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czardas

Top Tips for Regent First Time Cruisers

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G’day, In a few weeks I will be finally taking my first Regent cruise to Alaska. As this board has a wealth of loyal Regent cruisers, often the basic information isn’t relayed in threads, because you’ve all done it before etc. So, what are your top tips for first time “Newbies”? 

 

Information, such as best times to board, disembarkation at Ports and the process, Restaurants,  Do we carry our room keys on lanyards, Cabins, Room Service, Pre & Post dinner entertainment, what to expect etc. etc.

 

Or what did you wish you’d know before sailing with Regent?

 

This can be a fun thread and help first timers a lot, so please join in. 

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For boarding the ship do it as soon as you can to enjoy your first day.  We always do are own Car or taxi to the dock to avoid all the crowds.  We always take late flights out so we usually get off last, again to avoid the crowds and the mess in general.

You don't need a lanyard because you don't need to show your card except for getting on or off the ship. Only the spa and gift shop needs to see it.

Room Service is like any hotel room service.  Entertainment isn't much, nice cocktails and nibbles passed around.  I think the most important thing is to enjoy yourself and relax, don't let the little that may go wrong trouble you-life is to short for that. Always😊

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A couple of first time Regent cruisers who are sailing with us on Mariner right now have said the same thing - several things they'd have liked to have known before they boarded would have been useful.

 

My first suggestion which one of them shared with me:   How lovely it is to meet someone interesting in Trivia, around a shared table or perhaps sitting at an adjacent table and be able to suggest meeting up for lunch or dinner sometime.  Sounds obvious to those of us who are used to doing such a thing, but perhaps not quite so to people new to Regent.  This sociable aspect of Regent is something we enjoy and we have several dear friends as a result.  

 

Hope this turns into a useful thread!

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As was said, get on early embarkation day. You will be given a sheet of paper that tells what restaurants are open. If there are 2 of you sit at a table for 4.  Don’t hesitate to invite someone you see looking for a table to join you. 

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Lanyards are really not used for the reason indicated. 

 

The food on Regent is so good that there are times when it is difficult to make a decision. So, keep in mind that you can order an appetizer portion of a main course or a main portion of an appetizer.  This is particularly good to do in Prime 7. Their crab legs are amazing but we typically do not went them as a main course so we get an appetizer portion and share it.  Of course you can order double portions of anything.

 

We like to go to the Observation Lounge before dinner. We enjoy the piano music and they serve hors d'oeuvres starting at 6:00 pm.   Other lounges have entertainment but many times the ship is departing at 6 pm and you will have a great view.

 

Enjoy every moment of your Regent cruise😁

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, ronrick1943 said:

 

You don't need a lanyard because you don't need to show your card except for getting on or off the ship. Only the spa and gift shop needs to see it.

😊

Sorry for the dumb question but how do you access your cabin, if you don’t have a card?

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4 minutes ago, czardas said:

Sorry for the dumb question but how do you access your cabin, if you don’t have a card?

You do get a card which you use to access your suite.  It is approximately the size of a credit card and it is kept in a small fold over gizmo that fits nicely in a pocket.

 

Dave

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Please know too  that there really is no rush to be first on board, first to do this or that...relax and know that it will all still be there for you, just as you like it (not necessarily how the menu states).  Take your time, savour the good things and if something isn't how you'd like it to be, then ask nicely and it will surely be made differently/replaced.  Regent is not for the grabbing but for the slower appreciation and enjoyment. I say this having just returned from dinner at 11pm, enjoying the company of a table full of interesting people, staff who were prepared to play along with us and who were happy that we didn't mind waiting a while when they were busy.  The conversation was fascinating, the food great and our preferred wine was flowing freely.  Did i mention fhat there was at least a twenty five year age gap between the youngest and oldest at the table?  Be prepared to go with the flow and to be open to possibilities and you will have a wonderful time!

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Before we took our first Regent cruise in 2004 (also to Alaska...) I read on CC that taking a highlighter was a good idea and my goodness WHAT a great idea it has been for me ever since.   Every night "Passages" - the daily newsletter with all the activities listed in it - will be put on your bed.  Go through it carefully and highlight the activities and lectures you want to participate in or attend.   It also gives info about opening hours of restaurants etc.  A highlighter makes finding this info quickly a lot easier.

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Very early in your cruise go up to the top deck and walk around it.  Then go down one deck and do the same.  Continue until you run out of decks.  Some decks are just cabins, and can be skipped: maps by the elevators will tell you which decks they are. Then you will at least roughly know where everything is on the ship.

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We actually use the key card holder as a wallet when we go assure.  It will hold a credit card and some cash.  We also keep both of our key cards in the same holder.  One less thing to lose.  The written instructions say each person should hold their own key card when disembarking/embarking but we have had no problem with one person holding both.  It is always the person in front.  Some ports want to see your key card before you enter the terminal.  We wait while couples are looking for their key cards.  We always have ours together which is faster.

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Just thought of another helpful thing.  On shore excursions, if you meet people you want to spend time with and you are on the same tour, give them your tour tickets.  It only takes one person to pick up the bus tickets.  That way you are on the same bus.  We send one person into the theater to get the tickets and the rest of us wait in the lounge.  When the ticket holder comes out, we know it is time for us to disembark.  Much more comfortable waiting in the lounge.   

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Attend the block party.  It's great fun and a wonderful way to meet your neighbors. 

Also, you can special order a dish if you give the chef at least 24 hours' notice.  For example, on a Caribbean cruise we requested conch fritters or conch chowder.  We didn't care which he prepared.  Turns out he made enough conch chowder to list it as a menu item for dinner one night.  It was delicious!

Be prepared to be spoiled, and have a wonderful time!

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If you are in a regular suite, you can call Regent to get your room stocked with your favorite libations.  

 

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8 hours ago, Gilly said:

Please know too  that...."There really is no rush to be first on board, first to do this or that...relax and know that it will all still be there for you, just as you like it (not necessarily how the menu states).  Take your time, savour the good things and if something isn't how you'd like it to be, then ask nicely and it will surely be made differently/replaced.  Regent is not for the grabbing but for the slower appreciation and enjoyment." ....I say this having just returned from dinner at 11pm, enjoying the company of a table full of interesting people, staff who were prepared to play along with us and who were happy that we didn't mind waiting a while when they were busy.  The conversation was fascinating, the food great and our preferred wine was flowing freely.  Did i mention fhat there was at least a twenty five year age gap between the youngest and oldest at the table?  Be prepared to go with the flow and to be open to possibilities and you will have a wonderful time!

Gilly, Your quote should be chiseled into granite (or brass) and mounted prominently on a wall in each ship's main reception hall!  It's also worthy of being printed at the top of the page of the first issue of "Passages" at the beginning of every cruise. Regards

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Agree with Gilly except that if you want a window seat in Compass Rose, it helps to get there early (6:30 p.m.)

 

This reminds me of two special days - the day of the Captain's Reception (generally the 2nd night onboard) and the Captain's Farewell (generally the second to the last night).  These events are fun to attend, however, at the conclusion of the event, a couple of hundred people head to Compass Rose so the restaurant gets rather swamped within 10 minutes.  There are some special menu items for these nights and it is a big draw for passengers.

 

One of the favorite dishes on Regent is the Miso Glazed Sea Bass.  This is almost always served the night of the Seven Seas Society party (for passengers who have cruised with Regent previously).  We tend to skip that and arrive in Compass Rose before the party ends so that we can be seated quickly.  

 

 

 

 

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Hi Czardas. We were in your shoes in January and thanks to this forum and the friendliness of Regent Cruiser we received lots of good information prior to taking our first cruise.

Regent cruisers are the most friendly folk we have cruised with, with people greeting and smiling at you from day one.

Ask to share a table and you will find that the conversation flows freely.

There are free laundry rooms on most decks that have cabins and we found that if we popped a washer of laundry in, on our way to breakfast in Compass Rose, it was no hardship to pop out if we hadn't finished by the time it had finished washing and pop it in the dryer. This way it was never a chore doing the laundry.

 

The other thing we wished we had known was just how good the whole experience of a Regent Cruise and that you will finish the cruise either with another booked or working out how to book another.

 

Have a fantastic time.

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My first Regent cruise was last fall: 28 days from Vancouver to Miami via Alaska and the Panama Canal on the Mariner.  I read the boards here mostly -- and I've read the responses here so far and agree with them.  

 

DEFINITELY attend the block party.  I travel solo and I'm a bit of an introvert, so meeting people can be a little tricky.  Not so on Regent.  Folks are friendly, and it's easy to get to know people in a smaller group setting.  You always have options -- in seating, food/drink, etc. -- just ask.  

 

The size of the ship means that there won't be an overwhelming "horde" of people all trying to get to the same place at the same time.  (I've also cruised on Holland America on their "mid-size" ships -- ~1400 passengers -- and the difference in size is major!).  

 

I did not use a lanyard although I DID use one on my Holland America cruises.  I just kept my key card in its holder in my pocket and made sure I put it in the same place every time I re-entered my cabin (I have a tendency to ... lose things ... if I'm not careful to get into a habit of putting them in specific places ... ).  

 

There's just a nice comforting elegance about the Mariner (and I suspect all RSSC ships) -- nicely laid out, easy to get around, and a sense of "we're here to take care of you."  I had such an amazing time on that first RSSC cruise that on day 12 of the 28-day itinerary, I visited the future cruise consultant and booked the 2020 World Cruise -- same ship, same cabin even.

 

Lana in Bellingham, WA

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14 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

 One of the favorite dishes on Regent is the Miso Glazed Sea Bass.

 

Which you can have on any night you wish, if ordered in advance.

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2 hours ago, Gilly said:

 

Which you can have on any night you wish, if ordered in advance.

Oohhhh I didn’t know that. Yum 😋 Thank you

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Just to jump on a couple of items already mentioned, by all means, if you enjoy your cruise, go see the future cruise consultant and make a reservation at a slightly discounted rate. Or you can by a future cruise credit to be applied whenever you decide to book a cruise. You also have a month after the cruise to book and receive the same credit. 

Call your TA or Regent in advance with a request for liquor of your choice along with mixers for you cabin. We normally get a bottle of Hendricks Gin in our cabin. 

If you like a particular wait staff in Compass Rose, you can request to be seated with them.  

As soon as possible, go see the dining reservations desk located past the Coffee Connection and try to book additional reservations in Prime 7 or Chartreuse. 

Make sure you make your tour reservations as soon as allowable by Regent to ensure availability of your wishes. 

Go to the Mariner Lounge before dinner and sit on the right hand bar stool (my favorite) and have a drink for me. 

Prepare to meet cruise friends for life. 

Z and TB

 

Edited by Zqueeze1

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Hi all, we have our 2nd Regent cruise booked for Sept, Greece-  (first was waay back when we were stuck in Padua when the Iceland volcano blew) I'd like to know if there is a charge for any of the restaurants and how much. 

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41 minutes ago, silkismom said:

Hi all, we have our 2nd Regent cruise booked for Sept, Greece-  (first was waay back when we were stuck in Padua when the Iceland volcano blew) I'd like to know if there is a charge for any of the restaurants and how much. 

@silkismom,  no additional charges for any of the restaurants on Regent ships 🙂

 

 

@czardas,

All good advice in previous posts, especially from @Gilly to take your time to absorb the ambience on-board.

 

My main tip is to remember to ask a member of Regent staff if something is not to your liking or you feel you are missing something that you feel should have been provided. Most officers and crew will go out of their way to make your vacation special.

 

A couple of things at dinner that some guests new to Regent do not immediately realise:

  • iced water will be offered as a matter of course. If you would prefer bottled water, still or sparkling, simply ask the server.
  • each evening there is a featured white wine and red wine. If the wines offered are not to your taste, ask for an alternative.

 

Hope you have a fabulous cruise.

Edited by flossie009

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Alternative wines are always available.

I'm so glad someone on this board told me about the miso glazed sea bass.  It was lovely.

The block party is good fun.  Be sure to participate.

The staff is well trained and filled with really nice people.

Don't take a shower when anchored.  The drain won't work properly.

If you need any special accommodation with diet, go to the reservations desk.  They will create a standing order.

Don't be in a hurry to do anything.  There's plenty for everyone.

Now is the time to experiment with unfamiliar cocktails.  DH has discovered that he likes Cosmopolitans.  

There are chair hogs on Regent and I still don't know how to deal with them.

It's hard to spend money aboard ship.

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Thank you, really looking forward to this cruise. We've been doing Azamara and Celebrity the past few years and looking for a change.

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