With all the discussions that I have been reading here, I'm getting concerned that maybe I have made the wrong desicion about taking a cruise (leaving 2/13 on RCL). All the talk about crowds, lines, money and credit or debit cards, it is a wonder anyone takes a cruise. I am traveling with my mother who is on Social Security, so very limited income, but she turned 70 and this is our birthday gift to her, but have we made the right decision? I guess I look at it this way: go with the mind-set that this is a vacation, I won't have the office calling or customers calling either. the phone may ring in my room, but it will be my brother letting us know they are up and ready for some fun. There will be lines, sure, but aren't there lines at Disney, and look how many people go there every year. I do not plan to take any shore excursions, I can find plenty to do wondering around the towns, and hey, if they all look the same, at least you can say that you have been there. The negativity posted here by several people just makes one really think if this is worth it, but I take it that most of these people have high expectations and when those expectations don't happen, they find no other good about the trip. Relax, take it as it comes and remember to laugh, because that is just what I intend to do.
I think this is a perfect gift for your mother's birthday. She will love it (as will you). I wouldn't worry about the negative comments that you read. It seems like we as human beings do a real good job of complaining when things don't go right. But, when all is well - we never utter a sound. I think when something bad happens (at it does occasionally) these boards provide a place for people to vent their anger and/or frustration. Those of us who have enjoyed a perfect cruise vacation are just content to bask in the afterglow.
There may be some lines at the buffet, but other than the evening parade along the promenade, crowd control on the Mariner is kept to a minimum. And I believe that if you leave home with a general idea of how much you can comfortably spend on a daily basis, you can alleviate the money worries. Limit the amount of gambling, alcohol consumption, shore excursions and photography purchases you make to fit your allotted budget and there are no surprises. It sounds to me like you have the proper attitude to guarantee a great trip. Have a wonderful time and once again, ignore the disgruntled few and ENJOY!
There may be as many as 3,000 passengers on board but the ship is so large the only time it gets crowded is in the theater. For the most part the crowds are less than you will encounter at home at the mall, theater, restuarant, gas station, etc
I can add my ditto to Nancy's comment also.Where in the world can you go...on vacation or not...that you don't have to contend with lines or crowds and other things that tick some ppl off. I think of it as a chance to meet new ppl. Many times in a buffet line here at home in restaurants I have had very nice chats with complete strangers.And it helps pass the time ...you don't even mind if you are waiting too long....Life is too short to sweat the small stuff.
Go on your cruise with a positive attitude and you will have a wonderful time.
My sail date on the Mariner is 2-06.Counting down the days and getting more excited as the time goes by.
You will have a Wondeful time especially if it is your first cruise. You will have nothing to compare it to. Most complainers have been on several cruises and they compare to past cruises. I too am going on a cruise Feb 13. We are sailing on the Conquest. It will be our 2nd cruise. Of course I will be comparing everything to the first one which was on Vision of the Seas which I loved. WE are sailing with all the kids and grandkids. It will be their first. I am more excited to see how they like the cruise than for myself. It is hard to beleive that many people can be on one ship and you don't feel crowded but it is true. As for any crowds at the buffet if it is crowded and you don't like it go at a time that is not as crowded or choose to have room service which is very good or eat in the diningrooms for breakfast and lunch. As for getting off the boat don't go first thing in the morning when everyone else is trying to get off. Wait till 11am or even later. There won't be any crowds at all. You only need a couple hrs to shop. Never take all your money with you. Rooms usually have safes. Only take what you are willing to spend in port. Also if you were to lose your money you would not lose all of it. I kept my purse locked in the safe the whole cruise. Never carried my purse off the ship. Let hubby carry the money and or credit card. WE usually went with $50.00 each port. Glad I did or might have spent a lot more. We were shopping for Tee shirts and shot glasses and the couple we were with were shopping for diamonds! What a great present for your mom! My mom is 71. I tried to talk her into going but she said no. Tried talking my mother- in-law into going. She is in her 80s. She too said no. Both are not in the best of health but I thought it would be great for them. I did not think they would want to get off the ship but you do not need to get off the ship in port. You can stay on and enjoy yourself in a near empty ship by yourself. NO crowds! Have a great time on your cruise and come back and tell us how it was....Bon Voyage!