Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas All-Access Tour Experience

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Article graphics courtesy by Royal Caribbean International

Written by Nathan Wertheimer

First of all, I have never been on an all-access tour of a ship before. This is one tour I have wanted to go on for a while. To go on this tour one must sign-up at the Shore Excursion desk on the 5th floor of the Promenade Deck. All interested guests must reserve their spot ahead of tour day and time. This tour is usually takes places while in port on your cruise. Space is limited. Tour areas may change without notice. This tour is not recommended for young children.

Before going on this tour one must a sign a waiver, wear pants, and do not bring any personal belongings. Also, purses and backpacks are not allowed too. Guest may bring a camera for still photos only. Sorry, video and audio recordings are not allowed during the tour. There is a lot of walking on this tour. Everyone must wear close-end shoes. Sorry, Flip-flops are not allowed. There will be some confined spaces on this tour too. It is advised to get there early and wait for your tour guide. The tour guide is a staff member from the Royal Caribbean Shore Excursion Department. Ask all the questions you want.

This tour starts out at the 5th Floor Main Dinner Room entrance. A friendly tour guide will greet tour guests. This is where they will collect the signed waiver and hand guest a whisper listen device along with a Royal Caribbean All-Access lanyard. This device will be used through the duration of your tour. If your device is not working please let your tour guide know.

Here are some brief facts about the Mariner of the Seas. This ship is a Voyager-class ship that can carry 3,114 passengers and has a crew of 1,021 for a total of 4,135 people on board. The cost of this ship was $650 million USD. This ship port of registry is from Nassau, Bahamas. Jean Discroll, an American Paralympic athlete, is the ship’s godmother. There is a plaque and photo of her on the 5th deck. The length of this ship is 1,020 ft (311.1m).

The first tour stop is the Kitchen Galley. Guests will see most areas in the kitchen on a few floors including the grill area, bakery, dishwasher, large soup pots, and other prep areas too. Everything is explained on a working kitchen. The Gallery produces food for all guests. This tour did not see the staff kitchen, which has the same kitchen layout. Many guests were wondering what do they do with all the leftover food. No, they do not throw the food in the ocean. It is separate into containers and when the containers are full then they are removed from the ship at homeport each time.

After the Kitchen Galley tour stop, we visited the Provision area better known as food and beverage storage area, which included the freezer, liquor storage and more. I was amazed of all the food and beverage products stacked on metal pallets which are just for this cruise only. Each cruise has to be restocked of food and supplies.

Next, all tour guest had to go through a security screening before going into the Engine Control Room. This was like the nerve center of the ship. Guests are not allowed to touch any buttons. However, many guests took photos with the large electrical panel wall. Guests only chance to see the Engine Room was through the CCTV monitor. That is as close as a guest can get. This is due to September 11, 2001 incident that happened.

Here are some brief specs on the ship’s engines. This ship is powered by six Wärtsilä 12V46C main engines giving an output of 75,600kW. Most of the time the ship only needs to run on one engine. The Mariner of the Seas has three azimuthing electric 14MW Azipod units. The two units on the sides are fully azimuthing whereas the one at the centreline is a fixed Azipod unit. There are also four 3MW bow thrusters. Information from ship-technology.com/projects/mariner

While on this tour, guests walked through the I-95 Crew Corridor. What is the I-95 Crew Corridor? This is a long hallway, which runs from the front to the back of the ship. It gives the crew the ability to connect to elevators, staircases, and offices. It is an easy passageway away from the guests. It was quite busy in this hallway.

Another place the tour visited was the Laundry area. This is where the dirty bed sheets and towels are cleaned. Each item is separated into bins to be ready to be washed and dried. One interest fact about cleaning the ship’s bed sheet is that they use an extra large washing machine, which takes two crewmembers to feed a single bed sheet into the washer onto a conveyer belt.

Then I observed seeing some guest laundry being cleaned and placed onto the racks. There are no self-service laundry facilities for guests to use due to fire hazard concerns. However, the ship offers guests clothing to be washing, pressing and dry cleaning services for a service charge.

The next place we visited was the Waste Management /Recycle Center. They had crew-sorting trash into different categories such as special waste, plastics, metals, paper, oil, and chemicals. These waste items are clearly marked on the containers. This ship does not dump any waste over board at sea. This is due to international laws.

Royal Caribbean takes pride with the environment program called “Save the Waves.” This program is an international-sponsored program that focuses on protecting the ecology of the oceans, both in port and at sea. For more information on this program please visit www.rclcorporate.com/environment/

After visiting the Waste Management /Recycle Center the tour headed to the Bridge on the last spot on the 10th floor deck. Before visiting the Bridge everyone had to go through another security screening. When walking onto the Bridge one will feel it is very long. Guest again was reminded not to touch any buttons on the Bridge consoles. Some guests had the chance to sit in the Captain’s chair for a photo. There was a great panorama view from the Bridge. On this tour, we did not see the Captain on the Bridge. He was conducting other business somewhere else.

Some areas that guests did not see were the medical facility, morgue, brig, crew quarters, ward room, engine room, back stage of the theater, security office, generator room, communications room, television broadcast control room, administrative offices, staff recreation area, photo lab, engineering workshop. Most of these areas are restricted to the general public.

Overall, everyone and myself enjoyed this all-access ship tour. If you have never been on one of these tours then you are missing out on learning how a cruise ship really works. It would not be possible without the hard working crew serving guests. Also, I would like to thank Royal Caribbean for adding me to this tour while I was on this vacation assignment. If you would like more information on this all-access ship tour please visit creative.rccl.com/Sales/Royal/Shore_Ex/16054469_All_Access_Tour_Consumer_Flyer.pdf

If you would like to see the Mariner of the Seas All-Access Tour photo slideshow please visit http://www.otownfun.com/copy-of-old-rc-oasis-of-the-seas-va?lightbox=dataItem-k3zukrrm

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