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Old April 14th, 2010, 05:39 PM
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Default Where is Regent in the luxury standings?

Would you say they are better than Silversea, if so how or why not?

Seabourn?

Crystal?

How about lines like Oceania, Azamara, etc?

Where does Regent excel compared to these others, especially Seabourn since they now have new ships?
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Old April 14th, 2010, 07:45 PM
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I have not been on Regent - I was on Radisson in about 1996.

I think Crystal has the best food on a cruise ship I have ever had - although the best lobster I ever had was on Princess in a specialty restaurant.

Silversea is very comfortable - not stuffy. I love their tours and the way they treat, especially on tour. I am not ahuge fan of their European cuisine - don't get me wrong, I think it is superb, but it jusdt is not my personal taste (fois gras in aspic, for example).

The staterooms on Silversea are the best afloat IMHO.

I have not tried Seabourn either.
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Old April 17th, 2010, 08:21 PM
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I sailed on Regent last year from Monte Carlo to Venice. I have previously sailed on Crystal. I think Crystal was far superior to Regent. I'm sailing in August again on Crystal from Barcelona to Venice for 12 nights and really looking forward to it. I doubt I will sail on Regent again. I was only on Regent for 7 days and we were in port almost every day. It is nice that the shore excursions were included in most port.

I'm sailing on the Solstice on May 2nd also, I love the Solstice class of ship.
Looking forward to getting away, haven't been away since the Oasis last Dec.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 05:06 PM
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I did a detailed comparison of Regent, Silversea and Seabourn on my blog in September. You can read it here.

I would add that I think Crystal is also superior to Regent as its cuisine, service and enrichment programs are far superior. However, unless you book a suite, the cabins on Crystal are small.

Back when Regent was Radisson, the product was much better with a higher level of service and food quality. With its present "free, free, free" program it has IMHO become an expensive alternative to a premium or mass market cruise and simply not in the same league as the other three.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 08:24 PM
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Eric, I strongly disagree. Although I do not like PCH, I think Regent still has the best cabins at sea, excellent food, and excellent service. I will never cruise Crystal due to fixed seatings.

Marc
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 08:39 PM
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Regent does have excellent suites; no doubt about it. We have different measures of what is excellent food and service...but that, I guess, is why they make vanilla ice cream and creme brulee. There are very few folks who cruise on Silversea or Seabourn that find Regent's food or service to be on the same level, but alas there are some. Just being objective.

As for Crystal, it has three types of seating: Early, Late and By Reservation (so you can dine when you want and with whom you want). I am pretty confident that is going to change to true open seating because many of the folks taking advantage of the flex time use it to secure the same table with the same folks at 7:30 rather than 6:00 or 8:30. Again, I think the food and service is superior to Regent's.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 09:31 PM
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I know I have only been on Crystal and Silversea recently. I have not been Regent, just a line called Radisson many years ago ;-)

I will take Crystal's food over Silversea's. I thought the food on Crystal was just plain better quality; prime cuts and fresher. It is also more "American" with steaks and lobster, rather than veal and fois gras in aspic. I admit, I prefer that.

The dining time thing is a bit of a nuisance, and Eric is a better judge of the lux lines that I am - but I do think some people just prefer traditional cruising and they don't mind fixed dining times.

Open seating often leads to slower service, if you get a rush of everyone at 7:15. Crystal is crewed for two seatings, and something times those things are harder to change than you think.

I will never forget my butler on Crystal - Papa. He was GREAT! He made my butler on Silversea look like an amateur. He always brought us full meals and set up the table with a table cloth and linens.

One time he brought us a caviar snack that we just devoured - with cheese and chocolate strawberries. We were too full to go to dinner.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 08:55 PM
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So Eric...

What is it on Seabourn that makes it the best?

The Food:


The Service:


The Itneraries:


The price:


Where is "the magic"
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Old December 29th, 2010, 11:34 AM
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The Food: There is no question in my mind that the cuisine on Seabourn (calling it food doesn't do it justice) is far superior. Regent just does an OK job in this area. If you want a huge decent quality steak servedon a platter Regent can provide that, but if you want an elegantly prepared filet mignon served with understated flair, Seabourn is the way to go. There is really a huge difference in food quality, options and offerings. Silversea is also superior, though there has been a bit of inconsistency that Silversea is working to correct.

You hear that food is subjective. It is, but only to a degree. There are people that want to see a ice cream scoop of mash potatoes so that they know they are getting a full portion, as an extreme example. Some things - when dealing with luxury products - are not really subjective. It may well be that someone is not looking for a luxury product, but rather the product that they personally want...and then call it luxury.


The Service: I have never heard anyone say that Regent has equal to or better service than Seabourn...ever, ever, ever. No needing to find that great waiter. Seabourn has intuitive service (offering something you didn't even know you wanted) versus efficiently being given what you asked for.


The Itneraries: Honestly, I am not thrilled with the repetitiveness of some of Seabourn's itineraries. Regent does have some excellent itineraries. However, there are significant differences in that Seabourn can visit ports that Regent cannot and, for example, in St. Petersburg Seabourn docks right downtown, but Regent has to dock about an hour of of town in a commercial port.


The price: Don't get me started on this one! Regent (a privately held company) just made a very curious announcement that it has made its largest profits ever...EVER!!!! Couple that with the fact that Regent admits it has the highest prices in the industry (supposedly because of its now including some tours - though many are no longer luxury styled) and the math is easy: Regent is no bargain. High prices do not equate to luxury. True luxury travelers are willing to pay for quality, but not just pay to say they paid the highest rates.


Where is "the magic": That is the real question! Douglas Ward (Berlitz Guide to Cruising) is a fantastic resource for quantifying numerically the quality of a cruise line. What really makes the difference in the luxury market is how many times you say, "WOW!" whether it be a bar waiter arriving with champagne while you soak in the whirlpool, or an impromptu wine tasting, or a wonderful note from your stewardess, it needs to be something a whole lot more than remembering your drink or name. I rarely have experienced or hear of Regent having that magic, but on Seabourn the comments are frequent.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 12:36 PM
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Eric, you have some significant errors in your last post. First, regarding to where Regent docks in St Petersburg. Second, the quality of the tours. Third, the quality of the ingredients that make up cuisine (cuisine is subjective but basic ingredients point to quality).

You have not liked Regent for a number of years. You went so far as to get a couple of folks banned from CC because they disagreed with you. regarding Radisson.

I like that Paul is trying to get more activity on the luxury cruise line boards and he has done virtual cruises from Silversea a couple of times in the last two years (and Kuki once) but I don't think you provide a good rounded background to the "moderator" job.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 01:11 PM
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Actually my information is spot on...and as far as cuisine, service and intangibles. It is not only what I personally have experienced, but what is reported directly to me and posted on various message boards and websites (for cruisers and travel agents).

Everyone reading my comments know (or quickly will) that I have issues with Regent. Regent knows I have issues with Regent. To be sure, it isn't personal; it is just what I think. It is not about pushing one cruise line over another. (For example, I just booked regular Seabourn clients today on Orion Expeditions in Australia because it was the best cruise that met their desires. It is not about pushing Seabourn.)

Further, there is no debate that quality ingredients are needed, but if "cuisine" to you is, as I stated, a high quality huge porterhouse, then Regent works for you. For me and for many, many others, it isn't the measure. Hopefully, having the comparison is useful for others. (I wouldn't want to put someone who is a strict "meat and potatoes" person on Seabourn.)

As far as tours go, I do know what I am talking about. The fact is that most (not all) luxury cruisers do NOT take ship's tours on a regular basis. They will take some, take private tours and do things independently. Further, most luxury cruisers do not want to take a tour with 50+ other people. Regent does offer some less people intense tours, but not nearly what they did when tours were not included. These are just the facts.

Just to be sure I was correct about the St. Petersburg dock issue (even though I know I am correct), I found, as an example, an August 2010 post on CC which stated in part that Regent docked in the middle of a steel stock yard with container ships on either side of the Regent ship, despite the new cruise terminal or downtown dockage which will not accommodate the larger Regent ships.

Your other comments are just inaccurate. I had nothing to do with CC and have nothing to do with it now...Thankfully!

From my perspective moderating is not agreeing or disagreeing, but keeping things flowing and respectful. If people disagree and bring different perspectives, correct honest misstatements, provide alternatives, etc. it makes the board more interesting. For in the end, these boards are about providing interesting and useful reading and interaction...not a platform for a singular view.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 01:28 PM
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Eric, you have been calling for Conroy's resignation for two years. You forecast, wrongly, that Navigator would be disposed of last year. You touted Seabourn Odyssey even before it was launched. You dissed the Silver Spirit when it was quite new and working through new ship issues.

As for my CC assertions, I will stand by them.

As for Regent food, it is interesting that Kuki's last review of Regent he found portions too small; you find them too large; I find them to be whatever size I ask them to be.

As for St Petersburg, remember that there are three locations for ships to dock. You are right that Voyager and Mariner cannot sail up the river. However, they are only five minutes from the city; not at the commercial port distant from the city. Of course, I have only my one experience to count on; that is one more than you.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 01:49 PM
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Just FYI, if Regent could get rid of Navigator it would. Even after all the millions of dollars spent renovating it (and here is my very positive comments regarding same from by blog: Regent Seven Seas Navigator - She Is Finally Looking Like A Luxury Cruise Ship.) it continues to be a money pit and has operational problem. So it is not like I am looking for bad news...it just happens.

As for Mark Conroy, it is what it is: My opinion. The fact is that he has far less to do with the company today than he did two years ago. Oceania's operations have taken over much of Regent's operations. Good or bad, it is what it is. The fact is he is not the company or the cruise experience. My comments related to the failure of operational issues...and I guess I was not alone in thinking that.

As for the cruise experience, you raise a very important point. There are lots of ways to formulate opinions. And, without question, two people on the same cruise can perceive two totally different experiences. When someone takes one or two cruises a year and the stated opinions are based upon only those experiences, it represents less than .001% of the total experiences on that cruise line over that year. It is why multiple sources over extended periods needs to be considered. (Heck, yesterday I received an email from someone off a Seabourn cruise commenting on some minor issues I never otherwise would have considered.)

Input from all perspectives is very important to all readers. As I have
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Old December 29th, 2010, 01:49 PM
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Just FYI, if Regent could get rid of Navigator it would. Even after all the millions of dollars spent renovating it (and here is my very positive comments regarding same from by blog: Regent Seven Seas Navigator - She Is Finally Looking Like A Luxury Cruise Ship.) it continues to be a money pit and has operational problem. So it is not like I am looking for bad news...it just happens.

As for Mark Conroy, it is what it is: My opinion. The fact is that he has far less to do with the company today than he did two years ago. Oceania's operations have taken over much of Regent's operations. Good or bad, it is what it is. The fact is he is not the company or the cruise experience. My comments related to the failure of operational issues...and I guess I was not alone in thinking that.

As for the cruise experience, you raise a very important point. There are lots of ways to formulate opinions. And, without question, two people on the same cruise can perceive two totally different experiences. When someone takes one or two cruises a year and the stated opinions are based upon only those experiences, it represents less than .001% of the total experiences on that cruise line over that year. It is why multiple sources over extended periods needs to be considered. (Heck, yesterday I received an email from someone off a Seabourn cruise commenting on some minor issues I never otherwise would have considered.)

Input from all perspectives is very important to all readers. As I have said, I was miserable on the Mariner of the Seas, but Royal Caribbean delivered exactly what the other 3,498 people wanted. Objectively it was a very good cruise except for my and my DW...and that was on me; not Royal Caribbean. I recommend the ship for certain people, but not others.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 07:06 PM
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Hi Eric & Marc;

You both make some valid points. However, your passion for your fav cruiseline (Seabourn for Eric, Regent for Marc) may impact your objectivity.

Interesting to note for those who care about cruiseline polls in Travel Magazines. The latest (CN Traveler Gold list 2011) ratings came out late last week:

2011 Gold list for top 4 lux cruiselines as rated by readers of CN Traveler. This poll included all cruiselines (large and small cruiselines) in the poll.

1. Seabourn 93.4
2. Crystal 92.3
3. Regent 91
4. Silversea 85.2

Believe for the first time in these polls (CN and Travel & Leisure) SB received the highest ratings for their cabins (95.3, vs 93.2 (R), 88.8 (SS) and 88.3 (Crystal). Also, think the Odyssey and Sojourn (these new SB ships have 90% veranda cabins) cruiser's votes are clearly putting SB at the top (e.g in 2010 Crystal had 92.7, followed by Seabourn at 90.2).

We are looking forward to our first Seabourn cruise next fall aboard the newest lux line ship: Quest. However, my wife and I just spent 15 nights on the Voyager for a crossing this November; Dining, Service, Tours were outstanding. My only niggle; it appeared Regent is pinching pennies on entertainment (4/15 nights were popcorn movies in the Constellation Theater--movies we could watch in our room). Tho, they did have Cirque Voyager--best production show we have seen at Sea.

Interesting side note Marc, DougBurns (long time member of the other board, not CC and a Titantium on Regent, moved to Silversea 2 yrs ago) also booked the Quest today (instead not for the TA (13 nights) but for 28 nights). Doug likes the SB smoking policy over Silversea now (as SS just enacted no veranda smoking this month)

Believe both of you should chill a tad concerning your passion for your fav cruiselines; both Regent, Silversea and (am sure we will find out first hand next Nov) Seabourn are outstanding lux lines. Both of you predominately sail one lux line (Eric (SB), Marc (R)) that is fine. However, each of the other lux lines do offer an outstanding option.

Bottom line, we are indeed very fortunate to be able to choose any luxury line to sail in this economy.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 07:40 PM
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Hi Wes,

Some very good comments! Thanks.

One thing that is a pet peeve of mine are the blasted Gold Lists. They are really nothing more than popularity contests based upon who votes...which may be who reads the magazine or who floods the ballot box. I used to write on my blog about this, but year after year these polls just keep coming and, it seems, multiplying. You will note that I do not push or even really mention Seabourn topping the polls. I think it is irrelevant.

Also, I do not sail only one line. In fact, I sail many. Starting this past November and going out six months, I will have sailed on Seabourn, Celebrity and Crystal. I have done and will do ship inspections on additional lines. And, of course, you probably wouldn't know that I sell quite a bit of Crystal and Oceania cruises as well as some more esoteric cruises such as the Prince Albert II (Silversea) and Orion Expeditions in addition to the more mainsteam lines.

The inferences that I am sort of a "one trick pony" really is inaccurate. Take my opinions for what you will, but please don't mis characterize them because of a misperception due to my opinion based upon my personal and professional criteria!:-D I fully understand, and try to show my respect for, other people's criteria that are different from my personal and professional criteria.

And, to be sure, one thing that you point out is that there is a yet more evidence of a clear migration away from Regent...if not entirely, at least to the extent that cruises on other lines are no longer not an option. That is not me pitching Seabourn, it is me commenting on the obvious trend.

The fun part is figuring out and discussing why the migration is happening. Isn't that what this thread is, in part, about?
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Old December 30th, 2010, 08:42 AM
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Good comments Wes. I have sailed on all the luxury lines - not. In fact, the two I have NOT been on recently are Regent and Seabourn. I just haven't gotten around to it, nor have I been invited onboard as a member of the cruise press as most other cruiise lines do - which I find very odd.

I think one ever-riding factor is that newness seems to have a lot to do with these polls. People seem to like new ships. I like the Silver Spirit. I also think this is why Seabourn has risen in the these polls.

I doubt that if Seabourn still had just the three smaller ships that people would be nearly so excited about the line still.

Crystal, however, is hard to beat for sheer indulgence. I would take a Crystal cruise for many reasons right now, entertainment, activities and food among them, over the smaller lux ships.

If Regent is indeed slipping as Eric suggests, I suspect it has more to do with age of the ships than anything else, but I don't know that to be true. (I would like to try a Regent cruise and see how I like it).

I can tell you my Silversea (Silver Wind) cruise to Egypt was spectacular in every way possible. I personally don't really see how Seabourn having so many 7-day cruises works for them, but apparently it does. They must be very nice ships - but I find it hard to justify spending time & money flying to Europe for a 7-day cruise.

I do believe, like Eric, that I don't trust the polls much, either. They each individually seem to be dominated by the same lines year after year - so what does that tell you? So, I am reserving my adoration for Seabourn for after I see the ships. Same with Regent. Polls do not affect me much either.

I have been just fine with only Crystal and Silversea for the last few years - no complaints. (oh, and also lots of premium and deluxe line cruises)
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Old December 30th, 2010, 02:42 PM
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Hi Eric and Paul,

Thanks for your compliments.

Eric (other cruise-mates should know Eric and have known each (email/cruise boards) other for almost 2 yrs) until you sail recently (last 18 months--not just inspect or conduct a TA sponsored visit) luxlines (e.g., Silversea, Regent or even Seadream) stand by my comments.

Paul, we were on the Silversea Spirit maiden crossing (16 nites) this past Jan. In terms of cruises our best ever due to fellow pax, cruise vibe and SS service. However, the Spirit is our least fav lux ship (have been on PG, Voyager, Navigator, Shadown, Whisper and Spirit)is a very poorly designed luxury cruise ship. Observation Lounge has no bathrooms (you enjoy pre dinner drinks, then u must go down two decks (pool deck) to use a restroom ). The Spirit is designed with all pax decks forward. Silversea has a liberal smoking policy. However, with all pax cabins forward--second hand smoke infiltrated our cabin and somewhat irritated my wife. Veranda suites are much to narrow due to their fancy TV/mirror console jutting out..thus if my wive uses the vanity to do her make up I must crawl over the bed to get adult beverages. The bathroom, tho the shower is best we have experienced at sea, the sink leaves no counter space, and the water faucet is not user friendly. For my wife and I, since we are exercise lovers, find the SS facilities very poor. The Spirit exercise room is minuscule (can handle only 5 pax and an instructor). Common spa has only one unisex sauna and spa (must wear bathing suits) and only one shower. The unisex locker room is not collocated (15 feet away). The jogging track is small (8 laps to a mile)

Paul, we sail both Regent and Silversea but will be hard pressed to book another SS Spirit voyage.

Last edited by Colonel(ret.)wes; December 30th, 2010 at 02:55 PM.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 03:26 PM
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Wes, you can stand by your comments, as can Marc, but I must respond as follows...and I think it is imperative for all to consider when dealing with those that profess absolute knowledge based solely on personal experience of one or two cruises a year:

An individual's opinions are necessarily skewed. It is not those that the cruise lines know will make comment on message boards whose comments are the most significant because the cruise lines are going to kiss their butts to make sure there are positive comments.

(And let me be perfectly clear, I ask that it not be done to me - unsuccessfully - because I know the goal is to make my experience equally more above the bar than the average guest.)


Time after time I hear how Regent (or fill in any cruise line) is so wonderful on message boards...but almost always from the usual suspects or those that have moved up from mass market lines. While I am sure they had a great time, it is not a true measure for me as to whether the cruise line provided what the cruise line promises. (Seriously, we can all have a great time despite all but the worst of calamities.)

I take into account my observations, observations of others on the cruises, input from clients and others that write me about their personal experiences, inside information from cruise lines and experience on 30+ cruises on many lines...not a limited number of cruises or lines. And, to be sure, that experience allows for truly seeing changes from initial discussion to implimentation...or unplanned. [Note: I get comments from people down to issues with the color of caulking, 30 minute changes in alternative dining times, getting a bottle of wine delivered (stewardess vs. room service), how wine is poured, etc.]

You might think it relevant that if NCL provides what a supposed luxury line provides calling it "luxury" is not, in fact, "luxury". If service levels on Regent as at or below that I have found on Celebrity then it is not "luxury"...BUT if you have never been on Celebrity or NCL when opining on Regent's "excellent" service what is the measure? If you haven't been on Seabourn how can you compare Regent's service or cuisine? It takes more than being on a ship once in a while.

When the luxury cruise lines tell me my critical observations are spot on and they read my blog for my opinions and analysis, a single cruiser's opinion as to whether my comments are valid are respected, but truly discounted...and that single cruiser believes he is right to discount mine.;-)

I don't need to spend a week on the Silver Spirit to accurately report what Wes and others have reported. Nor do I deny there are those that disagree with Wes. But my experience allows me to weigh and balance the divergent opinions and reports.

I don't need to be on Regent for a FOURTH time to accurately report the declines that its own management has admitted exist and need to be addressed...and undeniably have been frustrated in implementing. (Seriously, why would I waste my time and/or money? Establish the improvements, let the reports show it sticks and then it may be a reason to revisit the ship.)

At this point you may be asking, "Why is it about Iamboatman?" Alas, it isn't. The point actually is: Whomever posts, let the individual's opinions be what they are. Disagree with facts, not attacks. Provide contrasts rather than blasts. For in the end, this sort of downward slide provides no one - no one - with useful information.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 08:34 PM
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hmmmmm so its Eric who is to blame for people getting banned from CC!!! I should have known!

Paul, when you do get the invite for the "free cruise" as a "member of the Cruise Press" can you add my name as ummm your scribe?? I promise I will behave!!
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Old December 30th, 2010, 08:50 PM
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Speaking of CC, it just posted an article comparing a Regent cruise to a Celebrity cruise. I swear I had absolutely no knowledge of that article...but I do find it interesting that I wrote a "somewhat" similar piece back in January 2010: Why You Need A Knowledgeable Travel Agent - Regent Seven Seas, Using "Fuzzy Math", Goes After the Premium, Not Luxury, Market . There is a bit of irony considering where this thread has gone. I think it is worth a read!

And speaking of where I get my information, today I received my press credentials for the Seatrade Cruise Shipping Conference in Miami in March. This is an event where the cruise industry discusses a lot of the nitty gritty of the business, vendors promote their wares and the cruise lines make major announcements. Now, it may not be time spent on a cruise, but I can assure you from the years I have spoken at the Conference and the other years that I have attended, it is invaluable when analyzing the industry and the cruise lines' performance.

Last edited by Iamboatman; January 2nd, 2011 at 07:30 PM.
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Old December 31st, 2010, 09:29 PM
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GrannyLorr, how is the flooding in Queensland? I am cruising from Sydney in around six weeks and look forward to a half dozen stops in Australia.
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"The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."

F Scott Fitzgerald

Silversea Silver Explorer (23nts) - Kangerlussuaq, Greenland - Nome, Alaska - Aug 14

Seven Seas Voyager (30nts) - Dubai - Cape Town - Nov 14

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Old January 4th, 2011, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Paul, when you do get the invite for the "free cruise" as a "member of the Cruise Press" can you add my name as ummm your scribe?? :-D I promise I will behave!!


That's a nice thought - but you have to share a cabin with me (and I have hair on my back).

Actually, it is not a great as it used to be. These days we are generally just tossed onto the 3-day fam cruises. Plus they schedule us with late dinners and shows and then early morning press conferences. If it is Europe (because ship launch there first) then this all comes after flying for 20 hours (including stop-overs).

It is actually really draining. But once in awhile I get on a nicer ship like Silversea. Seabourn has not seen fit to invite me on anything specific yet. Just a general invite - but the truth is I don't want to pay or bother to fly to Europe for just a 7-day cruise, even if it is Seabourn.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 12:45 PM
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Wes, I also noticed Silver Spirit has all the cabins forward.

Forward is generally the rockiest part of the ship - so in that respect I did find that a bit odd. It also gets the most wind.

But I still thought the ship was very nice in terms of comfort, food and decor.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 02:18 PM
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Paul, agree with you generally on the interior of the ship (xcept narrow suites, small theater) but since we both enjoy fitness facilities on board...here the Spirit is marginal.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post


That's a nice thought - but you have to share a cabin with me (and I have hair on my back).

Actually, it is not a great as it used to be. These days we are generally just tossed onto the 3-day fam cruises. Plus they schedule us with late dinners and shows and then early morning press conferences. If it is Europe (because ship launch there first) then this all comes after flying for 20 hours (including stop-overs).

It is actually really draining. But once in awhile I get on a nicer ship like Silversea. Seabourn has not seen fit to invite me on anything specific yet. Just a general invite - but the truth is I don't want to pay or bother to fly to Europe for just a 7-day cruise, even if it is Seabourn.
Paul:
If it takes you 20 hours to fly to Europe, you either live in Hawaii or puddle-jump across the Atlantic. There are many non-stops and good connections via Heathrow (not recommended) or Frankfurt. Perhaps you need a new travel agent.
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Old January 7th, 2011, 02:56 PM
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Winner - you only get non-stops if you live in a major gateway for Europe.

Phoenix only has two non-stops to the continent per week afaik, so I am stuck having to change planes somewhere in the States and often again in Europe. A direct flight to my location in Europe would be eleven hours, you add a few hours for each stopover (at minimum, sometimes they are 6-7 hours) and it really adds up.

Especially coming home against the jet stream. That is the reality - 20-24 hours of travel is not uncommon at all.
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