Firstly my trip got off to a disappointing start. The airline lost my luggage which meant I was stuck in a sundress for 3 days until the next port. The staff in the shop were extremely unhelpful and rude. They had very few sizes on display and when I made inquiries basically waived their hands at unpacked cartons and said "we may or may not have something, you'll have to wait until we unpack". No offer to at least look in one or two boxes. When asked how long until they unpack, I was told 1 to 2 days!! Needless to say I brought nothing in the "fashion shop" this cruise.
The staff at the services desk were more sympathetic and did at least arrange a toiletries bag and promised to chase up with the airlines to ensure a smooth delivery of my bag... This obviously didn't happen as I had a distressed courier call me at 745 am ( we were not allowed off ship until 0800) saying no one was there to sign for my case and so he would return it to his depo.. Long story short, no communication between Princess and Airline ( and Visa versa) but I eventually received my bag later that afternoon.
Embarkation was very easy. Our mini suite was great, roomy enough for the four of us, though very hot overnight. And our room attendant lovely and attentive as usual
The majestic is a large ship but most of the extra space seemed to be state rooms, with a feeling that there wasn't enough public space for all of the people. There no doubt is, a lot of it surrounding the piazza and in the hollywood club, but quiet space is limited. We are out doors types so like deck space. I personally never had an issue securing a deck chair, but I was happy to sit in the sun, shade was a scarce commodity and we saw a few people get narky over chairs. Inside there is heaps of space in the piazza, but there was always something on, so it was always noisy. There were hardliners who found the fewer quite spots near an Asian tea bar, and the Crowne bar but I hear you had to be early. The large Hollywood sanctuary area was always full to the brim. I only did a curious walk through once or twice, but it seemed just as noisy as elsewhere. There were a few spots on the deck near the ping pong but there was a curious stale smell that wafted around that area at times. I suspect it's near the rubbish disposal.
Not having a deck to walk laps around was rather odd. You could do a shorter circuit on the 7th if you don't mind crossing through the ship either end. You could do a longer lap around deck above the pool (17) but it's cut short by the Hollywood club area and at the rear you have to go up, through the sports area down, across then back up through the sports area again... The gym was well equipped, cool and open 24/7. The sports area is very poorly designed. No net over the top, and some of the side netting had holes bug enough for balls to pass through. It is also necessary to pass through it to get to the golf area and wake Bar.This could be easily fixed by putting a net along the front of it, creating a walkway.
There seemed to be quite a few frustrating dead ends on the ship. (seems I wasn't the only one who accidentally opened the dining room door setting off an alarm...ops..on deck 5 or was it 6, trying to find my way forward ) We also accidentally walked in on a massage one day whilst looking for karaoke, as it seems they were using the rooms labeled "karaoke" as extra spa area. They really should lock them...so check that they do before you get your gear off
Entertainment wise this cruise was lacking compared to other cruise I've been on. The band Opus was great as was the lady signing in Crooners nightly but the show's were lacking. There were 3 production shows ( plus one encore involving dancers) in the 19 nights. I've had more on a 12 day cruise. The magician was okay, there was some impersonator, but anyone under 60 struggled to know who he was talking about (which I guess is fine on a cruise with an average age of 65) and a few other singers who were okay. Oh and some violinist, whom my son and I found hilariously over the top in his sparkly Jimmy choos and diamante eyelash extensions, but the lady throwing him kisses next to us obviously disagreed.
Activity wise the program was pretty much the same daily with the usual zumba, trivia, ballroom dance, destination talks etc.. Not to mention all the promotional "raffles" and art auctions etc. We just ignored those. My mum went to a "sale" but the bags watches etc were even poorer quality( if that's possible) then past cruises. I saw one lady with her $15 bargain small travel bag and didn't have the heart to tell her I got my similar one at kmart for only $3. Then there was the occasional fun thing like the egg drop, ship making comp and pool games. I didn't mind the repetition as mostly I was happy to amuse myself. I did do some ballroom and Victor was a very entertaining teacher. I also did Zumba most mornings. My only gripe was the rude Trivia goers who couldn't wait to get a seat, even though there was a 40 minute gap between Zumba and Trivia.
One thing that was strange was that a lot of activities such as line dancing, ball room etc were held in the piazza which meant that the learners always had an audience. This put some people off and meant that there was constant noise and traffic
Kids activities were provided but seemed confined to the kids area. They advertised a basketball shoot off the second day on board which I thought might get my shy but sporty son involved. But we waited on the sports deck for half an hour with no show. Later when we went down to look at kids club and ask about it we were told because the forecast was for rain they had cancelled the basketball as it might be dangerous ( it never rained and they obviously hadn't even been up to check) This put my son off immediately. Hes not the crafty kind and that was mostly what their program listed. So he refused to go. He did find another like minded boy however and they amused themselves between the pool, table tennis and sports area..not to mention the ice-cream parlor and dessert lady who befriended them and always had their favorites on hand. There were about 50 kids on board, many who did enjoy kids club, it just didn't interest mine this time around.
Dining wise, we did anytime dining and never waited. But personally I missed the friendship you gain from having a dining companion. As we were a group of 4 with a child they never put us on a shared table even though we would of happily shared. We usually ate at 6-630 or after the first show (which started 715). The food was okay. A lot of seafood which limited my mother who has a shellfish allergy. The buffet area was great for breakfast and lunch but we found at dinner time they compacted it to one or two sections with limited choice. The buffet was also very confusing with a lot of repetition yet some things only available in one spot. eg waffles ( my sons favorite) were only in 1 spot but pancakes, toast and cereal were in several spots. The cake/dessert selection was good but also very repetitive. Lots of continental cream cakes but same flavors daily, ditto for cookies. They did have a Crayfish seafood special on once or twice for dinner but it was poorly advertised so we missed it. My Dad loved the veggie burgers from the burger bar near the pool, and I was fond of the noodles. We didn't go to any of the specialty restaurants. There are a couple of tea, coffee water stations in the buffet and one out the back of the ship near the Wake bar, but it was hard to find water on the actual pool deck, and just as hard to find a waiter meaning lots of trips in a damp towel into the buffet to the disapproving looks,of some other cruisers, but it was very hot and humid...I needed water. This could easily be fixed by having water jugs near the ice-cream bar and towel bar.
Overall we certainly enjoyed our cruise. With 12 sea days many might find it boring, but I loved the relaxation time. After the first few days people found their spot on the ship and it did begin to have that cruisey family feel whereby you seem to see the same faces most days. We spent 5 days in Hong Kong at the end and continuously ran into people we recognized from the ship. I'd certainly travel on the Majestic again, but admit it did lack some of the intimacy and atmosphere you experience on a smaller ship. One thing we did note was that being so big you barely felt the movement of the ship and as a result none of us suffered from sea legs post disembarkation.
Our first time in a mini suite and we loved it. We had four people. My parents in queen bed and my son and I in bunks ( couch makes a bed and top bunk pulls down from ceiling) It was not too far from lifts and not noisy at all.
We caught the shuttle into the city and did a little shopping
Darwin. We caught a Taxi to the War museum which was very interesting with lots of war relics and a video about the bombing.
Though we should of lined up and got hop on hop off tickets as despite the website that says they dont go to the war museum in the mornings ( which was our plan) they make exceptions when cruise ships are in and do all stops all day.)
We then went to the Crocosaurous Cove in the city. This is a mini zoo run by a croc farm. It has lots of crocs in small cages so a bit distressing for animal lovers. But then the crocs don't seem too worried they all look well fed and the keepers seem well informed. For $$ you can be submerged in a perspex tube for a closer look. We saw a mad Englishman do this. Mostly the croodiles looked bored, but they ply them with chicken on strings so you get a few nifty photos of crocodiles jumping around. Included in entry you get to wave bits of chicken at the tiny youngsters which my son enjoyed. After this we visited an art gallery, chatted to few local indigenous artists and brought a painting, Not the galery in the mall but upstairs not far from Mac Donald's. We then wandered down through the mall back to the ship. We had intended visiting the War tunnels which are 5 minutes walk from the ship but they are only open until 1pm. Instead we walked to the other side of the dock (about 1.5km from the ship) to the Flying Doctors Museum. We were very glad we made the effort despite the afternoon heat nad humidity. A great (better then war museum) bombing interactive experience and an old plane you can climb around in amnd lots of information regarding the flying docotors history in Australia. 10 year old loved it!
Singapore. We did a Princess tour..breakfast with Orangutans. I'm not sure what I expected, but there was huge breakfast area the Orangutans come down and sit on a log nearby and you are encouraged to form a line and stand in front of them for a snapshot...they then charge you $$ for. The rest of the zoo is nice. we managed to see the sloth awake and get a few good close up bar photos...but all in all it's similar to Sydney or Melb zoo. We then caught a taxi to Universal studios (at special request of son). If I went again I'd go to the gardens by the Bay for a look which is a walk from. the ship or cheap taxi ride.
My parents did a princess tour of the city involving a temple and ending at Raffles except Raffles is closed so they went to another hotel for their singapore Slings. They seemed to enjoy it.
If I went back I'd do my own thing using taxis as they were very cheap and reliable. For longer stays in Singapore the MTR is very reliable and easy to useView All 7 Singapore Zoo Reviews
Ho Chi Minh. We did the Princess Tour to the Mekong Delta. This had good reviews here on cruise critic. Waste of time and money. 3 hours unbroken travel there and back...we had to ask for a toilet stop. Weduid go to Buddhist temple on the way which was interesting and I wish I'd spent time shopping at the stalls near here more. The tour said we'd travel Cross the,Mekong to visit a small island whereby wed visit a local village and get to see typical housing act. Well we did go on a boat to an island whereby the garden sell started..firstly a candy making place, then a honey "farm"(they brought out one strip from a hive then tried to sell us all things bee. Which if course we xant take back to Australia so was very embarrassing. We then went to a um kind of restaurant whereby we sampled local fruit and they sung for us which was pleasant. Then the final torture...they put you in a canoe (you have no choice as it takes you to the otherside of the island where the boat pick up is). The whole time the ladies rowing kept saying "you give big top. You give money" I only had large notes..about $30 Aus. She wasn't letting me off without 1. So I asked if she would sell me the straw hat she had offered for me to wear during the journey ( noting they were selling for $1usd) at stalls along the island..thinking at least I'd get something for my $30 and she could cheaply replace it before her next customer...but no way..The people sitting behind us in the canoe had the opposite problem. Only small notes...they got virtually spat on. (If we had known I would of given the guy my big note and we would of claimed we were a family...he could of brought me a beer later lol) After that we had a lovely lunch at a large restaurant. All in all it was a long day and I didn't feel we really experienced any of the culture...just tourism. In fact I dint recall one person except our tour guide who was a character, smile. They were all being forced to hard sell.
My parents did the Princess small groups tour of the city and had a great time.View All 28 Mekong Delta Cruise Reviews
Kaohsiung Taiwan. We did the Princess tour of Fo Guang Shan Monastery and then to Lotus Pond. This was a great tour. The guide was lovely though a little fast for some of the less mobile older people, but she found shuttle rides for them and we managed. The lunch was a lovely vegetarian meal. My only suggestion for this tour would be less time at the Monastery and more at the Lotus pond area as there was so much to see. If I went again I would just taxi to the pond, though make sure you get directions written down as English is not common. We spoke with people in the ship that managed to secure a taxi driver for the day and had a great time. Others took the shuttle to the city and enjoyed the shopping. I'd definitely like to go back someday.