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Tamesha Will

Age: 49

Occupation:health care

Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Mariner of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2012-02-22

Itinerary: Southwestern Carribean

After a clunky online experience (website is not user friendly) I finally called the travel agent to confirm I was indeed finished with the online check in process. Galveston cruise terminal embarkation was smoother than disembarkation with long lines to embark and longer lines to disembark due to the bottleneck at customs. Pick up and drop off of passengers was in the same exact spot at the terminal occurring at the same time (chaos).

Upon arrival to my state room I discovered a hand towel that had blue stains on it hanging in the bathroom (similar to toothpast stains). I requested a new towel and worried for the rest of the cruise that my towels may not be clean. I was assured that they were clean by the cabin steward Nazir Souvenier (spelling?). He gave very friendly service. The ship lost my luggage the first day. It was recovered on day 2.

In the first 3 days at sea my group of 6 women had a blast in the casino (sucks your money and not regulated). We spent 3 evenings in the Wig and Gavel Pub on the Promenade listening to a very talented guitarist named Marty Daniels during our cruise. When the sun came out on Tuesday, we relaxed near the pool. The snorkeling excursion in Honduras was wonderful and the horseback riding in Belize was fabulous. Cozumel is too comercialized for me, but was nice. Other cruise terminals along the pier did not like selling to Royal Carribean cruisers and directed us back to our own terminal for some reason. The food in the dining room every evening was only ok. After my friend found a fly in her desert, we were switched to a new table and group of servers. Service was only ok before that. It was phenomenal after that. We discovered the Portofino dining room ($20/per person cover charge) on the last night. The food was delightful there.

Windjammer was ok for buffet service. Dining room tasted like buffet food: Only ok. Sent back the salmon (smelled so fishy I got nauseous). Couldn't eat the beef stroganoff (seemed out of a can). The lobster was rubbery and dry. The steak was chewy (I like mine medium rare, this should not have been chewy). Johnny Rockets was a good burger and fries and worth the cover charge of $4.95. Portofino had awesome food and was worth the $20/per person cover charge. The cafe on the promenade had the same thing every morning, but was ok. The sandwiches were good at lunch. I can't believe the cruiseline charges for bottled water anywhere on the ship. Ridiculous. This should be included in the ticket price.

The stateroom decor was dated. I know the ship was put into commission in 2003, but the decor is 1998. It was clean, though. I understand it will be dry docked for 10 days in April. They should change the drapes and carpets to something more current.

The shows were great. This is where Royal Carribean spared no expense. The ice skating show was better than expected. The guitarist/vocalist Marty Daniels was fun to sing along with for our group. The Sophia Fiora blue diamonds were nice and sales people knowledgeable. The casino disappointed in that it didn't let people win enough to play very long.



Overall I had a very good time with my group of 6 friends. We laughed and enjoyed the time together creating memories. The entertainment is stellar, they need to work on the food quality in the dining room, and stop charging for bottled water. I was irritated that I was reminded to tip extra on several occasions during the last 3 days of the trip even though I paid tips in advance within my ticket price. The newsletter inserted a convenient charge form with convenient tip guidelines stating it could easily be charged to your account . This confused me and I had to ask whether the people I believed I had tipped in advance had indeed received it. On the last day, envelopes were given to us for additional tips. I don't mind tipping: Even in advance for a job not performed yet. But begging for additional tipping on top of the 15% already paid is not attractive on the part of the cruise line who ought to compensate their friendly employees and add it to the ticket price rather than allowing the additional tips to be guilted out of passengers to serve as compensation! Just sayin'

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