2 Regent Seven Seas Mariner Cruise Reviews for Holiday Cruises to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

We have previously travelled with mainstream cruise lines such as P&O, Princess, Celebrity, RCI etc and thought we would try a more expensive '5 star' cruise. While many elements of the ship and the cruise were excellent and ... Read More
We have previously travelled with mainstream cruise lines such as P&O, Princess, Celebrity, RCI etc and thought we would try a more expensive '5 star' cruise. While many elements of the ship and the cruise were excellent and merited the extra cost, there were some surprising negatives also. Food varied from acceptable to excellent, with the exception of the Signatures restaurant - pretentious menu and average to poor food! The main restauarant was great for couples with lots of tables for 2 by the windows! The food was often great - lunches in the main restaurant were particularly unusual and excellently flavoured; also the portions were not too big which is great at lunchtime. Occasionally, however, there were some very odd and definitely second class offerings - one afternoon tea, the only sandwiches were cheap potted meat or jam (I haven't been offered a jam sandwich since I was a child when it was definitely food for the poor!!!) The upsides first:- Wonderful cabin - spacious, well-equipped, good balcony, beautifully furnished. Some things we particularly liked were the curtained area for sitting, separated from the bedroom - this allowed me to get up earlier than my husband and to read and use the balcony without disturbing him!; the walk-in closet with lots of hanging space and drawers; big bathroom with very big shower area, lovely toiletries and lots of space. (We had a cabin with only a shower and this gives you lots of room if, like us, you do not want a bath. Great staff - friendly throughout the ship, including the officers; nothing too much trouble; efficient and helpful. Even the tour staff were good and this is often one area where cruise ships are poor!! Lots of space in the ship - no queues for anything, even the buffet restaurant had lots of tables whenever you wanted to eat. The ship felt quiet and uncrowded throughout the cruise - very relaxing. No attempts to keep selling to you, which is unusual - no photographers constantly in your face trying to take photos and sell them to you, no pressure to use the shops. This is all in line with the fact that everything is included so you don't constantly have to show your cruise card. At the same time, the staff were great in keeping you supplied with food and drink - no need to chase them at all. It makes for a very relaxing time. Tours were good - no feeling that, because they are free, they are a lesser class than those sold on other cruise ships. Ports of call were all great - some a bit busy but that is the only possible negative, and is not RSSC's fault!! Downsides:- The tours were all early morning and nearly all scheduled at similar times. This made a few issues - overcrowding and lines waiting to disembark. The worst point, however, was that the mealtimes were not adjusted to take account of the tours. So, the restaurant was only open in the morning as you were reporting to the tour - you could only have a sit-down meal if you were staying on the ship! You had to use the buffet (sometimes cold food!!) or have room service which was often the only practical option. Similarly, you had to rush back at the end of the tour if you wanted to be served because many of the tours ended at 1.00-1.15 and the restaurant closed at 1.30. Even the buffet closed at 2.00 so you could not have a look round the port after the tour if you wanted to eat. There was always room service but that always takes time to order and receive, and the choice is limited. Generally, the availability of food was the poorest I have come across on any ship. Apart from room service, there were gaps in the morning and afternoon where you struggled to find food. This meant you had to keep an eye on the time to ensure you did not miss a meal - not what you want on a cruise. One morning we got up at 9.00 (hardly sleeping in!!) and found only one place we could eat cold food!! It would be nice when you get back to the ship to find cold drinks and cold towels available - they do this on Celebrity which is a cheaper option. A bit galling to be moored next to a cheaper cruiseline and seeing them being regaled with cold towels!! The public areas looked a bit tired to us and no wow factor. Downsides may sound a bit picky but this cruise is expensive and is meant to be top class so I think you should expect excellence! Overall, a very good experience but I think RSSC should travel on some other lines to see how it could be improved to 5 star all round Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
This cruise was from Venice to Istanbul for 14 nights which included Split(Croatia), Santorini, Crete, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Rhodes, Kusadasi and Istanbul(Turkey). Our great experience on Regent's Paul Gauguin some 2 years ago ... Read More
This cruise was from Venice to Istanbul for 14 nights which included Split(Croatia), Santorini, Crete, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Rhodes, Kusadasi and Istanbul(Turkey). Our great experience on Regent's Paul Gauguin some 2 years ago sailing around the islands of French Polynesia was also a key factor in selecting this cruise. As such the Paul Gauguin cruise created a bias within us as to what our expectations of the Seven Seas Mariner were. I shall begin and say that overall the cruise was amazing and all the tours we took were very well done and organized. The coaches were only 50% - 60% full and on all our tours the guides were very good to excellent. It allowed one to see many different cultures and history. It was very well organized and the crew were extremely efficient, polite and made sure everything was done correctly. Regent definitely have the best cabins. Large, spacious, the walk in robe is just brilliant and the bathroom permitted two(2) people in there at one time. Everything was well maintained on board, the majority of the crew were great, service in most cases was very good, the provisioning of bottled water for the land tours was well received but for some reason there was something not quite right and the atmosphere was not the same as on Paul Gauguin. The crew were absolutely great especially cabin steward(Jade), Sylvester & Jaimee(Verandah), Mehendrah and his staff in Horizons Bar, The Polish entertainment duo in Horizons, the sommelier who made sure our wine was correct every evening(Signatures & Prime7) were brilliant. The on board tour staff who were brilliant in making sure everything went to plan. The only concern we had was that we thought the eastern Europeans (generally) were not as friendly or relaxed as the Phillipino crew members. We have noticed this on other vessels with other cruise lines we have been on. We also felt that the Verandah restaurant was great especially with their special buffets(EG European night with fresh local sardines etc.). The food was done extremely well and was always hot. The choices and quality were great for us. Some of the small issues with Regent were related to the catering aspects of the cruise(land tour catering was brilliant with all local foods made available). Service in Signatures, Compass Rose and Prime7 we thought was quite fast and doing a count to 3 in French(Signatures) and the waiters lifting the lids off the meals was a bit "over the top". In hindsight we both believed that the service criteria is very much American style. We found other non-American passengers thought the same. In general the meals in these three(3) restaurants were OK but it could have been improved upon. Yes, my "blue" steak was always cooked to absolute perfection but for some staff to persist in calling it "Pittsburgh Blue" was a little to American for me especially when globally it is regularly identified as "French Blue" or "Blue". The wines initially offered to us were interesting. Serving the American whites and reds was OK but unfortunately I cannot drink them, as I have even when I lived in the USA suffered extreme headaches etc. from them. Interestingly a lot of the waiters were aware of this issue also from previous passengers. Fortunately they had Chilean and Italian wines which were great. Also serving an Australian wine called Skipping Jack to Australians is not a good idea especially as it is a bottling company that produces the wine from grapes from various wineries in the South Australian area. The same with Irish Coffees after dinner. When will they stop using cream from a pressurised can. Fortunately the barman was able to get real cream for a real Irish Coffee. The breakfast buffet was very good in general terms. Enjoyed all the different cheeses, smoked salmon and mackerel etc. Not sure why it happens but the slices of the smoked salmon and Carpaccio were quite cut thick when they should have been thinner. Also the pastries were tasteless. The croissants were quite small and very crumbly every day. Room service meal was an absolute disgrace. We had it once and never again and no matter what time we got back from a shore tour we always ate in one of the restaurants. Disembarkation in Istanbul was a shambles but we suspect that this was not Regent's fault. It just felt like you walk down the gangplank and you were no longer the responsibility of Regent. Also the charge Regent wanted for transfers to the airport were way over the top. We had private transport to our hotel and then hotel to airport and it was still some $USD140 cheaper. Something to be aware of. We realise that these are minor gripes but in the end we felt that RSSC has a reputation of 5 star to maintain and be a leader in the field of small to medium size cruise vessels. Yes, in general they still maintain an extraordinary cruise vessel level and yes we would sail with them again. It is just we felt something was not quite right with some aspects of the vessel. We also realise that the majority of the passengers are American and therefore Regent have to cater for their needs more than other nationalities. Read Less
Sail Date May 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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