Have you ever been to Alaska?
It is certainly a region that is often on someone’s travel bucket list.
Same for us, and then we saw this 12 day cruise with the Regent Seven Seas Mariner.
Starting in Vancouver, all the way up until Hubbard Glacier, and then back south towards San Francisco and LA.
Intriguing, not your everyday kind of trip.
Booked it about 6 months in advance.
Off we go!
We paid for our trip on board the Regent Seven Seas Mariner and didn’t get or ask anything in return for this review.
We made a video of our cruise aboard the Regent Seven Seas Mariner.
You can watch it here:
We landed in Vancouver 4 days earlier to visit the city before leaving on our cruise trip.
Canada Place cruise terminal is a 7 minute drive from our Blue Horizon Hotel.
Embarkation starts at 12pm, we decide to grab an Uber ride around 12:30pm and have lunch on the ship.
The driver drops us off at level -1 of the cruise terminal, where a port staff member points us to the right baggage drop off station. Our bags are tagged and sent off to the Regent Seven Seas Mariner.
We make our way to the embarkation terminal.
Our negative antigen test certificate is checked, next a security check and then the waiting game starts.
Two hours is how long we stood in line for passport control.
We were not there too early or too late, the queues were just not moving at all. As if the checkpoints weren’t even open.
One lady in her sixties fainted and needed medical assistance.
The Regent passengers here are in their late 50’s to 80’s, standing in line for 2 hours straight is just not acceptable.
Two hours later we make it through passport control and think we’re good to go now.
In the next terminal another queue has formed, the Regent checkin counter.
Long story short, 45 minutes later it is our turn.
The lady behind the counter asks to see our negative antigen test again, gives us a wristband and sends us off to another queue right next door !!!
Another 30 minutes of waiting and waiting.
At least there are lots of foldable chairs here, toilets and a table with coffee, tea and water. If you are fast enough to enjoy it, a couple of minutes after we arrived in this terminal the drinks are removed and the free chairs are being collected and taken away.
The checkin counter is a war zone, staff is in such a hurry and quite a few look so confused and flustered as if they have been taken from another job to come help out.
Since we filled in our Regent client profile online with pictures, information and credit card details our checkin goes a tiny bit faster.
We get our room keycards and finally make it to the Regent Seven Seas Mariner ship.
It is 4pm.
Unbelievable and unacceptable.
On board we hand in our passports and make our way to the Pool Grill in hopes to grab a little bite to eat there even though it closes at 4pm.
We stayed in suite 986, a classic veranda suite located on deck 9 aft on the port side of the Regent Seven Seas Mariner.
Compared to other cruise ship cabins we have stayed in, this suite looks just a tad smaller but is has more or less the same layout.
In the hallway on the left is a door leading to the bathroom, another door to the dressing. After that comes the bedroom and lounge area with desk, and a sliding door to the balcony.
Watch our video from 1:07 onwards to see how our Regent Seven Seas Mariner cabin looks like.
Bedroom and lounge
The grey, white and blue colors and soft yellow lights give this cabin a cozy and warm look.
The bed is high and looks very comfortable. And yes, sleeping in it would turn out to be fantastic, absolutely excellent mattress, thick duvet and wonderful fluffy pillows.
On simple request your housekeeper can get you other pillows if you don’t like them.
On both sides of the bed are bed side tables, a large lamp and a small reading lamp.
The sitting area next to the bed is comfortable as well.
It has a soft grey couch, a table and desk with cubic blue stool to sit on or to use as a foot rest.
Under the desk is the minibar that is stocked with complimentary soft drinks and beer.
A chilled bottle of champagne is waiting for you in an ice bucket on the table when you arrive – a delicious to start our Regent Seven Seas Mariner trip!
On the desk we find a telephone, note pad with pen, a bottle of Vero water, 2 reusable metal water bottles that you can take with you on excursions (and back home as well), a welcome note from the cruise manager, an envelope with vouchers for your booked excursions, today’s program and a fresh fruit plate.
Above the desk is the TV.
Between the bedroom and sitting area is a curtain, which in handy if one of you wants to read or work while the other one still wants to sleep.
We liked this room, even though it is not brand new – the Regent Seven Seas Mariner is 22 years old and the design isn’t the latest.
But it is charming and well maintained.
What to say about the bathroom?
It was quite spacious for a cruise ship of this age.
Our bathroom has a brown marble vanity with large sink, glass shelves on both sides, a toilet and walkin shower.
The shower was spacious as well, great water pressure and temperature – except for the last day when it took quite some time to get hot water for some reason.
The l’Occitane bath products were fragrant and very enjoyable. They were all restocked daily.
Also provided: soap bar, cotton pads, cotton buds, shower caps and plenty of toilet paper. You can find the hairdryer in one of the drawers in the dressing next door.
Towels were soft and large, excellent.
Overall we liked the bathroom.
However we had to call maintenance because our toilet refused to flush 3 times. Also the shower door was hanging off his hinges and would be hard to open and close, the thin metal frame at the top was bend terribly as if it was opened forcefully quite a few times.
The entire shower door was replaced during our stay after the maintenance crew wasn’t able to fix the problem.
Watch our video from 3:07 onwards to see how our Regent Seven Seas Mariner bathroom looks like.
Next to the bathroom is the dressing.
And it comes with plenty of space to store clothes and empty luggage during this 12 day cruise.
Clothes hangers are plentiful, the wardrobe also had enough shelves and drawers to put all our stuff in.
The safe is large enough for a laptop, and much more.
On the shelve under the safe are 5 linen bags for laundry and laundry lists.
We had read about the free laundry service on board the Regent Seven Seas Mariner, is that true?
Just put your laundry in one of the linen bags, fill in the list and put it in the bag. Place your laundry outside your room before 9am and you will get it back in the evening during the turndown service. Your cleaned laundry is wrapped in paper and put in a box you can find on your bed in the evening.
How great is that!
You can also do your own laundry in the self service laundrettes on board (see later).
Other things you can find in this dressing room: 2 life jackets, 2 bathrobes, slippers, an umbrella, a small sewing kit, a warm plaid and a shoe horn.
One of the questions we get the most on our hotel and cruise reviews is what electrical sockets to expect in the rooms and cabins.
Important question indeed, we also often struggle to find the right information about that!
You want to make sure that you can charge your devices properly, with or without adapters.
So here are the sockets you can find in the room!
Regent rooms are equipped with both 110v (North American) and 220v (European) outlets.
There is also one type B power socket in the bathroom on the top right hand side of the mirror.
During our Regent Seven Seas Mariner cruise housekeeping would stop by twice a day.
In the morning from 8am onwards, followed by a turndown service after 7pm.
Used towels would be changed if you put them on the floor.
Bed sheets were changed every other day.
Our main housekeeper Olivia was very friendly and professional.
She is also your personal contact on board, the person you can speak to if you have questions or problems.
You can order a bite to eat or any drinks 24/7.
Call room service and they will take care of it.
The full room service menu is available on your TV.
It consists of soups, pasta, salads, steaks, chicken, burgers and desserts.
In suite breakfast is also available from 6:30am until 9:30am.
Just fill in the request form, choose a time slot and put it outside your door before 2am.
In the morning a room service staff member will bring your breakfast tray and set up the table for you.
During our cruise we ordered breakfast a couple of times.
That is to say, coffee and pastries, and cold cuts, yogurt or fruits – no hot items though.
It is a nice way to start your day in a relaxed way on a busy excursion (or disembarkation) day.
The coffee was always hot and strong, great.
The other plates were always very nicely presented, very well taken care of.
Would we order in room breakfast again?
The reception area on the Regent Seven Seas Mariner is located on deck 5 in the Atrium.
You can find 2 reception counters here: the general reception and concierge counter and on the other side the destination services counter for all your questions about excursions.
The staff here is very helpful and efficient.
The Atrium is the central part of the ship where the elevators go from deck 5 all the way up to deck 12.
The Regent Seven Seas Mariner has numerous restaurants to choose from.
For some you need a dinner reservation.
You can make 2 restaurant reservations at home right before your cruise, once for the French specialities restaurant Chartreuse and once for the steak restaurant Prime 7.
On board you can book more evenings (if available) at the restaurant reservations desk on deck 6.
For breakfast there is a choice between the à la carte breakfast at the Compass Rose restaurant from 8am until 9:30am, or the buffet breakfast at the La Veranda restaurant from 7:30am until 10am.
If you are an early riser, you can grab a cup of coffee at the Coffee Connection which is open from 6:30am until 6pm. The small buffet on display changes during the day, from breakfast pastries and a sandwiches to cold cuts and soup, wraps and cakes.
We would often go to the Coffee Connection after a long excursion to grab a quick bite to eat.
The busy La Veranda breakfast buffet has it all: pastries, fruits, yogurt, cold cuts, smoked fish, breads, juices, eggs made to order, pancakes, waffles, crispy bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, hash browns, sausages… The works.
Excellent quality and very fast and attentive service.
The staff will bring you water, juices, coffee or tea, and you can also order delicious eggs any style made on the spot.
We would mainly go to the Compass Rose for breakfast.
Their a la carte menu is delicious, and if you want to enjoy your breakfast in a more quieter area then this is where you want to go.
Here as well staff will bring you hot and cold beverages while you browse through the breakfast menu.
Pastries, breads, cereal, fresh and dried fruits, oatmeal, banana bread, avocado toast with poached eggs, smoked salmon, cold cuts, cheese, pancakes, crepes, waffles, French toast, eggs any style, bacon, hash browns, sausages, kippers, teriyaki salmon with rice, lambs chops and potatoes, black Angus breakfast sirloin with potatoes and grilled tomatoes.
The dishes we ordered were always perfectly cooked
We especially loved the eggs Benedict, yum.
And the salmon with rice, delicious.
The only thing that was not consistent was the service.
We often had the feeling that this breakfast restaurant was understaffed.
Half of the time our orders would be taken within 5 minutes, and food arriving not long after that. On other days it was hard to get a staff member’s attention to come and take your order. Or they would totally forget getting us coffee.
A bit of a hit and miss, shame because the food is really delicious.
There are 4 options for lunch.
The Coffee Connection again, the lunch buffet at the La Veranda restaurant, the à la carte lunch at Compass Rose and the Pool Grill.
We would mainly go to La Veranda for lunch.
Lunch at La Veranda consists of a large buffet.
On the buffet: a large salad bar, cheeses, charcuterie, fish and seafood, breads, vegetable and potato side dishes and a meat carving and pasta cooking station both serving a daily special, and a large choice of sweet desserts, fruits, pies and tarts.
Each day there is a special cuisine theme such as Italian, Mexican, French, American or Spanish.
We loved the daily changing meat at the carving station. Treats such as roast pork belly, roast beef, prime rib and roasted chicken just to name a few.
You can always find grilled fish, chicken or steak as well. There is also a daily changing selection of warm main dishes depending on the theme such as schnitzel, bouillabaisse, chicken cacciatore, chicken cordon bleu, lasagna and so on.
The ingredients are super fresh and well cooked, delicious.
if the weather is good, you can even enjoy lunch outside on the terrace if you like.
La Veranda is open for lunch from 12pm to 2:30pm.
On the à la carte lunch at Compass Rose: 4 starters, 4 mains and desserts.
These lunch suggestions are mostly the same lunch specials you will find at the La Veranda restaurant.
La Veranda is open for lunch from 12pm until 1:30pm.
If you want to grab lunch outside on the Regent Seven Seas Mariner, the Pool Grill is open from 11am until 4pm (weather permitted).
Here you can get a selection of burgers, sandwiches, wings and hot dogs.
We ate here twice, once right after getting on board and another time during a sunny day at sea.
Both times service was very slow and orders were mixed up.
The food wasn’t great, pretty low quality and bland ingredients. It just looked very cheap.
On certain days the grills on the right side of the pool bar are fired up and you can enjoy freshly cooked steak, chicken, fish and sausages.
Choose a couple of sides from the buffet or assemble your own salad.
The buffet also has sandwiches, wraps and desserts on offer.
If the weather is good enough, this grill and bbq station stays open for dinner as well until 9pm.
What are the dinner options on the regent Seven Seas Mariner?
Restaurants where you don’t need a reservation: the grill and bbq station we just talked above, the Compass Rose, Sette Mari at La Veranda.
Restaurants for which reservation is needed: Chartreuse and Prime 7. These restaurants are included, you don’t need to pay a dinner fee.
You can make 2 restaurant reservations at home right before your cruise starts, once for Chartreuse and once for Prime 7.
On board you can book more evenings at the restaurant reservations desk on deck 6. We suggest you do that right after getting on the ship, the restaurants are full pretty quickly because both are quite small.
We had dinner twice in Prime 7, the meat and seafood restaurant that is open from 6:30pm until 9pm.
What a delicious looking menu at Prime 7!
We were not able to sample all of the dishes in 2 sittings of course.
We did try the seafood platter, the Maine lobster, porterhouse steak and prime rib.
That prime rib was to die for.
On our first night the New York strip steak one of us ordered wasn’t cooked raw like we asked, rather medium. The restaurant manager took care of it right away, no questions asked and brought us another main dish of our choice in no time.
The food at Prime 7 is very good, we would have loved to go back one more time.
For dinner at the Compass Rose you don’t need reservations.
Dinner is a daily changing menu of starters, soups, salad , mains and desserts.
You can also stick to the classic menu and order steaks, lamb, chicken and fish with the sides and sauces of your choice.
The food at Compass Rose was good, some highs and some lows.
The Beijing duck was terribly dry, however the beef wellington was a treat – absolute heaven on a plate.
In the evening, the La Veranda buffet restaurant changes names.
And it becomes Sette Mari offering Italian dishes, open from 6:30pm until 9pm.
Staff will bring a few items to your table: breads, bruschetta, zucchini crisps, deep fried morrazella in tomato sauce and parmesan cheese chunks.
The cold and warm antipasti are on the buffet counter for you to choose from: classics such as vitello tonnato, beef carpaccio, caprese tomatoes, grilled eggplant, Italian charcuterie, arancini and so on.
The pasta, soup and main course menu changes every 2 days, and are served at your table.
Veal scallopini in marsala or lemon sauce, ossobuco, chicken cacciatore, carbonara, gnocchi, minestrone soup, risotto… Plenty of lovely choices.
You can find the desserts at the buffet.
We liked Setti Mari a lot, the quality of the food was more consistent than at Compass Rose and the waiting staff was a little more attentive.
And the last dinner restaurant is Chartreuse.
Classic French cuisine, this one is open only in the evenings from 6:30pm until 9pm.
You need to book a table here in advance.
The cuisine was very good, although a little old fashioned and too classic. Not really what you eat in top tables in France today.
We haven’t said anything about the wines during meals.
Every day there is a suggestion of the day for red and white wines.
Their Italian chianti and barbera were very good.
Other wines were classics such as pinot gris, chardonnay, merlot and sauvignon blanc. A lot of wines are sourced from South Africa.
Most of these wines are OK, but on the cheap side and nothing really mind blowingly good – and quite a few would be corked.
The biggest problem was that very often the suggested wine did not match at all our dish. A pinot gris with seafood, really?
However if you know your wines, there are other types of wines you can ask for for no extra fee. But it was each time quite annoying to ask for it, as most of the servers are clearly not trained for it, and that a real sommelier was missing.
Room service 24/7
If you don’t feel like going out for dinner, you can have dinner delivered in your room.
You can browse the extensive online menu on your TV screen and call room service to place an order.
There is plenty of choice between appetizers, soups, salads, pasta, meat, fish and dessert.
We always went out for dinner and so we didn’t order dinner in our room.
The Regent Seven Seas Mariner has 5 bars.
The pool bar (from 10am until 9pm, weather permitted), observation lounge (from 3pm until midnight), horizon lounge (from 1pm until midnight), mariner lounge (from 5:30pm until 11pm) and the stars lounge (from 9pm until late).
The panorama lounge is a great place. The view is amazing, especially when the ship is on the move and if the weather is good. There is often life piano while you enjoy a pre or after dinner drink.
On days at sea the bar opens earlier around 12pm.
When the evening is approaching, bar snacks and small bites are brought to your table – if you were lucky. It often seemed like there was just not enough. Staff would come in with a tray full of snacks, hand them out to the nearest tables , and then just disappear and that would be it.
The service here was again hit and miss, at times very fast and attentive but on other days you could easily wait up to 30 minutes for a waiter to come over and take your order.
The champagne and cocktails were delicious. We stopped ordering wine here after getting corked wines 4 times in a row.
The mariner lounge is located right next to the Prime 7 restaurant and the Compass Rose.
Fluffy chairs and couches, earthy colors, yellow lights.
This place is cosy and gives you a cocoon feeling.
Excellent place to enjoy a drink before or after dinner next door.
The lounge we went to the most is the Horizon lounge.
It is located on deck 6, at the back of the ship.
It even has an outdoor area.
Here you can enjoy afternoon tea from 4pm to 5pm. You can choose between sweet and savory treats such as sandwiches, pies, cupcakes and canapés.
In the evening there is live music as well.
Service here was much better, staff was so much faster to take your order and would come over frequently to check if you needed extra drinks.
Getting bar snacks and bites was much harder, but once that tray would make it to your table the bites were nice.
The stars lounge opens at 9pm.
If you want to enjoy more drinks after dinner and fancy some live music or put on your dance shoes, this is the place to be.
On our trip this lounge was never really full, it would only get a little fuller right after the evening show at the theatre.
As the bar only opens that late, this lounge is a very peaceful place to read during the day – with or without a cup of coffee from the Coffee Connection right next door.
You can find the boutique on deck 7 of the Regent Seven Seas Mariner.
Here you can find clothes and accessories, jewellery and perfumes.
Toiletries and other essential items are available for purchase upon request in the boutique.
The boutique is open when the ship is on the move, during day at sea it is open all day long.
Any item you purchase is billed to your Regent guest account linked to your room key which is also linked to the credit card you chose during the embarkation process.
You can settle your bill the day before or on the morning of disembarking.
Wellness & Spa
On the same level next to the boutique is the wellness and spa.
It is usually open all day long from 8am until 10pm.
Right next to the spa and wellness is the gym.
This gym area is open from 1am until 9pm.
The Regent Seven Seas Mariner swimming pool is located on deck 11.
It is open from 7:30am until 9pm, weather permitted.
All around it are plenty of comfortable sun loungers. Rolled up fresh bath towels are placed on them in the morning by the staff for you to use.
Most of these sun loungers are in the sun, however you can also find them in shadier areas on the same deck, together with comfortable outdoor couches and sofas.
Pool bar staff regularly stops by and ask you if you would like a drink.
The water in the pool is not heated, what a shame.
The 3 jacuzzis are nice hot though.
Since we were on an Alaska trip, the pool and pool bar would often be closes and the beds removed due to bad weather and rough seas.
On deck 12 is a jogging track with view on the pool.
More in the back of the ship on the same level are other activities to keep you occupied.
A shuffleboard, minigolf, putting station and crocket field.
All the way at the back is a paddle tennis ground.
Yo can find all the necessary equipment for these games in the white boxes next to it.
With Regent quite a lot of the excursions are included.
We booked an excursion in advance for every single day.
if you change your mind on board, head over to the shore excursions reception on deck 5 and the staff there is glad to help you find something else.
Information about the excursions, vouchers, where and when to meet, etc. was well organised.
We never had to wait long for a shuttle bus to turn up, however some were quite ‘rustic’ and old and uncomfortable. The guides were at times great, other times pretty boring. We always left at the time we were supposed to leave and were always back on the ship as planned.
We loved the Alaskan Lodgee adventure and seafeast excursion, the crab and shrimp boil was delicious!
We paid for two excursions to see go whales and orcas.
And they were fantastic: the whales, glaciers and rainforest trails in Juneau ($169 per person), and orca whale watching in Victoria ($149 per person).
Both times our guides were biologists and gave us plenty of information about the whales.
It was great and worth paying extra.
Complimentary wireless internet connection was available on board.
For only one device per cabin, which in this day and age is not acceptable anymore!!!
The connection quality had its ups and down, especially when you are at sea.
You can pay extra for better internet packages, but they were very expensive: $160 for 200 minutes, $0,99 per minute, $124,95 for unlimited basic wifi and $419,76 for unlimited wifi with streaming.
You would expect at least 2 free wifi connections per cabin for the price you pay to be on this ship. Other cruise companies are able to provide it, why not Regent?
On deck 6 is an internet corner with printer.
Next to the internet corner is the ship’s library.
Plenty of books are available.
You can choose from a large variety of genres: travel guides, history, autobiographies, novels, poetry, thrillers…
Just take the one(s) you like, and bring them back when you’re done.
On the same level as the boutique on deck 6 is the casino.
Opening times depend on wether the ship is docked or not.
During days at sea, the casino is open all day long.
Self service laundrette
On deck 8, 9 and 10 are self service laundrettes.
They are open from 7:30am until 10pm.
Washers and dryers are at your disposal as well as an ironing board and iron.
Detergent and baskets are also available.
The medical center is located on deck 4.
Consultation hours are from 8am until 10am, and from 5pm until 8pm.
In the event on emergency you can call the emergency number on board 24/7.
The shows on board the Regent Seven Seas Mariner usually start at 9:30pm in the Constellation Theatre on deck 5 and 6.
It can be anything from Broadway musicals, piano and opera to standup comedy.
The entertainment was good, excellent singers and choreography.
On a few days a guest lecturer would come to the theatre.
Topics he would talk about were glaciers, the formation of Alaska, the gold rush and so on.
Lectures are planned at 10am and take about 45 minutes to one hour.
The topics were interesting, however it was often hard to understand the guy.
The average age of most of the passengers was between 55 and 75 years old.
Most of them were couples and a few solo travelers.
With a few exceptions, most of the passengers on board were American and British.
Casual wear is allowed on board all day long until 6pm.
Each day the evening dress code was elegant casual.
No need to dress up heavily: no cocktail dresses, ties or tuxedos needed here on board.
Slacks and shirts for men (sports jacket optional but not necessary), long pants and elegant tops for ladies (dresses and pantsuits optional but not necessary).
We liked the no pressure feeling about the dresscode here on board the Regent Seven Seas Mariner!
Would we book again with Regent?
Regent’s travel itineraries are exciting and we like smaller ships like the Mariner.
Even though it was far from perfect, we can see us go on one of their world trips on this ship.
But they really have to convince us that they have improved the embarkation process, upgraded the quality of their wines, and that the wifi is free for each person on the ship.
Would we recommend the Regent Seven Seas Mariner and this cruise trip?
Yes, this ship isn’t new but it has aged very well.
It is well maintained, a pleasure to walk around in.
The cabins have an older design but they are still very charming.
- very comfortable cabins
- free laundry service
- mostly good excursions and organisation
- good food in most of the restaurants, with some misses
- laid back dresscode
- embarkation process needs to be completely reviewed, with possibility to sit while waiting your turn, and overall simplification
- hit and miss service
- quality of the wines
- wifi for only one device per cabin, with very poor connection
We paid for our trip on board the Regent Seven Seas Mariner cruise ship and didn’t get or ask anything in return for this review.