Majesty of the Seas Cruise Review by DrNex: Enjoyable first cruise with some drawbacks
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Enjoyable first cruise with some drawbacks
Let me preface this by stating that this was my first cruise, but that my friend has cruised once before on Norwegian. I read quite a bit on Cruise Critic as we were considering 3 day cruises and Carnival Imagination, Majesty & Norwegian Sky were all similarly priced. We ultimately decided on Majesty because of the decent overall reviews and itinerary.
Overall I'd say we enjoyed our cruise and had a lot of fun, especially considering the price we paid - $159 for an oceanview (porthole) stateroom. However, there were some definite drawbacks to our cruise which slightly soured our experience. On the whole, we'd definitely cruise again but only on the Majesty if the price was right.
We flew in from Boston the day of, took an SAS shuttle from FLL to the port for $15 each - not a bad price. We arrived at the port at about 2 PM for a 5 PM departure, so we had plenty of time. We gave our bags to the porter and made our way onboard.
Embarkation: This actually More took quite a while, about 20-25 minutes or so, longer than I thought it'd take. The check-in staff was professional but not especially friendly.
After making our way onboard, we dropped our stuff off in our cabin, which I thought was decent looking. I had read a lot of the reviews which griped about the tiny cabins, and while our cabin was small I thought there was plenty of room to move around. We had a small porthole which was nice but functionally useless. We also met our stateroom attendant, Keisha, who was awesome and super friendly (more on this later).
After dropping our belongings off, we made our way to the Windjammer for the welcome aboard buffet. This was our first disappointment: the food was bland and ordinary, bordering in some instances to gross.
Amenities: Here is another pretty big gripe. Although the Majesty has two pools, one of the pools was closed for two of the three days of our cruise. This was a big disappointment because the remaining pool was always packed, e.g. with tons of kids everywhere. We felt at times that we could not use the pool because it was so crowded. No explanation was offered for the closed pool.
There are also far too few jacuzzis (whirlpools) - only two for the entire ship. We were only able to use the whirlpools twice (briefly) because they were always packed. The ship definitely needs more whirlpools for the amount of passengers it carries - around 2,700 or so.
We thought the other public spaces were nice, nothing really to complain about. I'm not sure what the Majesty looked like before but the renovation $$$ were put to good use. The public rooms did not feel dated (other than maybe the theater and casinos which were small and looked like they were out of the 70s).
We really enjoyed the Schooner lounge (piano bar) as it hosted some decent musicians. Boleros and Spectrum were nice too but we didn't go there as much - we found they were pretty much empty unless there was a scheduled activity.
Entertainment/Activities: The cruise director and his staff were OK. I'm not a huge fan of the line dancing, but we had fun nonetheless. We actually participated in the belly flop and quest competitions (more on this one later), as well as in battle of the sexes, and karaoke. These activities were generally fun.
The production show (on the third night) was meh - somewhat better than a high school production, but honestly not by much. Steve Schaffer (sp?), the entertainer/comedian on the first and third nights was OK, definitely better on the second night than on the first. The highlight was the comedian/magician on the second night, whose name I forget but who had us in stitches.
The cruise director participated in many of the activities, e.g. he was very involved and visible, but I didn't find that he was especially approachable.
Rock climbing was really fun and I recommend this to anyone who can handle it. It's a good workout.
Re: the quest competition. We both participated. I thought it was incredibly humiliating (as a participant), but probably really fun for observers. It would have been nice if they would have given us (participants) something, if even a keychain, since we were basically the show. Definitely go to this, but only participate if you can handle like being paraded around in your underwear wearing a bra and lipstick (for guys).
Dining: We really enjoyed the Main Dining Room service for dinner. We thought the food was good (although hit and miss on occasion) and our waiter and assistant waiter were excellent, as was beverage service.
Our big disappointment with dining was for the sit-down breakfast in the Starlight Dining Room on the second day - after waiting in line for 20 minutes, we still couldn't get seated because we were just a party of two and the entrance staff kept seating parties of four, even seating three families who came AFTER us. In fact, all the tables were for parties of four, so I'm not sure if we would ever have been seated. Finally I lost it and told them that they had better give us the next table, which they did but only begrudgingly, and even then they sat us unexpectedly with another party of two. The breakfast service was extremely slow and it took nearly an hour. I complained to the head waiter who was receptive and apologetic, and who followed up with us in the evening as well. He was very nice and seemed to care about our complaint, but didn't really do much in the way of resolving the situation besides apologizing (e.g., no onboard credit or free wine or anything like that). Still, an apology was nice and better than you can expect on any airline. After this incident, the head waiter told our main dining waiter to take extra special care of us, which I think he did pretty well.
The food in the windjammer, unfortunately, did not improve - we had breakfast there on the third and fourth days (before debarkation) but were not impressed.
The other venue we grabbed food at was Compass Deli, which was OK but nothing special. Room service was a nice touch but the food was not appetizing (e.g., hugh slices of bread with barely anything in between).
Stateroom Attendant: She (Keisha) was simply phenomenal. She introduced herself to us on the first night, kept our room in a pristine condition, fulfilled all our requests promptly (e.g., more ice, more towels), and even made us an origami elephant and dog - I really liked this touch. She was SOOOOO friendly and we both loved her. I hope she gets a promotion.
Ports of Call: We really enjoyed CocoCay. We went jetskiiing, which although pricey ($79 for driver and $29 for passenger), was the most fun we had the cruise and worth the money, at least for us. We spent a good 50 minutes out on the water. The jetskis don't have governors (or if so, the limit is pretty high) so you can hit some nice speeds and the waves are really fun. It's actually a bit of a struggle to hang out so I wouldn't recommend this to the elderly. The rest of the island was nice - again the food was not spectacular but we weren't expecting it to be. The alcohol was actually reasonably priced and I really enjoyed swimming. I wish the water slides had been free - it kind of felt like we were being nickel and dimed, which I don't mind when it comes to alcohol but things like water slides, e.g. basic entertainment that Carnival has on all its ships, should be free.
We didn't enjoy Nassau as much. Even though it's much larger, it's just not as relaxing, aside from Atlantis it doesn't really seem like there's much to do. We're coming back in December on a Carnival 9 day cruise with a stop in Nassau, and we plan on booking the dolphin swim and water park then (but directly through Atlantis since it's about half the price). Unfortunately, on this cruise, we didn't want to pay the inflated prices. We did go to Senor Frogs which was a lot of fun - I recommend this venue for the younger party crowd.
Debarkation: Was a nightmare. It felt like we were rushed all morning to get off the ship, and then it took us about an hour standing in line just to get off, with another hour to get through customs. Ugh. Low point of the cruise. Less
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