As many other people have written their review on the Seven Seas Mariner I would like to add my comment as a person comparing this ship to others I have sailed on.
Small ship sailing and with the amenities offered by this ship is incomparable. I would certainly take it again and highly recommend it to others who are curious about what the smaller ships have to offer
We started off our trip with an overnight stay at the Hilton Molina in Venice- it was located on one of the many little islands in the channel but what a wonderful way to start. We had a breath-taking view of the city across the channel and were minutes away from a local Trattoria where I had a wonderful dinner of scampi's for only 20 Euros. My travelling companions also enjoyed their dinner as we sat on the patio and watched the constant boat traffic go by. We have been over-nighted on other cruises but our hotel was not centrally located and we often had to take a taxi to get there if we choose not to eat in the pricey dinning room offered by the hotel
Embarkation- What a joy with the smaller crowds we were processed quickly greeted with a glass of champagne and wine cooling on ice in our room within a very short time. We headed off to the LA VERANDAH where we had a quick lunch ,hamburgers or pizza your choice and then relaxed in our room before getting unpacked and ready for dinner.
DINNING.- Our first dinner in the Compass Rose was well proportioned and we enjoyed the 7 course meal including desert. We quickly made our reservations for PRIME 7 and Signatures as we were told we would probably be able to reserve at least once. Our waiters and wine stewards were gracious and accommodating and kept our wine glasses filled. On subsequent night the King Crab legs all 2 lbs of it was well prepared and delicious.Signatures was truly a wonderful experience to taste continental cordon bleu meal and the presentation by the waiters were truly wonderful. All this included without having to pay extra cover charge and a wide variety of wines offered with the many courses at all three restaurants.
EXCURSION - How wonderful it was to have all the different excursions included in the price and we took one every day so it was quite busy with no sea days to recuperate. I only had a light charge to pay for Sienna when we went to Florence as I had previously visited it before and wanted to experience it again. The tours were well organized although I wish our tour guide walked a little slower for some of us seniors who had difficulty keeping up and listening to her most interesting comments.
SERVICE= The waiters and everyone were always very attentive to your every need and there was someone to carry your omelet or bring you coffee as soon as you sat down in the LA VERANDAH . Our room stewardess was always gracious and made sure the fridge was stocked with bottles of water(complimentary even on our excursions) soft drinks and fruits we were never able to finish before it was taken away and replaced because we were too full.
ENTERTAINMEN - Compared to the Princess ship the entertainment was not as glitzy but we enjoyed the productions and the music put on nightly. Most nights we were too tired to care but we enjoyed the interactive TV in our room as we tried to prepare for another busy day.
We had room service several times when we had a later start with our activities and had a comedy of errors when we accidentally ordered double of everything but the waiter was very courteous and took them away without complaint. The selection of the room service menu was excellent compared to other ships-we could even have eggs Benedict and a perfectly poached egg.
ACCPMODATIONS -Our standard veranda suite was roomy although the closest was a little small for our luggage. It compared favorably with the Princess veranda deluxe cabins.
DISEMBARKATION- We had an early flight so were in the first group to get off. Again being on a smaller ship was quick and easy and we made it to our flight in good time. Our only main discomfort was the long flight home because we gained a day but we arrived home safe and tired.
Ports we visited- The tours to Dubrovnik, Kotor, Corfu went without any problems. However we hit rough seas in Taormina and was divereted to Messina but we were able to go to Mt .Etna which was a wonderful experience. Positano,was very beautiful. Civitavechia was great we did a panorama bus tour, had a delicious lunch box prepared by the ship because of delays in the Vatican but it was still a good day. The high lite of the tour was the long one for those of us who went to Florence and Sienna-10 hours! But what a welcome home- the staff of Regent Mariner greeted us on the docks with a cold towel, glasses of champagnes, a band playing in the background and everyone welcoming us back to the ship. What a wonderful way to end the day!We also had a wonderful day in Portofina and Santa Margarehta.