We were excited to cruise out of NOLA again on RCL and the prices on this seven day cruise were great. We traveled with two other couples from our community. We are all seniors and we all drove from Texas to New Orleans. My husband and I are Crown and Anchor Diamond Plus level.
A couple of unexpected things impacted our cruise. The cruise prior to ours was delayed arriving and disembarking in New Orleans. We received an email that the earliest we should arrive at the terminal was 3:00. The ship itself did not arrive until around noon due to bad weather conditions (high wind and waves) that arose during the final evening. This caused problems for both those on the ship and those waiting to board. The parking in the area was full with the cars of those on the ship. The ship was not promptly cleared by the port and the terminal was crammed with lines of people shoulder to shoulder waiting to board while others getting off the ship where trying to pass through. We left and returned about an hour and a half later to still find ourselves in lines. Everything on the ship was delayed, muster drill, dinner, and shows but mostly I think everyone was just happy to finally get on board. We sailed down the Mississippi River in dark instead of at the planned 4:00 departure.
The other disappointment was that evening Diamond and above events in Crown Viking Lounge during happy hour were discontinued completely the cruise before ours. We could still use the three vouchers on our cruise card at bars during the happy hours period. We went to the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle and the cruise director Tom addressed both the late arrival and the absence of the evening event head on. I thought he did a good job of handling questions and defusing the disappointment both of these issues caused. I don’t think either of these problems was created or controllable by the staff on the Majesty.
Now that those issues are out of the way, I will go on with the review. We had a superior ocean view cabin on deck nine. It was 154 square feet and was fine for us. It had a refrigerator that actually cooled and a love seat size sofa. There was plenty of storage, our suitcases fit under the bed. Oddly, there are no longer skirts around the bed between the mattress and the floor. One of the other couples had an ocean view (porthole) cabin on deck three. It was 114 square feet and it did not have a refrigerator nor a love seat. They had their beds separated in order to have more space and access even though they would have preferred to have the beds together. I cannot imagine how more than two people could have shared these cabins but with the kids sail free promotion there were plenty of families on board. There were very few balcony cabins and they were all classified as suites.
Our dining experience was not great. We had a table for six in the MDR for early seating and we were consistently served last causing our food to be cold. I think service was impacted by the number of tables our waiter and assistant were assigned. We did make the Head Waiter aware of this problem on the second night but there was not much improvement. We felt that wines served in the MDR were skimpy short pours. We also let him know about this but there was no improvement. Desserts were underwhelming. The bread pudding served the final night was less than one inch thick, rubbery and so dry it curled at the edges. This was possibly one of the worst desserts I have been served on a cruise ship. There were some odd things like no horseradish available for the prime rib on either of the two nights it was offered but there was horseradish offered with beef tenderloins in gravy served on a night between the two prime rib nights. All that said, we did not go hungry and always found something to eat. We liked that Sorrento’s Pizza and the Compass Deli were in a separate section above the buffet with lots of seating and that these two venues were open later in the evening. I liked that all the soft serve ice cream machines were manned by gloved employees instead of allowing a bunch of little kids to help themselves and spread germs. I enjoyed the chopped salad bar at lunch and the Diamond breakfast in the main dining room.
The casino was way too smoky for us. We like to play video poker and would have played at the bar machines. These machines were in the no smoking area but smoke was awful everywhere spilling out into the nearby Schooner Bar and Centrum area. Doesn’t management see that many of the smokers do not even pretend to gamble, they are just there to smoke indoors. There is no smoking in the casino on the Empress of the Seas and there should not be a smoking casino on Majesty of the Seas.
Entertainment was two so- so production shows, two decent comedians, and the headliner “Long Run”, an Eagles tribute band. There was a lot entertainment in the Centrum area where there was almost no seating. I enjoyed the bars and lounges. They were BIG. Boleros stretched across the ship from port to starboard. The activities team did a good job with trivia and games. There was plenty of room for groups to relax and visit. The lounges had a lot of big windows to the outside so that we could enjoy sea. The promenade on deck seven was easy to access and allowed a full walking loop around the ship. Many more modern ships lack this wrap around deck and the many sea view windows on the Majesty. You may have read that the elevators on this ship are confusing and that the restrooms are not where you expect them to be located compared to other ships. We got a handle on the lay out fairly quickly and found the ship easy to maneuver because it is smaller. I am not sure that it would be as assessable to those using walkers and wheelchairs. The Centrum elevators are very small and there are elevator lobbies with stairs. It would take some extra planning for those needing to avoid stairs.
The ports were good. We usually only get the western Carib ports out of Galveston so Key West, Nassau, and Coco Cay were good stops for us. We used a local bus #10 to go to the beautiful casino at Baha Mar resort on cable beach in Nassau and enjoyed it very much. We loved the new Coco Cay. The giant swimming pool with swim up bar was great. The water was a little chilly but we snorkeled some with our own equipment. We had the fancy tacos and funnel cake. Our ship was the only one at Coco Cay and we had the place to ourselves. We have been to Key West many times and the day was very sunny. We walked to the historic cemetery and back to a Duval bar for a drink. It is amazing that there is always some live entertainment to be found in the Key West bars regardless of the time of day or the day of the week.
I think that I have covered the items I am interested in and look for when I am reading a review. We really enjoyed the cruise. We had mostly good weather. We could drive home from New Orleans in one day. I got to see an early Mardi Gras walking parade in the French Quarter the night before we sailed. Our friends were fun travel companions. We certainly got our money’s worth in this ten day get away.
Cabin 9750 is a superior ocean view cabin on deck nine. It was 154 square feet and had a square window. It had a refrigerator that actually cooled and a love seat size sofa. There was enough storage, our suitcases fit under the bed. The view was partially blocked by a life boat on one side but you could see the ocean when looking straight out. This was a very quiet cabin because there was not a lot of foot traffic in the area. There was an occasional little rumble at night because of the aft position but it was not a problem.