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8 Regent Seven Seas Cuba Cruise Reviews

Anyone reading my other reviews will know that I am a huge fan of Regent, we have met many lovely people over the years, welcomed them to our hoes and even gone to their weddings. As Cruise Critic makes clear in its own review of the ... Read More
Anyone reading my other reviews will know that I am a huge fan of Regent, we have met many lovely people over the years, welcomed them to our hoes and even gone to their weddings. As Cruise Critic makes clear in its own review of the Voyager, the make up of the guests are generally well educated, well travelled people and they choose Regent because they will meet likeminded people. The ship, staff, officers and entertainment were all exactly as I describe in my review of the first half of our cruise. Thoroughly decent, hard working and friendly people who I would happily sail around the world with forever. Why then, you will be asking, have I rated this cruise 'terrible'. The simple answer is that having broken our 17 day cruise in two without telling us, there was also one other fact that Regent had omitted to mention when we booked - which was that they had booked two groups of 250 each on 'corporate incentive trips'. We can only speculate (and Regent has not denied) that there was always a plan to split the cruise and that these two groups were already booked on the Voyager when we booked 9 months ago - that can be the only explanation for limited availability to us and then lots of availability for the first 10 days. So, 500 passengers got off in Miami on 5 March and two groups got on. One group was no problem, well behaved, beautifully dressed although ultimately they were a group and would wear their corporate T-shirts to remind us we were on a corporate trip and did not join in with things like trivia (which went from standing room only to three teams overnight). However, the second group were something else. As I want to ensure that Cruise Critic print this review I will not go into detail about them, suffice to say there was a virtual mutiny aboard especially with the 73 guests who had booked a 17 day cruise and were now trapped on a ship with 250 people on a 'booze cruise'. Guests were demanding meetings with the captain (what could he do?), the corridors being patrolled every evening to try and enforce the dress code, the pool deck became a no go area. There was no mid cruise survey done... Yes we were on a lovely ship, with lovely food (delayed due to our fellow guests ordering everything off the menu in one sitting) and we got to see some lovely places. But it was that feeling of dread coming back to the ship, the frustration of not being able to go to the pool, the worry that any of them would be on an excursion we were booked on. But most importantly it was that feeling of betrayal that this beloved brand that have looked after us so well and who we have such fond memories of, could have done this to us in such a cold and calculating way. Regent have assured us, in writing, that this was a mistake and will never happen again. However, they seem to believe that because we have had so many lovely trips with Regent we can overlook one bad experience. We work very hard to be able to afford the Regent experience and this was a week of our lives and precious holiday time that we will never get back and for which we paid full price. We have come home more stressed and frustrated than when we went which is getting worse by the day as Regent head office bury their heads further into the sand and refuse to recognise the problem. Mistakes happen but the art of good customer service is how you recover from them and it seems that Regent still have that lesson to learn. As soon as they realised the scale of the problem they should have dispatched a senior executive out to the ship to apologise in person and offer those affected something. This is not about money, it is about recognition of the monumental mistake made (or imposed on them from above) and there are many things that they could have done which would have cost them very little at the time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Husband and I are in our 50s and been on dozens of cruises - from carnival (in my youth) to Crystal. Many family cruises on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Crystal. We chose this ship because we have been curious about the all inclusive, ... Read More
Husband and I are in our 50s and been on dozens of cruises - from carnival (in my youth) to Crystal. Many family cruises on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Crystal. We chose this ship because we have been curious about the all inclusive, “exclusive” reputation of this line, we like the size- less than 1000 passengers, and ease of travel to embarkation port was a priority. Had been to most of these islands before(many times) so we hoped to give some business to these special places recovering from hurricanes. The positives: embarkation and debarkation were easy. our stateroom, 703, was large, comfortable bed and linens, great bathroom with separate tub and shower and delicious lavender bubble bath provided. Our cabin steward was fantastic - Victor! As was his assistant. We enjoyed the Mensa and trivia competitions daily and Name that tune, and took home a bunch of loot to promote Regent 7 Seas and boast our success. There was a lot of interest in these activities which isn’t always the case so that enhanced our trip, there is always a jigsaw puzzle going near the library which we enjoyed - I think we finished a dozen 1000 piece puzzles. Daily mah jong was appreciated and we enjoyed the honor system very nice library. Oscars were while we were at sea and many of the nominated movies were available for free in our stateroom. The negatives: we booked our cruise in January so people had already prebooked all of the desirable excursions. Since they are included in the cruise price, this was a big disappointment and you should be aware before booking. We were not told of this problem when we booked our cruise. The other significant issue we had was there was a serious under supply of shaded lounge chairs. On sea days, one would need to get to the pool deck by 7 am to get lounge chairs and never leave for more then 30 minutes or someone could remove your pool gear and take the lounge. I saw numerous conflicts about this. It would have been entertaining except for the price everyone has paid for this experience. Now for the food ...this was so hit and miss. We had a very nice meal in Prime, the steakhouse. An inedible meal in the Italian specialty restaurant. Fair dinner at Chartreuse, the French specialty restaurant. Their snails didn’t have butter or garlic. Imagine that. The main dining room had uneven service and had me longing for the old days when you knew your waiter and bus boy and they took care of you. I guess this is the downside of inclusive tipping. I had amazing fish on this ship. Poor pasta. BAD fruit. I couldn’t believe how bland the melons, kiwis, were and almost non existent berries, which I love. The giant shrimp cocktail were always terrific. The bread never tasted fresh and the deserts were fair. Nice cheeses. There are a handful of tables outdoors off the back of the ship near the buffet. This was the best place for breakfast and lunch. We only went to one show. It was embarrassing. Hard to watch people try so hard and just not have it. The dancing was quite good but then they sang. I’m now seeing why some other lines have the dancers sing along with a recording or lip sync. We traveled with our 18 year old. They had a great time but they are low maintenance and just happy to be there. There was almost no one their age. This crowd is older - 70+. All drinks are included. They made a lot on us in that respect. We enjoyed the wines offered at dinner and husband had a beer during the day. I doubt we would travel this line again but maybe if the itinerary was just right and not available from Crystal or Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Nine months ago we booked a 17 day cruise to the Caribbean and Cuba. There was limited availability - penthouse and above but it looked a really good itinerary and 17 days is a good length of time to meet lots of interesting people. ... Read More
Nine months ago we booked a 17 day cruise to the Caribbean and Cuba. There was limited availability - penthouse and above but it looked a really good itinerary and 17 days is a good length of time to meet lots of interesting people. Without notification, Regent split the cruise into 10 days in the Caribbean and 7 days around Cuba. We only found this out because some friends booked for the first 10 days and we could not, at the time, work out why there was now plenty of availability on this segment but not on the 7 days which was waitlist only. This review relates to the first 10 days which were fantastic. I shall post my review of the second 7 days separately. It is important that anyone reading this reads the second half. This cruise went to many of the islands devastated by the hurricanes the previous year, which had quickly recovered. It was a great itinerary and it was good to be supporting them as they rebuilt their homes and towns. We had not seen the Voyager since her make over and she looks amazing. There was a great mix of people on board and plenty of familiar faces - including the captain's double! The entertainment was the best we have known on a Regent ship and the entertainers the friendliest and nicest of people. We were delighted to be sailing with Andy Heath the cruise director and his delightful wife Tammy. Captain Stan was once again at the helm which made us all feel very safe and the General Manager Anatoli is one of the friendliest and most ever present general managers we have come across. The food and beverage team under Director Daniella were so hard working - ever present in every restaurant and bar, with one of our particular favourites being the very hard working Dominic, the Prime 7 Maitre D' who is ever present at breakfast clearing plates and ensuring everyone was ok. Shane in Chartreuse remembered our names and greeted us like an old friend every time we saw her. A big thank you to the medical team on behalf of one of our friends we were travelling with who became unwell during the trip and could not speak highly enough about the care and service she received. There are a couple of small pointers for Regent - the television in the cabin welcomes only my husband and not me despite this being the 21st century; and they are definitely doing something weird with the meat - I see another reviewer has suggested that they are precooking it. It is not a welcome change. The excursions were all great - lovely snorkelling. We particularly enjoyed Dominica which is like St Lucia but not so spoiled by tourism and Puerto Rica which was great and if we had known how interesting the town was we would not have gone on an excursion to the rainforest. Our penthouse cabin was probably one of the best we have had in terms of layout and it was always immaculate and our butler Suraj very friendly and keen to help with anything. Great lectures which were much more applicable to that part of the world than last year - pirates, sugar cane etc. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The ship was medium sized but it had a great variety of activities and great food options across board. I loved the spa and the casino. The cabin was really spacious and we had a wonderful view and best of all, the price includes air ... Read More
The ship was medium sized but it had a great variety of activities and great food options across board. I loved the spa and the casino. The cabin was really spacious and we had a wonderful view and best of all, the price includes air tickets, land and port excursions and all beverages... including the minibar! We loved the service onboard, and don't make me talk about the Wellington steak or that tremendous lobster; we would then move onto "simple" things like grilled salmon or grilled chicken and they were awesome too. We were to several islands that were devastated by the hurricanes last year, and we were stunned to see how fast they were recovering. Personally, I loved the excursion to the rainforest on Puerto Rica, a very pleasant experience (the city is interesting too, we just wanted to go and meet with nature). This was an awesome experience, and I hope we can do this again, hopefully with little us (haha)! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We were on the Regent Seven Seas Voyager for the 10-day Western Caribbean including Cuba. This was our first cruise with Regent and will likely be our last. We wanted to try out Regent (along with other upscale/luxury cruise lines) ... Read More
We were on the Regent Seven Seas Voyager for the 10-day Western Caribbean including Cuba. This was our first cruise with Regent and will likely be our last. We wanted to try out Regent (along with other upscale/luxury cruise lines) after cruising with many others. This was our 49th cruise overall. We have cruised on Seabourn several times and most of my comparisons are with Seabourn, since they are both comparably priced and target the high-end luxury cruising market. There were differences between Regent and Seabourn. Most significantly, you get “free” shore excursions included with Regent, while you pay for them separately on Seabourn. We have also sailed on Viking Ocean, where the shore excursions were included. However, on Viking Ocean, the “free” included shore excursions were very limited, usually a 2-3 hour bus tour. Regent had many more free/included excursions in each port. However, these “free” shore excursions are clearly part of the fare. You pay for them in advance. At our port of call in Cozumel, we were to tender in (which doesn’t make sense in the first place, since there is plenty of dock space for up to 8 ships and we are a luxury ship—you would think they would pay for the dock space). But due to “high swells” when we arrived (we didn’t see any—no whitecaps, no swells and I have pictures to prove it), the Captain decided to skip the port. We were scheduled to do the Dolphin Swim & Ride, which would normally be a $129/pp shore excursion. If we were on Seabourn and had scheduled that shore excursion, then the ship canceled the port call, we would be refunded that money. Not so on Regent, since it is “free” with your cruise fare. Well, yes, it is “free” but you definitely pay for it as part of your cruise fare. No compensation, nothing. So Regent makes money by skipping a port (vs. other cruise lines that lose money by skipping a port, since they have to refund all shore excursions). So Regent is financially incented to skip a port. Not to mention that there were 8 other cruise ships in Cozumel and we were the odd one out. So why we were tendering in the first place? I have no idea. Cozumel is an island without a protected harbor. Yet plenty of dock space. So Regent was apparently too cheap to pay for the dock space (even when they decided they could not tender), which is unfortunate. The average age onboard is probably 70-75 years old, which might explain why they decided not to tender in Cozumel. A bunch of old people might have difficulty tendering if the seas had swells, so let’s skip the port and save a boatload of money. Easy decision for the Captain. Bad decision for the passengers who wanted to go ashore. The shore excursions, in general, were poorly managed and not at all what was advertised. You would think for a cruise line where virtually everyone is taking your shore excursion, you would have the shore excursions part down pat. Not so. For example, the times in almost every port were highly variable, with start times and end times varying by as much as an hour from what was originally published. And, due to the high number of guests participating in the shore excursions, the wait times were often excruciating. We once waited over an hour and a half in the theater for our shore excursion to start. Also, what is published for the shore excursion is often not what you actually get. One example was a “Farm to Table Experience” where we were supposed to make a stop at a well-known Havana restaurant, then visit two of the farms that supply the restaurant, then back to the restaurant for lunch. A total of 4 stops. Instead, we skipped the restaurant altogether and went to a pig farm that supplied the restaurant, then had lunch on picnic tables there. Not the farm to table restaurant experience that we signed up for. But because it was “free” there was no compensation nor refund. Very disorganized and very poorly managed, which was surprising. We thought the shore excursions would be top-notch. They were not. On the plus side for the ship, the Constellation Theater was quite nice for a ship this size. Much larger and nicer compared to the show lounge on Seabourn. It is two levels and good sight lines throughout the theater. The production show cast was new for our sailing, yet they were quite good in the choreography and dancing category. The male vocalists lacked power and one in particular (Elliott) was consistently off key (he has forever ruined “Roxanne” for me), but the female vocalists were better. A disappointment is that the opening night “entertainment” was the port lecturer. Many people in the audience either left or fell asleep. Other than the production show cast, which did 4 shows, there were only two other entertainers onboard (a singer and a magician), who each did 2 shows. A prior cruise director filled in (very nicely) for another show when one of the performers could not make it due to the ship skipping Cozumel. The Compass Rose restaurant (main dining) was a general disappointment. Seabourn offers a very relaxed and elegant dining experience. We expected it to be similar on Regent, but not so. The waiters have 24 people to attend and apparently there is no 1:1 assigned assistant waiter, so they are constantly running. Therefore, any special requests were often ignored or simply forgotten. They were simply stretched too thin to provide high quality service. The food was good, although not as good as Seabourn (or Oceania or Viking Ocean or even Windstar for that matter). The buffet was poor, not even as good as we have seen on mid-tier lines like Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We were surprised by the lack of quality of ingredients in the food preparation. We expected top shelf, like what we have seen on Seabourn. That was not the case. An example was serving Atlantic farm-raised salmon. We would have expected Pacific wild-caught salmon. Yes, it is more expensive, but this is a luxury line and we expected upscale dishes. It was very hit-and-miss. On the plus side, the cheese plates for dessert were generally good quality cheeses, consistent with what we have seen on Seabourn. But the other dishes were generally closer to what you would expect from a mainstream cruise line rather than upscale. The pool deck area is nice with terrycloth coverings on the loungers. They also have a decent-sized gym which was typically not very busy. Most of the older people were laying on the loungers out on the deck instead of exercising in the gym. The sea days were severely lacking in scheduled activities. Probably the best comparison point would be with Oceania (Regent’s sister company), where Regent was consistently underperforming Oceania. On Oceania, there were activities going on all over the ship throughout the sea days. Not on Regent. Again, an older, more sedate crowd. So maybe being 50-somethings left us wanting more. But we expected at least what we had seen on Oceania. That wasn’t the case. No sports other than “unhosted” meeting of players. I went to two of these and I was the only one who showed up. Eventually I convinced my wife to try out the different sports available around the ship (all of which were otherwise vacant), such as ping pong, bocce ball, croquet, shuffleboard, putting, etc. The ship itself is old and showing its age. During our 10 days, we had a problem with the entry door to our cabin (where the latch would not securely lock due to warping of the door), our safe (failed twice during the cruise requiring hard resets from security) and the hose in our shower started leaking, requiring replacement. Stuff is just getting old/dated/wearing out. There is visible rust on the balcony railing. The common areas are dated and some hallways smelled musty. Perhaps this ship is due for dry dock soon and they are just letting things go until then. Our cabin was a good size cabin, similar to a comparable cabin on Seabourn, although Seabourn has much nicer bathrooms and bathroom amenities. Again, Seabourn seems to understand luxury, Regent apparently does not. Even very minor things like toilet paper, on Regent it was the lowest quality, very thin, etc. Small thing, but a luxury hotel would know and understand the difference. As does Seabourn. Regent provides one free Internet login per cabin, which is better than Seabourn (where you have to pay for Internet unless you are in one of the larger suites). It is a little awkward to only have one login, since only one person can use it at a time, but this is definitely a plus over Seabourn. Like most cruise ships, onboard Internet is slow and spotty, so it didn’t always work. But since it was “free” you simply would try again later. And perhaps being free also impacted bandwidth, with all other guests accessing at the same time. Certain high bandwidth sites such as YouTube were restricted access. Both Regent and Seabourn offer free gratuities and free drinks. The quality of the wines offered on Seabourn is consistently better, usually $15-$20 bottles while on Regent they are usually $10-$12 bottles. On both cruise lines, you can pay additional to purchase more expensive wines. Both cruise lines also keep the minibar in your stateroom stocked throughout the cruise. The ship has a free launderette where you can wash and dry your clothes for free, which is nice for a longer cruise such as this. Same on Seabourn. Overall, the cruise line is not a 5-star luxury experience. It is not a Four Seasons nor Ritz Carlton experience. It’s not even a 4-star experience (Hilton, Hyatt). It is more aligned with a 3-star hotel experience such as Radisson, which is the original name of the cruise line (Radisson Seven Seas) or Marriott or Sheraton. Do not book Regent expecting a luxury cruise. It’s not. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Chose Regent for its all inclusive and luxury claim. While the accommodations were excellent and the food was good the overall pool grill and veranda restaurant service was less than stellar. No table service. Customer must find a table, ... Read More
Chose Regent for its all inclusive and luxury claim. While the accommodations were excellent and the food was good the overall pool grill and veranda restaurant service was less than stellar. No table service. Customer must find a table, obtain a tablet umber, the proceed to cafeteria line and place order for breakfast or lunch. Self service only. Many times no clean tables available outside. 20 minute wait for hot dog or hamburger is unacceptable. Ice tea orders taken but rarely fulfilled. Combined liquor and ice tea orders seemed to confuse staff. Lots of service staff running around but little organization. All inclusive luxury does not include caviar. One dolop rationed at Sunday brunch ONLY. At other times caviar available for a charge of $100 to $175. Preposterous!! Embarkation a bit slow but acceptable. Disembarkation very smooth and fast. Only hiccup came upon embarkation where instructions sent us to wrong dock for boarding. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My husband and I were celebrating our 30th anniversary and wanted to have a special event. We had never sailed on a luxury cruise before, and Regent seemed to be the all around best. Mostly it was, but there were some issues. STAFF: ... Read More
My husband and I were celebrating our 30th anniversary and wanted to have a special event. We had never sailed on a luxury cruise before, and Regent seemed to be the all around best. Mostly it was, but there were some issues. STAFF: Wonderful! Did not meet a single person who was not helpful, friendly and personable. They were all an amazing group. CABIN: Were pleased with the cabin and especially the walk-in closet. Could not get the tub to work. The shower temperature was either cold, lukewarm or super hot. The thermostat for our cabin did not work; the temperature was arctic and I was in sweaters and using the extra blankets. After a week and a half it was fixed. I was surprised by how small the veranda was. The bed was very comfortable. One evening the power to the bathroom and walk-in closet went out. It wasn't fixed until mid morning the next day. EXCURSIONS: Couldn't ask for more choices. The excursion staff ran things very smoothly. MAINTENANCE: The ship had several problems, in addition to the items mentioned above. Our corridor had a water leak. One of the main lounges had a persistent water leak and could not be totally used. FOOD: Overall, our favorite restaurant was the main dining room, Compass Rose. They had a nice standard menu and an interesting special menu each evening. I was very disappointed in the "premiere" restaurant, Prime 7. I was really looking forward to the king crab legs. They were in a huge pile and mostly not legs. Bland. On another evening I ordered prime rib and it was too tough to cut. The afternoon tea event was awesome - really spectacular offerings. The ship barbecue was good. I loved the small ship size which led to making some nice friends. But given some of the problems we experienced, I did feel disappointed that the whole trip wasn't top notch. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this 28 day back to back cruise as we had not been to Alaska in many years and all we had to do is fly one way as we live in Florida. We flew to Vancouver and since we had a penthouse we received a free night at the Four ... Read More
We chose this 28 day back to back cruise as we had not been to Alaska in many years and all we had to do is fly one way as we live in Florida. We flew to Vancouver and since we had a penthouse we received a free night at the Four Seasons Hotel. Embarkation was easy and after a small lunch in the Veranda our luggage had been delivered and our cabin was ready. Service and food on the ship were superb. We really enjoyed the Veranda for breakfast and lunch and had most of our dinners in Compass Rose. The menu selections were huge and it was always hard to decide on an entree so we usually shared between the two of us. Chartreuse was not our favorite but we enjoyed Prime Seven (especially the whole Maine lobster) several times. The excursions in Alaska were exceptional. We went whale watching (saw hundreds), and loved watching the dolphins play and the bald eagles who were spotted in the trees by our guide. We had a dungeness crab feast in Ketchican (all you can eat)! Two ports were cancelled (Nicaragua because of unrest and Grand Cayman because of Hurricane Michael). Would not want to go back to Acapulco or Guatemala. Mostly life on the ship was great. There was good weather and we enjoyed just sitting by the pool reading or going to lectures and playing duplicate bridge (there was an excellent bridge director (Joyce from Saskatchuan) . Looking forward to our next Regent cruise (Tahiti to Singapore 2020) Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
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