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Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas, launched in 2003, is the fifth and last vessel in the company’s game-changing Voyager class. Mariner is largely identical to its siblings, Voyager of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas, but it was the first of its class to get the “Royal Advantage” upgrade treatment. Make sure you have energy before coming on board as there are endless sea-day diversions to engage in, from rock-climbing to shopping. Mariner of the Seas’ Royal improvements from 2012 include the Royal Babies & Tots Nursery, a dedicated space for children under three years old. This ship has plenty of appeal for families, as it is friendly and entertaining for the kids.

Accommodation

Overall, Navigator has 1,643 staterooms of which are interior and oceanviews ranging from standard to the suites. Standard cabins are tastefully decorated, featuring light woods, and offer two twin beds that convert to a king. Notable outcome from the refurbishment is the installation of slick flat-screen TVs in all the rooms, replacing the antiquated tube models. Meanwhile, bathrooms are basic, and only suites have tubs.There are 81 inside cabins have virtual balconies that have HD screens showing sea views without having to splurge for a true balcony. Navigator of the Seas offers 27 accessible staterooms in a variety of categories. Features include wider doors, closet racks that can be pulled down to lower heights and accessible showers and toilets.

Food

Mariner of the Seas’ main restaurant spans three decks and features a music-themed design in keeping with the names: Rhapsody in Blue, Sound of Music and Top Hat & Tails. Breakfast and lunch are open seating in the main dining hall. But if it’s hot dogs you’re yearning for, head over to the Boardwalk Dog House. Jade is the ship’s Asian-influenced buffet area. It’s located adjacent to the Windjammer buffet and features selections representing Chinese, Indian and Japanese cuisines. Late night dining is available in the Cafe Promenade for small bites and sweets or via room service.

Activities

At the Solarium, you’ll feel you’re in Italy. It features a pool, fountain, two hot tubs, bar and lots of chaise lounges facing the sea, along with greenery, bronze horses and murals inspired by the Tuscan countryside of Italy. The fitness centre offers sea views through floor-to-ceiling windows. The gym has treadmills, elliptical cross-trainers recumbent bicycles, stationary bicycles, rowing machines, weight machines, and additional free weights. Other fitness and recreational facilities include a jogging track. The outdoor sports deck comes complete with a miniature golf course and golf simulator; a full-length sports court for basketball, soccer, paddleball and volleyball; and the rock-climbing wall, which is 200 feet above the sea.

Families

Mariner of the Seas offers a wide range of youth programs. At the Adventure Ocean, children must be at least three years old and fully toilet trained. Here, free-time play is offered daily, allowing parents to interact with their tots using specially designed developmental toys and programs. Generally, activities at Adventure Ocean cease during lunch and dinner times, but there is the occasional organised meal. The complimentary My Family Time Dining program lets kids finish dinner in the main dining room in 45 minutes, and then they can be escorted by Adventure Ocean counselors back to the kids’ club to play.

Verdict

– Cruise Passenger 

– Cruise Critic 

– Berlitz

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