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Firstly, I didn't want to take this cruise nor this ship as there were a ton of bad reviews on the Mariner. But then a couple of people on Cruise Critic convince me to take the cruise so there you go. Embarkation: The thing about Royal Caribbean Embarkation notice telling you to come at a designated time isn't enforced. It never was. Therefore, ignoring the notice, we arrived at the pier at around 10 am. Drop bags, through security and check in via the short Gold Line in 10 minutes. Brilliant. Just like how it should be done. Then comes the waiting part. There was Ice Cold water provided and cups readily available. Lots of staff around to ask and check for information, guide you. An hour later, the line below at the check in counter went from short to really long. This is why you should come earlier so you can relax while waiting to board. Boarding was a total mess in Singapore. Boarding: Before boarding begins, there was already a line full of people already waiting to board. Little did they know in Singapore, they uses the Boarding Tag, Now this boarding tag has certain advantages. You get to enter the ship according to the numbers on your boarding Tag. If you are suite you go first, followed by the Crown and Anchor. But the problem is, majority of the people don't get it. Some lost it. So when it was time to board, A crowd of people form up at the entrance into immigration, combine with the soft announcement and literally it became chaotic. Why can't RCL follow the way they do it in For Lauderdale? On Board the Ship: Despite the Boarding frenzy, we managed to get on board safely. Staff were courteous and nice. Went straight up to the windjammer, and the place was rather empty. That's the Cue, straight after boarding to head to Windjammer for Lunch. Later on, there was a long line of people waiting to enter. Food like all RCL ships were just on the okay side. Not to good, not that bad either. Staff were visible and came round frequently with water. Main Dining Room: We had My Time Dining. They put us at facing the lifeboat, which was okay. Service was excellent and. The food though, was heavily emphasize on being Asian. Different days you had different food choices from the Ports we went. But always they had a range of Indian dishes. YES! They do have escargots, but unfortunately only on one night. Ask for the rest of nights and they managed to give me until the last night of the cruise. Overall food was okay. Most of it was a fusion between Asian and Western. Sometimes it works, sometimes they don't. Windjammer: Everyone who cruises RCL know the standard of Windjammer. Need not say more. They had pool barbecue several times on the cruise. Much better. Then high winds forced them back. But I'm surprised they open till 12 midnight and serve a variety of dishes including noodles. Good one RCL. But everyone knows its catered for the Asians in the Casino. Did i mention there is another buffet down in the Casino? WOW. Entertainment: I love the entertainment on RCL. Always love them from my first cruise till now. To me, the shows were brilliant, well choreograph and the singers were good. They really try to impress. Three headliner shows on our cruise. A juggler from New Zealand. Really funny but was there just to entertain kids who were on vacation during the school holidays in Singapore. The other a singer from Hong Kong was good, but only go if you are Asian or wish to hear a different variety/ experience what Asian cultures are. lastly was an acrobatic performance from Ukraine . That was awesome. Ice shows as usual was top notch. But u can't see again if you already saw it! Other usual entertaiment are the 70s dance party, Glow Night, Christmas Caroling) Most were well attended. There were a variety of singers on board. One of them the Canadian who sang at the schooner bar...I felt terrible for him as every night, there wasn't anyone there to listen to him. Unfortunately this ship was in Asia. He was quite good. The other singers, at the other bars were good and sang mostly Asian songs, hence it was packed. Activities: There was a lot of things to do, from the simplest of Trivia to the relaxing and joyful Golf Putt. To the more adventurous rock climbing, inline skating and ice skating. If sports doesn't suit you, why not dip in the Jacuzzi? Not many people during Port Days, so its best to do them in Port. You could have the whole pool to yourself. Didn't attend Bingo. Ports: We went to Port Klang, Penang, Phuket. All these ports we have been there before, so technically we went for the ship and not for the ports. But ended up going for 2 shore excursions. I can say that RCL does their port excursions really well. Organised with good and well informed staff both on the ship and at the peir. Shore excursions desk were good, and provided us with lots of information and timings. Unfortunately, RCL doesn't do it like their Caribbean Cruise where they do Port Talks, including extensive information on Ports/shopping discount booklets. Non-existent. Need information for a port? The Cruise compass is all there is for you. Google is chargeable. Service and Staff and CD: Overall the service keeps getting better and better on every RCL ship i go to. I had one of the best Cabin Staff Ever. Xiao Ming from China was the coolest, baddest and awesome. Took really good care of us. Every night there was at least 2 towel animals in our room. One was a Crocodile. He really took care of us and go beyond the extra mile. I don't think i will ever get another one on his level? RCL, please keep on giving me the WOWs. The servers who serve us in the MDR was beyond excellent. His recommendations were good and his really friendly, courteous and likes to have nice chats with everyone. Making sure they are enjoying their experience especially the food. Putu Adiyasa. You are a Gem. Ying Tao from Guest Service was excellent too. Managed to get my gift on the second try with RCL. You can tell from his patience and willingness to help that he is well suited for the job. The CD was funny. Even though he was from China, his English was really well spoken and we all understood him really well. His jokes were okay and most laugh at his jokes. He had a presentation on the new cruisers joke. Really funny. But i hardly see him on decks mingling around. Captain Mals was virtually non-existent except for his Formal night and his opening speech on Embarkation Day. Disembarkation: we were giving the first few numbers which were good if we had an early fight out of Singapore. But we don't, since we live in Singapore. We got one of the last few tags and were literally chase off the ship close to 10.30am. I'm sorry i can't bear to leave the Mariner. Baggage was easy to find and locate, though the waiting time for taxis was ridiculous. Port Everglades was faster even during peak-de-boarding. Final Comments: Like I said, I'm truly WOW by RCL on this Asian Cruise. They really go all out to ensure that people like me have an enjoyable and entertaining cruise. This is what i like about RCL. They cater to the current market (like soya sauce, vinegar) for Asian guest. And i think you could sense that they are really trying their best. Yes, it might be somewhat a cultural shock for westerners went they go on this cruise. Totally different from the States and I agree. But if you really immersed yourself into the experience of an Asian Cruise to see something new, then you will enjoy it. I did not see any Pushy rude guest, elevator squeezing, disgusting people on my cruise. No chair hoggers either. Maybe it was too hot and humid to hog a chair on these Equator cruise. Just love the Mariner, and I can't wait for my next cruise on RCL!

It keeps getting Better And Better!

Mariner of the Seas Cruise Review by WaveSplasher

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2015
  • Destination: Asia
Firstly, I didn't want to take this cruise nor this ship as there were a ton of bad reviews on the Mariner. But then a couple of people on Cruise Critic convince me to take the cruise so there you go.

Embarkation: The thing about Royal Caribbean Embarkation notice telling you to come at a designated time isn't enforced. It never was. Therefore, ignoring the notice, we arrived at the pier at around 10 am. Drop bags, through security and check in via the short Gold Line in 10 minutes. Brilliant. Just like how it should be done.

Then comes the waiting part. There was Ice Cold water provided and cups readily available. Lots of staff around to ask and check for information, guide you. An hour later, the line below at the check in counter went from short to really long. This is why you should come earlier so you can relax while waiting to board. Boarding was a total mess in Singapore.

Boarding: Before boarding begins, there was already a line full of people already waiting to board. Little did they know in Singapore, they uses the Boarding Tag, Now this boarding tag has certain advantages. You get to enter the ship according to the numbers on your boarding Tag. If you are suite you go first, followed by the Crown and Anchor. But the problem is, majority of the people don't get it. Some lost it. So when it was time to board, A crowd of people form up at the entrance into immigration, combine with the soft announcement and literally it became chaotic. Why can't RCL follow the way they do it in For Lauderdale?

On Board the Ship: Despite the Boarding frenzy, we managed to get on board safely. Staff were courteous and nice. Went straight up to the windjammer, and the place was rather empty. That's the Cue, straight after boarding to head to Windjammer for Lunch. Later on, there was a long line of people waiting to enter. Food like all RCL ships were just on the okay side. Not to good, not that bad either. Staff were visible and came round frequently with water.

Main Dining Room: We had My Time Dining. They put us at facing the lifeboat, which was okay. Service was excellent and. The food though, was heavily emphasize on being Asian. Different days you had different food choices from the Ports we went. But always they had a range of Indian dishes. YES! They do have escargots, but unfortunately only on one night. Ask for the rest of nights and they managed to give me until the last night of the cruise. Overall food was okay. Most of it was a fusion between Asian and Western. Sometimes it works, sometimes they don't.

Windjammer: Everyone who cruises RCL know the standard of Windjammer. Need not say more. They had pool barbecue several times on the cruise. Much better. Then high winds forced them back. But I'm surprised they open till 12 midnight and serve a variety of dishes including noodles. Good one RCL. But everyone knows its catered for the Asians in the Casino. Did i mention there is another buffet down in the Casino? WOW.

Entertainment: I love the entertainment on RCL. Always love them from my first cruise till now. To me, the shows were brilliant, well choreograph and the singers were good. They really try to impress. Three headliner shows on our cruise. A juggler from New Zealand. Really funny but was there just to entertain kids who were on vacation during the school holidays in Singapore. The other a singer from Hong Kong was good, but only go if you are Asian or wish to hear a different variety/ experience what Asian cultures are. lastly was an acrobatic performance from Ukraine . That was awesome. Ice shows as usual was top notch. But u can't see again if you already saw it! Other usual entertaiment are the 70s dance party, Glow Night, Christmas Caroling) Most were well attended.

There were a variety of singers on board. One of them the Canadian who sang at the schooner bar...I felt terrible for him as every night, there wasn't anyone there to listen to him. Unfortunately this ship was in Asia. He was quite good. The other singers, at the other bars were good and sang mostly Asian songs, hence it was packed.

Activities: There was a lot of things to do, from the simplest of Trivia to the relaxing and joyful Golf Putt. To the more adventurous rock climbing, inline skating and ice skating. If sports doesn't suit you, why not dip in the Jacuzzi? Not many people during Port Days, so its best to do them in Port. You could have the whole pool to yourself. Didn't attend Bingo.

Ports: We went to Port Klang, Penang, Phuket. All these ports we have been there before, so technically we went for the ship and not for the ports. But ended up going for 2 shore excursions. I can say that RCL does their port excursions really well. Organised with good and well informed staff both on the ship and at the peir. Shore excursions desk were good, and provided us with lots of information and timings.

Unfortunately, RCL doesn't do it like their Caribbean Cruise where they do Port Talks, including extensive information on Ports/shopping discount booklets. Non-existent. Need information for a port? The Cruise compass is all there is for you. Google is chargeable.

Service and Staff and CD: Overall the service keeps getting better and better on every RCL ship i go to. I had one of the best Cabin Staff Ever. Xiao Ming from China was the coolest, baddest and awesome. Took really good care of us. Every night there was at least 2 towel animals in our room. One was a Crocodile. He really took care of us and go beyond the extra mile. I don't think i will ever get another one on his level? RCL, please keep on giving me the WOWs. The servers who serve us in the MDR was beyond excellent. His recommendations were good and his really friendly, courteous and likes to have nice chats with everyone. Making sure they are enjoying their experience especially the food. Putu Adiyasa. You are a Gem. Ying Tao from Guest Service was excellent too. Managed to get my gift on the second try with RCL. You can tell from his patience and willingness to help that he is well suited for the job.

The CD was funny. Even though he was from China, his English was really well spoken and we all understood him really well. His jokes were okay and most laugh at his jokes. He had a presentation on the new cruisers joke. Really funny. But i hardly see him on decks mingling around. Captain Mals was virtually non-existent except for his Formal night and his opening speech on Embarkation Day.

Disembarkation: we were giving the first few numbers which were good if we had an early fight out of Singapore. But we don't, since we live in Singapore. We got one of the last few tags and were literally chase off the ship close to 10.30am. I'm sorry i can't bear to leave the Mariner. Baggage was easy to find and locate, though the waiting time for taxis was ridiculous. Port Everglades was faster even during peak-de-boarding.

Final Comments: Like I said, I'm truly WOW by RCL on this Asian Cruise. They really go all out to ensure that people like me have an enjoyable and entertaining cruise. This is what i like about RCL. They cater to the current market (like soya sauce, vinegar) for Asian guest. And i think you could sense that they are really trying their best. Yes, it might be somewhat a cultural shock for westerners went they go on this cruise. Totally different from the States and I agree. But if you really immersed yourself into the experience of an Asian Cruise to see something new, then you will enjoy it.

I did not see any Pushy rude guest, elevator squeezing, disgusting people on my cruise. No chair hoggers either. Maybe it was too hot and humid to hog a chair on these Equator cruise. Just love the Mariner, and I can't wait for my next cruise on RCL!
WaveSplasher’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Cabin 8138
Once we get to our cabins which was a hump balcony. A class of stateroom that we have grown to love. A hump balcony that sticks out from the ship, so you could see two sides(Front and aft) The state of the balconies however were clearly in need of maintenance. Paint ripping off and the wood wasn't even polished. The light in the room kept flickering on and off later on in the cruise. But the staff managed to fix it. Good size room with a kettle and plenty of storage space. Good amount of power points as well. Lovely and comfortable bed. They were changing mattresses in Singapore after we return. Sigh RCL...
  Mariner of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Kelang (Kuala Lumpur)
    There is really nothing to do in this Port unless you want to go out just to take pictures of the ship. Kuala lumpur is about 2 hours away if you take a Taxi that cost really expensive if you don't travel with many people . Like the CD said, this is a stay on ship Port. Though there is a free Wifi in the terminal.

    If you have additional time, head to the Fort or even farther, the Town Hall, the clock tower for some nice pictures.
    View All 116 Kelang (Kuala Lumpur) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Kelang (Kuala Lumpur) Cruise Port Review
  • Temple of Ten Thousand Buddhas
    Quite a good tour. About 5 hours. A guided tour up to the largest monestry in Malaysia. There is a Big Buddha right at the top, only accessible via a funicular rail. A short one. Up there, there is a nice view of Penang. You don't see the Mariner unfortunately. Then is off to the Expensive Chocolate Shop. Next to the Local Product shop of Penang with their famous Tau Sar Piah. Finally is off to a local food court for lunch. Order the famous dishes like chendol, Penang Laksa, and Char kway teow. Food was not bad. Extra charge though.
    View All 8 Temple of Ten Thousand Buddhas Reviews