March 21, 2001
When Radisson Seven Seas Cruises' new Seven Seas Mariner arrived at Ft. Lauderdale's Port Everglades earlier this week, she was already broken in. So to speak. The company invited about 300 of its most frequent cruise passengers to sail on the ship's transatlantic voyage for free (typically, new ships heading from European shipyards to the east coast for inaugural trips -- and travel agent and press look-sees -- head across the Atlantic relatively passenger-free). In return for the free cruise, passengers were asked to critique performance, helping crew and staffers to work out newbie bugs before the first couple of official voyages, rather than during them. In fact, passengers were even provided with workman's overalls -- and in the spirit of fun, one night showed up for dinner dressed in their blue collar garb. The 50,000-ton, 700-passenger Seven Seas Mariner is cruisedoms' first all-suite, all-verandah ship.