This was our 8th cruise, 2nd with RC. It will be our last on the Mariner, though. It is a little too big. This is my 1st time to get sick on any cruise. It cost me $425 for 6 trips to medical. And there was always a lot of sick people there. Coughing and sneezing all over the ship, spreading germs. I think the casino was part of the problem. The smoke is bad (for non-smokers) and the machines and tables are so close, it is hard to walk thru. Go up to the promenade deck where the casino stairs rise to the middle of the ship. That's the only way smoke is vented out of the casino. I was sitting there one morning and the smoke started to rise as soon as the casino opened. I had to leave! The ship Dr. told me to stay out of the casino - it would help my breathing and my wallet. That's the truth. There was 11 in our group (post wedding cruise) and 4 got sick. Our assistant waiter said he was very sick the week before, along with other crew members. We wondered if that was the reason it took us 3 hours waiting in line to board.
Late seating on third floor. The service was great. The food was good, but nothing to brag about. Had lobster/shrimp combo one night. The lunch in main dining room was good. Had chefs set up in the middle area to make your own special salads. They were great. But it was usually crowded and sometimes had to wait to be seated. The windjammer buffet was very good. The same items are located on both sides of ship and spread out. It never seemed crowded up there. They cook omelettes (and special order eggs) in the back. You place your order and get number then come back to pick up order. No waiting in line. Get other food items, drinks and table, then come back. We thought the coffee, even decaf was was too strong everywhere. The snack bar on promenade deck has sandwiches (sometimes stale), sweets, drinks (have to ask for ice), pizza (terrible) 24 hours. Yogurt machine up by pool deck, but closes early. We didn't try the 2 restaurants that charged or Johnny Rocket's.
Made it to only the first and last shows (both good) in the theatre, and the ice skating show. The ice skating show was very good. The cruise director Carly, was the best! Carly had all the Veterans stand to be recognized at the first show. That really means a lot to us! I only remember one other cruise director doing that on Celebrity Infinity a few years ago out of Seattle to Alaska. And both of them were from England! Thanks again. What about you other cruise directors out there?
Cozumel was crowded (6 ships) in port that day. I was sick so we just did the submarine reef tour and did a little shopping at pier. Took tender to Georgetown (3 ships) and sat while my wife shopped a little. Had to cancel snorkeling with the stingrays. At Falmouth (1 other ship @ Montego Bay) we did the log float down the Martha Brae. It is located in Falmouth close by. There were only 18 from our ship and 6 from the other ship that went on this excursion. No weight limit on this one. We really enjoyed it. They also served us a jerk pork and chicken lunch. Would do it again if ever back at Falmouth.
Disembarkation was slow at Galveston, probably because of being a large ship. The Carnival Magic cruisers got off faster than us, but they were already there when we docked. I heard some people missed their flights out of Houston because the RC bus shuttles got to the airport late. We drove to Galveston, so it didn't bother us. I would also like to say a "BIG THANK YOU" to the PORT OF GALVESTON for providing free parking for Disabled Veterans while cruising from there.