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Family Friendliness
Shore Excursions
leia skyler

Age: 43


Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Mariner of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2010-07-11

Itinerary: mexican riviera

This is our first cruise and the reviews from this website are pretty accurate. Worth the money spent and we received the most excellent service specially from the dining room staff. Alcohol is constantly being pushed on you so if there is some drinking problems in the family, this will be a very difficult trip. A very GOOD TIP given to us by other families that have cruised before: bring ziplock baggies. Make a snack or sandwiches from the buffet breakfast to take with you when you go for your excursions. DO NOT take fruits as these are not allowed in Mexico and will be thrown away. Bring bottled water, stick them in you luggage so you don't have to buy the super expensive bottled water from the ship or ports. There's a small fridge in each room and you can placed them there to keep cool.

The buffet (Windjammer) is adequate. Plenty of choices and at night, they have a small sushi bar at the Jade Cafe (inside Windjammer), The wait staff there is either hot or cold (they are either attentive or will try their best to ignore you). We opted for the "My Time" dining which allows us to go whenever we need to. There is hardly any wait especially for a family of 4. Our waiter Mahesh and Alexander are the most attentive waiters I;ve seen for a while (of course they are hoping for excellent tips for later). Mahesh did science tricks for the kids after meal and they thought that was such a treat. They were every accomodating as we have a person in our family who cannot have sugar (they modified the desserts and told us in advance which meals are loaded with sugar) and a child who was very picky (they made him pasta with butter). Overall, the food was good although I felt so over loaded with food that I was feeling nauseaus by the end of the trip looking at all the food being presented.

The stateroom was OK. Our attendant (it appeared to us) was not as present as the other attendants we see from the other rooms in our area. Plenty of storage spaces. The bathroom has a clothes line inside the shower (very top, almost to the ceiling). Its a little metal looking thingie - pull the small knob and a line will come out. Pull and stretch it across the shower stall to the other metal looking receptor. Viola , you can dry your swim clothes easy.

Plenty of things to do especially with the kids. OUr kids only stayed at the Kids Club for 1/2 day (it was on the way back when we were all needed some time out from each other). Sports deck is on the 12 th floor. They liked the ice skating, miniature golf, baskeball court, etc. So you dont need to take them to kids club all the time. You can spend time with them, enjoy each other - again unless you all need to have time away to stay sane. We all tried the rock wall (awesome although I sucked at it). The belaying staff are really really nice and supportive. I am sure they were hysterical when my fat behind went up the rock wall. Radcliff (some huge Jamaican dude) is the best. Look for him in the rock wall and go to him. He helped an 85 year old woman finish the rock wall, coaxing her all the way to not give up.

Excursions: 1. Cabo - this is a tender. So if you have tickets for an excursion and you have to be at the pier super early, go to the FORWARD (thats the front) section to get to your tender. If you are in the back side, you"ll be competing with folks who just wants to get off the ship. No one tells you when you buy your excursion tickets about this tender business until you see the chaos of people trying to get off the ship, all at the same time, all claiming they have a "9:00 am" ticket. It was a mess! We did the 4X4 in cabo since it the vehicles were automatic. It was awesome and the kids loved it! My kids were the only kids in that group and I thougth it was going to e too much for them but it turned out awesome. I almost flipped the 4x4 (if that was even possible) but our guide was very patient with me and helped me get out of that pickle! 2. MAZATLAN - we did the Beach, shopping tour with the papatlan flyers. The show was ok but it was hard sell to buy merchandise. Do not make eye contact! Otherwise they will never leave you. The beach resort was Radison and it was heaven. The pool was clean and staff were very helpfull. Buffet lunch was included and it was delicious. The beach was full of vendors, again do not make eye contact - otherwise they will never leave. 3. PUERTO VALLARTA - we did the Marietas Island Eco Snorkeling tour. It is a one hour boat ride to the island and the day we went, the water was very choppy. I knew it was a bad sign when they were offering seasickness medicine before we even left the pier (my advice - take it!). So the first hour was OK, then its hits you. Everyone in the catamaran was looking green but we were all wondering who is going to upchuck first. Lucky it was not me. I actually waited until we anchored at Marietas and then let loose in the bathroom. You dont go in the islands, they just shove you off the back of the boat and say "goodluck". The water was clear and plenty of fishes in the bottom. They "seed" the water so the fishes will come so I don;t know how "eco" really this is. Then of course I did my own naural 'seeding" when I threw up again in the water and my kids could not understand why the fishes were going crazy around us. On the way back, it was open bar and I have never seen so much alcohol consumed in my life. I was sure these people will never be able to get off the catamaran.

Overall, it was a good trip and the kids were looking for Mahesh and company even after they got home ( "I want Mahesh to cut my food..") Gambling is heavy on this cruise (with Casinos and Bingos and Raffles). The ice skating show was good considering it was a small rink on a moving ship in the middle of the ocean. The juggling act was good too. The belly flop contest was hilarious!

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