8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
First & last Cruise! Our experience was so poor 9/24/18 that they offered us a free cruise at the end & we declined! There is not one corner of this ship that is peaceful. Blaring music & shouting announcements in every inch of ... Read More
First & last Cruise! Our experience was so poor 9/24/18 that they offered us a free cruise at the end & we declined! There is not one corner of this ship that is peaceful. Blaring music & shouting announcements in every inch of the ship. Very little control over public smoking, Just passing through the casino or outer decks will make you smell like an ashtray. Excessively loud non essential announcement speakers outside the bedroom early morning & late night with an annoying shouting cruise director. Very loud noisy dirty moldy rooms made it impossible to sleep. The buffet style Windjammer food was extremely poor & dirty. Destination coco cay island was under construction packed & provided very little to see or do. As you would guess every little thing is quite expensive. If you want a loud dirty overcrowded smokey drunken booze cruise this may yet be for you. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was the first cruise that I have absolutely no complaints whatsoever. The staff was top notch. The ship was beautiful and clean. The variety of entertainment was exceptional. We had a junior suite and it was so large we didnt know ... Read More
This was the first cruise that I have absolutely no complaints whatsoever. The staff was top notch. The ship was beautiful and clean. The variety of entertainment was exceptional. We had a junior suite and it was so large we didnt know what to do with ourselves. We did a land and sea tour in Nassau that I highly recommend. We just hung at the beach st Coco Cay which I also reccomend. The casino is a little tight as most casinos at sea are. The ice show was fabulous. I was do impressed that they brought in acts from previous years of Americas got Talent. The sky pad area has hammocks and swings and things to climb on which is great for children if all ages. The water slides look crazy, too crazy for me but very impressive. The singers and dancers weren't quite as good as other ships but still enjoyed them. The cruise director is the absolute best. Amazing vacation. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Security & Check-in: The process was flawless, we brought a bottle of wine each and the security lady in Miami didn't even take out of the bag to check them. It took us less than 30 minutes for security, check-in, and boarding, ... Read More
Security & Check-in: The process was flawless, we brought a bottle of wine each and the security lady in Miami didn't even take out of the bag to check them. It took us less than 30 minutes for security, check-in, and boarding, this was around 1:30 pm. Ship: The ship looks amazing, they did a splendid job with the renovation in May, the refresh was very much needed after seeing some of the old photos. Pools: All beautiful, we spent the time in the Solarium and loved how the lifeguards were on point kicking out children from the adult area. They did a great job separating the Flowrider and slides from the main pool that way the extra guests waiting on the slides are in the back of the ship away from the pool. Even on Sea Day, the main pool didn't seem overcrowded. Towels: You can pick up towels at the pool area and they scan your Sea Pass every time, make sure you return them and your card is scanned again if not they will charge you $25 per towel. The last day I had a letter at my door saying I didn't return the towels and had until 10 pm, I went right to Guest Services and they took care of it. Windjammer: No complaints from Windjammer, always great food and the staff was always making sure items are clean and dirty plates are picked up. The addition of wash stations at the entrance was well needed. Main Dining Room: We were on the 4 day Bahamas Cruise in September of 2018, the food in the Main Dining room was just OK, we were never wow’d, except for the French Onion soup, some members of our table ordered it every night! The food was good overall but not as good as you would recently find on a Carnival cruise. The service was excellent! Royal Theater: We did not see any of the main shows in the Royal Theater, they had 3 and once we read the description of them it never caught our attention. The second night they had Gallery of Dreams (a show based on the art from Mozart). The third night they had an International Tenor, Darryl J. Williams that apparently is well known on Broadway. The fourth night they had a comedian juggler from the UK, Pete Matthews. Maybe we should’ve giving them a chance but honestly, it was disappointing. Many of the other ships (including other RC) has musicals or other types of high beat shows, this part of the review is disappointing. We saw both of the adult comedy shows and those were great. The theater itself is beautiful and it doesn't feel that you’re in a cruise ship theater. Casino: It had all the games, the only complaint I have is that it's a small casino for a ship that size, it always seemed packed in there. Studio B: Ice shows were cute but cheesy. The adult only Crazy Quest scavenger hunt is a MUST, we had an amazing time during that event! Don't miss it! Promenade: Beautiful and the shopping deals were good, look at your Daily Compass to get the free tasting of liquor. Cafe Promenade: Our go-to for snacks and pizza, especially late night, great place and friendly staff. Ellington's Night Club: Great music and friendly waiters, we asked for a big bottle of water thinking it would be around $10 and to our surprise, it was only $5.44, Evian! After knowing that we would buy a bottle from the club every night. Another surprise was the beer buckets, we got persuade into getting the Corona bucket, 4 beers and the 5th one free and expected to be more than $40, well it came out to be $29 per bucket, after knowing that and the daily drink specials we were relieved that we did not purchase the drink package, that's us since we don't drink that much! LGBT Friendly: Every day on the Compass they had an LGBTQ Get Together listed. The staff seemed to be nice and friendly to everyone, regardless of anything, overall very happy with the staff. Nassau: After reading all the Criminal Activity warnings and after seeing how expensive everything is at Atlantis we decided to stay on the ship and make it a pool day, best idea ever. We had a great time. Coco Cay: Was not a big fan of the Tender Boats. Too much time wasted. Can't wait for the pier to open next year and the other attractions. The beach was very nice and the BBQ lunch was great too, overall a good day. Debarkation: We did the self-assist departure and they were supposed to call numbers but they were not following that, my recommendation is to have breakfast in the main dining room then wait by Boleros or Schooner until the line dies down. What was holding the line was customs inside the pier in Miami and not the staff on the ship. Overall very happy with the cruise and cannot wait to go on my next one! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My boyfriend and I went on the Mariner this past week. It was our 5th cruise together, 4th with RC in the last 2 years. We have sailed previously on the Disney Wonder, Majesty of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, and Freedom of the Seas. ... Read More
My boyfriend and I went on the Mariner this past week. It was our 5th cruise together, 4th with RC in the last 2 years. We have sailed previously on the Disney Wonder, Majesty of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, and Freedom of the Seas. Embarkation was very smooth. This was my first time sailing out of Miami and it went better than expected. I think we were on the ship within 20 minutes of arriving at port. We got there around 11:30. Rooms weren't ready until 1. We got a great deal on an ocean view balcony guarantee as we are Florida residents and were given a spacious ocean view balcony. The room was in great condition. Furnishings were worn but still good. It was my first time with an ocean view balcony and I absolutely loved it. The balcony was the perfect size, much larger than I expected. We were close to a service elevator/stairwell/closet and I was a little concerned we would hear a lot of noise from it. I was pleasantly surprised that we rarely had troubles with noise, even with a room next door to an infant. We have always enjoyed watching movies in our cabin on past cruises and were disappointed not to see any dreamworks movies. We went to windjammer for breakfast and lunch most days. The food was average, everything from the carving station was very dry. Not a whole lot of variety from day to day. The seating areas were busy, so I would recommend eating early meals if you can. We got pizza from cafe promenade which was always great, but there was almost always a line of 5+ people regardless of the time of day. We got nachos from Playmakers which were good but cost extra. We went to Chops for lunch on the final day. The steak was fantastic but the gruyere tater tots were under seasoned. The food in the main dining room was always good. Our server was Alili and she was excellent. Very knowledgeable and passionate. I would highly recommend requesting her. We really enjoyed the solarium for relaxing by the pool without being bothered by noisy kids. There are an abundance of deck chairs around the upper decks, so while you may not be able to get a seat right by the pool, you can at least work on your tan nearby. They played movies out by the pool at night and we found that sitting up on deck 12 offered a better view of the screen as there are so many obstructions with the hot tubs on 11. I would be cautious up there at night though as we noticed people around us smoking cigarettes and marijuana. I can't fault the crew really as we never reported it. We spent a lot of our time in the casino playing slots. We didn't win anything overall but we had fun. I do wish they'd have more space to give non smokers room to breathe, but it's a smaller ship so it's understandable. We stayed on the ship in Nassau for the most part as we really don't care for that port. We went out for maybe 45 minutes and were so irritated with being heckled by locals that we just went back to the ship. The ship was in Nassau from like 7am-midnight which would be appealing to people who want to go to clubs, but we didn't care for it. The prices of drinks were comparable to those on the ship and we felt much safer on the ship. We went to South Beach on CocoCay for a couple hours and went back to the ship. I can't wait for the renovations to be finished so the ship can dock there. The beach was nice but we did overhear that a few people were stung by jellyfish. I really enjoyed the pool area on the ship while everyone was out on their excursions. We woke up early on the day at sea to try out the water slides and my boyfriend tried the flow rider. The water slides were pretty slow, so I didn't go more than once. My boyfriend loved the flow rider. We played mini golf and would definitely suggest heading up there if you're looking to get away from crowds. There were only a handful of people on that part of the ship and there was plenty of seating. We enjoyed the ice show but would definitely suggest getting their early to get a good seat. Doors open 30 minutes prior to the show and we got there 15 minutes before and got 2 of the last seats. We did self assist departure as we prefer to beat the crowd and were on our shuttle to our car 25 minutes after leaving the room. Overall I think this was my favorite cruise with Royal Caribbean so far. I would absolutely recommend it. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this ship after reading other reviews and know it had be freshly redone. Being our first cruise I wanted a short trip and they were offering a good deal when I booked this of 50% off deposit and $150 on board credit. We used the ... Read More
We chose this ship after reading other reviews and know it had be freshly redone. Being our first cruise I wanted a short trip and they were offering a good deal when I booked this of 50% off deposit and $150 on board credit. We used the credit to buy the soda and voom package for my wife and the soda package for me. We also purchased the Essential Nassau package. Embarkation went very fast we were on the ship by 12:30pm and were able to hit the windjammer and eat. We then went to our cabin 6314 which was a balcony room. We put our suitcases in the room and went and explored the ship. The food in the windjammer was good what you would expect in a buffet. The next morning our first stop was Cococay. We loved it here they are still using tenders but that will stop once the pier/dock is done. We purchased the all day snorkeling and seen many beautiful fish, stingrays, and even a sea turtle. One of the couples we made friends with during the cruise said they saw a manta ray. We rented an umbrella and stayed at the beach nearest the ship which was were the snorkeling beach was and did not get as crowded during the day as I had imagined. They offered the coconut drink but in a glass and not in the coconut as I had seen in advertisements they did have a drink in a hollowed out pineapple though it was $12 without the drink package and $9 with it then free refills with drink package. The bbq lunch was good we had a suckling pig, ribs, and pulled pork. There was corn on the cob and other sides as well. After returning to the ship we went to the Cafe on the promenade and got some pizza. It was good. We listened to the live music they had and they even got a conga line going. We ate in the windjammer as we did not want to dress up for the dining room. The next day we were in Nassau we were told to follow the group that were going to Atlantis and we would see a guy holding up a sign for Essential Nassau. We never seen the guy and they stopped us at the covered walkway and took us all the way back to the ship to be the last ones in our group all though we were the first. This put us squished in the back like sardines. We were not the only ones another couple we befriended because they were in the same situation said they did not see the guy either. The tour was good though our guide William was very good and kept us entertained and informed. We seen everything you would want to see in a tour of Nassau from the Rum cake factory to the Distillery to the forts and the Queen's staircase. We visited Frankie gone bananas for lunch it was very good. We had some conch fritters and I had the Seafood Platter and my wife had the jerk chicken. Both were very good. We walked around downtown for a few minutes but decided we would get back on the boat. That night we went to the main dining room for the first time and was glad we did. I had the Greek salad, rack of lamb and the tress leches cake. My wife had a Caesar salad, tiger shrimp and the cherry jubilee. Our waiter Rowan was awesome he was very polite and professional making good suggestions on food and drink. We went back to the promenade that night for the 80's party and realized it was in the star lounge and we headed that way but there was a ton of people so we just hung out at the cafe again listening to the music there and snacking on some of the cheese they had to offer. We are ready for a next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
The staff were great despite the issues getting out of the Port of Miami. Slightly longer and more cumbersome check in process than what we have been accustomed to. We were used to the latest and largest ships of the Royal Carribean ... Read More
The staff were great despite the issues getting out of the Port of Miami. Slightly longer and more cumbersome check in process than what we have been accustomed to. We were used to the latest and largest ships of the Royal Carribean fleet, but we found ourselves enjoying the intimacy and quieter small ship. Dining room staff and food were excellent as always, and the ship's matchmaking for our fellow diners was excellent. Breakfasts as well were also an enjoyable way to start the day. Really enjoyed the meals and friendship we had built. Cabin stewards were excellent as always. Windjammer was jammed packed and bursting in the first few hours of embarking. Nightly entertainment was up to par for what we expect from Royal Carribean, the comedians were fantastic. The (new?) gym/fitness centre was very well equipped for a smaller ship, nice steam room in the changeroom. Ports were kinda boring, but we expected the sleepy beach ports in advance, so no complaints. If the cabins are to be refurbished anytime in the future, this ship will remain one of our favorites for many years to come. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We're freshly-back from a 4-night Bahamas cruise that I would normally rate as average aside from one crew member's attitude nudging things lower. Previously, we have sailed on NCL and Princess cruises with a similar itinerary out of ... Read More
We're freshly-back from a 4-night Bahamas cruise that I would normally rate as average aside from one crew member's attitude nudging things lower. Previously, we have sailed on NCL and Princess cruises with a similar itinerary out of Miami. Aside from the newness of Mariner OTS, we've had more positive experiences on those other lines as a couple in their late 30s not traveling with children. We traveled in cabin 1260 which is a Grand Suite. The cabin itself is very nice, but we would really be just as happy in a window or even inside cabin. We don't make use of the balcony, and while the large bathroom and bathtub is nice, we mostly booked the suite to get the perks. One of the perks, priority boarding, was obliterated by a computer malfunction which required the use of hand-written boarding passes causing a major backup in the terminal. The boat didn't set sail until around 11:30PM due to the glitch. Nevertheless, we were still able to make use of all onboard amenities and the itinerary was only minimally affected. Although it's not our aim to avoid the MDR, we usually rely heavily on specialty dining. On this cruise, we ended up in specialty dining each night. Our first meal was at Jamie's Italian which we decided to try only because they were offering 35% off as a promotion. Despite this, the restaurant was nearly empty. At no point during our meal were more than 4 tables occupied. A sandwich board outside the restaurant says something to the effect of "We're all about beautifully-sourced ingredients." While my wife's lamb chops were fantastic and my crab pasta was also very fresh tasting and delicious, the side of "Seasonal Greens" was unmistakably frozen broccoli. This is a menu item and was not a special request. The boat was docked in Miami for over 12 hours. In all that time, they couldn't procure one single fresh vegetable for this restaurant? We had a quick lunch in the Windjammer twice and it's nothing to write home about. The buffet is pretty basic with hamburgers, hotdogs, and tacos taking up a large amount of space. There was a carving station for lunch as well as an area for comfort foods and some indian and asian choices. Our first port of call was Nassau Bahamas. We arrived late due to the computer problems in Miami the previous day. This was actually great because it meant we could sleep in. A large reason we booked this ship/itinerary was this stop. My wife loves the lazy river that connects to the water slides at the Atlantis Aquaventure park. We've been to Atlantis before and know how it's supposed to work. Upon arriving at Atlantis and getting on the lazy river, the access to the Power Tower (water slides) from the lazy river was blocked off. This attraction alone was the sole reason for booking this $149/pp excursion. We were at Atlantis for only 45 minutes before deciding to take a taxi back to the ship. Later that evening in the Suite Lounge, I thought to mention the Aquaventure mishap to the concierge as it's not a cheap excursion and our only reason for booking it was not fully operational. I wasn't necessarily looking for a refund, but he's the one that suggested a partial refund may be possible. Our concierge took notes on the matter and said he would pass it to the shore excursions manager who was still ashore at that particular time. Eventually, I got on the phone with the Shore Excursions Manager about the situation. She said that she spoke to the tour operator and they said all attractions were working on that day. Whoever the tour operator is, they're full of crap because not only was the entire Power Tower closed, but at least one of the waterslides on the Mayan Temple was also closed while we were there. I suggested to the Shorex Manager that either I'm lying to her or the tour operator is lying to her. She twice refused to say that I was a liar, but at the same time would not acknowledge my complaint or grant any sort of refund. This interaction right here is the #1 reason I probably wouldn't sail RCL again. I wasn't seeking a refund to begin with, but the incredulousness of this crew member really soured my impression of this already lacklustre cruise. I realize that this being my first RCL cruise, they don't know me from a hole in the wall. However, as an RCL stockholder and suite guest, the least they could do is acknowledge my complaint. If they offered something as simple as a complimentary meal in Chops, a gesture that costs them next to nothing, it would really have gone a long way. Instead, one incredibly poor customer service incident ends up costing the line countless dollars in repeat business and lots of eyeballs reading this review. That night we ate in Izumi which we pre-booked online. Compared to the other hibachi restaurants on cruise ships we've been to, Izumi is easily several notches above. The chefs are loud and very entertaining. You can customize your meal to your wishes and the quality of the meats and seafood is outstanding. Izumi was so good that, upon seeing the MDR menu for the following night, we decided to dine at Izumi a second time. I feel that I should also mention the Bamboo Room. I am a big fan of tiki drinks and this new venue is fantastic. The bar staff is wonderful and the vibe inside the Bamboo Room is great. One thing I noticed and appreciated about RCL is that many of the bars on board were distinct in not only their appearance, but also the drinks offered on each menu. I feel that the Bamboo Room took this a step further by not even stocking ingredients for some drinks found elsewhere on the ship, but also not relying on pre-made mixes from cartons that have become common across all lines. The Bamboo Room gets a huge thumbs-up from me, and I wish more lines would offer something like this. For our 2nd port stop at CocoCay, we booked an all-day beach bed rental. My wife is more into going the beach than I am. The beach beds are totally worth the $150 cost which covers up to 4 people. It's in a relatively quiet area, they bring food to you, the bed can provide lots of shade from the sun, you get 4 large bottles of water, and the use of two float mats. If I have to endure a beach day, this is the only way to do it in my opinion. On the last day of our cruise, a sea day, we had dinner at Chops. It's your basic cruise ship steakhouse. One note is that they were apparently out of ribeyes during the entire cruise. This is what my wife prefers to order, so that's a disappointment. I don't understand how a ship can dock in Miami, a metropolitan city in the United States, and somehow not be able to get a common cut of steak on board. Even in the port of Nassau this could have been accomplished if somebody cared enough. I chose the 9 oz filet ordered rare which was delicious and cooked to perfection. My wife had to opt for the lamb chops since ribeye was unavailable. She ordered medium rare, but they came out more rare than my steak. The situation was handled quickly and the chops came out cooked properly after a trip back to the kitchen. Our dinner took about 2 hours from start to finish, but the timing seemed appropriate. However, the table right next to us finished their meal within 15 minutes of us sitting down. Their table was left unclean the entire time we were there. We have experienced this in specialty restaurants on other lines, but I don't understand how this has become acceptable. Even in a Chili's on land I would expect a table to be bussed and reset within five minutes of a party leaving. Overall, this trip was mostly what is expected of an inexpensive 3-4 day Bahamas cruise. One standout was the Bamboo Room because it's a unique concept not yet seen on other lines. Almost everything else is cookie-cutter among the other mainstream lines and it really comes down to where your loyalty lies. If you're looking for a this type of cruise as a first-timer, I would say Mariner of the Seas is probably the nicest ship with this itinerary of the main cruise lines. The price is in line with the other majors and the recent refurbishment puts Mariner over the top. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I first sailed on this ship some 10 years ago and as it has now returned to Florida waters from Asia, I decided to sail onboard her again and see the improvements (or otherwise) that have been made during and since her sailings in Asia. I ... Read More
I first sailed on this ship some 10 years ago and as it has now returned to Florida waters from Asia, I decided to sail onboard her again and see the improvements (or otherwise) that have been made during and since her sailings in Asia. I sailed back-to-back from 3-7 September (4 nights) and 7-10 September (3 nights). The Mainer is a fine ship. The Asian flavor is still very much evident both in the décor and themes (think Bamboo Room). On the first 3 night cruise, we visited Cocoa Cay (RCCL’s private island) and Nassau (Bahamas) and we visited exactly the same ports on the 4 night cruise. It occurs to me that if the Captain can make this whole itinerary in 3 nights, I can only assume that the extra day at sea (on the 4 night cruise) was to either bring the ship back to a normal 7-day turn around or in the hope that guests would spend a lot more money onboard during the additional sea day. The crew and the staff were all pleasant, friendly and helpful. There is no Coastal Kitchen on this ship so I ate in the main dining room and the Windjammer. Our waiter in MDR was terrific. He even arranged for me to be served an authentic Indian curry meal with all the trimmings. Excellent service. The Wind Jammer always offers a huge selection of food, is nicely arranged, looks appetizing and certainly is delicious. This ship does have some new entertainments. There is a Laser Tag (Battle for Planet Z) in Studio B. Also new, is a Sky Pad on Deck 13. I didn’t try any of these but spoke to many people who did and the overall opinion was “excellent” “loved it” “best ever experience” etc., etc., so I guess these were a huge hit with the guests. The Puzzle Break Center “The Observatorium” was also very entertaining and difficult enough to stretch your powers of observation and logic. This was thoroughly enjoyable. The bars are conveniently situated and there is always a waiter on hand. The pools were always clean and deck patrol was very visible. In all, this was a nice trip and if you have children, there is definitely much for them to do. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
...full speed ahead to the profits. Hopefully this will not be RCCL moto on her other ships it is on the Mariner! We had sailed on it in May before it went into dry dock for renovations and had a wonderful experience. But the ... Read More
...full speed ahead to the profits. Hopefully this will not be RCCL moto on her other ships it is on the Mariner! We had sailed on it in May before it went into dry dock for renovations and had a wonderful experience. But the renovations destroyed the ship causing the ship to be overcrowded and a mess !! Gone are the whirlpool in the spa,the deli in the solarium, adults only in the solarium and space to move around in the dining room. The dining room has become a sea of oversized white chairs with very little space to walk between them. Welcome to the world of being sardines! Is there anything positive? Yes, the staff still gives superb service, but the overall ship makes us to recommend save your money and find another ship. RCCL has ruined a ship that was very enjoyable to one to put on your list to avoid!!! Read Less
Mariner of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.5
Dining 5.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.5 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.3
Family 4.5 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.5 3.6
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 5.0 4.0
Rates N/A 4.3

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