The Majesty is the second oldest ship in the line, but contrary to some opinions it is an attractive ship in very good condition. This ship just began homeporting out of New Orleans a few weeks prior to this cruise and in the past the Crown and Anchor Lounge was reserved for Diamond and up Crown and Anchor Society members from 4:30 to 8:00 pm as a partial replacement for the lack of a permanent C&A lounge.The week previous this was eliminated, to the great disappointment of C& A members. It was unknown at the time of the cruise whether an alternative would be forthcoming on future departures.
It is a very interesting cruise to take as you sail down the Mississippi River for about eight hours before reaching the Gulf of Mexico. The next two days were at sea, reaching Nassau the next day. Freeport was the next day, which is an industrial port a half hour from the actual town. There were only a series of t-shirt kiosks and pop up beer bars, although there was a small stage with a band playing as well. In spite of this there were three cruise ships docked there! I attempted to talk to two cabbies to ask if there was transportation into the town and the price. One only wanted to take people to the beach and the other couldn't be bothered to tear himself away from his phone screen. The next group were too busy to stop their arguing amongst themselves to talk to me. I gave up and went back to the ship after a total of about a half hour ashore. However I found it interesting to see the port activities from the top deck of my ship. They included three ships loading/unloading containers, sand excavation, a drydock with a Holland America ship in it,a large petroleum tank farm and two large off shore petroleum loading piers for tanker ships. Nevertheless, since I had never been here before I considered it to be an ok stop, although it could have been a shorter one.
The last stop was at Key West, where we had to undergo customs and immigration passport checks before re-entering the US. This started at 7:00 am. We departed at the scheduled time of 2:30 pm, making for a pretty short visit.
Weather was generally a bit cool but sunny and nice. The last day was a sea day before returning to New Orleans. However the night before was filled with strong headwinds, swells and current. At about 10:00 am the Captain announced that as a result we would be delayed five hours, arriving at 1:00 pm instead of 8:00 am. this was helpful in allowing those of us who needed to rebook flights to do so as soon as possible. The next morning we received a letter saying that Royal Caribbean would reimburse passengers $200 for domestic flight change fees and $400 for international. I thought this was very fair and commendable.
There is a lack of chairs in the centrum and no tables to put drinks on as you would find on other ships. This makes it difficult to watch the shows and bands held there instead of in the lounges that are better equipped for it. The outside wraparound promenade deck has only three chairs that allow you to sit up in, rather than lounge chairs. Many find this more comfortable and some find it difficult to sit down and get up from the loungers. These are not expensive things to add, so hopefully RC will do so, as others complained about this also.
I mention these things because I feel such information is useful to others considering booking a ship. In spite of some of these things I enjoyed cruising on the "Madge". The crew in the main dining room were uniformly great and the food above average. The Windjammer buffet was not so good, featuring apparent regional cuisine, which was nice up to a point, but there was a need for some of the usual favorites as well. The Sorento pizza cafe and deli were also good. Cabin steward (Martin) and Loyalty Ambassador (Vernon) were top notch. Captain Per and Rodney the hotel director were very personable a accessible.
I would gladly cruise on this ship again.