Seven Seas Mariner Cruise Review by Daniel Shaw: Seven Seas Mariner - Eastern Caribbean
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Seven Seas Mariner - Eastern Caribbean
This was our first cruise with Regent. we had cruised on a number of other lines and on larger ships and were looking for a more intimate experience. Pre-cruise - We booked a boutique hotel in Fort Lauderdale (The Pillars) for 4 days prior to the cruise and were very pleased with all aspects of the hotel (17 rooms) particularly the service and dining. Embarkation - We took the airport shuttle to the dock (cost covered by the car rental firm) and had no issues. we arrived at the dock at approx.1:00 PM and were on the ship by 1:20PM. The suites were not supposed to be available until 2:30PM but we were in our room by immediately. We were greeted with a glass of champagne and sent to our room.
Suite - 990 Horizon suite. The ship was going into drydock for upgrades at the end of our cruise so some minor wear was evident but overall the suite was excellent. The large balcony off the stern was great and we spent a great deal of time on it. The bed was excellent with quality More pillows and bedding (as we expected)
Suite service - We had the butler service and while it was good I expect that you could do without it. This in no way should reflect on our butler but frankly with a minimal effort on your part the same services can be had from your room attendant. we had room service a couple of times for breakfast and once for dinner. Each time the food arrived on time and HOT. Best service we have ever had on a cruise.
Dining - We had dinner at both the Compass Rose and Latitudes. The main room (Compass) was well designed and decorated. The open seating allowed us to have a relaxing dinner without the normal push to exit at a specific time. Latitudes was excellent and should not be missed. You will be served all the items on the menu (in small portions)and be allowed to eat at your own pace. The presentation and quality of the food and the level of service is excellent. (Good restaurant level). The breakfast and lunch buffet area was smaller than most ships (at the serving area) but the food was hot and fresh.
Beverages - Even though we are not big drinkers the fact that all beverages are included in your fare is a nice feature. No more reaching for your sea pass at every turn. The staff were always available to provide you with whatever it was you needed.
Entertainment - The quality of entertainment was not as good as we had hoped but was typical cruise fare and was fine. I wouldn't choose this line over any other for this aspect.
Activities - There were a number of typical activities available such as bingo, cards, jigsaw puzzles etc. Again very typical of many cruises.
Service - Without question this was the best level of service we have experienced from the suite staff to the dining rooms and beyond.
Shore excursions - We only went on two. The Fast Boat trip around St Barts which was fun and a nice overview of the beaches and the carriage trip in Grand Turk which was relaxing.
Itinerary - The itinerary was not exactly thrilling. Princess Cays - Beach stop with BBQ - Was fine a good chance to relax. San Juan - Interesting place to visit once but we had been there before so we didn't bother getting off. St Barts - Very interesting and a place we will return. Take your money. Very quaint. Some folks found it small but there are a number of interesting shops and it is a good place to spend the day . Lunch 2 sandwiches and 2 drinks $57. St Maarten - Good excursions and great place to shop for baubles. Virgin Gorda - Did not get off and were told we didn't miss anything. Cayo Levantado - Again we did not get off. Grand Turk - Got off and took a carriage tour which really didn't show much but was a relaxing ride. The island itself is small and not really setup for visits. The cruise terminal is new and is what I would describe as Simulated Caribbean. Shops,pool and restaurant but not an experience.
In general the ship had to use the tender more than we had thought. It was not a problem for us but a number of older passengers had problems and at times could not use the service. If you have any problems with mobility make sure you check out how often you will tender.
Disembarkation - Again we made our own arrangements and just caught a shuttle to the Airport $20 as opposed to the $40 the line wanted and we had no issue. We sat in our cabin until about 10AM until we were called to exit. Normally you are supposed to leave your room by 8:30AM but I guess leaving a little extra for the attendant and butler helped here.
General comments - The reason for choosing this cruise above others was the indicated level of service as well as the size of the ship. We could not have been happier with both. There were times when you could actually feel alone on this ship. There were very few lines and if there were any they were small.
In comparison to the other lines we have sailed ( RCI and Celebrity) this is indeed a 6 star line and we will return. Less
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