Mom, are we on the Marinara of the Seas? An RCL Review.
I know this is a Disney Cruise Board but I see questions often comparing RCL to DCL so I just wanted to share a quick review of our Thanksgiving cruise on the Mariner of the Seas out of Galveston. We have previously sailed the Magic and the Dream and was a little scared to try something different with the kids. This was DH and my seventh cruise but the kids third cruise with the last two being DCL.
Embarkation- Not as smooth as DCL. They used the same numbering system and we were number 14, it wasn't bad but just a little slow. Our luggage was delivered by about 6 pm.
Food- Our last RCL cruise was in 2007 so I really didn't remember much about the food. I really enjoy all of the food on DCL so I was a little scared. The food was actually pretty good. I didn't care for the buffet food but the food in the dining room was very good. We had most dinners and breakfast in the dining room.
The boat- The Mariner is a Voyager class ship so I would compare it to the Magic. It was a beautiful ship and I loved the Promenade area. It was just refurbished this May. There were plenty of activities to keep the kids busy, ice skating, rock climbing, putt putt golf, in-line skating, arcade, kids club, two pools and plenty of hot tubs. My DD12 was in heaven. DS8 really enjoyed it but he said that he prefers DCL's kids club. Mainly because the organized activities were listed everyday but no times. For example, they would have dodge ball listed sometime between 7p-10p. We sometimes missed the activities. Both kids say that they would sail the Mariner again in a heartbeat.
Overall- We really enjoyed the cruise. I was a bit scared to try something other than Disney with the kids. We enjoy DCL because we feel like we all get a vacation. As much as we love Disney World, it can be exhausting. I'm not a lover of Disney character interaction. I can take or leave that but I do love the theme, the shows and the service. I got great deals on my previous cruises but lately DCL has priced me out. Would I sail RCL again? ABSOLUTLEY! The service was great. We loved it and enjoyed every minute of our vacation. There were so many activities that we never once got bored. I had read that on other reviews but never thought I would think the same thing. I did not feel at all like I was settling on this cruise. We enjoyed it just as much as our Disney cruises if not more. I am looking forward to sailing the Freedom of the Seas next and we may be able to mix in a little WDW too for the price of a Fantasy cruise.
As to Nickel and Diming- I do agree that Disney does not nickel and dime you to death but it really wasnít bad. Because of the price savings between this cruise and the Magic at the same time, I didnít mind paying extra for some things. I still came out very much ahead.
Here are a few pictures...
Family Night at the Disco
Thanks for posting your review and pics--looks like a great time! I would also love to try one of these RCCL ships. Did you have an oceanview room, and was it a good size for the 4 of you? Thanks!
Yes, the room was a pretty good size. We had no problem with 4 in the room. Disney's rooms are laid out better but it was just a little bit smaller than the ocean view room we had on the Magic.
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