Long-time Avid Cruiser reader and frequent Crystal cruiser Edwin Rafal wrote to us last week about “jumping ship.”
Just returned from an 11-day, in-depth cruise on Regent Seven Seas Voyager. Â Wish to advise that it was an overall excellent and memorable experience. If I have complaint andI had to search for one, it is that Regent does not offer enough in way of enrichment on sea days and early port departures. The one lecturer they had aboard was most interesting but would have liked more. I would rate the cruise a 4.9 out of 5.
Ed writes that his stateroom on deck seven was great, with two cabin attendants who “exceeded expectations.” The mattress was good for his old back and he reports that he “got some great ZZZZs.”
The dining experience “was just fine,” Ed tells us. He tried all the restaurants except Chartreuse (he prefers to avoid rich French food). The wines throughout were “a cut above.” His favorite restaurant was Sette Mari at La Veranda, a casual Italian dining venue on deck 11 that is open evenings only. “Simple, prompt and good, with exceptional staff.”
The excursions met all of his standards. The guides were knowledgeable, and he sends kudos to Felix, a Cuban guide, and to Joanne in the excursions department. Both are South Africans from Durban. Ed credits the front desk (reception) with being warm and friendly. They called him by name, and when he lost his iPhone charger, they quickly found a loaner for him.
Ed still prefers Crystal for its entertainment, but Regent’s lounges were very welcoming. In one of those lounges he had his first Mojito memory of Ernest Hemingway. Ed spent his evenings all around the ship, including the comfortable library, where he spent hours reading, “without a care.”
Regent would have garnered five stars from Ed had the enrichment lectures been stronger (and more of them). He also thinks the check-in procedure could be improved. He stood a long time in line waiting to get aboard the ship.
He says the people of Cuba were warm and welcoming, but the country needed much in terms of infrastructure and development.
Having been on more than 20 ocean cruises, Ed says he would not hesitate to cruise Regent again but adds that he “will always be a Crystal cruiser!”