This is my first cruise review- I haven't even posted on the boards, so bearwith me. I just really found these reviews so helpful, so I wanted to return the favor!
This was a quick getaway for my husband and I, a break from the kids. It was a 3 night Bahamas cruise on Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas from Miami to Coco Cay and Nassau, then back to Miami. The deciding factor when choosing this cruise was Coco Cay- being that I had read so many great things. We booked directly on Royal Caribbean's website, and did the online check in and set sail pass...very easy.
We flew in to Ft Lauderdale on Spirit the morning of our embarkation (Friday). We only took carry ons, due to baggage charges, but with a careful way of rolling everything, we were able to do 2 small carryon suitcases, with an extra for toiletries and the laptop. One tip- we bought these little 3 ounce bottles at the drugstore, to fill with our own shampoo, lotion, etc, so we could carry on to the plane.
Our flight arrived early at 9:10 am. With our last cruise we arrived the day before, and would definitely do it if we had the kids with us/or some extra time, but this time we preferred to arrive the day of.
We took a taxi to the Port of Miami and were in the terminal by 11:00, after checking our bags outside so we wouldn't have to carry them around. We were immediately directed to line up with the approximately 30 other passengers, and gotready to go on! About 20 minutes later we were checking in, which took all of 2 minutes because of the set sail pass, and we were on the boat! One older couple was ahead of us, otherwise we were first on the boat! What a weird feeling! It was quiet and empty- but very clean...
We went right up to Windjammer for lunch at exactly 11:30. Food was good, not spectacular, but good. Love the Caesar salad dressing!
We then walked around the ship to get our bearings, and we were happy with the size. Our only other cruise was on the Caribbean Princess which is huge, so it was nice to be able to get around so easily.
We had a drink in the Viking Crown lounge and people watched and enjoyed the view. We were the only ones there, and after a few minutes they turned on music- which made us feel like it was ok to be there;) The decor in this lounge is a bit dated looking, with the chairs being a bit awkward. You could immediately tell that some major cigar smoking went on here, because the smell was strong. This was the first time I ordered a drink where the waitress took it upon herself to include the souvenir glass, that I did not ask for. This actually happened 4 more times on the cruise, so beware! The menu states one price, and off to the side it states that you can keep the glass for an extra charge.
We were able to go to our room at exactly 1:00. EXACTLY...at 12:55, they turned me away, oh well...one more drink! So we went back a little after 1, and one bag was there, with the others arriving shortly after. Now I read about these inside staterooms being small...they are. But it was ok. The bed was a nice queen, pushed in a corner, with a walkway on one side leading to the bathroom, the desk, the closet, and the door out. If my husband wanted to move around at the same time as I, we ran into trouble.
The shower was fine with a handheld shower head. Beach towels were a bit old and mismatched. Bath towels had some stains. Dispenser shampoo does not turn me on, so I'm glad I brought my own. There was ample closet space, with a safe. But the desk was covered with cans of pop and bottles of water for sale, limiting space.
Our stateroom attendant introduced herself around 3pm- and we had the muster drill at 4:15ish. Very quick, our station was a little unorganized though. We then changed into dinner clothes being that we had the main seating at 6, and we went up for sailaway. What a great view of the Miami beaches!!!
The Ship- The layout of the ship is very user friendly. Not too far to walk for anything. The pool area was great, with the pools being quite large, and 2 hot tubs. The Casino was a little small, but seemed to work.
There were quite a few options for bars- the Scooner bar was nice, and Bolero's had Latin music, and it was great watching the dancing!
The Chorus Line Theater was great, with almost every seat being a good one, with different options for sitting- chairs, benches, tables for drinks, and waiters walking around.
All areas were clean for the most part, and sure some of the decor was awkward, but sort of expected on a cruise. A few minor things to note: Washrooms are not plentiful, many times having to go to a different floor. The ladies room stall doors were in disrepair, and the cleanliness was lacking a few times- even really gross one time.
The Food- Windjammer- ate there twice for lunch. Good- good selection.
Johnny Rockets- for $3.95, not bad. Watching the waiters dance was hilarious. Good fries, onion rings and chili fries.
Sorrentos Pizza- Ok pizza, good selection, nothing to rave about- A lot of kids hanging there when it was open.
Compass Deli- didn't eat there, but checked it out...a bunch of pre made sandwiches and salads. Not what I expected, would have been nice if they made to order.
Dining room- We had great servers! Calin- waiter, and Luis- asst. We also had great table mates. With the exception of one meal, everything was good if not great. Has a bad NY strip- really tough and fatty, but they replaced it w/ another meal right away. Outstanding Chicken Marsala. The Warm Chocolate cake was amazing.
The one thing about the extra restaurants- they had the oddest hours...it would have been nicer to have pizza available all day, etc, but because of the set up/proximity to windjammer, it closed when Windjammer was open. It also would have been nice to have Windjammer open later for dinner, in case we did not enjoy the dining room. It closed around 9-9:30.
Midnight Buffet on one night- really nothing that great. A lot of junk food fried snacks. And it was very crowded and unorganized with people crowding everywhere.
Room service coffee was hot and strong- notgreat, not bad,
I got an Iced Latte at the coffee bar that was way too sweet, but after adding coffee to it...yummy
Breakfast in the dining room was fabulous...the best french toast I have ever had! It is so good...I'm craving it right now!
2nd day- we were at Coco Cay...and I looooved that island! There are chairs and hammocks everywhere! You never feel like it's crowded at all, and there were many private spots. The sand is like baby powder. I usually hate sand, but I could live in this sand. The water was crystal clear. In the water there were patches of sandy spots mixed with plants. We saw fish, conch, crabs, seaurchins, and sting rays! There were plenty of bars, and activities, and shops. The BBQ was not that great, and many people agreed. After hours in the sun, we went back on the boat for lunch. I will go on another RCCL cruise because of this island!
3rd day was Nassau. We did not book any excursions, which we will next time. We did shop, and visited the straw market. The disappointing thing was that it was Sunday, and most local type shops are closed. We were beat from the day before, and it started to rain- a lot, so we went back to the ship.
Sailing- we had smooth seas almost the entire time. A few occurrences of choppy sailing, but never lasted long.
Shows- The comedian was pretty bad. Probably good for some crowds but not us. We laughed a little, but I felt like I was being punished:)
Motown singer- pretty good, good with impressions- made us laugh.
Love and Marriage- Good...the couples they chose were not that good, but Jimmy the cruise director made up for it and we laughed a lot!
70's Production show- Singers and Dancers- pretty good! Very entertaining!
We played Bingo once- the announcer was fun... Won a little on the slotsin the Casino, after losing a bit first...
We went to the art auction- fun to see and learn, plus raffle prizes!
Disembarkation was a breeze...we had an early flight at 10:50 out of Ft Lauderdale and got the express passes. We were off the ship in a taxi by 7:30. At the airport by 8:15. With hours to spare!!!
Summary- I was worried- a short cruise- was it going to be great like our last one? In a different way, it was just as great! Great overall service and food. Coco Cay was AMAZING!!! I loved it!!! There were quite a few younger teenage/college aged kids, and they were loud and it was annoying. But the great things made up for it! In regards to scheduled activities- it seemed like everything was to the minute, if not a bit late- with doors being closed until they were ready. One example was the art auction in Boleros lounge- we all waited outside the doors- about 20 people, until they opened them late. Nowhere to sit and wait comfortably. Then the auction went til 6pm- dinner time...it was not executed very efficiently. If they want everyone to have the opportunity to enjoy.
So- the Majesty of the Seas was worth the trip, and gave me a taste of Royal Caribbean. I will go with them again- maybe on a larger ship with the kids, but I really enjoyed this smaller ship, and would revisit it also.