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Anita Latte

My Review: Mariner 3-night. Friday, November 29 Sailing. Compasses, Menus, etc.

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Welcome to my review! I usually write very detailed day by day reviews...and likely will end up doing the same here...everyone might just be amazed with how much I can write about a 3-night cruise...but if you have read any of my previous reviews...then you won't be surprised at all. 

 

DH and I have a newly empty nest. DS went off to college this past September. He's a "fresher" at the Royal Academy of Music. Anyone who read my Alaska review may remember that he is a composer...we had moved to Winston-Salem, NC for him to attend the high school program at UNC School of the Arts for his junior and senior years. When we moved to NC, we figured we would only be there for two years...and sure enough...DH got a new position with his same company...and we moved to Orlando this past June.

 

The UK school doesn't have a Thanksgiving break. 🤔 DS's school has terms though...so he has three terms per year and then he gets nice long breaks between terms. His last day of term was November 29, but due to international flight pricing and also giving him a chance to breathe and hang out after term ends (school has a 100% attendance policy...there are NO excused absences)...we don't get our DS back until December 4. But we get to keep him until January 2.

 

So what does an empty nest couple living in Florida do to pass the time and not be sad while all alone on Thanksgiving?

 

Book a cruise of course.

 

Wanting to save DH's vacation time for around the holidays...we were looking for a cruise that would let him go back to work on Monday. Yes. It's sad to think about...DH is, in fact, at work right now...the day we got off the ship. But this is what living in Florida was supposed to be for us...one of the reasons why it was appealing to move here. The thought of "last minute" cruises that wouldn't eat away at DH's vacation bank.

 

Two itineraries worked for us. There was a 4-night cruise that sailed ON Thanksgiving Day out of Miami? Or Port Everglades? And there was the Mariner 3-night sailing the day after Thanksgiving.

 

I watched the pricing on both cruises for weeks. I looked at the inventory. The 4-night was actually cheaper than the 3-night, but living and working in Orlando, proximity and a decent enough price won out...and after figuring that the cost had gone down as much as it would...and seeing the inventory on the ship dwindle...we booked Mariner on October 10. I will share that we did indeed hit the sweet spot in the pricing...and from that date forward, the price increased again. 

 

We decided to get the cheapest room we could, while still picking our room. We tried a forward stateroom on our most recent cruise...the most forward stateroom on the ship. DH said never again...I didn't want to be assigned a forward stateroom, so not willing to take the chance on the guarantee.

 

For the first time ever, we booked an inside stateroom! 7455...which is aft but not too far aft...and located in the smack middle of the ship...down a hallway that only accesses the other inside stateroom down that center line of the ship. No white space around the stateroom. Our all in cost was $817.80 with $25 OBC booked directly with the fabulous RCCL website. The 3-day weekend Mariners seem to be the same or more expensive than the 4-day Mariners. Probably more demand. I admit that this price was a bit more than I was hoping to spend on a weekend cruise...in my mind I was imagining more of a $500 last minute weekend cruise...but figured that proximity to a major holiday played a part in the fact that this cruise would not reach the lower levels that I have seen other weekends go for.

 

We had My Time Dining.

 

We did not book any beverage package.

 

We did not book any specialty dining and had no plans for specialty dining.

 

We DID, however, book the group Flowrider lesson on Day 1 at 7:15 PM.

 

Day 2...Nassau. We got off the ship! And we had a great time.

Day 3...CocoCay! We got off the ship AGAIN...and AGAIN...we had a great time.

 

I'm telling you right now that we had a great time. This was a great weekend getaway for us...and now I'm going to write all about it while I wait two more nights for my one and only DS to come home for the holidays.

 

I absolutely intended to write this review even before we set sail. I took many photos with the intention of sharing them here. I am quite observant...Lately, there have been a few Mariner reviews...but I don't think we did the typical...so I do think I have some new information to share with the collective. LOL.

Edited by Anita Latte

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Thanks for the  review  We will be on the Mainer for the 3 day in a week and a half.  I have found most of the pricing on the Mariner since she came up here to be on the high side

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Boarding on Black Friday...

 

DH and I had some very specific purchases in mind for Black Friday...but didn't care enough to be rising at o'dark thirty to stand in line and join the crowds. We had one stop to make in Melbourne before hitting the port. We planned for a leisurely morning...wanting to arrive when staterooms should be open...around 1PM.

 

We hit the port around 12:45 PM.

 

The garage was full so we were directed to the lot next to the garage. A parking attendant was standing at the single arm gate. We were told parking was a flat rate fee of $68 for our sailing. We would be charged immediately. She said parking in the lot was actually better than the garage...it was a short walk to the terminal with no need for elevator and no stairs. We would also appreciate not being in the garage on disembarkation day for the same reason.

 

She was right.

 

The small lot is next to the area where the porters are located where people drop off their bags.

 

I had been advised by Mom (Member123 on cc) to definitely check in with the app. Use the app, she said, trust me.

 

I downloaded the app just to check in.

 

With the app, when you check in, you take your own photo which is the one that shows up on all the screens whenever your SeaPass card is scanned. It's a selfie photo and really easy to take...the frame has the outline of a person and you just fit yourself into the head and shoulder outline...snap that photo...if you don't like it...you can take it again! You think you get a decent enough one and then they zoom in on your face and you think to yourself...why did I even bother to try?

 

Reading the fine print...you may agree to be subject to facial recognition. There are two purposes...choose to agree, or not, with each independently. The first purpose is boarding. The second is for photography taken on board the ship, allowing all photos that your face is found in to be linked to your account. Agreeing to facial recognition for boarding will make your boarding experience as streamlined as it can possibly be.

 

We have iPhone 5...handy little tools...I was able to share DH's boarding pass with him so he could save his own boarding pass to his Wallet. I had both passes in my Wallet. The boarding pass has a little square on it that says Expedited Arrival.

 

At the port terminal...look for the ORANGE FLAGS that say Expedited Arrival...

 

Follow those flags!!!

 

You will by pass many different areas.

 

The first of which will have you walking straight down to an area where there are port employees standing around with tablets. On the way, you will walk past screens that are capturing your face. A port employee with a tablet will say your name...and you will then move over away from the flow of the people to have your passport scanned with the tablet...confirm that you haven't had any flu like symptoms within the past 48 hours etc...be told that your SeaPass card will be waiting for you at your stateroom which you can go to at 1:00 PM.

 

Oh look. It's 1:00 PM and so you can go straight to your stateroom.

 

That's what she said.

 

Through security...they could care less about the wine bottles...nor the Nalgene bottles...all of which were still packed in our bags.

 

They will have you empty your pockets...cell phones, etc. are to be put into the little bowls. The one security man told me to NOT put my phones or any other pocket items into one of those bowls. He said that they aren't like the airports, etc., I don't have to have them out and visible. I should be emptying my pockets into my bags, he said...NEVER into one of those bowls. He said that he had things stolen from the bowl...someone just grabbed his things out of one of those bowls while he was still trying to get through the people scanner. He got to the other side of the bag scanner and his stuff was gone...lost in the crowd...

 

Now you know.

 

Up the escalator.

 

Look for the ORANGE FLAGS that say Expedited Arrival...the path goes on the backside of a big seating area. Which at 1 PM was completely empty...but the counters had so many people...

 

DH said, why doesn't everyone use the app?

 

IDK.

 

Someone will be standing there by the first orange flag and they will want to see your boarding pass with the Expedited Arrival on it...and then you get to take the short cut across that room...

 

A few more steps up and incline and presto!

 

You are on the ship!!

 

It took us about 10 minutes to go from the car to the ship...

 

At our stateroom hallway was a sign saying that the rooms would be ready at 1:30 PM...

 

But the doors weren't locked...and the lady SAID...go on up to your room...our room actually was ready...so...

 

We dropped our bags...grabbed our SeaPass cards...and headed for lunch. We hadn't eaten since oatmeal much earlier...before our shopping...we were READY.

 

Hitting the Windjammer when the staterooms were opening was BRILLIANT!

 

Many open tables...easy to see all the food choices and be able to pick out what you want. Highly recommend!

 

The majority of the food looked great. I managed to pick out some very good looking to me food that ended up tasting very good to me...I made my own green salad and added some roast from the carving station as well as some mixed cooked veggies. It was excellent.

 

Window side table...lunch with a view...

 

IMG-3575.jpg

 

A gorgeous day in Port Canaveral.

 

Dessert was disappointing...

 

Time to explore the ship...

 

Mariner was our first family cruise. In 2012, I celebrated my 40th birthday with DH, DS, and Mom and Dad on a week long Spring Break cruise out of Galveston. Mariner has been Amped Up since then...and we were excited to see all the changes.

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1 hour ago, molly361 said:

Thanks for the  review  We will be on the Mainer for the 3 day in a week and a half.  I have found most of the pricing on the Mariner since she came up here to be on the high side

 

I hope you have great weather! I'm sure you'll have a great cruise...after seeing all the updates to Mariner...I understand why her cruises are commanding a more premium rate. So much to do on board...

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We were pm fpr a 3 day last month as well.  This time we probably won't even get off the ship

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I wonder if you can park in the overflow lot INSTEAD of the garage or only when it's full.  I wondered what happened if/when the garage gets full.  There is also some kind of lot across the street from the parking garage

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Used the garage half a dozen times no problem at all at debark; walked right off ship only one on elevator right in the car.  Prefer car to be protected from the weather.  No you cannot choose to park there.  

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1 hour ago, CelticMCO said:

Used the garage half a dozen times no problem at all at debark; walked right off ship only one on elevator right in the car.  Prefer car to be protected from the weather.  No you cannot choose to park there.  

 

We would have preferred to park in the garage but were directed forward to the parking lot next to the garage. When verifying that the garage was full with the attendant at the lot...she shared the positives of parking in the lot...and they were positives for us. Thankfully, we had gorgeous weather for the cruise and didn't have to deal with rain, etc. We'll be parking again at the port in February for a Harmony sailing.

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Our focus for. the cruise was to serve as a kick off to a our goal of being more fit and healthy. DH and I do much better when we have a plan...we can follow a plan...or work toward a goal...but we are rather lousy at such lofty ideals as, Hey, let's be better for the sake of being better.

 

Our current goal is Kilimanjaro at 50. DH and I are the same "age" for 3 months...so our current goal is to hike Kilimanjaro in January 2023. Benchmarks along the way that are shorter term but still active hiking related goals are December 1, 2020, when we can make reservations for September 2021, when we hope to go to Denali.

 

Not to climb, just to hike, camp and backpack.

 

So over the course of the next year, we will be able to see how we are doing with certain knee issues, strength training, weight, etc to know what kind of trip we can schedule for Denali...and then we will have another 9 months to do some other prep work for Denali...some backpacking trips etc.

 

Along those lines...we have enough cruises scheduled on ships that have Flowriders...we're going to use the Flowrider as a tool to measure progress and offer motivation to help us be more fit.

 

Hence, the Flowrider lesson on embarkation day at 7:15 PM.

 

This lesson accomplished several things for us...1. It helped to set the tone for our cruise that we were going to moderate our drinking on the cruise (for once...LOL) and 2. Baseline for current fitness level and 3. Motivation for improving current fitness level to hopefully improve our ability to ride the flow in just 10 weeks on Harmony.

 

No drinking before riding the Flowrider!

 

BUT...in preparation for KNOWING where the drinks we would want LATER were...we toured around the various bars on board...and I took pictures of the menus.

 

So here we go...I'm going to post each bar menu in a separate post with the hopes that it will be easier to find when searching the forum.

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A note about the Schooner Bar...

 

It stank of cigarette smoke from the casino next door. It was not pleasant.

 

We continued our explore of the ship by walking through the casino...where there were 3-4 people smoking. The casino was closed.

 

We did not venture back to the Schooner Bar for the remainder of the cruise...no idea how the smoke affected the bar at other times.

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Boleros is on the other side of the casino...also next to the casino...but for whatever reason...the smoke smell did not seem to affect Boleros like it affected Schooner.

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The Bamboo Room MENU

Mariner of the Seas November 2019

MOTS November 2019

 

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IMG-3761.jpg

 

IMG-3763.jpg

Edited by Anita Latte
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Wait, so are all the drinks (besides beer) in the Schooner and all the drinks on the "Bolero Mambo" page now a $1 upcharge if you have the Beverage Package? 

Edited by Evilgrin72

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3 minutes ago, Evilgrin72 said:

Wait, so are all the drinks (besides beer) in the Schooner and all the drinks on the "Bolero Mambo" page now a $1 upcharge if you have the Beverage Package? 

 

Someone else with have to chime in on that answer...we didn't have a beverage package...

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A word about craft brew...

 

One of the things we were specifically looking for in the bar menus was the CRAFT BEER selection. Specifically, we were hoping to find some good IPAs...though we know from experience that they are hard to find.

 

In the past, we have ended up in Guinness land...or Boddington's. We have sailed Celebrity more often of late...our go to there is Fuller's brewery out of London...the Rendezvous Lounge on the M-class ships normally have London Pride...sometimes the ESB. We were THRILLED to the Ballast Point Sculpin IPA at Playmakers. Absolutely THRILLED.

 

In our experience, this is normally a $12.50 six pack, give or take. It is generally the most pricy Ballast Point 6-pack on the shelf...so we were very excited to see it on DRAFT and also, that it wasn't being charged a premium price.

 

As craft beer drinkers...guess what we drank on Mariner?

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A word about the app...

 

In theory, the app is great...BUT for whatever reason...whenever I wanted to find out when something was...I couldn't find the information. For instance...muster was at 3:30 PM...but I could NOT find that in the app. It could be there...you might be able to find it...and if you do...please share how you did. For my part, whenever I was looking for some pretty basic information...I had a hard time locating it with the app.

 

Love my paper Compass.😁

 

We found our muster station location...which happened to be rather close to Boleros...and while I posted the menus in the above order...we actually hit Boleros last...so we headed back there to sit for a bit and wait for muster.

 

Interesting to note...the bars shut down about 15 minutes before muster. In Boleros, there was a mad rush to get one more drink in before the drill...

 

Here's the deal though...you can't take food or drink to muster. There is a tray on a stand where you put your glass down before exiting the ship to the outside decks on 4 and 5 (I think!). Unless you want to rush through a drink...don't get one too close to muster...unless you have a beverage package, I suppose, and don't care...

 

The only drinks that I saw at muster were the refillable Soda Cups and plastic bottles of water.

 

I'm pretty sure that I saw someone add a shot to their Soda Cup in Boleros...so if you really want a drink during muster...that seems to be the only one that will get past the drink police.

 

Muster on Mariner is still the line up in rank and file.

 

We were on the Starboard side (Odd room number) where there was no wind. Translation...it was hot and stuffy. The good news was that if you weren't at the front of the line...you were in the shade. The bad news is that if you were in the shade...you were pretty close to everyone around you.

 

The Port side had a nice breeze...

 

They will scan your card at muster.

 

Getting an elevator after muster is one of those high crowd times...and there's no avoiding it if you need an elevator.

 

Muster selfie...DH and I

 

IMG-3604.jpg

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Thanks for doing this review!  Mariner is a great ship.  We sailed her in early November and are back again in February.  

 

Can't wait to hear your flow rider adventures. 

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At some point in all our roaming around the ship...

 

We played table tennis...

 

There's a table immediately exiting the Deck 13 elevator lobby by the Sports Court.

Another table is on the opposite side of the Sport Court...

Another table is on Deck 12, Port Side, down the stairs from the Flowrider and before the glass divider walkway pathway thing to the Adventure Ocean area.

 

We shot arrows in the little archery area near the Sport Court and under the Sky Pad.

 

Note...only the Port Side aft elevators go up to Decks 13 and 14. If you pay attention...you can see a warning on the elevator call buttons. The Starboard side will say to go to the Port Side for the Sports Deck and you'll see Decks 1-12. The Port Side says Sports Deck and Viking Crown: Decks 1-14.

 

IMG-3633.jpg

 

After muster, we headed back to the room to get dressed for our Flowrider lesson.

 

That's when I took the opportunity to take a bunch of pictures of the room...

 

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3 hours ago, Anita Latte said:

but I could NOT find that in the app. It could be there...you might be able to find it...and if you do...please share how you did

Open up the list of items (daily planner) by setting the filter to Show All. The app is not a real Compass replacement so it may miss many things.

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Stateroom 7455...Mariner of the Seas November 2019

 

As I said earlier, this is an Interior Stateroom. 6V.

 

I circled it on the deck plan image. I also mapped out the path we would take to the stateroom. The deck plans aren't the most awesome if you aren't already familiar with the ship. Following the red path from the elevators...there is a single doorway between the stairways to the hallway that accesses these middle column of interior staterooms. The only people who walk down this hallway are those in these rooms.

 

Deck-7-Plan.jpg

 

You can also walk down the Starboard side hallway...and take the hallway that is between rooms 7337 and 7341. I noted that the white space between 7447 and 7451 is a linen closet type area where the steward carts are stored and there are stacks of linens and supplies. I don't know why the map shows a gap between 7327 and 7433...I don't recall this jog in the hallway at all.

 

Stateroom 7455 is a typical interior stateroom as far as I know.

 

Because the hallway is out of the way...there is very little noise from the hallway. Cabins above and below.

 

There is a constant kind of hum...it stopped when the engine turned off. It was constant and deep and quite a fabulous white noise sound that would drown out anything else that was inconsistent sounds in the manner of a creaking ship. I was so accustomed to the sound that when it ended when we returned to Port Canaveral and the engines cut off at 6:45 AM...I was instantly awake.

 

The room has a LOT of mirrors...it felt like there were mirrors in all directions...especially with all the angles above the desk...the angled full length mirror...the mirror above the bed. I know there are a lot of mirrors in staterooms in general...but WOW...we have never been struck by how MANY mirrors there are...probably because it is such a small space...all those mirrors are in such close proximity to each other...the room felt...quite kinky.

 

Just sayin'.

 

We enjoyed how cozy the room was. We weren't spending much time in the room. We literally were using the room for sleep and changing clothes. It was the BEST sleep. SO DARK. And the hum...very nice.

 

It's tight quarters. You have to squeeze around the bed to access the sides of the bed. My legs would literally just go around the corners of the bed. I wasn't bothered...but I can see how someone with physical difficulties might find that to be rough business.

 

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There are two bedside tables, each with a drawer. The phone is by the bed...and thus it is a bit of a chore to get around the bed and access the phone, if you need to. There are two lamps on either side of the bed and also each of those lamps has a small directional reading light. No charging ports that I could find though. There is another major light switch for the room in the middle of the headboard area. And there is a shelf in the mirror above the bed.

 

The curtains will fully enclose the bed...and they will be touching the "footboard" of the bed. But if you want to let someone be sleeping longer and not be as affected by the bathroom light or the desk mirror lights...or have a bit of privacy in the bed area versus the sofa/desk area...you can completely separate the bedroom from the living room...

 

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The sofa is a generous size...a rather not-so-cozy loveseat. It would comfortably seat two...and also there is a chair at the desk.

 

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The full length mirror with the door to the bathroom on the left.

 

The thing that I had muscle memory issue with is that the light switch for the bathroom was on the other side of the hinged side of the door...I kept wanting it to be on the handle side of the door. I'd open the door...forget that the light was on the outside...have to fully shut the door in order to get at the light switch. IDK what other stateroom I was remembering but it was a habit I couldn't seem to break on this short cruise.

 

Plenty of storage around the desk...with drawers on both sides. The upper drawer on the left had a box of tissues...the upper drawer on the right had the hair dryer.

 

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Around the mirror was more storage behind the mirrored doors with glass shelves:

 

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Above the tv were two more shelves and the safe...

 

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Typical closet with shelves in the closet and one long hanging closet rod...with two shorter closet rods that you can fold down to create hanging space for shorter articles...

 

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Two handy hooks in the "entry way"

 

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More on the back of the bathroom door:

 

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The electrical outlets...

 

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The one bathroom outlet...

 

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The back of the TV...

 

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The clothes line in our shower was broken...we ended up using the towel rack as a drying rack...hanging some things over the different rungs. Also the shower door track on the top was available for draping over.

 

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The pictures of the vanity are are super confusing looking because of all the angled mirrors. Basically it's a bay window of mirrors over the sink and behind one angled section is shelving. There is also an open shelf under the sink with a bin that may be used for ice?

 

There was a ton of storage in the room.

 

We brought wine onboard. We met our steward after muster. We asked for a wine bottle opener and two wine glasses.

 

Our steward did his job well.

 

I would book this room again. When I asked DH if he would stay longer in that stateroom, he emphatically said yes he would...it was just a great sleeping space. Any troubles we've had in the past with noise, neighbors, light, whatever...they didn't exist in the stateroom.

 

Our first venture into an interior stateroom was a complete success.

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50 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

Open up the list of items (daily planner) by setting the filter to Show All. The app is not a real Compass replacement so it may miss many things.

 

Thank you. I agree...the app is not a real Compass replacement.

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