Good Deals and Tips for Booking a Cruise Trip | Mariner of the Seas (Royal Caribbean)
Singapore built a fairly new cruise terminal (Marina Bay Cruise Centre) and received its first ship, the Voyager of the Seas, in 2012. This cruise terminal is expected to grow Singapore’s leisure cruise sector. The growth plan seemed to be going well, since everyone in Singapore seemed to be going or went for a Royal Caribbean cruise these days.
I went on a smaller cruise (let’s call it the “X Cruise”) previously and I was bored. These X Cruises around Singapore/Malaysia largely cater to people who like to gamble and/or eat buffet. I’m neither. With a not-so-wonderful experience on X Cruise, I was never too excited to go for a Royal Caribbean cruise since it started docking in Singapore. Once bitten, twice shy. But Mr S and I were badly looking for a respite out of Singapore, and so happened we chanced upon a sweet Groupon deal. That sent us cruising with Mariner of the Seas 2 weeks later.
We didn’t regret it.
Taken Photo taken on my tender boat at Phuket (night)
Getting Good Deals
Groupon or Other deal sites
Deals are popping all over for Mariner of the Seas recently. I have been receiving a lot of Mariner of the Seas deals from mailing lists I subscribed with various travel website/agencies, e.g. holidayguru.com.
Or you can keep a look out at Groupon, where some travel agencies offer cruise package deals – but don’t expect a lot of room selections.
We purchased a Groupon deal and paid S$804 per person ($620 for the voucher and $184 for taxes and gratuities) for a guaranteed Ocean View Stateroom on the second deck.
Royal Caribbean Roadshows
If I were to go again, I would likely check out Royal Caribbean roadshows first. My friend said they have deals better than Groupon. Not sure how true that is, but no harm checking them out.
You can easily google and counter check roadshow deals with existing and past Groupon deals. This will give you an idea of whether you’re getting a good deal at the roadshow. Do note that Royal Caribbean might throw in extras/incentives during the roadshows too. So it’s not all about the dollar and cents.
ps. I’ve heard of roadshow promotion where children travel for free!
Considerations when booking
How many days/nights to cruise around Asia?
At Royal Caribbean, you can choose the length of a cruise trip from 3 to 9 nights around Asia. Personally, 4 to 5 nights would be ideal for a taste of Royal Caribbean cruise experience. If you are going to skip a port of call, then 4 nights should be good enough.
3 nights might be a bit rushed to enjoy the facilities, although you can choose to explore the ship and not disembark at where the ship docks. But it’s nice to get off the ship, at least once, to explore the land with no luggage.
For trips more than 5 nights, things might start to get repetitive and boring.
Port of Call
The Mariner of the Seas docks at Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and/or China, depending on length of the cruise trip. But there might be different ports of call even for the same cruise length.
For e.g. Our 5 Night of Spice of SE Asia Cruise stopped at Port Klang (Malaysia), Penang (Malaysia) and Phuket (Thailand). However there’s another 5N Spice of SE Asia which stops at Penang > Langkawi > Phuket instead.
What type of room?
Depending on your budget, I would first recommend getting a room with balcony! But if there’s a budget restriction, then secure a room with Oceanview. But if you’re going to close the curtains or only return to the room to sleep and shower, interior stateroom is more value for money.
If you are going to book an Oceanview stateroom on the lower decks (we were on deck 2), then you better read my review about it. I had a mini shock – it’s a bit different from the balcony rooms I read from the blogs. I did feel a bit like a second class citizen. More Jack’s class than Kate’s in the movie Titanic. More on that later.
You can hop on to www.royalcaribbean.com/cruise-ships/mariner-of-the-seas/deck-plans/1828/02 for Mariner of the Seas’ deck plans. Find out if a specific room is near to the lift or a public area.
Choose rooms at the back/rear (Aft*) of the ship, because it’s nearer to the eating places. If you are in the room before meal time, this will save you from walking from one end to the other end of the ship. The rooms at the front of the ship are more convenient for the nightly shows.
*Aft, in naval terminology, is an adjective or adverb meaning, towards the stern (rear) of the ship, when the frame of reference is within the ship.
We didn’t have many room choices because we booked a last minute deal from Groupon. We wanted two rooms on the same deck and hence were left with deck 2. But we were kind of cheated, because having rooms on the same deck didn’t bring much convenience.
The rooms on deck 2 and 3 are NOT connected by one long corridor.
Firstly, at Deck 2 and 3, we needed to head up to Deck 4 -12 to go to the other end of the ship.
- On Deck 4, we either have to travel through the casino or the walking deck corridor (outside of the air-conditioned area).
- On Deck 5, we have to walk through the Royal Promenade (main lobby/shopping area).
- On Deck 11, we have to walk on the boardwalk, along with all the pools and poolside activities.
- On Deck 6 to 10, you will walk across a corridor of rooms.
Then at the other end, we took the lift down to Deck 3 or head up to 13 and 14.
- Deck 3 is where we ate our dinner and went for our evening shows (they are situated at opposite ends).
- Only lifts at the back of the ship can reach Deck 13 to 14.
If you don’t get what I mean, just avoid Deck 2 and 3 if possible.
Do you have other deal or room tips you like to share? Leave a comment.
Bookmark this page >> Comprehensive Guide to Mariner of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) as I update it with links of useful tips and navigation around the cruise.
Travelled in December 2015 | Trip is fully paid by us and in no way sponsored.
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