I recently sailed on the Regent Mariner on a 10 day Mediterranean cruise. It left from Rome and finished in Venice. I was sailing along with 12 other members of my family- it was somewhat of a family reunion for us.
We did spend one night in Rome as part of the cruise package. The hotel was lovely and served us a great breakfast. The name of the hotel was the Hotel Majestic.
We were transported by bus to the ship- about a 45 minute drive. On the way, we were told by our guide that the bus would be stopping at a rest stop because the ships computers were down and they were not prepared to check us in- so rather than wait at the ship terminal- we would wait at a rest stop where we would be more comfortable. When we finally did get to the ship, the line in the terminal was forever! And we found out that the computers weren't down, they just are not prepared for very many people to check in at one time. They need to get that fixed- I have traveled on Royal Caribbean- which has quadruple the number of passengers- and the check in was better than on Regent! Also- I have sailed with Crystal, which is a closer comparison, and the check in on Crystal Cruises is much better with no wait at all and friendly people...
The food on this ship was hit and miss. I had some very good meals onboard, but I also had some not so good and the service was not great. This crew did not seem very happy and they certainly did not go out of their way to please. At one dinner, they forgot my husband's salad and sorbet- no big deal, but they just didn't have their timing of courses down- it was as if they had not been trained well.
One unique thing about Regent is having excursions included. As a group, we had signed up for some excursions together. We ended up having to go on different busses because some in our party got to the staging room a few minutes before we did. We were not made aware that we were being split up- so just be aware of this if you have a large group of people you are traveling with. On one excursion, we left at 9:00 AM and didn't arrive back at the ship until 2:30- and we had no lunch! We were starving and cranky by the time we got back to the ship...the excursion was originally supposed to leave at 1:30 (after lunch), and they changed the times on us...but made no plans for us to eat anywhere along the way...they told us that since the excursion was not for the whole day, they weren't responsible for us to eat!!
The entertainment on the ship was mediocre...their big shows were not great, but i was not expecting much....
One other thing- Regent booked our business class flights- our return flight left at 6:45 in the AM which meant we had to leave the ship at 3:30 in the morning...Don't ever let a cruise line book your flights!!! I would never have done that to myself!!
I spoke with many people on the ship who had sailed with Regent before, and they all said that the poor service, disorganized excursions and mediocre food is not the norm- but they were all very displeased with this ship and the crew.
As for me, I will either go on a different cruise line, or stay home. I could not wait for this ship to dock so I could go home- and I love cruises!! Just not this one!!
Also, if you are traveling with kids- please choose another cruise line... there were about 20 kids on the ship- Regent really doesn't cater to them- their program was only for a couple of hours a day- what's the point?
Crystal Cruises has a dedicated children's area- if you want a luxury cruise and have to bring kids- please go Crystal...Or forget about luxury and go Royal Caribbean or Disney...Frankly- we were treated better on Royal Caribbean than we were on Regent and that surprised me- but, sadly, it's the truth...
The suite was very nice. It had recently been refurbished. Good amount of closet space and storage. Nice balcony with comfy chairs. Eighth floor is a good location because there is a laundrette on this floor.