December 12, 2021

Day 2 - Mariner of The Seas

Before sunrise we have pulled into the pier at CocoCay. Provisions for the days consumption on the island are off loaded. At 8:00 AM passengers begin going ashore. A large percentage of passengers want to sit in the sun or play on the beach or water park. I have already decided to stay on the ship.

The Symphony of the Seas shares the island with us today. I am sure there is space for everyone, but the peace and quiet of the ship is more enjoyable.

The balloon is not tied down to the ground today, a first for me. But it is not going aloft either. It is tethered about15 feet off the ground. It makes for better photo ops that way, but no revenue.

The weather remains beautiful all day. A light breeze with temperatures about 75. A NCL ship is anchored a few miles away for their private island experience. No pier for them, they have to tender to shore as Royal used to do before building the pier here.

Real breakfast this morning in Chops Grille. Another Pinnacle Club benefit. French toast made to perfection. I run into Bill and Lynne and we make plans to test the champagne later in the day, so upon returning to the cabin I ask my room steward to please ice the champagne. 

A couple hours later I am back in the cabin and I see that he has brought the ice, but the entire counter is covered with water and beginning to run to the floor. A quick investigation reveals a small hole in the bottom of the bucket. The water leaks out as fast as the  ice melts. 

The bucket is quickly transferred to the sink, and 2 bath towels later the counter is dry. Fortunately nothing of significance was damaged. I am glad I returned when I did.

Bill and Lynne have a suite, so of course we plan to drink the champagne there. I am eager to see what I am missing. Parts of the cabin are identical to my standard balcony, but there are some significant additional amenities.

The first is that there is a real lighted doorbell in the hallway. The closet space is about 50% larger. The bath includes a very deep tub with sides so high many people, including all of us, would find it very difficult to get into, and nearly impossible to get out of. Of course they have a real spacious shower compared to the tiny round one in my cabin. The bed, and sofa are identical to my cabin, but of course the counter tops and coffee table are quartz or marble, not imitation wood laminate. In addition to chairs, the balcony has heavily padded loungers. Yes very nice.

The Champagne is better than we expected it to be. We finish about half of the bottle and I leave the rest for them to enjoy. I think afternoon nap is in order.

Having found the Diamond lounge quite busy yesterday, I decide to go to the Pinnacle Lounge just after 5:00. An adjustment for Covid, the Pinnacle Lounge is temporarily located in the Library. A small windowless space tucked off to one side of the entrance to the Star Lounge.

Of course everthing is always at the other end of the ship. I get some exercise that way. In walking down the cabin hallway to the fore elevators I pass the Medical team dressed in what passengers describe as Haz Mat Suits going in and out of a cabin. Obviously at  minimum someone is in quarantine as a safety precaution for some reason.

The Lounge is empty with only two other passengers there. Barbara I remember from many cruises ago, possibly back to my Monarch days. She is often the passenger with the most points at t he top tier party. If you have any question how she does it, this is her 16th of 17 cruises back to back on The Mariner.

It is the Windjammer for dinner tonight. Italian night so it is pasta with Bolognese sauce. At the entrance to the Windjammer the galley has made a large ginger bread village display complete with running train. How did they know I was going to be here.

I  have reservations for the show at 10:15, but go to the Schooner bar. After a set or two I decide the prudent think to do is sleep, not stay up for a show.

All day I have had in my mind that we would be in Nassau tomorrow. Not true. Cozumel is our next port. We will pass to the North of cuba tomorrow, a sea day.

Seas are about 5 feet, but no motion is felt by most of the passengers as we run at about 17 to 20 knots against a strong current, but with an equally strong following sea.

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