5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My husband & I cruised RCI in 2008 on Majesty. We LOVED it so much we always knew we would return. We live in FL & do frequent 'stay-cations' but save & spring for a big vaca every few years & chose to take them ... Read More
My husband & I cruised RCI in 2008 on Majesty. We LOVED it so much we always knew we would return. We live in FL & do frequent 'stay-cations' but save & spring for a big vaca every few years & chose to take them on their first cruise!! I spoke with a rep when booking & urged my desire for the most kid friendly cruise possible. I didn't want to have to spend my vaca apologizing for my kids being kids. (10 yr old twins & 6 yr old) She urged Mariner was the one for me. CONS::: forced to purchase a drink package, was marketed an upgraded port that does not exist yet, smoking at the kids pool, inconvenient port timing, level of service in resolving my daughters seperate reservation number, drink package issue, broken coke cup, navigating the promenade at night, cost of excursions, quality of food in main dining, No pictures being taken!! PROS::: very kid friendly. I feel bad for any singles who booked this ship not realizing it is marketed heavily to families traveling with kids. Server & room attendant was friendly & smiling all the time, very accomodating. M-F cruising is awesome! BOOKING SVC: Initial rep was great & friendly. Later after discovering some misunderstanding from our initial convo I called back, was transferred multiple times, finally got a supervisor who was not helpful--told me the initial call was not recorded so they couldn't honor what I was saying. He either hung up on me or was disconnected but I never got a return call. I left it be. BAD customer service though, I know my name and # was in front of him, he should have called back. note:If you have more than 4 in your party they have to open a second reservation which really complicates things for the entire cruise!! INTERUM ISSUE: We added the alcohol drink package for my husband later & I was forced to buy a drink package! I complained that I don't drink enough alcohol to warrant the cost, they said they would appease the requirement & only make me buy the soda package. I don't drink soda! Over $100 wasted. ONBOARDING: easy & quick. We anticipated issues since we don't have passports but sure enough just our DL & birth certificates are still honored. We got on at 12p, stateroom would be ready at 1p. By the time we ate in Windjammer it was ready. LUGGAGE: Bathing suits were in checked luggage. We could not hit the pool until it arrived at our room---at 6pm! My kids were aching to go in the pool, unhappy kids, unhappy parents. ROOM: great! no complaints! We had two free bottles of wine--my initial booking agent asked my preferred kind, I thought she was just making convo but my preferred kind with a free fruit basket was in my room. We had bunks, a pull out sofa & queen. Clean linens & bathroom. DINING: Waiter was friendly & accomodating. I have gluten sensativity & he remembered & brought me GF bread each night. He remembered our kids names & preferred drinks. However service was very slow. We had the 'my time dining' with 5:30 reservation to get out by 7:30 for shows. It was a push every night! Portions sizes were SMALL! Shrimp cocktail is 4 SMALL shrimp, luckily I was aware we could order as many as we wanted & I did just that. I felt bad running my server but they need to be more generous. The only GF side option was a baked potato, I had it every night & wish I was provided more options. Windjammer for breakfast was great but they start shutting down at 10:30a & we are late risers & with 3 kids getting up & out in time was tough. One morning they closed the area we were sitting in while we were getting our food, my husband was at the table waiting with one child! We had to navigate passed rope barriers with arms full of food & drinks while being repremanded by staff!Me and the girls get back with our plates then send hubby & child #3 to get his, the food was being put away at 10a! The Windjammer late night snacks from 10:30p to 12am was a highlight for sure!! So was the free soft serve but the line was always long & the machine went down a lot. They should have another station. ACTIVITIES: LOVED the kid friendly options; The slides, sky pad, hammocks, ping-pong, basketball, arcade. They wanted to do lasar tag but it was booked solid the whole cruise. My kids loved the movies by the pool at night. They lived in the hot tub, the pool was often too cold for them (remember we are Floridians). They empty is every night for cleaning & refill it so it doesnt have time to get warm from the sun. LAYOUT ISSUES: There is an adult only pool area--Awesome! But that leaves only one pool for the kids to use & the smoking area is immediately right there! My kids, in the hot tub, were 5 feet from dozens of ppl smoking, we had to walk past this smoking area to get to the windjammer or hot dog cafe. PUT THE SMOKING AREA IN THE ADULT AREA! They do performances on a bridge over the promenade at night. We spend our days outside & prefer to shop the promenade at night. The crowds of ppl watching the show prevented this. I would have spent way more in the shops otherwise! RCI's loss, my gain. We only spent $135 on board! SERVICE ISSUES: We got "free" coke reusable cups for buying the two drink packages. They were on our bed after dinner Monday night, Tuesday when leaving the boat at Nassau we dropped one & broke it. We asked them to replace it (fancy self service coke machines throughout the boat that only work with this cup). They said they were out of them. HA! funny stuff. cheapscates! PORTS: too long in Nassau! This is a kid-friendly boat! Disney arrived after us & left before us--I now see why. Nassau is not a kid friendly port. We were there 8am-11:30pm BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: The webpage for Mariner has links to explore things to do at each port. We clicked Coco Cay & were so excited for all the wonderful stuff we saw! My kids had the whole thing planned out. I now look, same page--it says "coming in May 2019" this is the biggest disappointment for all of us. Why are you only showing things that aren't offered yet!! Not a single thing on that link that says what is there to do now!! While we were disappointed we def would have preferred spending more time here, reverse times with Nassau! My daughter loved the hula & limbo contests; the cornhole, bocce ball, giant jenga--all great! Given our devastating realization that the amentities on the link provided weren't here, we thought lets do this water playground thing. Basically huge inflatables in the water. They wanted $22/per person for 50 minutes! They are out of there minds! note: that one day at sea is painful. They should add a Key West or Freeport stop. I am all for cutting Nassau short, hitting Freeport the next day then coco cay on Thurs. PICTURES: We brought fancy clothes for formal night & hoped to get a family photo for us & the grandparents. On Wed Night I asked our server when formal night was bc I hadn't heard anything yet, he said there isn't one my-time. There is a pictures with the captain that night on another level. There was no photo area set up at each port like we experienced before & no one taking photos outside of the dining room at arrival for the 5:30 dinner. BUT when leaving at 7:30 they WERE there! I was open to spending a lot of money on photo memories but NOT ONE photographer offered to take our pics then WHOLE TIME except the guy in the dining room taking individual pics of us eating! plus it was so cold in the dining room we needed our sweatshirts so the individual pics, of us eating also have us wearing sweatshirts over our attire--not buying them! All in all this was nothing like our first experience. We will most likely NOT sail RCI again. They are cheaper upfront but nickle & dime you the whole time. Oh I neglected to mention the man shaving in the kids hot tub! He is an older man that brings his own board to use at the flowrider. I am not sure if he part of the entertainment staff or not since he seems to exclusively be at the flowrider & when otherwise navigating the boat is always in swim trunks & carrying his board. BUT yep, around 9am one day he was in the hot tub shaving his face, cleaning the bic in the hot tub that I was just in the night before.. staff doesnt see this? Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
The ship was clean and well-kept, the entertainment was fine, and the staff were friendly. However, the food in both the main dining room and Windjammer was disappointing. There were a few stand-out dishes--but otherwise it was a trough of ... Read More
The ship was clean and well-kept, the entertainment was fine, and the staff were friendly. However, the food in both the main dining room and Windjammer was disappointing. There were a few stand-out dishes--but otherwise it was a trough of mediocrity. Even the hamburgers were tasteless and spongy. The BBQ at Coco Cay was actually inedible. Additionally, smokers take over large parts of the pool deck. Ban smoking! The Bamboo Room doesn't make drinks to order. They just put pre-mixed boos in a cup. However, The stateroom balconies are nice, and quite spacious. The walk-in closet is fantastic! And the ship steward cleaned the room often. As for CoCo Cay: it has a decent beach, and that's it. Leave early before the crowds come back. Don't even bother exiting the ship in Nassau--there's nothing at the port besides some shopping. This is my second RCL cruise--not sure I'd do another one. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
I selected this sailing on the Mariner because it was short and I wasn't sure if I would like the ship (after having sailed on the Allure). It was a good value (especially since I waited until last minute to book). The forecasted ... Read More
I selected this sailing on the Mariner because it was short and I wasn't sure if I would like the ship (after having sailed on the Allure). It was a good value (especially since I waited until last minute to book). The forecasted weather for the Eastern Caribbean was fairly good (Michael was forming in the Gulf - so glad I didn't choose a western itinerary!). And, although having been to the Bahamas on other recent sailings - its been over 40 years since I visited Nassau. My 11th cruise in the last 3 years - but first time sailing from Miami. In fact I have never really been to Miami only to the airport and passing through on a road trip to the Keys. I decided to spend the night before the cruise and stayed in South Beach - loved it and look forward to returning. From the hotel - I took Uber to the cruise ship terminal. The cost was about $13.00 I was dropped off a long distance from the entry point for check-in and had to walk a long distance. It was somewhat chaotic at the pier, there were lots of passengers being picked-up who had just disembarked, a traffic jam. The time was about 11:45am - there were very few people embarking at that time. I breezed through security, check-in, and was onboard by 12:15pm. I had my allowed bottle of wine in my carry-on bag, but no one mentioned it or directed me to a table for checking it in. The entry point on board was chaotic as always - people try to board the first elevators they see to get to the upper decks. I always take the stairs - because I can - and use this opportunity to explore the ship and take photos. Doors were closed and signs were posted on each passenger level - indicating cabins would be ready starting at 1pm. The ship reminded me of the Allure - but on a smaller scale. There was the lengthy Royal Promenade lined with smaller shops, bars and entertainment venues - elevators at each end. Looked familiar - just on a smaller scale. My interior cabin was on Deck 9 (I booked as a GTD), but was very pleased with my assigned deck & location. My cabin steward "Ninjah" was very pleasant and efficient. The cruise was fun and lively. I think the ship was full - but it only felt crowded at the sail-away party, on Sea Day around the pool, and if you hit the Windjammer Marketplace at the wrong time (after 9am for breakfast or after 6pm for dinner). There was a surprising number of children onboard! I found my happy places at the adults-only Solarium, at the Bamboo Room (good cocktails, but was always empty), and at the jazz club/bar "Ellington's". Cons: - Muster: are you kidding me! We had to stand outside in the heat & humidity lined up like kindergardeners for what seemed like a ridiculous amount of time! I've never experienced this before! I respect that it has to be done...but not like this. RCL needs to take a que from Princess on how to conduct Muster Drills, -Tender process: I dislike having to tender - and the appearance of CocoCay was disappointing enough to make me say never mind and stay onboard...construction cranes and barges dominated the view. Once I decided I would go ahead and at least go over for a look (around 12Noon) I went down to Deck 2. I was shocked! There was absolutely no organization by the staff...it was just an ugly mob scene of pushing, shoving and people yelling "there's a line"...which you could not begin to find the end of because it was a mob. I made my way back upstairs - by the stairs - and warned everyone I encountered headed down - "don't do it"! Needless to say...I stayed onboard and enjoyed a quiet afternoon at the Solarium. -Cabin: There carpets needs replacing. And there was no bottled water made available in the cabins...I had to keep remembering to purchase water elsewhere on the ship to take back to my cabin for nights/mornings. I know I have to pay for water - at least make it available in the cabins for purchase. -Quality of food overall: This was my third RCL cruise - and I've decided the food quality is just not great...no matter what size ship. -Bar staff pool deck: just going through the motions, not very friendly. -Entertainement: Don't expect any production shows - and what was offered...mediocre. -Casino: liked the updated slot machines - hated that smokers were allowed to take over and sit wherever they wanted. Other ships I've been on have no-smkoking hours or nights, and the ventilation was better. - Check your final statement: There was a charge for un-returned towels! Excuse me I always turned in my towels and had my cruise card scanned. A visit to the front-desk quickly to care of that. Pros: -Carry-on bag storage! You could drop off your carry-on items and claim them once cabins were ready. Nice... -Shower doors - genious! Semi-circular, sliding doors...no curtains, How efficient - I wish all cruise ships had them. -Room service: An early continental breakfast (coffee & pasty) while I contemplate the day - was always delivered at the requested time. I appreciate the call to let me know it's in route. -My Time Dining: I dine late and don't remember making reservations - but I never had to wait and could request my same location/waiter - Samson was a delight. -Jamie Oliver's Restaurant: Renato (a waiter at Jamie's) where I had dinner the first night of the cruise. I was taking photos and he talked me into dining there...I said "why not" - It will be a treat. I don't remember mentioning that it was my birthday - but after my meal - which I enjoyed - he said "how about dessert"? I declined since I was stuffed, Imagine my suprise when he stepped aside and there was the waitstaff, with a small, candle-lit, cake. Of course they sang happy birthday to me! Priceless. -The Cruise Director's staff were hard working and energetic...a good crew. Summary: The short Mariner sailings are good if you just want to get-away and party for a few days and don't expect much in the way of food, entertainemnt or enrichment activities. Read Less
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My Mom always talked about her family that came from Nassau, Bahamas. This year is her 80th birthday and we thought it would be nice for her to visit Bahamas on a cruise so she could enjoy both the cruise experience and visit her ... Read More
My Mom always talked about her family that came from Nassau, Bahamas. This year is her 80th birthday and we thought it would be nice for her to visit Bahamas on a cruise so she could enjoy both the cruise experience and visit her family's place. I must say that even when you have read and prepared yourself as a first time cruiser there's still a lot that you'll learn on the way. So be open minded and be flexible, that will help you to relax and enjoy the trip. Traveling with a wheelchair bound person is not easy, but the staff of Mariners of the Seas made it so enjoyable and made us feel special. We had a "butler" assigned to our cabin and Rui made us feel comfortable and could explain and indicate all we needed to know. One of the things that might need improvement, are the metallic carpet holders in the hallways and the one to the bathroom. They make the wheelchair ride uncomfortable and sometimes even get stuck, and when the person has an ailment this is not pleasant at all. I've read some comments that the ship is noisy and busy. But that is exactly what it should be. You are on vacation on a floating hotel resort the size of a little town, if the people would not be happy and merry than something must be very wrong. What could improve is the exhaust of the cigar and cigarette smoke in "Boleros" or make the covered decks smoke free. I would like to give a special thanks to the staff of the WindJammer and the Dining room, they went out of their way to make my Mom comfortable and me feel special. As I was with my Mom I could not partake much to all activities but we enjoyed the Ice show and I loved the ladies night and the dancing in the street. In Nassau we got a really nice lady with a wheelchair accessible bus that gave us a great tour. Thanks again to all the helpers that helped with getting my mom on and of over the ramps going to shore and made our cruise so great. I will definitely recommend this ship to my friends and family and I will go again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was going to be a restful, relaxing birthday cruise. I sailed with my adult son. I am a D+ and he is a D. We both sailed in our own owners suite. I'm just giving status to advise how to not treat loyal members, willing to spend ... Read More
This was going to be a restful, relaxing birthday cruise. I sailed with my adult son. I am a D+ and he is a D. We both sailed in our own owners suite. I'm just giving status to advise how to not treat loyal members, willing to spend money. Arrived at port by 10:30. Embarkation was quick, we were on the ship by 11:00. On the first day, I think that the Windjammer should be opened earlier. Even though we had access to the ship first, we still had to wait while a half hour's more checked in passengers came on board and crowded the opening. Bad mistake to walk around the ship before getting lunch, by the time we got into the WJ, it was overcrowded with another back up at the sinks. If they want everyone to wash hands, please have soap and 100% operating sinks. It seemed that only 50% at best were working. At that rate, only about 50% were washing hands. I witnessed people go to a non operating sink, and just walk in without hand sanitizer or a wash. At this point, we decided to eat at Jamie's to avoid the crowd. We were told 3 times that this was a fee restaurant. Yes, I understood the 1st time, are you trying to discourage anyone one from coming in? Appetizers were good, mains not so good. The lasagna I ordered was burned, and the pasta ordered by my son was lacking. The service was not good. There were only 3 tables full of guests, why did foot sit in the pass through while the waiter kept taking off is beyond me. I'm glad it was lunch, because I wouldn't have wanted to pay the full amount. The rooms were ready at this time, and we went up to and went up to 1328 and 1330. We met our room steward who called my son by his name and me mama. Kind of cute, kind of not. The rooms were clean, and he was attentive, however he was late on getting our rooms cleaned. We decided to wait for our luggage before going to the drill. It didn't come so we went to the drill (1328 is outside and 1330 is in the MDR). After the drill, there was still no luggage. We told the room steward, and he said he would go look. Off we went to the lounges. We went into the Diamond Lounge first. The concierge did not acknowledge us when we entered even though she was not speaking with anyone. A brief hello would have been nice. It was overcrowded and seemed to be full of snotty people. I don't care how many cruises you have. We quickly turned around and headed to the suite lounge. Wilfredo was very welcoming when we walked in and it seemed to be a decent atmosphere. We found our place for the 4 nights. Okay, still no luggage at 7:30. Went to the room steward again. He thought we had gotten it - no, he told us earlier that only he would bring it in the rooms. He left. Someone called us 15 mins later and asked for a description. We gave it to him and we had our luggage at 8:00. They told us that the luggage went to security for screening (I have a CPAP, my son had nothing out of the ordinary) and were told the luggage tags "fell off". I think the tags were pulled off and that was used as an excuse. This was not priority luggage service. We had an early morning and we went our separate ways. I filled out the breakfast menu for 8-8:30 the next morning. I was sound asleep when I received a phone call asking me if breakfast could be delivered early because they were busy. Sure let me be inconvenienced for your convenience. What if I had said no, would the tray have sat for a half hour? This was really poor customer service, waking up a guest to bring food. The call came in at 7:20 and the food came 2 mins later. This day was Nassau. We never got off of the ship. Just hung out with my son and did some exploring. Since it was my birthday, we had reservations at Chops. There is no ambiance. The décor is industrial. My son and I both ordered the ribeye and were very disappointed in the quality. Very tough and chewy. The sides were okay. I noticed on the stainless steel wall, that there were handprints and could use a good cleaning. I did see some swipe marks at someone's attempt at cleaning, but it was still kind of gross. There was nothing special about Chops, at least put on a tablecloth. The service was slow and the waiter was not very attentive. The next day was Coco Cay. We decided that we would get off of the ship and have a beach day. Since we were told that we could have access to the area of the cabins, we thought we would go hang out there. We checked in and were given arm bands. There were many chaises laid out with no umbrellas. We decided to sit in the eating area since there were tables and umbrellas. The check in lady told me that we could only sit in the chairs under full sun. I asked about umbrellas and was told that the umbrellas don't get brought to this area. My son did not hear the conversation and was sitting at a table. She yelled at him to leave that area. Not very pleasant and very unprofessional to yell at a guest. This ruined the beach day for us so we returned to the ship. Food in the windjammer was not very appetizing. On the day of Coco Cay, the carving station had a brisket. No, it was not like any brisket I ever had, it was awful. We had dinner at Izumi that night. Yay, finally a great meal. Our chef Kevin was great and we had a wonderful time with our table mates. I would definitely recommend this. The hibachi food was good as well as their sushi. The last day was a sea day. We decided to go to Playmakers for lunch. It was okay. The chicken sandwich was made with frozen tenders and had a weird texture. The fries are made with parmesan cheese. They were light and crispy, but not to my taste with the cheese. The buffalo shrimp is great. Maybe if I had ordered a burger, I would have had a better experience. The casino got my money. I am an ex-smoker and was not bothered by the smoke. But I heard people complaining. It may seem like I had a lot of complaints - I did! This is not the ship that I was on in 2008. Costs are being cut for cheaper quality food products, less crew to work the ship and it shows with an overall feeling of low morale. Yes, shame on your Royal Caribbean for putting the bottom line above the quality of product and the way you are treating your suite/loyal guests. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This has always been a great ship it is just very tired. It just came out of a multi-week dry dock for the new Amped upgrades. However a number of things were skipped which really shouldn't be. It is very easy to tell what was ... Read More
This has always been a great ship it is just very tired. It just came out of a multi-week dry dock for the new Amped upgrades. However a number of things were skipped which really shouldn't be. It is very easy to tell what was upgraded but also very easy to see what wasn't and really should have. Updated: New dinning room, everything is fresh and new and very white. However this seems to have been done to add in as many as 50% more tables making it difficult to even move and dramatically downgrade the service. To make up for increasing the tables while reducing the staff they stopped bringing bread to your table, instead opting for a bread basket on every table. The are spread so thin, that I was never introduced to the waiter or assistant waiter, or really anyone. We only saw one person and his name didn't match either on the card on our table. The food was below the typically royal standards, and we were never once checked on in the main dining room. Splurged for the steamed lobster and got it baked, I made due with what I had though. The portions seem to have actually shrunk so we each ordered multiple entrees and were still hungry. There are no more formal nights instead replaced with a dress your best night, basically removing the lobster night as well. The interactive TVs outside the main dinning room have been repurposed to be the same as those by the elevators. Meaning you can no longer see the entire trips menu from the TVs only from the new iPhone / Android app (which feels very beta if not Alpha, and doesn't have half of the functionality in the Royal IQ app, that is later in the review. The Star Lounge: This under used lounge got the same white makeover as the dinning. It all bright and fresh. It is primarily a multi-function room at this point but isn't well suited for any of its functions. It is used for some the Karaoke, which is the best use of it other than as a night club to replace the one taken over by Izumi; but it isn't used for that all of the big night activities are up on deck 14 in the jazz club / Viking crown lounge. This is also used as the bingo hall as on many ships, though most move to the theatre for the win a cruise bingo, though we played all bingo games in this room. The staff didn't seem all that interested in bingo repeatedly opting for the more expensive per game single game bingo (biggest package is $38 including a $3 ink dauber, 24 computer cards, 6 paper cards, and 2 crack it aka pull tab strips) for a cover all. With over a hundred people in the room the prize was $300 and there were multiple winners. The final win a cruise bingo was three games, for $72 including the dauber, but if you bring back one from a previous game on the same cruise they discount the $3 for the dauber. The largest $72 ($69+dauber) package is 36 digital cards per game on the tablet, and 6 on paper with 2 crack-it strips. They also offered if you buy 4 crack-it strips for $5 each ($20 total) you also get another 6 cards for the final win a cruise bingo game, but only for that game. The bingo tablets have also been upgraded, though they no longer have a kick stand making it difficult to see while daubing your paper cards and taking up a lot of room on the very tiny cocktail tables from the lounge (another reason why this room isn't good for bingo). Another reason is its multi-purpose is it is also sometimes used for the art auction, so the art for at least one of our games filled the room taking away needed seating and blocking sight lines to the stage. I also am not a fan of using a computer that knows the numbers on every card to choose the bingo ball numbers instead of drawing physical balls like they used to. Thankfully for this cruise there was no major jackpot that could span multiple games. If there has been a limit on balls to win the jackpot I would have not even bothered playing know the computer could rig the game. Though the prizes were a really low percentage of the money took in from card sales. As previously stated this room is used for some but not all of the art auctions, the remainder of the art auctions are in the open outside the ice rink, aka studio-b in the art gallery. Personally considering how much of the ship was over looked from this drydock I would have skipped this one in favor of much needed other improvements. Escape room: This has replaced the chapel on deck 15, not fun to get to as there is only one bank of elevators that go to 13 and 14, and two of these were down for upgrades that frankly should have been done in dry dock, more to follow on that. The escaper room was fun and challenging, though it is only a 50 minute escape room instead of the more standard 60 minutes, basically less puzzles. This room is visually a clone of the room on the Independence of the Seas but I am told the puzzles are different (can't confirm this). It is fully automated with the exception of a lot of key based locks, basically a lot less automated than that of the room on the Harmony of the Seas but less that can break down or malfunction. I really enjoyed the room and it is visually stunning though the stairs they took us up and are intended for the escape room are not the set with chair lift, so not sure if those who need assistance are able to participate or if they would just bring you up the starboard stairs. We were told that we were that fastest time since the room had been tweaked recently. The room doesn't seem worth the million dollars they spent on the Harmony room, then again neither does the one on the Harmony. There are symbols on the wall that make up part of the puzzle and they several of which were falling off the walls (the room is less than 6 months old). Our game had also been rescheduled last minute due to not enough people (though I have done games all around the country with only 2 people before and succeeded). Still fun and worth checking out. Cheaper than I normally pay on land but considering I already paid for the cruise and the harmony used to be even cheaper i was disappointed but not surprised by the $20 per person price tag. Considering this is being run by the cruise directors staff, it shouldnt need an expensive charge per person or a minimum number of people. Sky Pad: This looked like a lot of fun, but never got to try it. This is a trampoline, with bungee cords and a vr headset, which appeared to be cellphone powered. However being at the top of the ship in in a giant glowing soccer ball with holes cut in it this was closed every time it was too windy or it rained, which happens a lot in the Bahamas. This doesn't need to be outside and the openings in the soccer ball shape could be filled with plexiglass or something similar to protect it from the weather. It is also ironically next to the flow rider and water slides, though you need to be dry to do it. This also requires you to wear an extra wrist band in addition to one for your wavers so they can write information on it what counter weight to add to you based on the scale they have you stand on. Sky Climber, this is a cute climbing area for kids, though big enough for adults that may need to go in after them and get them out. There are also several hammocks which were alright but nothing special. Mariner Dunes mini-golf. This looks like a beautiful course, though oddly is forward on the ship with no elevator access. You need to take the elevators to deck 12 then take outside stairs to deck 13. There are also some lounge chairs and a couple of rain shower things next to it, that frankly could have allowed for an 18 hole course instead of a 9. The layout is rather odd with a lot of wasted space. Though more importantly with Royal Caribbean’s standard foam golf balls this game is basically impossible to play while the ship is moving. Being forward on the ship means there is enough wind to blow your ball across multiple holes (I personally experienced this). There also aren't any floor or street/pole lights around the course making it difficult to play after dark except only for the most determined. There are some lights around the edge of the deck but they only light up part of a couple holes. Fun course either way, but only playable while docked in port and there is low wind. Laser Tag: They gave it this foolish them and back story but it is just normal laser tag. They have this big inflatable bouncy castle type of arena they deploy in the studio-b ice rink. Which is fine, but it means less days for ice shows and free skating. The system is kind of clunky and one of our guns malfunctioned during a game but it was blown off by the staff as my brother just being a bad player. This entire activity was just poorly organized. Sometimes they would prep the next group while one was playing but others they would just let you sit there causing as much as a 20+ minute delay between 7 minute games. In general it is a lot of fun, though the automated announcer voice kept saying which team was in the lead the tv monitors (the only thing you can really see while waiting) stay locked on the previous games scores until the game ends (very annoying and reminds me of laser tag systems from over 10 years ago were you needed to shoot something to download your score, thankfully we didn't need to do that). The theme to the laser tag and lack of bases means you can only play one basic game with 2 to 4 teams. The teams are chosen at supposedly random though after multiple games were never even, one team always had several players less than another and once with few players we had four teams, mine was two people with the largest team having 5 people. In short laser tag is always fun especially when free though could be executed better. I am actually surprised you cant reserve the arena like you can the flow rider. Playmakers sports bar and arcade: I was really looking forward to this one as I love chicken wings, and while they are an extra charge it isn't that expensive, though cheaper to order the same wings from room service. Sadly when this was installed on the ship the number of flavors available through room service were decreased to match playmakers. This is annoying because they only have BBQ and three levels of buffalo. I would have liked a teriyaki or Thai sweet chili sauce, which ironically both sauces can be found one floor down in Izumi (literally right below Playmakers). Over all I was kind of disappointed with Playmakers. The food was decent and service was alright. The place just seemed half done and poorly planned. There are a lot of TVs but typically set to only two channels. The pool table and arcade games feel like they were bought from an old bars going out of business sale over a decade ago. The pool table is not a nice self balancing one like on the Quantum class ships, it is instead a 5-6' used coin operated table rigged to be free. The lights above the table aren't aligned with the center as if the two groups installing them didn't communicate. This means the lights hang over one side and the corner, making them easy to hit your head on. There is not bridge available but the table is so tiny you dont need one from anywhere. The cues are cheap and wont take the chalk very well. And the balls tend to move with the ship or for us when the tide came in at Nassau and the entire ship was tilled for several hours due to a poorly planned job of tying the ship up to the dock. The foosball table was nice and looked new with lots of annoyingly bright lights that flash in your eyes when someone gets a goal. The score boards only show one teams score per side and the ball number which was confusing at first. This is also not self leveling for when at sea and is completely sealed and automated so you can't loose the ball. Though the previous coin op slot wasn't closed well with wires hanging out. There were only a couple other video games and sadly no pinball. The Big Game Hunter was malfunctioning with a scrolling screen the entire cruise. That left a multi game system with a couple classics like galiga and digdug. It is two player but it is turn based, nothing that lets two people play at the same time. There is also a Golden Tee game which was fun and they were all free but there was a lot of empty space as if they intended to add more. There was also an open panel missing its cover on the wall which appeared to be access to the video systems for the bar. That was kind of it, though due to the limited food options on the ship and the dog house closing before dinner for the night it is good for snacks or even a pub meal. Izumi: Not much to say here as it is on many ships. The service and food were good. Annoyingly this ship changed it from a seating fee to an a la cart menu (sort of). They charge $39 for hibachi for a single protein or $45 for two. The Menu provides specific combos but they let you mix and match any two. There was nothing on the menu about getting three but they allowed us for an ever changing free (it went from $10 to $12 to ultimately $8, though the price difference for the second protein is only $6). This was by far the best meal we had on the ship though my brother couldn't get lemonade like you can at the other two specialty restaurants on deck 11 but then those are next to the wind jammer. There is another bamboo bar which looked interesting but I never saw anyone in it. It had a couple small plates on the menu in addition to specialty drinks. Stateroom TVs and App. The tv service has been "upgraded" (air quotes). They basically removed the interactive tv function and give you the standard Samsung remote. This is because the old system was slow and instead pushes you to use the new Royal Caribbean app. The problem is the apps like the new website really aren't ready for prime time. They feel unstable at best. I used an iPad Mini for the app and it would crash. It also would inconsistently pull up information and randomly hang. For instance I would try to look at a menu but the menu buttons wouldn't appear, so I would back out and go back in and they would appear and the menu would work for a while though not fun to view the pdf menu on the small screen. You login to the app via your standard login for the royal Caribbean site. This means you can only see your folio and logging out to change users is annoying and a lot of clicks. The other fun part of this "upgrade" is the tv channels. They are no longer the standard channels 2 thru 38. They are now 13-1 through 22-3. Though the channel list which is still a channel on the tv instead of printed out like land hotels are still using the old numbers instead each of the new channel numbers have been labeled with the old channel numbers. Basically channel 15-2 is labeled as channel 6 type thing. You can see this by hitting the channel guide button on the remote but it is just a list of real to take channel numbers kind of like if you re-label your HDMI input to Cable, it is still HDMI 1 just with a label. The headache is the old channels are still programmed into the tv so a lot of channels with static. Now the old and tired. The elevators are the most annoying. They didn't bother to update them in drydock instead leaving them to be updated at sea. This means two elevators at a time will be down until they finish. Each pair from what I understand takes several weeks. Ours were two of the four total elevators going to decks 13 and 14. Now as this ship no longer has a night club many activities required you go head to deck 14. Also the new updated elevators don't communicate to the old ones. So, in areas like the forward elevators which are in groups of three. Two are updated and one hasn't been requiring you to hit both buttons on each side of the hall way. Otherwise the button will only call the elevators on their related side. The elevators on a cruise ship are slow and annoying to begin with. Having them sub-divided by buttons or having two less are both bad ideas. This really should have been done in drydock. The new elevators change from the old black backlit buttons to the newer silver buttons with blue lit numbers. They also talk telling you the floor and if the doors are opening and closing, which is fine until you have one stopping on every single deck then ti gets really really annoying. They also have an LCD display in the car with stuff for the day but it never changed. One of the starboard side aft elevators was actually advertising a welcome aboard party for the Allure of the Seas. My other big issue was with the bathrooms. None of them were updated. They are old and tired. Most of the chrome as rubbed off the fixtures showing the white or black plastic underneath. Some of the sinks don't work. many soap dispensers don't work instead replacing them with new ones stuck to the mirrors instead of fixing the built in ones. The only semi-modern upgrade to them are the dyson air blade hand dryers though paper is still available. These are also not cleaned enough as every mens room had puddles. Though the falling apart door openers/closers with open panels and the damaged decorative door designs in the casino were just funny. The bathroom in my stateroom was alright though definitely a lot of wear. Lots of places for bacteria to hide in the damaged wood around the mirror. Bars, the bars I guess have upgrade soda guns that appearently haven't worked in months forcing the them to use warmed bottled soda. For someone who doesn't like ice in his soda this is annoying. They also added the freestyle machines which is the only place to get a soda late at night which means carrying around the cup as why would you be able to use your seapass to unlock the machine and use provided cups, that makes too much sense. I ended up losing my cup to crew members who snagged it as soon as I walked away from the craps table (Twice, and it took me almost a full day to get a replacement). From what I was told only three bars had working soda guns. And while the only free style machines that I saw were in the windajmmer that closes and in the middle of the promenade (not very convent especially during parties on the ship). And they were constantly running out of many drinks seemly only be filled once or maybe twice a week? That or everyone likes the same random flavors they would run out of. Casino: The casino was odd, they don't have the machines for a slot tournament. The tabled they used for the blackjack tournament has no sight for the dealer to check for a blackjack. And the poker tournament was repeatedly canceled though when they charge you they can't refund your account instead giving you cash hoping you will use to play the tables. Also it closed earlier than any other ship I have been on. At about 2am with the tables all full and multiple people playing slots they announced they were closing in 30 minutes. Every night it was closed before 3am, if not before 2am. They also close the craps table well before everything else, probably because it requires the most dealers. It was closed before 12:30am one night so I couldn't even play. I played more games and bet more than my brother and he also somehow ended up with more points than me, go figure. Then again cruise ships have always had weird staffing levels and they never really updated our betting amounts so the best way to get points is to play the slot machines unfortunately. Food. The main dining room food I started to address above and really was kind of disappointing. Though the best example I can give is my hot donuts desert was so cold I could have sworn they were refrigerated. My brother had a creme brulee that was super oily and soft. We missed the main dining room by 10 minutes due to trouble getting a cab and the long walk back to the ship and were sent away. We called to complain and were assured they allow people 10-15 minutes past the time and to apologize allowed us to order from the dining room menu for room service. They sent it but it was all gross like it had been sitting out for hours. We also ordered my brother his lemonade and it arrived over an hour after the food. We ordered room service for lunch one day off the room service menu and it was much better. We also ate in Jamie's Italian which I have had on other ships, it was just average. Not really worth it even with the 20% off they gave us for making the reservation on the first day, then again compared to the main dining room I would have preferred Johnny rockets. We ended up speaking the the head of the main dining room and he apologized and asked what he could do for us, but considering it was the last night there wasn't much he could do. We just hope it is better for others next time. Staterooms: The staterooms don't really look to have been touched other than the tv channels. And our room didn't have a coffee table. I don't know if it was just our room or if they removed them in general but it made it more annoying when trying to eat room service and watch a movie. There were really no updates to the room besides a smaller phone which with less buttons to call for various departments. Everything involves calling zero and being transferred. They give you the extension for departments but they dont answer after hours and you need to call the front desk anyways. We had issues with our safe that just needed new batteries but it took multiple calls and finally a straight out insisting they replace the batteries instead of flipping them for the 5th time. New batteries did ultimate fix the issue. We also had AC problems. We kept lowering the thermostat throughout the first day but it never got colder. We ended up calling maintenance who said after checking the temp in the unit itself that it was fine and yet the room was still over 70F. I had him check the room temp and it showed over 21C. I then did some quick math in my head and that is about 70F to which he stated I am drunk. He switched it to F and it showed 71F. He then tried to insist we didn't give it enough time to lower the temp, which we had responded again that we set it to the lowest setting over 5 hours before. He ended up flushing the system and reported he cleared a clog. The room did slowly improve after that. Nothing like being too warm to sleep at 4am. The other disappointing thing was they didn't upgrade the door looks to the proxy card logs. You still need to insert your card, which isn't a big deal but it means you can't get the wrist band instead of pulling your seapass out. Then again, they never worked that well for me on other ships. Over all, I made the best of my vacation because really what other choice do I have. I just hope they fix the remaining issues. And don't skip over the bathrooms and random carpets on their next batch of ships like the Navigator in January. Over all though this upgrade cost over 100m and I am wondering if most of that went to bribes or embezzlement because it certainly didn't go into the ship. In summary, the new features are fun. The re-done lounge and dining room are ok but nothing special, and everything else feels like a downgrade specially where service is involved. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
First & last Cruise! Our experience was so poor 9/24/18 that they offered us a free cruise at the end & we declined! There is not one corner of this ship that is peaceful. Blaring music & shouting announcements in every inch of ... Read More
First & last Cruise! Our experience was so poor 9/24/18 that they offered us a free cruise at the end & we declined! There is not one corner of this ship that is peaceful. Blaring music & shouting announcements in every inch of the ship. Very little control over public smoking, Just passing through the casino or outer decks will make you smell like an ashtray. Excessively loud non essential announcement speakers outside the bedroom early morning & late night with an annoying shouting cruise director. Very loud noisy dirty moldy rooms made it impossible to sleep. The buffet style Windjammer food was extremely poor & dirty. Destination coco cay island was under construction packed & provided very little to see or do. As you would guess every little thing is quite expensive. If you want a loud dirty overcrowded smokey drunken booze cruise this may yet be for you. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was the first cruise that I have absolutely no complaints whatsoever. The staff was top notch. The ship was beautiful and clean. The variety of entertainment was exceptional. We had a junior suite and it was so large we didnt know ... Read More
This was the first cruise that I have absolutely no complaints whatsoever. The staff was top notch. The ship was beautiful and clean. The variety of entertainment was exceptional. We had a junior suite and it was so large we didnt know what to do with ourselves. We did a land and sea tour in Nassau that I highly recommend. We just hung at the beach st Coco Cay which I also reccomend. The casino is a little tight as most casinos at sea are. The ice show was fabulous. I was do impressed that they brought in acts from previous years of Americas got Talent. The sky pad area has hammocks and swings and things to climb on which is great for children if all ages. The water slides look crazy, too crazy for me but very impressive. The singers and dancers weren't quite as good as other ships but still enjoyed them. The cruise director is the absolute best. Amazing vacation. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My boyfriend and I went on the Mariner this past week. It was our 5th cruise together, 4th with RC in the last 2 years. We have sailed previously on the Disney Wonder, Majesty of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, and Freedom of the Seas. ... Read More
My boyfriend and I went on the Mariner this past week. It was our 5th cruise together, 4th with RC in the last 2 years. We have sailed previously on the Disney Wonder, Majesty of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, and Freedom of the Seas. Embarkation was very smooth. This was my first time sailing out of Miami and it went better than expected. I think we were on the ship within 20 minutes of arriving at port. We got there around 11:30. Rooms weren't ready until 1. We got a great deal on an ocean view balcony guarantee as we are Florida residents and were given a spacious ocean view balcony. The room was in great condition. Furnishings were worn but still good. It was my first time with an ocean view balcony and I absolutely loved it. The balcony was the perfect size, much larger than I expected. We were close to a service elevator/stairwell/closet and I was a little concerned we would hear a lot of noise from it. I was pleasantly surprised that we rarely had troubles with noise, even with a room next door to an infant. We have always enjoyed watching movies in our cabin on past cruises and were disappointed not to see any dreamworks movies. We went to windjammer for breakfast and lunch most days. The food was average, everything from the carving station was very dry. Not a whole lot of variety from day to day. The seating areas were busy, so I would recommend eating early meals if you can. We got pizza from cafe promenade which was always great, but there was almost always a line of 5+ people regardless of the time of day. We got nachos from Playmakers which were good but cost extra. We went to Chops for lunch on the final day. The steak was fantastic but the gruyere tater tots were under seasoned. The food in the main dining room was always good. Our server was Alili and she was excellent. Very knowledgeable and passionate. I would highly recommend requesting her. We really enjoyed the solarium for relaxing by the pool without being bothered by noisy kids. There are an abundance of deck chairs around the upper decks, so while you may not be able to get a seat right by the pool, you can at least work on your tan nearby. They played movies out by the pool at night and we found that sitting up on deck 12 offered a better view of the screen as there are so many obstructions with the hot tubs on 11. I would be cautious up there at night though as we noticed people around us smoking cigarettes and marijuana. I can't fault the crew really as we never reported it. We spent a lot of our time in the casino playing slots. We didn't win anything overall but we had fun. I do wish they'd have more space to give non smokers room to breathe, but it's a smaller ship so it's understandable. We stayed on the ship in Nassau for the most part as we really don't care for that port. We went out for maybe 45 minutes and were so irritated with being heckled by locals that we just went back to the ship. The ship was in Nassau from like 7am-midnight which would be appealing to people who want to go to clubs, but we didn't care for it. The prices of drinks were comparable to those on the ship and we felt much safer on the ship. We went to South Beach on CocoCay for a couple hours and went back to the ship. I can't wait for the renovations to be finished so the ship can dock there. The beach was nice but we did overhear that a few people were stung by jellyfish. I really enjoyed the pool area on the ship while everyone was out on their excursions. We woke up early on the day at sea to try out the water slides and my boyfriend tried the flow rider. The water slides were pretty slow, so I didn't go more than once. My boyfriend loved the flow rider. We played mini golf and would definitely suggest heading up there if you're looking to get away from crowds. There were only a handful of people on that part of the ship and there was plenty of seating. We enjoyed the ice show but would definitely suggest getting their early to get a good seat. Doors open 30 minutes prior to the show and we got there 15 minutes before and got 2 of the last seats. We did self assist departure as we prefer to beat the crowd and were on our shuttle to our car 25 minutes after leaving the room. Overall I think this was my favorite cruise with Royal Caribbean so far. I would absolutely recommend it. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Security & Check-in: The process was flawless, we brought a bottle of wine each and the security lady in Miami didn't even take out of the bag to check them. It took us less than 30 minutes for security, check-in, and ... Read More
Security & Check-in: The process was flawless, we brought a bottle of wine each and the security lady in Miami didn't even take out of the bag to check them. It took us less than 30 minutes for security, check-in, and boarding, this was around 1:30 pm. Ship: The ship looks amazing, they did a splendid job with the renovation in May, the refresh was very much needed after seeing some of the old photos. Pools: All beautiful, we spent the time in the Solarium and loved how the lifeguards were on point kicking out children from the adult area. They did a great job separating the Flowrider and slides from the main pool that way the extra guests waiting on the slides are in the back of the ship away from the pool. Even on Sea Day, the main pool didn't seem overcrowded. Towels: You can pick up towels at the pool area and they scan your Sea Pass every time, make sure you return them and your card is scanned again if not they will charge you $25 per towel. The last day I had a letter at my door saying I didn't return the towels and had until 10 pm, I went right to Guest Services and they took care of it. Windjammer: No complaints from Windjammer, always great food and the staff was always making sure items are clean and dirty plates are picked up. The addition of wash stations at the entrance was well needed. Main Dining Room: We were on the 4 day Bahamas Cruise in September of 2018, the food in the Main Dining room was just OK, we were never wow’d, except for the French Onion soup, some members of our table ordered it every night! The food was good overall but not as good as you would recently find on a Carnival cruise. The service was excellent! Royal Theater: We did not see any of the main shows in the Royal Theater, they had 3 and once we read the description of them it never caught our attention. The second night they had Gallery of Dreams (a show based on the art from Mozart). The third night they had an International Tenor, Darryl J. Williams that apparently is well known on Broadway. The fourth night they had a comedian juggler from the UK, Pete Matthews. Maybe we should’ve giving them a chance but honestly, it was disappointing. Many of the other ships (including other RC) has musicals or other types of high beat shows, this part of the review is disappointing. We saw both of the adult comedy shows and those were great. The theater itself is beautiful and it doesn't feel that you’re in a cruise ship theater. Casino: It had all the games, the only complaint I have is that it's a small casino for a ship that size, it always seemed packed in there. Studio B: Ice shows were cute but cheesy. The adult only Crazy Quest scavenger hunt is a MUST, we had an amazing time during that event! Don't miss it! Promenade: Beautiful and the shopping deals were good, look at your Daily Compass to get the free tasting of liquor. Cafe Promenade: Our go-to for snacks and pizza, especially late night, great place and friendly staff. Ellington's Night Club: Great music and friendly waiters, we asked for a big bottle of water thinking it would be around $10 and to our surprise, it was only $5.44, Evian! After knowing that we would buy a bottle from the club every night. Another surprise was the beer buckets, we got persuade into getting the Corona bucket, 4 beers and the 5th one free and expected to be more than $40, well it came out to be $29 per bucket, after knowing that and the daily drink specials we were relieved that we did not purchase the drink package, that's us since we don't drink that much! LGBT Friendly: Every day on the Compass they had an LGBTQ Get Together listed. The staff seemed to be nice and friendly to everyone, regardless of anything, overall very happy with the staff. Nassau: After reading all the Criminal Activity warnings and after seeing how expensive everything is at Atlantis we decided to stay on the ship and make it a pool day, best idea ever. We had a great time. Coco Cay: Was not a big fan of the Tender Boats. Too much time wasted. Can't wait for the pier to open next year and the other attractions. The beach was very nice and the BBQ lunch was great too, overall a good day. Debarkation: We did the self-assist departure and they were supposed to call numbers but they were not following that, my recommendation is to have breakfast in the main dining room then wait by Boleros or Schooner until the line dies down. What was holding the line was customs inside the pier in Miami and not the staff on the ship. Overall very happy with the cruise and cannot wait to go on my next one! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this ship after reading other reviews and know it had be freshly redone. Being our first cruise I wanted a short trip and they were offering a good deal when I booked this of 50% off deposit and $150 on board credit. We used the ... Read More
We chose this ship after reading other reviews and know it had be freshly redone. Being our first cruise I wanted a short trip and they were offering a good deal when I booked this of 50% off deposit and $150 on board credit. We used the credit to buy the soda and voom package for my wife and the soda package for me. We also purchased the Essential Nassau package. Embarkation went very fast we were on the ship by 12:30pm and were able to hit the windjammer and eat. We then went to our cabin 6314 which was a balcony room. We put our suitcases in the room and went and explored the ship. The food in the windjammer was good what you would expect in a buffet. The next morning our first stop was Cococay. We loved it here they are still using tenders but that will stop once the pier/dock is done. We purchased the all day snorkeling and seen many beautiful fish, stingrays, and even a sea turtle. One of the couples we made friends with during the cruise said they saw a manta ray. We rented an umbrella and stayed at the beach nearest the ship which was were the snorkeling beach was and did not get as crowded during the day as I had imagined. They offered the coconut drink but in a glass and not in the coconut as I had seen in advertisements they did have a drink in a hollowed out pineapple though it was $12 without the drink package and $9 with it then free refills with drink package. The bbq lunch was good we had a suckling pig, ribs, and pulled pork. There was corn on the cob and other sides as well. After returning to the ship we went to the Cafe on the promenade and got some pizza. It was good. We listened to the live music they had and they even got a conga line going. We ate in the windjammer as we did not want to dress up for the dining room. The next day we were in Nassau we were told to follow the group that were going to Atlantis and we would see a guy holding up a sign for Essential Nassau. We never seen the guy and they stopped us at the covered walkway and took us all the way back to the ship to be the last ones in our group all though we were the first. This put us squished in the back like sardines. We were not the only ones another couple we befriended because they were in the same situation said they did not see the guy either. The tour was good though our guide William was very good and kept us entertained and informed. We seen everything you would want to see in a tour of Nassau from the Rum cake factory to the Distillery to the forts and the Queen's staircase. We visited Frankie gone bananas for lunch it was very good. We had some conch fritters and I had the Seafood Platter and my wife had the jerk chicken. Both were very good. We walked around downtown for a few minutes but decided we would get back on the boat. That night we went to the main dining room for the first time and was glad we did. I had the Greek salad, rack of lamb and the tress leches cake. My wife had a Caesar salad, tiger shrimp and the cherry jubilee. Our waiter Rowan was awesome he was very polite and professional making good suggestions on food and drink. We went back to the promenade that night for the 80's party and realized it was in the star lounge and we headed that way but there was a ton of people so we just hung out at the cafe again listening to the music there and snacking on some of the cheese they had to offer. We are ready for a next cruise. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We're freshly-back from a 4-night Bahamas cruise that I would normally rate as average aside from one crew member's attitude nudging things lower. Previously, we have sailed on NCL and Princess cruises with a similar itinerary ... Read More
We're freshly-back from a 4-night Bahamas cruise that I would normally rate as average aside from one crew member's attitude nudging things lower. Previously, we have sailed on NCL and Princess cruises with a similar itinerary out of Miami. Aside from the newness of Mariner OTS, we've had more positive experiences on those other lines as a couple in their late 30s not traveling with children. We traveled in cabin 1260 which is a Grand Suite. The cabin itself is very nice, but we would really be just as happy in a window or even inside cabin. We don't make use of the balcony, and while the large bathroom and bathtub is nice, we mostly booked the suite to get the perks. One of the perks, priority boarding, was obliterated by a computer malfunction which required the use of hand-written boarding passes causing a major backup in the terminal. The boat didn't set sail until around 11:30PM due to the glitch. Nevertheless, we were still able to make use of all onboard amenities and the itinerary was only minimally affected. Although it's not our aim to avoid the MDR, we usually rely heavily on specialty dining. On this cruise, we ended up in specialty dining each night. Our first meal was at Jamie's Italian which we decided to try only because they were offering 35% off as a promotion. Despite this, the restaurant was nearly empty. At no point during our meal were more than 4 tables occupied. A sandwich board outside the restaurant says something to the effect of "We're all about beautifully-sourced ingredients." While my wife's lamb chops were fantastic and my crab pasta was also very fresh tasting and delicious, the side of "Seasonal Greens" was unmistakably frozen broccoli. This is a menu item and was not a special request. The boat was docked in Miami for over 12 hours. In all that time, they couldn't procure one single fresh vegetable for this restaurant? We had a quick lunch in the Windjammer twice and it's nothing to write home about. The buffet is pretty basic with hamburgers, hotdogs, and tacos taking up a large amount of space. There was a carving station for lunch as well as an area for comfort foods and some indian and asian choices. Our first port of call was Nassau Bahamas. We arrived late due to the computer problems in Miami the previous day. This was actually great because it meant we could sleep in. A large reason we booked this ship/itinerary was this stop. My wife loves the lazy river that connects to the water slides at the Atlantis Aquaventure park. We've been to Atlantis before and know how it's supposed to work. Upon arriving at Atlantis and getting on the lazy river, the access to the Power Tower (water slides) from the lazy river was blocked off. This attraction alone was the sole reason for booking this $149/pp excursion. We were at Atlantis for only 45 minutes before deciding to take a taxi back to the ship. Later that evening in the Suite Lounge, I thought to mention the Aquaventure mishap to the concierge as it's not a cheap excursion and our only reason for booking it was not fully operational. I wasn't necessarily looking for a refund, but he's the one that suggested a partial refund may be possible. Our concierge took notes on the matter and said he would pass it to the shore excursions manager who was still ashore at that particular time. Eventually, I got on the phone with the Shore Excursions Manager about the situation. She said that she spoke to the tour operator and they said all attractions were working on that day. Whoever the tour operator is, they're full of crap because not only was the entire Power Tower closed, but at least one of the waterslides on the Mayan Temple was also closed while we were there. I suggested to the Shorex Manager that either I'm lying to her or the tour operator is lying to her. She twice refused to say that I was a liar, but at the same time would not acknowledge my complaint or grant any sort of refund. This interaction right here is the #1 reason I probably wouldn't sail RCL again. I wasn't seeking a refund to begin with, but the incredulousness of this crew member really soured my impression of this already lacklustre cruise. I realize that this being my first RCL cruise, they don't know me from a hole in the wall. However, as an RCL stockholder and suite guest, the least they could do is acknowledge my complaint. If they offered something as simple as a complimentary meal in Chops, a gesture that costs them next to nothing, it would really have gone a long way. Instead, one incredibly poor customer service incident ends up costing the line countless dollars in repeat business and lots of eyeballs reading this review. That night we ate in Izumi which we pre-booked online. Compared to the other hibachi restaurants on cruise ships we've been to, Izumi is easily several notches above. The chefs are loud and very entertaining. You can customize your meal to your wishes and the quality of the meats and seafood is outstanding. Izumi was so good that, upon seeing the MDR menu for the following night, we decided to dine at Izumi a second time. I feel that I should also mention the Bamboo Room. I am a big fan of tiki drinks and this new venue is fantastic. The bar staff is wonderful and the vibe inside the Bamboo Room is great. One thing I noticed and appreciated about RCL is that many of the bars on board were distinct in not only their appearance, but also the drinks offered on each menu. I feel that the Bamboo Room took this a step further by not even stocking ingredients for some drinks found elsewhere on the ship, but also not relying on pre-made mixes from cartons that have become common across all lines. The Bamboo Room gets a huge thumbs-up from me, and I wish more lines would offer something like this. For our 2nd port stop at CocoCay, we booked an all-day beach bed rental. My wife is more into going the beach than I am. The beach beds are totally worth the $150 cost which covers up to 4 people. It's in a relatively quiet area, they bring food to you, the bed can provide lots of shade from the sun, you get 4 large bottles of water, and the use of two float mats. If I have to endure a beach day, this is the only way to do it in my opinion. On the last day of our cruise, a sea day, we had dinner at Chops. It's your basic cruise ship steakhouse. One note is that they were apparently out of ribeyes during the entire cruise. This is what my wife prefers to order, so that's a disappointment. I don't understand how a ship can dock in Miami, a metropolitan city in the United States, and somehow not be able to get a common cut of steak on board. Even in the port of Nassau this could have been accomplished if somebody cared enough. I chose the 9 oz filet ordered rare which was delicious and cooked to perfection. My wife had to opt for the lamb chops since ribeye was unavailable. She ordered medium rare, but they came out more rare than my steak. The situation was handled quickly and the chops came out cooked properly after a trip back to the kitchen. Our dinner took about 2 hours from start to finish, but the timing seemed appropriate. However, the table right next to us finished their meal within 15 minutes of us sitting down. Their table was left unclean the entire time we were there. We have experienced this in specialty restaurants on other lines, but I don't understand how this has become acceptable. Even in a Chili's on land I would expect a table to be bussed and reset within five minutes of a party leaving. Overall, this trip was mostly what is expected of an inexpensive 3-4 day Bahamas cruise. One standout was the Bamboo Room because it's a unique concept not yet seen on other lines. Almost everything else is cookie-cutter among the other mainstream lines and it really comes down to where your loyalty lies. If you're looking for a this type of cruise as a first-timer, I would say Mariner of the Seas is probably the nicest ship with this itinerary of the main cruise lines. The price is in line with the other majors and the recent refurbishment puts Mariner over the top. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
The staff were great despite the issues getting out of the Port of Miami. Slightly longer and more cumbersome check in process than what we have been accustomed to. We were used to the latest and largest ships of the Royal Carribean ... Read More
The staff were great despite the issues getting out of the Port of Miami. Slightly longer and more cumbersome check in process than what we have been accustomed to. We were used to the latest and largest ships of the Royal Carribean fleet, but we found ourselves enjoying the intimacy and quieter small ship. Dining room staff and food were excellent as always, and the ship's matchmaking for our fellow diners was excellent. Breakfasts as well were also an enjoyable way to start the day. Really enjoyed the meals and friendship we had built. Cabin stewards were excellent as always. Windjammer was jammed packed and bursting in the first few hours of embarking. Nightly entertainment was up to par for what we expect from Royal Carribean, the comedians were fantastic. The (new?) gym/fitness centre was very well equipped for a smaller ship, nice steam room in the changeroom. Ports were kinda boring, but we expected the sleepy beach ports in advance, so no complaints. If the cabins are to be refurbished anytime in the future, this ship will remain one of our favorites for many years to come. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
...full speed ahead to the profits. Hopefully this will not be RCCL moto on her other ships it is on the Mariner! We had sailed on it in May before it went into dry dock for renovations and had a wonderful experience. But the ... Read More
...full speed ahead to the profits. Hopefully this will not be RCCL moto on her other ships it is on the Mariner! We had sailed on it in May before it went into dry dock for renovations and had a wonderful experience. But the renovations destroyed the ship causing the ship to be overcrowded and a mess !! Gone are the whirlpool in the spa,the deli in the solarium, adults only in the solarium and space to move around in the dining room. The dining room has become a sea of oversized white chairs with very little space to walk between them. Welcome to the world of being sardines! Is there anything positive? Yes, the staff still gives superb service, but the overall ship makes us to recommend save your money and find another ship. RCCL has ruined a ship that was very enjoyable to one to put on your list to avoid!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I first sailed on this ship some 10 years ago and as it has now returned to Florida waters from Asia, I decided to sail onboard her again and see the improvements (or otherwise) that have been made during and since her sailings in Asia. I ... Read More
I first sailed on this ship some 10 years ago and as it has now returned to Florida waters from Asia, I decided to sail onboard her again and see the improvements (or otherwise) that have been made during and since her sailings in Asia. I sailed back-to-back from 3-7 September (4 nights) and 7-10 September (3 nights). The Mainer is a fine ship. The Asian flavor is still very much evident both in the décor and themes (think Bamboo Room). On the first 3 night cruise, we visited Cocoa Cay (RCCL’s private island) and Nassau (Bahamas) and we visited exactly the same ports on the 4 night cruise. It occurs to me that if the Captain can make this whole itinerary in 3 nights, I can only assume that the extra day at sea (on the 4 night cruise) was to either bring the ship back to a normal 7-day turn around or in the hope that guests would spend a lot more money onboard during the additional sea day. The crew and the staff were all pleasant, friendly and helpful. There is no Coastal Kitchen on this ship so I ate in the main dining room and the Windjammer. Our waiter in MDR was terrific. He even arranged for me to be served an authentic Indian curry meal with all the trimmings. Excellent service. The Wind Jammer always offers a huge selection of food, is nicely arranged, looks appetizing and certainly is delicious. This ship does have some new entertainments. There is a Laser Tag (Battle for Planet Z) in Studio B. Also new, is a Sky Pad on Deck 13. I didn’t try any of these but spoke to many people who did and the overall opinion was “excellent” “loved it” “best ever experience” etc., etc., so I guess these were a huge hit with the guests. The Puzzle Break Center “The Observatorium” was also very entertaining and difficult enough to stretch your powers of observation and logic. This was thoroughly enjoyable. The bars are conveniently situated and there is always a waiter on hand. The pools were always clean and deck patrol was very visible. In all, this was a nice trip and if you have children, there is definitely much for them to do. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We wanted something short for Labor day weekend, and having been on the Mariner before but years ago seemed like a safe bet. Check in was easy and painless and we were on the ship in 20 mins. Booked a lunch at Jamie Olivers Italian ... Read More
We wanted something short for Labor day weekend, and having been on the Mariner before but years ago seemed like a safe bet. Check in was easy and painless and we were on the ship in 20 mins. Booked a lunch at Jamie Olivers Italian restaurant to avoid the hoards of people flocking to the Windjammer cafe for lunch. Food was good ,but a little disappointing because the chicken dish ordered was dark meat and bone - in which I really don't care for and was not advertised as such. Overall good experience. Balcony cabin was typical with hard mattress and flat pillows but the same as all the other balcony cabins we have stayed in. ship just came out of dry dock after extensive retro fit and she looks really good. Waterslide was fantastic Flowrider and rock wall always there for the daring. Skydome was not open when I wanted to use but looked really interesting?? A sore spot for me was Johnny Rockets which went from a small $5.00 cover charge when it started to a now almost $14 charge p.p. to eat there. Then to top it off they TOAST all their buns (even Hot Dog buns) to cover up the fact that their buns are really STALE... Dinner was very good and food was cooked to perfection so no complaints about dining room service. Tried breakfast in the dining room one morning and found that the service that RCL prides themselves on was a bit lacking for breakfast as the wait staff tells you most of the breakfast is available on the buffet set up in the center of the dining room and all your side dishes are now self serve.. So the next morning we tried the Diamond Club for breakfast and it was Limited but that's ok ,we knew that going in The food service staff I think needs a little retraining. While there were plates of muffins and croissants there was no BUTTER. I asked and was told we don't have any.. Ok so there was fruit and yogurt topped with granola -- but NO spoons. Ok I will have the egg offering. Salmon Florentine but wait the warming table is so hot the the eggs have cooked themselves to the dish they were sitting on and when you use the thongs to grab an egg ?? Disaster. So much for the Diamond Club. Put up with the crowds in the Windjammer cafe. The two port days CoCo Cay and Nassau were just as always pretty uneventful with a BBQ on Coco Cay and Atlantis on Nassau. Overall disembarkation was quick and easy we did self assist and took our stuff off ourselves and waved a fond farewell to the Mariner of the Seas. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Choose this cruise for a short Labor Day weekend getaway. First time we've done a short cruise and most likely our last. Also first time either of us took Royal Caribbean in years and we were left very disappointed. They push these ... Read More
Choose this cruise for a short Labor Day weekend getaway. First time we've done a short cruise and most likely our last. Also first time either of us took Royal Caribbean in years and we were left very disappointed. They push these short cruises for 1st time cruisers, you would think they would do a better job getting people to go back. Embarkation and disembarkation was simple and quick minus my husbands sea card not working but guest services quickly issued him another. The common areas and pool are clearly were the recent renovation money went. The rooms weren't touched which is a common complaint of this ships review. Its one thing to be "outdated", which doesn't bother me but the rooms are disgusting! Its one thing to not replace or update things in the cabins but they obviously never deep cleaned the cabins. The bathroom had a terrible odor and the shower was moldy from the tiles to the door. Looked like they were never deep cleaned since they left Asia last year. We never took our shoes off until we were in bed. Balcony was rusty and needed a good paint job. Our room attendant was great though, he did the best with what he had to work with and made sure we had what we needed from extra towels and pillows. Dining was okay, the buffet needed more options, everyday was the same. Staff in main dining room were great, they had the most personality out of most the staff on the ship. Dining room food was good but nothing blew me away. Lots of different bar atmospheres to choose from on this ship, most the bartenders were great. Being Labor Day weekend we shared the ship with what seemed like eight different bachelor and bachelorette parties. This is a party cruise in general, basically felt like a floating frat party at times, after the sun goes down there isn't much to do besides drink. The entertainment and activities were very spreed out and just lacked in general. Ice show would have been great if i was a kid, comedians were good but the only adult show was midnight on the last evening. We lasted 5 minutes into the other show that were not even sure what it was suppose to be about. Coco Cay was nothing spectacular, we enjoyed the beach and floating bar till after lunch when it seemed the bachelor/bachelorette must have woken up. The poor bartenders have to hand write receipts and sea card numbers when you order/buy drinks. We couldn't believe with the $$ RCI is investing into that island and ships that they don't have modern systems with handhelds. This took the bartenders forever and really slowed service. Nassua is Nassua, there is nothing special about it. Its Dirty and the people are rude. Least favorite port in the Caribbean, just stay on the ship. Atlantis is nothing special, just save your money. Overall we would not do this ship again. If you have children you may have a different experience or if you just want to be drunk for a couple days then this may be for you. It words of my husband "They tried to polish a turd" Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose the Mariner of the Seas because the ship had recently been refurbished and this was the first "large ship" to sail the three day itinerary from Miami. While in college, I had worked on cruise ships. We have gone on many ... Read More
We chose the Mariner of the Seas because the ship had recently been refurbished and this was the first "large ship" to sail the three day itinerary from Miami. While in college, I had worked on cruise ships. We have gone on many cruises with multiple cruise lines. The embarkation was very smooth and organized. Our cabin was ready at 1. The Bedroom Steward was outstanding. The Windjammer was very crowded and they had to make multiple announcements for passengers to please leave to make room for others. Throughout the cruise, the facilities seemed INADEQUATE FOR THE NUMBER OF PASSENGERS ( the pools and deck chairs). For serious swimmers,there was no pool. Although the dining room menu was similar to the Enchantment of the Seas, the taste and presentation was better on the Enchantment of the Seas. Perhaps the size of the and the number of passengers made a difference ( or the master chef?)? The Ventriloquist in the show was excellent. The comics' timing was off and they were not funny. There was no real musical show and the ice show did not compare to the other ships. The art auction was disappointing. The private island is still under construction. The nature walk is gone. The beach reminds me of Coney Island. The Barbecue was average. Downtown Nassau is becoming rundown. However, Shopping reminds me of "the sixties" and is fun. The best part of the ship (and cruise) is the Diamond Club. The staff and service there is outstanding. Disembarkation was relatively smooth. We all had a wonderful time. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My wife and I booked our cruise in anticipation of trying a new port and new cruise line. We were surprised to find the Mariner doing a 3 day stint. Typically we see smaller ships except for Disney doing 3/4 Bahama routes. I have been on ... Read More
My wife and I booked our cruise in anticipation of trying a new port and new cruise line. We were surprised to find the Mariner doing a 3 day stint. Typically we see smaller ships except for Disney doing 3/4 Bahama routes. I have been on the Disney Dream four times and the Carnival Inspiration once. We aren't huge fans of the city of Miami but the Port itself was ok. Embarkation was smooth, we got there at roughly 1030.Royal offered to check carry on bags in the theater until 1 pm, which was something I haven't seen before. Lunch Buffett in Windjammer was great, lots of space, maybe too much! Ship-nice new upgrade to many areas, staterooms were not upgraded. They still maintain light green and pink decor. Ship was nice over all, not as upkept as Disney. The Promenade was excellent. Casino is very smokey, there are no doors at the entrances. Smoking is allowed on the pool deck port side...avoid it. Arcade, they are having lots of issues getting room cards to swipe in the machines, we were refunded our money. *Best viewing area is on the helipad* Cabin-lots of storage and good use and design of the closet. Older design with only 2 outlets for power. Excellent water pressure. Dining-no complaints here, food was good, service was good but not the best I have had. No fresh fruit at the bars for cocktails. E/A- A TON of things to do. Jam packed to the wee hours of the morning. Service- This needs work. I have minor experience here so I will compare it to DCL. It doesn't compare to DCL. Many questions were left with no answers, that never happened to us on DCL. The mood of the crew seemed generally average. Attention to detail was not really there compared to DCL. * This is something I have never seen. Employees (uniformed and badged) eating in and amongst the guests. Also witnessed employees smoking in public areas. We did not do any excursions but they do offer the RUM factory tour for Nassau which I have not seen anyone else offer. We would sail again ! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Stay away from. Room 2278. Noise from studio b till 3am That’s my fault for booking last minute cruise On the cruise as I write his. Customer service. Says they will write the wrong We’ll see in a bit. Food was good as expected. ... Read More
Stay away from. Room 2278. Noise from studio b till 3am That’s my fault for booking last minute cruise On the cruise as I write his. Customer service. Says they will write the wrong We’ll see in a bit. Food was good as expected. Chops still consistent after many cruises on this line. Disco party is exactly same in every ship so go me it’s a little long of tooth but for new cruisers splendid new hand was area at windjammer I trusting but think a slip And fall accident is in there future. I will recommend. Totally except my room Great for new cruisers. Family on budgets or Batchelor or batchlelorette parties at least 10 on this cruise. Hope you enjoy your next cruise if you select this ship Ps they changed liquor packages. So be careful and do the math if you think it’s too much as it’s now per room not person Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
The newly refurbished Mariner of the seas was beautiful and a great family ship. The new addictions such as Flo Rider, The water slides, Sky Pad and laser tag were super fun. Food was great and never went hungry. Shows were good especially ... Read More
The newly refurbished Mariner of the seas was beautiful and a great family ship. The new addictions such as Flo Rider, The water slides, Sky Pad and laser tag were super fun. Food was great and never went hungry. Shows were good especially Circus Ice show it was the best show I’ve seen on sea. This was my first RC and wasn’t disappointed only fault I found was the night life was not as good as Carnival and the night clubs and parties were sort of lame. Was looking for more to do at night then what was offered. Room was nice and room Steward was nice. The ship was nicely decorated and layout was good. Super big and didn’t have enough time to walk to whole shop like I wanted too. Overall loved the ship and can’t wait to sail her again. Took some new cruisers with me and they all loved the ship. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My overall experience was great, as it is often pointed out, what you make it. We had cabin 1688 which is located in the back of the ship and is one of the largest balcony cabins. I was a little concerned because it is located on deck 10 ... Read More
My overall experience was great, as it is often pointed out, what you make it. We had cabin 1688 which is located in the back of the ship and is one of the largest balcony cabins. I was a little concerned because it is located on deck 10 which is below the lido deck and thought this might be noisy but, we heard absolutely nothing except occasionally the engines but that sound did not last long. The one area that was a little sad to me is how can a ship pour billions of dollars into renovation but totally ignore the furnishings that really need to be replaced. There were 4 of us, 2 teenage granddaughters slept on the pull out sofa, it was huge and actually could have slept a third person but it was old and in desperate need of being replaced. My granddaughters were cruising for the first time and did not find there was enough evening activities for teenagers but that could have just been because of the lack of a lot of teenagers on board and because of their inexperience in knowing exactly what to look for but they seemed to have enjoyed the overall experience. The staff aboard the ship were excellent, I can honestly say one of the few times I remembered everyone who did something for us. Ren was our cabin steward and he was excellent and pleasing in every way, never had to be reminded of anything I asked for on the first day. Xin and Suraj were our waiters and they always went beyond to make sure we were aware of the activities each day. The other area I am disappointed with Royal is no laundry facilities, although I don't use them, being able to press a dress would be nice and thanks for doing away with the dog on board policy, I was not happy to see a dog in a stroller who clearly was not a service dog in the dining room. I loved the decor of the ship very much and we also made the decision to rent the beds on coco cay, that service is well worth the money unless you have small children and want to keep them close to the action as these are pretty much away from those areas which I personally enjoyed as I just wanted to relax. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The recent upgrades to the ship are nice, but our family didn't love the Royal Caribbean experience. We are a family of three. At the time of our cruise my wife and I are in our mid thirties and we have eleven and nine year old ... Read More
The recent upgrades to the ship are nice, but our family didn't love the Royal Caribbean experience. We are a family of three. At the time of our cruise my wife and I are in our mid thirties and we have eleven and nine year old sons. This is the third cruise for my wife and I. We've also sailed on the Norwegian Sky and Disney Magic on similar, short, Bahamas itineraries. The kids weren't with us on the NCL Sky, but did join us on the Magic. We choose the Mariner because we found our NCL experience was great as adults. The Disney shipped was great for kids, but not relaxing for the adults. We felt our next cruise should offer a better family experience, something for adults and something for the kids. Ship The recent updates to the Mariner are great. The ship was beautiful. Our family enjoyed the FlowRider, SkyPad VR Trampoline, Waterslides etc. We especially enjoyed the laser tag experience. Note that it shares a space with the ice rink, so laser tag only runs certain days. We didn't get a chance to check out the new escape room, but we heard very good things from fellow cruisers. Cabin I read a lot of complaints about how the cabins were untouched during the recent upgrade, so I was worried. It was unfounded. Our cabin, a balcony room on deck 10 was clean and comfortable. Everything worked fine. Additionally our cabin attendant gave us amazing service, by far the best of any of our cruises. She went above and beyond to help us with any questions we had, whether they were room released or not. The layout of the room on the Disney ship was better for a family with two kids, but we made the Mariner room work fine. Dining This was a disappointment compared to both NCL and Disney. On the NCL Sky, we had freestyle dining and could dine in a variety of different locations around the ship whenever we wanted to, so there was a ton of variety without having to splurge for premium options. On the Disney ship, we had were scheduled in a different, beautiful restaurant every night. I obviously wasn't expecting that on the Mariner, but I was hoping for something compared to the NCL experience. The Mariner has something called MyTime dining, which I suppose is meant to resemble Freestyle dining on NCL, but it still requires a reservation, and they expect that you keep the same one every night. Besides the main dining room, there is the Windjammer buffet, and a Cafe on the promenade deck that service pizza and sandwiches. Everything else was extra. The price of drink packages, even soda only were ridiculous. I understand things on a vacation cost money, but we constantly felt nickel and dime in a way we didn't on the other ships. We had an unlimited beverage package included on the NCL, and I don't recall Disney charging us for Soda. Especially, not $300+. The buffet food was average. The main dining room food was good, but our service wasn't great. I wanted a wedge salad with no bacon, and I was informed that they are remade, and they would "see what they can do". I did eventually get the salad, but I don't think I should be made to feel bad for a relatively minor special request. We also weren't informed their was a kids menu available. We only figured it out after we noticed other kids getting food, like pizza, that wasn't on the menus we had. Our kids didn't always order off the kids menu, but it would have been nice to be presented with all the options. We received a lot of pressure from the wait staff to give a 10 review on the Royal Caribbean survey Entertainment and Activities The cruise director and entertainment staff didn't have as much energy and fun as they did on the NCL Sky. The shows weren't very interesting, with the exception of the ice show which was outstanding. As I mentioned above, the new attractions like the SkyPad were very good. Service In general, the crew seems tired, overworked, and indifferent. Our stateroom attendant was great, but other than that the service was poor to average. We had a problem getting prepaid arcade credits to show up on our cards, and it took talking to three different people on three different decks and dragging our kids through the Casino to get it corrected. The slot tech was annoyed he was woken up to help us, because he was supposed to be off. On the first day I called guest services to ask about whether the ice show would repeat on a different day. The answer I got, was 'I don't know, maybe, probably not". The person was too lazy to find out. It turned out it did repeat. We got good service from two or three crew members, but overall this was definitely lacking. Ports and Shore excursions Pre much as as expected. CocoKay was fun. We did the aqua park experience. On Nassau we did the glass bottomed boat and liked it. Kids Club This wasn't good. The times it was open were confusing. We heard other parents complaining about the same thing. We knew this wouldn't be as good as Disney, but we were still underwhelmed. Our sons complained another boy was hitting him and swearing at him. The staff admitted to my wife they knew about this, and couldn't really address it. There's no ship wide phone system for the staff to contact the parents (they have this on Disney), so the couldn't call the parents. They should have at least separated the problem child. On our next cruise, we will either go back to Norwegian (Especially if we don't bring the boys) or Disney. We enjoyed the trip, but not as much as we have on other lines. 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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