Seven Seas Mariner - Alaska: Seven Seas Mariner Cruise Review by Mary Lou D
Overall Member Rating
Seven Seas Mariner - Alaska
When arriving in Whittier at the dock, we were quickly processed by Regent and arrived in our suite in record time. We had booked a penthouse suite category A (with a butler) and found the extra money well-spent. The cabin was quite spacious with a great walk-in closet and lovely bathroom that certainly met all of our needs. Our butler, Rao, introduced himself and, after unpacking, I sent some items out to be pressed. (This service is free on the first day onlyafter that you are charged per piece.) My husband and I took time to explore the ship and upon returning to the cabin, we were pleased to find canapEs and champagne waiting for More us.
We went to dinner in Compass Rosea disappointment. The salad was drenched in dressing and completely overwhelmed the greens and the salmon was dry and tasteless (in Alaskaunacceptable). Even the dessertvanilla ice cream with thyme tasted much as the name suggests. The service, however, was very accommodating. So much so, in fact, that when asked if you were enjoying your meal, you could not bear to disappoint by uttering even one negative comment. We only ate in Compass Rose one other evening, (with some coaxing from Rao to give them another chance) and the food was even worse. We did eat at both Signatures and Latitudes with somewhat better results. Signatures was good, but did not live up to LeCordeon Blue standards. Latitudes was by far my favorite, but I really cant give it raves. We much preferred LaVeranda for evening mealsespecially when the weather allowed dining on the rear outside deck. All-in-all, I would say that the food on this ship can be compared to event meals. Not any better or worse than you would get at a wedding or charity function. They do not live up to the hype.
Now for the good news. The ship is wonderful and never gives the impression of being in a crowd. Even at the Captains receptions, when the entire group assembles, the crew manages to make the experience personal and the Stars night club is graciously accommodating. We most enjoyed the Observation Deck and used it as our second living room. It is pitifully underused and you would do yourself a favor to make full use of this area if you take the Alaska cruise. The scenery is spectacular and even better than viewing it from your balcony. There is frequent commentary from the ships naturalist and refreshments for most of the day and evening. We are not much for gambling, and only visited the Casino once, which seemed adequate. The library and computer rooms were certainly up to our needs and you can always find a cup of cappuccino or hot chocolate nearby. We did not take advantage of the frequent art auctionscould not tear ourselves away from the Observation Deck.
As for the butler, we were not impressed. Aside from evening canapEs (which were bland) we really did not see him much. He was not rude, just distant. We were celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary, (which we had registered at booking) and did not receive so much as a congratulations from him. The ship kindly posted it on their daily activities schedule on the TV. I have been on other cruises and had friendlier service from the room steward. Twice we returned to our cabin to find that it had not been cleaned yet, although we had left early and requested that it be serviced. It was only a minor inconvenience. With or without a butler, we both felt that the cabin was well worth the extra cost.
Now ladies (and gentlemen), some information about appropriate clothes. We found the cruise to be even more casual than we were led to believe by the brochures. My husband and I were often the most dressed up couple at dinner and around the ship on our at sea days. (even though most of the time I was in slacks). While I feel jeans and running suits are entirely appropriate for port tours and running around the ship, we like to change for dinner. It seems that few people understand that difference between casual and informal attire. You should be guided according to your own dress code.
We only attended three of the shows, but all were decent. The best one was a review given by the staffit received a standing ovation by both the passengers and the Captain of the ship. Who, by the way, is quite personable and very accommodating as were all of the officers.
A word about shore excursions. We were heavily booked at most ports and had made our arrangements online well ahead of our departure date. When we arrived in our stateroom, confirmations were waiting for us. We were notified that there was a discrepancy on one of our three Juneau tours and we were advised to cancel two of the excursions. As it turned out, we saw that they were wrong and the timing was fine for all three trips. (The young lady in the tours office on the ship was new and her level of expertise left much to be desired.) The ship would not okay the three bookings that I had requested. Luckily, I took charge of the problem and called ahead to Juneau (Captain Larrys Whale Watching Tour, to be exact). The same two excursions were re-booked through the Juneau office and we did not have a problem from that point on. All of these shore excursions (with the exception of the Tracy Arm Cruise) could technically be booked directly through the tour operators in each port city, but the ship does not charge much more and you are assured that they will wait for you if a problem arises. The call is yours. Many passengers opted out of the Tracey Arm cruise for the Misty Fjords cruise and were disappointed. We were told later that, the weather is often blustery and many passengers become ill on the floatplane portion of the tour and never recover sufficiently to enjoy the boating portion. This happened to our fellow passengers, and two were so ill that they were taken off of the tender in a wheelchair. We had no such problem on the Tracey Arm cruise and it was spectacular! Disembarking the ship was orderly and well-planned. We opted for a private car to the airport and, although we had to wait for sometime, we arrived well ahead of the passengers who chose the alternate bus transportation and the extra cost was not excessive.
In summary, we loved the Seven Seas Mariner and thoroughly enjoyed the natural beauty of Alaska. Although we did not love the food (it paled in comparison to other cruises we have taken), it is not a high priority for us and we would definitely sail with Regent in the future. Less
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