Mariner of the Seas
The last of Royal Caribbean International’s five Voyager-class ships — all designed to carry 3,114 passengers — Mariner of the Seas was the first (in 2012) to get the Royal Advantage upgrades that will eventually give the entire fleet the signatures of Oasis-class ships. That means its 15 decks are packed with activities (rock-climbing, ice and in-line skating, minigolf, three pools, six hot tubs, and a poolside movie screen), along with eight dining venues, 17 bars and lounges, and the family-friendly DreamWorks Experience. Yet despite its size, Mariner of the Seas never feels crowded.
What We Love
The Boardwalk Dog House: Always open for lunch, and with longer hours on sea days, this haute hot dog stand offers a savory alternative to the standard buffet fare, with wieners that range from Bavarian-style bratwurst to the classic Coney Island dog.
Peek-A-Boo Bridge Overlook: This windowed viewing area that lets passengers peer into the bridge on Deck 10 is available on all Voyager-class ships and is a cool feature for watching, but not distracting (no tapping allowed), the ship's officers.
Best Known For
High-Tech Directions: The Royal Advantage upgrade added award-winning LCD way-finder, interactive touch screens, which tell you where you are — and how to get where you want to go.
Play Room: Children and teens will never get cabin fever aboard this ship, with its 20,000 square feet of kids’ spaces, including the Royal Babies & Tots Nursery, the Adventure Ocean youth program, a video arcade, and the Fuel Teen Disco and Living Room teen lounge.
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Who It's Best For
Those Seeking a Familiar-Exotic Mix: Mariner of the Seas has everything cruisers know and love about Royal Caribbean, while its current itineraries from Singapore and Shanghai visit alluring ports in Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, and Korea.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
It Costs Bucks For Burgers: Johnny Rockets is a 1950s-themed burger joint popular with families — but unlike the Boardwalk Dog House, it's considered specialty dining, and you'll pay a $5.95 per person cover charge.
Nancy Dunn is a Vancouver-based travel writer and a contributor to ShermansCruise.com.
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Mariner of the Seas at a Glance
- Line: Royal Caribbean
- Class: Voyager
- Number of Passengers: 3114
- Ship Size: Mega
- Launch Date: 2003
- Refurbish Date: 2012