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2 Seward to Asia Cruise Reviews

We are experienced cruisers going back to the '80's. We prefer crossings and repositioning since most port visits are superficial at best. Substituting tour buses for luxury ship ambiance and tacky-tacky retail stops that seem ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers going back to the '80's. We prefer crossings and repositioning since most port visits are superficial at best. Substituting tour buses for luxury ship ambiance and tacky-tacky retail stops that seem to be about accommodating the local businesses rather than providing the cruiser any real opportunities. Thus the itinerary from Seward to Tokyo with stops in unusual way ports caught our fancy. Our Virtuoso Travel Agent forewarned us that Azamara was not quite up to true top notch all inclusive lines and that we would in particular find the cabin bathrooms small. All in all it sounded worth trying. We took the "unlimited package" which provided top shelf beverages, unlimited internet access (disappointingly slow and erratic). and three alternate dining experiences. Worst aspect of the experience was a feeling of overcrowded spaces. This was particularly so in the buffet area at prime lunch and dinner where seating was difficult to secure and the space between buffet lines was severely clogged. Food quality was better than you now get on mass market lines like HAL but not as good as we have had on Crystal, Windstar, or Seabourne. Really, it was only somewhat better than a recent experience on RCL. Service was slow albeit friendly and professional. My wife adheres to a rigorous low sodium diet and was very disappointed in the ship's efforts to accommodate her despite their continual protestations that they would. The enrichment speaker was a disappointment. She was overly pedantic and long winded. And, incredibly, she had a pronounced stammer. I can't imagine that anyone who took the trouble to be familiar with her speaking ability would hire her for this purpose regardless of her academic credentials. NO excuse for this management oversight. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The price of this luxury cruise was not high, considering the "all inclusive" stuff and size of the cabins (300 sf+ balcony). We booked one of the few outside cabins but were offered a $400 pp upsell to a balcony a week before ... Read More
The price of this luxury cruise was not high, considering the "all inclusive" stuff and size of the cabins (300 sf+ balcony). We booked one of the few outside cabins but were offered a $400 pp upsell to a balcony a week before sailing. The Navigator sailed from Seward with 390 souls on board, on a ship with capacity of 490 or so. The empty cabins meant no long lines, never a wait in the Compass Rose for a two or four top, and extra reservations at steak-house-type Prime 7. We scored four of them without trying. We did Regent Air. Note that if they can't fly you in timely to make the sailing, they fly you in one day early, and pick up the Hilton room for the night before sail. So our vacation had an extra "free" day. The itinerary had two more stops in Alaska and then Petropravosk, four stops in Japan and finally Bejing, with the 6* Regent Hotel for one night. I won't describe each stop except to say Bejing was my favorite. A "young" happening city, with prices one-third that of Tokyo. On board, the food was great. As you may know, most seafood on a ship has been frozen, but the meat and fowl, and presentation were great. Oh, in Yokohama the chef did buy some fresh yellow fish and Kobe beer for dinner that night. 46 "free" wines to choose from but the wine dude always brought a white and red of the day, and if you wanted another, it took a few minutes. In Prime 7, they understood the term "Pittsburgh Char" for my filet. We had room service breakfast almost every morning. Once I put out the hanger after midnight, and they missed it. Most excellent casino staff. Two blackjack tables six deck shoe with good rules and $10, or occasionally $5 min. One roulette, one craps, one three-card poker. Excursions included. Some with extra cost. I have mixed feeling about these. Daily bus trips get old, especially in the rain, but most of us reasonably well-off older travelers won't ditch a "free" trip to arrange our own travel, which I think we should have. We did do it in Bejing, as the fact that we arrived during a national holiday week resulted in a bus trip from heck. Five hours of traffic jam toward the Great Wall and we never did make it, turned back by police due to a traffic accident. China a police state? Couldn't prove it by me, and the traffic was out of control. The next day we skipped the bus trip and caught a cab (Chinese characters a necessity) to a store we heard about. Cabbie nicked us for 15 Yuan for a three mile trip! That's about $2.15, lol. True. Entertainment: Overall a C. High points were Flutist Guzman, Singer Brandi Chapman (Ann Margaret-Susan Anton type), lecturers Sandra Bowern and Stewart Nelson, and the trombone guy in the band is good. Transfers from plane to ship and back were well handled. We did coach to Alaska and upgraded to Business from Bejing. That was a long flight. Regent isn't perfect but travel never is. The staff was relaxed (not rushed) and very polite. This is our second Regent Cruise, and since we have reached Silver Status (21 days) interent and one hour of ship to shore phone is free, a hugh bonus. We will cruise Regent again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010

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