1,344 Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas Cruise Reviews

My Husband and I only had a weekend to be able to celebrate our 10 year anniversary so we decided on this cruise and boy are we glad we did! This short cruise really crams in a lot. We did the key program, drinks package and unlimited ... Read More
My Husband and I only had a weekend to be able to celebrate our 10 year anniversary so we decided on this cruise and boy are we glad we did! This short cruise really crams in a lot. We did the key program, drinks package and unlimited dining plan which I highly recommend but even without those additions this cruise is really great. So much to do on board and very good entertainment going on non stop. We did blue lagoon island in Nassau which was awesome but with coco cay included you don't need to spend extra on excursions unless you really want to. The ship is so awesome you might want to just stay onboard in Nassau. The food in all of the specialty restaurants was really good. Especially Chops. Best food I've ever had on a cruise. The coffee was definitely best from the coffee shop on the promenade. The ride was a little bumpy at times but not too bad. We got a balcony room and it was really great. Plenty of room and beautiful views and our room steward Ketut always kept it very clean. Did the free continental room service to save time on the 1st morning and that was very good and convenient. Coco Cay was amazing!! I just wish we could have stayed there longer. Overall for such a short cruise this was really spectacular and I would do it again in a heart beat and recommend to anyone wanting a really fun short weekend get away. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Wanted to try the Mariner again after 11 years. Booked an Owners Suite # 1628. Overall found the ship in fair condition. The balcony for our room was not in good shape. Furniture in our room was very old. Looks like the only thing ... Read More
Wanted to try the Mariner again after 11 years. Booked an Owners Suite # 1628. Overall found the ship in fair condition. The balcony for our room was not in good shape. Furniture in our room was very old. Looks like the only thing replaced during the refurb was the carpet. As we send a lot of time in our room, will stick to sailing in full suites on an Oasis Class ship. Room attendant had a total of 15 Suites and Balcony Cabins. Our cabin was never completely straightened or cleaned. Royal needs to cut back on the number of cabins for their attendants. Suite Lounge was very nice and never over crowded. As we were in port everyday, 2 days at COCOCAY, had to eat lunch in the windjammer as the dining room was never open. Breakfast in Chops was nice. However, the room was drab and windows were very dirty. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I seem to be one of the only people left in this world that have not been on a cruise and it was time for me to get away and enjoy some grown up time with my love. I had to get away from town so I would not think about work and I always ... Read More
I seem to be one of the only people left in this world that have not been on a cruise and it was time for me to get away and enjoy some grown up time with my love. I had to get away from town so I would not think about work and I always wanted to see the crystal clear water. This ship was like a mini city on the inside! Absolutely beautiful with a team of crew members that worked together like a well oiled machine. I think I only encountered two that were not in a good mood, but I don’t know what’s going on in their lives right now so I can’t judge. Vincent took care of our room and made sure I had my extra pillows. He always had everything ready for us and would greet us with the most amazing smile. He will be going places some day. That is an amazing and kind soul. The wait staff at dinner was superb! We had the same table each night so we got to know our servers. The meals were more delicious then expected. The marriage show was funny followed by a an interesting comedy show. Great job Mariner Crew. I will definitely be back some day.... when I can afford the tickets. I have to be a good mom and bring my daughter (17 yr old) on the next one. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
A weekend get away cruise for my Husband and I kid free! My husband pre checked in which you must do! We were on the ship in 5 minutes! We had an interior room which was great, I like the class shower doors, slept well with No windows and ... Read More
A weekend get away cruise for my Husband and I kid free! My husband pre checked in which you must do! We were on the ship in 5 minutes! We had an interior room which was great, I like the class shower doors, slept well with No windows and the room stayed cool. Plenty to do! Do not miss the Love and Marriage game show and comedy show if no kids. We did the sushi class, made 3 rolls! But have to eat there was stuffed! I hear a lot of complaints about the food not being good in the main dining room but we enjoyed it. Not a fan of Nassau just went and got a drink and souvenir and got back on ship. Did not pay for anything at Coca Cay enjoyed the beach and new pool, food was great, a lot of choices get the cheese sticks! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this Cruise through Becky's Travel which is an awesome travel agency in Beverly Hills, Fl. We sailed out of Port Canaveral, Fl, There were 14 of us and had a great time, we celebrated a friends 70th Birthday which turned out ... Read More
We chose this Cruise through Becky's Travel which is an awesome travel agency in Beverly Hills, Fl. We sailed out of Port Canaveral, Fl, There were 14 of us and had a great time, we celebrated a friends 70th Birthday which turned out great. The ship was recently refurbished and nicely appointed. The dining room food on RCCL has diminished over the years and I believe its in order to entice people to buy a "Dining Package" The individual drink price is astronomical and I also believe its so people buy the Drink package, a normal Vodka and Tonic with lime is $14.99 which includes an automatic 18% gratuity, this gratuity is also applied at the Specialty Restaurants. We chose Chops and Izumi as Specialty meals, Chops left a lot to be desired compared to our Chops visit on the Radiance in February 2019 which was awesome. The Izumi Teppanyaki experience was exceptional, we would do it again. I am somewhat frustrated with RCCL's Crown and Anchor society, With this Cruise we reached 54 points only 1 away from Emerald status which increases perks and discounts, we signed up at Nextcruise for a 10 day European cruise in June 2020 and RCCL wouldn't give us that 1 extra point even after our first night of the new cruise, other cruise lines do. I met with the C&A director "Marcos" on the Mariner and he basically just shut me down and said, You only get the points after completing the entire cruise, he tried around and ignored me after that and left me hanging, Sad but true. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Just got off the ship...great job Royal Caribbean!! My family and I had the best time. The staff members are so friendly and helpful. I definitely recommend cruising on this ship. The food is amazing. Kudos to the waiters & everyone ... Read More
Just got off the ship...great job Royal Caribbean!! My family and I had the best time. The staff members are so friendly and helpful. I definitely recommend cruising on this ship. The food is amazing. Kudos to the waiters & everyone that works in the kitchen. After you eat too much you can head over to the gym and work it all off. The gym was very nice and clean. If you’re able to get up early I recommend going as the sunrises. It’s located high enough up to where you can get an amazing view. There’s so much to see you almost forget how hard ur working after all those food and drinks,haha. For anyone interested in art make sure you save up some extra money for that, because you’re definitely going to see a few pieces you will want to take home with you!! Whether you just want to relax by the pool or you’re interested in the activities they’re is something for everyone! I will definitely cruise with Royal Caribbean again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We wanted a short cheaper cruise for our Anniversary. We had some gift cards from work to apply to RC to bring the cost down. We had to call RC multiple times and took a month and after our cruise for the cards to be applied. The booking ... Read More
We wanted a short cheaper cruise for our Anniversary. We had some gift cards from work to apply to RC to bring the cost down. We had to call RC multiple times and took a month and after our cruise for the cards to be applied. The booking agent with RC was not the most helpful to work with and was at times rude. We had it noted in our booking it was our Anniversary the day we left yet no one from RC from the cabin steward to the dining room staff said Happy Anniversary until my husband went to the head waiter and told him. We didn't expect any gift or items but a verbal acknowledgement would have been nice since the phone customer support had it in the file when they asked after we had all the trouble with the gift cards being applied if we would like to purchase a bottle of champagne for our anniversary. The main entree food in the MDR was good overall with the exception of the fish which was overcooked and dry. The desserts were underwhelming as we have had much better on other cruise lines. The two best are the chocolate cake they have every night and the grand mariner souffle. We wanted to try the sky pad, lazer tag, ice skating, rock wall and flow rider. The sky pad we heard from another guest was going to be shut down by 5:30 the first day and not open the remainder of the cruise even though the itinerary said it would be open each day on their app. Sure enough it was closed for maintenance but didn't reflect that in their app. The lazer tag also had more times posted in the app than it was really open for so we were unable to try that. The Ice skating was pretty cool but also had limited availability and was fun to try. The ice show was great the best show we saw on the ship by ship staff. It was obvious they were stalling the first night for the comedy show but wouldn't announce that when the comedian didn't come on until 40 min into an hour scheduled show. The flow rider was fun but you could only go a minute or two per turn before waiting a half hour in line again. We liked that the ship never felt crowded or had trouble getting from one end to the other. The promenade was nice and the coffee drink cards well worth it. Other activities were on par with other ships. The comedian and ventriloquist were enjoyable. Overall we would cruise RC again if the price is right but to us it isn't worth the higher price when activities are unavailable more than half the cruise and the food is the same or other lines better. We did not try the specialty restaurants maybe the food is better there for the additional cost. The cabin was clean but smaller than ones we've had in the past but worked for us for a 4 day cruise. The only other negative was the $170 in extra credit card charges in addition to the end of cruise room statement we found on our credit card a few days after arriving home that RC says is credit card validation to ensure it's a valid card. Not sure I believe that they need to charge 5 charges ranging from $9-75 to validate a card. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First, I was a single traveler on this trip. My wife had girls outing in the Lake of the Ozark so I decide to travel alone. I learned a lot about traveling alone. There are no perks for being a single traveler and what there is, is ... Read More
First, I was a single traveler on this trip. My wife had girls outing in the Lake of the Ozark so I decide to travel alone. I learned a lot about traveling alone. There are no perks for being a single traveler and what there is, is based on double occupancy. The only benefit is my drink package was based on one traveler and two. I would really think hard about booking a single cruise with Royal Caribbean again, This cruise turned out to be a humanity cruise and not a pleasure cruise. Due to the massive destruction in the Bahama, Mariner of the Sea changed it sailing itinerary and we lost our day at sea. The original itinerary was leave Port Canaveral, day at sea, Nassau, then Coco Cay. What we got was Port Canaveral, Freeport, Nassau where we spent overnight and two days then we went to Coco Cay. The reason why was, Mariner stopped at Freeport and dropped off several thousand of meals and supplies and then loaded several hundred refuges and then we went directly to Nassau to allow the refuges to disembark there. I like to commend Royal Caribbean on there efforts in helping the victims of the hurricane. My only complaint is no one knew about the changes until 30 minutes before departure. My travel agent got the memo after we left. I miss my day at sea, to me this is very peaceful but giving the big picture I understand. By the way, all of the refuges were restricted to the auditorium and was not allowed to mingle with the passengers. The refuges were taken care of. I enjoyed the Mariner of the Sea and this is the third trip on her. The staff were great and my room attended went above and beyond what he was required to do. He later received a nice reward. The food is still the same and there was not changes there. I had to laugh, when I went into the Windjammer and one of the staff I have seen before was not singing “Please wash your hands”. He recognized me and we had a good laugh when he pointed to his guitar and said that he needed a break. If you have ever traveled on the Mariner of the Seas you will know what I am talking about. The jingle is one of those songs that plague your mind and you keep repeating if over and over almost as bad as Disney “it’s a small world”. Despite the changes I am booking another cruise I just hope I get my day at sea. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were so anxious to sail on this refurbished ship since we had sailed on her before many times & loved her Sadly we were the first sailing on her after the hurricane Dorian. But on the brighter side we experienced her delivering ... Read More
We were so anxious to sail on this refurbished ship since we had sailed on her before many times & loved her Sadly we were the first sailing on her after the hurricane Dorian. But on the brighter side we experienced her delivering food & supplies to the Bahamas. It was a great experience to even bring some refugees from Freeport to Nassau. The food on this ship was average & plentiful. No reason to go hungry Luckily Nassau was not too affected by the hurricane. However, we were looking forward to Coco Cay since we also have this ship booked for a Christmas Cruise where we are taking our whole family of 14 with 6 cabins booked. Coco Cay in our opinion was not ready for visitors. The island smelled like sewage & the ocean was disgusting. After about an hour we returned to the ship as I felt sick. We just could not eat there. Our outside window cabin was very nice & our attendant was average Our dinner server was fabulous & kept us entertained. We were disappointed in the quality of the coffee in the coffee shop on deck 5. We remembered it for having excellent coffee. I guess they wanted you to use Starbucks Embarking & Disembarking went great & smooth. All told it was a relaxing getaway but nothing above average. Gjginparadise Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I booked this cruise specifically to see Coco Cay after it's supposed $250 million update. The cruise was a mixed bag so to speak. Check in was a breeze, no waiting. Cabin was nicely arranged & large with 2 couches for an inside, ... Read More
I booked this cruise specifically to see Coco Cay after it's supposed $250 million update. The cruise was a mixed bag so to speak. Check in was a breeze, no waiting. Cabin was nicely arranged & large with 2 couches for an inside, but was NOT QUIET.Never book a promenade view room unless you don't want to sleep. I ate all the meals in the dinning room because I couldn't stand the crowds of ill mannered people at the buffet, I mean did some of these people ever see food before ?...pigs. The food in the dinning room was good, not great.I only had to wait about 10 minutes each evening for a table, but the service was a little slow. The 2 shows I saw, ice show & show with singers & dancers was very good. The ship itself is very nice, BUT CANNOT HANDLE the amount of people that it does & on my cruise it was only 3/4 full because of hurricane Dorian. Not enough elevators, both the pools too small, the adult pool was like a sardine can. The music around the pools was just so loud, do they think everybody is deaf ? Coco Cay was a BIG LETDOWN. I am not a fan of water slides or such so I stayed on the "FREE" side. The beach are is NOT GOOD, full of seaweed & not even nice to walk around, you sank into some kind of "muck". There was also a stench of sewer all around. The freshwater pool was a joke also, just a wading pool filled with bodies. There were enough chairs around the beach & pool. The food offerings were typical beach fare. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Myself, my sister, and my parents did this for a birthday cruise, sailing on Friday and coming back on Monday. We've been on over 10 cruises. It was overall, a good cruise. The ship was beautiful, being renovated recently. You ... Read More
Myself, my sister, and my parents did this for a birthday cruise, sailing on Friday and coming back on Monday. We've been on over 10 cruises. It was overall, a good cruise. The ship was beautiful, being renovated recently. You could tell, especially on the promenade, that it's been upgraded. With amenities such as starbucks, ice skating, the escape room, and laser tag, these definitely added to the value to sailing on the ship. Amenities: We did laser tag, and ice skating. Laser tag was ran really smoothly, with the staff recognizing that someone in our party's equipment wasn't properly working. They fixed this solution within seconds, which we were happy about, especially since on a previous sailing on the Liberty of the Seas, they didn't recognize that there was anything wrong, resulting in the points of someone in our party not being counted throughout the entire game. The game was around 10 minutes, and towards the end it does get fatiguing. However, it was a lot of fun. Ice skating, unfortunately, didn't go as well. There was only one opportunity to skate, which took place on the last night. The ladies that signed myself and one other person were extremely nice, and smoothly made sure that we signed all of the required papers in order to skate. However, the gentlemen that handed out the skates downstairs, was rude and dismissive, especially since one person in our parties' skates were the wrong size. Not responding when we said thank you, dismissive when I was confused over why I received a size 8 when I was a 9, with him saying "its fine", in a passive tone. All in all, skating was fun, however found it a little mundane since the music choices weren't up to par, and it went by too fast. We did not have time to do the flow rider, the sky pad, waterslides, or the escape room(cost extra). However, from the looks of it they all seemed like they would be a good time. Shows: Stage Shows: We went to the Welcome Aboard Show and the Adult Comedy. The Welcome Aboard Show was very entertaining and we enjoyed it. It was a variety show. The Adult Comedian was funny during the variety show, but only had us laughing a few times during the night time show. Gameshows: We went to the Finish The Lyric Gameshow and The Quest Gameshow. We left the Finish The Lyric Gameshow early. We thought the song choices consisted of too many oldies such as Elton John which is odd for a relatively young ship. The host running it though she seemed nice was rather boring and didn't do a good job at engaging the crowd. Also, most of the members in the game show were from one group which made it boring to watch. We've been to the Quest Gameshow on Liberty of the Seas last December, and the show on this ship did not impress as much. The show is not for the easily offended, but themes during this show were more inappropriate than the ones on Liberty. My group and I are not easily offended, but the inappropriate rounds were at least 70% of the show. This obviously varies from ship to ship, as I presume the cruise director has a large part in theming so we did not enjoy it as much. However, it is always the most exciting game show of the cruise so I will indefinitely continue to check them out. Coco Cay: Honestly, anyone looking for a cruise to go on should pick this ship just for the fact that it goes to their private island, CocoCay. It was outstanding, and as they stated numerous times throughout the cruise, the "perfect day". The amenities were remarkable, having multiple buffets so it was never too crowded with people. The buffet here was higher quality than the one on board, having many different options including as the standard choices like burgers and hotdogs, but also cuban sandwiches, portabello sandwiches, pre made salads, a taco bar, and plethora of desserts(including, as myself and my entire group stated, the best brownies they've ever ate) and fresh cookies. They also had a fruit station. In addition, having a long stretch of a beach area, a quieter beach area, and a beautiful fresh-water pool with a bar; it really made it perfect for accommodating to different groups based off different wants when you're vacationing. There was an abundance of seating, so it was good not feeling rushed to have to get there super early to get prime seating (only at the pool bar I would recommend heading there early if you want a seat near the dj and pool bar). The DJ that played at the pool was top knotch. He played current songs, and implemented multiple genres, and even line dances. It was a great mix and had us grooving the entire time. They also had the waterpark, ziplining, and the hot air balloon, which were an additional cost and we did not use. We had an amazing day at their private island, and cannot wait to return soon. Dining: The dining at the buffet food wasn't the best we've had, however, it got the job done if you wanted a snack throughout the day, such as hamburgers and hot dogs. However, during dinner time, especially if you got there early, there were a lot more options. There was even a fondue station, with a very friendly staff member handing us out whatever pastry/fruits we wanted with the chocolate fondue. The dining room was definitely an enjoyable experience, but not perfect. The waiter slightly rushed the experience, and we had him twice though we opted for My Time Dining, which can vary your seat/waiter nightly in the dining room. In addition, while there were no more guest to assist since the dining room was about to close, we still hadn't gotten our dessert yet but he was too busy cleaning up his other tables to get us our desserts, and even give us coffee(which we never got even upon request.) However, the food was always very good, and we never had to wait super long for our first two courses(appetizers and entrees). The only issue we had on the cruise was when my sister and I tried to order drinks for the first time on the ship at the pool bar during the sail away party, I guess our cards were pre printed before we were of legal drinking age(our birthday was a few days prior) so we were denied service despite the fact that we presented ID's and repeatedly told him we were of age. The manager, I believe, was very rude about the entire situation and kept repeating he could not serve us. All in all, we just went to guest services and got our cards reprinted so the indication that you are under age is removed. The gentlemen at guest services was very confused by the situation himself, clearly seeing that we were over the legal drinking age. I understand that it is an extremely big deal to not serve someone alcohol who is underage, but he lacked proper customer service communication. I'm sure that when an employee swipes your card your age is shown, so I wish he would've not treated us as if we were doing something wrong and communicated that we should go to guest services to get our cards fixed because there is an indication on your card stating you are underage because obviously we wouldn't be aware. Overall it was a nice getaway. It was a good crowd on the ship, with about 5% of the ship being rowdy, and too intoxicated for my liking. It was predominately older couples, families, and larger all middle aged adult groups. Nice ship, and with tiny improvements it could've been a 5/5 vacation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because it went out of port canaveral with good dates before moving my son back into college at ERAU. Royal Carribean is usually pricier so we had not tried it before. I found a sale on this cruise so we decided to go. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went out of port canaveral with good dates before moving my son back into college at ERAU. Royal Carribean is usually pricier so we had not tried it before. I found a sale on this cruise so we decided to go. We had been on Carnival Splendor and Norweigan Breakaway before this cruise. Our time to board was 1:30 but we arrived at 11 and were able to board with no wait. It was so easy! We were able to bring 12 bottles of soda and 2 bottles of wine onboard with our carry on. We got wine glasses from room service by calling dining. Once on board we went to the windjammer buffet which was good. The included water, lemonade and strawberry kiwi water was good. We drink a lot of bottled water and we're a little worried but it was fine. Our sea pass cards were attached to our cabin door. That's how we received them. We had an inside cabin on deck 7 for 4 of us: me, my husband teenaged daughter & son. The cabin was enough room for all of us. It had a small sofa ,1 large bed and 2 pull down beds for the kids. I liked the sofa since it added extra seating when there were 4 of us in there. There was plenty of storage and a small safe. I do have to say it was tight in there putting away our clothes with all 4 of us in there. We should have done it 2 at a time. Luggage fit under the bed once it was empty. There is a small safe and tv. Shower was tight as I assume most are on cruises. It was tube shape with a semi circular door. Difficult for women to shave legs. Otherwise good. Muster deck is on the back of cabin door. We were confused at first by looking at our sea pass card location. It did not tell you what deck. Muster drill was hot since they line you up in a small area. I wonder what happens if you don't show up? We were told we had to wait for everyone and it amazed me the people strolling in last minute not even looking like they were late while we were dripping with sweat from the heat. The ship is beautiful and service was excellent. You are able to go all the way to the front tip of the ship (like Titanic movie) on deck 4 where the helipad was located. We were also able to see into the bridge by going through the serenity adult pool area (deck 11 I think) go outside on the left side and to the front of the ship. They had the shades closed in the evening but you could see right in the window during the day. I did like that they left chairs out on the deck at night. When we went on the Norweigan Breakaway they put all the chairs away at night which left no place to sit. We saw the ice skating show and comedian juggler which was excellent. We did not care for the musical show. Reservations were not needed for the shows. They had mini golf, basketball court, pool, water, Slides and a rock climbing wall which were included. The padi (virtual reality thing) was included but we missed our reservation on the first day and couldn't get another time. Payment was required for the escape room and flow rider (fun to watch). They also had ice skating sessions during specific times (bring long pants & socks). There were 2 pools 1 for all and the other was adults only (16 & older). They also had these nice clam shell beds in certain areas (hard to tell if anyone was in there without going to the side & looking right in). There was included frozen yogurt on the pool deck (help yourself) which was good. Choices were vanilla, chocolate & swirl wth both. We don't care for Nassau (doesn't feel safe) so we stayed on the ship. Perfect day Coco Cay was great. We loved the little island. Best part is that there is no tender. You walk right off the ship but don't forget your sea pass card. You bring (sign out) towels from the ship and can exchange them if dry ones are needed. There were enough chairs and umbrellas for all. We didn't need to rush to the island to get chairs. They have trams but it is certainly walkable. They have some shopping and hair braiding. One section was not open yet. I believe it will open in December. There were 2 beaches. a lagoon area/beach with less waves a giant pool with a beautiful bridge and a swim up bar with music. There is also a splash zone for kids that was included. Beach was beautiful even though it rained a little while we were there. There were many jelly fish maybe because it was late August. Food was just ok. Same buffet type food as on the ship. They have a snack shack with mozzarella sticks, chicken sandwiches and funnel cakes that I thought was better than the buffet area. You had to pay extra for the water park: the water slides and wave pool. You even had to pay $18 for a floating mat if you wanted it. Had to pay for balloon ride, zip line, and any excursions (kayak, wave runner etc.) ( commercials are misleading- I originally thought everything was included) We did have a great time even without all the pay extra activities. Before the cruise I had read many reviews which mentioned bad food. I usually will read the reviews and ignore most of the negative comments since more people write a review to complain rather than say how great something is. I should have listened to the bad food reviews. We were very disappointed in the food. I have to mention that we did not partake in any of the restaurants that you pay extra for. I feel we are paying enough for the cruise and the included food should be good. Maybe not gourmet but Good enough that you enjoy going to the dining room. Unfortunately, just like many reviews said the food was not tasty. We did not enjoy it. We did go to the dining room every evening. The texture on much of the food was off and it just did not taste good. It was comparable (even worse) to dining room food on our Carnival Splendor cruise. When we went on the Norweigan Breakaway I have to say the food was good in the dining room. We looked forward to going to dinner. Breakaway even had home made crepes every evening in the buffet area made to order. The buffet on Mariner was a buffet - ok except for breakfast which was awful the first morning. It was also packed & difficult to find a table in the morning. The rest of the cruise we ate breakfast in the main dining room and it was better than the buffet but not great. If you go on Mariner eat breakfast in the dining room. Buffet hours were also limited so there were times when it was not open. Promenade cafe is open 24 hours so you can get sandwiches & pizza here. It is included. Also early bird coffee is available. Unfortunately, I would not go back on Mariner of the seas soley because of the food. Getting off the ship was a breeze. We had our luggage in the hallway outside our cabin before 11 the night before. They give you tags to put on it. Elevators are crowded/busy on the last day so I would not carry off my luggage. We had limited continental breakfast in the main dining room and then waited for our number to be called. Walked off the ship to the facial recognition, easily found our luggage which was separated by number and went to the car rental shuttle area. It was so easy. Beautiful ship but unfortunately terrible food. Maybe the people who participated in the upcharge restaurants enjoyed it? Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
1st time cruise with RCI. It was great start to finish.Check in went smoothly. Staff was very friendly and helpful. The ship was kept very clean though out or cruise. Hats off to the staff!! Had meals at all the restaurants that were free ... Read More
1st time cruise with RCI. It was great start to finish.Check in went smoothly. Staff was very friendly and helpful. The ship was kept very clean though out or cruise. Hats off to the staff!! Had meals at all the restaurants that were free and the food was delicious. Nassau was just ok but because of the rain. Coco Cay was a blast. Felt like we were at a all inclusive resort. Beaches were beautiful, and alot of seating on the beach. Loved the pool bar and the restaurants around the island was awesome. The entertainment was top notch. Seen a skating show, a musical, a comedian juggler and a singer that impersonates different artists, all very good. There is much more entertainment that we didn't get a chance to see, just not enough time. Just want to say again how great the staff was for taking care of us. Thank you Mariner crew!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My wife and I sailed on Mariner of the Seas this year to celebrate my birthday. We sailed this exact cruise last year and loved it so much that we wanted a repeat. Our Cruise Begins: Embarkation at Port Canaveral was fast and ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on Mariner of the Seas this year to celebrate my birthday. We sailed this exact cruise last year and loved it so much that we wanted a repeat. Our Cruise Begins: Embarkation at Port Canaveral was fast and seamless. We chose to park at Port Canaveral's parking lot, which cost us $85 from 8/19 to 8/23. Since we completed online check-in before the cruise and had our SetSail Passes ready, we were on the ship less than 10 minutes after walking into the terminal. The system they have in place is very efficient. There are friendly, knowledgeable staff directing passengers during every stage of the embarkation process. Once on the ship, we saw that Mariner of the Seas was just as inviting and beautiful as the first time we sailed. Hallways, common areas, and venues were consistently cleaned and maintained. I even saw staff members cleaning finger smudges off of the elevator buttons regularly. All bathrooms were clean and well stocked. The layout of the ship was easy to navigate. There was ample signage to inform passengers of where things were located and how to get there. There were plenty of reliable elevators and multiple ways to access different areas of the ship. Service: Throughout our cruise, most crew members on Mariner were friendly, attentive, and helpful. Our stateroom attendant, Shanjun, memorized our names and preferences within the first day of our arrival. Our room was spotless and he honored our requests almost instantly every time. When we walked past most crew members in the halls or venues, we were given a greeting or a friendly smile. The only staff member who wasn't friendly was one of the floating mat attendants on Cococay. She was the exception to otherwise perfect service throughout our entire cruise. Activities and Entertainment: There were so many different activities to choose from on this cruise! The cruise compass was always packed with things to do from early morning until well past midnight. We chose a few trivia games, music-related activities, pool area activities, and some audience participation activities, like the lip-sync challenge the belly-flop competition. All were very entertaining and well-organized. We didn't use any of the pools or whirlpools, as they were too crowded for our liking most of the time. The DJ's always played great music for whichever theme they were doing. The musicians were very talented and played beautifully together. The singer we encountered most was an Indonesian woman who sang passionate renditions of many different genres of music. I enjoyed all of her performances, but my wife did not. The cruise director is incredibly charming and so funny! He made our Motown Trivia experience even more enjoyable than it already was. Dining: The food on Mariner was plentiful, fresh, and delicious! We got most of our meals from Windjammer, Cafe Promenade, and by ordering room service. When ordering room service, the charge was $7.95 plus tax per order. You can order any item in any quantity and the price stays $7.95. Continental breakfast is free. Alcoholic drinks are a separate charge, even if you have a drink package. Room service was perfect for those times when we didn't want the Windjammer crowds or were tired after a long day of fun and wanted to stay in the room. The Windjammer has a great variety of foods for every taste. Every day, there were stations for pasta, salad, cold cuts, grilled foods, Indian food, and dessert. The main entrees changed daily and included a variety of international and American dishes. Everything was the perfect temperature, the food was consistently delicious, the breads were soft and never stale, and the desserts were very creative. There are drink stations that have a variety of hot and cold drinks. My favorite drinks were the fresh banana and peach juices located in the buffet area. There is a Freestyle drink machine inside Windjammer for those who have a Royal Caribbean Freestyle cup. Seating at the Windjammer is plentiful, but it can get a bit crowded depending on the time of day and whether the ship is in port. The two of us were always able to get a window seat to ourselves, with the exception of embarkation day lunch time and Cococay day breakfast around 9:30am. I love that everyone must use the handwashing station before entering Windjammer. The guitar player and singer in the handwashing station are very talented! I enjoyed hearing their cute handwashing songs while washing my hands. I do wish there were more hand sanitizer stations within the restaurant as an extra precaution. Cafe Promenade is open 24 hours and serves ready-made pizza, sandwiches, cold cuts, fruit and desserts. It's perfect for a quick bite. Our favorite dish was their crisp and tasty pepperoni pizza. There is a bar and cafe attached to Cafe Promenade that serves hot and cold cafe beverages, alcoholic beverages, and ice cream. The alcoholic drinks were weaker and sweeter at this bar, but the hot drinks were great. The Bamboo Room and Playmakers were better options in that area for bar drinks. Bar Service: We chose to buy the deluxe drink package before the cruise. This package was worth it for us, as we drank LOTS of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages throughout the cruise. We love that all bars on the ship use high-quality liquors and have plenty of experienced bartenders. There were many bars on the ship, but we spent most of our time at Sky Lounge. We always received fast, friendly service and delicious drinks! My favorite was the Coconut Mango Daiquiri. From this bar, there is a nice view of the pool deck and jumbo-screen TV. There is easy access to lounge areas and the pool area from Sky Lounge. We also visited the Schooner Bar on several occasions. It was directly next to the elevators on deck 4 and was located conveniently close to our stateroom. We ordered lots of unique drinks at this bar. We also did Harry Potter Trivia and Michael Jackson Trivia here. It has a classy maritime theme with a piano, cozy leather seats, and excellent bartenders. Port of Call- Nassau: We mostly enjoyed our time in Nassau. It was raining when we arrived. Due to poor drainage, many of the walkways at the entrance into the city were difficult to navigate. Huge puddles got our feet and shoes wet with dirty rain water, which was quite unpleasant. We got a taxi to Paradise Island for $5 per person and spent most of our day at the Riu Palace on a day pass. It is located right next door to Atlantis. Once at Riu, we got our day pass wristbands and were free to enjoy the beach, pools, bar, and dining areas. Towels were provided, drinks and food were unlimited, and the beach and pool areas were clean and well-maintained. The beach area was very beautiful. Crystal clear waters and clean white sands were abound. The only two downsides for me were the excessive amount of vendors and the rough ocean waves. The vendors were constantly walking around trying to sell cigars, hair braiding, coconut drinks, and jet ski rides. A simple "no thank you" worked to keep them moving along, but there were so many different vendors to keep saying "no thank you" to. The waves at Riu are particularly rough as compared to those at Breezes and Cococay. Even standing at the edge of the water had strong enough waves to knock people over. I'm not a strong swimmer and felt uneasy getting into the water. This is absolutely not a criticism against Riu, as they have no control over the ocean. I just know for next time to research the temperament of the ocean in the particular area I am visiting. We easily and quickly got a taxi back to the port for about $12 and did a bit of souvenir shopping. We got some tasty conch fritters and wings from a small Bahamian soul food restaurant called Aunt Jane's Delights. We tried to bring our food onboard to enjoy in our stateroom, but were told food is not allowed to be brought back onto the ship. Therefore, we had to quickly eat our food standing outside of the gangway. We know for next cruise to finish our meals before heading back to the ship. Overall we enjoyed our time in Nassau at Riu and wouldn't mind returning to explore different areas and venues on the island. Port of Call- Perfect Day at Cococay: Cococay is truly paradise. It has a brighter, more colorful, easier to navigate feel to it than the last time we visited. The waterpark and ongoing construction did not interfere with our desire for quiet relaxation, as there was a place for everyone and their preferences. A tram can take you from the ship all the way to Cococay's entrance or you can choose to walk. Once inside Cococay, another tram can take you around the island, stopping at the Up, Up and Away Balloon, South Beach, Oasis Lagoon, and Chill Island. You can easily walk to these locations as well. For a quick way to reach Chill Island, turn left upon entering Cococay and cross the bridge. You'll enter the beach area in about 5 minutes. Chill Island is where we spent most of our time. It was sunny, clean, and not at all crowded. Aside from the music playing around the island, it had a quiet, peaceful feel. Our ship was the only one docked in Cococay that day, so there were ample beach chairs, umbrellas, and tables available throughout the entire day. Even by 2pm, we never had anyone seated directly next to us. It was great! The water was calmer in some areas than others, especially due to high winds, but it was easy to find an area with gentle waters and lightly rolling waves. The water was a bit cloudy in some areas, and I swam away from at least four moon jellyfish, but I still enjoyed every second in that perfect water. The bartenders at the Wacky Seagull bar were friendly, fast, and made amazing drinks. Try a Coco Loco here if you haven't already. After spending several hours lounging and swimming on Chill Island, we walked back to Mariner early to enjoy the empty ship. I had a beautiful day at Cococay. Goodbye Mariner: Disembarkation was quick, simple, and efficient. The night before disembarkation, we were given numbered luggage tags to place on our luggage. The number corresponded to a specific meeting area and disembarkation time. The next morning, we knew exactly where to go and when. We met at the Royal Theater between 7:30-8am. After that, we exited the ship on deck 4. Once inside the cruise terminal, passengers were separated by whether they were using a passport or birth certificate/photo id to verify their identity with Customs. The passport line was longer, but both lines moved at a quick pace. After we went through Customs, we located the area that matched the number on our luggage tags. We picked up our luggage, assisted by a porter, then headed to our car. The disembarkation process from the time we left our room until we were loading luggage into our car took less than 15 minutes. If you are taking your own luggage off of the ship, the process may be even faster for you. Simply put, my second cruise on Mariner of the Seas was just as amazing as the first. We experienced consistently friendly and attentive service, delicious food and drinks, a spacious and comfortable stateroom, seemingly endless entertainment options, a beautiful ship, and interesting ports of call...a perfect cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Never cruised before and what a fabulous introduction!! I cannot complain about one thing. My husband and I and 3 children, 22,18, and 14 all loved it. Cruise director Marcel was magnificent as well as Michele the comedian and the ... Read More
Never cruised before and what a fabulous introduction!! I cannot complain about one thing. My husband and I and 3 children, 22,18, and 14 all loved it. Cruise director Marcel was magnificent as well as Michele the comedian and the wonderful ice show. Windjammer Buffett has a very diverse menu and cleanliness was very evident. Much ease checking in and out and Coco Cay was an absolute joy. Even though I had a regular cabin, no extras, it was perfect for 2. My children were on a different floor and the 3 of them also had enough room with a great window looking out. I would definitely recommend and make sure to buy the drink package!! As for the excursions at Nassau, I would recommend pre buying them. They are more expensive on the ship. I did the dolphin and stingray at Blue lagoon and it was worth the money because you get to spend the rest of the day at the beach. Bring water and towels from the ship. As for Coco Cay, don’t miss the Oasis Lagoon. Swim up bar and lounges in the pool. My children did water park and said it was very nice. However, they went at 830 in the morning with no lines and were able to do everything a few times. I cannot wait to cruise again!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Port Canaveral Arrival: We live on the east side of Orlando so I time it as follows: Leave house at 12 noon, park at the new garage at the Port (85 dollars for the Monday through Friday cruise; pay as you enter via automated gate, very ... Read More
Port Canaveral Arrival: We live on the east side of Orlando so I time it as follows: Leave house at 12 noon, park at the new garage at the Port (85 dollars for the Monday through Friday cruise; pay as you enter via automated gate, very easy), get through security and walk in room at 100 pm (we roll are own luggage on). There were four of us travelling; us mid fifties and our two adult (21/24) sons. Security/Embarkation: As stated above, was parked by 1230, through security by 1245, checked in with a rep by 1255 and walked in room just as they were opening. Since Royal has numerous check in reps roaming with hand-held devices we barely stopped walking from the time we got through security and got to our rooms. Why any one would pay for the"Key" or worry about status is beyond me at check in. As long as you had your set sail pass and docs/passports in hand you get checked in at lightning speed. Seapass cards waiting at room. Rooms/Ship/First Impression: We had two balcony rooms on the "hump" port side, floor 6. Excellent location, easy access to promenade and lower decks. Ships looks great, clean; rooms are average, could use updating. Put your water, soda in cooler/fridge right away. It does not get very cold. Cabin attendant was fine; quiet fellow but was around as needed and kept ice for us in our rooms as asked (extra cash tip likely helped). Lots of pushy up-sell for dining packages, specialty restaurants at boarding. We just said a polite no and kept walking. Plus the promenade looks more like a flea market with all the t-shirts, watches and junk littering the entire area. Not appealing at all. Drinks/packages: We bought the ultimate drink packages prior to sailing; I think we paid about 48 dollars a person (was watching on-line) per day. Good thing; the price was 81 a day for the first person and then "half price" for second person if you bought day of sailing. RCCL has got to be kidding with this "half price" gimmick. Whatever. Drink package well worth it. A domestic 16 ounce beer is now 9 dollars plus 18 percent gratuity, wine 13, and it only goes up from there. You also get the soda, bottled water, etc. with package and can use it on CoCo Cay. So we were happy with the drink package. Still carried on two bottles of wine for room and soda allowance (12 pack) for room cooler. No drinks cards ever sold (4 night cruise). Muster/Sail Away: Same old same old; stand outside and sweat for 20 minutes. We got there as late as possible. Plenty of time to get topside for sail away. Lots of servers on deck. Food/Bars: Food was average at best. The MDR (used two of four nights) was half full. Service was very good. Wear whatever you want because no one cares anymore. Main courses tasted bland and "banquet" quality, mass produced. I know it's mass produced but was not as good as previous cruises. MDR breakfast was better than dinner. My favorite omelet of the week (ham/cheese) was the one that came with room service. The Wingoldjamcorraler was a buffet; feeding trough. Borderline disgusting. Not sure what was worse the people there or the food. Just a mess. Horrible coffee, and something that sort of resembled orange juice. Best part about it was the guys singing as you walked in. Pizza on promenade best we have ever had on RCCL. Sandwiches actually pretty good also. Donuts in morning stale. Decent hot dogs/brats, slaw, potato salad on pool deck. Two ice cream machines on pool deck worked great, hardly any lines. Not sure why but never, ever, once waited for a drink at any bar, including pool. Sat in solarium one day, multiple roving servers. Even at Schooner Bar, casino bar, pub, etc., all had multiple bar tenders who were beyond helpful. Even the pools never seemed crowded and we got two chairs in solarium on sea day. Playmakers is nice but never saw anyone once order any food; it was never crowded. Bamboo lounge nice also as well as Pub. Great singer in there multiple nights and no one was ever in there, had the whole place to ourselves; we love live music but all the venues seemed to be under attended for some reason. Smoking: It is an absolute joke that it is almost 2020 and there is still smoking on half the pool deck and the casino. The casino smoke escapes into most of the areas surrounding the space; it is awful. On the pool deck parents were sucking down cigarettes, sitting with there small children; horrible. Hey Royal, just stop it, now. Designate some smoking areas away from the ones that are infecting the rest of the ship. CoCo Cay: We have been CoCo Cay several times. This is such a vast improvement it is hard to describe. Great food (two big venues with incredible array of fresh Tex Mex, salads and more, snack shacks with take away burgers, chicken sandwiches, mozzarella sticks). I liked the food better here than on the ship. Go to Youtube, there are numerous great videos showcasing the Island. Remember, you do not have to pay for a thing; all the zip lines, hot air balloons, water park are optional; there are more than enough beach chairs, umbrellas for all; and we got there late morning. Lunch in the big venues goes to 330 in the afternoon; zero lines ample tables. No other cruise lines private island comes close to this. Plus your drink package follows you on island and with the permanent dock the ship will never miss the stop (which happened allot before). Dogs: No (fake) service/emotional support animals!! Yes....! Crew: Very friendly, seems like a happy crew. Much happier than our last cruise on Independence. Entertainment: Pretty good; Guy from Jersey Boys show in Vegas was great; magician was entertaining. Comic probably not right for this ship (older female; more appropriate for a Holland America crowd). Cruise director was funny; do not recall his name, is from Chile and seemed like a nice enough guy. Nassau: We booked our own private excursion (less than 8 people) on a small boat; 4 hours (two snorkeling stops, remote beach, drinks, snacks included, very reasonable price); 5 dollar a person cab ride to a small marina. Allot of you are "stay on the boat" in Nassau people; do yourself a favor and get on Tripadvisor and find some out of the way things to do. New Providence is a beautiful island and there is lots to see and do beyond the Port; friendly people and great out of the way stops if you look. We did not go this trip but Atlantis is free (hotel/lobby/aquarium) after 5 pm. All aboard was 830 pm so many times you will have the chance. Debarkation: We did self assist off. Left room at 705 am (had to be out of rooms by 8 am anyway - did not really want to do the buffet madhouse on last morning); took elevator down to four and never stopped walking. One last seapass card scan (funny, one lady got stopped by security at last scan, was told to go to guest services/not allowed to leave ship - never seen that before), walked down to Customs; exited via facial recognition/never showed passport or anything. Was in car by 725. Some of you people remember what a zoo debarks were; this is such a vast improvement it is hard to describe how easy it is now. Overall: Great four night cruise; I think the 3 night would feel rushed. Mariner is such an improvement over the last ships that did this cruise (Majesty/Enchantment/Monarch); and having been on the bigger ships than Mariner, do not think could ever go on this cruise on anything smaller than Mariner. Would give it an 8/10 rating. CoCo Cay was definite high point. Only advice I would give is shop prices early (drink packages/even cruise fare); because prices were dramatically higher closer to sailing (for cruise fare also; book as early as you can). Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had a fabulous cruise. We sailed on the Mariner in a grand suite and loved it. We will never go anything below a grand suite from now on. The extra perks service, and huge room and balcony are so worth it. We have previously only ... Read More
We had a fabulous cruise. We sailed on the Mariner in a grand suite and loved it. We will never go anything below a grand suite from now on. The extra perks service, and huge room and balcony are so worth it. We have previously only cruised on Oasis twice, both times in regular balcony staterooms. THE SHIP: The Mariner was better than I expected for being an older ship (relatively). A few areas smelled a little musty, but they were few and far between. Certainly not enough to ruin my vacation like some people. Overall the appearance was beautiful and clean. The renovations looks great, although I have nothing to compare it to with it being my first time on Mariner. The water slides were a lot of fun too. For us, cruising is about being on a private balcony to enjoy the ocean, and going to the ports. We do not like crowds or rowdiness. Pretty much all of the activities or bars or what-have-you are not interesting to us, therefore we do not partake in the venues or music or dancing or drinking. So take this review with that in mind. THE FOOD: I always preface cruise food reviews with the fact that I am easy to please and will eat anything. I thought the food was fine. Could it be better? Sure. Could it be a whole lot worse? You betcha. The burgers in the windjammer are A LOT better than I remember on Oasis. There also seemed to be more of a selection than I remember as well. Like a taco bar among other varieties of foods. The only real "complaint" I would have had was that the room service pancakes were literally hard as rocks. You could throw them as frisbees. LOL. But again, will that ruin my vacation? Nope, just head upstairs to the buffet and get some more. Easy peasy. You can order from the MDR for room service, and the food was good. I would have liked to have seen actual chocolate cake though. I don't care for the moussey kind with thin layers of cake. THE STATEROOM: Our grand suite was beautiful. This is the largest stateroom category we have stayed in so far. Everything was spotless and perfect. Two loungers on the balcony as well as a table and chairs (with cushions!). Our attendant was incredible. The Suite Lounge was a really great perk for us. Our concierge Sue was fabulous and helpful. There were snacks and drinks available. They had me at chocolate strawberries. The lounge was such a nice and quiet, uncrowded area of the ship. Like I said, we do not like large and loud crowds, so typically we tend to stick to our private balcony, or areas of this ship where people aren't. PORTS: Had two amazing days - one in Nassau at Blue Lagoon, and then one at Coco Cay. No complaints. In the words of Jim Halpert, "I'm not a complainer". Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Disney and Celebrity cruiser goes on R/C, why? I wanted to see Coco Cay. They hit a grand slam home run. We wished the ship would just sail there and dock overnight. Already looking to book our next cruise to go back. That being said, ... Read More
Disney and Celebrity cruiser goes on R/C, why? I wanted to see Coco Cay. They hit a grand slam home run. We wished the ship would just sail there and dock overnight. Already looking to book our next cruise to go back. That being said, lets talk about the cruise. Cons: The 3 nt is a party run. No one was overly rowdy but into the drink. Food service was good but a little dis-jointed and forgetful Cabins did not benefit from the recent refit but were ok, fairly much on par. Music was way too loud as were the announcements and pool deck big screen. Main production show was awful. Pros: Main dining food was above average to the point where I wouldn't feel the need to pay for specialty dining. Public spaces were tasteful and well thought out. Drink package is worth it and I wouldn't go again without buying the key. Ice show was awesome, we went twice. Did I mention Coco Cay? Way above expectations esp. the food on the island. Better than Disney's. Best embarkation I've ever had. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this sailing for a quick end of summer getaway. There were 3 of us sailing--me, my mother and my daughter (8 years old). Because we booked late, we could not get a triple cabin (no triple occupancy available in any category). ... Read More
We chose this sailing for a quick end of summer getaway. There were 3 of us sailing--me, my mother and my daughter (8 years old). Because we booked late, we could not get a triple cabin (no triple occupancy available in any category). We ended up booking 2 adjoining mini-suites on deck 9. Embarkation was the smoothest we ever experienced. After an hour and a half drive, we dropped our luggage in the garage at 10:25 am, parked and were on the ship by 10:45 (would have been on sooner if we didn't have to stop for a wristband for DD). The suite line checked us in with iPads and gave us a card saying already checked in. We then cleared security and headed straight for the ship. There did not appear to be long lines for those that had to stop for the regular check in process. We had lunch at Windjammer. They did a great job with the refurbishment--it never felt crowded. The food was very good as well. While we were there, we made reservations for My Time for each evening. After lunch we explored the ship until cabins were ready (promptly at 1:00). After getting settled, we explored a bit more and had the safety drill (we were lucky and had an indoor muster station). That evening, we were going to watch "Mary Poppins Returns" by the pool, but the pools were closed due to weather and it was hard to find seats where we wouldn't get wet. In the end DD went to Adventure Ocean and we went to the casino. Saturday was spent experiencing the ship. My mom and I had massages (she said hers was the best she'd ever had), DD did FlowRider, we went to the pool and did the water slides. That evening, after dinner, DD did the Sky Pad. Sunday was an awesome day at CoCo Cay. DD and I booked the water park. It's awesome! Because of long lines, they've started issuing tickets for return times for DareDevil's Peak. We got to the park around 8 and got tickets to return at 10 am. We spent all our time at the tower with the slides that didn't have mats/tubes, the pool with obstacle courses and the wave pool. Except for the walk up, DareDevil's Peak was awesome. We had an awesome time!! The food from Snack Shack was good as well. We met my mom around noon and took the tram over to the pool. After a swim (and drinks from the swim up bar), we went to the buffet lunch. The taco area, burgers, dogs and salads were really good. The pre-made sandwiches were hard (from the warmer). After some more water park time and a short beach visit, DD and I returned to the ship--no lines getting back onboard. CoCo Cay was amazing! I can't wait to see the complete finished island (the remaining parts open in December). We saw the ice show the final evening and it was the best ice show we've seen on RCCL. Overall - Staff (except one person working the bar by promenade cafe) was excellent! They were as good as the staff on Harmony. Cabin attendant (Benny) was very friendly and did a great job! We requested the same servers in the dining room as we had excellent service from Dennis and Wayan. My mom and I had the deluxe beverage package and it was even easier than when I previously had it on Allure (nothing to sign this time). DD had the refresh package. She was the only one who had issues getting her drinks--but only at one location--who repeatedly said her account was closed (even after I filled out paperwork for a limit on her account and ensuring it was open). We would definitely sail Mariner for a short cruise again!! We loved the ship and staff!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise and the dates based on sports calendars and celebrations. We are a family of 6. Our kids are 21, 20, 18, and 16 years old in age. My oldest graduated from college in May and my 3rd graduated from high school in June. ... Read More
We chose this cruise and the dates based on sports calendars and celebrations. We are a family of 6. Our kids are 21, 20, 18, and 16 years old in age. My oldest graduated from college in May and my 3rd graduated from high school in June. We needed the cruise to be in the beginning of August because football starts on August 16th. So we were pretty tight with dates. This was our first cruise and we wanted to try it out so we thought a 3 day was perfect. We traveled with friends who had gone on 2 Disney cruises prior. I was very concerned that they would be unhappy but it was the opposite. They loved the cruise just as much as us. Our plan was to fly down the night before and then spend 2 nights at Disney after the cruise. We also needed to make this pretty economical so I had a budget of about 8,000. We do a bigger trip every 2 years. We have DVC points so Disney room was "free". We flew direct from Rochester, NY to MCO. We paid alittle bit more than if we had driven to Buffalo but we felt it was worth it to be 15 minutes away and not pay for parking. My oldest flew Frontier from Philadelphia as the flights were $49 and $82 ( with a bag returning). These flights were fine for him. Port transfers were something that I really researched for our family. I investigated renting a mini van, using Uber XL and finally went with Go Port Canaveral. It was the most economical. For $340 we spent the night in a suite at Hyatt Place Airport and they transported us to the port and back to the airport where we used Disney Magic Express to get to our hotel. On the morning of our cruise we were able to eat a good free breakfast and hang out a bit. Our pick up time was 11:45 and there were lots of people getting on cruises that day. The pick up was a bit disorganized and some people were very pushy. There was not a Go port employee there to divide up the passengers so my family was separated. Not a big deal at all but just a bit confusing. We were dropped off at the same time as the kids so no problem. We walked up and were on the boat by 1:15. It was very easy to embark and our rooms were ready so we were able to drop our bags and then head up to Windjammer. Our rooms were 2 interior rooms next to each other on the 10th floor in the back of the boat. Our friends were in 2 interior rooms on the 10th floor in the front of the boat. The rooms were tight but everything work out well. We did these rooms to save some money - total for both rooms with drink packages was $4, 400. I live with giants. My boys are 6'4" and 6'5". My husband is 6'10". My oldest son is a string bean but my husband and younger son as big guys. They had no problem with the room or shower. My oldest slept on the pull down bunk. The girls room was tight as my girls change outfits like 10 times a day but it all worked out. I would do this again. The only drawback was never really knowing the time without checking a watch. I had brought night lamps but we did not need them. We just left the bathroom light on and closed the door. Dining we enjoyed the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch each day and two late nights. We were always able to find a table for all 11 of us. The breakfast was probably our least favorite meal but we did not go hungry. Lunch was great. We had early dining in the Main Dining room. Loved it. The wait staff was very attentive and they seemed to enjoy our two tables. We had a table of the under 21s and an adult table. They were very sweet to the kids and brought them multiple appetizers, entrees and desserts each night. At our table they brought us whatever we wanted. They even gave my son to go desserts. The food was great especially since I wasn't cooking it. My least favorite part of the day is the dreaded - "Mom, what's for dinner?" question. We really enjoyed the pizza at Cafe Promenade. It was staple every night. My girls had the refreshment package so they enjoyed non alcoholic drinks and coffees. My husband and oldest son had the drinking package. They greatly enjoyed all the drinks and the bar tenders that knew their names. My son and I had the soda package. I did not really need any package as I drink water and unsweetened ice tea. We attended the ice show, 70's dance party, Dreams show and some of us went to the late night Comedian. We enjoyed everything we attended. The cruise director Marcello was a hustler. He was great. The boys did the flow rider, the water slides. We all enjoyed the pools and mini golf. We did not get to some of the activities but we were never bored. In fact I wanted to crack open my book but that never happened. The kids played the quarter game in the casino for over an hour with $5 in quarters. At Nassau we got off for 2.5 hours. We walked to Junkaroo beach where the kids put their feet in the water and ordered drinks legally. They even served the 16 year old. In their defense he is huge and does not look 16. In fact were we were disembarking he got snagged for being in the Casino. The security lady made a comment about him being in the casino and she thought he was at least 18. We all agree that if we come back we will just stay on the boat. Coco Cay was incredible. We did not pay for any extra activities and greatly enjoyed the beaches and pool and food. I brought googles and we swam around looking at the wild life. Enjoyed the food and went for dip in the pool. We all said we would come back just for this place. The kids stated this was the best trip ever and are already planning one in 2 years. My oldest is trying to get his buddies to come on one with him, The only drawback was that we were not able to communicate with the kids since we did not get the internet. We enjoyed being unplugged for 3 days but I would have liked to have a text feature. The kids were able to find us by checking the app and seeing were the drinks had been purchased. Disembarkation was easy and very quick with the facial recognition. We got a bus back to the airport by 8:30 and then transferred to Magic Express for our 2 days at Bay Lake Tower. I was nervous wreck about this trip since I had no prior experience but we are already planning for one in 2 years when the next 2 kids graduate from high school and college. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Family of 4 (2 kids ages 6-9), plus grandparents. We were excited to go on this ship after seeing so many fun videos on You Tube, as well as seeing pics of the renovated ship. The ship itself was nice, as was our stateroom. But, the ... Read More
Family of 4 (2 kids ages 6-9), plus grandparents. We were excited to go on this ship after seeing so many fun videos on You Tube, as well as seeing pics of the renovated ship. The ship itself was nice, as was our stateroom. But, the slides were closed half the time and the main pool was also closed most of Saturday (Nassau) as some one had thrown up in it. So basically, half the cruisers were trying to fit into the hot tubs, with kids jumping into them having splash battles. The Flow Rider was just ok, as it was basically just "boogie boarding " on a boat. (Our 9 yo said she was not given an option to "surf" even though she's done it before elsewhere). The food was terrible at the Windjammer and MDR. Honestly, it was akin to a 5th rate Vegas buffet. We had taken a cruise on Adventure of the Seas 2yrs ago and I recall that food being just average, but Mariners ' food was downright terrible - very bland, swimming in fat, same breakfast & lunch lineup all three days. MDR food was only a slight notch better than Windjammer and took so long to be served. Atrium was fine, although shopping not great, with limited selection. Entertainment was fine. Service was good, not great. Overall, this cruise was just barely average, especially with the price we paid. All 6 of us were disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
A lengthy review of 4 night cruise to Nassau and Coco Cay aboard the Mariner of the Seas We live in Florida – so in less than 3 hours we were driving into the parking garage around 10:25 – and we walked onto ship at 10:55! Easiest ... Read More
A lengthy review of 4 night cruise to Nassau and Coco Cay aboard the Mariner of the Seas We live in Florida – so in less than 3 hours we were driving into the parking garage around 10:25 – and we walked onto ship at 10:55! Easiest embarkation EVER (8 cruises over the last 22 years). Our tablemates said they arrived around 1:30pm and that they did not have long lines either. TIP: If you are arriving by car – 1st drop off your luggage in the bottom of the parking garage (this was Port Canaveral Area B - Terminal #1) – then they will tell you to proceed up the ramp to park your car. You will have to prepay for your parking – an attendant was at the machine to help us run our credit card through. Then take an elevator back down and enter the building attached to the parking garage. It was so fast partly because not many passengers were there when we arrived and also because we had filled in everything ahead of time online (including providing our credit card) so check in only involved scanning our SetSail Pass and a quick look at our passports and a trip through x-ray. TIP: Be sure to print your “SetSail Pass” at home before you leave – it has a bar code on it. It serves as your SeaPass Card until you get the permanent card (which will be in an envelope on the cabin # sign outside of your cabin). TIP: get used to carrying your SeaPass EVERYWHERE – basically everything you do on board requires your SeaPass (even activities that are free). Lots of passengers had their passes on lanyards around their necks. And while we’re on the topic: be sure to bring a photo ID with you when you go into Nassau – you’ll need it to get back into the Cruise Ship area. You will not need a Photo ID on Coco Cay – you’ll just need your SeaPass Card. Since we got on the ship earlier than expected we just hung out on the Starboard side of the pool (Deck 11) – they were playing videos of funny animals and people doing funny or amazing things . . . almost like a montage of Funniest Home Videos without the commentary. TIP: if you dislike smoking you want to be on the Starboard (Right) side of the ship if you are on Decks 4 or 11 – if you are a smoker the smoking areas are on the Port (Left) side of the ship on Decks 4 and 11 (and one section of the Casino). We were VERY HAPPY that we had booked lunch in Jamie’s Italian Specialty Restaurant (12pm reservation but we went at 11:45 and they seated us right away). We booked lunch to avoid all of the passengers learning their way around the Windjammer on the 1st day. BIG TIP: request to be seated as far back into Jamie’s as possible . . . unfortunately we were seated near the door and heard the clanging silverware of a cleaning station in the Windjammer that must have been right outside the door of Jamie’s. This applies to Chops Grille as well – so when you walk in tell them you would like to be seated in the back of the restaurant. To enter either Jamie’s or Chops you do still need to enter into the Windjammer which means you will pass through the hand washing area – TIP: the paper towels are above the sinks – we saw people struggling to find the towels. There were two fantastic guys playing a guitar and singing “wash – wash your hands” to the tune of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline – this ship had entertaining little touches like that all over – we loved it. The menu at Jamie’s had appetizers that the waiter (Carlos – he was great) explained were small portions so that we were encouraged to order multiple appetizers . . . and so we did! We ordered the “plank” which had sliced meats, fresh mozzarella balls, some dry cheese, and a different kind of cole slaw – it also had some olives and peppers. We also ordered the garlic bread which were two big rolls with garlic and cheese on them – I’m a fan of soft bread so I liked those the best. 3rd item was the crab and avocado bruschetta – sounds weird but it was delicious. I also ordered the Caprese salad which was the same (yummy) mozzarella balls from the plank + two kinds of tomatoes as well as some baby basil leaves and a very nice balsamic drizzle. For the entrée they say you can order a small portion or the regular portion so I had a small portion of the mushroom “taglie something” pasta and it was plenty and fantastic flavor. Husband ordered the chicken which he said was flavored well and was sitting on a nice sauce. He also got a small portion of penne carbonara as his pasta. Dessert was a chocolate torte for me and a lemon meringue for husband – both delicious. Even though we prepaid both of the specialty restaurants – they still brought us a “zero” bill – I believe the sole purpose of this is in case you want to add an additional tip (a tip is already included in the price we paid for the specialty restaurant). We were pleased with both of the servers so we did write in an additional tip. I suppose if we had not wanted to tip extra we would have just left the slip at the table with nothing written on it. They made an announcement when the staterooms were ready – it was before 1:30 - we dropped off our luggage and met our wonderful room steward – Keisha from Jamaica. Then we ventured out again. TIP: If you want to do the Escape Room or Laser Tag during your cruise – be sure to book them as soon as possible on arrival day. We weren’t sure where to go so we asked at Guest Services and we were told to go up to the Rock Climbing Wall desk. There were two friendly guys up there with tablets. We almost signed up for the Escape Room but then found out there would be 13 people in the room (he was going to over-ride the max of 12 to add our party of 2 to the 11 people already signed up). Maybe I’m a Nervous Nellie but being closed up in a room with 11 people we don’t know didn’t really sound like fun for me personally. For some reason I thought it was limited to just 6-8 people. I have heard though that it is a lot of fun . . . maybe we’ll try it next time. Either way – we got up there around 2:30 pm and there were sessions already filled up. We did not sign up for Laser Tag but I heard those all filled up fast as well (before Day 3 and Day 4 when Laser Tag started). So be sure to get signed up early for those two activities. I can’t comment on the Flowrider – we didn’t do that – although I saw private lessons advertised so that may be an advance sign up as well? While we were on the back of the ship at the Rock Wall we decided to check out the “archery” – it is rather hidden – the Rock Wall guy had to point it out – it is next to the basketball court. Kind of cool – the targets are four plastic balls that float in the air because of compressed air blowing them up. The arrows just have soft rubber on the end of them – however they did fly pretty fast. There were only about 6 people there so we waited our turn and it was fun for a few minutes. I was surprised there was not anyone from the ship providing instruction – so passengers who knew how to use a bow and arrow were helping those who needed help. We weren’t there for long but I could see if someone really enjoyed it they could spend longer. They did have a tournament later in the week however we did not attend. We wandered around a bit checking out the upper back of the ship – there is a little area of hammocks and some circle rope swings over by the kids climbing thing (Lucky Climber) and a putt putt course (Mariner Dunes) – accessible by stairs – look for the green painted golf course sign on the wall near the stairs. The putt putt was something we meant to get back to but ahhhh . . . relaxing got in the way and we never made it back up there . . . next time! The Assembly Drill at 3:30 was painless . . . no need to drag the life jackets there as we had done years ago. A note to future passengers – be sure to be there on time – don’t dilly-dally – the faster everyone is there and accounted for (they will scan your SeaPass card) the faster it is over. TIP: if you do not buy the drink package that comes with a cup: bring your own water bottle – you can fill it up at the same Coke machines that the drink package folks use – the ice and the water choice do not require the chipped cup. We found two Coke machines across from the Pub on the Promenade Deck 5 and then of course in the Windjammer. Husband realized he forgot a hat . . . went to the shops on Deck 5 . . . TIP: the shops do not open until 5:30pm on the 1st day. We had early seating (5:30pm) for dinner . . . we ate there the 1st 3 nights and spent the 4th night at Chops Grille. TIP: check online for your dinner seating – I had talked to a Royal Caribbean agent on the phone who said we would be at a large table at the early seating however when we went by the dining room around 2:30 or so a dining room helper looked us up and told us we were assigned to “my time” dining which we did not want. No problem at all – he typed on his computer and moved us to an assigned table at 5:30. I’m really glad we had checked in with them before dinner time. We were at a small table of 6 and enjoyed our tablemates. Dining Room Dinners: the highlights for us were the French Onion Soup (available every night) and the desserts (berry cobbler on the 1st night – ask for the ice cream WITH sugar unless you like (or need) sugar-free ice cream). Dinners were good . . . just nothing amazing for our taste buds. That said – it was very nice being served each meal and we enjoyed each evening and the flavors were good – the only item that was not cooked thoroughly enough was the mushroom risotto on Night 3 which was a bit hard – it needed a few more minutes on simmer I think. We did breakfasts on Days 2, 3 and 5 in the dining room and lunch in the dining room on Day 2. Lunch on Day 4 was on Coco Cay. That means we only ate in the Windjammer once – for breakfast on Day 4 when we had an early excursion on Coco Cay. They had a buffet at both breakfast and lunch in the dining room – along with a menu to order from. The Dining Room breakfast buffet had scrambled eggs, little pre-made omelets, French toast, pancakes, waffles with multiple toppings, lots of fruit, pastries, and cereals. You can get all of that (and more) in the Windjammer – we just prefer the quieter, less hectic, atmosphere of the dining room. The lunch buffet (at Sea Day 2) was a salad prepared as we walked down the line and pointed to what we wanted added (lots of choices) + a pasta bar where again we could choose what we wanted and then they heated it all up in pan. The lunch menu had choices as well – I really enjoyed the heirloom tomato and goat cheese salad – it didn’t have any lettuce so I just added it to a small salad from the salad bar. I also had potato soup . . . if you like creamy potato soup then this is your jam . . . however I like chunky potato soup so I was mildly disappointed to not find chunks of potato. But oh how my disappointment turned to joy when I went to the dessert buffet . . . fantastic – tons of choices and everything we tried was great. TIP: if you are going to either breakfast or lunch in the dining room you will need to enter the dining room on Deck 3 Husband likes to drink an Old Fashioned sometimes – he was not impressed with the drink he ordered in the Dining Room on Night 1 – tasted like it had carbonated water in it. However he was very happy with the Old Fashioned that Eugenio in the Pub prepared on Night 2. So if you are serious about your mixed drinks it may be safer to visit one of the bars on the promenade (Deck 5) rather than using the Dining Room bar service – they do not mind if you carry your drink from the promenade bars into the dining room (or even into Chops which we also did). And now a note on dress code . . . as far as we could tell there is no enforced dress code. I think this is wonderful as it allows everyone to enjoy their dining without worrying if they have the correct attire. On the other hand we were stopped on formal night and asked how we knew it was formal night because the woman asking did not see anything announcing it. And she was correct – typically on prior cruises the dining room servers have told the table that the next night is “formal night” and they make a big deal about it. However instead of that announcement on Night 1 they were advertising the champagne brunch with galley tour going on the next day. Also on the Day 2 Cruise Compass (which was in our cabin when we returned from dinner + show on Night 1) the “Dinner Dress Code” for Day 2 was labeled “Wear Your Best” rather than “Formal”. So it definitely seems like they are moving away from “Formal Night”. However there were extra photo areas and an opportunity for a photo with the Captain and some of the passengers dressed up – so it seems like it is Formal Night for those that want to participate. We hardly ever get the chance to dress up and husband had recently bought a new suit so we gussied ourselves up and enjoyed ourselves. We dressed up again for Chops on Night 4 and found two gentlemen at the table to our right in suits and ties while the gentleman to our left was in shorts. So again . . . don’t worry about a dress code. If you want to know ahead of time which night is “Formal Night” just call Royal Caribbean – which is what I did – I just had to tell them the ship and sailing date and they told me it would be Day 2 – our Day at Sea. We attended the 7pm Ice Skating show (we did have to depart dinner quickly and were lucky to find two empty seats as the show was starting). The show was great – it is amazing how they can fit 10 skaters on a small rink. The skaters were from many different countries and included two pairs – one from Canada and one from the U.S. We enjoyed their skating and costumes. The theme is “Under the Big Top”. We are not Night Owls so we did not attend the 10pm Welcome Aboard Show. Our tablemates said it started with Marcelo the Cruise Director and then the comedian – so it lasted over an hour. They said the comedian (Steve Smith) was really funny. Have to admit here that our Day at Sea was mainly about eating and relaxing on our balcony reading our books . . . I did venture up to the gym for a run around 9:45 – found an open treadmill – it did get busy and almost every treadmill had an occupant. The treadmills face a window at the front of the ship so it is a wonderful view while exercising (a little warm – wish I had brought my battery operated fan to clip onto the treadmill but I survived). That is all I did in the gym so I can not comment on the classes or other equipment. I did check out the locker room – lockers, showers and a sauna were available. Oh and they do provide sweat towels so no need to bring one from your cabin. After lunch we watched a little bit of the Art Auction – they did a “mystery” auction where they had 8 prints – the buyers didn’t really blindly bid on them – seemed more like a ploy to keep the excitement up – when they turned them all around they were by Thomas Kinkade (“the painter of light”) and they were offered up for $400 a piece – two people took advantage of the offer – I have no idea if that is a good price but I will say that later that night I was walking through and heard the auctioneer guy talking to a couple and he offered the same $400 price – so it seems it was not just an “auction special”. The evening of Day 2 was the last chance for open ice skating (7-11 pm) so I went down around 8:15 and got into the 8:30 session. It was a popular activity so they limited it to 20 minute sessions. The only time I go ice skating is on Royal Caribbean cruises so I enjoyed just going around in circles – there were tons of beginners so a bit of weaving and dodging was required but I liked it. At 10pm they were doing a “disco” session however I did not stay for that – if it had been at 9pm I’d have been all over it! The only other open ice skating session was on Day 1 (1-2:30) so if you know you want to go ice skating be sure to note the times as they are limited – there is no advance reservations – just show up during the open time and fill out the waiver and they punch your SeaPass Card and they give you a ticket for the next available session. TIP: Long pants and socks are required – a lot of the kids were in their PJ bottoms so those pass as “long pants” as do leggings which is what I had on. On Days 3 and 4 the ice gets covered and the area turns into the Laser Tag area – so that is why Ice Skating is only on a few days and Laser Tag is only on the other few days. Day 3 was Nassau – we are SCUBA divers so we booked a trip with Stuart Cove’s – it is the same operation that the ship uses but since we were in port until 9pm I booked separately to save a little money. If they ship were leaving at 6 I would have booked through the ship to guarantee that we would not miss the departure time. It is a bit of a walk to the meeting point – but not too bad. We walked down the pier, passed through the building and then past the shopping kiosks and the people offering their private tours (“take your pretty lady on a 4 wheel ride” we politely declined and kept walking). We then had to cross the street and then go left on the sidewalk to a concrete/tile pink fountain that serves as Stuart Cove’s (and some other companies) meeting point. There were some locals passing by selling bottles of cold water ($1 each) and a bag of fruit (not sure on price). We had filled our water bottles on the ship so we didn't buy anything. It is about a 40 minute ride to the dive boat – through downtown and by the airport and then by resorts. Our dives were great – “Twin Sisters” is a fantastic wreck dive – two wrecks right next to each other – and then we went to Mike’s Reef which was a nice reef with another wreck. Quick trip in their gift shop and then we were back on their bus at 4:30. The bus dropped us off where it picked us up – to get back into the cruise ship area we had to show our Photo ID’s and SeaPass cards - then to get back onto the ship they only needed our SeaPass cards. It was a race to get to dinner but we got there at 5:40 so all was good! The Day 3 Headliner Show was a rock concert by a band called “Private Stock” and I thoroughly enjoyed them – they did songs by Elton John, Billy Joel, Journey, AC/DC, Guns & Roses, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Bon Jovi and Van Halen. Really good performers – the female singer even changed outfits and could really sing like Stevie Nicks and Heart and Janis Joplin. We went to the 8pm show – they did a repeat at 10pm. We saw some families with kids leaving after about 10 minutes . . . so unless your kids love rock hits from the 70’s & 80’s it might be better to go watch the outdoor movie instead (Wonder Park and Dumbo were playing that night). Day 4 was Perfect Day at Coco Cay and wow they have done a lot with this little island! We were there in 2008 and 2012 before they added so much to the island. It is great that they have a pier now so there is no need to tender over anymore. We did the one tank SCUBA dive excursion and we were the only two that signed up so we had our own private excursion. We got off the ship a few minutes after 8 and walked down the pier – then a left over the bridge to “Chill Island” – to the pink first aid building – the back side of the building is the little “Diver’s Den”. They had our tanks out and ready for us and let us stow our bags in their little office. We then put on our gear (except for mask and fins) and took the short walk to the beach. The reef is a bit far off shore so to save us from swimming out there they had us ride on the rescue sled of a jet ski – it was so fun! William took the dive guide (Brandon) out first and then came back for my husband and then for me. We went down and spent 45 minutes cruising around the reef and slowly making our way back to shore. The reef is a bit sandy and the visibility was not great but they have LOTS of great little tropical fish – we saw a couple of small rays and angel fish, file fish, trigger fish, parrot fish etc. I like the small stuff: flamingo tongues, jaw fish, juvenile tangs, juvenile angels, anemones with shrimp and tiny crabs – there was plenty of small stuff to be found. I saw one larger creature – a small shark cruised through real fast – he was cute. After the dive they had rinse tanks and a hose and hangers and a rod to stow our gear – they said we could keep our stuff there all day which was great – it gave the gear a chance to dry a bit. We had so much fun in the water that we hopped back in just to snorkel and spent about an hour in the water – they have a “shipwreck” which is really just a concrete wall with some cannons on it – but it is a nice little artificial reef and there were some nice critters hanging out on it (including two anemones and a beautiful bright blue/yellow juvenile queen angel fish). TIP: if you are planning on snorkeling bring a long sleeve “rash guard”/”swim shirt” whatever you call it you NEED it – there were so many sunburned backs on the snorkelers. Board shorts for girls are not a bad idea either – protect those cheeks! Be sure to apply lots of sunscreen to the backs of legs and neck and tops of hands – all of those body parts are exposed to the sun while we’re happily looking down into the water. We had lunch at the Chill Grill – buffet of tacos, Cuban sandwiches, burgers, etc – I had a nice fried Portobello and cheese sandwich – yum. Dessert options were chocolate chip cookies, brownies (yum) and soft serve ice cream. Forgot to mention there was also salads and fruit but apparently we weren’t into healthy eating after all the swimming we did! After a bit of lounging under an umbrella on the plentiful lounge chairs on Chill Island we hopped back in the water for some more snorkeling – a nice big Southern Stingray swam by – so beautiful. Have to note that there were some jellyfish in the water – more in the afternoon than in the morning. They did not have long tentacles so they were avoidable – have to look where you are going. One did brush my leg and I have a few spots – they kind of look like little red mosquito bites. They itch on and off so I’ve been putting anti-itch cream on them. After snorkeling Husband sat back on a lounge chair and I walked over to just dip into the Oasis Lagoon Pool (it is fresh water) – I discovered that the reason why Chill Island is so quiet is because the party was at the Pool! The Swim Up Bar was hopping, fun music playing and everyone was having a great time. A bit of shade can be found in the pool where there are some trees and then under a bridge. Most of the pool area is in full sun and I knew I had already gotten more sun than my pale skin should get so I headed back under the umbrella on Chill Island. We decided to take the tram back to the ship to avoid walking with our gear – the tram is on the other side of the Chill Grill so it was a little bit of a walk but not bad. A perk was that the tram goes all the way around the Thrill Waterpark so it gave us a chance to see a bit of it. One unfortunate detail of the tram is that the one that can take you around the island is NOT the same one that can take you to the ship. So the island tram took us sort of near the beginning of the pier and then we had to get off and get into a line (wasn’t too long) to wait for the smaller trams that can go up to the ship. Still well worth it to not have to walk all the way up the pier. TIP: To get onto the 2nd tram you have to show your SeaPass card so have it ready – you then have to show it two more times – and then a final time getting onto the ship. The tram took us to the farthest entry point (front of the ship) to get back onto the ship which avoided a line of people getting back onto the ship at middle of the ship. TIP: when getting back onto the ship they do require bags to be x-rayed – if you do not have a bag with you they’ll let you go to the left to avoid the bag x-ray line. After some relaxing on our balcony it was time to shower up and head to our final dinner – we prepaid for Chops and we were not disappointed! I had the mushroom soup with a drizzle of truffle oil (so good!) and husband had some sort of giant piece of bacon which he raved about. We tried the Wedge Salad as well as a mixed green salad with “crispy goat cheese” (yum). Husband is a steak eater and he enjoyed the ribeye – I had a white fish called “branzino” which was served with sautéed spinach. We each also had baked potatoes and shared some sautéed mushrooms. Dessert was cheesecake and a chocolate lava cake with berries. The entire meal was fantastic – we asked to sit in the back of the restaurant (away from the Windjammer) and we enjoyed a peaceful slow-paced meal looking out at the sea as we headed back to Port Canaveral. No one likes packing up . . . so we got it over with as quickly as possible – bags had to be out in the hallway by 11pm – we saved just our clothes for the next day plus a carry on with our toiletries and items we didn’t want to put in the checked luggage. Morning came too fast – we were out of our cabin by 7:45 (required to be out by 8am) and we went to our final breakfast in the dining room. On the last day they only do menu service in the dining room (we could have also gone up to the Windjammer) – so we ordered eggs and French toast and lingered there until our # was called. To depart the ship they had us go to Deck 4 and then strangely through the dining room to go outside onto the deck – not sure why the regular exterior doors were closed – maybe to be able to have enough room to snake the line around? Since we were #30 we were toward the end of the numbers called and there was not a long line. Off the ship at 8:55am – booooo – I wanted to get right back on – oh to be one of those “back to back” cruisers that get to stay on board . . . maybe in retirement we’ll get to do that! After getting back into the cruise terminal we went down a ramp and then to an area where they were telling Canadians and people with U.S. birth certificates to go the right and U.S. Passport holders to go straight. Not sure where someone from a country other than Canada or the U.S. were supposed to go? The passport line was easy – they had us walk up to a screen that did facial recognition – pause for a few seconds and then the agent told us we were good to go – he never actually looked at our passports – the facial recognition must pull up our passport info? Kind of freaky but also very quick and we liked that! Next stop was the luggage area and we found our bags in the #30 area very easily – I think there were less than 15 bags in the area and 4 of them were ours because of all of our dive gear. We than walked through what seemed like a customs area – there were booths – but no customs agents in the booths – so we just kept walking and boom we were back at the elevator in the parking garage. Back to the real world . . . after a 3 hour drive it was also back to our beloved dogs so at least reuniting with them makes it ok that the vacation is over! Hope you enjoyed the rambling review . . . as I read it back it occurs to me that I ate A LOT of mushrooms on this cruise (pasta, soup, sandwich, etc) – just want to assure the reader that there were lots of other menu choices I just really like mushrooms! *forgot to mention our cabin - #6692 Aft Junior Suite. We LOVE Aft cabins – and we use our points from the Royal Caribbean card to pay for the upgrade from a standard room to a Junior Suite. The room size was great – the décor/carpet/tile is aged a bit – I do not believe the staterooms were part of the giant upgrade that was recently done on the Mariner. However the bed was very comfortable and the linens were soft. Junior Suites have a nice big closet as well as a bathtub – I took advantage of both. We did feel some vibration while falling asleep and waking up and we definitely could feel when we were docking – but nothing was so bad that our sleep was impacted. We did not experience any soot on our balcony. I did smell cigarette smoke one time – not sure if it was from a nearby balcony (smoking is not permitted on balconies but not all passengers are rule followers) or from the crew area below. Overall we love the Aft cabins for their quietness and we do not mind the long walk to the elevator at all . . . it helps us offset all of the extra calories we are taking in during the cruise! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Went on this cruise 7/22-7/26 and left Port Canaveral for Nassau and Coco Cay. Boarded ship with ease to very friendly welcome leading us to the ship. We were early boarders (11:00 or so) and were able to explore the ship but our room ... Read More
Went on this cruise 7/22-7/26 and left Port Canaveral for Nassau and Coco Cay. Boarded ship with ease to very friendly welcome leading us to the ship. We were early boarders (11:00 or so) and were able to explore the ship but our room would not be available until 1:00. We ended up on Deck 11 (main pool deck) to music and HUGE large screen t.v. playing videos, etc. All the bars were open and everyone was just so friendly. We found a restroom (very clean and nice) and changed into swim suits to sit in pool and await the room. Cruise staff did a welcome dance on the stage to about 4 songs. They were great! We headed to our room around 1:15. We had interior room on deck 8. Room slept 4; 2 beds and 2 upper wall beds that fold out There were only 3 of us. Obviously it's a cruise ship. Our room was just fine when it comes to size. It was clean with room to put clothing away (in necessary), and shower/tv/fridge. I was given a welcome on my floor as well with my last name. Food in dining room and buffet was delicious and generous. We purchased drink package and just used the sea pass card whenever ordering. Also linked our credit card to sea pass card in case we wanted to make any purchases in gift shops or specialty restaurants. Bahamas was beautiful and we strolled thru straw market. Yes, people constantly ask you to buy things but we didn't mind. Be respectful and they are the same way. Politely decline if you don't want the item. Had a few drinks and headed to Blue Lagoon Island Dolphin Encounter. Loved it. The island was so beautiful to lounge on beach rest of day. Food & beverages including alcohol available for purchase. My pictures are beautiful. Coco Cay was truly a perfect day. Yes, you do need to purchase water slide activities at about $70 or so. The rest of island is free. Free food, free drinks, free pool, free beaches. They drive you from one side to another if you need it. We had the most beautiful time and would go back in a minute. Plan to go again next year or sooner. Mariner is a beautiful ship with the nicest staff. Their entertainment (singers) were very talented. Absolutely nothing to complain about. My son used the gym as well. Nice equipment. Did not understand the review from April of the gentleman who was disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose this short cruise from Port Canaveral because a friend of mine was heading down there for job training, and we wanted a quick look at the newly renovated Coco Cay island. I'll break down my review into several parts: The ship, ... Read More
I chose this short cruise from Port Canaveral because a friend of mine was heading down there for job training, and we wanted a quick look at the newly renovated Coco Cay island. I'll break down my review into several parts: The ship, the cabin and steward, the food, the bars and service, and Coco Cay itself. We also went to Nassau but I think Nassau is terrible so I won't let that be part of my review. THE SHIP: As most of you know it's newly renovated and the Mariner now has some new features like an escape room, laser tag, the Bamboo room, etc. It's a beautiful ship with a wonderful Royal Promenade where I honestly spent too much time in the bars, haha! My friend and I did the escape room and liked that alot, I think it's worth the extra cost of about $20 per person. I also liked how the ship didn't feel too huge, and you got to see the same people wandering around regularly. I like to interact with folks so getting to know the people on even a short cruise for me is nice. THE CABIN AND STEWARD: We had an interior cabin on the 7th floor. I don't think I'll do that again, not because the cabin was bad, but because I don't think it every really got cool enough for my tastes, and at night in the absolutely darkness it feels like I'm in a prison cell. Some people however, love this cool dark atmosphere so if you enjoy such a thing, you do you. I didn't care for it after sailing on balcony's previously, and I missed that connection with the outdoors and light. However the price was right for a July sailing because otherwise the summer makes balcony travel nigh-unaffordable. Our steward, Ada, was honestly average. She did her job cleaning the room, she brought me extra pillows when I asked for them. Other than that, we barely saw her which was fine. My knock on her was the towel animals. We only got one towel animal on a 3-night sailing. This was my friend's first cruise, and that's the sort of thing I was wowed by on my first cruise. I feel like he got screwed out of an experience there and thus I was unhappy about that. THE FOOD: If I'm being honest, it was just okay. That's about it. I can't say the food was amazing or bad. It was just there, because we ate in the MDR every night, and also in the buffet during the day. I understand specialty dining is better, but I'm already paying a large amount of money just to cruise, I don't think I should have to pay extra to get good food too. I think we should pay extra to get EXCELLENT food. I'm fine with that. I'm not fine with paying to get okay food and having to pay money to get good or better. I have been on Norwegian and Carnival and I would say Royal Caribbean is probably 2nd in terms of complimentary food behind Carnival and ahead of Norwegian. Again, this is about complimentary food only, we didn't do the specialty dining for a 3 night cruise. THE BARS: I spend most of my time drinking in the Promenade so I'll review those bars. The Bamboo room is nice and never very crowded with really unique drinks. I do wish they would turn up the lights a little in there, because it's honestly too dark in my mind to hang out there forever. The Barnacle and barrel is nice as well, not very crowded, and a good table setup that extends out into the promenade itself without getting you in the way of the crowds going by. Donald at the bar was very good and remembered my name and my drink. He also made sure we had table service when we moved from the bar to sit down. My only knock on the place is that some of the chairs can be a little small if you've got bigger hips. Just be away of that and choose the chairs without the arms. Playmakers was my go-to bar after the first night, and it was because of the bartenders and the TV selection. The British Open was going on, so I could watch the golf, along with other cool sports going on, while getting the full bar experience. My two bartenders were Sasa and Al, both from the Phillipines. Al was on his 5th contract, Sasa was on his 16th. They remembered my name, remember my favorite drink, and would give me new ones repeatedly without having to ask for my card information over and over. They just knew it, and had it down pat. They were friendly, asked me questions, and talked about their lives on board and back home. Great guys, and I feel like they were the highlight of my trip. COCO CAY: The island is crazy. It's a theme park in the Caribbean, which I've never seen before. I'd love to go back when I was feeling better, however I spent most of the day in Captain Jacks nursing myself back to life after my first two days of cruising. The people at Captain Jacks were amazing, and the place was probably the coolest spot I could find on the island. Jimmy the guitar player basically played requests all day. He's good and interacts with the crowd. Bar service is again phenomal. They bring you drinks and if you're at a table you barely have to get up except to use the restrooms, which are right there. It was the perfect relaxation spot while my friend went running around to the water park. OVERALL: Overall I go on Cruises for the 5 things I listed, and I give them all stars when I do a review. You either get a star or you don't. I gave this cruise 3 stars because it was a great cruise, but it fell short in two of the areas, which was the food and the cabin. That's okay though because I would take another 3 star cruise any day of the week, and while this was a great cruise, I think they can do some of these things better and it will be an excellent cruise. I suggest going and trying out the Mariner of the Seas to see what you think! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose to try a cruise with our 11 and 14 year old daughters. My wife and I last cruised about 15 years ago on the Radiance of the Seas and wanted to see how we liked the experience as a family. TL;DR version: we loved it and are ... Read More
We chose to try a cruise with our 11 and 14 year old daughters. My wife and I last cruised about 15 years ago on the Radiance of the Seas and wanted to see how we liked the experience as a family. TL;DR version: we loved it and are making plans to sail again in about 8 months! We elected to book a Grand Suite as it was nearly the same cost as two balcony staterooms and we liked the perks. Fair warning: once you "suite" you never go back. Not sure I can ever not book a suite again. Booking and before the trip: We booked our cruise through Costco Travel and the process was seamless with about a 10% discount (plus a Costco Card worth about $250) over RCI posted prices on their site. We booked about three months before sailing. As we approached about 14 days about, we used the RCI App to check in -- all went very seamlessly. Prior to our cruise, we spent 4 days at Universal Orlando and stayed at the Residence Inn at Port Canaveral. Great hotel, just a three minute drive from the terminal. About a week prior to the cruise, we received an email from the Suite Concierge (Thanks, Tao!) explaining our benefits and inviting us to the Suite Lounge immediately on embarkation. Check-in and embarkation: We arrived at the terminal at 10:30am and dropped our luggage off and parked our car. Parking is a bit expensive at about $20/day -- or twice what our hotel would have charged us to leave the car there. At least we didn't have to hassle with a shuttle or cab. Luggage drop off was very quick and efficient. Upon entering the terminal, we showed our SeaPass. The terminal personnel identified us suite passengers and then walked us through the entire embarkation process including passport, security, etc. We were on board in less than 15 minutes. Embarkation culminated with our photo and we then immediately headed to the Suite Lounge. The Suite Lounge: Located on Deck 14, the lounge overlooks the sport deck and pool deck. Tao, our concierge, spent about 15 minutes explaining the ship and securing us some reservations we were unable to make prior to getting on board. Additionally we had access to some snacks and drinks. He directed us down to the main dining room for our lunch. As suite guests, we were able to avoid the rush at Windjammer and eat lunch in the main dining room. The snacks and drinks came out in the Suite Lounge every day at 4pm, so we enjoyed this perk on each day of our cruise. Plus, if we ever had any questions or requests, Tao was ready to help. Dining: We ate three meals in the main dining room. While the variety of food was good, the quality was "good." I have sailed on RCI twice and both times I found the main dining food to be good, but clearly the mass produced nature of it shines through. For instance, my "New York Strip" was quite thin and had grill marks, but had clearly been cooked and held. I recognize this is a necessity but I just want to explain why the dining room only gets a "Very Good". Windjammer: we ate one meal (lunch) in the Windjammer. The food was plentiful and I was very pleased to partake in a small selection of Indian food (curries). The rest of the food was "Good" with varying quality on taste and freshness. It's a buffet and a solid, competent one at that. I was pleasantly surprised, however, the fries were always fresh and hot. Twice, we went to Windjammer for a snack and dessert, just prior to bed. The desserts in the evenings (after 9pm) were usually quite tasty and fun. So: meh for lunch, great for late-night snack. Izumi: We chose to eat one dinner at the new Japanese Steak House on board. This was the best meal we had. The prices were reasonable, our chef was terrific and the food was among the best teppanyaki I've had. On board activities: We played laser tag -- a free activity -- and had a load of fun. My older daughter and I did the Escape Room and found it to be quite challenging -- more so than other rooms we've done together. The kids did the Sky Pad (VR trampoline jumping) and loved it. We also just enjoyed exploring the ship. Entertainment: On the first night, we saw the comedy show -- worth the effort and family friendly. On the second night, we saw the ice show -- that started off slow, but got much better as time went on. Our highlight, however, was the piano guy in the elevators. Each night, a very talented Australian gent had an upright piano in one of the main guest elevators. During your ride, you could sing along. Great fun! Excursions: We elected to just walk around Nassau for about an hour and then spent the rest of that day on the ship. It allowed us terrific access on the ship as most everyone else was on shore. On the second day, we stopped at Coco Cay and rented a cabana. It came with access to the water park for all four of us. The park, cabana and island were all terrific. Our cabana included a nice, comfy couch which may or may not have been responsible for an unscheduled nap. Disembarkation: the last perk as suite guests was totally worth it: we were escorted of the ship and avoided the massive line in the terminal. Time from ship to car: 10 minutes. All in all, we had a great time. We're already planning the same ship again and are looking at future cruises in new destinations! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Mariner of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.4
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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