This was the first cruise for us. We selected RCI on the advice of a friend who is a seasoned cruiser and we weren't disappointed.
Embarkation was a bit confusing at first as we had never done this before. Once I realized it was pretty much like a more crowded airport it became easier.
We fell in love with the ship as soon as we boarded. After a few days I could see where some people were correct when they say Mariner is starting to show her age, but it didn't detract from the experience for us. A little bit of paint and some new carpet in the halls and she'll be as good as new.
Food was pretty good for the most part. We only ate in the MDR twice, once for dinner and once for breakfast. We scanned the menu every day (we had My Time Dining) and only found one night where there were enough dishes to appeal to us both. After our one breakfast experience we wished we had done it more often. Food in the Windjammer was pretty good and we were always able to find More
something to eat. All the fruit and vegetables were very fresh.
We did the Dolphin Push, Pull, and Swim in Cozumel and really enjoyed it. In Georgetown we took a late tender over and did lunch and a little bit of shopping. Falmouth has a way to go but I think it has potential. The actual port area would benefit from a couple of places to eat. Right now there's a couple of places were you can get some lunch and take it to the picnic tables in the area, but a sit down restaurant or cafe would be a nice option. We took the trolley tour of the town and really enjoyed it. Yes, it takes you through some parts of town you might not want to see, but we found it to be a good experience as it made us more grateful for what we have. These areas aren't really "bad" but you might see a couple of cars on blocks or some run down houses. The locals in Falmouth that we met were terrific.
My only complaint about the activities on the ship is that there's too many of them! I didn't get around to doing half of what I wanted to do on the ship. Guess I need to go back and try again.
Also, I can't say enough about the crew. Everyone always had a smile on their face and was willing to talk if they had the time. Our Stateroom Attendant was awesome.
There was a hiccup with disembarking when the computer system went down and they couldn't swipe Seapass cards. After a while they just let everyone off and kept the cards to swipe later. After that it went pretty quick. They announced they were letting everyone off and about half an hour later we had cleared customs.
A bit smaller than I expected as I've never cruised before. Pictures on cruise line websites are obviously taken from angles to make the rooms look bigger. We got used to it pretty quickly and it wasn't an issue. Plenty of closet and drawer space. Very quiet part of the ship most of the time. Close to the aft elevators.
Mainly just did some shopping in this port. Found the locals to be friendly and not pushy when trying to get us to buy something. Wanted to eat lunch at Hammerheads as we had heard good things about it. The food looked at smelled great. Our waitress brought is one beer instead of the two we ordered then never returned after saying she would get us another. The restaurant was about half full and we would see her pop up and joke with the other staff from time to time but we were never able to get her attention. After about fifteen minutes I threw a few dollars on the table to cover the cost of the beer we did drink and we walked down the street to Rackams. Great food and great service. I'd go there again.