I have been a fan of Regent for a number of years and have just completed back to back cruises on Voyager (Copenhagen to Stockholm) and Mariner (Barcelona to Rome). There is much that was very positive about this family trip and I will be happy to provide a full report contrasting between the two ships and trips when I have calmed down following my experience in the past 12 Hours.
In short there was a problem in Livorno yesterday when it became apparent that there was a problem completing some 'Maintenance of Life Saving Equipment' We were due to leave at 20.00 and the information above was shared at approximately 22.00. Nothing else was shared but there was a very strong focus on passenger and crew safety. We eventually sailed at 23.30 or so and were told that we should reach Rome by 09.00 the following day. This morning, and in particular for London bound passengers it was utter chaos amidst a vacuum in communication I have a few simple questions that I will be raising with Regent:
1. Why did the Cruise Director and Captain constantly refer to safety. We are all bright people who understand that it would be crazy let alone illegal to sail with defective 'life saving equipment'. To hide behind this is however patronising. I would be interested in knowing what the problem actually was given the impact it has had on my week!
2. Why is it that we were told that our re-booked flight details would be delivered to our rooms when they knew all along that work on UK bookings would not even start until the UK Office opened.
2. Why was it that at 10.30 this morning, anyone booked on a flight to London still had no idea of what alternative arrangements had been made. Having been told that the back office were working on re-schedules overnight it became evident that this was not the case and that they had waited for the UK Office to open to sort out the UK Bookings.
3. Why was it that once we had been issued with take it or leave it alternative arrangements they saw fit to switch off the Internet connection which meant I stood no chance of fixing my connections at Heathrow. I did ask and was told that it was because the Cruise had ended. iT SURE HAD!! Another own goal I would suggest.
4. Why is it that the Airport assistance offered and much publicised on the Coach consisted of one individual insisting he had nothing to do with Regent pointing out the Check in Zone which in my case would open in a few hours.
In short, the vast majority of Crew work so hard and successfully to provide a distinctive and memorable experience with Regent. It is therefore a great pity that at a corporate level, Regent show such poor communication, customer indifference and administrative ineptitude. I work hard for a great holiday experience for me and my family and for Regent to have ended it on this note is not something I will forget. Let this be a warning to all of you - Regent are not geared up to deal with problems like this. Lord only knows how those that booked independently will fare.