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Its taken a few weeks to get over the post cruise depression, but now I can write a review of the Mariner. The family and I flew into Orlando the night before (bad mistake should've arrived a few days earlier), but the airline lost our luggage and the whole day of flying was terrible. The wife wanted to cancel the cruise if the luggage didn't show up, luckily for American Airlines it did show up the next day. After getting the luggage, off to Port Canaveral we go as we met up with my sister and her family. This is my wife's 1st cruise and my 6th. The first look at the Mariner its an absolutely gorgeous and clean ship. Instead of a day by day account, I'll provide highlights and "low lights" of the cruise.
Cabin - We were on the 8th deck with a balcony, while the stepson had a room across the hall overlooking the promenade. The cabin was much more spacious than previous cabins on other cruises. The bed was nice and comfortable. Plenty of closet and drawer space as it fit all of the clothes of my wife, mines, and 4 yr old daughter. The shower stall had enclosed doors instead of a shower curtain, which was a big plus for me. Our cabin steward, Kelvin, was always prompt with making up the room and made many of the animal towel foldings which my wife never saw before.
Dining - This has to be the best dining I've ever experienced on a cruise. In this analysis, I'm including the buffet and dining room. The Windjammer and Jade buffet was well spread out with a good variety of food to select from.
the selection ranged from hot dogs, to salads, to some asian dishes. All very good. We ate dinner in the Tops 'n Tails dining room. Each dish was prepared just right, there wasn't anything bad about the food. Our waiter, Mircea, was one of the best. He went out of his way to entertain my 4 yr old. I give him high marks for his service. If you get him for your waiter, you will be quite happy.
Shows - Don't miss the Ice Show! Get your tickets early. it was incredible what the skaters did on an ice rink that is half the size of a normal one. Loved the show. The Platters were on our cruise, which was enjoyable.
Activites - Plenty of "sporty" activities. Rock climbing looked challenging, but my 10 yr old niece did it several time. Basketball court was great. The in-line skating was good too. Try the ice rink if you get the chance. It feels just like a real one, but shorter. The kid's arcarde had plenty of games, but
way too expensive.
Entertainment - Humorous and good fun adult game shows. Most nights it was geared toward more for the adults. Parades on the promenade were good, but good seats to see it are difficult to come by. Karoke Idol search was a lot of fun to watch.
Dining - The only negative about the dinining is that the buffets closed too early. Windjammer closed at 9:00 pm. So, late night munchers were only left with going to the cafe promenade, which didn't have great selections for foods to eat late at night.
Shows - We had 3 comedians during the cruise, but only 1 one of them was really funny. I would have hoped for more Las Vegas type musical shows. The only good musical show was "Pure Energy".
Kids Club - Disappointed that the aquanuts ( 3-5 yr olds) room wasn't filled with more toys, instead they had computers setup. I'm not sure about that one.
Elevators - Can they put some air conditioning in the elevators ? every time you step in one it feels like 90 degrees especially when its crowded.
The elevators were always jammed packed in some, then none in others.
Overall- Great ship, loved the amount of space that you get on this ship without feeling like its over crowded. If your a 1st time cruiser, this ship will spoil you rotten ! You may be disappointed in subsequent cruises after this.
We're going on the Mariner Aug. 29th and are so excited. This is the first time I've seen anything about "name" entertainment. Being a Senior Citizen I would love to see the Platters again. Any chance they'll be around for a while or was that a one shot deal? Also thrilled to see the good reviews on food lately!
What excursions did you go on & how'd you rate them?
I'm already dreading the post cruise depression! Guess the only way to avoid that is to be ready to book another one. Now to decide when & where.
If you look like your passport picture...
you probably need the trip.