This was my third cruise in the past 24 months and my first with Royal Caribbean International (RCI). Previously I have boarded another value-based cruise line, Carnival.
Day 1 The ship was scheduled to depart around 5 p.m. and began boarding at 2 p.m. We arrived at the port with little traffic around 3 p.m. Grabbed our bags and headed down to the terminal. Checked our bags with the porter and went inside. There was a huge line to embark. Waited about 30 minutes and was onboard.
Though the ship is nearly 15 years old, it looks like new from the inside and out. Our stateroom was neatly made and as a couple we made use of it instantly. We then headed to the deck to catch some rays and listen to some music. The drinks on ship range anywhere form $3.50 for a beer to $10 for a double shot rum drink. Gratuity is included but you are welcome to leave more.
Dinner that evening was a bit soft. I thought overall the food on RCI is subpar. Carnival blows them out of the water as far as taste. Ihad the garlic tiger shrimp which were four U-25 shrimp and a side of risotto. Other choices included top sirloin, pasta, and chicken marsala.
The mix of people was very good. There were young and old. Not so many kids as I'm use to seeing, but your typical cruise. In the evening we sat and watched the stars over some wine. Late night snacks are plentiful as the buffet is open till about 11:30 p.m. Johnny Rockets for a 3.95 cover charge is open till 3 a.m., and the pizza parlor is also open till 3. a.m. The pizza was slightly better than what I remember on Carnival but nothing to make you rave about.
Went back to the room and relaxed watching the small flat screen tv in the cabin.
Day 2 We started with the service breakfast which I would suggest over the buffet. The servers were very attentive and the food was actually good. On this day RCI takes you to their private island, Coco Cay. If the weather cooperates you will have a good time, as we did. This is a place to just lay out, get some sun, play some watersports, and just forget about life for a while. You typically will spend the day there until about 4:30. They served a BBQ. I must say that the food was putrid at best. I took a bite of my hamburger and chicken then could not eat anymore. Overall the day was beautiful and we got lots of sun. Be sure to try the island special drink with a mix of tropical fruits and dark rum.
This was the suggested formal night for dinner. We did not participate in the attire part of it and were very hungry. Dinner featured Filet of Beef which was probably the best meal I had on the ship. I also added 5 shrimp cocktails to my meal. Afterwards we viewed the wonderful art gallery featuring Dali, Picasso, Miso, Rembrandt, among others. Went into the casino which was a happening spot. There seemed to be about 8 or so tables featuring Blackjack, Roullete, Craps, Single deck Blackjack and computerized NL Texas Holdem. There is a bar located in the casino but drinks are not free. We then grabbed another bottle of wine and sat under the stars.
Day 3 I always get sad on this day as the vacation is near ending. We again ate the sit down breakfast and went onto Nassau. It was my girlfriend's frist time so I took her to the usual. Horse carriage ride, Bay Street, we walked over to Fort Fincastle to catch the view, then to Atlantis. One point of interest I like to make when I visit is to Fort Montahue (not sure I spelled that right). They just have this amazing stand where they serve local food. I had a snapper, a piece of barracuda and some conch fritters. All were served with a great sauce. I reccommend all readers to go and eat there. Very cheap and some of the best tasting food you will ever have. I would suggest you drink Kalik Light. It's a truly great beer. After a long day we headed back for a light nap before dinner. Usually the last night's dinner is the worst and this was no different. NY Strip was served and the featured dish was Mahi Mahi Tempura. The dish tasted like paper. I could not eat it. I was not the only one. Three others at my table sent it back. And another couple sitting beside us also sent theirs back. My girlfriend was a little bit sick so we did not do much this night.
Summary Overall, I was a bit dissapointed in my experience with RCI. The shows didn't really catch my eye. I mean I'm not really into Motown and the comedian, from what I heard, was not that great. There was the "Love and Marriage" game that I caught on tv that may have been good, but that's about all. If I am choosing between RCI and Carnival, I'm picking Carnival 10 out of 10 times. However, the people and service were just as cordial and polite, if not better. The head waiter or Maitri'd made his way to our table every night and made small talk. My cabin was always made up and the room service was very quick.
Boarding was fairly easy in Miami, we completed the sign and sail pass ahead of time and waited about 10 minutes in line.
I asked the usual "are there any upgrades available" and as usual the ship was full. This ship is very popular and every time I cruise on it, it is full.
Once aboard, we found the refurbishment apparent rather quickly, the new carpeting, and furnishings on deck 3 are great. Its very lavish and clean looking.
Our cabin was also very clean, we found the bedding to have very high thread count sheets, and the furnishings to look great in the room.
While everything was more or less familiar looking it was new, which is a plus.
The bathroom, as always on RCCL is very small, but who spends allot of time in there anyways.Television
I found this to be a poor offering, I know your not there for watching tv, but RCCL seems to have a deal with CBS and they run these taped segments of CBS shows. I would have liked to watch a few minutes of live tv before going to sleep and waking up.
CNN was livebut it is th international version, not the same.
Carnival has real live tv and it is much better than RCCL.General Areas and improvements
After using the ship for a day I can say that they have done a nice job on the inside and on parts of the outside. In particular we found the Viking crown lounge very comfortable and the view is great.Food
We ate at all the venues except Johnny Rockets.
First the Compass Deli, which is new.
I had a Cuban sandwich and a salad. I found the sandwich to be just OK, the quality of the bread was good but it lacked any real flavor that you would find on a real Cuban sandwich. It was not really toasted well either. The Salad was ok as well.
I am glad to have tried the Deli but it does not compare to the Deli offering on Carnival, not even close.The Windjammer Cafe
We ate breakfast and dinner here at least twice. Both times it exceeded our expectations completely. There was a wide variety of food from Asian to German offerings and all of it was very good.
I do have a complaints or two though.
First, the scrambled eggs still do not taste real good, they have a funny texture. I noticed this on my last cruise on the Majesty and on the Sovereign as well.
Secondly, and this may be something that is not easily fixed. Every time we came up to the Windjammer Cafe we had to walk and walk and walk some more all the way around to find seating, There is lots of seating but it seems like there are more people using the Windjammer these days then they used to.
It would be nice if maybe more tables were added if its possible so that its not such a hassle to find a table to sit at.
One final complaint here, the juice was very thick and sweet. Especially the OJ. Its as not enough water is being added to the concentrate. Each day this was a consistent problem, I think the crew needs to be shown how to mix more water into the concentrate somehow.The main dining room.
We found the food the be excellent in the main dining room. I had Steak, soups, salads, deserts, and they were all excellent.
Of course there is one complaint.
Our table mates ordered the low fat shortcake., the shortcake was like a dry hockey puck. It appeared as if they used the unused biscuits from the Windjammers breakfast.Sorentos Pizza
Wow, it sure is nice to have Pizza on demand. We found the Pizza to be OK, not great, not bad. The crust was a soft but drier type crust, there was more than enough sauce, and a little less than needed cheese and toppings on the pie. Its no Papa Johns or your favorite local pizza place, but it will get you through.
It would be nice if they had a thin crust offering, and if the pizza had more normal amounts of toppings and cheese on it.
We did not take advantage of room service.Seattle's Coffee
The pastries were very good.
The opted to skip coffee on this trip but I had a hot chocolate, I found it to be too sweet.Entertainment
I have to say, I did not see Signed, Sealed and Delivered, which is the new main show so i can not comment on this show.
This is a real weak area for this ship.
I saw basically all the same shows and I did last year. Right down to the cruise directors top 10 stupid questions he is asked.
The juggling act which I saw last time was EXACTLY the same, right down to the silly time buying jokes and many water breaks.
While I still found the shows funny and interesting, I know I wont be interested a third time.
The shows themselves are very good and I do not want to take anything away from the performers, but for repeat cruises such as myself I would like to see a couple new things next time.Excursions
Coco Cay is awesome.
I want everyone to know that i go back on this cruise only because of Coco Cay. I certainly do not go for Nassau. I'm not sure if RCL knows what a gem they have in this little island. The waters are clear, you can lay in 4 inches of water and relax. There are all sorts of tropical fish you can see.
RCCL puts on a nice BBQ for free as well. They have hammocks all along the shore in which you can sleep or read a nice book in quiet.
If you need some excitement, go on the Jet Ski's, we did and had a great time.
Anyone how has not been here yet, the entire cruise is worth going on just for this one day excursion.The Casino
I don't play table games, but my friend and I both would like to extend a big thank you to RCCL for donating back some of my previous losses back this time :-) We had a great time playing the slots and if you gamble this Casino is as nice as all the other quality Casinos on other ships.The Crew
As usual, everyone is very nice, as a matter of fact, im going out on a limb and I now see a difference in this between Carnival and RCCL. I just don't remember the staff being as nice and helpful on my last carnival cruise.
I would like to qualify this though. The staff on Carnival is also well above good as far as being helpful and cheerful.
Its one thing to be nice when approached, but the Majesty's crew helped us a few times when they saw we needed help without us asking, which was very nice.Ports
Coco Cay is excellent.
Nassau is average at best.Ships condition
The ship was clean, and on the inside was in new condition in many places.
On the outside, the ship is still really suffering from rust cancer. You can see that RCCL is putting more and more effort to painting her and washing her down, and it shows, but there are also some areas where you can see many layers of paint areas where rust is taking hold. There are also a fair share of dings and dents in the hull from different accidents.
One final observation, IT WAS HOT AND HUMID on the pool deck. There is no breeze what so ever and it is really uncomfortable up there if your trying to sit at the bar. It would be nice if they could figure out a way to allow some of that ocean breeze on the pool deck, maybe open some of that glass surrounding the pool. I had to go back in a few times because I was dripping.
In summary RCCL has done a nice job upgrading the Majesty. There are problems as with all cruise lines and ships. I would say if your looking for a quick getaway, the Majesty is still a better choice than Carnivals older ships on these short Bahamas trips. With that said I can't wait to see how Carnival resonds with their own upcoming refurb projects on their Bahamas bound ships.
See my pictures from this cruise and my other previous cruises at the link below.
My wife and I took our 1st cruise ever on the Majesty of the Seas in October of 2003 on a 4-night Bahamas cruise. We fell in love with this ship and with cruising while sailing on the Majesty. She was recently refurbished by Royal Caribbean and with only a week out of dry dock, we sailed her again on February 23rd for a 3-night Bahamas cruise for our 5th RCCL cruise to see how well RCCL had done in their attempt to refurbish the Majesty.
While going across the gang plank to board, I looked out at the exterior of the ship and the Majesty obviously had a new coat of paint and was looking good from the exterior. Once we entered the ship, I could tell right away that she had gotten a MAJOR face lift! The Centrum was just magnificent! The older drab walls had been replaced, the carpet was brand new, the stairs had new brass, it was brighter all over and my wife remarked just how much more open space and roomier it looked and felt. The art work all over the ship was upgradedand modernized. She has new carpet, new paint, new brass fittings and a much nicer and modern feel to the ship.
RCCL moved some things around as well. The Spa and Fitness center are now on Deck 9, and the spa has a much more relaxing feel to it now. They got rid of the old lounges (except for the Schooner Bar and the Viking Crown Bar) and installed a Boleros lounge and a new lounge called The Spectrum. They upgraded the seats, the carpet and the décor in the Chorus Line Theatre, and did a great job in both the dining rooms, which like the lounges they have now renamed The Star Light Dining room on Deck 4 and the Moon Light Dining room on Deck 3.
The pool deck also got a new paint job and upgrade, although still the same 2 pools and 2 hot tubs as before. They installed a Sorrento's Pizza, a Compass Deli, Johnny Rockets and expanded the Windjammer to 2 sides now with lots of food stations rather than the one long buffet line in the old Windjammer setup. In the Centrum area, they installed some new stores, and they added a Seattle's Best coffee and a Freeze Ice Cream parlor.
The staterooms also got an upgrade. The new bedding is in place with very nice new high thread count sheets. The new bedding is REALLY awesome; we slept great all 3 nights! The cabins also got new flat screen TVs, better and more comfortable furniture, new artwork on the walls and it seems like a little, but not a lot, more space.
The service on board was great, as it always is with Royal Caribbean. All our wait staff, the room steward, the crew and staff were wonderful. We had good entertainment, although since we were just on the Vision of the Seas last October, RCCL could do a little better in changing up their production shows a little as we saw the same “Boogie Wonderland” show we saw on the Vision. We did have 2 great headliner shows with a comedian and a Motown singer. RCCL also gave us the same Crown and Anchor Society gift of 2 cheap picture frames we got on the Vision last October.
My review just can't do the new Majesty of the Seas justice. I think they did a wonderful job and she seems like almost a brand new ship after her refurbishment. I loved the ship, loved the cruise, the food was typical RCCL (not gourmet, but good and plentiful), the service onboard was outstanding, entertainment was good and overall I rate this cruise a 10 on a 1 to 10 scale! The 3-night Bahamas cruise aboard the Majesty of the Seas is a great getaway weekend trip.
We recently returned from a three day cruise aboard RCCL's Majesty of the Seas. The ship was scheduled to visit Coco Cay and Nassau before returning to Miami.
We arrived just before the designated boarding time of 2pm and had to stand in line about 15 minutes before our passes were issued. As usual, it seemed that those who had filled out their Sail Away information online before boarding had a much better time of it.
The ship was nicely decorated for Christmas and we were pleasantly greeted as we went on board. We found our own outside cabins on deck eight and, though very, very small, everything seemed to be in order. We only met our cabin attendant once in passing, but he did a fine job and seemed to know exactly when it was time to tidy up!
Unbelievably, it was cloudy, rainy and in the sixties when we set sail at 5pm! The wind was blowing so hard that staying outside while we left port was not a pleasant option, so we sought shelter in the Viking lounge instead. It had good service and comfortable, if a little smoky, surroundings.In fact, I know that Majesty is scheduled for a major overhaul in January, but I didn't see very many signs of it being run down or in serious need of refurbishment. My only complaint is the ever-present smell of cigarette smoke just about every where you go (including my non-smoking cabin!).
Almost the minute we left the port area, we knew we were in for some hard times. The ship began rocking and rolling more than any cruise ship I have ever been on! According to many people, the winds were higher than 30 knots and the swells were incredibly high! The barf bags appeared magically out of nowhere and were all around the ship in no time at all. Many passengers turned a lovely shade of green and before long, folks were dropping like flies!
Sure enough, just an hour or so later, the captain announced that gale force winds had forced the evacuation of all personnel from Coco Cay, RCCL's private island, so stopping there was no longer an option. He decided that we would go straight to Nassau at top speed to get out of the rolling waves. After hearing that, I assumed that we would stay docked in Nassau for a day, then either go back to Coco Cay or some other stop. Sadly, it turned out that we cruised for about six hours, docked in Nassau and parked there for two days straight! Nassau is fun for a half day or even a whole day, but 48 hours is way too much. The ship didn't schedule any extra activities due to the prolonged stop, nor were any extra perks given.
We did some time in the straw market and took the pre-requisite tour of Atlantis and the island, but we grew very tired of the insistent locals begging us to buy this or that trinket. I was more than ready to leave after the first day, and all six of the cruise ships that came in behind us did just that, but we didn't go anywhere!
Of the three shows on board, only the comedian/juggler was tolerable. The broadway 70s review the first night was nothing more than a good high school could produce, and "Johnny Thunder," an old MoTown performer, sent us to the exits after his first number on the second night.
The food in the dining room was quite good and the service was excellent! By far, it was the most satisfying experience of the whole cruise. As stated in many other reviews of this ship, there just weren't very many activities scheduled that were of any interest to the two generations of my party.
Disembarking was another big minus. Apparently there was some problem with the number of customs officials and we wound up waiting in line for about an hour before finally seeing one. I think it took the captain's attention to put whatever was wrong to rights.
All in all, it ranked last in my three cruise experiences, but then again, the worse cruise I ever went on was fun! I doubt I'll go on any other three day voyages. As one who derives the most fun being out at sea, I don't want to take a chance that I'll again spend the lion's share of the cruise aboard an immobile parked ship!
I have come to the conclusion that people who generally write negative reviews are somewhat difficult to please. This was my 18th cruise, all ranging from 3 days to 12, from the Bahamas, Caribbean, Pacific and Mediterranean. I have enjoyed them all. While I agree that some ships are better than others, be it in cabin size, food quality or service of personnel, a vacation is what you, in particular, make of it. Majesty of the Seas is, in fact, as most reviewers say and old ship. She is being dry-docked next month and from what my head waiter told it, the renovations are going to be nothing short of spectacular. The ship shows its age in someplaces moreso than in others.
Cabins, for example, have seen better days, but the public rooms, are still kept in very good shape. The ship is clean, the service was wonderful and the food was excellent. Our cabin steward was there everytime we needed her. Our first night we asked her for two empty glasses for red wine that we had brought with us, and every night thereon, two clean glasses were waiting forus upon returning to the cabin to get ready for the evening.
Our head waiter and our assistant waiter were fabulous, offering us their recommendations, suggestions and giving us great tips and suggestions about what to do in port the next day. As it was, we ended up staying in Nassau both Saturday and Sunday, because the weather would not permit us to tender to our scheduled stop in Cococay on Saturday.
I have cruised with Carnival, RCCL, Costa, Holland America, NCL and MSC Italian. Each line is different and each have specific things that are better than the other, but all lines have one very special quality that is common ground and that is, to treat you well and have you enjoy your vacation regardless of whether you are there 3 days or 7 or 15. I think people who submit reviews need to really chill and enjoy their cruise. Notice I am not saying 'lower your expectations' because I never do. I expect to be treated well, but I leave my house knowing that I will get the kind of treatment and service and quality that I want. Positive thinking usually works, folks! Relax and enjoy your trip. Any questions, feel free to write: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let me begin by saying I will never cruise with this cruise line again. The majority of our experience on their boat, Majesty of the Seas, was a huge disappointment, and our dealings with their customer service team since have been challenging, ineffective, and insulting. Having prefaced my review with this forewarning, I will relay our vacation troubles.
In August 2006, my husband and I celebrated our third anniversary by taking a four night Bahamas cruise with Royal Caribbean. We selected Royal Caribbean based on its sailing dates, destinations, and reputation for fun cruises at an affordable price. Having done my research on the cruise line on this website (and others) I was aware that most of the Royal Caribbean cruise ships were dated but clean, and that the customer service was excellent.
We set sail on Monday, August 7, 2006, from Miami. (We arrived a night early and stayed at the Sofitel to ensure we'd be at the port in plenty of time. In retrospect, that was one of the best days of our entire vacation). Our cruise quickly went downhill. When we arrived in our stateroom, we had our excursion ticketswhich included a ticket for a Sail and Snorkel at 9am on 8/8/06. We also had a note stating that exact same excursion had been cancelled and rescheduled for 1pm on 8/8/06. I immediately went to the excursion desk to talk to a customer service agent. The man I spoke with informed me there never was a 9am Sail and Snorkel; the only one was the 1pm event. I showed him my original ticket; he replied he had no idea why I would have gotten that since the excursion didn't even exist. I told him I had booked it several weeks prior using the online system. He again said there never was a 9am event and that essentially I bought a "fake" excursion. He said he could not get us on any other excursions for that day now since our 1pm Sail and Snorkel conflicted with our other possible events.
Seeing as how this was the one excursion I was most excited about, I resigned myself to changing our plans to make the 1pm Sail and Snorkel. My husband and I spent the beautiful, sunny morning walking around Nassau. However, by 1pm a storm had moved in and our Sail and Snorkel was cancelled. I was extremely disappointed by this. Had we gone out at 9am as previously arranged, we would have enjoyed the sailing excursion. However, as it turned out, we spent the day in Nassau – a place neither of us really enjoyed. We felt this day had been a rip off; we felt lied to about our previous excursion ticket purchase and let down by the change in weather. While I realize the weather is not something the cruise line could control, it was the proverbial nail in the coffin to a very bad afternoon that would have been pleasant had the 9am excursion existed.
Determined to stay positive despite this set back, my husband and I spent sometime on the sun deck (where his book got ruined by a hosed-down wet deck). We then went down to our stateroom to dress for the formal dinner.
When we arrived in our stateroom, we noticed the floor just inside the cabin was wet and squished under our feet. There was also wood chip debris on the carpet. Seeking the source of this mess, we opened the bathroom door to find the shower had dirty water coming up the drain. This water was all over the floor of the bathroom and had spilled out into the stateroom. The water soaked approximately a two foot by four foot area between the bathroom and the desk running from the end of the bed to the door to the room. The water was dirty colored with flecks of wood, paint chips, and other debris floating in it. I called maintenance and our stateroom attendant while my husband started moving our personal belongings out of the way. Our attendant came and a maintenance technician came. He removed the panel from the outside of the room. Water was squirting from the pipes and bubbling up in the wall.
I went up to the concierge desk to speak to a customer service agent. I told the man our room was unsuitable and that we wished to be moved to a different room on the boat. The gentleman said the boat was full and that he would be unable to move us. When I explained that I found that hard to believe, he reiterated there were no regular rooms and no back-up rooms free on the boat. I explained again that our room was not functioning correctly, but he said we would have to stay there.
I went back down to our room to find the technician gone. He had spent maybe twenty minutes there. My husband said someone had wiped down the bathroom floor. There was now a giant blower in our room to dry out the carpet, but it had not been cleaned. The blower was impossible to talk over. After crying for a good ten minutes, I showered in my flip flops (the bathroom floor had not been cleaned, just dried) and we proceeded to get ready for our formal dinner. As we started to leave the stateroom, we heard the gurgling of the shower and saw it start to fill up again. We closed the door and left for our dinner. My husband found our attendant to explain it was happening again, and I went to the concierge desk to talk to someone again.
At the desk, I spoke with a woman who was much more compassionate than the previous man, but still did nothing to help. She said all rooms were booked, and we'd have to stay where we were. Again, I said the bathroom doesn't work properly. She expressed her regrets, but said there was nothing the cruise line could do.
With people looking at our room, we headed to dinner. Upon arriving, I told our waiter that, since we were celebrating our anniversary that night, I had made arrangements for us to have a private table for two. I had made this reservation on the phone with an agent on 6/9/06. She confirmed that we would have our own table that night. He looked at me with surprise and said that wasn't possible. He said, "Those agents will promise you heaven." He showed us to our regular table of six.
For the third time that day, we were told we would have accommodations we were not given: a 9am Sail and Snorkel, a private anniversary table, a working stateroom. The cruise was becoming horrid.
That evening we returned to our stateroom to find the blower gone and the shower free of water. Throughout the night, we would hear gurgling and would take turns waking up to check on the shower water. Needless to say, it was not a peaceful nor restful night.
The next day we had scheduled a couple's massage at the spa on the boat. We had done a couple's massage before and greatly enjoyed it. This WAS NOT a couple's massage. One person sat in a "vibrating egg" and the other got a back and neck massage. Our masseuse was not skilled in the least. She used her elbow most of the time and actually left a bruise on my husband's back. He had to gesture to her twice to ease up on the pressure because she was hurting him. I spent most of the time in the "egg" silently crying. This was completely false advertising. When I booked the massage I saw a couple's relaxation massage special for $169. When I called to book our spa treatment, I was told we were having the couple's massage for $200 and that these two were different. They were not. It was a thoroughly awful experience.
After our massage, we had an 11am parasail excursion. We were told over the speaker system that the excursion had been cancelled due to the weather. We went ahead and went on to the private island and found the parasail booth. The gentlemen operating it said they did not know it had been cancelled. The said they were going ahead with the parasailing and would take us. The weather was perfect, and we were able to parasail.
That late afternoon we retuned to our stateroom to find again the dirty water had come up from the shower. Again, my husband set off to find our attendant while I went up to the front desk. There I asked immediately to speak to the housing supervisor. I met with a woman. She said there was an emergency room available and we could move it immediately. I just started crying. I asked her what about the first two shower back-ups didn't strike anyone as an emergency. She was kind and sent a porter down to help us move our belongings.
When we arrived in the emergency room, there was fruit spoiling on the desk. It was removed. The room had obviously been sitting empty the whole time! There was the initial paperwork lying on the bed with the life jackets. The room was just a couple of hallways down from our original room and was modest but worked!
At that point, the cruise took a pleasant turn for us. With no showers backing up, no more cancelled (or seemingly cancelled) excursions, and no more painful, ridiculous spa treatments, we enjoyed our last two nights and one day on the boat.
As we were preparing to leave the boat upon our return to Miami, I spoke with the housing woman that had been the most helpful. She gave me a card to call the customer service agents with the cruise line to talk to someone about refunding part of our trip. She said she couldn't do anything on the ship, but I would need to contact the headquarters.
Since the cruise ended, I have been going round and round with the cruise line. This includes letters, numerous phone calls, and countless minutes "on hold." This has included week long intervals when they do not return my calls. They keep offering cruise discounts and coupons, but we find this totally unacceptable. I would not recommend this cruise line to ANYONE! Their inability to provide the basic necessities (a safe, working room), their despicable customer service, and their self-admitted penchant for lying and duping customers have taught me a lesson: I will not be cruising with Royal Caribbean again.
EMBARKATION: The line for the people who had completed everything online wasn’t any shorter than the one for the people who hadn’t thought ahead. This was a part of the cruise that I did not enjoy. We carried our luggage 3 terminals down to where we could give it to a porter. By the time we got to the gate to get in line we were already worn out. All in all it probably only took 30 minutes to board, but after a 12 hour drive to Miami, we were exhausted already.
ON THE SHIP: When we got onboard, we had no idea where to go. The people standing in the lobby were not much help either, we had to just search our way around. The good thing was that we boarded one floor below our room, so it wasn’t a long way to go.
CABIN: We had an interior cabin with no port hole, but it wasn’t as small as most people said. We had enough room to do what we needed to do. The beds were actually comfortable. The only problem I had is that I couldn’t tellwhat time of day it was when I woke up. Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night and think that it was morning. Next time, I would at least spring for a porthole room.
FOOD: We were very impressed with the food. We ate breakfast in the Windjammer everyday. It is buffet style and has eggs (not great), breads, rolls, pastries, bacon, sausage, pancakes, waffles, cereals, grits, yogurt, etc. They even have an omelet station, which had very good eggs. Juice, water, and coffee were always available in the mornings. Lunch was either in the Windjammer or at port. Once again it was buffet style, but the food was more gourmet, with salads, soups, breads, pastas, and meats. Very good and hot despite what some people in previous reviews have said. At dinner we ate in the dining every night. They offered appetizers (chilled soups, hot soups, onion tartes, shrimp cocktail, etc), salads (cesar or house), entrees (duck, lamb, shrimp, steak, chicken, vegetarian, pasta, sides included mashed potatoes & veggies, breads), and desserts (fruit plates, chocolate cake/pie/ice cream, tiramisu, fondue, etc.) Tea, lemonade, water, and coffee are always available at no extra charge, or you can pay for soft drinks, wine, or mixed drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. They offer the dining room menu from 3pm until late in the night. At other times they offer salads, snacks, hamburgers, hot dogs, etc. You can also order pastries, cereals, yogurt, and fruits to be brought to you at a specified time in the mornings instead of going out of your room to eat breakfast. There were also midnight buffets (chocolate & Caribbean) and at any time you could find pizza or something to snack on. You cannot go hungry on this ship.
SERVICE: Everywhere we went on the boat the employees were extremely helpful and nice. They directed us where to go if we were lost, offered us drinks, and in general went out of their way to help us. Our dining room staff and stateroom staff were all great.
PORTS OF CALL: We went to Key West first. It was a nice town, but we weren’t that impressed with it. We can now say that we have visited it and I think we got it out of our systems. Second up was Nassau, Bahamas. This town was very dilapidated and poor looking. I was not impressed with the straw market and have no desire to return to Nassau. Across the beach from Nassau was Paradise Island. Now this is a place you would want to visit, even though we didn’t. We took the glass bottom boat tour ( I recommend this, it was very fun) and they sailed us by Paradise Island and we got to see where all of the stars have homes there. (Nicholas Cage, Michael Jordan, and Oprah Winfrey) I would love to stay on Paradise Island sometime. The last stop was CocoCay. This was the best stop of the entire cruise. This is a private island that it owned by Royal Caribbean. All you do is play in the crystal clear ocean, snorkel if you want (very fun) and lay in the sun. We got EXTREMELY sunburnt with 45 SPF sunscreen on that had been applied 3 times. I recommend taking a higher SPF and slather it on if you burn at all. The ship brings out a BBQ lunch to the island (ribs, hamburgers, hotdogs, salads, and desserts). This was good, but not the best food on the cruise. CocoCay has a small straw market on the island that I enjoyed much more than the one in Nassau. It was cleaner and the people weren’t as pushy. Prices seemed a little better too.
SHOWS: We only went to two shows while we were on the ship, but we enjoyed both of them. We went to the comedian show and the last night had a show called “Boogey Wonderland”.
SHOPPING ONBOARD: The ship didn’t have amazing prices onboard, but if you were buying alcohol, the prices were really good.
EXCURSIONS: We decided before we went on this cruise that we would do one excursion in each port to save on money and still get to see some of the places we were visiting. In Key West we did a tour called “A Taste of Key West”. This was a really good tour that took you all around the city. You stopped at 5 different places to sample food from them. We got Conch Fritters (Ughhhh, not my cup of tea), mahi mahi fingers (amazing, a new fave of mine), Coconut Shrimp (yummy), Key Lime Pie (not my thing, but my husband loved it), and at a very cool little place called “Peppers of Key West” we got to taste all kinds of pepper sauces. (the asian marinade was so good I bought a bottle and got their web address to buy more). www.peppersofkeywest.com. In Nassua, Bahamas we went on the glass bottom boat tour, which I already stated that I really liked. You get to sit and enjoy the breeze with a tour guide telling you about all of the sites you are passing and they give a complimentary rum or fruit punch (rum one is yummy). Last, but not least, in CocoCay, Bahamas we rented the snorkeling gear. You get to use this all day at your leisure. This was very fun once you figure out how to keep water out of your mask.
DISEMBARKATION: Getting off of the ship was pretty much the same as getting on. It was tiring, hot, and long. But hey, when you get to your car it feels SOOOOOOO wonderful to get to sit down. My advice is to pack light, and try not to carry anything but your pocketbook and wallet.
Have a great cruise and try to relax, because you won’t enjoy it if you are tensed up!
cabins are old and tired. food was awful. not a good choice for a first time or other cruisers.
This cruise was free. I never would have bought this cabin on this ship. This was my 14th cruise; 3rd on RCI after Enchantment and Brilliance. I'm a HALgal. I don't know if it was the length of the cruise or the age of the ship that bothered me... maybe those and the fact that the passengers were so sloppy! Loud, sloppy cattle swarming around the flea market in the atrium.
Shopping & Booking & Stuff: There was no shopping... my girlfriend won the cruise in a sales contest, and her husband could not go, so she invited me. We have all cruised together before, but it wasn't the same with just the girls. I couldn't keep up with her all-nighters, and she found my naps boring. I'll stick to couples from now on.
Embarkation: A little confused, but not too long. Figuring out which line to stand in was tricky, as no one was there to help.
Cabin: We had an outside cabin on Promenade Deck. Having been spoiled by roomy veranda suites on HAL ships, I was turned off from the beginning. Aside from being only 122 square feet,the cabin was cramped and shabby. The cots were like at summer camp (just sheets and blankets) and we found hairs on the pillowcase. When we called the steward to replace the cases, we asked her for the bedspreads, and she seemed surprised we wanted them. When she made up the bed, we found them frayed and did not go all the way to the floor.
Lido Restaurant: I didn't care for the institutional feel of the Lido buffet. Half the seating is outdoors and half inside; some of it upstairs. The choices were very limited and the presentation awful.
Disco: Great music, great DJ, open way into the night and not full of kids.
Casino: Hated it. The dealers were cold and impersonable, chips were different colors and left me totally disoriented. I generally haunt the Craps table, but this time I had no desire to return.
Internet Café: Slow connection.
Debarkation: The worst I have ever experienced. Very long lines led to carousels; no rrom to offload; no porters to help. Another long line to Customs and complaining adults and crying toddlers... never again.
For me, this cruise was simply a bummer. For someone looking for a short, fun cruise at a good price, Majesty may be just fine.
A little background first. This was my 11th cruise and my first on Royal Caribbean. My friends and I booked this cruise as a "Chicks" getaway for a long weekend. Though I had a great time, I really don't think I will do a 4 day or shorter cruise again - they are just way too short!
Thursday 11/4/04 - was supposed to fly from Milwaukee to Miami on ATA with a change of plane in Chicago (Midway.) Supposed to arrive in Miami about 5:00pm and join my friend Jennifer at the Holiday Inn Downtown/Bayside and go eat some Cuban food and drink some mojitos at the Latin American Club at Bayside. The rest of our group was meeting up in Fort Lauderdale that evening and driving to Miami the next morning.
Well, the best laid plans of cruisers sometimes go awry. Due to equipment failure, my flight was delayed departing Milwaukee by over an hour.....in fact we were sitting on the runway for take off when I should have been boarding my connecting flight at Midway. Needless to say I missed my connection at Midway - as we were pulling upto deplane, my connecting flight was pulling away from the gate. Got into the terminal and found that there was no way for me to get to Miami that day at all from Midway. Best they could do was to get me to Fort Lauderdale - arriving well after 11:00pm that night. So much for cuban food and mojitos. The airline provided my a voucher for food during my long wait at Midway (gee a whole $7 - bought me a carton of milk and small order of chicken mcnuggets at the Mickey D's stand........) and were willing to provide transport to me from FLL to Miami that night. I guess I really wasn't too thrilled about having to get from FLL to the airport in Miami in the middle of the night. I ended up calling one of my friends who was staying in FLL that night and I was able to snag a room at the some hotel they were at and I would ride down to Miami with them the next morning. I have always been a proponent of flying in the day before a cruise. There are times for me when it has been impossible to do so, but after this experience, I will do my utmost to arrive a day ahead of time.
Anyway on to the flight - this plane was one of the few that ATA has that has business class on it - they were selling upgrades for $40 - needless to say I grabbed one of those seats ASAP. They were wonderful - wide leather seats, adjustable headrests, footrests...........it would have been a wonderful flight if not for the drunk, sky-high woman in the seat ahead of me. I have never encountered such a problem person flying before! During takeoff, her CD's went flying into our row and she unbuckled herself and tried to crawl over the seats to retrieve them. When allowed to, she put her headphones on and started to yell along with they lyrics - have no clue who she was listening to but every other word out of her mouth was "f$#k" and "s*#t". She kept this up through the whole flight....except for the time she went into the bathroom and was in there for more than 20 minutes - came out smelling like she had smoked a couple of joints. And then there was the time she wanted some light, so instead of reaching up and turning on her reading light, she decided to use her lighter! I have never seen 10 people move in unison like the rest of us in business class did, putting on our call buttons at the same time. Needless to say when we landed in FLL, security came on board and this woman was taken off and eventually arrested.
Got to the hotel and met up with my friends - and the big surprise came. This was supposed to be a Chicks Cruise - well our friend John and his significant other decided to surprise the girls and join us on the cruise.
11/5/04 - started out sunny and warm - a beautiful day. Drove down to Miami and arrived at the port about 10:30am. Got our luggage out and parked the cars. Waited outside for the last of our group Jennifer to arrive from her Miami hotel. At this point, she is the only one who doesn't know that our friend John decided to surprise us. She gets out of the taxi and he comes up behind her and asks if she needs any help - she turns around, gapes for a minute and starts laughing and cursing him at the same time. We go inside the terminal and get into our lines for check in.....Two of the group are Diamond members so they go to their special lounge for check in and boarding. Then proceed to the line to wait to get onboard. Once that line starts moving it was not bad.............until one of the machines they use to take your picture to imbed the image on your sign and sail card started acting up. It took 10 minutes to take one picture on that machine.....the other one was churning them out. We were in two lines - on for each machine - and of course we were in line for the machine that didn't work. We tried to suggest to the crew that maybe they could alternate lines for the one machine until they got the one machine fixed......they did not seem to grasp the concept. Finally got onboard about 12:30 - much of the time spent standing in line because of the one non-working machine. They evidently could not get the machine fixed as they gave up trying to get it to work - later RCCL decided to just have everyone take their sign and sail card AND a photo id to get on and off the ship.
First impression of the Majesty was one of casual elegance. No neon....lots of brass and wood and glass. Jennifer and I went to find our room - 9552 - a superior ocean view. Very nicely laid out with a sitting area, two beds, a vanity and a mini fridge. Bathroom was small and functional.....shower had a hand held shower head that was wonderful - good water pressure and the hot water stayed hot and the cool water stayed cool. Headed up to the Windjammer - had no clue that half was open air and half was enclosed. I felt the buffet set up was confusing......I guess I am just used to the set up on Princess. The food was good - some really nice meat and pasta dishes.....breads and rolls and desserts were excellent. Pizza (didn't find this til the last full day) was very very good! I wish the location was easier to find and that the pizza was offered more than just 2 hours a day. Our group got together for sailaway....we had a wine and cheese party on a secluded small balcony just outside the On Your Toes lounge. By this time the skies had clouded up and it was raining off and on. This was to be a theme throughout the next 36 hours. Met up in the Viking Crown Lounge for pre-dinner drinks.......a really nice lounge with great service....but who's brilliant idea to put the Rock Climbing wall behind the Viking Crown Lounge? It totally disrupted the 360 view....who wants to see a gray slab over the ocean and skies? After this headed down to the Maytime Dining Room on Deck 3......we were at table 180. Our waitress was Derya from Turkey, her assistant was Alma from the Phillipines. I have been on 11 cruises and they were the best wait team I have ever had (and I've had many excellent ones!) They worked together seamlessly, water glasses were always filled, bread was constantly offered.....they kept the pace even and clued into our mood (we were there to have fun and enjoy the food) and got caught up in the spirit of our table. Derya's recommendations were spot on!
Now, I have heard a lot of grumbling on the boards about how the quality of food on RCCL in general has declined. Being this was my first RCCL cruise, I was only able to compare the food to my Princess, Carnival and Celebrity cruises. I put the quality of the food on this particular RCCL ship as being on par with Princess. Meats were tender and prepared to order. Rolls and desserts were wonderful. Soups were delicious - I really love Princess' French Onion Soup and RCCL's was just a tad better seasoned, but could have used just a little more cheese on the top. I wonder if it was just the chef on this particular ship, but the food was really very good.
Headed off to bed that night with dreams of hitting Coco Cay the next day.
11/6/04 - woke to clouds and rain.....and it stayed that way all day. The Captain did decide to stop at Coco Cay....why, I don't know since most of the day was a washout. Had a hot stone massage and a facial today........oh my goodness, that massage was heaven!!!!! Have to get one regularly here at home! Did our usual predinner drinks in the Viking Crown Lounge and then on to dinner. This was the formal night and dinner was absolutely delicious.....beef tenderloin, french onion soup, salad, rolls, etc. Can't remember the dessert but they were all delicious.
11/7/04 - sunny and gorgeous in Nassau. Being Sunday the shops were only open from 9 - 2. Three of us decided to do the Blackbeards Cay beach and snorkel break. After going to Stingray City in Grand Cayman, the sting ray part of this excursion was disappointing. The sting rays are in a fenced in area - there are only about 13 of them and they have been debarbed. The rest of the time we just relaxed on the island in the water and shade and then headed back to the docks on our tender. Arrived back at the dock, one went shopping and Pat and I headed back to the ship. They have these golf carts that will take you from the shopping area to the ship for free (just tip the driver.) Well, getting onto the back of the court, I whacked my head on the edge of the covering. Needless to say I was a little stunned....got a nice goose egg and a light bruise, but didn't break the skin and didn't suffer a concussion. Went back to the room to rest a little and start the packing process.........then went down and got a pedicure. Back to the room to get ready for the last dinner. Precruise drinks again at our favorite place and then down to dinner. We all wanted to take Derya and Alma back with us. Dinner was very good again....tears all around when we said goodby to them. Went back to the cabin, finished the packing, set the suitcase out and then headed up to the disco for a little while.
11/8/04. Debarkation day........this is where RCCL needs some improvement. We went to breakfast in the dining room at 7:00am. Sat down to a leisurely breakfast thinking there was no way the ship would be cleared before 8:00 as they were still pulling up and tying to the dock when we headed to the dining room. We made plans after breakfast to meet up on deck 4 near my friends' cabin to say goodbye....well we got out of the dining room to chaos.....a long line starting on deck four going all the way up to deck 5.....seems they started calling colors to debark while we were eating breakfast. Just a word of warning......RCCL does not make debarkation announcements in the dining room............we had early debarkation tags and totally missed it. The crew in charge of debarkation were rude....would not answer questions and were dismissive. Our group got seperated and there was no way to find each other in this mess, so we all went our own ways..........did hook up via cell phone later that morning. Once, I did get off the ship, it was going through Immigration check, down to claim your luggage and then through customs........then out to the ground transportation area. Grabbed a taxi to go to the Miami airport. $21 plus tip for the trip from the pier to airport. Checked in at Delta........and got pulled out a security for the full inspection and works. Just my day, I guess! Made it through without getting thown in jail for anything. Flights on the way home were uneventful and arrived at my house about 8:00 that night - totally exhauseted but glad I made the trip to catch up with my friends.
I really enjoyed the Majesty and RCCL - I realize it was a three day cruise but our service with the exception of one bartender, was excellent. I will be on the Enchantment of the Seas next fall after she has been stretched and refurbished....can't wait to compare the two ships. Before that it is back to Princess and the new Diamond Princess in April.