Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas: Overview and Things to Do

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A member of the Voyager class, Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas is on the older side, but it still offers a cruising experience that will appeal to some. 

It’s a little on the smaller end, so it offers a more intimate setting. It’s undergone extensive refurbishments, as of 2018, to bring the ship up to near-modern standards, with a lot of the amenities you expect on cruise ships these days. It also offers a range of short Caribbean cruises, making it ideal for quick getaways for those with limited time. 

So, if you’re planning to take a Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas cruise in the near future, what can you expect? What should you do? What are the absolute can’t-miss activities that you’ll want to be sure you add to your itinerary?

Here’s what you’ll need to know about this ship’s staterooms, suites, dining, activities, itineraries and more.

Mariner of the Seas Stats

Fun fact? The Mariner of the Seas that you see today wasn’t exactly the same Mariner of the Seas that launched in 2003. While, yes, most ships of this age have undergone some refurbishments, this ship’s refurbishments were so extensive that they actually bumped up its size.

In 2018, refurbishments increased the ship’s original gross tonnage from 138,279 to its current gross tonnage of 139,863. Here’s how the ship measures up:  

  • Gross Tonnage: 139,863
  • Length: 1,020 feet
  • Total Decks: 14
  • Passenger capacity: 3,344 (double occupancy)
  • Crew: 1,185 members
  • Cabins: 1,675

Construction

This very last Voyager-class cruise ship was originally launched in 2003, built in Finland at Kværner Masa-Yards Turku New Shipyard for approximately $650 million. The ship was christened in November 2003 by godmother and American paralympic athlete Jean Driscoll.

Technically, Mariner of the Seas is a second-generation Voyager-class ship. The Voyager class is split into two generations due to slightly differentiations. 

The first generation includes Voyager of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas, with the first of the three launched in 1999. Then came the second generation, with Navigator of the Seas and then Mariner of the Seas wrapping up the class in 2003. So what made the Voyager class stand out?

Mariner of the Seas at the Shipyard
Mariner of the Seas at the Shipyard

Initially, the Voyager class was intended to appeal to as many travelers as possible, even non-cruisers. As such, the class introduced features that have become staples across all of Royal Caribbean’s ships, such as the Royal Promenade. Additionally, the Voyager class brought several industry firsts with it, such as a rock-climbing wall and ice-skating rink. 

The second generation of Voyager-class ships are very similar to the first generation, but with a few minute differences, such as in the public venues and staterooms.

Mariner of the Seas Refurbishments

Mariner of the Seas has undergone several refurbishments over its long life. Notable changes occurred in 2012, when the ship received an outdoor movie screen and new lounges. 

Then, the most major of the refurbishments occurred in 2018. This was the refurbishment that changed the ship’s overall size. The ship was dry docked and refitted with new amenities and more passenger cabins over the course of a month, to the tune of $120 million.

Mariner of the Seas Dry Dock
Mariner of the Seas Dry Dock

The newly renovated ship offered guests all of the activities, restaurants and entertainment venues that they had come to expect on some of Royal Caribbean’s newer ships at the time.

New additions included the Sky Pad, Perfect Storm waterslides, laser tag, the FlowRider surfing simulator and a few restaurants that are Royal Caribbean staples, such as Izumi Hibachi and Sushi, Playmakers Sports Bar and Jamie’s Italian.

Read Also: Things to Do on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas

Most recently, Mariner of the Seas wrapped up a dry dock in early 2023. This dry dock was shorter and not as intensive, and included a paint job, removal of the SkyPad and small cosmetic changes. 

Mariner of the Seas Itineraries

Mariner of the Seas has offered a range of cruises, but many have stuck to the Caribbean, with sailings out of various ports in Florida. In recent history, as of early 2024, Mariner of the Seas offered four and five-night Western Caribbean cruises out of Galveston, Texas, and Port Canaveral, Florida.

Staterooms

Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas offers several different staterooms across its 1,675 cabins and suites. These include: 

  • 669 interior staterooms
  • 246 ocean view staterooms
  • 638 balcony staterooms

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 Cabin
Balcony Cabin

Balcony staterooms afford you and your family your own little private space to enjoy some fresh air and watch the world float by. There are no virtual balcony staterooms on this ship. Whichever stateroom you choose, though, it will come with amenities such as:

  • Luxurious bedding
  • Either two twin beds or one queen-size bed
  • A siting area
  • A bathroom with a shower, vanity area and hair dryer
  • 24-hour room service
  • 24-hour attendant service
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • TV 
  • In-room safe
  • Phone and voicemail

Suites

There are 121 suites on Mariner of the Seas. Suites options include royal suites, grand suites and owner’s suites.

Mariner of the Seas Suite
Mariner of the Seas Suite

Grand suites can be broken down into one or two-bedroom options. Royal suites come with lots of floor space and special touches such as a baby grand piano in the living space, plus a big balcony. The owner’s suite is likewise extra-large, with a separate dining area and ample space for large groups or families to spread out.

Worth Reading: Royal Caribbean The Key – What Are the Benefits?

Free Dining

While Mariner of the Seas certainly doesn’t offer as many dining options as some of Royal Caribbean’s newer ships, it does offer enough complimentary restaurants that you could feasibly not get bored or frustrated during the very short cruises that this ship specializes in.

Cafe Promenade
Cafe Promenade

Your free dining options during a Mariner of the Seas cruise include:

  • The ship’s main dining room, for a sit-down, standard, three-course experience
  • Cafe Promenade, a casual café that’s open all day and all night
  • The Dog House, for quick bites and — what else? — hot dogs
  • The Windjammer Café, the ship’s buffet 

Room service is also available, though you may receive an extra charge, depending on what you order. 

Specialty Restaurants

Okay, we know — the above four complimentary options are going to get boring if you consider yourself even slightly to be a foodie traveler with a refined palate.

So, for that reason, consider springing for some of the specialty restaurants that do come with per-person or a la carte fees, but that could be well worth it, when it comes to elevating your cruising experience.

Chops Grille
Chops Grille

Specialty restaurants aboard Mariner of the Seas include:

  • Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, for an entertaining hibachi experience or fresh sushi
  • Starbucks, so you can get your caffeine fix
  • Jamie’s Italian, a concept created by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver
  • Chops Grille, the standard steakhouse on all Royal Caribbean ships
  • Johnny Rockets, the diner brand that’s well known in tourist locations

There’s also Royal Caribbean’s Chef’s Table, where you enjoy a chef-led, prix fixe dining experience with a limited number of other cruisers. 

Bars and Lounges

Mariner of the Seas’ bars and lounges include familiar options that you’ll recognize from other Royal Caribbean ships. Expect classics such as:

Playmakers Bar
Playmakers Bar
  • Boleros, a Latin club with live music and dancing 
  • Playmakers Bar, a sports bar and arcade
  • Schooner Bar, a nautical watering hole
  • Solarium Bar, for drinks and views
  • The Suite Lounge, for suite guests only
  • The Viking Crown Lounge, for Royal Caribbean’s loyalty club members only
  • The Bamboo Room, a unique feature on Mariner of the Seas, with tiki vibes
  • The English Pub, a cozy spot for brews

You’ll also find bars at the pool deck.

Activities and Entertainment

Just as there are just enough restaurants and bars to keep you fed and watered during a short cruise on Mariner of the Seas, so are there just enough activities to pack your sea days before you head ashore.

The ship’s overhaul in 2018 added lots of classic Royal Caribbean activities and venues, and many activities are catered to families and kids.

Pools and Water Slides 

Mariner of the Seas has three total swimming pools and multiple hot tubs, but the water fun hardly starts and ends there.

Mariner of the Seas also features the Perfect Storm waterslide. The Perfect Storm is actually 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.

Mariner of the Seas Water Slides
Mariner of the Seas Water Slides

Then, you can take to your surfboard without ever setting foot in the ocean, thanks to Mariner of the SeasFlowRider surf simulator, 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. 

The Spa

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.

Royal Promenade

As mentioned, Royal Caribbean first introduced the Royal Promenade on its Voyager-class ships and now it’s hard to even imagine a Royal Caribbean ship without one.

Royal Promenade
Royal Promenade

This space is your one stop for people watching and getting into the heart of all the action. You’ll find bars, restaurants, shopping and more within easy reach, as you stroll up and down this central thoroughfare. 

Ice Skating Rink

Another feature that made its debut on the Voyager class, the skating rink on Mariner of the Seas is a fun touch. Strap on your skates and enjoy chilling out before you get back to your fun in the hot, Caribbean sun. 

Sports

Mariner of the Seas’ sports court offers the chance to get a little competitive on one of the top decks, whether you prefer volleyball or basketball. However, if you want to get competitive in other ways beyond the volleyball or basketball court, you can still find other options in the arcade, at the ping pong tables, on the mini golf course or in the laser tag arena.

Laser Tag and Escape Room

Speaking of, it’s been a while since you last played laser tag, now’s your chance to dive into an immersive experience and battle your fellow cruisers in a glow-in-the-dark arena.

Escape Room
Escape Room

If you want an immersive experience but something a little less laser-focused, try a turn in the escape room, where you’ll find yourself with an hour to uncover clues in a space-age “observatorium” setting.

Kids Venues

Royal Caribbean gives parents their own spaces away from the kiddos, but also gives children and teens their own spaces where they can play, learn and connect with their fellow cruisers of the same age in a safe, enriching environment.

The Adventure Ocean program caters to kiddos ages 3 to 11, with lots of planned activities all throughout the day, geared at three different age groups within the larger 3–11 group.

Babysitting for this group is also available, after hours, in case you’re planning a parents-only date night or just want a little peace and quiet. Preteens and teenagers also get their own spaces, with activities planned for those ages 12 to 14 and 15 to 17.  

Mariner of the Seas FAQ:

Is Mariner of the Seas a good ship?

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.

Does Mariner of the Seas have a water slide?

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.

What class is Mariner of the Seas?

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.

Final Thoughts

While Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas is a small ship and it may not offer as many restaurants, bars and staterooms and suites as you’re accustomed to on newer ships, it does offer lots of the latest and greatest activities and entertainment options.

Read Also: Are Royal Caribbean Cruises All Inclusive?

If you’re just taking a short cruise, you likely won’t even notice that this ship doesn’t offer 20-plus restaurants and bars. In short, if it’s an intimate cruising experience, lots of family fun and a short getaway that you’re looking for, Mariner of the Seas delivers.

Holly Riddle
Holly Riddle
Holly Riddle is a travel and food freelance writer whose work can be found in print and digital publications all around the world. She is additionally an entrepreneur specializing in content and marketing services. Beyond frequent travel, Riddle enjoys cooking, reading, camping and spending time with her husband and two dogs. Her favorite travel destinations include Chicago, Amsterdam, Edinburgh and just about anywhere in the Caribbean. Find out more about us here.

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