Best Cruise Ever!: Seven Seas Mariner Cruise Review by kchen
Overall Member Rating
Best Cruise Ever!
The excursions make this cruise a winner. They are fabulous, but also make this ship an excellent value as they are included in the cost (for the most part, at least). Excursions and tours involving sea planes, helicopters, and dog sledding, and some fishing/ boating experiences require you to pay a fee that is on average anywhere from $39.00 to $149.00. They are subsidized by the cruise line and herein lies the savings. Usually a helicopter/ dog sledding on a glacier tour costs $650 - $800.00 per person so you can see how this is a wonderful deal and if you were on a line where you only paid a $500.00 per person for the cruise you probably wouldn't even schedule such trips since they cost more than the cruise and you certainly would lose out. You can not see the true beauty and expanse of Alaska from just visiting the typical ports of call - Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau, Sitka, Seward,and Anchorage. You must travel a bit inland to get the full UNFORGETABLE experience. The ports of call were also not to be missed and shopping in the towns for Alaskan trinkets, furs if your pocketbook allows and jewelry is not to be missed. The excursions were fabulous with great service and truley fantastic people from the bus drivers to the helicopter pilots, everyone was akin to the Regent Seven Seas excellence of service. Excursions not to be missed include: Misty Fyjords sea planes, Tracey Arm Cruising, Helicopter ride to Mendenhal Glacier with visit to a mushing camp and dog sledding. Fishing for king salmon or halibut,
ziplining, and ocean rafting. There are other experiences available, so don't delay and sign up for your excursions early. There are many more that we did as well in our family of four. Everything was well organized and getting off the ship at any time was easy without a long wait. With only 700 passengers on average everything is much easier including embarkation and disembarkation. Don't miss the train trip from Seward to Anchorage (before or after depending on your embarkation) where you travel in domed cars for a 31/2 hour to 4 hour trip. The train is an excellent way to see more of the Alaskan wilderness and wildlife such as bears. moose and eagles are frequently seen. Last week the train stopped for the birthing of a moose calf right next to the tracks.
Also, don't miss some type of boating excursion where you get to see the glorious mountain ranges and tributaries connecting seemingly unending waterways. You can see them a bit differently from a smaller vessel and you will enjoy seeing whales and their calves on a guaranteed whale watching tour.
Make sure you don't forget lots of long underwear to layer and water proof jackets or you will be heading to town to find anything warm. A scarf, hat, sunglasses, binoculars (not absolutely necessary), gloves are essential to your warmth at certain times of the day or when touring a glacier. A poncho is nice to have for some experiences too.
We participated in so many excursions that we didn't go to any of the shows, so I cannot comment on that. The casino was small but held a fair number of regulars and was enjoyed by all. Bingo was well attended and the prizes were always nice, considering the number of players the payout was much more than the larger ships that have hundreds in attendance and pay out less than a $100 on a given win. The laundry rooms were usually busy and sometimes a machine was out of order, but quickly got repaired and for that I was surprised. Don't take a chance to be disappointed, go on this ship for a fabulous experience.
I highly recommend this cruise ship and itenerary, you won't be disappointed if you book now. Less
Cabin review: 980/9
Wonderful cabin, great closets, luxurious bathroom, suupreme bedding and superb balcony which they joined together with our kid's balcony to make one large size balcony.