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Michelle

Age: 36

Occupation:Application Support Specialist

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Mariner of the Seas

Sailing Date: March 19th, 2006

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

There were 7 of us on this trip together. We planned this about a year ago and were extremely nervous about the booking. The agent that we went through kept getting the information wrong and would say, "as long as Royal Caribbean has the correct information you'll be all set." But my concern was how was R.C. getting the correct information when they had the wrong information.

I tried to confirm with Royal Caribbean customer support via e-mail that they had all the correct information and took several days to return my e-mail and then did not even answer the question that I had, I felt that I was getting the run around and just got one of those "standard form" response because the answer did not even come close to answering the question that I had asked. I was certainly NOT impressed with that and was hell bent that I will never use Royal Caribbean again because of their lack of customer support and started to get worried that it will not be a smooth vacation.

But then we got to the ship.

The 7 of us were on the ship in less than 30 minutes. The people at the Port check-in should teach the online customer service a few things. That's when I started to relax a little. Had it not been for the online customer support, I would have given at least 4 star review.

Our suite attendant - Rohan was beyond excellent! There was nothing we wanted that he could not or did not get for us and always did it with a smile, as it was with all the staff, with every answer being, "no problem". The first night he came and introduced himself to us and told us all the bonus we get for booking a suite.

We had the first seating in The Sound of Music, table 532. Mamet and Claire were our staff. Although they weren't outgoing, they were excellent at what they did and remember how each of us liked our meats cooked and figured out what kind of dessert we each would like by the 3rd night. Peter, the cocktail waiter aka - "The booze guy" as he introduced himself to us as, and claimed that he was our "dream come true" on the first night and he was right. ALWAYS smiling and right there when we wanted another drink. The food, though limited choices, was great. Being a function manager myself, to serve a perfect meal to 200 people is not an easy task. The chefs here had to serve a lot more than 200 people and did it extremely well. I can not say that I had a bad meal even once during the entire week. Including the food in the Windjammer.

I was a bit disappointed on the first formal night, which was the night we were suppose to Meet the Captain. I never saw the man. Other cruises on other lines I've been on, you actually do meet the Captain. Also, the formal pictures that were being taken before dinner, the backgrounds for the pictures were very limited which also was a disappointment.

What was made in disappointments were made up in other areas. James, The cruise director, I have never seen a man with such energy!!!! Other cruise directors I have seen, have not had "hands on" with the planned activities. James was involved in almost all of them. I strongly suggest everyone going to watch The Quest. You will be laughing all night long. One review that I read about the Marnier was the Love and Marriage game was a bit "raunchy". I personally found the game to be extremely entertaining and due to the nature of the game, is expected to have some kind of "tongue in cheek" humor. If there wasn't that kind of humor that would have been disappointing to more people than those who found it raunchy. His second hand man Steve O was just as amazing. His ability to make people laugh, his energy, and his precise public speaking was excellent. Others on James’s team weren't as strong. One of them, Eva - I'm not sure if she's just new and a tad on the shy side, but you really can't be when it comes to working with the cruise director. She should also take a class on public speaking; unfortunately she was not very good at using the microphone and just did not look comfortable being in front of people and not exactly approachable because of her shyness.

The shore excursions, not too impressive. Coco Cay, is R.C. Private Island. The entire ship goes to this one teeny tiny island. Some of the staff aboard the ship goes early in the morning, sets the island up, works all day, breaks the island down and then returns to the ship to continue working. I can't say it was worth the stop or either that, stay on the ship, you'll have the whole thing to yourself. I think there was more room on the ship to handle all those people than there was on the island.

Magen's Bay in St. Thomas has been named on of the top 10 beaches in the world. So we figured we HAD to go there. The beach is not that big or long and everyone else had the same idea. It was extremely crowded and if your tour bus does not get there before all the other tour buses; you will be hard press to find a spot to lie down on. The description in the cruise book about this excursion was not exactly correct. There was not a beach mat where you can float in the water with. However it was impressive that the cocktail waitress came out into the water to hand you your drink. Pizzas started at $16.00 at the beach. The driver stopped on the way back so that we could take pictures of the breathtaking views.

Exiting the ship on Sunday was a fairly painless procedure. Wishing it was a tad later, but also understanding that they had to get the ship ready for the next trip out in several hours.

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