9 Night Mediterranean (Rome Roundtrip) Sail Date: March 27, 2011 Ship: Mariner of the Seas Cabin Type: Balcony Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 6 years ago
The cruise was alright. We had a good tim in all the ports of call. We knew from reading other reviews the dining would not be stellar, but knew that the ports would be excellent. We experienced issues with the Internet service offered by the ship since it was difficult to access, spotty reception and unreliable. The ship size was good for the number of people onboard and we loved our stateroom. The tv accessible billing was confusing but was correct when we received our final bill. We opted for My Time dining which was a good option for us since we generally eat dinner between 8:00 and 9:00. Being presented with bills needing a signature mid-way through dinner for a bottle of wine or a cocktail seemed odd. The sattelite service for the TV was out for the entire cruise and we were told it had been out since January. The staff for the most part was very friendly but it only takes one bad experience to ruin your entire opinion.
Food and Dining
1 out of 5
This was the biggest disappointment on the cruise. The food was of poor quality. From small things like not having cream for coffee only non-dairy creamer to over or under done meat in the dining room. The food was consistently bland and unflavorful. The dining room was elegant but the staff seemed unorganized. We were served duck that was so dry and hard it was inedible, and prime rib that was overcooked on the outside and raw in the center (obviously from cooking from frozen). The Windjammer buffet was also bland and quickly became tired of the same items over and over every night. The hours for the buffet were not long enough for people who stayed late at ports of call (closed at 9:00). Staff was spread too thin and would have two or three plates on your table before you would see anyone to take them away. We had a wine package and often would get our wine after we finished our meal. Again, the staff seemed unorganized... until it came time to clean the buffet station.
3 out of 5
We only participated in a few of the onboard activities since most did not appeal to us. The cruise director was good just the variety of activities were not interesting. We attended the ice skating show which was good, and participated in the Walk for Wishes, as well as attending a few of the organized parties. The staff does a good job getting the crowd involved.
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
The lines at Guest Services were rediculous. We stood in line for an hour to get our room keys re-coded when they stopped working. A simple action like that took far too long. The excursion line was even worse. We found it hit and miss in the service offered by the people behind the counter. We would have an excellent experience with one individual, then have someone very rude and give us incorrect information. Unfortunatly you always seem to remember the bad over the good.
3 out of 5
There is plenty of space on the ship to find a spot to chill out. There are plenty of bars and lounges to sit quietly or night club to get your groove on. The decor is dated with it's coral and mint color scheme and brass accent. Even though there appeared to be plenty of elevators, you spent a lot of time waiting for them. When they did come, they were often completely packed forcing you to use the stairs.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
We loved our stateroom and our stateroom attendant. This cruise we opted for a balcony after having both interior and portal windows in the past and it made a huge difference. The size of the room was adequate and storage was ample. Having the space under the bed to store empty suitcases was great. Again, the decor cold have been updated from the carribean colors of coral and mint to something more modern and the a flat screen TV would have also saved space. We chose a room on deck 7 mid way down the ship. Nothing above or below other than staterooms was great. The library is also on this floor so it added to it's quietness.
We decided to shop the Grand Bizaar. Great shopping for leather, carpets, jewlery, brass and copper goods. The shop owners are extremely aggressive and turned off our companions. Be prepared for it. The food in this town was excellent.
Don't Miss: Get some Turkish Delight and sample the foods.
We were greeted by Greek music and dancers, then a grand display of foods from the region for us to sample. We took a shuttle for 3 Euro per person into the market which was incredible. More dancers and they gave us a bottle of Raci, a local liquer. We ate lunch in the market where the fish was prepared and served after being supplied by the monger in the next stall. The owner of the restaurant was very friendly and gave us a plate of snails because we were unsure of them. Great experience. When we returned, they supplied us with gift bags with a DVD of Crete and some additional product samples.
Don't Miss: The people. The most warm and friendly people who just want to talk to you.
We stayed close to the ship and roamed around Messina for a couple hours. Afterward, we procured a taxi that took us to Taormina for some shoping and then to Sovaca where part of the God Father was filmed. Great day but windy windy roads!
Don't Miss: Sovaca.
Wonderful shopping town. We stayed in town and took in plenty of shopping. We ate lunch at the roof of one of the old buildings. The food was good but be warned that the waiters will strongly suggest a fish combo plate. The cost for this plate is 120 Euro but they do not tell you that before you order it. Many people were ordering this dish for four then complaining about the 240 Euro line item on their bill. Be warned.
Don't Miss: Sandal makers
Once again we hired a taxi driver who took us to the Acropolis, Parliment and directed us to the perfect spot to stand to watch the changing of the guards, Temple of Zuess, Plaka, and a flea market. He then took us to a restaurant for lunch but we got the impression it was an agreement between our taxi driver and the owner of the restaurant.
Don't Miss: Acropolis
Once again we hired a driver (taxi) for the day. He took us to Sorento for pizza and Pompeii. Afterward, he drove us around Naples and took us through "old town". We needed much more time to truely appreciate Pompeii.
Don't Miss: The best Pizza!!! Pompeii.
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