It is so sad to have to express myself sooo badly about this last two cruises on the Mariner. We enthusiastically plan our cruises a year prior of sailing date. Our first disappointment: the prices drop by $300.00 pp on the first leg, RC does not adjust the prices anymore if it is paid in full, not even the OBC like they used to. On the second leg it drop $200.00pp, that would have been a total of $1,000.00 saving for both of us, that could have well been expended in a future cruise, or take one of the tours.
The food seemed to have been very low quality, fruits were very bad, no taste, hard, not ripe. On the first leg we managed to have a little bit of fun... On the second one we managed to survive with all the rude people that boarded the ship in Valparaiso, no class, no education at all. It got to the point that they would not let you get in on the elevators, the lines to the main dining room on sea days were terrible, 20-30 min. wait, lines all the way to Studio B, so we decided to do the alternative dining. We decided not to go there anymore, Windjammer was the solution.
Front desk people very unpleasant, not courteous at all. It was a hassle to have to pack like if we were disembarking after the first leg, they unpack again. Going from a promenade stateroom to a regular inside was very disappointing, our first cabin steward attendant... "The best ever", thumbs up for her (Sheryl Romero), very neat, never had to ask her for anything, she took good care of us, in our 20 + years of cruising experience, she is been far the best. A completely different story on the second one, we got a smelly cabin, the attendant seemed to have been new, no experience at all, stain towels, missing toilet paper, forgot to leave cruise compass, had to reminded to leave toiletries
First bad experience... Puerto Caldera instead of our scheduled Puntarenas, we learned that we did not get there because Queen Victoria was already scheduled to arrive there, not because of the depth of the waters, that was an excuse I believe. Ugly place, no transportation plus it was a Sunday... Nothing to do there, very humid, taxis were trying to make up with expensive rides to either Puntarenas, San Jose or any other place you wanted to go.
Ushuaia, again the ship did not dock @ the pier, we had to be tendered. Thank God we did not have to get up @ 5:30am to pick up tender tickets, being Diamond Plus Members, we got ours the night before. I felt sorry for those, specially handicapped passengers that went to retrieve them that early in the morning and did not get to go ashore until 10:00am or so. We had planned to get off around that time, they were barely disembarking people holding #6 tickets. We had to be back by 3:30pm, not enough time to do all that people wanted to do. On our way back... the line was about 3 block long, rainy/cold day, again I had to talk to the security @ the gate to let a partially blind senior and his wife to take the next tender, they had been in line for about an hour and could not stand on their feet for so long, since I speak Spanish I managed to convince them to help them out by allowing to board the tender. We were supposed to leave Ushuaia by 4:30, did not happened... the last tender arrived around 6pm, they could not get a third one, they said... only two tenders for 3,000 + passengers. In Montevideo about 100 people were forced to disembark because they did not have Brazilian visas, that was very sad. We knew from the beginning when we were boarding in LA, the process took forever, the reason was... "people with no visas". Unfortunately we have been sooooo "Loyal to Royal", but it's changing, we have 7 upcoming cruises booked, two are already paid in full, so we are being forced to take them, another 2 not paid in full but already have the airline tickets, so it means that cannot be cancel and the other 3 are maybe... We tried Cunard last year, Queen Victoria, can not describe the quality of food and accommodations, you have to see it to believe it, the prices are comparable to RCCL. Do we have to continue being "LOYAL TO ROYAL? IF THEY ARE NOT TO US?" That's the question...
Being a Hispanic lady, my love for dancing exceeds to everything on the ships. I requested a bigger venue for Latin music/dancing area. They promised but never happened. Boleros is a very popular venue, tons of people try to dance there but not enough space, get to the point that accidents occur, people stepping on each others feet, bumping into each other, not enough chairs for people that want to take breaks in between songs.
On the second leg of our cruise the personnel was not friendly, disorganized, careless.
Many, many mistakes of the cruise compass, like having activities at the same time, same place. Wrong info. about activities.