My girlfiend, now fiance and I took a cruise on Majesty December 2-6, with ports in Nassau, Coco Cay, and Key West. Our initial expirience was great! We arrived at the port around noon, and went through all of the check-in and boarding process, and had our first drinks in our hands by about 1. We opted for the premium drink packages, which include all of your drinks and the associated gratuities. If you drink much on a cruise, it's definitely money well spent considering alcoholic mixed drinks are $10 each give or take. If nothing else, it saves you from a surprise bill at the end of the cruise. Throughout the cruise, we found the bartenders to be very friendly and helpful, though our favorite by far was Sampson, who worked mostly on the pool deck.
Our stateroom was a typical window room. It was my first cruise since I was a kid, but I had expected space to be limited. This wasn't of much concern to us, as we didn't plan to spend a ton of time in the room anyways. My More
only complaint is that our room (8082) was quite close to the Spectrum theatre, which was the venue for a lot of the "club" type parties. As such, the music was easily heard, and played until quite late at night. Our room attendant, Franklin was extremely attentive and friendly. He clearly took pride in his job, and genuinely wanted to make our expirience the best possible.
We had several meals in the Windjammer buffet, which were better than we had expected. We had mostly breakfast here, though we did have one lunch and a dinner as well. The variety was very sufficient, and the food quailty was quite good for a buffet. The dining room dinners were less stellar in our opinions. Most of the food we had was fine, but unspectacular. Pretty much everything we had was decent, but nothing was spectacular. Certainly a far cry from the claims of top quality chefs that Royal Caribbean makes. Also, while I don't have a problem with paying an upcharge for things like lobster tails, we felt that $39 was pretty absurd.
The final portion of the cruise ship expirience, the entertainment is where we found the ship most lacking. Granted, it's a smaller ship, and we understood things would be a bit more limited, but we really felt like everything happening on the ship was either gauged towards a crowd much older than us, or for 14 year old girls. The first night, we went to the Schooner bar, which was billed as the place to go for monday night football. What we found was a somewhat dated bar with a probably 46 inch tv. No where near the sports bar atmosphere we'd expected. Later in the cruise we ended up there again to go to the "piano bar". We had hoped, and I suppose expected, was something of a dueling piano bar lively show. What we found was a guy who played piano fairly well, but couldn't sing playing to a crowd that was a good solid 40 years older than us on average. The most entertaining thing about it was watching the old people nodding off in their chairs.
The shows were pretty lame. The comedian wasn't very funny, and the magician was moderately entertaining. One night we went to a show in the Spectrum called "The Quest", which was billed as an adult show, but really didn't offer much description beyond that. Basically what it entailed was the crowd being divided up into 6 teams. The show was basically a scavenger hunt, where the cruise director would request some item, awarding points to the first few teams to come up with them. On the surface, it seems kind of fun, but it was just so cheesy. He'd ask for things like an "oddly placed tattoo", and then act like he was shocked when he got flashed by some skeezy chick. Finally, the music played throughout the cruise was extremely dated, with lots of Lionel Ritchie and similar music. The only real exception to that was an excessive amount of Justin Bieber. It was basically like my parents were controlling the sound track, but ocassionally a tween girl snuck in and took over.
With regards to the ports, we mostly decided to avoid the ship sponsored excursions. In our early research, we quickly realized we could do the exact same excursions, but if we booked them on our own the were cheaper. In Nassau, we did a rum tasting tour with Islandz tours, which wasn't offered by RCL. It was a ton of fun, with several different stops, including the John Watling distillery. We learned a lot about the history of rum, including pirates, and prohibition in the US. I think it cost $50 per person, and it was just the 2 of us and a really friendly guide. I would definitely recommend it if you want to avoid the typical excursions or the straw market.
Our second port was RCL's private island, Coco Cay. We prebooked ourselves a "Cabanette" on barfoot beach, which is a good bit away from the main beach near where the tender drops everyone off. It cost $50 for the day, which included a couple of bottles of water in an ice bucket, a fruit plate, and a pair of floating mats. As people who don't really want to be surrounded by thousands of people at the beach, this was easily the best money we spent on the trip. There were people walking by on the beach a bit, but only probably 6 other people who had actually reserved cabanettes near us. RCL doesn't really advertise it very weill, which plays to the benefit of those who embrace the seclussion.
Our final stop was Key West, which when we booked, was a large reason for choosing this cruise. We were scheduled to be in port from 10-6, making it the shortest time of any of the ports. We didn't realize it until the night before, but once you get to port you have to go through customs. This annoyed us, since we really wanted to get going as quickly as possible, but we understood it was necessary. The major issue we had was that they had a system using your muster stations to decide what time you were allowed to go to get your customs check done. Since this is essentially an arbitrary number, it really peaved us that we were the last time to go. After addressing it with guest relations, and basically being told to suck it up, we decided we were just going to ignore the system and show up as early as possible. It ended up working out, so i'd suggest you completely disregard that plan if you want to get off the ship quickly. Also, they prioritize people with excursions, so if you don't have one booked just make sure you have something made up to lie about. Less
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