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We sail tomorow from Monte Carlo to Venice and on board are 50 or so Cruise Critic members. Hambagahle is organising a get-together (and a curry evening!) and it should be great to meet them all.

 

From time to time, I wil try to post my thoughts, especially on whether I think Mariner has departed from previous high standards and I am sure other members on board will contribute.

 

I will try to answer any questions as we go along.

 

It is an early start tomorrow, 5.30am, to Heathrow for the short flight to Nice where an MPV should be waitng to take us on to the dock at Monte Carlo, casting off at 22.00 hrs. Whether we will be alert enough after the excitement and length of the day to watch the sailaway, I am not sure, but one thing I am sure about, we will have drunk too much and eaten too much having had our first taste of Regent hospitality for a while.

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Hope you have a great cruise! We will be on Mariner in exactly 4 weeks, so looking forward to your comments. I know the Mariner will be lovely, and hoping the food will be great (some not so kind reviews lately). Your post for the first Mariner Med cruise for the season has made me very excited for our upcoming cruise (Istanbul to Venice).

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I hope all of you have a fantastic cruise! I too look forward to hearing your reports as we sailing from Venice to Istanbul on the Mariner at the end of May. We haven't cruised with Regent in nearly three years and I am hoping it will be the same wonderful experience we have had in the past.

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Have a wonderful time and thank you for taking the time to post! We just put the deposit down yesterday on our first European cruise with Regent for next year, so I will look forward to reading your entries.

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Thanks for taking the time, and have a wonderful cruise. I'm living vicariously on these reports right now, so I'm counting on you, since we have no cruises booked right now (first time since 2002.)

 

The November, 2011 Barcelona to FLL has some good port stops before it crosses the Atlantic. There is also great pricing left (a lot of interest in this itinerary).

 

Sorry for the off topic comment. Also looking forward to reports from the Mariner. This is quite a port intensive itinerary -- enjoy every moment!

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Good sailing and try to keep the Mariner "ship shape" we will be embarking in Venice for the cruise to Rome. Are any of your cruise critic members going on for that cruise? I have not found any message boards for the Venice to Rome trip beginning 4/17. We are first time cruisers and starting to get very excited about the trip.

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I have not found any message boards for the Venice to Rome trip beginning 4/17. We are first time cruisers and starting to get very excited about the trip.

 

 

Here's the roll-call thread, pretty scanty: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1126422

 

Oh, I see you've posted to it!

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We embarked about 12.15 yesterday and then took a walk to the old town. Weather was cool but sunny so great for walking.

 

Mariner service was excellent at dinner. We didnt make it to a bar but I sure will rectify that today when jet lag abates somewhat. The ride to Florence was smooth.

 

I love the computer area plus coffee bar.

 

This is such a busy itinerary ! I skipped the Florence tour and took a chance to get some lazy R&R. Unfortunately my card stopped working, the toilet wont flush - they are working on the system- and my TV refuses to take me past the Regent interactive channel. Added to that I am allergic to orchids and they have so many of them on board! I am sure all will soon be well.

 

Miriam

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At last I have found time to post.

 

The arrangements for getting to Monte Carlo for boarding went superbly. The BA personnel were so kind and helpful to us with our wheelchair and our transfer from Nice couldn't have been bettered.

 

Unfortunately this all came to a shuddering halt when we got to the gangway of Mariner. No-one there at all. I went up to ask for assistance up the gangway and the young lady just looked blankly at me. Eventually she understood that we couldn't get on board and she radioed for help. A young man eventually came down, had a look and said he would get more help. It was 35 minutes later that he returned with another crew member and they dragged the wheelchair backwards up the gangway. I really expected that there would be procedures in place for this sort of assistance. However once on board, registration went smoothly and by then our suite was ready.

 

Excellent stewardess and butler, suite in beautiful condition. We were treated well and with understanding at the lifeboat drill, and after a shower we went to Compass Rose for a really enjoyable meal. Our waiter was on Voyager on our last cruise and his service, as with the wine waiter, was superb. We watched the sailaway from Monte Carlo from the Obs Lounge, but there was no special event, no block party, I wonder why.

 

As we had a big day on boarding we cancelled our tour to Pisa and the destinations desk clerk seemed to be pleased we turned in our tickets. So we have had a lazy day today trying to guess who the various CC members are. We had a note on the door from Hambagahle and I went to their suite with a reply after lunch. However they had a "Privacy" notice up. I cannot imagine what they were doing after lunch, but I respected their wish and left a note in reply. We are meeting up with them for dinner in Signatures tonight.

 

So all in all, except for the boarding hiccup which I have taken up with various folk and will add to the comment card, all is well so far.

 

One other thing, who should I meet in Coffee Connection but Ray Solaire, Master CD. He isn't CD on this trip, but is doing his puppet show tonight before disembarking in Rome tomorrow. He tells me he is taking up another contract as CD on Navigator after the Alaskan season.

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Sorry to hear about the trouble getting on board, but hopefully that won't happen again now that they understand the problem.

Emdee, hope all problems are soon rectified. I had a terrible problem with my keycard getting demagnetized on our last voyage. We never figured out why, but I had to make several trips to the desk to get it fixed. Orchids don't bother me, but lilies do. A lily anywhere on the ship will send me into a sneezing fit.

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One other thing, who should I meet in Coffee Connection but Ray Solaire, Master CD. He isn't CD on this trip, but is doing his puppet show tonight before disembarking in Rome tomorrow. He tells me he is taking up another contract as CD on Navigator after the Alaskan season.

 

 

I first sailed with Ray on Silversea. He is an extraordinary CD and entertainer. Anyone who thinks that great people are leaving Regent and migrating to other luxury lines should note that Ray Solaire is on Regent. Regent is fortunate to have him. The Navigator cruise after Alaska is a great one (to Asia and back). Wish that I were on that cruise with Ray Solaire.

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I first sailed with Ray on Silversea. He is an extraordinary CD and entertainer. Anyone who thinks that great people are leaving Regent and migrating to other luxury lines should note that Ray Solaire is on Regent. Regent is fortunate to have him. The Navigator cruise after Alaska is a great one (to Asia and back). Wish that I were on that cruise with Ray Solaire.

 

Couldn't agree more about Ray. Our first Regent cruise was last year to the Baltic (we have cruised about 15 times on other lines) and Ray was our CD and I have NEVER EVER seen a CD with more talent and more energy than Ray. He was even helping people disembart in Southampton carrying carry ons that the people couldn't handle.

 

We are extremely excited that we will see Ray again on our Trans-Pacific cruise from Seward to Russia/Japan/China.

 

Absolutely fantastic news!!!

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TOrpington -

 

Have been on the lookout for you to say hello ....Did not want to hijack your thread so I posted an early report but with your permission, I am happy to post on this one.

 

We did the Highlights of Lucca tour. Mixed. The town is great and the tour could be done on your own in about half the time. Meals and service continue to be great. Will check out the show tonight, I hope.

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We just got off Mariner in Monte Carlo and had a fantastic cruise.

 

Two things if any on board are reading.

My PURSE demagnitized my key card. I've had this happen with other swipeables so once it happened, I realized it was too close to the purse closure and moved the location of the key card.

 

Second, about changing the chanels...I feel your pain but our lovely, lovely butler Mervyn showed us how...There is a small black sensor, about 1/10 the size of a computer mouse that picks up the remote commands, not the small panel with the red off/green on light on the front of the TV which only controls on/off, volume. Our was on the shelf with the DVD player but it had a little sticky on the back so it could be anywhere in the general TV area.

 

I'll write a review soon. Warning to naysayers -- I have only good things to say. And I can't tell you how many times I heard (and overheard) others say 'best cruise ever.'

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One more thing (two more?)

 

Our block party was the second night, captain's welcome the third. I think these must change from cruise to cruise depending on the scedule, sea days, port departure times.

 

Just curious if you spent the first night on board in port. This typically changes the order in which things are done (like the captain's welcome on the third night).

 

Anyway, keep those reports coming - whenever you have the opportunity. I'm finding the information regarding the Mariner quite interesting. We have only done one cruise on that ship and have mixed feelings. Although the Coffee Connection on the Mariner is beautiful, did anyone in the library or computer room find the noise from that area a bit distracting?

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I tried to post this earlier on my laptop, but it cut out...so am having another go from the Computer Lab.

 

Hoosier74 - you kept to your word and left the Mariner in fine shape for us! Thank you...

 

Orpington T - now really!! After two Margaritas each for lunch Ken and I needed a long siesta...but thanks for the note, and the lovely dinner at Signatures last night. Great to finally meet face to face...

 

I have to admit that I was worried about this cruise, knowing it was over-booked. I need not have been. So far - three days in - things are more than perfect. We had a lovely dinner in the CR on the first night. Good food, served promptly and a nice window table. Last night Signatures was very good indeed. (Tornedos Rossini! yum!!) I was also worried about not having a butler. Again, no problem. Our wonderful stewardess, Regina, is taking more than good care of us. The sparkling wine was quickly replaced by champagne - Mumm. Seems at present to be Mumm they are generally pouring. A bottle of scotch was delivered. Two duvets replaced the single one. So no complaints.

 

We didn't go to Florence etc yesterday and are not going to Rome today. since we live relatively close by we are often in Tuscany and have spent lots of time in Rome. So we are enjoying the ship. I had a great massage in the spa yesterday. I think it was better than when Carita ran it. Charming South African called Nicoleen. She does a great job. Tonight we will try Prime 7 for the first time. Hopefully that will be nice.

 

CD Dionne moved speedily to ask the F&B Manager to arrange the CC cocktail. All those on my list will get invitations to it, but as I remember it will be on 11th April in Stars Nightclub at 1845. The curry dinner is also being set up, courtesy of aforesaid F&B Manager and the CR staff. So I have nothing else to do other than to sit in the steamroom, drink cappucinos and - go sightseeing! Now really, can one ask for more??

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