Is Majesty of the Seas the ideal first cruise? It seems to be for one-third of our editorial team, who all sailed the Royal Caribbean vessel as their first mainstream cruise. All had different experiences – Erica Silverstein boarded as a 17-year-old during a family vacation in 1994, Ashley Kosciolek celebrated college Spring Break with friends in 2007 and Brittany Chrusciel took her first work trip on the ship just last week as an adult in her mid-20s.
By surveying their experiences, we’ve realized that while Majesty might not be the newest, biggest or fanciest ship, it’s reliable and friendly – and consistent. On this #ThrowbackThursday, take a look at how the three trips compared over a nearly 20-year period.
(Remember, we want your #ThrowbackThursday cruise photos! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org with Throwback in the subject line.)
Erica (7 nights in the Western Caribbean): “Majesty was pretty new at the time, and we thought it was so cool. I remember walking around the deck, feeling like I was in some tropical fantasy and maybe I would have an onboard romance.”
Ashley (3 nights in the Bahamas): Booked through Expedia at the last minute, the cruise itself cost less than the airfare to get to Miami. “When we first boarded, we were bombarded with offers to buy the Drink of the Day, and, being college students, that’s just what we did. We also let some friendly crewmembers talk us into buying soda cards. They were a total rip-off – man, were we gullible!”
Brittany (4 nights to Bahamas and Key West): “As a Semester at Sea graduate, returning to a ship each day during my four-night Bahamas sailing did feel like coming home. The idea of having nothing to do but drink, eat and be merry, on the other hand, was an entirely new concept.”
Erica: Her family attended shows every night; “I remember a Beatles cover band being a big hit.” During the day, she racked up points at fitness activities to earn a coveted t-shirt. (“I wore it proudly all summer.”)
Ashley: “Because we were new to cruising, we didn’t look at our daily planner the way we should have, and we didn’t know about even half of the things there were to do onboard.” Most of her time was spent by the pool or on the beach. Some ROTC guys from Texas A&M, who were also spending their spring break onboard, served as dance partners for the rest of the sailing.
Brittany: “A comedian and magician was the only act that held any interest for me as part of the nightly show lineup. The production shows seemed a tad hokey for my tastes, (one was entitled ‘Boogie Wonderland’), although the singers I did hear, especially the ones that performed in the atrium nightly, were talented. Being more of a coffee-and-a-quiet-stroll type, my attendance at some of the nightly events was more out of a professional curiosity rather than a personal draw.”
Erica: “We felt like our waiter and assistant waiter were friends, and they did entertaining tricks with napkins that we loved. On pirate night, one crewmember-turned-pirate accosted us and took a photo with me, and we thought it was funny and ‘so cruise’ and not tacky at all.”
Ashley: “We ate dinner in the MDR every single night. I tried escargot for the first time, and when I found out I could order as much as I wanted, I got three desserts every night … and ate them all!” Ashley also ate in Johnny Rocket’s — a specialty restaurant added during a refurb that same year — almost every day. “I know some people complain about nickel-and-diming, but we thought the $5-per-person fee was awesome. Clearly we didn’t know any better.”
Brittany: “We were encouraged to eat and faun over every dish in the MDR and heaven forbid it wasn’t the best thing we’d ever tasted, to send it back and order something else. It was a tad overwhelming, but the choices and the food were both exciting enough to return each night. Coffee and dessert included was a kicker.”
Cabins (all inside!)
Erica: Erica’s entire family of four shared one single inside cabin, with a set of bunk beds and two twin beds that couldn’t be pushed together due to space. “I couldn’t sit up in bed without hitting my head on something. Dressing for dinner was done in shifts. Yet I never thought this was necessarily bad – it’s the way it was and I had no idea about huge cabins with balconies.”
Ashley: Because her inside cabin was designed for wheelchair accessibility, it was larger than expected. “We had a ton of room, and the strangest thing I remember about it is that it had a shower with no lip. It was like a locker room shower, so the water got everywhere, all over the floor.”
Brittany: “I was surprised to find that the queen bed was actually two twin beds pushed together, and that taking up most of the room, the bed essentially trapped the person sleeping near the wall. During my brief stint with seasickness, I did begin wondering if it would be worth having at least a window.”
Erica: “We had the quintessential ‘forget to remove the pillow chocolate and wake up with brown-stained sheets and panic for a moment before remembering the chocolate’ experience that is likely a staple gag for every cruise ship comedian. The happy looks in our arrival photos were probably because we hadn’t seen the cabin yet.”
Ashley: “Looking back, we thought the ship was so big and so glamorous when we were on it, but since I’ve been on newer and bigger ones, it seems boring in hindsight. I met ‘Henry’ (an elephant-like vacuum cleaner found on some cruise ships) for the first time; I’ve had a crush on him ever since and always smile when I see him in the hallway when I’m onboard. (After my airline lost my bag) they gave me a free toiletry kit and an oversized RCI t-shirt to sleep in, which I thought was a nice touch.”
Brittany: “I knew from research that watching the sun set in Key West is a big deal. With an on-ship time of 5:30, we were onboard as the sun just began to dip. Clambering up to the pool deck with some Champagne to watch the sun go down on the last night of our cruise, with a lot of other excited yet relaxed passengers taking photos and enjoying the moment, it was the perfect way to end the trip.”