52nd Birthday Spring Break Getaway: Mariner of the Seas Cruise Review by rubinstein2r

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52nd Birthday Spring Break Getaway

Sail Date: March 2009
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles
DH and I are experienced cruisers having cruised previously on RCCL, HA, NCL and Azamara. This was the largest ship we've been on and while we did not take advantage of EVERYTHING it had to offer, we did quite a lot in 3 sea days and 3 port days and still had time to relax and do nothing when we wanted to.

Check in was a breeze and we were on the ship by 11:30 am. We had lunch in the Windjammer and sat by the pool till our cabin was ready at 1 pm. We had an ocean view cabin on deck 2. The size was pretty standard, it seems really small when you first go in but you do adjust. Our cabin was a distance from the elevators but I liked that it didn't get too much foot traffic going by... that gave us an illusion of some privacy.

The ship was very stable and we felt almost no motion at all heading south. On the last two days heading north we did feel some motion but it wasn't too bad at all.

Traveling without children, we chose to spend a significant amount of More time by the Solarium pool. By changing seats every few hours we could control for sun, shade and temperature. We did not use the pool itself just the whirlpool, which was cooler than we like it.

Though we had asked for a small table in the dining room, we were assigned to a table for 8. Two couples from Montana who sat with us for the first night switched to early seating so we were left with a table of 8 with only four sitting at it and since we chose to eat two nights at Windjammer and one at Portofino, the remaining couple was left alone at a table for 8 on those nights. I was more unhappy with the dining room food than I remember being in the past. I do understand and appreciate that dining room food is more like catered than restaurant food because of the large number of portions that need to be prepared but some of what we were served was not up to par, especially the fish. The salmon the first night was simply not edible, with a very fishy taste and poor texture. Cod the second night was only marginally better, and the tilapia on another night was only tolerable. Though others seem to like to lobster tail on the second formal night, we found it salty. Salads and vegetables in the dining room were ok, but lacked imagination. Desserts were good but sometimes poorly described. A "parfait" and a "tart" were both more like molded puddings, not what I expected. Dinner in the Windjammer provided a break from the dining room and though I was glad to have sushi, it was made with either smoked salmon or crabstick and it would have been nice if they included some tuna.

My birthday dinner in Portofino was the best meal we had. We had the Seafood Skewer and Halibut for the main course and an order of the Pasta del Mar to split. Service in Portofino's was attentive but rushed, we were out of there in 90 minutes. Also they did not serve the birthday cake my DH had requested for me.

The best entertainment was provided by Simeon on the piano in the Schooner Bar. We hear he will be working in the Comedy Club on Oasis and I do recommend him as a a very talented performer. Angelo, who also did piano bar stuff wasn't nearly as entertaining. We saw two comedians, a juggler and a magician, all pretty standard.

One thing I will mention is that there was not nearly enough pre-dinner dancing. We ate second seating and it seemed there was often a music/dancing gap during the first dinner seating when we would have liked to have been dancing. Also as far as "classical music" the string group seemed to play only in the dining room and not in any of the bars.

We took a water taxi to the beach in Cabo and had a relaxing time there. We bought two bottles of Corona from a beachside restaurant and were able to relax on their foam mattresses for several hours. Nice. In Mazatlan we just walked around the port a little, the taxi prices seemed pricey. In Puerto Vallarta we took the Yelapa shore excursion and it was great. I loved the snorkeling.... I became one of a school of brightly colored fish and then was able to relax on the beach in Yelapa, a town only accessible by water. Just watch out for the open bar on the way back to port... it's easy to overindulge, but then again it was Spring Break.

We disembarked earlier than our tags called for and still had no trouble finding our luggage. Now I'm back home in Arizona and looking forward to next year's Spring Break. It's great to be young (even at 52). Less

Published 03/24/09

Cabin review: I 2280

Adequate size, quiet location at end of hallway, very stable. Good if you don't mind being far from the elevator.

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