We wanted to visit the Amazon. It was worth the price of many sea days (which we normally try to minimize). We just returned, arriving in Miami Jan 6, 2020. It was a solid 4 star experience, based on 20 cruises on 12 cruise lines. The ... Read More
We wanted to visit the Amazon. It was worth the price of many sea days (which we normally try to minimize). We just returned, arriving in Miami Jan 6, 2020. It was a solid 4 star experience, based on 20 cruises on 12 cruise lines. The all-inclusive feature is nice, although for those of us who don’t drink, free alcohol is not a benefit. Not being nickel-dimed is worth it, unlike certain cruise brands.
Check-in/boarding was ‘different’ in Rio, where we waited in a hangar like terminal until boarding time, then walked up the ramp into the ship where check-in tables were set up in the reception/atrium area. We’re used to the photos taken - boarding cards prepared etc. check-in process being done in the terminal; however, it was relatively painless and efficient.
Our concierge cabin on deck 9 was fine, if a little small. Bathroom (bathtub/shower etc.) was nice, nothing special but no issues (toilet plumbing acted up in our section of cabins several times during the 3 week cruise, but fairly quickly repaired).
Food was good, comparable and maybe somewhat better than Oceania, our previous standard. All the restaurants provided fine dining, good ‘everyday selections’ and several new items on the menu each evening. Service was in general very good.
The Veranda buffet offered very good selections every day, with fresh fruit, pastries, a breakfast special every morning and eggs cooked to order. Cold cuts, salmon, and such were available every day, along with many kinds of bread/bagels/muffins etc. The dessert selections were very good, along with cookies (everywhere on the ship, all day, beside the cappuccino/Latte machines - a definite self discipline challenge). Lunch selections were varied and also very good. One complaint about the Veranda buffet is that it is only open for breakfast and lunch. If you don’t want to dress up and spend the time to ‘dine’ every night, the grill on the pool deck is your only option. The food there is mostly good and you can order chicken wings, burgers and such, but it is somewhat limited.
Entertainment was good. Some excellent guest performers were on board, along with a very good naturalist/Amazonia speaker and an Apollo 9 astronaut. The ships dancers were excellent. The 5 piece band was outstanding. The singers were decent. One show was performed at 9:30 PM, on most days.
Excursions: very good. We had no trouble booking excursions (free). Some were booked in advance, a few were booked only days before (our biggest excursion was booked privately, our usual MO when wanting to see a particular attraction(s) without having to compromise, nor wait for a busload of other passengers).
Service/hotel staff were very good, with very few exceptions.
Reading the small percentage of 1 and 2 star reviews of the Mariner highlights an issue of the passenger demographic that book the 6 star lines; specifically, a good percentage of high-worth individuals, many of whom are getting on in years and have mobility issues; some have airs of entitlement to go with very high expectations. Consideration for others can sometimes be lacking. Example: walking slowly down a narrow ramp with a walker, one old gentleman was overheard saying to his wife (who was trying to move out of the way for those behind), “don’t try to make room, they can just wait”. Another example is getting on and off tenders. Regent does not enforce their own rules about who can and can not ride, consequently, boarding/debarking tenders behind physically impaired passengers can be an exercise in patience – (I am in my late 70’s).
To recap, nice interesting cruise. Would we book Regent again? Certainly, given a desirable itinerary. Read Less