Mariner of the Seas Cruise Review by GoldenRose: Fantasic Family Vacation on the Mariner
Overall Member Rating
Fantasic Family Vacation on the Mariner
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
We traveled with 3 generations - my mother, me and my husband, and our two children, ages 1 and 6. All of us enjoyed the cruise a lot. They set up one of the kids areas as an indoor play area for children under 3, which was a nice surprise. They also had a playground every morning for the babies, and allowed us to check out bags of age appropriate toys. This was an improvement over previous sailings with children under 3. Adventure Ocean was still great, and our son really enjoyed it on the occasions he went to visit.
The Main Dining Room was the biggest disappointment to us on this cruise. We were assigned to My Time Dining instead of the Main Seating as we purchased the cruise somewhat late. Even though we had a reservation at about the same time most nights, we kept getting assigned to different tables with different waiters. Not all were very good with getting food out fast to our young children. (One was particularly dreadful - we couldn't seem to get the waiter More over to our table to take our orders, much less bring us anything.) This was a real change from previous cruises, when we had the same waitstaff, who made an effort to get to know us and have kid snacks either waiting or out quickly. I would not do My Time dining again, if I could avoid it. We ended up ordering a lot of room service. We also thought the food in the MDR was highly variable. Some dishes were very good... some really weren't. It sort of seemed to be luck of the draw. We did go to both Portofino and Chops, which were both excellent.
We thought much of the staff was wonderful. Luca, the Concierge, was absolutely wonderful. He was pleasant, helpful, and always available to help with anything. Our stateroom attendant was also great. He even took the time to give our son a private lesson in making towel monkeys, after the baby destroyed the towel monkey the attendant had left for us.
We loved our balcony, and thought the room size and layout was very good. (We were in a Royal Family Suite.) The balcony was huge, and we had breakfast on it almost every morning.
The Ice Show Under the Big Top was not to be missed. It was the highlight of the entertainment onboard for us. The production shows were decent. Honestly, we've seen better on other ships, but we still enjoyed them.
The embarkation wasn't bad, but the disembarkation was a nightmare. One of our kids wasn't feeling great, so we made the mistake of letting the kids sleep in on the last morning. Suite guests can get early disembarkation, and if we had known what a nightmare disembarkation would be later in the day, we'd have woken up the kids early and dealt with their early morning crankiness. People were trapped in barely moving lines for hours, waiting for a porter and/or waiting to get through customs. Seriously, if you can get off in one of the early groups, do so!
Anyway, overall, this was a wonderful week. Good ship, great ports. We'll definitely do it again. Less
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