Cruise Ratings
107 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This review is divided into three parts: the good, the bad and the ugly. It accurately reflects my experiences prior to, during and after the cruise. Not being a knowledgeable cruiser (I had only cruised once before about 20 years ago), ... Read More
This review is divided into three parts: the good, the bad and the ugly. It accurately reflects my experiences prior to, during and after the cruise. Not being a knowledgeable cruiser (I had only cruised once before about 20 years ago), I relied upon both recommendations from friends and reviews in the travel press to select Regent Seven Seas for our Baltic adventure. I approached this cruise with very high expectations which were not always met. The Good: 1. Our suite, Explorer category, was large, bright, spotlessly clean, beautifully appointed and very comfortable. 2. The staff were extremely hardworking, professional and friendly. I would single out our butler, Leslie, and the Excursion Desk personnel for special praise. 3. The excursions offered were interesting and well-run. 4. The pre-cruise hotel (Marriott) in Copenhagen was well-located. Our room was large and sunny with a beautiful view. 5. Our flight from San Francisco to Copenhagen on Air France (business class) was exceptional. The Bad: 1. Electronics a. The Wi-Fi, when it was working, was both slow and failure-prone. b. The staff needed two days to fix the large television in the suite’s living room. 2. Suite a. The door between the bedroom and the living room did not close properly. It was repaired immediately, but was out of alignment within two days. b. The bedroom’s sliding glass balcony door did not seal properly. During high winds, the poor seal caused a loud howling noise. c. Upon returning to the suite one afternoon, I noticed a strong toilette odor emanating from the powder room. The smell lasted for about an hour. d. The suite’s air was very dry and irritated our sinuses. 3. Dining a. Every room service order had at least one error (e.g., items missing, items not ordered and/or delivered at the wrong time). The room service menu was also extremely limited. b. The food varied from disappointing (e.g., rock-hard French fries, over-cooked veal medallions, ruined prime rib and rubbery waffles) to disgusting (e.g., malodorous beef stroganoff and inedible swordfish). The food presentation was amateurish – picture Denny’s afloat. The wines were good, however. c. The main restaurant hours appeared set to channel passengers to the buffets rather than the ship’s more formal venues. If your excursion returned to the ship at mid-afternoon, your only option would be the Pool Grill with its unappetizing buffet, desiccated pizza and sandwiches (although the Cubano was passable). d. There was a silver lining to this culinary dark cloud – I lost three pounds on the cruise. 4. Return Flight a. Our return flight from Stockholm to San Francisco on SAS (business class – sort of) was not up to Air France’s standards for service, food and comfort. My seat was especially uncomfortable. It reminded me of the troop seats in military transport aircraft. b. Regent advertises that it’s cruises include international business class air travel. Our segment from Stockholm to Copenhagen was economy although Regent’s documents said otherwise. The Ugly: 1. Booking the trip a. My ordeal with Regent’s back office began with my initial contact. My agent stated that he had only been with the company for about a year and it showed. I inquired about a specific cruise and was told it was sold-out. He attempted to steer me toward an earlier cruise which I told him would most likely not work because of my companion’s schedule. That notwithstanding, he charged my credit card for a $6,179.70 deposit without my authorization. He then sent me an email stating that I had a one-day grace period before the deposit would become non-refundable. Because I could not reach my companion (she was travelling internationally), I called Regent, explained the situation (again) and cancelled the unauthorized reservation. I then spent nearly a week corresponding with the agent before finally receiving the refund. My frustration had reached the point where I told the agent that I would no longer deal with Regent directly, but would work through my own travel agent (which is what I should have done in the first place). b. At that point, a suite on the cruise I had originally chosen miraculously became available. I told the agent I would use my travel agent for the booking. He then asked me book the trip through him so he could “get the credit.” Once I had done that, he would transfer the booking to my travel professional. Fearing I might lose the suite, I agreed. The trip was booked and the transfer made. c. When I received the preliminary itinerary from Regent, it showed my companion returning to the U.S. ahead of me. My agent contacted Regent to correct the error and was told the extra night in Stockholm would cost approximately $1,200. Given that my companion and I were sharing a room for which I had already paid, I took issue with the proposed charge. I know Sweden is expensive, but I cannot believe an extra breakfast could cost that much. It took a day to get that issue sorted out. d. Regent sent me our airline reservations approximately one month before the departure date. Upon checking them, I discovered that we were not sitting together. Sorting out this error took another couple of days. e. Regent was also less than helpful regarding Russian visa requirements for my companion (she is a foreign national). 2. Arrival in Copenhagen a. We arrived in Copenhagen on schedule and were met by a Regent representative. The representative collected our luggage and then escorted us to our transportation to the hotel. b. We registered at the hotel and then stopped by the Regent courtesy desk to check in. Apparently, somewhere over the Atlantic, we had ceased to exist – the courtesy desk had no record of us. We were told that if we really were on the cruise we would have to arrange our own transfers from the hotel to the ship. Regent’s representative didn’t seem to believe us even after we showed them the “Final Cruise Vacation Summary” provided by the cruise line. It took until the next day to get this problem sorted out. 3. Management stupidity a. On one day, the ship scheduled crew safety training at the same time excursions were attempting to leave the ship. When we tried to exit the ship, we were blocked by crew members participating in the drill. b. We went to the Compass Rose restaurant for breakfast on our final morning. Breakfast took more than an hour (not including the time it took to be seated) because the restaurant was set for dinner and not adequately staffed. Apparently, it never occurred with the ship’s hotel management that the passengers might want to have a nice “last meal.” c. While we were waiting to disembark on the final day, the ship’s crew closed the restrooms on and adjacent to the disembarkation deck. Regent is an expensive cruise line and many, if not most, of its passengers are older. Closing those restrooms showed absolutely no regard for passenger comfort. One group of women actually rebelled and forced an attendant to open a restroom for them. NOTE TO MANAGEMENT: CRUISING IS A SERVICE BUSINESS AND YOUR PASSENGERS PAY A GREAT DEAL OF MONEY SO YOU CAN EAT. 4. Post-cruise hotel a. Regent booked us into the Haymarket by Scandic in Stockholm. The room was cramped, dark and noisy. Its bathroom was so small one could hardly turn around in it. b. We considered ordering room service, but concluded there was no place to eat it. c. We ordered take-away breakfasts for our final morning (the airport transfer left before the hotel began breakfast service), but they were never provided. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our second cruise on the Seven Seas Explorer. The service was improved from last year when the ship was new. Food in Compass Rose and specialty restaurants was good but lunches in La Veranda were rather poor. It seems any time ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Seven Seas Explorer. The service was improved from last year when the ship was new. Food in Compass Rose and specialty restaurants was good but lunches in La Veranda were rather poor. It seems any time they do buffet it is not up to standard. This also applied to one dinner in La Veranda. The Ship itself is quite beautiful and well laid out. Artwork is a matter of taste and the art on this ship is cutting edge and not for everyone. Shore excursions were hit or miss depending on the guide. More than half of them did not speak good english. They did offer a good choice of shore trips, I just wish they would get better guides. The entertainment was also a step up from last year. We particularly enjoyed the comedian/magician and the dancers. All in all a good cruise, Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Bottom line: Incredible cruise but with a few hitches (some Regent related, most not) Boarding Explorer is always a rush for me. To my eye, it’s the most beautiful ship in the Regent fleet. I feel like the transfer and boarding was ... Read More
Bottom line: Incredible cruise but with a few hitches (some Regent related, most not) Boarding Explorer is always a rush for me. To my eye, it’s the most beautiful ship in the Regent fleet. I feel like the transfer and boarding was a bit rushed and just a little crowded. Nothing ‘bad’ really, just seemed a tad less luxury than it could have been. And of course, once we got our key cards we still had to wait a while for the cabins to be ready. No worries – a couple of cocktails and a light snack always fill that time for us. Once we got the all-clear, we went to our cabin and started unpacking. We were in 612 and my in-laws were in 611 (although they’re right above some lifeboat davits, could be noisy in tender ports if they use those particular boats). Great locations on these cabins, just aft of the forward elevators and an easy walk down to Reception, Destination Services, etc. Ship. I'm biased, I know. We've sailed on all four of Regent's current ships and we feel that Explorer is probably their best. The décor tends toward dark (dark woods, heavy furniture) but we like this - it's like being in a club environment. The layout is nice (with a few minor exceptions - aft staircase, access to the infinity pool, etc.) and everything is easily accessible. Cabin. We were in a D Concierge cabin. These cabins are physically the same as the E and F cabins but we chose the Concierge cabin to take advantage of the one night pre-cruise hotel. They also offer some additional amenities (binoculars, cashmere lap blankets, espresso machine, etc.) but we really didn't use those. We usually choose an F2 and those are awesome, too. The D/E/F cabins have an ocean facing bed, huge closet, double sink vanity, and a separate tub and shower with a rainfall head. Nice. Cabin service was fantastic. Dining. Subjective, I know, but I thought the service in Compass Rose was impeccable. I love the new menu and honestly, if you can’t find something you enjoy on board, I don’t think it’s the ship’s fault. Between the four of us, we couldn’t agree on a favorite specialty restaurant. We liked them all, but we all had our favorites. The only places I saw any issues with service were the Pool Bar/Grill (a continuing sore spot, I’m afraid) and to a lesser extent in La Veranda. Even when it wasn’t busy, water would go unfilled, orders would get jumbled, etc. Not often, mind you – but enough to be noticeable. Entertainment. Also subjective. I only attended a few shows, and these were good. Not great, but not terrible. They had some talented singers and dancers, and some who were, well, enthusiastic. Krew Kapers was (as always) my favorite show - front row seats so we could cheer on our favorite crew members! Excursions. Hit and miss. Mostly hits. Most were good, but frankly, sometimes it’s difficult to tell the included excursions from the Regent Choice excursions. Some we were on were great and we said ‘Wow, this is worth every penny’, only to find out it was an included tour, while others were ‘Meh, this is okay’ and then saw that we’d paid extra for it. I’d still rather see Regent limit both the number of passengers on each bus and the number of buses they send to any one location. I know that’s not really feasible with ‘included’ excursions, but sometimes it just cheapens the experience a bit. Disembarkation. Was a little bit of a mess due to a late arrival (medical evac the night before) and rainy weather on arrival. But the luggage porters were very professional and helped most everyone with their luggage with a smile. The end of a cruise is always a bit of a sad time and it can be made worse if disembarkation is a cluster, but this one went as smoothly as could be expected. The general feeling is that this was one of our best cruises ever, which is saying a lot considering how we got off to a bit of a rocky start with the missing luggage and cancelled flights (which Regent was incredible about following up on!) Not sure when our next one will be, but hopefully it will be soon. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
My wife and I did the 10 day Baltic cruise from Copenhagen to Stockholm. We are not experienced cruisers - we had only been on one short Carnival Ecstasy cruise in 2007. Regent's Explorer provides a far superior experience. Bottom ... Read More
My wife and I did the 10 day Baltic cruise from Copenhagen to Stockholm. We are not experienced cruisers - we had only been on one short Carnival Ecstasy cruise in 2007. Regent's Explorer provides a far superior experience. Bottom line: the Explorer is beautiful and the service is top-notch. Embarkation was initially a little bumpy - we had stayed at a hotel arranged by Regent and rode the 12:10pm bus to the port to discover a really long line. The initial passport check took 40 minutes. After that, the rest of the checkin process went smoothly. We talked with a couple who took a different approach to embarkation: they stayed at a Regent hotel and used the bus to transport their luggage. But they enjoyed the afternoon in Copenhagen and then had a taxi take them to the ship at about 3pm and they experienced no lines. In general the food was delicious. We ate at La Veranda most days for breakfast and lunch and then Compass Rose for supper. The food was not overly spicy but was not bland either. Our only complaint about Compass Rose was the noise level - it gets really loud which diminishes the ambience a bit. Noise was never a problem in any of the other restaurants and we tried them all: Prime 7, Chartreuse, Sette Mari, and Pacific Rim. We found that as a general rule Regent's food service staff will accommodate just about any request. If you want an appetizer-sized portion of an entree, they can make that happen. Or if you enjoy an entree so much that you want a second helping, they will bring it to you - I requested seconds on the scallops one night at Compass Rose. Regarding the Regent excursions, I've seen reviews complaining about overcrowded buses, which we did not encounter. The problem we had was that the quality of the guides on the Regent excursions varied dramatically. A secondary issue was the scheduling of the Regent excursions: in most of the ports, it was only possible to go on one of Regent's excursions because they schedule all excursions to leave with an hour of each other. But the most important factor regarding excursions is: are you cruising to enjoy the ship or to spend time in the ports? For ports where you really want to learn about the city and make the best use of your time, arrange a private guide in advance. That's what we did in St. Petersburg and Stockholm and we are very glad that we did. A few other things: 1. Ships in general are not designed for tall people. I am 6'5" (195cm) and in the public rooms (restaurants, bars, etc) that was never a problem on the Explorer. And thankfully the shower stall in our cabin had adequate head room. But walking the hallways on the decks that have cabins was a bit dicey. And since our room was all the way aft, the hallway slopes up slightly, leaving less head room, so I could not actually stand up straight outside our door without banging my head on the light fixture. 2. There are laundry facilities available and Regent even provides soap. If Regent does your laundry for you, the prices are similar to what you would pay in a hotel: starting at $1.95 for socks and going up to $8.95 for slacks. 3. Reservations for the premium restaurants, Regent excursions, and spa services should be made in advance to guarantee you get the days/times that you want. The restaurant and excursion reservations are easily done through the Regent web site but I was not able to find a way to make spa reservations online. All in all, a great trip. Everything about it lived up to Regent's luxury reputation. The staff was always helpful, cheerful, and attentive. We've never really thought of ourselves as "cruise people," but if we cruise again it will be on Regent. Read Less
Seven Seas Explorer Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.2
Family 3.0 4.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.5 3.7
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 3.5 3.7
Rates N/A N/A

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