Majesty of the Seas - Bahamas: Majesty of the Seas Cruise Review by CruiseFever
Overall Member Rating
Majesty of the Seas - Bahamas
Royal Caribbeans Majesty of the Seas offers a value-priced short cruise sailing from Miami. This is a great cruise for those within driving distance or those who might combine one of these sailings with a land vacation in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area.
This is not one of Royal Caribbeans new ships with all the bells and whistles theyve become famous for. But the ship is well-maintained and the service on a par with any other in the fleet.
Embarkation in Miami is a breeze. By completing registration information online we were able to print a SeaPass which makes things move along very nicely. I like Royal Caribbeans terminal operations and the ease of which one can get in and out of the Port of Miami, still the busiest cruise port in the world. I was somewhat surprised to find security lax in comparison to other, recent, visits. It has been the norm for several years here to be stopped on arrival and required to show identification. More Not this time. In the terminal itself, it looked like even the cruise lines security requirements had been loosened up a bit.
Surely, the cruise lines x-ray stop is not as thorough as the airlines but on this occasion they seemed much more interested in moving the line along than what was in our luggage.
On this cruise, being just a 3 day, wed not packed much and opted to carry on everything in our individual luggage, one for me and one for my wife. Again I was surprised that I didnt even have to take my laptop computer out of the bag. I guess it all works out though because I am writing this at the end of the cruise and the ship hasnt been blow up yet.
Wed opted for the least expensive, inside cabin on this cruise. The accommodations were tight at 120 square feet but had everything we needed and offered plenty of storage space. A highlight of this cabin was the shower. Unlike some other seafaring showers, this one packed a punch equal to any land based showers and offered plenty of space. Considering the age of this ship Id expected the old-fashioned phone booth variety. This one was about double phone booth size. Still not what one might find in a hotel but, again, adequate.
One part of the cabin experience that I found odd was the television programming. Id heard that Royal Caribbean (RCL) had a new person in charge of this area and that things had really improved. Not on this ship. We have been in the habit of watching at least one movie on each cruise. If youve not done this you really should. For years after when the film you saw onboard is mentioned or you see clips of it elsewhere youll remember it and say Oh, we saw that on the cruise! This was the first time were wed not been able to find a schedule of what was playing in the daily Compass ships newsletter. We did manage to figure it out though and saw our movie.
An area of cabin operations that was quite impressive was our cabin steward, Sydney. This guy did a great job of getting in and out of our cabin when we were gone. He paid attention. Some dont. He didnt do anything out of the ordinary. He didnt blow us away. He just paid attention. We had a small soft-sided cooler wed brought because we like to have extra ice in the cabin. We didnt even mention filling it up or keeping it full; he just did it.
He paid attention.
We found service in every area of the ship to be consistently attentive. Thats saying a lot. Often there are some areas better than others. On this ship all areas were efficient and friendly.
What more could you ask for?
In the past Ive heard others say and even on occasion said myself they treat you like kings on a cruise Id found that pretty truthful and accurate in the past but had kind of shied away from it on recent sailings. The staff on this ship brought that phrase back into the spotlight with brilliant clarity.
The cruise director and staff also did a really good job of packing all the activities you might find on a longer cruise into this short one. It did not just seem like there was something going on all the time, there was. Pool games, dance lessons, rock-wall climbing, a full blown kids program in Adventure Ocean, nightly production entertainment, all the elements were there.
This would have been a great sample cruise for someone who had not sailed before in the entertainment area. It was also a great cruise for locals from the Miami area. With a high percentage of Hispanic guests onboard, music contained a higher amount of Salsa and Latin-beat selections.
The Cruise Director and staff were paying attention; they gave the guests what they wanted.
Even computer access was great. On other ships the connection has been slow, this one was good and fast. Wi-Fi access was also a breeze to get signed up for and various packages could be purchased at reasonable prices.
Cell phone use was also available at all times on this ship. A strong signal made communicating with the outside world doable if one wanted to. Again, somebody was paying attention. I did not see many using cell phones but the service was available to those who needed it.
Let me start by saying that we tried something different on this cruise. We never ate in the dining room. We had tried this on Royal Caribbeans Sovereign of the Seas a few months earlier with great success and I wanted to see if that was a fluke or if there was consistent quality in the buffet operations.
What I found was that this is the one area of this ship that needs work. The taste of the food is always a very subjective element and difficult to define. One person may like the flavor of a particular item while another doesnt care for it. The trick on a cruise is to offer a wide enough variety so that there is truly something for every one. In most cases Ive found that there is a lot of variety and finding something you like is not an issue. Here too, the variety, for the most part, was there.
There are, however, certain aspects of food service that are not difficult to define at all. Food handling procedures are one of these items. I was in the restaurant business for 20 years and know a thing or two about the workings of a mass feeding operation. One of the simple, basic, and critical rules written in stone is Cold things Cold and Hot things Hot. This operation failed miserably in this area at every turn.
Here are a few examples
Part of every buffet is a cold section with deli meats and cheeses. These are placed on a bed of ice to maintain a safe, cold temperature. Several times I saw where the ice was allowed to completely melt and the food left to come up to room temperature. On this ship part of the Windjammer service area is in the open where the ambient temperature was 80 plus degrees, a breeding ground for food-related illness.
On the hot side, the same could be said for just about everything. I wish I had a thermometer with me because Id bet that most hot products wouldnt make it past 100 degrees, again in the danger zone. The only products we had on this cruise that were truly hot were cooked to order omelets at breakfast and cooked to order pasta for dinner.
TIP: Get to know the Pasta Chef who works in the dining room preparing pasta dishes to your order. Best food on the ship.
Ive run into this before, this is not unique to this ship. But on other ships weve had alternative restaurant choices. On this one, its the dining room, buffet or room service, thats it.
The thought crossed my mind that it would not be entirely inaccurate to say If you want some good food on this cruise, bring it with you But I think that might be a bit harsh.
As mentioned, variety and taste are very subjective areas and difficult to rate. Except when it came to desserts on this ship. Somebody must have gotten a real deal on cake mix because cake was the anchor of the dessert menu that caused the menu to sink.
Dont get me wrong.
I like cake.
But this flavorless, unfrosted, lackluster substitute, which might have been a treat to a prison inmate, was just horrible. That wouldnt be a problem if it was just one part of the menu but often it was the entire menu with the exception of Chips Ahoy quality cookies.
This area of the ship had were really trying to cut costs written all over it.
It was at this point that I started looking for other signs of a tight budget manifesting itself into an effect on the quality of operations.
Dont get me wrong; I think any business needs to be run in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Thats just good business.
But when budget-controlling measures affect the quality of operations to the point where they begin to define the operation then I think somebody needs to be really sure thats what they want to do.
Its hard for me to imagine that Royal Caribbean wants to be known for being the cruise line with the lousy desserts. Or the cruise line that cant afford to buy enough plates so guests wait for them at the buffet line or cant hold them in their hands because they are too hot because they just came off the dish machine and were run to the buffet line. I doubt they want to be known as the one who let spills sit on the floor, creating a safety hazard.
But maybe they were just not paying attention.
I watched one day at lunch as a uniformed officer/manager roamed the dining room completely oblivious to what was going on around him. He wasnt paying attention. He never spoke to any of the crew. He never spoke to any of the guests. He just walked around doing nothing about elements of the dining experience screaming at him for attention. These were easy-fix things too. A guest wandering around looking for a glass of water, a spilled drink all over the floor, dirty tables everywhere with other guests looking for one to use to name a few.
To be fair, I think everything they needed was in place, they just werent utilizing what they had to work with well.
There seemed to be plenty of chefs, food service crew and managers but yet the rolls were obviously baked too far in advance. Maybe they dont have enough ovens to make it happen. Maybe they have to bake bread earlier in the day so the ovens are available to make more cake later in the day.
If theyre serving up this low quality of food in an attempt to save money theyre really missing the boat. If they took a look at the volume of food that was left uneaten on plates they might get a clue. This was not that guests took more than they could eat. This was that they took one bite and didnt continue eating. I would bet that this ship makes more pizza than others in the fleet. It was not uncommon to see guests eating pizza at the same table as their buffet plate which had barely been touched.
Whos fooling who here?
On paper they might find that the flavorless institutional cake is less expensive to produce but what are they really saving if they throw it all away?
If youve followed my reviews you might be tempted to say has this guy EVER been on a bad cruise?
No, I havent.
On the bright side: " The pizza was awesome and room service had some highlights worth mentioning. What made the pizza consistently good is that they never got too far ahead on it. It was always piping hot and fresh out of the oven. The pizza guy paid attention. " On room service the Tuna Pita sandwich, Cheesecake and even the Hamburgers were very good. Ok so skip my personal opinion that they tasted good and stick to the facts. The hamburgers, for some reason, came hotter from room service than on the buffet line. Somehow the hot food was hotter and the cold food colder. " The midnight Caribbean buffet served on deck including ice carving demonstration was worth staying up for. Lobbing off the pigs head was a bit much for the kids who probably didnt sleep real well that night but still a cool deal
With the exception of food service, this ship is great. Royal Caribbean does so many things right that it really slaps you in the face when they drop the ball. I hope there are plans in the works to fix this because it is definitely broken. Less