When it was refurbished in 2018, Mariner of the Seas joined several other ships in Royal Caribbean's fleet to experience the Royal Amplified transformation, a $120 million dollar renovation that resulted in a ship that is part luxury resort and part floating theme park. Sailing from Orlando, the ship offers a variety of three- and four-day Caribbean itineraries that are guaranteed to be packed with fun and adventure, even if you never leave the ship. The short trips are perfect for busy families and working professionals who find themselves with a long weekend to fill.
The most talked-about additions to the ship are the amusement park-like amenities, which include the FlowRider surf simulator, an inflatable laser tag arena, waterslides that tower stories above the deck, and the have-to-see-it-to-believe-it SkyPad, which involves a VR headset and a trampoline bungee. The ship also boasts an array of restaurants and cafés that will floor anyone with an outdated concept of what cruise dining can be. From the classic steakhouse fare at Chops Grille to the interactive hibachi experience at Izumi, you'll never want for variety when dining at sea. The Bamboo Bar, a retro, Polynesian-style bar serving tiki hut favorites, is another popular addition to the ship's bars and lounges.
In an effort to satisfy the desires of modern cruisers, Mariner of the Seas majorly expanded the drinking and dining choices aboard when it got the Royal Amplified treatment. While you can still opt to get dressed up for a formal dining experience like the ever-popular five-course dinner and wine pairing at Chef's Table, the ship's newest additions aim for a more casually elegant environment. Giovanni's Italian Kitchen offers hand-tossed pizzas, Instagram-worthy charcuterie platters, and a great selection of Italian wines. There's more laidback fun to be had at Playmakers Bar & Arcade, where you can order wings and a craft beer flight to enjoy while you watch the game on one of over 30 TVs. Fast-casual options include American diner chain Johnny Rockets and Dog House, the first-ever food truck at sea.
SkyPad isn't the only innovative entertainment that has been Amplified on Mariner. If you love a challenge, be sure to check out the Observatorium, a Royal Caribbean Escape Room, where you and your team will have 60 minutes to puzzle out how to bring a time-traveling professor back to the here and now. Then, of course, there is the Perfect Storm, a collection of the most exciting waterslides at sea, including Typhoon and Cyclone, which are translucent racing slides that twist and turn from a jaw-dropping height. At night, the entertainment options amp up even further. The Royal Theater puts on two shows each night, at least one of which is a Broadway-style production of shows like Grease, Mamma Mia!, or CATS. You'll also find DJs, live bands, and plenty of opportunities to dance and sing along.
Guests will have no problem getting in a workout aboard Mariner thanks to the two-level Vitality at Sea Fitness Center, which is open daily from 8am to 10pm. The fitness center, which was upgraded during the Royal Amplified transformation, offers all of the cardio and strength-training equipment that you'd expect to find in any well-outfitted gym on land. There is also a spacious group fitness studio, which offers spinning, yoga, Pilates, and more. If you prefer to get your calorie burn outside of the gym, you can take a lap on the outdoor jogging track, get moving on the ice skating rink, or hang ten at the FlowRider surf simulator.
The Vitality at Sea Spa on Mariner is the perfect place to enjoy some solo pampering or relax alongside your significant other during a couple's treatment. In addition to plenty of treatment rooms, the spa facilities include a thermal suite with heated tile loungers, a rain shower, and an aromatherapy steam room. The menu of services features everything you'd expect to find at an upscale spa. Whether you opt for a hot stone massage, a seaweed wrap, or an oxygen facial, you're sure to leave Vitality with a new glow. If you're after more than just a little relaxation, you can also book advanced med-spa services like Botox and cellulite reduction treatments. Teens will love the YSpa menu, which includes services like the Acne Attack facial, the Surfer Scrub, and even a Mother-Daughter Massage.
Whether you're in the market for a piece of statement jewelry or are just looking to pick up the sunscreen you forgot to pack, the shops aboard Mariner of the Seas have got you covered. From Royal Caribbean-branded merchandise to designer handbags and fine jewelry, the ship's boutiques have plenty to offer. Kids will love the Pets at Sea shop where they have the chance to create a plush pet, complete with an outfit and accessories. Most of the ship's boutiques are located along the Royal Promenade, which resembles a sprawling, multi-level mall at the heart of the ship. Thanks to the price match guarantee and the fact that everything is tax and duty-free as long as you're at sea, you can shop 'til you drop without regret.
Adventure Ocean, Royal Caribbean's highly-awarded children's program, also received a makeover during the 2018 refurbishment. This incredibly popular program is one of the main reasons that Royal Caribbean is consistently recognized as the best cruise line for families. The Adventure Ocean program, which is divided by age group, is a great way for kids to meet other young cruisers while participating in organized activities like science experiments, arts and crafts, and sports tournaments. Kids registered with Adventure Ocean can be dropped off for a few hours each day so that Mom and Dad can enjoy some downtime or even make a shore excursion. There are also tons of opportunities for families to have fun together thanks to the ship's thoughtful layout, which has kid-friendly spaces throughout. Families with kids of all ages will also have a great time at the skating rink and the video game arcade.
Located on Deck 4 alongside the Centrum, Royal Caribbean's signature Casino Royale offers a variety of games of chance and skill. The casino has hundreds of slots and video poker machines that allow you to enter your key card to win prizes and extra games. You'll also find plenty of table games, including poker, craps, blackjack, and roulette. Guests who want to learn a new game or improve their skills can sign up for complimentary lessons while more experienced gamblers may want to register for one of the regularly scheduled tournaments. Casino Royale is open long hours whenever the ship is at sea, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to make your date with Lady Luck.