We were sold on this cruise when we saw the itinerary -- from France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Montenegro and more...ending in fabulous Venice. What's not to like? We'd been interested in taking a "luxury" cruise line and ... Read More
We were sold on this cruise when we saw the itinerary -- from France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Montenegro and more...ending in fabulous Venice. What's not to like? We'd been interested in taking a "luxury" cruise line and had friends who had good experience on Regent and we liked its all-inclusive feature. This turned out to be lavish convenience.
Flew into Nice, France, taxied to Monte Carlo the day before departure, and enjoyed the Hop-on-Hop-off bus. Embarkation in Monte Carlo was a breeze -- no lines and the ship didn't seem crowded while we awaited our 2pm cabin availability.
Our cabin was 747 -- perfectly placed mid-ship for minimal movement and easy walk to all events. The room was noticeably bigger than other company's standard cabins -- two could actually fit into the bathroom at the same time. Tub AND shower. And WALK-IN CLOSET! We did notice that our Celebrity Sky Suite has more drawers/storage but that's apples and oranges. Staff got us extra clothes hangers and did a good job keeping room spotless.
Food in the main dining room, Compass Rose, was very good. Their creative menu changed nightly and they had a long list of standard items, which included lobster, filet mignon, Dover sole, and more. French restaurant Chartreuse provided one our favorite dining experiences with excellent service and amazing food. Our reservation for steakhouse Prime Seven was at 9pm (way too late for us) and checked but never got in at an earlier time. Regent allows you to reserve several months in advance but I suspect suites and longtime Regent customers had already accessed the best times. Regent's buffet restaurant, La Veranda, offers white table cloths and ample service staff will bring items to your table when you give them your table number. We thought the food there was just so-so and lacked much daily variety or creativity. The hamburgers at the poolside grill were terrific and they also had a nice buffet for lunch and casual evening dining. We always preceded dinner with cocktails in the Voyager lounge, where we always found a nice seat by the window -- enjoyed snacks, martinis and the piano player.
We'd heard that the entertainment was not a strength of Regent's and we were pleasantly surprised. Their cast shows were as good or better than one's we'd seen on much larger ships...Celebrity, Disney and Cunard. The dancers were amazing and the singers had terrific voices AND could dance as well.
Excursions were efficient and well-run by the on board staff. Because Regent offers a variety of included excursions, seasoned passengers know they need to book as early as possible because they often sell-out quickly. We booked early and got all the tours we wanted. Unfortunately, we found out on-board our Rome tour was cancelled due to lack of interest and others we were interested in were unavailable. Gratefully, the supervisor created room for us on a previously sold-out tour. Very nice, patient and accommodating staff. Tour guides were spotty....some were terrific while others were unenthusiastic or very hard to understand (particularly at the Vatican).
A guest lecturer provided history and information on several of our ports. His presentation style wasn't particularly entertaining. Reminded me of a college professor who could have used better slides and a laser pointer. Could have been improved with actual photos of ports, how to get to the center of town, what's withing walking distance. I've seen others actually drop in iPhone photos they've taken on the previous cruise. Very helpful.
FENDER-BENDER ALERT: When departing Rome's port of Civitavecchia, a major gust of wind pushed our ship into the pier, causing a big dent and scrape to Voyager's portside, aft. We were at dinner in Compass Rose and as we got underway a big THUD visibly stunned passengers. I always look at staff in these situations and you could clearly tell this was NOT something they experience often -- looking to each other like "should we go into emergency mode?" After a while, the captain came on the PA and explained what happened and he'd keep us apprised. The next morning at 7am we were still in port in Civitavecchia and there was no word from Captain, no note on the door, no message on the Regent TV channel, etc. I went to Reception and they also had no information on when we'd be leaving or where we were headed. Finally, the Captain came on and told us we'd be having a "sea day" and would skip our stop in Naples, which had already been changed from our anchor-port of Sorrento for weather reasons. We actually were happy to have a relaxing day at sea after an intense excursion in Rome but many passengers were very upset missing either the Amalfi Coast or Pompeii. For the remainder of the cruise, we tendered or disembarked from the starboard side, avoiding the visible appearance of the dent/scrape. We feel lucky this incident was relatively minor because it could have been so much worse. And everyone agreed the ship could have handled the overnight communication better. Even if they didn't have answers, they could have outlined the facts, when decisions would likely be made...and sent approved information for staff to use when answering passenger questions.
Overall, we enjoyed Regent. They have an excellent product, superior staff and Voyager is still in ship-shape. The price would be our only hesitation. We can get similar experiences for less in suites on Celebrity or others. But it still wouldn't be the special experience that Regent or other luxury lines provide. Read Less