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My wife and I went on a one-week cruise on the Seven Seas Mariner in early December 2001. We are in our late fifties and have taken 5 previous cruises. Overall we enjoyed this cruise. The ship and our cabin were wonderful. The dining room staff could not have been better. They were always attentive, friendly, courteous; other staffs were almost as good. All but one of the previous cruises were on Crystal Cruise line ships. I therefore will be comparing for the most part the Radisson experience on the Mariner with our experiences on Crystal ships. We very much look forward to sailing again on the Mariner. The standard "deluxe" rooms on the Crystal ships seemed to us in the past well designed and comfortable. But they are far inferior to the rooms on the Mariner. The standard room on the Mariner is 30% larger, has a much larger bathroom, a walk-in closet and a balcony. These rooms provide so much space that is difficult for us to understand why anyone would want a higher class of accommodation. We were very satisfied with the room and the ship and regard the Mariner as the best designed ship we have been on. We are sailing on the Silver Shadow in January and will be interested to compare that ship to the Mariner. The quality and the preparation of the food on the Mariner were outstanding. The main dining room offers single seating dining to all passengers. It is well laid out and has less "bad" tables than do the Crystal ships, where locations near food preparation areas are common. We felt Crystal Cruises tends to offer well-prepared food of high quality; however the preparations are standard Continental and unexciting. Radisson takes more chances and more frequently offers food in contemporary, cutting edge preparations. Our mothers would love Crystal's food and often would feel that Radisson sometimes uses strange ingredients or too much spice; our children in their late twenties would greatly prefer Radisson's. We are impressed with the alternative restaurants on all three ships. The Prego restaurants on both the Crystal Symphony and the Crystal Harmony serve excellent Italian cuisine. The Signatures restaurant on the Mariner serves equally excellent continental cuisine. Latitudes on the Mariner offers each night a tasting menu that changes half way through the cruise. The food is spicy and contemporary for the most part with an Asian twist. It is simply a fun experience. The Asian restaurants on the Crystal ships are interesting but Crystal seems to us has not decided just what it wants to do with them. The standard luncheon menus on all three ships are very good. However, there is nothing on the Mariner that is comparable to the outstanding theme luncheon buffets served on the Symphony and the Harmony. On the other hand it was big plus to be served complementary wine at dinner on the Mariner and not to have to be charged for every bottle of water or soft drink that we imbibed. Generally we found the wines well chosen; in the one or two cases when the wine seemed wrong for a dinner, the wine steward cheerfully offered alternative wines. One of the pleasures of sailing on the Crystal Symphony or the Crystal Harmony is the music. On the average cruise there are three pianists, two bands, an instrumental trio, plus guest classical musicians. There is some musician playing in some lounge from three in the afternoon until 1AM. There is nothing comparable on the Seven Seas Mariner. The lounges are generally better designed on the two Crystal ships than on the Mariner. There was one very good pianist and a guitar player on the Mariner. We generally finished dining about 8:30 each evening. The pianist played from 5:30 until 7PM but then did not resume playing until 9:30 when she alternated with the guitarist the rest of the evening. There was no music any place on the ship immediately after dinner. The Mariner also lacked the guest classical musicians that enriched the voyages on the Crystal. The shows on the Crystal are of much better quality than on the Mariner. Crystal clearly spends a lot of money on quality producers and directors of its musicals, on impressive costumes, and on the rights to musicals. The Mariner shows in comparison seem amateur productions. The singers and dancers seemed somewhat better on the Crystal ships. The guest entertainers generally were also of higher quality on the Crystal ships. My biggest complaint that we had about Mariner cruise was the poor quality of the enrichment lectures. Particularly on the world cruise but also on a cruise to Alaska and a Mediterranean cruise, Crystal had lecturers who were experts in some facet of the region we were visiting and from whom we could learn. These individuals were historians, art historians, and reporters with some expertise. The Mariner had no one other than a "handwriting expert". Perhaps this weakness is inevitable on a Caribbean cruise and not a difference between the two cruise lines. The cruise consultant on the Mariner promised there would be more and better lecturers on other Radisson cruise. The Mariner visited four ports on our cruise: Nassau, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Key West. Unfortunately there were several other ships at each port, which overburdened the attractions of each island. The two organized shore excursions that we went on were satisfactory. Surprisingly there was no excursion involving snorkeling on Grand Cayman. We will sail on the future on both Radisson and Crystal. However we will expect different things from each line. When we want good entertainment, good music and shows, and quality lecturers we will sail Crystal. On the other hand when we want pure comfort and relaxation and more interesting food we will sail on Radisson. Hopefully the accommodations on the new Crystal ship will be more similar to the Mariner. Perhaps in the future the Mariner will offer more music and shows equal in quality to that on the Crystal Symphony and Crystal Harmony. mobrien3@san.rr.com January 2002

Seven Seas Mariner

Seven Seas Mariner Cruise Review by mobrien

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 1899
  • Destination:
My wife and I went on a one-week cruise on the Seven Seas Mariner in early December 2001. We are in our late fifties
and have taken 5 previous cruises. Overall we enjoyed this cruise. The ship and our cabin were wonderful. The dining room staff
could not have been better. They were always attentive, friendly, courteous; other staffs were almost as good.
All but one of the previous cruises were on Crystal Cruise line ships. I therefore will be comparing for the most part the Radisson experience on the Mariner with our experiences on Crystal ships. We very much look forward to sailing again on the Mariner.
The standard "deluxe" rooms on the Crystal ships seemed to us in the past well designed and comfortable. But they are far inferior to the rooms on the Mariner. The standard room on the Mariner is 30% larger, has a much larger bathroom, a walk-in closet and a balcony. These rooms provide so much space that is difficult for us to understand why anyone would want a higher class of accommodation. We were very satisfied with the room and the ship and regard the Mariner as the best designed ship we have been on. We are sailing on the Silver Shadow in January and will be interested to compare that ship to the Mariner.
The quality and the preparation of the food on the Mariner were outstanding. The main dining room offers single seating dining to all passengers. It is well laid out and has less "bad" tables than do the Crystal ships, where locations near food preparation areas are common. We felt Crystal Cruises tends to offer well-prepared food of high quality; however the preparations are standard Continental and unexciting. Radisson takes more chances and more frequently offers food in contemporary, cutting edge preparations. Our mothers would love Crystal's food and often would feel that Radisson sometimes uses strange ingredients or too much spice; our children in their late twenties would greatly prefer Radisson's. We are impressed with the alternative restaurants on all three ships. The Prego restaurants on both the Crystal Symphony and the Crystal Harmony serve excellent Italian cuisine. The Signatures restaurant on the Mariner serves equally excellent continental cuisine. Latitudes on the Mariner offers each night a tasting menu that changes half way through the cruise. The food is spicy and contemporary for the most part with an Asian twist. It is simply a fun experience. The Asian restaurants on the Crystal ships are interesting but Crystal seems to us has not decided just what it wants to do with them. The standard luncheon menus on all three ships are very good. However, there is nothing on the Mariner that is comparable to the outstanding theme luncheon buffets served on the Symphony and the Harmony. On the other hand it was big plus to be served complementary wine at dinner on the Mariner and not to have to be charged for every bottle of water or soft drink that we imbibed. Generally we found the wines well chosen; in the one or two cases when the wine seemed wrong for a dinner, the wine steward cheerfully offered alternative wines.
One of the pleasures of sailing on the Crystal Symphony or the Crystal Harmony is the music. On the average cruise there are three pianists, two bands, an instrumental trio, plus guest classical musicians. There is some musician playing in some lounge from three in the afternoon until 1AM. There is nothing comparable on the Seven Seas Mariner. The lounges are generally better designed on the two Crystal ships than on the Mariner. There was one very good pianist and a guitar player on the Mariner. We generally finished dining about 8:30 each evening. The pianist played from 5:30 until 7PM but then did not resume playing until 9:30 when she alternated with the guitarist the rest of the evening. There was no music any place on the ship immediately after dinner. The Mariner also lacked the guest classical musicians that enriched the voyages on the Crystal.
The shows on the Crystal are of much better quality than on the Mariner. Crystal clearly spends a lot of money on quality producers and directors of its musicals, on impressive costumes, and on the rights to musicals. The Mariner shows in comparison seem amateur productions. The singers and dancers seemed somewhat better on the Crystal ships. The guest entertainers generally were also of higher quality on the Crystal ships.
My biggest complaint that we had about Mariner cruise was the poor quality of the enrichment lectures. Particularly on the world cruise but also on a cruise to Alaska and a Mediterranean cruise, Crystal had lecturers who were experts in some facet of the region we were visiting and from whom we could learn. These individuals were historians, art historians, and reporters with some expertise. The Mariner had no one other than a "handwriting expert". Perhaps this weakness is inevitable on a Caribbean cruise and not a difference between the two cruise lines. The cruise consultant on the Mariner promised there would be more and better lecturers on other Radisson cruise.
The Mariner visited four ports on our cruise: Nassau, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Key West. Unfortunately there were several other ships at each port, which overburdened the attractions of each island. The two organized shore excursions that we went on were satisfactory. Surprisingly there was no excursion involving snorkeling on Grand Cayman.
We will sail on the future on both Radisson and Crystal. However we will expect different things from each line. When we want good entertainment, good music and shows, and quality lecturers we will sail Crystal. On the other hand when we want pure comfort and relaxation and more interesting food we will sail on Radisson. Hopefully the accommodations on the new Crystal ship will be more similar to the Mariner. Perhaps in the future the Mariner will offer more music and shows equal in quality to that on the Crystal Symphony and Crystal Harmony. mobrien3@san.rr.com January 2002
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