“Regent Seven Seas” Unbelievable Cruise to Alaska (6/06)

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Everyone has heard the phrase, “You have died and gone to heaven”.  Well, on the Regent Seven Seas Cruise Line I just came back from in May, I can attest to this saying.  The cruise took off from my hometown Los Angeles at San Pedro Harbor and went up the coast to San Francisco, Victoria (BC), Prince Rupert (BC) and finally making it to beautiful Alaska (Skagway, Juneau, and Sitka) before ending the trip in Vancouver (BC).

 

There are plenty of activities on board and a schedule of events is delivered to your room each day when you wake up.  From seminars; games; ping pong tournaments; working out/yoga classes; Swimming in the pool; golf and paddle tennis areas to play; running track; cooking classes, etc.  There is an excursion desk to go over many of the options off board.  Some of the highlights for me included a kayak adventure in Prince Rupert; Visiting the Botanical Butchart Gardens in Victoria; The White Pass Railroad Scenic Train in Skagway (This is not to miss!); and great biking in Sitka.  I would be very wary of the sport fishing unless it is prime season in the summer.  Also, you can do your own thing at your own time off shore and find many of the same activities if you do some research.  You are paying extra for the convenience and not having to worry about any of the plans or details.

 

Many people know cruises have as much food as you can eat and masses of people, but the Regent is more specialized.  This remarkable ship had Award Winning Chefs aboard including quite a few from the Cordon Bleu popular French Culinary.  No matter which of the 4 fabulous restaurants you went to for dinner, you were in for a treat.  At the Compass Rose (the most spacious of all places to eat), there is open seating and a wide selection of choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The ship is very accommodating for most any dish you request and the way you would like it prepared. If you give 24hr. notice, you can order off the menu if you have a special request but this is not to make a habit.

La Veranda on the top pool deck offers breakfast, lunch and dinner as well with indoor/outdoor seating.  There is always a combination of buffet items plus al a carte menu choices.  You get dishes you rarely see anymore such as Osso Bucco and Coco van.

The preparation and service is top notch!

 

Latitudes is a special Pan/Asian Indochine restaurant with reservations required. The menu may change one time during your stay and you are entitled to dine at least once here so make your reservations early.   This restaurant serves delicious family style entrees from meat, pork, seafood, and poultry choices along with a soup, salad and appetizers to start.  Side dishes of rice, vegetables and more are also offered.  If you like something more than another, you can have whatever you like and there is no attitude.   

 

This was my favorite place on board as everything was incredible!

Lastly is the popular French Cordon Bleu Restaurant called “Signatures”.  This fancy place requires reservations (make them early and you may get to dine a second time later in your cruise) and a jacket to dine at but it is well worth it.  French preparations and selected dishes by the great chefs have you watering at the mouth.

 

Another feature of the Regent Seven Seas is the All Suite/Balcony Rooms for all guests.  Because there are less people and the rooms are very large, the luxury makes you spoiled.  Especially if your spacious room comes with a  Butler (This has to be pre-arranged and the cost is more but wow what a nice feature).  However, getting just about anything you want anytime including 24 hour room service dining makes this ship truly special.

 

The customer service and politeness of all the staff onboard is something to experience.  No matter where you are, when you are passed by a crew member, they are very welcoming and saying hello every time.   The word “No” is not a word on board.  For instance, my bed was a single and too small for me to get a good night sleep.  Within a day or so after I talked with the Hotel Director (Giuseppe Ginanneschi), he was so kind and accommodating and a bigger bed was brought in.  Another example that comes to mind is one time during a breakfast at La Veranda.  The buffet was coming to an end and the manager there, Fritz, saw me looking for a yogurt.  He asked if I found what I wanted and I asked if they had a blueberry flavored one as they had that the day before.  There were none left so he stopped what he was doing and had on of his servers go to the bottom gallery to get one right away. I just inquired and was ok with what they had but the staff goes out of their way to make you feel completely satisfied. I was blown away and within 5 minutes I had a blueberry yogurt at my table.

 

The staff, servers, & matre de’s were so attentive, courteous and polite, you get spoiled quickly.  The only blemish were the singers and dancers who were quite standoffish with bad social skills except for maybe one or two of the males. Many times they were supposed to be social with the guests but it wasn’t a natural fit for them as it seemed like they were more on board to do their performance, make money and keep to their own.  Their shows ended up being very entertaining and joyable to watch.  They traded off with the very funny and charming Mark Merchant (Ventriloquist Extraordinaire); a couple of onboard talented piano players backed up by the Mariner 5 Live Music Band.  All the shows started at after your dinner at one of the 4 fabulous restaurants.

 

Many of the Suites as I mentioned before come with a Butler, who is at your beck and call.  Between the incredible service, gourmet food, view from your room and excursions on shore, you will be pampered like never before.  The house cleaning staff (mostly from the Philippians) was some of the nicest people I have ever met plus they did a splendid job.

 

After you pay your cruise fee, most everything is included except off ship excursions ( you get a list and book explaining them all in depth so you know what to choose from before you go); drinks at the bar when you are not eating lunch or dinner are extra.  There is no tipping and you never have to bring your wallet or credit card when walking around the ship.  You give your credit card at the start of the cruise and only extras are charged such as Spa treatments which were excellent, art purchases,  photos, internet and phone calls.

One will be hard pressed to find a better overall Cruise line.

 

For more information, schedules, pricing and cruise destinations, please visit Regent Seven Seas comprehensive website at www.rssc.com