June 27, 2006 we flew Delta from Atlanta to Salt Lake City and then changed planes and arrived right on time in Anchorage. The view of the snow-capped mountains from the plane, right before we landed, was breathtaking. I got a great shot from my seat and the man sitting next to me took my camera and got a close up of a glacier emptying in to the ocean! The day was quite warm for Alaska standards in the low 60s and very sunny.
Our ride to the Anchorage Hilton was a short 10 minutes and we checked in and went up to our room...nothing like the suite on the Mariner, yet very clean and lovely views out our two large windows. Anchorage is very nice; lots of lovely flowers in hanging baskets along the streets, pretty parks, magnificent views and many shops/restaurants.
We walked around for a few hours window shopping and then stopped at a restaurant/micro brewery for a bite to eat and a drink. We made our way back to the room and turned in for the night.
June 28 we awoke to another sunny day and walked up to a small cafe for some breakfast of sourdough pancakes and hot chocolate for me while T had the standard eggs and bacon. It seemed like noon would not get here fast enough we were so anxious to head to the train station and start our real journey to the Mariner.
We arrived at the train station right about noon. It was only a few minutes walk from our hotel and they took our luggage for us, so we enjoyed the stroll there. We went to the Regent podium and presented our train voucher. They gave us our tickets and said in about 30 minutes we would be able to check in and receive our room keys, so once we arrived at the ship we would be able to proceed to our suite. At 12:30 we went to the check in desk; presented our cruise voucher and passports. We were given our room key and our pictures were taken for security measures. We then were asked if we signed up for tours and they verified we were approved for what we had signed up for and said our tickets would be in our suite.
The train ride to the ship was great & we spotted some sheep high up on a cliff, several bald eagles flying along the way and even a Mother Moose with her baby (the train stopped for all to watch the moose for a few minutes). We shared our table with a lovely couple from Canada who are frequent Regent cruisers.
The weather was beautiful; sunny and high 50s so we were quite comfortable as the sun coming through the window on the train made it nice and warm to sit without our jackets on.
A champagne toast and soft drinks were complimentary, plus you could order beer or wine for a small charge. We ordered a turkey bagel to share for a light lunch and then afterwards they came around with HUGE cookies for dessert!
As the Mariner came in to view it was a very long-awaited moment&to see her at the dock waiting for us to embark. The majestic snow-capped mountains behind her and the sparkling dark blue water beneath her&truly a Kodak moment!
The terminal in Whittier is quite sparse and not much to look at. We stood in line maybe 10 minutes waiting for our turn at the x-ray screening, we did the fun embarkation photo op and then walked up the gangplank and we were on the Mariner!!!!
The ship is beautiful, in a very simple way (we much prefer this over the glitz and glitter you find on the mega ships) and our suite is gorgeous! We have lots of room to move around, the balcony is wonderful with such amazing views. Our bed is very comfortable, the bathroom is spacious with lots of storage space only drawback is the high step in and out of the tub, but we manage it ok. I guess once we are older the shower would be our best choice, but I do like a tub to soak in.
We watched the sail away from our balcony with champagne and pate to enjoy while the sights of Whittier faded in to the distance. We made our way around the ship for a quick get acquainted tour and ended up in the Observation Lounge for a drink and then back to our suite.
Rao our butler is very nice and was ready to accommodate us in any way he could. The liquor and drink requests were just as we ordered. Silvia is our stewardess and she is from Austria very friendly and a lovely person to chat with.
We ordered room service dinner around 9 p.m. as we were just too tired to dress up for dinner; we shared a shrimp cocktail, we each had a cup of sweet potato soup, Hubby had the grilled salmon and I had spaghetti with meatballs. For dessert T had chocolate mousse and I had a wonderful rhubarb cake with cinnamon vanilla sauce. We were so shocked at how fast the meal arrived and Rao said he could go back and make us wait longer if we felt the service was too quick! Our meal was very delicious and we had more than enough to eat.
Sleep came easily to us as the slight rocking of the ship seems to put you in a wonderful mode for a good night's rest.
June 29 we woke about 7:30 a.m. to a day at sea and glacier viewing this afternoon.
We had breakfast in La Verandah and the choices from the buffet were very good. Lots of fresh fruit and many juices to choose from to drink (we both had fresh squeezed OJ).
After breakfast we returned to our suite to check the activities and Silvia had all ready been in to make the bed and clean the room!!
We sat in on the morning tour and ports of call talk. We were going to stay for the first Terry Breen lecture, but I was a bit tired so we came back to the room as I didnt want to fall asleep during her talk and someone think I was bored! Terry will narrate the glacier cruise this afternoon and we will be all ears listening as we are on our balcony.
Lunch was a grilled fish day with five types of fish to choose from: salmon, snapper, mahi mahi, rock fish and the last one slips my memory right now. We hurried to eat as we were approaching Hubbard Glacier and were anxious to get up on deck 12 to have the best view.
We were able to come within 1.5 miles of the glacier which Terry Breen said was very close compared to the past cruises this year. She also said due to a bit of cloud cover and not much sun we were very lucky as this makes the blue color in the glaciers stand out more.
At first there was not much activity, but the last hour it was pretty much one chunk after another calving into the ocean. The sound of it starting is like that of an approaching thunder storm or a jet plane soaring over your head. The sight of it is beyond what words can describe!!! Terry said on a scale of 1 to 10 our day of seeing activity is rated a 15!!!! She said in all her years of being here this was one of the best days (we feel so very fortunate to have witnessed such a spectacular sight). The narrative by Terry and a local Tlingit (pronounced Klinkit) family who came on board was very enlightening and so educational. The family later dressed in their native attire which only further enhanced the amazing afternoon we were a part of.
As we left Hubbard Glacier we went back to our suite and sat on the balcony enjoying the spectacular views and were treated to even a bit more calving before the ship left the area. Our captain gave us a treat and sailed close to the shoreline in hopes of spotting some bear, but no luck today! We wore our winter jackets out on the Observation Deck along with gloves and hats as it was VERY windy and cold!
Terry Breen explained where we were sailing it was 200 feet deep under the hull of the ship, yet you could just about toss a stone to the shore we were so close!
We met a couple we had found on Cruise Critic in the Observation Lounge for a before dinner cocktail. J and R are from the north east area and we really enjoyed chatting with them and hearing about their pre-cruise trip.
Dinner was at 7:30 in Signatures. The food was very delicious; we both had a crab appetizer, I had mushroom soup and hubby had chicken consomme with a lovely pastry crust over the top, the sorbet was a cinnamon apple with thyme, hubby chose salmon for the main course and I had beef tournadoes. For dessert I had a wonderful Tahitian vanilla crème brulee that was to die for and T had a warm chocolate tart plus, we were treated to the wonderful truffles! We were so full they wrapped our truffles in foil to take back to our suite.
Once again sleep came quite easily and we awoke to the ship being docked just outside Sitka. June 30 we had breakfast in Compass Rose, donned our warm clothes and hopped on the tender. A quick 10 minutes ride and we were there! The temp today was 56 and it was dark and overcast all day, yet never rained! We wore jeans, warm hiking boots, long sleeve shirts along with our winter jackets and hats&we stayed quite warm and at times you didnt need to have your jacket zipped.
What a lovely and quaint little town Sitka is! We hiked to the Raptor Center and were truly amazed at the work they do here rehabilitating injured eagles, owls and falcons. The eagles were truly an amazing sight to our eyes. After a wonderful guided tour we sat for the short video and then were treated to one of the handlers bringing in one of the two eagles that tour the U.S. schools so children have a chance to see how magnificent these creatures are. We walked back down to the main part of town; stopped in a few stores (some LOVELY furs can be found here) and then caught the tender back to the Mariner for lunch and a bit of resting.
I took a nap in the afternoon and woke to the butler bringing our late afternoon snack. Today we had two types of wraps with a wonderful salsa. Sailing away from Sitka Terry came on and gave us a wonderful narrative about Sitka and the area as well as what to expect tomorrow morning at Tracy Arm. Just as she was about to sign off she spotted a humpback whale on the portside (our side of the ship) so out to the balcony we went with binoculars and camera in hand. The whale was quite a distance from the ship, but we did get closer to it until you could clearly see it blowing the water out of his hole and waving his tail at us many times! What a thrill and we only wished we were closer as it was hard to get pictures. At one point there were two whales taking turns waving at us with their tails and a whale was also spotted on the starboard side, so we were very fortunate today!
According to Terry tomorrow morning, July 1st, at 5:30 a.m. we will be near an area where a pod of whales are normally spotted, so we have a 5 a.m. wake up call set. Then we will enter Tracy Arm about 7 and sail in there for just over 2 hours and head out around 9:30 a.m.
Dinner this evening was in Latitudes and it was wonderful!!! We were warmly welcomed by the wait staff and seated at a lovely table for two near a window. The meal is served family style so you dont have to choose from the menu - you are given some of each choice. My favorite was the galangal chicken thigh and Ts was the lobster in curry.
So far we have yet to make it to any evening activity after dinner we are always ready to return to our suite for a drink and then turn in for the night looking forward to the next day. We are both just in awe of the beauty we see each and every day!!!
Today is July 1 and we were up EARLY with a 5 a.m. wake-up call. After contemplating whether or not to get up we got up, dressed and were sitting in the Observation Lounge by 6 a.m. to whale watch. Shortly after arriving we did spot one whale off in the distance, but that was all we were able to see.
Right around 7 a.m. Terry came on bidding us a good morning and welcoming us to the entrance of Tracy Arm. At one point the rocks went up 2,000 feet and then another 1,000 feet below the water level! To get things in to perspective we were looking at a small fishing boat off to the portside and not far from the fishing boat and our ship was an iceberg floating in the water the iceberg appeared quite small, yet when you looked at the fishing boat you realized the berg was a good 10 feet across!!
After our early morning view of Tracy Arm we attended a presentation on the 2007 cruise season by Cruise Consultant Lynn Madsen. Not many folks in attendance and those who were there were treated to a Mimosa! We found her talk quite worthwhile as we are not real familiar with Regent and she talked about each ship as well as the areas they sail to.
We sailed in to Juneau right after lunch with an escort from the Coast Guard and a couple of bald eagles! It was nice to just walk off the ship and not have to tender. Not complaining about the tender ride in Sitka as it only took a short 10 minutes to get back to the ship.
We didnt have anything planned and just walked up and down the street browsing in shops. We purchased some canned salmon from Taku Seafood company and then headed to the Red Dog Saloon for a drink quite a neat experience to be in there as the place was very lively with a man playing tunes on an old piano and to look at all the junk hanging everywhere was a lot of fun. Lots of stuffed animals on the walls and you could imagine being back in the gold rush days sitting there having a drink talking about how many nuggets you found or what you caught that day or about the big one that got away from you on the daily hunting trip.
The weather was quite nice; low 60s and we walked around with our jackets open and were very comfortable. Everyone tells us we are having great weather as the cruises before ours have encountered many days of rain and low clouds.
After a few hours of shopping we headed back to the ship to just relax and take a nap so we are ready for the big Alaskan Pub Night tonight in Horizons Lounge!
Weve been invited to a galley tour tomorrow late afternoon and we also received a dinner invitation for July 3 from Cruise Director John Barron and his lovely wife, Lynsay, the Social Hostess in Compass Rose.
Late afternoon Rao brought us a raw veggie and dip tray that was quite nice as our before dinner treat. We chose to dine at Compass Rose and we both did the Tasting Menu of crab cake, chowder, black bean and papaya salad, pear sorbet and Alaskan Rock Fish (very delicious) with chocolate vanilla frozen yogurt for dessert along with the wonderful tray of homemade candies. After dinner we made our way to the Horizons Lounge for Alaskan Pub Night. They did a great job decorating and the entertainment was very good with a nice mix of songs from country to Jazz and in-between.
July 2 we arrived in Skagway early morning and were up and off the ship before 8 a.m. for our White Pass and Yukon Route train ride. We chose to do the train ride with the home baked goodies option and were in a car that was not full so we had lots of room. We chose the front seat for more leg room and on the return trip down the mountain we didnt have to switch seats with anyone as right across from us was the goodie tray (you normally switch sides on the return trip so everyone on the train is able to see everything).
T and I both were overwhelmed at the amount of work it must have taken to build the White Pass and reflected on how many must have given their lives in order for us to ride the rails. I was apprehensive about doing the train ride due to going up so high, but my fears were all for nothing as it was truly a splendid ride! The weather could not have been better as it was sunny and warm (77 degrees by the time we got back to the ship early afternoon).
Downtown Skagway is very cute and my favorite town so far. It looks like what it must have been like in the Gold Rush days and the shops are very quaint. After walking around downtown we made our way back to the Red Onion Saloon for a beer (Alaskan Summer Ale for hubby and root beer for me). We headed back towards the ship with a stop at the Skagway Fish Company and shared some halibut and fries for lunch.
At 5 p.m. we went on the Galley tour with the Executive Chef how enlightening to see where all the work takes place to prepare the many meals that are served each and every day. We were taken inside the cooler for the vegetables, the meat and fish freezers, the area where they bake the breads, the main kitchen area and the pastry area. Any and all questions were answered and we were treated to a glass of champagne after the tour was over. I was very impressed with how clean and orderly everything is!
We attended a non-denominational church service held in the conference room at 6 p.m. John Barron, the Cruise Director, lead the short 15 minute service for 5 of us in attendance.
It was always a fun surprise to return to our suite and find mail on the door clip waiting for us!
Terry Breen was giving a sail away commentary on the surrounding area (we missed a good part of it due to the galley tour and church service) and only caught the last few minutes. She told us how the many light houses in Alaska are no longer manned by people and many have been sold to use as a Bed & Breakfast or as a private home. The one we sailed past today was very beautiful and given to the Boy Scouts by the state to enjoy and use for educational purposes.
We ordered room service for dinner. It is so nice to stay in our suite and enjoy the spectacular views while dining as you miss so much of the scenery when you go to the restaurants! I had French Onion soup, beef tenderloin medallions with green peppercorn sauce and a baked potato. T had chicken consomme, pan fried salmon and baked potato. For dessert T had the chocolate mousse and I had crème brulee. Everything was very good!!!
After another great nights sleep we were surprised when our doorbell rang and here was Rao with our morning coffee, juice and pastries! I could not believe it was already past 8 a.m. and we were still asleep. I think we need to move on to the ship because this is the best we both have slept in years!
After our continental breakfast we made our way up to the Observation Lounge to listen to Terry talking about our sailing in to Ketchikan. I love all her little stories she tells that she has picked up along the way over her many trips. She REALLY makes the sailing even greater (if that is possible)!
July 3 we arrived in Ketchikan a little early and were given the go ahead to tender over as soon as we could as the early afternoon tours would be waiting for us. We met our tour person and waited for the rest of the folks to arrive on the next few tenders. A gal drove us the short few minutes to the dock to our flight plane and we were off! Our plane is a Beaver Dehaviland that fit 6 passengers along with our pilot, Shannon.
The weather is gorgeous in the 70s; clear as can be and the sun is shining (which we were told is quite a treat because Ketchikan gets over 13 feet of rain per year)! We flew for about 20 minutes over mountain tops looking for sheep, but never did spot any and then made our way to George Inlet Lodge.
Our landing on the water was smooth and we made our way off the plane to meet our guide Brett. He gave us a brief background about the lodge and the crab traps and then invited us up to the lodge to our feast of Dungeness crab!!! Linda our hostess was waiting for us in the dining room that was beautifully decorated and we sat down. We had smoked salmon appetizers and a salad of crisp lettuce and mandarin oranges with a light dressing. Then, she brought out our plates of crab!!! She gave us a brief demonstration on how to break the crab leg apart and use part of the claw to get all the meat out of the claws. She kept coming around refilling our melted butter pots and then came out with another leg for each of us! Talk about being stuffed&I gave T the last few parts of my leg as I was waiting for dessert cheesecake with Alaskan blueberries! What a meal&so delicious and all the while Brett was telling us stories as we all asked him questions and learned more about this beautiful place we were at today.
After a short stop in the gift shop we were on the plane and youd never know we were up in the air as the take off was so smooth. Our return was a fast ride of about 5 minutes and we could see the Mariner in all her glory. We hopped the van ride back to the dock and did a bit of shopping before catching the tender back to the ship.
I did most of my souvenir shopping in one store right across the street from the cruise ship dock and the prices were very reasonable Upon returning to the ship Rao came to the door with our late afternoon snack. I was about to tell him he would not be able to top what we ate at the lodge and to my surprise he had a plate of crab legs for us! Along with the crab legs he presented us with a cute little chocolate mousse dessert cake for our anniversary.
We were told today that most cruise ship passengers gain on average 10 pounds -- well I must have gained enough for the whole ship!
Hubby is having the time of his life sitting on the balcony spotting eagles flying around Ketchikan (he loves eagles). For anyone who sails to Alaska on a cruise line that has no balcony I feel sorry for that person as they miss so much. We thoroughly enjoy our balcony at all times day and night no matter if it is cold and windy or warm and sunny.
Dinner July 3 was in Compass Rose. We were invited to dinner by John Barron the Cruise Director and his beautiful wife, Lynsay, who is the Cruise Hostess. Along with them was another couple from Michigan who have just over 80 nights of cruising with Regent. The evening chat was on many various topics mostly related to cruising and how John & Lynsay got involved in their jobs and our backgrounds. It was very lovely and we truly enjoyed spending the evening with them as well as the Michigan couple.
We all ordered the Roast Turkey and dressing simply delicious! We ordered dessert and then appearing at our table was the Food & Beverage manager with an anniversary cake for T and me. He lit the candles and they sang Happy Anniversary to us. Our waiter than sang Let me call you Sweetheart to the two of us (it brought tears to my eyes). After dinner we returned to our suite as we were both so full and quite tired. We had a note from our stewardess to turn the clocks ahead one hour for the time change.
July 4th we woke to a cloudy day of about 56. We went to the All American Breakfast in La Verandah and then headed back to do the dreaded deed of packing! Grrrrrrr
Lunch was a wonderful BBQ on the pool deck, but a bit on the chilly side. They were grilling steaks, burgers of beef or turkey, Cajun chicken and ribs. Many side dishes of corn on the cob, baked potatoes, onion rings, many salads just to name a few things.
For dessert you could make a sundae or a giant waffle cone as well as cookies and other goodies. Cruise director John sat with us and then later Lynsay joined us. We really enjoy the two of them and will miss them when the cruise is over.
After lunch we watched dolphins playing and swimming along side the ship for quite some time. We started watching them on the pool deck and then decided to head up to the Observation deck to get shots out in the open.
At 3 p.m. there was a wonderful production that was a tribute to the Beatles that we thoroughly enjoyed. We are not much for catching a show or anything else after dinner as we are mostly too tired, so we were happy they had an afternoon performance today.
For those of us who are chocoholics you wanted to be in the Horizons Lounge at 4 p.m.! There was chocolate (white, milk and dark) of anything you can imagine. A white and milk chocolate fountain for fruit was my favorite spot for pineapple, melon and strawberries in white chocolate!
It seems as if all we do is EAT EAT EAT!!!! I feel guilty eating so much, but the guilt only lasts a few minutes and then I am ready to eat again!
Heading back to our suite we noticed a couple of whales blowing just off the port side, but they never did surface for me to get a picture.
From our suite we enjoyed more spectacular scenery while listening to Terry Breen from the bridge for the last time. We have enjoyed listening to her and always looked forward to the next time.
At 6:15 we went to the Captains Farewell party and Krew Kapers in the Constellation Theatre. What a wonderful show put on by the workers who besides doing their regular job also practice singing and dancing to entertain all of us onboard for this last day. It was truly a heart-warming time to see these folks pouring their hearts out singing and dancing and you are thinking where do they find time out of their normal long day to also do this!
We will order room service for dinner and enjoy every last minute of the cruise from our suites balcony. After eating so much today we ordered light room service of a hot dog, pizza and dessert. We enjoyed our sail in to Canada. There is no snow and everything is so nice and green (it was in Alaska, too). We noticed a few whales blowing just off the port side and there were fish jumping out of the water at times. The lights from the homes on shore were so pretty once darkness arrived.
If I havent said it before in this review this has been one of the highlights in our lives. We are truly blessed to be able to travel to many wonderful places, but this cruise ranks as one of, if not, the highest on our vacations. We have been treated to excellent service in every aspect, the food has been nothing less than truly delicious, the weather (thank the Lord) was excellent every day. July 5 we were still sleeping when our butler rang the doorbell with room service breakfast for the last time. I guess in a way I was hoping hed forget about us and wed just take the next cruise back up to Whittier, but no such luck! ;> We made our way to deck 6 and sat in the Stars Lounge until our color was called. Disembarking was smooth and quite easy compared to our other mass-market cruise. Finding our luggage took all of two minutes and the line for taxis was the longest time we had to wait in a line all this week. Our ride to the Hilton in Richmond (very close to the airport) took quite some time and the fare was $30. There are some very pretty homes in Vancouver and many homes have tall hedges that do block most of the view.
The Hilton was kind enough to give us our room a little past 10 a.m. and I was so happy about that! We walked around the area some, but there isnt a whole lot -- car lots, two malls and many other shops (i.e. beauty salon, travel agencies, banks - nothing touristy). Since we didnt eat much for breakfast in the ship we found a local restaurant that was still serving breakfast at 11 which was very good. We walked to one of the malls just after 5 p.m. and had a bite to eat in the food court as we were not very hungry, but wanted a little something.
Our last day July 6 we had an 8 a.m. wake up call and headed to the hotel restaurant for juice and pastries. We gathered our luggage and hopped on the hotel shuttle bus to the airport. It took us about a total of 30 minutes from checking in at the Delta counter to going through Customs and Immigration and the security check before heading to our gate.
We did a bit of last minute shopping and our plane boarded just before 11:30 a.m. The flight was a bit bumpy at times, yet nothing very disturbing. We made great time and were in the Atlanta area about 30 minutes ahead of schedule and then had to circle for 45 minutes due to a storm right over the airport. By the time we landed and got our luggage it was 8:30 and we were on the road walking in to our house at 10 p.m. *** Regent Seven Seas Mariner holds 700 passengers and there were 540 on our sailing. You never waited in line for anything which is so nice compared to when you sail on the larger ships and you wait in long lines for certain things.
Our suite was wonderful! We were in a Penthouse category B level. The suite itself is 376 sq. ft. and the balcony 73 sq. ft. We did have a butler but we did not book this category for the butler, we booked it for the suite location port side on Deck 10.
Upon entering to the right was the bathroom; sink with marble counter, lots of storage space underneath, mirrors with storage space on the sides as well as Aveda products, tub/shower combination with great water pressure.
Directly across from the bathroom was a walk in closet that had three racks for hanging clothes, a shoe rack, two beach towels, a wool blanket, an umbrella, two robes and two pair of slippers, a safe, two "cubby holes" for storage and underneath the safe you found 4 or 5 drawers.
Our bed was queen sized and our suite had the new bedding and mattress (much different from what the brochure shows as this is the old bedding and the lower categories still had this decor). A thick white duvet with a lovely moss green and grey coverlet, we each had 3 down pillows (by request) and on each side of the bed was a small 2 drawer night stand and a reading light as well as several over head lights.
Directly across from the bed was a large floor to ceiling mirror with a comfy arm chair and ottoman and to the left of that was a nice vanity area with stool, make up mirror and a larger mirror attached to the vanity. A blow dryer was in one of the drawers.
The bedroom area could be totally curtained off from the living room area if you wanted it like that.
In the living room we had a lovely sort of L shaped sofa with three throw pillows and a small cocktail table. Under the sofa was a larger wooden table top that was used when we would dine in the room. Next to the sofa was another arm chair with ottoman.
Right across from the sofa was a large wall unit with glass shelves all across the top that held several different types of glasses i.e. high ball, water, pilsner and so forth as well as the two bottles of liquor we were given (we also had a bottle of chilled champagne in our suite upon embarkation).
Below the glass shelves you found a TV, desk area with an IPod and speakers as well as a dish of fresh fruit and a vase that held fresh orchids. On one end there were drawers for clothes and the end near the balcony held the mini fridge that was stocked with four beer (if you wanted more you had to pay for the beer), the soda types we requested as well as bottled water and an ice bucket.
We had floor to ceiling windows on each end and in the middle you found sliding glass doors to lead you out to the balcony. The balcony had two wooden arm chairs with nice cushions and a small wooden table. A sheer set of curtains along with a very heavy room darkening drapery covered all the windows/sliding door.
The only thing on our deck was suites and the bridge. We never heard noise from the suites on either side, but at times we did hear some dragging noises from above as the pool deck was above us and you could hear them moving things, but it never woke us or bothered us.
Deck Five you found Compass Rose Restaurant for casual dining off a menu for all 3 meals and no reservations. Latitudes Restaurant which was reservation only for dinner and they served family style Indochinese type food. Mariner Lounge, Tour and Cruise Sales office, Reception and Concierge as well as the lower level of the Constellation Theater.
Deck Six held Horizons Lounge, Signatures Restaurant reservation only for dinner and it was the Le Cordon Bleu menu, Connoisseur Club (cigar and cognac), Card and Conference Room (which doubled as a chapel on Sunday evening for the service we attended), The Garden Promenade where they had a coffee, cappuccino, espresso, hot chocolate machine as well as fresh pastries in the morning and several varieties of cookies in the afternoon and evening. You also went to the library, computer area and DVD rental area on Deck Six. STARS nightclub/disco was here and the upper level of the Constellation Theater.
Deck Seven was suites and then the casino, boutiques, Photo Shop, Beauty Salon, Carita Spa, gym and aerobics room.
Decks Eight, Nine and Ten were all suites (plus you found a laundry room on each deck of these 3 floors).
Deck Eleven was La Veranda Restaurant for buffet breakfast and lunch and at dinner time it was an Italian Steakhouse or whatever theme they decided for the evening, pool and 3 hot tubs, pool bar and grill. I think the pool was heated as a few days we did see some people in the pool. There were many tables/chairs as well as lounge chairs to sit on so you never had to worry about finding a seat and they had beach towels as well as warm blankets available.
Deck 12 is the Observation Lounge, jogging track, golf nets, shuffleboard and paddle tennis.
As I stated in my trip review the ship is not glitzy and glamorous by any means, yet very beautiful and elegant. You felt very comfortable and at home...not like you were in Las Vegas with flashing lights and bright neon colors everywhere (this is how I felt on one of the mega ships).
Our stewardess, Silvia, did a marvelous job of cleaning our room and we never had to wait...we'd return from breakfast and it would be made up! In the early evening she'd come by for turn-down service and leave us our copy of PASSAGES telling us what to expect the next day as well as a mint with some type of verse or thought on each night stand.
Rao our butler was very attentive, yet not the type who you felt was there and would never leave. He was very polite, yet friendly and was happy to make reservations or answer our questions. I am not sure how many other suites he serviced, but we never had to wait for him when we'd call...as soon as I'd hang up the phone from paging him he would be returning our call.
Each afternoon at 5 p.m. he would ring our doorbell and have a great plate of something different each day for us to enjoy before dinner with a cocktail. I can recall somethings that we had; shrimp cocktail, wraps with salsa, cold crab legs, cheese & crackers (2 days), raw vegetables and dip, pate and cocktail rolls.
As far as the rest of the staff you were always warmly greeted by anyone from the caption whom we saw many times enjoying visiting with guests to the person who was polishing the brass on the stairwell.
We asked the Cruise Director and his wife the Social Hostess why they chose to invite us to dinner one evening since this was our first Regent cruise and many others on board were many time repeat guests. Their reply was they enjoyed inviting new guests because they wanted to make us feel at home and they also knew it was our anniversary (we felt quite honored and this REALLY impressed me...you won't find this type of thinking in many places...they mostly invite the many time guests vs. a first time).
Service at the bars/restaurants was nothing less than the best! You never had to ask for a drink because you were approached right after being seated, refills on water or coffee was no wait, a wine sommelier (sp) was in each restaurant serving you choice wines at dinner, you were escorted to your table and your name was remembered by many staff members, the room service menu was quite extensive and if you didn't care for that you could always order from the Compass Rose menu for dinner in your room, too.
You were given a breakfast room service order form each evening to fill out if you wanted to and the order was always on time and the food was hot!
Each day the pastry kitchen made hand dipped truffles for after-dinner treats in Signatures and home made cookies/candies for Compass Rose and Latitudes, plus you were given the dessert menu as well to order from.
As far as this cruise line and the cost goes - in my opinion you get what you pay for. Yes, you can cruise to Alaska or most any other place for that matter for much less, but you also have long lines to deal with (several days when we were not the only ship in a port you'd see HUNDREDS of people lined up waiting to get on or off the ship while all we had to do was walk off and back on with no lines which in very cold/rainy or very hot weather could be quite uncomfortable as the lines did not move very fast, more noise, so-so food choices and quality, lower quality shore excursion choices, with Regent you receive two bottles of liquor in your suite (of your choice that are top shelf brand), the mini fridge with soda/water which was replenished daily and 4 beers (starting 1/1/2007 all drinks with liquor are included), free soda 24/7, bottles of water are there when you go on shore at each port (yes with the mega ships you do pay for bottled water if you want it as well as soda) cocktails of your choice while at your dinner table, more space in your suite (yes each "room" is a suite with a balcony there are no inside rooms), no tipping (not one employee ever made us feel like they were being nice in hopes of getting a tip because you are free to tip if you want to when someone goes over and above in your opinion)!!! this is also included and so much more that I fail to recall at this time.
We have done a mass market mega ship, so we do speak from experience - not just hearsay. ;) Read Less