Our cruise was called Venetian Passageways. Overall iit was excellent. All the ports of call with the exception of Albania were very interesting. Everyone loved swimming in the sea and water sports from the Marina deck while the ship was ... Read More
Our cruise was called Venetian Passageways. Overall iit was excellent. All the ports of call with the exception of Albania were very interesting. Everyone loved swimming in the sea and water sports from the Marina deck while the ship was anchored off Dubrovnik.
The open deck barbecue night followed by line dancing was sensational. Other highlights included Windstsr's complimentary private event which was a visit to an Olive farm in Greece. This included wonderful entertainment with Greek dancing and a delicious complimentary lunch, including wine. The journey through the Corinth canal was amazing and we were so lucky that the weather for this was perfect.
The food quality on the cruise was excellent. The only problem on the cruise was that the air conditioning broke down about 3 nights towards the end of the cruise. This also affected the crew of course. However this was fixed after about 36 hours and Windstsr have offered passengers a very generous comoensatory discount off future bookings. Would highly recommend. Read Less
We had sailed on the Regent Marina last year, flying to Rio de Janeiro. We decided to book this trip for the value (sale price) and also to travel with some friends who had not experienced some of the ports.
There are lots of positives ... Read More
We had sailed on the Regent Marina last year, flying to Rio de Janeiro. We decided to book this trip for the value (sale price) and also to travel with some friends who had not experienced some of the ports.
There are lots of positives so I will start with those:
We had a free upgrade to a Penthouse Suite which was very luxurious and had butler service. The service in the room and bars was superb and couldn't be faulted. The entertainment was very good too with a selection of the normal 'song and dance' shows to an excellent speaker and entertainer Terry Bishop. His dry humour suited the British passengers for sure! The Cruise Director worked hard to ensure that these were enjoyed too.
The excursions are really good value as they are included although it would be nice just for once not to include churches!
The failure in our opinion was really not exploiting some of the facilities. Most guests wanted shade yet tables had been placed under the shaded area and that meant sunbeds directly in the sun. Most of the tables simply were not required and sunshades would have kept those placed in the sun shaded well. Sunbeds could have been placed in many other places ie the Promenade deck (but this seemed eternally closed at one side or another and an upper deck.
The sundeck could have been used in the evening for barbecues or food from the Veranda but this was simply closed off too.
The Compass Rose started well but ended badly with tough steaks and delays leading to up to 3 hours working through the course. When we complained we had an apology but the Head Waiter simply ignored it. I can't recall how many times we asked for mustard with the steak or mint sauce with lamb. This usually arrived half way through the meal or not at all.
The steak restaurant Prime Seven also turned out to be a disappointment for many of the reasons above.
The final real problem with this ship is vibration! I note someone else mentioned this too and it really starts to interfere with your enjoyment of the cruise. My husband and I actually felt on the verge of sea sickness and we have cruised all around the world and not had this problem before.
we were embarrassment too because we had made comments to our friends on how fantastic this trip would be compared to say a P&O which sadly it was not. I think there are lessons to be learned here from the Mariner and sadly this has made us think twice about travelling again with Regent. Read Less
We like to visit places that we have not been to. As such, other than Amsterdam, Copenhagen & Warnemunde, the other ports, Oslo, Antwerp, Honfleur & St. Peter Port to which the Quest sailed to, are destinations that we have not ... Read More
We like to visit places that we have not been to. As such, other than Amsterdam, Copenhagen & Warnemunde, the other ports, Oslo, Antwerp, Honfleur & St. Peter Port to which the Quest sailed to, are destinations that we have not been. We also like the over night stays, which give us the opportunity to explore at a leisurely pace. We also like sailing the smaller size ships, so the Azamara vessels are perfect to do just that.
The embarkation & disembarkation went very smoothly. Again, you don't have the thousands of other passengers to contend with.
Amsterdam, Copenhagen & Warnemunde are good ports to return to & continue exploring where you last left off. On this trip, we especially liked exploring the old sections of Antwerp, Le Vieux Bassin area in Honfleur & in St. Peter Port where we lucked out as we arrived on the day of the 2016 Guernsey Airshow, where planes flew over where the Quest anchored. Perfect seats, if we didn't tendered into St. Peter Port to visit. However, we did get fairly good views from the waterfront as we explored the area.
Our stateroom was on starboard forward. It was suffice for 2 & had ample storage for us. The suitcases fits easily under the bed. There were at least 4 electrical outlets in the room to charge your electrical devices. The bathroom unfortunately is still standardize "small" with the dreaded tight shower stall & plastic curtain. Our room was under the perimeter of the show lounge & as such, fairly quiet. However, note that in the forward rooms, you will be waken by the thrusters when the Quest docks. It felt like a stampede of wild elephants. You'll hear loud rumblings & feel a whole lot of shaking going on!
Generally, the public areas in/outside of the ship was very clean & well maintained.
We did not use the specialty dining rooms, only the Windows Cafe, Discoveries Dining Room & The Patio which is by the pool area. There was a good variety of food offered & in general the food was very good.
The officers, staff & crew were very friendly & helpful. The service on board was 2nd to none.
The gym was fully equipped with treadmills, bikes, racks of dumbbells, benches & universal types of weight machines. A sauna & 2 shower stalls can be found in the change room. A running/walking track on deck 10.
The library is on deck 10 aft, while a large lounge is on deck 10 forward where a small section was partitioned off for a games/card room & computer room.
Entertainment on board was OK, but there were 2 singers that were very good. The Azamazing Evening was very good, featuring Scala & the Kolancy Brothers at the Zuiderkroom Theater. The acoustic in that theater was excellent. Chuck the port speaker was excellent, well prepared & knowledgeable.
We also had interesting tours of the Quests' engine control room & the bridge.
All in all, a very good experience on this cruise & itinerary. We would sail with Azamara again. Read Less
My partner and I took this cruise as a B2B with the previous cruise, Norwegian Fjords. This was our 5th Azamara Quest cruise and once again we had a wonderful experience with some sensational ports of call. We absolutely loved the ... Read More
My partner and I took this cruise as a B2B with the previous cruise, Norwegian Fjords. This was our 5th Azamara Quest cruise and once again we had a wonderful experience with some sensational ports of call. We absolutely loved the Norwegian Fjords cruise where we ported daily in different tiny locations surrounded by towering fjords but also we loved the experience of having 2 days in nearly all the ports on the Northern Europe Cruise.
We stay with Azamara Quest for several reasons, but by far the main one being the wonderful, friendly and professional crew.
Being our 5th cruise on this wonderful ship one may tend to become a little pedantic and note small failures of excellence. I only mention them here more for the attention of RCL management to ensure the Quest's high standards remain.
The main one that needs to be addressed is that over this B2B cruise and The Spice Route Cruise we took earlier this year we have noticed a worrying trend. Excellent and outstanding Quest crew are being siphoned off this ship and sent to the Azamara Journey and are being replaced with less professional crew from the Journey. To many regular Quest passengers we spoke to this would indicate that the Journey has service issues and expect the superior Quest crew to fix the Journey's crewing problems. RCL Corporate Relations will no doubt indicate otherwise but they need to hear the criticism at passenger level.
RCL must realise that if this trend continues Quest passenger enthusiasm for this ship's crew will wane and the Quest will lose it's major brand identifier, it's on board management and crew. A passenger drift to other cruise lines may be the result.
We missed Chef Monica's [sent to the Journey??] excellent taste sensations with her nightly themed buffets and as such the food on our B2B returned to bland. But the blandness could be company corporate policy due to the passenger demographic on these 2 cruises.
Also missing was the beloved Yasmin, Concierge extraordinaire [sent to the Journey no doubt?] who faced everyone's every day minor and seemingly major issues with radiance, a huge smile, and a solution. Please bring her back to the Quest RCL.
Something else RCL could address is the itinerary of the Quest. We understand there are many factors as to why, when and where a ship can port but attention needs to be paid to the port itself. This year we have experienced the Quest porting in Copenhagen on a Monday [called Blue Monday in the travel industry] when many attractions are shut, porting in Honfluer on a Tuesday when all museums are shut, porting in Penang on a public holiday [all shut], porting in Colombo on a national holy day [all shut] and porting in Muscat on a Friday where religious ceremony takes preference and as a result all attractions are also shut.
But on the other hand, whilst ported in Guernsey in the Channel Islands this cruise we had the mind blowing experience of having an air show, including wing walkers and the famous Red Arrows Aerobatic Team perform over and around the Quest. Now that was brilliant timing.
Finally we would love to see staff at the Land Discoveries and Loyalty and Sales desks be in attendance during their advertised times of operation plus to see the presentation of future cruises simplified so one can see both ships' annual itinerary in sequence so B2Bs are aligned.
As one can see these are not issues that would send us to the opposition but let's not see the standard of excellence on the Quest diminish. We have a B2B2B booked for January 2017 on the Quest and others in the pipeline that show that we at least can overcome the minor issues that RCL may need to address.
And finally to you Captain Jose thank you for your management of a brilliant experience and we are still feeling the effects of the ladle of ice down the back as we held the ceremony on board for the crossing into the Arctic Circle. An absolutely magnificent day and you were the perfect pirate on the occasion. Read Less
Food choices were not of my liking but sure for others it was great. I think too much seafood for sure being served in with pasta, also usually was served just luke warm. Entertainment not as good as usual. D-Day tour was not great ... Read More
Food choices were not of my liking but sure for others it was great. I think too much seafood for sure being served in with pasta, also usually was served just luke warm. Entertainment not as good as usual. D-Day tour was not great at all, terrible guide. Would have been nice if they would have arranged a D-Day tour for the 100 plus Canadians on Board. I think more thought has to be given towards things to do during the day on ship. Not just trivia. Maybe a little nice music around the pool. A better selection of drinks to be included also maybe do like Oceania and offer free specialty restaurants. Amazing evening was too short, too hot and not that great. Have seen much better in the past. Captain Jose always a pleasure to see as well as Russ and Phillip. Cabins have been renovated nicely. Still can't believe they didn't put glass doors on the showers with the refurbishment and why they were waiting to install the clothes lines in the showers I am not sure. Missed About Rose products the new products are just okay not 5* again cut backs I guess. Staff is the big plus on this ship. Very friendly and always willing to do what ever asked and with a smile. Our Cabins stewards were awesome and very attentive. Now about smoking: They did move to the opposite side of ship so not to have smoke going into the spa or gym. However, now the two luxury cabins have to smell the smoke when doors are left open. There really were not alot of smokers on this cruise and also in past cruises. So, why such a large area? Please consider not allowing cigars to be smoked. On this cruise there were 3 men who when they went for their smoke together one could not sit near the pool bar on the tables as the smoke and smell was aweful. I sure feel sorry for staff that has to put up with this day in and day out. Maybe move the smoking section up to 10th deck in covered area would be a good solution. Then everyone can enjoy the pool area. Just a thought. Fourth cruise with Azamara. Enjoy this small ship but would like to see some changes and improvements. Just my views. Still love Azamara. Read Less
The very best of everything with the most efficient service and varied menu of any cruise we've taken including viking river cruise. Perfect amount of passengers at 300, kind and attentive staff, free coffee, soft drinks, bottled water, ... Read More
The very best of everything with the most efficient service and varied menu of any cruise we've taken including viking river cruise. Perfect amount of passengers at 300, kind and attentive staff, free coffee, soft drinks, bottled water, wine and beer with dinner. The most attentive escorts at the different ports even movies and tv series in the cabin tv for down time. Heavenly beds and pillows. Fabulous food. Even the smorgasbord had an outstanding array from sea food appetizers, a different soup and individually made pasta every night, fabulous ice cream and gelotti including sugar free desserts.
PERFECT ARRANGEMENTS TO MEET OUR PLANE AND ESCORT US TO AND FROM SHIP WITH SPECIAL ATTENTION TO HAVING OUR LUGGAGE WHERE IT BELONGED
Our air connections got us in late and they had dinner and horsdoerves in our room waiting with a bottle of wine. ONE WORD TO SUM UP FABULOUS THEY THOUGHT OF EVERYTHING Read Less
The shore excursions are a rip off, we did a fishing trip where we never had a chance to even touch a fishing pole. Because they put 6 of us on a tiny boat and pulled names who ever got to go first fished until they caught a salmon. ... Read More
The shore excursions are a rip off, we did a fishing trip where we never had a chance to even touch a fishing pole. Because they put 6 of us on a tiny boat and pulled names who ever got to go first fished until they caught a salmon. Problem was only two people got a chance to fish they caught a on of other fish just not salmon. So 4 of us never were able to fish. Which it cost $290 a person for this Salmon fishing excursion. It took 4 days on the cruise to get them to get back to us and they only refunded half of our money for two adults. It didn't end there I received the worst massage at their spa I had to tell the woman 7 times to please not use so much pressure, there was an obvious lack of training. Also if you do not make reservations in the restraunts prior to the trip you will not get into the during the trip you have to eat at their open seating restraunt, every night. All the pre requests were not met. Other than house keeping and butler staff the cruise was horrible. I would never recommend Silverseas. They try and sell you stuff non stop. We are used to luxury hotels and the conditions were far from it. The first four days the water in the shower and tub smelled like waste water, it was putrid. I filled the bath and the water was brown... Not work $9900 for two people. The food is pretty much the same in all the restraunt severe night just slight changes. The quality was very poor, the wait staff I will say is very good. Read Less
Booked this cruise to celebrate a milestone birthday and because of the hype of the new Explorer. Reading the other reviews, I must say I found the same things lacking. By the fourth sail of the Explorer I thought many of the kinks would ... Read More
Booked this cruise to celebrate a milestone birthday and because of the hype of the new Explorer. Reading the other reviews, I must say I found the same things lacking. By the fourth sail of the Explorer I thought many of the kinks would be fixed.
The service levels were just not as crisp as previous experience with Regent. The entertainment was mediocre at best. The excursions were okay, but again, the tour guides not as good as previous experience with Regent. We found the food very good, however the service in trying to get wine was terrible compared to previously being greeted with the wine selections for the evening.
The suite was lovely but on the last day at sea the service disappeared. The trash wasn't emptied. The fruit was removed from the bowl ( really, they couldn't wait 12 hours?) The bed was turned down for the evening by 11AM. room service the morning of departure was rushed and no 5 minute notice that morning. I also found service more attentive when my husband was with me than when I was by myself. Especially at the coffee lounge on 5). It became a comedy of errors one afternoon trying to get a grilled chicken sandwich at the pool grille that finally arrived after a 40 minute wait .
the carpet is already showing wear, especially the beige stairs in the main staircase and the pink carpets. One of the large pictures on deck five had a substantial hole during the cruise. Also, the smells in certain hallways, I will also agree with previous reviews, could be nauseating. the dark wood is also showing numerous scuff marks and wear. The baseboards and corners are already gathering dust.
I agree with a previous review hats off to Spyder, Giorgio, and I will add Elena and Agus. Read Less
We chose this cruise because we are Regent fans, wanted to try the new ship, and were interested in the itinerary. We loved the new design of our cabin. The closet was a more workable shape, the bathroom huge, the drawer space beyond ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we are Regent fans, wanted to try the new ship, and were interested in the itinerary. We loved the new design of our cabin. The closet was a more workable shape, the bathroom huge, the drawer space beyond adequate, and the bed facing the sea delightful. The redistribution of restaurant space between the venues was a welcome change as was the variety of venues offering lunch.
Our disappointments, however, have made us question future cruising with Regent. In fact, this is the first time we have not reserved a future cruise (or option) while onboard. The staffing level seems greatly reduced. The bars were crowded before dinner yet there were only one or two servers available. As the waits exceeded twenty minutes before anyone appeared, people crowded the bar to place their own orders. This added stress to the already overburdened bartenders. The wait for waiters in Compass Rose, for tables to be cleared in La Veranda, and for a wine steward to appear in either venue, was equally long.
Finally, the Internet access was the worst we have experienced anywhere in the world. The sign-in procedure is archaic and needlessly complex. The long lines waiting for the Internet helper were a good illustration of the problem. He was surly and claimed there should be "three of him" on board. Once on line, the connection is dropped frequently necessitating one to go through the entire procedure again. For several days of the ten day cruise there was no internet service or phone service available at all - and we were never far from land.
We have often sailed with Regent for more than thirty days at a time, have advanced status with them, and are very worried that these problems are indicative of a lack of emphasis on customer service with the new management team. Read Less
This is the first time we have cruised on a ship bigger than 450 passengers – previously having sailed on the chic Club Med 2 (twice) and Regent’s Navigator (3 times). So we were apprehensive about upscaling but the draw of ... Read More
This is the first time we have cruised on a ship bigger than 450 passengers – previously having sailed on the chic Club Med 2 (twice) and Regent’s Navigator (3 times). So we were apprehensive about upscaling but the draw of cruising on ‘the most luxurious ship ever built’ was too tempting to avoid.
Is it the most luxurious? – we have not enough cruising experience to really say but Explorer is stylish, spacious, if a little ostentatious in places. Our suite (Penthouse 820) was beautiful with superb décor and an amazing wet room – the colour scheme and furnishings were lovely and the balcony was enormous. Even though this was Explorer’s 4th cruise since its inauguration some ‘snags’ still were not ironed out in our suite and, ship wide, we thought some fittings were a little flimsy and lightweight. However, it is a beautiful ship and we never felt crowded or rushed at any time. There was ample space on the sun decks for all those seeking sun or shade, though bar service to the upper pool deck was slow at times – except for Edwin, who was ever present and engaging.
As always, the staff make the ship and several staff we knew from our Navigator cruises were on board and, as ever, so welcoming. They reported that expectations of staff were even higher on Explorer but our experience was that the service was similar to that we had come to expect on the Navigator. Luxury comes in many forms – not just the fabric of the ship and, at times, we felt that some staff were lauding the fact that they were on ‘the most luxurious ship ever built’ and serving the passengers was a bit beneath them. This was particular so with staff at the Reception desk who, at times, were discourteous and unhelpful – we highlighted this on the mid cruise review and received a telephone call saying that this would be addressed and was work in progress. On a 6* ship this should never be ‘work in progress’. (NB a previous Cruise Critic review raised concerns over the Reception staff.)
Our favourite restaurants were the Compass Rose and Prime 7. We loved the décor in Compass Rose and the service was always very attentive, especially from Melbourne, Marvin, Vaughan and Kas. The pan-fried fois gras was phenomenal. Prime 7 is much brighter than on Navigator and the service was more slick and attentive. Oxana is the star – both in Prime 7 and around the ship. The petit fours were delicious. The speciality French restaurant, La Charteuse, did not really live up to expectations – we live in France, so booked our combined wedding anniversary/birthday celebration for La Chartreuse but on our arrival the Maitre d’ had forgotten the event and had not listened to our personal request regarding a table for 2 – even though we personally discussed this with him two days before. There was no ‘mise en bouche’ – in a 6* French restaurant!? and the various courses we tried were mediocre. The vivacious Rovie made our two visits to La Chartreuse particularly memorable – she was so engaging and hard working.
The Asian/Fusion restaurant, Pacific Rim’, was our least favourite – it was rather dark and the food was uninspiring. That said, we have not tried a lot of Asian Fusion cuisine and other passengers reported that the food was very good overall.
La Verandah is superb – the breakfast and lunch buffets are always interesting, colourful and contemporary. Eating out on the rear deck, either at sea or in port, was always a joy. Staff such as Olexsandra, Carol, Marylene and Marco were so welcoming and engaging. La Verandah converts in the evening to the Italian restaurant, Sette Mari, but we never ate here throughout the cruise.
We rarely missed the evening entertainment and the main dance group led by Amanda and Robin were excellent with their best show being the 60’s Tribute. Guest singer, Phil Browne, was simply outstanding bringing his tremendous experience and repertoire from the West End. As was Andrew Scrimshire – a talented cellist. Our favourite entertainment, however, was the Nature’s Rythmn Trio, who played in various bars/lounges throughout the cruise – they were so entertaining, versatile and talented. Their repertoire was phenomenal. The Cruise Director, Ray Solaire, in our view, was passed his best and we thought his various performances of comedy, singing and ventriloquism were cheesy, outdated and predictable.
The captain, known as Captain Stan, was excellent and always kept passengers informed of the ship’s progress in relation to the excellent cruise itinerary and weather. On a one to one basis, he was so engaging and ready to converse. This cannot be said for some members of his senior team, who rarely engaged with passengers and toured the ship with almost a scowl. Michala, in the boutique, was lovely and really showed interest in our cruise experience as well as promoting the products on sale.
Overall, we really enjoyed our cruise and, even at some rough moments in the Atlantic, the cruise on Explorer was always comfortable and smooth. We are really looking forward to our next cruise on Explorer in the Eastern Caribbean in late Feb 2017. We are great fans of the Regent Seven Seas brand and the ‘all inclusive’ package lives up to its name unequivocally. Read Less