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How is best way to find out which shore excursions are good with Regent?

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First time on Regent and I am looking for advice on shore excursions for 2 itineraries. First is May 12-19 "Greek Isle Classics" (Istanbul to Athens) and the next is May 19th -June8th Romantic Renaissance (Athens to Venice)

 

There are several choices to pick from in each port and I was just wondering if there are reviews from others on which are the best, or most popular.

 

Does anyone know the best way to find out from past Regent customers which of these "free" excursions are the best?

 

Thanks for any advice.

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I think you'd need to mention the names of the tours, or a general description, and let people here comment. You could try doing a search on this forum too, although you might get mixed results.

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Thank you Wendy. I will take your advice. I had tried doing a search first but did not net very good results searching for shore excursions on Regent. I guess you are right it will just need to be done by individual ports. I have been to many of these ports before, but not being on Regent before don't know what to expect from their "free" shore excursions. In the past I have hired private drivers and split the cost with 4 or 6 others as have always been with others. This time it is just the 2 of us so will probably just take the ones provided by the ship. Thanks again.

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Look over the tours offered and select what interests you the most.

 

I usually do not like tours with a meal, makes for a longer tour - but that's just me. I prefer eating on the ship and like 4 -5 hour tours UNLESS there is a longer tour that is VERY appealing.

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Number one: avoid anything with panoramic in the name. That means a big bus tour.

 

I have probably been to most of the ports on both these cruises along with many other experienced cruisers on this board. If you will list the ports, we will be happy to give lots of suggestions

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find out all the details(on website) and then search here on CC for same or reviews in ports section,here on threads,etc.

Google tourist info in ea port and find out whats available.

Can make different choices for ea.port,also have been on some that I didnt care for.So we let guide know and left to continue on own(always carry guidebook,map.etc)

In general, I also avoid the big bus tour,but it can sometimes get you to place you want to go,then do above.;)

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Posting here will help but it has been our experience that the best Regent excursions are the ones you pay for (not always but more often than not).

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Posting here will help but it has been our experience that the best Regent excursions are the ones you pay for (not always but more often than not).

 

 

Is it true that the complimentary shore excursions are always mediocre so essence you actually are paying for something you wouldn't be purchasing in the first place? or is it a strategy for Regent to try and upsell people to purchase the more expensive non-inclusive shore excursions?

 

 

I thought finally our paths would meet and we would be booking Regent for next year but Seabourn is doing a 32 day Barcelona to Cape Town coming down the West Coast of Africa instead of thru the Suez Canal and then afterwards 14 days roundtrip to Cape Town over Xmas and New Years and then 30 days onwards to Singapore. We are in Cape Town on Dec 20 and 21 same day as the Nautica and also the Voyager. I am assuming Regent will announce in a couple of weeks that the Voyager will be continuing onto Singapore or Bangkok.

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Is it true that the complimentary shore excursions are always mediocre so essence you actually are paying for something you wouldn't be purchasing in the first place? or is it a strategy for Regent to try and upsell people to purchase the more expensive non-inclusive shore excursions?

 

No, they are often just fine. It very much depends.

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It depends upon your experience with excursions. If you are used to sailing a large ship where there are multiple bus excursions going to the same place then Regent will seem great since they do not fill the buses (but still have multiple buses going to the same place -- including restroom stops).

 

Luxury cruise line customers by and large dislike Regent cruises as some resemble mass market.

 

It also depends upon where in the world you are. In the Middle East the excursions were great -- in parts of South America they were not. The Med. is expensive so we have found that paying for excursions with on board credits was the way to go.

 

Lastly, it depends upon the person. We want small group tours or private tours. For this reason, we wish that excursions were not included on Regent.

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TC,

 

Did you really mean to say: "Luxury cruise line customers by and large dislike Regent cruises as some resemble mass market."? I've never been on a Regent cruise that resembled a mass market cruise.

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Some of my favorite regent shore excursions were ones I did not pay extra for, and I have been dissapponted by some of the extra charge one. It just depends!

 

We try to avoid the long bus tours. Our Lucca Italy bike tour was one of the best tours ever, and no extra charge. But the extra charge tour in Rome was very disappointing because it turned out to involve a big bus packed full with no lunch till 3 pm.

 

Our winery visit outside Barcelona was great, yet it did involve a big bus, but no extra charge.

 

Having been on literally hundreds of ships tours the best bet is to pick something that interests you. We try to mostly avoid the all day tours, but sometimes it just isn't possible.

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NYKShipping,

 

I'm a long time Regent cruiser and sailed before the tours were included as well as after. Many of the tours were and are the same.

 

Rachel's comments are right on target. The tours are just fine - certainly as good as any you'd pay for on other Luxury lines.

 

Don't worry.

 

Peggy

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May I ask depends on what?:eek:

 

On the particular excursion. You have to read the description and draw your own conclusions. In Alaska last spring, we did mostly included excursions, and they were fine, very good. In other places, like the Caribbean we have chosen the "select" excursions simply because they appealed to us.

 

NYKShipping,

 

I'm a long time Regent cruiser and sailed before the tours were included as well as after. Many of the tours were and are the same.

 

Rachel's comments are right on target. The tours are just fine - certainly as good as any you'd pay for on other Luxury lines.

 

 

I agree, most are fine.

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Tours have been fine, especially ones with a "modest" surcharge, which I usually pay for from on-board-credit I usually accumulate.

Edited by TedC

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May I ask depends on what?:eek:

 

IMO it depends on several factors. The more remote the location the better the ShoreEx. Also, the more "adventurous" the ShoreEx is, like ones that involve long hikes, water, etc. are good also. Regent often sends a member of the ShoreEx staff or other crew on the excursions; I seen them sometimes come with a ship radio and emergency bag.

 

But, the more mundane the the excursion, like in a big city, the more it is likely to be similar to a mass market offering. Although they are usually a little better in that they have water onboard and don't try to stuff the buses to full. Years ago it was much better, in that the buses were usually only half full.

 

I would much rather they go back to the paid excursions as I have been to most port and many times book a local private in advance. And Regents private are way over priced.

 

My personnel advice with any with any excursion is that if all possible never be on the first bus, or the last and when tendering the exact opposite.:D

 

j

29/403

(31/425)

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We just got off the Voyager on Sept 2 and had no problem with any of the included tours.

Visited many different countries in the 12 days and the tours we took were quite good.

 

Never waited more than 5 minutes to be called to the busses. Got right on, no crowding. Busses in all the countries were modern and clean. Guides spoke clearly. Some provided portable hearing devices as we toured.

 

The destination desk was very informative and accommodating. Each port had a local rep on board. Answered all questions and distributed local maps...they did this on the busses as well.

 

How much more luxury would you want or need?

 

I can't imagine what more anyone would want. If they want more, that's what private tours are for.

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TC,

 

Did you really mean to say: "Luxury cruise line customers by and large dislike Regent cruises as some resemble mass market."? I've never been on a Regent cruise that resembled a mass market cruise.

 

Yes, I am basically saying that. As you probably know, I am currently on a Silversea cruise. I monitor the Silversea and Seabourn boards where you will find quiet a few former Regent loyalists. The main reason given for switching cruise lines is they do not want to pay for included excursions -- especially excursions that are on buses with too many people.

 

We have been on several cruises that resemble mass market. Actually, mass market sometimes does a better job than Regent (IMHO). Have you ever had to sit in the theater for up to an hour while everyone waits for the ship to clear? Have you been on an excursion where multiple buses arrive at the same place at the same time (including small restroom areas).

 

Most luxury cruise lines do not include excursions. On Silversea, for instance, the groups disembark the ship and meet their respective tour guides. They are checked off a list and continue on to their bus, plane, boat, etc. No one waits in a theater. Since passengers actually pay for the excursions, you don't see 6 busloads of passengers going to the same place.

 

Peggy, would you mind posting how excursions on done on Crystal? Since you have sailed Crystal, you would be the right person to explain it.

 

IMO, an opinion that I have repeatedly stated is that Regent attracts non-luxury cruise passengers with "free" excursions. There is nothing wrong with that........ except that it affects the luxury experience of long-time Regent passengers. While it has lost some passengers, it has probably gained more "newbies".

 

IMO, if a person can afford Regent, they can certainly afford excursions. And, if Regent wants to encourage passengers to take their excursions, offer them at "cost". This would be a huge draw as excursions on other luxury cruise lines are very expensive. Offering them at cost would help Regent as well as their passengers.

Edited by Travelcat2

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We also moved over to Silversea, for the most part. because we did not want the included excursions. Obviously, it has proven to be a good fit for us and Regent must be successful with this plan. I don't fuss about it on beach vacations if all else works.(price/dates)

Travelcat...you made mention some time ago, that your first order of business upon boarding your Silversea cruise was a meeting with the FOOD and Beverage guy to express your concerns. Could you please let all know how the meeting went...briefly...either here or on the SS forum? thanks

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On Crystal, you meet in one of the lounges a short time before the tour is due to leave and are escorted to the bus. Very much like the way it is done on Regent.

 

If there are a number of tours, everyone is in the same lounge. The only difference I can see is that since the tours are not included, the lounge is less crowded.

 

By the way, I have not had a problem with the tours on Regent - not included or included - over the years.

 

One more comment: a ship clearance issue is not unique to any specific cruise line. All the public area get congested as people wait for clearance and the ability to do whatever they've planned for their day.

 

Peggy

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I think Travelcat meant to say ""Luxury cruise line customers by and large dislike Regent SHORE EXCURSIONS as some resemble mass market", which is of course her opinion.

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