Considering a Royal Caribbean cruise and wondering if Mariner of the Seas is a good ship?
My 17-year-old daughter and I recently cruised Royal Caribbean’s popular voyager class Mariner of the Seas to Bermuda and Bahamas on an 8-night cruise. I have put together 27 reasons why Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas is a good ship.
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27 Reasons Mariner of the Seas is a good ship
Here are my favorite things and best things about Mariner of the Seas, in no particular order.
Deck 5 is where the indoor action is at. We loved the Mariner of the Seas promenade. It is an open area in the middle of the ship, you can see 3 floors up. Along the roof life has colored lights that are often on adding to the cool atmosphere. It is almost like a little city street.
The Mariner of the Seas promenade is lined with public spaces such as, shops, restaurants, and pubs. It is a great place to people watch. Some of our other favorite things about this ship are in the promenade – keep reading.
Jamie’s Italian restaurant by Jamie Oliver is one of the specialty restaurants onboard, so it does cost extra, but it was our favorite meal on Mariner of the Seas.
You can read our review here.
Daybeds in the Solarium
The daybeds in the Solarium on deck 11 are wonderful. The Solarium is the adult only pool and hot tub area.
They do fill up really early in the day, especially on sea days but they were often empty in the evenings. This is when I enjoyed them the most. It is the perfect place to relax.
There is an extra charge for Starbucks on Mariner of the Seas. Unfortunately, it isn’t included in any of the drink packages, but it is a nice option. Especially if you have a chai tea latte addiction like me.
Prices can change or vary but for reference, a venti chai tea latte was $7.04 USD after the 18% automatic gratuity.
When you slide your Sea Pass card to pay, it does come up asking if you want to leave a tip. Remember that 18% has already been added. Any tip you add will be on top of that. I’m not discouraging leaving an additional gratuity, I just want you to be aware that you have already tipped 18%.
The layout of the Windjammer
The Windjammer is the buffet restaurant on Mariner of the Seas. Buffet restaurants are often a busy place on a cruise ship, however on Mariner of the Seas we never experienced any lines.
This is because of the smart layout. There are several smaller stations, all with a set of plates and cutlery. This really minimized the lines.
You can find more details on the Mariner of the Seas Windjammer here.
In the Windjammer marketplace restaurant, they had either strawberry kiwi or mango flavored water in the afternoon and during the dinner service.
This was a nice addition to the standard water and iced tea options.
The flowrider surf simulator located at the back of the ship on deck 13.
While we never got up the courage to try it ourselves, we quite enjoyed watching others. Especially the advanced stand up surfing sessions.
There is a fun atmosphere around the Flowrider. The loudish music helps with the vacation vibe.
The Mariner of the Seas peekaboo bridge is accessed from deck 11. It feels like a little hidden gem when you come upon it.
There is glass window what you can peek in and see the ship’s bridge. It is neat getting a sneak peak of the ship’s command center.
Royal Caribbean Freestyle Coke machines
The freestyle coke machines on Mariner of the Seas are self serve fountain soda machines that you can use if you have purchased the deluxe beverage package, the refreshment package, or the soda package.
With either of those drink packages you will receive a souvenir cup. Those cups have a sensor of some sort at the bottom that the machines read. They won’t work with any other cup, glass, or bottle.
It is a really nice option being able to fill your own cup without having to wait at one of the bars.
On Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas the freestyle coke machines are conveniently located in the Royal Promenade, outside the Café Promenade (deck 5), and in the Windjammer cafe (deck 11).
We aren’t singers, and didn’t participate, but we really enjoyed watching. We went several nights, it was such a good time. There was a great mix between some very talented people and some good entertainment. It was a great supportive atmosphere.
We purchased the Surf & Stream internet package. I was impressed with how well it worked and how fast it was.
Live music by the pool area
A live band on the pool deck is nice and adds to the vacation feel. The line dances are extra fun.
Mariner of the Seas pools
Speaking of the pools, Mariner of the Seas has 2 separate pools side by side on the main pool deck area.
There is a large part around the pools where it is only a couple of inches deep. It is great for sitting and cooling off in.
The Mariner of the Seas pools are 4’5” to 5’3” deep. There are lifeguards on duty and life jackets available for kids to use free of charge.
There are 2 smaller hot tubs and 2 larger hot tubs by the pools.
The Solarium, adult only area, has 1 pool and 2 large hot tubs.
The escape room is one of the few activities that has an additional cost on Royal Caribbean ships.
Mariner of the Seas escape room cost $19.99 when we cruised. This of course can change.
There is a maximum of 12 players at a time. The room is large. It is very challenging but was a lot of fun.
Promenade dance parties
Several nights during the cruise the cruise director and cruise director’s staff hosted themed dance parties in the Royal Promenade.
There were a lot of fun. Remember, you are on holidays, you won’t see your fellow cruisers. Join in and dance away.
During our cruise they hosted a 70’s disco party, a 60’s dance party and an 80’s flashback party. There was also a family hush silent disco party.
Playmakers Sports Bar Nachos
One of our favorite snacks on Mariner of the Seas was the Pile on Nachos at Playmakers. Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade is located in the Royal Promenade on deck 5 across from Café Promenade.
There is a charge to eat here but it wasn’t too bad. The nachos were $6 plus gratuity but was enough for us to share as a snack.
The Mariner of the Seas Café Promenade was another great place to grab a snack. This was often our stop after karaoke for a late-night pizza snack.
There is no charge for the food in Cafe Promenade.
I love that Royal Caribbean has a drink package that is in between the alcoholic package and the soda package.
This is great for teenagers. If you are cruising with teens, then you will want to check out 21 Reasons Teens will Love Mariner of the Seas.
The refreshment package allows you to get mocktails (non-alcoholic drinks), soda, bottled water, fresh squeezed juice (plaza bar), and even milkshakes from Johnny Rockets.
**update – Royal Caribbean has closed this activity. It is no longer available on any Royal Caribbean ship
The sky pad is where you jump on a bungee trampoline while wearing a virtual reality headset.
Mariner of the Seas gym
For those who like to stay active on vacation there is a fitness center. In the Mariner of the Seas gym, you’ll find lots of cardio machines, many facing the large floor to ceiling windows, as well as a few weightlifting machines, free weights, and kettle bells.
On our recent cruise the gym was open from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm.
There are cruise fitness classes and seminars held daily, except embarkation day. Some of the classes are free, while some have fee. The cost was $20 when we sailed, this of course can change.
If fitness classes are important to you, check the Royal Caribbean My Cruise Planner online before your cruise. When we sailed, they offered both an unlimited class pass and 3 times class pass that could be purchased before the cruise.
You will find a class schedule in the Mariner of the Seas fitness center, in the daily Cruise Compass, and on the Royal Caribbean app.
There is also an outdoor jogging track on Mariner. It is on the upper deck above the pool. Unless you use it early in the morning or in the evening, you will find that there will likely be people in your way.
More reasons Mariner of the Seas is a good ship
Mariner of the Seas sauna and steam rooms
A little know Mariner of the Seas cruise tip is that sauna and steam room are free to use. They are located in the change rooms of the fitness center.
Visit the Vitality Spa a deck above to get a locker key. Towels are provided in the change rooms.
Read other Mariner of the Seas cruise tips here.
Ice skating on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean is a pretty cool thing. Royal Caribbean provides skates free of charge.
Be sure to check out the impressive show on the ice rink too.
Relax pool side in a lounge chair or even in one of the hot tubs while you watch a movie on the big outdoor screen in the evening.
Chops Grille on Mariner of the Seas is a steakhouse specialty dining restaurant. There is an additional charge to eat here but it is a popular cruise ship restaurant with steak lovers, and another dining alternative to the main dining room. It’s nice to have different dining options with good food.
Fun bars – another reason mariner of the seas is a good ship
Mariner of the Seas has several bars to sit and enjoy a drink in. Some of my favorites are:
This is a nice, bright bar located on deck 4. There was often live music, mostly Latin themed.
This is a cool tropical themed bar in the Royal Promenade. They have 4 different “small plates” you can order for an additional cost. Appetizer items such as pulled pork sliders and coconut crab bruschetta.
They have some fun specialty drinks. I tried the On the Run!, not only was it delicious but came in a drink pouch. I was way too excited about that.
Friendly crew members
The friendly, helpful crew members really do help make a cruise vacation feel extra special. They have a way of making your feel important.
For a list of even more fun activities, check out 25 Best Things to do on Mariner of the Seas.
Next time someone asks is Mariner of the Seas a good ship, show them this list of 27 reasons Mariner of the Seas is a good ship.
We think Mariner of the Seas is a great ship. We had an amazing cruise vacation on this Royal Caribbean cruise ship.
If this is your first time cruising with Royal Caribbean International you won’t be disappointed.
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