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Mark Sauls

Age: 48

Occupation:Business Manager

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Mariner of the Seas

Sailing Date: June 11th, 2006

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

Arrived port Canaveral at 11:10, boarded fairly quickly and were in the Windjammer eating lunch by noon. Hand sanitizer was everywhere and required before you entered the dining areas. You do need to complete the Bahamas’ form they mail you before boarding. I had read elsewhere you didn’t need it since we weren’t going to Nassau.

Rooms available at 1:00 (we were in ocean view 7680, port side, aft). Luggage was there by 1:30. It rained a little so sail away was moved to the promenade. We explored the ship, found our dining room table (336, table for six on third floor near the entrance).

We had muster drill as required and then went to dinner. Waiter was Sonny from India and Norman from Jamaica. Had excellent service all week from both. The second night both couples were absent and were replaced by an older couple, one in a wheelchair. They were experienced cruisers and knew several of the waiters from previous cruises. It was good to see the head waiter and waiters fight over who was going to assist them each night. Overall dining room food was good. We enjoyed everything we had. Caesar salad was a little bland and some desserts were better than others. (really enjoyed the key lime pie). We ate at Chops Tuesday night and it was excellent. Our excursion to St John got back late so we ate Johnny Rockets Wednesday night. Hamburgers were undercooked first time around. Looked okay after we sent them back to try again. I’d recommend cutting them in half before you dig in. Great sundae for dessert. Second formal was Shrimp and lobster, prime rib. I tried it all and it was all very good. Saturday night we had the NY strip which was nice size and very good. Vegetable servings were small but adequate. Tablemates who had cruised a lot (this was their 64th) said they notice the cut backs on every cruise. Since we didn’t have that frame of reference we were very pleased.

Room attendant was Lydia from Nicaragua. She was very attentive, had the room cleaned while we were out in the morning and during dinner. Had towel animals all but the first and last nights. Beds were okay. No spring to them but we slept well.

We went to all the shows except for late night ones. We enjoyed them all, especially the comics and Bobby Arvon (guy who sang the theme song on TV’s Happy Days). He had incredible energy. El Gaucho was also very entertaining. Enjoyed the singers/dancers shows as well. Ice skating was good as advertised. Went to Quest, it was fun. Becky is a bundle of energy that works hard to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves. Her staff is excellent as well.

Excursions – we did St John Snorkel and Best of St. Maarten both through the cruise line. Next time we would probably try to do our own tours, but not to St. john. Our port time was extended but I sure would not want to miss the boat!

Out walking early on sea days I noted several chairs in prime spots “reserved”. Deck 4 was always empty if you want a nice chair to read and ocean watch out of the sun.

We did self assist departure. We were in the car and headed home by 7:40.

Overall the cruise was excellent. We enjoyed everything. It all went very smoothly and for the price was a good deal.

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