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We were on this ship earlier in the year (last season) and so we knew what to expect; or at least we thought so because with a new cruise director, this one was incredibly different from the last one and not in a good way. After reading the many other recent reviews that expressed disappointment with this ship, I tend to agree that RC's standards have slipped; in the space of a year! Where to start..? Overall the staff were very friendly and accommodating, but they could only work with the tools and training they were given, which was lacking in many areas. The drinks packages were marketed heavily throughout the cruise, and we paid for the ultimate package so we could enjoy the ship's wide range of cocktails that are usually on offer. However, only a dozen cocktails were available on a menu printed on A4 paper (how tacky) instead of the beautifully set out book with photographs that we had on our last cruise. I had to instruct bar staff on how to make a Lava Flow and the bar tender at Boleros did not know how to make the signature cocktails. Last time, Boleros was tended by two fabulously friendly staff who made the bar inviting - this time, it had zero atmosphere and the staff looked bored. We enjoyed the theater production, but Tamara Guo put on an extremely dull show - she talked way too much while showing off her multi-lingual skills, we couldn't understand her and walked out. There was no atmosphere on the pool deck, which really just felt like an out door movie theater - kids movies playing at 10pm?! They had one deck party but it started at 10:30pm.. pass. Ellingtons was equally dull; we were there one night at 7pm for pre-dinner drinks and we were literally the only people there with the two (bored) staff - it was completely deserted! The violin/piano trio played very nice classical music, but this is supposed to be a jazz bar and there no jazz music at all on the cruise. Last time, performers from the theater production played in a terrific jazz band after dinner, but they were absent on this cruise. This was a Christmas cruise, but there were no decorations in the dining room to acknowledge the festive season. We had lunch in Giovanni's on Christmas Day with only one other table - we got great service but not even a bonbon on the table. There were too many spicy Asian dishes on the main dining room menu - my mother cannot tolerate spicy food and so was left with few options at dinner. Dress standards in the main dining room were non-existence - last time, one of our party was (rightfully) refused entry for wearing a singlet shirt - on the non-formal nights this time, many diners appeared like they'd just walked in from the beach. Overall, the cruise was dull and we were glad to get onshore at the port stops to take a break from the monotony. While I appreciate that RC is trying to develop the Asian market, it is doing so at the cost of marginalizing its core market. At least half of the passengers were Australian, British or American, and I along with others don't think we were catered for very well. We're not interested in listening to amateurs sing karaoke (badly); we like seeing performances from professional musicians and artists. I would not take any RC cruise in or out of Asia for fear of another underwhelming dull cruise.

Underwhelming, Dull Cruise

Mariner of the Seas Cruise Review by kodac0

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2015
  • Destination: Asia
We were on this ship earlier in the year (last season) and so we knew what to expect; or at least we thought so because with a new cruise director, this one was incredibly different from the last one and not in a good way. After reading the many other recent reviews that expressed disappointment with this ship, I tend to agree that RC's standards have slipped; in the space of a year! Where to start..?

Overall the staff were very friendly and accommodating, but they could only work with the tools and training they were given, which was lacking in many areas. The drinks packages were marketed heavily throughout the cruise, and we paid for the ultimate package so we could enjoy the ship's wide range of cocktails that are usually on offer. However, only a dozen cocktails were available on a menu printed on A4 paper (how tacky) instead of the beautifully set out book with photographs that we had on our last cruise. I had to instruct bar staff on how to make a Lava Flow and the bar tender at Boleros did not know how to make the signature cocktails. Last time, Boleros was tended by two fabulously friendly staff who made the bar inviting - this time, it had zero atmosphere and the staff looked bored.

We enjoyed the theater production, but Tamara Guo put on an extremely dull show - she talked way too much while showing off her multi-lingual skills, we couldn't understand her and walked out. There was no atmosphere on the pool deck, which really just felt like an out door movie theater - kids movies playing at 10pm?! They had one deck party but it started at 10:30pm.. pass. Ellingtons was equally dull; we were there one night at 7pm for pre-dinner drinks and we were literally the only people there with the two (bored) staff - it was completely deserted! The violin/piano trio played very nice classical music, but this is supposed to be a jazz bar and there no jazz music at all on the cruise. Last time, performers from the theater production played in a terrific jazz band after dinner, but they were absent on this cruise.

This was a Christmas cruise, but there were no decorations in the dining room to acknowledge the festive season. We had lunch in Giovanni's on Christmas Day with only one other table - we got great service but not even a bonbon on the table. There were too many spicy Asian dishes on the main dining room menu - my mother cannot tolerate spicy food and so was left with few options at dinner. Dress standards in the main dining room were non-existence - last time, one of our party was (rightfully) refused entry for wearing a singlet shirt - on the non-formal nights this time, many diners appeared like they'd just walked in from the beach.

Overall, the cruise was dull and we were glad to get onshore at the port stops to take a break from the monotony. While I appreciate that RC is trying to develop the Asian market, it is doing so at the cost of marginalizing its core market. At least half of the passengers were Australian, British or American, and I along with others don't think we were catered for very well. We're not interested in listening to amateurs sing karaoke (badly); we like seeing performances from professional musicians and artists. I would not take any RC cruise in or out of Asia for fear of another underwhelming dull cruise.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 9692
We had a balcony room on the AFT. It has an over-sized balcony, which we enjoyed very much when it wasn't raining. The bathroom is very tight but the room is otherwise a good size for two people. I don't know how four adults would manage in these rooms, but it would be okay for 2 adults and 2 children. I'd recommend this room providing you don't mind the long walk to/from the elevators.
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