Mariner is the coolest ship on the West Coast.

Mariner of the Seas Leaving California

By paul motter

It was exactly one year ago that every cruise line cancelled all stops at Mexican ports of call due to the impending outbreak of the Mexican Flu. The virus did not even have its proper name yet, nor was it even known as the swine flu. It was the Mexican Flu, and to say there was a bit of sensationalism in the media is an understatement.

One morning the three largest cruise lines had each stated they had no intention of changing their itineraries to avoid Mexico. That afternoon the Department of Homeland Security recommended cancelling all "non-essential" travel to Mexico and every cruise ship immediately tugged hard on the reins and brought Mexico visits to a screeching halt.

One ship even reportedly had Cabo San Lucas in its sights, yet it spent the next seven days at sea without touching land until the end of the cruise in Los Angeles. In retrospect, that seems pretty ridiculous, but at the time the fear meter was glowing bright red.

I don't know about you, but it seems like several years since those events occurred. Just a few months earlier the Mexican Riviera (along Mexico's Pacific coast) was known as a booming cruise region - the fourth most popular cruise region after the Caribbean, Alaska and Europe. That is saying quite a lot.

To address the growing demand Royal Caribbean and Carnival had each relocated two of their better ships to southern California earlier in 2008, Mariner of the Seas for Royal Caribbean arrived in January and Carnival Splendor had just arrived April 1st. Keep in mind; both ships are too large for the Panama Canal and had to circumnavigate the entire continent of South America.

But with the "Mexican Flu" demand plunged immediately as ships like Mariner were re-routed to northerly itineraries for the next two months, even calling in Vancouver, Canada - not exactly the first choice for people hoping to escape cold winter weather.

It was two months before cruise ships started calling in Mexico again and by then prices on seven-day Mexico cruises dropped as low as $199 per person. The faltering economy in California did not help any. Ironically, the outbreaks of the virus within Mexico were not centered anywhere near any cruise ship ports of call.

Still, the stigma against Mexico cruises remained and unfortunately for California they still have not regained the popularity of 2007. And now, a year to the day, the really bad news...

Royal Caribbean just announced it plans to move that same ship, Mariner of the Seas, out of California as of January 2011.

This is a huge loss for California. Mariner is the biggest and most exciting cruise ship on the West Coast. Yes, we still have Sapphire Princess and Carnival Splendor, but Mariner is almost 20% larger than each of those and has a ton of onboard features not found on any other west coast ship - such as rock climbing walls, an ice rink, a huge indoor promenade.

Mariner was the only ship of the Voyager-class or later built by Royal Caribbean ever to reach the west coast. So, I highly recommend that everyone in California who has not yet seen a Royal Caribbean megaship take a cruise on Mariner before it leaves.

Mariner will sail every Sunday from Los Angeles to Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas from now until January 2011. Seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises from September through December begin at $479 per person, double occupancy for an inside cabin, or $764 for a balcony cabin facing the sea. Fares are slightly higher during the summer months.

Mariner is the most exciting ship west of Texas and no vessel of its caliber is scheduled to replace it. It is great for active families of all ages. Onboard attractions include an ice rink, rollerblading, mini-golf, kids' and teens' centers, spa services, a elaborate gym, pools, hot tubs, great entertainment, and a huge indoor promenade area.

Make your reservations early as I predict this ship will sell out soon.

We want your cruise reviews!

CruiseMates started publishing our readers' cruise reviews long before other web sites even thought of it. We already have thousands of reviews online, but there are never enough! CruiseMates and our sister site cruisereviews.com both want more of YOUR cruise reviews. So, please send them to us:

  • To submit a cruise review to CruiseReviews.com, please go here.

  • To submit a cruise review to CruiseMates, please go here .
hr blue bar
hr blue bar
Mariner of the Seas from $487
This ship is leaving California in January 2011 - book it while you can! Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan.
•  America's Vacation Center (866) 501-7271
CM says: The only Royal Caribbean megaship on the West Coast is leaving Jan. 2011!
hr blue bar
Norwegian Cruise Lines Reduced Deposit Plus Onboard Credit Sale!
Receive 50% reduced deposit and an onboard savings booklet fleet wide, plus up to $250 in onboard credit for select sailings! As always, FREE TRAVEL INSURANCE is included on any sailing 5 nights or longer!
•  Direct Line Cruises 1-800-352-8088
CM says: See the biggest cruise ship in the world from $899!
hr blue bar
8-night Southern Caribbean from $659
Carnival Miracle from Ft Lauderdale to Grand Turk, Dominican Republic, Aruba, Curacao; $50 onboard credit.
•  Cruise Planners 1-800-561-0802
CM says: Exotic itinerary, balcony cabins from $899, a top-rated Carnival ship!
hr blue bar
Freedom of the Seas from $584
Roundtrip Port Canaveral to CocoCay, St Thomas and St Martin. Balcony cabins from $849
•  America's Vacation Center (866) 501-7271
CM Note: One of the most popular cruise ships at a great price!
hr blue bar
Oceania Marina on Sale!
Inaugural Passage Miami to San Francisco | 18 Days Sail Date: 02/08/2011 from $3,799 per guest
•  CRUISE MARKETPLACE 1-800-826-4333
CM says: Great new ship on its inaugural season - Oceania at its best yet!
hr blue bar
Carnival Splendor from $369
Roundtrip Long Beach to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas
•  America's Vacation Center (866) 501-7271
CM Note: A beautiful new ship at one of the best prices for a cruise anywhere!
hr blue bar
Norwegian Cruise Lines 50% Reduced Deposit Sale!
Book any NCL cruise between 4/19/10 and 5/2/10 and receive 50% reduced deposit plus FREE Travel Insurance on cruises 5 nights or longer!
•  Direct Line Cruises 1-800-352-8088
CM says: See the biggest cruise ship in the world from $899!
hr blue bar
CruiseMates Allure Group Cruise!
Join CruiseMates on Allure of the Seas: January 23, 2011 From $899 per person.
•  Cruise Planners 1-800-561-0802
CM says: This is a deal worth waiting for.
hr blue bar
Norwegian Epic CruiseMates Cruise!
Join CruiseMates on the brand new Norwegian Epic, October 30th, 2010. Culinary cruise with Hell's Kitchen's Matt Sigel.
•  Cruise Planners 1-800-561-0802
CM says: The hottest new ship for 2010 and beyond.
hr blue bar
hr blue bar
hr blue bar
You can access all of these specials above - or go to CruiseMates' Cruise Bargains for even more!
hr blue bar
more about

CruiseMates, a popular online resource for unbiased and authoritative cruise information, features ship reviews and articles, cruise news, polls, message boards and more.

NEW YORK TIMES: "Many sites that offer reviews are selling cruises, which raises questions about impartiality. An exception is CruiseMates."

FORTUNE MAGAZINE: "The Web's best site for articles, advice, or chatting with Cruise People. Self-financed and run independently of the industry, so their opinions are impartial."


"CruiseMates Newsletter"

One of the best cruise travel newsletters anywhere! We feature cutting edge news stories you won't see anyplace else and commentary about a variety of cruise topics. Also get cruise bargain hunting tips, listings of actual cruise bargains, previews of our latest articles and news about our Cruisemates Group Cruises.


  hr blue bar  

We are an online, interactive CRUISE SHIP GUIDE with ship reviews, features articles, message boards and more. Recommended by: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN Television, a Forbes Magazine "Best of the Web" site.

Prices listed are cruise only, per person, double occupancy and include port charges (also called non-commissionable cruise fare).

Fuel surcharges and government taxes & fees are additional unless otherwise noted. Prices are in US dollars, airfare is extra unless otherwise noted. Limited availability and restrictions may apply. Prices are subject to change without prior notice. Typographical errors may occur. Offers apply to new bookings only.

CruiseMates.com is an Internet Brands, Inc. website. Internet Brands is located at 909 North Sepulveda Blvd., 11th Floor, El Segundo, CA 90245 — This email was sent to %%#EMAIL%%. If you no longer wish to receive our emails please click here.

  © 2010 Internet Brands