Photo diary: All aboard the Mariner of the sea

by - Sunday, July 31, 2016

I know the continuation of my previous post has been long overdue, but I guess it's better late than never. I actually REALLY have a lot in store for you and am warning you right now that this will be a lengthy post but if you dare let's go aboard the Mariner of the sea. It's one of Royal Caribbean International's ship that only sails for Asia.

Before this cruise experience, my initial impression of cruise ships were boring. But lo and behold, I was so wrong on so many levels. Not only a pool, hot tub, spa, and other usual things that we see on ships. Some of the cool facilities that they had were an ice skating rink, roller blade rink, golf simulator, mini golf course, wall climbing area, arcade and so much more so I'll let the pictures do the talking from here.

Up the 10th floor is the pool, there are two kinds, an outdoor and a semi indoor pool. The outdoor pool has a total of 2 pools and 4 hot tubs. So at night they air some movies on a giant led screen. Personally, I wasn't able to try the outdoor pool since that it was so windy.

As for the semi-indoor pool, called Solarium, they have 1 pool and 2 bigger hot tubs. So this time I tried the hot tub and it was hella hot, it took really long before my body adjusted to the temperature. (it didn't)

So near the Solarium is the entrance to the spa, gym, sauna, shower room, and steam room. The first thing that you see upon officially entering is a big hot tub. it fits 20 people if I'm correct and the temperature of the water here is so much comfortable than the former hot tub. 

Around the tub is the gym, they have a section for cardio and a section for weights. So if you were thinking that I did not try then gym then you're correct. Who has time when you only have 5 days to get fat :(

So next to the hot tub is the shower room, sauna, and steam room. So the ladies and gents have to part ways from here. For the showers, again my problem is the temperature, So freaking hot like who would bathe this kind of water. I'm not sure if I'm just stupid or the temperature is nonadjustable. By the way prepare your eyeballs because Some people shower and use the sauna and steam room naked. No judgement just shocked...or maybe there is judgement? Who knows?

On the upper floors is where other sports facilities are located. There's a jogging path, a mini golf course, a basketball ring, climbing wall, golf simulator, and roller rink. (last two are sadly not pictured) So yes I did try climbing the wall, it was my first time and it was so tiring even if I only finished half. It looked so easy but the your arms start to give up.

Now if you're looking for a little shopping then better head down to the 5th floor. So the 5th floor, a.k.a. the promenade houses different boutiques, cafes, ice cream parlor, and bars. On our boarding date, they had a Dreamworks studios parade that's why some pictures above have funky lights. 

They have have several staterooms overlooking the promenade and the cafe promenade is open 24/7 and it's in the house. Wig and Gravel, an place that emulates an english pub is also one of the places you'd want to head to if you're looking for some booze, though they're not free.

Since I started on staterooms, why not go there all the way. We got an inner stateroom for our stay and the cool thing here is that initially the bunk bed was hidden just like on the right side. As for the size, it was really tiny but was arranged in a very systematic way. our room even had a couch, and vanity. again, I failed to take a picture of the bathroom but it was okay.

Food! Where should I start? It was soooo overwhelming especially on our first day. First up is the buffet dining experience, they have 2 brands namely Jade and Windjammer. Again, I was not able to photograph these two but Jade is Chinese cuisine and Windjammer is more of mixed or international cuisine and has a larger variety of food. They're connecting and the dinning area near Windjammer has a 180° view.

Another kind of dining experience is found in the main dining room which composes of 3 levels. Ours is located on the 3rd level or 5th floor and is called, Rhapsody in blue. Here you order through a menu you'll be expecting a semi-fine dining experience. Though I'm pretty sure that it's supposed to be a fine dining experience but I guess it depends with the crowd you're with.

Last but not the least dinning experience is from restaurants from Giovanni's table and Chop's grille. I recommend that if you're looking for a fine dinning experience then these two are the way to go. but wait, it does come with a little price. For Giovanni's table you'll need to pay something like $25-28, and $30-35 for Chop's grille. I'm not exactly sure with the prices but they're within the range and do take note that they're per head. Again as expected, I did not took enough pictures.

Food and drinks are not limited to those mentioned above, there are other bars and lounges that serves food and drinks too. We actually took a package where in we'll get unlimited Coca-cola manufactured drinks and it comes with a cute Royal Caribbean tumbler. Though that's not the only package, there are for alcoholic beverages, and other juices too.

There's actually a casino and an arcade. Other facilities and activities not pictured are the Savoy theater, a place for live shows, plays, musicals. The screening room, a small cinema to watch some movies. The ice skating rink, it's required that you wear pants in here and do bring a jacket since it's quite chilly. They also had a show that was beyond spectacular, that was mixed figure skating and acrobatics. There are actually a lot more that I failed to mention but I guess it's better for you guys to experience the real thing

So for my stay here in this cruise ship, I enjoyed it so much but I think it could've been improve, not by the crew but the crowd. Me and my family were just so shocked (not really. more of pissed) with the crowd. The port of call was in Shanghai so it was expected that there will be a lot of mainland Chinese but the lack of personal space, queues, all the pushing and shoving was really annoying and disappointing . It was kinda stressful especially when returning to the ship after an excursion and getting food since a lot of people don't respect lines and personal space. Though it is understandable since that it is part(?) of  their culture but all I'm saying is that It could've been better....a lot. 

So excuse the lack of pictures, maybe next time I'll take more pictures but I guess taking pictures is not the essence of traveling. It is feeling and appreciating where you are right now. 

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