We took the RSSC Mariner from Rome to Barcelona on a 10 night cruise. From the day we made our reservation, we found RSSC very difficult to deal with. A day after we made the reservation, they lowered the price. They refused to adjust our fair. They did upgrade our room to concierge class, but without any pre-cruise amenities.
When we got to Civitavecchia, there were several RSSC employees at the dock check-in. Despite this, we were told to take our luggage over to the baggage area ourselves so it could be taken aboard the ship. Gave us a bad first impression. Check-in was easy. Getting aboard the Mariner was not. They had a very steep gangway and the woman in front of us could barely make her way up it. Did any RSSC employees assist her? No. They stood and watched her struggle. Two gentleman passengers helped her.
We went to the veranda restaurant for lunch, which was good. Our room was a concierge suite on deck 10. The room was spacious and well-appointed. Lots of storage space. Large bathroom. However, the carpet was wet. It stayed that way for two days. According to our room steward, the previous occupant had spilled a bottle of wine on the floor. Other than the wet floor, the room was immaculate. Although we asked for soft drinks, they were not replenished unless we asked again. I never did get the diet ginger ale that I requested.
We took the cruise because we were told the food on Regent was fabulous. Except for Prime 7, which was outstanding, the food was acceptable, sometimes good sometimes bad. We ate in Setti Mari one evening, and both of us had stomach problems the following day. The days we ate in the main restaurant for breakfast, the service was painfully slow. In La Veranda, it was often impossible to find a seat. The waiters were overworked. One morning, we put in orders for eggs. 30 minutes later, still no eggs. It seems some of the waiters were switching the orders so their tables were served first. Another morning, got oatmeal. It was cold. Complained to the maitre'd. He got me another bowl. It was also cold. Finally got a third bowl. It was hot. Lunches were even worse. Excursions would return at the same time, hundreds went to lunch, out of food. This is supposed to be a high end cruise line? Had dinner in Signatures - bad service, bad food, entree was dried out and cold. Dinner in the main restaurant was uneven. Service was usually slow. Food was okay, certainly not gourmet quality. Wine service was fairly good, and the wines were decent, although some of the stewards took it personally if you did not accept the restaurant wine pairing for the food. Some nights the service was abominable. We waited 90 minutes one night to get our appetizer, risotto, and when it came, it was cold. Another night, half the table was served, and the other half got their entrees 15 minutes later. Only 6 people at the table.
The bar service was excellent, and the choice of liquor was outstanding. The entertainment in the bars was mediocre, but par for the course on a cruise ship. The shows were okay.
Most of the excursions were wonderful. The guides were knowledgable and the the itineraries were well chosen. We did not get to Valencia, supposedly because of weather problems. We spent an extra day in Barcelona, which was unscheduled. Other than a shuttle to expo center, no activities were offered.
Most of the customer relations staff on the Mariner were condescending and not helpful. The woman in the Internet cafe actually told us to use the internet away from the ship, because it was much faster.
In summary, RSSC customer service did not impress me. The worst service I have ever had from a cruise line. The suites on the Mariner are lovely, spacious and clean. The excursions are very good. The food is mediocre, except in Prime 7. The bar service is great. Would I take another RSSC cruise? Only if it were deeply discounted.