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This is my first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We travel in a group of 8 (extended family) with 2 connecting rooms. We took the Spice of South East Asia cruise on 27 Feb 2015 that took us to Port Klang, Penang and Phuket for a total of 6 days and 5 nights. The ship is sailing with 1900 passengers (not full load). It pays to sail on non-peak period. The embarkation is pretty fast, we reached the Marina Bay Cruise Center at around 11AM and we managed to board the ship at around 12PM. There is no queue at the check-in and we waited for 15 mins for our colour to be called. After our lunch in Windjammer, we went to our cabins that are ready at 1PM. Our 5 luggage arrived in 3 different timing with the latest arriving around 4PM. Went to MDR to change our Dinner timing from 8:15 to 5:45 and sign up the kids for Adventure Ocean (Our kids never went though, they are happy to stay with the adults. In any case, the nursery for kids under 3 is always closed whenever we wanted to use their service) The wife went for ice skating in the evening (the others attended the welcome aboard show). Best time to go coz there is no queue. Just make sure you wear long pants and socks. When we went on the 5th day (seaday), it was crowded with long queues. We did not purchase any drink package. Only time I drank is when I purchased the drink of the day because I wanted to keep the lovely souvenir glass (ask the server for a new clean glass). The food in Windjammer are generally good even though they always serve the same thing for breakfast (I got bored of the food by the end of the cruise). The have live omelet station during breakfast and live noodle station for dinner. They provide plain water, ice tea (plain, no sugar), lemonade and strawberry Kiwi drink (not all drink station have this), hot water for tea and coffee for lunch and dinner. For breakfast they have plain water, orange Juice, apple juice, hot water for tea and coffee. The food in MDR are generally fine with the highlight being the NY Strip Steak they serve on day#3. They serve excellent desert that you cannot get in Windjammer (love their BBB creme brulee and the souffle they serve on day#2). I find the service to be slow and it is a challenge because my kids get impatient and we have to take turn to bring them for a walk while waiting for the food to be served. Extremely limited kids menu btw, We ended up with fries and chicken finger most days. We always arrived on time in ports and the tender at Phuket is excellent. I went to collect the tender ticket at 7:30 AM but in the end did not need them coz when we went to take the tender boat at 9:30 AM there is no queue and we went straight to the tender boat. The boat is tendered at Kalim beach instead of Patong beach. We only get to experience the full crowd on the seaday (5th day). There is a poolside BBQ for lunch (11:30 AM) and it makes deciding on where to eat even more difficult (This is also the only day that the MDR is open for lunch and I have heard so much about their tutti fruity salad bar). In the end we went for the BBQ lunch (they run out of food around 1 PM) but unable to find a place to seat coz the windjammer and poolside tables are all taken so we took our lunch in our room balcony. We tried the swimming pool on the 2nd and 5th day. The pools used salt water except for the jacuzzi. I wish they have a small water playground for my little one to play (she is still on diaper). We also purchased the unlimited photo package before the cruise for USD$150. This turn out to be a good deal because there are plenty of oppotunity to take photo especially during formal night (2nd day). we also bring the kids to take photo with the dreamworks characters. In the end we got around 140 photos to keep. We got some very nice family potraits to remember the trip. I must admit that no matter how much I enjoyed the cruise, the itineraries out of Singapore are pretty limited. Maybe next time I will try their cruises elsewhere. Would love to try Quantum of the Seas that will be based in Shanghai, China for the 2nd half of the year.

Good first experience with Royal Caribbean

Mariner of the Seas Cruise Review by Invigo79

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2015
  • Destination: Asia
This is my first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We travel in a group of 8 (extended family) with 2 connecting rooms. We took the Spice of South East Asia cruise on 27 Feb 2015 that took us to Port Klang, Penang and Phuket for a total of 6 days and 5 nights. The ship is sailing with 1900 passengers (not full load). It pays to sail on non-peak period.
The embarkation is pretty fast, we reached the Marina Bay Cruise Center at around 11AM and we managed to board the ship at around 12PM. There is no queue at the check-in and we waited for 15 mins for our colour to be called.
After our lunch in Windjammer, we went to our cabins that are ready at 1PM. Our 5 luggage arrived in 3 different timing with the latest arriving around 4PM.
Went to MDR to change our Dinner timing from 8:15 to 5:45 and sign up the kids for Adventure Ocean (Our kids never went though, they are happy to stay with the adults. In any case, the nursery for kids under 3 is always closed whenever we wanted to use their service)
The wife went for ice skating in the evening (the others attended the welcome aboard show). Best time to go coz there is no queue. Just make sure you wear long pants and socks. When we went on the 5th day (seaday), it was crowded with long queues.
We did not purchase any drink package. Only time I drank is when I purchased the drink of the day because I wanted to keep the lovely souvenir glass (ask the server for a new clean glass).
The food in Windjammer are generally good even though they always serve the same thing for breakfast (I got bored of the food by the end of the cruise). The have live omelet station during breakfast and live noodle station for dinner. They provide plain water, ice tea (plain, no sugar), lemonade and strawberry Kiwi drink (not all drink station have this), hot water for tea and coffee for lunch and dinner. For breakfast they have plain water, orange Juice, apple juice, hot water for tea and coffee.
The food in MDR are generally fine with the highlight being the NY Strip Steak they serve on day#3. They serve excellent desert that you cannot get in Windjammer (love their BBB creme brulee and the souffle they serve on day#2). I find the service to be slow and it is a challenge because my kids get impatient and we have to take turn to bring them for a walk while waiting for the food to be served. Extremely limited kids menu btw, We ended up with fries and chicken finger most days.
We always arrived on time in ports and the tender at Phuket is excellent. I went to collect the tender ticket at 7:30 AM but in the end did not need them coz when we went to take the tender boat at 9:30 AM there is no queue and we went straight to the tender boat. The boat is tendered at Kalim beach instead of Patong beach.
We only get to experience the full crowd on the seaday (5th day). There is a poolside BBQ for lunch (11:30 AM) and it makes deciding on where to eat even more difficult (This is also the only day that the MDR is open for lunch and I have heard so much about their tutti fruity salad bar). In the end we went for the BBQ lunch (they run out of food around 1 PM) but unable to find a place to seat coz the windjammer and poolside tables are all taken so we took our lunch in our room balcony.
We tried the swimming pool on the 2nd and 5th day. The pools used salt water except for the jacuzzi. I wish they have a small water playground for my little one to play (she is still on diaper).
We also purchased the unlimited photo package before the cruise for USD$150. This turn out to be a good deal because there are plenty of oppotunity to take photo especially during formal night (2nd day). we also bring the kids to take photo with the dreamworks characters. In the end we got around 140 photos to keep. We got some very nice family potraits to remember the trip.
I must admit that no matter how much I enjoyed the cruise, the itineraries out of Singapore are pretty limited. Maybe next time I will try their cruises elsewhere. Would love to try Quantum of the Seas that will be based in Shanghai, China for the 2nd half of the year.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 9520 and 9518
- We stayed in Room 9518 and 9520 on deck 9. 9520 is a balcony room with connecting door to ocean view room 9518. The rooms are quiet because there is hardly any foot traffic and there are only cabins above and below our rooms. We can hear the voices in the other room even with the connecting door closed.- These 2 rooms are located aft of the ship on the port side.- Actually room 9520 is the aft most balcony room of deck 9 so we get to see the ship forward view and we get to see part of the bridge from the balcony.- The 2 rooms come with sofa beds thus can accommodate 4 persons per room.- The sofa beds remain open throughout our stay. We have to relocate the glass tables that usually sit in front of the sofa. There is sufficient room in the ocean view room (room is slightly longer) but for the balcony room, we have to relocate the table to the balcony.- There is plenty of storage in the wardrobe and under the bed.- They provide electronic safe, TV and electric kettle in the rooms.- There are tea packets but no coffee so have to go to café promenade if you need your coffee fix.- The windjammer and the Main Dining rooms are all located at the stern (back) of the ship so it is quite a long walk from our rooms.- The spa, gym and solarium are right above (deck 11).- Savoy Theatre is right below (deck 3).- When docking at Port Klang, the port is on the starboard side.- When docking at Penang, the port is on port side so we get to see the town from our balcony.- When at Phuket, the tender ships will be on the starboard side so we were unable to see them from our balcony. We do get to see the beautiful sunset from our balcony.
  Mariner of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Penang
    - Woke up early and watch the ship docked at Swettenham Pier Cruise terminal in Penang. Our rooms directly face the port so we get a nice view of George Town.- Went for breakfast and proceed to disembark. Basically just need to scan our seapass card to exit the ship.- There are some pirates waiting just outside the ship for photo session.- Meet up with our driver/tour Guide from Ocean Jupiter for our Penang sightseeing tour in 9 seater van. (40 RM per hour. Min 5 hours).- Our driver is Mr. Michael Fong who is extremely knowledgeable and very friendly (highly recommended).- He took us around George Town. First stop is the Pinang Peranakan Museum (Green Mansion). - It is a beautifully preserved peranakan mansion with original furnitures and fixtures. The best peranakan museum I have been to. (much better than the Singapore one).- Then he took us to eat loh bak from a famous stall, followed by chendol, char kway teow from the 2 sisters and air itam Penang laksa. On hindsight, we should have taken a light breakfast (or even skip it).- Next stop is Kek Lok Si temple. We went straight to the top unlike the tour buses that stop at the bottom and require the passengers to climb all the way up the stairs.- Next stop is a shop selling Penang Tau sar piah.- Last stop is the Penang Butterfly Farm. This place is quite far and took us almost 1 hour to reach. But along the way we get to see beautiful Penang beach along Batu Ferringhi.- Michael informed us that the butterfly farm will be closed on 8 March till December 2015 for renovation so we were quite lucky to see it before it’s closed.- We actually wanted to do some shopping but due to time constraint we decided to return to the ship. The all aboard time is 5:30 PM and sail away at 6 PM.- We reached the ship around 5:20 PM. We went straight to the balcony to watch the sail away. We waited till around 6 PM and saw that the crews have not closed the gangway. Then we saw a group of tardy passengers taking their own sweet time to board the ship and finally the crews closed the gangway and the ship is ready to leave.- Tonight dinner at MDR is special because they served NY Strip steak!!! The wife and I had 1 serving each and another 1 serving to share. Our best dinner on the ship. (We did not want to spend money eating at Chop or Giovanni).
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