Embarkation - easy and quick. The cost of parking at Port Canaveral has gone up significantly - now $85 Monday to Friday.
Food - distinctly average in the MDR on my time dining. Dinner took 2 hours every night. 30 minute wait before ordering. We were a large party but it just took too long. Food was average to good but absolutely none of it was hot. It also took ages to get drinks and we rarely got the drink we had ordered. Breakfast buffet in the MDR was freezing cold. A la Carte breakfast in MDR was good.
Windjammer - breakfast was the worst I’ve ever seen - cold, sloppy and disgusting, we went once then ate in the Diamond club. No choice, all cold and poor quality. Lunch was good and we went once for dinner, which was also good.
Cafe promenade - we went for pizza after dinner and had to wait for 20 minutes as there was no pizza available. When the pizza was finally cooked and served, it became the only free hot meal I enjoyed throughout the cruise. There was always a queue for pizza every time we walked past, sometimes snaking down the promenade and the service was very slow.
Izumi - we went for Teppanyaki for lunch. Was expensive at $40 each but fantastic experience and fabulous food - we all had the premium options so enjoyed beef tenderloin, scallops and lobster. Our chef, Jeffrey, was very entertaining and we enjoyed the experience very much. I also enjoyed some fabulous sake cocktails on the drinks package which were different and supplemented the experience. If you have not experienced Teppanyaki before, I would highly recommend trying this. Lunch is $10 cheaper than dinner and you get exactly the same food and experience. We also had just two other ladies at our Teppan so it was an almost private experience at lunchtime.
Drinks - I had the deluxe package which was pre-booked before the cruise. I also had the benefit of Diamond drinks in the evening but I like cocktails and different wines to those on offer. Individually priced drinks are absolutely extortionate - $12-$15 plus an 18% gratuity is just ridiculous. If you like to drink, even if it is just a few cocktails/glasses of wine per day, the cost means you may as well go all out and get the deluxe package.
Cococay - this was our first visit to the “new” island; we had been a number of times to the original island. RCL has done a great job, we had a wonderful day. The upgraded food and drink offerings were fab and we enjoyed both the sea and the huge free pool. Unless you want to go on the big water slides, there is absolutely no need to pay anything extra at Cococay; there is an abundance of seating (based on one ship being docked rather than two) and plenty of activities. Floating mats cost $18 each - we took our own inflatables to float in th sea instead.
Nassau - this being my 14th visit to Nassau, I have pretty much run out of things to do here. We went to Cabbage Beach on Paradise Island and took the water taxi, which was a big mistake. We had to walk for 30 minutes from the water taxi drop off to get to the public beach access. Regular taxis were charging the same price ($4 per person) and dropped off right outside the beach access route. If you’re going to the beach, take a regular taxi. We paid $40 for 3 chairs and an umbrella. The beach was lovely but the sea was very rough. It is a public beach so it was busy, people were playing music and smoking, and hawkers pestered us literally every 2 minutes we were there. We still had a great time but if you want a private and peaceful beach experience, avoid Cabbage Beach.
Around the ship - there was nowhere quiet on this ship. Everywhere we went was incredibly loud. This was my 3rd sailing on Mariner and first after her refurbishment. She is a beautiful ship; it’s a shame she has been put on this party itinerary.
Cabin 7579 promenade view - clean enough but very tight to get past the beds into the cabin, luggage had to go over the bed. It was nice to look into the promenade. There was a service station a few doors down where crew took what looked to be used crockery/glasses from room service. Until around midnight each night there was clattering and clunking from plates, glasses and cutlery - very noisy but not from the promenade.
Adventure Ocean - my 3 year old niece had a great time at Aquanauts and couldn’t wait to go back each day.
This is a party cruise and very much like a floating holiday camp - the quality of food and service is not up to RCL’s usual standards. We still had a good time but won’t be taking this cruise again.
Very difficult to get past the beds when they are split. Clean enough and comfortable enough. Very noisy from the service station a few doors down.