1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Royal Caribbean International
  4. Royal Caribbean International Cruise Reviews

4,977 Royal Caribbean Port Canaveral (Orlando) Cruise Reviews

We went on this cruise for my brother's wedding. I was just on the Allure in Feb 2019 so I've experienced a large ship. But this time, it looked even more crowded, lines everywhere for everything. Line up to wash your hands ... Read More
We went on this cruise for my brother's wedding. I was just on the Allure in Feb 2019 so I've experienced a large ship. But this time, it looked even more crowded, lines everywhere for everything. Line up to wash your hands for windjammer. The staff don't look happy at all. Copy pasted my review for Royal Caribbean: I really liked the friendliness of my wait staff on table 448 Erik and his assistant Jonabelle, they were both very approachable and excellent. On the first night, we were assigned to table 446 with Vincent, and he never smiled, just dumped menus on us, took our orders, grabbed the menus out of our hands, dumped the dishes on us, never asked if we wanted anything to drink, never asked if the food was ok, never asked us if we wanted coffee after meal. what kind of service is that?!! We're on a cruise, not at a fast food restaurant. if i ever get service like this back home, i would never go back to said restaurant. Needless to say, we switched tables the second night. windjammer's hours are RIDICULOUS!! you eat 5pm, finish a show, want to go up for some fruits, windjammer closed 8:45pm, 8pm no more fruits. no place to hang out with friends that has food past 8:45 except for Sorrento's or Park cafe and there's so much noise from poor live singing band. On the last night though, we found the Schooner's bar with good piano music and a good singing voice. Food was ok, I wouldn't go to a restaurant that serves this quality of food back home. Dessert was just sad, always the same desserts, again, I wouldn't pay for this quality of dessert back home. The warm chocolate cookie was good though but only served one night... The water slide staff were very pleasant and funny. Went to tour to visit Roatan, Honduras, it was good except they overbooked at last minute, everyone got on to the bus to realize there weren't enough seats, so we had to drive somewhere else to switch bus. This 39$ tour included the chocolate factory, it was interesting! Although my brother paid $25 booking with shore agencies. I didn't know Roatan is 2nd place to Australian for its coral reef. I would want to go back and do some snorkeling or learn scuba dive. Swam with Stingrays in Cozumel, it was very nice and the price was very decent $54. Photo package for two was $50USD, very reasonable compared to what they ask for Dolphins when I went two years ago. We also booked a kitchen tour with a special buffet, it was quite interesting to see behind the scenes of how the food is made. In resume, the main reason I enjoyed this vacation is because of the company I had in my family cruise party. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We got to the port around noon and was disappointed to find a long line at security. It took about 30 minutes to get through the line. After getting on board, it took another 20 minutes to get through the line at the buffet. I guess we got ... Read More
We got to the port around noon and was disappointed to find a long line at security. It took about 30 minutes to get through the line. After getting on board, it took another 20 minutes to get through the line at the buffet. I guess we got there at the same time as everyone else, because after that there was no line. For the muster drill, they let you meet in different areas, but did not allocate enough space. Our number was in a small part of the dining room, and we were forced to stand all packed together. They now show you a cheesy video that takes a while. The ship itself is impressive, and there are lots more activities than other ships we've been on before. However, there are also long lines sometimes. For the pizza, for the elevators (which sometimes seem to take forever), the flow rider, the zip line, and even for My Time Dining at certain times. We've done My Time Dining in its different forms on 3 cruise lines, and had never had the issues we had on this ship. On the first night, they insisted on giving me a regular reservation time of 5:15 even though I made it clear to them that was too early and I wouldn't be able to make it most nights. Then, every night when we go there later, usually around 6-6:30, they would lecture us about coming earlier the next day. Every night they did this. It was really ruining our experience. On lobster night, they sent us to the main dining room on the 4th floor, which apparently was a complete surprise to our waiter. He and the woman who was told to take us up there had an odd conversation about what we were doing there (since this was about an hour into the early set dining time). He tried to be polite to us, but you could tell he didn't want us there. I really don't understand why the dining staff at the Harmony made My Time Dining so hard. The entire point is to be able to come when you want, yet they tried to make us feel guilty every day for doing just that. The waiters themselves were actually quite good and efficient. I was impressed by how quickly the dinner service went, typically about and hour and 15 minutes or so. While there were a lot of activities scheduled on the ship, the staff running them often seemed unprepared, confused, or just bad. They had a different person running the trivia each day, and that person typically couldn't pronounce the questions (or answers) correctly. We've gone to tons of trivia sessions on numerous ship and have never run into this problem before. We even witnessed an argument between a passenger and a crew member over whether one of the answers was correct. This was also a first. For one of the dance sessions, the guy started 10 minutes late and ended 10 minutes early, for a 30 minute session that was actually was only about 10 minutes (3 songs). The dance and fitness sessions held by Sergio were great though. He was really the only entertainment staff member who seemed to take his job seriously. Most of the rest of them seemed like they were just going through the motions (and poorly at that). The staff at the windjammer buffet and the other dining locations were very efficient though. They would take your plate and clear the tables as soon as humanly possible. On several occasions in the windjammer, we had RC employees stop to ask how everything was and if we were happy with everything. The food in the dining rooms was pretty good, but lacked variety. The fool at the windjammer wasn't so good, especially for breakfast. The eggs were runny, the bacon didn't taste right, and the waffles/pancakes didn't taste fresh. They didn't seem to push alcohol as much on this cruise, which we appreciated because we don't drink. The kids got a non-alcoholic drink from the robot arm. Why do they charge a service charge for a robot-made drink? We had an ocean view balcony cabin which was nice. Unfortunately, we had a 'service animal' in the room next to us. It was a little fluffy shih tzu which would bark periodically. I don't know what service a shih tzu provides besides keeping his owner company, but it didn't seem quite right on a cruise ship. We got guarantee cabins which turned out to be a mistake, because RC put our kids in a cabin very far away from our cabin. We were given our cabin as soon as we booked, 4 months out, but our kids weren't given theirs until 2 weeks before sailing. We won't be booking a guarantee again. We had reservations for most of the shows, but that turned out to be unnecessary except for the first night (Grease) and the water show, which was always packed. Grease was inappropriate for children. The water show was impressive, but ours was cancelled halfway through due to the rain. The ice skating show was boring - our kids all left about 15 minutes in. The comedians they had were ok, not great. The kids enjoyed the juggler/comedian. We paid for the all digital photo package, which is $310 onboard, but they give you a $30 discount if you buy it within the first 2 days on the ship (it was only $250 online before the cruise). We got 300+ photos taken, and at least 100 of those were good ones - we even had them take individual photos of the kids - so we got our money's worth. Their photo kiosks only work during certain hours when manned by their photographers. That was annoying. After paying for the package, I was given a website I could go to to see all the photos I purchased. It didn't work that well, but they said it was still in the testing phase. Disembarkation was the smoothest we'd ever experienced. We were allowed to stay in our room until our number was called, immigration only took a minute as they do facial recognition now from the passports, and were walked right out of there with no wait. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I went on this cruise because my brother was getting married on this ship. It was mostly enjoyable. Embarkation was very easy. Did the online pre check it. Did not have to wait in line much. Keys were in the room waiting. All rooms are ... Read More
I went on this cruise because my brother was getting married on this ship. It was mostly enjoyable. Embarkation was very easy. Did the online pre check it. Did not have to wait in line much. Keys were in the room waiting. All rooms are ready at 1pm. We boarded the ship earlier, we just walked around the vessel and had quick lunch and Johnny rocket (12$ fee) The muster drill was very painful and useless. I understand no one enjoy those, but I appreciate to know what to do in emergency. My drill station was in the aqua theatre in the middle of summer outside under the sun. No one was listening the demonstration. And they had a problem with the sound, so we cannot hear anything. I don't even know where was my life jacket if something bad were to happen. I hope the ship will change that cause it is very dangerous. I have a balcony room with my husband near the middle back of the ship. The room was clean and very spacious. Very convenient for most of the places. We were on the 8th floor cannot near noises from outside public area except when passenger walked by, which is normal. BUT the room we had was a connecting room ... and the kids next door would have a crying episode everyday! And you can hear everything by the connecting door. It was awful! They should consider giving these room to people who want to have connecting rooms only!!! The ship is very big, but I find that we didn't have much public area where friends can hangout quietly. The only place that is open at all time is the cafe promenade, very small area. The windjammer (buffet) close at 8:45. It is waaaayyyyy too early. They didn't even leave a small section open for snack or getting drink. Side note the whole buffet is badly organize: One time we had to Line up to get in the windjammer.... I don't ever remember needing to line up for any buffet on cruises. Not line up to get food, line up to get in!!! Service of the crew member were mediocre. Many crew I pass by don't look happy. They are there because they have to kind of attitude in most of the crew in this ship. Even met a very grummy waiter, his name is Vincent serving in grande main dining room. No smile, didn't ask if we need anything more, always disappear, cannot find him except when he takes the order and bring the food. Very abrupt and impatient. We didn't even get to order drink. Lucky we didn't have to stay at his table. We move to Erik and Jonabell table, they were very pleasant and smiley. Patient with our order and request. They are sailing 2nd week with the ship so they are not fully familiar with everything but I appreciate them trying. Most of other crew member are not very happy "looking", one time even heard two member having a small argument in front of guest, quite unprofessional. Our room steward was very hard working kept my room very clean the whole week. Have some folding towel that makes me happy! The shows are very impressive and good. Like the aqua show and skating show. But the singing performance I didn't really like. They were very loud. Some singer sing almost every night at the promenade super loud and sometimes off key... or just sound like yelling or screaming. Maybe I just don't like loud. The guys who plays piano at the schooner bar was much more enjoyable. I had fun with the water slides and the ultimate abyss. Didn't get to the zip line and surf. Food quality is good. But they have no dessert that I enjoy. Every night is the same menu for dessert, with 2-3 new item per day. Disembarkation was very easy and fast. No line again just walk off the boat. I would for sure not choose this ship ever again, is a big ship that can hold lots of passenger with a few extra spot for activities, but badly organize and trying cut cost with things like buffet hours is awful. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We came all the way from New Zealand to come on harmony of the seas. We were not disappointed. Ship is just amazing. We personally did not find it crowded. Staff were fantastic except 1 man at guest services. Besides that really could ... Read More
We came all the way from New Zealand to come on harmony of the seas. We were not disappointed. Ship is just amazing. We personally did not find it crowded. Staff were fantastic except 1 man at guest services. Besides that really could not fault anything. We had inside cabin as doing Alaskan cruise 2 weeks later. Saved balcony for that one. Inside we were actually impressed. Size was not to bad as had smaller. We enjoyed a cafe on deck 8 it was called park cafe located in central park. We are there for breakfast and some lunches. We went to chops and grill. That was our favorite. Wonderland was good and different. Worth a try. Central 150 good to. We were not totally impressed with Izimu hibachi as had better .also we would not rave about Jamie Oliver's. Shore Excursion were good. We just think it was a great experience. Shows and the entertainment were world class. Best we seen on a cruise ship and I've done 21 cruises. Best cruise Director ever I have seen on a cruise. Dennis I'm pretty sure his name was.we would go again if lived closer.we just loved it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husband and I have been on many cruises and we have been on two Royal Caribbean before, but never on a ship this large. I was worried that it would be so crowded, but that was not our experience. SHIP The ship itself was ... Read More
My husband and I have been on many cruises and we have been on two Royal Caribbean before, but never on a ship this large. I was worried that it would be so crowded, but that was not our experience. SHIP The ship itself was beautiful. There were so many areas to explore. Central Park with the live trees was really nice as well as the boardwalk with the carousel. The main promenade has lots of shops and restaurants and was decorated nicely. There was the bionic bar, and the rising tide bar. There were many venues for music and dancing. There were waterslides, the abyss (a dry water slide) an ice skating rink, two rock climbing walls, a miniature golf area, ping pong tables, a basketball court, 2 flow rider areas and a water stage area for performances. CABIN We chose an inside cabin and were on deck 8 which was a great location. The cabin was laid out nicely and there was plenty of storage. Our room steward was good, not great. He made towel animals 3 out of the 7 nights. Room was always clean and he came twice a day. ENTERTAINMENT Entertainment was excellent. We saw all of the shows. Grease was fantastic with a very talented cast. We saw two ice shows. The second one, I-Skate was really good. The first one 1887 about the French Revolution was a little strange, but still good skating. There were two comedians we saw at the Attic and in the theater. They were both excellent and we laughed constantly. They also had a headliner who was a juggler/comedian and he was really great too. Very warm and interacted with the audience and really entertaining. The water show at the aqua theater was good too. There was one strange guy who was spinning a lot but the things they did from the diving to flying in the air, to walking a tightrope, to the synchronized swimming was fantastic. They also had 2 parades through the promenade which were nice and they had karaoke every night which was actually fun and lots of music and dancing in different clubs. They had some belly flop and cannonball contests in the pool on sea days and those were very funny although very crowded. The only show we thought was very strange was Columbus, the musical. It was a comedy musical based on Christopher's cousin. They sang modern songs and it was the same cast who performed Grease. Definitely our least favorite. But overall the entertainment was top notch. Make sure you make all reservations before getting on the ship for the shows. They are all free and then you don't have to stand in a standby line and hope to get in. DINING We had breakfast at Windjammer most mornings. Food was good but it was usually very crowded. We ate also a few times at the Solarium Bistro for breakfast. They had the same things that they had at Windjammer on a smaller scale, but it was much quieter and calm. If we were on ship during the day (only 2 sea days), we would eat at the Doghouse (good hotdogs in the boardwalk area) or at Minibites for hotdogs, hamburgers, nachos, etc. Once we went to the Windjammer for lunch. There was also soft ice cream on the pool decks that was really popular. When we boarded, we ate at the Park Café and it was very nice with paninis, salads, etc. For dinner we chose my time dining because we didn't want to be stuck to a set time. We did make reservations before getting on the ship for all dinners which is very smart to do. We ate at the Icon Grill on deck 3 and had the best waiter and helper ever. We ended up requesting them every night and were able to sit in the same place. Our guys were Iwayan and Ketut and they were beyond fantastic, catering to our every need. We were with friends so there were 4 of us each night. All food was good and there were plenty of choices every night. Sometimes we even got two appetizers because there were so many great things to choose from. High praise for the food and staff at American Icon. We also had pizza at Sorrentos one night after a show. It was okay. SERVICE Service overall was great. All workers were pleasant, helpful and said hello. No complaints at all. PORTS Coco Cay- was fantastic. We have been to many cruise ship islands and hands down, this was the best. They have everything there and it is laid out so nicely. The beach areas were great with a ton of chairs and umbrellas. There is also a huge pool with a swim up bar, large enough for 2,200 people!! They had a DJ and the pool although crowded, was really fun. They had some kid areas for them to play and with the waterpark, that left the pool to have more adults which was nice. There was ziplining, for a fee, a cool hot air balloon ride for a fee, and an awesome looking water park (which was expensive) but lots of families were there and it looked really cool. There were 3 places for lunch and the food was the best and most varied of any ship's island food we had. Top notch and it was nice that there were 3 different places to get your food so depending where you sat, you went to the closest place and it was not overly crowded. We really had a great day there. Kudos to RC for making their island so great. There were also plenty of little shops and stores that sold Bahamian goods. It really was a perfect day at Coco Cay. Costa Maya-nice port and so many things to do right at the port if you didn't want to leave. We did a tour not with the cruise as I can always find better, less expensive , smaller tours on my own. We went with Native Choice tours and they were great. We went to Chacchobben Ruins and to Bacalar 7 colors lake and had lunch. We had a great tour guide and a very nice day. Roatan-we went to Little French Key as we have been there before and love it. It's a small private island with everything included and there is so much to do there. Great day. Cozumel-We have been there many times and this time decided to make a reservation at Mr. Sanchos beach club. This was $55 pp for all you can eat and drink all day. The place was great. It included kayaks and the ocean was beautiful and so clear. They had two pools with swim up bars. The entire staff was great and worked their butts off. There was lots of shopping there too. Highly recommend for a relaxing day. EMBARKATION AND DISEMBARKATION Both went very smoothly and no problems whatsoever. Good system they have. Although the ships holds 6,600 passengers and we were told it was full, it never felt overly crowded. Things were spread out really nicely. We loved their nightly themed parties in the promenade that had 80's and 90's, etc. We loved trivia at the Schooner Bar and loved the informal talk and questions with the captain and some of the head officers. One of the nicest thing I have ever seen was a tribute they did to all of the Veterans. It was held on the last sea day. The captain, cruise director, and head hotel guy all were elevated at the rising tide bar with an American flag draped and recognized all Veterans from all wars who served and people that have passed. There were a lot of Veterans on board visibly moved. They had a bugle player play taps, had a moment of silence, then our cruise director, Dennis sang a beautiful rendition of the star spangled banner while all of the ships officers lined the promenade. The chef even made a gigantic American flag cake for the passengers to enjoy afterward, The entire event was really moving and really nice. Kudos to RC!! The pool areas were crowded as they always are especially on sea days, but that is expected so although you are like sardines, it's okay. Because you can also use the water slides (3 of them), zipline, rock climb, use the flow rider, play golf, basketball, ping pong, etc. as another option besides the pool. There were plenty of chairs in the pool area so we were always able to find something. We have no kids so we cannot speak about that but they did have a great kid pool section for the little ones. The gym and spa also seemed nice although we did not use them, we walked through. Overall, a fantastic vacation on a truly beautiful ship with so many things to do!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Never cruised before and what a fabulous introduction!! I cannot complain about one thing. My husband and I and 3 children, 22,18, and 14 all loved it. Cruise director Marcel was magnificent as well as Michele the comedian and the ... Read More
Never cruised before and what a fabulous introduction!! I cannot complain about one thing. My husband and I and 3 children, 22,18, and 14 all loved it. Cruise director Marcel was magnificent as well as Michele the comedian and the wonderful ice show. Windjammer Buffett has a very diverse menu and cleanliness was very evident. Much ease checking in and out and Coco Cay was an absolute joy. Even though I had a regular cabin, no extras, it was perfect for 2. My children were on a different floor and the 3 of them also had enough room with a great window looking out. I would definitely recommend and make sure to buy the drink package!! As for the excursions at Nassau, I would recommend pre buying them. They are more expensive on the ship. I did the dolphin and stingray at Blue lagoon and it was worth the money because you get to spend the rest of the day at the beach. Bring water and towels from the ship. As for Coco Cay, don’t miss the Oasis Lagoon. Swim up bar and lounges in the pool. My children did water park and said it was very nice. However, they went at 830 in the morning with no lines and were able to do everything a few times. I cannot wait to cruise again!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Port Canaveral Arrival: We live on the east side of Orlando so I time it as follows: Leave house at 12 noon, park at the new garage at the Port (85 dollars for the Monday through Friday cruise; pay as you enter via automated gate, very ... Read More
Port Canaveral Arrival: We live on the east side of Orlando so I time it as follows: Leave house at 12 noon, park at the new garage at the Port (85 dollars for the Monday through Friday cruise; pay as you enter via automated gate, very easy), get through security and walk in room at 100 pm (we roll are own luggage on). There were four of us travelling; us mid fifties and our two adult (21/24) sons. Security/Embarkation: As stated above, was parked by 1230, through security by 1245, checked in with a rep by 1255 and walked in room just as they were opening. Since Royal has numerous check in reps roaming with hand-held devices we barely stopped walking from the time we got through security and got to our rooms. Why any one would pay for the"Key" or worry about status is beyond me at check in. As long as you had your set sail pass and docs/passports in hand you get checked in at lightning speed. Seapass cards waiting at room. Rooms/Ship/First Impression: We had two balcony rooms on the "hump" port side, floor 6. Excellent location, easy access to promenade and lower decks. Ships looks great, clean; rooms are average, could use updating. Put your water, soda in cooler/fridge right away. It does not get very cold. Cabin attendant was fine; quiet fellow but was around as needed and kept ice for us in our rooms as asked (extra cash tip likely helped). Lots of pushy up-sell for dining packages, specialty restaurants at boarding. We just said a polite no and kept walking. Plus the promenade looks more like a flea market with all the t-shirts, watches and junk littering the entire area. Not appealing at all. Drinks/packages: We bought the ultimate drink packages prior to sailing; I think we paid about 48 dollars a person (was watching on-line) per day. Good thing; the price was 81 a day for the first person and then "half price" for second person if you bought day of sailing. RCCL has got to be kidding with this "half price" gimmick. Whatever. Drink package well worth it. A domestic 16 ounce beer is now 9 dollars plus 18 percent gratuity, wine 13, and it only goes up from there. You also get the soda, bottled water, etc. with package and can use it on CoCo Cay. So we were happy with the drink package. Still carried on two bottles of wine for room and soda allowance (12 pack) for room cooler. No drinks cards ever sold (4 night cruise). Muster/Sail Away: Same old same old; stand outside and sweat for 20 minutes. We got there as late as possible. Plenty of time to get topside for sail away. Lots of servers on deck. Food/Bars: Food was average at best. The MDR (used two of four nights) was half full. Service was very good. Wear whatever you want because no one cares anymore. Main courses tasted bland and "banquet" quality, mass produced. I know it's mass produced but was not as good as previous cruises. MDR breakfast was better than dinner. My favorite omelet of the week (ham/cheese) was the one that came with room service. The Wingoldjamcorraler was a buffet; feeding trough. Borderline disgusting. Not sure what was worse the people there or the food. Just a mess. Horrible coffee, and something that sort of resembled orange juice. Best part about it was the guys singing as you walked in. Pizza on promenade best we have ever had on RCCL. Sandwiches actually pretty good also. Donuts in morning stale. Decent hot dogs/brats, slaw, potato salad on pool deck. Two ice cream machines on pool deck worked great, hardly any lines. Not sure why but never, ever, once waited for a drink at any bar, including pool. Sat in solarium one day, multiple roving servers. Even at Schooner Bar, casino bar, pub, etc., all had multiple bar tenders who were beyond helpful. Even the pools never seemed crowded and we got two chairs in solarium on sea day. Playmakers is nice but never saw anyone once order any food; it was never crowded. Bamboo lounge nice also as well as Pub. Great singer in there multiple nights and no one was ever in there, had the whole place to ourselves; we love live music but all the venues seemed to be under attended for some reason. Smoking: It is an absolute joke that it is almost 2020 and there is still smoking on half the pool deck and the casino. The casino smoke escapes into most of the areas surrounding the space; it is awful. On the pool deck parents were sucking down cigarettes, sitting with there small children; horrible. Hey Royal, just stop it, now. Designate some smoking areas away from the ones that are infecting the rest of the ship. CoCo Cay: We have been CoCo Cay several times. This is such a vast improvement it is hard to describe. Great food (two big venues with incredible array of fresh Tex Mex, salads and more, snack shacks with take away burgers, chicken sandwiches, mozzarella sticks). I liked the food better here than on the ship. Go to Youtube, there are numerous great videos showcasing the Island. Remember, you do not have to pay for a thing; all the zip lines, hot air balloons, water park are optional; there are more than enough beach chairs, umbrellas for all; and we got there late morning. Lunch in the big venues goes to 330 in the afternoon; zero lines ample tables. No other cruise lines private island comes close to this. Plus your drink package follows you on island and with the permanent dock the ship will never miss the stop (which happened allot before). Dogs: No (fake) service/emotional support animals!! Yes....! Crew: Very friendly, seems like a happy crew. Much happier than our last cruise on Independence. Entertainment: Pretty good; Guy from Jersey Boys show in Vegas was great; magician was entertaining. Comic probably not right for this ship (older female; more appropriate for a Holland America crowd). Cruise director was funny; do not recall his name, is from Chile and seemed like a nice enough guy. Nassau: We booked our own private excursion (less than 8 people) on a small boat; 4 hours (two snorkeling stops, remote beach, drinks, snacks included, very reasonable price); 5 dollar a person cab ride to a small marina. Allot of you are "stay on the boat" in Nassau people; do yourself a favor and get on Tripadvisor and find some out of the way things to do. New Providence is a beautiful island and there is lots to see and do beyond the Port; friendly people and great out of the way stops if you look. We did not go this trip but Atlantis is free (hotel/lobby/aquarium) after 5 pm. All aboard was 830 pm so many times you will have the chance. Debarkation: We did self assist off. Left room at 705 am (had to be out of rooms by 8 am anyway - did not really want to do the buffet madhouse on last morning); took elevator down to four and never stopped walking. One last seapass card scan (funny, one lady got stopped by security at last scan, was told to go to guest services/not allowed to leave ship - never seen that before), walked down to Customs; exited via facial recognition/never showed passport or anything. Was in car by 725. Some of you people remember what a zoo debarks were; this is such a vast improvement it is hard to describe how easy it is now. Overall: Great four night cruise; I think the 3 night would feel rushed. Mariner is such an improvement over the last ships that did this cruise (Majesty/Enchantment/Monarch); and having been on the bigger ships than Mariner, do not think could ever go on this cruise on anything smaller than Mariner. Would give it an 8/10 rating. CoCo Cay was definite high point. Only advice I would give is shop prices early (drink packages/even cruise fare); because prices were dramatically higher closer to sailing (for cruise fare also; book as early as you can). Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had a fabulous cruise. We sailed on the Mariner in a grand suite and loved it. We will never go anything below a grand suite from now on. The extra perks service, and huge room and balcony are so worth it. We have previously only ... Read More
We had a fabulous cruise. We sailed on the Mariner in a grand suite and loved it. We will never go anything below a grand suite from now on. The extra perks service, and huge room and balcony are so worth it. We have previously only cruised on Oasis twice, both times in regular balcony staterooms. THE SHIP: The Mariner was better than I expected for being an older ship (relatively). A few areas smelled a little musty, but they were few and far between. Certainly not enough to ruin my vacation like some people. Overall the appearance was beautiful and clean. The renovations looks great, although I have nothing to compare it to with it being my first time on Mariner. The water slides were a lot of fun too. For us, cruising is about being on a private balcony to enjoy the ocean, and going to the ports. We do not like crowds or rowdiness. Pretty much all of the activities or bars or what-have-you are not interesting to us, therefore we do not partake in the venues or music or dancing or drinking. So take this review with that in mind. THE FOOD: I always preface cruise food reviews with the fact that I am easy to please and will eat anything. I thought the food was fine. Could it be better? Sure. Could it be a whole lot worse? You betcha. The burgers in the windjammer are A LOT better than I remember on Oasis. There also seemed to be more of a selection than I remember as well. Like a taco bar among other varieties of foods. The only real "complaint" I would have had was that the room service pancakes were literally hard as rocks. You could throw them as frisbees. LOL. But again, will that ruin my vacation? Nope, just head upstairs to the buffet and get some more. Easy peasy. You can order from the MDR for room service, and the food was good. I would have liked to have seen actual chocolate cake though. I don't care for the moussey kind with thin layers of cake. THE STATEROOM: Our grand suite was beautiful. This is the largest stateroom category we have stayed in so far. Everything was spotless and perfect. Two loungers on the balcony as well as a table and chairs (with cushions!). Our attendant was incredible. The Suite Lounge was a really great perk for us. Our concierge Sue was fabulous and helpful. There were snacks and drinks available. They had me at chocolate strawberries. The lounge was such a nice and quiet, uncrowded area of the ship. Like I said, we do not like large and loud crowds, so typically we tend to stick to our private balcony, or areas of this ship where people aren't. PORTS: Had two amazing days - one in Nassau at Blue Lagoon, and then one at Coco Cay. No complaints. In the words of Jim Halpert, "I'm not a complainer". Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Although I rated this cruise a 4, I would really give it a 4.5 as it was a great week aboard the Harmony of the Seas, but not perfect. This was also my first time booking a suite and I will never book anything other than a suite for any ... Read More
Although I rated this cruise a 4, I would really give it a 4.5 as it was a great week aboard the Harmony of the Seas, but not perfect. This was also my first time booking a suite and I will never book anything other than a suite for any future cruises. If you have the money for a suite, it is 100% worth it. EMBARKATION- Being a suite guest, you have your own entrance and get escorted to your own personal attendant. My family and I were checked in via a tablet, had our pictures taken, and were on the boat in under 10 minutes. Fantastic. I was also carrying a bit of an injury and was limping about, but was very delighted that I was offered assistance by at least 6 people making my way to the ship. MUSTER DRILL- A note on everyone's favorite muster drill. I have been on 6 cruises all on different ships and the muster drill on the Harmony of the Seas was by far the worst of all. Most of the muster stations are located on the promenade level and not even in actual locations (i.e. the Casino or MDR). They are just located in "areas" of the promenade (mine was near the bionic bar), and they cram so many people in these "areas" and they want you to watch an instructional video on 40" TVs. The video also was made to "entertain" as you are following a spy across the ship and on the mission, the spy comes across "tips" to follow in the event of an emergency. I would assume it was not very easy to follow for most and due to the noise level of all the guests around you crammed into these stations, it is not easy to hear. Knock on wood that there is never an emergency on the Harmony, because I have the feeling it would be a disorganized mess. DEBARKATION- Another suite guest perk is that you meet in the fabulous coastal kitchen at 3 pre-determined meeting times. There was breakfast or hors d'oeuvre being served by 7am and then groups are personally escorted by the concierge all the way down in a priority elevator which makes no stops to the luggage pick-up location. Probably took us 10 minutes to get off the ship. SHIP - I have also sailed on the Oasis of the Seas and if you have been on that ship, you have been on the Harmony. Sure the Harmony has a few more amenities and entertainment, but it honestly didn't feel like I was on a completely different ship. Elevators can be a problem on Embarkation and Debarkation (if not a suite guest) and immediately after shows or events as all guests filter out of them. I didn't ever feel like the ship was crowded at all, even in the pool areas on sea days (the pools are another story). I also mentioned to my wife that I didn't think the boat was anywhere near capacity either, so that could have been why. There need to be more pools or the pools need to be bigger. On sea days the pools are packed, so basically you are just standing in the water. My son likes to move around in the pool, so he didn't enjoy them as much and spent most of his time in the kids water area. I stayed away from the pools because I don't need to be in a pool with 50 people all with drinks in their hand which they are probably spilling. I'll pass. Another perk of being a suite member is that you can get towels without scanning your seapass card. Other guests must scan their seapass to get a towel and if not returned, you get charged $25. Suite gets get as many towels as needed and don't need to worry about returns (although we always returned ours). ENTERTAINMENT - Only caught two shows as we chose to relax on sea days. Did see the ice skating show 1887 which I liked, but wasn't very interesting according to the wife and son. The Line water show was great and we even ran into some of the performers on the non-performance days. KIDS CLUB - Hours are 9-12, 2-5, 7-10, and after hours which you pay $7 an hour for. My son who is 6 enjoyed the activities and was even asking us to take him on sea days! Must be good! FOOD - Suite guests get access to the coastal kitchen and to my family the Coastal Kitchen was the star of the cruise. They serve Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and hors d'oeuvre and there is a happy hour between 4:30 and 8 where select alcohol is free. Let me repeat this for all my alcohol consumers, there is FREE alcohol on a cruise ship. To me, that alone was worth having access to the Coastal Kitchen and my family had dinner there every night. It is also a more relaxing environment as there are 100x less people dining there as in the MDR. Breakfast and Lunch are your standard fare and the selection is the same everyday. But the dinner menu changes nightly and the food was very good. There was lamb, filet mignon, lobster, duck, salmon, you name it. There really was no need for us to eat in the MDR. The Coastal Kitchen was also were we met the service star of the cruise Rico. Wow, Rico was one of the best servers I have had the pleasure to meet anywhere. Knew everyone's name and beverage of choice on Day 2. Never let your glass hit empty before the next drink was on your table, gave excellent recommendations to eat. Rico is a treasure on this ship. Sorrento's - Decent "fast food" pizza. Johnny Rockets - Breakfast is free and the food is good. Serve omelettes, breakfast sandwiches, and pancakes. Windjammer - Horrible. Cold, Bland, Tough, all adjectives you don't want associated with your food. STAY AWAY! Park Cafe - Decent selection of "healthier" options like panini's, salads, pre-made sandwiches and salads. Nice eating area in Central Park Boardwalk Dog House - Pretty good dogs, that tasted fresh. I went with the Coney Island Dog with onions and sauerkraut. EXCURSIONS- Perfect Day at CocoCay was great. We were the only ship in port and as I stated earlier, I don't even think our ship was at capacity, so the island did not feel crowded at all. My family rented a cabana in the Water Park, which was very nice and convenient with a personal waiter, locker, and plenty of water as it was HOT. I was able to get on all the water slides (note that two of them get long lines the slingshot and the daredevil's peak (the tallest slide). My advice is to hit these slides right when you get off the ship or right at the end of the day or else you will be waiting in a long line. There was a storm off the island that caused the park to shutdown for about an hour, so many guests left back to the ship as Royal was refunding half day passes. My family also went up in the Hot Air Balloon which was cool, but not worth the money for the 10-15 minutes you are up there. Note for those with kids that 48" is the magic number to get on most of the slides. My son is 44" so he was limited on the slides he could get on, but he LOVED the wave pool. It was HOT, but being in the water felt great. San Juan - We did the El Yunque Natural Rainforest walking tour from El Yunque Tours which is a bit a ways from the ship. There is a 45 minute narrated bus ride to the site, where the guide gives you background on the history of Puerto Rico, the impact of the hurricane, and the El Yunque site. When you get to El Yunque, you have four stops. A brief 15 minute stop at an observation tower, which gives you great views and picture taking opportunities, a 5 minute stop at a waterfall on the side of the road to take a group photo, a stop to gear up where you are provided with backpacks, bug spray, water, snacks, umbrellas, and towels. Very high marks for the tour company for providing all these items. They say they are the "one stop shop" operation. Last stop is a good walk to a natural river pool to swim swim for about 20 minutes before heading back to the ship. High marks for Angel, Jorge, Michelle, and the owner Mike who are very knowledgeable and informed about the island. Returned to do a bit of shopping around the port. Shopping is better in Saint Maarten. St. Maarten- I did the Snuba Adventure through Snuba SXM. Great team of 3 (Sheldon, Mitch, Jonas (captain), are very laid back, but very knowledgeable. They stated that the hurricane had damaged 90% of the coral on the island and you could tell. I have done Snuba on 3 other occasions in different locations and I saw the least amount of fish in Saint Maarten. The water is nice and clear though and they have the staged helicopter and shipwreck underwater you can see. Still fun. My wife and son did the Pinel Island excursion and said they had a great time on the white sand beach. Iguanas everywhere that you can feed, my son loved that!. Did some shopping at the shops in the port area and found great deals on souvenirs, alcohol, and jewelry. Better deals than seen in San Juan for sure. Overall, the family had a great time and my son was asking if we could stay on the ship for a few more days. I have always been a fan of Royal Caribbean and we are looking to do a Mediterranean cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This ship is new and beautiful. There are a few things that I would recommend them adding and changing such as, the soda package comes with a refillable plastic cup which is nice and eco friendly but the problem I am having is there is ... Read More
This ship is new and beautiful. There are a few things that I would recommend them adding and changing such as, the soda package comes with a refillable plastic cup which is nice and eco friendly but the problem I am having is there is only about two soda machines accessible and most of the time one is closed your forced to go to the one at the pizza restaurant. Also, I would recommend longer hours for things such as food places etc. if you don't make it to dinner your stuck eating the same thing late night m, your two options are pizza or this small sandwich spot across from the pizza place thats all... on a cruise you expect there to be things like food places open for a much later time with much more options. Also, ice cream spots are very limited as well at close at 7pm so if you want some later on in the evening its not open. Now on to other things the ship itself is very nice and new we loved the ship. I do recommend more pools as it gets very packed on sea days. Staff all around has been amazing. Our house keeping lady Nancy is truly the kindest person ever!!! She always checks in with us and greets us at all times & helps us with anything we need she is amazing!!! Thank you Nancy! Your hard work is truly appreciated. For entertainment we saw the Greece show which was awesome! We also saw the Aqua show that was one awesome show as well very talented actors. Over all it was an amazing cruise with a few changes it would be the best cruise. I do recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We were supposed to sail to Cuba on the Majesty this same week. When the Cuba stop got canceled, we looked at options and found a great deal on a Grand Suite for this sailing. Since the GS for 7 nights cost less than $400 more pp than ... Read More
We were supposed to sail to Cuba on the Majesty this same week. When the Cuba stop got canceled, we looked at options and found a great deal on a Grand Suite for this sailing. Since the GS for 7 nights cost less than $400 more pp than the booking we had on the Majesty for 5 nights, we jumped on it. The ship is large. We certainly did not experience all that it has to offer. I did go to the fitness most mornings; it was very nice and I never had an issue finding a selection of equipment to use, even on sea days. We had the drink package and managed to try out most of the bars, at least once. My only "complaint" was the heavy pours. I had to specifically tell the bar tenders to put less alcohol in my drinks. They routinely put a double shot in all mixed drinks-a single shot is plenty for me! Others may find that a positive. We had breakfast in the Vitality Cafe twice, before working out. It was a very good, light breakfast. We also had lunch in the Park Cafe one day-very good, at Mini-Bites one afternoon-less good but not terrible and Sorenttos. The pizza was much better than expected. I really liked it, although I like most anything that i don't have to cook. We also went to the MDR for lunch one day. It was good, but it was very crowded and the atmosphere was hectic. We ate the other meals in the Coastal Kitchen. The food was fabulous. We ate breakfast there five mornings. The french toast and the waffles were excellent. We had lunch there twice and both times, it was really good. Dinners were excellent every night! We saw Grease-very good, The Fine Line-a little odd, but we enjoyed it and both ice shows. My favorite show was I-Skate, but I enjoyed them all. Other than that, we generally just sat on the deck or in the suite lounge and watched people and read. A big advantage of the suite lounge and deck is that we really got to know some of our fellow passengers, which I really enjoyed. With one or two exceptions, everyone was warm and friendly. The conceirges, Jeremias and Mohammed were fabulous, as was the CK manager, Ace and our waiter, Laurence. The pools were exceptionally crowded. We never really went near them, but could see the crowds. Other than that, we did not have any issue with crowds, perhaps because we only took the elevator once the entire week. We might have found the crowds more intrusive had we not had access to the suite areas. They were wonderfully serene. I had only two minor complaints: one the cruise director, Dennis, was somewhat offensive. The other was that they made me get off the ship when the week was over! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Disney and Celebrity cruiser goes on R/C, why? I wanted to see Coco Cay. They hit a grand slam home run. We wished the ship would just sail there and dock overnight. Already looking to book our next cruise to go back. That being said, ... Read More
Disney and Celebrity cruiser goes on R/C, why? I wanted to see Coco Cay. They hit a grand slam home run. We wished the ship would just sail there and dock overnight. Already looking to book our next cruise to go back. That being said, lets talk about the cruise. Cons: The 3 nt is a party run. No one was overly rowdy but into the drink. Food service was good but a little dis-jointed and forgetful Cabins did not benefit from the recent refit but were ok, fairly much on par. Music was way too loud as were the announcements and pool deck big screen. Main production show was awful. Pros: Main dining food was above average to the point where I wouldn't feel the need to pay for specialty dining. Public spaces were tasteful and well thought out. Drink package is worth it and I wouldn't go again without buying the key. Ice show was awesome, we went twice. Did I mention Coco Cay? Way above expectations esp. the food on the island. Better than Disney's. Best embarkation I've ever had. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this sailing for a quick end of summer getaway. There were 3 of us sailing--me, my mother and my daughter (8 years old). Because we booked late, we could not get a triple cabin (no triple occupancy available in any category). ... Read More
We chose this sailing for a quick end of summer getaway. There were 3 of us sailing--me, my mother and my daughter (8 years old). Because we booked late, we could not get a triple cabin (no triple occupancy available in any category). We ended up booking 2 adjoining mini-suites on deck 9. Embarkation was the smoothest we ever experienced. After an hour and a half drive, we dropped our luggage in the garage at 10:25 am, parked and were on the ship by 10:45 (would have been on sooner if we didn't have to stop for a wristband for DD). The suite line checked us in with iPads and gave us a card saying already checked in. We then cleared security and headed straight for the ship. There did not appear to be long lines for those that had to stop for the regular check in process. We had lunch at Windjammer. They did a great job with the refurbishment--it never felt crowded. The food was very good as well. While we were there, we made reservations for My Time for each evening. After lunch we explored the ship until cabins were ready (promptly at 1:00). After getting settled, we explored a bit more and had the safety drill (we were lucky and had an indoor muster station). That evening, we were going to watch "Mary Poppins Returns" by the pool, but the pools were closed due to weather and it was hard to find seats where we wouldn't get wet. In the end DD went to Adventure Ocean and we went to the casino. Saturday was spent experiencing the ship. My mom and I had massages (she said hers was the best she'd ever had), DD did FlowRider, we went to the pool and did the water slides. That evening, after dinner, DD did the Sky Pad. Sunday was an awesome day at CoCo Cay. DD and I booked the water park. It's awesome! Because of long lines, they've started issuing tickets for return times for DareDevil's Peak. We got to the park around 8 and got tickets to return at 10 am. We spent all our time at the tower with the slides that didn't have mats/tubes, the pool with obstacle courses and the wave pool. Except for the walk up, DareDevil's Peak was awesome. We had an awesome time!! The food from Snack Shack was good as well. We met my mom around noon and took the tram over to the pool. After a swim (and drinks from the swim up bar), we went to the buffet lunch. The taco area, burgers, dogs and salads were really good. The pre-made sandwiches were hard (from the warmer). After some more water park time and a short beach visit, DD and I returned to the ship--no lines getting back onboard. CoCo Cay was amazing! I can't wait to see the complete finished island (the remaining parts open in December). We saw the ice show the final evening and it was the best ice show we've seen on RCCL. Overall - Staff (except one person working the bar by promenade cafe) was excellent! They were as good as the staff on Harmony. Cabin attendant (Benny) was very friendly and did a great job! We requested the same servers in the dining room as we had excellent service from Dennis and Wayan. My mom and I had the deluxe beverage package and it was even easier than when I previously had it on Allure (nothing to sign this time). DD had the refresh package. She was the only one who had issues getting her drinks--but only at one location--who repeatedly said her account was closed (even after I filled out paperwork for a limit on her account and ensuring it was open). We would definitely sail Mariner for a short cruise again!! We loved the ship and staff!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise and the dates based on sports calendars and celebrations. We are a family of 6. Our kids are 21, 20, 18, and 16 years old in age. My oldest graduated from college in May and my 3rd graduated from high school in June. ... Read More
We chose this cruise and the dates based on sports calendars and celebrations. We are a family of 6. Our kids are 21, 20, 18, and 16 years old in age. My oldest graduated from college in May and my 3rd graduated from high school in June. We needed the cruise to be in the beginning of August because football starts on August 16th. So we were pretty tight with dates. This was our first cruise and we wanted to try it out so we thought a 3 day was perfect. We traveled with friends who had gone on 2 Disney cruises prior. I was very concerned that they would be unhappy but it was the opposite. They loved the cruise just as much as us. Our plan was to fly down the night before and then spend 2 nights at Disney after the cruise. We also needed to make this pretty economical so I had a budget of about 8,000. We do a bigger trip every 2 years. We have DVC points so Disney room was "free". We flew direct from Rochester, NY to MCO. We paid alittle bit more than if we had driven to Buffalo but we felt it was worth it to be 15 minutes away and not pay for parking. My oldest flew Frontier from Philadelphia as the flights were $49 and $82 ( with a bag returning). These flights were fine for him. Port transfers were something that I really researched for our family. I investigated renting a mini van, using Uber XL and finally went with Go Port Canaveral. It was the most economical. For $340 we spent the night in a suite at Hyatt Place Airport and they transported us to the port and back to the airport where we used Disney Magic Express to get to our hotel. On the morning of our cruise we were able to eat a good free breakfast and hang out a bit. Our pick up time was 11:45 and there were lots of people getting on cruises that day. The pick up was a bit disorganized and some people were very pushy. There was not a Go port employee there to divide up the passengers so my family was separated. Not a big deal at all but just a bit confusing. We were dropped off at the same time as the kids so no problem. We walked up and were on the boat by 1:15. It was very easy to embark and our rooms were ready so we were able to drop our bags and then head up to Windjammer. Our rooms were 2 interior rooms next to each other on the 10th floor in the back of the boat. Our friends were in 2 interior rooms on the 10th floor in the front of the boat. The rooms were tight but everything work out well. We did these rooms to save some money - total for both rooms with drink packages was $4, 400. I live with giants. My boys are 6'4" and 6'5". My husband is 6'10". My oldest son is a string bean but my husband and younger son as big guys. They had no problem with the room or shower. My oldest slept on the pull down bunk. The girls room was tight as my girls change outfits like 10 times a day but it all worked out. I would do this again. The only drawback was never really knowing the time without checking a watch. I had brought night lamps but we did not need them. We just left the bathroom light on and closed the door. Dining we enjoyed the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch each day and two late nights. We were always able to find a table for all 11 of us. The breakfast was probably our least favorite meal but we did not go hungry. Lunch was great. We had early dining in the Main Dining room. Loved it. The wait staff was very attentive and they seemed to enjoy our two tables. We had a table of the under 21s and an adult table. They were very sweet to the kids and brought them multiple appetizers, entrees and desserts each night. At our table they brought us whatever we wanted. They even gave my son to go desserts. The food was great especially since I wasn't cooking it. My least favorite part of the day is the dreaded - "Mom, what's for dinner?" question. We really enjoyed the pizza at Cafe Promenade. It was staple every night. My girls had the refreshment package so they enjoyed non alcoholic drinks and coffees. My husband and oldest son had the drinking package. They greatly enjoyed all the drinks and the bar tenders that knew their names. My son and I had the soda package. I did not really need any package as I drink water and unsweetened ice tea. We attended the ice show, 70's dance party, Dreams show and some of us went to the late night Comedian. We enjoyed everything we attended. The cruise director Marcello was a hustler. He was great. The boys did the flow rider, the water slides. We all enjoyed the pools and mini golf. We did not get to some of the activities but we were never bored. In fact I wanted to crack open my book but that never happened. The kids played the quarter game in the casino for over an hour with $5 in quarters. At Nassau we got off for 2.5 hours. We walked to Junkaroo beach where the kids put their feet in the water and ordered drinks legally. They even served the 16 year old. In their defense he is huge and does not look 16. In fact were we were disembarking he got snagged for being in the Casino. The security lady made a comment about him being in the casino and she thought he was at least 18. We all agree that if we come back we will just stay on the boat. Coco Cay was incredible. We did not pay for any extra activities and greatly enjoyed the beaches and pool and food. I brought googles and we swam around looking at the wild life. Enjoyed the food and went for dip in the pool. We all said we would come back just for this place. The kids stated this was the best trip ever and are already planning one in 2 years. My oldest is trying to get his buddies to come on one with him, The only drawback was that we were not able to communicate with the kids since we did not get the internet. We enjoyed being unplugged for 3 days but I would have liked to have a text feature. The kids were able to find us by checking the app and seeing were the drinks had been purchased. Disembarkation was easy and very quick with the facial recognition. We got a bus back to the airport by 8:30 and then transferred to Magic Express for our 2 days at Bay Lake Tower. I was nervous wreck about this trip since I had no prior experience but we are already planning for one in 2 years when the next 2 kids graduate from high school and college. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Family of 4 (2 kids ages 6-9), plus grandparents. We were excited to go on this ship after seeing so many fun videos on You Tube, as well as seeing pics of the renovated ship. The ship itself was nice, as was our stateroom. But, the ... Read More
Family of 4 (2 kids ages 6-9), plus grandparents. We were excited to go on this ship after seeing so many fun videos on You Tube, as well as seeing pics of the renovated ship. The ship itself was nice, as was our stateroom. But, the slides were closed half the time and the main pool was also closed most of Saturday (Nassau) as some one had thrown up in it. So basically, half the cruisers were trying to fit into the hot tubs, with kids jumping into them having splash battles. The Flow Rider was just ok, as it was basically just "boogie boarding " on a boat. (Our 9 yo said she was not given an option to "surf" even though she's done it before elsewhere). The food was terrible at the Windjammer and MDR. Honestly, it was akin to a 5th rate Vegas buffet. We had taken a cruise on Adventure of the Seas 2yrs ago and I recall that food being just average, but Mariners ' food was downright terrible - very bland, swimming in fat, same breakfast & lunch lineup all three days. MDR food was only a slight notch better than Windjammer and took so long to be served. Atrium was fine, although shopping not great, with limited selection. Entertainment was fine. Service was good, not great. Overall, this cruise was just barely average, especially with the price we paid. All 6 of us were disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We booked this cruise (for my mother and me) about three weeks prior to embarkation, leaving few cabin options. We ended up in an ocean view balcony cabin, which would not have been my first choice (I usually book a Junior Suite), but it ... Read More
We booked this cruise (for my mother and me) about three weeks prior to embarkation, leaving few cabin options. We ended up in an ocean view balcony cabin, which would not have been my first choice (I usually book a Junior Suite), but it was fine -- more on that later. Embarkation was surprisingly smooth. I use a wheelchair, which always complicates matters. But we went through security quickly, then, having checked in online, the rest of the process was quick. I made my way to the area where the scooters were, and was given the option of leaving my wheelchair at the port and just taking the scooter onto the ship. This made a lot of sense (space being at a premium on board), and my mother and I boarded within a few minutes. No one took our photograph at embarkation, setting up a pattern on voyage. We boarded hand luggage in tow, and headed for the Windjammer, where we proceeded to have lunch. As per usual on embarkation day, the Windjammer was packed. As per usual for the Windjammer, lunch was uninspired. Service was good. After lunch, we made our way to our cabin (7592), and proceeded to unpack. Now, let me explain something. I packed a (European) carry-on sized Samsonite and a personal item. My mother went old-school cruise, packing what she calls a "medium" suitcase (bigger than my large suitcase) and her carry-on suitcase (larger than my carry-on). Somehow, she still complains about my packing style, because I, "Carry too much." Anyhow . . . I placed my packing cubes into a drawer in the cabin, and my formal night dresses (knit) I placed into one of the closets. I was unpacked, basically. My mother's unpacking was much more complicated, and her suitcase took up quite a bit of room in the cabin, especially given how much room the scooter took up. There was no room under the bed. Sigh. The balcony had bits of food that had not been cleaned up from a prior occupant still lying about. As to dining: We went to Chops, Izumi, and 150 Central Park (we had the 3 night specialty dining package). Chops was very good, as usual. The food was very good, as was the service. It is a solid choice (if you are a steak lover). At Izumi, we went to the sushi side. The food is excellent (obviously, you have to like sushi). However, service is on the slow side. The emphasis here seems to be on the hibachi side, and the sushi restaurant gets shortchanged. This is a real shame. They simply don't have the staff for the number of guests coming in. We had to wait to make a reservation. We had to wait (a remarkably long time) to be seated. The wait time for our food was unacceptably long (we ended up missing a reservation for a show that night). In contrast, 150 Central Park was a delight. Excellent food. Excellent service. The highlight of our cruise. I am still salivating over the pumpkin bisque. The MDR (American Icon for us) was kind of a mess this time (this was our second time on HOTS, FWIW). Very long lines in spite of reservations for dining, every single night. Disorganized waitstaff that often seemed to take exceedingly long to fulfill simple orders for things like soda and sparkling water. We missed reservations to another show due to slow service in the MDR. The Windjammer was terrible. I just will never understand. So much food there, and so much of it cold when it is supposed to be hot, completely unappetizing, and just . . . blech! One day, in despair, I asked for a cheeseburger. One of the gentlemen behind the counter rather dismissively told me there were the burgers, then pointed to the squares of cheese product. Fine. I made myself a cheeseburger. Arrived at my table, and found. that the burger, which had been sitting under heating lamps, was somehow cold and greasy. I set it aside after one bite. End of meal. We were disappointed to find that little things had changed, too: If you were dining in a specialty restaurant, there were no photographers to take your picture. The Shrek and Madagascar characters who had roamed the ship are no longer around. Bingo (one of my mother's favorite activities) was sometimes in the afternoon (yay!) sometimes late at night (making it unlikely that my mother, a senior citizen and avid bingo enthusiast, would partake). Our cabin attendant was terrific -- he went above and beyond, every day. Both my mother and I had our hair done at the spa by different people, and both of us had good experiences. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves and had fun. However, it sometimes felt like the ship was understaffed. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise for a family vacation and it did not disappoint! What an amazing ship and the staff was wonderful. It never felt overly crowded and we hardly ever had to wait in lines except for my time dining and that was not bad ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a family vacation and it did not disappoint! What an amazing ship and the staff was wonderful. It never felt overly crowded and we hardly ever had to wait in lines except for my time dining and that was not bad at all. We had 7:45pm reservations every night and we waited maybe 15 to 20 mins tops. We sailed from Port Canaveral. Embarkation and Disembarkation were a breeze! We drove and tipped a porter on the sidewalk to take our bags. We then practically walked right onto the ship with no lines or problems whatsoever! The ship was amazing. It was so clean and there was plenty to do as far as entertainment and activities. We did see Grease and the Fine Line Aqua show. Both were wonderful although Grease was a bit long. My only complaint is that they charged for popcorn for the show. I thought that was a bit cheap but the entertainment was excellent. We also caught the Love and Marriage show, which was quite funny and a couple of pool contests like sexy man and belly flop. These are always fun and entertaining. Our children are 18 and 20 so we really enjoyed the solarium in the late afternoons. It would have been nice to have a pool in the solarium but the hot tubs were wonderful and plentiful with cooling stations. There always seemed to be plenty of pool chairs and we never felt like the ship was over the top crowded. For dining, we did the my time dining because there were no reservations left. This was our first time doing that. It was nice to be able to go whenever if we didn’t show up right on time for our reservation but we missed not getting to know a specific group of servers. We had a different set of servers every night. The service was good but not as good as what we have experienced when we had regular times and the same set of servers. We did not choose any specialty dining as we have done this on past cruises and do not find the food to be that much better. The windjammer was the best windjammer we have eaten at so far with a large variety of quality good food available. The solarium restaurant had a nice salad bar. The park cafe had a wonderful selection of paninis for lunch and breakfast. Sorrentos Pizza was good. There was always a nice selection of pizza. Small bites was the only place to get chips and cheese unless you pay at Sabor, which we did not. They were just ok. We had nice chips and salsa off the boat but it would be nice if they would bring this back in the windjammer with Guacomole and some chunk cheese and crackers. We did not get a chance to try the dog house. We did order coffee and basic fruit as room service but the options are limited for breakfast and we enjoyed main dining and park cafe for our breakfast options. Overall the food was very good. The bars were great! We really enjoyed the Mimosas and Bloody Mary bar in the pub. The schooner bar is always a fav and their lavender daquari is amazing! Boleros has a coconut mojito that is wonderful. Wonderland is fun to pop into for a nice drink and to check out the scenery. Vintages had a nice wine selection. All the pool bars were great with very little wait time and the solarium was the best. All staff were polite and quick. The customer service on this ship is top notch! Our cabin was on the 7th floor. We had an extended balcony. It was wonderful. The rooms on this ship are laid out so nice with lots of storage space and drawers for clothes. We each had our own closet on either side of the room. The bathroom was roomier than any of the other royal ships we have been on. Our stateroom attendant was our favorite so far. She went out of her way to make sure we had a wonderful experience. The excursions were great. Coco Cay is wonderful and it is so nice that Royal honors your drink package and food on the island. The lunch was wonderful. We stayed on Chill Island for most of the day and did go to the pool with swim up bar for a bit. It was busy but so fun. We ended up spending $40 on 2 lounge mats for the day for the beach. I’m not sure that was worth it. I noticed some people brought their own small blow up loungers with netting and I would probably pack something easy like that for next time but the loungers were nice. Next we went to Cozumel and ended up booking an excursion at Mr. Sanchos all Inclusive. It was awesome and we cant wait to go back. I reviewed that on Trip Advisor and that is where I found them. Next, we went to Honduras. I booked Little French Key all island access pass. This was amazing!!! I booked directly online and have also reviewed them on Trip Advisor as this is where I found this excursion. Last we went to Costa Maya. We just got off the ship and shopped around the port. It was a lot of aggressive vendors on the inside that were willing to cut the prices if you started to walk away and a lot of expensive vendors in stores surrounding this. I probably would not get off the ship next time. They did have a pool and swim up bar people seemed to be enjoying. Overall this is our 7th cruise and the best yet! We would love to go back on Harmony of the Seas! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I sailed with my two adult children and 8 yr old granddaughter. We chose this ship for her and the myriad of things for her to do. The ship is beautiful and my cabin, a superior balcony, was very roomy with a lot of storage. The balcony ... Read More
I sailed with my two adult children and 8 yr old granddaughter. We chose this ship for her and the myriad of things for her to do. The ship is beautiful and my cabin, a superior balcony, was very roomy with a lot of storage. The balcony was roomy also, with two lounge chairs and foot rests. We dined in many different areas of the ship. The Icon restaurant, one of the main dining rooms we loved. The food was very good and many choices. Breakfast and lunch can be al a cart or buffet style. But patrons are allowed to do both if they desire. The buffet, was also good. We rotated all of them with the MDR except on formal nights. No dressing up for this group. There are many activities available for adults and children. My granddaughter enjoyed the children's club and the many slides and pools that were available. The shows were good and were enjoyed by all. Very talented people on board. Don't miss the Aqua show. The ports were not great, with Roatan, being the worst if you do not scuba. And most of all, the service was great. We had no complaints. The MDR waiters are attentive and helpful. Thank you to Chris at breakfast, and Win at dinner. Now, for the disappointments. We drove to Port Canaveral. There was no signage available, to guide us to the terminal. I rented a scooter from Special Needs Group and I was not pleased. The scooter would not hold it's charge and it just stopped twice and almost left me stranded. For this reason, I did not get off the ship. It was charged daily overnight and once in the afternoon for two hours, to get me through the evening. It should have some kind of odometer available to let the person how far they have traveled. I do not think I exceeded the distance, since I was just on the ship. I did file a claim and they said it would take one week to review. I am anxious to see what happens. Even with these problems, I would go on this ship again, only with a different itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
A lengthy review of 4 night cruise to Nassau and Coco Cay aboard the Mariner of the Seas We live in Florida – so in less than 3 hours we were driving into the parking garage around 10:25 – and we walked onto ship at 10:55! Easiest ... Read More
A lengthy review of 4 night cruise to Nassau and Coco Cay aboard the Mariner of the Seas We live in Florida – so in less than 3 hours we were driving into the parking garage around 10:25 – and we walked onto ship at 10:55! Easiest embarkation EVER (8 cruises over the last 22 years). Our tablemates said they arrived around 1:30pm and that they did not have long lines either. TIP: If you are arriving by car – 1st drop off your luggage in the bottom of the parking garage (this was Port Canaveral Area B - Terminal #1) – then they will tell you to proceed up the ramp to park your car. You will have to prepay for your parking – an attendant was at the machine to help us run our credit card through. Then take an elevator back down and enter the building attached to the parking garage. It was so fast partly because not many passengers were there when we arrived and also because we had filled in everything ahead of time online (including providing our credit card) so check in only involved scanning our SetSail Pass and a quick look at our passports and a trip through x-ray. TIP: Be sure to print your “SetSail Pass” at home before you leave – it has a bar code on it. It serves as your SeaPass Card until you get the permanent card (which will be in an envelope on the cabin # sign outside of your cabin). TIP: get used to carrying your SeaPass EVERYWHERE – basically everything you do on board requires your SeaPass (even activities that are free). Lots of passengers had their passes on lanyards around their necks. And while we’re on the topic: be sure to bring a photo ID with you when you go into Nassau – you’ll need it to get back into the Cruise Ship area. You will not need a Photo ID on Coco Cay – you’ll just need your SeaPass Card. Since we got on the ship earlier than expected we just hung out on the Starboard side of the pool (Deck 11) – they were playing videos of funny animals and people doing funny or amazing things . . . almost like a montage of Funniest Home Videos without the commentary. TIP: if you dislike smoking you want to be on the Starboard (Right) side of the ship if you are on Decks 4 or 11 – if you are a smoker the smoking areas are on the Port (Left) side of the ship on Decks 4 and 11 (and one section of the Casino). We were VERY HAPPY that we had booked lunch in Jamie’s Italian Specialty Restaurant (12pm reservation but we went at 11:45 and they seated us right away). We booked lunch to avoid all of the passengers learning their way around the Windjammer on the 1st day. BIG TIP: request to be seated as far back into Jamie’s as possible . . . unfortunately we were seated near the door and heard the clanging silverware of a cleaning station in the Windjammer that must have been right outside the door of Jamie’s. This applies to Chops Grille as well – so when you walk in tell them you would like to be seated in the back of the restaurant. To enter either Jamie’s or Chops you do still need to enter into the Windjammer which means you will pass through the hand washing area – TIP: the paper towels are above the sinks – we saw people struggling to find the towels. There were two fantastic guys playing a guitar and singing “wash – wash your hands” to the tune of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline – this ship had entertaining little touches like that all over – we loved it. The menu at Jamie’s had appetizers that the waiter (Carlos – he was great) explained were small portions so that we were encouraged to order multiple appetizers . . . and so we did! We ordered the “plank” which had sliced meats, fresh mozzarella balls, some dry cheese, and a different kind of cole slaw – it also had some olives and peppers. We also ordered the garlic bread which were two big rolls with garlic and cheese on them – I’m a fan of soft bread so I liked those the best. 3rd item was the crab and avocado bruschetta – sounds weird but it was delicious. I also ordered the Caprese salad which was the same (yummy) mozzarella balls from the plank + two kinds of tomatoes as well as some baby basil leaves and a very nice balsamic drizzle. For the entrée they say you can order a small portion or the regular portion so I had a small portion of the mushroom “taglie something” pasta and it was plenty and fantastic flavor. Husband ordered the chicken which he said was flavored well and was sitting on a nice sauce. He also got a small portion of penne carbonara as his pasta. Dessert was a chocolate torte for me and a lemon meringue for husband – both delicious. Even though we prepaid both of the specialty restaurants – they still brought us a “zero” bill – I believe the sole purpose of this is in case you want to add an additional tip (a tip is already included in the price we paid for the specialty restaurant). We were pleased with both of the servers so we did write in an additional tip. I suppose if we had not wanted to tip extra we would have just left the slip at the table with nothing written on it. They made an announcement when the staterooms were ready – it was before 1:30 - we dropped off our luggage and met our wonderful room steward – Keisha from Jamaica. Then we ventured out again. TIP: If you want to do the Escape Room or Laser Tag during your cruise – be sure to book them as soon as possible on arrival day. We weren’t sure where to go so we asked at Guest Services and we were told to go up to the Rock Climbing Wall desk. There were two friendly guys up there with tablets. We almost signed up for the Escape Room but then found out there would be 13 people in the room (he was going to over-ride the max of 12 to add our party of 2 to the 11 people already signed up). Maybe I’m a Nervous Nellie but being closed up in a room with 11 people we don’t know didn’t really sound like fun for me personally. For some reason I thought it was limited to just 6-8 people. I have heard though that it is a lot of fun . . . maybe we’ll try it next time. Either way – we got up there around 2:30 pm and there were sessions already filled up. We did not sign up for Laser Tag but I heard those all filled up fast as well (before Day 3 and Day 4 when Laser Tag started). So be sure to get signed up early for those two activities. I can’t comment on the Flowrider – we didn’t do that – although I saw private lessons advertised so that may be an advance sign up as well? While we were on the back of the ship at the Rock Wall we decided to check out the “archery” – it is rather hidden – the Rock Wall guy had to point it out – it is next to the basketball court. Kind of cool – the targets are four plastic balls that float in the air because of compressed air blowing them up. The arrows just have soft rubber on the end of them – however they did fly pretty fast. There were only about 6 people there so we waited our turn and it was fun for a few minutes. I was surprised there was not anyone from the ship providing instruction – so passengers who knew how to use a bow and arrow were helping those who needed help. We weren’t there for long but I could see if someone really enjoyed it they could spend longer. They did have a tournament later in the week however we did not attend. We wandered around a bit checking out the upper back of the ship – there is a little area of hammocks and some circle rope swings over by the kids climbing thing (Lucky Climber) and a putt putt course (Mariner Dunes) – accessible by stairs – look for the green painted golf course sign on the wall near the stairs. The putt putt was something we meant to get back to but ahhhh . . . relaxing got in the way and we never made it back up there . . . next time! The Assembly Drill at 3:30 was painless . . . no need to drag the life jackets there as we had done years ago. A note to future passengers – be sure to be there on time – don’t dilly-dally – the faster everyone is there and accounted for (they will scan your SeaPass card) the faster it is over. TIP: if you do not buy the drink package that comes with a cup: bring your own water bottle – you can fill it up at the same Coke machines that the drink package folks use – the ice and the water choice do not require the chipped cup. We found two Coke machines across from the Pub on the Promenade Deck 5 and then of course in the Windjammer. Husband realized he forgot a hat . . . went to the shops on Deck 5 . . . TIP: the shops do not open until 5:30pm on the 1st day. We had early seating (5:30pm) for dinner . . . we ate there the 1st 3 nights and spent the 4th night at Chops Grille. TIP: check online for your dinner seating – I had talked to a Royal Caribbean agent on the phone who said we would be at a large table at the early seating however when we went by the dining room around 2:30 or so a dining room helper looked us up and told us we were assigned to “my time” dining which we did not want. No problem at all – he typed on his computer and moved us to an assigned table at 5:30. I’m really glad we had checked in with them before dinner time. We were at a small table of 6 and enjoyed our tablemates. Dining Room Dinners: the highlights for us were the French Onion Soup (available every night) and the desserts (berry cobbler on the 1st night – ask for the ice cream WITH sugar unless you like (or need) sugar-free ice cream). Dinners were good . . . just nothing amazing for our taste buds. That said – it was very nice being served each meal and we enjoyed each evening and the flavors were good – the only item that was not cooked thoroughly enough was the mushroom risotto on Night 3 which was a bit hard – it needed a few more minutes on simmer I think. We did breakfasts on Days 2, 3 and 5 in the dining room and lunch in the dining room on Day 2. Lunch on Day 4 was on Coco Cay. That means we only ate in the Windjammer once – for breakfast on Day 4 when we had an early excursion on Coco Cay. They had a buffet at both breakfast and lunch in the dining room – along with a menu to order from. The Dining Room breakfast buffet had scrambled eggs, little pre-made omelets, French toast, pancakes, waffles with multiple toppings, lots of fruit, pastries, and cereals. You can get all of that (and more) in the Windjammer – we just prefer the quieter, less hectic, atmosphere of the dining room. The lunch buffet (at Sea Day 2) was a salad prepared as we walked down the line and pointed to what we wanted added (lots of choices) + a pasta bar where again we could choose what we wanted and then they heated it all up in pan. The lunch menu had choices as well – I really enjoyed the heirloom tomato and goat cheese salad – it didn’t have any lettuce so I just added it to a small salad from the salad bar. I also had potato soup . . . if you like creamy potato soup then this is your jam . . . however I like chunky potato soup so I was mildly disappointed to not find chunks of potato. But oh how my disappointment turned to joy when I went to the dessert buffet . . . fantastic – tons of choices and everything we tried was great. TIP: if you are going to either breakfast or lunch in the dining room you will need to enter the dining room on Deck 3 Husband likes to drink an Old Fashioned sometimes – he was not impressed with the drink he ordered in the Dining Room on Night 1 – tasted like it had carbonated water in it. However he was very happy with the Old Fashioned that Eugenio in the Pub prepared on Night 2. So if you are serious about your mixed drinks it may be safer to visit one of the bars on the promenade (Deck 5) rather than using the Dining Room bar service – they do not mind if you carry your drink from the promenade bars into the dining room (or even into Chops which we also did). And now a note on dress code . . . as far as we could tell there is no enforced dress code. I think this is wonderful as it allows everyone to enjoy their dining without worrying if they have the correct attire. On the other hand we were stopped on formal night and asked how we knew it was formal night because the woman asking did not see anything announcing it. And she was correct – typically on prior cruises the dining room servers have told the table that the next night is “formal night” and they make a big deal about it. However instead of that announcement on Night 1 they were advertising the champagne brunch with galley tour going on the next day. Also on the Day 2 Cruise Compass (which was in our cabin when we returned from dinner + show on Night 1) the “Dinner Dress Code” for Day 2 was labeled “Wear Your Best” rather than “Formal”. So it definitely seems like they are moving away from “Formal Night”. However there were extra photo areas and an opportunity for a photo with the Captain and some of the passengers dressed up – so it seems like it is Formal Night for those that want to participate. We hardly ever get the chance to dress up and husband had recently bought a new suit so we gussied ourselves up and enjoyed ourselves. We dressed up again for Chops on Night 4 and found two gentlemen at the table to our right in suits and ties while the gentleman to our left was in shorts. So again . . . don’t worry about a dress code. If you want to know ahead of time which night is “Formal Night” just call Royal Caribbean – which is what I did – I just had to tell them the ship and sailing date and they told me it would be Day 2 – our Day at Sea. We attended the 7pm Ice Skating show (we did have to depart dinner quickly and were lucky to find two empty seats as the show was starting). The show was great – it is amazing how they can fit 10 skaters on a small rink. The skaters were from many different countries and included two pairs – one from Canada and one from the U.S. We enjoyed their skating and costumes. The theme is “Under the Big Top”. We are not Night Owls so we did not attend the 10pm Welcome Aboard Show. Our tablemates said it started with Marcelo the Cruise Director and then the comedian – so it lasted over an hour. They said the comedian (Steve Smith) was really funny. Have to admit here that our Day at Sea was mainly about eating and relaxing on our balcony reading our books . . . I did venture up to the gym for a run around 9:45 – found an open treadmill – it did get busy and almost every treadmill had an occupant. The treadmills face a window at the front of the ship so it is a wonderful view while exercising (a little warm – wish I had brought my battery operated fan to clip onto the treadmill but I survived). That is all I did in the gym so I can not comment on the classes or other equipment. I did check out the locker room – lockers, showers and a sauna were available. Oh and they do provide sweat towels so no need to bring one from your cabin. After lunch we watched a little bit of the Art Auction – they did a “mystery” auction where they had 8 prints – the buyers didn’t really blindly bid on them – seemed more like a ploy to keep the excitement up – when they turned them all around they were by Thomas Kinkade (“the painter of light”) and they were offered up for $400 a piece – two people took advantage of the offer – I have no idea if that is a good price but I will say that later that night I was walking through and heard the auctioneer guy talking to a couple and he offered the same $400 price – so it seems it was not just an “auction special”. The evening of Day 2 was the last chance for open ice skating (7-11 pm) so I went down around 8:15 and got into the 8:30 session. It was a popular activity so they limited it to 20 minute sessions. The only time I go ice skating is on Royal Caribbean cruises so I enjoyed just going around in circles – there were tons of beginners so a bit of weaving and dodging was required but I liked it. At 10pm they were doing a “disco” session however I did not stay for that – if it had been at 9pm I’d have been all over it! The only other open ice skating session was on Day 1 (1-2:30) so if you know you want to go ice skating be sure to note the times as they are limited – there is no advance reservations – just show up during the open time and fill out the waiver and they punch your SeaPass Card and they give you a ticket for the next available session. TIP: Long pants and socks are required – a lot of the kids were in their PJ bottoms so those pass as “long pants” as do leggings which is what I had on. On Days 3 and 4 the ice gets covered and the area turns into the Laser Tag area – so that is why Ice Skating is only on a few days and Laser Tag is only on the other few days. Day 3 was Nassau – we are SCUBA divers so we booked a trip with Stuart Cove’s – it is the same operation that the ship uses but since we were in port until 9pm I booked separately to save a little money. If they ship were leaving at 6 I would have booked through the ship to guarantee that we would not miss the departure time. It is a bit of a walk to the meeting point – but not too bad. We walked down the pier, passed through the building and then past the shopping kiosks and the people offering their private tours (“take your pretty lady on a 4 wheel ride” we politely declined and kept walking). We then had to cross the street and then go left on the sidewalk to a concrete/tile pink fountain that serves as Stuart Cove’s (and some other companies) meeting point. There were some locals passing by selling bottles of cold water ($1 each) and a bag of fruit (not sure on price). We had filled our water bottles on the ship so we didn't buy anything. It is about a 40 minute ride to the dive boat – through downtown and by the airport and then by resorts. Our dives were great – “Twin Sisters” is a fantastic wreck dive – two wrecks right next to each other – and then we went to Mike’s Reef which was a nice reef with another wreck. Quick trip in their gift shop and then we were back on their bus at 4:30. The bus dropped us off where it picked us up – to get back into the cruise ship area we had to show our Photo ID’s and SeaPass cards - then to get back onto the ship they only needed our SeaPass cards. It was a race to get to dinner but we got there at 5:40 so all was good! The Day 3 Headliner Show was a rock concert by a band called “Private Stock” and I thoroughly enjoyed them – they did songs by Elton John, Billy Joel, Journey, AC/DC, Guns & Roses, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Bon Jovi and Van Halen. Really good performers – the female singer even changed outfits and could really sing like Stevie Nicks and Heart and Janis Joplin. We went to the 8pm show – they did a repeat at 10pm. We saw some families with kids leaving after about 10 minutes . . . so unless your kids love rock hits from the 70’s & 80’s it might be better to go watch the outdoor movie instead (Wonder Park and Dumbo were playing that night). Day 4 was Perfect Day at Coco Cay and wow they have done a lot with this little island! We were there in 2008 and 2012 before they added so much to the island. It is great that they have a pier now so there is no need to tender over anymore. We did the one tank SCUBA dive excursion and we were the only two that signed up so we had our own private excursion. We got off the ship a few minutes after 8 and walked down the pier – then a left over the bridge to “Chill Island” – to the pink first aid building – the back side of the building is the little “Diver’s Den”. They had our tanks out and ready for us and let us stow our bags in their little office. We then put on our gear (except for mask and fins) and took the short walk to the beach. The reef is a bit far off shore so to save us from swimming out there they had us ride on the rescue sled of a jet ski – it was so fun! William took the dive guide (Brandon) out first and then came back for my husband and then for me. We went down and spent 45 minutes cruising around the reef and slowly making our way back to shore. The reef is a bit sandy and the visibility was not great but they have LOTS of great little tropical fish – we saw a couple of small rays and angel fish, file fish, trigger fish, parrot fish etc. I like the small stuff: flamingo tongues, jaw fish, juvenile tangs, juvenile angels, anemones with shrimp and tiny crabs – there was plenty of small stuff to be found. I saw one larger creature – a small shark cruised through real fast – he was cute. After the dive they had rinse tanks and a hose and hangers and a rod to stow our gear – they said we could keep our stuff there all day which was great – it gave the gear a chance to dry a bit. We had so much fun in the water that we hopped back in just to snorkel and spent about an hour in the water – they have a “shipwreck” which is really just a concrete wall with some cannons on it – but it is a nice little artificial reef and there were some nice critters hanging out on it (including two anemones and a beautiful bright blue/yellow juvenile queen angel fish). TIP: if you are planning on snorkeling bring a long sleeve “rash guard”/”swim shirt” whatever you call it you NEED it – there were so many sunburned backs on the snorkelers. Board shorts for girls are not a bad idea either – protect those cheeks! Be sure to apply lots of sunscreen to the backs of legs and neck and tops of hands – all of those body parts are exposed to the sun while we’re happily looking down into the water. We had lunch at the Chill Grill – buffet of tacos, Cuban sandwiches, burgers, etc – I had a nice fried Portobello and cheese sandwich – yum. Dessert options were chocolate chip cookies, brownies (yum) and soft serve ice cream. Forgot to mention there was also salads and fruit but apparently we weren’t into healthy eating after all the swimming we did! After a bit of lounging under an umbrella on the plentiful lounge chairs on Chill Island we hopped back in the water for some more snorkeling – a nice big Southern Stingray swam by – so beautiful. Have to note that there were some jellyfish in the water – more in the afternoon than in the morning. They did not have long tentacles so they were avoidable – have to look where you are going. One did brush my leg and I have a few spots – they kind of look like little red mosquito bites. They itch on and off so I’ve been putting anti-itch cream on them. After snorkeling Husband sat back on a lounge chair and I walked over to just dip into the Oasis Lagoon Pool (it is fresh water) – I discovered that the reason why Chill Island is so quiet is because the party was at the Pool! The Swim Up Bar was hopping, fun music playing and everyone was having a great time. A bit of shade can be found in the pool where there are some trees and then under a bridge. Most of the pool area is in full sun and I knew I had already gotten more sun than my pale skin should get so I headed back under the umbrella on Chill Island. We decided to take the tram back to the ship to avoid walking with our gear – the tram is on the other side of the Chill Grill so it was a little bit of a walk but not bad. A perk was that the tram goes all the way around the Thrill Waterpark so it gave us a chance to see a bit of it. One unfortunate detail of the tram is that the one that can take you around the island is NOT the same one that can take you to the ship. So the island tram took us sort of near the beginning of the pier and then we had to get off and get into a line (wasn’t too long) to wait for the smaller trams that can go up to the ship. Still well worth it to not have to walk all the way up the pier. TIP: To get onto the 2nd tram you have to show your SeaPass card so have it ready – you then have to show it two more times – and then a final time getting onto the ship. The tram took us to the farthest entry point (front of the ship) to get back onto the ship which avoided a line of people getting back onto the ship at middle of the ship. TIP: when getting back onto the ship they do require bags to be x-rayed – if you do not have a bag with you they’ll let you go to the left to avoid the bag x-ray line. After some relaxing on our balcony it was time to shower up and head to our final dinner – we prepaid for Chops and we were not disappointed! I had the mushroom soup with a drizzle of truffle oil (so good!) and husband had some sort of giant piece of bacon which he raved about. We tried the Wedge Salad as well as a mixed green salad with “crispy goat cheese” (yum). Husband is a steak eater and he enjoyed the ribeye – I had a white fish called “branzino” which was served with sautéed spinach. We each also had baked potatoes and shared some sautéed mushrooms. Dessert was cheesecake and a chocolate lava cake with berries. The entire meal was fantastic – we asked to sit in the back of the restaurant (away from the Windjammer) and we enjoyed a peaceful slow-paced meal looking out at the sea as we headed back to Port Canaveral. No one likes packing up . . . so we got it over with as quickly as possible – bags had to be out in the hallway by 11pm – we saved just our clothes for the next day plus a carry on with our toiletries and items we didn’t want to put in the checked luggage. Morning came too fast – we were out of our cabin by 7:45 (required to be out by 8am) and we went to our final breakfast in the dining room. On the last day they only do menu service in the dining room (we could have also gone up to the Windjammer) – so we ordered eggs and French toast and lingered there until our # was called. To depart the ship they had us go to Deck 4 and then strangely through the dining room to go outside onto the deck – not sure why the regular exterior doors were closed – maybe to be able to have enough room to snake the line around? Since we were #30 we were toward the end of the numbers called and there was not a long line. Off the ship at 8:55am – booooo – I wanted to get right back on – oh to be one of those “back to back” cruisers that get to stay on board . . . maybe in retirement we’ll get to do that! After getting back into the cruise terminal we went down a ramp and then to an area where they were telling Canadians and people with U.S. birth certificates to go the right and U.S. Passport holders to go straight. Not sure where someone from a country other than Canada or the U.S. were supposed to go? The passport line was easy – they had us walk up to a screen that did facial recognition – pause for a few seconds and then the agent told us we were good to go – he never actually looked at our passports – the facial recognition must pull up our passport info? Kind of freaky but also very quick and we liked that! Next stop was the luggage area and we found our bags in the #30 area very easily – I think there were less than 15 bags in the area and 4 of them were ours because of all of our dive gear. We than walked through what seemed like a customs area – there were booths – but no customs agents in the booths – so we just kept walking and boom we were back at the elevator in the parking garage. Back to the real world . . . after a 3 hour drive it was also back to our beloved dogs so at least reuniting with them makes it ok that the vacation is over! Hope you enjoyed the rambling review . . . as I read it back it occurs to me that I ate A LOT of mushrooms on this cruise (pasta, soup, sandwich, etc) – just want to assure the reader that there were lots of other menu choices I just really like mushrooms! *forgot to mention our cabin - #6692 Aft Junior Suite. We LOVE Aft cabins – and we use our points from the Royal Caribbean card to pay for the upgrade from a standard room to a Junior Suite. The room size was great – the décor/carpet/tile is aged a bit – I do not believe the staterooms were part of the giant upgrade that was recently done on the Mariner. However the bed was very comfortable and the linens were soft. Junior Suites have a nice big closet as well as a bathtub – I took advantage of both. We did feel some vibration while falling asleep and waking up and we definitely could feel when we were docking – but nothing was so bad that our sleep was impacted. We did not experience any soot on our balcony. I did smell cigarette smoke one time – not sure if it was from a nearby balcony (smoking is not permitted on balconies but not all passengers are rule followers) or from the crew area below. Overall we love the Aft cabins for their quietness and we do not mind the long walk to the elevator at all . . . it helps us offset all of the extra calories we are taking in during the cruise! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Went on this cruise 7/22-7/26 and left Port Canaveral for Nassau and Coco Cay. Boarded ship with ease to very friendly welcome leading us to the ship. We were early boarders (11:00 or so) and were able to explore the ship but our room ... Read More
Went on this cruise 7/22-7/26 and left Port Canaveral for Nassau and Coco Cay. Boarded ship with ease to very friendly welcome leading us to the ship. We were early boarders (11:00 or so) and were able to explore the ship but our room would not be available until 1:00. We ended up on Deck 11 (main pool deck) to music and HUGE large screen t.v. playing videos, etc. All the bars were open and everyone was just so friendly. We found a restroom (very clean and nice) and changed into swim suits to sit in pool and await the room. Cruise staff did a welcome dance on the stage to about 4 songs. They were great! We headed to our room around 1:15. We had interior room on deck 8. Room slept 4; 2 beds and 2 upper wall beds that fold out There were only 3 of us. Obviously it's a cruise ship. Our room was just fine when it comes to size. It was clean with room to put clothing away (in necessary), and shower/tv/fridge. I was given a welcome on my floor as well with my last name. Food in dining room and buffet was delicious and generous. We purchased drink package and just used the sea pass card whenever ordering. Also linked our credit card to sea pass card in case we wanted to make any purchases in gift shops or specialty restaurants. Bahamas was beautiful and we strolled thru straw market. Yes, people constantly ask you to buy things but we didn't mind. Be respectful and they are the same way. Politely decline if you don't want the item. Had a few drinks and headed to Blue Lagoon Island Dolphin Encounter. Loved it. The island was so beautiful to lounge on beach rest of day. Food & beverages including alcohol available for purchase. My pictures are beautiful. Coco Cay was truly a perfect day. Yes, you do need to purchase water slide activities at about $70 or so. The rest of island is free. Free food, free drinks, free pool, free beaches. They drive you from one side to another if you need it. We had the most beautiful time and would go back in a minute. Plan to go again next year or sooner. Mariner is a beautiful ship with the nicest staff. Their entertainment (singers) were very talented. Absolutely nothing to complain about. My son used the gym as well. Nice equipment. Did not understand the review from April of the gentleman who was disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The service at dinner was great. And the visit to Magen’s bay was fantastic. Other than that, the weather was quite unpredictable, coco cay was not perfect, all excursions cancelled because of stormy weather, we were able to enjoy part ... Read More
The service at dinner was great. And the visit to Magen’s bay was fantastic. Other than that, the weather was quite unpredictable, coco cay was not perfect, all excursions cancelled because of stormy weather, we were able to enjoy part of the day. Be warned that you cannot do lap swim on the ship, the pool is very small, crowded and dirty. Jacuzzi was good. They put the smoking section near the swimming pool. You will smell quite a bit of ship exhaust in the sports area and the aqua theater. The surf rider if you don’t know what you are doing don’t ride the surf, you can get seriously injured. The food was okay, most of it was salty. The breakfast and lunch have little variety, if you have a balcony get it at mid or front section to avoid the exhaust. We did not do the tour on st marten , the beach there are many scammers trying to get you pay fit chair and umbrella. It is not a bad cruise, we had plenty of bad luck, it is definitely one of the worst I had gone, the cabin lock did not work at first Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
EMBARKATION-Very organized, quick, and easy DEBARKATION-Easy and well explained the night before and the day of leaving SHIP-Exceptional, elevators can be a problem on Embarkation and Debarkation,also after the popular shows. Best ... Read More
EMBARKATION-Very organized, quick, and easy DEBARKATION-Easy and well explained the night before and the day of leaving SHIP-Exceptional, elevators can be a problem on Embarkation and Debarkation,also after the popular shows. Best to take stairs, if you are able. Staterooms are very adequate for three people, four people would be tight. Bathrooms are definitely a one person only. Definitely bring your own shampoo and conditioner (none provided). Our room 12581 & 12580 were well appointed and very quiet. Water slide lines can get long, but they move quickly and they are well worth the wait. The Abyss, dry slide, is fun, but not as challenging or scary as they make it sound. Many of the activities are well supervised and cover everyone’s choices from small children to adults. SPECIALTY RESTAURANTS- 150 North Central, Chops Grille, and Izumi Hibachi are amazing. Service was outstanding and menu choices covered anyone’s pallet from meat to vegetarian. Beef choices was excellent and very good quality. Seafood was very tender, large portions and the shrimp was large and meaty. AMERICAN ICON GRILL DINING ROOM-Service was excellent and main entree choices was excellent. EXCURSIONS-Perfect Day at CocoCay for our day was cut short due to severe storms. While we were able to go on the slides before the storms rolled in, were a lot of fun and yes, the lines do get very long. If there is lightning within 10 miles of the island all water slides get shut down. They do reopen when they get the “all clear” signal. Unfortunately their was such a severe storm that hit the island they shut down the island and very efficiently had everyone get back on the ship. Royal Caribbean is such a high class ship they refunded everyone’s money if they paid for the Thrillpark portion of the island. St. Thomas-We had seen the town and did shopping on pervious cruises, so we opted for the St. John On Your Own. DO NOT , I repeat DO NOT. Do this tour!! This was totally misrepresented in the excursion detail. It showed and explained that you would be dropped off at a beach and be picked up at a designated time to get back to the ship. WRONG! We were dropped off at a pier and told if you want a beach you had to walk three miles one way in very unsafe conditions. Dirt, rocks, and stones on a man made path. Nobody knew that we went this way and we were all in bathing suits and flip flops. Finally made it to Honeymoon Beach, no chairs, no drinking water, and nothing around. Please do not do this tour especially if you have younger children. St. Maarten- we chose the Power Boat tour with lunch. Well worth the money and excellent narration of the island and the many different areas. Overall this was more than all of us ever expected. Looking forward to going on another Royal Caribbean cruise in two years. Have to save money for the newer ship in 2021. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Everything restaurant I visited was great. I found a lot of free food restaurants. I loved the Bars and Central Park. The free performances were awesome. Making the free reservations to be closer to the stage was nice. The Rising ... Read More
Everything restaurant I visited was great. I found a lot of free food restaurants. I loved the Bars and Central Park. The free performances were awesome. Making the free reservations to be closer to the stage was nice. The Rising Tide Bar was fun. But make sure you use the restroom before time for it to rise because it will rise without you. So your spouse might be traveling without you on board. Remember you can always catch it in Central Park if that happens to you. Also if you want a lounge chair near which ever pool you pick be there very early. Guest will put a towel on 15 chairs even if their friends and family aren't there yet. Some people are very inconsiderate. This is my second cruise on Royal Caribbean, but I have cruised on another cruise line about 8 times. I will be cruising again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose this short cruise from Port Canaveral because a friend of mine was heading down there for job training, and we wanted a quick look at the newly renovated Coco Cay island. I'll break down my review into several parts: The ship, ... Read More
I chose this short cruise from Port Canaveral because a friend of mine was heading down there for job training, and we wanted a quick look at the newly renovated Coco Cay island. I'll break down my review into several parts: The ship, the cabin and steward, the food, the bars and service, and Coco Cay itself. We also went to Nassau but I think Nassau is terrible so I won't let that be part of my review. THE SHIP: As most of you know it's newly renovated and the Mariner now has some new features like an escape room, laser tag, the Bamboo room, etc. It's a beautiful ship with a wonderful Royal Promenade where I honestly spent too much time in the bars, haha! My friend and I did the escape room and liked that alot, I think it's worth the extra cost of about $20 per person. I also liked how the ship didn't feel too huge, and you got to see the same people wandering around regularly. I like to interact with folks so getting to know the people on even a short cruise for me is nice. THE CABIN AND STEWARD: We had an interior cabin on the 7th floor. I don't think I'll do that again, not because the cabin was bad, but because I don't think it every really got cool enough for my tastes, and at night in the absolutely darkness it feels like I'm in a prison cell. Some people however, love this cool dark atmosphere so if you enjoy such a thing, you do you. I didn't care for it after sailing on balcony's previously, and I missed that connection with the outdoors and light. However the price was right for a July sailing because otherwise the summer makes balcony travel nigh-unaffordable. Our steward, Ada, was honestly average. She did her job cleaning the room, she brought me extra pillows when I asked for them. Other than that, we barely saw her which was fine. My knock on her was the towel animals. We only got one towel animal on a 3-night sailing. This was my friend's first cruise, and that's the sort of thing I was wowed by on my first cruise. I feel like he got screwed out of an experience there and thus I was unhappy about that. THE FOOD: If I'm being honest, it was just okay. That's about it. I can't say the food was amazing or bad. It was just there, because we ate in the MDR every night, and also in the buffet during the day. I understand specialty dining is better, but I'm already paying a large amount of money just to cruise, I don't think I should have to pay extra to get good food too. I think we should pay extra to get EXCELLENT food. I'm fine with that. I'm not fine with paying to get okay food and having to pay money to get good or better. I have been on Norwegian and Carnival and I would say Royal Caribbean is probably 2nd in terms of complimentary food behind Carnival and ahead of Norwegian. Again, this is about complimentary food only, we didn't do the specialty dining for a 3 night cruise. THE BARS: I spend most of my time drinking in the Promenade so I'll review those bars. The Bamboo room is nice and never very crowded with really unique drinks. I do wish they would turn up the lights a little in there, because it's honestly too dark in my mind to hang out there forever. The Barnacle and barrel is nice as well, not very crowded, and a good table setup that extends out into the promenade itself without getting you in the way of the crowds going by. Donald at the bar was very good and remembered my name and my drink. He also made sure we had table service when we moved from the bar to sit down. My only knock on the place is that some of the chairs can be a little small if you've got bigger hips. Just be away of that and choose the chairs without the arms. Playmakers was my go-to bar after the first night, and it was because of the bartenders and the TV selection. The British Open was going on, so I could watch the golf, along with other cool sports going on, while getting the full bar experience. My two bartenders were Sasa and Al, both from the Phillipines. Al was on his 5th contract, Sasa was on his 16th. They remembered my name, remember my favorite drink, and would give me new ones repeatedly without having to ask for my card information over and over. They just knew it, and had it down pat. They were friendly, asked me questions, and talked about their lives on board and back home. Great guys, and I feel like they were the highlight of my trip. COCO CAY: The island is crazy. It's a theme park in the Caribbean, which I've never seen before. I'd love to go back when I was feeling better, however I spent most of the day in Captain Jacks nursing myself back to life after my first two days of cruising. The people at Captain Jacks were amazing, and the place was probably the coolest spot I could find on the island. Jimmy the guitar player basically played requests all day. He's good and interacts with the crowd. Bar service is again phenomal. They bring you drinks and if you're at a table you barely have to get up except to use the restrooms, which are right there. It was the perfect relaxation spot while my friend went running around to the water park. OVERALL: Overall I go on Cruises for the 5 things I listed, and I give them all stars when I do a review. You either get a star or you don't. I gave this cruise 3 stars because it was a great cruise, but it fell short in two of the areas, which was the food and the cabin. That's okay though because I would take another 3 star cruise any day of the week, and while this was a great cruise, I think they can do some of these things better and it will be an excellent cruise. I suggest going and trying out the Mariner of the Seas to see what you think! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise specifically because it had childcare service for our two year old toddler. We are a family of four with 2 kids a nine year old and the toddler. The itinerary was ok as we have been to the Caribbean many times but ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically because it had childcare service for our two year old toddler. We are a family of four with 2 kids a nine year old and the toddler. The itinerary was ok as we have been to the Caribbean many times but not to Labadee and we’re eager to explore San Juan. The ship is beautiful and embarkation was a breeze. The ship is tastefully decorated and a welcome relief from the garish decor of the Carnival ships. There is lots to do and we took advantage of all of it - the pools, slides, carousel and the zip line. We chose a boardwalk view cabin to save on cost. The room was small but had good storage. The bathroom was small but adequate. The balcony is teensy. There was a partial ocean view. We did not partake in much of the entertainment but what we did see was top notch. The bars were all very good but beware of high drink prices - think $13 Mojitos. Basic beers are $8 plus the high tips just makes the drinks even more expensive. We did not buy the drink packages and our final tab confirms we did not drink enough to justify it. We like to stay in shape and the fitness center was well equipped but sometimes very crowded. There is access to a very nice jogging track. I like to use the sauna to detox and relax but there is none - except in the spa for a fee. :-( The food was hit or miss. I had high expectations with RCL but was frankly disappointed. The Windjammer was fine good choices and mostly tasty but the food in the main dining room consisted of over cooked seafood or grisly steaks. My wife, a vegetarian was lacking in choice as there we nearly none. Desserts were blah. Service was spotty as well. The cabin steward was ok but we received towel animals only two nights where on Carnival it’s every night. My kids get a kick out of it. In the main dining room we chose my time dining due to the lack of information on the babysitting service prior to sailing.. I didn’t realize My Time meant waiting 30-45 minutes for a table! All this while paying for child care. :-( Ports: LABADEE We loved Labadee so many activities and very nice. Wish we were provided a list of activities or a map beforehand we could have planned it better. The zip line looked real fun. SAN JUAN We didn’t go due to protesters in San Juan. i understand the reasons for safety sake, but no alternative ports offered as well as no credits. Not good customer care if you ask me. ST MARTIN We took an independent excursion to the beach it was just ok. The island is very dry right now and recovering from the hurricane. PROS: Our kids loved the ship my toddler especially loved the carousel. The camps and baby services were excellent. The pools and amenities were really good, lots to do. Entertainment was top notch. Good and varied bars. CONS: Average food especially in the MDR. High drink prices, and the TIPS. Oh my you are now paying $58 per cabin for a family of 4 PER DAY! Plus drink tips! Yikes. I also felt that RCL should have offered something for the loss of one port. We got nothing. Wait times in the MDR were ridiculous. Would I sail RCL again? Probably not, at least for a while. They charge a premium over the other lines such as Carnival and NCL, presumably for better food and service. But the gap is closed and I don’t see the need to spend the extra $$. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click