2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Left out of Miami on Dec 28. This was a family cruise (4 people over 50, 3 in their 20s/30s, and 1 5 YO), so we had two balconies next to each other (6388 and 6390), as well as a new interior room. Embarkation: EASY. The new terminal is ... Read More
Left out of Miami on Dec 28. This was a family cruise (4 people over 50, 3 in their 20s/30s, and 1 5 YO), so we had two balconies next to each other (6388 and 6390), as well as a new interior room. Embarkation: EASY. The new terminal is great. Fast, attentive, wonderful. Disembarkation: Same. We did self assist and left at 8:30 after breakfast. Ship: while the updates are nice, they have NOT made their way to the staterooms. The overhaul makes the ship look newish, which is good. Dining rooms look lovely. Service: not one attendant on this ship smiled or seemed to care about our experience. We actively had some give us dirty looks (when returning towels or not ordering a drink by the pool). We had one server kick over our drink, look down, and then leave. By far the most depressing service I've ever had on a cruise. Cabins: We had the 6th deck aft balconies that have the deck in front. No one ever goes on them, so we didn't mind that "obstruction" at all. Room was a decent size, balcony a great size. HOWEVER — the room was in poor shape. The handles to the balcony were covered in tape and paint, it was SO HARD and LOUD to open the balcony door, the balcony was always dirty, the carpets were stained, all of the doors jiggled constantly, there are only two outlets in the room, one in the bathroom (bring an international adapter to add one more). Bed was rock solid (I didn't mind this).Remote never worked, etc. The INTERIOR room was brand new and much nicer (but nothing great, honestly). Food/drink: good: Dinner in the main dining room was lovely. Well prepared, tasty, and included. We didn't do specialty dining due to both cost and lackluster menus. We should have done lunch (see below), but those restaurants were still too expensive and completely empty at lunch, leaving the few diners to look sad and alone. bad: The windjammer has no change in menu for breakfast or lunch. I despised it by day 2. Very little was healthy for lunch, and there isn't even a basic vinaigrette for salad. I'm not a picky eater, so this was really disappointing. All I ever want to drink is plain soda water, which is usually available on the ship's water machines. On Mariner you don't get to pour your own beverage, so I was pretty sad. Activities: We really did enjoy laser tag! Free is the right price for it, and it was a blast. Sky pad was fun, too. Not worth a long wait, though. Escape room seemed like a good idea, but booking was a pain and we ended up not doing it due to that and the $20 pp fee. Pools were FREEZING. Hot tubs were packed and warm :). The solarium was the best for adults, but still FREEZING cold pools. My Alaska cruises were warmer... Kids camp/adventure ocean: what a disappointment. There were enough kids to do fun activities, but each day they just watched tv or colored on their own. Our kid LOVES kids camp so she didn't mind too much, but she said she was bored after two hours. She also was COVERED in marker — her clothing, everything. No one told us, and there were at least two other kids drawing all over her. The counselors (except one) never smiled or talked to my kid at drop off, despite her trying to make conversation. Overall this may be the cruise that makes us stop taking Royal Caribbean. I've usually been happy, but this was below expectations for this price point. We have recently had some lovely cruises on NCL and we'll be using them next time. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We went as a family of 4. 16 yo son, 13 yo daughter. We have not been on Royal Caribbean in 10 years. We have tried Disney, Norwegian, Princess and Holland America but decided to take a short cruise as we didn't want to go for a ... Read More
We went as a family of 4. 16 yo son, 13 yo daughter. We have not been on Royal Caribbean in 10 years. We have tried Disney, Norwegian, Princess and Holland America but decided to take a short cruise as we didn't want to go for a week. I was hesitant to go on one of the older ships but the price point was right. I'm not a fan of Nassau but I liked the idea of being able to spend more time at the Atlantis as the ship was leaving at 11:59 PM. We were able to rent a room at the Comfort Suites and have full access to the Aquaventure for the day. The ship under went a recent upgrade with a lot of fun activities for kids of all ages. Flowrider, water slides, Skypad, rock wall, Ice rink, mini golf. Some were new. The new Miami facility was a breeze to go through. We were on the ship in about 15 minutes. Our room was ready by 1 PM. We had 2 balcony cabins on the Deck 8. Lots of storage and the balcony was a comfortable 8' X 4.5' with reeling chairs. The rooms have limited (one) USB port so you will need to bring your own. We got out bathing suits and went on the water slides. Lunch in the Windjammer was decent. I liked the paella. The windjammer is very well run with a lot of options. Dinners had a lot of vegetarian options for my son. We did my time dining and were always happy. After the first night we would order my sons vegetarian meal for the next night. The entire staff could not have been nicer. We didn't go to the specialty restaurants. My son enjoyed spending times with the other teens and liked the Escape Room. My daughter preferred Bingo and the teen facial. They have a decent gym with free weight and a lot of cardio machines including a stair mill. We all had a private lesson on the flowrider. We were disappointed that our stop at Coco Cay was cancelled as the seas were rough and we could not tender. The pier is still not ready. I saw one show but I really enjoyed all the live music. Drink prices were higher than I remember. $12 for a cocktail and $8 for a beer. We brought 2 bottles of wine on board and had them with dinner. The wait staff on the Mariner has been ranked #1 in the entire fleet and they work hard to maintain that distinction. I liked the "smaller" size of the ship. There were never any long lines or waits. There were many family groups as it was the winter break. The ship is well maintained, especially the public areas. I would go on this ship again and would recommend it to others. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We decided to do a Christmas Cruise with our teenage daughters instead of our “traditional Stay-At-Home” Christmas time. We didn’t really know what to expect with so many various reviews, so we opted to do a short 4 night ... Read More
We decided to do a Christmas Cruise with our teenage daughters instead of our “traditional Stay-At-Home” Christmas time. We didn’t really know what to expect with so many various reviews, so we opted to do a short 4 night Bahama Cruise, to ‘try-out’ the cruise life. We researched for months and picked the Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas because of the itinerary, cost, entertainment and the pictures looked beautiful, plus our kids like to eat (a lot) so the Windjammer buffet looked perfect. The trip was absolutely wonderful in every way or could be! We didn’t run into any staff member that wasn’t as professional as can be. The staff clearly showed kindness and curtesy on our voyage always with a smile on their face The food was delicious with a huge variety to choose from. The hours to eat were perfectly planned. We were pleased to know we didn’t have to fight crowds on our way off the boat and on to the boat during our excursions Our only complaint was It was WAY TOO SHORT and we didn’t do this SOONER! Our next cruise will definitely be 7 days. It was so much fun!! We are already planning our next Christmas Cruise for 7 days- and this time probably in the Western Caribbean. I’m shocked to read other reviews that said anything else other than how great it was. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This cruise was a comp from M Life that we booked in May. I was a little hesitant based on some of the negative reviews and the fact that the ship is 15 years old. I am happy to say that I was wrong in my hastily preconceived notions. ... Read More
This cruise was a comp from M Life that we booked in May. I was a little hesitant based on some of the negative reviews and the fact that the ship is 15 years old. I am happy to say that I was wrong in my hastily preconceived notions. The embarkation was less than 10 minutes long which was incredible. The new Terminal A was brand-spanking new and glorious. We stayed in cabin 8248 which functioned without any glitches. Our steward was a very nice young male named Francis who had a good attitude and was eager to help. I ordered chocolate-covered strawberries for my fiancée and non-alcoholic sparkling wine, which we enjoyed on the 12th deck while the ship was pulling out. This was my 5th cruise and leaving port never gets old. We dined in the main dining room the first night and unfortunately they were not prepared for my vegan fiancée, but they were pleasant and tried their best to accommodate her. We were seated at section 222 and a very pleasant young Chinese woman named Xoieau (unsure of the spelling) was very sweet and helpful. I ordered the surf and turf for which I had to pay extra. The steak was great but the lobster was tiny. We dined the second night at Chops Grille and again there was some misunderstanding and miscommunication about a previously planned vegan menu for my fiancée. She wound up eschewing their menu due to confusion and just settled on a baked potato and vegetables, which she usually has at steakhouses back in the states. The 3rd night we dined at Jamie Oliver's which we highly recommend. I had the mushroom tagliatelle which was divine and my fiancée had penne Pomodoro which was great. The final night we dined at Izumi hibachi restaurant. I thought it was good but my fiancée thought the Filipino chef was a bit sloppy and dirty compared to other chefs. I thought his routine was amusing until I noticed all the other chefs had the same routine. The casino video poker machines were disappointing until the last night when I won all my money back. The casino personnel were all very good and the dealers had a great sense of humor. The problem with the casino wasn't the machines or the dealers--it was the players who interrupt a good run on blackjack without asking if they could join the game or players who just don't know how to play. The casino hosts were outstanding--they left a bowl of fruit one day for us and on the last night left a bottle of wine. On our second day we went to the Blue Lagoon Island. The boat ride was entertaining as the crew of the boat tried to lighten up the crowd. The blue lagoon island was a very nice, quiet, peaceful diversion. We initially were at the lagoon until we recognized the ocean on the other side. The lunch was standard American fare but they did have a veggie burger for my fiancée. I have to say that all of the bartenders were amazing. My fiancée does not drink alcohol but I am a martini drinker. Every one of them knows how to make a proper dry martini, which is more that I can say for some professional bartenders on land. We did the water slide on the ship twice and for 2 middle-aged people we had a blast! The gym was well-equipped and busy on most of the days. The photo shop was so efficient that we selected our pics and paid for them within 10 minutes. The prints were ready at the specified time as well. We wanted to go ice skating but didn't manage to fit it in. We won the caricature quiz and got 2 pens. On the final night we went to the karaoke bar on the 14th deck which was fun. The weather was perfect for the first 3 days but on the last night there was a thunder storm and the crew handled everything perfectly. The debarkation was faster than the embarkation. It took longer to get an English-speaking Uber driver than to get on and off the ship combined. In conclusion, the ship is 15 years old and you wouldn't know that at all from the refurbishment. I would not hesitate to go on Mariner of the Seas again. The service was impeccable. We were made to feel special, and who doesn't want that? We can't wait for our next RC cruise! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Ever been on a cruise ship where getting food is a challenge? Introducing Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas, where cost-cutting was perfected to a prison ship level. Recently remodeled, the ship looks shiny and spacious. Boarding ... Read More
Ever been on a cruise ship where getting food is a challenge? Introducing Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas, where cost-cutting was perfected to a prison ship level. Recently remodeled, the ship looks shiny and spacious. Boarding even with luggage was efficient. The first 30-minute line was encountered at the Promenade Cafe - the only place to get food without paying extra, until the dining rooms and buffet open for business. Sandwiches, pizza, cold cuts, and cheese were the only choices. At dinner time formal dining rooms offer 30-minute wait to get seated and 30 more to get served. The buffet was crowded and food selection was shockingly poor, compared to Celebrity, Princess, even Norwegian. Servers were forcibly adding new diners to occupied tables as there weren't any empty tables available. Announcements encouraged the guests to eat quickly and leave to make room for other guests at the tables. Sky Pad augmented reality trampoline jumping was exciting and surprisingly included without extra fees. Other than the Sky Pad, the layout is geared to generate revenue from the passengers. You could not sit down without being solicited to buy a drink, merchandise, or a shore excursion. Photographers at scenic places throughout the ship would block your path and require over a minute of negotiation before graciously permitting the guests to move on. In the morning the tender service to Coco Kay private island was delayed until 11 AM due to "tide", while the weather was perfect. Getting off the ship took 45 minutes. The island was nice, but free food was discontinued at 1 PM promptly, even though first passengers arrived on the island after 11 AM. Drinks at the bars were shamelessly watered down. Returning to the ship involved a 45-minute wait. Beach towel return was so well hidden - most guests could not find it and were surprised with a $20 fee at checkout. The formal dining, other than the long wait to be seated and another long wait to be served - was rather nice. Food quality was on par with other cruise lines. Again buffet food selection and snacks were the worst I've ever experienced, including the Carnival cruise line ships. My interior cabin was small but comfortable and very clean. Rafael the room attendant did a fine job and was tipped accordingly. The room phone worked fine room to room, but getting room service or an operator was impossible - no answer at any extension, not even at the spa. Disembarking had to be completed by 8 am, which was impossible because dining opens at 7 and service counter to correct the billing or pay with cash had a 45-minute long line. Printed instructions advised to leave your packed bags outside the night before or leave by 7 am if you want to carry your bag. The labyrinth path to get off the ship was complex, but the line was moving smoothly. The new Royal Caribbean terminal is shiny and features comfortable seating, but using the seats were not permitted, as passengers were driven along to the exit like cattle. The 3-day Bahamas cruise was an intellectually stimulating experience, but why do I feel exhausted and not rested afterward? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Royal Caribbean has been known to go above and beyond and I am very pleased! The ships upgrade / amplified renovations are gorgeous, sparkly, colorful and clean!!! The cruise director Ricky Matthews has so much enthusiasm, he really goes ... Read More
Royal Caribbean has been known to go above and beyond and I am very pleased! The ships upgrade / amplified renovations are gorgeous, sparkly, colorful and clean!!! The cruise director Ricky Matthews has so much enthusiasm, he really goes above and beyond always has a smile on his face says hi to you when you walk by etc... There's so much to do on even just a 4 night getaway! The endless activities on the ship everything from the Jewelry scavenger hunt to a fun crazy interactive game show, 70's and 80's nights, balloon drop with special effects, pool fun and movies and more! I enjoyed the food at Jamies Italian as well as the food in the dining room, the Royal Promenade also has great pizza! I can't wait to go on another cruise and am excited about Perfect Day at Coco Cay!! I highly recommend the Amplified Mariner of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our first cruise experience and we were simply enthralled by what Mariner had to offer us. The ship itself is beautifully renovated and perfect for a short vacay to Bahamas. It had so much to offer that we wished we had an extra ... Read More
This was our first cruise experience and we were simply enthralled by what Mariner had to offer us. The ship itself is beautifully renovated and perfect for a short vacay to Bahamas. It had so much to offer that we wished we had an extra day. From embarkation to disembarkation, everything was carried on smoothly. We were also offered cabin at promised time sharp at 1 pm. From the food at the Main Dining to Windjammer every food we ate was delicious. The wait-staff did a wonderful job. The swimming pool area always had a party vibe, and the crew always took great care of each and everybody. Shows were not many, still they were pleasant, if not exceptional. Cocoa Cay was cloudy during our visit, but we still enjoyed a lot. Nassau visit was also a good experience. If you are planning to go on a cruise for the fist time, I think Mariner is the right ship for you, it will set up your expectation about a cruise journey and will encourage you to do more cruising in near future. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Mariner of the Seas 4 night Bahamas cruise was an excellent trip that exceeded our expectations. This was the first cruise for my husband and I to go on together and we would definitely cruise again with Royal Caribbean. Embarkation and ... Read More
Mariner of the Seas 4 night Bahamas cruise was an excellent trip that exceeded our expectations. This was the first cruise for my husband and I to go on together and we would definitely cruise again with Royal Caribbean. Embarkation and disembarkation at Terminal A was quick, simple, and we were on board in about 20 mins. We boarded the ship at 1pm and our rooms were already ready. The room was great, and everything was cleaned and refreshed at least twice a day! The ship was beautiful and exceptionally clean. Even though it was a large ship and seemed to be mostly full, it never really felt crowded. We spent most of our time relaxing on the loungers around the pools, but also did the water slides, sky pad, watched movies on the big screen by the pool at night, and went to a couple shows - we enjoyed all of it. The food in windjammer buffet was good - not great but definitely lots of options and good enough for breakfast and lunch every day. We had planned to dine in a specialty restaurant one night but ended up eating in the main dining room every night. The main dining room was gorgeous and the service was excellent. The food in the MDR was decent overall - we had two pretty good meals, one amazing meal (stuffed shrimp), and one not-so-great meal (lasagna). The winds were too strong to tender into Coco Cay so we had to skip that port and spent an extra day in Nassau. We spent the first day in Nassau on the free public beach which was right next to the Atlantis beach (you can easily catch a cab from the cruise port to the beach or Atlantis resort for $4 per person one way, so $16 total for a really great beach day for the two of us!). The second day in Nassau we did an excursion through the ship to Atlantis Aquaventure which was easily the highlight of our trip. Online it said the excursion was only 9am-2pm but when we got there, they said we had until 5pm when the last shuttle went back to the cruise ship so that was a pleasant surprise! It included access to the waterpark, aquariums, and private beach. We rode most of the slides several times, did the lazy river several times, and spent a few hours on the beach and still got back to the ship in plenty of time. Overall, it was an excellent first cruise and the Mariner of the Seas had the perfect amount of things to do and opportunities to just relax. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our 1st Royal Caribbean cruise - Princess and Carnival were the others. We were pleasantly surprised to check in with no lines - it took about 30 minutes from parking our car to sitting in our stateroom! Our stateroom - 1264 ... Read More
This was our 1st Royal Caribbean cruise - Princess and Carnival were the others. We were pleasantly surprised to check in with no lines - it took about 30 minutes from parking our car to sitting in our stateroom! Our stateroom - 1264 deck 10 - AWESOME! Bed had a curtain to separate from sitting area, with couch, two chairs and end tables and coffee table. A bar area separated the sitting area from the HUGE mirrored closets, another mirrored wall, and there was also a fridge with more storage. A full bathroom with tub, double sinks, and again mirrors on two walls completed the experience. Our cruise missed Coco Cay due to weather, but kudos to the captain for his honesty! Another cruise ship was docked beside us, and we spoke to some passengers who were told there was a medical emergency. (not so) Shows were rarely full, however we could not do the escape room because it was booked solid, and we really wanted to do it. Debarking was also smooth - no crowds to speak of - and the worst was trying to find the exit out of the parking ramp! I too have spent HOURS waiting in line to disembark (Carnival in Tampa) We are already talking about our next trip! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We wanted to take a family vacation with an option for character breakfasts and activities that cater to our three year old. I was really looking forward to three days of not thinking about activities and entertaining, while enjoying my ... Read More
We wanted to take a family vacation with an option for character breakfasts and activities that cater to our three year old. I was really looking forward to three days of not thinking about activities and entertaining, while enjoying my family. We booked the Mariner of the Seas over a year ago after confirming with THREE RC agents that there will be Dreamworks characters on the ship, along with breakfast, parade, etc. After all, their website advertised the dreamworks experience with no indication that this may change. After we payed our deposit with this promise (literally had the agent promise….otherwise I would have booked a vacation in Orlando), I got a notice that the Mariner will no longer be offering the Dreamworks experience and the ship will be renovated to cater to the millennial crowd-complete with a surfing simulator, monster water slides, and a tiki bar. So basically they were taking away everything that got us to sign onto the trip and replacing it with nothing that was age-appropriate for either my three year old or us 40 year old non-millenials. Knowing that this is going to turn into a trip where I am now going to have to get creative with entertain activities (like I do every day at home…looking for a break to just have fun w the fam!), we tried to cancel. RC refused to refund our deposit because according to the fine print they can change anything they want at any time. As a consolation, they offered an octopus stuffed animal for my daughter which boldly advertises their logo and one dinner at a specialty restaurant. I requested the most kid-friendly at the earliest available time, and was given Chops (most upscale) at 7:30 PM (30 min before bedtime). The icing on the cake was months later I got another email letting me know that babysitting services I was told would be available for when my daughter goes to sleep were discontinued.. The corporate office suggested we “throw” our daughter in their child-care on the ship, not quite understanding that we actually wanted to spend our time with our daughter. We were promised that there would be family storytime (nope). We were promised that our daughter would be able to ice skate (started at 8 PM…bedtime). We were promised waterslides (my daughter was too little for the waterslides). Laser tag was not even an option for her. The climbing wall and VR were a tease for her. On the last day, the schedule said there would be a kid’s movie by the pool-we cut our visit to Nassau short to make it to the movie that never happened even though it was on the schedule. Instead, they showed a video about extreme sports. There were three 30-minute family activities a day, one of which started at 8:30 PM, and many of which were not age-appropriate. They said we can enjoy the pool, and I explained that we have a pool in our backyard..thats not a big deal to us. I was assured this trip would be just as fun and mindless with tons of things for us to do as a family. It was not at all what I signed up for. Total bait and switch. The cruise itself was well-run and the staff were perfect. No doubt this is a great trip for pre-teens, teenagers, or young adults. It us not the ship for a three year old. The announcements at 10 PM reviewing all of the evening activities woke her up every night. The child care appeared to be clean and the staff was super-nice, however if I was going to go on a vacation to be without my child, I would leave her with grandma! We wanted a trip with Dreamworks experience as advertised and by their staff (we did not use an outside travel agent). Although I have been cruising with RCCL since I was 14 years old (and hoping to continue the family tradition of RCCL family cruises), I do not see myself patronizing their company in the future with the way this was handled. There are too many vacation companies that would have handled this in a more honorable way. We are truly disappointed that we were sold a trip that was not what we experienced and will be dealing with more honest companies in the future. I have such a sour taste in my mouth with RCCL after the way they handled this. They lied to us…oh but there is the fine print so its ok… Read Less
Mariner of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.5
Dining 5.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.5 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.3
Family 4.5 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.5 3.6
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 5.0 4.0
Rates N/A 4.3

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