Look for Updated Comments.
I was checking over on Cruise Critic to see if there were any issues or topics worthy of comment and low and behold there it was. So I have to ask the question:
The Failure to Deliver a Themed Cruise – A fewer months ago there were some disgruntled Regent Seven Seas guests because a Spotlight on Chocolate themed cruise was not delivered. These unhappy folks were greeted with others noting that Regent has failed to deliver these themes appropriately in the past. (I, personally, was on one that was to highlight caviar, but it was relegated to listening to a sales pitch from a California company trying to sell flavored fish eggs.) Regent promised improvements, but…
This week: The Regent Navigator’s February 23, 2009 cruise is clearly noted in its brochure as a “Spotlight on Food & Wine” cruise. I checked Regent’s website and it clearly states, “This cruise currently has no specialized enrichment programs scheduled.” A passenger onboard posted that she was expecting the Food & Wine program, but was greeted by a “Spotlight on Chocolate” cruise. I am baffled as to what Regent was to deliver…and obviously others are as well.
It does not matter if you are a foodie, oenophile or just wanted something a bit special on a Caribbean cruise, if you booked a Food & Wine cruise then you should have received a Food & Wine cruise. If Regent’s plans changed, for whatever reason, then it should (a) properly advise the guests of the change; and, (b) allow the guest to change their cruise without penalty or provide them with an appropriate credit. (Being pretty sure who this particular guest’s travel agent is (and it most definitely is not me) I am confident the change wasn’t passed on to the agency.)
Also, while those that did not think they were having any sort of Spotlight on this cruise the Chocolate theme might be considered a very nice added benefit…or, for some, a real problem. Possibly they have chocolate allergies, they are diabetic and it is it is their downfall, they hate the smell of chocolate or whatever. The fact is that Regent has created a potentially issue that was easily avoidable. Treating a guest as, well…hummm…not a guest, but merely a revenue stream can cause this sort of thing.
The Failure to Deliver Service – One of the Regent Cheerleaders that I have posted about (and who tends to rate anything negative I say about Regent as a “1”) is on this particular cruise. She is the person who posted on Cruise Critic and another board about the above issue. What she did not post on Cruise Critic, but did on another board is that the service in Portofino (the specialty restaurant on the Regent Navigator) “has not improved since we were on the Navigator two years ago“; noting that returning guests known to the staff were given “a great deal of time” while she was provided with “minimal service“.
UPDATE: I have read that the dining service in the Compass Rose (main) dining room on the present cruise is abysmal. One night it took 30 minutes for bread and wine to be offered…menus were though. The next night: 20 minutes…and then the poster complained. I note the person reporting these inexcusable service lapses attacked me relentlessly on Cruise Critic for saying the same things. Now you know, for certain, I do not have an agenda (as was claimed to be the case), but just speak the truth. [Please read my Navigator review posted on my website at https://goldringtravel.com/review.aspx?id=4010 . It is 2+ years later and the horrific service remains the same! ]
Here’s another unforegivable issues: It is reported that the Italian waiters in Portofino were speaking Italian to each other in front of the guests during dinner. That is not only rude, it is the height of disrepect. Such conduct is specifically forbidden on almost every line…it is even stressed in the Princess Cruise Line training manual!
Folks, as I say, I call it as I see it and I have seen this before. Regent Seven Seas simply fails to deliver consistent service! So it is – even in the eyes of a cheerleader – very possible (even, dare I say, probable) that two people on a Regent cruise may have entirely different experiences with service and dining.
Regent, if you are reading (and I believe you are): THIS IS EASY STUFF! Every table is to be serviced exactly the same way…every time. And this is not a “training” issue. THIS IS A MANAGEMENT ISSUE. I am sorry for shouting, but the failure to provide appropriate service is right there and smacks you in the face. Where is the Staff Captain, Hotel Manager, Maitre d’, Head Waiter??? How can the servers be permitted cruise after cruise, year after year, to continue to make the same blatant error? The reason is that they probably do not know any better, for what they know is “This is how it has always been done”.
(What I again find fascinating, and you have to love the Regent cheerleaders, is that they rave about how wonderful the Matrie d’ is. Huh? He is supposed to be in charge of such conduct. What they speak of gives me the feeling of a guy who smiles to a guest’s face and sticks his tongue out when they turnaround. It is baffling how such misconduct has been so effectively marketed to these people that they really think that incompetence is not only acceptable, it is a sign of great treatment. Scary!)
UPDATED AGAIN: Failure of Hardware – Now it is reported that the Navigator went dark (no electricity) for about 20 minutes; not really an unusual problem for this ship. Then it was reported that the water in the suites turned brown for a while. Granted, occassional discolored water is not that unsusual on cruise ships, but when added to what seems like monthly (or more frequent) power failures, it is just unbelievable.
Sorry Regent, I cannot recommend people pay a premium to be ignored. There are lots of nice suites on cruise lines that cost literally 50% of what Regent charges.
Please Regent: Tell me what it is that you are delivering at the highest prices in the industry?!