Regent Mariner
Circumnavigation of South America
January - March 2013
Jan 6th                      We concluded our 18 day Holiday cruise on the Seabourn Quest and were met at the
Port Everglades Cruise Terminal and transferred to the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.  The transfers,
hotel and a pre cruise dinner to meet the other 196 passengers were all included for of those of us
on the full Regent "Grand Circle" itinerary.

As part of this cruise we were entitled to have our luggage transferred from home to the ship.  
Because we were leaving home early for the Seabourn cruise, Regent agreed to ship all of our
luggage to the Westin Hotel where we stayed prior to the Seabourn cruise.  We had taken several
bags of clothing we would not require on the Seabourn trip to the Biltmore, and this was waiting for
us when we reached the hotel.

hotel has been well maintained over the years and was very comfortable.

Jan 7th                We boarded the Regent Mariner late morning in time for a special lunch served to
the "Grand Circle" guests.  The cruise consists of four separate segments.  With capacity for 700
passengers, the Mariner is considerably larger than any of the Seabourn ships we have traveled on,
as well as the 500+ passenger Silversea Spirit we cruised on in the spring of 2012.

Our suite is a bit smaller than on the Seabourn and Silversea vessels, but very comfortable. We
asked that an arm chair be removed from the cabin to provide us a bit more space around the sofa
and desk area.  After unpacking the staff picked up our empty suitcases for storage during the cruise.
We were very favorably impressed by the quality and service of our lunch and dinner on the ship.  We
were exhausted and were soon sound asleep after dinner.

Jan 8th                The day started out with calm seas but gradually started to build and the winds
picked up.  This was a day for completing our unpacking and familiarizing ourselves with the ship.  We
were worried about committing to 72 days with a cruise line we had not sailed on previously, but our
initial impressions were very favorable and exceeded our expectations.

Jan 9th                Rough seas  more lectures were the order of the day.  One of the lectures was on
the history of the Panama Canal and the 2nd on the history of the Middle East, both of which were
interesting and informative.  We found the food on the Mariner to be good.  The staff has a higher
percentage of Filipinos and is more culturally diverse than on Seabourn and are more laid back than
on Seabourn.

Jan 10th              We were several hours late arriving in Curacao due to the rough seas which
stretched across the Caribbean.  The Regent was very stable and we did not suffer any signs of sea
sickness, but heard that many of the other passengers were having problems.  We participated on a 4
hour tour of the scenic highlights of Curacao.  This was our first time on the Island and we enjoyed
the tour.  Our guide and driver were both very helpful and professional.


Jan 11th             We were in Aruba several weeks earlier on the Seabourn Quest and had limited our
activity to walking through the shopping area because we knew we would be back on the Mariner
which included a tour of the Island.  As in Curacao, our tour was of the scenic highlights of the Island
which we enjoyed.  On this tour our driver was also our guide and very informative and fun to be
with.  Unlike most Caribbean Island, both Curacao and Aruba are extremely clean and neat with homes
well maintained and painted in colorful pastels.  A fun day.  One problem Aruba is experiencing is
similar to that in the Everglades - boa constrictors -  pets that are released into the wild when they
become large.  They have no natural predators and are proliferating.  As our tour started out we saw
two of the critters along the road side that had been run over by passing vehicles.  They pose no real
problem to humans, but that is not the case with pets and other animal and bird life.  


Jan 12th & 13th              We arrived in Cartagena in the early afternoon.  This was our third visit to
the city. We enjoyed a tour to a hill top monastery overlooking the city and then continued on a
walking tour of the old part of the city.  The following morning we took a tour of the harbor on an old
sailing vessel.  The Mariner departed at 1:00 PM for the Panama Canal.


Jan 14th                This was our 4th transit of the Panama Canal.  The first was a number of years ago
with a Lindblad tour entering the canal from the Pacific side and the last two were with Seabourn on
trips from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles via the canal over the Holidays.  The weather was perfect
and the trip went smoothly and we reached the Pacific a bit ahead of schedule.


Jan 16th                After a day at sea we were in Manta, Ecuador on Wednesday morning.  It becomes
quickly evident that Manta is a major fishing area.  More interesting to us is the proximity to
Montechrisi which is where Panama Hats are manufactured by small family run businesses.  Our tour
concentrated on Montechristi and Eleanor purchased an orange hat!

Jan 17th                Guayaquil is a major industrial area which has been vastly improved since we
where here many years ago in conjunction with a trip to the Galapagos Islands.  A major project was
undertaken in 2000 to upgrade the waterfront.  We drove through that area on a tour we took to a
Historic Park on the outskirts of the city.  The park included a boardwalk through tropical habitat
where birds and mammals of Ecuador were kept.  The tour included lunch at a restaurant in one of
the new shopping malls in the city and a visit to an archaeological museum.


Jan 19th                After a day at sea we arrived in Salaverry, Peru.  The port is located in a sandy
desert.  It is a short drive to Salverry and a bit further to the city of
Trujillo via the Pan American
Highway and is where we went on a tour.


Jan 20th               Our final port on this leg of the cruise was Lima where we docked for three
nights.  We participated in a tour of Lima and were really surprised at how clean the entire area
is.  We never saw one piece of trash along the roads or in the city.  Petty crime no longer
seems to be the problem it was when we were last in Lima in 2005. We had an excellent guide
and enjoyed the tour even though it was a bit longer than we would have liked and we were
exhausted by the time we returned to the ship.  January 21st was a turn over day with about
400 passengers disembarking and a similar number of  new passengers embarking.  We  
thoroughly visited this area on two previous trips so we decided to stay on board on the 21st
and 22nd.  We were actually docked a bit outside of Lima amidst a fishing fleet which provided
opportunities for lots of interesting photographs.  




                 (NEXT - LIMA TO BUENOS AIRES)