We traveled on this cruise with another couple but also met some delightful passengers during the trip. Embarkation was quick and easy. Our suite was lovely and spacious (Explorer Suite) but not set up according to our pre cruise requests. The bar and bedding were totally wrong as they must have mixed us up with another passenger’s requests. This was our second cruise on the Explorer having sailed on her two years previously.
Throughout the cruise, our cabin stewards kept our suite in immaculate condition. Always friendly and cheerful. Our butler was okay, always very rushed.Except for bringing us room service for breakfast and canapés at 5 pm, we didn’t see or hear from him (nor did we really need him for anything).
Unfortunately, our shipped bags didn’t arrive in time to make the ship’s departure. However, Executive Concierge Jeff offered us free laundry, a small OBC and 25% off of Boutique purchases of clothing and sundries. We very much appreciated that gesture on the part of Regent. (Our Luggage arrived one week later when we docked in Port Elizabeth).
Overall, the ship is a delight to behold especially over the holidays with gingerbread decorations and Christmas trees everywhere. I was surprised to see so few children on board during this time. Those who were appeared remarkably well behaved.
The fitness center and spa are top notch and spacious. No problems with any services received (except for the exorbitant prices). But, hey, it is vacation.
We had several ports cancelled due to weather so destination services were quite busy handling the changes. I have to say they did a great job doing so and always with a smile.
We weren’t impressed with the cruise director. You rarely saw her in public spaces except when it called for her presence. She didn’t engage passengers unless she was approached. I thought it odd that when she spoke to an audience pre or post show or other venues, she never made eye contact with the audience. She just focused on the microphone. Maybe I am just spoiled by cruise directors like John Baron who is certainly the exact opposite. Some folks don’t care about CD but I am one who believes he/she sets the tone for the entire cruise. Very disappointing..
And, front desk staff, what can I say...some, not all,were.just awful. I can understand the repetitive nature of the job can be stressful but rudeness is not acceptable at any time.
Entertainment was good. An entertaining comedian and magician made for enjoyable evenings. We wondered why Regent provides the same shows such as Revolution and Paradis. We saw the same shows two years ago. And, can we get some classical entertainment? Many passengers spoke of their desire to hear classical music. In fact, we were traveling with an internationally known classical pianist who was willing to give an impromptu presentation in the lounge, etc.but were told by the CD that the dreaded “Corporate’” doesn’t allow.
Finally, food and beverage. Sommeliers were excellent and always willing to find something you liked if not pleased with the daily offering. But, wait service was a real problem. I could not believe the inconsistency of service between restaurants and within restaurants. For example, Pacific Rim provided outstanding service and food on the 3 times we dined there. So did Chartreuse. However, Prime 7 provided the absolute worst service at both lunch and dinner (5 times). They were the worst when we sailed two years ago. Sad to see it hasn’t changed. Now, Compass Rose, is where we have the problem as it will depends on who you receive as a waiter. As this was a full cruise one couldn’t always sit in the preferred waiter’s station. I suppose the variation can be expected but we are talking about waiters who had trouble using the IPads when taking orders and claiming that certain menu items weren’t available. The biggest issue and most egregious was how they handled a food allergy issue. (I noted food allergies pre cruise) I am deathly allergic to red wine. I ordered a veal dish (no red wine sauce described on the menu) and when brought to me I asked if the sauce contained red wine. The waiter didn’t know but went to the galley to ask. When he came back I was told “ no red wine is in the sauce..” Great, I proceeded to take several bites and about 5 minutes later the waiter came rushing back to say that the sauce DID have red wine in it. Totally unacceptable. Fortunately, I only ate a small amount but it was enough to make me ill for 24 hours. I was assured that they would not make the same mistake again. The food and beverage manager contacted me the next day to apologize but she was so focused on saying that they didn’t have the allergy in their system versus the fact that the waiter made the error as noted previously by telling me there was no red wine in the sauce.
(Thanks to the aforementioned, I did get to visit the medical clinic who provided great care.
And, finally, remember the gracious offer of the 25% discount in the boutiques due to delayed luggage. It was supposed to be reflected on my final statement, but it wasn’t. No time on the morning on disembarkation to deal with it so will try Regent corporate.
So, all in all, although I have 4 cruises booked on Regent over the next two years, I am going to have to think about sailing with them a little bit more once I am able to reflect on my experience as time passes.