Family Cruising Aboard Mariner of the Sea




Mariner of the Seas operates under the Royal Caribbean banner and is one of the five Voyager vessels owned by the company. Revamped back in 2012, the ship now offers, even more, family friendly cruising opportunities.

What Makes it Family Worthy?

In general, cruises are ideal for fuss-free family vacations since travelers get to pack and unpack only once while traveling. Moreover, there  are many activities for everyone on such voyages, so boredom is unlikely to strike

Family Friendly Cruising Aboard Mariner of the Sea promenade

Fellow Travelers

Families are the leading group of travelers found on board this ship, but a good amount of retirees and couples travel on this vessel as well.

Family Friendly Cruising Aboard Mariner of the Sea symbol


We got to cruise this splendid ship twice. Both our trips were to the Mexican Riviera, and we were not disappointed.
Though, gambling may be a favorite activity for some, there are many other shipboard pastimes that travelers can enjoy.

Rock climbing, ice skating, swimming, exercising, and shopping are all a fun way to spend the hours in between shore excursions. The ship offered a variety of shows and activities the most popular of which was by far the ice skating show.
Family Friendly Cruising Aboard Mariner of the Sea display


Our kids found the dishes served on the Mariner are quite tasty, especially the entrees served in the three leveled main dining room. The service was also outstanding. Indeed, many of the staff members go above and beyond to ensure that their customers have a pleasant voyage.A word of caution to parents of noise sensitive kids- there are at least two nights in the dining room that the staff sing for the guests which can be quite noisy.

Also,  we enjoyed dining at a specialty dining venue –Portofino which featured excellent Italian cuisine.

Family Friendly Cruising Aboard Mariner of the Sea dish

When out of our cabins our family spent most of the time on the twelfth and eleventh decks. The eleventh had the solarium which was an adults only zone while the twelfth had the sports activities, kids clubs, and a Johnny Rockets burger joint.
The Royal Promenade was a second favorite. With its shopping venues, pizza parlor, sandwich, and ice cream spots as well as parties and parades there was not a dull moment there.

Family Friendly Cruising Aboard Mariner of the Sea jrockets

Our connecting cabins

We stayed in connecting cabins 7595 and 7597 on the Promenade Deck.Our promenade facing cabins rooms had green carpeting with a fern leaf pattern on the floor and striped curtains. Many of the items in the suites were constructed from pale colored wood. However, the couches matched the carpeting and the linens on the beds were white. The bathroom in our suite had multicolored tile flooring as well as colorful accents throughout.

Family Friendly Cruising Aboard Mariner of the Sea jeff

Our beds had comfortable sheets and plentiful pillows on them. The window in the suite overlooked the area where the night parades took place, which gave us an excellent vantage point and helped us avoid the crowds. Our rooms also contained a sizeable closet that had plenty of shelves and built in wooden hangers. It also housed the in-room safe.

More shelving units were found above the older style television. The television sat on a large, thin cabinet that was capable of holding even more of our belongings. A large mirror was placed above the typical desk area so that it could also serve as a vanity. A small, well-stocked fridge was included in the rooms, but the items found within cost extra, as is typical of the goodies found in most mini bars.

Family Friendly Cruising Aboard Mariner of the Sea climb

Our Bathrooms

The bathrooms were located close to the entrance doors. We found these facilities to be both spacious and well thought out. The shower pods in our cabins had a raised up section at its base so that the water did not splash out all over the floor.

There was a safety bar in the shower area, and the shower head could be used as a handheld device if necessary. Most of the towels that were provided were on a shelf that was high above the toilet, but there were also two additional towel racks at lower heights.

Extra toilet paper was readily available in the bathrooms, but it was somewhat thinner in texture than we would have preferred. The shelves under the sink had both a trash bin and a tissue dispenser. Cups for toothbrushes were also included near the large mirror.


Family Friendly Cruising Aboard Mariner of the Sea pool

Autism Travel Tips.

For walking around the ship, flip flops with a non-slip sole are highly recommended.
Parents should try to book entertainment shows tickets ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
They should let the ship staff know if their kids need accommodations ahead of time.l
Parents should consider booking promenade facing rooms for kids that are noise sensitive.  These rooms block out the noise but still lets kids watch the nightly parades.
Since nonslip mats are not provided, families should pack their own for the bathrooms.


Mariner of the Seas Portofino restaurant

The service

The service at  Mariner of the Seas  Portofino restaurant was just right, being neither slow nor rushed, and quite well coordinated.The Maitre D’ was very understanding after my short explanation and even permitted our son to wear his usual shorts and t-shirt combo instead of the more dressy attire usually required. He even helped to cut Jeff’s steak and returned to the table multiple times to inquire as to whether we had any other needs or requests.
Moreover, when our server noticed that our son liked the eggplant dip, he replenished it continuously. They were somewhat dismayed to see me leave before the meal ended and gave my husband my dessert platter to take back to our cabin (in case I wished to enjoy it later.)I wanted to, but my son beat me to it and had a second helping for the evening.

The decor and food

The venue decorated in dark tones of gold and winter greens had an understated modern look with its velvet seating and stainless steel open kitchen. The dishes offered in the restaurant’s prix fixe menu were average sized, beautifully presented and tasty.Our sons’ favorites were as expected the assorted fresh bread and the mouth watering desserts!


On a personal note: I enjoyed the music played, composed of a selection of San Remo 60’s and 70’s Festival winners, the likes of Peppino di Capri and the famous duo of Romina Powell and Albano, for those who are familiar with the genre. It not only provided me with a rare chance to expose my family to a different type of music but also to reminisce about my favorite childhood songs.

Autism travel tips

Since this is an upscale venue on the ship, I would recommend trying this restaurant only if you have kids or teens that have had some gastronomic exposure and are eager to sample different Italian regional dishes, as it would be difficult to enjoy a meal sitting next to a fussy eater or misbehaving child.
The trick to enjoying the Mariner of the Seas  Portofino restaurant when traveling with autistic family members is to go as early as possible during the cruise, preferably even the first night.
Also, you should never book a table for a formal night, and always try to be the first customers in the restaurant when it opens. By doing so, it ensures that the restaurant will not be overcrowded, allowing a more personalizedservice from the crew and complete parental relaxation.

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