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Royal Caribbean International: Mariner of the Seas

Mariner of the Seas Review

The fifth of five Voyager-class ships, Mariner of the Seas was introduced in 2003. The last of the class was the first to receive upgraded features in 2012 that include an outdoor movie screen poolside, an updated wine bar, the Dog House eatery, an Italian specialty

restaurant, digital signage, a lounge for elite past passengers, and a new nursery.

A truly impressive building program introduced one of these gigantic Voyager-class ships per year over a five-year period. With their rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, in-line skating tracks, miniature golf, and multiple dining venues, they are destinations in their own right. Sports enthusiasts will be thrilled with nonstop daytime action.

The unusual horizontal, multiple-deck promenade-atriums on Voyager-class vessels can stage some of the pageantry for which Royal Caribbean is noted. Fringed with boutiques, bars, and even coffee shops, the mall-like expanses set the stage for evening parades and events, as well as spots to simply kick back for some people-watching.

Other public rooms are equally dramatic. Though it's considered to be three separate dining rooms, the triple-deck height of the single space is stunning. These ships not only carry a lot of people, but carry them well. Space is abundant, and crowding is seldom an issue.

Big, bigger, biggest! In the early 1990s, Royal Caribbean launched Sovereign-class ships, the first of the modern megacruise liners, which continue to be the all-around favorite of passengers who enjoy traditional cruising ambience with a touch of daring and whimsy. Plunging into the 21st century, each ship in the current fleet carries more passengers than the entire Royal Caribbean fleet of the 1970s, and has amenities—such as new surfing pools—that were unheard of in the past.

All Royal Caribbean ships are topped by the company's signature Viking Crown Lounge, a place to watch the seascape by day and dance at night. Expansive multideck atriums and promenades, as well as the generous use of brass and floor-to-ceiling glass windows, give each vessel a sense of spaciousness and style. The action is nonstop in casinos and dance clubs after dark, while daytime hours are filled with poolside games and traditional cruise activities. Port talks tend to lean heavily on shopping recommendations and the sale of shore excursions.

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What You Should Know

Pros

  • Royal Promenade may elicit the biggest "Wow!" on board when a parade is center stage
  • Professional ice-skating performances are staged twice during each cruise
  • Equipment to participate in sports activities is provided at no additional charge

Cons

  • With the exception of the gym and some fitness classes, nearly everything else on board carries a price tag
  • Although there is no charge to attend, you must get tickets for the ice-skating shows
  • Smokers may be frustrated to find that smoking is prohibited in cabins and in most indoor areas
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 1,185
  • Entered Service 2003
  • Gross Tons 142,000
  • Length 1,020 Feet
  • Number of Cabins 1,557
  • Passenger Capacity 3,114 (3,835 max)
  • Width 158 feet
  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Nov 20, 2015

Nice Older Vessel serving Cheap Low End Food

Being a 12+ Cruiser and full time traveler the recent experience that I had with RCC Mariner of the Sea's 7 Days Singapore Cruise was a real bad deal. The vessel is nicely decorated and restored but the food in main dinning and buffet was unbelievable bad. Menu was half western and half eastern and the type of dishes served was so cheap that there were not even up to Chinese Fast Food basic standard. Lots of passengers complained about warm dishes

being cold and there was always not enough food in the buffet area. Majority of servers in the dinning area was Asians and their English communication was always a challenge. This would be my 4th and last time on board RCC Cruise Ship.

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Apr 2, 2012

Western Caribbean

This cruise had everything I was looking for. Great service, friendly atmosphere, lots of entertainment, and great food. The food was wonderful. I did not have any meal that I did not like. Everything was hot when it arrived. I loved the bread that was served at dinner. There was quite a unique selection. I could almost just live on the bread alone. The lobster was wonderful. We had the late seating and we were never rushed, just a nice relaxing

dinner every night. Deny's was our room steward and always met all our requests. Excellent service. There were a lot of unique things to see and do. There was a parade in the grand promenade, a great ice show equal to the Ice Capades, and don't miss the Quest. The Quest is usually held near the end of the cruise. Please arrive early as seats are at a premium. We did the zipline in Jamaica. It was great and not as scary as one might think. The staff are fully trained and very professional. It was quite safe. The Dunn River falls are a real challenge. We did not do the falls on this cruise but did do them on a previous cruise. Be prepared. Wear water shoes as the rocks are very slippery. Once you start you have to keep going. It is pretty dangerous. At the end we were glad that we survived and were able to do the falls alone at the age of 60. We will never do them again. There is a new port in Jamaica and it is very nice. Lots of shops right of the ship and the natives do not harass you like they have in the past. All the ports are great with lots of shopping available, which I love. The weather was great throughout the whole cruise. No rain and not too hot. The weather in Galveston was the coldest. Thank heavens we weren't there long. Most of the passengers were from Texas and they were just beautiful people, very well dressed and very friendly. I really enjoyed the staff and the passengers. I would do this cruise again in a heart beat.

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Feb 26, 2012

Western Caribbean

The cruise was great, the crew so attentive and polite, very helpful. The only bad thing I have to say is the de-embarcation at Galveston was the worst experience, it took us 3 hours to reach Customs. We were in long lines, shuffling along. I was so tired, my back and legs hurting from having to stand with luggage. Royal Caribbean needs to evaluate the process. I know that I won't do another cruise with them out of Galveston. The food was wonderful,

very fresh and appetizing. My stateroom was comfortable, clean, the attendant was the best, he checked on my daughter and I, to see if we had any questions or needed assistance. We didn't participate in many of the onboard activities, most of the time just relaxing and reading. We did excursions at all three ports and enjoyed them very much. I reccommend them highly.

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Feb 22, 2012

Southwestern Carribean

After a clunky online experience (website is not user friendly) I finally called the travel agent to confirm I was indeed finished with the online check in process. Galveston cruise terminal embarkation was smoother than disembarkation with long lines to embark and longer lines to disembark due to the bottleneck at customs. Pick up and drop off of passengers was in the same exact spot at the terminal occurring at the same time (chaos). Upon

arrival to my state room I discovered a hand towel that had blue stains on it hanging in the bathroom (similar to toothpast stains). I requested a new towel and worried for the rest of the cruise that my towels may not be clean. I was assured that they were clean by the cabin steward Nazir Souvenier (spelling?). He gave very friendly service. The ship lost my luggage the first day. It was recovered on day 2. In the first 3 days at sea my group of 6 women had a blast in the casino (sucks your money and not regulated). We spent 3 evenings in the Wig and Gavel Pub on the Promenade listening to a very talented guitarist named Marty Daniels during our cruise. When the sun came out on Tuesday, we relaxed near the pool. The snorkeling excursion in Honduras was wonderful and the horseback riding in Belize was fabulous. Cozumel is too comercialized for me, but was nice. Other cruise terminals along the pier did not like selling to Royal Carribean cruisers and directed us back to our own terminal for some reason. The food in the dining room every evening was only ok. After my friend found a fly in her desert, we were switched to a new table and group of servers. Service was only ok before that. It was phenomenal after that. We discovered the Portofino dining room ($20/per person cover charge) on the last night. The food was delightful there. Windjammer was ok for buffet service. Dining room tasted like buffet food: Only ok. Sent back the salmon (smelled so fishy I got nauseous). Couldn't eat the beef stroganoff (seemed out of a can). The lobster was rubbery and dry. The steak was chewy (I like mine medium rare, this should not have been chewy). Johnny Rockets was a good burger and fries and worth the cover charge of $4.95. Portofino had awesome food and was worth the $20/per person cover charge. The cafe on the promenade had the same thing every morning, but was ok. The sandwiches were good at lunch. I can't believe the cruiseline charges for bottled water anywhere on the ship. Ridiculous. This should be included in the ticket price. The stateroom decor was dated. I know the ship was put into commission in 2003, but the decor is 1998. It was clean, though. I understand it will be dry docked for 10 days in April. They should change the drapes and carpets to something more current. The shows were great. This is where Royal Carribean spared no expense. The ice skating show was better than expected. The guitarist/vocalist Marty Daniels was fun to sing along with for our group. The Sophia Fiora blue diamonds were nice and sales people knowledgeable. The casino disappointed in that it didn't let people win enough to play very long. Overall I had a very good time with my group of 6 friends. We laughed and enjoyed the time together creating memories. The entertainment is stellar, they need to work on the food quality in the dining room, and stop charging for bottled water. I was irritated that I was reminded to tip extra on several occasions during the last 3 days of the trip even though I paid tips in advance within my ticket price. The newsletter inserted a convenient charge form with convenient tip guidelines stating it could easily be charged to your account . This confused me and I had to ask whether the people I believed I had tipped in advance had indeed received it. On the last day, envelopes were given to us for additional tips. I don't mind tipping: Even in advance for a job not performed yet. But begging for additional tipping on top of the 15% already paid is not attractive on the part of the cruise line who ought to compensate their friendly employees and add it to the ticket price rather than allowing the additional tips to be guilted out of passengers to serve as compensation! Just sayin'

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By SB_CR

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Feb 26, 2011

Valparaiso to Sao Paulo

Destinations were the reason for us choosing this cruise I.e. Valparaiso, Chile to Sao Paulo, Brazil via the Chilean Fjords (gorgeous), Ushuaia, very interesting except a fiasco due top inadequate tender service, Cape Horn, wonderful and the highlight of the trip and the captain gave us ample time to take it in; the weather was wild and windy and wavy which is what it should be there. Then Montevideo, (wonderful) and on to Sao Paulo. The bus tour

in Sao Paulo was dreadful. Due to disembarking delays it was truncated, the tour guide was totally self-centered a gave us a political rant for hours, she was misinformed aboTrmut a few things as we discovered for ourselves the next day, and the bag lunch was deplorable! The ship was much bigger than we would have liked therefore crowds and much time sent waiting for elevators. The Windjammer was often too crowded. The service was good overall, except for the guest service desk which was less than helpful. Stateroom staff was excellent for us. We had a junior suite which was lovely. Although most of the time it was too cool to use the pool, when it did get warm we found it impossible to use it because the music was deafeningly loud, to the point that we couldn't talk or hear, and certainly couldn't read our books. The Internet/wifi services were quite inadequate. Several of the computers were unusable, and those that were OK were so slow that you used up a great deal of your time (at cents a minute) just waiting to connect. In this day and age wifi should be a given in each stateroom. Food was generally so-so; the buffets were average, and no more. The dining room was OK, mainly because the portions were a reasonable size and not mammoth. Some nights were better than others, Service was very good. Lovely as we had a junior sweet which was well worth it. Nice balcony, room to spread out. Should have wifi see above. Did't participate in much,but thought some of the morning lectures were OK, and some of the entertainment was good particularly the classical pianist and the " Three Seasons " classical group. Also the ice show was fantastic. The captain's lecture on the last day was interesting, but should have been earlier in the cruise. We had many quest ions about the ship and the precise route we were taking day by day. There wasn't enough information about where we were or here we were going.. Don't take the day long trips, but take a short overview and then go on your own. In our experience the port that required tenders was a disaster- completely ruined the day, which was a shame as we wanted to have a look around Ushuaia as well as go out on a boat trip, but the lack of tenders meant that we missed the town and waited for two hors to get back to the ship. Definitely sit up in the lounge on Deck 14 and watch Cape Horn.(the smoking lounge is quite disgusting and too odorous to even use. Also, there was a "private" function in Ellington's every evening at cocktail time, which was quite annoying as it would have been nice to have a drink up there before dinner. Too much attention given to the diamond set, you need to cultivate the new cruisers. A welcome drink or something would have bern nice - even the most basic all-inclusive in Mexico offers that. Destinations were fabulous, the cruise itself was ho-hum.

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