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Mariner of the Seas Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1285 reviews
4 Awards

Magnificent Mariner, BTA Bermuda Government Warning!

Review for Mariner of the Seas to Bermuda
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dvvtravel@hotmail.com
10+ Cruises • Age 50s

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Additional details

Sail Date: May 2022
Cabin: Ocean View

Let me get the only negative aspect of our cruise over with so we can proceed to all the great experiences onboard Mariner of the Seas. My issue is not with Royal Caribbean but with the Bermuda Government. The itinerary was reversed sailing to Bermuda 1st, then Nassau and Coco Cay, which was fine as we could enjoy our sea days at the beginning of the trip. We were informed by Royal Caribbean of this well in advance and the Captain said it was because itineraries are planned well in advance and due to the covid restart many Cruise Lines were trying to find berthing spots and work it all out. My problem is with how the Bermuda Government handled the processing of the Bermuda Travel Authorizations. Royal Caribbean informed us many times that we would need to complete the BTA and have approval from Bermuda to visit and pay a $40 per person fee. This submission can be done anytime prior, we paid and completed the form 1 week prior to sailing. We would have done so earlier but Mariner of the Seas was not one of the ships on the drop down list on the Bermuda Government website. There is the debate as to whether Bermuda needs to collect $40 per guest as they are charging already a hefty per port day Port tax. The Captain said they only have 10 ICU beds on the island, yet so far this is the only port that I know of that charges for pre-authorization, I am sure many islands have limited beds, so what makes Bermuda so special? Why do they need to confirm guest vaccine details on their own when Royal Caribbean has already established this? But this is not my argument, what happened next hopefully no one will have to go through. Each of our submissions were received and a link was provided to download our vaccine cards and negative test results which went fine. Since the negative test result can be done only 48 hours we had two days to hear back from Bermuda giving us the green authorization we we needed, otherwise we could be denied boarding of the vessel in Port Canaveral. A day went by, nothing and into the 2nd day I tried to get through starting at 1pm. I waited in 2 hour call queues at a time, each one cutting off at exactly 2 hours. I did this until end of day 8pm they closed and immediately the call dis-connected. I couldn't even get through to the 1-800 number 6 times "call cannot be completed as dialed" came on each time, even though the number I dialed was correct. This resulted in an International Phone bill charge of $520.00 and I still had no approval. After a restless night, we woke early hoping they would answer the line the morning of our sailing or the Intercruise service reps at Port Canaveral and Royal Caribbean would let us board without the approval. I called Royal Caribbean and they were very understanding and suggested we take to the Port a copy of our original submission and proof we paid $120 BTA fees for the 3 of us. I called as soon as they opened and after an hour of waiting I finally got through, however they made an error and had Norwegian Getaway on our BTA, which they eventually were able to fix. Many people had similar long distance call bills and some forwarded their test results off which were password protected which meant Bermuda could not open them so they had to resubmit a photo copy of the printed document. Hopefully Bermuda has improved their issues. Otherwise be prepared for long call hold times and last minute decisions. Do not try to get through on the International number as you will be charged.

Well, this all out of the way, we were very happy with Mariner of the Seas and our itinerary. We honestly enjoyed every minute onboard this friendly, beautiful ship. The seas were smooth, our overcast sea day turned into a lovely stay in Bermuda, warm, not hot and plenty of sunshine which followed us to Nassau and Coco Cay. This ship is well maintained, I sailed on her shortly after she was launched and I felt like I was on a brand new ship. Some of the dining chairs in the Windjammer showed some wear and tear, but all the other interior spaces appeared fresh and new. One of our favorite new public rooms is the Bamboo Room, we went there twice a day, Iputu and Pavlo were always happy to see us. We were sampling the full bar list from the top working our way down and they somehow remembered what the next drink needed to be. Same with the Cafe Promenade team, super friendly. Our MDR team were outstanding, Stateroom Attendant wrote me a personal note on my Birthday, everyone was super nice. Including crew who do not need to be such a maintenance workers, deck, engine crew who we encountered all gave us a smile and greeting throughout the cruise. Service in MDR, Jamie's, Windjammer, Stateroom always quick, we walked right into the MDR each evening and were seated immediately.

We were very happy with all of the vast variety of food in the MDR, especially the beef dishes, excellent, especially the beef tenderloin and beef stew in red wine, I could have asked for 2 or 3, but the serving was generous. Our wonderful waiter Deejay would happily bring us multiple appetizers. Bar service was quick as well whether on deck or inside.

Cabin Review

Ocean View

I was originally a little concerned an Oceanview would be large enough for the three of us, we were very happy with its size and had plenty of room to move around and feel comfortable. Deck 2 Its location was forward and directly across on the other side was a large rest room for the conference center, so if someone was using the bathroom in the cabin and needed to use it, we could simply walk to it. It was very clean, no stains on floor, sofa etc and loved the large window. Shower had a powerful spray, all and all very happy with it and would chose this category again. We've stayed in Grand Suite, Junior Suite, Balcony and interior categories and have always been happy with our stateroom. We prefer to cruise more often in least expensive categories as we use it only for sleeping and cleanup than to cruise less often in a ultra luxurious Suite. Of course if money was no object we would chose a suite as they are awesome!

Port Reviews

King's Wharf

We did the HorseShoe Bay Beach Excursion, definitely our favorite Bermuda beach with the powder sand and aqua blue water and hidden coves to explore. After being dropped off head to the far left and explore the hidden coves, they are magnificent and there is a trail above them if you are unable to reach it from the beach because of high tide.

Nassau

We stayed onboard the ship in Nassau, they are improving the dock facilities, but always enjoy a visit to Atlantis

Perfect Day at CocoCay

We love the new Coco Cay, they have provided even more shaded areas and hammocks when we were here in January. The Cuban sandwiches are out of this world, always our favorite stop, so much to do that is free and the Oasis Lagoon pool is truly spectacular!

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