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Rogueperson's **Live** Mariner of the Seas 9/24/21


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Good morning everyone.

 

I know @jam19872016just completed his b2b on the Mariner, so I was a little hesitant to do another live thread when one was completed so recently.  I did remember saying that every cruise is different so, I figured what the hey, lets go for it.  Its a little early, but there's a reason for this.  I *think* he said he was on this sailing as well, so he's welcome to comment.

 

So, background on this cruise.  I had not planned on doing a cruise.  Back in July, I got a southwest advertisement that promoted 1/2 price fares.  Playing around, I found round trip tickets from Baltimore to Orlando for....$104.00!!!!!!!  Unheard of.  When i fly to Florida, if i find round trip tickets for less than 250 prior to covid, I considered that a good deal.  This would be a solo trip for myself because what I had planned, my wife would not be interested in.  So what was my original plan?

 

Universal's Halloween Horror Nights.  My original plan was to fly out Tuesday (tomorrow) do two days of Universal and Halloween Horror Nights, maybe hit Busch Gardens, Tampa on Friday and then fly home on Saturday.  I've been wanting to go down to Orlando for the Halloween Horror Nights for a decade now.  The timing never worked out because I always seem to have a cruise during the fall/winter which makes it difficult for me to take additional time off for one thing and just budgeting it out (Final payment on cruises usually fell in September, which took the chunk of the budget for other things).  Plans made done.  Excitement commences.

 

Fast forward to two weeks ago.  @death_star dangles this cruise in front of me.  Its 12 points solo and for some reason, the current sale at the time had no single supplement so this cabin for myself ended up being less than 300 bucks.  I had looked at this idea previously, but at the time, this cruise was about 525 solo.  I debated it in my head, and dismissed it as being a little too much for the time.  I generally do not like short cruises and prefer to do between 7 and 10 nights.  5 nights absolute minimum.  I also didn't want to screw with my great air fare price, but surprisingly, to reschedule a later flight for monday only added $38.00.  $142 was still a good price.  It didn't help that our original Brilliance solo, which was booked at 650 solo, dropped to 320.  So, i pulled the trigger 2 weeks ago, marking this cruise as the latest i've ever booked before embarkation.  I will be cruising with my friend who was with me during my Zombie hunt in 2018 (see that live thread if interested).  Unfortunately, that attraction has closed because it was a whole lot of fun.

 

If you've read my previous live threads, my first one was intended to jump me to diamond.  @death_star and I had already booked Brilliance in December solo for 4 nights to take advantage of the double points promotion.  Taking all my booked cruises together, and the double point promotions, I was 11 points shy of Diamond Plus.  This booked cruise will let me hit diamond plus by 2023.  I like to tell my wife, I'm taking one (two) for the team so she can get the Diamond Plus benefits.

 

So in addition to Mariner, i'll post pictures from Universal's Halloween Horror Nights.  Hope you all enjoy the ride.  I'm certainly looking forward to this as I've been waiting a decade to do the Halloween stuff at Universal.  

 

I did a couple Live threads previously.  If you're interested, i've linked them for your pleasure.  

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2659745-roguepersons-ruby-princess-live-may-5-may-10-2019/

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2608639-navigator-of-the-seas-live-11232018-1222018/

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2536003-live-grandeur-of-the-seas-4262018-542018/

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I was a little worried about this last week.  Fortunately for me, its veering off before I board, so this worry is off the board, for the most part.  I will still keep an eye on it.

cone graphic

2nd.  I'm stressed about this covid test I need to take tomorrow.  I already received the ones Royal Caribbean marketed, but just in case, I have an appointment on Thursday i hope I won't have to keep.  Its for backup  I'm vaccinated obviously, but it still doesn't alleviate the fear that something might happen.  I've read many threads and have seen the video and they've all said its no big deal.  Doesn't help.

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Today is traveling day!  Got the car loaded up. 1BA65A82-580B-4BB9-96D6-68F612D40790.thumb.jpeg.a4c7607d0ab7fa4951b0ed1ceba65876.jpeg

 

My flight isn’t until 8:40 tonight, but i have to go to work (bleh) today.  I can tell i will be very unproductive today.

 

This trip marks the first time i am going away from Dobby, my little boy.

 

07EF05FE-4DF0-4902-B29C-D78CB68932FA.thumb.jpeg.6d868df8369bffaebd7b5f50ae03aaa2.jpeg

 

He’s a recent addition to my family and i have never been away from him since we’ve gotten him:  He is a 3 1/2 year old Chihuahua Yorkie mix.  I will see him one more time today as i work close enough to home to give him his lunch walk.  I’m going to miss him.  Oh yeah, my wife too as she’s letting me go on this trip 🤪.

 

So, who wants to bet on how badly my flight is delayed tonight?  As of right now, its on time!

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Have a great time!

Looking forward to this review.  I will be on Mariner for the first time in December.

Pretty sure the doggie will miss you.  The wife on the other hand.....??   MIght just be a vacation for her also. 😉

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Have a safe trip down to FL. 
I am also on this sailing and the one after too. I have never done anything shorter than a 7 night cruise so this will be interesting. Also, why I stacked another cruise with it to do a B2B. 
No questions from me but it’s always interesting to see another cruiser’s perspective on the same cruise so I will follow along. 🙂
 

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20 minutes ago, klass2 said:

Have a safe trip down to FL. 
I am also on this sailing and the one after too. I have never done anything shorter than a 7 night cruise so this will be interesting. Also, why I stacked another cruise with it to do a B2B. 
No questions from me but it’s always interesting to see another cruiser’s perspective on the same cruise so I will follow along. 🙂
 

I'm doing it for the double points.  12 points for me here.  I did a 2 night once.  Never again.  I told @death_star that the two worst days of a cruise is embarkation day and the day before disembarkation.  On a two night, that's ALL you get.  At least on a 3 night, you get 1 real cruise day, but still not enough time to get into a stride.  I really think short cruises are for experience cruisers, not beginners as you need time to find your stride.

 

 

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3pm all is well.  As of right now, my flight is still on-time.   This is kind of good news.  Yesterday's flight was delayed so i thought tonight's would as well.  It looks cloudy out with possible rain here so, who knows.  The only good thing is that if it is delayed, I will actually be able to eat dinner with my wife before flying out.  The food option at BWI is a little dearth pre-security.  That's the one thing I don't like about BWI.  All the vendors are mostly post-security.

 

Also, I get to try out my new "toy"  Global Entry/TSA Precheck.  I picked it up when I got my passport renewed in July.  It literally took me two days to get approved.  24 hours after filling out the application and paying, they ask me to set up an appointment.  However, there were no appointments anywhere near me at all.  The closest one with an appointment within a month...BUFFALO, NY!!! (From Maryland where I am).  But then i read somewhere that you can refresh and cancellations may appear.  I did that a couple times throughout the day and then boom, availability TOMORROW.  So i grabbed it, and went downtown DC and did the interview in 5 minutes.  We'll see how that works.

 

I almost forgot I said I would tag @FionaMG here.

 

I have about 3 more hours here in the office.  As you can probably guess, I'm not being very productive while i post on here.  I'm actually eating lunch, which is a little late.

 

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1 hour ago, Rogueperson said:

3pm all is well.  As of right now, my flight is still on-time.   This is kind of good news.  Yesterday's flight was delayed so i thought tonight's would as well.  It looks cloudy out with possible rain here so, who knows.  The only good thing is that if it is delayed, I will actually be able to eat dinner with my wife before flying out.  The food option at BWI is a little dearth pre-security.  That's the one thing I don't like about BWI.  All the vendors are mostly post-security.

 

Also, I get to try out my new "toy"  Global Entry/TSA Precheck.  I picked it up when I got my passport renewed in July.  It literally took me two days to get approved.  24 hours after filling out the application and paying, they ask me to set up an appointment.  However, there were no appointments anywhere near me at all.  The closest one with an appointment within a month...BUFFALO, NY!!! (From Maryland where I am).  But then i read somewhere that you can refresh and cancellations may appear.  I did that a couple times throughout the day and then boom, availability TOMORROW.  So i grabbed it, and went downtown DC and did the interview in 5 minutes.  We'll see how that works.

 

I almost forgot I said I would tag @FionaMG here.

 

I have about 3 more hours here in the office.  As you can probably guess, I'm not being very productive while i post on here.  I'm actually eating lunch, which is a little late.

 

Waiting anxiously for your reports. I've been following 'everything Mariner as I said in Jam's blog this will be wife's and my first Rc cruise and Mariner seemed like the trip to start with. We're doing the 25-29 4 night cruise.

 

Anyway have a good flight Rogue

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I’m a big HHN fan, we’ve been going every year since 2012. Hubby backed out after year 1, so it’s just been my daughter and I. We started this when she was in middle school and I’m thrilled she still wants to spend precious holidays with mom. We go in 18 days

 

I totally agree on the short cruise thing. With testing it just adds more stress. I had a friend come into town that hadn’t cruised since she was a kid. Now she’s an adult livings in NYC (and hanging out in FL for a few weeks working remote) I treated her to a short Mariner cruise over Labor Day. It was only 3 nights, never again. 5 is the minimum but I’d rather have at least 10-14.

 

Looking forward to your live, I’ll be back on Mariner for Halloween 🎃

 

 

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1 hour ago, Rogueperson said:

I almost forgot I said I would tag @FionaMG here.

Haha thanks Rogue. I had already spotted the thread and was going to call you out on it if you hadn't tagged me by tomorrow morning! :classic_laugh:

 

I will follow along with great interest.

 

We are due to board Harmony OTS this coming Sunday and I may do a post-trip report. I haven't booked a full voyage wifi pack because they're charging a fortune for it, so we will only have our 2 free D days.

 

Have a great trip! Love your little dog btw. :classic_smile:

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30 minutes ago, SummerBeeSweet said:

5 is the minimum but I’d rather have at least 10-14.

 

Looking forward to your live, I’ll be back on Mariner for Halloween 🎃

 

 

 

I've been going to the local haunts and we have some good ones, but everyone tells me that HHN is the premier event, so I'm there for two nights.

I did a 15 night cruise once for our honeymoon.  That was actually too long.  By day 11, I started seeing the patterns in the activities and realize it was no better than a nursing home.  You had morning lectures, you had lunch, you had afternoon activity or nap, you had pre-dinner show, you had main show, and then late night...rinse and repeat.  And with a 15 night cruise, you know it skewed older.  It was a good cruise on Celebrity, don't get me wrong.

 

So I'M DONE WITH WORK.  I AM FREE!!!  VACATION OFFICIALLY BEGINS.

 

Edit:  I tried to paste a gif here and it didn't work....oh well.

 

 

Edited by Rogueperson
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3 hours ago, Rogueperson said:

I'm doing it for the double points.  12 points for me here.  I did a 2 night once.  Never again.  I told @death_star that the two worst days of a cruise is embarkation day and the day before disembarkation.  On a two night, that's ALL you get.  At least on a 3 night, you get 1 real cruise day, but still not enough time to get into a stride.  I really think short cruises are for experience cruisers, not beginners as you need time to find your stride.

 

 

Double points seem to be enticing lots of us. 

A 2 night cruise seems exhausting because of the wasted day with embarkation. I have done quite a few longer TAs and I'm spoiled by them so even 7 day cruises fly by now. 14 day TAs are the sweet spot for me. I love sea days to relax and some ports to explore. 

Enjoy the Global Entry/precheck. Hope it makes your airport screening quicker. 
 

 

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On 9/20/2021 at 11:06 AM, Rogueperson said:

I was a little worried about this last week.  Fortunately for me, its veering off before I board, so this worry is off the board, for the most part.  I will still keep an eye on it.

cone graphic

2nd.  I'm stressed about this covid test I need to take tomorrow.  I already received the ones Royal Caribbean marketed, but just in case, I have an appointment on Thursday i hope I won't have to keep.  Its for backup  I'm vaccinated obviously, but it still doesn't alleviate the fear that something might happen.  I've read many threads and have seen the video and they've all said its no big deal.  Doesn't help.

 

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1 hour ago, klass2 said:

 

Enjoy the Global Entry/precheck. Hope it makes your airport screening quicker. 
 

 

Not even 5 minutes and most of it was my fault.  No taking off shoes.  it was a breeze.  So much so it threw me off my game where i had to go through the metal detector a

couple of times.  I’m usually a pro through it.

 

1 hour ago, die_hard said:

Be ready for large crowds at Halloween Horror Nights. We went last week. I suggest wearing a mask in the houses. 

 

Thats why i planned midweek.  I’m expecting it though.  It is the premier event.

 

So as you can probably surmise.  I’m at the airport.  Good news, there is plenty of time for dinner with the wife.  Bad news, there’s nothing pre-security.  The one place I found online, was closed.  So we parted early and now i’m at Silver Diner.  There’s not anything really interesting post security either, at least around Concourse B.  This is the only sitdown place other than a bar.  Breakfast for dinner.

 

1C0BDCB9-9841-4A12-924F-EB7370067164.thumb.jpeg.6f9fa3ee64be507d35a4c35e7a99e1e0.jpeg

 

 

Oh 7:24 and still on time for 8:40 departure.

Edited by Rogueperson
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I made it to the Universal Adventura Hotel.  This is a pretty nice hotel.  

 

1BDD84B6-AF09-4117-A23F-C28D36AF1638.thumb.jpeg.b4081fe47e4525f303aecf4bc371a66f.jpeg

 

E5B44239-179F-475E-9D85-C073B18F752B.thumb.jpeg.8b2e221697665db668e75e27be1b04ec.jpeg

 

Its really high tech.  The room is controlled by an Ipad.  You can put a sleep alarm on everything at once.  The lights and the TV can all go out at a certain time period.  The Ipad also controls the TV which is odd.  It took a little getting used to.  You can also stream netflix, hulu and prime (if you have it).  All controlled through the ipad.

 

Also, this is the view.

 

99CD3006-55CC-4EF6-8DA5-7FD397C96B5D.thumb.jpeg.e257c48b540e06c2e2360d633c5efa9f.jpeg

 

I should be tired, but i’m still excited.  Must sleep.  I have a long day tomorrow.

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Good Morning from Orlando.

 

Why am I up so early?!?!?  We had made a plan.  I wasn’t going to try and get up early.  It was a late night.  I didn’t actually fall asleep until about 2:30.  Didn’t sleep that well for some reason.  And at 7:30, I gave up and got out of bed.

 

 Good News!  There’s a Starbucks in the hotel.  Bad news.  They markup everything 30%.

 

Once i finish breakfast, its off to the Parks.

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1 hour ago, Rogueperson said:

Easily the best ride in the park.  6CE3129B-61EE-4E8A-BEB6-DD09AC146778.thumb.jpeg.68561a548051d4f95a3b4d5f2922b06e.jpeg

 

 

I want to ride that! Good to hear you liked it.

We don't have park passes when we visit for HHN. DD isn't the biggest fan of rides and she's said that waiting for me gets old. We do the daytime house tours instead 

 

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