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Is It Just Regent


DeepFreeze63
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My wife and I have loved our on-board experiences with Regent (7 cruises) and have booked two more on the Explorer. BUT, I've been aghast at how bad the Regent web-site is! I even told the President of Regent last fall during a face-to-face and volunteered to beta test for free.

Today, I'm shut-in by the snow; spent some time on the Regent site and my displeasure boiled over; therefore this rant. Examples: I trie to see what cabins are available on my Explorer cruises by asking for a "fake" reservation. The drop-down deck layout doesn't work! I try to see what other cruises I might like and a "Chang Mai" excursion link takes me to "Angkor Wat." I came across many other examples; some are silly but several would probably put off a prospective customer.

Is such web-sites typical of Oceania, Seabourn, or SilverSeas?

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I've found Oceania's website to be almost a clone of Regent's (surprise) and none of the others I've checked were noticeably better than Regent's...and some (Crystal) seemed a lot worse to me.

 

Whenever I encounter a problem on the RSSC website, I usually let them know, especially if it's a glaring problem. I work in software, too, and I get frustrated when there are blatant website issues, and Regent has their share.

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Have you tried calling your TA? I'm not sure if any other luxury website enables passengers to view available suites. One issue with Regent's website allowing people to get an idea of suite availability (not all suites that are availablle show up. - only 7 or so) is that the site has to be updated every day. This may put some features of the website out of commission for a while daily.

 

When your cruise gets close, there may be several suite changes which can certainly make it difficult to see suites that are not booked..

 

When we book a cruise, we give our TA suite numbers in order of preference. If you are looking to figure out the odds of an upsell, good luck. Many times offers are made to passengers on the cruise before and after yours before upsell offers are made making it difficult to guess.

 

In terms of other glitches, a lot of 2017 cruises are being finalized and some 2016 itineraries are being changed. The rssc.com website works ok for us. If we have a question, we make calls to get answers.

 

P.S. typos are the fault of my Kindle. It has a mind of it's own. Be. Back home tomorrow.:)

Edited by Travelcat2
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TC2, you are my favorite contributor to CC but you're defending a terrible web-site. I see so many long-lasting errors that I feel that many potential cruisers would feel that Regent just doesn't care! This problem with deck plans on the Explorer "Plan Your Cruise" option has been going on for months - obviously no one (who is responsible) has been checking if links work! I could give at least a dozen other examples.

Yes, I did recently pass along via my TA that Regent had misspelled "Norwegian" in their "Contact Us" address.

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When it comes to Internet technology, Regent just seems to living in the last century. Having to call one's travel agent, than have the agent call regent, then have the agent call back with basic information rather than just getting it directly from the website is not my idea of efficiency.

 

Yes their are times when having a travel agent do things rather than doing it yourself is advantageous. But their are many times when it wastes everyone's time trying to find basic information that any computer system should have readily available.

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But how many people book a cruise then either cancel or reschedule? When do you firm up the booking online? After a deposit? After full payment? I think the logistics of maintaining that would be daunting to say the least...and is there really that much of a difference in individual cabins that you'd book or not book a cruise based on a particular cabin being available?

 

Personally, I'm fine knowing what category I'm in...knowing the exact cabin would be a minor plus, but it's not a show-stopper for us.

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The thing is, when one wants to research online, it is less than helpful to refer that person to the telephone. There are a variety of explorations that can be conducted on a website that simply cannot be replicated on the telephone. The telephone is by no means a replacement for a decent website.

 

There's no reason for poor websites for huge companies in this day and age. I have fairly deep experience with the websites of Regent, Silversea and Seabourn. The latter two are mostly decent to good depending on what is required. Regent, however, is dismal in most areas.

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When it comes to Internet technology, Regent just seems to living in the last century. Having to call one's travel agent, than have the agent call regent, then have the agent call back with basic information rather than just getting it directly from the website is not my idea of efficiency.

 

Yes their are times when having a travel agent do things rather than doing it yourself is advantageous. But their are many times when it wastes everyone's time trying to find basic information that any computer system should have readily available.

 

Is there any luxury cruise line other than Regent where you can find out available cabins? If so, I would be interested in learning what cruise line it is. IMO, available cabins is not "basic information" -- it is information that most cruise lines seem to prefer to keep to themselves.

 

UUNetBill: Agree that the Explorer portion of the Regent website is not current - especially the deck plans. I must ask, however, where on the "Regent" website is Norwegian misspelled? Really confused!

Edited by Travelcat2
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Is there any luxury cruise line other than Regent where you can find out available cabins? If so, I would be interested in learning what cruise line it is. IMO, available cabins is not "basic information" -- it is information that most cruise lines seem to prefer to keep to themselves.

 

UUNetBill: Agree that the Explorer portion of the Regent website is not current - especially the deck plans. I must ask, however, where on the "Regent" website is Norwegian misspelled? Really confused!

 

The issue of excellence is not always about doing what other companies do. It is about doing better than other companies and innovating. I recently got an upsell email on a Friday afternoon. I called regent directly rather than going through my excellent travel agent and trading phone calls and email on a late Friday afternoon. It doesn't seem complicated to be able to search available cabins online in a situation like this. There are easy ways to limit access under these circumstances if that is a concern. Computer programs to track inventory or most anything else are the norm.

 

In any event the issue isn't just just about cabin number availability. How much time has been wasted on this website by guests trying to get a list of wines available on the ship. A wine list seems like basic information to me. These are simple things that regent could readily keep up to date if it chose to. Searching for available tours can be awkward on the website and is an example of another area that could be improved

 

Regent is fairly good in many areas, but it has a lot of things that could easily be improved. If management is serious about selling the Regent brand then it needs to excel rather than follow.

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In this day and age, a company is judged by the strength of their technology, esp by the younger generation. Study after study has shown that prospective customers will quickly exit a website that is not providing the information sought and the chances of returning after two unsuccessful attempts is minimal.

 

In this day and age of IT, it is not necessary to keep a website down for any length of time to update the available data. With the proper IT Infrastructure, websites can update data very quickly. This is just another area where Regent has not invested the resources necessary (and we are not talking about much) to provide their customers with not even state of the art, but a basic functional web site.

 

A few months ago we were looking through the website with the boys, ages 15 and 17 who are growing up in the Silicon Valley and are very tech savvy. They were laughing their way through the website, picking up on every error and broken link. The older one turned to me and announced, "I could design a better website, do you think they would pay me to do it"? And the sad part is, he could, as demonstrated by many of the other sites he has designed. Maybe when he has finished studying for the SAT's, he can design a prototype and forward it on to the C suite.

 

In 2016 there is no longer any excuse why any organization does not have a fully functionally website that provides the end user the information that they need in an easy to use interface - as long as one is willing to provide the resources necessary, the technology is available and it is not rocket science. What other luxury cruise lines do and do not do is not really part of the equation - if Regent wants to differentiate themselves as the most luxurious cruise line, they need to have a website that does not cause their passengers (or more importantly, their prospective passengers) to waste hours of their time trying to locate basic information that is not available.

 

gnomie. :)

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UUNetBill: Agree that the Explorer portion of the Regent website is not current - especially the deck plans. I must ask, however, where on the "Regent" website is Norwegian misspelled? Really confused!

 

TC - don't know - I wasn't the one who pointed that out. :-)

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The issue of excellence is not always about doing what other companies do. It is about doing better than other companies and innovating. I recently got an upsell email on a Friday afternoon. I called regent directly rather than going through my excellent travel agent and trading phone calls and email on a late Friday afternoon. It doesn't seem complicated to be able to search available cabins online in a situation like this. There are easy ways to limit access under these circumstances if that is a concern. Computer programs to track inventory or most anything else are the norm.

 

In any event the issue isn't just just about cabin number availability. How much time has been wasted on this website by guests trying to get a list of wines available on the ship. A wine list seems like basic information to me. These are simple things that regent could readily keep up to date if it chose to. Searching for available tours can be awkward on the website and is an example of another area that could be improved

 

Regent is fairly good in many areas, but it has a lot of things that could easily be improved. If management is serious about selling the Regent brand then it needs to excel rather than follow.

 

Well, I obviously don't share your concern with available cabins - I've found that with very few exceptions, the cabins on Regent are ALL good. There is very little variation between them within each category. I still maintain that keeping a 'current' list of available cabins isn't as easy as you make it out to be. I'd be interested to know when you'd mark a cabin as 'booked' - when someone makes a reservation? When they make a deposit? When it's paid in full? Frankly, I think trying to keep up with that would cause more problems than it solves.

 

And the same with wine lists - I have no doubt that Regent could post a wine list for a cruise two months (or more) out...but then a week before sailing, there is a glitch in the supply chain and they can't get enough, or any, of a certain wine. Who is going to be more upset - the person who can't find a wine list in advance, or the person who does and then can't get the wine that was listed?

 

I'm a firm believer in providing valuable web services, but I also believe that just because something CAN be done doesn't mean that it SHOULD be done.

 

I will agree with you on the overall status of the website, though - I have encountered numerous broken links and the occasional misspelling. I often let them know. They're usually fixed. But they could (and should) invest just a bit more in development and test before they take their pages live. And let's not even get started on their mobile device compatibility...

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[quote name=UUNetBill;48882140

 

Personally' date=' I'm fine knowing what category I'm in...knowing the exact cabin would be a minor plus, but it's not a show-stopper for us.[/quote]

 

Perhaps we are in the minority on this, but the exact location of our cabin is extremely important to us. It is something we confirm immediately on booking with our TA. I could see us not booking a cruise if we could not get the location we prefer. So far, we have been lucky.

 

I understand that while it might be complicated to update the website in this regard in real time, somehow the airlines are able to do it, more or less. That said, we would be on the phone to our TA or contacting her by e-mail anyway, so having her confirm the exact cabin is not a big deal.

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iguy: You can certainly find the location of your suite on the Regent website for any of the Regent ships. The issue with the Explorer deck plans is that they haven't updated the restaurant names....... little things like that.

 

I find it interesting that it is easy to find fault with Regent's website as it pertains to learning which cabins are available but no one seems to know if this information is available on other luxury line websites. Finding out available cabins on Regent is not easy and I feel that design is intentional. As I posted earlier, cruise lines are not thrilled to let their competition know how full their ships are - which ones are selling better than others, etc. The part of the website where we "pretend" to be making a booking is really for people that want to truly book online.

 

Regent's website, as I recall, is not even two years old and is far better than the last design (my opinion). We all have different ideas of good and not so good websites. I find rssc.com very intuitive. On the other hand, I cannot find anything that makes sense on the Crystal website (not saying that the Crystal website is not good - it just doesn't work for me).

 

UUNetBil: You made some good points and asked a good question....... when is a cabin considered "booked"? I certainly don't know. We are concerned with the location of the suite - making sure we are not under the pool, gym, etc. If we are on the Voyager or Navigator we also avoid aft suites and, in the case of the Navigator, some forward suites. Availability only comes into play if we are considering changing suites or if I have too much time on my hands and want to "play" with the website and see how full our cruise is.

 

CruisetheCs, we have a difference of opinion here. Wine lists do not seem very basic to me as they are change frequently and could not include the wines that are picked up from some ports along the way -- or wines that Regent runs out of when they are away from ports where they can be restocked. If, like Oceania, Regent only had a certain list of wines to choose from (a pretty small list) and they never changed, it could certainly be on the website. I truly hope this does not become the case on Regent.

 

I do not feel that all companies are judged by their technology. Some companies definitely are but, IMO, cruise lines are not one of them. Young people would love if it you could talk to a website and get all the answers instantly. Most of us would enjoy that as well but it is certainly not something that we base our cruising decisions on.

 

In terms of broken links, etc. Perhaps Regent should delay putting their new itineraries on the website until every "t" is crossed and every "i" is dotted. With the 2nd half of 2017 debuting within the next two months, I'm hoping that they come out on time - even if there are some flaws to work out - but again, this is only our opinion.

Edited by Travelcat2
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In this day and age, a company is judged by the strength of their technology, esp by the younger generation. Study after study has shown that prospective customers will quickly exit a website that is not providing the information sought and the chances of returning after two unsuccessful attempts is minimal.

 

In this day and age of IT, it is not necessary to keep a website down for any length of time to update the available data. With the proper IT Infrastructure, websites can update data very quickly. This is just another area where Regent has not invested the resources necessary (and we are not talking about much) to provide their customers with not even state of the art, but a basic functional web site.

 

A few months ago we were looking through the website with the boys, ages 15 and 17 who are growing up in the Silicon Valley and are very tech savvy. They were laughing their way through the website, picking up on every error and broken link. The older one turned to me and announced, "I could design a better website, do you think they would pay me to do it"? And the sad part is, he could, as demonstrated by many of the other sites he has designed. Maybe when he has finished studying for the SAT's, he can design a prototype and forward it on to the C suite.

 

In 2016 there is no longer any excuse why any organization does not have a fully functionally website that provides the end user the information that they need in an easy to use interface - as long as one is willing to provide the resources necessary, the technology is available and it is not rocket science. What other luxury cruise lines do and do not do is not really part of the equation - if Regent wants to differentiate themselves as the most luxurious cruise line, they need to have a website that does not cause their passengers (or more importantly, their prospective passengers) to waste hours of their time trying to locate basic information that is not available.

 

gnomie. :)

 

Amen, seriously. The ice age is over. Get with the digital universe or get out.

Edited by OctoberKat
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Amen, seriously. The ice age is over. Get with the digital universe or get out.

 

Please elaborate. Specifically, what part of the rssc.com website did/do you find lacking? When you booked the Navigator, for instance, what information was missing on the website?

 

It seems that a few people find fault with the website and would like to be able to find cabin availability easier. Yet, when I ask what other luxury cruise lines have the ability to "see" cabin availability, there is no response which confirms my belief that Regent is the only luxury website where you can find this information (although it is a time consuming thing to do). So, for posters that would like to see Regent spend their resources on a better website, why do they not admit that Regent is ahead of Crystal, Seabourn and Silversea in this specific area?

 

IMO, it is sad to read negative comments about Regent on a regular basis without having facts to back it up. In terms of rssc.com, admittedly, it is not perfect and it would be great if they could change itineraries (many currently being changed), keep track of available suites, make it easier to see excursions (although many of us find it quite easy), etc., on a daily basis.

 

Also, IMO, bashing a cruise line without anything to back it up hurts the cruise line much more than going to the website and having difficulty finding something. Those of us with TA's familiar with Regent truly do not mind customers calling them to ask questions that passengers may have difficulty finding on the Regent website.

 

Keep in mind that not all Regent passengers are technically savvy and come to Cruise Critic to ask questions that are clearly answered on their website. As a "regular" on this board, I frequently answer questions (simple questions) that a poster could find in less than a minute on the Regent website. However, for whatever reason, they prefer to ask to question here and we are happy to help.

Edited by Travelcat2
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iguy: You can certainly find the location of your suite on the Regent website for any of the Regent ships. The issue with the Explorer deck plans is that they haven't updated the restaurant names....... little things like that.

 

I find it interesting that it is easy to find fault with Regent's website as it pertains to learning which cabins are available but no one seems to know if this information is available on other luxury line websites. Finding out available cabins on Regent is not easy and I feel that design is intentional. As I posted earlier, cruise lines are not thrilled to let their competition know how full their ships are - which ones are selling better than others, etc. The part of the website where we "pretend" to be making a booking is really for people that want to truly book online.

 

Regent's website, as I recall, is not even two years old and is far better than the last design (my opinion). We all have different ideas of good and not so good websites. I find rssc.com very intuitive. On the other hand, I cannot find anything that makes sense on the Crystal website (not saying that the Crystal website is not good - it just doesn't work for me).

 

UUNetBil: You made some good points and asked a good question....... when is a cabin considered "booked"? I certainly don't know. We are concerned with the location of the suite - making sure we are not under the pool, gym, etc. If we are on the Voyager or Navigator we also avoid aft suites and, in the case of the Navigator, some forward suites. Availability only comes into play if we are considering changing suites or if I have too much time on my hands and want to "play" with the website and see how full our cruise is.

 

CruisetheCs, we have a difference of opinion here. Wine lists do not seem very basic to me as they are change frequently and could not include the wines that are picked up from some ports along the way -- or wines that Regent runs out of when they are away from ports where they can be restocked. If, like Oceania, Regent only had a certain list of wines to choose from (a pretty small list) and they never changed, it could certainly be on the website. I truly hope this does not become the case on Regent.

 

I do not feel that all companies are judged by their technology. Some companies definitely are but, IMO, cruise lines are not one of them. Young people would love if it you could talk to a website and get all the answers instantly. Most of us would enjoy that as well but it is certainly not something that we base our cruising decisions on.

 

In terms of broken links, etc. Perhaps Regent should delay putting their new itineraries on the website until every "t" is crossed and every "i" is dotted. With the 2nd half of 2017 debuting within the next two months, I'm hoping that they come out on time - even if there are some flaws to work out - but again, this is only our opinion.

 

Apparently some do judge cruise lines based on technology otherwise we wouldn't be having this discussion. I see no reason to argue with people who don't like Regent's level of technology.

 

As for wine lists, I don't see a problem with creating lists using old or new technology. Obviously passengers posting on CC have wanted a wine list. It is no more complicated to post a list of available wines than it is to post a list of available vodkas which they have in printed form. They publish new menus everyday on the ship's tv, but no wine list. I don't buy the argument that they couldn't keep up with changing inventory. If they can't track their inventory then they have serious problems.

 

IMO management has blind spots when it comes to what technology guests want and fail badly in implementation. (Look at the long standing complaints about Internet on Regent.) If the motto is only that we follow what others do rather than lead, ( i.e., other cruise lines don't publish room availability so Regent doesn't also) then Regent has poor management

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Apparently some do judge cruise lines based on technology otherwise we wouldn't be having this discussion. I see no reason to argue with people who don't like Regent's level of technology.

 

As for wine lists, I don't see a problem with creating lists using old or new technology. Obviously passengers posting on CC have wanted a wine list. It is no more complicated to post a list of available wines than it is to post a list of available vodkas which they have in printed form. They publish new menus everyday on the ship's tv, but no wine list. I don't buy the argument that they couldn't keep up with changing inventory. If they can't track their inventory then they have serious problems.

 

IMO management has blind spots when it comes to what technology guests want and fail badly in implementation. (Look at the long standing complaints about Internet on Regent.) If the motto is only that we follow what others do rather than lead, ( i.e., other cruise lines don't publish room availability so Regent doesn't also) then Regent has poor management

 

Although I have noticed issues with Regent's website, I don't think it's quite the train wreck you make it out to be. I haven't sailed any of the other luxury lines so I haven't really spent a lot of time on their websites - but from what I've seen, Regent's is no better or no worse than most of them - and my personal opinion is that Crystal's website sets a new standard for bad.

 

And comparing a wine list to a spirits list is comparing apples and watermelons - it's much, MUCH easier to procure, transport, and stock spirits than wine, and trying to find a certain cabernet franc in Bora Bora will be much more of a challenge than finding a bottle of Ketel One. There really is no comparison on this count.

 

And the complaints about the internet are not just a Regent problem, they're caused by limits in the technology. Granted, a few years back, Regent's login procedure and auto logoff were terrible - we complained, others complained, and they changed the process. But they don't have any real say over the connection speed, which is what most people complain about.

 

And lastly, comparing cruise lines and airlines in the 'product reservation' category is another unfair comparison - for airlines, there are two, maybe three categories of service and most people only care whether they're in an aisle or window. Airline seats are usually bought and paid for at once, and often within a few weeks or a month of flying. Cruise ships have 10-20 categories of cabins, are often booked a year or more out, can be held short-term with a small deposit, 'reserved' with a larger deposit, or fully paid for before sailing. It's a very different business model than airlines and the reservation system is, by necessity, different. If someone could sketch out a fair and equitable method for tracking reserved cabins on a cruise ship, I'd love to hear it.

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UUNetBill: Good points!

 

CruisetheCs: Guess we will continue to disagree. As many posters know, I have posted the spirits and wine list a few times while onboard the ship. I personally do not see a need for a online wine list as the "available" wines on each ship will differ at any point in time.

 

It is interesting that the "issue" of the website is being brought up by existing Regent customers. I have yet to see a post from someone that wanted to book Regent but changed their mind because of the website.

 

What truly puzzles me is following comment in your last post: "If the motto is only that we follow what others do rather than lead, ( i.e., other cruise lines don't publish room availability so Regent doesn't also) then Regent has poor management ". As posted previously, it is fairly obvious that cruise lines do not want to open access to the number of cabins that have not yet been sold. Regent did take the lead by not only allowing a person to book online but also to select their suite.

 

Regent has definitely been a leader in the luxury cruise arena. They had more "firsts" than any other luxury cruise line. Regent was the first to put strict smoking guidelines in place (which was eventually followed by Silversea, Crystal and, to a lesser extent, Seabourn). Regent set the "new standard" for the Elegant Casual dress code (Silversea remains the only one of the four top luxury lines to have maintained their "formal" dress code). I believe that Regent was the first to implement included air, pre-cruise hotel stays, pre and post cruise trips and the list goes on. The latest benefit being copied is included excursions.

 

While some people do not like the website, IMO, it cannot be said that Regent follows or copies what other luxury cruise lines do. Regent always seems to be first.

Edited by Travelcat2
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Many people think that the Regent website only allows you to see a maximum of six available suites on each cruise. However, if you do separate port and starboard searches deck-by-deck instead of the default search of "All Levels" for port and starboard combined, you can see up to 12 available suites per deck. Of course, you can also check the availability of any particular suite on the ship.

 

The Seabourn website used to only show a few available suites per category. However, it has been improved and now appears to show all available suites on the ship. To do a dummy booking on the Seabourn website, you select a cruise, click on "Details" and then click on "Continue" to start the the booking process.

Edited by DaveFr
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Is there any luxury cruise line other than Regent where you can find out available cabins? If so, I would be interested in learning what cruise line it is. IMO, available cabins is not "basic information" -- it is information that most cruise lines seem to prefer to keep to themselves.

 

UUNetBill: Agree that the Explorer portion of the Regent website is not current - especially the deck plans. I must ask, however, where on the "Regent" website is Norwegian misspelled? Really confused!

 

On 12/10/2015, we had a reason to contact the President of Regent, at that time the "Contact Us" section of the Regent web-site read:

 

" Contact Us

 

Corporate Mailing Address

 

Nowegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

7665 Corporate Center Drive

Miami, FL 33126"

 

We asked our TA to tell Regent about it. It was changed in a few days.

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