Majesty of the seas review
Left JFK on 4/25 on Jet Blue at 7:30 Am arrived in FLL (Ft. Lauderdale) at 10:15 AM met by Above All Limo at Baggage claim and proceeded smoothly to the Port of Miami and arrived there at 11:40 . We had 3 rooms # 1534 (Family Suite) and 1564 & 1566 (Junior Suites) and went to the priority check in line. This is for suites passengers and C&A members. There was only on person in front of us online and we didn't have to wait on the huge line to get on to the ship. As soon as we were finished checking in and were give our sea pass cards, we merged with the big line and went right upstairs to board the ship. The ship was ready to board by noon. The initial line to get onto the ship (they put your seapass card in a machine and it takes your picture, before you board, for ID. Every time that you get back onto the ship they put your seapass card in the machine, and check that picture to make sure it's really you) was kind of long, but certainly understandable.
We proceeded to the windjammer (you'll pass through the gauntlet of soda card & wine package salesman. My parents bought the wine package. 3 bottles each night for 4 nights. 12 Bottles total for $200.00. Whatever bottles you don't open, will be credited back to you. On the last night of the cruise the waiter gave us a credit slip for 4 bottles.) and had a fairly nice welcome aboard lunch. Paella, chicken, pasta, salads, fruit, etc. Very nice, but not outstanding. Several months ago, when we booked this cruise, everyone agreed to take the early seating. On the plane down to Miami, my wife and my mother (the dynamic duo) decided that they would rather have the late seating. So being the smart son and husband that I am, I went to the Maytime (deck 3 at 2:00 PM) to speak to the maitre d' about changing to the late seating. He said that since I was the first person online he didn't think it would be a problem. He asked me to come back to see him at 4:00 to confirm. Here is the craziest thing... he wouldn't take any money. I had $40.00 in my hand and he wouldn't take it. I've live in new York all my life and I've had dealings with hundreds of maitre d', but I've never met one that wouldn't take a tip. Anyway, he gave us a table at the late seating and it worked out great. My wife made a spa appointment, I took the kids swimming (pack a bathing suit in case your bags don't come right away) and we all went back to meet at the room. Our bags were in the hall near the elevator so we just grabbed them and brought them to our room. Our room was a B category room and it was pretty spacious for 4 people. There really wasn't any place to put our clothing (no chest of drawers and very little shelf space in the closet) so we just hung a few things in the closet and left the rest, unpacked, in our bags. The bed was big (room # 1534) and the couch pulled out into a bed for one son and the other son (ages 9 & 12) slept on the other side of the sofa (nobody complained and we were so tired by the time that we went to sleep that we probably could have slept on a bed of nails). The verandah was really big. It had 4 chairs and a table and was so big that we could have easily had a party for more than ten people, if we wanted. Robes and slippers were already in the room (my parents and sister stayed in Jr. suites # 1564 & 1566 and they did not get robes, but then again they didn't ask). There is a safe in the room that is activated by a magnetic card (we just used our seapass card). I never asked my parents if they had a safe in their room. Bathroom was huge. It had a bathtub, shower and generous sized vanity.
Muster drill was uneventful and well organized. We then proceeded to the sail away party on deck 11. We were on the Disney Wonder last year and the party aboard the Majesty really paled in comparison to the Disney cruise. Just a few crew members. No big deal at all. We danced a little and the kids went up to deck 12 for pizza. After the party we all did a little hot tubbing, went up the rock climbing wall (I think I made it about 70% of the way up. Not bad for my first time on a wall).
It was now about 7:00 PM and the ship was really moving side to side. My wife and oldest son really felt the movement and slid into their respective beds to ride it out. The youngest and I enjoyed the verandah and the sail out of Miami.
Dinner the first night was supposed to be Caribbean night, but in our opinion the menu didn't really reflect that. The food throughout the cruise really surprised us. It was terrific. We had some fairly low expectations and we were very pleasantly surprised by the food. For appetizers we had lobster bisque, escargot, Caesar salad, Vidalia onion & Gruyere cheese tart, shrimp cocktail, tomato soup (this is not all on one night. These were our appetizers throughout the cruise) that night I had the steak and it was just fine. Wine was good. I don't remember what I had for dessert the first night. After dinner we walked around and tried to take the kids to the casino. Of course, they were too young to play so they just watched from the door. I lost $5.00 in the slots (I'm a big shot, huh?) and I think we all went to sleep soon after.
We awoke Day 2 already in the port of Nassau. Our room was on the port side of the ship and we faced the water. Those on the starboard side faced the island. We went upstairs to the Windjammer for breakfast and had I had a fresh cheese omelet (from the omelet station. Some mornings there was a 5 minute wait for an omelet), bacon, sausage, pancakes, French toast (ok, so I had a huge breakfast, I was on vacation) and a croissant and coffee. Everything was very good to excellent. In the morning the kids went swimming, played ping-pong and got ready for our trip to Blue Lagoon Island for our "Swim with the Dolphins". This was one of the highlights of our trip. The program is just incredible. We took a taxi from Nassau to the ferry terminal building on Paradise Island (4.00 per person in the cab) and then boarded the boat that took us to blue Lagoon Island. The tip was about 20 minutes, but it was a beautiful day and we saw all the gorgeous homes, the private yachts, the parasailers, the waverunners, etc. After arriving at BLI we had a short orientation donned our life vests and jumped in to spend a full hour with the dolphins. They kissed, hugged, danced and footpushed us through one of the most enjoyable excursions I have ever taken. We took underwater disposable cameras into the water with us but we also bought the whole package of video and stills from the gift shop. This is a different program than is offered by RCI. RCI offers the "dolphin encounter" a chance to interact with the dolphins in a shallow pool. The "dolphin swim" is a much more interactive (and expensive) experience. You are fully submerged in the crystal clear Atlantic Ocean and experiencing the program (with incredible trainers) where the dolphins play and train. We then took the same boat back to Paradise Island and then to the Cruise ship dock (very convenient and it saved me 35.00).
We arrived back on the Majesty hungry an exhilarated. We grabbed some pizza from the bar on deck 12 and then took the kids to play some basketball on deck 11. The court is big there were always plenty of basketballs around. We did a little more hot tubbing and then I left the wife and kids and went to the men's locker room in the spa and took a steam. In all that I had read, before we boarded, I always read that there was a sauna, but NO steam room. I was kind of bummed, because I love to steam, but the re definitely IS A STEAMROOM aboard the Majesty. It is small (only 4 seats) but it was a great steam room. Got dressed for dinner (formal night). There were any men in suits, even one or two in tuxedos. I wore a blazer, slacks and a sweater, and fit in quite well. Dinner was again fabulous. I can't remember exactly what we had, but I usually had two appetizers and two entrees every night and the food really was surprisingly good. On Night 2 my wife and I went to the Love and Marriage game. It is a version of the newlywed game and it is hysterical. I highly recommend it for couples. After that we stayed for the show and were joined by my kids and the rest of the family.
The show that night was comedian Steve Shaffer. He was great and very appropriate for our clan of ages 9-71. We were all cracking up. After that it was a short trip to the casino and then to bed.
Day 3 started off the same way. Breakfast at the Windjammer and then onto the tender for the day at Coco Cay. Left our room at about 9:40 and were on the tender and moving less than 5 minutes later. It was amazing how fast we got the elevator and then right onto the tender. It was kind of cloudy, so that might explain the easy trip, but we didn’t care. We arrived and found a ton of empty chaise lounges. The kids and I walked down to beach to play some Frisbee and then went snorkeling (we brought our own equipment, but they still make you rent the vests for 6.00 each.) we saw some colorful fish, but we missed the elusive ray that everyone was talking about. The water at coco Cay is great, but the one warning I would give is beware the rocks. There are a tremendous amount of rocks in the water and I would definitely recommend water shoes, if you have them. Lunch was pretty good and fairly well organized. Burgers, dogs, salads, corn, mac & cheese, chili, baked beans, etc. plenty of drinks and dessert (no coffee). We rented a floating mat and the kids had a great time just playing in the water. My wife took a “beachside massage” and she said it was great. Packed up around 3:00 grabbed the last tender back to the ship (again, it was very quick and well organized). Again we did some hot tubbing and played some basketball. I took another steam, we visited the art auction (I may not be an authority on art, but I wouldn’t put any of those things on the walls of my home, but my wife did get free champagne) Dinner #3 was Italian night and again the food was just great. They gave us a bottle of champagne for my mom’s birthday and we all had a great time. After dinner we took the kids shopping for souvenirs And hit the casino again for a few minutes. We also went to the paint your wagon lounge. They had a hula-hoop contest (the men vs. the women. It was great) and then we danced to a couple of songs before going to sleep.
Day 4 was Key West and we found out the night before that they had cancelled our shore excursion (the Key West Cup Regatta) due to lack of participation. My wife and I were a little bummed out, but we knew that a little bump in the road like this was not going to keep us down. We decided not to tell the kids, and looked for a different excursion. We couldn’t find one that we liked so we just decided to wing it in Key West. We spoke to one of the ships officers that morning and he suggested renting an electric car (kind of a modified, scooped up and tricked out golf cart). We took his advice and we had the best time. They rent them right on the pier (we used Monarch electric carts) and it costs about 135.00 for the 4 seater for 4 hours. We went to the southernmost point buoy, climbed the KW lighthouse (those stairs are scary. Don’t go if heights bother you), Hemingway house (although we didn’t go in) all up and down Duvall Street and we had lunch at Monty’s (they had an incredible pool where the kids could go swimming, a beautiful pier that we could walk out on and some pretty good food at a ridiculously cheap price (I think that lunch, including tip for 7 people was less than 140.00). We went to some of the shops on front street and then token & Jerry’s and then finally to Mallory Square. We bought a Key Lime pie; brought it onboard the ship and they served it to us for dessert. After we boarded the ship we took the kids and my parents up to the Viking Crown to look around. It’s really just a bar but it had some great views and I would definitely recommend that you go up and take a look. That afternoon we met a great family from Argentina and did some hot tubbing with them (proper family hot tubbing) went swimming and probably played some more basketball. Dinner was again fabulous on the last night. We went back to the room for a few minutes to finish our packing (bags have to be outside your room by midnight) and then went to the casino for a few minutes, we then went back to the paint your wagon lounge for a rock-a-rokie (Karaoke, but to rock songs) and the place was really rocking. There was a group from West Virginia that kept the party moving and they were great singers. We met the cruise director (Duane Davis) that night and spent some time talking with him. Exhausted, stuffed, and probably a little drunk we made our way back to our room and sat on the verandah, lamenting the fact that this was our last night aboard.
Next morning we got up early (7:30 AM) got up to the Windjammer by 8:00 AM (there is no room service on the last day) and had breakfast. By this time they were calling all different color tags, but you don’t need to rush off the boat when they call your color. They close the buffet at 8:30 but there were plenty of people sitting around enjoying the view of Miami. No need to rush of the ship. We left about 9:00 and there were still plenty of people on board. Breezed off the ship down to the luggage carousels, grabbed a porter, got our bags and were on the street in a few minutes. My brother-in-law picked us up and we were off. The whole process took less than 30 minutes. Even though we were on the ship for only 93 hours, we really packed in a lot of fun, activity, eating, drinking, gambling, dancing, swimming, steaming, etc.
The ship is a little worn, but we had a great time and would definitely recommend it. I’m sure there is a lot that I left out, so if you have any questions just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put MAJESTY QUESTION in the subject line