Mariner of the Seas – Day 4

Brenden Schaaf / September 19, 2009

August 19, 2009
Mazatlan, Mexico

Heather had traveled to Mazatlan several years ago and I (like usual) had no interest leaving the ship so we decided to spend this day aboard the Mariner of the Seas while seemingly nearly everyone else headed into town.  One gentleman we spoke with at breakfast echoed my sentiment stating that he “came for the ship, not the ports” so a few souls stayed back, but we seemed to have the ship largely to ourselves.

View from the library of the Royal Promenade
View from the library of the Royal Promenade

It was quite hot/humid in Mazatlan (more so inland I’m sure) so I chose to hang out and read in the library while Heather went up top to our secret area for some time in the sun.  The library on the Mariner overlooks the Royal Promenade and is quite loud as libraries go.  The ceiling is open to the Internet Café above it and the mid-ship passageway connecting the port and starboard sides of the ship runs right through it.  I enjoyed much more the peace and quiet of the library on the Enchantment and Grandeur ships as opposed to this design and I hope that in the future the library will return to being a place of sanctuary rather than a pit-stop on a rather busy and loud traffic way.

Enchantment and Grandeur also have large public areas in the Centrum that have plenty of public seating with large windows to the outside.  On the Mariner, the only public seating areas that look outside seem to be bar areas.

Cars at the port in Mazatlan
Cars at the port in Mazatlan

The port in Mazatlan is in a rather industrial area.  A large parking lot of imported cars was right next to the ship and small golf-cart type vehicles pulled trailers full of passengers through a yard of shipping containers (dodging forklifts and semis as they did so) to the cruise terminal.   There didn’t appear to be a lot of retail and/or restaurant operations near the port and the main “touristy” areas of Mazatlan were a good cab ride away.  In the morning we could see the bay where most of the hotels were located but by the afternoon the haze had settled in obscuring our view of that area as well.

Shuttles from the ship had to travel thorugh a large (active) container loading area to the cruise terminal.  This was one port where there wasn't a lot of retail/bars nearby.
Shuttles from the ship had to travel thorugh a large (active) container loading area to the cruise terminal. This was one port where there wasn't a lot of retail/bars nearby.

After Heather was done in the sun and I was ready for a break from reading, we headed off to dinner a few minutes earlier than our scheduled “My Time” of 6:45pm.  No problem, however, as we were quickly seated at a 2-person table and the service was not nearly as rushed as it was the first night.  This was nice, but there is still a personal touch that comes with having the same wait staff each night that isn’t really the case with the My Time Dining.  I missed that, which was quite a surprise.  I am unlikely to insist on My Time Dining on our next cruise even though the practice of being seated with complete strangers and having to chat them up isn’t the greatest situation either (although my wife, Heather, likes it more than I do).

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Mariner of the Seas mini-golf

After dinner we changed clothes and headed up to the Sports Deck (deck  13) for some mini-golf on the 9-hole course.  Heather had beaten me soundly last year on the Mariner (several times I recall) so I was out for revenge and managed to eke out a victory this time around.  The fake “turf” was in much better shape this time (no big holes/tears/gouges) so that made it more enjoyable as well.  The only issue we had was a father that couldn’t control his 3 sons so at times we had to wait while one of them ran around the hole we were on.  Being on vacation makes this only a bit more tolerable than normal, but by the end these kids (and the oblivious dad) were getting on my nerves.

After golf, we attended the Love & Marriage game show, a takeoff on the Newlywed Game.  We have enjoyed this show on past cruises and enjoyed this one as well, although there were parts that didn’t run as smoothly as normal.  Following Love & Marriage we headed up to the pool for the late night buffet.  There were some great ice sculptures and fruit carvings but we didn’t get any photos because the camera was back in the stateroom.  I did, however, get a few ribs and a wrap because there is nothing I needed more at midnight than some more food!

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