This marks our first Royal Caribbean cruise vacation, and we were SO excited about it. We’ve been on SuperStar Virgo twice in 2010 and 2012, and the cruise duration was only 4D3N. This time, we’ve decided to indulge in a long cruise with Mariner of the Seas from Singapore to Laem Chabang (Thailand) and Phu My (Ho Chi Minh Vietnam). Here goes my long post on Mariner of the Seas review.
Mariner of the Seas used to be Royal Caribbean’s biggest vessel in Southeast Asia until Ovation of the Seas came along recently. I always wonder how much bigger Mariner of the Seas is as compared to SuperStar Virgo. So, I did some background check.
|-||Mariner of the Seas||SuperStar Virgo|
|Capacity (no. of passenger)||3807||2800|
|Number of cabins||1557||935|
Mariner of the Seas Review
I will divide the Mariner of the Seas review into several sections, so you can easily navigate to the one that interests you.
1. Check-in and Boarding
Prior to our trip, I’ve read horrible reviews about the long waiting time to check-in and board the cruise. So, we were mentally prepared it. However, our check-in and boarding process was done so swiftly and efficiently. Overall, we took just about an hour to board the cruise. So, the bad reviews turned out to be untrue (or perhaps they have improved it since then).
We did the online check-in with our travel agency and had all our boarding passes and luggage tags printed before we checked-in. There is a designated check-in time for every deck, so this helps to regulate the crowd and reduce the waiting time. Basically, the whole process looks like this:
Deposit check-in luggage before you enter the building -> queue at the counters for carry-on baggage scan -> queue at the check-in counter to get your SeaPass (photos will be taken here) -> queue at the immigration counter to stamp your passports -> voila! you can board the majestic cruise now!
At the check-in counter, you can link your SeaPass card to your credit card to pay for on-board expenses. Alternatively, you can also pay by cash. SeaPass card acts like your identity card while you’re on-board. You’ll use it for your room access, charge card and disembarkation at the destinations.
Overall, our check-in and boarding process was smooth and fast. Our rating: 5/5
2. The Cabin
We stayed in a Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom on Deck 6 with the size of 184 sq. ft. with a balcony of 50 sq. ft. The room comes with a king-size bed, a Pullman bed, sitting area with sofa, vanity area, wardrobe, and bathroom with shower. The cabin looked older than we’ve expected (even though the cruise was refurbished in 2012). The insides of the cabinets were rather dusty, so we had to clean the table and shelves before we unpacked our luggage.
The bathroom has limited toiletries – only soap and shampoo (in dispenser) are provided. It would be good if they can provide hair conditioner and moisturiser too. During our stay, we noticed that our room was cleaned twice a day – which truly impressed us. The room attendant will clean our room in the morning and evening.
Every night when we returned to our room, we were greeted by a small gesture – towel animal of different design every night! One night, we couldn’t see any towel animal on our bed. We began to wonder and then caught by surprise when we saw a towel monkey hanging from the Pullman bed. Haha! He will prepare the Cruise Compass (daily program sheet) and Kids Daily Planner for us every night. He also responded to our requests promptly.
Even though the cabin was slightly old, we were VERY happy with the room service. Thus, we gave it a 4/5 rating!
3. Food Quality
One of the most important parts of a cruise is their FOOD, of course!
There’s a wide range of dining options on board. Complimentary meals include: 1) multi-course meals for breakfast/lunch/dinner at the Main Dining Room, 2) buffet-style meals for breakfast/lunch/dinner at Windjammer Café, 3) 24-hours snacks at Café Promenade, and 4) snacks/ice-cream at Dog House and Arctic Zone at certain timings.
There is also various specialty dining where you need to top-up a fee ranging from US$25 – $85 per person, for instance, Chef’s Table at Chops Grille and Giovanni’s Table, Italian Dining. There’s also a paid fast-food outlet, Johnny Rockets on Deck 12, where you can enjoy burgers and fries overlooking the beautiful sea view.