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209 Regent Seven Seas Cruise Reviews

We sailed on Navigator's cruise from New York to Reykjavik, Iceland, during the latter part of June 2005. We took advantage of Radisson's free coach air package. We have sailed previously on Crystal (several cruises), HAL, ... Read More
We sailed on Navigator's cruise from New York to Reykjavik, Iceland, during the latter part of June 2005. We took advantage of Radisson's free coach air package. We have sailed previously on Crystal (several cruises), HAL, Celebrity and NCL. This was our first Radisson cruise. We chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary, which included port stops at Boston, Bar Harbor, Halifax, L'Anse aux Meadows (Newfoundland), Heimaey in the Westermann Islands, and an overnight in Reykjavik. The precruise transportation and hospitality which included a night at the New York Hilton and Towers was very good. After we boarded we found that the number of passengers was well below capacity (about 265 pax on a 490 pax ship). I will be posting a much longer review on the RSSC board later, so will just list the highlights and lowlights here. Highlights: Our standard verandah cabin on deck 6 midship (631) was exceptionally large and comfortable. The walk-in closet and large bathroom with separate shower and tub make these "standard" cabins really outstanding. Our cabin stewardess did and excellent job keeping everything in the cabin clean and neat. Room service was outstanding -- the food was very good and it was delivered in an unbelievably short time. The ports were interesting for the most part, although the recreated Viking village at L'Anse aux Meadows was a bit underwhelming. We missed Heimaey because of mechanical problems that prevented the ship from sailing at normal cruising speed for the last two days of the cruise. Iceland was spectacular even though the weather was quite cool and cloudy. The ship's staff, for the most part, were friendly and helpful. The quality of the food in the dining room and alternative restaurant generally was very good to excellent in quality, although often too rich for our taste (too much butter and cream). Lowlights: The ship's public rooms are small and dreary. Most of the art on the walls was supplied by the Park West art auctioneers -- really, really tacky. The entertainment was strictly amateur hour, nowhere near the quality of Crystal or for that matter HAL. Open seating dining turned out to be not so great. When we sat at a large table the speed of service was determined by the slowest eater. And since we never were at the same table the wait staff never really learned our preferences. Even when we arrived at the dining room at 6:45 p.m., we were not finished with dinner until close to 9 p.m. The swimming pool area is small, and there is no protection from the elements (no retractable cover) so the pool grill was closed for most of the trip owing to the cool weather. The Internet service has to be the worst I ever experienced. It was slow beyond belief, and the Radisson firewall is the most restrictive I've ever encountered. The vibration in the aft areas of the ship was very intense and objectionable at times. Read Less
Sail Date June 2005
Background Information: Crossings are my favorite cruise and I do at least two yearly, but this was my first on the Regent Navigator. I made a conscious decision to accept her without comparing to the delightful Diamond or the classy ... Read More
Background Information: Crossings are my favorite cruise and I do at least two yearly, but this was my first on the Regent Navigator. I made a conscious decision to accept her without comparing to the delightful Diamond or the classy Voyager. She is definitely a unique experience, with some outstanding aspects and some real flaws. This cruise boarded in Fort Lauderdale and ended in Monte Carlo. The first week was truly laid-back with no ports; the second was port intensive. The westbound crossing is easier with an active start, time to recover, and best of all you gain hours instead of losing them almost every night on the second leg. But the lazy first week gave us ample chance to adjust. Off to the Ship: Fort Lauderdale is an easy embarkation port, and I easily booked my own hotel and transfer. After a quick hotel shuttle pickup, I settled into the airport Wyndham (soon to be a Hilton). In spite of a few minor problems I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this comfortable hotel for a pre-or-post stop. The hotel bell captain booked a shuttle to the port for me. I thought the price quoted was too low, and it was. I was solo, and they had quoted a multi-passenger pp/rate. The driver did not try to raise the price, but I offered to split the difference. Life's too short to take a bargain at somebody else's expense. When a flight attendant came rushing out and could not fit in the crew shuttle, I quickly agreed to share with her and drop her at the airport. It was still a bargain and we were all happy. The embarkation area at FLL is huge, and pretty vacant when accommodating the small RSSC ships. All went relatively quickly and efficiently. The agent saw my cane and offered to help me up the escalator (and all the way to the ship) with my carry-on so I didn't have to make the long trek back to the elevator. Bonus points from me! First Impressions: The ship was typical RSSC, with a glass of champagne and a cheerful welcome awaiting me. I was directed to the Portofino/grill area where I enjoyed a casual lunch until the "cabins are ready" announcement was made. My first impression was a bit claustrophobic, which I quickly attributed to the low ceilings. Many recognized faces greeted me, which made me quickly feel at home. Stateroom: I was in "magic cabin" 601, a larger than usual cabin at the far front of the ship with an oversized veranda. The entry was wide and opened into a separate seating area. The walk-in closet, abundance of drawers, and bath with separate shower and tub are real cruise pleasers. I asked my stewardess to bring a cushion for the lounger on the veranda, and it shortly arrived. I travel solo on crossings, so am priced out of upper-level suites. This cabin was a real luxury! However, there is always a downside. It is also vulnerable to strong vibration, as well as both up/down and side-to-side movement in rough weather. The first night, the vibration kept me awake (and I have good sea legs). We had one rough night that really kept me rocking. However, I popped on my sea bands and fell fast asleep. In addition, the clanging is pretty loud when coming into port. Unless you are an early riser, buyer beware! Standard cabins, while smaller, are still roomy enough for two to share comfortably. On week two, the bedspreads were replaced with white duvets with red trim in the "hotel" style. The duvets are changed every couple of days, which is a lot of work for the cabin stewardesses. But personally, I liked the look. Dining: All I can say is "wow". I couldn't help but compare to her sister ships, and she was far and above the best of the lot. The current chef is a superstar! Not only an accomplished chef, but personable and approachable as well. She was often seen around the dining rooms and other areas mixing with passengers. Remember the days when women were not hired for the kitchens, she and her pastry chef proved that was mistake. Her star accomplishment: by far, the soups. I don't normally care for soup, but after trying the seafood bisque I found myself looking forward to the day's offerings. Plus she took full advantage of local markets, bringing on local sausages and fish in Barcelona, and fresh oysters in Sete. Variety and presentation were equal to the food! No complaints in this area, and I'm a tough critic. Portofino was wonderful...one tasty dish after another. Even better than Don Vito's (there I go again, comparing). More about the concept later. The pre-dinner wine tasting offered a good opportunity to try different grapes and growing areas. Room service was just so-so, often lukewarm and not particularly good. But with the fantastic lunches and dinners, who had room for breakfast? Most mornings I just slipped down the hall to the Navigator lounge and picked up fruit, juice and a muffin. Afternoon tea was also so-so. Regent should do better than using tea bags and commonplace teas. This is an area where the Diamond shone...oh, how I missed it. And after a few days, you'd think the same waiter would know that I like green tea. Downside, coffee on the ship was truly horrid. Too bitter to drink. Hey, guys, clean the pot! Thank goodness I brought my own coffee press and coffee. After dinner espresso was acceptable, but not wonderful. Service in the dining rooms was inconsistent at best. Although I sat in the same general areas and had the same waiters night after night, nobody remembered that I drink Pellegrino (in fact, I saw one waiter roll his eyes when I requested it)and espresso and port after dinner. In past cruises, these were offered automatically by the 3rd night. Wine service varied widely. Most nights one glass was poured and the wine waiter disappeared. One night the initial bottle was bad, and after a long, long delay the second was no better. (I'm sure the vibration on this ship is hard on the wines and there is no way to overcome that flaw.) A different wine was offered, but we were almost finished with the meal by the time it arrived. There was a general lack of attention to detail. Training, training, training, is needed. Shops: The two shops were small, but relatively well-stocked. Some Radisson items were being phased out, but there was an adequate selection and a wide range of prices. Something for everybody. Only tacky, tacky...art lining the halls and walls. People must buy it or it wouldn't be there...but I can't imagine why. Activities: We were certainly kept busy, even on long port days. Of course, team trivia and other games quickly became very competitive. However, a number of us avoided activities handled by the CD who managed to take the fun out of enjoyable activities. I'm on vacation...don't try to boss me around. Entertainment: This was a Theater at Sea cruise so the level of entertainment was a step above the normal crossing. I did miss a couple of shows because I didn't realize that they were late afternoon, not pre-or-post dinner. But I take full blame for taking a nap instead of reading the schedule more closely. It's just that the rocking of the ship is so relaxing. The speakers were definitely high caliber and widely attended. I enjoyed watching the reruns in the cabin (a definite advantage when satellite-related stations are lost during the crossing and you've watched all the movies). And the "Distinguished Gentlemen" were the best I've ever encountered. Not only were they available to dance and host dance lessons, they made themselves available for dinner every night and participated in other activities to encourage socialization among the single cruisers. Unfortunately, the vibration and noise is most noticeable in the theater. However, even with a full ship, seating was not a problem. The balcony offers the best sightline and acoustics. Portofino has adopted the Don Vito style of cabaret, and staff has blossomed as entertainers in the larger venue. However, what works in a checkered tablecloth group-table concept doesn't necessarily convert to a white tablecloth restaurant. Unfortunately, without the large shared-table concept something is lost. Even when "full" there are always a number of empty place settings. And a single has to hunt for table partners or end up sitting alone. Plus many people expecting a fine Italian concept restaurant find it "too loud". It would make a big difference if they offered at least a few large, shared tables. Downside: To say the least, the cruise director was the weak link. I've sailed with her before and have to admit that I was really disappointed when I saw that she was on the ship. Mimi, the Assistant CD was a charmer as usual. Overall, the small staff appeared constantly stressed out and distracted. Communications: The ship has a small, but nice computer room. They were busy wiring for WiFi during the first leg, so it will soon be in all the cabins. Even now, there is WiFi in all the lounges. Plus most return passengers have free access! Loved it! BUT...RSSC has determined that an adequate dish system for this ship is not a priority. Big mistake! While you always lose satellite for a few days on the crossing, it is usually available again before you reach Funchal. We did not have satellite stations even from Funchal to Monte Carlo. Since they simply repeated the movies the second week, we were left stranded in this area. The only news coverage was FOX, to the displeasure of many passengers. I found myself avoiding the lounges where FOX blared around the clock. Ports and Excursions: No ports the first week, but the second was busy indeed. It's nice to be able to pull into port without the hassle of tendering. Plus RSSC provided complimentary shuttles into town at each port. I only took one tour, to Rabat. There really wasn't much to it, mostly driving to and from Rabat with only two stops. Not even time for shopping (such that it would have been at the government supported store). But the outstanding Moroccan lunch at a luxury hotel made up for all the other lapses. Regent is touting "concierge" level service, but I found the tour desk to be mediocre at best. Answers to questions were perfunctory (and often wrong) and the staff had little practical information about ports. Maybe I expected too much. But don't call it "personalized" if it's not. Service: Unfortunately, this area appears to be slipping, not improving. The change from a 2-person team, to a single stewardess is not a positive move. Although my stewardess was friendly, she had to rate as the worst I've had in over 40 cruises. There was a large hand-print on the dressing area mirror when I arrived, and it was still there when I disembarked. She swept the center of the room, but the floor was definitely not clean. She didn't bring the cushions in from the verandah or even sweep it. On the morning after we went through a bad storm, the cushions were soaked, laying in sandy water, and the soggy lounge cushion was hanging off the rails. But she didn't even notice. I finally complained, and she did improve somewhat...but still lacked professionalism. The first night I heard my first name being called in the hallway. I turned thinking it was someone I knew from previous crossings, but it was my stewardess yelling down the hall. I'm not a snob, but I am not accustomed to being called by my first name. I was too surprised to correct her, and later learned that this is the new "policy". I don't think this is in keeping with the new image, and hope that feedback will cause a rethinking of this training. Let the passenger decide the most comfortable form of address. Discussion has been held on boards about the laundry carts in the hallways. I have to say, this is another service lapse. We're not talking about the neat carts we're all accustomed to. Rather, these are canvas laundry carts with dirty linens sloppily hanging over the edge. Combined with cleaning supplies hung on one side and cleaning rags sloppily hung on the other, they're an unsightly obstacle in the hallways until about 2:00 pm. Plus, the carpet sweeper was perched outside my door 24/7. On the bright side, ship personnel responded quickly to feedback. I do hope this area can be addressed...it must, if Regent is to be considered a luxury cruise. Passengers: As on most crossings, the passengers tend to be "mature" as in "retired". But the smattering of younger couples (and singles) fit right in and appeared to have a great time. The Block Party on sailaway was a huge success and helped strangers mix and become quick friends! Special Circumstances: As on all cruises, unusual circumstances arise. During the crossing a water heater burst on deck six flooding several cabins. Staff quickly stepped into action. For several days mattresses and furniture lined the hallways and huge fans were called into service to dry the rooms. It made for quite an obstacle course, but by Funchal the cabins were ready for the embarking passengers. But the real plus was the mid-Atlantic meeting of the Voyager and the Navigator. The captains met mid-way between the ships in Kodiacs and exchanged "gifts" while the Voyager's CD took an unscheduled opportunity to go water skiing. Passengers watched while toasting with champagne, and crew yelled and waved banners across the water. It was a truly special experience. Disembarkation: What can I say...quick and efficient. How long is it until my next cruise? Let me get my calendar! Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
Having cruised only the mainline cruise lines before Holland and Princess, we looked forward with great anticipation to joining our friends, Phyllis and Phil, who had only cruised the higher end lines: Crystal, Silverseas, and Seabourn. ... Read More
Having cruised only the mainline cruise lines before Holland and Princess, we looked forward with great anticipation to joining our friends, Phyllis and Phil, who had only cruised the higher end lines: Crystal, Silverseas, and Seabourn. Phyl and Phil traveled separately to Copenhagen (they used frequent flyer miles on American, and had a tortuous route from Los Angeles to Boston to Zurich to Copenhagen). My wife Peggy and I took advantage of a half-price business class sale on Air France, and overnight to Paris and had an easy transfer at CDG, thanks to directions from Cruise Critic member/posters Globaliser and Flyertalker--my sincere thanks! We took the train from Copenhagen Airport to the city center for less than $5.00, and it was a short and reasonably priced cab ride to the Marriott, which we loved. Our friends had the canal view and we had the city view, with sights of Tivoli all lit up at dark (which is not til after 10pm in the late summer!) The hotel is convenient (only two blocks to Tivoli and a bit further to other city sights and restaurants. The breakfast buffet was excellent, but quite expensive (about $50 for two). We spent three days pre-cruise in Denmark, and it was delightful! We tried the hop-on hop-off bus, which got us to several sights, but the recorded highlights were pretty basic. Be sure to bring guide books; we used Lonely Planet and Rick Steves. The concierge directed us to two very nice restaurants. The first, Cafe Nytorv was simple, but good food. Service at the outdoor cafe took quite a while as they only had one waitperson bringing the food from the restaurant across the street. The other restaurant recommended by the concierge, Gammel Strand was simply magnificent. Amazing food, wonderful wine and excellent service. Morning of the cruise we had time for the Hans Christian Andersen tour. It was entertaining, informative and I highly recommend it. We cabbed from the Marriott to the pier, quick and easy. Check in was a breeze. As the rooms were not ready at 2:00, we went up to La Veranda for a late lunch. Plenty of food, but I would say nothing more than the usual buffet fare, which caused us to avoid it til the last evening of the cruise, when we were pleasantly surprised--more on that later. Afterwards, we headed to our suite. It certainly exceeded our expectations. The room was quite large, well appointed, with a nice large walk-in closet and a large marble bath. We met our room stewardess, Prisilla, who was charming and efficient. We took advantage of the time before sailing to do a couple of loads of laundry, then up to Compass Rose for dinner. No waiting for a table for four. The food was good, but I couldn't really say that it was outstanding. Two ongoing sour notes. One of our traveling companions prefers the sweeter white wines. He asked for a Reisling and was told there was none on the ship, but that they would see if they could get it at the next port. This turned out to be a running joke, as we asked every night, and the Reisling was never available. The same thing occurred with a request for strawberry ice cream: None available, ever. Our issues with Compass Rose continued at breakfast. The service was extremely slow, even when the dining room was 3/4 empty. Sausages were so over cooked they were like rocks, hash brown potatoes were cold, and the eggs benedict was covered with some horribly congealed mess that bore no relationship to Hollandaise sauce. Sadly, each successive breakfast was the same or worse. Hardly what I would call a six star line's best effort. Our first port was Visby on the Swedish island of Gotlund. We had to tender in, and the gentleman in the wheel chair proved quite a challenge for the crew, as the tender was bobbing pretty wildly. I was sure he was going to get dropped, but made it without mishap. We opted to explore Visby on our own. It's a charming medieval city, easily explored, although the hillside was fairly steep and the cobblestones uneven. We poked in a few shops, visited a lovely cathedral, strolled the town and returned to the ship. Dinner in Compass Rose was pretty good, but I found the desserts very unimaginative. I have never seen jello on the menu of any cruise ship in the main dining room! We went to the show that evening while our friends did some business emails in the computer center, which is quite large and well equipped. The show was the Broadway musical revue, fairly well done, and we enjoyed it. A few words about ship amenities. Appointments at the spa took a little while the first day, as they were entering them manually in a ledger, not on a computer. The spa is small, the gym also small, but clean. Not nearly as elaborate, for example, as the Lotus spa on the grand class Princess ships. Each day there was a cultural lecture, mostly centered on either art, ballet or history of Russia. I went to one; it was informative--hard to keep track of all those Russian Tsars! The fore lounge usually had music, a few (and I mean few) appetizers. The aft lounge we visited once before dinner and were the only folks there to hear the combo. I don't know if the change in liquor policy coming Jan. 1 will bring more folks to the lounges, but the week of our trip (July 29-Aug 5) they were pretty quite. Not much else going on on-board. The ship stores had greatly overpriced clothing, jewelry, and russian folk art. The camera store was almost never opened, so we were unable to download any digital pictures to disks. Our second port was Tallin, Estonia. It was a delightful town! Our friends' travel agent is connected with Virtuoso tours, and they included a guided tour of the town. The port is a commercial shipping port that is a couple of miles from town, so we boarded a bus which dropped us off outside the walls at the top of the old city. Our tour guide was pleasant and informative. The walking tour took us to a beautiful Orthodox cathedral, down a cobbled lane to a music hall where several musicians in local traditional dress performed on kannels, which are ancient Estonian instruments resembling zithers. They were quite entertaining. Afterward, we strolled the streets, saw several lanes containing the work of local artisans, then on to restaurant "Gloria" which was hosted by the tour. The food was good. We hurried off to do a little shopping (I still have no idea whether the amber necklace I bought my wife is authentic amber--they say if you heat it, the odor will be woodsy if genuine, or like plastic if it is fake!). We met up with the tour guide and reboarded the bus. We did a short tour which passed by several government buildings, then private homes, and on to a medieval convent that was destroyed by one of the invading countries that passed through Estonia over the ages. We returned to the ship and wrote a few post cards before our 7:00 p.m. reservation for L'Attitudes. I had contacted the maitre d earlier, as the written confirmation left in our cabin (I pre-booked on line) seemed to indicate we were a party of eight, when I was trying to tell them that we were a party of four, but didn't mind being seated with others. The staff were most grateful that we were willing to be flexible, as the other dining requests for that evening seemed to have taxed their seating arrangements. If you go to L'Attitudes, they request you be prompt, as the food is timed to come out on schedule. Although you receive a menu, there are no choices, and no substitutions. The food is served family style, as in most Chinese restaurants, although I would describe the food as more fusion with an asian flair, rather than Asian. I found the food in L'Attitudes quite good. Only the appetizers (egg rolls, skewered beef, etc) seemed a little pedestrian. We were seated with a delightful young couple from Philadelphia, Ruthie and Ben, and quite enjoyed the meal and the conversation. Our long anticipated arrival in St. Petersburg was the next morning. We had, on the recommendation of many Cruise Critic posters, engaged a private tour from Alla for the four of us. Although Alla was booked, she engaged a young woman who often contracted with her. We had the services of our guide, Julia, and a driver for the full three days in St. Petersburg. Each was invaluable. Julia was well educated, knowledgeable, able to accommodate requests for unscheduled stops for meals, shopping, an impromptu subway ride, and still got us to all the sites we had pre-arranged. She took care of all our entrance fees (and with one exception was able to get us past the lines waiting to get in) as well as photo stickers for camera use. Our driver Valery got us in and out of many traffic jams in the city, which is just not able to accommodate the influx of private cars since Peristroika. We kidded him about his race car driving, but he knew what he was doing. On the third day, he even brought his video camera to show us his son's swim meet, where he had won a medal! On the first day, Julia took us to Peter and Paul fortress and Cathedral, St. Isaac's Cathedral, Church of Our Saviour (also known as Church on the Spilled Blood) before lunch at a nice little restaurant frequented by locals, Mischa and the Bear (named after a Russian folk tale) and helped us order. As we got to know her, and she us, she became accustomed to our senses of humor, and we got along famously the whole trip. After lunch, we went to Peterhof and toured the extensive grounds and fountains at Peter the Great's summer palace. Not to be missed. Both Alla and Julia recommended seeing only the grounds. Entrance to the palace was extra, and many rooms were under renovation. We returned to the ship with tired feet! On our way up the gang plank, we saw large groups leaving for evening excursions to the ballet and elsewhere, so I suggested we see if there were any openings at Signatures for that night. Indeed there were if we could be there promptly at 7:00 p.m. We rushed to clean and change. Signatures, the Cordon Bleu restaurant, has a menu which has no substitutions. Upon arrival, we advised the head waiter that we had reserved souffles for that evening at Compass Rose, and asked if it was possible to have them served up at Signatures. The head waiter checked and said that was not possible, but that he would notify Compass Rose that we would arrive for souffles, coffee and after dinner drinks after we completed our meal up at Signatures. We were impressed. Although Peggy's filet mignon was little tough, everyone one else at our table raved over the food and the wine (the red for the evening was Mouton Cadet, quite a cut above the complimentary reds being served in the main restaurant). Entertainment that night was a troupe of Russian Folk dancers the ship had brought aboard. They were excellent! Afterward Phyl and Phil went to the computer center and we repaired to the lounge for a little music and conversation before bedtime. Day two in St. Petersburg started with a short visit to St. Nicholas Church, which unlike several of those previously visited was still in use as a church, the others serving primarily as museums to religious art and architecture. We also visited a small pedestrian bridge near a small park in a residential neighborhood, and stopped to take Julia's picture in front of the university she previously attended, and where she now teaches English! Then on to the Hermitage, which was glorious. Once again Julia was able to get us past the long lines for entrance. We visited a few rooms before our allotted time to visit "the gold room" Julia gave someone a dressing down when it appeared the guide appointed for the group to which we were to be attached was at a different location than she had been advised! For those who don't know, most of the contents of the gold room were household decorative items (snuff boxes, hair brushes, etc., and the Sythian archeological collections). Crown jewels are in Moscow, and most, if not all of the Faberge eggs were sold to Malcolm Forbes! There is so much fantastic art to see in the Hermitage, that I would not spend my time or money on the gold room unless you are there for an extended number of days. We had lunch in the museum snack bar, and then toured the wings devoted to the art collection. Quite impressive, as was the building itself. Later, we visited the Yusopof palace, home to a wealthy Russian family, and site of the murder of Rasputin. Back to the ship for a second evening at Signatures (the one we had pre-booked). The menu was the same for the entire week (as is the case at L'Attitudes). Some of us had the same main course, others changed. We were seated with a doctor and his wife who were from Alabama. Lively conversation and excellent food and wine! Our last day in St. Petersburg! We were a little late getting off the ship. I think Julia was a little worried! (By the way, because of the relatively small size of the ship, we had an excellent docking area in town along the canal, not at the larger and more remote commercial shipping area). We traveled out of town for the trip to Pushkin, home of the famous poet, and site of Catherine's Palace. En route we saw several examples of Soviet style architecture: blocks of grey multi-story flats. Rather depressing. In St. Petersburg we saw a few areas with apartments dating from pre-revolutionary times, but saw no private detached homes. There were a few of these in Pushkin. The Palace is quite ornate with much gilded carvings. We stopped at a very nice restaurant on the way back and sampled a local berry during, as well as some local vodka! We had a canal boat cruise scheduled, but it was drizzling, so we opted instead to do a little shopping for souvenirs after a side trip to take a ride on the subway, just one stop. The architecture and cleanly state of the station impressed us. Sadly, we bade farewell to our guide and driver, and boarded the ship. We went up to the forward lounge for cocktails and to see sailaway, but our departure was delayed, so we decide to go eat. The menu in Compass Rose didn't look that appealing, so we decided to try La Veranda. It was Mediterranean night, so in addition to the buffet for appetizers and desert, the main courses were delivered to your table, and we found the meal and the service superior to Compass Rose. Go figure. We had a day at sea, at last a few hours to relax. I had a massage, started packing, then had lunch at the outdoor poolside grill. In addition to a plethora of salads, they had burgers, and were also barbecuing cuts from a huge tuna caught from the ship that morning! Still no strawberry ice cream, however, and the milk shakes and smoothies seemed to be lacking something: ice cream! Guess this just gets lost in the translation. our last port was Stockholm, but we only had time to take the shuttle to town and stroll for a couple of hours. We wanted to see the Vasa museum, but it was closed by the time we were able to disembark that evening, and we flew back to Paris the next morning. Disembarkation was rather odd: when they called our color, we walked down the gangway, found our luggage on the tarmac and waited for the driver our TA engaged for our trip to the airport. No customs or immigration of any kind! Although I was somewhat underwhelmed by the quality of the food in the primary dining room, we had a wonderful trip. I didn't find the food any better than that on Princess, and below that served on Holland America. The larger room, absence of tipping, and complimentary liquor in room and at dinner did not, to me, justify the price, which was double that of a comparable trip on either of those lines, and that was with a 2 for 1 fare the week we sailed on Regent. Our companions were also less than impressed, saying they much preferred their trips on Crystal. I guess what I am saying is that for the extra expense, and reputed reputation as a six star line, the lack of attention to detail, follow up, and meal quality were all below my expectations. I realize these are subjective areas, but of the three lines on which I have traveled to date, my preference right now would be Holland America. I like HAL's classic cruise line decor (found the public area decor on Voyager a quite cold example of Euro modern that was sort of late fifties barren), and the service staff on Holland also just a little bit friendlier and more accommodating. This was a very port intensive itinerary, so the little time spent on board Voyager did not detract from my vacation. It just didn't do that much to enhance it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2006
We returned from our Baltic Cruise on the Seven Seas Voyager August 19th and, although I am a bit jetlagged, I feel it is important to write my review while the cruise is still fresh in my mind. Prior to the cruise we spent two nights in ... Read More
We returned from our Baltic Cruise on the Seven Seas Voyager August 19th and, although I am a bit jetlagged, I feel it is important to write my review while the cruise is still fresh in my mind. Prior to the cruise we spent two nights in Copenhagen. Reviews of the Radisson SAS Royal vary, but we enjoyed the hotel & especially the amazing location. Tivoli Gardens is across the street, Stroget (the shopping area) is close by and there is even a supermarket next door. Guests of the hotel can also use the large, modern gym next door at no charge. No complaints here! Embarkation was fast and efficient. Suites were ready approximately 3:00 p.m. Due to weather, they were serving lunch at La Veranda while we waited. First let me say that we enjoyed the cruise tremendously and that the Seven Seas Voyager is a beautiful ship - albeit in serious need of refurbishment (more on this later). This was our second Regent cruise; the first being the Paul Gauguin in 2004 so there may be a tendency to compare this ship with the PG. We took Regent up on the offer to pay a "nominal" amount to upgrade from deck six to a Penthouse A suite mid-ship on deck 10. Although only 15 square feet larger than the other suites, the layout makes it appear quite a bit larger. Our butler was quite nice, however, we personally would not recommend paying a lot of extra money for the butler. Breakfast was set up in our suite beautifully each morning. I suspect that, it would have been set up just as nicely if we did not have a butler. The service from our Stewardess, Ginalyn, was excellent. We booked reservations at the two reservation only restaurants online. Our take on the restaurants is a bit different than I have read in previous posts. Lattitudes has received some poor ratings on the boards but we found it to be excellent. The service surpassed that of any other restaurant on board. They had a way of adding a touch of humor along with impeccable service. The food was incredible. People who are not into Asian cuisine may find some of their flavors a bit unusual for their palates but we savored every morsel. The chef went to each table after the meal to inquire as to how the meal was. This was a nice touch. After telling him how much we enjoyed the food, he offered to give us the recipes (they arrived in our cabin two days later). I cannot say enough about this fine dining experience. Signatures was also excellent but that is what we expected it to be. We dined here on a night when the ship was docked and the view from Signatures was of the not so attractive dock. I did not find the ambiance to be as nice as Lattitudes. Compass Rose did a really good job but was a bit inconsistent in terms of quality. One night my husband had to return his very tough steak. The same night the pasta in the lasagna was extremely undercooked (not al dente it was really undercooked). We had lunch there on our last day and wished that we had done so earlier. The meals that were good were really exceptional. The service was perfection. La Veranda - we had difficulty with both the quality of the food and the service. This restaurant is not consistently bad or good but, for lunch, it was only -average. The first two days we had lunch at La Veranda, the service was particularly invisible. Perhaps we are spoiled in terms of having our plates carried for us (when they are not busy), but we were basically ignored. There was an improvement on subsequent days. On our last evening we had dined at La Veranda and found it to be extremely good. The desserts were particularly yummy. As a side note, La Veranda has the strongest vibration on the ship. A word about desserts &..with the exception of the desserts at La Veranda and the dessert at Signatures, we found the desserts to lack both flavor and creativity. We wonder if the pastry chef may be different for La Veranda than Compass Rose. The infamous "Voyager vibration" was not as noticeable to me as to my husband. Perhaps I just expect to feel movement and vibration on a vessel that is on the water. Entertainment on the Voyager was fabulous, particularly on the night when they had local Russian dancers and singers. It exceeded any onboard entertainment we have seen. Regent provided shuttle service in Tallinn and Stockholm. This made it very convenient for the passengers. Unfortunately, in Stockholm, there were at least 50 passengers wandering around looking for the shuttle bus for approximately a half an hour. We felt that Regent should have had provided some organization and direction. We used a private tour company for our St. Petersburg tours and were extremely happy that we did so. It was not unusual to see 20-30 buses in the parking lots of the most popular tourist attractions (particularly Hermitage and Catherine's Palace). The waiting lines were incredibly long. Lastly, I need to voice an honest opinion on the condition of the ship. The carpets in most public areas are extremely stained. I am not saying that they are dirty because the ship is kept very clean. The stains almost look like huge water spots and appear everywhere. Most of the furniture (chairs, sofas, etc.) are very worn and need replacing. The bed was not uncomfortable but was very worn out. When the bed is made it looks lumpy as if the mattress has taken on the shapes of the thousands of people that have lain on it. The ship is going into dry dock in November but there is no excuse for Regent to have permitted this beautiful ship to deteriorate to this level. An August 2006 review of the Navigator indicates that it's condition is even worse than the Voyager and, in fact, Regent had to start installing carpeting while at sea. We are scheduled to cruise on the Navigator in April, 2007 and believe it, as well as the Voyager, will be in tip top shape. It is truly a shame that many people will have to put up with the current conditions for the next few months. Read Less
Sail Date August 2006
i changed cabin to a horizon suite as the balcony was huge! after i paid the balance and heard nothing i then get an email from regent asking for my onward details as they could not contact the agent, not impressed! i finally got my ... Read More
i changed cabin to a horizon suite as the balcony was huge! after i paid the balance and heard nothing i then get an email from regent asking for my onward details as they could not contact the agent, not impressed! i finally got my tickets in a lovely bag of a nice luggage label plus the card ones which were ok. i had booked my flights my self but could still get the 2 nights in the hotel which was really nice. HOTEL i had the palacio hotel not REIDS like some which was a lot closer to the town. it was too far away they had a shuttle but they finished at 6pm so a taxi was the only way of returning. lovely hotel,balcony overlooking the gardens and sea. i booked a taxi coasting me 30 euros not knowing the flight i booked was the same as others so i got a transfer voucher which i could have used. breakfast was good a buffet with lots of choice. EMBARKATION after we met in the hotel lobby we had to wait a long time as the 1st bus was full and waited for a driver to arrive. despite there being a lot of older people not able to stand. after a while we left for the port. there was only one other ship in port "aida blu" which is a german company but the ship was the CROWN PRINCESS. we boarded straight away getting tickets checked on the gangway. went onboard to get us checked in and given the cruisecard. i went straight to my cabin on deck 8, taken to my deck but had to find the cabin. CABIN. by suite was large with a sofa,queen bed,bath and shower,a large balcony at the rear of the ship at the corner. after a while i went to the veranda cafe for a buffet lunch before returning to my suite to find my luggage outside my suite, i unpacked. as i had a while before the lifeboat drill so i went off the ship to look around. there were a few shops on the quay but i had forgot to take any money with me. i returned to my suite to get ready for the lifeboat drill which was at the horizon lounge which is a good place to have it. it was a good drill as after we were shown how to put the life jacket on. we had to put our hand on the shoulder on the person in front. to stand by our consigned lifeboat. we were told we would be leaving late as some luggage was still at the airport.we left around 6pm an hour late. as soon as the engines started i could hear the vibration which got worse over the next day. ENTERTAINMENT. good choice of shows,jamie michael stewart who i had not seen before. the rest i'm sure i had seen some on the navigator which is a shame. i did not see the jazz music apart from the last day as it was on after the main show. DINING. i had breakfast in my suite which wa always \early and they always checked i had the correct things i had ordered. lunch was either on deck in bbq or in the compass rose which was good. afternoon tea i had either in horizon lounge or better in the observation room which had a great view of the sea. dinner was in the compass rose which was very good, nice companions. or in signatures which i was a bit disappointed about with small portions of duck orange and was a lot of fat in it. the other place i tried was le veranda which was lovely the only thing about signatures and e veranda \was that you were sitting on ones own. PORTS OF CALL as this was a transatlantic crossing there were no ports of call. as i mentioned about the vibration problem after one night i could stand it no more and asked if there was another cabin i could move to. i was a bit surprised that i hear the ship was only 400 out of 700 and yet they said there were no cabins left. the reason was the some cabins in deck 6 had \already been stripped out in readiness to the dry dock in miami. so the only cabin he had was 965 a bit further forward on the deck above. it was actually a cabin someone had moved from so i had look at it and could see why? it creaked quite a bit. but it was better than the constant vibration in 877 but he balcony was a lot smaller. days later i still got mail for the previous occupant in my door. the 1st 2 days was 3-4 force which was quite good. but the next 3 days we had mod-rough seas at force 5. you could see us moving around quite a bit, but it did not worry me. GYM i used the gym equipment everyday which was really could and could always get on. CIGAR LOUNGE i always like a cigar at night so the connoisseur lounge a great thing. unfortunately i had to wait for staff to come and ask me what i wanted. the 2 cigars oi had were very poor and after paying $15 each and you could not smoke them well. went in my balcony and smoked my own. DRINKS i had the choice of 2 bottles in my suite which was pretty good. then we were told all the drinks would be free which was a nice bonus in readiness for next year. DISEMBARKATION after getting my luggage labels which i asked to get off the ship at 0815. had to put the cases outside the cabin by 2300 the night before which i thought was a bit early. was told the disembarkation would begin at 0800 but it did not start until 0900 and min was not the 1st to be called. but s soon as i was called i soon got off the ship, collected my luggage which was easy to find. then through customs which was very easy to get a taxi to the greyhound bus station. SHOPS very poor i thought much more choice \when it was radisson. hats and t shirts was just regent written on them not voyager picture on them. nice choice of cd's from artists. but little else, the other things were very little choice life snacks,shaving things. THE CRUISE IN GENERAL on the whole it was a good cruise apart from a few things which i have mentioned. no leaflets in the door about discounts on future cruises no no idea what the discounts were like on the navigator. but don't think i'll be doing a regent cruise again sorry dave Read Less
Sail Date November 2006
Our 8 night cruise to the Western Caribbean departed from Ft. Lauderdale on March 28th. We initially booked our airfare through Regent but learned that we could book it ourselves with a savings of almost 50%. Flying from the west coast ... Read More
Our 8 night cruise to the Western Caribbean departed from Ft. Lauderdale on March 28th. We initially booked our airfare through Regent but learned that we could book it ourselves with a savings of almost 50%. Flying from the west coast requires an overnight stay in Ft. Lauderdale so we booked into Embassy Suites - a short drive from the airport (note: most things in Ft. Lauderdale are near both the airport and the port). We were very happy with the accommodations which included free internet access in the lobby and a full breakfast. Across the street is a pub, Waxy O'Connor's where we had a good meal and a nice Guinness! The hotel is walking distance to a supermarket, drug store and liquor store. It also provides shuttle service to the ship every half hour. Embarkation was fast and efficient. It was interesting to see that many passengers had already boarded the ship by 12:30 p.m. and were dining in Portofino restaurant on deck 10. We were impressed at how "new" the interior of the ship was. The Navigator is beautifully furnished - very tasteful as well as comfortable. After lunch we went to our suite on Deck 8 (mid-ship). As far as I could tell, the category "D" suites are identical to those on the Voyager. Penthouse suites on the Navigator are the same size and configuration, so, we decided to choose a suite on a lower deck to avoid feeling too much motion and/or vibration. The vibration on both the Navigator and the Voyager has been a huge topic of discussion on the Boards - yet, I feel the need to put in my two cents. The first day I walked all over the ship in search of the vibration. I heard that it was definitely in the showroom (decks 6 and 7 aft) . . . I felt nothing. Five days into the cruise I finally felt some vibration in an elevator and in a corner of Portofino. It is my belief that vibration is dependent upon the speed of the ship, the motion of the water and the sensitivity of the passenger. My husband was quite aware of the vibration on the Voyager on our Baltic Cruise last year while I was not. We both agree that, at least on this cruise, vibration was minimal and barely noticeable. Smoking - there is a bit of conflict in Regent's literature on this subject. In one place I read that the only interior place you could smoke was in Star's Lounge. Other literature said that there is a smoking section in Compass Rose and on the port side of Galileo Lounge on Deck 11. The only places I noticed smoking was in the casino and Star's Lounge. The service on the Navigator was very, very good (with one exception that I'll address later). The Cruise Director, John, seemed to be everywhere at the same time. He is a very energetic person with a great attitude. Unfortunately, this was his last Navigator cruise. Rumor has it that he may be on the Voyager in the future. The ship size is good and bad. The library/computer room/game room combination was extremely small. The puzzle had to be set up on a table near the elevator. To make matters more difficult, there was a family with three young children that played board games in the library and were laughing and screeching a bit loudly almost every day. This was quite disturbing to some of the people trying to use the internet as well as to guests in the Navigator Lounge across the hall. Children on Regent cruises when it is neither summer, a holiday or school break is a whole other subject that does not seem appropriate to address here. Lack of dining options became a bit of an issue for us. I cannot imagine cruising for more than a week with basically one restaurant. Portofino, the reservations only restaurant has two problems: 1) it is usually booked every night; and 2) although the food was quite good, the entertainment is the same each evening and does not allow for much conversation at the table. We did have the buffet lunch at Portofino every day and it was fine. Speaking of food - we learned at the end of the cruise that the Head Chef had left the ship suddenly to go home after her father's death. The Assistant Chef, during a galley tour, shared with us how difficult the week has been on him. The food quality the week of our tour was pretty good but not up to Regent standards. One night we could not cut our grouper - the couple across from us had lamb chops that were pure fat. The grouper issue still puzzles us as we cannot figure out how to cook fish in a manner that makes it impossible to cut. We would have thought that the kitchen could run almost as smoothly with the Head Chef away for a couple of weeks but it apparently cannot. The service in Portofino restaurant, with the exception of the only female server, was sarcastic at times to the point of being rude. They do have a difficult job since many people are trying to get reservations and are unable to do so. They turn many people away and many fail to show up or even have the courtesy to cancel their reservation. I understand that they are frustrated but saw the poor attitude and service more than one time. Entertainment -- the entertainment is being changed this month - back to the orchestra and groups vs. single performers. We enjoyed the entertainment they had - especially Tony B. Shore Excursions - we book shore excursions on our own using local companies. We check them out as thoroughly as possible and find the groups to be smaller and the prices more competitive than those on the ship. Here was our experience on this cruise: 1. Cozumel (with 5 ships in port) - snorkeling for 3 hours in the morning with a group of 15 from a Carnival cruise. Really nice people with their children - well done - a lot of fun. 2. Belize - our favorite excursion - cave tubing. We were picked up at the ship, driven 50 miles to the location and had a wonderful experience sitting in an inner tube, floating down a clear river through pitch black caves with flashlights so we could see crystals, rock formations and bats (sleeping). We were fortunate that no other ships were in port as this excursion can be very crowded. There were only 3 of us and 2 guides. 3. Santo Tomas, Guatemala - like most passengers, we did not do a tour but did visit the marketplace by the ship dock. The residents were a bit aggressive - not our favorite place. 4. Roatan Island, Honduras - this is a real up and coming resort destination. We took a ½ day tour around the island - such a lovely place with very kind people. Regent held a barbeque on a beautiful white sand beach with an area where you can view turtles, sharks and other sea life. 5. Key West - snorkeling tour booked with Regent. Only 7 Regent passengers were on this excursion with 117 Carnival passengers on one catamaran. Beer was being guzzled, everyone was very loud, very loud music. . . this will be our last Regent excursion. In summary, this is a beautiful ship and the cruise was lovely. The few negatives discussed above were fairly minor compared to the great time we had. The suites are probably the best of any cruise line - the crew makes the passengers feel very special and welcome. The food should be back to normal soon but there is not much they can do about the lack of dining choices. I really fell in love with this beautiful little ship. When we went to Daniel, the Cruise Consultant to book our next cruise (Daniel is great and has a memory like an elephant) we finally had to make a choice as to which ship it would be . . . we will cruise the Mediterranean next year on the Voyager. Read Less
Sail Date March 2007
This was our first experience with Regent. The embarkation process was quick and efficient. The ship is relatively well appointed and vary spacious but not six star quality overall. The suite on the seventh deck was comfortable and ... Read More
This was our first experience with Regent. The embarkation process was quick and efficient. The ship is relatively well appointed and vary spacious but not six star quality overall. The suite on the seventh deck was comfortable and tastefully decorated with a walk-in closet. A separate shower would have been nice vs. the cramped bathtub arrangement. Our stewardess was excellent! The biggest disappointments (worst than any ship we have sailed on) were the small, tight and rather poorly equipped gym, spa and casino areas. There was a constant smell of cigarette smoke in our hallway and the sauna/steamroom entry area. The exercise room and casino did not have adequate air conditioning and the sauna/steamroom area have no place to cool down and rest. The service throughout the ship was excellent (better than any other ship we have sailed) excluding the reception desk. The staff could not answer any port related questions while we were docked and referred us to the travel desk that was not staffed (i.e. no assistance). The dining facilities are comfortable and food quality well above average. The wait staff is superb in all dining and bar areas. Our only shore excursion (snorkeling in Grand Turk) was well organized. The entertainment was adequate but not on par with most major cruise lines. The disembarkation was delayed by almost an hour but quick once started. Overall, an enjoyable and relaxing cruise with excellent service. The ship did not meet our expectations but the service made up for it for the most part. Read Less
Sail Date March 2007
This was our third cruise and our second with RSSC. This was a cruise that failed to meet our expectations, with many highs and too many lows. in fact, we did not have enough room on the feedback card to list the points that we felt needed ... Read More
This was our third cruise and our second with RSSC. This was a cruise that failed to meet our expectations, with many highs and too many lows. in fact, we did not have enough room on the feedback card to list the points that we felt needed correction. Among the positive features were the cleanliness and decor of the ship. The cabins are large, and the bathrooms are generously appointed with marble. The flat screen TV with 150 movies on demand was a nice feature. Entertainment was quite good, on the level of good regional theater. Particular stand-outs were the ballroom dancing duo of Travis and Kristen. Travis is the best ballroom dance instructor that we have ever had ashore or afloat! We also would like to praise Jaime Logan, the cruise director. He was very professional, and (a rarity in the industry) did not talk to us like we were children or treat us like idiots. The library was also quite nice. The Compass Rose and Signatures were good, although with a tendency to use too many cream sauces. The best meal that we had was dinner at La Veranda, with excellent antipasto, pasta, and veal courses washed done with a very good chianti. Another positive feature of the ship was that you never felt that you were being "nickeled-and-dimed". You were encouraged to take as many of the free bottles of water as you wished when you left the ship to sight-see. The waiters and bartenders served out excellent drinks and checked up with you often to see if you wanted liquid refreshments. Unfortunately, there were too many negative features on this cruise. The first negative experience was when we arrived at the pier and tried to park at the terminal. We were informed by the parking staff that it was reserved for the special guests of a Regent Cruise line function (were these the travel agents that we saw touring the ship that day?)and that we would be forced with our baggage to use the other parking garage, a ten minute shuttle ride away. The tours were an enormous disappointment. The main reason we booked this cruise was to see the Mayan ruins. The 8 hour tour to the Lamanai ruins in Belize required a total of 6 hours on boat and bus. Part of the 2 hours at the site was taken up by a meal of doubtful provenance (of which we did not partake). By the time we got to the most impressive ruins we were informed that there was not enough time to climb them or explore. It was a simple walk past. I felt like Moses at the entrance to the Promised Land... Next stop was the archaeological park at Quirigua in Guatemala. This was a 4 and a half hour tour; of which 3 hours was taken up by a bus ride. We had no time at the site to walk around or explore on our own as we had to return to the ship by 12:30. We rushed back, but why, the ship remained in the port of Santo Tomas, a place with very limited facilities for sightseeing; for another 5 hours? The final bad experience was with the $29 "self-guided GPS walking tour of Key West". This considered of us renting a GPS system that took us on a guided tour of selected bars and tourist traps! At Lattitudes we had the worst meal that we have experienced on a ship. We have much better Asian food at home (South Carolina and New Jersey. The menu selection was extremely limited and inferior to most take-out restaurants. But an exceptional experience was finding a black (not ours!)human(?)hair in the chicken with cashews. We cut short our meal as we lost our appetites. Although internet service was slow but good, we experienced terrible problems with the AT&T cellular service on the ship. We were not alone in this, as 4 other passengers had similar experiences. The service was intermittent. We invested $68 to contact AT&T in a ship-to-shore phone call and they advised us that the problem was on the ship. The ship's Reception Desk denied that there was any problem with the service and was not at all helpful. Our parting memory of the "Voyager" will be getting the "bum's-rush" by our cabin attendant on our day of departure. We were supposed to be allowed to stay in the cabin until 8:30. At 8:15 she opened the door and told us she had to start making the bed. This was in spite of the fact that we were not quite ready to leave. Perhaps this is because tips are included in the cost of the cruise? In a way this is representative of some of their problems with service. The staff is now largely young, Asian, and inexperienced. We will certainly take other cruises, possibly even with this line, but this was a disappointing experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2007
My husband and I just returned from a great week's vacation on the Navigator. The ports included Cozumel, Belize, Santo Tomas de Castillo (Guatemala), and Key West. This was our second Regent cruise, the first being in the Baltic in ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from a great week's vacation on the Navigator. The ports included Cozumel, Belize, Santo Tomas de Castillo (Guatemala), and Key West. This was our second Regent cruise, the first being in the Baltic in the summer of 2006 on the Voyager. Our flight from DC to Fort Lauderdale was an object lesson in why you should always fly in the day before, if you can. The weather was perfect in Washington when we left, and most of the trip was very smooth, until we were suddenly diverted to West Palm Beach because of high winds and storms in Fort Lauderdale. We sat on the ground long enough in West Palm that the storm caught up with us, and held us on the ground there until it blew through. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale two hours late, at a time that would have been uncomfortably close to departure if it had been the same day. We had booked a room at the Marriott Harbor Beach Spa and Resort, using points from previous business travel. We had booked a few months in advance, and the person taking the reservation apologized that since we were using points, we'd have a room facing the city rather than the ocean. We hardly minded, since the room at this pricey resort was "free" and we'd be on the ocean for the next week. When we arrived, we found that the hotel was fully booked for a business convention - so we were upgraded to a large suite on a high floor, with living/dining room, separate bedroom, and beautiful views of the beach and ocean from three balconies. It was a very nice start to our vacation! Early the next morning we saw the Navigator arrive in Fort Lauderdale, gliding past our windows into port. I joked to my husband that I was "watching my ship come in". The short taxi ride to the port was easy, and Regent received us very graciously. We arrived at 1 pm so we were able to board immediately. A buffet lunch was available at the pool grill, and we passed the time pleasantly with that. The rooms were ready at the precise time promised - 2.30 - and our bags were waiting for us when we arrived. After unpacking, we acquainted ourselves with the ship. We had both been very happy with the layout and the appearance of the Voyager, so we found the Navigator to be very different. It does not have the open public spaces that the Voyager does; they seemed small and dark in comparison. The ship altogether has a more intimate feel than Voyager, which is reasonable given its smaller passenger capacity. Navigator has only two restaurants for dinner, compared with Voyager's four. The staff on Regent ships are very attentive without being obtrusive; a perfect combination, as far as we are concerned. The cabins are very spacious and comfortable, and we love spending time on the balcony. The reason I entitled this review "rocking and rolling" was because the first day out, a sea day, was extremely windy, with 10-15 foot seas. Many passengers took to their beds, and the rest of us lurched around the ship like drunks. I have long sailing experience, so I was not ill, and my husband was also fine. However, it did continue all day and well into the evening, and by then I had gotten enough entertainment out of it. This was our evening at "Portofino", the specialty restaurant, and many tables were empty because people had not been able to face going to dinner. There was a wine tasting set up outside the main dining room, but people (including myself) were not eager to stumble from table to table trying to keep our footing. One older man fell, and they quickly seated the rest of us at our tables before that happened again. Since Portofino is up on Deck 10, the rocking was more apparent than on lower decks. I did not find the food at Portofino to be any more "special" than in the Compass Rose (the regular restaurant), but I admit I was eating lightly that evening. We also didn't anticipate the "comical" musician, whom we found very disruptive to conversation, and who was not nearly as amusing as he thought he was. Ship Excursions We did our excursions through Regent, as we had done in the Baltic on Voyager. We find them to be good value for the money, and well organized in general. Cozumel: We did the Atlantis submarine excursion to Chankanaab. Each passenger has his or her own large porthole through which to view marine life, and you go down to 50 then 100 feet. The coral reef has had a lot of damage from hurricanes in recent years, but it is still interesting to see, and the fish we saw were spectacular. That was the highlight of Cozumel, which we found to be a tacky tourist town otherwise. I see no reason why we would return there in future. Belize: This was the highlight of the trip, for me. We took an excursion up the New River, pausing to see wildlife along the way - herons, crocodiles, a nest of bats (which flew out at us when we got too close!), and beautiful birds who "walk" on top of the water lilies. The boat took us to the park where the Lamanai Mayan ruins are, and we had a beautiful walk to the ruins under a canopy of palms (which helped shield us from the rain). There were two temples which we saw, and the guide was very informative about their history. The boat trip back was at high speed, and some people ducked behind the seats to avoid the wind and rain; I just regarded it as a free facial dermabrasion treatment, and would not have missed a single thing we saw on the way out or back. Santo Tomas de Castillo, Guatemala: I am amazed by the reviews I've seen which say this port is not interesting, or that they just got off the ship to shop in the port terminal. I can't imagine docking somewhere and not exploring! We went to the archaeological park at Quirigua, about an hour's drive from the port. Again, we had very knowledgeable guides, who could explain the meanings of the carvings on the giant steles in the park, which date to the eighth century. My husband is a terrific photographer and took some wonderful pictures of these amazing artifacts. Key West: We did not do an excursion here, but walked around on our own. Once we got off Duval Street, which is "turistaville", we found it very interesting. We visited the Hemingway house, and had a wonderful time at the butterfly conservatory down at the southernmost end of Duval. Overall, we were very happy with the cruise. We met very interesting people, and we find that "open dining" facilitates these meetings and conversations. One reason we initially chose Regent was that we did not want to eat at a set time with all the same people every night. Fixed seatings for dinner come at two times: Too Early and Too Late, and on Regent you can be seated anytime from 7 to 9. We always said we'd be happy to start a table or join one, and we had very interesting conversations with a wide range of people. My husband spent some enjoyable time in the casino (roulette is his game), and even came out a little ahead. The evening shows were not to our taste, and any time we have tried them (on both Regent cruises) we leave early. They are probably geared to an older, more traditional crowd; on Regent, we are "youngsters", since we are in our early 50s. However, the small orchestra on board, the combo in the Galileo lounge, and the pianist, Tonee Valentine, were wonderful. Regent also gives a lovely cocktail party for those who have cruised with them before, with endless champagne and beautiful hors d'oeuvre. We are looking forward to sailing on Mariner next, to complete our tour of Regent's major ships. [It will be awhile before we get to the South Pacific, so the Paul Gauguin will be out of our experience for some time, yet]. Voyager remains far ahead of Navigator in our estimation, but we certainly would not hesitate to take Navigator again if it had the itinerary we wanted. We are now "2 for 2" on Regent and it would take an amazing itinerary/price combination to make us change to another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date March 2008
It was a delightful trip and interesting to be away over Christmas. I flew down to Florida and stayed at the Hilton on the Beach in FLL; on the 18th we boarded the Voyager. I must add, that for a chain hotel, the Hilton was delightful ... Read More
It was a delightful trip and interesting to be away over Christmas. I flew down to Florida and stayed at the Hilton on the Beach in FLL; on the 18th we boarded the Voyager. I must add, that for a chain hotel, the Hilton was delightful and had not only a lovely dining area overlooking the ocean and pool, but great food. I was pleasantly surprised. Santa left us cookies and candies and a lovely passport folder. Many suite doors were decorated. One suite was apparently done to the hilt. Having never sailed on Regent, Voyager, just out of a major dry dock work was to be under my scrutiny. Because I am so 'wedded' to Seabourn, I couldn't imagine that it could be as nice. Different and good, but not as nice. Well it was. Embarkation was a breeze and I was given a wheelchair assist through the process. I did not need one once onboard. Disembarkation was a mess attributed to the slowness of the luggage handlers off-loading. We got off early, but later, I understand it was a zoo as all colors were called at once. The decor and layout of the ship was very good, lots of nooks and crannies for reading, napping, and card playing. We did all three a lot. The top deck with the pool, jacuzzis and Veranda Cafe and Pool Grill were very crowded on sea days and to be avoided. However, on the port days, I didn't get off (except for a brief trolley tour in Curacao and it was ok.) The 'show theater' had a balcony and i even watched 'Mama Mia' in it. Always cold, the best entertainment was the Crew Capers the last night. The crew is mostly from the Philippines and performed folk dances and singing. I found out my favorite crew member (Manny of Room Service) was the star and choreographer. Otherwise, the entertainment was pretty poor and to be avoided. Christmas Eve there was carol singing in the atrium and a holiday show that was ok, including the numerous children on board who sang carols. Actually the many children had onboard programs and were not annoying to me at all. I even found the team in the scavenger hunt trying to find 4 crew to pose for the YMCA logo quite amusing.The dumb parents who took toddlers in diapers in the hot tubs were just that, dumb. I did see cool towels being passed about in the afternoon. There were lots of activities, always a tea time with music and a 'quiet tea' in another spot. Nice idea. I played Trivia once. It was difficult and the first day, came in second with a score of 6. the winners got 7/15. I mean, who knew that Melanie of the Spice Girls was the first to put out a single record? Besides, the afternoon time, 4:00 was inconvenient to my nap times. I am looking to the blood sport of Trivia on the Legend Crossing in November. The library was very good and belatedly I found out I could have gotten the NY Times delivered daily (for a fee, of course). There was a huge computer room and a coffee nook as well. While there were DVDs available, there was a large on-demand selection of movies of which to avail. Loved the 'Bee Movie', great humor for adults. The TV channels left much to be desired. FNN, CNN, ESPN, and TNT. Never set foot in the spa, gym, casino, or boutiques. Listened to one of the enrichment lecturers on TV replay, interesting about Obama and the challenges he faces nationally; missed part II of the international dilemmas. Smokers seemed rare and there was a cigar room. Never went in there, either. The food was very good, varied with lovely presentations. The main dining venue is the Compass Rose, large and serving all 3 meals. Two specialty restaurants, Signatures which is to be 'cordon bleu' and Prime 7, a steak house. Both were smaller and more intimate. We ate at both twice and were pleased. On time we joined a table of 6 others and that was fun. Room service is always my favorite, breakfast with a great omelet was the treat. Bar service at the pool was fine, but they can't make a BBC like Nelson on Seabourn. I switched to the Blue Hawaii, a drink from my past, and a virgin Madras, which I learned was cranberry and grapefruit juice without the vodka. The weather was lovely, soft bouncing on some nights. People complained, but I had two balsa angels on a narrow shelf and they never moved, nor did the apple perched atop a narrow dresser top. Speaking of the dresser, the layout of the suite with a balcony was delightful. Bigger than Seabourn (not including the balcony) and with a huge walk-in closet and bathroom with both shower and tub. And, the sofa was large enough to stretch out and actually nap comfortably. It did, however, lack a comfy throw to ward off the a/c chill. The table was enlarged with a plastic top for dining. That was a bit wobbly, but we managed. The bed was great, with a comfy duvet and I actually had real 'Turkish' towels! The itinerary was ok, because I have been to most of the islands and to me they are all alike and with not much to buy. My partner wandered off in most ports and in Aruba found a grocery store and we had good Edam cheese on which to nibble. He found St Lucia grim and the others fair to poor. Many of the tours were more vigorous than I could do or care to. The one trip, deep sea fishing, was closed before the cruise started. Embarkation was a breeze as was disembarkation, after the hour wait because of slow teamsters unloading the luggage. We had a car waiting, and were charged some extra time, but it helped to make our early flights. From checking out of the ship (9:40) to my gate at FLL was 40 minutes. But we were off in the first crush. I did not book another cruise onboard, but with the right itinerary, would certainly go again. ABOVE ALL, WE FOUND THE COURTESY AND FRIENDLINESS OF THE STAFF TO BE 5***** Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
Uncertain as to how we would react to cruising, we chose a short (7-night) cruise to places we had visited many times previously. The exceptions were Grand Turk and Princess Cay, about which more later. Not to leave anyone in suspense, ... Read More
Uncertain as to how we would react to cruising, we chose a short (7-night) cruise to places we had visited many times previously. The exceptions were Grand Turk and Princess Cay, about which more later. Not to leave anyone in suspense, while we perceive some (inevitable) paradoxes in the cruise experience, we enjoyed our voyage and look forward to more cruises in our future. Our boarding experience was swift and pleasant. Our first sight of the cabin banished our principal anxiety: it was surprisingly large and thoroughly welcoming. The verandaha ballyhooed 50 square feet was great for standing on to observe waves and port scenes, but too small for anything else. We both liked the smallish size of the ship, the inherent intimacy. But we also felt that on a longer cruise, the choice of only two restaurants might be too limiting. Food and service are critical to a satisfying cruise, and particularly on a self-described luxury cruise. We always ate late, never entering Compass Rose or Portofino, the optional Italian restaurant, earlier than 8:00pm. Thus we were always offered the chance to join other passengers already seated. We eagerly accepted these assignments, as we thought that meeting our fellow cruisers across a dining table would be the easiest way to make on-board friends. There is a powerful temptation to fall back on hyperbole when writing about personal travel experiences. One's hotel was "superb." The food at a restaurant in Dubrovnik was "extraordinary." The guide in Buenos Aires was "non pareil." To be clear, we enjoyed our Navigator experience, but the following ratings are, I think, mercilessly accurate. The food. Bountiful, always at least good, sometimes very good. You cannot prepare meals for 450 people, offering them a dozen or more choices, and rival the cuisine at any Michelin-starred restaurant. That said, a curry one night was excellent. Fish was always very good. Corned beef hash in the morning was perfect. Hot dogs (in particular) from the pool grill were excellent. A Mexican fiesta from the same source at lunch was great. (Though for my palate, Corona is the least singular of all of Mexico's cervesas.) We thought service was never less than good, with frequent rises to refreshingly concerned. One lapse should be noted. If you plan to bring a Waterpik or other personal dental equipment have a care. In advance of the cruise, the Regent service desk assured us that outlets were available in the bathroom for 110volt (U.S.) appliances as well as shavers. Not so. On board, we asked for an extension cord to plug into the dressing table outlet which normally serves the 110volt hair dryer. After some consternation, this was furnished. The Waterpik whirred into life momentarily, and then fried. Could I be the only Regent passenger to travel with a Waterpik? To reiterate, cabin stewardess, bartenders, waiters and dining room staff were uniformly agreeable, almost universally in a way that suggests attitude coming from the heart, as well as from training. The ports. Our surprises were Grand Turk and Princess Cays. Our first trip to GT, though we had been to Provo a half-dozen times over the years. The cruise terminal is Disneyesque, and (thankfully) most passengers stay there. An enormous P&O vessel that dwarfed our trim little vessel was tied up across the pier, and disgorged more than 3,000 Brits at the same time as we disembarked. We rented a golf cart and puttered about the island, which is still recovering from hurricane Ike and, it appears, from the fraudulent activities of recently displaced government. Princess Cays, which we visited as our last port of call because of weather, loomed as another re worse Grand Turk. After all, one could reasonably expect the marketing gurus at a cruise line to trade island ambiance for an American Idol image of the Bahamas. Not so. Our 400+ passengers were easily accepted among the carefully planted palms. We delighted in feeding the frenzied fish the stale bread that was provided. And the barbecue was low key and satisfying, though Corona was (alas) the only beer available. So, kudos to Regent (or whomever) for their restraint in keeping Princess Cay more or less akin to its natural character. Though note that the islet can accept as many as 3500 passengers at once, and what it feels like submerged beneath that wave of sun-burning humanity is anyone's guess. So, where next? We would like to try a bigger ship on a longer cruise. Perhaps Regent Voyager? I think we would like a London to London cruise that touched at the Orkneys, Skye and other places a bit difficult to reach. A question that more experienced cruisers virtually all of you might be able to answer. Why do per diem costs increase as the duration of a cruise increases? That seems counter intuitive to the way most things, travel included, tend to work. Read Less
Sail Date January 2009
Pre-Cruise: We flew Continental Airlines out of Seattle to Houston and on to Ft. Lauderdale. The week prior to the trip, I noticed price decreases in both hotel and air. We cancelled and rebooked both at a net savings of $800.00. We took a ... Read More
Pre-Cruise: We flew Continental Airlines out of Seattle to Houston and on to Ft. Lauderdale. The week prior to the trip, I noticed price decreases in both hotel and air. We cancelled and rebooked both at a net savings of $800.00. We took a taxi to Embassy Suites at a cost of approx. $14.00 plus tip. The vans at the airport will gladly take you to Embassy Suites for $40.00, so, it is a good idea to take a taxi. Arriving too late to visit Waxy O'Connor's across the street, we decided to call it a day. Embassy Suites is in a great location and includes a cocktail hour and breakfast. Our short stay was interrupted in the middle of the night by an emergency evacuation being piped through the speakers of the hotel. Fortunately, it was a false alarm. Shuttles to the port are no longer free. The shuttles are $7.00/person which is about the same as a taxi. Embarkation: As usual, embarkation at noon was very organized and went smoothly. Within a ½ hour, we were sipping wine in Portofino. The Ship: The Navigator is a lovely ship and remains in good physical condition. Carpets are beginning to wear in a few places, however, they are not nearly as worn as the carpeting on the Voyager or Mariner prior to dry dock. The ship is being maintained well and should continue looking great until it goes into dry dock in April, 2010 for 22 days. There were two electrician's on board from Italy (where the ship was originally retrofitted) attempting to determine the origin of the ongoing electrical problem. They had one planned power outage that lasted 15 minutes. When the power resumed, the "brown water" appeared in our suite for a short time. Apparently, the resumption of power stirred up the sediment in the water tanks. We did not learn if the problem has been fixed, or, if it is related to the air conditioning issue. We only heard one couple mention that the air conditioning in their suite was problematic. The vibration was quite apparent on this cruise (there was no vibration two years ago). The seas were quite choppy for a day and a half leaving and returning to Ft. Lauderdale. The movement of the ship was more noticeable on upper decks. The vibration was very noticeable anywhere aft. The Suite: We were celebrating my DH's birthday and decided to splurge on a Navigator Suite (1125 - formerly the Beauty Salon). It is the only Navigator suite that is not under the pool on deck 9. It is unique and quite wonderful. The bathroom is double size with a larger shower and Jacuzzi tub. It has a full size sofa and side chair in the living room and a dining table with 4 chairs. The bedroom is small with a window (the sliding glass doors leading to the balcony are off of the dining room). There are over 40 drawers in the suite you could stay there indefinitely. I highly recommend it for special occasions. Food: This is one area that we had some difficulty with. It is our opinion that the quality of the food as well as the offerings have dropped a level or two. For instance, on the last evening, the vegetarian entrEe offering was a "Vegetable Burrito". The shrinking menu in Compass Rose includes the sandwich choices at lunch. On the Voyager 4 months ago, we heard many people ordering from the list of meats, cheeses, breads and condiments. We missed having the opportunity of having a sandwich on board. In Compass Rose, Filet mignon does not appear on the menu daily as in the past. Wine is no longer poured by your server in Compass Rose. Some of the particularly wonderful meals we had: Swordfish Sole Lamb Madras served on rice Filet Mignon Beef Wellington Chateaubriand Osso Bucco (almost anything Italian is wonderful) Rack of Veal (served at lunch in Portofino) Whole Turkey (carved at lunch in Portofino) Some particularly bad items in Compass Rose and Portofino Scallops Crab Claws Shrimp Sugar free trifle Vegetable Curry Sea Bass (would have been great if they removed the brown bottom layer) Note: The ship received a bad load of Crab Claws and Shrimp - they dumped their whole supply and got a new batch at one of the ports. Potato's on the plate were underdone (and less than hot) in CR. My husband ordered a "side" of mashed potato's and/or French fries. They came up hot and extremely good. Many items on the lunch buffet in Portofino were really on the cool side (exception: mashed potato's and anything prepared by Maura on the pasta station). Some of the items on the buffet in Portofino looked pretty shabby - no presentation whatsoever. I'm specifically talking about items that are just about always on the buffet. For instance, smoked salmon - at times a the tray was only half full - you could see what had been put out "fresh" next to the day old fish that was looking a bit dry. The blue cheese crumbles on the salad bar coagulated after a few days and was finally replaced. In general, especially on the lunch buffet, the food has to be hot - this is a serious weak point. Side Note: This is the first Regent cruise we have taken where the pastry chef has no clue how to make scones (we love the scones - only allow ourselves a couple a week - we had ½ of 1 on this cruise). Portofino for dinner I really cannot find any reason to go there. I did not hear anyone mention anything positive about this dining venue. Our one experience there was our first night. The antipasto buffet was good. My husband was served raw scallops which he returned. What he got back was tasteless. A couple of us had fish that was well prepared. The biggest problem in Portofino is Gianpaulo ("Paulo"). He was on board two years ago and was rude to passengers. When we dined there, he and his staff spend 90% of their time talking and laughing with their friends (returning passengers) and very little time serving other passengers. Service: Some of the best and worst we have experienced on Regent. First, a lot of the staff is really exceptional. Some who stand out: Franco - Dining Room Manager Leo - serves in CR during dinner. His section is in the middle of the room (next to the large table that the Captain dines at some nights). Maura - pasta station in Portofino. She is simply delightful. Lea - serves tea in the morning in Navigator lounge. Always has a smile on her face. She bartended for a short time and experimented (with my approval) with a chocolate martini. We had a lot of fun and many laughs. The bartender in Galileo is delightful (can't find his name) Petru Christian - I believe he is head waiter in the evening. He isn't outstanding but did assist us when service in CR was so poor. The service, as I have mentioned was so bad and so good. I would be remiss if I didn't recount the first three evenings in Compass Rose. The first evening we waited 30 minutes for any service (no wine - nothing) The second evening we waited 20 minutes for any service (same as above) The third evening we waited 20 minutes - then my husband got up and spoke with Petru Christian). We got immediate service A couple of nights later we accidentally found "Leo" - there was never a problem after that. He greeted us within moments. We had the same table for four every night. He saw us having breakfast one morning in Portofino - came by, gave me a hug and said to be sure to tell him if we needed anything It was truly a "Regent" six star experience! Unless Compass Rose is completely full, wine is poured only by Sommeliers. This was part of the reason the service is so slow. They try very hard, but, have a difficult task. Wine in Portofino (lunch) - servers no longer come around asking to refill your glass. It is more difficult and takes longer to get wine. The first two days on board, the entire staff seemed to only be speaking Italian to each other. This changed on day three and did not revert back. "Paulo" also seemed to mellow out a bit. IMO, he needs to learn some management and customer service skills. On the other hand, if you kiss up to him, he'll give you special service (while ignoring others). The pool area - our friends spent a lot of time by the pool where they found the service pretty close to perfect. As soon as a glass was empty, someone was there to take their order. Cold towels were offered throughout the day. This area really has its act together. If anyone has a Butler suite, here is the new Butler Menu: A Greek Tribute (Feta cheese, pita bread, marinated black & green olives w/mint dip) Prawns Perfection (Jumbo prawns with American cocktail sauce: NOTE: not really jumbo! Italian Delight (Thinly sliced parma ham with seasonal melon and grissini) Vegetarian Temptation: Crudites with blue cheese or ranch dip. Classic Cheese Platter (Int'l. cheese selection with grapes and crackers) Crab Composition (Crab claws with lemon and cocktail sauce) NOTE: inedible at times Hot Canada Selection (Chef's selection) NOTE: generally the same thing you'll get downstairs) Also a chocolate and fruit selection. Tenders: I added this subject as there appears to be a big change in how passengers who are not booked on Regent excursions are "allowed" to get on the tenders. This is a small ship with fairly large tenders. The number of passengers taking excursions will increase dramatically when "free excursions" kick in. Still, people will book private excursions, want to spend the day ashore, or, have a tee time booked. Everyone has to get a tender ticket in the showroom. I personally never saw the tender ticket as it appears that no one really gets one. They board Regent excursions on the tenders first. These passengers are apparently more important than the rest of us (in our case, we had private tours booked). One tender we took back to the ship actually blocked non-Regent excursion passengers from disembarking from the tender until the excursion folks got off. Ports/Excursions: Princess Cay was pretty but fairly non-eventful. The advertised "sumptuous" barbeque wasn't! Puerto Rico was interesting. Apparently, the officials are known to delay the approval process for allowing passengers off of the ship for up to two hours. In our case, we waited an hour and a half. Once off the ship we headed to another pier to pick up a ferry that takes you within a $3/person taxi ride to the Bacardi distillery. The cost of the ferry was $1.00 round trip for 2 people (no, that wasn't a typo). We really enjoyed the tour of the Barcardi distillery. Regent did offer a city tour that included the distillery. St. Thomas was one stop that I was hesitant about due to some negative publicity they have received recently. We booked our own excursion on St. Thomas. I enjoy the fact that many Caribbean islands have a set taxi fee. We knew that the 20 minute drive to our excursion would be $10.00/person. Our jet ski/snorkel adventure was truly amazing. They take a maximum of six people out at a time. We were the only two that day. The taxi ride was also a nice way to view the island. St. Maarten was also lovely and, once again, we booked our own excursion. This time, our 20 minute drive to ranch was $6.00/person. We did a 2 hour horseback ride (again, only two of us with the guide) that ended up with the horses walking into the ocean and walking back and forth with children coming up to pet them. The go in to about mid-saddle (made up that word to describe the water level). We just did not feel up to doing much on the day we docked in St. Barth. Walking around and looking at the overly expensive shops was about all we did. I hear that this is a wonderful island. After avoiding Regent excursions for quite a while, we decided to give Regent a try in Antigua . There were 22 Regent passengers on the Antigua Rainforest Canopy Tour (zip lining). The tour was handled extremely well. It was great to see people of all ages (all adults) zipping from one tree to another, 300 or so feet above the ground. By the end (9 zip lines) everyone looked like a pro! I highly recommend this excursion. Note: very strenuous, lots of walking on rocks, climbing. Tortola BVI was only a 5 hour stop. The shops were interesting. Do not have much else to say about it. There was not enough time to visit "The Baths" which is suppose to be a highlight of this island. Our last port was Grand Turk. While quite commercial, the water and beach was lovely. We enjoyed a nice long walk along the shore. Conclusion: Some people feel that Regent is inconsistent, or, that management in general is poor. I disagree. I have had consistent food and service on the Voyager as recently as 4 ½ months ago and expect it to be the same on our next cruise. It is up to the management on board the Navigator to insure that passengers receive six star service. Most importantly, food has to be prepared correctly and, at the correct temperature when served. The General Manager told a passenger last week that everyone says bad things about the Navigator and he does not understand why. I believe I have explained why. All cruise lines are cutting back in different ways due to the economy. We may not like it, yet, this is the reality. When I look at the luxury lines and question whether we should switch to another line I realize that each line is different and unique. Each has its own set of issues, pros and cons (too large, too small, no balconies, not all-inclusive, etc.). As I said at the beginning, we had a wonderful cruise and would do it again without hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date February 2009
My wife and I are in our late 50's, financially comfortable with me still working. By 2008 were status post 4 yearly cruises with Princess. At the time, we had gotten increasingly tired of the non-stop promotions and hand numbing ... Read More
My wife and I are in our late 50's, financially comfortable with me still working. By 2008 were status post 4 yearly cruises with Princess. At the time, we had gotten increasingly tired of the non-stop promotions and hand numbing signing for what seemed to be everything, and for that and many other reasons decided to cruise Galapagos on the Celebrity Xpedition in the Spring of 2008. As it happened, it was an ALL inclusive cruise, and we enjoyed that so much that we decided that our 2009 cruise had to be on an all inclusive cruise line. Seeing rave reviews about Regent SS, and ready to step it up, we decided to give this cruise line a try and selected a 12 night Southern/Eastern Caribbean r/t from Ft Lauderdale in March of 2009 on the Navigator. Our verdict of the entire cruise experience with Regent is conflicted, because there was much good to say about it, but unfortunately also some bad, with us not yet having made up our mind as to whether the "good" outweighed the "bad" to the point where we today can decide whether we would do another cruise with Regent. For now, we will have to leave it at a "maybe" - we need to let more time pass to see which memories are left standing. Our trouble started by not receiving our cruise documents by 14 days before departure. We had filled out the guest information form and noted to Regent that it did not permit entry of information of permanent U.S. residents (Green Card Holders) and did not allow passengers with foreign passport to have a U.S. address. They never got back to us - and then when we inquired about why we had not received the cruise documents were told that we had not provided the requested information on the Guest Information form. We had to inquire, they did not alert us. By 3 days pre-departure, we and our travel agent were still tussling with Regent about the fact that their form did not permit us to enter our information (with their web-site having been down for passengers from October 09 to departure in March 09). Regent was rigid, unapologetic and impersonal in their communication to the point that we by 2 days before the cruise felt that we may not be able to go because they were still unable to get our documents. Finally on the day before the cruise we received a curt email requesting our Green Card information, provided it and on the day of traveling to Ft. Lauderdale were told that the documents had been issued and were waiting for us at the pier. That meant we had to go to the pier without luggage tags or ticket which made for a fun and speedy security clearance before we could get to the Regent desk - NOT!! Awful, horrendous experience, and not a recommended way to start any cruise! Once checked in and on the ship, things definitely took a turn for the better. The Navigator is a wonderful ship. We boarded at noon and were greeted by a very nice staff and served a glass of Champaign. We had chosen a Penthouse suite (1014) and found it spacey and comfortable. Huge walk-in closet (almost a cabin in its own right). Nice, though not overly roomy bathroom with a somewhat narrow shower enclosure, especially for a big guy. The bathroom floor and walls were covered in marble with oodles of luxury soaps, shampoos and lotions. Very comfortable bed, nice sitting area with lots of shelves and cabinets. The veranda is a little disappointing, and not bigger than mini-suite verandas on Princess. A chilled bottle of Champaign and 2 glasses were readied and amn elaborate flower arrangement was a nice touch. The suite had a 32" LCD flat screen TV and multi-system (region-free) DVD player. There was an iPod with approximately 2500 tunes provided and an iPod amplifier to play it. We didn't check the music choices as we brought our own iPod. Suitcases arrived before departure. We had a butler assigned, and he supplied us with everything we requested (and the ship could provide: we had an elaborate made-to-order breakfast and lunch served in our "suite" with the help of an ingenious coffee table extender and the Butler would get special drinks, wine, campaign and espresso drinks whenever we requested it. He delivered elaborate "canapEs" in the afternoon; kept our fruit basket freshly supplied and also kept the in-suite fridge well supplied with cold drinks, beer and ice and the in-suite bar supplied with 2 liters of common alcohol (we chose vodka, gin). The rooms was kept immaculate with 2 scheduled cleanings a day (including evening turn-down) and it happened swiftly and was complete quickly after the "service" sign was placed on the door. The ship offered organized bridge, chess/checkers, bingo, casino tournaments, puzzle solving gatherings, and pet owner get-togethers with picture and story exchanges. It had a cell phone node that enabled all cell phones to connect to their carrier for a roaming fee ($5/min billed by our T-mobile we just found out!) - the ship charged $7 if using their satellite phones. There was a pretty strong wireless Internet (for a fee: $65 for 4 hours) that made me able to connect without problems from our suite at all times. In addition, the ship offered a computer center with 5 available somewhat dated desk-top computers. It had a library with a limited book, DVD and game inventory. There was a large swimming pool, 2 hot tubs, a large theater, a full service Spa, a smoking room, a caviar bar, a couple of shops (one jewelry and one clothing/general). Everything except Internet, cell phone, caviar, shop purchases, casino and excursions were included in the up-front price > all in all not a bad way to spend 13 days on this our first luxury, all inclusive cruise. A day on the cruise would go something like this: Breakfast was served at a time and order we filled out the evening before, Our Butler would come and set up a nice table with tablecloth and everything we had ordered, stay and serve the first cups of coffee while tiding up our suite. We did try breakfast in the Portofino and did not like it much. The buffet was standard fare and we did not like that you could not order your eggs/omelet directly by the cook preparing them, but had to order them through a waiter making for sometimes lengthy waits and more than once getting the omelet mix wrong. After breakfast and showering, we would then either go on an excursion if in port, or if a sea day relax in our suite/veranda until lunch, which we either took in our cabin or went to the Portofino buffet restaurant to get (there also was a lunch offering on the deck - with more barbecue items) as well as formal lunch in the main restaurant, the "Compass Rose". The lunch buffet in the Portofino was a mixed experience. The salads and fruit selection was excellent, the main (hot) courses were few to choose between and too often bland. One hot soup was offered (as well as a chilled), and I did not find any to my liking during this cruise. A pasta station was staffed by a delightful woman with thick Italian accent who would prepare a delightful spaghetti dish of your choice. More relaxation, a nap and then we were ready for our pre-dinner drinks, which we took in the small cosy "Navigator Lounge". We then went to dinner in Compass Rose. The menu, which had been put in our suite in the afternoon (you can have it served there by the Butler) would successively take you through a selection of 5 starters, 3 soups (1 always chilled) 2 salads, 2 pasta dishes, a sorbet "palate cleanser" and 5-7 main courses, always including 2 "stables" every day (rib-eye steak and grilled salmon). Then a fairly decent cheese selection with each evening feature a different cheese country or area and finally a choice of about 8 different desserts that changed daily. Complimentary white, rose, and red wines was liberally poured. Specialty coffee could be ordered (i.e. Irish coffee) a could liqueur/cognac. The food selection and presentation was excellent, but the taste sometimes a little bland, especially the garnish could be quite nondescript in taste. The main course usually was excellent. The quality of the main wines was in our opinion good and usually from a different country/region each evening. There was a separate wine list with high-priced "premium" wines - but we did not feel it necessary to go there at all. The service was always courteous, but much too rushed, and with much too long waits for food and service when busy. The poor waiters seemed to be worked to death while trying hard to provide personal and pleasant service failed miserably because there were too few of them. Courses flew in and empty plates off the table when the service finally started. On some days a special "wine tasting dinner" was offered in the Portofino, where about wine makers were present and served their own wines as well as explained about the wines and how they were paired with the food. We found these evenings great fun in all aspects, and got to taste some phenomenal. The wine makers were a fun crowd to be with. We returned to the Navigator Lounge after dinner for an after dinner drink, and then either returned to our suite or went to the live entertainment de jour or went to the casino for some gambling. While this went on our cabin had been turned down and once back there and in bed, we would watch either a DVD we had brought or select from 100's of movies that were on-demand and could be saved and resumed later at the point where you saved them. So the following may seem a little odd. Because you would think that if we got asked whether we would travel in the same way in the future on the same cruise line with the luxury, all-inclusive concept we truly enjoyed, that we would answer with a loud YES! - but the problem is, that is not our answer - at best it is a careful "perhaps". One one hand, there is no question that this was a wonderful way to cruise: everything is paid for up-front, the staff and service are terrific and the ship well maintained, clean, spacey and comfortable. On the other hand, as the days passed we found that the other passengers were perhaps a tad more different from us than what we bargained for and were used to. For example, of the 490 passengers on the cruise, My wife and I with our 58 years for sure were among the very youngest. The vast majority were 70-80 years plus, and in conversation it was too much like talking with our parents, with interests and a life we really could not relate well to. Even though there were 2 person tables, there were only few of them, and often we were given the choice of either waiting ~30 minutes for a 2 person table or had to join a 6-8 person table with people we did not know. Once there, we became involved in what too often seemed like idle conversation of little interest to us (complaints about this that and the other, health problems etc. etc.). Very different from our Princess and Celebrity cruises where we always seemed to be able to find compatible couple to connect with. Not so on this cruise. My wife and I would nod and participate best we could while our invisible eye-lids shut down and the brain when into "idle" followed by "escape" mode!. So the last week we always waited for a 2-person table so we could avoid this to us awful ritual. The entertainment, which we on bigger ships had experienced as being quite good whether in the form of comedians, magicians, production shows or a combination of the above was abysmal on this small ship - a total waste of time. The music played on the ship was clearly selected for the 70-80+ clientele and not to our taste at all. So that made us realize that for us there is no "perfect cruise", that whether going with an all-inclusive "luxury" cruise or a main-stream mega-cruise a la Princess, there are pros and cons and which outweighs the other we haven't figured out as of yet. On one hand, we really enjoy the large "normal" cruises, where you can still get a large cabin and veranda, good food, but then will have to pay for tips, booze, soft drinks and many other things on top of the cruise price, but with fellow passengers that are more similar to our age and background, and where because of the size of the ship (2-3000) there are many, many more choices for things to do and see and with much better entertainment. The food on the Navigator was perhaps a step above Princess, but not by much - and certainly not in regards to buffets, and not enough to make this a determining factor - we have always felt the food on Princess was quite good. And maybe 2000-3000 passengers on a single ship sounds like a lot, the ships we have been on with those numbers have been so big that we did not feel they were any more crowded than what we felt on the Navigator. Actually we find the overall dining experience on Princess better where there typically are up to 10 different dinner venues of all sorts whereas on the Navigator there were only 2: the main restaurant and a small Italian specialty restaurant in the evening with little chance of establishing personal relationship to any of the waiters which we so like to do on Princess, due to the Navigator waiter staff being stretched way too thin. We did inquire with the cruise consultant aboard as to a 14 day San Francisco-Alaska-Vancouver cruise in 2010 for us in a large suite and 2 of our friends, and after assuring us he would get back to us within a couple of days (we met with him the second day), he send us a letter that he would need a couple of more days before getting back to us, and finally on the last day we received a form letter from him directing us to our travel agent because he was "too busy". We found this unbelievable shortsighted and silly, especially in these economic times, as we could have plunked down money for a $40,000 trip and now felt slighted and basically blown off as in "you are not really important to us". So there seems to be some deficits in key parts of Regents organization as how to treat customers commensurate with the aura of luxury and catering to the well heeled the seem to prefer to project. Their very poor land based costumer support, cruise consultant support, the like we have never experienced with Princess or Celebrity combined with clearly catering to the pre-Baby-boomer age group makes me seriously wonder where Regent is headed 10 or so years from now. So while Regent with a little effort could have "bagged us" for a 2010 cruise, we have decided to return to Princess in 2010 (and made a reservation for 15 days on a trans-Panama cruise in a Vista suite for us and a mini-suite for our friends). Our conclusion is, that one will need to drink a lot and live high for a Princess cruise to be as expensive as a Regent Navigator cruise. On our Tahiti cruise 2 years ago, a mini-suite with veranda for a 10 day cruise on Princess cost $3000/person in cruise fare with an additional $4,000 for all the extras at the end of the cruise (and we did not hold back with caviar, wine and booze). Regent has a ship at Tahiti as well (Paul Gauguin) where a 10 day cruise to the same ports and with the same size cabin cost $6,000/person, but then was all inclusive. On this Navigator trip we ended up with a $2,000 extra bill (mostly for excursions, Internet and caviar) for 12 days. Read Less
Sail Date March 2009
Regent Navigator  st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; ... Read More
Regent Navigator  st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} Istanbul - Venice   First I wish to make clear that Regent staff on board the ship are one of the best. However, I also wish to be very very clear that Regent corporate staff are simply one of the worst.   For this cruise I selected an F category cabin. For whatever reason Regent corporate thinks that Handicapped rooms are equivalent - trust me - they are not. The cabin assigned to us was poorly maintained (woodwork bashed, mattress was equivalent to a third rate country flop house, shower head damaged) and did not contain either a bathtub or a sofa. Other non-handicapped cabins were nicer in all aspects. Therefore any relationship to this handicap cabin being equivalent is absurd. I would however be completely upset if I had been truly handicapped. This room was completely substandard in relation to other cabins of the same or even lower class that were non-handicapped. In my mind it is only a matter of time before the "disabled" community goes after Regent corporate on their total lack of equal standards.   A note to remember - when talking with Regent corporate prior to your cruise - simply understand - they do not know what they are talking about and will tell you anything to get you off the phone. I was told that handicapped rooms all have couches and glass showers - no, they don't (so why  do they lie or guess?). Also, I made reservations online for the Portofino Grill only to find out that no reservation existed. Again corporate staff dropped the ball.   On a happier note we were transferred to a different cabin at the beginning of the cruise to the last cabin on the stern of the ship. (only cabin available) Yes, there is massive vibration but that was preferable to no bathtub or couch. If you cannot handle loud noise and "massive" vibration - do not even consider anything other than the middle of the ship. I did find that ample digestion of alcohol does reduce the vibration to the point of total bliss.   As I touch on random topics I did wish to speak on the subject of smoking. Yes it does occur on board. Yes, it does occur in cabins and balconies (much to the chagrin of the  smoke police on board) and yes non-smokers are still offended by non-smokers in the smoking areas. Such is life. Personally I am offended by women who think they must take a bath in nauseous perfume. Perhaps we can outlaw that next. BTW, I am a non-smoker.   Status of the ship is simply - worn out. The overdue retrofit of the ship is much needed. Carpet are shot, tables worn, couches bad shape, chairs scuffed - you know the typical wear and tear of years of abuse. Personally if I had known how bad a condition the ship was in - I would have demanded a reduced rate.   "Free Shore Excursions" - First, nothing is free. Second - we went on two of these excursions and both were planned by Regent on maximizing structured sales pitches by vendors on shore. A sad commentary but true. Not only that but on the Venice excursion we coughed up an additional $100 bucks to have a private gondola ride - with the excursion lasting 2 and a half hours. Trouble was that for an for the first hour and 55 minutes we were turned loose in St. Marco square to "shop". Therefore the actual gondola ride lasted only 35 minutes. Consider this excursion a - Ripoff.   I would recommend private excursions - better value for your money.   Ports - We did make one change on the itinerary with was substituting Corfu for Albania - a good decision.   Food - without doubt this was the best aspect of the total cruise. I have cruised on several cruise lines and Regent is one of the best with regard to food. Prepare to feast.   Again, I wish to reiterate that shipboard staff were helpful and professional. I wish I could say the same for Regent corporate. It amazes me that answers to passenger questions were simply so wrong. If you don't know the answer - then Regent staff should either not answer or find the correct answer. Making answers up simply leaves one with a bad taste.For this reason alone I will never cruise with Regent again.   So, on a scale of 1 - 10 I would rate Regent cruise line a 6.2.   For comparative purposes I would rate Celebrity at 8.8 and Holland America at 7.9 with Royal Caribbean at 5.9.   Regent in my mind simply does not live up to its hype. My experience is that Regent falls behind Holland America and Celebrity in terms of quality.   Overall not a bad cruise experience - but one that could have been much better.     Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
Given the slams at RSSC and Navigator, I was concerned about my Black Sea (Istanbul-Athens) cruise. I have cruised extensively on Silversea, Seabourn, and RSSC; however, I have not been at sea for several years. This was my third ... Read More
Given the slams at RSSC and Navigator, I was concerned about my Black Sea (Istanbul-Athens) cruise. I have cruised extensively on Silversea, Seabourn, and RSSC; however, I have not been at sea for several years. This was my third cruise on Navigator. I do not understand previous complaints. Navigator is a wonderful ship, and I will return in a heartbeat. Yes, the ship is a tad thread-worn: Chairs in some lounges are a bit threadbare. Areas of carpet have been replaced. The bed was a bit lumpy. But I know that the ship will be going into dry dock in a couple of months, and I understand that these minor deficiencies will be corrected. The service was fine (not overwhelming or suffocating, but as needed above and beyond the call.) I had a minor accident (fall) on a tour: The attendant was ready with disinfectant, bandage, etc. A couple of days later he inquired as to how I was doing. The food was generally quite good -- occasionally exceptionally good. Service was prompt in Compass Rose. Wi-Fi worked well, and the RSSC Seven Seas Society benefits (e.g. free internet at Silver) are very nice. I did notice one area of cut-back from my previous experience. It's a detail. But it grated. Previously, menus for the following day were distributed the previous night along with Passages. I understand why this practice was abandoned: It was costly in paper and toner, and it was definitely not "green." My understanding was that menus were available on interactive TV. That seemed a fair work-around. However, menus were not on the TV. If one wanted to see the menu one had to go to a bar or the restaurant itself. This is really not very satisfactory if one is back from a tour, has showered, is in a bathrobe, and wants dinner served in the suite, and doesn't know what's on offer. Is Room Service to read the entire menu on the phone? This was my major disappointment with my Navigator cruise. If that's the greatest disappointment, the conclusion must be that it was a fine cruise. It was. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
Embark: This was definitely not handled at all well, by any cruise ship standard. Apparently they had some custom problems, or so they said. Best to just show up late, as with most lines. Ship/Stateroom: Beautiful, spacious ship with ... Read More
Embark: This was definitely not handled at all well, by any cruise ship standard. Apparently they had some custom problems, or so they said. Best to just show up late, as with most lines. Ship/Stateroom: Beautiful, spacious ship with excellent appointments. Staterooms are all suite/balcony with the stand rooms being fairly standard in finish and size to most lines. The Penthouse suites are quite large and very nice. Service: Good to excellent at all times with no negative experiences. The staff is very professional, but that means they are often serious and business-like, rather than outgoing and engaging. Entertainment: Good, but not special. Ship entertainers were talented and a few were quite friendly; however, most lacked personal interaction skills out of the theater. Collin is most outgoing and friendly. Food: This was quite disappointing for a premium line. Specialty restaurants are quite good, but the main dining room had very ordinary food for a cruise line. Definitely well below the presentation, quality, and variety of most premium lines we have been on. Dinning room is beautiful and can sit everyone at one seating with no problem. Service was excellent. Wines that are included are quite good. Ask for a list of all included wines if you are a wine lover, and you will probably find some you like. Common areas: Ship has beautiful lounges, theater, card rooms, and pool area. No area was crowded even with a full ship. Workout equipment was more limited than any ship I have been on, including much smaller ships. Enrichment series: This is something we enjoy and look forward to, but not on this cruise. What old people on a cruise are definitely NOT not looking for is a marginally qualified doctor telling them what to eat! How do make a series out of that? The second choice was on marine life which sounds good, but requires a skilled speaker. Neither speaker had the slightest entertainment value as speakers. Bridge instructors were very good. Disembark: It would have gone very smoothly except the information the night before overlooked notifying us that everyone would need to up and down to see immigration officials at 6:45 AM. That was not well received. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
As a long time cruiser (30+ voyages) and a frequent cruiser with Regent, I was excited to try the Seven Seas Voyager, the only ship in the fleet I had not yet sailed. We decided on the Voyager's 10-day Christmas cruise visiting the ... Read More
As a long time cruiser (30+ voyages) and a frequent cruiser with Regent, I was excited to try the Seven Seas Voyager, the only ship in the fleet I had not yet sailed. We decided on the Voyager's 10-day Christmas cruise visiting the ports of the Eastern Caribbean. We have always been pleased with Regent's product, but this time things were a bit off. We had a great time, but Regent will need to take a long, hard look at the quality of product they are currently offering at such a high price point. SHIP: I am not exaggerating when I say that the Voyager is probably the most beautiful ship I have sailed on. It just had a multi-million dollar renovation last year, and the ship sparkles from funnel to keel. Walking into the ship's main lobby, with it's 8 deck high atrium and glass enclosed elevators, gives a sense of spaciousness and elegance. The ship's decor is comprised of muted tones of creme, white and beiges with roomy spaces, as well as cozy nooks to unwind. The atrium area of decks 4 and 5 is the main activities center of the ship, housing the casino, Compass Rose (the main dining room), the Voyager Lounge, the reception desk, destination services and the Constellation Theater (which is 2 decks high). Other notable locations onboard are the alternative dining spots, Prime 7 and Signatures (both on Deck 5). The Horizon Lounge is a lovely space located all the way aft in which daytime pursuits such as trivia and Bingo take place. The ship has an extensive spa/gym facility located forward on Deck 6, which is run by Canyon Ranch Spa. The pool deck is home to La Veranda and a grill area for casual daytime dining. The ship is surprisingly roomy for it's size and there is always a place to be entertained or just to relax. The Voyager is a stunning vessel and was a comfortable haven to spend almost 2 weeks. THE SUITE: Every stateroom on the Voyager is suite. My room was a Category D Deluxe suite on Deck 10 (#1051). The room was wonderful and spacious, with a marble bathroom and thick, high-end linens. This is also the first ship I have been on that had a flatscreen high-def tv in the room, which was an upgraded surprise. I did notice that Regent has stopped providing Aveda products in the bathrooms and has instead replaced them with the generic "R" brand toiletries. I bring my own products on cruises, so I don't really care what they use. But it did seem a little cheap to me. If going on this ship, please take note and avoid the back of the ship at all costs. Never have I experienced such intense vibration on any other ship. The room shook and creaked, even during smooth days at sea. The noise was so violent that it was hard to sleep at night and was a little frustrating for the first couple of nights. I eventually learned to pile pillows on my head to drown out the noise. From what I have read on Cruise Critic, this ship's vibration is legendary, so please be warned. My parents were staying in a Penthouse located mid-ships and you could have heard a pin drop in the room. So the noise is purely an aft issue. DINING: Dining completely disappointed on this trip. By the last couple of days, we were so tired of boring meals, that it was a pain to deal with it. I'm assuming due to the struggling economy, Regent has had to make some cutbacks. And nowhere is that more apparent than with the food. Food was flavorless for the most part, poorly prepared and, at times, stale and spoiled. Fish was yellow and very pungent ("fishy") tasting, breads were stale and desserts were either bland or horrific. I am not a "foodie", by any means, but what Regent had on offer was just unacceptable for their 5-star rating. One day they had a Tex-Mex buffet on the pool deck. The meat tasted and smelled metallic and the chips were old and stale. Menus at La Veranda for dinner were repetetive, as were lunch menus in Compass Rose. Dressings were often watery and bitter. The culinary highlights onboard were the two dinners I enjoyed at Prime 7, the steakhouse, as well as the Thai Pumpkin Soup served for lunch at Compass Rose one day. Prime 7 was everything we had expected in food and service, and it is only a shame we weren't able to eat there more often. The dover sole and the 13-layer chocolate cake are not to be missed. SERVICE: Service is another area in which Regent is suffering. For the most part, service was just okay. Not good, not bad. Just there. And as a hotel manager, I know that mediocre service is not acceptable if you want to retain a loyal customer base. Bad service did appear, as well. One day while walking down the corridor, I said "Good Morning" to a butler who just ignored me. The servers in Compass Rose seemed overwhelmed and disorganized. Drinks were almost impossible to order. And the delay between courses seemed like an eternity. The staff didn't seem happy to be there. And even when we would try to engage them in light-hearted conversation, it seemed to make them uncomfortable. It was a sour, depressing group of people. One day I ordered a hamburger at the pool grill. I gave the gentleman my table number and after a 30 minute wait, nothing was delivered to me. I gave up and ate elsewhere. The only truly friendly staff were ones who remembered me from previous voyages. And the highlight for us was Andrew, our server in Prime 7. He had a firm grasp on hospitality and made dinner a fun, elegant event. In fact, the staff in Prime 7 overall, were several steps up from the rest of the employees. Also, Raymund in La Veranda, surprised us when he heard my mom wish they would serve baked Alaska. He took ownership and placed the order for my mom who was surprised the next night by her favorite dessert. Unfortunately, these acts of excellent service were rare. Regent will lose their most loyal clientele if they do not take the appropriate steps to rectify this problem. OVERALL: Overall, we had a great time on a beautiful ship. We enjoyed our voyage to the Caribbean on this magnificent vessel. Kudos go to Lorraine, the ship's tireless Cruise Director who is just lovely and injected enthusiasm at each of the ship's various events. Unfortunately, she had her work cut-out for her as attendance was low at many of the events and there were many passengers who were rude, crude and generally obnoxious. People who yell out vulgarity at the lady calling Bingo numbers are not people who I would ever choose to sail with. The ports of St. Thomas, St. Barts, St. Maarten, St. Kitts and Grand Turk were all lovely in different ways and I would not hesitate to visit any of them again. And the standard rooms on this ship surpass any other standard room I have sailed in. Hopefully, Regent will make an effort to work on it's food and service levels. If they can get those areas up to par, the ship will be worthy of its "luxury" title. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
Yes, Regent has definitely gone down in the two years since we have sailed. I don't know where the previous poster was at embarkation but I was in the second row of chairs and it was very orderly, they began a couple of minutes ... Read More
Yes, Regent has definitely gone down in the two years since we have sailed. I don't know where the previous poster was at embarkation but I was in the second row of chairs and it was very orderly, they began a couple of minutes after noon, they called by row, we were on board before 1230 and in our rooms by 230. Well done. The food was not as good (until I found a very accommodating head waiter and then we had two terrific meals in Compass Rose!) The service was not as good (until I found a wonderful waiter in CR and sat in his section every night. Room service was great. Really, only La Veranda outside at breakfast was not too great. There were wonderful bartenders and coffee guys. Elvis was wonderful!! I truly had the best chocolate martini (well, three) ever in the casino bar! Vibration, yes, it was still there but we did have some rough weather. Yes, it did seem as if some of the staff was not too happy, there were some that were great. A surly female in destinations but Cynthia was great. Everyone in reception was nice but Connie, Executive Concierge really stood out!!! Our butler was the same we had two years ago and he was as wonderful but it was also clear that his hands were tied on a couple of issues, which he did tell us about what had changed in the last two years. Regent is not as wonderful as it was two years ago, or when it was Radisson, but, all inclusive including excursions, it is a very good luxury experience. It is even better if you are not comparing it to how it used to be. It is still a luxury line and I would still recommend it to others, In fact, I booked a cruise for next Feb and I am bringing a group with me. By the way, no problem with meeting with the cruise consultant and he was very personable. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We enjoy cruising (1 or 2 per year) and usually book one of the premium lines. Until recently Regent was our favorite but the bloom is now off the rose. Overall service and particularly dining service and quality has slipped very ... Read More
We enjoy cruising (1 or 2 per year) and usually book one of the premium lines. Until recently Regent was our favorite but the bloom is now off the rose. Overall service and particularly dining service and quality has slipped very noticeably. We have experienced such on our last two Regent cruises. Our most recent cruise was on the Mariner last month from Fort Lauderdale to Lima, Peru. The Mariner continues to be a very elegant, well-appointed, and well-maintained ship. Cabins are spacious and recent modifications were very nicely done. That part of the Regent experience remains the same - truly first class! The service decline is an issue though. Cabin attendant service was fine but dining has slipped significantly. Overall dining service, food choices, and food quality is not near what it used to be. The experience in the Compass Rose (main dining) is something you would expect on Princess or Celebrity - adequate but not exceptional by any means. Signatures was somewhat better but still a concern. Our experience in Prime 7 was up to par with our expectations although others on the ship had complained about their experience there as well. On four occasions it took nearly 3 hours to complete a meal - unacceptable for any restaurant at any level! One of those cases was in Signatures where the entree was not served until 2 hours 10 minutes after being seated (yes, I did precisely time it!)....we then had to gobble down our dessert hurredly and half-finished so we could make the show that evening. A premium dining experience? The captain apologized by saying the problem was a "full ship". Unacceptable answer when you are paying for premium service and quality. Overall quality of food has slipped as well...little things like the shrimp are not as large, the lobster is not as evident, the steak quality variable, etc. On a couple of occasions the wait service in the Compass Rose was like a comedy act with food continually being served to the wrong places at the table - it was like passing the plates around the table at a family dinner. This contrasts with an overall dining experience we had on Azamara last summer that we rated as the best we have had on any ship....but at half the price of Regent. In fairness I have to say the wine service and selections were excellent - very well thought-out and accommodating regarding alternatives and favorites. Excursion management has never been a strong suit for Regent in our opinion. However the free excursion policy seems to have exacerbated such. We could not get our first choices for excursions even attempting to book 4 months in advance on their website! The excursion manager said the problem is people tend to abuse the policy and book multiple tours even though they don't use them. I don't know if that is the case but perhaps Regent should rethink the free excursions and simply reduce the cruise fare by that amount. It seems it would be simpler for all. We did very much welcome and enjoy Regent's new resort casual dining policy - i.e., elimination of formal and informal nights. Bottom-line....Since one pays top dollar on Regent one should expect to receive the very best service and quality across the board. That used to be the case but is no longer and has shaken our allegiance. Regent...please get your act together and bridle your bean-counters! Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
This is my 2nd cruise with Regent. The first on the Navigator. It is as nicely appointed and detailed as we have come to expect from Regent and it was kept clean and in good condition. I don't think that was a big chore as the ship ... Read More
This is my 2nd cruise with Regent. The first on the Navigator. It is as nicely appointed and detailed as we have come to expect from Regent and it was kept clean and in good condition. I don't think that was a big chore as the ship had just come out of dry dock. Our cabin was on the 11th deck and unfortunately directly below the treadmills in the gym. Yes every day ALL day someone was running on them. There was NO way one could take a leisurely afternoon nap and forget any relaxing evening appetizer as the continual thumping of someone running on the treadmill overpowered everything else. Our safe did not work and we contacted several different people form the cabin stewardess to the security officer... I doubt the safe is working yet! We did not have a room service menu in the book of ship info and was treated a bit snooty by the butler when I asked for one. FINALLY-- the executive staff was not all helpful or friendly. The cruise consultant Mike was in fact rude and we have cancelled a scheduled cruise in August. Basically all he could tell us repeatedly was how busy he was booking... booking- booking - booking - booking- Really he said 6 times in one brief conversation... The excursion director seemed a bit terrified of face to face dealings with guests and I got the idea none of the excursion staff really had been on some of (or most of ) the excursions. The staff ALWAYS seems as though they are too busy to talk to YOU - to bad YOU are NOT important enough. NOW-- the room was nice - clean and the housekeeping is impeccable. The maintenance is so-so and honestly the revamp of the pool area is a surprise as I had thought for the first 7 days "to bad they didn't redo the pool in dry dock" Silly me , they did ... I don't think I would spend the money on Navigator again. Unless some substantial improvements are made and very publicly declared. Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
Embarcation was a breeze at San Francisco, helpful crew and no difficulties. We had a Penthouse B cabin which was excellent and quite roomy, our Butler Chris was absolutely perfect, probably the best we have ever had, and we had a ... Read More
Embarcation was a breeze at San Francisco, helpful crew and no difficulties. We had a Penthouse B cabin which was excellent and quite roomy, our Butler Chris was absolutely perfect, probably the best we have ever had, and we had a delightful cabin attendant who kept our cabin spotless. Anything we requested for our cabin was immediately actioned and the room service breakfasts were beautifully served by Chris and always hot. The crew were very obliging and dedicated to doing all they could to make our cruise enjoyable and trouble free. The excursion team were extraordinarily good and worthy of mention, they changed tours with a minimum of fuss and a smile and really knew about the various excursions. The block party, held on our second evening in the corridors was a brilliant concept enabling us to get to know the other passengers on our deck and also meeting the Captain and Officers. Great idea that other lines should consider. The food was mostly up to the expected standard but the service was not so great. In the buffet restaurant staff frequently seemed more interested in resetting tables than attending to the tables in use, particularly at breakfast. Sometimes it was necessary to get up and ask for a coffee, or a refill - not really acceptable. The wine waiters in the main restaurant were often very slow and sometimes their wine knowledge was not all it should be. We found it easier to keep a bottle on our table and refill our glasses ourselves. The steak restaurant was fantastic. Great food and service, we thoroughly enjoyed our meals there. The biggest disappointment of the trip was the on board lecturer. He had a massive amount of knowledge to impart to us about this very special area but sadly he also had a wonderful ability to put us to sleep with his monotone. Normally we never miss the opportunity to learn about the region we are travelling in but just gave up. Other guests had the same comment. We felt it was a shame we did not have a Marine Biologist on board to keep us in touch with what was happening in and on the water. Travelled the Amazon on Silverseas last year and had a variety of lecturers, one of whom, Chris Croxon a Marine Biologist kept us informed and enthralled for most of the month we were aboard. Another great annoyance was when the lecturer was speaking from the bridge at scenic places, every time he drew breath the music on the TV channel cut in. The itinerary was absolutely fantastic and our revered Captain (and didn't he look great in his kilt) made sure we got the very best of views in all the important areas. He gave us some great experiences navigating up the fiords to the glaciers, just stunning and even the weather cooperated. Overall - a wonderful trip. The ship was in pretty good condition, the crew were extremely helpful, the service left a little bit to be desired in the public areas but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. In our view not quite up there with the other 5 star ships, but they appear to be working on it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
This cruise was from Venice to Istanbul for 14 nights which included Split(Croatia), Santorini, Crete, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Rhodes, Kusadasi and Istanbul(Turkey). Our great experience on Regent's Paul Gauguin some 2 years ago ... Read More
This cruise was from Venice to Istanbul for 14 nights which included Split(Croatia), Santorini, Crete, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Rhodes, Kusadasi and Istanbul(Turkey). Our great experience on Regent's Paul Gauguin some 2 years ago sailing around the islands of French Polynesia was also a key factor in selecting this cruise. As such the Paul Gauguin cruise created a bias within us as to what our expectations of the Seven Seas Mariner were. I shall begin and say that overall the cruise was amazing and all the tours we took were very well done and organized. The coaches were only 50% - 60% full and on all our tours the guides were very good to excellent. It allowed one to see many different cultures and history. It was very well organized and the crew were extremely efficient, polite and made sure everything was done correctly. Regent definitely have the best cabins. Large, spacious, the walk in robe is just brilliant and the bathroom permitted two(2) people in there at one time. Everything was well maintained on board, the majority of the crew were great, service in most cases was very good, the provisioning of bottled water for the land tours was well received but for some reason there was something not quite right and the atmosphere was not the same as on Paul Gauguin. The crew were absolutely great especially cabin steward(Jade), Sylvester & Jaimee(Verandah), Mehendrah and his staff in Horizons Bar, The Polish entertainment duo in Horizons, the sommelier who made sure our wine was correct every evening(Signatures & Prime7) were brilliant. The on board tour staff who were brilliant in making sure everything went to plan. The only concern we had was that we thought the eastern Europeans (generally) were not as friendly or relaxed as the Phillipino crew members. We have noticed this on other vessels with other cruise lines we have been on. We also felt that the Verandah restaurant was great especially with their special buffets(EG European night with fresh local sardines etc.). The food was done extremely well and was always hot. The choices and quality were great for us. Some of the small issues with Regent were related to the catering aspects of the cruise(land tour catering was brilliant with all local foods made available). Service in Signatures, Compass Rose and Prime7 we thought was quite fast and doing a count to 3 in French(Signatures) and the waiters lifting the lids off the meals was a bit "over the top". In hindsight we both believed that the service criteria is very much American style. We found other non-American passengers thought the same. In general the meals in these three(3) restaurants were OK but it could have been improved upon. Yes, my "blue" steak was always cooked to absolute perfection but for some staff to persist in calling it "Pittsburgh Blue" was a little to American for me especially when globally it is regularly identified as "French Blue" or "Blue". The wines initially offered to us were interesting. Serving the American whites and reds was OK but unfortunately I cannot drink them, as I have even when I lived in the USA suffered extreme headaches etc. from them. Interestingly a lot of the waiters were aware of this issue also from previous passengers. Fortunately they had Chilean and Italian wines which were great. Also serving an Australian wine called Skipping Jack to Australians is not a good idea especially as it is a bottling company that produces the wine from grapes from various wineries in the South Australian area. The same with Irish Coffees after dinner. When will they stop using cream from a pressurised can. Fortunately the barman was able to get real cream for a real Irish Coffee. The breakfast buffet was very good in general terms. Enjoyed all the different cheeses, smoked salmon and mackerel etc. Not sure why it happens but the slices of the smoked salmon and Carpaccio were quite cut thick when they should have been thinner. Also the pastries were tasteless. The croissants were quite small and very crumbly every day. Room service meal was an absolute disgrace. We had it once and never again and no matter what time we got back from a shore tour we always ate in one of the restaurants. Disembarkation in Istanbul was a shambles but we suspect that this was not Regent's fault. It just felt like you walk down the gangplank and you were no longer the responsibility of Regent. Also the charge Regent wanted for transfers to the airport were way over the top. We had private transport to our hotel and then hotel to airport and it was still some $USD140 cheaper. Something to be aware of. We realise that these are minor gripes but in the end we felt that RSSC has a reputation of 5 star to maintain and be a leader in the field of small to medium size cruise vessels. Yes, in general they still maintain an extraordinary cruise vessel level and yes we would sail with them again. It is just we felt something was not quite right with some aspects of the vessel. We also realise that the majority of the passengers are American and therefore Regent have to cater for their needs more than other nationalities. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
We had a wonderful cruise on our Navigator trip to Alaska June 9. Prior to Embarkation - We traveled with another couple and stayed at the Sutton Place Hotel in Vancouver for a couple of days prior to the cruise. The hotel was ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise on our Navigator trip to Alaska June 9. Prior to Embarkation - We traveled with another couple and stayed at the Sutton Place Hotel in Vancouver for a couple of days prior to the cruise. The hotel was outstanding. The rooms were spacious, clean and luxurious. The concierge made wonderful dinner recommendations, and all the personnel - from the front desk people to the doormen - were terrific. Embarkation: The four of us took a limousine to the pier as it was less expensive than taking two cabs to accommodate our luggage. Boarding was quick and easy. We were on the ship around 1:00pm and had lunch in the Compass Room. We had all our meals in either the Compass Room or, one night, in Prime 7. We approached La Veranda for breakfast one morning, but quickly decided we preferred to be served in a dining room. Introduction to Navigator - We had been upgraded to a Penthouse A Suite, #1123. The only difference between this stateroom and the other balcony categories is a butler. Ours certainly was very nice, but I don't believe he provided any services not offered by room stewards. He made sure our refrigerator had the beverages we like and that our fruit basket was replenished. Our room steward was extremely efficient. The stateroom itself had a WALK-IN CLOSET. The bathroom had a separate stall shower, granite counter tops and tile floors. Nice. There was plenty of storage space. Dining - The quality and variety of the food was excellent. However, the service in the Compass Room was not up to the standards we previously experienced on Regent. Several times we were brought the wrong entrEe, and sometimes we felt rushed. Though open dining is convenient, I prefer having the same service staff throughout a cruise so they get to know your preferences. Also, the tables are too close together, and the wait staff negotiating between them was disruptive. It was nothing like fine dining. Prime 7, on the other hand, was absolutely perfect. I regret we were able to eat there only once. Excursions - We were supposed to take the Misty Fjords Seaplane Adventure, but it was cancelled because of weather. Our favorite was the Tracy Arm catamaran -an extraordinary experience. Another "can't miss" excursion was the White Pass Railroad in Skagway. I don't recommend the Mendenhall Glacier River Float. It was freezing, wet, uncomfortable and rather boring. I wore five layers of clothes plus the horrible rubber pants, boots, jacket and life jacket they make you wear. Others in our party felt much the same way. We didn't book excursions in Whitehall but had an enjoyable time exploring on our own. Entertainment - We went to the first two shows and were a little disappointed. We skipped the third show. We did, however, go to the Krew Kapers and loved it! There was no comedian on board. The lectures were good. The trivia and other daytime activities were nice. We enjoyed the pianist, Constantine, very much, and the band was terrific. But we missed the variety of evening entertainment afforded on larger ships. We enjoyed cocktails in Galileos and the small bar outside the library. The casino was very nice for such a small ship. We probably spent too much time there! Miscellaneous - Wireless worked well except in Skagway. We hooked up our Magic Jack and were able to make free calls most days. The computer manager printed out our airline boarding passes the day before we left. It's a small ship with only two stores. I actually had trouble spending our onboard credits. My husband says this is the first time I've had trouble spending money! Disembarkment - Easy. Organized. Overall, it was a wonderful trip. The staff on Navigator is terrific. Everyone goes to great lengths to make sure you have a good time. And we did! Is it worth the price compared to lines like Holland America and Celebrity? We're not so sure. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Overall I would rate this a nice cruise. I won't want to take it again, but was happy that I did take it this time. My wife and I were on this cruise by ourselves. It seems to me that the majority of people on this cruise were with ... Read More
Overall I would rate this a nice cruise. I won't want to take it again, but was happy that I did take it this time. My wife and I were on this cruise by ourselves. It seems to me that the majority of people on this cruise were with groups of people. It was harder to meet people on this cruise than previous cruises I had taken. My guess, was that there were so many groups, but then again maybe we just didn't try hard enough. We had a very nice cabin with a separate bedroom at the stern of the boat. It had butler service, but that was not a very big deal, he did very little for us during the cruise (example: Ask for Amstel beer, result Budwieser). Very large balcony, which was really what we enjoyed most. Deck 7, had a problem with sewage. I don't know why, but the oder was quite strong in areas, and persisted though out the cruise, they were working on pipes all the time, but no change was ever really noticed, however this was a minor annoyance. Meals and wines were the best I had ever had on a cruise ship, all the restaurants were very good. The only meal I didn't enjoy was the one at the Prime 7, but not due to the food. A large group of people decided it was fine to scream and yell at each other for the entire meal. We apologized to the staff, as the offenders were American and showing a side of us that is not necessary at a fine restaurant on a cruise ship, we left before our main course. Entertainment on board was boring. It seems to be more associated with people in their seventies than people in their late fifties, early sixties. However most of the people on board seemed to be in their seventies, we felt like we were among the youngest at sixty. Ports were excellent, we enjoyed all of them. The free tours, not so much. It only took us one stop and tour (Monaco), to realize that we would have to do something different, the tours were just to boring and when we would ever be here again. So we started off on our own, finding taxis with drivers that spoke good English and using them as our guides. We saw so many different places that the ship tour buses never got to, talked with the drivers, got to know them, exchanged emails, ate at great out of the way restaurants, the really great thing that accompanied this, was we would be dropped off right in front of wherever we want to go (churches,museums,old ruins), and he would be right there when we got back. Yes we missed the exact information the official tour guide would be able to tell us, like when that last stone of a church was put in place (lots of churches to see on this cruise), but these drivers were locals, they knew the history of their city as well as interesting tidbits that tour guides don't discuss. We will do this from now on our cruises, even if the tours are free. The staff of the ship was always friendly and helpful, and we overall enjoyed this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Boarding the ship and check-in was a breeze. No lines, no hassles and we got our ID cards along with our champagne. Lunch around the pool area was salads, burgers and dogs. The was open and since this was an cruise without additional cost ... Read More
Boarding the ship and check-in was a breeze. No lines, no hassles and we got our ID cards along with our champagne. Lunch around the pool area was salads, burgers and dogs. The was open and since this was an cruise without additional cost for alcohol, a few people tried and succeeded in drinking multiple days worth of booze in one sitting before being admitted into their suites. The suites are huge. The walk-in closet and the nearly standard sized bathroom were just great. The staff was there to introduce themselves and the orders for the refrigerator stocks were placed - all very efficient. The event of having everyone around the ship go into the hallways and have a ship-wide cocktail and welcome party was a great ice breaker. The captain and principal members of the crew came to us and introduced themselves - a very nice touch. We spent more than an hour getting to know our neighbors, before the dreaded, mandatory safety muster. We were also able to get a load of laundry done and iron all of our clothes that were now unpacked. Departure from Vancouver was on time and the ride out of the harbor afforded many great views of the city and Stanley Park. Exhausted from a day of walking Vancouver and being a bit tipsy, we decided to get a pizza and other snacks delivered to the room. The serviced was prompt and the food well prepared. The days are very long during June and we were off for a cruise day along the Inside Passage. Early in the morning of our first day, we had breakfast delivered to the room (which arrived exactly as advertised and was well prepared) and went to the spa to workout. Noble, the health program manager, was fantastic. We signed up for personal training sessions and multiple workout regimes that were offered. The spa had plenty of equipment and treatment rooms along with steam and sauna rooms proved to be invaluable throughout the cruise. After breakfast and an hour on gym machines, we spotted our first pod of humpback whales and later that morning dolphins riding the wake of the ship. Alaska weather is mostly wet and 60 degrees, so the views from the ship on the cruise day were limited by the cloud cover. Buffet lunch in La Veranda was nice because we were able to sit above the stern and the wind was not an issue on the overcast day. Also, large overhead space heaters kept things nice and cozy on the deck for lunch. The buffet choices were small compared to cruises we have had with Crystal and Azamara, but it met our needs. Service at the tables was impeccable as it was the day before around the pool. We spent a quiet day cruising and playing bingo along the Inside Passage and enjoyed dinner (from the menu) in the Compass Rose main dining room where we met fellow cruisers at our open table. The service, preparation, presentation and quality were comparable to Azamara. Portions were correct and unlimited alcohol was available. The sommelier visited our table more than once to attend to our needs. Our evening meal was capped off with cordials and another display from a pod of humpback whales. We were not interested in the evening activities and were able to review our planned activities for first port, Ketchikan, from the TV and the delivered, printed materials in our room. After our workout in the gym in the morning, the Compass Rose restaurant was the place for a quiet breakfast where they even asked what level of doneness I wanted for my poached eggs. In my 60 years of ordering poached eggs, I have never been asked that question. Needless to say, they came out exactly as I requested. The first "free" excursion we took was the Lumberjack Show. We knew it would be corny and it was. It was fun just to sit and admire their skills, while laughing at their set-up jokes. Sometimes it is just good to let your pretentiousness down and laugh like a loon over corny jokes. Rain is the most abundant item in Ketchikan with over 200 inches having fallen in the season so far, so hiding out in bars and jewelry stores is a favorite pastime of visitors. We had lunch by the pool again with service that was first rate and courteous - burgers, fries and dogs. We can't beat that for simple and good. Our second "free" excursion was a seaplane ride to Misty Fjord. The plane flies low and close to the scenery and then lands in the fjord. We were able to walk on the pontoons of the plane before returning to Ketchikan. It was well narrated by the pilot and a beautiful trip. We departed out of Ketchikan about 4 pm and had dinner delivered to the room where we spent five hours admiring the serene and near glass-like water conditions of the cruise north. Delicious chicken and salad dishes were prepared to our request and a bottle of wine finished off the evening. The rain went away and the sun reflected off the water like a mirrored surface. Picture postcard views from our balcony caused us to skip the evening entertainment for the second night. When Mother Nature is putting on a show, man made entertainment cannot compete. As we travel north to Juneau, we placed our breakfast order for a 6:30 delivery. It was on time and perfect. Our first "paid" excursion was a Wildlife Quest catamaran trip to the Tracy Fjord that met alongside the cruise ship to transfer passengers. The Navigator continued into Juneau while we took the side trip and caught up to the main group in six hours. The Catamaran took us to the North and South Sawyer Glaciers. We saw seals, whales and bald eagles. Many beautiful icebergs were in the Fjord. We got right up the face of the glacier and watched calving. It was one of the highlight excursions of the cruise. Once in Juneau, we took a Mendenhall Glacier and Evening Whale watching (paid) tour. Our guide, Diane, from Gastineau Guiding, was very informative as we did a short wilderness walk at the glacier. Later, we boarded a speedy boat and went looking for whales. The captain found about eight adult Humpbacks and one baby Humpback feeding. We had a wonderful time watching them breach and dive. We also saw seals and bald eagles. We got back on the ship around 9 pm and had room service for dinner on our balcony as we departed Juneau to a wonderful sunset, skipping the evening entertainment in the Lounge. The cruise into Skagway is beautiful and should not be missed. Once again, we ordered breakfast for early delivery after a workout at the gym. We took the "free" White Pass train ride and it was spectacular. Many beautiful vistas along the way and we got to learn about the Yukon gold rush and all the hardships of the men who tried to get rich from the fields (some 500 miles away). We saw a mother bear and two little cubs right next to the tracks near the summit. We even saw the original Yukon trail which is still intact at the pass. We grabbed a quick hamburger lunch in the Compass Rose restaurant and it was delicious. The staff was great. We took an afternoon "free" walking tour through Skagway that explained the bawdy times of the madams and hookers of the gold rush times. Our departure out of Skagway was gorgeous, we spent hours on our balcony with champagne as the weather was warm and we had a late dinner at Compass Rose. Every seat at every table was taken and the staff performed impeccably. Our meal was served perfectly and prepared as we requested. The entire staff from the sommelier, head waiter, busboys and waiter visited our table and exchanged pleasantries, even though the place was packed, they all took time to visit and chat with all the tables. It was a very impressive performance by the professionals of the Compass Rose both in the kitchen and in the room. We chose not to attend the Cirque at the evening show, because we were going strong for about 16-18 each day and needed to catch up on some sleep. We arrived at Sitka. After a workout and steam at the spa, we had breakfast at the pool area. We enjoyed champagne and mimosas for breakfast as a reward for good health practices. We took a "free" sea otter boat trip and saw hundreds of sea otters, a bear along the beach, bald eagles, California Gray whale adults & newborns and a few adult Humpback whales feeding. Overall, this excursion was really very good. We docked at the ship landing at Sitka. We had lunch at an Italian place in Sitka. That afternoon, we took another "free" tour. This was a boat that had viewing windows below deck. It was a total waste of time. The water is green murky and one cannot see anything in the water. We left Sitka and ate in our room with service brought to our balcony. We enjoyed the warm climate until sunset, once again getting rid of two bottles of champagne. The final "port" before disembarking was Glacier Bay where we saw the Hubbard Glacier. It is a very pretty entrance to the bay and we had morning workout and then breakfast in our room with a bottle of champagne. We spun around the Hubbard Glacier and took photos. It is not as impressive as the Sawyer or Mendenhall Glaciers since you can't get close and it does not "calf" large chunks of ice. The day was quite chilly and overcast so we mostly stayed indoors and watched a number of on-demand movies on the TV. In the evening, we ate at the specialty restaurant on board and had a wonderful meal expertly prepared and professionally served. After a few night caps, we slept until we disembarked at Seward at 7am. There are a number of ways to get to Anchorage from Seward. We chose a private taxi service; PJ's Taxi and Renee provided us lots of interesting side trips on our way to the airport. The bus from the ship gets you to the airport around 11:30 am and the train gets there later. The prices are not reasonable for any of the three options, so pricing all the options is a smart thing to do. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
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