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We took this cruise with our daughter to celebrate her 21st Birthday. We chose this itinerary because she is doing a 6 month UN law internship in Cambodia so we flew to Singapore to meet up with her there . Being a special occasion we splurged on a Grand Suite, and I have to say we very much enjoyed the sweet Suite experience and would highly recommend it. Overall we had a wonderful cruise. Having read a lot of negative reviews here, I was wondering what our experience would be , but I am happy to report we loved it, though I am sure being in a suite enhanced that experience a lot. We sailed out of Singapore. No problems at all embarking, in fact as suite guests we were greeted and personally escorted through crew lines so we did not have to wait in line at all! Our suite ( 1578) was huge! King sized bed for us , and big sofa bed for our daughter - lovely sofa bed which could have accommodated 2 adults if needed. There was a curtain which we could close at night to separate off our sleeping areas which was also nice for some privacy. Huge cupboards for storage, and a bar area which we did not use. The bathroom was massive, with his and hers sinks, and shower over the bath. One thing I would say is that you need to step quite high over the bath rim in order to access the shower. If someone was elderly or with mobility issues, they may find this difficult. Our balcony was again massive, with 2 beautiful cushioned loungers you could lie on, and a table with 2 chairs. We found the grand suite to be very quiet and never heard any noise from above or from anywhere else. Our cabin attendant Ray was excellent too. The 3 concierges ( Harry, Edgar and Tao) , are absolutely amazing and so helpful and will do anything to help you. We loved the concierge lounge, located on Deck 14 with awesome views and especially happy hour from 4.30 to 8 pm with complementary drinks fixed by a bartender - wine, champagne and beers were on offer as well as spirits with soft drinks to mix. No cocktails were available at the Concierge lounge but we enjoyed lovely nibbles served with happy hour too. We loved the food on board. At least 90% of the passengers were Chinese so there were lots of Chinese/ Asian / Indian offerings both in the Windjammer buffet and on the main dining room menu. However there were also some more Western choices for those who did not want Asian food. The Windjammer was often crowded but we were very fortunate as suite guests to be able to get food from the Windjammer buffet and sit and eat in Chops Grille adjacent. Every night there were always a couple of Indian choices on the dinner menu for mains, and desert. If someone hated Asian food they may be disappointed on this cruise, but if you are open to Asian flavors you will love it, as we did. We did not try any speciality restaurants. We had one formal night and I found a lot of people were dressed in suits and tux's and gorgeous gowns for the ladies. I think Chinese people like to dress up, - we saw several couples where the husband's tie would match the wife's gown etc. However if people wanted to be more casual that was no problem, not everybody dressed up. Regarding entertainment, this was where I felt the standard was not as good as I have previously experienced on cruises . With the exception of the ice show , which was fantastic and should not be missed, the other shows were really not great. Everything was announced in English and then translated into Mandarin . Nightlife was lacking, there was a late night disco at Dragon's lair, but it was not great. Musicians around the ship were not wonderful, with the exception of the Piano Bar player who played every night at the Schooner Bar- we really enjoyed his music. They had a deck party one night , and a 70's disco on the last night in the promenade. Basically we found that the Chinese way of having a party was to follow the cruise entertainment staff in structured choreographed dances- you know " single single double double, forward back and shimmy etc" , which was not quite what we wanted. Apart from the entertainment being a bit disappointing, we enjoyed everything else about the cruise. Disembarkation was easy. As suite guests if had needed early disembarkation we could have had a continental breakfast in the Lyric dining room , and been escorted off the ship. As we were not in any rush, we were told we just needed to make sure we vacated our suite by 10 am. We had a relaxed breakfast from the Windjammer in Chops Grille by 8.30 am, and said a sad farewell to our sweet suite around 9 am. We had 3 ports on this cruise - Penang docked 5 pm to midnight, Langkawai docked 8 am to 6 pm, and Phuket tendered 6am to 8 pm. We did our own thing in Penang and Langkawi. In Penang we just walked off the ship, dodged past the hundreds of taxi drivers clamoring to take us for "Island tour" " Taxi tour" and used downloaded google maps to walk down Beach St (or Lebuh Pantai) to Little India ( about 15 minute walk). Fascinating place to stroll around , then we made our way to Armenian St where a lot of the street art is located - very interesting. We walked along Armenian st towards the water to the Clan Jetties and explored Chew Jetty at the end of Armenian St. The Clan jetties are floating villages where Chinese immigrants lived so they would not have to pay land tax, and continue to live. Then it was getting dark as we docked at 5 pm so we walked back up Pengkalan Weld to the ship. We were able to see the ship lit up as we were walking so it was quite easy to find our way. We got back on board around 8 pm. We felt like we got a good taste of Georgetown, and it cost us nothing , and best thing was we were free to do as we wished. There are a couple of currency exchanges in the port as you exit the ship. In Langkawi , we walked off the ship where again there was a currency exchange right there on the dock, and again had to dodge hundreds of taxi drivers wanting to take us for day tours of Langkawi- for about 250 MYR for the day. We just wanted to take a one way taxi to the Cable Car,and finally managed to get a taxi driver to agree to take us for 50 MYR one way. Once in the taxi though he offered us his services for 4 hours for 150 MYR and we agreed. Loved the Cable Car and Sky Bridge, - fantastic views from the top. You can see quite a few of the 99 islands that make up Langkawi (104 at low tide!) The Cable car itself is a wonderful ride. We bought express lane tickets and got off at the middle station too. If you want to buy sky glide tickets , I would suggest you buy them as soon as you get to the top station, as you may have to wait a while for your ride down to the Sky bridge. We bought sky glide tickets at the top to get to the sky bridge, ( 15 MYR), but ended up walking down as we would have had to wait 50 minutes for the ride down. We did not mind walking down, but were happy to wait for a ride back up as it was quite hot and would have been quite a climb. Our cheerful taxi driver was waiting for us and stopped at a couple of spots we asked him to while driving back to the ship. In Phuket I had organised a 4 hour tour with a private taxi driver Lek Landen which was great. He has excellent reviews on tripadvisor and was easy to contact by email, and charged 2000 THB ( equivalent to $USD 57) for all 3 of us for a private 4 hour tour in his lovely clean air conditioned four wheel drive vehicle. As suite guests we received a note saying we were eligible for priority tenders but we were in no rush, so we left the ship about 10.15 once open tenders had started and were at Patong beach about 11 am. I believe for general guests there was open tendering from 6.30 to 7.30 am announced, then tender tickets until open tender at 10 am. The tenders take you right to the heart of the south end of Patong Beach. Patong Beach is a very popular beach, crowded with lots of people and plenty of vendors too. Good for people watching. Nice wall where you can sit in the shade and people watch. We strolled a bit , and my daughter went for a swim, then we met Lek at the end of the pier very promptly at midday as arranged, and he took us to viewpoints at Karon point, Cape Promthep, and to the Big Buddha and Chalong Temple. All very beautiful , though in general my impression was that Phuket was too touristy and over-developed. We much preferred Langkawi which was less touristy and we felt it had much more natural beauty. When Lek dropped us back at the pier we enjoyed some amazing very cheap street food - Pad Thai - several vendors cook it fresh in front of you right near the pier , and coconut icecream which I have to say was some of the most delicious food we ate all trip. I do believe a cruise is what you make it, and I have to say we had a wonderful cruise on the Mariner of the Seas.

The Sweet Grand Suite Life

Mariner of the Seas Cruise Review by aussiecruzer

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2017
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Grand Suite - 1 Bedroom
We took this cruise with our daughter to celebrate her 21st Birthday. We chose this itinerary because she is doing a 6 month UN law internship in Cambodia so we flew to Singapore to meet up with her there . Being a special occasion we splurged on a Grand Suite, and I have to say we very much enjoyed the sweet Suite experience and would highly recommend it. Overall we had a wonderful cruise. Having read a lot of negative reviews here, I was wondering what our experience would be , but I am happy to report we loved it, though I am sure being in a suite enhanced that experience a lot.

We sailed out of Singapore. No problems at all embarking, in fact as suite guests we were greeted and personally escorted through crew lines so we did not have to wait in line at all!

Our suite ( 1578) was huge! King sized bed for us , and big sofa bed for our daughter - lovely sofa bed which could have accommodated 2 adults if needed. There was a curtain which we could close at night to separate off our sleeping areas which was also nice for some privacy. Huge cupboards for storage, and a bar area which we did not use. The bathroom was massive, with his and hers sinks, and shower over the bath. One thing I would say is that you need to step quite high over the bath rim in order to access the shower. If someone was elderly or with mobility issues, they may find this difficult. Our balcony was again massive, with 2 beautiful cushioned loungers you could lie on, and a table with 2 chairs. We found the grand suite to be very quiet and never heard any noise from above or from anywhere else. Our cabin attendant Ray was excellent too.

The 3 concierges ( Harry, Edgar and Tao) , are absolutely amazing and so helpful and will do anything to help you. We loved the concierge lounge, located on Deck 14 with awesome views and especially happy hour from 4.30 to 8 pm with complementary drinks fixed by a bartender - wine, champagne and beers were on offer as well as spirits with soft drinks to mix. No cocktails were available at the Concierge lounge but we enjoyed lovely nibbles served with happy hour too.

We loved the food on board. At least 90% of the passengers were Chinese so there were lots of Chinese/ Asian / Indian offerings both in the Windjammer buffet and on the main dining room menu. However there were also some more Western choices for those who did not want Asian food. The Windjammer was often crowded but we were very fortunate as suite guests to be able to get food from the Windjammer buffet and sit and eat in Chops Grille adjacent. Every night there were always a couple of Indian choices on the dinner menu for mains, and desert. If someone hated Asian food they may be disappointed on this cruise, but if you are open to Asian flavors you will love it, as we did.

We did not try any speciality restaurants. We had one formal night and I found a lot of people were dressed in suits and tux's and gorgeous gowns for the ladies. I think Chinese people like to dress up, - we saw several couples where the husband's tie would match the wife's gown etc. However if people wanted to be more casual that was no problem, not everybody dressed up.

Regarding entertainment, this was where I felt the standard was not as good as I have previously experienced on cruises . With the exception of the ice show , which was fantastic and should not be missed, the other shows were really not great. Everything was announced in English and then translated into Mandarin . Nightlife was lacking, there was a late night disco at Dragon's lair, but it was not great. Musicians around the ship were not wonderful, with the exception of the Piano Bar player who played every night at the Schooner Bar- we really enjoyed his music. They had a deck party one night , and a 70's disco on the last night in the promenade. Basically we found that the Chinese way of having a party was to follow the cruise entertainment staff in structured choreographed dances- you know " single single double double, forward back and shimmy etc" , which was not quite what we wanted. Apart from the entertainment being a bit disappointing, we enjoyed everything else about the cruise.

Disembarkation was easy. As suite guests if had needed early disembarkation we could have had a continental breakfast in the Lyric dining room , and been escorted off the ship. As we were not in any rush, we were told we just needed to make sure we vacated our suite by 10 am. We had a relaxed breakfast from the Windjammer in Chops Grille by 8.30 am, and said a sad farewell to our sweet suite around 9 am.

We had 3 ports on this cruise - Penang docked 5 pm to midnight, Langkawai docked 8 am to 6 pm, and Phuket tendered 6am to 8 pm.

We did our own thing in Penang and Langkawi. In Penang we just walked off the ship, dodged past the hundreds of taxi drivers clamoring to take us for "Island tour" " Taxi tour" and used downloaded google maps to walk down Beach St (or Lebuh Pantai) to Little India ( about 15 minute walk). Fascinating place to stroll around , then we made our way to Armenian St where a lot of the street art is located - very interesting. We walked along Armenian st towards the water to the Clan Jetties and explored Chew Jetty at the end of Armenian St. The Clan jetties are floating villages where Chinese immigrants lived so they would not have to pay land tax, and continue to live. Then it was getting dark as we docked at 5 pm so we walked back up Pengkalan Weld to the ship. We were able to see the ship lit up as we were walking so it was quite easy to find our way. We got back on board around 8 pm. We felt like we got a good taste of Georgetown, and it cost us nothing , and best thing was we were free to do as we wished. There are a couple of currency exchanges in the port as you exit the ship.

In Langkawi , we walked off the ship where again there was a currency exchange right there on the dock, and again had to dodge hundreds of taxi drivers wanting to take us for day tours of Langkawi- for about 250 MYR for the day. We just wanted to take a one way taxi to the Cable Car,and finally managed to get a taxi driver to agree to take us for 50 MYR one way. Once in the taxi though he offered us his services for 4 hours for 150 MYR and we agreed. Loved the Cable Car and Sky Bridge, - fantastic views from the top. You can see quite a few of the 99 islands that make up Langkawi (104 at low tide!) The Cable car itself is a wonderful ride. We bought express lane tickets and got off at the middle station too. If you want to buy sky glide tickets , I would suggest you buy them as soon as you get to the top station, as you may have to wait a while for your ride down to the Sky bridge. We bought sky glide tickets at the top to get to the sky bridge, ( 15 MYR), but ended up walking down as we would have had to wait 50 minutes for the ride down. We did not mind walking down, but were happy to wait for a ride back up as it was quite hot and would have been quite a climb. Our cheerful taxi driver was waiting for us and stopped at a couple of spots we asked him to while driving back to the ship.

In Phuket I had organised a 4 hour tour with a private taxi driver Lek Landen which was great. He has excellent reviews on tripadvisor and was easy to contact by email, and charged 2000 THB ( equivalent to $USD 57) for all 3 of us for a private 4 hour tour in his lovely clean air conditioned four wheel drive vehicle. As suite guests we received a note saying we were eligible for priority tenders but we were in no rush, so we left the ship about 10.15 once open tenders had started and were at Patong beach about 11 am. I believe for general guests there was open tendering from 6.30 to 7.30 am announced, then tender tickets until open tender at 10 am. The tenders take you right to the heart of the south end of Patong Beach. Patong Beach is a very popular beach, crowded with lots of people and plenty of vendors too. Good for people watching. Nice wall where you can sit in the shade and people watch. We strolled a bit , and my daughter went for a swim, then we met Lek at the end of the pier very promptly at midday as arranged, and he took us to viewpoints at Karon point, Cape Promthep, and to the Big Buddha and Chalong Temple. All very beautiful , though in general my impression was that Phuket was too touristy and over-developed. We much preferred Langkawi which was less touristy and we felt it had much more natural beauty. When Lek dropped us back at the pier we enjoyed some amazing very cheap street food - Pad Thai - several vendors cook it fresh in front of you right near the pier , and coconut icecream which I have to say was some of the most delicious food we ate all trip.

I do believe a cruise is what you make it, and I have to say we had a wonderful cruise on the Mariner of the Seas.
aussiecruzer’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Grand Suite - 1 Bedroom
Cabin GS 1578
Our suite ( 1578) was huge! King sized bed for us , and big sofa bed for our daughter - lovely sofa bed which could have accommodated 2 adults if needed. There was a curtain which we could close at night to separate off our sleeping areas which was also nice for some privacy. Huge cupboards for storage, and a bar area which we did not use. The bathroom was massive, with his and hers sinks, and shower over the bath. One thing I would say is that you need to step quite high over the bath rim in order to access the shower. If someone was elderly or with mobility issues, they may find this difficult. Our balcony was again massive, with 2 beautiful cushioned loungers you could lie on, and a table with 2 chairs. We found the grand suite to be very quiet and never heard any noise from above or from anywhere else. Our cabin attendant Ray was excellent too.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Langkawi
    In Langkawi , we walked off the ship where again there was a currency exchange right there on the dock, and again had to dodge hundreds of taxi drivers wanting to take us for day tours of Langkawi- for about 250 MYR for the day. We just wanted to take a one way taxi to the Cable Car,and finally managed to get a taxi driver to agree to take us for 50 MYR one way. Once in the taxi though he offered us his services for 4 hours for 150 MYR and we agreed. Loved the Cable Car and Sky Bridge, - fantastic views from the top. You can see quite a few of the 99 islands that make up Langkawi (104 at low tide!) The Cable car itself is a wonderful ride. We bought express lane tickets and got off at the middle station too. If you want to buy sky glide tickets , I would suggest you buy them as soon as you get to the top station, as you may have to wait a while for your ride down to the Sky bridge. We bought sky glide tickets at the top to get to the sky bridge, ( 15 MYR), but ended up walking down as we would have had to wait 50 minutes for the ride down. We did not mind walking down, but were happy to wait for a ride back up as it was quite hot and would have been quite a climb. Our cheerful taxi driver was waiting for us and stopped at a couple of spots we asked him to while driving back to the ship.
    View All 88 Langkawi Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Langkawi Cruise Port Review
  • Penang
    In Penang we just walked off the ship, dodged past the hundreds of taxi drivers clamoring to take us for "Island tour" " Taxi tour" and used downloaded google maps to walk down Beach St (or Lebuh Pantai) to Little India ( about 15 minute walk). Fascinating place to stroll around , then we made our way to Armenian St where a lot of the street art is located - very interesting. We walked along Armenian st towards the water to the Clan Jetties and explored Chew Jetty at the end of Armenian St. The Clan jetties are floating villages where Chinese immigrants lived so they would not have to pay land tax, and continue to live. Then it was getting dark as we docked at 5 pm so we walked back up Pengkalan Weld to the ship. We were able to see the ship lit up as we were walking so it was quite easy to find our way. We got back on board around 8 pm. We felt like we got a good taste of Georgetown, and it cost us nothing , and best thing was we were free to do as we wished. There are a couple of currency exchanges in the port as you exit the ship.
    View All 102 Penang Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Penang Cruise Port Review
  • Singapore
    Singapore is a very organised Asian city and a pleasure to visit. Taxis are cheap and the MRT cheap and efficient. We stayed for a few days post cruise at One Farrer Hotel and Spa in Little India and absolutely loved it. We had street food dinner at Lau Pa Sat one night , and visited Ce La Vi at Marina Bay Sands for a drink ( amazing views but windy) , another evening .
    View All 569 Singapore Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Singapore Cruise Port Review