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2 Regent Seven Seas Madeira (Funchal) Cruise Reviews

We just spent 13 glorious nights aboard Navigator.  This was our 2nd time on Navigator and our 5th overall Regent cruise.  We were originally booked for the May 8th Voyager sailing which was to go from Fort Lauderdale to Reykjavik, but ... Read More
We just spent 13 glorious nights aboard Navigator.  This was our 2nd time on Navigator and our 5th overall Regent cruise.  We were originally booked for the May 8th Voyager sailing which was to go from Fort Lauderdale to Reykjavik, but the pod problem occurred and the cruise was cancelled by Regent.  It wasn't the easiest thing for Regent to switch over our booking, but our TA kept on them and all arrangements were made to our satisfaction (they even included air on the return from Athens; I had asked for this because if we were to book the Monte Carlo-Athens segment alone, economy air was included).We visited 7 countries in 13 days, beginning in Funchal, Portugal then on to Malaga, Valencia, and Barcelona, Spain; Villefranche, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Rome, Sorrento, and Taormina, Italy; Kusadasi, Turkey; and Santorini & Athens, Greece.  Overall the weather was fabulous with the exception of some clouds and rain in Valencia and Barcelona.  The Navigator is still a wonderful ship, but I believe what really makes it wonderful are the staff and crew.  We were called by name the entire voyage.  "No" was not in their vocabulary.  Even maintenance people who were occasionally in the hallway lit up with smiles and went out of their way to greet us.  Service at all dining venues was superb.  (I can only speak for dinner & lunch in the Compass Rose, dinner in Portofino, and lunch at the Pool Grille).  We would dine in several different sections of the Compass Rose, and those who had waited on us previously in other sections would visit our current section to greet us.  We felt so spoiled by the end of this cruise, I cannot even tell you!  I think it has a lot to do with "treat someone how you would like to be treated" and it comes back tenfold.  We always see complainers and you know, life is just too short for that.Capt. McNeill was our captain for the 2nd time - so glad he was - he was every bit as congenial as we remember him.  Always out and about, greeting guests and crew with that perpetual smile.  Our sailouts were accompanied by his signature bagpipe music.  I always get teary eyed at this! We were assigned an F suite - 862 - in the aft.  Not our first choice, but due to the last minute nature of our booking, we gladly accepted it.  We figured the vibration would be bothersome, but it was such a non-issue!  The most vibration we felt was in Galileo's - where it also felt like the ship was at a constant list.  I understand that the ship has issues with plumbing and electrical, but we experienced no problems, nor did we hear about any from our fellow guests. We participated in our first Liar's Club which featured some of the Theatre at Sea celebrities.  We were busting a gut, laughing so hard!  We aren't "show people", but we did catch the finale of the Theatre at Sea and it was fabulous.  Patricia Neal's rendition of "Send in the Clowns" really got to me - the tears were rolling down my face.  What a treat to be able to see her perform. Embarkation and disembarkation were efficient and effortless.  Housekeeping was consistently perfect - that is the one part of cruising that I so often take for granted because they seem to have it down to such a "T" that I don't even think about it.  The Seven Seas Society parties (we got to partake in two!) had champagne flowing and nonstop generous portions of caviar with all the trimmings.  The Cruise Consultant encouraged us to ask whatever questions we wanted to and didn't stop until the last question was answered.  The casino was even nice to us this time around!  I think we either broke even or were about $20 down, which is a definite FIRST for us on a cruise ship.  They seem to have different slot machines than I recall from our last time on Navigator - the poker ones have multiple choices of games, plus you are able to place larger bets than I remember.  It defaults on one dollar, so if you are low roller like me, watch out!  I had to manually change the machine to 25 cents. I must say that the highlight of this cruise was the food and beverage.  I couldn't believe how many choices we were given at both restaurants.  I don't recall that extensive a selection on either our previous Navigator or Voyager cruises.  Not only were there lots of choices, but they were unique and creative.  I am still salivating over my quail stuffed with seasoned foie gras.  The portions were just right so that it was easy to order 3, 4, or even 5 courses.  The temperature was always perfect and the presentation such that you don't want to "ruin" its beauty.  The tempo of each meal was ideal, as well.  We never waited for more than a few minutes between courses (normally it was a matter of seconds), but the waitstaff was keen enough to notice if anyone in our party had gone to use the restroom, and in that case, the next course would not be served until the guest arrived back.  And, of course, the napkin was half-folded and placed on the guest's chair while gone, and quickly replaced in the lap upon return.  Oh, we were so spoiled... And on to the beverages.  The bars were well-stocked and well-maintained, to say the least.  Let me give you an example.  I am somewhat of a perfectionist and observed that one particular bartender, Christophe ("Chris") from France, had the most perfect bar I have ever seen.  Every bottle had to be in its correct spot, and each was faced forward and spaced apart perfectly from its neighbor.  Trays held exactly X amount of red wine glasses, X amount of white, and X of port glasses.  Of course, these glasses were spotless because during his down time, Chris wipes them down with a napkin.  The refrigerators held 10 each of the most popular beers (we only know because we asked - ha!), 3 poured glasses of chardonnay and 3 of pinot grigio, so that when a guest ordered them, they were ready to serve.  I could go on, but you get the idea.  It seems I have skipped around a lot and for that I apologize.  I wanted to get my thoughts down while still fresh in my mind. After disembarkation (I, kicking and screaming), we spent 2 nights at the Grande Bretagne in Athens.  We'd been there twice and it's probably our favorite hotel of all.  Our return flight was on USAirways, who just started a daily nonstop flight to Philadelphia.  It was 11 hours long, but it was SO convenient not to have to stop somewhere else in Europe first (i.e., Frankfurt or Munich, via Lufthansa.  We left at 11:45am Athens time and were at our doorstep in Fort Worth by 10:30pm.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
i changed cabin to a horizon suite as the balcony was huge! after i paid the balance and heard nothing i then get an email from regent asking for my onward details as they could not contact the agent, not impressed! i finally got my ... Read More
i changed cabin to a horizon suite as the balcony was huge! after i paid the balance and heard nothing i then get an email from regent asking for my onward details as they could not contact the agent, not impressed! i finally got my tickets in a lovely bag of a nice luggage label plus the card ones which were ok. i had booked my flights my self but could still get the 2 nights in the hotel which was really nice. HOTEL i had the palacio hotel not REIDS like some which was a lot closer to the town. it was too far away they had a shuttle but they finished at 6pm so a taxi was the only way of returning. lovely hotel,balcony overlooking the gardens and sea. i booked a taxi coasting me 30 euros not knowing the flight i booked was the same as others so i got a transfer voucher which i could have used. breakfast was good a buffet with lots of choice. EMBARKATION after we met in the hotel lobby we had to wait a long time as the 1st bus was full and waited for a driver to arrive. despite there being a lot of older people not able to stand. after a while we left for the port. there was only one other ship in port "aida blu" which is a german company but the ship was the CROWN PRINCESS. we boarded straight away getting tickets checked on the gangway. went onboard to get us checked in and given the cruisecard. i went straight to my cabin on deck 8, taken to my deck but had to find the cabin. CABIN. by suite was large with a sofa,queen bed,bath and shower,a large balcony at the rear of the ship at the corner. after a while i went to the veranda cafe for a buffet lunch before returning to my suite to find my luggage outside my suite, i unpacked. as i had a while before the lifeboat drill so i went off the ship to look around. there were a few shops on the quay but i had forgot to take any money with me. i returned to my suite to get ready for the lifeboat drill which was at the horizon lounge which is a good place to have it. it was a good drill as after we were shown how to put the life jacket on. we had to put our hand on the shoulder on the person in front. to stand by our consigned lifeboat. we were told we would be leaving late as some luggage was still at the airport.we left around 6pm an hour late. as soon as the engines started i could hear the vibration which got worse over the next day. ENTERTAINMENT. good choice of shows,jamie michael stewart who i had not seen before. the rest i'm sure i had seen some on the navigator which is a shame. i did not see the jazz music apart from the last day as it was on after the main show. DINING. i had breakfast in my suite which wa always \early and they always checked i had the correct things i had ordered. lunch was either on deck in bbq or in the compass rose which was good. afternoon tea i had either in horizon lounge or better in the observation room which had a great view of the sea. dinner was in the compass rose which was very good, nice companions. or in signatures which i was a bit disappointed about with small portions of duck orange and was a lot of fat in it. the other place i tried was le veranda which was lovely the only thing about signatures and e veranda \was that you were sitting on ones own. PORTS OF CALL as this was a transatlantic crossing there were no ports of call. as i mentioned about the vibration problem after one night i could stand it no more and asked if there was another cabin i could move to. i was a bit surprised that i hear the ship was only 400 out of 700 and yet they said there were no cabins left. the reason was the some cabins in deck 6 had \already been stripped out in readiness to the dry dock in miami. so the only cabin he had was 965 a bit further forward on the deck above. it was actually a cabin someone had moved from so i had look at it and could see why? it creaked quite a bit. but it was better than the constant vibration in 877 but he balcony was a lot smaller. days later i still got mail for the previous occupant in my door. the 1st 2 days was 3-4 force which was quite good. but the next 3 days we had mod-rough seas at force 5. you could see us moving around quite a bit, but it did not worry me. GYM i used the gym equipment everyday which was really could and could always get on. CIGAR LOUNGE i always like a cigar at night so the connoisseur lounge a great thing. unfortunately i had to wait for staff to come and ask me what i wanted. the 2 cigars oi had were very poor and after paying $15 each and you could not smoke them well. went in my balcony and smoked my own. DRINKS i had the choice of 2 bottles in my suite which was pretty good. then we were told all the drinks would be free which was a nice bonus in readiness for next year. DISEMBARKATION after getting my luggage labels which i asked to get off the ship at 0815. had to put the cases outside the cabin by 2300 the night before which i thought was a bit early. was told the disembarkation would begin at 0800 but it did not start until 0900 and min was not the 1st to be called. but s soon as i was called i soon got off the ship, collected my luggage which was easy to find. then through customs which was very easy to get a taxi to the greyhound bus station. SHOPS very poor i thought much more choice \when it was radisson. hats and t shirts was just regent written on them not voyager picture on them. nice choice of cd's from artists. but little else, the other things were very little choice life snacks,shaving things. THE CRUISE IN GENERAL on the whole it was a good cruise apart from a few things which i have mentioned. no leaflets in the door about discounts on future cruises no no idea what the discounts were like on the navigator. but don't think i'll be doing a regent cruise again sorry dave Read Less
Sail Date November 2006
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