Mariner of the Seas Cruise Review by tincoll: First RC Cruise - Great
Overall Member Rating
First RC Cruise - Great
First time cruisers and decided to do 2 cruisers back to back.
First was a 3 night Valentines cruise from Singapore to Kuala Lumpar and back. This cruise was definatly aimed at all the gamblers from Asia.. You couldnt move in the casino, the Windjammer or the shops. Everywhere else, pool, bars, entertainment were empty most times. Not many Westerners on board. I'm an Aussie but my wife is Filipino so i'm used to the Asian ways. Yes some were pushy and rude but you just get wider arms and push back a bit. They are used to it. Put youself in their shoes... Dinner time with 20 relatives at home you get in and get some no matter what. Thats how they operate! Others have said it, if you cant handle Asian culture, dont go to Asia! 3 day cruise was great for us to get used to the ship. We got around and saw everything there was to see.
Singapore Cruise Centre was awesome. Easy as. We got there by cab and we were on board in 20 mins. We did have a Junior Suite which gave us More access to priority boarding which helped. Once onboard they take your passport and keep it which is something you need to be ready for. There was a lady arguing black and blue that she wanted it back and they simply gave her an option... Let us keep it or get off! I think she let them keep it safe for her! We made some great friends with staff while onboard especially bar staff and room attendants. I had prepaid my tips but was happy to give $5 or $10US as a tip if I got great service. I gave the room attendant $30US on the first day and asked her to make sure she looked after us. She was a Filipino aswell so we had something in common. Have to say she was the best. Towel animals every night, cleaned when we wanted, always answered her phone if we needed her. Couldnt do anything else but look after us. It also helped that we were staying in the same suite for the second cruise aswell. We did our own excursion in KL with a private tour operator named CK. He is a very busy man and often booked out months in advance. He picked us up from the ship, took us too the places we wanted to see, Batu caves, KL tower, Kings palace and lunch. He was very knowledgable about KL and was well worth the money.
Second cruise was a 7night SE Asia which went from Singapore to Bangkok & Ho Chi Minh city. This cruise had alot more westerners onboard. We had been talking to about 50 people on cruise critic who were going on this cruise so we organised to all meet up at the Sky Bar at 2pm on embarkation day. It was excellent meeting people that you had been talking to for 6 months prior. It was like old friends. This was the Mariners first time on this itinerary so it was all new to crew and customers. We had organised our own day trip for the first day in Bangkok which took us to Ko Si Chang. Was a great day. Next day we had organised day trips with RC. This went a bit astray. I had booked the Sri Rachi Tiger Zoo for the morning and the Elephant Zoo for the afternoon. Unfortunatly, RC did not realise these 2 excursions really cant be done on the same day if you have to go back to the ship to go to the next one. Our guide at the Tiger Zoo simply put us in a tuktuk and told the guy where to go. After thinking we were going to die as we tried to do 90km an hr down the freeway with trucks and cars flying past us and then finding out that tuktuks arent allowed on the freeway, we end up at an Elephant zoo about an hour later.. Wrong Elephant zoo! Off we go again and another 20 mins and asking some locals we made it and had to wait for the bus with the other passengers on board.. It was an experience we wouldnt have had so I wont complain. The only issue I do have is it cost 500baht for the tuktuk and when I advised the tour desk that night, they didnt offer to cover the cost. But it was fun anyway! Vietnam was amazing. We again had a prebooked private excursion which our Cruise Critic group had organised with a gent called Zoom! If your ever in Ho Chi Minh and you need a tour guide, do yourself a favor and look this guy up. Absolutly fantastic. Took us for a great lunch, showed us all the places worth seeing and again was unbelievably knowledgable about the place. Back on the ship, some staff who stood out.. Customer service desk.. Gent from China named Do. Couldnt be more helpful to me. Even organised a free bath robe wrap and a cake and room decorations for my wife when he found out it was her birthday. Level 3 dining room matre de named Zong from China. This chap went well above and beyond to help me and he got a good tip for it. Largest tables in the dining room are 8 seats. Zong organised a table for 16 for the night of my wifes birthday which was a formal night and gained permission for me to bring 3 bottles of champagne that I had amassed over the 2 cruises via romance packages and tge complimentry bottle given by RC because they had to cancel the All Access Tour on the first cruise due to not enough people. Zong organised a birthday cake and asked us to wait in the bar until the table was ready and then sent a waiter down to get us all when it was ready. After dinner, he grabbed about 15 waiters and they all came over and sang happy birthday to my wife. Some seasoned cruisers in our group were flabergasted as to how I had been able to organise it all!
Bar tenders.. 2 guys in the Schooner bar on the first day became great contacts and friends during the cruise and made sure they not only looked after my wife and me, but also took care of all friends in our CC group. Mark from the Philippines and Katut from Bali. Great blokes with great attitudes. Mark had a cocktail book which got a hammering when we were all at the bar.
As a first cruise experience, we had a ball. We made it what we wanted and didnt really let anything phase us. We were on holidays. Why get stressed just because some thinks they need food before you.. Smile and say go for it.. RC will definatley get my business in the future thats fore sure. And I would go back to Asia agian no problems with them. To all the people that whinge and complain about lack of service, maybe you guys should just stay home for holidays. Im sure the staff probably thought you were hard work aswell!
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