I booked the Alaska trip after I'd already signed up for a Venice-to-Barcelona 11-day cruise in August. On that cruise, I'll be joined by the three younger generations of my family. One reason I decided on the Alaska cruise was to test the Regent Seven Seas Cruise line, which I booked for both.
Regent and I Hit It Off
I selected Regent after talking with a couple up the street who have gone on many cruises and used different cruise lines. They rated Regent No. 1 for reasons that appealed to me: smaller ships (500 to 700 passengers compared to 2000-plus on the big boys), no-tipping policy, great accommodations, great room service 24/7, excellent food, and exceptional shore excursion. Regent's most-cited negative is a plus for me: its sedate night life with no late-night disco parties.
Regent also offers a more casual dining atmosphere than its luxury competitors. They did suggest "casual elegant" for dinner attire. I had been nervous about this suggestion and was greatly reassured the first night when I was invited to dine in the ship's fanciest restaurant at a table with two of the ship's managers. Two couples joined us: a man in a tux with a woman in a gorgeous gown, and a man in an open-neck shirt with a woman in a very nice, but not formal, dress. I relaxed.
The TV offered several channels with information on the cruise, including one showing the view from the captain's pilot house. Current movies were available on other channels, and the ship's library was amply stocked with movie DVDs.
I spent lots of time sitting on my balcony. The unusually warm weather even allowed me to sit out there several times for my 4am "joy of quiet" hour.
The bathroom was as upscale as the rest of the suite: