The ship stopped over at Laem Chabang port for 2 days, many guests took the opportunity to embark on a shore excursion. There are mainly 2 types of excursions, a day trip or an overnight stay. There were more than 10 options available, some to Bangkok and some to Pattaya. As we have visited Bangkok before, we opted for a day tour to another nearby province.
The other specialty dining restaurant on the ship is Chops Grille, where steak dinners are (supposedly) their forte. I’ll honest and go straight to the point. The quality and taste of the food was only ok or slightly above average. What was most disappointing was the poor execution of the steak.
The interior fixtures are signature classic American steakhouse, from the hardwood furniture, heavy chairs, pressed white tablecloths and “romantic lights”. I wish the lights were brighter as my eyes (and camera lens) were straining to focus on the food. Lighting was terrible for photo taking, so please pardon the poor quality pictures.
Satisfy your Italian cravings at Giovanni’s Table, a casual family-style trattoria. If you would only like to try one Specialty Dining restaurant, I’d say pick Giovanni’s table. Personally, I prefer Giovanni’s Table over Chops Grille, as I find the former’s food more refined. And definitely more elegant than the dishes served in the Main Dining Room.
A leisurely breakfast is luxury I can only enjoy during vacations. We avoided Windjammer Café after one morning meal there. The place was too crowded, finding a table was arduous, despite having staff to assist with scavenging for seats. Constant announcements over PA system were made urging guests to leave as soon as they can so that others can have seats. We left hurriedly feeling stressed and annoyed.
Lunch at the complimentary dining venues were…well, rather lackluster compared to breakfast and dinner. This is especially evident at the Main Dining Room, where lunch is a simple affair. Unlike dinner where you are assigned a fixed table with family and friends only, during lunch, you’ll have to seat with other guests. Nice if you like to socialize, but it can be awkward for some.
With plenty of dining options on board, it’s impossible to go hungry on board Mariner of the Seas. I’ll briefly touch on the restaurants and cafes available before my detailed post on our dinners at the Main Dining Room. Prices are in USD.
Windjammer Cafe- Buffet opened for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. The signboard is rather misleading; we thought there was a separate restaurant, Jade Sushi somewhere inside. Turns out that it’s just a section that’s part of the buffet spread.
Apart from the diverse activities on board Mariner of the Seas, various live performances are held almost daily to keep guests entertained. It was a pity we missed the Chinese Acrobat show on the first night, as we were stuffing our faces at Chops Grille.
On Day 2, we went to watch Ice Under The Big Top at Studio B, an impressive and exhilarating Ice Skating performance by Royal Caribbean’s International Ice Cast and guest star Marie-Pierre Leray. Doors open 30 minutes before showtime but I suggest going another 30 minutes earlier to queue in order to get good seats (first come first serve basis).