All of Mariner's rooms are at least 301 square ft., every one of them a suite with an extra-large teak balcony, walk-in (or -through) closet and an unobstructed view. The decor is predominantly gold and burnt orange with beautiful cherry wood cabinets. Trim in the bathrooms is marble. All accommodations include balconies (with padded chaises and small tables), bathrooms (shower-only set-ups in most suites), robes, hair dryers, flat-screen TV/DVD combos, refrigerators, safes, telephones and bath products.
The largest suites measure 2,002 square ft., and those in the top seven categories (Penthouse, Category B and above -- approximately 18 percent of the total) include butler service. Besides handling dining reservations and delivering nightly hors d'oeuvres and room service orders, butlers duplicate some of the functions of cabin stewardesses and handle shore excursion bookings and concierge services. In short, they serve as 24/7 point persons for passenger requests. In addition, the butler takes special requests, such as one of ours: setting up a private, sunset Champagne and caviar service on our balcony one evening.
For those who don't have butler service, cabin stewardesses provide exceptional service with a smile, minus some of the extra bells and whistles.
There are 13 channels on the in-suite televisions. Channel 1 features the day's menus from each of the restaurants. Channels 2 and 3 are for the bridge cam (along with public address system announcements) and GPS/Nautical/Weather information, respectively. Two additional channels offer rebroadcasts of onboard presentations (port talks, enrichment lectures, etc.), and one channel offers documentaries on ports and shore excursions. There are three channels devoted to closed-circuit movies. Four channels carry satellite or local television broadcasts (CNN and Fox, Sports, TNT movies and CNBC Financial). A caveat: Availability of networks does vary with the ship's location.
All suites have small refrigerators, but these are not set up as mini-bars in the conventional sense. They contain water, soft drinks and beer, but because the ship now provides complimentary drinks in its bars, there are no longer bars set up in the suites. In addition to tending to the suite's drink requirements, the butler or stewardess also refills the fruit basket with fresh fruit each morning (even if the fruit is untouched).
There are six staterooms designated for handicapped passengers. Several stateroom bathrooms also have shower stalls without bathtubs, which might be preferable to taller passengers or those who have difficulty climbing over high tub walls.
Self-service laundry facilities (located on Decks 8, 9 and 10) are available at no extra charge.
Cabin was in the mid-aft section of the ship. Since it was one deck below the buffet restaurant, I did hear occasional rumbling noise overhead, probably due to rolling carts. These happened at random times but did not bother me at all. I visited another cabin on Deck 7...continue