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Regent Seven Seas Versus Silversea.


Imagine the excitement of flying across the Atlantic to join our first Regent Seven Seas cruise in the Port of Los Angeles. The Mariner was not the newest ship in the fleet having been built in 2001 and refurbished in 2018. Prior to arrival in San Pedro, Los Angeles we had been required to choose our embarkation time, imagining that embarkation would be timed to avoid queues. Having flown in the day before we overnighted in a local hotel ready to arrive at Mariner at our appointed time.


With a capacity of 700 passengers, we imagined we would be checked in fairly quickly. On arrival at the terminal it appeared as if the world and his wife had arrived at the port at the same time and to be truthful it was a zoo. Not at all what we had expected of the Ultra Luxury Cruise line Regent. We were welcomed onboard by a glass of champagne, which was nice but no officers on the gangway to welcome us. Alright l must admin being clapped aboard Silversea by a line of crew and offices may be a little over the top, I did expect at least expect the Cruise Director or one of her staff to be there for the welcome. We were directed straight to our Muster station where we were checked off having been requested to watch the safety video before boarding. The safety briefing was broadcast again before sailing and we were asked to watch the video on the suite TV. This all seemed like a good idea.


Lunch was being served at the deck grill and appeared very underwhelming, even if we could have found a table to sit at, which we could not. On Silversea and other cruise lines, buffet lunch is normally served most of the afternoon in the main self-service restaurant as on Silversea “The Terrazza”, is spaced out with plenty of tables available. On Mariner, La Veranda self-service restaurant appeared to be serving a full table service lunch but not necessarily what we wanted straight after embarkation.


So far we had been totally underwhelmed by the Mariner.


We explored the ship and headed towards our suite, not expecting it to be ready, but here Regent certainly scored over Silversea, the suite was ready and waiting. On Silversea, the suites were not ready until much later in the day. Luggage arrived a little later in the afternoon and we also got to meet our cabin Steward Vinesh who was brilliant, as were all the crew.


Regent Pool Deck with luxurious loungers.


Back on deck to find a sun lounger with a book to settle down. Lots of sun loungers on the Mariner and never a problem to find a vacant one, although some passengers still insist on reserving theirs with a book or belongings, which we had not expected. The loungers are all laid out with beautiful white towelling covers and a bathing towel as you would expect and are very comfortable. Silversea has a slightly different approach, as you approach a sun bed a deck steward will arrive almost instantly with towels and make up the bed for you before he gets you a drink.


Once again Regent fell down a little here. The deck stewards seemed very understaffed and we waited a long time expecting drinks service. Eventually, l went to the bar to order, which is not a big problem except that they were very busy. Now came the big shocker. NO PIMMS onboard. Granted the majority of guests were from the USA, and probably had never had Pimms but quite a percentage were British. Throughout the cruise, the deck stewards seemed very understaffed as did the stewards in some of the public rooms at times. At all times the crew were excellent and very obliging. The impression that l got was that the cruise sailing to full capacity and guessing that previous cruises may have been sailing with lower numbers the crewing levels had not been brought up to match the guest numbers.


Regent Mariner has two speciality restaurants, Prime 7 and Chartreuse. You are allowed to eat once in each one. We were able to prebook Chartreuse online prior to embarkation, but we were unable to book Prime7. Once onboard the lady at the Dining Reservation Desk was able to help, and offered us a table for our first evening, which we happily took. We had a very nice dinner in Prime7 as was our final night’s dinner in Chartreuse.

Chartreuse Restaurant - Regent Mariner


Silversea charges extra for its speciality restaurants and Regents are included.


Although lunch is served in the main dining room, Compass Rose and the Deck Grill, most days when taking lunch we opted for La Veranda, the very pleasant self-service restaurant. The main difference to Silversea’s Terrazza is in the meeting and greeting. On Silversea you are met at the door and escorted to a free table. On Regent Marina you are left to your own devices and find your own table, small differences and I see the advantages of both systems, but you do feel more cosseted on Silversea


Taking breakfast or lunch in La Veranda is a nice experience and a pretty similar experience on Regent to Silversea. Each scoring over the other in different fields. Regent certainly leads the field in breakfast baked goods and breads, especially the croissants and the cronuts. Silversea scores a little higher on the smoked and raw fish section, although the prawn selection is far better on Regent with large prawns. Again you see the American influence here, being served with American red cocktail sauce, Silversea it is Sauce Marie Rose.


La Terrazza Restaurant - Silver Dawn


La Veranda and Terrazza both transform at night into Italian full-service restaurants and both are pretty good. On Regent they only used the port side of the restaurant, we ate there on three occasions arriving at 8.00 pm and on all three occasions we were unable to get a table inside and had to sit on the outside deck. We are pretty hardy, the first twice were a bit on the chilly side and on the third time we were almost blown overboard. Other passengers were shown outside and declined to sit there, I imagine they retreated to the Compass Rose. I can only assume that lack of waiting staff was an issue both in La Veranda and in Compass Rose, where during the times we visited the waitstaff was always run off their feet and service was on the slow side. Twice in Compass Rose, we had to forgo our dessert to make it to the evening show in time.


Regent uses more prime ingredients but they tend to be grilled, lobster and steak in much abundance but the menu tends to be very “Steak House”. Silversea, on the other hand, tends to use different cuts of meat and fish but is more inventive with their menu’s, especially in Taste Kitchen whose menu reflects the port you have just visited SILVERSEA - Taste Kitchen Regional Food each day with regional dishes


Sunday morning on Regent is Caviar and Champagne Breakfast time. Silversea serves caviar every day. Who cares I don’t so long as the champagne keeps flowing, which it does in both companies. The wine selection in Regent does not vary day to day, but I never had a problem if I asked for something different. Silversea the wine selection varies daily and gives you chance to sample wines you would not normally try.


Caviar Breakfast on Regent Mariner


The restaurants on Mariner all tended to be packed in the evening and consequently, service suffered. There seem to be more dining options on Silversea and although we had sailed with almost maximum capacity on Silver Dawn we never felt crowded or rushed


Chocolate Buffer - Silver Dawn

The Arts Café on Silversea the equivalent to the Coffee Connection on Regent is in a different league, situated higher up the ship and has an outside deck, the offerings change thoughout the day and stays open late in the evening for that late-night coffee and chocolates. It is here that afternoon tea is served on Silversea.


Regent Mariner - Halloween Afternoon Tea


Afternoon tea on Regent is served in the Horizon lounge and is much more formal with white tablecloths and delicious snacks and cakes.



The day before we disembarked we discovered that they also served scones with jam and cream, for some reason they were not kept with the main tea buffet, but hidden away where the wait staff made the tea,


We do not partake in daytime organised activities so cannot comment, but we do tend to go to the shows each evening. Regent start their shows at 9.30 with Silversea half an hour later. The 10.00 pm shows on Silversea suit us much better as they allow us to have a leisurely dinner without rushing or foregoing dessert.


On smaller cruise ships you do not expect big production shows and wall-to-wall entertainment. Regent and Silversea have different approaches. Regent have six singers and six dancers, their shows have much more dance content and to add to this they normally perform to the ship’s band live music. Silversea have The Voices of Silversea, usually, 3 guys and 3 girls, having different voice styles they perform a variety of shows from Opera to pop, their dancing is an add-on and not necessarily a terpsichorean masterpiece. They also mostly perform to recorded soundtracks with digital backdrops.


Regent Mariner - Crew Show

The highlight of the evening entertainment for me was the Crew Show, performed by crew members rehearsed in their own time. It was a great show highlighting the many talents of the fantastic crew on Regent Mariner



Musically both companies have a mixture of musicians that we have found pretty good all round. Regent is certainly better for late-night live music. Silversea live music is normally over by 11.00 when the disco takes over. Even though it is very rare to find many passengers still tripping the light fantastic at pumpkin time.


The cruise director and their staff tend to be much more interactive mixing with passengers on Silversea.


All-Inclusive, each company interprets this differently, but basically the same. WIFI on board ships is satellite-based Silversea's and is never very good. Disappointed on Regent that only one device per suite is included in free wi-fi which means you are constantly logging off to enable your partner to connect. Silversea it is one device per passenger. Interesting that you pay handsomely per passenger but have to share WIFI on Regent. However, don’t Forget the Fantastic free laundry service on Regent.


What makes a cruise?, of course, it is the crew and on Regent and Silversea all the crew have been fantastic and gone out of their way to make our cruise enjoyable. I love chatting with the crew about their family and hearing about the sacrifices they make to provide for their families back home. When l worked at sea I was away for around four months at a time, being single this was never a problem. But some of these crew only see their children once or twice a year.


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Read Move from Salty Seadog

Silversea Almost Perfect





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