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My wife and I sailed on Mariner of the Seas this year to celebrate my birthday. We sailed this exact cruise last year and loved it so much that we wanted a repeat. Our Cruise Begins: Embarkation at Port Canaveral was fast and seamless. We chose to park at Port Canaveral's parking lot, which cost us $85 from 8/19 to 8/23. Since we completed online check-in before the cruise and had our SetSail Passes ready, we were on the ship less than 10 minutes after walking into the terminal. The system they have in place is very efficient. There are friendly, knowledgeable staff directing passengers during every stage of the embarkation process. Once on the ship, we saw that Mariner of the Seas was just as inviting and beautiful as the first time we sailed. Hallways, common areas, and venues were consistently cleaned and maintained. I even saw staff members cleaning finger smudges off of the elevator buttons regularly. All bathrooms were clean and well stocked. The layout of the ship was easy to navigate. There was ample signage to inform passengers of where things were located and how to get there. There were plenty of reliable elevators and multiple ways to access different areas of the ship. Service: Throughout our cruise, most crew members on Mariner were friendly, attentive, and helpful. Our stateroom attendant, Shanjun, memorized our names and preferences within the first day of our arrival. Our room was spotless and he honored our requests almost instantly every time. When we walked past most crew members in the halls or venues, we were given a greeting or a friendly smile. The only staff member who wasn't friendly was one of the floating mat attendants on Cococay. She was the exception to otherwise perfect service throughout our entire cruise. Activities and Entertainment: There were so many different activities to choose from on this cruise! The cruise compass was always packed with things to do from early morning until well past midnight. We chose a few trivia games, music-related activities, pool area activities, and some audience participation activities, like the lip-sync challenge the belly-flop competition. All were very entertaining and well-organized. We didn't use any of the pools or whirlpools, as they were too crowded for our liking most of the time. The DJ's always played great music for whichever theme they were doing. The musicians were very talented and played beautifully together. The singer we encountered most was an Indonesian woman who sang passionate renditions of many different genres of music. I enjoyed all of her performances, but my wife did not. The cruise director is incredibly charming and so funny! He made our Motown Trivia experience even more enjoyable than it already was. Dining: The food on Mariner was plentiful, fresh, and delicious! We got most of our meals from Windjammer, Cafe Promenade, and by ordering room service. When ordering room service, the charge was $7.95 plus tax per order. You can order any item in any quantity and the price stays $7.95. Continental breakfast is free. Alcoholic drinks are a separate charge, even if you have a drink package. Room service was perfect for those times when we didn't want the Windjammer crowds or were tired after a long day of fun and wanted to stay in the room. The Windjammer has a great variety of foods for every taste. Every day, there were stations for pasta, salad, cold cuts, grilled foods, Indian food, and dessert. The main entrees changed daily and included a variety of international and American dishes. Everything was the perfect temperature, the food was consistently delicious, the breads were soft and never stale, and the desserts were very creative. There are drink stations that have a variety of hot and cold drinks. My favorite drinks were the fresh banana and peach juices located in the buffet area. There is a Freestyle drink machine inside Windjammer for those who have a Royal Caribbean Freestyle cup. Seating at the Windjammer is plentiful, but it can get a bit crowded depending on the time of day and whether the ship is in port. The two of us were always able to get a window seat to ourselves, with the exception of embarkation day lunch time and Cococay day breakfast around 9:30am. I love that everyone must use the handwashing station before entering Windjammer. The guitar player and singer in the handwashing station are very talented! I enjoyed hearing their cute handwashing songs while washing my hands. I do wish there were more hand sanitizer stations within the restaurant as an extra precaution. Cafe Promenade is open 24 hours and serves ready-made pizza, sandwiches, cold cuts, fruit and desserts. It's perfect for a quick bite. Our favorite dish was their crisp and tasty pepperoni pizza. There is a bar and cafe attached to Cafe Promenade that serves hot and cold cafe beverages, alcoholic beverages, and ice cream. The alcoholic drinks were weaker and sweeter at this bar, but the hot drinks were great. The Bamboo Room and Playmakers were better options in that area for bar drinks. Bar Service: We chose to buy the deluxe drink package before the cruise. This package was worth it for us, as we drank LOTS of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages throughout the cruise. We love that all bars on the ship use high-quality liquors and have plenty of experienced bartenders. There were many bars on the ship, but we spent most of our time at Sky Lounge. We always received fast, friendly service and delicious drinks! My favorite was the Coconut Mango Daiquiri. From this bar, there is a nice view of the pool deck and jumbo-screen TV. There is easy access to lounge areas and the pool area from Sky Lounge. We also visited the Schooner Bar on several occasions. It was directly next to the elevators on deck 4 and was located conveniently close to our stateroom. We ordered lots of unique drinks at this bar. We also did Harry Potter Trivia and Michael Jackson Trivia here. It has a classy maritime theme with a piano, cozy leather seats, and excellent bartenders. Port of Call- Nassau: We mostly enjoyed our time in Nassau. It was raining when we arrived. Due to poor drainage, many of the walkways at the entrance into the city were difficult to navigate. Huge puddles got our feet and shoes wet with dirty rain water, which was quite unpleasant. We got a taxi to Paradise Island for $5 per person and spent most of our day at the Riu Palace on a day pass. It is located right next door to Atlantis. Once at Riu, we got our day pass wristbands and were free to enjoy the beach, pools, bar, and dining areas. Towels were provided, drinks and food were unlimited, and the beach and pool areas were clean and well-maintained. The beach area was very beautiful. Crystal clear waters and clean white sands were abound. The only two downsides for me were the excessive amount of vendors and the rough ocean waves. The vendors were constantly walking around trying to sell cigars, hair braiding, coconut drinks, and jet ski rides. A simple "no thank you" worked to keep them moving along, but there were so many different vendors to keep saying "no thank you" to. The waves at Riu are particularly rough as compared to those at Breezes and Cococay. Even standing at the edge of the water had strong enough waves to knock people over. I'm not a strong swimmer and felt uneasy getting into the water. This is absolutely not a criticism against Riu, as they have no control over the ocean. I just know for next time to research the temperament of the ocean in the particular area I am visiting. We easily and quickly got a taxi back to the port for about $12 and did a bit of souvenir shopping. We got some tasty conch fritters and wings from a small Bahamian soul food restaurant called Aunt Jane's Delights. We tried to bring our food onboard to enjoy in our stateroom, but were told food is not allowed to be brought back onto the ship. Therefore, we had to quickly eat our food standing outside of the gangway. We know for next cruise to finish our meals before heading back to the ship. Overall we enjoyed our time in Nassau at Riu and wouldn't mind returning to explore different areas and venues on the island. Port of Call- Perfect Day at Cococay: Cococay is truly paradise. It has a brighter, more colorful, easier to navigate feel to it than the last time we visited. The waterpark and ongoing construction did not interfere with our desire for quiet relaxation, as there was a place for everyone and their preferences. A tram can take you from the ship all the way to Cococay's entrance or you can choose to walk. Once inside Cococay, another tram can take you around the island, stopping at the Up, Up and Away Balloon, South Beach, Oasis Lagoon, and Chill Island. You can easily walk to these locations as well. For a quick way to reach Chill Island, turn left upon entering Cococay and cross the bridge. You'll enter the beach area in about 5 minutes. Chill Island is where we spent most of our time. It was sunny, clean, and not at all crowded. Aside from the music playing around the island, it had a quiet, peaceful feel. Our ship was the only one docked in Cococay that day, so there were ample beach chairs, umbrellas, and tables available throughout the entire day. Even by 2pm, we never had anyone seated directly next to us. It was great! The water was calmer in some areas than others, especially due to high winds, but it was easy to find an area with gentle waters and lightly rolling waves. The water was a bit cloudy in some areas, and I swam away from at least four moon jellyfish, but I still enjoyed every second in that perfect water. The bartenders at the Wacky Seagull bar were friendly, fast, and made amazing drinks. Try a Coco Loco here if you haven't already. After spending several hours lounging and swimming on Chill Island, we walked back to Mariner early to enjoy the empty ship. I had a beautiful day at Cococay. Goodbye Mariner: Disembarkation was quick, simple, and efficient. The night before disembarkation, we were given numbered luggage tags to place on our luggage. The number corresponded to a specific meeting area and disembarkation time. The next morning, we knew exactly where to go and when. We met at the Royal Theater between 7:30-8am. After that, we exited the ship on deck 4. Once inside the cruise terminal, passengers were separated by whether they were using a passport or birth certificate/photo id to verify their identity with Customs. The passport line was longer, but both lines moved at a quick pace. After we went through Customs, we located the area that matched the number on our luggage tags. We picked up our luggage, assisted by a porter, then headed to our car. The disembarkation process from the time we left our room until we were loading luggage into our car took less than 15 minutes. If you are taking your own luggage off of the ship, the process may be even faster for you. Simply put, my second cruise on Mariner of the Seas was just as amazing as the first. We experienced consistently friendly and attentive service, delicious food and drinks, a spacious and comfortable stateroom, seemingly endless entertainment options, a beautiful ship, and interesting ports of call...a perfect cruise!

A Royal Experience on Mariner of the Seas

Mariner of the Seas Cruise Review by ShaynSug

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2019
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Junior Suite
My wife and I sailed on Mariner of the Seas this year to celebrate my birthday. We sailed this exact cruise last year and loved it so much that we wanted a repeat.

Our Cruise Begins:

Embarkation at Port Canaveral was fast and seamless. We chose to park at Port Canaveral's parking lot, which cost us $85 from 8/19 to 8/23. Since we completed online check-in before the cruise and had our SetSail Passes ready, we were on the ship less than 10 minutes after walking into the terminal. The system they have in place is very efficient. There are friendly, knowledgeable staff directing passengers during every stage of the embarkation process.

Once on the ship, we saw that Mariner of the Seas was just as inviting and beautiful as the first time we sailed. Hallways, common areas, and venues were consistently cleaned and maintained. I even saw staff members cleaning finger smudges off of the elevator buttons regularly. All bathrooms were clean and well stocked.

The layout of the ship was easy to navigate. There was ample signage to inform passengers of where things were located and how to get there. There were plenty of reliable elevators and multiple ways to access different areas of the ship.

Service:

Throughout our cruise, most crew members on Mariner were friendly, attentive, and helpful. Our stateroom attendant, Shanjun, memorized our names and preferences within the first day of our arrival. Our room was spotless and he honored our requests almost instantly every time.

When we walked past most crew members in the halls or venues, we were given a greeting or a friendly smile. The only staff member who wasn't friendly was one of the floating mat attendants on Cococay. She was the exception to otherwise perfect service throughout our entire cruise.

Activities and Entertainment:

There were so many different activities to choose from on this cruise! The cruise compass was always packed with things to do from early morning until well past midnight. We chose a few trivia games, music-related activities, pool area activities, and some audience participation activities, like the lip-sync challenge the belly-flop competition. All were very entertaining and well-organized.

We didn't use any of the pools or whirlpools, as they were too crowded for our liking most of the time.

The DJ's always played great music for whichever theme they were doing. The musicians were very talented and played beautifully together. The singer we encountered most was an Indonesian woman who sang passionate renditions of many different genres of music. I enjoyed all of her performances, but my wife did not.

The cruise director is incredibly charming and so funny! He made our Motown Trivia experience even more enjoyable than it already was.

Dining:

The food on Mariner was plentiful, fresh, and delicious! We got most of our meals from Windjammer, Cafe Promenade, and by ordering room service.

When ordering room service, the charge was $7.95 plus tax per order. You can order any item in any quantity and the price stays $7.95. Continental breakfast is free. Alcoholic drinks are a separate charge, even if you have a drink package.

Room service was perfect for those times when we didn't want the Windjammer crowds or were tired after a long day of fun and wanted to stay in the room.

The Windjammer has a great variety of foods for every taste. Every day, there were stations for pasta, salad, cold cuts, grilled foods, Indian food, and dessert. The main entrees changed daily and included a variety of international and American dishes. Everything was the perfect temperature, the food was consistently delicious, the breads were soft and never stale, and the desserts were very creative.

There are drink stations that have a variety of hot and cold drinks. My favorite drinks were the fresh banana and peach juices located in the buffet area. There is a Freestyle drink machine inside Windjammer for those who have a Royal Caribbean Freestyle cup.

Seating at the Windjammer is plentiful, but it can get a bit crowded depending on the time of day and whether the ship is in port. The two of us were always able to get a window seat to ourselves, with the exception of embarkation day lunch time and Cococay day breakfast around 9:30am.

I love that everyone must use the handwashing station before entering Windjammer. The guitar player and singer in the handwashing station are very talented! I enjoyed hearing their cute handwashing songs while washing my hands. I do wish there were more hand sanitizer stations within the restaurant as an extra precaution.

Cafe Promenade is open 24 hours and serves ready-made pizza, sandwiches, cold cuts, fruit and desserts. It's perfect for a quick bite. Our favorite dish was their crisp and tasty pepperoni pizza.

There is a bar and cafe attached to Cafe Promenade that serves hot and cold cafe beverages, alcoholic beverages, and ice cream. The alcoholic drinks were weaker and sweeter at this bar, but the hot drinks were great. The Bamboo Room and Playmakers were better options in that area for bar drinks.

Bar Service:

We chose to buy the deluxe drink package before the cruise. This package was worth it for us, as we drank LOTS of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages throughout the cruise. We love that all bars on the ship use high-quality liquors and have plenty of experienced bartenders.

There were many bars on the ship, but we spent most of our time at Sky Lounge. We always received fast, friendly service and delicious drinks! My favorite was the Coconut Mango Daiquiri. From this bar, there is a nice view of the pool deck and jumbo-screen TV. There is easy access to lounge areas and the pool area from Sky Lounge.

We also visited the Schooner Bar on several occasions. It was directly next to the elevators on deck 4 and was located conveniently close to our stateroom. We ordered lots of unique drinks at this bar. We also did Harry Potter Trivia and Michael Jackson Trivia here. It has a classy maritime theme with a piano, cozy leather seats, and excellent bartenders.

Port of Call- Nassau:

We mostly enjoyed our time in Nassau. It was raining when we arrived. Due to poor drainage, many of the walkways at the entrance into the city were difficult to navigate. Huge puddles got our feet and shoes wet with dirty rain water, which was quite unpleasant.

We got a taxi to Paradise Island for $5 per person and spent most of our day at the Riu Palace on a day pass. It is located right next door to Atlantis.

Once at Riu, we got our day pass wristbands and were free to enjoy the beach, pools, bar, and dining areas. Towels were provided, drinks and food were unlimited, and the beach and pool areas were clean and well-maintained.

The beach area was very beautiful. Crystal clear waters and clean white sands were abound. The only two downsides for me were the excessive amount of vendors and the rough ocean waves.

The vendors were constantly walking around trying to sell cigars, hair braiding, coconut drinks, and jet ski rides. A simple "no thank you" worked to keep them moving along, but there were so many different vendors to keep saying "no thank you" to.

The waves at Riu are particularly rough as compared to those at Breezes and Cococay. Even standing at the edge of the water had strong enough waves to knock people over. I'm not a strong swimmer and felt uneasy getting into the water. This is absolutely not a criticism against Riu, as they have no control over the ocean. I just know for next time to research the temperament of the ocean in the particular area I am visiting.

We easily and quickly got a taxi back to the port for about $12 and did a bit of souvenir shopping. We got some tasty conch fritters and wings from a small Bahamian soul food restaurant called Aunt Jane's Delights. We tried to bring our food onboard to enjoy in our stateroom, but were told food is not allowed to be brought back onto the ship. Therefore, we had to quickly eat our food standing outside of the gangway. We know for next cruise to finish our meals before heading back to the ship.

Overall we enjoyed our time in Nassau at Riu and wouldn't mind returning to explore different areas and venues on the island.

Port of Call- Perfect Day at Cococay:

Cococay is truly paradise. It has a brighter, more colorful, easier to navigate feel to it than the last time we visited. The waterpark and ongoing construction did not interfere with our desire for quiet relaxation, as there was a place for everyone and their preferences.

A tram can take you from the ship all the way to Cococay's entrance or you can choose to walk.

Once inside Cococay, another tram can take you around the island, stopping at the Up, Up and Away Balloon, South Beach, Oasis Lagoon, and Chill Island. You can easily walk to these locations as well. For a quick way to reach Chill Island, turn left upon entering Cococay and cross the bridge. You'll enter the beach area in about 5 minutes.

Chill Island is where we spent most of our time. It was sunny, clean, and not at all crowded. Aside from the music playing around the island, it had a quiet, peaceful feel. Our ship was the only one docked in Cococay that day, so there were ample beach chairs, umbrellas, and tables available throughout the entire day. Even by 2pm, we never had anyone seated directly next to us. It was great!

The water was calmer in some areas than others, especially due to high winds, but it was easy to find an area with gentle waters and lightly rolling waves. The water was a bit cloudy in some areas, and I swam away from at least four moon jellyfish, but I still enjoyed every second in that perfect water.

The bartenders at the Wacky Seagull bar were friendly, fast, and made amazing drinks. Try a Coco Loco here if you haven't already.

After spending several hours lounging and swimming on Chill Island, we walked back to Mariner early to enjoy the empty ship. I had a beautiful day at Cococay.

Goodbye Mariner:

Disembarkation was quick, simple, and efficient. The night before disembarkation, we were given numbered luggage tags to place on our luggage. The number corresponded to a specific meeting area and disembarkation time.

The next morning, we knew exactly where to go and when. We met at the Royal Theater between 7:30-8am. After that, we exited the ship on deck 4.

Once inside the cruise terminal, passengers were separated by whether they were using a passport or birth certificate/photo id to verify their identity with Customs. The passport line was longer, but both lines moved at a quick pace.

After we went through Customs, we located the area that matched the number on our luggage tags. We picked up our luggage, assisted by a porter, then headed to our car.

The disembarkation process from the time we left our room until we were loading luggage into our car took less than 15 minutes. If you are taking your own luggage off of the ship, the process may be even faster for you.

Simply put, my second cruise on Mariner of the Seas was just as amazing as the first. We experienced consistently friendly and attentive service, delicious food and drinks, a spacious and comfortable stateroom, seemingly endless entertainment options, a beautiful ship, and interesting ports of call...a perfect cruise!
ShaynSug’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Junior Suite
Cabin J4 1544
Last year, our stateroom was an ocean-view room with a balcony. I enjoyed the room, but my wife didn’t like the small bathroom. The shower was capsule-like and felt claustrophobic to her. Therefore, we chose a junior suite this year for more space. The junior suite we chose was perfect for our needs with regard to space, amenities, and location.

Our cabin 1544 was on deck 10 and was the first room off of the elevator bank near Cafe Promenade, Playmakers, and the Star Lounge.

It was a very spacious room with lots of walking space. It had a roomy walk-in closet with ample shelves and hangers. There were plenty of drawers, cabinets, and shelving throughout the room. There was a safe, a mini-fridge, and a hair dryer in the room as well. There are only two outlets in the entire room, located next to the TV. We bought an approved power strip so that we could have enough outlets for our electronics.

The balcony was one of my favorite things about this suite. It had two lounge chairs, a small table, ample leg room, and enough space for about four people to fit comfortably. I spent most mornings and evenings listening to the waves while enjoying expansive views of the ocean and sky. I was in awe of how many stars I could see at night, which is a sight I rarely experience because of light pollution in my city. The glass overlooking the water could have been cleaner, but it didn't take away from our enjoyment of the magnificent views from the balcony.

The bed in our suite was incredibly comfortable. The mattress was slightly firm with a cushiony pillow-top. The pillows were large and had a soft, yet slightly firm texture that I loved . When we initially arrived, there were two twin beds. Our stateroom attendant quickly honored our request to have them pushed together into one king-size bed.

As compared to our previous stateroom, the bathroom was much bigger and had an aesthetic appeal. The wide marble sink and elegant tiling were beautifully designed. There was a deep full-size tub and shower, which my wife was quite happy about. This bathroom also had more space between the toilet, door, and other bathroom fixtures. It was stocked with basic toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and shower gel), plus a shower cap, cotton swabs, a cotton round, and a small nail file. All were regularly replenished after use. We were also given two robes to use during our stay.

Our stateroom attendant, Shanjun, kept our room clean and well stocked with toiletries, towels, and ice throughout our entire stay.

This stateroom was located toward the front of the ship close to the elevator banks. These elevators are the shortest walk from the Star Lounge, Playmakers, Bamboo Room, Café Promenade, and the deck 5 Freestyle drink machines. It took less than two minutes to get to the entertainment activities in the promenade.
On disembarkation day, we had no problems getting a quick, empty elevator since there were no staterooms on the decks above us. Once we got to deck 4, we were able to walk off of the ship quickly because of how close we were to the exit. We absolutely loved this room!
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins