8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We're freshly-back from a 4-night Bahamas cruise that I would normally rate as average aside from one crew member's attitude nudging things lower. Previously, we have sailed on NCL and Princess cruises with a similar itinerary out of ... Read More
We're freshly-back from a 4-night Bahamas cruise that I would normally rate as average aside from one crew member's attitude nudging things lower. Previously, we have sailed on NCL and Princess cruises with a similar itinerary out of Miami. Aside from the newness of Mariner OTS, we've had more positive experiences on those other lines as a couple in their late 30s not traveling with children. We traveled in cabin 1260 which is a Grand Suite. The cabin itself is very nice, but we would really be just as happy in a window or even inside cabin. We don't make use of the balcony, and while the large bathroom and bathtub is nice, we mostly booked the suite to get the perks. One of the perks, priority boarding, was obliterated by a computer malfunction which required the use of hand-written boarding passes causing a major backup in the terminal. The boat didn't set sail until around 11:30PM due to the glitch. Nevertheless, we were still able to make use of all onboard amenities and the itinerary was only minimally affected. Although it's not our aim to avoid the MDR, we usually rely heavily on specialty dining. On this cruise, we ended up in specialty dining each night. Our first meal was at Jamie's Italian which we decided to try only because they were offering 35% off as a promotion. Despite this, the restaurant was nearly empty. At no point during our meal were more than 4 tables occupied. A sandwich board outside the restaurant says something to the effect of "We're all about beautifully-sourced ingredients." While my wife's lamb chops were fantastic and my crab pasta was also very fresh tasting and delicious, the side of "Seasonal Greens" was unmistakably frozen broccoli. This is a menu item and was not a special request. The boat was docked in Miami for over 12 hours. In all that time, they couldn't procure one single fresh vegetable for this restaurant? We had a quick lunch in the Windjammer twice and it's nothing to write home about. The buffet is pretty basic with hamburgers, hotdogs, and tacos taking up a large amount of space. There was a carving station for lunch as well as an area for comfort foods and some indian and asian choices. Our first port of call was Nassau Bahamas. We arrived late due to the computer problems in Miami the previous day. This was actually great because it meant we could sleep in. A large reason we booked this ship/itinerary was this stop. My wife loves the lazy river that connects to the water slides at the Atlantis Aquaventure park. We've been to Atlantis before and know how it's supposed to work. Upon arriving at Atlantis and getting on the lazy river, the access to the Power Tower (water slides) from the lazy river was blocked off. This attraction alone was the sole reason for booking this $149/pp excursion. We were at Atlantis for only 45 minutes before deciding to take a taxi back to the ship. Later that evening in the Suite Lounge, I thought to mention the Aquaventure mishap to the concierge as it's not a cheap excursion and our only reason for booking it was not fully operational. I wasn't necessarily looking for a refund, but he's the one that suggested a partial refund may be possible. Our concierge took notes on the matter and said he would pass it to the shore excursions manager who was still ashore at that particular time. Eventually, I got on the phone with the Shore Excursions Manager about the situation. She said that she spoke to the tour operator and they said all attractions were working on that day. Whoever the tour operator is, they're full of crap because not only was the entire Power Tower closed, but at least one of the waterslides on the Mayan Temple was also closed while we were there. I suggested to the Shorex Manager that either I'm lying to her or the tour operator is lying to her. She twice refused to say that I was a liar, but at the same time would not acknowledge my complaint or grant any sort of refund. This interaction right here is the #1 reason I probably wouldn't sail RCL again. I wasn't seeking a refund to begin with, but the incredulousness of this crew member really soured my impression of this already lacklustre cruise. I realize that this being my first RCL cruise, they don't know me from a hole in the wall. However, as an RCL stockholder and suite guest, the least they could do is acknowledge my complaint. If they offered something as simple as a complimentary meal in Chops, a gesture that costs them next to nothing, it would really have gone a long way. Instead, one incredibly poor customer service incident ends up costing the line countless dollars in repeat business and lots of eyeballs reading this review. That night we ate in Izumi which we pre-booked online. Compared to the other hibachi restaurants on cruise ships we've been to, Izumi is easily several notches above. The chefs are loud and very entertaining. You can customize your meal to your wishes and the quality of the meats and seafood is outstanding. Izumi was so good that, upon seeing the MDR menu for the following night, we decided to dine at Izumi a second time. I feel that I should also mention the Bamboo Room. I am a big fan of tiki drinks and this new venue is fantastic. The bar staff is wonderful and the vibe inside the Bamboo Room is great. One thing I noticed and appreciated about RCL is that many of the bars on board were distinct in not only their appearance, but also the drinks offered on each menu. I feel that the Bamboo Room took this a step further by not even stocking ingredients for some drinks found elsewhere on the ship, but also not relying on pre-made mixes from cartons that have become common across all lines. The Bamboo Room gets a huge thumbs-up from me, and I wish more lines would offer something like this. For our 2nd port stop at CocoCay, we booked an all-day beach bed rental. My wife is more into going the beach than I am. The beach beds are totally worth the $150 cost which covers up to 4 people. It's in a relatively quiet area, they bring food to you, the bed can provide lots of shade from the sun, you get 4 large bottles of water, and the use of two float mats. If I have to endure a beach day, this is the only way to do it in my opinion. On the last day of our cruise, a sea day, we had dinner at Chops. It's your basic cruise ship steakhouse. One note is that they were apparently out of ribeyes during the entire cruise. This is what my wife prefers to order, so that's a disappointment. I don't understand how a ship can dock in Miami, a metropolitan city in the United States, and somehow not be able to get a common cut of steak on board. Even in the port of Nassau this could have been accomplished if somebody cared enough. I chose the 9 oz filet ordered rare which was delicious and cooked to perfection. My wife had to opt for the lamb chops since ribeye was unavailable. She ordered medium rare, but they came out more rare than my steak. The situation was handled quickly and the chops came out cooked properly after a trip back to the kitchen. Our dinner took about 2 hours from start to finish, but the timing seemed appropriate. However, the table right next to us finished their meal within 15 minutes of us sitting down. Their table was left unclean the entire time we were there. We have experienced this in specialty restaurants on other lines, but I don't understand how this has become acceptable. Even in a Chili's on land I would expect a table to be bussed and reset within five minutes of a party leaving. Overall, this trip was mostly what is expected of an inexpensive 3-4 day Bahamas cruise. One standout was the Bamboo Room because it's a unique concept not yet seen on other lines. Almost everything else is cookie-cutter among the other mainstream lines and it really comes down to where your loyalty lies. If you're looking for a this type of cruise as a first-timer, I would say Mariner of the Seas is probably the nicest ship with this itinerary of the main cruise lines. The price is in line with the other majors and the recent refurbishment puts Mariner over the top. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
...full speed ahead to the profits. Hopefully this will not be RCCL moto on her other ships it is on the Mariner! We had sailed on it in May before it went into dry dock for renovations and had a wonderful experience. But the ... Read More
...full speed ahead to the profits. Hopefully this will not be RCCL moto on her other ships it is on the Mariner! We had sailed on it in May before it went into dry dock for renovations and had a wonderful experience. But the renovations destroyed the ship causing the ship to be overcrowded and a mess !! Gone are the whirlpool in the spa,the deli in the solarium, adults only in the solarium and space to move around in the dining room. The dining room has become a sea of oversized white chairs with very little space to walk between them. Welcome to the world of being sardines! Is there anything positive? Yes, the staff still gives superb service, but the overall ship makes us to recommend save your money and find another ship. RCCL has ruined a ship that was very enjoyable to one to put on your list to avoid!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
My wife and I booked our cruise in anticipation of trying a new port and new cruise line. We were surprised to find the Mariner doing a 3 day stint. Typically we see smaller ships except for Disney doing 3/4 Bahama routes. I have been on ... Read More
My wife and I booked our cruise in anticipation of trying a new port and new cruise line. We were surprised to find the Mariner doing a 3 day stint. Typically we see smaller ships except for Disney doing 3/4 Bahama routes. I have been on the Disney Dream four times and the Carnival Inspiration once. We aren't huge fans of the city of Miami but the Port itself was ok. Embarkation was smooth, we got there at roughly 1030.Royal offered to check carry on bags in the theater until 1 pm, which was something I haven't seen before. Lunch Buffett in Windjammer was great, lots of space, maybe too much! Ship-nice new upgrade to many areas, staterooms were not upgraded. They still maintain light green and pink decor. Ship was nice over all, not as upkept as Disney. The Promenade was excellent. Casino is very smokey, there are no doors at the entrances. Smoking is allowed on the pool deck port side...avoid it. Arcade, they are having lots of issues getting room cards to swipe in the machines, we were refunded our money. *Best viewing area is on the helipad* Cabin-lots of storage and good use and design of the closet. Older design with only 2 outlets for power. Excellent water pressure. Dining-no complaints here, food was good, service was good but not the best I have had. No fresh fruit at the bars for cocktails. E/A- A TON of things to do. Jam packed to the wee hours of the morning. Service- This needs work. I have minor experience here so I will compare it to DCL. It doesn't compare to DCL. Many questions were left with no answers, that never happened to us on DCL. The mood of the crew seemed generally average. Attention to detail was not really there compared to DCL. * This is something I have never seen. Employees (uniformed and badged) eating in and amongst the guests. Also witnessed employees smoking in public areas. We did not do any excursions but they do offer the RUM factory tour for Nassau which I have not seen anyone else offer. We would sail again ! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose the Mariner of the Seas because the ship had recently been refurbished and this was the first "large ship" to sail the three day itinerary from Miami. While in college, I had worked on cruise ships. We have gone on many ... Read More
We chose the Mariner of the Seas because the ship had recently been refurbished and this was the first "large ship" to sail the three day itinerary from Miami. While in college, I had worked on cruise ships. We have gone on many cruises with multiple cruise lines. The embarkation was very smooth and organized. Our cabin was ready at 1. The Bedroom Steward was outstanding. The Windjammer was very crowded and they had to make multiple announcements for passengers to please leave to make room for others. Throughout the cruise, the facilities seemed INADEQUATE FOR THE NUMBER OF PASSENGERS ( the pools and deck chairs). For serious swimmers,there was no pool. Although the dining room menu was similar to the Enchantment of the Seas, the taste and presentation was better on the Enchantment of the Seas. Perhaps the size of the and the number of passengers made a difference ( or the master chef?)? The Ventriloquist in the show was excellent. The comics' timing was off and they were not funny. There was no real musical show and the ice show did not compare to the other ships. The art auction was disappointing. The private island is still under construction. The nature walk is gone. The beach reminds me of Coney Island. The Barbecue was average. Downtown Nassau is becoming rundown. However, Shopping reminds me of "the sixties" and is fun. The best part of the ship (and cruise) is the Diamond Club. The staff and service there is outstanding. Disembarkation was relatively smooth. We all had a wonderful time. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Choose this cruise for a short Labor Day weekend getaway. First time we've done a short cruise and most likely our last. Also first time either of us took Royal Caribbean in years and we were left very disappointed. They push these short ... Read More
Choose this cruise for a short Labor Day weekend getaway. First time we've done a short cruise and most likely our last. Also first time either of us took Royal Caribbean in years and we were left very disappointed. They push these short cruises for 1st time cruisers, you would think they would do a better job getting people to go back. Embarkation and disembarkation was simple and quick minus my husbands sea card not working but guest services quickly issued him another. The common areas and pool are clearly were the recent renovation money went. The rooms weren't touched which is a common complaint of this ships review. Its one thing to be "outdated", which doesn't bother me but the rooms are disgusting! Its one thing to not replace or update things in the cabins but they obviously never deep cleaned the cabins. The bathroom had a terrible odor and the shower was moldy from the tiles to the door. Looked like they were never deep cleaned since they left Asia last year. We never took our shoes off until we were in bed. Balcony was rusty and needed a good paint job. Our room attendant was great though, he did the best with what he had to work with and made sure we had what we needed from extra towels and pillows. Dining was okay, the buffet needed more options, everyday was the same. Staff in main dining room were great, they had the most personality out of most the staff on the ship. Dining room food was good but nothing blew me away. Lots of different bar atmospheres to choose from on this ship, most the bartenders were great. Being Labor Day weekend we shared the ship with what seemed like eight different bachelor and bachelorette parties. This is a party cruise in general, basically felt like a floating frat party at times, after the sun goes down there isn't much to do besides drink. The entertainment and activities were very spreed out and just lacked in general. Ice show would have been great if i was a kid, comedians were good but the only adult show was midnight on the last evening. We lasted 5 minutes into the other show that were not even sure what it was suppose to be about. Coco Cay was nothing spectacular, we enjoyed the beach and floating bar till after lunch when it seemed the bachelor/bachelorette must have woken up. The poor bartenders have to hand write receipts and sea card numbers when you order/buy drinks. We couldn't believe with the $$ RCI is investing into that island and ships that they don't have modern systems with handhelds. This took the bartenders forever and really slowed service. Nassua is Nassua, there is nothing special about it. Its Dirty and the people are rude. Least favorite port in the Caribbean, just stay on the ship. Atlantis is nothing special, just save your money. Overall we would not do this ship again. If you have children you may have a different experience or if you just want to be drunk for a couple days then this may be for you. It words of my husband "They tried to polish a turd" Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We wanted something short for Labor day weekend, and having been on the Mariner before but years ago seemed like a safe bet. Check in was easy and painless and we were on the ship in 20 mins. Booked a lunch at Jamie Olivers Italian ... Read More
We wanted something short for Labor day weekend, and having been on the Mariner before but years ago seemed like a safe bet. Check in was easy and painless and we were on the ship in 20 mins. Booked a lunch at Jamie Olivers Italian restaurant to avoid the hoards of people flocking to the Windjammer cafe for lunch. Food was good ,but a little disappointing because the chicken dish ordered was dark meat and bone - in which I really don't care for and was not advertised as such. Overall good experience. Balcony cabin was typical with hard mattress and flat pillows but the same as all the other balcony cabins we have stayed in. ship just came out of dry dock after extensive retro fit and she looks really good. Waterslide was fantastic Flowrider and rock wall always there for the daring. Skydome was not open when I wanted to use but looked really interesting?? A sore spot for me was Johnny Rockets which went from a small $5.00 cover charge when it started to a now almost $14 charge p.p. to eat there. Then to top it off they TOAST all their buns (even Hot Dog buns) to cover up the fact that their buns are really STALE... Dinner was very good and food was cooked to perfection so no complaints about dining room service. Tried breakfast in the dining room one morning and found that the service that RCL prides themselves on was a bit lacking for breakfast as the wait staff tells you most of the breakfast is available on the buffet set up in the center of the dining room and all your side dishes are now self serve.. So the next morning we tried the Diamond Club for breakfast and it was Limited but that's ok ,we knew that going in The food service staff I think needs a little retraining. While there were plates of muffins and croissants there was no BUTTER. I asked and was told we don't have any.. Ok so there was fruit and yogurt topped with granola -- but NO spoons. Ok I will have the egg offering. Salmon Florentine but wait the warming table is so hot the the eggs have cooked themselves to the dish they were sitting on and when you use the thongs to grab an egg ?? Disaster. So much for the Diamond Club. Put up with the crowds in the Windjammer cafe. The two port days CoCo Cay and Nassau were just as always pretty uneventful with a BBQ on Coco Cay and Atlantis on Nassau. Overall disembarkation was quick and easy we did self assist and took our stuff off ourselves and waved a fond farewell to the Mariner of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Stay away from. Room 2278. Noise from studio b till 3am That’s my fault for booking last minute cruise On the cruise as I write his. Customer service. Says they will write the wrong We’ll see in a bit. Food was good as ... Read More
Stay away from. Room 2278. Noise from studio b till 3am That’s my fault for booking last minute cruise On the cruise as I write his. Customer service. Says they will write the wrong We’ll see in a bit. Food was good as expected. Chops still consistent after many cruises on this line. Disco party is exactly same in every ship so go me it’s a little long of tooth but for new cruisers splendid new hand was area at windjammer I trusting but think a slip And fall accident is in there future. I will recommend. Totally except my room Great for new cruisers. Family on budgets or Batchelor or batchlelorette parties at least 10 on this cruise. Hope you enjoy your next cruise if you select this ship Ps they changed liquor packages. So be careful and do the math if you think it’s too much as it’s now per room not person Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
The newly refurbished Mariner of the seas was beautiful and a great family ship. The new addictions such as Flo Rider, The water slides, Sky Pad and laser tag were super fun. Food was great and never went hungry. Shows were good especially ... Read More
The newly refurbished Mariner of the seas was beautiful and a great family ship. The new addictions such as Flo Rider, The water slides, Sky Pad and laser tag were super fun. Food was great and never went hungry. Shows were good especially Circus Ice show it was the best show I’ve seen on sea. This was my first RC and wasn’t disappointed only fault I found was the night life was not as good as Carnival and the night clubs and parties were sort of lame. Was looking for more to do at night then what was offered. Room was nice and room Steward was nice. The ship was nicely decorated and layout was good. Super big and didn’t have enough time to walk to whole shop like I wanted too. Overall loved the ship and can’t wait to sail her again. Took some new cruisers with me and they all loved the ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The recent upgrades to the ship are nice, but our family didn't love the Royal Caribbean experience. We are a family of three. At the time of our cruise my wife and I are in our mid thirties and we have eleven and nine year old sons. ... Read More
The recent upgrades to the ship are nice, but our family didn't love the Royal Caribbean experience. We are a family of three. At the time of our cruise my wife and I are in our mid thirties and we have eleven and nine year old sons. This is the third cruise for my wife and I. We've also sailed on the Norwegian Sky and Disney Magic on similar, short, Bahamas itineraries. The kids weren't with us on the NCL Sky, but did join us on the Magic. We choose the Mariner because we found our NCL experience was great as adults. The Disney shipped was great for kids, but not relaxing for the adults. We felt our next cruise should offer a better family experience, something for adults and something for the kids. Ship The recent updates to the Mariner are great. The ship was beautiful. Our family enjoyed the FlowRider, SkyPad VR Trampoline, Waterslides etc. We especially enjoyed the laser tag experience. Note that it shares a space with the ice rink, so laser tag only runs certain days. We didn't get a chance to check out the new escape room, but we heard very good things from fellow cruisers. Cabin I read a lot of complaints about how the cabins were untouched during the recent upgrade, so I was worried. It was unfounded. Our cabin, a balcony room on deck 10 was clean and comfortable. Everything worked fine. Additionally our cabin attendant gave us amazing service, by far the best of any of our cruises. She went above and beyond to help us with any questions we had, whether they were room released or not. The layout of the room on the Disney ship was better for a family with two kids, but we made the Mariner room work fine. Dining This was a disappointment compared to both NCL and Disney. On the NCL Sky, we had freestyle dining and could dine in a variety of different locations around the ship whenever we wanted to, so there was a ton of variety without having to splurge for premium options. On the Disney ship, we had were scheduled in a different, beautiful restaurant every night. I obviously wasn't expecting that on the Mariner, but I was hoping for something compared to the NCL experience. The Mariner has something called MyTime dining, which I suppose is meant to resemble Freestyle dining on NCL, but it still requires a reservation, and they expect that you keep the same one every night. Besides the main dining room, there is the Windjammer buffet, and a Cafe on the promenade deck that service pizza and sandwiches. Everything else was extra. The price of drink packages, even soda only were ridiculous. I understand things on a vacation cost money, but we constantly felt nickel and dime in a way we didn't on the other ships. We had an unlimited beverage package included on the NCL, and I don't recall Disney charging us for Soda. Especially, not $300+. The buffet food was average. The main dining room food was good, but our service wasn't great. I wanted a wedge salad with no bacon, and I was informed that they are remade, and they would "see what they can do". I did eventually get the salad, but I don't think I should be made to feel bad for a relatively minor special request. We also weren't informed their was a kids menu available. We only figured it out after we noticed other kids getting food, like pizza, that wasn't on the menus we had. Our kids didn't always order off the kids menu, but it would have been nice to be presented with all the options. We received a lot of pressure from the wait staff to give a 10 review on the Royal Caribbean survey Entertainment and Activities The cruise director and entertainment staff didn't have as much energy and fun as they did on the NCL Sky. The shows weren't very interesting, with the exception of the ice show which was outstanding. As I mentioned above, the new attractions like the SkyPad were very good. Service In general, the crew seems tired, overworked, and indifferent. Our stateroom attendant was great, but other than that the service was poor to average. We had a problem getting prepaid arcade credits to show up on our cards, and it took talking to three different people on three different decks and dragging our kids through the Casino to get it corrected. The slot tech was annoyed he was woken up to help us, because he was supposed to be off. On the first day I called guest services to ask about whether the ice show would repeat on a different day. The answer I got, was 'I don't know, maybe, probably not". The person was too lazy to find out. It turned out it did repeat. We got good service from two or three crew members, but overall this was definitely lacking. Ports and Shore excursions Pre much as as expected. CocoKay was fun. We did the aqua park experience. On Nassau we did the glass bottomed boat and liked it. Kids Club This wasn't good. The times it was open were confusing. We heard other parents complaining about the same thing. We knew this wouldn't be as good as Disney, but we were still underwhelmed. Our sons complained another boy was hitting him and swearing at him. The staff admitted to my wife they knew about this, and couldn't really address it. There's no ship wide phone system for the staff to contact the parents (they have this on Disney), so the couldn't call the parents. They should have at least separated the problem child. On our next cruise, we will either go back to Norwegian (Especially if we don't bring the boys) or Disney. We enjoyed the trip, but not as much as we have on other lines. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My overall experience was great, as it is often pointed out, what you make it. We had cabin 1688 which is located in the back of the ship and is one of the largest balcony cabins. I was a little concerned because it is located on deck 10 ... Read More
My overall experience was great, as it is often pointed out, what you make it. We had cabin 1688 which is located in the back of the ship and is one of the largest balcony cabins. I was a little concerned because it is located on deck 10 which is below the lido deck and thought this might be noisy but, we heard absolutely nothing except occasionally the engines but that sound did not last long. The one area that was a little sad to me is how can a ship pour billions of dollars into renovation but totally ignore the furnishings that really need to be replaced. There were 4 of us, 2 teenage granddaughters slept on the pull out sofa, it was huge and actually could have slept a third person but it was old and in desperate need of being replaced. My granddaughters were cruising for the first time and did not find there was enough evening activities for teenagers but that could have just been because of the lack of a lot of teenagers on board and because of their inexperience in knowing exactly what to look for but they seemed to have enjoyed the overall experience. The staff aboard the ship were excellent, I can honestly say one of the few times I remembered everyone who did something for us. Ren was our cabin steward and he was excellent and pleasing in every way, never had to be reminded of anything I asked for on the first day. Xin and Suraj were our waiters and they always went beyond to make sure we were aware of the activities each day. The other area I am disappointed with Royal is no laundry facilities, although I don't use them, being able to press a dress would be nice and thanks for doing away with the dog on board policy, I was not happy to see a dog in a stroller who clearly was not a service dog in the dining room. I loved the decor of the ship very much and we also made the decision to rent the beds on coco cay, that service is well worth the money unless you have small children and want to keep them close to the action as these are pretty much away from those areas which I personally enjoyed as I just wanted to relax. 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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