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This review is in tribute to all who post ... Your posts are very, very helpful! Hugs! Background: 2 (young!) seniors, 3 in their 30s. No children. Got a fab. rate reduction thanks to Cruise Critic posters, so a great value. As a cruise agent and veteran cruiser, I have to say that Mariner of the Seas during Spring Break had lots of activities for families. Huge ship fully loaded (3500 pax.) Excellent staff and crew, well-trained and friendly. I hadn't been on a RCCL ship in years and this was my first experience with this class of their ships. However, IMHO, this is the wrong ship for the Mexican Riviera. We live in Los Angeles and know that this itinerary before the end of April and after October can be cold, windy, and sometimes rocky. What surprised me most about this ship was that it had NO retractable pool roof top cover. The weather was sunny and warm the first 5 days, but the last 2 days at sea was very cold and very windy, destroying any chance of poolside sunning April 10 - 11. Other RCCL ships have the pool roof cover, and it would have made a huge difference in our last 2 days at sea. So, I do not recommend this ship in winter... although with a little bit of weather luck, possibly OK in late Dec. and early January when we get a spell of warm weather. Tip: For those with inside cabins, take showers in the spa dressing rooms ..much roomier! The Good: Rock climbing wall Min. golf course In-line skating Ice skating (adult and kids' sessions) Ice Show (don't miss!) ...all at no charge. Huge video arcade for the kids Excellent gym and indoor spa Lunch in dining room had an excellent salad bar which, in the way they have it set up, can be a wait for the servers. Service consistently good. Embarkation and disembarkation handled exceptionally well. Plentiful, quality smoked salmon (lox) which at $30. lb. in L.A. was a delight to have each morning. Promenade (sp?) and the 24 hour Cafe lovely..with several special shows taking place during the cruise. Latin Bar was a happening. The Not-so-good: Food in Windjammer was OK at best. Fried hamburgers and hot dogs, instead of grilled. No poolside grill > discouraged outdoor dining. Specialty restaurants: nice experience but OK at best. Main pool area was a visual mess ..has to do with design of the area ....tiered with lots of rails. Adult pool area ..closed in with cheesy design. No in-cabin amenities ..no little basket of samples. In sum ...(and, in fairness to RCCL, it was Spring Break and they handled the crowd well).. found it was an average experience in a big newer ship. Unless RCCL changes ships, take this one in late Spring to early Fall.

IMHO from a veteran cruiser

Mariner of the Seas Cruise Review by xxyyzz

Trip Details
This review is in tribute to all who post ... Your posts are very, very helpful! Hugs!
Background: 2 (young!) seniors, 3 in their 30s. No children. Got a fab. rate reduction thanks to Cruise Critic posters, so a great value.
As a cruise agent and veteran cruiser, I have to say that Mariner of the Seas during Spring Break had lots of activities for families. Huge ship fully loaded (3500 pax.) Excellent staff and crew, well-trained and friendly. I hadn't been on a RCCL ship in years and this was my first experience with this class of their ships.
However, IMHO, this is the wrong ship for the Mexican Riviera. We live in Los Angeles and know that this itinerary before the end of April and after October can be cold, windy, and sometimes rocky. What surprised me most about this ship was that it had NO retractable pool roof top cover. The weather was sunny and warm the first 5 days, but the last 2 days at sea was very cold and very windy, destroying any chance of poolside sunning April 10 - 11. Other RCCL ships have the pool roof cover, and it would have made a huge difference in our last 2 days at sea. So, I do not recommend this ship in winter... although with a little bit of weather luck, possibly OK in late Dec. and early January when we get a spell of warm weather.
Tip: For those with inside cabins, take showers in the spa dressing rooms ..much roomier!
The Good: Rock climbing wall Min. golf course In-line skating Ice skating (adult and kids' sessions) Ice Show (don't miss!) ...all at no charge. Huge video arcade for the kids Excellent gym and indoor spa Lunch in dining room had an excellent salad bar which, in the way they have it set up, can be a wait for the servers. Service consistently good. Embarkation and disembarkation handled exceptionally well. Plentiful, quality smoked salmon (lox) which at $30. lb. in L.A. was a delight to have each morning. Promenade (sp?) and the 24 hour Cafe lovely..with several special shows taking place during the cruise. Latin Bar was a happening.
The Not-so-good: Food in Windjammer was OK at best. Fried hamburgers and hot dogs, instead of grilled. No poolside grill > discouraged outdoor dining. Specialty restaurants: nice experience but OK at best. Main pool area was a visual mess ..has to do with design of the area ....tiered with lots of rails. Adult pool area ..closed in with cheesy design. No in-cabin amenities ..no little basket of samples.
In sum ...(and, in fairness to RCCL, it was Spring Break and they handled the crowd well).. found it was an average experience in a big newer ship. Unless RCCL changes ships, take this one in late Spring to early Fall.
xxyyzz’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin
Typical RCCL inside cabin...comfortable, ample closet space and
bathroom. Our stateroom was 6 cabins down from elevator so it
was convenient. It's a big, long ship so try to book near
elevators. In-cabin mini-bar for cooling own drinks.
  Mariner of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews