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!