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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Background and Hotel information This cruise was rather a short one for us. We received an email from a travel agent with a fantastic sampler package flight to Auckland, transfers from airport and to port, a two-night stay at the ... Read More
Background and Hotel information This cruise was rather a short one for us. We received an email from a travel agent with a fantastic sampler package flight to Auckland, transfers from airport and to port, a two-night stay at the Sofitel, then embarking the Regent Seven Seas Voyager on day three. In our opinion this package was relatively good value and an opportunity to experience a 5 plus star luxury ship and a 5-star hotel in one package. We stayed overnight at Sydney airport (Travelodge) as I have previously mentioned in other reviews I repeat it is currently reasonably good value, recently built, clean, close to two parking stations, and close to Mascot Railway Station. We flew with Qantas to Auckland, one of our preferred airlines currently, seamless flight as per usual. We were picked up by a private vehicle as part of the package and transferred to the Sofitel, on a very hot day in Auckland; we were quite shocked how hot it was for the time of year. The hotel is located close to the canals and a 10-minute walk to the port. Really stylish hotel with the little extras that we found just embellishes the experience. Large rooms with quality inclusions throughout. We ate breakfast in the hotel cafe the next morning at a reasonable cost and the food was of good quality. Auckland appears now as a vibrant city with a waterfront now occupied by trendy somewhat quirky bars, cafes, and restaurants. Round the world sailing race competitors were in town and the waterfront was a buzz the first night and next day. We took the ferry over to Devonport a beautiful old suburb full of stately homes and a quaint village atmosphere. Worth the ferry trip, yes indeed. On day 3 we were taken to the ship by a coach along with about 10 other people who were also staying at the hotel. After arrival at the port our bags were taken to the ship from the coach and we were ushered into the terminal, filled out our forms, and took the escalator upstairs. We were seated with the other 150 people who were embarking for the Auckland to Sydney cruise and waited about 20 minutes prior to being asked to provide the usual details required to embark the ship. We were also provided each with a bottle of water whilst waiting, a nice touch we thought. On entering the vessel after clocking on with the card we were welcomed with a glass of bubbly, the ship is fully inclusive (yes premium alcohol is included) and a few smiling faces, including us! First impressions were extremely good, we were invited to look around the ship and have lunch in "La Veranda", bistro by day, Italian restaurant by night. Excellent variety of good quality food, hot and cold meats and seafood, also it includes a delicious gelato bar, with a large number of creamy treats. First night we had booked Prime 7, the speciality steak restaurant, we shared a table with two ladies from Australia. My wife and I both ordered and consumed melt in your mouth fillet mignon, delicious, I also had a small lobster (surf and turf) that was also very tasty. More information on eating venues and food later. We booked a Concierge room, and were delighted when we entered the room, it was huge, on the left HS upon entry existed a very large bathroom with a huge shower with a glass door, a bath, and gigantic marble vanity with L'Occitane bathroom products, my wife felt quite pampered. Next door on the left had side is a large walk in wardrobe where the large safe is also located and a large number of coat hangers. It also contained super soft bathrobes, an umbrella and a tote bag for us. Next was a separate bedroom with a nice firm bed, and firm pillows for great neck support while sleeping. The refrigerator was stacked with water, tonic water, soda water, lemonade and beer, no extra cost. On the large dressing table sat an Illy coffee making machine with coffee capsules, nice touch! The balcony was reasonably large with two comfortable chairs, and a medium sized table. Best room we have ever stayed in on any ship and even in top hotels, it rates near the top. In a word sumptuous! Ship information The RSS Voyager is a beautiful ship of approximately 45,000 tons, it has several restaurants, including two speciality ones, at no extra cost, however, book well in advance; with a concierge room, we were able to book months in advance. There were several public areas, a large lounge and balcony area at the rear of the ship, a reasonable sized theatre, and several other bars on various levels, pure luxury on this ship. The ship shows little sign of wear, it is in very good condition, and relatively easy to move around. It also has a cafe that serves reasonably good quality coffee and teas, an area where fresh food is available at all hours, and there are a large number of tables and chairs to be seated. Activities The activities were similar to most ships, with one exception. There were speakers from the United States, from a group known as Artful Travelers. The first speaker was the primary writer of the comedy series “Frasier”, he spoke of writing and launching the show for television, he showed humorous clips from the show. He described how the show was developed, interaction with the actors, and that Frasier actually sang the song at the introduction to the show. The writer was visibly moved when he discussed how the actor who played Frasier’s Dad had passed away recently, apparently the cast and crew on the whole became very close during the filming of the show over the years. There were clips of some very funny episodes over the years, the audience and us enjoyed the presentation immensely. We were also fortunate to be present when another person from show biz in the USA, also a writer and producer of documentaries, described in detail the life of Bob Hope. How he had interviewed Mr Hope’s daughter and many others in relation to his life, on and off the screen, how he gathered clips of his TV shows, his movies with Bing Crosby, and described his private life in some detail. He also showed clips of Bob Hope and other artists, led by Hope entertaining the US troops in WW2, Korea, and Vietnam. We watched a large part of the documentary on TV in our room a day later, excellent production. Bob Hope left some of his fortune to build Bob Hope centres for US troops, ex-service women and men at various major airports in the USA for them to relax, have a shower, and supply them with refreshments, these centres are still funded currently for them. Service Excellent service on this ship, as you would expect, the staff are allegedly the best available, and we were very happy with the service overall. Room stewards, female and male, kept the room very clean, were super-efficient, and nothing was too much trouble. We ordered a bottle of wine and spirits, we left the room for a few hours and returned to find same in our glass front cabinet, excellent. Bistro and restaurant staff were courteous and efficient, although at times in La Veranda seating was very hard to find. We ate outside at tables in the grill area, the temperature outside was mild and pleasant. One slight constructive criticism, one of the staff brought me a beer that was quite warm, excuse being the refrigerator was not working properly. I asked for a container with ice in it and placed the beer in it, 15 minutes later, all ok. Thanks to the young Russian lady all was saved, I did mention to her that they should place some beer in a large container with ice and that would suffice if cooling beer was a problem. She came back 20 minutes later and brought a cold beer out of the container full of beer she had arranged, I thanked her and said very well done, she will go far that young lady! The very next day we went out past the bar in the grill area and in sight of all on the bar sat a large container full of ice and various beers in the ice, very impressed. I am not a big beer drinker, my wife and I prefer a nice wine with our meals, and a good gin and tonic or two before dinner. Port & shore excursions Most shore excursions are included with Regent. We were only on the ship for 4 nights, the only excursion available was in Bay of Islands, we had previously been on this tour to the treaty grounds, however decided to go again, it was quite ok. Travel to embarkation port See background information above for remarks. Cabin As indicated above we had a concierge balcony cabin midship on deck 8. Cabin overall was in very good condition, bed was very comfortable, pillows firm for great neck support, large cabinets with glass doors, fully stocked bar, coffee maker, fruit. French champagne on arrival, was a nice touch indeed. Bathroom was huge, big bath, huge shower marble twin vanity unit, L’Occitane products. Huge walk in wardrobe, safe, sofa and large table with marble top in bedroom, medium sized balcony with quality chairs and medium size table. Huge elegant room with the “works”! Dining We ate breakfast in La Veranda every day, it was convenient and all the food was quality, eggs made order, and various hot and cold delicacies, juices, coffee and tea. We ate Lunch in La Veranda on day one, as mentioned previously the food quality and variety was very good. At night La Veranda become an Italian restaurant, service was good, food was of good quality and good variety of Italian specials, seafood, pasta, and veal dishes. We ate the veal scaloppini for main meal, there was too much salt in the sauce, which spoilt an otherwise good meal. Appetiser and dessert was very nice. We ate in Compass Rose for lunch on two days, delicious food, particularly the best quiche we have aver eaten on any ship, or any restaurant for that matter. We ate dinner in this restaurant on the third night, jumbo shrimp was superb, fillet mignon was also superb, however, lobster was not, it had been cut into pieces, was cold and unappetising. The surf and turf at Prime 7 on night one was far above in quality than the meals at LA Veranda Italian and Compass Rose restaurant dinner meals. The last night we ate at Chartreuse French restaurant, the food and décor lived up to expectations, an excellent dining experience, finished off with a delicious cheese plate and port! We consumed food from the grill on deck at sail away from Auckland, and Bay of Islands, hot and cold barbeque meats and snacks, very tasty with a nice red wine in hand. We also ate a burger and chips for a late lunch on the last day, as we were late into Sydney, we had very rough seas and arrived at 4.30 pm instead of 1.30 pm, we didn’t complain it allowed us to spend more time on board. Entertainment First night the Cruise Director sang a few songs and another female vocalist sang, it was fairly average. The guest entertainer was supposed to sing on night 3, however she was seas sick and could not appear. She also did not appear on our last night, she was very unwell. Disembarkation We were late into port, unfortunately we docked at White Bay cruise terminal, white elephant is more like it, passenger unfriendly area. Lucky we were late and Regent hired coaches to take us into Darling Harbour, we caught train from Wynyard station, changed at Central to go to Mascot to pick up our car and then home. Being docked at White Bay is a major hassle, it is unsuitable for boarding and disembarking ships, it is near no transport, buses or trains, just expensive taxis, however there only one or two taxis when we disembarked. Summary Fantastic experience, we most certainly would like to cruise with Regent Seven Seas again, all-inclusive means not worrying about onboard costs unless you want absolute top shelf wine and spirits, or private shore excursions, it is the whole package. Apart from a few items such as a few food items not up to standard, and disembarking at an unsuitable location, we loved the ship, the food, beautiful room, food, and great service. We will be looking for some special package deals again on a Regent Seven Seas vessel, magic experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We love regent and as usual this was a great cruise. Loved the itinerary. Pre and post cruise was very good. As always, the food and service were great. Voyager was refurbished over a year ago but was still beautiful. The staff and ... Read More
We love regent and as usual this was a great cruise. Loved the itinerary. Pre and post cruise was very good. As always, the food and service were great. Voyager was refurbished over a year ago but was still beautiful. The staff and crew were so friendly, it is like coming home when we get onboard. We booked a basic veranda cabin and it was very roomy and comfortable. The entertainment staff was great and cruise director, Ray Solaire, was his usual charming and entertaining self! His poolside portrayal of Neptune, as we crossed the equator, was hilarious. My only disappointment was scuba dining on the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns. The weather was beautiful but there had been a recent typhoon and the water was stirred up so visibility was too poor to see much. Although most of the guests were middle aged or older, there was a young couple onboard with an infant. They often took her into venues that were inappropriate, such as the specialty restaurants, bars, and shows. This caused some disturbances at times. Can't wait to sail again with Regent. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
This is my 3rd Regent cruise and if I was wealthy it would be only cruise line for me. Top notch from beginning to end. Sad to disembark. Good waa invredible and staff is unbelievable. Suites are spacious and all have balconies. Specialty ... Read More
This is my 3rd Regent cruise and if I was wealthy it would be only cruise line for me. Top notch from beginning to end. Sad to disembark. Good waa invredible and staff is unbelievable. Suites are spacious and all have balconies. Specialty restaurants have some of the best options but Compass Tose is no slouch. Every night the menu changes and there is always some to choose from. If not the go to was Dover sole which was excellent. The entertainment on board was fabulous and having Artful on board was a great perk. Broadway singers, playwrights, directors and producers! Every port was different and every excursion we chose unique. Our captain Felice Padrone was extraordinary in his skills with the 20 foot seas we encountered. We had 3 cyclones out there and only missed one port! Has lea time in Sydney but we were all safe and that's what mattered! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this cruise, as we usually do, based on itinerary. We experienced an incredible bonus on the first “leg” (Auckland to Bali). It was an “Artful Travelers” cruise. This group, in cooperation with Regent and PBS and NPR, ... Read More
We chose this cruise, as we usually do, based on itinerary. We experienced an incredible bonus on the first “leg” (Auckland to Bali). It was an “Artful Travelers” cruise. This group, in cooperation with Regent and PBS and NPR, had a special program focusing on documentary film making and Broadway. There were extra speakers (all excellent), Q & A sessions, cocktail parties, special documentary screening, a wine tasting, a sumptuous dinner, excellent cabarets, small dinners with the presenters - all without an extra fee. Artful Travelers has been in existence since 2004 but came as a surprise to us. We will back for another of their programs next February. That portion of the trip included wonderful ports such as Sydney, Cairns, Komodo island, and Bali. We remained on the ship for the next segment from Bali to Hong Kong. We especially enjoyed our stops in Borneo (loved the cultural experience) and Brunei. As usual, service throughout the trip was excellent. Food is uniformly very good and often excellent. We especially liked the newly designed/decorated Compass Rose. Regent is expensive, but the experience is exceptional. Read Less
81 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We sailed on the January-February 2017 cruise from Aukland to Singapore. The trip was a very mixed experience, with some parts very enjoyable and others quite disappointing. On the positive side, the cabin stewards did a great job, and ... Read More
We sailed on the January-February 2017 cruise from Aukland to Singapore. The trip was a very mixed experience, with some parts very enjoyable and others quite disappointing. On the positive side, the cabin stewards did a great job, and our stateroom was always neat and orderly. We enjoyed the new menu in the Compass Rose dining room, with a wide variety of items always available and daily specials. The evening variety shows were much improved over those on our previous cruises on Regent. The enrichment lectures given by Terry Bishop were outstanding, and we would certainly look for cruises where he was featured. On the negative side, there were several problems. Regent had clearly not planned an adequate number of shore excursions, and in many ports there were just no free excursions available. Every day seemed to have long lines at the Destination Services desk of people trying to book tours, often with no success. they offered the excuse that the ports we visited did not have an adequate infrastructure to accommodate a ship our size but, in talking with local guides, it seems that they had no problem with much larger ships. Many of us felt that Regent management was just cutting their excursion budget and not booking enough tours. After all, the ports we visited in New Zealand and Australia are major cruise ship ports, and infrastructure should not be a problem. In some ports Regent tried to upsell us to paid tours, but we found better and less expensive tours on our own over the internet. The excursions we were able to get were often disappointing, often with a lot of wasted time when we were dropped off in uninteresting towns with little to do for several hours. Our stateroom was also a disappointment. The Voyager was just recently remodeled, but the work appears to have been of less than top quality. The walls in our room creaked loudly whenever the ship moved. We have been on a fair number of cruises, some on rough seas, and while some movement noise is inevitable on ships this was well beyond the ordinary or acceptable. The ship's maintenance staff was able to mitigate the noise to some extent by putting wooden shims between the walls and the ceiling, but surely better ship construction should have made these types of fixes unnecessary. Also, the ship seemed to have a large number of maintenance problems with the plumbing, with several leaks. Some days we had no water for a while and, when it came on , it was black. The Voyager lounge was closed for a while because of water leaks. Due to the leaks on our deck (7), the carpet outside our room had a mildew odor that penetrated our cabin. We were also disappointed in the specialty restaurants, both with regard to food quality and service. The meat in the steak restaurant was not of the quality we have had on previous Regent cruises and, as the trip was in major beef producing countries, this should have not been the situation. In Chartreuse, the newly named French restaurant, the main dishes were disappointing. And service was so slow, beyond leisurely, that even starting the meal at 6:30 or 7:00 we were not finished in time to get to the 9:30 entertainment on time. As this was a longer cruise we had multiple opportunities in each restaurant, and were consistently disappointed and eventually cancelled reservations as we preferred the main dining room. Finally, when we wrote to Norwegian Cruise Lines management expressing our disappointment and our inability to get the promised shore excursions, it took over a month to get a reply from them. This suggests that customer service is not high on their priority list. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Having travelled with Regent seven times before we knew what to expect. No irritating on board charges, signing for drinks or tips - all included. As has been the case on all other Regent cruises the staff were 100% in every respect - ... Read More
Having travelled with Regent seven times before we knew what to expect. No irritating on board charges, signing for drinks or tips - all included. As has been the case on all other Regent cruises the staff were 100% in every respect - attentive, friendly helpful and smart. The restaurant menus are excellent and even more varied. Our cabin which had been refurbished was excellent. The redecorated Compass Rose is lovely - really relaxing. Food at the 11th deck Sette Mari is fabulous - we dined there several times in the 25 days on our cruise segment. The following points for potential improvement must be read in the context that we have already booked our next Regent cruise so they are not 'showstoppers'. Excursions varied - cannot generalise but be careful as to what is chosen - do the homework! Komodo visit - good. Bali overnight - a waste of time and a big disappointment - not Regents fault. However the Bird Garden was worthwhile. Could do with an overnight in Sydney but probably too expensive with Berth fees! The lounges are unchanged and the chairs are uncomfortable but stylish - there could be more consideration to these bearing in mind the age group of the 'regulars'! The cabin balcony chairs could do with an update. Delivery of the main courses and side dishes in Compass Rose could be improved with better coordination. Read Less
38 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We were on the Voyager cruise in January from Auckland to Singapore. Our cabin was on deck 7. We had 3 broken pipes on our deck and times of no hot water, no water and black water. The Voyager lounge was closed for 2 days for another ... Read More
We were on the Voyager cruise in January from Auckland to Singapore. Our cabin was on deck 7. We had 3 broken pipes on our deck and times of no hot water, no water and black water. The Voyager lounge was closed for 2 days for another broken pipe there. The library had buckets on the floor to catch water. The tours were of poor quality and poorly organized and frequently weren't available. Our cabin creaked badly and engineering put wood wedges all along the ceiling to help with the noise. Other passengers had the same problems. I could say things happen and leave it at that but when we wrote corporate of the problems they didn't care enough to respond. For the tours it seemed Regent was trying to get people to pay for tours when the free tours weren't available. On the positive side the new menu at Compass Rose is very nice. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
This was very our first cruise (25 days) so we have nothing to compare this to. We were accompanied by friends who are experienced travelers - this was their fifth cruise on RSS which was helpful, especially getting adjoining state rooms ... Read More
This was very our first cruise (25 days) so we have nothing to compare this to. We were accompanied by friends who are experienced travelers - this was their fifth cruise on RSS which was helpful, especially getting adjoining state rooms so we could compare notes or decide where to dine. The staff was professional and polite from the moment we boarded in Auckland to disembarking in Singapore. It is difficult to describe the highlights beyond the obvious amazing ports of call. I really enjoyed the parties on the top deck and met some delightful people. We had pre-booked excursions for most of the port days and the staff was so accommodating whether it was my spouse and I or the four of us. Once I swapped an excursion with my friend she could not attend without a problem. I thought I would be bored on "sea days" but was not at all. I took part in fun group activities or did nothing but lounge at the pool deck to read or draw, even watched an occasional movie and felt like it was a good balance of my time. Zay Lynn made sure every wish came true, sometimes without even asking; having the bed made and room cleaned while we ate breakfast with amazing timing, other staff made sure I could get where I wanted to go when I was directionally challenged, the yoga classes were good, massage great, lectures were stimulating and informative. We were able to have a kitchen tour. We enjoyed a variety of foods we'd never had before and ordering specialty drinks was a treat. Our bed was very comfortable and we slept well. My husband has some food restrictions and the staff was great about getting his menu in advance and accommodated him at which ever restaurant we went to. I wish I would list all the names of the excellent staff. Sharing desserts became our tradition and ending our evening with either entertainment or preparing for the next day made this entire trip a dream come true. We would definitely cruise with RSS on another destination. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2012
I think this cruise was about as good as it gets. Here are some specifics: -Our "penthouse suite" (category B) was very comfortable and we were impressed with the walk in closet. We upgraded a couple of weeks before the cruise ... Read More
I think this cruise was about as good as it gets. Here are some specifics: -Our "penthouse suite" (category B) was very comfortable and we were impressed with the walk in closet. We upgraded a couple of weeks before the cruise from a lower category because we were offered a half price deal. However, Our cabin was the same size as the lower categories and the only real difference was butler service. As far as I could tell, the butler's primary function was to bring us six shrimp every afternoon--very good but not work $15 each ($1500 for the upgrade for 15 days). -The ship was spotless, well maintained and had great facilities. Smoking was limited to very few areas and was not an issue (one reason we chose Regent over Silversea was because Silversea permits smoking throughout the ship and, based on my conversations with them, has no plans to change this outmoded policy). -The restaurants were excellent. Compass Rose, the main dining room, provided great service and excellent food despite the number of passengers being served. The speciality restaurants--Prime 7 and Signatures--would be considered excellent on land. There was no upcharge for the restaurants or for any dish on the menu, which was great. We also enjoyed the buffet lunch by the pool and the fact the it had a different theme every day. -Entertainment was variable, fair to excellent. The classical pianist was great. The singers and dancers were very good, although the lead male singer was frequently off key. The lead female singer was great. Some of the other entertainers--an electric guitarist and a flautist--were OK.-Ports and shore excursions: We enjoyed most of them. Things were well organized so there were not long lines for leaving the ship and boarding buses. Guides were excellent. Meals on shore excursions were surprisingly upscale, considering that we did not pay extra for the excursions. -People: Our fellow passengers were well behaved and extremely friendly. We met many new friends very easily. -Staff: Regent obviously trains its people to interact with customers very well. Every employee had a smile and a greeting in the hallway, the restaurant, etc. Many employees knew our names after the first day. Service in the restaurants was so good that we had difficulty adjusting to restaurants on land. We enjoyed the captain, who had a great sense of humor and seemed to enjoy interacting with passengers. -My only criticism pertains to pre cruise details. Our names, along with the names of many other passengers, were not on the transfer list when we arrived at the Auckland airport. Fortunately, this wasn't a big deal as they put us on a hotel bus anyway. At the hotel were given a welcome letter that made no sense (it had details on transfers back to Auckland airport when we were not going back to the airport and talked about a city tour on the day after the Voyager was due to depart with us on it. Turns out there was a city tour on another day which were were supposed to be invited to, but we were not and missed the tour. One of the Regent agents at our hotel in Auckland was very unpleasant, causing us to have a bad first impression of Regent. Fortunately, that changed when we boarded the ship. Finally, getting from the hotel to the ship was chaotic. We were told to be in the hotel lobby at 11 AM, so a big crowd assembled there. We waited nearly two hours for the bus to the ship and it was very unpleasant. We were provided with no information. It seemed unnecessary to make us stand around in a densely packed hotel lobby for this long. Looking at these criticisms in context, however, the positives far outweigh these few negatives. Overall,it was an excellent cruise and Regent did a great job. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
Embark: This was definitely not handled at all well, by any cruise ship standard. Apparently they had some custom problems, or so they said. Best to just show up late, as with most lines. Ship/Stateroom: Beautiful, spacious ship with ... Read More
Embark: This was definitely not handled at all well, by any cruise ship standard. Apparently they had some custom problems, or so they said. Best to just show up late, as with most lines. Ship/Stateroom: Beautiful, spacious ship with excellent appointments. Staterooms are all suite/balcony with the stand rooms being fairly standard in finish and size to most lines. The Penthouse suites are quite large and very nice. Service: Good to excellent at all times with no negative experiences. The staff is very professional, but that means they are often serious and business-like, rather than outgoing and engaging. Entertainment: Good, but not special. Ship entertainers were talented and a few were quite friendly; however, most lacked personal interaction skills out of the theater. Collin is most outgoing and friendly. Food: This was quite disappointing for a premium line. Specialty restaurants are quite good, but the main dining room had very ordinary food for a cruise line. Definitely well below the presentation, quality, and variety of most premium lines we have been on. Dinning room is beautiful and can sit everyone at one seating with no problem. Service was excellent. Wines that are included are quite good. Ask for a list of all included wines if you are a wine lover, and you will probably find some you like. Common areas: Ship has beautiful lounges, theater, card rooms, and pool area. No area was crowded even with a full ship. Workout equipment was more limited than any ship I have been on, including much smaller ships. Enrichment series: This is something we enjoy and look forward to, but not on this cruise. What old people on a cruise are definitely NOT not looking for is a marginally qualified doctor telling them what to eat! How do make a series out of that? The second choice was on marine life which sounds good, but requires a skilled speaker. Neither speaker had the slightest entertainment value as speakers. Bridge instructors were very good. Disembark: It would have gone very smoothly except the information the night before overlooked notifying us that everyone would need to up and down to see immigration officials at 6:45 AM. That was not well received. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2009
GETTING TO NZ: We flew to Auckland a week early on Air New Zealand using Regent's upgrade to Business Class for $999. It was worth every penny. Being able to sleep for nearly 8 hours was terrific. I tried and tried but could not find ... Read More
GETTING TO NZ: We flew to Auckland a week early on Air New Zealand using Regent's upgrade to Business Class for $999. It was worth every penny. Being able to sleep for nearly 8 hours was terrific. I tried and tried but could not find a better deal on the net.The business class seats are a bit tight on shoulder room if you are a big guy. We spent a week touring the wineries of the North Island (if you do this do not miss Lime Rock Wines in Central Hawke's Bay--best pinot noir of the trip) We spent the night before the cruise at the Hilton at the wharf. A bit pricey but the porters will take you luggage to the ship. We had dinner with 10 other Cruise Critic members the night before the cruise in White the upscale restaurant in the Hilton. Nice, very nice. EMBARCATION: Lousy but not Regent's fault. Everyone showed up around noon (instead of the listed 3pm time) and the NZ customs folks were understaffed and had computers not working properly. Spent over an hour in a room overfilled with fellow guests. Once on board it went smoothly. ON BOARD-lovely cabin (but smaller and not as well laid out as the Voyager.) Ronald, our cabin steward was the best we have ever had. Crew was very friendly and helpful. Food was always at least very good-often excellent. They would go out of their way to accommodate requests. Once I remarked to the head waiter that I loved Philippines food. He offered to have ponsit for me for lunch the next day--it was excellent. The entertainers were more than happy to sit and have a drink with you. I dined with the comedian and the violist. We got to know the Celebrity singers who were talented and friendly. If you were nice, the crew responded in kind.   My only complaint is about the pool. On the Voyage there is a staircase that leads into the water. On this ship there is only a vertical ladder with an extra large step at the top. For those of us with bad knees and/or ankles, it is quite difficult. The wine lecturer, a prof. from Cornell, was superb! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
We arrived in Auckland the day before the cruise. We flew Air New Zealand using Regent's air program and the $999 business class upgrade, which was a steal for a flight from SFO to Auckland. We stayed at the Westin, which was not far ... Read More
We arrived in Auckland the day before the cruise. We flew Air New Zealand using Regent's air program and the $999 business class upgrade, which was a steal for a flight from SFO to Auckland. We stayed at the Westin, which was not far from the Port and was quite lovely. Embarkation was a little rough, but this was due to the fact they had only one customs agent at the Port. Once a second one showed up, the line moved fairly quickly. We boarded, went to La Veranda and had some lunch and then went to our suite, a Horizon Suite on Deck 7. CABIN The Horizon suite is a wonderful suite. The living room is separated from the bedroom, and the room has an enormous walk-in closet. The lines were Anichini; the beds had pillow-top mattresses and were amazingly comfortable. Two flat screen televisions, an iPod dock, a small safe, both Regent and Hermes bath products in the bathroom. We had the shower only setup, but the shower was large and fine for us. The balcony for the Horizon Suites on deck 7 are 175 sq ft, but it was still very large with a two seat couch, two separate chairs, and coffee table and a large table for dining. The room gets an A. DINING Open seating dining in Compass Rose and reservations required for Signatures (Le Cordon Bleu French) and Prime 7 (steak house). La Veranda was the most casual with a la carte ordering but also an antipasto buffet and desert buffet. Food fairly good across the board but we preferred Signatures. Many passengers seemed to love Prime 7. Service a bit slow at times in main dining room, but not awful. PORTS The most amazing ports were Bora Bora, Moorea, and Rarotonga, especially for those who like snorkeling. We snorkeled in all of these via Regents included excursions, and the excursions were all really good. A lot of passengers did not book the free excursions prior to sailing and then found very little was available. There was much complaining about this, but we had booked our months before the sailing. The least wonderful port was Papeete on the main island of Tahiti. We arrived there at 9:00pm and departed the next day around 3 pm. Snorkeling here was okay, but there was little time to look around. That said, many passengers were grumbling about how rundown Papeete was. ACTIVITIES There were a lot of sea days on this trip, and I worried before sailing I might be bored out of my mind. That said, Regent did a fantastic job scheduling lectures, classes, and other activities on these days. The sea days were wonderful, better than I expected. OVERALL This was an amazing cruise, and we met many passengers who had done this exact cruise on this exact ship several times previously! I would do it again but next year a different ship and itinerary will be used. There has been some grumbling on-line about fall off in service, but I only had one poor service experience with one server at dinner. I had not sailed Regent before, but I will definitely be sailing them again. The Seven Seas Mariner is a lovely ship, well-maintained, with good food, consistently good service throughout the sailing, and wonderful crew that smiles and addresses you every time they see you. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
We have just returned from a fabulous 30 day journey on Regent Seven Seas Voyager. I booked last minute from Regent  and was offered an F category at H pricing. We booked just 10 days (Auckland to Sydney) with a 3 day pre cruise stay in ... Read More
We have just returned from a fabulous 30 day journey on Regent Seven Seas Voyager. I booked last minute from Regent  and was offered an F category at H pricing. We booked just 10 days (Auckland to Sydney) with a 3 day pre cruise stay in Auckland. The flight, the hotel, all handled by Regent, was perfect (albeit eCONOMY CLASS) BUT aIR New Zealand is a wonderful airline, so it wasn't too bad. (oVERNIGHT FLIGHT OUT OF lOS Angeles, non stop to Auckland...around 13 hours) ONCE ON THE SHIP, we couldn't resist extending, so we met with the cRUISE CONSULTANT ONBOARD, who worked hard to make it happen (again at the same discounted pricing)and before we knew it, our 10 day voyage turned into 30 wonderful days! The seas were rough, but we were mid ship on deck 8 and it didn't bother us too much. sINCE THIS IS PART OF A WORLD CRUISE, the passengers were older than we have travelled with on other Regent sailings.....We are in our late 50's, and have found the Regent trips to the Med and Tahiti to attract a younger crowd. Food was superb in all of the restaurants. The wine flowed (DECENT LABELS EVERY MEAL INCLUDED) and the gifts from Regent on each segment were very nice. We each received leather credit card/ cases and nice wool and leather travel bags. Customer service was the best ever: the stewardess was exceptional, the wait staff professional and courteous, and the maitre d/s in each restaurant went our of their way to accommodate. We don;t like the formal nights (there were 4) BUT THE SERVICE AND MENU IN COMPASS ROSE ON THE FORMAL NIGHTS was the best we've had. tHE ITINERARY WAS relatively active: about 6 total days at sea in the entire 30 day voyage. Weather was not very good in AUSTRALIA AND WE HAD SNOW IN jAPAN. Yet I can still say it was the Best cruise we've ever taken thanks to Regent and the wonderful job they do keeping the passengers happy! We have already booked the President's Cruise for May of 09 (23 nights Ft Lauderdale to London, and can not wait to get back with this amazing ship and crew! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2007
We began our 19-day cruise on Regent Mariner December 3-21, 2007 with a flight from LAX to Auckland on Air New Zealand in Premium Economy. The service was excellent and the flight passed quickly. We spent two days seeing the lovely city, ... Read More
We began our 19-day cruise on Regent Mariner December 3-21, 2007 with a flight from LAX to Auckland on Air New Zealand in Premium Economy. The service was excellent and the flight passed quickly. We spent two days seeing the lovely city, staying at the Sky City Hotel courtesy of Regent, and arrived at the nearby cruise terminal at noon. We quickly were welcomed aboard with champagne, given our keys and offered lunch in the Verandah Cafe. Upon arrival there, we were pleased to see our favorite waiter, Gerry, and spent a few minutes catching up on his family, before enjoying a terrific lunch. The Ship Our room, a penthouse C, soon was available, and we were pleased with its midship location and size. The penthouse C's have larger square footage than the regular suites, and we really enjoyed the expansive living area and verandah. The C category suites differ from Penthouse A and B only in that they do not have butler service, which we really don't use. Because we were Silver level with Regent, we had free internet and one hour free phone time. The wireless internet worked very well in the room. The only change we would make is the television, which worked but had very limited channels. However, we used the DVD player on the few instances we wanted to watch something. The room stewardess, Donna, arrived quickly and brought our requests for extra pillows, and bar setup. She did an excellent job of maintaining the cabin during the entire cruise, with a friendly and efficient attitude. Regent Mariner, which accommodates 700 passengers, was in excellent shape, with the new coffee bar always humming with activity, the internet area active, the Horizon Lounge busy for tea, trivia and bingo. The honor system library was fully-stocked with books and DVDs. Everywhere we went we were greeted by friendly staff, and the passenger contingent was pleasant and well traveled. We were so pleased to meet up with passengers with whom we've cruised Regent before, and meet new friends. We encountered no small children aboard. Food Another highlight of the entire cruise was the quality and variety of food which sets Regent apart from other lines. Dinner in Compass Rose, the main dining room, was excellent and had a varied menu with well-sized portions. Wines from the complimentary wine list completed each meal. A special reserve wine list, for an extra charge, also is available. CR continues to be our favorite restaurant onboard. Although it is open seating, we would ask to be seated at one of Gerry's tables. His service is absolutely top-notch and personalized. We cannot commend him enough. Besides CR and the Verandah Cafe, Regent has two other dinner venues available, at no additional charge. We ate in the alternative restaurant, Latitudes, twice during the cruise. First, the Indian themed dinner was outstanding. The menu then changed to Polynesian, which was interesting. The final week of the cruise the theme was Thai. Signatures, the Cordon Bleu restaurant was, as usual, excellent and service was first rate. Each day at lunch, a special poolside buffet was featured. This included a French lunch (fresh grilled foie gras, filet mignon and huge prawns), a German lunch (wiener schnitzel, sausages, smoked pork), and seafood, (crab legs, oysters, shrimp, grilled fish). All lunches included wonderful desserts and, of course, ice cream. On the last day, a special holiday lunch buffet was served, which included roast turkey and goose with stuffing and all the trimmings, as well as authentic German Christmas desserts and a huge gingerbread house. Santa himself made an appearance, and many of the staff wore Santa hats, adding to the festive atmosphere. Of course, Regent being all- inclusive, any drinks or beverages were available gratis. Excursions and Activities Our cruise first took us from Auckland to the Bay of Islands in New Zealand. There we took the Maori Cultural Experience excursion, which was a fabulous tour. It was guided by a Maori resident, who explained many of his ancestral beliefs, myths, and cultural activities. The highlight of the trip was a visit to a Maori marae, where we were welcomed by the elders of the community in an ancient Maori ceremony, which was moving and inspiring. We highly recommend this excursion. Other ports included Rarotonga, Bora Bora, Moorea, Papeete, and Nuku Hiva. We had a bit more rain during the cruise than expected, but it did not put a damper on the fun! We enjoyed an excursion riding wave runners around the Blue Lagoon in Bora Bora with friends, and the guides provided a great fun tour of the island as well as a stop on a motu for fresh coconut, bananas and pineapple. We also did a private ship excursion Bayliner Sunset cruise with the same friends around the Blue Lagoon, complete with champagne, hors d'oeuvres and a ukulele-playing boat driver. Watching the sunset while cruising the beautiful Blue Lagoon (and around the ship) with our driver singing was a truly unique experience! Bora Bora is a place we definitely will not forget. Although it was raining on Moorea, the snorkeling and stingray excursion was excellent. The stingrays were friendly and very active, and the beautiful coral and tropical and exotic fish were breathtaking. We explored Rarotonga and Papeete on our own. The shops and markets are easily accessible. We found the people on all the islands very friendly and welcoming, and the scenery stunning. Regent put on a special activity for all guests on Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas. The festival/cultural experience with carving, weaving and food demonstrations, along with music and dancing was lovely, despite the rain. Food was cooked in pits in the ground and a large buffet was served. Local craftspeople displayed their wares for purchase, including pareos, pearl jewelry, weaving and wooden carvings. All in all, an enjoyable experience. The schedule then had 6 sea days, but the time passed quickly with the many activities onboard. There were games, needlepoint, art classes, computer instructions and ballroom dance lessons. Speakers on this cruise were excellent, ranging from a former Washington Post reporter who lectured on the Middle East, a former British MP who spoke on intelligence and spies and spycraft during World War II and the Cold War. Another wonderful speaker was an archeological historian who spoke on the history of religion and its archeological evidence, and a former actor/sportscaster who spoke on his career. The Cordon Bleu cooking class was wonderful. This was the second time we have taken the course, and Chef Gilles from the Cordon Bleu in Ottawa was fantastic! The course now has been expanded to be a Circle of Interest course and is longer and more detailed than the previous courses. We had three extensive but fun classes learning techniques and cooking skills. We actually cooked up three excellent meals, which we enjoyed with wine following our work. A graduation dinner with special menu crafted by Chef Gilles took place at Signatures on our last evening. We highly recommend this course to anyone who loves food. Evening entertainment on the ship varied from Broadway productions to classical music. One innovation was a Dancing with the Stars contest with passengers taking partners from the dance hosts and entertainers. The contest dance-offs were the best attended entertainment as audience members cheered on their favorites. The quality of dancing was terrific and we congratulate the winners, who were awesome! Because we crossed the Equator on the trip, a special "baptism" of those who had not crossed before was conducted poolside. Actually the crew was "baptized," the passengers just watched and laughed. Now all aboard are official "Shellbacks" and were presented with a special certificate. In addition, one afternoon the crew put on a special Country Fair, with booths and activities. It was great fun as passengers threw water balloons, raced cars, and threw hoops etc in the booths to try to win prizes. The crew was enthusiastic and great sports, and the fair was a highlight of the crossing. Additional Information Because of crosswinds and a slight problem with a tender being raised onto the ship, we were slightly behind schedule in arriving in Los Angeles. We were scheduled to dock at 9am, but actually docked at 2pm. Regent really stepped up in this situation, especially because it was the weekend before Christmas. They sent passengers a letter three days before advising them of the change. Regent immediately changed travel arrangements for all those traveling on Regent air. In addition, they offered to reimburse for any changes incurred for any traveler who had to alter plane or other travel. The Travel Desk was helpful in making changes, and all guests were given free internet time and free phone time to contact family, make additional arrangements or changes. This customer service truly is one reason Regent has such a loyal following. Overall, this was a fantastic, relaxing cruise with excellent service, food and accommodations. Regent continues to be first-rate in customer service. We recommend Regent to anyone who wants to experience all-inclusive luxury cruising. Read Less
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