6 Regent Seven Seas Mariner Asia Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise Because of the following factors 1.Itinerary 2.cruise line 3.offer of 3 day pre-cruise in Singapore This was our fourth cruise on Regent and our second on Mariner. Regent had raised their game since ... Read More
We chose this cruise Because of the following factors 1.Itinerary 2.cruise line 3.offer of 3 day pre-cruise in Singapore This was our fourth cruise on Regent and our second on Mariner. Regent had raised their game since our last cruise with them in December 2014. In the MDR the “always available” section read like that of a high class Steak and Seafood restaurant with lobster ,scallops ,Alaskan king crab,Dover sole and a myriad of steak choices The included wines were a little ordinary but the pay for list was interesting and reasonably priced eg Cloudy Bay usd 60 Ray the cruise director was very visible and never seemed to have time off. The officers were friendly and we had great service from the efficient and engaging crew. The included shore excursions gave a good choice for the able bodied but less choice for anyone with mobility problems. This was not helped by the poor infrastructure in some ports. We enjoyed the enrichment lectures and watched a few of the shows. Overall a great holiday. The recent refit had greatly improved Mariner . The Singapore pre-cruise was based at The Swissotel the Stamford a five star hotel and the program of tours was well organised and of a high standard Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was our third cruise on the Mariner, our second relocation crossing, and our first since the last refurbishment. Overall, we were highly impressed by the condition of the ship. The food was consistently excellent. Service levels were ... Read More
This was our third cruise on the Mariner, our second relocation crossing, and our first since the last refurbishment. Overall, we were highly impressed by the condition of the ship. The food was consistently excellent. Service levels were also extraordinary, and even a notch above past cruises. The staff was consistently friendly and helpful. One word of advice to would-be first time Regent cruisers. Do your research. There are no wave pools, climbing walls, trampolines, or ice bars on the Mariner. The clientele is decidedly older than average. The favourite activities seem to be bridge, tea time, and trivia contests. At times the ship seems as much a floating luxury retirement home as it is a floating luxury resort. The pace is generally slow; the evenings end relatively early. This is absolutely perfect for us; it may not be perfect for you. This itinerary was particularly heavy with sea days. Again, this is what we look for and enjoy, but if you want to hit a different port every day and seek out excursions, you might not have enjoyed this cruise as much as other itineraries. Cruise Director Jamie Logan did a great job hosting and organizing events and communicating information to the passengers. We stayed in a Seven Seas Aft stateroom for the first time instead of our usual Horizons View, and we fear the spacious and tasteful surroundings, and especially the expansive deck, might have ruined other choices for us in the future! The butler and stewards provided unparalleled service throughout. As part of this cruise, Regent offered a pre-cruise safari option at several game reserves in South Africa. We stayed at the Botlierkop Game Reserve near Mossel Bay in the Western Cape region. This was an unexpected highlight of the whole trip. Excellent food and accommodations (in an air-conditioned a luxury-appointed tent away from the main lodge), knowledgeable and friendly guides, and an up close chance to see many animals in the wild. We were fortunate to see African elephants, giraffes, rhinos, impalas and black impalas, lions, eland, nyala, wildebeest, water-buck, bontebok, Cape buffalo, springbok, crested guinea fowl, blue crane, jackal buzzards, Cape zebras, and many types of indigenous plants and insects. It was a busy and magical few days, and we’d love to go back and do it again. We only have a few small quibbles with this cruise, as explained below, but none of these things detracted from our overall extremely positive and enjoyable experience. We will continue to sail on the always-excellent Mariner! Some people we spoke to felt that some of the excursions were not adequately explained by Destination Services and, as is the custom with Regent, included some long bus rides to places where short stops occurred. My wife, in particular, did not enjoy an excursion to Swakopmund on a Sunday, because many attractions were closed that day. Destination Services came in for some criticism because of this. That said, some of the things we heard from other passengers, either directly or through ship scuttlebutt, in the nature about complaints concerning the lack of attractions and services in Namibia, suggested that these folks did not do much of a job researching their itinerary before embarking on the cruise. It is the rural west African desert, people! There is not much here, and what is here is always far from everything else. What did you reasonably expect? Soon after we left Namibia rumours began to swirl about the presence of several single male passengers, apparently paying guests, who were employed by jewellery stores in Rio, and who were approaching other passengers to sell them jewellery and tours in Rio. This is apparently against Regent policy, but as they were paying guests it seemed little was done to curtail this activity. Let me stress, we heard about this from others and did not experience it directly. One final matter deserves attention. We had to miss our stop at Saint Helena due to a mid-Atlantic medical emergency that required the Captain to get a critically-ill passenger to hospital. Rather than turn back to Namibia or even Cape Town, he chose instead to increase speed and make haste for Rio de Janeiro. All aboard were disappointed in missing Saint Helena, and some passengers even claimed that this port was the sole reason they took this trip. Some of the more cynical passengers even speculated about the real reasons for speeding to Rio, to the point that the Cruise Director had to explain publicly that the extra fuel costs and dockage fees to get the passenger to hospital in Rio was costing Regent upwards of $175,000 USD. This is the second time we have experienced the Mariner having to change schedule to address the needs of an ill passenger. In both cases we believe the Captain and crew acted professionally and responsibly with the best interest of the passenger in mind. We were totally comfortable with the actions taken by the Captain and crew in this difficult situation. We fully enjoyed this cruise on the Mariner and look forward to visiting her again soon. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Embarkation in Hong Kong took about 15 minutes and without incident. We were on the same ship in the Caribbean in March, so we knew what to expect. Our Luggage were delivered within 1/2 hour. We boarded the ship after spending 3 extra ... Read More
Embarkation in Hong Kong took about 15 minutes and without incident. We were on the same ship in the Caribbean in March, so we knew what to expect. Our Luggage were delivered within 1/2 hour. We boarded the ship after spending 3 extra days in HKG at the new W Hotel and it is high tech in everyway. In fact we had some problem figuring out how to operate room amenities. The view was partial harbor view, since there are couple of luxury condos in front. The hotel with the best view is the Intercontinental bar none. One unique feature of this cruise was that Mariner made 1 1/2 day ports of call at major destinations. HKG, Hong Gai Vietnam, Hue, Saigon, BKK and overnight in Singapore where we disembarked. This allowed us to participate more in depth excursions. Cruise provided one complimentary 4 hours cruise of Halong Bay onboard typical Junk which was very relaxing and beautiful. I arranged my Vietnam tours with local agency and it worked out fine, plus 50% saving compared to what was offered by the cruiseline. Our tours were private with driver and an English speaking guides. Transaction involving fees for the tours went without a hitch. Deposit and balance paid on arrival. What was most important was that dockside meet was arranged in advance by obtaining permit from the government which is included in the price. This was part of their Asia Golden Circle Cruise for the total of 102 days, but you can cruise on various segments you found interesting. The crew was very attentive as usual, good room service menu and best of all it is all inclusive. There is absolutely nothing to pay, unless you purchase premium beverages or make other onboard purchases(photos,boutique). Cabin is spacious and all have balcony, no inside cabins, free do it yourself laundry facility with ironing board, automatic detergent injection system. Our cabin was close to 400SQ, walk-in closet, mini bar provisioned with mixes, soft drinks and beer. You can also request 2 bottles of liquor for your room per cabin and bottle of champaign during embarkation. Tray of fruits always replenished daily, nightly turn-down service. I also would like to mention that under your bed has enough space to store 4-5 various size empty bags which really helps out. The ship departed HKG at 11PM on the second day and I must say the departure from HKG at night is spectacular. Most beautiful second to none, maybe Sydney? Our first ports of call was Hong Gai which is the closest port to Hanoi, very interesting city, if you can master navigating massive traffic congestion. It is most difficult to cross those street with hundreds of scooters and aiming right at you. The secret, our guide showed us, is stepping off the curb(not many traffic lights)maintaining steady pace(not slowing down or speeding up) which gives drivers to anticipate your movement which prevents surprises and prevents hitting you. Trick is to do it, but its hard stepping off the curb into on coming traffic. But it works and we did fine with no injuries(I'm 69 and my wife 59). Hue was very interesting, you have a choice of visiting Citadels and Temples in Hue or head out to HoiAn UNESCO Heritage Site. We went to HoiAn combined with Marble Mountain and Da Nang. Good choice, we thought. Onboard you have a choice of dinning venues, Signature, CompassRose, La Veranda and Latitude. We were not disappointed with any of them with few exceptions. Latitude menu was OK, but not thrilled with it(Indian, then Thai), I think many felt that way. We loved CompassRose, food was consistently good with variety, Signature over-rated, La Veranda(always casual)always had interesting menu selection. In defense of Latitude, they are replacing it with a Steak House, when the ship enters dry-dock at the end of this cruise cycle. We took breakfasts and one dinner in our cabin and both were on time, good presentation and full table cloth service. We ordered dinner with wine selection and two bottles were delivered with dinner. Breakfast was buffet, but you could request items at your table without serving yourself, same for Lunch. There were several poolside dinning with extravagant offering of lobsters, premium meats and numerous other premium seafoods, Mexican menu and even pizza. Absolutely no complaint with their foods and quality. Todays restaurant prices would command $50 per plate easily for what they were offering. The entertainment was fine, very quaint venue with variety of entertainment, nothing outstanding , since I'm very critical. But it is what is expected of cruiseship entertainment. Variety shows, singer, solo pianist accompanied by Regent's own band, small trio and solo instrumentalists at lounges. Done in good taste. We had 3 formal nights which I'm not too thrilled about, but ship of this class, you can always expect it. I prefer all country casual type of dress code for every functions, but the I feel that type of passengers this class of ship caters to demands it which is part in parcel of traveling on luxury liners. We participated on 2 nights, but decided on La Veranda instead on the last one which was fine. The ship enforces dress code for the evening very close. HCMC was very orderly compared to Hanoi, ship provided free shuttle service to Rex Hotel(one of the finest in Saigon with history). Because of our size we were able to navigate up the Saigon River for 4 hours to be much closer to city center. Mega cruise-ships on the other hand had to dock nearly 3 hours away, because of much deeper draft. This prevented excursions of any meaning, especially if they were scheduled for one day call at Saigon. Thailand was just as chaotic, but very interesting place to visit. Called on Ko Samui and BKK, spent one night BKK, because the drive into BKK was 2 1/2 hours again. Finally two days at see and arrived in Singapore on Nov 1 and disembarked on the morning of Nov 2. We stayed in Singapore for additional 2 days. Very clean and organized city, we can all learn from them. But the laws they enforce on their citizens can not be imposed in this country, because of ACLU and other organization. However, there are no homeless on the streets, no beggars, trash or graffiti and crimes are virtually none. If you are going to do some shopping get them done in Vietnam or Thailand, because Singapore is expensive and they don't bargain as much. Read Less
Sail Date October 2008
"The Cruise of a Lifetime! Tokyo to Hong Kong. We sailed on this magnificent ship from Tokyo - the Seven Seas Mariner was on a leg of a Grand Asian Cruise. Brochures cannot adequately describe this incredible adventure. The ... Read More
"The Cruise of a Lifetime! Tokyo to Hong Kong. We sailed on this magnificent ship from Tokyo - the Seven Seas Mariner was on a leg of a Grand Asian Cruise. Brochures cannot adequately describe this incredible adventure. The "Mariner" is a GREAT cruise ship - elegant, superbly staffed, and totally comfortable. This review should have been submitted months ago, but we had too many distractions and obligations before us. The problem with submitting such an incredibly great cruise is due to the diversity of great experiences. First, there is the cruise ship - a wonderful ship that deserves a separate evaluation. Secondly, the ports-of-call provided a lifetime of adventure - magnificent, superb, glorious, and just plain wonderful! So, where to start? I'll attempt to mix it all in - from beginning to end. We flew from SFO direct to Tokyo on a UAL 747 - much faster than we anticipated. We flew Business Class due to the length of the flight. We were treated royally - for a trans-Pacific flight it is wise to upgrade if possible. It took almost 11-hours, but very comfortable hours. It had been 54-years since I last saw Tokyo - about 75% of the people we saw there were not even alive when I departed Yokohama in 1952 in my army uniform. So, my return was quite dramatic for me - where have all the years gone? Tokyo has not changed much, although the buildingS are taller and more massive. The population is greater, and the transportation modes are greatly improved. My nostalgia is as great as ever. The massive airport at Narita was exciting to see. It's a good hour and one-half into Tokyo due to huge amounts of traffic. Our driver took the two of us in a large, new van - all to ourselves - to the Empress Hotel, a Frank Lloyd Wright landmark. This hotel was the headquarters for Gen. Douglas MacArthur when Japan was occupied by American forces in WW2. The Empress is totally grand! Regent Cruise Lines offers this hotel as a pre-cruise option - don't miss it! Wow! The experience was truly wonderful! We arranged for 2-private tours prior to our arrival in Tokyo. Our first tour took us by private car and a tour guide to the city of Kamakura, south of Tokyo by a couple of hours. Kamakura is the site where the largest Buddha is on display. I had visited Kamakura in 1952 and saw the giant Buddha in my army uniform. And, there Buddha was, once again, just as gigantic and peaceful as I had remembered in my youthful days. Truly, this was a thrill for both my wife and me. The tour guide took us inside the massive "body" of Buddha, along with many other tourists. If you visit Kamakura someday, make sure you take in this most impressive site. We had lunch at a farmhouse that had been brought to Kamakura from the hills of the surrounding area. We were introduced to a great Japanese-type soup, the name escapes me at the moment. But, we slurped the soup - our guide showed us how to politely "slurp" - lots of noise, and it was so, so tasty. It was quite interesting to watch our very demure and polite tour guide lady demonstrate the polite way to "slurp." Our return to Tokyo took us past the gigantic "exporting" cranes that line the Bay of Tokyo. Exports are the life-blood of Japan. Ships from all over the world can be see taking on their cargoes - it goes on for miles and miles of waterfront. Traffic is massive, but it moves. I attempted to find some of the landmarks I had known 54-years ago - but, nothing seemed familiar. Nevertheless, it was a very nostalgic experience for me. Our next-day tour of Tokyo was so memorable! Our guide took us to the Tokyo Tower, a massive "erector-set" type of structure that reaches almost into the stratosphere. Up we went on a speedy elevator to the mid-section. This is the highest elevation for tourists. Needless to say, this tour is an absolute "must" for any tourist desiring to see Tokyo from a lofty perch. Our next stop was the grounds of the Imperial Palace. The Japanese people really take care of their royalty. The massive grounds are indescribably beautiful! Our 2-days in Tokyo went by all too quickly. We hated to depart the Empress Hotel with all it's beauty and comforts. Don't ever miss staying there. The bathrooms are unbelievably GREAT!! Trust me - you have never been in such wonderful bathrooms in your life!! The Seven Seas Mariner was waiting for us somewhere in Tokyo Bay - perhaps mid-way between Tokyo and Yokohama. The last time I saw her was in San Francisco on her maiden voyage where my wife and I boarded her with our Travel Agent. I'll never forget her elegance and luxurious appointments. This was our first opportunity to go aboard for a most memorable cruise. I could feel the lump in my throat as we went aboard for a most memorable and warm greeting. She's as pretty and gracious as the first time we had lunch aboard her in San Francisco. Our Suite was wonderful - just as I had remembered her. A large marbled bathroom - lots of space for all we had packed, and a lovely balcony that would ensure a good vantage point at sea and in the ports we would visit. The brochures describe the elegance to the nth degree. She was neat and spanking clean! This is everything we had planned and bargained for - luxury beyond belief! Our first port-of-call was Hiroshima, Japan. On August 6th 1945 I totally recall reading the headlines of an A-bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. None of us quite understood the significance of such a weapon, but eventually we found out. Soon, another A-bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. The result of all this was the ending of hostilities with Japan in WW2 In 2-sentences I can hardly describe the totality of these enormous events. Japan was set to defend her shores with all she could muster. The imminent allied invasion, no doubt, would have taken over a millions lives in U.S. military personnel - not counting the Japanese casualties. My high school buddies, including myself, were next up of the draftee list. We would have been directly involved in the invasion of Japan had the war not abruptly ended. Hiroshima was a place I entered with a great deal of apprehension. Truly, this was one huge event in my life that I had not anticipated. Every citizen should have the opportunity to visit Hiroshima to observe what "total devastation" truly is. For the most part Hiroshima is well back on it's feet, but the scars still remain - the feeling is somber, but it is reality. We sailed to Dalian, China. Our ship and elegant crew were marvelous. What a way to go!! The food, entertainment, and fellow passengers are absolutely wonderful! Our accommodations are absolutely superb! Dallian was quite a revelation for us. We had never seen the shores of China and our anticipation level was high. We had booked a tour that would take us to the apartment house of a retired couple. Our elegant bus and guides took us to some high rise apartment structures all grouped together. In groups of 8 we hiked up the 5-stories of the concrete buildings. Elevators were not to be found. The exteriors looked quite dingy, but when we entered the apartment of our waiting hosts it all changed. Yes, the apartments were small - a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and a small eating area. The retired couple were most gracious. Their apartment was spotless. We were introduced by our college-aged female guides - all of a sudden we were all friends, shaking hands and it felt like we had been old-time neighbors. It was a "happening." I asked "Poppa" if he had a grandson or granddaughter through our guide-interpreter. I presented him with a S.F. Giants baseball cap to pass it on to one of them. Lots of laughter and lots of shaking of hands, etc. It was such a wonderful, warm way for all of us from our country to meet, first-hand, actual citizens of this huge emerging nation, China. We sailed for Tientjin, a port just below Beijing. The grandeur of this cruise was about to unfold before our very eyes. A large contingent of buses met our ship at the port. We had about 700-passengers aboard, and every passenger was treated to a trip to Beijing. We were provided with rooms in 5-star hotels, a wonderful dinner at our assigned hotels, and a wonderful breakfast the next morning. After breakfast we were split into 2-groups - one group to visit the Forbidden City and the other group to visit the Great Wall of China. In the afternoon we switched. Can you imagine what we absorbed in tourism that day? Needless to say, it was totally grand. It was awesome! Words cannot describe it all adequately! That night we all were provided with elegant hotel dinners - oh, so grand! Our hotels were the best in Beijing. First class!! After breakfast the next morning one group returned to the ship in Tientjin. MInd you, all this entertainment, touring, dinners, et al was provided by Regent Cruise line - "on the house!' My wife and I had booked an excursion to Xian with about 250-other shipmates. The others returned to the ship and sailed on to Shanghai. Our group flew to Xian, the burial place of the thousands of Terracotta Soldiers, one of the most incredibly interesting archeological sites in the entire world. Buried circa 250-BC to "protect" the Emperor's tomb, they were uncovered accidentally in the late 1970's by farmers digging for a well. No matter where a tourist goes during their lifetime, Xian is a 'MUST" place to visit. My advice is to read a great deal about this place, because it is worth your while to "soak-up" the significance of all this place has to offer. Archeology truly comes to life just observing it all. I would have to rate this tour to Xian one of the most significant and memorable tours we have ever taken. The flight from Beijing in modern A-320 Air Bus craft was excellent - approx. one hour and a half. Our flight back to meet the Seven Seas Mariner in Shanghai was also about 1-1/2-hours in length. Our tour guides throughout this entire 3-day sojourn were absolutely magnificent. Never, ever, had we experienced such talented, gracious, and well-prepared tour guides. Regent Cruise Line has truly opened up China to us. I am still in awe over what they have accomplished for us as American tourists. Shanghai is truly spectacular! It's massive! Like Beijing, high-rise structures are worked on night and day, 7-days a week, 24-hours a day. Shanghai has constructed over 1500- high-rise buildings, all over 30-stories in the past 15-years. It is absolutely astounding to see it all rising out of relative obscurity. Traffic on the river is testimony alone to the huge, huge construction projects as barges ply the river, night and day, to and fro, delivering steel, cement, concrete, sand, gravel, rock, etc., etc. All materials used in constructing these massive buildings. I seriously doubt that humans have ever witnessed such a massive concentration of construction endeavor in the history of the world. It truly is something to behold! Regent Cruises met us at the airport and took us by bus to their grand hotel in the middle of Shanghai. We were greeted as though we were royalty. The hotel staff, all young college-aged, met us as the entryway and guided us into a huge reception area where they wined and dined us so elegantly! It was all "on the house." Wow!!! The young group of waiters were so gracious. They all wanted to talk to us in English - eager to demonstrate their ability to communicate in English. It truly was a great experience. How gracious and accommodating they all were! Reluctantly, we left this wonderful reception and boarded the bus to return to the Seven Seas Mariner awaiting our arrival at the dockside. Oh, how great it was to feel their warm reception as we ambled up the gangway! Back home again! Oh yes, we were a bit tuckered out from all the travel, and most of us "hit the hay" a bit early that evening. Cruising down the highly trafficked river the next day, heading for Hong Kong, was another fantastic experience. We zigged and we zagged past the hundreds of barges, small ships, large ships, sampans, et al. Here we were, floating by this massive build-up in Shanghai, aboard this most elegant cruise ship, pinching ourselves to make sure it wasn't all just a dream! We finally reached the sea and headed for Hong Kong. You can imagine the great conversations at the dinner table that evening as the Captain and crew put on an elegant formal dinner for all of us. Can it be true? Is it all a dream? If it was a dream we certainly were totally alert and thoroughly enjoying it all. We arrived in Hong Kong in the evening darkness. After dinner we went to view our port arrival in the upper, forward lounge. Yes, it was crowded. The lights of Hong Kong were all around us. What a thrilling sight! Outside, the air was warm and humid, so we remained in the lounge area to witness this incredibly beautiful arrival - millions of lights surrounded the harbor. My "Jack Daniels" and ice never tasted better. I cannot possibly adequately describe the thrill of arriving at this beautiful city aboard our elegant and proud ship. Hong Kong is all that they told us. Beautiful, very, very busy, and the cross-roads to Asia. Our suite at the Intercontinental, overlooking the river, was fantastic! With reluctance, we left our "lovely lady," the 7-Seas Mariner to take on the beauty of Hong Kong. You can be sure, we will definitely do a reprise aboard the Mariner - she truly is the "Shang-ri-la" of cruising! Read Less
Sail Date October 2006
We flew Japan Air which was quite good in business class and we arrived as scheduled. We travelled by private car to the ship, arriving late in the evening, about 8:30 pm. Nevertheless there was someone to greet us at the terminal and we ... Read More
We flew Japan Air which was quite good in business class and we arrived as scheduled. We travelled by private car to the ship, arriving late in the evening, about 8:30 pm. Nevertheless there was someone to greet us at the terminal and we were checked in in 15 minutes or so. We ordered a sandwich from room service, our luggage arrived promptly and we were sound asleep. The next day we did the full day tour of Tokyo and like many organized tours it was informative but not particularly memorable. The next day was at sea and we made our spa reservations, played trivia and bingo, enjoyed tea and so forth. All in all a very pleasant and relaxing day. Mariner's cabins are not as big as the Voyager's and although initially I was disappointed, I got used to it and it was just fine. Nagasaki: we opted to skip the Peace Park and go to Unzen Hell. This was a very bizarre day. Unzen Hell is a group of hot springs and an active volcano. It was interesting for awhile but this trip could have been much shorter and no one would have complained. Then we went to lunch at a BAVARIAN themed restaurant???!! The food was German-like and the Japanese staff were all dressed in dirndls and lederhosen. It was truly weird. Like "Heidi goes to Japan". Next stop China! We LOVED China. Dalian was kinda forgettable. Although we did enjoy flying kites which is one of DH's passions, but otherwise this port is a bit of a mystery to me. But the complimentary excursion to Beijing was a lifetime experience. Radisson Seven Seas provided this to all passengers and it was wonderful. We went to the Great Wall and although very crowded because of a Chinese holiday was nevertheless, just awesome. We stayed at the China World hotel with all others who were going on to Xi'an. The trip to Xi'an to se the Terra Cotta Warriors was an optional trip taken by about 50 of us. Those who were returning to the ship stayed at the ShangriLa. China World was absolutely beautiful. It has an attached shopping mall which includes Ferragamo, Cartier, Bvlgari and the like. I thought "who shops here? Isn't this a Communist country?" After check in we walked a few blocks to Silk Alley. Now THAT is an experience. It is a large indoor flea market kind of place with hundreds of stalls on 3 floors full of sales people whose English consists of "Hey Lady" It was like being in a warehouse full of Jerry Lewises! Once we got past the shock of being grabbed at, it was pretty fun. We got some purses and watches and then went back to the hotel. Outside there were 5 or 6 women selling socks, of all things, who were extremely aggressive but we took it all in stride and had a good time. Dinner was at the hotel and it was very good. It was a buffet but they had a noodle maker present similar to a pasta bar but he was making the noodles from the dough. It was fascinating and very tasty. The next day we went to the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Both places were packed. There is a Chinese holiday which lasts from Oct 1 to Oct 7 and we were caught in that but still it was fantastic. The Square was all decorated with banners and the like for the Olympics in 2008. We bought a couple of baseball hats that say Beijing 2008 for a dollar. Then we flew off to Xi'an on China East airlines. This was roughly the equivalent to any US 'no frills" kind of airline. The flight attendants came down the aisle and said "Happy Chinese NAtional Day" to each and presented us with a tote bag. We arrived at the Shangri La hotel and encountered a great deal of confusion with regard to the luggage. To make it worse, for unexplained reasons the excursion to the T'ang Dynasty dinner and show which was to have been the next night was moved up a day and we would be heading out to that within a couple of hours of our arrival. By the time our luggage made it to the room, we had to rush to make the bus. The show was very interesting and we had our picture taken with the troupe but since we had been in the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square earlier this day then flown from Beijing, you can imagine just how exhausted we were! It was difficult to keep our eyes open during the show. The Terra Cotta warriors are an unbelievable experience. They are in 3 pits, the first is the most interesting as it contains many more figures then the other 2 pits. We bought a 3/4 size one for our yard at home. He will arrive by slow boat from China around Christmas. We took an excursion to a mosque in Xi'an. A number of people stayed on the bus. The mosque itself was nothing special, but oh the walk to get to it!! We walked thru a street bazaar filled with Chinese muslims, cooking all kinds of wondrous looking things on open grills. Altho there were open baskets of raw meat and fish, rather than being stinky, it all smelled wonderful! This was like a scene from a movie, kept expecting to see Indiana Jones running by being chased by bad guys with swords! What a hoot! We even stopped into a Chinese pharmacy and were shown the dried scorpions and centipedes etc that constitute Chinese cure-alls, ewww. A really great day. We flew back to the ship, meeting it in Shanghai. The trip back was not as smooth as the trip to Xi'an due to some issues with boarding passes and seat assignments but we all made back to the ship in one piece. We really didn't get to see much of Shanghai because of the Xi'an trip but what we saw was impressive. We went to the Chinese acrobats show which was very cool. Like an entire show of the individual acts you can see at any Cirque Du Soleil show. It was pretty special and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Before we went to Beijing, we had encountered Gordon the cruise director and asked about Karaoke on the ship. My husband really enjoys that and Gordon said "sure that'll be great" but it never happened. Every night the night club featured disco. And every night I would walk by and there would be ABSOLUTELY NO ONE in there. I mean that literally, there was not a soul in the whole place except the bartender and I only saw him once! DH was very disappointed that despite the complete and utter lack of interest in disco and his specific request for something else, the cruise director never responded to our inquiries about when would we get Karaoke. So DH sang a couple of songs on the pool deck with the Mariner Five and was mollified somewhat but still, what's with the disco thing?? Our last port was Hong Kong. The first day we took the ships tour and went to the top of Victoria Peak and stopped at the Stanley Market We disembarked the Mariner the next day without delay. We stayed an extra day at the Peninsula hotel. What a fabulous place. During the day we rode on the Star Ferry and did some (more) shopping. I had bought an extra suitcase at the Stanley Market so we were "good to go". That night we ate at Felix and took pictures in the famous men's room. In the morning we checked out and as previously arranged we took the hotel's Rolls Royce to the airport for roughly $100 USD. A great way to end our trip. The hotel's staff met us at the curb at the terminal and took our luggage for us to the airline counter and waited with us till we had boarding passes and baggage tags. What a level of service! We flew home in the upper deck of a 747 and it was very pleasant flight home. Although we were obviously sick by this time, no one at any airport we were in questioned us. I found this to be a relief on the one hand and troubling on the other, what about this bird flu pandemic?? This was truly a fantastic voyage. I would recommend it to anyone looking for something a little exotic, totally "foreign" and completely memorable. Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
(NOTE: We actually embarked in Tokyo and disembarked in Hong Kong, but neither port was given as an option) What a treat from start to finish. No embarkation hassles - no cattle call in a terminal, we just walked on. A glass of champagne ... Read More
(NOTE: We actually embarked in Tokyo and disembarked in Hong Kong, but neither port was given as an option) What a treat from start to finish. No embarkation hassles - no cattle call in a terminal, we just walked on. A glass of champagne as we walked on. Staff and crew lined up to greet us. Efficient, polite, helpful. All outside balcony cabins. What more could a person ask. We have cruised on four other lines and this surpassed them all. The ship was just over half full so the crew to passenger ratio was 1:1. Most days (excepting lunch time) the pool deck was near empty. The bar waiters were only too happy to do ANYTHING for you. No lineups for dinner at any of the venues. The reservations-only dining rooms were superb in terms of menu and wine lists. Perhaps a little stiff with the dress code and they wouldn't accept last-minute requests for seatings. We never ate in the Compass Rose but we were told that the menus there were also terrific. Afternoon tea was delightful, morning coffee and pastries at the computer area was a must. Cabins were kept spotless and cleaned twice daily. Decent daily schedules with a variety of offerings. Computer education classes every day were well-attended. Often it was a lengthy wait to get near any of the computers, especially days at sea, because everyone is now hooked into the internet. That's when the coffee and danish table came in handy!! The gym is well-equipped and the fitness programs were standard. The library and video selection is good. The in-cabin TV service is just okay. Got a little tired of the Story of Mao and the Biography of Confucious. It was an ambitious itinerary - I think this was the first time in these ports of call (Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima, Dalian, Tianjin/Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong). The shore excursions were well-organized despite the problems encountered with local authorities in Dalian and a late arrival in Tianjin. The Dalian tours were cut short by at least an hour, which really was no loss. Not much to offer and I think tourism is a new concept for this city. They tried hard, though. We didn't have as much time as we would have like to have in Beijing, particularly at the Forbidden City. We arrived 30 minutes before closing - hardly enough time to take it all in. My only disappointment was that, other than the stage show, there was not much action after dinner as the median age of the clientele seemed to be at least 70+ and all other times the decorum was "veddy prawpah". (older and wealthy). Our group, being younger, received more than a few sideways stares as we tried to enjoy ourselves. As a matter of fact, most of the time you could walk the common areas, lounges, etc. in the evening and not see anyone. So unless this was an anomaly, we wouldn't recommend this particular itinerary to people who want to party hearty. Try Carnival instead!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2004

Top Seven Seas Mariner Itineraries

Seven Seas Mariner Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 3.5 3.5
Public Rooms 5.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 3.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.9
Enrichment 4.5 3.7
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 5.0 4.1

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