Jump to content
twangster

Recap - Mariner 4 Night Bahamas - Sept. 21, 2018

Recommended Posts

Quick side note - the area to the right of the floating bar and in front of the beach loungers is sandy and the sand extends quite far out.  Most of the time you can walk out and at low tide it's knee deep way out there.

This is the area where lemon sharks are known to swim.  They appear to be harmless and will swim away if you approach them.  

Borrowing some photos from the next stop here a few days later when I snorkeled in this area:

 

As hard as I tried i could not keep up with them.  

 

And there are some jellies:

 

The water was just deep enough to snorkel.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 3 - Dinner

Wear Your Best night. 

This replaces 'formal' night.  Some dressed up, some didn't.  That's the point.  Dress as you see fit.

bpfvvVg.jpg

Moroccan Spiced Ahi Tuna

OESFIu7.jpg

After dinner I realized i hadn't been to the pub yet.  There I found a Scot in a Kilt playing guitar music.  He was pretty good.

SYqZUAB.jpg

Pub menu

qoUx4dO.jpg

PmYIc05.jpg

HwBVeiD.jpg

A quick speed test to see how Voom is doing. That latency is a killer.  Definitely not O3b but good enough for general internet use.

0aYVb2L.jpg

Eventually it was getting late and time for bed so I went back to my room.  

We had reversed course and went in the direction towards Nassau before changing course, then idling and floating still in a deeper area.  Here we spent the rest of the night not moving very much.  I think the point was to get away from the heavily used shipping lanes between Nassau and Florida.  

0Q4OcJQ.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, twangster said:

This is right where the tenders operate from now today. In the coming phots you can see how the area is pretty sandy and I'm not sure a scooter would do well in it.

Thank you for posting these magnificent pictures.  Honestly if they do have big beach wheelchairs we should be ok, or we could just hang out if we had to. It's just too pretty to not be there, we will find a way!! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That dive looked amazing! Loved the video highlights. Why did your dive leader have what looked like a tether line hooked to her wrist? Is that just standard protocol so it's easier to make your way back to the starting point for pickup, or special to this excursion since there wasn't really a boat to go back to?

And what was under that last rock towards the end of the video? I could make out the head of something poking out as you swam up and around, but not quite what it belonged to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really can't get over what a home run Royal has hit with this Royal Amped program. That solarium looks absolutely incredible, and the Bamboo Room is such a unique venue. I am about to be going on an Oasis class ship for my first time and couldn't be more excited, but seeing these pictures almost makes me jealous I'm not going on Mariner! It says a lot about the direction Royal is going when I'm just as excited to get on a ship that came out in 2003 as one that came out only a few years ago. Can't wait until one of these babies makes its way to Galveston!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, JLMoran said:

That dive looked amazing! Loved the video highlights. Why did your dive leader have what looked like a tether line hooked to her wrist? Is that just standard protocol so it's easier to make your way back to the starting point for pickup, or special to this excursion since there wasn't really a boat to go back to?

And what was under that last rock towards the end of the video? I could make out the head of something poking out as you swam up and around, but not quite what it belonged to.

The dive master pulls a rope that has a floating "diver down" flag attached which is quite common in high traffic areas.  On the surface a co-worker stays close on a jetski and tracks us by that float.  In case an errant guest on a jetski were to approach they would keep them at a distance.  If a diver has any issues the surface crew can render assistance as well.  

Several of the full time island crew are life guards but also dive masters themselves.  They take turns doing multiple duties.  Vision class ships don't have an on-board dive shop so when they call on Cococay the dive masters from the island run the dive.  While the food and beverage team from the ship cater food and bar service on the island, other island functions fall onto the full time island employees.  Beach umbrellas, jetski and kayak rentals, lifeguards, diving, snorkel rentals, etc.  

The last fish in the rock was a large puffer fish, one of the larger ones I've seen.  The problem with a GoPro is the lens is a partial fisheye for a very wide angle perspective but even 3' away you lose a lot of detail.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, cruiselife said:

I really can't get over what a home run Royal has hit with this Royal Amped program. That solarium looks absolutely incredible, and the Bamboo Room is such a unique venue. I am about to be going on an Oasis class ship for my first time and couldn't be more excited, but seeing these pictures almost makes me jealous I'm not going on Mariner! It says a lot about the direction Royal is going when I'm just excited to get on a ship that came out in 2003 as one that came out only a few years ago. Can't wait until one of these babies makes its way to Galveston!

Just wait, I'm, going through my sea day pictures now.  I'll post some of the new venues soon.

It's too bad they couldn't get to the cabins for some TLC.  However who spends much time in their cabin on a ship like this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, twangster said:

After the dive I headed back to the ship to change and get my good camera.  

How was tendering back and forth between the ship and shore after the dive?  We're bringing our own gear so I want to be able to hang it up and lock it back up in the room.   I imagine it was easy to get back to the ship that early, but I wonder how much of a wait there was to get back to the island.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Orange Crush said:

How was tendering back and forth between the ship and shore after the dive?  We're bringing our own gear so I want to be able to hang it up and lock it back up in the room.   I imagine it was easy to get back to the ship that early, but I wonder how much of a wait there was to get back to the island.

They have fresh water rinse tanks and a hose beside the dive shop. 

Tendering was easy, but they run on a cycle and how many tenders run depends on how many guests are trying to use them.  I rinsed my stuff in the shower in the cabin then headed back.  I didn't rush or try to time tenders perfectly, I just went with it.  Depending when you reach the tenders and where they are in the cycle will determine wait time before departure.

I was in my cabin at 11:30am taking the picture of the flat seas off my balcony, the picture of Mariner's bow with her name from the tender was at 11:57am, then the pictures of the lockers and straw market were at 12:08pm followed by the Black Beard sign was at 12:15pm.

I puttered in my cabin, gathered my good camera, lens, hat, applied sunscreen, etc.  I didn't try to rush back, I just went about my business and walked down to the tender when ready.  

No lines to speak of, a few people, but the rush tends to be 9-10am when people have finished breakfast and become focused on getting to the island. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 4 - Sea Day

I woke to find the ship still in the water.  It was weird having the aft view yet seeing no wake.  As if the bridge realized I had caught them, a few minutes later we began moving.

The ship is very smooth.  I could see the initial thrust of water from the props spinning up yet I felt nothing to speak of.  With that we were on the move.

fb0cNkU.jpg

I spotted another ship and noted it was a yacht transporter.  Oh the problems of the rich... "Lovey, just how will we get our yacht over there?"

YGxw5CJ.jpg

Breakfast in the Windjammer then I walked around the upper decks. I hadn't tried the slides or Skypad yet and found them in the cruise compass opening at 9am.  I hoped by showing up right at 9am there would be no lines.  I was right.  

You have to be dry for Skypad so I did it first.

Skypad weighs you, you sign a waiver on a tablet and then they give you a wrist band with some letter and numbers written on it based on weight.  The numbers instruct the Skypad operators how many bands and which type to connect for you,  As you can imagine a fully grown man weighs much more than a child 4 decades his junior.  Using the same strength of bands for both wouldn't work so by weighing you they can connect the correct amount of tension and strength of bands.  

You can just jump around or you can put on a virtual reality headset and play a game that requires jumping up and down.  I opted for the 'Sports' game.  After they strap you up while kneeling on the edge of the ump trampoline, you stand and they take up the tension so you are in jump position and then the game starts after some instruction in the VR headset.  In this game large balls come your way and you need to deflect or block them by looking in that direction while jumping.  One comes from the left, another from the right, one from below, one from above and so on.  It lasts a couple minutes and then you are ranked.  I was in the top 600!  (545 I think of 5,000+).  

It was a workout!  But also a lot of fun.

After that I dropped my shirt on a chair and climbed the tower for the water slides.  No lines.  Perfect.  I tried the right one first, then I climbed back up the stairs and did the other slide.  A couple of kids were in the rotation but timing was perfect and I was able to go in the other slide as soon as I had finished the climb.  The slides are similar but the first one featured a series of color bands lit by the sun that you zoom through that I preferred over the more solid appearance inside of the left slide.  Both feature a clear section where you briefly see daylight and your surroundings before plunging back into the special effects while you turn, spin and descend towards the bottom.  

A great addition for sure and a lot of fun.  

Back to my cabin for a conference call.  By this point we were doing almost 8 knots and making our back towards Florida.

Qb3smSs.jpg

 It was the last day!  Really, so soon?  I don't normally do short cruises and it was odd.  "Wait, am I getting off... tomorrow?"  Ugh.

There was so much I wanted to see and try and take pictures of.  I better get moving.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The rest of this deck area is a nice, quiet sun deck for those who don't want the commotion or noise of the main pool deck.  

Glass dividers break the wind.  This feature has been used on other ships as they have been updated such as Liberty.

fMZ3gDY.jpg

New to Mariner in this area are cooling showers to rinse off when sunbathing in this area.

M9RvFhV.jpg

Leaving this area and heading back towards the main pool deck you can look down into the adult only Solarium pool area.

Fi1JOeC.jpg

From here you can climb up to a small sun deck overlooking the main pool area below.  

o5b1DOw.jpg

The Sky Bar has been replaced with the Sky Lounge.  New seating options have been added with full relaxation oozing out of them.

6CjvZ18.jpg

SAy3JcB.jpg

o5b1DOw.jpg

6CjvZ18.jpg

18cnzPJ.jpg

2R5JlgR.jpg
 

Down through the Solarium to check out the Peak-a-boo bridge.  As a cruise nerd I'm glad to see this was retained.

1vmTKdw.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Time to move indoors.

Main Dining Room

KjD1GvZ.jpg

bedhiXP.jpg

Seeing how this is a sea day, all the shops were open.

2hFlrMK.jpg

sSat8wk.jpg

The main logo shop has also received an update and is very modern and fresh compared to this shop on other ships.

K8VMblH.jpg

HQYF85C.jpg

Down to deck 4.  (Saving The Bamboo Room and Playmakers for later).  The elevators retain the day of the week signs on the floor.

vYN1qsI.jpg

Boleros

SrGzLuR.jpg

fwCJIeU.jpg

Cigars for sale in the corner of Boleros in a humidor.

3g3qnBC.jpg

iFiVjsL.jpg

OT7JZZf.jpg

Starbucks is opposite of Boleros but I'm going to give it a post of it's own.

Through the casino to the Schooner Bar.

kXYZsX3.jpg

Some of the selections available at the Schooner Bar

5YxAMLF.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Starbucks

This Starbucks is most like a regular Starbucks you might find within a store or mall on land as any I've seen on a ship.

VAlf5SQ.jpg

A common question and source of confusion relates to the Starbucks app, Rewards and purchases at Starbucks on the ships that have them.

This varies by ship, so this applies to Mariner only.  You can use the app or rewards to accumulate stars but if you are going to walk away with something in your hand, it is being charged to your SeaPass card - period.  You can't redeem rewards, use a gift card or the balance in the app for on-board purchases.  SeaPass card only.

WjRp6ac.jpg

VA4mka8.jpg

9FTNhPu.jpg

UQUugLd.jpg

I0gFXK6.jpg

TrlXLPP.jpg

6DAQ4ke.jpg


k6jC7uq.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, twangster said:

This varies by ship, so this applies to Mariner only.  You can use the app or rewards to accumulate stars but if you are going to walk away with something in your hand, it is being charged to your SeaPass card - period.  You can't redeem rewards, use a gift card or the balance in the app for on-board purchases.  SeaPass card only.

Huh, color me surprised! I think this is the first case I've seen where even if you use the SBUX app, you still have to pay on your SeaPass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Playmakers

The new sports bar on Mariner of the Seas is a great place to catch a game or just hang out.  The bar participates in Diamond Happy Hour for those who are Diamond or higher in the Crown and Anchor Society.  

mg7YLSt.jpg

d4Nw4Pk.jpg

cxF6qVq.jpg

ci2UanB.jpg

eZsI81f.jpg

GjhMq9K.jpg

vDf4llD.jpg

Menu:

c0NiUUF.jpg

3h2EhFc.jpg

Pigskin sliders (in the name of research):

0GWxpqA.jpg

The bar staff in Playmakers are great and super friendly.  I decided to enjoy diamond happy hour here and I always tip cash for these 'free' drinks.  After using my three free drinks, magically another appeared before my eyes! 

0r2Bwm0.jpg

Playmakers is a great new addition to Mariner and I am looking forward to experiencing Playmakers on Symphony.  

The only thing that they need to think about is the live music in the Promenade.  The bands who perform in the Promenade set up right outside of Playmakers. 

x5xf81I.jpg

When they get rocking they are quite loud inside Playmakers.  To compensate, Playmakers cranks up the sports featured on the larger TVs.  That combination makes it an assault on your ears and it's nearly impossible to hold a conversation or order a drink without using sign language.  

Here is a short sample of what I am talking about:

You can sort of hear the ball game at times through the music but both are very loud.

Other than that, Playmakers is great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Bamboo Room

New and exclusive to Mariner at this time, The Bamboo Room replaces Vintages, the wine bar.

IvYsaOk.jpg

ivuHUrP.jpg

3Bbf38k.jpg

dm8GeQg.jpg

KpTYULu.jpg

NHuJCZa.jpg

iqpaznG.jpg

OvCGWYj.jpg

UOYIduw.jpg

YHCJmrO.jpg

KQIhfvk.jpg

This table features a video display with a beautiful ocean video loop playing.

my7liN3.jpg

#itstikitime

jATAfPD.jpg

The Bamboo Room by itself just about justifies the drink package since the special bamboo cocktails are $14 plus gratuity.  That adds up fast without the drink package.  Since the drink package covers drinks up to $12 or $13, an extra buck or two is nothing for those with the deluxe drink package.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Freestyle drink dispensers were added to Mariner.  They can be found within the Windjammer but also on the Promenade.  They are coded to work with the drink cups that come with a drink package (Soda, Refreshment or Deluxe).

llPnwbf.jpg

Promenade forward on deck 5 with the Schooner Bar and Izumi just visible one deck down on deck 4.

r8puwLI.jpg

FyVWPPt.jpg

G5NMY2A.jpg

Located at the forward end of the Promenade on deck 5 is the Star Lounge

bWZX1M3.jpg

A former smoking room has been converted into a Library.

3COkGQn.jpg

t8YFr5Z.jpg

AfjKCSn.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Traveler said:

Questions , is 9:45 flight from Miami is doable with self disembarkation , considering I need to be at the airport at around 8 am and I do not have fast track for custom ?

A 9:45am flight, especially an international flight may be too tight.   Technically it's doable if the stars align and every thing goes smoothly.  There is no margin for error.  As a frequent flier myself I think that may be a little too tight for my liking.  In my case I was through customs and at the curb at 7:15am after the cruise.  With Miami traffic a flight that early is really asking for something to foul up your day.   

Does Fast Track apply when departing from Miami after a cruise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...