After looking at initial review, I would have to do a good cost comparison.
It appears that Concierge cabin may have too small a closet and bathroom; thus need for Penthouse Suite. With $16.50 per person per day gratuities, high internet fees, and alcohol cost (I like to drink on vacation), Marina could end up more expensive than Regent.
Still, if the right itinerary came along and the right set of cruise mates, it would be worth a try.
Marc.. I do realize it's "different strokes for different folks", it's just your comments are a bit foreign to me.
I've cruised 15 days in a standard balcony on Carnival and had plenty of storage (and we don't pack light), and we were certainly adequately comfortable.
We've been on an 18 day Silversea cruise, with a walk in closet big enough for a king sized bed, and that had it's own window.
And you know what... neither really had any affect on our enjoyment of either cruise.
On Silversea we hosted several cocktail parties in our suite and that was very nice. On Celebrity we hosted a cocktail party for 80, because we had a huge extended balcony. The weather turned ugly so we were all inside, in a bit of a larger cabin, but not a suite... and we still had a great time.
I guess we're just more adaptable than you.
We know you're stuck on Regent, and that's great for you. To you it's the "end all and be all". I sailed it once, in my "vibrating cabin" (I'm sure you recall), and we enjoyed, and one day I may even go back.
I do think that if you were more "adaptable" it would be very interesting for you to try some other lines. But in your mind you've found the best, so in your mind there's no reason to change, and that's great for you.
That's really no different than folks who'll only sail Carnival, or who will only sail RCI, or who will only sail Princess. You and they have found what satisfies you. I'm still looking for some surprises.
Kuki, we will try other lines. Especially when we have more time than money. Currently, I work so it is the opposite.
I am going on my first Silversea cruise in January. I will go on Oceania at some time. Probably also Azamara.
I found out a couple more things about Marina that affect, on the edges, a choice of Oceania over Regent. First, apparently Oceania does not have an alcohol package like Azamara. I don't like being surprised by my bill. Second, and I am sure you will consider this very minor, Oceania does not do "special orders" in dining room. Last cruise I arranged steak tartare for 10 for lunch. I also ordered Crepe Normandie since I had not been able to order them since we returned from Europe. I have had the chef recreate some of my favorite dishes from landside restaurants. I also like having a few lobster tails as an appetizer from time to time. Yes, this is minor; but I do enjoy it. On one holiday cruise they served a whole goose to a family traveling together letting the grandfather handle the carving. I am sure that family really enjoyed the ability to special order.
I know all small issues but taken together, all other things being equal, they do add up.
By the way - marina is beautiful and I personally believe many Regent and other lux lines will try her.
Its no sweat for Regent - Prestige Cruise Holdings makes money either way.
This being said - Marc is right about the showers - they are problematic, especially for tall people. There is no place to put the hand wand except at waist level, or the other option is the rain shower head which you cannot avoid because the shower is too small.
When you turn the shower off it continues to drip, so you have to step out and get the floor wet.
However, Marc, just so you know - there is plenty of storage in the room. I like a walk-in closet, too, but it certainly isn't mandatory.
I have not tried the food on Regent, but look at the pics I just put up of Jac ques and even the Terrace buffet.
They actually roll out the pasta, cut it and cook it right in front of your eyes - amazing. They can make any kind of fresh pasta you want. This is not a kitchen picture - this guy is standing behind a counter serving fresh pasta!
And then you help yourself to the parmesan ...
I suspect many cruise lines will not do steak tartar - solely because it is a dangerous dish to eat. But I am pretty sure Marina would accomodate you.
According to Frank Del Rio, Marina has more chefs per guest than any other ship in the world. (I am pretty sure I heard him say that, anyway).
Paul, thanks for all the pics. We will probably try Oceania some time if the itinerary and price are right; of course, it would be easier if Oceania honored our Regent Seven Seas Society benefits. Free internet and laundry can be a large money saver on a long trip. Also, waiting to see if Oceania will have an alcohol package.
By the way, in Europe, steak tartare is very common. In Belgium it is called Steak Americain and is even served as a sandwich. Never seen it served that way in America so I don't know where they came up with that name.
It is impossible to describe how beautiful the ship is without pictures, I must have posted almost 200 of them.
Unfortunately, while we all know that Oceania and Regent are under the same basic management (Frank del Rio for Prestige Cruise Holdings) - the fact is that they remain separate cruise lines, just like NCL which is also partially owned by Apollo Group.
I would be surprised at this time if Oceania and Regent decide to honor each other's loyalty programs.
BUT - the wild card remains to be seen - that is if, as some have suggested, it all becomes one big cruise line.
But I just don't think that is going to happen. Regent's Mark Conroy has been in the industry a VERY long time and is well respected. I don't think Prestige has any interest in losing him.
Plus Frank Del Rio has enough to worry about right now with a new ship on his hands and a second one already taking bookings (Riviera to be delivered early in 2012).
And I'm sure you are right about steak tartar. I missed the bigger point that luxury cruise lines will make special dinners on demand. That is something they boast about all the time. I never did hear that said on Marina. I should have said "I am pretty sure they will accomodate you - if you are staying in a suite and ask nicely well in advance."
But also, the menus on Marina are surprisingly extensive - look at the menu for Jacques; 8 appetizers and 11 diferent entrees (I miscounted the first time and forgot to include the grilled ones). Plus two salads and two soups.
I heard the entrecot was delicious in Jacques by the way - maybe you could just order it "very very extra-rare with a squeeze of lemon."
I have been on several Regent cruises and was able to tour the Marina recently when she was christened in Miami. Just a few of my observations: the ship has a definite wow factor, which it should as it is a brand new ship and has a south beach chic ambiance in style and furnishings. I did not think the Marina's standard cabins are as nice as Regent's in size, whether in the bedroom or bathroom or closet. Having a large number of restaurants is a big plus for Marina, but my understanding from reading another post is that the main restaurant stated "we do not fill special orders." I did not like the theater space on Marina, it is claustrophobic and has poor sight lines. I also found some spaces on Marina which had what I felt were low ceilings, adding to an enclosed space feeling. I noticed taller people were only a few inches from the ceiling in some spots. I do not think this ship will compare favorably to Regent in terms of space per passenger. So while I think this ship will attract a perhaps younger, looking for more excitement Regent cruiser, Regent will still hold on to those that want more space and a quieter experience. I would like to try the Marina sometime in the future.
Thak you for your input. Entertainment is not a major factor on any Oceania ship - never has been. The theater is far nicer than any ship they ever had before, but the ship still does port-a-day itinreraries like Oceania's other ships - and most people will probably go to bed.
I do not recall the short spaces on Marina - in fact I personally recall the opposite - the use of space for elegance; wide hallways and taller ceilings in public areas. But I am sure you recollect correctly, if you could be more specific.
The staterooms are smaller - but I personally wonder why that is a big issue. I mean I prefer a larger stateroom, but when you think about the fact the stateroom size is the only thing that separates the $2999 passenger from the $7999 passengers ($6000 vs $16,000 couple).
Realize that everything else on the ship is the same for everyone; food, entertainment, shopping, casino, ports of call, etc - and suddenly spending twice as much just for a little more legroom seems a bit misdirected. I realize this is something of a unique theory, but it is mine and it makes sense to me.
I feel Regent may attract for different reasons - more inclusiveness being the main one. But Marina is a surprisingly beautiful ship, and I think value becomes real when looks, service and cuisine are as good as can be. You may still get more on Regent or other luxury cruise lines, but is it really worth the difference in what you pay? I think you have to try it to see.
Regent is different from Seabourn - Seabourn has a much smaller passenger load on average. When you have 200 people then everyone gets priority luggage service, but not when you have 700 people.
It seems to me he makes a few of statements of fact that are really just assumptions.
Adding concierge services to a ship that size worked extremely well on Azamara and by no means did it mean they took anything away from the people who do not book into the concierge class - except that maybe their luggage will arrive a little later - or maybe not.
Holland America just found a way to make EVERY stateroom ready by 11:30 and have EVERY passenger's luggage arrive about 2 hours earlier.
Just maybe Regent can do this without marking down the experience of the non-concierge customers. I think it is premature to publish a piece based on assumptions. You should wait until the reviews come in.
It has nothing to do with setting foot on a Regent ship, but rather of its operation and the new character of cruising on Regent...which I have seen coming for years (as discussed in detail in the article).
+1 Paul, will wait to hear experienced based reviews of this new Regent intiative..tho this subject, and Crystal's all inclusive change are highly charged threads on Cruise Critic. In mean time, we fly out of Atlanta on Monday, arrive in Hong Kong Tuesday--then board the Voyager for Indochine Illuminations on Wednesday--can't wait.
I know a little bit about marketing but nothing about cruise ship marketing.
I think there are 3 possible scenarios from Regent’s new concierge class.
1) The new concierge class is a failure
The cruise line loses passengers in the lower priced suites who don’t like the perception of being treated as a second class guest and other passengers are unwilling to pay more for the “perks” that come with the higher priced suites.
2) The new concierge class is a success
The cruise line fills up the higher priced suites with passengers who are motivated to upgrade because of the “perks” and fills up the lower priced suites with guests who don’t mind the perception of a lower standard of service.
3) The new concierge class has no impact
Nobody pays attention to the differences, if any, in actual or perceived standards of service.
If scenario 1 happens, I would hope they have the intelligence to discontinue it. I doubt the general public will know whether scenario 2 or 3 happens. I’m sure Regent will declare it a success.
I agree that it's too soon to predict. For me, the perception of a lower class of service when I choose a luxury (or 6 star) experience is a turn off and would affect my decision, but I may not be a “typical” passenger.
Diebroke, I am going to wait and see what is implemented; however, I will predict that Item 3 will be the result. We, the public, can tell if two or three happens by seeing if Cat E sells out before H, G, and/or F. If I am right, H, G, and F will all sell out before E. Regent is hoping E sells out before F and maybe G.
As for losing passengers in the lower categories, I don't think Regent will let that happen. I, and many others, choose our cruise line by choosing the line on which we like the lowest level accomodation. I cannot see Regent, whether in marketing or implementation, will chance "demeaning" their entry level product.