Randie Rosenburg is an independent travel consultant with Brownell. Below you will read about her cruise aboard the Regent Seven Seas Mariner.
|Windmill on Crete|
|Musicians in Safed Israel|
|St. John’s Bay, Lindos, Rhodes|
What can I say about a cruise line whose bathroom amenities include a shower cap with a terry hair tie in the package? Whose sewing kit includes 10 colors of thread in 10 pre-threaded needles? Well, I can say I was impressed with the attention to detail, and that it didn’t stop there.
My husband, David, and I boarded the Regent Seven Seas Mariner in Athens on June 17th. An RSSC representative met us as we alighted from our taxi and guided us through the port authority and onto a motor coach which dispatched us to the ship. It was in the ship’s show lounge that we registered — a nice and well-organized environment. We were done and on our way to explore in no time.
The 12-night cruise aboard the Seven Seas Mariner was a treat, indeed. Our generously-proportioned stateroom featured a sitting area, curtained from the bed space, with flat screen TV and daily-stocked mini bar, a walk-in closet and a bathroom larger than most on cruise ships. What a great space to come “home” to after a long day’s touring. Sipping cocktails on our verandah, while the sun set behind the mountains of the Turkish coast, was just about perfect.
|Our home on Regent’s Mariner|
|Leaving Antalya, Turkey|
I discovered pretty displays of crystallized ginger and dark chocolate straws in a couple of strategic spots near dining venues. These are two of my favorite things (beat raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens any day!), and I got the feeling Regent knew that and made them appear as I waltzed by. There was a most welcoming singer from Moldova with an effortless and beguiling voice. Her smile and songs greeted us on the pool deck and in the various lounges at different times. We were always delighted. Other ways Regent stands apart from main stream cruise lines: prompt room service, nicely presented; easy off and on ship in ports with complimentary bottled water handy; and the fact that every staff member always greets you as you pass by. The dining venues are varied with good service. We sampled every one and enjoyed the food, relaxed ambience and especially the ease of dining whenever and with whomever.
David had tickets to the Bob Dylan concert in Tel Aviv. We were to be docked in Haifa that day with no plan on how to get him to Tel Aviv, 60 miles south. A cute Chilean lady from the Destination Services desk (I’m wracking my brain to recall her name…one of only two crew members from Chile, the other being equally cute, but male) took great interest in David’s scheme and was so very helpful in arranging for a reputable taxi driver in port to drive him there and back. She became a buddy through the cruise, marveling that we often chose separate tours according to our interests, and cheering when we toured together. She helped with last minute switches, too.
I won’t go through our day-to-day since there were 12 days with 10 days of touring. Instead, I’ll just give my impressions of this fascinating area of the Mediterranean which encompasses the birthplace of democracy and monotheistic religions and a big chunk of the Greek, Roman and Ottoman Empires. Helen of Troy, Caesar, Socrates, Abraham, Jesus, Mohammed, Alexander the Great, Marco Polo: hundreds of historical characters, household names, who shaped our modern world lived, loved, exchanged ideas, and disagreed BIG time all over this place. I was overwhelmed with the layers and layers of history. What became evident (again, I must admit) is that my time in the American education system was not academically well-spent. (I’m deleting that last sentence before I send this to Mom!) I am so ready now for a Western Civilization course. But I was SO interested and loved exploring, trying my best to put life and history in perspective.
|Library at Ephesus|
|Inside the Blue Mosque|
|Bread Man, Antalya|
Crete, Rhodes and Cyprus were beautiful and I’d like to visit again with more time to spend. Our four days in Israel were fascinating, sparking my interest in the Middle East, current and past. Turkey (Antalya, Kusadasi/Ephesus & Istanbul) offered color and culture, beautiful beaches and cooling breezes, great food and happy faces. I will definitely return to Turkey to for a more in-depth trip.
Regent Seven Seas proved a wonderful host for our exploration of the Eastern Med. I am so happy to finally have experienced the high standards in cruising that my clients have raved about for years. All the aspects one expects in larger ships: entertainment, spa, multiple dining and lounge venues, opportunities to meet and mingle with fellow passengers; but with more personalized service, more luxury, no crowds, and absolutely NO nickel and diming. Including all beverages, shore excursions and gratuities is such a welcome model from a passenger perspective. Many, many of the passengers I met had sailed before with Regent and were very happy campers.
The time I spent with Regent in June reinforced my already great confidence in the cruise company. I plan to introduce more travelers to Regent Seven Seas. My clients who have sailed have repeated. I hope to be so lucky!