19 Regent Seven Seas Mariner Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We enjoyed pretty much everything about this cruise. The itinerary, the service, the food, the land arrangements, our cabin, our friends we went with and the people we met. That said, I'll mention a few places RSSC can improve. ... Read More
We enjoyed pretty much everything about this cruise. The itinerary, the service, the food, the land arrangements, our cabin, our friends we went with and the people we met. That said, I'll mention a few places RSSC can improve. There was a major SNAFU in Ravenna, Italy. The actual arrangements (shuttle to town) weren't bad, weren't great, but the INFO given to passengers on the dock was WRONG, created confusion and delayed our getting into town. No reason for this. They should have had correct info and a crew member to help us, both dockside and outside the port gate. The internet at sea was included ("free") but much worse than the internet on other cruise ships. Mainly the on-board server software was buggy. I was never sure if the free service was a certain number of minutes a day free or something else. Our cabin service was not the best. It started off without 'do not disturb' signs so there were instances of the doorbell ringing or being walked-in on until we got them on the 2nd or 3rd day. Then, as we used our requested beverages, they weren't replaced without asking. He did keep us well-supplied with ice. Excursions were mostly included, and had excellent destinations but in terms of arrangements were below average. Uncomfortable buses, mediocre restaurants, etc. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Recommended by travel agent. This was our 12th cruise and first with REGENT. We are use to first class travel and accommodations and having sailed first class on the QE 1, I will have to say REGENT far exceeded our expectations. The shore ... Read More
Recommended by travel agent. This was our 12th cruise and first with REGENT. We are use to first class travel and accommodations and having sailed first class on the QE 1, I will have to say REGENT far exceeded our expectations. The shore excursions were first class and went off without a hitch. The food and beverages were as good as any 5 star restaurant on shore and the service was outstanding. What we really appreciated was the lack of lines, photographers, "special" jewelry sales, screaming kids, being nickeled and dimed plus the usual bill at the end of the cruise. As my wife stated, the cruise and guests were both very civilized. The entertainment was excellent and the crew to guest ratio meant the service over the top. We loved the REGENT cruise so much, we are booked on the brand new EXPLORER in September 2016. We can hardly wait. We feel the value of the REGENT cruises is definitely worth the expense. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Six of us sailed with Regent from Venice to Istanbul, with stops in Croatia, Montenegro, and various ports in Greece and Turkey. We all enjoyed it very much, and thought Regent did its usual excellent job of taking care of us. We embarked ... Read More
Six of us sailed with Regent from Venice to Istanbul, with stops in Croatia, Montenegro, and various ports in Greece and Turkey. We all enjoyed it very much, and thought Regent did its usual excellent job of taking care of us. We embarked in Venice, where we'd spent a comfortable night at the Hotel Luna Baglioni. We took a water taxi to check in for the cruise (this is Venice, after all! Check-in was straightforward. Because of the Festival of the Redeemer, we checked in at the cruise ship terminal, but had to ride a bus to the ship, which was docked over on the mainland. That was easy, though. We had lunch on the ship, and before we were finished, our suites were ready. We then attended the mandatory lifeboat drill. (I really appreciate that Regent takes this part quite seriously. When in Vancouver, BC earlier this summer, I observed two other ships getting ready for departure, and supposedly having their drills = most passengers were out on the deck totally ignoring the drill. Regent takes safety very seriously.) I won't go into detail about every port, except to say we enjoyed our excursions, and felt they were worthwhile. Also hugely worthwhile: the Enrichment Lectures given by Dr. Paula Smith. She gave four talks on board: Corfu, Athens, Ephesus, and Istanbul, and they were all informative and enjoyable. We found servers and waiters to be professional, courteous, and possessed of good memory. They remembered things such as drink preferences after the very first order. Food was outstanding. We had one dinner each in Signatures and Prime 7, and one of the Prime 7 waiters remembered us from our Baltic cruise in 2012! Other venues (Compass Rose, La Veranda, Sette Mari) were all excellent as well. And, when in port in Athens, the ship threw a big BBQ on the pool deck, which was great fun. The shows on board were better than I expected - that doesn't sound very complimentary, and I don't mean to disparage the entertainment on my other cruises. I did think, however, that this cruise's company was even better. The orchestra, in particular, was fantastic. We disembarked in Istanbul, after spending a night on board in port. Disembarkation was straightforward, and Regent had arranged for a city tour, which helped fill the couple of hours in between disembarkation and when our hotel would be ready. That was a very good tour, in that we visited a small mosque and our guide was able to spend time explaining things to us. The tour the day before to the Blue Mosque wasn't quite as nice because of the crowds, and the smell of dirty feet. :-( Anyway, when we reached the Hotel Ceylan InterContinental at about 11AM, they were ready for us, and Regent had prepared a brochure for us, outlining what else we could do in Istanbul, and how we'd get to the airport when we left two days later. In fact, even though we had to leave the hotel at 0600, Regent had a representative who went with us to the airport and helped us all the way to security. We were pleased at this unexpected level of service. Bottom line: I won't sail with anyone but Regent. Their service, professionalism, friendliness, and the all-inclusive policy, just make it for me, and my family. We've already booked the next one: New England on the Navigator!   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Having sailed previously with other cruise lines, P&O, Cunard and Compagnie Du Ponant we had high expectations of Regent and particularly Seven Seas Mariner, having had good reviews from friends and neighbors who sail regularly on her. ... Read More
Having sailed previously with other cruise lines, P&O, Cunard and Compagnie Du Ponant we had high expectations of Regent and particularly Seven Seas Mariner, having had good reviews from friends and neighbors who sail regularly on her. Our experience did not start very well sadly - we had booked a Penthouse suite and therefore qualified for FREE business class flights and a FREE pre-cruise hotel, obviously neither are FREE as you pay a higher price for a higher grade suite. On arrival to Venice we were greeted by Regent ground handlers who really didn't seem to know what was happening. We were, however, escorted to the water taxi departure point and sent off to the Hotel Excelsior on the Lido, Venice. We had heard very bad reports on this hotel and had even asked Regent to change it - our request was refused and we were reminded that it was a FREE night so we should be happy!! Anyway, this is about the ship and not the hotel - departure from the hotel and transfer to the ship were relatively painless if a little slow. Once aboard we had to wait two hours before being able to access our suite - why take people to the ship knowing they cannot have their suite? So, at about 14.30 we were told that the suites were ready and we went directly to ours on deck 8 - a very spacious suite with a good walk in closet and numerous hangers, small(ish) shower room with an " impractical for tall people" rainfall shower and hand held unit, the main living/sleeping area was exceptional with curtaining to separate the areas. Having been recently refurbished the condition was very good, perhaps a little dated with a wooden wall unit housing the TV and minibar etc but certainly not offensive. A very small safe in the closet is just enough for wallets and passport but not iPads. The staff are generally very nice and courteous - especially those from the Far East - the more western crew ( at Reception desk) were not always as friendly as you would expect. Our Butler had some mood swings during our voyage. Dining in Signature and Prime 7 is definitely worth making the reservation in advance for but make them for towards the end of your cruise - we had our two reservations at the beginning and were then disappointed by the other offerings. Room service was slow whenever we ordered so we stopped making use of it. F & B staff around the ship are fantastic, some even remembering your name and using it every time they see you whether on board or ashore. Another minor niggle was the advertised FREE wifi in Penthouse and above ... however it is only 30 minutes during the voyage - this is changing in November we were told and will offer 500 minutes maximum depending on voyage length. the spa was very expensive by european standards however it was busy most of afternoons when people returned from tours we were told. All in all it was a nice experience, not sure it would qualify as Six Star but certainly five and a bit. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I booked this cruise because of a conference onboard and also wanted to see what 6 star cruise experience is like. The chance to visit the Black Sea was also an attraction. I added the business class upgrade to Athens and from Istanbul ... Read More
I booked this cruise because of a conference onboard and also wanted to see what 6 star cruise experience is like. The chance to visit the Black Sea was also an attraction. I added the business class upgrade to Athens and from Istanbul because of the long flight from the west coast of North America. It was well worth the $999 each way. They flew us there on KLM and back on Delta. We were met at Athens airport by RSSC representative and a dozen of us were sent by bus to the Divani Caravel Hotel. They had a hospitality desk at the hotel that handled our questions. Arrangements to take us to the ship the next day was very smooth. Check-in was very efficient as their staff handled one bus at a time and the buses arrived at staggered times. We were treated to a buffet lunch with white table cloth once onboard since the suites were not ready until 2:30 p.m. We booked a guaranteed Suite F but was "upgraded" to Concierge Suite D on Deck 10. The suite was the same size as a mini-suite on larger ships but the layout was very functional. There was a walk=in closet and the bathroom was good size. Even though there was no bathtub, the shower was quite large and the shape of the bathroom made everything very convenient. The bed was an European King size bed that had a plush pillow top. The mini-bar was stocked with water, soda and beer (no extra charge). Balcony was fair size with two bamboo chairs and an ottoman. Cabin service was good as expected. I experienced neck and back pain for the first three nights and figured that it was because the bed was too soft. The cabin stewards managed to firm up the bed when I mentioned the problem and the pain went away.Now about the "upgrade". According to RSSC, the cabin upgrade only included the items in the cabin, so the in-room coffee-maker and binoculars were not removed. However, items that would cost them such as 30 minutes of internet, 15 minutes of phone call, 10% off premium wines were not included. In most other cruise lines, when there was a cabin upgrade, the passenger would get all of the benefits of the upgraded cabin. The food service was one of the selling points of the Mariner. I was impressed with the food service overall but there were minor exceptions. Each passenger was able to pre-book one night at Prime 7 (steak house) and Signatures (French restaurant). I managed to book an extra night at Signatures once I was onboard. I spent the first night at Sette Mari, the Italian restaurant on Deck 11. It was a buffet appetizer setup with pasta and main course prepared to order. We were fortunately to be served by two Italian waiters and they made the experience very authentic. I ordered a bottle of Italian wine from the premium wine list as it was good value compared to home. Compass Rose was their main dining room with no reservation needed. It opened at 6:30 p.m. and there was always room. Food was also very well prepared and presented. I spent two nights at Signatures and tried the various dishes. All dishes were well prepared and service was excellent. The only minor glitch was the food at Prime 7. I ordered a prime rib and my wife ordered a fillet mignon. The meat was not tender at all but the preparation was fine. Wines were included and they had a good selection of each varietal of white and red each night. These would be good valued wines that was appropriate for dinner. I did ordered a few more times from the premium wine list as there were some good values. Some excursions were included and I did not pay extra for the special ones. They were all well-organized and the local tour operators were all quite good. The ship would hand out bottled water and umbrellas before each tour. Besides those mentioned the Port Reviews, we also visited Sochi (Russia), Sevastopol (Ukraine), Constanta (Romania) and Nessebur (Bulgaria).The entertainment was good with three production shows (six dancers, two singers, pair of ballroom dancing champions, pair of specialty dancers and a eight piece orchestra). There were also a guest comedian and a pair of guest entertainers. There was always room in the Constellation Theater. That brings me to the atmosphere on the ship. There were 700 guests on the ship but it felt very quiet. On the sail-away party on deck, there was a band playing for less than 100 guests. I was wondering where everyone was. There was no line-up at the breakfast and lunch buffet. One could always find a table to sit. The lounges were quiet most of the time. The casino was mostly empty whenever I looked in. The boutique had limited selection of merchandize. There was no photographer onboard. I met a lot of new friends on the cruise and a lot of them were repeat clients of RSSC. In fact, half of the guests were returning clients. Fellow guests were always courteous and warm. Those who had 7 to 11 RSSC cruises under their belts gave me a lot of helpful hints. This was definitely a cruise for those who like a more serene type cruising, no crowd, no hurries and little noise. Disembarkation was breeze. We went to the Constellation Theater at the appointed time and were sent off the boat right the way after they checked off our names. The cruise fare also included transfers to the airport and we were taken to the airline check-in counter by a RSSC representative. The RSSC claim about all-inclusive fare was delivered. They gave each passenger a $100 shipboard credit to be applied against the cost of the Turkish visa needed to leave Istanbul by air. So I did not pay extra except for the premium wines that I ordered and the internet usage. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
This was our 18th cruise and was everything and more than we expected. Those who have had bad comments about the Mariner in other reviews should be ashamed of themselves. We sailed on The Mariner on July 8 on a 10 day cruise (Aegean ... Read More
This was our 18th cruise and was everything and more than we expected. Those who have had bad comments about the Mariner in other reviews should be ashamed of themselves. We sailed on The Mariner on July 8 on a 10 day cruise (Aegean Allure), Athens to Istanbul. This was our first so-called luxury cruise. The ship was wonderful even though it was much smaller than the mega-ships, there was more than enough deck space, public areas, bars, restaurants, without the crowds and waiting lines on bigger ships. Never a wait on buffets or sit-down restaurants. The Prime 7 Steakhouse and Signatures restaurants were as good as any 5-Star restaurant in the world and the Compass Rose and Sette Marie were also excellent. The service throughout the ship by all staff was tremendous. Twice during the cruise we ordered bottles of vodka and it was delivered to our cabin completely gratis. The cabin was spacious with a walk in closet and large bathroom with ample sitting areas. The balcony was large enough to have dinner served, course by course, on three of the evenings that we chosee not to go to one of the restaurants. Service was prompt and the food was delicious. The free tours were on time and well organized and meaningful. Even though the price seemed high, when compared to non all inclusive cruise, the overall price was well worth it. You get so much more in comparison, that the extra price for everything included comes out cheaper. Hats off to Regent Seven Seas for being "The Best of The Best" at sea! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We are in our late-40's and have travelled extensively to a number of 5-star destinations in North America and the Caribbean - we have high standards for our vacations! This was only our 2nd cruise and we were a bit nervous because ... Read More
We are in our late-40's and have travelled extensively to a number of 5-star destinations in North America and the Caribbean - we have high standards for our vacations! This was only our 2nd cruise and we were a bit nervous because our first cruise experience (Royal Caribbean) was only mediocre. Instead, our 10-day "Aegean Allure" cruise aboard the Mariner was totally above and beyond all of our expectations. On-board, the attention to detail and excellence was almost mind-numbing. The food was delicious, perfectly-presented and plentiful - at first we were a bit concerned about having only 2 dinners at the reservation restaurants (Steakhouse and French) but the food/service in the 2 non-reservation restaurants, especially the main Compass Rose, was so excellent that it totally didn't matter!). Drinks were as advertised (all-inclusive and plentiful: many different premium beers from around the world available and all top-shelf liquor - I asked for a bottle of Grey Goose to be delivered to our suite and it was there an hour later). Our room was spacious and beautifully appointed - the walk-in closet was awesome. Tons of space throughout the ship - never felt crowded. Theatre and casino provided great entertainment opportunities. Off the ship, the ports we visited were unbelievable - couldn't have asked for a better itinerary. We did only 2 of the Regent Choice excursions (where you pay extra) and 7 of the free/included ones - all of the trips were extremely well-organized and staged in order to minimize time in line-ups etc. Our guides were obviously elite ones with tremendous knowledge and passion. We also never had to stand in line at any of the sites - our guides just wisked us to the front of the lines! Anyone who is critical of this ship and Regent either has impossibly high standards or has an axe to grind. This is true 6-star cruising and worth every penny of the cost! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Our group of 6 adults chose Regent to celebrate 2-40th and 1-50th birthdays. We wanted a luxury experience and the all-inclusive nature of this cruise line. We were absolutely thrilled with our cruise experience except for a couple ... Read More
Our group of 6 adults chose Regent to celebrate 2-40th and 1-50th birthdays. We wanted a luxury experience and the all-inclusive nature of this cruise line. We were absolutely thrilled with our cruise experience except for a couple of the tours (more on that later). Check in was quick as we were some of the first in line. As we boarded the ship, we were handed a glass of champagne and directed to the Constellation Theatre. A wonderful way to start a trip! The food on the Mariner was fantastic and we enjoyed every meal. The best was one birthday celebration at Signatures, although the second celebration at Prime 7 was good, but not quite as nice as Signatures. The lobster surf and turf was a bit tough, but we all enjoyed our meals. It is virtually impossible for a ship to serve every meal perfectly, but they certainly try. The staff were incredible. From our room stewardess, Kathlyn, to the wait staff, bartenders and crew we encountered, everyone and I do mean everyone, went out of their way to smile, say hello and ask about your day.We decided to book tours in advance in every port and were fairly active, which helped to offset the fine food we indulged in every evening. While most tours were very good, we decided to pay extra for 2-Regent Choice tours which we understood were to give a more enriching experience with smaller group sizes. Unfortunately we were very disappointed with our tour to San Marino. I realize this is a newly developed tourist destination, but the guide was inexperienced and spent the tour, reading to us from a guide book. After a while we simply wandered off and explored on our own. Since this was the first Regent Choice tour (and we paid extra for it), we were concerned about the quality of the inclusive tours. We needn't worry about those. Every tour that was included in our package price was excellent. Our last disappointment was with the final Regent Choice tour which ended up being cancelled. This tour (Super Tuscan Wine Experience) was to be the highlight of our trip. While it is understandable that they must have a minimum number of participants, what was beyond disappointing was the lack of initiative or creative problem solving by the Mariner's destination services team. They refunded our money (as expected) but could have retained the fee if they'd only been a bit more proactive. Perhaps a private group wine tasting of a selection of Super Tuscan wines (they must have had some on board for purchase) by the head sommelier, followed by a typical Tuscan meal would have been offered. But no, the only solution the staff had was to rebook an existing tour.Our disappointment with the extra cost tours aside, there is a lot to be said for how well Regent does virtually everything else. We didn't enjoy much of the entertainment, but that is a personal taste issue. We did enjoy the daily trivia tournament and high tea in the lounge. All too soon our cruise was over. I expect we will chose to cruise Regent again, mostly due to the staff interaction and the quality of the food, but I doubt we'll go beyond the regular tour offerings which are part of the all inclusive package price. The Regent Choice excursions leave a lot to be desired. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
This was our first time with Regent Seven Seas and we sailed on the Mariner from Venice to Monte Carlo. More importantly for us, this was a real departure from our normal cruises, which over the last few years have been very formal, ... Read More
This was our first time with Regent Seven Seas and we sailed on the Mariner from Venice to Monte Carlo. More importantly for us, this was a real departure from our normal cruises, which over the last few years have been very formal, sailing with Cunard or P&O. So the big question for us was would we enjoy the informality and smaller stylish boutique ship over a grand and elegant liner - and the answer was 100% yes! Most of the people i chatted to could only really compare Regent to the other 6 Star "all inclusive" lines (Silverseas, Seabourne etc)and virtually all told us that Regent was way in front in many ways. We fell in love with this ship and the Regent experience after two days and thoughts of super-liners, Tuxedo`s and set eating times fell away. So what made it so great.....Here we go:- Individual space - I read that Regent`s ships offer the greatest amount of passenger space and they really do. But i guess this is due to the fact that our ship stopped every day and with all - inclusive tours a vast number of passengers were off the ship for the bulk of the day. The Stateroom - Ample space, well furnished with a most comfortable bed and kitted out with everything and more you would need. Espresso coffee maker, DVD player, stocked fridge and even the binoculars were useful. But the two big pluses were the walk - in wardrobe, which therefore gives you more living room and the "Best" bathroom i have ever experienced across 30 cruises. Nicely tiled, roomy and the most amazing walk in shower with rainfall shower head! Staff - Every single member of staff were ultra efficient, friendly and above all cheerful, giving the impression that they enjoyed working on the ship (you don't always see this) Restaurants - Well firstly, the food in every restaurant was outstanding. But here`s the thing, whichever restaurant you chose to eat in, you never felt like you were in the dining room of a cruise ship, but entering into a restaurant. The menu choices were fantastic and having never encountered the all inclusive element previously, had some concerns over whether the quality and choice of wines that would be available would pass muster - they exceeded expectation. There was always 2/3 choices of each and with the exception of a single dodgy "Reisling" all were excellent (especially the Reds). In addition,this ship really does serve premium brands, with large choices of gins, vodka`s, whiskies, brandies, beers and liqueurs. Tours - We only booked a single tour in Montenegro and it was terrific with a most passionate and knowledgeable guide. Were there any negatives - of course there were, but they were minor and really down to our personal tastes. My wife and i hate buffets, so for two days mid cruise and due to how many people were off the ship, the main dining room was closed leaving the "Pool Grill" or the buffet at "La Veranda" the only dining venues. But the food served in both of those venues was excellent with a massive choice and wonderfully freshly cooked pasta. Personally i feel they could do with some more maitre d`s at the entrances of the restaurants to seat people quickly and more efficiently and regarding entertainment, although the production shows were well put together (great dancers), the main singers were not to our personal liking - The Cirque du Mariner show however was very good. We are big fans of the roulette wheel, however, most nights it was never manned and therefore no players. Finally, the embarkation/disembarkation process was seamless and ultra smooth and helped along with a glass of champagne for embarkation in the Constellation theatre. All of the above reasons are why we simply loved the Regent experience and the "Mariner" and have already booked again for next summer - and cant wait!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
We were a family group of 20 on the SS Mariner cruise in June 2012. It was not easy finding the right cruise line for us since ages in our group ranged from 2 -80! We finally chose Regent because we trusted it to be a luxury cruse line ... Read More
We were a family group of 20 on the SS Mariner cruise in June 2012. It was not easy finding the right cruise line for us since ages in our group ranged from 2 -80! We finally chose Regent because we trusted it to be a luxury cruse line that would please the elders in our group and yet we hoped it would also offer enough activities and entertainment for the younger crowd. So we boarded in Istanbul, the boarding process went very smoothly and the staff was very helpful and always well-disposed to help in any way needed. The SUITES are very comfortable and bathrooms (shower only) also well kept. All of the housekeeping employees assigned to our suites were always available and very courteous. We decided to tip them (in spite of tips being included) and found that they were a bit surprised and very thankful. The furnishings are ok, though the carpets are in need of change. The public areas of the ship are all nicely decorated and in perfect condition. Now as for DINING: there are various venues available and food was quite varied to please everyone;from casual burgers and salads by the pool to excellent a la carte dinners in all 3 restaurants. For Signatures and Prime 7 reservations were required entitling passengers once to dine at each restaurant. It is necessary to make reservations well in advance ( our travel agent did not help much and since we were a large group we were assigned dinner at 6:30 pm which was not what we wanted.) Nevertheless, once on the ship the restaurants concierge really helped to accommodate all of us and we were able to schedule better times and enjoy those dinners. Compass Rose, the main restaurant turned out to be a nice surprise, since it was at the same level of the other two restaurants. The menu changes daily, and there are many options to cater for all guests'dietary needs, all in a sophisticated yet family -friendly ambience. The Veranda which is the buffet restaurant was a more distended option for lunch ann hearty appetites. The quality and variety of the food available throughout the ship well deserves a special mention here. The waiters were also very well trained. Room service proved to be a great option for after-tours. DRINKS: needless to say, plenty of drinks offered at all times!!! Great poolside bar and waiters. TOURS : Here comes probably our major complaint about the cruise. Our first destination Kavala, did not have much to offer. We chose a tour " Historic Xanthi" and it was a complete disgrace ( as put by another passenger on our tour.) We drove for about 45 min to walk by a nice , yes, river but nothing spectacular and we were left to walk up a rocky and uncomfortable narrow path. Luckily halfway, we encountered other groups returning who told us it was not worth it to keep going, since the scenery was the same. So we headed back to the bus and then left for a 30 minute ride to Xanthi. There our guide walked us through the little town, and we were all surprised that there was nothing to see there! Just a small church from 1930's I recall and there some of us started to complain. The guide was not responsive, and the representative from Regent who came with us, was completely aloof. Then we were to have 1.5 hours to spend at our leisure there!! and we complained and shortened that to 45 min. There were a few bars open, some of our kids wanted something to eat, and it was past lunch time, so we sat at a bar to realize they were totally unprepared to offer food, even drinks! We asked for diet sodas, they had none!!! After that we were taken AGAIN to a touristy restaurant -house were we sat and tasted a plate of local appetizers. We again complained and finally we headed back to the ship which was another hour's drive. We headed right to the Concierge to explain what had happened and our concern for the rest of the cruise's tours. We found they had already heard about it, and did not even offer an apology. We were appalled by all this, we felt we were treated with little respect. Having experienced all this, we then decided to switch to shorter tours for the following destinations and those were generally good. FITNESS & SPA: few aerobic machines, the spa was ok, nothing great and impossible to schedule appointments. (I think it is because people use the shipboards credit here). Poor manicure and pedicure service. As for ENTERTAINMENT: it was overall quiet nice, yet we missed most of the shows since we dined late. Bars had good musicians. Unfortunately we realized not many people hang our after dinner and it was a bit awkward to see a only few people at those nice bars. The average age on this cruise was about 60, so we found that entertainment was targeted to an older crowd. There were some families like us since it was already summer. The disco lounge had a jukebox with very old music playing! It is nice to listen to 60's or 70's music but we felt they should improve that and add more up to date music to attract those of us wanting to dance !!! Finally for disembarkation it was all very well organized and we ended our journey on this cruise and happy with the outcome overall..... Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Background Information We previously reviewed our first cruise which was on-board RSSC's Mariner in the Mediterranean in May 2011 and this is really by way of a comparison and update. Travel to RSS Mariner Again we made our own ... Read More
Background Information We previously reviewed our first cruise which was on-board RSSC's Mariner in the Mediterranean in May 2011 and this is really by way of a comparison and update. Travel to RSS Mariner Again we made our own travel arrangements, not only because this was more economical than using Regent's included flights but to avoid the worry involved in flying out on the morning of embarkation. We flew LHR to IST in British Airways Club Europe cabin primarily to take advantage of the business lounge as we faced a considerable wait -- the roads around Heathrow are so unreliable that it is essential to leave around 4 hours early for what should be a 90 minute journey. We also looked forward to the increased legroom and better service on the four hour flight but in this we were disappointed. It was clear that BA had reconfigured the business cabin to increase capacity at the expense of both room and service - to the point where it is no longer worth paying the premium. We had booked a standard room at the 'Four Seasons at the Bosphorus' in Istanbul and they had arranged for a car to meet us off the plane: this was done with courtesy and efficiency. The traffic (and some of the driving) in Istanbul was appalling however and it took nearly an hour to travel the 12 miles or so to the hotel. We were delighted on arrival to discover that our standard room had been upgraded to a beautiful split-level suite overlooking the Bosphorus! We had intended to take a short boat trip on the Bosphorus before going to the Mariner at lunchtime but decided to enjoy breakfast and a gracious late checkout from our lovely room. At breakfast I plucked up courage to speak to an American couple at a neighbouring table who confirmed that they too were bound for the Mariner and were using Regent's included transfer facility. The concierge then contacted the Regent personnel at the hotel who confirmed that we were welcome to use the Regent bus rather than find a taxi for ourselves as I had originally intended. This is typical of the 'no problem' attitude found in so many of one's dealings with Regent staff. Reception on board This time we were delighted to find that the previous welcome glass of sparkling wine had been replaced by real Champagne which we enjoyed as we went through the reception process in the theatre. This took no more than 5 minutes despite the fact that we had arrived with many other guests. Our luggage, loaded on the Regent bus, duly reappeared in our suite when we gained access about 2.30pm following lunch from the La Veranda's excellent buffet; a bottle of Champagne on ice awaited us. Stateroom Our F category suite was located amidships on the port side of deck 8. Other than being 'the other way round' i.e. a mirror image of our starboard cabin last year, it was identical except that, in the interim, Regent had introduced the 'concierge class' benefits. These are incentives intended to attract passengers to suites on higher decks which, although identical to those lower down, cost more. Concierge Class The main benefit of a concierge class suite is the opportunity to book excursions and speciality restaurants online earlier than others: from speaking to others, however, it seems that there was little difficulty in getting reservations at the later stage. There is also an included hour of Wi-Fi internet access. Both these benefits accrue to those who have sailed more than 21 nights with Regent regardless of the class of cabin, however. There is also a complimentary coffee machine (without instructions for use however), a pair of binoculars and a 25% discount on premium wines. If we were to book with Regent again, given that we would have accrued more than 21 nights, we would not pay the premium to be in concierge class unless more substantial benefits, such as additional speciality restaurant reservations or additional excursion options, were offered. Food & Wine We complained (mildly) about the timing of room service breakfasts last year but this had not improved this year: orders for 6.30 to 7.00 were delivered between 6.10 and 6.20 often catching us still in bed! Perhaps the timing slots are meant to indicate when you want to finish eating but this is not what the order-card says. This is only a minor inconvenience of course and is no doubt the result of pressure on the service when so many excursions require passengers to be ready at the same time in the morning. We just started ordering for a later time slot and hoped it would be early as usual! This tactic usually worked. The food in all the restaurants was as good as last year - apart from a filet mignon which was ordered rare and arrived medium-rare and rather chewy, and, very strangely, a Dover sole which was tough and overcooked -- even odder given the fact that a thinner fish served to the same table was perfect. Our impression was that the standard of the wines was not quite up to last year. Too many rather bland Chilean and Californian varietals and requests for an alternative served earlier in the cruise were not always met with complete enthusiasm from the servers. There definitely seemed to be more pressure to accept that evening's standard 'pour' than there was last year - particularly from staff of Central European origin. We searched in vain for a premium wine to take advantage of the concierge class discount but nothing tempted us -- cynical it may be but I wondered whether the prices had been massaged to claw back some of the reduction in profit that might result from the discount? Excursions It was unfortunate that we were accompanied for much of the itinerary by two much larger ships. This resulted in real crowding in many of the sites visited -- particularly Ephesus and Athens. Of course this is a popular itinerary but it was hardly high season -- perhaps these sites are reaching their capacity and consideration might be given to the inclusion of more places 'off the beaten track' especially if Regent's desire is to continue to attract repeat travellers. The best of the excursions, we felt, was the Corfu 4x4 trip. It encouraged a sense of camaraderie and a little adventure -- although, to be honest, four wheel drive was not really necessary as all the roads were tarmacked albeit very bendy and quite bumpy. But even this experience was slightly diminished by finding that both of the scheduled stops were already occupied by groups from the accompanying cruise vessels. Unfortunately I managed to aggravate an existing knee problem when extricating myself from the rear of the tiny two-door cars used: this prevented us participating in any further excursions which involved any real walking. We enjoyed the resulting additional 'sea-days' on-board despite the variable weather we experienced throughout the voyage. Conclusion It was perhaps unwise of us to choose a cruise so similar to last year's. Last year we had never cruised before and therefore had no benchmark for comparison -- this year we had expectations. That these were largely met is a tribute to Regent's management and their standards of supervision and training. Disappointment resulted from one factor wholly beyond Regent's control -- the weather -- and from another partially so -- the popularity of the ports visited with other much larger vessels. As regards two innovations that have been the subject of controversy in the Cruise Critic forums, included excursions and concierge class benefits, the first is no doubt an attraction to first time luxury cruisers but does have two disadvantages: a 'treadmill' effect where every day brings a new port and an excursion to take if you want to get your money's worth. As a way of making the upper decks more attractive, given that they cost more but are otherwise identical to those lower down, the concierge class scheme is understandable: its attractions diminish, however, as you earn repeat traveller benefits which match or exceed those of concierge class -- the addition of extra bookings in the speciality restaurants might be a way to redress the balance. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
I wanted a cruise around 6th April to celebrate my wifes birthday. I wanted a smaller ship with a little bit of luxury to ensure the trip was special.It was! We booked through Sovereign Cruises and all of the arrangements, price and ... Read More
I wanted a cruise around 6th April to celebrate my wifes birthday. I wanted a smaller ship with a little bit of luxury to ensure the trip was special.It was! We booked through Sovereign Cruises and all of the arrangements, price and service was superb. The flights were included in the price, were with BA out of Heathrow and just what we wanted. Not having been on a 'proper all inclusive cruise' before I was a little apprehensive about service and quality. I need not have been. From the moment we arrived in Barcelona the arrangements were first class. The transfer on to the ship had a minor computer fault but the ships facilities were made readily available to us. From arrival at the airport to sitting down to drinks and lunch on the 'Veranda Deck' took less than 2 hours. The cabin - 'H' class(the cheapest they offer) was 249 square feet with a 50 square feet balcony. Luxurious accomodation with a fridge packed with drinks both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. This was replenished daily without asking. We were able to dine whenever we wanted and there was always a table for two available. The staff were actually happy to provide this! All of the passengers were offered 2 speciality dining evenings each and these together with the main dining room were superb - food to die for! Room service was readily available, again all included, even supplied on the last day, something we have never experienced before. The excursions, again all included in the price, were top notch. Never did Regent run with jam-packed coaches. The quality of the trips were excellent. Negatives - we failed to anchor at santorini, due to adverse weather conditions. Regent charged 49 US dollars per person for a Turkish Visa. The actual visa cost was 20 US Dollars - a minor niggle, but since they had planned to dock in Instanbul they must have been aware of Turkish Entry/Exit regulations. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
This was our second cruise with Regent, the previous one being in 2005 on Seven Seas Voyager when they were called Radisson. Since then we have had a couple of cruises with Silversea. Our last cruise on Silver Spirit wasn't such a ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Regent, the previous one being in 2005 on Seven Seas Voyager when they were called Radisson. Since then we have had a couple of cruises with Silversea. Our last cruise on Silver Spirit wasn't such a good experience so we thought we would give Regent a try again. We booked a G suite on a guarantee basis and were pleasantly surprised to find we had an upgrade to a Seven Seas Suite. The larger suite with 1.5 bathrooms and a huge balcony made quite a difference to the enjoyment of our cruise but we would have been happy with the G suite we booked. We had some concerns about the BA flight Regent booked (14.25 arrival in Barcelona) actually getting us to the ship for the 18.00 departure but the flight was on time and the flow through the airport and the transfer were completed quickly and we were on the ship by around 16.15. Our luggage arrived at our cabin shortly afterwards. This suite came with a butler but unlike Silversea the butler does not unpack for you which was fine for us as we then knew where everything was at a later date (see comments on Butler later). The ship and our cabin were very nice and spotlessly clean everywhere. It was tastefully decorated throughout but not brash. After 10 days we decided that this size of ship was just about right for us. The ship we think was almost full but it never felt busy or crowded and there is a good area to walk round the deck to work off the excesses of food and drink. The only time there was a bit of a crush was at the departure of the excursions. Now that many of the excursions are included in the price they are of course very popular. So from 07.30 till 09.00 in most ports there is a steady stream of people into the theatre where Regent marshal all the groups before going ashore or into the tender. The excursions are incredibly well organised and we found that the quality of the tours was equally impressive. The coaches were never more than half full (they ran several coaches rather than fill them up), the guides were excellent and the itineraries were really good also. One small comment we passed on to Regent was that it would have been good to know whether a snack or a full blown lunch was provided on some of the excursions as this was not clear before the trip. There is a danger that the cruise becomes too busy as you try to cram in as many excursions as possible. We booked one in every port but by the time we got to Rome we decided to have a more leisurely day on the ship and handed our tickets back for someone else to use. The fairly early starts for excursions meant that breakfast had to be taken a bit earlier so we tried the buffet in La Veranda but were disappointed by the choice and quality particularly of the hot food. Likewise for lunch we didn't find the buffet particularly appealing and certainly nowhere as good as Silversea. We never tried La Veranda for dinner. We switched to room service for breakfast every day after that and the cooked breakfast was much better with everything freshly cooked. This is where our larger cabin was an advantage as we had a separate sitting room with a large dining table. On our day at sea we tried breakfast in the Compass Rose restaurant but the ordering process and service were fairly slow so ok if you are not in a hurry. We had dinner in Compass Rose every night (except for the night we managed to get a booking in Prime 7 -- make sure you book on line as soon as possible as it is heavily booked) as we found the food and service good. We found a waiter on our first night, who was very efficient and knowledgeable about the food and we ensured that we had one of his tables every night. We did hear others complain that the staff were not very well trained but we had no problems. The quality and choice of food was good but perhaps not as good as Silversea. If you like "red meat" then the food is good for you as that is what they do well. The Filet Mignon in Prime 7 and sometimes on offer in Compass Rose is superb and if you ask for it well done it appears exactly right with no pink bits in the middle. We avoided the on deck barbeque night as previous experiences were not good. Lunch at the pool grill is good with freshly cooked food and on some days the menu is expanded with a buffet. Afternoon tea was disappointing as the scones were poor as was the clotted cream. I won't even mention the standard spray on cream!! The selection of sandwiches and cakes were also disappointing most days but on some days they had a chocolate theme and if you are into chocolate then this would be ok as a platform with all the goodies was set up on the dance floor. On the whole the wine offered was reasonable but biased towards Californian wine which we don't care for. We tended to ask for an alternative related to the country we were visiting. We had no trouble getting an alternative although some of the wine waiters are not particularly knowledgeable about wine. The house champagne wasn't great so we stuck to other drinks of which there was an abundant choice. The coffee on board was also not to our taste in any of the restaurants or self service machines. If you like a good cup of coffee then head for Coffee Connection on deck 6. This area also does a light breakfast so can become a bit crowded especially on the day at sea. We seemed to get very hot in the middle of the night in spite of having the aircon set low. We heard others complaining of the same problem and the people in the next cabin slept with the cabin door open so not sure what the problem was?? There was no bridge or galley visit offered on this trip for some reason?? We didn't sample much of the entertainment as we preferred a quiet nightcap in the Observation Lounge. Sitting up there with a cognac whilst anchored off Monaco was very pleasant indeed and we watched a number of great sunsets whilst sitting up here on Deck 12. The musicians on board were very good and provided a varied selection of music. Our Butler, we suspect, was new to the role. He was very friendly but didn't show any initiative at all. He provided everything we asked for but had to be asked every day. So for example, when we asked for some crisps/snacks to have with our drink on two consecutive days we sort of imagined he might bring them every day -- no, we had to ask him again. Also he delivered our breakfast when we ordered room service and regardless of what time range we put on the card he always turned up 10/15mins before the earliest time. Even when we resorted to putting an actual time on the card there he was at the crack of dawn!! We also had some problems with the quantities of breakfast as we always seemed to have twice the amount we thought we had asked for (don't like to waste food!). As I said previously the butler does not do a pack or unpack service unlike Silversea. The other nice little touches weren't there either such as taking a pair of shoes and cleaning them or cleaning sunglasses and specs. We asked him to try to book us another table in Prime 7 but he never came back to us to say whether he had tried or not. So really the butler didn't add much value to our cruise as room service or the cabin stewardess could have done most of what he did for us. As we didn't expect a butler or pay for the suite we were allocated then it was not an issue for us. We had to leave the ship fairly early (08.40) but Regent had laid on a short tour of Istanbul for us to ensure we didn't arrive at the airport too early for our flight. This has been a complaint of ours on previous cruises but it seems the Cruise Lines are listening. As it was we were still at the check in desk 1.5 hours before the desk opened and the airport lounge is of course "airside" so you have to check in first. Istanbul airport is fairly chaotic and all the luggage is x-rayed as you enter the departure hall. Regent had organised people to take the luggage from the tour coach and get it through the x-ray machines but the tour guide did not explain what was happening to us very well so there was some confusion. Also the passengers went through the security area and wandered off before the luggage was x-rayed. Unfortunately the security staff wanted some of the luggage opened and the owners weren't there to open it. So in conclusion we had a really good cruise and considering all the excursions we had included in the price we think it was good value for money. Was it a six star cruise? Well nearly but Regent need to keep their finger on the pulse to make sure that standards don't slip particularly in La Veranda. Will we cruise with Regent again -- yes definitely if we can get it at the right price. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
My wife and I decided to do something special for our 20th anniversary so we booked a 7 day cruise of the Greek Islands on Regent Seven Seas. After the cruise was completely paid for and we were within a few months of departure, the ... Read More
My wife and I decided to do something special for our 20th anniversary so we booked a 7 day cruise of the Greek Islands on Regent Seven Seas. After the cruise was completely paid for and we were within a few months of departure, the cruise line offered to upgrade us to a 10 night cruise for the same price. We accepted the offer and selected a 10 night cruise from Barcelona to Istanbul. Although we only stopped at one Greek Island (Santorni) we were both pleased with the ports of call on the longer cruise and we had a great time. This was our first time on an "all inclusive" cruise and I can't imagine ever going back to one where we sign "chits" for everything and pay for shore excursions and then a large tip at the end of the cruise. Regent provided a very good selection of included wines and cocktails and we never found it necessary to select one of the upgrade options. At 700 passengers, the Mariner is about the perfect size - large enough to offer all the amenities and small enough to be comfortable without large crowds or long waits. The ship's decor is restrained but nice. No large rooms of garish purples and reds, but more conservative tans and browns. Condition of the ship was very good and everything was very clean and well maintained. The showroom was never overcrowded and the entertainment ranged from very good to outstanding. We really enjoyed the dining options. Most breakfasts were at the excellent buffet in the Veranda. We had one dinner each in Signatures and Prime 7 and both were outstanding. Most of our dinners were in the Compass Rose and the service and food were always very good. We had one lunch at the pool grille which we also enjoyed. The portions (except at Prime 7) were quite small and at first I was concerned, but they were sized to allow enjoyment of the multi course meals. I never left any dining venue hungry, so they got the portion size about right. This was a very "port intensive" cruise and because all the shore excursions were included in the price, I overbooked our time ashore. Up early, a quick breakfast, and off to see the world. Our one day at sea between Sicily and Santorini was the day almost everyone savored. A chance to sleep late, rest our weary feet, and enjoy the ship. On our next Regent cruise (we will definitely cruise with them again) I will be more selective on shore excursions. What was the best part of the cruise? The crew! They were always helpful, good humored, and very pleasant. Our cabin steward (Hanna) was a delight. She was constantly trying to do anything to make our cruise more pleasant. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Before the Trip RSSC has a fairly good web presence, so we were able to research the details of the trip right on their website in addition to Cruise Critic. At the appointed day, we were able to select our excursions and dining ... Read More
Before the Trip RSSC has a fairly good web presence, so we were able to research the details of the trip right on their website in addition to Cruise Critic. At the appointed day, we were able to select our excursions and dining reservation (1 each at Signatures and Prime 7 is allowed). I had no problems reserving the excursions or the dining, as I made them the very first day they were available. The excursion information is relatively vague on the RSSC website, although they try to at least give the cruiser an idea of the length and physical exertion. I found Cruise Critic also to be scarce in information on the RSSC excursions, so we felt like we were going into them a little bit blind. We chose to have the cruise arrange our flights, and we were pleased with the carrier, times, and connections. We were worried that RSSC might pinch a few pennies and make us connect 2 or 3 times; however, they chose the main carrier for our town (a Star Alliance airline), and the flight only included 1 stop (EWR) each way. Embarkation We were greeted by a Regent representative at Rome's airport right after passport control but before customs (I didn't know they were even allowed past customs). Once we collected our bags in a cart provided by Regent, we waited with some others at a cafe in the airport for about 15 minutes for other passengers to collect their bags. Not bad, really. Our flight landed before 8am, so the bus actually took us on a brief tour of Rome, which I found delightful. I would not want to get to the ship too early only to sit somewhere with our bags, so I preferred a little brain stimulation to help keep us awake from the jetlag. At the cruise terminal, things got a little chaotic. We arrived shortly after 12pm, and there was a crowd starting to form in the small terminal. Unfortunately, there was no order to how they were boarding. RSSC reps were asking people to take a seat anywhere, but then random rows were called to stand in line to check in. Fortunately, we picked a row that was called within 30 minutes. Other people had been waiting for much longer, but they just happened to sit a row that had not been called. Again, very random. Check-in was fairly easy and we went on board where we were greeted with a glass of champagne. We later learned that people were being asked to stay away from their suites until 2:30pm. We were not informed of this request, so we went straight to our suite around 1pm. Everything was more or less ready for us, and the bags started to arrive shortly thereafter. Stateroom/Suite We stayed in suite 851, which is mid-ship and a short walk to the launderette. The suite was really nicely done, and we immediately could see the benefits of the dry dock earlier in the year. The walk-in closet was plenty large for all of our clothes, which is impressive given that my wife brought an outfit for every day and every evening. The drawers are relatively small in the closet and next to the beds, but there are larger drawers next to the desk. Twice during the 10-day cruise fresh flowers were placed in the suite leaving a fresh, bright feel to the room. Each suite has a flatscreen TV and a DVD player. The TV has the ship channels where information for the day is displayed. It also included some news and other cable channels. As people who are not able to go to the movie theater nearly as much as we want, we were delighted to see a huge selection of on-demand movies and TV shows that were complete free. There was also a DVD collection down in the library, but we never exhausted the on-demand options. The minibar is stocked nearly every day with water, soda, and beer (all of which is included in the price of your fare). As I mentioned, a launderette was nearby, each one containing 3 washers, 3 dryers, and 2 irons/ironing boards. The ironing boards were in very good condition and were rarely both in use. The washers and dryers were almost always in use. There were off times, but these periods were available for a reason: dinner time or port time for example. There seemed to be more inconsiderate people than I expected: leaving their clothes unattended for 1-2 hours. Some passengers would lose their patience and just pull wet clothes out so that the washer could be used. I don't blame them. Gentlemen can also leave their dress shoes outside of their door in order to be shined. I found this service to be very convenient, but the actually shining and polishing for my standard black shoes was pretty poor. Dining The dining on board the Mariner was extremely good. The quality of the ingredients as well as their preparation and presentation were really good. In general, we found a lot of the dishes to be under-seasoned compared to what you would expect in a restaurant, but we wondered if they were trying to allow cruisers to salt and pepper to their own taste. We salted nearly everything. Another minor criticism: except for Prime 7, steaks were rarely cooked to their proper temperature. Before I describe each restaurant, I would like to commend Ricardo and his sommelier staff. They were so helpful and kind throughout the entire cruise. I recommend that anyone who is interested in wine or who wants to learn more about wine should attend their wine tasting events. They were a lot of fun, and it helped us to get to know the wines and the sommelier staff. In general, the recommended (free) wines were quite good. If they were not to our liking, the staff would allow us to choose something else provided they had a bottle available. Compass Rose (Main Dining) We loved CR. Each night we found 2-3 dishes that were exceptional...especially the appetizers. Again, some of the food was under-seasoned, but that could usually be fixed with some salt and pepper. One dish that could not be helped was the Caesar salad; unfortunately, it was very bland. No reservations are allowed, and we usually were seated promptly between 6:30 and 7:00. After 7:30, it would get quite busy. Signatures We dined at Signatures once, and it was enough for us. I could tell that the menu was carefully selected, and the dishes were painstakingly prepared. However, many of the dishes just did not suit my taste. One exception to that was the Halibut, which everyone who tried it seemed to love it. I ordered the beef medium rare, and it was served cold and rare throughout. When I asked the server to just heat it up a bit to medium rare, it came back well done. Oh well. It was a lovely piece of meat, though. Prime 7 Prime 7 was a real highlight for us. The steaks here were consistently served at the right temperature, and the meat was simply divine. The NY Strip is HIGHLY recommended. The prime rib was a little tasteless, but again the cut and texture were perfect. My wife liked the crab legs as well. La Veranda We enjoyed La Veranda, but we found that the selection did not vary much throughout the cruise. I was surprised to learn that this buffet had limited hours like the dining rooms. If someone gets the munchies late in the evening, you would need to call for room service. Pool Grill My only complaint with the pool grill is that it was not open very often. It was open from 11a-4pm, which was missed by anyone who goes on excursions. The one sea day, we ordered their hamburger and chicken sandwich. Both were quite good. The chicken wings were not so good...poor quality of wings and the sauce tasted like ketchup. In-Suite Dining It took us a few days to realize that in-suite dining was such a great option. They will deliver Compass Rose courses for dinner if you like. Otherwise, they have a 24/7 menu that features comfort food (hot dogs, mac & cheese) as well as some finer fare. It was not well advertised, but you can also order pizzas 24/7. The pizzas were slightly better than frozen pizzas, but then again we were eating pizza in Naples and Tuscany. Not a fair fight for RSSC. We started ordering breakfast in-suite every day. It usually came 10-15 minutes before our scheduled time, but you cannot always count on it. One day we had an early excursion, and we assumed the breakfast would be served early as usual. On this day, they started to deliver it in the latter part of the delivery window, which meant we had to cancel our breakfast or risk missing our tour. Entertainment Shows The shows seemed to target an older group. Even though people in their 30s-50s outnumbered the over 60s folks on this cruise, I think this is an exception for RSSC. The Viva la Vida show was cheesy but not in a good way. We were expecting more Latin dancing, but didn't really see any until the last couple numbers. We watched the first 20 minutes of the concert pianist, but we were expecting a more classical routine. Her Chopin piece was ok, but the rest of the songs were jazzy versions of classical pieces. Many might have enjoyed it, but it wasn't our cup of tea. The one show we enjoyed was the Cirque Mariner. It was a collection of Bollywood style routines interlaced with acrobatic acts. There was a random ballet segment in the beginning that we never quite figured out, but the entire show was quite fun. Casino I was pleasantly surprised with the casino. Blackjack table minimums were only $10, which made it accessible to cruisers like us. Each day the casino had a featured promotion like paying 2x for blackjack with a Queen. Unfortunately, the dealers were not very nice, but the people playing at the tables made the games enjoyable. The casino also had roulette and a variant of poker, but I did not play these games. Even when at sea, the gaming tables would not open until after dinner (9pm). All gambling is in USD, and cash advances are allowed with a 5% surcharge. Currency exchanges are at the spot rate. Lounges We were surprised by how crowded the lounges were before and after dinner. The Olympic Duo lounge singer and pianist were a lot of fun and played a nice variety of music. I was impressed with the quality of house spirits. 12-year scotches from Glenlivet and Glenfiddich were included in the free list. The cigars for sale were all >$20 each. During one of our shore excursions, I bought some cigars which I enjoyed throughout the trip inside their cigar room. Spa My wife and I each had a facial and a massage while on the cruise. We scheduled the facial beforehand, although Canyon Ranch never really tells you if your time is confirmed. They say they will make every possible accommodation, but you don't find out until the first evening on the ship if you were able to get the reservation. Once on board, spa times filled up quickly for the sea day and the off-port times. My wife and I both agreed that the facial was nothing special. I don't think we would do it again given the opportunity. The massages though were quite good. We each opted for deep-tissue and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. If you are easily made seasick, the massage might not be pleasant for you unless docked in port. We had a massage while at sea, and the rooms are quite small and without windows. Pool/Sports Deck The pool is quite small and was not used by a lot of people. On the sea day, people woke up early to throw towels and personal items on deck chairs (only to actually use them well after lunch). The cruise staff ask people not to leave deck chair unattended for more than 30 minutes, but we found many "reserved" for well over 2 hours. Since we were not able to get deck chairs, we enjoyed the food from the grill at one of their outside dining tables and listened to the Olympic Duo play Mediterranean tunes. We never tried playing games on the Sports Deck. Disembarkation The disembarkation process was actually quite organized, considering there were about 8 ships docked at Athens the same morning. Other passengers might have disagreed, but I have seen a lot worse. Each person is given color-coded tags for their luggage and a time to meet in the Constellation Theater. I would suggest that you be on time and even a few minutes early. The process moves quickly, and you do not want to be late. Once your color is called, you walk off the ship and collect your luggage. We found ours straight away, as the bags were all lined up by color code. The luggage was collected again by the cruise line to help us move to the transfer bus. Once on the bus, it was an hour and fifteen minute drive to the airport. Unlike the guide at embarkation, this guide did not give us any information about the areas we were passing. This was unfortunate, as we were passing by some really interesting buildings and churches. Once at the airport, we were dropped off and sent on our way. Final Thoughts Regent has definitely figured out how to run an ultra-luxury cruise line without a stuffy, pretentious feel. The vast majority of their staff went out of their way every day to provide us with an exceptional experience. We would definitely vacation with Regent again and will recommend them to family and friends. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
Background InformationThis was our first cruise and was to celebrate our retirement. We had always holidayed independently before, usually travelling by car in Western Europe and avoiding crowds and too much heat but as we were limited to ... Read More
Background InformationThis was our first cruise and was to celebrate our retirement. We had always holidayed independently before, usually travelling by car in Western Europe and avoiding crowds and too much heat but as we were limited to school holidays, this was not easy. We chose this cruise after much research, mainly on Cruise Critic and its invaluable forums.Travel to SS MarinerWe did not use Regent's included air option as it was confined to flights from LHR whereas we have very much easier road access to LGW and STN. We flew EasyJet LGW - VCE and although the flight was delayed by an hour arrived at SS Mariner in good time. Being rather apprehensive about travelling in Venice, we had pre-booked a water-taxi with meet and greet service at the airport which was very expensive but very efficient, taking about 40 minutes in total. If we went again we would take a cheaper option as there was no real sightseeing element to the trip - the route goes around Venice rather than through it.At the taxi drop-off point we were met by a young man from Regent who took our heaviest case for delivery to our suite and pointed out the route to the Terminal and the ship. This involved a 5 minute walk in quite hot weather, some of which was over rather unsteady pontoons and was not very well signposted. We coped but it would have been daunting for those less able or fit. In the embarkation hall we first had to complete a form at one desk to confirm we did not have swine 'flu or other contagious diseases before we could proceed to another desk to have our passports checked and photos taken for the key cards. This was done very quickly and pleasantly and after a luggage check, we were climbing aboard.Reception on boardOn board we were welcomed and given a very small serving of 'champagne' which was actually a sweetish and rather characterless Loire sparkling wine. This does not set the right tone for a luxury cruise: it seems penny-pinching and implies that guests do not know the difference. We were told that suites would not be ready until 14.30 and the venues where we could get some lunch were explained. There was apparently nowhere we could leave the carry-on luggage we had with us so we dragged it up to deck 11 and La Veranda where we enjoyed another glass of rather better Loire sparkling wine with a good salad selection from the buffet. After an announcement that the rooms were ready, we went down to our suite. There we found yet another bottle of Loire sparkling wine and a note introducing our stewardess, Hannah.After unpacking our carry-on case, our larger case was delivered. Hannah then called in to see if we needed anything. I asked for a bottle of gin and some real champagne. She explained that they were still loading and there was none on board yet but she would put some in the room later in the evening. This she did.StateroomWe were in an E category suite on deck 9. We had tried to get a lower deck, the rooms being otherwise identical, to minimise any risk of motion sickness but they had all gone - presumably to RSSC regulars who take early advantage of the considerable saving that goes with a lower deck location. At first sight the suite looks rather small - there is a 6ft passage way past the bathroom - but is so well-designed that it seems more than adequate once you are settled in. The bed is what Europeans would class as king-size, about 6'3" square and very comfortable except that it seems to have soft 2" layer on top of the mattress which tends to retain body heat. To avoid overheating at night, we had to have the AC quite high - fortunately this was very quiet.The sitting area, which can be curtained off from the bed, contains a comfortable sofa and armchair but is rather dominated by the LCD TV which protrudes from the desk opposite. The minibar, which was regularly re-stocked, was located under the desk and proved effective in keeping its contents cold despite being silent in operation.Mariner is an all-balcony ship which was one of the reasons why we chose it. The balcony has a small table and two chairs and is more than adequate for breakfast or to sit reading and enjoying the view. The bathroom is excellent: plenty of space, both Regent and L'Occitaine toiletries supplied and a splendid walk-in shower with both rain-head and handheld spray. Water temperature was always stable and pressure high. Overall the room and its facilities would be comparable to a junior suite in a high-end hotel on land - but with a balcony, a sea view and a variety of beautiful locations, of course - and it was very discreetly and efficiently serviced by the charming Hannah.Ship InfoThe Mariner's maximum capacity is 700 and we were told that the ship was full and had no reason to doubt it - other than the fact that it rarely seemed crowded. There was always somewhere to sit in the Observation Lounge on deck 12, although the best tables (nearest the windows) rapidly filled in the late afternoon. In the evenings there was always space in the Horizon and Mariner bars both of which, though very comfortable, were rather gloomy. When there was a popular show in the Theatre or many passengers were late back from excursions, the main dining room, the Compass Rose, could be very busy and it was necessary to wait for a table unless you were prepared to share - which we usually enjoyed doing.This was a port-intensive cruise and all sailing took place between 6am and 8am so most passengers were out on excursions every day. This meant that there was usually plenty of room to lounge around the (very small) pool particularly if you wanted to sunbathe. If, like us, you can't take too much sun there were many loungers in the shade and although these were surprisingly popular, we never failed to find a couple unoccupied. The ship was in immaculate condition having been in dry-dock for refurbishment only a few weeks earlier and the occasional aroma of varnish indicated that the maintenance programme is on-going.FoodBreakfastWhen we had an early excursion we ate a light breakfast of fruit and muesli in our room. Our only minor complaint about the otherwise excellent room service was in terms of timing: the meal always arrived well before the beginning of the specified 30 minute slot, catching us still in bed. We also breakfasted a couple of times in La Veranda where there was a very good selection on the buffet.LunchWhen on-board for lunch we always had a delicious mixed salad with king prawns, scallops and smoked salmon, followed by fresh fruit: melons, mango and pineapple. We soon discovered that Coffee Connection on deck 6 made by far the best fresh coffee so usually finished up there - often succumbing to the temptation of a biscuit or slice of cake.DinnerWe usually dined in the Compass Rose. The food, wine and service were generally of a very high standard. The meal is based on the US pattern with which we were not familiar: appetiser, soup, salad, sorbet, entrEe and then dessert. We always skipped the soup and the salads were sometimes too heavy on cheese and bacon so we learnt to specify a plain green version. The sorbets were usually fine apart from a spiced red wine one which recalled all too vividly the ghastly mulled wines of Christmastide and did anything but refresh the palate. The appetisers were varied and usually delicious, as were the entrees: both fish and meat were always properly cooked. Particularly good was the Dover sole and rib eye steak. We always find lobster rather bland and the Wiener schnitzel also lacked flavour but apart from those two (poor choices on our part), the cooking was on a par with that of top class international hotels.WinesThe wines were of a good standard: usually New World varietals of the type which would retail in the UK at between £10 and £20 - which you could multiply by 50 to 100% for restaurant prices. We were surprised and delighted, however, by the early appearance of a Dopff et Irion Gewurtztraminer, to which we returned quite often at subsequent meals. As we had an on board credit to spend, we chose one red wine off the list: a Penfolds Bin 407 which came highly recommended by some Aussies on a nearby table and represented amazingly good value at Regent's price. The only minor criticism of the wine policy is the tendency to serve a Loire sparkling wine unless one specifies 'real champagne' or names the house wine ('Montaudon' on our cruise).ServiceWith only one very minor exception, the service throughout the ship was excellent: unfailingly courteous and prompt. The exception was at the 'caviar and champagne' event where we waited in vain to have our order for caviar taken, having missed the first round of service because we were waiting for someone. On the plus side, however, this meant we saved money as we ate the free canapEs and drank the house champagne as usual!EntertainmentWe found that after the excursion every day, several aperitifs and a multi-course dinner with wines, we did not have the energy for dancing or even a show! The shows started at nearly 10pm and those we spoke to who did go said they were generally very good. We did go to the crew show on the final evening as it was early evening and enjoyed it and the farewell speeches.ExcursionsThere is a choice of 'free' (i.e. included) and paid for excursions in every port. We made our selections through the RSSC website and chose two paid for. Strangely, one of our paid for choices was already waitlisted even though booking had only been open for an hour or so at most. We later received a phone call from Regent's UK office to say that the waitlist had cleared and we could now book. On board, however, that excursion was cancelled 'due to low numbers'! The standard of excursions was variable: none were excellent, some were good and some were poor. Of the included excursions, many involved travelling on a large and almost full bus with limited legroom. The roads were often very narrow with sharp chicanes and some passengers experienced motion sickness. Where the destination was small, e.g. an olive oil mill or winery, it was crowded. In larger places, e.g. museums, we were often following even larger groups and having to wait until the next room in the predetermined sequence was vacated. Of those tours which included meals, the timing was clearly dictated by the need to fit in with other groups rather than our interests: a wine-tasting with local food for 'lunch' at 10am on one; a seafood and pasta 'lunch' at 5.30pm on another! The quality of the guides was variable - only one or two were really good speakers. Others we spoke to made similar criticisms of the included excursions but some were very pleased with those they paid extra for. Interestingly, when looking for a non-bus excursion we were actually warned off a particular boat trip by a member of destinations staff as 'not worth the bother' and were grateful for that advice when others reported back that it was indeed very poor. Perhaps our expectations were too high or simply unrealistic because of our lack of experience but we must agree with those who feel that this is by far the weakest aspect of the Regent product.DisembarkationAs we still had unused on-board credit, we booked a private car to ensure we got to Nice in time for our EasyJet flight - we had been advised by the Destinations team that taxis could be thin on the ground in Monte Carlo. We left our luggage out the night before with the colour-coded tags attached. In the morning we assembled in the theatre and waited while other colours were called. We were told that, although our car was at the dockside, the driver could not be found. After another 10 minutes rather anxious wait, we were finally called and went down the gangway to begin the search for our cases. When we found the correct area, there was no sign of our cases! I explained the position to the driver and giving him our hand luggage set off in search. Regent staff were conspicuous by their absence at this stage! I finally spied our smaller case on a cart about 50 yards away and, despite the protests of the baggage handlers, reclaimed it. No sign of the larger case anywhere, so back to the appointed area to wait in the hope it would turn up. My wife decided to have a good rummage, however, and after moving a very large case which was sitting at an odd angle, we discovered our own case buried beneath it. Mightily relieved, we were on our way. Again Regent was let down by its destinations staff and/or systems so that our final experience of the cruise was less than luxurious.SummaryOverall, it was a very good cruise which could have been excellent but for the shortcomings of the destinations department. Would we do it again? Probably not in the same way: when shopping around, we would certainly discount the value of the included excursions in comparing Regent's prices with others. But the Mariner is a wonderful ship and I suspect we will sail on her again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
As many other people have written their review on the Seven Seas Mariner I would like to add my comment as a person comparing this ship to others I have sailed on. Small ship sailing and with the amenities offered by this ship is ... Read More
As many other people have written their review on the Seven Seas Mariner I would like to add my comment as a person comparing this ship to others I have sailed on. Small ship sailing and with the amenities offered by this ship is incomparable. I would certainly take it again and highly recommend it to others who are curious about what the smaller ships have to offer We started off our trip with an overnight stay at the Hilton Molina in Venice- it was located on one of the many little islands in the channel but what a wonderful way to start. We had a breath-taking view of the city across the channel and were minutes away from a local Trattoria where I had a wonderful dinner of scampi's for only 20 Euros. My travelling companions also enjoyed their dinner as we sat on the patio and watched the constant boat traffic go by. We have been over-nighted on other cruises but our hotel was not centrally located and we often had to take a taxi to get there if we choose not to eat in the pricey dinning room offered by the hotel Embarkation- What a joy with the smaller crowds we were processed quickly greeted with a glass of champagne and wine cooling on ice in our room within a very short time. We headed off to the LA VERANDAH where we had a quick lunch ,hamburgers or pizza your choice and then relaxed in our room before getting unpacked and ready for dinner. DINNING.- Our first dinner in the Compass Rose was well proportioned and we enjoyed the 7 course meal including desert. We quickly made our reservations for PRIME 7 and Signatures as we were told we would probably be able to reserve at least once. Our waiters and wine stewards were gracious and accommodating and kept our wine glasses filled. On subsequent night the King Crab legs all 2 lbs of it was well prepared and delicious.Signatures was truly a wonderful experience to taste continental cordon bleu meal and the presentation by the waiters were truly wonderful. All this included without having to pay extra cover charge and a wide variety of wines offered with the many courses at all three restaurants. EXCURSION - How wonderful it was to have all the different excursions included in the price and we took one every day so it was quite busy with no sea days to recuperate. I only had a light charge to pay for Sienna when we went to Florence as I had previously visited it before and wanted to experience it again. The tours were well organized although I wish our tour guide walked a little slower for some of us seniors who had difficulty keeping up and listening to her most interesting comments. SERVICE= The waiters and everyone were always very attentive to your every need and there was someone to carry your omelet or bring you coffee as soon as you sat down in the LA VERANDAH . Our room stewardess was always gracious and made sure the fridge was stocked with bottles of water(complimentary even on our excursions) soft drinks and fruits we were never able to finish before it was taken away and replaced because we were too full. ENTERTAINMEN - Compared to the Princess ship the entertainment was not as glitzy but we enjoyed the productions and the music put on nightly. Most nights we were too tired to care but we enjoyed the interactive TV in our room as we tried to prepare for another busy day. We had room service several times when we had a later start with our activities and had a comedy of errors when we accidentally ordered double of everything but the waiter was very courteous and took them away without complaint. The selection of the room service menu was excellent compared to other ships-we could even have eggs Benedict and a perfectly poached egg. ACCPMODATIONS -Our standard veranda suite was roomy although the closest was a little small for our luggage. It compared favorably with the Princess veranda deluxe cabins. DISEMBARKATION- We had an early flight so were in the first group to get off. Again being on a smaller ship was quick and easy and we made it to our flight in good time. Our only main discomfort was the long flight home because we gained a day but we arrived home safe and tired. Ports we visited- The tours to Dubrovnik, Kotor, Corfu went without any problems. However we hit rough seas in Taormina and was divereted to Messina but we were able to go to Mt .Etna which was a wonderful experience. Positano,was very beautiful. Civitavechia was great we did a panorama bus tour, had a delicious lunch box prepared by the ship because of delays in the Vatican but it was still a good day. The high lite of the tour was the long one for those of us who went to Florence and Sienna-10 hours! But what a welcome home- the staff of Regent Mariner greeted us on the docks with a cold towel, glasses of champagnes, a band playing in the background and everyone welcoming us back to the ship. What a wonderful way to end the day!We also had a wonderful day in Portofina and Santa Margarehta. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
My husband and I greatly enjoyed our May 4 - 14 Istanbul to Venice cruise on the Mariner. As background: We are a couple in our mid 40s. We have traveled extensively, but this was only our 4th cruise, and our first on Regent. The cruise ... Read More
My husband and I greatly enjoyed our May 4 - 14 Istanbul to Venice cruise on the Mariner. As background: We are a couple in our mid 40s. We have traveled extensively, but this was only our 4th cruise, and our first on Regent. The cruise was chosen for the timing, length, and itinerary. Our thoughts: EMBARKATION / DEBARKATION: We arranged our own air and transfers. After a few days of sightseeing in Istanbul, we arrived at the port around 1pm. The check in process was very quick, and as the ship was just coming off of a short rehab / wet-dock, the cabin was immediately ready for us. Debarkation was also extremely easy. We just walked off the ship and quickly found our luggage in the terminal. STATEROOMS: We were in a "regular" deluxe suite on deck 8. The suite is a nice size and didn't feel cramped. The mattress was just replaced and the entire room was in great shape. We found that there is plenty of space in the closet and drawers. The bathroom had good storage and we loved the rain shower head. Our room stewardess, Cecilia, was excellent. Comments: • The size of the safe in the closet is very small (e.g. no room for a laptop or larger camera etc). • We currently live in a very quiet neighborhood, so it was a bit louder than we are used to. It was OK at night, but we were woken up early every morning by the noise of people talking in the hallways, the sounds of neighboring cabin front and balcony doors being opened and slamming shut etc. (note: The room service delivery person can't really catch the door as he walks in because he has the tray in his hands. Consequently, the hall door slams closed very loudly after he walks in.) DINNING Overall the dinning met our expectations. We expected and experienced generally good to very good meals and service...we didn't expect Michelin star like experiences, nor was it a big deal to us if a course or meal was not especially to our liking on occasion. Compose Rose: The food was consistently very good in CR. For dinner, we were always immediately seated when we showed up (typically between 8:00 - 8:30). The selections, service and pace of the meals went well in the evenings. Unfortunately, the service at breakfast was not at the same pace. Each of the 3 times we tried CR for breakfast it was extremely slow, even though there were not many others in the dining room. La Veranda: Buffets are not normally our first choice, but with the timing of the excursions, we usually went to LV for breakfast and some lunches. It was OK. It often seemed crowded and hectic and sometimes the "hot" food was not so hot. For dinner, our first experience at LV was disappointing. It was later in the evening, and the buffet was picked over and not visually appealing at all. The service was very slow, but the main courses ordered were good. We decided to give LV another chance for dinner, but this second time we went early (7 pm). It was a big difference! The buffet was full of interesting choices and was nicely presented. The service was much better as well. Lesson - go early for the best experience in LV for dinner. Signatures: We thought that the food was delicious and the service, if a bit pretentious, was professional and smooth. We enjoyed our meal so much; we went for a second time, trying completely different choices and were equally impressed. Prime 7: We have plenty of great steak houses in our current home area, so P7 really wasn't special for us. We went once and didn't try to go back. Perhaps if you lived in area where good steak houses are rare (pun intended), this would be a treat. Pool area: We had lunch here one time, and the burgers and ice cream were good. We enjoyed the pool bar service most afternoons. Please note that it was always easy to find a chair in the sun and one in the shade, no chair hog problems at all. Coffee Connection: Great idea! Loved stopping for a quick espresso and snack. Room service: We had room service deliver coffee every morning. There is a place to indicate when you would prefer the service in half hour intervals. Each and every time they were early. On one of the first days of the cruise, we had marked the 6:30 - 7:00 time frame and the delivery employee was ringing our doorbell at 6:08 (we were still in bed!). The only comment when we questioned, was that they had many orders. It wasn't' a big deal and became a joke to us...how early will they be today? SHIP ACTIVITIES Our time on the ship was primarily to relax, so we didn't take part in many of the ship activities....no trivia, games, casino etc. We often enjoyed a before or after dinner drink in one of the lounges. Our favorite spot was in the observation lounge when the ship was at sea. We didn't go to any of the shows in the large theater, except the "crew capers", which was sweet. OVERALL SERVICE All of the employees came across as friendly and eager to assist. Room stewards/stewardesses were always quick to wish you a good morning/evening when you passed them in a hallway (even if not on your own deck). The bar tenders and restaurant servers were consistently friendly and pleasant. Overall great service! PASSENGERS The ship was full and had a very interesting and friendly mix of passengers. We had many pleasant conversations with our fellow cruisers CONCLUSION Overall the trip was a huge success. We originally booked this trip to: • Visit places we had not been to before on land trips and all except Venice were new; • Enjoy some well deserved R&R from work, and afternoons at the pool deck served us well; and • Celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary in style, which we certainly did. If the itinerary and timing are right, we would love to sail Regent again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
We chose this particular cruise because we wanted a cruise without the need to fly to and from the ports. We live in southern Switzerland and rented a Hertz car (at the French side of Geneva airport) and drove to Monte Carlo. The reason ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because we wanted a cruise without the need to fly to and from the ports. We live in southern Switzerland and rented a Hertz car (at the French side of Geneva airport) and drove to Monte Carlo. The reason for renting in that specific location was to avoid the huge drop charges which are incurred by returning a car to another country. We spent two nights pre-cruise in Monte Carlo, staying at the Port Palace Hotel. The hotel was lovely, with a nice harbourside location, yet close to everything in Monte Carlo (well, it is a small place!!). However if we do this again I would definitely pay extra for a room on the 4th or 5th floors to get a better view. Ours was on the 2nd, and we had a great view of the huge yachts moored in front of us, but not much else. We booked on a B&B basis, and the breakfast was very nice - on the 6th floor with super view!! The hotel also has a lovely terrace bar where we had our apEritfs both evenings. We sailed on Wednesday 7th April. We pre-booked a taxi through the hotel and it came right on schedule at noon. About 12.05 we were in the queue waiting to present our tickets and passports to the Security desk. Boarding was slow - I would guess there were 30 people ahead of us and since the actual security check was at the top of the gangplank it took time. We were directed to the Constellation Theatre for check in which went smoothly and fast. By about 12.45 we were seated in la Veranda for lunch. We have not been on board the Mariner for two years and we were really pleased with the re-decorations we saw, especially in la Veranda and the Compass Rose (and by the way, I would love to have a set of the la Veranda china at home! It is lovely!!) Another thing I noticed was that the pool was kept full, even when we were in port. For those of us who did not get off the ship very often, this was lovely, even though only one or two people swam - the weather wasn't that warm! By about 2.45 we went to our suite and were greeted by our Stewardess, Regina. This is the first time we have been in a non-Butler suite for years (husband was economising last year when we booked!!) and I must say I was worried about the level of service. I need not have been. Regina was superb and looked after our every need. She immediately re-did our bed and installed two duvets instead of the one. I think it would be nice if there was a "Stewardess Form" for us to complete before boarding, telling what sort of bedding we would like. I asked for a bottle of Mumm's Cordon Rouge instead of the "mousseux" that had been in the suite and also a bottle of Johnny Walker. She brought them right away. The new Interactive TV is wonderful...once we found out it was there and then learnt to use it!! There were around 50 regular posters from the Cruise Critic boards and their spouses and families on board, and with the help of another "CC-er" I had amassed a list of names and suites. On the first evening I met the Cruise Director, Dionne Lochner, and told her that I would like to see her the next day about organising a cocktail for us all. She said that she would handle this and did. The next day she rang, and told me that the F&B manager would be calling me in a few minutes. I then had a call from Davor Manager of F&B, who sorted out the party. His reply to the request was not "why" but "when would you like it?" and that attitude to me sums up all that Regent is, and why we sail with Regent The party itself was on the third night, right after the Captain's welcome (delayed because of long port stays in both Livorno and Civitavecchia to allow lots of touring). It was held in Stars, and the Captain, the GM, the Cruise Director and other senior crew attended. We all really appreciated this chance to meet face-to-face. It was a lot of fun and many thanks go to Davor and his team for setting it up!! We had dinner the second evening in Signatures with "Orpington T" and his lovely wife, Barbara, and son, and daughter-in-law. Lots of fun and superb food and wines. The following night my husband and I dined at Prime 7 - our first opportunity to do so. We just loved it!! The food was terrific - we had lobsters - and it was nicely presented. Finally that space has an identity and offers a great treat to all. (Especially to us since we live in Europe and Maine lobsters are not at all easy to come by! Apparently Prime 7 has a tank of live lobsters - wow!) We asked the next evening if there was any possibility of a second reservation on any other night...and to our glee secured a table for 2 at 6pm on the night before we arrived in Venice. Other evenings we ate in Compass Rose and enjoyed each dinner. One night there were Soft shell Crabs as a starter. We love these and cannot get them at all where we live. I mentioned this to our waiter, Angel. He arranged for us to have a special lunch of "Soft Shells" the next day in the Compass Rose!! The overall quality and presentation of the food in all three restaurants (we didn't eat dinner at la Veranda) is excellent. The choices are wide, and you can always ask for something that is not on the menu, such as Filet Mignon with BEarnaise, and we did! This cruise was very port-intensive. Most people left the ship for most of the day, yet all day long Dionne and her team offered things to do. I participated in a Putting Competition. We attended Tea Time Trivia almost every day. It was the most fun when Dionne ran it herself! She managed to take the "nastiness" out of some of the competitiveness and everyone had a great time. We didn't do too many excursions since I was not feeling 100% as a result of a respiratory infection I had contracted before leaving Switzerland. Nor did we attend any of the shows...early bed was better! We did visit Capri - our excursion was"Capri on the Lighter Side" - had a good guide and spent a lot of time in (planned) shopping and had a nice lunch at la Palma in Capri Town. We also took an excellent tour in Kotor - "Kotor and the Bay of Kotor". Our guide, Bruna, was most informative and we learnt a lot about Montenegro, the former Yugoslavia and especially Kotor. My husband took a walking tour of Dubrovnik. I had planned to, but was too tired so stayed on board. He said that was very good as well. In Venice we did not take tours but went on our own via vaporetto to Torcello for a wonderful lunch at the Locanda Cipriani, a special favourite of ours. I should also add that our arrival in Venice, in pea-soup thick fog, was very disappointing to most on board. Nothing could be done about it, of course...and the seamanship demonstrated by Captain Felice Patruno and the pilot was really impressive. At one point we could hear children shouting "ciao, ciao" but could not see them!! We have arrived in Venice by ship before, so we know what we and all the others missed... Disembarkation was amazingly smooth. I had expected total disorganisation but instead we were told we could leave (since we had our own travel plans) at any time we liked. We strolled off the ship at 8am, found our luggage with the help of a charming port representative - there were two ships disembarking at once! - and then took the free shuttle to the Piazzale Roma, arriving there just after 8.30am. Hertz had just opened up and by 8.45 we were leaving Venice for the autostrada and were home in under six hours... Two days later we dropped the car in Ivrea, thereby avoiding some 800 EUR in drop charges!! Of course this was also the disembarkation that was dramatically affected by the Volcano and air travel crisis. We were not involved but we have read since of all the wonderful things that Regent did to ensure that its air passengers who were affected were well looked after. It was a wonderful cruise, made more wonderful by the crew: Our stewardess Regina; Cruise Director Dionne and her assistant Chris; Captain Felice Patruno; Maitres d'Hòtel Delfin and Rommel; waiters Angel and Gerry; Wine Steward Ivan (whom we knew from the Navigator) and last but not least, Helga from Destination Services. Look out for them all when you are on board...they will not disappoint you and neither will Regent and the Mariner! I only have one criticism - there were lovely lilies in all the lounges - Horizon Lounge, Observation Lounge etc. I love them but they do not love me (and others as well, I think!) Somehow they make me sneeze and cough!! Perhaps a choice of other flowers would be safer. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
Seven Seas Mariner Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 3.5 3.5
Public Rooms 5.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 3.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.9
Enrichment 4.5 3.7
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 5.0 4.1

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