We are a party of six travelling together, 4 of which have cruised a couple of times previously and one couple on their first cruise.
The overall experience on the Mariner of the Seas was great. This ship itself is large with lots of things to do and see. There are lots of bars and restaurants etc. The embarkation went smoothly and hassle free and was over quickly. We found our cabins easily, 7574,7576 and 7578 and they were well appointed and we were all happy with the accomodation. The pool area was larger that we had expected and was well maintained and a joy to be around, although there was no atmosphere, except on the cruising day when there was volley ball against the crew but even then the man with the microphone enthused no-one......he was not the right person for that role. The Ellington Bar was lovely but like all the other places to order drinks there was no Moscata which is all that one of the ladies drinks and at times other drinks were unavailable. The cruise director Dan was excellent and he really had to carry the load as not many others had much personality. Most of the staff in the Windjammer cafe were rude and we all felt if we asked something that we were putting them out.
Now for the gripe - the food on this ship was of a extremely low standard - as for fine dining it was so far off the mark that I could have served up better presented meals. We have travelled on the Voyager of the Seas and Celebrity Silhouette and the Voyager was great but the Celebrity Cruise was outstanding.
The way the Winjammer Cafe was set out was a recipe for disaster with many things not being in the right place to make it easy for consumers. Take for example just to get cereal - the bowls and the cereal (very poor selection) were together but the milk was in another area and the spoons in another area. So people were going all over the place. Not having an egg station where your order is cooked for you was disappointing as the omeletes etc all cooked ahead of time and being kept warm is not apetising. The toast was even precooked leaving it hard and not pleasant to eat.
As we were disappointed in the dining room not just with the food but also with the level of dress that was deemed acceptable for the dining room. Especially on the formal night, if you say suit and cocktail dress then that is what is accepted, if the cruisers do not have the level of attire required then they can use the buffet at Windjammers. We all had the correct attire but it did not feel at all special as we were surrounded by persons with an assortment of clothing, one in which displayed a very distasteful T/shirt.
The overall experience was good with the friends we travelled with, but the food is a large part of the cruising experience and your ship failed to deliver a level that would be deemed "good" anywhere and this brought the cruise down in our overall expectation.