Seven Seas Mariner Cruise Review by savannah1
- Sail Date: February 2017
- Destination: South America
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Suite
The ship was well managed, the best I have experienced. Captain and senior managers were very visible about the ship and the crew well trained and extremely pleasant while giving exceptional service. I appreciated the detail given in the Captain's daily update.
Shore excursions were included in the price and made the trip. They included bus tours for the less able and more adventurous options for more energetic passengers such as bike tours, treks, swimming and snorkelling, 4 wheel drives and zip lines. Some of the most attractive were sold out before we could select them. Sometimes there was time to complete an early tour and walk or taxi into town later. We did this a few times and recommend it, particularly in Manaus where the city tour didn't fit with the times of the other tours we wanted; it was an easy 15-20 minute walk through vibrant shopping streets up to the opera house area. San Juan definitely merits a visit, however fleeting. 4 wheel drives in Rio and St Lucia were great fun offering off the beaten track views.
Our suite was comfortable, kept very clean by our two stewards, who also delivered ice, fruit, champagne etc when asked. The food on board was exceptional, in all venues, with Signatures the best overall. Entertainment was varied with more of a focus on popular than classical music. The talks were well attended and most were very interesting.
In my opinion organised activities were the weak point as with other 'American' ships we've travelled on. Deck sport tournaments were non-existent replaced with mini competitions that were cancelled at the slightest drop of rain. We met many people who wanted to try deck tennis and shuffleboard, but didn't know how to play. As a result we had our own private court at the back of this ship and played almost daily. This aspect of the ship needs a radical shake up. Dancers, nice as they all were, didn't make good sports hosts. Active passengers need a variety of ways to keep fit in and outdoors. There were dance classes, but no sports classes. Why? There was induction to the gym but no induction to deck sports. Why? Also, there was no art programme on the ship, just a colouring class and craft class managed by a hostess. This is a cheap option out of step with the luxury of the Regent offering. Not good enough for the proportion of people who enjoy art. Quite a few people we met said they'd found sea days boring. That's not good for Regent.
The Mariner was due for a refit which has been postponed for a year. It needs it. However, it was well maintained, extremely comfortable and exceptionally clean; it didn't affect our enjoyment of this cruise at all, in fact there is probably more deck space on these older ships.
Overall I loved it and recommend this trip. However for a long trip e.g. world, half-world or extended period of time I wouldn't recommend Regent unless you are a particularly sedentary cruiser.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Catamaran TourThis was an expensive add-on tour. I really enjoyed it; the snorkelling and swimming was lovely. The food was excellent and the staff nice. However there were too many people on the catamaran compared to those on the other catamarans and it was much smaller. A few people occupied the cabin most of the time so we spent 5 hours in the sun or in the water; we were sunburned despite our factor 30 hats and t-shirts. Regent refunded us 20%. I really enjoyed the day and thought the refund was more than acceptable. I'd recommend this tour if the normal-sized catamarans were used.View All 94 Catamaran Tour Reviews
Alligator SightingI wondered whether to book this. It was an excellent chance to experience the sounds of the jungle by night. We travelled by riverboat then motorised canoe. Spotting and catching the alligators by torch was a particular challenge for our crew as our motor kept cutting out. Nevertheless he caught a baby (and returned it of course) and the quiet times with no motor were lovely for listening to the night.View All 5 Alligator Sighting Reviews
Amazon RainforestI enjoyed the speedboat ride and this was a well managed excursion with a guide plus two others to illustrate the various points of interest. It was too short a trek, and I would have appreciated more information on flora, but at various 'stations' we were shown about jungle survival which was very interesting Back at the shelter by the dock there was a welcome drink and fruit. I'd recommend this excursion and give it 4 1/2 stars.View All 6 Amazon Rainforest Reviews
Indian Museum (Museo do Indio)This trip was combined the rubber museum; we visited an indian village that mixes heritage with a practical attempt to fund the continuity of a culture. We were introduced to everyone involved then shown 4 dances. Afterwards there was a chance to walk around the village and talk to some of the villagers. We were a little uncomfortable about the whole experience; it seemed a little contrived and exploitative of the Indians. But it was a chance for us to learn a little of their culture, and it appears to offer them an alternative to making their way in the city. I would recommend this excursion.View All 2 Indian Museum (Museo do Indio) Reviews
Rubber MuseumI enjoyed the speedboat up the river and the outdoor museum showed the way of life of the slaves and owners of the plantation. The guide was excellent with a passion for the subject. I learned a lot and really enjoyed it.View All 5 Rubber Museum Reviews
MontevideoA fun tour of the town with lots of stops followed by a nice ride for a few miles along the prom/beach. It was quite hard going in the very hot sun so soon after leaving the British winter. Otherwise I'd rate it excellent. I'd recommend it.View All 12,789 Montevideo Cruise Port Reviews
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Corcovado Mountain & Christ Redeemer statueOur visit to Corcovado and Christ the Redeemer was marred by cloud - we could barely see the statue, and noticed it was often hidden by cloud. We could see it (or not) from our balcony on the ship. On reflection having seen the weather, we should have cancelled the tour. However we were driven through other parts of the city and along the beaches which were interesting.View All 32 Corcovado Mountain & Christ Redeemer statue Reviews
Samba ShowThe Samba show was fantastic, much better than expected, although not much samba. Wonderful performances of male, female and mixed dance plus outstanding drumming/music.View All 2 Samba Show Reviews
Tijuca ForestThe 4 wheel drive to Tijuca was lovely, as were the botanical gardens on the same tour. Most enjoyable small group tour; lovely distant views of the city.View All 6 Tijuca Forest Reviews
San JuanWent into the city and explored it; had a guided tour of the fort which was well worth the entry money. Absolutely loved the city and wish we had more time there. Unfortunately US customs took a long time, and there was a long wait for the shuttle. Recommend independent exploring of this beautiful old city centre. But take the map.View All 3,767 San Juan Cruise Port Reviews
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Gonzaga BeachProbably the worst excursion. We were driven through Santos with no information, which is unusual in an excursion; dropped at a shopping centre and walked to the beach but told to meet at back at the shopping centre. Most people went to nearest part of the beach but we walked it - it is extensive and quite attractive. We got lost and spent a lot of time looking for the shopping centre again. I wouldn't recommend this excursion.View All 1 Gonzaga Beach Reviews
St. LuciaI loved it; we crossed the island in a four wheel drive through a variety of scenery and small villages. The guide was exceptional and gave us a lot of information on trees and life on St Lucia. After half an hour of proper bumpy off-roading, we were dropped at a rustic beach hut where an elderly man offered really tatty loungers for $5 each. We were all a bit taken aback at this, but bearing in mind the approach we shouldn't have been. We were the only people on the beach and had an hour and a half to swim and explore. Great fun.View All 12,789 St. Lucia Cruise Port Reviews
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