We traveled from Rome to Galveston, TX on Mariner during Oct./Nov. 2012. We have traveled on multi-lines and ships throughout the world. I shall not dwell on the ports except to say that they were all nice and welcomed our visit. We did not utilize the shore excursions available and prefer to use local transportation. As a general comment, the weather was great and the sailing went smoothly. The ship layout and facilities were good and the staff was generally very friendly and helpful. Most passengers considering a transatlantic voyage are experienced sailors and so I shall not bore you with the typical. Let me divide my comments into three categories: 1) negatives, 2) positives and 3) suggestions for improvement.
Negatives - The little things-no chocolates at turn-down, no staff members at the Internet room to handle problems, the entertainment for the first seating was at 9:00pm, which meant just wasting a half hour to 45 minutes just waiting for the show to begin, smoking is still allowed on balconies. The evening movies were offered at 7:00pm, which is too early for those in first seating and too late for those in late seating. The bigger concerns - the food was generally just lukewarm and the soup was always lukewarm, even when I specifically asked for hot soup. The quality of the food was average. Room service did not promptly pick up dirty dishes left in the passage ways by passengers having room service; however, room service was very prompt with service otherwise.
Positives - Our Captain. Fleming Neilson, was the most friendly and social Captain I have ever encountered on any ship. He was always walking in the public areas and talking to passengers to see how things were going. He had time for pictures and loved to talk about the ship. If you are lucky enough to have him on board, you will know it. The dining room service was very good, although the staff did not or could not do much about the food temperature. The cabin stewards were friendly and did an excellent job overall. Lastly, the bridge(cards) instruction was good and our cruise director, Paul Rutter did an excellent job. The "guest" entertainers were much better than the "production" numbers put on by the entertainment staff.
9348 - balcony cabin. Layout was good, adequate storage area with room under the beds for the empty luggage. Fixed shower door was better than the typical curtain. Quiet with cabins above and below. Adequate balcony.