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Leslie Garland

Age: 24

Occupation:Real Estate Appraiser

Number of Cruises: n/a

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Mariner of the Seas

Sailing Date: December 11th, 2005

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

Embarkation : Left from RIC in Va at 7 in the morning and arrived in Orlando at 9. Once we went down to baggage claims there was a RC worker ready to meet us and take us away. Very efficient. Once we arrived in Port Canaveral it was smooth sailing. Took at max. 45min.
Once we got on the boat it was time to explore. It was my husbands first time on a boat and so wonderful to see his eyes light up. "there's a full basketball court, an ice skating ring?" "Yes honey its a city on the ocean" (it was our honeymoon)

The ship
Dining Room -What a dining room!! 3-storys all beautifully laid out. Never seem crowded.

The Promenade - This one of our favorite places to go. Great for "people watching" You feel like your walking through some quaint town. Numerous shops such as general store, logo store, jewelry store (husband had to buy a tag heur watch) & the cute promenade cafe. Where fresh brewed coffee flows "freely" however lattes and capp. are at cost. Ben & Jerrys was there too, but portion to prices were not very good.

The bars - SO many to choose from!!! I think we counted like 18!! There is something for everyone. Too the loud sports bar to the classy champagne bar. Husband and I are easily pleased we just love our miller lights and we felt they were reasonable prices. 3.00 for 12 oz

The pools Area - I was really afraid of the days at sea we wouldn't be able to find a spot to lay out. Now we never got right next to the pool, cause I felt the upper level was better sun light. But I did see the few bad apples who had put their bags on chair at 7 in the morning. Come on People.

Exercise Room: Absolute wonderful. I never felt like it was crowded. Great equipment.

Other stuff - the Rockwall, the mini-golf, and basketball court were all excellent.

The Food:

Windjammer - Windjammer gets a bad wrap. Its not wonderful but for on the go its perfect. We usually got there at 7 in the morning for breakfast and found the usual items. French toast, pancakes, waffles, home fries, hash browns, bacon, sausage, assorted cereal, doughnuts. etc Lunch changed from time to time and we could always find something.

Dining Room - I really did love the food. First night I had encrusted cod, very nice. Husband had prime rib. He learned real fast to always get what I ordered, which was usually the waitress suggestion. I always enjoyed the appetizer from onion tart to shrimp cocktail. We had rack of lamb one night which was cooked excellent. Prime rib was very good. lots of flavor. husband even tried escargot and liked it! The last formal night when they serve the Lobster husband caught on real fast you could order more than one. The table next to us was setting a bad example as they ordered 6-8 lobster tails. I loved how RC honored are request for a 2 person table. It meant so much to us to spend that time with one another than 6 strangers. Our waitress was wonderful she learned very quick that I was always going to eat what she mentioned and knew I loved sour cream. The asst waitress knew I only would eat the sour dough rolls and to bring each one of us 2. Bar waiter knew on the 2nd night to go ahead and bring 2 miller lights. I love that kind of services.

Johnny Rockets - What a treat! Good hamburger, fries and onion rings. And milkshake was real good too. I loved the dancing waiters.

Chops Grill - Ok for 20 bucks a person it was worth every penny. We called once we got on the ship around 5ish and they were already booked till Saturday. So we took that reservation. We have eaten at A LOT of nice upper class steak houses and it was like eating at another one. The meats, fish, and vegetables were presented on a cart to show you what you would be getting. We started of with French onion soup (might be the best I've ever had or at least top 5) and then we both had new york strip. prepared perfectly. And finished off with bread pudding and cheesecake. Both were very good. Matire' D had found out we are honeymooners are brought us to glasses of champagne. Very nice touch!

The Stateroom
We had a balcony stateroom (6282) I will never cruise again without a balcony. We left the door open every night to hear the wind and water. Very soothing. The room was spacious, enough space for the two of us for the week. Bathroom was accommodating and I am so glad they did away with that nasty shower curtain. The doors are so much nicer. Our stateroom attendant was good. love the towel animals.

The Entertainment -
We went attempted to go to every show we could keep our eyes awake for. First night there was a man who did amazing juggling acts and then a comedian. Comedian you could tell was just dying to say something dirty. which he did on the 2nd night. We laughed!! Singers and Dancers were good. You can tell they work really hard. Ice show was absolutely amazing!!! We waited in line for 30 minutes for tickets. Well worth it. We were just in awwww. The cruise director hosted a honeymooners social (31 honeymooners are the cruise) We were won a bottle of champagne which we will open on our 1yr anniversary. But by far the best entertainment on the boat was the Love and Marriage game. The questions that were asked was just screaming for "get me in trouble" it def. made for some good laughs.

Ports:
Coco cay, Bahamas -
RC private island, which was beautiful. Very islandy. We picked a spot not so crowed and laid out until are kayaking shore excursion was ready to begin. I've never kayaked before and picked up real fast. Actually husband had to keep telling me to slow down cause I wanted to pass everyone. We saw large star shells. I really did enjoy this sea excursions. Food was provided on the island. Typical BBQ food. But truly not appealing to watch some people eat in their bathing suits.

St. Thomas - We did a historic tour of Blackboards Castle. Very informative and interesting. I loved hearing about Annie Bonnie (girl pirate) I was in awe and amazement of the beauty of St. Thomas. The tour took us to the top of St.. Thomas for great views. Then we ended at the shopping district. It was a rather long tour and I was starving so we went to CUZZIN's. Authentic St.. Thomas food. We both got conch fritter, FF, coleslaw and 2 red stripes. Love me some conch fritters. Shopping wasn't bad. Prices were good. I'm a David Yurman fanatic. And there was the best DY selection at one of the boutiques and was cheaper by about 10% in the states.

St.Maarten -
We booked the Dolphin Discovery Swim. Even though this was one of my fav. moments on our cruise. This was not made aware to us. We had to travel 1hr and 45 minutes to another island to get there. 1hr boat ride and 45 minute bus ride to Anguilla. Anguilla is a very poor island and not much to see there. However there was like one of the top 5 beaches in the world. Dolphin Swim was great you get good swim time with the dolphin. Pictures & video if you want. You take a picture with diff types of birds. I really loved this. After swim they give you the opportunity to go to the beach and then they feed you. (which was good too) and then back to the bus. Now this excursion was 6hrs long so not much time to explore St. Marten. but what we saw we really did love.

Debarkation -
We were one the later groups to leave 9:45 I believe. Which they said we could go to Savoy theater to watch a video of weekly events. That never happened. they played the same music over and over again. I thought I was going to lose my mind. Once we exited, customs was a breeze, baggage was easy, got on our bus and back to Orlando. We were originally weren't suppose to leave Orlando till 4:40 but there was another flight leaving at 1:15. So we paid the extra 50bucks and got back to Virginia.

Overall -
WE LOVED IT!!!!!!!! We were already talking about taking another cruise with either friend or family. I really did love this for our honeymoon. They really did make us feel special. And offered a lot of diff. honeymooners specials. I'll go Royal Caribbean again and again.

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