My husband and I sailed the Majesty of the Seas on June 1st, 2009 for our 1st wedding anniversary celebration. Our first cruise was with Carnival Cruise Line's Legend, which set our service expectations high. We planned to spend 4-days aboard the Majesty of the Seas, and a few additional days with relatives in Port Charlotte, FL. I booked our interior stateroom directly through the cruise line, and flights on www.expedia.ca from Toronto to Miami with American Airlines.
It has taken me awhile to write this review because I wanted to be thoughtful in the way that I described my experience. To all of you who have had disappointing experiences with any cruise line, please recall that you get what you pay for. Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (and Carnival) are budget, family cruise lines. My $300pp did not pay for a 5*, luxurious experience. I very happily paid for a relaxing sunshine getaway with beach ports and I received what I had hoped for.
That being stated, when I compare my two budget cruise line experiences, Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas was disappointing in these areas:
- Food - Although the dining room offered plenty of selections, I found the options to be fairly basic. I enjoy seafood and exotic cuisine, and I was disappointed with the quality and frequency of those menu items. I was unimpressed that the dining room food was served using plastic dishes.
- Entertainment - The theatre venue was nice, but the quality of the hired entertainment - a comedian and a juggler - was poor. I found the shows to be slightly childish. Better presented in the Kid's club.
- Day Activities - I was very excited to have access to a rock climbing wall, however, it was only open during very limited hours 7am - 9am and 3pm to 4:30pm - with unnecessarily long lineups. I did not have an opportunity to try it.
- Stateroom Service - My room was cleaned daily, but stateroom service did not offer any additional amenities (soaps, shampoos, shower caps, etc). I never met my stateroom attendant.
- "Wow"-ing the Guest - I was disappointed by the overall lack of familiarity/rapport that RCCL builds with their guests. On my Carnival cruise, I was addressed by our staff (waiters, maitre d', stateroom attendant and favourite bartender) by name each time they met us, asked for feedback about our cruise experience and generally made to feel appreciated (mints on pillow, turndown service, etc). Unfortunately, my Majesty experience lacked in all of these areas. I felt like "just another guest".
On a positive note, the were many things that the Majesty staff presented very well. I enjoyed:
- Small but beautiful staterooms - We booked an interior stateroom. It was very cozy and beautifully decorated with clean lines, warm colors and like-new fluffy white bedding. Very comfortable! Expect smaller than average room sizes though.
- Table service - We chose the flexible time dining option, and requested the same waiters each night. We only had a short wait on one occasion. On our wedding anniversary, they brought two beautiful desserts and a song to help us celebrate.
- "Flow" - the ship never felt crowded or overwhelming. It is adequate in size to provide all of the standard venues (bars, disco, lounges, pools, etc), and distributes guests evenly to usually avoid crowded hallways and long lineups.
- Shore excursions - Even though it was busy, I was happy to receive the undivided attention of a Shore Excursions specialist to help us choose our in-port activities. The staff here were very well informed and friendly.
- Excellent ports of call!!!
- An well-kept ship - Majesty is an older vessel, but very well-kept and elegantly decorated.
- Day-time activities - Majesty offered a solid variety of fun daytime activities for all ages. I enjoyed the "Love & Marriage" game, BINGO and gaming lessons in the casino. The sailaway party was fun too!
- Johnny Rockets - a classic American diner experience! Our waiters were fabulous and we enjoyed tasty burgers and milkshakes twice during our cruise. For the extra $5pp, it was well worth it.
- Embarkation/Debarkation - very efficient and hassel free! I would recommend setting up your shipboard account using a credit card to keep the lines moving quickly.
- Bar Service - Bar Service was available very conveniently throughout the ships. During evening entertainment, bar servers arrived promptly at my seat to offer my beverage of choice (try the Bahama Mamas on this ship - Fabulous!). They were always available for service, but never overbearing. I would recommend the Majesty of the Seas for clients who are flexible and easy-going. I am hesitant to book another short cruise, since I feel that the quality of service (for both cruise lines) is better on the longer itineraries. I'm not sure if I will re-book with RCCL. RCCL made a good, but not excellent first impression. At this point, I'll be happier to explore other cruise lines or re-book with Carnival.