We sailed on the Mariner January 4 from Ft. Lauderdale to Lima. A year earlier we had sailed on the Mariner from Auckland to Los Angeles. We were extremely impressed with all aspects of the ship; especially the quality of the food and service in the dining room and the friendliness and positive attitudes of all staff.
A year later it was like a totally different ship. The staff were not friendly and seemed indifferent. The officers would pass in the hallways and not even make eye contact, let alone speak. Staff did their jobs in a very mechanical fashion. Hardly a smile or a greeting. We were appalled when a lady asked for a tray at the coffee shop, for example, and was told to call room service. The dining room was subpar to any ship I have ever sailed and we have been on over 25 cruises. The wait staff was greatly over extended. We had to make multiple requests for items such as iced tea, for example. We felt hurried with the waiters asking us for our desert choice when initially taking our order. One usually does not know if one wants desert or not until after the meal. The food budget had obviously been cut since the selections were far less desirable than on previous cruises. I have never done that before but a microwaved leftover was not my idea of fine dining. On the whole, I would have to say we have had superior food and service on Azamara, Celebrity and Holland America. Three weeks prior to this cruise we were on the Azamara Quest for 25 days. The service and food was exceptional at a fraction of the price.
I have never heard so many passenger complaints on a ship. One lady said she had sailed over 1,000 days with Regent and will never sail again. Most of the passengers were well seasoned Regent loyalists and the demise of a once great ship was the daily conversation over meals.
A waiter confided that the wait staff had been cut by over a third. This was obvious. We felt really bad since the staff clearly could not provide the level of service they were accustomed to providing their passengers. Many people blame the austere cuts to the acquisition of Regent by the Appollo company. I am not familiar with this and therefore can not comment.
Prior to this cruise we booked a 35 day cruise on the Mariner from Capetown to Ft. Lauderdale in December. We will be canceling and re-booking on another line.
It is with great sadness I write this review because we were Regent "loyalists" and promoted the line to friends and relatives. I look forward to the comments from others.