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.
Nice, if a little small. Good amenities. Good general condition. Uncomfortable couch (a foldaway bed, I believe). Good bathroom with tub. No issues with heating cooling, the thermostat worked as advertised (contrary to some reviews).
Standard rain forest, not much wildlife, similar to all the others, e.g. Philippines, S. E. Asia, Rio etc.View All 9 Amazon Rainforest Reviews
Interesting tour of Manaus that includes all the highlights, Zoo (owned by military), famous opera house and indian museumView All 17 City Tour Reviews
interesting artifacts and history of the indigenous people of the Amazon.View All 4 Indian Museum (Museo do Indio) Reviews
Good to see once and fill the square. Actually there are 2 'meetings of the waters' on the Amazon, the more famous one between the 'Negro/black water' and the 'Solimoes/white' water (actually muddy brown), and the other 'meeting' further downstream (by Santarem), where the 'clear' water of the Tapajos river joins the Amazon.View All 14 Meeting of the Waters (Encontro das Aguas) Reviews
Informative, featuring S. American wildlife (the military use the zoo to train for action in the S. A. environment.View All 2 Military Zoo Reviews
Impressive construction, especially considering the difficulties of getting all the materials into the Amazon jungle. Beautiful theater and plaza.View All 11 Teatro Amazonas Opera House Reviews
First port in the Amazon. We opted for the Ship's half day excursion to visit the rain forest. A 1 hour bus ride through the town and countryside brought us to the Tapajos River park, where we walked for 45 minutes through the rain forest. Some interesting trees and insect life, not a lot of wildlife. An hour ride back brought us to the ship.
We have visited this pretty island before, so we opted for the zip line. A pleasant drive to the attraction, followed by an aerial tram up to the top for the zip line. Interestingly, the zip line does not start at the top/tram platform. You have to walk a considerable way down a rough path to get to the first zip line platform. The first leg is short and more of a 'training' run. 7 more runs, increasing in length follow. None are particularly steep or very high off the ground. This would be good for people who have no or little experience with zip lines. Oddly enough, after the last stop, you have to walk up the same path to the top for the tram ride down. Not for mobility challenged peeps.View All 40 Ziplining Reviews
Our excursion was to the island of Nevis. It began with a 40 minute boat ride. At Nevis, we were met by a tour van and guide and given a tour (maybe an hour) of the island. The tour ended at a restaurant on the beach where a nice lunch was provided (tje jerked chicken was an excellent choice). The rest of the time was on the beach, where the boat conveniently picked us up for the ride back to the ship.View All 171 Beach Reviews