Mariner of the Seas Cruise Review by eleanorcowling
- Sail Date: October 2017
- Destination: Asia
When we got on board, our cabin was ready so we put down our bags and headed straight to the buffet. It was as expected - very busy! There was a good selection of food though, and the two speciality restaurants next to Windjammer were open which created more space.
We stayed in cabin 3610 - an H grade outside cabin with a large window. It had ample space for us, with a good size desk area and very powerful shower. This strip of cabins is really convenient for getting off the ship, as well as for accessing all mid-ship areas.
We explored the ship ahead of embarkation - it's big although obviously not one of RCI's biggest. Even though there were around 3600 passengers on board, it was easy to find a quieter place to sit.
For the first night, we got a 30% discount at Giovanni's (just by asking....) so we ate there. The quality of the food was good and the service superb. It really wasn't busy at all. We had decided to book there so we could have a table on our own, but the next day we found out that our allocated table in the dining room was for 2 people. We ate there every night afterwards.
The cruise docked in Penang around 3pm so we enjoyed using the ship's facilities in the morning. We used the adult only Solarium pool and jacuzzi's which were almost empty. In Penang, we decided not to get a ship's excursion. We walked with head's held high past all the taxi drivers, tour guids and trishaw riders and exited the port. We found a trishaw driver outside and negotiated a price of 40 Ringet an hour for a tour of the street art and markets. The tour was about an hour and a half and it was a great way to see Gerogetown.
In Phuket, the cruise tendered to a pier which we felt was really in the middle of nowhere. Tip - get in the queue for tender tickets much earlier than the designated time as they start giving them out early. We had a friend on holiday there so he arranged to meet us with a taxi. I think booking a taxi in advance would be a good idea as again, the pier was crowded with tour guides and private taxis charging a premium for their service. We headed to a quieter beach for lunch and a massage.
During the sea day, there were lots of activties on board. We had already signed up for the galley tour with bottomless brunch. This was really interesting and the brunch buffet provided was first class. We were not so impressed with the 'champagne' but were able to get a glass of the real stuff from the crew.
We really enjoyed the ice show on the first night, but thought that the other shows in the main theatre were a bit boring. They lacked words (presumably for an international audience) but also lacked substance. The bands playing around the ship were good. We enjoyed sitting in Ellingtons on the 14th floor as it had a great view of the ship and sea, but was generally empty!
On debarkation day, we chose not to use the baggage tags but to carry off our luggage. The queue for this was long and it took about an hour for us to leave the ship and clear Singapore immigration. There was no queue for taxis to the airport.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
PenangLots of lovely street art and markets - get a trishaw ride from outside the port (walk past all the pushy ones!)View All 102 Penang Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Penang Cruise Port Review
PhuketPhuket is a little bit seedy and dirty, but I recommend getting a private taxi tour and heading to a quieter beach town.View All 99 Phuket Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Phuket Cruise Port Review
SingaporeGreat embarkation and debarkation port. Very easy to get to the airport - $24 in a metred taxi. Stay a night or two before and explore Singapore.View All 569 Singapore Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Singapore Cruise Port Review