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This is the second time we have sailed with RCI and before this trip it was considered our first choice, but after this it is most probably, the last. From basic organisation and communication the cruise failed in most aspects, as follows: 1. We had paid for "My Time Dining" which entailed paying gratuities in advance, only to be initially told it was unavailable. Then after considerable pressure from many customers it was re.instated. We were then told we were on a waiting list and after saying that, in which case we would like the gratuities returned, they miraculously said we were allocated a place! 2. Extortionate price of shore excursions.Other than Ho Chi Minh, you could do the main attractions yourself at a fraction of the cost and without the very limited time constraint. We did visit the latter and the excursion was over one hour late leaving, due to the chaotic organisation, and the guide made this up by cutting our time down. To highlight this the one feature involved a climb to a statue of Christ, which was over 800 steps high. To do this we were given about 20 minutes in 80+ degrees with 90% plus humidity. Needless to say most decided not to attempt. 3. Food quality and variety. This can only be described as average, with the same menu choices on most days. The quality also varied accordingly. 4. Staff and Service. Although in many case the staff tried hard, it was obvious that many were new to the ship and had not been trained in customer service, and hence stood back waiting for you to either do things yourself or wait to be asked. The latter then became quite an ordeal. The one exception we had was the Cabin Steward, who was excellent in all aspects. 5. Entertainment. The main point for the evening shows was the Savoy Theatre, and the quality of the shows varied from very good (Violinist, Beatles lookalike and Jamaican Singer) to very poor (Juggler and Magician). The Ice Spectacular was excellent, and is highly recommended. 6.Layout and facilities. The ship caters for over 3000 passengers and the design is well laid out with the central atrium being the place around which the bars and shopping areas emanate. A great area to visit before or after your evening Dinner/Show. 7. Guest Relations. Due to the number of customers and the issues arising, this became a very congested area and if you wanted to perform some simple tasks, such as replacing a Key Card that didn't work, frustratingly you had in most cases to join a lengthy queue. To finish, the above issues are "fixable" with some basic organisation, as they are not fundamental design issues, but they seriously detracted, from what was a fabulous itinerary.

Service, a forgotten word!

Mariner of the Seas Cruise Review by imaunder

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2015
  • Destination: Asia
This is the second time we have sailed with RCI and before this trip it was considered our first choice, but after this it is most probably, the last.

From basic organisation and communication the cruise failed in most aspects, as follows:

1. We had paid for "My Time Dining" which entailed paying gratuities in advance, only to be initially told it was unavailable. Then after considerable pressure from many customers it was re.instated. We were then told we were on a waiting list and after saying that, in which case we would like the gratuities returned, they miraculously said we were allocated a place!

2. Extortionate price of shore excursions.Other than Ho Chi Minh, you could do the main attractions yourself at a fraction of the cost and without the very limited time constraint. We did visit the latter and the excursion was over one hour late leaving, due to the chaotic organisation, and the guide made this up by cutting our time down. To highlight this the one feature involved a climb to a statue of Christ, which was over 800 steps high. To do this we were given about 20 minutes in 80+ degrees with 90% plus humidity. Needless to say most decided not to attempt.

3. Food quality and variety. This can only be described as average, with the same menu choices on most days. The quality also varied accordingly.

4. Staff and Service. Although in many case the staff tried hard, it was obvious that many were new to the ship and had not been trained in customer service, and hence stood back waiting for you to either do things yourself or wait to be asked. The latter then became quite an ordeal. The one exception we had was the Cabin Steward, who was excellent in all aspects.

5. Entertainment. The main point for the evening shows was the Savoy Theatre, and the quality of the shows varied from very good (Violinist, Beatles lookalike and Jamaican Singer) to very poor (Juggler and Magician).

The Ice Spectacular was excellent, and is highly recommended.

6.Layout and facilities. The ship caters for over 3000 passengers and the design is well laid out with the central atrium being the place around which the bars and shopping areas emanate. A great area to visit before or after your evening Dinner/Show.

7. Guest Relations. Due to the number of customers and the issues arising, this became a very congested area and if you wanted to perform some simple tasks, such as replacing a Key Card that didn't work, frustratingly you had in most cases to join a lengthy queue.

To finish, the above issues are "fixable" with some basic organisation, as they are not fundamental design issues, but they seriously detracted, from what was a fabulous itinerary.
imaunder’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 8290
Well laid out with all the necessary facilities
  Mariner of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Vungtau Walking Tour
    One hour late starting due to poor organisation
    Too limited time as guide tried to make up the lost
    Involved severe climbing which guests were not aware of
    View All 6 Vungtau Walking Tour Reviews