Just finished the Rio-Ft. Lauderdale cruise on the Mariner. A few comments: First, the ship is impeccably maintained and the level of service is very high, though not as personalized as we've had with Seabourn. Food was OK, if not great; that said, the two specialty restaurants were a cut above and, if they were on land, we would go to them - something we didn't feel with Compass Rose or Veranda. Excursions were free, of course, but not good. This is probably due to the kind of cities we visited. Staterooms (a curtain in the middle of the room does not make a "suite" we didn't think) are reasonably large and well laid out; too much space is wasted on the balcony which gets limited use. Some of the older passengers complained about the height of the bathtub - getting in and out was hard for them. Regarding shows, we thought they didn't do well. The large productions shows were poor, the individual performers on the small shows varied between good and so-so. Wine and liquor were included and were of generally pretty good quality. Tipping is, presumably, not allowed. They waffle a bit on this policy and we found that most did tip at least their cabin attendants. To summarize, it's a good ship that seems to try to fit into the middle between the top quality small ships such as Seabourne and the high end larger ships.
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