Mariner of the Seas Guide & Review

One of the most popular Royal Caribbean cruise ships for a quick getaway is Mariner of the Seas, which currently offers 5 and 8-night sailings from Port Canaveral, Florida. 

Royal Caribbean’s ships are known for featuring onboard thrills that are sure to leave you wowed – and Mariner of the Seas is no exception. If you are considering a cruise on Mariner of the Seas, look no further than our planning and overview guide. 

You will find everything you need to know about Mariner of the Seas to ensure you are prepared to have your best cruise vacation yet.

Mariner of the Seas Overview

As the final ship built in Royal Caribbean’s Voyager class, Mariner of the Seas first hit the seas in 2003. During her debut, Mariner of the Seas was one of the first cruise ships to feature a rock climbing wall on the ship’s funnel and an ice skating rink onboard. 

At launch, Mariner of the Seas was one of the largest cruise ships in the world. While no longer the case, Mariner of the Seas is a perfect ship for weekend getaways. At 139,000 tons, Mariner of the Seas is considered a midsized cruise ship. The ship features 15 decks and holds nearly 4,000 passengers at full capacity.

One of the prominent features of Mariner of the Seas is its dazzling promenade deck, which spans the length of the ship and features shops, restaurants and bars. 

In 2018, Mariner of the Seas underwent an astonishing $120 million refurbishment. The ship was retrofitted with some of Royal Caribbean’s most popular thrills, like the SkyPad, Perfect Storm slide and Flowrider. The refurbishment also included the addition of new specialty restaurants and exciting dining options for cruisers.  

In fact, this huge upgrade was fueled by Royal Caribbean identifying a new trend in the cruising market: millennials looking for quick getaways. As such, Mariner’s refurbishment was carefully planned to add countless onboard thrills for a cruise ship sailing to tropical locations, which is a game-changing experience for those wanting a short getaway vacation.

Mariner of the Seas Pool Deck

You won’t need to be docked in port to feel like you’re relaxing in a tropical oasis. Cruisers will find plenty of opportunities to relax, take in the sun and unwind with a cocktail on Mariner of the Seas’ pool deck.

The top deck of Mariner of the Seas has two main pools with multiple hot tubs surrounded by sun loungers. Most of the time, you can find reggae-style music playing on the pool deck. There are 2 decks of chairs that surround the pool, so you can choose to be right next to the pool or on the top deck overlooking the open sea.

A large movie screen shines above the pool deck and plays everything from music videos to cinema hits under the stars. 

A double decker pool bar is nestled near the pool for easy access – perfect for those relaxing on a lounger. On the upper deck near the pool bar, guests can find trendy couches and even comfy, padded chairs. 

If you are looking for some diner-style grub, you can dine at Johnny Rockets on the upper pool deck (for a fixed-price fee). Those looking for a quick and complimentary snack can grab a hot dog from Boardwalk Dog House. You can build your own hot dog with multiple topping options and plenty of meats to choose from. 

Sweets lovers will love the all-you-can-eat ice cream machine on the pool deck. Nothing could be better than a cool, creamy cone on a hot vacation day!

At the front of the pool deck is the adults-only Solarium. Only guests who are 16 years and older can enjoy the Solarium, which makes this a wonderful place to indulge in some quiet time. 

Daybeds with canopies can also be found in the Solarium, which are complimentary. These are posh and comfortable spots to relax.

The Solarium features a pool surrounded by padded loungers and two hot tubs. Those looking to grab a drink will appreciate the convenience of the Solarium Bar, situated perfectly between the two hot tubs. 

While some cruise ships feature Solariums that are covered by glass domes, guests can enjoy direct sunlight onboard Mariner of the Seas in this space. 

Mariner of the Seas Dining Options

If one thing’s certain on your cruise, it’s that you won’t go hungry onboard Mariner of the Seas. With a combination of both complimentary and specialty dining options, you won’t have time to likely try all of the food available onboard!

Whether you choose to dine only at complimentary venues or treat yourself to an upgraded dining experience in one of the specialty restaurants, there’re endless options for grabbing a bite to eat. 

Complimentary dining onboard Mariner of the Seas include the following:

Main Dining Room: Like all of Royal Caribbean’s ships, the main dining room offers complimentary meals in a classic sit-down style. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all served daily in the main dining rooms. 

Windjammer Marketplace: Another staple on Royal Caribbean’s cruise ships. The Windjammer servers up breakfast, lunch and dinner in buffet style. There’s infinite options here from burgers and pizza to international cuisine like curry. 

Cafe Promenade: Located in the central Royal Promenade, guests can find complimentary coffee, tea, pastries, snacks, pizza and sandwiches 24 hours a day. Perfect for your late night cravings!

Boardwalk Dog House: The first-ever food truck at sea serves up gourmet hot dogs for everyone to enjoy. Everything from sausages to hot dogs are available including a variety of condiments, salads and sides. 

Specialty dining is also plentiful onboard Mariner of the Seas. Some guests prefer to dine only at complimentary venues while others appreciate the quality and service afforded through the specialty dining options. These restaurants serve the highest quality food available onboard, although guests will have to spend extra to visit these venues.

As the name suggests, specialty restaurants focus on serving one type of cuisine and doing it exceptionally well. If you’re looking to have a special celebration or indulge in a romantic dinner, consider booking a reservation at one of these restaurants.

 

Specialty dining options onboard Mariner of the Seas include the following options:

Chops Grille: Styled as an American Steakhouse, Chops Grille specializes in serving hand-cut meat with appetizers like Maine lobster, sides like gruyere cheese tater tots and desserts like tangy key lime pie. 

Jamie’s Italian: Thanks to a partnership with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, Jamie’s Italian transforms classic Italian dishes into a trendy Tuscan-inspired experience. Homemade pasta and an epic meat plank can be polished off with indulgent tiramisu. 

Izumi Hibachi & Sushi: Everything from fresh sushi to delicious teppanyaki is served at Izumi. This Asian-inspired dining option offers a variety of hot and cold appetizers, entrees and desserts. With a full hibachi experience, you will leave feeling both full and wowed. 

Chef’s Table: One of the most premium dining options onboard, Chef’s Table provides an intimate opportunity for guests to enjoy a 6-course meal crafted personally by the ship’s chef. A white cloth dinner table spotlights a multitude of delicate cuisine offerings. 

Playmakers Sports Bar and Grill: Located in the Royal Promenade, this sports bar offers your game-day favorite bar snacks and drinks. You can enjoy a signature Playmakers burger and finish off with a five-scoop Touchdown Sundae or warm, gooey Campfire Cookie. 

Johnny Rockets: This 1950s diner-style restaurant offers American style favorites like burgers, fries, onion rings and milkshakes. 

Ben & Jerry’s: Offering plenty of iconic ice cream flavors, Ben & Jerry’s is available for purchase in the Royal Promenade and serves up cones, sundaes and milkshakes. 

Mariner of the Seas Bars and Lounges

Cruising with Royal Caribbean means you will find a seemingly endless number of places to grab a cocktail. You can’t say you went on a cruise unless you indulged in a fruity vacation drink! Mariner of the Seas has a huge variety of bars and lounges, each offering a slightly different vibe. 

Each night, you can find live music happening inside Mariner’s bars and lounges onboard. The bars and lounges also host plenty of activities including trivia, crafting, karaoke and more. 

Bars onboard Mariner of the Seas include:

  • Schooner Bar (Piano Bar)
  • The Bamboo Room
  • Wig & Gravel Pub
  • Britto Pool Bar
  • Solarium Bar
  • Sky Bar 
  • Ellington’s Jazz Club
  • Viking Crown
  • Boleros (Latin-themed nightclub and bar)
  • Connoisseur Club 
  • The Plaza Bar
  • Cloud Nine
  • Casino Royale Bar
  • Star Lounge

For the best panoramic view, The Crown Lounge is the perfect spot to grab a cocktail. You can enjoy 180-degree views of the pool deck and open sea. On the other hand, Boleros is a great spot for live music and dancing. The Star Lounge is a transformative space that hosts everything from game shows to karaoke and nightly dancing. 

One of the most unique features on Mariner of the Seas is The Bamboo Room. This Polynesian-themed tiki bar is located in the Royal Promenade and serves up spirited sips with exotic fruits and spices. The throwback vibes and crazy good cocktails are not to be missed. 

Things to do on Mariner of the Seas

I’ve sailed on Mariner of the Seas three times and each time was a wonderful and unique experience. This cruise ship is perfectly sized – not too big and not too small – and definitely offers a little something that everyone can enjoy. 

Even before her recent refurbishment, Mariner of the Seas had plenty of activities to keep cruisers busy; during her initial debut, she was the best that the cruise industry had to offer. After Royal Caribbean added some of its signature features during refurbishment, Mariner of the Seas now has enough amenities and onboard thrills to rival some of the newest mega ships at sea.

When you first look at Mariner of the Seas, you can’t miss the colorful Perfect Storm waterslides on the top deck. Made of two twisting slides, Typhoon and Cyclone sit three stories above the top deck and allow cruisers to go for a daring, dueling race from the top. You’ll even jet off the side of the ship while twisting and turning down the slides.

Centrally located is the SkyPad, which offers cruisers a virtual reality experience while jumping on a gravity-defying bungee trampoline. The SkyClimber is nestled nearby and features an enclosed climbing structure. 

The sports deck is located on the back of the ship and packed with plenty of opportunities to be active, including a rock climbing wall, mini golf course, laser tag, basketball court and Flowrider surf simulator. There are also hammocks and swings that fill in the surrounding areas – the perfect spot to catch your breath.

Deck 15 is home to Royal Caribbean’s newest escape challenge called The Observatorium while Studio B Ice Skating is located on Deck 3. Additionally, guests can enjoy outdoor movies, the casino, trivia, board games, fitness classes, dance lessons, ping pong and crafting. 

Adventure Ocean

Those cruising with kids on Mariner of the Seas will definitely want to check out Adventure Ocean. This is Royal Caribbean’s childcare program that accommodates even the littlest cruisers starting from 6 months old and all the way up to 17 year olds. 

Adventure Ocean on Mariner of the Seas focuses on giving kids the freedom and flexibility to follow their interests. Everything from craft stations to video games and science experiences are available for kids participating in Adventure Ocean. This is a great opportunity for your kids to have supervised fun and socialize with other cruising kids. 

The Adventure Ocean program is broken into 4 different age groups. This allows kids to have the most suitable programming based on age and developmental skills. Additionally, Teens have access to The Living Room, which is a trendy lounge meant to be a space for organized events or simply a fun spot for teens to meet and hang out. 

The breakdown is as follows:

  • Babies (6-36 mo)
  • Aquanauts (3-5 yrs)
  • Explorers (6-8 yrs)
  • Voyagers (9-12 yrs)
  • Teens (13-17 yrs)

Adventure Ocean is complimentary for ages 3 and up, however there is also a $7 hourly charge that applies after 10PM. Nursery drop-off is also an extra charge for babies up to 36 months. 

Entertainment

When it comes to entertainment, Mariner of the Seas has two main venues: the Royal Theater and Studio B Ice Rink. 

The Royal Theater will host a variety of shows that are sure to leave guests wowed. From comedians to musicians and magicians, the evening shows are dazzling. Mariner of the Seas has one big production show called Gallery of Dreams, which tells the story of a young artist who travels the world and brings his sketches to life. 

Studio B also has one main production show called Ice Under the Big Top, a fierce and spectacular ice skating show featuring acrobatics, clowns and romantic antics. 

Themed parties, live music and club DJs also keep the entertainment flowing throughout the day on Mariner of the Seas at a variety of venues.

Wellness and Relaxation

Mariner of the Seas features Royal Caribbean’s signature Vitality Spa and Fitness Center. Cruisers can indulge in a variety of spa treatments and attend various seminars in the Vitality Spa. Everything from massages to anti-aging treatments, wraps and acupuncture are available for purchase. 

Spa treatments are available for purchase both onboard and before boarding in the cruise planner. Guests can choose from a variety of treatments that vary based on length and technique. Of note, spa pricing is dynamic based on the sailing day and port. Sea days are inherently more expensive because of increased demand while port days usually offer discounted services. 

The Fitness Center is attached to the Vitality Spa and houses plenty of exercise equipment for complimentary use. Classes are also offered for an extra cost and include pilates, spin, sculpting and yoga. Cardio and strength training courses are available at no cost while spin and yoga are not complementary. 

Deck 12 also offers an outdoor running track for those looking to either run or walk along the top deck. 

Mariner of the Seas Staterooms

When you are booking your cruise on Mariner of the Seas, you’ll want to understand the different types of cabins available – and there’s a lot to choose from! Layouts and size can differ greatly onboard, so a little research can help you be prepared for what to expect when you board Mariner of the Seas. It’s also important to choose a cabin that fits your budget and your travel needs. 

Some people book staterooms with the intent of only using their cabin as a place to sleep and shower. Others like to use their stateroom more than that for relaxing and rejuvenating – the choice is yours. 

Regardless of which stateroom you choose, all cabins onboard Mariner of the Seas come with basic living amenities like a bed, shower, vanity and television. You will also find a chair or couch, closet, nightstands and cooler. North American and European outlets are standard in the cabin, although you will probably find it useful to have some sort of electronics or USD extender. 

Interior Cabins

Interior (or inside) cabins are the most basic staterooms available onboard Mariner of the Seas. These cabins do not have any sort of window, meaning you won’t get any natural light. These cabins have all the necessities you need for sleeping and showering. While smaller in space, you will find ample storage.

Interior cabins provide an excellent value option for budget travelers or those looking to splurge on dining, drinking and exploring on excursions. You can also nap at any time of the day!

Interior Promenade

One of the most unique features of Mariner of the Seas is the central promenade. A twist on the standard interior cabin is upgrading to an interior promenade cabin.

These are technically inside cabins with the same amenities, but feature a window overlooking the ship’s bustling promenade. 

Oceanview Cabins

One step above interior cabins is oceanview cabins. While similar in size, oceanview cabins have a porthole window that gives cruisers views of the sea. There are plenty of oceanview cabins around Mariner of the Seas that can be found in a variety of locations on the ship.

Balcony Cabins

The most picturesque cabin on any cruise ship is one with a balcony and Mariner of the Seas is no exception. These cabins each come with a private balcony overlooking the sea. Each balcony comes with 2 chairs and a small table. These are more expensive than oceanview and interior cabins, but you can still snag a balcony cabin for a reasonable cost. 

Suites

The biggest and most luxurious cabins onboard Mariner of the Seas are the suites. These will give you the most space on board with some amazing amenities included, like access to the ship’s concierge lounge and priority boarding.

Onboard Mariner of the Seas, guests can book 1 and 2- bedroom Grand Suites, along with the Owners Suites and Royal Suites with Balcony. These incredible cabins will cost a premium, but offer the best accommodations onboard Mariner of the Seas. 

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