A few years ago I took my first cruise to Europe and truly enjoyed going to cruise critic for helpful advice. I just returned from Mariner of the Sea, five night cruise in Asia. Again I went to cruise critic for help. Unfortunately this is a new area for Royal Carribean and I could not find much on the ship or ports. Actually I was somewhat worried after reading some of the reviews. For full disclosure, I find it hard not to have a good time on a cruise, so not a lot of negatives in this review, but a few. Not much of a writer, but I truly appreciate people who take the time, as I do find reviews very helpful.
Getting on the ship in Hong Kong could not have been easier. The cruise center was very modern and it appeared to be new. I think I was one of the first twenty people to board the ship. As directed by cruise critic experts after checking out cabin (solo traveler, always go cheapest cabin, no balcony, window ect) I went directly to Wind Jammer and had a very good lunch. After lunch started to explore ship. Immediately met with fitness instructor and signed up for spin class and boot camp for three sessions. The instructor was wonderful and did not seem to mind that my early morning sweat smelled like Jammison scotch. (After much deliberation, I went for the drink package. I believe they lost money on me. Always Jammison on the rocks, several glasses of house wine with dinner, and although most coke was from 2 liter and flat occasionally they would give me the can. Found out that if you order Giner Ale they always give you the can.
Always eat in mdr for dinner an lunch. Service was excellent. Waiter was Bobby with assistance from Edison. Food was ok, one night did not like choice, was brought another choice within minutes. Chose to eat at Italian restaurant one night with some table mates. Have to say not very impressed. Food was ok but not what I expected for the added cost. Not that the cost was high, but if you pay extra I expected more cooked to order and not mdr style food. Enjoyed the meal, company and service just not overly impressed. One of the officers asked me about food and seemed to really care about my less than perfect meal. He did inform me that the windjammer had large selection of Indian food everyday for lunch. This was a pleasant surprise as I love that style of food and am a vegetarian. Ordered room service on day we docked in Viet Nam. Had to be off ship by six am. Figured everyone would order room service at 545 as I did. Really expected not to get food or that it would be late. At exactly 545 food arrived, hot and tasty.
Did use the ship internet. Not cheap and not the fastest, but it served my needs. Always a computer when I needed one. Also used spa for teeth whitening and hair cut. This is funny if you know me. Always get a buzz cut and have pretty bad addiction for cigars and snuff. They did the best they could with what they had to work with. All of the staff, spa, bars, food, cabin steward, all seemed to be interested that I was having a good time. Cruise director Dan Dan Mian and Kitty were wonderful. I was glued to tv in cabin every day listening to dan explain activities on ship while Kitty translated. Never met Dan but had the pleasure to meet Kitty. If I was taller, better looking, and younger she would have been my future ex wife. Really a neat person who will do well as a cruise director. I asked her for a class in Mandarin, to my surprise she said they had one. I read cruise compass everyday, did not see that listed. She said it was on the second to last day of cruise. Not sure I understand why they waited, but I went to class and like everyone else had a great time butchering the fine language.
Cant comment on shows. Did not attend, but did listen to almost all of the live music offerings. They were all first class. Tried to go to Karoke nights. First night I was told that all music was either Chineese or Mandarin. I chose this ship to learn about and meet other people from different cultures. Little disappointed that Karoke did not offer at least a little western music. Everyone Kareokes Frank Sinatra or Elvis. Also thought it was odd that the bar was not open. I thought the two had to go together. In RCCL defense a officer came to Kareoke one night and I told him about myself and other guest who would have enjoyed an adult beverage while watching songs. He said bar would be open the next night and it was.
The only excursion I took was to the tunnel in Viet Nam. I thought it was a wonderful experience. So much history on each side. The 2.5 hour bus ride was filled with much information about the country and each little village we drove through. The tour included lunch which was scenic and tasty.
I wanted to meet people from other walks of life. My dinning table consisted of people from Germany, Singapore, China, and Malayssia. I called it the United Nations Table. I feel everyone enjoyed it even if the American drank too much. The week of my cruise was the week the typhoon hit. I tried to express my concern to all the employees on the ship. To a person everyone thanked me for asking.
Absolutely no problems leaving the ship. A little bit of a wait for a taxi in Singapore but not excessive.
All in all a great time. Cant wait to go back.