Royal Caribbean - Mariner of the Seas. NEVER again: Mariner of the Seas Cruise Review by oct696

Mariner of the Seas 3
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Royal Caribbean - Mariner of the Seas. NEVER again

Sail Date: April 2012
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Galveston
I have such strong opinions about this cruise...let's see if I can put in succinctly.

I will not sail with Royal Caribbean/on the Mariner of the Seas again because of the following:

They allow smoking INDOORS! I was floored when we first boarded the ship, went to Bolero's to have a fruity drink while we waited for our room and smelled smoke because just on the other side of the bar there were people smoking. They also allow smoking on the Promenade in the Wig and Gavel and in the 19th Hole bars. Yuck.

Inflexible and overall unsatisfying dining experiences.
I've only been on 3 other cruises but at each I've been able to get filet mignon at dinner w/o having to pay extra for it! So odd to have to pay $14.95 for something that is standard elsewhere.

And I've always been able to order off menu at any meal and they were always very agreeable and willing to accommodate my requests. Here, not so much.

In the Windjammer Cafe: I asked for a tray More to carry food to my mom (who was in our room). I was told that they don't do that. I explained that my mom is disabled and it's easier for me to bring food to her. They said - with absolutely no compassion, "Order room service". Well. Have you seen the room service menu?? Soooo limited and due to my mom's medical issues she couldn't have anything on that menu -- hence me schlepping up to the WJ for food. Believe me; room service would have been so much easier.

I know it's very difficult to prepare food for 3000+ people but still...the WJ food was pretty poor quality and awfully repetitive.

And they didn't have ANY grapefruit juice (in any bar anywhere on the ship) to make my favorite drink (sea breeze) each bartender said, "try another bar: an inside bar/an outside bar/the casino bar. They'll have it". Well no one did -- all week, and I pretty much tried all bars on board.

I really feel badly for everyone who had such awful disembarkation experiences. I overheard several people talk about the possibility of missing their flights -- why people book them so closely to disembarkation is beyond me, but whatever.

It took just about 1 hour to get off the ship and through Customs but it would have been a couple of hours longer except for Jonathan, a Beverage employee who was one of the staff who was charged w/getting the disabled off the ship. He was a bulldog. He had a train of wheelchairs follow him as he bulldozed his way -- from the aft of the ship, through the crowds to get us to the luggage area. That's where we waited and waited and waited while the porters chatted, smoked and stood around. I saw at least 3 standing by, smoking, empty carts, not helping anyone. Once we finally got the attention of a porter, he couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. He was also a bulldog who got everything squared away for us.

We thoroughly enjoyed the Disco night on the Promenade. So much fun!!

Our waiter and assistant waiter in the dining room were FABULOUS. William from the Phillipines and Dumitriu from Romania.

We had the best table in the house at dinner. 4th floor's Top Hat and Tails - middle level, 'balcony' with a perfect view of all 3 levels. Our table mates were great too. We spent all evening after dinner w/them several nights. Very cool.

The ports were very interesting -- loved Roatan Honduras and Cozumel. (Sadly) didn't see enough of the beaches in Belize to rate them, but the city reminded me of impoverished, never need to go back there.

I won't sail from Galveston again due to lack of support services (read: no rental car availability on Sundays!)

The Springhill Suites on Broadway was the perfect place to stay with a really great staff.

The transportation company recommended to us by a Cruise Critic member (PT109)was awesome! Our driver from Houston to Galveston, Charlie was witty, chatty, informative and smart! Our driver from Galveston to Houston was the owner himself, Dwayne Johnson, who was awesome!!! Informative, chatty, funny and smart, too!!!

Overall, the trip was worth it - never a bad day at sea! However, after this RC cruise, Holland, Princess and Celebrity cruises I'd choose Princess or Celebrity again.

Take care all and happy travels!
Lori from San Diego Less

Published 04/25/12

Cabin review: D11674 Superior Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony

Deck 10, room 1674, port side, the very last cabin before the aft balcony rooms. The room is not considered to have an obstructed view, but I'd say that if one is supposed to be able to see left, right, and center from their balcony then I would consider this room partially obstructed because there is window cleaning scaffolding mounted to the ship on the left side of the balcony. Ample and well organized closet space. Nice size couch, comfy if not slightly soft beds. Absolutely no lotion, shampoo or conditioner in the bathroom w/o having to ask for it. Tiny (maybe 19") flat screen TV with a decent selection of channels if that's important. Two chairs and a tiny table on the balcony. Right below the Windjammer Cafe and the pool area but never heard any noise.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Didn't get to see much of the beaches because we took a 'city' tour. The Belize City by Carriage Tour was interesting. We had an exuberant guide who was clearly proud of his city. The tour included a stop at the Belize Museum. I never need to go back there.

Island Tour

Took an island tour on a modern air conditioned bus w/tour guide Alex and driver David. Drove all over the island - I think we saw it all. Stopped for a tour of a "tequila factory". Bought over priced tequila as souvenirs. The 2nd stop was at an 'authentic' Mayan ruin and Catholic Church. The church was real, not so sure about the Mayan ruin. The last stop was at Playa Mia, an all inclusive beach resort. Very nice. The best thing about this place was they had a sand wheelchair so it was sooooo much easier to get my mom to and from the water's edge. The drive along the ocean was so beautiful. The water was spectacular.

Chose the Tabyana Beach Break. Great price, super helpful and friendly staff. Buffet lunch: red beans and rice, BBQ chicken, watermelon, cantaloupe and pineapple, hamburgers and hot dogs. Lemonade, iced tea and bottle water. Cash bar. A couple of 'gift shops', lockers and well maintained bathrooms. The big plus for me was the staff took great care of my wheelchair bound mom. They practically carried her wheelchair to the waterside so she could play in the ocean - and brought her back when it was time to go back to the ship. The bus ride was an adventure in itself. Beautiful countryside drive over a mountain road w/shear cliffs on the side
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