Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas Virtual Tour & Review

If you’ve read my long review on Mariner of the Seas, you’d know that we truly enjoyed our 8D7N cruise vacation to Thailand and Vietnam. As promised, I’d bring you on a virtual tour on this gigantic cruise liner today.

Now, first-time cruisers often have many preconceptions about sailing. They may fear that the food on the ship is terrible, that days spent onboard are a claustrophobic’s worst nightmare, that cruise is simply boring, or that they might suffer from seasickness.

Truth be told, I’m prone to seasickness too. Even an hour ferry journey to Bintan makes me feel nausea. However, on a large modern ship like Mariner of the Seas, you won’t feel much movement. I felt very, very minimal movement of the ship and hence, no seasickness at all.

To me, these preconceptions are completely untrue for Mariner of the Seas. It’s VERY family-friendly with impeccable service, great food and awesome fun times. The moment we boarded the cruise, we thoroughly enjoyed every moment.

Mariner of the Seas at Laem ChaBangMariner of the Seas at Laem ChaBang, Thailand

Mariner of the Seas is 311m long with a breadth of 38m at waterline level (49m at the bridge wings). The liner has a passenger capacity of 3,807 passengers, accommodated in 1,557 staterooms, of which almost 50% have balconies. Lastly, the crew capacity is 1,185.

Now, I shall bring you on a deck by deck virtual tour on Mariner of the Seas. Take a deep breath, let’s go! =)

Edison on Mariner of the Seas

Deck 2 – 4

Deck 0 and Deck 1 are the dry/cold storage areas and the ship’s utilities, hotel stores and laundry. There’s also a medical facility on Deck 1.

Deck 2 includes the conference centre, board room, and multimedia screening room/cinema. The large conference centre has dedicated facilities that caters up to 400 guests.

Mariner of the Seas Screening Room on Deck 2Multimedia screening room/cinema
Board Room on Deck 2The Board Room

Forward on Deck 3 is the mid-level of the Savoy Theatre with a capacity of 1,320 guests. It’s the main venue for musical extravaganzas with ultra-modern light and sound systems. There’s also Studio B, a 900-seat arena for ice shows and ice skating using a sliding floor underneath. It also houses an art and photo gallery, as well as a broadcasting room.

The Savoy TheatreThe Savoy Theatre
Mariner of the Seas Ice-skating ringIce-skating ring

From Deck 3 to 5, there’s the glorious three-tier Main Dining Room, themed to reflect the classic musical favourites, Rhapsody in Blue (Deck 3), Top Hat & Tails (Deck 4), and Sound of Music (Deck 5). It accommodates 1,900 people! This is, of course, my #1 top favourite place on the cruise.

Main Dining Room Mariner of the SeasEntrance to the Main Dining Room

Main Dining Room Mariner of the Seas

Main Dining Room Mariner of the SeasThe most elegant Main Dining Room

Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas Review

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

Mariner of the Seas vs. SuperStar Virgo
- Mariner of the Seas SuperStar Virgo
Length 311m 268m
Width 49m 32m
Number decks 14 13
Capacity (no. of passenger) 3807 2800
Crew 1185 1300
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

Check-in Mariner of the Seas
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

Mariner of the Seas Review

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.

Pull-out BedA Pullman bed for Edison to sleep on (stuff toys are our own lol)

Mariner of the Seas Review

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.

Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas Review

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.

Mariner of the Seas ReviewMain Dining Room on Decks 3, 4 and 5

SuperStar Virgo Phuket–Langkawi Cruise: Part 3 and Last

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As usual, I’ll start this post with a beautiful ocean view from our balcony. Honestly, I still can’t get enough of it. As I listen to the ocean waves in the early morning, there’s a subtlety of sound that inspires inner peace. And it has an excellent soothing effect too!

On Day 3, our cruise was expected to arrive at Pulau Langkawi, an island in the north western coast of Peninsular Malaysia, at 11am. We had our breakfast at The Pavilion (Chinese Restaurant).

We reached Pulau Langkawi shortly after the disappointing breakfast. It was windy and raining, otherwise getting out to Langkawi should be pretty much a breeze. The bad weather also slowed down the movement of the passengers.

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Some of them are stucked at the jetty as there were insufficient taxis to cater for their demand. Some of them are stucked because they have no umbrella. Fortunately, the staffs of the cruise started despatching rain coats and the crowd began to move after that.

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Our taxi

We hired a taxi to drive us around Langkawi. Some of the attractions of this island include Langkawi Underwater World, duty-free shopping centres, Mahsuri’s tomb, cable car, caves and many fine powdery sandy beaches.

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We spent about four hours in this island before the cruise departs at 5pm. As soon as we got back to our cabin, Little Edison made a special request to go for a dip in the heated Jacuzzi again. I thought he should be tired, but he was beaming with excitement the moment he thinks of Jacuzzi.

So, off we went to the Jacuzzi again!

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Tonight we had our sumptuous Gala Dinner at the Noble House Restaurant. Dinner starts at 9pm, and we were treated with a pre-gala cocktail event at 8:15pm. There are music performances and photo-taking session with the captains of the cruise too.

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Our boy’s adrenalin ended halfway through the Gala Dinner, and he dozed off to dreamland. As a result, I didn’t take many pictures during the dinner. All in all, the Gala Dinner was fantastic and it was an excellent way to wrap up our third day on the cruise.

SuperStar Virgo Phuket–Langkawi Cruise:Part 2

I woke up at 7am to catch the most beautiful sunrise! It was breathtaking. It was bold. It was fun!

Sunrise at 7:14am
Sunrise at 7:14am, it’s so beautiful!

On Day 2, after having a hearty breakfast at Bella Vista, we decided to go for a golf game. We rented the golf equipments from the Activity Centre (it’s free-of-charge) and head to the Sports Deck at Deck 13.

There is a golf driving range and mini golf here. The weather was fantastic in the morning, it was windy and cooling. Every one of us had a fabulous time.

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After lunch, we returned to our cabin for a short nap. When we were fully-recharged, we went up to the Neptune’s Wet and Wild at Deck 10. This is a children’s fun pool with slides and a heated Jacuzzi.

Seriously, swimming in a pool on a cruise ship can be a great challenge. Firstly, the water is too cold to swim. Secondly, you’ve to endure the icy cold wind that is blowing all the time. At the end, we just lazed about in the heated Jacuzzi while gazing at the ocean blue.

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For dinner, we had a sumptuous Japanese cuisine at The Samurai Restaurant. To be honest, this is the very first meal that I’m satisfied with, since the first day I boarded the cruise. As compared to our previous trip two years ago, the quality of food served in the inclusive restaurants has deteriorated.

The Samurai is one of the alternative restaurants with moderate charges, where we can pay using our dining credits. For Balcony Class, we have a $200 dining credits per cabin. The service staffs in The Samurai Restaurant provided us with a remarkable service, and make our dinner a memorable one.

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The cruise reached Phuket at 7pm. During our previous trip to Phuket two years ago, we had to transfer to a smaller boat to get to Patong beach as the cruise was unable to get close to the shoreline.

However, during this trip, we noticed that a new jetty was being built and we no longer have to transfer to a smaller boat. It’s indeed good news to people like me, who tends to experience sea sickness when boarding a small boat.

Taxis were queuing up at the jetty, waiting for customers to go to Patong Beach. The journey is about 45 minutes. We disembarked from the cruise after our dinner for a short trip to Phuket.

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SuperStar Virgo Phuket–Langkawi Cruise: Part 1

Two years ago, we went for the 4D3N cruise to Penang – Phuket. This time, our itinerary was just slightly different. We went for the 4D3N cruise to Phuket – Langkawi. I can still remember the gourmet meals and impeccable service on-board that we had during our last trip, and we hope to experience it again.

Our check-in time started at 1pm. This time, we spent less than half an hour to check-in and deposit our luggage because of the priority queue for Balcony Class holders. We boarded the cruise and got to our cabin without much hassle.

Our cabin is an Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony, located at Deck 11. In terms of size, it is just slightly bigger than an average stateroom, except that it has a balcony. It has two single beds that can be converted into a queen-size bed, and one double sofa bed. Perfect for a family of 2 adults and 2 kids, I would say.

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Cabin

The cabin is tastefully-decorated with individually-controlled air conditioning system, dressing table, closet, telephone, mini pantry, reading lamps, personal safe, and satellite television. The cabin bathroom has a sink, toiletry shelves, hair-dryer, shower area, and a noisy vacuum toilet that irritates our boy so much (like those on an airplane).

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The cabin also has a sliding glass door that gives us access to the balcony, with a small sitting area of two arm-chairs and a little table. I like to get up early, sit at the balcony, and enjoy the early morning sunrise. That’s why we opt for the Balcony stateroom this time.

Edison

The sliding glass door has a hidden child-lock on the side opposite the opening, a lever that is relatively high up and not easily noticed by the kids. All I have to do is to ensure that the door is child-locked at night, to prevent our boy from sneaking out to the balcony all by himself.

Sliding door

On our first day, we were fully onboard – checking out the various activities and programs available on the cruise. There are three inclusive restaurants that provide five meals a day free-of-charge, Bella Vista (Western), The Pavilion (Chinese) and Mediterranean (International Buffet). There are also alternative restaurants with moderate charges.

At the game arcade
At the game arcade

At the library
At the library

Me and Edison
Me and Little Edison

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Walkway to our cabin at Deck 11

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More updates coming up tomorrow!