Carl T. Smith
Occupation:Case Manager / Paralegal
Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Mariner of the Seas
Sailing Date: August 29th, 2004
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
First Time Cruisers my wife and myself. We arrived in Port Canaveral, Florida Sunday afternoon on August 29th at 1:00pm. What a surprise The Mariner was a big beautiful white ship with much bustling activity. Not knowing what to expect we followed the traffic to the lane where you drop-off your luggage. The very first thing I noticed was how organized everything was from the porters getting your luggage to the attendants directing you to the parking building. The check in process at the Terminal was smooth and easy, once finished it was time to board the ship. We went straight to our stateroom 7234 and admired the layout with plenty of room for two with a spacious balcony. Time to look over the ship; Wow! I was in the Navy on sea duty and could not have possibly conceived what was before me on a ship no less. Deck 5 The Grand Promenade was like being in the French Quarter in New Orleans, shops, taverns, cafes’ and people. It is absolutely beautiful. The interior of the ship was breathtaking from the pool deck to The Savoy Theater, not to mention the people, so many but never felt crowded.
The ship left Port Canaveral promptly at 5:00pm, just behind the Disney Ship with great weather and calm seas. First formal dinner in The Sound of Music Dining Room was absolutely grand, the decor and table settings were regal. Our dinner partners were old salts each couple having been on many previous cruises and they were very helpful with tips and tricks about cruising we enjoyed the company and conversation very much. Let me take a moment to say our waiter, Richard D’Souza and assistant waiter Mario were so attentive and formal that I felt like a king at a banquet. There was nothing that these two individuals wouldn’t do to make sure our dining experience was a memorable one each and every night we dined with them. Kudos to them.
The excursions we planned were always based around the beautiful beaches we visited from Labadee, Haiti (you must do the wave runners) to Cozumel, Mexico the waters were pristine and the bluest I’ve ever seen. In Jamaica we did Dunn’s River Falls, the climb was awesome with cooling waters all around and we made it to the top. In Cozumel we opted for a trip to Cancun, I don’t suggest this trip because the boat ride to Playa Del Carmen and then the bus ride to Cancun was so time consuming we only had 3 hours to shop, eat and do the beach, but it was beautiful.
The food aboard ship was sumptuous, I’ve read many reviews with folks complaining about how bad or bland or generic the food was, but aboard the Mariner the menus from breakfast to dinner were great, even the snacks at the Promenade Café were out of this world.
Hurricane Frances threw a curve to everyone, keeping us at sea for a couple extra days and diverting the ship to Miami. Royal Carribean provided bus transportation back to Port Canaveral and after a free tour of southern Florida we arrived safely to pickup our cars and travel home.
The cruise was absolutely terrific, I’m sold and now have the cruise bug fever, can’t wait to go again and it will be abroad The Mariner of the Seas, from the Captain to the Cabin Steward the folks give you all the attention you could ever wish for on a vacation and I highly recommend this cruise experience for everyone.