We just returned home from 11 days "on the beautiful Mariner of the Seas." It was an amazing vacation. The ship itself is in great shape. It's not new but you could hardly tell unless you were looking closely. (Hope that isn't how you spend your vacation.) :) There were over 3,000 guests on our cruise but you couldn't tell, with all of the activities available they did a great job of keeping everyone spread out.
The itinerary was excellent, Italy, Turkey, and Greece. We couldn't have asked for a more diverse look at the Mediterranean and its culture. The ports of call were many and the cruise staff was excellent and attentive. Our cabin steward, Dennis was excellent, singing while he cleaned and always making sure we had what we needed without being intrusive.
My only complaint was the food in the Windjammer and the coffee on the ship it was awful. The buffet food was often cold and overcooked. They, in my opinion, spend too much energy making a lot of food instead of a few choices from each nationality and doing them excellent. We ate often in the dining room because the food was much better there but then even lunch took an hour. I gained 5 lbs though so I obviously didn't starve.
All and all, for the value, this was a most excellent vacation and I recommend it highly.
The quality of the ship was good. It is not a new ship but honestly other than things being a little dated you can't tell. The carpet in our stateroom was slightly worn. The ship is huge but manageable. It is wonderful how they get so many people on the ship but you never really can tell.
This is my only legitimate complaint of the whole cruise. The food in the Windjammer at least was consistent, consistently awful. My husband said, "It was a mix between Old Country Buffet and high school cafeteria." The quality of food was poor and the kicker was that if the food was lukewarm you were lucky. We ate lunch some days in Main Dining Room but it takes an hour. On a lighter note the food in the Main Dining Room was good. Some days are better than others. I had 4 fantastic dishes prime rib, roast duck, lamb chops, and lamb shank. The sirloin was very good. I also had risotto that was memorable. We ate one evening in the Portofino. The food there is cooked fresh and served hot. I have Shrimp risotto that was excellent and the lamb chops and my husband had the tenderloin. Neither of us was disappointed. I wish Royal Caribbean would take a look at the kitchen and fix what is broken. The dining staff on the ship was of the best quality. Mary and Danielo our table staff were attentive. Danielo never let our soda's get to the bottom before another appeared. They remembered what we liked and served with a smile.
Our stateroom 8644 was clean and had plenty of storage space. The carpet was a little dated but the ship is not new. The bed was comfortable and the view from the balcony was amazing. Our stateroom attendant Dennis was great very attentive and made sure we had everything we needed.
All of the staff was friendly and gracious. Our head waiter in the main dining room was great as well as out waitress Mary and asst waiter Danielo. Always made sure we were well feed and happy. Don't like what you're eating? Let them know and they will replace it with something you do. The bar staff at the Bolero's bar on the 4th floor were awesome.
The entertainment was good. The singers and dancers were entertaining. My favorite was the new production show about the picture gallery. Very created and well performed. Also one of the highlights was the ice show "Under the Big Top" very well done on such a small rink. There were plenty of other things to keep you entertained like mini golf, in-line skating, rock wall climbing, swimming, games, and random music and shows. If you are bored I would say that the problem isn't the cruise…