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Ken Sher

Age: 66

Occupation:Retired

Number of Cruises: 10

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Mariner of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2010-06-6

Itinerary: Mexican Riviera

We boarded the Mariner on June 6th for a leisurely cruise to the Mexican Riviera. I had made a preboard boarding pass on the RCL website as had my friends. This made for an easy embarkation. What a lovely boat! They have a terrific liquor store that beats street prices in the cities we visited. Even their jewelry prices were hard to beat.
Those of us who were somehow impaired received excellent assistance getting off the boat

It has a really nice Promenade with several stores and places to get a snack. You can get a drink, a sandwich, a shake or an ice cream cone but you have to pay for the bar drinks and the ice cream. The sandwiches and cookies (yummy cookies) are free and tasty. The staff, especially in the Coat and Tails on the 4th deck, was absolutely amazing. We moved from the Rhapsody dining room because we wanted an earlier dining time. What a get!! We got a table for 6 against the window and in a corner. So, not only was it more private but we had a really nice view. The crew in this section was excellent. Thomas Ventura was our waiter and Lenford Williams our assistant waiter. They took very good care of us, especially me. Leontin Baboiu, our Maitre’ De, was amazing. I have a problem with salt. He came to me every evening with the following days fare so I could order what I thought was not too salty. And, he explained the problem to the head chef who made salt free what I had ordered. By the 2nd evening they had made salt free bread and rolls for me that were very good. My friends, euphemistically, started calling me Mr. Trump, LOL. Not only did Leontin take care of my dining room meals, he coordinated with the head chef in the Portofino alternate dining room so I would get what I needed there. Our waiter there was also very deferential to me.
We moved from the Rhapsody dining room because we wanted an earlier dining time. The Maitre’D there notified Leontin of my predicament so Leontin asked who needed the special meals on the first night with him. Except for a peculiar tasting Sea Bass and a similar desert, the food was excellent to spectacular. Sometimes we ordered 2 or all 3 mains, more yum!


Our room was a larger then we expected balcony suite for the impaired. The closet had a handicapped bar across it making it slightly difficult to hang our clothes. And, it was not removable. The bathroom was large with good access but the swing down chair was very difficult to move. Our friends were in the next room and we called to have the adjoining balcony door opened. I, being a retired mechanic, helped them get the door locks to operate, they were oxidized and difficult to operate. Our room staff, Desiree and her helper, did a great job working around our frequent stops back to the room. They also made the cute towel figurines, an elephant and a monkey hanging from the ceiling.

There was always a party going on the upper deck with a band and a lot of happy people. We went to 2 shows. One was a comedy brother team, very funny with an interesting Brazilian bolero dance, and a comedian juggler who was as funny as he was good. None of us had ever seen either shows intricate style before! Don’t come late to the comedians show. He came down from the stage when my friends came down to sit and embarrassingly interacted with one of them. They had singers on the promenade one night and did a show spectacular on another. I know there were more things to do but this was mainly a "hangout cruise" for us.

Try to get a tour if you are new to the ports, that's the best way to see the most interesting places in a short time. In general, don't get more then about 2 to 4 blocks away from the beach as the deference to tourists starts to wane and there are some people who might make your trip miserable. There are exceptions which your tour guide can take you to safely. There's a spectacular church in Mazatlan which your tour guide should take you to. Just down the street from the church a large wholesale produce and stuff market worth seeing. The Malecons in Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan are lots of fun.

Those of us who were somehow impaired received excellent assistance getting off the boat in Cabo by tender. Cabo’s my favorite port so I got to show everybody around. Puerto Vallarta was my friends’ favorite port so they showed us around. We went to Old Town by cab and walked around the beach shopping. Then we went into the city near the beach and went to Pipi’s for a strawberry margarita (watch out, 4 shots of takillya) and a free guacamole made at the table, both were delicious. In Mazatlan we got a tour van at the port. We negotiated the price down from $25 to $20 a person. But, the tour guide was very fun and pleasant, took us to a very nice restaurant on the Malecon for lunch which we paid for. Despite that, we each gave him a $5 dollar tip which he was well worth. Mazatlan is a fun port, great shopping also.
Our room was a larger then we expected balcony for the impaired. Our room staff, Desiree and her helper did a great job working around our frequent stops back to the room. They also made the cute towel figurines, an elephant and a monkey hanging from the ceiling.
All in all, it was a fabulous trip with excellent deference to seniors. Our disembarkation was very well organized so getting off the ship was fairly easy. Even the bellman who grabbed our luggage came out to our cars to help load them. I highly recommend RCL, great ships, this was our 3rd cruise with them, great food, great shows and great staff.

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