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  #1  
Old April 26th, 2005, 09:21 AM
geg geg is offline
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Default Mariner Disappointment

April 26, 2005



My family and I just returned form a week long trip on the Mariner of the Seas, eastern Caribbean tour. We embarked on April 17 and returned April 14, 2005.



Here are our feelings:



Accommodations: we had a Suite wit an adjoining suite on the 9th floor. Our two children shared the adjoining room. Our rooms were beautiful and sizable. The views and sitting decks were unbelievable.



Entertainment: this is the highlight of the ship. The evenings and days were fill3ed with non stop action. The shows were first rate. The kid’s activities for all ages were extreme (additional costs for after 10:00 p.m. each evening). Our kids had a great time and met many people.



Food: the food was a dramatic disappointment. We rate the food at a three out of ten. The buffets were the quality of Bob Evans and Bonanza Steak house. The main dining room the only meal that was decent was the sit down breakfasts. The evening meals were the quality of a sub par resatrurant you would not visit again. The service was good, but the food was sub par. The only food that was what we considered food cruise worthy was the upscale restaurants Chops and Portofino. These restaurants coat an additional $20.00 per person per night. My recommendation to you is get a less expensive cabin and take the difference in dollars and go to these two restaurants every night!



Personal Services; The Mariner of the Seas does not offer what we consider cruise types services. For example our shower was back-up for two days, it took 72 hours for a technician to arrive. Our suite steward never came to our room to meet us. We requested new towels three times during the week, each time we were told the laundry room was backed up. We used the same pool towels and bath towels for three days straight. At dinner one night my wife did not like the choices; she requested a simple shrimp cocktail and prime rib, but was told this was impossible, she must stay with the menu or go to the buffet. We signed up for the fine wine package (10 bottles at a reduced rate). The list we signed for was the diamond because we liked the choices. When we went to the dining room four of the bottles on the list we bought were unavailable due to distribution problems, no substitute offered. Every amenity on the ship cost extra; Johnny Rockets Hamburgers, Be and Jerry Ice Cream, etc, etc. It seemed we were more of a number with a dollar sign on our forehead, rather then a cruise guest. Room service was a joke. For breakfast you had to stay with a scrambled egg or omelet pre chosen for you, anything else was not available. If you wanted day time service only fruit plates and cheese plates were available, anything else requested was returned with a NO! The photographers on ship were very nice, until you took the time to choose pictures. You had to buy the pictures that day, or they were gone. We requested like other cruises to out all out pictures in a folder, then at the end buy what we liked, this was not allowed. Either buy your pictures now are they are gone; it was very poor service and very rude.



If you want to go on a ship and have great entertainment, drink and gamble, this is a good time. BUT, if you want to experience a cruise lifestyle that has made the cruise industry famous; the Mariner of the Seas if definitely not the ship for you!

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  #2  
Old April 26th, 2005, 09:31 AM
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littlej littlej is offline
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Angry wow, that's terrible!

That's really too bad about your trip, I agree, the service the way you described it really was sub-par. We took the Mariner on the same itinerary last May, and almost everything was much better than you described. How awful that in less than an year's time the service has degenerated so drastically! There is absolutely no excuse for the shortages in food and wine for you. We agree about the quality of the buffet, but at least the main dining was average or better while we were there. Also no excuse for the shortage of towels and the time it took for them to fix your shower. We had no problems last year with this. Same with the pictures. We usually don't buy any, but we noticed that pictures taken on day one were still there on day seven. I'm disappointed for you. Something must have happened to cause this drop in service, because it certainly was of a higher quality last year.
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  #3  
Old April 26th, 2005, 09:46 AM
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First of all welcome to the Cruise Critic boards.

I will comment on some of your remarks.

First, I would also complain about a shower drain being backed up and not fixed in a certain amount of time. No excuse with the towels either.

About the food. I'm not sure what other ships or cruise lines that you have cruised in the past but when you are trying to feed over 3000 passengers the buffet is not going to be a five star event. It is mass produced banquet type food and it is the same thing that you will get on Carnival, Princess, and most HAL or NCL ships.

They have a menu for room service for a reason. Could you imagine if everyone called down wanting something different? This on top of taking care of the guests that choose to eat in the regular dining locations.

Cruising on a mass market line is not like cruising on Crystal, Seabourne or Sliver Seas where you have more personalized service. Just not going to happen. I think that maybe your expectations were a little high for the mass market segment. Just MHO.
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  #4  
Old April 26th, 2005, 10:13 AM
The Admiral The Admiral is offline
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Default Sounds about right...but give RCI a chance

I agree with your assessment of this class of ships. Unfortunately, these problems of subpar service and food are the norm on Voyager class ships based on my experience. My wife and I took the Voyager twice and Explorer Once just to make sure we were not being to critical and RCI just needed more time to get these new class of ships running well and were dissapointed each and every time.

These problems arise mainly because of the amount of passengers crammed into these ships because by doing so the profit margin per ship increases. Unfortunately service suffers, they always feel crowded and sometimes you can't even find a seat at the lunch and breakfast buffet.

I would NOT write off RCI altogether though! Try the Radiance class (90,000) and Vision class (70,000) they are cozier and still reflect what RCI USED TO BE. Although the Radiance class gets a little crowded at times because in my opinion they put more passengers on it than they should have and I could never find a seat in the buffet easily (i took 2 trips on the Brilliance and went with a different line recently because of this).

I think RCI needs to strike a balance so that its reputation for service does not suffer. However based on announcement of the Freedom Class I think this will only get worse. I checked the RCI website and it seems like the extra space on the Freedom will be mostly used to add more passengers as its Passenger Space Ration ("PSR") is even lower than the Voyager class. That new class will be a nightmare to get around it will be a giant sardine can... :-)
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  #5  
Old April 26th, 2005, 10:26 AM
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Hi,


This posting is very interesting to me since I was on the Mariner the week before this cruise. I could totally understand the dissapoitment with the cabin steward who was not doing his job, and I hope this reflected in his tip. As far as the the pictures go, we put all of our pictures to the side and all of them stayed up all week long, I did notice that they were moved around a little and you had to look for them again on another day. I thought room service was wonderful and very quick to get to the room, you can even order the dinner menu choices in the evening. The service itself on the Mariner was top notch and the food was just fine. I love this ship and hope to sail her again very soon.

Tim
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Carnival Triumph 9-3-2001
Explorer Of The Seas 8-31-2002
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Mariner Of The Seas 11-16-2003 (innagural cruise)
Carnival Fantasy 1-29-2004
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Mariner Of The Seas 4-10-2005 (honeymoon cruise)
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Enchantment Of The Seas 4-5-2007
Mariner Of The Seas 9-16-2007
Costa Fortuna 11-17-2007 (U.S. Preview cruise)
Navigator Of The Seas 12-13-2007
Queen Mary2 11-21-2008
Ruby Princess 3-14-2009
Emerald Princess 3-21-2010
Freedom Of The Seas 4-15-2012
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  #6  
Old April 26th, 2005, 10:42 AM
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We were on the Navigator last fall, Voyager class ship, and found the service and food to be excellent. Yes it was crowded at times but you have to choose what ship you want if you do not want crowds then do not go on the Voyager class. Personally we loved all the people.
The dining room food was awsome and we were given many choices plus we could order two or even three entree items if we could not decide.
I guess as one person said it's all in your expectations... Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience but again it's all a matter of personal choice
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  #7  
Old April 26th, 2005, 10:46 AM
tropicalmom tropicalmom is offline
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I'm sorry to hear about your cruise experience. We were on the same ship last week. We did receive clean towels for both the pool and bath every day. The only very small issue we had with our room steward was that on the last night she received her tip and we did not get turn-down service that night. Not really a big deal.

We were able to view our photos every night. We picked them out and grouped them together each night. By the end of the week we had all our photos in one spot and were able to choose what we wanted to purchase.

Our service in the dining room was top-notch. Our waiter spent so much time entertaining our kids. The loved him.

We did purchase the wine package on the first day and we were told that we could split it between two sea passes at our table. When we got to dinner that night, we were told we couldn't do that by our waiter. We realized it wasn't his fault the error was made and did not make a big deal about it.

The pools were very crowded with families because this was spring break in New England so we did need to get to the pool early to get a chair in the sun and be close to the kids while they swam.

We had an excellent experience on the cruise and would definitely cruise again with RCL. The whole family enjoyed themselves.
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  #8  
Old April 26th, 2005, 10:59 AM
Frank P. Frank P. is offline
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We were on that same cruise and agree with the OP. The quality of the food was not what we expected based on what many friends that have cruised in the past( RC as well as others) We thought they were too much on the gourmet side. Example, who wants to eat lamb or duck in the buffet at lunchtime? As far as service goes we never had a problem in that area. Everyone that we encountered were very friendly and helpful. We thought the Mariner was a beautiful ship, but the food was our biggest disappointment
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  #9  
Old April 26th, 2005, 11:01 AM
golflady golflady is offline
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Default Mariner

We were on the Mariner for the Valentine cruise to the Western Caribbean. We absolutely loved it. We had a total of 15 in our group. We found everything to be above standard on Carnival ships. We have sailed NCL, Carnival, RCCL and Celebrity. Celebrity would be my first choice and then RCCL. We did find that Chops and Portifinos were wonderful; however, we never had a problem in the dining room. Our waiter told one of our table mates who requested a shrip cocktail that it was difficult at a moments notice to do this; however, he came back a short time later with the shrimp. Also, you can place a special order for the following night with no problem. My Mother-in-Law had one of the foot rests to break on her wheel chair and our cabin steward had someone pick it up and it was repaired the same day at no charge. I thought he went above and beyond the call of duty. Love RCCL and the Mariner.
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  #10  
Old April 26th, 2005, 11:24 AM
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Default time frame

I won't say a whole lot as I haven't been on the Mariner yet, I go in September. One thing that came to mind though is the week you went. I'm sure it was crowded with spring breakers, and the staff I'm sure was trying to do their best.

I don't think I would say that every amenity has a charge, but I know Johnny Rockets and Ben and Jerry's does just because I have been researching. It doesn't mean I won't try them as I plan to take my daughter at least to Johnny Rocket's and i can't pass up a Ben and Jerry's Cherry Jubilee Ice Cream =)

I hope in September that I'm not as dissappointed in my trip as you were on yours. Hopefully your family will give them or another RCI ship another chance, maybe just a different time frame.
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  #11  
Old April 26th, 2005, 11:34 AM
Marykatesmom Marykatesmom is offline
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Thank you for the taking the time to post your experience.


I have heard that RCI is superior to Celebrity with regards to its childrens programs. It is also more expensive which leads me to believe it might be less hospitable for families. Can anyone comment on that?
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Old April 26th, 2005, 12:07 PM
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Thanks Dan.....any ideas how you embark on the 17th April and return on 14th April.

Liz
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Old April 26th, 2005, 12:09 PM
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I agree Dolphin....He should go over to Carnival!

Tim
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Old April 26th, 2005, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyking
I agree Dolphin....He should go over to Carnival!

Tim

You're right! The food is better on Carnival.
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Old April 26th, 2005, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizanessie
Thanks Dan.....any ideas how you embark on the 17th April and return on 14th April.

Liz
hahaha I did not realize they wrote that. Now that is funny!
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Old April 26th, 2005, 12:21 PM
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I noticed the sail date too. I think something is wrong here!

Lisa
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Old April 26th, 2005, 12:30 PM
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Bit confused with .....they had a suite and with an adjoining suite and their children shared an adjoining room...and they go on to say extra charges for late night childrens activities....well that only happens with younger children.....so how could young children have a suite to themselves?


And no way was breakfast only scrambled egg or no option omelet......zzzzzzz dream on OP....for goodness sake we arent that stupid here....well most arent

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Old April 26th, 2005, 12:36 PM
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Geg

I appreciate your post even if others don't. It seemed to be balanced. I think you can overlook a lot of things, and food is obviously subjective, but not a plumbing problem that is not taken care of immediately, a lack of towels, or not having a product that was sold to you (wine). Sorry you had a bad experience.
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Old April 26th, 2005, 12:41 PM
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jules71

If you appreciate the post then perhaps you could explain how does one.....embark on the 17th April and return on the 14th April.....excuse me but the Mariner does 7 night cruises and although they do back to back cruises........... they dont going backwards in time for goodness sake.!!!!!!!

Liz
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Old April 26th, 2005, 12:49 PM
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Ocean Boy Ocean Boy is offline
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But Mariner did sail on April 17 and return on April 24. Sounds to me like this could be chalked up to a typographical error.

Last edited by Ocean Boy; April 26th, 2005 at 12:52 PM.
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