We sailed on her last July 2001 in Alaska, a few months after she was launched. Last year the service (dining room, room service, ect.) was spotty due I'm sure to the fact it was a new ship, and a much larger ship than Radisson had experience with. What a difference a year makes. The service was well polished. We also saw a lot of crew and staff from our Alaska cruise. That is a good sign as too much turnover keeps you from achieving that polished state. Dinner is open seating and house wines are included. The house wines are actually quite good. There are 3 specialty restaurants. One is Cordon Blue gourmet. Its as good as it gets!!! One is a tasting menu where you get a taste of several outstanding items in each course. The third is mediteranian type foods (also very good).
We did not get a chance this time to watch the shows but I remember them being very good last year. Our cruise was a jazz cruise so they had a great jazz band. 6 or 7 guys. Some of the people on the ship knew jazz and apparently these guys were known and well respected. It was great to listen to them.
There were lots of events like bingo and bridge. Lots of movies you could borrow and watch in your room and of course lots of books you could borrow to read. There are about 25 PCs you can use to check email or surf the net when classes are not happening.
The cabins on this ship are great. All rooms have a balcony so even steerage (deck 7) is choice. 2 bottles of booze (your choice) and a fridge with mixers all included. An iced bottle of champagne in your room when you get on is a nice touch. All tips are included which I find makes the cruise more relaxing for some reason.
Check in: Drop your luggage off outside by the conveyer belt that takes it on the ship and hop right on the ship. Check in is in the ship's theater. Goes real quick if you have your passports and credit card out. They have people to carry your hand luggage up to the room for you.
We really enjoyed the cruise. We will continue to leave the Mariner very high on our list of choices. After talking to lots of people that really liked the smaller Navagator, I think we will try it in the future.
Only other cruise was on the Crystal Symphony which we also loved.