Chose Regents Seven Seas Mariner because we wanted to tour Alaska and the time of year and schedule were perfect. Recently we had sailed on Oceania so wanted to give Regents a try.
Alaska is great if you want beautiful and amazing scenery and seeing landscapes you cannot see anywhere else in the world. It is pretty cool to see moose, bear, bald eagles, porpoises and whale living in the wild. We did the pre-Denali tour and our guide, Lane, did a great job pointing everything out and making sure we stuck to the schedule. He also gave great recommendations for restaurants and he does a nice job figuring out your likes and dislikes. A common theme to this review will be that I wish many of the tours were more active. I expected the hikes to be more challenging and that we would be outside of a bus a little more than we were. I wanted to spend more time in Girdwood which a great little town and the Hotel Alyska has a lot to offer. We didn’t have enough time there.
We arrived at the Mariner on sailing day at about 3:30. The lifeboat drill was at 4:00 so there was very little time to explore. The Mariner is beautiful ship with great flow. It did not look old at all and I think it recently had been refurbished. Our cabin was a Penthouse level 1. Great size for two people. Plenty of room with lots of drawers and a good size closet. Although not as big as Oceania. Suitcases had to (and fit fine) go under the bed. Room was always clean and Butler was always available if we needed anything. Refrigerators always had plenty of soda and there was wine there as well. And beer. It was very comparable to the suite on Oceania Riveria. There was Lily express maker but no cappuccino maker like on Riviera. Also the afternoon canapés were always better on the Riveria.
Restaurants and food were better than NCL, Royal Caribbean, Disney and Carnival. But not as good or as varied as the Oceania Riveria. There is one main dining room, Compass Rose, which has half the menu same every night and the other changes daily. Lots of choices. There is also La Veranda which is an Italian restaurant which has a set menu with some daily specials. In bed th restaurants Food was good, but not great. Desserts were almost always disappointing. Service for certain things was not good. Constantly had to ask someone to refill water glasses and at time difficult to find person for more wine. All were very pleasant. Tomas at La Veranda was the next waiter on ship. Very knowledgeable and friendly. Neither of those restaurants took reservations. However, for two nights we could not get seats at La Veranda at 7:00 because it was full. There are two reservation restaurants. Prime 7 had the best food in any steakhouse we have been on in any ship. Chartreuse, the French restaurant was very good as well. Unfortunately, with my class of Penthouse 1, you can only reserve them online at each one time per cruise before the cruise. On the second night I tried to book more nights and they were already filled for every night.
Entertainment was basically 4 Review shows - Broadway, country, crooners, and a mix. Singers were very good. The dancers were fantastic. William was especially great. Really really amazing. Felt shows were comparable to Oceania. One show at 9:30 which was kind of late.
Excursions were good but not for the younger generation. My wife and I are 50 and we had our 18 and 19 yo old children. We were all on Oceania last June touring the Mediterranean. We knew Regent was an older crowd but it was quite different than Oceania. Not sure whether that was because of cruiseline, Alaska, or being in May as opposed to June. However, even the tours that were the “most” strenuous were not tiring at all. Lots of bus tours and slow walking. We were hoping it would be more rugged and descriptions of tours seemed more active than they actually were. Alaska is beautiful and wildlife is incredible.
Our biggest complaint was the lack of activities on the ship. No organized games except for one trivia each year. No real interesting lectures on any day. We all wished there had been lots more to do like there were every other cruiseline we have been on.
Overall the Mariner is a great ship if you want to relax and drink and eat with a quiet group of people. And it is an excellent ship but probably would not cruise on Regent again. I think we will opt for Oceania.