We left Pittsburgh on a cold and snowy February 15, 2009 for the sunny skies of Fort Lauderdale. We flew into Fort Lauderdale because it is much cheaper than flying into Miami. We stayed one night at the beautiful Harbor Beach Marriott in Fort Lauderdale. This is not my first time at this hotel and it is still gorgeous. It is a resort and has its own beach. It has a great pool area and the beach is fantastic as well. Although there is a little bit of construction in the patio area it did not interfere with anything. The room and view of ocean were fantastic. It is also a very short walk to Las Olas Blvd and the shopping and restaurant area. The only downside was that they have no airport shuttle and a cab is about 20.00. It is only 4 miles from the Fort Lauderdale airport to the hotel.
After checking around for transportation from the hotel to the Port of Miami I found SAS Transportation. They are great. Cost from the Harbor Beach Marriott or any hotels in Fort Lauderdale is $15.00 to the Port of Miami. We had scheduled a pick up of 10:30 A.M. and were picked up about 10:20. They also made a couple stops at other hotels and we were at the Port of Miami by 11:30, which was a perfect time. The phone number for SAS is 954-600-0240. The owner's name is Steve. Their website is www.ridesas.com. Having checked into all the shuttle service from Fort Lauderdale to Port of Miami from the hotels they are by far the cheapest. They would be my first choice on any future shuttle service I might need in Fort Lauderdale. We also used this service after debarkation. After getting our luggage and calling SAS, Steve was there waiting on us at 8:45. Since we had a 6 PM flight he arranged to drop us off at the Ramada Inn on the boardwalk in Hollywood Beach. The Ramada stored the luggage for a small fee and we were able to enjoy the day at the beach and on the boardwalk as well. Beautiful area and the boardwalk is great. SAS picked us up at the Ramada at 3:15 for out trip to the Fort Lauderdale airport which is 15 minutes from Hollywood Beach. They also do this at no additional cost other than the $15.00 a person. Naturally I felt they deserved more and paid more that they asked. This service may not always be available depending on the time of the year and if they are busy but even if they could not have come back and picked us up I would have gladly paid the cab fare to go to the airport. It was much better than spending all day sitting at the airport. Both flights were non stop and on time with Air Tran. We got back to Pittsburgh and after leaving the low 80's in Fort Lauderdale and it was 20 degrees and a little snow in Pittsburgh. Yuck. Why do we live here.
After arriving at the Port of Miami at 11:30 we were on the Majesty and eating lunch in the Windjammer by 12:00. I was very disappointed with the quality of the food they served in both the Windjammer as well as the dining room. This included breakfast and the lunch buffet in the Windjammer. It was very bland and in my opinion just poor quality. Since this is my first RCCL Cruise after having been on 4 previous cruises with Carnival I must say that Carnival has much better food. Other than the food the cruise was great. Although I have seen rave reviews of Johnny Rockets we did not try it. Just something about paying a $4.95 cover charge and then have to pay for drinks as well. The waitstaff at dinner was excellent even if the food was a 2 or 3 on a scale of 1-10. There was one good meal and that was the sliced tenderloin. They have a NY Strip steak on the menu every night and they charge $14.95 if you order it. They do have top round steak on the menu and although I did not try it somebody at our table said it was good. We had a nice table and had nice people from Russia, Trinidad and New York at our table. I do think that the cruises are getting less formal on formal night. Not saying that is either bad or good. It is up to the individual person and if they are happy with their attire then that is ok with me.
We attended all the shows except for the magician and they were great. I would encourage everyone to attend at least the last night's signed, sealed, and delivered show.
Debarkation was a breeze and within 20 minutes we were off the ship and through customs. The reason it took 20 minutes was because one of the card readers was out of service and they only had one working. We did take our own luggage but from what I saw it would have been fine to do the usual of having it outside your cabin by midnight. The carousel system looked like it was efficient and not backed up.
The cruise was great and the Majesty was in great shape. With the exception of one of the bartenders from the pool area all the other staff was wonderful. This guy seemed to have a problem and when the drink we ordered was not to our satisfaction he got very short and even though he did make another I could tell he was not happy with us.
I would not hesitate to cruise on the Majesty again. When I filled out my satisfaction survey I did honestly rate the food as poor. Maybe if enough people do that it would make a difference and have RCCL look at some changes to the menu.