As with many guests , we were first time on Regent having been Azamara fans , and wanting a somewhat more up-market experience. We were lured by the “6 star” advertising, and earlier reviews.
We have mixed feelings about the R7S experience. It’s noticeable that Mariner is bigger than Quest/Journey : approx 100ft longer , and 10 feet broader . ( and 48k tons as opposed to 31k tons) (and yet similar guest numbers : 700 as opposed to 650 Az guests). The interiors are more opulent, and the extra space is very evident in the public areas. The “standard” cabins have proper bathrooms, unlike the tiny shower cubicles on Azamara. But then the deck 8 cabins on Azamara are superior to Mariner standard cabins...so price comes into play.
The “uniqueness” of Azamara is the staff and officers attitude and welcome. The officers on Mariner are practically invisible , as is the Captain. Even his PA announcements are very difficult to understand due to his accent. Whilst we encountered a few really great staff, the majority failed to impress. In particular they have many Eastern Europeans , and we found their attitude rather brusque , functional and business-like. Their level of English comprehension and speaking also sometimes lead to minor difficulties. They seemed under pressure a lot of the time , and thus service was inconsistent... getting plates cleared , or a refill was always slightly stressful. Each individual “incident” was trivial in itself , but you could never quite relax and get the 6star experience that Regent promise. I stress again a few staff members particularly in Compass Rose stood head and shoulders about the rest in terms of genuine care and attention. (eg we’d always ask for a table in Riskys section on Compass Rose.)