Let me begin by saying that we love Regent Seven Seas. This will be our eighth cruise with the company. With research and planning we were looking forward to this once in a lifetime cruise of South America. Unfortunately, several experiences can truly put a damper on an otherwise wonderful trip.
Embankment: Quick and easy.
The ship: We have cruised on the Mariner before but still enjoyed the
day of getting reacquainted with the ship. Our stateroom was
nice although the suites are smaller then those of the Navigator
and Voyager. And our bathroom had a bathtub/shower combo. If you are
tall, avoid these suites and book a shower stall only suite. We had
assumed, when booking, that all suites had shower stalls.
The various lounges are set up nicely. The evening entertainment in
each is very nice, although the piano players only perform for a
hour in each. The string band was the best but unfortunately only
played, most of the time, in the lounge that allows smoking. Yes,
smoking in a public lounge.
The dining venues are appointed nicely. And public areas are all
The staff: Our steward & stewardess were wonderful. Every morning when we went
for breakfast the stateroom was made up and wonderfully clean by the
time we returned. They were friendly,efficient and very professional
The bartenders and waitstaff were also the best. Unfortunately, many
"supervisors" (not all but many)have no idea how to supervise and/or
treat the staff they are responsible to supervise. We experienced
many instances of supervisors yelling, berating & ridiculing staff
in front of the guests and/or within earshot. This was most
prevalent in La Veranda the buffet room. The predominant European
supervisor with no knowledge of supervising behaving very
unprofessionally with their Asian staff. The only exception was one
Asian bar supervisor constantly ridiculing his female bartenders in
front of the guests.This lousy, unprofessional behavior was almost
a daily experience and many guests were disgusted by it. Although I
spoke directly with these offensive people and many guests filed
complaints, nothing changes, so it seemed that Regent condones this
behavior. This was one of the constant issues that really put a
damper on our cruise.
Excursions: Most excursions are free. Part of the cost per person. Some are not.
The Excursion Department on the Mariner was an abomination. The
worse staff of incompetent people I have ever met. Rude, nasty,
uninformed, unprofessional, and just downright lousy people. They
treated us like we were doing them a favor. None of them should
ever have anything to do with the public. Never, never, on any
cruise ship have we been treated like this. And after years of
enjoying Regent ships were never encountered truly nasty employees
treating guests like dirt.
I have pages of examples but let me give you one. Day 1 of our
second segment, in Lima, we were not given our pre-booked
excursion tickets for this second segment. I went to the
Destinations Desk asking for my excursion tickets. I was told I had
no excursions for this trip. I told Fillipo that yes, I had
booked months earlier via the Regent website. He said NO. He had
no record of it and there were no excursions for me. I insisted that
he check again but he said and I quote "Prove it. Prove that you
booked these excursions and prove that you paid extra for several
of them." I was then dismissed. I was flabbergasted. I went to the
computer room and went to my old emails trying to prove it. If you
have ever been on a cruise you know the internet is snail slow. It
took me over an hour to get copies of initial bookings and Regent
confirmations. Copy of my credit card statement with the payment
for the extra excursions that required additional money. I then
went back with the proof and guess what? other guests have the same
problem. I go to the General Manager to complain and then I am
told it's a known problem with Head Office and it will be corrected.
A known, ongoing problem and this idiot Fillipo has us doing
research to prove we booked excursions. Shameful. Everyone we
spoke with had a "horror" with this department.
And just about everyone got sick and tired of hearing the phrase,
"Call Head Office, it's their problem"
Excursions: The Regent approved and free excursions have almost always been fun.
Not this time. Ports with nothing to do. Buses without AC and/or
sound systems so the guide can speak to us. Guides that barely
spoke English. Museum tours with no English guides, no English
descriptions, no English headsets. One excursion had us on a bus
for 1 1/2 hrs. each way, no AC, to have a cup of tea. And the
guide said walk around for an hour before we return. Nothing to see.
Lima was wonderful. Montevideo nice. Buenos Aires fun. Sea days on
board always great. But most of the ports were a waste of time.
Never has a Regent cruise been so disappointing, in this regard.
Shows: Fair at best. One or two good comedians. The ship's singers &
dancers are nice but very amateurish. Many of the shows were
poorly attended. One woman, a "singer", had a mass exodus by her
The staff at the Excursions Desk tried but did not ruin what was a overall nice experience. Even the lack of decent excursions didn't ruin the cruise. We met wonderful people, most of the ship's crew went over the top to please us.
We have only praise for the Navigator and the Voyager. Our first experience on the Mariner was wonderful. I hope this current experience with the Mariner was
a one off experience and not a trend with Regent now that they are owned by
the Oceania group.