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We selected this cruise as it suited our holiday dates. It was just after the Easter holiday weekend. It was a cruise to the Bahamas which has been a dream destination for us and we particularly liked that it was 4 days only as we were first time cruisers with our 3 children of varying ages and we had experience of motion sickness with our kids and myself and were wary of too long a stay on cruise. It was our first time in Miami and we landed at midnight at Miami international. I can highly recommend late arrivals book into Miami int Airport hotel. It made our arrival pleasant and breezy. After breakfast that am we ubered to the port to check in and leave our baggage with the intent of exploring the city. Check in was amazing. Took 10 minutes chatting to and dropping bags with porter an extremely efficient and enthusiastic gent who just took control told us not to worry and guided us to go in and finalise our check in. This was good advice and took 5 minutes! Maybe lucky maybe good timing again super efficient and smiling experience. Staff was wonderful. The ambience and feel of that check in area and process gave us confidence that we did the right thing. As we were leaving a staff member when hearing we wanted to explore Miami recommended we head to South Beach which we did and loved it! Oceans 10 and their fantastic cocktails and service greeted us there before we headed to ship. We had requested a family suite and balcony facing and it wasn't available so we had booked 2 x inside cabins for our family of 5. The cabins the housekeeping... The dining facility and service and quality of offering was 5 star. The choices fantastic for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Nothing is too big for staff. They arranged on request a delicious and beautiful birthday cake for my son. They even made me jalepeno omelette at breakfast. The only request I had for them was to arrange for fresh green chilli that suits heat loving palettes so some peri peri flavors. The activities and on board entertainment was fantastic and covered most preferences. The only advice I would give them is that they mustn't allow guests to hog and pre book all activities during induction time on day 1 and have insufficient room to accomodate all guests. We missed out on laser tag despite much effort to get in as every slot was pre-booked but there isn't a service to reach out or call people on a waiting list if there are no shows. The ship itself was wonderful. Large spacious and inviting. I was surprised to learn on the am we were departing that there had been approx 1300 children on board. I can't say I heard or saw them all to be honest. My kids aged 6, 10 and 13 had a wonderful time. Their needs were met, they threw themselves into whatever was free and available on board and they had fun and got to enjoy on board and off ship excursions. The food met their expectations. Cafe promenade was a huge hit as was Ben and Jerry. They also loved the adult like family dining experience in dining hall 3...and asked everyday for window seating being fortunate to finally experience this on our last night and morning before we disembarked. We had to keep reminding ourselves we were on a ship... We felt no motion.... Brilliant ship... And took none of the stash of motion sickness meds I had taken with us. A beautiful floating resort feel. So the lesson I have learned through this experience is book a large modern ship if you suffer from motion sickness. Great technology... Good ship stabilizers and good navigation means a better cruise experience. Cocacay was an amazing day. Cocktails, lunch and activities were fantastic. I do think the shuttle service on shore at cococay should be complimentary to all. I must say though that many helped me get across the island throughout the day because I stopped them or flagged them and asked. Disembarkation was good. But getting out of the port and on our way was painstaking and slow. Too many people, all taking uber or lyft... Waiting long periods for cars that were slow in coming through. This was frustrating for many including us. Some car hire companies take advantage of unsuspecting customers and overbook their vehicles and we arrived at our car hire company in downtown Miami to chaos. Long lines. 1 or 2 staff members. And insufficient cars. Or different types to what was booked available. Their sad excuse.. It's after Easter holidays. I think it's the norm - so my advice to traveller's with tight itineraries like us... (We missed our planned day at space Kennedy Centre as a result of this inefficiency.) is to rather book car hire a little further out vs closest to port...you may get better service.. Less queuing and get what you booked on time. In a nutshell royal carribean was amazing. I felt like we had a 5 star plus experience with excellent care and customer service. I would highly recommend any family with varying aged kids to go on this cruise if looking for a suitable offering. We loved it and can't wait to plan our next family cruise on a Large cruise liner.

First time Cruising with young children

Mariner of the Seas Cruise Review by ThiloV

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2019
  • Destination: Bahamas
We selected this cruise as it suited our holiday dates. It was just after the Easter holiday weekend. It was a cruise to the Bahamas which has been a dream destination for us and we particularly liked that it was 4 days only as we were first time cruisers with our 3 children of varying ages and we had experience of motion sickness with our kids and myself and were wary of too long a stay on cruise.

It was our first time in Miami and we landed at midnight at Miami international. I can highly recommend late arrivals book into Miami int Airport hotel. It made our arrival pleasant and breezy. After breakfast that am we ubered to the port to check in and leave our baggage with the intent of exploring the city. Check in was amazing. Took 10 minutes chatting to and dropping bags with porter an extremely efficient and enthusiastic gent who just took control told us not to worry and guided us to go in and finalise our check in. This was good advice and took 5 minutes! Maybe lucky maybe good timing again super efficient and smiling experience. Staff was wonderful. The ambience and feel of that check in area and process gave us confidence that we did the right thing. As we were leaving a staff member when hearing we wanted to explore Miami recommended we head to South Beach which we did and loved it! Oceans 10 and their fantastic cocktails and service greeted us there before we headed to ship. We had requested a family suite and balcony facing and it wasn't available so we had booked 2 x inside cabins for our family of 5. The cabins the housekeeping... The dining facility and service and quality of offering was 5 star. The choices fantastic for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Nothing is too big for staff. They arranged on request a delicious and beautiful birthday cake for my son. They even made me jalepeno omelette at breakfast. The only request I had for them was to arrange for fresh green chilli that suits heat loving palettes so some peri peri flavors. The activities and on board entertainment was fantastic and covered most preferences. The only advice I would give them is that they mustn't allow guests to hog and pre book all activities during induction time on day 1 and have insufficient room to accomodate all guests. We missed out on laser tag despite much effort to get in as every slot was pre-booked but there isn't a service to reach out or call people on a waiting list if there are no shows. The ship itself was wonderful. Large spacious and inviting. I was surprised to learn on the am we were departing that there had been approx 1300 children on board. I can't say I heard or saw them all to be honest. My kids aged 6, 10 and 13 had a wonderful time. Their needs were met, they threw themselves into whatever was free and available on board and they had fun and got to enjoy on board and off ship excursions. The food met their expectations. Cafe promenade was a huge hit as was Ben and Jerry. They also loved the adult like family dining experience in dining hall 3...and asked everyday for window seating being fortunate to finally experience this on our last night and morning before we disembarked. We had to keep reminding ourselves we were on a ship... We felt no motion.... Brilliant ship... And took none of the stash of motion sickness meds I had taken with us. A beautiful floating resort feel. So the lesson I have learned through this experience is book a large modern ship if you suffer from motion sickness. Great technology... Good ship stabilizers and good navigation means a better cruise experience. Cocacay was an amazing day. Cocktails, lunch and activities were fantastic. I do think the shuttle service on shore at cococay should be complimentary to all. I must say though that many helped me get across the island throughout the day because I stopped them or flagged them and asked. Disembarkation was good. But getting out of the port and on our way was painstaking and slow. Too many people, all taking uber or lyft... Waiting long periods for cars that were slow in coming through. This was frustrating for many including us. Some car hire companies take advantage of unsuspecting customers and overbook their vehicles and we arrived at our car hire company in downtown Miami to chaos. Long lines. 1 or 2 staff members. And insufficient cars. Or different types to what was booked available. Their sad excuse.. It's after Easter holidays. I think it's the norm - so my advice to traveller's with tight itineraries like us... (We missed our planned day at space Kennedy Centre as a result of this inefficiency.) is to rather book car hire a little further out vs closest to port...you may get better service.. Less queuing and get what you booked on time. In a nutshell royal carribean was amazing. I felt like we had a 5 star plus experience with excellent care and customer service. I would highly recommend any family with varying aged kids to go on this cruise if looking for a suitable offering. We loved it and can't wait to plan our next family cruise on a Large cruise liner.
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