My review is actually a mid cruise review of Regent Seven Seas Mariner. We had a very pleasant flight to Lima, Peru and landed around 10:00 pm. My husband booked a room at a hotel that was across the street from the airport, so we were able to gather out bags and walk to the hotel, which was a Ramada. I would recommend this hotel if you arrive at night. The next morning, we asked the hotel to request a taxi for us, which they did. The port was about 15 minutes from the hotel, and everything was fine until we got to the security gate in the port. They told our driver to move his car over to the right out of the way of traffic, and there we sat, and sat, and sat. Unfortunately, we do not speak Spanish and our driver did not speak English, so we had not idea what was going on. After about 20 minutes, another car pulled along side us and we were told to get out of our taxi and into this other car. Now we are starting to wonder what is going on, but we did as we were told. This car drives up to the gate and again we are told to wait We sat for another 10 minutes and eventually we were let in. This was not Regents fault in the least, just the way it was in Lima, Peru.
We have sailed on many cruises, mostly with Seabourn and Oceania. This was our first time on Regent and we had heard many good things about it. The ship is all inclusive and their tours are also included in the price. This is what I would like to address in my review. We booked our cruise about 2 1/2 months before it was leaving. Once you purchase your cruise, you are allowed to go online and choose which excursions you would like to take. Many of the tours were already closed down and you are then put on a wait list. I called the main office before leaving for our cruise, and was informed that most of the tours will open up and that my travel agent would be notified. Okay, I thought, this is going to work out. I then called my travel agent prior to leaving and asked him if he had heard anything from Regent. He had not. So far throughout our cruise we have not been able to get on many of the tours that we wanted. When you go to the service desk and ask if anything has opened up, the answer is no. This is a problem because if you do not book way in advance, you probably will not get a tour or the tour that you really want. What's the point? Why pay for tours if you can't get one? I have many years of cruising ahead of me, but I'm afraid to say Regent will not be seeing my husband and myself in the future, mainly because of this tour issue.
On a lighter note, the cruise director on board is delightful, Ray. We have a balcony stateroom and it is nice, I did have my room steward take out a rather large chair, which made the room seem somewhat cramped. I put on my mid cruise review that I wished I had an ipod docking station, and one appeared the next day. Very nice! The food is not nearly as good as the food on Oceania Marina which we were on twice last year, sorry Regent, but it's true. The ship is nice, a little worn, but not nearly as nice as Seabourn Sojourn. Sojourn has larger staterooms and just a better ship's layout. The wine selection though on Regent is much better than on Seabourn.
The bottom line is that there is good and bad to every ship. My main problem with Regent is the tour situation. Please don't advertise excursions are included when you can't get on them. I hope this helps you in your future decisions as to which line you want to cruise with. Happy cruising!