A good cruise with way too many people
Mariner of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern
Sail Date: July 08, 2007
Ship: Mariner of the Seas
Cabin Type: Inside
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 10 years ago
The Mariner of the Seas is a large cruise ship. It was built to hold up to 3,114 passengers, so getting around at times can be a challenge, especially around the two elevator areas. Really, for a ship this big, they needed to add additional lifts. Also, returning to the ship off of the private island took a long, long time due to the crowds.
I don't want to sound too negative, so I'll try and list the pluses first. The staterooms were nice, and the bathroom shower stalls were roomier than the other ships I have been on. They incorporated a curved glass door that slid out of the way when the shower was not in use. That added floor space (and more importantly, elbow space) to the bathroom. The two twin beds that made up the bed in the room were comfortable, and you didn't notice that there were two beds under you that often.
The ship is lovely, and very tastefully decorated. It was more Romanesque than neon. The headwaiter came around to the table every night and was very informative and helpful. This was in addition to the waiter and the assistant waiter that served the table.
Down on Deck two they had a screening room with about 25 seats where they would show movies that were recently released on DVD. Because most passengers didn't know about it, it was quite comfortable.
There is an ice rink in the lower center section of the ship, which I thought was nice. It was smaller than a normal one, but they had open skating for the passengers and it was a fun activity if you wanted to try it out.
They seemed to have more activities for teenagers on this boat than on some of the other ships I have been on. They had the rock climbing wall, basketball court, put-put, an arcade, rollerblading track, and a few other things geared for the youth. All of which was located at the aft of the ship, grouped together so that they could have their own place to hang out. For the younger passengers they had several play areas in the same vicinity and scheduled supervised activities. The Mariner of the Seas also has an Adults Only pool and hot tubs area. Of course, like everything else on a cruise, it wasn't policed that well, but the teenagers that were in that area generally were not disruptive.
For a ship this size, we really were disappointed that there were not more activities during the day for passengers. I guess I should say for the adult passengers. There was generally one show a night (repeated for the early and late seating dinner guests), and of the four shows we caught one was real good (the comedian), one was good (the Love and Marriage game show) and one was OK (the variety show .... with a comedian.) Actually, for that one the comedian and the aerial gymnast were the only things remotely entertaining about that show. The other one was a musical Broadway-style show, but it wasn't that good.
The ports of call were nice, with the private island (Cococay, Bahamas) and St. Marteen being the standouts. Most of the shore excursions centered around swimming or sightseeing, so if you are looking for anything outside of that you may be disappointed. I think we sorted though about ten very similar shore excursions before deciding on the Golden Eagle snorkeling and Catamaran tour. It turned out to be a good tour, and we enjoyed it, but I really couldn't point out the differences between that one and the other snorkeling excursions.
In all, it was a nice cruise, but I prefer the other cruise ships I have been on to this one. For the price, size and itinerary, I was expecting more.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Ports of Call
Don't Miss: Take a walk around the beach and find an isolated spot to relax.
Don't Miss: Snorkling
Pros: The pools and hot tubs were open 24 hours
Cons: The food was very bland on the ship. Nothing really stood out as exceptional.