Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
lbastida01

First Time Regent Cruiser with Questions

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone.  My 82-year-old mother and I will be on the Explorer on February 21, 2020 from Miami to Miami on an Eastern Caribbean Cruise. We are very excited and can’t wait.  As my mother’s primary caregiver, I have a few questions and would appreciate if any of you can help with the answers.  I have tried to find the answers to these question by reading  many posts, on both the Regent and the Florida Port boards but still have some questions.   In the meantime, I’ve learned lots of valuable information and appreciate all who have shared their experiences. 

1.       Has anyone had experience getting a wheelchair at the Port of Miami?    Mom can walk short distances but I want her to be able to get to the ship and into the cabin safely.   Will we have to walk a long distance to get to the ship from the port  terminal drop off point?  The same question goes for disembarkation in terms of how far we will have to walk to get our luggage and get to the transportation area.  The Port of Miami website says to call ahead to request a wheelchair.  Has anyone else done this? I should also note we rented a wheelchair to be delivered to the cabin for the duration of the cruise but we may need wheelchair assistance getting to and from the ship on embarkation and disembarkation.  

 

2.      Embarkation time is posted at 12:00 pm.   Should we wait and board after the “rush” so we can easily get an elevator to our cabin and maybe have a better chance of getting a wheelchair at the port?  We can access our cabin at 1:00 pm but I’d rather wait until the crowds have thinned out.  When do most folks board and how backed up do the elevators get?

 

3.      Since the cruise begins and ends in a US port (we are US citizens,) is it necessary to go through customs upon disembarkation?  If we must go through customs upon disembarkation, can any of you kind folks give me an idea on what the process is like and approximately how long it takes in the Port of Miami to go through customs?  Do they have a Global Entry or Mobile Passport option?

 

4.      The ship is scheduled to arrive at the Port of Miami at 7:00 am on the last day of the cruise.  How long does it usually take until passengers can disembark one the ship is docked?

 

5.      We’d like to ship our luggage to the ship, and have it shipped back home.  If you’ve used Luggage Free or Luggage Forward, would you please share your experience on the process for them to retrieve your luggage upon disembarkation? Do they show up promptly or do you have to wait a long time for them?

 

6.      Has anyone used the provided pre-cruise hotel at the Four Seasons Miami?  If so, how substantial is the breakfast they provide?  I’ve read some posts with issues about the free breakfasts and not enough food and/or a very meager breakfast in a small space that is not in the main dining room in other hotels.  

 

7.      We will have 15 minutes of free ship to shore phone time.  If my mother wants to call my cell phone from the cabin phone (if I’m somewhere else in the ship) will she be able to use the ship to shore minutes?  She is not able to use a cell phone proficiently to call or text.   I will arrange with my cell service before we leave to get an international plan while we are at sea. Any helpful tips on how to communicate with travelling companions on board, given my mothers technical cell phone limitations would be appreciated.  '

 

I appreciate any answers you can provide.  I’ll contact Regent with any unanswered questions but thought I’d reach out to this forum first.  My mother and I recently lost our husbands and are looking forward to some healing R&R.  So, I hope you’ll understand the reason behind all my questions.  If you’ll be on the February 21, 2020 cruise on the Explorer, I hope to meet you in person on the ship.  I wish you all a Very Happy 2020 and very happy cruising.  Thank you again to all who have posted helpful information on this forum! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I can not answer many of your questions I very much hope that you and your mother have a wonderful time on your Regent cruise. What I do know about Regent is that you both will be well cared for. You will undoubtedly build some new memories and hopefully receive some comfort with this trip.
 

We will be using Luggage Forward for our 2021 WC cruise. For Christmas we gave my 84 year old parents the gift of shipping 2 bags with Luggage Forward for their April  Regent cruise. The Luggage Forward website seems fairly straight forward and we are hopeful for a good experience. Your shipped luggage will be delivered right to your cabin.
 

As for wheelchair assistance at the Miami airport notify your airline several days prior to departure. Contact Regent for wheelchair assistance at the  of Miami.

 

i can not imagine the Four Seasons not having a wonderful breakfast. 

 

I do hope that you and your mother have a healing 2020 in part by having a wonderful cruise.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, travelwell said:

Although I can not answer many of your questions I very much hope that you and your mother have a wonderful time on your Regent cruise. What I do know about Regent is that you both will be well cared for. You will undoubtedly build some new memories and hopefully receive some comfort with this trip.
 

We will be using Luggage Forward for our 2021 WC cruise. For Christmas we gave my 84 year old parents the gift of shipping 2 bags with Luggage Forward for their April  Regent cruise. The Luggage Forward website seems fairly straight forward and we are hopeful for a good experience. Your shipped luggage will be delivered right to your cabin.
 

As for wheelchair assistance at the Miami airport notify your airline several days prior to departure. Contact Regent for wheelchair assistance at the  of Miami.

 

i can not imagine the Four Seasons not having a wonderful breakfast. 

 

I do hope that you and your mother have a healing 2020 in part by having a wonderful cruise.

 

 

Thank you travelwell for your kind words.   So nice of you to gift your parents with luggage transport.  It's great they can travel at the age of 84.   I hope you have a wonderful World Cruise in 2021.  I hope to be able to do that as well someday.  I can tell you're a Regent family and that gives me confidence we picked the right cruise line.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of questions.  Even though you dock at 7 frequently disembarkation doesn't start right away. If your questioning so as to book a flight wait until at least noon. regent usually docks at terminal J which is smaller than the ones the large ships dock at. there is still a bit of walking  but I've seen plenty of people in wheel chairs being assisted getting on and off the ship as well as through the terminal. the elevators don't get very crowded but if you want to get to your cabin directly wait until 1pm to board, not noon. we board early and then have lunch in La Veranda. Your mom can use the ship phone to call you on your cell. If you have wifi calling on your phone use that instead of the cell service. We use to use walky talkies before cell phones but that might be too complicated for her. You do go through customs in Miami. I can't remember if there is global entry there (I get confused with Ft Lauderdale where there is) but the process is usually not too slow as I recall. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello from a fellow cruiser, Ibastida01!

Looking forward to meeting you and your mother next month.  Like you both, it will be our first Regent cruise.  Unfortunately, not many CC'rs in this cruise and I guess we will not have enough in the Roll Call for a M&M...unless there is an upsurge after this posting 😁.  We will see you both soon!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some answers:

 

1. You should be pounced upon by wheelchairs when you arrive at the ship.  I imagine if you let the rep at the hotel know that you will need a wheel chair on boarding there will be one with your name on it when you get to port.  Disembarkation same thing.  Even though we didn't ask for wheel chair help from ship as soon as we got off long gangway they were waiting.  One thing with Miami is that ship's personnel are not allowed to take you ashore; has to be handed off to ground employees.

 

2.  I would arrive exactly at 1pm; you will miss the rush and be able to go straight to your cabin.  Your bus might be earlier but you could talk to rep about getting on a later bus.  You might also decide to take uber or a taxi if you don't want to take bus.

 

3.  You will go through immigation/customs on your return to Miami.  No global entry.  If you have a wheelchair and get a good baggage handler they will get you through as fast as possible; can be a bit of delay but usually not too bad (there are horror stories so you might want to delay flight until noon.

 

4.  Last time they released passengers at 0815 but I have heard of stories of as late as 0930.  In fact, we were at airport before 0900.  We were pretty lucky.

 

5.  Never done.

 

6.  Never been; although I have found that Regent hotels always include breakfast and I have never had an issue; cannot imagine an issue with Four Seasons.

 

7.  I think that is a poor choice of using your time but it should work.  You would need to set up your phone for wifi calling.  Too bad your mom can't bring (borrow) a cell phone where you can each use wifi calling and text each other.  

 

Have fun!

 

Marc

Edited by mrlevin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

   Last year when we came through the port of Miami, I was absolutely shocked.

No passport, license or ID of any kind. It was total facial recognition. You just looked up at a camera. I was surprised that technology had advanced that much.

lines went very quickly.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Global Entry

Last February we disembarked in Miami from an Azamara cruise (not sure the exact location).  It was quite awhile before we were allowed to get off.  The lines to immigration were very long.  When I would see a port attendant I would ask about Global Entry and told no.  There were 2 lines going around many corners so I couldn't see the front of the line.  The people in wheel chairs were in a third line, and I don't think they had any wait.  When I got to the front of the line I saw the place where the wheel chaired passengers went was labeled "Global Entry".  Not sure when or how "Global Entry" in used, but they are set up for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, lbastida01 said:

... 

 

7.      We will have 15 minutes of free ship to shore phone time.  If my mother wants to call my cell phone from the cabin phone (if I’m somewhere else in the ship) will she be able to use the ship to shore minutes?  She is not able to use a cell phone proficiently to call or text.   I will arrange with my cell service before we leave to get an international plan while we are at sea. Any helpful tips on how to communicate with travelling companions on board, given my mothers technical cell phone limitations would be appreciated.  '

...

 

One thing you can't appreciate before you board is how small these ships are.  So you can pop back and check on your mom frequently and easily, if you wish, while you're both onboard.  And I'm thinking there are house phones around the ship (?) so you can phone your room to talk to her as well.  I agree that the cellphone/international plan is not ideal for this circumstance, but since it's probably a short cruise, it might be feasible, especially if you go ashore and she stays on board.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing about immigration/customs coming into Miami. If your last port before Miami is a U.S. port (such as Key West or Puerto Rico), you will clear immigration there, and not in Miami. Last time this happened, there was no customs clearance at all. People were just asked to go to a room on the ship before debarkation if they had anything to declare. So, we just zipped off the ship, collected our bags, and were on our way.

Edited by wishIweretravelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've done 6 cruises on the Explorer.

If your "cabin available @ 1 PM", you probably have two walkie-talkie devices next to the beds - for communicating with each other while on the ship. Also , I think that the ship's  Reception desk would be pleased to relay connections between the room phone and the "walkie-talkie", especially for a "special" person.

Please post your experience; should be helpful to other passengers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/30/2019 at 4:33 AM, Sharle said:

...regent usually docks at terminal J which is smaller than the ones the large ships dock at. ...

 

We were just in Terminal J 2 weeks ago, off Oceania. They couldn't handle Mobile Passport. I'm not if it was just that day or that Terminal. I didn't see any equipment to scan your phone and code, so I think they can't handle it.

 

It still only took a couple of minutes, but we were among the first off the ship.

 

Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all so much for your very helpful information.  You are all such smart travelers and generous in sharing your experience!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/31/2019 at 11:25 AM, DeepFreeze63 said:

 

If your "cabin available @ 1 PM", you probably have two walkie-talkie devices next to the beds - for communicating with each other while on the ship. 

 

Is this something new? I was last on Explorer in 2017, and didn't have these. Ditto my last Regent cruise, on Navigator in 2018.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, wishIweretravelling said:

Is this something new? I was last on Explorer in 2017, and didn't have these. Ditto my last Regent cruise, on Navigator in 2018.

 

I was wondering about that as well--never heard of anything like this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, wishIweretravelling said:

Is this something new? I was last on Explorer in 2017, and didn't have these. Ditto my last Regent cruise, on Navigator in 2018.

Don't know when they started but they were in our Explorer suite in early 2019. OP mentioned thta their suite would be availableby 1 PM - indicative of a name suite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, DeepFreeze63 said:

Don't know when they started but they were in our Explorer suite in early 2019. OP mentioned thta their suite would be availableby 1 PM - indicative of a name suite.

 

Oh, this is a "named suite" thing.  I see.

 

To the OP, how about something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Retevis-Walkie-Talkies-Function-Rechargeable/dp/B01H559TY0/ref=sr_1_4?crid=H941ROLZU0SX&keywords=mini+walkie+talkies+for+adults&qid=1577912315&sprefix=walkie+talkies+adults+mini%2Caps%2C182&sr=8-4

Edited by Wendy The Wanderer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

Oh, this is a "named suite" thing.  I see.

 

Not exactly.  We had a Grand Suite on the Explorer last spring and never saw anything like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Silver Sweethearts said:

 

Not exactly.  We had a Grand Suite on the Explorer last spring and never saw anything like that.

Aha, a mystery to be run to ground. I'll find out (unless someone posts an answer first) at the onset of our 2/06 Splendor cruise and report back so Op will have about 2 weeks before their cruise.

Edited by DeepFreeze63
wrong date

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/29/2019 at 7:25 PM, lbastida01 said:

Thank you travelwell for your kind words.   So nice of you to gift your parents with luggage transport.  It's great they can travel at the age of 84.   I hope you have a wonderful World Cruise in 2021.  I hope to be able to do that as well someday.  I can tell you're a Regent family and that gives me confidence we picked the right cruise line.  

just to add a little to this post, I am 80 and my husband is 84.  We continue to travel all the time, in all ways.  Walking and climbing are no problem.  It kind of made me feel funny that it sounded lie 84 was the end of the world.  We have booked 5 or 6 cruises.  Hope we don't run out of gas!  LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they are in a named suite - just have mom call the butler and have him get you a message - service you are certainly paying for!!!

Edited by carlylecat
addition

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello all,

I will also be a first time Regent cruiser in Ibastida01's cruise (looking forward to meeting her and her mother) and would also like to ask a question.  Will Compass Rose be open for lunch on embarkation day?  DH and I like to enjoy a nice, leisurely lunch prior to touring the ship for all its offerings... and unpacking, of course... 😋

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Camillus112 said:

Will Compass Rose be open for lunch on embarkation day?

 

On Explorer, Compass Rose does not open for lunch (apart from Sunday Brunch if Sunday coincides with a sea day).

On port days (apart from embarkation day) one of either Prime 7 or Chartreuse will open for lunch; both are open on sea days.

 

Only La Veranda and the Pool Grill will be open for lunch on embarkation day. You can certainly enjoy a leisurely lunch in either.

 

Hope I have this all correct - if not I am sure someone else will correct 😊

 

Enjoy your cruise 😎

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...