Seven Seas Mariner Cruise Review by John117
- Sail Date: October 2017
- Destination: Canada & New England
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Suite
The hotel is ok for an overnight stop but like most airport hotels is fairly isolated so you are restricted to the hotel for dining unless you book a cab.
The transfer to the ship was fine and we were on board in time for a quick lunch leaving time to explore old Montreal which is nearby. Our cabin was available around 14.00 and the luggage was already there. Our cabin stewardess met us and welcomed us. We found virtually all the staff to be friendly and efficient as usual and this cruise was something of a break for the crew as there were only 416 passengers on board.
The cabins do need refurbishing as they are showing signs of wear and tear. The housekeeping staff however do great job of keeping them clean. Our balcony door creaked and rattled when opened and was quite heavy to move. Our shower (no tub) was good but filled up with water at the bottom and came very close to overflowing the raised lip into the bathroom. We highlighted these issues to housekeeping but they were not fixed during our trip. The only cleaning issue we had was that the balcony doors were not cleaned for about 5 days and they were covered in sea spray. We did have a faulty hairdryer on our first night which set off the fire alarm on the bridge but fortunately not the whole ship. This was quickly replaced by an old model which didn’t work properly either and again this was quickly replaced by the cabin stewardess.
Some of the lounges on the ship have been refurbished already including the observation lounge but it had a peculiar smell of chemicals and we couldn’t use it throughout the trip as it made us cough.
This was raised in the mid cruise comments and with housekeeping manager but no action was taken and it still had the odour when we left the ship.
The food was good and varied and the service on the whole was good. The definition of “well done” appears on the Prime 7 menu but disappointingly my filet mignon appeared with the blood oozing out. I returned it and when it reappeared it was still pink in the middle. I returned it again and both the maitre d’ and the Head Chef appeared to resolve the problem. Signatures Restaurant was excellent and we manage 3 visits. We did have some issues with the wine waiters some of whom required a lot more training on what wines were available and even how to pour it properly without dripping it on the table. Some of the “sommelier” really shouldn’t be wearing the cup! One didn’t know the difference between a Bordeaux and a Cote du Rhone. Overall in my opinion the quality of the “house” wine is dropping but there are some reasonable New Zealand (white), French and Argentine ones if you ask one of the more knowledgeable sommelier.
The lunch in the galley was badly organised. We were ushered into the galley without any explanation of what was available and where. We picked up some salad as it appeared first but just round the corner was a huge selection of other food. If you wanted more food you had to join the line to go round again. Fish and desserts were in the main restaurant but no one told us. We gave up after a salad and went to la Veranda
On a port day in NY we seemed to be invaded by family and friends who brought lots of young children. I don’t have a problem with this but it is a pity they were allowed to run riot in the buffet and in the bar taking over several of the larger tables in the restaurant at the expense of the paying passengers.
A last minute change to our excursion in Maine was communicated to us by letter at 21. 00 after destination services closed so we were unable to change the excursion.
The NY by land and sea tour was a complete disaster. The tours left late due to other bigger ships docked beside us and causing congestion. Our guide was hopeless and made up the route as she went along. She talked nonstop but all about TV and film stars and didn't tell us about the history or sights we were passing. The bus pa system was so poor we had to turn the aircon off to hear the rubbish the guide was spouting. Then we got so hot we had to turn it on again to breathe. When we got to the port at 11.30 for the river part of the tour we didn't have a booking as we had missed it by 2 hours and the only cruise available was a 2. 5 hour cruise. We gave up at that point and walked back to the ship! Generally the other tours were ok.
The only tour available on our disembarkation day was the hop on hop off bus in Miami. Many of the buses are retired London transport buses (right hand drive) and all we used are in poor condition and very dirty. We were loathe to sit in many of the seats as they looked as though they had never been cleaned ever! The pa system doesn't work properly in many of the seats and not at all in other's. The minibus transfer to the airport was not at the times advised by Destination Services. We were allocated a 15.45 transfer as the last available when we got ashore for a 21.25 flight so had to spend 5 hours at the airport. The minibus used for the transfer was in poor condition and several of the seat belts did not work including mine. Bearing in mind Regent is based in Miami it wouldn’t be too difficult for someone to check the quality of this product? On previous Regent cruises we have had options of proper tours or a day room in a hotel. Regent need to do better than this as a poor end to a "luxury " cruise sticks in your mind when booking the next one.
When the ship entered the USA we had to go through the immigration formalities on board. When this was advised on the ship we were notified to bring a paper copy of our ESTA. This was essential as the immigration officers on board did not have a computer system to check the ESTA. Fortunately we had a copy with us but many did not as it is supposed to be an electronic system after all. I think this requirement, not just to have an ESTA but, also to have a paper copy should be highlighted in the pre cruise documentation.
Overall we enjoyed our cruise but the start and finish are just as important and they didn’t go too well. We may look at “cruise only” next time as Regent don’t seem to be getting to grips with the non cruise part – alternatively we may drift back to Silversea or Seabourn to see how they are coping with the budget squeezes.