The most luxurious ship in the world? The visual consideration is certainly a fit for this description, but the service cannot make the claim. We had very high expectations for this cruise, but cannot say that they were met. But first, we ... Read More
The most luxurious ship in the world? The visual consideration is certainly a fit for this description, but the service cannot make the claim. We had very high expectations for this cruise, but cannot say that they were met. But first, we must address what was RIGHT and GOOD about this ship, especially for those who are looking forward to their cruise. The public spaces are beautiful and there is so much attention to detail that spells luxury, its as if you need an entire week just to explore and examine all the lovely accoutrements, artwork, lighting, ceiling & wall finishes and fabrics. The dishes for each restaurant are a journey in themselves. Even a lower end cabin provides the best shower experience we've enjoyed on any cruise ship. Housekeeping is discreet and thorough. The dining staff--particularly the experienced managers and servers are superb. And the food? Outstanding, sublime, delicious! I was so upset that I didn't discover the fresh juice bar on the pool deck until 3 days in.
Okay, here goes our disappointments: An aft cabin brought with it soot and a virtually unusable deck area. Service on the upper pool deck was spotty: empty glasses and dishes stayed out for hours, there was often no staff on the deck at all (don't know where they got the 1:3 guest to staff ratio from--certainly not here) and a pet peeve: when a guest got up from a chair, the pool staff did not strip the chair of its cover and provide a new one. Often just a rolled towel was placed on the chair. So you sat in someone else's sweat--ugh! One afternoon of the 10 days, we were offered a cold washcloth. One afternoon. That's it. And we have never been on a luxury ship (Silversea, Cunard, Windstar, Celebrity) with so many negative responses to requests for simple items including premium bottled water and premium bottled water in an ice bucket. These requests seemed foreign to the servers at first.
About halfway through the cruise, after sharing our concerns with the reception/concierge staff, these requests were finally met. It just seemed odd that we needed to bring it to the attention of the powers that be. Aft of the ship while at sea, there was always a loud wind whistling through the cabin--thankfully, when addressed after several sleepless nights, they sent a carpenter who affixed weather stripping along the bottom of the cabin door, so that we no longer had to listen to it. But you will hear that wind whistling, perhaps even in the other aft cabin...For you Pilates and Yoga and stretching advocates: the area in the gym for this activity is so small that only perhaps 3 people can engage in these activities--bad design, especially since most of the average age group for these cruises will want to do this. The ship is not particularly smooth: there is a lot of shuddering and rocking. Yes, it was a bit windy, but the noises and rocking exceed what should be for a ship with stabilizers. And finally, afternoon tea. On the most luxurious ship in the world, you have your selection of TWINNINGS tea bags to accompany your finger sandwiches, scones and pastries. TWINNINGS. TEA BAGS. In paper packets. Please REGENT, get some loose tea or even some silk bagged whole leaf tea. Tea Forte, perhaps? But not TWINNINGS. Not for this ship.We found the entertainment to be a little above average with a wonderful Broadway singer who did very well (except for the song about how to spell her name--a little self promoting). The shops were disappointing, we expected a better selection, but there were some surprises.
NOT TO BE MISSED: the trio who sing every evening and during the day---serenading people sitting on the pool deck.
Will we cruise REGENT again? Not sure--we really hope they take the time to train the newer staff who do not understand foreign cultures and will not take the initiative to fulfill a request that is not within their "normal" experience. Until that happens, we find that as lovely as this ship is and despite how outstanding the food is, what makes a cruise "luxurious" is also outstanding service. And the EXPLORER is just not there yet. Read Less