A Look Back at my Royal Caribbean Cruise Mariner of the Seas Experience

Going on cruise is definitely a travel experience that I consider as one for the books. After the 5-day cruise with Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas, my definition of rest and relaxation definitely reached a new levelabove sea level it is!



I spent this trip with my mom and brother to celebrate my birthday in 2013.

To begin with, we flew to Singapore and spent a day in the city before embarking the ship. We stayed in a budget hotel for family at Penhas Road where I find the location very convenient for sight seeing as it's just walking distance from the Lavender MRT station. 
On the next day, a small private coaster fetched and brought us to Harbourfront Centre, the port area in Singapore. Our itinerary was:

Day 1: Singapore
Day 2: Port Klang, Malaysia
Day 3: Phuket, Thailand
Day 4: High seas
Day 5: Singapore

Embarkation

First, we checked in our luggage and passed through immigration to get stamped for Malaysia and Thailand. 

This is the cruise card that gives access to the room and other areas in the ship. It is also used for purchases since the ship is on a cashless basis.
It took a while for us to enter as the entry process was done in batches (by room). Since our room was at the higher decks, we were one of the last batches called. Nevertheless, it wasn't much of a wait for me since, as a first-time cruiser, my eyes were busy seeing everything as new. 
In a cruise ship, rooms are called "staterooms" while floors are called as "decks." Our room was stateroom 1535 at deck 10. It has 3 beds (2 twin beds and a folding bed) with a bathroom but no window. From time to time, I forgot that I was in a ship because it really looked like a hotel. The only difference was the wobbly feeling (especially inside the bathroom) when waves were strong.

Tip: It's possible to get motion sickness while on cruise, so it's best to bring anti-dizziness medication. Also, avoid eating too much before embarkation.


As part of complying with the safety standards, we joined the 30-minute evacuation drill. This kind of drill is mandatory in all cruise ships and all guests are required to join. 
To keep us posted on available activities per day, we looked at this "Cruise Compass," a daily brochure guide that delivered to our stateroom every day. It showed the date, time, and venue of activities inside the ship.

Five days were not enough to cover all the possible things to do while on cruise. With this, we decided to do what best interested us. Also, we made sure that every activity was unique from the other. To walk you through some of them, here's a highlight of our cruise experience:

Live performances

Perhaps what sets Mariner of the Seas apart from other Royal Caribbean cruise lines is that the cast of DreamWorks Madagascar is aboard! On the first day, there was a parade at the Promenade, the center / lobby area of the ship. Madagascar mascots happily entertained all cruisers, especially the kids, with dance and music.

The huge seating capacity Savoy Theater offered spectacular performances from musical shows to stage plays. During our final night, we watched a live musical show in this theater titled “Center Stage.”


The Promenade also served as venue for other live performances where cruisers were able to participate in. On day one, there was a interactive live show featuring songs and dances of the 70s.

Meanwhile, Ellington’s and Schooner Bar offered awesome live music at night. There was also a disco party with live music at Studio B.

Land excursions

Cruising doesn't mean staying in the ship all the time. Our ship stopped in Malaysia and Thailand, and so we took the chance to explore these 2 countries during the trip.


When the ship docked at Port Klang in Malaysia on the second day, we booked a land excursion to Kuala Lumpur. The day tour included a visit to National Monument, Independence Square, KL Gallery and Petronas Towers. It was an interesting tour, but we could've spent more time in Kuala Lumpur if not for the city's heavy traffic.

Also read: When in Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur Overnight

On the third day, we spent a day in Thailand. This time, the ship was only tendered, which means the ship is at the middle of the sea instead of docking at the port, so we had to take a small boat to reach land. We spent a day in Patong Beach, a popular white sand beach in Phuket, Thailand.

Despite being touristy, I found Patong Beach interesting. The beach vibe reminded me of Boracay and Puerto Galera beaches in the Philippines. We took the chance of having an authentic Thai massage at Patong Beach. Also, we tried Thai food for lunch, then finally bought a few Thai souvenirs before heading back to the ship.

Also read: When in Thailand: Grand Palace Complex

Indoor and outdoor fun


Mariner of the Seas has an array of recreational activities. At some point, I really thought I wasn't inside a ship! For one, I was surprised to see life-size outdoor recreational facilities like a wall climber, mini golf course, and basketball court!



I even got more overwhelmed by the numerous indoor activities. The ship has an ice skating rink, art gallery, casino, library, and a few disco bars.
To keep the cruisers stay in shape, the ship offers free usage of the fitness center, complete with gym equipment and on-duty trainers.
There are outdoor swimming pools at the top deck. Jacuzzi pools for adults are also around. And to top that, there's even a wide screen where guests can catch a movie while soaked in water.

Unlimited food


In most cruise ships, food is inclusive already, so no need to buy food anymore. The main dining area, Windjammer, was where we ate almost all the time. As it's buffet style, there was a variety of food. It served all kinds of food I could ever think of, and I bid goodbye to my diet for 5 days! =p 

Aside from buffet food, plated dishes were also available (with reservations required). A notable dining experience was at Top Hats & Tails where the Gala Night was held. The Gala Night was that special one-night fine dining experience with the captain and the crew. All attendees were expected to be in formal attire.
One morning, we booked a themed breakfast at Rhapsody in Blue where we had a meet and greet with the cast of DreamWorks Madagascar.



Relaxing view

Given the variety of activities in and out of the ship, my favorite was simply hanging out at the outdoor decks. It was a highlight of my trip.
The ocean view was just calming. I found myself either catching some sunlight in the morning or staring at the beautiful sunset in the afternoon. I ended up hours at the view deck without really realizing the time because I was simply thankful for every moment of that unforgettable cruise experience.

Have you been on cruise? What was your favorite activity in the ship?




A Look Back at my Royal Caribbean Cruise Mariner of the Seas Experience A Look Back at my Royal Caribbean Cruise Mariner of the Seas Experience Reviewed by Shelly Viajera Travel on 5.4.16 Rating: 5
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