Background- We booked this in April as a kind of a last minute cruise after thinking we couldn't fit in a cruise this year. Our favorite classes of ships are Freedom and Voyager, but we have sailed on Sovereign, Vision, and Radiance class ships as well and enjoyed them all.
Food- Being that this was only a 4 night cruise and our tablemates were a little on the strange side, we only went to the dining room the first night. We had a brand new (first week) waiter so the service was a little slow, but we had the prime rib and it was good compared to how RC prime rib usually tastes. We ate in the WJ the second night, we ate at Atlantis in Nassau on the third night, and ate at Johnny Rockets on the last night. Overall, based on what we had in the WJ, JR, and the MDR the food was better quality than it was last year on the Liberty. So we were impressed with this aspect of the cruise.
Cabin- We had a deck 8 oceanview (8018). Deck 8 is really the way to go on the Sovereign class ships. It's close to the promenade deck, its close to the pool, its close to the Windjammer, we really enjoyed the location and not having to walk across the ship for everything. Having said that, the regular rooms are tiny! We had forgotten how much smaller they were than most ships, but for 4 days, its definitely manageable and you can't beat the price of the deck 8 cabins.
Ship overall- We knew what to expect after sailing on Sovereign twice. The Majesty is kept immaculate by the staff and crew and you would never know she was 18 years old. We were very impressed with the ship itself, but we missed the amenities of the big ships. The places that she does show her age are the dining rooms, low ceilings, and cabins. Other places such as the Windjammer feel like they could be straight out of a brand new ship. They got rid of the astroturf on the pool deck in the February dry dock which makes all the difference in the world. That is what we always hated about Sovereign. Majesty still has it on the top sun decks, but the wood makes her look less dated and doesn't mush under your feet! We docked right next to the Monarch in Nassau and Majesty looked so much better than the Monarch from the exterior. It looks like the Monarch is in bad need of a some paint and TLC from the outside while Majesty looks great. We definitely felt like we made the right choice going with the Majesty.
Day 1 (Miami)- We drove down Sunday afternoon and night and stayed at a Holiday Inn Express near Palm Beach since we got in after midnight. It wasn't what we're used to but it let us get a few hours of sleep and a shower before getting on the ship.
Off to the Majesty! We got to the pier at 10:30 because we anticipated more Miami traffic than there actually was. To our surprise, there was already a line in front of security. Security opened the gates to Diamond, D+ and Suite guests at 11:00 AM and we were in the first group onboard by 11:20.
We ate lunch in the WJ and headed up to the pool deck to enjoy our first day. It started off with partly cloudy skies, but as the day went on the weather deteriorated and by 3PM it was pouring down rain and very cool for Miami this time of year. Stayed this way until after sail away .
The muster drill was at 4:15 and of course there were no life vests but it took longer than usual. We made it back up to the pool deck in the rain for sail away and killed a couple of hours before our late dinner seating.
The welcome aboard show was tonight and we finally saw Ricky our cruise director.
Day 2 (Key West)- Once again, it started off raining and overcast. I won't go into much detail about Key West becuase we've been there so many times that we didnt do anything exciting! We went to Margaritaville and walked around Key West before going out to the pool on the ship for the rest of the day. By the time we got back on the ship it was mostly sunny and stayed that way until it started raining again at sail away from Key West.
We did the Windjammer tonight and they had a pretty big selection and we liked that they had beer and wine service at dinner in the WJ.
Day 3 (Nassau)- We didnt get into Nassau until 1 PM so the first part of the day was like a regular sea day which was great. We laid out on the top deck until we pulled into Nassau alongside the Monarch. Of course, as we pulled into Nassau, it started pouring down rain and it stayed this way until dark. In case you haven't noticed yet, rain seemed to be the theme of this cruise .
We stayed on the ship until dinner time when we went to Nassau to the casino and to eat. We usually go to the Cove at Atlantis as well as a cruise every year so we felt right at home at Atlantis, it was the best of both worlds .
Day 4 (Cococay)- Wake up look out the window and finally see sun! Aside from a few hours in Key West and Nassau it seems like we didnt see sun the entire cruise. Excited for a sunny beach day, I took a shower, grabbed a bite from the WJ and headed out on the first tender. Right when we got on the tender it started thundering and raining. Oh well, we still went to the beach and had a nice day, just in the clouds instead of the sun.
Tonight we ate in Johnny Rockets which was fine. We haven't been to JR on the ship since it was free back in 2004! We went to the farewell and late night comedy, both of which were good.
Day 5 (Miami/Fort Lauderdale)- I got up early to watch us pull into Miami. The weather was beautiful, not a cloud in the sky. Figures since it was overcast the whole cruise! But we had the second luggage tag to be called so we were off the ship and on the road for Fort Lauderdale by 8:30.
We stayed at the Harbor Beach Marriott in Fort Lauderdale and it was absolutely perfect. Perfect weather and we always enjoy our stays here. It runs between $300-400 a night but it is a perfect way to begin or end a cruise out of South Florida.
We were able to check in at 9:15 and spent the day on the beach and at the pool.
Day 6 (Fort Lauderdale)- Our second day in Fort Lauderdale was Saturday, so we got beach and pool chairs early and walked down the beach to Port Everglades to see Oasis. We were blown away even looking at her from a distance after being on Majesty!
We spent the day at the beach and pool again and then walked back to Port Everglades at 5 to watch the Oasis leave. It was incredible to see her sailing away from so close. I took pictures and will post them later.
Day 7 (Fort Lauderdale)- Today was our third and final day in Fort Lauderdale. We love it down here and dont wan't to go home! We had perfect weather again today so the great weather days in Fort Lauderdale seem to equal out the overcast days we had on the ship.
All in all, we had a good cruise on the Majesty of the Seas and I'm glad we went. We were disappointed in aspects of it after Liberty last year, but when sailing on Monarch or Majesty, you just have to keep in mind that theyre the oldest ships in the fleet and they are a great value for the price. The big things we missed were the promenade (of course) and the fitness centers on the newer ships. Everything was really limited on the Majesty and as much as we work out at home it was hard to adjust to very few free weights, five treadmills, and six machines!
I would certainly sail on the Majesty again it again if the price was right, but at this point I think the 7 day cruises on newer ships are a better match for us. The four nights on the ship was just not long enough and the atmosphere feels so much more rushed. Had the weather been nicer, this would have been a much better cruise, but theres nothing Royal Caribbean could have done about that and they did their best to keep everybody happy!
We're already planning our next adventure on the Freedom to the Eastern Caribbean for June 2011.