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Review of the Mariner of the Seas
Cruise Date: March 2010
OMGOSH, RCCL Delivered : Mariner of the Sea Februray 13
Background: We are a couple in our mid 40's and early 50's. We enjoy cruising but would not consider ourselves cruisers. This was our 11th cruise with others most recent on Princess and Carnival. We consider RCCL our favorite line because it has the some of the elegance of Princess and the unbelievable fun vibe of Carnival. Our last cruise was to Alaska on Princess (8/09). The destination was amazing but my cruise experience was merely so-so. Staff and service, were good but not outstanding for us. The ship was absolutely breathtaking. Again, Alaska made up for what the cruise itself did not deliver. Booking this cruise I prayed for an experience that would leave me satified and yearning for more. Well, RCCL delivered.
Embrakment: Quick and easy. We were on-board within minutes of getting to port. Unlike Princess our room was not ready so we went straight to the buffet for lunch.
Cabin: We booked the hump balcony. This was our second balcony and somewhat of a let down. Our first balcony was an Princess aft (2/09). Every moment viewing and listening to the wake was memorable. It was wonderful having the final look at where we have been. I was seeking the same kind of experience from our hump balcony but honestly I was too busy on deck to care. Compared to Princess the RCCL cabins are much bigger with a love seat and simple more square footage. I felt as if I was in a hotel room than a ship's cabin. Note: I informed DH I booked the hump cabin and his idea of this was somewhat different from RCCL. I should have explained to him but had too much fun listening to him tell his friends about what a great job I did.
The ship - I immediately fell in love with the Promenade. I chose to spend my down time (few minutes) here having a cup of coffee or snack while enjoying a chat or maybe just a smile with other passengers. Next time I would consider for a Promenade cabin over a balcony. I love to people watch verses the peace and comfort of the balcony.
Food: Going on this cruise I prayed for a dining experience worth dressing up for: high heels, nightly gown and gel push-up bra need be. I simply did not enjoy the food on Princess and was hoping this cruise would turn that around. From the first meal to the last, I was satisfied. The meals in the main dining worked for me. The buffet, what can you say, there was always something worth trying. We opted for My time dining and loved it. We did not mind making a reservation but on a few occasions we were able to change to a later time without any problems. For us it was nice to plan our day knowing dinnerwouldl be around a certain time. It also helped us not to eat too close to dinner time. The food in the main dining room was worth saving our appetite for. Our table mates were fabulous and we shared table with the same ones on several occasions.
Service: Truly exceeded my expectation. I haven't received bad service in the past but at time nothing memorable. On this cruise, every step of the way left me thinking, wow that was so nice. We had soda cards and our glass never went empty. The waiter suggested something specail to try at the start of every meal. On Princess I got the response that all the dishes are great when I asked for suggestion. On the last night our waiter took a huge bowl with his special-made chef salad for us to try. Every person we met seem to be willing to do something extra to make our cruise more memorable.
I did everything, got little sleep and came home wonderfully exhausted. Quest, oh dear, what can I say. Well maybe I shouldn't (-:. For those of you on this cruise I will declare it wasn't ME. It wasn't ME judging the sexy legs contest and was told I was having way too much fun. It wasn't ME dancing to the Reggae band on deck. It wasn't ME who decided to wear the very formal gown on casual night. It wasn't ME who tried skating for the first time, screamed like a baby but made it without falling. It wasn't ME dancing on the Solarium pool for the adult deck party. It was ME making up the rock-wall, twice.Oh dear it was not me who lost her %^%^% in the Quest show. Well, it WAS ME screaming from the hump balcony but I almost dropped by camera.
Majority of the passengers were nicley dressed, however the other nights were pretty casual. I chose to wear a gown on a few of those nights and for the first time in a cruise felt over dressed. DH asked me to dress down as not to stand out so much (-:
Cabo - We booked with ship shore for snorkeling in two bays. This was a great experience.
Puerto Vallerta - ha the zip line. At 43 I leaned to swim, so at 45 I decided to get over my fear of heights. I booked this excursion with Los Veranos. It was absolutely unbelievable, especially when I decided to let go of the cable and swung through the air upside down.
Mazatlan- The weather was not very good so we canceled out trip to Stone Island and enjoyed the ship.
I am glad this cruise worked for me. I left knowing I couldn't wait to be back. To keep us committed to another cruise, we booked while on-board. As much as this was wonderful, travel is truly about experiencing that which is different, so we are considering Carnival for our next. I will post pictures of all the things I did not do :-).
Our current vacation plans: San Fransico and Yosemite - June 2010
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