This is my first review here or anywhere for that matter. Mary and i booked the cruise to celebrate her 50th birthday. This was her 3rd cruise and my second. Our previous experience was on Carnival ships.
I will begin by saying that i am a Very reluctant Cruiser. I would have not booked the cruise had it not been her birthday wish. That said i will say i was pleasantly surprised.
The ship: Wow is all i can say. Never having booked a balcony stateroom it was a nice surprise. I had purchased some Birthday swag as well as flower arrangements and they were waiting in our room. The room itself was about the right size for two people. The bathroom was just large enough for one to be in the shower and one to be at the sink. Having just recently had back surgery the bed was a concern but it caused no problems during the trip.
The facilities were good. The fitness center had just enough to get a light work out in. Mary did a couple of the free classes. More
The walking track was nice as well. We spent most of our time in the Solarium which was for the most part quite and relaxing. I did the rock wall and Mary competed in the ping pong tournaments.
Dinning: we opted for My Time Dining. When we went by to see about getting a time we set our time at 7:30 for each night. After the first night we requested to be seated with the same wait staff. Richard and Michael would take excellent care of us each night. My wife ordered the sea food each night and was not disappointed. I had various dishes and all but the steaks were good. The steaks were pretty sub-par for what the rest of the menu delivered. Other than that the food was good.
For lunch and breakfast we mainly ate in the dinning room on deck 3. We ordered off the menu each morning and were very happy with our choices. One of the best parts of the cruise were our breakfast and lunches on deck 3. Each meal we were sat with different people. We ended up having an VERY long meals as the conversation was wonderful. The people were friendly and had some great stories to share.
Shows: I would recommend the ice show as a must see. It was incredible what they did on a moving boat! We also did the Quest and became captains of the winning team! I would not recommend this for kids or teenagers. It was and can be a bit adult themed. We also did The Majority Rules on the last night. That was okay. Mary did the Beach boys show and said it was okay as well.
Insights and tips: If you want coffee early in the morning you have two choices. You can pay for it at Starbucks or you can go next door and get Seattle's Best for free. While you are supposed to check your purchased liquor in at when boarding the ship which we did with the bottles we bought. Mary bought several airplane bottles of Vodka in Roatan and she had no problems. In Cozumel you can go to a local supermarket and find Tequila at a cheap price. I bought a bottle of Don Julio Reposado for $23.00 where at port it was 48 and on board it was 44.
Dislikes: The steaks were the biggest. Not up to par with the other menu options. Disembarkment in Galveston was very slow. Access to non alcoholic drinks in evening were hard to come by once the restaurants closed. Came home with a pretty good cold.
Likes: Having long breakfast and lunches with the other passengers and getting to know them. For the most part the other passengers were very nice and friendly. Getting around the ship was pretty easy as well. Well marked and touch screens pretty easy to find. Stateroom was nice as well.
So now i am faced with the real possibility of going on another cruise in the near future. I must say i will definitely not be as reluctant a cruiser as i was before this trip. The differences between Royal Caribbean are noticeable. Less
Mariner of the Seas Cruises to the Western Caribbean
We took a boat right of the ship to go snorkel and then to a private island. Good time had by all. The rum punch was loaded with rum and we all enjoyed ourselves. We were taken back to the ship and then we went into town with several other couples we met on our snorkel tour. Once you go outside the port area and venture further into town you see just how crowded and poor the people are.
Having been to Cozumel several times to dive and snorkel we decided to rent scooters with another couple. We went to a beach and then drove around the island. We then went shopping in the port. One suggestion. If you want to buy tequila go into town and buy at a local shopping market. The prices are MUCH cheaper.
Pretty sunrise and entering the port. The island itself is pretty rural and 3rd worldly. The people were very friendly. We went to a beach to snorkel and the water was amazingly clear. We asked the snorkel guide to take us both out and he took us to areas that we did not go to when we were with the rest of the group. It was very pretty and enjoyable.