We have enjoyed many wonderful cruises with Regent. This is our second time on the Explorer and she is a beautiful and elegant ship. We did a back to back, starting on January 8th and disembarking on January 28th, 20 memorable days.
1. Embarkment - Now I know Regent has no control over the Miami Port staff but embarkment was a disaster. Our documents stated Terminal J and our taxi dropped us off. One of the porters saw our luggage tags and told us Regent isn't docked there. It took a few minutes from workers to find out Regent was at Terminal F. We had to take another taxi to that terminal. Arriving at F it was total chaos. Crowds of folks being directed all over the place. First man at the top of the escalator tells us to line up at the end of the room but there is no line. A woman tells us to get a number but the first guy has none. She gives us #10 and they haven't even called #1 yet. Then we see a priority line for early check-in and our documents state we are eligible for early check-in, no #s and no line. The port staff all acted like it was their first day on the job and there was no supervision. And in this day and age, Regent could have texted us with the change in terminals. So many folks had driven to the port and parked at Terminal J only to find out they had to take a cab to another terminal. Not a great way to start a cruise.
2. Cabin - Superior cabin, large spacious with a great bathroom, double sinks, tub and separate larger shower. Large walk-in closet and plenty of storage.
3. Public Room - All beautiful well appointed.
4. Bars - All great. Bartenders were wonderful. It's great that they remember your name and your favorite drinks.
5. Dining - Main dining room served great dinners. Open seating but we prefer the same server and Francisco was the best. The specialty dining rooms were reservations only but at No extra charge and they were outstanding. Our favorite was Pacific Rim, Asian fusion, Simona was the maitre de' and the entire staff in the restaurant were women. Each time we went there, the room was run seamlessly and the food and service impeccable.
Forget the "elegant casual" dress code. For the most part, Regent has allowed their dress code to plummet and folks dress as if they are going to a neighborhood diner. Sneakers and tee shirts and flip flops are more the norm. But I will say that at least a 1/3 of the folks in the specialty dining rooms dressed up a bit better. Guys, just bring one sport jacket if you want but many guys were allowed to even wear tee shirts in the dining rooms.
6. Excursions - At no extra charge we enjoyed many that were offered. But for the Caribbean we had been to many of the ports and enjoyed our own time at some ports.
7. Entertainment - Surprising good. Regent sure has improved on their lounge/cabaret shows.
IN-TRANSIT - As we did a back to back we had a day in Miami to ourselves. We received documents and info from the Destinations team on what to do and expect while in-transit. All we had to do upon returning to the ship was show photo ID and our ships card key.
Unfortunately, again, the Miami port staff didn't seem to know this or even care. There were 10 of returning on the shuttle bus, provided by Regent and a huge line of folks waiting to be processed on their embarkment day. As instructed we tried to walk in and show our docs but the female worker said we had to go to the end of the line and wait. We stated that we were in-transit, not new passengers. Much arguing and a supervisor comes over and he lets us proceed. Why the drama when it was so unnecessary?
We had a great 20 days with the Explorer and it's wonderful crew. The only hiccup being the Miami port staff on day one and while in-transit. When we mentioned the Port issues to the Regent General Manager, he stated that they are well aware of the issues but the cruise ship companies have no control over the Port or its staff. Maybe the cruise companies should go back to Fort Lauderdale.