CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Mariner of the Seas Eastern Caribbean December 7, 2003

Sun/Dec 7: embark Mon/Dec 8: Nassau, Bahamas Tues/Dec 9: at sea Wed/Dec 10: St. Thomas, USVI Thu/Dec 11: Phillipsburg, St. Marteen Fri/Dec 12: at sea Sat/Dec 13: at sea Sun/Dec 14: disembark

On the whole, a rather nice cruise, good value for the money and providing pretty much what we needed and expected from a cruise to the Caribbean.

On the PLUS side:

(1) The ship was superbly clean and beautiful - after all, it is brand new. (2) The service crew (room stewards, waiters, bar tenders) was perhaps the best I have encountered in decades of cruising - they smiled, greeted and assisted, constantly - probably hand-picked from the best in the fleet for a new ship. (3) Food: The dining room was typical fare - quite acceptable but nothing extraordinary. We found the Windjammer food, though, to be surprisingly good. (4) Entertainment: We did not do any of the shows, but from what we heard, entertainment was typical. I did see the Krooze Komics perform a couple of times and found them neither entertaining nor funny. (5) Cabin: We were in a Junior Suite on Deck 9 - a very nice cabin, well designed with pleasant furniture. Only wish that the curtain ran all the way across the cabin (dividing sleeper couch from bed area) as the curtains do on the RCCL Radiance class.

On the MINUS side:

(1) Probably the worst embarkation/disembarkation in my history of 25+ cruises. On arrival at Port Canaveral, the crowded arrival drive couldn't handle the volume of cars/buses and became gridlock. The Diamond boarding line (which is usually fast/instant) was long and slow. On disembarkation, we were among the first off of the ship and then waited 55 minutes in a warm bus until enough other passengers arrived to fill up our bus destined for the airport. I won't sail from Port Canaveral again, anytime soon. (2) Elevators: They were having some problems with elevators - at times all of them went to Deck 1 and locked. Crew responded quickly to get them back into service, but at times the elevator waits remained surprisingly long.

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