Majesty of the Seas - February 25-28
We flew into Fort Lauderdale a day early, and we wanted Royal Caribbean to handle the transfers from the Airport to Hotel to Pier to Airport. Unfortunately, after making the plane reservations, we learned the Royal Caribbean does not do transfers from Fort Lauderdale the night before. So, we booked our transfers with SAS Transportation. And they did a wonderful job! In the future, we may consider booking them both ways!
We arrived at the JW Marriott, and had a wonderful room. We ordered room service the next morning by hanging a card outside our room the night before. We split the eggs benedict, and requested an extra plate. The order came with two small plates, extra water and utensils! The only slight hiccup came when I asked for the letter regarding transferring to the ship. The young lady handed me a letter from Carnival tried to explain that Carnival owned Royal Caribbean. I didn't have the heart to tell her that Carnival owns a lot of cruise lines, and Royal Caribbean is not one of them.
The transfer man arrived about between 11:30 and noon, and hurried off with half of our luggage. He moved so fast, in the hurry to keep him in sight, my husband fell down a step landing in the driveway on his rear end.
We arrived at the port, and the check in procedure was one of the best we've had. We were directed to the Windjammer, and told our rooms wouldn't be available until 1 PM. So, we hauled our carry-ons to the table near the window. Instead of long buffet lines of the newer ships, Windjammer on Majesty has several islands, including an Asian island (Loved the shrimp chips). Pizza and sandwiches are one deck up in the Compass. The staff was as efficient as ever clearing off your tables, but a little sloppy wiping them down. On two separate occasions, I had to dig out our antibacterial wipes to remove sauce left over from a previous passenger. Later, in the Compass, we tried the pizza, Forest Mushroom Crepes, and Egg Salad Sandwiches. The pizza and crepes were wonderful, but the egg salad sandwiches were stale and bland.
Finally, at 1 PM, we entered our stateroom, a Junior suite. While it was a Junior suite, it was a SMALL Junior suite. We had chosen a Junior suite because Majesty had no balcony rooms. On our first cruise in the old Sovereign, we were just below the pool/bar area and were kept up all night with partying, so this time we made a point to get below the Windjammer We had our Emerald Basket, but no drinks! Also, no suite bathroom amenities either. We didn't know if they had discontinued the breakfast room service order forms, or if the steward simply forgot them. Actually, we really like coffee in the room, and the Junior suite had a coffee pot and a tea kettle so we were all set. The Santa Fe coffee was replenished as needed. The fruit basket gift arrived without a note saying who sent it. In spite of these oversights, the steward found a therapeutic pillow for me on night two. Royal Caribbean really designs their staterooms well. There is plenty of storage, and with the Junior suite instead of the walk-in closet there was a floor to ceiling cupboard. In the bathroom, they had a "marble" counter against one wall which gave us plenty of room to spread out our toiletry ziplocs, and a large counter with sink against another wall. We had a bathtub, with a clothesline for hanging our laundry. In addition, our desk had several cupboards and drawers as well as our night table stands. We loved the large wooden table, instead of the small glass tables on the newer ships. However, no stationary or pens. So, we had to catch the steward to make our requests.
No couples razul in the spa.
The carpeted stairs in the Centrum made us feel much safer than the bare stairs on newer ships.
The food in the main dining room was up to its usual quality we've come to expect from Royal Caribbean. On the first night, we finished our appetizers, then pushed our dishes aside. Later the head waiter marched up glared at them, then quickly removed them. A day later, after buying a watch in Nassau, the assistant waiter asked me how much I'd paid for it. For formal night, were were told ahead of time that we had until 7 PM to arrive in the main dining room, if we were later than that, to simply go up the Windjammer. In Nassau, the ship stays in port late into the night, unlike other ports of call that often leave port around dinner time.
We'd booked Pirates of Nassau through Royal Caribbean, but other than printing the street intersection on the ticket, they didn't give directions on how to find it. The port and shopping map didn't stretch far enough to include the Pirate Museum, and the people at the Explorations desk told us to ask directions at the information desk in port. We had no shuttle to take us to the pirate museum several blocks away, and we had to march through their shopping district. We first walked to the Pirate Museum in Nassau, and enjoyed it! It's a great place for both adults and children, and the scary pirate that met us when we arrived added to the flavor. There's also a nice shop to purchase some fridge magnets, t-shirts, etc.
We attended the port and shopping show, and were informed that the Philip Stein watches were available for 15% lower than what we could get them in the states. I visited the Port & Shopping Representative at his booth later that evening, and he wrote up a note for $50 off a Philip Stein watch purchase over $299, he also told me where to go and who to talk with. As soon as I visited Diamonds International, the contact led me to his assistant then we never saw him again. We picked out a watch, and they went to calculate the lowest price. About that time, the Port and Shopping Representative showed up, and the merchant returned with the "lowest" price. I pulled out the note for the $50 discount. Unfortunately, our Port and Shopping buy told me he was in error, the $50 discount only applied to Diamonds. After returning home, I looked up Philip Stein's watches on Amazon and eBay and found their prices only a few dollars higher than what I'd paid in Nassau.
We rode the tender to CocoCay. We asked for a map at the information booth but were told they were out (at around 10:30 AM). Our last cruise to the Bahamas had been in 1996, and they had used what looked like the orange lifeboats. Having to hop from the platform on the ship to the tender, and see the water level below my feet made me nervous about tenders. After a scary experience with the MS Ryndam with rough seas, we'd vowed never to tender again. But this year, they had two story tender. They have a large ramp that goes from the ship to the tender, and the platform is actually part of the tender, so it felt much safer. No terrifying glimpses of water way below. We arrived early, and grabbed two recliners. I'd planned to walk some of the nature trail, but the husband informed me he'd skipped the sunscreen. Also, his hat cord broke. Visiting the straw market, we picked out a new hat, and started to hand over our seapass card, but the vender insisted on cash only. Which surprised us, since our Port and Shopping Guy, the same man that had given me the worthless $50 note, had told us we could make purchases on the island with our seapass card.
The music in the centrum was wonderful each night!
With a three day cruise, the only extra activity for Crown and Anchor members was the Welcome Back Reception. We were served drinks, and hor'd'ourves, the final tasty being chocolate dipped strawberries.
Disembarkation was a little confusing, as Emeralds, we were offered the private departure lounge only if we carried our own luggage. Fortunately, we were in the first group off the ship. We always use a porter, since they know the best custom line as well as where to go to catch the ride back to the airport. Since they work on tips, they want to get us to our destination fast. He directed us to the proper bus, and once the bus was filled (about 45 minutes), we went back to the Fort Lauderdale Airport. As it turned out, we had to wait in the lobby for about an hour before they would allow us to check in at the airline.