I have been doing cruise reviews on Cruise Critic for a few years. This was my 2nd Royal Caribbean Cruise and I have also cruised Carnival & NCL. I do try to keep an open mind, and critique what I see and my overall experience in hopes the cruise line and future passengers may benefit. I tend to cover multiple captions and I hope that my experience is helpful to you.
This was a last minute booking 3 days prior. The price and timing were too good to pass up so I grabbed it. I’ve been to all of the ports: Nassau, Bahamas, Key West & Coco Cay, so I was aware of what to expect.
SAS TRANSPORT (www.ridesas.com) $16 per person each way approx. 45 min: I normally do not review my flight/ travel experience unless it is booked through the cruise line, but being last minute and slight delay I wanted to cover my transport service as it may assist others. I flew from PHL to FLL the day of the cruise. I know, I know, but booking so last minute this was my best affordable option. I experienced a 1:20 min delay arriving to FLL at 1:30pm. As soon as we learned of the delay I sent SAS transport an email as a heads up. SAS transport called me as soon as I landed and walking off the plane to say not to worry they were tracking my arrival and would be waiting for me outside of luggage. I walked right into the can and we were leaving immediately. We even had time to stop at a CVS for any last minute carry-on items or pick up my one bottle of allowed WINE.
EMBARKATION: I arrived later than expected at the terminal around 2:30pm. Check-in was quick, 15 minutes at most and I was walking onboard.
SHIP: MAJESTY of the SEAS is one of their older and smaller ships and the sister ship to my last trip on the Monarch. You enter the Main Atrium and it is very easy to navigate. The Majesty is the sister ship to the Monarch which was my only other RCI ship I have sailed. WHAT a HUGE difference. The Majesty is overall, CLEANER and far better maintained then her sister. I wish there were small pocket ship maps like other cruise lined have for a quick reference, however the navigator at the elevator worked just as well. These smaller ships are perfect for the first time cruiser.
CABIN: INT 6407 mid ship.... RCI interior staterooms are small which I already knew (114 sq). The setup and positioning of the bed as a KING was perfect for a SOLO cruiser. SAFE, 32" flat screen TV, room light switches at the bed, water and soda to purchase in the room. There is limited drawer space and I have no idea how two occupants would manage clothing for a week long cruise unless you also utilized your suitcases as under-the-bed drawers. BATHROOM is also small and only included small hotel style soap and a dispenser in the shower. I guess that was shampoo since bar soap was provided? I bring all my own supplies. No other amenities are provided on RCI (at least inside cabins on deck 6).
ROOM STEWARD: ADRIAN greeted me at my door minutes of our arrival. He was extremely courteous and always took the time to come over and chat each morning. Beyond our morning greet or returning from a port, he never disturbed me at any point during the day and THAT, IMHO is what makes a good room steward; one that knows your name and schedule and can work around it without disturbing your vacation. I increased his gratuity directly to him and his assistant substantially. Adrian and his assistant really eliminated ANY worries regarding the cleanliness and status of our stateroom. They are an asset to the crew.
ITINERARY: Miami-Nassau, CoCo Cay & Key West) One formal night on day three and a great quick getaway cruise.
NASSAU, BAHAMAS: I’ve been to this port several times and always try to do different things when I am there. This trip I grabbed a taxi at the port and went to the ARDASTRA GARDENS & ZOO (Taxi: $10, Zoo: $16) http://ardastra.com You can grab the no.10 bus which would drop you off about 2 blocks from the Zoo by the Fish Fry.
This is not a huge zoo and is self-guided. They have a "Marching Flamingo” show in the center court which is fun to see. You can also feed the LORY PARROTS three times throughout the day. They are cute birds and harmless. The paths around the zoo are not all paved but easily managed with wheelchairs or the elderly. This is a nice relaxed do-it-yourself day trip. There is a gift shop and they will call for a taxi when you need it.
COCO CAY PRIVATE ISLAND: I was on this island once prior in 2011. It is a TENDER BOAT island. A buffet style lunch is provided by the cruise line. There is a very small straw market near the docking area to buy items. The island is very beautiful and the farther you walk to the other end of the island the quieter and more tranquil it becomes. I settled down at a little area called BAREFOOT BEACH. Plenty of chairs, hammocks and nestled right between the KAYAKS & CABANETTES PRIVATE CLUB. If you are one that does not get off the ship, you really are missing out on a fun day.
KEYWEST: Royal Caribbean docks at the downtown port right off of Duval Street. It is more convenient than the Naval station where Carnival docks. At the end of the pier was a small ISLAND BIKE RENTAL booth that rents for a Great Price of $20/day. I decided to walk around Duval St., for some quick shopping then drop my stuff back in my stateroom. When I returned about 2 hours later they gave me the bike for $15/day. Even better! (bike lock and basket included, ask for a map) The southernmost point is easy to find right down Duval Street, but if you go one block over to THOMAS ST there is barely any traffic to worry about. Thomas will take you all the way down about 3 blocks from the famous buoy marker. Find your way a few blocks from there to HIGGS BEACH and you are at the START of a 7.7 Bike trail that hugs the coastline. You will need to work your way across town back to the port area, just use the map or GPS and you’re good.
My favorite place to stop is KEY LIME PIE FACTORY 412 Greene Street, right by the Old Customs house. Grab a slice of Key Lime or Gluten Free Key Lime pie and a Coconut-Lime drink to end your day.
Since this was a U.S. PORT all passengers onboard needed to report for Immigration/Customs clearing whether you were going ashore or not. This helped to also spread up debarkation when we arrived in Miami the following day.
FOOD/DINING: I traveled SOLO this cruise and being so last minute I got Early 6:15 dining. When I booked I was asked if I would prefer a smaller or larger table and went with the larger. I really don’t mind meeting new people and sharing stories. The food & service in the Dining Room was always great and could not have been any better. Our server CATALIN & his assistant did a fantastic job and always pleasant. I frequented the Sorrento’s Pizza almost every night. For a last minute late night snack, it was sufficient. There is a Johnny Rockets onboard (min $4.95? charge and also a Deli above the Windjammer Buffet.
STAFF: (I split this up into several captions)
CAPTAIN: KARIN STAHRE-JOHNSON This was the first time I ever have sailed with a female captain. I believe it requires a special mention here. Congrats to Captain Stahre-Johnson for breaking into what has been an industry mainly run by men. I did notice that everyone referred to her as "Captain Karin” which if this is by her preference is all good, however I believe she deserves the same respect as her male counterparts and referred to as Captain Stahre-Johnson.
CRUISE DIRECTOR- MITCH MERUCCI was a fun upbeat guy. Not too over the top "annoying” like some CD can be. He makes you laugh yet doesn’t intrude on "your vacation” with too many announcements during the day.
ENTERTAINMENT: The shows in the "CHORUS LINE Theatre” were fun and enjoyable. The Majesty Orchestra is fantastic to listen too. Applause, go out to the cast that performed in the shows. Some very good voices among them and all are very talented dancers. Their execution and attack as an ensemble to their performances were spot on and precise. One of the better Dance ensembles I have seen over the years on cruise ships. The theater itself is a nicely laid out area and the views are good from up and lower levels.
Especially enjoyed listening to the Lido deck LIVE band and the lead singer (sorry I don’t have a name) was memorable. I also caught them on the last night playing in the Main Centrum.
CASINO: This Casino is fairly small, but works for this size ship. It does get crowded at night and tends to get smoky being enclosed.
I did not use the SPA or Rock climbing wall so have no comments to make here.
DISEMBARKATION: I chose SELF ASSIST after this trip. I was off the ship, my S.A.S. shuttle was waiting and we arrived at FLL airport at 8:40am. However, it is recommended to book flights after 11:00 to accommodate traffic and delays during customs clearing. We luckily completed our Immigration Customs the day prior at our stop in KEY WEST.
LIKES: PRICE, POM EMBARKATION, ITINERARY, FOOD, SERVICE, Overall CLEANLINESS of the ship. TWO large MAIN POOLS
DISLIKES: Wish there was an interactive SAIL PASS account to be viewed on the stateroom TV in order to keep track of spending.
I would definitely recommend and take this cruise again.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. wiskt