This is a CruiseSource review of Regent Seven Seas Mariner written by Tonya Hodgson’s from her recent transatlantic voyage.
I recently returned from a transatlantic cruise on Regent Seven Seas Mariner. This was not my first luxury cruise but it was my first cruise on an all suite, all inclusive cruise line. If you are wondering what all inclusive means it means that airfare, gratuities, adult beverages, and shore excursions are included. If you are wondering what wasn’t included in our cruise fare (I know I was before we sailed) things such as premium brand liquors (Patron Tequila was one), spa services, “premium shore experiences”, internet, and laundry. The beauty of an all inclusive cruise is that you can truly have a zero balance at the end of your cruise. We met one couple whose only charge was a .42 cents for a postcard stamp. Confession time: I was very worried before we sailed about the quality of the experience. I have done all inclusive resort vacations in the past and I found that experience somewhat lacking. I am happy to report that my fears were unfounded.
The Seven Seas Mariner is considered a small ship for good reason, she only accommodates 700 guests. Because of her size she doesn’t have some of the fluff that the larger cruise lines do such as rock climbing walls, bowling alleys, and a dedicated kids club. I love the small ship experience! Getting around is a breeze, and because of the size it was possible to meet and really get to know some of our fellow guests. Our suite was a good size with a sitting area, walk in closet, and good sized bath. Some of the suites on the Seven Seas Mariner have a walk in shower but I choose a suite with a full sized tub and shower combo since I like to take baths. I will say the sides of the tub were quite high so if you had problem knees or hips it might be a challenge to get into the tub. The ship went into a short dry dock after our cruise where all of the carpet was replaced and some of the larger suites were refurbished. This is a very nice ship and it did a great job crossing the Atlantic.
Evening dress code:
The Seven Seas Mariner supposedly has an “Elegant Casual” dress code. I will say that I felt that it was a little dressier than elegant casual. We didn’t have a formal night on our cruise but I do know that on some of the longer cruises they are still scheduled. I saw lots more men in dress shirts and jackets than the term casual would imply.
Seven Seas Mariner has one dining room (Compass Rose), two alternate dining restaurants that required reservations (but there is no charge), and they turn the buffet in the lido to an alfresco restaurant in the evening. Of course there is also 24 hour room service. We ate the majority of our dinners in Compass Rose. The food was very good. Every night they had different wines paired with the nightly menu. For example on French night they had French specialties on the menu and served French wines. I went to a cooking demonstration and the head chef said that everything was made fresh on board from the bread served to the variety of sauces and sautés. I will say that while not all the food was to my liking the quality was excellent. I also especially appreciated that the portion size. I guess if you were a big guy you might say they were small but you could always order more and I appreciated the fact that I didn’t have as much left over that would just go to waste.
We were lucky enough to eat in both of the specialty restaurants twice (you only get one guaranteed reservation at each). My favorite of the specialty restaurants was “Prime 7”. Regent describes this restaurant as a “glamorous, contemporary interpretation of a classic American Grill”. This is the place to get your surf and turf, or lamb chops. Sides are served family style, and I highly recommend the truffle fries….just thinking about them makes my mouth water.
“Signatures” is the other specialty restaurant. This is a French themed restaurant operated in partnership with the “Le Cordon Bleu”. The menu changed halfway in on our cruise so we were able to experience both menus. I don’t know if this is a regular occurrence or if we were just lucky. The first time we ate there it had a contemporary French menu, and the second time it had a traditional French menu. Due to the restaurants affiliation with “Le Cordon Bleu” Regent says they can not accommodate alterations of the menu. I will say that they did accommodate my shellfish allergy, and the chef made me a special potato dish to go with my entrée (I really like starch with my beef).
We often ordered breakfast from room service. I will say when the waiter came in the suite and set up a table and placed a white table cloth on it with a little flower I knew I was hooked. We never did get down to the dining room for lunch preferring to dine alfresco from the buffet (and their amazing pasta bar) or the grill. We also went to tea each day which is held in conjunction with team trivia. Even afternoon tea had a different theme each day. The chocolate one was especially over the top. We never did need a late night snack but I really looked forward to the chocolate that the put in the cabin each night.
Canyon Ranch runs the spa onboard. I went for a hot stone treatment and it was very good. What I especially liked was after the massage was done the therapist didn’t try and waste 10 minutes trying to sell me product, like they do on all the other ships. I went in a couple of times and used the steam rooms and sauna as well. They also offered a variety of fitness classes every day. The classes were full too; I am not sure if that was because they were free or because we had so many sea days in a row. Jaco was the fitness director on board and he was really good.
Regent had a number of different enrichment lecturers on board. I would love to tell you they were great but it was sunny and the pool held more appeal to me than sitting inside being enriched. During the first part of our cruise the headliner was Greg Bonham. I have to say he was an excellent entertainer. The second half of the cruise they brought on a concert pianist, a comedian, and a female headline singer. The ship also has a staff of singers and dancers which were very good. We especially enjoyed the “le cirque mariner” show.
Ports | Shore Excursions included:
Because this was a transatlantic cruise we only stopped at 7 ports in 15 days. Regent includes shore excursions in their cruise fare so all of our shore excursions were booked with Regent, and most of them we booked 180 days in advance.[box] Stay Tuned for Tonya’s review of the 7 ports on her Transatlantic Voyage: Click Here to Subscribe[/box]
Booking with a Travel Agent who has been on the ship your booking makes a huge difference… call Tonya at (800) 566-7447 and let her help you plan your Regent Seven Seas Mariner Cruise.