Wednesday, April 10, 2013

This Drives Me Nuts! - Regent Seven Seas Cruise Ratings in Cruise Critic Reviews

This is a rant.  If you don't want to "hear" me complain:  STOP READING.  But, alas, if you do...read on!
I read reviews for most cruise lines written by guests from different countries.  I read them all skeptically and with my focus on picking up facts rather than the reviewers conclusions.  I can pick up on those that will always find fault (or who find one thing bad and will eventually claim it ruined there entire cruise) and those that find the faults and then claim it didn't matter.

Today was one of those days where I just feel like I am being driven nuts by some irrational force that I cannot comprehend or figure out that feeds Regent Seven Seas glowing headlines while acknowledging the facts don't support them.  Sort of like reading tabloid headlines.

So today I met with a charming couple looking to take an upscale cruise.  They knew I sell a lot of Seabourn cruises, but they had a friend who swore by Regent Seven Seas.  As I always say, "That may be perfect for your friend, but let's see what works for you."  This, in turn, led to my discussion of why some people cannot admit they made a mistake by booking the wrong cruise line so they keep making the same mistake...or they don't really know they made a mistake because they haven't tried anything else.

Then this afternoon I receive a notice of a new Regent Seven Seas review on Cruise Critic.  The headline reads, "Wonderful Cruise - AGAIN!" and rates the cruise 5+ Stars, giving Embarkation a 4 and Shore Excursions a 3. 

What follows is the entire review unedited, though I have bolded certain comments:

Wonderful cruise--AGAIN!
Another great Regent cruise!After a rocky embarkation due to computer issues, we boarded our lovely ship and started to relax. Unfortunately, some people never found their sea legs or sea brains. A large number of pushy, rude people seemed to populate the ship--refugees from Carnival? A few well behaved children were on board as well.  The food was very good-- all great meals with very attentive service. The coffee bar in the morning was a great place to meet and greet with expertly prepared coffee.  The pool area, while crowded was somewhat short staffed-- but it was service with a smile as usual and good service for the numbers reclining on the comfy chaises!  We did not attend any of the entertainment--so can't comment there.  Nassau needs to off the list--it was the Navigator and about 12000 other passengers in port. A bit much and a bit crowded.  Our cabin was always neatened up very quickly, morning and night, and although we don't use the butler service a lot, it sure is nice to have. My husband became a convert to afternoon tea and trivia as well!  Disembarkation was VERY smooth and well handled.  Our main issue was the attitude of some of the passengers-- it was really a floor show with some of them. It created a great diversion for those of us waiting for our tours to be called!
We booked while on board for next January and will look forward to our next cruise with Regent.
What I am reading is an embarkation disaster to board a ship filled with uncouth and unruly passengers, which was short-staffed, went to marginal ports and being staged in a lounge to board tour buses.

Am I being unfair in saying Regent is not providing a 5+ Star cruise?  I honestly do not think that by any measure that would be the case.  Would I be unkind in pondering, "Why would someone be looking forward to doing the same thing again...and pay money to do so while enduring it?"

Look at some other recent Cruise Critic reviews.  The following are the next seven most recent reviews.  Please consider the litany and consistency of the misses:

http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=217932

http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=216994

http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/regent-seven-seas-cruises/cl/

http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=216586
(This is another "5 Star...Really?" review)

http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=115850

http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=115780

http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=115649

It is true.  I don't like Regent Seven Seas Cruises for a number of reasons.  And, to be sure, after reading so many consistent reviews about how Regent fails in so many areas, I have no desire to give it another try after my times on the (Radisson) Diamond, the Mariner and the Navigator.

BTW, I will be sailing on Silversea's Silver Shadow in May...to give it another look.  I think now may be the time to give it another chance.

OK, I feel better now...just a little.