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Mariner of the Seas Cruise Review
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,371 Reviews

Great time for a first cruise especially - I'm hooked

Mariner of the Seas Cruise Review by Tara Woodbury

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2020
  • Destination: the Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony

My sister and I had both never been on a cruise and decided we would try one together since noone else in either of our families want to go. We had a great price and I got some on board credit with my purchase so I was happy.

We embarked in about 20 minutes. No issues at all. I was nervous what to expect and other than the fact that the security people from the port were a little rude (think TSA) it was fine.

The ship was beautiful. We were an ocean balcony. Plenty of room for two women. Deck was great! Lots of storage. Did wish there was an outlet next to the bed somewhere. The only size issue was the bathroom but I knew it was going to be small and I think that's what you get with most cruise lines.

We did my time dining but made reservations, that is the key. A lot of people were waiting in a long line to be seated at 5:30 when we went to eat. We just walked right in. I asked for a table next to a window and they obliged. We got the same table every night which was awesome. Our servers were awesome. Totally bent over backwards to make us happy.

Food was amazing in the Main Dining Room for dinner. We didn't go there for any other meal.

We ate at Windjammer once for lunch. It was ok. Nothing too exciting.

We had lunch in Playmakers once, which was good except our nachos were cold. They did reheat them for us.

We also ate dinner at Jamie Oliver's one night, the last night. It was great! But if you are short on cash, just stick with the Main Dining Room.

I found the Promenade Cafe to be the one bleak point of dining. First of all, it smelled awful in there. The options were very limited. And trying to just get a coffee was a long ordeal. I noticed that a lot of the staff did not speak English well or seem to understand it both there and in some of the bars/lounges. I find that to be a problem.

We spent a lot of time in the Schooner Bar. The piano player/singer, Matt, was the highlight of the trip to me besides the water. He was fantastic. We also enjoyed some music trivia in there a few times.

We loved playing games and bingo in the Star Lounge, that was great.

The Solarium is awesome, just hard to get a seat.

The main pool was busy. We never got in. But lounging on one of the decks above was nice.

We spent one day in Nassau and walked around at first, then grabbed lunch at Pirate Republic. It was great though service was off.

The straw market was a total disappointment. I expected handcrafted items and since every vendor had the same items, I know that wasn't the case.

Then we went on a See and Sea Tour. It was ok. I would save my money the next time.

The driver was very nice but hard to understand and the traffic was scary. We literally thought someone was going to get killed when he was trying to navigate all of the vans/buses up near the fort and Queen's Staircase. The sea part was a small boat takes you out to the other ship where you go below to see the fish and ocean floor. The person leading the tour on the way out was very engaging. And it was great to be on the water in a smaller boat. The underwater ship thing was a disappointment.

The next day we were at Perfect Day at Coco Cay where we rented a cabana on Chill Island. This would have been perfect if there wasn't a very, very noisy family next to us. Hard to relax which is all we wanted. We asked to be moved and there wasn't another cabana to move to supposedly. The cabana attendant said he would talk to his manager but then never came back with anything or anyone and we decided to go explore anyway.

The Oasis Pool was awesome. The swim up pool bar is great. We didn't spend any time at the waterpark.

Our cabin attendant was very good. We didn't see a lot of her but she did make us a towel animal which we loved and she got anything we asked for.

We did get the full beverage package after mulling it over. We both like to drink so it was worth it. At $65 each on sale, I think we made out well with it. The only mistake we made is that we forgot we had originally ordered a case of water, and then water came with the package. Any of the bars will just give you as much bottled water as you want. So that was a waste of money. But that was our fault.

Of course, this was just at the beginning of the Coronavirus starting to really rear it's ugly head. The crew was awesome about encouraging everyone to wash their hands, handing out hand sanitizer and having it available everywhere. Never once was I scared. No one on board was sick nor got sick that I am aware of.

I am definitely ready for another cruise!

Tara Woodbury's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony

Loved our cabin. It was close to elevators but not noisy. No obstructed view. Great layout.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Perfect Day at CocoCay

I loved the cabana. It was just ruined by the noisy family next to us.

See and Sea

Not a great experience. Driving portion was scary. Sea portion was mostly a waste of time.

View All 40 See and Sea Reviews
Port Canaveral (Orlando)

I stayed in Cocoa Beach at the Hilton Cocoa Beach which I highly recommend. The port itself was fine. We got a transfer from the hotel and it was about 15 minutes to get there. Then about 20 minutes to get on board the ship.

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Tara Woodbury
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