Just returned from a quick 3 night cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas. I booked this ship so I could check out the new “Amplified!” options. The itinerary was one I had done many times before so this trip was all about the ship.
We arrived at Port of Miami at about 10:30am. Earlier than our planed 11am check in time, but we had to check out of our hotel so it was either sit in the lobby of the DoubleTree or at the port so we headed over. They checked us in immediately and we spent about 30 minutes in the lounge until boarding began. We were the literal first people on board…that the first time that has happened to me!!
The ship is beautiful!
The buffet has been completely redone – New “washy washy” stations so you don’t have to use that anti-bacterial goo that usually sits outside the entrance.
New fancy seating areas
And one of my favorite bars on the entire ship…never busy, great drinks, and cool bartenders! I hesitate even telling you, because really its great…with one little tiny exception. See those bar stools? They are the highest bar stools I have ever had to climb on to. And if you sit there and have, say three martinis, you may forget exactly how high they are and miss the floor on your way down. Especially if you are just a smidge over 5 feet tall. But since the bar is never busy no one will ever know!
The Solarium pool area got some cool new seating too!
And of course the Amplified! additions:
A really neat mini golf course:
And one of the main attractions…the sky pad!
Some other new activities that we were not able to get to on this short trip include the Escape Room and the Laser Tag Arena. However, I will be back on board in January with my 16 year old son, so I am sure I will have the opportunity to see them then!
There are also some new concept bars. There is the Bamboo Room – a rum based, tiki style bar complete with talking macaws, plastic flamingos and a LCD porthole to give you a constant view of a tropical paradise outside.
This balloon sign will eventually be replaced with a more permanent Insta sign, but even as balloons, almost everyone that walked in took a picture here!
The menu was certainly rum based, but the bartenders could pretty much make you anything. The bar also offers some small bites for a fee. We did not try any of these, but they do look good!!
Another new bar is Playmakers, a sports bar. Surprisingly we spent a ton of time here, but usually when the bar was closed as the TV’s were on regardless and it was opening weekend of the Premier League soccer season (soccermom travels, after all!). This bar also has bar snacks for an additional fee but I did not get a picture of the menu there. Basically its typical bar bites: wings, sliders, etc. This bar was very often packed when it was open and it felt like the bartenders had a hard time keeping up…but maybe it was just me! They also have some cool bar games, they were free when we were there but that may not always be the case.
They also had mini games on each table, Connect Four and mini Corn Hole. I believe that this will remain one of the more popular spots.
In my next post, I will review the three specialty restaurants on board. We purchased the Ultimate Dining plan so we ate every night in a different restaurant. Two of them were new for us and pretty much new to Royal so stay tuned!