I will Start with the transfer service From Lax to the port , on the morning of our embarkation the RC representatives met us right where our travel Agent told us they would be , they had a great big yellow flags to identify them and they where the start of the exceptional service we received on our cruise.One of our party had a very late addition to their booking and had to add a transfer ,it was seamless.Our luggage was taken and we were promptly shuttled to the ship. The checking in process was the one of the parts I was dreading because of our previous experience with Carnival. I was totally shocked ! The whole process from getting dropped off by the shuttle to checking in ,getting our sea pass and boarding the ship was only 15 minutes . Royal Caribbean gets an A+ for boarding procedures.
The Ship, I had read a few reviews about how the Mariner was worn out and showing its age, I could not disagree more , I found the ship to be exceptionally clean and up to date with no signs of being old or worn out . We even noticed a maintenance person of some sort noting that a small corner was chipped off of a floor tile . We noticed a couple of times a bulb was burnt out ,only to be replaced by the next morning , it tells me that the crew was very intent on keeping up the maintenance. Also let me add that we tried to see every part of the ship and could not believe how tasteful all of the decor was . Again an A+ is in order for the ship. The Service, This was one of two major differences we found between Carnival and Royal Caribbean . We either got lucky and had the best State room attendant and waiters on board or RC holds them to a higher standard than Carnival, I think it is the standards held by RC , because others in our party had other attendants and waiters and had the same service. Our Stateroom attendant Vivian could not have been nicer nor more helpful. Our waiters in the main dining room where Clavain and Mahesh they were simply fantastic, they helped make a secret Marriage proposal go off without a hitch ,as well as provided exceptional service at dinner , I truly feel that the three above mentioned employees are an asset to RC.
The Food , this is the other difference between Carnival and RC . Simply put I thought the food was awesome , we ate in the windjammer every day for breakfast, and the dining room all but one night for dinner , we did get a burger at Johnny Rockets, and did eat at Chops Grille one night. We never had a bad meal or bad experience anywhere. Food A ++
The shopping and culture was good , The Cabo Wabo Canteena is a must see. I got some great deals on liquor , but all in all just a typical tourist trap . We chose not to do any excursions just walk around all three of the ports.
If there was a low point (and I am reaching) it was our stop in Mazatlan , from the time we got off the ship, to the time we got back on I was wishing I had something resembling a fly swatter only for humans , the street vendors where horrible and didn't seem to understand what no meant and would get angry with you when you wouldn't buy anything from them. The ship toted a resort called Los Rius as a place you could go sit on the beach and relax ,they just didn't mention that the street vendors on the beach out numbered the tourist 10 - 1 . After a solid hour of fending off wave after wave of locals selling everything from jewelry to hats to kites , our view of the ocean was obstructed by the local stable master whom I believe was married to one of the many ladies we turned away ,he parked his four horses right smack in front of us so we couldn't see the ocean. I had enough back to the ship
We like this port the most , it was clean modern and had the fewest street vendors. We enjoyed the shopping and the walk along the shopping district , as well as all the local sand sculptures ,they built these things for tips only ,they were truly amazing