This was our second Mediterranean cruise with Regent. We had previously traveled on the Voyager from Monte Carlo to Athens, arriving in Athens as the city began a strike. Despite many weather problems that eliminated a lot of port stops, it was a great cruise. The social director was terrific (Jamie) and Regent went above and beyond in taking care of us during Athens' civil strife. We weren't planning on taking another Mediterranean cruise again so soon, but we had loved Rome and wanted more tiime there and also wanted to go to Barcelona; this cruise last Nov. began in Rome, so we were able to add a few days before hand, and ended in Barcelona, where we also had a couple of days. In addition, it had an overnight port stay, which appealed to us, so we decided to take another Regent cruise.
This cruise was on the Mariner, which is very similar to the Voyager, but I preferred the layout of the Voyager. Also, our social director wasn't nearly as energetic or involved on this second cruise, and that made a big difference. There were fewer events planned and less enthusiasm or originality in the events that did occur. The quality of the entertainment was also inferior to our first Regent cruise. The musicians in the late-night bar were very amateurish, just two people with canned music they played along to; our first Regent cruise had a great band, who sang and played instruments, performing excellent covers that we enjoyed tremendously. Finally, our biggest disappointment this second time with Regent was that there were hardly any active excursion choices and, even when some were listed as being active, the average age of the passengers was so old that the pace of the excursions was very slow. (Some tours that were labeled "active" had passengers using canes or walkers.) For me, this took away a lot of the enjoyment of really exploring the places we saw at a reasonable pace.
It was still very nice to be on a luxury cruise that was all-inclusive, with great service and good food. The all-suites on the Regent Mariner were slightly smaller than those in the Voyager, but very similar and comfortable. Both the embarkation and the disembarkation processes were easy and pleasant, and the quality of the tour guides was very good. We also appreciate Regent having complimentary laundry rooms, which helps us to pack a little bit lighter.
I've also cruised on Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. The cabin on the Norwegian cruise was exceedingly small, but it was decades ago. We cruised on Royal Caribbean about 1 1/2 years ago and enjoyed it a lot; it was about half the price of Regent and did not feel like half the quality. We have booked another cruise for this summer and decided to give Royal Caribbean another try.