We selected this cruise initially because of the advertised stop at Papua New Guinea. Otherwise, we had previously visited almost all the other ports. The day before we boarded, we were advised by our travel agent that Regent had ... Read More
We selected this cruise initially because of the advertised stop at Papua New Guinea. Otherwise, we had previously visited almost all the other ports. The day before we boarded, we were advised by our travel agent that Regent had canceled the stop at Papua New Guinea. There were 3 or 4 different reasons going around among passengers as to why, although we never learned.
The ship was very nice, the service generally excellent. The staterooms (they called them "suites") were a bit small when compared with other ships or cruise lines in this category. We were on for 36 days, and storage was a bit tight. There was no chair in the stateroom, but there was a somewhat uncomfortable two person couch, with a large high table in front. It just made things even tighter. The bed was moderately comfortable. We were offered a choice of either a firm mattress, which was like a board, or a too soft mattress with no edge support. If you sat at the edge of the bed while getting dressed or putting on shoes, you would slide right off. The cabin decor was pleasant, but neutral. The bathrooms were somewhat small, with a large walk-in shower with good water pressure, and a single sink, not a double as one might expect on a ship of this category.
Re food, breakfast was most often on the Verandah deck with a large selection buffet and table service offering most anything you might want. The French restaurant had spotty food, excellent foie gras appetizer. Most of the dishes were French in name only. The service was excellent. Prime Seven was the steak restaurant, with lots of steak and non-steak choices. We thought it consistently had the best food on the ship. The main dining room, the Compass Rose had a relatively large rotating selection, changing every night, plus a large choice of "standards", always available. The service there was spotty, some waiters very attentive and quick, others not so. The food here was good to average. We felt the food of Oceania, owned by the same company, NCL, was quite a bit better. Overall, the food ranged from bland to the point of tasteless to very salty. I recall that the veal medallions were actually thick chunks of veal.
The tours were average, no better than the standard tours offered by most other cruise lines. The few that were more interesting, were available at an extra charge.
The entertainment was typical of mid-size ships. There was the standard group of shipboard singers and dancers, although there were more of them than on other ships. The "stars" which were brought on in various ports, performing twice in their visit, were not any better than other lesser-rated cruise lines. The cruise director was very good and an excellent entertainer in his own right. The enrichment lectures were topical and generally very good. One lecturer, who was only on the ship for the earlier segment, was the best I have ever heard, and could even make a laundry-list sound exciting.
The ship's common areas where typical of ships in this category, with the usual number of cocktail lounges, a coffee-shop, and a nice theater was evening shows.
Overall, it was nice, but not exceptional. Other than the few extra cost port excursions, and better grade wines, everything is included. It is very nice not to be nickel-dimed as on many other lines. Our big complaint was the price. It was considerably more than other cruises lines, but the product which was delivered was no better than many other less expensive lines, even if you include the cost of alcohol and tours. Read Less