We were going to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary and my wife's birthday. Also a bucket list item to africa. We were told and read that regent was the "gold standard" for cruise lines. The cost was over the top but ... Read More
We were going to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary and my wife's birthday. Also a bucket list item to africa. We were told and read that regent was the "gold standard" for cruise lines. The cost was over the top but decided to go based on above recommendations.
First,confusion by shore staff on both transfers from embarkation hotel to ship and back to hotel at conclusion of sailing.
Second, weather prevented sailing for 1 1/2 days. No back up plan by regent staff.
Third, dining was slow and food often came to table barely warm. There was nothing very special with the food served at any time.
Fourth, a total of three ports were not visited due to having to remaining in port due to weather. Again regent had no backup plan to compensate for lost ports.
Fifth, little things like dirty windows going uncleaned throughout sailing, no air conditioning in a tour bus, and i could go on. Our expectations of a quality cruise were not met.
Sixth, this was our first and now certainly the last time we sail with regent seven seas. Read Less
Traveling is my passion, but my dream vacation with Regent Cruses turned into a nightmare. If you are thinking about cruising with Regent you need to read about the series of unfortunate events that happened to me on my trip aboard the ... Read More
Traveling is my passion, but my dream vacation with Regent Cruses turned into a nightmare. If you are thinking about cruising with Regent you need to read about the series of unfortunate events that happened to me on my trip aboard the S.S. Mariner that began with our not having heat in our cabin, suite 735, for the first four days of the cruise, and culminated with my sister and I developing severely chapped skin, and me developing bronchitis and a fractured ankle. The trip was Regent Seven Seas Cruises headquartered at 7665 Corporate Center Drive, Miami, Florida 33126. Our cruise was from Montreal to Miami from October 21, 2016 through November 4, 2016.
We boarded the S.S. Mariner in Montreal in the afternoon of October 21, 2016. It was a sunny day in the 50s. Although it was a bit cool in our cabin, we did not think much of it and dressed warmly for dinner. The next morning we were quite cold when we awoke. It was October 22nd and it was in the 40s where we were in Quebec City. We turned up the control on the suite heating system. When it remained cold during the day we thought possibly we were not operating the system properly. We asked our Steward to come show us how to increase the heat in our room. He did, and we had all the red lights lit for maximum heat that night. We went to bed convinced that it would be better by morning. By the next day, October 23rd we were at sea all day, and our room clearly had no heat whatsoever. It was a very dry cold. I went to the boutique and bought a $3 tube of Chap Stick for my chapping lips. We notified the Steward that we had “no heat”. The Steward said he would report it. After no one came we phoned Reception. Then after no one came we reported to the Concierge. Meanwhile we re-reported to our Steward and our housekeeper. By late in the day we were phoning Reception, the Concierge, the Steward, our housekeeper, and a waiter more times than we could count. That night we slept in our clothes. I wore a silk long sleeved turtle neck thermos top with a fleece jacket, stretch pants, and socks. By morning I woke up with a very sore throat, cough and a cold. We both had chapped skin as well. I went to the salon to try to get a gentle moisturizer. Even eye cream, the gentlest cream we had, would make our skin sting. The skin expert was not available, but the man at the counter suggested something. Because it cost $186 (a lot of money to me) I decided to wait and talk to the skin expert.
The next day we repeated our efforts to try to get someone to the room. By then it was October 24th, and we were in Sydney, Nova Scotia where the temperature was in the low 40s. I was in bed with my cold all day. Still, I frequently called Reception, Concierge, and 8888 (the number for room service and the Steward). It was always difficult to know if whoever we were talking to understood because their English was not very good. I happen to speak English, Spanish, Italian and Russian so I could communicate with those crew members, but most were from other places. I tried to keep the message simple “no heat in our cabin”, but still no one came. In the afternoon, a nice man from Bulgaria showed up to fix our balcony door. Obviously we were misunderstood by someone we reported our problem to. Somehow someone we called thought that cold air was coming in our room because of a broken balcony door. The door was fine. The man’s English was quite good so we again explained to him our dilemma. He understood. He was quite tall, and he put his hand up to the vent on the ceiling, and said “yes there is not any heat in this cabin.” He also said he would try to get help from an appropriate repair person. A young boy came who after tinkering with the control got in the ceiling in the closet to make repairs. His English was quite poor. When he left we weren’t sure if it was repaired or not. But we gave it some time to get warmer. Thankfully, very gradually it began to become warmer in our room. On October 25th we were in Halifax, Nova Scotia where the temperature was in the upper 30s. Our room was still chilled, but some heat was coming through. It was never actually warm during the next week. It wasn’t truly warm until we were in South Florida, but at least it was not near freezing anymore.
Still, by that time we were physically experiencing the consequences of four days without heat. Hypoallergenic eye cream still stung our skin. The dry cold had made our skin everywhere, including our scalp, red and sore. On October 25th, I went back to the Canyon Ranch salon, and talked with the skin expert, Joanna. Joanna suggested the $186 jar of skin cream. I sampled it, and it too stung my skin. She said: “This is the gentlest moisturizer we have. Madam, your skin is severely damaged.” During the next week our skin flaked off (everywhere including in our hair). Our skin did not stop flaking until after our return to south Florida in early November.
Meanwhile, my cold and cough worsened. When I saw my pulmonologist after returning, he explained to me that the cold temperature of the air going into my lungs created an accumulation of mucus. The accumulated mucus attracted bacteria, and that made it inevitable that I would develop bronchitis. On the evening of October 26th while we were cruising to Portland, Maine, I went to the ship’s doctor. They immediately handed me a mask because of my cough. He performed an influenza test and a CBC blood test. I had a 100 degree fever, bad cough, and was given an antibiotic, cough medicine, and masks for both myself and my sister to wear. I returned to the cabin and spent the next several days in bed. The next day, October 27th, I phoned my doctor, and she suggested that the ship’s doctor give me enough antibiotics for the remainder of the trip (10 days). I returned that evening, and he did.
On October 29th we arrived in Manhattan. Before the cruise my boyfriend had purchased tickets to “Fiddler on the Roof” at the Broadway Theatre. The tickets cost $314. Beginning on October 26th we contacted the Concierge to help us sell the tickets because I felt I would not be able to go. I gave her all the details of the tickets, and was even willing to sell them at a loss. She told me no one asked for tickets. When the tickets didn’t sell, I slept all day, bundled up, and went to the theater with my sister. During the play I was coughing so badly that I got up to go to the lobby. I fell, and later learned I fractured my right ankle. My sister and another person in the audience took me to the lobby where I raised my foot and put ice on it. My sister ran to a drug store to get a wrap for it to help me make it back to the ship. We did make it back with me holding on to my sister and hopping on my left leg, and the added help of a very cooperative taxi driver. When we boarded the ship we did not receive any help whatsoever from the crew.
The next day, October 30th, I phoned for someone to bring a wheel chair to take me to the ship’s doctor. I returned to the ship’s doctor who again handed me a mask because of my bad cough. His x-ray equipment appeared to be malfunctioning. He gave me an injection of something (he never told me what), gave me some sample packets of ibuprofen for the pain, gave me an additional bandage for compression and support on my ankle, and told me to see an orthopedist as soon as I got home. I figured I would find out what the injection was when I received the “Medical Services Bill”, but a bill never arrived. They did let me borrow the wheel chair which I found easy to maneuver. Between the wheel chair, holding on to things, and hopping on my left leg I was able to function. I did try going to dinner one night because we had reservations at the Prime 7. Having my leg down for that long proved to be too painful. Incidentally, because I was on antibiotics I wanted water to stay hydrated. People’s wine glasses were filled several times, on this all-inclusive cruise, to each time I managed to get water. When they came I tried to tell them that I needed a lot of water, but again I think the language barrier got in the way. Therefore, I chose to stay in my room with my leg elevated and order room service for the remainder of the trip.
On November 4th in Miami we woke up early ready to disembark. Several days earlier I had arranged for someone to assist us in disembarking since I was confined to the wheel chair and my sister would be handling both carry-on bags. I reconfirmed our arrangements on November 3rd , the day before disembarking. Whoever I spoke with on the phone told us that someone would be picking us up at 8:30 a.m. I questioned them because our instructions were to be out of our room by 8:00 a.m., and she assured me that 8:30 would not be any problem. No one came. At 9:00 we called 8888 or Reception. They said they were running behind. At 9:30 we phoned again, and they indicated someone would come. Around then we started phoning every 15 minutes. When it was nearly 11:00 we got a call saying “Madam, why have you not left your room?” Apparently we had been forgotten! All our phone calls asking to be picked up were ineffective and ignored. Apparently when you report any sort of a problem it is ignored! Finally, someone came. By then the ship was absolutely empty. No cabs were available because the disembark time was over. The person at the taxi stand did phone for a cab, and 10 minutes later we actually got one.
My sister drove me back to Fort Myers where I had prearranged for an electric scooter chair to be delivered to my home, and I had a doctor’s appointment at 3:00 p.m. that I was able to drive to on my scooter chair. Although I had been on antibiotics for 10 days my bronchitis was severe. They decided to call an ambulance and take me to Gulf Coast Hospital. In the hospital they gave me a breathing treatment, and performed several other tests and X-rays. They determined I had severe bronchitis and a fractured right ankle. I was given three prescriptions for my bronchitis including another antibiotic for another 10 days, a steroid, an inhaler, and an orthopedic boot for my fractured ankle. I am now receiving follow-up care from my primary care doctor, a pulmonologist, and an orthopedist. The orthopedist said that although I have the most painful sort of fracture, my ankle should heal completely with possible physical therapy in around 12 weeks.
It appears their crew truly doesn't speak English, and they are programed to perform certain duties such as to smile and fill a wine glass, but if you have any problem major (no heat) or minor (needing help disembarking or getting water at dinner) you are out of luck and destined to be extremely disappointed.
Incidentally, Medicare does not cover injuries outside the US. My medical bills have exceeded the cost of my trip! Read Less
I write this review to express our deepest disappointment in what my husband & I anticipated being the experience of a lifetime with Regent.
My husband and I saved for this excursion and booked this specific trip for our Honeymoon, ... Read More
I write this review to express our deepest disappointment in what my husband & I anticipated being the experience of a lifetime with Regent.
My husband and I saved for this excursion and booked this specific trip for our Honeymoon, hopeful it would deliver memories that would last forever. While we were correct that the Regent Seven Seas Explorer delivered memories, unfortunately they were the kind you would rather soon forget.
On its face there is absolutely no argument that the ship itself is beautiful, both inside and out, and is overall very impressive. There is also no doubt that Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings believes that building a fancy ship, without more, somehow translates to an excellent experience. In fact, to quote its president and chief executive officer, Frank Del Rio, the "Seven Seas Explorer is not only the world’s most luxurious ship-she sets a new benchmark for luxury vacations and lays the foundation from which Regent Seven Seas Cruises will continue to build." The reality, however, is that luxury is measured by the individual guests, and if you are going to make the bold statement that Mr. Del Rio did you simply cannot miss the mark on anything offered. Unfortunately, the Explorer fell well short of the lofty expectations placed upon her.
As a starter, there was nothing “special” about the cruise; no “wow” factor, no special event (not even one formal night) and the new entertainment from ‘in house’ Norwegian Holdings was second-rate compared to what we had previously experienced from Regent on our last sailing. That is, when the entertainment actually entertained and did not shut down at early hours regardless of whether guests were present and in complete disregard for their advertised times.
In addition, our impressions were not unique. We spoke with many fellow passengers both during and after the cruise and apart from the usual litany of petty complaints and genuine grievances there was a common theme of which Regent had better take urgent note. The message was simple: we were treated like no one could care whether we were on the ship or not. It was almost as if Regent / Norwegian behaved as though they were paying us to be aboard.
We chose "the most luxurious ship in the world" for our Honeymoon, believing it would be truly special and memorable and worth every cent of the considerable price we paid for the privilege of being there. It was neither. It was just another cruise, albeit on a brand new ship (with many ongoing and unacceptable “issues”). In fact, the ship was/is nowhere near finished and Regent put little or no thought or effort into making our trip memorable and we are very disappointed at Regent’s apparent indifference as it was made well aware of its loyal and longstanding customers' unhappiness in the mid-cruise questionnaire and discussions with the hotel manager and others.
The “executive” staff presented with a level of indifference akin to a fast food restaurant. The attitude most notably present at the guest services desk was borderline obnoxious. We were made to feel insignificant with any inquiry or request.
The inexperienced wait staff lacked supervision/direction. For example, on the first night aboard we waited well over 45 minutes to order a cigar and specialty whiskey in the Connoisseurs Club.
A general sense of chaos and poor morale behind, and sometimes in front of, the scenes. For example, we were delayed 2 hours getting off the boat in Amalfi due to crew inexperience in setting an anchor and not being able to operate boat tenders; and the luggage conveyor belt at port in Civitavecchia was broken delaying passenger departure by 1.5 hours.
The boat ran aground and was stuck on a shoal leaving Corfu. The most alarming part of this situation is that the Captain then lied to the entire boat that they were performing exercises based on the fact that the Explorer was a new boat. Interesting considering after my husband and I felt the impact then went aft to the Canyon Ranch pool (along with other passengers), watching in disbelief the amount of shoal-wash surface as the boat was motioned to and fro continuously by the Captain, with the bow thrusters, until we were dislodged.
In suite TV shows / itineraries / movies/ lectures ran on a very limited loop with no updates after the first few days.
The shower did not work in our suite for the first 24 hours – always a nice treat when you have been traveling and cannot shower.
The safe was not operational.
No laundry bags or hair dryer located in our suite.
Our beds were not connected -- even though Regent was notified by our travel agent that we were celebrating our Honeymoon, no one bothered to check to see if the beds were in fact connected. My husband is 6’3” tall and 210 pounds; on our first morning waking up he had the pleasure of actually being stuck between the two beds almost on the floor.
The balcony door rattled non-stop. We had to jam a towel in the groves to prevent the noise.
Our cabin was located inside the entrance to the gym on deck 6. It is not accurately depicted in the online deck plan for the ship.
Regent did not provide top notch entertainment. The same lovely, but underpaid, ensemble Nature’s Rhythm was everywhere. Nightlife past 10 pm did not exist. In fact, one evening the piano player finished early, without reason, and then handed us his ipad and told us to enjoy. World class entertainment indeed!
The Hospital was still under construction. One afternoon, while in need of urgent care, we found that the Hospital was NOT even completed and one could not enter due to construction workers assembling the facility. I was forced to lie on the foyer floor, suffering from food poisoning whilst waiting for ships doctor. Once the medical staff did arrive, the treatment at the hospital was another adventure. The doctor refused to give an IV, citing that I was not dehydrated. Yet, when we left the facility he provided us with nearly twenty (20) packs of powdered Gatorade and instructed me to drink as much as possible because I was severely dehydrated! Further, I was then quarantined to our state room for the next 24 hours. Just not acceptable. We were was forced to miss the one port we was dearly looking forward to visiting in Croatia. Coupled with the fact that we had no internet in our room and limited television, what were we to do! The real kicker is this – my husband was the only person I had interacted with after I became ill. I, however, was he quarantined. I am baffled by Regent's rationale. I was locked in my room for fear that I might spread something to other passengers while my husband was left free to roam and leave the boat and spread whatever they presumed existed. Again, unacceptable.
The Internet access was the worst we have experienced anywhere in the world. The sign-in procedure is archaic and needlessly complex. The long lines waiting for the Internet Manager were a good illustration of the problem. He was surly and claimed there should be "three of him" on board. Once in line, the connection is dropped frequently necessitating one to go through the entire procedure again. For several days of the ten day cruise there was no internet service or phone service available at all -- and we were never far from land. We incurred data roaming charges in excess of $200 and were assured we would be reimbursed by on board guest services (Which never happened). Most importantly, because the internet was basically inoperable on the ship (and certainly in our room – please check with the fact that they are putting in another router near Canyon Ranch because our suite had zero connectivity), we were forced to go ashore everyday with our laptops so that we could take care of necessary obligations. This was not how we intended to spend our time.
In addition, Regent quotes in all their publications "Free Unlimited Wifi", not per person. Beware, only one device per suite was allowed to attempt to login in at any given time. This was not advertised and it is apparent that Regent grossly misrepresented the internet capabilities and options aboard this vessel.
However exciting the declaration may be, when you call a ship “the most luxurious ship in the world” you set the bar impossibly high. But remember, Regent set the bar there, Regent built the expectations, not the guests. Luxury should touch every aspect of a travel experience — if everything goes right, and you have a perfect day starting with, say, freshly squeezed orange juice and a gorgeously stiff cappuccino at breakfast on the sun-dappled terrace (as we did), then you have only just delivered on your promise. However, when you serve sun baked coleslaw causing food poisoning, and then don’t have the facilities to treat the passenger, then place them in quarantine in a stateroom with no WiFi, no shower, etc., you have missed the bar by a long shot.
I cannot emphasize enough how much we feel Regent took from us, and took it with smug indifference. Regent stole time, time we can never get back. Time we were locked in our state room, time away from the places we wanted to see and experience, time dealt dealing with issues caused by Regent's lack of preparation, time not spent enjoying one another as we wanted. With our families and careers, the likelihood of being able to take a trip like this may never come again. We are not in the twilight of our lives like the majority of your guests; we intended to be Regent's next generation of loyal travelers. Regrettably, that will not be the case.
I would like to finish by sharing a story that we believe sums up our Regent Explorer experience. After debarking we traveled to Rome to spend the evening. While waiting for our hotel room to be ready at a tiny unmarked boutique hotel, we sat outside in their garden enjoying a cup of coffee. An elderly couple sat near us doing the same. When they finished they walked by us and asked us if we just got off the Explorer. We could not believe it, what were the chances! When we responded yes, they then inquired about our experience and we did the same. They told us that they had sailed with Regent more times than they could count and that hands down it was the worst, most disappointing trip they had ever imagined. As they recounted the problems and experience they had, my husband and I just looked at each other and said, “well, it wasn’t just us.” Read Less