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13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We traveled on this cruise with another couple but also met some delightful passengers during the trip. Embarkation was quick and easy. Our suite was lovely and spacious (Explorer Suite) but not set up according to our pre cruise requests. ... Read More
We traveled on this cruise with another couple but also met some delightful passengers during the trip. Embarkation was quick and easy. Our suite was lovely and spacious (Explorer Suite) but not set up according to our pre cruise requests. The bar and bedding were totally wrong as they must have mixed us up with another passenger’s requests. This was our second cruise on the Explorer having sailed on her two years previously. Throughout the cruise, our cabin stewards kept our suite in immaculate condition. Always friendly and cheerful. Our butler was okay, always very rushed.Except for bringing us room service for breakfast and canapés at 5 pm, we didn’t see or hear from him (nor did we really need him for anything). Unfortunately, our shipped bags didn’t arrive in time to make the ship’s departure. However, Executive Concierge Jeff offered us free laundry, a small OBC and 25% off of Boutique purchases of clothing and sundries. We very much appreciated that gesture on the part of Regent. (Our Luggage arrived one week later when we docked in Port Elizabeth). Overall, the ship is a delight to behold especially over the holidays with gingerbread decorations and Christmas trees everywhere. I was surprised to see so few children on board during this time. Those who were appeared remarkably well behaved. The fitness center and spa are top notch and spacious. No problems with any services received (except for the exorbitant prices). But, hey, it is vacation. We had several ports cancelled due to weather so destination services were quite busy handling the changes. I have to say they did a great job doing so and always with a smile. We weren’t impressed with the cruise director. You rarely saw her in public spaces except when it called for her presence. She didn’t engage passengers unless she was approached. I thought it odd that when she spoke to an audience pre or post show or other venues, she never made eye contact with the audience. She just focused on the microphone. Maybe I am just spoiled by cruise directors like John Baron who is certainly the exact opposite. Some folks don’t care about CD but I am one who believes he/she sets the tone for the entire cruise. Very disappointing.. And, front desk staff, what can I say...some, not all,were.just awful. I can understand the repetitive nature of the job can be stressful but rudeness is not acceptable at any time. Entertainment was good. An entertaining comedian and magician made for enjoyable evenings. We wondered why Regent provides the same shows such as Revolution and Paradis. We saw the same shows two years ago. And, can we get some classical entertainment? Many passengers spoke of their desire to hear classical music. In fact, we were traveling with an internationally known classical pianist who was willing to give an impromptu presentation in the lounge, etc.but were told by the CD that the dreaded “Corporate’” doesn’t allow. Finally, food and beverage. Sommeliers were excellent and always willing to find something you liked if not pleased with the daily offering. But, wait service was a real problem. I could not believe the inconsistency of service between restaurants and within restaurants. For example, Pacific Rim provided outstanding service and food on the 3 times we dined there. So did Chartreuse. However, Prime 7 provided the absolute worst service at both lunch and dinner (5 times). They were the worst when we sailed two years ago. Sad to see it hasn’t changed. Now, Compass Rose, is where we have the problem as it will depends on who you receive as a waiter. As this was a full cruise one couldn’t always sit in the preferred waiter’s station. I suppose the variation can be expected but we are talking about waiters who had trouble using the IPads when taking orders and claiming that certain menu items weren’t available. The biggest issue and most egregious was how they handled a food allergy issue. (I noted food allergies pre cruise) I am deathly allergic to red wine. I ordered a veal dish (no red wine sauce described on the menu) and when brought to me I asked if the sauce contained red wine. The waiter didn’t know but went to the galley to ask. When he came back I was told “ no red wine is in the sauce..” Great, I proceeded to take several bites and about 5 minutes later the waiter came rushing back to say that the sauce DID have red wine in it. Totally unacceptable. Fortunately, I only ate a small amount but it was enough to make me ill for 24 hours. I was assured that they would not make the same mistake again. The food and beverage manager contacted me the next day to apologize but she was so focused on saying that they didn’t have the allergy in their system versus the fact that the waiter made the error as noted previously by telling me there was no red wine in the sauce. (Thanks to the aforementioned, I did get to visit the medical clinic who provided great care. And, finally, remember the gracious offer of the 25% discount in the boutiques due to delayed luggage. It was supposed to be reflected on my final statement, but it wasn’t. No time on the morning on disembarkation to deal with it so will try Regent corporate. So, all in all, although I have 4 cruises booked on Regent over the next two years, I am going to have to think about sailing with them a little bit more once I am able to reflect on my experience as time passes. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise the very first day it came out. We'd done North Africa and wanted to do South Africa with a pre-cruise safari. Regent did a fantastic job providing us with a Shamwari 5 Star game resort where we were so lucky to ... Read More
We chose this cruise the very first day it came out. We'd done North Africa and wanted to do South Africa with a pre-cruise safari. Regent did a fantastic job providing us with a Shamwari 5 Star game resort where we were so lucky to have seen and photographed a leopard and a white rhino at sunset against a setting sun. Our suite onboard was very convenient to the elevators and our cabin attendant was so attentive. The food was fantastic as well as the musicals. The weather however proved a bit of a disappointment as we had to forgo a port in Nambibia and Mozambique. Internet service was problematic and the food too salty. Salt shakers are on every table so why not use those? The only disappointment was the awlful air routing to and from Cape Town that resulted in 10+hours spent in Lufthansa's Frankfort's lounge going and coming. This was our third Regent cruise and the second one with Captain Serena who is an outstanding, vivacious captain. Spending Christmas, New Year's Eve and New Years Day was truly one of our most memorable cruises. The 1600 photos we took are indeed a photographer's dream come true. Read Less
90 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This cruise was entitled "Sumptuous Safaris" and had it not been for the pre cruise safari, which was the highlight of the trip, it would have been an absolute disaster. On embarkation we were asked for our "yellow fever ... Read More
This cruise was entitled "Sumptuous Safaris" and had it not been for the pre cruise safari, which was the highlight of the trip, it would have been an absolute disaster. On embarkation we were asked for our "yellow fever cards", which we didn't have and had not been requested to have by Regent. We were told that we should contact our GP and get copies emailed to us, and if we didn't we may not be able to get off the ship at some ports. Finally they said that we would be contacted by someone once on board. This never happened, so we never knew what the fuss was all about. The ship didn't sail on schedule apparently due to bad weather so we had an extra day in Cape Town, we were left to our own devices. When we retuned to the ship there was a letter offering a tour around Cape Town, somewhat too late as it had already left 2 hours previously. Due to the delayed departure and a further delay at East London we missed three out of the seven ports we were supposed to visit, therefore three of the seven booked tours were not available to us. When we eventually got on a tour in Namibia the bus broke down, and we were stranded in the desert for 2 hours only to return to the ship having missed this tour as well. Regent did however compensate us for this disaster with some significant 'on board' spend which was appreciated. We select these cruises primarily for the itenary therefore we are very disappointed when 50% of our tours were not achieved for one reason or another. This was our fourth cruise with Regent and we have always had a good experience up until this cruise, quite frankly I became fed up from hearing other passengers exclaiming the virtues of other so called 6 star cruise operators. Unfortunately things could have been managed better in difficult circumstances, ideally this cruise should have never taken place. The wrong location for the time of year. When you learn that the same cruise in 2015 experienced problems due to bad weather and that this cruise is not being offered in 2017 or 2018 then you wonder why it was offered to unsuspecting customers in 2016. Read Less
187 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We were going to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary and my wife's birthday. Also a bucket list item to africa. We were told and read that regent was the "gold standard" for cruise lines. The cost was over the top but ... Read More
We were going to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary and my wife's birthday. Also a bucket list item to africa. We were told and read that regent was the "gold standard" for cruise lines. The cost was over the top but decided to go based on above recommendations. First,confusion by shore staff on both transfers from embarkation hotel to ship and back to hotel at conclusion of sailing. Second, weather prevented sailing for 1 1/2 days. No back up plan by regent staff. Third, dining was slow and food often came to table barely warm. There was nothing very special with the food served at any time. Fourth, a total of three ports were not visited due to having to remaining in port due to weather. Again regent had no backup plan to compensate for lost ports. Fifth, little things like dirty windows going uncleaned throughout sailing, no air conditioning in a tour bus, and i could go on. Our expectations of a quality cruise were not met. Sixth, this was our first and now certainly the last time we sail with regent seven seas. Read Less
180 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
After two cruises on Seven Seas Navigator we are convinced that Regent are not so good as they think they are, and by no means offer 6 star luxury. On the positive side, the cabins, the selection of drinks, especially wine, afternoon ... Read More
After two cruises on Seven Seas Navigator we are convinced that Regent are not so good as they think they are, and by no means offer 6 star luxury. On the positive side, the cabins, the selection of drinks, especially wine, afternoon tea, and the putting green are all very good. The pianist was OK, but we warmed to her and enjoyed her quizzes. Highlight of the cruise was a concert given by a local choir in Namibia (who were then hustled off the ship so that it could sail!). On the other hand, in our view the following leave a lot to be desired: food quality; food service especially in the overcrowded and noisy Sette Mari/La Veranda ; drinks service at the overcrowded pool bar (best just to go to the bar itself and order it from the staff there who are very helpful); wine service in restaurants, especially after 9pm when most of the wine waiters disappear; some excursions (it appears not to be Regent's policy to send a member of the crew on each excursion to help resolve any problems); entertainment which, apart from being too loud, was of very mixed quality and very much attuned to an American audience - the pits was a concert by so-called 'Opera Girls' which included only two operatic items, one of them composed as a tenor solo. We heard many complaints on-board from other guests, and we had a major complaint about arrangements for a 'free' post-cruise safari, which were notified shortly before the event and were wholly unacceptable. The Destinations staff lied to us about the situation and then wanted to charge over $500 to remedy it. Suffice to say that after we complained Regent eventually paid us substantial compensation. And one further thing: after complaining about our first cruise with them in June 2016 we were told that the on-board General Manager would be asked to ensure the quality of our (already booked) next one. We did not notice any impact of this promise, and indeed had no contact whatsoever from him for nearly two weeks on that second cruise until we complained about the post-cruise safari. Overall they need to improve their self awareness, rather then believing their own publicity, and learn more about customer service. We would not sail with them again. Read Less
88 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We have been on Regent before and expected to spend our 30th Wedding Anniversary and retirement celebration seeing Africa in style. Couldn't have been more disappointed!! Missed ports due to weather we were never warned about, rough ... Read More
We have been on Regent before and expected to spend our 30th Wedding Anniversary and retirement celebration seeing Africa in style. Couldn't have been more disappointed!! Missed ports due to weather we were never warned about, rough seas, too many sea days, mediocre food, very expensive and too many rude staff members, made this the cruise from hell! The cabins are nice, Prime 7 is good but you can't get in very often and as mentioned in other reviews, going to other restaurants can be overcrowded with slow service. After our return we tried to get some compensation from the cruise line and they offered $500 per person on our next cruise! I was hoping they would do something to make me want to cruise with them again, but no such luck! There are too many high-end luxury cruise lines that care about your business. This is not one of them, so find another cruise line to spend your hard-earned money on! Read Less
133 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
The Navigator reminds me of an aging movie star - still very lovely, but showing her age in places and finding it very difficult to compete with some of the younger offerings despite extensive cosmetic refurbishment. We were a group of ... Read More
The Navigator reminds me of an aging movie star - still very lovely, but showing her age in places and finding it very difficult to compete with some of the younger offerings despite extensive cosmetic refurbishment. We were a group of 10 ranging in age from 59-72, and all have cruised before. We generally cruise with Oceania. Our satisfaction with Oceania's offerings factored in our decision to book with Regent, which was described as the next level up in the NCL firmament. The main consideration was the African itinerary - voyaging from Cape Town to Cape Town over 15 days. A 3 day safari was offered as a 'booking bonus,' and that part of our trip exceeded all expectations. We stayed at the magical Eagles Crag Lodge in the Shamwari Game Reserve, and would rate that experience as flawless. THE GOOD: The ship has recently been refurbished. We found our cabin to be quite nice, although despite the new bedding and curtains you could not camouflage the fact that it had been around the block (world) many times. The staff on board tried harder to please us than any others I have ever seen. Having said that, they seemed to have a great deal of difficulty in getting our dinner orders straight, perhaps because we typically chose to sit at a table for 10. The food was very good, and dinners could be customized (although they didn't always manage to get the requests right.) The wines served were good, and flowed without interruption. Staff remembered what you liked, and would go out of their way to have the perfect drink arrive even before you had a chance to order! The performers were encouraged to interact with the guests, and we had shared dinners with some of them. The nightly shows were surprisingly very good, particularly given the small size of the ship. THE BAD: At dinner time there is really only just enough capacity to seat everyone simultaneously. Although without set seating times, in our experience dining was always a multi-hour event so that tables did not turn over. Compass Rose and Sete Mare were therefore invariably completely full all night, and hence very noisy. The poor wait staff ran around madly trying to accommodate serving so many meals in a completely full space. I did not care for Sete Mare at all. It had a 'cafeteria' like feel, in my opinion, and the acoustics were such that we found it impossible to have a reasonable conversation in that venue. I found the food there to be inferior to what was served elsewhere on board. I must admit that I missed the multiple specialty restaurants we have so enjoyed when onboard the Oceania Marina or Riviera. Although the Compass Rose menu offers a couple of choices that change every day, overall there is a sameness to the (generally excellent) food. I like to enjoy more variety in eating-Asian Fusion one night, French the next etc. There is also no quick/ casual venue available for dinner. Lunches in the Compass Rose were excellent, much less so poolside or at la Veranda. Overall, the quality and choice at lunch was disappointing. We like to book our own ( private) excursions, so the offerings here, especially since we missed all of the best ones, were very poor. I won't give up control of what I want to do in port to a cruise line again. THE UGLY: Regent includes excursions in their cruise cost. We missed fully 40% of our scheduled ports because of inclement weather, obviously with the loss of the booked excursions at these sites. While Regent is not in control of the weather, they also did a very poor job informing the guests of the problems. No compensation was offered for the missed experiences. Regent advertises that you can do as many excursions as you would like. The tours are strategically timed so that it is impossible to do more than one per day. Anything remotely interesting requires an uncharge, which is as much as you would pay for the tour in total if you were arranging it yourself. The ship careers to a VERY OLD clientele. A 70 year old member of our group observed that the music regularly played onboard ship was what his parents used to listen to. Staff told us that our cruise was on average significantly younger in age than Regent's usual - (!) our group doesn't often feel like the young people! It was virtually impossible to have music in the bars etc. updated. Despite pleading with the cruise director, we were unable to change any of the selections - disregarding the fact that the dance floor was completely packed when Beatles tunes were played (the absolutely most modern out-there rock and roll ever to be heard on this ship,) the cha-cha continued with no one up dancing. I fully understand that there is a range of ages on board, and that all tastes should be accommodated. However, if it was recorded after 1950, you might not get to hear it on board this ship. Shouldn't those of us under 80 should get our turn too? Read Less
90 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This was our 1st cruise with Regent Seven Seas on m/v Navigator and we were looking forward to an excellent time and service as it is classed as a 6* ship. The ship was luxurious, a very good suite with top class bedding. The staff ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise with Regent Seven Seas on m/v Navigator and we were looking forward to an excellent time and service as it is classed as a 6* ship. The ship was luxurious, a very good suite with top class bedding. The staff kept the suite to an extremely high standard. The food in the Compass Rose restaurant was also excellent, however, their Prime 7 flagship restaurant was nowhere near the standard we have experienced in the Murano restaurants on Celebrity's ships. The La Veranda was alright for lunch but for breakfast it was a problem if you required any form of eggs other than scrambled. On one occasion I waited 15 minutes for 2 fried eggs, then for 10 minutes later in the cruise and had to get fresh bacon and sausages one day because they had gone cold prior to arrival of the eggs. On one occasion they forgot about the poached eggs my wife ordered from the kitchen. This problem was because there was only one person detailed to fry eggs and create omelettes in a very busy restaurant. In the evening the La Veranda became the Italian themed Sette Mari and was good. However, the service for dinner in both Prime 7 and the Compass Rose was nowhere near 6* standard. We experienced a thumb in a coffee cup, sauce along the edge of the plate, entree cutlery being placed on the table whilst we were still eating the appetizers and being reached across whilst eating to remove wine glasses that would not be used. We raised some of these points the first night in Prime 7, and the Maitre D said it would be addressed. Prior to the cruise we received an e-mail from RSSC saying that a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate or exemption certificate was required to board the ship. I contacted RSSC to inform them that the cruise itinerary of countries to be visited only required it if you had either been in a country recently that had Yellow Fever or you had transited through one of these countries for more than 12 hours. They still insisted on having the vaccination or exemption certificate. On-board we discovered several guests had not had the vaccination because they were categorically told by their vaccination centres it was not required, and as it was a 'live' vaccine the side effects could affect some people badly as my wife experienced. After several conversations with Reception staff, who initially informed us that the certificates were required by the port authorities, they eventually conceded that vaccination certificates might not have been required but stated that they were in daily contact with port authority health officials and the requirement changed daily. Unfortunately, this again was misinformation as confirmed by the South African government website and relevant port authority websites. We experienced very high winds during the cruise and missed out on 3 of the 8 ports-of-call as we were over 38 hours late leaving Cape Town and about 20 hours late leaving East London leading to a revised time table. On leaving East London, after waiting some time for clearance to leave, many guests were on the sun decks and shortly after leaving the harbour the ship was hit by high winds and a very considerable swell. Guests just had time to get off the sun deck before someone got injured. Sunbeds were careering across the deck, plates crashing in La Veranda and bottles smashing on the floor of the Galileo lounge. The Captain should have known about the weather conditions but made no announcement before leaving the port. However, he did broadcast shortly after that the bad weather and rough conditions would continue for about 3 hours before easing off. Several guests were concerned and extremely worried and fearful about the severe conditions, some felt it was foolhardy to have left port. The reason for leaving in these conditions was probably to ensure we went to Namibia as it is a requirement for a ship to visit at least 2 countries be classed as a 'cruise liner'. The shore excursions were generally alright except for one around Durban. We had arrived there early due to the amended timetable and the tour we did passed through a lot of building sites. We were only allowed 10 minutes off the coach on the 3 hour tour and the stop at an over-Durban viewpoint there were used hypodermic needles in the grass. We asked the tour staff if they had been on the tour, they had not. We, and several other guests, asked if a rebate would be given for the missed excursions at the missed 3 ports-of call, however, we were told no rebate would be offered as they were 'free'. I contacted Regent’s CEO by email regarding this and he did not mention or address this in his reply! It certainly gave the impression that the cruise company's view on profits outweighed guest satisfaction as they probably saved considerable money as I am sure they would not have paid the full amount for them, if anything at all. We are still waiting a response to our request from Guest Relations. A few guests we met had sailed with Regent on numerous occasions, some on the Navigator, and we asked if this was the standard of service they had experienced in the past. All said it had gone 'downhill' considerably. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is now part of Norwegian Cruise Lines. Although the weather conditions were not ideal, overall the service in our opinion was not up to 6* standard. Hopefully this was a 'one-off' and our next cruise with Regent will be 6*. Read Less
183 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Starting with a chaotic transfer from hotel to ship, this cruise was destined to disappoint with nonexistent shore support following hospitalisation resulting from an allergic reaction to a ship-provided meal and cancelled ports of call (3 ... Read More
Starting with a chaotic transfer from hotel to ship, this cruise was destined to disappoint with nonexistent shore support following hospitalisation resulting from an allergic reaction to a ship-provided meal and cancelled ports of call (3 of 7) said to result from the ship being prevented from leaving ports - including the first port of departure - due to adverse weather! Restaurant dining was often 'drawn out' such that later courses were either rushed or cut short to enable us to attend a chosen 'show.' On board entertainment and/or sea day activities were generally poor and not consistent with what might reasonably be expected of a so-called 6 Star operator and many other 'finesse' points associated with luxury cruising (e.g. cleansing towels and drinks on returning on board from excursions, cabin-provided canapés ) were missing. We encountered a distinctly apathetic tone and lethargic response to criticisms and requests for improvement, ultimately resulting in advice that all such matters should be addressed to their customer relations department on return home. If Regent think that 6star cruising means all-inclusive 'free' on board drinks and gratuities they need to review their organisation and look at at others who really are 6 star. We had high expectations of this high cost cruise only to be HIGHLY disappointed. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We have so far cruised with Regent Seven Seas 128 days in total, round South America (highly recommended), from Bali, from Cape Town. After having done two world cruises with different cruise lines, as well as numerous shorter voyages ... Read More
We have so far cruised with Regent Seven Seas 128 days in total, round South America (highly recommended), from Bali, from Cape Town. After having done two world cruises with different cruise lines, as well as numerous shorter voyages in various places, we decided the RSSC is the only cruise line for us, for many reasons. Luxury, yes, but also good value: you pay well in advance but then there are no more hidden costs, no extras, once you are on board everything is there for the asking. You can choose your shore excursions (free and never disappointing) well ahead of the crowds, the specialty restaurants (no extra charge), superb ships, more spacious standard cabins than high-end suites on other cruise ships, all with balconies, amazing bathrooms, and crew, being pampered without worrying about tipping..... Knowing that the staff are not exploited adds to a guilt-fee enjoyment. Anybody who has experienced waiting in long queues in the port of embarkation will agree that it detracts from true enjoyment. What Regent excel at is making you feel cared for. The pre- and post-cruise hotels are good and everything is well organised. It is truly fully inclusive and we love everything about Regent Seven Seas. Read Less
67 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
The reason for choosing the Regent Safaris and Jewels cruise was its post-cruise trip to Cambodia. There are many other cruise lines that offer a similar trip to Africa and Asia, but the deciding factor was the post-cruise trip to ... Read More
The reason for choosing the Regent Safaris and Jewels cruise was its post-cruise trip to Cambodia. There are many other cruise lines that offer a similar trip to Africa and Asia, but the deciding factor was the post-cruise trip to Cambodia. We followed all the “travel checklist” instructions in Regent's “Cruise Vacation Document” and “Angkor Wat Document” sent to us by Regent before the cruise, specifically the “passports” section. Regent's instructions for required documentation said..."Guest must carry a valid passport with at least 6 months validity and have spare pages for the Cambodian Visa." We made sure that we would have enough pages in our passports for visa stamps for Indonesia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, and Cambodia, as directed by Regent. What Regent should have said was each country visited will stamp your passport and insert a Visa where appropriate. We have been on many other multi-port cruises where the passport was not stamped in every port, just the appropriate Visa attached. This is a BIG difference. If I'd known this was going to be handled differently from previous cruises, I would have gotten a new passport, even though my current one doesn't expire until November 2016, just to make sure that there were enough pages. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the Singapore airport to board our plane to Cambodia, I was denied a boarding pass because there were no more “acceptable” pages in my passport for the Cambodian visa. Since my passport was held by Regent for the entire trip and was not released to me until the evening before we arrived in Singapore, I had no idea that I could not receive a Cambodian visa. There were still two empty pages left in my passport but these were deemed unacceptable for the Cambodian visa. If I had known before we got to the airport, I could have easily rectified the problem by going to the American Embassy. They would have given me acceptable visa pages for my passport. We certainly had plenty of time since, unbelievably, it took an hour and a half just to board our sightseeing bus at the dock. Then, there was another couple of hours of sightseeing in Singapore before getting to the airport. I hold Regent totally responsible for our not going to Cambodia. There were possibly just a hundred passengers going to Cambodia. How much time would it have taken for the Regent staff to go through these passports to ensure that there was an acceptable page for the Cambodian visa? Not much and it would have averted a very big problem for us. From the moment we boarded the ship to the minute we left, Regent personnel, especially the Destination Services staff, were misinformed, miscommunicated, and lacked customer care reflective of a “luxury/upper premium” cruise line. We followed all their instructions and, mostly, they were incomplete or just wrong. Even the Angkor Wat trip details they issued two days before the trip were wrong. This caused a great deal of confusion and the Destination Services staff, when questioned by most of the Post-Cruise Passengers, did not know what the right details were. In fact, I pointed this out to the General Manager but I never heard back from him nor were the trip details corrected. Since I could not get a boarding pass, my sister and I were forced to stay behind in Singapore, which meant booking another two nights at the Regent Hotel since we were not flying home until the post-cruise passengers returned from Cambodia. I followed everything Regent told me to do. Regent’s instructions were inaccurate and incomplete and I got penalized. This promised tour to Cambodia (which was paid for as part of the trip) was the reason we booked this cruise with Regent. We were looking forward to Cambodia and to be told at airport check-in that there was a problem with my passport was just too much. Here are a few other examples of Regent's incompetency and complacency: •Unnecessary Vaccination Information: Per Regent’s instructions, it was mandatory that we get a yellow fever shot. We got the shot but it was totally unnecessary. •Unwelcoming Arrival On Board: Regent could not get our names right on the reservation or on arrival. We are two sisters traveling together with the same last name. My sister is not a Mr. and I am not a Mrs. Our bathroom was set up with toiletries for a man and woman. The slippers were a large and a small. The personalized stationary had someone else’s name printed on it. All of this was very insulting and not indicative of either a warm welcome or personalized service, as promised. We were asked to fill out a beverage form prior to boarding re: in-suite beverage preferences and this form was completely ignored. The bathroom was dirty when we arrived, with dental floss on the floor. After boarding the ship, we had a couple of hours before the fire drill so we decided to walk to the Capetown Victoria Wharf. We were told to use the Regent shuttle bus. We were assured that we would be returned in time for the fire drill. We returned at the designated time but were not allowed back on the ship for an hour. There were other passengers with us who were also detained in the terminal, having been given the same instructions for returning to the ship. We all watched the fire drill from the terminal, which started at 5:45 PM, a good half hour after we arrived at the terminal. We did what we were told by Regent security people and were treated like delinquents and were penalized for following Regent’s instructions. •Lack Of Variety and Poor Quality Food At La Veranda: As health conscious individuals, we had an extremely hard time finding any kind of variety of simple, healthy food to eat (aside from breakfast) in La Veranda. Moreover, the food itself was obviously recycled day after day. Several times, there was “grilled fish” which seemed to have been cooked, re-cooked and then cooked again. Some of the fruits and vegetables should not have been served since they were inedible. On tour days, La Veranda was the only option for lunch since Compass Rose closed most times when tours returned to the ship. The Pool Grill’s vegetarian grill options were inedible, no matter what we ordered. They always tasted of rancid oil. •Inaccurate Tour Descriptions/Instructions: We bought supplies for tours, as directed by Regent, which were unnecessary. For example, for the Sabang, we were directed to bring the following supplies: “sunglasses with head strap; sunscreen; insect repellant; rain poncho; a bottle of water from the ship; leech-proof socks; and flat, comfortable walking shoes. Most vehicles here do not have air conditioning.” None of the supplies were needed including the leech socks we actually purchased. When we asked Destination Services about this, they just nonchalantly said these supplies were not needed. An accurate description before the cruise start would have been appreciated and we would have avoided some unnecessary expenses as well as the time spent finding these supplies. Also, the tour we took was mostly a ride in an air-conditioned car, not as described (which we appreciated). •Disembarkation Was A Nightmare: Total chaos. We received instructions the night before of when to report to the Constellation Theatre. When we got there, there was a line that nobody understood. Turned out, every passenger had to check out via this line, information that was not contained in the instructions we received. With one Destination Services person going through the passenger lists, this was totally inefficient. Again, Destinations Service people were not only inefficient but totally rude when asked about the reason for this procedure. Normally, swiping one’s key card on the way off the ship is enough. When we were released from the ship to meet the rest of our Post-Cruise travelers, we waited an hour and a half on the curb for our Singapore tour bus to arrive. It was total chaos, with the Destination Services Director generally standing around and doing nothing to alleviate the problem. When it was suggested that the Destination Services Director, Dagmara, apologize to the passengers, she told us that she was “very busy”. Finally, one of the Destination Services staff came on board our bus with a half-hearted apology that nobody appreciated. •Don't Even Try To Reach Regent Customer Service Via Phone. It is a recorded message suggesting that they only respond to e-mails. Just another indication about how Regent feels about its customers. Lastly, suggesting the fish rots from the head, letters to the CEO and President of Regent have gone unanswered. I guess no one at Regent cares about their customers. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This was our third cruise on the Mariner, our second relocation crossing, and our first since the last refurbishment. Overall, we were highly impressed by the condition of the ship. The food was consistently excellent. Service levels were ... Read More
This was our third cruise on the Mariner, our second relocation crossing, and our first since the last refurbishment. Overall, we were highly impressed by the condition of the ship. The food was consistently excellent. Service levels were also extraordinary, and even a notch above past cruises. The staff was consistently friendly and helpful. One word of advice to would-be first time Regent cruisers. Do your research. There are no wave pools, climbing walls, trampolines, or ice bars on the Mariner. The clientele is decidedly older than average. The favourite activities seem to be bridge, tea time, and trivia contests. At times the ship seems as much a floating luxury retirement home as it is a floating luxury resort. The pace is generally slow; the evenings end relatively early. This is absolutely perfect for us; it may not be perfect for you. This itinerary was particularly heavy with sea days. Again, this is what we look for and enjoy, but if you want to hit a different port every day and seek out excursions, you might not have enjoyed this cruise as much as other itineraries. Cruise Director Jamie Logan did a great job hosting and organizing events and communicating information to the passengers. We stayed in a Seven Seas Aft stateroom for the first time instead of our usual Horizons View, and we fear the spacious and tasteful surroundings, and especially the expansive deck, might have ruined other choices for us in the future! The butler and stewards provided unparalleled service throughout. As part of this cruise, Regent offered a pre-cruise safari option at several game reserves in South Africa. We stayed at the Botlierkop Game Reserve near Mossel Bay in the Western Cape region. This was an unexpected highlight of the whole trip. Excellent food and accommodations (in an air-conditioned a luxury-appointed tent away from the main lodge), knowledgeable and friendly guides, and an up close chance to see many animals in the wild. We were fortunate to see African elephants, giraffes, rhinos, impalas and black impalas, lions, eland, nyala, wildebeest, water-buck, bontebok, Cape buffalo, springbok, crested guinea fowl, blue crane, jackal buzzards, Cape zebras, and many types of indigenous plants and insects. It was a busy and magical few days, and we’d love to go back and do it again. We only have a few small quibbles with this cruise, as explained below, but none of these things detracted from our overall extremely positive and enjoyable experience. We will continue to sail on the always-excellent Mariner! Some people we spoke to felt that some of the excursions were not adequately explained by Destination Services and, as is the custom with Regent, included some long bus rides to places where short stops occurred. My wife, in particular, did not enjoy an excursion to Swakopmund on a Sunday, because many attractions were closed that day. Destination Services came in for some criticism because of this. That said, some of the things we heard from other passengers, either directly or through ship scuttlebutt, in the nature about complaints concerning the lack of attractions and services in Namibia, suggested that these folks did not do much of a job researching their itinerary before embarking on the cruise. It is the rural west African desert, people! There is not much here, and what is here is always far from everything else. What did you reasonably expect? Soon after we left Namibia rumours began to swirl about the presence of several single male passengers, apparently paying guests, who were employed by jewellery stores in Rio, and who were approaching other passengers to sell them jewellery and tours in Rio. This is apparently against Regent policy, but as they were paying guests it seemed little was done to curtail this activity. Let me stress, we heard about this from others and did not experience it directly. One final matter deserves attention. We had to miss our stop at Saint Helena due to a mid-Atlantic medical emergency that required the Captain to get a critically-ill passenger to hospital. Rather than turn back to Namibia or even Cape Town, he chose instead to increase speed and make haste for Rio de Janeiro. All aboard were disappointed in missing Saint Helena, and some passengers even claimed that this port was the sole reason they took this trip. Some of the more cynical passengers even speculated about the real reasons for speeding to Rio, to the point that the Cruise Director had to explain publicly that the extra fuel costs and dockage fees to get the passenger to hospital in Rio was costing Regent upwards of $175,000 USD. This is the second time we have experienced the Mariner having to change schedule to address the needs of an ill passenger. In both cases we believe the Captain and crew acted professionally and responsibly with the best interest of the passenger in mind. We were totally comfortable with the actions taken by the Captain and crew in this difficult situation. We fully enjoyed this cruise on the Mariner and look forward to visiting her again soon. Read Less
123 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We did our very first cruise on Regent when it was known as Radisson. We did about 7 cruises with them and loved every minute of every cruise. It has been 5 years since we have sailed on the Mariner, and unfortunately, we have to say it ... Read More
We did our very first cruise on Regent when it was known as Radisson. We did about 7 cruises with them and loved every minute of every cruise. It has been 5 years since we have sailed on the Mariner, and unfortunately, we have to say it just wasn't the same. The cabin was beautiful and the ship and most of the staff great. However, it was sort of obvious that they are cutting some corners. As people who work out, we went to the gym. Some of the machines were not working and we were told some hadn't been working since April! We asked about it and were told "it is out of our control." Who is responsible to see that the equipment is maintained? The televisions on the machines for the most part were not working. If you do an hour workout, all you have left to look at is a wall - - no ocean views or anything. By the end of our cruise there was only one treadmill in operation. On our previous cruises, after eating at the Compass Rose or any of the specialty restaurants, we would rave about the food for hours. Not this time. We would give the food a generous B minus. The bread was awful. The lamb had no flavor, and we ate most often at the Italian restaurant which was quite good. Little things were missing, like freshly ground pepper. The wait staff seemed overworked - - too many tables per waiter and the service was a lot slower than we remembered. It was hard to get anyone's attention if you had a problem with your order. The best dinners we had were at Setti Mare. We were disappointed in Signatures. There were little things missing - - I love to soak in the tub on cruises, and Oceania has different bath salts you can add to the water. There was nothing on Regent and they are supposed to be a "luxury" line. My husband likes blueberries on his cereal in the morning, and when he asked if there were any, he was told yes, but they don't put them out because people will eat them. ????????? The shore excursions were somewhat disorganized. For example, on one, they didn't tell us that the bus we were on was more of a shuttle bus and many people panicked when the bus left and they ended up paying for taxis to get back to the ship. Others left their jackets and bags on the bus thinking that the bus would be the one to transport us back to the ship. The captain, Teo Srdlic, was fabulous. He was one of those captains you see everywhere on the ship, always stopping to talk to the passengers. He was a delightful man. Also, the cruise director, Jamie Logan and his assistant CD, Dana, were wonderful. The entertainment was also quite good. There was a pre-cruise safari as part of the cruise and that was absolutely one of the best experiences we ever had. The accomodations, flight arrangements and transportation was done efficiently and easily. On disembarkation, we were transported to a "hospitality room" where we were told there would be food and drink. There were about 300 people using this room. The first bus there got some food and coffee, but once that was gone, there was no more. I asked about it and was told by the hotel staff that the cruise line had not authorized any more. From Rio where most flights leave late at night, this meant about 6-10 hours at the hotel with nothing but a small bottle of water. In the past when we have stayed at hospitality rooms, there was food, sandwiches, danishes, coffee, soft drinks, and sometimes Radisson/Regent gave you a day room. This is not what we were expecting and we, along with the other 290 people were very unhappy. We flew from Rio to Atlanta and we got caught in the storm that hit the south. Our flight was canceled, and I called the Regent emergency air hotline for help in getting home for Christmas day. I was told there was nothing they could do. I don't know why they even bother listing an emergency hotline number if nobody would help. While most of the staff was pleasant and helpful, there were a few exceptions where people were downright rude. On one excursion where we had a Regent crew member with us, everyone in our jeep was miserable and we all wanted to go back to the ship. The Regent crew member said, "Well, this is not your personal excursion and I want to be here." Excuse me. We paid for this cruise, you did not, and it is your responsibility to see that the passengers were happy and the 8 of us were miserable. She then ignored us for the remainder of the horrendous excursion in bumper to bumper Rio traffic in an open air vehicle inhaling exhaust fumes and sewer odors for hours. All in all, we were so looking forward to this cruise after 8 prior sailings with Radisson/Regent and I really hate to say we were disappointed. The line has gone downhill in the 5 years since we last sailed with them. The identical cruise was offered on Oceania, and we wish we had done theirs instead. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
What sold us on this cruise: The two features that sold us on this cruise was the itinerary and the all visas would be included. Getting visas to some of the more exotic places is a real challenge, so having that as part of the ... Read More
What sold us on this cruise: The two features that sold us on this cruise was the itinerary and the all visas would be included. Getting visas to some of the more exotic places is a real challenge, so having that as part of the trip's inclusivity was great. Besides that, being on a grand voyage we'd also get almost all the perks the top tiers of Seven Seas Society members get including my favorite: free laundry and dry cleaning. I can't say this is typical on Regent, but it was a great differentiator on this trip. Embarkation: Upon embarkation we had a bit of a rough start, I have to assume because port authorities in Cape Town did not allow Regent personnel to help with embarkation. The impression was terrible. We got herded into a tent, with no one telling us what to do, I deduced that we had to sign a statement that we didn’t have Ebola and then “optionally” put some of our luggage through a bag x-ray. There didn't seem to be much enforcement so who knows what the purpose of lugging our bags around was anyway. To use an analogy: this was like being invited to a grand ball and arriving in our finest having to wade through raw sewage to get to the front door of the palace, and then trying to forget all that with a glass of champagne. First impressions: The first thing my wife noticed while first walking through the ship was the lack of flowers. During past cruises there were a lot more plants and orchids in our room, rest rooms etc. The new décor was interesting, I suppose the trend is to move away from wood grain (I personally love wood grain and the old style of the explorer lounge). My wife noticed that the lighting outside the Horizon lounge in the bar area was very bright, perhaps it needs a dimmer? Otherwise it might serve a very good place for the security officer to perform interrogations :) I also noticed that there were no pens in our cabin, most likely an oversight that we did rectify through our steward. Speaking of housekeeping, now even standard cabins have both a steward and stewardess as a team which is an excellent idea. It solves getting your cabin cleaned quickly and efficiently and solves almost all issues regarding cabin needs. We have sailed on Regent more than any other line and can't help comparing the current cruise with our past ones. Ever since our first cruise it seems more and more obvious how the company has been applying cost savings and cost control measures. Having been in the corporate world myself, I can certainly understand it from the corporate and investor side however, the risk is to make sure your customers can’t tell the difference, otherwise you are on the very bad trajectory of the airlines. I haven’t met anyone in recent times that ever says airline travel is a joy. I'm sorry to say that on each new Regent Cruise, the accounting side of the company seems to shine, and repeat passengers tend to be left wanting. I realize it is very difficult to maintain the level of luxury and "features" that existed in the past while still making money, but it is sad if it can't be done. To be fair to new Regent cruisers, I don't think what we're referring to as lacking would even be noticed since as a new passenger you're evaluating the cruise as is, and not comparing to something else. Don't shy away from Regent because of this. Regent is still an excellent cruise line, it just isn't as good as Raddison used to be. Entertainment: On the entertainment/lecture side, it seems we experienced a watered down version of what we used to have. On this cruise, aside from the destinations loop on TV there were no destination lecturers which really diminishes the ultimate experience one could have in visiting new places. While the handouts etc. are fine, having an experienced traveler on board who can give you tips on where to go, what to see, the history etc. is really important. I had heard a rumor that the destination lecturers had their stipends eliminated by Regent which, if true is a pretty short-sighted way of cost controlling. I am aware of the new partnership with the Smithsonian, but that didn't help us on this cruise. While the on-board entertainment has been good, its still a “lite” version of what we use to get. In past cruises, especially trans-oceanic, we’d have the destination lecturers, special interest lecturers and possibly up to two celebrity speakers such as Terry Waite or a former Apollo Astronaut. On this cruise we have a very good aviation historian who I enjoyed – but he was not essential to the itinerary we were on, and a very nice cook book author who I’m afraid was misplaced. She should be doing cooking lessons in the Horizon lounge with small group not a show and tell in the theater. I was surprised there wasn’t an astronomer on board as we’ve had on previous cruises to help us enjoy the unique experience of viewing the night sky in the middle of the ocean. Needless to say with such a small group of speakers we couldn't have Liar’s Club or other game shows since there just were'n't enough lectures/entertainers on at one time to do that. We had Name that Tune on some evenings which was good but we used to have all sorts of other games after the show in the evening. Fortunately Teatime Trivia was very popular and fun. On the positive side our cruise director Jaime Logan and his wife Dana along with the singers and dancers were top notch. To us they made all the difference and salvaged our entertainment experience. We found all of them very approachable, and the shows were absolutely fantastic. Some shows were repeated in our second segment, but we enjoyed them as an encore. All these people work tirelessly to put on a great show 24/7 and make our cruise stand out. Bravo to all of them! On our second segment we had an excellent author and historian to help us enjoy the ports of southeast Asia. What a shame she did not get on in Cape Town. I have never sailed on Oceania, but I have talked to other frequent cruises who have sailed on both and the consensus is that Regent is a pre-paid pre-packaged version of Oceania now, rather than a true luxury “whatever satisfies the customer” line that it used to be. Kudos goes to all the onboard staff, who despite having one hand tied behind their back by corporate rules still manage to make our voyage wonderful. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2009
Where do I even begin to describe the best cruise we have been on? I guess, like everyone else, I need to start at the beginning. GETTING THERE Getting from Washington State to Cape Town, South Africa is a daunting task. We used ... Read More
Where do I even begin to describe the best cruise we have been on? I guess, like everyone else, I need to start at the beginning. GETTING THERE Getting from Washington State to Cape Town, South Africa is a daunting task. We used Regent Air (with a deviation so we could arrive a day early and select our own hotel). We flew British Airways Business Class from Vancouver to Heathrow. . .had a 5 hour layover and then on to Cape Town. Total air time (excludes layover) - 20 hours. We left on Wednesday and arrived on Friday. We enjoy the seats and service on British Air. The lounge in Heathrow is lovely - had enough time to shower, eat, drink and do emails. PRE-CRUISE We contacted a company that picked us up at the airport and transported us to the Peninsula Hotel. This is not your typical "Peninsula Hotel" - it is a 3 star, lovely hotel - not fancy or modern. The staff could not have been better. In the afternoon they set out wine and juice in the lobby. We took a shuttle bus into the main part of town where we noticed that the Voyager was already docked. Unfortunately, we had to wait until the next day to embark. We had a delicious fish dinner with a pint of local beer for a very reasonable price. The breakfast in the morning was local cuisine with wonderful fruit, omelet bar and the makings for a typical English breakfast (English bacon, beans, cooked tomato half and mushrooms). After breakfast, we were picked up for a 3-hour tour by the same driver we had the previous day. It would take a professional writer to describe this area - we were in awe of the beauty we encountered around every curve on this very scenic drive. We stopped to see the penguins. It was quite a sight to see penguins on a sandy beach in South Africa. Also saw baboons on the side of the road. Quick side story: In the outskirts of Cape Town, if you do not shut your house up completely, you will find that your home has been invaded by baboons. If a window is left open just a small amount, they send their babies in to retrieve the goods and pass them through the window. EMBARKATION Embarkation is almost always easy on Regent. We were on segment 4 of the Discovery Collection, so, there were not many people embarking. They used a small room for registration rather than the theater. After spending three minutes or so checking in, we headed up to La Veranda for a delicious lunch. Side note: There were quite a few crew members leaving on vacation at different ports on the Discovery Collection. Although we had been on the Voyager only 2 months earlier, a lot of the staff had changed. We saw some of the "old crew" departing as we were embarking. THE FOOD Dining in Compass Rose was always a wonderful experience. Upon recommendation of the Maitre 'D in La Veranda, we asked to be seated by Joey (a Head Waiter) and were seated in the section where Steven was server. I will write more about these people in the "Service" section. The soups were always hot, the food prepared as ordered and everything was delicious. No long story - just 6 star food on a 6 star ship. In the past, La Veranda had been hit and miss. One reason for this could simply be that the food is not prepared at the time you order it, but, rather is prepared in batches. Everyone has different tastes and I cannot say that you will love everything that is offered each day. I tended to take tiny portions of dishes I was unsure about (local dishes that I am not familiar with, for example). Inevitably I returned to get more (and more and more - but, that's another story). On this cruise, every time we had Signatures booked, we were unable to make it and had to cancel. So, there is no report on Signatures. Prime 7 had the only "hiccup" of the cruise. We booked Prime 7 for the first night we were on board. The staff had just changed, the Restaurant Manager had not arrived and things were not as they should be (with the exception of service). I relayed the story to someone with no expectation that she would follow-up with the Restaurant Manager, Luis Texeira Luis stopped by our table the next day in La Veranda and convinced us to give Prime 7 another try. The second time around, everything was total perfection. SERVICE The crew on board the Voyager during our cruise was perfect. The staff in the restaurants, the butler, the stewardess, bartenders. . .I could go on and on. Although the staff moves around through a rotation process which takes them on each of Regent's ships, you may be lucky enough to meet these exceptional people on one of your future cruises (and I apologize in advance for those whose names I cannot recall). Englebert Lanier Wartenberg, Hotel Manager. This is a man that cares deeply about both Regent and the guests on the ship. He is accessible and will do his best to insure that you have a wonderful cruise. Anthony Miller, Food and Beverage Manager. We had a lovely chat with Anthony and learned that he accompanied Captain Dag when he dove into the water to check out the fishing net that was entangled in Voyager's pod earlier this year. They spent an hour cutting the net off of the pod - unfortunately, water had seeped into the electronics. It was a very interesting story and he is a very lovely man. Luis Texeira, as mention above, Luis took immediate action when he learned of our experience in Prime 7. He seemed to be everywhere on the ship - one minute I would see him in La Veranda - then in Compass Rose and in Prime 7. He is aware of everything that is going on in all the dining venues. Luis will be on the Navigator this month to work with the team that will be opening Prime 7. I have no doubt that, under his guidance, it will be a success. Abigail, Maitre 'D of La Veranda. Abigail was on our cruise two months ago. In addition to being efficient and professional, she is one of the nicest people you could meet (and was the person who let Luis know about our experience in Prime 7) Joey, Head Waiter in Compass Rose and La Veranda in the morning (lunch too, as I recall). He makes certain that your dining experience is what you expect it to be. He is charming! Craig, Sommelier (formerly on the Paul Gauguin). We dine early and had the chance to speak with Craig on a few occasions. He is a "Master Sommelier" - there are very few Sommelier's with that designation. He knows his wine (and beer too:-) Steven, Waiter (want to call him Waiter Supreme). He always serves in Compass Rose in the evening. You may see him in La Veranda in the morning or at lunch. He goes where he is needed. We received impeccable service from Steven. He and my DH are from Britain and they had a nice time sharing stories. We are looking forward to seeing him again on the Navigator this spring. Francisco, Assistant Head Waiter, Compass Rose. I just had to add Francisco to the list. He has been with Regent (Radisson) since the beginning and recently received a much deserved promotion! Adriana (very misspelled - there is a "j" in her name somewhere) who serves wine in La Veranda. She is simply delightful. PORTS This was a South Atlantic crossing - not many ports which was a perfect opportunity to spend time on the ship. Cape Town - We signed up for a tour to an Ostrich Farm and wine tasting. This was an excellent tour (not one of the free ones, but, worth considerably more than what we paid). We had 6 tastings of lovely South African wine. At the farm we were able to sit on an ostrich and stroke his/her long neck. Note: We are animal lovers and do not feel the ostrich was hurt in any way. Namibia - We fell in love with both Namibia and Cape Town. The people in South Africa that we met are open, warm and giving of themselves. Our first tour was "Seal & Dolphins". In addition to seeing the seals, dolphins and flamingo's, a "snack" of oysters on the half shell and a tray of little canapE type dishes. They poured some sparkling wine and gave tastes of a local liquor. Outstanding! The "Township" tour touched our lives forever. It included seeing how hard these people have been working to better their lives. We saw the old "concentration camp" type facilities where they were housed and the new little homes with plumbing, water and electricity where they now live. They are so proud of what they have. The tour guide took us inside of his home which was quite a treat. A small buffet of local food was also prepared for us (quite good). Unfortunately, some people on the tour felt the excursion was "too realistic". Some would not get off the bus - most would not touch the food. I found this very sad. We visited a school and were touched by the children as well as the principal. If anyone is going to do this tour in the future, please bring an old laptop with you that is no longer needed -- the school has only one broken down computer. You can't ship them as it would never get to them. Just wish I knew in advance. St. Helena - The ship only stops for approximately 6 hours. The excursion on St. Helena was very good (and was one of the free ones). There are so few people on the island that it was a challenge to find enough vehicles to take us around the island. They used vans, a vintage car (well, not vintage - just very old), a school bus - just about anything with wheels. This was a wonderful port - glad that Regent stopped there (could have spent more time in the town). Rio - We took the tour that includes a train up to the "Christ the Redeemer" monument. It was lovely - the views spectacular. However, it was extremely sad to see the condition of the city. Graffiti in places that you would not think people could get to. . . . incredible traffic. . . . crime in this city would make anyone feel unsafe (cannot wear a watch as it is almost guaranteed to be taken. . . . women wearing necklaces or chains can have them pulled off of their necks). Some people will disagree with me about this city and they are free to do so. If you are with a tour group you will be safe. We will not be returning to Rio de Janeiro and hope they somehow get their city together in the next 6 years when they host the Olympics. ON THE SHIP This was a Spotlight on Food and Wine and Dance. There were many things to keep us occupied on the sea days (7 out of 14 days were sea days). We took Samba lessons, attended wine tastings, food demonstrations, attended "trivia" daily. . . . there was no way a person could have been bored on this cruise. With the perfect weather every day (except the last day in Rio), there were many people simply lying in the sun on the pool deck. DISEMBARKATION AND FLYING HOME Unfortunately, almost all flights out of Rio are at night and, as you know, you disembark in the morning. For guests with Regent Air, they set up a room in the Sofitel Hotel where we could leave our luggage. While not the most comfortable place (and they really should have provided bottled water), it was better than going to the airport. The rain was heavy - we ventured out to a small mall down the street and had lunch at a local restaurant next to the hotel (incredibly good Portuguese chicken and rice soup). The typically 1 hour drive to the airport took 3 hours as it was a Friday and a special weekend in Rio. The local Regent representative was in contact with the airport - they kept the doors to the plane open until we arrived - checked in - cleared passport control and got onto to the flight. The one thing I was not looking forward to on this trip was flying United Airlines (three flights to get home). United's service ratings have been amongst the lowest of all U.S. carriers. We found the service to be very good, some of the food excellent and were very pleased and surprised. The Business Class seats were the old type (not even semi-flat) and have not been upgraded on the 777 aircrafts as yet. We would fly United again (on the planes that have been upgraded). CONCLUSION We obviously have nothing but positive things to say about this cruise. Our only question is what to book next (in addition to our Alaska cruise in May 2010). The prices for 2010/2011 are quite high, perhaps due to the included excursions. This was our first taste of included excursions. While they are well organized and enjoyable, it appears that this "benefit" is raising the prices a bit too much. Between "free" airfare and "free" excursions, Regent is pricing itself above it's competition and out of the reach of many passengers. We continue to look at itineraries on Silversea and Seabourn. . . . however, at the end of the day, there is no place like home -- on the Voyager. Read Less
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