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Everything posted by Jerseygirl2624

  1. I did this in May. All it is is renting a snorkeling set for the day-vest, mask, and fins. There was no special area for swimming-we were in the cabanas so we mainly stayed by that reef. If you have your own gear, just look to see if a vest is mandatory. I know no one asked us any questions during the entire time and the ‘teaching’ was a video played outside the snorkel hut.
  2. On the Mariner last month, the suites had an embarkation lunch starting at 1130 in the main dining room on the third floor. There were only abou 30 plus people in attendance when we were there and it was a nice quiet way to start a busy cruise. Menu was adequate and we were able to use our drink package. The lunch wasn’t listed on the website but the suite concierge made us aware of this the week before our cruise via a welcome letter/email.
  3. There was a box to put your belongings in but there was no lock. Kinda like a storage bin-plenty is space but no real way to keep it 100% secured. Just chucked the big items for storage and placed the towels on it to keep it out of sight. We were 8 so the cabana was never unattended plus we had #4 so even from the ocean it was in easy eyesight. I would definitely say leave any valuables on the ship. The description also said it comes with a usb for music, but it didn’t. We had I own little Bluetooth music which we used to play (quiet) soothing tunes. The floating mats (2) were a plus (free). I hated the Evian water-would have much preferred the other water that was in the ship. Tram was a mess. It took us from the ship to the zip line area, essentially the beginning of cococay. Asked if they went to chill island and was told they only go to south beach (made no sense). Initially we walked cross the bridge and took a long walk-about 15 minutes to make it to the cabana. We were fine but my mother has problems walking so it was a challenge. We later figured out the fastest way too and from was to go past the bar/shower area towards the oasis pool/splash away bay. That way it was closer to 5-8 mins to get around. No bites during our time in the water-spent close to 5 hours in the roped off area by the cabanas and went snorkeling without any issues. Also noticed no insects and the cabana was nice and breezy-never used the fan. At first I thought it would be a tight fit for 8 but since we all kinda came and went at our own pace, there was plenty of space for all of us. Good times 😉
  4. I was at cocay cay on the mariner on 5/23. Split out time between the chill cabanas and splash away bay. Never saw a crowd-even when we wandered through oasis. My sister and her bf did the water park and said only one ride (the tallest one) had a line. We spent a lot of time walking to the bar and in the ocean and it never seemed crowded. Actually it felt empty, even in the bathrooms and eating areas. We stayed there from 830-330 (ship didn’t leave till 630) and are looking forward to returning. Only thing we wish we did was check out the island activities for families.
  5. We arrived at 930 and were seated in the suite area by 10. Plenty of people were already there.
  6. Of course. Was just there yesterday. Saw hundreds of chairs all throughout the island, majority empty. They had umbrellas and close to the water. Food venues everywhere and the splash park, pool, and ocean are few. If you don’t want to buy drinks-water, lemonade and ice cream also free. No need to spend of you don’t want to.
  7. not print out my sail pass because I had the app. As we stood in line, I found out you can’t go to the royal website to pull up the pass, only via the app. It took about 10 mins for me to remember my app password since I rely so heavily on the phone remembering it for me. The ladies checking us in were lovely and patient. Once pulled up, the quickly pulled up our information. Since we prechecked online, they handed us a blue sign that said checked in and pointed us to the empty security line. There were clear signs for suites and pinnacles, but since we were so early, there was no line anywhere. I did ask about the Key check in-was told there was no line for them but they had a separate check in area once they passed security. My mother said she had no problem checking in. Once passed security, we went upstairs and went to the suite/pinnacle area to the right. It was a large, open area that had separate bathrooms and a coffee/juice section. Plenty of seating but we were only there for about 15 minutes because they stated boarding pretty early. Went through a quick line after showing the sail pass on my phone and onto the boat we went. Had to make a quick stop at a table for the kids to get muster wrist bands and kids club paperwork, then went onto the boat. Overall a quick and speedy process. No complaints. Onboard-entered the boat on the 5 floor, right next to the excursion desk. Second in line, we were able to pick our chill island cabana location and was given a quick rundown of what to expect. She was very helpful,, guided us to choose cabana four since t was a little bigger with front row water views. Then we walked the promenade for a few minutes but that was a little stressful with all our carry ons. Decided instead to head to the third floor dining room for the suite/pinnacle lunch which started at 1130. Relaxed and delicious meal helped set the tone of our trip. We were done by 1pm, then headed to chops grill to check on my mom. She was happily enjoying her Key lunch, said check I was quite smooth and they received clear instructions about their benefits. Since they were tucked away, we headed off to see our room. Room- we have the two bedroom suite on the 9th floor. I read a lot of reviews so knew what to expect. Definitely not the Ritz, but spacey and cozy for the 4 of us. And a great expansive balcony. And tons of storage spaces-the bedroom had three closets plus the hallway had a walk in. Kids room had lots of drawers and books and crannies so we were able to unpack everything without an issue. On the table, we had gifts from our travel agent (cupcakes, credits, and fruit basket) plus the concierge, Nadja, left a folder entitled suite life, which listed al the benefits. She also booked our galley and bridge tour for the following morning. My husband had a question about pressing and the concierge quickly took care of it-had the room steward send out his blazers and shirts, free of charge. Nadga was great, attentive and quick to answer any questions and address all concerns. Suite benefits-outside of the regular things like access to lounge, there were a lot of nice things like a separate seating section on the dining room, sun deck, and show area. Dining room menu was placed in the room and you could place your order by 6pm for delivery. But I think the best part was the bridge tour, great way to learn more about how the shop works. Activities-that’s the only limitation. There were a lot to do for teens and older kids but very limited activities for kids under 6. Thankfully they liked the kids club (which was not busy). And in the room, they had plenty of room to run around and the tv programming was more than adequate. On the first day, we did the ice show-kids thought it was delightful (bring a jacket) Suites had a section to the left and right of the center stage. Day two, we took the kids to see the juggler act. He had a few ‘adult’ jokes but they were tasteful and flew right over the kids heads. Then we went to the silent party. The room was full of kids and families and the music was a great range from 70’s to modern music. Everything from YMCA, Living on a prayer, songs from Troll sound track, to Black eyed peas. It was so much fun watching a room full of people silently jamming to the station of their choice. My kids danced and partied till 11pm. My mother happily sat in the couch, enjoying the night. Day three-woke up at 5 to head to the gym. I thought it opened at 6 but by the time I entered, there were plenty of people working it. I have the impression that it’s 24 hours. It’s well appointed with life fitness machines-I love weight lifting and was able to get in a proper work out. Next we went to breakfast in the dining room at 830-lots a food, attentive servers. We decided we’ve been to Nassau enough so we’ll make it a ship day We then dropped the kids at the kids club (only four kids total). There were so few kids they combined the two classes. Right now, we’re in the solarium, which is pleasantly quiet and empty. I’m going to take a pause and update later this evening. I want to put my take on coming the suite experience of royal vs carnaval (the quick version is there’s no comparison). But all in all, I’m loving royal and plan to head to the suite around 5 to plan my next trip (next cruise supposedly sets up on the lounge from 5-7 daily). I’ll also add pics once I figure out how.
  8. Good morning everyone. This is my first time on the mariner of the seas and wanted to write a quick review of our trip so far. We’re a family of four-two kids ages 3 and 6. Also traveled with my mother, her husband, my sister , and her friend. This review will mainly focus on the suite experience and my experience on the cruise line from the perspective of a parent. Prior to cruise-we stayed at the ritz Carlton orlando for two nights prior to the cruise. Our third time there-overall a relaxing alternative for those who are not looking for the Disney vibe. Embarkation-left orlando around 830 and the drive to the port was about an hour. The signage was very clear and we were able to drop off our bags and park the car by 10 am. Next went inside the port for check in-there we had a slight hiccup. I (silly me) decided to
  9. Actually I checked in this moring on MOS. We boarded close to 11 and I went straight to the excursion desk just in case. I was the second one in line. Once it was my turn, I said I was in the chill cabanas. She pulled out a map and guided me on the best ones to choose. Said 1-3 were very new so they didn’t have porch. So I picked 4, which she said was a good choice for space and views. Also told me it came with two mats. Super nice and very quick/informative. Then we enjoyed the suite lunch on deck 3. Very few guests there. We met a handsome pinnacle who was very sweet to my kids-even gave them a candy stick. I saw the pin but don’t have a chance to catch his name. If you’re in this site, thanks again 😊 We’re to check out the lounge. Plus my mom had a smooth keycheck in and enjoyed her chops lunch. Thank you everyone for helping have a great check in!!! I may do a review in a bit because it’s a hectic process for a new comer. But this site and you guys make it so much easier.
  10. Thanks for the speedy reply! We’re at terminal b looking for parking. So excited!!!
  11. What number cabana would you say had the best view/space?
  12. Thank you. I’m in a suite so I didn’t get the key. But I bought it for my mom because she has mobility issues. I’m hoping the priority embarkation will give her a smooth first day.
  13. LOl. Good point. Since my anxiety is getting the best of me, I’ll just call the guest line in hopes of getting a clear answer. I’ll be sure to post an update if I get anything concrete and I’ll post a review next week about the experience.
  14. I’m sorry. I should have been clearer. I meant when and how do you choose the Key lunch prior to boarding. I’ve seen some posters write they were able to make a choice between Chops and Jamie’s prior to boarding via the cruise planner. But when I went on my mother’s planner, the Key symbol is on her sailing pass but there was no mention of benefits or option to choose anything. If we just pick when she gets on board, that’s fine. Just wanted to know, for the Mariner specifically, if anyone had any Key experience within the past 2-3 weeks. If so, I wanted to know some things like did they get a pre arrival email; do they have their own line , check in counter, welcome center, etc in port carnaval. She’s older so don’t care about the activities. Just the luck and priority boarding and luggage drop off for the mariner. I’ve read the Key review thread and many pages of this thread. However, everyone’s experience seems consistently inconsistent and Royal’s rules seem vary with the breeze. it’s hard to discern the process by what I’ve read. Thanks in advance.
  15. Hello everyone. Two questions-where do you find your options for dining on the cruise planner? I’ve seen mention of it but can’t find it. Second, does any have recent information about key embarkation specifically for mariner? I bought it for my elderly mother and want to able to help navigate the process. Thank you.
  16. Thank you @Nadja you answered a lot of my questions. I do want to ask how soon in advance did you receive the email? My cruise is 5/20 and haven’t heard from the concierge. Thanks.
  17. Also, for any of those who rented a chill island cabana since May 3rd 2019 1. is it really as small as the video/picture rendering? It looks way smaller than the older cabanas. Not sure how you’re supposed to fit 8. 2. Chill shack-do you have a special line or just the same eating venues as those in the chairs? 3. Is the water shallow (are they now located in what used the be the bungalow area?) 4 are bathrooms close by? And also, what’s the walk like from there to splash away bay? Thanks!
  18. Today half day is 18.99 and full is $23. I’d rather hang out with my kids so I bought two passes for my sister her bf. great price drop!
  19. Received a bid today. In a 2 bd grand suite on the mariner. Royal suite $250 pp owner suite 150 pp Having 2 bathrooms and an extra bedroom is more important to us plus a large balcony, so we’ll pass
  20. I just checked the planner for current process. Oasis lagoon and water park cabanas are now 399 and chill island cabanas are at $602. These prices swing quite widely.
  21. Cruise in May 2019 grand suite, booked a bungalow for 190. Cancelled and booked a cabana on chill island for 570. Rebooked at lower price last month for 530-no other price drop since then. Water park cabana were at 320.
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