We've been sailing with Regent, predominantly, for 15 years, our most recent prior cruise being on the Navigator, through the Panama Canal, in spring, 2011 (and we loved it). We were really looking forward to this cruise and, for the second time, traveling on the Mariner didn't meet our expectations (the prior 2008 trip in Alaska was our least favorite). To start, they booked us in a 5 star hotel that had anything but 5 star service, including the chaotic luggage collection and transport to the ship. We've never seen any Regent embarkation that was so disorganized and it certainly wasn't a good way to start the cruise. We were pleased that they had our luggage in our suite by 2:30 (earlier than in the past), but we were in the first group bussed to the ship. We spoke to many others who experienced very long waits to get on their bus and it was raining by the time they got to the ship, making an unpleasant situation even worse.
The public areas of the ship were recently remodeled and were very attractive, as was a lot of the artwork around the ship.
We were pleased to see some familiar faces managing and serving in La Veranda and Compass Rose, and the dining room staff was unfailingly pleasant and friendly. Even so, we couldn't overlook the many service shortcomings, especially regarding repeated delays in wine and coffee service at lunch and dinner. I don't drink coffee, but my husband agreed with a previous reviewer, saying it wasn't good, even if it arrived in a reasonable period of time. Apparently they are training many new staff in anticipation of inaugurating a new ship in 2016, but knowing that didn't help our disappointment. This certainly isn't the service we'd experienced on past Regent cruises.