Seven Seas Mariner - Alaska: Seven Seas Mariner Cruise Review by Grandslam
Overall Member Rating
Seven Seas Mariner - Alaska
This is our second cruise on Regent; our first was a short trip (4 days) in the Caribbean 18 months ago on the Diamond which is no longer part of the fleet. We were impressed the first time and our second trip on Regent did not disappoint.
Overall, the experience on Regent was exceptional and this was exactly what we were expecting. I do not intend to go into detail on every item, but as other reviews explain, the standard on Regent and the Mariner is very high so you can assume that any areas which dont get a mention are mostly very good or excellent relative to other cruise lines (weve sailed on More NCL, Princess, and Carnival).
Ill start by mentioning a couple of disappointments. Overall the entertainment was pretty poor. The variety shows were downright horrible. The best entertainer on the ship was the cruise director who did a cabaret style show twice during the week - we wished he had taken the stage every night. We tend to amuse ourselves in the evening particularly in the casino so this was not an issue for us.
There is a well equipped fitness center on this ship, but on days at sea you needed to wait for equipment to become available.
Second, we unfortunately missed our shore excursion in Ketchikan due to the fact that the ship had to tender passengers to shore at this port- apparently dock slots are rotated every week between the different cruise lines and this was the Mariner's week for tendering. Our tender had to wait around 20 minutes for another ship to leave port and this caused us to just miss our trip. We were offered another trip later in the day, but we had made other plans and could not change. We received a refund on the trip, but we were still very disappointed. This was a frustrating situation as we were allowed to board a tender only after the first two had left. If we could have boarded an earlier tender we would have made the trip. We had hoped to avoid tendering completely on this trip, but at least on a small ship like the Mariner, there is limited waiting. We did complain to the customer service manager on the ship about our missed excursion. She was sympathetic and answered all of our questions, but I still believe that our bad experience could have been avoided.
A final negative comment I hope that Regent eliminates charges for internet access (currently $0.35/min). This seems particularly mean on a "premium" ship that intends to go all inclusive in 2007
On the positive side, the embarkation procedure is about the best it can be we were able to check-in at our hotel in Anchorage luggage was automatically transferred to the ship so we virtually strolled directly onto the ship and into our cabins when our train arrived in Whittier.
Food is exceptional on the Mariner. The food and service was excellent in the main dining room and Latitudes restaurant (reservation required). We also liked the Veranda for breakfast. The Signature dining room (reservation required) was outstanding both in food and service. Overall, I think the food on the Mariner is certainly the best we have experienced on a cruise line by a long way and our meals and service at Signature compared well with first class restaurants on land. The wines, which are complementary with meals, were also very nice, although we felt that the red selection was frequently not quite up to the standard of the food which was exceptional!
Overall, while we expected excellent service on this ship, we were still surprised by how good it actually was, particularly since tipping is not expected. I dont know what Regent is doing to motivate the staff, but they were amazing. Less
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