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This was to be a special cruise for our 40th anniversary and as such we chose to go somewhere far away we may never visit again. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean (15 in all) and to be honest probably the last. Although other experienced RC passengers did say this was nothing like normal. This was a repositioning cruise moving the ship from Beijing to Singapore for 6 months. Before going into details it must be said that we found the ship very pleasant and most of the staff really good. Embarkation in Tianjin was farcical. Massive queues, no movement, no organisation and people shouting at you in Chinese in a militaristic manner. The absolute worst in our experience. Disembarkation on the other hand in Singapore was fine. We had some issues caused by our cruise agent and we spent around 91/2 hours queuing and trying to get a resolution as Guest services. We didn't manage to book any excursions at the Excursions desk as the queues were huge at all times it was open. The on screen booking in the cabin didn't work, ever Musical entertainment around the ship in the lounges was OK but the main theatre shows in general were the worst we had experienced. I have never seen half full theatres before or such quantities of people getting up and walking out. We had general quizzes led by staff who could not read, write nor pronounce English. Pathetic organisation. In cabin entertainment was equally pathetic with endless loops of children's and a few other films. One friend saw 'Skyfall' 12 times as an example. The films on deck were the same ones in the cabin as were the cinema presentations in Studio B. Only near the end did some new films begin to appear. Who wants to watch a repeat of Shrek, or Cinderella as the movie under the stars at night. BBC world service appeared just before the end of the cruise. Prior to that on standard fare US news programs were available together with a multitude of Chinese / Asian channels. It would appear that nobody bothered to look at the passenger demographics. Announcements were generally unintelligible except for the Captain's The cabin 1603 (inside) was OK but it is difficult for an inside cabin to get much better than that. Size was smallish, facilities were adequate, storage was adequate and the cabin service was good. Service around the ship was always friendly in particular Rosalio in the dining room and Abel in the Wig and Gavel were outstanding. It has to be said that we found most of the crew to be very friendly and helpful. The food in the Main Dining Room was initially very Asian oriented, this only changed for the last few days. The food in the Windjammer appeared to be a reasonable selection but very repetitive. Disembarkation at the ports of call was very badly organised with very long queues. Often caused by the crew having to change the location of the gangway up or down. These are mariners for crying out loud, surely they realise by now that water in the sea is tidal and have the ability to choose the correct disembarkation deck first time? There were continuous shortages of food and beverage caused simply by terrible organisation. They (Royal Caribbean)are an international company and surely have changed ports and clientele before. Prior to this cruise, this ship had been used in the China market with around 97% Chinese guests. This cruise was roughly reversed. I can appreciate that to some of the crew members this was a major cultural change. Drinks on board are ridiculously priced and only by drinking more than usual of the most expensive items did we make a package pay. Even so the packages are roughly double the price of say Costa and even more than that of Fred Olsen. Nice ship, nice staff, appalling entertainment, average food, pathetic organisation, high prices, missed demographics in the planning structure. In all, we visited places we may never again get to which was good, unfortunately it was on this ship. A real let down and we could not recommend RC to anybody based on this cruise.

Nothing to recommend on this ship

Mariner of the Seas Cruise Review by C0l0nel

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2015
  • Destination: Asia
This was to be a special cruise for our 40th anniversary and as such we chose to go somewhere far away we may never visit again. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean (15 in all) and to be honest probably the last. Although other experienced RC passengers did say this was nothing like normal.

This was a repositioning cruise moving the ship from Beijing to Singapore for 6 months.

Before going into details it must be said that we found the ship very pleasant and most of the staff really good.

Embarkation in Tianjin was farcical. Massive queues, no movement, no organisation and people shouting at you in Chinese in a militaristic manner. The absolute worst in our experience. Disembarkation on the other hand in Singapore was fine.

We had some issues caused by our cruise agent and we spent around 91/2 hours queuing and trying to get a resolution as Guest services. We didn't manage to book any excursions at the Excursions desk as the queues were huge at all times it was open. The on screen booking in the cabin didn't work, ever

Musical entertainment around the ship in the lounges was OK but the main theatre shows in general were the worst we had experienced. I have never seen half full theatres before or such quantities of people getting up and walking out. We had general quizzes led by staff who could not read, write nor pronounce English. Pathetic organisation.

In cabin entertainment was equally pathetic with endless loops of children's and a few other films. One friend saw 'Skyfall' 12 times as an example. The films on deck were the same ones in the cabin as were the cinema presentations in Studio B. Only near the end did some new films begin to appear. Who wants to watch a repeat of Shrek, or Cinderella as the movie under the stars at night. BBC world service appeared just before the end of the cruise. Prior to that on standard fare US news programs were available together with a multitude of Chinese / Asian channels. It would appear that nobody bothered to look at the passenger demographics.

Announcements were generally unintelligible except for the Captain's

The cabin 1603 (inside) was OK but it is difficult for an inside cabin to get much better than that. Size was smallish, facilities were adequate, storage was adequate and the cabin service was good.

Service around the ship was always friendly in particular Rosalio in the dining room and Abel in the Wig and Gavel were outstanding. It has to be said that we found most of the crew to be very friendly and helpful.

The food in the Main Dining Room was initially very Asian oriented, this only changed for the last few days. The food in the Windjammer appeared to be a reasonable selection but very repetitive.

Disembarkation at the ports of call was very badly organised with very long queues. Often caused by the crew having to change the location of the gangway up or down. These are mariners for crying out loud, surely they realise by now that water in the sea is tidal and have the ability to choose the correct disembarkation deck first time?

There were continuous shortages of food and beverage caused simply by terrible organisation. They (Royal Caribbean)are an international company and surely have changed ports and clientele before.

Prior to this cruise, this ship had been used in the China market with around 97% Chinese guests. This cruise was roughly reversed. I can appreciate that to some of the crew members this was a major cultural change.

Drinks on board are ridiculously priced and only by drinking more than usual of the most expensive items did we make a package pay. Even so the packages are roughly double the price of say Costa and even more than that of Fred Olsen.

Nice ship, nice staff, appalling entertainment, average food, pathetic organisation, high prices, missed demographics in the planning structure. In all, we visited places we may never again get to which was good, unfortunately it was on this ship. A real let down and we could not recommend RC to anybody based on this cruise.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 1603
Adequate is about all that any inside cabin can be. This was well positioned, quiet, comfortable and well serviced
  Mariner of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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    Amazing place and well worth a visit. Traffic manic and totally fascinating especially the 7m scooters who all act like the cyclists on British roads. Not sure who works in Saigon as they were all on the roads all of the time we were there. Most of the important things to see are in central Saigon where you are left for around 9 hours. Heat and humidity very high so drink lots. The Palace of reconciliation and local markets are worth a visit as is trying the street food
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  • Hong Kong
    Travelled independently on Metro and bus system. Very easy and cheap.
    Concrete jungle and hot as hall but fascinating and frantic. A bus ride to Stanley market showed the beauty of the bays on Hong Kong island. Would like to go there on a land holiday
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  • Nagasaki Peace Park
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  • The Atomic Bomb Museum
    Went independently by local tram - very easy and cheap. Learned a lot and saw enough to know that I don't want it to ever happen again
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  • Singapore
    Stayed for 3 days.
    Singapore Sling at Raffles a must but expensive. Metro system very cheap and easy. Saw as much as we could in the time available but missed a few things.
    Chinatown, Raffles, Bay Garden area, Orchard Rd all a must see and easy to get to if your hotel is anywhere near public transport
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