Great Repositioning

Mariner of the Seas Cruise Review to Other (Asia/Africa/Middle East)
Experience: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 15
Helpful Votes: 56

Overall Rating:

4.8 out of 5
Mariner of the Seas

15 Night Arabian Sea & Suez Canal (Dubai To Barcelona)

Sail Date: April 22, 2018

Ship: Mariner of the Seas

Cabin Type: Suite

Cabin Number: 1260

Traveled As: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review Summary

The cruise to me was a once in a lifetime experience. I had been to Dubai many times and it is a shiny but artificial gem. The days at sea were exciting, from picking up armed guards to assist in the protection of the ship from Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden. We had several medical emergencies including a requirement to transfer a patient to shore by helicopter, and a man overboard on our approach to Port Suez. The stop at Aqaba to visit Petra was the most important for me as it had always been on my bucket list. Jerusalem and Bethlehem were not on my bucket list but I was glad to put important Biblical and religious sites into physical context to add to my perceptions growing up as a Christian

Embarkation

5 out of 5
We were back-to-back from Singapore on the way to Barcelona. We overnighted in Dubai and the rembarkacion process was extremely smooth as there was not luggage and the immigration emigration process was a breeze

Ship Experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
The ships dining rooms were excellent and the staff went out of their way to make you welcome. Chef even would cook meals on request given enough notice

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5

Entertainment

4 out of 5

Service and Staff

5 out of 5

Ship Quality

5 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5

Ship Tip

Mariner was repositioning to Spain to undergo RCCL’s biggest refit to date. Demolition was underway the entire cruise, but rarely was it noticeable. Some things, like elevators, that were out of service were not being repaired. The staff also were on their last contract and many on this repositioning had just come on board to make the crossing as some crew from Asia (notably Chinese) could not make the trip due to visa restrictions. Therefore service was a bit spotty, especially in the specialty restaurant, Chops. Also the repositioning had over 2200 cruisers with Diamond elite status and above, with nearly 150 in the fop tier (Pinnacle). That stressed the ships ability to provide its normal Diamond and above amenities. Especially for those who had spent the money for a Grand Suite and above.

Ports Of Call

Dubai, U.A.E.

5 out of 5

Aqaba (Petra), Jordan

5 out of 5
I could have skipper any other stop except this one. I was most important for me to visit this bucket list item, Petra, We took a RCCL excursion. 10 long and truly rewarding hours. Our tour guide was knowledgeable both of the geologic and the cultural history of the area. Petra itself did not disappoint. There was a lot of walking (2.5 miles downhill and then the same uphill) which could have stressed the largely elderly cruisers. There were 35 busloads of 45 individuals. Do the math, all of us were amazed. THis came after an exciting 5 days at sea transiting pirate infested waters

Suez Canal Transit

5 out of 5
There was not port at this, it was completely a water transit. The ships started its transit through the canal at 4 am and exited around 4 pm. It was uneventful but nonetheless a milestone for me as I had earlier in the year transitive the other interationally important canal Panama.

Ashdod, Israel

5 out of 5
I ever expected to visit Israel but I took this opportunity to do a 10 hour RCCL tour to Jerusalem and Bethlehem. It was very well done and I am glad i did it as I do not think I will ever go back to Israel separately.

Souda (Chania), Crete

5 out of 5
Chania was a surprisingly lovely place to visit. Took a tour “Taste of Crete” where we visited some historical churches, typical villages, olive plantation and winery followed by a couple of hours browsing the port town of Chania, I would go back as this was my first taste of Greece.

Barcelona, Spain

5 out of 5
This was our final destination. We headed directly to the airport as we will return to Barcelona in October for another cruise.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
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