RSSC Voyager Cruising Review

RSSC - Regent Seven Seas, Formally Radisson Seven Seas Cruises

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Mediterranean - Barcelona to Rome

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Rome, Italy

Rome - Departure to States Tuesday, May 22, 2007
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Departure Day

It was Tuesday and I had to get up around 3:30 am to get over to the Rome Airport terminal. Luckily, I picked the Hilton which is right at the airport, so it's a short walk from the Hilton via a skybridge to connect to Terminal B (KLM). I arrived at 4:20 am and went to the Elite/First Class check-in, which went very fast. I checked my carry-on (sometimes on the way back it's easier), and packed my valuables into a bag I bought in Capri. For intra-European travel, security doesn't seem to be so tight. They did not ask me to remove my shoes and I didn't have to worry about getting out the small bottles of liquid I had in the regulation size ziplock bag. Once through security, I tried to find the NWA/KLM lounge - which in this case was through Air Italia. At 5:00 am it was closed. Some of the food vendors were open, but most of the airport shops were closed, which was to be expected at such an early hour.

Rome Airport

KLM Lounge

The European WorldClub and Private Club lounges are always nicer than the ones here in the USA. For one thing, they have every conceivable beverage you may wish, including hard liquor, if you so inclined. There are also a greater variety of snacks. Typically there will be a WiFi service of some type, sometimes free, sometimes you have to pay. Also keep in mind that lounges don't stay open all night, and usually open around 6:00 am.

(click to enlarge)

Rome to Amsterdam

The KLM flight from Rome to Amsterdam took about 2.5 hours and flew over the Swiss alps. It was beautiful to see the alps and was the first time I have flown over them (granted it was at 30,000+ feet). The KLM flight was a Boing 737 with 3x3 seating. For First Class, the middle seat was blocked off.

Air Italia lounge with free to use Macs.

Comfortable chairs.

Once at Amsterdam, went through passport control but no customs to pass through.

Amsterdam has some great stores and bars in the airport.

I found the NWA/KLM WorldClubs, but it was smokey and uncomfortable. The no smoking rule works great in US airports.

The police use Segways in the airport. Great way to get around.

Getting on a overseas flight into the USA requires a interview with a gate agent and another round of luggage screening.

Business class on a Northwest Airbus is very comfortable.

The pod-like seats have lots of adjustments from sitting up to almost lying down.

I lucked out on this flight, had the seat next to me empty.

Flying above Iceland or Greenland, not sure which, but you could see the snow covered mountains.

Terminal at Detroit

Cruise documents for the RSSC Regent Voyager.

Overall Thoughts of the Trip

I got back to Madison in the late afternoon after a non-eventful flight from Detroit to Madison, Truax Field. Overall, the trip was good. Since most of my accommodations were for two people, I think next time I'd prefer to bring a travel partner. While it's easier to travel as one person, and you probably end up meeting more people, it's always nice to have somebody to dine with and share the experience. Of course, when you book a room, you're paying as a double, so it makes sense to travel in at least two's. For this trip, I exercised alot just before leaving, which seemed to have a very positive effect when I arrived and trying to adjust to the time change (jetlag). I also drink lots of water when I arrive, since the humidity in the jets is really low. For most of the trip I went caffeine free, which had a huge impact on being able to adjust quickly to the time difference. Unfortunately, the first day touring I got a blister on my heel from the new shoes (which is rare for me at least). Luckily I had a blister kit which was a lifesaver. The butterfly bandages seem to work best. Now I carry some waterproof bandages in my waist pack for such cases. I only had to wear my neck suspended security pack in Rome, but was glad I brought it along. I wish I had brought a day pack, with a shoulder and hand-carry strap. Of course, always break in new shoes before you leave. We seem to forget sometimes how awful blisters can be. Take care of your feet, and they'll take care of you. I can't stress enough how important it is to take proper walking shoes, since that is what you'll be doing most. The one thing I wish I had brought (and this is on all trips) is a simple Japanese accordion style hand fan. In every terminal I've been in, I've always found the need for such a simple fan.

RSSC Regent Voyager

This will have been the second time I have been on the Voyager. The overall experience was quite good. The ship staff are amazing. The service is excellent. The cruise line has enacted a policy now for alcohol that includes almost all (except premium) beverages. While on one hand this is great not to sign for everything, I found that the system works better when you're signing. Why ? Because if you're signing for drinks, you get much better service. The staff is much more attentive (especially in the pool area where service was lacking) when they know they get a 15 percent tip for each drink. Plus, I like to buy people drinks. It's a good ice-breaker and conversation maker. When they're free, there's no gesture of goodwill. So for many reasons, I like the sign and buy method. The tours the ship offers are good. I especially liked the daytrip to Positano (even though it was around $800 for the day per person). In most cases, you could have easily done the tours on your own and saved alot of money - if you don't need the tour guide and convenience. Of course it's easier if you have a small group to share a taxi, or find directions to take a train or bus. If you do your homework in advance of a trip, you can do much of the touring on your own. Of course, if you book a tour with fellow passengers, you can get to know them better, so it's a trade-off on what you want to see, and who you want to meet. As far as ship experiences go, Regent does a fantastic job. I still prefer smaller ships, like the SeaDream vessels, but those are not for single people. Even on a larger Regent ship, there were very few singles. I highly recommend the Voyager and her crew, they'll make you feel right at home and always have a new adventure just around the next port of call.

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