All of Australia, and New Zealand, Singapore, Dubai, Petra (Jordan), Luxor (Egypt,) The Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, the ruins in Rhodes and Greece wer some of the most amazing places we visited.
The pre-cruise safari in Shamwari Game Reserve was excellent: game drives, lodging and meals.
RSSC staff were also excellent both in Stateroom service and in the dining rooms. Tours varied by both who you had as a guide and where you were. Both South Africa and Namibia were very good to excellent. All of the other tours in Western Africa varied from terrible to good. On one tour the AC did not work on the bus for the entire 7 hours with temperatures in the bus probably over 100 degrees.
Tours in the Caribbean varied by island, though it seemed that those on the islands that were still part of France were better: Guides and buses.
Entertainment again was varied: Loved the NCL shows and most of the solo entertainers. Sometimes we did not make it to the shows because of the schedule on that given day.
The lecturer on the social and economic conditions of west African countries was excellent. The marine life lecturer was good. The rest were poor.
We originally signed up for a "Greek Islands" trip ending in Istanbul. While we agree it was wise to not include Istanbul as a destination due to security concerns, we were very disappointed that the majority of destinations we really were interested in were eliminated as well (Mykonos, Santorini, Ephesus, etc) and replaced with destinations that were ok but not the reason we selected this cruise in the first place. That aside, here's our rating of the cruise, ship, staffing, etc.
The ship Navigator is the smallest in the RSSC line up and smaller than most any other of the competition. While this means about 400 passengers rather than a horde of thousands, it comes with a price. In our view, there was not enough room in the public areas for 400 guests. For example, the small pool deck area resulted in all the lounge chairs being quickly taken up. The smoking area on the pool deck was not really isolated and therefore smoke permeated the already limited non smoking area and made it uncomfortable for enjoying relaxation. There were no deck areas on the sides of the ship where there access for walking or lounging in chairs. You had to be in the pool area or the running track above it to have a place to lounge. The food was very good and abundant. Due once again to space limitations it felt crowded in the Veranda dining area at breakfast or dinner. Lunch on board was not a viable option because there were excursions every day but one and the excursion timing meant it was not possible to have lunch on board and still enjoy your time ashore. On the subject of excursions, they were pretty well done with professional, experienced, knowledgeable local guides. It would have been better to allow more time for exploring on your own or shopping before the excursion returned to the ship (especially Venice and the Murano glass factory tour). We would like to have more than one day at sea rather than a port 7 days in a row.
The room was spacious and well laid out. Large walk-in closet, large bathroom with plenty of storage area, nice bed, nice deck. My wife was excited about having a bath tub, that is until she ran the bath water to find it a rusty brown color--complete turn off. We think that's a sign of the ship's age and need for a redo or replacement. The staff were uniformly friendly and excellent. Very well trained and attentive. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and easy.
We would select a different RSSC ship next time.
OLD SHIP LOTS OF VIBRATION
TOURS INCLUDED BUT OVER CROWDED
FOOD GREAT BUT DID NOT KNOW UNTIL ON SHIP THAT WE WERE ALLOWED TO ONLY DINE ONCE AT PRIME 7
INTERNET A JOKE
This cruise was outstanding! The stops and excursions were fabulous. Food and service excellent. The recent renovations on the ship were awesome. Can't wait for another trip.
This was my very first time cruising, so i didn't know what to expect. I am 49, and I took my 19 year old niece. Obviosly youngest on Regent. While we enjoyed dressing up for dinner a few times, we didn't like feeling obligated to. Well, if you want to leave cabin that is...
We had the first night at hotel in Miami. That was extremely disorganized. Even though Regent knew of an embarkation time change weeks before and notified me, they aparently didnt tell anyone at the hotel. Or the staff just didnt know. The Epic hotel, imo, was a complete disaster. On the plus side, transport both from airport and from hotel to port was great. Very organized.
The ship itself definitely not worth the amount we paid. I did read other reviews prior, so perhaps Navigator isn"t a fair representation of Regent. If not, it should be much cheaper than the other 3 in Regent's fleet. Since it was nicely refurbished, it looked really great. But old. There was a lot of vibration and noise! I dont think all elevators were working simultaneously at any time the entire cruise. So you can imagine the wait times! And they actually use this ship for world cruises? I had my fill after only 11 nights. Definitely not a luxury experience.
Service was excellant, everywhere. All waitstaff, bar staff, cabin steward.... They all go out of their way for you.
Any shows or entertainment were definitely geared to a much older crowd. Not an issue though. The crew gave a great performance on the last night. Not being a drinker I really can't comment on lounges or nightlife.
The food was good, but not the best. Certainly not what I was expecting. Room service menu was poor. But if it is during dinner, you can order from Compass Rose.
We were both very pleased with the shore excursions. Both the quality and the way Regent handled them-very organized. Even when there were time changes. Towels and bottled water as you leave ship. But then, this is all what you should expect for a luxury cruise, right?
Overall, I would probably do Regent cruise again only if it were a different ship. Or a LOT cheaper! Otherwise I would go with a more casual line. I booked another cruise for 2019, but not with Regent.
This cruise, although pricey, was a wonderful way to see Africa. It was worth every penny for the trip of a lifetime. An all-inclusive cruise may be on the horizon again in my future. It was so nice not having to be charged for anything outside of going to the shops or the spa. The room was spacious with a sitting room and a balcony. Our cabin stewardess was the best. and the food...filet mignon and lobster tail every night of the week if you wanted it. The only frown I would bestow would be the entertainment. It was so-so, but they did have wonderful lecturers on board from the Smithsonian. They also had free laundromats on board to be able to wash your clothes for such a long trip. Would I cruise with Regent again - absolutely.
I have loved Regent since my first cruise with them in 2001 (then call Radisson) with impeccable service and spectacular ships but this cruise has changed everything.
The good points was the entertainment which was fabulous and not to be missed. The Jean Ann Ryan productions only lacked a "Playbill" program from being on broadway. Dancing was beautifully coordinated with all the dancers in perfect sync (try to do that on a moving stage). The singers where equally good and the productions where fun to watch and well staged. The cast also handled the various games and actives which gave you the opportunity to really get to know some amazing your people on a one on one basis. Entertainment in the future will be provided by NCL Productions so we will have to wait a see to what level it will achieve. The addition performers where equally good and where not to missed.
For the most part the crew was truly up to Regent standards with cabins kept in perfect order by the wonderful staff we have come to love on Regent. John, the cruise director, was great showing up everywhere, remembering names, always with a smile and took care of problems with a I'll get it taken care of it attitude. I would look forward to sailing with him again.
Staff in the Compass Rose dining room varied from the impeccable service expected on Regent to just going though the motions. How do you serve a Dover Sole with out deboning it for the diner? Why would you let your diners sit 20 minutes with out at least bring a bread basket instead of talking with the other servers. The pool grill staff was overwhelmed on nice days with long waits for drinks which is definitely not the norm for Regent.'
The itinerary was originally promoted with stops in Bermuda, Funchal, Gibraltar ending at Barcelona. This was changed after final payment was due dropping the stop at Gibraltar with no explanation being given and penalties imposed if you wanted to cancel (I know the cruise contract allows them to do anything the want but this isn't Carnival). I and a lot of my fellow passengers where disappointed on how this was handled by Regent.
The Bermuda stop was an overnight arriving on Palm Sunday with almost everything closed and having to leave early because of weather issues on Monday. I guess I should blame myself for not checking the calendar more closely. Our stop in Funchal was a total waste for the passengers since an engine failure got us in so late all the tours where cancelled but repairs to the engine where successful. Our arrival in Barcelona was on time at 2PM since they gave us an overnight in place of Gibraltar to a pier loaded with dumpsters and supplies. At least the tours offered where excellent and we got to see quite a lot of the city returning in time to see veranda and pool deck furniture loaded in the dumpsters (I think we now know why Gibraltar was dropped).
When you pay a lot for a cruise with a line known for providing a superior experience you are disappointed when you receive a third class product. We all received a $500 future cruise discount for missing Funchal but looking back I should have taken the substantial penalty and cancelled. We where only on the ship to help pay the cost of moving it to dry dock so with the exception of the entertainment I was disappointed with the new Regent (now that NCL has purchased them). Lets hope this is a one off experience.
1. Our first shore tour, St. Bart's, was cancelled at the last min. due to boat problems. There was no plan to replace this, after awhile they did give us an hour taxi ride around the island. Thought you could have done better.
2. Our shore tour was cancelled in Triniad due to lack of participation but notice was not given until we got on board. Our second choice was filled.
3. Water problems - twice we did not have water. When the water did come on it was the color of very dark tea. Sure glad this did not happen during the night. No notice given that they anticipated problems.
4. Entertainment - not as good as before.
5. Debarkation-took 1 hr 20 min. Longer than it should.
The itinerary on this cruise is wonderful. Montreal, Quebec City, Saguenay, and Sydney are particularly interesting and also off the beaten cruise ship path. We were the only ship in port which was wonderful. Unfortunately we caught up with some of the mega ships at Halifax and Saint John (two of them were in port with us in Saint John) which was really a shame but beyond our control. Although we had been to Bar Harbor, Portland, and Boston before, all of these ports are definitely worth a second visit. Newport is beautiful and a very enjoyable stop and New York City would take many visits to see everything.
This was our second cruise with Regent Seven Seas, both of them on the Navigator. We love that Regent is truly an all-inclusive cruise line; we departed the ship with a $0 balance on our account. The crowd is definitely older on this ship which for the most part is not a problem. It is wonderful not to stand in line and it's also nice to be able to meet other passengers as well as crew members. The entertainment is top-notch. The one downside to this ship is that it is very lacking in activities, especially on sea days. We spent a lot of time working on jigsaw puzzles because there was nothing else to do but fortunately we only had one sea day with this itinerary. I would never book the Navigator for an itinerary with multiple sea days. This ship is also in need of a facelift which I understand it is supposed to receive in early 2016.
The ship, the Navigator, was well maintained, the crew was polished and courteous and the Alaska Inside Passage Cruise was excellent. The cabin Suite was large with a walk-in closet, large sitting area with desk and a large balcony. Oh, did I forget the food? Of course the food was excellent, too!
This was a trip of a lifetime. We have wanted to do an Alaskan cruise for years and now we are empty nesters we thought this is the best time. If you really want to experience Alaska, don't wait until you retire or are too old and crippled to get out and experience it.
The ship was luxurious and in good shape. We have been on Royal Caribbean and Disney cruises and this was far better. Sure there were a few carpet stains here or there in cabin hallways but it was clean and our concierge level room was spacious and comfortable. VERY quiet everywhere. We had Room 927 which I think was the perfect room. It was centered just enough to prevent feeling of the ship motion, one quick level below pool deck and bar, next to the elevators which we could never hear. Most of time we wondered where everyone was at, either in our room or even out in the halls. The verandah was comfortable for two people. AND, you only have one neighbor. Behind us was a foyer for the elevators and never saw a person even standing looking out the windows there even. The laundrette was a room away. You are actually outside the glass doors to the hall way (which were never shut) so we felt like we were not part of the club or missing out somehow but we got the better deal I think. The don't need those doors.
The smaller ship got us extremely close to Hubbard Glacier, closer than most ships can get and it was originally an ice breaker...so thicker hull. No worries as chunks of ice floated by.
Service was first class. Food was great and we are "foodies" so we are particular about taste and selection. I NEVER paid for any alcohol and I drank Guiness and Sam Adams beers, 12 year Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie single malt whisky, some great cabernets and chardonnays from California, Italy, France, and several premium vodkas. The only thing I paid for was a Hoya Monterrey Especial cigar in the Cigar room.
Shows at night were all good but get there 30 minutes before to get good seats, theater is small but comfortable. Upper level sides are hard to see from at times.
Excursions were great. Have to be flexible. Our dog sledding got cancelled for weather but they offered helicopter up to glacier and drank water from the glacier stream. Wow. Crab feast was great even for kids but there is long staircase down to shoreline, even longer going back up.
Few tiny negatives: 1. The ship vibration is felt in heavy seas due to powerful engines (to get through ice!) We rarely felt it except in the back of ship, in the restaurant the night going through open waters in Gulf of Alaska. Never felt it in the Inside Passage. I WOULD NOT book any rooms in the aft cabins.
2. Exercise room is tiny and opens at 7:00 AM (was 3 hours past our body time) and you couldn't use machines until 8:00 am because it made noise for rooms below. Yet people were dropping weights! So...DO NOT book a room in the stern of ship on Level 10 under the exercise facility!
3. People don't dress up for dinner. We were the only ones that really did and think we got more attention and praise from staff. Go ahead and wear that tux and cocktail dress for dinner, treat yourself!
4. They need to improve their systems for those with food allergy. My wife has a tree nut allergy and we had to constantly be on guard and say something at every meal. Be proactive if you are allergic but you should be anyway. People without any don't understand.
1. Bring a powerstrip, very few outlets to charge phones, etc.
2. Bring a good camera like a Canon Rebel (no thinking) and get a telephoto lens as well. Bring multiple 16mB data cards since I promise you will want to take tons of pictures. I backed them up everyday on ship computer in library by copying over to another card and wife kept to make sure we didn't loose any pictures somehow (loss, airline lost luggage, etc.) Also bring a video camera like a little palm size Sony. Got to film Hubbard Glacier calving and hear the thunder cracking. I WISH i had bought a waterproof GoPro camera. We went kayaking and my video camera fogged up inside my coat pocket. Fuzzy pictures.
3. You need more water repellent clothing than cold weather. We had Underarmor Coldgear under clothes and usually hot. We got wet more than we got cold.
4. Ask for stuff at dinner if you want it and you don't see it listed. I got Creme Brulee and Scallops and extra anchovies just by asking my waiter.
5. I would only take a ship sponsored excursion unless you just can't get on one you want. The ship will be more inclined to wait longer if you are not back by ALL Aboard.
6. Make YOUR OWN flight arrangements. We did not get to Vancouver until 11:30 pm and could not enjoy the 4 Seasons hotel any. They will put you on flights that are inconvenient and underused, thus are cheaper for the cruise line that way. Spend the extra to tell them what flights you want.
7. Try to get there a day or two early to see the city before the cruise. We couldn't gone from our business any longer than we were but wished we could have seen a little of it.
8. Don't overpack. We wore same pants and underlayers two days in a row for excursions. The laundrette is free and provides soap automatically. Easy. And if premium cabin, your butler can press things for you.
9. You don't need boots for the glacier or dog sledding. They provide boot coverings to go over regular shoes. i would wear normal tennis shoes or trekking shoes. I wore my heavy Timberland insulated hiking boots on the plane trips to save luggage weight and didn't need them.
10. Ask if there are any big companies or corporations or meetings on the cruise. Shell oil had 120 people and it did interfere a little with meals since they all went down at same time one night before a big presentation.
11. Sitka was about the only place that didn't have mass jewelry stores that apparently the big cruise lines own and put at all their ports of call.
It's a pretty town but I wouldn't walk it much. We would recommend going to raptor center instead unless you don't have an excursion like we did salmon fishing. Our boat caught some but others didn't.
12. Juneau has a homeless soup kitchen with crackheads and derelicts walking around downtown where the stores are. We went to the Red Dog Saloon which had good food but when we walked around the stores, we were hit up for money and did not feel safe. Several druggies were being loud and arguing at each other and overhead some talking about losing some tourist they were watching. I was wishing I had a pocket knife I normally carry, it was that bad. Until the city does something, DO NOT WALK around Juneau, especially the tourist stores. Take an excursion and go back directly to the boat.
13. Don't buy anything from the tourist stores. Do really need a hat or Tshirt that says Alaska or something about bears? The kids you left at home don't want that stuff either. If you have to buy a trinket souvenir, buy from a shop that is a locally owned one.
14. Journal everything you did, especially at the end of the day. You start forgetting stuff after a day. I posted my journal entry on Facebook each day once we were home (for home security), with pictures, for friends and family and they said they felt like they had been there with us.
15. Get a verandah. Sure it's cool or raining sometimes but sometimes it's beautiful and you can sit out and drink coffee watching all the islands or wildlife. If it is raining and cold, you can watch from the very back of the boat outside where it is protected from wind and they have heaters.
16. Bring an insulated mug. I had read that but didn't want to load suitcase down. You will want it for coffee or just water. The cups they give you are tiny. I got up at 5:00 am most days and went down to library and could get coffee and read paper. Internet is slow but can get online. May have to pay if on alot or uploading stuff.
17. Plan your trip and start paying for it a year ahead so you can plan and shop accordingly and get the room, excursion, etc. you want.
18. Live life now and don't wait until retirement. It may not come. Our dads got sick and died and never got to enjoy retirement and traveling. Our moms regret that so much. Go and do NOW!
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