We love cruising and have cruised 4 times in the past 3 years! This was my first time on the Mariner of the seas and I was excited for my small children to experience the Perfect Day at CocoCay. This cruise fell short of my expectations and truly left a lot to be desired. Boarding was easy and painless. It only took about 20 minutes from the parking lot to the ship. For this review, I will begin with the pools. There are 2 pools on the main deck surrounded by 4 large hot tubs. There is not a designated pool/water play area for children on this ship as opposed to some of their other ships. Children bombarded the hot tubs and made them nearly impossible to enjoy. Drunk adults were in the hot tubs with the children and it was cringeworthy. The boat has a solarium for adults with 2 hot tubs and 1 pool but children were consistently passing through this area running, yelling etc. to reach the main pool via the aft elevators. On prior cruises, the lifeguard would ask that they leave the area but the people on this boat could care less. Lunch in the windjammer was a madhouse on the first day. People were touching the food and putting it back. There was hair on my food and to be fair, it could have come from the patrons or the staff. I lost my appetite and did not eat there again. The sky pad was fun when it was open. It did close quite a few times even though the app said it was open during the cruise and I’m not sure why. The slides are okay for kids 48 inches or taller. Also, there is a small climbing apparatus for kids that should be replaced for a wade pool or some sort to keep them entertained and away from vacationing adults.
The rooms were well taken care of by the staff and they entered 3 times a day to replace towels, make the beds, replace used water glasses etc. The dining room staff is amazing! They make us feel special and remembered little things about us. Ours called us by name and that is very nice.
The shows they prepared for us were boring to me. It reminded me of a high school talent show. It was not entertaining. The cruise director really tried his hardest but neither he or the comedians were funny. The kids fell asleep and we left early. The most fun they had were in adventure ocean. Otherwise, the itinerary missed the mark. The ice skating show began but stopped abruptly. They took an intermission and then began again. The boat also had Bingo, a casino, NFL games on the big tv outside, and Laser tag while the ship docked in Nassau. I wish they had laser tag again during the forced sea day.
This ship was scheduled to dock in Nassau, Bahamas and then dock again on Royal Caribbean’s private island, CocoCay. The “Perfect Day at CocoCay” was cancelled. The announcement that we heard said that the Ship failed to dock but the staff said that it does happen sometimes and the ship just doesn’t go there. Hundreds of passengers were upset and asking if they will receive compensation and were told that they would not.
The sea day was boring, cold, and quiet. Royal Caribbean has to do a better job entertaining the guests in the event that the ship cannot dock. It took more than 2 hours to revamp the itinerary and the first activity wasn’t scheduled until after 1pm. We learned that the second port was cancelled before 8am. The guest services crew was rude, even when I asked them a question unrelated to the itinerary (I was changing credit cards for shopping). The lady took a deep breath and mumbles under her breath. Future cruising on this ship or any other Royal Caribbean ship is a no go for us. I had no idea that they sometimes do not go where they promise to and in the future, we will steer clear!!
We docked and caught the bus to the local beach. The Junkanoo beach was overrun with tourists because 5 cruise lines docked on the same day. The shacks there gave each of us different prices for the same services. My friend received a shot for $2/each and my wife and I were charged $3. My recommendation is to either buy an excursion or catch the taxi to another beach further away.