Oh the perks of the travel agent’s life!
When we were invited to join a group on the Regent Seven Seas Mariner we accepted immediately. Here was my chance to renew acquaintance with a ship inspected several times but never travelled on. And we had a duty (we told ourselves) to follow up the reports of many satisfied clients.
Our passage would be from Fremantle to Adelaide – a segment of the Mariner’s 2008 Grand Pacific Voyage that had begun in Vancouver on September 10, and would end in Los Angeles on December 20, after visiting 49 ports in 14 countries. We would be stopping only once, at Albany.
The journey began at 7:00 pm as Mariner (berthed just a few metres in front of another large cruise ship the Dawn Princess) slid sideways, extracting herself from the wharf like a book taken from a shelf. She then made her way to open sea without help from the nearby tugboat – an elegant demonstration of manoeuverability by pod-propulsion. Those pods also keep noise and vibration to a minimum when the ship is under way.
On-board the ‘Mariner’
Mariner had scheduled an overnight stay in Fremantle and we took advantage of this to arrive a day before departure and thus use the ship as our hotel. We could come and go as we pleased, returning for meals in between excursions. We set off sightseeing in Fremantle walking the historic areas and taking a tour of the old Fremantle Jail, a highly-awarded tourist attraction. Regent had arranged a free shuttle– a service they provide in most ports for guests doing their own shore excursions.
Every passenger suite on Mariner has something to recommend it. Even the entry-level Deluxe Suites have more than enough room for two to sit and dine in, an area of 252 sq. ft. plus a balcony of 49 sq. ft. Room service, with your meals served course by course a la degustation if you wish, is free. Fresh fruit and champagne awaited us in our suite.
Check the photos in our slideshow and you will see a sitting area with sofa, easy chair and coffee table and a writing desk, mini-bar, and tv. Beds are king-size, the walk-in wardrobe is large enough to stow clothes and luggage, and a bathtub with shower is standard. The minibar contents are complimentary and re-stocked daily. Toiletries, bathrobes, slippers, cd/dvd player, safe and overnight shoe-cleaning service are also free. And, enticing guests out of their cabins before dinner, all bar drinks and selected wines with dinner are complimentary. No chits to sign and a minimal end-of-cruise account!
And the service was great. When we ordered tea for two in our cabin it always arrived within a few minutes even during the breakfast rush hour!
Who travels on Regent? World Voyages appeal to the retired, but each cruise is different, and Regent openly welcome children on board. Certain voyages include the Club Mariner Youth Program for ages 5 to 17; voyages to Alaska and Polynesia include Ambassadors of the Environment programs for ages 9 to 17 and programs also operate with world-renowned environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau. Every voyage features lectures that add enjoyment and understanding to guests’ experiences.
Contact me – firstname.lastname@example.org if you would to know more