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41 Regent Seven Seas Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

This new adventure started last October 8th in Civitavecchia (Rome) and ended eight days later in Athens (Greece). Indeed it was too short a time to be able to experience fully all the many amazing things you find and see in each visited ... Read More
This new adventure started last October 8th in Civitavecchia (Rome) and ended eight days later in Athens (Greece). Indeed it was too short a time to be able to experience fully all the many amazing things you find and see in each visited port but also there is not enough time to properly get to know and fully enjoy this fantastic vessel, the Regent Seven Seas Voyager! We left our home country Canada on Oct.6th from Ottawa via Toronto to Rome. A very long leg for sure but we did so one day early to compensate. Our choice of hotel in Civitavecchia was a complete flop! The San Giorgio regardless its impressive entrance, the two level room had the bedroom upstairs and the bathroom downstairs!!! With a miserable and dangerous staircase – very disappointing as it all looked so wonderful on the website. We ended up sleeping on the lower level in a very unusual sofa bed in very poor shape. The staff at the reception were not very helpful and the included breakfast was more than complete but poorly staffed, as a matter of fact only one person going from one end to other and not even saying good morning. Local room tax was only 1 euro each, a ridiculous amount but appreciated when compared to our last European stay in Amsterdam where they charged 20 euros per person per day. The best aspect of the hotel was the shuttle @ 10 euros each, right up to the ship; first time this happened to us because with previous cruise lines the shuttle would leave you on a corner where you had to switch over to another bus to get to the ship. * Embarkation Flawless and the welcoming glass of champagne was a very nice touch something that some cruise lines used to do but not anymore, what a pity! Surprisingly all suites were not ready till 2 pm, except (of course), the top two ones (ready at noon); luggage at suite by 4 pm. Regardless, our first impression of the Voyager was excellent and it’s impossible to deny that she is indeed a luxury ship. Was a sunny and warm day, weather that followed us during the whole cruise! We want you to know that we are frequent cruisers with Oceania (mainly on Riviera and Marina), so our minds were naturally making comparisons. Who’s the winner? You have to wait. Because we were on board quite early, having to wait for our suite till 2 pm, gave us the chance to get a fast look around the ship and afterwards we went up to Deck 11 to have an al fresco lunch at La Veranda buffet (comparisons started!!), Huge amount of choices (self-serve….hmmmm), great quality and flavour and to top it up, fantastic attention from all the staff something that never ever wavered during the whole cruise. To the contrary! * Lunch time meals We tried several times to have another al fresco lunch at La Veranda but the area is quite narrow not been able to hold many tables and when those were taken, the people were there to stay, so we started to frequent the Polo Grill located at the aft end of the pool area (very tranquil by the way) and we enjoyed it tremendously having delicious salads, burgers and hotdogs or from the on deck grill your choice of fish, beef, pork or chicken. You help yourself for the salads, then you order the main meal that comes with good fries and is brought to your table. The serving of wine was constant (no need to ask) and the sun was ever present! I don’t think I have to tell you how fantastic we were feeling during all this, right? * Coffee Connection (D 5) It runs from 6:30am till 6pm and is a very peaceful place where whether it’s morning or afternoon, you won’t have people moving back and forth around you. Breakfast buffet options include cereal, rolls, breads, pastries, etc. and the ship’s best espresso. Midday snacks include cold meats, cheeses, small desserts, etc. and in the afternoon sandwiches, cakes and fruit are available. Besides the excellent espresso you get the usual barista concoctions plus spiked versions such as Irish coffee and Russian hot chocolate with vodka. It is a place you can indeed have a very enjoyable and tranquil time. * Dinning We tried all three specialty dinning venues which, except for the Italian restaurant, require advanced table reservations. If you wish to sit at a table for two you will have to plan well ahead and do so as soon as the website is opened for that cruise’s specialty dining reservations. * Sette Mari (Italian D 11, part of La Veranda); Maître d’ Simone, waiters Janine and John and the rest of the staff were excellent as the food itself, temperature, flavour and timing and of course! The wines that were selected by them (and varied during the cruise) were great and plentiful. With dessert, the Maître d’ brought to us two very welcome glasses of Limoncello. Great experience! * Prime 7 (Steak house D 5 Aft); Maitre d’ was seasoned but strange (although from Belgium he was unfamiliar with Jacques Pepin) but the rest of the staff, as usual, magnificent. The décor was on the dark side with a lot of varnished wood paneling, leather covered columns, etc. Now let’s talk about the main reason why we went there, the food! Shall we? No complaints from the start to the end; excellent lump crab cakes, filet mignon cooked to perfection, great side dishes ending with a shared Chicago cheesecake. The selection of wines were perfect for each dish and with a never ending pouring! One more time, it was an excellent experience. * Chartreuse (French D 5 Aft); It’s getting a bit boring repeating always the same thing “super” “excellent” “sensational” but what else can I say when what we were experiencing was just all that? Chartreuse was another hit, the décor was super elegant being the beige and gold quite predominant. Food was perfect (I won’t get into details) as much as desserts. The chosen wines were extremely good (the best of all other restaurants) specially the red Chateauneff-du-Pape. Left feeling great! * Compass Rose (Main Dining Room D 4) – One more time, nothing but nothing at all to complain about. Staff, menu, table setting with colorful plates by Versace, ambience, food and…wine! We had dinner there twice and both times were very gratifying in all aspects. * Lounges We’ve been in two of them and each has its own characteristic and personality, * Horizon Lounge (D 5 Midship) A very good spot to meet fellow passengers, a lot of dancing, singing and of course drinking! The Far East ethnic band was a bit off tune but could play any request. On a longer cruise we would have spent more time there. * Observation Lounge (11) A completely different experience, being at the front of the ship the views (if you go during the day) were great plus the whole atmosphere exudes tranquility and that makes you relax! Highly recommended for after dinner drinks or just listening to whoever is playing the piano or singing. The bar is very modern and a bit too white-light bright. Enough about food and drink, so let’s now talk about ports visited and tours. Many of the visited ports were already known to us so there was no need to overdo the tours. We find touring is a lot of unnecessary pressure most of the time, from the other guests as much as from often weird tour guides. Let’s start with the port after leaving Civitavecchia. Boscaada, an Island, where we had a planned tour but we cancelled it dreaming about enjoying the last day on the ship meanwhile many were off touring the island. Unfortunately that last night before leaving Istanbul a ship announcement told us that technical problems required us to sail at a slower speed and so that for us to arrive in Athens on time, the Boscaada stop had to be cancelled; that meant to us the ship would be brimming with people that sea day! And it really was. Later on we got a note in our suite telling us that to compensate for having to skip Boscaada they were giving each of us a US$ 500.- next cruise credit. That worked out fine for us because we had already booked a 10 day Regent cruise on their newest ship, the Splendor. * Disembarkation went off very smoothly and was well planned. But before I get into that, I would like to give you our comparison between Regent SS Voyager (700 passengers) and Oceania’s two largest ships (1200 passengers each), the Riviera and the Marina. Oceania by far has a better al fresco lunch or dinner at La Terrace, very ample and comfortable that holds a large number of very well-spaced tables with adjustable umbrellas. La Veranda buffet on Voyager is a winner on all counts, for selection, quality, presentation, etc. though we disliked having to serve ourselves with utensils touched by many, something that doesn’t happen on any of the Oceania ships; it’s up to the staff behind the counter to provide the desired serving. * The Riviera and Marina have more restaurants to choose for dinner, 6 including 4 specialty (reservations needed), La Terrace and Grand Dining Room, against a total of 4 on Voyager, that besides the three specialty ones (two with reservations needed) and the main dining room, the Compass Rose. * About food. As I am not a foodie person there is not much I can say about it but it is impossible not to mention the staff of the SS Voyager because without any hesitation I considered them the best of the whole Cruise Industry and we all know very well that the Staff of a ship are able to make or destroy your cruise. The Oceania Staff are not consistent and from time to time that means you might not enjoy yourself to the fullest. * The Penthouses on both lines are of a good size but Voyager is bigger with a wonderfully sized dining table and a more ample bathroom especially the shower stall compared to Oceania. On Voyager it is also worth mentioning that you can separate the bed from the living/dining area with a heavy drape so the Butler can come in, do his job meanwhile you are still are resting privately in the bedroom area. The perks, again are by far superior on SS Voyager for example providing the choice of 2 large bottles of liquor in the suite was an incredible surprise. * Tours - In general we are more often than not trying to avoid them because it doesn’t matter which line you are on, by taking a tour or excursion you are opening yourself to all kinds of chaos and a lot of time and social pressures. There are two things we really liked on the SS Voyager, the quality of the passengers and not having to show your Suite card every time you ordered a glass of wine or spirits. The most important aspects were already compared so it’s better to leave it at that and stop here. You might be asking yourself, “So how about giving us your choice?” Very simple, both of them because both have a lot to offer and it is up to us to adjust ourselves when we are on board and to try to make the best of it! We really hope that our comparisons and conclusions will be helpful in some way for many if not all of the readers. Are you still there? Ha, ha, ha; on looking over this review it seems that it turned out to be a very long one …… but there was so much to say about our experiences. Keep in mind that thru other’s experiences one is able to learn what to do or not to do, etc. That is our goal every time we write a review. Did we accomplish that for you? We certainly hope so! Happy cruising and enjoy life as much as you can! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Just returned from the Rome to Athens cruise on the Voyager. Four of us chose this cruise to celebrate two 60th Birthdays. We had Penthouse C cabins on the 8th Deck which were beautiful and our Butler, Bish, was outstanding and so ... Read More
Just returned from the Rome to Athens cruise on the Voyager. Four of us chose this cruise to celebrate two 60th Birthdays. We had Penthouse C cabins on the 8th Deck which were beautiful and our Butler, Bish, was outstanding and so attentive! We ate at all of the dining venues with Prime 7 and Compass Rose being our favorites although they were all outstanding. (I was very confused about a previous horrible review that stated baseball caps & shorts being worn everywhere after 6:00 pm - this was not in evidence at all on this cruise.) We did experience some rough seas which resulted in an alternative port being selected over one of the scheduled stops as the seas were too rough to take tenders in to the original port. We were very impressed with how fast they were able to come up with alternative shore excursions and we loved the one we chose (Sorrento: beautiful views, shopping, & pizza!). The tours were all very organized and impressive. Malta and Santorini were amazing. Overall, customer service was excellent, particularly in the restaurants and destination services desk. The pre-cruise hotel in Rome (Westin Excelsior) was very nice and in a very safe area (right next to the American Embassy!). Our rooms were beautiful and the Concierge Desk was extremely helpful in setting us up with a private car & driver. The only disappointment were the shows. Although they were entertaining, the level of performance was just average. The one exception was the show on the final evening call Crew Capers. This was outstanding and some of the crew members have serious talent! We had a wonderful time on this trip and are already looking to book another cruise in a couple years!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because it would take us to interesting archeological sites. We landed in Tel Aviv where the company had a bus waiting to take us to Haifa. The ship was beautiful and to me the right size. The room was excellent. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it would take us to interesting archeological sites. We landed in Tel Aviv where the company had a bus waiting to take us to Haifa. The ship was beautiful and to me the right size. The room was excellent. We had one of the least expensive ones, but it still had a good sized balcony, really comfortable beds, a marble bathroom with separate shower and tub. plenty of space and anything we could want or need. We were met with champagne. In the room there was more champagne and fresh fruit that was replenished daily. I had asked if the ship would have cranberry juice and it was in the min bar when we arrived. We found that the food at every venue exceeded our expectations, including room service that we used for morning coffee and on early excursion days, for breakfast. The line has restaurants that most lines charge extra for, but are included so we were able to dine at the steak house and at the French restaurant without paying extra. We also liked the excursions that took us to Jerusalem, to Ephesus in Turkey, to Delos on Mykonos and other places. They were also included at no extra charge. It was a perfect eight days. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Everything about this cruise was amazing and exceeded our expectations in every way. The ship, the service, the cabin, the fine dining, the casual dining, the pool area, the entertainment and shore excursions were all as described or ... Read More
Everything about this cruise was amazing and exceeded our expectations in every way. The ship, the service, the cabin, the fine dining, the casual dining, the pool area, the entertainment and shore excursions were all as described or better! My favourite restaurants were Prime 7 and Compass Rose, which does not require a booking and is also fabulous for a 'posh' breakfast! A free shore excursion not to be missed is the Mallorca Wine Tasting & Spanish Tapas. The visit to the Bodega Ribas winery is simply exceptional and was hosted by a female staff member who spoke perfect, clear English and enthralled us all with her humour, passion and knowledge! The winery tour was followed by a sit down wine-tasting accompanied by a delicious tapas of bread, olive oil, olives, meats etc.in an original stone house circa 1711! The presentation was gorgeous... the tables were beautifully set and adorned with white linen, silver cutlery and fine glassware. We found the cruise to be exceptional value, even the washing and ironing was an extra freebie. We also had to request a 2nd internet log-in (due to a work issue that we both needed to work on at the same time) and this was provided to us at no extra cost even though it was not included in our fare. We recommend this cruise/ship to others and are already planning our next cruise with Regent Seven Seas Cruises! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My wife and I chose this cruise in particular because it was port intensive with many places we've never been, on a brand new ship with a line about which we had heard great things. It was a full 14 days, and we loved the fact that we ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise in particular because it was port intensive with many places we've never been, on a brand new ship with a line about which we had heard great things. It was a full 14 days, and we loved the fact that we would avoid the intense summer heat. Over the weeks leading up to the cruise, we had read a ton of reviews and reactions to the ship, both positive and negative, and frankly we had grown a tad apprehensive. Ultimately, we learned there was absolutely no need to be...the experience as an incredible one, but not without a few hiccups. So here goes! Pre-Cruise Hotel A pre-cruise one night stay in Haifa was included with our cabin. It was a horrendously long day of flying, and we didn't get to Tel Aviv (airport for Haifa) until 11:00pm. A driver was waiting for us, and we set out on the approx. hour long drive to our hotel. All of our pre-cruise excitement basically vanished when we checked in. The hotel was a generic but decent enough looking tower, but the room itself was not up to any even mildly acceptable standard. It felt like a 1960s era Soviet block youth hostile. The room was small, old, horribly outdated, not clean, dank and depressing, with two tiny, hard twin beds instead of the king or queen we had expected. One of the windows would not latch properly, and with a strong wind outside, it felt like a jet engine was blasting inside our room. It's no fun having to change rooms at 1:00 AM, but we had to. What was Regent thinking? Did anyone at the home office bother to check this place out? It started our vacation on a nightmarishly sour note. Embarkation Sadly, this was no better. Getting on the bus provided by Regent to the port was disorganized and stressful. Once we arrived, our bags were lined up by the bus and we were told to get a cart ourselves, load them onto the cart ourselves (not easy for anyone because they're so heavy), and wheel them inside ourselves. This whole process was as unpleasant as the hotel. The Ship Thank heaven, everything turned around once we got on board. The ship itself is stunning. The wood and marble throughout is neither dark nor excessive, it's just monumentally high end and beautiful. The spaces themselves are bright and fun to explore. And that staircase in the atrium is amazing. Throughout, the level of detail, the artwork (sadly, there is no guide to the explain it's pedigree), the elevators, the staircases, the theatre, and the design throughout represent a level we've never encountered on a cruise ship. The Cabin The design felt lush and rich. We had a Concierge level "D" which was so spacious and comfortable. Loved the bed facing the window, the walk-in closet, and the marble bathroom with full shower, dual sinks and tub. The size of the balcony was a pleasant surprise. It's easily three times the size of the one we had on Crystal. The Dining Imaginative, gourmet, fresh, delicious. We felt it was higher quality and higher end than Crystal, which is no small feat. Our favorite was Compass Rose, where we ate most dinners. The space is beautiful, with the blue glass lighting fixture on the ceiling. Contrary to what we had read, it's not overpowering. It's gorgeous. We had a great meal at all the specialty restaurants. They too are jaw droppingly designed. We liked Pacific Rim the best. It's a very unique take on an Asian restaurant with a fresh and unique menu. La Veranda, the ship's buffet, is nice, but we were a little disappointed. It's very well prepared but somewhat standard breakfast fare. Also, since all the pancakes, French toast etc is made to order on the grill, it's just too long a wait when you have an upcoming excursion. We never ate lunch there, and instead went to the Pool Grill, which we loved. La Veranda turns into Sette Mari at night, an Italian restaurant. Our one night dining there was a chaotic disorganized affair. My veal was rubbery and poorly prepared. The Service Amazing and so personable. Everyone seems happy to be there and happy to help, and it truly doesn't seem like an act. And there's never any waiting. The cruise director and his staff were so likeable, classy and first rate. He did a show himself which was fantastic. The Entertainment We loved the three production shows, which were well directed and produced and cast. They're transporting. The booked acts were fine, with the exception of a "comedy magician" who we were excited to see, but who proved to be really bad. The magic was on the level of a children's birthday party, and the jokes just not funny. Find someone better, Regent! The Ports And Excursions A definite highlight. We loved Rhodes the best, with an excursion to a beautiful seaside town and a hike up a mountain to a Greek temple overlooking it. For the most part the excursions were informative and well handled, but they can take a turn south with a bad guide. In Cyprus, our guide seemed knowledgeable, but it felt like she was tired and did not want to be there. Her way of speaking was unintelligible, so the tour was a complete failure. So was the one in Palermo, where our guide was completely unprepared and let us wander around the sights ourselves with only a brief and vague introduction on the bus. Our other eight shore excursions (there were a lot of ports!) were quite good. Our takeaway was that Regent needs to do a better job of vetting the guides. I'm sure that's easier said than done but they need to figure out a way. Also, we were scheduled to visit Gozo Island, but instead stayed on Malta an extra day. It was unclear whether it was because of rough seas or "maintenance" and it was hard to get a straight answer out of anyone as to the real reason. Better communication would have been appreciated. Internet It's the worst we've ever had on a ship. They need to fix it. Stat! Wrap Up Our quibbles aside, we'd sail again with Regent, and plan to. The level of service, attention and luxury was unparalleled. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
At this writing we are still onboard our second leg of a 30 day back to back. This ship is beautiful. I like the dark panels opposite the white so that it doesn't seem gloomy. I love my blue carpet in my concierge room and the ... Read More
At this writing we are still onboard our second leg of a 30 day back to back. This ship is beautiful. I like the dark panels opposite the white so that it doesn't seem gloomy. I love my blue carpet in my concierge room and the double sinks with tub and shower. Since I use the tub almost every day, it is a necessity for me. The penthouse suites have no tub. We brought our night light for bathroom and are glad we did. There is a nightlight you can turn on from the bedside which is in the hallway outside the bath, but it is very bright! The staff service has been very good, some off days, but not frequently. We have two speakers on this transatlantic. The food is outstanding! My least favorite is at Chartruese but everywhere else has been great. They have varying buffets on sea days from Greek to German to bar-b-que. All shows, with only 1 exception since we boarded, are at 9:30 pm. Last night was the only 6 pm showtime, which was packed. Dancers and singers are excellent, but other entertainment has been about the same as always on a ship. (Note we have sailed over 100 times so this is old hat to us). The first leg was back to back ports with good excursions. Now we have 8 sea days. I would say you need to be a reader to enjoy those days as there is not a lot to do. (Lectures, one trivia quiz all day, cooking demos. NO movies, except in room) Ship has a good gym which hasn't had much use on these cruises. Very small gym class area, but hasn't been packed anyway. Yes, I would sail the explorer again!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Having cruised with Silverseas on other trips I was a little apprehensive that no other could match their comfort, service and cuisine. After 14 days aboard Explorer I had no such reservations. 1. Although a larger vessel, the ... Read More
Having cruised with Silverseas on other trips I was a little apprehensive that no other could match their comfort, service and cuisine. After 14 days aboard Explorer I had no such reservations. 1. Although a larger vessel, the efficiency of embarking/disembarking for excursions was excellent and the ship rarely felt crowded, except perhaps the popularity of Sette Mare restaurant; 2. Suites (Concierge) were well laid out, perfectly comfortable and very well appointed - reading lights and coffee machine ++; 3. A very happy ship, which I attribute to good management from the Captain down. 4. Evening entertainment in the theatre were generally good; 5. All the restaurants excelled with the specialty ones worthy of a Michelin star, and not too difficult to get a table, particularly for dining later; 6. Included wifi and excursions were what finally decided me in favour of Explorer and sets the standard now for other cruise lines; 7. It seemed that every time we left the suite an attendant would materialise and magically make beds, change towels, tidy, clean and replace items. Cannot recommend highly enough. We will return! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Regent Explorer October 11 - October 22, 2016 The pre-cruise hotel: The hotel was adequate but nothing that I would classify as “Luxurious”. The rooms, small and basic in design were clean and the baths modern. The Fitness ... Read More
Regent Explorer October 11 - October 22, 2016 The pre-cruise hotel: The hotel was adequate but nothing that I would classify as “Luxurious”. The rooms, small and basic in design were clean and the baths modern. The Fitness Center was certainly not worth the additional fee of 20 Euro. The Divani Caravel is a tour bus hotel, not the luxurious hotel described in the Regent marketing collateral. The cruise check-in: Transportation to the ship was well organized. The check in process for the cruise was efficient and very straightforward. My cabin was available at 2:30 as I was told it would be upon boarding. In the meantime we enjoyed a beautiful lunch on the deck at La Veranda. The cabin: I booked a Concierge E suite, it is beautifully decorated, large and light, with a spacious closet (huge improvement over the Seven Seas Mariner) and storage to spare! The bath has double sinks and a tub/shower as well as a separate shower. The suite also features an oversized deck. The bed was so comfortable that I hated having to leave it in the morning! The restaurants: Each of the specialty restaurants are beautifully decorated and the main dining room Compass Rose has been retuned with dividers to offer a more private dining experience if desired. Table 93 was our favorite as we were a group of seven. The lighting fixtures, decor, table and glassware are all amazing and very different in each restaurant. The food, the wines, the staff, and the service can be summed up in one word, exceptional! The staff: I commend whoever does the hiring for Regent as the staff for both of the Regent cruises that I have been on has been excellent. It was great to recognize many staff from the Seven Seas Mariner aboard the Explorer. Everyone is friendly and welcoming and eager to make your time aboard a memorable one. This includes the officers, the room stewards/stewardesses, the waitstaff, the Canyon Ranch Spa employees, the Reception and Destination staff and virtually anyone I came in contact with. The spa: The Canyon Ranch spa is quite amazing! Located on Deck 6, both men’s and women's locker rooms open on to a private deck with an infinity pool. The locker rooms each contain an aromatherapy steam room, infrared sauna, a cold room and an experience shower (I am still not sure what that means). I recommend that you book your massage appointments well in advance of departure as they fill up very fast! I can’t recommend Stefan more highly! The gym is very well equipped with band new machines and cardio equipment, however the layout seems to have left a lot of wasted space and a better design could have made available more space for group classes. The culinary school: What fun! Highly recommended! In the class that I attended Executive Chef Kathryn Kelly taught us recipes from the Mediterranean together with wine pairings. These onboard classes prove that learning can be entertaining and FUN! The excursions: I am not an excursion person. My dislike of excursions was re-enforced on the first excursion that I took on Corfu. It was disappointing and no fun being trapped on a bus while listening to a tour guide who felt that even a moment of silence was a total waste! Corfu looked to be beautiful but this excursion to Achilleon Palace spent too much time at the Palace (over rated) and our time in old Corfu was far too short. I only did one more excursion and it was much better. The rating: My experience on the Regent Seven Seas Explorer has been wonderful. I cannot think of a thing that I would change or try to improve upon! If you are considering a cruise on the Regent Seven Seas Explorer you will not be disappointed! I rate it Five Stars and if I could I would rate it Six Stars! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We enjoyed pretty much everything about this cruise. The itinerary, the service, the food, the land arrangements, our cabin, our friends we went with and the people we met. That said, I'll mention a few places RSSC can improve. ... Read More
We enjoyed pretty much everything about this cruise. The itinerary, the service, the food, the land arrangements, our cabin, our friends we went with and the people we met. That said, I'll mention a few places RSSC can improve. There was a major SNAFU in Ravenna, Italy. The actual arrangements (shuttle to town) weren't bad, weren't great, but the INFO given to passengers on the dock was WRONG, created confusion and delayed our getting into town. No reason for this. They should have had correct info and a crew member to help us, both dockside and outside the port gate. The internet at sea was included ("free") but much worse than the internet on other cruise ships. Mainly the on-board server software was buggy. I was never sure if the free service was a certain number of minutes a day free or something else. Our cabin service was not the best. It started off without 'do not disturb' signs so there were instances of the doorbell ringing or being walked-in on until we got them on the 2nd or 3rd day. Then, as we used our requested beverages, they weren't replaced without asking. He did keep us well-supplied with ice. Excursions were mostly included, and had excellent destinations but in terms of arrangements were below average. Uncomfortable buses, mediocre restaurants, etc. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Had the privilege of enjoying the Seven Seas Explorer on her inaugural sailing from Barcelona to Monte Carlo. Billed as the "Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built," there's no question that this is true. A stunning ship with ... Read More
Had the privilege of enjoying the Seven Seas Explorer on her inaugural sailing from Barcelona to Monte Carlo. Billed as the "Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built," there's no question that this is true. A stunning ship with luxurious, all suite, accommodations and all with ample balcony space. The rooms are gorgeous with every detail thought of. We stayed in a Penthouse Suite and I would match those accommodations to any 5 star land based hotel. Large bathroom space, separate living room space, amazing beds/linens and an over-sized balcony. Butler service included. Food & beverage options are ample and the quality of the food & beverage was outstanding. Not your stereotypical buffet options. Canyon Ranch Spa and beautifully appointed fitness center. Several lounge options and large beautifully appointed theater with nightly entertainment. Some shows better than others. The service on the ship was stellar. Pretty impressive seeing as though it was the first time that this ship has sailed with passengers. Would be hard to go down a level based upon this experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This is a difficult review to write because everything was exquisite. From ease of boarding to the welcome we received from our concierge upon arriving at our suite and everything that followed. The meals were great, the wine selection ... Read More
This is a difficult review to write because everything was exquisite. From ease of boarding to the welcome we received from our concierge upon arriving at our suite and everything that followed. The meals were great, the wine selection excellent and the shore excursions plentiful, educational and very scenic. Most of all the crew were awesome, pleasant and always ready to help with even the smallest detail. The periodic ship wide briefings by the Cruise Director and the Captain were timely and informative. Regent's all inclusive concept is truly all inclusive; no nickel and dimeing, everything is there for your comfort and enjoyment and made readily available by a super crew. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Recommended by travel agent. This was our 12th cruise and first with REGENT. We are use to first class travel and accommodations and having sailed first class on the QE 1, I will have to say REGENT far exceeded our expectations. The shore ... Read More
Recommended by travel agent. This was our 12th cruise and first with REGENT. We are use to first class travel and accommodations and having sailed first class on the QE 1, I will have to say REGENT far exceeded our expectations. The shore excursions were first class and went off without a hitch. The food and beverages were as good as any 5 star restaurant on shore and the service was outstanding. What we really appreciated was the lack of lines, photographers, "special" jewelry sales, screaming kids, being nickeled and dimed plus the usual bill at the end of the cruise. As my wife stated, the cruise and guests were both very civilized. The entertainment was excellent and the crew to guest ratio meant the service over the top. We loved the REGENT cruise so much, we are booked on the brand new EXPLORER in September 2016. We can hardly wait. We feel the value of the REGENT cruises is definitely worth the expense. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Six of us sailed with Regent from Venice to Istanbul, with stops in Croatia, Montenegro, and various ports in Greece and Turkey. We all enjoyed it very much, and thought Regent did its usual excellent job of taking care of us. We embarked ... Read More
Six of us sailed with Regent from Venice to Istanbul, with stops in Croatia, Montenegro, and various ports in Greece and Turkey. We all enjoyed it very much, and thought Regent did its usual excellent job of taking care of us. We embarked in Venice, where we'd spent a comfortable night at the Hotel Luna Baglioni. We took a water taxi to check in for the cruise (this is Venice, after all! Check-in was straightforward. Because of the Festival of the Redeemer, we checked in at the cruise ship terminal, but had to ride a bus to the ship, which was docked over on the mainland. That was easy, though. We had lunch on the ship, and before we were finished, our suites were ready. We then attended the mandatory lifeboat drill. (I really appreciate that Regent takes this part quite seriously. When in Vancouver, BC earlier this summer, I observed two other ships getting ready for departure, and supposedly having their drills = most passengers were out on the deck totally ignoring the drill. Regent takes safety very seriously.) I won't go into detail about every port, except to say we enjoyed our excursions, and felt they were worthwhile. Also hugely worthwhile: the Enrichment Lectures given by Dr. Paula Smith. She gave four talks on board: Corfu, Athens, Ephesus, and Istanbul, and they were all informative and enjoyable. We found servers and waiters to be professional, courteous, and possessed of good memory. They remembered things such as drink preferences after the very first order. Food was outstanding. We had one dinner each in Signatures and Prime 7, and one of the Prime 7 waiters remembered us from our Baltic cruise in 2012! Other venues (Compass Rose, La Veranda, Sette Mari) were all excellent as well. And, when in port in Athens, the ship threw a big BBQ on the pool deck, which was great fun. The shows on board were better than I expected - that doesn't sound very complimentary, and I don't mean to disparage the entertainment on my other cruises. I did think, however, that this cruise's company was even better. The orchestra, in particular, was fantastic. We disembarked in Istanbul, after spending a night on board in port. Disembarkation was straightforward, and Regent had arranged for a city tour, which helped fill the couple of hours in between disembarkation and when our hotel would be ready. That was a very good tour, in that we visited a small mosque and our guide was able to spend time explaining things to us. The tour the day before to the Blue Mosque wasn't quite as nice because of the crowds, and the smell of dirty feet. :-( Anyway, when we reached the Hotel Ceylan InterContinental at about 11AM, they were ready for us, and Regent had prepared a brochure for us, outlining what else we could do in Istanbul, and how we'd get to the airport when we left two days later. In fact, even though we had to leave the hotel at 0600, Regent had a representative who went with us to the airport and helped us all the way to security. We were pleased at this unexpected level of service. Bottom line: I won't sail with anyone but Regent. Their service, professionalism, friendliness, and the all-inclusive policy, just make it for me, and my family. We've already booked the next one: New England on the Navigator!   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Having sailed previously with other cruise lines, P&O, Cunard and Compagnie Du Ponant we had high expectations of Regent and particularly Seven Seas Mariner, having had good reviews from friends and neighbors who sail regularly on her. ... Read More
Having sailed previously with other cruise lines, P&O, Cunard and Compagnie Du Ponant we had high expectations of Regent and particularly Seven Seas Mariner, having had good reviews from friends and neighbors who sail regularly on her. Our experience did not start very well sadly - we had booked a Penthouse suite and therefore qualified for FREE business class flights and a FREE pre-cruise hotel, obviously neither are FREE as you pay a higher price for a higher grade suite. On arrival to Venice we were greeted by Regent ground handlers who really didn't seem to know what was happening. We were, however, escorted to the water taxi departure point and sent off to the Hotel Excelsior on the Lido, Venice. We had heard very bad reports on this hotel and had even asked Regent to change it - our request was refused and we were reminded that it was a FREE night so we should be happy!! Anyway, this is about the ship and not the hotel - departure from the hotel and transfer to the ship were relatively painless if a little slow. Once aboard we had to wait two hours before being able to access our suite - why take people to the ship knowing they cannot have their suite? So, at about 14.30 we were told that the suites were ready and we went directly to ours on deck 8 - a very spacious suite with a good walk in closet and numerous hangers, small(ish) shower room with an " impractical for tall people" rainfall shower and hand held unit, the main living/sleeping area was exceptional with curtaining to separate the areas. Having been recently refurbished the condition was very good, perhaps a little dated with a wooden wall unit housing the TV and minibar etc but certainly not offensive. A very small safe in the closet is just enough for wallets and passport but not iPads. The staff are generally very nice and courteous - especially those from the Far East - the more western crew ( at Reception desk) were not always as friendly as you would expect. Our Butler had some mood swings during our voyage. Dining in Signature and Prime 7 is definitely worth making the reservation in advance for but make them for towards the end of your cruise - we had our two reservations at the beginning and were then disappointed by the other offerings. Room service was slow whenever we ordered so we stopped making use of it. F & B staff around the ship are fantastic, some even remembering your name and using it every time they see you whether on board or ashore. Another minor niggle was the advertised FREE wifi in Penthouse and above ... however it is only 30 minutes during the voyage - this is changing in November we were told and will offer 500 minutes maximum depending on voyage length. the spa was very expensive by european standards however it was busy most of afternoons when people returned from tours we were told. All in all it was a nice experience, not sure it would qualify as Six Star but certainly five and a bit. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
It only took about 2 hours on the Voyager, before we even sailed, for DH and me to decide it would be hard to go back to "main stream” cruise lines. We loved the spaciousness of our aft suite. The vibration we'd been warned ... Read More
It only took about 2 hours on the Voyager, before we even sailed, for DH and me to decide it would be hard to go back to "main stream” cruise lines. We loved the spaciousness of our aft suite. The vibration we'd been warned about was negligible and we loved the view. The Regent agent I spoke to, before turning our reservation over to our TA, recommended Suite 878 because the balcony wraps around to the port side, as it does with more expensive Seven Seas suites on other decks, so we had a great view to the side. Heeding the advice of Cruise Critic posters, we used little battery powered tea lights as night lights, which worked well on the ship as well as in pre- and post-cruise hotel rooms, and I used magnets to attach a map of the area we were sailing and our excursion schedule to the walls. The food was excellent, except for the one breakfast we had in Compass Rose, and the service was friendly and efficient in every restaurant. We used room service for most breakfasts, which worked out well. We missed one port (Zakynthos) due to a thunderstorm and very high seas. I was seasick for about 24 hours and had to cancel our reservation in Signatures and a galley tour. Our butler kept me supplied with ginger ale, crackers and green apples because the Bonine and ginger tablets I had been taking didn’t quite do the trick! Our steward came and checked our balcony furniture because he said in the storm a lounge chair flew off the ship from someone else’s balcony! We took included excursions and had excellent guides, with only one exception. We never had to wait long in the theater for our bus tickets. There were usually about 20 people on our bus. We appreciated the free time to explore after the excursions. I did use the laundry room, although I had not planned to do so. It was located close enough to our suite for us to usually find machines open without waiting too long. We ended up using our OBC, intended to pay for laundry and internet, toward paying the ship’s doctor as DH came down with a respiratory infection and needed inhalation therapy sessions. He wasn’t alone  something must have been going around. Regarding the evening entertainment in the theater (which was very cold, by the way), I most enjoyed the folklore group of singers that came on board in Dubrovnik. The new show, "Come Sail Away,” was OK but not special in our opinion. But we spent pleasant evenings in the theater enjoying a Bailey’s and the music. If we are fortunate enough to again sail on the Voyager, we would want the same suite. Having a butler was a nice touch but not necessary, and we would probably arrange our own airfare to have more flexibility, but the overall Regent SS experience was wonderful.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We are in our late-40's and have travelled extensively to a number of 5-star destinations in North America and the Caribbean - we have high standards for our vacations! This was only our 2nd cruise and we were a bit nervous because ... Read More
We are in our late-40's and have travelled extensively to a number of 5-star destinations in North America and the Caribbean - we have high standards for our vacations! This was only our 2nd cruise and we were a bit nervous because our first cruise experience (Royal Caribbean) was only mediocre. Instead, our 10-day "Aegean Allure" cruise aboard the Mariner was totally above and beyond all of our expectations. On-board, the attention to detail and excellence was almost mind-numbing. The food was delicious, perfectly-presented and plentiful - at first we were a bit concerned about having only 2 dinners at the reservation restaurants (Steakhouse and French) but the food/service in the 2 non-reservation restaurants, especially the main Compass Rose, was so excellent that it totally didn't matter!). Drinks were as advertised (all-inclusive and plentiful: many different premium beers from around the world available and all top-shelf liquor - I asked for a bottle of Grey Goose to be delivered to our suite and it was there an hour later). Our room was spacious and beautifully appointed - the walk-in closet was awesome. Tons of space throughout the ship - never felt crowded. Theatre and casino provided great entertainment opportunities. Off the ship, the ports we visited were unbelievable - couldn't have asked for a better itinerary. We did only 2 of the Regent Choice excursions (where you pay extra) and 7 of the free/included ones - all of the trips were extremely well-organized and staged in order to minimize time in line-ups etc. Our guides were obviously elite ones with tremendous knowledge and passion. We also never had to stand in line at any of the sites - our guides just wisked us to the front of the lines! Anyone who is critical of this ship and Regent either has impossibly high standards or has an axe to grind. This is true 6-star cruising and worth every penny of the cost! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
This was our 18th cruise and was everything and more than we expected. Those who have had bad comments about the Mariner in other reviews should be ashamed of themselves. We sailed on The Mariner on July 8 on a 10 day cruise (Aegean ... Read More
This was our 18th cruise and was everything and more than we expected. Those who have had bad comments about the Mariner in other reviews should be ashamed of themselves. We sailed on The Mariner on July 8 on a 10 day cruise (Aegean Allure), Athens to Istanbul. This was our first so-called luxury cruise. The ship was wonderful even though it was much smaller than the mega-ships, there was more than enough deck space, public areas, bars, restaurants, without the crowds and waiting lines on bigger ships. Never a wait on buffets or sit-down restaurants. The Prime 7 Steakhouse and Signatures restaurants were as good as any 5-Star restaurant in the world and the Compass Rose and Sette Marie were also excellent. The service throughout the ship by all staff was tremendous. Twice during the cruise we ordered bottles of vodka and it was delivered to our cabin completely gratis. The cabin was spacious with a walk in closet and large bathroom with ample sitting areas. The balcony was large enough to have dinner served, course by course, on three of the evenings that we chosee not to go to one of the restaurants. Service was prompt and the food was delicious. The free tours were on time and well organized and meaningful. Even though the price seemed high, when compared to non all inclusive cruise, the overall price was well worth it. You get so much more in comparison, that the extra price for everything included comes out cheaper. Hats off to Regent Seven Seas for being "The Best of The Best" at sea! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
I booked this cruise because of a conference onboard and also wanted to see what 6 star cruise experience is like. The chance to visit the Black Sea was also an attraction. I added the business class upgrade to Athens and from Istanbul ... Read More
I booked this cruise because of a conference onboard and also wanted to see what 6 star cruise experience is like. The chance to visit the Black Sea was also an attraction. I added the business class upgrade to Athens and from Istanbul because of the long flight from the west coast of North America. It was well worth the $999 each way. They flew us there on KLM and back on Delta. We were met at Athens airport by RSSC representative and a dozen of us were sent by bus to the Divani Caravel Hotel. They had a hospitality desk at the hotel that handled our questions. Arrangements to take us to the ship the next day was very smooth. Check-in was very efficient as their staff handled one bus at a time and the buses arrived at staggered times. We were treated to a buffet lunch with white table cloth once onboard since the suites were not ready until 2:30 p.m. We booked a guaranteed Suite F but was "upgraded" to Concierge Suite D on Deck 10. The suite was the same size as a mini-suite on larger ships but the layout was very functional. There was a walk=in closet and the bathroom was good size. Even though there was no bathtub, the shower was quite large and the shape of the bathroom made everything very convenient. The bed was an European King size bed that had a plush pillow top. The mini-bar was stocked with water, soda and beer (no extra charge). Balcony was fair size with two bamboo chairs and an ottoman. Cabin service was good as expected. I experienced neck and back pain for the first three nights and figured that it was because the bed was too soft. The cabin stewards managed to firm up the bed when I mentioned the problem and the pain went away.Now about the "upgrade". According to RSSC, the cabin upgrade only included the items in the cabin, so the in-room coffee-maker and binoculars were not removed. However, items that would cost them such as 30 minutes of internet, 15 minutes of phone call, 10% off premium wines were not included. In most other cruise lines, when there was a cabin upgrade, the passenger would get all of the benefits of the upgraded cabin. The food service was one of the selling points of the Mariner. I was impressed with the food service overall but there were minor exceptions. Each passenger was able to pre-book one night at Prime 7 (steak house) and Signatures (French restaurant). I managed to book an extra night at Signatures once I was onboard. I spent the first night at Sette Mari, the Italian restaurant on Deck 11. It was a buffet appetizer setup with pasta and main course prepared to order. We were fortunately to be served by two Italian waiters and they made the experience very authentic. I ordered a bottle of Italian wine from the premium wine list as it was good value compared to home. Compass Rose was their main dining room with no reservation needed. It opened at 6:30 p.m. and there was always room. Food was also very well prepared and presented. I spent two nights at Signatures and tried the various dishes. All dishes were well prepared and service was excellent. The only minor glitch was the food at Prime 7. I ordered a prime rib and my wife ordered a fillet mignon. The meat was not tender at all but the preparation was fine. Wines were included and they had a good selection of each varietal of white and red each night. These would be good valued wines that was appropriate for dinner. I did ordered a few more times from the premium wine list as there were some good values. Some excursions were included and I did not pay extra for the special ones. They were all well-organized and the local tour operators were all quite good. The ship would hand out bottled water and umbrellas before each tour. Besides those mentioned the Port Reviews, we also visited Sochi (Russia), Sevastopol (Ukraine), Constanta (Romania) and Nessebur (Bulgaria).The entertainment was good with three production shows (six dancers, two singers, pair of ballroom dancing champions, pair of specialty dancers and a eight piece orchestra). There were also a guest comedian and a pair of guest entertainers. There was always room in the Constellation Theater. That brings me to the atmosphere on the ship. There were 700 guests on the ship but it felt very quiet. On the sail-away party on deck, there was a band playing for less than 100 guests. I was wondering where everyone was. There was no line-up at the breakfast and lunch buffet. One could always find a table to sit. The lounges were quiet most of the time. The casino was mostly empty whenever I looked in. The boutique had limited selection of merchandize. There was no photographer onboard. I met a lot of new friends on the cruise and a lot of them were repeat clients of RSSC. In fact, half of the guests were returning clients. Fellow guests were always courteous and warm. Those who had 7 to 11 RSSC cruises under their belts gave me a lot of helpful hints. This was definitely a cruise for those who like a more serene type cruising, no crowd, no hurries and little noise. Disembarkation was breeze. We went to the Constellation Theater at the appointed time and were sent off the boat right the way after they checked off our names. The cruise fare also included transfers to the airport and we were taken to the airline check-in counter by a RSSC representative. The RSSC claim about all-inclusive fare was delivered. They gave each passenger a $100 shipboard credit to be applied against the cost of the Turkish visa needed to leave Istanbul by air. So I did not pay extra except for the premium wines that I ordered and the internet usage. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
A 15 day Mediterranean cruise on Voyager was basically a repeat of a similar one in 2008 although with colder,chillier weather. Our cabin was spacious and well maintained, and our butler Joshua was outstanding. Attentive and friendly ... Read More
A 15 day Mediterranean cruise on Voyager was basically a repeat of a similar one in 2008 although with colder,chillier weather. Our cabin was spacious and well maintained, and our butler Joshua was outstanding. Attentive and friendly without being intrusive.We particularly enjoed our two evenings in Signatures special restaurant. Warm ambience,attentive service (not rushed like Prime 7) and wonderful cuisine.The shows get a B-. La Viva Vida should be retired. We have seen it on previous Regent cruises and it is trite and tiresome. Le Cirque Voyager was an outstanding show. Creative, exciting and well performed by an ocviously highly motivated cast.Jacqui Scott from London's West End was a delightful entertainer and was very well received.The tours were equally divided in quality and the performance of the guides. The Gaudi tour in Barcelona,the Virtuoso Voyager luncheon and tour of a manor house in Oporto, and the Rolls Royce museum in Bilboa were all outstanding with well informed,friendly guides. The guide to the Museum and Monastery in Lisbon was hyper and not well organized.All in all another very well run Regent cruise, with special praise for Captain McNeil and the officers and crew who did an utstanding job and were very safety conscious and serious in that vital regard.The next Regent cruise has already been booked! Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Our group of 6 adults chose Regent to celebrate 2-40th and 1-50th birthdays. We wanted a luxury experience and the all-inclusive nature of this cruise line. We were absolutely thrilled with our cruise experience except for a couple ... Read More
Our group of 6 adults chose Regent to celebrate 2-40th and 1-50th birthdays. We wanted a luxury experience and the all-inclusive nature of this cruise line. We were absolutely thrilled with our cruise experience except for a couple of the tours (more on that later). Check in was quick as we were some of the first in line. As we boarded the ship, we were handed a glass of champagne and directed to the Constellation Theatre. A wonderful way to start a trip! The food on the Mariner was fantastic and we enjoyed every meal. The best was one birthday celebration at Signatures, although the second celebration at Prime 7 was good, but not quite as nice as Signatures. The lobster surf and turf was a bit tough, but we all enjoyed our meals. It is virtually impossible for a ship to serve every meal perfectly, but they certainly try. The staff were incredible. From our room stewardess, Kathlyn, to the wait staff, bartenders and crew we encountered, everyone and I do mean everyone, went out of their way to smile, say hello and ask about your day.We decided to book tours in advance in every port and were fairly active, which helped to offset the fine food we indulged in every evening. While most tours were very good, we decided to pay extra for 2-Regent Choice tours which we understood were to give a more enriching experience with smaller group sizes. Unfortunately we were very disappointed with our tour to San Marino. I realize this is a newly developed tourist destination, but the guide was inexperienced and spent the tour, reading to us from a guide book. After a while we simply wandered off and explored on our own. Since this was the first Regent Choice tour (and we paid extra for it), we were concerned about the quality of the inclusive tours. We needn't worry about those. Every tour that was included in our package price was excellent. Our last disappointment was with the final Regent Choice tour which ended up being cancelled. This tour (Super Tuscan Wine Experience) was to be the highlight of our trip. While it is understandable that they must have a minimum number of participants, what was beyond disappointing was the lack of initiative or creative problem solving by the Mariner's destination services team. They refunded our money (as expected) but could have retained the fee if they'd only been a bit more proactive. Perhaps a private group wine tasting of a selection of Super Tuscan wines (they must have had some on board for purchase) by the head sommelier, followed by a typical Tuscan meal would have been offered. But no, the only solution the staff had was to rebook an existing tour.Our disappointment with the extra cost tours aside, there is a lot to be said for how well Regent does virtually everything else. We didn't enjoy much of the entertainment, but that is a personal taste issue. We did enjoy the daily trivia tournament and high tea in the lounge. All too soon our cruise was over. I expect we will chose to cruise Regent again, mostly due to the staff interaction and the quality of the food, but I doubt we'll go beyond the regular tour offerings which are part of the all inclusive package price. The Regent Choice excursions leave a lot to be desired. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
Our Fall 2012 cruise was our first on a Regent ship, and was (a) a 70th birthday celebration and (b) to fulfill a long time bucket-list item - to visit The Valley of The Kings in Luxor. Our experience from the day we first booked the ... Read More
Our Fall 2012 cruise was our first on a Regent ship, and was (a) a 70th birthday celebration and (b) to fulfill a long time bucket-list item - to visit The Valley of The Kings in Luxor. Our experience from the day we first booked the cruise through Katherine Arteta of Regent, was outstanding. We flew on KLM - Business Class from LAX to Amsterdam, and then on to Istanbul on the same airline. Great service, and on schedule. Arriving in Istanbul, on the evening of October 30, the scene at the airport was a little chaotic (our only negative experience throughout the trip, but to offset that, we were assigned a Penthouse suite at Swissotel, and enjoyed one of the most magnificent breakfasts we have ever had the next morning. regent arranged for a relatively brief tour of the highlights of Istanbul on October 31, and following completion of this, we were delivered to the ship. We were assigned Penthouse suite 784, which is one of the suites on the stern. Our first night at sea was not comfortable because of excessive vibration - our suite was directly above one of the two propellers! Early the following morning, we requested a change of suite and were assigned Suite 729 which proved to be extremely quiet and was conveniently located midships. The transfer was executed by Regent, and all the amenities were moved with us. Very efficient and pleasant! The excursions arranged by Regent were outstanding, as was the 3-day post cruise tour of Egypt. The tour guides were outstanding (with a couple of exceptions), and the highlight of the cruise itself was a day-long trip to Masada and The Dead Sea. The food on board was also outstanding, whether one ate in Compass Rose, Prime 7, or Signatures. The service in all of the restaurants was superb. We ate ourselves into oblivion, worked out like fiends in the gym every day, and ended up putting on a manageable 5/6 pounds each!!!! Our cruise coincided with a series of problems (Turkey/Syria, Gaza/Israel, social unrest in Jordan etc). Regent kept us current with what was going on, and in fact bypassed Port Said and Sharm-el-Sheik. The post cruise trip was incredible, very well organized, and hit all of the major tourist attractions in that wonderful country. We were blessed to be a part of the "Isis" group under the care of Mohammed, a young, extremely articulate and knowledgeable Egyptologist. He added so much "meat" to each of the places we visited, and also was able and willing to give us insight into the present situation in that very special country. Our overall experience - outstanding! Will we cruise again with Regent - absolutely! Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We have just returned from the Regent Seven Seas Pathway to Antiquity Cruise (Oct 30 to Nov.14th). We also did the pre and post land packages offered by the cruise line extending the trip 3 days at each end. We found the trip to be what ... Read More
We have just returned from the Regent Seven Seas Pathway to Antiquity Cruise (Oct 30 to Nov.14th). We also did the pre and post land packages offered by the cruise line extending the trip 3 days at each end. We found the trip to be what people describe as a 'trip of a lifetime'. Everything was so well organized from beginning to end. The room was a lot bigger than we had anticipated. Others had mentioned that you don't need a big room since you only sleep in it. True enough but it was lovely having a walk in closet, separate bath and huge shower and sitting area. Every suite had a balcony. The staff was professional and friendly, always willing to help if you needed it. The excursions that were offered ranged from full 10 hours to short ones of 3 hours. There were normally a range of tours from "stay close to the bus" type for people with mobility problems to hiking up mountains to ancient ruins on little winding paths. All of our daily excursions were included in the cruise price except for one that we opted to take. We had meals with all of the longer tours. At Ephesus we picked the excursion that included the recently opened Terrace Houses. They are normally an add-on to the daily entrance fee for visitors, but it was included for us. It was a real highlight of the day. Regent's excursion staff is so well organized. We were very happy with how the excursions set off every morning with bus allocations, water bottles available etc. I am an organized person and I was impressed! Our visit to Cairo had to be changed as Egyptians were planning demonstrations in Cairo the day of our visit. We arrived in our room to find a notice on our bed with a choice to make. Did we want to go to Cairo the next day a Thursday rather than as scheduled one on Friday? We would give up our Thursday Alexandria day but we were happy to do that. All we had to do was say check a box and drop it off at the Destinations Counter. A few hours later our new tickets for Cairo were at our door. The trip to Cairo was fun. The buses headed off and soon got caught in a traffic snarl where road work was being done. That slowed us down a lot but we continued to the pyramids, a late lunch and a papyrus shop. The return trip was slowed down with a very unusual heavy rain and lightning storm causing traffic to slow down. But we loved it. We arrived back at the ship about 2 hours late and were very surprised to find a lot of staff including the Captain, the Cruise director, and one of the performers on the dock welcoming us back. They assured us that dinner was held for us and to just shove our stuff in our rooms and head up to eat. We had the choice to do the pre-cruise Turkey land portion with a flight to Cappadocia -- Land of the Fairy Chimneys from Istanbul before boarding the cruise ship. We stayed at the Cappadocia Cave Resort and Spa which was previously cave dwellings. From our patio area we had views of the entire valley including all the balloons that were rising at sunrise for their flight. At one time there were 77 in the air. This pre-cruise trip was so worthwhile and yes it did cost extra. The land there is very different with cave dwellings, unusual valleys full of odd land formations, a valley of churches cut into the rock and an underground city inhabited from 8th- 7th century B.C. We flew back to Istanbul and did Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, lunch and the grand bazaar before boarding the ship. Our post cruise land portion was included in the cruise fee if you wanted to spend the extra days doing that. Not every did as a lot were continuing on to the next cruise and I guess some people had to get back to work. The post cruise was 1 ½ days extra in Luxor including a caravan of buses crossing the eastern dessert and a stay at a very deluxe hotel. Here we did the Valley of the Kings and the Temples of Luxor and Karnak. We were then off on a flight to Cairo and for us another visit to the pyramids and another super hotel. Both our visits to Cairo were very different as we had a different Egyptologist with us on each trip. The one that we had for the post cruise we really got to know as she stayed at the hotels with us and did lead the excursions for the 3 days. We enjoyed them both and got a very good feel as to what it is like to live in Cairo now and as a pharaoh. The food on the ship was tremendous; there were no buffet dinners in any of the restaurants. They did offer though two buffet options in one of the restaurants (and only if you wanted that specifically)on two nights the rest of the guests there ordered off the menu. The best thing is they don't have fixed seating times for dinners or particular tables of people that you always have to eat with. You have your choice of eating by yourselves or joining a table of 4 or a table of 6. We ate alone twice and the rest of the evenings we shared tables with others. We loved getting to talk with people from around the world. You got to know so many people by name that you could chat with on excursions etc. There were so many interesting and knowledgeable travellers with a lot of advice about places to visit. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
This was our first time with Regent Seven Seas and we sailed on the Mariner from Venice to Monte Carlo. More importantly for us, this was a real departure from our normal cruises, which over the last few years have been very formal, ... Read More
This was our first time with Regent Seven Seas and we sailed on the Mariner from Venice to Monte Carlo. More importantly for us, this was a real departure from our normal cruises, which over the last few years have been very formal, sailing with Cunard or P&O. So the big question for us was would we enjoy the informality and smaller stylish boutique ship over a grand and elegant liner - and the answer was 100% yes! Most of the people i chatted to could only really compare Regent to the other 6 Star "all inclusive" lines (Silverseas, Seabourne etc)and virtually all told us that Regent was way in front in many ways. We fell in love with this ship and the Regent experience after two days and thoughts of super-liners, Tuxedo`s and set eating times fell away. So what made it so great.....Here we go:- Individual space - I read that Regent`s ships offer the greatest amount of passenger space and they really do. But i guess this is due to the fact that our ship stopped every day and with all - inclusive tours a vast number of passengers were off the ship for the bulk of the day. The Stateroom - Ample space, well furnished with a most comfortable bed and kitted out with everything and more you would need. Espresso coffee maker, DVD player, stocked fridge and even the binoculars were useful. But the two big pluses were the walk - in wardrobe, which therefore gives you more living room and the "Best" bathroom i have ever experienced across 30 cruises. Nicely tiled, roomy and the most amazing walk in shower with rainfall shower head! Staff - Every single member of staff were ultra efficient, friendly and above all cheerful, giving the impression that they enjoyed working on the ship (you don't always see this) Restaurants - Well firstly, the food in every restaurant was outstanding. But here`s the thing, whichever restaurant you chose to eat in, you never felt like you were in the dining room of a cruise ship, but entering into a restaurant. The menu choices were fantastic and having never encountered the all inclusive element previously, had some concerns over whether the quality and choice of wines that would be available would pass muster - they exceeded expectation. There was always 2/3 choices of each and with the exception of a single dodgy "Reisling" all were excellent (especially the Reds). In addition,this ship really does serve premium brands, with large choices of gins, vodka`s, whiskies, brandies, beers and liqueurs. Tours - We only booked a single tour in Montenegro and it was terrific with a most passionate and knowledgeable guide. Were there any negatives - of course there were, but they were minor and really down to our personal tastes. My wife and i hate buffets, so for two days mid cruise and due to how many people were off the ship, the main dining room was closed leaving the "Pool Grill" or the buffet at "La Veranda" the only dining venues. But the food served in both of those venues was excellent with a massive choice and wonderfully freshly cooked pasta. Personally i feel they could do with some more maitre d`s at the entrances of the restaurants to seat people quickly and more efficiently and regarding entertainment, although the production shows were well put together (great dancers), the main singers were not to our personal liking - The Cirque du Mariner show however was very good. We are big fans of the roulette wheel, however, most nights it was never manned and therefore no players. Finally, the embarkation/disembarkation process was seamless and ultra smooth and helped along with a glass of champagne for embarkation in the Constellation theatre. All of the above reasons are why we simply loved the Regent experience and the "Mariner" and have already booked again for next summer - and cant wait!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
We were a family group of 20 on the SS Mariner cruise in June 2012. It was not easy finding the right cruise line for us since ages in our group ranged from 2 -80! We finally chose Regent because we trusted it to be a luxury cruse line ... Read More
We were a family group of 20 on the SS Mariner cruise in June 2012. It was not easy finding the right cruise line for us since ages in our group ranged from 2 -80! We finally chose Regent because we trusted it to be a luxury cruse line that would please the elders in our group and yet we hoped it would also offer enough activities and entertainment for the younger crowd. So we boarded in Istanbul, the boarding process went very smoothly and the staff was very helpful and always well-disposed to help in any way needed. The SUITES are very comfortable and bathrooms (shower only) also well kept. All of the housekeeping employees assigned to our suites were always available and very courteous. We decided to tip them (in spite of tips being included) and found that they were a bit surprised and very thankful. The furnishings are ok, though the carpets are in need of change. The public areas of the ship are all nicely decorated and in perfect condition. Now as for DINING: there are various venues available and food was quite varied to please everyone;from casual burgers and salads by the pool to excellent a la carte dinners in all 3 restaurants. For Signatures and Prime 7 reservations were required entitling passengers once to dine at each restaurant. It is necessary to make reservations well in advance ( our travel agent did not help much and since we were a large group we were assigned dinner at 6:30 pm which was not what we wanted.) Nevertheless, once on the ship the restaurants concierge really helped to accommodate all of us and we were able to schedule better times and enjoy those dinners. Compass Rose, the main restaurant turned out to be a nice surprise, since it was at the same level of the other two restaurants. The menu changes daily, and there are many options to cater for all guests'dietary needs, all in a sophisticated yet family -friendly ambience. The Veranda which is the buffet restaurant was a more distended option for lunch ann hearty appetites. The quality and variety of the food available throughout the ship well deserves a special mention here. The waiters were also very well trained. Room service proved to be a great option for after-tours. DRINKS: needless to say, plenty of drinks offered at all times!!! Great poolside bar and waiters. TOURS : Here comes probably our major complaint about the cruise. Our first destination Kavala, did not have much to offer. We chose a tour " Historic Xanthi" and it was a complete disgrace ( as put by another passenger on our tour.) We drove for about 45 min to walk by a nice , yes, river but nothing spectacular and we were left to walk up a rocky and uncomfortable narrow path. Luckily halfway, we encountered other groups returning who told us it was not worth it to keep going, since the scenery was the same. So we headed back to the bus and then left for a 30 minute ride to Xanthi. There our guide walked us through the little town, and we were all surprised that there was nothing to see there! Just a small church from 1930's I recall and there some of us started to complain. The guide was not responsive, and the representative from Regent who came with us, was completely aloof. Then we were to have 1.5 hours to spend at our leisure there!! and we complained and shortened that to 45 min. There were a few bars open, some of our kids wanted something to eat, and it was past lunch time, so we sat at a bar to realize they were totally unprepared to offer food, even drinks! We asked for diet sodas, they had none!!! After that we were taken AGAIN to a touristy restaurant -house were we sat and tasted a plate of local appetizers. We again complained and finally we headed back to the ship which was another hour's drive. We headed right to the Concierge to explain what had happened and our concern for the rest of the cruise's tours. We found they had already heard about it, and did not even offer an apology. We were appalled by all this, we felt we were treated with little respect. Having experienced all this, we then decided to switch to shorter tours for the following destinations and those were generally good. FITNESS & SPA: few aerobic machines, the spa was ok, nothing great and impossible to schedule appointments. (I think it is because people use the shipboards credit here). Poor manicure and pedicure service. As for ENTERTAINMENT: it was overall quiet nice, yet we missed most of the shows since we dined late. Bars had good musicians. Unfortunately we realized not many people hang our after dinner and it was a bit awkward to see a only few people at those nice bars. The average age on this cruise was about 60, so we found that entertainment was targeted to an older crowd. There were some families like us since it was already summer. The disco lounge had a jukebox with very old music playing! It is nice to listen to 60's or 70's music but we felt they should improve that and add more up to date music to attract those of us wanting to dance !!! Finally for disembarkation it was all very well organized and we ended our journey on this cruise and happy with the outcome overall..... Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Background Information We previously reviewed our first cruise which was on-board RSSC's Mariner in the Mediterranean in May 2011 and this is really by way of a comparison and update. Travel to RSS Mariner Again we made our own ... Read More
Background Information We previously reviewed our first cruise which was on-board RSSC's Mariner in the Mediterranean in May 2011 and this is really by way of a comparison and update. Travel to RSS Mariner Again we made our own travel arrangements, not only because this was more economical than using Regent's included flights but to avoid the worry involved in flying out on the morning of embarkation. We flew LHR to IST in British Airways Club Europe cabin primarily to take advantage of the business lounge as we faced a considerable wait -- the roads around Heathrow are so unreliable that it is essential to leave around 4 hours early for what should be a 90 minute journey. We also looked forward to the increased legroom and better service on the four hour flight but in this we were disappointed. It was clear that BA had reconfigured the business cabin to increase capacity at the expense of both room and service - to the point where it is no longer worth paying the premium. We had booked a standard room at the 'Four Seasons at the Bosphorus' in Istanbul and they had arranged for a car to meet us off the plane: this was done with courtesy and efficiency. The traffic (and some of the driving) in Istanbul was appalling however and it took nearly an hour to travel the 12 miles or so to the hotel. We were delighted on arrival to discover that our standard room had been upgraded to a beautiful split-level suite overlooking the Bosphorus! We had intended to take a short boat trip on the Bosphorus before going to the Mariner at lunchtime but decided to enjoy breakfast and a gracious late checkout from our lovely room. At breakfast I plucked up courage to speak to an American couple at a neighbouring table who confirmed that they too were bound for the Mariner and were using Regent's included transfer facility. The concierge then contacted the Regent personnel at the hotel who confirmed that we were welcome to use the Regent bus rather than find a taxi for ourselves as I had originally intended. This is typical of the 'no problem' attitude found in so many of one's dealings with Regent staff. Reception on board This time we were delighted to find that the previous welcome glass of sparkling wine had been replaced by real Champagne which we enjoyed as we went through the reception process in the theatre. This took no more than 5 minutes despite the fact that we had arrived with many other guests. Our luggage, loaded on the Regent bus, duly reappeared in our suite when we gained access about 2.30pm following lunch from the La Veranda's excellent buffet; a bottle of Champagne on ice awaited us. Stateroom Our F category suite was located amidships on the port side of deck 8. Other than being 'the other way round' i.e. a mirror image of our starboard cabin last year, it was identical except that, in the interim, Regent had introduced the 'concierge class' benefits. These are incentives intended to attract passengers to suites on higher decks which, although identical to those lower down, cost more. Concierge Class The main benefit of a concierge class suite is the opportunity to book excursions and speciality restaurants online earlier than others: from speaking to others, however, it seems that there was little difficulty in getting reservations at the later stage. There is also an included hour of Wi-Fi internet access. Both these benefits accrue to those who have sailed more than 21 nights with Regent regardless of the class of cabin, however. There is also a complimentary coffee machine (without instructions for use however), a pair of binoculars and a 25% discount on premium wines. If we were to book with Regent again, given that we would have accrued more than 21 nights, we would not pay the premium to be in concierge class unless more substantial benefits, such as additional speciality restaurant reservations or additional excursion options, were offered. Food & Wine We complained (mildly) about the timing of room service breakfasts last year but this had not improved this year: orders for 6.30 to 7.00 were delivered between 6.10 and 6.20 often catching us still in bed! Perhaps the timing slots are meant to indicate when you want to finish eating but this is not what the order-card says. This is only a minor inconvenience of course and is no doubt the result of pressure on the service when so many excursions require passengers to be ready at the same time in the morning. We just started ordering for a later time slot and hoped it would be early as usual! This tactic usually worked. The food in all the restaurants was as good as last year - apart from a filet mignon which was ordered rare and arrived medium-rare and rather chewy, and, very strangely, a Dover sole which was tough and overcooked -- even odder given the fact that a thinner fish served to the same table was perfect. Our impression was that the standard of the wines was not quite up to last year. Too many rather bland Chilean and Californian varietals and requests for an alternative served earlier in the cruise were not always met with complete enthusiasm from the servers. There definitely seemed to be more pressure to accept that evening's standard 'pour' than there was last year - particularly from staff of Central European origin. We searched in vain for a premium wine to take advantage of the concierge class discount but nothing tempted us -- cynical it may be but I wondered whether the prices had been massaged to claw back some of the reduction in profit that might result from the discount? Excursions It was unfortunate that we were accompanied for much of the itinerary by two much larger ships. This resulted in real crowding in many of the sites visited -- particularly Ephesus and Athens. Of course this is a popular itinerary but it was hardly high season -- perhaps these sites are reaching their capacity and consideration might be given to the inclusion of more places 'off the beaten track' especially if Regent's desire is to continue to attract repeat travellers. The best of the excursions, we felt, was the Corfu 4x4 trip. It encouraged a sense of camaraderie and a little adventure -- although, to be honest, four wheel drive was not really necessary as all the roads were tarmacked albeit very bendy and quite bumpy. But even this experience was slightly diminished by finding that both of the scheduled stops were already occupied by groups from the accompanying cruise vessels. Unfortunately I managed to aggravate an existing knee problem when extricating myself from the rear of the tiny two-door cars used: this prevented us participating in any further excursions which involved any real walking. We enjoyed the resulting additional 'sea-days' on-board despite the variable weather we experienced throughout the voyage. Conclusion It was perhaps unwise of us to choose a cruise so similar to last year's. Last year we had never cruised before and therefore had no benchmark for comparison -- this year we had expectations. That these were largely met is a tribute to Regent's management and their standards of supervision and training. Disappointment resulted from one factor wholly beyond Regent's control -- the weather -- and from another partially so -- the popularity of the ports visited with other much larger vessels. As regards two innovations that have been the subject of controversy in the Cruise Critic forums, included excursions and concierge class benefits, the first is no doubt an attraction to first time luxury cruisers but does have two disadvantages: a 'treadmill' effect where every day brings a new port and an excursion to take if you want to get your money's worth. As a way of making the upper decks more attractive, given that they cost more but are otherwise identical to those lower down, the concierge class scheme is understandable: its attractions diminish, however, as you earn repeat traveller benefits which match or exceed those of concierge class -- the addition of extra bookings in the speciality restaurants might be a way to redress the balance. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
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