1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2019
I booked this cruise specifically to see Coco Cay after it's supposed $250 million update. The cruise was a mixed bag so to speak. Check in was a breeze, no waiting. Cabin was nicely arranged & large with 2 couches for an inside, ... Read More
I booked this cruise specifically to see Coco Cay after it's supposed $250 million update. The cruise was a mixed bag so to speak. Check in was a breeze, no waiting. Cabin was nicely arranged & large with 2 couches for an inside, but was NOT QUIET.Never book a promenade view room unless you don't want to sleep. I ate all the meals in the dinning room because I couldn't stand the crowds of ill mannered people at the buffet, I mean did some of these people ever see food before ?...pigs. The food in the dinning room was good, not great.I only had to wait about 10 minutes each evening for a table, but the service was a little slow. The 2 shows I saw, ice show & show with singers & dancers was very good. The ship itself is very nice, BUT CANNOT HANDLE the amount of people that it does & on my cruise it was only 3/4 full because of hurricane Dorian. Not enough elevators, both the pools too small, the adult pool was like a sardine can. The music around the pools was just so loud, do they think everybody is deaf ? Coco Cay was a BIG LETDOWN. I am not a fan of water slides or such so I stayed on the "FREE" side. The beach are is NOT GOOD, full of seaweed & not even nice to walk around, you sank into some kind of "muck". There was also a stench of sewer all around. The freshwater pool was a joke also, just a wading pool filled with bodies. There were enough chairs around the beach & pool. The food offerings were typical beach fare. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Myself, my sister, and my parents did this for a birthday cruise, sailing on Friday and coming back on Monday. We've been on over 10 cruises. It was overall, a good cruise. The ship was beautiful, being renovated recently. You ... Read More
Myself, my sister, and my parents did this for a birthday cruise, sailing on Friday and coming back on Monday. We've been on over 10 cruises. It was overall, a good cruise. The ship was beautiful, being renovated recently. You could tell, especially on the promenade, that it's been upgraded. With amenities such as starbucks, ice skating, the escape room, and laser tag, these definitely added to the value to sailing on the ship. Amenities: We did laser tag, and ice skating. Laser tag was ran really smoothly, with the staff recognizing that someone in our party's equipment wasn't properly working. They fixed this solution within seconds, which we were happy about, especially since on a previous sailing on the Liberty of the Seas, they didn't recognize that there was anything wrong, resulting in the points of someone in our party not being counted throughout the entire game. The game was around 10 minutes, and towards the end it does get fatiguing. However, it was a lot of fun. Ice skating, unfortunately, didn't go as well. There was only one opportunity to skate, which took place on the last night. The ladies that signed myself and one other person were extremely nice, and smoothly made sure that we signed all of the required papers in order to skate. However, the gentlemen that handed out the skates downstairs, was rude and dismissive, especially since one person in our parties' skates were the wrong size. Not responding when we said thank you, dismissive when I was confused over why I received a size 8 when I was a 9, with him saying "its fine", in a passive tone. All in all, skating was fun, however found it a little mundane since the music choices weren't up to par, and it went by too fast. We did not have time to do the flow rider, the sky pad, waterslides, or the escape room(cost extra). However, from the looks of it they all seemed like they would be a good time. Shows: Stage Shows: We went to the Welcome Aboard Show and the Adult Comedy. The Welcome Aboard Show was very entertaining and we enjoyed it. It was a variety show. The Adult Comedian was funny during the variety show, but only had us laughing a few times during the night time show. Gameshows: We went to the Finish The Lyric Gameshow and The Quest Gameshow. We left the Finish The Lyric Gameshow early. We thought the song choices consisted of too many oldies such as Elton John which is odd for a relatively young ship. The host running it though she seemed nice was rather boring and didn't do a good job at engaging the crowd. Also, most of the members in the game show were from one group which made it boring to watch. We've been to the Quest Gameshow on Liberty of the Seas last December, and the show on this ship did not impress as much. The show is not for the easily offended, but themes during this show were more inappropriate than the ones on Liberty. My group and I are not easily offended, but the inappropriate rounds were at least 70% of the show. This obviously varies from ship to ship, as I presume the cruise director has a large part in theming so we did not enjoy it as much. However, it is always the most exciting game show of the cruise so I will indefinitely continue to check them out. Coco Cay: Honestly, anyone looking for a cruise to go on should pick this ship just for the fact that it goes to their private island, CocoCay. It was outstanding, and as they stated numerous times throughout the cruise, the "perfect day". The amenities were remarkable, having multiple buffets so it was never too crowded with people. The buffet here was higher quality than the one on board, having many different options including as the standard choices like burgers and hotdogs, but also cuban sandwiches, portabello sandwiches, pre made salads, a taco bar, and plethora of desserts(including, as myself and my entire group stated, the best brownies they've ever ate) and fresh cookies. They also had a fruit station. In addition, having a long stretch of a beach area, a quieter beach area, and a beautiful fresh-water pool with a bar; it really made it perfect for accommodating to different groups based off different wants when you're vacationing. There was an abundance of seating, so it was good not feeling rushed to have to get there super early to get prime seating (only at the pool bar I would recommend heading there early if you want a seat near the dj and pool bar). The DJ that played at the pool was top knotch. He played current songs, and implemented multiple genres, and even line dances. It was a great mix and had us grooving the entire time. They also had the waterpark, ziplining, and the hot air balloon, which were an additional cost and we did not use. We had an amazing day at their private island, and cannot wait to return soon. Dining: The dining at the buffet food wasn't the best we've had, however, it got the job done if you wanted a snack throughout the day, such as hamburgers and hot dogs. However, during dinner time, especially if you got there early, there were a lot more options. There was even a fondue station, with a very friendly staff member handing us out whatever pastry/fruits we wanted with the chocolate fondue. The dining room was definitely an enjoyable experience, but not perfect. The waiter slightly rushed the experience, and we had him twice though we opted for My Time Dining, which can vary your seat/waiter nightly in the dining room. In addition, while there were no more guest to assist since the dining room was about to close, we still hadn't gotten our dessert yet but he was too busy cleaning up his other tables to get us our desserts, and even give us coffee(which we never got even upon request.) However, the food was always very good, and we never had to wait super long for our first two courses(appetizers and entrees). The only issue we had on the cruise was when my sister and I tried to order drinks for the first time on the ship at the pool bar during the sail away party, I guess our cards were pre printed before we were of legal drinking age(our birthday was a few days prior) so we were denied service despite the fact that we presented ID's and repeatedly told him we were of age. The manager, I believe, was very rude about the entire situation and kept repeating he could not serve us. All in all, we just went to guest services and got our cards reprinted so the indication that you are under age is removed. The gentlemen at guest services was very confused by the situation himself, clearly seeing that we were over the legal drinking age. I understand that it is an extremely big deal to not serve someone alcohol who is underage, but he lacked proper customer service communication. I'm sure that when an employee swipes your card your age is shown, so I wish he would've not treated us as if we were doing something wrong and communicated that we should go to guest services to get our cards fixed because there is an indication on your card stating you are underage because obviously we wouldn't be aware. Overall it was a nice getaway. It was a good crowd on the ship, with about 5% of the ship being rowdy, and too intoxicated for my liking. It was predominately older couples, families, and larger all middle aged adult groups. Nice ship, and with tiny improvements it could've been a 5/5 vacation. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise because it went out of port canaveral with good dates before moving my son back into college at ERAU. Royal Carribean is usually pricier so we had not tried it before. I found a sale on this cruise so we decided to go. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went out of port canaveral with good dates before moving my son back into college at ERAU. Royal Carribean is usually pricier so we had not tried it before. I found a sale on this cruise so we decided to go. We had been on Carnival Splendor and Norweigan Breakaway before this cruise. Our time to board was 1:30 but we arrived at 11 and were able to board with no wait. It was so easy! We were able to bring 12 bottles of soda and 2 bottles of wine onboard with our carry on. We got wine glasses from room service by calling dining. Once on board we went to the windjammer buffet which was good. The included water, lemonade and strawberry kiwi water was good. We drink a lot of bottled water and we're a little worried but it was fine. Our sea pass cards were attached to our cabin door. That's how we received them. We had an inside cabin on deck 7 for 4 of us: me, my husband teenaged daughter & son. The cabin was enough room for all of us. It had a small sofa ,1 large bed and 2 pull down beds for the kids. I liked the sofa since it added extra seating when there were 4 of us in there. There was plenty of storage and a small safe. I do have to say it was tight in there putting away our clothes with all 4 of us in there. We should have done it 2 at a time. Luggage fit under the bed once it was empty. There is a small safe and tv. Shower was tight as I assume most are on cruises. It was tube shape with a semi circular door. Difficult for women to shave legs. Otherwise good. Muster deck is on the back of cabin door. We were confused at first by looking at our sea pass card location. It did not tell you what deck. Muster drill was hot since they line you up in a small area. I wonder what happens if you don't show up? We were told we had to wait for everyone and it amazed me the people strolling in last minute not even looking like they were late while we were dripping with sweat from the heat. The ship is beautiful and service was excellent. You are able to go all the way to the front tip of the ship (like Titanic movie) on deck 4 where the helipad was located. We were also able to see into the bridge by going through the serenity adult pool area (deck 11 I think) go outside on the left side and to the front of the ship. They had the shades closed in the evening but you could see right in the window during the day. I did like that they left chairs out on the deck at night. When we went on the Norweigan Breakaway they put all the chairs away at night which left no place to sit. We saw the ice skating show and comedian juggler which was excellent. We did not care for the musical show. Reservations were not needed for the shows. They had mini golf, basketball court, pool, water, Slides and a rock climbing wall which were included. The padi (virtual reality thing) was included but we missed our reservation on the first day and couldn't get another time. Payment was required for the escape room and flow rider (fun to watch). They also had ice skating sessions during specific times (bring long pants & socks). There were 2 pools 1 for all and the other was adults only (16 & older). They also had these nice clam shell beds in certain areas (hard to tell if anyone was in there without going to the side & looking right in). There was included frozen yogurt on the pool deck (help yourself) which was good. Choices were vanilla, chocolate & swirl wth both. We don't care for Nassau (doesn't feel safe) so we stayed on the ship. Perfect day Coco Cay was great. We loved the little island. Best part is that there is no tender. You walk right off the ship but don't forget your sea pass card. You bring (sign out) towels from the ship and can exchange them if dry ones are needed. There were enough chairs and umbrellas for all. We didn't need to rush to the island to get chairs. They have trams but it is certainly walkable. They have some shopping and hair braiding. One section was not open yet. I believe it will open in December. There were 2 beaches. a lagoon area/beach with less waves a giant pool with a beautiful bridge and a swim up bar with music. There is also a splash zone for kids that was included. Beach was beautiful even though it rained a little while we were there. There were many jelly fish maybe because it was late August. Food was just ok. Same buffet type food as on the ship. They have a snack shack with mozzarella sticks, chicken sandwiches and funnel cakes that I thought was better than the buffet area. You had to pay extra for the water park: the water slides and wave pool. You even had to pay $18 for a floating mat if you wanted it. Had to pay for balloon ride, zip line, and any excursions (kayak, wave runner etc.) ( commercials are misleading- I originally thought everything was included) We did have a great time even without all the pay extra activities. Before the cruise I had read many reviews which mentioned bad food. I usually will read the reviews and ignore most of the negative comments since more people write a review to complain rather than say how great something is. I should have listened to the bad food reviews. We were very disappointed in the food. I have to mention that we did not partake in any of the restaurants that you pay extra for. I feel we are paying enough for the cruise and the included food should be good. Maybe not gourmet but Good enough that you enjoy going to the dining room. Unfortunately, just like many reviews said the food was not tasty. We did not enjoy it. We did go to the dining room every evening. The texture on much of the food was off and it just did not taste good. It was comparable (even worse) to dining room food on our Carnival Splendor cruise. When we went on the Norweigan Breakaway I have to say the food was good in the dining room. We looked forward to going to dinner. Breakaway even had home made crepes every evening in the buffet area made to order. The buffet on Mariner was a buffet - ok except for breakfast which was awful the first morning. It was also packed & difficult to find a table in the morning. The rest of the cruise we ate breakfast in the main dining room and it was better than the buffet but not great. If you go on Mariner eat breakfast in the dining room. Buffet hours were also limited so there were times when it was not open. Promenade cafe is open 24 hours so you can get sandwiches & pizza here. It is included. Also early bird coffee is available. Unfortunately, I would not go back on Mariner of the seas soley because of the food. Getting off the ship was a breeze. We had our luggage in the hallway outside our cabin before 11 the night before. They give you tags to put on it. Elevators are crowded/busy on the last day so I would not carry off my luggage. We had limited continental breakfast in the main dining room and then waited for our number to be called. Walked off the ship to the facial recognition, easily found our luggage which was separated by number and went to the car rental shuttle area. It was so easy. Beautiful ship but unfortunately terrible food. Maybe the people who participated in the upcharge restaurants enjoyed it? Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Family of 4 (2 kids ages 6-9), plus grandparents. We were excited to go on this ship after seeing so many fun videos on You Tube, as well as seeing pics of the renovated ship. The ship itself was nice, as was our stateroom. But, the ... Read More
Family of 4 (2 kids ages 6-9), plus grandparents. We were excited to go on this ship after seeing so many fun videos on You Tube, as well as seeing pics of the renovated ship. The ship itself was nice, as was our stateroom. But, the slides were closed half the time and the main pool was also closed most of Saturday (Nassau) as some one had thrown up in it. So basically, half the cruisers were trying to fit into the hot tubs, with kids jumping into them having splash battles. The Flow Rider was just ok, as it was basically just "boogie boarding " on a boat. (Our 9 yo said she was not given an option to "surf" even though she's done it before elsewhere). The food was terrible at the Windjammer and MDR. Honestly, it was akin to a 5th rate Vegas buffet. We had taken a cruise on Adventure of the Seas 2yrs ago and I recall that food being just average, but Mariners ' food was downright terrible - very bland, swimming in fat, same breakfast & lunch lineup all three days. MDR food was only a slight notch better than Windjammer and took so long to be served. Atrium was fine, although shopping not great, with limited selection. Entertainment was fine. Service was good, not great. Overall, this cruise was just barely average, especially with the price we paid. All 6 of us were disappointed. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this short cruise from Port Canaveral because a friend of mine was heading down there for job training, and we wanted a quick look at the newly renovated Coco Cay island. I'll break down my review into several parts: The ship, ... Read More
I chose this short cruise from Port Canaveral because a friend of mine was heading down there for job training, and we wanted a quick look at the newly renovated Coco Cay island. I'll break down my review into several parts: The ship, the cabin and steward, the food, the bars and service, and Coco Cay itself. We also went to Nassau but I think Nassau is terrible so I won't let that be part of my review. THE SHIP: As most of you know it's newly renovated and the Mariner now has some new features like an escape room, laser tag, the Bamboo room, etc. It's a beautiful ship with a wonderful Royal Promenade where I honestly spent too much time in the bars, haha! My friend and I did the escape room and liked that alot, I think it's worth the extra cost of about $20 per person. I also liked how the ship didn't feel too huge, and you got to see the same people wandering around regularly. I like to interact with folks so getting to know the people on even a short cruise for me is nice. THE CABIN AND STEWARD: We had an interior cabin on the 7th floor. I don't think I'll do that again, not because the cabin was bad, but because I don't think it every really got cool enough for my tastes, and at night in the absolutely darkness it feels like I'm in a prison cell. Some people however, love this cool dark atmosphere so if you enjoy such a thing, you do you. I didn't care for it after sailing on balcony's previously, and I missed that connection with the outdoors and light. However the price was right for a July sailing because otherwise the summer makes balcony travel nigh-unaffordable. Our steward, Ada, was honestly average. She did her job cleaning the room, she brought me extra pillows when I asked for them. Other than that, we barely saw her which was fine. My knock on her was the towel animals. We only got one towel animal on a 3-night sailing. This was my friend's first cruise, and that's the sort of thing I was wowed by on my first cruise. I feel like he got screwed out of an experience there and thus I was unhappy about that. THE FOOD: If I'm being honest, it was just okay. That's about it. I can't say the food was amazing or bad. It was just there, because we ate in the MDR every night, and also in the buffet during the day. I understand specialty dining is better, but I'm already paying a large amount of money just to cruise, I don't think I should have to pay extra to get good food too. I think we should pay extra to get EXCELLENT food. I'm fine with that. I'm not fine with paying to get okay food and having to pay money to get good or better. I have been on Norwegian and Carnival and I would say Royal Caribbean is probably 2nd in terms of complimentary food behind Carnival and ahead of Norwegian. Again, this is about complimentary food only, we didn't do the specialty dining for a 3 night cruise. THE BARS: I spend most of my time drinking in the Promenade so I'll review those bars. The Bamboo room is nice and never very crowded with really unique drinks. I do wish they would turn up the lights a little in there, because it's honestly too dark in my mind to hang out there forever. The Barnacle and barrel is nice as well, not very crowded, and a good table setup that extends out into the promenade itself without getting you in the way of the crowds going by. Donald at the bar was very good and remembered my name and my drink. He also made sure we had table service when we moved from the bar to sit down. My only knock on the place is that some of the chairs can be a little small if you've got bigger hips. Just be away of that and choose the chairs without the arms. Playmakers was my go-to bar after the first night, and it was because of the bartenders and the TV selection. The British Open was going on, so I could watch the golf, along with other cool sports going on, while getting the full bar experience. My two bartenders were Sasa and Al, both from the Phillipines. Al was on his 5th contract, Sasa was on his 16th. They remembered my name, remember my favorite drink, and would give me new ones repeatedly without having to ask for my card information over and over. They just knew it, and had it down pat. They were friendly, asked me questions, and talked about their lives on board and back home. Great guys, and I feel like they were the highlight of my trip. COCO CAY: The island is crazy. It's a theme park in the Caribbean, which I've never seen before. I'd love to go back when I was feeling better, however I spent most of the day in Captain Jacks nursing myself back to life after my first two days of cruising. The people at Captain Jacks were amazing, and the place was probably the coolest spot I could find on the island. Jimmy the guitar player basically played requests all day. He's good and interacts with the crowd. Bar service is again phenomal. They bring you drinks and if you're at a table you barely have to get up except to use the restrooms, which are right there. It was the perfect relaxation spot while my friend went running around to the water park. OVERALL: Overall I go on Cruises for the 5 things I listed, and I give them all stars when I do a review. You either get a star or you don't. I gave this cruise 3 stars because it was a great cruise, but it fell short in two of the areas, which was the food and the cabin. That's okay though because I would take another 3 star cruise any day of the week, and while this was a great cruise, I think they can do some of these things better and it will be an excellent cruise. I suggest going and trying out the Mariner of the Seas to see what you think! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My husband and I traveled with another couple for a long weekend getaway. The new updates they have added to the ship were great. The Escape room was a lot of fun and definitely different than what we were used to locally; which added to ... Read More
My husband and I traveled with another couple for a long weekend getaway. The new updates they have added to the ship were great. The Escape room was a lot of fun and definitely different than what we were used to locally; which added to the excitement. The water slides were great but closed at 6pm or 7pm every night. The pools and hot tubs other than the poolside movie pool closed by 7pm. Mini golf and the rock wall closed at 5pm or 6pm every night. This was a bit disappointing since it would have been nice to do some of these things outside of the normal kid hours. The food in the main dining room was great and we had wonderful choices with a good variety. The room service food was not edible and definitely not work the $7.95 charge they have now added to the service. We had the opportunity to eat at Izumi, it was amazing! Great experience and amazing food! The excursions of CocoCay were a bit disappointing because this was the first time they had two of their ships in port at the same time so you had very limited access to any excursions. Way too many people for one island when two ships are there at once. However, CocoCay was fun, clean and colorful. My biggest complaint was the number of smoking areas!!! It seemed like every where we went there was a smoking area! The casino, of course, was smoking but so were many outside locations. Even on whole side of the ship on the pool deck was smoking, and with the wind blowing it really meant the whole pool deck was smoking area. I found it disgusting for myself and travel companions but if my kids would have been traveling with us we definitely would have complained for the amount of smoke that was always present by the pool. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed our trip, with a few disappointments. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We are diamond members after loyally cruising with Royal Caribbean and wanted a weekend getaway for Mother's Day. Perk 1 - gone - Since you have to bid/gamble your money to get an upgrade, I guess RC did away with rewarding Diamond ... Read More
We are diamond members after loyally cruising with Royal Caribbean and wanted a weekend getaway for Mother's Day. Perk 1 - gone - Since you have to bid/gamble your money to get an upgrade, I guess RC did away with rewarding Diamond members with occasional upgrades. Perk 2 - gone - Viking Crown Lounge was packed 10 minutes after 5pm so there was no seating to be found. Food was on a kitchen counter behind a semi wall. You stood in a long line to order a drink at a table littered with bottles. This was supposed to be another Diamond member perk, free appetizers and drinks from 5 to 8pm at the Viking Lounge overlooking the boat/water. Perk 3 - gone - They no longer provide special blocked off seating for Diamond members at shows and events. Perk 4 - gone - Disembarking early. Used to be second off the ship only behind self assist and Pinnacle members. Our luggage tags said "39" on them making us the second to last to leave the ship! I'm so sad to say that I wasted all my time cruising on RC only to have no loyalty rewards after all this time. I was using a RC credit card to establish points for spending money on the cruises but now I'll have to switch to another type of card to accumulate points for a different cruise line. The stateroom attendant Ketut was amazing. Our room was always spotless and he was such a kind person and always smiling. That was about the best thing I can say about the cruise other than we really enjoyed the ice show. An older man fell going down the steep stairs on the way to a seat and had to be assisted out due to a severe head injury. Kind of put a damper on the event. The spa was good but I hate the pressure afterward to buy very expensive products. I can buy them on Amazon if I want them so why pressure me and make my relaxing spa time stressful? The food was good and now that they have arranged the setup differently it is not so crowded to pick out your meal. Still, never enough seating and I wonder if that's because people choose not to use the dining room anymore. Overall it was a slap in the face to start using other cruise lines. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Based on the title, you can see that we were on a Symphony of the Seas cruise which probably spoiled us a bit. The Mariner of the Seas was an ok boat but I wonder if they had at the "B" staff on this one vs the "A" ... Read More
Based on the title, you can see that we were on a Symphony of the Seas cruise which probably spoiled us a bit. The Mariner of the Seas was an ok boat but I wonder if they had at the "B" staff on this one vs the "A" staff on the Symphony boat. Not to say all the staff was bad - some were friendly but some just did not want to be there. We had suites on both boats but the suite perks are vastly different including the suite lounge and dining options. Surprisingly even though we had a suite - we got stuck with another family for dining at a table with an unfavorable location. Also - no free wifi on Mariner of the Seas. Other than a nicer room - I would not spend the extra money for suite perks. While the room was spacious - we had broken furniture and plumbing. The kids clubs on Mariner was lacking and big step down compared to Symphony and and Disney cruise line. The Sky Pad was not working and the pool area is tiny. The waterpark at CocoCay is not operational so be forewarned. Hit or miss on food. Surprisingly - the food at Windjammer was better than Chops or the Main Dining Hall - go figure. Service at the sports bar was terrible but everywhere else was good. Spend the extra money and hop on Symphony of the Seas - you will not be sorry. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This one did have a little drama, as we were just starting to doze off on night one and the ride got a little bumpy and noisy. Around 12:10, the Capt. came on the paging system to announce that the ship had stopped to rescue an individual ... Read More
This one did have a little drama, as we were just starting to doze off on night one and the ride got a little bumpy and noisy. Around 12:10, the Capt. came on the paging system to announce that the ship had stopped to rescue an individual who had gone overboard. The rescue was successful and we’d be underway post haste. The next couple of days the rumors were all over the place. Day two on Nassau was rainy in the morning, but turned out to be a nice day until it started raining and blowing around 7:00. We were just starting bingo around 9pm, when the Captain came on again to tell us that the weather would make us miss Coco Cay. The plan was to stay in Nassau through the evening the next day. Totally let all the energy out of the room! Guess what; here’s Cappy again, at 8:00 am on day three, to let us know that Coco Cay was back on and we’d be heading out at full speed. We got there at about 11:30 and had a very nice time. The new pier is open and made arrival and departure a piece of cake. How’s the food on the ship? Average. It’s a few days after the cruise while I’m writing this, and I wish that there’d been more fresh veggies and salads. I’m mad at myself for buying the dining package, as the food was just slightly better (good steaks at Chops, though). We felt like we had to use all the meals, and there’s really only two places to have dinner. With the small menus, it was repetitive and we missed out on the MDR. I’m going to talk about the CocaCola Freestyle machines on the Mariner. I found all four and none were right, the mix being off on every one of them. One just stopped working after day one. I’d end up going to the bars for Diet Coke and they were serving out of 2 liters, instead of the gun, for some reason. The entertainment on Mariner is a mixed bag. The lounge acts were all good, but the show band and the big shows in the theater were dreadful. My girlfriend and I both thought that the concepts behind the shows were dumb and the pop songs were wedged in there with some dopey high concept. The band seemed poorly rehearsed and one show had the backing tracks for the wrong song; total Ashley Simpson moment. The ice shows are incredible, though. Service was adequate everywhere. We never had the same servers in the specialty restaurants and only saw our cabin attendant in passing. Honestly, the one guy at Starbucks was super helpful. We did not do the FlowRider, but watched the action there while we were pulling into Coco Cay. The guys running it were great with the kids that they were interacting with. Getting on and off Mariner at Miami is super easy. Never once was there a line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We booked this cruise for the dates. It fit in our budget, and was similar to a cruise we took 2 years ago. The biggest disappointment was the change of ports a few weeks out. The cancellation of Coco Cay was a let-down to my children, ... Read More
We booked this cruise for the dates. It fit in our budget, and was similar to a cruise we took 2 years ago. The biggest disappointment was the change of ports a few weeks out. The cancellation of Coco Cay was a let-down to my children, who were looking forward to the Cabana we had booked, and to snorkeling around the shipwreck/plane wrecks. The embarkation at the Crown of Miami was outstanding. We showed up around 11 and were on the ship in less than 10 minutes. Multiple lines were open and the new system of delivering cards to the rooms simplifies the process. Using my phone as a sea pass at the bar for the first hour or two was not a problem. We got a spot by the pool, and the kids enjoyed the hot tubs and pools until the rooms were ready. The rooms (we had adjoining interior rooms) were good. We have shared a room in the past, and the deal we got actually made it cheaper to have 2 rooms this time. It was nice having 2 bathrooms and a separate room for the kids, who like to get up a little earlier than we do. We didn't often see the cabin steward(ess), but she did a great job of keeping the room clean and had several towel animals, saving the hanging monkey for the last night. She was also quick in responding to any requests we made. Dining was very good. Our waitress (Yula) was very accommodating and got to know my sons' tastes very quickly, having a plate of kiwi ready on the table by the last night. The food in the main dining room was quite good. I often ordered 2 appetizers, not being able to choose. My 10-year old ordered off of the adult menu, and enjoyed dinner every night. My 8-year old ordered the appetizer off of the adult menu, and the rest off of the kids' menu. His dinner never changed, and the waitress asked if he wanted the same thing by the third night. We always ate breakfast at the Windjammer, which was well-stocked and what you would expect. Among my onboard complaints was dealing with drinks. The ship started running out of mint on the second day of the trip. Certain bars stopped making mojitos. By the end of the third day, there were none being served onboard at all. For a short cruise, I was surprised. We also tried to order a specialty drink on the menu at one of the bars (it may have been a habanero daiquiri) on the first day, and they didn't have the ingredients. The bars often ran out of the stuff for various other daiquiris. Finally, the pop machines were down more than they were up across the entire ship. Most of the machines in the Windjammer were down, one of the 2 machines on deck 5 was down. Our port time in Nassau was very good. The weather co-operated and the water wasn't rough. We didn't do a ship-board excursion, but got a day pass at a local hotel. The whole family really liked it. We are not a big fan of the Grand Bahama port, as it is very industrial. We booked a family beach excursion, and it was tied to several other excursions (including an all-inclusive). There were enough of us that it took several buses to get us all to the beach. The main problem was getting everyone into lines to get on the bus. It seemed very disorganized. Getting back was also fairly disorganized, but this was not the fault of the cruise line. The main problem at the beach club was trying to find a chair. As we were the second ship in port that day, the Carnival passengers were already there when we arrived, and we were the second or third bus, so we got one chair for the 4 of us. After a few hours, the Carnival passengers left (it was a half-day excursion), so we all got chairs for the last hour, and the beach was much less crowded. I will also mention that the loyalty desk was very difficult to find. I finally looked for them on the last day, during the posted hours, but there was nobody at the desk. I was hoping to get my kids an account, as they cruised before, but didn't have the same status as us, but we never got that taken care of onboard. Lastly, I must mention that there was a college party onboard. We heard that there were a thousand college students on the ship. My boys didn't seem to notice too much that anything was different, but the bathing suits were a little smaller than perhaps one might want on a family cruise. There was an upside to the number of college kids on board. On our only sea day, getting a deck chair was easy, even at around 10 in the morning, as most of the college kids were still sleeping. In all honesty, the lines at the pool bars were longer than normal, but other than that, the college parties didn't bother us, though someone bashed into our kids' door at 3am one morning on the way past. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Overall, the ship was clean and the staff was friendly. We stayed in a junior suite room and it was very spacious. We traveled with 2 little ones, ages 1 and 3. We were under the impression that there would be things for them to do. This ... Read More
Overall, the ship was clean and the staff was friendly. We stayed in a junior suite room and it was very spacious. We traveled with 2 little ones, ages 1 and 3. We were under the impression that there would be things for them to do. This is not a family friendly ship. My son who is 3, was not able to attend the aquanauts because he is potty trained but not able to get on the potty by himself and needs assistance. He has to go into the infant room with our daughter. We also weren’t allowed to take our 1 year old in the pool because she isn’t potty trained. They had no other kid friendly pools or waterslides for them. Perfect for adults but not for kids. The childcare was awesome and the staff were super friendly! My only complaint is the hours of operation. They are only open a few hours in the morning and 6-12pm. They had no afternoon hours which I wish we knew prior to booking this ship. We did a shore excursion to the Atlantis which we paid a lot of money for. Getting off the ship to head to the Atlantis was a disaster. We had to wait in a long line with 2 little kids to get on buses over to the resort. They close the kid water playground at 12 and 3 for 15-minute cleaning. Some kid pooped in the pool and my son had only 10 minutes of play the whole time we were there because they closed it down for the day. The aquarium was awesome! Getting on and off the ship was pretty easy. My husband and I took advantage of getting massage at the spa. It was not what I expected. It looked worn down and they did not have any pools, saunas, ect. The services were very pricey for what we received. My actual massage was great. The therapist took me back 11 minutes late and ended 8 minutes early leaving me with a 40-45 minute service that was suppose to be 50 minutes. I complained to the manager who argued with me that her therapist said the service was 50 minutes. She told me that my phone time was wrong. I told her I checked the time as my husband went back on time and finished about 10 minutes after me. She chalked it up to his therapist being a “snail” and “sooooo slow”. She offered my 10% off my service but I never received a refund. Overall, the ship is nice, staff is great and food was awesome. I would NOT take a family on this cruise. For couples, young people or single people only. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I have mixed reviews for the Royal App. It worked ok, but sometimes had to revert to full website. Did not care for the behind the scenes accouning. Several members of my party (12) had on going issues with there account that brought us ... Read More
I have mixed reviews for the Royal App. It worked ok, but sometimes had to revert to full website. Did not care for the behind the scenes accouning. Several members of my party (12) had on going issues with there account that brought us having to go to guest services. I purchased a few things from prior to the cruise. It eas easy to use when it was available. The Key: I purchased, not sure it was worth for this trip. This is a small ship and Royal Caribbean was able to get all passengers easily (The Key was not needed here) For me I did like having my carry on brought to my room, i kept a bag with meds and change if clothes. ( liked this perk). Lunch at Chops Grill was delicious (liked this perk). We were able to get to our rooms at 1pm. Was cruising with the girls. We did have some with cabins together. Our Cabin Steward was able to open the partitions between pur balconies. LOVED that. Another Key Perk was VIP seating for shows. I did get to the shows, and the shows were great, but no need fir VIP seating. I was able to get seats for 12 easily with out. Scheduled times for rock wall, sky pad and Flow Rider. I did not use, but it was nice to have times if I wanted to utilize. Excursions: Pearl Island lunch and snorkel. Was awesome!! Lunch eas good snorkeling was fun. Coco Cay: We got a Bungalow, we had five. It was comfortable, staff was good. Area was quiet. Things I didn't like, food, lack of swimming area by the bungalows. To much plant life with Jellyfish i got 2 minor stings while floating on mat above plant life. Dining: breakfast in Windjammer was pretty good. Final day breakfast in Dining room was very good! Biggest issue I had was coffee was awful. They used non dairy cream half and half was VERY hard to come by. Took an officer to get. Starbucks is there with half and half. I am not a fan of Starbucks. Did not have lunch on board. Lunch on private island for the bungalows was not that great. Dining room dinners: every night was great. Food was delicious, staff as in other areas VERY good. Spa: had a massage, and had my hair done. Both were good, but can I say Upsell!! I have been on 4 cruise lines, and have to say Royal Caribbean is the worst for upselling enough so that i will not choose Royal Caribbean to cruise on unless it is because friends are going. I will try to change there minds. Like embarkation, debarkation was quick and easy after a delicious breakfast in the dining room for "Key Members ". Summary: Great boat, great Cabin, great staff, food was very good, Royal Caribbean coffee awful ( of course all is a personal opinion). Pearl Island was worth it. Bungalows not if you lume to swim. The Key: not worth for me in this ship. Happy cruising! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Embarkation was a very simple and quick process. The new terminal for Royal Caribbean is amazing and makes the process of getting on the ship very easy The disembarkation also went very smoothly. The renovations are a nice addition ... Read More
Embarkation was a very simple and quick process. The new terminal for Royal Caribbean is amazing and makes the process of getting on the ship very easy The disembarkation also went very smoothly. The renovations are a nice addition to the ship. The interior was very pretty. It does not appear that the staterooms have been renovated yet. Even without the cabin renovations, our stateroom was very nice. Our dining experiences in the main dining room were excellent. Our head waiter, Bobby, was so attentive and responsive to all of our needs. He went above and beyond to make sure we had what we wanted. We took advantage of eating in the main dining room for breakfast and dinner every day and lunch on one day. I enjoy this much more than having to fight the crowds at the buffet in the Windjammer. Our day at the private island, Cococay was canceled due to safety precautions because of high winds. Due to this we spent the entire 2nd evening and next day docked in Nassau. Not only was it disappointing not getting to go to the beach, it was awful just staying stationary at the Nassau port for that long. I for one love the movement of cruising and we did not get this for the majority of our cruise. I totally understand canceling Cococay due to safety reasons; however I do feel like we could have cruised somewhere even if it was just a second day at Sea rather than sit in Nassau for another day. Most people did not get off the ship the 2nd day in Nassau since they had already done that the previous day. I did not book shore excursions in Nassau as I have been there several times on other Cruise Lines. We did get off the ship and walk around the town area as well as the Straw Market. The ship was inundated with a very large number of teenage girls from Latin America who were aboard celebrating becoming the age of 15. These girls we're loud and rude at times and gathered in large crowds while blocking entrances into certain venues on the ship. They did not appear to have chaperones around them at all or at least any time when I saw them. Lack of clothing that these girls wore was also very unappealing to the majority of adults on the ship. This was only my second time cruising on a Royal Caribbean ship. On my first adventure with Royal Caribbean, there were a thousand college-age students aboard. They students were drunk the majority of the day and we're very noisy and disruptive to every activity. I gave Royal Caribbean another chance by booking this cruise and again met up with a large number of young people. I think they should look at their policy of allowing large groups of people under the age of 21 on their ships. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I just don't care much for cruises. I will say getting on and off the ship was way more easy than I have ever experienced. The ship was clean and fresh. The food lacked luster and the wait staff was never seen. Also in the casino, you ... Read More
I just don't care much for cruises. I will say getting on and off the ship was way more easy than I have ever experienced. The ship was clean and fresh. The food lacked luster and the wait staff was never seen. Also in the casino, you always had to leave your table or machine and get your own drink only to return and someone else was sitting in your spot. The entertainment started too late making it where you had to stay up till one or two in the morning. It is easier to take the stairs then to wait on an elevator. They close off the pool a little too early. The state rooms were great and the stewards were amazing. Coco Cay was okay and relaxing. I think when they finish the construction it will be a jewel. Swimming with the pigs was not as advertised. They are pined up and the water is knee deep. Not what I was expecting at all. Nassau was just like Jamaica. Very aggressive people trying to sell you drugs and a rent you a scooter. They will also grab you and try to get you to come into the shops. I will not be returning there unless I went to another island. A cruise is a cruise but for some reason this one fell a little below the ones I have been on before. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Me and the Ms. decided to take our 4 kids with us on our first cruise ever to Costa maya and cozumel. Me and her have been to resorts on the carribean beaches of mexico twice and loved every minute. We decided on a cruise with our kids due ... Read More
Me and the Ms. decided to take our 4 kids with us on our first cruise ever to Costa maya and cozumel. Me and her have been to resorts on the carribean beaches of mexico twice and loved every minute. We decided on a cruise with our kids due to cost and more entertainment. Be advised that all i have to compare with is my stays at El Cid and Catalonia Royal Tulum. I did not think the staff was nearly as friendly on the ship as the resorts. This excludes 2 waiters we had at dinner (Worwit and Milena) who were easily the best servers of my life. The 5 stars on "dining" is solely due to them. The rest seemed grumpy and were not helpful at all. The ship was amazing, though my kids were too small for the funnest attractions (flowrider for 9 and 10 year old and water slides and skypad for 4 year old). Food at dinner was great, fun menu with some new things to try. Rest was average. It was hard to find a table for 6 at all meals other than dinner when our table was reserved. We felt the ship was overly crowded compared to resorts, which felt much more relaxing to us. All though the cruise was booked as "all-inclusive", we felt Royal Carib try to nickel and dime you where they can. We never had anybody explain to us how things worked and spent the majority of the 5 days trying to figure that out. We had a lot of fun, i cant deny that. But next time i will spend more money on a resort where staff is legitimately friendly and we dont feel so crowded. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was the 17th cruise for my wife and I, and elevated us to platinum status in the RCI rewards program. We drove to the cruise terminal the day of sailing so I can’t provide any feedback for area hotels or excursions in Miami. The ... Read More
This was the 17th cruise for my wife and I, and elevated us to platinum status in the RCI rewards program. We drove to the cruise terminal the day of sailing so I can’t provide any feedback for area hotels or excursions in Miami. The new RCI terminal in Miami is beautiful though, and getting around inside was a breeze. Much better than before! We sailed with another couple, no kids. Embarkation took less than 10 minutes with the help of RCIs options to sign all documents/waivers prior to embarkation day, provide photographs, and use the app to access SetSail passes. We highly recommend passengers take advantage of this! As is well known, Mariner recently completed a very expensive refurbishment. The ships public spaces looked absolutely beautiful. Of special note is the main dining room; the new décor and colors made it one of the nicest MDRs we’ve ever been in. The rest of the ship, especially the Royal Promenade, also looked wonderful. My wife put it best when she said that after the refurbishment, the Mariner looks and feels like a smaller version of the Oasis class. And she hit the nail right on the head. Mariner provides a small taste of what her big sisters offer. We attended several of the onboard activities. The sail away party was well done, though fairly typical. Loud upbeat music with drinks flowing. We made appearances at several trivia events (and ly won one of them). On the final night we attended the silent disco and the 80s party that followed. For those unfamiliar, silent disco is where attendees wear headphones and have the options of listening to different stations featuring different music styles. This was a first for our traveling companions, and they enjoyed it as much as we did. The 80s party in the promenade featured dancing, as well as iconic 80s costumes. A good time was had by all. We also attended the Escape Room. This was our second aboard a RCI ship (first was on Harmony). The experience was certainly challenging, and I think everyone had a good time. We managed to solve all the puzzles with just a few minutes remaining (thanks to some direction provided by the staff). Worth the extra charge if you enjoy these types of activities. My wife and I also participated in the Sky Pad. This is the large glowing sphere on the top deck. Inside you’ll find four trampolines with bungee cords suspended above each. Participants are strapped in to the cords while standing on the trampolines. Each is also fitted with a virtual reality helmet (optional). The VR helmet displays different games that react to your jumping. It was a fun and unique experience. We recommend it but do your best to make a reservation. The lines were long, and we wouldn’t have made it without the time slot. In addition, we attended the battle of the sexes game in one of the lounges. A typical group activity featuring passengers competing in goofy and somewhat embarrassing games. Fun to watch or participate in. In regards to service, we were not disappointed. Our cabin steward always greeted us with a smile and had our room well stocked with towels and kept clean. Dining staff, bartenders, and just about everyone else we interacted with asked how our vacation was going and were friendly and professional. Our cruise brought us to CoCo Cay and Nassau. CoCo Cay is RCI’s private island, and in a few months will complete a massive overhaul. Until complete, ships calling here are still tendering off, so plan for the additional time for this process. The island itself is beautiful and easy to navigate. Also a nice touch is those passengers with a drink package can use it on the island. In CoCo Cay we opted for the Swimming with the Pigs excursion. After a short boat ride to a neighboring smaller island, we entered an enclosed beach that housed, well, pigs. These animals are domesticated and are used to being around people. During our hour in the water, we were able to feed them apple slices and pet them as they swam around us. The staff took pictures for us (cameras are not allowed in the water with the animals). This was a first for us, so we enjoyed the event. However, realistically speaking, we paid $100 to feed pigs. Some would call that rather silly. In Nassau we didn’t do an excursion. We just strolled the shops and stopped for a beer at the Bearded Clam. It’s a small bar that offers local beers (try the Sands Raddler, a fantastic grapefruit beer) and food. The conch fritters were delicious! After that we returned to the ship. We were in cabin 8119, an interior cabin. In short, a standard interior cabin with enough (but not plenty) of storage space. While it suited our three day trip, I didn’t get the impression a lot of time was spent updating these cabins. There were no outlets near the bed (which you had to crawl onto), and no USB outlets. Our shower also leaked, despite the glass doors. I love the RCI doors for cabin showers, which are so much better than the curtains other lines have. However, when they leak as ours did you get just as much water all over the bathroom floor. We did not inform the staff about the issue. In regards to dining, we found the food to be standard fair. One night the MDR there were two steak options. We found it rather funny that both meals were identical except for mushroom sauce on one. Even the sides were the same! Also of note was the much longer time it takes to eat. We chose the My Time Dining option, and usually showed up around 5:30 or 6. Despite the fact that the MDR isn’t too busy at this time and there were only four at our table, dinner took us nearly two hours. There was a small note to expect this on the Cruise Planner. Two hours is too much time! 30 minutes between courses is a bit excessive, and made us skip the MDR the final night. If we find this to be typical on our next RCI cruise (Symphony OTS in February), this may cause us to eat elsewhere. We did have lunch on day three at the Dog House, a hot dog eatery on the pool deck. The dogs were delicious and there was practically no line. A great option apart from the buffet for lunch. The Windjammer (buffet restaurant) was well stocked and had a variety of foods that we found to be perfectly acceptable. It was also kept very clean and we never had trouble finding seating. Also not to miss is the Bamboo Room on the Promenade. The drinks were great (watch out for the higher cost. Drink packages only cover up to a certain dollar amount, and several of the featured drinks were cost more), and the atmosphere was fun. Think Tiki Bar with associated décor and themed drinks. Our biggest disappointment for this cruise was the entertainment. We typically make it a point to see all the shows while on cruises, and RCI has some excellent offerings. However, the only show we saw this cruise was the ice skating show on the first night. The reason being was that all the other shows (headliner, comedians, etc) all started after 10 PM. While we do stay up later on vacation, these times either conflicted with other activities or was just too late after a day in the sun and partaking in adult beverages. And as in the past the ice skating show, despite talented skaters, was just weird. The story, if there was one, made absolutely no sense. If you enjoy production shows or similar performers, expect to stay up late and have to choose between a show or something else. Disembarkation was well organized and ran smoothly. From the time we joined the line (we always carry our luggage off) to the time we were loading it into the car took about 25 minutes. To summarize, Mariner provided a great weekend getaway. The refurbishment seems to have done the public areas justice, as the ship is beautiful. Service was at the level expected by prior cruises and RCI standards. Food despite the wait in the MDR, ranged from acceptable to quite good. We enjoyed the activities, but missed the opportunity to enjoy the super late starting shows. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The title says it all. The ship has a lot to offer, especially for children and teens.There is bungy jumping, rope climbing, laser tag, escape room, ice shows, and more. Only problem with all of those is that you must sign up as ... Read More
The title says it all. The ship has a lot to offer, especially for children and teens.There is bungy jumping, rope climbing, laser tag, escape room, ice shows, and more. Only problem with all of those is that you must sign up as operation hours are not as long as needed and slots fill up fast, so make your way to guest services early to sign up, or you lose out. My grandson was only able to do rock climbing because we just showed up and was lucky to find a space. So, sign up early. My biggest complaint was that my room was very moldy, dated, and dirty. I asked them to cover the couch with a clean sheet as the stains were disgusting. I have mold allergies and had to keep the balcony door open at all times in order to stay in the room. The staff tried to clean, but the problem was beyond cleaning and new carpets and couches may have helped to eliminate the problem. So much money spent on the other parts of the ship, but impossible to enjoy ones cruise when staying in a dirty smelly room. I traveled with family and they occupied two other cabins. Neither was a bad as mine, but both had slight mold odor, both had carpets and couches that needed cleaning. No, needed replacement. Very unpleasant for this traveler. The dining experience on this ship was above average. I usually try the specialty options at least once, but we were traveling with young children and did not do so on this cruise. The main dining room was above the norm and the staff went 'overboard' to please the various dietary needs of our group. The Ice show on this ship is terrific however, the other entertainment offered was not up to the standards of other short cruises we have taken. So that was a disappointment as well. This cruise line has a private Island day, and that was nice and as expected. The other stop is Nassau, and has the typical available options. Again, sign up early if interested in an excursion. We were able to get our third choice, and did the submarine ride which the children enjoyed. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Left out of Miami on Dec 28. This was a family cruise (4 people over 50, 3 in their 20s/30s, and 1 5 YO), so we had two balconies next to each other (6388 and 6390), as well as a new interior room. Embarkation: EASY. The new terminal is ... Read More
Left out of Miami on Dec 28. This was a family cruise (4 people over 50, 3 in their 20s/30s, and 1 5 YO), so we had two balconies next to each other (6388 and 6390), as well as a new interior room. Embarkation: EASY. The new terminal is great. Fast, attentive, wonderful. Disembarkation: Same. We did self assist and left at 8:30 after breakfast. Ship: while the updates are nice, they have NOT made their way to the staterooms. The overhaul makes the ship look newish, which is good. Dining rooms look lovely. Service: not one attendant on this ship smiled or seemed to care about our experience. We actively had some give us dirty looks (when returning towels or not ordering a drink by the pool). We had one server kick over our drink, look down, and then leave. By far the most depressing service I've ever had on a cruise. Cabins: We had the 6th deck aft balconies that have the deck in front. No one ever goes on them, so we didn't mind that "obstruction" at all. Room was a decent size, balcony a great size. HOWEVER — the room was in poor shape. The handles to the balcony were covered in tape and paint, it was SO HARD and LOUD to open the balcony door, the balcony was always dirty, the carpets were stained, all of the doors jiggled constantly, there are only two outlets in the room, one in the bathroom (bring an international adapter to add one more). Bed was rock solid (I didn't mind this).Remote never worked, etc. The INTERIOR room was brand new and much nicer (but nothing great, honestly). Food/drink: good: Dinner in the main dining room was lovely. Well prepared, tasty, and included. We didn't do specialty dining due to both cost and lackluster menus. We should have done lunch (see below), but those restaurants were still too expensive and completely empty at lunch, leaving the few diners to look sad and alone. bad: The windjammer has no change in menu for breakfast or lunch. I despised it by day 2. Very little was healthy for lunch, and there isn't even a basic vinaigrette for salad. I'm not a picky eater, so this was really disappointing. All I ever want to drink is plain soda water, which is usually available on the ship's water machines. On Mariner you don't get to pour your own beverage, so I was pretty sad. Activities: We really did enjoy laser tag! Free is the right price for it, and it was a blast. Sky pad was fun, too. Not worth a long wait, though. Escape room seemed like a good idea, but booking was a pain and we ended up not doing it due to that and the $20 pp fee. Pools were FREEZING. Hot tubs were packed and warm :). The solarium was the best for adults, but still FREEZING cold pools. My Alaska cruises were warmer... Kids camp/adventure ocean: what a disappointment. There were enough kids to do fun activities, but each day they just watched tv or colored on their own. Our kid LOVES kids camp so she didn't mind too much, but she said she was bored after two hours. She also was COVERED in marker — her clothing, everything. No one told us, and there were at least two other kids drawing all over her. The counselors (except one) never smiled or talked to my kid at drop off, despite her trying to make conversation. Overall this may be the cruise that makes us stop taking Royal Caribbean. I've usually been happy, but this was below expectations for this price point. We have recently had some lovely cruises on NCL and we'll be using them next time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
The ship itself was really great with lots of activities but organization needs improvements. There were many events that got cancelled at the last minute even after staff made people wait for over an hour. And there were events that never ... Read More
The ship itself was really great with lots of activities but organization needs improvements. There were many events that got cancelled at the last minute even after staff made people wait for over an hour. And there were events that never took place. Had a very nice experience with the head cabin crew and the dining crew but terrible experience with the staff working at the Cafe Promenade. Especially, the lady working behind the pizza area. There were 2 lines. One for pizza and one for sandwiches. I was one of the first ones in line to get sandwiches but she decides to tell us that she will be serving the pizza line first rather than rotating. After waiting for over 15 min. finally another lady shows up and starts serving the sandwich line. After getting my food, I also wanted some dessert where there was no one serving so I asked the pizza lady kindly if I can get some dessert and she totally ignored me. I don't really make complaints but this was not acceptable. BTW, no one at the Cafe Promenade smiles!!! Enjoyed the dining room food but didn't care much for the variety of the Windjammer buffet food. Saw 4 different shows. Enjoyed ice skating, comedy, and Whitney Houston tribute was great. On our previous cruises, every staff smiled and were kind. Not just the ones that are assigned to the specifics which I found it to be on this cruise. Will try RC one more time. Overall, great ship with lot's of fun activities but service is what counts for our family of six. Read Less
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
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
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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I chose to cruise on Mariner of the Seas as a quick weekend getaway and since it was fresh out of dry dock I figured what better time to go, also I just earned my Diamond Plus status after completing a cruise on Symphony in April so I was ... Read More
I chose to cruise on Mariner of the Seas as a quick weekend getaway and since it was fresh out of dry dock I figured what better time to go, also I just earned my Diamond Plus status after completing a cruise on Symphony in April so I was excited to back on another cruise as a Diamond Plus member. This was my first time on a short cruise, normally we do 7 days. For those of you who don't Mariner just came out of a $120 million dollar dry dock where a number of things were redone and added. From arrival at the pier the shipped locked beautiful from the outside and the new public spaces were wonderful but the minute we got to our balcony cabin it was clear that the state rooms were untouched during this dry dock The staterooms looked dated and are in need of repair. The bathroom had a strong order coming from the toilet from the minute we entered the room, the shower had holes in the fiberglass that had been patched with epoxy. The balcony door should signs of rust on the frame and in the tracks, and because of this you had to exert so much force in order to open the door, on the plus side opening balcony door a few times caused me to exert so much energy I didn't feel bad for eating as much.. Some of the highlights of the ship for me were the Bamboo Room Juan and Julia know their tiki drinks. The new pool area and the sports deck were lots of fun and well thought out. Jamie's Italian was excellent, great service and excellent food. Johnny Rockets was also great! Some of the lows first and foremost was the loyalty ambassador. I went to see her because I did not receive any of my perks after achieving Diamond Plus and how someone so uncaring and rude is in charge of customer loyalty is beyond me. Another low was Chops Grille, Chops has always been a long time favorite for me on Royal but this time I left a little disappointed, the layout of it on Mariner feels very crowded and the tables are on top of each other. Also my 16 oz ribeye ended up being about 8 oz once I cut away all the fat, but the chocolate cake dessert was excellent. Overall my weekend getaway on Mariner was nice but it was the worst cruise to take after coming off Symphony in April, I loved every minute of Symphony but Mariner left me wanting more! 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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