We just returned from our 7-day E. Caribbean cruise on Mariner of the Seas. Absolutely beautiful ship, great itinerary, we had wonderful weather, shopped too much and ate too much but had great fun.
There were like 1,000 kids on board due to spring break. Tons of teens, boy were they bored. The younger kids had a good time because Adventure Ocean has great counselors that do really fun activities with the kids. But the older teens are just given a place to hangout which they didn't use much. What they did alot of was ride in the elevators, even for 1 floor, or just camped out on the floor of the elevators and rode them. I heard lot's of comments like "we're just trying to find something to do." I did see some of them using Mariner's extensive facilities (basketball, mini golf, rock climbing, ice skating or roller blading) but most of them were just bored. Made me rethink taking my kids cruising when they reach that age. Even though there was enough for them to do, they didn't seem interested, I'm sure some of that is just part of being a teen, it was kind of sad to see though, considering their parents had spent a bundle on what should be a wonderful vacation.
Our D1 category room seemed very large to us, loved having the balcony. The ship's art is contrasted between really fun pop art and classical inspired sculptures. Kruze Komics were hilarious, thought I'd die when one of them sat on my Father-in-law's head. As everyone has said, the ice show is really good. One thing I didn't know is the only hand out tickets on one day for all the shows during the week. We missed getting tickets, but I got a seat at one of the shows anyway. The rest of my family missed it though, and I think the kids would've liked it. So much to do, we couldn't fit it all in. guess we'll have to go again someday.
Just to comment on what you said about the teens being bored. I took my daughter (16 years old) on the Carnival Sensation and I never saw her. She always had something to do and met many people. SInce she had such a wonderful time, she will not stop asking when we can cruise next. So now we would like to plan our next cruise on the Mariner of the Seas, are you suggesting Mariner is not geared toward teens?
We were on the Navigator (sister ship of the Mariner) during March, and ate with a few teenagers. They LOVED the ship. These teens were well behaved, and obviously knew how to take advantage of the numerous amenities the ship had to offer -- rock-climbing wall, ice skating rink, in-line skating, basketball court, karaoke, swimming pool, parades -- to name but a few. Plus, you have an absolutely gorgeous new ship.
Some teenagers think it's cool to act bored -- thankfully, I believe that this is not the majority of the teens. Teens that behave like that should stay home and save their parents some money, and save fellow cruisers some grief.
I was on the Mariner the week before mahirsch and I noticed the same thing with the teens being all over the ship. There were 1,300 under 18's on our sailing which you need to expect if you are going to cruise during the Easter weeks. The teens would sometimes congregate on the elevators, but they were actually funny to listen to. They tried to be so grown-up that it was funny. The back deck which is supposed to be used for teens was always empty during the day. Probably because they would rather be near the pools/hot tubs. I think that RCI needs to take a look at their teen programs. That back deck should be put to better use for them. What's the point of having it if they don't use it? Maybe make it into an outside "nightclub" area everynight with activities geared more to them. They are not old enough to go to the disco, casino, hang out in the bars, and are likely to be bored by the shows(Bowser was our headliner--they had no idea who he was), and the sports stuff closes at night. Where are they supposed to go?
That is really sad!!! They were probably just a bunch of spoiled brats!!! We took our children w/ us on a Carnival Cruise this past August....ages 11,12& 15. They loved it!!! We allowed them the freedom we thought they would want because we trust them. The majority of the time they wanted to do things with my husband and I. If we went to a show or bingo they were right there playing along with us. My husband & I are on The Mariner on May 9, no children, and they are so jealous!!!!! Mom & Dad need time away!!!!
Thanks to everyone who let me know their teens had a great time on a recent cruise, it's music to my ears. My husband and I love cruising and hope to be doing family cruises for years to come.
I know a lot depends on the type of teen you have, lots of them are "joiners" and enjoy group activities and really don't care if their peers think they are cool or not. These are self-confident kids, and I really hope mine turn out that way. I saw these kids playing basketball, ping pong, ice skating, rock climbing, etc.
I just thought anyone being bored on that kind of vacation was a shame, because spring break prices on Mariner aren't cheap.
The teen group can be a tough one, I'm not sure if RCCL could do more group activities for that age, but it seems like they need to offer something, movies under the stars or cool dance parties with mocktails, or arcade challenges or marathons (set price to use all the machines for a few hours), esp during spring break. I will say that even if bored, most of the teens on Mariner were pretty well behaved, not rude, maybe a little clueless at times but that can come with the age.
As for shore excursions, we didn't do any. My kids are little, and love spending time in Adventure Ocean, or swimming with us. They tried ice skating but they couldn't get the hang of it, they are only 4 and 6 YO. My husband and I are shoppers and had a blast shopping for french cosmetics and perfume/cologne, jewlery, watches, knock off purses, bags and wallets. I kept longing for the beaches, which were gorgeous, but alas, I just got a few photos, no real beach time. We did have a balcony cabin, so while the kids napped, I sunned out there, and read a book (bliss). We even saw 3 dolphins swimming alongside ship as we pulled out of Port C. (awesome). That's the thing about the family cruise, just not enough time to do everything, and with little kids, you're kind of on a schedule with them for eating and naps and stuff which precludes you doing some of the scheduled activities. My husband did manage to go to the shopping talk on watches and I got in my favorite game of bingo for the free cruise (I never win, but it's fun to try).
We ate at Chops 1 night and it was excellent, well worth the money. We had a window table and watched the sunset as we left St. Thomas.
To the person whose daughter loved the Sensation cruise, I think she'd have a blast on Mariner. She'll probably hook up with other kids who share her interests, and there is a lot to do if you want to participate. I guess kids are like all people, either you love cruising or you don't. My husband and I did not like our cruise on Sensation, our least favorite of all the cruises we've taken, but our young sons had a blast. Mariner is just so beautiful, the artwork is everywhere and such a delight. The crew were pleasant and efficient. The food was excellent. It is a cut above Sensation, I think you'll both love it.
I felt the exact same way about the Sensation, it was definetly not one of my favorite cruises but my kids loved it. I would have prefered another cruise line or maybe one of carnival's newer ships. But we live and learn. Without a doubt, my daughter is one for cruising and loves travelling. She is outgoing and likes being involved with groups. It is a shame some kids do not appriciate money and the cost of a cruise. Thank you Margie for all your helpful info.
We are thinking about going on the Mariner next February and I will be 18. I went on princess over spring break and had a lot of fun meeting all the other teens. Since i will be 18 this time i am wondering if i will have much to do on this ship. What is the drinking age? Is there a lot of people ages 18-21 over february break??? Can anyone compare RCL to Princess? Thanx
I, also saw teens having fun on Mariner 4/11/04. My husband and I enjoyed having
a cocktail in the sports bar section of the Viking Crown lounge in the evening. Saw
several male teens having cokes and looking at sports on TV. The girls seemed to
be sunbathing amongst other things. Also the teen section of kids section was usually
crowded at night. Arcade really lively for preteen age group, especially.
Went on Sensation last fall w/a group and it was the least favorite cruise of my life.
Ship was NOT at all attractive, but the people we went with made it fun.
Mariner is about 10 cuts above Sensation.