My wife and I were sailing on our 5th cruise and our friend Dave was along for his first.
We flew in on Sunday April 8th and stayed at the airport Crowne Plaza. A nice hotel that is located close to the airport. Clean rooms, great service and a short cab ride to the cruise port. For dinner we headed across the street to a Cuban restaurant and I can now safely say I understand why we have a trade embargo with Cuba.
We had printed our set sail passes beforehand so boarding in Miami was a breeze, as always. Total time from arrival at the port to boarding the ship was 30 minutes. Royal Caribbean does a good job of directing people to the correct lines and everything moved very smoothly.
We took our friend Dave on a quick tour of the ship and then headed to the Windjammer for a quick lunch, which was in full swing. Our rooms were ready at 1pm so we dropped our carry-ons and noted that our bags had already been delivered! We were in junior suite on deck 10 (room 1558). Our cabin attendant was wonderful; the best we've ever had.
Majesty of the Seas had just recently come out of dry-dock and looked brand new. Not a frayed carpet in sight! Dave and I purchased pop-tickets for unlimited soda during the cruise. It was only $6 per day and proved to be a very good bargain as well as a great convenience.
The muster drill went smoothly. We noted with some humor that at our station they were separating the men and women (placing the women up front toward the rail with the men in back) but not doing it at the station next to us. I guess our leader follows the laws of the sea to the letter!
Our first nights dinner in the main dining room (early seating) was great except that the speed of the service at our table. Our assistant waiter seemed confused with our tablemates wine order. Our table was just getting our salad while other tables around us were finishing dinner. We ate there the second night hoping the first nights service was an anomaly but it proved to be just as slow so we opted to eat in the Windjammer the last two nights.
Day 1 at the Bahamas was sunny and hot. We took a cab to Ardrastra Gardens. We had been there before and wanted to go back and spend more time. The last time we were there we were on a shore excursion and felt rushed. We took our time and then headed back to the ship for lunch. We spent the rest of the day onboard soaking up the sun, having drinks and taking photos. This was formal night and we met the captain. It was nice that he took a few minutes to chat with us before they took the picture. Captain Ron Holmes was very good natured and made pleasant conversation. We met him again at the Crown and Anchor reception the next day.
Day 2 at Coco Cay was rainy at first but by the time we got ashore the sun was out so we went swimming. After our swim we headed to the lunch buffet. This was our first trip to Coco Cay and had read reviews about the island. Many Cruise Critic reviewers have had negative comments about the open-air buffet. We thought it was great; there was a nice variety of food, served hot or cold as it should have been by friendly staff. Unlike many other reviewers, I didn't see any flies (perhaps they were working another island that day). A word of advice though - do NOT leave your food unattended for a minute as swarms of seagulls will attack it instantaneously!
Day 3 found us in Key West. As we docked a heavy rain storm pounded the island but since the immigration inspection was delayed it really didn't matter. We got off the ship about 11:00am. We booked and paid for our trolley tickets online but were told by the driver that we still needed to exchange our self-printed 'tickets' for 'real' tickets. Not a problem as the kiosk was right next to the boarding area for the trolley. Also, we received a map which had numerous coupons in it for various attraction. Since it was still raining we got off the trolley at either stop #2 or 3 and walked down the street to the Rum Barrel restaurant for lunch. The Rum Barrel is a very nice place with good food, reasonable prices and a nice atmosphere. By the time we had finished eating the sun had come out.
We visited the Conch Hotel - take the elevator up to the top floor for a beautiful view of the ship and the city. Walk down the street to the First church and see the beautiful stained glass windows. We then headed over to the trolley stop to continue our tour. Next, we stopped at the lighthouse and the Key West Butterfly and Nature conservatory. If you've never been to a butterfly conservatory, as was our case, this one is definitely worth visiting; great photo ops! We made several stops along the way and by the end of the day were deposited back where we started and headed back to the ship. The trolley tour is a definite must for those who have never been to Key West. We didn't have much time to just stroll around in Old Key West to take all the pictures that we normally do, but next time we will do that. Most of the stops on the trolley tour are within walking distance. Note, the Butterfly Conservatory is within walking distance - but it is a good mile plus! We did not get off at the Southernmost Point - the marker is pretty cheesy - get a postcard instead!
The only show we went to was the last night's comedian. Royal Caribbean entertainment has never disappointed us!
Our disembarkation was very smooth but since we had late afternoon flights we were in no hurry.
All in all every part of the cruise met or exceeded our expectations.
Main dining room: Excellent food, slow service. Windjammer: Excellent food, good selection and a very friendly staff. Johnny Rockets: Excellent food and excellent service.