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14 Regent Seven Seas Rio de Janeiro Cruise Reviews

Relaxation in luxury. Although far more expensive than some of its competitors I believe this cruise line gives value for money. Its detail tp the design of the cabins are well thought out with loads of space even for the most discerning ... Read More
Relaxation in luxury. Although far more expensive than some of its competitors I believe this cruise line gives value for money. Its detail tp the design of the cabins are well thought out with loads of space even for the most discerning traveller. The entertainment was first class and was viewed in total comfort of individual seats, if one so wished. Tables around the seats allowed for your drinks to be within easy reach. The theatre offered good views of the stage no matter where you sat. The specialty restaurants were diverse and true to their character. Swimming pool of a reasonable size for a cruise ship. On the top deck there was a mini golf and various other ways to entertain oneself if not desiring to sunbath. An amazing amount of sunbeds which well cared for by diligent willing staff. Personally, would travel with Regent Cruise line again should the opportunity present itself. I have no reservation recommending this cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our first ocean cruise, but I am sure that it cannot get any better than this cruise experience on Regent Explorer. We stayed in a Penthouse A suite (917), which is beautiful and very functional room, with a huge balcony. The ... Read More
This was our first ocean cruise, but I am sure that it cannot get any better than this cruise experience on Regent Explorer. We stayed in a Penthouse A suite (917), which is beautiful and very functional room, with a huge balcony. The walk-in closet in the Penthouse suite is a bit small, but we still managed to fit the contents of two big suitcases into to it without any problem. The empty suitcases can conveniently be stored under the bed. The shower cabin is absolutely fantastic and so is the quality of the bed. We arrived at the pier in Rio de Janeiro for embarkation at around 1:30pm and we were onboard 15 minutes later. Everything was so well organised, and it continued like that throughout the cruise. The cruise was fully booked, but the only time it felt crowded was upon embarkation when everyone was having lunch in the Veranda/Pool restaurants, but after the suites became available, it never felt crowded again. We initially didn't really know what to use the butler for, but he turned out to be extremely helpful and useful. He really made us feel special and pampered. He served a couple of breakfast on our terrace, which was a wonderful way to start the day. We were generally totally amazed by the service, which is very attentive and rather personal. During our 12 nights cruise from Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires, we had three dinners in each of the restaurants Compass Rose, Prime 7, Pacific Rim and Chartreuse. We also had several lunches in the speciality restaurants. The food was generally very good to excellent. We were not fans of Sette Mare/La Veranda, as the place looks a bit like a canteen. Furthermore, we were not impressed by the breakfast, which was exactly the same every day and some of products were rather cheap/industrial, and the fruit was often unripe. We are in our early fifties and were surprised to be among a relatively young crowd without a single wheelchair or rollator onboard, perhaps because the cruise included many anchor ports. Some of the ports of call were great, while some were very forgettable. The same goes for the excursions. We had two fantastic biking trips. We don't really care about the shows, lecturers etc., so I will not comment on that. We used the gym daily, which was really great, spacious and lots of equipment. I also had two nice massages in the spa. The weather was hot and sunny throughout the cruise, but it was surprisingly easy to get sun-loungers around the pool. Only on our single sea day, it became rather busy. The ship is absolutely gorgeous and in perfect condition. The all-inclusive concept is really great, but also a little dangerous as we definitely ended up eating and drinking too ;-) We loved our first ocean cruise experience and now look forward to the next on Regent Splendor. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Interesting itinerary, all inclusive ( my cruise account was USD $ 14.50 at disembarkation) high standard food variety, expertly presented in modest portions, very good complimentary wine, with fairly price premium wine list for special ... Read More
Interesting itinerary, all inclusive ( my cruise account was USD $ 14.50 at disembarkation) high standard food variety, expertly presented in modest portions, very good complimentary wine, with fairly price premium wine list for special occasions. Brilliant Sommeliers food and wine six course lunch which was thoroughly educational. Great coffee shop with a properly trained Barista adjoining a well stocked library with daily copies of at least 6 international newspapers available. Free laundrettes and wifi were real bonuses. Free excursions varied in standard but were usually worthwhile - always the option to break off and individually explore if the group shuffle got you down. The crew were well trained and appeared to enjoy their jobs. The operation was expertly lead by a female Captain who engaged with passengers and ran a well oiled organisation. Given that there were a number of critical Cruise Critic posts I was very surprised at the overall high standard of the vessel immediately prior to a major refurbishment. It should be outstanding after being worked on for 20 days by 1400 contractors and the crew. This is truly an all inclusive, high quality cruise experience. The rate per day on this trip was excellent value for money but most future cruise are priced at considerably higher levels. I suspect Viking will take market share from Regent but they are lifting their game and competing hard. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We recently spent 21 nights on Regent Mariner’s Amazon Jungles and Rainforests cruise. Although this was our 20th cruise, it was our first cruise on Regent and probably our last. If you are expecting the luxury cruise experience touted ... Read More
We recently spent 21 nights on Regent Mariner’s Amazon Jungles and Rainforests cruise. Although this was our 20th cruise, it was our first cruise on Regent and probably our last. If you are expecting the luxury cruise experience touted in the Regent Brochure, you may find yourself greatly disappointed. Protect Your Health! – “The Cruise Crud”, as some of my fellow passengers called it, was making its way around the ship. Not as nasty as the Noro virus, but not fun. Stuffy head, watery eyes, chest congestion and a nagging cough. You could hear people coughing all over the ship. Once you heard the cough, you knew someone was sick. At our dinner table one night, 4 of the 8 people were sick. One gentlemen left in the middle of dinner to go back to his cabin. We saw examples of unsanitary behavior on the Mariner. The two most striking incidents included a Manager at the Pool Café taking plates of cookies and rearranging the cookies with his bare hands (after he was just moving tables and chairs) and a server dropping silverware on the floor, picking it up and putting it back into service. We were very concerned about our health aboard the Mariner. Luxury Accommodations? Based on Regent Brochure, we expected our cabin to be on par with a room at the Ritz Carlton. However, our cabin was dated, there were paint drops on the drawers, scratches on the TV, holes in the sheer curtains, a hole in the curtain linings and grease stains on the sofa (See attached photos). So if you are expecting luxury accommodations aboard the Mariner, you may be disappointed. Fine Wine? The Regent brochure touts “…fine wine”. Fine wine is definitely onboard, but it won’t be served to you - unless you are willing to pay extra for it. Maybe it’s just me, but after I spend $20,000 on a cruise I expect a somewhat decent glass of wine without paying extra for it. What you actually get on the Mariner is the illusion of fine wine. Your table is set with Riedel crystal wine glasses, the Sommelier approaches you with the silver tastevin hanging from his neck, he presents the bottle to you for inspection, he offers you a taste for your approval, then carefully pours the precious nectar into your glass. The dirty little secret is that the wine he’s pouring is a $6.50 bottle of Backhouse Pinot Noir! The wines are changed frequently, there is no printed wine list for the wines they pour and the Wine Stewards don’t like to talk about the wine served. One passenger told me that he photographed the labels of every wine he was served (22 bottles) and looked them up online. The most expensive wine was $14.99 with most wines averaging about $10 retail. The cheapest wine I was served was La Terre Cabernet, which can be found for as little as $4.92. Shame on you Regent. Food – Everyone talks about the food, so I’ll be brief. At La Veranda (Buffet Breakfast & Lunch) the food is mediocre and service is worse. As one fellow passenger told me “get a lot of different things and eat what’s least offensive”. I don’t think he meant to be that harsh, but you get the idea. Service at La Veranda is poor. It’s often difficult to get your water, coffee or drinks refilled or silverware replaced. Not once did anyone ever ask us if we were enjoying our meal or if we needed anything. The Managers just seem to stand around talking to each other. If you want something, you need to be aggressive and flag someone down and ask for it. We also heard one of the wait staff making derogatory comments about some of the passengers which is just unacceptable. Regent’s “commitment to excellence” is notably missing at La Veranda. Service – First let me say that we received some outstanding service from some very dedicated and highly trained staff. I’d say we received outstanding service 25% of the time. We received very good/good service 25% of the time and average/below average service 50% of the time (with an emphasis on below average). Most of the staff work extremely hard, but that doesn’t always translate to outstanding service. Something appears to be lacking in terms of training and staff management. You’ll find luxury only in the pages of the Regent Brochure, we certainly did not find it on the Mariner. Don’t be fooled by the marketing hype. Of the 20 cruises we have taken, Regent ranks as the worst. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This cruise was from Rio de Janeiro to Miami on March 8, 2017 on regent Seven Seas Mariner. This was the worst high end cruise line I have ever experienced. We have been cruising on Seabourn and Crystal for the last 5 years. We ... Read More
This cruise was from Rio de Janeiro to Miami on March 8, 2017 on regent Seven Seas Mariner. This was the worst high end cruise line I have ever experienced. We have been cruising on Seabourn and Crystal for the last 5 years. We decided to try Regent as they had an itinerary that was attractive and we wanted to see how they compared. We liked the all-inclusive fee structure with business class air. Well the business class was only on the international flight and not the other 5 flights we needed to get to Rio from our house and back. What were the issues? 1- The service they used to transfer us from the airport to the hotel (we had one night in Rio before the cruise) was a disaster. They gather about 10 us from the United flight and said they were waiting for some additional people. We waited about 30 minute more and we were all getting anxious to leave. No more passengers came so they told us to proceed to the bus. Well out the door we went into a very hot and humid curb side and NO bus. We waited about 10 more minutes and a rundown very small bus arrived. Finally we would get some relief from the heat. No we didn’t as the bus air-conditioning was on but it was cooler outside the bus then inside. Everyone opened the windows. Not a good way to get the first taste of Regent. I know that better busses were available as the bus that took us from the hotel to the ship was fine. My grade F-. 2- The main dining room, Compass Rose, had the worst service on any ship that we have used. In the 21 day cruise I had to ask for more water every meal except for 2. The salt and pepper shakers both contained salt (one was labeled pepper) three times and once the adjoining table had the same issue. One time they gave us only 3 menus for the four of us. After 5 minutes we had to ask for another. We once finished our first course and they had not asked us if we wanted wine. We had to ask for it. The servers in this main dining room were both under staffed and not trained. Service for the most part was slow. I know this sounds like nit picking but when this happens meal after meal it is annoying. On no other cruise have we had such consistently poor service. Grade, D. 3- One morning at 7am they were making announcements in the public areas for 1 hour. Now you were not supposed to hear this in your room but it did wake me up and was very annoying. Our room was 834 and not that close to any public areas. Another F. 4- The lecture for the most part was just one person. I am use to a variety of lectures and various topics. Give them a C based on variety. What did I like? 1- The shower was the best of any ship. Regent has started to convert their shower tub arraignment into just a shower. We had one of the converted cabins. Shower an A+. 2- The butler and room attendants were very good and friendly. I’d give them an A. Will we travel on Regent again? Probably not. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and because we had heard that Regent was a 5 star experience. Our last cruise was on Oceania Nautica and we had absolutely loved it. We decided to try Regent with it's all-inclusive liquor and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and because we had heard that Regent was a 5 star experience. Our last cruise was on Oceania Nautica and we had absolutely loved it. We decided to try Regent with it's all-inclusive liquor and excursions. First, what we liked: Our cabin was great (Penthouse with a fabulous butler). The all-inclusive liquor meant we didn't feel nickel-and-dimed at every turn. The room attendants were incredible and the destinations team were very helpful. I loved Marla, the Social Hostess and Terry Breen, the guest lecturer. And what we didn't like: Meals could go on forever, since there didn't seem to be enough waitstaff to bring the courses. The waitstaff was uneven, as well - some were attentive and helpful (thank you Gianluca, Tomaz and Federica!) and others seemed to be waiting for their shift to be over, while providing the minimum amount of attention. And the food was also uneven. For example, in the beginning, the hollandaise sauce was pretty good. After the first week, they forgot how to make it and served a tasteless, gloppy substance. Whatever happened to the lemon juice? I also admit that I really missed the Lido on Nautica. There was no place to have a completely informal meal in the evening - all the restaurants had dress codes. That's fine, but sometime you just want a plate of salad after a day of excursions! The reception desk didn't provide very good followup on requests. But my favorite incident was this: One morning, we were having breakfast in our cabin before setting off for an excursion, when we heard a loud "BANG". It was the glass in the slider to our verandah breaking! Most of the glass remained in the door frame, but there was a substantial amount of glass shards sprayed into the room. I called the butler, who arrived and was shocked. We left to get breakfast at one of the restaurants and to go on our trip. When we got back, the workers were still replacing the glass. This was completed by the time we returned from lunch. No one from management ever bothered to come and see if we were all right. The butler showed up as we were getting ready for dinner and I told him that I expected someone to at least ask if everything was okay. When we got back that night, there was an impersonal note of apology from the hotel manager and a box of chocolates. Okay, we actually were fine and I love chocolate...but the point is just that there was never any actual concern for an incident where we could have been seriously hurt. It is this lack of attention to detail that (to me) makes the difference between a top-notch experience and an okay one. My other complaint was the spa. The women's locker room had none of the niceties that one would expect - no dressing table, no lotions and especially no hair dryers. Really? Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Absolutely fabulous! Great food and friendly service. Since Mariner was due for refurbishment in a few weeks, I was concerned that it would be very "tired". I found that was not the case. The refurbishment had to be ... Read More
Absolutely fabulous! Great food and friendly service. Since Mariner was due for refurbishment in a few weeks, I was concerned that it would be very "tired". I found that was not the case. The refurbishment had to be postponed a year because of damage by Hurricane Matthew to the facility that was to do the work. We got a reasonable offer to upgrade to a Penthouse suit from our deluxe suite G. The suit was roomy and well appointed. It was fine but the remodeling next year will be welcomed. Since we upgraded we had a butler who was very attentive. However, I have never felt that a butler was a necessity. Captain Teo Srdelic was very friendly and reacted well with the guests. Cruise director Paul Reynolds did a great job as did his assistant, Olivia. The staff was outstanding. A new menu in the Compass Rose restaurant was initiated after our first leg. The new menu is great (we had experienced it on the Navigator and Explorer last year). Then new menu caused a bit of delay in service for the first night or two. We were warned about this but after a couple of days the delays were not longer there. Disembarkation was a little delayed due to the Miami baggage handlers. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
My wife and I are British, fit 70+ and have sailed with several cruise companies, both all inclusive and standard however Regent is at the bottom of our list now. As we were sailing from Rio de Janeiro to Barcelona we reserved through ... Read More
My wife and I are British, fit 70+ and have sailed with several cruise companies, both all inclusive and standard however Regent is at the bottom of our list now. As we were sailing from Rio de Janeiro to Barcelona we reserved through Regent two extra nights in the city. The hotel was in the process of refurbishment in preparation for the World cup and was far from luxury in any sense of the word. 1) We flew from England to Rio to pick up the seven seas mariner for the transatlantic cruise. No problem with the cruise other than it was nicknamed "The crypt kickers cruise" because of the predominance of ancient passengers! Consequently after about 10.30pm we thought everyone had jumped overboard!! The night before embarkation in Rio was in with the overall price however because we wanted to see Rio we booked through Regent two extra nights at the Rio Sheraton. They charged £382 per person for the priviledge of staying in a hotel that was in the middle of refurbishment for the World soccer cup.Below is a list of just some of the problems. 1) There was no bar inside the hotel, only a small makeshift bar in the middle of the dining room. 2) There was no evening dining in the hotel, only two external restaurants which were only average. The barbeque restaurant's meat was tough. 3) The air con in our room constantly dripped condensation. My wife slipped on the wet floor and almost injured herself. 4)We had no hot water for two days. After attention we had barely warm water. 5) The room iron did not work and had to be replaced. 6)The room hairdryer plug did not fit the socket and had to be replaced 7) The refurbishment team were noisy all day. We booked through Regent two tours for which they charged $219 per person per trip. One consisted of a coach ride through the city via Ipanema and Copacobana beaches and up sugar loaf mountain on one day and "Christ the redeemer" the next. A total rip off!!!! Think hard before you give Regent your hard earned cash. Never again!!! Considering the ship. It was due for refurbishment itself and judging by the state of the carpets it needed it. All in all the crew and staff in general were excellent however some of the meals were not top quality. The evening entertainment was good but there could have been more variety.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
This was our first trip with Regent. Started in Rio & then to West Africa, the Canaries, Morocco, Malaga finishing in Barcelona. The captain & staff were first class. Nothing was too much trouble. Our penthouse suite was kept ... Read More
This was our first trip with Regent. Started in Rio & then to West Africa, the Canaries, Morocco, Malaga finishing in Barcelona. The captain & staff were first class. Nothing was too much trouble. Our penthouse suite was kept immaculately. The included tours were a mixed bag. In Malaga our guide had difficulty shepherding the coachload of passengers through the crowded back streets. On arrival at the Picasso Museum we were informed that only small groups were allowed in & our party would have to be split. As part of the second batch we were asked to wait outside the building. Stood there for 1/2 hour whilst another guide appeared & tried to negotiate admittance. Wasn't worth the effort. None of Picasso's important works were displayed. Even more variable was the food on board. A light breakfast in the room included soggy toast. Was replaced the following day with soggy Danish. Dispensed with these & tried a favoured American staple - waffles. Arrived in equally poor condition. Having sampled some poor cooking we were invited to meet the chef & catering team. They were aware of problems & informed me that these had been "identified". The worst cuisine was in the Italian restaurant when for 3 nights they changed the format to Spanish. My wife's paella was dry. Tasted as though it had been reheated. My own cod dish wrapped in cabbage was inedible. The maître d' explained it was a new dish that had not been well received. Catering standards fell short of other luxury lines. Oceania is part of the same group but offers better food. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
REGENT CRUISE online ads said "OVER 300 UNLIMITED EXCURSIONS INCLUDED on the $30,000 cruise that my wife and I had paid for Rio to Miami 21 days cruise. Weeks before the start of the cruise, we were wait-listed on about 50% of our ... Read More
REGENT CRUISE online ads said "OVER 300 UNLIMITED EXCURSIONS INCLUDED on the $30,000 cruise that my wife and I had paid for Rio to Miami 21 days cruise. Weeks before the start of the cruise, we were wait-listed on about 50% of our excursions that we signed on. In Fortaleza, our first excursion after embarking from Rio de Janeiro, the captain arbitrarily chose not to dock the ship; thus deprived the over 650 passengers a much-needed stop after several sea days. The water in Fortaleza was calmed when we look out the veranda contrary to what the Captain claimed that the ship had difficulty with the gangway. He made the excuse that “his decision was to insure the safety of the passengers. At St. Bart's we failed to get our excursion ticket “Highlights of St. Bart’s” because “we were on the Wait-List.” Michael the Destination staff asked us to wait stand-by at the Constellation auditorium. After almost 2 hours, he asked us to go ashore and wait again for another 2 1/2 hours. Another Florida couple also waited. Regent load the passengers with tour tickets on several waiting taxicabs. When it was our turn to ride the waiting taxicabs; Michael decided not to utilize the waiting taxicabs and informed us that there would be no tour for us ---5 hours after we waited patiently. The evening SHOWS were mostly mediocre compared to the many cruises that we have done with Seabourn, Celebrity, Norwegian, Holland, Windstar etc. Regent Cruise is like the equivalent of HMO in healthcare. Pay first before the services are delivered. The problem is once Regent got the payment of $30,000; we saw great deal of reluctance in delivering the promised services which Regent advertised. Many Regent customers were likewise disappointed by Regent’s poor management of the cruise line and their “false and misleading advertising.” Safe to say we and another couple from Hawaii will never cruise Regent again. We plan to cruise 3-4 times a year. Regent will not be on our list. There are better values for the money with Seabourn at ½ the price of Regent. Avoid Regent Cruises.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
The Mariner is in need of a major renovation of carpet and updating amenities. The Crew was fabulous, they could not have been nicer and more attentive. The food was surprisingly good with the exception that the sociality dining rooms ... Read More
The Mariner is in need of a major renovation of carpet and updating amenities. The Crew was fabulous, they could not have been nicer and more attentive. The food was surprisingly good with the exception that the sociality dining rooms never changed menus or offered a special for the evening for appetizer or main courses. it was always the same. POOR planning ! Compass Rose the main dining room did change their selection every night and you could count on finding something you want to try. The Pool grill server fresh seafood and did a masterful job of serving a huge hungry crowd most days. Drinks were served none stop around the pool and most people did drink all day and night ..no drunks put lots of liquor was served none stop. The tours and ports of call were on the most part not great but better then not going ashore. Most port were not recommended to go off on your own and that was good advise. LOTS of very POOR people and horrible poverty beyond anything you have ever seen, very disturbing. The Rich are very rich but the hills team with stacked cubes of living space with no windows or doors and hordes of families living like the discarded. I thought the port were beautiful from afar but up close filthy. The ship knew our flight home has been cancel and did not tell us we were not getting out of Rio on American Airlines due to ice in Dallas. The Oceana passenger has been informed that morning BUT we were dumped at the airport with NO HELP to get flights out of South America, It was crazy with hundreds of stranded passengers crushed into the airport and left to find their way home without any assistance from Regent at all. Delays out were estimated at 2-3 days. my husband and I got lucky and brave and found a supervisor to help find us a plane out that night to another city in the states (we didn't care what city ) because going back to Rio and finding a hotel and being told how unsafe it was to be in Rio by ourselves was NOT and OPTION. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
The follow is actually our mid-cruise evaluation. We have both constructive suggestions and criticisms as well as what we especially like. We are enjoying this cruise immensely and hope to return. Restaurant: Compass Rose -Very ... Read More
The follow is actually our mid-cruise evaluation. We have both constructive suggestions and criticisms as well as what we especially like. We are enjoying this cruise immensely and hope to return. Restaurant: Compass Rose -Very good wine selections -There appears to be no enforcement of the dress code in the dining rooms. We have seen people wearing jeans with holes in them and T-shirts. We feel this is disrespectful when the dress code is Casual Elegant after 6:00. -Attentive bar service and wait staff -The waiters (mainly Filipinos) call us "Ma'am/Sir" to both my husband and me, which is becoming offensive. In other words, my name is "Ma'am-Sir". If I could be addressed as "ma'am" that would be good! Other people are noticing this also. -Most all soup has a lot of cream which for us makes it very rich tasting and fattening! -Breakfast time the food has arrived cold and items like pancakes, waffles and toast are hard and dry with the French Toast being the exception, which is delicious. -We love the different sorbets daily. Wonderful! And we have become addicted to the French bread! The food aboard is generally very good. Signatures Restaurant -Great ambiance and excellent service -My lamb chops were too pink, I sent them back and came back too tough to eat -Keon in Signatures is excellent. Called us by name the entire evening and was very professional and attentive. Prime 7 Restaurant -Wonderful atmosphere and service. -Food selections were very good and tasted good! La Veranda: -Very informal and a grazing buffet daily for breakfast and lunch. Food always the same with a few variations in salads and desserts. It's nice to sit on the veranda in the back of the ship when the weather is calm -Different pasta selections daily and made instantly to your request -In room service is on time, friendly pleasant service and is usually warm -Kirti, waitress, is excellent. Did not call us Ma'am/Sir. Friendly, efficient, darling. Head Somelier-Daniella is excellent. General: -On embarkation day it was an easy check-in, BUT no one to escort us to our room and show us where everything was and how it works. On Day 12 of the cruise we found out there is a navy blue Regent bag for us to have? use? If it had been left on the bed with a note the day we arrived we would have known. -Team Trivia--Disappointing because the same team wins daily. Evidently (but not certain) they have been aboard since Europe and have had heard some of the questions before. -We can tell the staff is willing to please and learn what can be improved -We came back from a muddy jungle trek and our shoes were dirty and muddy. It would have been good to have had someone with a hose or bucket of water and a brush outside at entry for all shoes to be cleaned before entering the ship. A lot of mud was brought into the ship. -Waiting for shuttle buses and tenders for tours is not a good system. We waited over a half hour one day for our number to be called. Generally the tours were quite good. -We have been happy with the evenings' entertainment. A nice way to end the day. -It would be helpful if each night's dining menu were published in the Passages. Overall, we enjoyed this cruise and recommend the cruise line. This sailing had a lot of cruise days which we like. The ports were nothing to speak of except in Manaus in the Amazon and into the Caribbean. Sometimes the port calls were not long enough. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Our arrival in Rio was a bit fraught, with long airport queues for immigration and customs followed by an "interesting" 90 minutes in a Rio gridlock. We arrived at our hotel in Copacabana at 1.30am Rio time (3.30am UK time) fit ... Read More
Our arrival in Rio was a bit fraught, with long airport queues for immigration and customs followed by an "interesting" 90 minutes in a Rio gridlock. We arrived at our hotel in Copacabana at 1.30am Rio time (3.30am UK time) fit only for bed and sleep. We arrived at the port to board the Voyager at 1.30pm next day. I would like to describe the embarkation process but it was so quick and efficient that we were in La Verandah eating lunch before we knew it! Our cabin - or should one say suite or stateroom - was everything we expected. It was spacious and well laid out and proved to be ideal for our 14 day cruise. Our stewardess quickly introduced herself and was always friendly and efficient, keeping the cabin immaculate. The bed was exceptionally comfortable and we slept well every night - although the alcohol may have helped. What about the food. I thought the food was very good at all times. Breakfast was usually in La Verandah, although we had room service on a few occasions and had a more formal breakfast in Compass Rose only the once. All these options were good in their own way and we always had whatever we wanted. Apart from one occasion we had lunch in Le Verandah or at the pool grill. The special barbecues and themed lunches were very good but, one day, how could I choose berween two of my favourite dishes, bouillabaisse and paella, both of which were very well executed. I took the easy, if greedy option of having both. The one criticism here was that it was not always very easy to dine al fresco as there were never enough tables outside. We had lunch in Compass Rose just the once. Some friends organised a special curry lunch and it was magnificent. As a curry afficionado I have to say that it ranked with the very best - and I think the Lamb Madras was the best I have ever had. We never had dinner in La Verandah so I cannot comment on that venue. Signatures (once) was absolutely superb, as was Prime 7 (twice). To be very picky, the steaks in Prime 7 were underseasoned - but that was easily remedied with a bit of DIY at the table. Our usual dinner venue was Compass Rose and this was always very enjoyable. We never experienced one bad meal or wrong order. Wine service was sometimes a little slow - not the fault of the wine waiters as there occasionally seemed too few of them. The wines themselves were good enough with plenty of choice always available. "Good enough" may seem like damning with faint praise, but they were right for the location. Finer wines would not have been appropriate in my opinion, as storage on a ship is not conducive to the health of fine wines. I should also add that I think the pastry chef did a magnificent job. We were lucky to be given a galley tour by the Executive Chef. This was very interesting in itself, but now having an understanding of the difficulties of provisioning and the effect of climate conditions on, for example, bread making I think the cuisine on the ship was probably as good as it could get (at least for that part of the world). There we a few niggles - eggs benedict not on the menu, the tea served was too weak for my taste, coffee was served before dessert rather than after, courses were served too quickly and a few others. However, I quickly learned that there was a simple solution - just ask! Magically, everything was then as I liked it or, in the case of the eggs benedict, available in every location. The waiters did an excellent job. Service was always just right - and in Compass Rose this must have been a very difficult task for the waiters as the design of the chairs severely hampered their movement. Bar service was generally good, although in places and at times it could be slow. Again, not the fault of the staff working, but a management issue. Excursions were good and always interesting. There was crowding sometimes - particularly in Salvador - but this wasn't a major issue. The one big shock for me was the rudeness and downright ignorance of a small minority of the passengers. Some appear to have a vocabulary that omits "please" and "thank you"; some were actually offensive to the staff;some complained long and loudly about very trivial issues. At trivia one afternoon, when setting a space for my team I was told "you can't sit there - we always sit there" - being a stoic Brit I simply moved rather than responding in a suitably Anglo-Saxon way. And was I also surprised at the venom that was spat by some players when they didn't agree with the answer to a question! The icing on the cake was the fiasco at disembarkation where some passengers ignored the very clear instructions and left before their colour was called. This resulted in a strike by the porters and a much delayed exit. This must have been a worry for those with early flights - a situation caused by the selfishness of a few others. (Actually, the delay for us probably wasn't an entirely bad thing, given the torrential rain outside!) Finally, I must mention the added enjoyment from Terry Breen's lectures. Superb! So, all in all, an excellent and enjoyable cruise. However, I do fail to see why we were told in advance that yellow fever jabs were mandatory, when clearly they were not. It was also a huge disappointment that, because the engine problems, we could not visit Antigua. I accept that such situations do happen but I do not think it was handled very well. I will not dwell on this except to say that the way it was (or was not) handled was much more concerning than the missed port call itself. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
This was our 9th Regent cruise, our 3rd on Voyager. It tends to be our favourite ship, although we have not cruised on Mariner. (The Paul Gauguin doesn't count; it's in a league of its own, and no longer part of the Regent ... Read More
This was our 9th Regent cruise, our 3rd on Voyager. It tends to be our favourite ship, although we have not cruised on Mariner. (The Paul Gauguin doesn't count; it's in a league of its own, and no longer part of the Regent family.) We chose this route for the time of year, the embarkation port (Rio), and the value--since this was kind of a "vertical crossing", we thought it would be a good way of testing our tolerance of sea days--we'd previously had two in a row on the Paul Gauguin, but here there were 7 scheduled sea days, with the longest stretch being 3 in a row. This turned out to be plenty for us, not sure we would do a crossing, at least not for another decade. After a fantastic pre-cruise stay in Rio, we boarded the ship and peeked immediately into our splurge Penthouse B suite. Again, this was an excellent value on this itinerary and it was very worthwhile, although I would not do this on most itineraries where the additional cost over a standard suite is considerable. But the PH is lovely--not a lot bigger than standard, but laid out wonderfully well, with an extra window, and squareish rather than long. We also loved having a butler; this was a real treat for us. Our room was spotless and maintained very nicely throughout with good service from both butler and stewardess. The ship is in fine shape, having been refurbished about a year ago. Loved the enlarge Coffee Connection. Did not notice a lot of other changes except for the dining room decor--the seating in Compass Rose is really dreadful--the chairs are much too big and heavy for the room and make getting around very awkward. Why couldn't they choose something light and airy like La Veranda? Dining was fairly uniformly very good, although steaks disappointed us several times. We had breakfast most frequently in La Veranda, and it got very high ratings from us--the staff were very gracious and helpful. We breakfasted in Compass Rose several times, and that was very nice too, although food service was sometimes extremely slow. Lunch was shared between La Veranda and Compass Rose, both very good, with the odd foray into the Pool Grill buffet. The weather was terribly hot for much of the cruise, so eating al fresco was not too comfortable, and yes, the tables were always crowded. But I dipped into the buffet at times anyways, but sat in La Veranda in the cool! We dined three times in Signatures (once for a private function), and the food was great. We only got into Prime 7 once, and I had an excellent meal (Dover sole), although David a disappointing one. Reservations were hard to get there, although walking by at dinner time often cadged a cancellation. We also ate in La Veranda several times and had surprising great meals--we were very pleased with this, since I had remembered the food being rather tired. Compass Rose dining was also very good, although again with a slight inconsistency in the quality of meats. Soups everywhere were excellent! Provisioning had problems in Rio with produce, so we saw yellow tomatoes most of the cruise; other shortages were covered pretty well, since I didn't notice them. Onboard activities were numerous, although between sitting on my balcony (fortunately the shady side for most of the trip), and napping, we didn't do much--made it to trivia a couple of times, too late to play, did music trivia (badly done), a dance class that was fun, and the white elephant auction, which was really fun to watch. I really did not like the cruise director, Lorraine. Why can't they relax a bit and act like humans? Entertainment. Hmm. I don't want to dismiss the Mabel Mercer Foundation since we did not attend more than a few minutes at a time. I could not stand what the male singer was doing to Cole Porter, so we left. I missed seeing KT Sullivan, but others thought she was good. The house band is very good, I must say, with a good pianist. The dancers/singers who do the shows at night, let's just say, they are babies. They are talented, but the shows are very over-produced for my taste. The lounge pianist was fine, not great. The duo in the Voyager lounge was quite good, but nobody paid them any attention most nights, kind of sad (one corner is smoking, which means that many people avoid this place--they should cut out smoking there completely.) "PTV At Sea" put on some interesting lectures, but after a while the US-centric discussions got me down--don't really want to think about politics on a cruise anyway, but some focus on the rest of the planet would have been nice. We did learn that this program is designed to induce major donors to commit to public television, so now we know--I would not bother doing this again. The itinerary was very nice, given that it was, as I say, a vertical crossing. We got to go over the equator, and the pollywog induction ceremony was wild and woolly, with many passengers being doused with goop and then thrown into the pool (I demurred.) We missed a port because of engine problems, but this doesn't phase me, this happens enough that I was not too put out. Weather at this time of year, south of and close to the equator is extremely hot. If I went at this time of year again, I'd stick to the temperate parts of South America. The crowd was also fairly geriatric, although quite varied in age (from 50's to 90's), and country (well over a hundred from the U.K. for example.) And again, San Juan unexpectedly turned out to be the highlight--what a wonderful port! Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
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