Recently, My wife Janessa and I sailed on RCCL's Mariner of the Seas-Eastern Itinerary. While I can now say we have two cruises under our belt, this was by far the best we were ever on.
Check in (Day 1)- We flew into Orlando International the day before, so we got a good head start. Check in from the airport was smooth. We waited at the airport for about 30 minutes and were loaded onto a bus to Port Canaveral. (VERY Organized) The drive was about 45 minutes and is the biggest ship in the port. We had two other ships in that day (Carnival Sensation and Disney Wonder.) Upon arrival, we waited on the bus for roughly 30 minutes until being allowed to get off and proceed to checking in. (BE ADVISED, if you plan on parking a car, get there early or it will be a mess.) Checking in is real smooth. You can expect to be on board the ship within 30 minutes and that's with huge lines.
Cococay, Bahamas (Day 2)- RCCL prides on their private islands, and we can see why. There's plenty to do and plenty of food to eat. There are local vendors on the island. If you are a shell collector this is the place for you.(Bring US Currency as Seapasses are not used to purchase local vendor items.)
Days at sea (Days 3, 6 and 7)- Day 3 for us was a mess. We hit Tropical Storm Olga (trust me, the ship tosses.) Nothing really happened on Day 3. On the days that things are calm, there is PLENTY to do (rock climbing, ice skating, miniature golf, the pool with activities, etc.)
St. Thomas, USVI (Day 4)- This one I have a bone to pick. Those who love jewelry might want to see for themselves if its worth it because I'm not sure. Alcohol is dirt cheap though (I bought 4 liters of rum for the price of half in the US.) I recommend doing a short excursion either early in the day or later in the day. You will become bored if you only walk through Charlotte Amille only. Its worth it until about 3 PM ship's time since the shops close a half hour later (FYI, Ship's time is an hour earlier than local time.)
St. Maarten, DWI (Day 5)- Mariner of the Seas docks on the Dutch side of St. Maarten. GET A SHORE EXCURSION!!!! There it nothing really to do on your own except go to the Beach. FLAT OUT!
Specialty Restaurants (Chops Grille)- Fantastic Steakhouse. Major Recommendation for those who love steak. Didn't get the chance to do Portofino's.
Dining- Breakfast is the usual type of stuff (fruits, cereals, waffles, etc.) However by day 4 the same stuff got kind of old. Buffet's are huge in variety. Make sure you go at the typical eating times. It seemed that around 3pm the variety of food dwindled. The Dining room is fantastic (Table 325 Rhapsody in Blue, late seating, GREATEST table mates, Jitin and Dan are AWESOME!!!!)
Johnny Rockets- HA! HA! I don't know what people are saying, the waiters are slow and are constantly messing up the orders. Fortunately we got a refund because it was embarrassing. Room Attendant- Dale, if you are reading this and are looking for a job find me. This guy took GREAT CARE of Janessa and me. Thanks, dude (or "brother" as his response usually was.)
OVERALL- Mariner of the Seas is FANTASTIC. We felt spoiled with the hospitality we got. Thanks for a fabulous time guys! enter your review.