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Mariner of the Seas 1/13/2013 PHOTO REVIEW

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Day 1

Sorry this is a bit late but having to come back to school after being on vacation really makes coming back that much harder. Anyways, this is the story of a family vacation starring myself, my DW, son, BIL & SIL, and my wife’s parents.

Our vacation begins with a drive from Katy, TX to Galveston Sunday morning. Katy is just west of Houston so it was about an hour and a half drive to the port. We dropped the girls off at the terminal and parked the cars and headed in to start the check-in process.

We had heard about the long waits during both embarkation and disembarkation in Galveston this year but we had no issued on either this trip. Last year we had a fog delay during embarkation and we had to sit for 2 hours until they even let us in the terminal. We didn’t even leave the port until about 9pm.

This time, about noon, we walked right through security, checked in, and headed straight to the ship and were on by 12:20pm. Once on board we headed straight to the windjammer and we know it starts getting crowded real quick for lunch if you make onboard that early. My wife went straight for the honey stung friend chicken and of course it did not disappoint.

I have to say, after that meal, I don’t think any of us ever felt hungry the rest of the trip. There was always something to eat and I think we all took full advantage of that.

My DW and I splurged a bit this trip and booked GS #1578. Man what a room! I’m not sure how we will ever be able to go back to a balcony. Not that a balcony is a bad room or anything but just wow what a difference.

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So after showing off our room to the rest of the family, we walked around the boat a bit and then all met back at our room for sail away and to watch the Texans game. Sailaway was nice and pretty chilly but obviously the Texans game was not.

Waiting for the muster drill.

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After the game we got ready for dinner and headed to the Welcome Aboard Show. We have seen a few of these but they are always entertaining. We got a sneak peak at the comedian, Jeff Nease . He was pretty funny. After the show we headed to the MDR for late seating dinner.

Our waiter was Hongshan Li and our assistant waiter was Mohammad Fekih. Both were great and we enjoyed their service as well as their company for the entire week.

For dinner, I had the fruit medley, Caesar salad (I have one of these every night!), mushroom pasta, and chocolate cake with ice cream. My DW had tortilla soup (not very good) and prime rib (very good!).

Tortilla Soup:

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Fruit Medley (forgot to take a pic of a full bowl. It looked so good!)

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Mushroom Pasta (again looked so good I forgot to take a picture)

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Prime Rib

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Chocolate cake and ice cream (see a trend here)

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After all the anticipation of the day we were pretty worn out so we headed up to our room to enjoy that a little.

Day 1 in the books!

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Great review! Grand Suites are so comfortable! We are forever spoiled! :p

 

Thanks. I think we are too. Might have to wait a but more in between cruises to be able to afford a GS!

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Great review! Grand Suites are so comfortable! We are forever spoiled! :p

 

Try an Owners Suite and you will be even more spoiled! :D

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Right on time needed to feed my addiction we board Mariner next Sunday yippee one week left

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The Mariner was our first RCI ship, and we sailed in suite 1568........

It was a great sailing.

We enjoyed her also

Later

Edited by Lionesss

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NIce to see your pictures. We were on the same cruise. I brought the camera, but didn't take even 1 picture, probably because we'd been to all the ports many, many times. We too were in a GS -1278. DH won't go in anything less on RCI as he got spoiled a few years back when I surprised him with the upgrade.

Edited by DebJ14

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NIce to see your pictures. We were on the same cruise. I brought the camera, but didn't take even 1 picture, probably because we'd been to all the ports many, many times. We too were in a GS -1278. DH won't go in anything less on RCI as he got spoiled a few years back when I surprised him with the upgrade.

 

Yes I'm afraid that is what is going to happen to us. If the price is right, you just can't beat the extra space.

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Day 2

I have to mention here we have been on the other RC itinerary out of Galveston that goes to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica twice before and the first 2 sea days are at the end of the week. With our itinerary this week, the 2 sea days are at the beginning of the week and I have to say I do like having them towards the end of the week. We found ourselves very excited to get this cruise going so having to be on the ship 2 days to start kinda left us being impatient and wanting the ports to get here. I also like having 2 sea days to relax on the way home after 3 straight port stops. Yes, that is it. That has to be the one “complaint” I have on this cruise and it’s not like it’s controllable so I go over it real quick!

Ok, day 2 was all about my DW! Her birthday was a few days before we left so this was the day we set to celebrate it on the ship. I had reservations setup for lunch at Giovanni’s Table and it did not disappoint! We ate family style so we all tried a bit of everything. I don’t know how any family could eat all the food they gave us! I also have to say that the tiramisu was THE BEST I’ve ever had (Sorry mom). We had a little bit everything and I can't find one thing I didn't like. All great food.

Chicken stuffed with ricotta cheese

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Giant stuffed shrimp

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Lasagna

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Eggplant Parmesan

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Chocolate cake and tiramisu (OMG)

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While I’m thinking about it, I do have another bone to pick. I couldn’t make a reservation for 7 people for lunch that day online so I called the RCI line to find out if they could. I checked many lunches and dinners throughout the week and nothing seemed to be available. I ended up making 2 different reservations for 3 and 4 people at the same time for the lunch online and then just had the concierge put the reservations together and that was no problem. When we got to lunch, the restaurant was EMPTYYYYYYYYYY!!!!! I don’t mean only a few tables, I mean COMPLETELY EMPTY the entire 2 hours we were there. I only mention this for people who may have had a similar experience with making reservations by calling or online. Make sure you check with the restaurant itself when you board because obviously there is a big disconnect between the ship and the RCI system.

Moving on…………

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I also set up a massage for my DW while the rest of the family hung out by the pool. The weather was great on Monday although the water was a BIT cold! That didn’t stop my son though as he had a blast sloshing around the water while the ship was rocking. After that big lunch and playing around, we went to relax in the room a bit and get ready for our first formal night.

I have to say, we are not tuxedo and cocktail dress people so I do apologize to the people who find that unacceptable. We are dress and tie people though so we didn’t try to go in with shorts and tank tops either so I hope we get points for that.

For dinner, I had some type of seafood ricotta appetizer (sorry forgot the name), chicken marsala, and tiramisu. All was very good! My DW had roasted garlic soup (her favorite), chicken marsala, and a chocolate mousse cake. As another surprise, I had a birthday cake brought out for dinner for all us as well. We were so full between lunch and dinner that I don’t know how we ate that cake but man it was SO GOOD! They sang happy birthday to my DW which was nice except that I think we heard the happy birthday song about 8 other times that night too. It must have been a popular night to bring out the birthday wishes. It was a great day for her I hope.

 

Roasted Garlic Soup

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Ricotta Appetizer

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Chicken Marsala

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Waiters Singing for us

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Chocolate Mousse Cake

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Tiramisu

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I also set up a massage for my DW while the rest of the family hung out by the pool. The weather was great on Monday although the water was a BIT cold! That didn’t stop my son though as he had a blast sloshing around the water while the ship was rocking. After that big lunch and playing around, we went to relax in the room a bit and get ready for our first formal night.

I have to say, we are not tuxedo and cocktail dress people so I do apologize to the people who find that unacceptable. We are dress and tie people though so we didn’t try to go in with shorts and tank tops either so I hope we get points for that.

For dinner, I had some type of seafood ricotta appetizer (sorry forgot the name), chicken marsala, and tiramisu. All was very good! My DW had roasted garlic soup (her favorite), chicken marsala, and a chocolate mousse cake. As another surprise, I had a birthday cake brought out for dinner for all us as well. We were so full between lunch and dinner that I don’t know how we ate that cake but man it was SO GOOD! They sang happy birthday to my DW which was nice except that I think we heard the happy birthday song about 8 other times that night too. It must have been a popular night to bring out the birthday wishes. It was a great day for her I hope.

 

Roasted Garlic Soup

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Ricotta Appetizer

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Chicken Marsala

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Waiters Singing for us

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Chocolate Mousse Cake

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Tiramisu

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We were on the same cruise as you. I can see my husband in the picture of the dining room (we had the table to the right of the Captain's table). I was sitting next to DH, but didn't make the picture. Such a beautiful dining room.

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We were on the same cruise as you. I can see my husband in the picture of the dining room (we had the table to the right of the Captain's table). I was sitting next to DH, but didn't make the picture. Such a beautiful dining room.

 

Very cool!

 

Yes it is a beautiful dining room. This was our first time being on the Deck 4 dining room so the different view was kinda cool.

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Day 3

We decided to wake up early to get some pics of the sunrise. It was a very good one with some clouds out on the horizon. Sunrise and sunset pics are always my favorite when looking back on the beauty on the trip. You can only get these at sea.

 

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After taking some picture we actually ended up going back to bed for a few more hours. We didn’t have much planned today as it was our 2nd sea day so we went at our own pace.

After we got up and ready, we headed to Studio B and my DW, son, and SIL all went ice skating for a bit. You can tell by his smiles that he had a good time!

 

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After ice skating, we went back out to the pool and spend another afternoon at the pool. The water was a little warmer today and the boat was rocking pretty good so we had a good time playing out there.

After cleaning up we headed to the schooner bar for what became our ritual of playing trivia whenever we could. We didn’t always win but we always had a great time (we did win a few time though!)

This became his favorite spot to hang out.

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The show tonight was the Texas Tenors. They apparently won America’s Got Talent a few years ago (hadn’t heard of them) and were very good! They sang a little bit of everything (not all country as would think from their attire) so we really enjoyed the show.

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For dinner tonight, I had crab cakes and potstickers. DW had steak and 2 lemon tarts. She said the tarts were very good. She mentioned they are like tiny lemon meringue pie.

I really was bad this time not taking pics quick enough. You can see it was obviously good though!

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Potstickers

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Steak

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Lemon Tarts

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After dinner we went to change for the comedy show and found another towel animal. Dog? Rabbit? Now sure by still very cute.

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The big screen at night out by the pool

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The comedy of Jeff Nease was excellent also. It was said to be “late night adult comedy” but he was very clean and very funny. If you were at the show you probably heard my SIL laughing hysterically at everything!

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After the show it was straight to bed as the next day was our first port, Honduras, and we had a busy day scheduled!

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Looking forward to more! Right there with you on the GS - the bathroom is to die for onboard and some great perks. We're going back to a JS next time so I'll really be able to compare and contrast. :)

 

Great review so far.

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Thanks for the review! We are on the Mariner in March and as RCCL newbies it is nice to see picture heavy reviews!

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Thanks for the great review and pictures! I'm getting hungry looking at the food porn. Looking forward to more of your review

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Thanks for the review! We are on the Mariner in March and as RCCL newbies it is nice to see picture heavy reviews!

 

Get ready for many more pics, especially Honduras. It's such a beautiful port that we just couldn't stop.

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Day 4

 

Alright let's get this photo review really going! Day 4 was our first port of call; Roatan, Honduras. This is located on an island to the east of the mainland of Honduras. To me, it was very reminiscent of Montego Bay, Jamaica in the small grassy hills and houses around. This was by far the most beautiful port of this trip and the most enjoyable.

 

We arrived at 8:00am and our excursion was set to meet at 8:45am so we were up early and ready as soon as we hit the dock. These first pics are from our balcony looking out onto the pier, shopping center, and town.

 

The pier from our balcony

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Shopping area

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Some of the background hills

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Very nice taxi/bus pickup/dropoff

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Just an absolutely beautiful port.

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These pics are from a feature on our camera called the miniature effect. I'm sure some have seen these but we had a blast taking these pics and then looking at them later.

 

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It makes the colors very vivid and then focuses a rectangle in the middle of the picture while blurring the top and bottom of that rectangle. Really a fun feature to play around with.

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