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Review of the Mariner of the Seas
Cruise Date: July 2012
Booking: Internet Agency
Embarkation: Civitavecchia, Italy (Rome)
Cabin number: 7648
Cabin category: Superior Balcony
7 Night Med. - Mariner of the Seas
On Mariner of the Seas, you are never going to run out things to do. Due to the ship?s size, Royal Caribbean was able to pack in many more amenities onboard Mariner than her previous sisters. On deck 3, Studio B, the ice skating rink is open for free skate multiple times during the cruise, giving you the chance to ice skate on the equator. Head on up to deck 13 and 14 and that is where you will find the sports zone. This is where you will find Royal Caribbean?s famous rock climbing wall. The rock climbing wall has many different tracks for anyone to try out, anyone can do it! The sports zone also has a NBA regulation basketball court where you can play soccer, volleyball, and obviously basketball. Also up here, Mariner Dunes, Mariner?s very own 9 hole mini golf course. Some of the holes can be bit tricky and take some thinking to figure out, especially hole number 5! Finally, why not inline skate while on a cruise? Well, right next to Mariner Dunes is one of the only inline skating tracks on the 7 seas, so strap on those skates and give this track a try!
The crew onboard Mariner were some of the best I have ever met! They were all so friendly, if they saw you walking down a hallway or just walking around the ship, they would make sure to say good morning and ask you how your day is going. They actually took an interest in what you did in port earlier that day or even what you had just eaten at dinner. Charles, our room steward, was definitely the best room steward we have ever had. He did a great job keeping our room clean and putting a smile on our faces with his fun towel animals. He was always out and about where we could walk up to him and strike up a conversation or even just ask for an extra towel. The crew always seemed to be in good mood even behind the scenes. While walking through the galley I noticed that the crew were always talking to each other, joking around and just having a good time. Our waiters, Lucas and Leonardo were top-notch and always made sure that we were satisfied with our meals and would even sometimes bring us extra food just to try! After sailing on 3 different cruise lines, it seems to me that the Royal Caribbean crew really seem to enjoy their jobs and definitely work the hardest for you.
Obviously, dining is a large, possibly the largest part of the cruise experience. Mariner of the Seas has 9 restaurants onboard including the 3 dining rooms, 2 specialty restaurants, a hot dog stand, a cafe, and 2 buffets. Add in the multiple bars onboard, room service and you have tons of dining options at your finger tips. Overall, the food was pretty good. Breakfast was the usual eggs, bacon, sausage, and fruit spread found on most cruise lines. Lunch in the Windjammer Cafe had more of a ?European? kick to it since we were sailing in the Mediterranean. Lunch featured a lot of Italian food including spaghetti, pasta, and pizza. Along with the normal buffet, Mariner has Jade which as an Asian restaurant buffet style. For dinner, Mariner has 3 dining rooms located throughout the aft section of decks 3-5. Traditional time assigned dining is served in the dining rooms Rhapsody in Blue and Top Hat & Tails. Your Time Dining is served in the Sound of Music Dining Room. Each night of the cruise came with a different theme for the food at dinner ranging from Italian to French night. The food was usually pretty good, but I feel like that Royal fell flat when it came to desserts. Overall, the food and service were usually good and unless you?re very picky about food, you shouldn?t have any complaints.
Entertainment on cruises is usually a big deal, but on Mariner I didn?t really get that feeling. For some reason, the production shows onboard weren?t the same compared to other cruise lines. Unlike other lines who usually put on Broadway style shows, Royal Caribbean only had cabaret shows. Even though the variety wasn?t great, the cabaret shows were pretty decent. There were also no comedy shows onboard which was somewhat disappointing since I do enjoy comedy shows. I think the best production that the Mariner put on for us was the parades on the Royal Promenade. The parades were a great way to entertain guests in a fun environment. You can check out what these parades are like in my video below. Anyway, overall the shows were decent, but I wished that they offered more variety in the types of shows, but I?m not a big theater person so it didn?t really bother me much.
On this cruise, we visited Genoa, Corsica, Barcelona, Palma, and Sardnia. We had a great time in all of these ports especially Barcelona. In Corsica, Palma, and Sardinia we did a beach day, since that is really the only thing to do on these beautiful islands. The beaches were white and soft with clear blue water rising and falling against the shore. In Barcelona we took a hop on, hop off tour bus to all of the major sites. We were able to see the 1992 Olympic Stadium, the Gothic Quarter, the Sagrada Familia, and many other major sites. We also stopped at one of Barcelona's beautiful beaches for a few hours. The tour bus was definitely the best way to get around since it took us right up to every major site and even dropped us off at the beach. Plus, another bus would show up at the stop you got off at every 15 minutes or so. Genoa, honestly there is not much to do there, so we just walked off the ship and basically walked back on. Overall, the ports were beautiful, historical, and even a little bit tropical. I will definitely want to return to most of these ports someday soon on another Mediterranean cruise.
I was in stateroom 7648 which is a superior balcony stateroom located aft, port side. I thought that the stateroom was very large, definitely one of the largest I have ever stayed in. It has the usual layout for a balcony cabin including a private bathroom with shower, a good sized seating area with couch, a large bed, flat screen tv, mini fridge, desk/counter, and a large amount of storage space. Plus, the balcony is much larger than most balconies on other cruise lines. Overall, the stateroom was very spacious, comfortable, and a nice space to wind down at the end of a long day.
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