We took the Regent Mariner on a Western Mediterranean cruise starting in Monte Carlo and ending in Barcelona. Let me say upfront..we had a wonderful time and wouldn't have missed it for the world. That being said, we probably would not go on Regent again, because of the value for the money.
We took this particular cruise because we wanted to stop in Sardinia, Italy where we met 30 years ago, and this cruise had a wonderful itinerary and stopped in Sardinia.
The food and service on Regent are excellent. Everyone tries so very hard to make you happy and I will admit it was very nice not to have to hand over a cruise card constantly when I wanted something. The food in all of the restaurants was very good. Compass Rose, the main dining room had an excellent selection and everything was well prepared. The wine list was pretty good, not outstanding, but we are avid wine tasters, so we are used to some very nice wines...but the wines were good. We also had wonderful meals at Prime Seven, Signatures and Sette Mare. You don't have to pay an extra charge at any of the premium restaurants, and that is nice, but you are limited to one visit each, which was fine. Sette Mare, the Italian restaurant was a wonderful surprise. It's not considered a premium restaurant, but definitely feels like one. Get there early, because it is popular.
Room service and cabin service was amazing. They stock your frig with beer, water and sodas and keep it stocked, plus you can have 2 bottles of any spirits they have, and the selection was very good. We had one bottle of Meyers Rum and One of Wild Turkey. We also had room service for breakfast each morning and it was wonderful pulling into port having breakfast on the balcony. Our room steward was excellent and our room was always well made up and clean.
Shore excursions were very good...we only paid for one and that was a Vatican St Peters tour in Rome...$159 a piece which seemed a little pricey, but it was a good tour. The rest of the tours were excellent.
Now..the not so good. Before embarkation while at the pre-cruise hotel, we asked the Regent representatives if my cousins who were in the area, could come on board with us for a little while before departure. They said yes. They even let us take them on the bus to the ship. Once we got to the ship however, they would not let them on, and so they had to stand on the gangway for 20 minutes while we ran to our rooms and stashed our carry on items and then hurried back. That was an unfortunate incident and wasn't a great first impression to start off the cruise.
We never went to any of the entertainments offered because they were all stage productions and all seemed rather old fashioned. It wasn't really a big deal to us, because we were on excursions each day of the cruise (no sea days unfortunately)and by the time we had dinner and an after dinner drink we were ready to just sit on the balcony and watch the waves go by for an hour before bed!
Decor of the ship....very boring and dull...death by beige...yikes! Carnival is way to much on the other side of color...too wild...but this ship was a little too...uh soothing. Also in the middle of the ship area there was a constant sewer smell that I'd heard about in other reviews. We couldn't smell it in the room, but by the shops and the Casino...ugh...
Internet- AWFUL....!! I wasn't trying to work or do anything data intensive, but wow...you used up three quarters of your minutes just trying to get to a web page. Customer service was almost non-existent, and when you did reach them they were not pleasant. I finally gave up and waited until I got home to connect.
Fellow passengers- Really didn't get to meet any. We were always seated by ourselves at dinner although we wanted to be at a larger table, so we just didn't have much opportunity to meet people. We did notice that the first few days of the cruise there were ALOT of very drunk people walking around the ship...probably a result of the "kid in a candy store" syndrome of all inclusive alcohol. We ventured into the casino one night and sat down at the blackjack table but left after about 15 minutes because the individuals to the right and left of us were so loaded they were practically falling off of their chairs!! Anyway, after a few days, that seemed to subside. There was also a very large...and loud tour group that was on board and in the speciality dining rooms, you could hear their conversations half across the room.
Overall though, we had an excellent cruise. The itinerary was wonderful, the food and service were wonderful and the shore excursions were very good. The value for the money...not so much. I priced a similar itinerary on Royal Caribbean for the Western Mediterranean and even adding in excursion fees daily, a bottle of good wine daily, $100 of alcohol daily, gratuities...it still pencilled out 30% LESS than Regent. Are we glad we took the cruise? Definitely..everyone should do Regent cruise once...then go back to RCL, Princess, Norwegian or Celebrity.