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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We have sailed on Regent's 'sister' line, Oceania Cruises, several times and have had excellent experiences, so when we were searching for a higher end cruise line to Alaska and found Regent and learned it was all-inclusive, ... Read More
We have sailed on Regent's 'sister' line, Oceania Cruises, several times and have had excellent experiences, so when we were searching for a higher end cruise line to Alaska and found Regent and learned it was all-inclusive, we decided to give them a try. Overall it was a good experience but I would not rate the experience as highly as I have rated the Oceania cruises we have experienced. Ship: While the ship has been updated, the decor is lacking in appeal. The main carpet throughout the ship is dated in style though it looks new. The multi-story atrium wall across from the bank of elevators is a dark brown with some blown glass pieces that look dark and dreary. The artwork throughout the ship is contemporary but not to my taste Our cabin 732, a Veranda suite, was appealing with comfortable furnishings. The bathroom had marble and granite with a roomy shower -- no tub. Dining: Marina has two truly speciality restaurants. Prime 7 for steak and Chartreuse for French cusine. They turn the breakfast/lunch buffet restaurant, La Veranda, into Sette Mari for Italian themed cusine in the evening which was quite good so much so we went back a second time. The carbonara was very good. Prime 7 was excellent. We ordered a ribeye steak and Alaskan King Crab and made our own shared surf and turf. Both were excellent and we enjoyed this dinner tremendously. However, the people seated at the table next to us ordered lobster and we could overhear them complaining that it was overcooked and they were disappointed Chartreuse was our poorest most disappointing meal of the week. I ordered a tenderloin steak -- it was tough and not flavorful. The cheese souffle, which had to be ordered 20 minutes ahead of time, was ok -- not bad but not the best souffle I have had. Our first evening we dined in the main dining room, Compass Rose. I ordered the fish special of the evening which was pan fried red snapper. Something must have happened to my order as it took a long time and the waiter as well as maitre d came by to apologize for the wait and ensure me my meal would come soon. When the fish finally did arrive it was over cooked and dry. Other meals we had at Compass Rose were much better including our last evening on board during which I had a crusted baked salmon which was cooked perfectly and very tasty. We had breakfast each day at LaVeranda. I initially was impressed that their cooked to order egg station would take your order and table number and then deliver it to you. On Oceania, one of my main complaints for their similar breakfast station was that you placed your order and then had to stand with alot of other people waiting. Regent's ordering system was an improvement, with the exception of one morning where they must have lost my order and I waited and waited. My husband was finished with his breakfast and I was still waiting for mine. I had to ask wait staff a couple of times to check on my order. Lunches at the Pool Grill were all very good. In general, the wait staff throughout the restaurants are all very professional and eager to serve and please. Being all-inclusive, we enjoyed wine with every dinner and the somms kept our glasses full. The all inclusive for drinks and wine was one of the top experiences on Regent -- there was no waiting for a bill at the end of a meal or in one of the lounges. When we were finished we just got up and left. Entertainment and Activities: While I enjoyed several of the shows put on by the onboard singers and dancers, these were not to the taste of my husband. One evening was a country-themed show which he would not even go to so that evening we watched a movie in our cabin. Since the Mariner is a small ship there were not multiple concurrent choices for evening entertainment. The first night and a subsequent night they had a magician, Fred Becker with his wife/assistant who also sang. He put on a great show both nights they performed. He also did a workshop and taught a trick or two and answered questions which was interesting. On Oceania, there was a string quartet that played nightly. Regent did not have this. They had a duo with a guitar and a singer who were good but they were not in the Observation Lounge during the pre-dinner cocktail time. Playing at that time every evening was a pianist who played well but it was very much background music and not entertainment that you sought out. Our other issue with the entertainment was that shows do not start until 9:30 p.m. We were generally done with dinner by 8 or 8:30 p.m. which meant that we had time to kill before the show started. Moving up the show time to 9 p.m. would be a great help to how an evening flows for passengers. The shows were mostly sparsely attended with the theater on the main floor more than half empty and very few seats taken in the balcony. Moving up the time to start earlier I think would help draw a larger audience. Activities were few on board, although we did particpate a few days in trivia and my husband did the mensa quiz. The enrichment lectures on Alaska and wildlife were all interesting and well delivered. Cruise Director: The cruise director Andy was very outgoing. I saw and interacted with him and his wife, Tammy, who serves as social hostess, more than any other cruise director/team on any ship I have sailed on. Andy was at every show walking around and talking with people prior to the show. Tammy also was very friendly and talkative. They are excellent respresentives and ambassadors for the Regent brand. Ports and Shore Excursions: Another benefit of Regent is that we had many shore excursion options from which to choose that were included in the cruise fare. However, the best 'port 'was actually the afternoon we sailed into Disenchantment Bay and approached Hubbard Glacier, all while on the ship. We staked out a prime viewing spot earlier in the afternoon at the Observation Lounge which is forward on the top deck. The day we sailed in the weather was outstanding! The cruise director, the cruise enrichment lecturer, Eric Ball (who was excellent -- I attended all three of his talks) both said it was the best weather day all season for Hubbard Glacier. Being a smaller shiip, the captain was able to take us in extremly close to the glacier and we spent quite a bit of time 'hanging out' there. It was a festive, fun party atmosphere with all of the other passengers. Other shore excursions we took: In Sitka, we went two-person kayaking which was very scenic and enjoyable; hiking the Chilkoot Trail, although we had several older (in their 80s) passengers who clearly were not phycially fit enough to be on this excursion, which was rated a 3, the top difficulty rating. Consequently, we had to go very slow on the hike and continually had to keep waiting for them to catch up. I was concerned that one of them would fall going up or down the terrain. So this put a damper on this hike, although the trip ended with river raft ride along a river where we saw so many bald eagle I lost count. We also did a hike which was rated a 2 in difficulty that was a leisurely stroll through the Tongas National Forest with an extremely knowledgeable nature guide. The highlight of this excursion was that we were able to see lots of salmon swimming upstream. Another excursion was a 10-person canoeing trip to the Mendenhall Glacier. The canoeing ended up being more challenging than expected but it was very enjoyable and we got as close to the face of the glacier as we were allowed. We also went by Nugget Falls and were able to get out of the canoe and get some great photos in front of the falls. Overall: One of the reasons we were attracted to Regent originally was that the ship is a smaller ship -- under 700 passengers. However, this ended up in some respects being somewhat of a negative to the overall experience. Sometimes we were the only couple or perhaps one of two or three couples in the Observation Lounge or Horizon Lounge. Many areas of the ship were empty and 'boring'. The best times on board were when there were people filling the room and creating some buzz or excitement, such as when we approached Hubbard Glacier, and another late afternoon as we sailed the Inside Passage and people again gathered in the Observation Lounge to look for orcas and humpback whales, which we were delighted to see! The all-inclusive experience definitely has benefits. Passengers looking for a very quiet, small ship experience will be quite pleased with Regent. I would consider sailing with them again depending, of course, upon itinerary and pricing. However, for the overall experience, our next couples cruise will be back on Oceania. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
My travel agent booked this cruise for myself and my husband. I did not read any reviews on about this cruise or ship until after we had already booked the tour. As we trust our agent very much. However, after reading the reviews, I was ... Read More
My travel agent booked this cruise for myself and my husband. I did not read any reviews on about this cruise or ship until after we had already booked the tour. As we trust our agent very much. However, after reading the reviews, I was quite upset and almost ready to cancel the getaway all together. I am very happy that we didn't cancel and went on this cruise. Although we read in many reviews that the food was mundane or just ok, we felt that it was great. We saw many people state how the ship was old, musty and rusted; however we did not see this. As to us it was very beautiful. We stayed in the Horizon Suites and couldn't have been more comfortable. The service on the ship was complete accommodating, organized and did everything they could for us to make sure we were happy. We were able to book all the excursions that we wanted with no issues, while some we were put on a waiting list, they still made sure we somehow were able to join the rest of the passengers in these adventures. Not everything was "perfect" as nothing always is. There were a few hiccups along the way but nothing to be upset about. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
This is a terrific cruise line. The staff was a wonderful cruise. Every meal delicious; prepared and presented beautifuly. The suite was very well appointed and the room attendant took spotless care. The only disappointment was the lack ... Read More
This is a terrific cruise line. The staff was a wonderful cruise. Every meal delicious; prepared and presented beautifuly. The suite was very well appointed and the room attendant took spotless care. The only disappointment was the lack of entertainment. It was very hard to find live musical entertainment early in the evening. It seemed all of the music was at off hour and you had to hunt to find it. This was a real missed opportunity. A combo with singer in the lounge a 5:00 would be lovely. They had an enrichment speaker but could have used another on another subject matter. The exercise facility was adequate and the spa was serviceable but not luxury. I had a massage in the spa and it was good and the spa prices were reasonable for a luxury line. Overall we had a wonderful cruise but we did miss nightly pre-dinner lounge entertainment. We also missed hearing music as we walked about the ship. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Recently completed a 7 day Alaske cruise on Regent's Seven Seas Mariner. My wife and I had planned this trip for several years and finally decided to travel this past July (2019). We chose Regent at the suggestion of our Agent. On ... Read More
Recently completed a 7 day Alaske cruise on Regent's Seven Seas Mariner. My wife and I had planned this trip for several years and finally decided to travel this past July (2019). We chose Regent at the suggestion of our Agent. On receipt of their sales brochure we "poured" over the information and decided it was time to "treat" ourselves to a high end cruise. We purchase the cruise for $17,000.00 dollars for a balcony room on the 9th level. NOT A SUITE. We have cruised many times in the past with our children and our friends. We have booked on Royal Caribbean and Carnival ships with travel throughout the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas. What sold us on the Regent cruise was the "promise" of a "top of the line" all inclusive experience. Boy were we disappointed. As I will enumerate below. 1) The embarkation process in Vancouver was rudimentary at best. We arrived with plenty of time to spare and recieved our documents in a timely fashion. After a very long walk with carry on luggage we boarded the ship to a glass of sparkling wine. 2). Our room was ready to occupy. It was clean with a bowl of "aging" fruit available for consumption. The small refridgerator was stocked with 4 cans of soda pop and one water. I asked the room attendant about wine and spirits availablity (which we thought would in the refridgerator) and was told that individual servings were available through "room service". Who wants to wait 45 minutes for a glass of wine? My wife odered a bottle of wine (California Chardonnay). 25 bucks at Costco and was charge $60.00 on the cruise. Premium Wine and Spirits were to be included onboard as part of the "package". At the lounges we were offerd mixed drinks....mostly of a lower quality range of spirits. You had to request "top shelf" spirits. I'm not a big drinker but for $17,000.00 bucks I would expect top quality. 3) We met our room steward ONCE during the cruise. Never once were we asked if anything additional was needed to improve our cruise experience....BY ANYBODY.... Our friends who stayed down the hall had money stolen from a wallet during the day, they spoke to Guest Relations and recieved an inadequate response. Lesson learned.... lock your stuff in the safe. 3). The ship was in "good condition" and the maintenence crew kept it clean. It was quite clear that the Cruise Ship Operators" poured a great deal of their resources to its upkeep. 4) The entertainment was ok. Some good, some not so good. The Cruise director "Andy" was slightly overbearing constantly trying to "shill" the products both on the ship and at each port. I overheard several guests stating that the shops at the ports paid for this service. If I want to buy something I really don't need a strangers input. 5) There were plenty of "shore excursions" available at no charge, but.....If you wanted to partcipate in "upscale" excursions there was a charge We purchased 4 days of excursions for 2 people at a additional cost of $1900.00. Getting near $20 grand now. 6) The FOOD. Very disappointed. We were ALLOWED to dine at the upscale restaraunt only once during our cruise. We were told at the main reservation desk on deck 5 to inquire daily about cancellations then were told there that we needed to go to the individual resaurants and inquire. How embarassing, that we receievd poor treatment from ALL the maitre d's at the specialty restaurants. We dined a Prime 7 and had a wonderful dinner the crab legs served were what you expect from Alaska. Other than that evening the food and the service was subpar in the main dining room. My wife order lobster one evening and got somthing that resembled several large shrimp. I had Dover sole and had to remove pinbones fron the filets. Being that we were on an Alaskan cruise I would assume that Shrimp, Salmon and Crab Legs would be highlighted. Not on this cruise. The shrimp cocktails contained shrimp that were meally/old and the crab legs when available in the main dining room were that of "Red Lobster" quality. 7) Disembarkation. Now here is where Regent gets 2 stars. Smooth transition. I thought that this process was the only thing that Regent did properly. Probably to get the passengers off the ship and get the next "goats" onboard. All in all, quite a disappointing experience for what was billed as the cruise of a lifetime. Never again with Regent! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Wanted to try a high end cruise to see if Regent was better than my other cruises -- in a word, Regent is far below their competitors. In the past six years I did an Alaska cruise on Celebrity. I had an aft cabin and we had our own ... Read More
Wanted to try a high end cruise to see if Regent was better than my other cruises -- in a word, Regent is far below their competitors. In the past six years I did an Alaska cruise on Celebrity. I had an aft cabin and we had our own restaurant (Blu). All meals were ala carte, served fresh, hot and delicious. The price, as I recall for a 9-night cruise (instead of the 11 on this sailing) was about a third of Regent's price. Then I did two European river cruises on Avalon. Of course there is a much smaller number of guests on a river cruise, but every meal had a half dozen of ala carte meals, paired with very good wine. This brings us to our Regent Mariner experience. First of all, the pros. The ship was exceptionally clean, the staff was very friendly, the cabin was nice, unless you sleep on the left side of the bed like I did. If you get up to use the loo in the middle of the night, always remember that there is a wall facing you about 10 inches from your bed! There is a great Coffee Connection place where they served liquored coffee drinks and snacks, enjoyed that immensely. Now, one of the main things you go on a cruise for is good food, right? Overall, the restaurants were a major disappointment. The two "specialty" restaurants, Prime 7 and Chartreuse, were only made available one time during an 11-day cruise. Big mistake by Regent. We did eat there twice after going to see the concierge but they make you wait until 8:30, much later than we like to dine. Prime 7 was a disappointment. I had their signature dish, the surf and turf. I don't know if the beef was supposed to be prime or not, but it was just OK, certainly not memorable. The lobster was gummy and tasteless. My wife had the Alaskan king crab legs. The portion was generous but the crab was served absolutely lukewarm and had no flavoring at all. When I make crab, I use Zatarain spices so that the seafood has some flavor. Regent's food seemed like they deliberately cook everything to be bland. Of course their customers are mostly old, and it's like they want to avoid upset stomachs. By far one of the MAIN complaints about this cruise was the wine selection that was offered. That night they were serving "Josh" cabernet, which anyone can buy for about $8-$10. For what I paid for this cruise I was expecting $40-$50 type wine. For cocktails, Regent's bars were stocked with high end spirits, but they went EXTREMELY cheap on wine. Given their profit margin on their cruises this was a total disgrace. They claimed that the chef used this "pairing" to complement the food. The only thing that this wine could complement is a cold baloney sandwich. I use better wine than Josh (and the white equivalent they served that night) when I make my homemade spaghetti sauce. I made the waiter get me a French red (medium body) that was only slightly better. Another area where Regent goes wrong is the total lack of ambience is the two specialty restaurants. They are very sterile, and look like a chopped off half ballroom at a Marriott in Tulsa, OK. (Sorry, Tulsa). They have a very good piano player (Nick) who is playing to a mostly empty room on the way to the restaurants. Why don't they pipe in the music to the restaurants? I felt like I was eating at a nursing home, no atmosphere at all and mediocre food. At Chartreuse, the experience was better, the food was prepared better but again the wine selection was less than stellar. We had a great waitress (Zenife --she said call her Jennifer). She had a great personality and was the most outstanding waitperson we had on the cruise. Throughout this cruise, the food was often served lukewarm, and it was this night as well. I never had a hot meal the entire 11 nights, that is simply terrible. Their kitchen to customer wait time is simply too long. There were many times when I saw my food sitting on the service table, getting cold, before the waiter or waitress could get back to the station to serve the dinner. The servers were running around like crazy, so the problem was not them. Management need to put more people in the food preparation/serving process. I hate cold or lukewarm food, and that's all I got. I tried the Italian restaurant one night --this is the buffet converted to and Italian themed restaurant at night. You still have to get your own salad and dessert. The food here was blah and I never went back. That left a LOT of nights dining at the Compass Rose restaurant. The service in this place was wildly inconsistent. Sometimes you would get an attentive, personable waiter who seemed to care about your dinner. Other times not so much. This is an example -- we both ordered coffee after dinner. The waiter brought out TWO bowls of sugar, but no cups or coffee. Ten minutes went by -- I clocked it --- then he brought two cups and saucers. Again, no coffee. Another 10 minutes -- I clocked it-- he finally brought coffee. He apologized and said that the coffee just finished brewing. 20 minutes to get a cup of coffee --- really??? One night in the Compass Rose I had lamb chops with simple mint jelly. The food was again lukewarm and tasteless. When I make lamb at home I used onion and garlic powder, olive oil, and other seasonings. Again, nursing home food. I had a side of Lyonnaise potatoes. This was brought out after the entree and the potatoes were ICE COLD, not even the lukewarm I was used to. Other meals I ate were better (dover sole was tasty). I received a mid-cruise comment card and I shared the opinions I've laid out here. I received calls from several chefs and I explained the complaint about the blandness and temperature of the food. They tripped over themselves apologizing but things never improved. The best thing about Compass Rose was that they made fresh souflees at night. Finally something warm and usually delicious. Went there every night for dessert, no matter where I ate. The Mariner desperately needs another restaurant. On at least one of their sister ships they have a Pan-Asian restaurant. They just renovated the Mariner about a year and a half ago and why they didn't put another restaurant in, I'll never know. The worst thing is that they are going to use the Mariner for a half-year sailing next year. If you made me eat the food I had for that long, I would go insane. I am somewhat of a foodie, and this was the worst overall food experience I've ever had on a cruise. Add the terrible wine, and I felt that the value of this cruise was horribly, negatively skewed. Entertainment --- Sort of typical. They had a 12 person group of singers or dancers, backed by a house band. The band was good, and after they show they played at the Horizon lounge. Good listening and dancing music. The 12 person group was so-so... lots of energy but short on talent. A dark haired woman could really sing, but the rest were just ok. The first night they did a tribute to the Rat Pack, which is my kind of music. They just didn't have the voices or talent to pull it off. One of the lead male singers was singing the famous Sinatra song "One for my Baby". I literally could hear Frank turning over in his grave (just kidding, I think). There was a good female entertainer who did 2 shows and a comedian was pretty good. The rest was blah. The cruise seemed to be sort of disorganized in some spots. On the day we went to the glacier, it was midday. Everyone was out to look at the glacier and the viewing ended at about 2 p.m. when most restaurants (Compass Rose) closed, except for the buffet. Everyone went up there and unfortunately they ran out of food. It took 45 minutes to get a hamburger made. On that day, why not keep the other restaurants open later. Just poor basic management. Another warning -- there is a little sitting area around where the grill is located. The smell and smoke in that enclosed area seemed toxic to me --- couldn't wait to get out of there. There are so many suggestions where sound management principles could improve the customer experience. Again, this is not a 3 day Carnival cruise. Regent should be ashamed. Better yet, hire me as a management consultant! By far the biggest complaint I have (besides everything mentioned here) is their utter disregard for their customers in it's refund policy on unused shipboard credits. The main reason I went on this cruise was to go on the glacier hike. I had a total on $1400 in shipboard credits. Apparently $1000 was "nonrefundable" credit and the rest was cash. The glacier hike was $806 for both go us. We get to the pier and they tell us that the tour was canceled due to poor visibility. I was totally bummed but understand that they can't control the weather. I called reception and was told that I had to use the non-refundable credits onboard. We had a slip in the room that said we had these credits and that the could be used "for cash advances or casino credits". I tried to get them to refund the money back to my credit card and they said it had to be spent on the ship. Furthermore they would NOT let us use it in the casino, despite what their card indicated. I was absolutely livid. It was too late in the trip to use it for any other decent paid exclusion. We wound up spending almost $700 for a cheap watch and some wildly overpriced costume jewelry. My wife asked of the earrings were silver, and was told they were. She is allergic to any other metal. They apparently were made of some other cheap alloy, and now she can't wear them. Another lie from Regent. They should have willingly paid back the unused credit in cash, as their own card states. Terrible management. As I said in the beginning my expectations were very high due to the high price I paid for this cruise. Regent simply did not deliver and if you are reading this before you book, just don't spend the extra money to travel on this cruise line. It isn't worth it. They have lost a customer for life. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We selected Regent because we have friends who highly recommended Regent as the best in the business. We were a party of 9 on this cruise to Alaska. 1 Grand Suite, 3 Penthouse Suites, and 1 Concierge Suite. The cabins were very nice ... Read More
We selected Regent because we have friends who highly recommended Regent as the best in the business. We were a party of 9 on this cruise to Alaska. 1 Grand Suite, 3 Penthouse Suites, and 1 Concierge Suite. The cabins were very nice although the Grand Suite had A/C problems from the start and took repair on several occasions. This should have been repaired prior to boarding. All other staterooms were in good condition except for a bathroom door that needed repair. Lets talk about water. Yes water. Regent has decided to process their own bottled water with little information as to where the water is coming from other than to say they have a new filtration system. We preferred Evian water which they had but it was like pulling teeth to make sure it would be available. Many times we would wait 5 to 10 minutes for our waiter to locate and provide us our request which is unacceptable. Also our Butler made it clear that it was not readily available. Really, on a 6 star ship Evian is not available. Somehow throughout the cruise we were accommodated. They are pushing their new water claiming that it is more ecological for the environment. I guess Regent no longer recycles? Lets talk about the food. We have been on several other cruise lines some with the same rating as Regent and others with 5.5 Stars and their food is much superior to Regents. We dinned in the Steak house that apparently serves USDA Prime Beef. Trust me this is not Prime Beef unless the new definition is bring a chain saw with you to dinner. The veal is also very tough. There is no question in our minds that NCL is using their standard beef selection from their other lines on Regent. We dined their several times and the beef just does not add up to choice much less Prime. The main dinning room was just ok and most of the food is pre prepared, and when served shows dried out edges on the food, in some cases food was served cold. Breakfast, lacks any special flair and the pancakes on one day were literally inedible and the bacon was full of grease and clumped together. Typical cafeteria style food. Does this sound like a "6" star ship ? Lunch, was ok but again nothing special like other 5.5 and 6 star ships. They also had a grill outside near the pool that had no ventilation and you could eat their but then you needed to wash your clothes and take a shower as you smelled like you had been working as a short order cook. This is not an exaggeration by any means. With the cabin categories we had for the 9 people and Butler service you would think making dinner reservations would be easy. Think again. The ship is well maintained overall and pleasant. The captain did a 5 minute viewing of Hubbard Glacier as he did not plan ahead for the bad (fog) weather and their was a ship right behind ours that was on schedule for their viewing of the glacier. One of the main reasons for the cruise is the Glacier but somehow the Captain missed the memo. We cannot say this was a bad cruise but neither can we say it was a great cruise and by no means a "6" Star cruise. This is the problem when great cruise lines get bought up by larger more generic cruise lines. They try and integrate less with more and end up average. Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise and ship because we had been on the same ship with a different itinerary less than 2 years ago. We even chose the same room. We were told that the ship had been refurbished. Not so, at least in our cabin. So many ... Read More
We chose this cruise and ship because we had been on the same ship with a different itinerary less than 2 years ago. We even chose the same room. We were told that the ship had been refurbished. Not so, at least in our cabin. So many things were wrong that it is hard to know where to begin. We boarded the ship at 2PM and didn't get our luggage until 5:30PM. The staff was all flustered. Something was off with the staff the whole voyage. Our cabin had stains on the carpet, rust on the balcony and lots of mold. The service at the restaurants was awful. The staff was inattentive and didn't clear tables, so we all ended up waiting or sitting at dirty tables. We had lots of trouble with our reservations at the specialty restaurants. The food was decent, but not terrific. Even on the first night, when the staff was introduced, they were not "on." Something felt off the whole voyage. We were supposed to leave Ketchikan at 4PM and didn't leave until 4am, so we missed all of our excursions and one whole day in port. That left us at sea for 3 out of 6 days. We got little in the way of an explanation and were each offered a voucher for $750 good on another cruise. Who would want to take another Regent cruise after this one...Viking is so much better and we are very avid high end travelers... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Touted as the best experience in cruising. Extremely disappointed doesn't even describe our experience. Had the best cabin on the ship (Master Suite) for a $60,000 experience of a lifetime on the Seven Seas Mariner for the late June ... Read More
Touted as the best experience in cruising. Extremely disappointed doesn't even describe our experience. Had the best cabin on the ship (Master Suite) for a $60,000 experience of a lifetime on the Seven Seas Mariner for the late June 2019 cruise departure. We booked the cruise about 18 months in advance to have the selection of cabin and itinerary that best fit our schedule. Unfortunately, 2 days of the 8 ruined by engine failure and weather with very poor communication from the Captain and Cruise Director for explanations of the issues and a 12-hour delay in Ketchikan that forced us to miss the port of Juneau (where most of the best excursions were planned). Food and specialty restaurants a joke with respect to quality or food selection. Inedible pancakes delivered to our stateroom that could serve as hockey pucks or an entire day's salt intake. If you like waiting for service and having your meals delivered cold and late, you can dine in the specialty restaurants (but only once or twice if you are traveling with other family members not in the Master Suite). The Italian restaurant and main dining room had incredibly variable service and menu choices that did not vary much over the entire sailing. We have sailed on over 30 cruises with other lines and really loved Oceania (3 prior Owner's Suite sailings). We were told by everyone from the travel agent to the butler that we would have a great time and that the Alaska cruise would be memorable. Offered a meager $750 credit on a future tour. Gave comments mid-cruise that were not addressed and Regent's Customer Service extremely rude and unapologetic for the voyage. The company's marketing of the cruises is superb, but the execution of the logistics and services was the worst I have ever experienced. There are many other superior cruise lines that are happy to have the bookings. The Alaska itinerary was the standard northbound passage from Vancouver. The pre-cruise hotel was very good, but transfers were disorganized. Embarkation was promising when they poured a glass of champagne and had a steward lead us to elevator (who subsequently pushed the floor button on the elevator, dropped our bags, and exited the elevator). This was only the first comedic event of many notable missteps during the cruise. Our Master Suite was listed to be ready at noon. About 10 minutes after we arrived, about 40 travel agents and staff came in to the room and started touring the cabin while we were out on the front balcony-no apologies or explanations from the cruise management. No butler introduced himself for about 2 hours and the on-board phone system was not working in port. We were happy to come back home and see more whales off the coast of Boston than we saw during the entire Alaska sailing! Eventually got a reply from the Customer Service office with really no admission that sailing was sub-par or that Regent needed to improve anything with respect to service, dining, or accommodations. Clearly, they don't understand that customer service is everything and their reputation will suffer especially when touting their cruises as unique luxury experiences at a very expensive price. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
North to Alaska! A review of our recent voyage on the Regent Seven Seas Mariner from Vancouver BC, Canada to Seward Alaska Alaskans are justifiably proud of their state! And, as we found out…. in Alaska size really does matter (as ... Read More
North to Alaska! A review of our recent voyage on the Regent Seven Seas Mariner from Vancouver BC, Canada to Seward Alaska Alaskans are justifiably proud of their state! And, as we found out…. in Alaska size really does matter (as we were reminded constantly!). Alaska is BIG! So big they consider Texas "Cute" :-) So BIG that if the outline of Alaska is superimposed on the outline of the "Lower Forty-Eight” It stretches from COAST-TO-COAST! BTW... most of the t-shirts appear to be somewhat of an exaggeration :-).... I'm just sayin' Alaska! It's also stunningly beautiful and awe inspiring on many levels and in its big BIG way! Overview and Why My wife said “it’s time to visit Alaska” and I agreed. We looked at the various options and decided a cruise would be just the thing to give us the opportunity to experience a wider sampling of what Alaska had to offer… in a pampered sort of way of course! We looked over the different cruise offerings and decided to try Regent Seven Seas despite the much higher price tag attached. We reasoned there were some perks offered that would somewhat offset the higher costs. 1. It is an “All Inclusive” cruise line so alcoholic beverages are included. Not that my wife is a big drinker (she’s not :-) but I have been known to tipple a bit. 2. A gourmet food experience that Regent advertises as “Exquisite Cuisine” 3. All balcony suites on the ship (SS Mariner) 4. And the real equalizer… A very good selection of included shore excursions. The only excursions that sported an additional cost were usually the helicopter and seaplane sort of excursions and a few of the all day things. I thought to myself “we could make up the difference in cost by taking advantage of this”. 5. Regents reviews and reputation as a first class, luxury cruise line. Note: I should have dug deeper! As we discovered some of the above is true and some not so much. Purchase Experience The purchase experience couldn’t have been easier. After choosing the cruise I simply called Regent and spoke to one of their representatives. He was helpful and guided us through the process smoothly. One thing to note is that Regent supplies airfare and all transfers as a normal perk of your cruise package. You can save some money by doing it yourself of course but then you have to take care of all airport/hotel transfers yourself. In the case of the Seward to Anchorage transfer (2.5 hours) that could be up to five hundred dollars! If you book one of their cruises and are flying intercontinental the covered airfare is Business/First Class. Since ours was not an intercontinental flight it was cattle car class. But, since the flights were direct to Vancouver and a direct return from Anchorage it was all good… On the surface this looked like a great cruise. It was rather shorter than many of the other itineraries (only 7 nights) on Regent or the other cruise lines. That was good for us as this was sort of a last minute decision (at least for us) and was only booked three months prior to departure. Looking at the cabins we a booked a “Concierge Suite” and were "treated" to an extra day in Vancouver at the Four Seasons Hotel. I liked this idea, not because of the extra day in Vancouver, but because we arrived a day ahead of the cruise to minimize any possibility of a travel snafu. Pre-Cruise - Pick up at the airport went well. Regent was well represented and greeted us as we exited customs. Transfer to the hotel was in a nice van with five other passengers. We were dropped off at the Four Seasons the rest of them went on to the Trump Towers. Luggage was handled appropriately while we checked in at the front desk. The hotel clerk immediately tried to up-sell us to a suite. If I understood her correctly it was “only” $950 for the night. After a split second I was able to choke out… “No thank you…” I told her… “we will be fine for the one night in the room booked by Regent.” The Four Seasons itself was nice but somewhat tired.... definitely showing its age. The neighborhood was fine and great for walking. After taking a walk we looked at the hotel food offerings and opted to go outside. At the recommendation of one the hotel bell staff we tried the Cactus Club Restaurant just down the street. It was great! A great choice whenever in Vancouver! Regent supplied a good breakfast through the hotel the next morning and at 11:45 we were bused to the Ship. Embarkation - started smoothly. We had to once more go through customs only this time it was US customs as our destination was, of course, Alaska. We had one heart stopping moment as one of the Canadian customs agents announced we needed to have our “TICKETS” in hand. “TICKETS??!!?? I don’t know anything about stinking TICKETS!” I started canvasing our neighbors in line to find while most had a printout of their “ticket” many did not. I snagged the first official looking (uniformed) person I could find and asked the question….”Do we REALLY NEED a ticket?” Thankfully the answer was “No, just show your passport and state what ship you will be boarding…” Whew! First bullet dodged. Heart Stopping moment #2 We wended our way through customs (Thank you sir, enjoy your trip!) and made our way through the Regent line to the check-in counter. They had eight or ten positions open and were smoothly processing passengers until, of course, I step up and hand them our passports. We took pictures in turn and then the agent went to find our ship passes and keycards and came back empty handed. While the agent approached us still clearly standing there in line another passenger pushed passed me and my wife and laid her documents on the counter glaring at the gate agent. I paused just a second and politely (kind of) said “excuse me… I don’t believe we are quite finished here.” She looked at me like I had a bug on my nose… for a moment I didn’t think she was going to yield but she did sort of huffing and puffing and with a bit of blustering and posturing…. Turning back to the gate agent I noted she appeared somewhat flustered as she told me it would be just a moment before calling a floor supervisor over. I glanced back to see “Pushy Lady” visibly fuming at the delay. Smiling inwardly I turned back to the agent now joined by a supervisor. I heard snippets of their conversation and understood her to say she couldn’t find our reservations in the system or our keycards in the pile. The supervisor calmly typed for a moment and pointed something out to the agent, left and came back with our documents a moment later while the agent stood frozen smile on her face. All was well and we boarded the ship leaving the dazed gate agent and “Pushy Lady” behind. We boarded the ship thinking to go directly to our room and drop off our carry-on stuff. Well that was the plan but we discovered that our boarding time was considered “early” and nothing was ready. In fact they later made a ship-wide page to the effect the rooms were off limits until announced. That could have been made clear upfront but it was not. A simple note via eMail or being told that at check-in would have been sufficient but neither effort was made to the best of my knowledge. A kind of ship-wide announcement in a semi-scolding tone was made but probably was not the best way to make that known. In any event we were able to tour the public areas of the ship and have a nice lunch at the Pool Grill. Initial Impressions Initial impressions of the Mariner were very favorable. As we moved about the public areas of the ship we were struck by the cleanliness and overall well maintained look of the vessel. The lounges, the restaurant areas, the seating areas and other public areas were clean, comfortable and inviting. Public toilets were spotless. The Pool Grill and Pool Deck was a great place to chill out while waiting for our room to become available. Food was sampled and found to be of good quality served buffet style. The Mariner is one of the oldest ships in the Regent fleet but has aged gracefully and appeared to be in great condition and more than serviceable. When we were finally able to enter our cabin it was a pleasant surprise. A very spacious “shotgun suite” awaited us. The suite contains a sleeping area that can be separated from the seating area by a heavy drape. The seating area has a, more or less, full size couch (actually more “Love Seat” size), small table, 55” flat screen TV atop drawer/vanity area, bar essentials (glasses and corkscrew) and a mini fridge stocked with beer and soft drinks. You also have the option to customize the stocking of the mini-fridge by contacting your room steward. Fresh fruit along with a bottle of Champagne were waiting for us. Neither of us are much in the way of champagne drinkers so it eventually went back into the fridge to be passed along to the next customer or, hopefully, a crew party. The WALK-IN CLOSET had a generous supply of hangers with ample room for clothes and a nice row of drawers for storage. The closet also has a safe and the Life Vests. The bathroom is large with a very reasonably sized shower equipped with both rain shower and hand held shower heads. Each suite has its own balcony… excuse me…. Veranda…. that was generous in size with two wicker chairs and a small table and topped with Teak decking. All in all a SWEET Suite! Tipping Mariner is a “No Gratuity” ship. “Gratuities are neither expected or required” as it was stated. That is certainly the case and never was there a hint from any of the crew that they were fishing for a tip. The Hospitality Crew and the Room Service Crew was universally polite and attentive and I could fault none of them. I enjoyed several conversations with several of the service staff. The majority seemed to be from the Philippines with several other Asian nations represented. There were also many others from Eastern Europe and Russia. The officers and administrative crew again represented several nations with our Captain from Italy, the Cruise Director from the US, and the rest from all points in-between. While our service crew and operational crew seemed to really be engaged in their jobs, our administrational and entertainment directors really just seemed to be “phoning it in” and were somewhat disconnected and appeared somewhat distracted. Entertainment - was a mixed bag. There were several entertainment venues on the ship. Most of the lounges, including the Observation Lounge, Mariner Lounge and Horizon Lounge had grand pianos or even a full stage that were in turn manned by a pianist, a duo (guitarist and a singer), single guitarist, or a full band. There was also the late night Stars Lounge that featured either Denis and Elina (Guitar and Vocalist), Karaoke or a jukebox request sort of thing. The Constellation Theater was the venue for the Broadway style Mariner Production Cast singers and dancers with the Mariner Orchestra (6 piece), the Featured Entertainers and the occasional movie. Throughout the voyage we took in several shows and found them to range from very good to just OK. Since Broadway shows aren’t our thing we really did not attend too much of the Mariner Cast Productions. What we did see was fun and good but did not strike me as stellar. The band was always good and the singers/dancers good but a bit variable. The “Headliner” this trip was Matilda with Patrick Murray. Billed as "Jamaica's Number One Comedienne" Matilda is a ventriloquist's dummy and the alter ego of Patrick Murray. Together a charming and funny duo! Overall the entertainment seemed slightly sub-par for a uber-luxury, and expensive, cruise line experience. The voyage itself was a relatively short itinerary. That was what we were looking for as we have much longer cruise coming up in August so thought this shorter cruise would be ideal… as it turned out, it wasn’t the best choice we could have made. Our published itinerary; June 25th – One night extension in Vancouver, Canada June 26th – Embarkation – Vancouver, Canada June 27th – Cruising the Inside Passage June 28th – Ketchikan, Alaska June 29th – Juneau, Alaska June 30th – Skagway, Alaska July 1st – Sitka, Alaska July 2nd - Cruising the Hubbard Glacier July 3rd - Seward, Alaska – Debarkation This looked like the ideal short-form itinerary but it wasn’t to be. What it ended up looking like was this; June 25th – One night extension in Vancouver, Canada June 26th – Embarkation – Vancouver, Canada June 27th – Cruising the Inside Passage June 28th – Ketchikan, Alaska June 29th – CANCELLED - Juneau, Alaska Just another lovely day “Cruising the Inside Passage” June 30th – Skagway, Alaska July 1st – Sitka, Alaska July 2nd - CANCELLED - Cruising the Hubbard Glacier Just another lovely day “At Sea” July 3rd - Seward, Alaska – Debarkation A little about about the TWO MAJOR stops on the itinerary were missed for different reasons. On the second day of the cruise one of the starter engines for one of the main engines failed stranding us overnight in Ketchikan Alaska. That might have been marginally OK if they had let us off the boat to go explore Ketchikan (again) at night... but no, that didn't happen. Instead they kept quiet about the issue even though everyone could see that the departure time had come and gone. A 4:30 pm departure had slipped to 4:30 AM with no information forthcoming from the Captain or the Cruise director. And, even as we got started, it was easy to see the ship was not running on both main engines and was just limping along! The constant TV presence of our Cruise Director, Andy, still extolling the wonderful sights we were about to see in Juneau suddenly shut off without a word leaving only a blank screen. Finally mid-morning there was an announcement.... Cruise Director Andy informed us that due to the (and only just now announced) engine problems. we would be skipping our stop at Juneau and would have another lovely day at sea on our way to Skagway. The passengers grumbles were louder than both engines when working. I was very disappointed because Juneau would have been our first Glacier experience! In my opinion it was unconscionable, inconsiderate and childish of Regent to keep us, the passengers, in the dark for so long on the status of the mechanical problem. It also blows my mind that a mission critical part was not stored on the ship. Sometime in the early afternoon we all heard and felt the second engine start and the ship jumped back up to a brisk 15 knots. Too little too late to save our Juneau stop.... In any event... while a major stop on our voyage was canceled we were still going to go to the face of the Hubbard Glacier, one of the four largest Tidewater Glaciers on the planet, and the largest in Alaska, on the next to last day of our trip. Right!!??!! We were supposed to go in, on the last day of our sail on the SS Mariner, through Disenchantment Bay to the face of the Hubbard glacier. The Hubbard Glacier is the largest tidewater glacier in North America and is a stunning seventy-six miles long, seven miles wide and over one thousand two hundred feet deep at the foot of the glacier! At least that is what we were told. Cameras were checked and rechecked.... Parkas and foul weather gear donned and snugged up tight. The big day comes and several passengers, including myself, are up early on the top deck freezing our "you know what’s" off. As we started to round a bend in the fjord called Disenchantment Bay we were faced with a monstrous wall of dense fog still several miles ahead stretching from mountain to mountain across the bay. The Captain and the Passage Pilot made the decision not to enter the fog because of some significant icebergs floating about. A second major disappointment was about to rear its ugly head... This one weather related :-0 Whether right or wrong, or for better or worse, we were told we could still see the glacier as that bright line across the top of the fog bank!.... I, for one, would have rather NOT HEARD that little tidbit! Disappointment on Disenchantment Bay how apt is that?.... Ironic or not???!!! This second MAJOR disappointment on this short voyage was very hard to take. Really, I certainly have no issue with the safety decision that was made... just disappointed (once again). After returning to the cabin to lick and bind my wounds (metaphorically speaking of course!) I emerged and prepared for our now established daily routine..... BREAKFAST, LUNCH and DINNER! The next day was Seward and the end of the trip. This was a rather pricy disappointment… but live and learn :-) But! We liked what we saw and experienced in Alaska so much that my wife and I agreed we would return in a year or so and give a different cruise line a chance! A brief note on the rest of the stops and sights we did see. I liked Vancouver, at least what I saw of it was a beautiful city and it would certainly be worth spending some time in the city and the area… at least more than a night and part of a day to see more of the city. Chinatown maybe??? Ketchikan, Skagway and Sitka were great stopovers and with more time in port could have been fantastic! Hey wait! We had that extra time in Ketchikan that was totally wasted and inaccessable! Seward, well, nothing to say or see… Got off the ship…. Got on the bus. The Food I know that this is what some of you were waiting for so here goes…. Regent touts the food on board as; "EXQUISITE CUISINE" "Nothing can elevate travel quite like cuisine. That’s why we take so much pride in creating exquisite dining experiences that are nothing short of superb. Experience all the wonderful flavors and delightful scents of choice cuisine from around the world." (direct from the Regent website) It goes without saying that the food is one of the most important components of a cruise for many passengers. From elegant A La Carte dinning to the Grand Buffet the food is oft the star. And while, for the most part, the food at most of the Regent Mariner venues was good, sometimes VERY good, it was far from consistent. Here I’m just going to detail our experiences at the two Regent Specialty Restaurants, Chartreuse French Restaurant and Prime 7 Steak Restaurant and give you a few overall impressions about the other eating venues. Chartreuse French Restaurant That evening I had scored an early reservation (it was the best I could do) at one of the Regent Signature Restaurants, Chartreuse a French Restaurant. I was excited to try what Regent called "Modern French Cuisine". While the dining room was well appointed and comfortable the initial service, and later the food, were a disappointment. We were the first in the restaurant (right at our appointed time) and service was, for lack of a better word.... inattentive. For being the first customers (read ONLY Customers) it took a while to be noticed and seated. The sommelier was slow in visiting the lone table we were occupying . Then the sommelier immediately tried to up-sell me to a $275 bottle of wine and it took me just a moment to catch on. I did ask him what the featured wines were that evening and he recited them showing them to me on the wine list. Regent advertises as an "all-inclusive" cruise and indeed they are. Two wines were included that night, as in every night, a red and a white. But.... If I had not noticed the tiny prices following some of the selections I would have purchased a $125 to $300 bottle of wine. When I quizzed him about the menu he reluctantly confirmed that there was indeed an "upcharge" for those particular premium selections. I told the sommelier please just bring the "house red" after I was clued into the rules. He was visibly disappointed at the lack of the sale :-) I afterwards found that there may have been additional wine selections included for the asking. However, even though I had asked, no other options were offered or clarified. The waiter came to the table immediately after the sommelier vacated and told us of that evenings chef's special choices then left us to peruse the menu. He returned after an appropriate amount of time and left with our order. For appetizers my wife ordered Escargot and I ordered the seared Duck Foie Gras. Entrees were roasted lobster for her and double cut Lamb ribs for me. The Escargot were terrible. Served in a disgusting gravy of some sort they were rubbery and served removed from the shells, a good indication they were (possibly) frozen or even (GASP!) from a can. My Foie Gras was somewhat better. It was nicely displayed/presented with three little apricot dots arranged on the plate. Taste was meh... rather tasteless and bland. The entrees didn't fare any better. My wife's entree, Roasted Lobster with Scallop Mousseline, Green Asparagus and Fava Beans (no Fava Beans were visable), was displayed well but was extremely overcooked resulting in a tough, tasteless piece of unrecognizable meat. The vegetables that were there were fine and well cooked. My lamb was delivered beautifully presented and flanked by two Chickpea Fritters. However I had ordered the lamb Medium RARE. It arrived terribly overcooked and tough. As a result of this criminal treatment of what likely started as a decent piece of meat it was largely tasteless and tough. My desert, Creme Brûlée was well presented and was tasty, rich and creamy with a satisfying sweet/bitter crunch from the caramelized sugar on top while the wife's Chocolate Napoleon was inedible. Prime 7 Steakhouse Tonight was our second specialty restaurant reservation. This time at Regent's steakhouse, Prime 7. We had been by the restaurant several times on the way to the Compass Rose and it was always busy and packed. We had a late reservation at 8:30 pm on the 30th. We showed up about five minutes early and were asked to wait in the lounge area. The Maitre D' came and collected us after a short wait at 8:33.... Perfect! After being seated we were immediately approached by our waiter and the sommelier. The menu as suitable for a steakhouse, was simple and to the point featuring mostly beef offerings with a few chops, seafood and poultry choices. We made our orders and sat back with a little of the house vino. A Palate cleanser of Tomato Bisque was delivered to the table followed closely by the appetizers. The presentation on her appetizer, the Tuna Tartar was very nice and she enjoyed it. My appetizer was Foie Gras Sliders with Rhubarb Chutney. It came out looking like two tiny little hamburgers, which I thought entirely appropriate for a steak house lead-in and they were delicious. Our entrees arrived. She had ordered King Crab and I ordered a 18oz Bone-In Ribeye. Mine was delicious! This was at least a pound of steak-y delicious-ness. Billed as a Prime, Dry-Aged piece of meat, it was cooked perfectly to my ordered medium-rare temperature with a beautiful seared crust on the outside. It was all I could do not to pick up the bone and start gnawing away at the steak like a wild animal. Luckily I was able to control myself and waited until the end of the meal before waving the bone around making a fool of myself. As delicious as my steak was, my wife's King Crab was not. She certainly received a big ol' plate of Crab. But that plate was overcooked, dry and lifeless. She could finish only a small portion of the total before calling it quits. I definitely felt bad for her and told her so between mouthfuls of my perfectly done steak! Dessert was Cheesecake for me and a Berries in Creme Anglaise for her. Both were a good choice and satisfied that Dessert Jones.... We said thank you to our stellar waiter Rochcelle.... and headed out. Some brief thoughts on the other dining venues…. Compass Rose – Compass Rose is the main dining room. Comfortable and well-appointed we found food here consistently good. Everything, with few exceptions, was well prepared and generally tasty no matter what was ordered. Service was always prompt and extremely courteous. Surroundings and ambiance were open, elegant and comfortable. It is open seating and we were always able to score a table by a window. Open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner it is always menu driven. La Veranda – Our choice on deck 11 for Breakfast and Lunch. La Veranda is buffet style serving. More elegant and more variety than the adjacent Pool Side Grille Buffet. It was consistently good. In the evening La Veranda transforms into the menu driven (only buffet in sight is a salad bar) Sette Mari At La Veranda Italian Restaurant. Sette Mari is a great alternative to the Compass Rose and other eating venues. The food is very good with a good Italian themed menu offering. The Pool Grille - was the one breakfast, lunch and dinner venue that allowed a casual dress in the evenings. The food there was served buffet style and usually had a good mix of everything from hamburgers to some simple seafood selections. Ice Cream and deserts were also featured along with a Fresh Juice Bar. For convenience it was located adjacent to the Pool Bar. NOTE: One thing that was, unfortunately, true across ALL of the RESTAURANTS is that they could not deliver a piece of fish that was not overcooked to the point of being criminal. Shrimp and Scallops on the other hand were usually delivered perfectly. Lobster and Crab… not so much. Meat temperature was better with my lamb served at Chartreuse being the major exception. My steak at Prime 7 was perfection! I also give you this as a sample excursion/meal… A Shore Excursion that featured a Crab Feast! Note that this was one of the MANY Shore Excursions that was supplied at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE. Cruise St. George Inlet and Crab Feast We enjoyed our time in Ketchikan walking around the city before going to a Crab Feast. Before the feast we went on a bus trip and then a small boat into the St. George Inlet. we saw some Bald Eagles and pulled up a crab trap to play with some crabs (yes, I know what that sounds like :-) Heading back to the small boat dock restaurant, The George Inlet Lodge, we indulged in our feast. It was all served with a large heaping bit of wit and wisdom from Asley our Charming Young Lady (I never thought I would live long enough to use that term... But there it is!!) of a server. It was very simply, a salad, a cold beer, and a never ending pile of the best Crab I have ever eaten. If you ever find yourself eating Crab at the George Inlet Lodge and served by Asley give her a big hey from Regent 06/28/2019 :-) Debarkation was fairly well organized but had a few hiccups. Debarkation occurred through an exit on Deck 6. Luggage was tagged and picked up from the cabin the night before. We had our breakfast and then made our way to the Coffee Connection area on deck 6 to wait for the call to exit and board the buses that would take us to Anchorage. The only sore spot was the ladies toilets on deck 6 were closed for whatever reason (men's was fine). My wife had to go down one deck to get to a bathroom..... That would not have been that much of an issue but all of the other ladies-in-waiting had to do the same and almost immediately a line formed. There were of course other public bathrooms but on the higher decks and not as convenient. As the traffic became heavier in the one bathroom on deck 5 the toilet paper ran out and was not replenished. It seemed to be “a not so fond farewell....” The bus ride to Anchorage (2.5 hr) was fine but stretched to 3.5 hours because of an accident on the one highway to Anchorage. Upon arrival, because our flight was in the evening, we were taken to the Anchorage Hilton to a "Hospitality" area arranged by Regent. For the end of a supposedly "high-end" cruise the "Hospitality" area was rather weak.... It was an old, no longer used, restaurant at the top of the Hilton. It was a bit tired looking and had little in the way of amenities. No water, hours old coffee, no hot water, and only a tray with a few cookie crumbs being there. No one replenished anything during the time we were there. There were people to help us with the shuttle transfer to the airport at our designated/selected time. We went out for lunch and settled on a nearby restaurant called "The 49th State". It was a casual nice place and had cold freshly on-site brewed beer and upscale pub grub. We ordered a pizza featuring Reindeer and Elk sausage that we enjoyed very much. When in Anchorage it would be a good lunch or evening meal stop! We wandered about downtown Anchorage for another hour or so and returned to the hotel for our trip to the airport and back to “The Lower Forty-Eight”. The wrap up! The Regent cruise wasn’t a total bust. The accommodations (cabin) and the hospitality crew are first rate. The fact that out of five stops we only truly made three was more than a little disappointing. I can’t say that Regent didn’t offer an accommodation because of the issue in by-passing Juneau, they did. But, it was not enough, in my opinion. What was offered was a $750 per passenger ($1500 total) off the your NEXT CRUISE with Regent. Sorry, those of us that were on this voyage, at least in my case, were not going to sign on again. We have been home now since the 4th of July and have heard nothing from Captain, Cruise Director, Chief Engineer or Regent Corporate concerning what happened. That seems like a bad case of “don’t give a crap” at the very least. A head-in-sand attitude at best. Regent is billed as one of the world’s premiere cruise lines which is why we gave it a whirl. Reviewers rate Regent very highly… I can only speculate they were not on our cruise! Would I cruise again with Regent? No, not as it stands now. That said…. If the perfect itinerary at a decent price appeared at the perfect time… I never say never :-) Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted to see Alaska & our travel agent advised us that Regent would offer us the best experience and value. Things didn’t go well at all & we feel we never got a true Alaska vacation as promised or the Regent experience! The ... Read More
We wanted to see Alaska & our travel agent advised us that Regent would offer us the best experience and value. Things didn’t go well at all & we feel we never got a true Alaska vacation as promised or the Regent experience! The ship lost an engine & we had to eliminate Juneau as a port & we had to eliminate the Hubbard glacier due to fog. We were at sea 3 of the 6 days. Not what we wanted and were only offered a $750 credit towards a FUTURE cruise to be booked within a year! In addition, restaurants were difficult to get seated in. Even the no reservation Italian restaurant had an hour and a half wait to be seated! Finding a table for 4 was virtually impossible. And to top things off, the casino manager cheated my husband out of winning a black jack tournament by verbally helping the other person in the finals! He then begged my husband to keep it inside the casino. We had 3 witnesses, reported it to executive concierge and the guest relations office has declined to offer an apology and/or give us any monetary compensation for a very bad cruise for so many reasons. Even my travel agent tried in vain to get us $1500 cash instead of future cruise credit, but they refuse to budge. What a terrible way to do business! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was my 5th cruise with RSSC, so I already knew I would like it. Here are some of the things I like about it. The Mariner is just the right size-small enough to go places others can't and large enough to have multiple places to ... Read More
This was my 5th cruise with RSSC, so I already knew I would like it. Here are some of the things I like about it. The Mariner is just the right size-small enough to go places others can't and large enough to have multiple places to dine and hang out. I like that it is really all inclusive, once on the ship I don't have to spend another dime if I don't want to. I like that even the lowest tier suites are large by the industry standard and are very comfortable and include a veranda. I like that it is generally all adult. On this cruise there were a few children, but they had special programs for them. There are no mandatory formal nights or assigned meal times. They generally offer a good selection of shore excursions, many of which included for free. The specialty restaurants are good, but the food in the main dining room is always very good as well. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I'm relatively new to cruise travel -- prior to this one, I'd completed two cruises, both on another cruise line. I booked this primarily due to the itinerary -- it included both Alaska and the Panama Canal -- and the cost. The ... Read More
I'm relatively new to cruise travel -- prior to this one, I'd completed two cruises, both on another cruise line. I booked this primarily due to the itinerary -- it included both Alaska and the Panama Canal -- and the cost. The cruise was actually two separate cruise: a 10-day Alaska trip from Vancouver to San Francisco; and an 18-day cruise from San Franciso to Miami via the Panama Canal. As such, it mixed cool and warm climates which made packing ... interesting. As a solo traveler, I always have to factor in the "single supplement" which for most cruise lines is 100%. Regent Seven Seas seems to be bucking that trend: so far, all the cruises I've booked have been less than half that (42-45%). This makes Regent Seven Seas much more competitive with more "mainstream" cruise lines for solo travelers. Add the fact that the fare is all-inclusive: drinks (including alcohol), excursions, gratuities, and specialty dining -- things that a lot of cruise lines charge extra for, and the comparison is even more favorable for Regent. The Mariner hosts 700 guests, so it classifies as a "smaller" ship. This makes the ship easier to get around for those of us with some physical challenges. In my case, I have advanced COPD which makes walking long distances particularly problematic. As long as I take my time and walk slowly, I'm OK. Since the ship is smaller, this means getting around the ship is much easier. My cabin was near the aft elevators; most of the ship's guest services, boutiques, etc. are nearer the bow, which meant walking almost the length of the ship at least once a day. I was able to do this with minimal discomfort which allowed me to enjoy more of the ship's features. SUITE: Every cabin on the Mariner is a suite with a veranda. I booked a Concierge suite -- one of the smaller suites on par with Holland America's "Vista" suite -- about 300 sq feet including the veranda. It was a great size for a single person: HUGE walk-in closet; decent bathroom size, comfortable furnishings, mini-fridge stocked and replenished as needed at no additional charge. “On-demand” movies in various genres (about 200 or so, total) available via the interactive television system, which also includes dining menus, daily activity video from the Cruise Director, and the usual set of “Enrichment” and “Destination” videos from onboard lectures. Super comfortable bed and pillows. FOOD: 5-star all the way! Far exceeded my expectations. The expansive "always available" in the Compass Rose (the main dining room) guaranteed a totally yummy dining experience every day without getting bored. In addition to the "always available" selections, there are daily specials which provide additional 3-4 choices in each course. The food is exquisitely presented and absolutely delicious. Portion sizes are reasonable. I visited La Veranda fairly regularly for breakfast and occasionally for lunch. The choices were amazing -- way more than I could possibly explore on a 28-day cruise. The omelets are especially yummy and made to order with whole eggs (unless you order an eggwhite omelet). Lunch selections vary every day although there are a number of things that are always available. Again, beautifully presented and super delicious. Chartreuse is RSSC's "French with a twist" with a set menu -- no daily variations. The food is superb, again beautifully presented and prepared. I ate here three times. Prime 7 is the upscale steakhouse -- I ate here twice and found it excellent, but honestly not much better than Compass Rose. Sette Mari is the Italian restaurant that features more sophisticated dishes. Again, excellent! ENTERTAINMENT: I'm not usually a "shows" person -- I tend to hit the sack kind of early most nights -- but I did attend several shows since it was so convenient (located not far from Compass Rose and Prime 7). The entertainment staff is superb -- 12 singers/dancers who are extraordinarily talented. Their ABBA tribute during the "variety" show was outstanding, and "Blazing Boots" was a country music hit (and I'm not even a country music fan, but it was so well done!). John Barron, the Cruise Director, did one-man shows twice, and his show is definitely worth seeing. And the Constellation Theater is beautiful -- comfortable seating, great sight lines, etc. EXCURSIONS: I don't pre-book excursions mostly because there just isn't enough information in the descriptions for me to make an informed decision about whether or not I can actually physically handle it. As mentioned before, I have to be careful with walking long distances. I don't want to put myself in a position where I might end up delaying other people due to my having to walk slowly. Add to that a very bad knee (waiting for a knee replacement), which makes things like staris and getting on/off tenders particularly tricky, and it just doesn't make sense for me to book an excursion only to have to skip it due to physical challenges. I can't know until I reach the port what those challenges might be. I'm OK with not being able to take many excursions as I find the onboard experience just as important. I'm perfectly content sitting on my veranda, sipping a glass of good red wine, and taking photos of everything I see that is interesting. SERVICE: Again, exceptional. My two room stewards were amazing, making sure I had everything I needed to stay comfortable and happy. The real test of customer service is how they respond when a problem arises. Four days into my cruise, I broke a tooth -- a lateral incisor, with a near-complete fracture. No warning -- it happened in the dining room after biting into one of their amazingly delicious crusty dinner rolls. Just one of those fluke things. I ended up visiting the medical office -- no dentist on staff, and we were just leaving Juneau on a Saturday night. The ship contacted the Sitka port rep (our next port stop), who was able to get me an appointment at e local dentist's office on Monday. Regent provided transportation to/from the dentist's office, and the only charges I incurred were the dentist's bill; RSSC did not charge me anything for their efforts on my behalf. Blew me away! This tells me that they really do put their customers first and will do whatever they can to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. The bottom line: I enjoyed this so much and was so impressed by Regent's commitment to guest experience that by day 11, I was ready to book another Regent Seven Seas cruise: the 2020 "Navigate the World" -- the 131-day world cruise. It's on the Mariner and I was able to book the same cabin I occupied for this cruise. Given the service, the food, the entertainment, the itinerary, and the price, it's the best choice for me. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our first Regent cruise but by no means our first cruise experience having previously completed sailings with Cunard, Holland America, Celebrity and Princess. Regent market themselves as a luxury 6 star, all inclusive cruise ... Read More
This was our first Regent cruise but by no means our first cruise experience having previously completed sailings with Cunard, Holland America, Celebrity and Princess. Regent market themselves as a luxury 6 star, all inclusive cruise experience and you pay a premium for this. The problem with setting the bar so high is that unless you can actually deliver on ALL levels then you are only ever going to disappoint which was in part what we discovered. Embarkation following coach transfer from Anchorage to Seward was efficient. The ship itself was refurbished in March this year and common areas are beautifully appointed. The Mariner is a small ship which has both advantages and disadvantages. On our cruise it was only 2/3 full with approximately 480 passengers on board. Advantages were no queuing, better opportunities for dining in restaurants of choice and smaller tour groups. However, the reduced numbers of passengers resulted in sparsely populated bars and theatre, many empty tables in the main restaurant at any one time and a situation where early one evening we walked the length of the ship on an inside deck where there were bars and did not pass another person apart from the bar staff. It was for us a ship lacking in atmosphere. Sadly the improved ratio of staff to passengers was not obvious. Service was simply not 6 star. In the main Compass Rose restaurant it was rather hit and miss. A number of evenings we had good service but this was also matched by evenings where despite few customers, the service was slow and the staff rather dismissive. One evening my husband was half way through his dessert when a waiter appeared and literally plonked another component of it on the table explaining it had been missed off his plate. Another evening I did not like the white wine being offered with dinner and when I explained this the response was a curt “well what do you want?” rather than a suggestion of what else was available. In one of the Signature Restaurants Chartreuse we ordered green beans and asparagus as side dishes The asparagus was brought but not the beans. When my husband asked if they had forgotten them the waiter pointed to my husband's plate and said “there they are”. We had to point out that was in fact asparagus and not green beans! Also in Chartreuse my dessert was served 5 minutes before my husband who had ordered cheese. We also experienced poor service at the pool bar where despite there being a number of bar staff and ourselves being the only customers one afternoon, we were dismissively told our drinks couldn't be provided because a screen had broken and they couldn’t access a bottle of spirit they needed. No offer from any of the staff to attempt to obtain a bottle from a nearby bar, we were simply told these things happen and left. As we walked away we passed an area piled with dirty plates and remnants of food from earlier. There were occasions throughout the cruise when we placed drinks orders that were incorrectly delivered and occasions where having placed an order the waiter returned a short time later to ask again what we wanted as they had forgotten. On occasions Room Service food took in excess of half an hour to be delivered for the simplest of orders and despite after one meal asking a number of times for our used plates etc. to be cleared from our cabin no one came. We ended up loading up the tray and putting it outside our cabin door. We noticed other feedback has highlighted that the staff are possibly not so well trained/experienced and we would agree with this. In addition to the above, little things like used glasses not being cleared and replaced, nothing available to serve the ice in our cabin, our mini bar not being restocked and our coffee maker was sometimes not emptied. A bottle of Rose wine provided on request was left out on the side at room temperature rather than being placed in our mini bar fridge to chill. Basic mistakes that should not happen on a 6 star cruise! Food on board was a mixed experience. Our food in both of the Signature Restaurants, Prime 7 and Chartreuse was very good. In the main restaurant Compass Rose the food was sometimes good sometimes not so good but the biggest disappointment was the lunch time buffet in the pool bar area which was by far the poorest buffet experience for both choice and presentation we have encountered on any cruise. We overheard a number of passengers comment on how bad it was. Entertainment was poor. You do not expect the big productions you see on larger cruise ships but with a premium price and 6 star billing should come premium entertainment. With the exception of one music show performed personally by the ship’s Cruise Director (nothing like saving money by using your Cruise Director to also entertain!) and one of the 4 shows performed by the Mariner singers & dancers entitled Blazing Boots which were good, the remaining Mariner productions were at best average and at worst amateur. It comes to something when the ship’s Crew Show outshines the professional entertainment! A magician brought on board for 2 shows was good but doing close up magic, was better suited to a smaller bar/ lounge area than the main theatre. Tours were varied and we personally had no issues obtaining the tours we wanted. (Most were included in the price but there was also an opportunity to choose some more specialised tours for a surcharge). As far as quality, again some were good some not so good. This was no different to our experience of other cruise lines. The only advantage was that with a smaller ship, the tours had smaller groups which was nice. Disembarkation in Vancouver and transfer to our hotel was efficient and uneventful. So could we recommend Regent to our friends? In all honesty probably not. This is not because we did not have an enjoyable time, Alaska was beautiful, but simply because the marketing of Regent as a cut above, luxury cruise line does not match the reality. They fell short and we felt we had paid a premium for a less than premium experience. Would we sail with Regent again? There was nothing so awful to make us say definitely no and now at least we are aware of the reality and not just the hype. However, because of our experience it would only be in a circumstance where we could look to obtain a last minute/discounted price deal where we were not paying a premium. Failing that we would choose another cruise line. Cunard are also a more expensive option but we felt offered a much more luxury, premium experience. Holland America, Princess and Celebrity are comparatively less expensive but the quality of our experience on-board was in some cases better than our experience of Regent. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this this cruise because we believe in Regent. Any other line we sail with is compared to Regent. After knowing we would be happy on Regent we then looked carefully at the itinerary. We wanted to sail in or out of Vancouver and ... Read More
We chose this this cruise because we believe in Regent. Any other line we sail with is compared to Regent. After knowing we would be happy on Regent we then looked carefully at the itinerary. We wanted to sail in or out of Vancouver and we wanted a stop in Victoria. We also wanted to explore as much of the Inside Passage as we could. Next we wanted to sail with Terry Breen (she was the Enrichment Lecturer on our Amazon cruise last year). She is excellent and we knew she would make our exploration of Alaska more interesting. Finally we had sailed on the Mariner to the Amazon in November/December 2017 and we were excited to see Mariner after she came out of dry dock. We stayed one night in Anchorage before boarding a coach to Seward for embarkation. When we arrived in Anchorage it was sunny and we were able to see Denali. The locals told us that the weather was better than expected and that we were lucky to see Denali as it was quite often (at least 50% of the time) shrouded in clouds. The coach ride to Seward was quite pleasant. We were given a snack and were given a commentary about the sights along the route. Seward terminal made me smile. I said "well this is Alaska". Friendly and competent would describe the staff. Embarkation was relaxed and stress free. Of course a champagne flute awaited us as soon as we boarded. The new color pallet on Mariner is beautiful and elegant. Our suite, 863, was very comfortable. The storage above the desk has been removed but we did not miss it. That area is now more open and appears larger. This suite does not have a tub (our request) and we enjoyed not having to step up into the tub/shower combination. (Personal Preference) The flow in the Veranda is better managed. The somewhat bizarre (our opinion) art in the atrium elevator we called Stairway to Heaven has been removed and we consider that an improvement. There is new furniture and carpeting around the ship. Overall the ship looks updated and so pretty. The one design flaw perhaps is in the theater. The step hazards have been removed and that is a good thing. However, the arm rails extend far out and "snag clothing, your handbag, or even your knees. We were cautious and we were fine but were alerted to this and might be a potential problem for some. As I said we had been on the Mariner in late 2017. The entertainment cast was different than the Amazon cruise but the shows were repeats. They were still good. The cruise director, John did a one man show that was really fantastic. He is talented and professional while being quite personable. We enjoyed his show immensely. There was also a very good magician that we enjoyed. Terry Breen did not disappoint. We learned so much about glaciers and about the First Nation's People and whales and just about Alaska in general. We knew that we would come home with a better understanding of this last frontier after spending time with Terry. The weather was a concern but we packed for cold and rain and in between. Our weather was glorious. Sunny and 60's. If it did rain it was in the evening . The mornings were cool so layering is the secret. We had a rainy day in Ketchikan but not soaking and rain was interspersed with sun. Every new day brought new and more beautiful scenery. Each day brought a new experience. We saw snow capped mountain peaks, glaciers (We got within 1/2 mile of the glacier and witnessed calving), fjords, grizzlies,black bears, eagles, salmon running, sea lions, orca whales, and humback whales, black tail deer and totems. We were treated to the splendor of Alaska visually and from our wonderful guides. The people of Alaska are some of the friendliest we have met anywhere in the world. They are eager for you to learn about their culture and to experience Alaska through their eyes. Visiting with the locals was one of my favorite activities. Their life is hard but it is what they love. We left Alaska and sailed to Victoria. It is a really pretty Victorian city. We toured the city, visited Butchart Gardens and attended High Tea at the Empress Hotel. If only one activity fits in your schedule do not miss the Butchart Gardens. This is a truly magical place. We then sailed to Vancouver and boarded a van to begin our post cruise . We spent 2 days in Whistler. WOW!!! This was a site for the Winter Olympics and we stayed at the Fairmont Chateau hotel which is a 4 Seasons resort with Blackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain as backdrops. Since there was no snow the preferred activity was mountain biking and bikers were everywhere. This is a great area to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. We rode the gondola and went on the Peak2Peak tram. The next day we flew to see the glacier in a float plane. Fun and new experience for us. We really enjoyed the upscale lodge feel of Whistler. The third day we left Whistler and returned to Vancouver and had a half day tour. We saw Stanley Park, had a lunch stop on Granville Island (the public market was amazing!) and drove through Chinatown and the Gastoen area. We spent the night at the Fairmont Vancouver and then were transferred to the Vancouver airport for our flight home. This is a very nice airport. Customs was quick and painless as you actually clear US customs there rather than at your US destination. To complete our review of the Mariner we need to discuss the food. We dined in all of the venues and enjoyed every meal. Compass Rose is spectacular and I really enjoyed Chartreuse. This is a new venue for the Mariner (replaced Signatures). We had no complaints with any venue . Service on Regent can not be beat. As an example, I love their sea bass. I forgot to check the Compass Rose menu and missed it the one night it was prepared. I asked if it was going to be on another night. "Sorry, no. However we will ask the chef and if he has the ingredients he will make it for you tomorrow night." He did and it was delicious, as I knew it would be. Thank You for going above and beyond! If I haven't made it clear by now, this cruise to Alaska was beyond our expectations. I need to say that we keep coming back to Regent because of the crew. They had been in Alaska all Spring and Summer doing similar routes and I am sure hearing similar stories and seeing similar scenery. However, their energy level, big smiles, and eagerness to please would lead you to believe they were on the first cruise in Alaska. First class all the way!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My family (which includes two teenagers) wanted to take a summer vacation in Alaska. The date of this cruise along with the size and luxury of the boat fit the ticket for us and that's how we chose the RSSC Mariner. We booked the ... Read More
My family (which includes two teenagers) wanted to take a summer vacation in Alaska. The date of this cruise along with the size and luxury of the boat fit the ticket for us and that's how we chose the RSSC Mariner. We booked the cruise directly with RSSC. I found our travel agent at RSSC to be very easy to work with. My only complaint with RSSC was several of the excursions that we would have enjoyed had been booked prior to our booking the trip and some of the excursions were just OK (that is the reason for the 4 star vs 5 star). Perhaps it was bad choosing on our part. We would have enjoyed having more flexibility with the excursions. But perhaps that is an impossibility in the nature of cruising - we were new to cruising. The food on the boat was excellent and my kids require gluten free diets which the culinary staff was amazing, They had wanted us to pre-order our gluten free meals ahead of time however many times my kids decided what they wanted at the meals and they couldn't have been more flexible. The complete staff on board could not have been more welcoming. There was a youth club - but my kids weren't interested in joining. There was a great game room with lots of games that we were able to use anywhere on board and a pool. We were lucky with wonderful weather and the pool deck was used often. Our room was very nice and the housekeeping staff was wonderful. The fitness facility was small and we did have to wait for treadmill/elliptical when we went. The spa was nice - we enjoyed massages and a manicure for me. The on board entertainment was enjoyable. We needed to see the doctor (for pink eye) that was contracted before cruising for medication and the medical facility/doctor/nurse were wonderful. I would highly recommend cruising with RSSC - but do some homework on the excursions! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We booked an Alaska cruise only three weeks out!!! George Ramos was our booking agent and he was fantastic. He really worked hard for us on the airline arrangements, and we could not have asked for more. The cruise was just for my wife ... Read More
We booked an Alaska cruise only three weeks out!!! George Ramos was our booking agent and he was fantastic. He really worked hard for us on the airline arrangements, and we could not have asked for more. The cruise was just for my wife and I. We have cruised before on Seabourn and NCL. Overall we were really happy. They really do include almost everything in the price and that makes this style of cruising very relaxing. We booked into a Penthouse A suite on Deck 11. Check-in and boarding were pretty smooth. It did not quite have the personalized touch that Seaborn did with someone waiting for you in your room, but our Butler, Bejoy, was amazing. He really could not have been nicer or more competent. The room was very spacious, well-kept, and in good shape. The included excursions were really good. We just stuck with those. You have to pay an upcharge for some of the more high-end ones. The included wi-fi was a really nice perk. The one disappointment was the food. Granted my wife and I are pretty spoiled / lucky, but I just felt the food was a notch below where it should have been. There were some standouts like the king crab legs in Prime 7 and the filet / tenderlon was always good. But in general, although it all looked good on the menu, it just fell short. The foie gras (which I had twice) was well-cooked, but just completely bland. Same with the schnitzel one night. I had a porterhouse in Prime 7 and it was tasty but maybe just a 1/2 inch thick. Other examples would be the brussel sprouts in Compass Rose which were just served steamed with zero seasoning, a lobster bisque which was incredibly thin, or the lobster tails which always looked like they'd been under the heat lamp for a bit too long. I think we had our best experiences at Sette Mari with Efrem as our server. We were able to order canapes in our room but the timing (5-7) put it too close to dinner for us and the selection didn't vary and was kind of so-so. Enough on the food! We do enjoy wine and we found the selection included to be fine with us. Decent selection and all pretty good. We ordered a bottle of Groth one night and IMO they offer you these extra-cost wines at below-market prices (plus no tax and tip on them). We went to the show almost every night. They were very well done. One thing I noted though was there there was very little diversity in the cast, and that's not something I normally notice. As far as the clientele, it was mostly English-speaking. There were a number of kids on board (I think over 100!) and a number of multi-generational groups travelling together. I did notice that the ship never really felt crowded though. You could almost always get a seat at whatever bar, lounge, or restaurant you wanted. (Exceptions were Prime 7 and Chartreuse, but that's to be expected.) All in all, this was a five-star cruise that I think was let down by the quality of the dining experience. And even then, the menu, the setting, and the service were all great, it just came down to some pretty bland dishes from the kitchen. We would do Regency again if the schedule drove us there (like this time), but may try Seabourn again or Crystal next time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
AK cruise, 11 days Vancouver to Vancouver. The Mariner had just undergone a major refit and it looked great. Lots of new teak wood decking which was very attractive and felt good to walk on compared to steel. Food and service were first ... Read More
AK cruise, 11 days Vancouver to Vancouver. The Mariner had just undergone a major refit and it looked great. Lots of new teak wood decking which was very attractive and felt good to walk on compared to steel. Food and service were first rate. The house wines are quite good, not low-grade stuff designed to push you into pricey upgrades. The specialty restaurants are just wonderful. I had a steak that was as good as any I have had in my entire life. The French food was absolutely perfect. I have only one suggestion for improvement. We love espresso coffee drinks and it seemed impossible to get fresh cream or half and half aboard. The ship's coffee bar uses box packaged super pasteurized milk products which are not as good tasting as the fresh cartons you buy in stores. Several times our shore excursions included shopping for fresh cream to put in our coffee aboard. This might be an inventory or storage logistics problem, but Regent should endeavor to fix it as it is the one thing that kept the shipboard food epxerience at a 9+ instead of a 10. I was going to try several different cruise lines to find the perfect one, but my Regent experience on my very first cruise has made that comparison shopping unnecessary. My future cruises will be Regent cruises for sure. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We have Cruised with Regent before and always found it great, however this Alaskan Cruise left a lot to be desired. We stayed at the Regent recommended Anchorage Hilton which certainly was not up to the standard we would expect....Most ... Read More
We have Cruised with Regent before and always found it great, however this Alaskan Cruise left a lot to be desired. We stayed at the Regent recommended Anchorage Hilton which certainly was not up to the standard we would expect....Most passengers arrived later in the day but there was little or no food available as the Coffee Shop was closed and the restaurant only opened for restricted hours in the evening....when we asked at Reception we were told to go along the road to a bar that served food.!!!!! Not what we expected from Regent. Regent forgot to mention that the ship does not actually sail from Anchorage, but from Seward which is 140 miles away!! Yes there was a coach available (at an extortionate price)...but 3 hours on a coach was not the way we expected to start our trip. Embarkation was fast and efficient and the stateroom was almost what we expected....on previous Cruises our bathroom had a bath and a separate shower...not on the Mariner...a shower inside the bath....disappointing! There was bulb out in our Bathroom for 4 days and despite asking repeatedly for it to be dealt with, it never was. Food was acceptable ..all sounded and looked good but a little lacking in seasoning...just a little bland...perhaps 7 out of 10. Entertainment was surprisingly good for a small ship. The biggest problem was an outbreak of GI (Nora Virus) on board which shut down and curtailed many things. The Laundry, Library, games areas and food areas were all affected as, according Regent, the Virus could be transmitted by touching....however the Casino (which makes money for Regent) stayed open with people touching Chips and cards. I have since contacted Regent about this and received a very standardised response which did not answer my questions, and when I asked again for answers to specific questions...I have been ignored...no response at all and that is now well over 2 weeks. We always wanted to visit Alaska...just once, to tick it off our "bucket list", so this was a once in a lifetime Cruise for a Special Birthday which was disappointing and Regent's lack of responses are even more disappointing. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We did a considerable amount of research for our Alaskan cruise before choosing the Seven Seas Mariner. The ship presents itself with such class and attention to every detail.The embarkation was organised and stress free. The suite was ... Read More
We did a considerable amount of research for our Alaskan cruise before choosing the Seven Seas Mariner. The ship presents itself with such class and attention to every detail.The embarkation was organised and stress free. The suite was more than we expected for three of us ( our adult daughter shared the suite with us in the ‘lounge area’ of the suite. The bathroom was a good size with lovely complimentary toiletries and shower over bath. The staff were friendly and we were greeted several times a day by a sunny smile and a good morning or good afternoon or good evening. The lectures were informative and offered a good entry level into learning about Alaska. The evening shows were relaxed and entertaining. All of the restaurants offered a wide choice. We ate at Chartreuse several evenings where the food was beautifully presented and delicious. The other à la carte restaurants we enjoyed were Prime 7 and Compass Rose all of which were exceptional. We enjoyed breakfast at La Verenda where it was self - service. We also enjoyed lunches at Coffee Connections where there was a wide range of light snacks to choose from. Had there not been Gastrointestinal infection on the ship it would have been perfect. Because of this, all the self service laundries were locked and were not made available for the balance of our cruise - 6 days. We were not offered a complimentry laundering service and when asked were told that we would have to pay. I felt that we could have had a bit of help in this regard as after all we had paid for a commodity and there wasn’t any option offered to us. Other than this, it was amazing. The best part was not having to pay for your meals, drinks, and tips in the ‘all inclusive’ fee structure. Looking forward to our next cruise with Seven Seas. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Itinerary. We’ve cruised with Regent 3 Times before and enjoy the all inclusive pricing. The food, specialty beverages, wines, cabin spaciousness and shore excursions were top notch. Our butler was outstanding and offered excellent tips ... Read More
Itinerary. We’ve cruised with Regent 3 Times before and enjoy the all inclusive pricing. The food, specialty beverages, wines, cabin spaciousness and shore excursions were top notch. Our butler was outstanding and offered excellent tips and info each morning with room service breakfast and in the evening when we brought us canapés. The ship has been in dry dock recently and every area of the ship was in excellent condition. The Compass Rose renovation was needed and the result is gorgeous. We enjoyed the new dining options Chartreuse and Prime 7 several times during our cruise. Terrific food and excellent service. The only downside was an outbreak of norobirus which impacted about 30 of the 700 cruisers and 450 crew. When the outbreak was reported the crew immediately implemented an extremely rigorous cleaning protocol all over the ship. We were affected by the virus but did notice how diligent the crew was. Their efforts restricted the outbreak to only a small # of passengers and crew. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I should start by saying that this is my first cruise experience. We booked using a travel agent. We had the following requirements: great food, not a lot of kids, and not a "party" boat. This cruise definitely checked all ... Read More
I should start by saying that this is my first cruise experience. We booked using a travel agent. We had the following requirements: great food, not a lot of kids, and not a "party" boat. This cruise definitely checked all the boxes for us! Cabin:We upgraded to a concierge Suite on the 10th floor. It was so spacious. We had a king size bed, walk in closet and even a sitting area. We had a bathtub with wonderful Loccitane products as well and even a balcony with enough room to have two chairs and a small table. Dining: The food was fabulous! We ate at all the options that they had! The pool bar had burgers, etc. Prime 7 has steaks and seafood. Compass Rose is open Breakfast lunch and dinner and has a great variety. And Sierra Mar ( My favorite) is italian and Chartreuse is French. I HIGHLY recommend making dinner reservations at Prime 7 and Chartreuse. These did book up on our 7 day cruise and the others are first come first served. ALL THE FOOD AND DRINKS were included. Not just the beer and wine but everything! Service: This was unlike anything I have experienced. Everyone that works for this ship is very nice and so accommodating. Pretty much anything that I asked for, they would make happen. For instance, we had a steward named Gregory that we met on the first day. He asked if there was anything that we needed for our room or mini bar. I asked for wine for the mini bar and he even asked what kind that I preferred and made sure that the mini bar was stocked with my favorite wine the whole trip. This was a nice touch. Ship: Was very clean, and very well appointed. It had a luxurious feel without feeling stuffy. Shore excursions: We did the Bering Sea- Crab Fishermans Tour in Ketchikan. I would HIGHLY recommend this! It was one of my favorite excursions that we did!!! Very informative and it was interesting to see what the day and the life of a crab fisherman would be like. We also got to see A LOT of bald eagles! Mendenhall Glacier and whale Quest in Juneau. Very fun! We got some great pics of the glacier and it was a beautiful day so it was nice to be on the water. We didn't get to see a lot of whales though. Venture to Glacer Point was amazing but I wouldn't not recommend to someone who doesn't like to walk a lot. It is a pretty far walk to the Glacier after the canoe ride but for myself who likes this, it was great! It was really cool to be soo close to the glacier. The Sea otters, Raptors and Bears, in Sitka was a little disappointing. We thought it was a little more like seeing Bears and Eagles in the natural habitat but it was more like visiting a zoo. We did see Sea Otters but couldn't get close enough to get good pictures. I do have to make clear that ALL the excursions were NOT free. There are a lot that are but those ones didn't really appeal to us. We were given a discounted rate but still, that was a little misleading. Overall, this was a great experience! It was an expensive cruise, but we felt that it was worth every penny! We are already looking forward to booking another cruise with Regent! Read Less
41 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Chose Regents Seven Seas Mariner because we wanted to tour Alaska and the time of year and schedule were perfect. Recently we had sailed on Oceania so wanted to give Regents a try. Alaska is great if you want beautiful and amazing ... Read More
Chose Regents Seven Seas Mariner because we wanted to tour Alaska and the time of year and schedule were perfect. Recently we had sailed on Oceania so wanted to give Regents a try. Alaska is great if you want beautiful and amazing scenery and seeing landscapes you cannot see anywhere else in the world. It is pretty cool to see moose, bear, bald eagles, porpoises and whale living in the wild. We did the pre-Denali tour and our guide, Lane, did a great job pointing everything out and making sure we stuck to the schedule. He also gave great recommendations for restaurants and he does a nice job figuring out your likes and dislikes. A common theme to this review will be that I wish many of the tours were more active. I expected the hikes to be more challenging and that we would be outside of a bus a little more than we were. I wanted to spend more time in Girdwood which a great little town and the Hotel Alyska has a lot to offer. We didn’t have enough time there. We arrived at the Mariner on sailing day at about 3:30. The lifeboat drill was at 4:00 so there was very little time to explore. The Mariner is beautiful ship with great flow. It did not look old at all and I think it recently had been refurbished. Our cabin was a Penthouse level 1. Great size for two people. Plenty of room with lots of drawers and a good size closet. Although not as big as Oceania. Suitcases had to (and fit fine) go under the bed. Room was always clean and Butler was always available if we needed anything. Refrigerators always had plenty of soda and there was wine there as well. And beer. It was very comparable to the suite on Oceania Riveria. There was Lily express maker but no cappuccino maker like on Riviera. Also the afternoon canapés were always better on the Riveria. Restaurants and food were better than NCL, Royal Caribbean, Disney and Carnival. But not as good or as varied as the Oceania Riveria. There is one main dining room, Compass Rose, which has half the menu same every night and the other changes daily. Lots of choices. There is also La Veranda which is an Italian restaurant which has a set menu with some daily specials. In bed th restaurants Food was good, but not great. Desserts were almost always disappointing. Service for certain things was not good. Constantly had to ask someone to refill water glasses and at time difficult to find person for more wine. All were very pleasant. Tomas at La Veranda was the next waiter on ship. Very knowledgeable and friendly. Neither of those restaurants took reservations. However, for two nights we could not get seats at La Veranda at 7:00 because it was full. There are two reservation restaurants. Prime 7 had the best food in any steakhouse we have been on in any ship. Chartreuse, the French restaurant was very good as well. Unfortunately, with my class of Penthouse 1, you can only reserve them online at each one time per cruise before the cruise. On the second night I tried to book more nights and they were already filled for every night. Entertainment was basically 4 Review shows - Broadway, country, crooners, and a mix. Singers were very good. The dancers were fantastic. William was especially great. Really really amazing. Felt shows were comparable to Oceania. One show at 9:30 which was kind of late. Excursions were good but not for the younger generation. My wife and I are 50 and we had our 18 and 19 yo old children. We were all on Oceania last June touring the Mediterranean. We knew Regent was an older crowd but it was quite different than Oceania. Not sure whether that was because of cruiseline, Alaska, or being in May as opposed to June. However, even the tours that were the “most” strenuous were not tiring at all. Lots of bus tours and slow walking. We were hoping it would be more rugged and descriptions of tours seemed more active than they actually were. Alaska is beautiful and wildlife is incredible. Our biggest complaint was the lack of activities on the ship. No organized games except for one trivia each year. No real interesting lectures on any day. We all wished there had been lots more to do like there were every other cruiseline we have been on. Overall the Mariner is a great ship if you want to relax and drink and eat with a quiet group of people. And it is an excellent ship but probably would not cruise on Regent again. I think we will opt for Oceania. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise because it meant a short flight to Vancouver and a limo home from San Francisco. Flying has become our least favorite part of traveling. Mariner is a beautiful ship even if she needs a facelift. We started cruising ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it meant a short flight to Vancouver and a limo home from San Francisco. Flying has become our least favorite part of traveling. Mariner is a beautiful ship even if she needs a facelift. We started cruising on her twelve years ago when she was a Radisson ship before becoming Regent, and later joining NCL. We enjoyed her in 2005 and still enjoy her now. We are looking forward to sailing on her again in 2018 after her retrofit. We chose an F forward cabin with shower, no tub which is adequate for our needs and provided a comfortable ride. We do not like Compass Rose, the main dining venue, because service is way to slow for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We find the menu to be monotonous, although improved with the choices of sauce but still prefer the specialty prestaurants. Artful Travelers provided guest speakers and entertainment that were a highlight of this cruise. Filmmakers discussed their PBS and Frontline films in both lectures and at cocktails and discussions, and passengers could ask questions at both venues. We also had a variety of Guest Speakers including Barbara Boxer. Passengers who signed up for the Artful Travelers Program were invited to dinners and cocktail parties. Regent Entertainment is definitely a step up from years past. Service was excellent in most venues, our suite was well maintained and our every request was taken care of right away. We usually take the "free excursions," and those were entertaining, the one Regent Choice Excursion was just ok, not great. We have approximately 300 days on Regent and this was one of our favorite cruises because of the Artful Travelers Experience. When Regent offers this opportunity, give it your consideration. Read Less
81 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I would rate them a little higher but a month after a Regent's canceled tour which I was to be refunded on my credit card, getting a round around. Lot's of promise but no refund a month later. As far as the cruise very smooth ... Read More
I would rate them a little higher but a month after a Regent's canceled tour which I was to be refunded on my credit card, getting a round around. Lot's of promise but no refund a month later. As far as the cruise very smooth embarkation and disembarkation, thanks. Rooms looking pretty tired and need some updating but clean and taken care of daily with no problems. Not a big issue, not in the rooms much. Most of the staff very helpful and very friendly, few minor issues but nothing that wasn't taken care of. I and a number of guest were surprised at the number of kids on the ship which is no big deal but had to spend way too much time with unsupervised kids at meals, bars, and tours. If I wanted to take a Disney tour I would have booked one, although a lot of the blame falls on the parents. Didn't know Regents was supposed to be their baby sitters and the guest get to enjoy their kids. I know I sound like I hate kids which is not the case, a lot of people were not happy about the situation. As far as food very good to very poor, Compass Rose was terrible twice. Prime was excellent, Signatures very good but was rushed from the minute we sat down. Sette Mari was very nice, great staff every time. Some nice tours no complaints at all with the exception of a canceled tour that we did not find out about until we left the boat on the pier. Overall it was fine but not sure I got the best bang for the buck for what we were hoping for. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I choose this cruise because it was all inclusive. . We arrived at Vancouver, stayed at the beautiful Fairmont Vancouver the day before the cruise had a lovely breakfast which was included. Our luggage was picked up from inside our hotel ... Read More
I choose this cruise because it was all inclusive. . We arrived at Vancouver, stayed at the beautiful Fairmont Vancouver the day before the cruise had a lovely breakfast which was included. Our luggage was picked up from inside our hotel room and transported to the ship.The cruise bus picked us up at our scheduled time. We were checked in, through customs and on the ship without delay or lines. I was disappointed in the size of the room. The food was great. The lectures were wonderful. Always about information for the next port (totem poles, bears, etc.) The free excursion were good. The one we paid for was awful. . (Wilderness Jetboat Prince Rupert)We did complain but they didn't seem to care. Good excursions were The Whale Watching with guarantee did produce hump back whales and sea lions, the crab boat with all you can eat Dungeness crab. The girls were very entertaining. The ship was very quiet. Not a lot of activities, Older cruisers, very few children. Very relaxing. The SPA was very pricey. Only a few shops, small casino, no photographers and no one trying to sale you anything, Just relaxing, eating, lectures, shows and social hour. No bill at the end. All alcohol and gratuities included. Deporting was organized and fast. I hated to leave the ship. I would go again. Read Less
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