Traveled on Mariner last week of March, Spring Break week; me and the hubby, our 14 year old son, and our best friends. Flew into Houston Hobby and stayed overnight near airport. Springhill Suites has great free shuttle service and is a very nice hotel for the price. The RCCL shuttle is also very nice. We were very pleased with our transportation and the friendliness of the drivers. Arrived at port for embarkation at approximately 12:30pm. They tried to talk us into visiting the town of Galveston until later in the afternoon due to the long lines but we are glad we decided to just wait it out. Our friends are Platinum members and thus we had a very short wait as compared to others. Check in was a breeze and friendly, and we were on the ship by 1:30 and went straight to our staterooms. We were located on Deck 6 aft therefore the balconies are larger. I appreciate that but the only drawback is too much lighting at night and smoking crew members below if on the corner.
Our Stateroom attendant, "Ram" was absolutely wonderful. He went above and beyond to make our stay comfortable and seemed to know our needs before we mentioned them! He even managed to keep our teenager informed and on time to certain events. He deserves a big WOW! The room was always clean and the bed made a little more comfortable with extra padding that Ram was happy to obtain for us. We like the showers much better with the circular doors instead of the flimsy curtain that you usually have with older ships. Plenty of storage in the rooms, too. Nice flat screen TV with many channels and good lighting.
We really enjoyed the food on the Mariner. The buffet at the Windjammer had enough choices for breakfast and lunch so that you could eat something different every day. Our son devoured the pizza just about every day! You can order custom eggs and omelets, etc... Service was adequate but sometimes it was faster to go get your own coffee or juice. All service was friendly and we could always find a seat. We never made it to dinner there but our son enjoyed his meals when he ate with his the new friends that he made in the teen club.
Stateroom 6390 has larger balcony that fit two chairs, small table and two chaise loungers. Less view of ocean than higher staterooms aft but still nice to see ships wake. Room same size as others.
Very nice excursion through the ship to private resort, Anthony's Key Resort. The beach is nice with chaises and a good place to snorkel. Good for young children as the beach is gradual for swimming. They have an animal rehabilitation center that is nice with monkeys, sea lions, rays, and others. Nice lunch is served.
The tendering wasn't that bad as expected since we were the only ship in port that day. Took a cave tubing tour with VIV tours that was fabulous! It was fun, and beautiful and our guide Roberto was wonderful!