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My wife and I had such a great time on our first cruise with Royal Caribbean, and we couldn't wait for another. So, 1 year after I proposed, we went on another cruise for the honeymoon. Embarkation We flew into Miami the night before and stayed at Doral Inn & Suites (do not recommend, we'll leave it at that). Took an Uber to the port. The port was way more hectic than Tampa, and the Uber driver didn't know where to go. Luckily, I recognized that big beautiful baby Mariner and told the driver to go towards it. -OBSTACLE- The wife accidentally brought her expired passport. After her parents emailed a copy of her birth certificate, we were allowed to board. A picture of the up-to-date passport would not suffice. If you don't have your passport, they need to see a birth certificate. Embarkation continued Once we had our documents in orders, it was pretty quick and easy to board. We arrived at port around noon and were on the ship before 2pm (with an hour passport delay). Ship I was very excited to explore the ship since I knew it was recently refurbished. The Mariner was stunning. While we were ported in Nassau next to a Disney ship, a Carnival ship, and an older Royal ship, our ship was the star. She was the biggest and most beautiful. I could definitely feel the difference being on this ship compared to the Rhapsody of the Seas, but the ship still never felt crowded. Cabin We had a balcony room. We don't expect sprawling room in a cruise ship room. The size was as expected. The balcony was great to have, and it was big enough to have a couple friends over and enjoy drinks as we left port. Everything in the cabin worked fine. Water pressure was good, water was hot, etc. Dining As always, Chops was amazing. We had a package for 3 nights of specialty dining, and 2/3 were spent at Chops. Fresh, great quality, and great service. We had Italian the other night, which was worth trying. We ate in the main dining room the last night, which we were actually a little disappointed about - the service was slow. Maybe it was a busy night, or maybe we were at an awkward, forgotten about table since we were by the kitchen door. For breakfast and lunch we ate at the Windjammer. The Windjammer is always good to me for lunch - good variety and quality. It seems like Royal Caribbean has the same breakfast on every cruise at the Windjammer - need some breakfast variety. Entertainment & Activities The Mariner has plenty to do on it. The Flow rider, slides, pools. We were usually able to find room in a pool or jacuzzi somewhere on the ship. There's a scavenger hunt type game on one night that's geared towards adults - you definitely don't wanna miss that. It gets wild during and after. There was a magic show that opened up with this brilliant musical performance with people dancing and singing popular Queen songs - very entertaining and well done. Service This was only my second cruise, but I am wondering if the service gets less enthusiastic as you get on bigger ships. Perhaps crews on smaller ships need to make up for their lack of shiny things by providing more outstanding service. The smaller ship I have in mind is the Rhapsody of the Seas. Regardless, the service was still top notch on the Mariner. Ports and Excursions This cruise, being only 4 nights, with one day of cruising at sea, probably isn't a good cruise for people seeking to do a lot of on shore excursions. It's better for getting some sun, relaxing, and having a drink. After our first night, we woke up in Nassau, where we had a long, fun day (weren't due back to the ship until about 11pm). We met some fellow cruisers to hang out with, rode jet skis, chatted with the locals. Paid around $140 for an hour on the jet skis I believe (probably too much). An hour is way too long. You're tired after 20 minutes. Pay for 30 minutes. COCO CAY: I loved this place. For me, it's what I want from the places like Nassau (clear water, nice beaches) but with alcohol and food covered by Royal Caribbean (assuming you have the drink package). There was still some construction visible on the island as we approached, but it's mostly out of view while you're on the island. The place was beautiful. Clean, pretty well organized, and the wild chickens and iguanas were a nice touch (yeah, chickens and giant lizards running around). All of the cabanas were booked up when we got there, but we were able to claim some beach chairs and rent umbrellas for $15 a piece. Wish we had more time to hang out here (had to be back on ship around 4 or 5pm).

2nd cruise, the honeymoon cruise, still loving Royal Caribbean

Mariner of the Seas Cruise Review by jstackhouse

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2018
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony
My wife and I had such a great time on our first cruise with Royal Caribbean, and we couldn't wait for another. So, 1 year after I proposed, we went on another cruise for the honeymoon.

Embarkation

We flew into Miami the night before and stayed at Doral Inn & Suites (do not recommend, we'll leave it at that). Took an Uber to the port. The port was way more hectic than Tampa, and the Uber driver didn't know where to go. Luckily, I recognized that big beautiful baby Mariner and told the driver to go towards it.

-OBSTACLE-

The wife accidentally brought her expired passport. After her parents emailed a copy of her birth certificate, we were allowed to board. A picture of the up-to-date passport would not suffice. If you don't have your passport, they need to see a birth certificate.

Embarkation continued

Once we had our documents in orders, it was pretty quick and easy to board. We arrived at port around noon and were on the ship before 2pm (with an hour passport delay).

Ship

I was very excited to explore the ship since I knew it was recently refurbished. The Mariner was stunning. While we were ported in Nassau next to a Disney ship, a Carnival ship, and an older Royal ship, our ship was the star. She was the biggest and most beautiful. I could definitely feel the difference being on this ship compared to the Rhapsody of the Seas, but the ship still never felt crowded.

Cabin

We had a balcony room. We don't expect sprawling room in a cruise ship room. The size was as expected. The balcony was great to have, and it was big enough to have a couple friends over and enjoy drinks as we left port. Everything in the cabin worked fine. Water pressure was good, water was hot, etc.

Dining

As always, Chops was amazing. We had a package for 3 nights of specialty dining, and 2/3 were spent at Chops. Fresh, great quality, and great service. We had Italian the other night, which was worth trying. We ate in the main dining room the last night, which we were actually a little disappointed about - the service was slow. Maybe it was a busy night, or maybe we were at an awkward, forgotten about table since we were by the kitchen door. For breakfast and lunch we ate at the Windjammer. The Windjammer is always good to me for lunch - good variety and quality. It seems like Royal Caribbean has the same breakfast on every cruise at the Windjammer - need some breakfast variety.

Entertainment & Activities

The Mariner has plenty to do on it. The Flow rider, slides, pools. We were usually able to find room in a pool or jacuzzi somewhere on the ship. There's a scavenger hunt type game on one night that's geared towards adults - you definitely don't wanna miss that. It gets wild during and after. There was a magic show that opened up with this brilliant musical performance with people dancing and singing popular Queen songs - very entertaining and well done.

Service

This was only my second cruise, but I am wondering if the service gets less enthusiastic as you get on bigger ships. Perhaps crews on smaller ships need to make up for their lack of shiny things by providing more outstanding service. The smaller ship I have in mind is the Rhapsody of the Seas. Regardless, the service was still top notch on the Mariner.

Ports and Excursions

This cruise, being only 4 nights, with one day of cruising at sea, probably isn't a good cruise for people seeking to do a lot of on shore excursions. It's better for getting some sun, relaxing, and having a drink.

After our first night, we woke up in Nassau, where we had a long, fun day (weren't due back to the ship until about 11pm). We met some fellow cruisers to hang out with, rode jet skis, chatted with the locals. Paid around $140 for an hour on the jet skis I believe (probably too much). An hour is way too long. You're tired after 20 minutes. Pay for 30 minutes.

COCO CAY: I loved this place. For me, it's what I want from the places like Nassau (clear water, nice beaches) but with alcohol and food covered by Royal Caribbean (assuming you have the drink package). There was still some construction visible on the island as we approached, but it's mostly out of view while you're on the island. The place was beautiful. Clean, pretty well organized, and the wild chickens and iguanas were a nice touch (yeah, chickens and giant lizards running around). All of the cabanas were booked up when we got there, but we were able to claim some beach chairs and rent umbrellas for $15 a piece. Wish we had more time to hang out here (had to be back on ship around 4 or 5pm).
jstackhouse’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 2D 8282
After having a room with a balcony, I can't imagine not having one. I will only book balconies from now on. The balcony on this room was big enough to have friends over and enjoy drinks as the ship left port. Otherwise, the cabin was what we expected. Pretty small, but enough room for our luggage. It was just my wife and my self - would not want to have more than two people in this room.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews