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Mariner of the Seas
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Jason Frye
Cruise Critic Contributor

Mariner of the Seas Overview

Fresh off a massive $120 million renovation that introduced a number of new features to the ship -- the Sky Pad virtual reality trampoline, FlowRider surf simulators, Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade -- plus added dining venues and 40 more cabins, the 15-year-old Mariner of the Seas has a crisp, fun, "new ship" feel.

About Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas


Something surprising to see or do around every corner, no shortage of action onboard


Some specialty dining reservations were impossible to come by due to the short sailings

Bottom Line

Activity-filled, weekend-friendly itineraries and great food make an ideal sailing

Find a Mariner of the Seas Cruise

It's also quite lively, with the hub of activity centered on the fabulous Royal Promenade, a bright, colorful and Instagrammable stretch of Deck 5, where something is happening -- '80s- , '90s- or disco-themed dance parties, or live musicians -- any time of day.

Royal Caribbean went the extra mile to ensure the ship looks great, and it does. On the Royal Promenade, The Bamboo Room -- a new Polynesian bar serving updated Tiki bar classics -- is visually striking with bright, bold, leaf-patterned wall coverings and a retro-chic sign outside. But it's topside that the ship's 2018 "amplification" is most apparent. The giant yellow-green dome of the Sky Pad is unmistakable and the twin corkscrews of The Perfect Storm racing water slides -- which appear to hang off the side of the ship -- are appealing as well. Everywhere onboard there's something that catches your eye.

Though Mariner of the Seas is a smaller ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet, it never felt small. By that same notion, it never felt too large. Space is used well and it's evident Royal Caribbean spent time looking at how to keep passengers out of each other's way. We floated from place to place, ate, got drinks, played mini-golf and watched movies by the pool and the only time we stood in line or really even saw lines was at the Sky Pad, FlowRider and water slides, and even those lines moved quickly. Even in Windjammer Marketplace, the ship’s buffet, we found there were few issues with wait times.

Overall, Mariner of the Seas was a delight. Every part of the ship delivered on its promise and our one regret was that our sailing was only two nights. We could have used more time to enjoy the "have fun, you're on vacation" energy that emanated from everyone onboard.

Fellow Passengers

The vast majority of passengers on Mariner of the Seas hail from the United States, especially the Miami drive market. Expect to hear a lot of Spanish onboard, with signage in English but most announcements provided in English and Spanish. Our fellow passengers were younger, with a good number of young families and millennials onboard.

Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas Dress Code

Dress was casual at all times on our sailing; the only exceptions to casual dress was in the alternative eateries -- where the dress was smart casual (cocktail and summer dresses for the ladies, a nice shirt or even sports coat for men). Expect one formal night on a four-night cruise, where people dress up a bit nicer.

Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas Gratuity

Royal Caribbean passengers are charged $14.50 per person, per day ($17.50 for suite guests). Gratuities can be prepaid or will be added on a daily basis to passengers' SeaPass accounts during the cruise. Passengers can modify or remove gratuities by visiting the guest services desk while onboard. An 18 percent gratuity is automatically added to bar tabs.

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Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas Ship Stats

  • Crew: 1,200
  • Launched: 2003
  • Decks: 14
  • Passengers: 3,344
  • Registry: Bahamas
  • CDC Score: 98
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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