We did our very first cruise on Regent when it was known as Radisson. We did about 7 cruises with them and loved every minute of every cruise. It has been 5 years since we have sailed on the Mariner, and unfortunately, we have to say it just wasn't the same.
The cabin was beautiful and the ship and most of the staff great. However, it was sort of obvious that they are cutting some corners.
As people who work out, we went to the gym. Some of the machines were not working and we were told some hadn't been working since April! We asked about it and were told "it is out of our control." Who is responsible to see that the equipment is maintained? The televisions on the machines for the most part were not working. If you do an hour workout, all you have left to look at is a wall - - no ocean views or anything. By the end of our cruise there was only one treadmill in operation.
On our previous cruises, after eating at the Compass Rose or any of the specialty restaurants, we would rave about the food for hours. Not this time. We would give the food a generous B minus. The bread was awful. The lamb had no flavor, and we ate most often at the Italian restaurant which was quite good. Little things were missing, like freshly ground pepper. The wait staff seemed overworked - - too many tables per waiter and the service was a lot slower than we remembered. It was hard to get anyone's attention if you had a problem with your order. The best dinners we had were at Setti Mare. We were disappointed in Signatures.
There were little things missing - - I love to soak in the tub on cruises, and Oceania has different bath salts you can add to the water. There was nothing on Regent and they are supposed to be a "luxury" line. My husband likes blueberries on his cereal in the morning, and when he asked if there were any, he was told yes, but they don't put them out because people will eat them. ?????????
The shore excursions were somewhat disorganized. For example, on one, they didn't tell us that the bus we were on was more of a shuttle bus and many people panicked when the bus left and they ended up paying for taxis to get back to the ship. Others left their jackets and bags on the bus thinking that the bus would be the one to transport us back to the ship.
The captain, Teo Srdlic, was fabulous. He was one of those captains you see everywhere on the ship, always stopping to talk to the passengers. He was a delightful man. Also, the cruise director, Jamie Logan and his assistant CD, Dana, were wonderful. The entertainment was also quite good.
There was a pre-cruise safari as part of the cruise and that was absolutely one of the best experiences we ever had. The accomodations, flight arrangements and transportation was done efficiently and easily.
On disembarkation, we were transported to a "hospitality room" where we were told there would be food and drink. There were about 300 people using this room. The first bus there got some food and coffee, but once that was gone, there was no more. I asked about it and was told by the hotel staff that the cruise line had not authorized any more. From Rio where most flights leave late at night, this meant about 6-10 hours at the hotel with nothing but a small bottle of water. In the past when we have stayed at hospitality rooms, there was food, sandwiches, danishes, coffee, soft drinks, and sometimes Radisson/Regent gave you a day room. This is not what we were expecting and we, along with the other 290 people were very unhappy.
We flew from Rio to Atlanta and we got caught in the storm that hit the south. Our flight was canceled, and I called the Regent emergency air hotline for help in getting home for Christmas day. I was told there was nothing they could do. I don't know why they even bother listing an emergency hotline number if nobody would help.
While most of the staff was pleasant and helpful, there were a few exceptions where people were downright rude. On one excursion where we had a Regent crew member with us, everyone in our jeep was miserable and we all wanted to go back to the ship. The Regent crew member said, "Well, this is not your personal excursion and I want to be here." Excuse me. We paid for this cruise, you did not, and it is your responsibility to see that the passengers were happy and the 8 of us were miserable. She then ignored us for the remainder of the horrendous excursion in bumper to bumper Rio traffic in an open air vehicle inhaling exhaust fumes and sewer odors for hours.
All in all, we were so looking forward to this cruise after 8 prior sailings with Radisson/Regent and I really hate to say we were disappointed. The line has gone downhill in the 5 years since we last sailed with them. The identical cruise was offered on Oceania, and we wish we had done theirs instead.
This was a very nice tour going to the southernmost part of Africa. Stopped to see penguins and lunch. Very nice excursion.
This was the worst excursion we have ever been on. This was in an open air jeep and there is no need for that. You don't 4-wheel or anything. You are sitting in bumper to bumper Rio traffic for hours exposed to exhaust fumes and sewer odors. Our guide didn't talk to us and seemed more interested in picking up girls. We had not idea what we were looking at.View All 7 Tijuca Forest Reviews