My wife Pam, my two boys, ages 15 and 11, as well as my parents just returned from a Thanksgiving cruise on the Mariner of the Seas. We had a great time and the Mariner was the best ship out of 8 that we have ever sailed on. There is so much to do on the ship that the days at sea for us were the most enjoyable. The captain and the crew were great, the entertainment outstanding, and the food and service very good and consistent. We had heard that the food was only so-so but we had no complaints. The boys were able to be with us at dinners but they had their own activities during the day. My 15 year old, Chad said it was the best vacation he ever had and often just "hung out" with the other teenages on board. We had no problems with check-in on Sunday at 12:30pm, our luggage got to us in a timely manner and a great first day. Our only complaint on the entire cruise was that my wife and our youngest son, Parker had very poor service at "Johnny Rockets." I believe RC realized they had issues because someone in management came and tried to improve speed of service and observe the issues.
The casino was great, bingo was fun although they seem to have a difficult time, even on the last day with the big payoff, letting people know the amount they had won. Some issue with the computer they said.
We had a great week with super weather and stops along the way. They had a new departure plan in place that you can do express check-out. We were driving back to Atlanta so we wanted to depart the ship in get on the road as soon as possible. We were able to keep our luggage in our room the last night and leave the ship and go through customs at 7:00am. We were in our car and on the road by 7:35am.
Just a fantastic vacation for all from kids, to parents, to grandparents and we are now talking about another cruise with a lot of our friends on the Mariner on Spring Break 2006.