My Mariner Review from June 2004: A Recap
Now that we have secured a place on this year's Mariner Cruise on October 30th, I thought it would be fun to read my review from the Mariner on June 27th, 2004. I hope it is not to presumptuous on my part, but I have recapped some of my review here since I have observed that there are quite a few cruisers on this Board hungry for any and all information/experience. So, here goes:
"I just returned from a wonderful week onboard the MOS. I read these boards continuously prior to cruising and would like to make a few (hopefully helpful) observations for my fellow posters:
PRIOR DAY ARRIVAL: We elected to fly in on Saturday, June 26th and were whisked to the Hilton at Walt Disney World. We had a beautiful suite on the 9th floor overlooking Downtown Disney. From our suite we could see Planet Hollywood and a very large portion of the Disney Parks. It was great. Flying in a day early, keeps one fresh for the 1st Day of the cruise...HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! (You may prefer to stay in the Port Canaveral area, but we loved our accomodations, even though they were in Orlando)
FIRST DAY: We were taken by Atlas Bus from the Hilton directly to the Port, which was approximately 1 Hr in duration. The drive over the bridge was breathtaking as we could see the Mariner towering over the other 2 ships in Port (Disney Wonder and Carnival Fantasy). I was still in awe and I have been on 4 previous Voyager Class ships!! We arrived somewhat after 12PM and had a VERY easy and efficient embarkation!! As was mentioned several times in some posts, the cabins were not available until 1:00 PM (the fire doors were closed) NO BIG DEAL!!! We just took our carryon luggage to the Windjammer and had lunch. WHEW--the Windjammer/Jade etc looked like feeding time in a pirhanna tank. We just laughed!! You'd think that all of these passengers hadn't eaten in about a week or 2! lol After 1:00 PM promptly, all cabins were available. The rest of the day we did exactly those things that have been described by other posters.
CABIN STEWARDS: We had 1.5 (lol). One we saw every day and one we only saw working to support the main one. I asked how the "TEAM" concept was working and was told that our "team" had 40 cabins assigned. BOTTOM LINE: The cabin was cleaned promptly EVERY DAY!! NO PROBLEM!.
SHIP APPEARANCE: EXCELLENT....I think it has the most beautiful decor yet!
(for those who are very picky, they will find a SMALL amout of rust appearing on the stainless steel pillars between the balconies) Didn't bother us! The entire vessel was clean and shiny. (we were voyage #33)
CAPTAIN: Wow....Captain "Johnny" Faevelin was THE BEST I have ever experienced. He was hilarious on the daily announcements (always finished with a joke), VERY personable and seemed quite human! (he rides a Harley off the ship in some ports, and a motor scooter around the bridge!!) Don't worry, he is a VERY CAPABLE Captain as well.
POOL "POLICE": Those of you who have been commenting on the "chair hogs" will be glad to know that they are seriously cracking down on them. Chairs that appear to be "unoccupied" for some period of time, are being cleared of all items/towels and the items placed on an end chair for pickup. I don't know anything about the time involved before clearing though. ALSO: Another rule that they are enforcing involves parents of toddlers (in diapers etc) who are taking these infants into the main pools. They are watching for them and asking them politely to follow the rules as they try to assure a sanitary swimming environment. Several guests really "got into it" with several security guys which caused the Head of Security to come into the discussion. Bottom line: you won't win this argument! Also, they are watching for children "swimming" unattended in the hot tubs! (Why children are in the hot tubs in the first place is beyond me!)
SHIP MOTION: NEVER A PROBLEM on this sailing. There was some gentle rolling, but certainly nothing to be concerned with. The weather was great the entire week. The first day at sea brought us wind speeds in excess of 30 mph (sometimes higher) on the upper deck (12)
CRUISE DIRECTOR: Becky "Hello Luv" was delightful. (Whatever happened to her????)
SHOWS: Ice Under the Big Top.....THE BEST I have ever seen on the Voyager Class Ships. The production shows were VERY good. I happen to like large ensemble singing and dancing reviews though.
TIPPING: I decided to use the option of charging the tips to my SeaPass card and was favorably impressed! Saves a lot of time hunting down 20's 10's etc on the last night.
PORTS: Nassau.....well, you know what to do here. St. Thomas-only 2 ships in port last week...not too crowded at all. St. Maarten-only ship in port. Took the water taxi to town. I really think that St. Maarten is giving St. Thomas a run for its money in the shopping arena. Had a lot of fun here. Only went to shop. I hear a trip for sightseeing to the French side is great. Shopping on the French side is no deal as they use the Euro as their currency.
DISEMBARKATION: We were Lavender2 tags which is #7 and we moved VERY efficiently(NO PUSHING/SHOVING/CROWDING) right off the ship, through Immigration, baggage pickup and U.S. Customs! We received our announcement to proceed ashore at 8:00 AM and were at the busses by 8:35AM!! GREAT!!
Well, enough for now. I hope I have provided some information that will be helpful to you on your forthcoming Mariner cruise."