17 Regent Seven Seas Mariner Repositioning Cruise Reviews

Here's how we would (and do) compare Regent to Oceania. The ship was lovely, our cabin was spacious, and the walk-in closet was more than sufficient. In addition, the service was very good, albeit not quite up to what we have come to ... Read More
Here's how we would (and do) compare Regent to Oceania. The ship was lovely, our cabin was spacious, and the walk-in closet was more than sufficient. In addition, the service was very good, albeit not quite up to what we have come to expect on Oceania. The showroom and shows were every bit as good as Oceania. The entertainment director, Andy, was the best we have ever had and we met some really nice couples, whom we hope to hear from in the not too distant future. Now, the reason we will not go back to Regent any time soon. The food was inconsistent, ranging from usually just OK to downright it had to be sent back, and even after that, the replacement was only 50% good, starting with two lamb chops ordered medium-rare. one of us had overly salted meals, mostly in the main dining room, one of which was almost inedible, but she did not send it back because she was eating very little. She found other meals too salty, as well. Finally, in our favorite restaurant, the Italian, where we did not need reservations and where we ate 4 times, the 4th time the meal surprisingly was almost incredibly over-cooked. It seems the only restaurant of the four (including the main dining room) that could cook meat as ordered was Prime 7, the steak restaurant. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have completed 13 Regent cruises (with 222 nights), and was surprised with a poor review on Cruise Critic from one couple. We were on that same Regent Mariner cruise and had none of the 'problems' described--we adapted ... Read More
We have completed 13 Regent cruises (with 222 nights), and was surprised with a poor review on Cruise Critic from one couple. We were on that same Regent Mariner cruise and had none of the 'problems' described--we adapted to changes that we could not control. Both Regent and we could not control the weather. First--If they did not like their multi-hour air-schedule, it can be changed. We were scheduled on an overnight flight from Vancouver to NYC but we changed it to an early afternoon flight that got us home. Regent’s initial late-day flight selection gave guests the opportunity to take a tour of Vancouver! Ask, and Regent changes the air flights--yes it cost a little money, but we are Platinum level, and one flight schedule change was allowed. Second—This was a relocation cruise--we expected multiple days at sea. We were scheduled to have 5-days-at-sea, and we had 6-days-at-sea, when we bypassed the Russian port. There were wonderful lectures by Hugh Neighbour and Karen Dodd. There were extra social events added to entertain the guests. If you were bored, that was your fault. Third--YES, we skipped the Russian port. Their comment that “ALL OF THE GUESTS WERE UPSET” is very unfair and UNTRUE. There were 50-knot winds over the deck--added to the forward speed of the Mariner, it gives a 75mph deck wind. The decks were closed for outside walking. My wife and I exercised by walking the interior walkways on various decks. There were 23 feet swells. We had very wet and salt encrusted balcony windows, which were cleaned at the next port. I enclosed two photos of the TV screen in our suite showing these numbers. The Mariner has stabilizers, I knew of no one who was sick from mal de mer. The captain/master changed the direction (and avoided the worst of the storm). I saw him at the Coffee Connection, and thanked him, for consideration of the safety of the guests. After his direction changes, we then had MUCH weaker winds, and less than six feet swell. [I BELIEVE that the Mariner was originally scheduled to use their tenders to transport the guests to and from shore at the Russian port. With a pitching sea, it could be a human disaster! On two previous Regent cruises (Amalfi coast, Italy and Galle, Sri Lanka), the Captain declared that the sea was too rough to have guests enter the tenders and we skipped the port!] Fourth--We had great weather on all Alaskan ports; but it rained at Ketchikan, as usual. We did not see the Hubbard Glacier because there was very dense fog. Many guests, including me, stood on the top deck and got wet from the weather. Regent did supply snacks and hot coffee for those awaiting a breeze to dissipate the fog. After about an hour of only seeing sea-ice, the Mariner left Yakutat Bay. The weather then was fine, at distance of about 10-miles where some wind, and a change in air-temperature resulted in no fog and a blue-sky. When the ship was docked in any Alaska port, we often sat outside in the sun on the pool deck for lunch and enjoyed the snow covered mountains, numerous playful otters, eagles, (once saw some orcas playing by our ship), and had another great meal. I know of no one who used the pool, but the hot tubs were used by some. I really cannot understand such a negative review--but it was from one couple. We have three more Regent cruises booked, and look forward to the ship, food, staff, and meeting other well-traveled guests. It is a pleasure to be take care of by Regent. I would highly recommend cruising with Regent for those people who enjoy “joie de vie”. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this 28 day back to back cruise as we had not been to Alaska in many years and all we had to do is fly one way as we live in Florida. We flew to Vancouver and since we had a penthouse we received a free night at the Four ... Read More
We chose this 28 day back to back cruise as we had not been to Alaska in many years and all we had to do is fly one way as we live in Florida. We flew to Vancouver and since we had a penthouse we received a free night at the Four Seasons Hotel. Embarkation was easy and after a small lunch in the Veranda our luggage had been delivered and our cabin was ready. Service and food on the ship were superb. We really enjoyed the Veranda for breakfast and lunch and had most of our dinners in Compass Rose. The menu selections were huge and it was always hard to decide on an entree so we usually shared between the two of us. Chartreuse was not our favorite but we enjoyed Prime Seven (especially the whole Maine lobster) several times. The excursions in Alaska were exceptional. We went whale watching (saw hundreds), and loved watching the dolphins play and the bald eagles who were spotted in the trees by our guide. We had a dungeness crab feast in Ketchican (all you can eat)! Two ports were cancelled (Nicaragua because of unrest and Grand Cayman because of Hurricane Michael). Would not want to go back to Acapulco or Guatemala. Mostly life on the ship was great. There was good weather and we enjoyed just sitting by the pool reading or going to lectures and playing duplicate bridge (there was an excellent bridge director (Joyce from Saskatchuan) . Looking forward to our next Regent cruise (Tahiti to Singapore 2020) Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We thought Regent Seven Seas was a "premium" cruise line. It's not. From the first day there were problems. In our cabin, we tried to turn on the tv to see the safety information. The tv didn't work, so we tried to ... Read More
We thought Regent Seven Seas was a "premium" cruise line. It's not. From the first day there were problems. In our cabin, we tried to turn on the tv to see the safety information. The tv didn't work, so we tried to call someone to fix the tv. The phone didn't work either. One night we turned on the bathroom faucet and muddy, dirty water came out and didn't clear up until the next day or so. Another night the toilet didn't work. Our bathroom door wouldn't shut. After workmen came to fix it, when they left we tried to open it and the handle fell off. The food was mediocre. The waitstaff in the restaurants kept getting the orders wrong, or forgot to bring orders at all. The reception clerks were perfunctory and didn't seem to know what they were doing. The "unlimited" wi-fi either didn't work at all on some days or on other days it was intermittent and slow. There was a big leak in our bathroom. Our shower didn't drain, so we showered in pools of water. The women's public rest rooms had broken toilet seats and doors. The wallpaper on one of the walls in our cabin was peeling off, so workmen had to come in and replace it. We had hoped for a relaxing and pleasant cruise, but with the constant stream of workmen coming in and out of our cabin to fix things, it was one interruption after another. By the end of the cruise, I had a serious eye infection and both my wife and I had severe allergy problems, probably from exposure to all the work dust and fumes. Maybe things changed when Regent was taken over by Norwegian Cruise Lines and Apollo Mgt. That's what other passengers told us. They are obviously trying to cut back and have turned what may have once been an upscale cruise line into a mediocre one, certainly not worth the money they charge. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We have traveled with Regent for over 200 days in the past 5 years. We love the service, the staterooms, and crew. Each trip brings a different adventure. Life aboard a cruise ship is not perfect, but it is certainly "next to ... Read More
We have traveled with Regent for over 200 days in the past 5 years. We love the service, the staterooms, and crew. Each trip brings a different adventure. Life aboard a cruise ship is not perfect, but it is certainly "next to perfect". We board again on Friday for the Amazon. The Mariner is scheduled to go in for redecorating in March. It's time! The majority of the staterooms are tired and the bathrooms need to be replaced. Shore excursions are pretty good, but I have learned to research the ports and decide if we want to upgrade excursion by making our own plans. Additional sites and venues should be able to be booked through a concierge, such as theater tickets, dinner reservations or sporting events. The crew on all the Regents ships is outstanding and willing to go the extra to please you and make your cruise a life time memory. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We took this cruise because of 2 nights in New York City. Although never having sailed with Regent, we were pleasantly surprised. Excellent service by all staff. The ship was not full so staff had more time to visit with passengers. ... Read More
We took this cruise because of 2 nights in New York City. Although never having sailed with Regent, we were pleasantly surprised. Excellent service by all staff. The ship was not full so staff had more time to visit with passengers. The captain, Serena Melani, was frequently out and about visiting with passengers. Senior restaurant staff were often seen cleaning tables. I was very impressed to see this. Capt. Serena was even at the gangway, saying farewell to passengers during disembarkation. Two staff members stood out. Reynaldo in Compass Rose, took special care of my wife’s dietary needs. He even had menus sent to our cabin ahead of time. Gayatri, our butler, is new to working on a cruiseship but learns fast and tries hard. Her sweet nature overcame any inexperience. Nothing was too much trouble for her. Tours are included. The only thing spoiling them were quite a few days of rain. Still we got what we wanted through this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We sailed for 18 days from San Francisco to New York via the Panama Canal. Prior to the cruise we had a one day tour of Muir Woods and Sonoma, with lunch in Sonoma City - a lovely small town. Embarkation and disembarkation were the ... Read More
We sailed for 18 days from San Francisco to New York via the Panama Canal. Prior to the cruise we had a one day tour of Muir Woods and Sonoma, with lunch in Sonoma City - a lovely small town. Embarkation and disembarkation were the only disappointments, and Regent is not at fault. The 3rd party handler in San Francisco failed to provide transportation to the ship for the majority of passengers. And the New York Cruise Terminal made a two day mess of disembarkation, resulting in some passengers missing their scheduled tour of New York City. Clarifications: The ship was partially refurbished in 2014 - the lounges and dining rooms and other public areas were re-done and are very nice. The cabins and cabin hallways are tired but cabins are still comfortable. The ship will go through a complete refurbishment in 2018. Very clean ship, crew very friendly, good service. Food: Lots of food available. Much is high quality sourcing - fantastic lamb from new Zealand, milk fed veal, shrimp. Excellent bread in the formal dining rooms. Authentic spaghetti carbonara and huge delicious portion of veal schnitzel at Stelli Mari restaurant. Restaurants: In past reviews people complained about the slow service in Compass Rose. We only experienced that once and we ate their several times. Cabin: Loved the walk in shower with large rainshower head. Captain Updates: Gave us detailed updates at noon each day. Gym: Excellent high quality equipment. Fitness Manager rather pushy re trying to up sell. Self Serve Laundry: A great feature on each cabin floor. Swimming Pool: I only used it once as there are no steps going down into the pool suitable for people with mobility issues. The top step in the ladders are too far apart for my legs to reach to the deck. This problem has been resolved in the new Explorer ship. I used the jacuzzis instead. Service: I thought service was good. I'm not a smoker but my travel partner is. Smoking is limited to 3 areas of the ship. Some smokers didn't think the service re appetizers and drinks was as good as it could be. Favorite Parts of the Ship: The 11th floor covered terrace at the back of the ship for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Observation Lounge and Horizon Lounge when going through the Panama Canal and during a hurricane. Size of Ship: Perfect for accommodating around 700 passengers and 400 crew. The ship never felt crowded. Ports and Excursions: This is hurricane season with hot humid weather. Be prepared for this if you go in September. Due to bad weather we could not dock in Acapulco or Nassau. This is not the fault of the cruise line.Highlights included: Pura Vida private garden tour in Costa Rica, Cartagena Colombia Old and New Town tour (Cartagena is a hidden gem - spectacularly beautiful), post dis-embarkation tour of New York City (911 memorial is outstanding). Age Profile: Suitable for 55+. Average age likely 70-90+. Large number of people with mobility problems - may be a challenge in rough weather. Not suitable for children. Would I go again? Yes Strong Recommendation: Please do not wait until after the cruise to voice your complaints. Bring them up immediately to the crew so they can do their best to accommodate your requests. Be specific re your complaints. This cruise line is really trying to make this a memorable experience for you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was a wonderful cruise. The first leg from Buenos Aires to Rio was port intensive with one sea day and a mix of cities and small seaside towns. The second leg had more sea days and took us on a journey up one of the world'd ... Read More
This was a wonderful cruise. The first leg from Buenos Aires to Rio was port intensive with one sea day and a mix of cities and small seaside towns. The second leg had more sea days and took us on a journey up one of the world'd great rivers, with destinations including cities Manaus and Santarem, a beach town, a fishing village and Parantins. March is Amazon rainy season and it rained! Rio and Manaus were highlights with a good variety of shore excursions and an overnight in each. After the Amazon we visited Devil's island, Barbados, St Lucia and San Juan, all beautiful destinations. Such a varied itinerary is only possible on a small/medium sized cruise ship and I would recommend it. The ship was well managed, the best I have experienced. Captain and senior managers were very visible about the ship and the crew well trained and extremely pleasant while giving exceptional service. I appreciated the detail given in the Captain's daily update. Shore excursions were included in the price and made the trip. They included bus tours for the less able and more adventurous options for more energetic passengers such as bike tours, treks, swimming and snorkelling, 4 wheel drives and zip lines. Some of the most attractive were sold out before we could select them. Sometimes there was time to complete an early tour and walk or taxi into town later. We did this a few times and recommend it, particularly in Manaus where the city tour didn't fit with the times of the other tours we wanted; it was an easy 15-20 minute walk through vibrant shopping streets up to the opera house area. San Juan definitely merits a visit, however fleeting. 4 wheel drives in Rio and St Lucia were great fun offering off the beaten track views. Our suite was comfortable, kept very clean by our two stewards, who also delivered ice, fruit, champagne etc when asked. The food on board was exceptional, in all venues, with Signatures the best overall. Entertainment was varied with more of a focus on popular than classical music. The talks were well attended and most were very interesting. In my opinion organised activities were the weak point as with other 'American' ships we've travelled on. Deck sport tournaments were non-existent replaced with mini competitions that were cancelled at the slightest drop of rain. We met many people who wanted to try deck tennis and shuffleboard, but didn't know how to play. As a result we had our own private court at the back of this ship and played almost daily. This aspect of the ship needs a radical shake up. Dancers, nice as they all were, didn't make good sports hosts. Active passengers need a variety of ways to keep fit in and outdoors. There were dance classes, but no sports classes. Why? There was induction to the gym but no induction to deck sports. Why? Also, there was no art programme on the ship, just a colouring class and craft class managed by a hostess. This is a cheap option out of step with the luxury of the Regent offering. Not good enough for the proportion of people who enjoy art. Quite a few people we met said they'd found sea days boring. That's not good for Regent. The Mariner was due for a refit which has been postponed for a year. It needs it. However, it was well maintained, extremely comfortable and exceptionally clean; it didn't affect our enjoyment of this cruise at all, in fact there is probably more deck space on these older ships. Overall I loved it and recommend this trip. However for a long trip e.g. world, half-world or extended period of time I wouldn't recommend Regent unless you are a particularly sedentary cruiser. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Traveling is my passion, but my dream vacation with Regent Cruses turned into a nightmare. If you are thinking about cruising with Regent you need to read about the series of unfortunate events that happened to me on my trip aboard the ... Read More
Traveling is my passion, but my dream vacation with Regent Cruses turned into a nightmare. If you are thinking about cruising with Regent you need to read about the series of unfortunate events that happened to me on my trip aboard the S.S. Mariner that began with our not having heat in our cabin, suite 735, for the first four days of the cruise, and culminated with my sister and I developing severely chapped skin, and me developing bronchitis and a fractured ankle. The trip was Regent Seven Seas Cruises headquartered at 7665 Corporate Center Drive, Miami, Florida 33126. Our cruise was from Montreal to Miami from October 21, 2016 through November 4, 2016. We boarded the S.S. Mariner in Montreal in the afternoon of October 21, 2016. It was a sunny day in the 50s. Although it was a bit cool in our cabin, we did not think much of it and dressed warmly for dinner. The next morning we were quite cold when we awoke. It was October 22nd and it was in the 40s where we were in Quebec City. We turned up the control on the suite heating system. When it remained cold during the day we thought possibly we were not operating the system properly. We asked our Steward to come show us how to increase the heat in our room. He did, and we had all the red lights lit for maximum heat that night. We went to bed convinced that it would be better by morning. By the next day, October 23rd we were at sea all day, and our room clearly had no heat whatsoever. It was a very dry cold. I went to the boutique and bought a $3 tube of Chap Stick for my chapping lips. We notified the Steward that we had “no heat”. The Steward said he would report it. After no one came we phoned Reception. Then after no one came we reported to the Concierge. Meanwhile we re-reported to our Steward and our housekeeper. By late in the day we were phoning Reception, the Concierge, the Steward, our housekeeper, and a waiter more times than we could count. That night we slept in our clothes. I wore a silk long sleeved turtle neck thermos top with a fleece jacket, stretch pants, and socks. By morning I woke up with a very sore throat, cough and a cold. We both had chapped skin as well. I went to the salon to try to get a gentle moisturizer. Even eye cream, the gentlest cream we had, would make our skin sting. The skin expert was not available, but the man at the counter suggested something. Because it cost $186 (a lot of money to me) I decided to wait and talk to the skin expert. The next day we repeated our efforts to try to get someone to the room. By then it was October 24th, and we were in Sydney, Nova Scotia where the temperature was in the low 40s. I was in bed with my cold all day. Still, I frequently called Reception, Concierge, and 8888 (the number for room service and the Steward). It was always difficult to know if whoever we were talking to understood because their English was not very good. I happen to speak English, Spanish, Italian and Russian so I could communicate with those crew members, but most were from other places. I tried to keep the message simple “no heat in our cabin”, but still no one came. In the afternoon, a nice man from Bulgaria showed up to fix our balcony door. Obviously we were misunderstood by someone we reported our problem to. Somehow someone we called thought that cold air was coming in our room because of a broken balcony door. The door was fine. The man’s English was quite good so we again explained to him our dilemma. He understood. He was quite tall, and he put his hand up to the vent on the ceiling, and said “yes there is not any heat in this cabin.” He also said he would try to get help from an appropriate repair person. A young boy came who after tinkering with the control got in the ceiling in the closet to make repairs. His English was quite poor. When he left we weren’t sure if it was repaired or not. But we gave it some time to get warmer. Thankfully, very gradually it began to become warmer in our room. On October 25th we were in Halifax, Nova Scotia where the temperature was in the upper 30s. Our room was still chilled, but some heat was coming through. It was never actually warm during the next week. It wasn’t truly warm until we were in South Florida, but at least it was not near freezing anymore. Still, by that time we were physically experiencing the consequences of four days without heat. Hypoallergenic eye cream still stung our skin. The dry cold had made our skin everywhere, including our scalp, red and sore. On October 25th, I went back to the Canyon Ranch salon, and talked with the skin expert, Joanna. Joanna suggested the $186 jar of skin cream. I sampled it, and it too stung my skin. She said: “This is the gentlest moisturizer we have. Madam, your skin is severely damaged.” During the next week our skin flaked off (everywhere including in our hair). Our skin did not stop flaking until after our return to south Florida in early November. Meanwhile, my cold and cough worsened. When I saw my pulmonologist after returning, he explained to me that the cold temperature of the air going into my lungs created an accumulation of mucus. The accumulated mucus attracted bacteria, and that made it inevitable that I would develop bronchitis. On the evening of October 26th while we were cruising to Portland, Maine, I went to the ship’s doctor. They immediately handed me a mask because of my cough. He performed an influenza test and a CBC blood test. I had a 100 degree fever, bad cough, and was given an antibiotic, cough medicine, and masks for both myself and my sister to wear. I returned to the cabin and spent the next several days in bed. The next day, October 27th, I phoned my doctor, and she suggested that the ship’s doctor give me enough antibiotics for the remainder of the trip (10 days). I returned that evening, and he did. On October 29th we arrived in Manhattan. Before the cruise my boyfriend had purchased tickets to “Fiddler on the Roof” at the Broadway Theatre. The tickets cost $314. Beginning on October 26th we contacted the Concierge to help us sell the tickets because I felt I would not be able to go. I gave her all the details of the tickets, and was even willing to sell them at a loss. She told me no one asked for tickets. When the tickets didn’t sell, I slept all day, bundled up, and went to the theater with my sister. During the play I was coughing so badly that I got up to go to the lobby. I fell, and later learned I fractured my right ankle. My sister and another person in the audience took me to the lobby where I raised my foot and put ice on it. My sister ran to a drug store to get a wrap for it to help me make it back to the ship. We did make it back with me holding on to my sister and hopping on my left leg, and the added help of a very cooperative taxi driver. When we boarded the ship we did not receive any help whatsoever from the crew. The next day, October 30th, I phoned for someone to bring a wheel chair to take me to the ship’s doctor. I returned to the ship’s doctor who again handed me a mask because of my bad cough. His x-ray equipment appeared to be malfunctioning. He gave me an injection of something (he never told me what), gave me some sample packets of ibuprofen for the pain, gave me an additional bandage for compression and support on my ankle, and told me to see an orthopedist as soon as I got home. I figured I would find out what the injection was when I received the “Medical Services Bill”, but a bill never arrived. They did let me borrow the wheel chair which I found easy to maneuver. Between the wheel chair, holding on to things, and hopping on my left leg I was able to function. I did try going to dinner one night because we had reservations at the Prime 7. Having my leg down for that long proved to be too painful. Incidentally, because I was on antibiotics I wanted water to stay hydrated. People’s wine glasses were filled several times, on this all-inclusive cruise, to each time I managed to get water. When they came I tried to tell them that I needed a lot of water, but again I think the language barrier got in the way. Therefore, I chose to stay in my room with my leg elevated and order room service for the remainder of the trip. On November 4th in Miami we woke up early ready to disembark. Several days earlier I had arranged for someone to assist us in disembarking since I was confined to the wheel chair and my sister would be handling both carry-on bags. I reconfirmed our arrangements on November 3rd , the day before disembarking. Whoever I spoke with on the phone told us that someone would be picking us up at 8:30 a.m. I questioned them because our instructions were to be out of our room by 8:00 a.m., and she assured me that 8:30 would not be any problem. No one came. At 9:00 we called 8888 or Reception. They said they were running behind. At 9:30 we phoned again, and they indicated someone would come. Around then we started phoning every 15 minutes. When it was nearly 11:00 we got a call saying “Madam, why have you not left your room?” Apparently we had been forgotten! All our phone calls asking to be picked up were ineffective and ignored. Apparently when you report any sort of a problem it is ignored! Finally, someone came. By then the ship was absolutely empty. No cabs were available because the disembark time was over. The person at the taxi stand did phone for a cab, and 10 minutes later we actually got one. My sister drove me back to Fort Myers where I had prearranged for an electric scooter chair to be delivered to my home, and I had a doctor’s appointment at 3:00 p.m. that I was able to drive to on my scooter chair. Although I had been on antibiotics for 10 days my bronchitis was severe. They decided to call an ambulance and take me to Gulf Coast Hospital. In the hospital they gave me a breathing treatment, and performed several other tests and X-rays. They determined I had severe bronchitis and a fractured right ankle. I was given three prescriptions for my bronchitis including another antibiotic for another 10 days, a steroid, an inhaler, and an orthopedic boot for my fractured ankle. I am now receiving follow-up care from my primary care doctor, a pulmonologist, and an orthopedist. The orthopedist said that although I have the most painful sort of fracture, my ankle should heal completely with possible physical therapy in around 12 weeks. It appears their crew truly doesn't speak English, and they are programed to perform certain duties such as to smile and fill a wine glass, but if you have any problem major (no heat) or minor (needing help disembarking or getting water at dinner) you are out of luck and destined to be extremely disappointed. Incidentally, Medicare does not cover injuries outside the US. My medical bills have exceeded the cost of my trip! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our third cruise on the Mariner, our second relocation crossing, and our first since the last refurbishment. Overall, we were highly impressed by the condition of the ship. The food was consistently excellent. Service levels were ... Read More
This was our third cruise on the Mariner, our second relocation crossing, and our first since the last refurbishment. Overall, we were highly impressed by the condition of the ship. The food was consistently excellent. Service levels were also extraordinary, and even a notch above past cruises. The staff was consistently friendly and helpful. One word of advice to would-be first time Regent cruisers. Do your research. There are no wave pools, climbing walls, trampolines, or ice bars on the Mariner. The clientele is decidedly older than average. The favourite activities seem to be bridge, tea time, and trivia contests. At times the ship seems as much a floating luxury retirement home as it is a floating luxury resort. The pace is generally slow; the evenings end relatively early. This is absolutely perfect for us; it may not be perfect for you. This itinerary was particularly heavy with sea days. Again, this is what we look for and enjoy, but if you want to hit a different port every day and seek out excursions, you might not have enjoyed this cruise as much as other itineraries. Cruise Director Jamie Logan did a great job hosting and organizing events and communicating information to the passengers. We stayed in a Seven Seas Aft stateroom for the first time instead of our usual Horizons View, and we fear the spacious and tasteful surroundings, and especially the expansive deck, might have ruined other choices for us in the future! The butler and stewards provided unparalleled service throughout. As part of this cruise, Regent offered a pre-cruise safari option at several game reserves in South Africa. We stayed at the Botlierkop Game Reserve near Mossel Bay in the Western Cape region. This was an unexpected highlight of the whole trip. Excellent food and accommodations (in an air-conditioned a luxury-appointed tent away from the main lodge), knowledgeable and friendly guides, and an up close chance to see many animals in the wild. We were fortunate to see African elephants, giraffes, rhinos, impalas and black impalas, lions, eland, nyala, wildebeest, water-buck, bontebok, Cape buffalo, springbok, crested guinea fowl, blue crane, jackal buzzards, Cape zebras, and many types of indigenous plants and insects. It was a busy and magical few days, and we’d love to go back and do it again. We only have a few small quibbles with this cruise, as explained below, but none of these things detracted from our overall extremely positive and enjoyable experience. We will continue to sail on the always-excellent Mariner! Some people we spoke to felt that some of the excursions were not adequately explained by Destination Services and, as is the custom with Regent, included some long bus rides to places where short stops occurred. My wife, in particular, did not enjoy an excursion to Swakopmund on a Sunday, because many attractions were closed that day. Destination Services came in for some criticism because of this. That said, some of the things we heard from other passengers, either directly or through ship scuttlebutt, in the nature about complaints concerning the lack of attractions and services in Namibia, suggested that these folks did not do much of a job researching their itinerary before embarking on the cruise. It is the rural west African desert, people! There is not much here, and what is here is always far from everything else. What did you reasonably expect? Soon after we left Namibia rumours began to swirl about the presence of several single male passengers, apparently paying guests, who were employed by jewellery stores in Rio, and who were approaching other passengers to sell them jewellery and tours in Rio. This is apparently against Regent policy, but as they were paying guests it seemed little was done to curtail this activity. Let me stress, we heard about this from others and did not experience it directly. One final matter deserves attention. We had to miss our stop at Saint Helena due to a mid-Atlantic medical emergency that required the Captain to get a critically-ill passenger to hospital. Rather than turn back to Namibia or even Cape Town, he chose instead to increase speed and make haste for Rio de Janeiro. All aboard were disappointed in missing Saint Helena, and some passengers even claimed that this port was the sole reason they took this trip. Some of the more cynical passengers even speculated about the real reasons for speeding to Rio, to the point that the Cruise Director had to explain publicly that the extra fuel costs and dockage fees to get the passenger to hospital in Rio was costing Regent upwards of $175,000 USD. This is the second time we have experienced the Mariner having to change schedule to address the needs of an ill passenger. In both cases we believe the Captain and crew acted professionally and responsibly with the best interest of the passenger in mind. We were totally comfortable with the actions taken by the Captain and crew in this difficult situation. We fully enjoyed this cruise on the Mariner and look forward to visiting her again soon. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Our flight to Lisbon on TAP from Ft. Lauderdale to Lisbon was good with the exception of arriving about 5:30 a.m. Fortunately we had made our own hotel arrangements and they accomodated us and let us check in at a very early hour. Before I ... Read More
Our flight to Lisbon on TAP from Ft. Lauderdale to Lisbon was good with the exception of arriving about 5:30 a.m. Fortunately we had made our own hotel arrangements and they accomodated us and let us check in at a very early hour. Before I go any further I must say that I have given much thought to writing a negative review about Regent since we are gold members. We have been on many cruises on the Voyager and the Navigator and the Mariner and we loved them all. This time we were looking forward to it because a Larry Cohen bridge program was always outstanding in every respect. Our cabin attendents were the best ever and we really liked the refurbishment of the ship. Sadly, everything else went down from there. We had to miss three ports. The reasons were understandable but the attitude was "take it or leave it". We know the crew was overworked and understaffed when there was no time for a smile and the maitre'd was bussing the tables. The quality of the food and wine had gone way down. The specialty restaurants were no longer special. For entertainment on a missed port day we were given an English country fair. It was fun until we got to the bowling booth. It was tasteless to use frozen chickens for bowling balls. What a waste. We regret to say that the only way Regent is a luxury line now is in the price.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We cruised from Lisbon to Miami, supposedly via Madeira, The Canary Islands, Dakar, Cape Verde Islands, three Caribbean islands, and Puerto Rico to Miami. We missed Dakar (presumably due to Ebola although no-one ever said anything!), we ... Read More
We cruised from Lisbon to Miami, supposedly via Madeira, The Canary Islands, Dakar, Cape Verde Islands, three Caribbean islands, and Puerto Rico to Miami. We missed Dakar (presumably due to Ebola although no-one ever said anything!), we missed Cape Verde as we had to return to the Canaries to offload sick/injured passengers, and we missed St Barts due to rough weather. The three places highest on my Bucket List! Not the fault of Regent I know, but disappointing nevertheless and there was really no sense that Regent cared much about making the changes. The ship was good... the suite was fine and the crew service very good. The food was excellent (except the coffee.... why can't Americans make decent coffee?) and the entertainment good (not exceptional). I thought that the daily lectures were poor... old fashioned slides and powerpoint presentations about 'schoolchildren' topics. The TV channels in the suites were average .. the nautical info didn't fit onto the screen, the background music choice poor and limited if you wanted just some music in the suite, the TV show repeats were a choice of two! For one leg of the cruise we were at sea for nine days and this was not good enough. Good film range though was available. We have travelled on other cruise lines, and Regent are about average I reckon. Not quite the luxury line I hoped for, but I guess the rough weather didn't help...... Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Our Transatlantic cruise on the Mariner in 2012 (Monte Carlo to Rio) was such a great experience that we chose to do it again. This time it was Lisbon to Miami. The Mariner and her staff once again more than measured up to our ... Read More
Our Transatlantic cruise on the Mariner in 2012 (Monte Carlo to Rio) was such a great experience that we chose to do it again. This time it was Lisbon to Miami. The Mariner and her staff once again more than measured up to our expectations! Our pre-cruise hotel was the Corinthia in Lisbon, a very nice hotel. The room was quite spacious and very well maintained during our three night stay. The service by staff was fine at all times. The included breakfast buffet was excellent. We would stay there again for sure if in Lisbon. Travel from the hotel to the ship was excellent once we got the bus moving. There were some issues getting the luggage from the rooms to the buses, the first bus was about 45 minutes late leaving for the ship. Quite a few of the passengers waiting for transport were more than a little upset. Perhaps all was not done in the most efficient manner but all reached the ship long before our scheduled departure. Once we arrived at the terminal, embarkation went very quickly and without any problems. After a very nice buffet lunch in La Veranda our rooms were made available at 2:30 p m. Our luggage arrived a few minutes later giving us plenty of time to get unpacked before the pre departure safety drill. The Mariner is in great shape following an extensive refurbishment in the Spring of 2014. Our suite was in very good shape and we found all the public areas to be visually much improved from our 2012 cruise. Service by staff in all different categories was at all times equal to or beyond our expectations. We have now spent a total of 48 nights on the Mariner and we have been treated exactly as one would expect when sailing with Regent. The pool bar staff is exceptional, the bartenders and staff made our afternoon happy hour gatherings memorable. The ports we visited were all very interesting. Standing out for us were Madeira, Lanzarote, Barbados, and Antigua. We were forced to miss a couple of scheduled stops--Dakar, Senegal because of the Ebola situation and Cape Verde due to a medical situation that caused us to return to the Canaries to evacuate a medical emergency. We also could not tender to Gustavia, St Barts due to rough water, a wise decision by the captain in our opinion. My wife and I think the activities provided were excellent? We both enjoyed many of the enrichment lectures, my wife found a daily Mah Jongg group on sea days, we did the sea day ballroom dancing lessons with Pascha and Ana, and really enjoyed playing Name That Tune with the resident pianist, Tim Kruse. Evening entertainment on the Mariner is outstanding!! The singers and dancers in the Broadway type shows are very talented. All four different shows they did were great, especially knowing they are performing on a moving ship. Singer- ventriloquist Mike Minor performing along with his special guests(formerly called dummies) was a very special treat. Violinist /comedian Dave Levesque was very good and also gave several interesting lectures. Disembarkation in Miami was without a hitch. We got our luggage in short order and were bused to the airport quickly and without any problems. We will definitely cruise again with Regent, which of their ships we choose will be based on ports and itinerary.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We had a fabulous cruise on the Regent Seven Seas Mariner, Miami to Barcelona. This was our first time on Regent and we may never travel on another line. Regent surpassed all my expectations and was definitely worth the higher cost. ... Read More
We had a fabulous cruise on the Regent Seven Seas Mariner, Miami to Barcelona. This was our first time on Regent and we may never travel on another line. Regent surpassed all my expectations and was definitely worth the higher cost. The Mariner is not a huge ship but the many public areas, bars, lounges, theaters and library give it an uncrowded, spacious feel. In addition to our lovely suite, there were many places on the ship to curl up with a book or just to relax in peace. My favorite was the coffee bar area on deck 6. I sure miss it now that I'm home! I ordered one or two different specialty coffees each day on board. Deck 11, the pool deck, was another favorite place to relax. We never had any need to search for a lounge chair by the pool which was great. There were always plenty of loungers with terry cloth covers and towels set up by attentive stewards eager to bring us anything we wanted to drink. Have I mentioned the food? Everything about the food was amazing. Of course, some items were better than others and if we ever ordered anything that didn't taste as good as expected, we just ordered something else. We never left any meal feeling anything but completely delighted and very full. The main restaurant, the Compass Rose was outstanding but my absolute favorite was one of the specialty restaurants (French) called Signatures. It was one of the best restaurants I've ever been to anywhere! All of the staff were always polite and friendly. Our cabin wasn't huge but it was beautiful and extremely comfortable. (I absolutely loved the bed.) It was great having so many 1st run movies available to watch on our TV. The shore excursions were for the most part very good. I learned quickly that any type of "walking tour" was the best for me as I hate getting stuck on a bus. The ports of call were all terrific except for Casablanca. If we ever stop there on a future cruise I may just stay on board... I can't finish this review without saying something about the superb enrichment lectures on the Mariner. We had quite a few sea days on this cruise and therefore had time to attend the two lectures offered each day at sea. Ms. Angela Schneider gave talks on both classical music and on some of our destinations. Her talks were the highlights of the entire cruise. I went to her first lecture with no expectations but left absolutely hooked. I didn't miss one of her talks and I think I could listen to her speak about anything. I am no expert on classical music but her talks made it come alive for me. The other lecturer, Ambassador Samuel Hart was excellent as well. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
We had a fabulous cruise on the Regent Seven Seas Mariner, Miami to Barcelona. This was our first time on Regent and we may never travel on another line. Regent surpassed all my expectations and was definitely worth the higher cost. ... Read More
We had a fabulous cruise on the Regent Seven Seas Mariner, Miami to Barcelona. This was our first time on Regent and we may never travel on another line. Regent surpassed all my expectations and was definitely worth the higher cost. The Mariner is not a huge ship but the many public areas, bars, lounges, theaters and library give it an uncrowded, spacious feel. In addition to our lovely suite, there were many places on the ship to curl up with a book or just to relax in peace. My favorite was the coffee bar area on deck 6. I sure miss it now that I'm home! I ordered one or two different specialty coffees each day on board. Deck 11, the pool deck, was another favorite place to relax. We never had any need to search for a lounge chair by the pool which was great. There were always plenty of loungers with terry cloth covers and towels set up by attentive stewards eager to bring us anything we wanted to drink. Have I mentioned the food? Everything about the food was amazing. Of course, some items were better than others and if we ever ordered anything that didn't taste as good as expected, we just ordered something else. We never left any meal feeling anything but completely delighted and very full. The main restaurant, the Compass Rose was outstanding but my absolute favorite was one of the specialty restaurants (French) called Signatures. It was one of the best restaurants I've ever been to anywhere! All of the staff were always polite and friendly. Our cabin wasn't huge but it was beautiful and extremely comfortable. (I absolutely loved the bed.) It was great having so many 1st run movies available to watch on our TV. The shore excursions were for the most part very good. I learned quickly that any type of "walking tour" was the best for me as I hate getting stuck on a bus. The ports of call were all terrific except for Casablanca. If we ever stop there on a future cruise I may just stay on board... I can't finish this review without saying something about the superb enrichment lectures on the Mariner. We had quite a few sea days on this cruise and therefore had time to attend the two lectures offered each day at sea. Ms. Angela Schneider gave talks on both classical music and on some of our destinations. Her talks were the highlights of the entire cruise. I went to her first lecture with no expectations but left absolutely hooked. I didn't miss one of her talks and I think I could listen to her speak about anything. I am no expert on classical music but her talks made it come alive for me. The other lecturer, Ambassador Samuel Hart was excellent as well. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
My husband and I did this cruise partly because we love trans-Atlantic cruises with their wonderful sea days and partly to celebrate my 70th birthday. For the latter reason we had a Seven Seas Aft suite on Deck 9. We flew from ... Read More
My husband and I did this cruise partly because we love trans-Atlantic cruises with their wonderful sea days and partly to celebrate my 70th birthday. For the latter reason we had a Seven Seas Aft suite on Deck 9. We flew from Switzerland to Florida via Dublin on Aer Lingus as they provide an adequate Business Class service and a one way fare which was very attractive. Boarding: Regent is still sailing from Ft Lauderdale and the traffic getting into the port was very intense! Over 11 large ships were sailing on the same Sunday. When we arrived at our pier the doors were closed even though it was noon. A short queue formed and by about 1215 we were allowed inside to sit and wait for the boarding (a good thing since by this time it was raining!) Things inside were very orderly. We were called in the order in which we were seated, having gone through security. The check-in was halted for a little while when the computers went down but by 1250 we were on board, having a light lunch at la Veranda. Our suite was ready by about 1420 and we went down there (Deck 9). My first impression was not good. The furniture in the sitting room was basically lined up around the walls, looking for all the world like a "Negotiation Room" in a Chinese University! However with my husband's help I re-positioned it so it was more conventionally placed with coffee table in front of the couch and the two easy chairs facing the coffee table! The dining table also needed re-positioning but once we finished all this it looked very nice. The balcony -- terrace really -- is huge and nicely furnished with two chaises-longues, a small couch and two easy chairs and two footrests (only one of which had a cushion! Don't know where the other was!!) I did notice that the upholstery on the sitting room furniture was worn and hope that new furniture will arrive when the Mariner has its next drydock -- it needs it! The bedroom was a good size (bigger than that in the Navigator suite on the Navigator) and one could move around the bed easily. I did not like the fact that the access to the bathroom was through the clothes closet. This meant that every time we went through our clothes got pushed around on the railings! My impression was that the closet was smaller than that of the Penthouse suite we normally have. Having two bathrooms -- well, one and a half -- was very nice. We had opted for a bath rather than the new shower set up and I would say that I think the plumbing fixtures could stand replacing! They were worn and scratched... Our Butler and Stewardess were excellent. I have never been so well looked after before -- Felix the Butler was charming and very attentive. He brought us our favourite hors d'oeuvres (guacamole and nachos) every evening and arranged two drinks parties for us with great aplomb. Ana-Lyn kept the place as clean as a whistle and had a delightful personality as well!! Our suite was normally cleaned before we returned from breakfast. I really did not want to leave these two behind when we got off the ship!! Here is a small illustration of how they worked as a team -- I had put two rather large empty suitcases into the closet. They were not in my way and I have done this quite often before. They vanished on the second day and miraculously re-appeared on the day I needed to pack! Ana-Lyn had noticed them, she told Felix, and he spirited them out of my way. We ate at all the restaurants -- Prime 7 once, Signatures twice and for the rest mostly the Pool Grill at lunch and Compass Rose or "at home" in the evenings. We did have dinner at la Veranda once as people have said they really like this but we found no basic change from the way things were done there before and there was nothing about it that we really enjoy, so once was enough! We had no problems at all with speed and efficiency of service in any of the restaurants. Courses came at a normal speed and for us that means eating a three or four course meal in about two hours, give or take some. The Cellar Master -- a wonderful Turk with whom we had sailed twice before -- made sure our glasses were topped up and in general we found the wines excellent. More than drinkable!! We did buy some "special bottles" as well and they were great! Prime 7 was OK -- no more. I had the prime rib of beef and forgot to ask for thinner slices so got a mound of quivering beef on my plate! The sauce had clearly been put on a while earlier and the plate had been sitting under the heat of the "Passe" so that the sauce had just about dried out. Signatures, on the other hand, was excellent. No complaints except that on the second evening there was no crouton for the Tournedos Rossini and the foie gras had fallen off the tournedos somewhere between the kitchen and the table and was served upside down on the plate with the garnish buried under it! The Chef came around at the end of the meal -- very nice touch! -- and I told him that it should have been re-plated. He agreed and asked who our waiter was... I did also notice that they only French-speaking person in the restaurant was the Ma'tre d'h'tel. In the past almost all the waiters there were French. The Compass Rose was good (not wonderful) and we liked the variety of dishes but had the general impression that the presentation of each dish was not as good as it had been on previous cruises and that the general level of the offerings had gone down a notch. The general level of service from all the waiters in all the restaurants and on the Pool Deck was terrific. Even when the Compass Rose was very, very busy waiters took time to see what was needed and to anticipate... and to ask with a smile how things were. And this ship was 100% full as well! The main -- only! -- complaint we had was the coffee -- everywhere except at the Coffee Connection and the espresso machine on the Pool Deck. It was weak and tasteless. Like dishwater. Regent's coffee used to be like this when we first started cruising with them, but since around 2005 it has been lots better. I think they have changed brands and need to change back! I took to making myself triple espressos at the Pool deck before going in to la Veranda to eat in the mornings. One day I encountered someone else who was doing the same thing! She explained that she had a Nespresso machine at home and hated Regent's coffee. I laughed because I, too, have a Nespresso machine!! And to my taste even the espresso at la Veranda tasted burnt... The lecture series are usually amongst the things we like best about a crossing. Not this time! The offerings were meagre. One lecturer -- Prof. Aguillar from Harvard -- was outstanding. His topic was Astronomy and he was utterly fascinating. The fellow who spoke on the various ports we visited and their history -- Roger Lamm -- was terrible. He provided inaccurate information and had a very boring delivery. And that was about it! Very disappointing!! The Cruise Director and his staff were great. Ray Solaire is a most interesting man and very good not only at his immediate job as Cruise Director but also was the best entertainer on board! We loved his shows and were delighted that he gave us three of them. Associate Cruise Director Elda is terrific. We have sailed with her twice before (and I am not quite sure why she isn't a CD herself!!) Social Hostess Nicola was very good too. No complaints in this department! Our fellow passengers were a bit of a mixed bag. There were a lot -- really a lot -- of first timers on board and while this is good for Regent it did mean that the general feeling one usually has about one's companions was not there. I thought many of them must have either been first time cruisers as well or had migrated from one of the mass market lines. This may sound snobby but is not meant that way. We have really enjoyed the usual group we find on Regent and have made many good friends while on board. For the most part that feeling was absent on this cruise. The ports we visited and the guides were generally very interesting. In fact with one exception (Picasso Museum in Malaga) the guides were all outstanding. We had been to all the ports before with the exception of Cartagena and discovering this gem of a historic small town was a huge pleasure! We took the Hamilton walking tour in Bermuda. We toured the Botanic Garden in Madeira with a guide who knew all the botanical names of the plants. Our guide to Rabat was terrific and brought us up to date on the "Moroccan spring" as well as filling in gaps in our knowledge of the country's history. The guide for our tour of Roman Cartagena was equally competent. And the woman who took us to Valdemosa in Majorca was too. Well done Regent on this score!! My only criticism of the tour organisation is that passengers should be more carefully screened for their choice of tour. We twice had people on tours (listed as having a reasonable amount of walking and steps) who clearly were handicapped and could not manage to keep up. This isn't fair to the other participants on the tour and the Destinations Services staff should have told them when they boarded the busses that they would not be allowed to slow the group down. Going around Rabat with a "walker" is definitely not a good idea. In fact I thought at the time that it was in fact actually dangerous given the uneven pavements and steps. And having to wait while someone huffed and puffed up the small hill in Hamilton is really not fair to the rest of the group. Regent makes it very clear in all its materials that certain tours require a certain level of physical activity. Having done so I think the staff should be free to advise people not to take a particular tour. All in all I thought that the administration of the tours -- getting us together in the theatre, sending us off the ship when the busses were ready etc -- were very well done by the Destination Services staff. Katia, the director, was on shore supervising the loading of departure of busses at each port. In general I would say that while the cruise was good it was not wonderful. And this is the first time I have come away from Regent with this feeling! Certainly better on board lecturers speaking on at least two or three more topics would have made the sea days nicer. An upgrade in the Compass Rose food to bring it back to the standards we experienced on our last three cruises would be great. And the coffee needs attention!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
We have been sailing on various cruise lines the last five years in an attempt to discover a favorite. We have not completed our "experiment" but believe we have found it. Our voyage on the Seven Seas Mariner exceeded our ... Read More
We have been sailing on various cruise lines the last five years in an attempt to discover a favorite. We have not completed our "experiment" but believe we have found it. Our voyage on the Seven Seas Mariner exceeded our expectations by a wide margin. I'm definitely not a cheerleader personality but it's difficult not to be enthused about our recent experience. We have sailed on other Premium and (so-called) "Six Star" Luxury lines with excellent service, but the level provided on this voyage was above all that we had experienced in the past. All requests were performed immediately, competently, and with a smile. An example: I dropped my laptop and needed some super glue to repair a crack in the case. Not finding any in the sundry shop, I took a chance and stopped by the front desk to see whether they had any. They did not, but said they would check and get back to me ... by the time I walked back to our cabin, the carpenter was waiting by the door with the glue. I'm not a bar-fly but did enjoy aperitifs before dinner at the various cocktail venues. By mid-voyage each knew my special preference in preparation. Dining service at all venues was equally excellent. What I find nice is that this service is all rendered with no expectation of gratuities. The Seven Seas Mariner is the best ship we have sailed on to-date. The layout is easy to navigate without any port?/starboard? confusion and the atrium is a design coup ... the glass elevators and cantilevered spiral staircase were impressive to an engineer like myself. The passenger space ratio appears optimal, even with a full sailing. Mariner is the only ship I have been on where, at the breakfast/lunch buffet, there is no problem finding an empty table. Further, the tables are well spaced and no fancy footwork or gyrations are required to get to one's seat. Our (standard) cabin, while not the largest we have stayed in, made-up for this architecturally with an excellent layout. My wife being a late riser, I commonly have to creep around and dress in the dark, sometimes with surprising results ... my all-time blunder was later discovering that I had put my shorts on backwards. The roomy walk-in closet allowed me to dress in the light. Dining on the Mariner was truly an enjoyable experience in all sit-down venues. Service was superior and the cuisine excellent. We have always preferred open seating, and this was handled very efficiently ... we never had to wait more than two minutes to be seated. Tip: Walk-up also works at Signatures and Prime 7. We stopped by a few times on the way to Compass Rose to check availability and were ushered to seats on three additional occasions due to cancellations or no-shows. We ended-up eating in Signatures four times and Prime 7 thrice, which was actually too much because the menu only changed once during our voyage. A comment about the new "Elegant Casual" dress code is warranted. For myself, this was a very large PLUS. Packing a tux, suit, blazer, and appurtenances for formal, semi-formal, and informal nights has always been a drag ... putting them all on, even worse. Tip: wearing a tux does not make the food taste better. Packing only one blazer made life much easier and orders of magnitude more comfortable. My estimate is that 3/4 of all men wore jackets every night and the decorum was quite elegant ... and civilized. Being a "Cruise Critic", I cannot submit a review sans criticism. With one significant exception, the area of shortfall on our voyage was in entertainment and enrichment. To be fair, one should not expect a Las Vegas song and dance extravaganza on a small ship, so such omission was not a surprise. The disappointment was in enrichment lecturers which were: 1) An ex-military social aide speaking about his experiences at the White House and 2) A chap describing his system for securities investment, both with books to sell. I'm sure some folks enjoyed the White House "tabloid tidbits" and others were interested in attempting to double the value of their portfolios, but it just wasn't my cup of tea (but with many sea days, attended anyway). The exception was a group of Napa/Sonoma winemakers from the Louis Martini, Sbragia, and Turnbull wineries. They brought their best products and presented a series of wine tasting seminars on the various factors involved in the growth of grapes and the production of fine wines. The information was excellent, as were the wines they provided. It, however, did not stop there: known as "Private Reserve", they also make up a band that played late night music in the Horizons Lounge, well attended and enjoyed by many listeners and dancers. "Joie de vivre" is the best way to describe Private Reserve, who enjoy both life and work to an extent that all of us would envy. Wine making is their business and they do not make these appearances on frequent or regular basis. We were just fortunate to have booked this voyage upon which they happened to appear. Most shore excursions are included and, of course, well attended. The excursions were excellent, short notes of a few are: * Funchal: The "Portuguese Bobsled" ride down the hill on the city streets among auto traffic was fun. * Scenic Cadiz and Flamenco: The "scenic" part was enjoyable when, arriving at the beach seawall, we discovered nude sunbathing was popular. * Malaga: The excursion to the Alhambra at Granada was at extra cost but well worth it. We had made an earlier land visit and actually stayed within the walls of Alhambra, never knowing the full story of the site. This was explained well, and in full detail on this excursion. * Marseilles: Avignon and the Popes' Palace and des Baux ... impressive and much more in scale and magnitude than we had expected. So, with almost everything included, I wondered what one does with the generous shipboard credits? My wife, of course, had the answer ... make the on-board shopkeepers happy, which was accomplished. We are not "spa folk", but one of the ladies in our group decided on that option and had her hair done along with a facial and pedicure. Although covered by OBC, even she was a bit startled when she received the bill for $420 ... wow! I have changed my mind about the significance of the all-inclusive experience, which everyone knows is really is not free. One common topic of discussion is grumbling about signing chits, which is a bad argument because it is a normal procedure at all country club or similar organizations. However, aboard ship, all-inclusiveness simplifies and circumvents some great social issues: "Should I buy this new acquaintance a drink?" or "Is it my turn to buy the wine?" become non-issues. I have also read complaints on other boards that the late evening social scene aboard ships is limited or non-existent. This was not true on our voyage, where cabaret and dance venues were lively and well attended. It's my opinion that cruisers would not be financially damaged by the cost of an after-dinner drink but think twice and just elect not to have them. However, if it is included, why not attend and take part in the convivial social scene existing aboard ship, joining new acquaintances instead of remaining a stranger who happens to be sailing with other strangers. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010

Top Seven Seas Mariner Itineraries

Seven Seas Mariner Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.5 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 3.5 3.5
Public Rooms 5.0 4.4
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 3.0 3.7
Shore Excursions 4.5 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.5 N/A
Service 5.0 4.2
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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