Background: Both early 30's single friends that have cruised (her) 4 times in 4 years; (him) 6 times in 4 years [5 times w/ RCCL].
Occasion: Her 32nd b-day and her graduating Excelerated Nursing School.
Fly-In: BWI (Baltimore MD) to MIA (Miami); left house at 0415 and were wheels up at 0600. Security and the airport in general went smooth, although her backpack was selected to be swabbed for explosives (took an extra 3 minutes) but it was a great story to tell people on the ship.
Arrival at MIA: flawless considering we did not have checked bags. Taxi ride to cruise port stopped at Walgreens and bought sunscreen.
Miami Cruise Terminal: Thanks to Cruise Critic posters we had learned of a little cafe outside across the street from the NCL terminal that was open for breakfast it was excellent and was well air-conditioned (thank god)
Getting on the Ship: At approx. 1030 we made our way to the RCCL cruise terminal and breezed thru the outer layers of security, everyone was smiles and welcome which is what I like about RCCL. Final security area is where they had stopped everyone to be boarded as the ship was not ready yet at all. We were maybe 75th in line and waited maybe 20 minutes before they started the metal-detectors. It would not be a cruise unless I was singled out to be wanded which was painless (less than 2 minutes). Got to the line to check-in with one person in front of us then showtime for cards and waited another 5 minutes and presto we were home again. (We sailed the Monarch in 08' which is the Majesty's twin so everything was familiar even the deck our cabin was on was the same)
Cabin: 119 sq. ft., what else can you say everything laid out perfect. Plus her and I have brought bunking in the same room to an art form we've done it so much. I decorated the room with streamers and different things I picked up at the Dollar Store (thanks Cruise Critic)to celebrate her accomplishments as stated above.
Muster Drill: seamless and we did not have to bring Life Jackets (yeah!!)
Pool: functional and not crowded
Jacuzzis: see pool above
Food: the same quality and variety we've always gotten, excellent
Entertainment: Sorry but shows are not our thing but the one we did see was pretty good.
Shopping Onboard: not our thing, did that the first 2 cruises
Drinks: Our $260 sea card bill was all Adult beverages, very good (all I gotta say is Lava Flow and CoCo Loco)
Ports: We've done these ports before (except Nassau) so we did not ant to do exscursions or anything of the sort but we did want to just hang-out which we did.
NASSAU: it was hot but pretty, suggestion spend the money to go to Paradise Island there will be more to do.
CoCo Cay Bahamas: RCCL private island is amazing and its mostly all inclusive with exception of adult drinks and exscursions......the water was so clear and almost air temperature....awesome.
Key West: Very hot and humid but what do expect its FL in August. On Duvall street stop by IRISH KEVIN'S its a great place to cool off, get a drink and sing along with the acoustic guitar guy
Disembark: RCCL has outdone themselves with the new walk-off program. From cabin to taxi was no more than 20 minutes and so stress free I couldn't believe it had gone so smooth.
MIA to BWI: 4 hours in MIA airport waiting for scheduled flight never again....flight home 20 mph winds landing little scary but not as bad as Jan 08' with 25 mile winds while landing.
Overall: Good to Excellent vacation........8.25 out of a possible 10
What would of made it a 10: weather a little better and more to do in NASSAU downtown.