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Sail Date: May 2014
This was my first cruise with Regent May 2014. The Mariner was very well maintained, our suite was very nicely updated and very clean (We were told that the ship just had the rooms renovated - it showed). The bathroom was all tile and ... Read More
This was my first cruise with Regent May 2014. The Mariner was very well maintained, our suite was very nicely updated and very clean (We were told that the ship just had the rooms renovated - it showed). The bathroom was all tile and marble - we did not have a tub but a full shower with a marble bench which was very roomy for a ship. The service was very fine and understated - we really liked the butler service. The food on the ship for the most part was good. I thought the Italian restaurant was actually the best restaurant but, by and large, they were all decent with a lot of variety and consistant decent quality. None of the meals were memorable one way or another but they were all served very professionally. The wines offered were all enjoyable and plentiful. The shore excursions were poor considering the quality of the rest of the experience. I would think that people who pay for the Regent experience would want something different that what they would get on a low end cruise. More bespoke and well thought out than what was offered and certainly not a tour that ends up in a Turkish Rug store with a high pressure sales pitch (evryine on board was talking about how tacky that was). I would cruise with Regent again. The small ship never seemed crowded, food was fine, service was good and the employees genuinely seemed happy. While the excursions were crappy its not a deal killer. I'll just arrange my own next time.   Read Less
37 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2013
We had long talked about booking a cruise, and spent a lot of time researching the different options and itineraries. As we have stayed with Regent Hotels before and we had read a lot if good things about Regent Seven Seas, when we this ... Read More
We had long talked about booking a cruise, and spent a lot of time researching the different options and itineraries. As we have stayed with Regent Hotels before and we had read a lot if good things about Regent Seven Seas, when we this cruise, the Red Sea Odyssey, from Istanbul to Dubai, we thought it was a good choice. The cruise was very expensive and was the most expensive holiday we have ever booked. However, as it was for a special anniversary we thought it was worth it, giving that it was 6* all-inclusive luxury. I regret to say we found the entire experience very disappointing and got off the cruise after only 4 days on board. We flew to Istanbul and stayed overnight at the excellent Intercontinental - the staff and rooms were both very good and we very much enjoyed our short stay. We were transferred to the port, which was not very salubrious and consisted of a number of rundown buildings. Check-in was ok, and after we queued up and collected our room keys we went through passport control, and saw the ship. No one was around to show us where to go, so we just made our way up the ramp. We were met by a security man who swiped our keys, and were then met by a Stewardess holding a tray of champagne glasses with a dribble of champagne in each - I could not help but think 'why bother?'. There were no directions as to what to do and we just wondered around for a while, until I heard someone say let's go up to deck 11. We went up in deck and saw that quite a number of guests were already there and helping themselves to a buffet lunch. Again there was no one around to explain what we did so we just found a table and sat down. I went up to the buffet and tried to order some food but did not know my table number - again no explanation. The food was ok, but staff were not particularly warm and just kept saying 'do you want a drink?'. We made our way to our Penthouse Suite which was towards the rear of deck 9. The 'suite' was very compact and bijoux, and was not really a suite at all - the bed area was curtained off from a very small seating area, and there was a good sized bathroom (rather dated but clean) and a roomy walk-in closet. The balcony was very small and quite rundown looking. The suite had not been laid up as requested - two single beds and not a double bed, blankets not duvets etc. The soap dishes were hanging off the wall in the shower, and the shower was very slow to run away and overflowed. We could not turn off the air conditioning and hence we found it very hard to sleep at night. The cabin also vibrated very badly and sitting on the chair it felt like a massage chair. We spoke to staff about the problems and despite various people coming and going nothing was really resolved, although they did manage to re screw the soap dishes to the wall. Dining on board the ship was ok, although the food was quite repetitive, especially in Compass Rose, the main restaurant. This restaurant was very busy as it seats over 500, and was consequently very noisy. This may not be a problem for many but is not my idea of 6* luxury. The excursions we did manage to make were of very poor quality on old clapped out coaches with very poor itineraries. The guides were ok, but as both excursions were in Greece all we heard about was how bad things were for the Greeks, whilst being driven around rundown, vandalised, rubbish filled areas. By the fourth night we both felt really unwell due to the lack of sleep and I asked to move cabins. I was shown a suite on a lower floor but it was vibrating and swaying just as much as ours as it was only a little more forward. We spent a very bad night and despite my partner taking motion sickness medication, he felt worse. I spoke with both the Chief Concierge and the General Manager on the ship and expressed our concern and disappointment and how ill my partner felt, but there was no offer of any medical assistance and I felt very worried about staying on board so after much soul searching we decided to disembark. Out of courtesy I let the ship know and instead of them trying to stop us, and help us the response was 'Oh, ok then'. Within minutes of me letting them know were were inundated with demands to go to Immigration within 10 minutes with all our luggage - we weren't even packed! So when I refused I was told we could make an appointment to go later that morning. When we got off the ship, after a mix with porterage, there was no one to meet us and we had to go back on shop and ask for help! No one from the ship was there to see us off and in my opinion they could not have cared less. The cruise was billed as ultra all inclusive 6* luxury and for what we paid - the price of a brand new family car - it simply was not worth it. We realise this was our first cruise, and thus we have nothing to compare it to, but on the basis of this cruise we would be by unlikely to cruise again. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2013
Having done 20+ cruises before, this was a first time trying a luxury level of cruise, at a huge premium. We were expecting to be pampered and have staff attending to our needs at all times ... boy, did they fall down on the job. We did a ... Read More
Having done 20+ cruises before, this was a first time trying a luxury level of cruise, at a huge premium. We were expecting to be pampered and have staff attending to our needs at all times ... boy, did they fall down on the job. We did a Celebrity Constellation cruise right after the Regent cruise (back-to-back); both were 12 nights and both in the same part of the world. We did not take Regent's air nor hotel night before the cruise, so the price paid for cruise only can be compared, both with verandas (Concierge Class in Celebrity).Regent cost almost exactly 3x the price. For that, we got a much bigger (and nicer) suite, open bar for standard drinks and shore excursions. What we didn't get was quality or even adequate service, consistent quality food, good wines (only border line acceptable or worse), quality bar drinks (bad mixology), good espresso drinks, good entertainment or a holiday experience. For about $600 on Celebrity, you get a standard drinks package which provides BETTER wines, better mixology and way better espresso drinks. Heck, our all-inclusive Celebrity Xpedition cruise last year in the Galapagos was way more fantastic for service, attention to the guests and even just the fun factor on a very non-luxury cruise ship. Bottom line, we did not get anywhere close to the value we expected paying 3x the price over Celebrity as a baseline comparison. The crew were terrible (worse than any others we've experienced) in understanding English properly/adequately, or even just performing to provide coffee, deliver a menu, pour water, what have you. They all seem to be very busy like bees buzzing but not really serving the customers ... never mind about the wrong orders, or slow orders and missed stuff. After 2 1/2 days, we totally gave up on the main dining room because of poor service and mediocre food and stuck with the 3 specialty restaurants (if we could get a reservation, but at least 1 did not require reservations, Sette Mare, so that was always an option). The senior management tried hard to make up for the poor service and various problems, but they could only do so much. The steakhouse Prime 7 was the best place to eat, with Sette Mare 2nd best. It really bothered me that a wine list could not be had in order to choose some wine, except for the pay premium wines (no problem there to get a wine list). They always pushed the featured wines of the day (1 red and 1 wine). I only drink red wine, and the red was always sub par/border line drinkable. To get anything else, they had to leave the restaurant to get it and of course I had to dream up what else I might want to drink, such as a Malbec, or a Cabernet from such and such a place (maybe), a Pinot Noire perhaps from somewhere else ... but I had to make the suggestions. Their sommeliers are a joke as they are only trained on the wines carried on board, they are not properly trained/experienced sommeliers. This was truly frustrating and upsetting how this worked on a "luxury" cruise ship. Their mixed drinks were also terrible, i.e. poor mixology even for a rum punch or other basic drinks ... especially their mojitos which I tried several times. (When I switched to Celebrity cruise after Regent, it was a relief to get proper mixed drinks and decent wines without paying a premium.) The in-house entertainers (dancers/singers) are young 20 year old amateurs and they perform double duty running events for the cruise director. The in-house aerialists (a man & a women) were quite good but only seen about 3 times during the cruise. The brought-in feature entertainers were much better but only used about half the evenings, otherwise only in-house entertainers or no show at all. The house show band was not that good (passable) - seemed to play as individuals rather than together as one. Generally speaking, the ship seemed like a ghost ship ... where was everybody? Other than dinner time and show time in the theatre, it was hard to find people. And generally, there isn't much to do ... not much on the agenda on board. It is so quiet ... not even music around the pool. If you like to do very little and not see too many people at all, this is the cruise line for you (if you don't mind paying a huge premium for passable food, wine, bar and poor service). TV choices were poor and minimal for English language (pretty much News & sports only). Some of the ship's channels had the same program running non-stop for 12 days (pretty annoying). The TV remotes were rather awkward to use and had to be pointed to a box above and to the right of the TV (rather than at the TV itself). The only good thing here was free in-room movies, of which there was something like 169 choices ... way too many to go through. The TV picture quality on these flat screens was not that good, surprisingly. Room steward was OK but nothing to rave about. Never offered bar setup (eventually I asked for something)nor did he replace used drink/wine glasses. When I called for assistance one evening around 10 pm, the phone system sent a page to whomever was on call, but did not receive any response - how great is that! As a separate issue, my wife got terribly sick after the 1st night's evening meal because they had slipped some apple into the desert even though we told the special meals captain (or whatever he was called) that she had allergy to gluten and apples and he promised to communicate this to the wait staff. When I returned to the restaurant to challenge what they had served her that evening, we deduced that it must have been apple instead of gluten that she consumed ... but with this knowledge that they screwed up, there was no one there to make sure she was alright (no inquiries or anything) nor any attempt to make up for it somehow. She was sick the whole night until early morning and obviously this had a terrible impact on the next day, which was our first port of call (Santorini). We made the best of it without their help. We feel this was a terrible mistake to waste so much money on this "luxury" cruise and highly recommend to stick with other using premium cruise lines such as Celebrity or Azamara and just pay for the drinks and tours you want either a la carte or with an add-on package. Regent is way over priced for an inferior product overall (on many levels). What's good: The suites are fantastic; the ship design is nice; a good size pool; very few children (like 2); spa services; restaurant senior management & senior staff desire to satisfy & serve (to overcome the shortcomings of regular staff); Prime 7 and Sette Mare restaurants What's passable: shore excursions (some good, some not so good), food overall, Signatures restaurant, room steward What's not good: most everything else! ... bar, wine, activities, shows, atmosphere, port disembarkation, restaurant servers, activity staff (the entertainers), shop attendants, bartenders, coffee (especially espresso) Read Less
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