Seven Seas Mariner
CruiseClout score: 95.0
Seven Seas Mariner: All-inclusive elegance around the globe
The casually chic, 700-passenger Mariner feels like a floating country club with a relaxed, upscale style that allows passengers to be themselves. By that I mean you can dress up or down (but no jeans at night), dine where and when you want and take advantage of all the free shore excursions or just plop on a chaise and read a book.
Mariner was the first all-suite, all-balcony cruise ship and remains the embodiment of Regent Seven Seas' stylish cruising. As with all of Regent's ships, your fare is truly all-inclusive, covering tips, wines and spirits. Your fare also includes dining in two gourmet specialty restaurants (once each on a seven-night cruise, by reservation) plus two other venues, use of the facilities at the intimate Canyon Ranch SpaClub, unlimited Wi-Fi for one device per suite, and round-trip air fare from major airports. All shore excursions are also free (save for a couple of super-expensive ones that include planes and limos), with several tempting choices each day.
With only 700 guests on board, Mariner feels very roomy, and her passenger-to-crew ratio of 1.6-to-one ensures a high level of personal service. She is helmed by a delightful woman, Capt. Serena Melani from Livorno, Italy.
Who will like sailing on Seven Seas Mariner
Seven Seas Mariner is best suited to discerning people who enjoy fine dining, casual atmospheres, spectacular scenery and a throwback to the grand days of cruising.
Where Seven Seas Mariner sails
Seven Seas Mariner sails in and around South America, the Mediterranean, Europe, the South Pacific, New England and to Alaska from May to August. She features cruise itineraries that range from about a week to almost a month.
Top dining choices
The main dining venue, the spacious Compass Rose, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The cuisine centers on European-inspired dishes as well as flavorful vegetarian and kosher dishes and nutritious, calorie-controlled Canyon Ranch SpaClub specialties. Elegantly decorated in warm golden and maroon hues, Compass Rose delights with a beautifully refined atmosphere blessed with natural light during the day.
Serving breakfast and lunch, the super-casual indoor/outdoor restaurant La Veranda seems to be the ship's top breakfast choice for those who don’t order room service for their morning meal (many passengers do). The morning and lunchtime buffets are exceptional, with different offerings each day. One day you might get an international assortment of stews, as we did on a recent Alaska cruise, or a salmon and halibut feast, which was presented in during a port stop in Ketchikan.
La Veranda sometimes serves regional specialties that often reflect the cuisines of the countries called on, such as grilled lamb chops with Spanish sherry sauce or pan-sauteed Mediterranean sea bass. Dishes are presented in a buffet style that displays the diversity of the menu. La Veranda also features an authentic pizzeria and a shaded, open-air veranda for dining al fresco. In the evening, part of the room turns into an Italian eatery with an amazing antipasto selection and sinful dessert self-service buffet plus table service for entrees. The food is so good we ate there three times during our seven-day cruise.
Setti Mari at La Veranda
Each evening, La Veranda transforms into Sette Mari at La Veranda, a casual, intimate dining experience. You can enjoy an extensive menu of authentic antipasti and Italian specialties served a la carte and paired with fine Italian wines. Sette Mari at La Veranda is open for dinner only.
Open only for dinner, the intimate supper club-like restaurant Prime 7 dishes out some mighty fine prime beef and a Tomahawk veal chop to die for. It also serves fish and veggie offerings. You need to reserve your space online almost immediately after booking your cruise because, even though it’s complimentary, it books up fast. A true classic in every sense, Prime 7 sets a new standard in steakhouse fare with its contemporary interpretation of an American favorite.
Handsomely decorated with supple leather wing-back chairs, burnished woods and rich earth-toned fabrics, Prime 7 exudes a distinct, intimate elegance. All the traditional starters are here, including jumbo lump crab cakes, New Zealand lamb chop, scallops with smoked bacon, Oysters Rockefeller and French onion soup. The beef served is all USDA Prime and dry aged at least 28 days to ensure the ultimate tenderness, juiciness and flavor.
We loved Signatures, open for dinner only, and only wished we could have gone back for more, but it was always booked (reservations are required). The cuisine leans toward French flavors with additional continental offerings, all adding up to an exquisite dining experience with tantalizing tastes and enticing presentation. Classics such as quiche au camembert and foie gras terrine with plum marmalade tease the palate.
The ultimate come-as-you-are dining venue, the Pool Grill is quite popular on warm days. You can even wear a bathing suit with a cover-up. The buffets offer salads and such with top-quality burgers made from beef, turkey, vegetables or salmon available. Stroll over straight from sunbathing or swimming in the pool. Drop by before or after a shore excursion. Enjoy a snack between activities. The Pool Grill is open air yet abundantly shaded for comfortable dining. You'll also find milkshakes, malts and hand-dipped ice cream desserts sprinkled with all your favorite toppings. The best time to go is after the rush at 1:30 pm or so.
The baristas create great cappuccinos and other coffee drinks at Coffee Connection, a nice little spot that bustles from early morning till night. Along with your java boost you can enjoy pastries, sandwiches, cookies, fruit, cheeses and cold cuts. You also have the option of juicing up the joe with some Cognac or other adult beverage.
- Tours: Shore Excursions were the main daytime diversion for our seven-day cruise from Seward to Vancouver (as well as on most other sailings). Just about all 700 passengers participated in the tours with a handful opting to take their own, even though the excursions are free.
- Constellation Theater: Perfectly tiered for unobstructed viewing and furnished with plush seating, the main show lounge is an intimate venue without a bad seat in the house. The phenomenal variety of entertainment here includes full-scale musical reviews, rousing cabaret shows and Cirque-style productions backed by the nine-piece Regent Signature Orchestra.
- Casino: For those in the gaming mood, a few hands of blackjack in the elegantly appointed Casino are the perfect draw. The Casino is located on deck 4 and is open every day at sea when not restricted by territorial border limits. Blackjack, roulette, stud poker, mini-craps and slot machines are offered for guests' enjoyment.
- Connoisseur Club: Located on deck 6 forward, the Connoisseur Club is where you can order a rare vintage Cognac or port and pick a fabulous Cuban cigar. This elegant hideaway provides comfortable leather armchairs and a club-like atmosphere. Smoking is permitted here.
- Card & Conference Rooms: Two complete card and conference rooms can be used for everything from bridge lectures and tournaments to corporate meetings to special events. The spaces may be combined by removing the dividing door.
- Library: Well-stocked and exceedingly comfortable, the Library offers an ideal setting for reading and relaxing. Curl up with a classic novel, play a strategic game of chess or borrow a DVD to watch in the privacy of your suite.
- Pool Deck: Lounge the day away with a good book and a cold drink on the pool deck. The teak pool deck is one of the most expansive at sea, including a large heated pool, two whirlpools and table tennis.
Bars & lounges
- Horizon Lounge: Located on deck 6 aft, the Horizon Lounge is the ideal place for cocktails or to simply relax and unwind with an after-dinner drink. Resident musicians will entertain daily during teatime as well as before and after dinner. Game shows and other entertainment may be scheduled at the discretion of the cruise director.
- Mariner Lounge: Located on deck 5 midship, the Mariner Lounge is the perfect venue to meet friends and fellow travelers for a predinner cocktail or nightcap as the resident musicians entertain with familiar tunes and special requests.
- Observation Lounge: Located on deck 12 forward, the Observation Lounge is a quiet place to read and relax while watching the spectacular views that Seven Seas Mariner offers upon entering or leaving various ports of call. The Observation Lounge musicians will entertain daily. This, too, is the perfect spot for pre-dinner cocktails or a nightcap.
- Stars Lounge: Located on deck 6 midship, Stars Lounge is an ideal place to meet friends and fellow travelers for an after-dinner drink or late-night cocktail. This is the place for those night owls who want to dance into the night or maybe sing along in a karaoke competition.
- Pool Bar: Located on deck 11 outside area by the pool, you can join your fellow guests for a cocktail or frozen drink in the relaxed atmosphere of the Pool Bar.
Canyon Ranch SpaClub & fitness
Canyon Ranch SpaClub offers an attractive, intimate setting with very pricey spa services customized for you alone. Enjoy an array of treatments including signature massages and therapeutic bodywork, aromatherapy, ayurvedic and seaweed treatments as well as facials. There is also a salon offering hair care, manicures, pedicures and other services to glam you up. The men’s and women’s locker rooms have a steam bath (which didn’t work during our cruise) and a sauna, showers and toiletries.
Canyon Ranch fitness experts lead popular exercise classes, such as Pilates, yoga and aerobics and are on hand to offer advice and demonstrate the use of fitness equipment. One-on-one training can be arranged with a fitness instructor. Equipment includes Lifecycles, free weights, striders, StairMasters, treadmills, weight benches, a Nautilus machine, workout mats and step benches. Guests under 16 are not permitted in the fitness center unless accompanied by an adult.
In addition to planned activities in the fitness center, take advantage of other sports-related activities throughout the ship. Deck 12 provides golf cages, shuffleboard, paddle tennis and a full-circle jogging track. Eleven laps around the Seven Seas Mariner track is equal to one mile.
On the first all-suite, all-balcony ship, you don't have to go up on deck to enjoy the spectacular scenery. In fact, it's right outside the sweeping glass doors that open on to your private balcony. So if you are so inclined, you can sit back in your own lounge chair, sip a drink from your in-suite bar and watch the world go by right from your private indoor/outdoor living room.
We stayed in a Deluxe Veranda suite that was kept neat and clean by two of the best attendants ever. It had a wonderful writing desk, flat screen TV, bath with shower, king bed, mini fridge stocked with my wine and Richard's beer and gin, terry robes, slippers, lots of towels, a throw for cool Alaska days and nights on our balcony, and it was close to the free laundromat (sending out clothes to be washed is pricey on ships unless you have a shipboard credit).
Travel writer Patti Pietschmann was hosted on the seven-day Alaska cruise from Seward to Vancouver by Regent Seven Seas. See Cruiseable's Ethics & Disclosure policy.
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Top highlights on this ship
- Musical reviews and Cirque-style productions in Constellation Theater
- Game shows and resident musicians in Horizon Lounge
- Relaxing spa treatments at Canyon Ranch SpaClub
- Stellar itineraries to exotic destinations the world over