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89 Regent Seven Seas Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We had planned our 25th anniv. trip for a year and picked Regent based on the ports of call, excursions, food reviews, and ship size. We embarked from Monte Carlo through Italy and onto Turkey and the Greek islands ending in Athens. I ... Read More
We had planned our 25th anniv. trip for a year and picked Regent based on the ports of call, excursions, food reviews, and ship size. We embarked from Monte Carlo through Italy and onto Turkey and the Greek islands ending in Athens. I think we picked spot on for what we wanted. Though slightly younger than the majority of the people of the ship (48-49) it didn't take away at all from our experience and there were more than enough people we could socialize with. The ship size was perfect at about 700. The staff to customer ratio was excellent, but foremost, I want to say that never once in 10 days did I not receive a bright smile, a hello, or engage in conversation with the staff. I mean everyone from the housekeeping, to the pool staff, to the sommelier, to the destination services, etc. I looked at other reviews prior to the trip that commented that the Regent staff had disappointed them, but I felt totally welcomed, and we were treated wonderfully. The food was 5 star but what we loved the most were the portions as they were perfect and you could go through all servings without feeling like you were distressed. The service that presented the food was awesome. We felt like royalty. Another thing I'd like to comment on is that we were looking to hit alot of ports and sights and our excursions were tremendous, and only one of them cost anything extra, at our choice. While I heard some people say they felt rushed, it was exactly what we were looking for not having been to Europe before. Yes, at nite we were tired, but there were only two ports that had 11 hour excurions and believe me we saw everything we wanted. I would only say that we wished those older people that refuse to really read the warnings of how much walking, and on what type of grades and pavements they were to be walking on during the excursion, would because I felt Regent communicated clearly how difficult some of the tours might be. We were slightly concerned with the Voyager's reputation as having a heavy vibration rearships, and although yes it does have vibrate, we were never really bothered by it. The bedding was wonderful, and my wife thought the full size walk in closet and bathroom size was tremendous. A huge shout out to Ronald Yoroung wo was an impressive representative of Regent as a server, and to Tony in the Casino whose patience with me at the craps table was greatly appreciated.Finally, the Captain of the ship should be credited for taking us to Taormina when we could not go to Amalfi due to the weather. He could have put us out to sea, sailed slow and saved gas, and he elected to show us a port that turned out to be the best time of the cruise for my wife and I. We would strongly recommend this line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
This cruise was from Venice to Istanbul for 14 nights which included Split(Croatia), Santorini, Crete, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Rhodes, Kusadasi and Istanbul(Turkey). Our great experience on Regent's Paul Gauguin some 2 years ago ... Read More
This cruise was from Venice to Istanbul for 14 nights which included Split(Croatia), Santorini, Crete, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Rhodes, Kusadasi and Istanbul(Turkey). Our great experience on Regent's Paul Gauguin some 2 years ago sailing around the islands of French Polynesia was also a key factor in selecting this cruise. As such the Paul Gauguin cruise created a bias within us as to what our expectations of the Seven Seas Mariner were. I shall begin and say that overall the cruise was amazing and all the tours we took were very well done and organized. The coaches were only 50% - 60% full and on all our tours the guides were very good to excellent. It allowed one to see many different cultures and history. It was very well organized and the crew were extremely efficient, polite and made sure everything was done correctly. Regent definitely have the best cabins. Large, spacious, the walk in robe is just brilliant and the bathroom permitted two(2) people in there at one time. Everything was well maintained on board, the majority of the crew were great, service in most cases was very good, the provisioning of bottled water for the land tours was well received but for some reason there was something not quite right and the atmosphere was not the same as on Paul Gauguin. The crew were absolutely great especially cabin steward(Jade), Sylvester & Jaimee(Verandah), Mehendrah and his staff in Horizons Bar, The Polish entertainment duo in Horizons, the sommelier who made sure our wine was correct every evening(Signatures & Prime7) were brilliant. The on board tour staff who were brilliant in making sure everything went to plan. The only concern we had was that we thought the eastern Europeans (generally) were not as friendly or relaxed as the Phillipino crew members. We have noticed this on other vessels with other cruise lines we have been on. We also felt that the Verandah restaurant was great especially with their special buffets(EG European night with fresh local sardines etc.). The food was done extremely well and was always hot. The choices and quality were great for us. Some of the small issues with Regent were related to the catering aspects of the cruise(land tour catering was brilliant with all local foods made available). Service in Signatures, Compass Rose and Prime7 we thought was quite fast and doing a count to 3 in French(Signatures) and the waiters lifting the lids off the meals was a bit "over the top". In hindsight we both believed that the service criteria is very much American style. We found other non-American passengers thought the same. In general the meals in these three(3) restaurants were OK but it could have been improved upon. Yes, my "blue" steak was always cooked to absolute perfection but for some staff to persist in calling it "Pittsburgh Blue" was a little to American for me especially when globally it is regularly identified as "French Blue" or "Blue". The wines initially offered to us were interesting. Serving the American whites and reds was OK but unfortunately I cannot drink them, as I have even when I lived in the USA suffered extreme headaches etc. from them. Interestingly a lot of the waiters were aware of this issue also from previous passengers. Fortunately they had Chilean and Italian wines which were great. Also serving an Australian wine called Skipping Jack to Australians is not a good idea especially as it is a bottling company that produces the wine from grapes from various wineries in the South Australian area. The same with Irish Coffees after dinner. When will they stop using cream from a pressurised can. Fortunately the barman was able to get real cream for a real Irish Coffee. The breakfast buffet was very good in general terms. Enjoyed all the different cheeses, smoked salmon and mackerel etc. Not sure why it happens but the slices of the smoked salmon and Carpaccio were quite cut thick when they should have been thinner. Also the pastries were tasteless. The croissants were quite small and very crumbly every day. Room service meal was an absolute disgrace. We had it once and never again and no matter what time we got back from a shore tour we always ate in one of the restaurants. Disembarkation in Istanbul was a shambles but we suspect that this was not Regent's fault. It just felt like you walk down the gangplank and you were no longer the responsibility of Regent. Also the charge Regent wanted for transfers to the airport were way over the top. We had private transport to our hotel and then hotel to airport and it was still some $USD140 cheaper. Something to be aware of. We realise that these are minor gripes but in the end we felt that RSSC has a reputation of 5 star to maintain and be a leader in the field of small to medium size cruise vessels. Yes, in general they still maintain an extraordinary cruise vessel level and yes we would sail with them again. It is just we felt something was not quite right with some aspects of the vessel. We also realise that the majority of the passengers are American and therefore Regent have to cater for their needs more than other nationalities. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
My husband and I greatly enjoyed our May 4 - 14 Istanbul to Venice cruise on the Mariner. As background: We are a couple in our mid 40s. We have traveled extensively, but this was only our 4th cruise, and our first on Regent. The cruise ... Read More
My husband and I greatly enjoyed our May 4 - 14 Istanbul to Venice cruise on the Mariner. As background: We are a couple in our mid 40s. We have traveled extensively, but this was only our 4th cruise, and our first on Regent. The cruise was chosen for the timing, length, and itinerary. Our thoughts: EMBARKATION / DEBARKATION: We arranged our own air and transfers. After a few days of sightseeing in Istanbul, we arrived at the port around 1pm. The check in process was very quick, and as the ship was just coming off of a short rehab / wet-dock, the cabin was immediately ready for us. Debarkation was also extremely easy. We just walked off the ship and quickly found our luggage in the terminal. STATEROOMS: We were in a "regular" deluxe suite on deck 8. The suite is a nice size and didn't feel cramped. The mattress was just replaced and the entire room was in great shape. We found that there is plenty of space in the closet and drawers. The bathroom had good storage and we loved the rain shower head. Our room stewardess, Cecilia, was excellent. Comments: • The size of the safe in the closet is very small (e.g. no room for a laptop or larger camera etc). • We currently live in a very quiet neighborhood, so it was a bit louder than we are used to. It was OK at night, but we were woken up early every morning by the noise of people talking in the hallways, the sounds of neighboring cabin front and balcony doors being opened and slamming shut etc. (note: The room service delivery person can't really catch the door as he walks in because he has the tray in his hands. Consequently, the hall door slams closed very loudly after he walks in.) DINNING Overall the dinning met our expectations. We expected and experienced generally good to very good meals and service...we didn't expect Michelin star like experiences, nor was it a big deal to us if a course or meal was not especially to our liking on occasion. Compose Rose: The food was consistently very good in CR. For dinner, we were always immediately seated when we showed up (typically between 8:00 - 8:30). The selections, service and pace of the meals went well in the evenings. Unfortunately, the service at breakfast was not at the same pace. Each of the 3 times we tried CR for breakfast it was extremely slow, even though there were not many others in the dining room. La Veranda: Buffets are not normally our first choice, but with the timing of the excursions, we usually went to LV for breakfast and some lunches. It was OK. It often seemed crowded and hectic and sometimes the "hot" food was not so hot. For dinner, our first experience at LV was disappointing. It was later in the evening, and the buffet was picked over and not visually appealing at all. The service was very slow, but the main courses ordered were good. We decided to give LV another chance for dinner, but this second time we went early (7 pm). It was a big difference! The buffet was full of interesting choices and was nicely presented. The service was much better as well. Lesson - go early for the best experience in LV for dinner. Signatures: We thought that the food was delicious and the service, if a bit pretentious, was professional and smooth. We enjoyed our meal so much; we went for a second time, trying completely different choices and were equally impressed. Prime 7: We have plenty of great steak houses in our current home area, so P7 really wasn't special for us. We went once and didn't try to go back. Perhaps if you lived in area where good steak houses are rare (pun intended), this would be a treat. Pool area: We had lunch here one time, and the burgers and ice cream were good. We enjoyed the pool bar service most afternoons. Please note that it was always easy to find a chair in the sun and one in the shade, no chair hog problems at all. Coffee Connection: Great idea! Loved stopping for a quick espresso and snack. Room service: We had room service deliver coffee every morning. There is a place to indicate when you would prefer the service in half hour intervals. Each and every time they were early. On one of the first days of the cruise, we had marked the 6:30 - 7:00 time frame and the delivery employee was ringing our doorbell at 6:08 (we were still in bed!). The only comment when we questioned, was that they had many orders. It wasn't' a big deal and became a joke to us...how early will they be today? SHIP ACTIVITIES Our time on the ship was primarily to relax, so we didn't take part in many of the ship activities....no trivia, games, casino etc. We often enjoyed a before or after dinner drink in one of the lounges. Our favorite spot was in the observation lounge when the ship was at sea. We didn't go to any of the shows in the large theater, except the "crew capers", which was sweet. OVERALL SERVICE All of the employees came across as friendly and eager to assist. Room stewards/stewardesses were always quick to wish you a good morning/evening when you passed them in a hallway (even if not on your own deck). The bar tenders and restaurant servers were consistently friendly and pleasant. Overall great service! PASSENGERS The ship was full and had a very interesting and friendly mix of passengers. We had many pleasant conversations with our fellow cruisers CONCLUSION Overall the trip was a huge success. We originally booked this trip to: • Visit places we had not been to before on land trips and all except Venice were new; • Enjoy some well deserved R&R from work, and afternoons at the pool deck served us well; and • Celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary in style, which we certainly did. If the itinerary and timing are right, we would love to sail Regent again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
We chose this particular cruise because we wanted a cruise without the need to fly to and from the ports. We live in southern Switzerland and rented a Hertz car (at the French side of Geneva airport) and drove to Monte Carlo. The reason ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because we wanted a cruise without the need to fly to and from the ports. We live in southern Switzerland and rented a Hertz car (at the French side of Geneva airport) and drove to Monte Carlo. The reason for renting in that specific location was to avoid the huge drop charges which are incurred by returning a car to another country. We spent two nights pre-cruise in Monte Carlo, staying at the Port Palace Hotel. The hotel was lovely, with a nice harbourside location, yet close to everything in Monte Carlo (well, it is a small place!!). However if we do this again I would definitely pay extra for a room on the 4th or 5th floors to get a better view. Ours was on the 2nd, and we had a great view of the huge yachts moored in front of us, but not much else. We booked on a B&B basis, and the breakfast was very nice - on the 6th floor with super view!! The hotel also has a lovely terrace bar where we had our apEritfs both evenings. We sailed on Wednesday 7th April. We pre-booked a taxi through the hotel and it came right on schedule at noon. About 12.05 we were in the queue waiting to present our tickets and passports to the Security desk. Boarding was slow - I would guess there were 30 people ahead of us and since the actual security check was at the top of the gangplank it took time. We were directed to the Constellation Theatre for check in which went smoothly and fast. By about 12.45 we were seated in la Veranda for lunch. We have not been on board the Mariner for two years and we were really pleased with the re-decorations we saw, especially in la Veranda and the Compass Rose (and by the way, I would love to have a set of the la Veranda china at home! It is lovely!!) Another thing I noticed was that the pool was kept full, even when we were in port. For those of us who did not get off the ship very often, this was lovely, even though only one or two people swam - the weather wasn't that warm! By about 2.45 we went to our suite and were greeted by our Stewardess, Regina. This is the first time we have been in a non-Butler suite for years (husband was economising last year when we booked!!) and I must say I was worried about the level of service. I need not have been. Regina was superb and looked after our every need. She immediately re-did our bed and installed two duvets instead of the one. I think it would be nice if there was a "Stewardess Form" for us to complete before boarding, telling what sort of bedding we would like. I asked for a bottle of Mumm's Cordon Rouge instead of the "mousseux" that had been in the suite and also a bottle of Johnny Walker. She brought them right away. The new Interactive TV is wonderful...once we found out it was there and then learnt to use it!! There were around 50 regular posters from the Cruise Critic boards and their spouses and families on board, and with the help of another "CC-er" I had amassed a list of names and suites. On the first evening I met the Cruise Director, Dionne Lochner, and told her that I would like to see her the next day about organising a cocktail for us all. She said that she would handle this and did. The next day she rang, and told me that the F&B manager would be calling me in a few minutes. I then had a call from Davor Manager of F&B, who sorted out the party. His reply to the request was not "why" but "when would you like it?" and that attitude to me sums up all that Regent is, and why we sail with Regent The party itself was on the third night, right after the Captain's welcome (delayed because of long port stays in both Livorno and Civitavecchia to allow lots of touring). It was held in Stars, and the Captain, the GM, the Cruise Director and other senior crew attended. We all really appreciated this chance to meet face-to-face. It was a lot of fun and many thanks go to Davor and his team for setting it up!! We had dinner the second evening in Signatures with "Orpington T" and his lovely wife, Barbara, and son, and daughter-in-law. Lots of fun and superb food and wines. The following night my husband and I dined at Prime 7 - our first opportunity to do so. We just loved it!! The food was terrific - we had lobsters - and it was nicely presented. Finally that space has an identity and offers a great treat to all. (Especially to us since we live in Europe and Maine lobsters are not at all easy to come by! Apparently Prime 7 has a tank of live lobsters - wow!) We asked the next evening if there was any possibility of a second reservation on any other night...and to our glee secured a table for 2 at 6pm on the night before we arrived in Venice. Other evenings we ate in Compass Rose and enjoyed each dinner. One night there were Soft shell Crabs as a starter. We love these and cannot get them at all where we live. I mentioned this to our waiter, Angel. He arranged for us to have a special lunch of "Soft Shells" the next day in the Compass Rose!! The overall quality and presentation of the food in all three restaurants (we didn't eat dinner at la Veranda) is excellent. The choices are wide, and you can always ask for something that is not on the menu, such as Filet Mignon with BEarnaise, and we did! This cruise was very port-intensive. Most people left the ship for most of the day, yet all day long Dionne and her team offered things to do. I participated in a Putting Competition. We attended Tea Time Trivia almost every day. It was the most fun when Dionne ran it herself! She managed to take the "nastiness" out of some of the competitiveness and everyone had a great time. We didn't do too many excursions since I was not feeling 100% as a result of a respiratory infection I had contracted before leaving Switzerland. Nor did we attend any of the shows...early bed was better! We did visit Capri - our excursion was"Capri on the Lighter Side" - had a good guide and spent a lot of time in (planned) shopping and had a nice lunch at la Palma in Capri Town. We also took an excellent tour in Kotor - "Kotor and the Bay of Kotor". Our guide, Bruna, was most informative and we learnt a lot about Montenegro, the former Yugoslavia and especially Kotor. My husband took a walking tour of Dubrovnik. I had planned to, but was too tired so stayed on board. He said that was very good as well. In Venice we did not take tours but went on our own via vaporetto to Torcello for a wonderful lunch at the Locanda Cipriani, a special favourite of ours. I should also add that our arrival in Venice, in pea-soup thick fog, was very disappointing to most on board. Nothing could be done about it, of course...and the seamanship demonstrated by Captain Felice Patruno and the pilot was really impressive. At one point we could hear children shouting "ciao, ciao" but could not see them!! We have arrived in Venice by ship before, so we know what we and all the others missed... Disembarkation was amazingly smooth. I had expected total disorganisation but instead we were told we could leave (since we had our own travel plans) at any time we liked. We strolled off the ship at 8am, found our luggage with the help of a charming port representative - there were two ships disembarking at once! - and then took the free shuttle to the Piazzale Roma, arriving there just after 8.30am. Hertz had just opened up and by 8.45 we were leaving Venice for the autostrada and were home in under six hours... Two days later we dropped the car in Ivrea, thereby avoiding some 800 EUR in drop charges!! Of course this was also the disembarkation that was dramatically affected by the Volcano and air travel crisis. We were not involved but we have read since of all the wonderful things that Regent did to ensure that its air passengers who were affected were well looked after. It was a wonderful cruise, made more wonderful by the crew: Our stewardess Regina; Cruise Director Dionne and her assistant Chris; Captain Felice Patruno; Maitres d'Hòtel Delfin and Rommel; waiters Angel and Gerry; Wine Steward Ivan (whom we knew from the Navigator) and last but not least, Helga from Destination Services. Look out for them all when you are on board...they will not disappoint you and neither will Regent and the Mariner! I only have one criticism - there were lovely lilies in all the lounges - Horizon Lounge, Observation Lounge etc. I love them but they do not love me (and others as well, I think!) Somehow they make me sneeze and cough!! Perhaps a choice of other flowers would be safer. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
I sailed on the Regent Seven Seas Navigator with my wife and 11-yr old son August 14, 2009 for 7 days, Athens (Piraeus) to Istanbul. My previous cruise experiences have been on Seaborn, Crystal and Lindblad/Nat. Geo. (small ships in ... Read More
I sailed on the Regent Seven Seas Navigator with my wife and 11-yr old son August 14, 2009 for 7 days, Athens (Piraeus) to Istanbul. My previous cruise experiences have been on Seaborn, Crystal and Lindblad/Nat. Geo. (small ships in Galapagos and Baja). I am not particularly picky about things and although I give almost anyone the benefit of the doubt if their heart is in the right place, I do notice things and, if things don't go well, those things stick in my craw. Anyway, the things I noticed (but would never complain about) are towards the end of this review, after "You're OUT!!!). I had, admittedly, somewhat high expectations of Regent, as I had originally chosen a 12-day itinerary on Oceania and my wife and agent 'upsold" me to Regent, as a definitive step-up from Oceania. As the title to this review portends, I was disappointed to the core with many aspects of the cruise that, in my opinion, leave no doubt as to the answer to question where Regent Seven Seas belongs in any "rating" of cruise lines. First, the good. We had a basic room which, on the Navigator, is stunning and huge (even without the generous balcony) relative to anything I have experienced on Seaborn or Crystal in the same general category. 24-hr room service. So, if your idea of a perfect cruise is sitting in the room, reading or watching videos and living off of room service, you've come to the right place. Room service food was reported to be good by my son, who enjoyed it several times. We only had the "fixings" delivered for some caviar we had, all good. Now, the misery. This was to be a designated family-oriented cruise, replete with a kids program in 3 age groups. There were between 50 and 60 kids on the cruise (representing over 10% of the passengers on board). When we inquired after boarding, we were told that the two women who ran the program were "asked to leave the ship" at a prior cruise port. No explanation, no apology, no alternatives, just mystery. Further inquiry yielded no details or explanation. I can say with 100% assurance that if this had happened on Crystal, they would have flown new staff from another location, co-opted crew from other duties or otherwise figured out how to deliver on a promise so essential to the concept of family cruise "vacation" (i.e., mom and dad can have some time together alone) and the number of affected passengers. Not with Regent. Had there not been a ping-pong table on board, the seas would have been littered with parents jumping from the rails. We had the opportunity to dine with some of the senior staff one evening and danced around the subject - but they were all tight-lipped to the end. Unbelievably, we learned a day before disembarking, that the staff asked to leave the ship were in fact rejoining the ship on the return to Athens. Arrgh. Strike one. A zero for failing to deliver an essential part of the cruise, as marketed and promised, and a below zero minus for not figuring out how to otherwise mitigate their abject failure and come up with something, if only a believable story. We signed up, using a not insignificant amount of shipboard credit (several hundred dollars) for a Regent "Signature" excursion in Rhodes. These are the very special, particularly-vetted couple of excursions that an exclusive group within Regent arranges. In our case, it was an "Off-Road" Adventure, renting a jeep and caravanning to many of the interesting sites on Rhodes that most folks wouldn't be able to visit because of the off-road nature of the trip and mobility of being in small vehicles. Although we may have at some point driven through some of the towns in which some of the historic/cultural sites described in the excursion brochure resided (though my GPS did not indicate so), hand over heart I can say that there was nothing, other than the act of renting a jeep that bore any resemblance to what was in the Regent brochure, the basis on which we booked this trip. We started out at "Butterfly Valley", actually a very interesting site in which a certain butterfly species (in fact, a moth), historically comes. Unfortunately, we were hustled in and out so fast, we did not have an opportunity to enjoy the place at any pace, or to take more than a snapshot or two. We were then off for a one hour drive to have a snack/drink, which ended up being at a hunting lodge. After another hour and a half in the car, we ended up in a small village in the mountains overlooking (a ways away) the coastline. Not the place we were supposed to stop, with another large party from a tour bus upstairs, but the food was fine. At this point, I was interested only in the "Ouzo". Then back in the jeeps for about 45 mins. Did I mention that the brochure said we would be off-road most of the time to visit these rare sites, but that we had yet to see anything but pavement. Not for long. For about a sum total of about 90 seconds, we hit a patch of unpaved road under repair and - you guessed it - that was the "off-road" part of the trip. Just before exiting the un-pavement, in one of the most surreal moments of this goat-rodeo, the guide pulled everyone off the road onto the dried weeds at roadside, right next to a bunch of bee hives (imagine the 95 degree heat, sun, and now swarming bees at having been invaded by 9 topless jeeps). Why? To gather everyone's cameras so that he could take a memorable picture for everyone on or in front of their own jeep on their own camera. You think I'm kidding? It was surreal. Put aside for the moment that 2 minutes further down the road was a scenic pull-out with a sweeping panorama of the coast and surrounding Greek isles, this was a scene that Quentin Tarentino would pay money to get the rights to. After the honking of irritated guests drove the guide back into his jeep, we were back in the jeeps for another hour to...the beach. Nothing in the brochure about the beach or swimming. We had not brought bathing suits. No towels provided by Regent for the trip (you would think - even if to save their stateroom towels from being used at the beach off the ship). But there we were at a small Taverna on the beach and the beautiful Med. My son and I went cowboy style and my wife had to suffer with a diet coke and view of the Med. 50 minutes later, we're hustled back in the jeeps for, yes, another 45 min drive back to the jeep rental spot, and then a bus ride back to the ship. Strike Two. No one from Regent had ever vetted this trip. They never gave any explanation (other than the disingenuous letter mentioned below). There is no way imaginable that it could be considered anything other than a slow roast around Rhodes for 8 hrs. Most importantly, we had wasted our only opportunity to see Rhodes on this misrepresented "Signature" excursion, not to mention the several hundred in credit dropped on this. Shameful. Our first stop back on board after chuckling about the comedy of misconception and execution that was our "Signature Rhodes Off-Road Adventure" was to visit the excursion desk to lodge our disappointment and disbelief at what had just befallen us. Lots of "so sorry", but obviously no one there with any answers or ability to do anything. They left a note for the excursion manager. We later met with him, in civil fashion, away from the excursion desk, in relative privacy. He took notes and expressed concern and shock, but clearly had no knowledge. I challenged him to find a single participant on the trip that would sign up again for that trip, rather than have their fingernails pulled one-by-one. He said that he really couldn't do anything, but would send it to "New York". This was Tuesday. We were due to disembark Friday morning 8am in Istanbul. We checked back throughout Wednesday and Thursday and no one had any answers. We had not asked for anything in particular, but clearly were PO'd that we had expended money on an entirely misrepresented trip. Finally, around 8pm on Thursday night, while packing, I went to the excursion desk and said I wouldn't leave until I had some response. I was told that the response from New York had "just come in" - and that Regent was not prepared to do anything. Nothing at all. As if we had just reported something that we had imagined. I was left so incredulous that I simply asked to have it in writing, which they delivered around 9pm that night (I'll try to post this). End of story. Let's contrast Regent's response to the "Off-Road" goat rodeo with our experience a day later after disembarking at our small hotel (the "Blue House Hotel") overlooking the Blue Mosque. My son mentioned to someone at the front desk in passing that the Jacuzzi jet button hadn't worked in the spa tub when he tried. I hadn't even heard of it and, frankly, wouldn't have cared a bit, but when we returned from our day of touring Istanbul, a sincere letter of apology from hotel management for the malfunction and a basket of fresh fruit in our room. Enough said. By the way, we highly recommend the Blue House Hotel, otherwise known as the "Mavi-Ev". Strike Three. Doing anything approaching taking responsibility for a bad experience and a gesture, however modest, to make a cruise customer feel like a guest. How 'bout a little replacement shipboard credit, which given the timing, we would have only been able to use, if at all, on a nice bottle of wine at our last dinner. How 'bout a basket of fruit. How 'bout 10% off a future cruise. Anything..., but nothing? Hmmn. We all differ in how we measure our experiences, but I can say truthfully that in each of our cruises, we absolutely had to personally visit with and thank not less than a half-dozen crew members, to say farewell, exchange contact information, invite them to visit when they're in the San Francisco area and the like. There was not a single person that any of us felt even remotely compelled to hunt down, other than a Kiwi security officer that my son promised to do the Maori Haka dance for. We had a pleasant dinner with him and with a nice young woman whose title led us to believe she would be the perfect person to share our "concerns" about the cruise with, but ended up being more responsible for customs clearance at ports than customer service and, other than expressing surprise at what we had experienced, offered no hope that anything would be done. It was like sharing the story with just another guest. The Maitre D' of the main dining room deserves special mention for patience and keeping that warm smile and wit amidst demanding cruise customers all wanting window tables. No one else remotely came to mind for any of us. Strike 1, Strike 2, Strike 3 - You're OUT!!! My conclusion - a perfect cruise line for someone used to a cattle car mega-ship. If you have been on Seaborn, Crystal, or any cruise line out there that truly puts the guest first and has any understanding as to what that means - run the other way as you will be disappointed on Regent Seven Seas. From the top down, they have no clue what guest/customer service is. It's an institutional problem, not an aberration. Some details - Nice gym, open 24 hrs. But nothing in terms of programs in the dance/stretch area. No staff to run any of the programs from all appearances. I remember a daily schedule of yoga, pilates and other things on Crystal. Zilch on Regent. Carpets and certain other common areas smell "stale". Carpet upgrade or cleaning or paint (anything to cover up the smell) would be worthwhile. I always wonder what "included tips" means for staff. For the first couple of days, I thought the overall attitude of staff was a little harsh. This got better over time, but there has to be a better way of handling this "perk" that still incents the staff to work to their potential. Perhaps a special "tip" shipboard credit that can only be used for that purpose. Wireless internet from the room worked pretty well, though I had to work around VPN blocking. We attended an evening show -which was very well produced. I understand the band/orchestra (professional) had been brought back on a semi-permanent basis and that explained in part the good music quality. Specialty restaurant food was mediocre at best and the menu, uninspired. Main dining room food and service was excellent, as was the wine list. The "house" booze (for which one does not pay extra) was top notch. (Belvedere or the Goose - house; Bombay Sapphire - house; Maker's Mark (for those Manhattans) - house. The house wines at dinner were so interesting, varied and good we rarely ventured into the wine list. The "photo shop" described in literature and even in on-board materials in the room....well, it must have been a sick joke. From what I could tell from visual inspection and asking for several items during the trip, it consisted of a pile of AAA batteries and a couple of memory sticks (which could not be located); literally all in a small plastic basket to the left of the cash register. I was looking for liquid lens cleaner or anything close - fat chance. Don't think that there is even a photo kiosk where you can stick in a memory card and print photos or burn a CD. There was literally nothing. We'd been used to photographers on most cruises - a casualty of cost-cutting on Regent. Food in general - given that we were in Greece and Turkey, I would have expected that at least in one of the restaurants we might see some "local" dishes. It was really odd to have spent 5 days in Greece before boarding the ship and 5 days in Istanbul after disembarking, cultures that are known for their fine cuisine, and not being able to enjoy any of it on the ship. How 'bout a small sampling at dinner of "local" dishes. It's what we've seen on other cruise lines. Golf driving net - hope you're left-handed or the choice is slim. The mat looked like a bad toupee and kids routinely whacked balls off the back of the boat, occasionally off of other guests - an accident waiting to happen. I had to get off the treadmill and run outside to exercise a little adult supervision a couple of times. No crew around, but this brings me back to Strike One, and I've spent enough energy on this diatribe. Overall impression - these folks are in cost-cutting mode and it shows. Answer to the Question: A two-star pretender....but love the cabin. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
We had a pretty poor experience a few weeks ago aboard the Navigator. We have cruised a few times before, but mostly travel by air. As a frame of reference, we have cruised on Crystal, Silverseas, Royal Carribean, Cunard, and Celebrity ... Read More
We had a pretty poor experience a few weeks ago aboard the Navigator. We have cruised a few times before, but mostly travel by air. As a frame of reference, we have cruised on Crystal, Silverseas, Royal Carribean, Cunard, and Celebrity in the past, in either Europe or Asia. We found Regent to be "okay", but certainly not for the price and hype. We have three children, ages 7, 10, and 13, so we booked two cabins. The cost of the one-week cruise for the family was over $17,000 without air, but the port tours were largely free or at low-cost as part of Regent's current promotions. Our biggest complaint against Regent is the very poor way in which they handled a significant problem we had with our room. Basically, they took almost the entire cruise duration to deal with a plumbing problem (never completely solved), and in addition to other issues, they did not handle things in a way anyone in the luxury hospitality business should. When we boarded the ship in Monaco, we were greeted in our cabin by an acrid sewer/algae smell. The whole room smelled, but we were able to figure out that it was coming from the bathroom. The housekeeper agreed that it smelled horribly, and when we returned from dinner a few hours later the sewer smell was somewhat overcome by the smell of Drano/chlorine. Not exactly pleasant. The next day the sewer smell returned, so we contacted the front desk. To make a long story short, Reception was very nice but not very effective. They had a plumber come out on Day 1 (embarkation is Day 0), and he said that there was something wrong with the drain and fixed something, with maybe 50-70% improvement. But it still had that sickening smell. Anyway, by Day 5 the smell was mostly gone after one other plumber intervention. But the inconvenience of waiting around for the plumber and having him stomp around the bathroom in his boots also did not help our cruise experience. For most of the cruise, when we were on the ship we found ourselves all retreating to our sons' cabin, which happened to be a handicapped cabin without a sofa. The smell was the overriding problem with the cruise. Add to that a bath towel that had more than 10 holes and stains in it (I have photos), multiple unannounced water interruptions resulting in milky-white water emerging from our sink on several occasions including an interruption at midnight-3 am that left my 13 year old with shampoo on his head, and really terrible breakfasts (cheap quality ingredients) in the Portofino restaurant, and you have something that is FAR from what we consider luxury. In addition, the cruise line has handled our concerns very poorly. We actually emailed our complaints to RSSC Guest Relations on 8/12/09 (Day 5), and we have not heard anything from them and it has been almost 3 weeks. We cc'd our letter to our American Express Centurion travel agent, and she contacted their marketing manager. The Amex agent initially told us that RSSC "would have to respond within 48 hours", but their only response was that the complaint would be sent on to some other department in their company. As I said, it has now been over three weeks and still no reply. We travel a lot about 3 months a year. Over the years, we have had "issues" here and there, including new purchases stolen from my room at a Hong Kong hotel, or a cruise housekeeper who put our brand-new unreleased Sonicare toothbrushes brush-down in a half-glass of water left by the previous guest as soon as we boarded the ship! Each time, someone from management would come and apologize, send some tangible token like flowers or candy to let us know that they are sorry and value our patronage. Well, from Regent, nothing. No words from management, no candy (how hard is that on an all-inclusive cruise, we already had $1000 shipboard credit from Amex that we could hardly spend?), nothing but an offer to "clean our room" on day 5/7 of our cruise, the only day AT SEA! Anyway, my final word is that what Regent is offering is far from luxury and as we wait to hear from management, it becomes clear that they are undeserving of the Regent name. The Regent Hotel in Hong Kong (now Intercontinental) was one of the world's great hotels and we actually spent New Year's Eve there on the Millenium but this cruise line has nothing to do with the Regent we knew. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
Regent Navigator  st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; ... Read More
Regent Navigator  st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} Istanbul - Venice   First I wish to make clear that Regent staff on board the ship are one of the best. However, I also wish to be very very clear that Regent corporate staff are simply one of the worst.   For this cruise I selected an F category cabin. For whatever reason Regent corporate thinks that Handicapped rooms are equivalent - trust me - they are not. The cabin assigned to us was poorly maintained (woodwork bashed, mattress was equivalent to a third rate country flop house, shower head damaged) and did not contain either a bathtub or a sofa. Other non-handicapped cabins were nicer in all aspects. Therefore any relationship to this handicap cabin being equivalent is absurd. I would however be completely upset if I had been truly handicapped. This room was completely substandard in relation to other cabins of the same or even lower class that were non-handicapped. In my mind it is only a matter of time before the "disabled" community goes after Regent corporate on their total lack of equal standards.   A note to remember - when talking with Regent corporate prior to your cruise - simply understand - they do not know what they are talking about and will tell you anything to get you off the phone. I was told that handicapped rooms all have couches and glass showers - no, they don't (so why  do they lie or guess?). Also, I made reservations online for the Portofino Grill only to find out that no reservation existed. Again corporate staff dropped the ball.   On a happier note we were transferred to a different cabin at the beginning of the cruise to the last cabin on the stern of the ship. (only cabin available) Yes, there is massive vibration but that was preferable to no bathtub or couch. If you cannot handle loud noise and "massive" vibration - do not even consider anything other than the middle of the ship. I did find that ample digestion of alcohol does reduce the vibration to the point of total bliss.   As I touch on random topics I did wish to speak on the subject of smoking. Yes it does occur on board. Yes, it does occur in cabins and balconies (much to the chagrin of the  smoke police on board) and yes non-smokers are still offended by non-smokers in the smoking areas. Such is life. Personally I am offended by women who think they must take a bath in nauseous perfume. Perhaps we can outlaw that next. BTW, I am a non-smoker.   Status of the ship is simply - worn out. The overdue retrofit of the ship is much needed. Carpet are shot, tables worn, couches bad shape, chairs scuffed - you know the typical wear and tear of years of abuse. Personally if I had known how bad a condition the ship was in - I would have demanded a reduced rate.   "Free Shore Excursions" - First, nothing is free. Second - we went on two of these excursions and both were planned by Regent on maximizing structured sales pitches by vendors on shore. A sad commentary but true. Not only that but on the Venice excursion we coughed up an additional $100 bucks to have a private gondola ride - with the excursion lasting 2 and a half hours. Trouble was that for an for the first hour and 55 minutes we were turned loose in St. Marco square to "shop". Therefore the actual gondola ride lasted only 35 minutes. Consider this excursion a - Ripoff.   I would recommend private excursions - better value for your money.   Ports - We did make one change on the itinerary with was substituting Corfu for Albania - a good decision.   Food - without doubt this was the best aspect of the total cruise. I have cruised on several cruise lines and Regent is one of the best with regard to food. Prepare to feast.   Again, I wish to reiterate that shipboard staff were helpful and professional. I wish I could say the same for Regent corporate. It amazes me that answers to passenger questions were simply so wrong. If you don't know the answer - then Regent staff should either not answer or find the correct answer. Making answers up simply leaves one with a bad taste.For this reason alone I will never cruise with Regent again.   So, on a scale of 1 - 10 I would rate Regent cruise line a 6.2.   For comparative purposes I would rate Celebrity at 8.8 and Holland America at 7.9 with Royal Caribbean at 5.9.   Regent in my mind simply does not live up to its hype. My experience is that Regent falls behind Holland America and Celebrity in terms of quality.   Overall not a bad cruise experience - but one that could have been much better.     Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
Cruise May 16 on Regent Seven Seas NavigatorWe have cruised many times with this cruise line before it changed its name from Radisson to Regent, and what I can say is that Regent is no Radisson. While Radisson tried its best to accommodate ... Read More
Cruise May 16 on Regent Seven Seas NavigatorWe have cruised many times with this cruise line before it changed its name from Radisson to Regent, and what I can say is that Regent is no Radisson. While Radisson tried its best to accommodate customer needs, Regent does not seem to care.Prior to this cruise, I had occasion to contact its corporate staff (Gair O'Neill and Ken Watson). Getting them to return phone calls was like pulling teeth. I never managed to speak to O'Neill, and Watson was totally unhelpful when I managed to track him down.On boarding the ship, the same uncaring attitude continued. As they requested, I had booked my shore excursions on-line, prior to boarding. After boarding, I found that they did not have my bookings. When I pointed it out, they blamed their computer. What is worse, the ship's staff did not care because they said it was a corporate office problem, not theirs. They refused to put me on the shore excursion they lost even though they had a few vacancies, because they were holding them for some passengers who had not boarded yet. A more clear-cut case of discrimination I cannot think of. As for the food and service, economy seems to be the watchword for all meals, but especially in the afternoon teas. Their pastry chef appears to be learning the trade. The rooms are adequate in size, but chips in the shower tiles and a tight-fisted policy towards bath amenities do not go with a cruise that bills itself as a six star experience.The entertainment is embarrassing. While they had quite a few performers, they should note that quality is preferred over quantity.In all respects, the cruise line does not compare to Radisson. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
If you only have 7 days to take a Mediterranean cruise, pick one just like this. And if you have the option to take a luxury cruise pick Regent. I can't say it is a good value because it isn't cheap but Regent pampers its ... Read More
If you only have 7 days to take a Mediterranean cruise, pick one just like this. And if you have the option to take a luxury cruise pick Regent. I can't say it is a good value because it isn't cheap but Regent pampers its passengers and treats them like valued clients. We booked this Monte Carlo to Athens cruise on the Navigator despite having a 'not so good' trip on the Navigator several years ago. The ship is a little small to offer a wide range of activities but was more than adequate for a port intensive cruise. We opted for a butler suite with business class air and that was the good value selling point. Round trip air arrangements from Atlanta were great with good connections and much cheaper booking through Regent than booking through the airlines. KLM and Lufthansa were efficient but not as service oriented as Singapore or Air New Zealand. The Frankfurt airport is huge and is undergoing major construction so if you have a tight connection you might request transport assistance. The ship has been maintained very well and this time we completely enjoyed our trip on the Navigator. The new all-inclusive policy on Regent was even better than we expected. Our excursions, booked on-line prior to the cruise were very good. The trip to Rome was the only one that was disappointing because we missed seeing the Pope by a few minutes and the tour operator could have changed the itinerary slightly to allow us that opportunity. We choose a paid excursion on Santorini and had a wonderful time at an out of the way restaurant attending a cooking class/demonstration and having a great lunch. We spoke with several other passengers taking an assortment of the excursions and they all had positive reports. Naturally Regent's liberal liquor policy and 'no gratuities expected' was welcome once again. Our suite was located on Deck 10 mid ship and was very clean. Our butler was always close by and smiling but not intrusive. We enjoyed breakfast daily in our suite to save time and be ready for the day's excursions. We requested and were served dinner in our suite twice because we were just too tired to dress for dinner after the day's busy excursion trips. Manuel, the butler brought us dinner course by course and served at our pace. We have had butler service before but he was the most professional and pleasant server we have encountered. The first day on board one of our bags was delayed and when it finally was delivered some of the clothes were damp. Not a problem for Manuel, he whisked things out and returned with them freshly dried and pressed. The wet luggage was a mystery because we had no rain on the trip over and we wondered if they dropped the bag in the water or somehow found a puddle to lay it down in. We always had an ample supply of toiletries in the bathroom. The meals on Regent are really good and you can get almost anything you want on board. One night in the dining room my husband wasn't tempted by the gourmet selections and asked for a cheeseburger. The waiter smiled and said, "On Regent we never say NO" and came back with the best looking cheeseburger ever. The servings are a reasonable size and the service is usually very good. We did not have time to attend the production shows on this cruise but most comments were favorable. The casino was small, smoky and crowded. One of our favorite Regent bartenders, Eduardo was there each night to mix his special drinks for us. The ship's staff seems to enjoy their work and that is a reflection on Captain MacNeill. A tour of the bridge was offered to all passengers. The Block Party was fun as usual, Regents' idea for breaking the ice with your fellow travelers on the first night. The embarkation process in Monte Carlo was a minor irritation with long slow moving lines in the hot sun. After an overnight flight it was not a good start to the cruise but a nice glass of champagne and warm welcome once on board cured that bump in the road. Overall, we had a wonderful cruise and wish it could have lasted longer. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
Pre-Cruise We had air inclusive on this cruise. Regent booked us on Lufthansa out of Seattle with a stop (and 4 hour wait) in Frankfurt. Flying out of Seattle on Lufthansa was quick and easy. We were booked on Business Class and were ... Read More
Pre-Cruise We had air inclusive on this cruise. Regent booked us on Lufthansa out of Seattle with a stop (and 4 hour wait) in Frankfurt. Flying out of Seattle on Lufthansa was quick and easy. We were booked on Business Class and were able to use the lounge prior to the flight. They use the British Air lounge in Terminal "S" one of the nicest lounges we have seen in the U.S. Contrary to most reviews on Lufthansa, the Business Class seats and service were very good (A330-330 one of the newer planes). The "Business Class" flight from Frankfurt to Istanbul was okay from a service standpoint, however, the seats were economy (6 across 3 and 3). The middle seat was blocked off so no one sits next to you. Not impressive. Regent's transfer to the Ritz Carlton in Istanbul was fine. Beautiful hotel. It seemed that the Regent passengers were assigned to lower floors. Our first room was next to the elevator, looked out at a wall and had stained carpets. We were moved to a room on the 3rd floor that was just fine. Included an excellent buffet breakfast. Embarkation Embarkation was easier than we have experienced. Customs in Istanbul was a breeze and, of course, Regent does a wonderful job of getting you through the preliminaries and up to lunch in La Veranda. Condition of the Ship Condition of ship 2 months prior to dry dock: We were on the Voyager two years ago and felt they needed to replace the carpeting. It isn't worn or dirty, it just looks like there are water marks from large spills everywhere. It seems that they purchased the wrong carpet for the ship. A CC poster that apparently knows about carpet said : "It's called pile reversal/watermarking/shading. It's a common occurrence." In any event, it will be replaced in dry dock. Everything else is sparkling, and clean really looking good. Suite We had a Penthouse B suite (we booked this in order to have Business Class included in the fare. The cabin (818) was in a good position you could not feel any type of vibration. Although the Penthouse suites are only 15 sq. ft. larger, the square configuration makes them considerably roomier. Service The service was wonderful (with a couple of exceptions). We really do not need a butler, however, we asked him if we could have a table set up for 13 in Compass Rose on the next night. He checked and called the next morning to advise me that this is not possible, but, at 7:00 p.m., if we give our suite # to the person in Compass Rose, they will put us in two tables next to each other. We arrived in Compass Rose 6:45 p.m. and was greeted by Anna (she is delightful). She was not aware that we needed table(s) for 13 however, asked us to wait 3 minutes, they would have a table set up for us. This was done and we had a great table with service (Lionel's section) that was absolute perfection. There are more Canadian's working on board than I have seen in the past very nice young people with a great attitude. We even found someone from the U.S. working on board. Seeing staff from North America was different (in a good way). Dining Compass Rose was exemplary. Their filet mignon, and other meat dishes were particularly well prepared. Lunch in Compass Rose was equally delicious. La Veranda for breakfast and lunch was good. However, during a very slow lunch period, the service seemed to fall apart. The staff were all chatting to one another and looking out of the window while plates stacked up on our table. At 1:00 p.m., additional staff was added and the service suddenly became great once again. On the positive side, I was not aware that they have champagne for breakfast on Sunday as well as caviar (prepared beautifully self service). Latitudes continues to serve delicious food their servers are always the happiest and most fun of any servers on board. We will miss Latitudes. Signatures was disappointing the halibut was dry - not even up to the caliber of Compass Rose. The other CCers on board had great experiences in Signatures. We are looking forward to trying Prime Seven Steakhouse next year on the Voyager! The lounges have been quite good. The appetizers are definitely a better quality than a couple of years ago. Even the presentation is a bit better. Note: There was nothing wrong with the appetizers during our last Voyager cruise - the preparation is different and they are presented in a more modern way. Ports Istanbul the port side of the ship is the place to be when in Istanbul especially if you are docked there overnight as we were. The view is magnificent. We found a lovely restaurant (actually an old home where we dined in the backyard) "Giritli". With such a short time in Istanbul, we wanted to try as much authentic food as possible. They serve 12-17 cold appetizers (depending upon fresh vegetables that are in season we had 17). This is followed by three hot appetizers: calamari, octopus and a flakey pastry with spinach inside. Then you select your fish and dessert follows. Dinner includes Turkish wine (all you can drink) and their national drink "Raki". Great food, nice people. They make sure you have a taxi for you when you are done. We walked to the Blue Mosque (next to Topaki Palace). There were simply too many people (mainly tours) for us. Interesting area did wait to go through the Blue Mosque. Rhodes - unique and wonderful. We did a 2 hour taxi tour and walked through the old town looking at shops. There are many taxis parked by the dock. They all want to give you a tour. We politely refused many times. The last driver followed us trying to convince us that we needed to take the tour. We were pleased that we agreed (40 Euro). Kusadasi - as beautiful as the ruins probably are (and we have seen many), we opted to have an authentic Turkish bath (a local facility - no name - just "Turkish Bath" near the post office - walking distance from ship). It was quite an experience - not for everyone, but, it was great for us (only 18 Euro's each). Mykonos - stunning - a great walking city (if you can walk up the stairs and hills). We walked to the very top of the hill - what a view! Santorini - Captain Dag made a very appropriate statement about ports in general. Many new cruise ships are built every year - getting bigger all of the time. However, the ports do not get larger. The week before, 6 cruise ships were in port in Santorini (11,000) people. It took up to 2 hours to get up to the top of the cliff and about the same to get down. People could hardly walk - it was just too crowded. Last week there were 10 ships (plus the Voyager) scheduled to be in port. The Captain made the wise decision to change the itinerary so that we would be in Santorini with only two other ships. We visited the same ports - the order in which we visited them was changed. Santorini is everything people say about it and more. Unique, beautiful - definitely worth the visit. We took a local bus to Oia (a place that should not be missed). I recommend getting in and out of Oia as early in the morning as possible as it will no doubt become overrun with tours later in the day. Nauplion (spelled many different ways) - a nice, laid-back city. Not a whole lot to see. There is a fort - 898 steps up hill. My DH made it to the top - I stopped at 272 steps (I still had a great view of the city). We were surprised at just how different each island was. We enjoyed them all. Post Cruise There were many Regent passengers that were put up at the Athens Intercontinental Hotel because the flights to some cities would not get us home the same day (Regent paid for the cost of the hotel). We were aware of this way in advance. They offered a 3 hour city tour of Athens for $15 per person. Just about everyone took the tour. By the time we reached the hotel, the rooms were ready. Breakfast was included, and, since we had to leave the hotel at 3:00 a.m., were able to order breakfast from room service (rather strange eating at 2:00 a.m., but it was delicious). This is a lovely hotel. One of the flights back on Lufthansa from exceptional (Frankfurt to Portland) - amazing service as well as food (must be that great German food loaded onto the plane? In conclusion: We have been on five Regent cruises. I have reviewed and rated two prior to this one on CC. This is the first time I feel 100% that it deserves a "5" rating. Read Less
Sail Date October 2008
"Emphasis on providing a delightful experience" "The Regent Experience" "Unsurpassed levels of luxury define the Regent Experience" "Your every desire and wildest dreams fulfilled" ... Read More
"Emphasis on providing a delightful experience" "The Regent Experience" "Unsurpassed levels of luxury define the Regent Experience" "Your every desire and wildest dreams fulfilled" "Uncompromising excellence" "Unparalleled service and attention" Just some of the claims made by Regent Seven Seas Cruises in their promotional material. As a special celebration for our silver wedding anniversary in March 2008, my husband and I, together with two friends, booked a seven-day cruise on Seven Seas Navigator, sailing in July. Regent's ships are advertised as being six-star and they frequently mention in their advertising material, "the Regent Experience", "The ultra luxury world of Regent Seven Seas Cruises". These are the reasons we decided to book with Regent, as we wanted a very special occasion. How we were disappointed! Within two days of boarding, three of our party went down with diarrhea and loss of appetite, which lasted several days. Consequently, not much food was eaten. There were several other passengers on board suffering the same complaint. We decided to treat ourselves with medication, as the cost for seeking the advice and help of the onboard doctor was very expensive. We brought our problem to the notice of the Cruise Director, but he made it clear he did not want to know. There were poor hygiene standards on board. The use of antibacterial gel was not compulsory, either when boarding the ship or when entering a dining area. It was available, but not in a prominent position and many passengers did not bother to use it. During our time aboard, there were two instances when we were given dirty glassware and crockery and we witnessed a waiter carrying a cream jug, to our table, with his hand clasped over the top, instead of carrying it by the handle. Definitely not six-star! There was poor service on the pool deck, tables left uncleared and no towels for the sunbeds. Again, not what one would expect from a 6-star ship. In the main dining room, on two occasions when a large party of Colombian people arrived, service at our table and others was extremely poor, with most of the waiters fawning over this family and we were left with empty wine glasses and long waits. Presumably the Colombians tipped well! The Asian staff on board worked extremely hard, were very pleasant and aimed to please, but they were under pressure and it showed. Some of the older Italian staff, we found to be arrogant. A passenger we spoke to also complained about lipstick on a glass she was given. The waitress asked her if it was her own lipstick! Our suite was very nice and we have no complaints there. However, suffering from diarrhea, we spent rather longer in our rooms than we would have liked! On our return home we wrote a very fair letter of complaint to Regent. Their reply was purely and simply a big brush-off. They don't want to know. They suggested we caught a bug from the airport and have told us that they meet the highest standards set by the US Public Health Authorities. What we experienced and witnessed could never be classed as high standards. We have sailed with other lines in the past such as Swan Hellenic and Seabourn and found both to be excellent. I would have far rather been writing a rave review and have wonderful memories of a special celebration. Unfortunately, we were very disappointed. We definitely did not get what we had paid for and will not be sailing with Regent in the future. The 'Regent Experience' we experienced, is not one we wish to remember! Read Less
Sail Date July 2008
If there ever was a couple more reluctant to take a cruise, it was us. My first and only cruise was a disastrous cruise on NCL, which was so awful that I swore I would never cruise again! My husband, who has never cruised, was frightened ... Read More
If there ever was a couple more reluctant to take a cruise, it was us. My first and only cruise was a disastrous cruise on NCL, which was so awful that I swore I would never cruise again! My husband, who has never cruised, was frightened off by the many stories of seasickness, crowded ships, crowded tour buses and the all you can eat buffet mentality. So, to find us on a cruise was a miracle in itself! Needless to say, in a weak moment, we decided to book a cruise on the Regent Seven Seas Voyager. The high ratings it received from several Travel Magazines, plus the seven-night itinerary (Athens to Rome), appealed to us. Armed with our seasick bands and a high level of anxiety, we headed off to the airport. We flew to Athens via JFK on Olympic Airlines. Despite some ugly reviews of Olympic, we had a very good experience with this airline! New plane, comfortable seats and fairly friendly crew. We arrived in Athens around 11 AM on Saturday morning and headed to the port. Since we had some time to kill before boarding the ship, we had our driver take us on a quick tour of Athens. We arrived at the port (Piraeus) at 2PM and were immediately greeted by a Regent Representative who walked us through the gate directly onto the ship. Not a line in sight. On board the ship, we were warmly welcomed by Dana and Jamie Logan, the ship's Cruise Directors. We were immediately offered a glass of champagne and spent the next few minutes checking into the ship. Again, no lines and a speedy check in! Since we embarked earlier than the suggested time, our cabin wasn't quite ready, so we were encouraged to tour the ship and/or enjoy lunch at La Veranda on Deck 11. Served buffet style (uh oh), the lunch was fairly good, but limited in offerings. While lunching, we did notice some ship vibration as we sat at our table. Turns out this is a minor problem, but fortunately, this did not impact us at all during the rest of our trip. The service was exceptional and everyone was warm and welcoming. Right after lunch, we were able to go to our cabin. It was much nicer than we anticipated. The walk-in closet was very roomy, the bathroom with its separate shower and bathtub exceeded our expectations and the balcony promised many wonderful views. On top of this, we were greeted with a bottle of champagne and a chocolate cake compliments of the Captain in celebration of our anniversary. Nice touch! We were also introduced to our stewardesses Therese and Lena who were responsible for making up our rooms and answering general housekeeping questions we might have throughout the cruise. They were wonderful throughout the cruise! Never once, did they not greet us with a Good morning/Good afternoon greeting and smile! In fact, I left my Blackberry charger at home and not only did they find a charger for me, but they charged my Blackberry for me while we were at dinner!!! Now that's service above and beyond! At 6:00 PM, we set sail for Santorini, Greece. This was to be the first of many evenings where we would sit on our balcony, wine glass in hand watching one beautiful sunset after another. With each sunset, our anxiety over cruising was fading fast. In addition to our early evening balcony ritual, we also grew to love awakening in the morning to find ourselves at yet another beautiful port waiting for us to explore. In fact, our first morning at see found us docked off the coast of Santorini, Greece. The views were gorgeous and we couldn't wait to explore the island. We spent the early part of the morning on a shore excursion to Fira, which was just enough for us to get a taste and feel of Santorini  we spent some time in town and then headed back to the ship. We spent the rest of the afternoon soaking up the Mediterranean sun at the ship's pool. The pool deck was a bit of a disappointment as it seemed sparse, but certainly not a showstopper for us. Day 2 found us in Kusadasi, Turkey. This was to be my husband's favorite port  mainly because of our tour to Ephesus. Don't miss this tour, we're still raving about it! One could almost imagine themselves back in ancient Roman Times. Our guide, Mustapha was an incredible story teller and had all of us (if for the moment) back in 292BC! The only downer for this port was the extremely aggressive shopkeepers, who practically dragged you into their stores. This was a turnoff and we headed back to the ship for our afternoon siesta and sun. Note of interest, if you are looking for good knock off designer bags and leather goods, this is the place to get them. Day 3 in Rhodes was another gorgeous, sunny day. We took the old and new Rhodes City Tour, which ended at a local winery where we sampled several local Turkish Wines. Our tour guide, Dora, was wonderful and was not put off by our fading interest in the Rhodes museums  in fact, several of us waited outside the museum in the warm sun as we had overdosed on the site seeing activities. The local shopping area was quaint and the shopkeepers a lot more sedate than in Turkey. The Day at Sea was well received by us as we needed to just chill out and relax. We spent the morning in the gym (very small with limited workout equipment, but just enough equipment to get a decent workout) and the afternoon at the pool. If you plan to go to the pool on the Day at Sea, get there early. We couldn't find any chairs on the main deck and ended up on the top deck, where it was a bit windy. I planned on going to the Art Auction that day, but it was cancelled due to lack of interest& Instead, we went to the Olive Oil Tasting Seminar, which was quite informative and tasty! We were also in for a fun treat when Jamie Logan, the Cruise Director, water skied off the back of the ship. That was a lot of fun for all of us and was one of the many special events that made this trip so wonderful. By the way, Jamie and his wife Dana were a real delight. They were warm, friendly and very engaging. In fact, each night Jamie was televised talking about the next day's events. We looked forward to this nightly ritual as we planned our next day's events. As to how wonderful Jamie was, my husband was so disappointed that he missed the group tour of the bridge (somehow we missed the Captain's announcement) and the next day, Jamie treated my husband to a private tour of the bridge. My husband was a kid in a candy store on that tour. Thanks Jamie! Surprisingly and against our pre-conceived notion about shipboard buffets, the lunch buffet at the pool was exceptional! Fresh fish, meats, cheeses, etc.  it put a whole new meaning to the all you can eat buffets on a cruise. It was tastefully done and very relaxed. On our third night at sea, we ate dinner at Latitudes (Asian Fusion). This was the first night that we sat with a group of people, which turned out to be a lot of fun. In fact, we closed the restaurant!!! The food was okay, not fabulous, although the lamb was scrumptious! The service was excellent, which is something we found throughout all of the restaurants. The wait staff was always looking to please us and this made for many pleasurable meals. Our dinner in Signatures (Cordon Bleu Restaurant) was just okay, too, although the Mushroom Soup was incredible as were the desserts -- yum! As to judging restaurants, we are a bit spoiled as we live in the Philadelphia area, which is home to Le Bec Fin, Striped Bass and other highly rated restaurants! One of our favorite on board restaurants was actually Compass Rose. The food was exceptional as was the service and ambiance. In fact, we thought this was the best restaurant of all. The salt bread was my downfall AND I'm not even a bread eater! Dessert was my husband's downfall  he's still talking about the Tartuffe Bianco dessert. If he could have had that dessert every night, he would have foregone dinner! Needless to say, we threatened to join Overeater's Anonymous once we landed back on home turf! This review would not be complete without mentioning the Captain of the Ship, Dag Dvergastein or as he called himself, Our Driver. He was so personable (quick with a smile and a hello) and so full of good humor that you couldn't help but smile whenever he broadcast over the ship or happened to be in your company. Our last night of the cruise, he treated all of us to a very special farewell cocktail party along the Isle of Capri. On one end of the ship was a gorgeous sunset and on the other end of the ship was the moon over the hills of Capri. It was a magical and wonderful ending to a fabulous cruise. Needless to say, we are now cruise converts thanks to our experience on Regent's Seven Seas Voyager. In fact, we are now planning our next cruise (on Regent of course!) same time, next year! BON VOYAGE! Read Less
Sail Date September 2006
Itinerary: Monte Carlo -Livornia-Civitavecchia-Sorrento-Naxos-Rhodes-Kusadasi-Piraeus (Athens). Dates: 10/22/05-10/30/05. Our experience: me (4th cruise mostly HAL previously) wife (15th -HAL, Crystal, Carnival previously). Embarkation: ... Read More
Itinerary: Monte Carlo -Livornia-Civitavecchia-Sorrento-Naxos-Rhodes-Kusadasi-Piraeus (Athens). Dates: 10/22/05-10/30/05. Our experience: me (4th cruise mostly HAL previously) wife (15th -HAL, Crystal, Carnival previously). Embarkation: Flew into Nice, met at airport and placed on bus. Driven to a hotel. Left in a large room with complimentary drinks and treats and told to stay put for about 3 hours. Much grousing from fellow passengers. Aside from going to the bathroom, nothing to see or do. Finally bussed to ship, boarded and went to room, luggage showed up an hour later. Rating: 2/6 Cabin: Nice size, clean. Separate shower and tub. Whenever you opened the door to shower, you were met with a blast of sewer gas. Cabin attendant pleasant but not around all that much. Slow to restock no-cost minibar. Telephones do not work that well. Nothing special about cabin to kick up above rating of 4 out of 6. Food: Despite all the wondrous reviews that they insist you see every time you turn around, we found it "eh". Portions are always small and despite 4 foot long elaborate menus descriptions, very little on plate when you get it. Wine steward poor - pushing a red and white every night but can't handle a significant order well or gracefully (and insists on your room card to charge it the second you order it! Where does he think I'm going to go before drinking it???!!!) Waiters: some Filipinos great (and, significantly, trained by other lines) whereas Caucasians very mixed in quality. Many did not work well as a team e.g. one offers pepper and then another shows up 5 minutes later and offers it again.) Dessert tea does not hold a candle to the midnight one done by HAL. Only heard one other passenger think the food was "great". Most were disappointed. Would only give them a 3 out of 6. Restaurant decor: very average. Nothing stands out well nor are there clear themes. Therefore, why bother going to Signature or Latitudes restaurants? La Veranda/Mediterranean Bistro good. Compass Rose definitely blase. The menus are not all that attractive. Ship decor: clean, neat, unimaginative. Ship well-kept. Seems to be a good ship crew. Had our first ever bridge tour- no other captain has ever allowed on any of previous cruises. Captain conducts tour himself with second officer. Captain very friendly, shakes hands, pulls out charts to show you things, very nice (unlike on Crystal where Captain refused to shake hands for "health reasons".) Security: Minimal They hold your passport so you are bopping around foreign countries without significant ID. Swipe your guest card and you are on or off. Only had my purchases inspected at two stops. Metal detector turned off most of the time (my wife has pacemaker so has to ask every time- that is what she was told). Fellow passengers: this is not a cruise for anyone under 50. Lots of diamonds well-dressed and courteous. Only one formal night which seems a waste of time to pack a tux for. Families: as above, forget the kids for this one. Also, twenty-somethings will be reading a book. Shore excursions: Completely incompetent. Packaged for the 50 plus crowd. Spent 8 days on the Mediterranean and could not get IN it the whole time. No diving, no snorkeling, no beaches, no boat cruises, no whale watches, no sailboating etc. etc. Tours poorly organized and over priced. The tour people only know what the shore agents tell them and they don't try too hard to find out things for you. Personalization of tours as we did for Rome is very expensive and the people they find for you not that good or knowledgeable. zero out of 6 for this. Spa: Spa treatments good with La Carita. Gym smallish with treadmills that don't work well consistently. HAL ships much bigger gym with better quality equipment. Disembarkation: crowded with lines, confusing. Bused to Hotel Intercontinental where bus driver left our bags IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET and drove off!! Long wait to check in Radisson people running around shouting but not achieving anything. Once checked in, Hotel Intercontinental wonderful. Room service so good we ordered everything on the menu and ate like starving refugees. In the morning, we were supposed to catch a bus by Radisson to the airport but they had screwed up so bad the day before we just got a taxi and did it ourselves (had to eat the voucher) but got checked in quicker. 0 for 6 for this. Overall rating: 3 out of 6. They do NOT rate 6 stars in anything and I don't know who is giving it to them. Will cruise other lines. This ship and line don't rate a repeat and are not worth the extra money you pay. Read Less
Sail Date November 2005
We sailed on Navigator's cruise from New York to Reykjavik, Iceland, during the latter part of June 2005. We took advantage of Radisson's free coach air package. We have sailed previously on Crystal (several cruises), HAL, ... Read More
We sailed on Navigator's cruise from New York to Reykjavik, Iceland, during the latter part of June 2005. We took advantage of Radisson's free coach air package. We have sailed previously on Crystal (several cruises), HAL, Celebrity and NCL. This was our first Radisson cruise. We chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary, which included port stops at Boston, Bar Harbor, Halifax, L'Anse aux Meadows (Newfoundland), Heimaey in the Westermann Islands, and an overnight in Reykjavik. The precruise transportation and hospitality which included a night at the New York Hilton and Towers was very good. After we boarded we found that the number of passengers was well below capacity (about 265 pax on a 490 pax ship). I will be posting a much longer review on the RSSC board later, so will just list the highlights and lowlights here. Highlights: Our standard verandah cabin on deck 6 midship (631) was exceptionally large and comfortable. The walk-in closet and large bathroom with separate shower and tub make these "standard" cabins really outstanding. Our cabin stewardess did and excellent job keeping everything in the cabin clean and neat. Room service was outstanding -- the food was very good and it was delivered in an unbelievably short time. The ports were interesting for the most part, although the recreated Viking village at L'Anse aux Meadows was a bit underwhelming. We missed Heimaey because of mechanical problems that prevented the ship from sailing at normal cruising speed for the last two days of the cruise. Iceland was spectacular even though the weather was quite cool and cloudy. The ship's staff, for the most part, were friendly and helpful. The quality of the food in the dining room and alternative restaurant generally was very good to excellent in quality, although often too rich for our taste (too much butter and cream). Lowlights: The ship's public rooms are small and dreary. Most of the art on the walls was supplied by the Park West art auctioneers -- really, really tacky. The entertainment was strictly amateur hour, nowhere near the quality of Crystal or for that matter HAL. Open seating dining turned out to be not so great. When we sat at a large table the speed of service was determined by the slowest eater. And since we never were at the same table the wait staff never really learned our preferences. Even when we arrived at the dining room at 6:45 p.m., we were not finished with dinner until close to 9 p.m. The swimming pool area is small, and there is no protection from the elements (no retractable cover) so the pool grill was closed for most of the trip owing to the cool weather. The Internet service has to be the worst I ever experienced. It was slow beyond belief, and the Radisson firewall is the most restrictive I've ever encountered. The vibration in the aft areas of the ship was very intense and objectionable at times. Read Less
Sail Date June 2005
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