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17 Regent Seven Seas Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

Husband, son and I have been cruising for over 25 years. Ages are 63, 56 and 23. It is our favorite vacation thing to do. Started on Carnival (actually met my husband on the old Celebration) and moved on up from there. About eight ... Read More
Husband, son and I have been cruising for over 25 years. Ages are 63, 56 and 23. It is our favorite vacation thing to do. Started on Carnival (actually met my husband on the old Celebration) and moved on up from there. About eight years ago, we tried Celebrity and that was that. It became our favorite cruise line. So other than the occasional inexpensive three or four day trip to the Bahamas on Carnival or Royal Caribbean (we live in FL, so it's easy for us to just jump on), we stick to Celebrity. But this year, we decided to step up to one of the luxury lines and went with Regent Voyager Barcelona to Athens. We are going on Celebrity Edge this winter and considered it for this cruise, but when we added on the business air that came included with Regent, the prices were pretty much the same. So I'll just cut to the conclusion and if you want details, keep reading further. Regent is just lovely and we had a nice time, but it's back to Celebrity for us, unless we got some sort of insane deal on Regent. Very soon, Regent is going to have to figure out how to cater to a younger, more dynamic, well-heeled passenger, as their very elderly passenger base is not going to be around much longer. So here's our breakdown: Room- Regent wins. We were in 867, which is a Penthouse Suite B. It is very comparable to a Sky Suite on Celebrity, which is what we usually book. We loved it. Big walk in closet. Curtain that separates living room from bedroom at night (helpful if you have a third passenger, as we did). Bathroom had separate shower and bath. Great towels and toiletries. Tip: If you do have a passenger sleeping on the pull out couch, ask for a mattress reinforcer. Made a big difference. As others have noted, the balcony furniture is a little too big for the space. Food- For the MDR, Regent wins going away. Really good food. For pool grille, best hamburgers goes to Celebrity, ambiance goes to Regent. Buffet food was a tie, although Regent had less of a cattle call feel. Specialty restaurants food were a tie. In factoring cost effectiveness, we have to pay for specialty restaurants on Celebrity, but they are included with Regent. Regent does enforce the no jeans dress code in the dining room in the evening, which is pretty silly in this day and age. A man in a nice fitting pair of dark wash jeans with a collared shirt is a much better look than some of the stuff that we saw that technically fits the dress code. Drinks-Regent. However, we pretty much only drink wine and champagne, with an occasional martini or cosmo thrown in. The daily wines were perfectly acceptable and flowed freely. We did not feel pressure to buy more expensive bottles. All the bartenders we met were pleasant. No ubiquitous surly Jamaican bartender at the pool bar. And none of that annoying standing in line and having to produce your card. You ask for a drink, you get it. Lovely. Casino- Celebrity. At least on our sailing, the casino was dead, dead, dead. There were many times we were the only people in there. We are gamblers so we usually get offered significant discounts on future cruises after the pit boss sees our level of play. Regent offered us $1000 off any future sailings. Whoopee. Clientele- Regent. Everyone was super friendly and well traveled. Of course, this was a much smaller ship size. There is a significant 80+ clientele. The bulk of them were impressively active and friendly, but the experience and amenities they are looking for were quite different from ours. (Clientele can vary wildly sailing to sailing and I might be a little bitter about our last two on Celebrity. They were spring break cruises and Costco travel had sold the bulk of the reservations to a certain demographic that I won't specify.) Officer Visibility-Regent. I have never seen and met so many officers and been on a first name basis with them. Very impressive. Entertainment- For in house talent, Regent. For specialty acts, Celebrity. Pool- Chairs and amenities, Regent. Music, Celebrity. The piped in music at the Voyager pool was just excruciating. One more instrumental round of "The Girl from Impanema" anyone? Come on. They call it yacht rock for a reason. Please play it. Or reggae, mellow rock, current pop. Anything but what they played. Again, the elderly clientele seemed to like it. Shore excursions - tie. Shore excursions on both are such a crap shoot, whether you pay for them or they are included. We are reaching the point where we just want to book from outside companies. Internet-Celebrity. Regents was HORRIBLE. And we paid $100 for the upgrade! A deal breaker for us. My husband still has to work when he's on vacation and my son, well, he's 23. We gotta have decent internet. Service- ever so slight edge to Regent. We have had outstanding butlers and we have had indifferent butlers. There just doesn't seem to be any set standard on either ship. So our Regent butler was one of the indifferent ones. But everyone else was really good. Laundry-Regent. There is a passenger laundry room on every floor. While it's not particularly high end to do your own laundry on a cruise, it's certainly better than paying those insanely high fees. Cost-Celebrity. Except for the Edge, which is on a par with Regent. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We did the Barcelona-to-Rome cruise leaving Barcelona April 2018 and had a great time. The room sizes are far better than any others we have seen, and include a walk-in closet and spacious bathroom--not amenities you normally find on a ... Read More
We did the Barcelona-to-Rome cruise leaving Barcelona April 2018 and had a great time. The room sizes are far better than any others we have seen, and include a walk-in closet and spacious bathroom--not amenities you normally find on a cruise ship. The public areas, bars, pool area were all great, and I particularly liked the health club on the 6th floor. In addition, Regent's arrival (at the airport) and departure experiences were really well done. We had been on a river cruise with AMA in 2017 and went on this cruise with a couple who had been on a different AMA river cruise last year. All of us thought that Regent's food, while OK, did not match AMA. Maybe that reflects preparing food for 750 versus 140, but anyway that's our view. The three specialty restaurants on the Regent Explorer were quite good, although again my wife and I thought our one dinner at the AMA "Captain's Table" was even more special. We thought the tours were generally pretty good, but there were two occasions where tours included stops at facilities that were just attempts to sell stuff to folks on the tour. One on Mallorca took the group quite a long way to a rather worthless tour of a synthetic pearl factory, ending with too much free time in the factory's gift shop. Then we had a tour to that began in the little French village of Eze, which is a fantastic place, and ended in Monaco, which is also well worth seeing. But stuck between them was a tour of a perfume factory, again dumping you in their showroom at the end, and providing more time than necessary. Regent should delete the commercial stops from their tours, in my view. Those are my suggestions for improvement; overall it was a great time and the experience generally matched up with the premium price Regent commands. We would probably sail with them again and are considering a Baltic cruise in a year or two. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This cruise would have got full marks if I had been sailing on either of the other Regent Ships, (Mariner or Voyager) as the service was excellent, as was the food and beverages offered - excellent quality and presentation. In particular ... Read More
This cruise would have got full marks if I had been sailing on either of the other Regent Ships, (Mariner or Voyager) as the service was excellent, as was the food and beverages offered - excellent quality and presentation. In particular the speciality restaurants. However as the ship was hailed (and as we were repeatedly told, it wore thin after a while) "the most luxurious ship ever built", that my expectations were higher. While the ship has lots of marble, granite and fine paintings and of course is freshly decked out, that wouldn't be enough to bring me back specifically to this ship - the price is costly and there were some design faults, which is a pity as I believe a sister ship is in the pipeline for 2020. Main faults with the design, which had nothing to do with the excellent friendly service by everyone and are outside the staff's control, is that there are only one set of rest rooms per floor bar the pool deck - madness when the main Compass Rose restaurant and Constellation theatre are on the same floor. The stairs are much narrower than on other ships and difficult to pass people by if you meet someone coming the opposite direction to you - but in the main this is a security issue should there be an emergency. The Wifi was also very hit and miss even when docked at shore. The pool deck dining area, was very busy area during the day, inclined to be noisy and I didn't like the layout of the table - too cramped and too like a canteen in layout. I prefer the larger round tables on their other ships. The shore excursions were lengthy and with a full day away that included 3 hrs on our own before heading back to the ship after having been on a tour of the area as well, was excessive. Not to sound too negative as our trip was very pleasant, we enjoyed the cruise, its only fair to highlight that our suite/cabin was spacious and very comfortable, particularly the bed and pillows. I'm surprised that the ratings on cruise critic have been low in this area. I couldn't fault our room and balcony, with fresh fruit and refreshments delivered daily. The evening shows were of a higher quality than on other Regent ships, though the Trio were a bit hit and miss in the explorer lounge, but Ross in the Observation lounge got a good following each night and worked hard to entertain us all. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I know this is over a year writing this review but it is something that still annoys me .went as a party of 6 to experience the new explorer .The ship did not disappoint staff were really helpful and the staterooms were top of the range ... Read More
I know this is over a year writing this review but it is something that still annoys me .went as a party of 6 to experience the new explorer .The ship did not disappoint staff were really helpful and the staterooms were top of the range and the beds were the most comfortable i have slept in. unfortunately the 2nd day my sister slipped off the steps on the tour bus and was in a lot of pain. she knew it was serious and when she saw the Doctor the following day he only looked at it and gave her a painkiller and a support bandage. even though her foot was black. she had to request an accident form she was not helped at all during the rest of the cruise. we discovered later after complianign to Regent they do not like criticism this would not stop me going with Regent again but has marred our view on the treatment and customer care Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was only our second cruise. Our first was with P&O and although this cruise was far more expensive, as they say, you get what you pay for. What was really impressive was the way embarkation, tours and disembarkation was ... Read More
This was only our second cruise. Our first was with P&O and although this cruise was far more expensive, as they say, you get what you pay for. What was really impressive was the way embarkation, tours and disembarkation was managed, it was all very well organised. All the staff, without exception, were friendly and couldn't do enough to help. Being "all inclusive" it was really nice to be able to drink and eat what you liked without having to sign for it and there was no reluctance to give you what you wanted, as there is in some AI hotels. We had chosen a Penthouse suite which was really spacious with a very well stocked shower room and large comfortable bed - where the linen was changed daily. The only criticism was that the room at the side of the bed was very limited. The lounge area was an excellent size. We didn't make a great deal of use of our butler but he was friendly enough and provided our daily choice of canapes. We only dined three nights in the Speciality restaurants and we felt he could have been more helpful in that area. The only disappointments were that we left out Lesbos - because of the migrant problem - but spent the day at sea rather than finding another Greek island to visit (as the Silversea Spirit did) and that one passenger lift was out of action for the entire cruise. But would we travel Regent again - a definite yes. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We are long time Regent cruisers and do enjoy our trips. We have always enjoyed the excellent service and food. This year there was an obvious problem with the service. The current staff was wonderful and worked very hard but they ... Read More
We are long time Regent cruisers and do enjoy our trips. We have always enjoyed the excellent service and food. This year there was an obvious problem with the service. The current staff was wonderful and worked very hard but they needed more help. Some examples We had breakfast every morning in Veranda. We ordered cappuccino every day and it never was delivered until we had finished our meal. Why don't they have a machine in the kitchen? We arrived at Compass Rose at 7:15 for dinner. We let the staff know we wanted to be done in time for the 9:30 show. It seemed a pretty reasonable request but we missed the first 15 minutes of the show and never ate dessert. We had dinner in Signatures and the dirty dishes from our first course remained on the table for more than 15 minutes. We had pre dinner cocktails in the Observation Deck Bar. They had one bartender and 2 wait staff working. The bar was generally full and it meant if you wanted a drink you had to go to the bar to order it and go back to pick it up. I realize none of the complaints are earth shattering but it is a big slide for Regent. We heard several negative comments from other guests regarding the lack of staff. Regent positions itself as a luxury cruise line and they need to restore luxury service. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I recently returned from a 10-day Mediterranean Rome-Venice cruise. It met all my expectations and was a delightful and memorable experience. I have only a few complaints and none of them ruined my vacation. The best part of the trip ... Read More
I recently returned from a 10-day Mediterranean Rome-Venice cruise. It met all my expectations and was a delightful and memorable experience. I have only a few complaints and none of them ruined my vacation. The best part of the trip was the service. I wanted for nothing during the trip. My cabin steward brought me everything I needed. You could have anything delivered by room service. If you had complaints about anything, it was quickly addressed. Waitstaff in the dining rooms was always friendly (and was completely over the top in Signatures). We had assistance with questions or issues whenever we needed it. I have read mixed reviews about the food, but I had no complaints myself. Breakfast in the Coffee Connection was a bit lame, but I had delicious meals everywhere else. Maybe they weren't the best and most memorable meals I ever had, but nothing was low quality or poorly prepared. I enjoyed the meals I had in the pool grill (best burgers ever), La Veranda, Sette Mari, Prime 7 (amazing prime rib) and Signatures as well afternoon tea at the Horizon Lounge. All of the lounges were pleasant places to hang out although the mixed drinks often seemed a little weak. I can't make too many observations about the entertainment. I never went to the shows at night as I was usually too tired from daily activities to stay out late. I went to the karaoke nights, but the selection of songs available was really lame. The background music in the lounges was always pleasant and non-intrusive. I don't gamble, so I didn't spend much time in the casino. It is a very bland room without much going on except for slot machines and a few tables. I wasn't crazy about the pool. It's not very big, so if a few people show up and start congregating in the shallow end, it's nearly impossible to actually swim. It also doesn't have nearly enough seating. The sun beds are comfortable, but they take up way too much space. They should replace them with more lounge chairs. I didn't spend any time with the other recreational activities on board, but the kids I was traveling with had a lot of fun with bocce, shuffleboard, and the games available in the library. Excursions were mixed. In Sorrento I had an entertaining and informative tour of Pompeii. My tour of Taormina and the Greco-Roman theater was good, but a bit rushed. The shuttles from town to the ship are convenient and run regularly, so I was easily able to stay longer in places where I wanted to explore beyond the tours. The ship had very skimpy offerings in Zakynthos and Corfu, so I booked private tours for those (well worth the money). My walking tour of Bari and the cathedrals exceeded my expectations. Bari doesn't look that interesting from the ship, but it's a whole new world when you walk into the old town. St. Sabino and St. Nicholas are beautiful cathedrals. Montenegro was also very interesting and is a stunningly beautiful country. My guide was hilarious and I enjoyed my free sample of the local firewater (and dare I say they make better prosciutto than the Italians?) I was not very happy with my tour of Croatia. The tour was to Krka National Park with a side cruise to another town. The cruise and lunch took up way too much time and not very well planned. We went into the park, got on the boat and had lunch in the town, then went back by bus to exactly where we started, having to wait to enter the park gates again. We had almost no time in the park. I was anticipating some hiking (I even brought boots), but only had a short walk around one loop before having less than an hour to swim in the falls. I had a nice tour in Slovenia, but I was very disappointed that I could not go to Lipica. As a horse lover, the trip to the Lipizzaner Stud Farm was supposed to be the highlight of my trip. I was told it was there was no performance scheduled that day, so the ship canceled. Although I would have liked to see a performance, I really wanted to see the beautiful stables and grounds and meet the horses (and maybe see some of those black foals). My hop on/hop off tour was nice enough though as I explored one or two very pretty towns and had another chance to go to the beach in Portoroz. My final tour in Venice was also interesting as I went to some areas I wasn't familiar with and the gondola ride with the musical serenade was beautiful (although short). The gym was well-equipped with plenty of cardio machines and a decent selection of machine and free weight options. I had a very nice treatment at the spa (special pedicure) and the staff could not be nicer. There was a large selection of fitness classes daily, but I never went to any of them, so I can't comment. If you fall out of shape on this cruise it will be because you eat too much good food and not because you don't have any fitness opportunities. I had only two major complaints with the ship. The first is that there was sometimes a sewage smell in the hallway outside my room that occasionally seeped into my room. The cleaning staff tried to address it, but it never completely went away. I didn't smell it all the time though. I was also bothered by the fact that Sette Mari doesn't take reservations. It's very popular and if you're traveling with a large party as I was, they just don't have enough tables. My entire party did manage to get in there once, but it meant playing around with schedules and having a few family members "hold" a table for everyone else. Overall my cruise was a great experience. I enjoyed great food, drinks, and service and and had many memorable experiences ashore. I would definitely do this again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I'm from Hong Kong and went with my parents to our first cruise in Apr 2013. Since it was not the busy season yet, the price was lower than cruises in May-Aug. Overall it is a good experience with Regent. Embarkation and ... Read More
I'm from Hong Kong and went with my parents to our first cruise in Apr 2013. Since it was not the busy season yet, the price was lower than cruises in May-Aug. Overall it is a good experience with Regent. Embarkation and disembarkation We embarked after having lunch in Venice near the port. Overall the process was smooth. There was sufficient staff there to help. We are in our stateroom in less than an hour. Disembarkation was smooth as well. The Ship The cabin steward knew our names and was always around, and when he was, he would open the door for us. The stateroom was clean, spacious and beautiful and there was sufficient room for 3 people. The walk-in closet was large. Bathroom amenities were replenished very quickly. The sliding door to the balcony was a bit difficult to open but we managed to do so. The ship was also clean, spacious and beautiful. We loved that it was quiet and was not full of people. Maybe westerners like to socialize but due to difference in culture,we loved to enjoy ourselves without interference rather than socializing with other guests. There were sufficient laundry facilities for us to do our own washing and ironing. Services were execellent. All the staff were genuine and polite and they understood English well. Dining The food was overall good but there was a few misses. Surprsingly, dinner in the main dining room Compass Rose is the best, but the specility restaurants are not as good as expected. Crabcake in Prime 7 was good, but the lettuce in the Ceasar salad was not fresh! The so-called "Signature" Surf and Turf was bad, the lobster must have been freezed for too long, they were not fresh and, in fact, tasteless. The filet mignon was dry and also quite tasteless. What a disappointment! Signatures was better. The foie gras and mushroom soup were good, but the caviar did not taste good. Obviously they should buy better quality caviar for a 6-star ship. The steak and the dover sole were ok, the halibut was acceptable. Anyway, we didn't border making another reservation. The main dining room Compass Rose is however very good at dinner time. There was usually something fresh from the port of call to choose from. So the lobsters and seafood there were fresh, and the chef was flexible enough to cook the food according to our request (we asked for the lobsters to be pan-fried instead of steamed one night). However, the lunch was not as good. We wondered if they had a different chef for lunch? In particular, the so-called "Asian" dishes were not authentic at all, such as Indonesian fried rice lacked the essential black soya sauce, the chef must have no idea what Indonesian fried rice was at all! The Japanese dishes were also not done very well. Maybe they could get away with Westerners who were not familiar with Asian cuisines, but they could not fool Asians like us. They should really hire some Asian chefs if the would like to offer Asian cuisine on board. Otherwise, please just stick to Western cuisine. The breakfast buffet and some made-to-order dishes at La Veranda was excellent, but disappointedly there was only one champagne + caviar breakfast. The quality of the caviar was better then Signatures but still not too good. The lunch buffet was quite good except the pizzas which were poorly done. Dinner at Sette Mari at La Veranda was quite good too but not as good as Compass Rose because the seafood was not as fresh. Overall the wine selections were acceptable. Moreover, the services in all the restaurants were very good. Entertainment The night shows on board were generally quite good but they were a bit too short. However, the singers in the disco sung poorly. As we didn't have any seadays and we went on shore excursions every day, we didn't have much time on the ship during daytime for other activities. Shore excursions There were all well organized and efficient. Water was offered when we got off the ship. The guides were usually ok, but sometime it was difficult to hear them due to the large open spaces and the size of the group. The lunches/snacks offered during the trips were quite good, there was always wine on offer. We particularly like having champagne afternoon tea in a luxury hotel in Istanbul, and all were inclusive! Conclusion Overall, we were satisfied with the cruise for the price we paid. Will we return? Yes but perhaps not too soon because we'd like to try other similar cruise lines such as Crystal or maybe Seabourn to compare.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Let me provide some background as I believe we all have such subjective views. I have cruised on Celebrity and Oceania, this is the first Regent Cruise. I travel a lot for business, with my standard stays at Marriotts, Hyatts, etc. This ... Read More
Let me provide some background as I believe we all have such subjective views. I have cruised on Celebrity and Oceania, this is the first Regent Cruise. I travel a lot for business, with my standard stays at Marriotts, Hyatts, etc. This cruise was 7 nights starting in Rome ending in Istanbul. Overall it was very enjoyable,a few highlights: Positive- -Embarkation was the easiest I ever experienced. -The crew were all extremely friendly and helpful. I don't recall having crew that always had a smile on their face, and offered to assist with anything -The bed was very comfortable and the bath amenities very nice -I really like the all inclusive fare. I don't drink much, however, not signing chits throughout the cruise was very nice -The excursions were better than I expected. All but one of the guides was excellent. The maximum tour size was 20, I noted that the other larger ships had groups of 30-40 -This cruise had two significant issues to deal with. The first was a suspected case of meningitis where the passenger had to be taken off the ship overnight for medical help, and the second Hurricane Sandy. The communications and transparency from the Captain and Jamie the cruise director was excellent. There is a thread on the medical issue on the Boards. The Italian authorities did not let us disembark in Messina. All passengers were given Cipro to take as a precaution. On the hurricane side, we did use Regent Air and they were working to make sure our flight home were running as usual. In what I thought was a nice gesture, they provided free internet for the last two days of the cruise to those flying to/through the east coast. -The food was good-very good. I live in a city with excellent restaurants. I'm not sure its completely fair to compare a restaurant at home that seats 200 to the volume on the ship. Our meals in Prime 7 and Signatures were very good. The service in Signatures was surprisingly average. The Sette Mare concept worked for us and it was casual and enjoyable.Compass Rose was good, but our service there was excellent. Neutral-Negative. -I took advantage of the upsell to a "A" Penthouse suite. Our butler arrived to the ship late due to a delay in his travel back from leave. He was very pleasant, but since he was late did not do a good job of explaining what services he could provide. My wife and I are pretty self sufficient. We did not really use the butler, so whatever the incremental cost was for that was a waste of money for us. The layout of the suite, especially with the extra window was very nice however. -The gym and spa were very small. I'm not sure that the "Canyon Ranch" association adds anything -Since this cruise was so port intensive, we did not attend any of the shows. We peeked in on one, it didnt knock our socks off Overall, we had a very pleasant week. We would definitely sail on Regent again, however, it wasn't a home run. We would at least compare the price of a similar itinerary that was not all inclusive to see the difference. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
Having seen the reviews, read the brochures and travelled A LOT, my husband and I expected a little more from this cruise. It reminded us of Holland America--a lot of hype and some substance to back it up, but not all that it was supposed ... Read More
Having seen the reviews, read the brochures and travelled A LOT, my husband and I expected a little more from this cruise. It reminded us of Holland America--a lot of hype and some substance to back it up, but not all that it was supposed to be. Pros: *ports of call--Ephesus with an expert excursion--worth every penny--one of the most memorable places I will ever visit (my only remaining ancient wonder of the world is Babylon) *transfers--extremely smooth, professional and well done *dining--90% of the time: outstanding *staffing--90% of the time: outstanding *free excursions--wonderful perk to booking this cruise, though we only did two *stateroom--large enough for 2 and plenty of storage. The walk in closet was great *spa--one of the best stone massages ever and they didn't try to sell us stuff Cons: *bartending: no Martini olives and no bartenders who could make "pool" drinks. My rum runner was brown..... *staffing--the other 10% of the not so friendly staff did not endear us to this cruise line *value--the complimentary beverages, tipping and excellent house wines don't make it worth the price that we paid. Final Comments: Were Windstar to go all inclusive we would never look back and are thinking that even with a bar bill at the end, Windstar and the Paul Gaughin (which is all inclusive) are the best cruiselines we have travelled with. We have not travelled with Crystal nor Seabourn, so they might live up to their reputations, but we do not feel that Regent is worth the price paid. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Background: This is my husband and my first Regent SS cruise. Our past cruise lines include Paul Gauguin, Azamara, Celebrity, HAL, Princess. Port-intensive Itinerary was the main reason we selected this cruise. Secondary reason was ... Read More
Background: This is my husband and my first Regent SS cruise. Our past cruise lines include Paul Gauguin, Azamara, Celebrity, HAL, Princess. Port-intensive Itinerary was the main reason we selected this cruise. Secondary reason was to try an All Inclusive (including excursions) cruise. Our last experience of all-inclusive was Paul Gauguin, and we loved it! Our LIKES Itinerary Hotel stay the night before Cabin Room Service All-inclusive Small ship-Understated elegant No formal nights All-inclusive excursions Our DISLIKES La Veranda Lining up for excursions Our UNDECIDED Food All-inclusive excursions Itinerary This is a superfantastic itinerary. I cannot find words that would do these places justice. Every port was worth seeing, feeling, and understanding. (our favorites were Ephesus, Corfu, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Venice.) The view as our ship approaches the ports was breath-taking. These cities are beyond words. They must be experienced. Hotel Stay the Night Before Grand Hyatt in Istanbul was where we stayed the night before our sailing. It wasn't just the hotel that added to the Regent SS experience. It was the all the extras such as free internet, free scrumptious breakfast, and the "club" benefits that blew us away. This was the start of the Regent Cruise, and Regent certainly made an unforgettable first impression with this hotel and the extra service provided. Our cabin We chose this cruise based on its port-intensive itineraries. This cabin is a spacious suite, love the walk-in closet and the marble bathroom. Prefer to have bigger shower, and no tub. However, this port-intensive sailing did not allow us cocooning and indulging much in this gorgeous suite! And that is unfortunate. Being on deck 6, we had no problem with noise. We did have a minor inconvenience--the base of the shower slopes away from the drain, which caused the water to pool while showering. We never used the tub. I could not bear to waste so much water taking a bath, on a ship! I am sure it is a welcome relief for longer trips. Room Service We were particularly impressed with the room service. Their phone etiquette was superb. They made us feel our call was very important, and our requests were top priority, even though I could hear the raucous in the background. (they were still in the midst of busy meal time.) The food was delivered to us promptly, and the table was set up for us, with attention to every detail. We felt very pampered, in our robes! We enjoyed our room service, even though it was only a couple of times. All-Inclusive This all-inclusiveness seemed to be a big draw for us newbie passengers. As CC Travelcat has pointed out, there was a higher % of newbies on this sailing. (Another observation: I noticed lower age group of passengers in their 20's, 30's, 40's) And we newbies seem to enjoy and embrace this all-inclusive feature. It is liberating not have to sign for every cocktail, coffee, or water bottle. For someone who is not into drinks, I was amazed with how much I really enjoyed sitting at the Coffee Connection, with a cup of Cafe au lait, reading my ipad; or watching the sun sets at the back of Horizon Lounge, sampling a glass of apple martini. Surprising to me, these "Little pleasures" added much "value" to our Regent SS cruise experience. Ship & Service--Overall Ship --We like the size of the ship. The stairs are great for people like us who rarely take the elevator. Being on 6th deck, we were close to most services: the Service desk, the destination desk, the library, Coffee Connection, the theater (where we gathered almost every morning for excursions.) The decor was understated elegant. We like that. It seemed to us, Regent takes maintenance seriously. Almost every night, something was done to the pool deck in addition to being washed. Overall, the ship seemed very well cared for. Service--Service to us means connection with us guests. Having someone anticipates my needs because they know my likes and dislikes is HUGE for me. For example, when I sit down at dinner in Compass Rose, my waiter will bring my cup of hot tea instead of ice cold water, without asking me again. He already knows. That, is service to me. Given to us by an experienced Regent fan--CC Travelcat, a tip for getting consistently good service in the main dining room Compass Rose: Choose the same table, with the same waiter as often as possible. And in order to do that, you have to be earlier than 7pm. We can attest to that--it worked for us. We had the same waiter, the same assistant, and the same sommelier. And at 6:30pm when it was before the "storm", we were able to enjoy personable service, and deeper connection with the staff. My husband and I find much pleasure in that. After 7pm, it was impossible. The crew became too busy. This is the reason why I prefer fixed time dining. With fixed time dining, the crew has a rhythm and they have buffer time, allowing them to connect with their guests. On the other hand, with daily tour excursions, getting to dinner at fixed time is inconvenient and unrealistic sometimes. It comes down to individual preference: what adds to a good cruise experience for each one of us. For my husband and I, connecting with the crew and fellow passenger (at least at dinner) is an important part of an unforgettable cruise experience. During this cruise, we somehow had fewer opportunities "connecting" (more than a simple hello) with the crew, and with fellow guests. Not sure of the reasons yet. No Formal Nights With the luggage weight restriction, and long flights for us from West coast Canada, the less we bring, the easier it is. PLUS, our focus was the ports and excursions. No formal nights allow us more freedom and enjoyment. Even though there were no formal nights, we find fellow passengers dress very elegantly in the evening. To me, one does not have to be in formal gowns to look beautiful, respectful, and elegant. NO Formal Nights was a big PLUS for me. All-Inclusive Excursions This was an interesting feature we wanted to experiment. I have always organized our own excursions with private organizations in ports. We were not fans of cruise-organized tours--large groups, standard cookie cutter tour packages, a bit bland and too big of a group for us. However, what I like about this all-inclusive is the fact we do go to ports every day, with knowledgeable guides. I did not do any planning, organizing, and risking. It took the worry out of my mind. My favorite excursions: biking in Croatia; climbing the Volcano in Santorini, visiting the Terrace Houses in Ephesus. I have to admit, the Regent excursions DO include some interesting visits to local restaurants, winery, or hot spring (or cold spring, in Santorini's case.) we wouldn't have selected if we were on our own. We thoroughly enjoyed them. The flip side is the waiting in line, in the theater in the morning of the excursions. (We felt as we were in elementary school, waiting to be called to the principle's office!) The tour group was 2 or 3X bigger than the 8 to 12 people group we are used to. Being in a larger group, the guides had logistics to consider (waiting for us to go to WC, for example). Also, we had less individual time. We were on a tighter schedule. The tour could not be altered or customized to suit us. These are all understandable. Overall, I think Regent did a superb job providing many interesting excursions for us to choose from. I am not sure if we guests appreciate the effort and the amount of organization behind the scene Regent did to make it happen for us. For those of us who are planners of tours and excursions for ourselves, I certainly appreciate it. DISLIKES The quasi full-service/self-service in La Veranda and the Grill was a bit awkward for us. Or maybe we were not used to it. We had our breakfasts and ONE dinner at La Veranda. For breakfast, the egg order is brought to our table. This was awkward for us, in that, we almost always forget to check our table number before lining up at the buffet stations. Because the egg station is not a separate station, the line up clogs up the line for all stations. The line gets longer due to the fact a staff will have to take the time to write down my table number on a little piece of paper. The line gets even longer. When we have excursions, which means we have very little time in the morning to enjoy our breakfast leisurely. We had dinner once at La Veranda. We wanted a casual, less formal environment. Less formal in La Veranda meant we helped ourselves with salads, but our main course will be taken care of by our waiter. The main course took a very long time, and we noticed how flustered and confused the staff were. Mistakes made not only at our table, but also others. It was not a good night for them. Fortunately, we had lovely table mates, the waiting time was filled with lively conversation. I was told La Veranda may be going through a major change. And this was their transition period. I do hope Regent keep this option open. Some days, we prefer the self-serve, non-rigid, minimum service buffet style dining, selecting what we want to eat, and how we want to eat, without offending others. Food Quality and Presentation Food is very personal and subjective. For a cruise line, be it 5 star or 6 star, satisfying the taste buds of many different cultures is an impossible task and unrealistic expectation, in my opinion. With that in mind, the only dish that did not meet our expectation was fish. They were overcooked in Compass Rose as well as in Signature. However, my Sea bass one night in Compass Rose was moist and delicious. What impressed me tremendously is the food presentation. Every dish was an art on display. The food quality was good, and rich. The Champagne caviar on Sunday was a treat. That was nice. All-inclusive Excursions The only one part of an excursion we did not enjoy was the carpet store at the end of Ephesus tour. We did not care for the well-orchestrated sales pitch. That was anti-climatic after such a fantastic Ephesus and Terrace Houses tour! Summary--I think Regent is worth a try for anyone considering an all-inclusive cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Regent Voyager is a lovely ship, brilliant captain, smiling and ever helpful staff, very clean, pleasant artworks (in the main), great library, and a stunning itinerary that included Oman, Petra, the pyramids, Jerusalem, Dead Sea and ... Read More
Regent Voyager is a lovely ship, brilliant captain, smiling and ever helpful staff, very clean, pleasant artworks (in the main), great library, and a stunning itinerary that included Oman, Petra, the pyramids, Jerusalem, Dead Sea and Masada. Our cabin was perfectly maintained by our stewardess. And it was all inclusive - no chits to sign. Who could ask for more? Call me Oliver Twist, but I can. The ship was let down a little by food in the main dining room. It was similar in quality to RCL and far below Seabourn, and Azamara. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't as good as I had been expecting. The specialist restaurants were a little better, but not much. It could be that my judgement of the latter is a little jaundiced because we booked a table for two but were put on one with six (very nice) people. However the biggest disappointment was the La Veranda buffet. It isn't fit for purpose. Now my cruising experience is limited to half a dozen different lines but they all, without exception, have had what is perhaps best described as a U shaped buffet. You can walk in one side and if seating is scarce continue round to the other side to check the situation. Not with La Veranda because it splits along the stern part - a Berlin Wall of serving stations. So you have two identical mirror-image buffets. And identical includes the food offered - it's the same on each side. Ridiculous. This can lead to the silly situation where the bacon or whatever on one side has gone and you can see some on the other side, but can't reach it. So you have to call a server for assistance. This also limits choice: with a flow-through layout other ships can offer twice the number of items. Senior staff were good but some junior waiters were not fully trained, especially when it came to wine. I asked for a Cote du Rhone and received something completely different. Oh yes, it said "Cote" on the bottle but not one that was within a hundred miles of the River Rhone. However on the whole there was a good choice of included wine throughout the ship (if you knew what to ask for). Did buy three "premium" wines but left two and returned one. Not actually bad, but dead. Maybe wine doesn't keep well on a ship. In the evening La Veranda becomes a themed (Indian, Chinese, Mexican whatever) eatery that is part waiter service and part buffet. We tried it once and it was ok. However turning it into a quasi bistro means that there is nowhere on Voyager to enjoy basic - collapse in a heap back from a long tour, can't be bothered to change - help-yourself simple food. Despite the failings of La Veranda this is a good ship and I would sail on her again without hesitation. In fact Voyager has pushed Seabourn Odyssey down to third place in my list of favourite ships. The food on Odyssey is way better but Voyager just edged it with its free excursions. And they were excellent. My top ship? Azamara Journey. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
We have previously travelled with mainstream cruise lines such as P&O, Princess, Celebrity, RCI etc and thought we would try a more expensive '5 star' cruise. While many elements of the ship and the cruise were excellent and ... Read More
We have previously travelled with mainstream cruise lines such as P&O, Princess, Celebrity, RCI etc and thought we would try a more expensive '5 star' cruise. While many elements of the ship and the cruise were excellent and merited the extra cost, there were some surprising negatives also. Food varied from acceptable to excellent, with the exception of the Signatures restaurant - pretentious menu and average to poor food! The main restauarant was great for couples with lots of tables for 2 by the windows! The food was often great - lunches in the main restaurant were particularly unusual and excellently flavoured; also the portions were not too big which is great at lunchtime. Occasionally, however, there were some very odd and definitely second class offerings - one afternoon tea, the only sandwiches were cheap potted meat or jam (I haven't been offered a jam sandwich since I was a child when it was definitely food for the poor!!!) The upsides first:- Wonderful cabin - spacious, well-equipped, good balcony, beautifully furnished. Some things we particularly liked were the curtained area for sitting, separated from the bedroom - this allowed me to get up earlier than my husband and to read and use the balcony without disturbing him!; the walk-in closet with lots of hanging space and drawers; big bathroom with very big shower area, lovely toiletries and lots of space. (We had a cabin with only a shower and this gives you lots of room if, like us, you do not want a bath. Great staff - friendly throughout the ship, including the officers; nothing too much trouble; efficient and helpful. Even the tour staff were good and this is often one area where cruise ships are poor!! Lots of space in the ship - no queues for anything, even the buffet restaurant had lots of tables whenever you wanted to eat. The ship felt quiet and uncrowded throughout the cruise - very relaxing. No attempts to keep selling to you, which is unusual - no photographers constantly in your face trying to take photos and sell them to you, no pressure to use the shops. This is all in line with the fact that everything is included so you don't constantly have to show your cruise card. At the same time, the staff were great in keeping you supplied with food and drink - no need to chase them at all. It makes for a very relaxing time. Tours were good - no feeling that, because they are free, they are a lesser class than those sold on other cruise ships. Ports of call were all great - some a bit busy but that is the only possible negative, and is not RSSC's fault!! Downsides:- The tours were all early morning and nearly all scheduled at similar times. This made a few issues - overcrowding and lines waiting to disembark. The worst point, however, was that the mealtimes were not adjusted to take account of the tours. So, the restaurant was only open in the morning as you were reporting to the tour - you could only have a sit-down meal if you were staying on the ship! You had to use the buffet (sometimes cold food!!) or have room service which was often the only practical option. Similarly, you had to rush back at the end of the tour if you wanted to be served because many of the tours ended at 1.00-1.15 and the restaurant closed at 1.30. Even the buffet closed at 2.00 so you could not have a look round the port after the tour if you wanted to eat. There was always room service but that always takes time to order and receive, and the choice is limited. Generally, the availability of food was the poorest I have come across on any ship. Apart from room service, there were gaps in the morning and afternoon where you struggled to find food. This meant you had to keep an eye on the time to ensure you did not miss a meal - not what you want on a cruise. One morning we got up at 9.00 (hardly sleeping in!!) and found only one place we could eat cold food!! It would be nice when you get back to the ship to find cold drinks and cold towels available - they do this on Celebrity which is a cheaper option. A bit galling to be moored next to a cheaper cruiseline and seeing them being regaled with cold towels!! The public areas looked a bit tired to us and no wow factor. Downsides may sound a bit picky but this cruise is expensive and is meant to be top class so I think you should expect excellence! Overall, a very good experience but I think RSSC should travel on some other lines to see how it could be improved to 5 star all round Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Overall I would rate this a nice cruise. I won't want to take it again, but was happy that I did take it this time. My wife and I were on this cruise by ourselves. It seems to me that the majority of people on this cruise were with ... Read More
Overall I would rate this a nice cruise. I won't want to take it again, but was happy that I did take it this time. My wife and I were on this cruise by ourselves. It seems to me that the majority of people on this cruise were with groups of people. It was harder to meet people on this cruise than previous cruises I had taken. My guess, was that there were so many groups, but then again maybe we just didn't try hard enough. We had a very nice cabin with a separate bedroom at the stern of the boat. It had butler service, but that was not a very big deal, he did very little for us during the cruise (example: Ask for Amstel beer, result Budwieser). Very large balcony, which was really what we enjoyed most. Deck 7, had a problem with sewage. I don't know why, but the oder was quite strong in areas, and persisted though out the cruise, they were working on pipes all the time, but no change was ever really noticed, however this was a minor annoyance. Meals and wines were the best I had ever had on a cruise ship, all the restaurants were very good. The only meal I didn't enjoy was the one at the Prime 7, but not due to the food. A large group of people decided it was fine to scream and yell at each other for the entire meal. We apologized to the staff, as the offenders were American and showing a side of us that is not necessary at a fine restaurant on a cruise ship, we left before our main course. Entertainment on board was boring. It seems to be more associated with people in their seventies than people in their late fifties, early sixties. However most of the people on board seemed to be in their seventies, we felt like we were among the youngest at sixty. Ports were excellent, we enjoyed all of them. The free tours, not so much. It only took us one stop and tour (Monaco), to realize that we would have to do something different, the tours were just to boring and when we would ever be here again. So we started off on our own, finding taxis with drivers that spoke good English and using them as our guides. We saw so many different places that the ship tour buses never got to, talked with the drivers, got to know them, exchanged emails, ate at great out of the way restaurants, the really great thing that accompanied this, was we would be dropped off right in front of wherever we want to go (churches,museums,old ruins), and he would be right there when we got back. Yes we missed the exact information the official tour guide would be able to tell us, like when that last stone of a church was put in place (lots of churches to see on this cruise), but these drivers were locals, they knew the history of their city as well as interesting tidbits that tour guides don't discuss. We will do this from now on our cruises, even if the tours are free. The staff of the ship was always friendly and helpful, and we overall enjoyed this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
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
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
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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