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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
My booking class was Owner's suite on deck 10. 2 adults and 2 kids. Checkin was fairly smooth as there was separate counters for suite passengers and had no queue. Plenty of staff to guide through. Immigration too was real quick and ... Read More
My booking class was Owner's suite on deck 10. 2 adults and 2 kids. Checkin was fairly smooth as there was separate counters for suite passengers and had no queue. Plenty of staff to guide through. Immigration too was real quick and we were onboard. The passports had to be surrendered (which were returned on a day before checkout). Once we entered the cruise, no welcome drinks offered. Which I thought was strange. we were told to go and have lunch at level 11 or level 3 which wasn't really communication. We were not told if we could go straight to our rooms instead , freshen up and then go for lunch. Anyways we went ahead for lunch at Windjammer café which was worse than a fish market (all 3 days) and worse experience one can have on a LUXURY Cruise. People jumping on each other, hardly any tables available and whatever was available was not really clean. Anyhow we fed the kids on some really average food...something that didn't change on any of the days at Windjammer café. We had an option of eating at Level 5 Sound of Music for lunch and dinner but most of the time either they are closed or their timing to enter are so strict that you feel like you are in a boarding school than on a luxury cruise ship to relax. We hardly managed to eat two times in that sit down restaurant. Things to do : As per the brochure and the printed material they sent every day to the room, it seemed there is plenty to do but what you can eventually manage is very few. We could barely see a couple of shows as the timings keep clashing with the lunch, dinner timings and given that elevators take forever to come, it can be quite painful taking the stairs to go from deck 3 to deck 13 for different things. Kids Play : Its fine for kids from ages of 3-6 but for smaller or elder kids its only for name sake. The areas are either closed or there is no one to attend. Pools : There are 4-5 different pools but a couple of them were closed down when we sailed. Bars : Plenty of them onboard especially on deck 11 where there are pools. Late night party : there was 2 late night parties near the pools which was excellent. Checkout : Again confusion. We were supposed to have a separate checkout earlier than the crowds checked out but their staff didn't know what was going on and while we were still exiting we saw a rush of people behind us. Almost a stampede and scare with 2 small kids. Overall rating 2/5. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Got a cheap deal and booked quickly - a bit of a last minute plan. I had a good time but I wish I had read more reviews before deciding on this cruise! I travelled with my partner and we have been on one RCI cruise previously (7 days ... Read More
Got a cheap deal and booked quickly - a bit of a last minute plan. I had a good time but I wish I had read more reviews before deciding on this cruise! I travelled with my partner and we have been on one RCI cruise previously (7 days out of Venice) which we very much enjoyed. This time we had 2 days beforehand and 3 days afterwards in Shanghai - we spent a lot of time in museums, up towers and eating, as it was very cold outside and we weren't inclined to wander too much! The metro was very helpful in getting from place to place. Getting to the port was a bit of a hassle, as it was difficult to get the taxi driver to understand where we were going, and there was a nasty traffic jam that slowed us down considerably. Embarkation was smooth - we were channelled into a fast lane. The ship itself was impressively large and modern. Our cabin (9716) was configured with a comfortable king size-ish bed (the bed was curved at the bottom, so it was probably full king-length in the middle but not on the outsides). The bathroom was small but functional, as one would expect on a cruise ship. Everything was clean and pleasant. The cabin also had a balcony, which was lovely (although it was too cold to be outside for long periods!) Dining was where we really started to notice that this was an experience designed for Mainland Chinese travellers, and although we hadn't anticipated this would be a problem, it kind of was. There have been some changes since the ship was launched. Johnny Rockets has closed and been replaced, I think, by the Kung Fu Panda noodle shop. At least half the dishes on the dining menus were Chinese, and that included places that implied another kind of cuisine e.g. American Icon Grill and Michael's Genuine Pub (which had one dish - chicken wings - that I could imagine seeing at a traditional pub, and was in all other ways more like a hotpot restaurant). All this is fine, except that I'm a vegetarian, and there is little demand for vegetarian food among Chinese customers, so very little vegetarian food on the ship. Several of the dining options had no vegetarian options on the menu whatsoever, and although most said they could accommodate vegetarians, I'm a bit suspicious of an anonymous dish that isn't good enough to go on the menu. I ended up eating in the Windjammer for most meals, and not asking what was in anything. This was very different to our previous cruise experience, where I very much enjoyed the food and felt I had a lot of options. (Also of note: Chinese consumers are generally not into Diet Coke, so many of the bars on board don't have it. This is an unfortunate thing to discover just after you've bought a beverage package!) As many have said, the Windjammer could be very hectic, and even with a group of 2 it sometimes took a long time to find a table, or even the part of a table to share. We did our best to avoid peak times, but when we arrived at a busy time it was quite frustrating. We did visit Jamie's Italian one evening, and the food was very tasty, but adding up the $35USD pp + drinks + "service charge" it ended up being about the same price as going to the Jamie's Italian in Sydney, which is a bit startling when you recognise that you've already paid for dinner as part of the cruise (and it would have been much worse value if you didn't have 3 courses). The other big disappointment was activities. Every day we were issued with a daily planner, but the vast majority of the activities in English were either $$$ outright, or invitations to buy something (Get a body check at the Japanese Clinic! Come and look at some art that is for auction! Free inch loss consultation at the spa!) A number of times we showed up for something that was listed on the planner, only to discover that it was actually to be conducted in Mandarin. We did participate in a wine tasting which we very much enjoyed (and didn't mind paying for). The story was very similar with shore excursions - there was only one English language option in each of the ports, compared to a number of Mandarin language options. We decided to do our own thing in Nagasaki, and I think that was the right decision - Nagasaki has a great tram system which makes it easy to get around. Initially we'd intended to go to the ropeway and the gardens, but the weather was not so good, so we ended up going to the atomic bomb museum and a few other things much like what we would have done on the shore excursion anyway. In Okinawa we did the one available shore excursion going to Shuri Castle and the Gyokusendo caves - this was fine, but I would have much preferred to spend some time at the crafts village that we dashed through on the way back from the caves. As the boat moors so far away from anything in Okinawa I'm not sure we would have been able to make our own way anywhere. The staff we encountered were without exception lovely, courteous and helpful. Overall, I think the experience was a good one but the options are quite limited for non-Mandarin speakers, and for anything that doesn't fit with Chinese cultural expectations. If I had it to do again I would probably choose something different. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
My friend and I cruised for 7 days on the Mariner of the Seas. This trip included: Singapore, Penang, Langkawi, KL and Phuket. We had an absolutely fantastic time both on board and off. The staff were very attentive from the front desk ... Read More
My friend and I cruised for 7 days on the Mariner of the Seas. This trip included: Singapore, Penang, Langkawi, KL and Phuket. We had an absolutely fantastic time both on board and off. The staff were very attentive from the front desk to the dining areas. Serena on reception was lovely and very helpful when we had an issue with our Cabin on Day 2. My favorite part of the cruise was most definitely the entertainment. My favorite show of the cruise was 'Gallery of Dreams', both singers and dancers were absolutely exceptional! Charlotte (leading singer) is incredible...it was a shame there was only two shows! Also, we couldn't believe there was an ice skating show on board, these guys were absolutely brilliant and very talented. Massive well done and thank you to the entertainment crew, you guys are great!! :) My favorite port was Langkawi, we had a great day exploring the island and the port is in walking distance. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
The trip was really good, but I have to compare with other travels we, me and my husband have done with Royal Caribbean in other places of the world . The cabin 9250 is a good size, but I think is a little old, the restroom mirrors ... Read More
The trip was really good, but I have to compare with other travels we, me and my husband have done with Royal Caribbean in other places of the world . The cabin 9250 is a good size, but I think is a little old, the restroom mirrors were a little old and in the varanda we have just 2 chairs, not a small table, as is usual. The food was quite well, but I think it is more for oriental people , mixing flavours, then for me it was not the usual food we are used at Royal Caribbean. The service from the staff at the restaurant was great, i loved them . We really think that is a little boring that the staff in the ship, not our dinner staff, insist on selling some activities like a brunch, or insisting that we have the special plates , paying more for that, this occurred when we went in other time dining, and we think these were a little boring. When we agree to share the tables with others passengers, they sometimes have not good moods at the table. What was the best, was that they put in our table , we were four fiends sailing , two couples , and they mixed us with other people, but with the same language, they mixed brasilians with a portuguese couple , and this was great, we became friends. These is the first time that occurs to us at a cruise and we loved it. There were two greats shows, the art duo , wonderfull , and the ice show , that was really nice. Two other nights were cinema at the theatre, we didn't enjoy it, we like at the pool deck. The jacuzzis and the pools were great, good temperature of the salt water and stayed open a lot of time. We made only one excursion with the ship, at Port Klenang , to go to Kuala Lumpur and it was Ok. Excursions in general are overpriced , like in the other ships and other companys. We have loved Thailand , Phuket ,but we didn"t love Malasia, but it was just ok. There are not a lot of good itineraires and we choose the only one possible for us. We would prefer going from Singapore to Vietnan, but we didn"t have other options at that time. Friends that were with young people said they loved the activities on the board, with other young people from allover the world !! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Went with a group of friends on an already planned trip to southeast Asia which included a 7 day cruise on Royal Carribean Mariner of the Seas. Having cruised on Carnival, Disney, Norwegian, Seabourn, Crystal and Oceania I feel I have ... Read More
Went with a group of friends on an already planned trip to southeast Asia which included a 7 day cruise on Royal Carribean Mariner of the Seas. Having cruised on Carnival, Disney, Norwegian, Seabourn, Crystal and Oceania I feel I have experienced a breadth of ships. The staff was very friendly and the shows were good. This ship was incredibly dated, with lots of peeling paint on our deck, damaged furniture and a paucity of toiletries. The food was mediocre at best. The ship always felt incredibly crowded. I felt nickel and dimed as even fresh squeezed orange juice was extra. Towels had to be signed out and returned, or there was a 25$ fee per towel. Is there so much towel stealing that this was really necessary? We booked one shore excursion through the cruise and when we arrived, found that the cruise cancelled the trip on the day we chose and put us on that excursion the day before. They did not inform us of the change, and unless one of our group spotted it, we would have not been able to get a refund, as we already had something else booked for that date. I thought that was incredibly unprofessional of them not to inform us the minute they knew of the change. This was my first venture on Royal Carribean and truly I was expecting a classier experience. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
The ship itself is fantastic, really big with plenty of room. Had a balcony room on deck 7 with a really big king size bed and plenty of room. Facilities and pools / spas were great. We choose this cruise to visit South East Asia and ... Read More
The ship itself is fantastic, really big with plenty of room. Had a balcony room on deck 7 with a really big king size bed and plenty of room. Facilities and pools / spas were great. We choose this cruise to visit South East Asia and spend some time in Singapore plus we spent New Years Eve on the ship which was great. As we are from Australia we enjoyed the cruise with 362 other Aussies on Board. The rest of the passengers were mainly from China, Indonesia, Singapore, and India. We found the staff did not speak very good English and at times found it hard to understand but we did expect this. Service at the pool bar was very slow quite often with just 2 bar staff and heaps of people waiting for drinks. Really disappointed in the opening times for tea at the Windjammer Café, opening only from 6.30pm-9.00pm we only ate here once at night the other times we ate in the main dining room and tried Chops Grille one night which was fantastic. Kids club was just terrible my son aged almost 11 was put with 6-8 year olds combined and did not really want to be there except he made a Friend from Perth. No kids club the first night. Then new years eve they wanted the kids picked up by 10 and the last night they wanted them picked up early. The fitness instructor barely communicated and was really boring, felt I wasted $12.00 on a spin class as it was soooo boring, hardly any communication. The spa, gym, sauna and steam room however were the best I had visited on a cruise ship. Finally we were left with a sour taste about this ship as I believe my son got food poisoning on the last morning at breakfast from Chicken Sausages. He was fine that morning and we ate the same things at breakfast but he also had Chicken Sausages. By lunch time he was feeling sick and by the afternoon he was vomiting with stomach cramps. No one else in the family got sick - just disgusted in RC about this, as we had to spend the next 24 hours in a hotel room with a sick child. I really expected more from Royal Caribbean and felt disappointed in the end. Also Disembarkation took 40 minutes just to get out of a stair well while waiting to get off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
I actually booked this NYE trip while on Quantum (out of Shanghai) last NYE. Mariner is a very nice ship. I had cabin 9608, junior suite-port side. Very roomy cabin, largest closet I've seen on a ship yet (literally large enough for ... Read More
I actually booked this NYE trip while on Quantum (out of Shanghai) last NYE. Mariner is a very nice ship. I had cabin 9608, junior suite-port side. Very roomy cabin, largest closet I've seen on a ship yet (literally large enough for three adults to go into even after their clothes are hanging. Ship was clean, bar staff and guest services were amazing, as were the casino staff. Made stops in Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Penang, and Patong Beach at Phuket Thailand. Friendly SE Asian locales, good local food, and for my experiences not too pushy. I stayed busy enough with activities on the ship that I never made it to any of the shows. Largest single group on the ship were Malaysian, then probably Australian and Indian. Great mix of travelers. Embarkation went very smoothly. Chairs around the pool were not "saved" as I've typically seen throughout my cruise journeys. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Initially chose this sailing because of the large ship and the nice itinerary. However, be prepared with the number of guests this ship can accommodate. At the checkin at Baoshan Port in Shanghai, the process was well organized and ... Read More
Initially chose this sailing because of the large ship and the nice itinerary. However, be prepared with the number of guests this ship can accommodate. At the checkin at Baoshan Port in Shanghai, the process was well organized and controlled despite the large numbers. Expect a total check-in time of at least an hour from entering the terminal, luggage drop-off, seapass card claiming, security, customs, and immigration up to boarding of the ship. Windjammer is too small for the total capacity. You will be seated separately from your group since the seats are all taken. There will be queues to get food at the buffet. Rooms and Housekeeping are as expected for Royal Caribbean. If you are a group of 8 or more cabins, visit the Group Coordinator, they help out alot! It was my first time to be on casual dining set-up. Make sure to reserve at any of the four main dining restaurants at the first day of the cruising as all these get filled up quickly. The food is not as good as previous Royal Caribbean sailings. Shows are not as high quality as previous sailings too. The shows are usually song and dance numbers. Different from the musicals and circus type shows that i expected. Expect waits at the elevators, because of the number of guests again. Disembarkation process will take more than an hour. In general, 1) service is not as personalized on this ship as compared to previous sailings. 2) expect long waiting times for anything that involves queueing (the crew are able to control the queues though, so little pushing and queue cutting happens) 3) if ever there are any activities that require reservations, make sure to reserve as they have very few slots in relation to the number of guests onboard. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
As others have mentioned before, this cruise was different from your typical Caribbean or Mediterranean Royal Caribbean experience. We chose this itinerary for the suite class and its benefits, and for the ports of call. Overall, we found ... Read More
As others have mentioned before, this cruise was different from your typical Caribbean or Mediterranean Royal Caribbean experience. We chose this itinerary for the suite class and its benefits, and for the ports of call. Overall, we found the high quality of service from the crew, the suite perks and the Japanese ports to encompass a memorable holiday vacation. This was our second time on Quantum of the Seas having experienced her maiden voyage from Southampton to Cape Liberty. Highlights: Embarkation Since we had Golden Suite Class this process was a breeze. The two things I would point out is that you must sign a damage release form for soft baggage at the pier and that your passports will be collected upon check-in and not returned until the day before disembarkation. Remember to make copies. The port opened at 11am and we were on the ship by 11:30am. Customs and Immigration was efficient. We immediately went to the Solarium and were surprised to see that it was closed off for suite guests only. After a few days of hectic air travel and touring Shanghai the serene calm of the Solarium hot tub was a relaxing way to start the trip. Owner’s Loft Suite 8720 One of the main reasons we booked this cruise was because the Owner’s Loft Suite was available. This suite, which is on the back of the ship, is bigger than my apartment and boasts three balconies. The upstairs bathroom is enormous and you could fit another bedroom in the walk-in closet. Our room attendants were so sweet and perhaps the most accommodating and thoughtful I’ve ever experienced on a Royal Caribbean ship. We were also given a complimentary ride of the North Star just before we pulled out of port in Fukuoka and a bridge tour. This suite was truly memorable and special treat to stay in. Fukuoka and Nagasaki This was my first visit to Japan and we booked half day tours through Royal Caribbean at both ports. As others have said before, the Chinese passengers book tours through other vendors and vacate the ship in large groups. We left both of our tours at the end before the bus returned to the ship and walked back after exploring each city. The Half Day Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Site and Museum Tour was very informative and a good history refresher. Departure at each port was efficient and we returned to the ship with no line. Food and Drink The bartenders are bored on this ship and it made for great entertainment. We spent quite a bit of time on the ship chatting with the bartenders at Schooner bar (Zen is the best) and Michael’s Genuine and with the dining staff at Izumi. They went above and beyond with their service and I hope to see them in the future on another ship. We enjoyed the private breakfast area and afternoon canapes for suite guests along with the drinks and snacks in the suite lounge. We only ate in the Coastal Kitchen one night, but the service and food were of expected quality. We enjoyed the 10 course Da Dong menu at Wonderland. The duck was very good. We also ate at Jamie’s Italian. I would say this was the only disappointing meal. The service was slow and food was not up to par. The sandwiches and soups were tasty in the Two70 Cafe, but it can get a bit crowded and pushy. Sorrento’s was still old faithful for late night after a couple of cocktails. My favorite snack place on our previous voyage was the Dog House in the Sea Plex and it is still great. We did not eat in the Windjammer or the Main Dining Room. Disappointments/Noted Differences/Observations: -Golden Suite Class is not the same as Royal Suite class i.e. no free internet. -Drink packages are a steal on this ship compared to others. Internet is not. I recommend buying a SIM card and using your phone in the port if you are desperate for a connection. -Always make an appointment with NextCruise. We got a great sale for future cruises on this ship. -They did not convert the Music Hall into a casino area yet. -Coca-cola machines do not vend. -Wine dispensers to not vend at Vintages. -No Stoli Elit. -5 nights, it’s much shorter than I anticipated. -Be sure to make it to the adult version of the Quest on this ship. -Be sure to go to English Trivia if you are hankering for some english conversation. -Suite lounge is located at the back of the ship making it a trek to get back there. -I called ahead and paid for transfers through RCCL, but they didn’t have us on the list when we left the dock. It only took about 15 minutes to remedy. Having never been to China or Japan, I think this cruise was a great introduction to these countries. We flanked our trip with a few days in Shanghai before the cruise and a few days in Tokyo after the cruise before returning to the states. To conclude, we enjoyed this cruise and were not disappointed by the cultural submersion on the ship. If you are prepared to be outside of your comfort zone as a westerner you will do well on this itinerary. Read Less
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