One of our best voyages ever.
Seven Seas Voyager Cruise Review to Europe - Northern Europe
Sail Date: August 21, 2013
Ship: Seven Seas Voyager
Cabin Type: Suite
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 4 years ago
A 22 day back to back begining in Stockholm, down the Baltics to Southhampton then circumnavigate the British Isles ending in Southhampton again.
This also was one of the best if not the best voyage we have taken.
After 20 years of cruising we discovered Regent in 2010. We are going on 100 days of voyaging with them now. This Baltic and circumnavigation of the British Isle cruise we just completed in September was outstanding. We had been cruising exclusively with Princess and HAL prior to that. We toyed with the idea of giving Silver Seas a shot but received a hint that their quality was on the ebb, the debacle on the Silver Shadow in Southeast Alaska this past summer confirmed that. Of Regent's three ships, we like the Voyager the best.
We have never had a cruise that we didn't enjoy, although, as with anything in life, there was an occasional blemish. We prefer the longer excursion type voyages, three weeks or more. The longest was on the Prinsendam for almost three months. In May 2010 we happened upon Regent. Would stick with them exclusively but they have only three ships which limits their itineraries. For a while we hardly even glossed other's brochures and offers but since have taken two cruises with HAL and have just booked another on HAL plus one on Princess this September followed by one in October on Regent. So we do cruise, and have passed the 500 at sea day milestone. My wife discovered the first cruise on Regent, to Alaska, on the Navigator. She really likes the absence of nickel and dimeing on Regent, which is turning into a joke on the major lines.
For us Regent stands out in these areas:
---Quality of shore excursions. (They go to lengths to arrange numerous and detailed itineraries while assuring knowledgeable guides who one can understand and most of the time limit the coaches to about 55% capacity).
---Quality and size of suites. The size of their D thru H suites are almost unsurpassed. They have walk in closets that serve as dressing rooms as well, the bathrooms are huge with walk in showers plus a separate large bathtub, on this recent cruise we had four large suitcases but only used about 35% of the drawers, hangars and cupboards. Their suite categories are smaller on the Mariner than on the Voyager and Navigator, although the Mariner does have extra large Penthouse suites.
---Outstanding demeanor of all the crew, i.e. room stewards, bar tenders, waiters, wine stewards, officers, etc.--Staff to guest ratio.
---Ship design, size and condition. (The Mariner and Voyager have pod propulsion which offers a noticeable absence of vibration and noise, particularly in the stern area where most conventional shaft ally powered ships have that negative)
---I particularly appreciate the dining arrangements, no waiting, no assigned seating unless we ask to be with someone else and we almost always get a table for two. Food is good, sometimes outstanding.--Wine is free (as are most spirits) and the selection is above average. They have two speciality restaurants which do not charge extra, the Prime 7 is pretty good. We weren't too enamored with the Signature though, on this last voyage. The reservation lash up for the Signature and Prime 7 needs some work and improving. However, on this trip, their regular dining room, the Compass Rose, was outstanding (better than the Signature even). What we have taken to doing is to determine right off which head waiter we want, then stick with him. Then, we "always" get the type table we want and the waiters know exactly our tastes, our names and how to set up the table. Beats the old traditional seating all to pieces, you know, the old way where you run the "luck of the draw" for tablemates and take a chance on getting stuck with nimrods for the entire voyage.
Free and relatively fast internet with an excellent and large internet cafe (which is the best we ever experienced)---Good selection of free newspapers delivered every morning (I like the New York Times & USA Today) and their TV news channels offer an excellent ideological selection, from left progressive to hard core right wing, (MSNBC is my favorite.)
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
For the main dining room, try to stick with the head waiter assigned to a group of tables. We prefer table for two and always get it.