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Mariner of the Seas Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1294 reviews
4 Awards

Mariner of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean

Review for Mariner of the Seas to the Eastern Caribbean

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Sail Date: Oct 2006
Cabin:

Pre-Cruise Information: Web site very helpful. We pre-printed our cruise documents. Booked thru travel agency and because of on line documents did not get luggage tags in advance which made arrival complicated as we searched for a pen and had to fish out our cabin numbers from our documents. Boarding: I hate lines. They were long. The cruise ship personnel moved quickly and there were a full complement of staff. I feel the cruiseline did their best, but the process of boarding was still stressful. (I've cruised Norwegian, Carnival and Princess... Princess seemed to be the fastest but there may have been other variables at work). Cabin: won't cruise without a balcony... it's where I spend most of my time. The balcony was smaller than I liked and the furniture somewhat less than comfortable. The table on the balcony was small, primarily a place to put drinks. I brought work and would have preferred a regular height table to place books. The room was immaculate and the cabin staff extremely friendly and attentive... and fast. The bed was quite comfortable. Food: Oh my... again the service of staff was exceptional. The food in the main dining room was good, but had some weaknesses. I ordered a New York strip and it was a thin cut and grissly. Vegetables were not as crisp and flavorful as I like. Dinner at Chops was fine but not memorable. The food at Portofino was truly exceptional. One of those times my eyes were bigger than my stomach!! The few times I used the buffet, I found the quality mixed, but good. Wine: I have to mention two things: The pre-purchase of wine is a great deal. We generally will do two bottles during a long, high end meal. The price break with the pre-buy was great and the selection very good. The second bright point was Vintages, the wine bar. Truly exceptional staff... I looked forward to our evening visit as much to visit with the women pouring the wines as to the tasting. I love flights of wine to compare regions, vintages, etc. and that is a strong point here. A very comfortable venue. Entertainment: Booked with a group and we had special entertainment (which was a bit disappointing). Because of that, I missed the ship's entertainment ... really wanted to see the ice show! The venues that we accessed for entertainment were very comfortable and well equipped. Gym: I tend to become less disciplined on a vacation, but managed two workouts in the gym Excellent equipment... I never had to wait for a machine. Every cruise ship I've been on keeps the gym a bit warmer than I like. Decks: Again, attentive service. I tend to like my balcony so only took sun on the deck a few times. Very comfortable. Medical Facility: Never anticipated using this. I am a medical provider specializing in emergency medicine. Ended up with a blood nose which was resistant to stopping. The medical staff and nursing staff were great... and their facilities exceptional. I didn't intend this to be a "busman's holiday" but I am now very confident in the skills of the crew and the equipment... and I hope I don't need to use them ever again!! Shops: I'm not a shopper but the promenade was very attractive and the shops seemed to have appropriately priced merchandise of good quality. Casino: The ship made a profit. Overall: An excellent experience. I was part of a group of middle aged gay men and there was some unpleasantness. I heard epithets being directed against gay passengers and some folks seemed to have a real problem with there being a visible gay presence on the ship. But those folks were a minority and fortunately the Captain and crew acted to defuse the situation. I did insist that my partner who tended to be up later than I, not walk the decks or halls alone out of concerns for safety. Nevertheless, I did appreciate that there was excellent security and surveillance that was not obtrusive. These things are just the risks that gay people face. Disembarkation: Again, the hurry up and wait is always unpleasant. Fortunately they kept the food and coffee available so after leaving the cabin, was able to leisurely sip coffee and pastry while awaiting the call to disembark. I do suggest the cruiseline subcontract with the government for security/passport checks. The cruiseline is MUCH more efficient (and courteous) than the government. Bus transfer: I used bus transfer arranged by our travel agency. A mistake. The Cruise line definitely had it more together. Passengers using the Cruise line transfer service were quickly moved on to buses and whisked away. We waited in line, in the sun for more than an hour waiting for our buses. And then we almost lost our luggage between the dock and the airport!!

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