Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas is one of Royal Caribbean’s older ships, a Voyager-class cruise ship that was originally launched in 2003, built in Finland for approximately $650 million.
Outfitted with 1,674 passengers cabins at launch, the cruise ship can accommodate 3,344 passengers and 1,185 crew members, with its 139,863 gross tonnage and length of 1,020 feet.
The ship has undergone several modifications over its life. First, in 2012, it was modified to offer an outdoor movie screen and new passenger lounges. These and similar changes were made across the entire Royal Caribbean Voyager-class fleet (which also includes Adventure of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas).
However, Mariner of the Seas underwent a much more extensive refurbishment in 2018, when it was dry docked and refitted with new amenities and more passenger cabins over the course of a month, to the tune of $120 million. These changes increased the ship’s gross tonnage from 138,279 GT to its current gross tonnage of 139,863 GT.
The newly renovated ship offers guests all of the activities, restaurants and entertainment venues that they can expect on some of Royal Caribbean’s newer ships, with some of the same experiences that are traditionally only available on longer sailings now available on Mariner of the Seas’ three- and four-night itineraries.
If you’re planning to take a Royal Caribbean cruise in the near future on the vessel, what can you expect? What should you do? What are the absolute can’t-miss activities that are available thanks to the 2018 changes, that you’ll want to be sure you add to your itinerary? Keep reading to find out. We’ve compiled the 14 things you absolutely must do on Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas.
1. Don’t overlook the great experience that can be had just in your stateroom
Some cruisers, when booking their cruise, overlook their stateroom experience. After all, they think, they’re just going to be sleeping there. They’re not exactly going to spend a lot of time in their stateroom. However, if you pick the best stateroom for you and your traveling companions (whether that’s a friend, spouse or the whole family), then you can easily have an amazing travel experience before you even leave your stateroom and start exploring the ship.
The ship offers several different staterooms that are sure to delight. Interior staterooms are budget-friendly and nicely decorated, with spacious floor plans that can fit a variety of needs. Ocean view staterooms feature huge, circular windows that give you unparalleled looks at every passing wave or island.
Balcony staterooms afford you and your family your own little private space to enjoy some fresh air and watch the world float by, while suites give you more of the same, just with a lot more space and a few extra amenities. And, for the ultimate in relaxation, you can book a spa stateroom, perfect for couples on a romantic getaway, where you can enjoy an extra level of pampering and paradise.
If you’re traveling with an infant, you can just let the crew know and they’ll outfit your stateroom with a crib and other baby supplies. If you’re traveling with extended family on a multigenerational getaway, then connecting staterooms might be an option to consider. If you’re a special needs traveler, you can also find staterooms that are outfitted to provide you with the best cruising experience possible.
Whichever stateroom option you go with for your Mariner of the Seas cruise, you’re sure to enjoy your stay — just make sure to pick your stateroom with care.
2. Get ready to play a new way — with new waterslides for ultimate fun
Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas was recently outfitted with its latest waterslides and water park fun. While Harmony of the Seas was the first Royal Caribbean ship to get a waterslide, now you can find these offerings on several Royal Caribbean ships, including Mariner of the Seas.
When Royal Caribbean decided to do waterslides, they decided to do them right, with its Perfect Storm waterslide extravaganza. The Perfect Storm is made up of two individual slides, the Typhoon and Cyclone slides. These three stories of waterslide fun leave you zipping along above the ship’s top deck, swirling out over the open ocean and back in, for heart-racing thrills. The slides even feature translucent panels so you can get a glimpse of the ocean during your ride.
4. Ride the waves without setting foot in the ocean
You can take to your surfboard without ever setting foot in the ocean, thanks to the FlowRider, a 40-foot-long surfing simulator that’s an exclusive experience you’ll have a hard time finding elsewhere. Take to this challenging activity and test your surfing, body boarding and wakeboarding skills. You’ll have an awesome time with this included activity.
5. Check out the newer dining options aboard Mariner of the Seas
When the vessel received its new staterooms, activities and amenities, it also added a few new eatery options. So, if you’ve only sailed on Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas pre-2018 renovations, you’ll definitely want to check out the handful of new dining options during your cruise.
Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver is an Italian restaurant that you’ll see on some of Royal Caribbean’s newer ships. Head there for authentic cuisine, house-made pasta and fresh, seasonal fare. A new Starbucks will let you enjoy all your favorite drinks from home.
The Bamboo Room is a new bar with exotic cocktails and small plates. Izumi is an Asian-inspired restaurant serving up made-to-order sushi and other items. Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade offers all the best parts of a sports bar — the wings, the burgers, the beer — without the sticky floors.
6. Team up with the fam for some one-of-a-kind fun
The new-look Royal Caribbean cruise ship offers more ways than ever before to have some one-of-a-kind fun with the family. Laser Tag: Battle for Planet Z requires everyone to work together to battle your fellow cruisers in a glow-in-the-dark laser tag arena.
If you love escape room challenges, you’ll really love Escape Room: The Observatorium, where you have to solve riddles and puzzles to rescue a time traveler.
7. Explore new worlds and adventures thanks to state-of-the-art tech
Sky Pad is Royal Caribbean’s virtual reality bungee trampoline experience. Guests are outfitted with a VR headset and then you’re off on your own adventure, exploring new worlds in ways that you never thought possible.
The state-of-the-art tech is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. This is one activity aboard Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas that you’ll want to enjoy again and again during your cruise — and the best part is, it’s an included activity, meaning there’s no extra cost.
8. Catch a show
Of course, while Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas offers plenteous new ways to have fun, it also still offers all your classic favorite activities that you might expect on a cruise, such as shows. You can find musical acts, theatrical performances, live music and more, whether you attend a sit-down show in the theater or you just check out a guest entertainer in one of the ship’s public spaces.
9. Get your wellness on
If you’re on your cruise and vacation in order to indulge in a little self care, then you’ll definitely want to take advantage of all the ship’s wellness opportunities. The spa is the place to go for a full menu of treatments, from amazing stone massages to revitalizing facials. Then, definitely make a point to visit the fitness center, where you can hop on modern fitness equipment and burn a few calories.
10. Get competitive
We’ve already named a lot of outdoor activities that you can enjoy while aboard Mariner of the Seas, but the list certainly doesn’t end there.
The sports deck also offers you and your family several courts, so you can play a friendly game of one-on-one basketball, or challenge another cruising family to a rigorous game of volleyball. Whatever your favorite sport, you can likely find a way to play on the ship’s sports deck.
11. Chill without the kids
Every parent deserves a little privacy and a bit of a getaway while at sea. Thankfully, Mariner of the Seas offers just the place. The Solarium is an adults-only spot where you have to be 16 in order to enjoy the quiet, privacy and total lack of screaming and splashing kids. There are all the amenities you could need, including a lounge area, multiple pools, multiple whirlpools and drinks, as well as views of the water from the very front of the ship.
12. Learn a new skill
Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas itineraries are jam-packed with opportunities for curious adults to learn something new. Whether you want to take a salsa dancing class, attend a lecture or learn a little bit more about art, you can do so with the ship’s full lineup of educational opportunities. Some are even kid-friendly, in case your child wants to get their hands on a new crafting skill or another similar hobby.
13. Eat your way around the world
While Royal Caribbean added several new eateries to Mariner of the Seas, you definitely shouldn’t pass up the ship’s other, classic restaurants. Enjoy steak and other chophouse eats at Chops Grille.
Go with a classic hot dog, with all your favorite toppings, at the Dog House. Enjoy a selection of international cuisine in the main dining room. Or, you can always kick back in bed and order room service.
14. Grab a drink
There are plenty of watering holes all across Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas. Make sure you stop by them all to sample all the delicious cocktails, wines and brews that the ship has on tap. Drink in the Latin flair at Boleros. Sip along to piano tunes at Schooner Bar. Grab a frosty, tropical beverage at the pool bar, or some English favs at the Wig & Gavel English pub. Whatever your favorite adult beverage, you’re sure to find it.
Mariner of the Seas FAQ:
Mariner of the Seas was refurbished most recently in 2018. In the earlier part of the year, the ship received extensive renovations over the course of a month, for a total cost of around $120 million.
The changes added several dining and entertainment options to the ship, including some of the Royal Caribbean brand’s favorited new features, such as the Perfect Storm water slides. The refurbishments also increased the number of staterooms, and upped the ship’s gross tonnage.
Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas has received rave reviews following its new refurbishments. While the ship is on the older side in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, these new changes bring it into the modern day. The ship boasts a crew-to-guest ration of 3:1 and is praised for its high level of customer service.
Mariner of the Seas has two water slides as part of its Perfect Storm feature. The two water slides are called Typhoon and Cyclone and sit three stories above the ship’s top deck. The slides extend over the side of the ship and feature translucent siding, for views of the ocean during guest rides. Rides are included in cruise fares.
Mariner of the Seas is a member of Royal Caribbean’s Voyager class. Other Voyager-class ships include Adventure of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas.