Mariner of the Seas Cruise Review by cookingfor5
- Sail Date: May 2019
- Destination: Bahamas
- Cabin Type: Interior
Embarkation: Amazingly fast! We arrived around 1pm and were on ship in less than half an hour from parking the car.
Disembarkation: Sadly a MADHOUSE. Customs got "full" and they stopped calling numbers at one point. Luckily, we had a very late flight and were self-disembarking so we were not in a rush and hung out on the ship. We still had time after leaving the ship and attempted visiting the Kennedy Space Center. We just had time to look around and were annoyed that after parking for $10 it cost an additional $60 per person to even go to the gift shop! We didn't have time to tour, so we left.
Entertainment and Activities: The only downside to a 3 day cruise was there were so many things to do and we didn't have time to do everything we wanted! Some of the times were awkward and we could never find the "Box Office" to schedule things like laser tag. We had late set dining (hoping to avoid the kids and enjoy the evening entertainment), but often things were scheduled during that time. In the future, I would do MyTimeDining for a short cruise, but I will miss having the same wait staff each night.
Service: Speaking of service, everyone was impeccable. Our room steward was wonderful, and the dining staff in the MDR and Buffet were great.
Dining: The only let down was the MDR food. It came up unexpectedly bland and overcooked every night. To my surprise, some of the best food I ate was for lunch in the buffet. It had a better breakfast than the MDR also. Breakfast was a buffet in the MDR too, so unless you just like the relaxing atmosphere there, the Windjammer had more fresh choices. Deserts were only good once and I was sad that there were not better options in the Cafe Promenade where we have had excellent ones before.
Nassau - This is a busy port but seems to handle the crowds well (5 ships in port that Saturday). We started the day early before most of the shops opened walking the 3-4 blocks up to the Queen's Staircase and Fort Finnacle. Easy to do on your own and not busy at 9-10 am. Nice but nothing overtly special. We shopped in town, ate lunch back on the ship and then went out for a Glass Bottom Boat tour with one of the locals sitting out in the port($35 pp). (Same excursion on the ship was only $5 more, so not a ridiculous savings. Bring cash and you can save a few dollars though with a local vendor.) We were going to go to the beach but decided to enjoy the ship for the afternoon. It was really fun eating dinner as we sailed away at 8:30!
Coco Cay - BEST DAY EVER!!!! You can make this island whatever you want. Adventure: zip lining and water park, and rentals. Relaxing: plenty of free beach chairs, snorkeling, multiple swimming areas. We chose to spend the morning snorkeling at Chill Island, which was easy with my own gear even though they do have expensive rentals if you need some. Left that area and spent later in the afternoon relaxing on North Beach where it was actually quieter. There were a couple sharks and sting ray in the water to snorkel with if you were brave (only by the floating bar area)... which I was super excited about. Life guards are at each beach too and some organized beach activities. Free Food on the island was pretty good. A nice BBQ with mexican choices also. The drinks at the bars were some of the best on the whole trip. The pool bar looked like a fun party even though we went for relaxing areas instead. The entire family can be entertained here. I could have spent the whole cruise on this island!
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