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We just came back to Australia from an 8-day cruise out of Singapore, taking in Thailand and Vietnam. Cabin: We were allocated 7305, a promenade twin suite set up as a huge queen bed with curved foot shape matching the style of the suite. This means it has a bay window and curved bay seat and being on the seventh floor it overlooks the Royal Promenade, well this one more particularly the aft end of the promenade, which was good and bad. Good because we were isolated somewhat from the speakers for when they have street parades and shows and I guess, bad because exactly that- we couldn't look down on various shows etc. Still, as an inside suite as opposed to the extra we would've paid for a balcony suite we found it very accommodating and roomy for 2 people. Ample drawer and cupboard space- some cupboards we didn't even use. We had tea and coffee making facilities, a small fridge (not chock-a-block with their mini bar stuff either). The suite had a 2 seat sofa plus the curved bay window seat. Interactive TV with satellite channels and personalized access to a range of things like checking your cabin account anytime. The cabin steward was very good, attentive and thorough- nothing too much trouble. Food: Overall the food was excellent and although the choice availability leaned a little on the spicy exotic foods side being more the Asian market, we never found we couldn't get good and ample alternatives for our tastes at any of the food outlets or dining rooms. We love the 3 floor dining room which is an opulent and exquisite architectural design of vast curving balconies and balustrades with a majestic curved staircase linking all 3 levels (you enter via the main entrances though and are greeted by friendly smiling waiters and reception staff). Meal sizes were sensible, ample and filling. If one wanted more, the friendly waiter obliged. The promenade cafe is a winner, with a great variety of foods available almost anytime. We didn't try Johhny Rockets this time, (We've been on her sister ship Voyager of the Seas) as the mandatory cover charge of $6.95 pp seems a bit savage- considering its mainly the old style "happy Days" type of cafe serving chips and hamburgers and sundaes- all available free elsewhere on the ship (poolside BBQ's on several days). We gave the Chops Grille, Giovanni's (and one other cover charge restaurant) the miss, as to be frank, they advertise that your fare covers all food. Simply, why would you go on a cruise and want to pay $40 more per head for each additional restaurant, when the Windjammer bistro style and the main dining rooms offer superb food as it is? On Board Prices: There's always a 'sidewalk' "sale" happening when at sea with a limited variety of goods for sale at anything from 10% to 70% "off"- the real question is what is the discount coming "off" in the first place, as most prices seem way over the top compared with shore side shops . The Royal Promenade is home to quite a number of shops mainly selling Watches, watches, handbags, and -did I mention watches?- not much in the way of clothing or electronics and gadgetry. A few top end cameras were available but nothing like a decent souvenir shop or on-board items like sunscreens, lollies or mild medications, cough lozenges and the like which we've seen on other RCL and P&O ships. Entertainment: RCL always comes out on top here with spectacular shows supported by real live musicians (for one such show they had about 12 musicians in the orchestra). Staging, props and other 'wow' factors abounded, leaving you feel like you have been to a top Hollywood or Vegas production. The ice skating show on level 2 is not to be missed and was simply stunning in its staging, costumery, variety etc. The music tended to be pumped up too loud and for those who already are guessing I "shouldv'e turned my hearing aid down", a look around during the ice show noted several others even small kids, with hands clamped over their ears. Seating is limited and allocated according to your muster station number. You'll only get the one chance to go to the show, so plan for it. There were of course other musicians either performing solo in various bars around the ship, or small pop groups who were adept at any type of music. However the live music anywhere on board didn't start until around 5 or 6pm at night which is a negative we feel. Nothing like a quiet drink after lunch listening to a tinkling piano or guitarist, as we've seen on other ships. Tours: We were pleasantly surprised here, and actually booked two tours as we felt they were good value for money. The organisation for disembarking and meeting each coach was good and unless you were an impatient moron, there were no great delays. Other: As an adult couple, empty-nesters now, we did appreciate the kid free area where we could have a swim or hot Jacuzzi and veg. out on a banana lounge in the shade with a book or just snooze. Unlike P&O you don't pay anything extra for this service or location. Lifts and facilities: We found this ship had ample lifts at either ends of the promenade and adequate staircases if so inclined to walk off the copious food available. Public areas were well maintained and a walk around the decks, particularly near life boats, shows that maintenance was kept up- no rusting areas recoated with paint to later blister and bubble. Quayside we noted the usual workers slapping white paint on areas of the hull looking a bit worse for wear, but interestingly they were using a quality name brand two-pack paint. Our ensuite toilets didn't break down at all (unlike other ships where it became the daily norm). We do like the RCL ships (our third RCL voyage now) with the press buttons to electrically open public toilet doors and the supplied paper towels to otherwise assist entering and leaving these areas. Some people still dont get the hygiene message(using the toilet and leaving without washing hands, touching door handles in the process etc). 'Nuff Said.!! Overall she is a very smooth-sailing ship- very little tendency to show any onboard motion at all really, despite some fairly strong winds and a few big storms we went through. Sporting types would revel in the 18+1 hole golf course, the netball court, the rock climbing wall, the inline roller blading course and the excellent and comprehensive gym. Likes: a lovely big ship with amazing atriums and spectacular glass lifts overlooking the very high ceilinged promenade, giving an open light and airy feel. We liked the ability for guests to go right to the bow of the ship, out on the helipad deck and sit on provided park benches to take in the sights when arriving and departing ports. Ellingtons is a curved lounge bar area on 14th floor affording a relaxed time overlooking the entire pool and spa deck and with views to the sides and well ahead of the ship as far as the horizon. You tend to feel you are enjoying the buzz of the pool areas without the bla from the never ending massive TV screen running non stop movies. Dislikes: Photo prices too high, but at least with RCL they don't stick a camera in yer face at every turn. Drinks tend to be high priced, considering they are supposed to be free of port taxes etc. We found value in purchasing a drinks package at the start of the voyage. When dining, particularly on some upmarket main befitting a nice wine, they don't have any non-alcoholic wines to choose from. Not everyone likes to drink alcohol. Being offered a "coke light" to complement a lobster meal or eye fillet steak doesn't cut it in our opinion. And last (and most definately least) in our cruising opinion (after 16 cruises under our belts) are those annoying Park West "Thomas Kinkade" never-to-be-missed-ART-AUCTIONS on board. Why shipping lines persist with such ripoffs to their cruising public, is always beyond me. They are not real auctions, you never see a real bidder and the so-called "rare works" are always overpriced- mainly because they trot out works from unheard of and obscure galleries or unknown artists with 'limited' editions. Don't fall for the lucky door prize where EVERYONE 'wins' a free painting- you only pay the exhorbitant price to have it mailed to you later. I'm over it. Still- in final summary, cruising is definitely the best most relaxing way to have a holiday. They quoted statistics that during a 7 day cruise the average person puts on an average of 7 lbs. This is true. But there's the waslking track, gym and other activities to negate that if you wish.

Great Cruise aboard Mariner of the Seas

Mariner of the Seas Cruise Review by mowcacky1

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2015
  • Destination: Asia
We just came back to Australia from an 8-day cruise out of Singapore, taking in Thailand and Vietnam.

Cabin:

We were allocated 7305, a promenade twin suite set up as a huge queen bed with curved foot shape matching the style of the suite. This means it has a bay window and curved bay seat and being on the seventh floor it overlooks the Royal Promenade, well this one more particularly the aft end of the promenade, which was good and bad. Good because we were isolated somewhat from the speakers for when they have street parades and shows and I guess, bad because exactly that- we couldn't look down on various shows etc. Still, as an inside suite as opposed to the extra we would've paid for a balcony suite we found it very accommodating and roomy for 2 people. Ample drawer and cupboard space- some cupboards we didn't even use.

We had tea and coffee making facilities, a small fridge (not chock-a-block with their mini bar stuff either). The suite had a 2 seat sofa plus the curved bay window seat. Interactive TV with satellite channels and personalized access to a range of things like checking your cabin account anytime. The cabin steward was very good, attentive and thorough- nothing too much trouble.

Food: Overall the food was excellent and although the choice availability leaned a little on the spicy exotic foods side being more the Asian market, we never found we couldn't get good and ample alternatives for our tastes at any of the food outlets or dining rooms.

We love the 3 floor dining room which is an opulent and exquisite architectural design of vast curving balconies and balustrades with a majestic curved staircase linking all 3 levels (you enter via the main entrances though and are greeted by friendly smiling waiters and reception staff). Meal sizes were sensible, ample and filling. If one wanted more, the friendly waiter obliged.

The promenade cafe is a winner, with a great variety of foods available almost anytime. We didn't try Johhny Rockets this time, (We've been on her sister ship Voyager of the Seas) as the mandatory cover charge of $6.95 pp seems a bit savage- considering its mainly the old style "happy Days" type of cafe serving chips and hamburgers and sundaes- all available free elsewhere on the ship (poolside BBQ's on several days).

We gave the Chops Grille, Giovanni's (and one other cover charge restaurant) the miss, as to be frank, they advertise that your fare covers all food. Simply, why would you go on a cruise and want to pay $40 more per head for each additional restaurant, when the Windjammer bistro style and the main dining rooms offer superb food as it is?

On Board Prices:

There's always a 'sidewalk' "sale" happening when at sea with a limited variety of goods for sale at anything from 10% to 70% "off"- the real question is what is the discount coming "off" in the first place, as most prices seem way over the top compared with shore side shops . The Royal Promenade is home to quite a number of shops mainly selling Watches, watches, handbags, and -did I mention watches?- not much in the way of clothing or electronics and gadgetry. A few top end cameras were available but nothing like a decent souvenir shop or on-board items like sunscreens, lollies or mild medications, cough lozenges and the like which we've seen on other RCL and P&O ships.

Entertainment:

RCL always comes out on top here with spectacular shows supported by real live musicians (for one such show they had about 12 musicians in the orchestra). Staging, props and other 'wow' factors abounded, leaving you feel like you have been to a top Hollywood or Vegas production.

The ice skating show on level 2 is not to be missed and was simply stunning in its staging, costumery, variety etc. The music tended to be pumped up too loud and for those who already are guessing I "shouldv'e turned my hearing aid down", a look around during the ice show noted several others even small kids, with hands clamped over their ears. Seating is limited and allocated according to your muster station number. You'll only get the one chance to go to the show, so plan for it.

There were of course other musicians either performing solo in various bars around the ship, or small pop groups who were adept at any type of music. However the live music anywhere on board didn't start until around 5 or 6pm at night which is a negative we feel. Nothing like a quiet drink after lunch listening to a tinkling piano or guitarist, as we've seen on other ships.

Tours:

We were pleasantly surprised here, and actually booked two tours as we felt they were good value for money. The organisation for disembarking and meeting each coach was good and unless you were an impatient moron, there were no great delays.

Other:

As an adult couple, empty-nesters now, we did appreciate the kid free area where we could have a swim or hot Jacuzzi and veg. out on a banana lounge in the shade with a book or just snooze. Unlike P&O you don't pay anything extra for this service or location.

Lifts and facilities:

We found this ship had ample lifts at either ends of the promenade and adequate staircases if so inclined to walk off the copious food available. Public areas were well maintained and a walk around the decks, particularly near life boats, shows that maintenance was kept up- no rusting areas recoated with paint to later blister and bubble. Quayside we noted the usual workers slapping white paint on areas of the hull looking a bit worse for wear, but interestingly they were using a quality name brand two-pack paint. Our ensuite toilets didn't break down at all (unlike other ships where it became the daily norm).

We do like the RCL ships (our third RCL voyage now) with the press buttons to electrically open public toilet doors and the supplied paper towels to otherwise assist entering and leaving these areas. Some people still dont get the hygiene message(using the toilet and leaving without washing hands, touching door handles in the process etc). 'Nuff Said.!!

Overall she is a very smooth-sailing ship- very little tendency to show any onboard motion at all really, despite some fairly strong winds and a few big storms we went through. Sporting types would revel in the 18+1 hole golf course, the netball court, the rock climbing wall, the inline roller blading course and the excellent and comprehensive gym.

Likes: a lovely big ship with amazing atriums and spectacular glass lifts overlooking the very high ceilinged promenade, giving an open light and airy feel. We liked the ability for guests to go right to the bow of the ship, out on the helipad deck and sit on provided park benches to take in the sights when arriving and departing ports.

Ellingtons is a curved lounge bar area on 14th floor affording a relaxed time overlooking the entire pool and spa deck and with views to the sides and well ahead of the ship as far as the horizon. You tend to feel you are enjoying the buzz of the pool areas without the bla from the never ending massive TV screen running non stop movies.

Dislikes: Photo prices too high, but at least with RCL they don't stick a camera in yer face at every turn.

Drinks tend to be high priced, considering they are supposed to be free of port taxes etc.

We found value in purchasing a drinks package at the start of the voyage. When dining, particularly on some upmarket main befitting a nice wine, they don't have any non-alcoholic wines to choose from. Not everyone likes to drink alcohol. Being offered a "coke light" to complement a lobster meal or eye fillet steak doesn't cut it in our opinion.

And last (and most definately least) in our cruising opinion (after 16 cruises under our belts) are those annoying Park West "Thomas Kinkade" never-to-be-missed-ART-AUCTIONS on board. Why shipping lines persist with such ripoffs to their cruising public, is always beyond me. They are not real auctions, you never see a real bidder and the so-called "rare works" are always overpriced- mainly because they trot out works from unheard of and obscure galleries or unknown artists with 'limited' editions. Don't fall for the lucky door prize where EVERYONE 'wins' a free painting- you only pay the exhorbitant price to have it mailed to you later. I'm over it.

Still- in final summary, cruising is definitely the best most relaxing way to have a holiday. They quoted statistics that during a 7 day cruise the average person puts on an average of 7 lbs. This is true. But there's the waslking track, gym and other activities to negate that if you wish.
mowcacky1’s Full Rating Summary
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