Last Friday, my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed every morsel of a $200 million lunch. That was the cost of the elegant, spacious and posh Regent Seven Seas Mariner when it was built around a decade ago. The Mariner was in port in San Francisco for a turnaround, having arrived that morning from a Trans-Canal Cruise from Florida, then departed under the Golden Gate Bridge that night for an 11-day cruise to Alaska, finishing in Vancouver, BC. The ship will then ply the Inside Passage this summer, before embarking on Grand Pacific tours this fall.
The Mariner is one of the jewels in the Regent Seven Seas Cruise Lines’ crown — the world’s first all-suite, all-balcony ships. It was also the first to offer dining by the famed Le Cordon Bleu® of Paris in its Signatures white-table cloth restaurant, where we rubbed elbows with travel agents, tour guides and Regent brass.
I’ve cruised on smaller ships like this (50,000 tons), while my wife has recently traveled on a mega-ship (75,000+ tons). We both prefer the Regent philosophy — catering to only 700 passengers with an attentive crew and a staff-to-guest ratio of 1 to 1.6 that provides you with highest level of personal service in their six-star tradition.
They also offer you flexible dining choices, all-inclusive fares that offer you fine wines and beverages (where other cruise lines nickel and dime you for each soda), one of the most spacious cruise ships afloat, and a level of elegance unmatched on the high seas.