Seven Seas Mariner Cruise Review by pcourt
- Sail Date: July 2018
- Destination: Alaska
- Cabin Type: Penthouse Suite
We booked into a Penthouse A suite on Deck 11. Check-in and boarding were pretty smooth. It did not quite have the personalized touch that Seaborn did with someone waiting for you in your room, but our Butler, Bejoy, was amazing. He really could not have been nicer or more competent. The room was very spacious, well-kept, and in good shape. The included excursions were really good. We just stuck with those. You have to pay an upcharge for some of the more high-end ones. The included wi-fi was a really nice perk. The one disappointment was the food. Granted my wife and I are pretty spoiled / lucky, but I just felt the food was a notch below where it should have been. There were some standouts like the king crab legs in Prime 7 and the filet / tenderlon was always good. But in general, although it all looked good on the menu, it just fell short. The foie gras (which I had twice) was well-cooked, but just completely bland. Same with the schnitzel one night. I had a porterhouse in Prime 7 and it was tasty but maybe just a 1/2 inch thick. Other examples would be the brussel sprouts in Compass Rose which were just served steamed with zero seasoning, a lobster bisque which was incredibly thin, or the lobster tails which always looked like they'd been under the heat lamp for a bit too long. I think we had our best experiences at Sette Mari with Efrem as our server. We were able to order canapes in our room but the timing (5-7) put it too close to dinner for us and the selection didn't vary and was kind of so-so. Enough on the food! We do enjoy wine and we found the selection included to be fine with us. Decent selection and all pretty good. We ordered a bottle of Groth one night and IMO they offer you these extra-cost wines at below-market prices (plus no tax and tip on them). We went to the show almost every night. They were very well done. One thing I noted though was there there was very little diversity in the cast, and that's not something I normally notice. As far as the clientele, it was mostly English-speaking. There were a number of kids on board (I think over 100!) and a number of multi-generational groups travelling together. I did notice that the ship never really felt crowded though. You could almost always get a seat at whatever bar, lounge, or restaurant you wanted. (Exceptions were Prime 7 and Chartreuse, but that's to be expected.) All in all, this was a five-star cruise that I think was let down by the quality of the dining experience. And even then, the menu, the setting, and the service were all great, it just came down to some pretty bland dishes from the kitchen. We would do Regency again if the schedule drove us there (like this time), but may try Seabourn again or Crystal next time.
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