Sunday, February 21, 2016

Carribean Cruise - Mariner of The Seas

This was our last trip for 2015, we departed the very next day after we came back from our Bangkok Trip for a 4D3N (4-7 December) cruise on board Royal Carribean's largest fleet, Mariner of The Sea. Cruise would be the perfect place to really rest and relax, totally uncontactable when you are out in the open sea (unless you pay for the wifi service to be connected), suitable for the old and young. Trust me that you won't go hungry for sure when you are on board and I did not have to decide where and what's for breakfast/lunch/ dinner !

If you intend to have some savings, book your trip early! We saved around $200 per pax when we booked in February for the departure in December. Boarding time was between 11am - 3pm, so make sure you have your necessities with you especially if you are having a baby or a young toddler with you.  We hand carried our luggage by ourselves so that we would not have to wait for too long to receive them.

Just to rant a bit here, I was really pissed by the attitude of one of the staff manning the "Welcome" photo booth. To those of you who have been on Carribean Cruise, you would knew that you can pay for a photo package to receive all the hard and soft copies of the shots you will be taking during the stint of 4D3N. This particular staff insisted that we were not allowed to take a group picture together just because we were staying in different staterooms (Don + Xav, Vera + me, inlaws and brother-in-law and sister -in-law in 4 different rooms). I told her that it did not make any sense at all if we were to have the pictures of the family members taken by the individual stateroom and not as a whole group together (imagine Don & Xav in one picture while Vera and me in another). Then it defeated the purpose of purchasing the package if we could not take it together as a group. Fine, we totally dropped the whole idea of purchasing that package.

We headed straight for a buffet lunch @ Windjammer Café which offered a wide spread of international buffet and explored to familiarize ourselves around the 15 decks ship thereafter. Vera seemed to know that we were off for another round of fun !

Skyline of our city

Pool Deck

Before we went to the rooms, Xav and Vera had some fun at the 9-hole miniature golf course. Golf clubs for both kids and adults were made available, just return them after use.

Our cabin for the next four days

Our room was facing the main shopping street. Should you not able to make it in time to the promenade to watch the performances, our room offered an excellent view of the performances and activities happening right below !

Towels were folded into different kinds animals and greeted us in the evenings when we returned to the rooms. By the way, housekeeping were done twice in a day. The rooms were always neat when we returned. On board, they did conduct towel folding sessions for the guests too. Do look out for scheduled sessions and be sure to sign up.

Do not miss their blowout sale on designer leather goods, fine jewellery, swiss time pieces and cosmetics to name a few if you intend to get one, not the latest designs though.  The compass would have a list of scheduled performances and sales.

View from our room

Skipper & Kowalski performance @  Royal Promenade

A number of friends complimented that Vera is so brave and actually dares to go near to mascost. Well, I have to say that it's all about exposure. She had great fun taking photos with her favourite character during our visit to Disneyland Theme Park (Anaheim), California last June.

Usually she will want to give them a big high five and take a picture with them.

Café Promenade was located at the Royale Promenade and opened daily for 24 hours providing free flow of pastries, tarts, cakes, sandwiches, coffee and tea.

Café Promenade

Our family

Passing our time while waiting for the Assembly Drill. Note that this is COMPULSORY for all guests as all individual's Seapass will be scanned for attendance. If you are going for this, do be considerate and be on time as they will not start the drill until everyone is there.

Tip #1 : Keep your Seapass away from the mobile device. I experienced it twice for not being able  to open the door to my room after placing it on top of my mobile. In the end, I have to get the Seapass replaced at the Guests Service Counter @ Deck 5.

We faced cranky babies, young children, tired elderly standing with the glaring rays of the hot afternoon sun shining into the stuffy area of where we were standing. Thankful for the bottle of "Aircon in a bottle" I brought along. I sniffled from the bottle to ease me from the heat and swiped some on the scalp of Xav to keep him cool. Peppermint essential oil is a must bring wherever I go, it's a life saver when you need that extra sniff of coolness.

After the drill, we went to queue for this soft-serve yogurt. It's tasted pretty good and yes it's complimentary for all.

Tip #2 : Book your table to dine at the Main Dining Room which provides multi-course meals for all breakfast, lunch and dinner. There were two seatings : 5.30 pm and 8.30 pm and this is complimentary. You can either do it online after you have purchased your tickets or get the staff whom served you to assist you in the booking. Do note on the attire that no slippers and singlets are allowed into the main dining hall.

We had our breakfast and lunch mostly at Windjammers while our daily dinner was at Rhapsody in Blue (Deck 3). The ambience was lovely with the chandeliers hanging up high from level 3 of the dining room. But do note that for breakfast, it's a first come first serve basis. Everyone has to be present should you want to be seated at the same table as they will count by per head count upon entering.

A rare couple shot

The very friendly staff with an excellence service attitude !

A family group photo - 1st night

Apparently, the formal night changed to be on the second night instead of the last night. Nope, no formal wear from us. I was happy enough to get Don to at least wear a pair of pants with a polo tee. He is more into casual wear than formal wear,  typical Asians I would say. I ever did encountered a prom night in United States. I found myself "under-dressed" even with my type of formal wear for dinner but most of the ladies except for the few of us, were dressed in gowns and were absolutely stunning !

The entire staff serving in the main dining room had a surprise performance, entertaining the guests with their Gangnam style and Macarena moves as they took stage at the center.

Some random dishes of what we had during dinner for the three evenings.

Other dining options were available as well should you want something for a change and do not mind paying. You can try dining at Chop's Grille @ Deck 11 if you are a steak lover, Giovanni's Table if you love Italian Dining or Steamboat at Windjammer Café.

Tip #3 : You will never go hungry and yes it's true ! If you have not have your fill at the main dining hall, you can always make a trip to Windjammers to grab some food or call for Room Service anytime with no extra charges UNLESS you call for the service between 0000 hrs - 0500 hours, that's when you will have to pay a service charge of $3.95. If you do not mind paying for specialty dining, do check out Chops Grille, Giovanni's Table and Steamboat at Windjammer Café.

Tip #4 : Need some time off away from the kids ? Be sure to check out the daily planners for the kids' activities from Adventure Ocean made available in your stateroom the night before. These are the programmes made available for different age group :
- Aquanauts (For age 3-5 years old)
- Explorers (For age 6-8 years old)
- Voyagers (For age 9-11 years old)

We signed Xav up for the Adventure Ocean- Explorers Programme. The programme would be supervise by the staff and it was a strictly drop-off 2 hrs programme. He made new friends and totally loved it ! He requested to join again on the second day.

After dropping him, we went to catch a show "Ice Under The Big Top". Do make it to watch this show ! This show had different screenings on different days and time, base on the odd and even number printed on our seapass. It is best to be there 30 minutes before the show time to ensure that you get a seat based on first come, first serve basis.

Plus Mariner of The Seas does have an ice-skating ring. They were really strict with the rules and regulations.

Tip #5 : Do remember to bring a pair of long pants / jeans and a pair of covered shoes in your luggage. It was a pity to have given this a miss because we did not bring any pants along! The covered shoes is actually meant for the basketball court if you intend to play at the court. Strictly no slippers or sandals.

The next morning, we were all sporty ! Rock climbing and swimming ! I gave rock climbing a try and it was not easy at all ! I was slightly more than half way half before I gave up. I thought Xav did great and in fact better than me when it comes to rock climbing. He had several successful attempts right up to the top ! He was exposed to this sport in December 2012 at The Rock School.

Don made it !

While we took turns to climb, this little lady here was helping herself to the snacks her grandmother bought for her.

Mood was definitely the best when she had food !

Getting wet at the pool ! Don't forget your super soaker if you do have one !

Xav went to join the Hip Hop Dance session too !

The second night, Xav was lucky to be given an opportunity to be involved in the show when he went to watch with my sister in law.

On the first night, from 8-9 pm, there was a Family Free Arcade session for an hour. Some arcade games were made free for play. Usually, we don't visit arcades that often but made it an exception on board and went two days in a row.

The father and daughter had some racing moments.

Rambo in action !

If the games were free, the indicator would reflect as shown below.

For two nights, when all were asleep, as usual I went to the casino for some friendly games. Usually, Don does not gamble, he will ask if I want to play instead. Tried my luck and winnings were good enough to cover our purchase of card holders to replace our wearing out ones.

The third day, the ship arrived at Port Klang. As usual, we chose to stay on board to idle our time away in the pool and café.


These were some of the shows that you may not want to miss at the Savoy Theatre.

Gallery of Dreams

Gallery of Dreams

On the third evening, we went for the Farewell Showtime and party the night away thereafter. The show was really awesome. Remember to go for it.

Farewell Showtime @ Savoy Theatre

Just me and Xav, I brought him for the GLOW Dance Party at Studio B at10.30 pm. All I can say is he could really dance for that 1.5 hours while I was people watching at my seat.

There were a lot more activities like movie screening under the stars, DreamWorks Meet and Greet, Vatality stretch class and pilates, Family Photo Scavenger hunt etc... We did not have everything covered as we were taking our own pace to just rest and relax before we return back to our normal routine.

Overall, the cruise experience with Mariner of The Seas was good and Don does not mind going again on another fleet. Our last cruise was in 2009 with Superstar Virgo when Xav was 2 and this time round, Vera has her first cruise trip at her 2 yr old too ! If you are looking at better dining options and service, my vote goes to Royal Carribean.

Time of the year again to start planning for the year end trip. We won't be going on any trips this June as Xav is most likely going for his day surgery in end of May. June shall be his recuperating period, perhaps a local staycation may be a good rest for everyone.

Thank you for reading. If you have been reading our posts, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !

Disclaimer: This is a NON SPONSORED Post. The trip was fully paid from our own pocket.

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