We decided to try a 26 day cruise on Regent Seven Seas Mariner that started on Monte Carlo and ended in Buenos Aires. Our Regent arranged air from Oklahoma thru Chicago and then direct to Frankfort and then a short flight to Nice, France went very well. It helps travelling in Business Class. Only problem surfaced in Nice -- we were missing one suitcase. The Regent rep helped us and another couple complete the paperwork and both of us got our bags delivered before we departed Monte Carlo.
We were bussed to Monte Carlo with a pleasant guide pointing thinks out during our 1 hour drive. The Fairmont Hotel where Regent booked us was a fabulous hotel, but the check in process was not customer-friendly. We arrived at 10AM and were provided a "home-base hospitality room" where our bags were stored and watched. None of the 70-80 people could check in until 3PM - not sure why hotel could not have checked couples into their rooms as they freed up. Our room was very nice and our balcony overlooked the harbor and we could see our ship.
We got smoothly bussed to the ship on 11/9 and embarkation was quick and short as we were processed through the Constellation Theater after our glass of champagne. It felt like we had returned to our 2nd home (our 3rd Regent Cruise)
We ate most of our meals in Compass Rose, which we enjoyed. Menu is quite varied, wine selection was great (and you can always ask for an alternate) and the service was always great. Our favorite waiter was Melvin, who got moved to Signature's during the voyage. Prime 7 was great and Setti Mari was wonderful, but way too much food. Loved the carbonara!! Ate lunch on Veranda most days and had room service every morning around 6:30am.
Although the entertainment is limited, we always enjoyed it and went to the big show most every night. Our Cruise Director, Lorraine, did a wonderful job,the orchestra was very talented and the dance/singing troupes were really good.
The ports in Spain were great (Barcelona, Cartegena, and Malaga} were enjoyable, but disliked Moroccan ports (Casablanca and Agadir). As we crossed the Atlantic we stopped at Canary Islands and Cape Verde Islands and they were fun - not fantastic.
We were very disappointed with Brazilian Ports - not much to see and not really very tourist friendly -- except Rio De Janiero, where we hired a guide and car thru Regent. That was great except weather was overcast and never got to see Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks Rio. Great city.
Our ports in Uruguay (Punta del Este and Montevideo) were great. Spent a day in a ranch hosted by the family -- 3000 acres. Great excursion and got to see Montevideo enroute. Buenos Aires was also great - especially the Tango Night excursion.
Sea Days were wonderful - very critical on this trip. We had fabulous weather and surprisingly the seas were never rough. Lots of swimming, sunning, and great poolside drinks!! Used the workout rooms many times, Library and Coffee Connection were nice places to relax and chat. Spent time in the computer center and the help there was good -- but coverage is slow. That is normal.
Our Penthouse Suite was awesome - lots of space, good balcony and first class butler service -- which was really tested when we we quarantined in our room for the 3rd day while we dealt with a virus. Doctor and nurse were wonderful too.
Our disembarkation in BA went well, but we had a 12 hour wait for our flight back to Dallas and then Tulsa. We had a hospitality Room at the Sheraton Hotel which was a great comfort. Bad news -- it rained hard much of the day and there was a serious chemical spill at the port, so we never had a chance to walk around Buenos Aires to sight see and shop. Flights home went well.
Great trip and we will cruise on Mariner again in Late October 2013 from Venice to Rome