Mariner of the Seas
January 3, 2009
Our group: grandma (me), grandpa, daughter, son-in-law and 3 grandsons, 17, 15,13. our fourth cruise on the Mexican Rivera. The last 3 were on the Princess ships because RCI had a smaller ship on the itinerary. Since they brought the Mariner to Mexico, we decided to try RCI this time.
the cabin was gorgeous, spacious with a balcony on deck 9. the cabins were amazingly quiet. seems like on past sailings we were always hearing doors slamming open or closed. not on the mariner! and, this is the first time i have actually had hot coffee (as opposed to lukewarm) delivered by room service. on my birthday, my husband order a bouquet of 6 roses del on our coffee tray. that did not happen so they del it later and made it a dozen. the flowers were so wonderfully fresh, we were impressed. the mattresses were a bit firm so we asked for covers and that made them so comfy. the mini-bar will be stocked when you arrive. we asked for it to be cleared out so we could store our water, it was no problem.
our flights to the ship were delayed and we did not make it to the buffet until after 3pm when it closes. we were able to go to the promenade cafe on deck 5 for a light lunch.
food on board was great, not huge portions but you can order as many servings as you want. we ate most meals in the dining room except when in port when it is closed and you have to eat in the buffet. the dining rooms offers "brasserie 30" meals for lunch which only take 30 minutes. they do a fresh salad bar where they make your salads to order also, yummy. our waiter, emanuel, and his assistance, kittipan, had our names and drink orders memorized by the second day. service was great.
one thing that could be improved on the mariner is the ice show. it is just chaotic with people saving rows of seats although it is not "allowed". if you eat in the early dining, go to the 5pm show one evening. it is only 45 min long so you will make your dinner fine. the later show was really a mess.
i have a prescription face cream that cost me $120. in the u.s. i walked off the ship in mazatlan and bought it for $20. as it turned out, we walked to the new costco in PV (there is a costco in all 3 ports) and i was able to buy it there for about $10. if you are buying drugs, take the name of the drug, not the brand name. it will be a different manufacturer in mexico. not sure what the laws are regarding the importation of drugs but i had no problem with mine.
the exchange rate was 12.39/pesos on my amex card and 12.56 on visa including the currency exchange.
the last night on the ship, our family voted and every one said we would go on RCI again. nothing wrong with princess but the mariner just worked better with the teens. so much for them to do and it seems like a younger crowd than princess.
thanks to all the reviews before we sailed, it really helps. Bon voyage.