Royal Caribbean, Mariner of the Seas

Vacation? Yes, please. We usually plan our own itineraries when we travel abroad. I enjoy spending vast amounts of time looking for places to eat, spots to visit. Gratifying too, especially in Tokyo, when we figured out how to navigate the city on their public transport! So mention a cruise getaway, and I felt a little unaccomplished. No planning, researching or discovering little nooks and alleys? MEH! Let’s see how this goes.

Boarding times are staggered according to your room’s location on the deck, but you can always choose to board early in order to lunch on the ship, which was what we did. “Windjammer” is open for all 3 meals of the day, including tea. We’ve never made it to tea, as there are always activities going on, and besides, they feed you very well for lunch. Windjammer serves the food buffet style. It can be a little unnerving to look for a table and get your food during the peak period, especially if you pile your plate too high, and have to take a long walk back amidst the crowd to your table!

Eating at the main dining area is more sedated. You get to choose your dishes from a small selection, and the waiters serve it to you with some small talk. Though they are only open at lunch on certain days.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The main dining room at dinner

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Scallop gratin for dinner one night

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Roast beef

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
A selection of desserts

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Tiramisu

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Chocolate slice

Kids have their own little menu, of mostly Western dishes. The closest thing to anything Asian was a starter of a chicken noodle soup, which Nic ordered 3 night in a row.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Singapore noodles at lunch

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Nasi goreng with satay. Was expecting our local satay, but it turned out to be a piece of grilled chicken on a skewer.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Ending the meal with an apple parcel

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Grilled salmon for Joel

rc6

Highly recommended is the ice skating performance “Ice Under the Big Top.” The skaters hail from USA, Poland, Japan and Australia. Try to get a seat in the front row if you are keen for an interactive experience!

One of the highlights of the trip was the Meet and Greet breakfast session with the DreamWorks characters. If you did not manage to make a reservation prior to the trip, try to book it once you get on board. Several families tried to gatecrash for picture taking, but were politely refused.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The menu for the Meet and Greet session

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
My ham and cheese omelette

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Kids’ waffles

rc12
We got King Julien and Gloria at our breakfast!

If you missed out on this session, there are definitely other chances . The ship has slotted in at least one Meet and Greet session a day for the characters. Just refer to the itinerary, and wait in line patiently for that Kodak moment!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
One such session was with the penguins!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Nic trying her hand at mini golf

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Taking a dip

Other activities on board include rock climbing (for kids 6 years old and older), movie screenings and ice skating. Royal Caribbean also has a drop off programme for children aged between 3 to 11 years old. Joel and Nic were in the Aquanaut programme, in which one night was a pirate theme, where everyone did a parade through the ship’s Promenade, shouting a pirate cheer.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The kids decorated their pirate scarf, did their own treasure map and had pirate makeup for the parade

rc7

In the end, am I a cruise convert? At times, it felt like being on holiday with 500 other families, and the queue for some activities can take awhile. One thing that we don’t have to worry about was the food, as they even have a free flow of yoghurt, pizza and hot dogs if you have space for it. As my friend best described it, a cruise vacation is best for the very young, or the very old. For those in between, they may be better suited for a land holiday.

Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with Royal Caribbean in any way, and paid for the cruise ourselves. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Royal Caribbean, Mariner of the Seas

  1. Having never been on a cruise before, it was so much fun to read this post and see how one is. I’ve heard different opinions on cruise food but I have to say that the stuff you were served looks fabulous!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s