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Doug Eads

Age: 57

Occupation:Travel Journalist

Number of Cruises: 16

Cruise Line: Regent Seven Seas

Ship: Seven Seas Mariner

Sailing Date: n/a

Itinerary: Western Mediterranean

Cruise Line: Radisson

“Early in life I knew the sea would be not only my career, but my way of life. After being a captain for seven years I still love this life and the sea even more. After only a few weeks on leave from my ship and the life on board, they seem to be calling me from the sea to return.”
Captain Jean-Francois Cotis

Radisson’s Seven Seas Mariner - Review:
A mariner is someone who makes a living at sea as a navigator or sailor — at least someone who spends a great deal of time at sea. The Seven Seas is an informal term for all of the oceans of the world ...

Mariner and Seven Seas are a natural mix of terms. Thus, born for voyages at sea was Radisson’s Seven Seas Mariner. This is a sleek plush ship navigating endless passenger voyages beyond each new and adventurous horizon — just beyond.

Departure: From the bow, salty cool air sprayed my hair as dusk ensued. I envisioned the narcotic enticement that lures mankind to the sea. Surely for centuries the sea has been like seductive sirens calling to ancient seamen. The seas can be inviting and placidly temperate, or surly and tempestuous — but those shimmering horizons beckon — “Come to the sea ...” a primal urge to see and explore comes from the soul of those who love the sea.

Today it is no different, for the sea is still that haunting temptress. This would be a wondrous adventure in many ways — exciting — I was at sea again!

On a brisk fall day the sleek ship departed the ancient former city-state of Venice, Italy. Our voyage was in search of ancient wonders throughout the Adriatic, Tyrrhenian and Mediterranean Seas.

It was appropriate to seek ancient wonders departing from Italy. Italy was the central focus for hundreds of years of the dominate Roman Empire. Roman antiquities are all about this region for more than a thousand miles. We would end this voyage 11 days later in Barcelona, Spain another Roman bastion.

Ship: Radisson’s Seven Seas Marinerwas launched in 2001 in France. She is 50,000 tons at 709 feet. She is the elegant all-suite, all balconied ship, and this is a statement of finer — if not the finest cruising available.

Four dining options including Signatures, which is dedicated to the world-famous Le Cordon Bleu cuisine, plus the welcomed open-seating ambience in the Compass Rose main dining area. Dine where you like, and with whom you like!

The Allure: Pampering at the Judith Jackson Sea Spa might be one way to enjoy the day, and perhaps breakfast on your balcony. Need a slower pace? — try dinner in your suite from a restaurant menu — not merely a room service only fare. Want to really go lame with relaxation? Visit the comprehensive library of books, games, and VCR movies and enjoy the ambience of your suite, with your sweet tonight.

Guests have the benefit of an array of complimentary beverages in-suite, and fine table wines with dinner. There is no need to keep checking your cash available, as gratuities are completely included in the cruise pricing, and this is convenient and well received by patrons.

Guests are appreciative of the cut-above quality of Radisson’s Seven Seas Mariner. We have found highest standards likewise on Radisson’s Paul Gauguin, which is stationed in the paradise of Tahiti year-round.

Guests enjoy a port intensive itinerary offering quality excursions and on-board entertainment plus guest lecturers. Our venue included timely audience interactive lectures from former CIA director (1977-81) Admiral Stansfield Turner.

Space Galore: If you are not extremely aware of today’s ships at sea, you might not know that a number of ships that are approximately the size of the Seven Seas Mariner carry nearly 1,100 people. The Mariner’s full capacity is 700 persons: 50,000 tons at 709 feet with only 700 persons at most on 8 passenger decks — this is an equation for space aplenty!

With several lounges about the ship, the library, spa, deck activities, your own spacious and inviting suite, it is common to wander about the Mariner and find pleasant nooks in almost solitude. Imagine cruising without the masses around and beside your every move — space, glorious space! This seems like a real vacation! This is what you really had hope cruising will be.

If you must mentally take your family and business along, the very cost friendly staffed Internet Café ensures keeping abreast is cheap and easy. A 1,000 word e-mail was $1.

Are you seeking entertainment or music to enhance an evening? Just follow the daily directory to your personal enjoyment. Your evening may include fine shows in the elegant Constellation Theater, or casual socialization in the Mariner Lounge. What about a star-lit stroll on the decks in the fresh sea air?

Your Cabin: Seven Seas Mariner offers the very nice, to the unbelievable in the all-suite accommodations. Suite space starts at a generous 301 square foot Deluxe Suite with fine wood finishes and including its own balcony — of course.

Cabins also have a sitting area, well appointed marble baths and walk-in closets, TV/VCR, and a stocked mini-fridge with an array of complimentary refreshments. It seems this beginning category resembles, but surpasses many ship’s upper tier facilities.

From the Deluxe Suite it only gets better and more spacious. The next level up, and quite popular; the Penthouse Suite boasts 449 square feet. And there are increasingly larger suite choices up to the mind-boggling and breathtaking ...

The Master Suite for larger families or a small group traveling together has an unbelievable 2,002 square feet — larger than many homes. It has two bedrooms, plus pull-out beds, and two large balconies — one aft, and one to the starboard side of the ship. This colossal suite is accompanied by butler services.

Itineraries: Our itinerary from Venice went to a former Soviet domain of Croatia. Split, Croatia offered excellent ancient structures amidst a bustling community and abundant outdoor markets. Other ports included the country of Malta near Africa, then back to Italy’s opposite side for a Florence or Pisa stop — then on to Sardinia, Marseilles, France, Palma de Mallorca, Spain toward one of our favorite cities, Barcelona.

Radisson’s Seven Seas Mariner will take on an exciting routing system this year when the new sister ship, Seven Seas Voyager, sets sail. The Voyager will have the warm season in Europe from the Mediterranean to the Baltic, and the Seven Seas Mariner will be closer as it spends this year’s warm season in the pristine Alaskan route.

This year discriminating cruising enthusiasts will have an alternative to the massive ships that ply the temperate rain forest paradise — Alaska. Vacationers will have the Seven Seas Mariner as an alternative. Or, opt for the new Seven Seas Voyager for European explorations during warm months. Both ships will offer the same standard of luxury and excellence, no doubt.

Overview and Critique: We found the highly superior aroma packed Arabiaca bean taste in coffee available only in the specialty restaurant. When we asked the chef about this, we were told each dining facility has its own measuring and brewing standards — for us good coffee is brewed not overly strong featuring aroma, not pure caffeine — a personal daily delight we would have loved in every dining option.

I discussed with the Hotel Director, Oliver Hammerer, about how superior the gym, showers, sauna, and steam room facilities were, but that there were no hair dryers in that area to enable one to go directly about the ship with dry hair, and he advised that they would be installed within two weeks at most — thus this is now a moot issue.

I also added my comment that on both the Paul Gauguin and Seven Seas Mariner the luscious complimentary bath and body products in-suite by Judith Jackson featured only the lotion named Citresse (citrus aroma), which many guests found too strong in scent. We suggest the Judith Jackson alternative ‘Tenderly’ hand & body lotion — a more familiar scented luxury product as an second option.

Aside from our coffee niche, the gym hair dryers, and lotion scent — we would be hard pressed to find any substantive fault with Radisson Seven Seas Mariner — this is a quality managed cruising experience. Mariner’s crew and service are superior, and the cuisine is quite nice.

Overall we found Radisson’s Seven Seas Mariner a special memory, and one that equals the fondness we felt for Radisson’s Paul Gauguin. These are ships with which to reward your life, marriage, and personal vacation dreams. There is the ordinary or usual, and then there is that which is extraordinary. Radisson Seven Seas Cruises has earned her 5-6 star ratings — not by chance, but with obvious hard work and excellent management standards.

Your trusted local travel agency can help you seek any available specials, upgrades, or other promotions Radisson may be offering. It never hurts to aggressively ask for a discount or upgrade when cruising is on your vacation menu.

This voyage concluded, and my imagination can only envision what Radisson wonders await on voyages not yet taken on seas not yet explored ... perhaps someday special yet to come!

“Those who live by the sea can hardly form a single thought of which the sea would not be part.”
The Spell, by Hermann Broch (18861951)

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