My husband John and I traveled on Majesty of the Seas March 23-26, 2007. To give you a little background, I am a 26 year old graduate student and John is a 32 year old electronics technician and award-winning photographer! (My little bragging moment! I'm so proud!) We live in South Boston, VA which is about an hour north of Durham, NC on the VA/NC border. I booked this cruise in February, directly through the cruise line, as a last-minute getaway for a stressed-out hubby! We are Platinum Crown and Anchor members and have previously sailed on the Sovereign, Radiance and Brilliance. We were traveling with John's brother and his fiancE, as well as her mother and grandmother.
John and I booked our airfare through orbitz.com. We have used them several times in the past and have always had a good experience. This time was no different. Airfare was high to Florida when we booked. I am assuming this was due to it being the Spring Break season. This resulted with us booking flights out of Richmond, VA to Miami, connecting through Atlanta. For the first time, we flew to the departure point the day the cruise left...far too stressful for us!
Friday March 23, 2007: Richmond to Miami and away!
Early morning flight! Our flight to Atlanta departed at 6:00am EST. As I mentioned above, we never, ever fly on the day the cruise leaves. For us, this just leaves to small of a window of time in case something goes wrong. The Delta flights from Richmond to Atlanta to Miami were thankfully uneventful. We landed in Miami at 10:30am and the fun started...John's garment bag containing his formal clothes was not placed on the flight from Richmond. PANIC! Delta assured us, they had located the bag and it was on a flight due to arrive at 2:30pm. They promised it would be sent on to the Pier and would be on the ship in plenty of time. The Delta employee in baggage services advised us to notify the RCI people at Guest Services that we would have a late bag arriving.
By the time we waited for baggage, dealt with baggage services, and changed our clothes it was nearly Noon and we grabbed a cab to the Pier. The cost from Miami airport to the Port of Miami is $24 plus tip. We arrived around 12:30 and there was hardly any line. We went through security and check-in in less than 30 minutes and we boarded the ship! We were truly on vacation!!!!!
Majesty of the Seas is GORGEOUS! The refurbishment is nothing short of amazing! It is like boarding a brand-new ship! It is decorated with lovely colors and a mixture of light and dark woods. It is amazing!
Guests board on Deck 4 in the Centrum. Here are the desks for Guest Services and Explorations. Also in this area is the entrance to the Moonlight Dining Room, the Library and a bank of computers for guest internet use.
Our first stop was the Guest Services desk to advise them of our luggage situation. They were very helpful and helped us fill out a luggage separation form. In addition to this, they were very nice in offering to provide us with any formalwear we may need, due to our luggage mishap.
Stop #2 was the Windjammer, of course!!! I'm not sure what RCI pumps into the air on their ships, but we find ourselves to be STARVING as soon as we board! The Windjammer is lovely! What I remember as open air, is now enclosed with a skylight and separate food stations. This is where my only complain lies. Sometimes the flow of the buffet doesn't make sense. For example, on our Nassau port day John and I headed to the Windjammer to have afternoon snack, which for us was a late lunch. The condiments for the hamburgers (there were also lamb burgers, chicken burgers, and veggie burgers) were placed before the meat, which were placed before the buns. It should have been the other way around. (And, no, I wasn't in line going the wrong way...) So, we ate our fill and went to explore the ship!
We headed to the spa for John to make his appointment for his first massage! He scheduled an Aromatherapy Hot Stone Massage for 6:30pm on our Coco Cay day.
Our cabin was located on deck 2, #2109. The location was okay. It was very convenient to the tenders on deck 1, but less convenient to everything else. I like the inside cabins because I like to sleep in the pitch dark, but the downside is when you wake up, you can't tell what time it is! Doris was our cabin attendant and she did a very good job. I never met her, but everything was always clean and nicely made up. The downside was a noisy bachelorette group down the hall from us. You can pick your cabin, but not your neighbors!
Our muster station was #9 located in Boleros Lounge. It was very comfortable, inside with seats! It took very little time to complete and John remarked that it was the first muster drill we had ever been to where they did not have to call the names of several people to get them to come to the drill! We were ready to sail away!
John and I were up on deck for sail away. It was very, very windy!! (The wind continued all weekend in fact.) Miami is lovely, but I was happy to see it fading off into the distance!
We made a quick visit to the Loyalty Ambassador to book cabins for a 9-night Explorer of the Seas cruise in December. While we were there, the LA mentioned a new program where you can put down a $100 deposit for an open booking. This allows you to have a booking number so you can get your onboard credit for the cruise you will eventually book, but it does not require you to pinpoint a date or ship. I think it's pretty neat because people don't always have a plan.
John and I had second seating in the Starlight dining room on Deck 5 at table #58. We were seated at a table of 6 and, as we were traveling as a party of six, this meant only us at the table. We usually like a large table so we can make friends, but it was not a big deal. We did make friends with the family of four at the four-top next to us. The food and service was fantastic! I had strawberry bisque (my favorite cold soup), Caesar salad, and lamb shank. For dessert, I had tiramisu and loved every fantastic morsel. Four of us at the table shared a bottle of wine.
As John and I had not slept the night before, we headed to bed after dinner. The new bedding is wonderful! The mattresses are very, very comfortable and the sheets and down comforter were lovely! I would compare it to the new Marriott bedding with fewer pillows.
Saturday March 24, 2007: CoCo Cay, Bahamas
Majesty was late getting into CoCo Cay this morning. Evidently it had something to do with getting clearance from the Bahamian authorities. I am assuming it is because they had to clear Majesty and the Norwegian Jewel docked at their private island, great Stirrup Cay, located next door to CoCo Cay. Anyway, because of this and the missed excursions, they canceled all of the excursions people had booked for the day and opened them for rebooking. We had breakfast in the Windjammer (great variety!) and headed down to the tenders on deck 1. We were on the second boat to head over.
John and I had prepaid all-day snorkeling gear for two. The cost is $27 each. To us, the cost is well worth it, as the snorkeling on CoCo Cay is fantastic! Today was, again, very, very windy so, we found the water choppy, but it didn't faze us in the slightest. Into the water to went! We noticed there were fewer fish than in our past visits. We chalked it up to the choppy conditions and water temperature. We have never cruised in March before so, we have nothing to compare it to. However, the snorkeling was still great! John found a conch with an occupant and we had fish stalkers! If you just floated, they would come right up to your face! It was FANTASTIC!!!!!!!! By the time we knew it, it was after Noon! We had been in the water for hours, we were exhausted (the current coming into the sheltered harbor/snorkeling area was significant that day because of the wind) and it was time to eat.
I'm not sure what it is about food, but people get pushy and mean! It's food and there's plenty! Chill out! There was a nice variety of food on the island and we found it easy to get full!
We ventured back to the chairs where we had stashed our stuff so I could relax and John could head back to the ship to grab his nice camera. There weren't as many people on the island today as I remembered in the past and I assume it was because of the wind and the subsequent choppiness of the water. I settled in for some relaxation with book in hand and iPod in ears. Minutes later John came back to the chairs with bad news. We had to pack up and head back to the ship. Some bad weather was moving in and the water was getting rougher and rougher so, we were leaving CoCo Cay early. I only got to snorkel once! ? Anyway, I begrudgingly packed up and headed back to the line for the tenders. Once we were on the tenders and underway back to the ship, I was glad we were headed back and weren't waiting until it got any worse! The passage from the island to the ship was very, very rough. Worse was the transfer from the tender to the ship. People had to carefully time the walk across the walkway so the oncoming waves wouldn't make one smack one's head on the entranceway to the ship, as well as the ceiling of deck 1. I was thankful to not have been on a later tender.
When we got back onto the ship, we watched sail away from CoCo Cay and then we watched the ladies bicep contest, the belly flop contest and the hula-hoop contest. After this, I headed back to the room and took shower and a nap. The Captain announced we would be heading to Nassau early and would dock there at 7:00pm on Saturday night and stay in port until 5:00pm on Sunday night. People were pleased with this arrangement. They were permitted to get off the ship in Nassau that night.
John headed to the spa at 6:30pm for his Hot Stone massage...he said it was heavenly! He had never had a massage and he signed up for the 75 minute. The cost for the massage was $159 plus tip. We had a Platinum Crown and Anchor coupon for 10% off a spa service.
Tonight was formal night in the dining room. For those who are interested, lobster is no longer served on cruises shorter than 6-nights. So, the 'big' entrEe of the night was filet of beef. I had chilled pear soup, Caesar salad, and roasted duck. I had the sugar-free coconut cake for dessert. It was a fabulous meal! Again, we shared a bottle of wine.
After dinner, my traveling companions went to the Casino and did our best to donate our money to RCI. When we decided they'd had their fill, we headed to Boleros for a drink and listen to the band. I enjoyed Boleros very much! I love latin music and they had a mojito menu...what could be better?!? We headed out around 12:45am. I wanted some hot chocolate so we headed up to the Windjammer. It wasn't open and my option was to order cocoa from room service. I decided it wasn't really worth it and went to sleep.
Sunday March 25, 2007: Nassau, Bahamas
We slept in this morning. We started the day with an early lunch at 11:30am. John and I had decided to go to Ardastra Gardens and we took a cab to get there. The cab was $10 plus tip. An admission to the Gardens was $12. It should be noted, they did not have much change in American dollars so, when I gave them $40 to pay the $24 entrance fee, it got a bit back in Bahamian money. We spent it at the gift shop and on the taxi back to the ship. The Gardens are great! It was so much fun! We got to feed the lorikeets and saw the marching flamingos show. It was a lot of fun and I'd recommend it especially if you have kids! I got to have my photo taken with a parrot on my head and one on my hand. One white one who sits on your hand will give you a kiss on the cheek! It was great!
My traveling companions took the excursion to Atlantis. Because of the high winds and waves the beach was closed that day (meaning they couldn't go into the water but they could sunbathe), but they did get to go through the aquarium. They paid in the neighborhood of $80 each for the RCI excursion. The family sitting next to us in the dining room said the individual entrance fee to the aquarium was $30 each so, it might be worth the fee to take the RCI excursion as it includes a hot dog/hamburger lunch.
When we got back to the ship, we had a late lunch/afternoon snack. I went up top with John to watch the sail away from Nassau and allowed the reality of sailing back toward real life to sink in. It was a rough couple of hours on the high seas. The seasick bags were out everywhere you looked. We decided to combat the sickness by heading to the Casino. We broke even for the trip so, we walked away happy. I had wanted to try the rock climbing wall this trip, but waited until Sunday to try it and it was not open due to the high winds. I was bummed, but it gives me even more to look forward to on our upcoming Explorer cruise. I had a soft serve to help me cheer up ?
Dinner was yummy! I had the Tom Turkey with all the trimmings, appeared stuffing, corn, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce. It was wonderful! Thanksgiving is my very favorite food holiday! I had Baked Alaska for dessert. As we shared another bottle of wine with dinner, we realized it would have been better to purchase the wine packages that were offered when we boarded the ship. Well, we'll know for next time, but this was the first time we have had wine with dinner every night.
After dinner, we headed to the Schooner Bar. David Mann was the pianist/singer. He cannot sing, but he plays the piano beautifully and the variety of songs he knows is impressive. (FYI, he gets better sounding the more you drink.) We had a wonderful time with new friends. The only thing that might have made the evening better was if it hadn't been our last night onboard!
Monday March 26, 2007
This morning came far too early! We didn't want to leave!! We used our white priority departure luggage tags to get off the ship as soon as possible. Sounds funny to say that because we didn't really want to leave, but we were going to try to get an earlier flight home so we didn't have to sit in the airport until our scheduled flight at 2:45pm. Clearing Immigration took forever (truly the longest it has ever taken us on any of our 8 cruises) and we took a shared van-type taxi to the airport for $20 plus tip.
When we got to the Delta counter we were informed they had so many people bumped over the weekend there was no chance of us getting on a flight any earlier than the one we booked. This only slightly sucked as it was 8:30am and our flight didn't leave until 2:45pm. Oh well, I took a nap on the floor of Miami airport. I am a germaphobe, but after closing down the Schooner Bar the night before, I was willing to take the risk! We killed time by having coffee and a croissant at Dunking Donuts (WHAT?!? NO buffet!?) and reading magazines. Fortunately the flights home were uneventful and all of our luggage arrived home with us!
It was a fabulous, fantastic trip and my only complaint was that it wasn't long enough!!! We were very lucky as far as Spring Break went, as there were not many Spring Breakers onboard. The head waiter told us, the cruise right before ours they had 1100 and it was pandemonium! I guess it's luck of the draw.
To clarify: the food at the Compass Deli is free, the drinks (Snapple, soda...etc.) are extra. You can still get lemonade, iced tea, and water free. Johnny Rockets had a cover charge of $3.95. Drinks such as soda, milkshakes, and malts were extra.
If you have any questions you can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.