7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
1. Very poor room service. It takes more than an 45 mins to deliver a coffee or tea in the room. 2. A room without toiletries. 3. I booked the room and when I reached to my room I found out the room was booked in someone else name ... Read More
1. Very poor room service. It takes more than an 45 mins to deliver a coffee or tea in the room. 2. A room without toiletries. 3. I booked the room and when I reached to my room I found out the room was booked in someone else name and with someone else luggage. 4. The Customer Care will tell you that everything is covered as part of the package except for the alcoholic drinks whereas, they charge everything except for the room. 5. Non-availability of necessary adapters and also none of the customer service will inform you for the requirements. 6. Staff is very unfriendly and also rude. 7. No sense of knocking at the door they will simply open the door of your room. 8. Public toilets were not neat and clean. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
My whole family booked a cruise almost at last minute taking advantage of a very long mid term school vacation for the kids with some public holidays for the adults. We agreed to make it a surprise for the kids, so all they knew was ... Read More
My whole family booked a cruise almost at last minute taking advantage of a very long mid term school vacation for the kids with some public holidays for the adults. We agreed to make it a surprise for the kids, so all they knew was they were going to send Grandma to the airport and we will go spend time in cool Tagaytay ridge. The kids couldn't believe it when we all went down and offloaded the bags at the airport. But they didn't also know that there was another surprise waiting in Singapore, which was the Sing-KL-Phuket cruise aboard mariner of the seas! We arrived at Changi Airport 7 hours in advance because of airline changed schedule of the flight, so kids slept until it was time to go to port. The problem is that RCL website FAQ mentioned that the ship will be at Harbor front Centrum. As there were 11 of us, we needed to get 2 Taxis (one Maxi Taxi and 1 regular taxi) when we arrived at Harbo front, we were informed that we were in the wrong terminal, so we had to take regular taxis now! Gee thanks RCL for a not so good start! You would think that they should update the info on their website, as the nice lady in Harbor front pointed out, we were not the only ones that go there looking for RCL. Once we got to the Terminal and got everything sorted out, we were able to start relaxing, except of course the kids were now excited as they can see that we will be living on board a ship, no Hotel this time. I of course did some other research, including reading cruise critic information, and so we made our plans for the first day while we were waiting to board the ship. Kids wanted to do Ice skating and rock climbing and join the different youth clubs. When we boarded, we were surprised that we were asked to go to different dinning areas for lunch, so at least for this cruise there was no chaos about where to eat, all the dinning rooms were serving buffet lunch while we waited for our rooms. It was actually relaxing and not chaotic. Then off we went to sign waivers and sign up sheets then we were able to check in our rooms. Luckily this time the kids were not so keen about staying in their rooms, they wanted to explore. We decided to have buffet for dinner, which was nice as we were one of the first in line at 630pm opening. But the buffet was quite chaotic after that. Our first port of call was port Klang, we were of course un prepared, even after researching and reading up, including the onboard info about shore excursions. We woke up a bit late and thus by the time we were off the ship, it was already too late to take a taxi to town and get back before "all aboard" call. So we ended up just checking emails at the Terminal, which was a nice enough terminal, with airconditioned place for people to get wifi and charge. There was a convenience store on the ground floor. The next port of call was Phuket, we really just wanted to go down and just walk around, so that is what we did, but as Phuket didn't have a terminal, we had to queue for a boat ferry number, and we were already quite late (again) and only got to shore around 11am, We eventually people got tired of walking, so we took a "tuk tuk" style minibus to Robinsons mall, nearby is a fresh market. We just walked around in the malll and eventually went back on board. Tuk tuk cost 200bhat per trip for 7 to 10 persons. By this time we were already getting into the cruising life, we knew which place to go for food, which place will be open at which times, etc. and we were able to enjoy the different activities. While waiting for our ferry to Phuket, I even learned how to make a rose ribbon :) The kids were also enjoying themselves already, the teens were enjoying their teens club, and the youngest is enjoying Aquanauts, she never even realized that the rest of her family was in Phuket that day! Tips: 1. Children's Clubs are THE BEST! My second daughter never showed up for any of the activities, but the youngest and the eldest (teen) enjoyed their different clubs. The one that didn't join still enjoyed our company going to the shows and such. 2. Cabin, we got an inside cabin with double deck beds, WATCH your HEAD! I am a bit tall and the first thing that I did was bang my head when I sat down on the bottom bunk. My wife who isn't really that tall also banged her head the second day. They should put a bit of cushion on those things! But the kids looooooveed them! We were also located aft of the ship, so there was less movement, not that the seas were rough, but we could feel the movement of the ship when we are forward of the boat like at the "Savoy theatre". 3. Before the cruise, I felt formal night was just a way for snobs to dress up, I was forced to bring a coat and tie (well my wife packed it for me), but at the end it was still nice to have dressed up, though I think that some cruisers had a way better idea than coat and tie, they worse their countries' formal wear like Kimonos, and Batik, etc. That was great! I would not not have hesitated to bring my Barong Tagalog with me! 4. If you have kids, get at least one day of breakfast with Characters. The food is nothing special vs. the regular breakfast menu, but the photo opportunity with the characters is nice, it's a relaxing way to queue for photos with characters. My Tip, take your time, they should not be rushing you to finish the photos, if you like each and every family member should get their turn with the character, if you like. 5. Main dining room, I found out that some cruisers didn't realize that the Main dining room reservations are held for us for the whole cruise, meaning your table will be empty if you do not show up. 100% of the time the Main dinning room menu is better than the buffet menu, which almost never changes. The menu is also themed depending on which country the ship is cruising near to. So that when we were in KL we had Malaysian cuisine, and in Phuket, they offered Thai Cuisine. There were also some classics though. The Service in the main dinning rooms are 11 out of 10 by the way. YES and you can order as many main dishes as you want! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
I paid a significant amount of money to have the Royal Suite so I could give my mother and father a real treat on the cruise. The Royal Suite experience was billed as a 5 star experience which I stupidly as it turned out interpreted to ... Read More
I paid a significant amount of money to have the Royal Suite so I could give my mother and father a real treat on the cruise. The Royal Suite experience was billed as a 5 star experience which I stupidly as it turned out interpreted to mean the equivalent of a 5 star hotel experience. To start the trip we flew Emirates Business Class from Brisbane to Singapore at a cost of some many thousand dollars and then stayed for 3 days before the cruise left at Raffles Hotel in Singapore. This was a truly 5 star experience at a costs similar to that charged by Royal Caribbean for the Royal Suite. Perhaps the marketing people at Royal Caribbean should stay at Raffles Hotel before they have the hide to describe what they offer to the public as a 5 Star Experience. Don’t get me wrong perhaps my expectations were too high but they only arose from Royal Caribbean’s sales/call centre staff and the Royal Caribbean website. Also thank god for the Concierge Kevin and our Suite Steward Aldrin. Both were very helpful and tried to assist. I have built up my expectations of as I say a 5 star experience. Needless to say I think a back packers hostel in country Australia could have provided a better experience than what was provided by Royal Caribbean. Departure day arrives and we get a limousine from Raffles Hotel to the Marina Bay Cruise Terminal. What a shambles this experience was. I should digress and explain that I am 50 year old male and confined to a wheel chair. I travel always with my Carer. My father is 80 and cannot walk out of sight on a dark night and needs a wheel chair to board an aircraft and uses a mobility scooter. My mother 77 years old is blind and has difficulty walking. I of course had told Royal Caribbean about these issues repeatedly and in writing. I was told that we would be met at the drop off and that there was express procedures to go through customs and that arrangements could be made upon arrival to get my father a wheel chair. Needless and not surprisingly none of the promised things happened. There were only staff from the Marina Bay Cruise Terminal who put us all in line and said they could not help with my father wheel chair. There was no staff members from Royal Caribbean evident or present. Matters were exacerbated by Voyager of the Seas departing at about the same time. Once we got through security (told by a security officer we should have gone on the disabled peoples lane and that Wheel Chairs were available and Royal Caribbean should have had staff helping its disabled passengers) we got through security and found the priority check station. This matter proceeded and despite asking for a wheel chair for my father who was nearly out on his feet no wheel chair was provided. Remember I was sitting in my own wheel chair at this time. Once they processed our check in we were met by Kevin the Concierge who was to escort us to the ship. I demanded a wheel chair for my father (the wheel chair I had asked for months previously and been assured it would not be a problem and everything would be taken care of at the kurb) and only when I intervened in a 4 way argument between 2 wheel chair pushers and 2 Marina Bay employees which had gone on for 5 minutes and left my father nearly collapsing did the Wheel Chair pusher eventually provide a wheel chair for use by my father, We were then taken to customs and customs clearance was expedited and then we were taken to the ship. By this time my disabled bladder was wanting to empty and we got stopped by some ship employee telling us we needed to choose a dinner sitting and me telling him I did not want to (as I intended to dine in cabin at the dining table which was part of our Suite) and me actually peeing my pants because this staff member would not take no for an answer until I became rude. It is easy to get rude at 5O years of age when you pee your pants. We eventually got to the ship and the Suite. The master bedroom was supposed to be a large king which could be split into 2. Of course despite being told this was not a problem it could not be. The Suite is divided into 2 areas lounge/dining/second bedroom and master bedroom and en-suite. The air-conditioning control for the Master Bedroom was set at half hot and half cold and was cool to cold. Remember this Cruise left from Singapore – pretty hot place. The outside maximum today was over 35 degrees Celsius. The air-conditioning was not working in the lounge area. I sought to have it repaired. The maintenance man told me he had fixed it and went to tinker with the master unit. He did not return despite me asking him to give me an update. I complained again and he came back this time with another maintenance man and a guy in white overalls and after 2 hours working on it told me it was fixed and it would cool down in about an hour. At this time it is is well past 8 pm but the temperature in lounge 25.4 degrees Celsius and getting no cooler. Of course it has not been fixed. Still very hot!!! Just walked into the master bedroom (Control set at 50% between hot and cold) freezing in there. Control set in lounge 100% cool – not cool at all. The Curtains in the Suite are remote controlled. The Curtain control did not work and would not open the heavy curtain. It took 2 hours to replace the knob which was broken. I was told before the cruise that Australian Electrical units could function from the power outlets on board. Not so – had to request adapters. Asked 2 times and waited 4 hours until 2 adapters were provided. I was told by Concierge to how to order dinner from the menu he provide. Menu called MOJO. Telephoned and spoke to the room service lady who answered. She had no knowledge of this menu and told me half the selections on it were not available. I read the menu to her and told her if she did not know about it to put her supervisor on the phone. At this stage she agreed she had been wrong and took the order for 7.30 pm delivery to the Suite. What a monumental mistake this course of action was. The food arrived early (7.15 pm) – we selected scallop gratin dish for starters, prime rib x 2, sweet and sour pork and prawn cocktail plus desert. The Food and Beverage Managers idea of what Scallop gratin is not something know to other discerning dinners. The Food and Beverage Managers version (I took a photo to prove it) consisted of a small steel plate with some white meat about 8 mm x 8 mm and covered in melted butter – actually drowning it. A disgusting greasy mess that was not edible. This was followed by what i would describe as oven finished prime rib with vegetables. It was cold and was just a piece of 6 mm thick over cooked roast beef. It was ordered medium rare and served well done. It again was returned half eaten. The prawn cocktail was average and the sweet and sour was 5 pieces of pork 1 piece of onion and 2 pieces of capsicum and some steamed rice and a sweet and sour source. Hardly a main course size meal for all that. One of the worst meals I have ever had the misfortune to be served. If the Food and Beverage Manager thinks it is acceptable fair to be served to passengers expecting a 5 star experience, then his expectation of what 5 star means are on a course that will never meet. It is simply not acceptable to serve this garbage to people let alone to passengers who have paid significant money for a 5 star experience. Also remember we are in the Royal Suite for this 5 star experience. The Bar Fridge had a can of coke and can of lemonade and 2 bottles of water in it. When I pointed this out and asked for half a dozen cold cans of coke, bottles of water and cans of lemonade to be delivered the bar attendant arrived 2 hours later with hot stock. Some 4 hours after this the fridge has not even made the stock cool let alone cold and I have little expectation that the fridge functions efficiently if at all. The morning will tell and i was proved right. I went to take a shower in the second bathroom turned on the water soaped up and then got scalded because there was no cold water. So covered in soap after being scalded I went to the other shower and again started with the water on washed off the soap and it again was only the cold water in the pipe before I got hit with scalding water. I called maintenance about this problem and the air conditioning. A maintenance man arrived. He said after 40 minutes and the arrival of a second maintenance man that there is too much hot water pressure and it needs to be fixed. He made a phone call about air conditioning and they both left 25 minutes ago. I am waiting a return. Neither problem has been fixed. My father and mother went to bed dirty as no shower could be taken. Royal Caribbean did not make any offer to provide alternative showering arrangements. I am waiting for it to be fixed. It is 11.31 pm I then spoke to Assistant Customer Service Manager - I demanded to speak to the captain and was told he was asleep and that there was nothing they could do and that they would not wake him up. Eventually the most senior officer awake the Assistant Front Desk manager came to the Suite. He then organised for further technicians to come fix the air conditioning. It took 2 hours further to fix same. So at last everything was working. We never left the ship - so all food was supplied by ship - everyone got sick and we got quarantined in the cabin. The food was garbage including the expensive restaurants. It was the worst experience i have ever had. Another issue that deserves comment. Get interest -2 devices – costs over $550.00 for the cruise. I cannot even open my Gmail server to get some mail before the Gmail server connection log ob times out. This is simply fraud. The email connection whilst still in Singapore behaved like this. I could go on - but this review will be pages long Simply don't waste your money - RCL are a joke and their product is garbage, Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Please think very carefully before booking this cruise. This was our first ever cruise and all I can say is so very disappointed. As a part of our cruise we were given a tour before embarking the cruise to the forbidden city,and the Great ... Read More
Please think very carefully before booking this cruise. This was our first ever cruise and all I can say is so very disappointed. As a part of our cruise we were given a tour before embarking the cruise to the forbidden city,and the Great Wall of china. Yes fantastic experience seeing these places but being given the hard sell at a jade factory we were taken to then on route back to the hotel we were told we were being taken to a herbal Doctor. When all the coach refused we were taken against our will and locked on the coach. We were told they would take us back to the hotel if we payed 30 yuan each to the company. Eventually we escaped the coach feeling a little frightened. Embarking the ship was farcical, people pushing and shoving no organization. Cabin was clean but had a funny smell. We reported this and nothing was ever done. Cabin boy very very good !!!! Fine dining !!!! NOT. !!!! Food served cold and poor quality, catering for the Chinese, repetitive menu and service was very poor, waiting 30/40 minutes between courses. Complaint made nothing done. Entertainment was rubbish, butlins not cruise ship. Constantly ping pong over the load speaker at a ridiculous high sound offering bingo it quiz. But to be honest it was very hard to understand them. Most staff tried but very broken English and the cruise entertainment director and Bonnie his double act were a pain. Couldn't sit round the pool some days for the shouting or her over the microphone speaking very poor English. Disaster!!!!!!! Windjammer poor was always a fight to the death for food and catering for the Chinese on board. Only holiday I have had were I have lost weight. !!!! My dress was stolen from around the pool area, I reported this to guest services, they said they would get back to me, hahahaa. No they didn't, what a surprise. Jacuzzis made awful noises going through cleaning process making it very hard to have a conversation with anyone unless they were on your knee. Tours with Royal Caribbean are a rip off and be careful as once you on the coach they try and take you somewhere else to hard sell you more stuff. !!!!! Thanks for reading. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We joined the Mariner of the Seas in Taijing and the queues were awful, there was no organisation or control, it was complete and utter chaos. There was rumours that half of its staff had walked out on RCC including Senior Management.My ... Read More
We joined the Mariner of the Seas in Taijing and the queues were awful, there was no organisation or control, it was complete and utter chaos. There was rumours that half of its staff had walked out on RCC including Senior Management.My case with all my medicnes had been confiscated by RCC because it had 2 bottles of "contraband" which caused great distress but was released after one god almighty row. RCC were citing some International Law which made this legal (in their own made up law minds) but no such law exists.The reality was the confiscation of alcohol was to ensure sales on board of their very expensive booze packages which nearly all passengers boycotted. Passengers also boycotted a very hefty $20 per day wifi package . All these packages had to be purchased for the entire length of the cruise, even for my wife who didnt drink. The shortage of staff and shortages of ice cream, various types of beers at $5 a bottle and numerous other food shortages. This was more evident on board with queues for customer services always very lengthy and an average wait of 2-3 hours to be attended to. Excursions were very expensive and I would recommend anyone to book and plan their own.Also I complained that I had prepaid gratuities when booking only to find that because I boycotted their booze packages that I was charged 18.5% extra on all my on board purchases. Overall impression was of a business trying every trick on the book to get into the wallets of its customers. The food was generally poor with very small portions and the Windjammer was frequently a free for all. Again food was poor and catered for the Asian market. RCC also held onto our passports for the entire cruise and again massive queues for getting on and of the boat, again poor organisation and lack of staff who were not trained on what to do. We were on cabin 6912 which was good , clean but again queues and waiting for the on board lifts seemed to be a everyday theme.But I did get the impression thatmy cabin attendant was stalking me always shouting Hello Mr Bob...... The entrainment was patchy some excellent shows like the Aussie Beatles and juggling and other singers , but it very Butlins and Jamie always hyping how good it was . The Ice Show was excellent one of the very rare 10/10 items. As for other sideline trivia quizs etc poor, very poor with prizes fir the winners a RCC keyring.Also the lovely presenter from Malaysia who was good seemed to have disappeared after Japan and was replaced with Bonnie a Chinese girl who barely spoke English . We never did find out what happened her , last sightings of her was helping a blow op penguin get inflated while wearing a Pinoccanio nose. Overall the cruise was Poor and badly managed by RCC. Another real concern is , did RCC sail without its complete crew from China as the muster was chaotic and seemed to take forever with some passengers having to leave the muster and sit down in the lounges. Would I travel with RCC again ..a definite NO and this seemed to be the genreral consensus. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
This was my first cruise ever, after many years of my sisters trying to convince me they were brill.well not the case on r/c.never again. It started at the Beijing port with very long queues, so you think oh well just a queue, ,,,,, ... Read More
This was my first cruise ever, after many years of my sisters trying to convince me they were brill.well not the case on r/c.never again. It started at the Beijing port with very long queues, so you think oh well just a queue, ,,,,, But those queues continued right throughout the cruise and I'm talking about a couple of hours sometimes, with lot of frustration and arguing between passengers,,,, not good at all, even at reception the people who we're queuing with complaints stood for ages talking about there complaints and recurring problems. The entertainment was shocking',,,, you could see better at butlins, it was so embarrassing watching the theatre empty. There were about 2 good shows, we expected to be entertained not having to walk around the ship looking for seats in other bars which were full up. ( dressed up and no we're to go). But I have to say the ice show was fab. The food!!!!! Well that was shocking in the windjammer, no presention at all, it was presented worse than a car very and just in the same way,food dumped in stainless steel bowls,,,,and plastic plates what's that about, but the food was horrible, not a lot on for British. Also they kept running out of things like English tea bags, jam and cream for coffee also wine and cans of beer. I was looking forward to high tea in the afternoon which my sister said was always yummy on cruises, well not on this one, there was no such thing, oh there was sandwiches on deck 5 all day every day, but they never changed. The fine dinning was ok to me,but I am told that was not as it should have been. But the staff we had were fab. Oh there are loads of things I have not mentioned but I have to tell you about the queue for the free shuttle bus out of busan back to ship, well we stood over an hr and it was red hot no cover and the queue kept getting parted by cars crossing the pavement going into hotels, and the people kept fighting with each other, well when a bus did come a car had parked in its place so it was like a stamped (which would have happened any way cause people were so hot and fed up)people parted from who ever they were with and 2 young girls trying to control the queue.(never). It was just a shambles. This was my most expensive holiday ever, and I think we should all be compensated. A very disappointed passenger Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We are first time cruisers on this type of boat, having done European river cruises and small boat cruising in Prince William Sound, Alaska. It is true the boarding experience in Tianjin was an absolute shambles. No information, queues ... Read More
We are first time cruisers on this type of boat, having done European river cruises and small boat cruising in Prince William Sound, Alaska. It is true the boarding experience in Tianjin was an absolute shambles. No information, queues going in every direction, everybody there at the one time as travel from Beijing was not co-ordinated. A really bad impression much commented on by regular cruise folk. Our disembarkation in Singapore was little better as we had contracted RCI to transport us to Changi Airport. Once in the terminal they left us for dead. Critical question , would we do another cruise, Only if it was to a different destination as we are not cruisers who love sea days, want to encourage skin cancers by becoming walruses by the pool or even refrigerate in the library or 'card room'. We had a D1 cabin 7356 which was quite adequate and serviced twice daily by Fabian with great courtesy and care. Our meals in the L3 Dining Room were pleasantly served by Harold and Tiu Lin, always ready with appropriate drinks and a friendly approach. Food quality was passable but not anything exciting. On one night the steak was not served to the second sitting! Prawns were always watery. Only did one formal night as our table companions deserted us. The alternatives, the Windjammer food hall crowded often and of poor quality (except the fries) or the paid venues were not that swish. We paid $105 US extra for half cooked lobster of good size on our only venture. We had bought the Ultimate Drinks Package as the only means to cover our wants. Converting US to AUD plus the 18.5% loading allowed the flexibility to cover anything we drank, within reason. Ellingtons or the Wig and Gavel were regular haunts. Wifi is a disaster, pricey and only worked on Deck 5, again at the Wig and Gavel. This was only established after more than one approach to Guest Services. Entertainment, liked the Ice Show. Watched one singer who was just a 'belter'. We chose half day tours, and were reasonably satisfied with our Asian sampler. It is in each individual's choice whether private touring is cheaper and more satisfying. To summarise, you make the most of what you get in life; our adventure on the Mariner had many good moments but as many when we felt let down. Overall it was a great experience but not something that would become habitual!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
Back from our very first cruise.As I have nothing to compare this cruise against,below are my thoughts. Check in a MBCC was first rate and very easy. We had a jnr suite and it was roomy for all 3(my wife and adult daughter) of us. I ... Read More
Back from our very first cruise.As I have nothing to compare this cruise against,below are my thoughts. Check in a MBCC was first rate and very easy. We had a jnr suite and it was roomy for all 3(my wife and adult daughter) of us. I never once officially met our room attendant? Everything in the cabin was set up for two people and not three.Only 2 towels,coffee cups etc, and we ordered the champagne & strawberry gift(and 2 glasses came). We asked the closest young lady in the corridor for one more of everything,but only ever got the towel and no extra coffee cup even after asking over 3 days. We rcvd the attendants card on the 3rd night in the room and just assumed it was the same lady. The cabin had plenty of room for the 3 of us which was great. Only thing I thought was odd was that after making the sofa bed up on night one,it was never again returned to a sofa to sit on.I thought this would happen each day? The toilet blocked up on 3 of the days,which wasn't great, but each time was sorted within 10 minutes. The balcony also had old furniture and handrails were passed their use by date,along with dirty glass,so sitting out there was never a thrill. Obviously none of these things are life threatening or made us say we'll never cruise again but thought you might like to hear about it. With morning port arrivals each day, getting breakfast at W'Jammer was just mayhem. They really should open that up much earlier say 5.30am,AND please stop crucifying the bacon!! Nearly 100% of staff were very friendly. We tried Giovanni's for dinner which was nice,but their pasta dishes were bland(lack of sauce). J/Rockets was great for lunch. The MDR was fine also without any one dish being a showstopper(Note to RCCL,can you buy some soup spoons). We had the ultimate drink package which was good value for us as we like having a few drinks each afternoon at Ellington's Bar to watch sail away or sunset at each port. We enjoyed the ice show but thought it was strange when given a one and only time slot to see it(3.00pm last day). I found the sea day to be boring, and I didn't come on a cruise to watch movies or TV which I can do at home. The compass is full of things until you really read it, to find out that there are only watch sales, raffles, bingo and towel folding. All of a sudden you realise there isn't anything you want to do in a 5 hour period. Overall we enjoyed the cruise but not one of us really knows how best to describe how we felt about it? Am I hooked on cruising? No. Would I do another one? Maybe, but definitely in another continent. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
This is my first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We travel in a group of 8 (extended family) with 2 connecting rooms. We took the Spice of South East Asia cruise on 27 Feb 2015 that took us to Port Klang, Penang and Phuket for a total of 6 ... Read More
This is my first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We travel in a group of 8 (extended family) with 2 connecting rooms. We took the Spice of South East Asia cruise on 27 Feb 2015 that took us to Port Klang, Penang and Phuket for a total of 6 days and 5 nights. The ship is sailing with 1900 passengers (not full load). It pays to sail on non-peak period. The embarkation is pretty fast, we reached the Marina Bay Cruise Center at around 11AM and we managed to board the ship at around 12PM. There is no queue at the check-in and we waited for 15 mins for our colour to be called. After our lunch in Windjammer, we went to our cabins that are ready at 1PM. Our 5 luggage arrived in 3 different timing with the latest arriving around 4PM. Went to MDR to change our Dinner timing from 8:15 to 5:45 and sign up the kids for Adventure Ocean (Our kids never went though, they are happy to stay with the adults. In any case, the nursery for kids under 3 is always closed whenever we wanted to use their service) The wife went for ice skating in the evening (the others attended the welcome aboard show). Best time to go coz there is no queue. Just make sure you wear long pants and socks. When we went on the 5th day (seaday), it was crowded with long queues. We did not purchase any drink package. Only time I drank is when I purchased the drink of the day because I wanted to keep the lovely souvenir glass (ask the server for a new clean glass). The food in Windjammer are generally good even though they always serve the same thing for breakfast (I got bored of the food by the end of the cruise). The have live omelet station during breakfast and live noodle station for dinner. They provide plain water, ice tea (plain, no sugar), lemonade and strawberry Kiwi drink (not all drink station have this), hot water for tea and coffee for lunch and dinner. For breakfast they have plain water, orange Juice, apple juice, hot water for tea and coffee. The food in MDR are generally fine with the highlight being the NY Strip Steak they serve on day#3. They serve excellent desert that you cannot get in Windjammer (love their BBB creme brulee and the souffle they serve on day#2). I find the service to be slow and it is a challenge because my kids get impatient and we have to take turn to bring them for a walk while waiting for the food to be served. Extremely limited kids menu btw, We ended up with fries and chicken finger most days. We always arrived on time in ports and the tender at Phuket is excellent. I went to collect the tender ticket at 7:30 AM but in the end did not need them coz when we went to take the tender boat at 9:30 AM there is no queue and we went straight to the tender boat. The boat is tendered at Kalim beach instead of Patong beach. We only get to experience the full crowd on the seaday (5th day). There is a poolside BBQ for lunch (11:30 AM) and it makes deciding on where to eat even more difficult (This is also the only day that the MDR is open for lunch and I have heard so much about their tutti fruity salad bar). In the end we went for the BBQ lunch (they run out of food around 1 PM) but unable to find a place to seat coz the windjammer and poolside tables are all taken so we took our lunch in our room balcony. We tried the swimming pool on the 2nd and 5th day. The pools used salt water except for the jacuzzi. I wish they have a small water playground for my little one to play (she is still on diaper). We also purchased the unlimited photo package before the cruise for USD$150. This turn out to be a good deal because there are plenty of oppotunity to take photo especially during formal night (2nd day). we also bring the kids to take photo with the dreamworks characters. In the end we got around 140 photos to keep. We got some very nice family potraits to remember the trip. I must admit that no matter how much I enjoyed the cruise, the itineraries out of Singapore are pretty limited. Maybe next time I will try their cruises elsewhere. Would love to try Quantum of the Seas that will be based in Shanghai, China for the 2nd half of the year. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
Seeing the dip in positive reviews here, I was initially sceptical of Mariner of The Seas. However, the experience was truly amazing and would definitely sail again with RC and this ship. Embarkation: Stipulated checkin time is after 11am ... Read More
Seeing the dip in positive reviews here, I was initially sceptical of Mariner of The Seas. However, the experience was truly amazing and would definitely sail again with RC and this ship. Embarkation: Stipulated checkin time is after 11am but please do reach the cruise terminal earlier as it will be very crowded. Check in was fast as we reached early and was on board the ship before 12pm. Check in process might be a tad messy at the Marina Bay Cruise Terminal in Singapore but lots of friendly staff are around to guide you. Passengers: As this cruise is in the off peak season of Singapore, majority of the passengers were Westerners with only a small handful of Singaporeans. Most passengers were from Australia, Indonesia and Hong Kong for this cruise. No squeezing problem as described by other reviewers but Asians might need to beware as we still faced some racial discrimination by some of the Australian passengers on board. Cabin: We chose an E1 cabin with a balcony. Beds can be combined to form a queen sized bed. Beds are soft and comfortable, cabin size is alright. House keeping comes in twice a day in the morning and late evening. Toilet is abit small but very clean. Only soap is provided but other amenities like razors and toothbrushes can be requested from housekeeping. Staff: Staff are all very friendly and very personal service. Waiters were friendly too but many were from Mainland China with a poor grasp of English. Food: Food at Windjammer Cafe was just poor. Variety was huge but quality is very poor, only standout from there are the cajun fries. The main dining room food was of higher standard, however the taste of the food does not live up to its fine presentation. Would recommend to have as many meals here as possible as food is still better than in Windjammer Cafe. Breakfast was good here with a large selection off the ala carte menu. Room service food quality and taste is below expectations but still edible. The steak sandwich is the only standout. Shrimp gyoza was good too but the quality fluctuated. Large variety of fruits are available too. Entertainment: The ice show was spectacular, but please do queue up early as queues were already forming outside Studio B one hour before the start of the show. Overall all the performances were spectacular. Gym: Gym is huge with many machines. Not crowded most of the time. Overall, a very fantastic vacation and first cruise with Royal Carribean. Would definitely recommend this ship to future passengers. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
This was our first ever cruise, decided on a short one just incase it didn't a agree with us. It did! ..okay there were a few hiccups with checkin , i believe it was the first cruise out of the new building at !arina Bay, however it ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise, decided on a short one just incase it didn't a agree with us. It did! ..okay there were a few hiccups with checkin , i believe it was the first cruise out of the new building at !arina Bay, however it was all exciting, the oppulance and granduer of the ship blew us away, stopping at a new port everyday in our oppinion is a must, we both agreed that days just at sea might become a bit of a bore, however there would be lots to do if that was the case. Everyone we spoke to were on one of their multiple journey's and some had a very negative oppinion of this cruise with some saying it was their worse, maybe so, we wouldn't of known however we thought it was brilliant, and if it was the worse, it can only get better for us. Haveing said that we did speak to one man that was on his 30th cruise and he disagreed that it was bad so there you go, i figure out of all those people he would of been the one to listen to..different people have different expectations, and some are just plain whingers...we Loved it and cannot wait to book a Mediterranean cruise in another couple of years. We had a balcony room on the 8th deck towards the back of the ship, we loved the balcony and will always book one in the future, we had heard many people before our cruise stating that why bother with one as you are'nt in the room much, but having now done the cruise we definately disagree with that comment, it was great waking up pulling into a new port and watching all the action directly from our room. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Let's start with the embarkation in Shanghai: it took 2 hours and with this I rest my case on this subject. Cabins: average, nothing special. Food: the smell in Windjammer was awful and the food is of poor quality. There is plenty ... Read More
Let's start with the embarkation in Shanghai: it took 2 hours and with this I rest my case on this subject. Cabins: average, nothing special. Food: the smell in Windjammer was awful and the food is of poor quality. There is plenty of choice, but if you have a little higher standard, pretty much nothing to choose from. We had dinner on deck 5, I can't remember the name of the restaurant, and the food was average. Shore excursions: we only had one, in Saigon, and it was well organized. The other cities we visited on our own and we did our homework before the cruise. PAY ATTENTION TO/BAD EXPERIENCE: 1: We only had a Euro credit card, assuming the exchange rate would be a fair one. But, they tried to scam us with an exchange rate they had in a bank in the Caribbeans and also saying we agreed to that. When asked to show us the proof that we agreed...surprise, surprise.....they showed a thing that we didn't untick. Needless to say it is illegal. By the law, one has to tick something if one agrees, not to untick it. Anyway, after 2h of discussion, we finally got our bill recalculated at a fair exchange rate. 2: Never, under no circumstances use the laundry service on board. We used it and we have all our clothes shredding apart. So, after this experience, hundreds of euros worth of clothes are gone, shredded apart. I don't know what they used to wash them with and I'm surprised how the crew still have their uniforms in one piece. So, in a nutshell.....it's a good option to see a few cities in Asia, but don't expect too much of it.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
So my wife and I decided to take a 7 day cruise to Belize, Roatan and Cozumel for a delayed honeymoon for the summer of 2014 (I can't recall the exact date but it was before June of last year). I heard Royal Caribbean was a more ... Read More
So my wife and I decided to take a 7 day cruise to Belize, Roatan and Cozumel for a delayed honeymoon for the summer of 2014 (I can't recall the exact date but it was before June of last year). I heard Royal Caribbean was a more upscale cruise line as compared to Carnival so we went with the Mariner with the Seas. It was recently renovated and it showed. Arrival and embarkation was a breeze. Our room steward was excellent, on board entertainment was well done, and the food was pretty good, even the buffet line. The shore excursions were well organized and left plenty of time to explore the ports of call. Everything went quite well. My wife loved it. I was a happy camper. Then we disembarked. I had read reviews that the disembarkation was a show, but chalked it up to sour grapes. Trust me, it is not. As a Canadian national married to a US national, it was weird to think we would have to be separated to go through customs but so be it. The problem came when the non US national line literally DID NOT MOVE in the 3 hours we got off the boat. There was a British man who was going to miss his connecting flight. I was absolutely livid. I don't ind if we took a little longer or if US citizens get priority, it is your home port after all, but to not move in 3 hours while waiting with your luggage is amateurish at best. I have not sailed out of Galveston since (I live in Katy, close to Houston), despite my wife loving the cruise. Unless and until I can be confident that the Port of Galveston can get their stuff together to disembark us in a manner that isn't reminiscent of grade school, I will not sail from that port. Piss poor performance that ruined an otherwise great cruise. Good job Royal Caribbean, but the Port of Galveston has steered this paying customer well away from you. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
This was our first cruise – 5 days in Asia – long enough for us to find out if a shipboard holiday was for us. My husband had always wanted to do the cruising holiday, but I was unsure. After the first day I was very easily convinced ... Read More
This was our first cruise – 5 days in Asia – long enough for us to find out if a shipboard holiday was for us. My husband had always wanted to do the cruising holiday, but I was unsure. After the first day I was very easily convinced We checked in at the New Singapore Cruise Centre (fantastic site) and with over 3,000 passengers lining up to embark you would expect chaos... yet the whole thing went very smoothly. On board, we had enough time to find our cabin, and check out the dining areas and a couple of bars before the Safety Briefing, then it was off to the Schooner Bar where we had arranged (through Cruise Critic) to meet up with others sailing on the same ship. Most had been on multiple cruises so they were happy to fill us in on what to do - and what not to do over the next few days. Stateroom - We had booked an interior cabin - roomy enough for a couple - great bathroom set up - small wardrobe that fitted 5 days of clothes and luggage - and the total area was more than adequate for a couple. Next time we will probably upgrade to a Junior Suite with a door and balcony but if you fully enjoy the entertainment and shows, time spent in the cabin is minimal. The only problem I had was getting lost. We were in the aft of the ship and with the corridor system I would lose my bearings, miss a connecting corridor or end up at a dead end and need to go back at the elevators and check the Compass screens for a map to our cabin. The room stewards were all very polite, and readily available, attending to the room at least twice a day, cleaning / turning down the bed in the evening and making animal shapes from bath towels (clever). Drinks Packages - I bought the Non – alcoholic Soda / Coffee / Juice package (not a great drinker) and the Virgin Cocktails bar staff concocted were delicious HINT - to those who try to stay away from the alcohol I would definitely recommend this package. Husband chose the beer/wine package and was very happy. Entertainment - We attended most of the shows – Ice Skating – Pianist – Juggling- The Caribbean Singers and dancers are amazing. Orchestra is a bit loud - In the evening there were entertainers at the bars and pools who kept the late nighters' happy with their beautiful music/voices. One afternoon we put a couple of teams together and played scuttle board on the outside deck. Next day golf on the mini putt and table tennis on a sloping deck. We danced and we sang, we played Bingo, Trivia and Majority Rules. We didn't play any of the tables in the Casino but enjoyed the lessons provided at the black-jack table (for next time??) Dining –Easy Choices. The Windjammer, buffet restaurant, is open for breakfast and lunch, and the selection of food is extensive. Breakfast is well covered with every dish on the menu ranging from Asian to European. Lunch – Fresh fruit, salads, cold cuts, breads, hot curries and rice, Chinese dishes, dessert cakes etc. The only problem we had was finding a table to sit at as most groups were saving seats for their family/friends (who never arrived). After a day or two we just sat down if there were two vacant seats available. Stewards tried to move people on if they had finished their meal but there was little or no response from the majority of tables. We could have used our assigned Restaurant but preferred buffet Excursions - We did take a shore excursion to Pattaya – The port, Laem Chabang is 2.5hrs from Bangkok so we decided that a 45 min drive was preferable to sitting in a coach for 4 hours. The excursion was well run with a delightful tour guide and we saw the floating market, gem factory and The Sanctuary of Truth– and got back to the ship in time to meet up with friends in the bar before dinner. Another good day Altogether, a fun 5 days – we will definitely be taking another cruise in 2015. Not sure where but I know now that it is not always about the destination – rather about the experience - the chance to meet new friends and enjoy an atmosphere that can't be emulated on land-based holidays. The size of the ship is daunting at the beginning but by day two you think of it as yours - to enjoy every inch and every moment – and we did just that.   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
First time cruisers and decided to do 2 cruisers back to back. First was a 3 night Valentines cruise from Singapore to Kuala Lumpar and back. This cruise was definatly aimed at all the gamblers from Asia.. You couldnt move in the casino, ... Read More
First time cruisers and decided to do 2 cruisers back to back. First was a 3 night Valentines cruise from Singapore to Kuala Lumpar and back. This cruise was definatly aimed at all the gamblers from Asia.. You couldnt move in the casino, the Windjammer or the shops. Everywhere else, pool, bars, entertainment were empty most times. Not many Westerners on board. I'm an Aussie but my wife is Filipino so i'm used to the Asian ways. Yes some were pushy and rude but you just get wider arms and push back a bit. They are used to it. Put youself in their shoes... Dinner time with 20 relatives at home you get in and get some no matter what. Thats how they operate! Others have said it, if you cant handle Asian culture, dont go to Asia! 3 day cruise was great for us to get used to the ship. We got around and saw everything there was to see. Singapore Cruise Centre was awesome. Easy as. We got there by cab and we were on board in 20 mins. We did have a Junior Suite which gave us access to priority boarding which helped. Once onboard they take your passport and keep it which is something you need to be ready for. There was a lady arguing black and blue that she wanted it back and they simply gave her an option... Let us keep it or get off! I think she let them keep it safe for her! We made some great friends with staff while onboard especially bar staff and room attendants. I had prepaid my tips but was happy to give $5 or $10US as a tip if I got great service. I gave the room attendant $30US on the first day and asked her to make sure she looked after us. She was a Filipino aswell so we had something in common. Have to say she was the best. Towel animals every night, cleaned when we wanted, always answered her phone if we needed her. Couldnt do anything else but look after us. It also helped that we were staying in the same suite for the second cruise aswell. We did our own excursion in KL with a private tour operator named CK. He is a very busy man and often booked out months in advance. He picked us up from the ship, took us too the places we wanted to see, Batu caves, KL tower, Kings palace and lunch. He was very knowledgable about KL and was well worth the money. Second cruise was a 7night SE Asia which went from Singapore to Bangkok & Ho Chi Minh city. This cruise had alot more westerners onboard. We had been talking to about 50 people on cruise critic who were going on this cruise so we organised to all meet up at the Sky Bar at 2pm on embarkation day. It was excellent meeting people that you had been talking to for 6 months prior. It was like old friends. This was the Mariners first time on this itinerary so it was all new to crew and customers. We had organised our own day trip for the first day in Bangkok which took us to Ko Si Chang. Was a great day. Next day we had organised day trips with RC. This went a bit astray. I had booked the Sri Rachi Tiger Zoo for the morning and the Elephant Zoo for the afternoon. Unfortunatly, RC did not realise these 2 excursions really cant be done on the same day if you have to go back to the ship to go to the next one. Our guide at the Tiger Zoo simply put us in a tuktuk and told the guy where to go. After thinking we were going to die as we tried to do 90km an hr down the freeway with trucks and cars flying past us and then finding out that tuktuks arent allowed on the freeway, we end up at an Elephant zoo about an hour later.. Wrong Elephant zoo! Off we go again and another 20 mins and asking some locals we made it and had to wait for the bus with the other passengers on board.. It was an experience we wouldnt have had so I wont complain. The only issue I do have is it cost 500baht for the tuktuk and when I advised the tour desk that night, they didnt offer to cover the cost. But it was fun anyway! Vietnam was amazing. We again had a prebooked private excursion which our Cruise Critic group had organised with a gent called Zoom! If your ever in Ho Chi Minh and you need a tour guide, do yourself a favor and look this guy up. Absolutly fantastic. Took us for a great lunch, showed us all the places worth seeing and again was unbelievably knowledgable about the place. Back on the ship, some staff who stood out.. Customer service desk.. Gent from China named Do. Couldnt be more helpful to me. Even organised a free bath robe wrap and a cake and room decorations for my wife when he found out it was her birthday. Level 3 dining room matre de named Zong from China. This chap went well above and beyond to help me and he got a good tip for it. Largest tables in the dining room are 8 seats. Zong organised a table for 16 for the night of my wifes birthday which was a formal night and gained permission for me to bring 3 bottles of champagne that I had amassed over the 2 cruises via romance packages and tge complimentry bottle given by RC because they had to cancel the All Access Tour on the first cruise due to not enough people. Zong organised a birthday cake and asked us to wait in the bar until the table was ready and then sent a waiter down to get us all when it was ready. After dinner, he grabbed about 15 waiters and they all came over and sang happy birthday to my wife. Some seasoned cruisers in our group were flabergasted as to how I had been able to organise it all! Bar tenders.. 2 guys in the Schooner bar on the first day became great contacts and friends during the cruise and made sure they not only looked after my wife and me, but also took care of all friends in our CC group. Mark from the Philippines and Katut from Bali. Great blokes with great attitudes. Mark had a cocktail book which got a hammering when we were all at the bar. As a first cruise experience, we had a ball. We made it what we wanted and didnt really let anything phase us. We were on holidays. Why get stressed just because some thinks they need food before you.. Smile and say go for it.. RC will definatley get my business in the future thats fore sure. And I would go back to Asia agian no problems with them. To all the people that whinge and complain about lack of service, maybe you guys should just stay home for holidays. Im sure the staff probably thought you were hard work aswell! Enjoy Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
We were a family of 4 first time cruisers and did the Spice of Asia 6 night cruise and loved it. I’m scared of heights and get motion/car sickness, so was a bit apprehensive of cruising and stocked up on pills – I needn’t have ... Read More
We were a family of 4 first time cruisers and did the Spice of Asia 6 night cruise and loved it. I’m scared of heights and get motion/car sickness, so was a bit apprehensive of cruising and stocked up on pills – I needn’t have worried as I never felt the motion of the boat. I’d read that people who suffer sea-sickness are better off on lower deck staterooms, so we had an outside (window) cabin on deck 2. Two single beds, with two bunks above for the kids (aged 10 & 12) – we were all extremely comfortable and slept like babies every night. Although in the aft section there was very little engine noise – just a constant low hum, no more intrusive than most hotel room’s aircon systems. Our cabin was tended to twice a day, with the beds made and bunks retracted in the morning, and lowered in the evening. We all enjoyed the towel animals – loved coming back from dinner to see which animal we had! The ship itself is fantastic. Our boys did nearly every ice-skating session and were kept busy in-line skating, rock climbing, mini golf and playing basketball. They were never bored. The younger one decided against the kids club and chose to make friends elsewhere and hang out by the pool. The older one loved the hangout and Fuel nightclub and enjoyed most of the organised teen activities. The majority of passengers were Australian (over 60%) with the next biggest group Chinese. The food was fantastic. We lunched at Windjammers (though very tough to get a table) and had my-time dining for dinner. The same table every night with 2 of the most brilliant wait-staff, Alex and Rodante. They encouraged us to try new things (imagine kids giving escargot a go!) and every three course meal was a winner. We didn’t do any of the ship’s shore excursions, choosing to do trips independently. Those on ship’s excursions get to disembark first, so we got to sleep in and enjoy a less crowded breakfast. Getting on and off is seamless with the Seapass system. I was initially worried that they retain your passport for the whole cruise, but the whole system seems to work. The only criticism was the shuttle bus in Langkawi (though not sure if this is run by RCI). You pay for the shuttle and are given a numbered sticker – there are 5 coach buses acting as shuttles back and forth from the pier to the main shopping area. We found that the numbered stickers don’t mean anything, and passengers all attempt to crush onto the buses as they arrive. We tried to board 4 buses, but never got close, while people who’d only just got stickers barged their way on. We ended up asking for a refund and caught a taxi into town, but lost an hour of shore time. The shuttle system should be managed like the numbered tender tickets in Phuket, which works very well. We got soft-drink packages for the boys, which was well worth it. Didn’t bother with drink packages ourselves, being light drinkers. Loved the onboard shopping – we waited until the last day and everything was heavily discounted. We missed most of the shows, except the ice-skating Ice Under the Big Top – which was brilliant. Overall, this was a great experience. It's great to sample different destinations and decide if any warrant return visits (would only return to Penang). We’ve put a deposit on our next cruise and look forward to doing it all again!   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
As a first time cruiser I have only three complaints... I should have done it sooner, It should have been longer... and I couldn't get enough sleep because there was so much great stuff happening on board!!!! Seriously: I was ... Read More
As a first time cruiser I have only three complaints... I should have done it sooner, It should have been longer... and I couldn't get enough sleep because there was so much great stuff happening on board!!!! Seriously: I was absolutely blown away with everything to do with our cruise on Mariner of the Sea. I'm not sure what I expected but it far exceeded anything I could have imagined. Crew members are the most obliging, courteous, friendly, and professional people you could ever come across. Nothing - and I mean nothing - was ever too much trouble. In fact it is they who made the trip so memorable! The food was delicious and plentiful. The cabins, although smallish, had enough room and were very comfortable. But then again we didn't spend much time in them as there was so much happening on board. The on-board live shows were spectacular as was the live entertainment at each of the bars. Everything was very well organised - especially on-shore tours. They were easy to book on board and all offered excellent experiences and sights. We never had one bad experience the entire cruise so to all the crew members - thank you for making our first cruise so memorable. Arthur Todd Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2013
Myself,recently retired and my wife nearing retirement,we finally embarked on our first cruise holiday. The first mistake was not checking out on visa requirements, regulations an costs which our travel agent nor the cruise company ... Read More
Myself,recently retired and my wife nearing retirement,we finally embarked on our first cruise holiday. The first mistake was not checking out on visa requirements, regulations an costs which our travel agent nor the cruise company informed us about apart from saying it is our responsibility. Despite our far and wide air travel experience,we discovered the hard way,India is very different,true to her much vaunted advertising slogan,"Incredible India". It cost us two £187 not least having to complete on line a lengthy form,travel twice to Hayes in Middlesex,UK,once to hand in the documents and again for collection after waiting in queues each time! If that was bad enough,Indian Immigration Officials (just two) had to conduct a ludicrous visa to face check on board before arrival in Goa for around 3000 passengers and repeat the same ordeal before her next port of call,Cochin in India. First time,we queued for nearly 3 hours and felt sorry for elderly and frail passengers. Our hotel accommodation in Dubai after flying out on Emirates A380 from Heathrow was great and prepaid transfer was great. Transfer from hotel to Port Rushid in Dubai was bungled and we had to pay for a taxi ourselves. Hotel accommodation in Singapore was very mediocre.Our stateroom on Deck 9 with private balcony was superb and spacious. Room attendant was friendly and polite deserving the handsome tip. Ship information service was very good and accepted our instruction not to preload gratuities as wanted to reward those who made our vacation special.Hand sanitisation requirement was excellent and food was good albeit tasting pretty much the same. Orange juice was free only at breakfast and iced water was preferred to iced tea and lemonade. Electric violinist Jane Cho brought tears of joy to my eyes and we had the privilege of meeting her by chance at breakfast the following morning. Disappointment that she had only a three minute slot on the final day before reaching Penang where she left the ship while other artistes had bigger slots,some of whom bored me to tears! We found ship's shore excursions restrictive and not value for money and therefore,venturing out on our own with a couple of fellow passengers to share expenses giving more freedom.Not allowing passengers to bring their own choice of alcoholic drinks was a big disappointment as we enjoy a few drinks on holiday and relax in the privacy of our room or cabin.In summary,it was an experience to 'enjoy' but,cruises calling at different ports of call in the same country giving some 7 or 8 hours to go sightseeing instead fewer ports of call and spread of different countries giving more time for sightseeing and definitely,NOWHERE IN INCREDIBLE INDIA after our own experience. Sadly,it is not the country nor the people but sheer BUREAUCRACY that we do not want a repeat of. It is a shame that such itineraries did not include neighbouring Sri Lanka,a tourist friendly paradise with simple on line visa requirement which costs much less. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
Embarkation- Computers broke down during the middle of embarkation, it would have been nice for them to keep us updated other than that the line moved very quickly. Cabin- Perfect. I like sleeping in cold, dark, and quiet which makes ... Read More
Embarkation- Computers broke down during the middle of embarkation, it would have been nice for them to keep us updated other than that the line moved very quickly. Cabin- Perfect. I like sleeping in cold, dark, and quiet which makes an interior stateroom perfect for me. Our room steward was excellent although not very personable. I loved the towel animals and he even made me a few when it wasn't our assigned nights. Things to do on the ship- TONS TO DO. Loved all the variety, loved the classes, loved the dancing, loved trivia. Wish they did more country music trivia BINGO and gambling were to expensive for my taste so I only did those activities once Food- So good. It is definitely worth a trip to the MDR for breakfast, otherwise the WJ is perfect for the first meal. Lunch and dinner are a must in the MDR. Had a great back, corner table with excellent company. Wish our waiter was a little more personable, I kind of got jealous seeing other tables having fun with their waiters. Both of our waiters were great at teaching me about napkin folding and thought it was very funny that I am obsessed with napkin folding Staff- was amazing. Steve the cruise director was entertaining and always charming, made me want to be at everything. Everybody was delightful, charming and very pleasant to deal with. Ecurions, se below Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
We left out of Galveston,not too bad getting on board once we got through the line for security. We were in a JS so got to move to front of line to receive sea pass. Got on board and found our cabins. Met our stateroom attendant ... Read More
We left out of Galveston,not too bad getting on board once we got through the line for security. We were in a JS so got to move to front of line to receive sea pass. Got on board and found our cabins. Met our stateroom attendant immediately. Willy was very helpful and answered all our questions. He was always available and attentive to our needs. Ate all evening meals in the MDR. Our waiter Christian and his assistant Ernesto were very good. Always willing to make adjustments to the meals if needed and even got us a couple of extra lobster tails and shrimps. They were both polite and attentive. We really enjoyed them and their service. Also enjoyed dining in the WJ although sometimes it was pretty crowded and you had to maneuver around. The food selection throughout the ship was excellent. Took the ATV through the jungle excursion in Cozumel. It was okay and I crossed it off my bucket list. Enjoyed Christopher and Dwayne in the Grand Caymans on our Stingray city excursion. Highly recommend it! The best was the whitewater rafting excursion in Jamaica on the Rio Bueno river. Errol was an excellent guide and we had a blast, will definitely do that one again. Hated getting off the ship in Galveston, but alas all things must come to an end. Disembarking was a dream. We were off the ship and on the road within an hour. Recommend getting a porter to help with luggage. Enjoyed all the shows on board especially the Las Vegas Tenors and Eta May. The crew was very helpful and Steve and Cuddy were a riot. Everyone made us feel important and welcome. Can't wait for the next cruise. Too bad the Mariner is on her way to China. I wish her and her crew all the best. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
I enjoyed the time spent in Galveston, and I have to say the good folks of Southeast Texas provided a great deal of hospitality. Thanks, kindly. On the other hand, the Port of Galveston was a hot mess. For real, people, there should ... Read More
I enjoyed the time spent in Galveston, and I have to say the good folks of Southeast Texas provided a great deal of hospitality. Thanks, kindly. On the other hand, the Port of Galveston was a hot mess. For real, people, there should be some type of authority from the great state of Texas accountable for the lack of crowd management. Is this where FEMA directors retire? Seriously, the Port of Galveston requires serious evaluation of their inefficient expediting of passengers to/fro ships. [I won't depart from Galveston on my next cruise--I hear New Orleans is more efficient] Once aboard and assigned my sea pass card, there was no looking back: GOOD TIMES! I opted for the heavy-drinker "premium" drink package, and I have no apologies or regrets. I don't typically drink alcohol and was a little concerned I would be wasting money; but the convenience of having whatever cocktail at whatever time was well worth the expen$e. Bloody-Mary's. G&T. Pomegranate martinis. Every possible daiquiri. SNAKEBITES. Drinks of the day. I ordered it all, and drank most of it :) Also, I might add, the bar-keeps were a hoot and very talented; and the lounges/bars were comfortably arranged and varied in atmosphere. Spent plenty of time on my balcony reading a great novel and enjoying the sea. The waters of the Caribbean are glorious, and I'm glad I booked a suite with a balcony. The stateroom was adequate and accommodated myself and my nephew with ease. My 14-year-old nephew, btw, had a grand ol' time. At breakfast the first morning, he informed me he had made plans to hang with his new buds in the 'living-room.' I saw him mostly for meals, but he was content hanging out in the spaces the cruise staff had arranged for young folks; and he gave them high marks for their efforts. Interesting art displayed aboard the ship. The casino was always a good time & the black-jack tables were good to me :) FOOD: Windjammer buffet was consistently fresh and tasty. The California rolls were rockin' and the scrambled eggs were off the chain! However, the midnight burger with grilled onions was bomb. Chops was good, and the server was superb. Giovanni's Table was okay. The hot-dog stand was a good find. :) MMMMmmmmmmmmm. I'd do it again! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
Before embarking on our first cruise, I read every review I could find online. Some were so negative that I began to worry. I discovered that some of the complaints may have been because the traveler's expectations were too high. ... Read More
Before embarking on our first cruise, I read every review I could find online. Some were so negative that I began to worry. I discovered that some of the complaints may have been because the traveler's expectations were too high. This is a cruise. Things can go wrong. When you consider what it takes to sail a huge cruise ship, stock it with food to feed 4,000 (including the crew)people for a week, load the baggage, get 3,000 tourists on board, feed and entertain them, then get them off the ship while cleaning and preparing for the next 3,000 waiting in the terminal to board, you realize that things go amazingly well! One complaint I read over and over was how long it took to board the ship and get to one's room. Remember that all those passengers returning from their cruise have to disembark and go through customs. The staff has to clean the rooms, change the sheets, and lay in supplies for the coming week. (It takes about 7 hours to load all the food for the week.) My advice is to not go to the port too early. Arriving early will not allow you to board early. There is a suggested boarding time on your cruise paperwork. Believe it. When we got to our room, we unpacked and watched the welcome aboard video on television. Being first time cruisers, we were unsure about what to do next. After the safety drill, we noticed that some people were already in the spas enjoying their first tropical drinks! Next time we will start our vacation the minute we are onboard. I think the Champagne Lounge would be the perfect place to start. Another complaint was that they didn't get towel animals every night. On our cruise we got towel animals on the two formal nights. Don't expect to get one every night. They were adorable! We stayed on the ship during the stops in Honduras and Belize. We did go on a shore excursion in Cozamel. The tour guides got confused with the time change for daylight savings time and the Mariner passengers had to leave the tour and hustle back to the ship. We did the Salsa and Salsa tour. Had fun making and eating salsa, but missed the Salsa dance lessons. The food was beautifully prepared and delicious. We went on a tour of the galley. What an amazing operation to run all of those dining rooms, restaurants, buffet, cafe, etc. The chefs and wait staff do a fantastic job! There is more to do on the ship than you have time for. The ice show was wonderful. Next time we plan to see more shows. We spent most of our time relaxing on the balcony. A breath taking view and a glass of wine. What more do you need? Debarkation was fairly easy. We did have to wait and left the ship one hour later than scheduled. Supposedly they didn't have enough customs inspectors due to budget cuts. Many people think they will be on their way faster if they carry off their own luggage. I suggest that you set your bags out the night before. Those of us in the line who had checked luggage were taken out of line, led to an area where the porters were lined up, got our bags right away, and were through the customs line and on our way while those who carried their luggage were still standing in a long line. We had such a great time that we have already reserved our next cruise. Next one will be on the Navigator of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
I purposely waited a week to write this review to give me some time and perspective from the amazing feeling of being part of the Mariner of the Seas fantasy land. Now, 7 days removed, my family and I continue to talk non-stop about the ... Read More
I purposely waited a week to write this review to give me some time and perspective from the amazing feeling of being part of the Mariner of the Seas fantasy land. Now, 7 days removed, my family and I continue to talk non-stop about the wonderful experience we had. So much for objectivity! Still, I will try to summarize the major areas to be as helpful as possible. Embarkation - Galveston is a nice city on the Gulf but we did hit long lines to get on the ship. Maybe being first time cruisers we really didn't mind. We met a bunch of very friendly people and kept up a conversation as the line crawled forward. This is the only part of our trip that we did not rate 5+. Getting off seven days later was much better and faster. Maybe 15 minutes in line to get through customs. The Cabin - We originally were going to choose an inside room but found a great deal for a large outside window cabin. The cabin was roomy enough for the four of us and the service was top notch! Dwight our attendant was always friendly, helpful, and ready to make us feel at home. We asked for ice once but he kept the bucket filled for 7 straight days. The towel animals made us smile as they seemed to enjoy using our sunglasses and reading material for props. I was also pleasantly surprised at water pressure and hot water available for showers. Dining - We are newbies so we went with My Time dining thinking we would spend half the time at the Windjammer. Well, one day in the dining room and we were hooked by Aileen and John our waitress and assistant waiter. We asked for them the second time and was easily accommodated. Just from the first day they knew our names and our dining preferences. My time dining allowed us time flexibility while still getting the same table. It was awesome. As for the food, I have read a variety of reviews but for this middle class family, the food hit its mark every night. The meals at the windjammer also was top notch. I decided to choose a theme each time so one meal I went Italian, another Asian, another more American fare. Entertainment - This was a pleasant surprise for us as I had the idea that we would see the same "troupe" perform different shows each night. Oh how wrong I was. Two comedians, two different headliners, the ice show, and in between we had an amazing group of Mariner singers and dancers to round out the formal entertainment. We also enjoyed the game shows, pool events, and other musical acts. Kudos for Riddim Wave for playing Caribbean music throughout the cruise. I wish we had a CD of their music. A special call out for the cruise director Steve. His enthusiasm created a fun environment throughout the cruise. Activities - My 17 year old twins went off on the sports deck. Rock climbing, miniature golf (putt putt in Texas) and inline skating kept them busy and happy! Add a couple of open ice skating sessions and pool time to the mix and the days were completely full. Excursions - We went for adventure and wildlife so off we went for a dolphin encounter, stingray city, snorkeling, and river tubing. All were great and arranged through RCI. I reviewed them separately so please view those comments if you want. The bottom line is that the Mariner of the Seas exceeded our expectation is every way. The ship just off it's "Royal Treatment" upgrades seemed new and fresh. The entertainment choices were plentiful and the food was tasty. When you factor in the friendliness of Dwight, Aileen, John, Steve and the rest of the crew, you have one of the best vacations ever! A final note - it appears that the Mariner is being repositioned for at least a few years to the Asian market. We will miss the opportunity to join her again for another cruise but look forward to sailing her sister ships in the near future. Safe travels to the Mariner and her crew. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
We left Seatac and arrived the day before our cruise. Being new to this whole process I wanted to make sure that there were no delays getting to the ship. We arrived in Houston and stayed at the Holiday Inn near the airport. Nice hotel, ... Read More
We left Seatac and arrived the day before our cruise. Being new to this whole process I wanted to make sure that there were no delays getting to the ship. We arrived in Houston and stayed at the Holiday Inn near the airport. Nice hotel, staff were very friendly, the room had updated decor and was clean. There were a lot of people in the lobby that day because of a cruise line that was delayed because of fog. The next day we took the hotel shuttle back to the airport to baggage claim and caught the Royal Caribbean shuttle to the port. The employees working the check in at the airport were very friendly! One employee Angela even took me to the Starbucks at the airport so I could get a cup of coffee before the shuttle! The shuttle to the port was easy and uneventful. There were quite a few people at the port and traffic was heavy. I would recommend bringing along a light jacket or vest if you are cruising in January! It was unusually cold that day ( about 39-40 degrees and very windy) we did have to stand in line for about 15-20 min waiting to go through the screening process and it got quite chilly. Once inside my mom and I went to a separate area to get checked in. She is disabled and walks with a cane and so I arranged to have her get help to the ship. This process went smoothly and quickly. We were given our sea passes and wheeled on board! We were greeted warmly and told right away that our rooms were ready. We were a little confused about where to meet for the muster drill and had a hard time understanding the instructions on the loudspeakers. We did however figure it out and were able to get there in time. Stateroom: We had a suite with a balcony on the 7th deck. Nicely appointed room with enough space for the both of us to move around in. Bathroom had enough space and the shower was easy to get in and out of. Ample closet space. The bed was a bit hard but nothing that was not corrected after the first night by an extra pad brought to us by our fabulous attendant Maximillian. Food: What can I say other than.. it was EVERYWHERE! We ate lunch at the windjammer when we first got on the ship. Nothing jumped out at me that said "fabulous" just the standard hamburgers, hot dogs, lunch meat, fruit etc. It did have a lot of variety though. Food in the windjammer is what I would call "cafeteria style" Not bad but not extraordinary either. We had the sandwiches and pizza in the Cafe Promenade which were great! I tried the empanadas and they were also very tasty. The hot dog stand was another good choice. Buns were soft- not dried out and any kind of hot dog you could think of with many different topping selections. Main Dining room : EXCELLENT FOOD. never had a bad meal there. Our waiter was Melvin and he was amazing. his assistant had our "habits" down after the 2nd day on what we liked to drink ( coffee, tea) and had it to us right away. I really liked my dining room experience. We had the early seating for dinner @ 5:45 and if we needed to catch one of the shows at 7 or 7:15 he made sure to get us out in time. I really enjoyed the ice show and the Texas Tenors were the headline show. Very nice! Variety show was good and the comedians were funny. I enjoyed also the poolside competitions that they held. "Sexiest man contest" and "Belly Flop Contest" were both very enjoyable to watch while laying in the sun. We played Bingo also. ( you pay an extra fee to buy the cards, but it was worth it) One final warning to anyone that is again new to the cruise scene and may not know this. My mom bought cups and a cooler from one of the tables on the last day of the cruise ( they have pretty good deals towards the end of the week to get rid of extra merchandise) at the end of the receipt it said 15% gratuity. When I went back to the stand to ask why I am paying gratuity on cups and a cooler bag I was told "everyone charges that." ( I knew this was not correct) I went directly to guest services and I was told that because those items are "bar items" that a 15% gratuity is automatically added. so- beware of buying shot glasses or anything bar related. You will pay extra. Overall I really enjoyed my experience with Royal. With the exception of the tender ticket issue and the bar charging 15 % gratuity on merchandise I really loved the cruise. I appreciated how hard the staff works to make our cruising experience enjoyable, sanitary and safe. The ship was beautiful and the food was really wonderful. I am looking forward to planning my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
Unknowingly, we booked a 7 day cruise dubbed the "End of Days Cruise" on the Mariner of the Seas out of Galveston. Didn't stop to think we would be sailing to the Mayan destinations on a Western Caribbean ports of call not ... Read More
Unknowingly, we booked a 7 day cruise dubbed the "End of Days Cruise" on the Mariner of the Seas out of Galveston. Didn't stop to think we would be sailing to the Mayan destinations on a Western Caribbean ports of call not realizing we were to be at The-end-of-the-world- Central! We booked in June and just realized the timing in early December. That got our excitement revved up! Being first-time cruisers, we had no idea what to expect. We drove to Galveston on Saturday and spent the night at the Holiday Inn Resort. It was a nice clean room and friendly staff. They had free cruise parking and transportation to and from the terminal. Once we got dropped off, the immense size of the ships (Carnival also docked next door) took our breath away. The terminal person/porter took our luggage and even tagged it for us because we didn't get any luggage tags with the paperwork we received in the mail. I saw all the lines and all the porters and thought to myself we were in for a long wait of lines and confusion. Actually, as we approached the first entrance area (as our friendly van driver told us where to enter), we were directed into a short, fast line. Our carry-on was screened and then we quickly moved to a meandering but fast line to the check-in counters. It didn't take long and we got a friendly lady who asked for our ID, papers, passports, etc. It took seconds, gave us a boarding pass and instructed us to head to the waiting area for our boarding group number to be called. We were the 4th group but took only 7 minutes to board. It was sooo exciting, even though it was grey, cold and raining. A group of RCI reps greeted us as we boarded ship. Not knowing where to go or what to do, we noticed we were on the 4th floor and saw the Casino Royal (yes, I love to play). It was empty and dark, but managed to take some pics. We wondered around the floor and were amazed at the beauty of the lounges, furnishings, and layout. I mentioned to my husband that our rooms would not be ready until 1:00 and normally, people make a bee line to the feed trough, also known as the Windjammer Buffet. We got a window view of the port and munched on some tasty bites.After a while, we took our carry-on and walked around the ship for a while until 1:00. Again, RCI people were friendly and helpful. We found our cabin, 8th floor balcony, thinking it was going to be port side, which it wasn't. But that's for the travel agent and I to discuss later. We waited for the attendant to open the corridor doors, which he did exactly at 1:00! We got one of the end rooms on the hump of the ship. I knew it was somewhat close to elevators and stairs but was hesitant it would be noisy. Found that the corridor was separated from the main traffic areas by a wall. We were close to stairs and elevator without any noise. Our cabin, 8628, was clean, cozy, and inviting. We loved the balcony and took advantage of it throughout the trip. Lots of drawers and cubbies to put your stuff away. We used the space between the curtains and balcony to store our huge suitcases. The bathroom was small but surprisingly well designed. My tall husband had no problems in the shower or using facilities. We were scheduled to depart around 5:30, which it did. We managed to find our way to the pool area and sat down for a beer and a smoke. Since the smoking area was but a few tables and chairs, it was a challenge. But we managed, and it isn't easy with those huge standing ash trays they provide. We found some blue plastic table ash trays at the top outside bar and brought one down. As time passed (now close to 5:30), it began to rain and then rain harder. But that didn't bother me, as they were showing the Cowboys/Steelers game on the jumbo screen above the pool. We slowly moved out of Galveston and the rain slowly increased in intensity. That didn't stop the partiers in the sauna and pools. Hubby and I managed to reposition ourselves away from the smoking tables but still in the smoking area to see the big screen better. To make a long story short, it was storming, getting colder, and seeing a killer football game in overtime. What a GREAT way to begin a cruise. The rest of the cruise was just as memorable (minus the hoards of people on the elevators that opted to take it just to climb or descend one floor). Pleeeze...take the stairs! Hubby and I took lots of stairs up and down. Easy to maneuver. Food was great, but I got tired of battling the buffet. The Main Dining Room was elegant and service was top notch. We got the "Our Time" dining option and it was worth it! No lines to wait at, no serving times! We asked for a different table each time. Our preference was a table for two. Elegant setting, elegant food presentation and service! So much more to review, but for first timers, I would like to say that RCI did fulfill our expectations and look forward to planning another trip. Mariner of the Seas is a beautiful, clean ship with lots of helpful people. Great trip, great experience. Read Less
Mariner of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.4
Dining 5.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.5 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.3
Family 4.5 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.5 3.6
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 5.0 4.0
Rates N/A 4.3

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