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kho7002

Mariner of the Seas - 5/9 Questions

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Hi all, it's my first time posting and cruising. I'll be cruising on the Mariner on 5/9 and would appreciate any help.

1) Cabins - We booked the lowest category of inside cabins (Q) thinking that we'll be spending most of our time outside of our room but I've just noticed that only about 15 rooms are in this category. Why makes them cheaper than the other inside state rooms? They are located on the ends of Deck 6, 7 and 8. I keep thinking that maybe we should have gotten a better room. Is it too late to upgrade?

2) Is it better to book excursions through the cruise or go off on your own? Is there a huge price difference? Which excursions do you recommend at each of these ports - Cozumel, Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Ochos Rios? I want to do the dolphin encounter and both Ochos Rios and Cozumel offer it - which one is better?

3) Is there car rental returns on Port Canaveral? We're spending a couple of days in Orlando so we'll be renting a car at the airport when we arrive. Can we return it at the port?

Have more questions to post later but that's it for now. Thanks a bunch!

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1. I would stick with your interior especially for your first cruise. Those are good decks to be on and you can use the extra money for something else. You won't spend much time in the room and the darkness of the interior rooms are great for sleeping. Make sure to take an alarm or have wakeup call, though.

2. Excursions. Not sure on the ports you mentioned. You'll have to do some research on the ports. Some excursions can only be done through the ship. The ones that you can book privately are usually cheaper. Check out the port of calls board for more info on the specific ports.

3. Yes, most of the rental car companies have a free shuttle to the ship. Avis is pretty inexpensive and so is Budget.

Thanks!
Peggy

Mariner,Here we come!! (Subtract 2 for my wedding)
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2 more questions...

1) How likely is seasickness? i've heard that these megaships are very calm but still a little concerned.

2) Do we need to bring money on board? Are there ATMs and do all the ports accept USD?

Thanks and congrats on your wedding!

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I would stick with the room you have. There is to much to do, you won't be in your room. In Grand Cayman a must is Sting Ray City. Do it through Nativeway Sports [url="http://www.nativewaywatersports.com"]www.nativewaywatersports.com[/url]
they are great. It is $30 per person compared to I think $65 through the cruise line and it includes Coral Gardens. Also Dunn River Falls in Ochos Rios, do this with Pete Taylor. I don't have his web address but someone will help you with it. As for Cozumel you can take a cab into town and shop or go to one of the beaches. In town Carlos and Charles is the most popular spot.

"Baby lets cruise away from here"

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We are also sailing on the Mariner on May the 9th. Please feel free to join us on the [url="http://messages.cruisecritic.com/2/OpenTopic?a=tpc&s=927093444&f=1683059817&m=4363047957"]http://messages.cruisecritic.com/2/OpenTopic?a=tpc&s=927093444&f=1683059817&m=4363047957[/url] ROLL CALL board. We have a bunch of great people that will be sailing with us.


If you are interested in swimming with the Stingrays we have a private charter with [url="http://www.nativewaywatersports.com"]www.nativewaywatersports.com[/url]. We have a group of about sixteen or so that has already signed up. We did this excursion last year and it was the highlight of our cruise.


As far as seasickness, The ships are very stable, but if you are prone to seasickness I would bring something along such as "Bonine" just in case. My wife gets car sick very easy and she did not have to take a thing on our last cruise.


If you need extra cash you can go to the casino and put it on your seapass card. You will not be charged a fee.

Hope this helps.

Andy

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kho7002
i recently sailed mariner and had a blast!
only time i got sea sick was on mariner, but the seas were rough. but goto pursers desk and they will GIVE you meckalazine (not sure of spelling).
all ports we have stopped in loved the us dollar. but take small bills like $5's and $1's. if a taxi ride is $6 and you pull out a $10 they may tell you they dont have change. so be prepared with little bills.
we were told that you could up grade up til 2 weeks out then again at port if rooms still available , that you just have to pay difference.

Tori

Monarch Nov02
Sovereign May03
Mariner Feb04
Nordic Empress Feb05

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We were on the 4/4 sailing of the Mariner. I HIGHLY recommend the following excursions: In Ocho Rios, book with Peat Taylor. His email is [email]oneiltay@cwjamaica.com[/email] (Oneil is his son). We were told to meet him at 9:30 but when we met him at 9:15, he already had enough to fill up the first van and we went right away to the falls. Our group was the FIRST group of the day to climb. I go my photos back today and there is nobody ahead of us in the falls. Amazing experience - so many people are herded up the falls like cattle. And Peat himself was our driver, singing to us and taking us on a tour of the Jamaican countryside.

In Grand Cayman, go on the Buccaneer Catamaran to Stingray City + 2 snorkeling reefs. Book this through grandcaymancruiseexcursions.com. It was very reasonable and the boat is very new and spotless. There were only about 20 people on our boat. Also you can just lay out and sunbathe on the deck. The meeting place is at Captain Bryan's about 5 blocks from the pier.

In Cozumel, we spent a beach day at Paradise Beach, then did some shopping. Go to the Ports of Call boards to learn more about Paradise Beach. It was AWESOME!

Hope this helps!

Rachel T
[img]http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=00ff00&cdt=2004;4;4;17;0;00&timezone=GMT-0500[/img]
Mariner 4/04
Monarch 7/02
Majesty 7/01
Regal Princess 12/95

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We also just returned from Mariner. In Ocho Rios, we struck out on our own and hired Tony Henry, Bright Light Enterprise to take us on a personalized tour. We saw some interesting things that we wouldn't have seen on the large tours and he took us to his own private waterfalls instead of to Dunns Falls--absolutely amazing. We paid $25 per person for a 4 hour island tour--he is very much into native and herbal medicine and included info about several island remedies in the tour--interesting to my husband who is a clinical pharmacist. We didn't do Stingray City this time, but it is definitely a mustdo. Cococay had to be the most relaxing and enjoyable day as far as a day on the beach. Beautiful weather and the water was almost perfect. The seas were very smooth--no seasickness. If you have a tendency towards this, get a Transderm Scop patch to put behind your ear a few hours before sailing. You are not in your cabin very much except to sleep, but you can always try to upgrade.
Yes, there are ATM's available--casino, near guest relations, etc. US dollar was widely accepted wherever we went. Hope this helps and happy cruising!!

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Booking a shore excursion off the ship will definitely save you money, but it has it's risks! I have booked off the ship many times. However, you are doing it at your on risk. On our recent Mariner cruise we booked the Sting Ray City tour on the ship. Our ship sailed at 4:30PM and all guests were to be onboard at 4:00PM. As luck would have it our excursion boat lost one engine and we had to limp back to the pier. We didn't get back on the ship until after 5:00PM. By booking the tour on the ship they knew where we were and they held the ship for us. If we had booked off the ship they would not have any idea were we were and we very well may have missed the ship. A good tour company would have communication with the ship, but then it would be up to the Captain whether to wait for you.

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In response to your dolophin question, I swam with the dolphins in Cozumel and it was great! I loved every second of it! I booked it through: [url="http://www.dolphindiscovery.com/"]Dolphin Discovery[/url] I can't speak about the one in Jamaica but I thought I read on the boards somewhere that it wasn't as nice.

Hope you have a wonderful trip!

Mariner of the Seas 5/23/04

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