7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My fiancé and I chose this cruise and booked about 5 months prior to our sailing date as I simply could not pass on the price for this 4 night cruise on a ship of this caliber. I booked us a balcony 'hump' cabin on deck 7 for ... Read More
My fiancé and I chose this cruise and booked about 5 months prior to our sailing date as I simply could not pass on the price for this 4 night cruise on a ship of this caliber. I booked us a balcony 'hump' cabin on deck 7 for roughly $600 for the two of us. I know from being an avid RC cruiser that this ship was special and had just underwent a large refurb this year. I will highlight some of the pros and cons of our trip to simplify the review from a 24 year olds perspective. Pros * Large mix of crowd including families, middle aged couples, few elderly, lots of young couples, lots of honeymooners, bachelor parties and overall VERY friendly people aboard. (We made 6 friends on our ship that we still are in contact with.) * Ship was beautifully refurbished and felt as though half of the ship was brand new. * Complete refurb of the promenade area with brand new bars that were appointed well. * The ability to easily get a drink on board and almost never a wait depending on which bar you go to for your cocktail. * The "Bamboo Room" bar was phenomenal, never crowded, never a wait, and easily had the best drinks on the ship. * The check in process was remarkably fast for even a sold out ship. * Size and furniture on our balcony. * The stateroom size including the bathroom (balcony hump room) - side note I loved our location on deck 7 as we were only two decks from the promenade and four decks below the buffet area/pool we felt as though we were right in the middle and our stateroom was right by the stairway but had no noise from the elevators. * Nice and modern hand washing stations in the public areas where there was food. * The staff that we ran into including our waiters and cabin attendants were all very nice however you could almost sense that they had a lot going on with the tasks they may have to compensate for a lack of crew. * Late night nightclub in the viking crown lounge would stay live and upbeat until 2am or so with drinks, dancing, and music. This gave something to do for us in the younger crowd that liked to stay up late and utilize our drink packages. * Discounts that would appear on the cruise compass for special packages in the spa seemed to have a much better price than anything comparable to what you would order before your cruise (such as $175 spa packages) that seemed to be a great deal. Cons * Elevators often appeared to never come or would simply glide by your floor with nobody on them, we even saw crew members working on them regularly. * Although stateroom was a nice size it did appear dirty and we even had things like rubber hosing hanging from our balcony door. * It appeared to me that there was definitely a shortage of crew given the size of the ship the ship sometimes late at night felt as though you were on a ghost ship with nobody around. * The food quality was frightful even in the main dining room... My theory being they have decreased the quality of food as compared to how it used to be to push the specialty dining on board for an additional cost. This ship has numerous 'add on' specialty restaurants however I did hear from friends I made on board that the food in those restaurants was indeed divine. What was most frightful to me was that my crab cake appetizer in the dining room had the taste of freezer burn to it. * The seating in the Windjammer buffet was TERRIBLE despite this area being entirely renovated. Most times there was no seating as there would be giant waves of people in there. * Late night food options. The Windjammer opened for late night snacks and was the only area to get food after dinner aside from the pizza cafe on the promenade level. However the the only area they had that had random pieces of food on it is used as just a bread area during the day if that puts into perspective how small of an area there was for late night food. * Being just two of us we were sat at a six person table in the dining room with no other table mates and noticed other tables set up similarly we would of preferred either table mates or being sat at a two person table. * Activities on board the ship often ran into each other including the best things to do such as shows and dinner times. * The price for on board services such as any spa treatments and even dining options. Overall for the price we paid I was only slightly disappointed however the food simply is not up to RCCL standards which was the biggest disappointment for me. I will be sailing on the Enchantment for the 3rd time next month and will be very interested in seeing how the food quality is on that ship to see if the issue was just an isolated incident for the Mariner or if it is fleet wide. With the status matching on MSC cruise lines we tried a week long cruise and was by no means disappointed with that cruise line I would almost even give that trip 5 stars and I was even bumped up to Gold level privileges on their cruise line which would almost be equivalent to diamond I believe on RCCL. I am however a loyal royal sailer and hope that my love for the cruise line will continue to stay strong! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
I love Royal Caribbean, but this by far, was it's worse. The staff wasn't well trained - I asked the person at the guest services desk if I could purchase the bottled water package that included 12 bottles. He said there was ... Read More
I love Royal Caribbean, but this by far, was it's worse. The staff wasn't well trained - I asked the person at the guest services desk if I could purchase the bottled water package that included 12 bottles. He said there was no such package. I showed him the advertisement. He brought it his manager and he said his manager didn't know about the package. They advised I drink 12 bottles from the mini bar and they'll charge me the equivalent. I refused. Eventually, I found a bartender who was able to help me purchase it. The buffet wasn't good - The food at the buffet never changed. They have so much opportunity to do so (and provide delicious cuisine) given their ports in Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam. But no. Instead leftover breakfast items (like grilled tomatoes and Belgian waffles) were served as afternoon snacks. Leftover lunch items were served for dinner. By the end of the week, the kitchen used up ingredients in random combinations: shrimp salad in hot dog buns, tuna on pizza, fake crab sticks used in sushi turned into a crab stick salad, and everything eventually turned into a soup. The map was incorrect - On the website, Mariner of the Seas had Vintages, the wine bar. Also, Vintages could be found on the interactive maps on the ship. However, in reality, that space in the promenade was replaced with Michael Kors. I was expecting the same cupcake place (I forgot the name), Vintages, and other features from the promenades of other ships in Europe and the Caribbean. But no, none of them were there; they were all replaced by high-end shopping. There were other passengers who complained other promenades had cafes where they could sit; on this ship, seating in the promenade was limited. The staff wasn't communicative - Upon check in, no one asked about our Vietnamese visas. In our boarding documents, nothing was mentioned about being provided a Vietnamese landing card for $6. When we boarded the ship, our passports were taken away, and no one said anything about visas. There was no mention of such in any printed communication. It wasn't until day 5 of the daily bulletin called Compass, I saw we needed to have surrendered our visas. But by then, our landing cards have been issued, and our accounts have been charged $6/person. The person at guest services said there was nothing they could do at that point. This upset me - for an American, the Vietnamese visa is $100, and it takes 1-2 weeks. I now wasted time and money for something that wasn't communicated to me. I couldn't even be credited a measly $12USD (let alone $80USD). Guest services called my room to explain I was informed via a handout at the beginning of the ship. I didn't get such form so I gave up this argument. This would've been much more convenient if I was informed upon check in or at least in our travel documents. They wanted way too much money - There were too much name-brand high-end shopping. They even had two stores by the name of Regalia. (Obviously, they really want guests to shop there that they insisted to put it in twice.) Other than at the ports, there was no where I could buy souvenirs from Singapore, Thailand, or Vietnam. They kept running out of food - Most of the wines on their menus weren't available. In fact, the food service person at the cafe in the promenade said they ran out of hot chocolate. The buffet ran out of shrimp for the shrimp curry. I found it odd that this was the first ship that actually ran out of anything. The entertainment was so bad, I had to laugh - The Korean drum group Fantasticks did a lot of audience participation acts (like people scream and cheer) that in the 45 minute performance, they only drummed twice. Then the magician / illusionist the next night was so bad that he couldn't even finish one of his four tricks. He had 45 minutes and he only completed 3.5 tricks. (His GoPro, which projected onto the main screen, ran out of battery and he was using it to zoom in his deck of cards.) It was so awkward and sad to watch him convince the audience that it really was a good trick. He even admitted on stage he's only been doing this for 5 months. The activities director came out to convince the audience to come for the second show to watch it. We didn't eat in the main dining room because according to the menus on the LED displays just outside of the rooms, there was always chicken breast, shrimp cocktail, and a beef dish. The other two items changed. One night, I asked a captain and asked if the items will changed. I'm not exaggerating - The captain proceeded to laugh at me and say that's impossible because the menu always changed. Then he walked away. I was still standing there. The ship was understaffed - No one was ever in the fitness center. They readily allowed guests to use the weight machines either in sandals or barefoot. There were many guests obviously using the machines wrong, but I guess liability and injury wasn't a concern for anyone. In addition, I understand this trip was marketed as a "cultural immersion," which simply put, it was catered to the Chinese and not American consumer (which I understand as a business perspective, but I'm being honest as a brand loyal member who felt misled. I must've misinterpreted the term cultural immersion as the ship being themed more Asian given our ports, not necessarily having an overwhelming number of Chinese passengers.) Furthermore, it was bad enough I was consistently bothered by passengers' behavior (bumping into me, cutting in line, pushing in elevators, hovering over me while I eat so to take my table, making our tour bus late ... And please note, I've spoken to several Australian, British, and Singaporean guests who experienced the same but didn't want to say anything in fear of being seen as racist. Please note: we agreed this is alienating these particular guests from returning or recommending it to friends and family.) Understandably, the behavior is beyond anyone's control but they really should rethink their marketing. The Australian, British, Singaporean guests, and I are not racists, but we are polite. (I've even seen Royal Caribbean staff get elbowed, and even breathed on. I'm not kidding. But even with that, I felt overall service was compromised (with the above incidences listed), which isn't consistent with the service on the other ships. Do not book this cruise. 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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