From a little background, my wife and I have cruised 22 times, and this being the first on Royal Caribbean. Most have been on Princess, Celebrity and Carnival. We selected this cruise because my granddaughters wanted a change from Carnival or NCL and with the Mariner we had hopes this would be an upgrade from the others.
We drove down the day of the cruise from Dallas, our group of 13 people in 3 separate cars and parked at EZ Cruise Parking. We collected our bag and were off to check-in. the initial process went smoothly, and being the one who was paying for everything, tried to put 3 cabins on one credit card and THOUGHT all was fine, but more on that later. We arrived around noon, and after check-in we were told it would be 1:30-2:00 before we would be allowed to board. Ok, that's fine so let's see if we can find a place to sit. We ended up finding one seat for my 85 year old mother, next to someone who was saving seats for his family. He probably did the same thing in the pool area because 30 minutes later we couldn't see anyone who even recognized him. We were directed to the other side of the terminal since it was getting rather crowded, and was told "I will personally come and get you and assist you on boarding". When our group was called we proceeded to the other side of the terminal again, and met people who were 2 groups ahead of us, so everyone seemed to merge into one and eventually got on board around 2:15. Headed up to Windjammer until the rooms were ready.
Got down to the room, and met our cabin attendant I wanted the door between the 2 cabins opened so we could play cards with mom and sis and was told he would ask the Captain if it was doable. After day 2, and it still wasn't done, we went to the front desk and asked and was told they would take care of it. On day 3, we asked again and the cabin attendant told us it probably wouldn't be done because they were rusted shut. Really? He didn't know we are relatively seasoned travelers so I asked the front again and was told due to safety reasons they wouldn't be opened. I can say this is the first cruise where we weren't able to do this, and it was a little disappointing but no real big deal.