Seven Seas Mariner - Alaska: Seven Seas Mariner Cruise Review by askworldtraveler
Overall Member Rating
Seven Seas Mariner - Alaska
Check in at Vancouver was basically painless. Ok, so they printed my name wrong on my security/door lock card - I was to be Davis for the trip, not David. I pointed out the error, was told I would get a new card - what I didn't understand is that I had to go and request it. So I was Davis for the trip-no big deal.
Our Suite was a penthouse A category on deck 11 which includes butler service, a category and location we would have chosen even if we had booked a year out.
There are plenty of reviews on the physical attributes of the ship Ill simply add that our room was very well furnished, very nice size, closet space excellent, Balcony (well used by us) and glass sliding doors were fantastic. The person who had the final say over bathroom design should have had their head More examined with such a large space to work with finding a small-single sink-shower in tub (if youre over 6ft you might consider a stateroom with stall shower and no tub because youll hit your head). But thats what this ship has; small bathrooms - and it wouldnt stop us from sailing again on the Mariner. Our room stewardess and butler were excellent.
Shore excursions were fantastic. Everything from the bear/salmon viewing on a remote river marsh after wading in from a float plane to a private charter on a small craft in Sitka (just the two of us with a guide and captain) where we viewed up close eagles, deer, brown bear (10ft in front of us feeding on salmon), sea otters and a pod of whales that was nothing short of magical. This was my 6th Alaskan Cruise and the beauty increases every time I see it.
Where the ship fell flat and inconsistent was in staff training and food presentation/service. This is a top end ship (cruise line), with guests paying top dollar.
First the good news. Dinner at La Veranda in the evenings was excellent both nights we tried it. Going a little later then the crowds we had wonderful tables, excellent service and very well prepared choices.
Latitudes the signature French restaurant was also quite good. Service attentive if a bit slow but whos in a rush. Presentation was very nice.
Signatures the Asian themed specialty restaurant, which requires a pre-booking. Great looking dinner service ware. After that visual, a big zero. Food took forever, tasted flat, and was borderline cold. You better nurse your glass of water for a long time, as getting it refilled seems to be a chore for an abundance of staff looking around for something to do. I want to believe that our table (6 as we sat with strangers) was the exception to the rule served last in the room with very little attention to the table during very long waits. I am sure that people have had good experiences here; ours just wasnt one of them.
Room Service: Always-nice day or night. Sometimes the orders get a bit confused, however the effort is there to make things right.
Lunch: Deck grill Good
Deck buffet: Terrible Cold pizza thrown into large round holding dishes Mac and cheese the saddest presentation Ive ever seen outside of my grade school cafeteria.
Veranda buffet: Carnival would not be proud of this. Highlighted by a few staff that clearly dont want to be on this ship.
Main Dining room: Lunch our one meal trying this venue for lunch was nothing short of horrible. Stir fried turkey slopped on a plate and served room temperature. In attentive service with a who cares attitude.
Dinner two times. Ordinary with poor service, highlighted the second time we tried it with the following first impression.
Headwaiter outside looking at table map:
May we please have a table for 2 near a window?
Headwaiter: Would you like to share a table?
We would prefer a table for two tonight
Looks at the map tells the waiter Table 72
We walked into an almost EMPTY dining room and taken to the first table by the entry door, in the center section of the dining area next to a busing station. I looked around again; the dining room was sill almost empty (and we were midway through the evening).
I went back to the Headwaiter and told him as politely as I could possible say it that this type of response would be a good reason to choose another cruise line and I walked off. I confess I said it loud enough that one of the heads of the dining room heard it offered his assistance seated us at a table for 2 near a window (and there was another table for 2 just behind us which would have been just as fine). An ordinary meal followed. Dining room remained half empty and I couldnt help noticing when we left that our first table was still empty
This was the 3rd time in two days where a member of the staff heard a rather simple request and completely ignored it.
Nothing improves if one remains silent. I did meet the guest relations officer about our experiences the wonderful, the good, and the inconsistent. She did take notes and told me while she tries several times during a cruise to dine in the dining rooms on this cruise she was too busy. Her interest was seemed to tell me that hell be off the ship soon. I also filled out the survey.
Bottom line I might sail with Regent Seven Seas again but it would be a big depends.
Back in Los Angeles, the lady I was traveling with was at her beauty salon and talking about the trip. The well-traveled lady sitting next to her said she just sailed with Seven Seas Mariner two weeks earlier, they were a party of eight in large suites. The one comment that stands out was she never knew what to expect. That pretty well sums up our experience on the Regent Seven Seas Marnier.
One final item. Ive been fortunate to have started cruising when I was quite young in the days of the Fairwind, Michelangelo, and Sagafiord. Ive traveled Windjammer to Queens Grill and just about everything in between. Now in my mid 50s my most recent sailing this year prior to Regent was on Silversea this past May for 2 weeks (Hong Kong Tokyo) as well as Crystal within the past 12 months. Regent doesn't hold a candle to SevenSeas in the service department IMO. This is my first major posting on this forum and its unfortunately a buyer beware. Less
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