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December 22, 2015

Travel Post: Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas

And so, we've cruised on Royal Caribbean International (RCI) for the first time!

We thought it'd be good to provide some tips for people in Singapore (or anywhere else) since Mariner of the Seas is going to be in Singapore for a while. I've kept some spoilers on another page so that you can still have a dream vacation without too many expectations! :)

Prior to sailing, we did some research such as, "Tips for Royal Caribbean cruises" etc, and this page is pretty useful:

So, during the cruise, we realized some of them were true, but some not so, perhaps only for Mariner of the Seas. Do correct us, if we're wrong in any way! :)

Lisabeme2: Book onboard for the NextCruise booking bonus.
In Singapore: So true! Go check out the perks for booking on NextCruise, by the mid of your trip. Don't wait until the last minute. There will be a line of people queuing up for the only 2 desks, and you'll be wasting time queuing.

The prices are reportedly better than those offered in Singapore road shows. Anyway, if you do cancel the booking, there's no penalty. You only lose the onboard credit for the next cruise.

AVFD102: Get to the port early and use a porter.
In Singapore: Even if you reach late, the porters will still drag your luggage up.

RKSister: Don't over pack.  Wear clothing more than once, such as pants or shorts.
In Singapore: If you're staying in Interior staterooms, yes. Do pack lesser. There isn't much space in the cabin for an open suitcase.

Bill1125: Book a suite to get Concierge access because, at disembarkation, you get to use secret elevators and encounter no lines leaving the ship.
In Singapore: We asked RCI office in Singapore but they denied any 'secret elevators'. Perhaps you gotta have a suite before they'd divulge the secret. Anyway, junior suites do not have such perks. The perks you get for booking a junior suite that's different from a stateroom with a balcony is a bathtub, (slightly) larger room space and 24 hours room service (which isn't of much use considering that Cafe Promenade opens 24 hours).

Jamesw32: Don't wait to go home to give feedback.  Get any concerns resolved on board.
In Singapore: True that. They'd be more than happy to solve any issues you might have.

Daboyz1223: Wear a swimsuit onto the ship in embarkation day because your luggage may not get to your stateroom for a while.
In Singapore: Hmm, unless you embark really early like 11.30am, else the pool was pretty empty even when we boarded it at 2.30pm. Guess everyone was stuffing themselves at the buffet lunch area, the Windjammers.

Lisabeme2: Do the VIP All Access Tour at least once.
In Singapore: We were initially excited about it and were worried that there wouldn't be enough space if we did not book early. The VIP All Access Tour costs USD 150, which is really hefty. We decided to forgo it, as we decided it'd be more worth it for the bigger classes, e.g. Freedom Class (2nd largest class), Oasis Class (Largest class).

Plus, don't go booking for the trip beforehand, unlike comments you might have read online.
There was a promotion on the 2nd and 3rd day of my cruise, where it's a 1-for-1. Yes. USD 150 for 2 pax. The tour takes place on the cruising day, at 9.30am.

CraigOchs: Pack a highlighter to use for the Cruise Compass.
In Singapore: Yes! Please do, it makes organising your day's event so much easier to spot.

Kevinkline5: Walk as part of the "Walk for Wishes" charity event onboard.
In Singapore: It wasn't part of the Cruise Compass (Day's Itinerary), and we did not inquire about it.

Bill1125: Bring ice cream to the pool bar and amazing drinks can happen.
In Singapore: We kept wanting to, but didn't have a chance! Please try and let me know if it's really true!

RKSister: Book My Time Dining a few days in advance before your cruise.
In Singapore: The travel agent will have asked you during the signing of the contract.


First day discount on Specialty Restaurants? Yes, but... (Giovanni's Table, Chops Grille)
Yes, on the first day, it was in the Cruise Compass there was a 20% off. We went for it. But, on the 3rd & 4th days, there was a 25% discount plus a glass of champagne! Anyway, every morning there'd be someone walking around asking a passerby if they'd like to make reservations. And if you ask politely if they could give you a 20% discount, they'll be more than happy to oblige.

Should I go for the Specialty Restaurants (Giovanni's Table, Chops Grille)?
We didn't manage to try Giovanni's Table, but they're worth a try! Chops Grille is fantastic if you're a steak lover. And as steak fanatics, when we mean fantastic, it is!

Pre-booking... is not needed.
We checked out the Cruise Planner prior our trip and realized there was nothing much to book for. Except for shore excursions (which were really expensive...)

Should I book Shore Excursions?
If you're travelling with a family, it'd be a good idea to go for an Excursion unless you've done thorough research on how you're going to navigate the destinations. Else you're gonna waste time walking around with a large group and accomplishing nothing much. If you're travelling as a couple or a small group, it's okay to go free & easy.

Bring your toiletries. A hairdryer is provided!
Only bar soaps and one all-in-one shampoo & body foam is provided for the bath. Bring your own toiletries, even your own toothpaste & toothbrush. The only mama shop at Port Klang is a rip-off. Bath and face towels are provided and regularly changed (3 times in a day!). A hairdryer is provided (yay!)

What else must I bring?
Long pants and long socks! For ice-skating and in-line skating. Though both skating rinks are very small.


We're gonna update this page when we can, with pics. Meanwhile, hope these tips help! Feel free to comment below if you've any queries!


Update (21 April 2019) - We're going for our next RCI cruise on Voyager of the Seas on 3 May 2019!

Packing List for a Royal Caribbean Cruise Trip >>