Mariner of the Seas
September 24, 2006
We are veterans of many, many cruises, but had never sailed on any Voyager class ships, so were looking forward to the experience.
Upon arriving at Port Canaveral, we found that the line to drop luggage was nearly an hour long. We were told that there was a "problem" with debarkation of the previous weeks cruise. As a result, there were only three porters unloading vehicles, and the resulting line up was very lengthy. After dropping the luggage, the embarkation went very quickly, and smoothly.
The ship is beautiful, and the crew one of the best we've ever experienced, however with 3,000 passengers, everything, and I mean everything was crowded. The wait for elevators was maddening, and when they did arrive, more often than not they were already filled to the limit. Be prepared to walk the stairs often.
The food was good, to very good, however the selection seemed limited. The menu did include several items that were available at every evening meal, and these were O.K., but not outstanding. The food in the Windjammer was good for buffet food, but once again, somewhat limited in selection. Deserts were good to excellent in my opinion.
Our cabin on deck 8 was clean, and neat. It was very small, and had very limited closet and drawer space,however this was one of very few cabins I've ever had where the thermostat actually worked! If you turned it to "cooler" it got really cold in the cabin. Excellent!
Entertainment was average, at best. The big production shows were somewhat bland. One of them had music of the 80's. I didn't like it then, and I like it less now! I heard more than once, that the best shows on the entire ship were the ice show, and the Karaoke SuperStar show, which was the passengers performing. I tend to agree. If you didn't have tickets to the first Ice Show, (only a few hundred available) then there was absolutely nothing else to do. That left over 2,000 passengers twiddeling their thumbs! Very poor planing by the Cruise Directors Staff.
Debarkation back at Port Canaveral was very good, and very quick. We are Platinum, got early baggage tags, and were back on the pier by 0730.
Overall, an average, at best, cruise. Way too many screaming uncontrolled children. Way too many passengers all trying to go the same places, and do the same things at the same time. Average food, but excellent service, and a beautiful ship. Will I sail the Voyager Class ships again? Only if the price is near give away, or if they happen to sail to some port that I absolutely don't want to miss.