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This is a brand new 700-passenger ship, all balcony suites. They are awesome - big and well appointed. (But no clock other than that on the VCR, which is not visible from the bed.) The ship is very roomy, no sense of crowding, very comfortable public rooms. The library and computer areas are particularly fine. There are four dining areas with open seating, although two of them require reservations. Because of the open seating the dining rooms are somewhat restricted in what they do for entertainment - no Baked Alaska parade! Embarkation and disembarkation left something to be desired. Although we arrived at the terminal before 1pm we were not allowed to board until three, and there was no buffet setup - just a glass of champagne. At the end of the cruise we were turned out of the suites at eight, and off the ship by nine. There were thirty wheel chairs and instead of letting them (and assorted zimmers, walkers etc) dismbark first, they had to follow the color-coding scheme, which meant that they were bunched up before the gangway area. There are a number of design problems. Art, of course, is a personal taste, but that on display can only be described as undistinguished. The Atrium goes up seven or eight decks, but is rather narrow and one wall consists of the workings of the elevators, which is really ugly. It is not a place to sit and watch the world go by. There are not enough public restrooms; several of them consist of large spaces with only one stall, and the ladies complained about having to line up inside. There are no hooks to hang coats on. The food and service received much hype, but there are problems. Wait staff should not wear perfume or aftershave. In some dining rooms there appeared to be too many personnel, which meant that the attention one received varied considerably. The chef seems more concerned with eye appeal than palate appeal - some concoctions gave us to believe that he really had no idea how they were supposed to taste. The pastry chef was first class, but had lapses - chilled crepes stuffed with chocolate mousse and banana, cold potato pancakes. What do you think of a rosemary and thyme flavored sorbet? There was one dessert described as apple and pear crumble; the apple crumble was acceptable, but it was topped by a stone hard slice of pear which was obviously not meant to be edible. Some fish dishes were overcooked. The menu in the Cordon Bleu Signature restaurant did not change from night to night; altogether, we had the impression that the food all came from the same kitchen, like Disney World. I was surprised when I asked for a tomato soup (not on the menu) and was told that it was not available. Other service issues: deck chairs were put out daily only on the pool deck; the sun deck would have been a good place to sunbathe. Also, on windy days deck six would have been a great place to bundle up and lie on, in the best traditions of Atlantic cruising. It was not to be. The entertainment was acceptable, but the cruise staff did not do much for the passengers. Most of the activities centered on exercise, which given the average age of the passengers seemed a little optimistic. The lectures were good. Conclusion: as a floating hotel, particularly for the old and infirm, this is the ship. It is not a cruise ship as I understand the phrase (and I have been on over twenty ship voyages ranging from five weeks to four days.) Topmost@aol.comApril,2001

Seven Seas Mariner

Seven Seas Mariner Cruise Review by Topmost

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 1899
  • Destination:
This is a brand new 700-passenger ship, all balcony suites. They are awesome
- big and well appointed. (But no clock other than that on the VCR, which is
not visible from the bed.) The ship is very roomy, no sense of crowding, very
comfortable
public rooms. The library and computer areas are particularly fine. There are
four dining areas with open seating, although two of them require
reservations. Because of the open seating the dining rooms are somewhat
restricted in what they do for entertainment - no Baked Alaska parade!

Embarkation and disembarkation left something to be desired. Although we
arrived at the terminal before 1pm we were not allowed to board until three,
and there was no buffet setup - just a glass of champagne. At the end of the cruise we were
turned out of the suites at eight, and off the ship by nine. There were
thirty wheel chairs and instead of letting them (and assorted zimmers,
walkers etc) dismbark first, they had to follow the color-coding scheme,
which meant that they were bunched up before the gangway area.

There are a number of design problems. Art, of course, is a personal taste,
but that on display can only be described as undistinguished. The Atrium goes up seven
or eight decks, but is rather narrow and one wall consists of the workings of
the elevators, which is really ugly. It is not a place to sit and watch the
world go by. There are not enough public restrooms; several of them consist of
large spaces with only one stall, and the ladies complained about having to line up inside. There
are no hooks to hang coats on.

The food and service received much hype, but there are problems. Wait staff
should not wear perfume or aftershave. In some dining rooms there appeared to
be too many personnel, which meant that the attention one received varied
considerably. The chef seems more concerned with eye appeal than palate appeal - some concoctions
gave us to believe that he really had no idea how they were supposed to
taste. The pastry chef was first class, but had lapses - chilled crepes stuffed with chocolate
mousse and banana, cold potato pancakes. What do you think of a rosemary and
thyme flavored sorbet? There was one dessert described as apple and pear
crumble; the apple crumble was acceptable, but it was topped by a stone hard
slice of pear which was obviously not meant to be edible. Some fish dishes
were overcooked. The menu in the Cordon Bleu Signature restaurant did not
change from night to night; altogether, we had the impression that the food
all came from the same kitchen, like Disney World. I was surprised when I
asked for a tomato soup (not on the menu) and was told that it was not
available.

Other service issues: deck chairs were put out daily only on the pool deck;
the sun deck would have been a good place to sunbathe. Also, on windy days
deck six would have been a great place to bundle up and lie on, in the best
traditions of Atlantic cruising. It was not to be.

The entertainment was acceptable, but the cruise staff did not do much for
the passengers. Most of the activities centered on exercise, which given the
average age of the passengers seemed a little optimistic. The lectures were
good.

Conclusion: as a floating hotel, particularly for the old and infirm, this is
the ship. It is not a cruise ship as I understand the phrase (and I have been on over
twenty ship voyages ranging from five weeks to four days.) Topmost@aol.comApril,2001
Topmost’s Full Rating Summary
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