Seven Seas Mariner to South America
- Name: Mr & Mrs Berthelsen
- Cruise Line: Regent Seven Seas
- Cruise Ship: Mariner
- Area of the world: South America
- Month/Year of travel: January 2013
- Agent - Tony Stephenson
Flights & Transfers
Flew Virgin Upper Class from Heathrow to Miami = Excellent. Marriott Marquis hotel = Excellent.
Next day transfer agent (3rd party) was terrible. We were advised to be in the lobby by 11:00 and we left after 12:00, arriving to the cruise terminal at 12:30. Stevedore problems meant our luggage was not onboard and delivered to our room until 18:30. We were supposed to leave port at 18:00 however there were 28 people who were on a 21:00 Iberia flight from Lima. At the end of the cruise, Regent Seven Seas Cruises laid on a city tour and left us for 2.5 hours to lunch/shop before collecting us to take us back to the airport = Very good.
Two-hour flight delay with Iberia on the return to due to a technical fault but the service was very good.
Pre Cruise Hotels
Marriott Marquis was excellent in regards to the quality, service and location. We should have got a private transfer to the cruise port, which was quite close, but this was not the case.
Once we arrived, embarkation was fairly smooth.
Having been on Voyager, the Mariner is very similar but the bathroom has a better layout. It had a larger shower with a built-in seat for the older/infirm. Overall it was very good. The steward service was good, but he had problems with any extra services. (Last RSSC cruise stewards would top-up the fridge etc) My impression is that a high wage (no tips) means some give great service for tips or do the bare minimum, as they are happy with their package.
Food and Dining
Chef always around during Lunch and Dinner and he was very approachable. All food in Compass Rose was very good. Verandah was as an Italian for three days (mainly pizza and pasta) was not for us, but we had three days as French cuisine for a change. We looked at the menu and visited when it suited us, but only if we could dine outside. Lunch on deck 11 was very good. - To include many themed days and hosted by chef was superb. Prime 7 (Steakhouse) was very good as was Signatures (French). Unfortunately my wife is allergic to Fish and Shellfish; therefore the menu was slightly limited for her. However I thoroughly enjoyed. Overall, the food was excellent in terms of variety and quality.
Not really into daytime (organised) activities, but they were well attended by those who do. However, definitely not designed for children. Major events such as crossing the equator were supported by a young and very active captain. The shows were generally weaker than they were on RSSC two years ago and were aimed at an American clientele in terms of humour. The lectures were apparently good and were also covered on the interactive TV in the suites. The resident band and trio were talented and very popular - the trio was the only act we visited.
Others used public rooms more than us. But the space and quality were good, which meant there was plenty of space around the areas we mainly visited.
The staff was excellent and very efficient on the whole. Almost without exception, they were all very friendly. Because of this, we spent more time out on deck eleven with the chef etc. than on previous RSSC cruise.
Itinerary and Ports of Call
The cruise confirmed my thoughts so not totally disappointed. Curacao and Aruba were especially sun, sea and sand locations. So the tours in those locations were really a bit of a shame. Colombia, Ecuador and Peru were essentially similar in so far as the ports of call (except Lima) are convenient for the programme but don't have too much to offer. Lima is an exception. However it is not Europe and there was a good choice in each location.
The cost of the excursions was free on RSSC, with one exception - which I believe made the tours acceptable. All tour guides appeared to have good knowledge, their delivery was variable but all earned their tips, as did the drivers. The coaches were never full, even when multiple ones were used on popular tours, which meant it was never too crowded or hard to hear the guides.
My Service - Tony Stephenson
A professional and personal service that was well delivered. Thanks Tony!
Embarkation: 07/10 Entertainment:07/10
Cabin/Suite: 07/10 Service: 08/10
Food: 09/10 Itinerary: 08/10
Alternative Dining: 08/10 Shore Excursions: 08/10
My Service: 10
Written by Mr & Mrs Berthelsen