Three day Bahamas cruises are great for a quick getaway but they do tend to be on smaller and older ships. These vessels usually offer fewer onboard amenities than the newer ships you see advertised on social media. However, Royal Caribbean International has completely changed what it means to take a short cruise with the newly amplified Mariner of the Seas.
After sailing on the ship for a quick splash and dash, we were in love. In fact, we argue that Mariner of the Seas might be the best ship offering cruises to “weekend like you mean it”. In this post, we give you our 6 Reasons Mariner of the Seas is the Best Short Cruise.
6 Reasons Mariner of the Seas is the Best Short Cruise
Mariner of the Seas offers cruisers a variety of options when it comes to dining.
Complimentary options include the usual buffet, the Windjammer Cafe, which is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks until midnight. New to Mariner of the Seas is the Dog House offering poolside snacks each afternoon. There is also twenty-four dining on upgraded snacks like pizza and sandwiches at the Cafe Promenade.
Each night, the main dining room offers a unique menu. Cruisers can choose the flexible “My Time Dining” or the traditional set dining time.
There are also several specialty restaurants on Mariner of the Seas, including the line’s signature steakhouse Chops. New to the ship is Jamie’s Italian and the Izumi Hibachi experience. Throw in the new Playmakers pub with offerings like chicken wings and nachos, and this variety of dining options is sure to satisfy any appetite.
During the $120 million refurbishment, Mariner of the Seas received some new interactive features. The most prominent of these experiences is the virtual reality-enhanced Sky Pad. This bungee trampoline activity transports individuals to an out of this world adventure as you bounce to new heights on the trampolines while engulfed in an interactive game on your VR headset.
Another complimentary addition to the ship is laser tag. Located in Studio B at select days and times, cruisers can challenge family and friends to a competitive head to head match of Battle for Planet Z. Check your Cruise Compass for days and times as this tends to fluctuate per cruise.
There is also the puzzle break escape room. During this hour-long challenge, your team will work together to solve clues to help save the time traveling professor in the Observatory. There is a per person charge of $20 for this experience which is open to cruisers 14 years of age or older.
Unmatched Sports and Pool Deck
Mariner of the Seas’ pool deck and sports deck offer some of the same activities that you would find on the largest ships in the world. Along with the aforementioned Sky Pad, this newly enhanced area now features two satisfying waterslides, the FlowRider surf simulator, and a full sports court, including a rock climbing wall, new hammocks, and even a Luckey Climber for younger kids to enjoy.
The ship also boasts the Mariner Dunes, a new and improved mini-golf course that is challenging for cruisers of all ages. The Princess and I tested out the course twice, and it met with our approval.
If you are looking for relaxation on your weekend getaway, Mariner of the Seas offers plenty of deck space with two main pools. For those 16 or older who are looking for a more subdued sea day, there is also the open air Solarium with its own bar and pool. Additional lounge chairs can be found on the upper decks surrounding the pools, as well as a nicely hidden area on Deck 13.
Compared to other ships sailing short cruises, Mariner of the Seas might just be the most appealing to the kids too as it has some of the best children’s areas and programming. Conveniently located near the arcade, Adventure Ocean is somewhat tucked away so cruisers without kids will not have to worry about the little ones causing any commotion.
With this expansive space offering activities to keep the kids entertained all day long in addition to the other amenities like the pools, FlowRider, waterslides, and mini-golf, Mariner of the Seas is currently the most family-friendly ship offering weekly short cruises from any port.
The Night Life and Lounges
If you came to party, then Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas has you covered. With a dozen different themed bars and lounges, you will find the perfect fit for all your daytime and evening fun.
New to this ship is one of our favorite bars at sea, the Bamboo Room, serving up Polynesian-inspired drinks with a Tiki bar motif. The drinks, and even the themed glassware, were great!
There is also the new Playmakers Sports Bar and Arcade. With a solid beer selection and some a la carte food including spicy Buffalo wings, this is the perfect place to catch a game. Along with three outdoor bars, the piano lounge with signature cocktails, and the Latin-themed lounge with a specialty drink menu, you have plenty of options to quench your thirst.
Nightly themed parties including the 70’s and 80’s party, the RED party, and the late night disco means there will be little sleep on this trip if you plan to fit everything into your long weekend!
The “Perfect” Private Island
Along with all of the amazing and unique features onboard Mariner of the Seas, the ship also visits one of the most ideal private islands, CocoCay, Bahamas. This secluded private resort offers extensive beachfront with plenty of loungers for those seeking sand and sun. There are also plenty of excursions available on CoocCay including jet skis, snorkeling, and kayak tours.
Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International
While that already sounds like a great day ashore, the island will be transformed into the Perfect Day CocoCay in 2019, featuring new restaurants, a hot air balloon, and the largest water park at sea! Combine Mariner of the Seas with CocoCay, and you may need to book a back-to-back cruise to fit everything into your vacation.
Is Mariner of the Seas the Best Short Cruise?
With the extensive dining options and onboard amenities, this mega ship is one of the largest and most modern ships of any cruise line sailing three and four-day short cruises in 2018 and 2019.
After our sailing on Mariner of the Seas, we can’t think of a better cruise ship for a quick getaway. The ship truly offers something for everyone, with many of the new additions adding to the cruiser experience.
If you want to learn more about the ship’s amenities, you can check out our Mariner of the Seas ship scorecard which reviews all of the areas of the ship.
Have you sailed on Mariner of the Seas since its recent refurbishment? What are your favorite new features? Drop us an anchor below to share your experiences on this newly amplified ship.