28 Regent Seven Seas Mariner Cruise Reviews for Luxury Cruises to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

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
This was only our second cruise. Our first was with P&O and although this cruise was far more expensive, as they say, you get what you pay for. What was really impressive was the way embarkation, tours and disembarkation was ... Read More
This was only our second cruise. Our first was with P&O and although this cruise was far more expensive, as they say, you get what you pay for. What was really impressive was the way embarkation, tours and disembarkation was managed, it was all very well organised. All the staff, without exception, were friendly and couldn't do enough to help. Being "all inclusive" it was really nice to be able to drink and eat what you liked without having to sign for it and there was no reluctance to give you what you wanted, as there is in some AI hotels. We had chosen a Penthouse suite which was really spacious with a very well stocked shower room and large comfortable bed - where the linen was changed daily. The only criticism was that the room at the side of the bed was very limited. The lounge area was an excellent size. We didn't make a great deal of use of our butler but he was friendly enough and provided our daily choice of canapes. We only dined three nights in the Speciality restaurants and we felt he could have been more helpful in that area. The only disappointments were that we left out Lesbos - because of the migrant problem - but spent the day at sea rather than finding another Greek island to visit (as the Silversea Spirit did) and that one passenger lift was out of action for the entire cruise. But would we travel Regent again - a definite yes. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We are long time Regent cruisers and do enjoy our trips. We have always enjoyed the excellent service and food. This year there was an obvious problem with the service. The current staff was wonderful and worked very hard but they ... Read More
We are long time Regent cruisers and do enjoy our trips. We have always enjoyed the excellent service and food. This year there was an obvious problem with the service. The current staff was wonderful and worked very hard but they needed more help. Some examples We had breakfast every morning in Veranda. We ordered cappuccino every day and it never was delivered until we had finished our meal. Why don't they have a machine in the kitchen? We arrived at Compass Rose at 7:15 for dinner. We let the staff know we wanted to be done in time for the 9:30 show. It seemed a pretty reasonable request but we missed the first 15 minutes of the show and never ate dessert. We had dinner in Signatures and the dirty dishes from our first course remained on the table for more than 15 minutes. We had pre dinner cocktails in the Observation Deck Bar. They had one bartender and 2 wait staff working. The bar was generally full and it meant if you wanted a drink you had to go to the bar to order it and go back to pick it up. I realize none of the complaints are earth shattering but it is a big slide for Regent. We heard several negative comments from other guests regarding the lack of staff. Regent positions itself as a luxury cruise line and they need to restore luxury service. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We have cruised many times before and chose this cruise for the class of ship and sailing date.This boat did not live up to our expectations. The food was mediocre at best. We were very surprised to find that even though we were in the ... Read More
We have cruised many times before and chose this cruise for the class of ship and sailing date.This boat did not live up to our expectations. The food was mediocre at best. We were very surprised to find that even though we were in the South of France and Italy at this time of year the tomatoes were tasteless,and the vegetables and fruit were definitely not premier. There is no excuse for not serving top quality at the rates we paid. The servers and cabin staff were most helpful and accommodating but that is where it ended. The reception never answered the telephone and we had to approach the desk to reach someone. No one seemed interested to be helpful and behaved like we were disturbing them. The excursion desk was not open most of the day. The maître d'hôtel acted very uppity and again not particularly helpful. Sebastian our waiter one evening was great! The room service staff was wonderful and as I mentioned before all of the servers really did a great job. The guides were very well informed and made the excursions fun. The one problem however was the drop off points for some ports were quite a distance from the tour and the planning could be improved. Our tour to Genoa required that we meet at 12 to get our documents and then board the tender at 12:30 to get the boat for Santa Margarita to get the bus for Genoa. There was no allowance for lunch as we had to stay on time to follow the program. All in all Regent could definitely put some effort in making this a great experience instead of a mediocre one. This is not the Crystal nor the Seabourn ... Not even close! Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
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
This cruise was my fourth. I've sailed Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean. I'm an avid traveler and chose this cruise based on the terrific itinerary. My DH and I traveled with my parents who have sailed on Regent Seven Seas ... Read More
This cruise was my fourth. I've sailed Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean. I'm an avid traveler and chose this cruise based on the terrific itinerary. My DH and I traveled with my parents who have sailed on Regent Seven Seas Mariner five previous times. Bottom line: The wonderful ship environment was not matched with equally above average excursions. Since the excursions were included in the price, we felt that we should take the offered excursions. Regent did not offer a credit for any excursions not taken. I selected this particular cruise because of the outstanding itinerary, but the excursions left so much to be desired that I will search for an upscale cruise that doesn’t include the excursions in their prices. I want to use Cruise Critic and TripAdvisor to find better quality independent excursions. In general, the tours were too crowded to be effective. We planned a pre-cruise excursion in Rome and Venice and did not use Regent for hotel or air arrangements. Embarkation: Regent was unable to tell us the terminal area in Venice until the very last minute. As we were to depart Venice on a major holiday, the ship was directed to a different port on the outskirts of Venice. (Port Marghera). Three days before departure, they informed us we were to go to the usual terminal (Port Maritima) and then take a bus from there. As a result, my privately arranged transfer had to be re-arranged due to the late notice. There was no way to drop off luggage and return to Venice without paying the exorbitant Venice transfer fees. The Embarkation process was quick and easy, with buses waiting for the 45-minute drive to the other port. Ship: The ship was in lovely shape. The rooms were amazing. They were significantly larger than any of the previous cruise ships I've sailed. We stayed in a standard veranda room. The bathroom was huge, although as noted by others, the bathtub ceiling and shower head were low. The public areas were very nicely appointed and comfortable everywhere. One afternoon, the toilets would not flush on the port side. These were fixed by the time we returned for the day. Service: All of the personnel we met were friendly and seemed truly committed to doing a good job. I particularly appreciated the cruise director and her staff. We noted that bar service was sometimes slow to take an order or forgetful to bring a napkin with our drinks. The wine stewards were not as attentive at times as well. Waitstaff were very good about getting the orders right and offering great suggestions for the meal. Activities/Entertainment: We enjoyed trivia and tea most afternoons. (Tip: look for diversity on your team). We won enough points to get some logo'd gear at the end. The gym was never too crowded and had a very sufficient set up. We didn't use the spa or pool, but there were always plenty of lounge chairs available. Dr Paula Smith provided terrific lectures on Corfu, Athens, Ephesus, and Istanbul. They were presented when the ship was underway so that all passengers could attend. Dining: My parents noted that the dining was improved from their previous Regent experiences. I appreciated the variety and quality of the food. Naturally, I didn't like everything I was served, but that's true anywhere. Sometimes what you order isn't what you expected. The Prime 7 and Signatures food was as good as hoped. I appreciated that a Signatures or Prime 7 dish was on every Compass Rose dinner menu also. I was disappointed in the sound level at Signatures. We could barely talk for the first half an hour of our meal. We had a late seating and the sound level improved after the room emptied by half. I'm not certain if there was another location in the room that would be quieter. Be wary about planning a romantic dinner there. The Prime 7 maitre d' did a nice job of arranging a Happy Anniversary surprise for my parents. La Verandah was lovely for breakfast. We ate outside virtually every day. The selection was broad. My husband enjoyed the liberal servings of smoked salmon that he had daily. Excursions: The excursions disappointed me significantly. Regent’s cruise questionnaire was not designed to solicit feedback on individual excursions. My observations: Venice: No tours offered for embarking guests Dubrovnik: City Tour. 25+ guests on the tour with no earphones. You could only hear the tour guide if you got very close to her. In order to try to be heard she stopped in places that were in the full sun. About half the group abandoned the tour in disappointment, making it fine for the rest of us. The tour was short enough to allow for a hike on the city walls prior to returning on a Regent bus. Kotor: We were unexpectedly tendered at this port. Tendering was a mess that day. We waited for nearly an hour before we were taken ashore. Again the tour was too large for the guide to be heard unless you huddled around (Town of Kotor and Bay of Kotor Heritage). People abandoned the group again. Corfu: Unless you paid for a Regent Select tour, there were only two tours on Corfu. So 700 passengers went to two places. Plus every other cruise ship in Corfu went to the same places also. There was no staggering of the starting times within one tour, so people on the last bus had to wait significantly longer than those on the first. At the Achilleion Palace they provided the “whisper units” that made it easier to hear the guide. Zakynthos: The tendering was much smoother on Zakynthos. This island is off the beaten path for most Greek Isles tours, but we enjoyed it very much. We were also lucky enough to be in a small group due to a large number of no shows. The local taverna stop with traditional dancing was a highlight. Athens: We took the long Acroplis, Plaka, and New Museum tour. The Acropolis was a madhouse. Again, we were in a very large group with no audio support provided. The group probably waited 45 minutes for people taking a pit stop or being inconsiderate in returning on time. This didn’t extend the trip, just reduced the information presented. The Plaka lunch provided was good although everyone was disappointed that the “free wifi” at the restaurant didn’t work. Santorini: We paid for the Food and Wine Trails upgrade. We didn’t get what we paid for. It was to include stopping at two wineries, but instead it stopped at only one. We only tasted three wines and that was during lunch and not separately as stated. These were tasting pours, not lunch pairings. At the end of the meal, dessert wine was tasted without dessert. The tour was to include two town tours as well. One stop just walked us to a square with instructions to meet there in 1.5 hours, the other location was just a drop off and a chit to take the gondola back to the port. I went to the Destinations Desk upon our return to report that the tour did not meet the advertised plan. I asked for some consideration as we paid $179 per person for this tour. The manager was sympathetic as appropriate but he needed to discuss this with the “head office”. Three days later we received a courtesy discount of 10%. I’m surprised the manager wasn’t empowered to take action right on the spot. 10% seemed an insufficient discount as well. The letter we received did not acknowledge the detailed problem or any planned corrections, just noted the discount as “goodwill”. Marmaris: Daylan River and Caunos. The River tour included an interesting boat ride. Note that there are only a few rock tombs to see. The photos on the website are basically all of them. The one-hour extension of the river cruise to Istuzu beach was a waste of time. The boat just cruised among the reeds and you couldn’t see the beach. The river runs behind the beach and the boats didn’t stop to let us out to see the beach. The Caunos site wasn’t very interesting compared to Pompeii or the upcoming Ephesus. The water was lovely here, I wish we had gone to a beach instead. Ephesus: Regent didn’t offer a tour that included both the Virgin Mary’s house and the Terrace houses, so we did an excellent private tour instead. Some people on a Regent’s tour passed us in the Terrace houses. I watched for a bit and realized they spent only 1/3 the time that we spent visiting these amazing houses and again it was a large group. The people near the back couldn’t hear at all. We were glad did not have to attend the carpet sales pitch either. Istanbul: Although we overnighted in Istanbul, we didn’t arrive until 2:00pm and couldn’t take any excursions with Regent on debarkation day. The tour guide for our Blue Mosque and Topaki tour was rude, he walked faster than people could keep up, told everyone that it is usual for people to be left behind, and begged for tips at the end. Debarkation: Fine as we were the first off the ship as we arranged a private transfer.   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
I recently sailed on the Regent Mariner on a 10 day Mediterranean cruise. It left from Rome and finished in Venice. I was sailing along with 12 other members of my family- it was somewhat of a family reunion for us. We did spend one night ... Read More
I recently sailed on the Regent Mariner on a 10 day Mediterranean cruise. It left from Rome and finished in Venice. I was sailing along with 12 other members of my family- it was somewhat of a family reunion for us. We did spend one night in Rome as part of the cruise package. The hotel was lovely and served us a great breakfast. The name of the hotel was the Hotel Majestic. We were transported by bus to the ship- about a 45 minute drive. On the way, we were told by our guide that the bus would be stopping at a rest stop because the ships computers were down and they were not prepared to check us in- so rather than wait at the ship terminal- we would wait at a rest stop where we would be more comfortable. When we finally did get to the ship, the line in the terminal was forever! And we found out that the computers weren't down, they just are not prepared for very many people to check in at one time. They need to get that fixed- I have traveled on Royal Caribbean- which has quadruple the number of passengers- and the check in was better than on Regent! Also- I have sailed with Crystal, which is a closer comparison, and the check in on Crystal Cruises is much better with no wait at all and friendly people... The food on this ship was hit and miss. I had some very good meals onboard, but I also had some not so good and the service was not great. This crew did not seem very happy and they certainly did not go out of their way to please. At one dinner, they forgot my husband's salad and sorbet- no big deal, but they just didn't have their timing of courses down- it was as if they had not been trained well. One unique thing about Regent is having excursions included. As a group, we had signed up for some excursions together. We ended up having to go on different busses because some in our party got to the staging room a few minutes before we did. We were not made aware that we were being split up- so just be aware of this if you have a large group of people you are traveling with. On one excursion, we left at 9:00 AM and didn't arrive back at the ship until 2:30- and we had no lunch! We were starving and cranky by the time we got back to the ship...the excursion was originally supposed to leave at 1:30 (after lunch), and they changed the times on us...but made no plans for us to eat anywhere along the way...they told us that since the excursion was not for the whole day, they weren't responsible for us to eat!! The entertainment on the ship was mediocre...their big shows were not great, but i was not expecting much.... One other thing- Regent booked our business class flights- our return flight left at 6:45 in the AM which meant we had to leave the ship at 3:30 in the morning...Don't ever let a cruise line book your flights!!! I would never have done that to myself!! I spoke with many people on the ship who had sailed with Regent before, and they all said that the poor service, disorganized excursions and mediocre food is not the norm- but they were all very displeased with this ship and the crew. As for me, I will either go on a different cruise line, or stay home. I could not wait for this ship to dock so I could go home- and I love cruises!! Just not this one!! Also, if you are traveling with kids- please choose another cruise line... there were about 20 kids on the ship- Regent really doesn't cater to them- their program was only for a couple of hours a day- what's the point? Crystal Cruises has a dedicated children's area- if you want a luxury cruise and have to bring kids- please go Crystal...Or forget about luxury and go Royal Caribbean or Disney...Frankly- we were treated better on Royal Caribbean than we were on Regent and that surprised me- but, sadly, it's the truth... 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
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
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 were a small group all on anniversary sailings and thought it was good to buy RSSC since it included everything. Due to inclement weather, the cruise line skipped two tendering ports on a 10 sail! They offered no options, no alternates, ... Read More
We were a small group all on anniversary sailings and thought it was good to buy RSSC since it included everything. Due to inclement weather, the cruise line skipped two tendering ports on a 10 sail! They offered no options, no alternates, just sit in Civitavecchia and Livorno. The way they handled the situation was awful, almost everyone on board was furious. The front desk seemed bothered when we complained and treated us as though we had won the trip. The biggest problem with buying all inclusive and if you buy trip interruption, they will not give a value for the tours missed so it is challenging to get reimbursed for your loss. The price of the tours is built into the total cost and they should have offered something and cooperated with a claim, but they did not. So my recommendation is to sail on a comparable cruise line and buy the tours, if they don't take place, you get your money back. There were some good parts of the trip, the cabins are nice size and the bathrooms and closets are great. The ship could use some renovation but in pretty good shape but no WOW factors. They have added complimentary washers and dryers which was a good addition. The fine dining restaurants are excellent and the wait staff in those two areas were wonderful. The main dining area was OK, some nice presentations and a good variety of choices. There was a great variety of wine and no problem getting different types at any meal, the sommeliers were fabulous and they hosted a wonderful wine tasting. The spa and exercise facilities and staff were also great. Overall the rest of the crew and officers seemed as though they were missing enthusiasm. We had sailed on Regent before and noticed a sharp difference in attitude, at times we felt as though we were extras in a Zombie movie. The arrival back to the ship from Rome tours was very nice, most of the crew was outside greeting everyone with cold towels, refreshments and music. The on deck BBQ in Kotor was magical. They hired very good tour guides throughout. However, the disembarkation was terrible, one small van and a long hike to the terminal. Other cruise lines do a much better job and we were shocked at how poorly this was handled. Overall, would we sail on Regent again, we are leaning toward no. Read Less
Sail Date May 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
The Black Sea ports of call - Trabzon, Sochi, Sevastopol, Yalta, Odessa, Constanta and Istanbul - were the main reasons for choosing the cruise. The transfers from the London flights were fine (except at the end), and the registration on ... Read More
The Black Sea ports of call - Trabzon, Sochi, Sevastopol, Yalta, Odessa, Constanta and Istanbul - were the main reasons for choosing the cruise. The transfers from the London flights were fine (except at the end), and the registration on board was efficient. The cabin was fine (but not as nice as the one on the Princess cruise last year), and the public areas were really dull. The staff were mostly excellent and very attentive. Probably the real disappointment were the restaurants and the cuisine. We enjoyed the Compass Rose - good lighting, plenty of space, warm and inviting. La Veranda on the upper deck we found confusing: the entry by the kitchen door with staff crossing in front of passengers, clearing stations in the aisleways, small self-service buffet area, small outdoor seating area, same menu, no maiter d'hotel ever in evidence really let it down. We dined in Prime Seven with other passengers who were regulars on Regent. They sent their main courses back. My fillet steak was tough. We dined alone in Signatures and whilst the decor looked inviting, the evening time lighting was very poor and most un-romantic (more like a boardroom). The food was unappetising (my soup was over-salty) and the main course duck was insipid. The Maitresse d'hotel was most attentive and took my comments seriously. In-room dining had a fairly plain menu which was okay but not inspiring. It would have been nice to have had refreshing towels when returning to the ship after the shore excursions. The shore excursions were well organised but a couple of the guides were really quite rude. The guest speaker did not really address his subject and did not tell us anything much we did not already know. We do not gamble so did not 'donate' any money to the company. We did not use the internet cafe as we heard the downloads were very slow. We disembarked the ship at 08:30 in Istanbul and after a short city tour were taken with a number of other passengers to the airport for the flight to London. When it was our turn to check in, we were advised we were not on the British Airways lunchtime flight with everyone else, but on the evening flight and would therefore have to wait another four hours to check in (it was around 30C or 85F and airless in the terminal). We checked and there were seats available but we had to pay another U$150 to change each ticket. NB We met a couple from the UK who had only booked the cruise two weeks before it sailed and were on the lunchtime flight: we booked three months ahead with other passengers who were also on the lunchtime flight. I wrote to Regent who blamed the airline! Some of the passengers we spoke with on board said that they had had better cruises and certainly other cruise companies were more enjoyable. The advantage of Regent is the inclusive excursions, inclusive tips and inclusive beverages (for those who like to drink). Overall this was not enough to compensate and make it a great trip. 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
Having seen the reviews, read the brochures and travelled A LOT, my husband and I expected a little more from this cruise. It reminded us of Holland America--a lot of hype and some substance to back it up, but not all that it was supposed ... Read More
Having seen the reviews, read the brochures and travelled A LOT, my husband and I expected a little more from this cruise. It reminded us of Holland America--a lot of hype and some substance to back it up, but not all that it was supposed to be. Pros: *ports of call--Ephesus with an expert excursion--worth every penny--one of the most memorable places I will ever visit (my only remaining ancient wonder of the world is Babylon) *transfers--extremely smooth, professional and well done *dining--90% of the time: outstanding *staffing--90% of the time: outstanding *free excursions--wonderful perk to booking this cruise, though we only did two *stateroom--large enough for 2 and plenty of storage. The walk in closet was great *spa--one of the best stone massages ever and they didn't try to sell us stuff Cons: *bartending: no Martini olives and no bartenders who could make "pool" drinks. My rum runner was brown..... *staffing--the other 10% of the not so friendly staff did not endear us to this cruise line *value--the complimentary beverages, tipping and excellent house wines don't make it worth the price that we paid. Final Comments: Were Windstar to go all inclusive we would never look back and are thinking that even with a bar bill at the end, Windstar and the Paul Gaughin (which is all inclusive) are the best cruiselines we have travelled with. We have not travelled with Crystal nor Seabourn, so they might live up to their reputations, but we do not feel that Regent is worth the price paid. Read Less
Sail Date May 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
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
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
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
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
Overall I would rate this a nice cruise. I won't want to take it again, but was happy that I did take it this time. My wife and I were on this cruise by ourselves. It seems to me that the majority of people on this cruise were with ... Read More
Overall I would rate this a nice cruise. I won't want to take it again, but was happy that I did take it this time. My wife and I were on this cruise by ourselves. It seems to me that the majority of people on this cruise were with groups of people. It was harder to meet people on this cruise than previous cruises I had taken. My guess, was that there were so many groups, but then again maybe we just didn't try hard enough. We had a very nice cabin with a separate bedroom at the stern of the boat. It had butler service, but that was not a very big deal, he did very little for us during the cruise (example: Ask for Amstel beer, result Budwieser). Very large balcony, which was really what we enjoyed most. Deck 7, had a problem with sewage. I don't know why, but the oder was quite strong in areas, and persisted though out the cruise, they were working on pipes all the time, but no change was ever really noticed, however this was a minor annoyance. Meals and wines were the best I had ever had on a cruise ship, all the restaurants were very good. The only meal I didn't enjoy was the one at the Prime 7, but not due to the food. A large group of people decided it was fine to scream and yell at each other for the entire meal. We apologized to the staff, as the offenders were American and showing a side of us that is not necessary at a fine restaurant on a cruise ship, we left before our main course. Entertainment on board was boring. It seems to be more associated with people in their seventies than people in their late fifties, early sixties. However most of the people on board seemed to be in their seventies, we felt like we were among the youngest at sixty. Ports were excellent, we enjoyed all of them. The free tours, not so much. It only took us one stop and tour (Monaco), to realize that we would have to do something different, the tours were just to boring and when we would ever be here again. So we started off on our own, finding taxis with drivers that spoke good English and using them as our guides. We saw so many different places that the ship tour buses never got to, talked with the drivers, got to know them, exchanged emails, ate at great out of the way restaurants, the really great thing that accompanied this, was we would be dropped off right in front of wherever we want to go (churches,museums,old ruins), and he would be right there when we got back. Yes we missed the exact information the official tour guide would be able to tell us, like when that last stone of a church was put in place (lots of churches to see on this cruise), but these drivers were locals, they knew the history of their city as well as interesting tidbits that tour guides don't discuss. We will do this from now on our cruises, even if the tours are free. The staff of the ship was always friendly and helpful, and we overall enjoyed this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
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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