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8 Regent Seven Seas Australia & New Zealand Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because if was from Sydney to Bali via Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns, Cooktown, Darwin, Komodo and Bali. The ship was impressive. Cabin was excellent. All balcony ship. Bathroom was spacious and kept in good clean ... Read More
We chose this cruise because if was from Sydney to Bali via Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns, Cooktown, Darwin, Komodo and Bali. The ship was impressive. Cabin was excellent. All balcony ship. Bathroom was spacious and kept in good clean condition with lovely L'Occitane toiletries. It was all inclusive and the ships complimentary tours were good except for Bali. Unfortunately due to heavy traffic in Bali the 5.5 hour tour extended to 6.5 hours and 5 of those were spent on the bus sitting mostly in traffic. The tours in Australia were excellent and very enjoyable. We found the food plentiful and mostly excellent. Lobster tails, sea scallops, prawns, fillet steak,etc,etc were always on offer so there was always good choices available. The downside for us was the outside back deck for the Le Verandah restaurant. Very small area and lack of staff here made for an extremely poor eating experience. There was virtually no service in this area. I feel that spare cutlery should be made readily available both indoors and outdoors because once they remove your plate with your cutlery you could spend hours waiting for fresh cutlery especially outside. This happened to us. Also the drink waiters were lacking in Le Verandah. The general waiters would pour you a water but never ask if you required a further drink and it was hard to get a wine or other at times in there. Compass Rose was lovely but the service was hit and miss mostly. Staff need better training. Prime 7 a lot of huff and puff over nothing. Food better in Compass Rose. Chartreuse similar. Menu unexciting and hardly French food in my opinion. Again very disappointing. We visited each once and that was more than enough. The coffee area on Deck 5 was lovely. Plenty of areas to sit quietly. Afternoon tea in Horizon Lounge was lovely. The pool deck BBQs at lunch were a bit underwhelming. The ship ran out of Baileys, tomato juice and celery amongst many other items before we hit Darwin. Really? Not good enough for the prices they are charging. It is a beautiful ship and all inclusive and we did enjoy it throughly however for the price of sailing on this ship they need to lift their game in food service. Would I sail again. Mostly definitely but only at a price I would consider fair and reasonable. I feel it beats Silverseas hands down despite the issues we had with service. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Background and Hotel information This cruise was rather a short one for us. We received an email from a travel agent with a fantastic sampler package flight to Auckland, transfers from airport and to port, a two-night stay at the ... Read More
Background and Hotel information This cruise was rather a short one for us. We received an email from a travel agent with a fantastic sampler package flight to Auckland, transfers from airport and to port, a two-night stay at the Sofitel, then embarking the Regent Seven Seas Voyager on day three. In our opinion this package was relatively good value and an opportunity to experience a 5 plus star luxury ship and a 5-star hotel in one package. We stayed overnight at Sydney airport (Travelodge) as I have previously mentioned in other reviews I repeat it is currently reasonably good value, recently built, clean, close to two parking stations, and close to Mascot Railway Station. We flew with Qantas to Auckland, one of our preferred airlines currently, seamless flight as per usual. We were picked up by a private vehicle as part of the package and transferred to the Sofitel, on a very hot day in Auckland; we were quite shocked how hot it was for the time of year. The hotel is located close to the canals and a 10-minute walk to the port. Really stylish hotel with the little extras that we found just embellishes the experience. Large rooms with quality inclusions throughout. We ate breakfast in the hotel cafe the next morning at a reasonable cost and the food was of good quality. Auckland appears now as a vibrant city with a waterfront now occupied by trendy somewhat quirky bars, cafes, and restaurants. Round the world sailing race competitors were in town and the waterfront was a buzz the first night and next day. We took the ferry over to Devonport a beautiful old suburb full of stately homes and a quaint village atmosphere. Worth the ferry trip, yes indeed. On day 3 we were taken to the ship by a coach along with about 10 other people who were also staying at the hotel. After arrival at the port our bags were taken to the ship from the coach and we were ushered into the terminal, filled out our forms, and took the escalator upstairs. We were seated with the other 150 people who were embarking for the Auckland to Sydney cruise and waited about 20 minutes prior to being asked to provide the usual details required to embark the ship. We were also provided each with a bottle of water whilst waiting, a nice touch we thought. On entering the vessel after clocking on with the card we were welcomed with a glass of bubbly, the ship is fully inclusive (yes premium alcohol is included) and a few smiling faces, including us! First impressions were extremely good, we were invited to look around the ship and have lunch in "La Veranda", bistro by day, Italian restaurant by night. Excellent variety of good quality food, hot and cold meats and seafood, also it includes a delicious gelato bar, with a large number of creamy treats. First night we had booked Prime 7, the speciality steak restaurant, we shared a table with two ladies from Australia. My wife and I both ordered and consumed melt in your mouth fillet mignon, delicious, I also had a small lobster (surf and turf) that was also very tasty. More information on eating venues and food later. We booked a Concierge room, and were delighted when we entered the room, it was huge, on the left HS upon entry existed a very large bathroom with a huge shower with a glass door, a bath, and gigantic marble vanity with L'Occitane bathroom products, my wife felt quite pampered. Next door on the left had side is a large walk in wardrobe where the large safe is also located and a large number of coat hangers. It also contained super soft bathrobes, an umbrella and a tote bag for us. Next was a separate bedroom with a nice firm bed, and firm pillows for great neck support while sleeping. The refrigerator was stacked with water, tonic water, soda water, lemonade and beer, no extra cost. On the large dressing table sat an Illy coffee making machine with coffee capsules, nice touch! The balcony was reasonably large with two comfortable chairs, and a medium sized table. Best room we have ever stayed in on any ship and even in top hotels, it rates near the top. In a word sumptuous! Ship information The RSS Voyager is a beautiful ship of approximately 45,000 tons, it has several restaurants, including two speciality ones, at no extra cost, however, book well in advance; with a concierge room, we were able to book months in advance. There were several public areas, a large lounge and balcony area at the rear of the ship, a reasonable sized theatre, and several other bars on various levels, pure luxury on this ship. The ship shows little sign of wear, it is in very good condition, and relatively easy to move around. It also has a cafe that serves reasonably good quality coffee and teas, an area where fresh food is available at all hours, and there are a large number of tables and chairs to be seated. Activities The activities were similar to most ships, with one exception. There were speakers from the United States, from a group known as Artful Travelers. The first speaker was the primary writer of the comedy series “Frasier”, he spoke of writing and launching the show for television, he showed humorous clips from the show. He described how the show was developed, interaction with the actors, and that Frasier actually sang the song at the introduction to the show. The writer was visibly moved when he discussed how the actor who played Frasier’s Dad had passed away recently, apparently the cast and crew on the whole became very close during the filming of the show over the years. There were clips of some very funny episodes over the years, the audience and us enjoyed the presentation immensely. We were also fortunate to be present when another person from show biz in the USA, also a writer and producer of documentaries, described in detail the life of Bob Hope. How he had interviewed Mr Hope’s daughter and many others in relation to his life, on and off the screen, how he gathered clips of his TV shows, his movies with Bing Crosby, and described his private life in some detail. He also showed clips of Bob Hope and other artists, led by Hope entertaining the US troops in WW2, Korea, and Vietnam. We watched a large part of the documentary on TV in our room a day later, excellent production. Bob Hope left some of his fortune to build Bob Hope centres for US troops, ex-service women and men at various major airports in the USA for them to relax, have a shower, and supply them with refreshments, these centres are still funded currently for them. Service Excellent service on this ship, as you would expect, the staff are allegedly the best available, and we were very happy with the service overall. Room stewards, female and male, kept the room very clean, were super-efficient, and nothing was too much trouble. We ordered a bottle of wine and spirits, we left the room for a few hours and returned to find same in our glass front cabinet, excellent. Bistro and restaurant staff were courteous and efficient, although at times in La Veranda seating was very hard to find. We ate outside at tables in the grill area, the temperature outside was mild and pleasant. One slight constructive criticism, one of the staff brought me a beer that was quite warm, excuse being the refrigerator was not working properly. I asked for a container with ice in it and placed the beer in it, 15 minutes later, all ok. Thanks to the young Russian lady all was saved, I did mention to her that they should place some beer in a large container with ice and that would suffice if cooling beer was a problem. She came back 20 minutes later and brought a cold beer out of the container full of beer she had arranged, I thanked her and said very well done, she will go far that young lady! The very next day we went out past the bar in the grill area and in sight of all on the bar sat a large container full of ice and various beers in the ice, very impressed. I am not a big beer drinker, my wife and I prefer a nice wine with our meals, and a good gin and tonic or two before dinner. Port & shore excursions Most shore excursions are included with Regent. We were only on the ship for 4 nights, the only excursion available was in Bay of Islands, we had previously been on this tour to the treaty grounds, however decided to go again, it was quite ok. Travel to embarkation port See background information above for remarks. Cabin As indicated above we had a concierge balcony cabin midship on deck 8. Cabin overall was in very good condition, bed was very comfortable, pillows firm for great neck support, large cabinets with glass doors, fully stocked bar, coffee maker, fruit. French champagne on arrival, was a nice touch indeed. Bathroom was huge, big bath, huge shower marble twin vanity unit, L’Occitane products. Huge walk in wardrobe, safe, sofa and large table with marble top in bedroom, medium sized balcony with quality chairs and medium size table. Huge elegant room with the “works”! Dining We ate breakfast in La Veranda every day, it was convenient and all the food was quality, eggs made order, and various hot and cold delicacies, juices, coffee and tea. We ate Lunch in La Veranda on day one, as mentioned previously the food quality and variety was very good. At night La Veranda become an Italian restaurant, service was good, food was of good quality and good variety of Italian specials, seafood, pasta, and veal dishes. We ate the veal scaloppini for main meal, there was too much salt in the sauce, which spoilt an otherwise good meal. Appetiser and dessert was very nice. We ate in Compass Rose for lunch on two days, delicious food, particularly the best quiche we have aver eaten on any ship, or any restaurant for that matter. We ate dinner in this restaurant on the third night, jumbo shrimp was superb, fillet mignon was also superb, however, lobster was not, it had been cut into pieces, was cold and unappetising. The surf and turf at Prime 7 on night one was far above in quality than the meals at LA Veranda Italian and Compass Rose restaurant dinner meals. The last night we ate at Chartreuse French restaurant, the food and décor lived up to expectations, an excellent dining experience, finished off with a delicious cheese plate and port! We consumed food from the grill on deck at sail away from Auckland, and Bay of Islands, hot and cold barbeque meats and snacks, very tasty with a nice red wine in hand. We also ate a burger and chips for a late lunch on the last day, as we were late into Sydney, we had very rough seas and arrived at 4.30 pm instead of 1.30 pm, we didn’t complain it allowed us to spend more time on board. Entertainment First night the Cruise Director sang a few songs and another female vocalist sang, it was fairly average. The guest entertainer was supposed to sing on night 3, however she was seas sick and could not appear. She also did not appear on our last night, she was very unwell. Disembarkation We were late into port, unfortunately we docked at White Bay cruise terminal, white elephant is more like it, passenger unfriendly area. Lucky we were late and Regent hired coaches to take us into Darling Harbour, we caught train from Wynyard station, changed at Central to go to Mascot to pick up our car and then home. Being docked at White Bay is a major hassle, it is unsuitable for boarding and disembarking ships, it is near no transport, buses or trains, just expensive taxis, however there only one or two taxis when we disembarked. Summary Fantastic experience, we most certainly would like to cruise with Regent Seven Seas again, all-inclusive means not worrying about onboard costs unless you want absolute top shelf wine and spirits, or private shore excursions, it is the whole package. Apart from a few items such as a few food items not up to standard, and disembarking at an unsuitable location, we loved the ship, the food, beautiful room, food, and great service. We will be looking for some special package deals again on a Regent Seven Seas vessel, magic experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Ports of call were good - not excellent! Why stop at locations that have nothing to offer? An example woud be Hilo, Hawaii. The destination personnel were not well trained. Priority guests were not treated like priorities! In most ... Read More
Ports of call were good - not excellent! Why stop at locations that have nothing to offer? An example woud be Hilo, Hawaii. The destination personnel were not well trained. Priority guests were not treated like priorities! In most situations - waitlist was an imaginary item. Basically I would say the ship personnel were very friendly and dedicated employees. Upper management needs to wake-up! Many people felt that this cruise was not up to par for RSSC. We suggested in our cruise comments that the 9:30 timing for entertainment shows was too late. Most passengers taking cruises over 30 days tend to be older because we are mostly retired and can spend that amount of time and money. Jamie did add several 5:30 shows which were excellent. The entertainment was not nearly as good as previous cruises. I would also have to add that the "country club casual" has really gone down hill. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We were on the Voyager cruise in January from Auckland to Singapore. Our cabin was on deck 7. We had 3 broken pipes on our deck and times of no hot water, no water and black water. The Voyager lounge was closed for 2 days for another ... Read More
We were on the Voyager cruise in January from Auckland to Singapore. Our cabin was on deck 7. We had 3 broken pipes on our deck and times of no hot water, no water and black water. The Voyager lounge was closed for 2 days for another broken pipe there. The library had buckets on the floor to catch water. The tours were of poor quality and poorly organized and frequently weren't available. Our cabin creaked badly and engineering put wood wedges all along the ceiling to help with the noise. Other passengers had the same problems. I could say things happen and leave it at that but when we wrote corporate of the problems they didn't care enough to respond. For the tours it seemed Regent was trying to get people to pay for tours when the free tours weren't available. On the positive side the new menu at Compass Rose is very nice. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was only our second cruise, our first being years ago on another small ship with Renaissance. We had a port-side balcony cabin that time and that was our main criteria when searching for a cruise this time. We had always wanted to ... Read More
This was only our second cruise, our first being years ago on another small ship with Renaissance. We had a port-side balcony cabin that time and that was our main criteria when searching for a cruise this time. We had always wanted to visit Australia and New Zealand and had originally booked on Oceania, when we found a similar cruise with Regent for virtually the same price, only with everything included in the cost. In pricing out the tours we wanted on Oceania (some as much as $300 per person), the potential cost of our alcoholic drinks, internet and gratuities, it was a no-brainer to switch to Regent and we are so glad we did. We felt spoiled from the moment we walked onboard, greeted at embarkation with a glass of champagne, our luggage waiting in our cabin, as well as a welcome tray with a bottle of Champagne, flowers and fruit. We could order two bottles of liquor for our cabin (I ordered more Champagne and Absolute vodka, which were delivered immediately.) On subsequent days, we could order wine by the glass from room service, at which point they asked "Do you want a bottle?" and from that day on a fresh bottle of wine appeared in our room. That, plus the fact we could order everything from aperitifs to wine to cocktails to after dinner drinks and suffice to say we were well taken care of. One of the main reasons we chose Oceania initially was its reputation for fine food. I certainly don't have any complaints about the Voyager on that score. Every lunch and dinner was like dining in the finest restaurant back home. You could order anything you wanted, as much as you wanted. One dinner, for example, I had fois gras sliders and tuna tartare as appetisers, beef wellington and butter poached lobster an an entree and grand marnier souffle with vanilla sauce for dessert. Each day there was a themed lunch on the pool deck: once it was an Australian buffet, including kangaroo and crocodile, and every type of barbeque. The next day was a seafood buffet, with local New Zealand green lip mussels, king crab legs, made-to-order Pad Thai, sushi, fish curry and paella. (OK, the paella wasn't very good - the seafood and sausage were way overdone.) We could order from the room service menu and did that for breakfast every day but one. I don't think the breakfasts were very good, probably because they were overwhelmed with having to prepare that many in a short amount of time. Everything was overdone - bagels were almost burnt, the french toast was so hard it bounced off the plate when we tried to cut it. Once we ate breakfast at La Veranda and the made to order cheese omelet was incorrectly prepared. He added the cheese to the eggs and stirred them, instead of melting the cheese inside the omelet. But those are quibbling complaints. In general, the food was so amazing, the first thing I wanted when we returned home was a plain burger! Our cabin was so beautiful, everyone who saw our photos exclaimed "That is your cabin on a ship???" A beautiful marble bathroom with a shower AND a bathtub. A walk-in-closet, extremely comfortable bed with as many pillow as we wanted, a lighted vanity and chair, a sitting area, desk, sofa, two chairs and a coffee table that was transformed into a dining table when room service used a tabletop which was stored in the closet. There were comfortable throws which we used to sit on the wicker-type furniture on the deck at night, binoculars in the cabinet, a flat screen TV and our own Illy Espresso maker. I could easily live in that space indefinitely. My only complaint was I couldn't blowdry my hair in the bathroom because there was no plug. I had to do my hair at the vanity next to the bed, which was hard to do sitting down and which disturbed my husband every morning. There must be some reason they don't put a hairdryer plug in the bathroom, but I don't know what it is. We spent three days with their pre-cruise package in Sydney (well worth the extra cost of only $399 per person) and one day post cruise on our own in Auckland. Our pre-cruise tours included a boat cruise of the harbor one day and a trip out of town to the Blue Mountains on the next. Our hotel was the Four Seasons, which was in an excellent location to walk to the Rocks, the bridge, the harbor and the Opera House. Our favorite restaurant (Jacksons on George St.) was right across the street from the hotel and we ate most of our dinners there. It is a reasonably priced Irish pub with fabulous pub fare, including wonderful lamb shanks and steak and kidney pie. We watched the Voyager come into port from our hotel window with great anticipation. At first, we had received word that we would not be able to board until 5pm that evening, due to a problem the ship had with people getting sick on the previous voyage. (It was only a small percentage - 2% I believe.) To compensate, the cruise line arranged a free lunch for the passengers at the Four Seasons. In the end we were able to board by 4pm. Then an announcement came from the captain informing us that because of high seas we would not be able to depart that evening as planned, but would stay in port until the next morning. It was a beautiful evening in Sydney and we had an amazing dinner on deck with a perfect view of the illuminated Opera House and shimmering water. I was in the computer room the next morning when I felt the ship moving. Speaking of the computer room, that was the only downside of the trip. I love photography and writing and was looking forward to chronicling our trip daily from our cabin or balcony on my blog. That proved to be impossible, since the internet was so slow as to be infuriating. It seems that is a common problem at sea. The person on the ship with the most thankless job, in my opinion, was Emily who was in charge of the computer room. She had to remain tactful and patient with every person who was irate at not being able to connect in their room, or even had problems in the computer lab. I heard her say the same things constantly to person after person every time I was in there. As part of our package we had received $750 in shipboard credits (some from the ship, some from our travel agent.) which could be spent on spa treatments, more expensive wines and spirits or at the gift shop. Everyone was scrambling on the last day trying to spend those credits. The jewelry was very expensive as was almost everything in the gift shop. I didn't want to spend $350 on a blouse! I was able to spend part of my credit splurging on a special event in the Observation Lounge: a champagne and caviar cocktail party. I love caviar, but wouldn't normally spend $105 for a little jar, (there there three different priced options, that being the most expensive) but I could do it guilt-free on this journey. While in the Observation lounge we were treated to a whale sighting. Once, during dinner, we spotted a pod of dolphins leaping out of the water next to the ship. We had many land tours to choose from and because we were in a deluxe suite, we were able to book our choices in advance of the lower classifications. We booked our tours on the first day we were able to do so and it is a good thing we did, because those choices sold out quickly and other people had to go with their second choices. I was happy with our choices. Many involved long-ish bus trips, but the countryside was so beautiful and I too many photos out of the bus window. We punted (a flat bottomed boat guided by handsome young men, like Venetian gondoliers) on the Avon River in Christchurch. We had a wild ride on 8 person Argo vehicles in Dunedin, seeing seals and a lone penguin emerging from the sea. We had tea at a sheep farm with a sheep herding demonstration at Pencarrow Lodge in Wellington. I took hundreds of photos of the incredible colors and sights at the Hot Springs and Thermal Baths in Rotorua. In the end, I had 1800 photos to edit and whittle down, which I liken to having to choose among favorite children. A special treat in Wellington was a completely unexpected opportunity to visit with an old friend we had not had contact with in almost 30 years. We happened to be in port and available at the same time as him. A resident of New Zealand, he had visited our area that many years ago and we had a short but sweet time together. As it happened, he was in town and available and picked up us at the ship. We spent the afternoon together and he drove us all over town, showing us Lord of the Rings studios, beachhouses Peter Jackson had built for the cast, up to a mountain lookout, and down to a lovely beach location where we had coffee and finally he took us to Parliament for a private tour (because he works there). His greeting and farewell to us was "Kia Ora" a lovely Maori phrase meaning "Be well/healthy", doubling for "Hi". The New Zealanders are among the friendliest in the world. As we were punting on the Avon, we witnessed picnickers teaching their little children to stand, smile and wave to us as we floated by. The night before the last day at sea I found myself getting teary during crew's farewell show in the two floor Constellation Theater. I felt such gratitude for the amazing experiences we had and the love and care we felt onboard. The choices we made, beginning with switching from Oceania to Regent, our choice of Australia and New Zealand, our choice of cabin, our choice of tours, were perfect and I wouldn't change one thing. My memories will stay alive for the rest of my life due to the many photos I took. If you would like to go on a virtual journey with us, they are located here: https://picasaweb.google.com/maggiwun/BucketListTripToAustraliaAndNewZealandJan2014?authuser=0&feat=directlink Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
This was our third Regent cruise with two more booked in 2013/14 so obviously we are fans (but not necessarily cheerleaders!). Overall it was a great way to spend Christmas letting someone else do all the work and as usual the cheerful ... Read More
This was our third Regent cruise with two more booked in 2013/14 so obviously we are fans (but not necessarily cheerleaders!). Overall it was a great way to spend Christmas letting someone else do all the work and as usual the cheerful and professional staff were absolutely terrific - with one exception I'll discuss later. The pre-cruise hotel, Bali Hyatt at Sanur, was fine for the couple of nights we stayed there but it's starting to look very tatty, especially the rather austere concrete accommodation blocks. Evening dining options were extremely limited and it took almost an hour to be served a simple meal in an almost deserted restaurant. Apparently the chef was "busy". Doing what!? The extensive hotel grounds and gardens are beautifully maintained and worth exploring. Transfer to the ship docked at nearby Benoa was quick and painless, as was actual embarkation. We didn't join the throng for lunch, preferring to find a quiet spot with a long, cold beer! Suites were ready at 1.30pm and our suitcases were waiting for us there. By now, we are very familiar with Voyager's layout and "look" and everything was as we expected although I have to say that despite the immaculately clean and freshly painted exteriors some of the carpets, decor and furnishings are starting to look rather tired and worn in places. Some fresh artwork in public areas wouldn't go amiss either. It all needs a bit of a "lift". The Christmas decorations were tastefully done throughout with some magnificent (real) gingerbread houses with all the trimmings placed strategically around the ship. The food was up to its usual high standard in Compass Rose and particularly good in Signatures. We didn't eat at Prime but heard glowing reports. Breakfast and lunch at La Veranda were good too but I remain unconvinced about the Sette Mari concept in the evenings. I also know I'm in the minority on this one so you'll have to give it a try and decide for yourselves! The wine choice was extensive, although we did have to work at tracking down an actual list, but disappointingly few Aussie and Kiwi wines. There was a major changeover of crew/staff in Bali and its fair to say things were a little hit and miss for a couple of days but they quickly got into the swing of things and everything was great after that. Our young Balinese cabin stewardess was lovely, if a little inexperienced, and any items we did have to remind her about, eg, fresh fruit were quickly replaced. The bed is blissfully comfortable but I missed a couple of firmer pillows which apparently weren't available. This cruise called at Exmouth, Geraldton and Perth in Western Australia and Kangaroo Island near Adelaide in South Australia and I have to say that with the exception of Perth none of these small towns are really geared for cruises. It's partly a question of geography but they also lack a lot of the infrastructure required for a sudden influx of visitors and in the case of Exmouth there isn't much to visit anyway! The Destinations staff did what they could with the very limited options available but it must have been a very disappointing introduction to Australia for first timers. NW Australia has some magnificent scenary but it's really only accessible by land or the very small "expedition" type ships that ply that coast. We had plenty of sea days (a big plus for us) and were blessed with blue skies and calm seas during our 3-day crossing of the notorious Great Australian Bight. Many other cruisers haven't been so lucky.... And speaking of the Destinations staff I have a bit of a whinge. Why do they always seem so indifferent. Do they put up this "barrier" as a defence against the barrage of complaints and other problems from "difficult" passengers? Before our arrival in Melbourne I was concerned to read their info sheet about the city, much of which was plain wrong, and some completely obsolete information about the public transport system here and how to use it. I explained to them that they risk the wrath of a lot of irate and frustrated passengers who might try to follow these incorrect instructions and was met with blank stares and shrugs. They just didn't seem concerned. They even admitted they knew the info sheet was wrong but sent it out anyway. Huh? The shop was a major disappointment and a huge missed opportunity for Regent. The range of items on offer was pretty dire with no "local" things like Aussie pearls, opals, etc and other special gifts for people to buy at Christmas. The H. Stern jewellery outlet stocked high and low end stuff but nothing to tempt us either way. We could have purchased a valuable collectors item at the Park West art auction but resisted the temptation. We don't usually see much of the live evening entertainment and this cruise was no exception so I can't comment on the offerings we missed but we heard some good reports, especially the violinist whose name I forget (sorry!). The Regent musicians, soloists and bands, were excellent, very good indeed. Our Cruise Director was Paul Reynolds who was usually dashing about the ship on his way to something important which meant he didn't have much time to stop and chat which was a pity. So, all in all we'd give this cruise 8/10 and we look forward to our Northern Inspirations cruise on Voyager in June. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
I think this cruise was about as good as it gets. Here are some specifics: -Our "penthouse suite" (category B) was very comfortable and we were impressed with the walk in closet. We upgraded a couple of weeks before the cruise ... Read More
I think this cruise was about as good as it gets. Here are some specifics: -Our "penthouse suite" (category B) was very comfortable and we were impressed with the walk in closet. We upgraded a couple of weeks before the cruise from a lower category because we were offered a half price deal. However, Our cabin was the same size as the lower categories and the only real difference was butler service. As far as I could tell, the butler's primary function was to bring us six shrimp every afternoon--very good but not work $15 each ($1500 for the upgrade for 15 days). -The ship was spotless, well maintained and had great facilities. Smoking was limited to very few areas and was not an issue (one reason we chose Regent over Silversea was because Silversea permits smoking throughout the ship and, based on my conversations with them, has no plans to change this outmoded policy). -The restaurants were excellent. Compass Rose, the main dining room, provided great service and excellent food despite the number of passengers being served. The speciality restaurants--Prime 7 and Signatures--would be considered excellent on land. There was no upcharge for the restaurants or for any dish on the menu, which was great. We also enjoyed the buffet lunch by the pool and the fact the it had a different theme every day. -Entertainment was variable, fair to excellent. The classical pianist was great. The singers and dancers were very good, although the lead male singer was frequently off key. The lead female singer was great. Some of the other entertainers--an electric guitarist and a flautist--were OK.-Ports and shore excursions: We enjoyed most of them. Things were well organized so there were not long lines for leaving the ship and boarding buses. Guides were excellent. Meals on shore excursions were surprisingly upscale, considering that we did not pay extra for the excursions. -People: Our fellow passengers were well behaved and extremely friendly. We met many new friends very easily. -Staff: Regent obviously trains its people to interact with customers very well. Every employee had a smile and a greeting in the hallway, the restaurant, etc. Many employees knew our names after the first day. Service in the restaurants was so good that we had difficulty adjusting to restaurants on land. We enjoyed the captain, who had a great sense of humor and seemed to enjoy interacting with passengers. -My only criticism pertains to pre cruise details. Our names, along with the names of many other passengers, were not on the transfer list when we arrived at the Auckland airport. Fortunately, this wasn't a big deal as they put us on a hotel bus anyway. At the hotel were given a welcome letter that made no sense (it had details on transfers back to Auckland airport when we were not going back to the airport and talked about a city tour on the day after the Voyager was due to depart with us on it. Turns out there was a city tour on another day which were were supposed to be invited to, but we were not and missed the tour. One of the Regent agents at our hotel in Auckland was very unpleasant, causing us to have a bad first impression of Regent. Fortunately, that changed when we boarded the ship. Finally, getting from the hotel to the ship was chaotic. We were told to be in the hotel lobby at 11 AM, so a big crowd assembled there. We waited nearly two hours for the bus to the ship and it was very unpleasant. We were provided with no information. It seemed unnecessary to make us stand around in a densely packed hotel lobby for this long. Looking at these criticisms in context, however, the positives far outweigh these few negatives. Overall,it was an excellent cruise and Regent did a great job. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
GETTING TO NZ: We flew to Auckland a week early on Air New Zealand using Regent's upgrade to Business Class for $999. It was worth every penny. Being able to sleep for nearly 8 hours was terrific. I tried and tried but could not find ... Read More
GETTING TO NZ: We flew to Auckland a week early on Air New Zealand using Regent's upgrade to Business Class for $999. It was worth every penny. Being able to sleep for nearly 8 hours was terrific. I tried and tried but could not find a better deal on the net.The business class seats are a bit tight on shoulder room if you are a big guy. We spent a week touring the wineries of the North Island (if you do this do not miss Lime Rock Wines in Central Hawke's Bay--best pinot noir of the trip) We spent the night before the cruise at the Hilton at the wharf. A bit pricey but the porters will take you luggage to the ship. We had dinner with 10 other Cruise Critic members the night before the cruise in White the upscale restaurant in the Hilton. Nice, very nice. EMBARCATION: Lousy but not Regent's fault. Everyone showed up around noon (instead of the listed 3pm time) and the NZ customs folks were understaffed and had computers not working properly. Spent over an hour in a room overfilled with fellow guests. Once on board it went smoothly. ON BOARD-lovely cabin (but smaller and not as well laid out as the Voyager.) Ronald, our cabin steward was the best we have ever had. Crew was very friendly and helpful. Food was always at least very good-often excellent. They would go out of their way to accommodate requests. Once I remarked to the head waiter that I loved Philippines food. He offered to have ponsit for me for lunch the next day--it was excellent. The entertainers were more than happy to sit and have a drink with you. I dined with the comedian and the violist. We got to know the Celebrity singers who were talented and friendly. If you were nice, the crew responded in kind.   My only complaint is about the pool. On the Voyage there is a staircase that leads into the water. On this ship there is only a vertical ladder with an extra large step at the top. For those of us with bad knees and/or ankles, it is quite difficult. The wine lecturer, a prof. from Cornell, was superb! Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
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