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Mariner vs Freedom Tiebreaker Needed - Need your hot takes


Which would you take all things considered?  

32 members have voted

  1. 1. What ship makes the most sense?

    • Freedom
      17
    • Mariner
      15


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Posted (edited)

Trying to decide which ship to go with on this upcoming cruise we're planning. Your advice, especially if you're familiar with both ships as they currently sit post-amplify would be great.

Both are departing on the exact date we would need - 9/13/21 and end the same day and both happen to go to Nassau and CocoCay so that part is a draw.

We've only been on one Royal cruise before and that was Liberty out of Galveston a few years ago. In all honesty it was alright but I read they had to skip out on a lot of what they planned to do with the ship just prior in a drydock and the company we had wasn't great so that likely influenced the opinion.

 

This is just a quick getaway for the 2 of us about as close to my 40th bday (October 5th) as work schedules will allow.

 

Here's what I am debating:

Mariner:

A couple hours closer to home

About $20 less in tolls

More recently amplified (though because of covid I think both have had about the same number of cruises since amplification so moot point?)

The Bamboo Room (not on Freedom)

Has Playmakers (but way smaller and part of the Promenade instead of it's own entire zone)

Has Jamie's Italian

Has the Escape Room

 

Freedom:

A couple hours further from home

Additional $20 in tolls

Only been on Royal once and was on this same ship class 

Lime and Coconut (not on Mariner)

Playmakers is HUGE compared to Mariner

Has R Bar (we liked it on Liberty)

Has El Loco Fresh

Has Giovanni's Italian Kitchen (I think this is a different name from what Liberty had? Is it different?)

 

These things don't matter:

Which water slides or who has the trampoline skypad thing (we're both big boys and Royal has already declared we're too fat for such things)

We're gold so no need for Diamond lounge

We're likely doing basic inside or basic balcony so we don't need a suite lounge

We gamble but not to a ridiculous amount so what the casinos have isn't a huge deal

"This ship is bigger, it'll feel more crowded" - Neither ship will be at capacity so no biggie 🙂

The promo I found has both of these within a few dollars of the exact same price 

 

Please help! I appreciate your input!

 

 

Edited by InTheWASide
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I prefer the lounging in the shade in the Solarium, and Freedom's Solarium is MUCH larger, plus the hot tubs are cantilevered on the sides of the ship, so there is even more deck space in the covered areas for more shaded loungers.  

Otherwise, the ships are pretty much identical... Freedom is just longer and wider, so everything's a bit bigger all around.  If you're bigger people, you might prefer the extra space on Freedom. 

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I've found myself not being the driver on most cruises (I love driving but I stubbornly have the oldest smallest car so I'm usually not selected) so it's not that big of a deal, but if I was driving I'd want the shorter drive. 

 

When I come home from cruises an hour from home the day isn't a waste. When it's the one 4+ hours away the day is a waste. I make sure I stay awake to not leave to driver alone so I crash when I get home.

 

Gotta save a lot of cash or have a way better itinerary to drive 3+ hours more.

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14 hours ago, brillohead said:

I prefer the lounging in the shade in the Solarium, and Freedom's Solarium is MUCH larger, plus the hot tubs are cantilevered on the sides of the ship, so there is even more deck space in the covered areas for more shaded loungers.  

Otherwise, the ships are pretty much identical... Freedom is just longer and wider, so everything's a bit bigger all around.  If you're bigger people, you might prefer the extra space on Freedom. 

 

Pretty sure it's only longer, not wider

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4 hours ago, InTheWASide said:

Thanks everyone! We've decided on Mariner and a lot of the feedback you provided helped with that decision.

Good, because that is how I would have voted if I had seen your question before you made  your decision.  😄

 

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14 hours ago, brillohead said:

I prefer the lounging in the shade in the Solarium, and Freedom's Solarium is MUCH larger, plus the hot tubs are cantilevered on the sides of the ship, so there is even more deck space in the covered areas for more shaded loungers.  

Otherwise, the ships are pretty much identical... Freedom is just longer and wider, so everything's a bit bigger all around.  If you're bigger people, you might prefer the extra space on Freedom. 

 

2 minutes ago, John&LaLa said:

 

Pretty sure it's only longer, not wider

 

brillohead's assumption is a common one, but John is correct.  Freedom class - originally named Ultra-Voyager class - is merely lengthened.  That permitted more things in the Royal Promenade, for instance, but the aft cabins / area of all 8 ships are identical.  (ignoring the whole Presidential Suite thing).  For example, 1688 is EXACTLY like 1700.  (voyager class vs freedom class)

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As the one who does the driving, count me in with those opting for the shorter drive.  You'll feel that way too if you're the one driving home afterwards.

 

The only time I faced a similar decision, the ship choices were a lot more different (Mariner vs. Serenade) as well as different itineraries (NoLA offered a Florida Keys, Bahamas and Coco Cay cruise, not available from Galveston), I'd never been to New Orleans before and really wanted to check it out.  Longer drive was worth it there.

Because having been on Mariner (and Voyager and Navigator) and not Freedom but her two siblings I always got the impression the Freedom-class ships simply felt like a 20% bigger Voyager class - not that much more 'stuff' but the stuff was that much further apart.

 

Enjoy your trip - regardless of your ship.

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On 8/25/2021 at 2:48 PM, Merion_Mom said:

brillohead's assumption is a common one, but John is correct.  Freedom class - originally named Ultra-Voyager class - is merely lengthened.  That permitted more things in the Royal Promenade, for instance, but the aft cabins / area of all 8 ships are identical.  (ignoring the whole Presidential Suite thing).  For example, 1688 is EXACTLY like 1700.  (voyager class vs freedom class)


It's been so many years now I don't remember where I heard that there was a difference in width as well as length, but that just goes to show that you shouldn't believe everything you hear -- do your own research! 

That's also a testament to just how much the "feel" of the Solarium changes by moving the hot tubs to the edges and leaving the floor space open -- the Freedom class Solarium truly looks and feels much larger to me!  I might have to do some in-person research on my upcoming cruises, counting the number of loungers available in each.  

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For a 3 day cruise Mariner is fine and you will enjoy yourself. I have cruises booked on both in September. For the quick 3 day weekend I picked Mariner since it is only 45 minutes from the house and quick and easy. On my B2B2B I picked Freedom and will drive 3.5 hours each way with tolls on the turnpike. 

I prefer Freedom and it has always been one of my favorite ships. Mariner wins for being less of a hassle for a 3 day. Once Indy arrives in CFL in November there won't be any reason to go to Miami for short cruises or B2B's.

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While the ships are very similar, the Freedom is larger and has nicer balconies, as has been mentioned, and I believe better shows. I'm booked on the Independence in May for a 4 day, as opposed to the Mariner the same time.

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Just now, Merion_Mom said:

I am puzzled by the comment that Freedom's balconies are nicer than Mariner's.

 

They are the same.

 

Mariner is just three years older than Freedom.


No they are not. Freedoms are nearly twice as deep. And Freedom class have no 1/2 inch petition between the glass panels. 

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47 minutes ago, George C said:

I really like both classes of ships not much difference, both have a great ice show, does freedom have a Broadway play like Liberty has?

 

Freedom does not have a Broadway show, but Once Upon a Time is very good, with aerialists as part of an excellent performance.

 

And personally, I did not enjoy Saturday Night Fever on the Liberty.

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2 minutes ago, kruzerci said:


No they are not. Freedoms are nearly twice as deep. And Freedom class have no 1/2 inch petition between the glass panels. 

hhmmm.............I will have to look at my photos again.

 

But then, I spent 46 nights on the Mariner in a Royal Family Suite, which had a very nice balcony.  😄 😄 😄

 

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