tight-lipped to the end. Unbelievably, we learned a day before disembarking, that the staff asked to leave the ship were in fact rejoining the ship on the return to Athens. Arrgh. Strike one. A zero for failing to deliver an essential part of the cruise, as marketed and promised, and a below zero minus for not figuring out how to otherwise mitigate their abject failure and come up with something, if only a believable story. We signed up, using a not insignificant amount of shipboard credit (several hundred dollars) for a Regent "Signature" excursion in Rhodes. These are the very special, particularly-vetted couple of excursions that an exclusive group within Regent arranges. In our case, it was an "Off-Road" Adventure, renting a jeep and caravanning to many of the interesting sites on Rhodes that most folks wouldn't be able to visit because of the off-road nature of the trip and mobility of being in small vehicles. Although we may have at some point driven through some of the towns in which some of the historic/cultural sites described in the excursion brochure resided (though my GPS did not indicate so), hand over heart I can say that there was nothing, other than the act of renting a jeep that bore any resemblance to what was in the Regent brochure, the basis on which we booked this trip. We started out at "Butterfly Valley", actually a very interesting site in which a certain butterfly species (in fact, a moth), historically comes. Unfortunately, we were hustled in and out so fast, we did not have an opportunity to enjoy the place at any pace, or to take more than a snapshot or two. We were then off for a one hour drive to have a snack/drink, which ended up being at a hunting lodge. After another hour and a half in the car, we ended up in a small village in the mountains overlooking (a ways away) the coastline. Not the place we were supposed to stop, with another large party from a tour bus upstairs, but the food was fine. At this point, I was interested only in the "Ouzo". Then back in the jeeps for about 45 mins. Did I mention that the brochure said we would be off-road most of the time to visit these rare sites, but that we had yet to see anything but pavement. Not for long. For about a sum total of about 90 seconds, we hit a patch of unpaved road under repair and - you guessed it - that was the "off-road" part of the trip. Just before exiting the un-pavement, in one of the most surreal moments of this goat-rodeo, the guide pulled everyone off the road onto the dried weeds at roadside, right next to a bunch of bee hives (imagine the 95 degree heat, sun, and now swarming bees at having been invaded by 9 topless jeeps). Why? To gather everyone's cameras so that he could take a memorable picture for everyone on or in front of their own jeep on their own camera. You think I'm kidding? It was surreal. Put aside for the moment that 2 minutes further down the road was a scenic pull-out with a sweeping panorama of the coast and surrounding Greek isles, this was a scene that Quentin Tarentino would pay money to get the rights to. After the honking of irritated guests drove the guide back into his jeep, we were back in the jeeps for another hour to...the beach. Nothing in the brochure about the beach or swimming. We had not brought bathing suits. No towels provided by Regent for the trip (you would think - even if to save their stateroom towels from being used at the beach off the ship). But there we were at a small Taverna on the beach and the beautiful Med. My son and I went cowboy style and my wife had to suffer with a diet coke and view of the Med. 50 minutes later, we're hustled back in the jeeps for, yes, another 45 min drive back to the jeep rental spot, and then a bus ride back to the ship. Strike Two. No one from Regent had ever vetted this trip. They never gave any explanation (other than the disingenuous letter mentioned below). There is no way imaginable that it could be considered anything other than a slow roast around Rhodes for 8 hrs. Most importantly, we had wasted our only opportunity to see Rhodes on this misrepresented "Signature" excursion, not to mention the several hundred in credit dropped on this. Shameful. Our first stop back on board after chuckling about the comedy of misconception and execution that was our "Signature Rhodes Off-Road Adventure" was to visit the excursion desk to lodge our disappointment and disbelief at what had just befallen us. Lots of "so sorry", but obviously no one there with any answers or ability to do anything. They left a note for the excursion manager. We later met with him, in civil fashion, away from the excursion desk, in relative privacy. He took notes and expressed concern and shock, but clearly had no knowledge. I challenged him to find a single participant on the trip that would sign up again for that trip, rather than have their fingernails pulled one-by-one. He said that he really couldn't do anything, but would send it to "New York". This was Tuesday. We were due to disembark Friday morning 8am in Istanbul. We checked back throughout Wednesday and Thursday and no one had any answers. We had not asked for anything in particular, but clearly were PO'd that we had expended money on an entirely misrepresented trip. Finally, around 8pm on Thursday night, while packing, I went to the excursion desk and said I wouldn't leave until I had some response. I was told that the response from New York had "just come in" - and that Regent was not prepared to do anything. Nothing at all. As if we had just reported something that we had imagined. I was left so incredulous that I simply asked to have it in writing, which they delivered around 9pm that night (I'll try to post this). End of story. Let's contrast Regent's response to the "Off-Road" goat rodeo with our experience a day later after disembarking at our small hotel (the "Blue House Hotel") overlooking the Blue Mosque. My son mentioned to someone at the front desk in passing that the Jacuzzi jet button hadn't worked in the spa tub when he tried. I hadn't even heard of it and, frankly, wouldn't have cared a bit, but when we returned from our day of touring Istanbul, a sincere letter of apology from hotel management for the malfunction and a basket of fresh fruit in our room. Enough said. By the way, we highly recommend the Blue House Hotel, otherwise known as the "Mavi-Ev". Strike Three. Doing anything approaching taking responsibility for a bad experience and a gesture, however modest, to make a cruise customer feel like a guest. How 'bout a little replacement shipboard credit, which given the timing, we would have only been able to use, if at all, on a nice bottle of wine at our last dinner. How 'bout a basket of fruit. How 'bout 10% off a future cruise. Anything..., but nothing? Hmmn. We all differ in how we measure our experiences, but I can say truthfully that in each of our cruises, we absolutely had to personally visit with and thank not less than a half-dozen crew members, to say farewell, exchange contact information, invite them to visit when they're in the San Francisco area and the like. There was not a single person that any of us felt even remotely compelled to hunt down, other than a Kiwi security officer that my son promised to do the Maori Haka dance for. We had a pleasant dinner with him and with a nice young woman whose title led us to believe she would be the perfect person to share our "concerns" about the cruise with, but ended up being more responsible for customs clearance at ports than customer service and, other than expressing surprise at what we had experienced, offered no hope that anything would be done. It was like sharing the story with just another guest. The Maitre D' of the main dining room deserves special mention for patience and keeping that warm smile and wit amidst demanding cruise customers all wanting window tables. No one else remotely came to mind for any of us. Strike 1, Strike 2, Strike 3 - You're OUT!!! My conclusion - a perfect cruise line for someone used to a cattle car mega-ship. If you have been on Seaborn, Crystal, or any cruise line out there that truly puts the guest first and has any understanding as to what that means - run the other way as you will be disappointed on Regent Seven Seas. From the top down, they have no clue what guest/customer service is. It's an institutional problem, not an aberration. Some details - Nice gym, open 24 hrs. But nothing in terms of programs in the dance/stretch area. No staff to run any of the programs from all appearances. I remember a daily schedule of yoga, pilates and other things on Crystal. Zilch on Regent. Carpets and certain other common areas smell "stale". Carpet upgrade or cleaning or paint (anything to cover up the smell) would be worthwhile. I always wonder what "included tips" means for staff. For the first couple of days, I thought the overall attitude of staff was a little harsh. This got better over time, but there has to be a better way of handling this "perk" that still incents the staff to work to their potential. Perhaps a special "tip" shipboard credit that can only be used for that purpose. Wireless internet from the room worked pretty well, though I had to work around VPN blocking. We attended an evening show -which was very well produced. I understand the band/orchestra (professional) had been brought back on a semi-permanent basis and that explained in part the good music quality. Specialty restaurant food was mediocre at best and the menu, uninspired. Main dining room food and service was excellent, as was the wine list. The "house" booze (for which one does not pay extra) was top notch. (Belvedere or the Goose - house; Bombay Sapphire - house; Maker's Mark (for those Manhattans) - house. The house wines at dinner were so interesting, varied and good we rarely ventured into the wine list. The "photo shop" described in literature and even in on-board materials in the room....well, it must have been a sick joke. From what I could tell from visual inspection and asking for several items during the trip, it consisted of a pile of AAA batteries and a couple of memory sticks (which could not be located); literally all in a small plastic basket to the left of the cash register. I was looking for liquid lens cleaner or anything close - fat chance. Don't think that there is even a photo kiosk where you can stick in a memory card and print photos or burn a CD. There was literally nothing. We'd been used to photographers on most cruises - a casualty of cost-cutting on Regent. Food in general - given that we were in Greece and Turkey, I would have expected that at least in one of the restaurants we might see some "local" dishes. It was really odd to have spent 5 days in Greece before boarding the ship and 5 days in Istanbul after disembarking, cultures that are known for their fine cuisine, and not being able to enjoy any of it on the ship. How 'bout a small sampling at dinner of "local" dishes. It's what we've seen on other cruise lines. Golf driving net - hope you're left-handed or the choice is slim. The mat looked like a bad toupee and kids routinely whacked balls off the back of the boat, occasionally off of other guests - an accident waiting to happen. I had to get off the treadmill and run outside to exercise a little adult supervision a couple of times. No crew around, but this brings me back to Strike One, and I've spent enough energy on this diatribe. Overall impression - these folks are in cost-cutting mode and it shows. Answer to the Question: A two-star pretender....but love the cabin. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
We had a pretty poor experience a few weeks ago aboard the Navigator. We have cruised a few times before, but mostly travel by air. As a frame of reference, we have cruised on Crystal, Silverseas, Royal Carribean, Cunard, and Celebrity ... Read More
We had a pretty poor experience a few weeks ago aboard the Navigator. We have cruised a few times before, but mostly travel by air. As a frame of reference, we have cruised on Crystal, Silverseas, Royal Carribean, Cunard, and Celebrity in the past, in either Europe or Asia. We found Regent to be "okay", but certainly not for the price and hype. We have three children, ages 7, 10, and 13, so we booked two cabins. The cost of the one-week cruise for the family was over $17,000 without air, but the port tours were largely free or at low-cost as part of Regent's current promotions. Our biggest complaint against Regent is the very poor way in which they handled a significant problem we had with our room. Basically, they took almost the entire cruise duration to deal with a plumbing problem (never completely solved), and in addition to other issues, they did not handle things in a way anyone in the luxury hospitality business should. When we boarded the ship in Monaco, we were greeted in our cabin by an acrid sewer/algae smell. The whole room smelled, but we were able to figure out that it was coming from the bathroom. The housekeeper agreed that it smelled horribly, and when we returned from dinner a few hours later the sewer smell was somewhat overcome by the smell of Drano/chlorine. Not exactly pleasant. The next day the sewer smell returned, so we contacted the front desk. To make a long story short, Reception was very nice but not very effective. They had a plumber come out on Day 1 (embarkation is Day 0), and he said that there was something wrong with the drain and fixed something, with maybe 50-70% improvement. But it still had that sickening smell. Anyway, by Day 5 the smell was mostly gone after one other plumber intervention. But the inconvenience of waiting around for the plumber and having him stomp around the bathroom in his boots also did not help our cruise experience. For most of the cruise, when we were on the ship we found ourselves all retreating to our sons' cabin, which happened to be a handicapped cabin without a sofa. The smell was the overriding problem with the cruise. Add to that a bath towel that had more than 10 holes and stains in it (I have photos), multiple unannounced water interruptions resulting in milky-white water emerging from our sink on several occasions including an interruption at midnight-3 am that left my 13 year old with shampoo on his head, and really terrible breakfasts (cheap quality ingredients) in the Portofino restaurant, and you have something that is FAR from what we consider luxury. In addition, the cruise line has handled our concerns very poorly. We actually emailed our complaints to RSSC Guest Relations on 8/12/09 (Day 5), and we have not heard anything from them and it has been almost 3 weeks. We cc'd our letter to our American Express Centurion travel agent, and she contacted their marketing manager. The Amex agent initially told us that RSSC "would have to respond within 48 hours", but their only response was that the complaint would be sent on to some other department in their company. As I said, it has now been over three weeks and still no reply. We travel a lot about 3 months a year. Over the years, we have had "issues" here and there, including new purchases stolen from my room at a Hong Kong hotel, or a cruise housekeeper who put our brand-new unreleased Sonicare toothbrushes brush-down in a half-glass of water left by the previous guest as soon as we boarded the ship! Each time, someone from management would come and apologize, send some tangible token like flowers or candy to let us know that they are sorry and value our patronage. Well, from Regent, nothing. No words from management, no candy (how hard is that on an all-inclusive cruise, we already had $1000 shipboard credit from Amex that we could hardly spend?), nothing but an offer to "clean our room" on day 5/7 of our cruise, the only day AT SEA! Anyway, my final word is that what Regent is offering is far from luxury and as we wait to hear from management, it becomes clear that they are undeserving of the Regent name. The Regent Hotel in Hong Kong (now Intercontinental) was one of the world's great hotels and we actually spent New Year's Eve there on the Millenium but this cruise line has nothing to do with the Regent we knew. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
I went on this cruise with a long-time friend and our previous experiences have been primarily with Celebrity (which I love) and Princess with whom we will sail shortly. I had extremely high expectations for this journey since it was my ... Read More
I went on this cruise with a long-time friend and our previous experiences have been primarily with Celebrity (which I love) and Princess with whom we will sail shortly. I had extremely high expectations for this journey since it was my first "luxury cruise" experience. My expectations were not met, and I would give this experience a TWO-STAR rating. On the upside, the stateroom was lovely and spacious with a great walk-in closet. I really liked the flat screen TV with the huge movie selection, but alas never had the chance to watch it. I also liked the convenience of everything being prepaid and not having to whip out your card everytime you got wine/coffee/whatever, although I think this contributed to lower quality service since staff lacked the incentive to earn a generous tip. Now for the downside. The food was just OK, but there seemed to be more preoccupation at dinner with "presentation" than with tastiness. The salad choices were very limited and many of the entrees were not appealing to me not usually a problem on other ships. (I am not a picky eater.) We ate one night in the Prime specialty restaurant where I had lobster. While the lobster was huge at least 2 pounds the tail meat was not that tender and it was rather a disappointment. Lunch in the Verandah restaurant was also OK and the usual buffet style. I was however unpleasantly surprised that you were left on your own to find a table and walk around aimlessly with your plate until you did. (On Celebrity there is always someone to immediately take your food and find you a table. Also to get you water/soft drinks/etc.) With regard to room service (which was prompt), coffee for 2 equaled 2 cups in one small pot and was extremely weak. Definitely not for Starbucks fans! After a couple of days of this we went up to the Verandah and did it ourselves. (Coffee not great there either but much better and improved over the week.) However the staff there was not attentive in early morning and we sat there one day for a couple of hours before someone actually asked us if we'd like anything. As to the itinerary, many of us felt that it was too port intensive. Knowing this in advance and living through it are two different things. Since we were in St. Petersburg for 3 days, and you could not leave the ship unless with a tour, everyone had booked nonstop excursions. Then many of us started canceling them due to jet lag and sheer exhaustion. My friend and I both opted for sleep over Peterhof at 8 am, and I skipped the Hermitage. For this itinerary you might generally want to think of a longer cruise with some downtimeor Regent may reconsider its itinerary. The most disturbing aspect of this trip I saved for last. Due to a family emergency (i.e., a death) at home we needed to change our air to come home directly on disembarkation. It took more than 24 hours and numerous trips to reception to get this done. The original rebooking (done through their office in the States) put both of us on the same flights to the same city. Since we live in different cities, this needed to be fixed. After much ado, we had ticket info and confirmation numbers. Then we reached the airport where they couldn't find a record of the tickets. In Stockholm we had to see a supervisor who somehow found the reservation and sent our luggage through to our final destinations. However she could not issue us boarding passes for the flights from Frankfurt where they had our reservations but no record that we'd paid for the ticket change. Many Thanks to an absolutely wonderful and patient ticket agent with Lufthansa who was able to reach someone at Regent (in the States) and confirm the payment. Of course this is all taking time, causing stress, etc., and I was ready to pay again and sort it out later. Overall and even without the ticket fiasco I was extremely disappointed with the service on this ship and find it hard to believe that they have the highest crew to passenger ratio in the industry. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
We have cruised on Regent multiple times and have enjoyed every prior cruise. We have cruised with our TA and met many wonderful posters from this and other boards. We are big Regent fans but noticed considerable decline in this sailing ... Read More
We have cruised on Regent multiple times and have enjoyed every prior cruise. We have cruised with our TA and met many wonderful posters from this and other boards. We are big Regent fans but noticed considerable decline in this sailing experience. We felt let down in terms of service and the quality of provisioning on this trip. Perhaps some of the problems can be attributed to this being the first cruise after a drydock and they were simply not as ready as they should have been. However, I have sailed on Voyager after a drydock and had a wonderful experience. Something was definitely not right on this cruise as evidenced by the senior HQ staff that came onboard a few days after we sailed. My sense is that the slippage in service, quality of meals, poor provisioning, low morale onboard of both passengers and staff makes me wonder if there are bigger issues brewing behind the scenes. I hope not because as a past cruiser I am a big fan but as someone who has to work hard to save money to go on trips like this I also want to get what is promised - at a minimum they should deliver on at least meeting my expectations based on my previous cruises on Regent. We also paid a premium as it was priced higher being a "holiday" cruise. Truly, after you make final payment, you have very little recourse - you lose the time spent on the cruise and you lose your money. You come home unhappy and disappointed. Embarkation - This was a disaster. Poorly organized, passengers cutting in line, and it took a long time before we were onboard. Cabin - I had great trepidation about our cabin location (non-balcony). However, we were pleasantly surprised. The location was fantastic especially during the rough weather we experienced on several days. However, we had a horrible sewage smell in the bathroom from the first day until the end of the cruise. Sometimes this smell was fairly significant in the hallway outside our cabin as well. Crew - Our cabin stewardess was fantastic and the staff in Compass Rose, although a bit frazzled at times were very pleasant. The service for ordering wine/drinks in Compass Rose was very, very slow. Most of the front desk staff were really great especially the purser that had come over from Voyager (I can't remember her name but she is one of the nicest crew members on the ship). Senior Staff: Three senior officers stood out in terms of positive interaction with passengers - they were Capt. O'Neill, the Security Officer and the new F & B manager, Joe. They walked about the ship speaking to passengers and were always smiling and pleasant. For much of the cruise, several senior staff seemed like they were in foul moods. It seemed to me that the Cruise Consultant was not really interested in selling cruises even after a couple of attempts to try and do an onboard booking. The Cruise Director appeared not to be connecting with the passengers very much. My sense is that there was so much grumbling that many of the senior staff simply avoided the passengers. Vibration - There is still significant vibration in the aft of the ship. We've sailed on Navigator before and did not notice much improvement. We found it to be most noticeable in the show lounge as well as when dining in Prime 7 and La Veranda. We had to leave a movie one afternoon because we found it difficult to watch/hear the show. We did find that it was somewhat lessened if the ship travelled at slower speeds. Food/Service- We found this area to be highly variable. We had some very good meals and some awful, inedible meals. Some simple things such as breakfast foods and rib-eye steaks were poorly prepared - meat was tough; other items lacked taste or items such as wine or after-dinner drinks never arrived. Prime 7 was fine but I was not bowled over. La Veranda was not great at the beginning of the cruise but improved considerably by the end in terms of quality and selection. The same can be said for Afternoon Tea. The tea service vastly improved after the arrival of a senior staff member from HQ and a new F & B manager. The Pool Grill was variable - our orders never arrived on at least two occasions and the outdoor buffet which was often a highlight of prior cruises was just so-so. The ice cream had melted and refrozen several times so was of a grainy texture for the entire cruise. Overall, we found the food to be somewhat lesser in both variety and quality on this trip. The shows/entertainment were largely unremarkable. The Krew Kapers, however, was great fun and well done. The excursions were also variable - some great, others just so so. Spa/Fitness - This was a big improvement. Great staff and nice selection of equipment and classes. Ship Common Areas (Lounges, Computer Room/Library) - these have been nicely redone. Lots of computers and great upholstery throughout. So, all in all, we were not that impressed. I know that we were not alone in our assessment. By the third day of the cruise, there was fairly significant and vocal dissatisfaction throughout the ship. I cannot pin my own personal disappointment on one big thing but it was something more like "death by a thousand small cuts" - We started off with high hopes and perhaps our expectations were too high given what great experiences we had in the past on Regent. But expectations are funny things - Last winter we went on a large family trip on Holland America. I had very low expectations but they not only met my expectations, they exceeded them. We had a wonderful time and they are not a luxury line nor do they profess to be. But it was a very good experience. That's what I had paid for and hoped to experience on Regent and it just didn't happen. Perhaps if I was not a highly satisfied past Regent cruiser, the letdown would have been less. 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Sail Date December 2009
Just returned from 10 day cruise in the Western Caribbean on the Regent Navigator. Left Ft. Lauderdale Jan. 23, returned Feb. 2, 2010. I have been on many cruise lines before, but this was about the worst. The ship vibrated so violently ... Read More
Just returned from 10 day cruise in the Western Caribbean on the Regent Navigator. Left Ft. Lauderdale Jan. 23, returned Feb. 2, 2010. I have been on many cruise lines before, but this was about the worst. The ship vibrated so violently at times that dishes and glasses in dining room rattled loudly. Had hard time sleeping with vibration in many rooms. Ship lurched and groaned and vibrated throughout trip. Common areas like Star Lounge were too cold. AC in my room was not working entire trip. Temperature registered 78.9 to 81 degrees at all times. Maintenance did not seem to be able to fix it. Warm room uncomfortable entire trip. Every day I had one repair or another needed in my room; i.e., safe, t.v. overhead lights, wall sockets, a.c., etc. I didn't go on trip to have to worry about room repairs. My friends in other rooms also had problems. One on the 8th floor was over the Star Lounge where shows were put on at night. The sound carried to her room through the floor. High ceiling of Lounge took up space below her that would have been 7th floor. They practiced during the early evening before dinner, so if she wanted to rest, their music came through to her room. Another friend had vibration so badly, she had to be moved to another room, but only after insistance from hotel staff, who, at first, said they had no rooms to move her to, but somehow happened to come up with several other rooms to offer her after she got insistant. Food in dining room mundane and same almost every night. Food was oversalted, overcooked or undercooked. Had to send it back many times. Food servers couldn't seem to communicate well and had hard time taking food orders or describing food selections. Service was very slow. 3 hours for dinner every night because service was so slow. Dining staff seemed untrained and unprofessional. When problems were brought to hotel services personnel, instead of being apologetic or helpful, they were argumentative and defensive. I paid much more for this cruise than any other, single supplement, even though others I spoke to who traveled alone were not charged single supplement, and found the ammenities in the room not as nice as other ships I have been on including recent cruise on Silver Seas Shadow, the food of poor quality and variety, the staff not cooperative, and the ship full of creaking walls and vibrations. This ship was not ready to come out of drydock. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
After 5 memorable cruises on Oceania we thought we would splurge on a 6 star-rated ship in honor of our 50th anniversary. By the end of the cruise we felt we had been on a 3-star ship. We sailed from Fort Lauderdale to the western ... Read More
After 5 memorable cruises on Oceania we thought we would splurge on a 6 star-rated ship in honor of our 50th anniversary. By the end of the cruise we felt we had been on a 3-star ship. We sailed from Fort Lauderdale to the western Caribbean. It became obvious that things were different at embarkation where we stood in 2 different lines for 45 minutes [never stood in line on Oceania]. In general, the food was average, portions small, presentation ordinary, and service slow to sometimes non-existant. On our first morning at the breakfast buffet there were no cereal bowls and no one around to ask. The selection of fresh fruit was very limited. Although we embarked from Fort Lauderdale there were no fresh berries other than strawberries and no grapefruit on the buffet. To get a second cup of coffee you had to get up to find a waiter. In fact, whenever asking the staff for anything the response was grudging and unfriendly. Dinners took 2-3 hours to get served which meant missing the entertainment most evenings [which wasn't much to see anyway]. The impression that we and other passengers we spoke with had was that the ship was understaffed and the staff was overworked. They seldom made eye contact or gave you a friendly greeting as we were accustomed to on Oceania. One day we returned from an excursion after 2 pm. The only place to get lunch was at the poolside grill but there was no one there grilling. Instead there was a platter of small sandwiches that had been sitting out there for who knows how long and a salad bar. On Oceania there are 2 people grilling hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken until 4 pm everyday. The celebration of our anniversary became a comedy of errors that made us regret we even mentioned it. Although the cabin was quite comfortable, its location near the rear of the ship had us experiencing noise and severe vibration that could wake the dead, especially when we came into port early in the morning. All in all, I can't wait to take another Oceania cruise where I know I will have wonderful food and friendly service, plus a good night's sleep. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Embarkation was a rather slow process in an not overly comfortable waiting area that lacked A/C. After boarding it was a game of hide and seek to locate a crew member with bubbly. The bubbly tasted like overly carbonated sprite. It ... Read More
Embarkation was a rather slow process in an not overly comfortable waiting area that lacked A/C. After boarding it was a game of hide and seek to locate a crew member with bubbly. The bubbly tasted like overly carbonated sprite. It should have been arrested for impersonating (poorly) champagne. The cabin was ready by the time I got on board. Everything in the cabin worked however the shower and tub both seemed to take an excessive amount of time to drain. While the cabin was kept clean it would sometimes be 2 or 3 in the afternoon before this was done (with a please service room sign hanging since ~8). It would appear that staff cuts to stewards/stewardesses were the culprit here. The ship itself was relatively clean and you could usually see staff keeping it that way (I felt Crystal and Silversea did a better job in that regard). The only issue with the interior was their wholly inadequate HVAC system. Smoke was not cleared from smoking areas and had a nasty habit of invading other areas. For example the computer lab smelled as much as the adjacent lounge and cigar area. The food on the ship for the most part seemed to be budgeted on a McDonalds scale. That is most meals were equal to a Happy Meal in cost. The specialty restaurants were about equal to a Mighty Kids Happy Meal. I never could get the per diem for food. I realize you can't have everything fresh at sea, however I'm not sure why they couldn't make their own fresh pasta. They had the flour, eggs and water. Sauces were mostly bland and uninspired (welcome to Italy here's some dried pasta purchased who knows when that we've had who knows how long). Prime7 was an utter disappointment. The meat was tender, but tasted like it had been tenderized via chemicals rather than a prime cut that had been properly dry aged. I like BBQs and the smells they produce, however in Prime7 you could smell every odor from everything the kitchen was producing. It smelled like a lot of product was burned. Signatures was my second favorite dining experience on the ship. The food tasted good, was properly prepared and properly served. The Compass Rose was something I tried to avoid at all costs. Another cost cutting measure meant service here (both front and back of the house) was slow at best. The food could be dogfood (several other cruisers comments one night) to just OK. Frequently the same diners at the same table would have same dish but two very different versions (properly cooked and full of flavor and the other was semi-gelatinous mush). I must say that when I was able to get fresh made food (pasta, sauces, and desert) it was excellent. However that meal was unavailable to anyone else onboard. The sad part was this meal was equal to what Radisson used to serve and what I was expecting every meal to be. Excursions were generally about "you get what you pay for". While most were free, they felt that way. That is the quality wasn't there. Before the excursion cost was built into your fare, but you felt you got a quality product. Now you paid but for the most part got a lower quality product. My extra price tour in Cinq Terre was excellent (aside from the pax who got drunk off way to much wine and grappa at an agritourismo). However my Chateau dinner in Bordeaux was hideous and that was giving it too much credit. Instead of eating in a Chateau we ate in the barn. Right next to that green and yellow John Deere tractor. Bread was served sans butter or oil, the protein was a mound of I think meatloaf. Not at all what I was expecting for a Chateau dinner, no near what was described. Our wine tour in Spain went from what was supposed to be an Opus One equivalent to I think Turning Leaf or Kendall Jackson. Not the cruise lines fault, but still a downer. I think the best port call of the trip was Bordeaux. Being docked in the center of town overnight made it very easy to get around and see things. I would've gladly skipped Santander (itself an exceedingly poor replacement for Bilbao) for an extra day in Bordeaux. The wine served on the ship definitely was a case of you get what you pay for (Radisson and Silversea both had better complimentary selections). The alcohol selection was good (although I would've liked to have seen Hendricks Gin) and the bartenders knew their drinks (especially near the pool). Staff were friendly (although it seemed extra special friendly to world cruisers almost to the point you felt a class system was in place). The ship was well maintained, ports beautiful (aside from the change from Bilbao to Santander, a department store as the tour destination? Really?). Food outside of Signatures and a certain officers room was ok to call the CDC bad (why yes that really was a large blob of black mold). Trivia was always fun but some people took it way too seriously. All in all I thoroughly enjoyed the itinerary and staff (when available) but found the cuts to crew, food/wine costs and to the captains authority (on Regent ships the captain is subservient to the hotel director which leads to things like skipping ports to save on fuel) have taken what was once a six star experience to something more akin to a mass market line, albeit with a smaller passenger complement. At this point I can't recommend the line, nor do I think I would return unless this cost cutting trend is reversed. The sad thing is the new people trying Regent for the first time don't know what they're missing and the old guard are being driven away. And don't get me started on their asinine pre-booking policy for restaurants/tours with regards to what room you have. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
If Regent Seven Seas had only made a couple of minor errors I wouldn't be writing this review but our experience was one of incompetence and disinterest in customer service from booking to stepping ashore at the end of the trip. The ... Read More
If Regent Seven Seas had only made a couple of minor errors I wouldn't be writing this review but our experience was one of incompetence and disinterest in customer service from booking to stepping ashore at the end of the trip. The good news is that the ship is fine (and there are only 500 other people), the service and food is excellent (but four or five stars, not seven) and the scenery is superb. The butler and maid that came with our suite were both delightful but I wouldn't pay the premium. The bad news is the hassle of dealing with Regent. They just don't get it when it comes to customer service. To start with, as first timers, we took their brochure literally - ie that all shore excursions are included. No they aren't. Many or most of them are chargeable and at a significant premium to what you would actually pay locally. Sorting out excursions took at least five phone calls and as many emails - largely because their web site isn't up to making changes. Booking dinner in the premium restaurant (only once allowed per voyage) for a birthday was another struggle; again their website didn't work on the day that bookings opened and by the following day the restaurant was full on the evening of the birthday we wanted to celebrate so more phone calls and emails. Arriving at Vancouver airport we weren't on the list for hotel transfers nor did they believe we had paid for them. We insisted they check; they insisted we produce paperwork as proof. Eventually they accepted their error. Not a good start. Then towards the end of the week we discovered that they didn't have us booked on the correct shore excursions (despite a printed confirmation) and these were now full. Finally they booked us on the wrong departure schedule despite confirming it in advance. None of these in isolation would have been a problem but in every case the initial response was "no" rather than "how can we fix this for you". It seemed to be a pervasive attitude that it was my problem to live with, not theirs to fix. Maybe it is the cruise industry or maybe we had unreasonable expectations but we won't travel with Regent again until and unless they sort this out. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
My husband and I sailed on the Regent Sea Seas Voyager in June 2011 and it was a pretty disappointing experience. The cruise is advertised as "six star luxury" however if there were any six star experiences on the ship we ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on the Regent Sea Seas Voyager in June 2011 and it was a pretty disappointing experience. The cruise is advertised as "six star luxury" however if there were any six star experiences on the ship we didn't experience them.The cruise did not start well. I expected there would be "in cabin" check in, however instead everyone was herded into the ship's theatre and made to sit in particular rows. When I attempted to move somewhere more comfortable, I was told I could not move due to "crowd control". We ended up waiting an hour in these cramped conditions to check in, and at no time was there even a token apology for the delay. When another guest told one of the stewards that she had been on a lot of cruises and never had this sort of delay, the steward told her that "all the buses turned up at once". It goes without saying that it is up to Regent to put a better system in place.Rather than different tours meeting in different parts of the ship, everyone had to meet in the ship's theatre. This lead to long delays every morning in often cramped conditions and long queues that usually snaked out the door. One of the ports, Visby, was particularly bad. All the tours finished about the same time, which lead to a queue hundreds of people long on shore waiting for a tender to take them back to the ship. It was cold and windy with only a small amount of cover for the last half an hour or so of your wait. A lot of those on board were elderly, and I estimate some must have stood waiting for about one and half hours in these conditions. My husband and I were also quite disappointed by the food. It was okay, but nothing special. Most of it had that sort of bland, mass produced quality to it that you find in food from chain hotels. Portions were very small. For example, if you ordered pancakes for breakfast you would get 2 tiny pancakes about the size of your palm.The ship's decor is not luxurious or impressive, and the so called "suites" are just a skinny cramped cabin with a tiny balcony. No surprise that they looked a lot bigger and better in the brochure! One of the things my husband and I were particularly looking forward to was some quiet relaxing dinners on board. This is impossible on the Regent. All of the tables for 2 have a large table right next to them so you can barely hear yourself think. Even when we asked to be seated somewhere quiet, the waiter would put a large table right next to us a few minutes later. We found that even on the rare occasions when the restaurant was almost empty, the waiters would jam the patrons all together and close off most the restaurant. During busy times there never seemed to be enough waiters and service was sub-standard. Meals became something to endure, rather than enjoy.Even cabin cleaning was slow and pretty slovenly.Disembarkation should have been a simple exercise however even this involved a long delay. The cruise was a three star experience at a six star price.It's hard to find anything positive to say about the Regent Seven Seas Baltic cruise, and if I were you I would investigate a different cruise line for your holiday. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
This was our second experience with Regent. Prior experience was very good, on the Mariner, with great weather and a great crew. Based upon prior experience, we had anticipated being loyal Regent clients for years to come. This ... Read More
This was our second experience with Regent. Prior experience was very good, on the Mariner, with great weather and a great crew. Based upon prior experience, we had anticipated being loyal Regent clients for years to come. This second trip was disappointing. The trip was challenged with bad weather, and political issues in scheduled ending port of Athens, Greece. We clearly do not hold Regent responsible for that. I was however very disappointed in the management response to challenges faced. I have waited for a month+ to post a review for 2 reasons: 1) I have expressed my feelings in writing to Regent, and was awaiting their reply; and 2), I wanted to let the events settle for a while before reacting. With time-passed, Regents reply to my concerns was very weak (a copied form letter), and my feelings have not really changed. My strong feeling after our return is that once the cruise started having difficulty, the feeling we got as passengers went from Regent's "It's All Included" to "It's all prepaid and Regent will just wait for this trip to be over and the next cruise group to board." 4 scheduled ports were missed due to weather in the last 6 of 10 days. Schedules were changed in the few ports made, but not coordinated with the rest of the ship management. For example, to accommodate a need to leave Kusadasi, Turkey earlier than scheduled in the afternoon, passengers were notified the evening prior that excursion departure times were moved up to just after 7am. But, the restaurants were not scheduled to open until 7am, and thus there was no food service prior to departing. A small thing, but should have been handled better by this claimed level of luxury provider. On another day (Sicily), due to rain, a large number of excursions returned around 1:00. After passengers went to rooms to get dry clothes on, we went to restaurants to find that they were closed at 1:30. Only available option was the pool deck buffet in the rain. Would have seemed simple to extend the restaurant service hours to accommodate. As port calls were missed, little was done to fill the void. Cruises experience bad weather, that is to be expected; I just would have expected a lot more ability by Regent to handle the experience. We truly got the impression that the on-board management staff was scrambling wondering what to do next. Food was not as good as we had previously experienced on the Mariner. I will trust my next cruise experience to another line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Having heard rave reviews from various friends over the past few years about Regent Seven Seas, we decided to experience this "six star" line for ourselves. To us, true luxury in cruising is lots of space in our stateroom. For ... Read More
Having heard rave reviews from various friends over the past few years about Regent Seven Seas, we decided to experience this "six star" line for ourselves. To us, true luxury in cruising is lots of space in our stateroom. For that reason, we choose a Penthouse Suite, and have sailed mostly on Celebrity (both Millennium class and Solstice class) and Holland America. On both these lines, which our travel agent refers to as "mass market", we not only enjoy enormous suites, with large balconies, powder room, etc., but first class service to match - excellent butler and steward, wonderful tables in the dining room (even "table for 4 for 2" guaranteed), priority boarding, and special events such as officers' cocktail parties and invitations to the captain's table. On our last Holland America cruise on Statendam, the executive chef even prepared some main courses personally for us - just part of the service! Wondering how "six star Regent" could possibly improve on this, we swallowed hard at the much higher fare for a 10-day cruise on Regent Navigator. Boarding was a little unusual - no priority line for first-class suites. However, it was early so there was no line-up. There seemed to be some problem with our passport information - it was explained that the actual passport numbers differed from what Regent had on file, so they said they would keep our passports and return them later to us on the ship! We absolutely refused to let these crucial documents out of our possession, so with a little heated discussion, an officer came over and make the changes manually - in 2 minutes! Didn't seem like a very efficient beginning. Once on board, we were told the suites would not be ready for a couple of hours. They made no exception for Master Suites (the top category) and insisted we had to go for lunch to La Veranda or the Pool Grill. The entry to the suites was delayed a couple of times and didn't occur until 2.30 pm. On arrival in the suite, a connecting door was open to the neighbouring suite and we discovered it had been opened for a tour! In other words, while we all waited and waited over lunch, people (presumably travel agents) were being toured around the suites which were all ready!! Regent lost points here for not putting their paying guests first. Our suite had a large living/dining room, separate bedroom, bathroom with separate toilet/bidet room, powder room, and a huge entrance hallway which was completely wasted space. The balcony was very narrow and had a small, boxy loveseat and two small chairs with low straight backs - not suitable for relaxing. (We had these replaced with a lounger from the pool area, and two regular chairs from regular balconies.) Overall the suite appeared shabby and tired, although well cleaned. The shower stall was very small, in spite of the bathroom being large. Furniture in the living room was uncomfortable, again not suited to relaxing. Carpets and drapery were ready for replacement. Service - our butler, John, and stewardess, JackieLou, were both excellent, similar to what we have received on Celebrity and Holland America. Ship - we did not enjoy this small ship. The first night, we had very rough seas, which we later learned were about 35 ft. Our stateroom was in the bow, with the headboard of our bed backing on to the bow, so we had a very bad night with our heads going up and down into every wave. Fortunately the bed was comfortable with good linens, as we had to spend all of the first day there rather than risk falling!! Did not venture out to see how the other, much older passengers, many with walkers and canes, were faring. Announcements were few and far between, especially from the Captain, who ended his daily update with a very casual "See you around"!! Dining - The food in Compass Rose, La Veranda and the Pool Grill were all very good, but just as good on Celebrity and Holland America. The temperature in Compass Rose was uncomfortably high. In La Veranda, the menu for lunch was rather repetitious. The dining rooms are also tired and in need of refurbishment - La Veranda reminds me of the dining room at my mother's retirement home. Service was excellent, but no better than we are used to. Specialty Dining - The only venue is Prime 7, which is a smallish, very crowded and overheated room. We were offered no special table in spite of having paid for a Master Suite,and in fact were seated at one of the worst tables in the restaurant. The menu is rather ordinary steakhouse, with some seafood choices thrown in. My filet mignon was just adequate, the Dover Sole my husband ordered was abysmal - dry, and completely flavourless. Compare this to our experiences in the fabulous, formal Murano or Normandie specialty restaurants on Celebrity's ships, which their professional staff of waiters, champagne trolleys, etc. The $30 charged for these dining rooms is more than worth every penny and the Dover Sole is as good as any we have had in London. Prime 7 was uncomfortable, not luxurious, the food was not very good, and service was much below the standard of the main dining room, Compass Rose. In particular, the Maitre D', when we complained about the Dover Sole, was very rude to us. Our great butler had obtained a second reservation at Prime 7 for another night, which we cancelled. Entertainment - The production shows were very good, although somewhat limited by lack of stage space. Enrichment - the featured lectures on wildlife at sea didn't interest us much, and nothing much else was offered other than one cooking demo of limited value. Bars were adequate but with no pizzazz (think Solstice's Ice Bar) and the public areas, boutiques, casino etc. in such a small ship seemed like a bit of a joke. You could walk through all of these in about 3 minutes. Excursions - we signed on for a few excursions, but only took one in Puerto Rico, which was very good. We did not go on the "open safari bus" trip in Tortola when we saw the buses! Hard wooden seats, no seat belts, and mountain roads - not a good combination! We also did not leave the ship when anchored off the Dominican Republic - local open-topped tenders had to be used to go to the beach on a small island, and these tenders looked very unsafe, especially in the swell occurring that day, and there was no sign of lifejackets. The gangway used for disembarking and boarding in port was narrow, and could only accommodate one-way use, which led to some delays. It was also very steep, set up on a higher deck than other ships at the same dock, and there was no assistance offered either at the top or bottom for the mostly elderly passengers. We told the security staff that old people were having lots of trouble climbing up, and they just shrugged - not their problem. Itinerary - The ship arrived at St. Maarten on a Sunday - absolutely everything was closed, and this was the prime shopping destination for the whole cruise. There were no other ships docked there that day, they had more sense. No shuttle services were offered in ports that would have benefited from them for passengers to get into town - San Juan, Tortola, and St. Maarten. So, our experiment over, we are going back to Celebrity and Holland America. For the extra thousands that we paid, even taking into account what we normally pay for drinks, tips and excursions, we received no advantage whatsoever, and no additional "luxury". In fact, our experience was less luxurious than we are used to. All-inclusive fares may be good value for a smaller suite, but do not make financial sense for a Penthouse class suite. We can only conclude that "six-star" is something invented by a very clever marketing company. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
My review is actually a mid cruise review of Regent Seven Seas Mariner. We had a very pleasant flight to Lima, Peru and landed around 10:00 pm. My husband booked a room at a hotel that was across the street from the airport, so we were ... Read More
My review is actually a mid cruise review of Regent Seven Seas Mariner. We had a very pleasant flight to Lima, Peru and landed around 10:00 pm. My husband booked a room at a hotel that was across the street from the airport, so we were able to gather out bags and walk to the hotel, which was a Ramada. I would recommend this hotel if you arrive at night. The next morning, we asked the hotel to request a taxi for us, which they did. The port was about 15 minutes from the hotel, and everything was fine until we got to the security gate in the port. They told our driver to move his car over to the right out of the way of traffic, and there we sat, and sat, and sat. Unfortunately, we do not speak Spanish and our driver did not speak English, so we had not idea what was going on. After about 20 minutes, another car pulled along side us and we were told to get out of our taxi and into this other car. Now we are starting to wonder what is going on, but we did as we were told. This car drives up to the gate and again we are told to wait We sat for another 10 minutes and eventually we were let in. This was not Regents fault in the least, just the way it was in Lima, Peru. We have sailed on many cruises, mostly with Seabourn and Oceania. This was our first time on Regent and we had heard many good things about it. The ship is all inclusive and their tours are also included in the price. This is what I would like to address in my review. We booked our cruise about 2 1/2 months before it was leaving. Once you purchase your cruise, you are allowed to go online and choose which excursions you would like to take. Many of the tours were already closed down and you are then put on a wait list. I called the main office before leaving for our cruise, and was informed that most of the tours will open up and that my travel agent would be notified. Okay, I thought, this is going to work out. I then called my travel agent prior to leaving and asked him if he had heard anything from Regent. He had not. So far throughout our cruise we have not been able to get on many of the tours that we wanted. When you go to the service desk and ask if anything has opened up, the answer is no. This is a problem because if you do not book way in advance, you probably will not get a tour or the tour that you really want. What's the point? Why pay for tours if you can't get one? I have many years of cruising ahead of me, but I'm afraid to say Regent will not be seeing my husband and myself in the future, mainly because of this tour issue. On a lighter note, the cruise director on board is delightful, Ray. We have a balcony stateroom and it is nice, I did have my room steward take out a rather large chair, which made the room seem somewhat cramped. I put on my mid cruise review that I wished I had an ipod docking station, and one appeared the next day. Very nice! The food is not nearly as good as the food on Oceania Marina which we were on twice last year, sorry Regent, but it's true. The ship is nice, a little worn, but not nearly as nice as Seabourn Sojourn. Sojourn has larger staterooms and just a better ship's layout. The wine selection though on Regent is much better than on Seabourn. The bottom line is that there is good and bad to every ship. My main problem with Regent is the tour situation. Please don't advertise excursions are included when you can't get on them. I hope this helps you in your future decisions as to which line you want to cruise with. Happy cruising! Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
We booked our cruise over 6 months in advance after researching for a service-oriented cruise. We initially had booked with Oceania but cancelled and rebooked with RSSC because their advertising "misled" us to believe that the ... Read More
We booked our cruise over 6 months in advance after researching for a service-oriented cruise. We initially had booked with Oceania but cancelled and rebooked with RSSC because their advertising "misled" us to believe that the customer service experience would be far better. We opted for a butler level suite as we are service junkies and are used to high-quality service in our daily lives. The first problems arose after booking but prior to the cruise - due to "computer issues" we had to re-input our guest information 3 times and in the end, the cruise documents that were sent to us were wrong and I had to spend more time to correct the information; aside from that the cruise representative was not helpful or particularly competent. We opted to arrange for our own private transfer to the port and I can't tell you how glad I was to do so as we left the hotel at about the same time as the Regent cattle herding and it was impersonal, disorganized and truly chaotic (we arranged for a towncar ourselves for less than 200euro - Regent wanted to charge us 4 times as much!). Fortunately, we arrived at the port before everyone else so we had a perfect boarding experience (in hindsight, this was more likely due to the fact that no one else was boarding at the same time). All around, our 1st day was practically perfect and we were very pleased and relieved. Unfortunately, our 2nd day was drastically different - terrible customer service, noticeable decrease in quality of services and food. It was night and day - I guess they figured they could stop trying after you were onboard. Our first port was changed to Naples (instead of Sorrento/Capri); however, our shore excursion remained the same. Naples is a terrible port - nasty. Fortunately, we thoroughly enjoyed our "free" shore excursion to Pompeii - guide was a nice elderly man who was very knowledgeable and entertaining(despite a few too many corny jokes), too many people on the tour but the guide provided headsets so that we didn't miss any information. 2nd port: Amalfi/Positano. Beautiful surroundings but disorganized and unacceptable tour. Everyone met in the theater which began the cattle-herding. Then were squeezed into a tender boat (far too many people) and tendered to shore only to find another chaotic meeting place with a tour guide who was an elderly man with a bad attitude and a very quiet voice, let alone clearly incapable of guiding the tour. Unfortunately our group was 38 people and half of the people could not hear a word he was saying (no headsets either) - despite several people speaking up, no improvement was made and we decided to returning the pier to speak with the excursion "director" in an attempt to obtain a few suggestions for us to pay for an alternative (we would have done anything from a local double-decker tour bus to a private driver). She was very unhelpful and seemingly unconcerned. The only advice she had was to wait for the last group to arrive because they had less people (only 27!) - so we opted to wait at the peir for our boat transfer to Positano. Our excursion began at 8:15am and the transfer boat didn't leave Amalfi until after 10am - even after our group caught up to us, we waited almost an hour on the transfer boat so that the rest of the Regent groups could transfer at the same time (even though they had the benefit of sleeping in and starting the day later without waiting like we had to do). Again, terrible chaotic and crowded. Positano was beautiful but the "tour" portion lasted about 5 minutes (just to walk up some steps). By the time we returned to the ship, we felt that we just wasted 6 hours of our lives to something we could have done in a 15 minute boat ride past the two seaside villages. We wish RSSC would have provided more details in the excursion description as we would have opted to sleep in, relax and maybe take in an extra spa service. 3rd port: Florence/Pisa. Due to the terrible experience from the prior day, we booked a last-minute private excursion through Regent for this stop - Although it costed us more than $1600 to do so, we were glad as both our driver and our Florence guide were wonderful. It was a shame we had to do this in order to experience a satisfying tour though. However, if you make the mistake of booking with Regent and have expectations for good service and experiences, I highly recommend booking private tours as even the paid group tours RSSC offers seem crowded and disappointing. Florence was wonderful, Pisa was picturesque but VERY commercialized. We apparently returned to the ship prior to the cattle herding (but after 5pm) and as a result, boarded and missed the staff welcome ceremony, which was unfortunate. 4th port: Monte Carlo. We opted to back out of our group tour again because of the poor previous experience. We slept in and then went to shore on our own - which was great because we missed the crowds at tender time. Taxis are few and far between so we ended up hiking up to the casino (not for the faint of heart) but had a good experience and were able to secure a taxi easily from the casino back to the pier. 5th port: Saint-Tropez. We made the mistake of trying the group excursion again. And again a horrible experience. Port Grimaud was a planned development community build in the 1960s that was very uninspiring - they made it very touristy and attempted to mimic a Venice style village - but it was poorly done and unsuccessful in their aspirations. Took an unguided boat tour - in a residential canal that had absolutely no appeal...and then had some free time to experience not-so-friendly service and a local restaurant. Very cheesy and a waste of time. We had spa appointments booked for that evening and the tour was running late so in order to avoid further disappointment, we exited the tour upon returning to Saint-Tropez and missed that waling tour. Again, this involved a bad tender experience with excessive waiting and a crowded tender boat. 6th port: Provence. We again opted for a private tour - this time it was $1900 - but again, it proved to be worth it because we had an enjoyable time. The guide was not worth it and we were put in a van instead of a towncar as requested but thankfully, I had been to this part of France before so I directed the day and provided my husband with a very guide overview of some off-the-beaten-path stops (in addition to the popular Avignon, we went to Pont du Gard, Arles, the castle in Torascon). Out of time, but so much more I could say. Butler service was disappointing, food and waitstaff were disappointing... The only thing that was good was a response and temporary improvement in service when we complained to the executive concierge. Although, this improvement was temporary. Restaurant officer was great. Room service was inedible. Last day of service was dreadful - couldn't find anything edible and service was virtually non-existent. Debarking was horrible as well as service from the Regent staff at the port in Barcelona -they should be fired. Definitely left us with the impression that all they care about was shoeing us off fast without any cares about service and focusing on putting on a good show for the next group's first day. Our total cost was over $20,000 for a "6-star cruiseline" that provided 3-star service and experience. We will book our next cruise with another cruiseline. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We had booked back to back cruises on Oceania's Maiden Voyage which was cancelled. Then booked with Regent, their sister company. Two days after booking we had to cancel due to a court appearance which was unexpected. Regent would ... Read More
We had booked back to back cruises on Oceania's Maiden Voyage which was cancelled. Then booked with Regent, their sister company. Two days after booking we had to cancel due to a court appearance which was unexpected. Regent would only give us 75% of our money back if we booked another cruise which we did. Our Travel Agent had to fight tooth and nail to get this concession. The only cabin available that didn't cost less than this 75% (which Regent was keeping no matter what) was the Master Suite which we of course were required to pay still more for. The cabin is very weirdly configured with the prow of the ship cutting into the balcony and bedroom. The anchor at 6am some mornings made a horrendous noise, and sleeping impossible, Although spacious it is certainly not worth the money. The dining room staff were not at all welcoming and the food was adequate, but not much more. The specialty restaurants were also very mediocre. One bright spot was our butler, who not only dealt with our occasional requests, but also managed to anticipate others. Regent seems to have shifted toward free shore excursions. Predictably, we got what we "paid" for: overcrowded excursions and mediocre guides. Our overall feeling is that Regent has become an organization that is focused intensely on reducing short-term expenses and seems to care little about how this might affect relations with their clientele, and therefore their long-term profitability We were on the Mariner last year and had a much better experience. We are now booking a Grand Voyage for next year and it certainly won't be on Regent. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
My wife, daughter and myself recently took a cruise on Regents Mariner from Rome to Istanbul. We had taken cruises several times in the past, primarily on Crystal. We decided to book the Seven Seas Aft suite (cabin 988). From the moment we ... Read More
My wife, daughter and myself recently took a cruise on Regents Mariner from Rome to Istanbul. We had taken cruises several times in the past, primarily on Crystal. We decided to book the Seven Seas Aft suite (cabin 988). From the moment we entered our cabin we were overwhelmed by a very strong sewer odor. We repeatedly complained to staff, including reception and anyone else who would listen to us. After several hours, someone from engineering appeared, ascertained the situation and then left. I tried to ask him what the issue was, but he indicated he did not speak English. The problem persisted into our second day on board the ship. Again, we kept asking for someone to come to our cabin and explain to us what was happening. No one came. I was curious to find out if this was an isolated situation and googled the ship's name and sewer odors. Apparently this has been an issue on the Mariner, particularly in the stern of the 9th deck. Finally, towards the end of the second day I sent an e-mail to our travel agent, who is with the Virtuoso travel group, indicating that we had enough and wanted to leave the ship at our next port-of-call unless the problem was fixed. She, in turn, contacted a fellow agent who was on board the ship. That agent was able to talk to someone in a position of responsibility on the ship. The sewer odor ceased for the time being. After two days of unanswered complaints we were finally contacted by the ship's assistant general manager. She indicated that we were the only people on board that complained of the odor. I mentioned to her other passengers near our cabin told us they also complained. She denied that was the case and the conversation went downhill from there. I was then contacted by the general manager who met with me, apologized and told me the problem involved disposal of effluent from the ship's wastewater system. He assured me the problem was resolved. For the next 6-7 days that was the case. However, for the last day and a half, it came back with a vengeance. At that point, we just wanted to get off the ship. The sad thing about our experience is there is a lot to like about the Mariner and the Regents cruise line. The staff was friendly and helpful. The food was consistently outstanding. Many of the excursions were well thought out. Unfortunately, the ship is badly in need of an overhaul. We were not the only ones with complaints about the ship itself. For example, the couple next door to us were able to unlock their door only half the time. It seemed like every time we saw them they were waiting in the corridor for someone from engineering to change the door's locking mechanism. The TV system throughout the ship went down for the last two days of our voyage. It was rare that we could hear a ship's announcement. Much of the furniture looked as if a bunch of kids went after it with scissors and knives. Floorboards on our cabin's balcony were coming up to the point we tripped over them. Nobody expects perfection, but passengers deserve better than this. Instead of being defensive or evasive about their ships' shortcomings, Regents should be pro-active in addressing the issues of their passengers. Will we ever cruise on Regents again? Maybe, but only on a ship that has been newly overhauled. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
We just returned from a cruise on the Regent Mariner. We were so disappointed. Last year, we cruised on the new Oceania Marina. It was absolutely wonderful, but this year we decided to kick it up a notch and try Regent, mostly because of ... Read More
We just returned from a cruise on the Regent Mariner. We were so disappointed. Last year, we cruised on the new Oceania Marina. It was absolutely wonderful, but this year we decided to kick it up a notch and try Regent, mostly because of the Black Sea itinerary. In every single category, Oceania was superior. On both ships, we booked a penthouse suite. Although a few feet bigger, the Mariner suite was not nearly as nice. Although the ship says it was refurbished in 2011, our suite's furniture was quite shabby. In addition, the arrangement of all was inferior. The deck was very narrow, and the bathroom was tiny. We had to ask for lounges to replace the very uncomfortable little chairs they had put on the deck. The food in general was a HUGE disappointment. In both the specialty restaurants and the main dining room we many times felt as though we were invisible because the service took so long. When you have to wait 20 minutes to place your order, and then the waiter does not show up as though he had forgotten you even existed, and you must flag down another waiter to track down your order, you begin to wonder about the luxury label. The only dinner we can truly say was memorable was our dinner at the captains table. The two specialty restaurants left a great deal to be desired. In both, we received main courses that were not cooked to our instructions. It wasn't just us, but four out of the six people at our table. Medium beef should not arrive with blood pooling under the meat and the center so cold it hadn't even been touched by the fire. The same with lamb chops on another evening. Five of the ten evening's dinners were a disappointment. The free tours were no better then the run-of-the-mill tours on other ships. The drinks are free but finding a waiter who wants to serve them is often a challenge. The pool bar closes at 6:00 PM, which is not what you want when you're looking for a cool dip and drink after a day of touring. None of the lunch venues stays open pass 1:30 except the pool bar, where you must wait to place your order in a cramped narrow and very smoky area. There were a couple of pluses. The production shows were excellent, room service was very good, and our butler Bish was terrific. I know that a lot of people love Regent and are repeat customers. However, I have never been on a cruise where so many passengers were complaining about so many things. Sorry Regent, but we won't be coming back. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
This was going to be the Cruise of a Lifetime for my companion's 50th birthday. She has always wanted to see Alaska and I figured we would truly "go in style." I wanted the very best in service aboard a smaller, more custom ... Read More
This was going to be the Cruise of a Lifetime for my companion's 50th birthday. She has always wanted to see Alaska and I figured we would truly "go in style." I wanted the very best in service aboard a smaller, more custom vessel. 1. AIR TRANSPORT This therefore narrowed it down to either RSSC or Silverseas. What sold me on Regent, like many other passengers I am sure, was that they include airfare while Silverseas may or may not, in a sailing-versus-utilization scheme that's more complicated to understand than your cell phone company's data plans. But as it turned out, this "free" airfare was a huge hassle, and ultimately a very expensive perk: we were traveling on to Hawaii, and while Silverseas flat-out refused to even consider ending up at a different airport than where we started (Newark), RSSC was quite accommodating. But here's the catch: because our other connections were made by us (RSSC was only responsible for getting us to and from the ship), that meant that if our other carriers failed to make connections we were on our own. And of course, that's exactly what happened - our Go! airlines flight was cancelled coming back, creating a domino effect of missed flights and resulting in us having to pay $900 in additional airfare - not to mention taking almost three days to get home. In addition, I later discovered that Alaska Airlines (the preferred carrier to the Navigator) actually flies direct to Kauai, which would have saved us considerable funds and literally days off our round trip; but RSSC's air program only covers Honolulu. NONE OF THIS is RSSC's fault, and I am definitely not dinging RSSC here: if your plans take you directly to and from one of the preferred airports that RSSC's air program covers, then this is a pretty good deal (but even then, do not expect RSSC to make the effort to find you particularly efficient connections). My proviso is that if your plans involve going to any secondary airports, or on to other destinations, then RSSC's included airfare may not be the bargain it first appears. 2. COMMUNICATIONS RSSC does TERRIBLE job of communicating to passengers, and perks that they claim are available often simply don't actually exist. We booked a deluxe cabin, which included a butler. Did we actually require a butler? No. But my companion was very much looking forward to having one if only for bragging rights. Aboard the ship, we were introduced to our stewardess (who was indeed friendly and helpful). But no butler - RSSC had changed their web site and their policy regarding which cabins are butler-equipped...months after we had paid in full. Another example: each deck has a big map of the ship next to the elevators. Except they don't accurately reflect the ship's layout (deck eight showed a laundry, but deck seven did not, even though the laundry is there). The map handed out said something different, and the maps on the company's web site said something else yet again. Internet is not included (well, stay tuned) and is unbelievably pricey - really? An Internet plan for $1,200?!? That was pretty hard to swallow, but the punch line was this - on the last day of the voyage, after we had been directed to the Internet lounge to print boarding passes, we discovered that our cabin came with 60 minutes of free Internet. Nobody had ever told us. One thing that people DID tell us, including an announcement by the cruise director, that if the ship was sinking we were to report to our mustering stations printed on the back of our room keys. Except no such information was on the keys. To his credit, the Cruise Director was very glad to hear of this and promised to correct his briefing - but he had not been told by the junior officer to whom we pointed out this important safety misinformation on the first day. While in many instances the information coming to us was wrong or missing, a place where they definitely overcompensate is the number of emails they sent us in the months leading up to departure. I just tallied them up: seventeen emails with "latest" or "updated" itineraries. Except...for the most part, they were identical copies of each other - but one included a change in airline departure time, and boy that one change would be easy to miss buried inside 17 otherwise identical emails. 3. PORTS OF CALL Here is the one place where I really felt let down. RSSC makes a major point of the Navigator's small size and how her smaller size allows her to go places where the bigger ships cannot. Well, I guess from a technical point of view that may be true...but the fact of the matter is that at least on the Seward-to Vancouver run, the Navigator follows EXACTLY the same course as the bigger ships. I know this for a fact, because we often were part of a convoy of ships including Princess, NCL, and Holland America, and we followed in each other's wakes. It was very disappointing to find that RSSC makes great play about the Navigator's special abilities but fails to mention that they don't utilize any of it. 4. EXCURSIONS It is certainly nice that RSSC includes many excursions in the fare. Naturally, the better ones are not included (if you do go, absolutely take the float plane glacier ride; worth every penny. Don't waste your money on a helicopter unless that chopper is also going to touch down to let you do something useful) (this advice applies to Alaska; there are places in for example Hawaii where a helicopter is worth the extra price). Of the ones that are included, warning: take RSSC's guide to physical fitness with a grain of salt! The "nature walk" requiring you to be in good physical condition refers not to YOUR condition, but that of your walker. The only thing that required anything more than a heartbeat was the kayak and even that was ultra low-key. And having excursions included means that you are restricted to RSSC's contracted schedules, which can be very limiting. We wanted to go ziplining but it did not fit in with our other excursions. I checked around (we did not know we had free Internet yet, but there's a McDonald's in every port...) and found that the zipline operator had lots of other times, including at other ports. But the "destination services" desk wasn't interested in trying to book us for a different time, even if we were willing to pay for the excursions ourselves. 5. COMFORT The Navigator is a fairly fast and comfortable ship. The cabin was very nice but it showed a surprising amount of wear, including a bathroom cabinet whose door was caved in. The bed was firm but very comfortable. But it was NOISY when the ship was underway - all kinds of squeaks and buzzes coming from above the ceiling. In desperation I tried stuffing toilet paper above the ceiling tiles - only to discover toilet paper already there from previous passengers! As it turned out, the noise was coming from joints and piping above the ceiling and simply could not be silenced by any means other than a pillow over the head. The Navigator was built as a research vessel, not a cruise ship. When I was aboard the Norwegian Dawn, the only time the cabin ever made noise was while the ship was at top speed and with the stabilizers going full tilt in a rough sea - in the middle of night a slow, distant groan came from a ceiling panel. The Navigator creaked at the slowest speed in the calmest sea. 6. FOOD Okay, now we're getting somewhere. The Navigator really does great meals, and room service is terrific. But even this comes with caveats: a) most liquor, and some pretty good wines, are included. But it is impossible to know what complimentary wines are available. In each restaurant, on each day, the menu will list one red and one white. But all the wines listed in all the restaurant menus throughout the ship for the entire cruise are complimentary - you just don't have any way of knowing what they are. Worse, the wait staff also don't know what they are. The head sommilier printed me a list, but when I said that list should be available to passengers or at least to the wait staff he was less than thrilled by the suggestion. I had one waiter who insisted that the red and white on the menu were the only complimentary wines I was allowed to have. b) we already had a reservation in Prime 7 (the excellent steakhouse) before we boarded. Supposedly that's not allowed, but I had made it clear that if I did not have reservations for my companion's birthday we would book elsewhere. I was told repeatedly that we could book another dinner there once everyone had a chance to make a reservation - according to the concierge, no later than the second night. As it turns out, this is just baloney - the head maitre'd later confirmed to me that nobody gets a second reservation. STAFF The officers are European and are generally excellent, although the woman at destination services made me feel like it was my duty to do her job (when I was trying to resolve a conflict between the start time of an excursion between what was on the excursion ticket versus what was in the excursion schedule). The staff, and especially the wait staff, were another story. They all were earnest but some of them spoke so little English as to make any attempt at communication pointless. Trying to find out if they had "Smirnoff Ice" led to an ongoing running comedy that would have made the Marx Brothers proud. ENTERTAINMENT One definite drawback of such a small ship is that there is only one troupe of entertainers on board; the same group perform every show. So Shakespeare, 50's Rock-n-Roll, and Acrobatics. The two main stars were wonderful; the supporting cast belonged in a High School musical, and not the kind that anyone other than parents show up for. CONCLUSION I had a great time on the Navigator. But I had an even better time on larger ships whose fares cost literally a third as much. Most - but not all - of the touted advantages of being on such a ship don't really pan out in reality. If I had to do it again, I would have taken the Silverseas and planned my own transportation. Silverseas has the additional advantage of moving passengers from Anchorage to the ship (a trip of several hours) via the very nice and romantic train shoreline, while RSSC puts you on a boring bus. But I am sure that I would have had every bit as good a time on an NCL ship - and had many many thousands of dollars left over a consolation for not having a butler... Oh, that's right - I didn't have one anyway! Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Given Regents reputation I was completely and thoroughly disappointed with this cruise. I just got back today. Do NOT BOOK! I was so excited to be going on my first Regent's cruise, expensive but hopefully luxurious. Unfortunately ... Read More
Given Regents reputation I was completely and thoroughly disappointed with this cruise. I just got back today. Do NOT BOOK! I was so excited to be going on my first Regent's cruise, expensive but hopefully luxurious. Unfortunately this brand is resting on it's laurels because as it stands it is a mediocre 4 star experience and certainly not five or six stars. You can get the same thing for much less money. First, the boat has a structural problem that causes it to vibrate and shake. Our bed on the 9th deck aft was like one of those "magic fingers" massage machines all night. Very annoying and nothing could be done to fix it. Shame on Regents for allowing this boat to go to sea given the awful vibrating. Especially a luxury line! The suite was spacious and nice if you could deal with the vibrations. Second, the staff while trying hard, have no ability to respond to special requests or to accommodate anything out of the ordinary. The foods and beverages are with different wait staff so nothing is properly coordinated. And if you have special requests FORGET ABOUT IT. The food is never really hot and the taste of it is mediocre. Yes they have luxury items on the menu but they are not of the finest quality. I found the food lacking flavor. The produce on the ship was not ripe. Third, they would cancel excursions at will and you don't get compensated if this happens. So I would rather go on a line where you pay for them because at least you get what you pay for. We missed a port due to weather but frankly it did not seem that bad to me and then I heard through the grapevine that they often cancel this port (Costa Maya). Fourth, The entertainment was very corny and cheesy except for the piano player from Russia who was superb. Fifth, Several cabins on this ship were flooded with water due to broken plumbing and Regents was very reluctant to compensate them. One person I know got only a $300.00 ship credit and this was after much protest and complaint. I found Regents to be cheap, frankly. Sixth, The pool area is super crowded with the chaise lounges because crammed against each other as if you were on Coney Island Beach. I had a very unpleasant interaction with the ship General Manager Davic whom I didn't know who he was until I spotted it on the Ship program. I asked if I could move a chaise to the deck above (there were already several there and it was less crowded) and he replied abruptly that I could not. There were not nearly enough chaises to accommodate all the people that wanted them and he could care less. Remember this is a LUXURY cruise! The manage was there to lay down rules, not to extend themselves for your comfort and enjoyment. Seventh, some friends told us they were in the lounge doing karaoke at 12:00 midnight and they were informed by the cruise director Lorraine (whom speaks in the phony happy tone of a television evangelist and appears to be something of a stepford wife) that they would have to wrap it up in 30 minutes! The positives were as follows: 1) Beautiful spacious cabin and the room stewardesses were wonderfully with great service. 2) Pre cruise hotel, The Biltmore was truly a luxury experience and wonderful. 3) The bridge instructors were fabulous, Bob and Nancy. I would never cruise Regent's again at any price but at the price I paid I felt I was taken because they have a 6 star reputation but they give a 4 star (at best) product. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Our difficulties began when our flight to Venice had been cancelled. Regent refused to assist with rescheduling the flight even though they had arranged the flights to begin with. We missed the first day in Venice due to the much delayed ... Read More
Our difficulties began when our flight to Venice had been cancelled. Regent refused to assist with rescheduling the flight even though they had arranged the flights to begin with. We missed the first day in Venice due to the much delayed flight. When we finally arrived at the Ship, our first reaction was, where is all of that cigarette smoke coming from (we soon realized that it was from the crew's smoking areas). Food was OK but didn't live up to our expectations. The fellow passengers that we met were lovely and were from all over the globe. The cruise music and entertainment was very subdued- a little too much big band music for a couple in the 40's-50's age range but hey, I would rather it be that way than too much in the other direction. They make a great deal out of the specialty dining but again, seems way overblown to me based on the experience that we had with service and food quality-again, nothing horrible but far short of other dining experiences that we have had. Upon arriving at the airport in Athens, we were told that our return flight had been cancelled--again, Regent had handled the flights as part of their package--you can imagine our shock to find out that we didn't have tickets on a sold-out flight --UGH -I would be hard-pressed to consider Regent again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
This was the first luxury cruise my husband and I have taken; and given the price tag, we expected 5-star (or at least near 5-star) service. Sadly, it was more of a 3.5 to 4 star experience (at a 5+-star price). I don't normally write ... Read More
This was the first luxury cruise my husband and I have taken; and given the price tag, we expected 5-star (or at least near 5-star) service. Sadly, it was more of a 3.5 to 4 star experience (at a 5+-star price). I don't normally write reviews; but feel I have to so that people don't waste thousands of dollars on future trips. Multiple times we arrived in the main dining room only to wait 2-3+ minutes with no one making eye contact or saying 'hello' until we flagged someone down. I get better service at McDonald's! Then our waiter the first night came to our table without no "hello", no smile, no "My name is ... and I'll be your waiter". It was a bit surreal. Not a great way to to start a "luxury" vacation. Other nights were similar with the exception of one waiter who knew the meaning of service. We talked to many other guests having similar spotty service experiences. We went into a lounge for afternoon tea one day and sat down at the only table available that was full of dirty cups, plates, etc. We were there at least 15 minutes and no waiter bothered to come by and pick up any of this. Again...surreal for a "luxury" cruise. One of the main points of the Regent travel brochures is how the in-suite fridge is stocked daily. Not true...at least two of the days the fridge was not restocked. We ordered drinks/appetizers one night before dinner and finally got it after well over an hour (after multiple calls). We ordered two orders of the "salmon/bagels/cream cheese" dish and it came without cream cheese. The first morning we went to the breakfast buffet, smoked salmon (our favorite) was out and not replenished for 30 minutes! The list goes on! I do hate to emphasize the negative, but in this case, that is mostly what we had. I will say though that I thoroughly enjoyed the food. It was all very tasty (a nice surprise for a cruise). The Prime 7 specialty restaurant did have good service and food; but you could only make reservations for one night there. The entertainment was good; and the enrichment lectures were also worth attending. But I still come back to my expectations for such a pricey cruise. There was very little attention to detail or service; and that is a huge miss in my mind. We got FAR better service on a Disney cruise that was half the price per person. I almost wonder if the all-inclusive (including gratuities) worked against us since the crew had no immediate incentive to give good service. We will absolutely not cruise Seven Seas again and cannot recommend it for others. Hopefully this post will save more people from being duped into Seven Seas' 5-star claim. Thanks, Alice   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We have just returned from a Regent cruise on the Voyager starting in Rome, around Italy to Croatia finishing in Venice. This is our 3rd cruise, the first two have been with Azamara which we thoroughly enjoyed and had no complaints at all. ... Read More
We have just returned from a Regent cruise on the Voyager starting in Rome, around Italy to Croatia finishing in Venice. This is our 3rd cruise, the first two have been with Azamara which we thoroughly enjoyed and had no complaints at all. We decided to try a different cruise line as a comparison and paid more as we had read good reports about Regent. It’s difficult to know where to start with the disappointments. We were aware that the Voyager had been having a refit prior to this cruise and we took the 4 hour delay in our transfer from the Rome Sheraton to the port in good faith as these delays can happen, an apology for the delay would have been nice instead we encountered stressed staff with strained smiles and at the dock, cues out of the reception tent door. Firstly I would not recommend the Sheraton, a mistake on Regents part with sullen staff apart from a few lovely bar staff, poor and expensive food and drink, but we looked forward to an elegant, clean ship, which it was. We had expected excellent service, we ordered drinks for our suite from our steward, we had to ring reception on 3 occasions to remind them and waited two days for the requests to be fulfilled and excuses were made about the telephone system having a problem, even though we had asked the steward in person for the items, we even had to ask for the bottled water to be replaced in the cabin. We found most of the food to be boring, lacking in flavour and very often cold, particularly in the pool bar, we had to return cold tuna burgers (this could have been a health issue) and when we questioned any of the poor quality food, we were given an excuse not an apology and no offer to improve the situation. The desserts in most restaurants and snacks in Coffee Connections were tasteless and of poor quality. One night in Compass Rose we spent 30 minutes trying to get a glass of wine, staff seemed to be in a particular area and forgot about us. Breakfast in our room was uninspiring with water too cold to make tea and as it was often necessary to have breakfast in the rooms, more than we would have liked, as the trips were organised far too early. The only half decent meal we experienced was in Signatures on our last night but no better than a regular meal experienced on Azamara Journey in the general restaurant. In addition, the opening times in all restaurants was too limiting which put pressure on guests to plan their day around activities trips etc. Regent seems to have forgotten that a holiday should be relaxing as well as having stimulating trips. We often found that food was being taken away in the Veranda restaurant without being replaced well before the official closing time. We had expected themes in the food linked to each place we visited, there was no connection with the cruise and its ports of call, and it was reminiscent of canteen food. In addition staff tended to rush the eating experience, giving the impression that they wanted to clear away to encourage guests to leave. There were a few attentive members of staff but only a handful, a very inconsistent regime. One striking thing, which seemed to prevent guests from socialising in communal areas, was due to the temperature, it was really cold, and left these areas as a barren wasteland, particularly in the evenings when you would expect more interaction between people as they made their way to restaurants and theatre etc, this was mentioned to staff by many guests but the temperature never improved. This takes me to the entertainment; this was uninspiring apart from guest entertainers Soprano Rachael Russell and Comedian John Martin, both from Liverpool, who were excellent. The theatre seemed under used and was mainly a venue to congregate for the trips early mornings. We did have some unexpected humour with other guests due to the ‘lift music’ loop piped constantly in the pool area; it was so poor that we all commented on it and a bit of fun. If we heard ‘Two Lovely Black Eyes’ once while sitting there we heard it 6 times. We did catch Paul the Cruise Director on a fleeting pass in the atrium early in the cruise and mentioned this poor musical entertainment, he abruptly, without empathy, said it was on a 24 hr loop and must have a problem, nothing changed throughout the cruise and many people complained. The Spontaneous duo were good and could have been utilised up on the pool deck more often, the only time we saw them we couldn’t hear their music. As you will see from the comments, we felt this cruise was poor value for money and not a pleasurable experience, we are not naturally the type of people who give this level of criticism and when you are on holiday it is an unwelcome impression to leave with. We found we were constantly commenting to each other about problems which did spoil the holiday. To generalise we found the staff on this ship to be too serious, they did not interact with staff and gave the impression that guests were an inconvenience (remember we are their salary source). This holiday was low on fun, lacked exciting flavours in food and offered boring entertainment. There seems to be a great deficiency of pride with the staff on this ship. I must add other guests agreed with our findings, some had cruised with Regent on many occasions and were surprised at the poor quality of this cruise experience compared to previous trips. We are so disappointed that we waited until Regent lowered their standards but not their prices. However, some of these poor experiences have nothing to do with money its more to do with a poor positive attitude from Regent. On a final note on return I have logged onto my account on Regent’s website to discover they have removed the history of passed cruises, maybe the just hope we will forget about this disappointing cruise! Before posting this review I asked Regent’s guest services for their comments, after a week I received a two page letter giving feeble excuses for some of the points raised. We will not be cruising with Regent again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We took the RSSC Mariner from Rome to Barcelona on a 10 night cruise. From the day we made our reservation, we found RSSC very difficult to deal with. A day after we made the reservation, they lowered the price. They refused to adjust our ... Read More
We took the RSSC Mariner from Rome to Barcelona on a 10 night cruise. From the day we made our reservation, we found RSSC very difficult to deal with. A day after we made the reservation, they lowered the price. They refused to adjust our fair. They did upgrade our room to concierge class, but without any pre-cruise amenities. When we got to Civitavecchia, there were several RSSC employees at the dock check-in. Despite this, we were told to take our luggage over to the baggage area ourselves so it could be taken aboard the ship. Gave us a bad first impression. Check-in was easy. Getting aboard the Mariner was not. They had a very steep gangway and the woman in front of us could barely make her way up it. Did any RSSC employees assist her? No. They stood and watched her struggle. Two gentleman passengers helped her. We went to the veranda restaurant for lunch, which was good. Our room was a concierge suite on deck 10. The room was spacious and well-appointed. Lots of storage space. Large bathroom. However, the carpet was wet. It stayed that way for two days. According to our room steward, the previous occupant had spilled a bottle of wine on the floor. Other than the wet floor, the room was immaculate. Although we asked for soft drinks, they were not replenished unless we asked again. I never did get the diet ginger ale that I requested. We took the cruise because we were told the food on Regent was fabulous. Except for Prime 7, which was outstanding, the food was acceptable, sometimes good sometimes bad. We ate in Setti Mari one evening, and both of us had stomach problems the following day. The days we ate in the main restaurant for breakfast, the service was painfully slow. In La Veranda, it was often impossible to find a seat. The waiters were overworked. One morning, we put in orders for eggs. 30 minutes later, still no eggs. It seems some of the waiters were switching the orders so their tables were served first. Another morning, got oatmeal. It was cold. Complained to the maitre'd. He got me another bowl. It was also cold. Finally got a third bowl. It was hot. Lunches were even worse. Excursions would return at the same time, hundreds went to lunch, out of food. This is supposed to be a high end cruise line? Had dinner in Signatures - bad service, bad food, entree was dried out and cold. Dinner in the main restaurant was uneven. Service was usually slow. Food was okay, certainly not gourmet quality. Wine service was fairly good, and the wines were decent, although some of the stewards took it personally if you did not accept the restaurant wine pairing for the food. Some nights the service was abominable. We waited 90 minutes one night to get our appetizer, risotto, and when it came, it was cold. Another night, half the table was served, and the other half got their entrees 15 minutes later. Only 6 people at the table. The bar service was excellent, and the choice of liquor was outstanding. The entertainment in the bars was mediocre, but par for the course on a cruise ship. The shows were okay. Most of the excursions were wonderful. The guides were knowledgable and the the itineraries were well chosen. We did not get to Valencia, supposedly because of weather problems. We spent an extra day in Barcelona, which was unscheduled. Other than a shuttle to expo center, no activities were offered. Most of the customer relations staff on the Mariner were condescending and not helpful. The woman in the Internet cafe actually told us to use the internet away from the ship, because it was much faster. In summary, RSSC customer service did not impress me. The worst service I have ever had from a cruise line. The suites on the Mariner are lovely, spacious and clean. The excursions are very good. The food is mediocre, except in Prime 7. The bar service is great. Would I take another RSSC cruise? Only if it were deeply discounted. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We sailed with Regent on Seven Seas Voyager from Istanbul to Dubai over 21 nights. We booked and paid for a concierge level cabin and selected cabin 741 from the deck plans as we felt that, being midship and not too high, it would be more ... Read More
We sailed with Regent on Seven Seas Voyager from Istanbul to Dubai over 21 nights. We booked and paid for a concierge level cabin and selected cabin 741 from the deck plans as we felt that, being midship and not too high, it would be more stable than some other cabins. After an absolute comedy of errors involving our booking disappearing completely, amongst other things, we finally boarded at Istanbul. We were greeted on board by a steward with a dribble of sparkling wine (champagne?) and then left to find our own way to our cabin, which was not overly difficult. The cabin was small but adequate, with sitting area, bedroom area, bathroom, small verahdah/balcony, and large closet. It was not a stateroom, it was a cabin, and calling it a stateroom was misleading. We noted that the concierge level amenities (coffee machine, binoculars, pashmina etc) were not present but presumed, from reading other literature in the cabin, that the coffee machine was not there because of safety concerns. It was only on day 10 or 11, when we went looking for the binoculars, that we realized that everything else was missing. On enquiring at reception, we were told that our cabin had been downgraded to deluxe, and we were not entitled to concierge amenities. Hmm...we had already had NUMEROUS problems with our booking, largely caused by Regent's complete inability and/or refusal to COMMUNICATE with their clients, and now we discover that we have been DOWNGRADED with not so much as a whisper!!!!!!!!!!!!! After proving to reception that we had indeed booked and paid for a concierge level cabin, and asking the following day as to what was happening, the missing amenities appeared the next afternoon with no explanation, no apology, nothing.....!!! Nor were we ever offered a change of cabin up to concierge level. So if you are looking for a cruise line which cares and communicates, the Regent is probably not for you. The included excursions were basic but acceptable, as the ports were all on minor Greek islands (except for Rhodes), or minor Arabian ports, with not a whole lot to offer anyway. The guides which we had were local and knowledgeable and all spoke good, comprehensible English. The excursions which we wanted to do and which offered the most interesting locations were all charged as extras - no surprises there. We originally booked to go to Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, but due to the political upheaval in Egypt these were cancelled and other ports were added and/or rescheduled. This rescheduling caused havoc with our pre booked and paid for excursions, and once again Regent FAILED to COMMUNICATE with us (or with any passengers) as to what was happening and/or what options they could offer for the new ports/dates. They also told us quite categorically that we were not booked on any of these excursions and once again I had to provide proof of our bookings. Our TA was next to useless as she disappeared for 3 weeks to do a French river cruise, then disappeared again later in the process, and Regent's agents in Sydney (Wiltrans) were also very NON COMMUNICATIVE and UNHELPFUL when we had major issues which needed sorting out. Our cabin had, as expected, quite a bit of the vibration we had been warned about, and regularly STANK of either diesel fumes or cigarette smoke or both. Someone near our cabin was obviously smoking but we were never able to pinpoint where it came from. But the heavy, overpowering stench of the diesel was really annoying and caused my asthma to play up whenever we were in the cabin. Leaving the verhandah door open alleviated the smell somewhat, but there is a ventilation/air intake problem with the air conditioning if this smell is permeating into cabins via the air conditioning. As to the vibrations, it is obvious that there is something intrinsically wrong with Voyager's engines, as no other vessel we have ever sailed on has anything like this vibration. The food was nice without being 6 star and the menus in Compass Rose bore a boring similarity to each other after about 5 days. We ate at La Verahda/Sette Mare several times to alleviate the monotony. Signatures and Prime 7 both had good menus and good meals, however the service at Prime 7 left a lot to be desired. We had a 7pm reservation and it was obvious that they wanted the table again for 8 or 8.30 as they were preparing our main course by 7.40pm. When I objected and told the steward that we did not want our main until at least 8pm, it obviously caused him a problem. He stalked off the the Maitre d' and, after much gesticulating our way and tapping of watches, the Maitre d' came to us and apologised and assured us that we should not hurry (as if we were ever going to hurry anyway!!!). As it was, there were still several unused tables in the restaurant the whole night, and they were still unused when we left at 9.30pm. The service staff in all areas were amazing. Housekeeping, bar stewards, wait staff, cleaners, everyone was absolutely top notch, caring, polite, pleasant and nothing was ever too much trouble for them. Reception and Destination Services were coldly polite and generally uninterested especially when we had problems. We asked for binoculars on one day and were told that a pair would be sent up immediately. 24 hours later we approached reception and asked what had happened and why we had not received them, and that's when we were told that we were not in a concierge suite. We can't understand why reception did not simply ring us back and advise us that there was a mistake and that they were unable to provide binoculars - another example of Regents FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE. Overall we enjoyed the cruise, however we did not appreciate Regent's lack of communication on many, many issues relating to itinerary changes. We did not like being informed that our cabin was downgraded and we feel that we have certainly received a lot less than what we paid for and expected. We have, thus far, received no response from Regent to our queries and to be quite honest, we don't expect them to bother replying. I know that there are many other cruise lines which provide the same type of service which Regent claims to provide so we will be investigating them further for the future. After the poor booking experience and the APPARENTLY DELIBERATE lack of communication by Regent, we would never even consider sailing with them again. Given that we were close to being the youngest passengers on the boat by at least 10 years, and that we can obviously afford to cruise in the style Regent offers (but does not provide), I would suggest that Regent needs a wake up call if they wish to attract our demographic. We have many more years of cruising ahead of us but they won't be with Regent. Unfortunately I feel that Regent are resting on some fairly ancient laurels and getting by on a past reputation. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
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