Mariner of the Seas
by Diane White
September 9, 2007
Ahoy! Overall it was a great cruise! Now for the good, bad and the ugly!
Embarkation: Went smoothly at Port Canaveral. We were, however, late boarding because disembarking was about one hour late.
Mariner: The ship is amazing especially for two people who were taking their first seven-day cruise. (25th wedding anniversary). However, to delineate and although you may not agree with me, these are just the opinions of two senior citizens who do not go out very often.
Overall Crew: Excellent with customer service with the exception of the Crown and Anchor Desk. Bob and I wanted to book another cruise but had the feeling when we walked away that this specific person was only interested in people who had Mariner's repo on their minds. If only I could hit the lottery, I would make the rep's dreams come true!
Balcony Stateroom: Small but very well attended to by the stewards and the housekeeping staff. They are truly worth the extra money you pay. We had a hump cabin and its proximity to the elevator was amazing once we realized aft from forward and starboard from port.
Casino: Fairly small for a ship of this size with a cruiser capacity of 3400. Although, I did well, do not plan your retirement portfolio on your winnings.
Shows: Great with the exception of the Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers.
Cruise Director: Dennis Sciortino. Dennis tries very hard! Missed Becky Thompson or Ken Rush. Dennis is very energetic, however!
Food: If only the food was as remarkable as the rest of the ship! The food was served luke-warm at best and all, unfortunately tasted the same. Exception and what an exception -- Chops Grille -- DO NOT MISS IT, WOW! Worth every penny of the extra $20.00 per person. The food actually had flavor and the deserts were to die for! Windjammer buffet offers the same meals as the dining room with the same lackluster taste and, of course, luke-warm!
Hair Salon: Simple shampoo, style and blow dry -- $39.00 plus gratuity. Was not pleased, but that is just my opinion. It was the first formal night and any port in a storm.
Cafe Promenade: I could have eaten there all week -- the coffee is amazing there and on the entire ship! Not as strong as I thought it would be -- 24/7. Cookies and cheesecake, awesome. I only had two cookies all week, but my husband found his way there for cheesecake on a regular basis.
Pool Area: Yogurt Machine 24/7. Usually working.
Soda Card: Do not recommend. We did not purchase any as I find out the trick to this. You will pay $42.00 for the week. When you bring your cup with you, they just fill it. If you buy a coke without the card, they give you a full can. It is $2.01 with gratuity. That means I would have to buy 21 cokes to make up the difference -- at least 3 per day.
Shops: Offering great merchandise at fair prices. Their sales of gold by the inch are fantastic!
Labadee: Crowded but nice -- weather was beautiful. Drawback -- the craft people -- They make it impossible to look for anything. They are literally IN YOUR FACE to buy something. Terrible, my husband and I could not get out of there fast enough.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica: Unless you snorkel or scuba dive, this port is not for you. We, again, were subjected to crafts at the exit of Dunns River Falls. This was an experience virtually unknown unless you have been there and can commiserate! So, unless you snorkel or scuba -- no Dunn's River Falls or anything that has crafts people selling their wares! (The country is very, very poor!) One US dollar is equivalent to 63 Jamaican dollars! Royal Caribbean -- pick up Montego Bay and drop Ocho Rios from your list of ports!
Grand Cayman: Total rainout with lightening! Refunded for the one shore excursion I really looked forward to of all of them.
Cozumel: Oh, well -- it was the Mexican version of Jamaica and Labadee. Unless you do water sports or the beach, shopping is a no-no -- much higher prices than anything in the United States and even on the ship regarding jewelry! Also, the Mariner docks at least five miles from the "shopping center" of Cozumel.
Oh, well -- so much for my two cents. My husband and I had a really great time and are planning on Adventure of the Seas for November, 2008. If anyone knows about this ship, please give me a buzz on the website.