We have cruised for 14 years, with P & O, Princess, Seabourn and now first time with Regent. A cruise from Venice to Rome in April. What could be better.
Preliminaries. It was an easy walk from our hotel, The Papadopoli, to the People Mover train which takes one minute to reach the Cruise Terminal. We were a bit alarmed to see how far we would have to walk to the ship, with our luggage. We need not have worried. There was a bus, provided by Regent, waiting for us. So full marks to Regent for customer care. We arrived on board around 1.00pm
Yes, we were given a small glass of champagne on arrival, but contrary to what I have read on here, it was, in fact,nice and cold! Check in took place on board in the theatre. There were half a dozen check-in desks set up, and the whole procedure took no more than twenty minutes. Then off we went to the Pool Grill to have some lunch. No problem there, we were soon seated in the sunshine with food and drink and in the company of the CCers we had met on this site. All fine so far.
At about 2.30pm our suites were ready. We were not escorted, but were directed to the corridor on deck 7 and finding the suite was not a problem. Our Steward introduced himself soon after we arrived, one piece of luggage was already in the suite and the second bag came about 15 minutes later. What is there not to like.
Service Really could not fault the service. Our friends, who were au fait with the system, reserved a table in Prime 7 on board on the first evening, and six of us enjoyed a meal together.
The service was very attentive and friendly. This was the precursor to all of the care and service we received on our cruise. Everyone wanted us to enjoy our holiday with the least amount of hassle, and so we did.
Food The breakfast buffet was very acceptable. The menu was similar each day, but I found it easy to vary my choices. Lunch was served in the MDR, the Veranda or the Pool Grill. Again, the choice was more or less the same each day, but I could find something different each time, it was well presented, and often a waiter would carry my plate to my table. Drinks were ordered and brought to the table. The food in the MDR was good and not so good. Prime 7 served good steak and fish, and the whole meal was well presented and the service was very good. (Except for one occasion when the waiter forgot to take the order from one of the eight guests! She was mortified and could not apologise enough when called back). Signatures, served my favourite meal of all, on the last night of the cruise. The downside to the alternative restaurants was that although we booked the on line before the cruise, we failed to tick the correct box for a table for two, and therefore had shared tables which could not be changed. Next time we would be wiser, something newbies should be wary of. We met some lovely people though.
Ship Mariner has just had a refit. All the public areas and the top suites have been re-decorated with new colours, carpets and soft furnishings. It is very attractive and the carpets are wonderfully bouncy to walk on! The chairs and tables were obviously new. Public areas are very spacious indeed. Our cruise was port intensive and I felt we were not able to make full use of the wonderful lounges, and outdoor spaces that were available., as we were off the ship so much. The suites are extremely well designed and appointed. The walk in wardrobe, bathroom, dressing table, desk, and seating make for comfortable living. The balcony furniture is lovely, and the bed very comfortable. The theatre is beautiful, and although all the shows were not to our taste, on the whole we found the entertainment very good. Pre dinner music could have been enhanced by a singer, I feel.
Excursions This was the only disappointment to us. We found the tours too long They started very early every morning.. by 8.30am most of the tours were away, and this meant no leisurely breakfast (we had room service on those days) and they did not return till after 1.00pm. We took tours four days of the ten day cruise. Regent does not research the tours carefully enough. In Amalfi we took a return boat trip to Positano. It was raining! The boat was too small for the 70 guests. Half of us were outside in the wet. The commentary was incomprehensible as the engine drowned out the sound. The tour boat was not fit for purpose, even if the weather had been perfect. However, our tour to Budva in Montenegro was a special walk down memory lane for us We had been there nearly 50 years ago, and this revisit was delightful.
Weather Very mixed.. Rain: chilly,:sunny: and warm: April is a little early in the year for consistent weather conditions.
Will we cruise with Regent again? I think we will, but probably only on Mariner.